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.


September 6, 2017

Number 9

Today is wedding anniversary #9 for my husband and I. As a general rule, I do not speak details of my personal relationships on Facebook. My opinion, old school as it may be, is that one person's intimate life details are not eligible for another person to publicize on social media.

Drama, please...

The one clear and purposeful exception I make is in the explanation of love I have for my husband Keith. I could mush on and on about him all day. He never stops surprising me with new ways of showing how much he loves me.  And honestly, after nine years, I love the guy more every day.

I tell you these details, not to make you believe we live a fairytale life. But to show an example of what getting back up after being knocked down looks like. We've both been married before, that will give you enough trust issues to float an ark. But it's different being in a marriage with someone who wants the same things you want, who you can openly communicate with without fear of retribution, who you trust with your biggest fears and failures, who lays down his pride for you and has vowed to give up his life for you...

That's my husband.

If you're one of our neighbors, you've likely heard him screaming cuss words in the driveway while fixing a motor. You know how sorry I am. Thank you for not calling the police. I promise, he's harmless.

If you're in our family or one of our friends, you've likely experienced an episode of PTSD or anxiety with Keith. If you have, you know. If you haven't, you will. There's nothing you can/can't do or say to manifest this. Again, he's harmless. Treat him like a human being and he'll act like a human being. If you ask, he will also sit down and tell you about his PTSD, the symptoms he has, how this affects his everyday life.

Today, I get to share my overflowing love for this patient man.

About once a week, I'll ask him if he knows how much I love him. Monday afternoon, he was seeming kind of cranky so I sat down next to him on the couch.

"Do you know how much I love you?" I asked. No response, not even an eye blink.

[Sidenote: Keith has hearing loss from years of repetitive weapon fire. I am an expert at determining deafness from selective hearing.]

I asked again, a little louder this time, "Babe! Do you know how much I love you?" 

"Huh?" He looks at me like I'm nuts (which perhaps I am,  interrupting Game of Thrones).
I repeat myself once more, and he presses pause on the remote control. 
Here we go... 
He turns his entire body to face me and in a mostly sarcastic voice says, "Now, what is it that I can do for you?"

I proceeded to have a face-to-face conversation with my husband about how much I loved him, his meaningful place in my life and the universe. Then I asked him if he believed me. And did he believe I would love him with my entire heart until my dying day. 

His answer...? Meh. 

Most of you who know Keith know he was messing with me at this point. I knew also. But in that moment, when your spouse has taken the time to stop his TV show, something has been making him cranky, and he rates your love as a lukewarm 3/10 on the eternal scale, kidding or not, you keep talking. As my husband learned, it's difficult to be cranky with your wife in your lap, holding your face while you speak. I literally can only stay mad at him for anything, three hours max. Which includes the time he realizes I'm angry. 

Maybe communicating through hardship seems like conventional relationship advice. Not texting or tweeting. Face to actual face, phones in another room (gasp!) conversation. I know, no time. There's always time until there is no time. 

Some people think if your first (or second, or third) marriage didn't end up gloriously, you "settled" when you married again. I'm calling bull$hit on that, which is part of the reason I share this.

Wherever you are in your life, right now, you probably have some plan in mind for your life. What your future looks like in school, your career, with your family, traveling, hobbies and adventures.

Then something traumatic happens. Completely and totally unexpected. You thought you knew pain in this moment. Then pain came to haunt you. The unimaginable changes you.

We all have something. That thing that has knocked us down, kicked us in the gut, left us feeling like the bottom of the barrel. Sometimes more than once. That doesn't mean you're worth less as a person, deserve less, feel less, hurt less. It is your responsibility to decide how to get back up when something or someone knocks you down. Trust me, getting back up is completely worth it. 

Happy anniversary to my husband, Keith. In good times and bad, sickness and health, I hope you'll always know how much I truly love you. 

March 23, 2017

Free Amazon Prime 30-Day Trial

Saving money is in my DNA. My grandmother taught me a boatload of valuable life skills, one of which was how to save a few bucks here and there. Call me thrifty, cheap, a bargain hunter. Call me what you will, but don't dishonor the family tradition of frugality by turning up your nose. I rarely pay retail. For anything.
One of the ways I make my money work for me is by stretching every dollar. I've had an Amazon Prime membership for several years, and I love it. Here's your chance to check out the benefits and try it FREE.
Sign up for an Amazon Prime 30-day Free Trial.
Only $99 annual membership program earns you special benefits:
* Instantly watch thousands of movies and TV episodes
* Borrow Kindle books
* Get unlimited FREE two-day shipping (no minimum order size)

SIGN UP HERE --> Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

Complete Amazon Prime Benefit List (as of March 2017)
FREE Two-Day Shipping on eligible items to addresses in the contiguous U.S. and other shipping benefits.
FREE Same-Day Delivery in eligible zip codes.
Prime Now: Get FREE two-hour delivery or scheduled delivery on over 10,000 items, from groceries to electronics and more. Plus, get free delivery from your favorite local stores. Available in eligible zip codes only.
Restaurant Delivery: Get FREE one-hour delivery from popular restaurants with Prime Now. Available in eligible zip codes only.
FREE Release-Date Delivery: FREE Release-Date Delivery on eligible pre-order items delivered on their release date to ZIP codes within the continental U.S.
Prime Video: Unlimited streaming of movies and TV episodes for paid or free trial members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Prime Music: Unlimited, ad-free access to hundreds of Prime Playlists and more than a million songs for members in the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Prime Photos: Secure unlimited photo storage and enhanced search and organization features in Amazon Drive for you and the members of your Family Vault.
Prime Pantry: Access to Prime Pantry, where members can purchase and ship to addresses in the contiguous U.S. low priced grocery, household, and pet care items for a flat delivery fee of $5.99 for each Prime Pantry box. Prime Pantry orders cannot be shipped to addresses in Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico.
Amazon Elements: Access to Amazon Elements products, Amazon's own line of everyday essentials.
Amazon Dash for Prime: Never run out of your favorite products with Amazon Dash Button.
Prime Early Access: Get 30-minute early access to Lightning Deals on
Kindle Owners' Lending Library: access to members in the U.S.
Prime Reading: You can borrow books, magazines, and more from the Prime Reading catalog and read them on your Fire tablet, Kindle e-reader, or the Kindle reading apps for iOS and Android.
Kindle First: Early access for members in the U.S. to download a new book for free every month from the Kindle First picks.
Audible Channels for Prime: Get access to Audible Channels, a $60/year value, for free. Audible Channels includes unlimited listening to original audio series and playlists handcrafted for every interest. You’ll also receive access to Prime Exclusive Audiobooks, a collection of streaming audiobooks including best sellers, family favorites, celebrity-narrated classics and more. Just download the free Audible app and sign in with your Amazon account to start listening.
Amazon Music Unlimited: Prime members can get discounted Amazon Music Unlimited monthly plans and there are annual plans available exclusively to Prime members.
Video Add-On Subscriptions: Members can purchase Video Add-on Subscriptions to premium content providers. Browse available Video Add-on Subscriptions, or manage your existing subscriptions.
Deals and Discounts, Compliments of Amazon Family: These include 20% off diapers through Subscribe & Save and 15% off eligible products from your baby registry. For more information go to Get 20% off Diaper Subscriptions or About the Completion Discount.
Twitch Prime: Members get exclusive discounts on physical games pre-orders and new releases. users who link their Amazon Prime account get ad-free viewing on Twitch, a free Twitch channel subscription every month, and exclusive access to free game content.
Membership Sharing: Two adults living in the same household can create an Amazon Household to share certain Amazon Prime benefits. For more information, go to About Amazon Households. If you have a paid Prime membership under your personal account you can share your shipping benefits with your Amazon Business user account.

Amazon Prime isn't available for customers who purchase products for the purpose of resale or use Amazon Prime to ship products to their customers or potential customers.
Some items are not available for Two-Day Shipping due to special shipping characteristics and instead will receive free standard shipping, which delivers in 4-5 business days.
Your Prime Membership may be subject to sales tax in some states.
Customers who receive a Prime free trial through Amazon Student or are guests of another membership aren't eligible for the following benefits unless they are eligible through their Amazon Household: membership sharing, Kindle Owners' Lending Library, Prime Video, Prime Music, and shopping discounts provided by Amazon Family such as 20% off diapers and 15% Baby Registry Completion discount.
Customers who are guests of another membership aren't eligible for Prime Photos.
To use Kindle Owners' Lending Library, the Kindle device must be associated with the Prime account that's eligible for the benefit. may change these benefits occasionally as provided in the Prime Terms & Conditions.

SIGN UP HERE -->  Try Amazon Prime 30-Day Free Trial

If you have any questions, please let me know. I'd love to answer anything I can.

March 1, 2017

Smile, Sunshine!

I'm a firm believer that empowered women,
empower women.
Huckleberry Row celebrates not just women, 
but all those who empower others.
So here's the deal...
This is a safe place to share your thoughts, 
experiences and feelings with others. 
Please. Be nice.
The world is full of enough hatred; 
negativity here will not be tolerated.
Share what you like.
Positivity breeds happiness.
So smile, Sunshine.
You are worth it!

February 21, 2017

Backstreet's Back


To anyone out there, wondering why their sweetheart, friend, mother or nephew has been hooked on the same boy band since the 90's. Just watch.

I used to think I would literally die if another girl even looked at MY Backstreet Boy. No favorite. I wasn't fickle, they were all a bunch of hotties.

Now 25 years later, I'm watching them happily kiss their wives and sing about how in love they are.

Gotta tell ya, nothing hotter.

Never question why the love of your life still crushes on boy bands. They're making it easier for you. And at the end of the day, you are. The One.