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Making a Life

Making a Life

So much of what I thought I wanted has changed so drastically in the past few months. I had a very wise friend not to long ago tell me honestly I didn’t need to hate money or dealing with the financial aspects of my business because I could do so much with it if I would just allow myself to. She was right and it has changed my perspective so much.

I used to want to make more money with both my soap business and with my Beachbody business so I could do more, have more, be more, but, now I realize I want to be financially independent so I am free to GIVE more, more time, more money, more hope.

winston-churchill

I want more than to worry about making a living, or even having to budget down to every last penny with the absolute fear of a big car repair bill, or medical emergency could wipe out everything. I want when my 8yo says he wants to go to Uganda to help kids be able to say “ok let’s do it and plan that trip and go”. I’m feeling called more and more to give, to help, to LIVE, to love.

I’m more concerned these days about making a life. With my husband mere months from eligibility of military retirement I feel more and more stress about how I have failed to live as frugal of a life as I should have so we would be in a better position for him to retire. I feel like because I didn’t get my thyroid taken care of earlier so I could be a product of the product I have failed. I feel like my fear of working out after we discovered it was my thyroid for fear that I would still be obese and none of it would matter anyway I have failed. Most of all I fear like I have failed my kids with my poor money management skills and not having an adequate savings, or not being able to “say sure let’s do” it more often or sometimes even at all.

It changes now. I understand it now. I want to make my life, not just a living now. Here is how I’m starting to give more, but, I need YOUR help. This year I will be launching 2 new soaps. The first HOPE and every time you buy a bar of Hope I will set aside another bar to send to Restore International for them to send to their Orphanages. Heck if you are feeling very generous you can even send your bar too it will be an option during checkout. Additionally $1 of each sale is going into “Rory’s Africa Fund” to help make his dream a reality. The second DREAM and dream will work similarly except the extra bar will be going in donation to my local food pantry and homeless shelters. I envision the extra $1 going into a fund where we can just do random acts of kindness for people, I love seeing how just paying for the coffee or meal of the car behind you can snowball into something so much bigger.

I had thought to end it there. I thought those two would be enough but while I was typing that all out I thought of a third way to give. The third  LOVE and with that YOU can tell me where you want your extra bar to go. I’ll split the $1 into the two above funds.

If you are local to me in Port Angeles, WA I’m sure you have noticed the fingerless gloves, hats, and other knit items made by me and let you know that the sales of these items has also been going into Rory’s Africa Fund. Non locals if you see me posting such items on social media and you want them please speak up and we can make arrangements.

In the meantime so I can clear out stock and space for these as well as the new soaps I’ve got up my sleeves for you I’ll be offering all of my INSTOCK items in my shop at 25% off using code NOURISH expires January 30, 2015 so I have time to get all the new goodies listed for you for February 1! Valid in my SHOP  and on ETSY.

Once again I THANK you for your continued support.

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Hello Holidays!!

Hello Holidays!!

Gift heart

‘Tis The Giving Season

Happy Holidays!

I know some of you may be groaning and mentioning that its barely November that there is still plenty of time but what you might not be aware of is how early Hanukkah is this year. I know I’m still shocked that it starts BEFORE Thanksgiving. Thats right while most of you will be doing your Thanksgiving Prep we will be sitting down to Brisket (maybe) knowing my kids I’ll just make 2 small turkeys this year vs one large one, and lighting the candles of the first night. My personal favorite part is that Breakfast will easily be taken care of with some leftover Latkes, I hope the kids will save me one!

SHIPPING CUT OFF DATES to ensure delivery in time for the holidays to receive gifts in time for the 1st Night of HanukkahNovember 27 please place your order by November 18 and use coupon code BRIGHTLIGHTS (expires December 5, 2013)

For Delivery in time for Saint Nicholas Day December 6 please place you order by November 25 and use code STNICK (expires December 6, 2013)

For Christmas Eve December 24 please place your order by December 13and use coupon code HOLYNIGHT (expires January 6, 2014)

NOTE these cut off dates apply to domestic (United States) shipping only and NOT international shipping for international shipping cut off please use your country’s average shipping time and plan accordingly. 

The coupon codes are all for exactly the same 30% discount it will just help me keep track for the future! I won’t be offering any big Black Friday Deals because I’ll be spending the time with my children and making their gifts I hope you understand only so many hours in the day and all. I am however hoping to get some of the knit items I’ve been making for my children this year ready for you. If you are interested in a custom knit item please message me ASAP CONTACT ME

 Frankincense & Myrrh Soap

Rory Wants to be an Elf Soap 

ButterBeer Soap

Santa’s Forest Soap 

 

Thank you all so much for your ongoing support I wish you the very Merriest Everything!!

 

 

Whole30 Progress & a Sneak Peek

Whole30 Progress & a Sneak Peek

IMG_4562Yes I’m doing Whole30 again.  No I’m not starving to death as you can see from my above salad. Yesterday I totally cheated. Little known tidbit is I have an ulcer I’ve had them off and on since child hood. I stress. It’s my superpower.

I play that darn what if game so hard in my head and sometimes when I see that to do list I see the whole darn thing in my head instead of the bits and pieces.

I see that I need to make 5 lbs of tattoo balm or almost 300 POUNDS of soap over the next 2 weeks that’s approx 800 bars of soap btw. I have about 10 lbs of lip balm to make. I still have 5 kids to homeschool oh and my husband is leaving in less than a month for a 6 week class will be home for a couple weeks and then redeployes for a few months. I have big goals this year. And sometimes my big goals are super overwhelming (like placing $$$$) supply orders.

So I have some issues.

When I have to struggle to drink my shakeology, and I’m curled up in a fetal position on the floor of my office because its cold and I’m fighting being sick and Steve asks what will make me feel better and the only thing that I want is copious amounts of tea and salt & vinegar fries. That’s exactly what happens.

Today for food I’m going off whole30 as well we are going to have baked potato soup it’s comfort food when that’s what I need. Oh and we put cauliflower in it to lessen the amount of potatoes.

believe sock

I’m not usually this bad until the 2 weeks before Christmas I applaud myself for getting it done early this year and while I have another adult around I know Lexi is grateful. I’m also hopping this makes everything less stressful. I’ve already mapped out most of my personal holidays to do list. It contains lots of crafts, lots of socks & a couple sweaters even. Not only that I’ve started on it.

one sock

I just need to remind myself of moments like this.

boys school

In the meantime I’ll also let you know that BIG things are on the horizon for this little soap company of mine! I’ve got all your fall favorites coming back, your Pumpkin Spiced Latte, Cranberry Orange, Orange Spice, Cranberry Fig, Spiced Milk with Honey and TWO more fall editions as well as a couple other soaps up my sleeve that have great possibilities to being in our everyday lineup. The rest of the new Facial Serums will be released as well as TWO new lip balm flavors in addition to all the lip balms being back in stock! I’m pretty excited even if I’m having to take time during the day to just let it all go from my head so I can stop seeing that HUGE list.

pumpkin

So get ready Friday September 13, 2013 is the FALL RELEASE DAY!!

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Why I closed my Etsy Shop ~ AKA the March Newsletter

Why I closed my Etsy Shop ~ AKA the March Newsletter

On closing the Etsy Shop

It was with a heavy heart in February that I decided to close my Etsy shop. It was through Etsy that I was really able to reach so many of you. The main reason for the decision to close is the way shipping is calculated. With the flat rate shipping not a weight based real time integrated shipping calculator and the weight of my products when the new USPS rates came out I couldn’t seem to find that middle ground, either I was greatly overcharging or vastly undercharging and when it came to International shipping it was a nightmare. I’d rather spend my time on product development and keeping the pricing on my products as low as possible, not spending countless hours testing out scenarios to every country out there. I LOVE my international customers I just don’t love calculating shipping.

With the Shop now there are so many features I’m just starting to explore.The fists I’m sure everyone will appreciate the more you shop the more you save, repeat customers now have a couple bonuses built in after you place 3 orders you automatically start saving 3% off all future orders, in the future there will probably be more steps on the savings ladder, and I would love feedback from YOU the most important people in this venture, the bonus to this is that in addition to the 3% you can also use coupon codes so your savings can be even greater! The second big step is FREE SHIPPING on orders over $75, again this number may be adjusted in the future but I thought this was a decent jumping off point. I also now have the ability to trigger the cart to give free gifts with purchase, buy 1 get 1 offers that all happen BEFORE you even enter a discount code.

The other piece of fun is every month from all of the orders placed I’ll be entering names into a drawing for a $25 gift certificate. Just from ordering you could win.  Your accounts have already had a $25 store credit applied to them! Congratulations!!

I hope you will continue to order from Lana Bella I have really appreciated all of the support you have given my business and my family over the past 5+ years on Etsy.

Jenni

Monthly Winners!!

These lucky people have won our monthly drawing for $25. Congratulations.
October 2012 Laura Koniver

November 2012 Cynthia MacLeod

December 2012 louise monteith

January 2013 amy rottier

February 2013 Sarah Williams

Coming Soon.

They have been much requested and in the works for a very long time. By next week our new line of facial serums will be listed in the shop!

Wholesale!

That’s right we are expanding our wholesale availability! If you own or know of a local shop you would like to see our items available at let them know we are accepting new accounts now.

If you live in the Miami Area you will soon be able to shop for items at Peapod Essentials the new retail shop located insideThe Gathering Place.

KnitCrate

Also if you follow me on Facebook or Instagram or even read the blog you know I have been knitting and knitting away. I want to share with you this AMAZING subscription box service that I have LOVE LOVE LOVED these past couple of  months. I’m secretly stalking my postal worker because I know the March packages were shipped and I can’t wait until its here!! So go check out KnitCrateand sign up its AMAZING!

Slowing Down and Smallering for a New ME!

Slowing Down and Smallering for a New ME!

I have to honestly say the past 3 years business wise, personal wise & family wise have been such a whirlwind. From in 2010 my business grew to SIX TIMES what it had been in 2009 and 2009 had already DOUBLED 2008. I was in awe. I was and have been struggling to keep up ever since. I have felt constantly behind always wanting to do more, make more, be more, create more new products trying to fill everyone’s needs. The person’s needs I was ignoring most of the time were my own. In the past 3 years I have gained an additional 50 lbs on my already overweight 5′ 1″ body . I can’t even begin to tell you how many times in the past few years at shows someone would come to my booth and tell me they had been following my blog or heard from a friend about my products but just didn’t expect me to be so fat. I’ve mostly laughed it off saying things like “yeah 3 term pregnancies in 5 years will do that to you” or “I have no me time with 3 kids I’m homeschooling and an infant/toddler” when what I really wanted was to cry. Every single time I thought about a missed sale or connection because I was fat. It was time for a change. In the 20+ shows I did from 2009-2011 this is the ONLY picture I have of me with my booth, and the only reason is I was being photographed with the winners of the scavenger hunt for my herbal tea.

Image from http://fentonstreetmarket.com from 2010

What does this mean for Lana Bella? Well I recently started project me aka Jenni loses 100+ lbs by my birthday next year. To accomplish this for my self-esteem, for my health (please lets not discuss how there are plenty of bigger people in better health than some skinny people because I know for ME being 100+ lbs overweight is not healthy for my mind. body or spirit), for my spirit, for my family, I’ll be pulling back a little. I’ll be saying No a little more. I’ll let things run out of stock once in a while. It’s honestly a lot of work keeping 50+ soaps in stock never mind the other products. I’ll be keeping more accurate inventory. So when you order a 3, 4, or 6 pack of soap and you want x of something please don’t be angry if you get an email back and I say I’m sorry I only have b left would you like a substitution? I’ll be setting aside only two days a month for making what I get done will have to be enough. I will add a third day in and get prepped better for holiday. I will warn you though there will only be 45 bars total of the holiday soaps I won’t be making more that gives you from Nov 1 (I’ll have them ready a little earlier this year) until they sell out to get them. If you know now that you want 12 of something for teachers gift or stockings please contact me soon so I can get in into my schedule.  Also know that because of the multiple shops and the single inventory I am human so there may be time when an order comes in that I haven’t adjusted inventory elsewhere I’m sorry in advance, and hey you might luck out and get an upgrade in size because of it :).

I find it a bit ironic that when I started my business back in 2004 I had found an article on another diaper makers website about smallering. It made so much sense then and I tried to follow the ideals. Then in 2010 doing shows was a total new whirlwind for me. I am ever grateful for all those shows financially they really helped us to do so much with our family, that never would have happened otherwise. For now to move forward though I need to slow down. Somehow I have a 3.5 year old and nearly two teenagers, life is moving too fast and I don’t want to miss any more of their childhoods.

You might find me blogging more though there will be a lot of transformations happening. I’ve also started a second blog. I was on the fence about this for a very long time. I only wanted the responsibilities of maintaining one blog, however I wasn’t sure how much I was ready to share about my weight loss journey. In the past week its funny it has 9 days I’ve decided I’m pretty comfortable with sharing it all but I’ll spare you that journey and instead refer you to the other blog so you can follow my weightless transformation over there. If you have been struggling with it yourself please contact me I’d love to discuss with no obligations what I am doing and how excited I am. I’ve hated clothes shopping for a really long time however I’m really excited about buying exercise clothing go figure! I’m really excited about the changes and I hope we can all still work together.

This also means I am more than ever open to wholesale. I’d honestly rather spend those 2 making days a month making a really big order and put it to bed and have that much less responsibility.

Thank you for all of your support over the years and I hope in the future! Lets bring it!

 

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