Homesteading with Hyacynth: Last-Minute Local, Handmade Gifts for Anyone

HomesteadingHyWelcome to Homesteading with Hyacynth!

Homesteading with Hyacynth is a monthly look at ways to lead a healthy, greener, more sustainable life. My intent with Homesteading with Hyacynth is to offer genuine, practical experiences and humorous and helpful tips. Of course, I am not a medical professional so these are my tips and what worked for my family.



One of my biggest joys of the holiday season is giving gifts that people can’t find just anywhere. My favorite gifts to give are ones that are distinctively unique, handmade, recycled and beautiful — a bonus for all of the above. You don’t have to search far and wide to find gifts like this in Lake County! Here are several things I’m packaging up with a bow and ribbon this holiday season as the perfect gifts!

Salted Caramel Sauce, Hand Cream and Natural Gum from Cacao Sweets and Treats in Grayslake

Photo courtesy of Cacao Sweets and Treats


There are men in my life, all of whom shall remain nameless, who are nearly impossible to surprise with a gift they do not already own. Thankfully for me, these men all have a serious sweet tooth, and I have Cacao Sweets and Treats nearby my home. Cacao makes its own Salted Caramel Sauce from scratch, using real ingredients and bypassing all of the artificial gunk.

The result is a buttery smooth salted caramel topping that’s perfect for anything from fruit to ice cream to a frosting. They also have a chocolate sauce, too. Easily packable, giftable and delicious, it’s a great hand-crafted gift for the food-lover in your life.

Of course, Cacao also features others myriad natural products and goodies, so check those out, too! Two other favorite buys this year include natural gum {mint flavor please!} for the kids’ stockings and Blissful Botanic hand cream, the only all-natural salve I’ve found that helps restore my super-dried out skin during the season of endless handwashing. I’m giving this to my step-father, a carpenter and professional floorer, this year because he, too, needs relief from the pain of cracked, dry hands.

*Cacao is permanently closed as of May 2018. 

Soap of the Earth Soaps {Found at Grayslake Farmers Market: Saturdays until Christmas from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., downtown Grayslake}

These all-natural, earth-and-body friendly soaps are hand-crafted on a farm in southeast Wisconsin, and they make a fantastic gift for just about anyone. Made of natural oils, butter, and essential oils, the soaps come in many different scents. My favorites are rosemary mint and the lavender goat’s milk. My youngest son will only bathe if he has his “black soap” {patchouli}. Hands down everyone I’ve gifted the lavender goat’s milk to has really enjoyed it, and several people have expressed how they can’t wait until Christmas so they can be the recipient of another bar or two!

Soap of the Earth
Photo courtesy of Soap of the Earth

My other favorite find at Soap of the Earth is Frankincense Deodorant; this is a great stocking stuffer for the teens in your life. I really enjoy the smell of this deodorant, its powerful smell protection and the fact that it’s made with ingredients I could eat!

Handmade Recycled Bracelets from the Apparent Project

We came across these beautiful bracelets about a month and a half ago when our friend was selling them as a in-part fundraiser for their international adoption of older children who might otherwise not be adopted. When I received the bracelets I was impressed by the beauty and the back story!

photo (4)

Not only were half of the funds going toward our friend’s international adoption, but the other half of the funds were delivered directly to single parents in Haiti who, though hand crafting these bracelets, are trying to care for their families and establish their professions. I loved the fact that while we were supporting the care of orphans through adoption we were also helping parents to earn a living so they could care for the children they have as prevention is obviously a very critical part of orphan advocacy and care. An added bonus is that the bracelets are made of cereal boxes that would otherwise be unused.

Our family is now selling Apparent Project Bracelets to help fund our international adoption of two sisters as well as support the artisans in Haiti; each bracelet shares a small amount of its artisan’s story.

The cost for one is $10 or four for $34. You can email me at hyacynthworth{at}gmail{dot}com to order yours, and my family will arrange to get them to you before your holiday celebrations.

Don’t see something for that someone on this list? Don’t forget to check out the 12 Shops of Christmas and buy local!

You can also check out the following markets for more local gifts:

Dakotah’s Indoor Farmers Market  {every Saturday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m., 631 N. Midlothian Road, Mundelein}

Grayslake Farmers Market {Saturdays until Christmas from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., downtown Grayslake

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year to you all!





About Hyacynth 33 Articles
Hyacynth Worth is wife to John and mother to two boys and two girls. She writes about motherhood, healthy living and faith at Undercover Mother. She is Little Lake County's managing editor and the author of Homesteading with Hyacynth. She promises to be candid, amusing and only slightly neurotic. Most of the time.

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