Wednesday, April 17, 2013

We all need a little retail therapy, so read on to be enabled...

I'm still an emotional basket case, which I think is the prevalent mood this week, so I thought I'd write a light post on some happy shopping that may inspire Mother's Day ideas to cheer us all up.

Right after Easter I was feeling the urge for a new rosary (and thank God, because I've been praying with it non-stop since it arrived last week) and so I contacted the talented Carm over at Unbreakable Rosaries on Etsy. You all know my adoration of Blessed Pope John Paul II, and I don't have a rosary with his likeness on it. Carm has gorgeous, wire-wrapped rosaries (so they will not break, even when coiled up in your pocket or purse and then tugged out to pray on every day) listed in her store, but she also takes custom orders, and I was feeling specific. :) So I gave her my modest price range and asked if she could make me a rosary in cheerful, Easter colors for the Aves, large clear crystals for the Paters, a John Paul II centerpiece, and any crucifix design that she thought looked lovely with it. This is what she made me:

Isn't it stunning? I LOVE it, and I have barely put it down since it arrived last Monday. I had it with me for our sump pump crisis, some sleepless nights with Anne, and now for this very difficult week. I've been praying with it every single day and sleeping with it under my pillow at night. See "Emotional Basket Case" referenced above, supra. The Centerpiece has John Paul II on one side, and Benedict XVI on the other (love!) and the crucifix has cut out hearts on it, with tiny Alpha and Omega symbols on the crossbars. I simply adore it. So, for the Catholic mother in your life, check out Carm's work. :) There is really no other way to say it other than that she is a true artist, and a joy to work with.

Totally unrelated to rosaries, but also very apt Mother's Day gifts, is what I'm about to talk about next. A few months ago, I went to a craft fair with my mother-in-law and kids and we met a vendor selling handmade cold-process soaps, lotions, sugar scrubs, and fragrance roll-ons. I'm a sucker for handmade soap, as is my mother-in-law, and so we bought several bars.

Flash forward to recently and I've been using the soap. LOVE IT. So moisturizing and the thing smells so good that the entire bathroom benefits from its presence in our shower. My mother-in-law also raved about her bar, how good it made her skin feel. So, for Mother's Day, I decided to get in touch with the woman who made them and order baskets for both mothers.

So I did. And she's a total doll. She made me up custom baskets for each mother with 2 soaps, a sugar scrub, a body spray, and a loofah. I also added in 2 bars of soap for myself, plus a few lip balms.

She gave me an outstanding price on everything and included an amazing number of samples of other soap scents plus a sample of her hemp lotion.

Well. It went over big. :) Henry wanted to eat the soap it smelled so good, and Mike (who uses lotion every night on his hands and lower arms) loves the hemp lotion. And the surprising thing is, so do I! I usually hate how greasy lotions make me feel, but this sinks right in and is divine. I was able to pick up from her house since she only lives about 20 minutes from me, but she also has a web page here. The business is called "Soaptini" and via her online form you can order using Paypal. If you live in western New York you can arrange to pick up, like I did, very easy. I highly recommend her stuff. Her name is Kim and she's a real sweetheart. She got started making soap because one of her young sons has a severe skin condition. Her products are all natural. She has a great variety of products and a huge inventory of scents. I've tried:

Oatmeal Stout (beer soap): Absolutely divine.

Cherry Almond: Words cannot capture how good this smells.

Brown Sugar & Butter: !

Monkey Farts: Ok, I hate the name, but she did it to appeal to kids (and it does, Henry has a bar) but it smells FAB, like banana cream pie.

Chocolatini: This is the one Henry wanted to eat; smells like a brownie.

Aloe & Clove: This was the scent in the sample lotion; very fresh and true to its name.

Check out "Soaptini", great Mother's Day gifts. I *need* more of the hemp lotion and have already messaged her on Facebook about picking some up next week. :) Search for SOAPtini on Facebook to like her page and get updates.

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