eco-friendly and creative easter basket stuffers (last minute!)

Ummmm, how did it get to be Holy Week?  This Easter Bunny has been an eensy bit on the busy side … which could be a sad state of affairs considering how quickly the good stuff “gets gone” at our favorite Tar-jay.

Stubby Pencil Studio Bunny Goodie BagFortunately, I had already scoped out the goodies at Stubby Pencil Studio, and this just might be the best Easter ever.  On a related subject, let’s discuss how much I love — and I mean, love — the Internet.

Stubby Pencil Studio Animal Hands Temporary TattoosI have bid a not-so-fond farewell to both the candy overload and those broken-in-a-flash plastic trinkets.  Instead, this  Easter Bunny will be filling my twins’ baskets with eco-friendly gifts and creative products for kids.

Magic ScratchersBest of all, I’m betting these Easter baskets will be a whole lot more fun than those we’ve had in the past.

natural-easter-egg-dyeDelivery time is generally 2-3 business days, depending on how far you are from the Oregon studio … which means time is a-ticking.

Games-for-Your-Brain-Shark-CardsAnd how about refilling those pencil boxes while you’re at it?  Around this time of year, I start to notice that my kiddos’ crayons and pencils look a little worse for the wear.  I’m especially crazy for the eco highlighters and cedar pencils.  Triangular shape = no rolling off the desk.  And the KUM Carton Sharpener is so much cuter than those wonky plastic ones that don’t work worth a darn.

Finger Printing Art Set MonstersSomething tells me this Finger Printing Art Kit will also be repurposed as a “law enforcement tool” during pretend play.  Don’t you love listening to the wild scenarios kids come up with?

Lindt White Chocolate BunnyAnd yes, my little buddies will be getting one of these, too.  If I weren’t worried that it would melt, that would also be an online purchase.    

Do you have Easter plans?

To be clear, this is not a sponsored post.  The Easter Bunny has paid for everything to be received by the Zeller twins.  Lindt GOLD BUNNY available at Lindt Chocolate.  All other photos via Stubby Pencil Studio.  Product links as follows:  Bunny Goodie Bag, Animal Hands (temporary tattoos), Magic Scratchers by Danny Orleans, Natural Egg Dye Kit, Games for Your Brain Shark Cards and Finger Printing Art Kit (Monsters).

where to shop on #shopsmall saturday

I love small businesses!  Of course, it doesn’t hurt that I am one.  Fundamentally, however, I love the idea of supporting local companies making a difference, providing jobs and services, in our communities.

Shop Small Saturday Think Big Shop SmallYes, we live in a global economy.  I understand and totally support that, too.  But there is something awesome about knowing the person behind the product or service … and that usually only happens with small businesses.  Which is why I wanted to highlight a few of my favorite companies for #shopsmall Saturday (otherwise known as, the hipster’s answer to Black Friday).

Traci Zeller Home Candle by Ella B.Of course, I couldn’t do a #shopsmall guide without highlighting my favorite candle-making company.  Ella B.’s neighborhood candles may call Charlotte home, but they are quickly becoming the “go-to gift” in cities across the South and beyond.  You’ll also remember that Ella B. creates my Traci Zeller Home signature candle, which was just featured in What We’re Loving: Holiday Gift Guide Edition by Carolina STYLE magazine.   Thank you, Carolina STYLE! 

You can find a complete selection of Charlotte’s neighborhood candles in store in at Cotswold Marketplace and online at Sercie.  Sercie is also chock-a-block full of personalized presents … and you know I love a monogram … so you may come away with more than just a candle or two!

Pamela Barsky Mascara in Case of EmergencyNo surprise here, but Etsy is also home to many of my favorite small businesses.  A new discovery?  Beyond-clever pouches by Pamela Barsky.  You’ll find the perfect quip for anyone.  Tweens?  I bought this one for my niece.  Teens?  Maybe this one or oooooh, even better.  Your best girlfriend?  Depends on whether you want to be sentimental or a touch sardonic (in the nicest possible way, of course).

Hazel Village FloraDo you have a little one in your life?  Mark my words — if you like Blabla dolls (and who doesn’t?!), you’ll love Hazel Village.  Hand-crafted in Brooklyn, Hazel Village is a woodland world of delightful stuffed animals including Zoe Rabbit, Flora Fox and Oliver Mouse.  Each creature has a delightful little story about his or her personality!   My personal choice?  Lucy Owl in a sailor-striped dress is headed to one of the most precious little girls I’ve ever seen.

Nunu Chocolates 2If shopping whets your appetite, perhaps you should buy a few edible gifts!  I looooooove the salted caramels from Nunu Chocolates, so I make a point of picking up a box (or two) anytime I am in the city.  Charlotte-based friends?   Try The Secret Chocolatier!  YUM.  Fortunately — or unfortunately, depending on your point of view — their Cotswold location is a teensy bit too close to my house.

Snow Waltz Kate Long StevensonA few more small businesses that I love – Whitney English for her incredible tools for creative entrepreneurs, Pencil Shavings Studio for all things girly, colorful and personalized, winestore for  the most fun way to buy great wine at a reasonable price (three locations in the Charlotte area, plus available online!), lettergirl for her handwritten stamps and the Quote of the Month Club, and Hidell Brooks Gallery for gorgeous art by many of my favorite artists.

And there you have it.   A few of my recent (and not-so-recent) favorites.   Over to you!   What’s the best small-business-fairly-priced-purchase you’ve made this year?

Photos via EntrepreneurTraci Zeller Home, Pamela Barsky, Hazel Village, Reese Vaccarezza (she’s responsible for Nunu’s fabu packaging; check out her other clients!), and Hidell Brooks Gallery (Kate Long Stevenson’s painting Snow Waltz).  

traci zeller