We are now 2 months into being open at Acadiana Mall and it has been an amazing experience thus far. I've complied an awesome team for the store that love being there. We meet new customers and get to visit with a lot of our regulars every day. It is so amazing! We are definitely making a name for ourselves in the community. We hope you all are enjoying our products!
We are also in the process of preparing for the shows coming up in the fall. At the end of September, you can find us at Tinsel and Treasures in Lafayette. Mid October brings us to HollyDays at the River Center in Baton Rouge. Finally, November we will be making the trip back to Biloxi, Mississippi to the Mississippi Coast Coliseum for Ron Meyer's Christmas City. We are in production mode, stocking up on all of your favorite products, so if you have a request, please send them my way and I will see if we can make it happen!
In the midst of it all, we are also getting the boys back in school mode. If you didn't know, we homeschool our boys, so we are starting a new routine since they are with me at the store part of the time. It's been an adjustment for them, but they are starting to get a better routine, and thanks to my mother-in-law, they do have days that they don't have to come to the store if my husband is at work.
In farm news, we added a few new animals to our herd. After a few loses of some of our goats, we ended up buying a couple of new goats and 2 dairy cows. We are anxiously awaiting the birth of a calf from one of our new dairy cows and can't wait to have some fresh cow's milk here on the farm! I look forward to making our own butter, having fresh cream, and milk for the boys to drink. All of the goat milk goes towards our products and we only milk them for a couple of months before drying them up for breeding season. If all of our girls took, we should start seeing new kids in November!
We truly appreciate each and every one of our customers. You are more than just customers to us, you are part of our family and part of our story! Thank you for your continued support!
Last summer, we bought a Jeep to have as a farm truck. I've always wanted a Jeep, and we found this 1970 CJ5 for a good deal. She needed a little work, but we thought she would be a good fit for our farm. Well, she turned out to be not as useful as we needed for farm use. Being a 4 speed manual, the boys weren't big enough to drive it if we needed them to help with something. I love that jeep, but we decided a few weeks ago that we didn't have the time to put into her like we needed to. We decided to put her up for sale. After weeks of "tire kickers", I got a call on Friday as I was driving to Houston from a nice gentleman in Pensacola, Florida, who saw my ad on Craigslist and wanted to come see the jeep. He told me on the phone that from the pictures, he couldn't see himself leaving my house without her. We ended up setting up a time to meet on Tuesday. He asked me to please not sell it before he could come, so I promised I wouldn't. Normally, I wouldn't hold a vehicle for someone, but decided if he was willing to drive 5+ hours to my house, he was a serious buyer. He sent a message this afternoon and said he was at my exit and I told him they could come over and see her. He took her down the road for a drive and decided he wanted her. I know he already had his mind made up because who drives 5 hours with a trailer behind their vehicle and doesn't buy it?
He loaded it up, we signed off the title, and he and his wife were on their way with a couple of bath goodies and business cards. He and his wife told me about some festivals they have over that way that I will plan on looking into and also a few shops by the beach that might want to carry my products! Added bonus!
It just goes to show you that you never know who you will meet and the connections they have. My boys and I were sad to see CJ(the jeep) leave, but I'm glad that she will be a beach jeep! They live by the beach and she will be their going to the beach vehicle. It makes me happy that she will be going to someone that has the time to put into her. So, if you see CJ riding around Pensacola, give her a little wave from me and the boys.
We are down to the final 2 days of this blogging challenge and I just wanted to share with you some of my observations.
I am not a fan of having to blog daily. I find it is very cumbersome and takes away from time I could be doing other things like creating bath products, hanging out with my family, or sleeping. Doing a blog once a week is more feasible with my schedule.
I find it difficult to find things to write about. Sure, I can ramble on about my goats, my kids, or my day, but do my readers really want to know about all of that? Maybe you could care not care less about what we did a certain day. Maybe you want to know that yes, we are real people who make real products, and live a real farm life.
I prefer to talk about my products without sounding like I'm just trying to make a sale. I like being able to showcase my ingredients so you know what you are getting. Case in point, I stopped in a bath shop yesterday in Houston. The lady working there made sure to tell me that their soaps were handmade in a factory not far from Houston and talked about the ingredients being natural. When I turned over the bar of "natural goat milk soap" the first ingredients were glycerin, palm kernel, sodium laureth sulfate(bubbling agent), and sodium lauryl sulfate (another bubbling agent). Since there is not an industry standard on the term "natural" some people take advantage of the term. I found that about half of the ingredients in the soap were not my definition of natural, but as a maker, I hold myself to a certain standard.
While blogging has certainly increased the traffic to my website, I know that it will not continue to be a daily occurrence for me. Tomorrow will be the last day of the challenge and I will be very glad that it is over. I will go back to blogging about once ever week to 10 days.
I've been a Dixie Chicks fan for many years...like since the late 90's, so when the opporitunity presented itself for me to be able to go to Houston and see them, I jumped on the chance. I've always admired their musical talent and had always hoped that one day I would be able to see them in concert. Of course there was the if big fiasco 10 years ago that lost them a lot of fans and being banned by country radio, which I found to be a bit ridiculous, but I digress.
My sister-in-law, Shelley, found tickets for a great price on the lawn at the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion in the Woodlands so 9 long months ago, we purchased them. It seemed like forever for the day to arrive, but it was so worth the wait. The pavilion was packed, including the hill where we had tickets to sit. Fortunately for us, Shelley's cousin had some extra tickets down in the reserved seating area, so we were able to move to that area and have a better view a little closer to the stage.
When they stepped on the stage, the crowd went wild! My ears are still ringing from the screams of the fans as they performed a lot of their hits. They were incredible! It has been so worth the 20 year wait to be able to see these talented musicians live. The entire crowd sang along with nearly every song they sang. I know that they have to feel vindicated after what they were put through. If you like the Dixie Chicks and they are coming to a venue near you, I encourage you to go. It was such an awesome experience. One concert I will never forget!
I'm one of those people who absolutely hates asking for help. It's not in my nature to ask for help as I am a natural born helper. I struggle with this, so when someone offers to help me, I'm about 50-50 when I accept the help. Lately, I've needed more help than normal. I have so much to get done and my husband's work schedule changed so he doesn't have as much time at home as he has had in the past. I've been getting a bit overwhelmed with everything I need to get done...cue my friends!
I really don't know what I would do without my friend Janet. If you have come to my booth within the last year at a festival, you may have met Janet. She's my boot wearing, spunky little Cajun friend. We met about 4 years ago, through Facebook, because we both bought gots from the same couple. She sent a message to me and we started chatting. She invited me and the boys to come over and pick pecans at her house, and we became instant friends. Our friendship has continued to grow over the last few years and I consider her one of my closest friends. She is always there to lend a hand, and jumped right on board when I asked if she would help me at festivals. She is the best sugar scrub sales lady ever! 😊
Today, she came to my house extra early (around 7:15) to hang out with my boys so I could go stock the new store carrying my products and drive another 40 minutes down the road to pick up my raw sugar to make some more scrub. While I was gone, she (with the boys help) washed the dishes in my soap shop, emptied the dishwasher in my house, and watched the boys. Once I made it back, she and I got in the soap shop and cranked out 120lbs of soap. We got a lot of things organized and got a better handle on what needs to be made and what supplies need to be ordered. She stayed at my house until after 6:00pm helping out. Did she have to? Not at all, but she did it because of her kind heart. I love that lady! I was truly blessed when she came into our lives 4 years ago!
She and my husband's Aunt Mindy, who I also consider another one of my closest friends, came here on Tuesday and we got a lot accomplished then too. I really don't know what I would do without either of them! They are helping me keep my sanity and keep me on track. I need them so much right now and they are there offering help every time I turn around. It's amazing to have those types of friends and I cherish them immensely!
Late yesterday evening, I received an email from the Lafayette Junior League saying that they ended up with an opening for a booth space and I was first on the waiting list and if I wanted a spot, it was available. After a lot of thought and consideration, I decided to go ahead and take the booth. We are excited to get another show in during the fall. I can tell you this, I'm starting to feel a bit of stress knowing that I have a lot more inventory to build up.
I have been ramping up my soap production, but we are going to be putting it into overdrive this month. The soap has to have plenty of time to cure, so I need to produce as much as I can so it can have the proper cure time before each show. We are booked a lot of weekends in a row, so I will have to have enough inventory ready that I can just come home after each show and restock and not have to be pressed for time to produce.
The good thing is my hubby will be home some of the time, so he can help out by making certain products for me if there is something we will need in a pinch. We will have a lot of new products for the shows, but soap and bath bombs are always our biggest sellers. I'm so glad that we purchased our bath bomb press at the end of last year because we will be working overtime in September making all kinds of bath bombs.
i know that my stress level will gradually increase the closer we get to the shows, but I will make it! It's exciting and nerve wracking all at the same time. I know that the coming weeks are going to fly by and before I know it, September will be here. I kind of feel guilty for going out of town this weekend when I should be making, but I have a concert ticket that I bought 9 months ago and I need a little reprieve before we kick it into overdrive. Say a little prayer that we get through these next few weeks and get everything made that we need to! If you happen to be local to one of our many fall shows, we hope you can come out and say hi to us!
There is so much negativity floating around right now that sometimes it is hard to find the good and beauty around you. Every day we all make choices- what to wear, eat, drink. We also choose what our attitude is going to be. We all have those days when we wake up and we just feel aggravated or worried. It can feel like a dark cloud just hanging over your head. It's at that point that you have a big choice to make. Do you let that cloud follow you or do you bring your own sunshine?
There is so much beauty around us. From a gorgeous sunset to a simple leaf on a tree, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. There are people all around us who choose to be a light in the midst of a lot of darkness. A simple smile and hello as you walk past someone may be just enough to show there are still good people. It can be something small that can help turn around a person's day.
I have a shirt I wear a lot that has the phrase "choose joy". I get lots of compliments and comments about that shirt when I wear it. It is a great reminder that we do have the choice to be happy. We control our happiness. We dictate our own moods by how we act and react to negative people and situations. Yes, there are times when the choice will be hard or even feel impossible, but it is still a choice. When I'm feeling aggravated or overwhelmed, I try to take a 5 minute (or sometimes more) break from things. Put away the phone. Turn off the tv. Disconnect from social media. Meditate. Pray. Walk outside and take a look around. Find the beauty in your surroundings. Breathe in deeply and exhale out the negative thoughts. Be happy. Be joyous.
I know that it's easier said than done. Believe me. Taking care of a home, 4 kids, and a farm with a husband who works away from home 3 out of every 4 weeks of the month is very taxing. It's easy to feel like life is not fair. I get overwhelmed. I have the choice to be angry and aggravated or to let it go and be happy. Some days, I am aggravated, and that's ok too. The key is to not get stuck there. Don't play the part of a victim in the story of your life. Be the hero, the superstar! We only get one chance to live this life. There is no dress rehearsal and we can't go back in time. Make each moment count. Go seek beauty in the world. Make the world a better place with your beauty.