Friday, June 29, 2012

Berry Smoothie Recipe

As some of you may know, I have been working on changing my lifestyle to be healthier and more fit. If you want to know more, read about it here. One big change for us is eating more veggies. Eating plenty of fruit is not a challenge, but getting a healthy variety of veggies is.

So, when I read about green smoothies, I started experimenting. I loved the saltier versions with more veggies, but we also wanted to see about making some fruity yogurt smoothies too. We tried using water and it all separated and became quite gross to try and drink down. We then tried grape and apple juices, but it was hard to make it taste good with any veggies in it. It we left out the veggies and just used sweet fruit, it tasted fine. However, the point is to get more veggies!

Well, I was at the store the other day and I saw a bottle of V-8 Acai Berry Blend (or something close to that). I came up with an idea :) This idea actually turned out delicious.

  • 8 oz Acai Berry Juice
  • 1 cup nonfat greek yogurt
  • 2 handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 5 strawberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen berry blend
  • 1/4 cup fresh cherries
  • dab of honey
  1. Throw everything into a blender and blend until smooth-ish.
  2. Pour into 2 glasses and enjoy!
This was so good, I think the key was getting a juice that complemented what went in to the mix. Plus, V-8 has veggies mixed into it, but the smoothie was awesome! The juice makes it higher in calories, but I think it makes it taste better and stay together better. With the yogurt, it has a little more protein, so you can use it to replace a snack or small meal. I haven't tried experimenting with any supplements, but if you have any suggestions, I would love to hear them.

What are your favorite smoothie recipes?

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Soap Donation

I wanted to let everyone know that I am currently running a little low on soap. I packed up a box yesterday and took it to Care and Share and donated it for the evacuees of the Waldo Canyon Fire. They are still in need of food and other personal care items, if you are able to help out in any way.

I have quite a few batches on the curing racks and I am making more soap, but I am completely out of some soaps. Please be understanding and patient with me while I get my soap store built back up. I promise, I'll be working hard.

Please keep all of the evacuees and their families in your thoughts and prayers.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Market Booth

I know I promised you pictures of my new booth, but if you remember, I had my market dates wrong. So, I didn't get pictures that Saturday like I planned. I did have two markets last week, so I got pictures. It is just taking me longer to get them shared.

Here is the entire booth. Notice the cute little blond kid in the front :)
 As you can see, I now have two sets of shelves. I really like the both because it gets everything up off of the table. I still have my little doggie steps that I keep covered with fabric. I still like them, so what get rid of them?
Look at how cute my signs are! Notice the little hand in the corner, he is everywhere :)
 I love the new signs. We had some lumber sitting around in the garage, so we cut it up and painted it. We used a paint marker to write on them and small dowels to make them stand upright. Changing my prices will be more work, but I think it looks nicer than the plastic stand up signs. Plus, these don't blow over as easily.
My other set of shelves that we fashioned from shutter doors.
 I'm not completely sold on how I set out my soaps. I want something that bring them up to and keeps them in a line. I just haven't figured out what I want to do yet. If you have a suggestion, let me hear it!
I love this fabric! It looks like little waves. Yes, the hand is back and trying to run off with a package of travel soaps this time.
I really think I might buy some more of this fabric and make it into a table runner for the tops of the tables. I played with it some on Saturday and I like it, so I'm going to see if I can find the fabric again.

What do you think? Do you have any suggestions for more improvements?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Declutter Challenge: Week 24

The decluttering continues! I won't lie to you, it is slowing down a little, but not for the reasons you might think. I have not run out of things to get rid of. I am simply getting to a point where I am putting stuff out in the garage for another garage sale or I am trying to sell it online.

I have several textbooks listed on Amazon. I have a few things on Craigslist and I am getting pictures of things taken to put them on Ebay. So, I am keeping busy and looking for things to declutter, but it is slow going.

Last week, I finally cleaned up the craft area. It really was a mess. It had become an area where we piled things high and ignored them However, I finally got to it. First, I went through my box of cards. I have a habit of saving every card that has ever been given to me, but that means a lot of cards! So, I went through the box and kept the ones that were really important to me. The rest went to be recycled. I remember the people that gave them to me, I don't have to keep the cards. Then, I went through my supply of fabric! I actually got rid of scraps and bits and ugly pieces. That was hard for me to part with, but I did it. I'm not going to use it! So, I have reduced it from a stack, a drawer, and a large tote down to just the tote. If it didn't fit, it didn't stay. I also got all of my projects on my project shelf and if it is a project I lost interest in, I got rid of it. I still need to go through my thread and sewing boxes, but for now everything is on the shelf, in a set of drawers, or otherwise in its place. So, I am happy with it.

I didn't get any pictures because I didn't think about doing a before picture, so my after picture just wouldn't have much of an impact. Oh well.

What have you decluttered recently?

Friday, June 22, 2012

When Good Soaps Go Bad

This week has been filled with making milk and honey soaps. I have been making smaller batches because I was testing out the scents and playing with some new techniques. I decided that I wanted to get all three of my different milk and honey (BooBees) soaps made this week.

My first two batches were wonderful. They did trace pretty quickly (I'm thinking a whisk will be used instead of a stick blender), but other than that, they were lovely. I used concentrated goat milk, so I mixed the water you would use to dilute the milk and mixed in the lye. I stuck that in the fridge. I mixed my oils and beeswax, melted it all together, and stuck it in the fridge. Then, I got everything else together. I poured out my fragrance, my honey, my very cold (not frozen) milk, I lined the mold with bubble wrap, and I put a little pink colorant in a squeeze bottle for some pink swirls. Remember, the BooBees Collection was created to donate money to The Breast Cancer Research Foundation, read about it here. I mixed the lye into my oils, mixed until it was just stable enough and then I put in my fragrance. I separated out just a few spoonfuls into my squeeze bottle and shook it really well. Then, I added my milk and honey to my main batch and mixed.

Ambrosia-Love the swirls!
My first batch of Ambrosia soap was awesome! Read about it here. The soap turned a beautiful honey color and the pink is so light, that I just adore it. My next batch was called Sultry. It is a spicy, tropical scent that I just can't get enough of. I really find myself going in and picking up the soap just to sniff it. This time I put some of the pink on the bottom and sides of the mold. This soap is darker because of the vanilla in the fragrance, but I love it anyway. Again, this batch traced quickly, but I kept it cool and stuck it in the fridge to keep it from overheating. It was ready to be cut sooner than normal, but that was okay because I check my soaps often. I can never just let them sit.
Sultry-Needs to be cleaned up, but it is lovely.

My latest batch was made the same way. It is the same formula with a different scent. Celebration is a blend of fresh strawberries and bubbly champagne that I just adore. I even sprinkled a little glitter on top to go along with the name! Everything went along the same. The temperatures were kept low. I put the entire batch in the fridge to keep it from overheating. When I checked it, it was nice and hard, so I unmolded it. At first glance, it was just perfect! Sparkly, fresh, and golden!

The flip side is another story. Apparently, despite being in the fridge, it overheated anyway. So, that lovely brown goo is caramelized sugar! Good for peanut brittle and caramel; bad for soap :( 
Here are my two positives:
  1. Because I did put this in the fridge, it did not get hot enough to volcano and make a big, hot, caustic mess.
  2. I might be able to rebatch this into something ugly, but usable.
Yes, I am still focusing on flipping my thinking!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

BooBees Ambrosia Soap

Did you know that in Greek mythology, ambrosia was food or drink for the gods? It provided them with ageless immortality and had to ability to wash away the effects of the years. Many believe that ambrosia was supposed to be a type of honey and the association to ageless immortality is due to honey's ability to heal. Even today, honey is often used by many because of its ability to heal. Read more about the benefits of honey here.

All BooBees products are formulated with goat's milk and honey to give your the richest, creamiest bar of soap possible. Goat's milk, like other milk, contains lactic acid which helps dissolve dead skin cells. It also contains a good amount of cream which is full of fats that help your skin look healthier because it provides extra moisture. In soap, goat's milk creates a creamier, more moisturizing bar of soap. People with dry skin or certain skin conditions, such as eczema, may find that soap formulated with milk can help relieve these conditions and leave their skin nourished.
In the mold. Oh, the anticipation!

Honey adds to the humectant qualities of the glycerin already in the soap, but it also acts as an antimicrobial agent on your skin. It will help keep your skin clean and beautiful. Plus, the sugar in the honey will make the soap even more bubbly!

Out of the mold and cut!
BooBees Ambrosia soap is lightly scented with a warm, rich blend of oatmeal, milk, and honey. It smells amazing when you first take a whiff. Then, when you mix it with water and start sudsing up, you will find that it warms into an experience all its own. It will surround you with layers of bubbles, all bursting with the scent of true ambrosia.

To give them a little extra gorgeous factor and to remind you to feel your boobees regularly, I added a little pink on the top.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

CFAM at Fine Arts Center

Today is my first Wednesday market at the Fine Arts Center. We are open from 3-7 this afternoon.

I'm taking Hayden with me, so I'm a little nervous. Unloading, setup, and selling with a toddler! I must be crazy :)

If you can, come out to see us today!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


Honey is used world wide as a natural sweetener. However, honey is so much more than a sweet (delicious) liquid. Honey is also used in skin care because it offers a wide variety of benefits.

Honey has long been considered one of the best anti aging ingredients; Cleopatra was well known for her milk and honey baths. Honey is still used today in a variety of skin care products. It is used in lotions, cremes, masques, and (of course) bath soaks. You cannot deny the wonderful effects that honey has on skin.

Honey is an effective antiseptic, which helps keep skin clear and blemish free. Honey also contains a high level of antioxidants that help repair damage done by the elements and stress. Using honey as part of a skin care regime can actually leave your skin amazingly soft! Honey is also a humectant, which means it can help seal in moisture and draw moisture to itself.
Photo by Lithfin on Flickr
 Honey can easily be incorporated into your skin care regime with easy DIY recipes. For example, mix a little honey with some milk and egg white to make a gentle cleanser that will leave your skin soft and glowing. If you have very oily skin, try a little lemon juice instead of milk. You can also make a gentle toner with honey and aloe or witch hazel. There are too many options to list! Look for other ideas for masques, hair treatments, bath soaks, or anything else you can think of.

Try getting your honey fresh from a local beekeeper. It usually has a better flavor (because you need to eat some of it :) and you are supporting your local economy!

What is your favorite use of honey?

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Decluttler Challenge: Week 23

I thought I was behind, but when I looked at it, I'm not!!! That makes me happy :)

For those of you that don't know what my Declutter Challenge is, check it out here. You can also follow my adventures if you wish by reading my decluttering posts.

This week almost didn't happen. I almost forgot! Can you believe I would do such a thing? Well, it has been a crazy, busy week. I've been preparing all week for my market that didn't happen because I had my dates wrong. Oh well, at least I'm ready.

Back to the point...this week's challenge did happen because I got an email about one of the items I posted on craigslist! Happy dance time...

Ok, so I got the email yesterday, I met her today and the water cooler is officially gone.
Bye bye!

On a side note, I discovered #declutter on Twitter and I'll be sharing there as well.

Have you started decluttering? Remember, it is easy to start. It doesn't have to be big, just grab one item a week and make it leave your house (by hook or by crook). Take it to the trash, resale shop, craigslist, ebay, or whatever, just make that item leave! One item a week isn't too hard and before you know it, you'll be letting all sorts of things go.

If you have a story to share, I would love to here it!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Updoing My Booth

This will be my 3rd market season! I'm excited to be doing it again because I don't do enough business to have an actual store, but I love meeting customers. I have a few that make sure they find out when I'm going to the market, so they can find me! I love that I actually get to meet them and see them.

The first year, I decided to do the market at the last minute and I shared it with a friend. So, we didn't put a lot of thought into the display (check it out here). Last year, was insane with my little guy that wasn't quite 1 year! I had some ideas, but it was more of a mish mash and my display was a little sad. Not this year! I have been planning, scheming, and designed to come up with a display that all ties together. I wanted to share my progress today and then tomorrow, I will show you the finished booth.

Since this word honu is Hawaiian, I decided to design my booth with an island feel to it. My next decision was to use white and ocean blue for my set-up. My tablecloths have always been white twin size sheets. I keep thinking about getting actual tablecloths, but the sheets work so well and are easily replaced. I found a fabric dye that I fell in love with, it is Dylon's Bahama Blue. I mean the name says it all! So, my tablecloths will now be Bahama blue, not white.
It is actually much more tropical!
Next, we to decide what to do with my fabulous shelves. One set was a shutter door that we cut in half and made into shelves and the other is a foldable set I found at a thrift store. The shutters were already white, but the shelf part was a blue that ended up being too dark. I found a tropical blue paint that I loved, but I didn't want it to be overwhelming. So, we decided to paint the shelves blue and then white; then we are going to scuff them up so a little blue shows through. The scuffing may not happen by tomorrow, but they are painted and looking lovely!
Everything out for painting! Love my shelves :)

The sun is a little strong, but I love this blue!

I also decided I needed better signs than I've used in the past. The plastic holders just wasn't cutting it. My inspiration was actually a little plaque in Hayden's room. It is a simple small piece of wood with a wooden dowel to hold it upright. So, we used some scrap wood in the garage, cut it up, sanded it, and now it is painted. I will write my signage on the wood in paint pens! I also decided to make a "Specials" board. I bought a from at Michael's, along with a pre-cut piece of plywood; the plywood is now chalkboard black and the frame is tropical blue! It will look so cute. I think I'm going to use ribbon to tie the board to my tent, but I'm not positive yet.
My first time using chalkboard paint!
I still have to write out all of my signs, but the major part is all done! Stay tuned for my big reveal...

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Colorado Farm and Art Market Dates-2012 (Corrected)

Another summer has begun and it is time for those farmer's markets. I am doing CFAM again, but this year I will be doing the Wednesday and Saturday markets part-time.

Saturday markets are at the Margarita @ Pine Creek from 9-1. The Wednesday markets are at the Fine Arts Center from 3-7.

I am only doing a few Wednesday markets because school starts in August. The dates are:
  • 6/20
  • 7/4 (I'm not sure if the market will be open because of the holiday)
  • 7/18
  • 8/1
  • 8/15
I will be at every other Saturday market. The (correct) dates are:
  • 6/23
  • 7/7
  • 7/21
  • 8/4
  • 8/18
  • 9/1
  • 9/15
  • 9/29
  • 10/13
I'm looking forward to another great season! I can't wait to see some of you again...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Gettin' Crafty

I love reading crafty blogs. It gives me all sorts of fun ideas and that I really don't have time to do, but I love anyway. Well, I decided that I should start doing a few of them because I feel like all I do is work. It may be working as a mom, as a soapmaker, or as a teacher, but I work A LOT! So, I am going to start doing some of my ideas.

First, when I was going through boxes, I found this old wall plaque that my mom bought from Home Interiors. Does anyone remember those parties? I think they may have been one of the first home shows and my mom was the Home Interiors QUEEN. Just about every decoration in our house came from one of the parties she hosted. I remember the plaque hanging on the wall for my entire childhood. When mom died, it was packed up and forgotten about. Well, when I found it, it almost went into my declutter pile. However, I decided to save it and see what I could do with it.
I think it is cute, but needed some updating!
 So, I sat and stared at it and left it where I could look at it. I finally decided that the perfect place to hang it would be above the descending stairs as you walk in. We recently painted the downstairs bright white with a blue-gray trim. We are planning on using the blue to paint the entryway and the white for the trim. I wanted a color that would stand out, but fit in. I decided I wanted to use a soft yellow. I also wanted the background and words to contrast, I found a color I love called "oil rubbed bronze." It is nice and dark, but not quite black. What do you think?
Not bad for my first crafty project. It was easy too! It took about one nap time to get it all painted.

Have you done any projects where you redid something simple to make it fit your home?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Product Spotlight: Tiny Heinie Diaper Area Wash

I know that it is a mouthful, but is for tiny heinies and it isn't a diaper wash, it is for the diaper area!

The story behind this one is pretty simple. A friend of mine was using cloth diapers and she wanted to use cloth wipes as well. Most places tell you to wet the rag or fill a spray bottle with water and wipe clean. However, it really isn't that simple for everyone. First, water doesn't really clean a poopy area. Second, sometimes that poop is super poop and just will not come off! So, she asked me if I had any ideas and this is what I came up with.

I used a blend of water, aloe, witch hazel, and grapeseed oil to clean, condition, and help that sticky poop slide off. I chose to use grapeseed oil because it is light, high in antioxidants, non-irritating, and great for removing mascara (which means that even super poop shouldn't stand a chance!). Aloe is wonderful and so gentle for skin. It is anti-inflammatory, helps soothe and heal irritations and rashes, and can act as a barrier for the skin. Why wouldn't you use that on a tiny heinie? A little bit of witch hazel was added to help control diaper rashes
(btw, it is also good for razor burn).

Then, I added lavender, tea tree, and roman chamomile essential oils. Lavender and chamomile soothe and calm the skin by reducing irritation and inflammation. Tea tree oil in anti-bacterial and anti-fungal, so it helps keep the area clean and icky free.

I started using this with Hayden and I love it! It is easy to use while holding on to a squirming child and it is gentle and mild for that very tender area.

Find it at my Etsy shop! Visit my website for more great Honu products.

If you have tried this out, please let me know what you thought!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Giveaway on Ginger Snap Crafts

I am sponsoring a giveaway on Ginger Snap Crafts today! It is for one Tender Romance gift set which includes an 8oz lotion, 2 oz massage/bath oil, 1 set of fizzing tub treats, 1 bar of soap. Check it out here!

I'm really excited, this is my first time on someone else's blog! I love Ginger's blog, it is full of great craft ideas. I'm all sorts of crazy about her ideas using vinyl! I was told I can't get any until I finish my other projects that I have sitting around, BUT I still have lots of ideas of things I would like to do :)

Check out Ginger Snap Crafts!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Dead Sea Mud and Peaked Tops

The other day, I made some more of my Dead Sea Mud Soap. This time, I decided not to separate the salt and the mud into different layers, it was all going in the pot together. I also decided that I wanted to add a little lemon essential oil to the blend of peppermint, rosemary, and tea tree.

I chose to add sea salt to the mud bar because sea salt offers some of the same skin care benefits that Dead Sea mud does. It is detoxifying, exfoliating, and good for skin conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne. I do not add Dead Sea salt, just regular sea salt because the extra mineral in the Dead Sea salt makes the soap "sweat." I originally chose peppermint, rosemary, and tea tree essential oils because they are all good for skin; they can help fight acne and dry skin! Plus, they smell so good together. I decided to add a little lemon because it also fights oily skin, but can also increase circulation and exfoliation. It can cause irritation, but I used it at a relatively small percentage.
I looks so fun! The trick is a REALLY thick soap...
I also decided to try my hand at "peaked tops" for soaps. I got the idea from a wonderful soap challenge at Great Cakes Soapworks, I didn't participate because of time constraints, but I loved reading! I watched several videos and read a couple of posts, so I just had to give it a try! I kept it fairly simple; I used a spoon to push the soap into peaks in the center and then I poked, prodded, and pushed until I was happy with it.

I unmolded and tried to cut the soaps today. I thought it was a little hard, but I didn't worry about it. As I started to cut, I noticed the first bar start to crack! DUH! Salt makes the bars a little more brittle, plus it was much harder than normal. So, I popped it in the oven to warm it all back up. They cut better, but the bottom edges did start to crumble a little. I don't think it will be a problem once they are cured and cleaned up though. I also decided that I won't do peaked tops until I get a wire cutter :)
Not a great picture, but I did it with my phone. I love them!

These will be ready around June 29th. I usually let them cure a bit longer, but as hard as these already are, I think that will be long enough. Mark your calendars because these usually go fast!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Declutter Challenge: Garage Sale!

So, we had our garage sale today. We took everything that we've been thinking about getting rid of, but didn't want to donate it or toss it (or we just hadn't gotten to it) and put it out front. We also started pulling stuff out of the garage, which we've been meaning to clean, and put it out for sale. I'm not even sure where some of the stuff came from!

Now, we didn't really make that much money on our garage sale, but we DID get rid of a lot of stuff. And really, that was what I wanted most. I really do let stuff go cheap at garage sales because I want to get rid of it. I don't want to pack it back up and put it back in that garage! We got rid of a lawn mower that didn't work (I was honest about it), an aquarium full of supplies, 2 boxes of books, several videos, some stuffed animals, and a few other odds and ends.

During the garage sale, we also worked on cleaning out the garage! We went through LOTS of boxes. Our recycle bin is completely full! We moved some books up to the office to sell on Amazon. Some went into a box bound for Goodwill or another garage sale, it depends on which comes first.  Others went into the recycle bin. We collected a few more boxes of stuff for sale or donation, but we haven't decided which yet. I consolidated to bins of clothes; some were seasonal, some I'm working my way back into (don't tell me I'm not supposed to keep those because I can't afford a new wardrobe once I lose weight), and a few were t-shirts that I'm saving for a quilt. There are still more boxes to go through, but I'm not up for some of them just yet because they belonged to my mom. Others, I just ran out of time.

Oh! And on Friday, I loaded up all of the paint that has been in the garage since we moved in because the landlord said they didn't see a reason to remove it and I took it to the hazardous waste place! It really was enough paint cans to fill the back of my car. How ridiculous!

So, that is my major decluttering! I'm only counting the garage sale as two weeks, but the paint counts for next week :) Pretty soon, I may actually be able to use my garage!

Share your decluttering stories! Please, please, please! Have you joined me yet or are you still just thinking about it? Remember, you can start small!