Friday, May 1, 2015

How to Use Google Forms for your Small Business

Hello Friends!

I recently discovered an amazing (and free!) resource for my small business and I wanted to share my secret with you. It's not a secret, really. In fact, you may already be using this tool - if so, then you're a step ahead of me!

It's called Google Forms

Using this tool provides so many options. I have two small businesses, one is sharing Essential Oils and the other is my Etsy shop. I'm using one form currently to provide a wellness assessment for friends and family who are interested in learning more about how essential oils might benefit them. So I created a form using a combination of multiple choice questions and text answers to gather information from respondents. I posted it on my personal Facebook page with an invitation for people to complete the form if they wanted more information about essential oils. Then, I download the responses into an excel file so I can easily see the information in one organized location and follow up with everyone.

If you'd like to test out Google Forms for yourself, follow these simple steps:

Go to the link above.
Click on Go To Google Forms.
Done! You're in a new form that you can edit and use however you want!

I like to do the following to get started setting up my forms....
1) at the top left, name your form (this is helpful for obvious reasons)
2) think about the question format that works best for what you need - having multiple choice answers, allowing folks to type in their own answers, etc.
3) create your custom form

You'll see a box with a question - fill in the question title and then edit the TYPE of question. For example, if you're asking for someone's name or contact information, you'd probably want to use a text or paragraph response. If you wanted to ask a question such as "Have you ever used such-and-such product" then you might want to select multiple choice.You can even choose "check boxes" and provide some standard answers and allow folks to choose from your list. 

After your first question is set up the way you want, you can mark it as a required response or leave it optional. Next, you can click on "add item" and you'll have another question box to complete. It's so simple!

Once you have all your questions set up, you can add a note to the bottom of the page that folks will see after they complete the form. I like to add a thank you note here, and any other details about how soon I'll be contacting them or something like that. 

Lastly, you will click on "view live form" to make sure you like the way it appears. Then at the top of the main page, click the box that says "Send Form". A new box will open up and you can copy the URL for the form to add to your social media or emails. YAY!

The fun part is seeing responses. You will be able to view the results on your google drive, and you can even analyze the results with a graph or chart. 

 Have fun and be creative with this amazing tool....and let me know how YOU use it!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Dried Pineapple Rings....and a bonus!

Hello friends!

This past weekend, I was looking for a healthy snack and remembered that I had 3 cans of pineapple rings (in 100% juice) sitting in my pantry. I bought them on sale for .97 cents each a while back with the intent of drying them. I went thru a big dried pineapple phase a few months ago, but cutting, peeling and chopping pineapple just to dehydrate became too much work for me and my busy schedule. So...when I saw the sale pineapple rings, I figured I'd hit the jackpot!

I thought I might have to cut the rings in half to make them thinner, but NOPE. They dry up to be the perfect size for snacking. This really doesn't get much easier, or cost effective.

Step 1: Drain the juice (and SAVE IT)

Step 2: Prepare a foil lined baking sheet with a cooling rack on top. 

Step 3: Put pineapple rings on top of cooling racks (to let the air circulate).

Step 4: Find something else to do while you dehydrate these gyus for 12 hours (or so, based on your oven settings) at 135 degrees. 

Step 5: EAT. Voila, dehydrated pineapple rings!

I'm going to make a ton of these and then vacuum seal them into mason jars for storage purposes. 

Now, let's talk about the juice. It's basically 100% no sugar added pineapple juice. That stuff is expensive when purchased by the bottle (Any Tone It Up sisters here!? You know what I'm talking about!). So of course, keeping it refrigerated in a mason jar strictly for drinking purposes was my first thought. But thanks to the YouTubes, I also discovered that with the juice of 6 cans of pineapple rings you can make 12 half pint jars of pineapple jam or pineapple syrup. 

Say what now?!?

Yea, Totes. Jam or syrup and a huge bag full of dried pineapple rings for just $6....I love this!

This is my first affiliate link, thank you for your support of my blog! Get Pineapple Rings here from Amazon!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Nail Care: for Jams and Everyday!

Hello friends!
As I mentioned, fingernail care is SO important to me. Seems that the older I get, the more I realize that taking care of yourself really needs to be a priority. And for me, "wellness" includes a variety of factors such as proper nutrition, exercise, natural solutions to healthcare (is, essential oils!) and getting enough quality sleep. One other item for me, is nail care. Your hands make a statement...they can show you've been working in the garden or in a factory, they can show you've been under stress, and they can show that you care about yourself when you take time to care for your nails. 

Truth be told, I'm not a nail care professional. I'm not licensed as an nail tech or anything like that. I've never been to beauty school or taken any classes to that effect. I just have an new-found appreciation for nail care - so I'm sharing my research here. 

Healthy Nails:
A fingernail is produced by living skin cells in the finger. A fingernail consists of several parts including the nail plate (the visible part of the nail), the nail bed (the skin beneath the nail plate), the cuticle (the tissue that overlaps the plate and rims the base of the nail), the nail folds (the skin folds that frame and support the nail on three sides), the lunula (the whitish half-moon at the base of the nail) and the matrix (the hidden part of the nail unit under the cuticle).

Healthy fingernails are smooth, without pits or grooves. They are uniform in color and consistency and are free of spots or discoloration. Sometimes fingernails develop harmless vertical ridges that run from the cuticle to the tip of the nail. Vertical ridges tend to become more prominent with age. Fingernails can also develop white lines or spots due to injury, but these eventually grow out with the nail. Buffing regularly helps with blood circulation and often minimizes this problem.

To keep your fingernails looking their best, follow these simple guidelines.
Please, don't use your nails as tools. Seriously. 

Keep your fingernails dry and clean. Wear cotton-lined rubber gloves when washing dishes, cleaning or using harsh chemicals, and avoid long soaks in the tub. (Before applying nail wraps wraps, make sure your nails are healthy and you follow the application method provided by Jamberry on the back of each package.)

Trim and file your fingernails regularly. Use a sharp manicure scissors or clippers. Trim your nails straight across, then round the tips in a gentle curve. 

Moisturize your hands in the morning and before sleeping.  Keep a non-greasy hand lotion by your bed, your desk and your sink. When you use hand lotion, rub the lotion into your fingernails and cuticles, too. Don’t bother with petroleum-based products. Petroleum products do NOT work with human chemistry so they don't absorb into our pores. We recommend you use all the Jamberry hand care products because our products are free of petroleum. If you don't already have cuticle oil you should absolutely get some Jamberry cuticle oil or good quality cuticle oil.

Dermatologists recommend that you always take care to moisturize the nail bed and the cuticle. While there is little in the way of medical data showing that moisturizing the nail bed will help nails grow, it will make cuticles softer, look better and help protect nails from breaking due to a lack of moisture. 

Protecting your nails with Jamberry wraps:
It is important to remember that everyone is different. While the majority of customers can wear nails wraps with no issues, there will be some people that are not able to wear the wraps due to their body chemistry – just as there are some individuals who cannot wear gel nails or polish. However, most of those who experience nail damage after wearing and removing our wraps can prevent this  damage by simply following the removal method provided by Jamberry on each package of wraps and/or  by keeping hydrated (both inside and out).

Utilizing the appropriate removal processes – especially the gentle process using warm oil and NEVER simply peeling off nail wraps - is super important. The wraps have been applied using hot glue and have a very strong bond with the nail plate. If you have not used a strengthening or smoothing base coat before application, this is especially important.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Jamberry anyone?

I've been wearing Jamberry nail wraps for a few months now, and I'm hooked. I'm a nail biter. And a cuticle picker. I've tried acrylic nails, press-on nails, gel nails, gel polish and regular manicures. None of these things helped break my bad habits. But Jamberry....oh've saved me from ugly, unsightly nails!

See, I think pretty nails are kinda important. It's like brushing your teeth and putting on a clean shirt. It's not always easy (I'm a mom, I know), but it's just one of those things you do if you want to make a good impression. So I've struggled with a bad habit, mixed with weak, brittle, peeling nails making it nearly impossible to have pretty nails. That is, until now.

Jamberry nail wraps are like small vinyl stickers (for lack of a better way to explain them) that you warm up, press onto your nail, trim and file, then heat again....and you're good to go. They say the wraps can last up to 2 weeks on fingers, but in my experience, I get about 7-9 days and I'm ready to take them off simply because of the growth I'm seeing near the cuticle. YES! My nails are growing and I've even had to cut my nails a couple times. First time for everything, I guess.

Each sheet of wraps is just $15 and you get 2 manicures plus most people can also get 2 pedicures from each wrap. Can't beat that! There are literally hundreds of designs to chose from which range from simple, conservative french tips to crazy holiday-inspired patterns.

If you've never tried Jamberry, please do! Find a rep in your area, or ask me for a sample. You can find me at: and see the whole catalog.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

A New Love - Metal Tip Roller Bottles (for Essential Oils)

Metal tips available here --->

Once again, I bring you a new discovery that has made my life just a little bit nicer. I present to you - the metal ball roller! But Claudine....why metal tips instead of the standard plastic rollers?? I'm glad you asked.

I've been using 10ml roller bottles with plastic tips for a while now, and they are fantastic for applying essential oils and blends to my family. My 9-year old loves to put on lavender oil mixed with a carrier (almond oil) every night before she goes to sleep. It calms her mind and body. She also likes a blend as a perfume, so I've made her a little roller bottle to keep her from stealing mine!My husband frequently uses the blends  layered together for muscle pain after working out. I use a blend from doTERRA every know...

You can pretty much put ANY essential oil single or blend into a roller bottle to apply all over your body (in particular, the bottoms of your feet where we have the largest pores). We've always used glass roller bottles with the standard plastic tips - until now.

Since discovering the metal ball rollers, I've fallen in LOVE with them! The application of the oil is so much smoother than with a plastic tip. Additionally, I noticed on my Solace bottle (shown above with the new tip) that the roller had been pushed down inside the fitment. Oil was leaking out a little and the application wasn't very smooth - in fact, I even scratched myself trying to use it a few times. So believe me when I tell you that these little tips are absolutely worth having on hand!

You can simply replace any existing roller bottle you have with the new metal ball tip - or buy empty roller bottles and the metal tips with them.

And guess what else!! I have these in my Etsy shop. Of course I do - I wouldn't leave you high and dry without a way to get these little gems. Feel free to message me thru my Etsy shop SimplyClaudine to order in larger quantities than I have listed. You can specify if you want the tips alone or with glass bottles and lids. YAY!!

I love to share what I love.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

(REVIEW) Aroma2Go cool mist ultrasonic USB Diffuser for Essential Oils

Here I am! I keep having these long breaks between blog posts, but it's summer and things are crazy after having just sold the house and moved (finally!!). But I'm getting back to my roots and trying to blog more.

Have I mentioned that I'm IN LOVE with essential oils?? It's true. I'll save those stories for another post, and believe me, there are STORIES! In the meantime, I want to share a review of a new EO (essential oil) product that I adore. I adore it so much, I decided to stock it in my Etsy shop! But of course, I tested it out first - and here are my thoughts.....

What is it?
Aroma2Go cool mist ultrasonic USB Diffuser
I have two GreenAir Spa Vapor diffusers in my house that I use all the time. They are water based, and so you add water plus a few drops of essential oil and plug it into an outlet. It gurgles and has a light source that changes color. We love these for nightlights and in bedrooms - but I wanted something DIFFERENT. Something I can use in my office, but not be huge or expensive or loud or overpowering. Welcome to the Aroma2Go USB diffuser!

What does it do?
Well, I'm glad you asked! Like my other diffusers, this one also diffuses essential oils - but there is NO WATER involved. And, it plugs into a USB port - meaning, the thing on the side of your laptop, or in your computer hard drive tower, or the USB car charger, or one of those cool wall outlet adaptors. It's super quiet and has 3 different settings to change the frequency (and thus the intensity) of the bursts of pure essential oil that is released. LOVE!
How much is it?
These retail for $24.99 which I personally think it a pretty decent price because it's so versatile. I spent more than that on my regular water-based diffuser, but I sure can't take that into the CAR with me! Nor do I really like using it in my office because it makes me worry that I'll splash water onto something important. So it's a perfectly compact, portable and powerful diffuser for essential oils!

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Testing. Testing.

Knock, knock....

Is anyone there??

It's me. Claudine. Yea, I've been away for a while. But all is well and I thought I'd come back and try to start up the old blog again. 

Why now, you ask? Meh. Just a couple things going on that give me bloggy post ideas. I started the AdvoCare 10-day Cleanse. (one word, grossfiberdrink - but I'm choking it down for the greater good) I'm going to Mexico with my husband for our ten-year wedding anniversary in May and I am soooo not bikini ready. I will be though. I will be...

Also, I have recently enrolled with doTERRA so I can buy their AWESOME therapeutic grade, certified pure essential oils. Bliss! I love this shit. Been using essential oils for years, literally years. Did you know you can INGEST essential oils?!? I did not. Well, let me back it can ingest (most) of the doTERRA essential oils. DO not try this with any other brand, even from the "good" health food stores. More on this later. Believe me, you'll read plenty about my new obsession of healing my family and preventing illness with oils. Oh yea!

We have our house for sale...again. Or still. I'm not sure where we left off with this one, but sufficed to say, it hasn't sold yet. But it's newly spring and they say the market is looking up so that gives me hope. What freaks me out is that we received the enrollment forms for Fall 2013 at my daughter's school and it's first-come-first-in-line for a combined 4th/5th grade classroom....and they only will accept 16 children. GAH!! Someone get me a pen. I need to fill out a form. Or do I?!?! Moving, staying, moving, staying. Ugh. 

And my little Etsy shop is still alive and well. For the most part. I keep changing up the products I offer, but that just keeps people on their toes. Right? Check it out if you are so inclined - I've got some keee-yooot summer party stuff like those metal flower lids for mason jars and decorative paper straws. So fun.

That's all for now. (If anyone is even reading this.) Hopefully more to come. Like an update on my cleanse tomorrow. 

PS - is this font too big?