Hey Bees! I can scarcely believe Humblebee & Me is seven—if this blog were a wee person she’d be able to read and tie her own shoes and would probably be planning on going as Laura Ingles Wilder for Halloween so she had an excuse to wear a starched bonnet to school. This year has been a really fun one of learning, travelling, meet-ups, and more!

Happy seventh birthday, Humblebee & Me!

Travel wise, I visited Vancouver, Seattle, New York, New Zealand, Australia, Toronto, and Albany/Portland! I hosted Humblebee & Me meet-ups in Vancouver, Sydney, Hobart, Melbourne, Calgary, Toronto, and Portland, and I’ve got more planned. I am absolutely loving these meet-ups—they are such a fun, casual way to meet amazing, creative people all over the world! I also went on my first designated Humblebee & Me trips to speak at the Mother Earth News Fair! I’ve already been to Albany, OR and Seven Springs, PA, and I’ve got a trip to Topeka, KS in October. Stay tuned for more talks in more places—I’m really enjoying presenting and introducing new people to DIY!

I moved house (and studio) and finally gave you all the studio tour you’ve been asking for! It is amazing having the studio all in one room—not only for ease of making things, but also so I can shut the door and ignore the mid-project mess 😝The Humblebee & Me YouTube channel is now about 2.5 years old, and is growing really well! As of this writing it’s at about 37k subscribers, many of whom found Humblebee & Me on YouTube rather than through the blog, which is so cool!

In late January I finally started my coursework for Formula Botanica—they’ve gifted me two of their courses in exchange for reviews. I’m still not done the first one (that’s all on me!), but I am really enjoying the coursework so far, and am definitely still learning lots despite not being a new formulator.

I attended my first conference! In June I flew to Toronto for the HSCG/HBBG 2018 Annual Conference, and had so much fun. I met so many amazing makers, including Ariane Arsenault and Zahida of Handmade in Florida! I’ve got two more conferences coming up as well—I’ll be at the Formula Botanica conference in London, England in early November, and SCS Formulate in Coventry, England in mid November. I can’t wait!

Now for some lists of some of the best things from the last year 🙂

5 Most Popular Posts

  1. A Guide to Carrier Oil Substitutions
  2. A Guide to Essential Oil Substitutions
  3. Winter Wonderland Bath Bombs
  4. A Quick Guide to Beeswax and Liquid Oil Ratios
  5. Mermaid Silk Shampoo Bars

5 Most Popular Videos

  1. How to Make a Basic DIY Lotion (from scratch!)
  2. Cocoa Butter vs. Shea Butter vs, Coconut Oil: How are they different?
  3. What happens if you use beeswax instead of emulsifying wax
  4. Don’t make this beginner DIY mistake
  5. How are Bentonite Clay and Kaolin Clay Different?

My 5 Favourites from 2018

  1. Snowy Dawn Cream Luminizer
  2. Super Concentrated Lemon Dishwashing Paste
  3. Ginger Oak Moss Solid Facial Cleanser
  4. Creamy Stick Lip Tints
  5. Rose Micellar Water

My 5 Favourite Innovations/New Things I Tried

  1. Stick lipsticks!
  2. Hyaluronic acid ❤️
  3. Cleansing conditioners
  4. Conditioners in body butters
  5. Cold processing body butters (thanks, Formula Botanica!)

My 5 Favourite Gifts

  1. Creamy Stick Lip Tints
  2. Super Concentrated Lemon Dishwashing Paste
  3. Lemon Rose Facial Cleansing Drops
  4. Lavender Spruce Bath Bombs
  5. Conditioning Super Nourishing Hair Balm

My 5 Favourite DIY Purchases

  1. Micro-Mini Mixer
    I love this little blender—it’s amazeballs. I use it all the time for little batches of toners, foundation, liquid lipstick, and more. I also got another mixer from Lotion Crafter that has more kick, but sadly they have discontinued it due to quality control problems 🙁
  2. Proper shelving & storage
    Since moving I’ve been able to get my entire studio and all my making stuff into one room, and it’s been amazing. I had to purchase a bunch of shelving in order to make it fit, but it’s been a massive upgrade. I Kijiji’d a lot of it, and the rest is from IKEA—you can learn more here.
  3. Washi Tape
    I didn’t buy the tape this year, but I started using it to differentiate between experiments and decorate bottles and jars, and I love the bit of colourful whimsy (and clarity) it adds!
  4. TKB Trading’s Thickening Clay
    I have been having so much fun playing with this stuff in all kinds of different cosmetic recipes; I’m currently experimenting with liquid lipstick recipes using it!
  5. White Circle Dot Stickers
    I use these to label the caps of my bottles of essential and fragrance oils so I can store them in a drawer. Huge space saver!

My 5 Favourite Non-DIY Purchases

  1. The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing by Marie Kondō
    I bought the e-book as it seemed silly to buy another physical item to teach you about paring down the amount of items you own. It was a good read, but the general “have less stuff and make sure all your stuff has a place to go so your home doesn’t generate into panic-attack inducing levels of clutter” has been brilliant.
  2. Down Blanket
    This fantastic, super-warm, uber-packable blanket is absa-freaking-loutely amazeballs. If you are a cold person like me, get yourself one. Bring it everywhere. You’re welcome.
  3. Dyson Handheld Vacuum
    I scooped up a V6 on Kijiji and it is wonderful. I use it all the time to clean up random clumps of dog hair and to tidy up the studio after I’ve scattered dried herbs and poufs of clay  everywhere.
  4. A super comfy La-Z-Boy sofa
    This was an awesome Kijiji score and it’s a massive upgrade over the previous sofa. It’s got a recliner end and a lounger end! Lottie also loves it.
  5. Bar Keepers Friend
    We’ve got white stone countertops now, and this stuff has been amazing and keeping them sparkling when I do something silly like smudge lipstick experiments on them.

I’d love to hear from you! What have you been loving making? What have you learned and loved in the last year?

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