Friday, May 29, 2009

My Love of Eucalyptus

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you having a fantabulous Friday!! I have an absolute love of Eucalyptus for the beauty of the tree bark, the odd shaped leaves and its fresh, clean and vibrant aroma. I was devastated when one of our trees died last year.

Eucalyptus Globulus - Indigenous to Australia and Tasmania, today it is cultivated in some subtropical regions of America, Asia, Africa and southern Europe. Eucalyptus oil is traded in three different categories: perfumery, industrial and medicinal. To harvest eucalyptus, trees are cut down and then dried in the shade. The oil is obtained by steam distillation and then followed by rectification (purify or refine) of fresh branch tops and leaves.

Eucalyptus oil is highly anti-microbial and is fabulous to use during the winter months. It stimulates circulation and warms the body, increases concentration, and is helpful for relieving rheumatic aches and pains. To relieve congestion from cold and flu, use it in a steam sauna or shower. Eucalyptus oil is useful as an insect repellent and as a treatment for athletes foot and lice.
You can find eucalyptus oil in our Back Acres Rub, Spearcalyptus Body Soap and Body Bath & Massage Elixirs.

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

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Custom Blend & Private Label | Spa, Bath & Body Products

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you having a fabulous Thursday! Did you know that Cactus & Ivy offers custom blending and private label?

For our wholesale clients, we create custom blends based on botanicals, scents, and other raw materials indigenous to your area. We will also create from a particular theme, scent, botanical, etc, the choice is yours! Note: Cactus & Ivy no longer private labels its stock products.

The first step in custom blending is to complete the required paperwork to get the ball rolling. You will provide us the type of products you wish to be created and once that is completed, Cactus & Ivy then researches the various plants, trees, flowers, oils and scents indigenous to your area or your theme.

The next step is to choose a container and packaging options. If you want something other than our stock container and packaging options, additional fees will apply. We then provide a quote for the products created. Cactus & Ivy then creates samples for your review. We have minimum order requirements based on your needs and can create custom blended/private label products in runs as low as 24 products per SKU.

Next you submit your company logo in psd 300 dpi format. We will work with your logo to see the ease of manipulation on a label or tag template, based on the container options chosen. We no longer offer the option for you to print the labels on your own. Once your logo has been worked, samples are submitted for review and approval. Additional fees may apply.

Your custom blended products will never be marketed to another client, even though Cactus & Ivy maintains ownership. Should you wish to own the formulation, you may do so for a flat fee.

In addition to retail and professional products, we create items for In-Room Amenities, Bath Butler, Sales and Marketing, giveaways, etc. The possibilities are endless!

For our retail clients, Cactus & Ivy offers custom blending and private label options for Baby Showers, Wedding Favors, Birthday Favors, Bridal Showers, Engagement Showers, Anniversary Celebrations and more.

So, if you are in need of custom blended/private label cruelty free and vegan products for spa, bath and body then give Cactus & Ivy a shout. I would love to create something for you today!

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

Cactus & Ivy

Friday, May 15, 2009

Love Is In The Air

Hey Y'all!!

I hope this post finds you doing well. I am such a slacker for not posting all week and I do apologize.

This weekend, Prevo and I are in a wedding. Our friends, Mac & Brandy are getting hitched and in honor of their big day, I am offering a "Love Discount" of 20% of your entire order, good until midnight on Monday, May 18th. Use promo code MBC2009

Next week I promise to be better in the posting department. Until then, I hope your weekend is full of awesomeness! I'm pretty sure 'awesomeness' is not a word but I was told by a teacher friend of mine that since I used it in a sentence, it was a word! my teacher friends!!

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

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Friday, May 8, 2009

Green Thumb

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you having a fantabulous Friday!! I am looking forward to a sunny weekend free of rain, which was greatly appreciated all this week. It has made our garden jump out of the ground and I couldn't be happier!! Today is a little about what I do with my time when I am not creating fabulous spa, bath and body products. Brace yourself..........I have a green thumb!

Last year, our garden was about 1/3 the size of the one you see above. It was our first attempt at planting a garden in Saluda County red clay. In case you were wondering, it's like digging into slate rock. Our veggies last year were very successful so this year, we decided to add a wide variety of goodies to the mix.

Green beans are picture above and this is the first time I've ever tried to grow them. My mother was born and raised in the south and refuses to eat a canned green bean. Those bad boys better be fresh! I wish I had a $1 for every bean I snapped growing up. There was no escaping the sound of the stainless steel bowl clacking when Mom took it out of the cabinet. I knew what was next! Seems like we ate green beans with every meal. Hahaaa....just kidding Mom!

Next we have squash and I am so excited they popped out of the ground. There is nothing finer than steamed squash and onions, or fried squash dipped in ranch dressing. Yummo!!

Woo-hoo......we have radishes!! I just knew this would be a test of my gardening skills and here they are!! I can't wait to have fresh radishes on a salad or dipped in ranch dressing!!!

Above we have green bell peppers. We love them on salads, in stir fry, gumbo, kabobs or dipped in ranch dressing.

Onions are pictured above. They don't look like much but they will be fantastic in our morning omelet, stir fry and a wide variety of other meals we love cooking. Oh yeah, or dipped in ranch dressing.

Cucumbers, we have cucumbers!! Prevo is a cucumber freak and could eat them morning, noon and night. I love mixing them with tomatoes, onions and Italian dressing. This is a fabulous summer time dish! If you don't like tomatoes or onions then eat the cucumbers........yep, you guessed it, dipped in ranch dressing. Are you seeing a pattern here?

Heck yeah, we are corn farmers!! Well, not really but we do have three rows and as you can see, they are growing quite nicely. And, this is the sweet, white corn variety which I could eat straight off the stalk!! I am looking forward to creaming, grilling, steaming and frying fresh, sweet corn. I haven't tried ranch dressing with corn but there is a first time for everything!

Last year we had 3 tomato plants and had more tomatoes than we could eat. So, this year we have 3 plants again but this time, we will have a handle on what to do with all the tomatoes we hope to have. Since we put up a volleyball net in our back yard, we have gathered every Saturday and tomorrow is no exception. We have plenty of people to feed so the extra tomatoes will not go to waste! There is nothing better than a tomato sandwich and I just may have to drizzle a little ranch dressing instead of mayonnaise on the bread. Ooo..Ooo..Ooo.......I almost forgot about fried green tomatoes dipped in ranch. Oh my goodness, they are "smack your grannie" good!

Last but not least are carrots! I am so happy to see them peaking out of the ground. They were the last to show themselves. We are looking forward to a variety of recipes that call for carrots and yes, of course, dipping them in ranch dressing. Just so we are clear, there is nothing better than the ranch dressing you make yourself with the packets. Fresh garden vegetables and homemade ranch dressing.....there's nothing finer!!

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

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Goodbye Thud

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you doing well. It's a sad day around here because we've lost another faithful, four legged companion. My Dad told me their beloved Thud passed away Wednesday morning from a heart attack.

My parents picked up two cats from the animal shelter 15 years ago, desperately in need of a loving home. The furry little creatures had no clue what a fabulous home they would be going to. Plenty of trees to climb, leaves to wrestle and play in, butterflies and bugs to chase, food in their bellies and more scratches and hugs than they could ever imagine.

Once at their new home, it was time to pick names. Gracie seemed to fit the female right from the start but the male was a little harder to figure out. He had jumped on the back of the recliner to lounge a bit and when he jumped down, he made a "thud". So, my Dad decided Thud it was! Gracie took more of a liking to my Mom and in his younger years, Thud was definitely Daddy's.

Thud was very particular about who he sat with and allowed to scratch him under his chin or around his neck. Basically, he didn't want to be held or touched unless he initiated the pamper session. In his old age and after losing his eye sight, he mellowed out a great deal. As he became increasingly dependent on my parents, Thud was attached to my Mom's hip because of her familiarity, constant loving and milk with ice cubes.

Whenever my parents would go on vacation, they would leave Thud with me so he would not be lonely. Prevo and I fixed him a nice little pad in our spare bedroom with all the amenities. The year that Prevo was in Iraq, Thud was a companion of mine for a week. His first night in the house, he cried out for attention. I went into the room at 10pm to console him and ended up falling asleep on the floor. I woke at 6am to Thud touching me ever so lightly on my face.

Rest in peace dear, sweet Thud. You were definitely loved and are sorely missed! We shall see you again at the Rainbow Bridge.

Cactus & Ivy

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Reed Diffusers | Home Fragrance Option

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you doing well. Early this morning, we received 4" of rain and now the yard is a swamp! Ugh!!

Just a little post about an easy way to incorporate fragrance into your home 24/7 without needing to light a candle or spray from a bottle or can. Cactus & Ivy offers Reed Diffusers as our home fragrance option.

Our Reed Diffusers are packaged in a 8oz square glass bottle with a wooden cap and come with natural or brown reeds. The diffusers are filled with an enhanced diffuser oil, colored to match the aroma and scented with pure essential oils or fragrance oils. The aroma lasts for approximately 2-3 months and is safer than candles since there is nothing to light.

Insert the reeds into the scented oil and wait for the aroma to fill the room. I usually flip a few reeds once a week if needed to make the aroma stronger in the room. Since some essential oils are not strong enough to permeate the reeds and throw the scent well, we offer scents in fragrance oils.

This is a perfect gift for any occasion and just in time for Mother's Day. Use promo code MOMDAY09 by midnight on May 6th to receive 20% off your order.

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

Creator Extraordinaire
Cactus & Ivy

Friday, May 1, 2009

Mother's Day Discount Extended

Hey Y'all!

I hope this post finds you doing well. The overwhelming response to the 20% Mother's Day discount has prompted me to extend the deadline to midnight, May 6, 2009. Use promo code MOMDAY09.

Although my printer needs a major service call, I will hold off sending it to be repaired so I can fill orders for all the fabulous people who have honored me with their purchases. Thanks y'all for your business and continued support of Cactus & Ivy. Y'all totally ROCK!!

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you have a fabulous weekend!

Creator Extraordinare
Cactus & Ivy