The Morning Routine

My days are seeing something new and wonderful – warmer temperatures, longer days, and free time to get outside.  With these delightful improvements over snow, ice, and below-freezing wind chills, I’m taking every advantage of them that I can.  I’ve gotten outside and walked.  Then, the other day, something new and cool happened.

I was walking and feeling a little winded.  That didn’t make sense, since I’d already done cardio two other times earlier in the week.  When my fitness app gave me my 1-mile progress report, I discovered why I’d felt winded – I was averaging 3.8 miles per hour!  Talk about some hustle, and that’s a pretty significant improvement over last year at this time!  Then something totally new happened.  I was into my second lap, and my stride shortened and my steps quickened, and next thing I know, I’m jogging and loving it!  Except for up and down the football pitch with kids, I haven’t jogged since high school.

With all this time outside and the dry winter air, my skin needs a little extra TLC.  After I exercise, I shower with a luscious beer- or milk-based soap.  Currently, I’m

Outer Banks Soap
Outer Banks Beer Soap. Ideal for men, but perfect for both men and women.

using a bar of a vintage beer soap from my old brand, but if I were to use any soap I have on hand, this time of year just screams for Lavender & Goat Milk.

Goat's Milk and Lavender soap
Goat’s Milk & Lavender Lotion – all natural with oodles of skin lovin’ stuff!

Goat’s milk has awesome skin-loving vitamins with antioxidant properties, and the lavender simply soothes the soul.  This soap leaves my skin soft, supple, and moisturized – perfect for everyday skin comfort.

Truth:  Right now, I’m wearing pants all day every day, which means I really don’t care how my legs look.  When I do care, like when someone may actually see them, I follow my shower with a light application of Orange Blossom & Amber Body Creme.  Not only does it smell heavenly, but the blend of coconut cream and avocado oil slays the alligators my legs can become on the driest of days.

body creme picture
Orange Blossom & Amber Coconut & Avocado Body Creme

Body Creme or not, I finish my body care routine with a light application of Tahiti Kiss Face Creme.  This is my most popular product ever, and for good reason.  This whisper-light face creme soaks into skin, bathing it instantly in rich

Tahiti Kiss face creme
Tahiti Kiss, a luxuriously extraordinary face crème, will treat your skin to a taste of the South Pacific

moisture that doesn’t leave skin greasy.  Plus, its light floral scent lingers gently all day without clashing with your favorite body scents.  One customer said that it makes her skin look bronze (there’s no coloring added).  Another commented about how it makes her skin glow.  This creme is fabulous for either day or night!

Once I’ve exercised, washed, and moisturized, I’m ready to tackle anything the day can throw at me!  Taking just that little bit of time to pamper my skin feels luxurious and indulgent, which is a great way to kick off the day!

I hope you’ll join us tomorrow, Tuesday, 23 January, as I go live talking about these awesome products and sharing some new discoveries I’ve made in pursuing the healthy coastal lifestyle.  You can join us at noon eastern in the Coastal Carolina Soap Co. Facebook group.


What Facebook’s Changes Mean for Small Businesses

Facebook announced last week that they are changing – again – their algorithms.  This time, however, it’s in a way that I as a regular Facebook user like.  Facebook is going back to showing us posts from our friends and family members with fewer posts from companies, pages, and brands.  As a person on Facebook who uses social media to keep up with people I don’t get to see on a regular basis, this excites me.  I’m looking forward to not having to click on a friend’s profile to see what they’ve been up to.

Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Fr...
Facebook logo Español: Logotipo de Facebook Français : Logo de Facebook Tiếng Việt: Logo Facebook (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a brand with a Facebook page, however, this means that even fewer people will see my page posts.  I’m not sweating it, though.  Why?  Because that’s not where I devote most of my promotional time and energy.  My Facebook page is a great place to post things on the run.  My branded Facebook group is where I spend the most time having fun and engaging with my customers.

Here are some of my thoughts on the changes and small business.

One, we shouldn’t put all our eggs in one basket. If you invest your savings in stocks, you wouldn’t chunk the whole lot in IBM or Apple; you’d put it into a mutual fund. We shouldn’t invest all our business promotion time/energy/money in one source, either. We don’t have control over what the stock market does, and we have no control over 3rd party entities, like Twitter, FB, Instagram, etc.

Two, Facebook will still make money from this move. It’ll just cost more to get the good reach. We might start seeing more ads from huge companies and fewer from small businesses.  I’m not going to put my money there, personally, when I’d rather invest that money elsewhere, like new product development.

Three, while we can’t control what the social media/networking companies (yes, profit-making companies) do, we CAN control what we do. Social media companies do not have our best interests at heart.  Their devotion is to their shareholders, investors, and employees.  They started these great social networks and figured out a way to monetize them.  So what can we as business owners do?  We can blog and send those newsletters out. We can engage with our customers intimately. We can make and keep our customers happy and show them our love and appreciation.

I’m not going to change much about how I market, because FB posts to my page aren’t doing much for me already. I’ll just keep on doing what I have been doing. For me, that’s blogging, sending emails, engaging with my group, and making personal contacts with customers.

What do you think about Facebook’s coming changes?  If you’re a business owner, how will Facebook’s changes impact how you market your business?  

Anticipating the Thaw

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, are not from the U.S., or have no access to outside news, you know that the better part of the East Coast has been dealing with way sub-freezing temperatures, snow, and ice.  Even Florida saw wintry weather, and they almost never get yucky winter weather!  Here in coastal North Carolina, we got ice and snow.  That in and of itself isn’t really remarkable; it’s certainly not the first snowstorm we’ve gotten since we’ve lived here.  A layer of ice then snow usually brings some widespread power outages – around 24 hours of no electricity and quality family time.  This is followed by a day of full sun and 55 degrees to bring on the melting.

That didn’t happen this time.  We got a little icy precipitation and we were supposed to get 1-3″ of snow.  We got more like 6″ of snow.  And we have yet to see temperatures climb to 40, let alone the coveted 55.

snow picture
A section of our backyard on Thursday morning.

On the plus side, we didn’t lose electricity, for which we are grateful.  This snow has been hanging out since Wednesday night, and it was beautiful.  Thursday, it was brutally cold and we enjoyed some time playing in it.  Friday was still very cold, and the girls enjoyed throwing snowballs at the house.  Today, colder still.  Tomorrow promises more of the same, and lows are staying in the teens, so the ice isn’t going away very quickly.  But… Monday’s coming!

As I looked at the weather forecast on my phone and felt the delirious excitement of what’s to come, I remembered this episode of Northern Exposure.  You may remember this dramedy from the early 90s about a young New York doctor sent to a small town of quirky residents in Alaska to help pay off his med school loan.  In this one particular episode, as the days begin to get longer, the residents are excited and planning a huge celebration.  At last, the long darkness of winter is over!

That’s me as I think about this coming week.  The temperatures will rise and the snow will melt completely.  I will be free to leave our property safely to run errands and take care of business for the first time since New Year’s Day.  I’m almost giddy with excitement!  Me, who spent so much time in December bemoaning how busy I was with all the running around!  I get to run errands and spend over an hour in grueling torment at Dance2Fit.  Yes, it’ll be glorious!

The week has brought ministers snow surfing; teens, kids, and adults playing in snow; snow people; snow angels; snowball fights; widely impassible roads; and many school and business closures.  Even our church is planning its first web-worship, live on Facebook.  It’s also brought salty waves kissing snow-laden beaches and eerily desolate footprints on an empty, snowy pier.  The week made a liar out of me again, as I’d told my oldest when we moved down here that we probably wouldn’t see snow much anymore.

These are the trials and joys of living at the beach.  Snow here is pretty unusual, so the excitement of “just a snow day” ramps up exponentially.  But just like spring’s rains and summer’s heat, too much of a good thing makes it less of a good thing, and we’re ready for the thaw and the promised 70 degrees of later this week.

The time stuck inside being warm has made it easy for me to move on my soap restocking.  Follow me on Instagram and Facebook to see what we’re brewing up that’s new and awesome.  And I’d love for you to join our Facebook group for the first peek at new products and the first tidbits of news from Coastal Carolina Soap Co.