Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Lesson of the Game

It was a typical day here in Northwest NJ---it had been quite warm, nearly 70 degrees for the middle part of the day, but now it's 6:00pm and clouds were moving in, making the parents glad they'd brought a jacket.  The wind at the ball field began to pick up too.   The baseball game is underway and there are hits, catches, throws and steals by both teams.

This is recreation baseball for 10-year old's so all the boys are from the same town, go to school at one of three elementary schools here.  Many have been playing since T-ball at the age of 5.  Dads coach the teams, assist in the dugout, warm up pitchers, and provide plenty of advice on the proper way to hold the bat.

The boys do their best to run the bases properly, pay attention in the outfield and cover the bases the way coach taught them.  A mistake here, a panicked throw there and the Red Sox have the game well in hand.

A player for the Red Sox hits a home run and puts them even further ahead of the Yankees.  The coach pulls the Yankees together and reminds them of several lessons they'd covered in practice that week.  "Let's refocus and play the way we know we can!" he tells them.  The boys get the third out and end the top of the fourth inning.

Hitting continues to be a struggle for the Yankees.  The boys don't score in the bottom of the fourth, but still keep their enthusiasm as they head out into the field for the top of the fifth and final inning.  By this time the clouds are high and the sun has set.  Daylight hours have turned to the light is dwindling.

The first batter on the Red Sox scores, making it 13-6.  Another batter gets on base, as the Yankees fastest pitcher is on the mound.  Then, a strikeout.  The next batter gets a little shove out of the dugout by his dad.  He's reluctant to stand in the batter's box.  He walks instead over to his coach who is coaching third.   The boy would rather do anything than face the pitcher.  He and the coach talk for quite a while which draws the attention of the rest of the players, coaches and parents.

The Yankees coach starts encouraging the reluctant child to take his at bat.  The Yankees pitcher adds a clap and words of encouragement.  "Matthew"  it begins quietly.  Slowly building - the chant - Mat-thew, Mat-thew, Mat-thew, MAT-THEW!  Before you know it, both teams, all coaches and parents are cheering loudly for a tearful frightened boy!  He steps into the batters box and the pitcher kindly tosses a gentle pitch to the catcher.  Swing and a miss.  Two more soft tosses and the batter is out, but the cheering was for Matthew and for facing his fear!

The Yankees are re-ignited by the impending end of the game, their experience with Matthew and proceed to score three runs in the bottom of the fifth inning, making the final score a respectable 13-9.

During the shaking of hands after the last out, Matthew was surrounded by all the boys on both teams and congratulated.  The lessons learned on this ball field had little to do with baseball, and more to do with life.

Sportsmanship is so often overlooked when players and coaches are stuck on Winning.   How unrealistic to have Winning as the only goal, the be-all-end-all to sports.  The Yankees haven't won a game this season so far, but still found it in their hearts to reach out to a classmate who was having a hard time.  That is a real champion in my book!

(The name of the boy has been changed for his privacy, as well as team names.)

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Friday, February 8, 2013


Friday February 8, 2013

So there's a blizzard on it's way to the Northeast today.  School is closed for the kids.  While I love that they're home, (yes I really do) I am sad that they will be going to school too far into the summer.  We were hit by Hurricane Sandy only a few months ago and school was out for two weeks! 

What are your family's favorite things to do when housebound?  Do you play games, clean, head out into the snow, attack a room with paint, watch movies, make brownies?

While we decide what we'll do today, I am taking stock of my Sunshine Stepping Stones business, making decisions about my business plan and creating new, fresh products!  It may be cloudy outside, but I'm finding a way to have a sunny attitude.

It's been a little while since I've posted on this blog and I want to show you the gorgeous new photos of my Sugar Scrubs.  Before I do that, let me tell you that the recipe for Sugar Scrub that I posted a few months ago is simply a jumping off point.  I've changed, altered and tweaked that recipe and now offer a more superior product for my customers. 

The result is a more moisturizing, conditioning product that you'll be so pleased to make a regular part of your beauty routine.

How do you use scrubs?  How often should I use them?  These are questions I am asked all the time!  To use:  Take a small amount (about a tablespoon) and massage onto wet or dry hands, feet, elbows or knees.  Gently rub in a circular motion to exfoliate and get rid of dry, bumpy or rough skin.  Then rinse the sugar off and pat dry.  Some customers use it in the for them, but if your skin is really dry, too much of the moisturizer in the scrub is washed away. 

Sugar scrub is best used 2-3 times a week at most.  The idea is to rejuvenate your skin.
 Clapping!  I opened an Etsy shop a few weeks ago!  I was nervous about it at first, but also so excited to move my business in such a positive direction!  The name of the shop is "Sunshine Sugar Scrubs"  and here's the link.
Now here we go with the photos!
Cucumber Melon Sugar Scrub
Cucumber Melon Sugar Scrub (4oz jar)
Island Breeze Sugar Scrub (4oz jar)
Rose Garden Sugar Scrub (4oz jar)
Honey Almond Sugar Scrub (4oz jar)
Mango Frappe Sugar Scrub (4oz jar)
Clean Cotton Sugar Scrub (4oz jar)
Blackberry Icing Sugar Scrub (4oz jar)
Coconut Cream Sugar Scrub (4oz jar)
Wow, that was fun!  I have worked really hard developing all of these new fragrances and then photographing each one.  I hope you agree that these are unlike any other sugar scrubs out there.  The packaging alone distinguishes these.  So pretty, so blingy, so creative!  They'll be adorable sitting on the sink in your bathroom.  You'll love the smile on your guests faces when you give these as party favors too!
Stay tuned...there'll be more photos to drool over very shortly! 

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Saturday, December 29, 2012

Lavender Sugar Scrub

I hope you all had a wonderful holiday filled with fun times with family and friends!  I apologize for the space between posts!  I've been so busy filling orders of sugar scrub AND growing my facebook page, that I barely have time to make dinner, spend time with the kids, clean, do laundry.  Blah blah blah!  Everyone's busy, I know!  I've just got to make the time to ensure that I blog regularly in addition to developing new products, photo shoots and the rest.

Well, are you ready to see the newest in my line of Sugar Scrubs?  It's Lavender Sugar Scrub and is available in these sizes:  4oz jar for $5 (shown) 6oz jar for $6, 9.5oz plastic container for $9 and a half pint canning jar for $11.

The scent is both relaxing and soothing!  Go to my facebook page to order or leave a comment with your info and order.

Here's another photo of the Lavender Sugar Scrub with different decoration:

Imagine jars of these at each place setting at a wedding. (Color-coordinated with the wedding colors of course!)  Notice the rhinestone on top of the jar and the purple metallic eyelash yarn around the neck? 
If you are planning a wedding or a shower, I'd love to talk with you about customizing jars of scrub for your guests!     This would be a wonderful Bridal Shower favor, dressed in the Bride's favorite color.   These could be a thank-you gift to the Bridesmaids. The possibilities are endless. 
Another suggestion:  many times goody bags are prepared for out-of-town guests at a wedding...things like bottled water, mints and toothbrush.  Make their stay memorable with a jar of Lavender Sugar Scrub from Sunshine Stepping Stones!
The fragrance of lavender is so restful, relaxing and soothing!  You'll love the way your skin feels after using the sugar scrub.  Customers have told me they use it on their heels, hands, elbows, knees and backs of arms!  It is useful wherever you have flaky, dry or rough skin.
Hope you enjoy this new fragrance of Sugar Scrub!

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Sunday, December 9, 2012

Benefits of Sugar Scrub

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Eucalyptus Sugar Scrub

I've talked a lot about Sugar Scrubs on this blog...but I don't think I've really addressed the benefits of  using Sugar Scrub.  If you've never tried one before, I know you'll be pleased with the texture of your skin after using it.

You will have healthier, more evenly-colored and textured skin after a few times using sugar scrub.  Skin is exfoliated, revealing healthy smooth skin.  Do you use a pumice stone for rough areas?  Try sugar scrubbing those same areas regularly and you may no longer need the pumice stone.

Sugar Scrub is helpful to use before shaving.  Because skin is exfoliated, you will prevent ingrown hair, bumps and irritation that sometimes accompanies shaving.

Try using your Sugar Scrub on dry hands, feet, knees, backs of arms, feet or anywhere skin is rough, bumpy, dry or flaky.  Customers have told me that Sugar Scrub helps those with psoriasis to control the flaking and itching.  Some want is specifically for the backs of their arms to help smooth the little red bumps that many people get there.

If you are a gardener, consider using Sugar Scrub to cleanse your hands at the end of the day.  The gentle scrubbers help with cleansing while the oil moisturizes skin.

Some customers have asked about possible allergic reactions.  My answer depends on the type of allergy you are dealing with.  Fragrance oils used in scrubs can be irritating to sensitive skin.  The one I would recommend to those with ultra-sensitive skin is the Vanilla Brown Sugar variety that I make.  There are only four ingredients: Brown sugar, granulated white sugar, vegetable oil and vanilla. 


Many companies make Sugar Scrub and while ingredients vary, prices also range from $10 a tube or jar to $60 or more!  If you are considering trying Sugar Scrub, take a look at the varieties that I make.  Mine start at $4/jar and are available in four different fragrances:  Green Tea, Eucalyptus, Vanilla Brown Sugar and Spiced Brown Sugar.  Each is packaged in recycled sterilized baby food jars.  Jars are decorated beautifully for gift-giving!

Spiced Brown Sugar Body Scrub

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More Than Me Wins $1 Million

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Last night the Chase American Giving Awards were on NBC.  Were you watching?  It was so exciting to to watch Katie Meyler and the More Than Me organization win the top prize of $1 Million!

I had the pleasure of having Katie Meyler come to a Heartworks meeting last year. 

Here is Katie (2nd from the left, wearing red) with our Heartworks ladies.

Heartworks Logo

Katie grew up in a town nearby and the founder of Heartworks, Megan McDowell has been a supporter of Katie's efforts for a long time.

Let me tell you a little about Katie--despite growing up in a mostly-wealthy town, she had a difficult childhood.  She says she was the "poor" family in town.  The family who would receive garbage bags of used clothing at the back door from anonymous donors.  Her mother struggled to raise her three children alone.

Katie wanted to find her way in the world.  She took a trip to Haiti and fell in love with helping people.  She had an awakening and realized that her childhood had been luxury in comparison to the lives of so many in the world! 

Many girls she found on a subsequent trip to Liberia were orphans and lacked even basics like clean drinking water.  Girls as young as 8 were brought into prostitution because it afforded them an income they otherwise would be without. 

Katie was resolved to find a way to come back to Liberia and help get little girls off the streets and into school.  More Than Me was born a short time later.  Katie works tirelessly and constantly gathering support for the More Than Me Foundation.  See more of her story here:

When she came to my Heartworks meeting, she spoke frankly and passionately about her experiences and what she is doing to help girls get off the street and into school.  What a genuine, positive force in the world!  Everyone at the meeting was touched by her story, her honesty and her desire to change.

When Katie found out that she was one of 25 organizations in the finals for the Chase American Giving Awards, she began a 24 hour, 7-day a week campaign to generate votes for More Than Me.  This woman has barely slept, barely eaten while pleading for votes. 

How wonderful to see the result of her efforts:  being awarded the highest prize from Chase--$1 Million to help get more girls into schools in Liberia!!  Congratulations!!

To learn more about More Than Me, visit

To learn more about Heartworks,visit

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Friday, December 7, 2012

Holiday Treats

Friday, December 7, 2012
Time to get cooking or at least bookmarking the recipes you want for all the gatherings this month!  Do you have office parties, family gatherings or special club meetings in December?  Well, why not bring something new and yummy for everyone to try?
Here are some favorite ideas:  Easy Chocolate Peppermint Truffles.
Chocolate Peppermint Truffles

Over at, Myra is making these gorgeous truffles that aren't as difficult as they look! Most truffles are make-ahead and freezer-safe.  Make them this week and know you have treats to bring to all your celebrations! 

Get the recipe here:
You can almost smell the cheesy goodness coming off the screen with these gems below!

Apricot Havarti Puffs from  Sure to be a hit at YOUR next gathering!  See the full recipe here:

Satisfy your sweet tooth with this creamy dip from

It's Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Dip.  So yummy...I have to get to the store today so I can make it!  This would be good to make ahead of time and have on hand for surprise visitors.

Find the full recipe here:

Look at these eye-catching Rice Krispy Treats from the Party Wagon!  A trip to Lydia's site will provide a slew of party ideas that are to die for!!  It is truly the mother-lode.  Now where are those Rice Krispies...I'll be right back--promise!

Here's the link to the Party Wagon:

I hope these provided a little inspiration to help you prepare for the holidays.  Now I'm off to the store to pick up some ingredients for the recipes shown! Pin It Now!

New Fragrances of Sugar Scrub

Friday December 7, 2012

I love this photo of the Eucalyptus Sugar Scrub.  It is made with granulated sugar, vegetable oil and eucalyptus oil.  Very invigorating, especially during cold and flu season.

Are you running around shopping for that perfect gift?  Have you decorated every inch of your home for the holidays?  I am running behind my usual holiday schedule.  It will get done.  It will get done.

What's the reason that I haven't finished shopping before Thanksgiving, you ask?  SUGAR SCRUBS!!  I am making as many as I can, decorating the containers and filling orders.

I have to tell you about the new fragrance of sugar scrubs that I have been making!  Customers love them and I've gotten a great response to all of them!  As you already know from previous blog posts, I have Green Tea, Eucalyptus and Vanilla Brown Sugar.  Now I am making Spiced Brown Sugar Body Scrub!
Spiced Brown Sugar Body Scrub

It has cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger and allspice in it, so it reminds me of homemade cookies.  Ummm, the scent is delicious!

Yesterday I had an opportunity to show my various sugar scrubs at a vendor event at Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide.  Here are a couple shots of my table. 
Sunshine Stepping Stones table front

Sunshine Stepping Stones table

Thank you to all the folks at Ogilvy CommonHealth Worldwide who made the day a success, especially Beth! 

It was a first for me, transporting jars and jars of sugar scrubs, brownie mixes and cookie mixes to an event.  I worked it out with the use of a suitcase with wheels, a few padded stemware boxes and a lot of heavy lifting!

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