8 Tips for Shopping a Hot Product Drop

Eight Tips for Shopping a Hot Product Drop 

Due in part to production and storage limitations, some small business tend to offer their products in "drops", also known as "launches" or "openings".  Meaning, on a certain date and time, their products become available all at once and then sold until gone.

The biggest issue for the consumer is that for those companies with product demand that is double or even quadruple their stock availability, products can sell out fast and if you drop the ball, you wind up missing out on the items you really want.

As a true addict of small boutique bath and body products, I have experienced the agony of just missing out on hard to get products from shops like Fortune Cookie Soap, which just had an awesome Christmas in July sale. Or Moona Lisa, which still seems to elude me. As I prepare myself for a couple of upcoming launches, I thought I'd share a few tips for handling a limited online product drop.

1. Do your research ~ I can't stress this enough!  Understand the parameters of the release.  Double check to see that you know the correct date and time. Is it in the same time zone as you?  If not, you need to adjust so that you are ready to shop at the corresponding time in your time zone.  Make sure you know how any discounts work.  Do you have to purchase specific products?  A certain quantity of products?  Or a certain dollar amount?  Are items excluded from the sale pricing?  Make sure you join their e-mail list and follow them on social media.  Hints, special deals and other nuggets of information may be offered via select media, but may not be repeated across all.

 2. Make a list, and by list I mean a budget ~ So of course you want to, if possible, make as detailed a list of the items you want to purchase and the quantities, then do the math.  Is this going to work with what you actually are willing and able to spend? Now, I am an addict, so this next tidbit may not be for you, but I set aside a little each pay period in a special fund, yes, I actually have a separate bank account with a separate debit card for my bath and body purchases, into which I direct deposit money from my paycheck.  Extreme, but it has helped me #managethebeast.  Yeah, I said it.  But that's just me, all I'm saying is set your boundaries ahead of time so you don't waste time calculating at check out.

3. Find a shopping buddy ~ When you can split your shopping list with a friend shopping at the same time, you have less items you need to grab and run with and therefore increase your chances of getting the items you want.  Conspire Coordinate your efforts with a shopping friend.  Together decide on who will purchase which items and each shopper then grabs enough of their specific items for both of you.  Budget will be key here, remember, you should include the charge to ship the items you purchased for your buddy to her if you don't live close enough to exchange them in person.

4. Test/check your systems and arrive early ~ Make sure you have the best internet connection possible.  Test web page loading times on different internet connections if necessary to find your best accessible connection.  If you can, shop from a desktop or laptop.  Sometimes websites are optimized for displaying properly on mobile devices. 
Be ready to start shopping the minute the site opens, so be settled and set up the next tip well in advance of the launch time. Starting a minute or so before the launch, refresh your browser every couple of seconds until the store opens to get a jump start.

5.  Use multiple tabs ~ If the online store will sell items that are already listed on the site, open a tab to each product's ordering page (see below).  This way you can immediately dump your items into your shopping cart simply refreshing and adding the item(s) to your cart on each tab.  Once you get them all in, just refresh your browser and all the items should be in your cart ready to check out.  PLEASE NOTE: This may not work if you use different browser windows, you need to use TABS and this will not work if the store shuts down and them moves products to different locations to facilitate special pricing.

6. Take advantage of deals ~ Grab a few doorbuster items, (items for sale at amazing prices to get customers to shop) as well as buying multiples to see savings.  Also, try to grab something that you know is popular.  If you have a couple of things you don't like by sniffing, many of these companies have dedicated Facebook groups where you can sell or swap items.  This is also a great place to find items that you may have missed.  There are also sell/swap groups on Facebook and on other forums where you can unload items you might not like once receiving.  (Selling in these groups is also a way to raise a little cash to use during a drop sale).
7. Copy/Paste or store info ~ Some browsers (I use Chrome) will save your credit card information as well as your billing name and address.  This can save valuable time when checking out.  If you prefer not to, or use an internet browser that doesn't have this function, type out your information in a word document or on a notepad document on your computer.  Then you can just copy and paste in at checkout time.  It's also good to store any discount code you need this way so you can copy and paste it as well.

8. Multiple check outs ~ Grab what you really want and check out quickly.  However, if there are some things you missed, or may decide could fit your budget, go back for seconds.  Some online stores allow people to hold items in their carts for several minutes without allowing it to be sold so that the customer has time to check out.  If this is the case and someone decides not to purchase something in their cart, the inventory will be release to be sold once they check out or in a few minutes.  Check back, some things may become available again.  Many sellers will combine your orders and refund the extra shipping, BUT NOT ALL, this is where your research comes in handy.

These tips can help, though I can't guarantee that you'll get everything you want.  There is just no way to know exactly what the stock levels are at the time of launch and how the online shopping cart works (sells items immediately, removing them from carts or allows carts to hold products for several minutes or until check out).  But, if you use some of these tips to prepare, you could see a difference in your ability to grab hot merchandise.  

Just a few upcoming product drops happening in the coming weeks:

 Have you done any of the things and had good results?  What other tips do you have for getting hard to get merchandise during a drop sale?

Until next time, Love Buds,

Peace, Love & Lots of Bubbles!



Uncle Jon's Soap Shop

Love Buds,

I recently traveled to the sweet little town of Berlin, which is located on the Eastern Shore of Maryland about 10 minutes outside of Ocean City.  I was there to visit Uncle Jon's Soap shop. 

Uncle Jon is a great guy and he makes soap, so that's a bonus in my book!  One of his soaps will be in the soap bundle prize for my social media fan giveaway.  If you haven't entered yet, do it now!

Until next time,

Peace, Love & Lots of Bubbles!


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Its My Birthday

It's My Birthday! 
Today is the best day... My birthday!  It's a day I take a little time out to reflect on what has happened in my life up to this point this year and to look toward where I want to be next year and how I need to get there.  I know this is something most people do at the beginning of the year, but to me, my birthday is the beginning of my year.

After over 40 times around the sun on this ever moving planet, I've done some great things and some not so great things.  Everything is a life lesson and I choose to learn from my mistakes.  Why am I saying all of this?  I don't know, getting a little introspective, I guess.

My loved ones go out of their way to make this day special for me and I truly appreciate it.  Not once on my birthday have I ever awaken without an immediate acknowledgement of my day.  In years previous, usually I was awaken by my mother and grandmother with a soulful renditions of "Happy Birthday" - even when across the miles that may have separated us.  More recently, I wake up to balloons and a cake - a mani/pedi and/or a hot stone massage and then of course dinner at my favorite restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory.  (Shrimp Scampi and Red Velvet Cheesecake, YAAAASSSSS!)

One ritual that I have come to enjoy all by myself is the restock of my bathroom soap rack.  I previously wrote a post about my soap dish.  In it, I detail the way that I store my soap.  As a lover of variety, I just can't use one bar of soap consecutively until it is finished.  My bathroom soap rack holds 40 or more bars of soap at any given moment.  To ensure room enough for those bars and to help preserve them, I cut most of my bars of soap in half, storing one half in a glassine bag in a plastic storage bin outside of the bathroom and the other half goes on the drying rack in my bathroom to be used.  However, after about six months of being in the often damp environment of my bathroom, the bars tend to deteriorate.  So twice a year or so, I go through and do an overhaul.  Most of the soap does not get thrown away, I transfer some viable bits to a soap saver sponge for use when I just can't make up my mind which soap to use.  

I completed this process yesterday, just in time for my birthday.  So I decided to share with you what my soap dish looks like now.  Of course, once I took the picture and started labeling it, I found a few more bars I wanted to add, so they are listed as "honorable mentions":  

What's on your soap dish?  I would love to see pictures, share it with me on Facebook and/or Instagram!  Oh, don't forget to enter the giveaway and check out my YouTube channel for my visit to Uncle Jon's Soap Shop!

Talk to you soon!

Peace, Love & Lots of Bubbly Birthdays!


Review: Sistah Soaps and Such

Sistah Soaps & Such is a small bath and body boutique offering cold process soap in a variety of scents, colors, shapes and ingredient combinations.  They also offer various other aromatic, hair and body products.  I was excited when Monique, the owner, sent me a complimentary sample package in exchange for my thoughts about her products.
Let me get right to it, I LOVED these items!  I received, by my request, the "Fresh Sunshine" soap and Cantaloupe Lily sugar scrub.

The Soap:  The smell is so fresh.  It starts off with clean ozone like notes blended with sweet and tangy orange juice that is rounded out with a smidge of earthy, spicy coriander.  It is a really refreshing scent combination.  The soap is a good firm bar that lathered well.  I received a sample size, but Monique offers generous 6 to 8 ounce sized bars ranging from $6 to $7 each, which is a great price for the size of these bars.

The Scrub: This scrub came wrapped in insulated bubble wrap to help keep it from melting in the heat and it seems to work really well in conjunction with the double walled jar.  I am absolutely IN LOVE with this fragrance!  The mix of sweet cantaloupe and light floral notes from the lily have made this a new favorite of mine.  TO DIE FOR, I'm not kidding!  The scrub was creamy and exfoliating and I want to smell like it all the time!  
These are available on the website in 2, 4 and 8 ounce options for $6, $9 & $15 respectfully.

Sistah Soaps & Such has something for everyone.  One thing I've noticed is that the soaps feature different ingredient recipes including some vegan options and some without palm oil.  However, none of the bar sizes are featured in the descriptions.  That is something I would like to know, especially if I am giving it as a gift.  By the way, my products came beautifully wrapped so if you're sending these as a present for someone, the items presentation will be suitable for gift giving.

 I definitely suggest you give them a try and tell them I sent you!

That's it for now,

Peace, Love & Lots of Bubbles!

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Review: Mandelin Naturals


 Many of us are looking to simplify our lives.  To pursue happiness and fulfillment without harming ourselves or the environment is a goal many now aspire to achieve.  The first steps along this journey may be laborious, but soon, you look again and you're miles away from where you began.  

Enter Mandelin Naturals.  This small soap boutique creates handmade natural soaps with nothing artificial.  Pure, Natural Soap.  I received a complimentary package of soaps to sample from Mandy, the owner, so that I could share my honest review.

 Mandy was like many, very quickly going from a careless existence to one of doing small things to make a big impact on her lifestyle and environmental impact.  As a new wife and mother, in her quest to use more natural products, Mandy began making soap.  Very soon, like other soap makers, she was sharing it with family and friends and was inspired to share it now with the world.

From Mandy, I received a bar of Peppermint Sunrise, Outstanding Orange Castile, and Charming Charcoal Eucalyptus Soap.  Definitely loving the names!

The Peppermint Sunrise soap was uplifting to use.  It lathered really nicely and cleaned very well.  Evident during my shower was the tingly, peppermint essential oil that opened my sinuses and was cooling and refreshing to my skin.  It was a great soap to for a dreary morning.  The labeling says that it also features lemon essential oil, but the citrus notes were very faint.

I decided to try the Cleansing Charcoal Eucalyptus soap on my face.  It was amazing!  As with the Peppermint Sunrise soap, it lathered well and left my face feeling clean and soft.  The eucalyptus essential oil help clean out my pores, leaving my skin tingling!

I haven't used an all olive oil castile soap before.  Minimally, all of the castile soaps I have used included some coconut oil to help with lather and cleansing properties, but in reality, those were not true castile soap.  True castile soap uses only olive oil, lye and water. 

Mandelin Natural's Outstanding Orange Castile soap was definitely a different experience for me.  There was very little lather.  Really, it was more of a foam and the bar had an overly slick feel.  The orange fragrance was not evident at all and I just didn't get the same feeling of being clean after using this.  100% castile soap is definitely an acquired taste and for some with extremely sensitive skin, this is the best and only way to bathe.

Mandelin Naturals' soap bars come in small (1.5 to 2 oz) and large (3.5 to 5 oz) bars for around $3.50 to $6.50, this runs just above average in my eyes for handmade soap.  They also offer an assortment of bath and body products for women, men and babies.  

Have you used castile soap?  Tell me how you liked it!  I really love using the minty soaps, how about you?

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Review: Purplee Products

Handmade Organic soap {FOUR(4) x  FULL bars} Fall/Winter, 5.0 oz each, gift,mom,mother, dad,father,baby,Wedding,bridal,favor,him,her,men

Purple is my favorite color, so I was elated to receive a package with complimentary Purplee Naturals items in exchange for my honest review.

Keeping with my favorite color, I received a 2.5 oz slice of purple sunset cold processed soap and a 2 oz spritzer of orange blossom face mist toner. (Neroli, also referred to as "orange blossom", is another favorite fragrance note for me and orange is most likely my second favorite color ;)

Natural Handmade soap {PURPLE SUNSET}~ spring w/maracuja+Rice Bran, gift for mom, mother, dad, father, baby, her, him, bridal, shower, favor
courtesy Purplee Naturals on Etsy
The Purple sunset soap smells heavenly!  The fragrance is reminiscent of a favorite scent blend of mine that smells like a purplely cocktail ~ an intoxicating blend of "sparkling strawberries, raspberries, citrus greenery, and soft florals."  I really enjoyed using this bar and the scent was perfect for layering with my handmade body cream with the similar fragrance.  

The soap had a lovely glide to it, a property I normally attribute to bars that contain silk and or clay. However this bar's ingredients list does not include either of these. What it does include is maracuja oil, which I was unfamiliar with until receiving this product. Maracuja oil is extracted from the fruit and/or seeds of a variety of passionfruit. This expensive oil is a light, highly emollient oil that is easily absorbed by the skin and offers numerous health benefits. The addition of this and jojoba oil really made this soap a unique and enjoyable cleansing experience. BONUS - Nicole, the owner of Purplee Naturals sells these in full 5 oz bars for only $5.75 or you can purchase a half bar (2.5 oz) for $2.95. This is an awesome price for an amazing bar of handmade soap!
ORANGE BLOSSOM Facial Toner~ Super Moisture w/ Willow bark + Vit E { the Botanical Line ~ 100% Natural}
courtesy Purplee Naturals on Etsy

The orange blossom face toning mist features aloe, white willow bark, orange blossom distillate, and tea tree oil. A 2 oz mister retails for $7.00 in the Purplee Naturals' Esty shop. The toner worked well, providing a refreshing mist after cleansing my face while tightening my pores. The only downside is that the scent is very medicinal from the tea tree oil. I was expecting a nice neroli scent and that is not present at all.

I HIGHLY recommend you give Purplee Naturals a try, these products are masterfully blended and exceeded my expectations. You must experience these gems for yourself and you can indulge without breaking the bank.

Have you used Purplee Naturals products before? Tell me how you like them! If not, run now and grab some. Don't forget to tell Nicole that 4 the love of bubbles sent you!


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Until next time Love Buds,
Peace, Love & Lots of Bubbles!



Mashup Monday! Happy Hour on the Information Super Highway

A new feature, I will try to do at least twice a month.  If you are a true product junkie, I'm sure, like me, you have amassed a hodgepodge of different bath and body products from numerous different companies.  On #MashupMonday I'll try products from different product makers in different scents together and let you know how well they worked together.  This week, it's Happy Hour on the Information Super Highway

Whiskey River Soap Company broke the internet a few months ago with one of it's humorously named soap offerings.  Their "Soap for Hipsters" which is scented with coffee, bacon and craft beer quickly went viral when shared via social media.  Though this particular scent did not sound appealing to me, I did check out some of their offerings which include "Soap for "Frenemies", which is scented with lemongrass & sage, "Soap for Evil Dictators", which is scented with stale tobacco fragrance, and "Soap for Underachievers", scented with margarita mix.  I decided to choose "Soap for Geeks", it's "wifi scent" translates to cucumber and cilantro wasabi.  Who knew that wifi smelled so tangy!

My new bubblelovin' partner in crime, Tracy sent me a delectable box of goodies from product makers I have not tried yet.  One gem I found in it was from Fortune Cookie Soap - Seems they really like cocktails over there and have a fragrance called "What? It's 5 o'clock somewhere!".  It smells like a fruity, slightly sweet, slightly sour, sunny drink that you might find garnished with cherries and a paper umbrella.  The scent has a citrus twist, but no coconut which I absolutely ADORE as coconut is not one of my favorites and many tropical scents feature it heavily.

The product I have is their hydrate me twist up balm.  This is a semi-firm butter featuring coconut oil, shea butter and cocoa butter.  It is a little too soft to use directly from the tube on my skin, but wiping a dollup off with my fingers and rubbing into my skin, it is an awesome dreamy, creamy balm that is actually perfect right after a shower, even in the summer.

The Soap for Geeks has a scent that is really tangy, to me it has a kinda lime like twang to it with nice green herbal notes that mellow it out.  I don't really get the wasabi notes, but maybe that just really enhances the blend.   The soap itself, I found to leave me a little squeakier clean than I would like, so the hydrate me balm was a perfect compliment and left my skin soft and supple and the combination of the two scents is a sweet and tart fruity explosion of unicorns, rainbows and happiness!

What are you mashing up this week?  Tag @4theloveofbubbles on instagram with a picture of your mashup with the hastags #mashupmonday and/or #bubblelove and I'll share it with all my other Love Buds!

Review: Custom Blends by Nine


Jeanine of Custom Blends by Nine (Now Inviting New Energy) sent me a carefully packaged complimentary sampling of her products in exchange for my honest review.

 The bath and body products I received were all scented with Mango Melon.  I found this fragrance to be an amazing fruity combination that I really enjoyed.  I LOVE ability of a product line to provide me with several different products in coordinating fragrances.

Included in my bath and body bundle were bath salts ($4.99), Sugar Scrub ($8.00 for a 4 oz jar), Whipped Body Butter ($4.00 for 2 oz, 4 oz jars also available), and glycerin soap ($2.99).  I also received the hair butter balm ($6.00 for 2 oz), which has a slightly minty, herbal fragrance that I like as well.

I really enjoyed the body products, the scrub exfoliated well, the bath salts were relaxing and the body butter applied easily and was quickly absorbed, leaving no greasy feeling to my skin.  I smelled amazing and was silky soft and moisturized.  What did surprise me was the soap.  It is a glycerin soap and I usually shy away from those.  Most glycerin soaps are formulated with a high content of propylene glycol - used as a humectant.  I have found that propylene glycol in high levels irritates my skin.  The soap lathered well and left me clean without feeling like my skin was stripped.  While I did notice a little more dryness in my skin than I have when using my preferred handmade soaps, it was not to the levels I have experienced with other glycerin soaps.  

The hair butter balm worked very well as a sealant in my weekly hair ritual of cleansing, deep conditioning then braiding my hair while damp after applying a leave in conditioner and sealing it with an oil or butter, in this case, the hair butter balm.  I also used it to oil my scalp.  This balm is really light it was great for use during our really damp summer so far, but I think in the winter, I would need something heavier.

One issue I do have with these items is the abbreviated ingredients lists.  Several ingredients are listed and then "and carrier oils" concludes the list.  I think its important to know the ingredients in your products so that you can decide if the properties of those ingredients are things you are willing to put in/on your body.

The website is also a bit difficult to navigate and comprehend.  Ingredients are not listed at all on the website.

I did find these products to be overall enjoyable with just a few minor labeling adjustments that I would make.

How do you feel about product labeling?  Should all ingredients be listed or can some things be taken for granted?

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Peace, Love & Lots of Bubbles!


Giveaway: Social Media Fan Appreciation


Thank you all for being a part of my love of bubbles journey!  Since starting a few months ago, over 1000 of you have decided to keep up with me and my adventures.  I truly appreciate all of your support.  

To celebrate this first 1000 social media fans and every thousand more, I will host a giveaway. For the first, I really need your help with growing the YouTube audience.  Currently, I am still fighting this horrible cold and my voice is awful, but I would like your support for the channel.

Prizes include a 10 bar soap bundle, an Amazon gift card and the choice of one bar of soap from any US soap maker! 
There are numerous ways to, but first you have to be a subscriber to my youtube channel.  For that you get 20 entries!

Please enter and share!
Social Media Fan Appreciation Giveaway

Review: Cedar Ridge Soap

Cedar Ridge Soaps
Naturally gentle, naturally inspired

During my recent day trip to Western Maryland, I visited with Joan Taylor, proprietor of Cedar Ridge Soaps.  She invited me to visit her home and soap studio in KEEDYSVILLE, Maryland. (In the video, I mistakenly call it Dickerson, MD).  We experiences some technical delays, but were able to salvage the video of Joan answering some questions about the business. Below the video, I'll review the complimentary products I received from Joan. Check it out:

I left Cedar Ridge Soaps with a goody bag filled with soap, body butter, lip scrub and the most awesome Air Freshener!

 Cedar Ridge Soaps offers firm, cold process, soap bars that are formulated for use as a soap and shampoo bar.  Available a variety of scents with options that are essential oil only fragrances as well as others containing fragrance oils.  The orange blossom fragrance I received is a combination of orange essential oil and honeysuckle fragrance.  It was a refreshing and sweet combination that I truly enjoyed.  Another variety I received was Rosemary Cinnamon.  Scented only with essential oils, this combination is a MUST TRY!!!!  I love the warm and herbally aroma from this bar.  

The soaps are 4.5 ounce bars and sell for $5.50 each. The lather is amazing and they work great as a shampoo bar.  My hair and skin were both cleansed without being stripped.  For a great combo bar with no frills, just really good stuff, this is the bar for you.

As a lover of lavender, I was excited to try the Lavender body butter.  It is a thick butter formula featuring shea butter and beeswax.  Not whipped, it is a moisture sealant that contains no aqueous (water based) ingredients.  I recommend using only after bath, shower or hand washing to ensure moisture is applied before this sealant.  It could be a little too heavy for some in the summer, but it works great as a sealant for my hair twist outs!  It sells at $8.00 for 3 oz, I believe 1 oz sizes are also available.  A little definitely goes a long way.

I suffer from dry, cracking lips, especially during the winter months and appreciate a good lip scrub.  This lip scrub works great, softening and conditioning my lips with just the right amount of exfoliation.  I received it in peppermint, which leave a little bit of a bonus tingle!  These are available for $6.50 each

Last but certainly not least, are these awesome air fresheners!  I receive the sunny citrus and for 3 weeks it has scented my small office at work with this most amazing citrusy aroma.  Just this week I added a touch more water to it, replaced the cap an shook it up and the scent was completely renewed.  I am in love with this - there's no heat or flame, making it a safer option than a wax melter or plug in for my office.  For $7.50, this 8.5 oz jar of air freshening jelly bliss is a must have!

I really enjoyed my trip and these products!  Let me know if you do!

More Cedar Ridge Soaps?  Check them out:

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Until next time, Love Buds ~
Peace, Love & Lots of Bubbles!