Thursday, April 28, 2011

INDIE Book Club: Delivering Happiness

Last Tuesday was the second installment of the Indie Biz Book Club (a group of fantastic women entrepreneurs - read about meeting number one here). We are reading Delivering Happiness by Tony Hsieh. First before I discuss the meeting, I just want to say that this book is an easy ready and totally inspiring. I was sucked into the story of Tony’s life and the beginning of Zappos. He started his first business at the age of 8!! When I was 8, all I cared about were Barbies and My Little Ponies, the last thing on my mind was starting a business.

The second installment of the book club meeting started with each of us sharing our favorite passage from part two of the book. I shared the following section from page 163
"We must all learn not only to fear change, but to embrace it enthusiastically and, perhaps even more important, encourage and drive it. We must always plan for and be prepared for constant change."
- this particular passage struck me because it is so true and also happens to be something I am currently working on accepting both in my life and in my business.

Part two of Delivering Happiness was incredibly interesting, Tony shares the evolution of the Culture Book, 10 Core Values and staying committed to the unique culture that has developed (which became the Zappos brand). We discussed delegating non-core tasks, knowing when to hire people, hiring good employees, working with interns, making sure you are looking at the big picture and the small picture. I am looking forward to the next section of our Biz Book Meeting: Profits, Passion, and Purpose

Friday, April 8, 2011

Spring Cleaning

Dish cloths by RebeccaJayStudios

It finally feels like spring here in San Francisco, the perfect time to open windows and get cracking on some serious cleaning. This is a great opportunity to assess your cleaning products and move toward an ‘eco-friendly’ cleaning regime. Take stock of all your cleaning products - most conventional cleaning products filled with a variety of harsh and potentially toxic chemicals. Now is the time to get rid of those nasty cleanser - you will need to dispose of them properly (no, you can't just dump in down the drain or toss the bottle in the garbage) so check out info for your local Hazardous Waste Facility. Most have certain days or drop off locations for residential hazardous waste materials. Now you can re-stock your cleaning supplies with environmentally friendly effective cleansers. Most of the ingredients are things you can find in your cabinets like baking soda, white vinegar and natural dish soap (I like Ecover and Earth Friendly Products). These are great “double duty” ingredients plus you will save money by making your own cleaning products.

I’ve listed a few of my favorite natural DIY cleaning recipes below:

All Purpose Cleanser 1

  • 1 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup distilled water (or tap)
  • 1/2 tsp natural dishwashing liquid/liquid castile soap
  • 20 drops essential oil*

Measure and mix ingredients. Pour into a spray bottle. Label!!

All Purpose Cleaner 2

  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup baking soda
  • 6 cups distilled water (or tap)
  • 50-60 drops essential oils*

Measure ingredients, mix before pouring into spray bottle (the vinegar and baking soda will bubble and expand - make sure to use a large enough container to handle any overflow). Pour into a spray bottle. Label!! Shake before use.

Bath Tub Scrub

  • 1 cup baking soda
  • 1 cup borax (should be able to get this at hardware store/grocery store - this can be harsh on the skin so make sure to wear gloves)
  • 2 tbsp liquid soap (like dr bronners)
  • 40-60 drops essential oil

Measure and mix ingredients in glass or ceramic bowl or dish (preferably one you dont eat out of) store in glass jar (I like to re-use condiment/pickles jars for this product) or heavy duty plastic container. When ready to use, sprinkle around damp tub and start scrubbing! ***Do Not use on metal fixtures

Bath Tub Cleaner 2 (the ULTRA basic formula)

I just toss some baking soda all around the tub and then spritz with some white vinegar - the fizzy action helps with the cleaning process. I let that sit for about 5 minutes and then start scrubbing!

Super Simple Room & Linen Spray:

  • ½ cup vodka
  • 15-20 drops essential oils/blend

Pour ingredients into a glass bottle with spray nozzle. When ready to use, shake and spritz!

Simple Furniture Polish

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ cup vinegar
  • 15-20 drops lemon or orange essential oil

Measure ingredients and pour in to bottle with a spray nozzle. When ready to use, shake vigorously and spray directly onto wood furniture or onto rag. Polish away!

*essential oil recommendations: lemon, lime, tea tree, eucalyptus, rosemary, lavender, thyme (use caution with this oil as it is a skin irritant), sage. These essential oils are great for cleansing because of their anti-bacterial/anti-fungal properties and because they smell great!

Make sure to label each bottle carefully and keep out of reach of small children and pets.

You can also green your cleaning by cutting up old t-shirts, towels or sheets to create cleaning rags rather than using sponges or paper towels. Or, choose one of the gorgeous wash cloths above.

Do you have a DIY cleaning recipe you like?