Tag Archives: treats

Easter Basket Inspiration

Easter Basket Inspiration

I have a lot of great childhood memories associated with Easter. I could write a whole post about Easter egg hunts with my cousins, because they were truly epic! And even up through high school, my brother and I were still hunting for our Easter baskets. My Mom would repurpose old shoe boxes and stuff them with plastic Easter grass and Reese’s peanut butter eggs and hide them in the house for us to find. They were often in the hall closet or her office filing cabinet, a kitchen cupboard or behind the couch.

An Easter basket can be as simple as a shoe box hidden in the hall closet. And to inspire you to fill that basket with fabulous Easter delights, some Easter basket inspiration.

6 Easter Basket Themes

1. The Chocolate Basket

easter-basket-inspiration:traditionalThese are not your drug store candy aisle treats! From gourmet chocolate truffle eggs to hand-piped marshmallow chicks, anybunny would love to find these in their Easter basket 😉

Available from Christopher Elbow Chocolates: 7 Piece Easter Egg Collection
Available from EHChocolatier: Chicks & Eggs
Available from the Natural Candy Store: Surf Sweets Organic Jelly Beans
Available from Trader Joe’s: Extraordinary Eggs Marbled Chocolates

2. The Vegan Basket

easter basket inspiration: veganLast week’s A Very Vegan Gift Guide was one of my most popular posts! I’m sure Peter Cottontail is a big fan of vegans, so I’m excited to put together this vegan Easter basket.

Available from the Natural Candy Store: Organic Bunny Lollipops
Available from Food Fight! Grocery: Go Max Go Twilight Bar
Available from the PETA Catalogue: Chocolate to the Rescue Bar
Available from Vegan Treats Bakery: Veganbury Eggs

3. A Children’s Book Basket

easter basket inspiration: children's-booksFor the wee ones, a basket of stories and imagination. A bunny, a mouse, an Easter Beagle and a twist on an old classic that I loved as a child – that old lady will eat ANYTHING 🙂

Available from Amazon: It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny
Available from Barnes & Noble: There Was an Old Lady Who Swallowed a Chick!
Available from Barnes & Noble: Happy Easter, Mouse!
Available from Amazon: It’s the Easter Beagle, Charlie Brown

4. The Adventure Seeker’s Basket

easter basket inspiration: adventurerFor those who loves hopping – or blazing – down their own trail in the forest, a basket of outdoor treats.

Available from Soutmob: Classic Artisan S’mores Kit
Available from Natural Life: Boho Bandeaus
Available from REI: Nite Ize Flashflight Disc-O
Available from REI: Bearded Brothers Energy Bar

5. A Grown-up Easter Basket

easter basket inspiration: grownup basketMomma’s all growed up, but that doesn’t mean she wouldn’t love a basket of grown-up treats! A gorgeous hand-painted bunny that’s almost too beautiful to eat, the best wines and cheeses to pair with chocolate, and the calorie-free way to enjoy your chocolate – at the spa! **Chocolate-free spa treatments also work great 🙂

Available from Wine Folly: 5 Kickass Wine and Chocolate Pairings
Available from The Spa at The Hotel Hershey: Everything Chocolate Treatments
Available from Bissinger’s Handcrafted Chocolatier: A Guide to Pairing Chocolate & Cheese
Available from A519 Chocolate: Watercolor Easter Bunny

6. The Artist’s Basket

easter basket inspiration: artistFor the Picasso egg painter in your family, some artistic treats including a stylus paintbrush that turns any smartphone or tablet into a canvas.

Available from Amazon: Staedtler Marsgraphic Duo Brush Markers
Available from Barnes & Noble: Splendid Cities Coloring Book
Available from Amazon: Dover Kusudama Origami Book
Available from Sensu: Sensu Solo

A Very Vegan Gift Guide

A Very Vegan Gift Guide

When I decided to do a vegan gift list, I did so expecting this to be a challenge. My personal experiences lend more to the Gift Guide for the Bacon Lover than a vegan gift guide. To my surprise, this gift list was actually one of my favorites to write! With a little research, there are a lot of amazing (and thoughtful!) options for our vegan friends.

This vegan gift guide was a powerful reminder to me of how much I love what I get to do and how much FUN it is to pick gifts with the recipient in mind. I promise you that there is something on this list that will surprise and delight your eco-friends. And by purchasing these items you’re giving the earth your own little hug.

*Special thanks to my friend Erin for giving this list the vegan once-over and to my friend Bek from Sweet Peaches in Pittsburgh for giving the list a vegan chef seal of approval.

The Whole Schmear of Bagel Gifts

15 Vegan-Friendly Gift Ideas

1. Retro Tee

vegan gift guide:power-up-tshirt

Not another Kale t-shirt! Check out the obscure and pithy happenings with the zombie loving vegans at Goods and Evil Clothing.

“We don’t do obvious. Obvious is easy. Our designs usually come from the blurry edge just outside of the norm.”

Available from Goods and Evil Clothing: Vegan Power Up T-shirt

2. The Bubbly

vegan gift guide:champagne

Before you toast your vegan friends, stop and check out the Barnivore website. Two vegans from Toronto have done all of the legwork for you, running down information on which libations are vegan-friendly.

As recently as January 2016, Veuve Clicquot (pictured here) reassured Barnivore that they follow a vegan-friendly champagne making process.

Visit Barnivore for their complete vegan beer, wine and liquor guide.

3. Clever Barware

vegan gift guide:age-of-asparagus-cup

The series of mistaken lyrics pint glasses are hysterical. This one is especially perfect for vegan friends.

… And peace will guide the planets
And love will steer the stars
This is the dawning of the age of Asparagus … A-spar-a-gusssss

Available from Meriwether of Montana: The Age of Asparagus.. Mistaken Lyrics Pint Glass

4. Yoga Mat

vegan gift guide:jute-yoga-matA yoga mat that’s truly tree pose friendly. It’s made from jute fibers that give it a unique look and feel as well as a small ecological footprint.

Available from Barefoot Yoga Co.: Natural Jute and PER Eco-Friendly Yoga Mat

5. Box ‘o Veggies

vegan gift guide:csaA thoughtful gift that will last all season. Gift a share in their local farm’s CSA. These CSA’s support small farmers in growing and harvesting their crops that they then share with their CSA investors (typically) via weekly boxes of their most recent harvest. *I see a dinner invitation in your future with this gift 😉

Available from Local Harvest: Find a Local CSA

6. “Leather” Journal

vegan gift guide:journal

A handmade journal to inspire your herbivore. It starts with a faux leather cover, inside the journal is stuffed with sketch quality paper and the page binding is handsewn with hemp thread.

Available from Etsy: Vegan Faux Leather Journal from BoundByHand

7. Natural Skincare

vegan gift guide:pacifica-beauty-kit

A perfect way to gift that kale you’ve been thinking about. Pacifica is a 100% vegan and cruelty free skincare company. This kit includes four skincare products formulated with superpower fruit and flower naturals.

Available from Pacifica: Super Detox
Natural Solutions Kit

8. Beard and Body Soap

vegan gift guide:beard-soap

Even guys need pampering, and Brave GentleMan answers the call with this vegan, ultra-moisturizing soap with it’s invigorating scent.

“It softens coarse beards, mustaches and skin with organic coconut oil, fair wage and clay-filtered Moroccan argan oil and vitamin E.”

Available from Brave GentleMan: Beard & Body Brick: Citrus

9. Planter Necklace

vegan gift guide:planter-necklace

What a lovely gift, especially for someone who spends their days under the fluorescent lighting of cubicle world. A stunning way to surround oneself with nature and accessorize any outfit!

The pendant and closure are both handmade and attached with 16″ of natural cording.

Available from Etsy: Half Moon Living Plant Necklace by Gems of the Soil

10. Beautiful Glass Jars

vegan gift guide:weck-jars

A classy way to store and display their earth-friendly nibbles. These classic glass canning jars are a favorite of mine. Their tapered shapes and glass lids are easy to fill and make a stunning display. A perfect gift to pair with a cookbook or the CSA share.

Available from West Elm: Weck Juice Jar, Set of 6

11. Chocolate!

vegan gift guide:vegan-twix

Turns out your sweet tooth can be ethical, compassionate and oh so happy 🙂 With Easter coming…and Mother’s Day…and well, Mondays, finding this gem came at the perfect time! From the artists at this little vegan sweet shop in Bethlehem, PA, handmade vegan candy bars like Better Finger Bars, Twin Caramel Cookie Stix and even Veganbury Eggs. Hop to your keyboard and stock up on these vegan delights.

Available from Vegan Treats: All the Heavenly Candy Bars!

12. Fun & Flirty Scarf

vegan gift guide:scarf

Lightweight and perfect for spring, this 100% cotton scarf is made from organic cotton grown from seeds that have not been genetically modified and without the use of pesticides, herbicides, or chemical fertilizers. The flirty cotton tassels make this a fun way to dress up or down any outfit.

Available from Alternative Outfitters Vegan Boutique: RockFlowerPaper Buttons Pink Cotton Tassel Scarf

13. Cookbook

vegan gift guide:vegan-pantry-cookbook

Gorgeous photography and tempting recipes fill the pages of this vegan cookbook. Vegan or not, anyone who appreciates delicious food and high quality ingredients will drool over the pages of this book.

Available from Amazon: The Homemade Vegan Pantry: The Art of Making Your Own Staples

14. Serious Eats

vegan gift guide:real-vegan-faux-gras

Perfect for a host(ess) gift or even poker night! This toasted walnut lentil paste is a humane  hors d’oeuvres alternative to foie gras. Enjoy this vegetarian foie gras on a warm baguette topped with sliced onion, capers or fresh arugula. Umm, yes please!

Available from The Real Vegan: Faux Gras-The Humane Foie Gras Alternative

15. Wrapping Paper

vegan gift guide:flowering-gift-wrap

Consider their gift down to the tiniest details. This flowering wrapping paper is made from recycled paper that is embedded with flowering seeds (like Baby Snapdragon or Black Eyed Susan.) After unwrapping one of these veggie-fabulous gifts from our Vegan Gift Guide, they can even plant the gift wrap. You thought of everything!

Available from Little Kay Gardens: Flowering Gift Wrap

Truly Unique Gifts for Tea Lovers

I’m excited that January is National Hot Tea Month! It’s the perfect time to talk about gifts for tea lovers.

I grew up drinking a lot of tea. Boston’s Original Mint Flavored Black Tea was a staple of my childhood, whether it was at home when family visited, or on Sunday’s at my grandmother’s kitchen table. And today when I head back to Lancaster for holidays, there’s nearly always a visit to my great-Aunt Honey’s apartment for a cup of tea.

Maybe all of those childhood memories and family gatherings around tea are one of the reasons it’s a favorite go-to gift today, perfect for just about any ‘thank you’, ‘congratulations’, ‘job well done’ or ‘get well soon.’ So, needless to say it was hard for me to keep this list to a manageable number, but here are just a few of my tea-riffic gifts for tea lovers 😉

9 gifts for tea lovers

Gifts for Tea Lovers

1. All of the Tea Puns

I’ve never met Lenny Mud (the cat, or her incredibly talented owner),  and yet I’m convinced that we would be great friends. Her tea puns are truly epic!

Gifts for Tea Lovers: Lionel Richie Teapot

Are you somewhere feeling lonely,
or is someone loving you?

Available from Etsy: Hello Lionel Richie Teapot by Lenny Mud

Gifts for Tea Lovers: Lionel Richie Tea Mug

Say you, say tea,
say it for always,
that’s the way it should be.

Available from Etsy: Say You, Say Tea Mug by Lenny Mud

Gifts for Tea Lovers: Mr. Tea Travel Mug

I pity the fool who says anything about this mug being pink!

Available from Etsy: Mr. Tea Travel Mug by Lenny Mud

2. Edible Tea Doilies

Gifts for Tea Lovers: Edible Sugar Doilies

This ain’t your grandma’s lace doily! Sweet, edible art that floats atop the perfect cup of tea.

Available from Etsy: Assortment of Edible Tea Doilies by SweetMarveLace

3. Tea Infuser

Gifts for Tea Lovers: Tea Rex Tea Infuser

Because the Tea-Rex pun never gets old 🙂

Available from Amazon : Tea Rex Tea Infuser

4. Matcha

Gifts for Tea Lovers: Matcha Tea

I can’t have a tea inspired gift list without including matcha. And unless you’ve been hiding under a Himalayan salt rock for the last year or so, you’ve surely heard all of the amazing benefits of drinking matcha green tea.

Available from teapigs: Matcha Green Tea

5. Tea Chest

Gifts for Tea Lovers: Tea Chest

Bridging Eastern culture with Western society, this beautiful wooden tea chest is filled with full leaved teas like Phoenix Oolong, Royal White and Dragon’s Well Green.

Available from Bird Pick Tea & Herb: Premium Tea Chest

6. Honey

Gifts for Tea Lovers: Tea Honey

The folks at the Savannah Bee Company carefully chose the perfect varietal honey so it’s just the right sweetener in fine tea without overwhelming the tea’s delicate flavors and fragrances.

Available from the Savannah Bee Company: Honey for Your Tea

7. The Truth in the Tea

Gifts for Tea Lovers: Tea Leaves Book

Enjoying a great cup of tea doesn’t have to end with the last drop of earthy goodness. Find out the secret behind the leaves. Learn the art of tasseography and read the tea leaves with this illustrated guide.

Available from Amazon: The Cup of Destiny

8. A Travel Pack

Gifts for Tea Lovers: Tea Travel Kit

Have tea, will travel. This gorgeous kit contains everything you need to brew tea wherever you go. Each kit comes with 12 servings of tea, 10 honey sticks, a spoon, paper strainers and this easy to pack satchel that they will want to restock again and again. This is one I’ll be gifting for sure!

Available from Thistle Farms: Tea Kit

9. Jam and Clotted Cream

Gifts for Tea Lovers: Raspberry Jam

What is tea? Well I think Maria said it best; tea is… a drink with jam and breaaaad.” And the folks at Eat This had me with their all-natural, sustainable, locally-sourced jam packaged in fabulous Weck canning jars. And when I saw raspberry + chambord, well let’s just say that faaaaa, is the long, long way I’d run to get to their jam (and luckily I don’t have to since they ship it.) Yeah, some days I just love my job a little too much! 🙂

Available from Eat This: Raspberry and Chambord Preserve

Gifts for Tea Lovers: Clotted Cream

Clotted Cream may sound like some gross vampire delight, but I’m pretty sure it’s actually what angels eat. It’s sometimes described as ‘something between the two greatest of dairy products: whipped cream and butter‘ and it’s the key to a true English tea experience (along with sticking out your pinky.)

Available from British Corner Shop: Cottage Delight Clotted Cream

Thanksgiving Host & Hostess Gifts

For many people, Thanksgiving is their favorite holiday. I love holidays, so it’s hard for me to have just one favorite, but Thanksgiving is a great choice. Whether your gathering is large or small, family or friends (or both!), it’s a time to be loved, be thankful and hopefully enjoy really, really great food.

From the turkey, to the stuffing, the cranberry sauce and all the trimmings, getting ready to entertain at Thanksgiving should probably be an Olympic sport! So in honor of your host or hostess, these are my favorite gifts this Thanksgiving.

8 Thanksgiving Host & Hostess Gifts

1. Fresh Seasonal Wreath

Magnolia Woodsy Wreath

A fresh seasonal wreath is a beautiful and unexpected twist on the traditional gift of flowers. Plus, there’s the added bonus that a well-made wreath should last through the December holidays.

Many local florists will create and customize a fresh seasonal wreath, or you can order a handmade artisanal wreath like this one, available from Creekside Farms: Magnolia Woodsy Wreath

2. Donate a Wreath

Wreaths Across America

I have a special place in my heart for the Wreaths Across America organization. In 2014, they placed a fresh wreath on all 226,525 graves at Arlington National Cemetery and a total of 700,000 wreaths at locations worldwide.

You can sponsor a single wreath for as little as $15. Wreaths can be sponsored in honor of/memory of a servicemember, or simply sponsor a wreath in thanks for the freedom to spend this Thanksgiving day with your loved ones.

Don’t forget to express this thanks, and share your sponsorship of a wreath, in a handwritten note to your host or hostess.

Available from Wreaths Across America: Sponsor a Wreath

3. Bring the Sauce

Wigle Whiskey

Create a little gift basket with the makings of a signature cocktail. And don’t forget to include the recipe! Thanks to Miss Martha Stewart, you can put the sauce in ‘cranberry sauce’ with her Cranberry Old Fashioned.

I always advocate using craft spirits and in Pittsburgh we have the very popular Wigle Whiskey.

Available from Wigle Whiskey: Organic Pennsylvania Bourbon

I love the combination of orange and cranberry and Wigle’s orange bitters should really enhance the orange zest in Martha’s recipe!

Available from Wigle Whiskey: Organic Pomander Orange Bitters

4. Fabulous Hand Soap

Lemon Verbena Hand Wash from Maison Apothecare

If your host or hostess has been spending a lot of time in the kitchen preparing the nosh and nibbles, a gentle and great smelling hand wash is a perfect choice. I recently purchased this lemon verbena hand soap and I LOVE it!! It smells amazing and it doesn’t dry out your hands.

Available from Maison Apothecare: Lemon Verbena Hand Wash

5. Honeyed Walnuts

Honeyed Walnuts

There is just something about a honey bear!

This little guy is filled with whole walnuts soaked in 100% natural Amish honey. A special treat delicious on cheese, ice cream or fresh fruit…and I’m pretty sure even eating them right out of the jar is fabulous.

Available from Alex’s Meats: Honey Bear Walnuts

6. Bring the Conversation

Table Topics from UncommonGoods

Whether you’re attending a family Thanksgiving or a gathering of friends, it’s always good to have some conversation starters in your back pocket. And ok, so this cube likely won’t actually fit in your back pocket, but it does come in a variety of themes (Foodies, Family and Happiness, just to name a few) and each cube contains 135 conversation starters.

Available from UncommonGoods: Table Topics

7. Exotic Sea Salt

Breakaway Matcha Tea Sea Salt

A fun treat to spice up their kitchen pantry. Matcha tea is definitely one of the ‘it beverages’ right now. Put an unexpected twist on it with this hand-blended combination of matcha tea and French sea salt. Even the packaging is extraordinary with the use of a beautiful violet-black glass jar.

Available from Breakaway Matcha: Breakaway Matcha Salt

8. Herbal Tea

Tea: Red Rooibos Chai Masala

Give your host or hostess a gift to enjoy after the guests have gone home and they can sit back and revel in the beautiful gathering they created. This unexpected twist on Chai is made with red rooibos tea instead of black tea with the addition of vanilla for a hint of natural sweetness.

Available from Miss Tea Organics: Red Rooibos Chai Masala

Fresh and Hot Coffee Gift Ideas

I love coffee like a Gilmore Girl, so even though it means TWO blog posts in one day (woot!), I just couldn’t let National Coffee Day pass without a few gift ideas for coffee lovers. So here are some really cool surprises to celebrate your coffee lover’s next birthday, anniversary or just because they’re #winning the day.

fresh-brewed-coffee-gifts

7 Coffee Inspired Gift Ideas

1. Coffee Hand Grinder

turkish coffee grinder: Seattle Coffee Gear

Many coffee lovers enjoy not just the end product, but the zen-like experience of creating the perfect cup of java. And for the truly dedicated, a hand mill like this turkish coffee grinder is not just beautiful, it’s the first step in a very intimate coffee experience.

Available from Seattle Coffee Gears: Turkish Coffee Grinder

2. Coffee Holdster

Leather Canning Jar Travel Mug by Holdster

And for the truly hipster coffee lover, this leather insulated sleeve brings (wo)man and mason jar together for the love of coffee. You will be the envy of all of your bearded friends.

Available from Amazon: Leather Canning Jar Travel Mug by Holdster

3. Coffee Subscription Delivery

Coffee Subscription: Driftaway Coffee

Caffeine delivered. Driftaway Coffee is the passion of a super adorable couple in Brooklyn, NY (they really are super adorable, just checkout the story page on their website.) Every Driftaway Coffee subscription starts with their tasting kit, a sampling of 4 coffees with different roast profiles. Next, by using their app to track your tasting preferences, future deliveries are tailored to your tastebuds.

Available from Driftaway Coffee: Coffee Subscription Plan

4. Coffee Body Scrub

cardamom + coffee body scrub: Fig + Yarrow

Coffee doesn’t get much more luxurious than this. Roasted fair trade coffee beans are paired with aromas of chocolate, vanilla, black pepper and cardamom for a truly decadent exfoliating and antioxidizing body scrub.

Available from Fig + Yarrow: Cardamom + Coffee Body Scrub

5. Teak Coffee Spoons

teak coffee spoons: ABC carpet & home

These sustainable teak spoons would be a statement piece in any coffee service. Handmade by a community of artisans, the spoons are hewn from excess material left behind by the logging industry.

Available from ABC Carpet & Home: Teak Coffee Spoon Set

6. Coffee Curd

Irish Coffee Curd: Indie Fude

This creamy curd is handmade in small batches right in the founder’s kitchen. She blends freshly roasted coffee and local whiskey into a distinctive and “full-on” Irish coffee flavor. Serving suggestions include pancakes, scones and ice cream!

Available from Indie Fude: Irish Coffee Curd

7. Coffee Print

coffee print: Etsy

This handmade illustration captures the famous T.S. Eliot quote “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” Were truer words ever spoken about a coffee lover?

Available from Etsy: Coffee Print by Cava Design Studio