This post is generously sponsored by the ladies of Species by the Thousands, a jewelry and apothecary brand with a studio/storefront in Brooklyn where they make most of their products, as well as a great online store where you can find sustainable gifts for your best friend, sister, bridesmaids, favorite witch, and other conscious ladies. Use the code eco16 on their website for 20% off! A few nights ago I arrived to a chic downtown bar to celebrate a new friend's birthday, and immediately I noticed a huge faux pas. I hadn't brought a gift. I know that sounds terrible, but this is a weird world to navigate, especially in NYC! In some circles, like last night, a gift is the norm. She had a pile of adorably gift-wrapped bags piled up underneath the table, and I wanted to blurt out, "I think you're really cool and I promise I'm not a cheapskate." Other times, I've shown up to a party with a little something and the birthday girl seemed surprised that I had gone out of my way to buy her something other than a drink, and give her something more than a hug, my time, and best wishes. I've had little birthday things at our apartment, and everyone brings beer! Ugh, social things in 2106 – so complicated. After that faux pas, I decided I'm not arriving to a birthday thing empty handed again, especially a best friend's birthday! But what to bring? You don't want to bring something that is thoughtless and kitschy. Or that's so big as to weigh her down while she's dancing. At the same time, a busy girl like yourself also can't spend four hours scouring SoHo looking for the perfect thing that has her name written all over it. I'm thinking back to a time when I brought smudging sage to a friend for her birthday and told her she should use it to clear out all the bad shit from the year before, and bring in good energy. She loved it! So I've found the perfect solution: uplifting gifts from Species by the Thousands. I've been a big fan of theirs since the beginning of this blog, and their sprays, candles, and spell kits (they also sell smudging sage spray, FYI) are like a physical embodiment of gifting self care. Each one sends a sweet, caring message. Let me explain ... Mirror Affirmation Mist says, "I wish you knew just how amazing you are." It tells the user to, "spray on your face as you look in the mirror and repeat a personal affirmation." Made of 100% natural essential oils and rosewater, it smells so dreamy. The Focus Meditation Spray says, "I know how stressed you've been, and I hope this helps you with your practice." The combination of calming and uplifting essential oils will incentivize her to plop down on the pillow and clear her mind. The Chakra Spray says, "You deserve a sacred space where you can be your true self." Made of seven 100% natural essential oils, she can spray around herself or in a room to create a sacred space. The Abundance Spell Kit says, "You work so hard, you deserve a raise." It's a lovely ritual even if you don't believe in magic. "Apply the money spray in a place where you would like to attract wealth. Sprinkle the chamomile around the candle, light the candle and place the pyrite in your left hand while visualizing yourself receiving all you would like to acquire." Then get that money. The White Magic Love Spray says, "You are worthy of love." With ylang ylang, palmarosa, lavender, and geranium essential oil, it's a way to invite positive energy into your life. The Palo Santo Cleansing Candle says, "I know you've been through some shit. Clear it out, let it go, and live your life." It's made of 100% non-GMO, pesticide-free, American-grown soybean wax with a 100% cotton wick. Clear out that bad energy. The New Moon Bath Salts say, "I hope you have amazing adventures." New Moons are a great time to set intentions for things you'd like to create, manifest, cultivate and develop. Use these bath salts during a new moon bath, when starting a new adventure, or a new beginning. The Jasmine Travel Candle says, "I know you travel a lot, so I hope you take some time for yourself when you do." This non-GMO, pesticide-free, American-grown soybean wax candle is made right in their Brooklyn studio. And Species by the Thousands does more than just apothecary, like witchy, spiritual jewelry, and this Crystal Dream Pillow, which says, "I love you so much I will actually listen to your crazy dream you had last night from beginning to end – I find that shit fascinating." It has Catnip (promotes deep sleep), Mugwort (assists in lucid dreaming), Lavender (soothes and relaxes the mind), and Amethyst (aids in insomnia and dream recall). I assure you, if you get on of these for your best friend (or bridesmaid, or sister, or witch friend) for her birthday, and explain why she deserves it, she'll be so flattered and impressed with your thoughtful gift. Good vibes all around.