Wednesday, May 11, 2016

A few thoughts for the second Wednesday in May!

Wow! It's been one heck of a month! I wish I were back on Orcas Island eating peach croissants at the Brown Bear Bakery and hanging out with Jen at her lab at Lotioncrafter! (I'll have more stories and recipes from the lab in the next few weeks!)

There have been a lot of changes around the Barclay-Nichols's house lately, the biggest one being that I moved to working part time in my family support worker job as of last week. (I'm in a union position, and someone with more seniority moved into the family support team, which means the lowest girl on the totem pole - that's me with 11 years' seniority - had to move. Rather than leaving the job I love so much, I chose to take a part time position doing the same work!) I'll be working Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and every other Friday.

This is a huge change personally and financially, and we'll need to take time to figure it all out. I'm not saying it's not a good change, but it's definitely a big one for me. I'm accustomed to working full time, going to school, offering youth programs, teaching classes, and so on, so not working so much is very very weird. Last time I was part time would have been the first year of university. I worked full time and went to school full time from second year onwards.

The good news is that it gives me more time to work on the blog, teach more classes, play in the workshop, and write more e-books. It'll give me time to look after myself by getting back to the gym regularly and having more down time.

The bad news is that I'm losing 1/3 of my pay, and we have to figure out the impact of that when I get my first part time cheque at the end of the month.

I have a few ideas for new things I want to do, but those are still works in progress. If you have any ideas for things you'd like to see - for instance, more videos, live chats, and other things - please comment below!

A few thoughts for the day...

I cannot help you make products for your washing machine or dishwasher. My friend had a beautiful front loading washing machine that broke within two years because she was using the wrong detergent. I don't want to be party to something that could destroy something so expensive!

I cannot help you make sunscreens. I know they're expensive, but there are so many factors that go into making one, then they need to be tested to ensure they work. Trust me, if I could make them, I would as my husband has vitiligo and burns very easily, but we can't do them at home.

I can, however, help you make awesome lotions and other things! If you've never made anything before, please start in the newbies section of the blog. I think that's the best place to find starter recipes and answers to a lot of the questions you might have about making products!

I think that's it for the day! Look for more soon!


Dianne Bowler said...

Hi Susan, as a retiree who is still parenting at 63, having more time to be with family and do the things you are passionate about is worth the monthly pension payment or part time salary.

I'm a great believer in things happen for a reason - unfortunately it's not always clear. Best wishes as you and your family work through your strategy for this next phase. Di

Sabrina K. said...

Change is the only thing that does not change ;)
Enjoy your unexpected free time, I am sure you will find ways to compensate, being such a creative you!
Sunscreens are a pain. Since I read your input about them, I stopped making them. I was annoyed to have to put this sticky white thing every 30-45 minutes anyway :D

beckster said...

Susan, I think this is an exciting new adventure for you. I know you will figure it out. We are never too old to roll with the flow, and you have so many talents and interests, I think it will be easier for you than most. Have fun, take care of yourself, and see how things go.

Susanna Originals said...

Susan, you've been giving away your knowledge freely and any money from your ebooks is going straight to your youth group. And I'm sure you don't want to change that because that's who you are.
There is a very exclusive hotel here that has a local goats milk soap company make them their own line of toiletries for each room, in a signature lime/something scent good for men and women. They're so popular that now the hotel sells them in the gift shop. I've tried one of their body butters and the smell is divine but the butter itself is heavily coconut oil-based and you have to scrape it out of the bottle with your fingernail because it's so hard. But people go crazy for them because they're natural, they say goats milk, they smell good, they make their skin feel good and they're exclusive.
Doing something like this on the west coast is a perfect fit for you. Find the right hotel or spa, have a hook, like seaweed-based or goats milk-based and you might more than replace your lost income.

CC Mirabella said...

Susan I'm so very sorry to hear about your work hours being cut...I do believe that things will work out the better for you in the long run..for all the GREAT AND GOOD YOU GIVE OUT...surely will come back to you & yours. I know the transition may be difficult but many of us will keep you in our thoughts & prayers.

Maria said...

I'd love to see you sell your books on Amazon and Kobo as ebooks! (I'm an author so I've done this sort of thing for a while). I think they'd be successful (you can also do POD version for print since they are already formatted as PDFs. You'd just need covers, which is very doable).

I worked part time after YEARS of full time work. You'll adjust and enjoy it and it will be a boon to your creativity. It does strain the budget!

Maria said...

Also, Amazon has some sort of video programming that competes with you tube--it's a for pay type of thing. You could do teaching videos making various products and sell them through that program. I don't know as much about that program since I write fiction and have not looked into it more, but there are a few articles on the web about it. You tube also has a for pay program for teaching videos. I'm not very familiar with it either, but I am sure you'd be good at it!

Carolyn from Florida said...

Sorry to hear about the unexpected change in work life. As many said before me, (and as I tell my adult children all the time), life happens as it's meant to when it's meant to.

And anytime you want to add paid consulting work to would-be chemists, there would probably be a BIG demand.

Best of luck to you and your family.

With appreciation and gratitude for all you have offered in this blog,

Minaz said...

Hi Susan,

Like every one said things happen for a reason. And it is so true!!
You are doing such good work that you will definitely get a good return. All of it is building up in the universe and you are going to soon get a big check for all the good work :-)

Most of us academics are shy of accepting/making money. I don't know why but it's true. There is nothing wrong with receiving money for your hard work and you can draw your ethics boundary.

Few thing I can think of:

1. You can sign up for affiliate programs, amazon is a good one.

2. Write ebook and self publish. If you want to support youth program you can give percentage of money, not all the money.

3. Become a consultant for small businesses.

4. Make courses for newbies.

Sending you lots of love and good wishes.


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Wow, thank you to everyone for the suggestions! Keep them coming!

Dianne, I've written to you by email. Thank you so much for your lovely suggestions!

Hi Sabrina! Yeah, I don't know where the extra time might be. I haven't found it in the three weeks of part time yet! :-)

Hi Beckster! I'm trying to be positive, but looking at my first part time pay cheque was terrifying!

Hi Susanna Originals! Thanks for the suggesting. Unfortunately, I don't have the kind of space at home to make things that would pass muster for my local by-laws for working from home or insurance requirements. It's a lovely idea, though.

Thank you, Tracey! I'm a firm believer that things happen for a reason! I am open to all possibiities.

Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

HI Maria! Do you have time to talk by email? I could find a way to compensate you for your time. I like the ideas you're putting forward, and would be so grateful for a few minutes of your time. You can reach me at

Hi Carolyn! I have updated the page with the information that I can offer consulting time now!

Hi MInaz! I don't want to be about the affiliate programming or ads as they are annoying to my readers, I love the rest of the ideas!