Every day is a challenge. Some days the challenge is easy. Some days it’s fun. Some days it’s not. Some days push you to your limit. And some days it’s about leaving plan A behind and accepting plan B.
I took a week and a half off in April. I had my first REAL vacation in over three years and then I spent a few days with family over Easter. And in that time my list doubled. Now I’m playing catch up with everything. Here’s a look at some of April!
April 1, 2019: Tired Girl
I can’t tell you how exhausted I am. I’ve worked so hard for so long (and a bit too intensely these past three months). I feel utterly burnt out and truly like a walking soap dictionary right now (and incomplete dictionary…for there’s still stuff I don’t know, but still like a dictionary…or maybe more accurately an encyclopedia).
April 2, 2019: Custom Favors
It always makes me smile to have the opportunity to make special favors for people. I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of it!
April 3, 2019: Eye Butters
The hardest part of these past few months has been falling behind on my business as I tried to get this test completed. These custom eye butters got out a few weeks late, but I did get them all done.
April 4, 2019: Hearts
I have all these heart soaps left over from a previous project I have no idea what to do with!
April 17, 2019: Bubble Scoops
You probably noticed the big game between these two pictures. That’s because I took my first REAL vacation in over three years. I couldn’t really afford the time away, but I needed it. I was just about burnt out and the break did me good. Now I’m working like a crazy lady trying to get months worth of work done in one month…
April 18, 2019: Vegan Lip Balms
In March I asked the soap community what they use as a vegan friendly alternative to beeswax as I was doing a vegan market a number of times this coming year. And after all their suggestions and my research I went with sunflower wax.
April 20, 2019: Winter Markets
The last of my indoor markets are upon me. Soon the tent has to come back out. I never look forward to that day. One aspect of the business I could do without. 😉
April 21, 2019: Ribbon!
I’ve restocked on Harry Potter ribbon. Now if only restocking the HP bath bombs, lip balms, and soaps were as simple! Work awaits me so I can make more gift sets.
April 22, 2019: Balms
Balms weren’t the only thing I made that day, but they were a big part of it. I had so much to restock. The bright side is I’m slowly getting things checked off my list.
April 23, 2019: Ready for their new home!
The favors got packaged and then delivered!
April 24, 2019: Lip Balms
Over 600 lip balms made and waiting to be labeled. If I don’t have to make lip balms again for a long while I’ll be okay with that! Ha!
April 25, 2019: Life gives us all challenges
Life is not easy. It has its joys and frustrations. Right now I’m battling so much. It will get better and I know it’s not as bad as it feels, but I really feel like I’ve been beaten down and the world is trying to break me. *sigh* It will get better. I just have to keep pushing along and do my best to remain positive.
This has been me the past two months…more so than usual. I’m a worrier. I always stress about how I’m going to get everything done; how I’m going to please everyone; how I’m going to pay the bills; how I’m going to be there for those that need me; how I’m going to put together this program or schedule that event…you get the idea. I worry. Most of the time it’s not “bad” worry, it’s just how I function. I make my lists and feel like I’ve got some semblance of control as I cross things off.
The past two months there’s been no feeling of control. Just panic and dread most days as I look at a list that grows with two more items for every one I cross off. Things will balance out again eventually, but for now there’s a bit too much on my plate. Every night I go to bed wondering how it will all get done and somehow I stay on top the things as best I can and what needs to get done does.
To everyone that struggles and wonders how to do it all, you’re not alone. *take a deep breath* One thing at a time. That’s the only way to do it. One thing. Then another. And another. And somehow it gets done.
I’ve been neglectful of the business this month. I’ve done only what I’ve had to do and not much else. I’m going to be so very behind come April, but as my Master Test deadline approaches I’ve had to spend most of my waking hours on it. There will be some long days in April, but I’ll manage to catch up…somehow. *oye* Anyway, don’t be surprised if the majority of my photos are of my working on my test ha! I kid you not when I say I pretty much spent EVERY DAY this month working on it…well pretty much every day the past three months, but this month has felt more desperate than the previous two. Ha!
March 1, 2019: Editing
I tired. Yes, I was very tired. But, I did also try. Ha! Proofreading. Always proofread!
March 2, 2019: Oil Pick Up
That’s a lot of coconut! I should be good for the next 4 to 6 months ha! Another soap maker and I split this order. Buying in bulk saves you a lot of money. And when you can drive to pick it up it’s even better! You save in shipping!
March 4, 2019: Finishing up Part 1
This was ready to submit. I don’t know what’s more nerve wreaking. Submitting it and hoping you have everything required and haven’t missed/forgotten anything. Or waiting for the results. Either way, this went out and I was exhausted by the time it went out. But, there was no rest for the weary I had to start up on my Topical report right away.
March 5, 2019: Mold Addiction
I admit it. I’m addicted to molds. No idea what I’m gonna do with these, but I couldn’t resist them when I saw them.
March 6, 2019: Photo Editing
I had to take a day to take photos of my spring soaps and then edit them. They needed to get posted on my webpage. I also had to take the day to create labels. I still managed to get a little studying in for the exam, but this was one of the days where business had to come first.
March 7, 2019: Making coherent sense of all my sources
I’m a write by hand kind of girl when it comes to researching and organizing my thoughts and all my sources (and I had a TON of sources I needed to pull info from). This was the start of my work on gathering all that info from articles in one place.
March 9, 2019: Editing
I tried to do some soaps for Easter. I failed. These embeds were going to be cute Easter soaps. Key word: “were”. SIGH.
March 12, 2019: Cream Soap
I have tons of cream soap left from all my testing. I have an awesome neighbor who has tested out all of my shaving soaps and I asked him if he wanted to try these out. So I took some from every different batch I made and made up some jars for him to try.
March 14, 2019: Topical Report Progress
Progress! Introduction and a couple sections written. At this point I’ve done nothing but work on this report every free moment, but it’s coming along and so far I’m happy with how it’s progressing.
March 17, 2019: Happy St. Patrick’s Day
I had to do some packaging of the spring soaps since I had a market coming up and I needed them ready. I also needed to get out of the house for a bit so I took a walk and came across the bonus picture ;).
March 19, 2019: Shaving Soaps
I thought to introduce this new link in May, but the likelihood of that happening is a big fat ZERO. But I did take photos. The shaving soaps will have to wait. Like I mentioned earlier…I’m going to be very behind and playing catch up for a few months.
March 21, 2019: 34 Sources (and potentially a few more)
Four pages and 34 sources later my bibliography is done. There might be a few additional sources that get added, but the bulk of it is done. Bibliographies are my least favorite part of writing. They’re tedious. And when you have a million (ok, what feels like a million) sources they take forever to do!
I’m not sure if these are exactly inspirational this month, but one is at least sound advice and the other I hope will give you a chuckle. As my deadline for the Master Certification Exam approached (what feels like at the speed of light) I’m trying to finish up everything. I’ve got the three hour test scheduled. I’m studying like a crazy lady. I’ve worked on and prepped these answers for over a year now. There’s some stuff though that I just have to brute memorize because reality is if anyone asks me about it in the future I’ll be able to give them a basic answer but if they want more in-depth I’ll go to my notes (and honestly, I think most would be the same). I’m stressing out and I don’t go anywhere without my answer package and I’m studying at every free moment.
My topical report is basically done. I’m waiting on some suppliers to “hopefully” respond to me. If they do I can add one last section to the report. If they don’t I’ll have to remove that section. The report is sound without it, but having it would add one extra layer to it that I think would be great. However, I’m relying on others to help me here so we’ll see what happens. I’m actually really proud of my topical report. There’s a massive amount of research that went into writing it and time and effort. This Master exam has been HARD. Much, much harder than I expected it to be. Much more work than I ever imagined it would be. As I get to the end I am stressing out that I don’t know enough and simultaneously hoping I pass everything. *fingers crossed*
I’m not quite sure where this month went. I feel like life is crashing down and crushing me. *sigh* I know why too. This test. I’m stress as my deadline grows closer and closer. I have been working like crazy on completing Part 1 (which has given me a number of headaches), studying, and trying to find/research information I need for my last essay (which I’m not finding and so that’s stressing me out). It will all work out I know. In the meantime I keep telling myself: deep breaths!
February 5, 2019: Spring Soaps
In between all the test soaps I was busy working on creating the spring soap line and restocking standards. This soap didn’t really turn out how I’d hoped. This was a common theme with my spring soaps this year.
February 6, 2019: Cucumber Mint
A five layer soap I planed to hanger swirl. Yeah, that didn’t happen as the soap set up too quickly.
February 9, 2019: Take Three!
Yeah, I redid my Artisan soap for the test three times. The first time I screwed up and didn’t follow directions. The second time I just decided I didn’t like the soap design. I thought I’d be able to just go with it, but nope, I finally said screw it I’m redoing this soap!
February 11, 2019: Cedar & Saffron
Restocking. The supplier changed the fragrance oil and I didn’t realize it until I added it to the soap. Gotta try and find a new supplier that matches the old scent. The new scent isn’t doing it for me.
February 12, 2019: Swirl Swoon
Too bad I then went and added salt on top of this top. But now I want to make a black-white-gray soap!
February 15, 2019: 22 Quarts is BIG!
When you misjudge just how big 22 qt and 18 qt is! I’ll find a use for them some way.
February 16, 2019: Cream Soap
Look at the pearly sheen the cream soap is getting. So many batches of soap here. I think I have two recipes that are nice soaps. But definitely have one that is test worthy to submit.
February 18, 2019: Testing Cream Soaps
My cream soaps will definitely be nicer shaving soaps than hand/body soaps. Which doesn’t surprise me since I had a high stearic acid content in them. I tested out a bunch of them and determined my two favorites!
February 19, 2019: Salting Out
I had super oil heavy self produced lye soap. And I couldn’t seem to create a soap that wasn’t oily. So, I decided to try and salt out the soap and see if that would help the overall feel of the soap and improve it’s lather. Let me tell you this falls under the category of “things I never need to do again in my life”! But I am glad I tried it at least once.
February 19, 2019: Stock Images
Me spending way to much time search stock images to use to create my shaving soap labels. Sometimes new labels just create themselves and other times it’s a fight to get a label I like…this one proved to be a challenge.
February 20, 2019: Finally making some label progress
I think this is option 8 and 9 of about a dozen or so. I’m not 100% sold yet, but I think I at least have some decent options that are pleasing enough to the eye.
February 27, 2019: Bunny Butts!
I’m making some specialty Easter soaps. I can’t help it. I found these molds and they’re just too cute!