Monthly Chats | Busy Bees and New Things

Shop Talk | October was nearly as busy as last month as I decided to get ahead in work and make all of the soaps included in my Christmas soap collection as well as a large local order for December.

I also had a pretty upsetting start to this month since I tested all of my Autumn soaps only to discover that there was something wrong with two of them and that they were unsalvageable.

Making mistakes is just a part of creating things and soap making is no exception since it can be quite a complicated process with easy to make mistakes. It is very much a science experiment that you can never really predict the outcome to.

Besides that unfortunate incident I have also been working on some new, none soap related additions that should be coming to the shop in the early new year.

Things such as bath salts, perfumes, and maybe even a few more soap sets.

 

Slow Moments | This months slow moments were basically forced on me as I came down with a chest cold of some kind mid October.

I had to allow myself to rest a bit more and just generally take better care of myself.

Working for yourself can be incredibly helpful when your sick but it also can be a bit tedious since its not as easy as calling in sick at work.

I found myself preparing orders and making soap and responding to messages all while tired and sick and admittedly in need of a few pain pills and a lie down.

It is extremely hard to put away the laptop and to ignore the pings coming from your phone when your sick or its the end of the day and you have earned an evening off. Running your own business is hard work and no one wants to let potential opportunities slip away.

 

Thoughts | This month has been a pretty thoughtful and emotional month for me which isn’t very surprising as this year is slowly coming to a close and I am forced to look back and reflect on the months that seem to have flown by.

I am a very motivated person who also can lean towards the perfectionist side of things which means that more often than not I tend to focus on what I havent accomplished instead of what I have.

My Etsy shop has been open since June and all things considering, it has been fairly successful within its five months of being open.

But as someone who is trying to really make a living from it, it hasn’t returned nearly as much as I have put into it which can be disconcerting no matter how successful it is.

All in all, I guess that this is all rounding back to the topic of personal achievements that I wrote on a bit in last months, monthly chat.

Being kind to yourself is definitely a learning process not an accomplishment. It will never happen instantly or just become a permanent part of you, it is a decision that we all must make daily.

 

Monthly Chats | Autumn Soaps and Personal Achievments

Shop Talk | The beginning of September was all about making all of the soap for my autumn release in October.

I had planned and planned and hoarded all of my essential oils and soap ingredients so that I would be fully stocked up for all of my holiday soaps.

It’s been a busy month of taking product photos and preparing listings ahead of time since I like the holidays to be as stress free as possible so this month has been all about preparation.

 

Slow Moments | Though taking product photos is part of my job and can be pretty time consuming and exhausting, I have found a love of photography through it.

I put on some music, lay out my white background and get myself into a rhythm that usually lasts for hours.

It is a unique way of me doing something that I enjoy doing but also something that is productive.

 

Thoughts | This month has been considerably productive for me despite roof repairs going on in my house and a laptop that likes to make up its own rules.

I have finished my line of Autumn soaps and have prepared ahead of time for my Winter collection as well and seem to be getting the hang of more in-depth, weekly planning.

Among all of those things I also received my diploma for my second natural health consultant course which has taken me a little over a year to finish.

But one thing that I have realized this month is that I am not very good at celebrating my own success.

I can see what I have accomplished and I often even promise myself a small celebration once I have reached a goal but once I am at that point I have a habit of brushing it off and setting my goal even higher. With the same promise to reward myself once it is accomplished.

This is a cycle that I have now clearly realized that I have created.

I consider my motivation and self-discipline to be some of my best attributes but they can also trip me up sometimes and turn me into someone who cannot acknowledge their own success.

And that is something that I desperately need to work on and if any of you suffer from the same mindset then I hope that you can recognize that as well and start to give yourself a pat on the back occasionally.

 

 

Weekly Chats | Holiday Soap Planning and Reading

Shop Talk | This week, or more like this month, has been all about getting into a stable work flow when it comes to the Tangerine and Me soap shop.

Instead of adding new soap listings randomly throughout the month like I was before, I have now started to create release dates for each month were I will be releasing groups of new products into the shop.

One thing that I am quickly learning about running your own business is that you must be on top of everything at all times. No slacking or loitering allowed!

Another exciting thing that I have been working tirelessly on is a holiday soap series. Though it may seem pretty early to be thinking about the holidays, soap takes at least four weeks to cure which means that you need to seriously plan ahead in order to have products ready on time.

Overall, I’ve been doing much more soap planning than actual soap making lately and though I do enjoy it, I’m looking forward to making soap again soon.

 

Slow Moments | Slow moments are still quite scarce since any spare time I have usually ends up with me falling asleep at some random part of the house.

Taking time for myself is something that I love to do but is also quite hard for me to allow myself, especially when you are someone who struggles with fatigue.

I am very easily tired which means that any energy I have is usually carefully planned to be spent doing something productive. I find it hard to simply take that time for myself when I know how rare a good day really is.

That, however, is something that I am aware of and am always working on since I know just how important it is to give ourselves a mental break as well as a physical one.

 

Thoughts | I’ve recently taken up reading once again after taking almost a two year break of hardly ever picking up a book.

I used to be a big reader when I was still in school and it always had a way of inspiring me to write more.

It amazes me at how easily I had forgotten how precious my reading time really was to me. I had forgotten the beauty of drowning in a good book and reading for hours without the slightest desire to stop.

Everyone finds inspiration in their own ways but I have always found it in books. In the characters, the writing style, and even the authors themselves.

This week especially, I have made the extra effort to have an hour of reading time every morning before I start my day.

It isn’t productive or in any way useful which makes it a perfect moment of self care, as a small but beloved gift to myself.

Weekly Chats | Grating Soap and Melancholy Thoughts

Welcome to the first weekly chat post, a series that I hope can become a staple to the Tangerine and Me blog.

Since I recently renovated this blog into a more business oriented platform I wanted to find a way to still keep it interesting and personal upon occasion. And so the weekly chats series was born.

Shop Talk | The month of June was the birthday of the Tangerine and Me soap shop which was incredibly exciting as well as equally scary.

It was a relatively successful beginning with many lessons and realizations that could only come through experience and a few failures.

The dozens of fragrant soap bars cluttering my cabinets seemed like a hefty product selection to open shop with but I quickly realized just how few products I actually had to offer once each listing was put up.

That little lesson has taught me to be less hesitant when it comes to stocking up, so this month will be all about making, making, making.

Slow Moments | To be terribly honest, I haven’t made much room for slowness as of late.

Growing a business, writing a book, taking care of health issues, and just living life in general is apparently a lot for one persons plate and I just happen to be trying to balance all of that.

I have stuck to my routine of leaving one day free a week to relax and spend as I please, a few work related things might worm their way in occasionally but as a rule I usually just stick to take a breather.

One strange but calming thing that I have found myself doing recently is grating soap. It sounds crazy, I know, but I have been experimenting with some new soap products lately and I have found myself, more than once, completely lulled into a strange state of calm as I grated a chunk of soft soap into wispy, little strips.

Thoughts | Lately I have been thinking about balance and how it is such a rickety concept that is constantly changing with the times and seasons and how once you seem to grasp it everything changes and you have to start again.

Perhaps that melancholy thought has been in my mind because I am still struggling daily to keep up with life or perhaps it is merely bred from my fear of falling behind and somehow failing that goal that we are all taught to strive for.

There are times where I sometimes feel like I might permanently be trapped in a mid-life crisis with all of the melodramatic thoughts that seem to clutter my mind.

But for now I will keep trying to find that sneaky little thing called balance with the hopes of one day finally grasping it.