Germany 2014 (Part 2)

January 29, 2015

I have to remark on a few things…I can’t help myself. There are some big cultural differences between Europe and America.  They always amaze me, even though I spent ten years living in Europe!  I wanted to share my little list of insights from my 2014 trip.

  1. Europe doesn’t do ICE water.  I’m an ice water girl. Give me cold water with ice! Europe just doesn’t do ice.
  2. Asking for tap water with your meal is not common.  And if you ask for water (it’s bottled water you pay for) you have to make sure you specify between STILL and SPARKLING or you’ll most likely get sparkling water.
  3. I drank more soda on this trip than I’ve probably drank in the past three years. (Nope I’m not a soda person). That said it was always Fanta I was drinking. REAL Fanta! *content sigh*
  4. Exit doors swing in and not out like in the US.  As a former architect this still baffles me. It’s law (code) that exit doors must swing out (to allow traffic to flow out in case of an emergency). I can’t tell you how many time I walked into doors because I pushed expecting them to open but I had to pull!
  5. Go ahead and try to find a house with double hung windows in Europe! They don’t do double hung.  Oh course they wouldn’t fit in with their architecture, so it makes sense, but these are little things I notice.
  6. They don’t have vanity license plates.
  7. If you order french fries you get the option of ketchup or mayonnaise.  Just the thought of mayonnaise on french fries grosses me out, but they love it!

It’s fascinating to look at other cultures and see the differences and similarities.


Owning a small (one-woman) business is about…

September 23, 2013

One day when everything seemed to be going wrong and I was exhausted and frustrated I stopped and asked “Why am I doing this?”  Writing is a way for me to process my thoughts.  So, that’s what I did, write out my answer.  The following is resulted from that melt down and I thought it was worth sharing as I’m sure many of you can relate.

Owning a small (one-woman) business is about…

Knowing it’s time to call it a day, but still working anyway.

It’s about taking on a custom order that has a one week turn around even when you’re so swamped you really should have passed on it…oh and still doing a quality job on the order.

It’s about having a support system.

It’s about asking family and friends for help (and trying not to feel guilty about needing to ask for help and paying them back in product).

It’s about having a best friend who’ll listen to you (day in and day out) without complaining when you give them your list of things you plan to accomplish that week (Then not telling you that you’re insane because one person couldn’t possibly get all that done on their own, but instead cheering you on.)

It’s about coming home after a 10 hour day at a market and then spending another 4 hours making product because you’re stressing out that you don’t have enough in stock.

It’s about planning down to the minute detail and then rolling with it when it all goes completely different from planned.

It’s about learning from your mistakes.

It’s about remembering to celebrate the good days.

It’s about occasionally stressing out (okay, maybe more than occasionally).

It’s about worrying will you be able to pay the bills that month.

It’s about worrying have you made enough product and then worrying that you’ve made too much.

It’s about admitting you’re not super woman (no matter how much you wish you were).

It’s about the joy of creating something new.

It’s about moving outside your comfort zone, meeting new people, and trying new things.

It’s about worrying about the weather.

It’s about being thankful for supportive communities, sharing ideas, and learning from others in your field, as well as sharing your knowledge.

It’s about being thankful for awesome friends and family that buy your product!

It’s about the customers that come tell you how much they love your product and then go tell everyone they know that they HAVE to buy some.

It’s about taking risks.

It’s about occasionally creating something brilliant and then the next day creating a complete disaster.

It’s about doing what makes you happy.

In the end it’s about doing what I love, because despite the hard, long, and sometimes frustrating days I don’t want to do anything else.  The heartache and rewards, the stress and the calm, the bad days and the good: I love it all.


Happy 4th of July

July 4, 2013

Happy 4th of July!!

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Looking for a great summer soap check out Pink Lemonade!  It’s festive and smells absolutely amazing!  A mix of cherry and raspberry lemonade–you won’t be disappointed with this soap!

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4th


Article Share!

June 20, 2013

This article was shared on a crafty board I participate in and it just struck a cord with me.  It’s a short easy read and worth the time!  I especially love #6: Collaborate.  It’s part of what I love about the soap community we all share.  I swear it feeds us all and makes us all better and willing to darn new things!

Take a read!  It’s worth it!  12 Most Striking Tendencies of Creative People


When I’m not making soap…

April 8, 2013

Or teaching…I’m writing. (Or in my case for the past couple months plotting).  The plotting is finally done! I typically write Middle Grade novels, but I needed a break from them after I finished my last novel.  I went back to a science fiction idea I had when I first started writing. I loved the concept and characters, but the original story sucked (that’s putting it nicely).  I decided to pull it out, do some world building, and completely replot the story.

(Side note: You’ve probably figured this post has nothing to do with soap this time :D Every now and then I need to mix it up!)

The novel always kind of (in my eyes) had two parts.  So I worked on the first part all of last year and got it well started (still has issues that need resolving, but the story is there).  I’d been putting off plotting out the second part because there was so much stuff I had “vague” ideas on but hadn’t figured out how to really make it work. Well I’ve finally finished the plotting!  Adult science fiction is much more complicated than Middle Grade fiction…and I (to keep everything straight) created a story board.

I won’t show you the initial notes I started with plotting. They’re a mess.  But I eventually got things figured out in the first run of a story board:

initial part2

The first squares are really detailed…towards the end it’s just the main idea of what needs to happen in each scene…the details will come later…too much will change as I write the earlier scenes to really plot out too much right now.

part2scenes

Once the above is done I create new squares that have each scene I’ll be writing.  You can see the right hand side of the sheets are all blank.  Those will get filled out as I start writing and figuring out the details.  They’ll eventually look like this: (my part 1 story board)

part1

And then there are all the small notes that ended up on index cards or other scraps of paper for scenes, dialogue, description, character motivation…you name it…that I need to organize with the scenes and work in:

notes-scenes

But, all the above means I’m ready to start writing!  Part 2 here I come.  I can’t wait to write it.  Especially since I’ve figured out what’s going to happen, what the characters need to experience, how they need to grow and change, and just how to work in the many intricacies a science fiction novel needs to have!  So I say: Bring it on!


My Goddaughter’s Baptism

August 26, 2012

This weekend was a whirlwind!  Normally this blog is all about soap, but I couldn’t not share a couple of photos from Katelynn’s baptism.  I have to get photos of the actual ceremony from my family (as godmother I was occupied during the time :D).  But here’s a couple from after the ceremony…sure to make you smile and melt your heart.  I was so honored to be her godmother and can’t wait to embrace all the future responsibilities that roll holds!

Myself, Matt (her godfather) and the proud parents (Danielle & Will (my brother))

Grandma and Grandpa Hofmann

Aunt Becca (finally getting a chance to hold her…grandma and grandpa kept hogging her :D)

And this picture…because it made me laugh.  Daddy and Katelynn spending some time together.


Glycerin?

August 17, 2012

I had an interesting thing happen to my soap today.  I piped some berries on top and after 24 hours I unmolded it and found this little clear bubbles around the area I piped.  I’ve never had this happen before.  I’m thinking it’s glycerin.  Has anyone ever seen this before?

I did have this batch go through an INTENSE gel phase.  And I ended up piping the green leaves on top almost 15-20 minutes after I poured the batch (I couldn’t get the green to thicken up enough to pipe).


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