Monday, December 28, 2009


Had some CRAZY weather this Christmas, but at least it was WHITE! Driving in ice and snow - not fun. Serious nail-biter. But being together with family for the holidays is priceless.

My family is nuts. But I'm going to stick with them for another year, I think. ;) May you be blessed with a prosperous and healthful new year!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Easy Spicy Soup

I threw together a soup tonight w/ 2 cans broth, 1 can beans, 1 can diced tomatoes, 1/2 lb. cubed ham, salt and special seasoning. (1/4 tsp. of Slap Ya Mama, to be exact.)

Got rave reviews from the family. Go figure. Sometimes I shock even myself.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009


When we make these, they get scarfed up FAST!

6 med. potatoes (2 lb), cut into cubes/chunks
5 TBL. fancy prepared mustard - spicy, brown, dijon - whatever you like
2 TBL. olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
salt to taste

Mix all ingredients except potatoes. Then toss potato chunks into the mixture to coat. Put potatoes on lightly greased cookie sheet and roast in 425 degree oven for about 40 min., stirring occasionally. Done when fork tender.

Monday, November 30, 2009


Like many Etsy sellers, I'm involved in the Cyber Monday sale by offering free lip balms with purchase. In addition, I had to take a silly photo of myself holding my product for an Etsy promotional. Boy did I feel like an idiot, and my daughter certainly thought I was a dork as she snapped one goofy expression after another. But if it helps my sales, be it! I'll be a fool then. haha My sale details are posted in my Etsy shop.

The KC Etsy team, of which I'm a member, is also sponsoring a Cyber Monday sale. Details are on our blog. KC Etsy Team's Blog

Monday, November 16, 2009

Who loves giveaways?

I do! If you love giveaways, check out the KC Etsy Team's Blog for a cornucopia of terrific goodies!

This week, Diane of South House Boutique is giving away a pair of cute, whimsical Chalkboard Christmas Stockings just in time for the upcoming holidays!

Monday, November 2, 2009


The best way to have a friend is to be one. I'm not sure how good I am to others, but I definitely know I have been blessed with lots of GREAT friends. Not just good ones - great. What makes a great friend?

I just spent a weekend with six girlfriends. We do this periodically, and I always come away from our gatherings feeling affirmed, blessed, and refreshed. We may not see each other often, but we have no trouble at all picking up where we left off and enjoying one another's company tremendously. We all stay in touch via letters. Bottom line? We are THERE for one another. We are all equally committed to each others' success in navigating this often turbulent journey we call life.

If you have friends, cherish them. Don't take them for granted! Let them know how much you value them and treasure your relationship. Friends do sometimes disappoint; love them anyway. Faithfulness and loyalty are gifts I value highly. To keep the friendship fires burning, bestow forgiveness often and liberally. It's hard to do that sometimes. But if you extend grace and kindness to your friends, I think you'll be surrounded by them for a lifetime.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Happy Birthday!

For my birthday this weekend, the family went camping near Branson. I love going to the arts & crafts festival held in the fall at Silver Dollar City! Lots of lovely handcrafted wares and oodles of skilled artisans -- coopers, basketweavers, blacksmiths, jewelers, painters, weavers, woodworkers, soapmakers, glassblowers, weavers, chandlers, quilters. You name it! Handcrafted paradise.

Camping in the fall is lovely. The evenings were cold, but we were snug and warm in our tiny teardrop trailer. I discovered crock pot liners and made overnight breakfasts with those, so clean up in the mornings was a snap! Off we went on our adventures for two fun-filled days. Home again, we're tired but happy. Lovely memories made. :)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


It's been a delicious fall at my place! I'm LOVING three new lip butters I just added to my stash: RED DELICIOUS APPLE, PUMPKIN CHEESECAKE, and BUTTERY TOFFEE CRUNCH. Yes, this makes well over two dozen flavors that I carry; what can I say? I'm crazy for this stuff! I use it all the time. (Well at least I can say my lips are NEVER chapped and dry!) Visit my shop here to see all available flavors. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blog ramblings. ;)

Friday, October 2, 2009


September! Rough month for me. Nothing major; just threw my back out and cracked a tooth! The latter is very discouraging to me since I don't chew ice or hard candy. Not fair! (pouting here) Can't figure out how it happened. Alas, dental work is in my near future. :) Ah well, I keep telling myself how glad I am to live where dental care is readily available.

October! One of my favorite months. Love the leaves, the weather, the scents, the food. Love getting ready to hibernate for the cold months ahead. Winter may be frosty, but I love the slower pace and the ability to knit and crochet for longer stretches. I can read a book if I so please, watch a chick flick, or play a board game with my family. And since the garden and lawn chores are on hiatus, we do have more time together as a family. Precious weeks and months left with our teenagers; they will be grown up and gone before we know it, I'm told.

Had an interesting surprise on our front porch recently. My husband always hangs several large baskets of impatiens every spring. Seems they somehow reproduced down in the yard, right behind the spirea bushes below the baskets! I'm going to have to take a pic - too funny. I'll be sorry to see them go when the first hard frost settles in.

Besides pouring loads of candles these days, I am playing with new crock pot recipes. I am so glad those babies were invented. If my house burns down, the first thing I will replace after the toilet paper is my beloved crock pot. Off to gather the ingredients for a new recipe for tonight's supper and dream about my next yarn project.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Overnight Apple Pie Oatmeal

OK, I'm on a major crockpot kick lately. Deal with it. Last night I tested a recipe that would enable us to awaken to the delicious smells of a home-cooked breakfast, READY TO EAT. Yeah, bay-bee! I awoke briefly during the night, smelled the deliciousness, drifted back to sleep and DREAMED about eating it. How weird am I?

3 cups old fashioned oats (uncooked)
1 cup powdered sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
21-oz. can apple pie filling
6 cups water

I spritzed some non-stick cooking spray into the crockpot, then I mixed the first four ingredients (dry stuff). Dumped it all into the crock, then poured in the water and pie filling. Stirred it all up, and popped the lid on. Set the cooker to LOW and let it go overnight, about 8 hours.

In the morning there was some separation, so we stirred it all together before serving. Double delish! This served the four of us amply, with some to spare.

I'm going to try again with all kinds of variations on the pie filling and spices. Peach, berry, cherry ... you name it. Let me know how yours turned out if you try this!

Photo courtesy of my son's Etsy shop. (Thanks, Brent!)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Best Gift

How do you show love to those near to you? Words of love and affirmation may do the job adequately, but actions also communicate volumes. Do you quietly make sacrifices on behalf of friends and family? Do you send thoughtful notes or give gifts you know will be cherished? Do you perform acts of service such as doing an unpleasant chore to show you care? Are you affectionate physically? Are you liberal with sincere praise?

We learned early on that our children had distinct preferences in how they wanted to have love communicated to them. Our older child was always making and buying gifts for the family and took great delight in receiving presents. The younger always wanted to give hugs, snuggle, and hold hands; clearly, physical affection meant a great deal to her. Although all the different ways to communicate love are good, I think most people have a primary method to say "I care." For me, the gift of time and a listening ear are priceless. Our hurried society often leaves little time for visiting friends, and I'm as guilty as anyone of being very busy. But a simple phone call to find out how I'm doing or an occasional one-on-one lunch date speak words of love to me. I don't need hours and hours, but a kind ear to hear me sort things out and share what's on my heart is a priceless gift and a rare treat!

What speaks "LOVE" to you? How do you show you care, and how do you like others to demonstrate their love to you?

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Monday, August 31, 2009

Apple Harvest Time!

September makes me think of apples, especially when the weather starts cooling down as it has here. Every fall, our extended family gathers for a trip to Missouri apple country to stock up for the winter. We get not only apples but also apple butter; I think my brother-in-law got a whole case of jars last year! When my children were smaller, we'd often team up with other home schoolers and go apple picking at a local orchard. My husband and I would also round up the kids each fall and go to a local apple cider mill to watch the machines in action and feast on apple cider doughnuts. I hope we were making some special memories for our children; I know I certainly look back on those trips with fondness!

When I was a teacher, I got a lot of apple-themed gifts from students. So I eventually decided to decorate my kitchen with an apple motif. My husband is a career teacher, so he still gets apple goodies! We're apple crazy around here. :)

Now I'm in the mood for some yummy apple recipes. Before I became a candle maker, I used to can my own apple butter. Fortunately, my teenaged son still cans his homemade apple sauce. Here are some good looking apple recipes I found.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Dairy-Free Fruit Smoothies

I love dairy, but it hates me! So I make dairy-free fruit smoothies to get my fruit servings for the day!

1 cup fruit juice - apple, orange, or your favorite
1 small banana
1 cup frozen mixed fruit (strawberries, peaches, etc.) - I don't actually measure; I just toss in a handful or two.

Whir it all in a blender and enjoy. Simple!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Summer Bounty Pasta

My daughter and I love to experiment with food, especially when presented with a bounty of summer garden crops! Today she cooked whole wheat pasta, chopped up some fresh veggies from our garden, then tossed it all with a little dressing, piling grilled chicken strips on top. Delish meal, and not too stuffy for warm weather eating! Here's what we used.

13 oz. whole wheat pasta, cooked al dente and drained, then rinsed in cold water
1 medium zucchini, sliced
2 bell peppers, diced
4-5 small Roma tomatoes, diced
salt to taste
Kraft Cucumber Ranch dressing to taste
boneless, skinless grilled chicken strips on top (1/2 breast per person satisfies us)

Hearty enough to satisfy; light enough to not feel stuffed!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Good News, Bad News

Hurrah! I'm CELEBRATING! I hit a milestone in my Etsy shop yesterday. I hit my 1,000th sale! I've been hoping for that for over a year, so I'm happy. Now off to work on that next hundred. :)

In the bad news department, my 18 year old son got a hankering to bake a cake from scratch last night. Found an awesome recipe for a Maple Syrup Cake online. Frosted it with thick, butter-rich frosting, then topped it with pecans. GAH. Bad news is I will probably eat 4/5 of it and gain 5 lbs. GAH. It's TO DIE FOR!!

Oh, and don't forget to enter KC Etsy Team's Countdown to Christmas - Great Blog Giveaway! The team is giving away awesome prizes every week until December. This team is seriously loaded with talent! This week, you can win fun free lip balm, and who doesn't need that? You'll want to check the blog weekly to see what great goodies we've got planned. I'm excited about the giveaway!

Monday, August 17, 2009


"CLEAR THE COTTAGE" CLEARANCE SALE! AMAZING, UNBEATABLE LOW PRICES!! Candles for only $5.95! See my special clearance section:

NEW FOR FALL! Tons of yummy new candles for fall! Check 'em out!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Knitting vs. Crocheting

I absolutely adore self-striping cotton yarns! Been experimenting with them lately, so I decided to try making two dishclothes using the same skein, but knitting one and crocheting the other. This way, it's easy to observe the differences in appearance and texture.

The knit is on bottom left, and the crocheted is to the right and top of the picture. Knitting with size 8 needles in stockinette stitch produced a lighter weight, thinner dishcloth, but with a tighter weave. The crocheted version is chunkier but with more spaces between stitches; I made it with a G hook and used just single crochet and chain stitches.

I thought maybe this can help someone who's contemplating a project, or for someone who may be trying to decide between learning to knit or crochet. I love to do both, so don't ask for an opinion about which is better! The honest answer is that it depends on the look I'm going for and the speed required to complete the process; I take longer to knit an item than I do to crochet an item that's the same size.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

True Wealth

I get the blues now and then, like most people. But I can usually shake them off by remembering how truly rich I am. Money? American standards, I'm not very wealthy at all. But I am an oil baron in terms of intangibles - things that can't be evaluated in terms of dollars. I have the freedom and the mobility to plant flowers in my own yard, and healthy vision so I can admire the beauty of the blossoms. I can eat twice a day or five times if I'm so inclined. My home is warm in the winter and cool in summertime. My family is supportive and loving. I have a network of friends who would give me their last dollar if I were in need. I am rich in faith.

Nobody's life is free from suffering. We all carry hidden heartaches. But when I look at the big picture, I've got the world by the tail. "Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred." So very true.

Monday, August 10, 2009


The KC Etsy Team is sponsoring "COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTMAS," an 18-week long blog giveaway! For more details, and to enter for your chance to win your choice of a free bar of soap from me, go here!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Votive Tutorial, Part 2

Step 1: On your scale, weigh out ½ lb. of the wax and put into your melting pot or coffee can. Always weigh your wax when making candles. If using a coffee can, bend a small pouring spout into the top.

Step 2: (Optional) Weigh out ½ oz. of candle making fragrance oil into a small glass container and set aside. Always weigh your fragrance oil when making candles. Do not exceed this amount; the wax will not be able to hold excess fragrance oil.

Step 3: If using new votive molds, you may want to spray candle mold release into the cups. Gently wipe excess off with paper towel. If votive molds have been used before, this step is probably not necessary; just make sure the molds are clean of wax from previous pours.

Step 4: (Optional) If using wick pins, place these into the molds. If they are new, spray them with candle mold release and wipe off excess with paper towel before inserting into molds.

Step 5: Cover your work surface with newspapers in case of spills. Place prepared votive cups onto the newspaper. Keep paper towels handy for wiping up spills and drips.

Step 6: Place water in double boiler and set wax pot gently into water to melt. IMPORTANT: DO NOT LEAVE MELTING WAX UNATTENDED! Watch it like a hawk; wax can heat to dangerously high temperatures in a short amount of time. Once you have a little liquefied wax in the pot, place the candy thermometer into the melted wax, taking care that the bulb is not touching the melting pot. Heat wax to 175-180 degrees F, taking care that no water from the double boiler splashes into the melting wax.

Step 7: If you’re using a coffee can, use pot holders for this step! Remove melted wax from heat and place on heat-safe surface. With your wooden craft stick, stir fragrance oil thoroughly into melted wax. I use a small whisk to make sure all oil is thoroughly incorporated, but take care not to agitate so much that you are adding air bubbles to the wax. Always add fragrance oil BEFORE adding color so that you can see that the oil is fully incorporated before the dye obscures your clear view.

Step 8: (Optional) Add a drop or two of liquid candle dye, if desired. Stir gently but thoroughly with your stick.

Step 9: Have paper towels handy for drips and spills. Pour wax carefully into molds all the way to the tip top. Avoid incorporating air into the molds while pouring. You will notice that not all the wax in your pouring pot will be used; this is what you want. You want to reserve a small amount of wax (about 1/5 of the total) for the second pour, when we will be topping off the candles. (Wax shrinks as it cools, leaving a sunken area in the middle.) Do not touch molds
after pouring, as they will be very HOT.

Step 10: If not using wick pins, wait a few minutes until the wax is starting to set up (congeal) on the sides of the mold tops. (The time this takes will vary according to the ambient temperature.) Now there will be a bit of congealed wax at the bottom of the mold as well, so you can insert your pre-tabbed wicks and they will stay in place. Gently place these wicks into the middle of the votives. Do not worry about marring the surface of the candle if the wax has a thin skin; we will fix that later on the second pour. If not using wick pins, check the wicks periodically as the candle cools; the cooling, shrinking wax may pull wicks slightly off center. Just gently push them back into place if needed. Sometimes I use strategically-placed craft sticks to keep the wick more centered as the candle cools.

Step 11: When the candles have completely cooled, it’s time to re-melt your leftover wax. This time you want to heat to a temperature of 185-190 degreesF in your double boiler. Pouring about 10 degrees hotter the second time will ensure your layers will adhere and not come apart when the candles are fully cooled. Again, pour to the tip top to ensure you don’t have seam line where the two layers met.

Step 12: When candles are completely cooled, they should slide from the molds. If using wick pins, I gently tug those straight up and out to release the candle. If your candles refuse to release, chances are they are not fully and completely cool. Be patient! If they are fully cool and won’t budge, try putting the mold into the freezer for a short time. (Just a few minutes though, or the candle may crack.) This brief freezer time usually does the trick. If using wick pins, remove pins and insert wick assembly from the bottom of the candle.

Step 13: If there are surface irregularities on the candles, you may want to buff gently with pantyhose.

Step 14: Trim your wicks and enjoy burning your votives! If you used scent, you may want to wait a day or two for the candle to cure. Remember, votives are not meant to be free-standing candles. They are meant to completely liquefy and must be burned in a snug votive holder. They should burn completely up (or nearly so) and take about 15 hours to finish burning. If your candle does not burn well, make sure it's burning out of a draft and that the wick is trimmed. If you still don't get a good burn, you may need to experiment with adjusting the size of your wick on the next batch. Certain scents may need a slightly different size of wick.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Tutorial: How to Make Votive Candles

Today I will post the items you will need for this project so you can begin collecting what you need. Then the directions for making the candles will follow in a few days! To make your own votive candles, you will need the following items.

  1. Four 2-ounce (15 hour) votive molds
  2. Four votive wick pins (optional)
  3. Double boiler
  4. Candle pouring pot or clean, empty coffee can with a pouring spout bent into the top
  5. Stove
  6. Kitchen scale
  7. Candy thermometer
  8. 1/2 pound paraffin votive/pillar wax
  9. Four 36-24-24 zinc core wick assemblies (pre-tabbed)
  10. 1/2 oz. candle fragrance oil (optional)
  11. Candle dye (optional)
  12. Candle mold release, if using new molds
  13. Small glass container
  14. Craft sticks for stirring wax
  15. Newspapers
  16. Paper towels

Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I know I'm pushing it a bit, but I LOVE FALL! The weather is cooler and drier. Nights are mellow. And here is another one of the reasons why autumn is my favorite season - I adore the scents associated with fall. I just added this to my fall line-up, and it's strong, juicy, and tart! Just like fresh, crisp Bartlett pears. See it here!

Saturday, August 1, 2009


I'm so excited about these wonderful new soy candle scents! I could eat them! (Well, almost!!)

This luscious Pumpkin Creme Brulee soy candle features notes of creamy pumpkin puree along with French vanilla, freshly-ground spices like cinnamon and cardamom, rum, maple, and caramelized sugar. TO. DIE. FOR!!

Or how about a fresh, pure, sweet, Wild Honey soy candle? The name says it all!
Anyone who has known me for longer than 2 minutes realizes I'm a real scent junkie, and I couldn't be more happy than when I'm enjoying new fragrances. *SWOON!*

Thursday, July 30, 2009


At our KC Etsy Street Team Meeting this week, we celebrated our 2nd birthday with a gift exchange. I got the PERFECT gift! I was so excited to get this wonderful handcrafted hand towel from Shelli at Monde Design . Isn't it cute? And so appropriate for me, as I am most certainly a craft ninja armed with pointy objects! I love to knit. Thanks, Shelli! If you'd like a similar design embroidered for you or a friend, just convo Shelli on Etsy. This would make an awesome gift for a knitter or crafty loved one.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


OK, I'll admit it - I goofed. I got overly ambitious and made TOO MUCH SOAP this spring! My goof is your gain, because for a limited time, I'm offering three of my handmade soaps of your choice for just $9.99 plus shipping, or 4 for only $13 plus shipping! This is a steal of a deal - don't miss it! Choose from Tea Tree & Lavender, Oatmeal Milk & Honey, Eucalyptus Spearmint, Exotic Jasmine, Creamy Shea Butter Soap, Blackberry Sage, Lemongrass Scrubber, Hawaiian Lei Flowers, Sunny Citrus, Black Raspberry Vanilla, and MUCH, MUCH MORE!
Choose 3:
Choose 4:

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Country Living

I was born for it. When I was a girl, I did enjoy the bustle of city life. Convenient shopping was a definite perk. Abundant opportunities to socialize with people were great. But somewhere along the way, I realized I was a homebody at heart. I prefer the quiet of rural life.

True, the nearest shopping mall is nearly 40 minutes away, and that's without traffic. But that's a small price to pay for my perks. Everywhere I look out my windows, all is green. Nights are so peaceful; it's easy to get uninterrupted rest unless we're visited by the occasional thunderstorm or hoot owl. The quietness here inspires. The peacefulness soothes. The slower pace rejuvenates.

I know it's not for everyone. If I didn't have friends, family, and a good car within easy reach, the solitude might overwhelm. But I wouldn't trade my life for bushels of gold.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sneak Peek!

On the soap curing racks: Lemon Verbena, ready next week! Ginger Souffle will be ready in late August. Lemon Verbena (cold-process, olive oil artisan soap) smells sunny, super lemony, and very refreshing. There's no way you can be a grouch when you smell this! I put snowy white swirls in this light yellow bar. Ginger Souffle soap is the perfect balance between sweet, creamy vanilla notes and a sharp bite of spicy ginger. This tan bar also has creamy white swirls on top. Don't count on getting too many bars of these batches; I'm going to be swiping some for my own personal stash before you can get your mitts on them. (Did I say that out loud?!) Here's a pic of the Lemon Verbena soap.

In the wax: Beautiful new soy candles coming soon! My favorite, Pumpkin Creme Brulee, is beyond fabulous. I'd eat it if I could get a spoon in the jar. Delicious caramelized vanilla notes paired with smooth pumpkin and just a hint of spice to complement. Heaven scent! If you love bakery fragrances, vanillas, and caramel notes, and happen to be a pumpkin fiend like me, this is just NOT to be missed! It's as cozy as warming up by the fireplace on a frosty autumn evening.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Silver Lining

I'll have to admit it - I don't particularly care for summer. Bugs, sweat, and an abundance of weeds aren't exactly my thing. But finding a cluster of ripe red cherry tomatoes in the garden makes up for the muggy days. Discovering that the grape tomatoes and Romas aren't far behind in ripening gives me hope for the season despite the chiggers. Fireflies twinkling in the grass at dusk can't help but soothe and make me feel that all is right with the world. And the promise of autumn, my favorite time of year, is always on the horizon. Off to harvest some herbs to make an ice cold pitcher of tea. May your summer be blessed with fresh ripe tomatoes.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Magnetic Appeal

Maybe it's due to the fact that I was born in sunny Southern California just minutes from the beautiful blue Pacific, but I've always been drawn to the sea. I'm fairly certain there's a hefty percentage of ocean water running through my veins. Sure, I got knocked down by the surf a couple of times while wading as a kid. I remember being dragged by the undertow until I was nearly out of breath. The gross-out factor when slimy seaweed wrapped itself around my skinny little legs was definitely there. And the occasional whiff of rotting fish was not too thrilling either.

Despite all that, I am helpless to resist the magnetic charms of the beach - the gentle sounds of the surf; the distant cries of gulls; the comforting caress of soft, warm sand beneath my bare feet; the sharp aroma of salt on the cooling sea breeze. These are what inspired me to create this summertime favorite candle. I live hundreds of miles from the ocean now, and this is the closest thing I've found to actually being there. I hope it brings you to the sea without leaving home as well! See it here:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The World's Best Food

Guacamole! Awesome stuff. So glad it was invented. Here's how I make it:

2 ripe avocados, mashed
juice of one lime
1-2 diced Roma tomatoes
1 TBL finely diced onions
salt & pepper to taste
dash of Tabasco sauce, if I'm feeling brave

Just mix it all and serve with tortilla chips or baby carrots. There's no need to store this in the fridge if you're making it at my place; it will be gone in a minute flat.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Summer Sweetness

Nothing says SUMMER like an ice-cold, juicy slice of refreshing watermelon. I recently found this gorgeous handpainted table on Etsy and instantly fell in love. What great workmanship! I've always admired painters, especially since I can barely scribble my name legibly. This beauty inspires me to pour a watermelon scented candle, especially since my niece has been bugging me for one anyway. :) See this wonderful piece here, and tell her AJ sent you!

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Healthy Lifestyle?

This one has me scratching my head in wonder. My local gym offers exercise classes designed to improve cardiovascular health, burn fat, and tone muscles. Wonderful! And while we're moving those bodies and improving our health, ladies, how about a lovely bonus - some nice EAR-SPLITTINGLY LOUD, HEADACHE-INDUCING, BONE-JARRING music blaring at decibels that would rival a jet engine at takeoff. Yes, folks! Get healthy hearts and lungs while destroying your precious hearing due to prolonged exposure to loudness. I just don't get it! I don't care how old-fashioned and geeky I sound; super loud music during aerobics classes is just NOT cool. We can keep the level of noise sane while getting fit, can't we?

Monday, June 29, 2009


You know what's great about being a soapmaker? I can come home from a hot, sweaty farmer's market and grab a soap bar from my stash just for ME. I can jump into the shower and lather it up, feeling only slightly guilty for swiping a sellable bar. In my defense, Ginger Lime smells fab and my supply is almost gone!

Sunday, June 28, 2009


A day of rest. Now to workaholics like me, a day of rest seems a little too good to be true, closely akin to Calorie-Free Cookies That Taste Awesome and Free, Brand-New Mustang Convertibles. I used to think that lounging was my reward for finally getting 100% of ALL my work done, but learned after a few years on the treadmill that this elusive goal would not let itself be achieved. There's always plenty that could be done, so we'd better pull off the interstate of life occasionally to recharge if we want to make it for the long haul. A day of rest takes getting used to for some of us, but I'm learning to enjoy relaxing and just plain loafing with the family. Off to read the Sunday paper while sipping hot tea and enjoying the cool morning air on my deck. The dusting can most decidedly wait another day.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Another One Bites the Dust

Famous last words. You've heard 'em. "I'm NEVER going to make soap using that dangerous lye stuff." That resolve bit the dust several years ago, as the fascinating marriage of art and science that is modern soapmaking lured me in with a vengeance. I also swore I'd NEVER blog. Yep, here I am again, eating a self-made serving of crow alongside a heaping tray of cold-process soaps fresh from my workshop. Let's see what contradictions tomorrow brings; I'll probably break my resolve NEVER to run for President of the United States.