Well that’s not very nice is it? No…it’s not. But hang with me. Here’s the deal, not amazing things can happen when you move down any type of unconventional path, personally or professionally. When you take a risk…break the mold – the 9-5, the family tradition, the usual whatever…you may encounter some doubt, some naysayers, some flat-out hostility even.
So it’s been interesting for me. You see, I am one of those people that came out of the shoot feeling pretty amazing, and positive. Then had two parents and a sister to back that up every day who thought everything I did was great and funny and brilliant. Don’t get me wrong this is a blessed environment to grow up in and I would not only highly recommend it, but LEGISLATE it if possible. The hard truth is at some point in life you are going to come across some folks – maybe as close as a spouse, or a friend, an employer, potential retailer, customer, investor, etc. who doesn’t think you’re as amazing as your mom thinks. Huh. And how you deal with that will be a game changer.
Here’s the thing I have realized – it really has very little to do with whether I am amazing or not, because obviously I am (😊) but rather, did I convince THAT person that I was amazing? By convince, I don’t mean deceive. We’re talking about actually having something to offer – whether as simple as being kind when you have every right to be rude or upset, like when my son and I waited 90 minutes in a Filiberto’s drive through, and instead of asking what the heck was going on, I tipped them and offered to come in and cook…lol. I guarantee those gals thought I was amazing in that moment. Or something more complicated, like the inspiration for this post – sharing and retailing your own product line or service. I’m not gonna lie, I have felt flat out NOT amazing at times, and that is saying something! I have had moments of doubt, rejection, second guessing, wanting to quit, anger!
Here are the three options when these things happen: 1) Go ahead and quit, 2) Figure out if there is a real problem and develop a solution or a plan B, or 3) Push those thoughts out and move on.
The hard reality is at the end of the day, you CANNOT please everyone, I know, I know. Let’s all take a moment of silence for that one. Maybe that is not your thing but man…it’s mine. I want EVERYONE to think EVERYTHING I do is spectacular and that my products are the best thing they have ever seen. And when they don’t no matter what I may do, that is where #3 comes into play.
The other hard reality however might be even more important and that is, you can AND SHOULD make changes, adjustments, and move in a different direction when necessary – which is A LOT when you own your own business. This was very hard for me to grasp because of course I thought everything I did was going to be instantly perfect the first time. My official advice on this topic is…suck it up. If you want something to be successful, know that it will be hard work and a lot of do-overs. If 12 people tell you they can’t read the writing on your label, change it. If 12 people tell you your deodorant makes them break out in a rash, change it. If 12 people tell you your lip balm turned to gritty sandpaper in 3 weeks, change it. If someone tells you your soap stings their eyes when they rub it in there, chan…well no, actually that person is an idiot so you just smile and give them free stuff 😉. You get the idea.
We humans are very efficient at being super egocentric. I can prove that by scrolling through Facebook for about 32 seconds. All these ‘I’m great, everything I do is perfect, and anyone who doesn’t think so can shove it’ memes. Okay, okay, if you’re THAT person I get where you’re coming from, and sometimes we need that kind of self-talk, but truth is, most of the time, what we need is a swift kick in the pants. Whether you like it or not, if you have had feedback, that something you have said, done, or created is not fantastic, especially if it’s by more than one person…it’s not time to post a meme, it’s time to make an adjustment. Meaningful success comes when you are overly self-reflective and willing and able to make changes and improve something, whether it’s your attitude, your product line, your health habits, your marriage, your finances…it applies all around.
One of the most valuable things I have learned in having my own business which, make no mistake, is one of the most vulnerable positions you could ever enter into, is a) a little humility never hurt anyone, and b) KEEP PUSHING and moving forward. I know it sounds pretty cliché, don’t give up…yada, yada. But it really is the way to success.
I look back at all the little failures or no goes that have happened over the last 2½ years of my business – Ready for this…I went to a Shark Tank casting call for goodness sake, with $11,000 in sales under my belt and was absolutely convinced they were going to have me on the show and all fight over investing a zillion dollars into my business, really!? Let’s raise a glass to blind optimism at least! After they didn’t call I made a video and sent it to them. I DID CARTWHEELS IN THE VIDEO FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!! And guess what!? They still didn’t call.
It took me a couple MONTHS to get over that one. I stopped advertising, stopped moving forward, stopped everything. But that was okay. I let myself. I knew I was processing. That’s another important thing to do. Let yourself pout for a minute. But when you are done, dig your impractical cockiness and blind optimism back out, and look for another win. You will have small successes along with the small failures and you have to keep pushing forward and achieving those. Seriously, they can be REALLY small successes. Let the little things make you happy.
The Shark Tank experience ended up being the catalyst in a roundabout way for me to start selling on Amazon, something I was totally averse to for a long time. I had had prior experience with my hubby’s product and my sister’s business and Amazon is a (HUGE) pain in the butt to put it mildly. Well I got over it and guess what…one of my products is exploding so ridiculously on Amazon now that I can hardly keep up. Like, my hubby and I keep looking at each other in disbelief as my phone dings with a sale all hours of the day and night…I can honestly say I think this is the beginning of the end…of my 9-5 that is. Something I never actually believed and maybe even still don’t as I say it.
In summary…be cocky, be humble, keep moving forward, focus on small wins, and let yourself pout once in a while. And most of all – you ARE amazing!! You just need to convince everyone else of that…but that’s the fun part 😊
So let’s talk about washing your hair…you know…with soap. Most of you are probably thinking, yeah…I do that. I can almost guarantee you…you don’t. What in the world am I talking about?? Simply this… Shampoo is, stated simply, not soap. SOAP is a saponified oil that becomes a surfactant. Mainstream shampoo is a concoction of mostly synthetic chemicals, some worse than others, and water…and it’s intended purpose is to strip your hair of any and all natural oils, and then, with the help of a synthetic ‘conditioner,’ sometimes in the shampoo itself, and sometimes used separately, coat your hair follicle with chemical ‘saran wrap’ made of silicones and/or fatty alcohols to make your hair feel smooth and ‘look’ shiny and healthy. Ewww…
OK, let’s dive into the ‘ewww’ part as the description itself suggests that this may not necessarily be a desirable or healthy way to care for your hair and scalp. And if you thought that, you’d be right…but why? A few reasons…
NO DOUBT, #3 is the hardest one for us CIVILIZED Americans who spend a bit of time judging ourselves based on looks, not to mention spending zillions of dollars on products that might give a nanometer of extra glisten and shine. Hey! Don’t look at me like that! I’m as guilty as the next guy/gal…but I am also one of the most stubborn people on the planet, and therefore when I made the commitment to myself to live a healthier lifestyle via my body care products (mostly because if I'm going to take a 'health risk' I want it to involve super nachos, not shampoo)…I stuck with it, and allowed by body to adjust…to synthetic free deodorant, oral care, haircare, skin care, and everything in between.
Did I have a few bad hair days? Sure! Did I have a few bad armpit days? Yeah! Side tangent…what kills me is that the el-naturále deodorant thing has really caught on. I know cause every time I open Facebook there is a new company touting their product. The fact of the matter is, aluminum containing deodorant got enough bad press that people jumped on the band wagon and were willing to make an adjustment. What I find absolutely hilarious is that people are apparently willing to have potentially stinky pits, but a few bad hair days?? FORGET IT!! That's taking it WAY too far!!! LOL!!
So let’s dive into that for a second. Hair may need to ‘adjust’ to not being coated with chemicals, and it may ‘feel’ a little different in the process. What does all that mean? I’m so glad you asked…
Let’s go back to the title of this post, about ACTUALLY washing your hair…WITH SOAP. When we wash our hair with actual soap, it will not feel the same as when we ‘saran wrap’ it with chemicals, obviously. People misinterpret this as all kinds of things…the hair being dry, the soap leaving a ‘residue on the hair,’ etc. It’s the chemicals that actually leave the residue, tricking you into thinking that your hair actually feels like velvet. I know, I know! I want velvet hair too! But not as much as I don’t want to die of cancer. The hard truth is (I hope you’re sitting down), hair is actually coarser than we are 'conditioned' to expect (ha ha). However, if you allow it to adjust, that feeling will become normal, and the hair will actually not feel as coarse to you down the line. I promise you this is true. It happened to me. It is just a matter of you being willing to stick with a chemical free hair care regimen for as long as it takes.
(I will take a small aside to discuss the onslaught of VERY hard water all over the US over the last several decades making it more difficult to use soap for everything including washing hair like our grandparents did in the past. The truth is, if you have extremely hard water it may be difficult to wash anything with actual soap. What causes this is the mineral ions in the hard water displacing the sodium ions in the soap making it difficult to rinse. If this is the case, I strongly encourage you to invest in a water softening system, not just so you can use real soap in your hair, but also so you can save your hair, skin, appliances, and everything else that hard water destroys.)
I was reading on a website of a pretty prominent haircare company in Africa that attempts to actually keep crap out of their products. This is an excerpt:
Hair care actives – these were really challenging. We were trying to match the instant feel of the silicones and quaterniums with purely natural ingredients and the feedback from test groups wasn’t good. After six months we stopped and stepped back from the problem. What do people want? We figured they’d want healthy hair. The best way to deliver on that is not to focus on instant feel. Normal brands strip the hair and then replace the natural oils with synthetics. We worked with very mild foaming agents that don’t strip away as much and then used plant oils to replace the natural oils on the hair. In short, we minimised the disturbance to the natural cycle. So, if you’re prepared to give the products a try for two weeks you should see great results; but don’t expect “thicker, fuller, smoother” hair instantly.
I couldn’t have put it better myself, and this excerpt is actually what inspired me to write this post.
So…is all natural haircare for everyone? Of course not. Are you a bad person if you don’t ‘make the adjustment?’ Weeellllll…JUST JOKING! Of course not! I just wanted to offer some facts, realistic info, and encouragement to those of you thinking about trying it, tried it and gave up, or kicked the addiction for good and are still alive!!
Here are a couple pics of my hair (sans filter) which literally gets better and better as I continue to use my products resulting in A LOT of embarrassing selfies on my phone. One pic with blow dryer and curling iron action and one having air-dried and in its own 'nature of the beast' wavier state. Thanks for stopping by!!
Shop Body Food® Haircare here!!
Yeah you heard that right. Toss your New Year’s resolution to eat clean (oh never mind, it’s May you already did that 3½ months ago). Then again you may also be coming around to the unfortunate conclusion that ‘OMG I might be getting into a bathing suit in a month or two’ and re-instituting your disciplined dietary efforts right about now. But I bet there are some of you out there who have legitimately had a lifestyle change with regards to what you are putting in your body. If so, YOU are the people I want to talk to. So let’s talk.
First of all congratulations on your clean eating!! That is amazing!
By all means, go on your vegetable juice fast, eat nothing but cage free granola, and drink 57 gallons of water a day, it’s awesome, it really is (coming from the sarcastic chick who has not totally cleaned up her eating yet). But it always cracks me up no end when I see people ABSOLUTELY OBSESSING over a cleaner diet, eating organic, no meat, etc. while simultaneously slapping on their Sweet Honeydew Lemon Peanut Nugget lotion from The Body Shop with 75 chemical ingredients that they cannot pronounce. Honestly, I’m not sure why we are not getting this.
For those of you who are currently rolling your eyes and thinking, “Oh no no no, that’s not me. I buy the REALLY NICE, expensive stuff from this ‘healthy’ body-care company…OK OK…I concede, there are some out there (1 or 2), but I do have ONE suggestion: Go get the bottles…check the ingredient lists…by that I mean look up every single one (because you will have to look them up), and see if they TRULY ARE without harmful chemicals. I absolutely guarantee, 9 out of 10 of you will find, at the very least, hard hitting chemical preservatives and any number of other fillers and unhealthy additives. It is just the nature of the beast. They need to add these things if they want to be competitive in the mass market. It might even say organic and vegan…IGNORE THAT! Just because it isn’t GMO or grown with pesticides and doesn’t contain animal products DOES NOT MEAN there are not synthetic chemicals!! Get this…synthetics made in lab ARE ALL ORGANIC BECAUSE THEY WEREN’T GROWN ANYWHERE!!! I’m gonna let that sink in for a moment…
Now that we have that cleared up…if you are putting these things on your body, they are getting into your blood stream faster than if you ate them. Therefore, a good rule of thumb is if you can’t eat it…YOU SHOULDN’T BE WEARING IT, BRUSHING WITH IT, OR BATHING IN IT. That brings new meaning to the 'consumption warnings' on your toothpaste label, yes I will wait while you go check…
Now before we all run screaming through the streets, let’s talk about this phenomenon for a moment. A year ago, when I became a research-aholic (and conspiracy theorist, I ADMIT IT!) I was constantly asking myself WHY WHY WHY did we do it? Why did we start adding all these things into our body-care products? Well, as I can see it, the answer is 2-fold:
1. Consumerism in America has reached all time insane heights. Most of us have WAY too much stuff and are buying more by the minute. Therefore it all needs to be able to sit in a drawer for 15 years without growing anything AFTER it sat on the shelf for 2 years And…
2. CHEMICALS ARE CHEAPER!! And let’s face it, we all love a bargain.
Now at this point, I’m sure you’re all thinking, “Gosh, what gives? How am I ever going to get anywhere with this 'clean living' thing if ALL this stuff is filled with chemicals??” Well I’m thrilled you asked.
Listen…there ARE companies out there (Body Food® anyone?) that are offering truly chemical free products, but you will have to diligently look for them, and KNOW what you are looking for, just like you do with your clean eating. And please please please please please if you take ANYTHING away, let it be this:
NOT ALL COMPANIES THAT CLAIM TO BE ‘HONEST’ (hint hint) ABOUT THEIR PRODUCTS BEING HEALTHY ARE STAYING AWAY FROM HARMFUL CHEMICALS!! So check your labels!!
The other thing that needs to happen is we need to rethink the way we expect body-care products to feel, smell, taste, etc. I am by no means suggesting that healthy body-care products cannot feel and smell good, but I am telling you there are a few things we have been conditioned to expect that are not healthy or even normal. You know that luxurious silky smoothness you feel after washing with Dove thick and creamy body wash? THAT IS A FILM LEFT BEHIND BY CHEMICALS! REAL soap…without chemicals, feels different. It makes your skin feel what I like to call ‘squeaky clean.’ But it’s something you might have to get used to. Do you like your hair to be totally stripped of any and every remnant of natural oils your body produces? You need to get that out of your head (no pun intended). That is not good for your hair and scalp, nor is there ANYTHING in nature that will do that safely and effectively. Let’s talk minty freshness…do you like BURNING OUT the inside of your mouth with Listerine? I mean, was there not even a commercial that CHALLENGED consumers on whether or not they could do the ‘full minute’ because of how bad it burned!!?? Here’s the rocket science part: It’s painful because it’s harmful. I think you are getting the idea.
I’ve said it before, I will say it again, we are hands down the most over-washed and over-deodorized country on the planet. So, in our freedom, let’s continue to scrub our skin down to one layer and brush the enamel right off our teeth after every meal…let’s just do it with healthier alternatives instead of the commercial wasteland of chemicals that we currently spend billions of dollars on annually.
The Body Food® line has replaced most every body-care product used in our daily routines with healthy, chemical free alternatives. In fact, the ingredient lists are so short, you will literally not know what to do with all the time you save not looking things up!
Take the plunge. Take the ‘No Yucky Stuff’ challenge. Tell your friends. You’ll be glad you did!
Oh...and if you're still not sure about all this 'chemicals shmemicals' mumbo jumbo and what the harm is...check out this informative article!
A much more acceptable topic indeed! The Body Food® line is taking over the whole body and has moved on to your mouth!! And yes I mean your whole mouth, because it’s more than just your teeth. It’s your gums, lips, tongue, and occasionally (if you’re anything like me) your foot inserted into it. While we can’t help you out with the foot part, we can with the rest!
I was aghast to discover ONCE AGAIN what garbáge (said with French undertones) we brush and rinse with. And my eternal question…WHY WHY WHY??? What, why, who, and when was it decided that every product needed to be able to survive the nuclear holocaust!!?? I am assuming that is why there are 42,000 chemicals in everything?? But maybe I’m wrong, maybe it was just for fun? Or a government experiment?? I don’t know nor do I care. What I DO know is that there are SUPERB alternatives in the form of Body Food® Whipped Coconut Oil Toothpaste and Body Food® Aloe Vera Mouth Rinse.
(Is anyone getting the sense that someone is proud of her new registered trademark ® ??)
Now I am not going to bore you with the details of why you should NEVER be putting Fluoride, Triclosan, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS), Artificial Sweeteners, Propylene Glycol, Diethanolamine (DEA), and Microbeads TO NAME A FEW anywhere near you or your children’s (or anyone else you like) mouths. Suffice it to say that we are shortening our lives here people. Now I don’t want to live forever, but I would like to maybe, oh I don’t know, see a few grand-kids and maybe NOT die of cancer.
Soooo, let’s talk about what IS in Body Food® toothpaste. Believe it or not there are A TON of awesome ingredients to choose from where toothpaste is concerned...so many healthy and neato things you can concoct to brush your teeth with. But in the interest of developing a product that was somewhere in line with how we are conditioned to think toothpaste should look, feel, and taste…here it is: Whipped Coconut Oil, Baking Soda, and Stevia. Oh and can I tell you…IT IS DELICIOUS!!
You know you hit the jackpot when husband and kids INSIST on continuing to use something when you leave the ‘old version’ readily available. When they don’t like my trial product they will often ‘accidentally’ use the old stuff or ‘forget’ there was new stuff to try. Well not with this. In fact, we were all fighting over the one small tub I had brought upstairs so I had to make two larger ones for each bathroom and just got a request to stock the downstairs bathroom as well!
Now I don’t think it is any great mystery that coconut oil has become popular as an alternative DIY toothpaste substitute and obviously baking soda. But let’s talk quickly about stevia. I was VERY pleasantly surprised to find out AFTER deciding to include it in the toothpaste to counteract the saltiness of the baking soda that it is in fact, GOOD FOR YOUR TEETH AND GUMS!! Now I knew enough to know it wasn’t BAD, but I did not know that research is now being done on the plant extract that is showing all kinds of health benefits, to include killing off one of the bacteria in our mouths responsible for plaque and cavities. Hallelujah!! The mouth rinse is a yummy combination of Pure Aloe Vera Leaf Juice, Pure Spearmint Extract, and Stevia. It is a great minty finish to your daily routine (no I didn't forget about you 'has to be minty to be clean' peeps!). The Aloe Vera obviously the star player in this concoction. Soooooo good for the soft tissues of the inside of the mouth.
So brush and swish it up people!! We do these things because it is HEALTHY and GOOD FOR US…so stop doing it with chemicals! That just makes absolutely no sense whatsoever! Shop Body Food® Whipped Coconut Oil Toothpaste and Body Food® Aloe Vera Mouth Rinse!!
If you weren’t privy to our first armpit discussion, click here. I am happy to report that I have been using my own all-natural deodorant since its inception back in…oh…August? September? So here is the scoop…
A couple times a month, when I stick my nose knee deep in my armpit (mental picture) I can smell a body odor…nothing horrific, just my body’s 'scent' if you will. Like I said before I think it's a hormonal thing because it’s only one or two times a month, usually in the same week. But since we American’s do not like to smell our own odors, of any kind, ever…I dutifully grabbed my little travel tin of deodorant I bring with me from my purse, reapplied and WALLAH!! Perfect fix. I am not exaggerating AT ALL, once you reapply, it’s like the odor NEVER HAPPENED…which I find amazing.
HERE’S THE KICKER!! On 2 occasions, I decided that the risk of cancer was much less pertinent than the risk of stinking, cause let’s face it, ain’t that the truth sometimes!? So I used good ole’ Dove or whatever I’ve got from ‘back in the day’ and guess what?? I came home and did the knee deep in the armpit routine and I STILL SMELLED MYSELF!!
So news flash ladies and gentlemen, shoving aluminum in our pits doesn’t work all that perfectly either but we are so conditioned to think it does, that’s what we do.
News flash #2!!! Very excited to report that I also tried another all-natural deodorant that shall remain nameless but is an awesome and successful company that I am insanely jealous of (in a good way) and MINE WORKS EXACTLY THE SAME!!! Yay!!! They use essentially the exact same ingredients which I was also happy to discover after concocting my own formula so that makes sense that it would work the same.
So all of that to say, get CRAY CRAY and try a little ‘harm reduction’ as I like to call it. You don’t need to quit cold turkey, but the less chemical filled deodorant you use the better. So grab your Stay Fresh Travel Pal and RUN…well walk, maybe walk cause running may cause more sweating and then you might be tempted to shove aluminum in your pits!! SHOP BODY FOOD DEODORANT NOW!!
Kim is impatient...Kim is mean...Ok, alright, not all the time. But it is so stinking easy to let little nit-picky things ruin your whole day, and therefore the day of those in close proximity to you. You see…I am an early riser, and once I rise I go. I do dishes, laundry, dust, wipe, swipe, tidy, email, blog, smog, flog…you get the picture. I am basically turning into my mother. I say that with much pride. But I have to consciously sit down and relax from time to time, and doing so causes me to have ants in my pants.
When other non anty-panty people I live with are doing CRAZY things like, ya know, sleeping past 7, or worse...playing video games, reading books, or watching TV, I start having intrusive thoughts about…well…how shall I say…
…how generally lazy and useless they are, and how generally productive and awesome I am…
…there I said it. While I fully realize how hideous and inaccurate this is, these are the thoughts that plague me in my anty-panty hustle bustle none the less. Mind you, I called them intrusive thoughts for a reason. Because I would never admit that these are actual thoughts that originate in my own conscious brain. I’d rather like to think that they are being put in my mind by some supernatural force, Satan himself perhaps?? He doesn’t have anything better to do but telepathically zap me while I fold underwear on a Saturday morning right?
This brings me back to the patient and kind thingy, a well-known start to a series of verses from the Bible read at almost every wedding in America. We’ve all heard it. It outlines all the things love is…and it sounds so wonderful. What it also does is describe love as an action, not a feeling or an emotion. I honestly can’t remember much of the rest of the verses, but just those first two adjectives pretty well keep me busy and encompass what I need to work on most of the time.
The reason why I love principles like this is because it simplifies things so much if you really think about it. As stated earlier, I can definitely be impatient and mean (as evidenced by the use of the word ‘useless’ in the description above when referring to the people I am supposed to ‘love’ most in this world). BUT…if I am supposed to be patient and kind if I say I LOVE someone, well then, I guess I better fake it till I make it!! Don't look at me like that! Just keep reading :)
How this unfolded this morning was that instead of marching up the stairs with laundry basket in hand and announcing to the world at large in a slightly elevated tone that they could ‘MAYBE THINK ABOUT GETTING OFF THEIR LAZY BUTTS AND HELPING ME OUT' (the totally intuitive, human, take care of #1 thing to do), I left the basket downstairs, got 2 cups of coffee, walked upstairs and gave my husband one and sat on the bed and chit chatted for a minute (patient). Then...perfectly calmly, and with a sexy grin, I told him that instead of carrying the laundry basket upstairs, I opted for his coffee (kind) where he promptly jumped up and went downstairs to get the basket and started helping with the laundry without even being asked...huh!
I actually marched up the stairs repeating ‘patient and kind, patient and kind’ in my head over and over. This is something I have been trying lately. You see, when you repeat thoughts and actions over and over, even when they are not what you wanted to do initially (this is the 'faking it' part), something amazing happens…your feelings and emotions actually catch up (this is the 'making it' part, see? Not nearly as sinister as it sounded!). By the time I got upstairs I actually WANTED to be patient and kind and sit on the bed and drink coffee for a minute and enjoy my husband’s smiling face.
[CAUTION: About to get preachy…]
You know what Biblical principles like this remind me of? Essential oils. Any oil user/lover out there will get this…we are ALWAYS so surprised when they WORK!! And how WELL they work!! The things in the Bible seem so counter-intuitive sometimes (most of the time) and like we are betraying our very selves, being archaic in our thinking, etc. But the fact of the matter is, those principles are the path to husbands jumping off the bed and running downstairs to get the laundry basket without being asked!!
It’s really quite self-serving if you think about it, but from the outset it seems self-sacrificing. This is actually the beauty in it. It meets the needs of everyone involved, and this is why it is so superior to anything we can come up with on our own. I guess that is why He is God and we are not. Applying these types of principles have never NOT worked for me. And yet, I choose selfish, bad behavior some of the time too, because what can I say? I am a work in progress.
So…today, do the counter intuitive thing. Love is patient, love is kind…think about what that really looks like and put it into action. You might not believe the results.
As I walked to my car this afternoon after work I was greeted by an adorable pooch in the car next to mine with his paw out the window at the ready to give me a shake. Don't worry all you dog lovers out there...mom and dad were in the car also. Another employee was getting a nice visit from her husband and dog during her break. I proceeded to give the sweet darling several minutes of scratching and loving where he happily proceeded to bathe my face in doggy saliva. I always feel good when dogs and small children instantly like me because it's a great indication that I'm not a serial murderer. I mean...I've also never murdered anybody so that's another good tip off, but just in case anyone was wondering.
When the kibble slather was all over with, I thanked the owners and the pooch and got in my car to go pick up my kids from school. As I drove away I was literally grinning from ear to ear over my doggy kisses from some stranger's four legged friend. I started thinking about how the tiniest, silliest things can change the whole course of your day. I mean, I wasn't having a bad day, but after doggy kisses I felt like someone had given me a million bucks. Well...no one's ever given me a million bucks so I don't ACTUALLY know how that feels but I'm up for a clinical trial if anyone has a cool mil lying around :)
In all seriousness, I just took a minute to reflect on the things that matter in life and the things that make us feel joy. And I remembered to say thanks to the big man upstairs from whom all good and perfect things come... including doggy kisses. In general, I think having a grateful heart in all that we do is truly THE path to contentment. And I know I'm not reinventing any concepts here, but I think it's often said to give thanks to God even in the midst of trials and hardships, remembering how truly blessed we are in so many ways even when things go wrong. But I also think it's SUPER important to remember to thank God when our day is normal and things are perfectly fine. Especially when we have little wonderful treats like doggy kisses on the way to the car. Taking a minute to thank the Lord for that interaction extended the yummy feelings that much longer and made me that much more grateful.
A lot of life is about our focus and perspective. I'm constantly reinforcing to my kids what life is like for so many other children not only in the US, but globally. It is literally unimaginable how most people live as compared to how we live in the United States. Short of dropping my kids off at the Tijuana border, they will never have a true perspective of what it's like and I'm thankful for that. But I try to find constant little ways to remind them and myself how unbelievably, and frankly obnoxiously blessed we are. There's no better way to find contentment. Contentment by no means translates into being unmotivated or not goal oriented, but it definitely means that whatever God's plans are for my life I'm okay with, because most often within those plans, there are always doggy kisses to be grateful for.
I mean, besides the very OBVIOUS reasons…A) It doesn’t go good with ketchup OR ranch, B) It’s not made of potatoes, C) There is no drive through were you can buy it, and D) You cannot retrieve it from the underbelly of your car 36 months later in the exact same condition it was in when you purchased it. ‘D’ being what we are going to gab about today. Actually I guess I gab and you read, which works out great for me, maybe not as great for you :)
I am finding this journey through natural skin care product manufacturing to be quite educational. I mean, I realize there is a science behind everything but when you start a company sort of by accident and RUN with it, you tend to have a lot of ‘Aha’ or even more accurate ‘You don’t know what you don’t know’ moments. And when you are like me and you do things like post on social media about the brand new product ‘X’ that you are coming out with before even making it because you got a 3am idea, it works out really well (eh hem..). I have actually been extremely lucky in this area for the most part except of course for the epic lip balm fails which I have talked extensively about. The good news is, there’s Google, and I am not reinventing any wheels here so it is fairly easy to solve most of my problems. I just have to break through my middle name, ‘I was born knowing everything and every idea I have is immediately awesome and going to work.’ It’s shorter in Italian. The good news is I will be equipped with enough info to have an honorary PhD in skincare product manufacturing (is there such a thing?) when this is all said and done.
All of that to say (man I’m long winded!) that I really want to emphasize what these products are all about and what your expectations can be with them. I have discovered that there is indeed a reason there are 547 chemicals in every product on the shelf. Because when we became a civilized society and started opening things like Super Wal-Marts with 35,000 skincare products (per aisle) and consuming mass quantities of things we didn’t need, manufacturers got smart. They realized that their products really needed to be able to sit in a drawer for 500 years with 300 other products and not turn into a science project. What better way than to introduce science itself into the products!!?? Let’s see…we will need something for preserving, and stabilizing, and binding, and texturizing, and destructurizing, and restructurizing, and living through a nuclear holocostizing, etc. You get the idea. So now we have science projects all over our houses, not in the form of something that has gone through the natural decomposition process like last month’s enchilada dinner that got forgotten in the back of the frig, but rather because it was made that way to withstand the test of…well…infinity.
I’m here to tell ya, Body Food products will not stand the test of infinity. Actually I went to an especially hellacious (as in temperature) street fair last month and looked at my Pumpkin Pie lip balm a week later (unfortunately as someone was opening it and slathering it all over her lips, she seemed to like it just fine) and it was grainy and separated. Not dangerous or yucky by any means but not the silky smooth salve I had poured into the tins (DANG LIP BALM ALL TO HECK!!). Well, I got my lesson in ‘tempering’ butters…really just how you need to treat them with regards to heating and cooling so as not to have the fats separate out into crystals, YADA YADA!! Now this doesn’t mean you cannot carry the lip balm with you in your purse in 90 degree weather, it just means that if it heats up and cools down a bunch of times it might get a little grainy. I can combat that a bit on my end by cooling it rapidly after making it so as to freeze the lipids into position and they will be less likely to separate out, but I’m sure you get the idea. And some of you are like ENOUGH WITH THE SCIENCE TALK ALREADY!!!
The great news is, in my inadvertent effort to be lazy and having invented my ‘no heat’ method of lotion making, I was actually doing myself a favor, because the less heat these butters are exposed to, the less likely they are to separate…capeesh!? So that was an epic WIN with the lotion.
At any rate, I wanted to share some of this with you because I want you to have reasonable expectations with these products (and any other similar chemical free products). If your goal truly is to cut out some of the yucky stuff in your life, there is a catch…so to speak. They need to be kept in a coolish, dryish place and need to be used within a year, more or less. They are not going to be perky if you leave them in your car in the dead of summer while shopping or if you bury them in a drawer for 5 years and forget about them. They need love, they need attention, and they want you to use them EVERY DAY!! Is that too much to ask? :)
So…life lessons for today, eat McDonald’s Fries (or not), stop slathering yourself in science projects, take a chance with delicious, healthy, no yucky stuff Body Food products, and treat them kindly, understanding that they were not bound together with alien titanium found at the Roswell site coupled with hydrochlorothiazide chlorohexidine petroleum diacetate. Say that five times fast. (Only had to spell check one of those…MAN I’m good!!!)
I have always said there are two kinds of people in the world:
1) Those, who when faced with disapproval or rejection say, “What’s wrong with me?” and
2) Those, who when faced with disapproval or rejection say, “What’s wrong with THEM?”
Those of you who know me and my stupidly optimistic outlook on life will know exactly which category I fall into. But I wanted to say a few words about rejection, fear, and the power it can have over our lives if we let it. Or better stated, some real, practical things we can do to NOT let it have power over our lives in the first place.
Let’s face it, there is not a single one of us that likes to be disapproved of or rejected. Not a single one. And at one point or another, it is going to happen to all of us. I can only write this from the perspective of a person who is constantly asking the “What’s wrong with THEM?” question and with that comes a ton of freedom and blind cheerfulness but this is about something more meaningful than that. It’s about not letting others rob you of your dreams, your goals, and let’s face it…your existence.
There are a few ways to combat the circling-the-drain feeling you get when faced with rejection, or at least a few things that I like to do that have helped. Well, here goes nothing…
1) Ignore it if possible. Literally…pretend it never happened.
This can be done when the person is relatively insignificant in your life and/or the offense was relatively insignificant, but let’s be real, are those not the ones that are the most aggravating!!?? The wonderful side effect of ignoring it is you will either actually forget (like me with the early Alzheimer’s), or with time, think it is so silly that you wonder why you were even upset in the first place.
In action: A coworker of mine felt the need to tell me one day that another coworker disapproved of how I dressed (yes we just time warped back to the 7th grade). Now I wish I could tell you it was because I was wearing stilettos, low cut blouses, and miniskirts, but it was more along the lines of thinking I was too casually dressed for a ‘business casual’ look, which is ridiculous because of course I am one of the best dressed business casual people in the whole organization since I have an amazing fashion sense (there’s that ‘What’s wrong with THEM?’ thing).
Now the FIRST thing I did, which I ALSO highly encourage was to tell the ‘messenger,’ who clearly felt it her ethical obligation to inform me of said trash talking, to never again tell me when someone talked negatively behind my back. I really did, and I made the point that I was very serious. I do not want to know. I fully realize it takes place, but do not need that kind of negativity in my life. Now I think she was a little taken aback by that because some people just love to live in the misery of others and themselves I guess, but the declaration was made none the less. And for good reason, because when I tell you that this wardrobe comment ruined my ENTIRE afternoon, I am not exaggerating.
And like a good hot-headed Italian, I immediately started planning my attack for the next time I worked with said individual and had it all put together and ironed out to effectively scold her, send her on the guilt trip of a lifetime, and humiliate her all in one tidy speech. Boy was I gonna let her have it – in the most appropriate, passive aggressive, professional way possible, of course.
Well…as luck (and God’s grace) would have it, I didn’t see this individual for at least another week and by the time I did, I simply and briefly thought, ‘Oh yeah,’ and that was about it. And when she came in my office to chit chat it up like she always does, I actually sat and listened and did not have a single snarky thought or bad feeling. Because the fact of the matter is, time took care of the adrenaline, and I know that this person actually likes me and is just, well, human…and did what we have ALL done at one time or another; made a poo poo comment about someone in the moment. And to be quite honest, I almost had the inclination to feel bad for my evil plan of mental tarring and feathering. I even made a little mental apology to her as she was yammering on about this and that.
I know you are hoping I’m done, but I’m not…so let’s get on with it…
2) Talk to yourself regular and often.
I recommend this when no one else is listening in addition to triple checking that your cell phone has not butt dialed someone, but truly, this can be so cathartic. I know some people journal, but honestly, I am a product of the digital age and have officially lost the ability to so much as write a shopping list without getting a cramp in my hand. But if you journal, more power!
I have no idea when or how this ensued but I literally started interviewing myself in the car on the way home from work. I do everything from hash out business ideas to argue with my son’s teacher over an unfair grade. It’s great!! And I always win and make the best points! And when I am all through, I have clarified my thoughts, cooled my jets (or as my mom would say ‘put the clutch in’), and/or expelled the emotional part of it so that if I DO actually have to have a conversation with a real human, I am a lot more capable of doing it correctly. As if that's not enough, I have also simultaneously warded off any possible threat of road rage because folks in the cars around me think I am a complete nut case.
Geez, what could number three possibly be after those two nuggets of genius?
3) Keep an email Kudos folder.
In practical terms it may not necessarily be an email folder for everyone, but whatever format makes sense in your life, keep a record of Kudos people give you, in their words…word for word. I actually started doing this at work a couple years ago when I moved into a new position that didn’t exist before I came along, the result being if I so much as belched, it looked like I was doing a great job because there was absolutely nothing to compare to.
I started getting so many 'atta boys' that I literally thought, gosh, I need to keep record of these. One day I was perusing my email folders to clean things up and I came across my Kudos folder that I had steadily been adding to with even the silliest ‘good job’ message. Well, I’ll tell you, it practically brought me to tears, and does every time I read through it. Needless to say it can certainly help combat any, ‘What’s wrong with me?’ days that you might have.
So those are my inspirational thoughts of the day. I hope you love them and try them, and if you don’t, well…there just might be something wrong with you :)
Nothing until your husband and kids go to a high school football game and leave you home by yourself…(nirvana! – Did I say that out loud?)
Basically, this time alone translated into a few things for me:
1. Seaweed and beer for dinner (Don't judge me until you've had the seaweed salad form Frazier Farms!)
2. Endless HGTV, i.e. multiple episodes of Tiny House Hunters! And…
3. Epic success with my lip balm venture!
Is epic success with lip balm venture MUCH sweeter after epic fail with lip balm venture not 48 hours ago, with possibly even a few tears shed? I mean...hypothetically speaking. I would NEVER cry over something as ridiculous as lip balm, Pshhh...
So yeah, my UBER motivation and optimism coupled with my impulsiveness do not always lend themselves to the easy road. I tend to go from A to Z and wrap it up in a bow before I have worked out all the kinks...because OF COURSE my first (and second, and third) ideas are going to work!! Well, you're looking at Plan B in action ladies and gentlemen, and C, and D.
Why am I reliving all this you may ask? Well because it’s always fun to look back on the valley of epic failure from the peak of the mountain of success! Wow! That was Nobel prize winning. At any rate, the real reason is I probably just need to vent. Not the least of which because I wrote this blog not once, but twice, only to have an unnamed website hosting company (look up in the address bar) ERASE IT BOTH TIMES after I hit post!!! No lie, the fact that you are even reading this is all the proof you need that I am the most stubborn human on the face of the planet. With any luck that will lead to obnoxious levels of success in my business :)
So back to the lip balm. The first thing I tried was agave, honey, and coconut nectar mixed with the Shea Butter and Coconut Oil, HELLO! I mean…does that not sound amazing? Yeah, not so much. I was actually trying to do the lip balm without heat like my other products and it was ending up as a runny, sticky mess. So I moved to the liquid extracts which is what I use in the lotions.
So everything was going great…the lip balm looked beautiful from the top, all smooth and smelling great. Therefore unsuspecting lip balm makers go ahead and label, photograph, inventory, and post them in their Etsy store and web store and maybe, ya know…start a Facebook promotional campaign only to then decide to do some quality inspection (these are the little things that wake me up in the middle of the night? Like, 'Is the lip balm really OK??!!'). Well when I cut into the little jerks, they were all liquid underneath their nice little lip balmy exterior!! Liars!!
Needless to say I discovered that the liquid extract can’t incorporate with the rest of the oils and beeswax. Back to the drawing board. After, ya know, soaking, scrubbing, wiping, and scraping off (not free) labels from the tins so as to be economical and reuse them. Show of hands, anyone ever tried to clean something that was filled with a waxy product? How about scraping off upwards of 90 (not free – did I already mention that?) labels that don’t want to come off? Suffice it to say I might now need meds.
At this point could I have called it a day, erased that silly blog about fragrance oils and cancer and all that jazz, and just thrown some of that stuff in my lip balm!? Yes I could have, but I didn’t, and I never will. I will search to the ENDS OF THE EARTH (ya know using Google) for healthy alternatives to commercial yuckiness. Well the GREAT news is they make extracts in powdered form, otherwise known as cooking spices! Duh! They can be a little pricey, but if you buy in bulk, they’re not that bad.
So ladies and gentlemen, the birth of Cocoa, Chai, and Pumpkin Pie Lip Balm!!! YUM!!! And a million other possibilities for the future! I also love the indirect reinforcement of my brand Body Food. When I started this whole thing I had no idea I would be incorporating products otherwise used in food preparation. I’m from a very pun-loving family so you can imagine the thrill.
The moral of the story? Don’t give up, be persistent, TELL THAT LIP BALM WHO’S BOSS!!!! And you might just come out smelling like Pumpkin Pie!!
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I am a wife, a mom, and a registered nurse. I also happen to be a chemistry geek and a researchaholic! Welcome to the Body Food® blog!