Hot on the heels of finding that perfect holiday gift (and just after you've finally paid the holiday bills off!) comes the next holiday on the calendar...the feast of St.Valentine. Wikipedia tells us that it is the traditional day on which lovers express their love for each other by sending Valentine's cards, presenting flowers or offering candy.If you're looking for something a little more original, let me offer you some Valentine gift ideas for 2009.
The economy stinks and the weather's awful. It adds up to a long gray winter. Add a little colour to your wardrobe, whether it's with a bright scarf or some fabulous lingerie. Check out these fun colours from Hanky Panky. Oprah swears by them, and you will too once you've tried a pair.
Entertainment's all about the vampire. Whether you're watching True Blood on television, or delving into the world of Bella and Edmund in the Twilight series, you know that the trends this year are for pale skin and blood purple lips. Give in to your own inner dark forces and treat yourself (or someone you love) to MAC's Quick Tease Lip Gloss. I did.
The recent Presidential inauguration brought hope back to the West. Offer hope in a bottle to your valentine with one of Philsophy's best selling beauty products. It's sure to clear up your skin and make skies look much clearer.
Help him take good care of his heart. This Valentine's Day, register him in a fun run for Spring and get him motivated to exercise his most important organ. It's the one he's going to need to be around for many more Valentine's Days.
If music be the food of love, then play on, wrote Shakespeare. Your valentine can enjoy any music he wants if you give him the gift he really wants; a credit on FanXchange , an online ticket exchange site to find ideal tics for any concert or sports event in North America.
Maybe you know that the most direct route to your man's heart is by way of his stomach. Heavenly Sweets is a Canadian company with products made by hand with individual care and attention given to every detail. Cookies are all natural, with no additives or preservatives. Check them out online or in Indigo stores across the country. I recommend the Caramel Chocolate Chunk.
p.s. Speaking of very sweet things, stay tuned next month for our review of recession-friendly family getaways.In the meantime, check out Great Wolf Lodge for some fun promotions for a last minute Family Day weekend getaway!
In tough economic times, we tend to scale back on our visits to the nail salon. Less manis and pedis means a few more coins in our pocket, but it's tough on our feet during these cold and dry winter months.
One of my favourite indulgences is a foot massage. Whether you've got a willing partner, or you're into self-service, a foot massage before bedtime is an instant relaxation technique and you'll wake up with softer (and better smelling feet).
For a few dollars, you can find some products that will soften your heals and make your toes tingle.
My all-time favourite (because it was my first and I'm sentimental like that) is the Body Shop's Peppermint Foot Lotion. One whiff takes me back to the Christmas vacation of first year university when I worked in The Body Shop as seasonal help. This three-week stint taught me everything I needed to know about the Body Shop's philosophy (great) and products (wonderful), as well as the fact that 90% of shoppers coming into the store on Christmas Eve were husbands looking for something ANYTHING for their wives.
Newer on my lists is Burt's Bees Peppermint Foot Lotion. All natural, and available in most health food stores, Burt's Bees products have long been a favourite for baby's skin. This foot lotion proves that Burt's a friend to mom, too. The fragrant peppermint oil promises to invigorate your skin and after giving my daughter a mini-foot massage I wanted to nibble on her toes!
Finally if you're looking for something with a little more umph, you can search for a Bath and Body Works store (we got our first in Canada last Fall....ahhhh heaven!) and look up Toe the Line Smooth Foot Scrub with Walnut Shell Powder. My mother-in-law brings me home a little tube every year from Florida and I ration it out for 12 months. It's a deoderizing exfoliator and it's just what the podiatrist ordered for our dry, dry winter feet.
So next time you've had a long day chasing kids, husbands, dogs and deadlines, put those dogs up and treat them to a little massage!
Our kids' generation has a new tag. They are all a part of Generation G, a generation that recognizesthe growing importance of 'generosity' as a leading societal mindset. The argument goes that while consumers are becoming more disgusted with greed and its consequences for the economy, the need for more generosity is coinciding with the emergence of an online-fueled culture of individuals who share, give, engage, create and collaborate in large numbers.
Generation G is made up of passionate, empowered individuals who are more willing and able to give, to share and to collaborate. In essence, they are a generation who are generous in many ways, and I've seen examples of this growing generosity all around me.
Next week, I'm heading to the launch of girl !mpact, "an innovative non-profit designed to empower girls to champion each other on both a local and global level, creating the most direct route to social change." What's incredible to me is not only that this organization is going to match ten girls from priority neighbourhoods with mentors and provide life coaching skills and nine months of training to prepare them for a Kilimanjaro trek, but also that those girls will be fundraising for a school in Africa. What's most incredible to me, though, is that this whole concept was dreamed up by two of my own friends! They went beyond the dreaming and conceptualizing that many of us do, and are implementing this amazing program.
Our own kids are being taught in school about how their philanthropic efforts can make a difference in the lives of others. My son is fortunate enough this year to be taking part in Project Give Back, a unique curriculum-based program "aimed to enhance responsibility and develop a deep seated feeling in one’s self to make a difference in the lives of others" (from the Project Give Back website). Essentially, his class of nine year olds is spending part of each week all year long learning about charity, fundraising, and public relations skills, and choosing a way that they can give back to the charity of their choice. Again, this entire program was conceived and developed by one incredible woman, who is also a neighbour and friend.
Not every display of generosity needs to be so awesome, though. We can all start on a smaller scale. My youngest son was so excited this week to be invited to a birthday partyusing Echoage. In these unique birthday parties, instead of bringing wrapped and packaged presents, guests simply rsvp and make online contributions that are pooled for the purchase of one memorable gift and to support one charity (of the birthday child's choice). These birthday parties encourage a greener way of thinking about parties, and a more philanthropic way of thinking about giving.
I'm encouraged to think that the next generation will be wiser and more willing to share and give, and I'm excited to see where this spirit of giving takes us all.