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Some Eco-friendly Gift Ideas for Mother's Day

Isabelle Vesey - Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Mother's Day is just around the corner!  Are you ready?  If not, here are some earth-friendly gift suggestions for the woman without whom you wouldn’t exist! 

Luxurious, earth-friendly loungewear/sleepwear

Mom’s do so much and are so busy, they deserve nice comfy PJs for lounging or sleeping.  Yala has some of the softest, most comfortable sleepwear around, plus they keep you cool.  I have a few of their nightshirts and LOVE them. 

VivaTerra also has a great selection to choose from.  

Spring Accessories

It finally feels like Spring here in Philly, and like the rest of us, I bet Mom could use some new seasonal accessories. They’re so much easier to pick out than clothing – no size issues to contend with.

A new bag from Mosey (available on Zappos.com) will keep Mom organized and in style, and they’re made with low-impact leather and reclaimed PET to keep Mother Earth happy.  I like the Mosey Convertible, although I’m having trouble choosing a favorite from the six available colors.

Mom can be fashionable and cozy on a chilly spring day with this beautiful scarf made from recycled materials, available from ThankfulRose on Etsy


Spring brings longer days and more sunshine, so how about some new shades? Here’s a link to 14 earth-friendly sunglasses. I just lost my favorite pair, so I'm eyeing up this pair made from recycled plastic from icueyewear.com.  They're only $22!!


Jewelry

HipCycle has lots of cool upcycled jewelry to choose from in a wide price range -- cuffs, earings, necklaces.  This cuff made from upcycled vinyl record scraps caught my eye:

Or if you’re going all out and getting something from multiple kids or grandchildren, check out these beautiful stacking rings from Tiffany Danielle Jewelry made with recycled sterling silver.  There are also stacking options with personalized birthstones.

To wrap your Mother’s Day gift, may I suggest our Organic Freesia, Daisy Chain, Tropcal Blue, or Jasmine gift bags. 


Happy Gift Giving!

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Isabelle Vesey - Thursday, February 05, 2015

Looking for some unique and earth-friendly Valentine’s Day gift ideas?  Here are some suggestions for everyone on your list – kids and adults.

For the Kids

To counteract all the candy that worked its way into our house every Valentine’s Day, our family tradition was a new stuffed animal for each of my kids.  When I saw this adorable Organic Cotton striped dog, I just to include it!  Available from The Ultimate Green Store for $25.95.

I also love toys that will last forever and aren’t made out of chemical-laden plastic, so this wooden Tic-Tac-Toe set with red X’s and white O’s is great way to say “I Love You” this Valentine’s Day.  Available for $16.00 from ApplenAmos on Etsy.com. 

For Him

Guys are so hard to buy for!! But if your Valentine is a beer lover, you’re sure to find a great gift at PopChartLab.com.  These Brooklyn-based designers and manufacturers create unique glassware, puzzles, and posters among other things.  If beer’s not his thing, they also have whiskey, sports, and pop culture items, too.  You’ll be sure to find something, like this "Very Many Varieties of Beer" Pint Glass for $14.

These woolen hand warmers are great for those mornings when your guy walks the dog or has a sporting event.  Handmade from wool and rice, they’re available for $15 from WormeWoole on Etsy.


For the Napper

I am in a pillow mood this year!  Not sure why, but when I was looking for gift ideas, I was repeatedly drawn to love-themed pillows.  Maybe I need a nap!!  Two of my faves are these “I Love You to The Moon and Back” and the iconic “Love” pillow covers -- both available on Etsy.  I like the idea of pillow covers because they’re a quick way to refresh a pillow you probably already have!

 

For Her

These organic scarves from Beau Monde Organics are just beautiful and are the perfect accessory this time of year. Thanks to USA Love List for bringing it to my attention. The one pictured below is $87 and available on Amazon.

A girl always likes some new jewelry, and these Sterling Silver and Fresh Water Pearl Heart Earrings are beautiful and only $31.95 at ArtistiKat on Etsy. I always check out Etsy when I need a jewelry gift so I can find something one-of-a-kind and support an independent artisan.

Who Doesn't Love Chocolate?

For the traditionalists who love their candy on Valentine’s Day, please buy fair-trade and organic. My favorite is from Lake Champlain Chocolates in Vermont.  I have ordered on-line in the past, but my local Whole Foods also carries them, and hopefully yours does to if you need a last-minute gift.

And when it comes to wrapping those gift, look no futher. Our Simply Red Organic gift bag is always a popular Valentine's choice.  For the kids, our AliensFairy Princesses or Monkeys fabric bags will bring smiles before the gift is unwrapped. For the Ladies, I'm partial to Gold Damask.  While it's not red or pink, it's a timeless, romantic pattern.

If you need more ideas, check out our Pinterest boards!

And remember, the best gift of all is a shared experience.  Whether it's a special dinner with your spouse -- with no cell phones! -- or playing a board game or ice skating with the kids, being together and focusing on each other really shows how much you love them.



A Recap of 2014 and Look Ahead to 2015

Isabelle Vesey - Monday, January 12, 2015

The holiday madness is over, inventory’s counted, and it’s time to look back at 2014 and look ahead for 2015.  Christmas is the busiest time of the year for selling fabric gift bags, and in 2014 our Amazon sales really took off causing us to sell out of some fabrics a little earlier than I’d have liked.  We promise to be better prepared this year!

Our most popular Christmas bag in 2014 was Frosty Fabulousity

 If you’re a fan and would like to add to your existing gift bags, now’s the time.  Frosty is marked down 20% through Jan 30th, and inventory is getting low.  I do not believe he’ll be back for Christmas 2015.  Most of our current Christmas selections will be discontinued, except possibly Christmas Critters (almost gone) and Red Damask (out of stock) which may return.

We essentially sold out of Silver Dreidels for Hanukkah, as there are only a few mini bags left. I’m already checking out some new patterns for Hanukkah bags in 2015.  Menorahs, anyone?

Oh, and speaking of our mini gift bags -- they're being discontinued, too.  We will not be making minis from any new fabrics and will not replace existing patterns as they sell out.  

I am continually searching for new fabrics for our Birthday gift bags, and I am definitely narrowing down some options.  Keep an eye on our Facebook page for some sneak peeks and a chance to cast your vote!  While our Black Birthdays gift bags will hang around for a while, Cupcakes will be discontinued when the bags sell out.

The thing I like the most about so many of our cloth gift bags is that they are truly versatile and can be used for a variety of gift giving occasions.  Gold Damask and Simply Red were very popular as Christmas gift bags, but can be used all year long to wrap any type of gift.  One style that I’m definitely shopping for is something a little more masculine for wrapping gifts for the guys.  Hopefully, I’ll find just the right fabric in plenty of time for Father’s Day!

Now is the time to stock up on our existing bags as they are marked down anywhere from 10% up to 35%! This sale will end on January 30th so think ahead to what’s happening in 2015. Anyone getting married or having a baby? What birthdays are on the horizon?  Tired of scrambling for a wine bag for hostess gifts or housewarmings?  As usual, shipping in the US is free on orders of $50 or over.

Do you have any suggestions or ideas for what you’d like to see us carry?  What's your favorite pattern or size?Please leave a comment below or on our Facebook page, send me a tweet @VZWraps, or shoot an e-mail to info@VZWraps.com.  I’d love to hear from you!  Happy New Year, and Happy Gift Giving!!

2014 Holiday Shipping Schedule

Isabelle Vesey - Thursday, December 11, 2014

We’ve lowered our Free Shipping threshold to $30 through December 20th

Here are some important dates to keep in mind to make sure your VZWraps reach you in time!

  • Wed., Dec. 17th -- Last day to place an order to ship First Class Mail for arrival by Christmas Eve.
  • Thurs., Dec. 18th -- Last day to place an order to ship Priority Mail for arrival by Christmas Eve.
  • Fri., Dec. 19th – It is very likely that your order will ship on Monday, Dec. 22nd.  If you are in the Philadelphia area, Priority Mail should get it to you on time.  If you are further away, you’ll need to choose Priority Express.

Please keep in mind that the closer you are to the Philadelphia, the sooner your package should arrive.  We work extremely hard to ship packages the day after an order is received, but with the holiday volume it sometimes is just not physically possible.

Our office will be closed from December 24th through Monday, Dec. 29th.   Happy Holidays!!

It's Christmas in July!!

Isabelle Vesey - Thursday, July 24, 2014

OK, so Christmas is still 5 months away, but we’re celebrating right now in two big ways:

  1.  A Sale!!  All our Christmas gift bags are 20% off (at least) through August 25th. So now’s the time to start your collection or add to a set you already have as some bags may be discontinued.
  2. A Giveaway!!  We’re partnering with USA Love List, a great site for “Stuff we Love: Made in the USA.”  You could win a set of 10 holiday bags PLUS a $50 VZWraps gift certificate.  The set is pictured below and includes two fabric gift bags of each size: large, medium, standard, wine, and mini.
set of 10 holiday gift bags

The giveaway starts on Friday, July 25th and runs through August 7th, so click on over for your chance to win! 

We're Having a Spring Fling!

Isabelle Vesey - Friday, April 11, 2014

 We're taking a little vacation!  We can't take one during the Christmas season so we have to squeeze them in sometime.  All orders placed on Friday, April 11th through Thursday, April 17th will ship on Friday, April 18th. To make up for the inconvenience, shipping will be FREE (US orders only)!  Orders under $50 will receive free first class shipping. US Orders $50 and over will ship Priority 1-3 day Express at no charge. Thank you for your understanding.

 

It's Party Time!

Isabelle Vesey - Friday, April 04, 2014

Welcome fellow guests from the 5MinutesForMom.com Ultimate Blog Party.  If you’re stumbling across this page from somewhere else, “Welcome” to you, too, and please, join the party!  (Be sure to read to the end so you don’t miss the  gift I’m offering!)

Let me introduce myself:  I’m Isabelle Vesey, a mother of two from the Philadelphia area, who got tired of all the waste generated from traditional wrapping paper.  One year at Christmas, I just couldn’t bring myself to wrap my family’s gifts in paper that was just going to be thrown out -- even the paper that was made from recycled materials.  So I bought some festive fabric, and started sewing some bags.  Several years later, I still use many of those original bags. (That couch is gone, but the bags still remain!)

VZWraps are made from traditional or organic cotton, and most of my ribbons are made from recycled materials.  Busy moms will appreciate how easy it is to just drop your gift in and tie the bag closed.  We’ve all had to stop and pick up a gift on the way to the party.  With VZWraps you don’t need scissors or tape.  You can even wrap in the car, just not while you’re driving, please. 

Whatever the occasion, there’s an appropriate wrap. I have fabrics specifically for birthdaysChristmas andHanukkah.  But most of my fabrics would work for several occasions as I’m hoping they’re reused often.  I have elegant fabrics perfect for weddings, bridal showers, housewarmings, or Mother’s Day, and I have some fun fabrics for more relaxed occasions.  There are plenty of gift bags for kids and babies, too.

VZWraps is happy to donate a set of 6 assorted fabric gift bags to the huge prize pool for the Ultimate Blog Party.  Just fill out the entry form and include VZWraps as one of your choices! Leave a comment telling me your favorite fabric, and I'll take that into consideration when putting together the prize assortment.

I’m also happy to offer a 15% off coupon code for orders of $35 or more just for stopping by.  Just enter DCSpring in the Discount Box on the check-out page. The coupon is good through April 18th.

Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy the party!


Eco-Friendly Birthday Gifts for Kids Under $25

Isabelle Vesey - Tuesday, September 17, 2013

It’s September, which means the kids go back to school, and the birthday party invites start coming by mail and backpacks. Here are a handful of suggestions for eco-friendly birthday gifts that are kind to the planet and your wallet. You can see all these ideas, and more, on our Pinterest board: Gifts for Kids

 

My daughter used to LOVE creating with beads, but I wasn’t so crazy about finding tons of plastic beads all over the floor. (My sister once had a bead stuck way up her nose, but that’s another story!) This 4M Recycled Paper Beads Kit lets you use paper to create colorful beads that can be turned into unique jewelry.  It’s under $10 at Amazon.com.


Jigsaw puzzles are still a summer tradition in our house, even though my kids are teens.  This eye-popping puzzle of colorful crayons is a challenging 500 pieces and made of 100% recycled materials (puzzle & packaging) and vegetable-based inks.  An added plus is that it’s made here in the USA. Only $12.95.


This Cubebot Puzzle is a nice alternative to plastic transformer-like robots and more durable, too.  Made from sustainably harvested cherry wood, this one could become a family heirloom. Under $20 on Amazon.


For the girly girl who loves to experiment with makeup, here’s a makeup set that uses safe and non-toxic, natural and organic mineral makeup designed just for kids. Handmade purse included. $24.99 at organicbeautynow.com

Encourage the budding artist with this portable watercolor set that includes 20 sheets of paper, 3 brushes, and 4 travel strips of watercolor paint. Available from TheNatureWalk on Etsy.com for $24.50.

And finally, this one I may have to buy for myself!  Earthopoly is a board game celebrating wondrous locations around the Earth. $24.95 from lateforthesky.com.

And for wrapping that’s kind to the planet, use one of our VZWraps gift bags for kids. We've just added two new fabric choices:  Aliens and Fairy Princesses. Each pattern is available in Standard, Medium, and Large gift bags.

For more gift ideas, follow us on Facebook or Pinterest. We’re always posting or pinning!  If you have any great gift ideas you'd like to share, please leave a comment below. We'd love to hear from you!

Eco-friendly Entertaining Ideas for Bridal Shower or Housewarming Gifts

Isabelle Vesey - Thursday, August 15, 2013

Looking for some earth-friendly suggestions for bridal shower or housewarming gifts? Here are some upcycled products from our Pinterest boards that can be used for entertaining. Hopefully you'll be invited to the party to see your gift in action!

 

I really love this Margarita set from VivaTerra.com Not only are they beautiful and festive, but they're made from recycled glass, dishwasher safe, and they have a raised texture which should help clumsy – or tipsy – friends hold on to them.


For cutting up the limes for making those Margarita’s, here's The Chop, a handcrafted cutting board made from reclaimed wood from CounterEv.   Preserve also makes great cutting boards from recycled plastic.

The bride won’t want water rings on her table, so here is a one-of-a-kind coaster set where the coaster are made from the actual album art and the holder is made from the vinyl album. Recycled Album Art on Etsy has hundreds of albums to choose from so you’re sure to find something to match the couple’s taste.

Also from Etsy are these great chalk napkin rings made from scrap metal with a chalkboard decal from Sierra Metal Design.

For serving some appetizers, there are lots of choices.  From Hipcycle.com, here's a glass bowl made from found wine bottles.

From ByGordonLiving on Etsy this great lazy Susan is made from a reclaimed wine barrel:

And from UncommonGoods.com, the Plate with a Purpose. Handmade from recycled glass and hand-screened, $5 from each purchase is donated to City Harvest, a New York City charity for feeding the hungry.

These ideas should help get the party started. And when you need to wrap them up, grab some of our fabric gift bags and your wrapping will be done in no time. Some great choices for housewarmings are Twist of Lime (goes really well with Margarita's) and Happy Hour

For bridal showers, you can't go wrong with Black & White Floral or Something Blue.

July Shipping Schedule

Isabelle Vesey - Monday, July 01, 2013

Happy 4th of July! We're celebrating at the beach with lots of family and friends  (4 houses full!).  We will not be shipping orders this week or the week of July 22nd. We're sorry for any inconvenience this may cause. To thank you for your patience, we'll upgrade any orders received while we're closed to Priority Shipping for FREE! Please check the schedule below:

Orders placed                                         Will ship

Mon., July 1st through Sun., July 7th       by Wed., July 10th

Sat., July 20th through Tues., July 20th     by Fri., August 2nd

We will be shipping as usual on orders placed from July 8th through July 19th.  We'll be unveiling some new fabrics and getting ready for Christmas when we get back! Have a safe and happy holiday.