Creating a Space for Relaxation

Relax

As a soapmaker, I have come to realize that my clients often purchase natural and organic products for many reasons. Majority are drawn to the way the products look, however the fragrance is what speaks to them. Often fragrances touch a cord within us – to either make us happy, relaxed, or relive a favorite memory. Having confidence in the chemical composition of the product allows them to focus on what they truly need. These days, many of my clients have revealed that they are stressed. They are looking for products that will help soothe their senses and promote a sense of relaxation. In light of everything going on in the world around us in addition to the responsibilities of everyday life, this makes perfect sense. How do we relax when life and the world seems to be full of chaos?

Relax, it is going to be ok!(1)

The first step involves having a place of calm within your home. Choose a spot, corner, or room and choose that as your quiet place. In my home, my serene area is my bedroom and bathroom (surprised?), specifically the bathroom because my children still feel free to invade my bedroom sometimes. This will be the area that you will go to when you feel like you need a moment.

The second step is to remove clutter and add decor that is soothing to you. Candles, pictures, flowers, and so forth… Don’t add too many items, you do not want the area to be soothing and calming to your senses.

Untitled design

Third, train your body to understand that this area is an area of relaxation. Do not work, watch tv, or pay bills in your place of calm. Instead, read a book, knit, meditate, color or some other activity that requires you to stop, slow down, and breathe. Try to remove electronics from your space so that you don’t have any distractions. You can have your phone or baby monitor close by – just not in YOUR space! Eventually, you will find that you will instantly calm down whenever you enter your space.

Lastly, fragrance your relaxation spot. Today, we have a multitude of ways to fragrance our surroundings. They way you fragrance your area not as important as the type of fragrance that you use. A subtle, calming fragrance is important to help you relax. Lavender essential oils and fragrances are often the first thought in regards to creating a soothing atmosphere because Lavender itself has properties that causes the body to unwind. There are other fragrances that are associated with promoting feelings of calm and well being. Fragrances or essential oils that contain lemon, chamomile, jasmine, rose geranium, sage, or bergamot also reduce tension. The Soapy Bar makes essential oil soy candles perfect for inducing a calming atmosphere.

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My personal favorite is the Rose Geranium essential oil candle by The Soapy Bar

Don’t want to burn a candle? Add a bowl of botanicals to your area of calm – lavender buds or potpourri are great for adding fragrance without overwhelming fragrance. Fragrance is a very personal choice, however, make sure that if you use it in your relaxation area, it is a fragrance that is soothing to you.

Visit your special place often and enjoy as much as possible.

Love,

Soapy

 

Roadtrip!

Fire along the I-95
Controlled burn along the I-95 heading north.

One of the reasons this blog is called The Soapy Road Ahead is because one of our family’s favorite activities to do together is to travel. We especially enjoy road trips. Our road trips were at one point a necessity as a controllable way to travel without having to deal with the hassles of flying with children. We would drive 24 hours to Canada or New York and think nothing of it.

At some point, we decided that we didn’t want to drive for such a long period of time. Instead we broke the trip up into pieces and added a little exploration of each city we stopped in. We had a blast, the children loved the exploration component, and now road trips are a part of our vacation portfolio.

With that being said, road trips are also unpredictable. Sometimes, there is an unexpected detour, event, or stop. Very similar to life. I try to plan our trips out to the hour, however, those hiccups always seem to crop up. We simply roll with it. I’ve had to learn how to roll with life instead of always trying to control everything. Know what? I’m happier for it. I still plan what I can, however I understand that the unexpected will happen and it is ok. As long as we are all happy and healthy, we will deal with it and move on.

A few scenes from our last road trip to Pennsylvania:

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Savannah, Georgia: The Boy’s room in Davenport House was one our boys’ list of favorites.

Washington D.C.: This visit was fun, informative, sobering, and awe inspiring. We will visit again for a longer period of time.

Colonial Williamsburg, Virginia: Another fascinating destination that we will visit again. We loved talking to the “residents” and walking through the various buildings which are actually working museums.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: We visited several sites in Pennsylvania including the Independence Hall, Philadelphia Museum of Art, and Reading Terminal Market.

Living Life Intentionally

If you let me be the light of of your life.

Two years ago, I realized that something in my life had to change. I am a wife to a wonderful husband and Mom to two wonderful boys.  I was teaching,  a business owner, daughter, daughter-in-law, in addition to many other hats I was wearing. Life felt like a whirlwind, it was flying by and I was moving from one moment to the next without taking a breath. I realized that I had to stop. Hit the breaks. Take a breath.

My husband and I discussed what it would look like if we changed how we lived our life. We made an intentional decision to slow things down to be more deliberate about our time with each other and the children. I wanted to be able to wake up and kiss my children goodbye, make sure they were fed, and do little things such as see them off to school. There were other factors that influenced our decision making to make us decide this was the best choice for our family.

So I did it. I took a leap of faith and took a leave of absence from my job to tend to my family. It was not an easy move or choice for us to make, however, every morning when I kiss my boys goodbye I am thankful.

 

10 Family Friendly Activities Perfect for Power Outages

light in a bag

This hurricane season has been very busy with the passing of hurricane Harvey and Irma. Both hurricanes brought historic damage to the areas impacted by their landfall. Millions of residents and businesses lost power, internet, and cable. Some even lost the use of running water.

Times like these are certainly stressful, especially for the youngest members of the family. How do we keep them occupied?  Here are 10 family friendly activities that you can use to help your family pass the time without losing your sanity:

10. Play board games. This is the perfect time to pull out a game like Monopoly, Scrabble, or Chinese Checkers.

9. Solve puzzles. Pull out that puzzle you’ve been meaning to work on and put it together with your family. Remember to put it on a mat or some other surface that can keep the puzzle intact when you are done. Use a sheet if you have to improvise.

8. Play cards. Teach your children how to play your favorite card game, Uno is a great example. Soon you’ll be having a blast!

7. Have a coloring contest. Pull out your coloring books and color away. No coloring book? Draw pictures of interest such as the favorite scene from a family vacation. Use your imagination!

6. Play charades. Pick a theme and have fun with it. You won’t believe how quickly time will pass and how creative your children can be!

5. Get crafty: Make slime, goop, make decoration for the upcoming holidays (Fall, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are right around the corner!), or whatever your favorite craft is. Most don’t require electricity, which is perfect for a time like now.

4. Build a fort: Get together and build the largest pillow and blanket fort you can. Get underneath and have fun!

3. Put on a show: Pick out a few songs, dress up, and put those vocal cords to work. Have a concert, you and your family will be the stars!

2. Gratitude list: Yes, the lights are out, it might be hot, and eating cold food is no fun. However, what are you grateful for? Get together and brainstorm. You might be surprised!

1. Give back: Collaborate with your family about how you can give back to others who are less fortunate. Can you donate time, money, or supplies? Where would you donate? Is there a local shelter or nursing home that you can help out?

 

Whichever activity you choose, continue to be safe, and have fun! Take this time to bond as a family.

See you soon!

Soapy