Thursday, February 26, 2009

What's Your Thought On Fragrance Oils?

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you doing well. Today, I need your feedback on fragrance oils. More and more customers are asking about various fragrances. Aromas that are not made in nature are man made and there are several grades to choose from.

The usage rate for fragrance oils is anywhere from 2-5% of the formulation. Cosmetic and Premium grades are available, they contain no alcohol, diluents, water or surfactants. More importantly, they are approved for use in skincare. Fragrance oils, however, do not offer therapeutic benefits that essential oils offer.

Cactus & Ivy has been using fragrance oils in our Reed Diffusers, since it is quite difficult to find the right blends of essential oils to make the aroma of banana. Recently, I blended various essential oils and I couldn't believe how much the blend smelled like bubble gum. I thought, WOW.....this would be great in a product for young girls. The initial whiff is quite intriguing, however, the linger of the aroma is somewhat sickening. That is not the end result I am looking for.

If a fragrance oil is used, our products would be 95-98% natural (using the formulation rate mentioned above). Now, I don't want you to think I am considering abandoning essential oils completely. I am interested in hearing your voice on adding fragrance oils to the options available in Cactus & Ivy products. Ultimately, in the end, it is you, the customer who makes the final decision of what you put on your skin.

Thanks for stopping by y'all! Don't forget to leave me your comments on this topic. As always, your feedback is greatly appreciated!

Have a fabulous day!!

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cactus & Ivy in Southern Living Magazine

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you doing well. Yep....that's what the title said. Cactus & Ivy is in the South Carolina edition of Southern Living Magazine and I am so stoked!! Totally beside myself! Woo-hoo!!!

Southern Living Magazine is a staple in most southern homes. I can remember as a kid looking at the house plans every month hoping to find my dream home to build when I grew up. Each month, I find a new event, gardening tip, travel destination or must see shop or point on the map. Oh....let's not forget the fabulous, mouth watering recipes.

This article represents a huge accomplishment on my part. I did not have the aide of a PR firm or contact. It was by sheer determination to shed light on my company that I was given this huge opportunity. You never know until you ask.

For those that aren't in South Carolina and would like to read the article, you may do so here. Thanks for stopping by y'all and have a great day!

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Friday, February 20, 2009

I'm a Guinea Chick! Are You?

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you having a fabulous Friday! This is a short but sweet post today. Cactus & Ivy needs a t-shirt! Today, I designed one and I want to get your feedback. What do you think?

That's all for today. Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The FDA Globalization Act 2009

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you doing well. To start off this post, I would like to say a big "thanks" to Jennifer at Eco-Office-Gals. Now, I am pretty handy when it comes to the computer and have "some" graphic skills but designing "ad buttons" is not one of them. Jennifer designed the handy dandy "shop" button to the right, which is a direct link to the Cactus & Ivy website. So, if you are in need of a Virtual Assistant, then please visit Eco-Office-Gals. You'll be glad you did! You ROCK Jennifer!

Now, I would like to say thanks to all who went to the Indie Business Blog last year to read and sign the petition to stop the FDA Globalization Act of 2008. Your voices were heard! The old draft would have put thousands of "indie" businesses out of business with mountains of paperwork and outrageous fees.

Thanks to the efforts of Donna Maria Coles Johnson of Indie Beauty, Lela Barker of Bella Lucce, Kayla and Dennis Fioravanti of Essential Wholesale, Anne-Marie Faiola of Brambleberry, Marie Gale of the Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild and the thousands of signatures to the petition, the future of the indie business owner looks much brighter. Read the latest letter submitted to the House Energy & Commerce Committee.

If the FDA Globalization Act of 2009 is passed, the only thing that has not changed is mandatory registration of our business and ingredients to the FDA. I am proud to say that Cactus & Ivy was already registered with the Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program (VCRP).

"The Voluntary Cosmetic Registration Program (VCRP) is an FDA post-market reporting system for use by manufacturers, packers, and distributors of cosmetic products that are in commercial distribution in the United States
. The VCRP helps FDA in its mission to protect consumers, while also helping cosmetic manufacturers and distributors make informed decisions. The greater the participation by the cosmetic industry, the better this program works."

I believe in the FDA and its mission to protect the consumer, while helping me make informed decisions as a manufacturer. This is great news and I thank y'all for hearing my call last year to let your voice be heard!

Thanks for stopping by y'all and I hope you have a great day!

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Friday, February 13, 2009

Cactus & Ivy Loves Feedback

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you doing well. I am presently fighting off allergies or sinus issues and I do believe I am losing.

Today I am taking the time to post some reviews and to thank all who have provided me with valuable feedback on Cactus & Ivy products. In case you haven't dropped by the website lately, here are some that can be found on our Raves & Reviews and Press pages.

February 6, 2009 - Cactus & Ivy received some love from Naomi Serviss on her Spa Trekking blog! Naomi is a freelance writer specializing in spa-trends, travel and health issues. She also happens to be one fantabulous chick, also known now as a Guinea Chick™! Naomi is not on a Trek at the moment so she decided to share some of her spa-related goodies and Cactus & Ivy happens to be on the list! Read Naomi's spa column Spa Trekking. You ROCK Naomi and thanks for the love!

Lisa -

I seriously, truly love the Cactus Nail Balm™. My hands are a mess from soapmaking and in just one day, noticeable difference. I can't stop using it, I love the concept, it's so clever, it smells amazing, and my hands feel so much better. I would heartily recommend your stuff to anybody.

Michelle G.
Cleveland Heights, OH


January 13, 2009 - Cactus & Ivy Soy Milk Lip Balm™ gets a fabulous review from Shannon with A Girls Gotta Spa! Woo-hoo!!! Loving the review love!! Read the review here


Hi Lisa,

I picked up my package from the post office this morning; everything I tried was great. I especially like the new packaging for the Nail Balm. This is the first time I've ordered from Cactus & Ivy and I have to say based on the products I've tried and the customer service, which has been truly great, I will definitely be back to order again.


Miami, FL


December 11, 2008 - Woo-hoo!! I could so get used to this!! Our Soy Indulgence™ line received a fabulous review from Sonja with The Coveted. Sonja is a former model that also reported the news for TV stations in Seattle, St. Louis & San Francisco. Her love of skin care and make up began at an early age and now. Sonja has expanded her interests into all natural beauty lines. Thanks Sonja for your rocking review! Read Sonja's review here

Lisa, thank you for your email. I did receive your products and am VERY satisfied, and plan to purchase from your company again. I especially love the foot balm in the deodorant style container. I also really like that I can personalize each product. This is a perfect feature for when I want to send gifts! Thank you for following up, and I look forward to ordering from your company again soon.

West Hollywood, CA

December 4, 2008 - Yes Virginia, there is a Santa Claus! Cactus & Ivy has received more review love. It feels like Christmas is already here! This time, the review is from Jenny with BabyAssFace. In my opinion, the name rocks and so does Jenny! Read her review of our Soy Indulgence Coconut Soy Bath Grains™, here

While you are on BabyAssFace, take a moment to sign up to get posts delivered right to your inbox. You'll be happy you did!

So, there ya have it. To read more fabulous reviews, visit Cactus & Ivy. I also wanted to let you know that Cactus & Ivy will be in Southern Living Magazine, the March issue, which comes out at the end of February. It will only be available in the South Carolina editions, however, I am working on getting a digital copy. I will keep you posted.

Thanks for stopping by y'all!! I hope you have a great day and a fantastic weekend!

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Spearmint is an Oxymoron?

Hey Y'all!!

I hope this post finds you doing well. The weather is actually looking good in my neck of the woods and I don't want to talk about it much. I am afraid if I say too much, the sunny skies and warm temperatures will disappear. Enough said.

Spearmint is a fabulous aroma and I use it a good bit while formulating Cactus & Ivy cruelty-free goodies. During a massage, I love the intense aroma of Mint Jasmine. It has a rich, floral burst with a sweet blast of mint that immediately relaxes me while also invigorating my senses. Is that an Oxymoron? Anywho.

Spearmint oil is steam distilled from the leaves of the mentha viridis plant and grows well in most climates but prefers partial shade. Believed to be an excellent oil for alleviating fatigue and depression, it can be used at bedtime to promote a sense of calm and relaxation. Yeah, I'm pretty sure that spearmint oil is an Oxymoron in itself. It is an uplifting yet calming oil.

You can find spearmint oil in our Spearcalyptus Body Soap, Cocoa Mint Scrub, Moisture Body Lotion, Mint Lip Service Lip Balm and Body Bath & Massage Elixir. Yep, as you can see, I like spearmint!

Thanks for stopping by y'all and have a great day!

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Monday, February 9, 2009

The Cooling of Menthol

Hey Y'all!!

I hope this post finds you doing well. Over the weekend, I decided to make some time for me. I have truly neglected pampering myself while working on a to do list.

Saturday night, my dogs were barking. No, we don't have dogs, I am talking about my feet. When I was a kid, my Dad would come after a long day at work and say his dogs were barking. Well Dad, my dogs are barking too!
A favorite ingredient of mine is menthol, clear and colorless crystals acquired from steam distilled peppermint oil. Menthol can be found in lip balms, chest rubs, sunburn relief and mouthwash, to name a few. It is refreshing, cooling and possesses a strong peppermint aroma.

You will find menthol in our Peppermint Tree Foot Balm and Back Acre's Rub. Tired and sore muscles or achy feet don't stand a chance with this fabulous ingredient. After applying Peppermint Tree Foot Balm, my feet felt cool, relaxed, energized and ready to take on another day! Our sampler packages include a travel size Peppermint Tree Foot Balm if you would like to take a test drive.

Thanks for stopping by y'all and have a great day!

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Friday, February 6, 2009

It's FRIDAY!!!

Hey Y'all!!

I hope this post finds you having a fabulous Friday! When I posted my love story yesterday, I did not have my registration number so voting was a challenge. Here is the information you need to place your vote for my story, if you feel it is deserving. We have been given registration #00014

According to the rules, there are 3 ways to vote and you can cast one vote at each location, once per day.

- Go to Trees Instead, scroll down to the bottom of the page and enter our registration number, #00014 and answer the question, (answer is Shasta-Trinity National Forest). I decided to supply is since it was somewhat difficult to locate.

- Follow @TreesInstead on Twitter and send them a direct message (dm) with our registration #00014 to cast your vote.

- Join their group on Facebook and write on their wall you are voting for #00014

For those that haven't read my story, A Love Story or What?, here it is again for your reading enjoyment.

Thanks for stopping by y'all and for your vote!! Have a fabulous weekend!!

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Thursday, February 5, 2009

A Love Story or What?

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you doing well. It is down right cold in my neck of the woods and I really believe it should be illegal for the South to get this cold!

As you know, I am on Twitter, where I have met fabulous individuals from all walks of life. I treasure the friendships I've made. A particular tweet from @TreesInstead prompted me to write this post.

On the Trees Instead site, they are having a Valentines Day Love Story Giveaway. The story that receives the most votes will get $250 AMEX gift card and an acre of trees to dedicate for your loved one in any US State, Canada, The Amazon or Israel. So, without further ado, here's my love story. So, after you read my story and feel it deserves a vote, then go on over to Trees Instead and cast away.

I met my husband, Prevo, on June 12, 1994. It just so happened that O.J. Simpson was in the midst of a hot police chase. Any who, I met Prevo at a club in Columbia, SC. We hit it off and I did something I've never done. I gave him my phone number. We danced into the very wee hours of the morning and I just knew that I'd hear from him in a day or two. Wrong!

A week later, I contacted a friend of mine, who contacted a friend of hers, who happened to work for law enforcement. Yes, I know what you are thinking, "she stalked him". Well......yes and no. I wasn't your average, daily variety stalker. I wasn't going to cause him bodily harm if he turned me away, I just wanted an explanation of why he was essentially blowing me off. That old "woman scorned" thought was churning in my head.

To sum things up, I turned up at his parents house because I was given their address. Little did I know that his father's name is Prevo as well. Can you picture Prevo's face when he pulled in their yard and saw me sitting under the pecan tree, drinking a beer with his parents? Oh yeah buddy, you aren't seeing things. It's the crazy, blond chick from a week ago. All I can say is "deer in the headlights".

Fast forwarding to the year 1996, we decided it was time to get married. We decided nothing formal but we didn't set a date. December 11th rolled around and I was sitting in the kitchen getting the 15th of the month bills together, when Prevo walks in. He had just told his boss where to shove it and then casually walked into the kitchen. I looked up at him and in a matter of seconds from just walking by me, he was naked, standing next to the fridge, shot-gunning his second beer. What did I say? Yep, you read me right!

I asked him what was going on and his reply was, "You wanna get married, or what"? And my reply was, "I guess so". So, Prevo got dressed and I had 10 minutes to put up the bills and off to town we went. We were married by the Magistrate and his secretary was our witness. There wasn't a dress, rings or friends to stand up for us. Yeah, I know. It wasn't very romantic but it makes for a funny story and I wouldn't change a thing.

Prevo wrote a song about how we got hitched. It's called, what else? "You Wanna Get Married, Or What"? And you can listen to it on Prevo's myspace, it's song number 5.

In August, 2005, Prevo's guard unit was deployed to Iraq for a 15 month tour of duty. The 122nd EN CO CSE was responsible for route clearance, or known as clearing IED's (Improvised Explosive Devices). We both knew the unit would be in harms way on a daily basis but I had confidence in Prevo's ability as a soldier to lead and perform the tasks at hand. HOOAH!!

It was the longest 15 months of my life and I thank the good Lord for the internet! We kept up with each other via instant messaging and emails. When it was night here, it was the next day there. He'd send me pictures of his life in Iraq and I would update him on the happenings in our home town.

This year will mark 15 years together and 13 years of marriage. Although my story is not all lovey dovey and full of "Awww", it is a love story nonetheless. I couldn't imagine my life without Prevo. We enjoy each others company so much that we would rather do things together than apart. The distance we experienced while Prevo was in Iraq just solidified in us the desire to spend as much time together because you are never guaranteed tomorrow.

Prevo and I love the outdoors, enjoy riding 4-wheelers, the Redneck Roller Coaster (a post for another day), playing corn hole with friends, getting away together or just chilling at home. We built a house together and most of it we completed ourselves and survived! I've always been told that if your marriage survives building a house then all is good!

So, there ya have it. Just a little about me and my crazy, wonderful life that I have built with my fabulous husband, Prevo. I know we may sound like a bunch of hicks from the back woods of South Carolina to some, but we are actually quite a bit of fun and full of life.

There isn't a second that goes by that I am not thankful for Prevo. I would move mountains to do any and everything for him. Over the years, we have weathered many good and bad situations. All have made us a stronger couple and I see myself growing very old with the love of my life!

Thanks for stopping by y'all and I hope you have a great day! And remember, "Life is short, so eat dessert first"!! Woot!!

Cactus & Ivy

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Tuesday is a Tummy Tickler

Hey Y'all!!

I hope this post finds you doing well. Having website issues on Monday left me with little room to come up with something brilliant but I just couldn't wrap my mind around anything other than fixing my website issues.

Then I thought, hey, why not make Tuesday a tummy tickler day. So, I decided to share the ads from the Super Bowl that tickled my tummy. Now, I know you probably saw them all but laughter is good for the soul, so here goes.

Miller High Life - They get my vote for best 1 second ad!! This guy is a hoot!!

Pedigree - I can totally see myself having all of these animals. In 40 more years, I'd be just like Mrs. Lawrence and the facial expressions of the Grandmother and Grandson in the back seat of the car are priceless. Well done Pedigree!!

E*Trade - Many have said that talking babies creep them out and I say "what a hoot"!! This kid cracks me up and I'm sure his parents are laughing all the way to the bank! You ROCK E*Trade!!

Monster and CareerBuilder - And, finally, these ads sum up why I left a micro-managed, stressful, 9 to 5 job 9 years ago. Been there. Done that. And, I've got the T-Shirt to prove it!

Well, that's all for today. I hope you enjoyed Tummy Tickler Tuesday. And, of course, you know that tomorrow is Wordless Wednesday, so I promise to have some meaningful content for you to read on Thursday.

Thanks for stopping by y'all and I hope you have a fabulous day!!

Lisa M. Rodgers
Creator Extraordinaire
Cacuts & Ivy

Monday, February 2, 2009

Cactus & Ivy New Product Pictures

Hey Y'all!!

Woo hoo!!! I hope this post finds you doing well. What a slacker I am!! I haven't posted in over a week and I think I am in withdrawals!! Please forgive me.

As you know, I asked for feedback from the Design a Valentine's Day line contest and feedback I received. One of the comments I saw mentioned numerous times was in reference to the pictures on the Cactus & Ivy site.

Prevo, (love him bunches), has been working on taking new pictures for me since investing in a handy, dandy photo box. It lights up like a "Close Encounters of the Third Kind", (I love that movie by the way)! It truly beckons me to place something, anything under the light. I'm thinking that the cats aren't safe kitty kitty. I just want to see how everything looks under the beautiful glow and to see if I have an ounce or two of photography skills in my genes.

Now I need your help. I took the pictures you see here and I'd love to get your feedback. Keep in mind that I am an amateur. When you own a business, you do whatever it takes to keep the costs down. I like the fact that I don't have to pack products up to send to a photographer and then wait for the outcome. As long as I can remember, I've always been an impatient person, at least when it comes to things like this.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope y'all have a wonderful day!! Oh, and don't worry, I can take it!! Give me the "no holds barred" feedback that I appreciate so much!!

Lisa M. Rodgers
Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy