Feb. 7, 2020
Surprise your honey, your kiddos or treat yourself to some Valentine’s Day goodies that will sweeten anyone’s day. Our list of eco-friendly gifts will help you show your love for your besties as well as the planet.
Looking for something special for your Valentine’s breakfast? Central Market offers a bevy of delicious munchies from local bakery White Rock Granola.
WRG owner Renee Latour began making her own granola to serve guests at a bed and breakfast that she owned years ago, using only the freshest ingredients, straight from nature. She now bakes 6 yummy flavors each week including Peanut Butter Love with its blend of rolled oats, peanuts, chocolate chips, coconut, cinnamon, peanut butter, maple syrup and brown sugar.
Our family favorite is the Gorilla a Go Go with rolled oats, honey, pumpkin seeds and cranberries. Originally developed for the primates at the Dallas Zoo, Gorilla a Go Go is a sure hit with people too and we keep it around just for snacking.
Renee sells her full selection at the Dallas Farmers Market most weekends but you can also find White Rock Granola at Central Market in Southlake and Plano as well as at the Lovers Lane and Midway Road locations in Dallas. Other dealers include Rooster Home and Hardware in Lake Highlands, The Festive Kitchen in Dallas and Richardson plus Foxtrot Markets in Dallas. Locate other dealers at WhiteRockGranola.com or order online for shipping directly to your door.
Sisters Minji and Jahee Son have created a tealightful shop in Dallas’ trendy Uptown West Village that’ll broaden your view of this classic, worldly drink.
Healthy, earth-kind, sugar-free, carb-free and truly tasty, the gals offer eight fresh-brewed iced teas-on-tap every day (served in recyclable cups, tumblers or half-gallon glass growlers). There’s also an assortment of specialty tea leaves and compostable tea bags to-go that are perfect for enjoying at home or giving as gifts.
Try a Pina Colacha Iced Tea Bag ($16), a tropical white tea with pineapple and coconut, or this writer’s fav, Rooibos Sunset Iced Tea Bag ($16), that blends South African rooibos with honeybush for a naturally sweet, refreshing drink - and be sure to add a Teasom reusable insulated tumbler ($28). Don't like your tea cold? All of their teas are also available for hot brewing. There's something for everyone here. Minji notes that their green initiatives go well beyond the tea shop.
“We also compost with Promise of Peace Garden, sell small plants all throughout the store, and have a small planter garden of our own in front of our store.”
Plus they serve avocado compostable straws with all of their iced drinks. Green thumbs-up to them! Visit Teasom at 3699 McKinney Ave #510 in Dallas or shop online at TeasomTea.com.
BLAST FROM THE PAST
Looking for something Valentin-y to do as a couple or perhaps with the whole family? Why not go to the drive-in! When this writer was a teen, there was nothing more fun (or romantic).
In Fort Worth, take your loved one or the gang to Coyote Drive-In on Panther Island on the banks of the Trinity River. You can stay in your car, order from the snack bar, snuggle up and let the kids go to sleep in the back seat. Pets on leashes are also welcome. If the weather’s nice, why not sit in lawn chairs near your vehicle and watch the stars, on-screen and off? All tickets are for a double feature. Visit Coyote’s website for showtimes and instructions. $8 per adult, $4 for kids and free for the under 4 crowd. Coyote Drive-In Theater, 223 NE 4th St, Fort Worth, 76164Â
I CAN’T BELIEVE IT’S VEGAN!
Reverie Bakeshop has created a marvelous menu of Valentine’s treats that will tickle the tastebuds of your heartthrob, whether they are a vegan or not.
Chef owners Nancy Castillo and Racine Mendoza offer edible magic in their luscious chocolate-covered strawberries, adorable Baby Yoda cookies, sweet Valentine cupcakes or fun cake balls. Or choose the Valentine Assortment with one of each - vanilla mini cupcake, chocolate mini cupcake, strawberry French macaron, raspberry French macaron, red velvet cake ball and two chocolate covered strawberries.
I recently sampled their Tiramisu and cannolis and literally licked every crumb off of the plate. Hard to believe there’s no milk, eggs or butter in any of Reverie’s creations. All products are vegan and many are also gluten-free. Order online for pickup at Reverie Bakeshop at 1930 N. Coit Rd #140, Richardson, 75080. Bakery Number: 972-238-7511.
We first met the folks from Plant-based Grocery at a pop-up market and have watched with delight as they recently expanded to a small store front inside vegan eatery Viridescent Kitchen, in Plano. Plant-based Grocery owners Ryan and Lisa Manchee curate a thoughtful collection of vegan staples and delicacies, all of which are also available on their website and can be shipped anywhere in the U.S. Their Valentine chocolates are 100 percent vegan, fair trade, kosher, non-GMO and organic.
A few favorites include Limited Edition Nuts and Chews Gift Box Tree ($20) loaded with 14 traditional mouth-watering chocolates; Organic Velvet Truffle Heart Gift Box ($15) stuffed with 8 decadent, velvety smooth truffles; and Milk Chocolate Heart with Cupid's Arrow ($3.50), a wonderfully delicious solid chocolate heart, complete with an ever-lovin’ arrow. Organic Chocolate Heart Lollipop ($2.75). Plant-based Grocery offers priority flat rate shipping on all online orders up to 5 lbs. or free local pick up at their Plano store at 5760 State Hwy 121, STE 140 Plano, TX 75024. PlantBasedGrocery.com.
The Healthy Hippie Cafe, in Watauga, north of Fort Worth, is going continental for Valentine’s Day, cooking up a French menu of veggie delight for three nights; Thursday, Feb. 13 through Saturday Feb. 15 with seating beginning at 5:30 p.m. and ending at 9 p.m. each night.
Owner Kelli Myatt says, “We will be serving a full five-course plant-based, soy-free, dairy-free, gluten- free dinner inspired by the country who claims to speak the language of love!”
Treat your amour to a romantic, cozy dinner at this intimate cafewith live music and passion in the food. The cost is $75 per couple and includes your reserved table service with all five courses plus choice of coffee or tea and water. Bring your favorite bottle of wine, champagne or other spirits and Kelli’s staff will be happy to open, chill and serve you with no cork fee. Bon Appetit! Call 817-849-9080 to reserve your table. Click here for more info.
Are you old enough to remember kapok pillows as a kid? My aunties always had a few of these on the couch and I loved how soft they were. Kapok filling was ubiquitous in the 1960s and then all but disappeared but it’s making a comeback and no wonder!
It is super-soft and feels like spun silk, plus 8 times lighter than cotton. Kapok has a uniquely supportive quality without the dust-mites or allergic discomforts that down pillows may cause, not to mention the tug on your conscience. Kapok is all vegan, all-natural and allergin-free. You just won’t believe how soft they are until you fall asleep on one.
Buy a pair for you and your sweetie. Perfect for back and stomach sleepers because they are so fluffy that your head will just sink in as though you are resting on a cloud. Even the covering is made from 100 percent unbleached organic cotton to maximize your natural slumber. Machine washable, they will last for years. $82 for a standard size at Earthsake.com. Spend $12 extra for additional fill for a little extra support.
SUCK IT UP!
Silly straws, move over it’s time for a grownup straw solution that doesn’t hurt Mama Earth. Strawsome creates awesome glass tubes that your sweetie will appreciate. They are tough, fun and infinitely reusable, with a lifetime warranty against breakage.
Crafted by hand right here in the good ole USA, the company can even create custom lengths and designs (such as for folks with limited mobility). As founder Daedra Surowiec says, “Strawesome sucks in the best way."
Your gal or guy will love ‘em because they come in lots of colors, with hand-made adornments, and straight or bent lengths for kids and adults.
Choose these adorable Valentine Heart Glass Straws ($11.95) to express your love for someone in your life and save hundreds of straws from the landfill or waterways. Or the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society The Vaquita Straw (Starting at $21) that benefits the rare Vaquita of northern Mexico’s Pacific Ocean and helps support the work of Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, an international non-profit marine wildlife conservation organization. Their mission is to end the destruction of habitat and slaughter of wildlife in the world’s oceans in order to conserve and protect ecosystems and species. Strawesome will donate $7 from each sale of this cause straw to support Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. The cute little hand-blown gray Vaquita on each one will let your sweetie know how much you care about saving precious wildlife in our oceans. Strawsome.com.
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM
Seeking a unique night out for Valentine’s Day? Have you ever dreamed of leaving the kids at home and having a whole museum to yourselves? Explore the Perot Museum in Dallas at Romancing the Stone, offering guests ages 21 and up a gem-themed celebration of love.
This special event will take place on Valentine’s evening, Feb. 14, from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. The night will feature engaging activities focused on romantic jewels and the science of love and attraction.
Ticket holders will have an opportunity to create your own Love Potion fragrance, hear about the history of the engagement ring, crack open a geode together, pan for take-home sapphires, take photos in a 360-degree photo booth and more, all while enjoying a DJ and dance floor plus an Italian-themed progressive dinner and more. Dinner and dessert included. Cash/credit bars available. Cocktail attire suggested. Tickets are $70 for members and $75 for non-members. For tickets and more info, go to PerotMuseum.org/Romance.
TIPTOE THRU THE TULIPS
The Dallas Arboretum is offering $5 admission, now through Feb. 28, even on Valentine’s Day, so pack a picnic lunch and enjoy a romantic meal with your loved one. Also through the end of February, the Arboretum is hosting an elegant, three-course Friendship Tea for those 13 and older. Prices are $39 per person for traditional tea and $49 per person for champagne served with tea. Price includes parking and admission to the garden. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 214-515-6511 or purchased online.
Lastly, while exploring the Arboretum, surprise someone special on Valentine's Day with the unique gift of a Blooming Bed. Each honoree receives approximately 10 linear feet of a flowering bed in the garden, personalized with a 3-inch-by-5-inch plaque. Up to 6 family and friends are invited to a garden reception for the recipient held during Dallas Blooms, the largest floral festival in the Southwest taking place Feb. 29 to April 12. Blooming Beds of Color are $675 for a full year of seasonal plantings. Blooming Beds of Bulbs are $400 for a seasonal planting during Dallas Blooms.
DEALS TO LOVE
Going out on a special date and looking for last-minute gifts? Natural Grocers is giving out a free Chocolove bar to their club card members on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. They’re also offering several 25 percent off deals on lovely (no pun intended) gift ideas such as Sarabecca Solid and Roll-On Perfume made with natural ingredients and no animal testing, Kate’s Magik massage and body oils that help release tension and stress, provide energy and evoke passion, plus relieve anxiety to help you sleep, NOW essential oil diffusers that gently release essential oils into your home or office, as well as other select body care products. Feb. 14 only at Natural Grocers stores around town. Join Natural Grocers N power club online or you can sign up in-store. At all Natural Grocers stores in Fort Worth, Dallas, Infinity and beyond.
One of our favorite picks for the last couple of years has been Whole Foods Market’s ethically-sourced Whole Trade Roses. Whole Foods Market will help you celebrate Valentine’s Day with Whole Trade roses for just $19.99 for two dozen, for Amazon Prime members only, through Feb. 14, while supplies last.
Don’t have time to shop in person? Prime members have the option to order the roses on Amazon.com and enjoy fast, free two-hour delivery with a purchase of $35 or more.
Each purchase of Whole Trade roses gives back to the farmers where the flowers were sourced. Carol Medeiros, vice president of Perishables Support comments, “Not only are they a perfect way to show your love, they are making a positive impact in the communities where they are grown.” The farm workers have used the Whole Foods community development funds to create after-school programs, dental and medical clinics, housing and loan programs. Click here for tips on choosing the perfect color of rose for your sweetie.
SLIGHTLY SHOCKING SOCKS
For the nature lover who has everything, Rooster Home and Hardware has just restocked their ever-popular Blue Q Socks, with off-the-wall sayings that will knock your sweetie’s socks off! Every pair of Blue Q Socks that is sold helps to benefit Doctors Without Borders.
In fact, Blue Q itself is a great company to support, using recycled materials for many of their products, keeping pet sheep to cut the grass around the solar panels that supply much of their electricity and they are also one of the largest employers of special needs staffers in Massachusetts.
We can’t show some of the more-irreverent sock designs, but your honey lamb will laugh out loud when they receive a pair or two. Lots more from which to choose, plus bags, oven mitts and tea towels. $9.99 to $10.99 per pair for socks. Rooster Home and Hardware, 10233 East Northwest Hwy. Suite 409, Dallas 75238. 214-343-1971.
T’S FOR TWO
If you missed the swanky Texan by Nature T-shirts in our Men’s Gift Guide for the Holidays, they are worth a second look. Texan by Nature is a non-profit that was founded by Laura Bush to unite business and conservation leaders who believe our state’s prosperity is dependent on the conservation of our natural resources. These Texan by Nature shirts are the softest, eco-friendly tees you can both wear all year long and you’ll look so cute when you match!
The Outdoor Collection comes in blue, light blue, green or brown and features the Texan by Nature official logo printed in white on the front. Unisex sizes from XS-XL. Made of Bella+Canvas fabric by a company that operates under eco-friendly processes through the use of water reducing dye machines, motion sensor and natural lighting, electric car charging stations for employees, and recycling practices that create virtually zero waste. Printed exclusively with water-based fabric inks, rather than the industry standard plastisol and solvent inks, from Under Pressure. Shirts $25 each at TexanByNature.org. 100-percent cotton bandanas are $15.
HEART OF GLASS
Many major retailers are moving towards Fair Trade products and practices and you can vote with your dollars by supporting them. Pottery Barn is a member of the Fair Trade USA network of brands, paying Community Development Funds for every Fair Trade Certified product that they sell.
When your darling serves horderves on this heart-shaped cheese board, it'll be love at first bite and you can both feel good knowing that you are helping to support Fair Trade communities. Weighing in at over 6 lbs, the heart is truly substantial. With its large 12-wide size and thick heft, it will soon become a Valentine treasure, especially if you engrave it with your loved one’s name or both of your initials.
Match up with other products from Pottery Barn’s Slab Collection, such as recycled coasters or serving pedestals, for a gift that will be enjoyed for many years. Heart Cheese Board $49.50. Engraving $12 extra. At Pottery Barn stores around the Metroplex or PotteryBarn.com.
FAN THE FLAMES
Keith Bailey and Mark Fuentes at White Rock Soap Gallery have assembled a wide variety of local and Texas-based concoctions in their stores including their own WRSG signature soaps, lotions, candles and potions. Our favorite is their Love candle, scented with cinnamon, much like the little red cinnamon heart candies that are so popular at this time of year. Your sweetie will Love them too!
All WRSG candles are hand-poured in Lake Highlands and are made from pure American grown soy wax with a hint of beeswax and coconut oil. Soy candles burn much cleaner and longer than old-fashioned paraffin candles that can damage your indoor air quality.
The 8 oz. Love Candle in reusable (and recyclable) glass jar is on sale this month for $14 (reg $18). Another gem is the Swag Box filled with your choice of goodies. Pick one each of a votive scented candle, flavored lip balm, sugar or salt scrub and vegan soap plus a decorative label in your choice of sentiment. Finish up the Swag Box with a colorful tie and you’ve got a gift that anyone would adore. On sale for $12 (reg $20) at White Rock Soap Gallery, in east Dallas, Bishop Arts, McKinney and coming soon to The Colony. Both products are also available online at WhiteRockSoapGallery.com.
For those of us who care about the planet, we also tend to think about what goes into our bodies. It’s just as important to know what’s in products that we put on our bodies. INIKA's new Living Color Eyeshadow Palettes, from the Choosy Chick, are made with 100 percent natural, chemical-free minerals. Each metallic compact contains a dark matte shade, two satin finish transition shades and a shimmer highlighting shade, plus a handy mirror for on-the-go application. $49 each in 2 choices of colorful collections - Desert, with natural earth tones, and Blossom, with shades of pink radiance, to create any look that her heart desires. Certified vegan and cruelty free. Makes a wonderful gift. TheChoosyChick.com.
GROW YOUR OWN
Anyone would love to receive the AeroGarden as a gift. This handy countertop hydroponic gadget allows you to grow beautiful herbs, salad greens, mini tomatoes, flowers and other plants right at your fingertips. Uses water instead of soil to nourish up to three plants at one time. Energy-efficient, 10-watt LED lighting system is tuned to the specific spectrum that allows plants to maximize photosynthesis, resulting in rapid, natural growth and abundant harvests. Easy-to-use control panel automatically turns lights on and off and reminds you when to add fertilizer. Includes 3-Pod Gourmet Herb Seed Kit that contains: Genovese Basil, Curly Parsley, Dill and 3 oz patented nutrients (enough for a full season of growth). $99.98 at Lowes.com.
PRETTY COOL STUFF
Kim Young, Dallas-based proprietress of Pretty Things & Cool Stuff, has some wonderful finds for Valentines including a precious tome for young children, I Carry Your Heart With Me ($8.95), a board book adaptation of the beloved E. E. Cummings poem, which tells the story of a mother carrying her unborn child as they explore the wonders of the world together, illustrated beautifully by Mati McDonough. Kim mentions on her website, “This book is definitely one of those inspirational gems that is suitable for all ages, from one to 100.” All of the proceeds from the sale of the book go to help the efforts and mission of The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services - (RAICES).
Another must-have from PrettyThingsandCoolStuff.com is this Vermont Maple Drying Rack ($34), made especially to use with Bee’s Wrap, the handiest reusable food wraps on the planet! The Drying Rack is made in Vermont from 100 percent sustainably harvested solid maple. Its non-toxic, whey-based coating makes it both stain resistant and water repellent. Useful also for drying dish towels and other small items all around the kitchen. Perfect for travel, camping or other on-the-go adventures. Disassembles for storage. Visit PrettyThingsandCoolStuff.com for more great gift ideas.
Marshall Grain is chocked full of fun ideas for your Valentine. Houseplants always make a wonderful gift, especially when they’re dressed up in pretty planters. Get a ready-made creation designed by Marshall Grain’s garden center staff or mix and match plants with pots to create your own heart-felt design.
If your sweetie needs a chuckle, pick up a whimsical, funny faced Blob House planter – hand-created by artist, Gesine Kratzner, from polyresin — a popular environmentally friendly, nontoxic and carcinogen-free alternative to PVC. These adorable planters come in various sizes and can hold air plants (tallandsias), succulents, or small house plants. $9.99 - $24.99. The amaryllis goes for $23.99, includes container and the kalanchoe (plant only) is $12.99. Stop by to see the full selection as well as their many other unique and handmade gift ideas. Marshall Grain, 3525 William D. Tate Ave., Grapevine, 76051. 817-416-6600.
Next month, look for our Guide to Garden Goodies.
Stay up to date on everything green in North Texas, including the latest news and events! Sign up for the weekly Green Source DFW Newsletter! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Also check out our new podcast The Texas Green Report, available on your favorite podcast app.