The morning air is becoming crisp, and some areas of the country are even experiencing brrrr, snow…fall is coming! This weekend, the kiddos and I are spending as much time as possible outside. Soon, it will be too cold and dark to enjoy the backyard and parks without bundling or gearing up with flashlights. While we will all miss our walks around the neighborhood, I’m excited for cuddly hot cocoa filled evenings.
On the blog, the holidays are in full swing with the Handmade Holiday series. The holidays are a few months away, but if making holiday gifts is on your to-do list, now is the time to get started. I have started gathering gift inspiration via Pinterest; in particular, I’m loving all the beautiful packaging ideas. Keep your eyes on the blog for cute holiday ideas and in the meantime, in case you missed any of my social media posts, here are the favorite pins, tweets and instagrams from the past week.
Top left, clockwise:
- “Do What You Love.” Such a simple statement, but it says so much! It’s amazing how doing more of what you love improves all aspects of your life. I started that process 16 years ago and haven’t looked back. I feel so lucky and #blessed.
- This raw, vegan Cream of Green Soup looks beautiful. Made with coconut milk, kale and broccoli, I’m sure it tastes decadent.
- Made with Green Clay, this Green Clay Cold Process Soap is stunning! While I’m a huge fan of swirls and intricate design, the simplicity of this soap really shines.
- How cool are these Ringly rings? They connect to your phone, and send you notifications of texts or phone calls via vibrations in the ring.
The feather swirl design continues to be a challenge, but practice makes perfect. What technique are you attempting to master?
Another technique I attempted this week was making a new negative space embed soap! Keep your eyes on the blog, in the next few weeks there will be a tutorial for this soap, which is made the same way.
- Twitter has begun testing a “buy” button that can be embedded into tweets, allowing users to purchase products more easily. This could be interesting for both small, and large businesses!
- This week I shared my favorite business books, but I read a lot of other books as well! To find my recently read books, you can always find them on the right hand side of the “About” page.
- Feeling like you never have enough time? According to sociologist John Robinson, Americans have about 40 hours of free time each week.
- A strong, clear and consistent branding concept is crucial for any business. Here are some great tips to consider when building yours.
- If you consider yourself empathetic, these 6 Habits of Highly Empathetic People may ring true. If not, they are great skills to practice.
Handmade gifts are a special treat during the holidays. Giving someone a gift you worked hard on is a great feeling. Handmade gifts – especially cold process soap – do take time to prepare. That’s why it’s a good idea to get started now. If you need some ideas, there is plenty of Handmade Holiday Gift Inspiration to go around.
It’s another throw-back Thursday video on Soap Queen TV! This video was originally filmed in 2009 (check out the background on the set). This recipe is still a favorite and the label templates are remain cute and functional. The label template will be free to download for the next week and after that will be available for purchase.
Too early for Christmas? If you are like me, every year you say you are going to make gifts for the holidays and every year you run out of time (or like me, end up pulling an all-nighter). So let’s make this the year we plan ahead. The trick is to get your supplies now and make your projects in those few hours here and there. Before you know it, the holidays will be here and, you’ll have no stress because you’ll have a wonderful gift for everyone on your list.
This video features two recipes. One for a small batch and one for a large batch of lip balm.
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Recipe for the small batch:
- 2 tsp. Coconut Oil
- 2 1/4 tsp. White Beeswax
- 1 1/8 tsp. Sweet Almond Oil
- 2/3 tsp. Avocado Oil
- few drops Peppermint Essential oil
- Red Mica ( 1 teaspoon for a light pink 2 tablespoons for a lip stain)
Recipe for the Large Batch:
- 2.7 oz. White Beeswax
- 3.8 oz. Coconut Oil
- 1.7 oz. Sweet Almond Oil
- 1.2 oz. Avocado Oil
- .25 oz. Buttercreme Flavor Oil
- a few mini scoops of Shamrock Mica
Tools and Containers:
Today marks the 13 year anniversary of the World Trade Center terrorist attack on September 11th, 2001. While this event happened over a decade ago, the effects of this tragedy are still felt today. Sometime today, take a moment to remember all those affected.
If you are planning on giving handmade gifts for the holidays, now is the time to plan ahead and start creating. Handmade gifts are not only more personalized and unique, they cut down on holiday spending. In 2012, the average American spent an estimated $854 on presents for family and friends…wowza! This year is the year to not only save money, but show your loved ones how much you care with handmade gifts. Not to mention…crafting is fun!
Because cold process soap requires 4-6 weeks to fully cure, soap that is ready to use for the holidays needs to be made now. If you are looking to make a festive and traditional cold process soap, the Holiday Cookie Bar and Holly Berry Cold Process features cheery red and green.
Top left, clockwise: Holiday Cookie Bar Cold Process, Espresso Shot Cold Process, Lemon Poppy Seed Cold Process, Holly Berry Cold Process, Indigo Spoon Plop Cold Process, Black White and Gold All Over Cold Process
The holidays may seem far away, but they will be here before you know it. If you plan on creating homemade gifts for family, friends and loved ones, now is the time to get started. Crafting gifts early cuts down on stress and makes the holiday season more enjoyable. With a little preparation, this will be the year for a handmade holiday!
No entrepreneur jumps into business knowing exactly how to run a company. Despite what you hear or read, people aren’t just born good at business. It takes years (decades!) to learn the ins and outs of the business world, and many mistakes will be made along the way. There is so much that can only be learned from experience, including how to manage your time and how to lead employees.
Luckily, successful entrepreneurs have shared and published their experiences. I have read hundreds of business related books (that’s not an exaggeration. You can always see what I’m reading here). Five of these books have made a big impact on how I run my company and my life. These are books that I have read several times, and to pick up for inspiration or advice frequently.
7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey is all about figuring out what your values are, and working towards those values every day. The points he makes in the book are essential not only for business but for living a great life. I have done this book alone or with a group probably 6 times over the last 15 years and every single time, I find something new. There’s a reason it’s a classic.