Thursday, March 26, 2015

Mmmm! Episode 5: Vegan Chocolate Shakes

A week ago, Ian and Lemon decided they wanted to make chocolate shakes.  Amber, at Dixie + Twine sent us these super cute Lemon's Kitchen straws (along with the Lemon's Kitchen banner featured) and they wanted to use them on their cooking show, so shakes it was!  But, I'm diary free and both Lemon and I are gluten free so we had to find a way to make shakes without the ice cream (or anything fun like cookies).  We searched and found a recipe, similar to this one, and they made them.  They turned out SO GOOD!

This was the messiest Lemon has gotten yet, during her cooking show, and it was hilarious to watch.  She was literally covered in cocoa powder and chocolate chips when I came in and suggested they wipe her off, I even had to shake out her romper outside while Ian washed her in the sink.  It was too funny and she had the best time.  Enjoy and cheers!


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Monday, March 23, 2015

Moms on Mondays - Samantha from Green + Lovely {and a Giveaway!}

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This week I am proud to feature Samantha from Green + Lovely!  She makes organic, all natural skin care products in her shop and features so many things you used on a daily basis like baby soaps, lip balm, etc.  I haven't tried her products myself, but I love shops like this who are making their own health and beauty products instead of us all having to buy the awful, synthetic stuff at the grocery store.

She has also offered to give away a Pampering Mom Basket that includes:  A 4 ounce Green Tea + Bergamot Face Lotion (anti-oxidant blend), Nature's Silk Lip Balm and Lip Scrub duo and Pampering Lavender Passion Bath Salts (8 ounces).  View our giveaway image (and rules) on Instagram to enter, or leave a comment below telling us why you would like to win this set!  Giveaway ends on Saturday, March 28th at 12pm MST.

What is the name of your shop and how can we find you?

My shop on Etsy is Green + Lovely and I also have a website and some of my products are also on Amazon.  I am on Instagram and Twitter as well.   

Tell us about what you make/sell in your shop.  

Green + Lovely is a premium skin-care line created with natural and organic ingredients, handcrafted just for you.  Green + Lovely launched in 2012 with the formulation of our signature Better-than-Butter Belly (Pregnancy) Oil. Since, our product line has expanded to include the best selling Nature's Herbal Calendula (Healing) Salve, nourishing lotions, lip balms, lip tints, baby soaps, diaper creams, hydrating body scrubs, botanical bath salts, and more. 

How/why did you start making these products and open this shop? 

I've always had a love and knack for creating things. It runs in the family, as my grandfather opened and operated a restaurant in Tulsa, Oklahoma. (We still cherish those recipes!)  I received my Bachelor's of Science in Nutrition in 2005.  I began my career in product development (culinary realm) in 2006 at FOCUS Brands, the parent company of Carvel Ice Cream, Cinnabon, Seattle's Best Coffee International, Moe's Southwest Grill, and Schlotzsky's Deli. I worked under almost all of the brands, creating new seasonal and promotional products in their test kitchen. I also completed the nutrition analysis for consumer and legal purposes on these menu items.

I got married in 2009 and moved to Raleigh, NC. I picked right back up in product development and took a job at Golden Corral. When we moved again in 2011, I got pregnant with my son, Zachary. This is when the Better than Belly Butter Oil was created.  I remember searching the shelves, looking for the best product out there to nourish my skin, naturally, and help me not get any stretch marks.  I didn't find anything. So, I made different batches of my own concoction and gave some to friends and they had the same result.  I opened a shop on Etsy and have been flooded with customers who love this product. Then, the shop expanded from there.  I love it and it's become my passion to extend my product development experience to creating skin care products for our home, to yours.

How long have you been in business?

We opened our shop at the end of 2012.

Tell us a little bit about your family.

I got married in 2009. We gave birth to a beautiful baby boy in 2011. Since, we began the adoption journey and adopted our son, Jonah, in November of this past year.  He is 3 months old and such a sweet baby and blessing to our family. 

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How does this company help your family?  Or you?

Running a business WHILE being a stay at home mom is very challenging, but I love it.  I like to think that my creativity runs wild at nap time. It gives me an outlet and now my 3 year old likes to 'help' me make lotion. Some days I am just purely exhausted, but what I love is that you wake up renewed and want to conquer the world. Some days you do, and some you are just 'mom'. I am okay with that.

Did you ever think you'd be doing this?  What did you think you'd be doing instead?

I didn't think I would start working again until my kids went to grade school.  I didn't think I would be tackling something like this.  Green + Lovely has great potential and my work has a purpose.  I realize this.

Does anyone help you with your shop?

No, not the day to day business and filling orders.  My husband is part accountant, whether he chose to be or not.  My friend does my product photography (Hi Brooke!), but she is not local.  And, my sister-in-law designed my labels - she is amazing!

How do you find time to run your shop and create products? 

That's the tricky part.  I create products in my sleep just thinking about what can be next.  But, I have a hard time finding time some days, as I don't have family local. My son goes to a wonderful "mom's morning out" school and that gives me a few hours.  Nap time is the best time, and I stay up later than I should on occasion. 

Where do you see your shop in the future?

My next step is getting my products in front of Whole Foods.  That is a big step and venture for me.  I've been trying to prepare for it for some time, but I am about there.

Tell us your favorite product or your most favorite thing you've created?

It probably has to be the Better than Butter Belly Oil.  I love hearing from customers after they have had their babies and their stories. I also love reviews in general. I have the best customers. 

Do you have any advice for future mom-entrepreneurs?

If you think you have something, run with it. I wish I had a lot of the business sense in the beginning, but I am learning more every day. I wish I was better at marketing, but I am learning that every day too.  If you are passionate about the product or idea, then that passion will show in your work. Don't stop!

What are some of YOUR favorite shops/products, besides your own?

Some other favorite shops are Sweeties by Kim (BIG chocolate lover), Hawkins Creations (I love her signs and have a few), and Marley's Monsterswe just partnered with them to offer organic bamboo cloth wipes, wet bags, and organic bamboo diaper inserts in our shop.

Thanks Samantha for being here and don't forget to enter our giveaway!  Leave a comment below!

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