Friday, January 23, 2009

Playing Blog Tag... Indie Beauty Style

I was tagged today by Lisa Rodgers of Cactus & Ivy greatness. Lisa's blog is called The Southern Accent. It's so fun to read about what she's up to with her cutie southern accent. (She once gave me permission to use "y'all" in my daily speak, but I'm a yankee and, sadly, it doesn't fly when it comes out of my mouth. *sigh*) Anyway, the challenge came from Donna Maria, the powerhouse behind the Indie Beauty Network & Indie Business Blog. My task, since I choose to accept it, is to list the Top Ten Reasons that I love being an Indie girl.

Here it goes~

1. The sky is my limit. I can dream as large as I want and make it happen. I love thinking about where Twin Birch will be in a year, 5 years, 10... I also love looking back to see how far we've come.

2. I'm always Mom first. My kids can find me (even when I'm trying to hide!) and I can usually drop whatever I'm doing to help them if they need it.

3. I can be creative! I love thinking up new ideas and playing with new products. I love the inspiration I get from everywhere and I love working into my products.

4. I get to work with my family. We all spend time in the bubble lab. My sons are the ones who created the first Ninja soaps and they are a great seller!

5. I've made new friends. I love connecting with the people of IBN. They are so sweet, funny and SMART!

6. Taking my products into a retail shop and seeing how well they are received is a blast! I am always so proud and flattered when people agree to sell my line

7. I can multi task. Sometimes this is my downfall, but usually I'm pretty good at making soap, answering email, doing the laundry, helping with homework and walking the dog. :)

8. I learn EVERYDAY!

9. I usually smell really good! I love all of the amazing oils that I get to work with and all of the great ingredients that I play with! If there is any doubt about how aromatherapy works, just check in with one of us soapmakers. We're a really happy bunch and we smell great, too!

10. Everything! I feel like this is what I am here to do. My mission is to help people find wonderful pleasure in the simple task of taking care of themselves. I believe that if we nurture our bodies and spirits, we are better able to give back to others and everyone wins.

Here are my 5 tag picks:

Stephanie Craig - Honey Bee Soaps
Debbie Chialtas - Soapylove
Lori Nova - The Nova Studio
Rochel Roland - The Joyful Bath Co.
Stephanie Reynolds - Hothouse Botanicals

Indies Rock!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Loving the Giveaway at Life Starring Ellie & Eve!

Victoria Arya has the cutest blog called, "Life Starring Ellie and Eve". Ellie & Eve are her two adorable babies. The blog is so fun! Victoria's blog description is so cute. "A product review site specializing in fun, cool & trendy baby, kid & mom gear. Written by one cool momma with a lot to say." She and I teamed up to giveaway a Twin Birch Feeling the Love Gift Basket for Lovers. I LOVE reading all of the comments from her readers. Pop over & take a peek around. You will surely be entertained!~

Friday, January 16, 2009

Thanks to All...

...of you for your love & kindness about Max!! Happily, I was able to pick him up this afternoon. It seems like he didn't have a stroke, but prolapsed a nerve in his neck between his vertebrae. He's had lots of steroids to stop the swelling and is feeling 150% better. When I picked him up, he was back to his old tricks... jumping up & down like a kangaroo, yanking me around like a kite behind him, crying like a baby.... so great! Now the trick is to keep him quiet for 12 days so he doesn't injure himself any more.
Doggie Valium, anyone? Wish me luck!

Our whole family read all of your sweet comments yesterday & today. Cora summed it up the best. She said, "These people are so nice!" She right. Thank you.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Prayers for Max

Those of you who've been sweet enough to read One Bubble at a Time for awhile, have met Max.
He's our 3 1/2 year old yellow lab. He weighs in at about 120 and he is a handful! I haven't gone to see Marley & Me, because I'm pretty sure I live it. Read here, here, or here for more Max stories.Some odd behavior from Max prompted me to call the vet this morning. By 1 pm I was frantically driving him to an emergency appt. after my sweet friend Ramsey & I carried him up the stairs using a blanket as a hammock under his chest. Max had been carrying his head very low for 36 hours. I thought it was a flare up of an ear infection he's been treated for. Then he couldn't straighten his paw to walk and began to stumble around.

The Vet, Dr. Bob *(who I love) thinks he was having a stroke. He's at the Hospital having had a large dose of antibiotics & steroids to try to reduce the swelling causing the problems. He perked up a little as I was leaving and I'm praying that he'll be ok. Even though he drives me a little crazy, I love that big dog to bits. So, if you have a moment to say a little something for Max, we would all appreciate it! I'll keep you posted on his condition!

Monday, January 12, 2009

It's All About YUZU!

I am in love with this bar of Yuzu Soap. It smells soo fresh, sunny, warm, sparkly, exciting.... The fragrance is Yuzu from Brambleberry. So amazing! And I'm really happy with my cold process formulation. It offers the perfect balance of sudsy fun & serious skin~loving moisturizers. My bars have great staying power in the shower. If they are left to dry in between uses, they will last for weeks.

Not only do I love it in this batch of soap, I also love it in bath bombs. So do the locals! The bombs have been selling out at The Randolph Farm Stand, a four season shop that features local farmers, artisans & products. I love having my products there. Scott and Tammy are two of the most genuinely nice people I know. And their store is beautiful.

Yuzu will be available February 1st. Drop me a comment if you'd like me to save you some. I promise it will bring sunshine & warmth to wherever you are!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Pick One of Two... EtsyBloggers Carnival Fun

Happy New Year everyone! The Carnival Blog topics at EtsyBloggers Street Team for January are thought provoking. One choice is to write about the CPSIA Law of 2008. You can read up on it at Joey & Aleethea's blogpost. What I know is that it's hauntingly reminiscent of the FDA Globalization Act of 2008 which threatened the handcrafted bath & body business with all of its weighty regulation & hefty registration fees. Since I participated in local government for 4 years as a Selectboard member here in Randolph(please don't call me a Selectman!) LOL, I have seen with my own eyes how ordinances, laws & regulations can enhance & impede community life. I'm 100% support the guidelines in place to help our products be safe & well made. I am grateful to the Handcrafted Soapmakers Guild for the wealth of information that they provide to all of us independent businesses. I don't favor regulating small business out of business. I believe they are the honest backbone of a healthy economy. Whew! That was serious!

The other choice was to list some New Years resolutions. I can't be that serious about them because I hardly ever keep them for the whole year! Here are my not so serious promises to myself:

1. I will not freak out over cleaning my house anymore! It's one thing to be neat & tidy *(I am) it's something totally different to be a cranky whirling dervish upending the house in the name of vacuuming up some dust bunnies.

2. I will stop calling Atkins Shakes my breakfast. We have 10 hens. We get at least 56 eggs a week. No more shakes.

3. (And I am serious about this one) I will adopt a "drop everything and play" policy.
Since Austen entered 7th grade, I realize how fast these precious days evaporate. I don't care if the laundry needs switching or the email needs answering. I'll never be sad for putting those things off and spending time with our 4 sweet kids and my wonderful, adorable husband.

Three seems like a fair number. Of course I could go on & on about business goals, but those are written down and in place. Hopefully, this will be another Year of the Birch! :)

Oh, 1 more resolution... when someone says pick one of two, I will follow directions! LOL!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Etsy Front Page Surprise

Happy New Year everyone!! I was so happy and surprised to get some Etsy convos congratulating me for making the front page on New Years Eve! Thanks to Elizabeth from Gassner Custom Soaps for her cute post about it! They featured my Champagne Chic Bath Bomb. FUN!!

I actually was celebrating with friends and never saw the "live shot". Fortunately, Elizabeth posted a picture.

Hopefully next time, I'll actually see it!!