November 17, 2012

Handmade Christmas

Handmade gifts come from the heart and mean so much to the recipient! Stumped for ideas this year? I've listed a few below that are simple to put together and make a great impact.

Warm their hearths with handmade pine cone fire starters! These are super easy to make with wax (paraffin, soy or beeswax works well and can be purchased at your local craft store or on line,
as can all of the other supplies), kitchen tongs, fragrance oils, wax colorants and pine cones (use the ones from your yard - make sure they're clean and dry). Melt the wax according to instructions and when it is at 130-140 degrees Fahrenheit carefully dip the cones one by one using the tongs, and let the excess wax drip back into the pot. Set them upright on wax paper to set up. When you're done with the last cone, go back and dip again to build up the wax. Gift them in a basket with a box of fireplace matches in a holiday basket and tie it up with a bow. Makes a great host/hostess gift from your heart for their hearth!
Make your choco-loving friends a basket of yum with delectable hot cocoa fixings including homemade marshmallows. Believe me, these are well worth the the effort it takes because they are soooo much better than the store bought kind. 
Here's what you will need:

3 packages unflavored gelatin
1 cup ice cold water, divided
12 ounces granulated sugar, approximately 1 1/2 cups
1 cup light corn syrup
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
Nonstick spray

  1. Place the gelatin into the bowl of a stand mixer along with 1/2 cup of the water. Have the whisk attachment standing by.
  2. In a small saucepan combine the remaining 1/2 cup water, granulated sugar, corn syrup and salt. Place over medium high heat, cover and allow to cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Uncover, clip a candy thermometer onto the side of the pan and continue to cook until the mixture reaches 240 degrees F, approximately 7 to 8 minutes. Once the mixture reaches this temperature, immediately remove from the heat.
  3. Turn the mixer on low speed and, while running, slowly pour the sugar syrup down the side of the bowl into the gelatin mixture.
  4. Once you have added all of the syrup, increase the speed to high. Continue to whip until the mixture becomes very thick and is lukewarm, approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Add the vanilla during the last minute of whipping. While the mixture is whipping prepare the pans as follows.
  5. Combine the confectioners' sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.
  6. Lightly spray a 13 by 9-inch metal baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add the sugar and cornstarch mixture and move around to completely coat the bottom and sides of the pan. Return the remaining mixture to the bowl for later use.
  7. When ready, pour the mixture into the prepared pan, using a lightly oiled spatula for spreading evenly into the pan. Dust the top with enough of the remaining sugar and cornstarch mixture to lightly cover. Reserve the rest for later. Allow the marshmallows to sit uncovered for at least 4 hours and up to overnight.
  8. Turn the marshmallows out onto a cutting board and cut into 1-inch squares using a pizza wheel dusted with the confectioners' sugar mixture. Once cut, lightly dust all sides of each marshmallow with the remaining mixture, using additional if necessary. Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks.
Makes about 9 dozen.

July 28, 2012

Bidwell Botanicals & The 2012 Primetime Emmys

We're pleased to announce Bidwell Botanicals, in association with The Artisan Group, will participate in a luxury celebrity gift lounge hosted by GBK Productions on September 21-22, 2012 at an exclusive location in Hollywood, California, in honor of the The 2012 Primetime Emmy Awards Nominees and Presenters.

Bidwell Botanicals Spiced Pumpkin Spa Set
Our Spiced Pumpkin Sugar Scrub and Handmade Artisan Soap will be prominently featured on display at The Artisan Group's exhibit, and all attending celebrities will receive the Spiced Pumpkin Spa Set in their swag bags. This event will also be attended by nearly fifty media outlets.

To learn more about Bidwell Botanicals and our products, or our participation in this exclusive event, visit, call 888.360.3398, or email

Jill Burrows Jones, Bidwell Botanicals sole proprietor, is a resident of Alpharetta, GA.

For press inquiries regarding The Artisan Group, please visit or email

June 28, 2012

Nicole Richie Gifted by The Artisan Group

Gifting Nicole RichieOnce again Bidwell Botanicals has been included in a TAG celebrity gift bag, this time to the beautiful Nicole Richie! We know how busy she is with family, career and travel, so we sent her a few of our fave products to pamper herself when she finds a few minutes to relax and rewind.

Nicole will receive our fabulous new Shea butter sugar scrub Blue Lotus, a bar of our super moisturizing Lavender Goats Milk handmade artisan soap and a Lush Lip Care to help keep her lips soft and protected from the summer sun.

April 9, 2012

Baby Your Face!

Is your skin feeling weary, tight, or dried out? Nourish your face with a refreshing and moisturizing masque made with things you probably have in your kitchen!

In a small bowl put: 2 Tablespoons plain yogurt, 1 teaspoon honey or chamomile tea (brew and cool, strain if not using teabags) and a few drops of vegetable oil like sunflower, olive oil or safflower.

Mix the ingredients well. Wash your face and pat dry. Then slather the masque on your face and neck, put cooled tea bags or cucumber slices on your closed eye lids and lay back and relax for 20 minutes. Rinse the masque off with tepid water, pat dry and apply a moisturizer if needed. Your skin will feel fabulous, smooth and refreshed!

March 31, 2012

Gifting Drew Barrymore

We are very excited to announce Bidwell Botanicals, in association with The Artisan Group, was recently selected to gift our Lush Lavender Shea Butter Sugar Scrub and Lavender Goats Milk Handmade Artisan Soap in an exclusive collaborative gift bag prepared especially for celebrity Drew Barrymore. How cool is that? I have always enjoyed Ms. Barrymore's work and hope that she enjoys ours just as much!

To learn more about Bidwell Botanicals and our products, or our participation in The Artisan Group's celebrity gifting initiatives, visit, call 678-373-4977, or email

For press inquiries regarding The Artisan Group, please visit or email

March 20, 2012

The Demon Pollen

Ahh Spring. Warm temperatures, blooming flowers and trees and pollen. Yuck! I literally saw clouds of pollen blowing across the street today and hightailed it inside and shut the windows! I hate to shut out the lovely weather, but the demon yellow dust is something I'd like to avoid.

Are you allergic? Even if you're not it's never a good idea to walk through a cloud of fine particulates and it can irritate your eyes and nose. Here are some tips to help you deal with the dreaded pollen monster.
  • Close the windows at home and in your car. If it's too warm in your house or car, run the air conditioning and set the air on "recirculate" so you're not bringing in outside air filled with pollen.
  • Make sure you dust and vacuum regularly to keep the pollen that does get into your home to a minimum.
  • Use saline nasal spray and "natural tears" eye drops to help wash the pollen from nasal passages and irritated eyes.
Don't worry this will all be over soon and then we only have to deal with the summer heat and humidity!