Sunday, October 2, 2011


Wunder Budder dressed as a ghost.
I love Halloween season.

It's my favorite.
For so many reasons.

The air feels fresh and clean... I can wear leggings and boots... It's Chider (chai + cider) Season... People walk around in costumes all month long... the town smells like a carnival... I love cartoon ghosts, skeletons, monsters... colored leaves, striped socks and fried dough. The excitement and the energy in the air...

Salem comes alive like no other place for Halloween.  It's a month long celebration, all leading up to
(or two or three)

All Hallow's Eve, Samhain, The Day of the Dead, Trick or Treating,

it all blends together for me...

I just stick with Halloween.

I lived in New Mexico for a while,  and one year I attended a festival for the Day of the Dead, or Día de los Muertos.  I don't know if my memory of this festival was blurred, and after spending lots of time looking it up, I never found an explanation, but this is what stuck with me... Whether factual or twisted and turned in my imagination, this is how I hold Halloween deep inside:

There was a giant puppet in the middle of a field close to the center of town... a crudely created puppet, as tall as a house...

it swayed and moaned...

the image and sounds will stick with me forever.

The puppet represented the year gone, all events of the year, all gains and loss, all emotions...
the good, the bad, and everything in the middle.

At the end of the festival, the puppet was burned... a sacrifice to the universe... and as it went up in flames

we all let go of the past
to make room for the future.

I enjoy the whole month of October.  The superficial things that make me happy during this season are just as important to me as the spiritual depth of the culmination...

it's the celebration of life and fun,
followed by the release of the past,
the internal growth of winter,
and the rebirth of spring.

the reminder that I'm part of the
the family, the community, the country, the earth, the universe.

And that is why I love Halloween.


Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Inside Wunder Budder... Jojoba Oil!

Simmondsia chinesis

(adapted from Wunder Budder's fall 2010 newsletter)

jojoba shrub
 Jojoba is among my favorite oils, and the one I use most frequently, both at home and in Wunder Budder.  While it's thick and rich, when used correctly (a little goes a long way!) it sinks into the skin and leaves little to no oily residue behind.  It has a beautiful deep golden yellow color and a very light natural aroma.

Jojoba is native to the Sonoran Desert area of southwestern Arizona, southern California and northwestern Mexico.  It’s a desert shrub growing to an average height of 5ft tall.  Jojoba plants live for 100-200 years, and each year they produce flowers.  The male plants produce yellow-green flowers which grow in small clusters, and the female plants produce green flowers which usually grow one per stem.  The female flowers harden into a pod-like fruit, with each fruit one containing 1-3 brown peanut–sized seeds which are collected and cold pressed in order to claim their oil.

Although it’s referred to as jojoba oil, it is technically a liquid wax with a chemical structure similar to both sperm whale oil and the sebum (natural oil) made by human skin.  When the US banned the import of sperm whale oil in 1971, jojoba became more commonly used in cosmetics.  Its popularity has increased since then because of its usefulness and its stability and long shelf life.

calendula infused jojoba oil
While more expensive than other common oils, it can be used in smaller amounts due to its rich consistency.  It’s easy to spread and absorbs nicely into the skin.  It helps regulate sebum production, doesn’t clog pores and is useful for all skin types.  It may help reduce the appearance of superficial lines and wrinkles, making it excellent for facial care.  It also makes a great scalp oil and is thought to encourage the growth of new hair with its ability to regulate sebum production and remove hardened sebum from hair follicles.

With all its attributes, jojoba is used in many types of skin care products.  It may be used full strength or blended with a complimentary oil.  With its low odor, it’s also excellent as a base for natural perfumes.
Paramedic Salve, with jojoba oil
In Wunder Budder, jojoba is frequently used.  I love that it’s thick and nourishing without being heavy or greasy.  I love its golden color and how it picks up the yellow from calendula flowers and the green from chaparral.  And, that it has a very mild aroma which helps when blending it with essential oils.  But, most importantly, I love how it feels on my skin, and I think you will too. 


What Wunder Budder products contain jojoba oil?
Original & Paramedic salves
All nine flavors of lip balm
Calendula Oil
Facial Oils
Body Oils (when available)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Small Changes

I've changed the name of this blog once again.

Recently I've realized that one of my biggest fears since I was a teenager is to be stagnant, unchanged, unmoving.

For a long time, I thought that meant to change I needed to move, change jobs, change relationships.  Itchy Feet Syndrome.

And that's what I did.

At some point over the last few years, I've realized that while I still like external changes, the changes that mean the most to me are changes I make internally.

Thoughts, ideas, focus.  Things that change the deeper me are what make me happiest.

Today I realized that telling the story of Wunder Budder from the beginning (the idea of the first incarnation of this blog) and Wunder Budder Buzz (the second incarnation - spreading news) are not what I presently want to share.

Maybe this is why today I changed the name of the blog once again, to Adventures of Wunder Budder.  Maybe this will help change my focus to this blog to all aspects of Wunder Budder, from my personal intentions to specifics about my business.  Maybe it will help me to post more, to share more.  Or maybe it won't.  Either way, it needed a change, so that's what happened.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011


My birthday is today...
At this time of year, I always take a look around
to see what I'm doing, where I'm going, and who's coming with me...
It's an extra burst of confidence,
 a renewed realization that I have complete control over my life...
there's always a choice, a direction,
a decision to make.

Don McCloskey says...
promise to never to age
in such a way
that you don't rage

the dying of the light
and fight
the right fights
and turn the page at the right time
and realize at the right age
that mankind is alright and ok
and wasn't meant to be caged anyway
cause life is a stage
so hop up and engage
and forget your lines
cause half the time
you gotta improvise anyway
don't wait to have a seizure
before you seize the day

 (from the song Don't Tango With the Freak Show)

I love birthdays!


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Lip balm! Lip lovin' lip balm!

I'm not sure where to start!  At the beginning?

Wunder Budder lip balms have always been made with a base of rich jojoba and apricot kernel oils infused with calendula flowers and solidified with golden beeswax.  I modeled them after the Original calendula salve, the one that the whole company started with (pictured below, to the right).

They also included cocoa butter in the beginning.  Although cocoa butter is widely used and it's a great butter, I wanted something different, something better, and started experimenting with other butters.

I settled on kokum butter, a butter with amazing skin softening properties, that melted right around skin temperature, allowing the lip balms to stay solid, but melted into lips when applied.

After a while, my most trusted supplier stopped selling kokum butter.  I never found out why, and never found another good supplier for it, so I was forced to choose again.

Because I was so happy with the kokum butter, I chose a butter with similar properties - Sal butter.

I loved it... Sal was softer than kokum butter, with a slightly lower melting point, and I ended up really happy that I was forced to make the change.

I still love sal butter, but about six months ago I started experimenting with mango butter.  Even though it's too hard generally to be used on its own, I fell in love with it the first time I dug out a little chunk from a fresh jar and massaged it into the back of my hand.  Even as a stand alone, it was amazing.  It had an almost invisible aroma, a nice light golden color, and it made my skin feel great!  I knew I had to find a way to work it into my products.

I decided to start with lip balms, and once it was in there, I fell in love with it all over again.  After a few long-time users (and two hopefully future employees, although I don't think they know it yet... yeah, Timm and Deirdre, if you're reading this, I'm talking to you!) and my husband told me they liked the new formula better than the old one and why (didn't get melty in pockets and didn't get crumbly when cold - neither which I knew the old formula did, and this is why I love feedback!), I knew I made the right decision.

The three new flavors of lip balm are made with the new mango butter formula: Lemony, Dark Mint and Java (not pictured).  For more information about the new flavors, click here to go to the lip balm page of the Wunder Budder website.

Lemony natural lip balm by Wunder Budder
Dark Mint natural lip balm by Wunder Budder

Over the next month or so, I'll be transforming all Wunder Budder lip balms to the new formula.  I really think you're going to love the new flavors, and the new smoother formula!
Spread the love!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011


I used to be really good at slacking.

I've had a job since I was 15 (and babysat before that), and although many of those years were spent working well over 40 hours a week, and most of them also included school of some kind, I somehow always found time to slack. 

Good, old-fashioned slacking... just sitting and watching the world go by, listening to birds chirping, riding my bike, attempting to to draw or paint, whatever it was, it was time I spent by myself and feeling a deeper connection to the world around me.

Then I started school full time, majoring in a subject that I loved but never really saw myself making a life out of, with some of my professors expecting much more effort out of students than they wanted to put into teaching, in a school that I hated more than pretty much anything else in the world.

I did that for two full years.  Why did I wait so long to change things?  I have no idea.  I was so stressed out, so broke, tired, sick, over-worked, under-funned, I don't think I really knew what was happening.  Or, I did, but I was in denial.  Or, I knew it, but I just wanted to finish something.  I still haven't decided.

Then a string of events happened (The Story Part 1... but after just looking back on it, I guess I still need to write more of the story!).  Wunder Budder was sent into motion.

I went straight from being all those things I mentioned, to being all those things I mentioned (only I was loving what I was doing this time), with no break in between.

After three years with no real break, I'm teaching myself how to slack again.  And to not feel guilty for it.

One of my forever goals is to find balance in all aspects in my life.  This year, my focus is to find balance between growing a small business, spending time with the people I need in my life, some old-fashioned slacking, and any combination of those things.

I started with sleeping more, only using an alarm when absolutely necessary, and becoming more organized... to quit wasting time trying to keep my head, my business, my life together, and just take steps to make sure they stay together without all the extra effort, at least most of the time. 

I've discovered projects... as in, a goal, with a time frame, split up into parts for a less overwhelming experience.  This month I have two major goals... to have my studio fully organized and to have my lip balm wholesale campaign ready to go by May 1st.

So far, so good, and I can't wait to show off my studio before and after pictures later this month!


Saturday, February 19, 2011

40% off Some Stuff!

Hello!  Spring is in the air!

I was spring cleaning in my studio earlier today... I found 200 pipettes, 100 perfume sample vials, 25 1/3 oz perfume roller bottles, 1000 wooden sample spatulas, 50 1oz dropper bottles and some chocolate sunflower seed clusters.
All of these things I forgot I had or thought I lost, so it was a day of surprises!
How do you lose that many things in a one room studio?  You become me.

That was earlier in the day.

Later, I took some new photos to update the website...
Just Lavender Aromatherapy

I had totally forgotten that I had no picture of Just Lavender anything on the site!

As I was going through the bottles, I realized that some things had paper labels
and some things had EarthFirstPLA labels.

We're in the process of switching all our products over, and all 1&2oz bottles,
inhalers, salves and lip balms have the PLA labels.

Except the few that I found.

spring cleaning + mismatched labels = hugely discounted sale!

40% off all 1oz & 2oz facial oils and toners, and select aromatherapy air & body sprays until the paper labels are gone!  There's only a few of each left, and once the paper labelled items are sold, the sale is over.  So, get some while you can!

Some of these things are on sale

Lisa @ Wunder Budder
Love living naturally!


Monday, February 14, 2011

A love letter to Wunder Budder...

my original salve - Original.

At first it was just called Wunder Budder.
That was the name of the salve.
Wunder Budder super soft salve.

Original calendula salve
Time went on, and I as kept making new stuff, the name Wunder Budder slowly became the name of my business and my original salve, no longer with it's own name, became Original.  Original calendula salve.  Sometimes I think it fades into the background because of it's name, but it is one of my favorite things that exist in this whole world.


The Whole World.

I'm not exaggerating.

Sometimes I forget... I get so distracted with the new stuff I make that Original might sit in a bag for days, all alone.

And then I see it, pick it up, put it on my lips and massage it into my hands.

Those words aren't even right... I don't just "put it on" or "massage it in"... I see it, feel it, smell it... I experience it.

It's so soft that sometimes I can't even believe it.

And the smell... the beautiful beeswax aroma... a little calendula, a little apricot kernel oil, but mostly just the sweet smell of beeswax.


Someday I will raise my own bees.

I think about where I was when I first started making it... a cold dry New Mexican winter at first, and then the snowiest Massachusettes winter I had ever remembered when it became official.  I think about picking out the tins... flat tins... they just feel better

I think about designing the labels, teaching myself how to use Illustrator.  What did I want it to look like?  What did I want to see when I looked at that little tin filled with soft yellow magic?

I experimented a lot...

A few of my favorites.
Stars!  It needed stars... and my favorite color?  Orange?  Or is it green?... both!  Add a little blue, just the right color blue...

And the back?

From the very beginning, the labelling laws from the FDA plagued me... the font size of the weight or volume had to be bigger than the ingredients!  Ok, it doesn't have to be that way, but in the case of the small label needed for a Wunder Budder tin, it did.  I spent so long on the front, getting it exactly as I wanted it, that I didn't want to interrupt it with the contents measurements.

I got it to fit on the back, with the ingredients, the original Wunder Budder quote "Don't forget to smile", and a short description: "A soft smooth salve to moisturize and protect your skin and lips.  Apply whenever needed".

It seems simple, right?  But it wasn't!  It still isn't!

Trying to fit everything I want to say about my stuff never fits on a label.

I also wanted to add something else... how to use it... what it was good for... I was familiar with salves, but now still, 8 years later, I meet many people who don't know what they are or what to use them for.  So, I needed to add some guidance... "A little goes a long way!" followed by the words, in a ring around the edge of the label:

hands   lips   cheeks   elbows   soles   hair   legs   friends   fingers   knees   toes

My dorkiness still makes me smile.

It's still my favorite thing to make.  And don't get me wrong... there's nothing but love going into everything I make... it's what I do... it's what I love.  But Original is still my favorite.

Infusing the golden calendula flowers into a special blend of the even more golden jojoba and apricot kernel oils... it's liquid sunshine... not like Sunshine... a different liquid sunshine.
I guess I say that a lot.

I think of vegetables as crunchy sunshine.

The melting of the beeswax...
really, I just love beeswax!

Makin' Original
But my favorite part... cleaning up after!  Really!  It's like making a cake and licking the spoon.  Only, there's no eating involved.... I love to scrape the melting pot and take globs of the slightly warm amazing goodness and spreading it over my skin... it's true that a little goes a long way, so it's these moments, and I think it's these moments only, that I'm happy I have no furry friends to go home to.

I'm in love.
Lisa, proud owner and lover of Wunder Budder

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Business Bubble

I'm making a prediciton.

Maybe this isn't news.. maybe it's soemthing that people have been talking about for a while, but I haven't heard anything about it, so I'm calling it my prediction.

There is a business bubble growing and eventually (sooner? later?) it's going to burst.

Remember the housing bubble?  It was being talked about and talked about, and the warning signs were there, yet some people were certain it would just grow forever... they bought houses as investments instead of as homes.  This works for contractors and the like, but not for other families.  I don't know when it became an old-fashioned concept for a house to be a home, but it did.  Houses turned into commodities, just to be bought and sold, without the heart, the love, that a home holds.  And then, everything fell apart because of it.

I'm starting to see this in business.

Over the last few weeks, so many things I've read, heard about, seminars I've attended, seem to have a focus on building a business just for it to be sold.


It's the housing bubble all over again.

For certain people, I can see buying and selling businesses to be the focus.  But, a small amount of people, like contractors buying and selling houses, not for the masses.

If I were the type of person to say "mark my words", I'd say that now.  The business bubble is going to burst.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Making Love...

the perfume!

Five or six years ago, I started getting into natural perfumery.  I became fascinated with the other side of essential oils - blending purely for pleasure, the perfume aspect to working with botanics.

And then I became obsessed!

It's hard not to... with essential oils, infused oils, absolutes, tinctures and resins, there are infinite combinations of aromas to create... even just thinking about it I'm getting a little overwhelmed!

I started collecting bottles... single essential oils and absolutes... I had well over 100 in my collection... some were the from the same plant, grown in the same location, but from different companies so I could see the difference between different suppliers.  Some were from the same plant, but grown in different locations... different growing conditions like altitude and humidity can really change the aroma of an oil!  I still keep up a collection of vetivers... it's one of my favorite oils! 

I'd use all my free time to make blends... one drop of this, one drop of that, and ooh! what would this smell like blended in?  I started working on accords (blends to be blended with other blends!) and taking notes.. notebook after notebook of notes on notes! 

From the accords I would make new blends, take more notes, get new ideas, make more blends of more notes of more accords of blends of notes and notes and oils and blends... ahhhhhh...

And then, I decided to take a break... a long one... I wanted to bring my focus back to aromatherapy blends... less complex blends... ones where each oil would stand out and do its duty. 

I cut my collection back to about 20 different oils, and started working again on blending with a purpose... blends for aromatherapeutic use...

And around that time was when Wunder Budder was reborn...

Focusing my collection and my purpose on aromatherapy allowed Winter to be created and released as Wunder Budder's first official aromatherapy blend!

I remained focused, releasing two more aromatherapy blends, and blends for lip balms and  facial care

Blending for a purpose is both easier and more difficult with its limitation... With this kind of blending, I wanted to be more careful about my choices... that meant using only oils that were generally safe for skin applications and giving up ones like bergamot (one of my favorites!) that were great for inhalation but weren't skin safe, according to my two safety manuals and IFRA standards.  By limiting my options, I had fewer choices to work with but it also stimulated the scientific aspect of my thinking, which sometimes I think is no different from my creative side(!), to pick the oils best suited for their application.  It was fun and I stayed focused...

Until I started making Love, the aromatherapy blend.

Even from the start it seemed more like a perfume blend than an aromatherapy blend... I wanted to make something that could try to illustrate the feeling of falling love.. all kinds of love... spicy and flirty on the outside, blossoming into a floral heart, leading into a deep sweetness.  The full aroma.  Which needed oils to match it.

I started off with the base... the deep sweetness... labdanum!  On it's own, labdanum is layered... it's not traditionally used in aromatherapy, but it's so sweet and innocent and long lasting, there was no way I could make a blend about love without it.  Plus as one of my other favorites (I have a lot of them!), I just really wanted to work with it again.  And vetiver!  It's deep earthy aroma just had to be included.  And oh, they just smell so good together!  And cocoa!  What if I added a little cocoa (actually, cacao) to the mix?  A deep dark chocolaty addition to the vanilla-like aroma of labdanum with a little vetiver thrown in to keep it from being too candy-like?  Yes!  Would I usually use cocoa in an aromatherapy blend?  No, but the three just smelled so good together!

Then I moved onto the middle/heart note... jasmine... it had to be jasmine... alone, jasmine is both spicy and sweet and deeply floral... it was necessary... and then rose... rose!  Rose would calm the jasmine a bit with it's softness.  Both are also often included in aphrodisiac blends, so what could be better as a heart note for Love?

It smelled amazing so far, but it needed something else... a top note... something spicy that would jump out first, but also act as a lead in to the rest of the blend... clove!  Clove, which to my nose acts as both a top and a middle note... clove would be the perfect grabber... the top note that would both jump out and blend in.

And after a few weeks, I declared Love, the aromatherapy blend, finished.  I was in love with Love.  I added the labels for inhalers and aroma sprays into my big order and put it aside for release after Christmas.

But, I couldn't stay away.

It just smelled so good.

And, the more I smelled it, the more I smelled ghost aromas... ones that my imagination added to the blend... I had planned on keeping perfumery at bay for at least another year until Wunder Budder (the business at a whole) was stabilized, but Love was drawing me in.  I couldn't put it down.

It was like it wanted me to add something to it... like, it had its own personality and it was calling me... please, please, just try this one other essential oil, I promise you won't be disappointed.  But you have so much going on already, Love, you don't need anything else...

It won.

The blend was calling out for was another one of my favorite oils from the Perfume Years... I ordered it, added it, smelled it, and it fit perfectly.  And called out for another oil... and another... and another... until I finally gave in to what was happening, and almost as if it created itself, Love the perfume was born.

As someone that usually uses only a small amount of grain alcohol in blends, both to extend the shelf life of certain creations and to help carry the scent, I was nervous about creating an alcohol based perfume instead of the jojoba based perfumes I've experimented with in the past.

Jojoba oil and alcohol as carriers bring different things to blends... but, I discovered that my heavy-handedness with base notes (a personal preference, and thought of by me as a curse until I settled into my own blending personality) worked really well with an alcohol carrier!  Together, the grain alcohol (not the standard perfumer's alcohol, ethanol, which can sometimes be extracted from petroleum products instead of plants) and the blend created a perfume that was even... it didn't, it doesn't, come on too strong or fade too fast... it changes, like natural perfumes are meant to, but it changes at a nice even pace.  I fell in love with Love all over again.

With the use of oils more rare and complicated and beautiful than many oils traditionally used in aromatherapy, came a higher price which needed to be matched with fancier packaging than my usual amber glass bottles.

Love eau de parfume, 46mL
Deciding on packing was almost as fun as creating the perfume!  What would match the aroma best... oh, a clear glass bottle with an old-fashioned black fabric bulb atomizer?  Yes! 

But, what if someone didn't want a full sized (46mL) bottle of Love?  Is there something smaller?  Oh, a heart shaped(!) 4mL bottle with a gold cap and red tassel, to be used for fingertip application?  Yes yes yes!

I had found the vessels for Love.

Love eau de parfum, 4mL
 And then, I decided to add one more option... a simple glass atomizer, 4mL, perfect for purses and filled with Love as an eau de toilette!

I was done, and now it's almost time to share Love with all of you and I can't wait!  All three (eau de parfum strength in 46mL and 4mL, and eau de toilette strength in 4mL) will be released on February 1st, 2011.  Finally!

Only a few months in the making, this was a short time for a perfume to go from idea to creation to packaging to offering.  Perfumers sometimes take years before they feel their masterpiece is ready.  I love that it's a perfume based on an aromatherapy blend, and maybe that's why it didn't take as long as many perfumes traditionally do. Or, maybe it's that I'm not really a perfumer...

I just like to make things that smell good.


Experience Love!
Read the Press Release

Love living naturally with Wunder Budder!