A short wish just for you! May your New Year of 2017 be a gentle, kind one, softer at the corners, letting you find your way without the rough patches, those potholes in the road, the doldrums that put a halt to your progress, to reach your home place.  With love unconditional, joy unending, laughter in abundance and friends that make your heart smile.  Happy New Year, friends, family, fans and everyone! new-year-cover-with-fairies1200

Keeping the Numbers Straight

As an second career entrepreneur, keeping the books is a daily task.  Not so much an ordeal really if you love numbers as I do, but it can be time-consuming, tedious, and even boring for everyone.  It takes times to get things set up, particularly if you’re just starting to use software like Quickbooks or hard copy like an accounts ledger in book form.  As the saying goes the devil is in the details.


I’ve had Quickbooks since 2014 and still can’t quite grasp the concept.  I spent 8 years in the 1980s as a bookkeeper and that decade predates the use of computers as we now know them.  Our records were kept in hard copy with general ledgers for all accounts, account receivable and account payable and payroll.  Checks were ‘cut’ not printed out on special paper run through a printer.  Ah the good ol’ days. But eventually I hope to conquer Quickbooks this upcoming New Year.  It’s one of my personal and business resolutions. One I intend to keep.

Despite having QB 14, I felt it was a good idea to have backup in the event of a computer crash or total electrical apocolypse, so a bound hard copy Accounts book will be kept for all aspects.  The one above was from Amazon and I love it.  Sturdy paper, 4 columns and non-glare colour of pale cream. Actually I need more than one of these, so at least 2 more will be ordered for this year.  It was sitting on my porch this morning when I woke up, waiting for me!  Quite a surprise since I ordered it just yesterday! Purchases such as these are considered business expenses so they’re tax deductible, as is the renewal of Handmade Soap and Cosmetic Crafters Guild membership + accompanying insurance, any magazines of the crafting community, classes, supplies, advertising, etc.  If you keep a log in your car of the miles driven to deliver soaps to wholesale accounts, that too is tax-deductible.  Just a small notebook in your car will suffice so long as it stays current and accurate. Keep receipts and make a copy of them as that paper tends to fade over time and might not be legible by tax time. To conserve paper, more than 1 receipt can be scanned at a time then snipped apart to go with their originals.

What resolutions have you set for your business in the New Year?  I’d love to hear about them. Dash off a comment and share them with us!

New Years Resolutions anyone?

Some folks love fall because of the mild temps, the brilliant hues decorating the trees everywhere except on the evergreens, the bluer than blue skies.  Me? I’m that one that loves the hot weather, the sun shining with blinding intensity and the grass perpetually needing a trim.  Hot out there, don’t care.

Warm weather has other pluses (as well as those minuses like needing to shave, needing deodorant refills more often, firm, non-flappy upper arms) so as a soaper, I see those pluses and toss out the rest.  They work themselves out over time or I just learn to accept those things I cannot change…for now.

The New Year brings endless possibilities, like the promise of Spring & Summer 2017, so I’m planning, plotting, adding and eliminating many things. I try to reach for those things that are attainable in a realistic timeline or fashion.  Dieting is not one of those things I fixate on zealously.  I’ve had eating disorders most of my life, so weight is something I’d deal with every single day, fitness as well. Still, most tell me I don’t need to diet and well, let’s face it, most don’t stick around past the end of February.  Mainly diets are not realistic because they’re based on a premise of denial.  Denial of those things you love most.  Not necessarily two or three helpings of tiramisu, but still things that should be kept at a minimum.

As I’ve grown older I’ve noticed things I once loved are no longer so friendly to me.  High fructose corn syrup gives me prickly skin, sugar gives me a rash, salt gives me high blood pressure, onions cause reflux, since 1985 I’ve been lactose intolerant, and allergies began cropping up every year since I was 19.  So I hope to eliminate those things almost completely from my every day intake.  I say almost because, well, let’s be honest, no one can do without some sort of reward for good behavior for an extended period of time. We all have little lapses and those are fine.  It’s when we realize we’re living on a diet of sodas, chips and chocolate that we know we’re really in trouble.

With all this in mind, I’ve reduced the sodas to only diet.  Once every 6 months I might have half a can of the regular, but when I can find one sweetened with sugar, I’ll have the whole thing.  Still no high fructose.  No onions. Period. Chocolate was never high on my list of favorites, so I’m perfectly happy with a vanilla milkshake occasionally with a side of Lactaid or vanilla frozen yogurt. (PS: the best brand is the soft-serve at Costco, second best at Kroger, Kemps brand), so skipping chocolate is no loss.  White cake with white buttercream frosting on the other hand is devastating.  Guess I should be glad I’m not running a bakery any more, eh?

Eliminating those things that are unhealthy in our lives seems a lofty goal at first, but once you’ve started, they can become a matter of routine, leading eventually to the lessening of the ‘sugar high’ you’d get from eating them.  You’d be less likely to overindulge, less likely to crave them all the time, and even lose a taste for them.  Some folks do, though not everyone.

As the New Year approaches resolutions come to our attention more than at any other time of the year. So what are some of yours for 2017? Will they include diet? More time for family? Try new things? Improve a skill or learn a whole new skill?  Tell me about them, I’d love to hear!