Category: Creating

Herbal Joy

Creating Inspiration Simplicity

Herbal Joy

Last year for Mother’s Day, I asked for an indoor herb garden in the kitchen. Sean took the kids to ikea alone (a gift in and of itself) and gathered the pots and racks and then actually HUNG them on the wall for me. It took many hours, this gift I asked for and he did it with love and grace. It was the best.

We planted herbs and watched them sprout and we were all so giddy. Then I neglected them and they all died. The end.

Plants dying has been a theme in my life until this summer when I declared that would no longer be the case! It’s not unusual to see me leaving the library with gardening books…that never get read. This time, I found a great book on homesteading and their herb section was short and sweet. I was determined to grow and nurture herbs this summer. I feel really connected to small herb plants, they bring me so much joy whenever I am in their presence. I need them in my life and I realized no one can make them stay alive for me except for me.

Potted thyme

I took some notes from my homesteading book in the late winter so when spring rolled around, I’d be ready. Honestly, the only thing I took note of was the importance of having holes in the bottom of pots and I learned how to drill a hole in them on youtube because many of my ikea pots didn’t have holes already. I know, this is basic but was big for me.

I also learned about adding gravel to the bottom of the pots for extra drainage, before the dirt goes in. So I walked out back to my gravel patio, grabbed a few handfuls and threw it in the bottom of my basil pot – because for that one I was using an actual metal pot with no holes. I’m also blessed with daily encouragement from my beautiful green thumb neighbors, Lynn and Yvonne.

And then I just had to remember to water them.

Mint and Rosemary

That was all a few months ago and I’m happy to report all of my green babies are still alive and thriving! The original crew: Lavender, thyme, mint, rosemary and basil have brought me so many smiles in the past couple of months. I bought all of them except the basil, which I grew from seed (!!!), at the Meadowbrook farm.

I like to throw some thyme, basil and mint in my scrambled eggs. I use the thyme and rosemary for skillet chicken at least 2x a week. I’m loving herbal water – adding mint and/or basil to our water and letting it sit for a few hours or overnight, it’s so refreshing!

I haven’t used the lavender yet, but I touch it and talk to it all the time. Maybe that’s all I need it for, I don’t know yet. When the first purple flowers opened, I was so proud of myself.

Cute herb spoon

And to reward myself for doing so awesome, last month when I was selling my soaps at the Morris Arboretum, I bought these CUTEST little spoon signs from a fellow vendor and added them to my little beauties. These things honestly had me looking up hand-stamped jewelry machines because I want to make a million of them!!!

To further reward myself, I added two new herbs to the family: lemon verbena and roman chamomile. I chose lemon verbena to add to water and possibly make tea with and the roman chamomile is such a soothing smell, I had to have it.

Rosemary Herb sign spoon

I get a lot of inspiration from the nerdy farmwife, so maybe someday I’ll start making herbal infused waters/teas to use in my soap recipes, but for now the main focus is to remember to water the plants daily and sit next to them and enjoy them.

Some other awesome herbal resources that I found include: thyme herbal and avivia romm md.

What’s your favorite way to use fresh herbs?

Happy Summer!

xoxo

Marjorie Sarah

 

Grad School Dropout

Community Creating Creative Small Business Identity Inspiration Spiritual Exploration

Grad School Dropout

When I worked in Membership Services for the Philadelphia Convention & Visitors Bureau, I was surprised by the part of that role that I found to be the most interesting, which was interacting with the small business owners. I think about it and didn’t realize that I was so attracted to their work and their stories because they were small business owners.

The thing about meeting an entrepreneur that is absolutely my favorite is learning the story behind what they are doing. A real and interesting story that someone can share with me. Those conversations are so juicy. When I worked in the Membership Services role, I met with owners and creators of all sorts – restaurants, tour companies, event planners and shop owners. It was the couple that started their unique walking tour, City Food Tours, that made me smile with their passion and excitement when they talked about what they were up to. Or the college kids that started a free Philadelphia walking tour because they just loved it. I remember meeting owners in their welcoming tiny restaurants sitting and asking each of them the story of how it all began. That’s all I was ever interested in…how’d you birth this idea and give it life? What was your motivation? How is it going?

Those are my favorite memories of a career path that is now far in my rear view. I even remember writing my “Tourism” college papers on peoples’ motivation to travel. I always want to know the story.

So as I continue to grow a small business while nurturing a growing family, I think back to all those stories that I’ve collected and learn so much from them. Johnathan Fields likened being an entrepreneur to a spiritual journey and it resonated with me because all that is unnecessary must fall away to create space for what needs to grow in both business and life. They both feel like solo trips, where we find and connect with like-minded people, but ultimately I feel that we are all alone, together.

I used to think I needed a business degree to have a business. I’m a grad school dropout who felt a heck of a lot better about it after listening to this episode of freakonomics radio. There were pieces of grad school that I LOVED and the 1/2 of an MBA (which for the record = no MBA, but still) that I have has served me well because I met one particular professor who blasted a whole area of the universe wide open for me that I didn’t even know existed.

So my story of my little startup is still forming, and evolving and changing every day. Like everyone’s. But basically, I was really, really lost and then I stood still, and then I found this activity that makes me really happy and I turned it into a “thing” with the encouragement and support of some amazing people I get to surround myself with pretty often. Things have been rocky lately and last night I called my mom crying. It’s frustrating when you invest your time and energy in things that are supposed to make you stress less…and you still get stress. And then someone shows you love and you remember, yet again, where the path is. It’s a funny thing how everything comes to be.

 

Just for fun, here is some excellent advice, whether or not you consider yourself a “Young writer.” Warning, these words are amazing.

 

Creating Creative Small Business marjorie sarah's product line

My First Giveaway!!!

Hey there!!! I have exciting news to share. I’m giving away a gift set of my handmade products to a lucky winner!!! All you have to do is sign up for my email list and … that’s it! No commenting necessary.

Kindly look to your right (or scroll down for smartphones) →→→ and find the box to enter your email address and sign up. Click the email confirmation link you receive. 🙂 Then feel a little ping of love when I smile.

If you’ve already signed up, you’ll automatically be included in this contest.

Win my soap, salts and lip balm

 

The gift set includes: 1 bar of soap, 1 small bath salt bag and a lip balm trio (set of 3). Scents based on availability.

The chances of you winning are high at this time as my list is only in it’s infancy.

The contest will be open for 23 days and will close on April 19, 2017 at 11:59pm . Winner will be notified via email and prize will be mailed out the week of April 24, 2017.

Please consider sharing with a friend if you think they’d like a chance to win some natural products full of skin loving butters and uplifting essential oils.

Thanks for your continued support & well wishes and GOOD LUCK!!!

Why Do I Write? I Read!

Books Creating Inspiration

Why Do I Write? I Read!

Parenting books on mothering and home centered simplicity. YUM. Spiritual books, psychic development books, business books, soap books. YES, PLEASE. These are the topics I devour. So, so many amazing books being written and obviously have been written. I have an insatiable thirst to learn these topics. I feel magnetically drawn to them.

Give me a book on war and I may fall asleep. Sports – OMG same. Sean is pursing a football writer side hustle and I fall asleep reading his articles on X’s and O’s! What kind of a wife am I? Instead of beating myself up (and instead of telling him this 😉 ) I stick to what I’m interested in and just keep learning. I am now and always will be a student. I am so grateful for all of the teachers in the world – both traditional and non-traditional teachers for their bravery to record the words they see to be true and share with the world giving students such as myself so much satisfaction. My endless curiosity thanks them over and over again.

I find old books and treasure them. I mark them up with my notes and journal about the nuggets I learn in amazement. My brain thinking faster than my pen as thoughts form from being privileged to learn another’s opinion.

A spark ignites and a click in my brain…OH! I think. How interesting to know this. To think these thoughts. To see it this way. At the risk of being ridiculed, criticized, they write. Authors on topics so dear to them, stories bubbling up, they share and they radiate. I’m a consumer. I consume the thoughts of experts, of gurus, of everyday moms and dads, of business people, of people with their story, people with their tips and tricks and zest for life. People who see and speak and write in poems. I live for their writing, their words. From that, combined with my personal experiences, come my words. So I write.

How I learned to Make Soap

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How I learned to Make Soap

Like most things, there needs to be a curiosity and a  passion to explore something. I’ve always been drawn to soap, as strange as that sounds. Every market I go to, every little shop, I find myself sniffing the soap they offer. Soap and scents can take you places. Coconut scents throw me back to that vacation in St. John for my best friend’s wedding. Lemongrass makes me think of the time we stayed at the Four Seasons for another friend’s wedding. Orange bliss takes me to summer instantly. I love the time travel that this little vacation called soap provides. The soap I make can be found here.

One year for Christmas, Sean got me an assortment of soaps from Whole Foods and it is one of my most memorable gifts and I still smile when I think of those soaps even though they are long gone. Picturing him sniffing them and picking them for me is so fun.

I’ve also always loved science class, especially chemistry lab where you got to mix things up and experiment. Making soap is basically the same thing. You wear goggles and an apron and get to do fun experiments!

So, since I’ve always had a love for sweet smelling soap and have always been curious about how people actually make it, I decided to do some research. The following are the best resources that I found and they are a combination of books, websites, videos and small businesses. I borrowed all of the soap books from every library in Montgomery County, PA and I researched for about 8 months. It doesn’t have to take that long, but I’m painfully meticulous at times (rarely, but you must be with soaping) and I have two young kids so I was basically on their time. I hope this quenches your curiosity if you’ve been thinking about crafting your own soap!!!

  • soap queen tv – This is where I started. I watched all the beginner videos, took copius notes and learned the importance of safety while handling lye.
  • Books – Some of my favorites include:
  • Brambleberry  – An awesome site to purchase supplies and has a blog with tons of tutorials and ideas. I find the discussions to be incredibly responsive, friendly and helpful.
  • Make friends! It’s pretty easy for me to talk to people and I’ve found many local soapers to be so nice, helpful and encouraging. Specifically: earth and sky & Ethereal Soap Co.

If you want to make a business from your soapy adventure, I plan to share a bunch of those resources in the future so stay tuned. There are a ton of awesome people sharing on the topic of creative small business and I’m consuming the info at an alarming rate. You will most likely find me lurking in the library with stacks of books chasing wild children. The adventure never ends! : )

 

Transformation in Progress

Creating Family Identity Inspiration Motherhood Spiritual Exploration

Transformation in Progress

Tomorrow is the big day. The day I register my baby for kindergarten. So many emotions.

When Brady was born, I shifted everything, as we parents do, and I shed all the skins that I wore and all the roles I thought I “should” be. A transformation that has shook me to my core. One that I thought was complete several times over, but I’m coming to find is a marathon journey that I am still on.

I’d love to carry a sign or wear a name tag that reads: Transformation in Progress. Wouldn’t you? Aren’t we all transforming every minute?

Now my days of caring for a precious baby are spent caring for a growing child and toddler. Soon those days will grow longer as Brady spends his days in a school desk and I’ll find a slower day with just me and little Meadow. Then she will slowly peel away for preschool – our first real separation. Ever. Much more on that in the coming years.

I’ve shed all those skins and roles since transitioning to motherhood and now I’m left with who I know I’m called to be. The real work of continuing to show up now that all the masks are removed lies ahead. I intend to follow my heart, my true creative nature to learn and share and create. It’s exciting yet unknown.

Where’s the Quiet?

Creating Family Motherhood

Where’s the Quiet?

It’s 6:20 am on Saturday, I’ve already done a morning meditation and started drinking my coffee. Normally I LOVE to devour books at this time of the morning but I’m committed to this blog and really need to set some more pieces of it up. So I open my laptop and start logging in. I start thinking. The gears are turning. I work on a quick post idea draft in 5 minutes. My brain is on already.

Then it happens. THE KIDS ARE UP. Crap. How are they up already? How do they never sleep? How is this possible? Good for everyone I’m feeling balanced today, otherwise this occurrence may send me into an anxious place that can last the whole day.

Sean and I have a deal. He can have from 5:30-8:30 am uninterrupted so I can leave for yoga at 8:30 am. It’s my turn to get the kids. I run upstairs with the sips of coffee I have left and find the cutest kids in the universe standing at the door of a pitch black room on the verge of freak out. They are half-awake and confused and starting to scream. We all snuggle back into bed. My thoughts are with my computer. I try to shut that down and be grateful for the 1/2 hour of uninterrupted time that I really enjoyed already today.

I’ll give it 15 minutes. If they don’t fall back to sleep, we’ll all start our day together. It doesn’t work. They are AWAKE. We start singing silly songs and make our decent downstairs.

There is no guarantee to time around here. Ever. It’s so hard to accept sometimes. I cannot think or focus unless there is quiet. I can’t work on blog stuff, make soap or pay bills when the kids are talking to me. Can anyone? Instead of wishing I had more time, I try to accept this maddening opportunity to be present yet again.

It’s gonna be a great day!

The Sweet Spot

Creating Creative Small Business Family Motherhood

The Sweet Spot

How did this happen? This finding what I love as a stay-at-home-mom which evolved into a handmade, creative business owner which feels a little strange because I never thought any of this would happen. Run on sentence = intended…that’s how my brain works.

Not having a “9-5” felt incredibly strange for a bit, but now I’m used to it and loving it. The biggest struggle for me is continuing to relish in the gratitude I find deeply embedded in my heart while being frustrated beyond belief at feeling as if I have no “time” to do anything at all.

My brain is flooded with ideas on my business, soap creation, recipes, networking and essential oil scents yet I can only grab these thoughts in fleeting moments between screams of “Mommy!!!!” and daily dinner prep. I hurry to write an idea before it evaporates. Frequently the ideas do run away before I can grab a pen (or crayon) and I’m trying to trust that an evaporated idea may not have been a good one so I let it go.

The irony for me is that I feel frustrated at not having chunks of time to create and brainstorm and think and write because of my parenting responsibilities yet being a parent is what got me in this stay-at-home position which led to an abundance of awesome soul-searching and making space for things I actually love. It’s just so ironic.

Sometimes it’s hard to say just how content I feel in my role because the waters chop and I get mad and anxious and then I question things. Or I feel inauthentic because here I am claiming to be in a sweet spot yet I feel stuck on certain days. Am I really happy? How did this happen? But after many rounds of that, I always come back to center and realize it was just a bad day or week. My true nature is not that shaky ground. When the earth moves a little, I just need to stay put and the ground will become still again.

So, I find myself in the sweet spot, day after day, being a stay-at-home-parent and relishing in all that this role has to offer while dreaming and grabbing at whatever scraps of time I can wrap my fingers around to dream, write, think and create.

Creating Identity Inspiration Spiritual Exploration

Simply Inspired

People often tell me that I’ve inspired them. It used to feel like a burden when I heard those words, that I had to live up to the expectation that was placed on me. That I had to keep coming up with ways to inspire. But the truth is, motivation comes naturally to me and I believe it’s a marriage of my mom being motivational my whole life and the combination of several of my personal archetypes – specifically those of artist, lover, mother, pioneer, poet, seeker and student.

Archetypes fascinate me. FASCINATE me! Scroll through this link and I bet you may find some interesting stories about yourself too. It’s my intention to use them as an underlying theme in may of my blog posts.

I have an urge to share my spiritual journey and story as talking it out helps me propel forward again and again. Without your support, I am stagnate. We are all connected.  The journey of our spirit, of your spirit, its evolution, its development, the mystery of it all is what I spend most of my waking hours pondering and molding and holding and dissecting.

I’ve always been WAY more interested in the intangible and un-quantifiable than things you can actually see with your eyes and measure with logic. I’m also incredibly inarticulate with the spoken word. I believe there is a direct correlation between the two for me. I’ve often felt misunderstood. I see all this as an indication that I have much more development and growth in the area of my fifth chakra & throat and there is so much for us to explore together.

My intention is that I share with you so much cool information that may not have made it’s way to you through conventional learning methods but to know that it’s out there and to chew on it for brain candy.

I’ve been inspired and I’m hopeful to inspire you to find nuggets and gems to feel curious about and explore further on your own. The seeker and pioneer within me see the seeker and pioneer within you!

Creating Creative Small Business Inspiration marjorie sarah's product line Simplicity

Why I love making lip balm, and everything else…

I think I’m addicted to creating things. It’s an outlet for me, like many others. I’ve always loved to scrapbook, read, journal, bake, make just about anything I could get my hands and glue on. Once I start the process, things just flow because I get really excited. I move so fast that I make mistakes but then I laugh at them as evidence that I was in my creative brain and not my critical brain – which is where I really want to be!

I’ve always loved science, labs especially, where you get to mix stuff up. I think that’s part of the reason I’m really enjoying mixing up so many batches of lip balms lately. And bath salts. And lotion. And sugar scrubs. And makeup. And deodorant. Sean couldn’t stop me if he tried! Hehe – well, actually he doesn’t try, he only ever encourages me and supports me and helps me with the recipes when lots of numbers are involved. He’s the best. Remember in high school when you had to convert cm to inches or mL to gallons? NOW I get it! This is why! When I’m converting drops of essential oils in order to perfect the dilution amount, I need to know that stuff so that I can understand the percentages. Ahhh, it’s all coming full circle.

I’m feeling blessed and hugged by life and the energy around me is fluffy. A good fluffy. I’m continuing to search for gratitude and the days when I’m constantly complaining, in my head or with my mouth, I struggle and strive to remember that this life is what I make of it. And sometimes that’s enough to rope me back in. And sometimes I need yoga or a cup of tea to ground my feet and not fall out of the “tree pose” that is my life.

much love this holiday season radiates from me to you!

xo, marjorie sarah