Food for Thought Fridays – Blogging Again, Finally!

I can’t believe it has been almost a year since I have posted. I keep letting “life” get in the way of everything I have enjoyed doing, and I am going to be changing this now.

Castle in the Sky

Castle in the Sky

So often we seem to find ourselves lost in responsibilities, chores, work, and more. We forget to take time for ourselves and do things we enjoy. At least, this has been what it’s been like for me lately. I keep figuring I can always do “this” tomorrow, but once tomorrow comes along, another distraction seems to come up to prevent me from doing what I had planned. Although responsibilities should be a priority, there is enough time in any day to take a breather for some you time. Everyone has their own special way of relaxing. For me, I like a lot of different things. Two things I enjoy the most are watching inspirational movies or doing something thoughtful for someone. Obviously, I also enjoy the theme of my company, Ember Cove, which is to “Live Life Beautifully”.

As a nice welcome back to my blog, I have decided to share a few of the most beautiful and inspirational quotes from the one and only exceptional Hayao Miyazaki, who has recently retired but has immortalized himself in his movies and teachings. If you haven’t seen his movies, you might just be missing out. Enjoy! :)

Howl's Moving Castle

Howl’s Moving Castle

“You must see with eyes unclouded by hate. See the good in that which is evil, and the evil in that which is good. Pledge yourself to neither side, but vow instead to preserve the balance that exists between the two.”
– Hayao Miyazaki

“Always believe in yourself. Do this and no matter where you are, you will have nothing to fear.”
– The Cat Returns

“No matter how many weapons you have, no matter how great your technology might be, the world cannot live without love.”
– Castle in the Sky

“We each need to find our own inspiration. Sometimes it’s not easy.”
– Kiki’s Delivery Service

“You cannot alter your fate. However, you can rise to meet it, if you so choose.”
– Princess Mononoke

“They say that the best blaze burns brightest, when circumstances are at their worst.”
– Howl’s Moving Castle

“Sometimes you have to fight for the things that are worth fighting for.”
– The Secret World of Arrietty

“It’s funny how you wake up each day and never really know if it’ll be one that will change your life forever.”
– The Secret World of Arrietty

More blogs will be coming soon. Remember, every day can be a starting point for something new, or something that’s been put off for too long.

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Happy Independence Day, America!

It’s July already? Not only that…it’s the fourth! :)

Today is a day for celebrating, so make sure to watch the parade, spend time with family, eat a hot dog, barbeque…just enjoy yourself!

I want to take a little look into the history behind today. I know, I know…you probably covered all of this in school. It’s nice to refresh every now and then though, so here we go!

There is no one event that singularly led to the Revolution. The Americans believed that they were entitled to the full democratic rights of Englishmen. The British believed that the American colonies were just colonies, to be used and exploited in whatever way best suited Great Britain. These two conflicting views made conflict inevitable.

The Revolutionary War broke out on April 19, 1775, at the Battle of Lexington and Concord. On June 11, 1776, the Second Continental Congress appointed a committee of five men to write a Declaration of Independence from British Rule. Those men were Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Livingston, and Roger Sherman.

On this day in 1776, the Declaration of Independence, the nation’s most cherished symbol of liberty, was approved by the Continental Congress, setting the 13 colonies on the road to freedom as a sovereign nation.

With our celebrations today, it is nice to keep in mind all the struggles this country went to just to become an independent and free nation. Even after the Declaration was signed, the Revolutionary War didn’t stop until 1783.

Have fun with family, go out and barbeque by the pool and watch the fireworks tonight. Make sure you wear plenty of sunscreen, or at least some kind of sun protection!  Enjoy “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Happy Birthday, to the United States of America.

Thank you to my sources: USA.gov, Congress for Kids, History.com, Archives.gov, USHistory.org, History Central

Food For Thought Friday – My Roller-Coaster of a Life!

IMG_0836Here’s a nice, long, and personal “welcome back” post! :) Hope you guys missed me!

Life sure has a way of making sure you’re always on your toes. The past year has been an absolute roller coaster full of changes, both good and bad. There has been death in the family, moves, celebrations, debt, lessons, struggles, happiness, and so much growing. But, here I am today. I am alive, happy, and thankful for every single moment. Past events have helped me learn the difference between who I am and who I want to be. Ever since I realized that these are two different things, I have been working hard every day to better myself as a person. I have made mistakes, some of them worse than others, but who hasn’t? Every day is a new day to change who you were yesterday. There are constant ups and downs in life, and the key is to just accept everything for what it is. I have learned that being upset has never once solved anything. Being proactive and positive does. There are many situations that I wish I had handled differently, but focusing on thoughts like these only made me frustrated. Instead, I have learned from them. I have forgiven myself on the condition that it will never happen again, and that any future situations will be handled with a clear head and complete understanding.

A couple months ago I moved back to Arizona from Maryland. This was a hard move, and it had a terrible weight and negative effect due to the reason behind it. However, with a little help and motivation from my best friend and personal hero, I applied my new way of thinking immediately which saved me a lot of trouble. Instead of grieving or becoming lost in thoughts, I made myself busy and signed up at a University with a Bachelor’s degree in mind. While unpacking, I researched classes and schedules, using each moment of my free time productively. I went to the gym, I read great books and started to get my life back together again. There were trip ups and mess ups, but my best friend continued to reassure me that I was on the right track and everything would be fine. I kept my chin up and stayed positive, and soon good things began to happen. When you keep a bright outlook on life, life tends to reward your efforts.

I honestly couldn’t have accomplished such an amazing 180 life change without the constant reassurance and motivation of my best friend. He has been there for me since day one, and has never once let me get away with a single negative thought. We kept each other on track and have found amazing benefits to our lives and outlook. Hang on to your loved ones closely, motivate them and encourage them every day because you never know when you may have to let them go. Most of all, appreciate them. The people who have seen you at your worst but still love and support you are those you need to truly hang on to. My experiences have shown me the hard way that the very moment you take something for granted, you lose it…and unfortunately, you’re not likely to get it back no matter what you do. I am extremely thankful for my best friend and I let him know it every day. To say he saved my life is an understatement. He  gave me one, and I am truly grateful.

Ember Cove Soap

Ember Cove Soap

Because of my new outlook on life, I did a complete overhaul of my site, www.embercove.com to reflect the great changes that I have experienced. This is a brand new chapter and it can only lead to great things. Whatever trials life throws at me, I can’t say I’ll be ready…but I can say that I will accept them for what they are and handle them accordingly.

New posts will be flowing in a lot more often, so keep your eye on this blog. :) I have a lot to write about and even more to share. My goal is to keep this blog not only to provide information for my company, but also as motivation to anyone else out there who may be struggling. I just have one more thing to say. Everything gets better, but it also gets worse. You just have to accept that life is going to throw something at you when you least expect it, good or bad. You aren’t the same person who you were yesterday,  and as long as you keep trying to stay positive and make happy changes to your life, things will work out for the best. :D

Food for Thought Friday – Get Out of the House!

Notice the new blog layout? I love it and I hope you do too! :) I needed to brighten it up as things have been getting a bit grey for me due to monotony, and I am a very positive and bubbly person normally. The reason for this? Not getting out of the house like I should be.

state park in AZ

State Park in AZ

I moved to my current apartment on April 6th of this year, but due to the 45-50 minute commute to my significant others work, we are moving again into a new rental on July 1st (this time a house!). This will not only put us closer to his work, but it will also allow me to live a bit closer to society which is what I’ve been craving after moving away from home. I originally moved from Arizona, and although I lived in a small town, there was plenty to do close by. Now that I live on the other side of the states and away from family, things are a bit different for me.

Currently, our residence is in the middle of no-where. The post office is a ten minute drive, and any grocery store is twenty minutes away. Our nearest neighbors are never home during the day so my activities for the past months have been cleaning, working on Ember Cove (my favorite thing!), and walking my dog around the neighborhood. The only time I really “get out of the house” is on weekdays when I make my post office runs, and weekends sometimes to go do grocery shopping.

Although a bit lonely sometimes, I do not mind this quiet life most of the time. I try to “make the best of it” with any situation I find myself in. When I am out of the house I make new friends, but there is a peculiar pattern with everyone I meet from this funny little town. Most have lived here their entire life, and have never been out of the state. I live an hour from D.C., and another good portion of people I meet have never even been there. I have been to D.C. a couple times prior to moving close to it, and I’ve only been there once since moving here and that was at night so there wasn’t much to do. Not even venturing out of the state? This is something I can’t even fathom as my family has traveled every summer since I was born.

Lake Superior

Lake Superior in Duluth, MN

Being cooped up in the house for too long usually makes me a bit anxious which can lead to stress in anyone and that is not good. Even going for walks has me wanting a little more adventure. Without a change of scenery, life becomes sort of monotonous which makes a normally laid back and relaxed person a bit irritable (me). I understand that traveling and getting out of the house equals spending money, which is rough on everyone. We’re on a tight budget ourselves, which is why I decided to go do free things this weekend and only pay for food and travel. This weekend we’re going to the National Zoo and hopefully some Smithsonian Museums, all of which are free. The break from the apartment will be so refreshing and I’m absolutely excited about it.

As everyone knows, I try to live life beautifully no matter what. Everyone should try to do the same, although I know it’s frustrating sometimes. Being cooped up in your house or at work will not help with this though, so I highly encourage everyone to get out this weekend and go do something fun! Rain or shine, try your best to make time to get out and see new scenery. Have a picnic with friends or family, drive somewhere down a road you’ve never been and watch the sunset, pick flowers, wave at cars as they drive by…just make sure you’re out of the house! There are so many free things to do, the possibilities are endless.

Lost in NM

Lost in NM

If you have something fun planned for this weekend, please share it! Getting out of our normal rut is extremely healthy and will encourage us to be a lot more positive in our thoughts. Even though I love my business dearly, I’m not happy when I sit at the computer every single day without change. No one is. Use this weekend to refresh your mood and recharge. Forget about your normal routine and find time to relax away from home. Not sure where to go? When I moved I didn’t know either, so I just did a Google search of what to do in this state. Usually state websites are a great way to find something to do that’s near to you, and there’s sure to be at least one thing that you haven’t done yet! If you get lost on the way there and never make it to your destination, that’s an adventure in itself so don’t use it as an excuse for why you didn’t refresh and recharge this weekend. :)

One Lovely Blog Award

Thank you so much Erin, owner of the inspirational blog, Bella Bleue Healing, Health & Inspiration for Your Life, for nominating me for the “One Lovely Blog Award”!

Erin is an incredible writer and her blogs are perfect reading whether you are the happiest person in life or if you are truly struggling. She has inspired me many times, and I am extremely grateful to have found such wonderful writings online. Erin is true to Ember Cove‘s quote “Live Life Beautifully” and I highly encourage everyone to check out her blog!

The “One Lovely Blog Award” has similar rules to many blogging awards.

  1. Give generous thanks to the blogger that nominated you
  2. Write Seven things about your self
  3. Make a list of 15 bloggers you admire and let them know how awesome they are! These folks are the next round of honorees for the “One Lovely Blog Award”
Here’s what I have to do!
1. Include the award logo somewhere in your blog.
2. Answer these 10 questions, below, for fun if you want to.
3. Nominate 10 to 12 blogs you enjoy. Or you pick the number.
4. Pay the love forward: Provide your nominee’s link in your post and comment on their blog to let them know they’ve been included and invited to participate.
5. Pay the love back with gratitude and a link to the blogger(s) who nominated you.
The Questions: 
1. What is your favorite colour?
Purple (and Silver too!)
2. What is your favorite animal?
Armadillos! I absolutely adore them and their funny shape.
3. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink?
Coffee
4. Do you prefer Facebook or Twitter?
Facebook
5. What is your favorite pattern?
Lotus Flowers
6. Do you prefer giving or getting presents?
Giving presents! Making people happy is something I truly enjoy doing and I will never get tired of it.
7. What is your favorite number?
7
8. What is your favorite day of the week?
Every day!
9. What is your favorite flower?
The Lotus. (I’m pretty obsessed with them!)
10. What’s your passion?
There is nothing I enjoy more than helping people. One of the main reasons I make my bath products is to provide everyone a more comfortable life with skin that is healthy, smooth and irritation free. We have enough stress already, our skin shouldn’t add to that list!
Since I am new to blogging, I only have nine blogs to share. These blogs have really inspired me, and I hope you enjoy checking them out as well!
  1. Bente Haarstad Photography
  2. Feelgood Style
  3. Living Large In Our Little House
  4. The Green Divas
  5. Revitalise Your Health
  6. A Splendid Life
  7. A Leaf in Springtime
  8. Eco Women: Protectors of the Planet!
  9. I Prefer Organic

Food For Thought Friday – How to Make Ember Cove Soap Last!

Bath Scrub

Ember Cove Soap on a Sisal Scrubber

Hey everyone! I’ve been getting a lot of comments on how great Ember Cove all natural goat milk & honey soap is, and how to make it last longer. My bars of soap are naturally softer than any store bought brands, so it is easy to use too much and waste a lot of the soap if you are not used to it. I take a shower almost every single day washing my whole body with a bar of Ember Cove soap, and wash my face twice a day with the same bar. One bar of soap lasts me almost one month. So, here are a few tips on how to make your own bar last that long, and you should definitely see improvement on your soap’s lifespan!

A couple things to always keep in mind:

– Never leave your soap in running water, or in a pool of water. Make sure your soap dish elevates the soap enough so if it drips, the water won’t stay on the soap. Keep it away from where the shower will hit it at all times.

– A little goes a long way! The coconut oil in the soap makes a very rich and heavy lather, so you don’t need that much to get a good wash.

– Before using the soap, wet it enough and create a small lather with your hands. This way you won’t have to over-scrub to start a lather.

Different ways of washing:

Washcloth – Take your washcloth and soak it with water. Place the soap in the middle of the washcloth and fold it over. Scrub the soap between the two sides of the washcloth 7-10 times, then take the soap out and place it where it won’t be in running water. Wash.

Salux Cloth – Make sure the Salux Cloth is as wet as it can be. Take your bar of soap and place one end of the Salux Cloth on your palm. Scrub a circle pattern onto the cloth over your palm 7 times. Pull the cloth while still on your palm until it reaches a part with no soap. Scrub another circle pattern into this part of the cloth over your palm 7 times. Do this until you reach the end of the Salux Cloth (I usually have to repeat the step 5 times for a full Salux Cloth). Place your bar of soap some place where it won’t be in water. Do not put the Salux Cloth back in the water. Instead, if you are in the shower the water on your body should be enough to give you enough lather for a really good wash. (If you have never used a Salux Cloth I highly recommend them for use with my soap. It’s all I use anymore and it’s only $5.98 including shipping.)

Bath Pouf – Soak the Pouf then scrub your bar of soap in a circle pattern around the Pouf for 10-20 circles. Put the soap some place where it won’t be in water. Wash.

Sisal Style Body Scrubber (Big) – Soak the scrubber then circle your bar of soap in a small pattern on the bottom half of the Sisal Scrubber 5 times, then repeat on the top half. Place soap some place it won’t be in water. Wash.

Sisal Style Face Scrubber (Small) – Soak the scrubber then circle your bar of soap around the entire “face” of the Sisal Scrubber 5 times. Place the soap some place it won’t be in water. Wash.

Loofah – Soak your loofah in water. Scrub the soap up and down twice all the way around the loofah. Place the soap some place it won’t be in water. Wash.

Soap Saver – Get it wet and wash your body, then leave it somewhere not in water – preferably where it can hang and dry off.

Bar Itself – Just rub the bar all over your body, place it some place it won’t be in water, then scrub yourself with your hands.

Oatmeal SoapWhat to do when the soap gets too small to use properly:

Don’t throw it away!!! Get your old soap sliver and a brand new bar of soap. Wet both bars and create a small lather with each. “Stick” the sliver of your used bar of soap onto a brand new bar while they are wet, and slide them together side to side a few times then let them sit and dry. After they dry, you will now only have one bar of soap and your sliver won’t go to waste!

If you have any other types of scrubbers or bath tools you’d love to see on here, please let me know! I hope these tips help, and I’d really appreciate any feedback on them. My soaps are meant to benefit your skin but they are also meant to last you about a month per bar. If they’re running out before that, try following these tips. If they’re still running out before that – email me and I’ll try help you out! :)