Thursday, June 30, 2011

New Names??

Just playing around! *smile*

New products, new name?

I've been working on some new facial creams, and I'd like to redesign my labels to go with them. While I was working on that... I had a thought... maybe my shop needs a new name.

A new name will take great consideration, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted to make a change. Changing over the Etsy should should be fairly easy, but I'd have to also start a new twitter, blog, AND facebook fanpage. All of that would be... less easy. haha!

So that is what is on my mind ... to change the name, or not. If I discover the perfect name, then I think I'll go for it. Until then I am still happy with Bella. *smile*

New Name Brainstorming

Pixie Potions
Rose Dawn Apothecary
Rown Apothecary
Keller Soap Co.
Keller Apothecary

Nature's Love

What do you think? Should I consider the name change? Like any of the name ideas above? Got your own idea? I'd love to hear your thoughts!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

One for the guys?

I'm so girly sometimes, I forget that guys like pampering goodies too. Of course, they don't say things like pampering, or goodies ... but you get the gist.

So I've been brainstorming a way to offer my products to the guys, but without it looking too girly, OR having my company name too large (that was a complaint from some guys, that it said BELLA Bath & Body much too large lol).

I have several sexy men's fragrances, but my favorite is going to debut as Dapper Dan.  Tobacco and black tea are the dominate notes with hints of fruit and  spice. It's a bit mysterious, sexy and old fashioned (in a good way!). 

This is what I've come up with.

Shower Gel, Shampoo, Bar Soap, Shaving Oil or Creme... maybe Soaking Salts? I'm undecided how far to extend the men's line... but I do like the name! Dapper Dan... the picture is Mark Twain! hehe He's so gentlemanly looking... I love it!

Tell me what you think! I love to hear my customers thoughts, good & bad!

Do you think your man would use this? Does this fragrance sound like something your man would like?

Friday, June 17, 2011

Soap is not Shampoo

I think when people decide they want to use natural skin care products, the first obstacle they come up against is how to care for their hair. There are an abundance of natural hair care products and methods out there, I'm just going to share with you my views on the matter.

I have naturally curly hair, and I have had great success in the "no poo" method, which I found in the book Curly Girl. If you have naturally curly hair, and want to wear it natural, I highly recommend this book!

After a while, I felt my hair could benefit from an occasional shampoo, but what to use? I was already well into making soap and lotions at that time, and thought I'd research natural hair care products. This is when I came across some information that I'd never heard before. Soap, real soap, is bad for your hair. Hmm. So many of the natural hair products I found were shampoo soap bars, castille liquid soaps and the like. How could this be?

Well, it's true, some people do have great success in washing their hair with real soap. It's not the best thing for it. The pH of most castile soap ranges between 9 to 11. This high pH causes the cuticle cells of hair to swell up and get rougher which can leave your hair looking dull and lifeless. Additionally, castile soap often leaves "soap scum" on your hair, leaving behind deposits of calcium and magnesium.

I then realized that some of the shampoo bars I'd found where not real soap, but in fact syndent bars made with surfactants. This is the type of shampoo bar I eventually developed. 

The mild sufactants I used produce abundant lather, clean gently and all are eco-friendly! I'm now working on a liquid shampoo & conditioner for the store using gentle surfactants and botanical extracts. 

Monday, June 6, 2011

Yumm Sauce & Bowl!

I just love cooking simple & colorful dishes! Bowls are one of my favorite things to eat (sounds weird, but hopefully you know what I mean! lol). The combinations are endless, but I'm going to share with you the bowl (and sauce) I made tonight.

In Oregon there is a very small chain of resturanuts called Cafe Yumm. I have to say right now, I've actually never been to one! lol! A location recently opened in Portland though, so SOON I'm going to check it out!

I found out about Yumm when I was browsing sauces at Whole Food's looking for something yummy to add to a rice bowl dish. I saw the Yumm sauce, the name sounded cute, it looked tasty, and so I tried it! Mmm, it was love at first bite! It's creamy, spiced but not hot and very refreshing tasting. The jarred sauce was a bit spendy though, and since I like to cook I thought I'd scour the internets for a recipe.

I found this, and with only a couple of minor tweaks it became perfection!

1/2 cup canola oil
1/2 cup almonds (I chopped them roughly before adding)*
1/3 cup nutritional yeast (must be nutritional, not bread or brewers yeast)
1/2 cup garbanzo beans
1/2 cup silken tofu (the original recipe called for soybeans)
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 garlic clove
1 1/2 tsp curry powder
dash of dried basil, or several fresh basil leaves

*if you can find it, you can use almond flour for a smoother sauce. Or pre-grind the almonds until they are almost powder.

Dump everything into the food processor and whirl away until relatively smooth! 

Mmm, lookin tasty! You should end up with your sauce looking something like this...

This sauce works great on rice bowls, over eggs, as a salad dressing, veggie dip, sandwich spread... it's very versatile! Be sure to make this ahead of time, because it needs at least an hour in the fridge to let the flavors mingle. You can also add water if you feel it's too thick, but I like it like that.

I used my freshly made sauce to create a classic Yumm Bowl (with added eggs as per my daughters request).

My Yumm Bowl Recipe 

Cooked rice (any kind you like, this time we used Basmati, reg. white or brown rice works great too)
Black beans
Scrambled eggs
Grated cheddar cheese
Sliced olives
Diced avocado
Pico de Gallo salsa
Yumm Sauce
Sour cream

First cook your rice. While that's going I get the rest of the ingredients ready. Slice the olives, dice the avocado, scramble the eggs and grate the cheese. Once the rice is ready, assemble in any order you like, and chow down! 

If you try this recipe, let me know how you liked it! I think it works equally well on cold & hot days, it takes minimal prep (which I love) and travels well to work too! Enjoy!

Friday, June 3, 2011


I'm so happy with my Heartsy experience! They were an awesome group to work with, I gave my customers a GREAT deal, and hopefully earned some new business in the process!

It was a great experience, and if you're looking for some exposure, new customers, or just want to give your customers a great deal, check out Heartsy!

I also made my first Heartsy purchase, and I'm so excited about it! Now I'm checking out Heartsy almost every day to see what new deals they've got.

Thanks again Heartsy! <3