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The Blog

  • 2022 Gifting Guide

    2022 Gifting Guide

    a pile of gifts
    love giving gifts and- if you'll allow me to toot my own horn for a moment- I am notorious for being a thoughtful gift giver. If gifting isn't your strong suit, I'm here to help! 

    Get started by thinking about these 3 things: 

    1. Really think about the person you're buying for- what do you know about  their interests, their lifestyle and the way they take care of themselves or where they find pleasure and joy in their lives? Maybe you know that they're committed to low waste living and also love journaling or writing by hand. A refillable fountain pen and a nice journal or set of personalized stationary will blow them away. 

    2. Consider ways that you can elevate something they do or use every day. This can be as simple as a new Yeti tumbler for your friend who is all about their morning coffee or tea, elevating their home scenting rituals with anything from our home scenting line, or elevating a daily experience we all share by gifting a swanky set of sheets.
       
    3. Think about how you can combine their interests with something aesthetic and useful. A great gift serves a purpose, so aim to find something that's both aesthetic and useful or aesthetic and interesting. The more luxe you can make it feel the better. Maybe you know they love to soak in the tub- give them a luxurious body oil or these upscale bath bombs. Or maybe you know they're an avid reader- they'll love a subscription to Book Of The Month. (Pro tip: Print off their subscription info and slide it and a bookmark into a handwritten card.)


    If that little thought exercise hasn't sufficiently gotten your juices flowing, the following is a list of some things I use all the time and can attest to the quality and usefulness of. I've included a few things from the studio that meet those same requirements. Most of the links are affiliate links, meaning the studio gets a small percentage of the sale if you use the links provided. That money generally goes back into tools for the studio. 


     
    Our Grater Plates for garlic and ginger make for an interesting gift for avid cooks. They're not likely to already have one, but they'll find themselves reaching for it all the time!



    Penzey's offers some of the highest quality herbs, spices and mixes available, period. The Cooking Gift Box is a great balance of sweet and savory and would make an excellent gift. They also offer sets of minis if you're looking for something around the $20 mark.


    Flour Water Salt Yeast is kind of the end-all-be-all book for bread baking. It's suitable for anybody who has at least a little baking experience. Pair it with this kit of bread making supplies




    Our hand-dipped cone incense is low waste, packaged in biodegradable pressed paper pulp and all smells incredible. Pair it with an incense holder.

    a black yeti tumbler
    A truly excellent gift for just about anyone is a nice travel mug.  I recommend springing for a Yeti. They're sturdy, they seal well and keep a drink piping hot, and they're comfy in-hand. Plus- they're the only insulated travel mugs I've found that you can wash in the dishwasher! Pair it with a bag of coffee beans or a gift card to their favorite coffee shop.
     

    These produce storage bags are honestly incredible. You get them damp and they greatly extend the life of most produce stored inside. I use mine for carrots, brussels sprouts, radishes, green beans, herbs, and more. Pair it with a gift card to the local co-op. 

     


    I can't sing the praises of Misen more highly. They sell direct to consumers, so their prices are great, everything they offer is beautifully designed and weighted and it's all very high quality. If you're not sure what your giftee might need, consider the uniquely sized Utility Knife or a Nonstick Pan. If you happen to know that their cooking setup could use a serious upgrade, go for cooking utensils, either the full set or pick and choose a few pieces.  



    Vitamix Food Cycler loaded with food waste
    If you've got the budget to really go above and beyond, consider gifting The Vitamix Food Cycler Home Composter. It's not the sexiest looking appliance on my countertop, but it has basically eliminated my household's food waste. 

    Need a card? 


    Someday Studio has some of my favorite greeting card designs. Cards are all $5.95/ea or grab a set of 8 for $16.95.


    Seedy Cards is another one of my favorites for cards, plus, as their name suggests, they're made from paper infused with flower seeds so they can be planted!

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  • Host Gifting Guide

    Host Gifting Guide
    This year, if you're lucky enough to get an invite to Thanksgiving a holiday meal prepared by someone else, the least you can do is not show up empty handed. It's a classy way to make sure your host feel seen and appreciated for the days of work that goes into hosting. 
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  • 7 Ways To Spread Joy

    7 Ways To Spread Joy
    When we make it a practice to foster connection in our personal communities, doing the same on a larger scale in our broader communities becomes a LOT easier.... Let's make a concerted effort to live in a way that gives others permission to feel good, too. Let's make a pact to spread as much joy as we can in this lifetime.  
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  • Wildflower Seed Bombs

    Wildflower Seed Bombs
    Seed Bombs are a natural way to add some pollinating blooms to outdoor spots that could use a pop of color. Learn about our Seed Bombs, how to plant and care for them and what wildflower varieties we include.
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  • Caring For Wood Utensils

    Caring For Wood Utensils
    Whether you're warming up a can of soup or cooking from scratch every day, if you spend any time in your kitchen, you're probably using wood pieces like spoons, a cutting board or maybe even a pair of those bentwood tongs to grab things from the toaster. You've probably also watched your favorite wooden kitchen tools dry out over time and start looking a little dingy...
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  • How To Burn Incense

    How To Burn Incense

    Incense is burned across cultures and all over the world both in spiritual and religious practices as well as to scent a space or cover up unwanted smells or repel insects. Over the course of many centuries, humans have developed several ways of burning incense. While its form varies greatly, incense is generally made from the same materials- plants, oils and resins.

    While this list is by no means exhaustive, here we'll cover the types of incense we have carried, currently carry or might carry again and how to burn each of them. 

    Please Note: Not all incense is created equally! We have done extensive research and testing, and every brand we carry meets or exceeds our rigorous standards. There is plenty of cheap, low quality incense available on the market, but unless you can trust that your source is using high quality materials, you may be risking your respiratory health and that of those in the room. 

    Stick incense burning in a wooden holder

    Stick Incense

    Maybe the most well-known type of incense is stick incense, made from powdered plant matter scented with fragrant oils and mixed with organic binders and formed to long, thin bamboo sticks. 

    How To Burn Stick Incense:
    Fit the exposed wooden end of the stick into the hole of your incense holder. Adjust the angle as needed to make sure the entire length of the stick is positioned over the burner or that your burner sits on a fire-safe surface, like glass or ceramic. Using a lighter or a match, light the tip of the incense. Let it catch fire and burn for a second or two before blowing the flame out and allowing the ember to smolder. A stick of incense can burn for 45-90 minutes. 

    Shop Incense Here link


    A rope incense on its side on a piece of lumber in front of a black backdrop.
    Rope Incense


    A lesser-known style of incense, but one that we love, is rope incense. Rope incense is typically hand-made from powdered herbs and other plant matter and essential oils and is then rolled and pressed into thin paper that is then twisted together into a rope with a loop and one end and twisted off points at the other. The burn time of rope incense depends on the length of the rope and how you burn it.  

    How To Burn Rope Incense: You can hang rope incense from its looped end over a fire-safe surface using a hook specifically made for this purpose or you can bend wire yourself. You can also burn it lying on a fire-safe surface or clipped with the burning end pointing down in an empty bottle. There are also rope incense burners that you slide the rope between pieces on the burner so that it stands upright before you light it.

    However you choose to burn it, light the pointed end with a match or lighter and allow to catch fire before blowing out and allowing to smolder. The cleanest burn does come from hanging upside down or being upright and burning it on its side can and often will leave some resin behind. The resin can be washed away with soap and water.

    We carry Shaman's Market rope incense, which is handmade by women in Nepal. 
    Shop Incense Here link


    Cone incense in a small stone bowl on a table
    Cone Incense 


    Also popular is cone incense, made from powdered plant material, essential oils and an organic binder. They're similar to stick incense but instead of being formed around or into sticks, they're rolled into little cones or cylinders then soaked in essential oils before they're allowed to dry. Burn time depends on the size of the cone and what they're made of, but generally you'll get about 30-45min out of a cone.  

    How To Burn Cone Incense: 
    Set the flat bottom of the cone or cylinder on an incense burner or fire-safe dish, tile or surface and light the pointed end with a match or lighter. When it catches, gently blow it out and allow to smolder. 

    Shop Incense Here link




    Smudges and Palo Santo

    Similar to other types of incense in materials, these types are burned in their whole form. Smudges are bundles of herbs (often sage) and sometimes flowers or other plants that are bundled together with cotton string into a cylinder.  Palo Santo (and other sacred woods) are pieces of wood from palo santo trees that are lovingly revered and cared for by people in South America where there are strict laws surrounding its harvest and use.  These types of incense belong to Indigenous people in the Americas and are heavily used in rituals. 

    How To Burn Smudges Palo Santo:
    To burn a smudge OR palo santo, light it on one end, preferably over an open flame like that of a candle. You can, of course, use a lighter or matches, but it takes a little while.  Allow it to catch fire and burn for a few seconds until the entire end is ember-red, then blow out. Waving the smudge or Palo Santo in the air will keep it burning, or you can prop it up on a fire-safe surface. 

    Shop Incense Here link




    Resin and Powdered Incense

    Lesser known, at least in the western world, are resin and powdered incense. They're both versatile and can be burned in several ways. One way to use powdered incense is on a bed of compressed fine sand by compacting the incense powder with specialty tools into intricate metal forms and then burning. Another method that is often used is using tongs or scoops to place the resin or powder on briquettes or cups of pressed charcoal and/or herbs that have been allowed to become smoldering by lighting it on fire (usually lit with a torch or long lighter) and letting it burn for 15-60 seconds before blowing it out. These types of incense can produce a lot of smoke when burned this way, so if you can, use a burner with a cover that only allows some smoke out at one time, and be sure to only burn in a well-ventilated area or outside where certain varieties can repel insects! 


    Shop Incense Here link



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