Oh my goodness, Humblebee & Me is eight! My little blog is a third-grader, and if it takes after me, it’ll be learning and forgetting long division (for the first time, at least) this year. This last year has been full of making things, learning things, and meeting Bees all over the world!

Check out the video announcement for my new #BeeBetter series!

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I hosted Humblebee & Me meetups in London, Dublin, Prague, Austin, and Asheville. I spoke at Mother Earth News Fair events in Belton (TX), Topeka (KS), Seven Springs (PA), and Asheville (NC), and I gave two talks at the 2019 Handcrafted Soap & Cosmetic Guild Conference in Dallas! Next month I’m heading to Topeka again for another Monther Earth News Fair event, where I’ll be giving talks on creating your own skincare products.

I attended the Formula Botanica Annual Conference in London, England, as well as SCS Formulate last fall, and I finished my Diploma in Organic Skincare Formulation from Formula Botanica, earning 100% on my final project! In London, I met LisaLise, saw Robert Tisserand speak, and re-connected with my uni roomie Jumana, who now runs a fabulous skincare brand in Australia called Herbs & Heart.

The Humblebee & Me YouTube channel is now about 3.5 years old, and has continued to grow! Last year’s birthday post had the current subscriber count at about 37k, and now we’re north of 62k! Thank you so much to everyone for your support 😊

I also moved again in June; that was not my favourite part of the year, but I’m in love with my new space and very happy to be settled in my “treehouse”. Here’s hoping there are no more unexpected moves on the horizon!

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 & 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. How to Make DIY Cleopatra’s Secret Body Balm
  4. Let’s Talk About Fragrance Oils and Essential Oils
  5. How to Make DIY Lipstick in a Lipstick Mold

My 5 Favourites from 2018

  1. Mango Mango Shampoo Bar
  2. Silky Cream Foundation
  3. Micellar water for waterproof makeup
  4. Formulating & DIYing with Spreadsheets
  5. Pemberley Hand Lotion (& series)

My 5 Favourite Innovations/New Things I Tried

  1. Pressing things with my new Bath Bomb Press (I haven’t shared anything yet, but I’m having a blast getting to know it and will share some stuff soon!)
  2. Working with higher concentrations of glycerin (again—haven’t shared anything yet, but I’m loving it!)
  3. Whipped surfactant scrubs
  4. Hydroxyethylcellulose
  5. All kinds of gelled things, mostly with Aristoflex AVC

My 5 Favourite Giftable DIYs

  1. Rosé Lip Balm
  2. Sugar Plum Body Butter Bars
  3. Mango Mango Shampoo Bars
  4. Soothing Cleansing Balm
  5. Rose Aloe Body Cream

My 5 Favourite DIY Purchases/Gifts

  1. Canon 80D + lenses
    I picked up a new-to-me DSLR on Kijiji that’s much better suited to filming; it has facial-tracking autofocus! It has made filming much easier.
  2. Bath bomb press + air compressor
    The press was a gift, I purchased the compressor to power it. I’m having so much fun pressing all kinds of things and I can’t wait to share those things with you!
  3. Modern Cosmetics book
    This was also a gift; it’s been a fabulous resource for both information and inspiration!
  4. Stainless Steel Lab Spatula
    I bought two of these, and I love them to bits. I tend to use them a lot for mashing up viscous, high-pigment cosmetics.
  5. Disposable plastic condiment cups
    I have a bad habit of leaving experiments sitting in whatever it was they were made in, for lack of having somewhere to put them. I didn’t want to waste a proper jar or container if it was going to be a total flop, but leaving it in the beaker rendered the beaker useless. Enter disposable plastic condiment cups with lids! I now use these for storing many types of experiments and they’re great.

My 5 Favourite Non-DIY Purchases

  1. My amazing new (used) club armchair
    I found this beauty on Kijiji for $150 and it’s like sitting in a cozy leather hug.
  2. Clothing steamer
    Another Kijiji find that I’m in love with—this beauty pumps out copious amounts of steam, leaving my clothes/hats/curtains/etc. looking fabulous.
  3. Sweater shaver
    If you like polishing silver, you’ll like shaving sweaters. Seriously. It nips off all the little pilled-up bits on your sweaters so they look new again. I’ve used mine a ton on sweaters I’ve thrifted to restore them to their former glory.
  4. Oxi-Clean
    I am kind of embarrassed by how much I love Oxi-Clean. I bought a giant box of it at Costco several months ago and have since spent far too much time seeing what happens if I Oxi-Clean things. They usually end up astonishingly clean in a way that feels like cheating (though they aren’t kidding about the “don’t use it on silk” thing… whoops). I bought a coffee-stained white shirt from a thrift shop (they sell for $130 new, I paid $3)—Oxi-Clean got the coffee stain out with just soaking. DAYUM.
  5. So many amazing thrifted clothing finds
    I’ve been thrifting a lot this year in a quest to upgrade my wardrove on a budget, and I love it. I am especially loving thrifting while I travel! I’ve been sharing some of my finds on Instagram with the hashtag #ThriftedThursday—check ’em out!

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

As always, thank you so much for your support—it truly means the world to me ❤️

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