Thursday, January 29, 2015

Closed for Winter Break

Public Service Announcement!

Soapworks Studio will be closed Monday Feb 2nd through Friday Feb 6th for a winter break. 

All phone calls, emails, requests, orders and whatnot will be on hold until we return to business on Monday Feb 9th.

Thanks for you patience and understanding. We value your business. And we believe a little siesta from time to time allows us to be our very best - in customer service, creative ideas, production, efficiency, and in happiness. Ole´!

All the cool cats are doing it.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The #1 (Not-So-Secret) Tip For Beautiful Skin

I have a secret to share. I think I’ve found the fountain of youth. Yeah, I know you’re laughing. But really. This is sorta big. And I can’t just keep it to myself.

It’s water. Now, you’re really laughing. So f’ing cliché and stupid, right? “Drink more water.”

Whenever I read that or somebody spouted the “drink 8 glasses a day” drivel, I just brushed it off or ignored it. Well that’s not exactly true. I actually tried it a few times but oh my god it’s so hard. And truly, who has that much time in a day to spend running to the toilet anyway?

But then New Year’s. And with it came a few new resolutions, one of which was try to drink a ton more water. Mostly because the holiday season stress and naughty eating did me no favors in the health department. Drinking more water is on every health list, so that’s where I started.

I don’t actually like to drink water. At all. I will drink tea, or put lemon in it whenever I was trying to take in more fluids. But this time, I tried to make myself drink plain water and maybe even begin to like it. I started with a huge glass jar (64 oz), which should have been the requisite 8 glasses. I filled it up in the morning and tried to down it regularly throughout the day. I’m not going to lie. This takes real commitment. WOW. The first week I think I ran to the toilet every 15 minutes. But I stuck it out. Mostly because the results were fast and amazing. My skin felt better (way, way better) in only days and looked so much different, even in a week. Softer, dewier, younger than it had in years. Especially around my eyes. In the last few months they had gotten wrinkly in the lids, hollow underneath, and just plain tired looking. I thought I was just getting to that point where, duh, aging catches up with you. But maybe that was just dehydration?

The second week was easier and I was actually getting thirsty if I somehow missed drinking my glass of water in an hour or so. At this point, I was trying to increase my water drinking to add another half of that jar before the day was done. The bathroom breaks stretched out longer. I felt like I had more energy. I didn’t feel so stiff – in fact I was feeling sort of bendy and stretchy. No more creaking in the knees. But there was also backlash – a couple of devastating floods across my desk, destroying piles of work, when I knocked the stupid water glass over that I wasn’t used to having there.

And then I found this article: a woman in the UK who had done the same experiment and her results. Nothing short of amazing. Holy cow, LOOK at her face! It claims that she started drinking a gallon a day, but that's not actually true. I found her original article, the one she wrote herself, and it was only 3 liters a day, which was my own jar and a half amount. If you only have a minute to spare - check out that first article because it's short and succinct, outlining how the proper amounts of water are essential for really every function of your body, from digestion, to joints, to skin, all of it.

And then, if you want to read her week-by-week diary of what it felt like for her for the first month, check that article out here. It's nothing short of miraculous. It is honestly the fountain of youth. Or as close as we're going to get anyway. Convinced? Headed for your water bottle?

I'm not at a full month, but I've got reason enough to make this a regular thing now. Still working out the "making it a habit" part. Like remembering to take it with me in the car when I run errands. Or how not to tsunami my keyboard. It's a work in progress. One that I highly recommend if you're a water-avoider like I was. And yes, it's supposed to help you lose weight too. Flushing toxins, keeping you feeling full, curbing cravings. Gah! Even more benefits. :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

There is only one of you in all of time.

One of my very favorite quotes. I go back to it whenever I'm discouraged, or feeling the "why bother, it's all been done before" blues.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

IRS Lawsuit scam - don't call back

As a small home business, I think I get an unusually high number of telemarketing and scammy phone calls during the day. As a smart cookie, I can spot these a mile away now, but just in case you aren't as familiar with them, here a couple of tips:

1. If you get a call that has a recorded message "we've been trying to reach you. The IRS is filing a lawsuit against you. Please call (blank number) to resolve this issue . . . it's a scam. Just got this one this morning. The IRS will always contact you in writing first, and believe me, they have your address information. They will not call you. Not unless you have already ignored all the written letters. And when they do, it will be a live person, not a robo-call. Do not call back. It WILL be a live person, probably with a foreign accent, and they will ask you all kinds of personal financial questions which they will use to dupe you further. Just give yourself a break and let it go.

2. If you get any kind of questionable call, google the phone number, or google the issue (like 'IRS lawsuit scam') and you will know instantly what it's all about. Do this BEFORE you do one other thing.

3. If anyone starts asking you questions about your personal information, to verify your account or passwords etc., DO NOT give out anything. Nobody is going to call you and ask for that stuff. Really. Any legitimate business will verify themselves fully and give you a way to check it out for real before you make yourself vulnerable. Like you can call them back on their main line to do it with their fraud dept, or customer service or whatnot.

I continue to get the frustrating calls from the so-called "Windows Technical Dept" that there is a virus on my computer and they want me to go through some kind of process over the phone to fix it - which, in scam speak, means they are then actually downloading their own virus directly onto my computer. Windows is not going to call you. They are not monitoring every computer on earth to know what is happening to your desktop or laptop. Use common sense and just hang up.

Bottom line: be sharp, question everything, do not share anything over the phone unless you have double or triple checked it out before you call them back. And if it's in your email inbox instead of the phone? Same thing. DO NOT respond or click the link. At all. Never.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Thank you Dr. King

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr's birthday was actually January 15th, but today is the day we celebrate his legacy as a national holiday. And what an enormous impact his life and his words have had on us. Each time I read another quote by him, I'm blown away by his wisdom and leadership, so much a part of his time and yet way ahead of his time too. We are still in the trenches working on these exact same issues right now. His ideals are every bit as courageous, wise and on point today. He was a giant among men. Thank you Dr. King for standing up. For saying what needed to be said. For doing what was right. 

"I often feel like saying, when I hear the question 'People aren't ready,' that it's like telling a person who is trying to swim, 'Don't jump in that water until you learn how to swim.' When actually you will never learn how to swim until you get in the water.  And I think people have to have an opportunity to develop themselves and govern themselves.
Delivered at Mount Pisgah Missionary Baptist Church in Chicago on Aug. 27, 1967

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Huge. Winter. Sale.

I'm just going to say these three little words: Huge. Winter. Sale.

If you've followed me for a more than a year, then you know that early January is when I put all the leftover winter holiday seasonal stuff on ginormous discount in what I lovingly like to call the "sale page." (You can just skip ahead and go there right now.  You're welcome.)

Did you make New Year's Resolutions to get healthy?  Maybe do a juice cleanse? If so, I've got a little something that might make the detox process more pleasurable. And effective too. Dead Sea Bath Salts.  Taking a nice, warm soak in these lovely smelling salts does wonders for both  body and  soul. With such a high content of minerals, they draw toxins out of your skin like a Hoover, all while soothing any inflammation, dissolving dead skin cells so you feel smooth as glass, and relaxing your mind and spirit. It's the perfect way to end your day. Especially if you're fighting some nasty cravings for an evening of bad tv and oh so dangerous snacks. 

I put all my Dead Sea Bath Salts on sale this month too, so you can stock up and get soaking already. They are all on the sale page too.

Monday, January 05, 2015

Valentine's Day Humbug

I had to make a couple of shopping stops over the weekend and was horrified to see the stores full of Valentine's Day merchandise already. The whole holiday hoopla thing went by in a blink of an eye and I'm really having to push myself into all that "new year" activity and get back to work. It's all too much, too soon. I'm not ready. Especially to start planning another holiday. Is that just me? I'm thinking it's you too. 

Usually I do the big spring seasonal announcement and newsletter on Feb 1st each year. But this year I'm going to wait until mid-February. I don't have to follow the big box stores for my retail schedule. I'm thinking that the spring stuff should be a bit closer to the actual spring outside. Ok, two weeks isn't that much :) But it gives me a chance to recover and take a tiny break before rushing off into the next big thing. #MakeYourOwnRules

Friday, January 02, 2015

I like the sound of "good madness"

Because I obviously can't get enough Neil Gaiman quotes about the new year . . .

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Screw it up. Royally.

"I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly, you're Doing Something. So that's my wish for you, and all of us, and my wish for myself. Make New Mistakes. Make glorious, amazing mistakes. Make mistakes nobody's ever made before. Don't freeze, don't stop, don't worry that it isn't good enough, or it isn't perfect, whatever it is: art, or love, or work or family or life. Whatever it is you're scared of doing, Do it. Make your mistakes, next year and forever."

- Neil Gaiman