Thursday, December 11, 2014

How To Send the Best Cookie Gifts Ever

I don't know about you, but I love baking and I enjoy adding cookies to my holiday gifts. Sometimes I find it challenging to make sure my cookie gifts are not only yummy, but also arrive intact and on time! Address these three challenges and you're sure to send the best cookie gifts ever. Here's how:

1. Choose the Best Recipes

Everyone has their family favorites (mine are Swiss Biberlis and ginger snaps), but in general the best cookies for shipping are firm or chewy cookies. You want a cookie that isn't as likely to break or crumble, and one that will stay fresh longer. Snickerdoodles, biscotti, brownies and bar cookies also ship really well.

I used to send decorated sugar cookies, but they are more fragile and trickier to ship. And cookies and treats that require refrigeration can spoil during shipping, so I always save these to share in person.

Another thing to consider is whether your recipient has any dietary restrictions. There are lots of good gluten free and paleo recipes and your gift will be that much more meaningful when it's something that fits with their lifestyle!

2. Carefully Wrap and Package

Once you have your scrumptious treats, you want to wrap them so they're pretty (and so they stay fresh), then package them for shipping so they arrive without breaking. There are so many ways to wrap cookies: individually in parchment embellished with washi tape, slipped into cello or glassine bags, layered in boxes or tins. Sugarbelle's blog provides some gorgeous inspiration for cookie packaging.

When shipping a variety of cookies, remember to separate the crunchy from the chewy, the spicy from the fruity, so they will arrive with the intended flavors and textures! Cello bags with tags and colorful ribbon are a simple way to package sturdy cookies for shipping while keeping flavors separate.

Once your cookies are wrapped, use bubble wrap or tissue paper to cushion them in your shipping box. Add enough packing material so the cookies don't slide around in the box at all. Martha Stewart offers more packaging examples and tips for shipping. Sugarbelle's also has a post about shipping cookies (and you'll definitely want to read this one if you're shipping decorated or fragile cookies).

3. Ship Early

I'm still working on holiday packages to ship to friends and family (hey, don't judge!). Time gets away from me this time of year (you too?), so to me this is the MOST challenging of the Best Cookie Gifts challenges.

The USPS website is your friend when planning cookie gift shipments. Their Holiday Planner says we have until December 20 to ship by First-Class or Priority mail and still have delivery in the U.S. by December 24, so I'm not technically behind in my shipments. However, if I wanted to ship to my in-laws in Switzerland, I should ship by tomorrow with Priority Mail. International and military shipping times vary based on destination, so refer to the site for up-to-date information.

Make sure to check the USPS website whenever you're scheduling your cookie shipments to know not only when to ship but how long the cookies will take to arrive. This will help you choose the type of cookie for your gift so it can be the very best ever!

Do you mail cookies for your holiday gifts? What tips and tricks do you use to make sure they arrive as yummy and pretty as you made them? Anything I've missed? Please share in the comments!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

5 Stocking Stuffers Under $15

Yankee Swap, Secret Santa, stocking stuffers, hostess gifts, teacher appreciation—so many times we need a little gift to say a big thank you. Need some ideas? Here are 5 Stocking Stuffers (etc.) under $15.

1. Holiday Lip Balm Set - $13.50
It looks like a candy box. (It IS a candy box.) But the sweetness inside is better than candy. (OK, we might be a little biased.)

Our Holiday Lip Balm Set (see below) contains an assortment of 5 holiday lip balms nestled into red paper crinkles and tied up with a red polka dot bow with holiday label. The assortment may vary, but can include Sugar Cookie, Ginger Pear, Cranberry, Gingerbread, Candy Cane, Sugar Plum, Pumpkin Latte...mmmm...

Great gifts for: teachers, or stocking stuffers for tweens (and teens). 

Most people love a nice bottle of bubbly, especially one they can enjoy in the shower. They also love having winter skin that doesn't feel too tight or dry.

Shower Smoothers Gift Sets pair our "bubbly" bath gel with soothing, smoothing body lotion in the most popular scents of the season to leave skin soft and moisturized.

Great gifts for: best friends, moms, Yankee swaps
3. Lip balm - $2.95 

Question: what one item do you have in every pocket, purse, bedside stand, and cosmetic bag?
Answer (probably): lip balm

Especially this time of year, when we're expected to meet and greet family from far and near—at the same time smiling in that dry, cold outdoor air—we need to have those smoochers in top form.

Look here for our most popular Lip Balm flavors for the holiday or any day, with colorful labels and caps. Order 4 and you're still under $12 (and we'll even wrap them up for you with a holiday bow). 

Great gifts for: absolutely everyone

4. Sugar Scrubs - $11.50

Remember how I was talking earlier about dry skin, and how nice it is to smooth away that too-tight, dry-skin feeling? Sugar Scrubs take that whole skin-soothing experience to 11.

With natural exfoliants, lightly moisturizing oils, and fabulous fragrances, our Sugar Scrubs are a spa trip in a jar. Which is especially welcomed this time of year, when there might not be time (yet) to slow down for a massage or pedicure.

Great gifts for: overworked women everywhere

Our most popular gifts for coworkers, these little Travel Packs are just the right size to keep in your desk or purse.

Lip balm and 1 ounce lotion bottle are tucked into a colorful organza bag, topped off with a gift card just waiting for your holiday message. Something thoughtful like, "I'm so glad we're friends!" or "Stop burning popcorn in the office microwave!"

Great gifts for: Secret Santa, coworkers, stocking stuffers

Make sure to order by December 16 for holiday shipping! 

Our gifts are especially nice ways to remind people to pamper themselves—and who couldn't use a little pampering during the holidays?

Monday, December 08, 2014

Flavor of the Month December 2014

Are you a fan of The Night Before Christmas or The Nutcracker Suite? This month's flavor is inspired by both. Sugar Plum is a sweet, fruity balm that will remind you of wintry dreams and fairy ballerinas. 

Sugar Plum is available at 15% off through the end of the month.

We'll also be including a Sugar Plum lip balm in orders placed by our favorite customers, so make sure to select one at checkout!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Disgustingly Delicious Monster Party Treats

"Trick or treat?"
"Trick. If you can say 'ogre boogers' five times, I'll give you some."

Okay, they might actually be pear-flavored jelly beans, but isn't it more fun to think of them as boogers? And really, ogre boogers make a much better monster theme party treat

What if you don't have green jelly beans? We have tags for candy corn (which are clearly Jack-o-lantern teeth) and mini marshmallows (aka ghost poop). Yes, I know that's disgusting. And kids will love it. 

Monster Candy Tags
Click here to download a PDF that includes all three tag designs. The PDF includes three pages, each with three fold-over tags of the same design (for personal use only, please). Print the design of your choice onto card stock and then use the dotted line guides on the sides to create the creases for folding. Cut along the guide lines above and below, then trim the sides of each tag to fit your bags.

Fill a ziploc bag with treats (we used the snack size bags) and seal, then fold a tag over the top and staple to cover the zip.

Which do you like better: ogre boogers, ghost poop, or jack-o-lantern teeth?

Friday, October 24, 2014

Don't Be Afraid To Keep Blooming

Every weekend I've gone outside, prepared to put away my garden for the winter. And every weekend I've seen something like this:

Who could possibly pull up blooming morning glories (or cosmos or zinnias or marigolds)? They continue to open against a palette of bright orange and gold leaves falling slowly in the yard.

I came across an article last week that talked about "late bloomers"--people throughout history who didn't make their great discovery, create their best art, write their best-selling novel until they were much older. When I went back to find the link, I found dozens of articles about people like actor Brian Cranston, KFC founder Colonel Sanders, authors Sue Monk Kidd, Laura Ingalls Wilder, Julia Child, even Dr.Seuss. Don't worry if you haven't hit your stride in your 30s (or 40s or even 50s), these articles reassure. There's always time to do your big thing.

What I wonder is why we don't talk more about the ever-bloomers: those people who find success of a kind early in life, then switch things up when life changes require it. I see examples of this all the time. 

Like my neighbor, who announced last week that she'd passed the boards and was interviewing for her first job as a nurse. She's 59 and only recently finished several years of serious studying and practical work. Or the colleague who shared that she had overcome her fear of taking a new direction and decided to go back to school with a plan of "reinventing" herself. Everywhere I look I see other small businesses rethinking and rebranding; I'm in good company as I work to do the same with my own business this fall. 

How about you? Are you finding that you can "bloom where you're planted" (like my morning glory)? Or do you need a change of scenery in your life to thrive (like the begonias I brought inside to protect from the frost)? What would it take to be able to keep blooming?

Friday, October 17, 2014

Flavor of the Month October 2014

What's your favorite Halloween candy?

Lots of people mention the usual brands: Reese's, m&m's, Snickers, Hershey's. In fact, the top-selling Halloween candies are all chocolate. 

Even though I know this, I still find myself buying Candy Corn every year. There's just something about its bright colors and syrupy sweetness that remind me of tricks and treats of the past. (Now that my kids are both teens, those days of costumes and sugar overdoses are nearing an end!) 

While most people either love or hate Candy Corn, the lip balm flavor has been a universal favorite every fall. This year we poured in layers, just like the orange and yellow layers of those sweet kernels, and topped it off with a white cap. A sweet caramel flavor with a hint of October's Flavor of the Month:

Candy Corn is available at 15% off through the end of the month. 

We've also been including a Candy Corn lip balm in orders placed by our favorite customers. Remember to look for that check box at checkout this month. 

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Customer Feature: The Perfect Pair


My daughter's maid of honor showed me your website, and when I saw the Perfect Pear lip balm, I more or less came up for a theme for the shower around it.

I thought you'd enjoy seeing the bridal shower favors we put together with your lip balm. I wrapped each one up in tulle along with some "juicy pear" jelly beans and tied them with cute ribbon. I love them and know that my daughter will too! 

Thanks so much for your help! 
Sarah D.

Thanks, Sarah! I love seeing the fun favors you created with our lip balms.
How about you? Have you recently shared our lip balms or favors at your event? We'd love to hear about it. Contact us and let us know the details so we can share them here!


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