Monday, November 03, 2008

Thankful For

It is times like these when I ruminate about why I take my son to school every morning and pick him up every afternoon instead of letting him ride the school bus. And oh, how he wants to ride that big yellow taxi and be a big boy! It is tempting. I would have quite a bit more time in the mornings to get going with work, I wouldn't have to stop in the middle of work to go pick him up, and I would also save tons of money in gas.

So what's the big draw? Two words: Quality Conversation. I have had so many conversations with my boys about life while sitting in the driver's seat. Our 2000 Dodge Caravan's inside walls could tell stories about all of the memorable substantial chats that would otherwise not have taken place. We have chatted about issues including academics, friends/bullies, in-depth spirituality, sex(when appropriate), peer pressure, spelling words, and at times life questions that have left me jaw-dropped speechless. That's quite a lot of content for a 10-15 minute drive!

This morning in the symposium--ahem, I mean, van; Keegan(my 1st grader) and I discussed what we were thankful for. He is sure he will need to think about this for a school project at some point in the near future, so we needed to do some research into the subject, LOL! All the basics came up: food, shelter, jobs, health, etc.

I can't help but get a little blubbery when thinking about what I am thankful for. I have a good life. A seriously good life! My husband is my rock, Jonathan will be cancer-free for a year next month, Conner is an extraordinary young man turning 14 tomorrow, Keegan keeps me joyful and young, my mom is my biggest fan, and I have many friends who are supportive as well, and...I love my work. What else is there? Right here in this moment, it is all I need.

Life is crazy, scary, and wonderful. I am so thankful for those 10-15 minutes, twice a day to have had the privilege to explore all of this with my boys at one time or another.

Thanks for letting me share this you. Be on the look-out for the next post with pictures of the new holiday soaps!!

Until Next Time,

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Getting Greener

We research cost-effective ways to help with the environment. One recent change is in our shopping bags. If you come to shows, or pick an order up locally, you will see a change in our bags. We have purchased nice kraft handle bags that are 100% recycled. We will continue to do what we can and still keep it economically practical for us, and for you.

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Friday, September 26, 2008


Ahhh...memories of Sedona. I will never forget our trip to Sedona. What a place! All of its mystery about vortexes and the beauty of the red rocks. We were mesmerized and fell in love. We still dream of returning someday. The inn where we stayed had a beautiful view of the mountains that was unbelievable!

For a very long time we have wanted to make a "Sedona" soap. We tested fragrances and clays until we found just the right combination. We think that you will agree this is truly a mysteriously fragrant and interesting soap. Sedona is curing and will be ready in about a week. I will definitely have it available at the Fall Women's Expo here in Jackson next Saturday.

Please stop by and see us. We will have free soap samples and the fall soap line available. We also have a cool newly designed soap saver. Jody (my husband) has been working on some improvements. The new design is still made of cedar for its natural water resistance and provides for more air circulation still keeping the soap high and dry.

Fall is now creeping upon us and we are ready! We have our Caramel Taffy Apple, Pumpkin Gingerbread, and Autumn Earth. Oh, we mustn't forget our BOO! soap for Halloween. BOO! is the same soap as Autumn Earth, only in cool spooky packaging for a unique gift that is sure to be a hair-raiser!!

Until Next Time,


Tuesday, September 09, 2008

I Was Featured!

I am happy to say that I was featured today in the Indie Beauty Network's newsletter. I was interviewed yesterday morning after I had "twitted" about my 11 mile run on Sunday. Donna Maria, the founder/owner of The Indie Beauty Network, is starting a series of articles about the "fit indie". Ironically, am currently training for a half-marathon. She wanted to know all the particulars of how I got started, what motivates me, and how it translates for the good in my business.

As some of you know, I started running in 2005 to train with my husband for the Phoenix Rock and Roll Marathon as part of fundraising for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in honor of our son. I decided early in training that if he could endure all that he has without complaint, I can endure the pain of training for a marathon. A relatively small thing compared to what he was going through at the time. I didn't realize the all around good that would come out of this for me personally.

Running means more to me than getting and staying fit. It is definitely a big part of my life. It helps me in many other aspects of my life including stress relief and feeling good about myself. The endurance and determination aspect of the sport has also transferred over into personal areas of my life, like helping me be a better mom, wife, daughter, sister, friend, and business person. Many runs with my music have produced what may be called epiphanies in my life. Most are little helps, but there have been a few times I feel God has revealed to me simple truths that were hugely significant for what I was dealing with at the time.

You don't have to be fast, or even win races to be a runner, thank God! There is no competition, unless you want it. I would say that running is one of the most inexpensive and uninhibited ways to get fit. You strap on a pair of good running shoes and hit the road, path, trail, or treadmill. When people seem amazed at the long distances I run, I do tell them that although it isn't easy, it is very achievable, and if I can do it, anyone can. Start slowly, and allow yourself plenty of time to get acclimated before upping your speed or distance. I guess I better add that you may want to check with your doctor first before starting any fitness program(the commercials are ringing in my ears with the fast talk at the end).

Please comment. I do moderate comments, but only for the sake of spamming that may be inappropriate. Let me know your secrets for getting/staying fit. Is exercise "just exercise" to you, or does it help you in other ways as well? What other things do you do to take care of yourself?

Until Next Time!

Monday, September 01, 2008

Soap For Hope Kick-Off!

Yesterday...marked 4 yrs. ago that our oldest son was diagnosed with cancer.

Today...September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and we are kicking-off Soap for Hope! We have Chocolatte' and have added Caramel Taffy Apple as our Soaps For Hope for this season. This year we will give part of the profits from these soaps to the Childlife program at the University of Michigan's chemotherapy infusion center. They are in need of some teen items. The children's infusion room is centered on young children, but teens and some young adults get their treatment in there as well. The treatment days can be extremely long starting in the early morning hours and sometimes not ending until evening. Having games and electronics for this age group will surely help to at least pass the time. Go to the website and purchase Soap For Hope today! The Caramel Taffy Apple is in curing, but will be ready soon. You may pre-order!

We support CureSearch also, and would like to share with you what they are doing for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. Our son, Jonathan, is alive today because of the research that has been done through organizations such as CureSearch. Years ago, our son's cancer had an under 5% survival rate. Today, because of research dollars, it is upwards of 80% overall. We want all childhood cancer treatment to have this kind of success and better, because 80% is not good enough when children are still suffering and dying from the #1 disease killer of children. Please take a moment to read about CureSearch's Virtual Walk for 12,500!

Want to change your life? Talk to a child with cancer.

Want to honor a child with cancer? Join the Virtual Walk for 12,500 during September National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

Ask anyone who has heard these words, “I’m sorry … your child (your brother, your sister, your grandchild, your nephew, your niece, your classmate, your friend, your neighbor, your student)… has cancer” and they will share with you stories of strength, courage, hope, and about the urgent need for a cure. Children with cancer change our lives and our world.
For many more than 12,500 reasons, CureSearch is launching a national campaign for September: The Virtual Walk for 12,500. The Virtual Walk for 12,500 is an online effort to unite people across the country and around the world in the fight to conquer childhood cancer.

A contribution of $10 will honor one child and help us reach our goal: One individual virtual walker for all of the 12,500 children diagnosed each year.

One Goal. One Month. One Person.Can Make a Difference in the Lives of All Children Diagnosed with Cancer.

Money raised through this event will support the lifesaving research of the Children’s Oncology Group. The Children’s Oncology Group (COG) is the largest pediatric cooperative cancer research organization in the world. All of the leading children’s hospitals across the US and Canada are COG member institutions. Together, we are committed to conquering childhood cancer through scientific discovery and compassionate care.

The path is ready, the goal is set.

Reaching our goal of 12,500 will only happen with your help. Please join us today.

It won’t be easy. We need you to spread the word. Post a message on all of your social networking sites (facebook, my space, caring bridge, care pages, blog pages). Send an email to all of your contacts today and again next week. Help us reach 12,500!

Join the Virtual Walk for 12,500.

We can’t do this without you.

Want to share your reason?

Create a “One of the 12,500 Reasons to Walk” video and send the link to We will post the videos on our YouTube Channel: and share on our blog page:

Walk for One!

Track the progress:

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Big Holler For Holler Fest!

We went to something called "Hollerfest" at Frog Holler Farm in Brooklyn, Michigan on Saturday. This organic produce farm has been owned by the King family for 30 years. I believe there are over 100 acres of pure simple bliss. Their three boys, who are now in their 20s - 30s, were born and schooled there.

The weather was miserably hot and humid, but the atmosphere was amazingly cool and inviting.

We went on a nature trail hike hosted by one of our friends, who did a fantastic job of identifying native plants and trees and also educating us about the importance of restoration. I got my first taste of tofu for lunch...yes, a virgin tofuer I was. I have to say it was absolutely tasty. They marinated and grilled it and put it on an organic sandwich along with fresh hummus, tomato and greens from the garden. It smelled so incredible, I just had to try it. They also had this beautiful pasta salad and coleslaw. They had an infusion "sun tea" made of rosemary and mint. Technically this would be called a "tisane". Tea is made with tea. An infusion drink made with herbs is called a tisane.

Now, I would be remiss not to mention the fantastic music being played by stellar bands all day on a rustic outdoor stage with professional sound located in a bowl-like area that looks to have been carved out by God himself. Bands including Dick Siegel, Raisin Pickers, Joe Reilly, The Mutual Kumquats, and Billy King, and so many more. Keegan (our 7 year old) thoroughly enjoyed Joe Reilly. I have to say that Jody and I did as well. He sang about the environment, earth, and even Michigan!! We were getting ready to leave that evening when the Mutual Kumquats came on stage. We stayed to listen to them. Their harmonic voices were incredibly tight, and that mandolin picking was amazing.

At the end of the evening we were incredibly satisfied with the day. And the kids? Well, Conner (our 13 year old) was not sure what to expect from the "hippie convention" as he laughingly referred to it before we even got there, but I think he sort of enjoyed himself. For a day of no TV, video games or skateboarding, he did very well. :) I did pack plenty of yummy snacks for him though, which can keep him happy for quite some time. Oh, and they did serve organic pizza. Fortunately, they had the plain cheese variety. I was a little worried reading the different toppings like arugula and potatoes, but phew! Plain cheese saved the day! Keegan had the girls chasing after him with glow sticks, played games like, "dumping each other out of the hammock". He pretended not to enjoy the attention from the girls, but to no avail. I think he wanted to stay there forever.

Our horizons were broadened just a little yesterday, and I learned an appreciation for some new things. Life is so good and doesn't have to be complicated.

Until next time,


Friday, August 22, 2008

NaKee' Natural Launches New Website!!

It is here folks. Our brand new website is here! Your source for natural soaps and skincare made with natural, organic, unrefined materials! Go to to see it!!!! Let us know what you think.

We are still in the process of updating products, descriptions, pictures, and setting up discounts and point systems. It will be a very long process, but the site is live, and is accepting orders. Please bear with us as we continue to update.

If you are a current customer of the old site, you can use your same log-in information. That all transferred over to the new site. Remember to go into your account and change your membership to "Patron" so you can receive the discounts and points when all of that is in place.

Since I also teach Kindermusik here in Jackson, Michigan, there is a link to register for classes on the site as well.

We are so excited we just had to share.

Until next time,

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

New Favorite Health Food - Flaxseed

Who knew such nutrition could be packed into a seed!

We have used flaxseed for some time in our protein drinks for after a workout. I read the label, and knew it was nutritious and would add goodness to my shake. Until I read the ENTIRE label and then researched it on the internet, little did I know about this little linseed gem.

I know I need more Omega 3's. I don't care for fish, and hate taking supplements. I also know I could use more fiber in my diet as well, and I don't want to spend the money on benefiber. Flaxseed has all this and much more as I will explain.

Fiber Provider/Cholesterol Checker: Just 2 Tablespoons a day will supply amazing nutrition! In these 2 Tablespoons contain as much fiber as 1 1/2 cups of oatmeal...good for your heart! LDL cholesterol drops, and HDL stays put. Not to mention the unmentionable problem - irregularity.
Cancer Fighter: Lignans are natural antioxidants and also a member of phytoestrogens, which maintains breast and colon health by binding estrogens that may promote unchecked cell growth.

Mega Omega 3 Supplier: Flaxseed has the richest source of fatty acids and lignans, which are potent cancer fighters. Alpha-linolenic acid is the plant version of omega 3's.The oil in flaxseed contains about 50% linolenic acid. Canola and walnut oils are the next highest, but at a weary 10%! One serving contains 2400 mg of omega 3's.

Immunity Improver: The alpha-linolenic acid and the lignans also decreases inflammation and promotes a healthy immune system which may be helpful for auto-immune and inflammatory disorders.

Hormone Helper: Lignans naturally regulate menstrual cycles, help manage menopause and lower the risk of osteoporosis.

Weight Controller: There is research that also indicates flaxseed helps manage weight by managing blood sugar levels and adding bulk, creating a more "full feeling" at meals.

Food Enhancer: Yes, it tastes good. It has a nutty flavor that can be used in shakes, oatmeal, cereal, and in baked goods. Ground flaxseed can be substituted for shortening or cooking oil in baked goods! It can also replace butter or margarine in a recipe. Oh, and it is gluten-free too.
So there you have it. I will be using this gem every day from here on out. So many reasons to use it!! Be sure to get the "ground" flaxseed unless you want to grind it yourself. Also, the flaxseed is much better than the oil. You get more benefits. I will be looking for an organic source and compare the prices. When you open the package, remember to put it in a bag and into the refrigerator.

Happy Flaxing!

Monday, August 04, 2008

Summer Time

Summer is still here. I see all signs of back-to-school, but we still have about 4 weeks yet before school starts back up!Don't let the commercial ads fool you. There is still time to enjoy all of the aspects of the summer in full force. Since I work my schedule around my children, I am with them mostly 24/7 during the summer.

I teach one Kindermusik class for 6 weeks during the summer months, and have been working on text and ideas for the new website and continue to learn more about business and formulating . Other than that, summer has allowed me to spend more time with the kids. I do love it, but I think they are starting to get a little bored!

I have started the process of re-stocking soaps, and will soon get the fall soaps made. I have re-evaluated some of the products, and have also been deciding on whether to add new products to our line. I am leaning toward a few new soaps for fall and holiday season, but have steered away from putting new products in the line. I have researched and created some wonderful new facial products, but have decided that we need to wait awhile longer to introduce them.

I am looking forward to show season and getting to know new people, and continuing to get to know my current customers.

Until Next Time,

Monday, June 16, 2008

Natural Bath & Body Friends--We're Still Here!!!

Hello Natural Bath & Body Friends!!

We are still here...things have just been busy at home. I have been working on text and pictures for the new website project that will be starting very soon. I am so excited to be able to offer you a more attractive, more user-friendly site that will come with a Patron registration that will allow for discounts, points, etc. to offer you more savings. My summer soaps had to be put on hold to allow for this process. I do plan to make the Margarita Lime soap that some of you have been asking about. I am currently working on getting the materials for full production of the facial serum you have been asking about as well.

I know sometimes it seems like "forever" from the time I talk about products to debut, but it takes a lot of researching and testing before a product is ready. Being a one-woman show for the most part means that I do everything from creative work to technical work. The technical part is definitely not as fun as the creative part of the business, but just as important to the success of this business.

I will update more as the new website and new products come to fruition!


Wednesday, May 21, 2008


This is a busy time! We set up a display in front of the Nomad Bookhouse(left) on the 10th for Downtown Development Day in Jackson, Michigan. Handmade soap downtown Jackson! It went very well. It was nice to see some folks I knew and also see some customers that I had not had the pleasure of meeting yet. Nomad is a great place with a great bunch of people. If you haven't been there, you really gotta go.

Michigan State Spring Arts & Crafts Show(below).

Here was our tent booth up at MSU this past weekend. Our display with the handsome unpaid help...LOL! It was a long weekend and a lot of work, but we did pretty well. Gotta get our name out there and keep up the marketing.

Whew! That is it for shows until fall. We may do a farmers market day this summer, but mostly testing and getting things ready for fall.

I hope to get the Margarita Lime soap made next week, and it should be ready by the end of June.

We have some great little Spa At Home Packs ready for graduations, birthdays, wedding and baby showers. We have the Pedicure Pack(peppermint tea tree soak, scrub, and stick), Mangapaya(soap, dish, scrub, and spray), The Moroccan Mud Glow, Pink Aloe, and Dead Sea Lavender all have soap, dish, scrub, soak, and stick.

Until Next Time!

Monday, April 14, 2008

Who Knew? Art 634 Fairy Festival

What is a Fairy Festival? Well, I didn't really know until yesterday. I was invited to set up a display in the Gallery at Art 634. Oh, what a glorious place! I love the energy there. It is a place I dream of setting up shop some day. Timing is everything though. Maybe when all of the pieces fall together!

The 1st Annual Fairy Festival was a great success! There were hoards of families and little girls dressed up like fairies flittering around getting their faces painted, going on a scavenger hunt, making tooth fairy boxes, watching belly dancing, and having tea with the Jackson Rose Queen. There were even little boys there enjoying themselves!

At first when I was asked to come down there to set up a display, I declined. I didn't have enough time to formulate some fairy products. I didn't think my stuff would appeal to the "fairy"set without some special fairy bath and body goodies. I just wasn't thinking enough outside the box. Of course, the mommies and grandmommies were there, and were excited to see something for "them" too! It was a lot of fun, and something I want to definitely do again, if invited. I will be prepared next year with some fairy goodies for the younger ones. Maybe some sparkling fairy bath dust, maybe fairy wings soap, hmmmmm, the creative process begins!

I also brought a book with me that was sent to me by a family in Grand Rapids called Ashleigh's Fairies. Their young daughter fought a courageous battle against cancer. The website is . The book is lovely!

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

NaKee' Natural at Art 634 Fairy Festival

1st Annual Fairy Festival
April 13
12 noon to 4 p.m.
@ Art 634
Celebrate the arrival of spring and the fairies at Art 634. Jonathan Wright, official fairyologist and author will be present to read excerpts from his book. There will be fairy activities for the entire family including the creation of fairy artwork, tea party, face painting, scavenger hunt, among many more activities.
Cost: Free
Fairy Events
Fairy Storytelling with Jonathan Wright
Fairy Scavenger Hunt
Fairy Secret Garden Tour
Fairy House Art Exhibit
Fairy Magical Woods Tour
Fairy Tea Party with Jackson Rosequeen
Fire Dancing Performances
Belly Dancing Performances
Spring Metal Fabrication Exhibit
Fairy Costumes & Wands
Fairy Doors & Surprises
Fairy Art Activities
Fairy Coloring Station
Decorate Fairy Flower Pots
Decorate a Fairy Tooth Box
Create Fairy Dust
Create a Fairy Garden Stake
Fairy Face Painting
Food & Drinks
Bone Island Grille
Hazelle M. Designs
Real Goods
Fairy Gifts
Art 634 Gallery
Studio 13
Moonsday Child
Hazelle M. Designs
Big Tree Gallery
Nomad Bookhouse
Pink Heels
Nakee Natural

Friday, April 04, 2008

Spring Break??

Hello Friends~

For the past several weeks I have been working on my income taxes(oh, my). I had set most everything else on hold and dedicated my time to get this done. I had also decided to get QuickBooks set up for the business so that things go smoother next year...HA! I had set a deadline to get everything done, not only for the obvious April deadline, but also so that I could spend some time doing some things with my boys on spring break.

Well, we have spent the week taking turns getting sick with fevers, cough, stuffiness, sore throat--the whole nine yards...bummer. We did manage to do a half day of shopping for them, so not all was lost.

Now, time to think about what products I will be making next week. I have been invited to attend the Fairy Festival at Art 634 on Sunday, so I will be getting ready for that packaging up some handcrafted natural soap, scrubs, light oil body sprays, lip balms, etc. to take with me.

Until Next Time,
Candy at NaKee' Natural
Handcrafted Soap & Skincare

Monday, February 25, 2008

Long Time No Blog

Ok. Shame on me for not posting on this blog for sooooo long! With this new year, I am determined to do a better job!We have some great things on the horizon right now:

  • Better Blogging
  • Improved Newsletters
  • New Website within the next few months
  • Wholesale Accounts
  • More Shows
  • New and Improved Line of Scrubs, Masques, and Soaks

This year we are going to strive to go bigger and better! We added a picture of Brigadoon and Irish Mint&Ivy, our new Spring Irish soaps, and also Antebellum Dream, our wonderful green magnolia scent we have been working on for so long.

We are so excited for the coming year. Please go to our current website and check us out!