How I Quit Smoking (you can do it, too)

How I Quit Smoking (plus tips for how you can, too)I loved smoking. 

I wasn't one of those people who constantly thought, "I should quit". I loved everything about it. I rolled my own, and loved the smell of a freshly-opened tin of tobacco. I loved the ritual of hand rolling it into a cigarette, with a little paper filter at the end to keep the tobacco from getting in my mouth. I loved the smell of smoke, and how it felt as I inhaled. I loved orange lighters, and seeing how long I could go without losing one. I loved meeting other smokers, and being thrown together in a small group with instant friends. I wasn't planning on quitting, maybe ever.

There were down sides, obviously. I'd get sick several times a year. Just common colds, but they seemed to last forever. Even when I'd stop smoking for the first couple days, I'd always have a lingering cough. When I laughed really hard, I'd always end up coughing. I always had to make sure I had my supplies with me. I had to make sure I could take a break from any kind of event over a couple hours. As much as I liked cigarettes, I didn't like the addition. I didn't like being a slave to a substance. But more than I didn't like it, I loved the actual smoking part. Right up until I quit.

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Inside Wunder Budder - Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)

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3 Popular Diets Commonly Confused (never get them wrong again)

Vegan Vegetarian PescatarianWith constantly changing opinions on what foods are the healthiest, and what foods we should be avoiding, there are new diets emerging on a regular basis. From fad diets, to weight-loss plans, to entire lifestyle changes, it can be hard to keep track of which is which. Even three of the longest-standing, most common, and most well-known diets are continuously confused with each other. Everyone knows at least one vegetarian (a term used for over 150 years), a vegan, or a pescatarian, but do we all know what those terms really mean?

Knowing the difference is important for two major reasons:

The first reason is that calling one diet (or lifestyle) the wrong term is just that. Wrong. 

The second reason is that confusing someone's dietary restrictions could be dangerous. If a vegetarian is fed fish because a cook/friend/chef assumes incorrectly that vegetarians eat fish, that person could become sick, especially if there is an allergy involved. 

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Top 5 Essential Oils Everyone Should Have

My favorite essential oils will change depending on what day you ask me. There are so many to choose from! I may fall in love with an oil new to me, or be reminded why I love an old favorite. I may have one on my favorites list in my head for years, or one on my list for just a few weeks. These 5 oils are most often on my list of favorites:

Chamomile

Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) is and indispensable sedative for calming and relaxing, especially before bed. It can be used to relieve minor anxiety, nervous tension, nervous exhaustion, and stress. With anti-inflammatory properties, chamomile is also calming to irritated skin, and is gentle enough to use (diluted to 0.5%-1%) on children.

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Is it an Essential Oil or an Infused Oil?

The more I talk to people, the more I find that there is a lot of confusion over what exactly an essential oil is. Many people tell me that they are making essential oils at home, but the further we get into the conversation, I realize what they're actually talking about it infused oils. There is a huge difference between the two. With all the misinformation being spread across the internet, especially through social media sites like Facebook, it's easy for the average person to get confused. But once you know the difference, it will be simple to tell which is which. These are the basics:

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A Day Off? What's That?

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If you run your own business (or you have other reasons), you know what this is like. 

You work 7 days a week, 8+ hours a day (but usually 12+ hours a day), and never can take any time off. If you take a day, or even just half a day off,  you feel the pressure and guilt about all the work that you're not getting done.

When you run an indie business, especially if you don't have a partner, all of the pressure is on you, all of the time. If you take time off, there is nobody else to pick up the slack. The work that you are not doing that day is still there the next day, which usually means that taking a day off leaves double the work the next day, and double the hours needed to catch up.

It builds up and it keeps on building, leaving the feeling, "A day off? What's that?"

This might be something that you say. I used to say the same thing for years. It may even be something you're proud of. I know I was. Being a hard worker is definitely a positive thing. Working towards a goal is good. Accomplishing things you set out to do is great. Creating something out of nothing is gratifying.

But like everything, there needs to be a balance.

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My Favorite Scent is October.

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Autumn Spice Natural Air Freshener

I recently saw a beautiful foliage photo with the caption, "My favorite color is October."

Well, my favorite scent is October!

The crisp, cool air this month floats aromas like no other. The sweetness of decaying leaves, the green and slightly floral fragrance of chrysanthemums, the nuttiness of acorns and pine cones, the earthiness of a fallen summer. And those are just the natural aromas in the air.

Then there are carnivals, harvest festivals, and county fairs, carrying the scents of fried dough, cotton candy, and Italian sausages (even to a vegetarian, these smell delicious). And let's not forget the somehow comforting stench of farm animals mixed in with the fragrance of freshly baled hay. Apple orchards, corn stalks, and cider doughnuts. Sweet squashes and pumpkin pies.

Fall, especially October, is all about aromas. 

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Every Day is the Best Day, aka Hashtag Maker Monday

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Still Life with HectorToday is Maker Monday (ok, every Monday is Maker Monday), and also Day 1 of the Indie Business Network 30-day blog challenge, so what perfect timing to talk about my history of loving to make stuff, and how I came to make natural skin care products full time.

 

I've been a maker since I was a child.

I used to hand-sew custom Barbie clothes, and I learned to knit and crochet at a young age (only to forget, and later learn again). I loved, and still love, anything crafty. Drawing, cross-stitching, macrame. Although I was too young for actual baking, I created a mud-pie bakery called Cakeland in my backyard. I wanted to try making anything and everything I could. 

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Facial Care Changes


Grapeseed OilAs you may know, facial care has gone through some changes over the last couple of months. Here is an overview of what is going on:

Lavender Woods

Earlier this year we made the move from conventional grapeseed oil to organic. We were excited to make the change, but the increase in quality of oil gave us a new challenge. The higher quality (and less processed) the oil, the stronger it smells! Our new grapeseed oil has a strong pleasant aroma, hard to describe, with earthy, nutty, and even fruity notes. 

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Chakra Series, Part IV: What is the Heart Chakra?

Chakra Man HeartWhat is the Heart Chakra?

The fourth major chakra is our Heart Chakra. It's found in the center of the sternum (the breastbone) and projects outward in a cone-like spiral, from both the front and the back of the body. It is visually expressed by the color green, although sometimes a light smokey pink, like a rose quartz, may be used to represent its energy. Its simple shape is a crescent moon, and it corresponds with our skin and hands and our sense of touch, and with the element of air.

The heart chakra is the center chakra. It is the meeting place of the upper and lower chakras, the link between the mind and the body. It corresponds with our astral body and is where we find our ability to unconditionally love both ourselves and others. The ages between 21 and 28 correlate to this chakra. We have struggled to learn who we are at the core, and are now ready to learn to love, starting with ourselves. If you've ever been on a flight, you've heard the attendants tell you to put on your oxygen mask first before helping others. Only when we are able to love ourselves, are we able to truly love others and let others love us. When we love ourselves, we are able to give and receive love without limits.

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Chakra Series, Part III: What is the Solar Plexus Chakra?

Chakra Man Solar PlexusWhat is the Solar Plexus?

Below the rib cage and above the naval, right where we feel our intuitive "gut feelings", we find our third major chakra, the Solar Plexus Chakra. It projects outward in a cone-like spiral, with the small end closest to the body. The Solar Plexus is represented by the color yellow and the element of fire, and corresponds with our sense of sight.

The Solar Plexus Chakra rules our mental body, our identity, and our ego. Between the ages of 14 and 21, we begin to form our sense of self. We start to break away from family and friends to experience new things and learn who we are, leaving the expectations of others behind. We learn to rely on our Self, giving us personal power, self-confidence, courage, and a feeling of self worth. With every new experience, we find more about ourselves, and learn to trust our instincts with everything from personal relationships to our finances.

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Coming Up Roses!

If you follow me on social media, you probably know that I've become obsessed with roses over the last year. I've always liked the aroma, but something happened this year and I really fell in love! From wild roses to rose extracts, rose tea to rose balm, I can't seem to get enough.

"Roses for the [spiritual] heart", I kept saying.

Early in the year, I knew I wanted to create a new facial care line called Coming Up Roses. For anyone unfamiliar, "coming up roses" is an idiom meaning that things are great, life is great. This isn't something that I say in conversation, so I'm not sure how it came up, but it seemed the obvious choice when I wanted to make a rose-based line. Roses just make things better.

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