Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Happy New Year

2010 was such a great year for Twilight Soaps & Gifts and me! I met  a ton of new people (business contacts and new friends), participated in Trunk/Fashion Shows, and am have began building a bigger base of stores that carry my soaps and gifts! I couldn't do it without all of the support from my customers, friends, and family!
I hope you all have a very wonderful New Year!

I also have a giveaway for you to help ring in 2011! Simply go to the link below for the Minnesota Etsy Street Team Blog's giveaway for a chance to win one of my sugar scrub and lotion gift sets! Just my way of saying "Thanks for all the support".




http://etsymn.blogspot.com/2010/12/handmademn-giveaway-twilight-soaps.html

Thursday, December 2, 2010

New retail locations for Twilight Soaps & Gifts

When you are out and about this Holiday Shopping season, don't forget to visit these great store that carry a wide range of Twilight Soaps & Gifts items!

Ultima Bellezza Salon - Great Salon and retail boutique on 3rd St in Stillwater. Fabulous prices, friendly service!
www.ultimabellezzasalon.com
www.ultimabellezza.blogspot.com


planMYhouse Studio- a great new eco friendly studio that just opened up. Joanna and Michael can create a vast array of plans for your home, office, garage, and so much more. While your there, shop around for some great eco friendly wears! Located on Maint Street in downtown Stillwater, in the Brick Alley
www.planMYhouse.com
www.planmyhousemn.blogspot.com


The Farmers Daughter in White Bear Lake, MN
This is the newest store to carry Twilight Soaps & Gifts! They have a wide variety of hand made items perfect for those Holiday stocking stuffers! 
http://thefarmersdaughterwbl.com/The_Farmers_Daughter/Welcome.html


Parc Boutique
This lovely boutique in NE Minneapolis carrys Twilight Soaps & Gifts jewelry collection.
The store is full on wonderful clothing and accessories for men and women!
http://www.parcboutique.com/

Thursday, September 16, 2010

MN Wing CAF Vintage Fashion Show Debut


Twilight Soaps & Gifts was a proud vendor at the Minnesota Wing's 2nd Vintage Fashion Show & Wine Tasting.
Bob & Matt help me man my vendor space
The evening was a huge success featuring clothing from Twilight Soaps & Gifts Vintage Collection (soon to be on Esty); the CAFs PX with new Bags, hats, and women's polo's; and custom creations from The Girl Can't Help It Deluxe Clothing line. Accessories were featured from one of my favorites- Atta Girl by Kedrin; my dad's new line jewelry (yep, that right..it runs in the family)- Pacific Shores Stone Works; the Spectacle Shoppe, Scentsy and more.

Jewelry by Pacific Shores Stone Works & Twilight Soaps
We also had Warehouse Winery and Import Iberia for the sampling portion of the show! For a full viewing of the Fashion show, please check out http://www.matthollandphotography.com/Events/CAF-Vintage-Fashion-Show/13791714_oU4aa#1009909346_dwEz8Matt Holland Photography

Kristal and Jason Velick walk to the runway!

If you missed it this year, stay tuned for next years show which is already in the making!

Photo's are courtesy of Matt Holland Photography!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Weddings on a Budget Part Two: Wedding Favors, Tables Settings and more!

Now at the risk of writing a whole piece on promoting my business for your wedding favors (shameless plug in five, four, three two…Solid Perfumes, candles, Lip Balms, and custom soaps), there are tons of ideas out there to choose from!

In the vast age of the internet, you are not limited to the wedding cake shaped bubbles or those awful chalk flavored hard candies. Be bold with your wedding favors and think outside the wedding box. If you have the time, be creative. If you like an idea that doesn’t fit into your budget, do some research and come up with your own.


Here are some great DIY sites to help get your creative juices flowing!


http://www.do-it-yourself-weddings.com/homemade-wedding-favors.html


http://www.save-on-crafts.com/basformakdif.html


http://www.craftster.org/blog/?p=2106


If you don’t have the time to make your own or you don’t want to, then check out the list below for some of my favorite sites for Favors, Bridal Party Gifts, Table Settings, and more.

All of these can be done on a budget and still be unique. They should reflect your individual style and the Bridal party gifts (in my opinion) don’t have to be cookie cutter, carbon copies for each person! Give them each something with a little flare and that reflects them as a person!

I am huge fan of supporting small businesses and I love all of the one of kind creations on Esty, so the next few sites are from there:


Wedding Favors

Wedding Favor Boxes- fill with your favorite candies, nuts, or a secret surprise! My favorite is the wedding cake favor boxes! So cute!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/Rachelaakmama?ref=top_trail


Custom Wedding Favor Soaps- great for Favors, to hand out to guests staying with you and so much more!

http://www.etsy.com/listing/48433418/set-of-10-french-vanilla-and-amber


Tired of Keeping up with the Jones ? You will have them beat with this fresh idea of Upcycled Match Boxes. http://www.etsy.com/shop/ivylanedesigns?section_id=6064107

Crafty enough to try your own- you can even customize them theses simple products (check out those DIY sites above for details):


Match Boxes

Glue

Scrap Book paper

Sharpie of your choice or sparkly marker





No one can resist cookies as favors. Try these rose creations and attach your own label with the date!

http://www.etsy.com/listing/32850778/pink-rose-cookies-with-chocolate-12


Table Decorations & More


The perfect table decorations from Paper Platypus- simple and elegant:

http://www.etsy.com/shop/paperplatypus


Vintage Wedding Table Numbers can dress up a plane table in a snap.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/50793989/vintage-wedding-table-numbers-cottage


The Wooden Owl has great wedding cake toppers, table center pieces and so much more

that are sure to make your wedding special!

http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheWoodenOwl?section_id=6305770

I am in love with these Mr. & Mrs. Fork set! Super cute for any wedding or perhaps for the grooms dinner. They can also be used as place settings!

http://www.etsy.com/listing/50832113/vintage-silverware-mr-and-mrs-wedding


Bridal Party Gifts


Bridal Gifts, no sweat! Check out these Custom Flasks for all your girls!

http://www.etsy.com/listing/47241617/pretty-in-pink-flask


Another great place to try for some beautiful Bridal Jewelry for you and your Bridesmaids is Wedding Jewels- http://www.etsy.com/shop/WeddingJewels


White Wash Sundries has a great Groomsmen mug for $10! You can’t beat that! http://www.etsy.com/listing/39983126/groomsmen-gift-beer-mug


You can’t go wrong with something like custom cuff links for your groomsmen! Check out this shop for some really unique ones!


http://www.etsy.com/shop/TheCufflinkMaker?ref=top_trail



Of course, there are tons of places to choose from in your local community as well as all over the internet, so don’t be afraid to hunt around and find something that you love and that fits into your budget! Always keep what you want in mind, but be flexible and open to new ideas!

Happy Shopping!
Amy

Friday, June 11, 2010

Weddings on a Budget, Part One: the Rings!

Brides, you don’t have to spend a fortune to have a fabulous wedding…you can make it one of a kind event without having to take out a second mortgage on your house!


Here are a few simple steps (and some great websites) to help keep your budget in check.

Traditionally, people go to big name jewelry stores to find the wedding ring of your choice, but times are changing.

Since I am such a huge fan of saving money and hand made wares from Etsy, which is one of the first places I shop. Did you know you can even get engagement rings, wedding bands, and so much more on Etsy? It’s sort of a well kept secret, but I’m letting the cat out of the bag!

What better way to express your individual style then with a one of a kind wedding ring from a local artist…and most of them won’t break the bank. Some are upcylced, some are hand made, but you are sure to find one to fit your style and budget.


Here are a couple of my favorite sites to start your search with:


Elizabeth Scott Designs are simple and elegant. http://www.etsy.com/shop/esdesigns

She does beautiful work and will resize the ring for you if needed for the cost of shipping. She also has other items available which could work as Bridal party gifts!

My husband and I picked out my Anniversary band from Elizabeth and I love it! It’s simple and well made and she will resize if need be all in a short amount of time.

One of her more unique ones is the Twin Ring set which is two rings in one! http://www.etsy.com/listing/41610312/twig-ring-set-in-14k-palladium-white






Elizabeth Scott Designs also has an assortment of great necklaces and earrings which would work great for Bridal party gifts like this Aspen Leaf Necklace ranging at about $50.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/47995132/aspen-leaf-necklace-sterling-silver











Kalicat has a wide range of selections to choose from. Some are under $100 and some of the sets can be quiet expensive, but you know they are all unique. http://www.etsy.com/shop/kalicat



One of my favorites from this site is Knight & Day 18K White Gold Band. http://www.etsy.com/listing/39619838/day-and-night-18k-white-gold-band-and



If you are looking for something simple and more affordable, Kalicat can also handle that! Check out

these simple Sterling Silver bands:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/30223328/be-mine-2-wedding-rings-sterling-silver






One more site that I absolutely love is Bend the Fish.

http://www.etsy.com/shop/BendTheFish

Bend the fish has simple designs, great prices and FREE SHIPPING. What more can you ask for!


One of my favorites from their shop is the Inverted Pink Pear Ring http://www.etsy.com/listing/36442796/inverted-pink-pearl-

ring?ref=v1_other_2






Bend the Fish also has more traditional rings around $200 like this Solitaire Engagement Ring: http://www.etsy.com/listing/45348904/solitaire-engagement-ring








Of course, there are many other shops on Etsy and in your local neighborhood, so don’t be afraid to do a little digging and find something special to fit your budget! Shop around, take your time, and find something that is really you, oh and cost effective! That's my motto!

Stay tuned for the next installment of Weddings on a Budget: Part two Wedding Favors!!

Have a great day!


Amy

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Too Long

Wow, has it really been April 12th since my last post??? Way too long! I had some fabulous things in the works for my next posts, including a 3 part series on affordable weddings in the Twin Cities..so stay tuned for that, hopefully I will finish part one tomorrow.

As for the rest of the things, soap and all...I have a new scent coming out for the Summer- Cucumber Mint! Should be nice and inviting for the hot Minnesota Summer ahead!

Now onto more important things....

I wanted to find a way to help out with the Gulf Oil Spill, so for every purchase on my etsy site I will donate 20% to the efforts at one of the two websites-

http://www.nwf.org/Wildlife/Wildlife-Conservation/Threats-to-Wildlife/Oil-Spill/Oil-Spill-Restoration-Fund.aspx

It's just one way, Twilight Soaps & Gifts can help give back to the environment one purchase at a time!

Thanks for reading!
Cheers!

www.twilightsoaps.etsy.com


Monday, April 12, 2010

Twilight Soaps & Gifts News

Good Morning,
It's been a few weeks since I have posted anything to my blog..but I am back and there has been a lot going on! First of, Twilight Soaps & Gifts has gone International! I have made my first sale in Canada!! Thanks Mary for your purchase!

Vote for me- from now until April 18th, you can vote for my "Hoops" bracelet made from aircraft washers on http://etsymn.blogspot.com/. Click on the Icon on the right hand side and vote for me (or your favorite one...but I won't tell if it's mine:)

I have several new things posted to my Etsy site and many of them are fund raising items for the Minnesota Wing Commemorative Air Force. Twenty percent of those items (which are noted in the description) goes towards the Non-profit Aviation Museum.

Lastly, I want to help promote a fellow Etsy creator extraordinaire- Orglamix

I have been searching for a new mineral foundation, one that won't break the bank and doesn't leave my face feeling cakey or chalky. Since I don't have time to start making my own, yet...I decided to try a couple of samples from various shops on Etsy. I came across Orglamix which not only has mineral foundation, but so much more...and it's amazing. It is hands down, the best foundation I have ever used and the pigment eye shadow is amazing!

So for all of you out there looking to try a new, NATURAL make up...Give orglamix a try! You won't be disappointed!
http://www.etsy.com/shop/orglamix

Friday, March 5, 2010

Purchases with a cause



When I am not making soap or jewelry, I spend a lot of my time at the Minnesota Wing Commemorative Air Force. It’s an all volunteer non-profit group that is dedicated to historical preservation and education. We spend a lot of our time fund raising for the Wing to help keep the WWII aircraft flying and the museum available for people to come and visit at a reasonable cost.


My own business (Twilight Soaps & Gifts) and the Commemorative Air Force are two very important things to me and I thought what better way to bring the two together and help raise some money and awareness for the CAF than by making a line of jewelry made from aircraft parts- washers, screws, and anything else I can get my hands on.


Please check out my website for specific items that are made from these special materials, as I am donating 20% of each to the Minnesota Wing Commemorative Air Force. I will be posting some more unique items later today… and some of the pieces turned out better than I thought!


http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=41765880

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=41766407

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=40769245


Enjoy!

Friday, February 12, 2010

On our way...


So this week has been a full week Twilight Soaps & Gifts. I made my first official Facial Bar sale on my Etsy site and couldn't be happier and I became a proud member of the HandmadeMN Street Team. It's a wonderful group of people who support each others creativity and crafting in a great online network! If you are in the Twin Cities area...check them out.

They put together a great blog-http://etsymn.blogspot.com/ which is a collection of entries and crafts from people within the group and they can be found on Etsy as well.



This weeks entry is a short one, but with a week ending on a positive note!
Happy Friday!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Go Ahead and Go Green


There are so many companies out there advertising to go green and buy their product or use their services, but are they really green? How do you know and who can you trust? There are plenty of ways to even go a little green without killing your budget and changing your entire lifestyle because going green in the past hasn't always been good to your budget. In the long run, it can reduce your energy and gas bills, but right now (when you need your paycheck to go to rent and other bills) its not always affordable. Here are some simple tips to help you Go Green and help your wallet stay green!

1. Take a walk- Most of us live close to a grocery store or shopping center, so the next time you need to pick up a few things, ditch the car and take a walk. While your at it, bring your re-usable grocery bag with you. They are more durable than plastic or paper bags for the walk back and most of the stores will give you a few cents back for using your own bags, which is money back in your pocket for doing a good thing!
2. Make your own meals, Stop eating out so much- I know what your are thinking...you work 8-10 hours a day, then you run errands after work. By the time you come home, the last thing you want to do is cook a meal. I know exactly how you feel..that's why I plan ahead. Cook the bulk of your meals with on the weekend. Pick a day (my day is Sunday) and cook a few meals out for the week. Place a couple servings in the fridge and then a couple in the Freezer and VOILA- you are set for fresh, home cooked meals anytime you get home!
3. Use fresh fruits and veggies- I don't always have time to use fresh veggies and half of mine seem to end up in the bottom of the fridge as a science experiment, but using fresh fruits and veggies for even one meal (preferably from local farmers or co-ops) can really help reduce the amount of energy used. Canning and freezing veggies uses a lot more energy to pack and deliver then buying the local fresh stuff. By using fresh fruits and veggies, you also creates less waste, which is good for everyone.
4. Ditch the bleach and other harsh chemicals- Its great to live in such a time when phosphate free detergent and eco-friendly cleaner no longer cost an arm and a leg. Companies like Seventh Generation and even Target have a complete line of eco-friendly products that you can use to clean things from the laundry to the dishes and everything in between.
Harsh chemicals like bleach, toilet cleaners
and so much more can not only hurt the environment, but can harm you as well. Breathing in those chemicals can put a small child or person with a respitory problem in danger or a small pet could lick up some of it. Detergents laced with perfumes can throw sensitive skin into a rashy nightmare...trying switching just one of your household products to something eco-friendly and see how you feel. I love the fact that I clean my house without a terrible smell of chemicals filling the air.
5.Save the Polar Bears, one light bulb at a time. Thats right, you too can help fight the growing concern of Global warming affecting so many animals in the world like the polar by changing out one of the light bulbs in your house to the more enegry effecient light bulbs...Most of the companys who make light bulbs now have an more energy efficent bulb. Looking for another way to save a little energy in your home? Don't forget to unplug your cell phone charger and turn off the lights when you leave. Aside from saving the earth, think how much money you will save the next time your enegry bill comes?
6. Buy Used- Why create more waste in the world then you have to...many Consignment shops are turning into more upscale boutiques where you can turn in your old, but in good condition clothing and household items for cash or get something new (well new to you). It's a great way to save money and give that shopping habit a fix.

Of course, these are just a few simple steps you can take to help reduce your carbon footprint, but if you want do more in your community here are some helpful links:

http://www.goinggreen.com/
Looking for a way to earn money and be green???
http://beagreenirene.com/?gclid=CLCbpYmT158CFRAHswodTVcDcg

Friday, January 29, 2010

The pursuit of the perfect bag

I am always in pursuit of the perfect bag or purse that can carry everything I need from lip gloss to my check book and all of my important files.

I need bag to express the very mood I am in at any given time and I need something with versatility. So with so many choices out there… how do you choose?

I don’t have a ton of money to spend on over priced bags from department stores and I also like to have something unique, something that not everyone has…I have sifted through some wonderful sites on Etsy and came up with some perfect options for the a bag to suite all needs! These are some of my personal favorites and they are all reasonably priced!

Take a look:
Publish Post


The Kangaroo Pouch from Kinies's
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=39038929&ref=cat2_list_4








Kinies Sassy Linen Tote / Messenger in Olive Darb Green (I love this bag) http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?ref=vl_other_1&listing_id=39072782





Christy’s Studio http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=39397641









STOCKHOLM III Everyday Purse Khaki
http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=39553615&ref=cat2_list_21







Festive and Fun Bags from http://www.etsy.com/shop/fromnancy







And finally a great clutch for an evening out!

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=35393612

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Winter Blues got you down...


Ok, we’ve talked about beating dry, winter skin…but what’s worse then that is trying to beat the Winter Blues. I think most of us that live in a cold wintery climate experience this from time to time, but some of us are affected by it so greatly it starts to affect our work, relationships, and so much more.

With winter not even half way over, how are we suppose to get through? Here are some helpful tips and websites to help you get through the last part of winter with a smile (or at least help elevate your mood):


1. Wear Bright and colorful clothes or accent your home with Bright Colors. That’s right, break out of your winter blues and blacks with a dose of red, orange or yellow. If you’re like me, this will be extremely tough at first to leave the comfort of my favorite black sweater...but we can do it!


The more you surround yourself with warm summer colors, the better you may feel. Now, don’t rush to Home Depot and change the color of your room or throw away all of your clothes and buy all new stuff, but subtle changes can help. Try some new pillow shams in a nice peachy tone or scarf in red.

Here are a few of my favorite sites to find those little things to boost your mood without breaking your budget:


2. Buy yourself something nice without breaking the bank. While buying something new to help boost your mood is one thing, going on a bender is something completely different! Don’t confuse the rush of spending money on shiny new things with feeling better or as fix for your Winter Blues. If it is a fix, it’s a short term one and you will feel worse once your bank statement arrives. Treat yourself, but don’t over do it. Here a few site to help you treat yourself without breaking the bank and help you fulfill tip number one:

Candles : http://www.etsy.com/shop/CottageGardenTherapi?section_id=5037155

Scarves: http://www.etsy.com/shop/kenlou

Shirts and things: http://www.etsy.com/shop/implexus

Pillows, Purses and more: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Ruthscrafts

Charming Wall Decal’s: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Charming925

Treats: http://www.etsy.com/shop/kerricakes



3. Next on the list is exercise and eat right. I know your thinking, “God, I don’t even have energy to change my clothes and brush my teeth, let alone EXERCISE”. I know, but trust me, this one you don’t want to skip out on. Exercise is a very important part of keeping your body and your mind healthy. Ten minutes a day (on bad day) can change your mood! Try using a balance ball while watching TV or taking the stairs at work to ease you in.

Not sure how to change those eating habits? One of my favorite sites to getting you a healthy track is www.sparkpeople.com.

You can create a meal and fitness plan to you and on your bad days, you can write about it.


4. Which brings me to my next point: Write about or talk about it.

It doesn’t do anyone any good to sit at home and make yourself feel worse. The Winter Blues can make a person retreat away from social situations and not want to talk about how you feel. If you can’t talk to someone, write about it. Write down how you feel and don’t be afraid to spill your guts. When your ready…find a friend and just talk about it. The more you talk about it, the easier it is to mange the blues.


Of course there are many other suggestions like investing in a S.A.D (seasonal affective disorder) light or tanning and so much more. So don’t be afraid to do some research and remember, you are not alone.

Here are few links to help get your started:

http://living.health.com/2009/01/18/8-natural-ways-to-beat-the-winter-blues/

http://www.sparkpeople.com/resource/wellness_articles.asp?id=341

http://www.omplace.com/articles/Winter_Blues.html

http://www.nydailynews.com/lifestyle/horoscopes/2009/12/28/2009-12-28_how_to_beat_the_winter_blues.html



If you think at all that your Winter Blues might be something more, than please get help! The most important thing in life is to be able to enjoy it. Don’t rob yourself of being able to be happy. If you don’t know where to get help or how, here are some great starting points:

www.depression.com/

www.webmd.com/depression/default.htm

www.depression.org

Friday, January 15, 2010

Shop Wisely, Act Globally

I have always been a big supporter of shopping Locally in your community, but sometimes, you can't always find what you need locally. I try to be relatively consientius of where the things I buy come from. A site I came across recently really addresses some of my concerns with "buying abroad" and making sure that the items go through a Fair Trade commission. It's great to get things for a steal, but at what cost to someones freedom or health.

Fair Indigo (www.fairindigo.com) takes things that are made around the world and in the United States (which they are currently expanding), but all made with Fair Trade practices in mind. They specifically look for if you are focused on purchasing Eco Friendly, Trade Conscious, or Made in the USA items .. . it's a great resource!

I can't think of a better way to support something so vital as economic stability and higher wages for impoverished countries.


Friday, January 8, 2010

The Saga continues of Dry Winter Skin...


Did you know that Aloe Vera Gel is not just for sun burns? It's not widely advertised as such, but it can be used a great remedy for DRY WINTER SKIN and has many other medicinal purposes.

It works great for burns and scrapes, Sun burns and more...why not to sooth dry, irritated skin.

I recommend a natural gel base with not a lot extra ingredients- you can get it online or even in the local drug store. The less chemicals used, the more your skin will thank you.

Try some of these sites:

http://www.aloelife.com/

http://www.mynaturalmarket.com/dr-christopher-aloe-vera-gel-8-oz.html?ad=amazon_274

http://www.drugstore.com/templates/brand/default.asp?brand=8730&aid=336064&
aparam=fruit%20of%20the%20earth%20aloe&scinit1=fruit%20of%20the%20earth%20aloe

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy 2010

Wow, I can hardly believe its 2010 already. I haven't had much to report on the last few weeks with the holiday's and everything, so here goes.

One of the boutiques that was carrying my line has closed due to the economy- Bare Boutique in Burnsville. It's so sad to see so many wonderful small businesses closing because of lack of support/business. I really want to help make a change, especially for Women. In the next month or two Twilight Soaps will be embarking on a series of networking meetings for women to have a place to gather and get ideas from other like minded women. Lets face it, we all (Small business owners) have to stick together, now more then ever! Stay tuned for more information!

Twilight Soaps & Gifts will also be participating in Minnesota's Winter Carnival Fashion show as a vendor and I am super excited. I participated last year and had a great time! There were a lot of great people to meet and good food and fashions to be had! I am planning to bring some of my new products including the sugar scrub and hopefully a digital display!

http://www.winter-carnival.com/

I hope you all have a wonderful start to 2010!

Vintage Earring Magnet

Vintage Earring Magnet