Monday, March 24, 2014

Book Review: Blog Inc by Joy Deangdeelert Cho

With my Etsy and Zibbet shops currently shut down due to sickness, I've decided to use a few blog posts to review some amazing books that I have read that have really helped improve my online presence. One that I have come to use as an invaluable resource has been Blog, Inc: Blogging for Passion, Profit, and Creating Community by Joy Deangdeelert Cho.

I picked up this book about a year and a half ago and I've had to buy it a second time because my original copy was worn to shreds! Cho really takes the reader throughout all of the essentials of blogging. I've found that this book is excellent for beginner bloggers, especially the first section, which walks the reader through blog set-up. 

As my blog has evolved over the past three years (yep, it will be three years this summer!), I've come to use this resource to help me craft new blog posts and new reoccuring blog posts. It was this book that inspired me to create my long-running seller feature series, which showcased various sellers from Etsy and Zibbet.

If you are looking to start blogging for the long haul, or if you are looking to grab a really excellent, easy to follow resource book, then check this one out!

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Monday, March 17, 2014

Knowing When to Quit

Last week was Spring Break for us ETSU kids. I was looking forward to a relaxing few days at home with kiddo, getting a jump start on a fairly large paper I have due in a history class, and working out which foods the twins will let me handle...

Well, those trouble-making twins had different ideas.

I spent my first three days of Spring Break on the brink of insanity. Morning sickness ravaged me. Nothing stayed down, not even water. By Wednesday, I was calling my parents, begging them to take my son for a few days so I could rest and he could have some fun on his break. Apparently my appearance frightened my dad, and as soon as my husband came home from work, we were off to the Emergency Room. After a long night of fluids and Zofran (which is heavenly), I was able to return home with a steady stomach, stronger limbs, and happy twins.

My Spring Break fiasco frightened me, to be honest. I worried about my little trouble-makers (Grandma has already taken to calling them "Thing 1" and "Thing 2") and how all of this sickness was affecting them. I worried about Kiddo, who watched me deteriorate so fast. I worried about how I was supposed to return to school today, which has been good so far... thanks, Zofran!

But, in order to make things easier on myself and my family, I have decided to cull some unnecessary things in my life. And the easiest one is my online presence and my craft shows. So, as of right now, my Etsy shop and my Zibbet shop are both in vacation mode until further notice. I have backed out of my Spring craft shows. I have stopped posting on my facebook page and twitter page. The only thing I plan to keep going is my blog, since that is working as a grade in one of my current classes.

Tomorrow, I will be 9 weeks along. Morning sickness is supposed to ease up by 12 weeks, so if all goes according to plan, I hope to start everything up (except craft shows) around that time. Babies willing, of course!

Thanks for sticking with me through this...

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Monday, March 10, 2014


Following my big news from last week, it has quickly become necessary for me to make some changes in my online shop and changes for the rest of the year. Pregnancy symptoms have hit me hard and fast, sometimes to the point of debilitation. Thanks, twins!

So, to make it easier on myself and my family (and the tiny people living inside of me), I've decided to make a few changes, specifically to SecondSpringSoaps.

Clove Lip Balm
As of now, everything in my shop is ready to ship. All of my made to order items, like my liquid and solid lotions, bath bombs, and face masks, are currently not available. However my soaps, lip balms, and wax melts are still up for grabs on both Etsy and Zibbet. As soon as I start feeling better (4+ weeks and counting!), the made to order items will pop back up online. Keep an eye on the blog for that announcement, which will hopefully be soon!

I am also hoping to start making a few new soaps soon (twins willing, of course). I am still looking forward to bringing my liquid soaps online, too. And maybe a few new lip balm flavors to boot. I'm just trying to keep things slow until I get out of this horrible first trimester.

Thanks for sticking with me!

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Friday, March 7, 2014

Feature Friday: Avocado and Aloe Soap

This chilly late winter weather has got me in the mood for heat, sun, and sand, and my Avocado and Aloe soap has soaked up all of this inspiration! This soap was made with fresh avocado puree and real, home grown aloe for a mild bar of soap that is fabulous for your skin.

The green of the soap is an almost perfect match to the warm aloe plant, and I topped the soap off with a swirl of blue mica for some shimmer and sparkle.

The soap is scented with a wonderful blend of cactus flower, sea salt, and moss for a warm, fresh and clean scent. It smells really divine and captures my inspiration perfectly. I've already kept a bar of this batch for myself and, hopefully, the warm weather will come back to the South soon!

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Monday, March 3, 2014

Personal Post... Oh Baby!

Honestly, I've known for about a few weeks that I am pregnant with my third child. I lost my first pregnancy at 9 weeks. My second pregnancy gave me Kiddo, my sweet little boy who turns 4 years old this July. And I've kept it no secret from those who know me personally that I have always wanted Kiddo to have a sibling. I grew up with a younger sister and I can honestly say that she is my best friend and only my husband knows me better than her...
Kiddo, age 3.5

So, we decided to start trying for a third pregnancy in 2012.

Now, in 2014, we finally got the positive test that we had been anticipating for so long! It was a shock, seeing that it alluded us for ages, but it was a welcome shock! My little family was over the moon! And as the days and weeks went by and my first trimester symptoms began to kick in at full force, I became more and more confident that this pregnancy was going to stick. My fears of a second miscarriage began to fade away.

So, on February 28th, I went in for my initial doctor appointment and was so excited to get an ultrasound. It was Tunnell #2's first photo session. The sweet, quiet ultrasound tech waved her ultrasound wand and began looking for that teeny baby that I was desperate to see.

After a few quiet moments, I heard her say "Well!" and as I looked at the television screen, completely unaware of what I was looking at, she said "Here is baby #1 and baby #2!"

I won't lie... I cried so hard I worked my way through at least half a box of tissues. I laughed hysterically. I cried and laughed so hard that the tech had a hard time taking photos! We saw two tiny blips with two perfect little heartbeats (baby A was at 122 and baby B was at 118) and two little yolk sacs!

Thing 1 and Thing 2 at 6 weeks 3 days gestation
Oh baby! Er... babies!

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Sunday, March 2, 2014

Celebration Post: 450 Sales!

Last Tuesday, I finally hit 450 sales on my Etsy shop! A jar of sandalwood rose solid lotion was my 450th sale, after weeks of nothing but clove lip balm orders.

So, to celebrate, I held a quick and dirty sale this past weekend. Using the coupon code "SALE450", you can grab all of the items in my shop at 40% off! Whoa!

The sale was originally going to end over the weekend, but I extended it until Wednesday, 3/5. Make sure to use that coupon code to get the discount!

Coming this week: new soaps, new lip glosses, and more!

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