With all of the talk about “social distancing” these days, it’s important to remember that “social distancing” doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stay stuck inside to be safe!
Spending time outdoors is an important activity for our family, as you might have guessed since we created our own natural bug spray to spend more time out and about! 😉
As Covid-19 continues to spread across the USA and around the world, with many adults working from home and kids adapting to homeschooling, cabin fever is starting to kick in for most of us. It doesn’t HAVE to be this way. As long as we take precautions, such as not gathering in large groups, keeping at least 6 feet between ourselves and anyone not from our households, trying not to touch our faces, etc. there are ways to get out and about for some much-needed fresh air!
Many national, state, and local parks have stayed open during the coronavirus outbreak, and they are FREE to visit. Find a more isolated area of the park as you adventure through paths and trails you have been meaning to explore. Go biking, jogging, hiking, etc. just make sure to steer clear of crowded areas, and don’t forget to bring along your Bug Soother!
Explore your Neighborhood
Grab your dog, grab your kids, and go for a walk or a bike ride around your neighborhood. Become a “tourist in your own town” as you stroll around town, waving to your neighbors and strangers alike. As long as you make sure to keep a good distance from other community members, this is a fun way to actually SEE people out in the world, to make eye contact, and to not feel so alone. You may even notice some cool things about your community that you hadn’t noticed before! In many communities, neighborhoods have even begun hosting “scavenger hunts” where they decorate their doors and windows each week with different coordinated decorations, giving kids and parents alike something fun to search for in the community each week.
It’s finally spring, and the weather should (allegedly) start warming up soon. Start getting your camping gear ready and check to make sure you’re stocked up on Bug Soother. Then start planning where you’d like to camp for a few nights to get away from the world! (and in particular, from your house) Want something a little closer? Pitch a tent in your own backyard for something a little different.
Speaking of your backyard, now’s the time to get creative! Plant a flower or vegetable garden, have a movie party with your family, eat dinner on the deck, have a BBQ. Encourage your kids to come up with themes to turn your backyard into your own, private oasis! Have a dance party! Plan a game night! Maybe now’s the time to redesign your backyard, and let your family help you. Make sure you grab our new mosquito repellent Bug Soother candle and pair it with our natural bug repellent, Bug Soother, to help keep unwanted biting guests away.
Take a family field trip, or a romantic date outdoors in the evening. Check the weather and a sky chart to find a good night for some star watching, then grab a blanket and head to a remote location or even your own backyard to settle in for the “show.” Don’t have a telescope? You can even use most types of binoculars to get a little better view, or just enjoy the immense night sky with the naked eye!
Above all, just remember to be patient with yourself, and with others!
In times like these it can often feel like we are alone in our struggles, especially when we literally have to keep at least 6 feet between us and many of the people closest to us…but let’s not forget that we are all in this TOGETHER, and we WILL get through this. We have some hard times ahead, but when we work together, and have faith (in each other, in God, or in whatever your personal belief system), we can accomplish incredible and beautiful things. So let’s please remember to be kind and love one another.
Still looking for some ways to enjoy life while participating in “social distancing”? Check out this little video our 8 year old grandson (Xander) made with some recommendations for ways to bring yourself and your family a little joy!
Sending love from our family to yours!
*Hopefully we don’t need to mention this, but we are not medical professionals, just a family and small business encouraging you to safely remember to enjoy the outdoors. It’s good for you and can even help improve mental health. As always, PLEASE make sure you are listening and following any direction the CDC or your local doctor is telling you!
It is with some sadness that we are announcing the closing of our Simply Soothing Marketplace retail store: effective January 10th.
Retail is very challenging, and especially in small towns. We have struggled for several years to keep this type of store open, but have made a business decision not to continue so that we may concentrate on other parts of the business.
The concept for our Simply Soothing Iowa Marketplace came from attending craft shows and watching people lugging beautiful handcrafted items around from show to show, while charging not much more than what would cover their costs. My vision was to create a comfortable storefront that would showcase these items, and allow people to shop in a relaxed atmosphere. Buying unique gifts made in our home state, while creating a sustainable business for the crafters.
We very much appreciate all the customers that have stopped in to buy gifts over the years. Our vendors appreciate them as well. Although we have had some of the best customers in the world, we have just not had enough of them to support this part of our business.
Please understand that lack of sales is definitely not a reflection of the beautiful items we have carried in our Columbus Junction store. It has always been heartbreaking to me that we couldn’t do justice for the hard work that has gone into the crafting of these gifts.
Over the next few weeks we will be open. There are many gifts left to buy, but when they are gone, they are gone. (Simply Soothing products, including Bug Soother, will continue to be available, but we will no longer have additional Iowa vendor’s items for sale.) Many of the vendors in Simply Soothing Iowa Marketplace are offering amazing discounts. There is not a better time to shop than now during the height of the holiday season, to buy something lovingly made by local Iowa artisans, rather than shipped in from China.
Simply Soothing will continue to make and sell our own products. We are going to put more effort into wholesale and ecommerce with a wider customer base while we continue to bring you natural, nourishing, and affordable products for you and your family. We will continue to keep you updated on what we are doing with that part of the business, in the meantime take advantage of some great sales on the Simply Soothing products you love. If you aren’t familiar with the products we make (beyond Bug Soother), please make sure to take a moment to learn about some of the other soothing products we make right here in SE Iowa.
Wishing you a wonderful holiday season,
Freda Sojka, CEO of Simply Soothing
Tyson and Anne have experienced many challenges as business owners. See how overcoming those challenges brought their family together. And, Freda Sojka and her staff welcome the mosquitoes with open arms every season. In this Iowa Entrepreneur, see the stories behind Carver’s Ridge and Simply Soothing….
Simply Soothing, Inc. is a family-owned and operated business based in Columbus Junction, Iowa. They’ve been creating unique, handmade products for over 15 years, with an emphasis on high quality for a reasonable price.
The story of Bug Soother:
In 2008 during the floods of the Midwest, Freda developed a natural bug repellent, called Bug Soother. She originally created it for her five month old grandson because she did not want anything with harsh chemicals, especially DEET, being used on him. She gave a sample bottle to her sister to try. Her home on the Cedar River had been flooded, and the gnats were terrible. Some men from the Carolinas were measuring flood waters, and trying to work in a swarm of gnats. She gave the men a quick spritz and instantly the gnats went away.
The next day, a man came into Freda’s little shop on Main Street, and asked if she made the bug spray. He told her that his workers had come back to the motel the night before, asking him to get them some of that bug spray…