Make it a Girlfriend’s Valentine’s Day

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Valentine’s Day celebrates love, romance, and all the feel-goods of being in a relationship. But there are so many more relationships to celebrate than just the romantic ones! Some of the most powerful relationships we develop in our lives are the ones with our girlfriends. These are the people we rely on to gripe, to celebrate, to share secrets, to seek advice, and so much more. In this blog post, I will offer you some ideas to turn this Valentine’s Day into a Girlfriend’s Day!

  1. Send your best girlfriend a Valentine’s Day card. A simple sentiment letting your best girl know how much she means to you. Write an anecdote about a shared moment that made you both laugh your socks off.
  2. Have a dinner party where your girlfriends all come over to cook together, or each one brings a specialty dish. Get a bottle of wine (or more) and celebrate each other’s company. Turn the moments of cooking and sharing into another lasting memory.
  3. Host a shopping party with us! You get to spend time with all of your favorite girlfriends while earning rewards. You can try products, share, laugh, and create moments of joy! Have friends across the country? Have a Facebook party and bond with all of your friends no matter where they are.
  4. Go to a Paint Night together. These are SO much fun! You get to learn how to paint, show off your skills, have a drink, be creative, and best of all, spend time with your girlfriends.
  5. Do a secret gift swap! You can use a cool program like DrawNames.com to create a secret gift exchange. Then set a limit, like $20-$30, and send your secret friend a Valentine’s Day gift that you design to make her day brighter.
  6. Make a book club together. With the use of Facebook groups, it’s so easy to create a group that all of your girlfriends can join. Pick a book that you’ll all read together, set a deadline, and have discussions in the group about what you’re reading together. You can use the group on Valentine’s Day to chat about the book! Better yet, you can hop on Facebook Live to chat about it.

What moments can you create to make a perfect Valentine’s Day Girlfriend’s Day?

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Women in Business

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This past weekend, I hosted a pop-up that included my business, Bath Body Candle Moments, as well as LuLaRoe with my friend Jenn Rivera, and Origami Owl with my friend Sandra D’Auria.  We met on the Vine Vendor Network; a group I created about a year ago to help local small businesses connect and collaborate with one another.

During this pop-up Valentine’s Shopping Social, some of my best local customers stopped by to shop with me, but they were also introduced to Jenn’s and Sandra’s businesses. We built a relationship with each other’s clientele which aided in growing our own.

I never imagined how much fun I would have doing a small show. We laughed all day long, taking photos, trying each other’s products; it was the most fun I’ve had in a long time.

 

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Kristen, Sandra, Jenn

What made the whole experience so much greater was how business brought us together. We’re three women, each will full-time day jobs, but each with full-time entrepreneurial ventures, as well. We each complement each other’s business because we share the same core values: Collaborate, Inspire, Empower, Achieve.

“Women in Business” means so much to me these days. It means we can and we do. It means stepping outside of the expectation that we only have the ability to emotional. It means stomping on the stereotype that we only look to cut each other down. When women support one another in business, we’re unstoppable.

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Best Selling Trends from the Last 12 Months

Best Selling Trends from the Last 12 Months

One of the most common questions I receive from customers is: “What are your best selling items?” This answer is both easy and complicated because of the nature of our business; we make a lot of Limited Edition products to keep things interesting in our store, so the answer depends on the time of year and the audience.

For some fun, we’re going to break down the trends from the last 12 months!

Best Selling Soap – Women
1. Balance – Lemongrass & Lavender Essential Oil
2. Beach Bumming – Sun, Sand, Sea Mist
3. Moonlight – Rose

Best Selling Soap – Men
1. Balance – Lemongrass & Lavender Essential Oil
2. Black Tie Affair – Black Velvet Peppercorn
3. Mocha Coffee Break – Coffee

Best Selling Bath Bomb
1. Midnight in Paris – Lavender & Chocolate

Most Requested Wholesale and Private Label Item
1. Bath Bombs – We private labeled bath bombs for 4 companies, and wholesaled to 3 companies. In the last 12 months, we’ve made nearly 2500 bath bombs! (Just in case you were wondering, that’s approximately 700 pounds of baking soda.)

Best Debuted Items
1. Don’t Bug Me Natural Bug Deterrent – We sold over 200 bottles in three months!
2. Evanescence Supreme Luxury Facial Serum – Once we announced the product, we had 15 pre-sold in the first three minutes. Since then, we had even considered closing this product down to limit our offerings and we received over 20 emails or messages asking us not to and sold 10 more in the first day. We sold over 25 samples, and have been asked to private label for a famous indie skincare brand.

Best Selling Holiday Products
1. Snow Day! Bath Bombs – Hand-painted to look like snowmen.
2. Trick or Treat! Bath Bombs – Hand-painted to look like jack-o-lanterns.
3. Wrapping Gifts Soap – Scented in Peppermint

Greatest Loyalty
1. Face the Day Sugar Face Scrub – Once people switch to Face the Day, they never go back to their old facial products. (Just read the reviews!)
2. Butter Me Up Face & Body Butter – People who buy Butter Me Up come back and almost always buy more for their friends and family…then,  of course, more for themselves!

Best Selling Candles
1. Unstressed – Lavender & Chamomile
2. Summer Break – Ocean Mist
3. After the Rain – Aroma Spa

Top Two Best Selling Items by Quantity (Overall)
1. Midnight in Paris Bath Bomb
2. Sneak a Smooch Lip Moisturizer

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Skin Care Edition: Fact or Fiction?

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There are so many incredible tips out there to help us live happier, healthier, and more natural lives, but sometimes these tips are simply wrong, and sometimes you would be surprised at what is actually true! Whether these tips come from old wives tales, family tradition, or the internet, it’s key to be informed to stay healthy.

  • Use alcohol to dry out pimples. FICTION. Egads, this is TERRIBLE for your skin! Alcohol is incredibly drying to the top layers of your skin, so by applying alcohol, all you’re doing is burning away skin tissue. If you have a pimple, leave it be, or if you insist on clearing it out, use a clean towel to create a hot compress until the pimple expels on its own. After, use a little bit of Neosporin to keep bacteria and germs out. (Don’t use your fingers, ever!)
  • Using oil on your face will make you break out. FICTION. Non-comedogenic oils such as argan oil, rosehip seed oil, grapeseed oil, and jojoba oil are extremely beneficial to all skin types (yes, even oily skin). For dry skin, it helps to moisturize, for oily skin, it lets your body know it doesn’t need to produce more oil. The right oils will help balance your skin to create a youthful appearance. Try a product like Evanescence.
  • Lemon and sugar make a good scrub. FACT. The Vitamin C and citric acid found in lemon juice and lemon rinds is naturally antibacterial and offer antioxidants. Sugar is small and granule making it a perfect base for gentle exfoliation. Never rub lemon directly on your face, but mix lemon juice with a non-comedogenic oil (like jojoba or fractionated coconut) and sugar to create your own scrub. Or, you could always use a scrub that’s been perfectly formulated for your skin already.
  • Using soap on your face is a bad idea. FACT and FICTION. This all depends on the soap itself! Natural soaps crafted with enriching oils and/or butters are perfectly fine for face washing! However, you want to stay away from soaps that have ingredients like propylene glycol, parabens, or sodium lauryl sulfate; the jury is still out on the effects of these ingredients, so why risk your face?
  • Eating sugar and carb-rich foods cause breakouts. FACT. Most breakouts actually occur from your body’s chemistry, such as your hormones and the foods your eating. When you eat foods rich in sugar or saturated fats you can aggravate your sebaceous glands, which may lead to zits.
  • You don’t need sunscreen in the winter. FICTION. Some of the worst sunburns can occur in the winter time! The reason this myth arose is because people are less likely to spend time outside in the winter, but the sun still shines in the winter. This is especially true if you partake in winter sports, or spend time in the snow; the water in the snow actually reflects the light from the sun, creating more rays than you would expect. Final point: Wear your sunscreen.
  • Cucumbers reduce puffy eyes. FACT. Chilled sliced cucumbers placed on puffy eyes can help reduce the swelling because the cooling effect of evaporation helps drain the lymphatic nodes under your eyes. Also, cucumbers offer flavonoids and antioxidants which are thought to reduce irritation.

We would love to hear about the different advice you’ve received to keep your skin healthy! Comment below and we’ll fact-check it for you!

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Beating the Winter Blues – Tips from a Social Worker

Beating the Winter Blues - Tips from a Social Worker

January is known to be one of the most depressing months of the year. It can also be one of the most stressful. Holidays are over yet their bills are arriving as family is departing. Summer vacation seems far away. The days are darker longer and the weather isn’t as inviting.

How do you beat the winter blues and the feelings that accompany them?

  • Call someone. As the old saying goes “reach out and touch someone!” During the winter months, we are disconnected from outdoor activities. The temperatures keep us indoors and wanting to stay under the covers. If you are feeling blue, call/text a friend or a relative. Make plans to go out to a coffee shop, a local theater, or even to each other’s home. Not near someone- use Facetime! Facebook messenger also allows you to see each other through their app.
  • Exercise. There are so many excuses we can make during the winter not to exercise. Our normal weather routines are disrupted but you can beat the blues by moving around. Exercise helps to release endorphins which assist with mood. Have steps in the house? Use them more. Have an elevator at work? Use the stairs. Use canned goods as weights. Whatever you choose to do- do it!
  • Explore. Use this time to do things you may not do during the summer because it is too hot. Go to a museum. Take in a show. Check out local event/coupon sites for indoor events to check out.
  • Get some sun! Going out into the sunlight for a few minutes a day can help to boost a low mood. Bundle up – put some gloves, a scarf and a warm hat on and face the sun!
  • Keep your schedule. Do not stray from your routine. Get in your recommended amount of sleep per night.
  • Meditate. Take some time to be mindful of your surroundings to find peace. Relax by breathing deeply, lighting a candle, or even taking a bubble bath, as long as you clear your mind off your worries and focus on what brings you serenity and gratitude.

These tips can help to boost a low mood. If you or someone you know is struggling with depression or another mental illness speak up. Let them know there is help available. Speaking with a therapist or psychiatrist can be an option. Speak with a doctor first before trying any medication.

Guest Blogger

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Jacqueline Baumann, Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) who specializes in Mental Health

Switching to Natural Deodorant

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Why make the switch to natural deodorant?
Over the last few years, there have been articles in the press and on social media which links antiperspirant to cancer or Alzheimer’s disease. While there has not been conclusive evidence that proves this is true, there is some evidence of this reality. According to the National Cancer Institute:

Findings from a different study examining the frequency of underarm shaving and antiperspirant/deodorant use among 437 breast cancer survivors were released in 2003 (7). This study found that the age of breast cancer diagnosis was significantly earlier in women who used these products and shaved their underarms more frequently…While these results suggest that underarm shaving with the use of antiperspirants/deodorants may be related to breast cancer, it does not demonstrate a conclusive link between these underarm hygiene habits and breast cancer.

According to WebMD:

Scientists noticed that dialysis patients who had these high aluminum levels were more likely to develop dementia. As a result, the FDA requires antiperspirant labels to carry a warning that reads, “Ask a doctor before use if you have kidney disease.”

While there is still much research that needs to be done, it’s obvious why so many people are looking to switch to natural deodorant – there simply is not enough conclusive evidence to completely rule out the possible links of aluminum and parabens with breast cancer and dementia.

Making the switch
If you’ve been wearing antiperspirant for most of your life, there are some steps you need to take to make transitioning to natural deodorant easier.

Unlike traditional antiperspirants, our It’s the Pits! deodorant does not contain any aluminum or other sweat-blocking ingredients. Your body will have the ability to do what it’s made for…sweat.  Sweat alone doesn’t smell. Sweat is mostly comprised of water and salt.

What does make us smell is bacteria. We naturally have bacteria on our skin, and when that mixes with sweat, we stink…and well, we think that’s the pits! Which is why our deodorant comes with natural probiotics. Probiotics are considered to be the “good bacteria,” which help to stave off the bacteria that makes us stink.

If you’re switching to natural deodorant for the first time, you may experience this discomfort in the first week or so:

  • Your body adjusting to being able to sweat again.
  • Swollen underarm glands.
  • Underarm odor in the first few days.
  • Itchy, dry underarm skin.

What you can do to keep your underarms in tip-top shape:

  • Wash your underarms thoroughly. Use an exfoliating soap to help wash away the dead skin (which often holds in bacteria).
  • Give your underarms a pH balance with a mix of water and apple cider vinegar. You can spritz this on, or use a cotton ball. It’s best to do this before applying your deodorant and after your underarms are dry.
  • Make sure your underarms are completely dry before applying deodorant.
  • Moisturize your underarms after exfoliating.
  • Give your body time to absorb the deodorant by rubbing it into the skin. (This will also help prevent white stains on your shirt.)
  • Feel free to carry the deodorant with you and reapply during the day, as needed.

Purchase It’s the Pits! Natural Deodorant

We would love to hear about your transition to natural deodorant. Please comment below!

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Creating Comfortable Moments

Create Comfortable Moments

Whether you work all week, run around with the kids, hustle between a few jobs, support and take care of your family, or a combination of everything, there is one thing for certain: You need to take time for yourself.

Especially as we get older, we need to do everything in our power to make ourselves comfortable. While we can’t always snuggle up by a fire under some cuddly blankets, there are a few changes we could make to bring more comfort to our lives.

Remember who you were before responsibilities
You loved running or hiking, maybe dancing in the rain. You stayed up all night to finish an amazing book. You laughed freely, you ate without counting calories, you spent $5 on a designer coffee. Take a moment to remember that person and pick one thing to rediscover that person again. Allow yourself some simplicity.

Dress in comfortable, confident clothesunnamed_36__94347-1458005261-1280-1280
Let go of your pumps, your Spanx, and your slacks. Buy yourself some fun and inexpensive leggings! (For leggings, I am obsessed with Legging Army – they are buttery soft and come in so many different styles and sizes). Pick up your favorite pair of boots, throw on your leggings with a flowy tunic, adorn with a long necklace (I happen to love Origami Owl), and you have a gorgeous outfit that makes you feel comfortable and beautiful.

Take care of your well-being
To find happiness and comfort, you have to set aside time to take care of all parts of self: Your mind, your body, and your soul. If any of these parts are lacking, you will feel unbalanced and dissatisfied. Take 20 minutes every day to meditate. Light a candle, draw a bubble bath, take a steamy shower, do some yoga, anything that will get you in touch with how you’re feeling. If things seem overwhelming, there is nothing wrong with asking for help. Getting a Life Coach is an extremely powerful force in helping you find your well-being. I highly recommend Donna DeRosa Coaching.

Take in some nature
There’s a reason the greatest philosophers and authors of our past would write about flowers and sunlight, why they would walk through the woods for inspiration. Psychology Today calls this “ecotherapy,” and they explain that spending time in nature actually helps people battling depression. If you have a park nearby, go for a walk, or spend time tending your garden. Even something simple as stepping outside or gazing out of a window can create moments of comfort and calm.

How do you create comfortable moments?

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Hacks for Candle Lovers

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You might be thinking – What kind of hacks could there be for candles? Don’t you just light it and make sure you don’t burn the house down? While candle safety is of the utmost importance, this list is for candle lovers who know there’s always a better way to do everything.

Tip #1 – Get yourself a beautifully fragrant soy candle!

  • Trimming your wick to 1/4 inch between burns will reduce the size of your flame which will make your candle burn more slowly and last longer.
  • Trimming your candle wick to 1/4 inch between burns will reduce soot and wick “mushrooming,” creating a cleaner burn.
  • Candles will burn longer and drip less if placed in a freezer for an hour before burning.
  • Don’t burn your fingers trying to light a candle that is hard-to-reach, instead, light up a piece of spaghetti and use it to light the candle.
  • If your candle starts to make a “tunnel” (middle is lower than sides), use a hairdryer to heat the side wax until the candle is even.
  • Need more light from your candle? Place the candle next to a mirror to reflect double the light.
  • If it feels like the candle is losing some of its fragrance, wait until the candle is cool and use a plastic spoon to scrape off a thin layer of wax from the top.
  • Reuse your Bath, Body, Candle Moments candle jar by scraping out the wick at the bottom. After a thorough and sanitized washing (1 part bleach to 5 parts water and absolutely no residue), the glass can be used as a drinking glass, a mini-planter, a pen/pencil holder, and more.
  • To clean up spilled soy wax, use a hairdryer to make the wax liquid again, then use a cleaning wipe to wipe it right off.
  • Extinguish a candle with a snuffer for hardly any smoke. No snuffer? Use a pot cover.
  • Feeling stressed? Watching the flame of a candle and breathing in the fragrance for 15 minutes can calm your mind and relieve tension.

Have any other tips or tricks for candle lovers? We can’t wait to hear it!

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Your Pain is Your Gift: Create Positive Moments

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For the fourth time, I had the pleasure of listening to Dr. Michael Fowlin give his motivational speech. While much of his speech, which includes numerous improvisations, has remained the same over the years, his direction has slightly changed to become much more open, raw, real, and honest. While discussing his childhood trauma, he administers this powerful message: Your Pain is Your Gift.

He explained how everything he endured (and he really did suffer quite a bit) made him into the compassionate person he is today. It drove him to get his doctoral degree in psychology where he works especially with troubled teens. He turned his pain into a place of empathy, caring, and love.

We have all suffered; it is the plight of humanity, but the trick, as Dr. Fowlin explains, is to turn your pain into your gift.

  1. Become the friend you wish you had. The most powerful gift you could give someone is your friendship. If you have ever suffered the betrayal of false friends or felt the coldness of loneliness, the best way to turn that moment around is to be a friend to someone else. Offer another person exactly what you were denied. You will feel a surge of compassion which will ignite your faith in other people again.
  2. Speak up when something is wrong. It’s painful to look back and believe you could have done something but didn’t. It’s painful to know someone could have spoken up for you but didn’t. Turn your moment of fear into a moment of bravery. Be the voice for someone who is silenced. You have the power to create beautiful, positive change; trust your heart.
  3. Tell someone he/she is beautiful. There are so many expectations of attractiveness in this world, it’s easy to always feel inadequate. We’re too fat, too short, too ugly – we never seem to be enough. But we are enough. We are far more than enough. Take your moment of insecurity and tell someone else how absolutely beautiful you know he/she is.
  4. Send an anonymous gift. Sometimes we fill the voids of our sadness with stuff. Sometimes we feel pangs of emptiness because we are without. In either circumstance, rise above your sense of self and send another person a gift. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, but knowing that person will open a package to find something beautiful…but more so, to open up the package understanding someone else thought of him/her – you create a moment of gratitude.

The challenge here is to understand your own pain and not compare it to others. Your pain is your own and it is valid. People may want to diminish your pain by saying it isn’t that bad, or stating that others have it worse – this isn’t fair – your pain is yours.

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But your pain is your gift. You are not alone in this journey of life. We all have periods of anger and grief, but turn your sorrow into a gift for others. Give exactly what you would have needed. Take your moment to feel your pain, and then take your moment to make the world better. You are a gift.

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Bath Bomb 2.0 – “Me Time” Mixable Fizzing Bath Powder

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About six years ago, I was on vacation and made my way into a bath and body store that I had never visited before and I discovered the Bath Bomb.” The store was offering a demonstration and I was in love: Grown-up bubble bath! I spent an inordinate amount of money that day on those luxurious little bites of bath heaven. The fragrances, the colors, everything was amazing.  When I finally used up my stash, I needed to order them online. I couldn’t wait to open the box, and to my grave disappointment, half of them were smashed. The store had excellent customer service and promptly offered me a refund, but I was bummed.

Fast forward to last year, I was asked to create Bath Bombs as part of my regular collection. Learning new recipes has always come easy to me, so I bought the materials and got to work. I was wrong. I tried every recipe that I was given, scoured bath and body groups, studied the masters, but I could not get these guys to stick together. I went through about 25 batches before I finally had six bath bombs that stuck together, and you know what, it was my own recipe. I had the same glorious feeling as the day I made Thanksgiving Dinner for 100 people.

Now making bath bombs have become second nature to me. I even private label bath bombs for several indie companies, popping out a hundred at a time, all by hand. But almost every time I ship bath bombs, my heart sinks because they often get crushed in the mail, despite whatever I do.  Plus, it always bothered me that the bath bomb was a one-and-done type of deal. I figured, there has got to be a better way!

So I invented “Me Time” Mixable Fizzing Bath Powder.

Me Time Mixable Fizzing Bath Powder

The benefits of “Me Time” Mixable Fizzing Bath Powder:

  • Pour however much powder you want into your bath; a lot, a little, it all depends on your mood.
  • Scents and colors are chosen so you can purchase a few bags and mix and match to create your own. For example, in the video below, I mixed honey-scented with peppermint-scented to create my own sweet and fresh combination.
  • The bags are completely resealable, keeping the powder fresh and ready-to-use for another few baths!
  • You never have to worry about it getting crushed in the mail.
  • It’s packed with beautiful colors, fragrances, and skin-nourishing oils & clays to make your bath completely luxurious.
  • New colors and fragrances will be added to give you the opportunity to customize your bath in whatever way you imagine.
  • The powder could be used in the shower if you want some gentle exfoliation and gorgeous fragrance. Just scoop some and rub!  (Be sure to keep the bag away from moisture, or the powder will activate.)

“Me Time” Mixable Fizzing Bath Powder is a complete upgrade to the bath bomb. YOU have the power to create the bath you want, making it a perfect moment for “Me Time.”

In fact, we know you’re going to love “Me Time” so much, we’re offering 15% off your first purchase of “Me Time” with code 15OFFMETIME.

 

I still love bath bombs, and we’ll still keep quite a few in our line, but “Me Time” is a great way to experience a new style of bath!

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