Teachers Gifts…And All Fabulously Eco-Chic!

I have been asked numerous times in the last week what ideas I have about fab, teacher gifts that are unique with a twist of eco. I have given my kids’ teachers this type of gifts for years with great success. My kids seem to enjoy helping to pick out the unique gifts and deliver them with great pride each year.

And of course I can’t help but remember my neighbour who had been a teacher for 30 or so years mentioning the piles of mugs she received over the years as gifts. As much as I am sure she enjoyed the thought and kindness that brought the mugs her way, the pile of mugs sadly became a BIG, unused pile. So if you want to stand out in the crowd, give something fabulously unique, useful AND eco-chic…. read on!

The Coolest Cooler Bag Ever

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Love the quality of this ultra cool BPA-free cooler bag by Toronto’s SoYoung. BEST I have seen. AND the shoulder strap can be configured so it it can be worn backpack-style making it extra fab. Great for active types or for those (like me!) who tote their own food around. Cute retro-inspired designs.  $37  Cutest ice packs EVER $10 


The Best Organic Skincare on the Planet


If you love giving your fave teacher skincare that is friendly to skin and to the planet, then Consonant is for you. Choose one or more items.. from $12 for the most luxurious olive oil soap ever to $18  for their award-winning organic body wash Lots of options! Best part… it comes ready to give in a beautiful gift bag with tissue. Love!


The Most Hip and Happening Litterless Lunch Containers


Schools are practising Litterless Lunch so not to create excess trash. I gave my daughter’s teacher a few of these items last Holiday season and they were a huge hit! Choose from re-usable/non-plastic products by mompreneur companies such as Fluf or Keepleaf, uber-popular stainless steel containers by LunchBot or glass bottles in a silicone sleeve (pictured) by LifeFactory. Mix ‘n match and have your child help!

The Best All-Natural/Organic Hand Creams


Many teachers LOVE hand cream.  My pick is Consonant Intensive Hand Therapy $20. I gave this to my daughter’s principal and recently she was squeezing out every last bit claiming it as her favourite hand cream! Add a gardeners brush total cost $29.  **An honourable mention to uber-popular Canadian favourite LoveFresh for its lovely scented, all-natural hand creams $22 each.

Happy (almost) summer holiday everyone!






No More Toxins In My Tub.

safe baby products, natural shampoo, toxic-free cosmeticsIn mid-August, 2012 a huge announcement came from one of the largest cosmetic companies in the world, Johnson & Johnson.  They announced they were phasing out harmful chemicals they use in their iconic Johnson Baby brand as well as their other brands Aveeno and Neutrogena.

Parents were shocked that a trusted cosmetic giant admitted such a dastardly deed.  Formaldehyde in baby shampoo?  Why?

But as parents, what to do with this information? Do we laud them for coming clean when other cosmetic behemoths such as  L’Oreal, Procter and Gamble and Avon have not made such a commitment and continue to use the same harmful chemicals in their formulations?  Or do we stop buying their products in disgust that a baby shampoo company ever stooped so low.

In my case, I was upset enough to get rid of the chemical-laden product in our shower caddy and swap for my well-researched, more natural alternatives.  And I will never go back.

In our case, switching to natural products allowed my daughter’s eczema-prone skin to heal and to be healthy without using topical steroid cream. AND my skin has never felt so healthy and hydrated. Yippee!

I have found benefits of using natural products that I had never imagined. Plant-based products don’t strip the skin of natural oils.  Plant-based moisturizers actually sink into the skin nourishing it vs. petroleum-based products which sit on top of the skin. And none of the ingredients in my natural products have ever been linked to cancer or ill-health.  And as far as I can see when authorities on pollution such as Environmental Defence Canada, tell us to avoid many of the synthetic chemicals I found in conventional body products, I believe that I am not only doing something good for my health but for the environment.  If these chemicals are that toxic, it makes sense to me that sending them down my shower drain may not be good for our waterways either.

So now I am a natural product convert. The Johnson and Johnson admission brought to light for me an issue in an industry and an opportunity to find healthier products for my family.

So now in my shower caddy you will find, my new favourite natural products. No more methylisothiazolinone, formaldehyde, or SLS lurking in my loo. My fave body wash for little kids has become  Dr. Robin For Kids.  My 7 year old and I love Clinical Luxury by Nature’s All Over Soap as it makes your skin and the bathroom smell like a spa.  My hubby’s fave organic cleansers are by Canada’s Consonant. Consonant Organic Body Wash in Citrus Bergamot and the Organic Foaming Face Wash. These are both now essentials in my home.  And my all-time favourite haircare (shampoo, conditioner, detangler) line for wee ones is Original Sprout. I have never seen such a cult-type following for a kids natural line as I have with this one….yet always more to discover! As these are some of my favourite better-for-you-products, you can find them on-line at Sessabel.