Friday, May 10, 2013

Trouble in Paradise

It seemed like paradise the first day that I was able to make soap in my newly built soap shop. Some of you shared in the excitement as we posted photos of the construction progress on our Facebook Page. And I've been happily creating in my little soapy sanctuary. But then...........


And with in a few weeks time summer like temps came barging through the doors, windows, ceiling, EVERY WHERE!!! There was trouble in paradise! Big trouble!!! Whatever the temp was outside, it was on average 10 degrees hotter inside my shop. My soapy sanctuary has become a soapmaker oven!!
Even after installing an air conditioner it reaches temps in the mid to high 80's by 1:00 or 2:00 in the afternoon!!

So if you've been wondering where all those promised restocks and new soaps are at..... Well, they're coming. Just slower than we had initially planned.

As I mentioned above, it's spring. And that means there is TON'S on work to be done! We do most of our living off the land. So there is the garden that needs to be put in. And we are starting from scratch this year at a new place so we're tilling a new plot, fencing, etc. There fishing that needs to be done so we can get it canned and frozen to be put up for winter. And then there soap to be made of which I am now limited to only making during the early hours of the morning or late at night when the shop is at a workable temperature.  Oh! And did I mention that Matt is also in school full time. I think that leaves 2 or 3 hours a night for sleeping some place in there. LOL!!

So all that said, please bare with us. I did get two more soaps done this morning before 11:00 am when the temp. in the shop started pushing 80 degrees. They are Green Magick and new summer strawberry-ish one. The website is open again, but with limited quantities. And a few items don't have pictures. They are coming. But I wanted to at least get the product up for you.

Thanks for all your support and patience!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Stand Tall - Having the courage to do the right thing.

Stand Tall from Rebecca Jane Rodriguez on Vimeo.

We are ALL the Crawford Family. At risk at any moment of being raped by a corporation such as TransCanada that our govt. has now given more rights that we have. We all know that it is insane to say that the Keystone XL pipeline is for the "good of the public after the spills we have seen in the residential zones these past few weeks. No! It's NOT good for the public. It's good for the greedy oil tycoons like Dick Cheney and George BushPlease stand in solidarity with the Crawford’s in any way that you can. Be a few dollars sent, or spreading the word of this heinous situation across this nation by sharing the information far and wide.
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Thursday, April 11, 2013

Thank You!! & Closing to Re-Stock

Our Spring Sale has ended and we are almost finished processing the mountain of orders. All will be shipped by this Saturday at the latest. Thank you all for making this our craziest, most insanely successful sale EVER!! And for all your support and patience while we've scrambled to process all your orders. We will now be closing the website so that we can focus our time on getting caught up on restocks. It will re-open and update you as soon as we are caught up :)

Thanks again for supporting this small family owned and operated business! We appreciate you all from the bottom of our hearts!!
Blessed Be,
Donna & Matt

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Spring Sale!! 20% Off Everything!

Hope this finds you all well and enjoying some warmer temperatures. We are in the thick of spring planting here. And busy blending and conjuring for summer scents. It will be here before we know it. And we need to clear out the shelves to make room. 

So for 1 week only we are having a website wide 20% off sale!! Starting today and ending next Saturday (April 6th). Everything, even items found on the Specials page!

On the Checkout page, under ' SUBTOTAL ', click on the ' + ' to the right of ' ADD COUPON ' . A box will appear for you to add the coupon code. Type in the code: OSTARA13 , your discount will be taken before you checkout. 

We wish you all a Blessed Holiday weekend, whichever holiday you and your family celebrate. 
Blessed Be,
Donna & Matt

Saturday, March 2, 2013

The Good, Bad & Ugly of All Natural Skin Care

So, it seems there's a new kid in town and I just have to say….

Desperate Much?? So much that you have to blatantly imitate LUSH??!! AND claim to NOT use any preservatives??
Sadly, the lack of originality of some soapmakers (and in this case I use that term VERY loosely) never ceases to astound me. But this one has to be about the most ballsy case of plagiarism I've ever seen. As someone who has been a victim of plagiarism many times, this kind of blatant disregard for another colleagues ingenuity and skill aggravates the hell out of me. All one has to do is bring up the LUSH USA website and compare the two and you will see the blatant similarities all the way down to the two companies Values/Mission Statements. Can you say "copy & paste"? And those "product photos"….really?? I've seen some wild Photoshopped stuff but these are really bad. Looks as if they've taken LUSH'S products photos and photoshopped right over the top of them. ::THUD:: *head desk*

Of course they also claim, "No yucky preservatives". I suspect that they actually ARE using a preservative and just aren't being truthful about it. Otherwise, how are they reaching this "global market" they claim to be reaching without a jar of their food laden lotion growing mold in it? Seriously? It can take up to 10 weeks for package to reach some out lying areas in the UK or Australia. And if they are not using a preservative then they're asking for disaster! Because those nifty little food laden lotions and creams are little traveling incubators for staph infection delivered "fresh" right to your door! Isn't that special!

Now, I know that there are consumers that will flock to imitators like this. But to me, it just shows how pathetic someone is that they can't or won't do the work themselves to come up with their own ideas and designs. They are just lazy leeches riding along on the success and hard work of another company. And worse they have no regard for the safety of their customer. And any savvy consumer would notice this and never purchase anything from them.

Ordinarily I wouldn't give my time to a new bath & body company. However, companies like this one and the claims they make hurt this industry and other companies such as myself. They give consumers false impressions regarding cosmetic ingredient safety with claims of "no yucky preservatives". Implying they have a safer product, when in fact these products are a walking time bomb. Lotions have WATER in them, and with this company FOOD. Then you stick your dirty hands into a JAR to scoop some out. WATER, FOOD and HANDS are DIRTY folks!!! Sorry to burst your sparkly bubble. But they all contain microorganisms that produce nasty and dangerous germs like Staph which can get into a teeny tiny cut or scratch and turn into an infection of epic proportions causing you to loose your entire freaking arm/leg what have you!! If you don't like parabens, then find a company that uses paraben and/or formaldehyde free preservatives. But do NOT take the risk of playing Russian Roulette with companies like these. I assure you, Staph is allot worse than .5% of a paraben free preservative in your lotion.

Above all else, be an educated consumer! Don't believe everything you read on the label. If it looks too good to be true, it's probably NOT true. Example: There is no such thing as NATURAL Strawberry Essential Oil. Or any other fruity or bakery smelling "natural" essential oil for that matter. And bright, neon colors can NOT be achieved NATURALLY! They can only be created in a lab, synthetically. And most have to be preserved with a paraben based preservative.

Don't fall for the marketing hype! According to the FDA, there is no actual definition of the term "natural" in application to skin care. So the term "all natural" is thrown around the skin care industry with wild abandon and no consequence. In the United States, any product that contains only 70% organic ingredients can be labeled as "made with organic ingredients". No matter that the other 30% of the ingredients might be surfactants, animal based emulsifiers, synthetic, paraben preserved dyes, hexane extracted or phthalate laced fragrances, etc.!

One of my biggest pet peeves is "organic honey". Now please tell me how you keep bees from visiting a non-organically grown flower. Think about that for minute…….You just can't do it!! It's almost comical to even try and visualize it. Little leaches on an entire colony of bees. Or a farmers standing around the hive grounding each bee that went outside "the zone". The point is that unscrupulous cosmetic, bath & body manufacturers, including handmade, are taking advantage of consumers by using buz words like "natural", "organic", preservative-free", because they know the consumer is rarely savvy about the regulations regarding these things. And the truth is, the FDA doesn't have the man power or the funds to go around checking the falsified labels of all these crooked companies.

Conversely, there are good and honest handmade skin care companies that take great pride and passion in their products. These artisans are educated in the latest industry standards and manufacturing practices. As well as being very knowledgeable in the use of natural ingredients in skin care. If your buying handmade, know your vendor (the company you buy from). Know their manufacturing practices. If they have a Youtube channel, watch their videos. You can learn allot from a video. Are they manufacturing in a clean environment? Are they wearing gloves while manufacturing? Are they "double-dipping" (using the same utensil to scoop from different containers thus cross contaminating those ingredients)? Is their hair contained/pulled back. Is food present? It shouldn't be. Are pets removed from the area? They should be. Google them. Search for reviews on their products, search Youtube for reviews. Do your homework. The public has set high standards for the food industry. Why should you as a consumer of Bath, Body and Cosmetics not set just as high if not higher of a standard for the manufacturing of products that will be used on the largest organ of your body? Love Yourself, Love Your Skin!

Copyright © 2013 by Donna R. Dimick

Thursday, February 28, 2013

Put A Little Magick in Your Spring Cleaning

Little Rituals to Banish Winter Blues!

by Kathy Bowden, Yahoo! Contributor Network

Many of us embark on cleaning sprees when the sunny weather returns in early spring, throwing open the windows and sweeping the dust and drear of winter away. In "olden days", a major spasm of cleaning was

Necessary to remove the accumulated soot of fires and candles and oil lamps - nowadays spring cleaning seems to be more about decluttering and transitioning seasonal clothes and home accessories. Here are a few little rituals to add a little magick to your spring cleaning!

Swept Away

First, open all the windows and doors, allowing the crisp spring breezes to blow away the stale, closed in air. Sprinkle some lavender buds on the carpets (you may want to test this in an inconspicuous spot if you have a pricy or rare carpet) and spray some homemade airspray throughout your rooms. Take a few moments to breathe the fresh air and pretty scents. Then vacuum the carpets and sweep the floors, imagining the negative energies filling your vacuum bag or your dustpan, ready to be tossed into the trash!

How do you make airspray? Simple! Fill a mister bottle ¾ full with white vinegar, add 1 teaspoon baking soda and 5-20 drops of your favorite essential oils. Once it has stopped bubbling, cap the bottle and spray away. My favorite at springtime is a mix of lavender and rosemary oils, and in fall or winter I adore combining sweet orange with a touch of clove and cinnamon oils...mmmm. Experiment until you find your favorite!

Beautiful, Inside and Out

Many of us tend to focus on external appearances, ignoring underpinnings to our detriment. And just as healthy diet and exercise are the keys to a fabulous figure and complexion, having organized closets and drawers are the keys to peace of mind. How? Well, you may not realize it consciously, but messy and cluttered closets are actually a drain on your energy every day! In feng shui, cluttered "insides" are considered to block energy flows and harbor negative energy. We don't want that - so perhaps it is time for an intervention?

It is easy to become discouraged when decluttering, so be sure to pick one closet, or one chest of drawers to work on. And you will work on it with intention, honoring the items within, selecting some items to stay and

Others to move onto another place. And whether that new place is a different storage space in your home, a charity donation, a hand-me-down, or simply the trash is up to you. Only you know best what to do with your items!

So put on some soft music, something gentle and soothing. Spray a bit of your airspray. And begin. Remove each item, thank it for its service, and select where it will go next. Spend the time to truly honor your memories with items you find hard to let go - perhaps taking photographs of treasures you no longer wish to keep, but do not want to entirely let go. Hurrying this process will only lead to putting too many items back!

Once you have cleared out your closet or drawers, clean them. Decide if new shelf paper or drawer liners are in order. Ponder possible new arrangements. And then begin to put away the items that will continue to reside in this space.

The hardest part? Packing up the items for charity, hand-me-downs and trash. Pack them up right away, and put them outside of your home immediately. The car is fine for the donations, but dropping them off is even better.

Now, breathe deeply. Gaze upon your newly arranged space. Appreciate it.

No more scary chemicals!

The bathroom can be a scary place: mold and mildew and germs, oh my! To many, the solution is to blanket the room in a layer of chemicals - but the fumes and residues are not a good thing! Oh no! What to do? Ahhh...Mother Nature has it all worked out. A few simple ingredients and you too can have a safe, aromatherapeutic cleaning session in the scariest room of the house!

First, open the windows -fresh and and UV light are the sworn enemy of many smells and slimy things that lurk and grow in the corners. Next, sprinkle baking soda (yes, that's right - baking soda!) in the tub, the sink and the toilet. Baking soda is a safe and effective scrubbing agent, with no bleach to worry about. Have a lot of grime and need a little more power? Add some white vinegar and voila! nature's own scrubbing bubbles! I actually had a problem once with a rental property - the shower had years of grime built up. I asked a plumber for a product recommendation, expecting some chemical powercleaner, and he told me he uses baking soda and vinegar! A paste of this applied to truly stubborn grime will slowly soften it so that you can scrub it away (and I do mean scrub!).

But what about the germs, you ask? Well, the white vinegar is a very mild germicide, but my secret weapon is tea tree essential oil! I put about 10 drops of this into the toilet to soak once a week, and I make a strong but gentle spray cleaner with 2 cups white vinegar, 20 drops tea tree essential oil and 20 drops rosemary essential oil. For kicks, I sometimes add lavender until it smells like a lovely day in the fields. This spray is antimicrobial, antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, antibacterial....and it will not injure the baby if it spills on her, although you will not want to drink it!

So where is the magick? Magick is about intention, about ritual. Open your windows, sprinkle, spray and scrub the dirt away. Rinse away soil and cares. Surround yourself and your loved ones with soft scents, shining surfaces and fluffy towels.

Finish with cleansing yourself! Run a bath in your clean tub, sprinkle a handful of sweet smelling herbs or a drop (or two) of scented oil, and perform the same "scrub and rinse" on yourself. Feel the cares of the day seep out of your muscles and skin and into the water. Rinse away the sorrows and the pains, allowing the light of spring to creep into your heart and soul - for what is a home but the reflection of our hearts and souls? Truly welcome the new season: the season of sunlight and gentle rains, of growing and blooming, or rebirth and renewal. Step out of the old and into the new.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Shampoo Bars back in stock!

Our Buds & Suds Shampoo bars are back in stock. They are great for normal to dry hair and are made with copious amount of olive and hemp oils and Guinness Irish Stout!

Hemp is high in vitamin E and essential fatty acids which prevent moisture loss and help soften the hair. It is a natural moisturizer and ideal for overall scalp health, preventing dryness and irritation. Great for winter use.

Olive oil destroys bacteria on the scalp and promotes the growth of new, healthy hair. It helps keep hair more manageable and provides sheen.

Scented with Patchouli (good for scalp disorders), Orange, Eucalyptus (treats skin fungus) and Ylang Ylang (balances skin sebum and hair, soothes dermatitis), essential oils.

Click HERE to purchase.