Monday, June 4, 2012

Reclining and Massaging

We went searching for a new couch last week.

The boys fell in love with this love seat.  Plans were already being made about eating breakfast here while watching a show.  Whose juice would go in which cupholder.  Look pretty comfortable, don't they?  We didn't get that one.

This is the other piece of furniture they loved -- a massaging mattress.

In Keegan's words, he was "totally digging" this bed.  I won't tell you what Quinn said about the bed.  Oh heck.  Okay, I will but you have to promise not to judge us.  He said it was very relaxing.  For his weiner.  Yep, makes me proud somedays.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Shaking it Up

Life has been busy lately.  In the quest to find balance, my presence in blogland has been, well, almost non-existent.   It was a combination of running out of time each day and a loss of my blogging mojo.  I have been wanting to come back.  Mulling it over.  I realized today that in order to get my mojo back, I was going to have to shake things up a bit.  sounds much more dramatic than it actually is.  In the past, I felt each post had to have a theme around which to navigate.  I blame it on taking too many English lit courses.  (On an aside, it's kind of funny that I misspelled the word "English" twice and "misspelled" once.)  No grand themes or posts which I feel I have to compose mentally in preparation -- unless I feel like it.  Just random shots of my day.  Let's start, shall we.

Love roasted beets. Love them.

Quinoa?  So far, not a huge fan but I am hoping that if I throw in some roasted beets, I may appreciate this power-house grain a little more.

Just snuck a forkful.  Pretty tasty.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Learning from Him

He tends to attack most things in life with an unbridled energy, even a game of hopscotch. As a result, he sometimes wipes out but he always jumps up with a smile. Lessons I need to learn from my six year old.  

And don't worry.  It looks much worse than it was.  His timing as I took the photo was impeccable.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Little Catching Up

I am in awe of how quickly time is passing these days.  In my head, I have planned many posts but they just don't seem to be able to find the time to make their way down to my fingertips.  Instead of trying to write those posts, I thought I would just show you in one post what has been keeping me busy.  A little catch up, if you will and then I can start anew.

Several new soaps have been made:

Kindred -- red clay, lavender and tea tree.

Breathe -- eucalyptus and lemon.

Penelope -- lavender and lemongrass

I have even redesigned the packaging for my soaps.

To be honest, the "soap thing" has been keeping me busier than I had originally planned but not more than I had hoped.  Does that make sense?  Either way, I am continuing to make soap and it makes me happy.

I have also managed to squeeze in a few road trips with friends.

First, about a month ago, two friends and I made a short road trip to what is now our yarn and fabric sanctuary  -- Stitch.  Here are a few photos to help explain why we love it so much.

See?  Pretty.  I dare you to visit and not want to knit and sew.

Then there was our 3rd annual road trip to Niagara Falls to visit friends we only see once a year.  Once we see them, it seems like it was only last week.

There was a little knitting for our newest family member.

And a little reading, of course.

Oh and perhaps a little stitching.

And that brings us to May 3rd.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Outlander-Inspired Soaps

When I first began making soap, I would say that I was largely inspired by my kitchen.  Lately, I find many of the soaps coming out of my soap kitchen are inspired by the books I love. Anyone who knows me, knows that I have become a huge fan of Diana Gabaldon's series of Outlander books since picking up the first book just over a year ago.  So it should come as no surprise that Jamie and Claire, the main characters in the series, have inspired their own soaps.

Claire's Soap
  Claire's soap is a rustic , earthy soap.  The ingredients were specially chosen to reflect Claire's status as a medical woman, her knowledge of medicinal herbs and her love of gardening.  I infused the olive oil with comfrey, a plant that Claire put to good use when treating her patients.  Rhassoul clay represents the earth from which she gathered her plants.  Since Claire understood the healing power of honey, I added a good helping of honey.  I finished it off with a fresh blend of rosemary, lemongrass and cedarwood essential oils.

On to Jamie's soap . . .

Jamie's Oatmeal Soap

Oh Jamie.  I have a little secret.  I have a crush on a fictional character.  His name is Jamie and he is a red-headed Scotsman from the 18th century.  Okay, so it's not actually a big secret.  Even Mike knows and has come to terms with the fact that if Jamie should suddenly walk out from the pages of the book, I would have to leave him.  Yep, Diana Gabaldon is that good when it comes to making characters come alive.  (I have a feeling I am not the only woman in the world who would compete for Jamie's attention.)  She is also wickedly good at describing physical attributes and smells.  I knew I had to make a Jamie soap but it took awhile to design it, more specifically, its scent.  I knew it was going to be a beer soap with a good helping of oatmeal or  "parritch".    But the scent?  I couldn't just throw anything together.  It had to smell like Jamie, you know?  After weeks of thinking, I decided upon an earthy blend of patchouli, rosemary and orange.  I couldn't be happier witth his soap.

Both Jamie and Claire soaps are sold out at the moment but new batches are curing as I type.  However, there is a chance for you to win a bar of each soap.  Theresa of Outlander Kitchen is hosting a giveaway on her blog.  I encourage you to visit her and not only for the soap.  Theresa is a professional chef who develops recipes based upon the food found in the books. It's a brilliant idea and a great read.  Her latest recipe :  hearty Sheperd's Pie.   Giveaway ends 9 pm PST, Wednesday April 18.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Take that, Man

To phrase it nicely, I am frugal.  I hate adding to shipping costs by buying  bubble wrap envelopes.  I especially don't like it if I think there is a chance that I can do it myself.

Well, I found a link and I am trying to make it myself.  If it works out, I'll share it with you.  Not only am I upcycling and saving money, I also feel like I'm sticking it to The Man.