You Are Not A Failure (Tips to Change Your Perspective & Get Your Mojo Back)

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Let’s face it. Life is hard. And none of us are without our own set of struggles. When life seems bent on an unending downward spiral it’s easy to become overwhelmed and feel like you’ve failed. You are NOT a failure. Keep reading for my story on struggling with life’s challenges. Plus ten ways to get your head back on track to where it needs to be.

You Are NOT A Failure. When life seems bent on an unending downward spiral it's easy to become overwhelmed and feel like a failure. You are NOT a failure. Read my story on struggling with life's challenges. Plus ten ways to get your head back on track to where it needs to be.

You are not a failure.

What you may see as failures or set backs in your life aren’t failures. They are a part of your journey. They are a learning experience. They are not failures. You are not a failure.

In light of the recent suicides by Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain, I wanted to take a break from the usual DIY’s and share some of my life experiences with you. While it’s hard to admit, I’ve often felt like I’ve failed at my life. And I know that many of you have, at some point, also felt like you’ve failed. You are not a failure. And, you are not alone.

Struggling with my setbacks.

Recently I had a marriage fall apart after just six short months. I moved for the sixth time in three years. My blog, which I quit my day job for in February 2017 has failed to grow as quickly as I’d hoped as I struggle to find my footing. I haven’t found the time amidst struggling with the fibromyalgia to even start writing my book.

I feel like I’m drowning in debt. I’ve spent extra money getting started full time on my blog. I made large furniture purchases when I got married – furniture which is now in storage. And I spent more money still when I moved out and had to start over. Money I didn’t have.

On top of all that, I’ve also kind of always felt like a black sheep in my family. I’ve often felt that I wasn’t good enough. I’ve thought that no matter what accomplishments I did make, they were never enough. I’m sure some of you can relate.

Luckily I am now well seasoned emotionally when it comes to starting over. I know it can be done. And I’ve learned so so much along the way.

Learning to heal and 10 tips for getting your mojo back. When life seems bent on an unending downward spiral it's easy to become overwhelmed and feel like a failure. You are NOT a failure. Read my story on struggling with life's challenges. Plus ten ways to get your head back on track to where it needs to be.

Learning how to heal.

I’ve been seeing holistic therapist for about six months. (The same amount of time I’ve been legally separated from my husband.) It’s been extremely revealing and I’ve learned a lot.

I’ve learned that no one person can save the world. Sometimes  you have to let people in your life go so you can heal yourself first.

I’ve learned how to break those patterns that lead to unhealthy and emotionally destructive relationships.

I’ve learned that success has nothing to do with money or careers. Rather it has everything to do with friendships and happiness.

I’ve learned that opening myself up to the world and all it’s possibilities can help you heal.

I’ve learned – and though there are still days I struggle – that I am not a failure. And neither are you.

You have no idea how much it means to me when I receive random messages from you, my readers. How it keeps me going. How you inspire me to never give up on my dreams. How you push me to try to make that connection and keep giving back. You are the reason I work to share more of myself and my creativity in tandem through my blog – and my life.

When I was a child I always juggled between the hope of three careers – an artist, a teacher and a writer. Soap Deli News has given me the opportunity to be all three of those things. And with that I’ve found that success, for me, also comes in being able to inspire others.

Therefore I encourage you to look at your life. Really look at it. And transition back to those simple things that make your heart feel full. Then, you too, will see for yourself, that no matter what, you are NOT a failure.

Tips for getting your mojo back. When life seems bent on an unending downward spiral it's easy to become overwhelmed and feel like a failure. You are NOT a failure. Read my story on struggling with life's challenges. Plus ten ways to get your head back on track to where it needs to be.

Ten tips for getting your mojo back.

#1. If it’s not work related, toss out everyone else’s expectations of you. Your life is what you want it to be, not what others think it should be.

#2. Cut out toxic and unhealthy relationships in your life. Friends and significant others should be there to lift you up, not tear you down. (My therapist recommended the book, Stop Caretaking the Borderline or Narcissist: How to End the Drama and Get On with Life, which you may find helpful depending on your situation.)

#3. Repeat a positive mantra in your head. If you feel down, repeat to yourself “I am not a failure.” “I’m a beautiful person.” “I am worthy.” Whatever is the opposite of how you feel. Over time it will start to sink you – kind of like hypnosis – and you’ll believe it.

#4. It’s okay to be angry. Find a healthy way to let it out rather then keeping it bottled up.

One of the local artist I know gathers her friends and they all smash thrift store dishes against a brick wall to release pent up emotions. (Just remember you will need to clean up afterwards.)

#5. It’s ok to feel sad. Like anger, you don’t want to keep that sadness bottled up either. Let it out.

I personally struggle with bottling up my emotions. Therefore I complete what I call my “emotionally cleansing” when everything seems like it’s too much to handle. I sit in the shower and cry until there aren’t any tears left. Then, when it’s over, I feel better. Like I’ve washed all that negative energy, depression and frustration down the drain with the water.

#6. Take supplements. Magnesium and ashwagandha root are both great natural supplements that can help you better cope with stress.

As I’m over 40 and going through perimenopause, ashwagandha not only aids with healthy stress response, it also helps to stabilize my hormones, stop hot flashes and minimizes overly emotional responses due to my body’s hormonal changes.

Tips for getting your mojo back. When life seems bent on an unending downward spiral it's easy to become overwhelmed and feel like a failure. You are NOT a failure. Read my story on struggling with life's challenges. Plus ten ways to get your head back on track to where it needs to be.

#7. Go for a walk. If you can get out of the city and into nature to do so, all the better. Studies have shown that something as simple as a walk raises serotonin levels more than SSRI class drugs meant to treat anxiety and depression.

#8. “It could always be worse.” This is the phrase that pushed me through when I was in so much physical pain from the fibro, I ended up in the ER in tears.

Sometimes you have to change your perspective to realize that as tough as your life is, someone always has it worse. This is not to downplay your feelings or situation, of course. Rather realizing that it really could be worse can help you grasp that you really can survive whatever life throws at you.

It’s also a great reminder that no matter how alone you feel in your personal struggles, you really aren’t alone.

#9. Connect. Reach out to your friends or family when things get tough. Don’t worry that you’re going to be a burden. You’re not. Your inner circle is there because they love you. And that means they are there for you when you need help – even if it’s just to listen.

#10. Seek help. If you still aren’t able to pull yourself out of your funk, you may want to consider seeking professional counseling. If you are uninsured, have an outrageous deductible or simply can’t afford counseling there is an alternative.

My holistic therapist is part of the Open Path Psychology Collective. Formed to offer affordable counseling for those who otherwise cannot afford it, this collective allows you to see any participating counselor within the network for just $30-$50 a session. You simply pay a one time fee of $49. You are then able to see anyone your choose within the network for the lowered rate for as long as you need. (In my case I pay half, or $50 per session.)

Because your membership never expires, you can stop, start or switch counselors at any time as your needs change. You can learn more about the Open Path Collective here as well as search for a therapist in your area.

Remember, you are not a failure. (And one more time.) You are not a failure. You are amazing.

If you’d like to receive notification of new articles from Soap Deli News blog, be sure to follow me across all of your favorite social media platforms. You can find me on G+PinterestFacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’, and Instagram. Or, alternately, you can also subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.

10 Tips for Successful Summer Entertaining

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

They say the kitchen is the heart of your home. I find that’s especially true for me. My roommate Bambi loves to cook, so we are always hosting a weekly dinner night with significant others or friends. With summer on the way, we expect to do more summer entertaining than ever.

Top ten tips for successful summer entertaining! If you're as excited about getting into the swing of summer entertaining as we are, check out these great tips for opening your kitchen, and the rest of your home, to guests this summer. Plus the best pet friendly, non-toxic cleaning products for cleaning your home!

We recently moved my patio table into the backyard to use for summer entertaining as the weather heats up. Bambi loves to grill. So we have a grill on our list of things to buy this summer. There’s nothing more magical than BBQ and great friends as the sun goes down. We’re even thinking of making our own string light solar lanterns.

As Bambi is also a gamer, not just an incredible cook, we’re also looking forward to hosting more game nights. While I prefer games that are more in the realm of Exploding Kittens and Cards Against Humanity, Bambi prefers games of strategy. Hosting guests for summer game nights gives us both a chance to enjoy the games we love.

And of course, I’m looking forward to hosting a few ladies only craft nights as well. There’s something about the warm weather and shaking off the final remnants of those winter blues to inspire extra socializing.

Top ten tips for successful summer entertaining! If you're as excited about getting into the swing of summer entertaining as we are, check out these great tips for opening your kitchen, and the rest of your home, to guests this summer. Plus the best pet friendly, non-toxic cleaning products for cleaning your home!

Before summer entertaining gets into full swing however, it’s nice to take a minute and create an inviting space we feel proud to entertain in. Bambi and I are both a bit obsessive about both cleaning and creating the perfect space for hosting guests. It’s one of the many reasons we work so well as roommates – especially post divorce. It’s also why we are both such big fans of Grove Collaborative.

We both love the non-toxic and pet friendly products that Mrs. Meyer’s has to offer. (Bambi and I are both mommies to fur babies!) Not only are they effective at cleaning our home, they also look great by the kitchen sink.

Top ten tips for successful summer entertaining! If you're as excited about getting into the swing of summer entertaining as we are, check out these great tips for opening your kitchen, and the rest of your home, to guests this summer. Plus the best pet friendly, non-toxic cleaning products for cleaning your home!

If you aren’t already a Grove Collaborative member, you can get a free kit of Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap, hand soap, and lotion and replaceable head dish brush with your first order of just $20. We received this fantastic cleaning kit when we signed up and loved it! (You’ll want to hurry though as supplies are limited.)

Grove Co. offers more than just eco-conscious, non-toxic cleaning essentials. They also offer other homemaking and personal healthcare products from brands I trust. I buy Lovebug Here’s the Skinny Daily Probiotic at a discount from Grove for my own gut health. (Many of you know I suffer from fibromyalgia so vitamins and supplements are a must.)

Bambi on the other hand is crazy about Grove Collaborative’s Walnut Scouring Pads. In fact she ditched her regular brand of scouring pads for these after she tried them for the first time. She also loves Grove’s Cleaning Concentrate Essentials which are scented with natural essential oils. They’re another great way to get a pet safe, non-toxic clean we can both feel good about.

We also both found the Grove Collaborative Reusable Bag Essentials Set extremely useful. (I got these as a free gift as a part of Grove’s VIP member program.) These bags are super high quality and are great both in and out of the kitchen. We use the large bag for leftover Naan when Bambi makes curry. And the others for easily stashing personal care essentials when traveling and camping.

Place your first $20 order with Grove now to receive your free Mrs. Myer’s cleaning kit. Or, if you’re already a Grove Co. member, you’ll receive a free set of the Grove walnut scrubber sponges that Bambi is so fond of. Then keep reading for some great tips for entertaining guests in your home this summer.

Top ten tips for successful summer entertaining! If you're as excited about getting into the swing of summer entertaining as we are, check out these great tips for opening your kitchen, and the rest of your home, to guests this summer. Plus the best pet friendly, non-toxic cleaning products for cleaning your home!

If you’re as excited about getting into the swing of summer entertaining as we are, check out these great products and tips for opening your kitchen — and the rest of your home — to guests this summer.

Great Products & Tips for Successful Summer Entertaining

1. Hand wash summer accessories that have been in the cabinet all winter. Grove’s replaceable head dish brush has curved bristles and a sturdy bamboo handle that’s perfect for washing pitchers, platters, and prep boards.

2. Wipe down the counters to create a clean and tidy space for food prep and serving impromptu midnight snacks. All you need is some warm soapy water and a microfiber. I love the ones from Grove because they have a hanging corner for easy drying and storage.

3. Your sink gets a workout during the summer, from washing grilling utensils to cutting flowers. Make sure it’s up to the task by giving it a good scrub with a paste of baking soda and Mrs. Meyer’s dish soap.

4. Set up a beautiful sink side experience that makes everyone happy. Mrs. Meyer’s soaps and lotions come in a variety of cheerful scents like honeysuckle, lavender, and lemon verbena that guests of all ages will love.

5. Everyone’s always hungry after a day at the pool. Now is a great time to stock up on supplies like Bees Wrap and Grove reusable snack bags for storing cut-up fruit, cheese, and pretzels!

6. Cool drinks are a must for successful summer entertaining. Make sure your blender is ready for fresh fruit smoothies or frozen cocktails. Simply add a drop or two of dish soap and two cups of water and blend on high for 30 seconds. Then pour out the suds, rinse, and dry with a microfiber cloth.

7. Punch up your home decor with a pop of happy color, from new throw pillows to a fresh kitchen towel. I’m feeling inspired by lush greens like Grove’s garden tea towel.

8. Create an inviting entryway with plenty of space for guests to stash sandals, hats and pool gear. I like to stash my Full Circle dust pan and brush from Grove near the front door for quick cleanup of dirt and grass clippings.

9. The powder room is a small space, which means a little bit of effort goes a long way. Freshen it up for summer by laundering and fluffing up the rug, putting out a fresh hand towel, and switching out the hand soap and lotion for a summery scent.

10. Once you’ve submitted your Grove order, you’ll be signed up for the free 60 day VIP trial. The VIP program is a great way to keep your home streamlined all summer, with perks like free shipping, free gifts, price matching, exclusive sales and personal service. Now, it’s time to light a rose candle and enjoy the quiet while it lasts!

For more great summer entertaining ideas, be sure to check out these must have wine and cheese night party essentials. Or grab a few ladies craft night ideas. You can discover even more entertaining ideas on my Party Ideas Pinterest board.

You’ll also want to follow Soap Deli News across all of your favorite social media platforms including G+FacebookTwitterBlog Lovin’, and Instagram as well as subscribe to Soap Deli News via email for future updates, DIY projects and recipes.

How to Make Homemade Soap Last Longer + a DIY Soap Dish

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

Proper drainage is key to getting your soaps to last longer! Learn how to make this minimalist DIY wooden soap dish to help you get the most out of your homemade soaps.

The key to make homemade soap last longer is proper drainage. The one thing your homemade soaps should never do is sit in a pool of water. A soap dish that allows proper drainage – like this minimalist DIY wooden soap dish via How Did You  Make This? – is an easy way to help ensure your soap drains properly and dries in between uses. (Re-pin this project here for later!)

Harder soaps also last longer than softer soaps. Therefore giving your homemade soaps a longer cure time can help your soap last longer as it inevitable results in a harder bar. You can also cut your homemade soaps in half so they are able to dry more quickly and thoroughly between uses.

Have a homemade soap that just doesn’t seem to get hard enough? Cure soft soap issues by changing your homemade soap recipes from the start. Using oils that create a harder bar from the get go will ensure a harder finished bar. There are many soapmaking ingredients that help to create a hard bar including shea and cocoa butters – or any butter for that matter – babassu oil, palm oil, palm kernel oil or flakes, lard (tallow), and coconut oil. (Using the soap calculator at soapcalc can help you determine the hardness of the final bar.)

Other ingredients like salt, stearic acid and sodium lactate – at around 1 teaspoon per pound of oils – will also result in a harder soap. You can also use a water discount to start out with a harder soap coming out of the mold. I always discount my water at 33% or slightly less for soaps I know tend to be softer when unmolding them.

For more inspiring soap ideas be sure to follow the Pinterest Makers Soapmaking Group Board as well as my DIY Bath and Body Pinterest Board! You can also find a collection of my own homemade soap recipes as well as bath and beauty DIY’s at my main website, Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen.

Never want to miss a post? Then be sure to follow Soap Deli News blog via Blog Lovin’ and Tumblr as well as on Facebook, Twitter, G+ and Instagram.

Winter Mint Homemade Moisturizing Hair Mask Recipe

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

This winter mint homemade moisturizing hair mask recipe is made with natural ingredients and delivers intense moisture to hair ravaged by winter's elements. It also makes a lovely homemade hand cream!

Winter can wreak havoc on even the healthiest of hair leaving you struggling to find new shampoos and conditioners to alleviate your dry tresses. Instead of switching up shampoo and conditioners this time around I decided instead to create a winter mint homemade moisturizing hair mask recipe to help counteract the effects of winter. Made using natural ingredients this homemade moisturizing hair mask recipe delivers intense moisture to hair ravaged by winter’s elements along with the fresh scent of spearmint and peppermint.

I was inspired to formulate this homemade moisturizing hair mask recipe by one of this month’s Birchbox samples of Amika’s Nourishing Mask For The Hair. This product conditions hair with the power of sea buckthorn berry and jojoba oil and provides intense conditioning for all hair types. I adapted their ingredients in my own recipe to provide more intense moisture by using less liquid and in lieu of the water – the first ingredient in their product – I used a smaller amount of aloe vera instead. I also made cocoa butter and argan oils the primary ingredients. Per your preference however, you can either use jojoba or argan oil or a combination of both when making this for yourself. Or even substitute the cocoa butter with shea butter or even mango butter.

This winter mint homemade moisturizing hair mask recipe is made with natural ingredients and delivers intense moisture to hair ravaged by winter's elements.

Winter Mint Homemade Moisturizing Hair Mask Recipe

© Rebecca’s Soap Delicatessen

Ingredients:

.75 oz. cocoa butter
.5 oz. jojoba oil or argan oil
.5 oz. aloe vera gel
.25 oz. emulsifying wax
3 ml dimethicone
1.5 ml sea buckthorn oil
.02 oz.Optiphen Plus (paraben free preservative)
12 drops spearmint essential oil
12 drops peppermint essential oil
5 drops vitamin E oil

Instructions:

Using a digital kitchen scale begin by weighing out the cocoa butter and the emulsifying wax into a 2 cup or larger glass Pyrex measuring cup. Melt at 60% power in the microwave until melted fully. (Alternately you can also use a double boiler.) Now weigh out the jojoba oil (or argan oil) and sea buckthorn oil and stir into the mixture.

Allow the mixture to cool to around 160°F then weigh out the preservative and stir into the mixture.

Using graduated transfer pipettes measure out and add the Dimethicone, vitamin E, and the essential oils. Stir to combine.

Now weigh out the aloe vera gel in a separate container and heat at reduced power in the microwave to the same temperature as the melted oils and cocoa butter. (You can also try coconut water in place of the aloe!) Add to the hair mask ingredients and mix using a stick blender until the mixture starts to thicken and become creamy.

Pour into a 2 oz. container and allow to thicken fully. The final product will be pliable and similar to the texture of play dough.

To use scoop out desired amount based on hair length and massage into hair until fully covered. (It will melt into your hair as you massage it in.) Leave on anywhere from 5 minutes to overnight then wash out as usual. For extremely damaged or “fried” hair use once or twice a week as a normal conditioner or massage a small amount into ends of hair as a leave in product.

DIY Beauty Hair Care Tips

I like to use this as a regular conditioner when needed and rinse then follow with Not Your Mothers Beach Babe Texturizing Sea Salt Spray, 8 oz after towel drying. I then massage in the sea salt spray into my and towel dry a second time. This adds volume while still leaving hair looking healthy and shiny and prevents the extra conditioning from weighing my fine hair down. I then air dry and then turn my head upside down and finger comb through.

To help keep your healthier on a regular basis without stripping it I also recommend using a cleansing conditioner instead of a regular shampoo. I’m currently crushing on Renpure Solutions Rosemary Mint Cleansing Conditioner. While not as lush as my favorite – Macadamia Oil Flawless Cleansing Conditioner – it is more affordable at just $6.99 a bottle. I’m also able to buy it locally at Target.

If you can’t get enough of how good this hair mask smells, I also found that this homemade moisturizing hair mask recipe also doubles as a wonderful hand cream!

For more homemade hair care recipes as well as homemade soap recipes and bath and beauty DIY’s be sure to follow my Pinterest boards. You can also find and follow me on Blog Lovin’, Tumblr, Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus and Instagram.

How to Use Neem Oil for Plants as a Natural Pesticide

I may receive compensation from links on this site. See my disclosure policy.

How to Use Neem Oil as a Natural Non-Toxic Garden Pesticide

Do you need a non-toxic natural pesticide alternative for your home and garden? Learn how to use neem oil for plants as a natural non-toxic pesticide!

In addition to neem oil’s many medicinal uses – for which I’ve already created multiple recipes for soap, shampoo, salves and lip balm – you can also use neem oil for plants in your garden as a natural broad spectrum pesticide. Neem oil is extracted from the seed of the tropical neem tree and contains thee active ingredient, azadirachtin, which acts as an insecticide, fungicide, and miticide.

You can use neem oil for plants in the garden as a natural, non-toxic pesticide to help control slugs, snails, fruit flies, white flies, squash bugs, Colorado potato beetles, Mexican bean beetles, Japanese beetles, aphids small leaf eating caterpillars and other harmful insects.

In your home it works against fleas, ticks, ants, bed bugs, dust mites and cockroaches as well as scabies mites.

Simply combine between .5% and 2% of neem oil to warm water depending on severity of infestation. (So for every 16 oz. of water by weight, you’d want to use between .08 oz. and .32 oz. neem oil.) For the garden you can also include insecticidal soap or detergent at .01% – .02% of the water amount. Use the solution within a day or two and then make up a new solution to use as needed. If you have an existing infestation drench soil and leaves and apply once a week until infestation clears. As a preventative measure, use the neem oil at .5% dilution with warm water once a month.

Also be sure to check my natural homemade skin care recipes that contain neem oil: Natural Neem Oil & Rosemary Salve Recipe, Natural Homemade Neem Oil Cold Process Soap Recipe, Homemade Neem Cream Recipe, Natural Topical Anti-Fungal Toenail Treatment, Homemade Cold Sore Therapy Lip Balm Recipe, Natural Homemade Dog Shampoo and my Lanolin & Neem Salve Recipe.

For more home and garden tips and recipes like this one, follow my DIY Lifestyle Tips board on Pinterest. Or keep up with all of my new projects and recipes by following me on Blog Lovin, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Google + and Instagram!