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New for Winter: Scrub Bee

Confession: I hate winter. Every single year, I wonder what possesses me to live in a place where the air makes my face hurt. (And then spring comes and I smell the violets on the edge of the woods, and my bees are all over the willows and dandelions and…

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Chanukah O Chanukah…

This year, Chanukah starts on December 24th. The Chanukah story has a lot of elements in common with the founding of the US. And with Star Wars, for that matter. As with any “plucky little band fights big evil empire and wins” story, the little guy is very little: a ragtag band of Jewish farmers,…

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Pumpkins

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hi Everyone! October and November are always a busy time for small business. I’m gearing up for the gift-giving season, and many of you start buying lotions, balms, and butters again as the weather dries out your skin. It’s a double-whammy for small makers like me, but also our best…

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Just in time for Mother’s Day… or Any Day!

I generally don’t make holiday-themed items. They aren’t my style–no Santa soaps, or leprechauns or red heart soaps or whatever. But I’m going to make an exception (sort of) this year. I’m making these great bath bombs, fit for a queen (or king). Check it out. Gorgeous, no? I take…

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Happy 2016!

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit. —Aristotle So true. And the excellence of my frequent blogging habit obviously fell by the wayside this year.  So let’s talk goals for the coming year, the habits I want to create or maintain in…

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August Was A Busy Month!

If you’re local to Ithaca, you know that the Ithaca Commons has recently undergone a lengthy renovation. The Commons now looks great, with upgraded services and all sorts of improvements. We’ve had a fun festival to celebrate the Commons revival, complete with free music, bouncy house, air hockey, and more….

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Happy Chanukah! Happy Solstice! Happy Kwanzaa! Merry Christmas! And Thanks for A Fabulous Year!

Our family finished celebrating Chanukah, eight days to contemplate the end of winter darkness and the triumph of the little guy over the mega-corporation… I mean empire. Although the holiday tradition talks about the miracle of a day’s oil lasting eight days, giving time to rededicate the Temple, the first miracle,…

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Gratitude for The Season

Knitting, Etc. in the Triphammer Marketplace in Ithaca was the first retail store to carry my balms. It was amazing to have my things in an actual store where people bought them, and liked them, and came back for more (that coming back for more part was really key…). People even sought…

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Shop Avital’s… Online! Be An Early Bee!

Avital’s is based in Ithaca, NY, and our business has expanded to include stores not only in Ithaca, but also Corning, Interlaken, and Ellicottville, NY, near Buffalo. Hurrah! As more and more of you share Avital’s artisan soaps and skin care with friends and relatives across the county (thank you very…

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Ithaca Winter Balm Is Getting A Makeover

Just a little one. I’m finding that the name is confusing for people. Can I use Winter Balm in June? Sure you can! When I named it, I had in mind the cold, dry winters we so often have, when all the moisture is sucked out of your skin. I…