Why You Need to Drink More Water

You’ve heard it before, you need to drink more water! Our bodies are comprised of 70% water, and our Earth is covered in about 71% water – water is the clearest link of humans being elemental beings of the Earth. To survive and to thrive, we need to consume more water. But besides from survival, what are the benefits to drinking more water?

  1. Water helps detox impurities from your organs, especially your liver and kidneys. Drinking enough water allows these essential organs to function at optimal levels. They use the water as a flushing system to push out toxins.
  2. Water keeps your skin soft and supple. Even if you slather yourself in Butter Me Up, without enough water, your skin will become dry and cracked. Just like a car needs oil for lubrication to keep everything running smoothly, your body needs water.
  3. Water keeps you seeing clearly. We need water to help lubricate our eyes, which protects them from the invasion of environmental particles.
  4. Water is essential for a comfortable gastrointestinal tract. Water helps our gut to digest food and send the nutrients to the appropriate organs. To prevent constipation and bloating, drink more water.
  5. Water bolsters your general immunity. Because so many organs rely on water, and because our bodies are perfect systems, water is distributed amongst these organs which help flush out toxins that cause illness, and allow for your body to create more white blood cells.
  6. Water keeps you feeling full. Sometimes we mistake hunger signals and are actually thirsty. Drinking plenty of water keeps your body feeling full, and when you get hunger signals, then you’re actually hungry.
  7. Water helps your heart pump blood through your circulatory system. We all know that our blood is our life force, and unless there is enough oxygen and water in our blood, we can start to feel tired and foggy.
  8. Water helps keep your mouth cleaner. Along with brushing and flossing twice a day, a key to a healthy mouth is lubrication. The water you drink helps clear some unseen particles between brushings, as well as allowing the mouth to stay moist.
  9. Water maintains your body temperature. While this may not seem as important when you’re inside in a controlled environment, when you do go outside, your body works hard to keep itself at the average 98.6 Fahrenheit. Water is excreted as part of sweat through our sweat glands, which allows the body to adjust itself.
  10. Drinking more water helps with water retention. While this seems counterintuitive, when your body is retaining water, it’s because your body is not receiving enough water. So next time you feel bloated from water retention, drink more water to cue your body into getting rid of the retention.

So, how much water should a person drink? According to The Mayo Clinic: “The Institute of Medicine determined that an adequate intake (AI) for men is roughly about 13 cups (3 liters) of total beverages a day. The AI for women is about 9 cups (2.2 liters) of total beverages a day.”

Next time you head out for the day, remember to grab your keys, wallet, and a refillable bottle of water!

Fun Questions from Fairs

We love vending at local community shows. The opportunity to talk and engage with customers, listen to their needs, learn about their interests, are all incredibly important to us not just as an entrepreneurs, but as people who believe small business should focus on community. One of the best aspects of these conversations are the repeat questions we receive. While we do our best to answer as many questions in our FAQ, vending at local shows always brings a unique set of questions, which we will do our best to answer here.

  1. Are your soaps made with lye?  Well, yes and no. While we do use lye (sodium hydroxide) to initially create our soaps, once the lye is mixed with water, and then mixed with the oils, it’s no longer lye because it has gone through the saponification process. So, you’re not washing yourself with lye, but lye was once part of the chemical reaction.
  2. Do you offer free samples? While you’re at our table, we offer samples of most of our products to try right then and there. When you order from us, we always send a sample of something else to try.
  3. Are your body butters good for eczema? We cannot make any claims like this because a claim like “treating eczema” would make the product a drug and not a cosmetic. The best advice we could offer is to copy down our ingredients, talk to your medical professional, and gather his/her opinion on whether or not he/she believes the product would help you.
  4. Do you make these? Yes, everything we sell we make. We take great pride in knowing that we have carefully chosen each ingredient and mastered each recipe for optimal performance. We want you to have complete confidence in what we sell, and we can ensure that by carefully tracking from ingredients, to crafting, to packaging.
  5. How did you get into this business? Two people who loved animals and sought a more natural lifestyle decided the best way to impact the world would be to make natural products which were guaranteed cruelty-free, then share our profits through donations for animal rescue.
  6. Why do you sell out of some products so quickly? We are careful to create our products in small batches. This allows us optimal tracking for purity and consistency, so while we will often sell out of some products quickly, as long as they’re not listed as “limited edition,” we probably have another batch on the way.
  7. Do you make these in any other scent? Depending on what someone is specifically looking for, even if we don’t offer the scent on our website, we can often formulate a recipe with the scent you’re looking for. Don’t be afraid to ask, we get custom orders all the time.
  8. How did you make this, can you share your recipe? While we believe in transparency and will always share our ingredients, our specific percentages in formulations are proprietary. We’ve worked very hard to make these formulations work – from the mathematics to testing, testing, and testing some more.
  9. Why is [insert product name] this price? When factoring in the quality of our ingredients, our certifications, our labor, and our packaging, we believe we’re offering high-quality and luxurious items at fair prices.
  10. I’m allergic to nuts, what can I use? Because we use various oils and butters that are derived from nuts, and they’re all made in the same place, we would advise against using our products depending on the type of allergy a person has. Most nut allergies are from consuming nuts, but we would never want to put our customers at any risk. We always advise reading ingredient labels and seeking advice from a medical professional.
  11. Why don’t you go on Shark Tank? (We love this question because it means that a customer sees great value in our product, so thank you!) We haven’t applied for Shark Tank because we’re not interested in becoming a mass-produced product – you could buy that anywhere – it’s our handcrafted, small-batch process which masters our quality.
  12. Why do you support animals so much? This is at the heart and soul of our business. There are hundreds of wonderful charities for numerous causes, and we believe each one has its place and purpose, but our personal love of animals, and the increasing need for animal advocacy (because they can’t speak for themselves) is our passion.
  13. I heard essential oils are good for curing [insert ailment here], does your product cure that? This is a loaded question! While some essential oils have been medically studied and have shown to help alleviate some symptoms, to the best of our knowledge, there has not been any evidence of them curing anything. If you’re sick, please see a doctor!
  14. What makes you different from [big box company]? We’re not looking to compete with any company. We firmly believe success belongs to anyone who works for it. We also firmly believe in our products because we know every ingredient and their formulas. We hope that when you purchase from Bath, Body, and Candle Moments, you realize you’re purchasing from a small business focused on natural solutions to everyday cosmetic concerns with a special mission to save animals.
  15. Why did you pick purple, green, and white as your branding colors? Purple symbolizes royalty, nobility, luxury, power, and ambition.Purple also represents meanings of wealth, extravagance, creativity, wisdom, dignity, grandeur, devotion, peace, pride, mystery, independence, and magic. Green is the color of nature, fertility, life. Grass green is the most restful color. Green symbolizes self-respect and well being. Green is the color of balance, and most-often picked by geniuses as their favorite color! White is associated with light, goodness, innocence, and purity. It is considered to be the color of perfection. White means safety, purity, and cleanliness. In short, we view our business and products as Creative, clean, pure, natural, balanced luxury.

Flower Symbolism

A common accompanying gift for Mother’s Day are flowers. I don’t know anyone who doesn’t love receiving flowers! But what motivates our flower purchases? Sometimes it’s beauty, sometimes it’s price – how often is it the symbolism behind flowers?  Believe it or not, there is a deeper meaning to the bouquet you’re giving. Inspired by Shakespeare’s Hamlet, and Ophelia’s flower-gifts, here’s a list of flowers and what they mean:

  • Rosemary: remembrance, normally associated with remembrance of the dead at funerals, but also remembrance between lovers.
  • Pansies: thought. The French word for thought is pensees; pensar is “to think” in Spanish ; when we say someone is pensive we mean that the person is thoughtful and contemplative.
  • Fennel: marital infidelity, cuckoldry
  • Columbines: flattery- insincerity culminating in dissembling and pretense (or) ingratitude, thanklessness
  • Rue: (also “Herb Of Grace”) repentance (or) sorrow
  • Daisy: forsaken love, unhappy love
  • Violets: faithfulness
  • Roses: (red) love, (yellow) friendship, (white) faithfulness, (black) death
  • Sunflower: adoration, loyalty, and longevity
  • Tigerlily: wealth, affluence
  • Belladonna Lily: sparkle, pride
  • Anemone: dying hope
  • Azalea: believed in Chinese culture to mean “take care of yourself, for me”
  • Calla Lily: not really a lily at all, this flower is extremely poisonous, but means innocence
  • Carnation: affection, femininity
  • Chrysanthemum: a good friend
  • Daffodil: unanswered/unrequited love
  • Baby’s Breath: pure of heart
  • Bleeding Heart: wearing your heart out on your sleeve
  • Cherry Blossom: abundance of new beginnings

There are so many flowers to choose from, this is only the beginning!  Their beautiful scents, and moments they create, are one of the most important parts of celebration and mourning in our culture. The next time you think about buying flowers as a gift, consider the symbolism attached to it.

Photo Credit – The Natural Wedding Company UK

The Challenges of Working from Home

I’m in a unique situation where I work full-time as a teacher by day, and run my business, Bath, Body, and Candle Moments, full-time from home in the evenings. Attempting to be productive when I get home is incredibly tough; I’m exhausted and my brain is still swirling from school, but over the course of the year, I’ve learned some strategies I’m happy to share.
When is it okay to stay in your pajamas?
My answer to this is simply: it isn’t. Nothing kick-starts your day quite like a shower (and a cup of coffee, who are we kidding), and putting clothes on. This doesn’t mean you have to sit home in a tailored suit, but showering and dressing gives a person order, schedule, and purpose. You’re setting yourself up in the mindset that you’re at work. It’s too easy to disregard so many things when we’re in our pajamas, because we’ve trained ourselves to think relaxation. Plus, it makes changing into your pajamas at night so much more gratifying because you’ve earned your rest time.
How do you say no to friends and family who want you to hang out or run errands for them while you’re at home and supposed to be working?
Your family and friends should respect the fact that you work from home, but that doesn’t stop people from asking. Creating a schedule for yourself is the best option here. If you set your time from 9-5, then those are your work hours, and when people ask, you explain that you’re at work. You have to set limits and boundaries to maximize opportunities. Most people who are working from home are entrepreneurs or in sales, and we understand that the time we spend not working on our business is time we’re not growing.
When do you find it necessary to leave the house and work someplace else?
For me, this comes down to whether or not other people are in the house. I really can’t concentrate on my business if others are around, so it relates back to my schedule. If I’m on a strict deadline, or I know I have a large order and need to get work done, I’ll grab my laptop and walk over to my local library.
How do you go on “break” when you work from home?
Some other ways I stay productive is using house-chores as my “breaks.” During my free periods at school, I spend that time grading and planning, because then it’s less for me to take home. During my “breaks” when working on my business, I’ll wash dishes, or do a load of laundry – these mindless activities relax my brain and get stuff done around the house.

Understanding Beauty Buzz Words

As an English teacher by day and mad-beauty-chemist by night, nothing excites me more than the moments where my two passions converge. I was researching information on a new formulation that popped in my mind as I was preparing my zombie lesson plan — oh yes, I get to teach an amazing senior high school elective and zombies are our current topic — and the idea of the formulation came to me as I was exploring zombie skin. There is so much jargon and rhetoric wrapped around beauty language,  it’s easy to get lost in just trying to comprehend. Then BOOM, the idea for this blog — why not help translate?

An educated consumer is the modern world’s most powerful tool.

VEGAN – A product is considered “vegan” when all of its ingredients are botanically derived. There can be no animal by-products whatsoever. This even extends to some botanicals which are considered endangering to animals – for example, products made with palm oil are sometimes not considered vegan because of the controversy surrounding palm oil not being sustainable. Common beauty ingredients derived from animals: beeswax, lanolin, lard, emu oil, tallow. More than 90% of our products are vegan; the only products considered “vegetarian” are strict vegan followers who do not consider palm oil to be vegan, but none of our products use ANY animal byproducts whatsoever.

SUSTAINABLE (SUSTAINABLY SOURCED) – Products that are considered sustainable are products that give back to the environment when consumed. For example, sustainably sourced palm oil (which is all we use when we do use palm oil) is palm oil that is sourced from palm trees, but new palm trees are planted to replace the ones that were used. It also means that the resources being used are not endangering any existing animal habitats. We also use sustainable soy wax for our candles; the soy that is used is replanted. There are strict RSPO guidelines for products that are labeled “RSPO Sustainable.”

Photo Credit Greenpalm.org

VEGETARIAN – For a product to be vegetarian, all of its ingredients must not be derived from animals. For example, a beeswax candle can still be considered vegetarian because there are no actual BEES inside of the wax; however, a soap made from tallow is actually derived from beef fat, therefore it cannot be vegetarian.

ORGANIC – For a product to be organic, it must have been grown or derived from a source that does not use genetically modified organisms, pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, growth hormones, antibiotics, or ionizing radiation. Organic products, and products made from organic ingredients, are often much more expensive because it is considerably more difficult to produce a healthy, usable organic crop.

CRUELTY-FREE – For a product to be considered cruelty-free, there are several layers and standards. Generally speaking, cruelty-free means no animals were harmed in the production of the product; however, certain organizations, such as Leaping Bunny, have a much higher standard to be considered cruelty-free. To be Leaping Bunny Certified (which we are), no animals must be harmed in the production AND all of the materials/ingredients used to make the product must have come from cruelty-free sources.

FAIR-TRADE – Fair prices are paid to producers in developing countries. Most beauty ingredients are derived from outside of the United States, simply because our country’s climate is not inclined for certain crops, but sometimes the workers who help produce and render the crops are slave workers, child workers, or paid considerably lower than the necessary means. When an ingredient is fair-trade, this ensures the workers were paid a fair wage, under their own desire for employment, and of an appropriate working age.

ALL NATURAL – In general, this means that all of the ingredients in the product are derived directly from nature. Of all the terms, this is the most ambiguous. The reason is because there is no agency or certification program which truly verifies “all natural,” and because “all natural” is not always good… for example, viruses, mildew, and excrement are “all natural,” but it doesn’t necessarily mean you want that in your sugar scrub! The best option when you see “all natural” is to ask what it means.

ETHICAL – Companies who consider themselves ethical may do so for several reasons: 1) They practice fair-trade, 2) They are charitable with their profits, 3) They source sustainably, 4) They’re cruelty-free. There are many wonderful attributes of “ethical” companies, it really comes down to what the consumer cares about.

ESSENTIAL OIL / FRAGRANCE OIL – An essential oil is a plant-derived oil, whereas a fragrance oil is usually a combination of natural and synthetically derived oils. (There is so much associated with this particular topic, I recommend you read a former blog post here.)

Are there any other terms which are confusing? Comment below and I’ll be happy to research them for you!

Deter Bugs Naturally

The spring season is upon us, and while it’s still pretty chilly here in New York, warmer days and sunny skies are in the near horizon. With the spring comes beautiful flowers, helpful bees, birds, and unfortunately, some unwanted pests.

As people who love and respect nature, especially pets, we’re always seeking out natural ways to get things done instead of using harsh chemicals. So many bug sprays use DEET and other carcinogenic material, we figured there had to be a better way to keep bugs out of your home.

First we’re going to highlight one of our newest seasonal products, and that’s our Don’t Bug Me Body Spray safe for adults, kids (2 and older), and medium-large dogs. Please don’t use this product on babies, small dogs, or cats, as the scents can be irritating to their sensitive mucus membranes.

don't bug me
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A blend of cypress, cedarwood, citronella, lemongrass, lavender, and tea tree essential oils with witch hazel and benzoic acid, Don’t Bug Me will help deter irritating bugs, while smelling wonderful, and conditioning skin. Clean out your closet and get rid of all those nasty chemicals; choose a clean, natural way to keep those buggers away!


 

  1. Cedar Blocks / Cedarwood / Cedar Essential Oil – Great for deterring moths, especially in closets. Mosquitos also hate the smell of cedar. Keep the blocks in your closets, and use cedarwood essential oil (always dilute with a carrier oil) on your skin for keeping mosquitoes at bay.
  2. Cinnamon – Ants really hate cinnamon. I suggest sprinkling some cinnamon in your lower cabinets, around windows, and doors that go to the outside.
  3. Citrus Peels – Excellent for deterring spiders. Rub corners, or anywhere spiders like to hang out, with your extra peels.
  4. Lemongrass  – As an essential oil, or grown as a plant, lemongrass smells wonderfully and deters mosquitos and ticks. We love lemongrass essential oil so much, it’s in our Balance Soap, which is our most popular soap (we can’t keep it stocked fast enough!).
  5. Clean Your House – Seems obvious, but between work, kids, school, who has time? Well, you don’t have to go crazy with cleaning, but dusting frequently, vacuuming, and especially cleaning up counters and floors lets bugs know this is not the place for them! A natural way to clean your counters and floors – Mix 2 parts Lemongrass Essential Oil, Eucalyptus Essential Oil, and Lavender Essential Oil with 3 parts white vinegar, spray and wipe clean! (You can also read our blog on how to clean naturally here.)
  6. Chalk – Ants won’t walk where’s there’s chalk! So get those kids outside drawing hopscotch boards!
  7. Dryer Sheets – Ok, so this is not 100% natural, but dryer sheets are great for deterring mosquitos and gnats. Keep a few in your pockets while hiking
  8. Growing Basil – It is said that basil deters mosquitos, so get your planting gear ready and plant some basil. Basil LOVES water and sunlight, so pick a sunny area and be sure to water frequently. Plus, nothing makes a better tomato sauce than fresh basil.
  9. Citronella Oil – A classic goodie! Mosquitoes really can’t stand the smell of citronella, so grab some citronella essential oil (dilute with a carrier oil), and rub away. A little trick – keep citronella candles outside when you’re out, especially in the evening, or use a diffuser with the oil.
  10. Eliminate Standing Water – If you have a pool cover, or anywhere there’s standing water, this is a breeding ground for mosquitoes and all other kinds of insects. Make sure you drain the water very frequently, and go ahead and pour some white vinegar anywhere the water would normally stand.
  11. White Vinegar – An excellent cleaning agent, and ants hate it!
  12. Lavender Essential Oil – This seemingly “magical” oil has unbelievably versatile properties, and one of them is deterring mosquitoes!
  13. Refrigerate Foods – There’s lots of advice for certain food items you’re not supposed to refrigerate, like bananas and garlic, but try putting as much as you can in the refrigerator so the foods aren’t open to bugs, especially fruit flies.
  14. Baking Soda – Another one of the most versatile products on the market, mixed with white vinegar, baking soda is a fantastic cleaning agent and bug deterrent! Sprinkle a little in places to keep them away, and if you happen to have a mound, pour two cups of baking soda to cover the mound, and then white vinegar to wash it away.
  15. Wear Long Sleeves & Long Pants in Light Colors – This is especially important if you plan on hiking. Make sure to tuck in your pants into your boots. This helps prevent tick bites, and the light colors make it easier to spot ticks. Be especially careful when hiking with petsTicks can be deadly.

Also check out our Don’t Bug Me Candle, made with natural, essential oils to help deter bugs! This candle was also featured on HealtStreetJournal.com!

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Scents (for) the Moment

We love aromatherapy around here; that’s what we’re all about! Sensing the moment to give you the best scent for the moment! We’ve come up with a nifty guide to help you find the perfect aromatherapy scents to guide you from the mood you’re in, to the mood you want to be (or to stay) in.

MOOD YOU’RE IN SCENT YOU WANT
Anxious, nervous Lavender, Chamomile, Spa
Lethargic Lemongrass, Spearmint, Clove, Orange
Stuffy Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Pine, Tea Tree
Coughing Cedarwood, Eucalyptus, Tea Tree
Sullen, down, depressed Lemongrass, Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit, Bergamot, Lavender, Geranium
Disinterested Clary Sage, Cinnamon, Orange, Black Pepper
Aches and pains Clary Sage, Eucalyptus, Peppermint, Rosemary, Tea Tree
Insomnia Lavender, Chamomile, Marjoram
Itchy, dry skin Rosemary, Lavender, Orange, Sandalwood
Agitated Lavender, Rosemary, Sandalwood, Sea, Beach, Spa
Disorganized Fresh laundry, Lemongrass, Lavender
Homesick Vanilla, Sandalwood, Chocolate
Overworked Coconut, Pineapple, Mango, Citrus, Lavender, Chocolate, Beach, Sea