Archive for the ‘Gift’ Category

It is only since having my own children that I really have ‘got’ the importance of celebrating motherhood and although I don’t like to be told when this should be I still feel its important to show my mum how much she means to me on Mother’s Day.  And I also enjoy my husband and kids making a bit of a fuss of me (hopefully he is reading this).

There are so many beautiful brands out there selling lovely organic, environmentally sound products out there that you are really spoilt for choice if you are looking for the perfect gift for your mother.

Beauty: Melvita is the latest mumzine fixation, the top-selling organic skin care brand in France is now available in the UK. Melvita launched in France in 1983 and was ahead of its time with its focus on natural organic products.  All are ecocert approved and there are 300 products to choose from.  Prices are very reasonable (£10-£32).  We have tried lots of their products but think mums will love this Eye Contour Gel (£18) which you can feel having an immediate tightening affect.

Fashion: I LOVE Bo Belle – its official.  Their products are all fairly traded and hand made fashion accessories using the luxurious eel skin leather, a by-product of the food industry in Korea.  I have this Gaia Eel Skin Red Leather purse (£32.00) and am always getting admiring comments.

Books: Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert – This book was recently recommended by a friend (who is also a life coach) and it has been one of those books where the pages are almost turning themselves.  It is a woman’s story of her literal and spiritual journey to find herself, get inner peace and strength and heal. Its a massive seller for a reason which is that so much of what she writes about women all over the globe can relate to and its very funny. 

Flowers: There are not many women out there who do not LOVE a bunch of flowers delivered to their door.

The main thing about buying flowers is that they are often shipped in from abroad.  If you want to buy flowers the best thing you can do is make sure they are UK grown.  There are now lots of options online to do this, Eco Flowers have a great range of flowers that are all British grown and if you buy from them you are also getting:

  • Responsibility for the handling of natural resources
  • No air miles used
  • A ban on child or forced labour
  • A total ban on toxic pesticides which cause damage to people and the environment.

Candles: Neom is one of mumzine’s favourite brands and they have a lovely range of luxury organic candles.  They are made using only vegetable wax and pure essential oils rather than synthetic fragrances so they burn without releasing harmful pollutants, toxins or soot.  This Invigorate candle with Grapefruit Bergamot is the one we are hoping for. They are £35.00 but are big and with 55 hours burning time should last well.

Charity: There is one issue most mothers feel strongly about and that is the safe delivery of babies. That’s why this Mother’s Day Maternity Worldwide is suggesting a different kind of Mother’s Day gift.  For just £15 Maternity Worldwide will send a personalised Safe Birth Certificate straight to your mum and send everything – from the hospital bed to the training for the midwife – to a woman giving birth in a developing country. Your gift will also support Maternity Worldwide’s Women’s Groups projects which offer women in Ethiopia the opportunity to gain financial independence and gain access to life-saving health information.


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Check out Royal Mail’s new Smilers Stamps.

You can personalize a sheet of first or second class stamps with a picture of your choice.

Dig out your favourite picture of the kids and choose from one of their many stamp designs in either a rectangular or circular frame.

Mail something to a grandparent and make their day.

For more information call 0845 0742000 or go to royalmail.com/smilers.

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Skin looking dry, flaky and parched from the constant central heating and bracing the elements this winter? Fret no more (it will only increase those lines), nourishing natural skin relief arrives in the UK today, with the launch of the largest beauty brand en France, Melvita.

This family run business founded in 1983, by biologist Bernard Chevilliat provides products using only the finest ingredients from organically farmed and responsibly harvested sources. Their packaging is all completely recyclable. They strive to promote ethical, humane, and fair-trade partnerships and consider themselves pro-active in their approach to sustainable development.

We have been loving their Ecocert organic products for some time, and so we have learnt has french actress Marion Cotillard. There are over 300 products in their head to toe beauty range including everything from skin care and bath care to supplements like bee pollen. Melvita offers affordable organic skin care with price tags ranging from £10- £32.

Their Eye contour gel, Hydrastim moisturising gel and Nautralift anti age cream have all been on trial here at Mumzine and we’re really impressed. You can actually feel the skin tightening with the eye contour gel and the consistency and absorption of their face creams is incredible. The Naturalift cream has been clinically proven to smooth over fine lines and wrinkles. Products have subtle scents too due to their use of plant extracts over essential oils.

With researchers constantly looking at the development of new ingredients, Melvita are set to lead a skin care revolution and we’ll be right behind them.

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My friend is due a baby in a few weeks and I have been in search of the perfect gift.  Check out our favourite finds…

Emma and Alice – Happy Hour Cot Pockets – £45 + P & P – This is our most expensive item but a real treasure and made entirely from recycled vintage fabrics and individually handmade and designed to order – so every one a total one off.

Sophie the giraffe from VUP Baby– £12.25 – Everywhere I go I see a baby with one of these in their mouths and it is only recently I realised Sophie the Giraffe is a teether (handmade in France) made of all natural flexible rubber and non-toxic food paint. Sophie has been part of babies’ lives for more than 40 years. She is lightweight and easy to grasp, and easy on teething gums. Plus her squeaker keeps baby amused.

Green Baby sheepskin boots – £19.99 – maybe its the weather but these cute boots will be a welcome addition for any new baby. Wide side fastenings with Velcro make it easy to keep baby’s feet warm and comfortable and get them on and off. High tops keep not only feet warm but also protect tiny ankles from the cold.

Merino knee length socks – £8.95 – I have written about Bambino Merino before but in this ffff-rrre-eezing weather I cant think of much better present than a pair of these cute socks for a new baby to keep their little legs cosy.  We are big fans of Bambino Merino, everything is 100% natural pure merino wool and the products are so soft to the touch,  I have just tried out a pair of PJ’s on my 3 year old daughter and I am green with envy!  The picture doesn’t do them justice – they are really lovely.

And one for mum…

Burts Bees Mama Bee oil – £9.35 – Burts Bees products are 100% natural and they invest heavily in looking after the environment and behaving responsibly. Plus all their products smell divine!  This rich, all over body oil with sweet Almond and Lemon oils soothes and hydrates dry, itchy skin. Also great for use as a comforting massage oil for you and Baby!

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In the late 80’s the media were keen on exposing brands that supported animal testing and we became aware of the cruelty animals experience in labs so we could look beautiful. Now, most of us try to avoid makeup and skin care products that are tested on animals. However, did you ever think about how that animal hair got to be in your make up brush?

Although some manufacturers claim the hair in their brushes comes from a natural moulting process and animals are not harmed or killed to gather the fur, true vegans or those wishing to live an animal free lifestyle will prefer a synthetic brush.

Toray and Taklon are modern, man made alternatives to hair, which can be used to fashion make up brushes. They are very fine nylon hairs which many make up artists swear by for giving clean lines when applying make up.

Dermaquest have done just that and produced a range of 100% vegan makeup brushes where the handles used are also part of a reforestation project. Unfortunately dermaquest brushes are not currently available in the UK.

However Ecotools are!  These are expertly crafted (yet budget friendly ) beauty tools made from sustainable materials such as bamboo. Their range of professional quality vegan makeup brushes use soft synthetic bristles as an alternative to the animal derived bristles that are used in most brands of makeup brushes.

Ecotools were voted Best Cruelty-Free makeup Brushes in the 6th Annual PETA ‘Proggy’ Awards and one of the Best Beauty Buys of 2009 by Instyle magazine.

They also donate 1% of their annual sales to 1% For The Planet, an alliance of businesses committed to leveraging their resources to create a healthier planet.

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Crafting is officially everywhere, and if you have caught the bug you may have come across etsy. But for those who haven’t its a dream if you either make handmade goods, vintage items and craft supplies or are looking to buy them.

The genius bit is that if you also want to cut down air miles and keep money in your community you can choose to shop locally, choosing either country or your area.

I have been learning how to make hats so have aspirations to put them on here one day but while I improve here is a lovely one local to me from unseencolours.

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Personally I’ve never been a fan of ear muffs but as middle age approaches and it’s snowing these beauties have definitely got me turned.

Little Fille creates uniquely designed earmuffs and beautiful headbands that can be worn in a variety of ways. Each piece is handmade. Look out for their upcoming headbands using recycled fabrics.

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