Musings: National Association of Professional Women SCAM

This is an off topic post, but as I share my love of bubbles with you, I would feel remiss not to share other lessons I have learned.  As a business professional during my day job as well as having experience as a small business owner, I understand many of the common pitfalls that come with trying to grow a successful business.  I write my blogs mostly about products from small business owners, not only to help you as the consumer discover some hidden gems created by artisans who don't have major marketing budgets, but to also assist those small businesses reach a broader audience if possible.

So I write this quick blog to advice some small business owners not to fall victim to this and other predatory scams.  

Today at work, I received a letter from the National Association of Professional Women. 
The letter stated:
 Dear Ayieta,
It is my pleasure to inform you that your 2015 membership has been approved in the National Association of Professional Women.  You were considered for this honor because of your outstanding leadership, commitment within your profession and employment at ****.
NAPW highlights and profiles the country's most accomplished professional women in more than 200 industries and professions.  We provide an exclusive and powerful networking forum where our members can communicate and connect.
Inclusion in NAPW is a privilege shared by thousands of professional women throughout America each year.
 The letter goes on to insist that membership is limited and I must return my application in 5 business day or go online to reserve my membership.

At first I was flattered. My hard work in my chosen field has been recognized.  But then I began to think, how?  How did they approve a membership for which I did not apply?  I don't remember speaking to anyone about this association and I have only worked with my current employer for about nine months.  Why would I be recognized for my work here versus with my previous employer for whom I worked for five years and as the general manager, I networked and did much more outreach than I do now as an HR Director. 

Ego aside, something just didn't feel right.  I googled the NAPW and came across a "D" rating from the BBB as well as several blog posts and articles including this one.  Confirming my suspicion, that this indeed was just a way to usurp funds from me.

When deciding to join a professional organization, promotion or networking opportunity, before paying for anything, be sure to do your homework, ask questions and in the end, if you don't feel good about it in your gut, don't be afraid to say no.  I truly suggest you read this blog post.  It has some very good information about the tactics of such "associations".

Don't get suckered: National Association of Professional Women

Review: 8pm Beauty

8pm Beauty

With a name like "Give Peach a Chance", how can a soap go wrong?  This little diddy does not disappoint.  I received this quaintly named soap from 8pm Beauty along with a few other complimentary items in exchange for my honest opinion on them.
Give Peach a Chance is a cold process soap that has a wonderfully peach aroma.  The key ingredient is sangria, which adds a bit of a tart fruitiness to the fragrance.  The wine component of sangria is full of antioxidants that helps with keeping skin soft and supple.  
I also received another alcohol infused soap, "B is for Beer!".  Made with "Man of Law" Beer from the Southern Pines Brewing Company, this soap also contains goat milk.  The ingredients list does not list any type of fragrancing ingredients, so I attribute the light aroma to it being unscented.  It smells faintly like the give peach a chance soap.  At first I thought that was because they were in the same shipping package, but after a few weeks, the beer soap maintained an almost fruity aroma.

Both of these soaps are 5 oz bars and are priced at $6.00.  They lathered well and are firm.  These are good, hardy soaps at a good price.  To me, there was no exceptional "WOW" factor, but overall, especially at this price point, this soap is a great value and a must try!
Another item I received was a pina colada lip balm.  Now, I am not a coconut fan, but I did not find this lip balm to be offensive at all.  It has a subtle hint of coconut, but not over powering and gave me great coverage without over shininess.  There are several flavors available from 8pm beauty at $3.00 each.
I really enjoyed trying items from this small entrepreneur and I look forward to seeing her business grow and prosper.  If you're looking to try some thing new and affordable, check them out!

Handmade Soap Of The Month Club - 12 Month Subscription

More 8pm Beauty?  Check them out:
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Review: Planned Perfectly


I felt like "Pookie" when I received my complimentary items from Planned Perfectly.  Given to me in exchange for my honest opinion of the items (like how I got the mandatory FTC statement for disclosure of the receipt of free products in exchange for a review? LOL). Back to what I was saying... Don't front, you know who I mean - scratching my neck while doing a dance waiting on my next hit, lol!  Nicole, the owner of this bath and body company, lives in Jessup, Maryland - which is actually the same city in which I work.  She works in Laurel, Maryland, the city in which I live!  With her being in close proximity, Nicole offered to meet me in Laurel to hand deliver the samples to me.  Schedules clashed for a few days, but finally she was able to make the drop!

The package smelled amazing!  I really love the soap packaging!  It's like a little tray card that cradles the soap.  The little flower on the front was just cute as a dickens.    On the back, a sticker displayed the company logo, name of the soap and ingredients.  This 5 oz bar (nice size) sells for $6.00 on her website (nice price!).

I received the Pink Grapefruit Sorbet bar along with a sample size (2 oz, I believe) of the Green Tea Citrus Sugar Scrub (available on their website in 4 oz ($7.50) and 8 oz ($14.00) sizes).  Even though the Sugar Scrub was a sample size, I really appreciated the clear, easy to read label along with clear, easy to read, ingredients list on the bottom.  

The soap was really enjoyable.  It lathered nicely and is scented naturally with grapefruit and litsea essentials oils giving it a bright and uplifting fragrance.  Added sugar and paprika are to give light exfoliation during use.  I could barely feel it, which is great considering my sensitive skin does not like anything to abrasive.  Goat milk powder is also included on the label. Though this bar was delightful to use, I have found that I enjoy soaps that include a little clay helps give a bar more "glide".  All in all, I will continue to use this and would recommend it to those looking for a good soap at a good price.

As stated in my review "Three Scrubs in a Tub" I prefer creamy scrubs, but I was excited to try the green tea scrub.  The fragrance is a bit disappointing.  I expected to have a citrusy, green tea scent but the smell is almost medicinal.  Checking the ingredients, it includes green tea, but the only fragrancing agent is bergamot essential oil, which can be a bit sharp when not mixed with another fragrance or essential oil.  The scrub was nicely exfoliating, though a bit drier than I would like.  

Overall, I truly enjoyed my little bag of goodies from Planned Perfectly.  The price, especially for the soap is quite nice and their natural product line has some great options for those of us who want to treat themselves to wholesome body treats without breaking the bank.

Would you like to know more about Planned Perfectly, LLC?  Check them out on:

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Peace, Love & Lots of Bubbles, LoveBuds!


Review: Three Scrubs in the tub



I know I tend to focus mainly on soap in my reviews, but I cannot underestimate the importance of good exfoliation.  Without occasional exfoliation, dead skin cells, that cannot absorb moisture or nutrients, meaning you can't change their condition, would remain on the top layer of your skin.  Exfoliating exposes young, healthy skin that can benefit from the application of all of your valuable skin care treats.

Everyone's skin is different, so how often you exfoliate depends on your particular skin.  Mine is easily irritated by abrasives so I usually only exfoliate once a week or so.  Don't over do it.  You don't want to hurt when you exfolitate - you should only "tingle" :)
 Just happened to have these three scrubs sitting on the edge of my tub and it gave me inspiration to tell you a little more about them!  I will say that I prefer a scrub that is emulsified or creamed.  These scrubs have the oil portion thickened or whipped in a way that the oils do not separate readily from the sugar/salt.  When using these, I don't feel like I have to constantly mix them to keep all of the ingredients together or that I am wasting the oil that pools away from the sugar and or salt. Foaming Sugar Scrub by Bathhouse Soapery & Caldarium 

This sugar scrub had an amazing citrus scent.  I loved the sunny aroma of it. This is a foaming scrub, so it has some "soap" in the mix to make it lather up.  I was hoping for more of a bubbly lather with this and it really just foamed up a bit.  However the sugar scrub was a great consistency and felt great when applied and mixed with a small amount of water.  It rinsed away clean and left me smelling fresh and fruity! It is available in four sizes running from 2 ounces to 16 ounces with pricing from $4.50 to $32.00.! 
MANGO HIBISCUS Exfoliating Salt Scrub by Black Tie Market & Apothecary 

I'm not sure if this is still available from Black Tie & Market and what a shame if it isn't. 
This salt scrub is a powerhouse of awesome deliciousness!  It is creamy and rich and glides on great. The fragrance is tropical experience no one should miss.  I truly enjoyed using this.  I purchased a 5 oz jar for $9.50 from their Etsy store last March and have used it only a couple of times because it looks like I won't be able to purchase more. <sad face> ME ALL OVER by Butterflies Soaps   

I found this little gem on Etsy, when I was looking for a soap of this particular fragrance.  I thought about getting some when remembering one of the many times in my young teens when my friends and I would venture to the local mall and purchase body oils from the vendor at the kiosk.  We would giggle at some of the names we found: "Sex on the beach", "Eat Me Raw",  and one of my favorites "Lick Me All Over".  Searching Etsy for the fragrance by name, I came across this small boutique and not only did they have the soap, but accompanying body butter and sugar scrub.
I really enjoyed this scrub.  It felt great, exfoliated well and was nicely scented with a fragrance very similar to the one I remember from my youth. It was $5.00 for 2 ounces and a 4 ounce version is also available.

Do you exfoliate?  How often and what is your favorite product to use?

Peace, Love & Lots of Bubbles!


Review: Wyldewood Soap Works

I recently had the pleasure of experiencing a few handmade soaps available from Wyldewood Soap Works.  Below is a my YouTube review of these products, which were sent to me compliments of Wyldewood Soap Works in exchange for my honest review and opinions regarding their products.

Mentioned at the end of the video are the many samples sent with my items for review.  In more detail, here are the samples I received:
  •  Honeysuckle - smells just like the sweet, sugary summer blooms for which it is named
  • Peach Lime Verbana - very fresh, clean fragrance.  Almost reminds me of Irish Spring soap.
  • Mint Mango Tea - A MUST SMELL!! This is minty and fruity and delightful!
  • Kudzu - Another fresh fragrance.  Nice and herbal
  • BLACK RASPBERRY VANILLA - YES, I meant to write that in all caps.  I do not know why, but for the life of me, I have always stayed away from this fragrance.  One of the biggest mistakes I have ever made!  This fragrance is amazing and now I see why everyone is so crazy about it.  I have a new found love for black raspberry vanilla and it is all thanks to WYLDEWOOD SOAP WORKS!!!!
For more Wyldewood Soap Works, check them out on:

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Until next time, Lovebuds ~
Peace, Love & lots of bubbles