Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Hunger | A Gift and You = Hope

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you doing well. I am joining thousands of other bloggers today in an effort to help put an end to world hunger. This movement, as stated on the Bloggers Unite site, "BlogCatalog members and Heifer International are partnering to call for the end of world hunger and start of hope on April 29."

Do you know what it is like to be hungry? I don't mean you ate breakfast and lunch and now you are hungry for supper. I mean, have you every wondered when or if your next meal would come? As I have stated in the past, Prevo and I give to the Harvest Hope Food Bank several times throughout the year. Everyone deserves the basic necessities in life and should never know what it's like to be hungry.

According to United Nations World Food Programme - "There are 963 million undernourished people in the world today. That means one in nearly seven people do not get enough food to be healthy and lead an active life. Hunger and malnutrition are in fact the number one risk to the health worldwide — greater than AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis combined."

Instead of me defining what I think hungry means, here are the facts from United Nations World Food Programme, which you can read more.

What is hunger?

The sensation of hunger, a lack of food in your stomach, is universal. But there are different manifestations of hunger which are each measured in different ways:

  • Under-nourishment is used to describe the status of people whose food intake does not include enough calories (energy) to meet minimum physiological needs for an active life. At present, there are around 923 million undernourished people worldwide, 907 million of them in developing countries.

  • Malnutrition means 'badly nourished', but is more than a measure of what we eat or fail to eat. Malnutrition is characterised by inadequate intake of protein, energy and micronutrients and by frequent infections and diseases. Starved of the right nutrition, people will die from common infections like measles or diarrhoea. Malnutrition is measured not by how much food is eaten but by physical measurements of the body - weight or height - and age. Wasting is an indicator of acute malnutrition that reflects a recent and severe process that has led to substantial weight loss. This is usually the result of starvation and/or disease.
    (Source: World Food Programme)
At Heifer International, you can donate in a variety of ways. Choose a gift from their catalog. It helps families around the world receive training and animal gifts that help them build a better life and future, to be self reliant. Other ways of donating are a monetary gift, fund an event, gift registry or give where it is needed the most. Please visit Heifer International to read more about this wonderful organization. For Ideas and Tips on how you can host an event or donate to this worthwhile cause, Heifer International can help you there too. Click here for more information.

I realize we are in tough economic times and whatever you can do, will help change the life of another human being today. You can make a difference. Your generosity will mean the world to someone who so desperately needs it. Thanks for stopping by y'all and I hope you have a blessed day!

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Shea Butter | All Over Moisture

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you doing well. The weekend was gorgeous, the sun was shinning, surrounded by great friends and played 2 days of volleyball! And, yes, I am sore......again!

Now that warmer weather is upon us, my skin needs extra attention to keep it soft and moisturized. Pure & Natural Shea Butter is one of my favorites in the Cactus & Ivy assortment of goodies. I apply it to my skin every morning after showering and every night before bed.

Our Unrefined, Fair Trade Shea Butter comes from the seeds of wild shea trees scattered throughout the fields and forests of the wooded savanna in central and northern Togo. Shea Butter contains vitamins, minerals, proteins, fatty acids and is a wonderful moisturizer. Unrefined shea butter is in its purest form and retains all of its benefits, including the nutty aroma.

Shea Butter is great for sensitive skin, skin disorders and ailments, such as wrinkles, blemishes, scars, stretch marks, eczema, dermatitis and psoriasis. It enables your skin to absorb moisture from the air, and as a result, it becomes softer and stays moisturized longer and restores the skins natural elasticity. A little bit goes a very long way and I absolutely love shea butter!

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

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Friday, April 24, 2009

CocoLime & Mom Day Discount!

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you doing well. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous in South Carolina and it is inspiring me to create more and more natural bath and body products.

It's here! CocoLime Body Soap is smooth, creamy and has a rich lather, enriched with pure coconut milk and freshly grated lime peel. Shea Butter, chock full of minerals, vitamins, fatty acids and proteins, enables your skin to draw moisture from the air while macadamia nut, a penetrating and hydrating oil leaves your skin nourished, soft and moisturized. Top it off with a light, cool and refreshing aroma of key lime oil. So, there ya have it, another fabulous product from Cactus & Ivy (if I do say so myself)!

Mother's Day update: Unfortunately, our label printer is on the fritz and I must send it off to be repaired the first full week in May and will be unable to process orders that week. For those wanting to purchase Cactus & Ivy products for Mother's Day, and to make up for any inconvenience, I am offering a 20% discount on all orders placed by April 30th. Orders over $50 will also receive a free Soy Milk Lip Balm. Use promo code MOMDAY09.

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

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Cactus & Ivy In The News....Woo-hoo!!

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you having a fabulous Tuesday! A few weeks ago, I had an interview with the Index Journal from Greenwood, SC. A journalist by the name of St. Claire, (don't you just love that name?) contacted me after reading the article in Southern Living magazine.

St. Claire paid a visit to my shop a few weeks ago and spent several hours asking me about Cactus & Ivy and how it all came about. I wanted to have a link to post here today, however, I could not get it in advance. The article runs today so hopefully it will be available online. If not, I will make sure to scan it and post it here on The Southern Accent!

My very first interview with a TV station was quite nerve racking and intimidating. Then I took a breath and made the best of it. WLTX journalist Michael Banning made it feel like a walk in the park! More good TV news is WACH Fox 57 out of Columbia, SC is interviewing me tomorrow morning. I am definitely soaking up my 15 minutes many times over! The story on WACH Fox 57 will run sometime in May during Sweeps Week! I will keep ya posted!

In the coming days, I will be finally launching the new batch of pure goodness I've been creating. Just hold your horses, if I can wait then so can you!

Thanks for stopping by y'all, have a fantastic day and ponder this.........."Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there." ~ Will Rogers

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Friday, April 17, 2009

Cucumber Peel Extract

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you doing well. Just a friendly reminder that the Southern Living 10% discount ends on April 30, 2009. Use promo code SL2009 at checkout.

Cucumber peel extract is an ingredient I am incorporating into new product creations. Did you know that cucumbers are high in minerals, enzymes and vitamins that are vital for cell growth and repair? Cucumber peel extract offers a natural source of antioxidant which helps slow or prevent the effects of free radicals, acts as a natural sunscreen and leaves skin feeling smooth, tightened, cool and refreshed. More coming soon on the final products using this fabulous ingredient!

I want to share a favorite warm weather dish before I go. Cut up 3 cucumbers, 2 large tomatoes, 1 sweet vidalia onion then coat and toss with Italian dressing. Chill for a few hours before eating. So yummo!

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

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Thursday, April 16, 2009

CocoLime and a Birthday!

Hey Y'all!

I hope this email finds you doing well. First things first! Today is the birthday of the CEO of SystemBath, Shelley. Happy Birthday you demanding heifer! Relax.....she's used to me calling her that. On a serious note, Shelley is a talented, witty and fabulous Guinea Chick and I am grateful for her friendship!

You may remember me posting pictures of two fabulous gals I met on Twitter, and with the aid of another crafty Indie, photo shopped my hair onto their heads. Here is Shelley's picture as me and then the real Shelley!

Now, I thought I'd share with you some of the natural bath and body products I am working on and hopefully launching in the coming weeks. I've created a new soap that contains coconut milk and fresh lime peel. The Harry Nilsson song, 'Put the lime in the Coconut' was dancing through my head the whole time I was formulating. CocoLime Body Soap will be available in a few days.

Also in the works are these fabulous products that I have had a ball creating: Coconut Hair Mask, Creme De Mint Milk Bath, Avocado Hair Butter, Milk Bath Teas and Face-It Toners in Jasmine, Honeysuckle, Violet and Cucumber. Oooooo......Mufasa.....Say it Again! Woot!

There ya have it. Just a little bit more to wet your whistle and keep me from being so antsy. I had to share!! Thanks again for stopping by and I hope you have a fabulous day! Happy Birthday again Shelley!!

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Avocado - Not Just For Guacamole

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you doing well and you had a fabulous Easter weekend! We had a fun filled weekend of volleyball and I am still looking for the driver of the Mack truck that mowed me over. I have finally come to the realization I am no longer a spring chicken. Not really sure if it was the split dive or the hard landing on my rear that gave me the epiphany but I'm a believer now!

Avocado oil is a fabulous ingredient pressed from the pulp surrounding the seed and has been used in skin treatments for centuries due to its therapeutic properties rich in vitamins A, B1, B2, B5 (Pantothenic Acid - which has an effect on healing wounds), vitamins D and E, protein, minerals, lecithin and fatty acids.

Avocado oil has moisturizing, healing and regenerating properties and it is a penetrating nutrient for dry skin. It is great for soothing sensitive skin, treating minor skin irritations, aids in keeping skin smooth and moist and is a preferred oil for products used by suffers of eczema and psoriasis.

You can find avocado oil in our Cocoa Mint Scrub and the new products coming soon, which will include face, body and hair care. Also, let's not forget that avocados make a mean batch of guacamole and are fabulous in a California Sushi Roll!

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

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Not Forgotten

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you doing well. Today's post is not about bath and body products, ingredients or one of my many ramblings. Today I am honoring the life, sacrifice and service of Pfc Chance Phelps.

HBO released the movie "Taking Chance" on February 21, 2009 and I watched it this past Tuesday afternoon. The movie is based on the real life experiences of Lt. Col. Michael Strobl, who volunteered for military escort duty to accompany the body of Pfc Chance Phelps, a 19 year old Marine, back home to Dubois, Wyoming.

"Taking Chance" is a heart wrenching, tear flowing, true account of how a soldier is honored, respected and prepared for their final journey home. The Mortuary Team in Dover, Delaware, as well as all the civilian and military personnel along the way, are to be commended for the grace, honor and respect they give to the fallen.

I know this post is a little out of my norm, however, I have a strong military background. I felt a tugging obligation today to write this post. You see, it was 5 years ago today that Pfc Chance Phelps was killed in action. If you would like to read more about Pfc Chance Phelps and The Chance Phelps Foundation, visit Run4Chance.

Thank you to the parents of Pfc Chance Phelps for allowing us a glimpse into what has virtually been the unknown to the civilian world. Although many will disagree with me, I am grateful that the ban has been lifted at Dover Air Force Base for the media to be present when fallen soldiers arrive on American soil.

The decision to allow the media access is only granted if given permission by the next of kin. Even though a soldier is not alone when they arrive at Dover Air Force Base, in my opinion, granting the media access allows us to pay our respects by honoring the fallen in their sacrifice and service to the United States of America.

Thanks for stopping by y'all and taking the time to read about Pfc Chance Phelps. His story touched my heart and I wanted to share it with you.

"To those who died defending our great country, Rest In Peace, for you will not be forgotten".

Cactus & Ivy

Friday, April 3, 2009

Nuts Over Coconut

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you having a fabulous Friday and preparing for a relaxing weekend! I am sharing just a little about what to expect in the next release of products.

Coconut is my latest obsession and it will be the predominant ingredient in all the products I am presently working on. There are many benefits of Coconut in skincare:
  • readily absorbed by the skin
  • highly moisturizing
  • promotes a healthy scalp and hair
  • aids in re-growth of damaged hair
  • great for eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis and other skin problems
  • perfect for all skin types
  • will not clog pores; is light and non-greasy
  • antioxidant properties; helps promote healthy skin
  • contains antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties
  • helps to prevent flaky, dry skin
So, there it is in black and white. I hope to have pictures of the new products in a week or so. Knowing how impatient I am, it will be more like a week!

Thanks for stopping by y'all and have a fantastic day and fun filled weekend! I leave you with this - "The two basic items necessary to sustain life are sunshine and coconut milk" ~ Dustin Hoffman

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy