The Living Truth

Look deep into yourself. Are you who you say you are? Do you act the way you want to be treated? Are you living your real truth? So what is a “Real Truth?”

Your real truth is the face that no one sees when you are at home behind closed doors. You know when you really love dressing up in controversial apparel. You know when you sing at the top of your lungs and can kill Beyonce in one note. You know when you can take a computer apart and put it back together in perfect condition.

You were given that face at birth because that’s the one that will have people falling in love with you. That’s the one that will make you a good living. That’s the one that will teach others to love each other. You yourself that no one sees is the creation that everyone wants to get to know. So shed those fake, I’m 100, I hate and love this but secretly can’t stand face and wear what the good Lord gave you and live your life the way it was intended.

#selfworth #Live #Love #Life #Truth


Traditional Yogi Tea Recipe (Easy Homemade Chai Tea)

If I had a favorite recipe of all time, this may be it. This recipe I learned while I was studying to become a yoga instructor and it’s stuck with me ever since! It’s the perfect everyday recipe.

This is a beverage you drink after class and it’s something you can have in place of coffee. Best of all it has that spicy, warm, wintery flavor that I love so much. In fact, I love it so much I made it into Buttercream Frosting here and Chocolate Truffles here.

The reason I wanted to share this reciep with you is that I’ve seen it created a billion different ways. So here is how we learned to make it through it’s roots in yoga and ayurveda and here’s why everyone should get excited about Homemade Yogi Tea!

homemade yogi tea recipe pop shop america

About the Ingredients

The ingredients are simple: Cardamom, Ginger, Clove, Black Pepper, and Cinnamon. At the end you will add a couple of black tea bags and then it is served with honey and your choice of milk or non-dairy.

First of all, be sure to use the ingredients in their whole form. You will need cinnamon sticks, whole cardamom, and whole black peppercorns. You will see a lot of variation in quality and price of these ingredients. You could go to a fancy spice shop or you could get them all for super cheap if you have an Indian Grocery in your area.

If this tea is for everyday drinking, you may want to stick to Amazon or an Indian Grocery since you will blow through so many spices in such a short time!

fresh ginger in yogi tea recipe by pop shop america

What’s amazing about these ingredients is that they are very healthy. We we’re taught in yoga that cinnamon is good for the bones, ginger is good for the immune system, cloves are good for the colon, pepper is good for the blood, and cardamom is good for the nervous system. Of course, all of the health benefits are from a yogic perspective.

making yogi tea on the stove pop shop america

Tips on Making Yogi Tea

If you want to make fabulously delicious and warm yogi tea here are a few tips.

First, since all your spices are dry except for the ginger, add the ginger about halfway through cooking time. That will keep a lot more of it’s powerful punchy spice!

Next, and this is the most important thing, taste the tea when you are about 10 minutes away from being finished. Your spices will vary in flavor and kick. So it’s best to taste it every time and see what you need to add to make it feel finished.

Last, use nice honey. Local honey or wildflower honey will make all the difference. With these gorgeous spices don’t limit them with regular store bought honey!

add honey to traditional yogi tea recipe pop shop america

Traditional Yogi Tea Recipe

Traditional Yogi Tea Recipe
Serves 8
Prep time 5 minutes
Cook time 30 minutes
Total time 35 minutes
Meal type Beverage
Misc Serve Hot
By author Brittany Bly


  • 10 cups Water
  • 15 Thin Ginger Slices
  • 24 Whole Cloves
  • 32 Green Cardamom Pods
  • 32 Black Peppercorns
  • 4 Cinnamon Sticks
  • 2 Black Tea Bags
  • Splash of Milk or Non-Dairy (for serving)
  • Dollop of Honey (for serving)


1. Add water to a large stock pot and bring to a boil.
2. Add your cloves, cardamom, peppercorns, and cinnamon.
3. After 15 minutes or so, add your ginger.
4. After about 5-10 more minutes, taste your tea and add additional spices as necessary.
5. After 30 minutes, remove from heat and add your teabags.
6. Serve hot with milk and honey.
7. Add any leftovers to a pitcher and store in the fridge for up to a week. To serve, heat on the stove until hot.

traditional chai tea yogi tea recipe by pop shop america

So what do you think about yogi tea? Do you have a different yogi tea or chai tea recipe that you would like to share with us? Please tell us in the comments! And if you can’t get enough chai spice here are a few recipes to try! We made DIY Chai Tea Scented Sachets here. We also have Chai Tea Chocolate Truffles here. And here is a totally delicious Chai Tea Buttercream Frosting Recipe!

How to Make DIY Clay Seed Bombs

Love gardening and the outdoors? These DIY Clay Seed Bombs make the perfect gift or the perfect thing to throw over any fence into an abandoned lot! It’s a wonderful way to spruce up the neighborhood!

We’ve shown you how to make Seed Bombs with paper here. We’ve shown you how to make cute gift worthy paper seed packets here but here’s a fun little twist.

The clay makes these seed bombs super sturdy and heavy enough to easily launch over a fence into an abandoned property. And the clay makes these DIY Seed Bombs so pretty!

seeds to make diy clay seed bombs

DIY Clay Seed Bomb Supplies:

Air Dry Clay (there are lots of different colors available)
Potting Soil

You can use any kind of seeds. The cuter the better! I like to make my DIY Clay Seed Bombs with blends of flowers. I’ve seen them made with sprouts and veggie seeds too. You can pick any kind you like, whether it’s sunflowers or California poppies. The important thing to consider is whether it’s a sunny or shady loving plant. This will help you figure out where to plant your seed bombs.

diy clay seed bombs pop shop america clay only photo add soil to clay to make diy clay seed bombs pop shop americaStart with the air dry clay. Spread it out into a pancake that 1/2 thick or less. Try to keep the thickness consistent throughout. Next add your soil, a little mist of water, and add your seeds.

diy clay seed bombs with soil and seeds mixed in

Your DIY Clay Seed Bombs will look like this. And this, in my opinion, is when your seed bombs look the prettiest! I love the color and the ombre layers.

folding the clay soil and seeds together make diy seed bombs diy clay seed bombs rolled up pop shop americaNext, gently fold one side of the clay across your blend. Be careful to keep the soil and seeds inside. Then fold the other side into the mix.

clay seeds and soil mixed diy clay seed bombs pop shop america

Gently blend and mix together the clay, soil, seeds, and water until you have it all together in one big ball.

break seed bombs into pieces pop shop america diy seed bombs

Break into bunches about the width of a quarter. Roll into smooth and perfect spheres.

diy clay seed bombs all rolled up pop shop america diy blog

DIY Seed Bomb Tips:

Working with the clay can be really messy! The clay washes off easily with soap and water but make sure you have some handy.

Notice how we didn’t have measurements for the clay, soil, and seeds? That’s because you can eyeball everything! Just make sure you have more clay than soil and seeds.

Planting: These seeds were spring planters. That means it’s best to plant right after the last frost. For us in Texas, that’s usually late February. The more north you go (or south below the equator) the later in the season you will want to plant them. Here’s a handy planting chart for flowers and vegetables.

The clay makes these DIY Seed Bombs really sturdy! That makes these great for throwing over a fence into an abandoned lot or using a sling shot to launch them!

Selling Soy Candles at Saturday Market


It’s that time of year again. Saturday Market time!  Saturday Market is a great place to sell your candles and grow your business!

If you haven’t read my post about where to sell your soy candles, you should run over there and take a quick look at the list. I ordered them from easiest to most time consuming or expensive.

First I’ll tell you my experience with Saturday Market when I did it a few years ago. I signed up for the Salem Saturday Market here in Oregon, and paid a $50 fee to sign up, plus you had to pay $30 for a space each Saturday . I could have made that $50 fee back by helping work at the market(I think things like set up and clean up) a few times, but since I live 30min. away and have kids and a husband to get back home to, I just let them have my $50, which would have been more worth it if I’d sold there all summer…..

So, the first 3 times I went I did fairly well. I more than made back my $30 space fee, gas, and material cost of the candles twice, and broke even the other time. The 3rd time I showed up, I was a bit late, but was still able to get a space. The 4th, and last time, I showed up right when they opened for sellers to register (an hour earlier than the 3rd time), and there were no spaces left!  Apparently in order to be guaranteed a space, you had to have paid for a reserved spot. I thought that anyone who registered was guaranteed a spot, just that the reserved spots guaranteed you a spot in the same place each time.

Well, not so. Those that pay extra to reserve a spot are guaranteed their spot and must call the night before if they aren’t going to be there. Then, if the reserved people aren’t there, people like me can have a spot, first come first serve. Well I was really, really upset when I found that out. I mean, I read the agreement a couple of times just to make sure I understood how things worked before I signed up! Anyway, I decided it wasn’t worth it for me to drive 30min. to Salem just to be turned away, especially since you could probably bet that on any nice sunny day, there probably weren’t going to be hardly any spots available if any at all.

Anyway, take a lesson from me and make sure you check to see if you need to pay for a reserved spot in order to guarantee you can sell each Saturday.

So here’s a list of things to make sure you have in order to sell at the Saturday Market. Of course make sure to check with your local market to see what their specific rules are:

What to Bring To Saturday Market

  • Lots of candles in several different fragrances, sizes and types.
  • A pop up canopy with weights or at minimum, 1 gallon milk jugs filled with water attached to each corner. This will be a rule I’m sure for any Saturday Market. You don’t want your canopy flying away!
  • A nice banner with your business name, and possibly a short blurb or list of products you sell, that you would preferably attach along the top of the canopy, or along the front of a table, but up higher would be better.
  • Folding tables with nice table cloths that cover the entire table and 3 sides (this is usually a rule too).
  • A chair to sit on….you don’t want to be standing all day!
  • Money box, that locks.
  • Change!!! Don’t for get the Change! I would say you should have at least $10 in ones, $20 in fives and $30 in tens, plus a roll each of quarters, dimes and nickels.
  • Business cards- Hand them out to EVERYONE!
  • Business card holder. Looks nicer than just stacking them on the table.
  • Bags for people to put their candles into. Would be good to have tissue paper or newspaper as well so you can wrap any glass container candles.
  • Notebook and Pen/pencil to keep track of what candles you sell. And for doodling in when business is slow…..
  • Calculator. Best not to try to do it all in your head, especially when someone orders several candles or you need to take off an advertised discount. I imagine it makes the customer feel better about it too!
  • Receipt book. This is optional, but I know I had quite a few people ask me for a receipt, and thankfully I had my little receipt book, so I say this is a must. Looks more professional than just writing it on a piece of paper too! Also, at the Salem Saturday Market, you can accept credit cards even if you don’t have your own machine. So if you opt in for that, you have to have a receipt book in order to write the customer a receipt so they can take it up to the main booth and pay, and then they  bring you back their payment receipt and you  give them their candles.

Ok, so there’s a pretty good list for you I think. Now here are some tips. Some of these are from my own experience and some are some tips I received from some SSM Veterans who visited with me and offered some advice. It was a pretty neat experience and you could form some good friendships there. I found many of the sellers there to be very friendly and happy to help! Probably helped that I was the only candle person there too, so I wasn’t threatening anyone with competition 😉

13 Saturday Market Tips You Need To Know

  1. Make sure to have your car packed up the night before market day so you don’t have to do it early in the morning and feel rushed.
  2. Get to the market as early as you possibly can, at least on the first couple days you sell, and especially if you don’t have a reserved spot! Give yourself plenty of time to set up so you can be done and maybe wander around a bit before the market opens.
  3. If you don’t have a reserved spot, you can always call the market director the night before and see if any of the reserves called in to say they wouldn’t be there. At the Salem Saturday Market, the reserved spots are supposed to call in the night before if they aren’t going to be there. And if there are spots open, make sure you get there early because those spots can fill up fast and then you’re out of luck for that day! (like me, even though I did show up early, but I didn’t know I could have called the night before)
  4. Try to set up your tables in a way that invites people in! This is one thing I noticed of other booths that seemed to work for them. I only had one table so I just set it up out front with 2 shelf things on each side of the table. If I had two tables, I would have tried setting it up in an L shape with one table on the side of the canopy and the other toward the back. This way, it kind of invites people in to look at your stuff rather than just walking on by because they think they can see all that you have right there in front. I think this is like creating some curiosity to draw people in to take a closer look. Better yet, have 3 tables making an upside down U shape.
  5. Set up your display with different levels. I admit, mine was kind of flat. I tried to raise some of the candles up on boxes that I put underneath the table cloth, but still, it wasn’t the way I would prefer. So if you can afford it, find some sturdy shelves that you can set on top of the tables in order to create different levels, of course making sure everything is sturdy! Even if you can’t afford to spend much money on this, I imagine you could make a pretty good multilevel structure with different size cardboard boxes and just cover them with nice looking table cloths.
  6. Bring enough candles and accessories that will fill up your tables enough to look like you’ve got something going on there! You don’t want it to look empty and boring, or like you only have a few items to choose from.
  7. Be there EVERY Saturday. This, I did not get a chance to do, but this was the advice I got from a couple of the regular sellers that had been selling there for several years. This way, the buyers get to know you and rely on you being there and you can develop a relationship with some of them, in turn making it very possible to get regular customers that know and love your product!
  8. Hand out business cards to anyone who will take them and keep some on the table in an obvious spot. You normally aren’t allowed to coerce anyone or “sell” to people unless they come up to your booth, so just be ready when someone comes to browse, ask them if they’d like to take a card. Try to engage them a little bit in conversation. Maybe ask if they’ve ever used soy candles before or what their favorite scent is, etc…. But ALWAYS ask if they’d like a card before they leave.
  9. Make sure to include a business card in the bag when someone does buy your candles.
  10. Have leaflets on the table that have your soy candle burning instructions on them. This way you can also include that in the bag when someone buys, and they’ll be more likely to have a good experience with your candles in burning them properly.
  11. Keep your candles out of the sun! I learned this the second Saturday I sold at the market. It was a pretty warm day and although they didn’t melt, my candles started getting faded from sitting in the sun too long, so I had to make sure to move them back under the canopy more as the day went on.
  12. Leave the lids off of a few of your best smelling candles. I did this and have had people comment that they could smell them even before they came up close!  Plus it makes people feel like it’s okay to take the lids off and smell. And you can also offer that they can do that too.
  13. Make your prices easily visible to the customers. Many people may not ask you for the price if it’s not made available to them and they might assume it is going to be too much.

 Incentives to Get People to Buy Your Candles

  • Be friendly! Smile, try to engage a conversation without being pushy. Some people just want to be left alone as they browse, so just go with the feel of it. If they don’t seem to want to talk, then just leave them alone to look.
  • Offer a free tealight to anyone!
  • Utilize Buy One Get One free sales, or Buy Two Get One Free (that’s what I used and quite few people took advantage of it!)
  • Be open when people ask information on how you make your candles and what kind of ingredients you use.
  • Make your booth area look appealing!
  • Bring lots of different fragrances and sizes. Don’t be boring!

Luxurious Homemade Whipped Body Butter

I love making natural beauty products as gifts, and homemade body butter is one friends and family always love to receive. It’s a gift that is easy to personalize with custom natural scents (and even can help with sleep if you add a little magnesium!).

Put the finished product in a cute glass jar with ribbon and a tag, and you have a thoughtful and beautiful gift that will make them feel pampered for months.

Even if you aren’t typically the type to make your own gifts, this recipe is easy for DIY beginners and fun to make. Give it a try!

Why Body Butter?

Body butter is thicker than lotion and contains less water. This means it takes longer to penetrate the skin (don’t walk on a floor barefoot after applying body butter to your feet!) but it’s very moisturizing and softens even those tougher, very dry spots like the knees, elbows, and feet.

By whipping body butter, you get the best of both worlds since it is soft and easy to apply but still extra moisturizing.

How to Make Body Butter

This new recipe has similar ingredients to these homemade lotion bars, but removes the beeswax and whips the mixture as it cools to create a cloud-like lotion that is extremely nourishing!

This body butter is great for babies or sensitive skin, and scents can be added to make it a custom gift for anyone (or to keep for yourself!).

My current favorite is a peppermint-scented version for the holidays, but I also like a citrus/lavender combination.

Homemade Whipped Body Butter Recipe

The combination of shea and cocoa butter with two nourishing oils makes a highly moisturizing combination, but whipping the mix helps it go on smoothly without being oily.

Body Butter Ingredients

Optional: Cocoa butter, shea butter, and mango butter are all interchangeable in this recipe. If you only have one or two on hand, feel free to substitute or play with different proportions.

Body Butter Instructions

  1. In a double boiler or glass bowl, combine all ingredients except essential oils.
  2. Bring to medium heat and stir constantly until all ingredients are melted.
  3. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Add essential oils if using.
  4. Move to fridge and let cool another hour or until starting to harden around the edges but still somewhat soft.
  5. Use a hand mixer to whip for 10 minutes until fluffy.
  6. Return to the fridge for 10-15 minutes to set.
  7. Store in a glass jar with a lid and use as you would regular lotion or body butter. If your home stays above 75 degrees, it may soften and need to be kept at the fridge, but it will stay whipped at a temperature lower than that.
  8. Keep for yourself, or give away! Enjoy!

Body Butter FAQ

This recipe has been around for a while, so here are some of the questions you’ve asked the most:

Will it be greasy?

Body butter is definitely more emollient and has a heavier texture than lotion does, but after a few minutes it will penetrate the skin and lose any greasy feel.

How long will it last?

Stored away from moisture and light this homemade body butter should last 6-8 months. Using a spoon or spatula to dip rather than your fingers will extend the life of the body butter.

Why is mine not white like yours?

Shea butter especially can vary in texture and color depending on the brand. Not to worry, it will still work just as well!

Will this clog my pores?

Nope! This body butter actually did wonders on my cystic acne back in the day.

Other Body Butter Variations

Mastered the recipe? Try mixing up your own combinations! Here are some ideas to get you started:

Chocolate-Covered Coffee Beans

  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    1 cup


  • 2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons shortening
  • 1/2 cup coffee beans
  • Baking cocoa, optional


  • In a microwave, melt chocolate chips and shortening; stir until smooth. Dip coffee beans in chocolate; allow excess to drip off. Place on waxed paper; let stand for 10-15 minutes.
  • Roll in cocoa if desired; let stand until set. Store in an airtight container.
Nutrition Facts

1 tablespoon: 39 calories, 2g fat (1g saturated fat), 0 cholesterol, 2mg sodium, 5g carbohydrate (4g sugars, 0 fiber), 0 protein.

Originally published as Chocolate Covered Coffee Beans in Taste of Home Christmas Annual 2009

What is Holistic Healing?


What makes us whole?

The ultimate goal of holistic healing is wholeness. In achieving wholeness, we must consider all aspects of our lives including:

  1. Respecting our body
  2. Healing our relationships
  3. Caring for our environment
  4. Showing love for all humankind
  5. Living our life purpose

So what is holistic healing?

Lets start with the obvious…or not so obvious…

The Basics – What is health?

The state of ‘health’ implies that all natural processes that support life are functioning at an optimal level in their intended alignment.

There are three general types of ‘health’ – physical health, mental health and spiritual health. We usually treat each one separately as though they are not related…for instance, we might see a psychologist for mental health, a doctor for our physical health and a healer for our spiritual health.

But is it really possible to separate physical health from mental health from spiritual health? Can we maintain our physical health in the absence of mental health?

At any given time, we each sit somewhere along the spectrum of physical, mental and spiritual health…


But don’t they all mean the same thing?

It is only when we view ourselves from a holistic perspective that we realise that health is really an overall state of being.

We are either in balance or out of balance, aligned or misaligned, integrated or disintegrated, and that’s what makes us feel well or unwell. Too simple to be true? Maybe not…

The body, mind and soul work as a system with each part contributing equally to whole person. When in flow, this system facilitates the natural flow of energy throughout the body, without blockages or resistance. When out of flow, this natural flow is interrupted as energy accumulates and stagnation of energy occurs.

The Definition – What is holistic healing?

First, we must answer the question, ‘what exactly is healing?’

Healing is about bringing any imbalance into alignment with its natural state of functioning.

Every organ in our bodies has a natural or ‘healthy’ state of functioning as do our emotional, mental and spiritual states. When we are out of balance, we feel like something is out of place – whether it comes in the form of emotional or physical pain or discomfort – and we naturally want to return to our natural state of harmony, when everything ‘works’ as intended. This process of rebalancing is synonymous with healing.

Holistic healing bypasses the ‘band-aid fix’ approach of conventional medicine, looks beyond a person’s physical state and sees the holistic view of their state of being or functioning. It acknowledges that the root cause of a physical illness may in fact be non-physical.

Holistic healing works when we we approach life from all aspects of being – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual…


Therefore, a holistic approach is considered to be more effective because change occurs on all levels and as a result, positive changes are more likely to last long-term and improve a person’s overall quality of life.

When we heal holistically, we address imbalances on all levels, rather than one or two, and so it becomes a life-long process in achieving overall life balance. The ultimate goal of aligning the body, mind and soul promises a happier, healthier, more balanced state of being