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Top 7 Stocking Stuffers of 2017

Top 7 Stocking Stuffers of 2017

I am NOT a winter person by any stretch of the imagination. However, I LOVE the holidays. To me, looking forward to Christmas means 2 less months of winter to endure. Or perhaps 3. It depends on the year whether I consider October winter. Anyway, back to Christmas! Stockings have always been a tradition in my family. It’s so much fun to shop for little treasures you know your family will enjoy! In this gift guide, I’m going to share with you my top 7 picks for stocking stuffers this year (in no particular order).

1. Lip Balm

Best Stocking Stuffers of 2017 - Lip Balm
Top Stocking Stuffers of 2017 – Lip Balm

Here in southern Alberta, it gets pretty dry. A dry climate leads to dehydrated lips and that’s not fun at all! Save someone’s lips this holiday season with a regular or mini lip balm. Whichever size you choose, it’s a perfect stocking stuffer!

2. Beeswax Melts

Top Stocking Stuffers of 2017 - Melts
Top Stocking Stuffers of 2017 – Melts

Not everyone likes candles. We understand! If you’d still like to add some scent to your favourite space, melts are a great option. Our melts are made with all natural ingredients and scented with essential oils. That way, you won’t be giving any nasty chemicals for Christmas! Melts can be used in electric or candle powered warmers.

3. Lotion Bar

Top Stocking Stuffers of 2017 - Lotion Bar
Top Stocking Stuffers of 2017 – Lotion Bar

With lips taken care of with lip balm, give the gift of hydration for the rest of the body! This solid bar liquefies with body heat and friction so it can be spread over dry patches. For me, that would be pretty much everywhere this time of year… If your giftee is a big air traveller with no checked bags, these are perfect. They will appreciate saving precious space in their liquids bag for other goodies. The lotion bar is in a convenient tube so melting won’t make a mess at that hot winter destination!

4. 6 Pack of Beeswax Tealights

Top Stocking Stuffers of 2017 - 6 Pack of Tealights
Top Stocking Stuffers of 2017 – 6 Pack of Tealights

I love the ambiance candles create. I’m sure the candle lover in your life can relate! Tealights are perfect for casual and regular candle burners alike. They are small enough to fit anywhere and fit all sorts of occasions. Light them during a holiday get together, enjoy them with a good book, or use them for date night. Keep it simple with a set of natural tealights or have fun picking out a scent your giftee will love. They will have the best smelling stocking out!

5. Reusable Tea Bag

Top Stocking Stuffers of 2017 - Reusable Tea Bags
Top Stocking Stuffers of 2017 – Reusable Tea Bags

When the weather cools off, it’s time to drink even more hot beverages than usual. Our reusable tea bags are a perfect stocking stuffer for the loose leaf tea lover on your list. Pair a cup or pot size tea bag with some tea from Tearrific and you will be their new favourite person (if you aren’t already!). Some of this year’s favourites are Chai Biscotti, Mulled Cider, and Lavender Earl Grey.

6. Mini Taper Candles

Top Stocking Stuffers of 2017 - Mini Tapers
Top Stocking Stuffers of 2017 – Mini Tapers

Mini tapers pack a big punch in a small package. How can you go wrong? They fit in a stocking, feature a fun honeycomb pattern, and are available in many colours. Your giftee will be delighted long after the gift is open. Give them a set of taper candle holders from your favourite potter to add the finishing touch to your gift.

7. An Experience

What better way to celebrate the holidays than to give the gift of time? They say good things come in small packages, but I think we can change it to GREAT! If your giftee is a maker and loves to learn new things, sign up for a workshop you can do together. It’s a fun excuse to get together after the holiday craziness is over. Everyone is so busy these days, spending time together is extra special!

Check out our upcoming workshops here. If you’d like to give a voucher for the workshop of your giftee’s choice, contact us and we’ll make it happen.

BONUS 8. Gift Certificate

If all else fails, you can’t go wrong with a gift certificate!


Remember that gift giving is supposed to be FUN not stressful. My favourite strategy to keeping it fun is to shop early and often. Picking up little things here and there throughout the year reduces your stress level as the holidays approach.

All the best to you and yours this holiday season. Happy shopping!

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Beeswax Candles

I will be the first to admit it – I have spent the majority of my life burning cheap candles. In all honesty, I didn’t know there was a difference. Since I started making beeswax candles and burning them, I’ve been surprised at just how much nicer they are.

Throughout my life, I’ve gone through candle burning phases. I burn a ton of candles for awhile and then stop, so I suppose that makes me a binge burner. Sometimes I just don’t have enough time at home to sit through a tealight burning all the way through (the cheap ones I used to buy pretty much required this because they wouldn’t light a second time if they burned for any length of time the first time around) and, to me, it just feels strange to burn them during the day. I mostly burn tealights although I have burned a jar, votive, or pillar candle on occasion. For the most part, I like tealights because they are low maintenance – no wicks to trim and no wax running everywhere. However, I think that’s going to change at least a little bit.

As I navigate many beeswax adventures, I burn test candles before they are added to the product line. It is important to have the right wick for the right candle to optimize the candle experience, and I have to say I love that part! This is part of the reason I’m getting a lot pickier about which candles I burn.

Beeswax Candle Burn Comparison
Burn test between the candles I used to burn and the beeswax candles I make now.

First, I find beeswax candles seem to warm the room a lot more than other candles. I’m not sure whether it’s the difference in the flame (it’s kind of apparent in the gif above) or the subtly sweet honey-like scent it gives off or just my imagination. I just know I like it! Second, most of the candles I’ve tested haven’t dripped wax everywhere, which is amazing! I have some taper candle holders I love, but was previously loath to use them simply because I hate cleaning up wax drippings. Third, when wicked right, very little wax remains when the candle has finished burning. I always feel guilty throwing away that last little bit of wax, and now I don’t have to!

There are many benefits to burning beeswax candles, and I feel like I’m learning more every day. Check out the latest candles I’ve been testing along with tried-and-true favourites in the candle section of our online shop.

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Lip Balm

Are you a lip balm lover? Yes? Me too! Over the course of my life, I have used a LOT of lip balms. Some of them have been okay, some of them awful, and some fabulous! In recent years, I’ve become a lot pickier about what I use. As a flautist, many of the lip balms I’ve used leave residue on my instrument, which does not make me happy. It’s not *hard* to clean it off necessarily – it just plain irritates me. As I play more and more during our dry winters in Calgary, I wondered more often why I was sacrificing hydrated lips to keep my lip plate residue-free.

Motivation

I’m a pretty crafty person and I like to try new things, especially when I can make improvements on the original design! This is why I made my own duvet cover with matching pillow cases (I just *knew* I could improve the design of my last duvet cover), reusable tea bags (no more clanking metal infusers!), and outdoor music stand cover (clothespins are a pain) among other things. Lip balm was no different.

After a series of concerts during the holiday season, I was tired of constantly cleaning off my lip plate, so I decided to make my own lip balm. (I’m also an avid Pinterest user and lip balm had been coming up in my feed quite often, so the seed had been planted already!) My first lip balm was Winter Rose. The container was pretty horrible, but I loved the resulting flavour and texture! Testing it out with my flute, I had no more nasty residues. There was a bit of oil left, but it was super easy to clean off and wasn’t sticky. Even better! That was pretty much all for awhile. I had a lot of lip balm and could only give away so many to family and friends.

Lip Balm Mania

Fast forward to starting YYC Beeswax. Initially, I was just going to do candles, but I really enjoyed making lip balm and had a TON of ideas for flavours.

I started out with Winter’s Kiss, which was loosely based off of Winter Rose. Family and friends tried them out with more positive results. I found out one person was using it successfully on the skin around their eyes, so I thought making a more neutral product might be of interest too! Thus, Au Naturel was born. Although it isn’t glamorous, it does its job spectacularly.

I’m also a HUGE fan of Christmas and love mint, so Candy Cane was a no-brainer. The full size ones are even striped!

Making Candy Cane Lip Balm
Candy Cane full sized lip balm before labelling.

With the next flavour I made, I wanted to get the community involved in the lip balm mania, so I ran a contest to name the new flavour. FOUR people suggested the winning name – Cardanilla. It was so exciting to send them the newly labelled lip balm with their suggested name on the tube!

More recently, Canadian Maple and Lavender Mint were added to the lip balm family. I went through a maple phase and it took a few tries to perfect, but I’m really happy with how the Canadian Maple balm turned out, and it looks like the masses love it too! Lavender Mint has been percolating in my brain for awhile, and I finally had a chance to make a batch. I think it’s a winner!

Containers

After my first experience of horrible tubes (the lids did not fit properly and were constantly opening in my pocket. What a mess!), I put an order in for tubes from a different supplier. Despite that order, I still wasn’t 100% happy and wanted to pay closer attention to the packaging.

One design feature I was not a fan of was the turning mechanism at the bottom of the tube. I keep lip balms in my pockets and find they tend to move while in a pocket, which pushes the lip balm into the lid. Not fun! As I was exploring alternative packaging, I recalled using a lip balm with the turning mechanism at the top of the tube. With that lip balm, I never had the issue of the lip balm ending up in the lid. I knew what I wanted. It was just a matter of hunting them down.

Regular Lip Balm Tube
Regular lip balm tube

As I hunted for new lip balm tubes, I stumbled across the type of tube I was searching for in mini form. Although I love full size lip balms, I remember the first time I saw the Lip Rageous mini lip balms. They were so cute! They fit incredibly well in my tiny pocketed jeans (I hated and still hate carrying around a purse) and how unobtrusive they were to pull out and use at any time. Finding a similar idea online turned the light bulb on. I wanted to put MY lip balms in one of these too!

Mini Lip Balm Tube
Mini lip balm tube

It took a bit of time, but I finally found the tubes I wanted in the sizes I was looking for. I have to say I’m quite pleased with the end result.

Giving Back

Something I wanted to do when I started YYC Beeswax was to give back to the community. It feels great to give back, and I wanted to share the feeling! With each lip balm sold, $0.25 is donated to Apiaries and Bees for Communities in support of their educational programming. Not only do I get excited about giving back with each lip balm sale, customers can get excited every time they buy one too! Every year, the goal is to beat the donation from the previous year, and we enjoy tracking it monthly to see our progress. Check out the progress for the current year on this page.

Moving Forward

Fast forward to today, and I am so pleased with the evolution of the lip balm family. The existing flavours are great. The packaging works with my lifestyle. My flute no longer has residue. How can it get better? Well, I do have some more flavour ideas to try…

Beeswax Lip Balm
Mini and Regular Beeswax Lip Balm

If you’re interested in picking up a lip balm or two, check out the lip balm listings in our online store. We also sell lip balm tubes if you are more of a DIYer.