We’re Making Sexy Edible Massage Bars with Nature’s Garden!

Are ya ready for it??? Doesn’t this sound like fun??? Yes my friends, this is our “Weekly How-To” with Nature’s Garden!! Aaaand this week we are making Sexy Edible Massage Bars~!!!

Now if you haven’t seen the past couple of articles I’ve done with Nature’s Garden, you’ll definitely have to check them out! A couple of weeks ago I did an article on the background and an overview of Nature’s Garden, which also features an interview with the CEO herself – Miss Deborah Ward!!! And last week we made Homemade Lip Balms with Nature’s Garden products and their recipe!!!

Now that you are all caught up, let’s get right down to business! Time to make these little beauties!!!

 

First things first, get your station all set up! I made sure to sanitize everything and use impeccably clean hands!

 

  

Now to make the Chocolate Lips for the top of the bar! Place your dish on the scale and use the tare feature to set it to zero.  Then add 1 small square of Dark Chocolate, along with a small amount of the lip balm base and beeswax.  The ingredients in the lip balm base are are: coconut oil, bees wax, organic shea butter, organic cocoa butter, tocopherol (vitamin e). Now I just have to say, I’m loving what’s in that lip balm base!!! Its so natural and moisturizing and no chemicals (which are often in store bought products)!!!

 

 

Melt the chocolate, lip balm base and beeswax in the microwave in short 30 second increments. Once melted, pour into the lips mold and set it in the freezer.

 

  

While the chocolate sets up in the freezer, time to make the Solid Edible Massage Bar! Add 3 ounces of Lip Balm Base by weight, then add 1/8 ounce Beeswax.

 

  

Microwave the mixture in short 30 second increments until fully melted.

 

 

Once fully melted, add 8 drops of flavoring and 1/2 package of powdered stevia. We’re using the Black Cherry Boom Flavor Oil, and it smells AMAZING!!! Which I’ll just let you know, I’m not a cherry person at all, but I absolutely adore this!! Even my husband likes it!!! The description on the Nature’s Garden website is: The aroma of ripened black bing cherries. YUMMY!!!

 

 

Now its time to fill your container! Pour into your lotion bar container until there is 1/8 left to fill. Put it aside and allow it to set at room temperature.

 

 

While your lotion bar is setting up – go ahead and check on your chocolate lips. If its fully set, pop it out of your mold and set aside. How cute are those lips??? And look at the shine on them!!!

 

  

Now pour the remaining melted lotion into your lotion bar container and quickly apply your lips. Now allow it to fully set up.

 

   

And VOILA~! We’re done!! A beautiful homemade Sexy Edible Massage Bar - easily made in your own kitchen!

 

I don’t know about you, but I LOVE making things (recipes, crafts, etc) and this is NO exception!! Making homemade lotions/lip balms has been so much fun! And just as important, I’m so impressed with the end result! This lotion bar is a rich, luxurious, moisturizing bar that can be enjoyed by you and your spouse~! I actually used it on my hands, and I loved how moisturized my hands stayed. With Winter being so dry, I’m always reaching for lotion and I’m finding the lotions I’ve purchased from the store moisturize your hands for only a short amount of time.  I would definitely love to make these lotion bars again, and when I run out of my current one, I think I might have too~! ;)

These Lotion Bars would also be a great thing to throw in your purse, especially when travelling when you aren’t allowed to keep liquids over a certain amount. No worries here, as it is a solid lotion! And the wonderful thing about making these, is you can customize it to suit your needs – if you don’t like cherry – Nature’s Garden has a great selection of different Flavor Oils! So there’s always something for everyone~!

Also, Nature’s Garden has tons of other fun recipes and projects for you to try out! There are wonderful Cosmetic Recipes, yummy Soap Recipes , and interesting and unique Candle Recipes~!

Well now that I’ve made the Lotion Bars and the Lip Balms, I would definitely have to rate both of them 5 out of 5 stars!!! Honestly both have turned out to be amazing quality products!! I’d like to say a big Thank YOU to Nature’s Garden and Miss Deborah Ward! I’ve thoroughly enjoyed this process and am very grateful to them for introducing me to this whole new world of making homemade body products!!!

Tune in next week for another “How To” segment with Nature’s Garden where I’ll make an all new homemade beauty product! What will that product be??? Come back next week and find out!!! ;)

Till next time Chicas (and Chicos), keep it fun, keep it creative and always keep it homemade~! xoxo

Homemade Lip Balm with Nature’s Garden!

Hi beauties~! How are you today? I’m SUPER excited to reveal this post to you today about making homemade lip balm~! Remember I talked in a previous post about Nature’s Garden, that I was going to be making some homemade beauty products? About a week ago I wrote an article describing in greater depth the story behind Nature’s Garden and included a great interview with the CEO Deborah Ward! If you haven’t seen it, you can check it out here! The story behind how Nature’s Garden came to be is very interesting! Well today is the day – we’re going to make Lip Balm!!!

How many of you have ever made homemade beauty products?  I’m definitely a “newbie”! This being my very first time, and I have to say it was easy and SO much fun! Many of you may be asking how did I come up with this idea? Well, I have to say I can’t take the credit! The lovely Deborah Ward (CEO) from Nature’s Garden Wholesale Candle and Soap Supplies asked if I would be willing to try making this product (and some more - to come in future posts) and to show you the process. And I LOVED it! Being able to make a better quality and more natural product than what you find in the stores really appealed to me! And I love all things beauty, creative, and crafty! As you all know, right???

The great thing about making your own beauty products is you get to control what you put in them! Whether its more or less fragrance or flavoring, staying away from certain ingredients, or adding others that have health benefits! The sky is the limit! And I don’t know about you ladies, but I love to make things. ALL things! I’ve always loved being creative, and I’ve tried SO many different crafts! You could definitely say I’m a “Craft Store” regular. Although I’ve never tried making beauty products, the idea definitely fascinated me.

In the last several years I’ve also become passionate about getting away from store bought “pre-made” foods. Choosing instead to make items homemade that you would normally buy at the store (ie Granola Bars, Trail Mix Bars, muffins etc). The health benefits alone are so worth it – getting away from all the chemicals was the main reason. Another big bonus is, that homemade items always taste better than store bought doesn’t hurt! So the idea that I could “cook up” homemade beauty products in my own kitchen that are more natural and tailored to my needs sounded amazing! And when the opportunity arose to make these products, I was thrilled!

 

Are You Ready to Make Some Lip Balm?

 

This is what the Lip Balm Kit looks like – and when I recieved it I couldn’t wait to get into it and start making them! The ingredients you’ll need for this are: Lip Balm Base, Containers, Pipettes, Scale, Liquid Lip Tint, Lip Flavoring, Stevia Sweetener, Mica Pigment, and the recipe card! Nature’s Garden also has several more cosmetic recipes, soap recipes, and candle recipes on their website!

 

I began by sanitizing my counters.  Then set everything up, so I could easily reach for anything as I needed it.

 

Here are all the cute, little containers ready to be filled! I sanitized these with rubbing alcohol also, just to be thorough! ;)

 

Now I’m ready to start adding the Lip Balm Base to the container on the scale to get the exact measurements by weight. I put my container on the scale, then used the tare function to get it back to zero again before you start weighing your base.

 

Time to add your base! When I read the ingredients on the base, I loved what I saw! Its natural! The ingredients in the base are coconut oil, bees wax, organic shea butter, organic cocoa butter, and tocopherol (vitamin e)! Don’t you love that?

 

After getting just the right amount of base, I microwaved it in 30 second intervals until it was fully melted and in a liquid form. Here you see I’m adding the “Prissy Pink” liquid colorant to the melted lip balm base. Add a couple of drops – to your desired color level and stir.

 

Now its time to add the Stevia Sweetener to the mixture. Mix well so it dissolves nicely.

 

Now its time to add the flavoring! I used the “Monkey Farts” flavoring oil! I know, it sounds odd, right? But it smells so yummy! To give you, lovely blog readers, a better idea of what this smells/tastes like, here is the description on the Nature’s garden website: the aroma of our famous Monkey Farts flavoring begins with top notes of fresh bananas and juicy grapefruit, middle notes of kiwi, juicy bubblegum, and strawberries; with a hint of vanilla as a base note. Now, doesn’t that sound delicious???

 

Now its time to add a dash of Mica Pigment and stir well to incorporate into the mixture! This will give a pretty shimmer/sheen to your lip balm. Remember to work quickly as this sets up pretty fast. Althought if it starts setting up on you prematurely, go ahead and put it back in the microwave for 15-25 seconds at a time.

 

 

Now that all of the ingredients are added and mixed, its time to use the little pipettes to fill the containers! I used the pretty little black daisy pots and some clear ones too! They set up very quickly, within a half hour! Although that will depend on the size of containers that you use.

 

Aaaand here they are~!!!! They turned out wonderfully! Not too shabby for my first time, right? It was definitely easy to make, and a lot of fun! And I’ve been enjoying using my new lip balm, its so moisturizing without being sticky or waxy! It honestly doesn’t feel like the kind you get in the store, the ones that leave a waxy residue on your lips. I was impressed! Do you want to see what it looks like?

 

I applied it over my Maybelline Superstay lipstick, and it kept my lips very nicely moisturized, while also feeling lightweight!  I’ll definitely be sharing these with some friends and getting their feedback as well! If you ladies end up making the lip balms, you’ll have several! So you can either keep them for yourselves, or package them up for gift giving as well~! Also making them from home, aside from the wonderful quality – they are also a great value!!!

 

I hope you enjoyed this very special post on “How To Make Lip Balm”! Big thanks to Deborah and the whole Nature’s Garden team for their help, support and wonderful products! I’m excited to make some MORE new and unique beauty products! So stay tuned, as I’ll feature another “How To” article on the process of making a different beauty product next time~! What will that beauty product be???? You’ll just have to come back and see my friends~! ;)

Thanks for taking this adventure with me – I hoped you enjoyed it, and maybe gained some inspiration and ideas from this! Are there any specific products you’d like to see me make? Let me know! I always love hearing your feedback! Until next time friends, keep it creative, keep it natural and always keep it homemade~! xoxo

Nature’s Garden – A Company That CARES!

 

In today’s day and age of Big Box retailers, chain stores,  supermarkets, and drive-through just about everything – a company that actually cares is a very rare thing. But that really does describe this company, as well as the team behind Nature’s Garden!

Who is Nature’s Garden, Let’s Rewind to 1997….

Nature’s Garden is a Wholesale Candle and Soap Supply company, which was created in 1997 by Deborah and Mike Ward after turning their homemade candle making hobby into a business. Growing their business initially from home parties, retail and wholesale sales, Ebay, Fundraisers and Open Houses to a company in 1998 that had more than 40 independent sales representatives selling Nature’s Garden Candles and Bath Products.  Then on May 21, 1999, after previously coming up against several “road-blocks” within the candle and toiletry supply industry (inadequate customer service and support, lack of unique products and a “secrecy” within the industry) while trying to expand their product line, Nature’s Garden Candle Supply Company was born.  The company’s anagram C.A.R.E. (Customers Always Remember Excellence) was embraced by its employees and Nature’s Garden set out to “de-mystify” the industry.  Improving customer service voids within the industry,  while also creating unique fragrance oils, materials and support, manuals and classes for businesses in this industry.

 

 

Now Fast-Forward to 8 Months Ago….

I started buying homemade bath and body products from a dear friend.  With my allergies, and the fact that I’m extremely picky, I was getting frustrated with my local bath and body chain retailers carrying products that did nothing for my skin, while often giving me headaches from the smell.  Well, needless to say I instantly fell in love with the homemade body products!  These products felt amazing and luxurious on my skin, while not only smelling fabulous~!   The other huge draw for me was the fact that they were more natural, containing less chemicals and additives that you find in the mass produced products! I was instantly hooked and very intrigued! So I began trying other products from small bath and body businesses, as well as “Liking” them on Facebook, and several seemed to have one thing in common – Nature’s Garden!

The beauty junkie in me was instantly fascinated. So I began doing more research – surfing soaping websites, as well as Nature’s Garden Website and their Facebook page. What I discovered was a company that was extremely interactive with their customers. Not only that, but after spending a lot of time on their Facebook page and Twitter, seeing HOW they interacted with their customers! Always answering each and every question with great care and compassion – which is a great feat considering their large customer base! Since beginning my blogging journey, I’ve made a point to spend time on other big business Facebook/Twitter pages, and  that’s how I’ve seen other businesses very rarely, if at all, acknowledging customer concerns or questions. We, consumers, often feel like our input falls on “deaf ears”. Or at the very least, “ears” without enough influence or knowledge to help out.

 

Interacting with Nature’s Garden and with their customers honestly felt like interacting with friends!

 

 <-Deborah armed with Nerf!  <-Nicole and Melissa

All the friendly, kind words and support of each and everyone’s unique businesses, coupled with the resounding praise their customers give Nature’s Garden with respect to their products and their customer service and support. Customers quite often are interacting directly with Deborah Ward (Nature’s Garden CEO) on their Facebook page!!  Interacting directly with a company CEO on Facebook, I would safely say is a rare occurance for most companies – but not Nature’s Garden!  And I’ve also had the pleasure of dealing directly with Deborah, and through this I see the driving force behind this company that actually does CARE! Its not just a motto, a mantra or an anagram. Its a passion for Deborah and the Nature’s Garden team. And we, the consumers, greatly benefit from this.

 

Without Further Adieu, Let Me Introduce You to Deborah Ward!


I had the pleasure of doing an interview with Deborah, and I’m SO excited to share it all with you~!

 Glam Wife: I read on your website that you started off in the Candle Making business. How did you get into that business?

Deborah: While I was an environmentalist at the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, I began studying naturopathic healing.  Several of my clients wanted aromatherapy candles, so I began making candles in my spare time.  When my first son, Matthew, was born, we found out that his skull bones were fused together, and that he would require surgery.  I quit my job at the county health department to stay home with my son.  In order to cover some of our bills, I started selling candles to friends and family.

Glam Wife:  How did Natures Garden Candle and Soap Supplies come to be?

Deborah: When I started making candles, the industry was very secretive.  Those who knew how to make candles kept the knowledge to themselves.  It was candle making that helped our family keep our heads above water during financially hard times, and I knew that there were more men and women out there who needed a way of making extra income and be able to stay at home.  My ambition was to help people make extra income for their families by telling them everything I knew about the candle market.

Glam Wife:  How did you choose the name for your business?

Deborah: I chose the name Natures Garden because of my interest in naturopathic healing.  I was into natural medicine way before it was popular.  I wanted a name that would allow for future diversification in other markets.  Natures Garden allows for that.

Glam Wife:  As CEO of Natures Garden, describe a typical work week.

Deborah: Natures Garden is a turn-key operation.  Every job at our company is well-documented, and each person has his/her own job responsibilities.  This form of operation, and the fact that I am married to the most wonderful man on earth, has allowed me to work from home; while my husband runs operations at the company.  We did this so that our sons would not have to have a baby sitter.  I work 7 days a week, rarely taking a vacation.  I simply love what I do…period!  I work while my sons are at school, and work while they are asleep.  My main focus is on the customers; listening to what they have to say, and answering any questions they may have.  I facebook, twitter, blog, do website development, product research/development, and hold meetings with vendors.

Glam Wife: What two or three things would be most important to you in your job?

Deborah: Every job at Natures Garden is equally important for our operation to run smoothly.  I guess my job is like the “mom” in the company; the role of keeping the family happy.  Many customers and employees rely on me to make the right decisions so that Natures Garden is around for many years to come.  I want people to feel confident that when they buy from Natures Garden, they are buying quality.  We are always looking for new ways to better service our customers.

Glam Wife: What’s your favorite part of business as a whole?

Deborah: Communicating with customers.  I love listening to their ideas, seeing what they create, and helping them when I can.

Glam Wife: What would be the most challenging part of the job/business?

Deborah: Business is the easiest job in the world.  You simply have to follow these two rules and it will work out:  1.  Focus on other people instead of yourself,  and 2.  Never get greedy.  If you follow these two rules, you are going to build lasting, happy relationships with other people.  What could be more exciting than that!

Glam Wife: What’s your favorite product (or 2 or 3)  from Natures Garden?

Deborah: I absolutely love the work our perfumist does!  He is one amazing man!!  I never get tired of smelling new scents!!  It is my passion!!

Glam Wife: Where do you see your business in the next 5-10 years?

Deborah: Currently, our creativity is exploding!  We look forward to expanding in multiple markets, becoming a premiere, handcrafting community.  Surprises will be around every corner!

Glam Wife: What do you do in your spare time? (Assuming you have any~! ;) haha)

Deborah: My sons are quite involved in sports and music, so my spare time is typically spent watching baseball games, band concerts, or attending football games.  I also enjoy quiet time with my husband.

Glam Wife: What’s your favorite fragrance that Natures Garden carries?

Deborah: Right now my favorite fragrance is Honey Bunny.  It just makes me happy smelling it!

Glam Wife: As a successful entrepreneur, what advice would you give to someone trying to start up their own business?

Deborah: The world is filled with negative people who will try to talk you out of going after your dreams.  Fear it and do it anyways!   Listen to your heart, follow your gut, and shoot for the stars!

 

I want to say a BIG thank you to you, Deborah, and your team at Nature’s Garden! Its been an absolute pleasure getting to know you, your team and your company! And for those of you, my beautiful blog readers, who think Nature’s Garden is JUST for businesses…Think again~! Nature’s Garden has a whole section on their website dedicated to different recipes for homemade body products and candles. So if you’ve ever wondered, wanted or been interested in crafting your own homemade body products or candles – go on over to the Nature’s Garden website; check out some recipes and pick up the amazing products and have FUN~!  Knowing that if you hit a stumbling block, have a question, or concern – they are always more than willing to help and guide you!

 

I’m excited to announce Deborah is going to be putting me to work. making some of her body products with Nature’s Garden recipes and products. So if this is something you are interested in but aren’t sure of,  stay tuned to upcoming posts where I’ll feature the whole process!  So you, Ladies and Gents, can take the journey with me and see first hand, just how to make body products! I do want to point out though, that I’m a beginner and have never made any before; but I have to say I’m extremely excited to try my hand at making some~! And I hope you will join me for the ride!

 

Nature’s Garden Contact Info:
Website:  http://www.naturesgardencandles.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/naturesgardencompany?ref=ts
Twitter: @ngscents
Email: info@naturesgardencandles.com

Till next time friends, follow your passions, and shoot for the stars~! If you can dream it, you can do it! xoxo

How I Started Digital Scrapbooking

Featured-Image-DigiScrapbooking

I started like everyone else doing the traditional paper scrapbooking, but after having my second child found it hard to find the time. And when my little one was down for a nap, I’d race around trying to get all my scrapbooking supplies laid out on the table, only to hear my little one wake up only minutes after I’d just begun scrapbooking. After a couple of tries, I realized this was going to be put on hold indefinitely. That is, until I discovered Digital Scrapooking.

I started digital scrapping in 2002, before there was very many resources out there for us Digital Scrapbookers. But there were a couple websites, and I’d purchased a program so I started playing around. I found out how much easier it was to digital scrapbook vs regular scrapbooking. If I didn’t like the size of a paper/embellishment/flower etc – all I had to do was re-size it, or even delete it. No harm done, no paper or money wasted! I loved the freedom it gave me – if you could dream it, you could do it! And I was HOOKED!

Fast forward to the present and now there are SO many websites where you can download digital scrapbook freebies and/or buy digital kits from designers. The digital scrapbook community has grown tremendously and the resources available are endless! In some ways, I feel as though I’ve come full circle, now that I’ve started doing Hybrid Scrapbooking (Cross between Digital and Paper Scrapbooking). Creating projects/albums using mediums from both worlds.  Its fun and doing the Hybrid Scrapping it gives the dimensional look you don’t have as much in Digital Scrapbooking alone. (Although with a good program such as Photoshop – your digital projects can look almost as dimensional as the paper scrapping counterparts!)

In future articles, I’ll share more on the topic of hybrid scrapping, as well as some of my fave digital designers, fave places to download digital freebies, different programs, techniques and much, MUCH more~! So stay tuned~!