A vegetarian Mother's Day gift: A gift bag that's trying

What if you don't know what to get your mom? Then I know where you can go and see all sorts of gift ideas. But what if you know exactly what your mom would like? Well, I also know where you can create your own gift.

And, good news, these are the same place.

Which means this should be right up the alley of the almost vegetarian mom. Right? Well, let's see.

When It's Only Natural Gifts contacted me, I loved the idea right away: "... natural and organic food and body gifts in canvas bags versus wasteful baskets and packaging." I even loved the angle: You could build your own gift or you could buy a pre-made gift.

Perfect, right?

So I got hold of one of the pre-made gifts. And, alas, while I learned this is not the dream come true I hoped for, neither is it the nightmare so many products out there are. It is, in fact, a step, if not a leap, in the right direction.

The Body and Soul gift set ($74)
Here's what comes in this great-smelling gift set.

* There is a big tub of ginger mint body polish from Aura Cacia Organics. This uses cane sugar for the polishing (although it also has peppermint and other oils which may be irritating). And polishing it does, leaving my skin incredibly soft. So soft, in fact, that I didn't care that it also left the tub incredibly slippery. Well, I cared a little.

* For those who bathe, the set also comes with two packets of dead sea salts, but the set I received substituted the calming orange and relaxing lavender salts with calming foam bath for kids and lavender foam bath) also from Aura Cacia Organics. The first is not quite right for mom, but, still, they make for a lovely bathe.

* There are two Kiss My Face soaps, one in olive and lavender and the other in olive and green tea, both of which are loaded with wonderfully moisturizing olive oil (interestingly, both also have sodium chloride which is, essentially, table salt!).

* Also included is a great smelling Clark’s beeswax candle. Now, while this might not be ideal for the strictly vegetarian or vegan mom (honey is not vegetarian), all other moms will love this divine smelling candle.

* If the ginger mint body scrub did not slough enough layers of skin, there is also an Earth Therapeutics loofah which is great for exfoliation.

* Finally, for a sweet touch, there are also not one, but two, chocolate treats, an Equal Exchange Organic Milk Chocolate and Hazelnut Bar and a Chocolove Organic Dark Chocolate Bar. Now, we love the idea of including chocolates in the set, but we found both of these bland and tossed the unfinished bars into the garbage.

* Everything comes packaged in a 13.25" x 12" x 4" "100% cotton canvas bag" which is perfectly sized for a little weekday shop. Of course, as there is no mention of organic cotton, my assumption is it is not, otherwise I would think they would scream it from the mountains. And that's a real shame because non-organic cotton is awfully hard on the environment. On the front of the bag is a lushly beautiful agave image.

Beyond the items listed above, there was also a bed of paper inside the bag. And the bag was delivered inside a cardboard box stuffed with newsprint. This is a lot better than Styrofoam, but it still is a lot of paper.

And, there is a bottle of something in the picture (see above) that never made it to the product description or into the bag. Odd.

Happy Mother's Day!