Last Minute Valentine’s Gift Ideas: Turn Your Blunder into a Bonding Opportunity

It’s not too late to get that special someone a beautiful gift for Valentine’ Day! Can’t decide? Then why not give them a gift certificate for something instead. We’ve got E-gift Certificates in different price ranges that can be delivered right up to the last miute via email. If you’re going to see or spend time with your loved one on Valentine’s Day, here’s how you can turn your oversight or lagging into a bonding opportunity.

Purchase an online e-gift certificate from a site that has products that your loved one would probably enjoy. Have it sent to her or him via email with a message:

“Dear ____,

I know this is very last minute but I was surfing this web site and saw so many nice things that I’m sure you would enjoy I couldn’t make up my mind what to get you! I thought it would be best to let you decide. But I want to help, so let’s spend some time this evening after dinner surfing the site and let’s pick out your gift together. With much love, ________”

That’s just a sample, but you get the idea. You can customize it to fit your particular situation. If you’re not going to see each other on Valentine’s Day then contact them separately by phone t set up a date to get together to do something, during which time you’ll pick out a gift.

Spending time together surfing the web site and helping them pick out the items they are going to purchase with gift certificate you got them is a great bonding experience that will bring you closer together. It shows you care and are not just handing them a voucher with a subtext that is like saying ‘I don’t know what to get you but I want get you something, so you decide and leave me out of it.’

This process will help you learn more about his or her preferences and desires, which can only help you pick out gifts for them in the future. For couples, look for products that you can use and share together, then when the order is placed make a special date for the week after it’s expected arrival to open and share it together!

If you want to give them the gift of aromatherapy or the gift of touch enhanced by aromatherapy the purchase your Dropwise E-Gift Certificates here. And be sure to shop our Gift Guide in advance for ideas you can suggest as part of your ritual.

Give the Gift of an Aromatherapy Facial or Scalp Treatment

Just think about the pleasure you derive from getting your hair shampooed at a salon before a haircut or getting your face gently massaged as part of facial. Give that special someone a gift certificate to a spa or salon, or offer to do this yourself.

Have them sit in a chair or lie on a couch, recliner, or chaise long. Use a pillow or bolster wrapped in a towel to support their neck. Keep a basin with warm water nearby for rinsing and another one with a pot of boiling water at the ready for steaming.

Start with a gentle plant-based creamy cleanser or virgin coconut oil to remove surface dirt or makeup. Hemp Seed oil works well for this too but is a little thicker and may feel a little greasy unless you blend it with a lighter oil like Jojoba. Gently apply to the face with your hands then wipe off with a soft towel or bath sponge dipped in the warm water. Next apply a gentle exfoliating scrub (one made with brown sugar will give the best results) then wipe off with a textured loofah or ramie bath mitt.

After exfoliation, fill the basin with boiling water and add a few drops (5 or so) of essential oil like lavender, juniper, geranium, cedarwood or rosemary, or a combination of these. Have them sit up then place a towel over their head and have them lean over the basin for 3-5 minutes to let the steam penetrate and open pores.

Follow this with a splash of cool water or a spritz of hydrosol. Try one of our Aromatic Mister Sprays chilled in the refrigerator beforehand! Finish with a gentle moisturizer like our Aromatherapy Hand & Body Lotion or hydrating and moisturizing oil like our Certified Organic Body Oil that you massage into the face and neck. With each application, apply with circular motions and gentle pressure to the jaw area, which tends to hold a lot of tension.

Don’t forget to finish off with a dab of lip balm to keep lips moist and happy. Try our most popular Orange Dream Organic Lip Balm.

If giving a facial seems too complicated or involved, then try offering a scalp treatment and shampoo – salon style! Try this scalp-stimulating formula:

1 oz Jojoba Oil
4 drops Clary Sage EO
4 drops Rosemary EO
2 drops Cedarwood EO
2 drops Ylang Ylang EO

Combine in a clean glass bottle or jar and gently roll between your hands to mix the oils. Massage the mixture into the scalp and leave in for about 30 minutes or so. Have your loved one sit in chair in front of the kitchen or bathroom sink and lean their head back over the sink. Use a rolled up towel to support the neck. Shampoo their hair while massaging their scalp, then rinse off fist with hot water followed by cool. Towel-dry then comb through and blow dry. You can also try our Revitalize Certified Organic Body Oil.

Give the Gift of a Manicure or Pedicure for Valentine’s Day!

Another lovely, pampering gift of touch is a manicure or pedicure (or both!). Again, if you don’t have time to do it yourself give them a gift certificate to a salon or spa but make sure it includes a generous amount of massage!

Giving a manicure or pedicure is an opportunity to literally reach out and touch someone. Even better is to double your fun by giving each other manicures and pedicures. Take the lead by inviting your friend or loved one over for a pampering home spa treatment, or pick up all the accessories you need and bring the spa treatment to them. This is also a great way for couples to connect and bond.

Try our Hand & Foot Care Gift Set. It contains a nail or foot brush to clean the nails and get into those hard to reach places; a bag of aromatherapy bath salts; a small bottle of aromatherapy body oil that can be mixed with a handful of the bath salt to make an exfoliating nail and cuticle scrub; a small bottle of aromatherapy liquid soap to rinse off when you’re done grooming, and a small bottle of aromatherapy lotion to moisturize your hands and feet. Available in 5 different aromatherapy blends, you can pick one you know you will both enjoy. I like the Refresh blend because of leaves you feeling minty fresh and tingly!

Other tools you’ll need are a nail clipper, diamond nail file or emery boards, a cuticle stick to push back the cuticles after soaking them and a cuticle remover in case they need some scaling back. Avoid the toxic nail polish and use a nail buffing kit instead for a natural gloss that looks like it was painted on.

Giving Gifts of Touch for Valentine’s Day

I can think of at least three amazing gifts of touch that you can give to someone you love for Valentine’s Day. The cool thing about these gifts is they are appropriate for just about anyone on your list and you can either give them directly yourself or give them in the form of a gift certificate to a local spa, salon or holistic practitioner.

Can you guess what I’m thinking? If you guessed the gift of a massage then you would be right on the money for the first one I had in mind. This can be delivered in many different ways. Pressed for time but want to find a memorable and meaningful way to say “I Love You” or “Thank You”? Give them a gift certificate for a 1-hour massage. Who amongst us couldn’t use a good massage every now and then? And how much more enjoyable would it be if it was given to you as a gift?

If you have a massage therapist then send them to yours. If not, ask people you know for referrals or contact a local spa. Better yet, turn into an experiential gift of time, where you go to the spa and get massages at the same time, then take a leisurely lunch or dinner right afterwards and savor the experience together!

Even if you don’t have the funds to splurge on a spa spree or gift certificate you can still deliver the goods yourself. This is an excellent way to do it if you prefer to give a gift of a more personal nature. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy or professional. You can give them a simple neck and shoulder massage, a hand massage, a foot massage, or better yet, all the above. Applying gentle pressure to tight muscles always provides relief and will be greatly appreciated even if it’s not done in an expert manner.

To take the experience to the next level, incorporate a little aromatherapy into the massage experience. You can light an aromatherapy candle or use an electric oil diffuser to create a warm, relaxing atmosphere. For even greater benefits add a few drops of essential oil (like lavender or orange to relax, rosemary, lemon or grapefruit to stimulate) to a tablespoon of carrier oil (olive, jojoba, safflower, sesame, or coconut) and use it as your massage oil. I recommend our Certified Organic Aromatherapy Body Oil, which comes with the essential oils already blended in a base of organic jojoba oil, which is hydrating and protective of the skin. It’s also absorbed very quickly into the skin so it isn’t messy to work with and won’t permanently stain clothing or sheets. The aluminum treatment pump lets you control the amount you need so you don’t overdo it. Just be sure to use scents that you know the person likes. If you’re not sure then ask beforehand.

For a romantic couples massage, try a blend that includes sensual or earthy essential oils like ylang ylang, patchouli, vetiver, lime, lemongrass, bergamot or other citrus fruit, rose or rose geranium, cedarwood, sandalwood, or vanilla.

Reach Out and Touch Someone for Real This Valentine’s Day

The phrase “Reach Out and Touch Someone” was a clever and highly successful advertising slogan originally designed to encourage people to use long distance phone service to do just that. Its long-running success has been attributed to the way the ads effectively spoke to the emotional and “heart” connection that comes from talking to and sharing your feelings with someone you love or care about.

This advertising campaign was so effective it’s been credited with practically launching long distance phone services. We’ve come a long way since those days. Now, with the advent of email, smart phones and wireless Internet, the ability to communicate with practically anyone, anywhere, any time, has become almost ubiquitous. So much so that it’s hard not to wonder if the emotional connection that we crave and the positive feelings it normally generates are still possible with this type of frenetic and short-hand communication.

Picking up the phone and calling someone you love on a special occasion like Valentine’s Day makes perfect sense if they live far away or you’re not able to see them in person. But this year for Valentine’s Day, why not reach out and touch someone for real? Whether you celebrate this occasion with a romantic partner or by connecting with other people you love, the gift of touch can have a far more profound effect than the simple gesture of a phone call.

Studies in brain science show that touch is good medicine for both the body and the brain. Even the simple act of holding hands can significantly relieve stress and anxiety. The best news of all … the far-reaching positive effects of touch are not strictly limited to romantic gestures or even therapeutic massage. Many sensory experiences involving touch –caressing a baby, petting a cat or dog, or even receiving a handshake from someone– all positively affect your physiological well-being leaving you better equipped to manage stress which in turn, boosts your immune system.

Here’s why … your skin represents the body’s largest sense organ. Your body is wrapped in approximately eighteen square feet of it! Even a tiny cross-section the size of a coin reveals several million cells, up to 100 sweat glands, 50 nerve endings and three feet of blood vessels. The human hand contains a staggering 100,000 nerves of at least 20 different types, while each fingertip contains more than 3000 nerve receptors. Together they interpret various touch sensations, and report to the brain on joint and muscle activity, pressure, temperature, vibration, and pain.

So you see, your magnificent skin acts like the eyes and ears of your brain –faithfully receiving commands and returning messages from the outside world. With the amazing power of touch, you literally have at your fingertips a variety of ways to offer gifts of love to those you care about!

Valentine’s Day Expectations: Are You Ready for Them?

I can hardly believe that Valentine’s Day is just a couple of weeks away! Seems like it was just yesterday that we were celebrating Christmas and the New Year but before you know it here we are again! We’ve already arrived at the next big gift-giving occasion of the year.

Valentine’s Day is usually thought of as a day for lovers, but it’s really a day dedicated to all kinds of love: friendship, family, and romantic love alike. Whether you’re single or attached, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate what’s great about the people you love.

Traditional notions of Valentine’s Day involve giving a romantic gift to that special someone –things like jewelry, lingerie, roses, chocolates, heart-shaped candies, champagne, and candle-lit dinners are the defining hallmarks of this occasion. But the commercialization of Valentine’s Day has created a prickly set of expectations that revolve around these material gifts and gestures. On the one hand, not conforming can create disappointment and speculation as to your true intentions, on the other hand, not giving the specific type of gift or experience that someone expected can also create disappointment –a damned if you do, damned if you don’t situation!

I think gifts from the heart, in whatever form they take, are always the best. And naturally I’m biased when it comes to giving the gift of aromatherapy and green beauty! What better way to say ‘I love you’ than to give someone a gift that helps them relieve stress, nurture themselves, or just makes them feel good? And for couples, gifts you can share or use together (i.e. bath salts, massage oil, products for mani-pedis, candles, etc.) are also a wonderful way to celebrate the occasion. That’s why our web site special this month is 20% off all our body care aromatherapy gift sets and 15% off natural bath accessories, bath salts and our Enchant and Inspiration clean-burning aromatherapy soy candles. All great gifts you can give, share or enjoy all by yourself!

Of course if you’re a subscriber to our Dropwise Health & Beauty News bi-weekly ezine or a fan of the Dropwise Essentials Green Business, Aromatherapy, Health & Wellness page on Facebook then you get additional discounts and offers not available anywhere else.

Valentine’s Day for Singles: Find Ways to Celebrate Yourself & Be Grateful

Valentine’s Day can seem like a sad or very lonely time if you don’t have a significant other in your life to celebrate it with. If you’re single and hoping to find a mate then the feelings of loneliness or “missing out” can be intensified even more on this occasion.

It’s in our nature as human beings to want to be loved and feel validated so it’s not unusual to search outside of our selves to get these needs met. In fact it’s quite normal to project these needs by building a fantasy in our minds of the “perfect” or ideal mate who will continuously validate us and make us feel special – rescuing us from our perceived loneliness or inadequacies.

But much of the marketing around romance involves fantasy and false promises, and consumers are constantly faced with the shortcomings of reality as compared to these illusions.

Successful couples know that the true grit of relationships tell a different story … Even a partner who might be considered an “ideal” mate based on shared values and interests can’t provide you with enough love and validation if you don’t love and validate yourself first!

Self-love and high self-esteem are the foundation of strength from which we can reach out and give to others, and from the act of giving we can open our hearts to receive. The inner self is where ALL love stems from and is found. Love increases your ability to relax deeply inside, eliminating those stuck, energetic blocks in your body that stop you from manifesting what you truly desire. To be able to accept yourself exactly as you are, for the pure pleasure of it, is one of the greatest experiences there is.

So if you’re dreading Valentine’s Day because you’re single or recently became single, find a meditation on self-love that you can practice not just at this time of the year but throughout the year. Here are links to a couple of good ones:

Satya Center’s Back to the Garden: Meditations on Self-Love

Online Meditation Center: Self-Love Meditation

For more inspiration, try reading Deepak Chopra’s book The Path to Love. And if you need a few reasons to feel good about being single on Valentine’s Day check out this blog post too: 5 Benefits of Being Single on Valentine’s Day.

Top 3 Free Romantic Valentine’s Day Ideas for Couples

Building on my previous post, this article I came across offers some additional ideas for setting the tone to make the most of this special day:

Along these lines, share any tips you have for ways you can re-claim your space to make it more conducive to a celebration of romance.

Gifts of Love for Couples to Celebrate Valentine’s Day: Staying In vs. Going Out?

Going out to a nice restaurant for Valentine’s is a great gift if you don’t have the opportunity to do this very often, or you’re feeling so cooped up that you need to get out of the house to enjoy yourself. On the other hand there are many ways you can celebrate this occasion by staying in.

Below are some ideas for ways couples can celebrate the day in a way that focuses on nurturing each other rather than succumbing to the old standby clichéd way of giving each other store bought gifts and (ho hum!) “dates.”

Why not try a variation on the old breakfast in bed? Rather than one of you making breakfast for the other, why not prepare a nice breakfast or brunch together then retreat to the bedroom to eat it in bed. Plan it all the night before and don’t make any other plans for the day. Just enjoy a lazy day at home sharing favorite moments from your relationship or what you adore about each other.

If you want to spice things up and do something to commemorate the occasion, swing for a set of satin or high thread-count organic cotton sheets and add some of the traditional accouterments –scented candles, dark chocolates to nibble on, a bottle of champagne (for mimosas) and roses or other flower petals strewn around the room. Try an aromatherapy massage followed by a hot bath with mineral salts. Or curl up together with lots of soft cushy pillows, some hot cocoa, and your favorite movie or a new one you’d both like to see.

If lazing around all day doesn’t suit your style then why not work on a project together that celebrates your love for one another? Consider creating a scrapbook or collage that chronicles the highlights of your relationship. Collect everything you think should be included: photos, ticket stubs, matchbooks, souvenirs and other meaningful memorabilia. Start from the beginning, group and arrange related items you want to include and as you add them into your book, write the narrative together. If you have different memories of an event or occasion then each one can write down their version – like an entry in a guestbook. The experience of putting this together helps you appreciate each other and your relationship and you can re-visit the scrapbook whenever you like (maybe make it an annual Valentine’s Day ritual) and update it with new insights or adventures you’ve shared and would like to record. Or you can create mini-scrapbooks that are specific to events (vacations or celebrations), or different periods in your relationship.

Another variation on this theme is creating a vision board for your future together. This can involve using photos you have or photos you collect from a variety of sources with images that symbolically represent things you want to do, places you want to go, goals you want to achieve, possessions you want to acquire (a new car, vacation home, RV, kitchen, swimming pool or Jacuzzi, etc.). Include graphical text headings from magazines or newspapers that communicate the substance of what you want to accomplish and how you want to feel when you get there. This can be a powerful bonding experience and an affirmation of your plans moving forward as a couple –one that energizes you rather than draining you. The other benefit is that you can do these activities regardless of the weather, which can be somewhat unpredictable at this time of the year.

For some simple sensuous essential oil blends you can to create the right ambiance for love try these combinations:

Lavender, Geranium, Clary Sage
Lavender, Sandalwood, Vanilla
Lime, Geranium, Cypress
Orange, Ylang Ylang, Jasmine
Grapefruit, Bergamot, Rosewood
Lime, Vetiver, Coriander

Combine 2-3 drops of each and add to an aromatherapy candle-based diffuser (in some water to prevent burning the olls) or to a tablespoon of jojoba or coconut oil for massage; or a cup of epsom salts or baking soda for a bath. Our Certified Organic Body Oils work great for massages too and they’re $5 off this month. You can buy them here.

For more ideas and recipes for using essential oils to create a mood for love, pick up a copy of Nitya Lacroix’s book The Art of Sensual Aromatherapy: A Lover’s Guide to Using Aromatic Oils & Essences.

Gifts of Love to Celebrate Valentine’s Day: Bucking the Tradition

Valentine’s Day is usually thought of as a holiday for lovers, but it’s really a holiday dedicated to all kinds of love: friendship, family, and romantic love alike. Whether you’re single or attached Valentine’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate what’s great about the people you love.

Traditionally, celebrating Valentine’s Day involved giving a romantic gift to that special someone. The typical gifts we’ve come to associate with this occasion are jewelry, lingerie, roses, chocolates, heart-shaped candies, champagne, and candle-lit dinners. So much so that if you do celebrate this day then it’s almost expected that you conform to this tradition. This generally limits the occasion to couples, and even for couples, following this script takes a lot of the magic out of the day, leaving a little more to be desired.

So how can you make the most of this occasion? This year, why not commemorate Valentine’s Day by giving a different type of gift –a gift of that celebrates your relationships or friendships, or for singles, one that simply celebrates you! Following on the theme of my previous posts on gift giving, think of giving gifts of experiences –valuable time spent together sharing things you love to do or memories of times spent together.

If you’re on a tight budget, consider some simple but fun crafts projects you can do with your loved ones. Art projects are a great way to connect and bond with others while opening a channel for creative expression. Since it is Valentine’s Day you’re celebrating, then your projects should be themed around love and sharing. You can use items you already have laying around as a source of materials (magazines, miscellaneous buttons or fabric swatches, crayons, highlighters, miscellaneous memorabilia) or you can visit a local crafts or fabric store and pick up some low cost fabrics (like felt) and other tidbits (lace doilies, feathers, etc.), or painting and drawing supplies. The sky’s the limit really … all you need is love!