I don’t believe in New Years Resolutions…I never have. Probably because I spent all of my life in school…as a student, and as a teacher; for me, the “new year” starts in September. I don’t believe in resolutions, not because I think they’re ridiculous or pipe dreams, I believe we all want to better ourselves, but because I think the moment we decide to change happens gradually, not because our constructed set of time has decided so.
Instead of writing resolutions this year, I write wishes I have for you, our beautiful readers and customers.
I wish you enough. Enough of everything you need and some of what you want.
I wish you love, friendship, companionship, and people who will be there to cheer you on, or to wipe your tears.
I wish you honesty. I wish you the courage to be honest, and the courage to accept the honesty of others.
I wish you the ability to see things with perspective and clarity.
I wish you to hear more good news than bad, and to find the serenity to heal from the bad.
I wish you warmth in the winter and cool in the summer. I wish you comfort.
I wish you long showers, bubbly baths, and to find joy in every moment.
I wish you the invention of the calorie-burning cupcake and muscle-toning pizza slice.
I wish you respite, calm, and relaxation; the chance to dismiss stress and embrace peace.
I wish you free parking, green lights, and the miles between friends and family to always feel small.
I wish you a vacation – whether in the Bahamas on a beach, watching whales in Alaska, or reading a book on your front lawn.
I wish you relief from your pain, calm from your anxiety, and enough coffee to keep you sane.
I wish you the courage of your convictions.
I wish you the ability to decline with grace, or to say no with fortitude.
I wish you many open doors of opportunity.
I wish you adventure, excitement, and the strength to keep it up.
I wish you laughter for every single day of your life.
I wish you soft skin, silky hair, a trim figure, and the ability to see it doesn’t matter.
I wish for you to grow your charitable heart; to give more than you receive.
I wish you the joy of pets, the laughter of children, and the bloom of flowers.
As you’re reading the ingredients of your soap label, you may come across a few unfamiliar terms that include sodium. Sometimes these terms can be scary and intimidating because we don’t always know what they mean, what their purposes are, or how they will affect us. The purpose of this particular blog post is to decode, and debunk any myths. Power through information!
Sodium Hydroxide is commonly known as lye. Lye, simply, is a chemical form of salt; it is formed by “leaching” ashes. Sodium Hydroxide is a caustic base chemical which, alone, can burn skin, but when reacting with the fats in oils (or triglycerides), creates saponification. Saponification is the name of this chemical reaction where the sodium hydroxide meets with the carbon-oxygen bonds in triglycerides to form glycerin, which is an essential component of soap. Essentially: No Lye = No Soap.
Once saponification has occurred, there is no more lye left in soap, as it has gone through the necessary chemical reaction to change its state. Think of it this way: Imagine you were able to see two hydrogen molecules and an oxygen molecule hanging around. Alone, these are hydrogen and oxygen, but once they have combined, they are now H2O, or water – they are no longer separate entities.
So, in short, do not be afraid of “sodium hydroxide” listed on your ingredient labels. In fact, be glad, that means this soap was made through the same process that soap has been made for thousands of years.
Quoted directly from Brambleberry.com (one of the leading suppliers in the soap-making industry):
Sodium Lactate is a liquid salt that is naturally derived from the natural fermentation of sugars found in corn and beets. In food, Sodium Lactate may be used as a preservative, acting as an inhibitor of bacteria growth. In CP soap, Sodium Lactate helps to produce a harder bar of soap that lasts longer in the shower. Because Sodium Lactate is a salt, it is a natural humectant, providing moisture.
You definitely don’t need to fear sodium lactate in your soaps, either. As Brambleberry explains, soap makers use sodium lactate to create a harder bar of soap. Why would we need to do this? There are several reasons. When trying to create intricate designs, we need to work with a lot of “soft” oils in our soap – that means oils that are liquid at room temperature. When working with so many soft oils, it can make the saponified loaf extremely hard to remove from the mold. Sodium lactate helps to prevent any damage to the loaf as its being removed, or in general, just make it possible to remove. Also, some soaps that are naturally soft, such as Castille (100% olive oil) or Bastille (mostly olive oil), can take up to a full year to cure. The use of sodium lactate can help the curing process by making those particular soaps harder a little faster.
Hopefully this article has explained what some of the ingredients mean in soap (and cosmetic formulations), and to help debunk myths.
The fear of “chemicals” is ludicrous. Everything is comprised of chemicals! Of course, there are some chemicals which are harmful, but the overwhelming majority use in the cosmetic industry have been long-tested. If you’re not sure what something is, go ahead and ask the maker, if that’s not possible, just do a little research and don’t allow fear-mongers to destroy science.
Today I just needed a day to vegetate. The holiday hustle and bustle finally caught up to me and I was just incredibly exhausted. With all of my favorite TV shows on winter recess, my DVR was bleakly empty, so I decided to peruse through HBO on demand. I saw that a bunch of episodes of Sex and the City were on, and bringing me back to my college days when my best friend/roommate and I would binge watch episodes, I needed a taste of nostalgia.
As I sat on the couch and watched, I realized how much more raw and real this show has become for me. With my 33rd birthday on the horizon, I am now the same age as the characters were as they went through all of torrential and tumultuous relationships.
I found myself getting angry with Carrie as she cheated on Aiden with Big. I know, I get it, Big was her “one,” but is that what love is about? Sure, we know the movies tied their dysfunctional relationship up in a pretty package; they soddered all the loose ends, but like any piece of broken glass or metal, the only way to make it work again is to completely melt it and start over. But it’s never the same, never fresh, never new; the pieces are like rebatched soap – a dull image of what it was supposed to be.
We loved the show because we loved the characters. For all of their flaws, their charms, they were relatable, but the plot was tired and too fairytale-esque. You don’t choose Big over Aiden. You can’t “let go of who you once were to become who you will be” and still move backwards. You don’t choose tumult over kind, caring, gentle, and available.
There’s an old belief that we have three great loves in our life. For Carrie, that was Big, Aiden, and New York. New York is personified as grandma’s quilt – everlasting, transcendental, simply timeless. Aiden was the one who got away. Big was the “one.” But, why? When you have great loves, they all become a part of you. If she chose Aiden, as we know, as we watched, Big would always be there, but even the film shows us that Aiden was still a part of her, too. So, if we’re forever changed by the great loves in our life, why would you choose the one who brought you pain?
We’re supposed to revere the characters for being true to themselves, but I can’t help feeling like the unrealistic pursuit of a happy ending prevailed over the beauty of the truth that once endeared the show to its viewers. The reality is you don’t choose the one that continuously broke your heart. It doesn’t work out so easily. You can’t just forgive and forget. You don’t just pass up an Aiden.
At Bath, Body, Candle Moments, our love for Mother Earth expands far beyond animals. We spent 2016 collaborating and working with cruelty-free, humanitarian, and animal rescue organizations, and in 2017, we will expand our commitment to the environment through sustainable shipping, Million Trees NYC, and re-purposing our materials.
Our first commitment will be towards sustainable shipping methods. We currently only use recycled and re-purposed boxes, but we’re ready to take it a step further. We plan on re-purposing all bubble wrap and air-bubble packaging, and moving towards biodegradable packing peanuts. We love the idea of these packing peanuts because they will actually disintegrate naturally instead of taking up landfill space!
As a company born-and-bred in New York City, we have a special love for our town and want to give back to it through urban arbor development, which is why we have decided to run special promotions throughout 2017 to support Million Trees NYC. To off-set our carbon footprint, we will pick several days throughout the year to donate 50% of sales from that day to planting new trees in New York City! We’re so excited about this project, we’re making our first Million Trees day on Friday, December 16, 2016! So half of every purchase will be donated to planting trees in New York! (Shop now to save trees.)
Re-purposing our materials will take a little bit of work from us, and a little bit of work from our eco-conscious customers. The first re-purposing are our candle jars. Our candle jars are actually American-made Libbey 11oz glasses, so when you’re candle is finished, all you need to do is clean out the wax, scrape out the wick, run it through the dishwasher, and it becomes a drinking glass! (Just make sure you really clean it out well.) These glasses also make the perfect pot for lucky bamboo plants! The current bottles and jars we use for our scrubs, butters, and sprays are all recyclable, so when you’ve finished your product, you can feel good about putting it in the recycling bin, or you can find a fun way to re-purpose the jar. For example, our scrub jars, once you clean them out, can be used to store small materials like paper-clips, pins, or change. You can take a couple of seeds with a paper towel soaked in water and turn it into a small plant pot!
The little steps we all take
Our commitment to our natural environment is real and personal. We are all citizens of Earth and we all have a responsibility to give back. With our company, you’re not just spoiling yourself, you’re making a difference: Making the world a little better and more beautiful – one step at a time.
The holidays are a time of joy, family, friends, celebration, giving, thankfulness, gratitude, and the list goes on. People are popping up Christmas trees, menorahs, holiday lights, decorating, but do you feel like none of it seems to bring you happiness? Do you feel more stressed than usual? Don’t worry, you’re not alone, and better yet, there are steps you can take to step out of it.
“I think a lot of people would say that the holidays are the worst time of the year,” says Ken Duckworth, MD, medical director of the National Alliance on Mental Illness. “They’re just straight up miserable, and that’s not only for people with clinical depression.”
If your symptoms feel like they may be severe, I would always recommend you go and speak with a licensed therapist or your medical doctor, but if you think it just may be something associated with the holidays, here are some steps you can take to help you beat the holiday blues:
Step out of your uncomfortable zone. If you think being around certain places or visiting certain family members are bringing you down, why not try planning a trip for this holiday, or planning dinner out? Consider switching up plans this year just to go somewhere you will feel happy.
Take care of your needs first. Do things that will make you feel calm and happy. Work on your hobby, go for a run, take a long bath, whatever little things you may save for yourself, go out of your way to do them.
Lean on your friends and family for support. The people who love you are there for you no matter what. It’s important to reach out and ask for help, specifically explaining what is making you depressed. Sometimes having an objective perspective helps, sometimes just knowing someone is listening helps.
Get into the spirit of giving. It’s a fact that giving makes us feel better. Go out of you way to help others during this time. Whether that means volunteering, or leaving surprise gifts for others, donating to charity, do something for another person to give yourself meaning.
(From WebMd) Don’t worry about things that are out of your control. Differentiate between what you have specific control over and what you don’t. Then set aside those things you don’t and step away from it. Life happens, and we, as a humanity, have a beautiful resilience. You may not like the outcomes, but that is not for you to stress about – as the old tautology teaches us, it is what it is.
Find a new hobby. There are so many fun and creative things you can do which will help alleviate your stress! Check out Meetup.com to find different interest groups and meet new people. Peruse through your local hobby store, or Amazon crafts and hobbies, and pick up some crafting supplies. Sometimes getting your mind onto something gets your mind off other things.
Make a to-do list. Making lists helps to visualize all the tasks at hand. If this seems overwhelming, break it down into a day-by-day list of tasks, prioritize, and then feel the awesome sensation of checking each one off as you accomplish them. To help with this, work on one task at a time and see it through completion before moving on.
Shop online. Shopping for gifts is super difficult, but with all the features of the internet, you can knock it out in one sitting. Check out our website for beautiful stocking-stuffers and office gifts, or our pre-made gift sets to make things even easier, and then check out Amazon for their special holiday deals!
We hope some of these tips make the holiday season seem less daunting and cheer you up!
There are many different factors involved to having healthy, glowing skin. As a skincare and soap maker, I would love to tell you that I have the magic potion to make all of your problems disappear, like some form of wizardry or alchemy, but it would be unprofessional, and worse, unscientific. What you put on your skin is incredibly important, absolutely, but there is far more involved than just that one step.
This is why we have created the Five Days to Healthier Skin Challenge. The challenge will begin this week, Monday 12/5/16 through Friday 12/9/16. You are more than welcome to participate by joining our VIP Facebook Group. Those who are in the group and who complete all five steps will be awarded 300 bonus rewards points in their account on our website.
If you’re coming to this blog post later, or you’re just ready to give your skin an overhaul, you are welcome, of course, to complete this challenge on your own. This is a sneak-preview of what’s in store:
DAY ONE – WATER INTAKE
Drink at least 48 ounces of pure water on this day. It’s really recommended to get to 64 ounces, but that may be a huge increase for someone who does not do this on a regular basis. The reason this is the first challenge is because water is the basis of our entire physiological system. To help your body’s natural detoxing system, it needs pure water to function properly. What we mean by “pure” water is non-carbonated and unmixed (no tea or lemonade or coffee mixes). It’s perfectly fine to infuse your water with lemon, cucumber, or berries, if that makes it more palatable for you.
DAY TWO – SUGAR FREE DAY
Now that we’ve been working on adding more water to our diet, this day requires you to eliminate non-complex carbohydrates, sugars, and sugar-fillers. No bread or pasta today. Complex carbs, such as fruit and beans, are perfectly fine. Try to stick to lean proteins like legumes, beans, grilled chicken, boiled eggs, or turkey. Avoid foods that are fried or processed. Healthy skin begins with a healthy lifestyle – and anyone can do this for one day! Here is a link to my famous turkey-chili recipe, which can be made vegetarian by eliminating the turkey meat and substituting with more beans to give you a quick meal idea.
DAY THREE – EXFOLIATE
It’s important to exfoliate your skin a few times per week to help stave off the old, dead skin cells and show off fresh skin. Your skin is doing its job by constantly creating new cells, exfoliation gives it that extra push. For your face, we recommend the Face the Day Sugar Face Scrub and for your body we recommend the In the Buff Sugar Scrub. What’s awesome about these particular exfoliators is that they’re already packed with nourishing oils and butters, so you won’t need an extra moisturizer!
DAY FOUR – SERUM
There are so many products on the market for serums, but what is hard to find is a natural serum comprised of pure botanical oils and essential oils, which is why we created Evanescence. Today, we want you to use your bottle of Evanescence after you cleanse your face in the morning and in the evening. If you don’t have Evanescence on hand, you can order it now (we ship priority mail), or use any mixture of botanical oils you have available in your home – such as olive or coconut. While we can’t promise the same results with just any oil, using pure oils on your face is a great start. (If you’re going for just stuff you have in the kitchen, don’t do this in the morning – Evanescence is specially formulated for easy, quick absorption; other oils will not necessarily have such a quick absorption.)
DAY FIVE – MAKE-UP FREE
While most quality make-ups are not necessarily harmful for your skin, the extra rubbing and pulling from cleansing it off can be; plus, just having make-up sit on your skin for extended periods of time can induce clogged pores. Today, we challenge you to go free from make-up all day long, and just let your skin breathe! (Don’t forget to moisturize and wear sunscreen if you’ll be outside.)
Rules of the Challenge:
Each day, there will be a graphic posted in the VIP group reminding you of what the day’s challenge will be. Under the graphic, by 11:59pm EST of that day, post a photo and/or comment explaining what you’ve accomplished related to that day’s challenge. People who complete the challenge on time everyday and post will receive 300 bonus points in their account. If you post with a photo at least twice, you can earn an additional 100 bonus points! You must complete ALL five days to qualify for the bonus points. Trust me, your skin will thank you!
We’ve been incredibly busy lately, and we’re so thankful for it! We would love to share how our business has been featured, especially with a focus on shopping small and shopping locally. Here are just a few articles that not only highlight Bath, Body, Candle Moments, but some other amazing small businesses!
Thank you so much for making our business such a success! If you ever find us in the press, Instagram it with hashtag #scentsthemoment and tag us @bathbodycandlemoments and you could win a prize!