Eco-Buzz: Blithe and Bonny Opens New Store

Blithe and Bonny is giving Santa Cruz bath-and-beauty product hounds a reason to rejoice: The Bonny Doon-based maker of delightful candles, soaps, natural essential oils and oh-so-much-more is opening a retail location all its own. (Read more about the company and its products in this review by The Penny Rose’s Christa Martin.) On top of using ingredients that are respectful of our health and the environment (for starters, they don’t use parabens), the products are locally made, giving items in the soon-to-be store a small transportation footprint. (Personally, I’m crazy for the almond and shea hand cream.) The company’s trademark large black bee already adorns the storefront (next to the old Staff of Life Market location on Water Street in Santa Cruz), and, when the store opens its doors for business on June 22, you know where I’ll “bee.” More info:

Valentine's Day Gifts


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So, your honey just asked what you want for Valentine's Day. Unlike Christmas where maybe you had a wish list ready on the spot, Valentine's Day creeps up on us and the "what do you want?" question can catch you off guard. And, maybe you're not the lingerie type. So you're stumped. Here's a round up of five of our favorite Valentine's gifts. A beautiful gold ring from Anthropologie, Barr-Co lotion (the best!) also sold at Anthropologie as well as locally at Stripe, Blithe and Bonny soaps sold in Santa Cruz at Cameron Marks, Tomboy, and Three Little Birds, our favorite bubble bath by Tokyo Milk, sold online and at Saffron and Genevieve in Santa Cruz, and this amazing pink and cream colored coin purse found on Etsy. So when he asks what you want, here's a group of items that will make you feel feminine, romantic and pretty all around.


Three Little Birds

Regardless of the name, you won't find any birds for sale in this charming Capitola store in Santa Cruz County. Three Little Birds is an adorable nook of a store housing anything and everything bird-related. Not things for birds, but rather things with birds on them—candles, dishware, matches, home décor and more. Ultimately, this is one of the area's best gift stores. I often pop in here when I'm headed to a party and in need of an adorable present. (I can't complain that Gayle's is next door—grab some mac and cheese when you're done visiting Three Little Birds.)

The cute store is helmed by two sisters, Glenda Baer and Jackie Gonzales who opened the doors to Three Little Birds in 2006. There, they also sell Blithe and Bonny products, the Baer family's original line of candles, lotions, soaps and more.

Also for sale are handmade feather earrings by Margo Wong and funky vintage style baubles by Joli and Jan Michaels.

While an online store isn't yet in the works, the store itself serves as a sweet hub for inspiration.

Check it out at 504D Bay Ave., Capitola, (831) 462-2473,

Bathroom Makeover

My bathroom is a sad place. While the rest of my small beach bungalow has had some sense of attention paid to its interior design, I've left the bathroom undecorated since I moved in a year-and-a-half ago. I've been aching to re-vamp it, but with limited funds, that can be tricky. Still, it can't hurt  to day-dream a little and imagine what I'd do with the small space I have. This zig zag shower curtain (below) from Urban Outfitters has been on my wish list for a long time. It's $44 which seems  steep for a shower curtain, but the look would inject color and a little pizazz into the space. Throw in a sweet bar of soap from Blithe and Bonny (find  at Anthropologie or Three Little Birds in Capitola), an IKEA cabinet, bubble bath from Saffron and Genevieve in Santa Cruz and towels from Anthropologie and I'll be well on my way to a sweet bathroom makeover. 



Blithe and Bonny

I originally discovered Blithe and Bonny products at Anthropologie and later at a darling store in Capitola called Three Little Birds. The scents in this line of candles, body lotions, lip balms, soap and more are intoxicating, subtle, and leave a woman feeling like the prettiest girl in the room. It was to my pleasant surprise to find that Blithe and Bonny products are actually hand-crafted and manufactured in the small town of Bonny Doon in Santa Cruz County. The family-run business has been selling their goods for the last 10 years and they practice environmentally-conscious values by never testing on animals, all products are paraben-free, and the packaging—if you look closely—is actually made up of old book pages. Every item is enclosed this way, creating an adorable gift wrap that's unique to each product.

The line offers a slew of beautifully scented soy wax candles including the grapefruit variety above. Personally, I never thought I'd have a thing for fruity smelling things (especially having spent time in those awful lotion stores in malls), but this is nothing of the sort. The scent isn't what you'd expect; it's everything you'd hope for: It's simple, warm, elegant and delicate. The grapefruit notes are so light that instead of thinking about eating a piece of citrus for breakfast, you're whisked away to an outdoor summer party, where the air smells fresh, clean and comforting.  

 Likewise, Blithe and Bonny goat milk soaps are exquisite. The variety above is Honey Almond and while the scent does offer those notes, it smells nothing like a bakery and everything like a woman's new, favorite, just-barely-there perfume. A delightful side-effect is that after washing our hands with this soap, not only do your mitts retain a sweet aroma, but your bathroom smells like you walked into a luxurious spa in a European country.

Amongst the copious offerings of candles, soaps, bath salts and more, are the body lotions. By far, this Rose scent stole my heart the moment I opened the bottle. Again, the smell is very delicate, just what you require from high-end (but affordable), locally grown bath and body products. Blithe and Bonny—it's the best treasure I've found in a long time.

Find Blithe and Bonny products at,, and Three Little Birds, 504D, Bay Ave., Capitola, (831) 462-2473,