Saturday, March 31, 2012

Wheat Grass Soaps (I hope!)

With Easter just around the corner, I am growing wheat grass for use as a table display. I purchased some organic wheat grass (about 1 pound) and soaked the seeds in water as recommended. It helps the seeds to germinate faster. I'm in somewhat of a time crunch since it generally takes 9-10 days for the wheat grass to grow to a reasonable height.

If the grass grows, I will also be making wheat grass soaps to gift to my dinner guests. Definitely crossing my fingers that my green thumb attempt works.

I selected a ceramic dish (it will be the main table centerpiece) and lined it with the top of a shoebox cut to size. Several layers of moist paper towels line the box top. I applied a moist layer of peat soil using a spray water bottle to moisten the peat. The soaked wheat grass seeds were evenly distributed into the peat soil. Push down slightly to secure seeds into the soil.

Using the water bottle, lightly spritz the planted seeds. They need to remain moist during their growing session (about 9-10 days). I’m anxious to see if the roots sprout. I covered the dish with plastic wrap to create a greenhouse effect.

Wheat grass does not require direct sunlight to grow, so I’m keeping the dish on a side counter in the kitchen.

My granddaughter, Olivia, helped me plant smaller egg shaped containers. If all goes well, these will be displayed at each table setting along with a colorful egg nestled in the grass. It's a win/win or lose/lose project. Easter is on the April 8 and I'm a bit behind the estimated growing time. If anyone has successfully cultivated wheat grass, I welcome your input.

We cut newspaper to fit the egg cups. The paper was soaked in water to help facilitate seed germination. Wish us luck, my grand kids are really counting on making the wheat grass soaps. In case you are clueless what wheat grass looks like....


Monday, March 26, 2012

Hop on Over...

Yep, that's right, you can hop on over to this link and download this Easter Brunch template. They are offered in MS Publisher format so you can change the text areas to fit your needs.

The GoPlanet Family is doing a big Easter brunch this year... we even have pillow case relay races in the works. I'm excited about the brunch menu as it showcases several recipes.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Enter to Win: Say Hello to A Better Body

This new Chicken Soup for the Soul book is being released May 22, 2012. It is available for pre-order on the web site and includes a personal story entitled the The Closet Witch.  It is a short story of my post menopause weight loss journey. If you find yourself battling weight issues in your post fifty years, I encourage you to pick up a copy.

I will be giving away one FREE copy of the book on May 25, 2012. Here's how to enter:

In NO less than 200 words, explain how you are working to overcome weight issues. Your age is not a factor. I am interested in sharing a story on my web site that inspires, encourages and motivates others to work toward a healthier and more fit lifestyle.

Send your submissions to:

Include your full name, shipping address and email. A random drawing will be held on May 24, 2012. The winner will be notified by email.

Prelude to Spring...

The weather is Michigan has been unseasonable warm. When you have 70 and 80 degree weather in mid-March you embrace it and pray a winter storm watch isn't in the works. The pleasant weather inspired staff to pour these colorful Spring soaps.

Don't forget, we are closed March 22-26 for Spring break. When we return, look for a post on how to make mini bundt soaps filled with yummy, sudsy goodness.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Spin for Success

The grand kids arrived for their usual Wednesday night stay. The threesome bounded through the door and immediately spotted a spinning prize wheel on the counter. In a matter of seconds, the clicking wheel was in motion.

The wheel was a display piece my husband discovered in a storage closet at work. He was certain I would find a use for it. Come on, I have grand kids, of course I would find a use. I traced the original inserts and created colorful, age-appropriate inserts.

I watched intently as the grand kids took turns at the wheel. Would their spin yield wins, loses, opportunities or frustrations? Would my "I've got an Idea" draw cards inspire them? My intent was to create a fun game. But, I also wanted each turn of the wheel to mirror life-learning lessons. As adults (and business owners), we sometimes need to take a spin at the wheel and reflect on the following.

“Lose a Prize” Spin

Life isn't always fair and expectations can be dashed. Don’t have a pity party over disappointment, perceived unfairness, or failed promises. Accept it as a time-out moment. Not everyone plays by the rules.

“Move Backwards” Spin

Things don't always go as planned. You can prepare and plan but sometimes you're just meant to learn a lesson.

“Opposite Direction” Spin

Aim in the right direction, knowing chance can sometimes determine the outcome. Have a mindset that turns "opposite direction" challenges into opportunities.

“I Have an Idea” Spin

When inspired with an "I have an idea (light bulb moment)", weigh both the good and bad. If it seems feasible, believe in yourself, embrace the idea and run with it.

“Lose a Turn” Spin

A “Lose a turn” moment in life does not reflect failure. It’s only a momentary delay in reaching your goals. Refocus and move on.

“Zap Me” Spin

People, circumstances and events can zap energy. When facing complicated situations, remain proactive and determine how much energy you are willing to forfeit toward a resolution. Accept that some situations may never be resolved. You may not always win or liked.

“Circle” Spin

Call it Karma, but what goes round comes round. A specific action leads to a specific result. Decisions and choices you make today comes back to you.

“Square” Spin

Life is about balance. Each side of a square represents self, family, business, community. Do you need to rebalance these areas? Have awareness of what's right for you and stop doing anything that's not moving you toward that goal.

It’s no surprise that operating a successful business involves planning, testing, marketing and having a vision. Your wheels may be spinning, but don’t confuse movement with progress. If there are no signs of progress, it's time to reassess goals.

After 35 years in the business, I have learned a successful life, family or business is not built on wild card spins. If things aren't working as planned redirect your momentum and energy to produce positive results. Learn to adapt your plans to new circumstances and opportunities. Anyone can spin the wheel, but not everyone sees opportunity behind each spin.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Rock Candy Soap Tutorial... YES!!!

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Finally! The tutorial for the Rock Candy soap is online. It's been a labor of love to say the least. So many distractions and issues in getting it all together. There were audio, computer, and weather issues that caused delays. But, ALAS... the tutorial is done!

Not only is the tutorial online, but our FREE templates for packaging the Rock Candy soaps are posted on our web site.

So far, feedback is positive. These soaps may not be the the most practical, but they do grab attention and shout BUY ME! Hey, high heels have never been practical either, but we still  buy and wear them.

You will need to purchase our 4 x 2 x 9 inch clear cello bags to use with the template. I hope you have fun with this soaping project and would love for you to email your results!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Soft Serve Ice Cream Tutorial

A customer recently purchased the Mold Market Soft Serve Ice Cream mold and wanted to know how to use it. I hunted through photo files to see if I had snapshots. YIPPEE!! I found some. They may not be the best photos, but they certainly give a decent presentation on how to use this mold.Soap.

The first step is to melt, color and scent the soap for the cone. You will need clear soap base mixed with 20% white soap base. Add equal parts of yellow oxide liquid gel and bronze liquid gel. You will have to eyeball the color based on how much soap you have melted. I suggest adding 1 teaspoon of GoPlanet fragrance oil per pound of melted soap base.

Pour the cone colored soap into the mold.

Don't worry about the top portion of the soft serve cone. It will be trimmed off once the soap has set up. Only the cone portion will be left.

Once soap has hardened, remove from mold using gentle pressure. With a large kitchen knife, cut off the top portion of the soft serve cone. Set aside and use when pouring other soap cones. The soap base can be remelted.

Place the bottom cone section back into the mold. Push down on the soap so that it is securely locked in place. You don't want any of colored soap from the top section to seep under the cone.

Melt, color and fragrance the soap you will be using for the top portion of the cone. Make sure you let it cool down to a comfortable pouring temperature. If you can comfortably dip your pinky finger into the melted soap, you are good to go.

Pour the colored soap into the top half of the mold. Let set until firm.

I like to let the soap set up overnight. Gently pop soap out of molds cavities and wrap for packaging.

Monday, March 05, 2012

Packaging Rock Soaps

I'm behind on uploading the Rock Candy tutorial and I apologize. I know that many of you are anxiously awaiting its arrival. My "OCD" kicked in this weekend and I couldn't help myself (that's the story I'm sticking to) and I became obsessed with how to package these sweet little soaps. I love the results. The best part, this packaging format will be available on our web site as a FREE printable. We will also offer the option of ordering a pre-printed kit (at a cost). Just hang onto your britches while we get everything in place.

There are two different label tags. One is for Rock Candy, and the other simply reads, Soap, Soap, Soap (click the inset image to enlarge). You can either hand-write or apply a clear label naming the scent.

I plan to offer this packaging in three different color formats. I should have them all uploaded within the next week. I used a double-sided color printed so the striped pattern printed on both sides of the insert. No double-sided printer? No worries. Just leave the back side plain. White card stock paper was used for the inserts and labels.

My insantity kicked into high gear when packaging these soaps for a local boutique. Their customer base is 99% women. Wheels began turning in my peanut size brain. Why not use "fun & whimsical" scent names on each package? Any fragrance could be used with no concern about changing the label. Heck, this is a fun, novelty soap and the scent names should reflect this playful concept. Here are scent names I created for the specialty boutique:

  • Polka Dotted Panties
  • I'll Let You Be Right
  • Gravity At Work
  • Altered Ego
  • I Changed My Mind
  • It's All About Me
  • Counting Sheep
  • Bad Hair Day
  • Vary Smrt
  • What's the Point
  • Don't Interrupt Me
  • Get Over It

Packaging fits our 4 x 2 x 9 gusseted clear cello bags. GoPlanet's small soap bags are a perfect fit for the rock candy soaps. How fun to use these as favors at a special event. Slip a personalized printed message into the back side of each bag.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Rock Candy Tutorial Nearing Completion

The Rock Candy soap tutorial is nearing completion. It could have been done today, BUT the grand kids were here for an overnight. It's nearly impossible to concentrate and stay focused with three kids calling your name every five minutes. They are currently tucked in bed for the night and I'm enjoying some quiet time.

I am working on printable labels for both the Rock Candy soaps and coordinating bath salts. The above spa bath salts were colored with GoPlanet's pink salt dye and scented with Hugs & Kisses fragrance oil. It's amazing what you can do with a recycled Mason jar.

Pictured below are my grand kids in the recycled box car we designed today. They were pretty excited about the headlights which were assembled from clear plastic cups, miniature flashlights, and a computer print out of car headlights. My grand daughter played all day in her new Spider Girl costume. Poppy (that would be my honey-man) made a steering wheel from paper plates.

I've never seen kids so excited about empty boxes.
They played for hours and with little fighting (amazing!!!)

Friday, March 02, 2012

Box Drawings...the new fad!

A few days ago, I posted about a customer requesting we draw a cat on the outside of the shipping carton. My staff got a bit goofy today when ordering in pizza for lunch Employee Appreciation Day. In the comment section of their online order (so I am told), they requested a spotted dog be drawn on the pizza box. This is what arrived.

Gotta love it! Thank you Jet's Pizza for humoring my staff.

SWEET!!!! Rock Candy Soap

It's been a busy week in our soap lab. My assistant, Kristy, has been working on some of my soaping ideas and she "rocks" (no pun intended). It's been nice having an extra pair of helping hands. I'll post the tutorial for the Rock Candy soaps soon and a link for purchasing the candy sticks from our web site.

I am working on packaging idea for these sweet little favor soaps. Stay tuned for the how-to follow up and how to win a Rock Candy Soap Kit.