Friday, March 16, 2018

Hiking the Kalalau Trail on Kauai Island

I was climbing Mt. Baldy in Southern California and started chatting with a couple who were doing a training hike for the Kalalau Trail in Kauai. I was immediately mystified by their description of this epic trail, so I started planning my Kauai adventure.

I went online to obtain my permit and was surprised to see it booked up solid for 6 months. I bought one for September 30, 2017 and made my travel plans.

Airfare and hotel booked, I boarded a plane for the long flight. I landed, got off the plane and found myself in an open air airport right on the ocean and immediately felt relaxed. Jumped into my rental car and headed for the trailhead to scope it out since my hotel check-in was a few hours away.

I immediately loved the little island, there was no crowding, no tall buildings and lots of greenery, ocean views and wide open spaces. Bliss.
I checked into my hotel and immediately walked the beach and wandered by the pool. There were chickens and roosters everywhere on Kauai.
I had a rest day on Friday before my Saturday hike and I wanted to see as much of the island as possible.

I headed out to the Waimea Canyon, also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific. I was not disappointed.

 

The big day was tomorrow, so I headed back to my room to pack up my gear and get some rest.
I arrived at the trail at dawn and started my trek. Parking was plentiful, thankfully.

2 miles in I was completely drenched from head to toe with sweat, moisture, even my baseball cap was dripping from the brim, and it was not raining. I could not stop marveling at the deep blue ocean on my right, the rich, red soil, the beautiful lush scents of guava fruit and green growing things. There were no mosquitos or annoying bugs at all, but all wonderful sounds of the rainforest. Warm and luscious and just breathtaking.




 The entire trail is 22 miles long, I got about 8 miles and noticed my water supply was low (should have brought a LifeStraw, doh!). So I turned around and headed back to the trailhead. This is rated as a very strenuous hike and it was. You are on the mountain cliff edge overlooking the ocean with constant up and down trails. The only wildlife I saw was these little, hardy mountain goats.


 


The hike ended up being 16 miles round trip. I did run out of water, but met with some awesome trail samaritans that gave me some extra bottles. I wound back on the beach at the end of the road and it started pouring. Sat under a tree and stuck my tired and weary toes in the sand.
Next day was recovery day, so did alot of beach walking and a little sight-seeing. I fell in love with Kauai and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to rest, recharge, hike their brains out and disconnect for awhile.






Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Stop by my Moms new online shop: somethin-special.com - Try the BEST FREE graphics design tool: Canva

https://somethin-special.com/

My mom opened her own handmade jewelry shop! She specializes in awareness bracelets and lava bead essential oil bracelets. Have her make somethin' special for you today!

https://www.canva.com/

Have you tried Canva? I create all my graphics in Canva, an easy and free online design tool. They also offer a free beginners course. Not affiliated, just a big fan.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Closing down the shop for a volunteer trip to New Zealand March 15th-April 2nd

I've always wanted to travel, but just didn't know how I wanted to move through the world. After finding IVHQ, I knew I found the perfect organization to partner with on my world adventures.

It combines traveling to all the exotic locations I have on my list with wonderful volunteer service opportunities. I've chosen to focus on child care/education and ecological conservationism, two areas that are very personally important to me.

My first trip was to Guatemala for child care/education and this trip will be in New Zealand focusing on ecological conservationism.

It's a daunting task with many steps to complete even before you get to New Zealand. I've already done all my homework, handed in all my applications, background check, fees and paperwork and now just need to pack up the correct gear to spend my days working outdoors for two weeks.

Here are the program specifics:

Your role in New Zealand: Native Forest and Waterway Restoration

Volunteers on the Native Forest and Waterway Restoration project work predominantly on whenua rangatira (traditional Māori land) where they will engage in a wide range of activities in effort to restore the health of native forests, fresh waterways and surrounding land. Four to five days per week, volunteers work on the land, gaining cultural insight and traditional knowledge on organic and spray-free techniques for restoring the land and water. The work is seasonal and volunteers can expect to do a range of noninvasive activities in sync with the natural cycles of the plants, animals and waterways at the time of year they volunteer. This may include collecting seeds, planting native plants, weeding, removing invasive species, organic small scale farming, mulching and composting. Additionally, there may be opportunities for volunteers to be involved in various monitoring programs, such as for birds, insects, invertebrates, plants and fish. This project is an amazing opportunity to get close to Māori culture and customs and we strongly advise volunteers ask many questions of their hosts.

I'm so excited to visit a different country and not only meet New Zealanders and Maori tribe members, but also my fellow volunteers from all over the world. I plan to visit Hobbiton on the one free weekend and hike as many mountains and trails as I can find.

If you had asked me 10 years ago what I would be doing now, I NEVER, EVER would have dreamed that I'd be going to other countries and volunteering in meaningful (to me) ways. I get so much more out of these trips than I can ever give back, but I'll try my best!

My shops will be closed down and even though I will still be accepting orders, I will not be shipping anything until after Apr 2nd. But, I do have some fun special sales planned for you while I'm gone!!

Monday, February 12, 2018

How to make your perfume stronger and last longer

The most common question I get is "How do I make my perfume stronger and last longer?".

Stronger: I guess the question should be should I wear a stronger perfume? I know you love your very favorite scent, but that doesn't mean that everyone around you loves it too. Make sure you are not overdoing it, people around you should just get a hint of your perfume, not be immersed in it when you are near them. And if you hug them and they can taste it and smell it hours later on their clothes, that is also a big no-no. Apply your perfume to your skin and hair, do not spray it liberally on your clothing. You want your scent to blend with your natural body chemistry and become uniquely yours.

This reminds me of sitting next to a woman in the theater to see the latest Star Wars and she really applied her perfume with a heavy hand and I could smell it during the entire movie. And it was not a scent that I liked, which made for an unpleasant, slightly uncomfortable experience. Don't be that person!

And another caution to over-spraying; you smell your own perfume less than others do because your nose becomes accustomed to it. Your brain adjusts naturally to surrounding smells after a certain time (it's called olfactory fatigue) so while you won't smell it yourself, other people certainly will.

Last longer: I carry many different lighter scents and a common question is how can I make my perfume last longer?

The best way is to build layers of scent directly on your skin, preferably warm, slightly damp skin when you just come out of the shower. The warm water opens your pores and allows your perfume to be absorbed into your skin.

If you find you showered the night before and need to apply perfume in the morning, keep in mind the molecules in fragrance bind to the oils on your skin when applied. If you have dry skin, you have less skin oil for the perfume molecules to grab, so moisturize your skin for longer lasting perfume. Use a solid perfume or lotion first, then “layer on” your fragrance, it will have a better surface to bind to.

https://www.somethinspecial.com/scented-body-lotions-s/23.htm


The best place to wear fragrance is on the skin at the pulse points: the wrist, behind the ears, inner elbows and the base of the neck. This is where the fragrance will have the most projection due to the fact that the skin warms up here.

Apply your perfume sparingly and don’t be tempted to rub the fragrance (except for perfume oils, you can dab it in) – it’s better to leave it to unfold naturally as it warms up on the skin. If you need to, carry a smaller size bottle with you to reapply later in the day – particularly if you are going out for the evening – this will freshen up the top notes again.

Many people underestimate the power of scent in the hair. Spritz fragrance directly onto your hair or onto your brush and comb it through your hair. Hair carries scent for a really long time. Applying fragrance directly to your hair creates delicious, mysterious wafts that are bound to get you compliments.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Trying something new in 2018 - Monthly Tricks, Tips & Tidbits Newsletter

I'm trying something a little different in 2018, I'll be sending out an email once a month with things I've learned about life, fragrances and interesting tidbits that I think you may enjoy. If there is something you'd like to learn more about in how I do business or hiking or anything, please email me @ sales@somethinspecial.com.
I've struggled with insomnia for the last 10 years, so I'm always looking for new, natural ways to get my necessary sleep. This podcast will seriously knock you right out. Check out the Sleep With Me Podcast.
I found this great YouTube video on how to apply perfume roll-ons.
I love hearing about people in the world doing good with their scented businesses. I'd love you to watch this video about Donovan and how he helps the homeless with his scented soaps. Scroll down the page to watch the 18 minute video. You can find his Etsy shop at ToilandTroubleBath.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Need a quick and easy fragrance oil diffuser?

Back in the "olden days" people would wash their clothes and then hang them from a string outside. They would use wooden clothespins to secure their laundry on the clothesline to keep it from blowing away.

Today we can use these little "clips" in so many different ways. I use them to keep my chip bags closed and prevent them from getting stale. I also found a nifty way to use them to diffuse my fragrance oils at home and in my car.

Just drizzle a few drops of oil, you can use fragrance and essential oils, on the clothespin and clip it on your vent. Simple. And it works great! You can also clip a few on your home vents and it doesn't matter if it's a floor, ceiling or wall vent, it will work anywhere.

I bought a big back of clothespins from Amazon and clip these all over. Give it a try!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Etsy Promoted Listings Report September 2017

On February 29th, 2016, I wrote a blog post on how to optimize your Promoted Listings strategy. To see how it has impacted my shop, I thought I would share with you my monthly costs & sales from this strategy, to hopefully give you some insights on how it may benefit your Etsy shop.

September 2017 stats:
I'm pretty happy with the cost of advertising only being 4% of the sales generated. I never really want it to go above 10%.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

We are Leaping Bunny certified!!

On September 12, 2017, we officially because Leaping Bunny Certified! We've always been a cruelty-free company and we thought it was time to make it official.
Link to our page on Leaping Bunny.
Link to Leaping Bunny.