Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Essential Oils, Essential to Inspiri

Many of you have probably heard of essential oils.  These are derived directly from a plant/herb/fruit etc. So when you smell lavender essential oil, it is coming directly from a lavender plant (well, probably many lavender plants).  Fragrance oils are usually created in a lab and can cover almost any scent you want.

As my regular customers may know, I don't have a ton of products with essential oils. Being that they are natural, they do have some things that need to be considered. For example, did you know that there are certain essential oils you shouldn't use during pregnancy or if you have high blood pressure?  Others are photo-synthesizers so they can make you burn quicker if you have them on your skin if you go out into the sun.  It's for these reasons that I have been slowly working them into my line.  You can expect to see a lot more being used in the next year.  However, I do have a few favorite essential oils that I want to tell you about.

Lavender - This is a very common oil.  The reason I love this is for its calming properties.  Add a few drops to your bath water for a wonderful way to wind down after a rough day

Orange -  This is another favorite of mine.  It has energizing properties and is awesome when you need a pick me up in the morning.  I am actually formulating a soap that mixes orange and my next favorite oil

Rosemary - Such an awesome essential oil, but it must be used sparingly.  Not only is it energizing, its great for soothing nasal passages.  Think Vick's Vapo products.  Another that I like that's a bit similar is eucalyptus.

Peppermint and Spearmint - These two are technically different but I like to group them together since they are both in the mint family.  Peppermint and spearmint both have cooling properties which is why we use peppermint in out foot products.  Spearmint is a little sweeter but still great, I especially love it in lip balm.  We use it in small quantities and leaves just the coolest tingle on your lips.

As I continue to experiment more, I am sure that my list of favorites will grow and I can't wait to test more.  There's a bottle of basil essential oil that I cant wait to test out!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Getting it All Done

Recently, I've had several people say to me, "I don't know how you do it."  What they mean is juggle my life.  Currently, I work a full time job (besides Inspiri), have a husband, dogs, house, side business, spend as much time with friends and family as I can and I haven't completely lost my mind.  Well, I lose my mind sometimes, but that's just because I have a tendency to do that.  I've even had people ask me if I will quit my business once we have children.  To that I simply let them know that I do not plan on quitting, but how it is treated will have to be re-evaluated. 

To be honest, there are days that I'm overwhelmed and exhausted.  There are days I want to throw in the towel, grab a giant bowl of potato chips, and never leave the couch again.  But I don't.  And I won't.  I have developed a few key ingredients into making it all work.  Here they are:

1) Time Management - I recently took a course that helped me develop some better time management skills.  Personally, what I find what works best for me is something I call "Power Scheduling".  I literally schedule out an insane number of things in my day, no matter how inane.  Whether it's 20 minutes for "Cleaning out Inbox" or "Write blog post" for an hour once a week to 10 minutes of "Empty Dish Washer", I try to schedule these things and follow my schedule as closely as possible.  This doesn't work for everyone, but for me, it's extremely useful, especially at my day job.  It's made it possible for me to be able to get all of my regular work done during normal hours so at the end of the day, I can head home and work on what I really love.

2) Determine what's important - This may seem like a no-brainer, but this is something else that came from the course I took.  I actually keep a time diary of the time I spend doing many of my daily and regular tasks.  I can see if certain things are giving me benefit and if not, I don't have to worry about them.  For example, at my day job there's a certain task where I would drop everything to handle a request coming in.  I realized that these requests weren't as urgent as I made them be in my head.  I have now set aside a two hour block once a week to deal with them and it saves me a ton of time, stress, and distraction.

3) Eat Right - I know, I know, everyone says this, but it's true! Do you eat breakfast every morning?  I do.  And I do my best to get some protein in there.  Try eating a solid breakfast every day for a week (and no, Froot Loops do not count as a solid breakfast) and see how you feel.  The extra energy and momentum you have will really keep you going.  We eat salads at least once a week for dinner and we always feel so fresh and clean the next day.  What you feed your body is important and will definitely have an affect on what you can be motivated to do.

4) Sleep - I am an 8 hour a night kind of sleeper.  And most nights, I get that much or more.  It's  because I make it a priority.  If I don't get enough sleep, you might as well just leave me in a hole all day because I'm not going to get anything done.  If you need only 6 hours a night, like my husband, good for you.  But don't forget how important recharging your body is.  You can't expect to get everything done if your energy levels are low and all you want is to crawl in next to your teddy. 

It's as simple as that.  That's how I work 40+ hours a week at my full time job, make/label/sell all of my own products, as well as doing Farmer's Markets and craft shows, be a good wife, dog-mom, housekeeper, cook, and everything else involved in every day life.

Think about your own life and what you can do to keep it all together.

Live life inspired!