Friday, April 30, 2010

Mother's Day Sale!

In honor of the moms, we're making gift buying easier for you.  How?  A sale, of course!  For one week from Friday, April 30, to Thursday, May 6...

First, all individual items at Reef Botanicals are buy 3 get one free!  Simply purchase any three items on the site, and then choose a 4th item of equal or lesser value to the other three, and that one's free!  To make things easy, you just purchase the three items as you normally would, and then in the "notes" during checkout with Paypal, let us know what you'd like as your free item.

Secondly, all gift baskets are 25% off!  You can have a ready-made gift for your mom, at a great discount.  Normally $40.00 each, they're now $30.00.  You can either email us first to discuss the variety of soaps, scrubs, bath bombs, lip balms, and candles you'd like included, and then purchase through the site, or you can purchase first and then we'll email you to work out the details.

The sample basket shown has two Lemongrass & Sage soaps, a When Life Hands You Lemons sugar scrub, a lemongrass & sage candle, an Awaken Fizzy Bath Bar, and an Orange You Glad I'm Your Honey lip balm - a $45.50 value, all piled into a pretty woven basket and then wrapped in cellophane and tied with raffia, for just $30.00.

Don't miss out on these great deals!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ha, Funny!

A friend and fan of Reef Botanicals' Facebook Page posted this on the page yesterday...

It's from this blog: but it's even funnier when you know that this particular Reef Botanicals fan is currently on his second bar of our shampoo, loves it, and also has long blond hair.

And no, Orlando Bloom is not a Reef Botanicals customer.  Yet.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Healing Tea

Not just for candles anymore!

And no, we don't actually claim it heals anything, just that it's awesome.  The name fit because that's what we called our green tea & eucalyptus scented candles, so it made sense to name our green tea and eucalyptus soap Healing Tea to match!

It really is great for your skin, though, with five kinds of oils, including skin-loving olive and almond oils, plus strongly-brewed green tea, cocoa butter, beeswax, and lanolin!  We added in the tea leaves too, for a great speckle and mild exfoliation.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Our First Facebook Contest

Our Facebook fan page recently hit 300 fans, so we decided to celebrate.  We figured the best way would be to run our first Facebook contest, just for our fans and it was a roaring success!  After 147 comments, we used a random number generator and found our winner - Sherri Iradi, of New Jersey!

Sherri is getting a Reef Botanicals gift basket, chock full of great all natural Reef Botanicals stuff.

Be sure to pay attention to the Facebook page, the blog, and twitter to look for our next contest when it happens!

Friday, April 23, 2010

We're happy!

Our Earth Day free-shipping special was an unprecedented success, and we'd like to thank all of our customers who decided to take advantage and place orders.  They'll all be going to the post office today!

Now that that's done, be on the lookout for our upcoming Mother's Day sale!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Reef Botanicals Goes Earth-Friendly

In addition to being approved by Green People for our use of all-natural ingredients, we do make an attempt to keep things as Earth-friendly as possible at Reef Botanicals. For packing materials, we recycle the packing paper in which our supplies are shipped to us, and if we run out of that, we shred the supermarket bags from our own purchases. At craft fairs, we sell our soaps and shampoos "naked," to avoid wasteful packaging where we can.

We also like, of course, to pack as much into one single box as possible, to lessen the transportation impact on the environment. It's better for the environment if you stock up all at once than if you make single-item purchases one at a time. Therefore, in honor of Earth Day, all orders over $10 placed at Reef Botanicals on April 22, between midnight and midnight EST, will qualify for FREE SHIPPING!

Sorry, U.S. orders only.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Artist Spotlight: Part Sixteen

Because of our craft fair and the MS Walk this weekend, I'm a little late spotlighting this week's artist.  The artist I have for you today is Christine of Memories in Mosaics.  And what an artist she is!

Her work is just phenomenal.  It's hard to believe that she is a self-taught artist, specializing in th "pique assiette" or "broken plate" style of mosaics.  It's an extensive process to make each of her pieces, and takes her several days to complete each one.

First, she designs the mosaic and cuts the base from plywood.  She then begins the process by cutting away at each tile so it will fit into place.  Once the entire design is laid out, she glues down each piece and has to let it dry overnight.  She then adds the grout and has to let it dry overnight again.

During the first few hours, she has to spray it with water to keep the grout from cracking, and then once it's dry, she carves around each tile, gem, shell, and other object with a toothpick to be sure it's residue free and has a clean line.  Finally, she sprays the whole thing with a grout sealer and buffs the tiles.

Everything in her Etsy shop is a one-of-a-kind creation with it's own personality and color scheme that she designs with a ton of thought and care.  She primarily uses tiles that she hand cuts from plates she first selects. In her mosaics, though, you'll also find glass gems and tiles, ceramics, jewelry, doorknobs, and other found objects to keep things interesting.

I especially love her mosaic furniture and home decor.

To learn more about Christine's work and life, be sure to visit her very interesting and informative blog!

Monday, April 19, 2010

What a Weekend!

And what a week!  It was great, but I'm now awfully tired and sore.

Eric spent every evening this past week making candles for our craft show this past Saturday, and I helped on the evenings I wasn't rehearsing.  We got together a good stock of Lilac, Cedar, and Ocean Surf candles for the show.  No, these are not going up on the site at this point, but if you want information about them, feel free to contact us.

Our setup has much improved since our first vending experience.  You'll remember the tiny IHOP booth from December.  It looked like this:

Hey, we worked with what we had, right?  But we've moved up in the world.  Our booth at the Minerals Resort & Spa in Vernon, NJ looked like this:

And here are the closer views.  In this photo, from right to left one are our Ocean Surf, Cedar, Lilac, and Lemongrass & Sage candles, large and small baskets of loose soaps, and a sample gift basket.

On the left branch of the booth, we had soaps on a bamboo mat and more soaps and shampoos in the baskets.

And in the middle, we had more baskets of soap, the two-tiered shelf holding bath bombs and scrubs, and on the table were lip balms!  This time we had space for tester scrubs, so people could actually see, smell, and touch.  They really seemed to appreciate the opportunity and took full advantage.

All in all, it was a great show!  It was the first ever hosted by that resort, but they definitely plan to do it again.  I heard talk of another one in October, and one possibly in December, before the holidays I guess.  Plus, they want us back for their Bluegrass Festival on July 30!  Now that sounds like fun.  Music, partying, food, and vending.  We are so there!

One of the booths at the show was from a local small boutique in Vernon, and the owner seemed interested in discussing with us the possibility of carrying some of our products there too, which would be great.  Reef Botanicals has invaded Sussex County!  Ha!

That doesn't completely explain the exhaustion, though.

That night, I went to see a play with a friend, and then on Sunday I participated in the Manhattan MS Walk with a friend, my tenth year at the event.  Six miles through Manhattan and Brooklyn for a woman who doesn't exercise nearly enough is a tough haul, but it was really fun.  Always is.  I'm so glad one of our Deadwood Spa Bars is in the shower.  My aching muscles thanked me.

Last night, of course, more rehearsal.

All of that adds up to some serious tired.  But I'm still kickin', and off to rehearsal again in just a bit!  This is going to be a great show!

Friday, April 16, 2010

It's supposed to be Spring.

I could swear it is.  A few days ago, it was even Summer!  I distinctly remember 91 degrees and Sun.  In fact, I blogged it!  The high today?  61 degrees Fahrenheit.  61.  And it's cloudy.  It's OK, I'm still going to take Meg for a walk.  We have soap orders to get out, and there's no reason not to walk them down; we both need the exercise.

And this Sunday, I'm still doing the MS Walk.  It's supposed to be 56 with showers, but my friend and I will walk the six miles through lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.  It wouldn't be right not to after collecting donations.  I'd feel guilty.

Besides, I have to bring my friend some soap.  I gave her a bar of the coffee soap to try, and now she wants to buy some more.  I love that she loves it!  And that also means it doesn't aggravate her allergies, since she's got those.  I'm thinking I'm also going to bring her a bar of our brand new soap, Garden Party.  I absolutely love the stuff, and with the Red and Yellow Kaolin clays that are in it, it's great for oily skin, which she's combating.  Hey, we all have our issues.

Plus, it smells like Spring - we used geranium and sweet orange essential oils, and it's fantastic.  On a day like Sunday promises to be, I think bringing something that smells like Spring is in order.  To lift our spirits, y'know?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Steal a Kiss!

Ever hear of Thieves' Oil? Neither had I, until just a few months ago.

I have this brilliant and talented friend, Zack.  Zack seems to know an awful lot about a lot of things - he's getting a graduate degree in psychology, is an actor, and makes the most wonderful leatherwork products that he sells.

He's the one who asked for chamomile in our soap and shampoo, which resulted in the reworking of our Lavender Soap and the chamomile present in our Mock Turtle shampoo.

But back to the thieves' oil.  As the story goes, during the bubonic plague in 1413  Europe, there were thieves ransacking the houses of the dead and dying.  Thing is, the plague was incredibly contagious, as I'm sure you remember from your history classes, but for some odd reason... the thieves didn't catch it.

Finally, four of them were captured in France and charged with the thefts.

At the trial, the magistrate offered the thieves leniency if they would reveal how they managed to avoid contracting the dreaded plague despite their close contact with the infected corpses.  The thieves disclosed that they were perfumers and spice traders who had rubbed themselves with a concoction of aromatic herbs.  It worked!

Well, I like this story.  I like this story, and I like the herbs used... cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, rosemary, and lemon.  So what do I do when I like something!  I make something from it!

This time, I made Thieves' Oil Lip Balm, the fifth balm in the Reef Botanicals line!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Meet us in person!

On Saturday, April 17, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. (yes, that's this coming Saturday!), Eric and I will again be taking Reef Botanicals on the road, this time to Sussex County, NJ.  Notice that this is just in time for Mother's Day!

We'll be at the Spring Craft Fair at the Minerals Resort and Spa (oooooooooh, fancy!) at 2 Chamonix Drive, Vernon, NJ (also designated as Route 94), in the gymnasium of the sports club.

If you're in the area, come out and meet us!  Come by, say hi, and see, smell, and touch everything in person.  I wouldn't suggest tasting it, 'cause... Ugh!  Trust me on that one.

... and FYI, we'll be debuting some new items at this show!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Artist Spotlight: Part Fifteen

The artist I have for you today is the very sweet Jennifer Mewes, of Mewes Mountain Arts.

She lives with her husband in the beautiful foothills of the Rocky Mountains, just outside of Denver, CO.  They have proclaimed the beautiful mountain behind their house to be the Mewes Mountain, which I think is hilarious and actually something I would do too.  The beauty of Colorado and her religious faith serve as her inspiration, and so far, it those seem to be serving her well!

One of Jennifer's favorite bible chapters is 1 Corinthians 13, one that is common in readings used for weddings.  I know part of it, since my mom actually has a picture hanging in my parents' house that's got flowers and this part of the chapter done in calligraphy:

Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always Perseveres.  Love never fails.

You really can't argue with a sentiment like that, but for Jennifer, it was more than that.  It was the inspiration for this lovely "Leap of Faith" lanyard, which is available both through Jennifer's Etsy shop and Handmade Artists Shop.

In those shops, you can also find this elegant butterfly necklace.

As Jennifer says, the first thing she thinks of with regard to spring is the butterfly coming out of its cocoon, so this piece is just perfect for the season!

Jennifer uses some wonderful stones in her pieces, like this cat's eye and Swarovski lilac necklace and this tiger's eye necklace.

Tiger's eye takes her back to high school, where the tiger was their school mascot.  I love that.  The necklace isn't actually in her school colors, though, so she also makes these fun bracelets for that purpose.  She'll custom make them to your school colors too!

For a more grown-up adornment, I just love these two bracelets, the top made with beautiful lampwork beads and the bottom with glass beads in a rich, deep blue.

My favorite of Jennifer's pieces, though, is this Celtic-inspired bracelet.

Which she replicated with alternate charms, at my suggestion!

On another front, Jennifer's passion for the push toward a cure for cancer led her to create this Awareness lanyard, from which she will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Susan G. Komen Foundation.

To really get a glimpse of Jennifer's good heart, learn about her, and even get information regarding jewelry making, business tips, and other news, be sure to check out her extensive blog!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


We left the windows open last night because we are just having the most tremendous weather.

This morning when I woke up, it was absolutely beautiful outside, the breeze making the curtains puff and sway, the air was warm, and life was good.

I hopped in the shower and, bound on starting my day off right, started with Heaven Scent scrub first.  Then Some Hair Dew, and a wash-up with Smooth Operator (yes, I used it as bath soap!)

Hopped back out to find that someone had emailed me a link to this video:

So I watched it as I got dressed.  I think those have to be the most well-trained dogs ever!  And the song is just so fitting for this day!

I even smiled all the way to Motor Vehicles this afternoon!  And wow, the MVC (in NJ, it's no longer DMV, it's now Motor Vehicle Commission) has changed since I was a kid and first got my license.  Everyone was pleasant and helpful, I was in & out with my duplicate registration card in under ten minutes, zipped around the corner to the inspection area, and left with a bright, shiny, new purple sticker that says my car is A-OK until 2011!

Resisted the temptation to stop at Carvel's ice cream, got myself some lunch, and am now typing this from my backyard (I love this laptop) picnic table, with Meg beside me, just chillin'.  According to the Weather Channel Website, it's 91F, but feels like 87 with the breeze.

Oh, how I wish it would stay precisely like this through the summer!  This is roller skating weather!  Bike riding weather!  Walk the dog and enjoy it weather!

It's perfection.

Monday, April 5, 2010

We're Not Neglecting You

I promise!  I know many of my posts recently haven't been soap-related, but have no fear!

We've spent a good portion of the weekend replenishing stock on the soaps and shampoos that you guys apparently find so wonderful that you've bought us out of house and home. This is a good thing, of course.  We love it when you love what we make.  We just need to keep making more, that's all.

We're making more tonight, too!  And soon I might have a new thing or two to talk about.  Soon.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Artist Spotlight: Part Fourteen

The artist we have for you this week is one after my own heart - she's into some of the stuff that I'm into!  It's pretty nifty to me to see someone who does some of what I do, only differently.  Her name is Jenn, and she is the owner of Jennuine Candles.

She is, as her banner states, "scenting the world... one candle at a time."

By day, Jenn is an occupational therapist, who has the rewarding but stressful job of working with an older adult population.  She found her escape, though - candlemaking and photography.  Like many other handmade artisans, she started with the idea of making candles for her own home and as gifts for friends, but then started getting enough requests from friends and coworkers that the business was born.

It makes sense, her work is beautiful, and I can only imagine the scents.  In fact, some of the items in her Etsy store have been featured in Etsy treasuries, like these Island Hopper palm wax star tarts and this Rose Covered palm wax ball candle.

And her Hugs and Kisses palm wax tarts were features on the Etsy front page!

For those of you who don't know Etsy, all this featuring and front page stuff is a big deal.  It means you're getting noticed, a tough thing on Etsy, and it means that your work is top-notch stuff.

Jenn also has a very neat product that I've never seen anywhere else - Spa-ndles!

What the heck is a Spa-ndle?  Good question!  Especially since I had the same question when I saw it on her blog.

These are soy container candles, that melt when burned, and become soothing and sensual massage lotion/oil!  I'm sorry, but that's just amazing.  Amazing, I tell you!  They're made with soy wax, mango butter, Vitamin E, Almond Oil, Grapeseed Oil, and Essential oils - this is the same stuff we use in our soaps and other products! These are quality and beneficial ingredients.

They're available in both her Etsy shop and her Artfire Studio.

For the holidays, look at how innovative she's been - palm wax tart gift tags!

That's just very cool.  Of course, her regular ol' candles are awesome too.

Be sure to check her out!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Un-Soap-Like Things

News of the soapy sort will be forthcoming soon, but since getting back from New Orleans, life has been hectic.  I came back with a cold, which I then passed to Eric.  Between recovering from that, catching up with work and, rehearsing for the play I'm in, there hasn't been much soap-related to report.

So I thought I'd share this, something shared with me today:

Cute Baby Animal - Aye Aye Captain!

It's just too cute, though they call it "ugly." It's one of those things that's so ugly it's cute again, I think. I'm not sure what it is... maybe a baby bat? If you know, let the rest of us know, for sure!

Edit:  This animal is an aye-aye.  My brilliant friend Lisa, who's an architect, professional baker, face painter, and henna artist was able to identify it!

And what's this about a show?

Oh, right, I hadn't mentioned that, I guess.  In addition to the other zillion things that Eric and I do, I'm involved in community theater.  I'm an actor who's also occasionally been known to build or tear down sets, usher for other shows, help with props, design programs, stage manage, work lights and sound, and even direct once.  Not a fan of the directing, I found out.

At any rate, I'm in a play that is up throughout the month of May, Comic Potential.

Info on the show is here, if you scroll down.

The hardest part of rehearsing is learning not to laugh; the show's that funny.  Even during the audition, I was laughing so hard I was in tears at some of the other actors' performances!

Hence the lack of soapy news, but I promise there will be some very soon!
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