December 11, 2017

12 Days of Christmas Artisan Spotlight: Faith, Soaps and Love

Throughout the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway, we will "spotlight" the artisans who have graciously donated items for the prize package. Please join me in visiting these artisans, makers and vendors through their various websites (below).

And don't forget to enter for your chance to win the prize package, valued at $300! Details >> HERE <<. Good luck! :)

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your business:

Hello!  My name is Tracy and I am the owner of Faith, Soaps & Love. 

Faith, Soaps & Love was born out of my desire for a creative outlet, my love of baking, me spending a lot of time shopping for soap online and my faith in God.

How do these things fit together?  Well, the creative outlet part I am sure you understand, and the shopping part is pretty easy too!  How does my love for baking come into play? Well, soaping is actually very much like baking - just a lot less calories!

My faith was an interesting piece to add to this puzzle.  It took a while to figure out how to incorporate it but my wonderful husband made me the most amazing stamp (J316) to stamp the bottom of all my soaps.

J316 stands for John 3:16 - For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.

I do not take that soap stamp lightly nor the words it represents.  Each soap is hand stamped by the one and only J316 stamp I have.  It has stamped over ten thousand soaps over the years!  Think of how many people have been blessed with this scripture whether they knew it or not!  I love that!

Gradually, I have incorporated my faith into my packaging, many of the names of my products and product descriptions.  It is fun finding scripture that matches a scent!

My products aren't in your face preachy and it is not my intention to be in your face about it.  It is more of what I call my silent ministry.  It certainly a gateway to conversation when a customer asks me if the J316 is a product number!  It could be a great ministry tool for you as well.

All my products are made by me in my Minnesota home.  I am a one woman show - I do everything from empty the trash cans to making the soap to mailing out your order!

Giveaway Items:

I am donating two bars of Three Wise Men soap.  It is my hope that you keep one bar for yourself & bless someone else with the second bar.  Maybe use it as a ministry tool?

When Jesus was born, the Magi presented frankincense and myrrh and gold to Him. These valuable items were standard gifts to honor a king or deity in the ancient world: gold as a precious metal, frankincense as perfume or incense, and myrrh as an anointing oil.

Three Wise Men Soap was crafted to convey this gifting.  It is a wonderful, comforting combination of frankincense, myrrh, patchouli, and sandalwood.

And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him. And when they had opened their treasures, they presented gifts to Him: gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Matthew 2:11

Contents: Olive Oil, Water, Palm Oil, Coconut Oil, Sodium Hydroxide, Cocoa Butter, Fragrance Oil, Titanium Dioxide, Mica, Oxide.

Retail value of your item(s):

How can people connect with you?







Google +




December 10, 2017

12 Days of Christmas Artisan Spotlight: Huckleberry Row

Throughout the 12 Days of Christmas Giveaway, we will "spotlight" the artisans who have graciously donated items for the prize package. Please join me in visiting these artisans, makers and vendors through their various websites (below).

And don't forget to enter for your chance to win the prize package, valued at $300! Details >> HERE <<. Good luck! :)

Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your business:

My name is Jenn. I started Huckleberry Row after years of commuting obscene distances to work for others, substandard pay and little appreciation for original thoughts. My husband was preparing for a deployment to Iraq and told me to find something that made me want to "leap out of bed with joy" each morning. No small task, but I don’t shy away from hard work either.

Huckleberry Row is committed to making a difference through artistic presence. We collaborate through photography and art in an entrepreneurial spirit. Our business model involves being patient during times of change, always being open to opportunities and sharing when the harvest is bountiful.

We offer handmade, upcycled and new items for discerning consumers. You will find home decor items, fashion and accessories for the whole family.

Photography sessions by appointment only.

Giveaway Items:

One 12"x12" Wood Sign: I Am Your Parent 

One upcycled soda can brooch 

Canvas Beauty Bag

Retail value of your item(s): $74

How can people connect with you?






December 8, 2017

Enter Now: 12 Days of Christmas Artisan Giveaway

Huckleberry Row has partnered with several other artisans, makers and vendors to provide one MASSIVE prize for you. Introducing the first annual 12 Days of Christmas Artisan Giveaway!

This fabulous prize is an amazing compilation from carefully selected artisans, makers and vendors. Each artisan has generously donated amazing items for you. The contest winner will receive ALL of these fabulous items!

The more you share, the more chances you'll have to win.

How to win: Entries can be collected by following, sharing, liking and commenting, as directed, throughout the contest period. Multiple daily entries available. The entire prize package will be yours to keep, share, gift to others, your choice!

Prize package includes:

Prize Value $300


Stay tuned for individual artisan spotlights featured throughout the contest. 
Giveaway runs today through 12/20/2017. 

Merry Christmas and good luck everyone!

#HuckleberryRow #ArtisanGiveaway2017

Contest for U.S. residents only

December 1, 2017

12 Days of Christmas Artisan Giveaway

Stay Tuned!

Huckleberry Row is partnering with several other artisans, makers and vendors to provide one MASSIVE prize for you. 

On December 7, we will be announcing how you can enter to win an AMAZING gift package in Huckleberry Row's first annual 12 Days of Christmas Artisan Giveaway.

This fabulous prize is an amazing compilation from carefully selected artisans, makers and vendors. Twelve artisans, each donating an amazing item with one winner. It could be you! 

Receive contest updates by sharing this post, and following Huckleberry Row on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

The more you share, the more chances you'll have to win.

How to win: Entries can be collected by following, sharing, liking and commenting, as directed, throughout the contest period. Multiple daily entries available. The person with the most entries when the contest ends wins EVERYTHING! The entire prize package will be yours to keep, share, gift to others, your choice!

Link to enter will be published here and available 12/08/2017 through 12/20/2017. 

Merry Christmas and good luck everyone!

#HuckleberryRow #ArtisanGiveaway2017

If you are an artisan, maker or vendor who would like to participate by donating an item for this giveaway, please comment on this post. We'd love to include you and send you the complete details.



November 11, 2017

Honoring Veterans

Honoring Veterans today, especially my favorite - my husband. He never stops learning, teaching, believing or giving his best. Works from pre-sunrise to post-sunset every single day and seldom complains.

To my all-time favorite cherished veteran, you never cease to amaze me with your willingness to help others, steadfast moral compass and refusal to budge on your principles.

THANK YOU for your service to our country. Just when I think I couldn't possibly love you more, you prove me wrong.  And I'm fine with that.

September 22, 2017

Eight Negative Attitudes of Chronically Unhappy People

Eight Negative Attitudes of Chronically Unhappy People

“Almost all painful feelings have their source in an incorrect way of looking at reality. When you uproot erroneous views, suffering ceases."

—   The Buddha, as written by Thich Nhat Hanh

All of us experience negative thoughts from time to time. How we manage our negative attitudes can make the difference between confidence versus fear, hope versus despair, mastery versus victimhood, and victory versus defeat.

Multiple studies have revealed how chronic negative attitudes can adversely affect one’s health, happiness and well-being. Below are eight common negative thoughts of unhappy people, excerpted from the book "How to Let Go of Negative Thoughts and Emotions.”

1.    Self-Defeating Talk
Self-defeating talk are messages we send to ourselves which reduce our confidence, diminish our performance, lower our potential, and ultimately sabotage our success. Common self-defeating talk includes sentence beginnings such as:

“I can’t…”

“I’m not good enough…”

“I’m not confident …”

“I don’t have what it takes…”

“I’m going to fail…”

Would you like it if a friend tells you repeatedly that “you can’t succeed,” “you’re not good enough,” “you lack confidence,” “you don’t have what it takes,” or “you’re going to fail?” Would you consider this person a real friend? If not, why would you want to talk or think this way to yourself? Engaging in habitual self-defeating talk is like having a false friend who puts you down all day long. You become your worst enemy and detractor.    

2.    Negative Assumptions
A prevailing form of negative thinking is to take stock of a situation or an interaction, and presume the negative. For many people, this “looking at the glass half empty” attitude is habitual and automatic. One might look at a crowded commute, a rainy day, or paying the bills as automatic negative experiences.

Of course, there’s nothing inherently positive or negative about traffic, weather, or bill paying. As the saying goes, “it is what it is.” It’s the way you choose to relate to your circumstances that makes the experience positive or negative. This choice can instantly make you stronger or weaker, happier or gloomier, empowered or victimized. Given the same situations, one might look at a crowded commute as a chance to listen to relaxing music or practice mindful breathing; a rainy day as an occasion to curl up at home with hot cocoa and a good book; or bill paying as an opportunity to practice the “pay yourself first” wealth building strategy. It’s all in how you choose to relate to the moment.       

3.    Negative Comparison with Others
One of the easiest and most common ways to feel bad about oneself is to compare yourself unfavorably to others. We may be tempted to compare ourselves with those who have more accomplishments, seem more attractive, make more money, or boast more Facebook friends.

When you find yourself wishing to have what someone else has, and feel jealous, inferior or inadequate as the result, you’re having a negative social comparison moment.

Research indicates that habitual negative social comparisons can cause a person to experience greater stress, anxiety, depression, and make self-defeating choices.        

4.    Negative Rumination about the Past
We should learn from the past, but not be stuck in it. Sometimes life circumstances and personal setbacks can haunt and prevent us from seeing our true potential and recognizing new opportunities. What has already happened we cannot change, but what is yet to happen we can shape and influence. At times, the first step is simply to break from the past and declare that it is you, not your history, who’s in charge. Goethe reminds us: “Nothing is worth more than this day.” Don’t dwell on the past. Make better choices today and move on.

“Abraham Lincoln lost eight elections, failed twice in business and suffered a nervous breakdown before he became the president of the United States.”

— Wall Street Journal

5.    Disempowering Beliefs about Difficult People
Most of us encounter difficult people in our lives. In the face of such challenging individuals, it’s tempting to believe that they are the perpetrators and we are the victims, or that they hold the power with their challenging behavior. Such attitudes, even if justified, are reactive and thus self-weakening.

The key to changing your disempowering beliefs about difficult people is to shift from being reactive to proactive. Whether you’re dealing with a narcissist, a passive-aggressive, a manipulator, or an intimidating and controlling oppressor, there are many skills and strategies you can utilize to stay on top of the situation.

6.    The Desire to Blame
Blame can be defined as holding others responsible for our misfortunes. Some people cast their dysfunctional parents, negative relationships, socio-economic disadvantages, health challenges, or other life hardships as the reason for their unhappiness and lack of success.

While it’s certainly true that life presents many difficulties, and undeniable the pain and suffering they often cause, to blame others as the reason for one’s unhappiness is to cast oneself in the role of the victim.

There are illusory advantages to victimhood, as finger-pointing provides convenient justification for life’s unsatisfactory conditions, and sheds the work necessary to take complete charge of one’s own life and well-being.

However, habitual blaming over time perpetuates bitterness, resentment, and powerlessness, as the victim suffers from what H.D. Thoreau calls “quiet desperation.”

Often, those who are the target of your blame have little idea (or could care less) about how you really feel. You only hurt yourself by being a prisoner of your own bitterness and resentment. Your feelings may be justified, but they will not help you become happy, healthy, and successful. Ultimately, isn’t that what you really want?

"When we blame, we give away our power."

—   Greg Anderson

7.    The Struggle to Forgive Yourself
All of us make mistakes in life. When you look back at your past deeds, perhaps there were decisions and actions you regret. There may have been unfortunate errors in judgment. You may have caused harm to yourself and/or others.

As you recall these past events, there may be an accompanying sense of self-blame at the blunders made, damage done, or opportunities missed. You might think of yourself as a “bad” or “flawed” person and wallow in guilt. During these moments, it’s extremely important to be compassionate with yourself, knowing that now that you’re more aware, you have a chance to avoid repeating past mistakes, and to make a positive difference with yourself and others.

“Forgive yourself. Everyone makes mistakes — and mistakes aren't permanent reflections on you as a person. They're isolated moments in time. Tell yourself, "I made a mistake, but that doesn't make me a bad person."

—   Mayo Clinic

8.    The Fear of Failure and Making Mistakes
The fear of failure and making mistakes are often associated with perfectionism (at least in certain areas of your life). You may think that you’re not good enough in some ways, thereby placing tremendous pressure on yourself to succeed.

While setting high standards can serve as an effective motivational tool, expecting yourself to be perfect takes the joy out of life, and can actually limit your greatest potential for success. Multiple studies have shown the correlation between perfectionism and unhappiness. Try as we might, it simply isn’t human to be perfect, and certainly not all the time.

“Given the desire to be valued and appreciated, it’s tempting to try to appear to be perfect, but the costs of such deceptions are high…How can you like yourself when you don’t measure up to the way you ought to be?”  

—  R. Adler and R. Proctor II

Source: Psychology Today
Preston Ni, M.S.B.A.

September 10, 2017

Old School

Yesterday, my husband and I spent the day together.

We began the day picking up some secondhand camera lenses. Bargain of the day, great investment.

We shared breakfast at Cracker Barrel, picked up some groceries, attended the memorial service for a dear friend of mine and did a bit of shopping.

We drove on back roads, twisting through small towns, enjoying the autumn breeze and absolutely perfect weather. On our way back home, we stopped in West Concord, the town where my husband attended grade school. The original school building, built in 1902, has since been converted into a community center and historical society.

Walking around the partially dilapidated building, I asked my husband to share memories of his childhood with me. He showed me where the cafeteria was, places kids on the playground hung out, and the room where he learned to use his very first tool. A hand saw. If only that teacher knew how important introducing that hand saw in kindergarten would be to Keith's future.

Old brick calls out to the photographer in me.
I am eternally grateful that my husband allows me to primp and pose him in my photographer's mind's eye. Occasionally, I even get a shot that makes me smile.

Love the ones you're with.
Never forget where you came from.