Wednesday, February 22, 2017

DIY Boutique Shop or Outdoor Market Chalkboard Clipboard Signage: 2 Steps


Running a boutique and traveling frequently selling wares requires lots of sign making on my part! I'm often adding new goodies to our line up and I used to photograph them and make custom signs for every new item. My intention was to hang them from the clipboards I used in this DIY but, adding chalkboard paint to them makes these clip boards more multi-purpose. I can clip a sign back over them if desired, and they work as versatile signage in the meantime! 

Making these is so easy! You just mark off where you want your sign to be, marketing it off the same length on all sides in my case for a clean consistent look since I'm hanging by side-by-side.

And then I just painted them! I painted two thin layers of chalkboard paint and it works beautifully! I used a flat matt Waverly brand chalkboard paint. I got my clip boards from the dollar store but you can order them in bulk for less online and in a greater variety of sizes, too.

For the artists in the audience (or better letterers, you can tell my my perfunctory writing here lettering in chalk is not my thing!) this would be a cute way to art pieces to any room, I could see kids having fun with a wall of these in a nursery.

And I could see hanging one of these by your desk or in the kitchen to use as a TO-DO board, memo board, or a place to draw or write different mantras or different inspirational quotes. The clip board is utilitarian, modern and clean-looking and they have build-in "hanging" hardware at the top!  Have fun customizing your own, you can paint the board, use colored chalkboard paint, the sky's the limit with customization!
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Friday, February 17, 2017

Raw Vegan Heart-Healthy Oatmeal Cookies: Three Ingredients, No-Bake Treats

So while we're on that self-care kick...what better way to take care ourselves than with a bowl of cookies! That will improve your health! Loaded with vitamins! And still tasty! This is my version of raw vegan heart-healthy oatmeal cookies.

These are awesome to take with you as "energy bars" to work, they're super portable and have a great balance of carbs and protein to keep you energized throughout the day.


1 Cup Pecans
1 Cup Oatmeal
1/2 Cup to 1 Cup Dates, keep adding them until your "cookie dough" holds together
Optional: Cacao powder, cacao nibs or cinnamon - I added a bunch of cinnamon to this batch


Add your dates to your blend or food processor first. I use my vitamix blender and LOVE it but any blender or food processor will due. (For raw vegan food creation you can't beat the vitamix or blendtec line, though. Just from my experience being full raw for a while and working in a raw vegan kitchen for years. Nope, not sponsored by either anymore!)

With my vitamix I only process for a few seconds before the "dough" is ready, it should look like above. Crumbly, not too wet, not too dry.

After that you just shape into bars, flat cookies, hearts, whatever would make it fun to carry these with you or serve up to friends and family. (Or gobble them all yourself. No judgement here.)

(Or gobble them all yourself. No judgement.)

I prefer raw desert making to baking because it's lighter, healthier, nutritious and you basically can't mess it up. Too dry? Add more dates? Too wet? Add more oats. You can also add raisins, cranberries, cacao nibs, different nuts, protein powder or supplements like maca or spirulina, no limits! Have fun playing with the recipe!
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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Valentines Day Freebie For You: The Self Care Checklist. For Keeping Your Sanity!

My job selling healing herbal and aromatherapeutic wares has taken me on journeys around Florida to different new age themed markets. A recent series we were in, Mind Body Expo, had a presentation and free consultation with a life coach that left me feeling inspired to make changes with my life. Too few of us spend enough time on self-care and mindfulness. I made myself a checklist as a visual reminder to put self-development, care, and free time first! Of course I still haven't, but it's a work in progress and I'm getting better!

I'm going sell these cute little guys on mini clip boards at the store but I want you have this one for free!

Happy Valentines Day! Comments are off so I can work on some catch-up and...let's say the buzz word again...self-care!
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Thursday, February 9, 2017

Valentines Gift Giving Wish List for Him, Her & Both: Natural, Artsy, Hippie, Indie, & Fun

Valentines Day is a Great Excuse to support small businesses and artists. (Like I need an excuse. I love shopping small!) Here are some items and brands I've been loving lately. I'm throwing in some of our goods because I work long hours perfecting them and know they're badass, of course!

And BY the way I just put the discount code "GoHeart" on our Etsy Shop. Our Aromatherapy Inhalers sets (for headaches, focus, anxiety, sinus relief, energy & sleep), mini & large gift sets, cocktail bitters sets, black soaps, chakra line & $5.00 gemstone necklaces are really popular!

1. Mehanik Adjustable Wooden Desk Lamp perfect for his desk via Paladim
2. Faux Leather Slim Men's Waller with Money Clip sleek, portable, suitable to most tastes via The Gifty Room
3. Portable Record Player a beautiful vintage number in forest green via Attic Fantastic
4. Men's Grooming Set Our much-loved men's grooming kit, people come from far and wide for the deodorant! via Body&Soul

1. Panty/Cami Set P anties so cute you must go out sans pants to show 'em off. All day. I dare you! via Tatiana's Threads - this art deco black lace number is gorgeous, too
2. Hand on Coral Silk A simple, classic piece with a unique handmade look via datter
3. Black Pantry/Bra Set via Econia, I'll take one of each of everything in this shop, please. This Red set is good for v-day
4. Kitty Oil Burner I use mine for herbs & sage via ZenibasAttic
5. Wild Woman Vase filled with flowers or not, handmade pottery, vases, ring-dishes, these are appreciated gifts that we often wouldn't buy for ourselves via LisaJunis

1. Natural Care Sets A popular choice at my shop, always loved by the recipients Body&Soul
2. Wooden Desk Caddy Practical & beautiful for the workaholic in your life WoodDesignUSA
3. Cocktail Bitters Set I sell these like crazy, they come with a chart for their widely varied uses ! via Body&Soul
4. His/Her Glow-in-the-Dark Undie Set because! glow-in-the-dark! And I don't think I've EVER seen his/her matching undies? Take couple matching to the next level in crazy! via Make it Good Apparel
5. Pocketbook / Wallet Keyboard hand-printed keyboard wallet checkbook, lots of good stuff in this shop via Quiet Doing

V-Day gift set here & in our local shop

*Nope, NOT paid to promote anything in this post. Again of course Body&Soul is mine, tested by many & used by myself daily too ;) If you're local swing on by the shop (2726 College St. Jax, Florida 32204) for a plethora of handmade local goodness for loved ones.

Shops I Like with Guys/Gals Goods for Gifts: SimkaSol | Pam Wishbow | Maiden Voyage | Fennec Design & Woah these personalized enamel necklaces are beautiful! Get 'em with your S/O's initials.

See you next week with a last-second DIY for Valentines Day, too! For my fellow last-second gift-givers!
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Thursday, February 2, 2017

January Business Behind-The-Scenes: Busy, Rough, Productive, Whirlwind Year Start


The motto for January has been, "It'll get better!" With life and business we're at that painful growth stage. This month we did 7 outdoor markets, two of which took five hour drives to and fro to get there. We drove through a deadly tornado through one of them to get home. (Yay, I'm alive typing this, let's count that blessing! I've never seen that much lightning in my life it was like being in that red spot on Jupiter.)

I've got lots of behind-the-scenes of those markets/expos/events on Instagram they were so awesomely varied and uniformly not without their stresses and fun moments. I got free Reiki healing at one, still another was in a dark club downtown and I was asked to set up in front of the DJ's speakers! Did well considering the circumstances!

By the way, these soaps smell AMAZING! I just finished shrink-wrapping them.

This month I learned the hard way to heed the advice of many a book I've read on running a retail store; you simply cannot do it alone! I was trying to create and formulate our herbal products, work on the e-commerce and social media, make high quality e-books and blog posts, run the shop daily, do expos and outdoor markets and local workshops and classes....nope! Burned. Out.

This week I hired my first part-timer helper (my friend Lia) and hell yes, I feel like I'm going to be so much more productive and actually earn more along the way, being able to actually do my marketing duties for the business. I get asked about not having our proper website up so much, so glad to get work on that and much more!

Above is a little behind-the-scenes peek at our first workshop at the studio. I did a "plan the new year with good intentions" freebie and encouraged the bringing of snacks. I made our herbal chai blend and stove-popped popcorn with our immunity-boosting spice blend and it was well-loved :)

The workshop turned into a bit of a venting session and it gave us the idea to actually have a "stitch and bitch" type women's venting session. My friend Patricia (who rents our class space to take clients) is a mental health counselor and she's planning to host group therapy sessions as well.

At the start of our workshop I had everyone draw a card and did a reading on it for their year. Mine was the 3 of cups upside down which can mean isolation from others. I spent a lot of January working late nights alone at my shop. I'm feeling a touch of relief already being able to make a list of things to delegate to my first helper!

Now Body&Soul is a group project with AJ, me, Lia, Patricia and my mom. It's a staff of varied talents: two certified herbalists and aromatherapists, classically trained chef, master's level therapist, and a certified fitness trainer. I'm one of the herbalists/aromatherapists but you can throw in multi-business starter marketer/website maker-person too. It's a dream team! We're already planning loads of fun workshops and classes to go into 2017!

We managed to fit in a MUCH-NEEDED one-day-and-night stay at My Favorite Place in the World, The Hostel in the Forrest. I can't 'til we fit in a longer stay! This was our treehouse this time (Elmos) & our view from its balcony.

So there's a peek behind-the-scenes of this business and a little bit about how I learned to let go and delegate or lose my damn mind! Each product I make is therapeutic grade and takes multiple steps from research, to formulation, to label design, to packaging and shrink wrapping, it's a lot! But it's also so satisfying. Now I need get home and rest so I can feel energized enough to tackle my blog editorial calendar too!

I hope your new year's been off to a good start. As always if you have tips of productivity I'm alway all-ears for them, we still need all the help we can get and I am taking applications for interns if anyone locally would love to learn lots of skills in a fun, amazing-smelling workspace! (E-mail me here.)
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