A September to Remember: Inspiration & Gratitude during these COVID times

In the midst of #TheseCOVIDtimes, I’ve got so much gratitude, so much inspiration…as we embark on this 7th month, I’m taking the time to reflect. Join me on my journey!

Day 3: Crafty friends & the long game

It’s my birth month tradition. I plan new things to do with friends. That particular year, I wanted to learn to make bar soap. And then things got out of hand.

Several of my friends are quite crafty – Kim made soap, Gina made foaming hand soap, Karen wanted to try bath truffles (aka bath bombs), and Vicki made lotion. I started making my own laundry soap off a recipe from #cousinJim. That year, maybe 2015, started this.

Kim had mastered the art of soap making, and I had seen a post in Facebook somewhere for “Citrus Brine Soap” – that scent is right up my alley. Florals, not my thing, but citrus – it’s so…. Sunshine! It makes me happy. We made this first, and then decided we should make soaps as Christmas presents. We’d make a batch, and split the results. She’d make some one her own – scents I didn’t do well with – as would I. We’d trade. I gifted mine to regular clients, friends & family. Something homemade, from the heart, and little #AmberMoonMagic mixed in (I’m an energy worker, Reiki Master – I can do that).

Four of us braved the attempt at bath truffles, and, well, they… fizzled… and fizzed, but sank like a rock. Then Karen did more research, found a different recipe, and just she & I tried it. It worked. Lots of learning in that session as well, but we had room to play, explore & be more curious. Again, I gave these away, or at least the ones I didn’t use, as gifts. This tradition has continued, although it’s a little bit more time intensive than soap making.

The foaming hand soap came along somewhere after that. Very easy to make, very cost-effective, and again the scents that I want. As much as I wash my hands as a massage therapist, I was also able to make it much richer so it dried my hands out less. Oh, wait, it didn’t dry my hands. It even moisturized them. Thank you Gina!

Laundry soap happened about this time too. I got tired of paying almost $20 for your 96 load bottle, fragrance free. I figured if I can make all this other stuff, I can make this too! #cousinJim provided the recipe, it makes 5 gallons, unscented, and works. As much laundry as I do with massage therapy – it’s a BIG savings. And I feel good as I know what exactly goes inside.

And then there was The Lotion. A rich, creamy, preservative-free lotion. This came from my client-friend Vicki, who makes her own cuz of her really dry skin. I now travel with this lotion, and ran out on one vacation – my hands and feet were very very very unhappy with me. They just drink it in. Now, both #cousinAmy and I carry some with us on our travels. Lesson learned. 

Can I tell you how nice it is to make your own lotion, your own scent, and have it be so good that people ask for it? I have just made two batches as I’ve been working on this post. I have given away as samples the friends for feedback. Scent: Lemon Basil. Yep. It’s awesome.

“This product is AMAZING! It is like a hydrating treatment and super emollient. I give this lotion 5 stars.” – Melissa.

 “It’s so nice! I love that so little goes so far. I’m having to get used to that. And my skin feels wonderful after I apply it, and it stays feeling good all day! 😍 It really moisturizes.” – Gayle

Love it! Light crisp scent, very hydrating and emollient. My hands and feet are loving it. My hubby’s feet are loving it too!” – Valerie

So this brings me to the diversity of what I am able to bring an income during these challenging & invigorating times. Because I’ve been in fitness & wellness for almost 30 years now, and have diversified what I do, I’ve been able to stay open (virtually), and enabling myself to work the long game. What I do is very physically demanding, and we know that being on the computer is also not my thing. Blogging, writing, even this – it’s a challenge. I voice type as much as I can, but I still need to edit. 

So if I can start selling this stuff, this Homemade Goodness, it allows me a new income stream. If I didn’t have my friends that were already into making stuff at home, and been doing it for several years on my own now, I would not even have thought of this. Getting this up and running will take a little bit of time, but that’s what the long game is about.

Thank you, my friends & cousins, for your inspiration.

A September to Remember: Inspiration & Gratitude during these COVID times

In the midst of #TheseCOVIDtimes, I’ve got so much gratitude, so much inspiration…as we embark on this 7th month, I’m taking the time to reflect. Join me on my journey!

Day 1: @Organzing4Good

This time, it started with missing my thyroid med because I was sleeping soundly. Before starting my immunoglobulin replacement therapy almost a year ago, I had very broken sleep. It was easy to know that I would be awake at 2a & take my thyroid meds then. 

I’ve known Ryan for…ummm… over a decade now. We met through triathlon – a great thing the sport does, bringing people together. She’s been a client for several years, and her weekly Pilates session, now virtual, has become “BizLates”. She started her business several years ago, and I had the pleasure to be one of her guinea pigs. Yes, she’s an organizer, but so much more. Organizes so much more than “stuff”. She’s brought her passion to her biz even more with COVID – she has an Instagram LIVE featuring non-profits every Thursday. She’s all about the repurposing of stuff. 

Prior to COVID, Ryan was just getting me going on Instagram. Not a big fan of being on the phone or the computer, courtesy of my thoracic outlet syndrome, I hadn’t gone there. With an in-person studio, I didn’t need to. I was working at capacity. Since I’ve had to pivot the Studio to be virtual, she’s been there pushing, nudging, and sharing.

As I have more time & energy to spend on non-work stuff, I’ve really started to manifest some of the things she’s been touting. 

Which brings us back to the thyroid meds. And getting organized  so I’d easily remember to take it. So, what else do I do first thing in the morning that would pair well with this? Coffee. I have 1 cup a day. That’s all I need. That’s all I want. It’s part of the wake up routine, along with fluffy time, meditation & journaling. So, put it where the coffee is. Take it as I start boiling water. All the coffee stuff in 1 spot so I have less to find/worry/do at the #crackofridiculous (I still get up early, but a much more reasonable 4 or 5a). I now have a Coffee Station.

What’s that envelope of receipts behind it? You mean all those that went onto my desk & got lost, created clutter, etc? I tried the envelope there, then realized THIS is where I sort papers. It goes here. 

These may seem trivial, but this is just the latest. Since COVID, I’ve posted several projects that help my flow – my organization. Ryan helped me shift my thinking, and bring in a new perspective. I’m deeply grateful for Ryan on so many levels, for our many conversations, for our idea sharing & brainstorming.