27 September 2010

A Special Promotion for Le Boudoir

Massage oil, available scented,
unscented or flavored.
My own highly exclusive oil blend
In case you didn't know, I have a fabulous line of products for couples that I call Le Boudoir.  I enjoy making these (and product testing, of course!), because couples should have all natural (or mostly natural) products specifically designed to enhance their love life.  My husband feels that one of my business goals going forward into the fourth quarter of the year should be to really drive this line.  I was sharing this with a writer friend of mine - she writes under Celtic Lass - and she offered to help.  How?  Here goes; hang on!

CL writes erotic literature - pretty classy stuff; pretty hot stuff, too! - and she's willing to include some of my products in her stories with links back to them on my site.  Pretty sweet, huh?  But wait!  It gets better!

How'd you like to star in an erotic story?  CL can include you in her stories with either your spouse/SO or just some random "other" (opposite sex unless requested otherwise).  If you would like, she can also create a link to your social media page or website as a way of giving her "lovers" the opportunity for a bit of shameless self-promotion.  We envision that these stories will get a lot of reader traffic, so you stand a great chance of expanding your audience.

If enough people participate, we will open up voting, with the winners getting free Le Boudoir products.  Sounds like a win to me!  If you'd like to be a character (ha!  All my customers are characters! ;-)), you can post a comment below or email Celtic Lass or me.

21 September 2010

Tacky Trash

I mentioned in another blog post about meeting a friend from Twitter this past Saturday.  Sarah is a talented artisan in her own right.  A graduate of Meredith University with a degree in Art, she is artsy and gifted in ways I can only dream about.  I think a part of me may be slightly envious that she has the time to do all these great crafts.  She not only showed me her fantastic flower hair clips, but she also told me about a new product she's planning to add to her line, as well as the rugs she has recently learned to make using old sheets and pillow cases.  I'm telling ya, this lady has TaLeNt!

My older daughter wearing her new hair clip by Tacky Trash
 Sarah brought some of her creations to show me, and I found a hair clip that I knew my daughter would love.  It's got some great colors that go with several of her outfits and, as I could have predicted, she planned her outfit for Sunday's church services around her new clip.

You can find Sarah's other hair creations at her Etsy shop, and if you live in the Wilmington, NC and Cape Fear area, you can find her lovely clips at The Boutique on Castle.

Know an artisan or crafter who deserves a shameless plug or shout-out?  Make sure to tell them how much you appreciate their work.

19 September 2010

It started with Twitter

I joined Twitter Spring of 2009.  To be honest, I'd heard about it but thought, I really don't have time to do any social networking.  Besides, what networking?  I'm a hugely pregnant work-at-home Mom getting ready to move; it's not like I'm going to meet anyone.  I now laugh at my naivete, because I've done a LOT of networking and have met quite a few people with whom I first connected on Twitter.  Some of these are local; others are fellow soapmakers who I had the pleasure of meeting in Denver at the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild annual conference.

I met the most recent Twitter friend on Saturday.  We'd been tweeting back and forth some, and I'd followed her Etsy post listings and FourSquare excursions.  Then, something new popped up.  She started posting about a new project she was undertaking with the intriguing name "52 first dates in a year."  The premise is simple:  Sarah will go on a date with a different guy every week for a year.  Her goal is to meet new people, make new friends and to undertake a courageous voyage of self-discovery.  She's not looking for hook-ups; as she says on her blog, the gentlemen can expect a thank you and at most, a kiss on the cheek at the end of the date.  She is also limiting her dates just to guys to whom her friends refer her.  And that's where I came in.

I mentioned that I've met some local people from Twitter, and one of those happens to be a gentleman named Craig who was interested in our church.  Craig happens to fall within Sarah's preferred age range, is delightfully social and won't make the average female want to gouge her eyeballs out after looking at him.  I sent Sarah an email recommending Craig to her and after twenty-something emails later - some really long and all under the subject line "date recommendation" (we need a new subject) - we met in person.

When I joined Twitter, I expected to network with other business people and other soapmakers.  I expected to use Twitter to promote my business.  I never expected to make a very good friend because of Twitter.  That ended up being a very pleasant surprise. 

Are you on Twitter or Facebook?  I'd love to connect with you!  Check below for my links for Twitter and Facebook.

What has been your most memorable Twitter or Facebook experience to date?

Twitter:  www.twitter.com/SaraNesbitt
Facebook:  www.facebook/com/SaraNesbitt
Facebook fan page:  www.facebook.com/SarasSoapsnSuch

18 September 2010

My First Labyrinth Experience

As a small business owner, mom and homeschool teacher, I'm very seldom "off."  I wake up in the mornings and hit the ground running, keeping up with my two girls.  Then we start homeschooling, and once that's over, I'm still Mom but also hustling to catch up on business matters, often working right up til dinner, pausing for dinner and to put the girls to bed, then getting back to work, often until 11:00 at night.

Today, I was invited to be "off."  I've recently met a lady on Twitter named Sarah who invited me to join her to walk her church's labyrinth this morning.  How wonderful, both to meet this new friend and to enjoy 30 minutes of time "off" to me and "on" to God!  I wrote about it on my religious blog; this is the repost.


I had a fabulous spiritual experience this morning. My new friend Sarah invited me to join her at Church of the Servant Episcopal Church in Wilmington to walk the labyrinth. While I was familiar with this spiritual practice, I'd never experienced it. 

Labyrinth - Photo courtesy of Unity Christian Church
If you blow the picture up and trace it, you'll see that there are no dead ends to the labyrinth; the line leads to the center, and after savoring time in the center to pray and meditate, the labyrinth then leads sojourners back out to the outer edge of the circle. When walking towards the center, sojourners - for, yes, the labyrinth represents a journey - take the opportunity to clear their hearts and minds, enabling God to speak.

As I walked the labyrinth, there were some things I discovered, as well as some things the Holy Spirit revealed to me.

Walking the labyrinth forced me to look down at my path.  As I walked the labyrinth, I had to keep my eyes down so I could see where I was going. When I tried to look at other sojourners or enjoy the beautiful sanctuary, I risked getting off my path. The same holds true for our Christian walk. So long as we're focused on what we're doing and what we're supposed to be doing, then we will find our way staying true to our spiritual paths.

I didn't walk the labyrinth alone, any more than I walk this Christian journey alone. Yet, my walk is my own. As I walked the labyrinth, I followed, I led, occasionally I walked beside another sojourner, I may have, at times, met someone on the walk and once, I had to step aside so someone who was just starting the labyrinth could pass.

My mind could not fill with God until I emptied it of stuff.  In this case, I don't mean bad or worrisome stuff; I mean all stuff, even happy. Right before walking the labyrinth was the first time Sarah and I had met in person, and the very first thing we said to each other was the other's name as a question, and in perfect sync. Obviously, with our names differing by just one letter, it was rather amusing. Again, a happy thought, but still one that created mental "noise" and kept me from hearing God as I should.

When I arrived at the center of the labyrinth, my mind was clear, open and being deliciously filled with God. This may sound bad, but I could enjoy a prayer free of my children (my older daughter and I pray together twice a day, with her daddy joining us at bedtime prayers). This children-free time with God enabled me to pray just for what I wanted to pray. I didn't feel compelled to list all of her sick friends (most of whom are probably well on the road to recovery by now). It was, plain and simply, my Mommy time with God. No, it was my WOMAN time with God, a daughter taking quiet respite time hanging with her Father. As I walked back out of the labyrinth, I felt lighter, calmer and less stressed.

Have you ever walked the labyrinth? What was your experience of it?

Church of the Servant Episcopal Church is located on Oriole Drive in Wilmington, about 1/3 mile down on the left. The labyrinth is open the third weekend of each month on Friday evenings and Saturday mornings.

06 September 2010

Video: The Economic Ramifications of Safe Cosmetics Act

A little over a month ago, I posted my reasons for opposing the Safe Cosmetics Act; you can read that article here.  I have no problem with safe cosmetics; that's why my colleagues and I make our own as much as possible, and we make them according to cGMPs (Current Good Manufacturing Practices), as set forth by the FDA.  In this video, I discuss how the passing of the Safe Cosmetics Act (H.R. 5786) would decimate thousands of small businesses.  It's almost eleven minutes long, so go ahead and grab a cuppa before watching.

Please, if you haven't already done so, contact your Representatives and Senators and tell them that you oppose the Safe Cosmetics Act.

02 September 2010

I Stand Corrected

After writing this post regarding "illegal" pesticides in the form of bug repellents - all natural ones that haven't been tested by the FDA or the EPA - a newish friend Lisa, co-CEO of Personal Care Truth, messaged me with some great information regarding these products.

I'd found some - what I'd thought was good - information on a supplier's website.  This lady is smart, heavily involved with battling industry-crippling legislature and a highly reputable source.  I didn't realize she was posting somewhat fear-related information, and I don't know if it's out of ignorance or an attempt to crush a competitor - hers or someone else's.  Well, I quoted that source and even linked to her articles on my website.  Now I feel like a fool.

The truth?  The EPA has a list of ingredients that are considered exempt from testing.  These not only include the inert ingredients I use to make up the base for my bug repellent sticks, but also the essential oils that are the active, bug repelling ingredients in them.  But then there's that pesky other agency, the FDA with its own set of rules and regulations.  A repellent is a drug; the secret around it is not labeling it as such.  Not a problem.

In conclusion, all natural bug repellents are much, much safer than commercially prepared ones containing extra chemicals, including DEET.  If they're prepared according to the cGMPs established by the FDA and labeled according to the guidelines set forth by both the FDA and the EPA, then these products are ideal for helping keep children and adults bite-free and safer from the diseases that mosquitoes transmit.

Want some awesome, totally safe, all natural bug repellent?  You can get yours here!  The bugs are still out there annoying us, so take care of 'em!

01 September 2010

Lessons in Leadership from my Six-Year-Old Daughter

Originally typed 29 July 2010

Each day, my girls and I walk at least a mile-and-a-half.  Well, I walk, the baby rides in her stroller and my older daughter who's six rides her bike.  She likes to be the leader, and since she tends to ride on my heels, I let her.  Walking with her has taught me a few valuable lessons in leadership.

(1)  A good leader will make firm decisions.  We take turns deciding which route through the neighborhood we'll take, and when it's her turn, she doesn't waffle; she says, "Let's start at the cul de sac today."

(2)  A good leader trusts that those she's leading will follow her.  My daughter wouldn't be "leading" if I were to strike off in the other direction.

(3)  A good leader will accept direction from her followers.  Even though my daughter may be leading us on our walks, she listens when I holler, "Car!" which is our code for "get to the side."

(4) She respects differences of opinion.  Usually her little legs wear out before mine do, so she respects my desire to continue while she finds something else to do.

Who's been an unlikely leader for you?  What did they teach you?