My trip to the Cayman Islands

Monday, August 31, 2009

In the past week, I was fortunate enough to travel to Grand Cayman, the largest island in the Cayman Islands. It was everything I expected and more. The local restaurants, pubs and shops reminded me a little of back home. Considering the island is only 22 miles long and 8 miles across at its widest point, it was almost the size of my home town!

My trip consisted of snorkeling, horse back riding and just relaxing by the pool. The Cayman Islands are known for there beautiful reefs… so I knew the top thing on my list was snorkeling! We snorkeled along the very popular seven mile beach and then traveled across town to Rum Point. Both were great for snorkeling but if your interested in diving… the locals recommended Bonnie’s Arch and Doc Polson Wreck which is a sunken ship wreck.

Another highlight in my trip was the horse back riding. We rode the horses along West Bay. This was great because we were able to run the horses, walk them in the water and through trails. The horses were very well trained and were not hard to handle what so ever. I would strongly recommend doing this if you want some adventure!

One of my favorite things to when I am traveling is to eat at the most popular pubs. We dined at Aqua Beach, Reef Grill and Coconut Joes. These were the places we found to be the most fun. Aqua Beach has a live band and great drink specials. Reef Grill is right on the water so I would recommend eating dinner at sunset because the view is amazing! Coconut Joes is similar to Aqua Beach… the food is great and it’s a perfect place to loosen up and enjoy the weather. Which ever one you choose you will not be disappointed!

For romantic dinners I would recommend the Luca. It’s located in the Caribbean Club and you can enjoy your dinner seaside. I would recommend having the Seafood Fettuccine or Pumpkin Ravioli. They have a very large menu so you would sure find something you love. Don’t forget to make your reservation at sunset!

If you are looking for a hotel or condo for your vacation, I would recommend staying at one on the seven mile beach. The beaches there are beautiful and very clean. The water is very calm on that side of the island so it’s great for water sports.

Here are a few pictures of our hotel view, dinner at the Luca and horse back riding:

Growing the Absoutely Natural Line

Monday, August 10, 2009


For the first ten years of our existence, we had:
  • Two tanning oils
  • A rehydrating aloe
  • A pure aloe
  • Four sunscreens
And we did very well with those eight products. We have never been and will never be driven to create new products just to get shelf space in a store. In my opinion, this leads to superfluous products that really do nothing for the consumer but cause confusion. Instead, I make superior products that do exactly what we claim using only the best raw materials and our own special blending processes so they can really be natural.

Our Growing Product Line...
Our micro-focused line started to expand several years ago when we began selling our formulas to the spas at our luxury resorts. As a result of studying what people need, we set out to put our unique touch on the products; that is natural, organic and pure.

This led to the Organic products that have proven to be extremely popular at the resorts and today we have more than 200 formulas in our catalogue. Everything from salt scrubs, sugar scrubs, tropical gels, personal care, body butters, crèmes, massage oils, bath & body oils and bath salts. We even have products built especially for the Tattoo industry with our Tattoo Stay Nu line of healing crème, sunscreen serums and moisturizers.

What's to Come...
And, we are not done by any means. We are planning or are already in the development stage for:
  • Daily use sunscreen for the face that will be added to our Facials line
  • Complete men’s line including shaving crèmes and lotions, after shave balms, shower gels, lotions and more
  • Organic sunscreens for spas with a special zinc/titanium blend
  • New formulas and fragrances for our shampoo, shower gels, hair conditioners
  • Selection of our spa formulas, scrubs, salts, butters, crèmes, for retail
  • Chemical free bug repellents
  • Natural self tanners
  • Lip moist crème in several flavors
What Would You Like to See?
If you have any suggestions or something you’d like us to develop, please email me.

Thanks for 18 years of support … we’re looking forward to serving you for many more years to come.

Truth in Advertising: mis-leading use of the term "Natural" in branding is being widely abused

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


Unfortunately, marketing perception does not usually match ingredient reality for skincare products. Sprinkling a few natural ingredients into a "chemical stew" does not make the stew "natural." In response to join the "green revolution" many of the large companies now put the word "Natural" and other attractive buzzwords on the front of their labels, referring in truth to single ingredients, however, not to the entire product formula as they want you to perceive. It is good to have independent, 3rd party reviews of product formulations & we applaud the efforts of organizations such as the Environmental Working Group to uncover the hypocrisies and inclusion of potentially toxic ingredients in formulas by manufacturers in my previous post.

Our customers purchase from us based upon quality, integrity, proven benefits and the fact that our products' value rises as you read our ingredients, opposite to industry norm. Of course, the real "proof" comes from using such superior formulations and experiencing firsthand the benefits they provide. Since 1992, our company has grown by word-of-mouth from such experiences as we do not advertise.

Most consumers buy based on familiarity(exposure to marketing machines), price and front label claims. As an example, I've shared the ingredient list below for an SPF product from a so called "naturals" line by one of the largest consumer product manufacturers in the world. They spend millions of dollars on television and magazine ads attempting to create a natural, wholesome image for this brand's line of be the judge.
Active Ingredients: Avobenzone (3%), Homosalate (10%), Octisalate (5%), Octocrylene (2.4%), Oxybenzone (5%)
Inactive Ingredients: BHT, C12 15 Alkyl Benzoate, Cetyl Alcohol, Cetyl Dimethicone, Chlorhexidine Digluconate, Cholecalciferol, Diethylhexyl 2,6 Naphthalate, Dimethicone, Disodium EDTA, Fragrance, Glycerin, Glyceryl Stearate, Glycine Soja Seed Extract (soybean), Hydroxyethyl Acrylate/Sodium Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, Methylparaben, PEG 100 Stearate, Phenoxyethanol, Polysorbate 60, Potassium Cetyl Phosphate, Propylparaben, Retinyl Palmitate, Silica, Sodium Ascorbyl Phosphate, Squalane, Synthetic Beeswax, Tocopherol, Tocopheryl Acetate, Trimethylsiloxyamodimethicone, VP/Eicosene Copolymer, Water, Xanthan Gum
This is just one example, but typical of most mass marketed lines. It is dishonest & shameful, in my opinion, to aggressively imply through marketing & front package labeling that a product with ingredients listed above be actively promoted as "natural." We're grateful for the educated "label readers" who comprise our customer base and promise to continue to deliver the finest formulations of natural ingredients we can for the benefit of your skin & health!

Vacation in the "North Woods"

Monday, August 3, 2009


Recently my better half and I took a trip waaay up north into the “Northern Woods” of Wisconsin. It’s a favorite vacation spot, among family, and as I’ve found, also among Floridians as well. Several friends down here frequent the glassy cool waters of Northern Wisconsin come summer. Just mentioning such towns as Rhinelander, Eagle River, Minocqua, and Woodruff can result in a manic reply of “Did you just say…!?” From there an excited and often frenzied conversation commences covering all subjects from the entomological pests, to our favorite restaurants, fishing spots, and lakes.

Now, I live in paradise, so you’d think, why in the world would you LEAVE Florida for vacation? To be honest, when we first moved here several years ago I thought the same thing. Nothing, however, can compare to the lake. It can be all at once, quiet, still, and peaceful… then hop into your boat and you’re zipping around the lake at breakneck speed.


Paul Bunyan's Camp Style Shanty
This food isn't going to beat mom's, but you can't beat the kitch. All you can eat, camp-style dining is tough to beat with the family. Don't miss breakfast, their homemade donuts are delish!

Lakeside (on Lake Tomahawk):
Boat up or drive up, you choose. Delicious Walleye (all you can eat on Friday's), yummy pitas and among the best deep-fried cheese curds in town.
Otto's (downtown):
I have been dreaming of their classic brats for 4 years now. It was worth the wait. Grilled, outside the casing, these brats are hard to beat... even better with a cold hard cider.
Minocqua Brewing Company (just outside downtown):
Known for hosting the annual beer festival, they also serve some excellent savory temptations. For appetizers I absolutely recommend the Bavarian pretzel & beer/cheese dip.

I can’t believe how many times, driving through town, I looked at a lake or pond and wondered “How many gators live in there?” Funny. When we first moved here, I evaluated turns and hills as “potentially dangerous” come winter. Ahh we bring home with us wherever we go don’t we?

I could go on and on about vacation, but I think I’d rather share some pics instead
(the road our cabin is on, Patrick and I on the Dock, the cabin):