Our first Chanukah celebration

Next Monday, my daughter and I will be visiting an acquaintance house for their Chanukah celebration. I must say that this is a first time that my daughter has received such an invite. We met the family through my daughter’s local homeschool co-op. We had also been invited to the girls Bat Mitzvah (which happened earlier this month) however, we had already had plans for that day. I’ve always wanted to attend a bat mitzvah also.ย  According to Jennifer, the mom of my daughter’s classmate, the 18th is the best night (according to her) and so I’m thrilled that they’ve invited us to join them in their celebration. Looking over the Chanukah celebration, I find that each day one is supposed to read passages from the book of Numbers. I read my Holy Bible daily,ย  from cover to cover and additional readings on my own. In my cover to cover reading, I’m now in Numbers.

One of the many things that have always fascinated me about Jewish traditions, is the many different celebrations they have and how it’s tied to the Torah. In the “modernized version of Christianity” or I should say the ‘politically correct’ version (which I don’t ascribe too) the Holy Bible warns us about that and choosing man’s beliefs over him. I fear God more than anyone else and will not place anyone before him. But in our modern day Christianity it’s clear, many of the religious holidays aren’t even recognized. If you do want to learn about them, be prepared to do some research which I have done and we do recognize various Christian holidays (not the mainstream) in our home.

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Soapmaking: Rules and Regulations…

Creating a business that focuses on skin care products have guidelines that must be followed. I create natural skin care products and have done so for over twenty-five years, but although there are many natural products that have been shown to help a variety of conditions, I can’t mention them in my product listings since that moves it from being a cosmetic item to being classified as a drug. Classifying it as a drug means additional rules and regulations and testing of the products that are being claimed to treat a certain condition. No thanks, I’ll pass. Yes, there are a lot of small businesses that violate this claim, no I’m not one of them. “I didn’t know that,” doesn’t work if the FDA finds you on their own or someone reports you.

I’ve hired my daughter to do some of the website/product maintenance. This is a chance for her to use her artistic abilities and be paid for that. Also, she’s designing my business logo. I wanted something simple and clean. I’m also purchasing the paper needed for the product labels. I’ll be using recycled paper. I’m still torn on whether the soap should be covered or uncovered? If I do decide to completely cover them, I believe I’ll stay away from plastic. Instead, I’ll choose paper or sheer cloth bags. We’ll see…

When my daughter was very young, I had my own natural skin care business. After a few years, I stopped. Why? I was working full-time out of the home and coming home to make natural skin care products. I enjoyed it immensely, but I simply could not keep up with the demand. At that time, I wasn’t willing to work for myself full-time, since it meant giving up some amazing benefits with the company that I worked for, however, if I was placed into that situation now, I would.

Resources

Is it a Cosmetic, Drug, or Both?

10 Things You Need to Know Before You Start a Soap Business

Posting… but elsewhere

My goodness has it been a busy year. Whew… I’m still posting, but recently my focus has been on a few of my other websites and, I have been slowly working on creating new cold processed soaps. I’ve been having so much fun experimenting with new recipes that I’ve created and tweaked a few of the older recipes. Yesterday, I made a pine tar soap and while it was a success, I’m calling that my ‘ugly soap” and will rebatch it so I can create a design that I wanted.

Homeschooling is going well and as great as my daughter did at her Lutheran school, she’s soaring even higher now because she can work at her own pace, her speed is fast. Also, homeschooling has opened up a world of new opportunities through the interactions that she has with people of various age groups. This past Friday, we toured the three labs at Hopkins. It was a fabulous opportunity for the kids and the organizers told the students to reach out to them if they had any more questions and to consider them in the future for careers.

Things are starting to slow down for me, but just a bit, before long it’s going to be Christmas. We don’t really get into the holiday that much, but we do hang lights and put out a tree. This was done before Thanksgiving. ๐Ÿ™‚

I’m slowly working Celebrate Life back into the posting routine and yes, this task has to be penned into my Covey Planner.

Credit increase…

Yesterday, when I logged into my credit card account, I noticed that my ‘available balance’ was much, much higher than normal. Initially, I was confused about that, but I realized that I had received a credit increase. If you’ve been following my website for… oh about five or six months, you’ll know that credit cards are ‘fairly new to me’. I haven’t had one in about thirteen years and when I had one, I used it for about two years and cancelled it. It wasn’t cancelled because of abuse. I paid my bills on time. Because of that, when I checked my credit report about seven months ago, I learned that I had no credit history. So no… overspending isn’t the issue, I just thought that what I could do with a credit card, I could do with a debit card and in many cases that is true. However, I decided to get a credit card in case I ever was in a scenario where my debit card wasn’t accepted and just like before, I’d pay off my credit card in full, so I’m not paying any interest fees and since my card has a cash-back feature for every item that I purchase, I’m getting extra money for using my card for expenses.

Well, guess what? Shortly after acquiring a credit card, my debit card was compromised, but no worries, my small local bank stopped those charges before money was even taken out of my bank account and so now, moving forward I’m now paying for the majority of my purchases with my credit card.

My spending habits haven’t changed since I started using a credit card, it’s called personal responsibility… I have that. I’m still living well below my means. I’m still rarely eating out at restaurants, I’m still sitting on my “wants” for long periods of time. Yes, I’m still saving and investing a lot to prepare for the unexpected. Because if the unexpected… happens and I’m not being proactive, I might get blindsided when the unexpected pays a visit. Uhm.. no thanks! I don’t want that. By the way, the “unexpected” just happened to me recently and I was prepared. My recent purchase of my Dr. Marten’s is a testament to how long I can sit on some of my wants. I wanted those boots since I was in college, so it’s over twenty years ago.

I’ve been on some financial forums where they avoid credit cards at all costs because it’s a form of debt. Interesting how they dismiss, electricity, cell phone bills, a variety of other expenses where you’re doing the exact same thing. It’s always made me wonder why some people specifically single credit cards out from the others? I think all of them are Dave Ramsey forums. I quickly removed myself from those groups simply because some people didn’t understand that you can be responsible with a credit card. Although I didn’t have a credit card at the time, the assumptions that some made about credit cards, was over the top. Here it is, six months after getting a credit card, and I’m still not being controlled by it. Guess what? A credit card won’t spend on its own. Someone has to do the spending and outside the purchases, I was already making when I actively used my debit card, I don’t spend what I don’t have.

Another birthday and some Dr. Martens

At the beginning of the month, I had a birthday. I’m now 47. Wow! Sometimes, it’s a bit hard to believe that I’ve been around for almost half a century. But here I am. I don’t get into birthdays, but my daughter does and so she sketched a lovely picture for me and wrote me a beautiful letter. I’ll be framing both.

A few days ago, I ordered these boots. Dr. Martens has been on my want list for years. They’re durable and seemingly last a long time. Which is perfect for someone like me since I dislike spending money. The shoes were supposed to arrive on Monday. However, they arrived yesterday (Tuesday).

As you can see, I’ve already changed them around a bit. The new shoelaces are definitely… Opal.

I had made some bias tape about two years ago and so I made those into shoelaces.

 

The bias tape was originally created from a bolero jacket that I’d made for my daughter when she was nine years old. That was four years ago. Great memories! ๐Ÿ™‚

File cabinets: Organization queen…

Yesterday, I ordered a filing cabinet (black) from my local Office Depot. Originally, I was going to order them from Amazon but… I decided to check to see if I could find them cheaper at a local store, and… I did. This filing system was on sale for $59.99, originally priced at $99.99. Score! I did have a filing cabinet that was a bit smaller, but last year I got rid of it because it wouldn’t close all the way. I held off purchasing a replacement long enough. Now, with the addition of the filing cabinet, I can easily put away hard copy documents that I need to keep on hand.

We print a lot of paper in our house, easily 300 sheets weekly, no it’s not something we can cut down on either since my having physical copies is a requirement for what I do and for my daughter’s homeschooling.

Of course… I’ve thought about making digital copies of the documents that I keep in my filing cabinet. To be fair, at least one piece of each document that is stored has some part scanned electronically. I just haven’t convinced myself to scan it all. That would be a lot of extra busy work. Hmm, perhaps set up a proposal and see if my daughter would be interested in picking up a side job? She has her chores, but this.. yes, I’d pay her to scan those documents.

Currently, I’m researching laser printers, with the amount of printing we are doing weekly, my Epson Workforce 3640 is running through the ink. In addition, I’m researching shredders. I’ll need one eventually for some sensitive documents that I have. When I do finally decide on a shredder, it will be a cross-cut shredder.

Organization? What’s not to love! I easily find whatever I’m looking for because I keep documents stored away in order. Yes, sometimes, I don’t want to take the time to set things up, but the benefits make this step worthwhile. Flying by the seat of my clothes when it comes to organization? If I know about it in advance, that’s not going to happen. I’m teaching my daughter the same thing.

Homeschooling in full swing

This is my daughter’s first year of homeschooling and she is really enjoying it immensely. Things are starting to settle down for the both of us and I’m slowly trying to incorporate blog writing back into my schedule. I had “penned” it in for earlier this week, however, I never got around to writing anything until today.

With my daughter, she’s doing a mix of online and classes at a local homeschool co-op. She’s already been to one event with her local co-op (field trip to a local 3D printing company) and she has another one coming up soon, that focuses on honeybees and ways they can incorporate 3D printing to help save the honeybee population. I gave her a few suggestions on what she might use, and am curious to see what she comes up with and see how it transfers as a 3D print. It’s her job to create the design, submit it for printing to her teacher. Socialization? That’s not an issue, and it’s something I hear some people parrot a lot without really thinking that socialization happens anywhere. Also, in regular school, children aren’t doing too much socialization within a class setting since they are typically in a class setting being instructed by the teacher. But… there are numerous ways for my daughter to socialize in what she typically does with her friends and the various activities that she’s involved with. What I do like about non-traditional schooling is that they are socializing with more than their peer group.