That’s right, I’ve having a 3-day sale in my Etsy shop! Today is the biggest discount at 20% off, Saturday is 15% off, and Sunday is 10% off – and all items get shipped for FREE! You can’t beat that!
Plus, I have some gorgeous, hand-painted ornaments with gold leaf detail, and the price is perfect, especially with the sale. You should definitely check them out!
It’s a one-stop shop for gifts, jewelry, ornaments, home decor, stocking stuffers, and a super-cute fox cozy for your coffee or tea mug!
Hope to see you in The Bitter Lemon Shop!
Happy Halloween! I am pretty excited for today – oddly – mostly because this means I can take a break from mass-producing Holly Golightly sleep masks for seasonal costumes, and because I love hearing “Thriller” on the radio constantly.
Several months ago, I posted short reviews about cosmetic primers I’ve tried. I got such good advice on new ones to try, that here I am, back after trying FOUR new primers! I’m curious to see what you guys think of this batch.
If you aren’t big on makeup or haven’t tried a primer, it is usually worn under makeup (particularly foundation) and provides a smooth base that helps the makeup stay on longer and look flawless. A primer can come in the form of a gel, spray, powder, cream, oil… it just depends on what type of product you like.
NYX Shine Killer
I love NYX products because they are so affordable, it makes it easy to try new things. The Shine Killer primer is a clear gel and I found it really helped control my shine throughout the day (I did use it along with the NYX matte setting spray).
- Foundation primer that prepares skin for silky smooth makeup application
- Lightweight, colorless gel creates an invisible layer that acts as a buffer to the outside elements
- Helps makeup stay fresh and color-true for hours, lasting all day and well into the night
- Moisturize your skin with a daily dosage of Vitamin E
- Prep your face with this foundation primer before applying face makeup
- Maintain a matte and fresh face all day
$13.99 for .67 ounces
Laura Geller Spackle Tinted Under Make-up Primer
Over the last year, I have been trying bits and pieces of Laura Geller’s collection and her products are wonderful! This Spackle (in “Champagne”) came in a gift set I got, which are always such great deals. It has a slight glow to it, so it’s perfect to wear under makeup or alone for a dewy look.
Revive and re-texturize your skin to achieve a flawlessly smooth finish with my Spackle® Tinted Under Make-up Primer in Champagne. This formula has the same features and benefits as the revolutionary best-selling Spackle®, but it shimmers with a champagne glow!
Made with natural plant extracts and the powerful anti-oxidants, White Tea and Centella Asiatica. These ingredients protect the skin along with Aloe Vera Gel. Spackle also helps the skin retain moisture, feel softer and look smoother. It is lush, incredibly lightweight and suitable for all skin types.
$32 for 2 ounces
Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer Pore Minimizing
I got a sample of this in one of my Birchboxs a few months ago and have been using it over the last few weeks. I love that it has a light tint to it – my skin has some redness (which I’m currently trying to derma-roll out), so I am always looking for FULL coverage products. I also liked the texture of this – it goes on smooth and has a dry, matte finish.
Smashbox’s Photo Finish Pore Minimizing Foundation Primer is an Allure Best of Beauty winner. It works for all skin types but is ideal for oily and combination skin. It pairs best with liquid or cream foundation. This primer is non-acnegenic and ophthalmologist tested.
- Dramatically reduces the look of pores
- Mattifies shine and controls oil all day
- Smoothes and preps skin for makeup
- Won’t clog pores or cause breakouts
- Water-resistant, smooth-glide texture
- Leaves a soft, even finish
Formulated without parabens, sodium lauryl sulfate, phthalates, oil, fragrance and talc. Vegan friendly.
$39 for 1 ounce
Smashbox Photo Finish Primer Oil
I got this as a sample from the Company Cosmetics Store (I. Love. That. Place!) after buying a Smashbox set that had all sorts of goodies in it. This was my first time trying the oil, and frankly, I am still trying to figure out what I think of it. It definitely does not leave an oily finish, but I might save the rest of it to use during the colder months (like, in December maybe? #Texas) when my skin is dry.
Smashbox’s Photo Finish Primer Oil is non-acnegenic and dermatologist-tested. Morning and evening application adds increased moisture in just four weeks. Not ideal for oily skin.
- Preps skin for makeup
- Moisturizes for seamless makeup application
- Instantly absorbs and adds radiance
- Reduces the appearance of dry fine lines
- Blended with 15 lipid-rich plant extracts and essential oils including moisturizing jojoba + calming chamomile
- Strengthens the skin’s barrier
What primers are you using? I am always looking to try new products!
Before I sign off, be sure to check out my Etsy SALE – today only – and you can get 15% off all items in honor of Halloween (and the Great Pumpkin, of course)! As always, there is free shipping on domestic orders.
Have a fun day, y’all!
At the end of August, I opened up my Etsy shop: The Bitter Lemon Shop. I have always thought about opening up an Etsy store, not because I have an abundance of things to sell, but because there are times when I really enjoy creating things and I always get really excited when they turn out as I’d planned.
For years, I’ve kept a Pinterest board with DIY projects that I hoped to get to “someday”, and in August, I finally had a window of time and started making earrings. They turned out cute, so I decided to put them on Etsy and see what happened.
Like most people starting an online adventure, it seems like when you publish your first blog or post that fist item to sell, the world is going to shift. And then… there’s silence.
I’d heard about this happening with lots of Etsy sellers – that you work so hard to create an inventory of products and take pictures, write thoughtful descriptions… and then you never make a sale.
But it didn’t take long before I made a few sales, mostly from people I knew. But hey, a sale is a sale, and it was good practice on simply using Etsy to see how things work.
Before I knew it, I had several orders, and then I had a slight frenzy when shoppers caught sight of one item: my Holly Golightly sleep mask – a popular Halloween costume accessory, especially now thanks to “Big Little Lies”.
I sold 30+ of the handmade sleep masks, staying up very late (one night i stayed up until 4 am) to hand-sew each item.
I’m proud to say I’ve made it through my first “Holiday rush”, and I didn’t even mess up any of the shipments, which is a MIRACLE.
So, I wanted to share a few things I’ve learned about Etsy so far – I’m sure this won’t be the last post about this side hustle, business-venture of mine.
Use the Etsy app. The app is easy to use, but most importantly, I get an alert on my phone when someone makes a purchase (it sounds like a cash register), and when someone messages me. This is super important and I know I won’t go online and check my store every day.
Respond to customers. Quickly. A few weeks after I opened my shop, I heard a radio host talking about how she once had an Etsy shop and she hated it because she didn’t make any money and it was more about customer service. Hmm… well, yeah, most businesses – especially small businesses – ARE all about customer service.
We are at the mercy of our customers, because if it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t have a reason for a shop. As for not making money, I would venture to say she didn’t have a good enough product, because my revenue has surpassed $500. It’s nothing to quit my day job over, but it sure isn’t “nothing”, especially for a side gig.
Most of the time, customers don’t message me. If they do, they just have a question about the product or arrival. 9/10 times, they are really nice and DO want to make a purchase – so I do try and respond within the hour. You never know what other products they are looking at in order to make their decision.
I’ve found that this is what helps me make sales and get 5-star reviews. I’ve had customers tell me how grateful they are that I simply replied and did so with kindness. What’s up Etsy sellers? Respond to your customers!
I do have a professional background in marketing and I know how the average person shops – they do a lot of research, and making contact is one of the last things people do before pulling out their credit card. So reply!
Price it right. A lot of items on Etsy are expensive. Which is okay – if you’re using fine materials. I disagree with adding in a bunch of labor costs to your item. I figure out my prices by looking at materials and shipping costs (I offer free domestic shipping), and also how much I would pay for a similar item. I ask around, too, or look in stores to see what they are charging for similar items. I’m not going to charge someone double just because it takes me a day to make it – people will move right on over to Amazon. Now, don’t make things cheap – price them at what they’re worth; a price you feel comfortable with. You don’t want to give things away, but don’t rob the customer either.
Be honest with yourself. I have a 3-day window from the time a customer places the order until I have to ship it. I make items to order – I do not have a shop or a place to store ready-made items. So, be honest – don’t put 1-day turnaround if it really takes 4. People will understand, and they don’t want to be tricked.
Create a system for shipping. I don’t have a room, or really even much space, to dedicate to shipping. But, I do have a method to how I create labels and pack my items so nothing gets mixed up. It probably isn’t an issue when you have one or two orders, but trying packing 14 boxes for shipment – it’s a process!
Give customers a reason to come back. I know customers do NOT have to shop on Etsy – in fact, it’s been years since I’ve purchased anything on Etsy. But I know I need to get sales – not for money, but because Etsy displays the number of sales you’ve made – and if it’s a low number, people aren’t going to have confidence in your shop. So, I’ve been giving each customer a coupon for a percentage off their next order. I want them to come back – whether to shop, or to see what new items I’ve got in the store.
There you have it! Etsy has additional resources for succeeding in your shop – a message board, tools, and even a podcast, but I have yet to tap into any of these resources. I’m going to try a few new things over the holidays and will also continue to post new items and sales on my Instagram account (@Orangejulius7), but so far I’ve found that sticking to traditional business and marketing tactics has worked quite well!
Hey there! I’m fresh off a weekend of geeking out over WordPress, so I’m pretty excited to be blogging today.
I’ve had this on my calendar for a few months now, so I was pretty excited when the weekend rolled around. I wasn’t aware of this, but WordPress hold these WordCamps each year, in different cities across the country.
Volunteers come together to make the event very affordable for attendees ($40 got me entry for two days, two free lunches, and a free shirt). It’s a weekend meant to help those of us interested in or who are currently using WordPress – the speakers offered different levels of advice depending where you’re at on your “WordPress Journey”.
I attended several sessions, including: “Start Your Podcast Now: 3 Steps to Launch”, “Marketing: Simplified”, “Get Google to Love Your WordPress Website”, and “Content Ideas for When You’re Stuck”.
I particularly enjoyed one of the keynote speakers, Kori Ashton, who heads a WordPress company in San Antonio. She spoke about how she took her side hustle of building websites to creating an entire team and a thriving business.
I’ll admit, a few of the sessions I attended discussed many things I’ve already discovered – I’ve been using WordPress for almost 10 years. But it’s always nice to get reassurance from other people in the industry that you’re doing something right – even if it doesn’t always feel like it.
I’ve had a rough couple of weeks – I promise I will write about it soon – but going through the functions of my daily life have proven to be almost too much at times. I’ve struggled to get up, to make it to work, to actually be productive – I’ve been trying to simply get by.
When Friday rolled around, not even the anticipation of WordCamp (!) could get me to San Antonio. I did however, drag my ass out of bed at 5am on Saturday morning though, so I could make it to registration on time.
And it was worth it. Despite a few annoying people who tried to scold me for bringing coffee into all of the classrooms, people were friendly and the campus was nice. Above anything technical I learned, it was a jumpstart that I needed.
I’m able to not only do social media all day for my job, but I get to TEACH WordPress for blogging, and I get to talk to all of YOU through this blog. I don’t know what I would do without it, especially in times like these.
Which reminds me… are you getting the updates on The Bitter Lemon Facebook page? I post links to new blogs and when I have password protected posts, that’s where I’ll post the password. Following me on Instagram (@OrangeJulius7) would also be smart for those reasons 🙂
I’ve still been working in the Etsy shop! I added two new items last week and am working on a few new things this week, so keep your eyes open. I’ll be right back here tomorrow with a recap on “Siesta Key”!
I know I’ve talked a little bit about my recently-opened Etsy shop: The Bitter Lemon Shop, but I wanted to dedicate a post about it. I didn’t really intend to open the shop and fill it with so much STUFF, but it happened that way – once you start creating, I guess I can’t stop!
At first, I just wanted to make some DIY earrings I’d saved on Pinterest. I have always toyed with the idea of having an Etsy shop, because I really like to make cards and have always liked to make beaded jewelry.
But when I made the earrings, they turned out so cute I thought other people might like them. So, I took pictures of them (although I don’t really know if the photos do them justice) and opened my shop. At first, it was a struggle to get 10 listings – but 31 listings later, here I am, with a ton of ideas!
Currently, the shop is mostly bracelets and earrings – I am really into tassel jewelry right now, so there’s lots of those happening. The bracelets are all beaded so far – I am having so much fun with all of the great beads out there!
One thing I think is important to note is that everything I’ve made is something I would wear (and actually have been wearing); I wouldn’t put out a product that I didn’t like myself.
I am also naming each piece after a place, or a thing that is really special to me. As I write this, I’m wearing the “Back to Black” beaded tassel necklace as a tribute to Amy Winehouse; my sisterhood bracelet (sorority vibes), my Charleston bracelet (s/o South Carolina summers), and my “Saints & Sinners” bracelet as a call to New Orleans.
There’s also a keychain and an essential oil blend roller in the shop – keep your eye out for many more of these to come! I’m thinking a sleep blend, focus blend, an immunity blend, and something for allergies. I also have ideas for costumes, clothing, and of course, more jewelry!
It’s not like I all of the sudden have so much time on my hands, but I’ve found that just sitting and watching TV (or rather, listening to it) while I make jewelry is pretty relaxing. I think it’s an easy way to escape – and I like trying to figure out how to make things or how to fix something. And then at the end, I have something cool to wear!
Blanche is also partaking in the shop, of course. I cleaned out my linen closet and set up a table with my printer, along with a little shelf. I organized my beads and put all of my shipping supplies in a handy container. I even have a few pieces of “Bitter Lemon” wall art along with a scented candle to make my craft area fun. The table is big enough for my supplies, but anytime I’m in the “craft closet”, Blanche scrambles to the table and takes a giant nap – and she takes up at least half the table. So, there I am, stringing beads using a small corner of my table.
I’ve had 11 sales so far, after being open for about three weeks, and it’s cool to think that people in other states are wearing things I made.
If you have ideas of things you’d like me to (attempt) to make, I’m always willing to try. Take a look at the shop, ask me questions, or shop awaaaaay! Visit the shop here and let me know what you think!
Whew! It’s the final day of this Dating Detox. Technically, I know it took me longer than 7 days to get through it, but I’m a busy gal, and let’s face it, this was tough.
Day 7 Challenge: Check Yourself!
- She doesn’t need a man, but she wants one.
- She recognizes that men should be the “head of the household but she is the neck”.
- She has boundaries, and she sets them in a firm, but in kind way.
- She will ask very good, often pointed, qualifying questions to men she meets and dates.
- High Value women don’t let their emotions control their actions when it comes to men. They make decisions based on logic and the man’s actions not intentions or words.
- She values her body and will not offer sex until the man proves his worth through his actions.
- She values her body and strives to be healthy and fit. Her body is a temple and she chooses to make educated choices about what she puts into it and what it needs to thrive in life.
- She knows how to make a man feel special and worthy, like he is the only one.
Well, right off the bat, item #1 I don’t have. Ha! This is what I knew going in to the detox. I’m not really ready for a guy, but more so, I don’t want one.
I think what I’ve learned most through this detox is that I like my life how it is. My days are full with the things I want to do. I don’t have to compromise or share. I don’t have to plan or think about anyone other than myself (and sometimes Blanche).
Sure, I can be strong and please a man and wait for his actions and yadda yadda, but for what? I think I’m good. Maybe I’ll feel differently in a month or a year or five years, but today, I’m good. And oh yeah, I deleted my dating app.
Right now, I’m focused on improving myself for me, not for a man. I’m continuing to work on my dance skill, working on my hobby of making jewelry, reading several books a week, and gearing up to volunteer at the Film Festival. My life is full.
So, yeah – the cleanse worked, because I’m basically free from wanting a man!
Anyway, I’ve also added THREE new styles to my Etsy Shop this week:
I still have lots of items I want to add, but this week, I’ve been cleaning out an area in my apartment to dedicate to my jewelry making. Right now I’ve been just making everything while sitting on the couch, which is fine, but then my living room is a mess. Check out my Instagram Stories @OrangeJulius7 for updates on the craft area organization progress!
Every week I continue to be SHOCKED that this show is still on television. Here we are, again, so let’s get into it!
The episode kicks off with Chloe asking Alex if he really slept with Amanda. He admits it, shockingly, and Chloe is just liiiike, hey could you let me know when you sleep with my friends? And Alex is all, “Well, I don’t plan on it happening AGAIN.”
Already, Amanda has ruined things with Brandon before they even got started, so at least Chloe may have THAT to hang on to (I mean can this chick catch a break?).
Juliet stops by Alex’s house and he tells her that he hooked up with Amanda “a few weeks back”, and shockingly, Juliet is pissed and stands up for herself. Then she’s all, “Bye. I’ll see you. Maybe. I don’t know.”
Later, Kelsey seems pretty bummed about the conversation she had with Garrett.
The fact that Amanda and Alex hooked up is the BIGGEST story of this episode… and I’m really not sure why. Possibly because Alex keeps telling everyone.
Chloe and Juliet… is it Juliet or Juliette? Or do I care? Anyway, they are talking about it and finally Chloe asks what we’re all thinking: “Do you really think you’re not going to hook up with Alex again?” And she has nothing to say because SHE WILL.
Meanwhile, Alex is planning to host a party at his house that will benefit kids with autism (his brother and sister have autism). Good job.
Everyone is talking about how Kelsey is on the verge of breaking up with Brandon… and Alex is eyeing her for a rebound hookup. Ugh!
It’s the day of the party, and they are really sprucing things up at Alex’s house. Madison is helping him and asks him if Juliet AND Amanda RSVP’d – of course they did…
At the party, Chloe tells Alex that Kelsey and Garret are having issues…oh, Lord.
It honestly seems like Brandon is hitting on Madison, then straight up asks her out, and she’s all, uh, what about Amanda? Looks like she’s getting left in the dust.
When Amanda arrives at the party though, all the guys are like DAAAAAAMN. Then Juliet says she needs to go talk to her (meanwhile, we all wish this would end in a fight).
It’s rather calm, and Amanda swears she’s not with Alex, AT ALL.
Later, Alex gives a big speech about why he threw the party and basically everyone is all about him. Kelsey takes him outside and it’s like… romantic. NO. No!!!!!! I really like Garret, and not Alex!
Then, Alex invites her to stay and go swimming… and she’s all “you should open up more”… oh my GOD.
Later, Juliet is all, OMIGOD you guyz, I am so proud of myself for showing up and forgiving Amanda and being the bigger person, now can we just go? And they’re out.
Garret tells Kelsey he’s leaving because she’s not hanging out with him, and it seems super rough. He tells her she’s been with Alex the whole night and he doesn’t want to talk to her… and he leaves. Nooooooooo…
And then the episode is over. From the looks of next week’s episode, it does NOT look good for Garret and Kelsey. Ugh.
PS. I opened up an Etsy Shop yesterday!
I have been wanting to do some serious crafting, and I finally had the time to make some things that I really liked.
I’ve been making earrings, and decided to list them after so many people reached out and asked me about them.
Right now, I have 8 fun styles listed, but am already working on more, so keep an eye out!
All of the styles are $15 or under and I’m offering FREE shipping in the US.
Although I have specific colors listed right now, I’m always happy to customize items or make new things just for you. Check it out!
My pic(s) of the week this time just HAD to be about Hangout Fest, since I haven’t even been back home from it for 24 hours! It was a weekend in Gulf Shores, full of fun, sun, sand (it was even in my hair), fried food, drinks, and of course: music!
I will admit, I was really, really sad when Sam Smith didn’t end up making it for his time slot because of vocal chord surgery, but I still enjoyed the acts I did see. Some of the most impressive ones were Paramore, Tove Lo, Skrillex, and Beck.
Aside from the music, Hangout Fest is always full of cool, super-nice people. My friend and I met lots of people on the shuttle rides to and from the festival each day, and we had some particular fun with a group of guys we met that had traveled all the way from New York for the weekend. So, shout out to our new friends Dan, Tim, Chad “JC”, and Doug from New York (with fantastic accents), and also a HELLO to our people from South Atlanta, Jill and Cam! I can’t forget the groups from Buzz in Kansas City! You all made the weekend a great one.
As it goes with these types of things, I get really caught up in the moment and I don’t want to be “that person” with my phone glued to my side. So, unfortunately there aren’t a ton of pictures — but I’ve posted the ones I’ve got. If you’re on Instagram, head on over to my page @OrangeJulius to see videos from the Beck and Skrillex performances.
I made my fellow Hangout Fest-goer and I my custom “Koncert Kits” (available in my Etsy Shop), and they pretty much saved us, from the spare sheets of toilet paper to the hand sanitizer, and okay, the glow sticks and glitter! If you’re heading to an outdoor music fest this summer, I’d highly recommend getting yourself one.
At this point, I feel like I need to post this blog so I can face reality and get back to work — it’s not easy going from the good, beach festival life to the one sitting in front of a computer, but I suppose it’s got to be done. Hope y’all have a fantastic week!
I’m heading to Gulf Shores today, in hopes of reliving one of the best weekends of my life at the Hangout Music Festival! Three days of sand, sun, cocktails, and of course, MUSIC! This year’s headliners are Sam Smith, Zac Brown Band, Beck, Foo Fighters, Skrillex and Diplo, along with many other great bands. I’m amped!
But the thing about a weekend like this is, you’ve really got to get the essentials down. And since I went last year, I knew exactly what kind of supplies I needed to add to my bag. They are:
- Poncho: This year, it’s supposed to rain (let’s hope it doesn’t), but this poncho is small, so it won’t take up any room in my backpack.
- Insect repelling band: I’m allergic to mosquitos, so I’m always packing bug spray. This bracelet will keep the ‘skitos away while I’m dancing in the sand.
- Wisps: You never know when you need a dose of fresh breath (they DO have a wedding chapel at Hangout Fest)!
- Ziplock bags: I packed these mainly for my cell phone just in case it rains, but you never know what else you could use it for.
- USB Charger: This is a super small charger that will give your phone one-hour of talk-time if you get into a bind. Hangout Fest is cool enough to provide charging stations, but you never know!
- Kleenex: For sneezing, napkin use, or porta-potty needs if necessary.
- Glow bracelets: Umm, I need this for all of the night shows!
- All-purpose wipes: For basically everything.
- Feminine wipes: I thought these would be good for the porta-potties, but also just for in general freshening up after sitting in sand and wearing a bathing suit for 12 hours.
- Hand sanitizer: after bathroom and before meals.
- SPF lip balm: burned lips are the worst!
- Band-aids: just in case.
- Q-tips: not really sure, but they’re small and easy to pack.
- Deodorant: Being outdoors in the sun all day, and into the night, might lead to a stinky situation.
- Hair ties: Sweatin’ on my blowout.
- Gum: Again, hot guys.
- Toilet paper: Porta-potties (I’m telling you that’s the worst part of this whole thing).
- Glitter: I need glitter to sprinkle all over myself, because I can, and I want to shimmer all weekend.
Love my list of essentials? I’m actually selling my “Koncert Kit” (because I can spell Koncert with a “K” and I can like it) in my Etsy shop! It comes with everything I’ve listed above, plus it comes in a cute cosmetic bag to store it all in.
Use it for music festivals, fairs, outdoor events, parties, gifts, camping weekends, etc. The kits are customizable, so just let me know what you need and I’ll be happy to pack it for you.
After these crazy weeks of work, I’m so, so excited to spend a weekend of fun and relaxation in the sand with my great friend, Marcy! We are hitting the road (it’s about a 4-hour drive to Gulf Shores) this afternoon, as the first day of the fest is tomorrow. Tonight, we’ll be loading up our coolers in preparation for tomorrow, and we’re definitely hitting up some sushi and karaoke tonight.
Follow my entire weekend on Instagram, SnapChat, and Twitter @OrangeJulius7 — see you there!