Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!!!

I hope everyone gets to spend the day with family and friends. May all your lives be filled with joy and love.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

I Couldn't Have Said It Better

I am very new to the small business world and the network on Indie Business Women who also produce some amazing products. I have spent a lot of time catching up on regulations, ingredients, and all the information that I need to be successful as a business owner and to produce safe products for my customers. I have followed the blogs of many successful and hard-working women. I have sifted through mounds of information to try and figure out what is true and what has a very one-sided spin on it. In doing so I have found many groups that are using information and research out of context and presenting it to the public in a way that makes the information downright scary. Many small business owners in the cosmetic industry are fighting these scare tactics by trying to present the information in a fair and honest light. I have also made several decisions for my company based on what I have learned and what other business owners have shared. I would like for everyone to read this blog entry that was posted by an indie business owner that is working hard to promote and protect small business.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Never Quit

As a new business owner, I definitely have times when I just want to bury my head and give up. I feel like I'm spinning my wheels and getting nowhere. I have those moments when I think I should just give up because it would so much easier to NOT run a business.

Then, I think about how much I really do enjoy what I do. Its not easy and I have made mistakes (and I can't even imagine how many are to come), but this is my dream. It is what I want to do. I want to run my own business. I want to grow my business, I want to have a store, I want a lot of things for myself and my business.

I have a vision for my business, so that is one step out of the way. Now, what I need to do is sit down and set my goals for the future. I know what I need to do and I know it is going to be very hard work. So, I will not quit, I will move forward. I will let go of the things I cannot control and take control of those that I can. I have the ability to reach my goals and make my business everything I want it to be and that is what I will do as I move forward with my own dream.

If you have your own dreams, chase them and don't give up until you reach them.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Whipped Body Butter

I made a new whipped body butter and it was amazing! I love the whipped texture and it just goes on so smooth. The tapioca starch is important because it helps to prevent the greasy feel you would otherwise get. I know the picture isn't great, but I had to use my camera phone because my other camera died:(

You need (by weight):
1 1/4 oz shea butter
3/4 oz cocoa butter
1/4 oz mango butter
3/4 oz macadamia nut oil
1 tsp tapioca starch

  1. Put all ingredients in a double boiler over low heat to SLOWLY melt ingredients.
  2. Once melted let it heat lightly for about 20 minutes. It is important to let the butters melt slowly and keep heating after they melt. This helps prevent a gritty feel.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool at room temperature. This may take a while, just be patient. Add any fragrance or essential oils at this point, I left mine unscented because I love the natural fragrance of the butters.
  4. Once a film starts to form on the surface, use a mixer to whip your mixture. I use a low to medium setting. Keep whipping until it looks light and has a whip cream texture.
  5. Once it is light a fluffy, put in a container of your choice. Clean and sterilized baby food jars are wonderful for homemade goodies that you plan to keep or give to a friend for a gift.
You can adjust this depending on the consistency you want. I like it to be a little softer, so I used less cocoa butter (which will make your butter pretty hard) and added extra oil. Play around with recipes until you get what you really like.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Cleanse

It is so important to clean our skin and we should try to do this twice a day. It is especially important to clean your skin after a long day wearing makeup, being exposed to outdoor toxins, and some sweating. A gentle cleanser made for your skin type will go a long way in helping your skin look its best.

For my face I use Honu Naturals Naked Shea Soap, its unscented and superfatted with shea butter. It has a rich soothing later and it is not at all drying to your skin like many commercial cleansers. The rest of my skin gets treated with a variety of my handcrafted soaps.

There are also a variety of soap free cleansers available to purchase, but be sure to read the ingredients list to avoid overly drying chemicals. Soap free cleansers or cream cleansers are great for drier or sensitive skin types. These will give you a deep clean without stripping your skin of valuable moisture. You can also make your own cleanser at home with ingredients from your cupboard. Check out my recipe section or visit www.makeyourowncosmetics.com for some great ideas. The most important thing is to find a cleanser that is right for your skin type and you will enjoy more vibrant skin.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Parabens

The Good:
Parabens are a group of preservatives that are used by the cosmetic industry to protect products against bacterial and fungal activity. Parabens offer companies a low cost way to protect their products for deterioration and protect their customers from nasty growths in the products they buy. Parabens have a long history of safe use and have been proven effective, unlike some "natural preservatives" such as grapefruit seed extract. Parabens are derived from benzoic acid. Benzoic acid is a chemical commonly found in plants. So, to some extent, parabens are “natural”. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review has decided in two separate reviews that parabens were safe at up to 25% concentration. Parabens are used in very small concentrations (.01-.3%) causing absolutely no reason for concern for most people. Plus, any product not properly preserved will have a short-shelf life, which means that the consumer may not have the product long before it goes bad. Parabens are among the most effective and cost-effective preservatives available.

The Bad:
A study done in the UK showed that parabens were found in breast cancer tissue, which led many groups to link the use of parabens to the risk of breast cancer. Parabens are metabolized into an estrogen-mimicking compound and estrogen is also linked to the development of breast cancer. There is also a concern that rinse-off products such as shampoos and conditioners that contain parabens pose a threat to the environment because these estrogen-mimicking compounds get into our water and food sources. These compounds are then ingested and can disrupt hormonal acitivity in males and females of all ages.

The Unknown:
The truth is that we really don't know if the information found by the UK study means anything. The study did not show that parabens had a causal effect, plus the parabens were found in very low concentrations. Parabens can also naturally be found in foods we eat, so there was no proof that the parabens found came from cosmetics. It is also necessary to point out that deodorants and antiperspirants do not contain parabens and many groups have decided that these cause breast cancer too. Other studies have shown that the effect of parabens was 10,000-100,000 times weaker than our own estriadiol and this was only seen when very high levels of parabens were used.

My Conclusion:
There is no solid evidence to suggest that parabens are not safe for human use, comsumption, or the environment. I do think its prudent to err on the side of caution. However, if the choice is between endangering comsumers by a known risk of bacteria and fungus that WILL grow in a product that is not properly preserved; or using a preservative that has yet to be proven harmful; I have to say I would prefer the preservative. I will say I chose a different preservative and I pay more for it, but I don't shy away from products with parabens either.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Stratton Elementary Show

Friday December 4th 6-8 pm
Saturday December 5th 9-4pm

2460 Paseo Road
Colorado Springs, CO 80907

Come out and join me for my last show of the holiday season.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

The Soap Queen Makes Melt and Pour Soap

I LOVE Anne-Marie's blog and her company. I get a lot of my supplies from Brambleberry and have yet to be disappointed. I also love reading her blog and watching her videos. I like this video because she discusses the difference between fragrance and essential oils. I don't do melt and pour anymore because I have SO much fun with cold process, but you can be very creative with it. I hope you like her video. Visit Soap Queen TV on you tube for more videos. Be sure to check out her blog too.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Gentle Face Scrub/Wash

This is perfect for anyone with sensitive skin. My skin felt clean, but not dry. Plus, my skin was glowing from the nice exfoliation.

1/4 tsp blue cornmeal (use the blue it is much finer)
1/4 tsp milk powder (I used goat's milk powder, but you could substitute whole milk or goat's milk if you don't have the powder. Use a bit more and don't add water if you do this.)
1/4 tsp kaolin clay
1/4 aritha powder (also known as soapnut, but this is optional)

Add just enough warm water to make a thick paste. Gently massage face, remember GENTLY is key, your face is very delicate. Avoid the eye area. Rinse well and pat dry. Follow with your favorite toner and moisturizer.

Friday, November 27, 2009

I Do Not Question My Worth

This used to be a huge problem for me. I wasn't good enough to do this or that, so I just didn't try. After all, it was better to not try, than to try and fail. I can't tell you the number of things I never did or never tried because I new I wasn't good enough or I wasn't worthy. I had a friend in junior high that tried out of cheerleading. She wasn't super skinny or super popular and when during her tryout she messed out and landed on her face in front of the entire school. The entire school started laughing and she had hurt herself when she fell. BUT, she got up and she finished her routine. She didn't question her own worth, she believed in herself and she did what she wanted to do. She didn't make it, but she TRIED.

I see young girls and boys (and plenty of adults) that don't know their own worth. They don't believe in themselves enough to even try. They already believe they will fail, so they give up before starting. Well guess what folks, FAILURE TEACHES SUCCESS. We learn more from what we do wrong than what we do right. It is time we stopped doubting ourselves.

Fl!p: I KNOW MY VALUE!!!
I know what I am worth now. I decided to do a triathlon and I did two of them. I ran a marathon. I know runners that don't think they could do that, but I did it. If you don't think you can, then you probably can't. Life is about perspective. When you stop looking at everything as an obstacle or just one more thing you can't do, you will be amazed at what you accomplish! The world is full of opportunities and learning experiences, you just have to keep your eyes open and flip your thinking.

If you are interested in more ideas visit www.flipyourthinking.com

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

I won't get on here tomorrow, so I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving early. I am truly thankful for everything in my life. I have great family and friends. I have a job and my business. Things are not perfect, but they rarely are. What is important is that we take time to see the good things around us; instead of focusing on the bad.

I'll be busy tomorrow making cornbread stuffing, ham, pecan pie, cranberry sauce, and black eyed peas. I don't really like turkey, green bean casserole, or sweet potatoes, so that is off the menu! What are your favorite holiday treats?

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Acne Soap

I went to Whole Foods yesterday to get some herbs for the acne soap I'm making. I'm going to use calendula, comfrey, nettle, and rosemary to infuse in some of my oils. I will use coconut, soybean, olive, perilla, and witch hazel as part of my water. Then, I think I will add tea tree, rosemary, and maybe peppermint essential oils. We'll see how it turns out I guess, but if nothing else, it will smell really good.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Orange Ginger Soap

I love this soap, it contains fresh grated ginger. I added a little orange essential oil and the soap is just amazing. I use a base of 25% coconut and 25% palm (probably more than I needed, but I was low on other oils, so time for a trip to the store), 45% soybean, canola, olive blend (you know whatever I have on hand), and 5% shea. I did not discount my water because I wanted to do a hot process, I wanted to use less orange eo. I used 1/2 oz grated ginger/lb oils (I made sure to get the fresh juice too).

I used my crockpot on low setting to slowly melt my oils and then added my lye solution. I used a stick blender and added the ginger at light trace (because I hate trying to mix in additions after it cooks) and continued blending until thick trace. I covered and left sitting on low heat.

Ok, that went as planned, but when I checked it after 30 min to stir, it looked perfect and apparently, I thought I should turn the heat off. To be honest, I don't remember doing it, but as the heat was off, I must have. So, I stirred and let it sit another 30 min. It looked just like it should, like a thick gel, so I tongue tested it and there was no zap. By the way, soap tastes horrible, even with ginger in it. I went to turn the heat off and found it was already off! This really wouldn't have been a problem for the soap, it could be salvaged, but if it hadn't already been hot enough and retained that heat, I could have been zapped big time. I guess luck was with me though.

Since the soap was well cooked, I added my orange essential oil and poured into mold. So you know, the soap was actually cool enough for me to smooth out by hand! Oh, it could have gone so wrong! I peeked at it this morning before rushing off to work and it looks great, I can't wait to cut it this afternoon. I have several people that LOVE the orange ginger, I've been told then fresh ginger makes it lightly tingly for your skin.

I love the smell and it does feel great, but I think my favorite is still my chocolate mint or pumpkin spice. What's your favorite soap? Do you have anything fun that you like to add?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Foster Kitten

Well, I got another foster kitten, but this time I only got ONE. I did not get talked into a litter or two. He's tiny, just over 1 pound when he came home Saturday. He's also very sweet, so I know that the people who had him were caring for him. Although, I'm thinking they carried him everywhere because he expects to be carried or to ride on your shoulder. Now, like I said, he's only a pound, so its not a problem and he's really quite cute. But, does anyone see this being a problem when he's a full grown cat and expects to perch on your shoulder? He is also being a picky eater, he doesn't want the dry food or the wet food. It also is not cute that while I was eating dinner he kept jumping on my lap and trying to get food off my plate. One, claws hurt when used to climb up your leg and two, that's just bad manners. So, he has a few bad habits that need to be broken, but he is very friendly and very playful. I'm just hoping he starts eating more soon. The faster he gains weight, the faster he gets to go out for adoption and find a permanent home.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

My First Milk and Honey Soap

I decided that I would like to make a milk and honey soap and I wanted to experiment with using less coconut and palm oils. So, I created my recipe and set to work. Everything was going perfectly until I poured my lye solution and little undissolved lye crystals went into the mix. AHHHHH! I didn't know what to do, but decided to continue. I stirred until trace and poured into the mold. It worked out beautifully, no overheating, no burning the milk, just so perfect, except...

Of course the next morning, there were spots of lye! So, I decided to rebatch it. Why not? If it doesn't work out I can trash it, but I'm not one to give up easily. So, I shredded up my otherwise perfect soap and put it in my crock pot on low. I added just a little more milk because I had discounted my liquid anyway and I wanted to make sure all the lye dissolved. After 2 hours of heating, my soap was completely melted and no signs of lye crystals. In fact, it looked downright beautiful. I scented it with rosemary and peppermint essential oils and poured it into a mold.

I didn't have time to check it this morning before work, so I don't know how it looks. Right now all I can do is cross my fingers and hope. I will say that my attempt at rebatching seemed to go smoothly, so I'm a little concerned :)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Liberty High School Craft Show

This Saturday, I'll be at Liberty HS for another show. I'm excited! I'll be having a Soap Sale! All of my older batches will be on sale for $1.50/bar. They are still feel wonderful, but I don't like the way they are cut, so I'm clearing them out.

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

National Pizza With The Works Except Anchovies Day

Apparently Nov 12th is a day meant to exclude anchovies from our diet. I really love pizza, I know we shouldn't because it is usually swimming in fat and grease, but YUM! I really don't like lots of veggies on my pizza, mainly because I don't like mushy veggies, so I wouldn't want the works to begin with. BUT, why must we exclude anchovies?! I once got a pizza with anchovies on it by mistake and it was absolutely the most disgusting thing I've ever tasted, but I still don't see why they need to be excluded. There are plenty of people out there that DO like anchovies, I don't know any personally, but they must exist because anchovies are an option. If nobody ever ordered them, they wouldn't be offered! So, I think we need to take a moment to recognize the fact that anchovies are being picked on and that could have a profound impact on the anchovy industry.

If you love pizza and would like to try making your own, here is my favorite recipe for BBQ chicken pizza:
Pizza crust mix (I like Jiffy cause its cheap and easy)
BBQ sauce
Shredded cheese
Chicken (cubed and cooked)
Artichokes (canned hearts)
Spinach (fresh)

Prepare crust as directed. Spread a thin layer of bbq sauce over crust. Sprinkle with cheese (save calories, go easy on the cheesy). Add toppings and bake as directed.

I've also done an alfredo pizza (not at all healthy) and pineapple and canadian bacon. Be creative and have fun with it.

If you have a really good one, let me know, I'm always looking for something new to try!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Unprofessional?

This past weekend I participated in a Toy Drive Fundraiser to benefit Christmas Unlimited and I had a great time. I met some awesome ladies and I had a good time promoting my product. I was also located across the aisle diagonally to the Lemongrass Spa lady. This did not bother me at all, we both have different products. The products are similar, but there are different scents and I could really go on, but I won't.

I had a lady stop at my table to smell my soaps (which are sooo good) and she asked what the difference between my products and the Lemongrass products is. My response was this: "My products are handcrafted by me, which gives me the freedom to make what I want, when I want. I also get to experiment and if I come up with a great idea, I can start selling it right away; where a larger company like Lemongrass would take more time getting it produced and out to the public. Other than that, our products are similar, we have a similar idea, and a similar committment to give our customers great products. We do offer different scents and different choices in products, so between the two of us, you are sure to find what you want."

The woman looked a little taken aback at my answer. I don't know if she was expecting me to bash Lemongrass or what, but I'm sure that my response was not what was expected. I think I handled the question well and honestly. I can truly say that Lemongrass produces some wonderful products and while I'll admit I'm biased and think my stuff is better; I did not mind being near the other woman at the show. I think it was great that we were both able to have a variety of products there and that variety helped to serve a greater number of people.

Has anyone else ever been put in a situation like that? I mean, was the woman honestly looking for an answer or was trying to see if I would behave unprofessionally? Maybe I just haven't been doing enough shows and that question is quite common, I just don't know.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Water Discount in Soap

I read about how you can discount the amount of water you use in a batch of soap so it will get harder, faster. I tried this for the first time a couple of days ago when I was making my chocolate mint soap (which turned about beautifully, my swirls are much nicer). I didn't really think it could make that big of a difference, but the difference was amazing.

I made a batch of my lavender chamomile soap and my chocolate mint soap on Sunday. I discounted the water for the chocolate mint, but not the lavender. Monday I unmolded and started cutting, the chocolate mint soap was already pretty hard, but the lavender soap was quite a bit softer. It was much easier to cut, but it also mushed easier so I had to be very careful about moving the bars.

I checked on the today and the chocolate mint bars are very nice, you would honestly think they have already been curing for 1-2 weeks not 2 days. They will of course sit and cure the full month, but I'm very excited by this. I worried that something horrible would happen when I mixed the lye or it would do something funny when I was mixing, but I had no problems. I love the results and think that I will start doing this with more of my batches.

By the way, my soaps look and smell AMAZING! I get so excited every time I make a new batch, even if its a recipe I've been doing for awhile.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Don't Forget One Stop Shop TODAY!

The Multi-Purpose Bldg
1025 Ford St, 80915
10am - 4pm

Bring a new toy or a cash donation to benefit Christmas Unlimited.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

No More Criticizing

This is something we all do and we are harder on ourselves than we are on others. I don't think there is anything wrong with having higher expectations for ourselves, but there is something wrong with putting ourselves down. You know what I mean, we do something we swore we wouldn't do and then we beat ourselves up over it. I wasn't going to eat that next piece of pumpkin bread, I meant to work out and I can't believe I didn't. Really, the list just goes on. I know I'm not perfect. I need to lose weight, I need to learn to balance everything better, and I need to spend more time with friends and family.

I do work at all of this and sometimes I slip up, I eat things I shouldn't, I don't get things done, and I just don't keep in touch. What do I do when this happens? I beat myself up. I can spend days thinking to myself "YOU ARE SUCH AN IDIOT, WHY CAN'T YOU JUST DO WHAT YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO. ITS NOT LIKE ITS THAT HARD!!!!" Wow, that solved...nothing.

FL!P: I Simply ACCEPT
This is what I need to do. I need to accept that I am not perfect and move on. Sure, I still need to work on my problems, but that doesn't mean bringing myself down. Especially since I'm an emotional eater. I need to accept myself for what I am, excess weight and all, and set goals to change what I want to change. I need to accept that mistakes will happen and I will have set backs, but that doesn't make me an idiot or a failure. I need to accept that I can reach my goals and continue to work towards them. I know in my heart I can be successful and now I am accepting that I will be successful and there will be roadblocks for me to overcome.

I will overcome them because I expect good things.

I hope everyone else will do the same for themselves. Accept what is and move on with your life. Don't beat yourself down because of what you didn't do; lift yourself up because of all the great things you have done. Can you go forward and accept more and criticize less? I'm going to try.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sleep

Ah sleep, how we all need sleep and so many of us don't get enough. When we rest we allow our bodies to recover and rejuvenate, but when we deny ourselves the sleep we need it will show up on the surface. Lack of sleep can lead to puffy eyes, sagging, lackluster skin, dull hair, and other emotional problems.

I know with kids, jobs, and everything else we do, it is very hard to fit in enough sleep. I don't have kids, but I do have a full-time job and a business to run. I know exactly what its like to have too much to do. It is so tempting to just stay up a little late to get a few more things done. But, I have learned how it effects me to do that. I am grumpy, irritable, and I just don't look or perform my best. So, take care of yourself and get the sleep you need.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

One Stop Shop Toy Drive

I am in a toy drive fundraiser this weekend to benefit Christmas Unlimited here in Colorado Springs. Christmas Unlimited provides toys and other Christmas goodies to needy families in the area and they are expecting to need more toys than last year! Please come out and support this awesome event. 30 vendors will be available for you to do your Christmas shopping and everyone has donated gift certificates. That's over $600 in certificates and all we ask is that you bring a new, unwrapped toy.

When: Sat, Nov 7th from 10-4

Where: The Multipurpose Bldg @ 1025 Ford St 80915 (east of Powers of Galley & Ford)

Why: Help provide Christmas to underprivileged families

Monday, November 2, 2009

Website is UP!!!

I know I've been saying its coming, but my website is finally up. We had a few minor glitches and photos to get done, but it is up and running. I'm so excited and I think it looks AWESOME! We are still working out some of the kinks and links, but go check it out and let me know what you think.
www.honunaturals.com and if you happen to notice any issues, please let me know.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

BooBees Display

I know it could use some improvements, but I like my BooBees display. This was from the TCA show I did this weekend. It was not a huge success, but I made several good contacts and sold some of my products, so it was not a waste of time.

I'm looking for some different material to make a table cloth out of and I think I found what I want, I just have to get it. But, I have other things I need to buy first. I have to say getting started is hard, I always need something else right after I place an order.

Any other suggestions or ideas for my BooBees products. Keep in mind, this is just one little mini table, I have another table with the rest of my products on it. I would love suggestions for that too!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Paradise Fizzing Tub Treats

I like taking a bath with oils in it. You just step out feeling good. Your skin is soft, you are relaxed, and you smell better too. I also really like fizzing bath bombs. I have not yet created any, they are on my list, but it just hasn't happened. So, I decided to make some treats for my bath that are fizzy and have oils in them. These smell so good and my skin feels amazing after my bath.

I used unrefined coconut oil to give them a nice tropical island scent and some mango butter so they didn't melt too easily. I then added baking soda and citric acid for some fizzy fun. I also added some honey powder and milk powder because we all deserve it. When I think of paradise I think of salt, so a little sea salt went in. My final touch was lime essential oil and a splash of spearmint. I did all my measurements with a tablespoon. I used 4 tbsp of each oil and a total 12 tbsp of dry ingredients. Its up to you for what you want in it. You can also add a tbsp or 2 of natrasorb.

Melt your oils together, mix with dry ingredients. It should be a thick paste. I used flexible silicone molds in the shape of fish and shells, then I popped them in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Remove, unmold and allow to sit out before putting in a container to avoid condensation.

I love these, they are so much fun! I think I might even take them to my next show to see how others respond!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pumpkin Face Mask

I used the recipe I posted on making pumpkin puree and used some of it for a pumpkin face mask. Most went into pumpkin bread, but I saved a bit for some pampering. I loved it and pumpkin is so good for your skin. It contains vitamins A, C, and E, plus its rich in zinc, potassium, and alpha-hydroxy acids!

You need:
2 tbsp pumpkin puree
1 tbsp heavy cream
1 tbsp colloidal oatmeal
1/2 tbsp kaolin clay

You can adjust the oatmeal or cream depending on the consistency you like.

Smooth on clean, dry skin and let it sit for 15 minutes. Rinse well and follow with your favorite toner and moisturizer.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Aha Moment

I received this comment and was asked to spread the word. I'm happy to do whatever is needed to help educate all women about the importance of regular exams.

On the subject of breast cancer awareness and, specifically, feeling your boobies, I'd love you to check out this 30 sec video -- http://www.ahamoment.com/vote/leigh -- about the "aha moment" of the woman who started the Feel Your Boobies t-shirt company. If you like it, vote for it with a simple click, as the top vote-getters in this final round of the contest will be used as aha moment TV commercials next year. And more exposure and awareness would be a good thing.

Last thing -- voting ends Oct 31.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Vista Grand Show

I had an awesome show on Saturday!!! Some people were complaining that it was slow and maybe the sales weren't super high, but I got to really talk up my products and chat with the amazing crafters around me. Plus, I traded some Honu products for a little glass turtle pendant. I'm going to make a black hemp chain for it. But, what I'm most excited about...I booked my first home show. We are going to do a Pedi-Cure party! I'm so very happy to have another portion of my business getting started.

My BooBees soap and lip balms were a hit! I had so many compliments on how good the soap smelled and how great it is that I'm doing something like that. All I have to say is that we all know someone that has been affected by breast cancer and we all have the power to do something. I did not end up putting up my Feel Your Boobies sign, it was at a church after all.

There were so many great crafters and I got the chance to talk to lots of them. I think next time I will take my camera to take pictures and put them up here. I have to tell you, there was some great stuff. There was also a very nice older gentleman who was giving away little wooden crosses and things like that for FREE. He said he just wanted to share the Lord with everyone that was interested. How wonderful is that!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Remember Bonfire

Help raise money for the Bonfire Memorial Scholarship Fund. Visit http://www.rememberbonfire.org/



Remember Bonfire

I am an Aggie. I'm proud to be an Aggie and I already know all the jokes. I love Aggieland. There is something about that campus that is simply beautiful. It will always be in my heart. Maybe it was going to Silver Taps to honor students that had died. Maybe it was Muster that honored all Aggies that die during the year. I spent 4 years in the Corps of Cadets, so maybe it was the oldest and best tradition. I will tell you that few people ever love their school as much as Aggies love Texas A&M. There are truly no strangers amongst Aggies.

On November 18, 1999 tragedy struck my beloved school. Bonfire fell during the early morning hours of push, which is round the clock stack (building) and it took 12 of my fellow Aggies with it. You cannot imagine the atmosphere of the ENTIRE campus that day. I do not believe that any other school could have pulled together the way we did. The support and love shown was beyond amazing and it made me that much more proud to call myself an Aggie.

This year is the 10th anniversary of that tragedy and across the world Aggies will remember what happened to their Aggie family. Please take a moment to remember those we lost.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

No More Being TENSE!!!

Yesterday I looked at my bank account and YIKES!!! I had $20 in there. I knew this month was going to be tight because I don't get my first paycheck yet and all my business income is going towards show fees, supplies, and sales taxes are due. But, WOW talk about a time to panic. I thought one bill had already cleared and it hadn't, so my math was off. I really did go in to total panic mode: WE NEED FOOD, WE NEED GAS, THE DOG NEEDS FOOD, WHAT IF I FORGOT TO WRITE SOMETHING ELSE DOWN, AHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Time to FL!P my thinking: I breathe.

Ok, so now I've taken a few (hundred) deep breaths. I'm calmer. I can look at this rationally and be positive, we can eat the dog. Problem solved. Haha, just kidding, she's old and probably stringy. The dog doesn't need food yet, so I can buy that after payday. We have enough gas to wait until payday. We did have to go get food, but we only spent $20 on the credit card and that will last us through payday.

I did panic and I was very tense about the whole situation. While I am glad payday is only a few days away, it really didn't do any good to worry. Worrying won't solve my problems, but it will keep me from enjoying today and the time I have with the people I treasure.

Can you relate? Let me know, I'm always looking for comments!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pumpkin Spice Soap

Here they are!!!
The picture kinda washes them out, they are more orange than that. Please forgive my paper box background. My table is being used in preparation of my upcoming craft shows.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

National Feel Your Booies Week


Oct 9-16th, 2009-Share with a friend, you might save their life!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

☥Vamptastic Halloween Scent Event!☾-Blue Moon Candles

I have to post this because it is just too cool! Blue Moon Candles has some new Halloween fragrances which sound amazing, but its the packaging that really gets me. I just can't get tell you how creative I think it is. I know plenty of people do caskets for Halloween, but I've honestly never seen it used for packaging like this.

Check it at: http://bluemooncandles.wordpress.com/2009/10/07/%E2%98%A5vamptastic-halloween-scent-event%E2%98%BE/

They are having a contest too, if you are interested. I am completely interested, so good luck to me!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Fountain Fort Carson HS Craft Show

When: Oct 31st; 9am to 4 pm

Where: Fountain Fort Carson High School; 900 Jimmy Camp Road, 80817

Come out and get some Halloween treats for yourself before taking the kiddos out for theirs.

Vista Grande Show

When: Oct 17th; 8am to 3 pm

Where Vista Grande Baptist Church; 5680 Stetson Hills Blvd, 80917

Come out and join me for my first craft show of the holiday season!

Pumpkin Puree

Source: http://www.gingerbreadsnowflakes.com/node/99

I use pumpkin in soap and skin care, but I would love to be able to make my own pumpkin instead of buying the cans! I going to go to pumpkin patch this weekend (provided it isn't snowing).

It is pumpkin harvest time! Meet my pumpkin harvest! My one and only pumpkin! The perfect size for a pumpkin pie!

Pumpkin pie is the EASIEST pie to make! Simply whisk together a few ingredients with pumpkin puree, pour into a pie shell and bake! ANYONE, armed with a whisk, bowl, and a pie plate (with home made or ready-made pie crust) can make a pumpkin pie!

I have even included my recipe for Diane's favorite pie at the bottom of the post so you will have no excuse to avoid making one! (Unless, of course - GASP!@*#%??!! - you don't like pumpkin pie!

But first I want to show you how easy it is to make your own pumpkin puree!

You can use canned pumpkin puree, but why not pick up a lovely little sugar pumpkin while you are at the farm this month picking out the perfect candidate for your jack-o-lantern! Believe it or not, canned pumpkin puree is usually not made from pumpkins but rather other squash family members more suited to commercial canning.

So, if you are feeling adventurous, try roasting your own pumpkin for pie! If not - there are millions of cans of puree on the shelves right now!

To Roast your pumpkin:

1. Select a SUGAR PUMPKIN about 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Do NOT try to roast your jack-o-lantern! The pulp is way too watery for a pie.

2. Cut pumpkin in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. (Use the seeds for snacks or for stringing necklaces.)

3. Line a rimmed cookie sheet with foil and spray the surface with Pam.

4. Place the pumpkin halves, cut side down, on the cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees for approximately one hour.

5. Using a couple spatulas, turn the squash over and let cool on the cookie sheet until cool enough to handle.

6. Scoop the flesh out of the shell into a food processor.

7. Process until the mixture is totally smooth.

Like this!

8. If your processor has a large enough capacity, you can finish mixing your filling right in the processor bowl. If not, transfer the processed pumpkin to the mixing bowl as instructed below in the recipe.

9. Pureed pumpkin can be used in muffins, pancakes and soups. I usually bake several sugar pumpkins at a time and freeze in one cup containers for use throughout the winter.

Recipe for Diane's Favorite Pumpkin Pie

This recipe has been adapted from the pumpkin pie recipe which appeared on the back of Libby's pumpkin puree when she was a very little girl!

I have tried many versions since - with bourbon, with chocolate, with cream cheese -but always return to the delight of a simple, straight forward, old fashioned pumpkin pie!

Whisk the ingredients together in a large bowl in the order they are listed
.

2 eggs, whisked until beaten together but not foamy

2 cups pumpkin puree. ( Use one 15 oz. can pumpkin puree if you prefer.)

1/4 cup dark brown sugar*

1/2 cup granulated sugar*

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

1 2/3 cup evaporated milk or half and half **

Pour into a 9" unbaked pastry shell. ***

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes and reduce temperature to 350 degrees and continue baking for about 45 minutes until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Let cool to room temperature before diving in!

Get Some Sun

It is starting to get colder here in Colorado and I think we are supposed to get snow some time this week. I love Colorado because I love the mild summers and the mild winters. I get to play in snow one day and the next its all gone and sunny! Winter makes it harder to get outside and get some sun, but it is still important for us to get our daily intake of fresh, all natural, sunshine!

Sunshine is good for us, it helps you produce vitamin D which aids in calcium absorption. It also elevates our mood and can be effective against eczema! Just remember to limit your exposure to 10-15 minutes in the early morning or late evening when the sun's rays are less intense. At all other time (and if you'll be out longer) remember to where a good sunscreen the guards against UVA and UVB rays. Excess exposure can lead to skin cancer and wrinkles, so protection is key!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Teaching

I know I said that I had an interview, but I don't think I ever said that I got the job. I'm very excited too. I have great classes and good kids. Even if they are freshmen :) We've had a few glitches, but things are going pretty smooth. Although, a few kids and parents freaked out at the idea of moving and they aren't in my class anymore. I guess some people just don't deal well with change. But, I decided to use what one of my new students said yesterday as today's blog.

No More Pity Parties!
FL!P:I MAKE MYSELF HAPPY

This young lady explained that she would get in trouble in my class because she is unhappy because none of her friends got switched with her. I responded by saying that "life is what you make of it and we should always try to make the best of our situation." I'm sure she didn't listen, but I tried. This is a very nice young lady in a small class with several interesting people. As far as I've seen, nobody is rude or condescending. She just doesn't know them.

So, she can continue to feel sorry for herself or she can see the opportunity to meet new friends and have new experiences. She can choose to make herself happy or she can not. It really is her choice. I know we all have those choices to make too. We can take a situation we may not be thrilled with and feel sorry for ourselves or we can flip our thinking and do what we need to be happy.

What do you think? Do you have any experiences that you'd like to share? If so, leave me a comment about how you've flipped your thinking.

Also visit www.flipyourthinking.com for more information and ideas.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Conditioner

I don't make my own conditioner, YET! I hope to someday, but I'm trying to learn patience. I don't need to know everything now or do everything now.

Instead, I buy unscented conditioner and scent it myself. I bought the Whole Foods 365 brand. I like it. It gets the job done, wasn't too expensive, and is free of all those things I'm trying to avoid. I pour some into a 2oz bottle, add whatever essential oils I want and use that for about a week or two. Then, I clean my bottle and make some more. This way I don't have too much if I make something icky and I don't get bored.

Last time I made some, I made orange dreamsicle. OH MY SQUASH!!! It is amazing. It wakes me up in the morning and really gets me going. Its not too sweet and it really doesn't make me hungry either. I love it!!!

I added about 5 drops each of sweet orange essential oil and vanilla essential oil. I'm really thinking that I might make that my next lotion scent. I'll probably experiment with that next weekend, not sooner because I need some more emulsifying wax :( I used the last making a friend some face lotion.

I got the 5th dark vanilla from Texas Natural Supply and it is soooo good, if you are interested.

Choice

No More Shoulds; FL!P: I AM AT CHOICE

I cannot even count the number of things I should have done. How many times has "oh yeah, I really should have done..." come out of my mouth? Probably more than anything else has. I should have done ___________ sooner, I should have called _________, I should ___________ more often, good grief, I could go on forever.

I can make myself sick thinking about all the things I should have done. But, doing that only holds me back. The past is gone and I can't change it. Shoulds won't fix what I didn't do. Its time to move on and focus on the what's in front of me.

I have choices to make, now. I have opportunities, now. I have my future, NOW. No more looking back, except to learn from my mistakes (and my successes, let's not forget those). I am at choice!

And I choose to be successful. I choose to make things happen for myself. I choose happiness. I choose my own future. You go out and do that for yourself too!

Find more at http://www.flipyourthinking.com/. How can it help you move forward?

EXERCISE!

I know most of us say this as a 4 letter word and envision grueling hours of torture. However, exercise does not have to be you in a gym killing your self on the treadmill. Exercise should be fun. Take the dog for a brisk walk (or longer hike), ride a bike, dance while doing housework, or go bowling. I don't have kids, but I've heard that chasing you kid(s) around can be tough exercise too. I have a friend who's 4 year old had her skipping around for almost an hour, she could barely walk the next day!

The point is getting up and getting moving gets our blood flowing and gets us sweating. Our skin is also used to eliminate toxins from our body. Sweating aids in the elimination of these toxins. Plus, your skin will positively glow. You will also feel better and have more energy overall.

Try to get in about 30 minutes a day. You really will see and feel the difference.

Temple Tamer

I made this to take to work with me and I love it! So, I thought I'd share it with everyone else.

Long hours in front of the computer give you that tense, tight-in-the-shoulders feeling? Holiday crowds (or maybe your outlaws) give you a headache? Wrap it up with some temple taming aromatherapy-on-the-go. Now, you can have "zen" whenever you need it!


You will need:


2 oz Jojoba Oil, Clear - Organic

1.25 ml Lavender, Bulgarian Essential Oil

1.25 ml Peppermint Essential Oil

Roll-On Bottles

Combine all ingredients and package in roll-on bottles. Toss in your purse or bag for on-the-go aromatherapy!


To Use: Roll onto temples or base of neck in a circular motion. Avoid eye area. Discontinue use immediately if any irritation occurs.

FYI: Peppermint provides a cooling sensation, while Lavender is known for its calming properties.


Source: http://bathbodysupply.blogspot.com/2008/12/recipe-temple-tamer.html
Allison B. Kontur
www.BathBodySupply.com

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Eating Well

My mom used to tell me "you are what you eat" and this is very true. While we know that an occasional chocolate bar isn't going to make your face breakout, but a continuous low-nutrition diet can lead to many problems. When our body receives the nourishment that it needs we look better and feel better.

I know how true this is for me. We have done a good job at home about making good choices and eating well. We've had one of those microwave cakes for about 3 weeks and haven't eaten it. We usually choose low fat popcorn instead. I usually feel and look good. I know my skin feels good and I have more energy throughout the day. However, we occasionally have those hectic weeks and nobody has time to cook. I never feel or look as good. I know I blame it on the stress, but it really isn't. I need to eat better.

So, pay attention to what you put in your body. High sugar or high fat foods should be kept to a minimum. Strive for a balanced diet of fresh and minimally processed foods.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

All About Attitude

Ok, this isn't officially a Fl!p Your Thinking post, but it does tie in. I've been working really hard on changing my attitude and how I look at certain situations. I'm generally a positive person, but it is easy to get sucked in to a negative way of looking at things. But, I've been discovering that how we view certain situations and our outlook on life has a lot more to do with our happiness than actual events.

So, I interviewed for a position with a local high school a couple weeks ago and while the principal was trying to be nice when he explained why I wasn't chosen, the words used were pretty damaging to my self esteem. Even trying really hard to look at it in a positive light, it hurt. So, this school had another position open up and I figured I'd try again.

I had my interview today and the schedule would be all integrated freshman level classes. No diversity in the schedule and no higher level classes. Wow, that kinda sucks. I love ecology, biology, a&p, chemistry, all of which I was initially turned down for. So, if I get this job I'm looking at an entire year of only one course with a very simplified curriculum because its an intro course. Hmmm, the words mind numbing come to mind. So, I start thinking I don't know if I want this job, but I'm kinda out of options at this point. I need a job and I need another source of income, cause subbing isn't cutting it.

BUT! When I stop to think about it, that's how I felt starting my first year teaching with mostly Integrated Physics and Chemistry, just a simple intro to both subjects and I only had one bio class where they stuck all the rejects into one class. I was so upset! In the end I put a lot of work into both classes and some things worked and some didn't, but I LOVED my IPC class more than the bio (which is what I really wanted to teach). We had so much fun doing silly experiments and fun projects. I was actually disappointed when I didn't get to teach IPC the next year. I took a class I was dreading teaching and I made it fun for my students. So, I ended up having fun too.

So, if I can change my attitude about this potential job, I might see the possibilities. Ok, its not the original schedule I interviewed for (and was shot down for), but its not so bad either. I have lots of ideas and activities for the subjects I would introduce in the course and it would be fun for the students. I would be teaching only freshmen, but its a lot of fun to watch them develop over their first year in high school.

I haven't gotten the job and don't know if I will (although I got a very comprehensive tour of the school, so that has to be good), but I have a better attitude about it than I did before. I can see the potential for this class. I would get to teach multiple subjects in one course. I already have a number of projects for them to do. Plus,we only grow and learn when we experience something new and this is a course I haven't yet taught.

See, all about attitude!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Pumpkin Pie Soap

I just made some pumpkin soap and it smells amazing! It really smells like fresh pumpkin pie. I'm not really a fan of pumpkin pie, its something about the texture, but I love the smell. I attempted to swirl it with three colors using the funnel method that I saw at Lomond Soap. Mine didn't work quite as well as I'd wanted, but for the first try it wasn't bad. I think next time I make sure they stay at a thinner trace, but I just didn't move fast enough.

I swirled with three colors, yellow, orange, and brown. I was going for a fall theme. I made a 3 lb batch and separated it into three portions. I used 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice to make brown, I started to add more and I'm glad I didn't, it did get darker as it cured. I added 2 tbsp of pumpkin puree to make the orange, it was very light, but it too darkened (be sure to take out some water to make up for this). I didn't do anything for the yellow, since soap tends to have a creamy light yellow color anyway. I scented it with orange, clove, and cinnamon essential oils.

I also decided to make this a goat's milk soap, which worked out well, I've only done milk soaps with hot-process. I am happy to say I didn't scald the milk. I used goat's milk powder and mixed it with half the water and put it in the freezer to make a slushie. I mixed the other half of the water with the lye and let it cool to about 80 deg. Then, I slowly drizzled the slushie milk into the lye mix. It worked out well, it did heat up a little, but the icy milk kept it low. The temp actually stayed around 80.

I used coconut oil, olive oil, palm oil, canola, and a little hemp. I've used the same recipe before and I really like the consistency of the soap. I let it cure and I cut it a few days ago. It was very moist and the paper bags are soaked. I'm not sure what happened, I cut back the water for the pumpkin and the milk. There also seems to be a little excess oil sweating out. It smells and looks wonderful, so I guess I'll wait and see what happens. I can say though, my work room smells so good!

Friday, September 4, 2009

PLA-Corn Based Palstics

I'm on the fence about corn-based plastics. When I first heard of them I thought "Finally, a plastic that is safe to use." But, after further research, there are problems with PLA and some convincing arguments for and against it.

To me the biggest plus was that it was biodegradable and compostable. Here's the catch, it is not biodegradable in landfills because in that environment really nothing decomposes well. Plus, when it does decompose in an anaerobic environment such as a landfill, it produces methane. So, corn based trash bags or cups going into landfills is not really better for the landfill, it still takes up precious space. Additionally, these plastics are not compostable in home bins, only large industrial facilities. I agree that its better than nothing, but finding access to an industrial facility is not really possible for home consumers.

PLA will not emit toxic fumes or leech chemicals into food or soil. I think that's a plus and I don't really see a negative side to that.

PLA is produced using a renewable resource and PET is produced using petroleum. I think it is great that we are looking for alternatives to petroleum, but not all alternatives are better for the environment (palm oil anyone?) I think it is important to look for ecologically sound alternatives to petroleum, but I think it is more important for us to start looking for ways to reduce our waste, not just waste renewable products. Stop and take an inventory of your day. How many times in one day do we use something once and throw it away: frozen dinners, fast food, morning coffee stop, and so many others. Waste is waste.

I am truly excited about the possibilities of these plastics, but I also think that we need to stop and take a look at how we use plastic and how we waste it. There are plenty of products that should be stored in plastic (a glass shampoo bottle just seems like an emergency room visit waiting to happen) and this is a great alternative. However, we need to move towards recycling and composting all of those products containers when we are finished. Its so easy to just dump it in the trash and not have a second thought, but a renewable plastic does not make it any less wasteful.

For more information visit:
http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/plastic.html?c=y&page=1
http://azsustainability.com/2008/08/21/what-are-the-benefits-of-corn-based-plastic/

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Drink Plenty of Water

Beautiful, healthy skin comes from proper skin care and since our skin is what the whole world sees, its important to take care of our skin. Its also important to take care of all of our skin, not just our face. So, here are a few easy steps to keep your skin glowing.

STEP 1- Drink Plenty of Water! We've all heard it many times, but water really is life. Water helps eliminate toxins from you body, keep your cells hydrated, and will help keep your skin from drying out. 8-10 glasses of water are recommended to keep you looking and feeling your best. If you don't like it plain, try adding a squeeze of lemon or orange. I add mint to mine in the summer for extra refreshment. Keep in mind that there really isn't a magic number to how much water we need, but slight dehydration for me has often led to headaches, breakouts, and dry skin patches.

Keep reading for more skin care tips and ideas!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Honey Girl

I found this at http://malamanahonu.org/meetHonu.asp and wanted to share it. I love turtles (duh!) and the thought of someone doing this is horrible. I don't understand why anyone would want to hurt anything else, especially something so defenseless. I think it shows us just how important it is to educate people and to work to save animals that we share the earth with.

Name: HONEY GIRL honu picture
Hawaiian name: HONE U'I
ADULT, FEMALE

Markings: PIT # 502E4C2703

Honey Girl, approximately 35-40 years old, began regularly hauling out onto the North Shore beach in 2005. As the largest adult female turtle of our Laniakea Ohana (family), Honey Girl weighed approximately 250 pounds and was 94.5 cm long ( Straight Carapace Length) . Before coming to Laniakea, L-20 was known to the marine scientists on East Island in the French Frigate Shoals, the largest atoll in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands. In 2000 she had migrated 500 miles from Oahu to East Island to mate and nest. While there, the researchers implanted a microchip, the size of a grain of rice, into her left hind flipper. This PIT ( Passive Integrated Transponder) allowed the scientists to identify her throughout the Hawaiian Archipelago , as she migrated from the foraging areas of the Main Hawaiian Islands to the nesting beaches of the Northwest Hawaiian Islands, Honey Girl was also known by her Hawaiian name of "Hone U'i", because of her exquisite honey amber shell, and L-20, as she was the twentieth turtle to repeatedly come ashore at Laniakea to bask. Data collected by the dedicated Malama na Honu volunteer Honu Guardians reveals that Honey Girl basked on the beach 11% of each year at Laniakea Beach. On July 19, 2008 Honey Girl was discovered slaughtered at Laniakea Beach. She had been buried in the sand upside down, with a flipper and breast plate maliciously removed. The evening before, this innocent, defenseless turtle had been basking under the full moon.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Subbing

I lost my job teaching due to budget cuts and with so many teachers looking for jobs, I didn't find another job teaching. So, I decided to sub in the district I was in last year. I got my first sub job for yesterday and today in a SPED class at the high school I was in last year.

I had a good two days. The kids were well behaved and polite and hard working. What more could a teacher ask for? Plus, several were very excited to see me because they were in my Earth Science class last year, science is the only class that students are completely integrated into and not pulled out for any reason (at that school). It was nice to see them again too, its amazing how much they grow over a summer, even in high school.

When I signed up to sub I was asked if I minded working with SPED students and I said I didn't mind at all. The woman in charge of subs sighed and said most people didn't want to work with them. I really don't understand why. There are of course severe SPED students, but we are usually only asked to work in rooms with mild to moderate students. This means that they are slow learners, learning disabled, and/or further behind than most high school students. There is nothing scary about these kids!

I will say it takes a special, patient person to work in a SPED department because there are so many things they have to do for their kids that regular ed teachers don't. To all those wonderful people, I would say thank you for the job you do.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Recipe: Low-fat Banana Bread

Oh my squash! I can't wait to try this out!

bananabreadloaf.jpg

I made two loaves of this banana bread Sunday night, as a back-to-school breakfast treat. On Monday morning, an entire half a loaf was gone, and I got up at 7 a.m. I was, however, able to sneak part of a loaf out of the house and into the office; it too was gone in a short span of time.

I can't really keep track of the latest nutritional advise, so I'm no longer sure if it's a good thing that it's low fat, but the spices make it really tasty, and it's a great recipe for me to use up items that would otherwise go to waste, namely overripe bananas and about-to-expire yogurt. If you try it, please let me know how it was in the Comments!

A couple of notes:

  • Whenever a banana gets too ripe in our house, I just toss it into the freezer. I don't peel it first, I don't wrap it up. Then when I get 3 or 4 saved up, I take them out and put them in a big bowl. Once they thaw partway, it's a snap to peel them and then mash them up with a fork.

  • I've used everything from the peach yogurt that nobody in the house liked, to leftover sour cream, to regular milk with half a lemon squeezed into it (faux buttermilk), and it's always worked out fine.

  • My kids don't like chunks in their bread, but I've always thought some nuts and/or raisins would be a nice addition.
bananasforbread.jpgingredientsforbananabread.jpg

Low-Fat Banana Bread

2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar (try 1/2 cup white and 1/4 cup brown
1+ cup ripe bananas, mashed (this is maybe 3 or 4 medium bananas)
1/3 cup yogurt or 1/3 cup buttermilk
1 T vegetable oil
1 T vanilla extract
1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (or a combo of flours)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 to 1/4 tsp powdered ginger

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a regular-sized loaf pan, and then dust with flour. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is thick and light, about 5 minutes. Mix in the bananas, yogurt, oil, vanilla, and spices. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, and beat until just blended. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake about 1 hour, until the bread is golden brown on top and a toothpick or other tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Turn out onto a rack to cool, or until a ravenous member of your household saunters into the kitchen and finds it.

Posted by Shawn Connally

http://blog.craftzine.com/archive/2009/08/recipe_low-fat_banana_bread.html?CMP=OTC-5JF307375954

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tea Toner

Years ago I started making my own toner because I got tired of how commercial toners made my face feel. I thought to myself that if green tea was good for your insides, it should be good for your outsides too. So, I brewed up some of my green tea and tried it out. After many trials (and a few errors) I finally have a good idea of what works and what feels good.

Ingredients:
  • Green tea
  • Witch hazel
  • Lavender essential oil
  • Small bottle with mister (I got one of the little travel sizes)
Steps:
  1. Brew your green tea normally, but double strength. I like loose leaf tea best and I've been told its releases more of the "good stuff," but its your preference.
  2. Pour green tea into your bottle until a little over 3/4 full.
  3. Fill the rest of the way with witch hazel. I get mine from a health food store, I know they have it in Wal-mart, but again I've heard that its not as good. Do not use too much witch hazel because it can be drying (I found that out). DO NOT use alcohol, it is very drying and can irritate skin.
  4. Allow to cool and add a few drops of lavender essential oil. Cap and mist lightly over face.
  5. Store in fridge and use within a week or two. If you notice any color change, throw it out and make fresh toner.
I talked to a lady this weekend about rooibos tea and I think I might try that next time! You could use chamomile essential oil instead, but avoid any citrus oils as they cause photosensitivity. You could also use peppermint tea in a mister to help keep you cool on hot days!

Boo Bees Soap

Like many people I know several women that have been diagnosed with breast cancer. I have done the Race for the Cure and I have done a Danskin Triathlon to help raise money for breast cancer research. I even did a fundraiser in my chemistry class and my awesome students raised over $40 in pocket change! So, I decided that I would do something to benefit breast cancer research with my business.

My first step was to create a soap. I wanted to make a pink soap. My motivation to call it boo bees soap came from a card a sent my dad for his birthday. I loved it and decided to make a honey soap with pink swirls and call it boo bees soap. I decided not to scent it because chemo can make patients more sensitive to scents. I used pink mica to create the pink swirls.

My first batch test batch is really lovely. The soap didn't get too hot, so it stayed a nice light brown color and I went easy on the pink swirls. My next full batch isn't quite as pretty. It got too hot and turned a much darker brown (the color of honey) and I think I had too much pink. However, when I think about it, that's probably good, I don't know how it would have shown up with darker soap. Still, the soap is pretty and usable.

So, I have my first batch of Boo Bees Soap ready to sell. I will tithe 10% from the sell of all Boo Bees Products to the Susan G. Komen foundation. Right now, I only have soaps, which will go for $5.00/bar. I plan to make a pink honey lotion and lip balm to have full line of Boo Bees Products. I'm very excited about starting this.

Dedicated to:
Mema
Jeanne
Tina
Katie
Ms. Webb

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pumpkin Shimmer Eyeshadow

Ok, I found this and had to repost it. I haven't done mineral makeup myself, but I've wanted to. It looks like so much fun, I just couldn't resist sharing.

PumShimmPowder
As the days begin to cool, I am eagerly looking forward to the autumn colors and crisp air. In anticipation of the fall splendor I wanted to share this recipe for a warm shimmery pumpkin orange eyeshadow and instructions on how to use it. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Shimmer Eyeshadow Recipe:

2 mini scoops Sericite
1 mini scoop Copper Mica
1 mini scoop Cappuccino Mica
1 mini scoop Peach Shimmer
1 mini scoop Bronze Mica

Directions: I used the mini .15cc pigment scoops sold here. But you can use any measurement as long as you keep the proportions the same.

It's easy to make this color: place all of your measured powders in a container (like a lip balm pot) and mix well.

That's it, you're done! I did a show on Better TV last year and you can see how easy it is to mix. We did that, plus talked about 2 other projects - all in 3 minutes! You can watch that video here.

Contour Eyeshadow Directions:

For this look, I used the Pumpkin Shimmer eyeshadow blend along with the Light Brown and Dark Brown recipes from our Mineral Makeup Guide Book.

PumpkinEye1

1. Apply Pumpkin Shimmer on center of lid to outer edge up to crease.

PumpkinEye2

2. Apply Light Brown eyeshadow to inner lid and brow arch blending well.

PumpkinEyeFinal
3. Apply dark brown eyeshadow to outer edge of the eyelid and along crease. Also apply along the lower lash line but only 3/4 of the way across. Again, blend well.

4. Reapply a little more Pumpkin Shimmer to the center of the lid if you have blended it in and want a little more coppery goodness to show!

Pumpkin2Making eye shadows is super easy. You can buy all the ingredients seperately or you can buy the comprehensive starter kit we've put together here. No matter how you look at it, making your own make up is affordable, easy and fast. You can create what you love, make it your own and have fun doing it!

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

No More Pessimism

I received a comment about last week's Fl!p Your Thinking and I have to say a huge THANK YOU to Rebecca Cooper the creator of the cards. What a huge help I have found them to be and I would again recommend everyone look into the deck that would be the most help to them.

This week: No more PESSIMISM! Fl!p: I EXPECT GOOD THINGS

So, here is how my year has gone. My father was diagnosed with prostate cancer. My mema was diagnosed with breast cancer. My Uncle Baldy passed away. My Uncle Munk passed away. My middle brother had to have ear surgery. My youngest brother lost his job. I lost my job. My computer died last week. This weekend my dog hurt herself and now her tail doesn't work. My dear friend will be having major surgery next week. WOW! You know how many times I have thought what else good possibly go wrong this year. It seems that everytime I ask that, something else goes wrong. It is so easy to get bogged down with all the negative things that happen and sometimes we miss the good things.

Now, if I flip my thinking and I look at all of this in a different light, this is what I see. My dad underwent surgery and is fine. My mema underwent major sugery and chemo and is now considered cancer free. My Uncle Baldy and Uncle Munk had wonderful lives and a loving family that was with them until the end. My middle brother's ear and hearing are fine. My youngest brother found a new job that he seems to like more. I have decided to pursue my own business instead of getting another job. While I am a bit lost without everything on my computer, I'm sure it will be recovered and I have a friend's computer to use for now. My dog seems to be feeling a little better and I'm hoping her tail will perk back up. Whatever the outcome of my friend's surgery, she will always have the love and support of her friends and family to support her through rough times.

If I were to only focus on the negative things that have happened I would miss the wonderful opportunities and experiences of this past year. I am a little nervous about things to come, but am optimistic as well. I am happy, I am surrounded by people that love and support me, and I have the ability to love them all back. What else do I really need?

Friday, August 14, 2009

National Creamsicle Day

According to the Bizarre American Holidays website today is National Creamsicle Day! I love creamsicles, there is just something about the orange popsicle with the delicious cream filling that is just wonderful. So, in honor of this holiday I decided to post a few creamsicle recipes I've found (plus a few I made up).

Creamsicle Bath:
Fill your bathtub with warm water. Add 6 drops of orange essential oil and 5 drops of vanilla essential oil (absolute or what you have). Stir well. Slip in and enjoy this delightful scent. This is great for kids too, but use less essential oil since you won't fill the tub.

Creamsicle Scrub:
For a single use sugar scrub you need 1/2 cup-1 cup of sugar (I like brown because it smells better) and 2-4 tbsp of sweet almond or olive oil. I like to use sweet almond because it doesn't smell as strong, but use what you have, regular vegetable (soybean) oil works great too. Mix together in a small bowl until the sugar is moist, but kind of clumpy and not runny (that's just messy). Add a dash of vanilla extract (cheaper than absolute) and 2 drops of orange essential oil.

Stand in shower and scoop handfuls and rub over body to lightly exfoliate, be sure to pay extra attention to rough spots. You can rinse off after, but I like to fill up the tub and soak. Do not wash oil off, but leave it to moisturize. Pat dry and follow with a moisturizer if you need it, but you probably won't.

Creamsicle Shampoo and Conditioner:
I buy unscented natural conditioners and then make my own scents. This way I can switch often and I don't get tired of it. I don't buy shampoos because I use my own bar shampoos to save on container waste, but not everyone does.

You will use about 10 drops of essential oil for 2 oz of shampoo or conditioner. I pour my conditioner into smaller 2 oz containers so I can change my scent often, but its up to you. Add 6 drops of orange essential oil and about 4 drops of vanilla eo or absolute (you can use a frangrance oil to save money, but it doesn't smell near as good). Shake well and enjoy!

So, you get the idea. Add a few drops of orange and a few of vanilla and you can smell like a creamsicle. Kids love the smell and so do plently of adults I know!

Warning: orange essential oil can make you more sensitive to sunlight, do not leave on skin before exposure to sunlight. Be sure to rinse well.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Pedicure

We all know that we work our feet too hard and pay too little attention to them. So, I decided to share my at-home pedicure. I love this treatment and you can change it up depending on your needs and how much time you have.

You need:
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 5 cups water (this depends on the size of you container, you may need to increase these)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (brown or white or you can even you sea salt)
  • 2 tbsp sweet almond oil (or substitute what you have such as olive oil; or you could just use Honu Naturals Pedi-Cure Foot Scrub)
  • Good moisturizer (such as Honu Naturals' Pedi-Cure Foot Balm)
  • Big bowl to put feet in
  • Lots of towels

Instructions
  1. In a large pan warm the water and milk. You want this to put warm enough to relax and soothe your tired feet, but not so hot it scalds your poor tootsies.
  2. The best place for this is in your tub, but I hate staring at my tile. So, I lay out my towels in the living room so I can watch tv. Place your big bowl in the middle of your towels to you can sit comfortably while your feet soak.
  3. In a smaller bowl, mix sugar and oil until you have a paste. Place near the big bowl with extra towels. Put your moisturizer there too. Now you are ready to get started.
  4. Go get your warmed water and milk mixture and carefully pour into your big bowl to soak your feet it.
  5. Soak your feet for about 10 minutes.
  6. After soaking, remove your feet and scoop some of your sugar mixture. Use this to gently scrub your entire foot. Don't forget all the rough spots and between your toes. I do this over the bowl to catch falling sugar.
  7. Put your feet back in the milk mixture to rinse. Remove feet and pat (not rub) dry.
  8. Finish with a rich creamy moisturizer.
  9. Enjoy your soft and beautiful feet.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Flip Your Thinking-Connected

I bought this little pack of cards called Fl!p Your Thinking and I love them. I got the confidence set and it has this tiny pack of cards on a ring. One side has an "old tired thought" and the other has a new way to look at life or a problem. The idea is that you flip through the deck and use them like flashcards on how to renew your energy and confidence. There are several decks available, but I figured that the confidence deck was the best for me.

So, what I think I will do is make this a weekly feature. Each week I will pick a card to share with you and what it means to me. I would love it if anyone would be willing to share a story or personal experience that might relate to any of the cards I post.

This week: I am not ALONE! Fl!p: I am CONNECTED!

This is so true for me. When I first decided that I would like to start Honu Naturals, I had no idea what to do. I had good products that people loved, but I didn't know how to move forward with that. So, I started researching. I soon found the Indie Beauty Community and the Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild both of which I found so wonderful and helpful. So, I learned a lot about how to market and network. I received invaluable information from Donna Maria and many others who have shared their personal experiences and lessons.

I also headed to the library to find some books on home businesses and web based businesses. I found a treasure trove of information waiting to be discovered. I have read so many books and have learned so much from such a simple resource that I just can't help but be thankful that people took the time to write the books. Ok, I know they probably did it for the money, but I'm still thankful.

I have also started networking closer to home through meetup.com and I joined a few women's networking groups. These groups are so great. They are all women that are trying to make their business work too. Some are independent consultants and some are small business owners like myself, but all are eager to help and learn and network just like I am.

Now I know that I truly am not alone, I am connected in more ways than I could have imagined. I am so grateful for everything that has happened and everyone I have met.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Save An Indie Farm, Save An American Institution

By: Donna Maria http://www.indiebusinessblog.com/2009/08/07/save-an-indie-farm-save-an-american-institution/

A few months ago, Indie Beauty Network member Kristie McNamara of Tilvee introduced me via email to Linette Crosby of Get Mint Farm. Kristie wanted me to know Linette not only because of my love for essential oils and aromatherapy, but also because of my love for independent and small family businesses. Turns out the Crosby “Get Mint Farm” in Michigan is in a bit of financial trouble and there is about a week left for us to join together and see if we can save their farm.

crosby_still1

With this week’s news that one of the world’s greatest living photographers may lose all of her assets because she can’t pay back a multi-million dollar line of credit, this news is particularly hard hitting, especially since the Get Mint Farm represents not just a lifetime, but several generations of independent family business ownership. I asked Linette, who co-owns the farm with her brother, to provide me with some background on their farm and how we might be able to work together to help them save it. If you’d prefer to skip the details and get right down to how you can help, just scroll to the bottom of this post under “How You Can Help.”

dM: How did the farm find itself in this situation?

Linette: We did some refinancing through Greenstone Farm Credit Services in 2005. There were four loans: (1) a mortgage, (1) refinancing of operating equipment into a term loan (1) a new operating loan; and (4) an equipment credit line. We missed a large payment on one loan and received a 60-day extension. We were unable to come up with the money and they called in all four loans.

We began negotiating, and now, two years and $215,000 in interest, penalties, and attorney fees later, we are a little over a week away from losing the farm. We liquidated $115,000 worth of equipment and oil to put towards the loan already. We also secured a private lender for $345,000. As of today, we calculate that we must sell 77,009 1/8 ounce containers of mint oil (or raise $325,000) in order to save the farm. If we don’t do that, we will lose the farm.

dM: What steps have you taken to save the farm?

Linette: In addition to the above, we have put up 50 acres for sale and contacting all leads to sell as much oil as we can. We sold $115,000 worth of oil and equipment to put towards debt. With the current inventory, we can buy the farm back. Our attorney has worked against our bank for 20 years, as the bank is known for preying on land rich farmers. Their actions may be illegal (I’m sure they are immoral), but we can’t do much about it.

We have gone to our state capitol and spoken with two state Senators who say they support us, but are unwilling to put it in writing. We have spoken on the steps of the Capitol during a demonstration, which may have not helped. Senate Bill 1306 was introduced to put a moratorium on foreclosures in Michigan, it sat on the desk of another State Senator.

We also secured a private individual to assist us with our November 1, 2008 deadline and sold 27,000 drams nationwide. We are now contacting individuals and businesses interested in wholesale distributorships.

dM: What will happen if you don’t raise the money needed by next week?

Linette: The house, equipment, all out buildings, and land will be auctioned off and taken over by the bank. Our attorneys suggested we sell the farm land, but in this market, I don’t feel we will be able to even clear the debt.

dM: How is your local community assisting you?

Linette: Our state Rep, County Commissioner, Arts Council, hopefully Chamber are all writing letters to the judge.

We have many stories of people such as, Dottie, from a local little community who volunteered to pick up drams to sell at her local bazaar.

Or, the Lott Family who bring people out to the farm and are absolutely sold on the oil. They have donated $200 to help us put a radio add out on World Wide Christian Radio.

How about Kristie McNamara who called you? She has blessed us. There are many stories and I fell so blessed in probably the most traumatic times in my life.

My family, friends, and absolute strangers want to help…this always brings tears to my eyes. We have had many volunteers help in shipping, etc to get our product out the door. Our local businesses have come forward especially Postal Connections and Jet Speed Printing.

The emotional pain around foreclosure is amazing and many today are facing it. Annually, our town of St. Johns hosts the annual Mint Festival. There are very few mint farmers left in this community and we are the only farm to offer tours because of our historic significance.

Another example: The Greenfield Village Herb Society invited us to be a vendor at their farmer’s market at Henry Ford Museum…there, we met the publishers of edibleWow magazine who highlighted our farm in this springs publication…the research manager from Henry Ford Research read the article and ordered 300 drams of peppermint oil for their women’s retreat…they contacted me after the retreat and said they were testing our oil for headaches because their physician from Greece orders the oil from Germany!

Customers Kelly and Brian forwarded our email to a friend who was a distributor for Pure Herbs, Ltd. Kelly contacted Pure Herbs, Ltd to ask them to reach out in any way…the company called us and listened to our story…we have now secured a business relationship with them and closed our first business sale with them today for a large quantity oil! We the People…!!!

dM: What can my readers do to help you save your farm?

Linette: People can help by purchasing a dram, two drams, and product. We believe they will love it once they try it. Many know the benefits and some don’t. Our mission is to also educate people about it medicinal properties and healing capabilities.

Why I’m Helping Out

You all know how I feel about debt. Having said that, my business is very small and has never needed to take on debt in order to grow at the rate I want to to grow. In some instances, especially where a family farm is concerned, I feel like taking on debt is the only way to grow, especially in a society that does not have many public resources available to support family farms like the Crosby Get Mint Farm which produce a relatively small amount of a niche product. As a result, I feel strongly that making a contribution to the Crosby Get Mint Farm is the right thing to do.

I also find it refreshing that the Crosby’s are not just holding their hands out. They are working hard to save their farm as they also keep the business going. One look at Linette’s Twitter updates and you can see that they are not just sitting around hoping someone will show up with $325,000.

The Crosby family has been in the mint distilling business since 1912. The distillery is on their property. It is a way of life, a legacy, and heritage. Linette and her brother, Jim, were raised in the house. If it is sold, so much more than a business will be lost. An American legacy will disappear and I’d like not to see that happen.

How You Can Help

I would like to do my share to help save the Crosby Get Mint Farm. I just purchased 5 of the 117,000 drams needed to save the farm. Here’s the link where you can make your purchase.

I Tweeted this blog post and would very much appreciate it if you would too, even if you don’t buy any oil. Just cut and paste this into the Twitter status space:

I just invested $5 (or whatever) to save an independent US-based family farm. Join me and save an American institution: http://tr.im/vUAu

Question: What do you think? Can we work together to help save a family farm!

11 Tips for a Greener Life

1
Buy Recycled
Help create demand for products with recycled content and send a message to manufacturers. Close the loop: buy products made from (or packaged in) recycled materials and recycle them when done. Buy 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Visit www.recycledproducts.org for some good ideas for the office.
2
Choose Sustainable Ingredients and Materials
Buy local, organic, fair trade (www.sustainabletable.org) and vegetarian (www.themeatrix.com). Choose non-toxic recyclable yoga mats, organic cotton, hemp, bamboo and fleece clothing. Support farmers in less wealthy nations and buy fair trade coffee and chocolate. Not only will you help promote sustainable farming practices, you'll also help prevent rainforests from being further decimated.
3
Detoxify Your Life
Buy non-toxic paints for your house and use non-toxic natural cleaners like baking soda and vinegar. They're cheap and safe for kids and pets. Buy beauty products with little or no preservative; solid shampoos, conditioners, bubble bars and massage bars all come with no packaging and no preservatives.

4
BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag)
Look for products you can take home unwrapped. Don't bag produce; it stays just as fresh in your crisper naked as in a plastic bag. Take your own bag everywhere; one person using one reusable bag can save hundreds of plastic bags from the landfill and oceans every year.
5
BYOM (Bring Your Own Mug)
Bring your own mug with you wherever you go. Get a really good stainless steel travel mug (not plastic). It'll keep your coffee or tea hot for hours and you won't be throwing away paper cups or plastic mugs.
6
Get It In Glass
Buy your milk and juice in glass bottles. Buy your soft drinks and other cold beverages in aluminum cans. Avoid plastic whenever you can. It's better for your health and the environment.
7
Compost: It's Easier Than You Think
Put a compost bin in your apartment or backyard. It's easy, cheap and clean. Use your homemade compost to feed your garden and house plants or donate it to your local community garden (www.nyccompost.org).
8
Reduce Paper Consumption
Buy 100% post consumer recycled paper, envelopes, file folders etc. Print only what you need. Need a back up? Send it to your gmail account. Use PowerPoint for presentations and offer to email a copy in lieu of snail mail. Switch to e-billing for utility bills and bank statements.
9
Reduce Energy Consumption
Switch to compact fluorescent lights; they use less energy and last 10 times longer. Try solar lights for your garden or outdoor walkways. Get a programmable thermostat. Change air and dryer filters regularly. Use cold water for washing clothes and hang them out to dry. Turn down/off heat when sleeping and when leaving the house. Turn off lights when not in the room. Unplug appliances when not in use. Things like chargers, cell phones, laptops, toasters, coffee pots, tea kettles, microwaves all consume electricity even when off. Boil only as much water as you need; don't boil a full kettle for one cup of tea!
10
Reduce Water Use
Don't let the water run when you're brushing your teeth. Get a toilet tank displacement bag to reduce water usage per flush. Flush only when necessary. When washing dishes by hand, reuse your rinse water for your plants or garden. Save your bath and shower water and use it for your garden or lawn. Use cooled pasta water for your house plants.
11
Reduce Fuel Consumption and Your Carbon Footprint
Walk, ride, take transit, or carpool everywhere. Get in shape and help reduce your carbon footprint. Once a week? Twice? Everyday? It all makes a difference. Can't walk or bike to and from just yet? Ride to work, take the bus home, bus to work the next day and ride home. Baby steps. (www.greenlivingtips.com)

Source: http://www.lushusa.com/about/green-your-life/