This post was written in partnership with Paperless Post. I was compensated with coins for my virtual cards but my thoughts and review are my own.

To me, there is just something about a person taking the time to send a card – whether virtual or in person. The person took the time to pick out a card for me, write a nice note and send it. It brings me such joy to receive cards with a thoughtful message. I truly feel that sending a card is a lost art. In this world of social media a lot of people take to leaving a quick facebook message instead of sending a card or text. Taking that extra time really shows that you care.

While I don’t normally send virtual cards, I was able to give Paperless Post a try and have fallen in love with it. One of the things that I love about Paperless Post is the fact that I can see when someone has viewed my card and they can also respond to it or RSVP if necessary. These would be perfect invitations to a baby shower, birthday party, or even a housewarming party. I look forward to continuing to use it with events that I have coming up.

Paperless Post was very easy to use. I simply browsed the cards, chose the one I wanted and got started. Today I’m sending a birthday card to my friend and mentor, Jen.

Paperless Post had almost 300 birthday cards to choose from, but I chose one with Happy Birthday in many languages because Jen is a missionary and is bi-lingual. I thought it suited her perfectly. You can customize the card if it has color variations as well.

You can also fully customize the text on the back of the card. I added a special message and increased the font size on certain words that I wanted to highlight. You can then customize your envelope, right down to the stamp and the postal mark.

I’m excited to use Paperless Post in the near future as I send out invites to some events that I have coming up. I love that people can RSVP direct in the website and everything is organized there in your account dashboard.

Today’s birthday card cost me 5 coins so this card would cost me $1.50 or less depending on the package I purchase (the package I was given makes this card just $0.45). You can hardly purchase a card and shipping for that price and you sometimes don’t know if the recipient even gets it. Paperless Post also has cards that are free that don’t cost coins.

Take time today to send someone a card – virtual or otherwise. If you send one from Paperless Post (which I hope you do), let me know which one you chose. I’d love to see it!

For those of you who have been around here for a while, you know that I’ve been doing this for a really long time. Like 14 years. Jewelry has been in my blood since the first beaded bracelet I made and sold my Freshman year of high school to earn money for Spring Break. It’s such a joy hearing the stories of what you all have stamped on your items – memorials, celebrations, words that impact your lives.

Owning your own business definitely has its perks: you choose your schedule, you get all of the profits, the flexibility and being your own boss is amazing. But there are also some potential downsides to owning your own business: never knowing exactly what your income will be, sometimes having to work long hours during busy seasons, not being able to shut off your mind.

Three years ago I started a small side business, simply because I felt like God had allowed me to go through some things in my health so that I would share what I was learning about food and natural living with others. I have loved this business and it brings me such fulfillment during the slower times with my jewelry business. There have been months where my side business has picked up the slack financially for us when the sales weren’t coming in here.

As a result, I have felt led lately to share with you all a challenge – why start a side business? This can be beneficial for so many, but especially those who already have a successful business. How? The readers and followers are already there. If you choose a side business that coordinates with what you are already passionate about and sharing, those followers will transfer over to your new business. I’m not talking about bugging all of your friends all day every day. I’m simply saying sharing what you love about this new venture in a natural way that fits with everyday life. Here are some examples:

Against All Grain – Danielle is a cookbook author and writes about Paleo living. Eating clean foods is super important to her. She just started on as a consultant with Beautycounter (makeup) and it fits with her current feed because the company is concerned about non-toxic makeup.

Livy Loves to Run – Diane gained a huge following when she lost 100 pounds by exercising and eating healthy. She recently started selling LipSense, which is an all-day lasting lipstick line. She’s doing really well with that and is building a brand new house as a result. While losing weight doesn’t really coordinate with selling lipstick, she wears her lipstick in some of her photos, which makes an easy transition for her followers that are interested.

These are just two examples of people who have huge Instagram followings who started a side business successfully. What if you don’t have a huge following? You can be successful at this too. I know of many friends who are hardly on social media that have created successful side businesses – some that are paying off mortgages and retiring their husbands. My friend Eva just shared the other day this great article about having a side job with your day job.

those who kept their day job while pursuing a personal venture on the side — or what the researchers called “hybrid entrepreneurship” — were 33 percent less likely to fail than those who quit their jobs altogether.

My side business is sharing wellness products with others. I love being able to make someone’s life better and I love that I can do it from anywhere (i.e. at a stoplight or on the beach). I love that I don’t have to carry inventory for my side job.There is such joy in hearing the testimonies of lives changed. The relationships I’ve built in this new business are invaluable to me. This doesn’t feel like a “job” to me, it truly is fun and fulfilling. If you want to learn more about my side business (which soon will likely surpass my jewelry income), please send me an email. I’d love to talk to you more about it and see if it’s right for you. If not, consider finding a network marketing business that does fit with your passions – it could change your life in wonderful ways.

We can all use a little bit of help in the area of focus sometimes, am I right? There are days where I sit down to make jewelry and it’s like “squirrel” every time my phone goes off or the dog barks. It’s no secret that I’ve come to love essential oils so I thought I’d share this focus blend with you all today. This blend is energizing and is perfect for studying, working or simply when you need some extra focus. You can apply it to your forehead, behind your ears, to the back of your neck or rub it in your palms and inhale it aromatically.

In a 10mL roller bottle blend:
20 drops Orange
20 drops Peppermint
fill the remainder with your favorite carrier oil (I recommend fractionated coconut oil or Young Living’s V-6 blend)

I personally use and trust Young Living as my source for essential oils. Their integrity and quality is so important to me and I love their Seed to Seal process. The fact that I can visit the farms and see how the oils are produced speaks volumes to me. If you’d like to learn more about essential oils, I’d love to talk to you more about them and how to purchase them or you can head over to my Natural Living website to learn more.

Startup Stock Photos

If you’ve been on Instagram already today, you’ve seen all of the chatter about Instagram changing their algorithms and making the feeds non-chronological. Nearly everyone is posting pictures pointing to those triple dots in the top right corner and asking you to turn on post notifications. Well, I’m telling you today to please don’t do that. If you really want to, you can…however I know for myself I have enough distractions throughout the day. I don’t need my phone to ping every time someone posts a picture on Instagram. I’m telling you right now that getting a notification when I post a picture of a new item is not important enough to distract you when your family needs you, when you’re at work or when you’re driving. You should just be able to come to social media when you’re able and see what you’d like to see.

The Instagram changes are a challenge, but here are a few things you can do to make sure that you’re getting the information that you want from the feeds that you love. The first is to ENGAGE. Like pictures. Be sure to comment. This goes for Facebook as well – the more you engage, the greater the chances to keep seeing those feeds that you enjoy. And on Facebook it’s a double bonus because when you do those things it shows up to your friends, which can help a small business like mine to grow organically.

Another thing you can do is to sign up for my e-newsletters. Chances are, most of you already subscribe. But if not, go ahead and sign up here and snag a 15% off coupon. I hope to send emails out a few times a week with coupons, sales, new products and other items that have value. If you have other small businesses that you love and don’t want to miss, see if they have an e-news as well that you can sign up for.

Lastly, clean up your “following” list. Maybe it’s time to clean house and make sure you unfollow those feeds that you no longer need to see. That way you’re free to see the ones you do want to see.

When I first heard of yet another change, I did get scared. This business is a good chunk of our livelihood and income. I am my only employee. Instagram has been integral to the growth of my business. But you know what? If people love my items, they’ll come shop with me when they need jewelry…regardless of if they see me in their feed. I just trust you all to share your love for my items with your friends and direct them to my site. It’s okay. I love and appreciate all of you for the support over the last 12 years…and the continued support in the future.

IMG_4592A few weeks ago I did a make & take at my house with a few friends. We made diffuser pendants, bath salts & sugar scrub. Today I want to share with you how to make an easy bath salt that is perfect for gift giving! It’s not too late to whip some of these up for gifts!

The original recipe is from TidyMom. To make Lemon Rosemary Bath Salt you simply mix together the following:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups epsom salt
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 2-3 tbsp fresh rosemary; finely chopped
  • 6-8 drops lemon essential oil
  • 2-3 tbsp lemon zest (optional)

I didn’t use that much rosemary in mine because I only had a small amount. It is still very fragrant even with only one tablespoon. I also didn’t use as much lemon zest. I just zested some of the peel until it looked like enough. This recipe fills one pint and one jelly jar.

IMG_4593If you want to fill up three pint jars, you simply double the recipe. That fills the jars almost to the top (add a little more epsom salt if needed). This recipe can easily be amended to whatever oil you want to use:

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups epsom salt
  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 12-16 drops of essential oil

IMG_4584Tie them with a sweet bow and tag and you’re all set! To use, measure out 1/2c-1c of the mixture and put in your bath water for a relaxing detox soak. Some of the oils that we liked to use in the ones we mixed up are lavender, cedarwood and peace & calming.

If you’d like more information on Essential Oils, you can read more about what they are, why Young Living and how to buy.