Sunday, February 27, 2011

Lavender Oil DIY

I love Lavender.

In soap making Lavender is a coveted scent by many. In M&P soap making Lavender buds turn brown, I haven't yet tried using Lavender buds in CP soap making but I expect the buds would also discolor. I have had a pretty large bag of Lavender buds for awhile now and was pleased to find a useful project that incorporated them.

What you'll need
Lavender Buds
Olive/Grapeseed or Almond Oil, any of these would work. I used Grapeseed Oil
A glass mason jar (plastic container with a fitting lid would work also)

Place however much Lavender you want in the bottom of your mason jar. Feel free to crush it up to increase the scent. Cover the buds with as much oil as you wish to produce. That's it!
The buds need to steep in the oil for several weeks or up to a month depending on the depth of scent you desire. Every few days (or whenever you remember) give the jar a good shake or stir. You can also strain out the old buds and add new ones every few weeks to increase the scent.

Possible uses for this oil include:
Soap making, pour a bit in your bath for an intoxicating soak, use in an oil diffuser, use as a massage oil or apply just a tiny bit to your wrists for a natural light perfume.

I intend on using this oil in some CP soap. I will update in a week or so on how my Lavender Oil is doing! Hope you enjoyed another post including my wonderful orange counter tops:)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

New Discoveries

Do you ever stumble upon things in life and can't believe you've never discovered them before?
I had two of those discoveries this week.

One being this video on YouTube,
How to Fold a Fitted Sheet Like a Pro
A great how to video detailing how to fold a fitted sheet like a ninja. I plan on tackling my linen closet and fixing all of the bulging sheets.

My second discovery was this blog:
She has 18 thousand followers! So clearly I am behind on this discovery but her blog is very neat and always an interesting read.

I should also mention that I have a new coupon for my Etsy shop that I started through my Twitter. Click here to become a follower of me on Twitter the coupon code is TWITTER15 that can you can use at the checkout in my Etsy Shop to receive 15% off your order.

Have a wonderful Sunday!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sugar Woes

I have been off sugar for four days now. Well I shouldn't say completely off - I'm having about 1tbl a day. I usually It's 1 tsp of brown sugar in my coffee and then the other bit of sugar I account for is already in my breakfast cereal.

I am a sugar-aholic. You would be amazed how easily it is to have sugar in every single meal you eat. Many processed foods have sugar/fructose-corn syrupy crap in it. Even things like taco seasoning packets have sugar in it. Even canned soup. What happened in the last 30 years or so that made this the norm?

I'm trying to cut back on sugar for two reasons.
1. Weight Loss.
2. Avoiding sugar crashes. This was very common for me. I would go too long without eating, feel completely void of energy - grab for something excessively sweet - feel AMAZING for about an hour then crash again. In the last four days I have not experienced this.

I did however start getting headaches. I began researching this and found that,
"During the first few sugar-free days you may experience headaches, fatigue, depression, drowsiness, skin eruptions, and mucus or throat discomfort." - Taken from Sugar Withdrawal Symptoms

I have experienced a bit of fatigue, headaches and throat discomfort. Last night before bed I sait to Barry that my throat was very sore. I guess this is why.

I am however enjoying a bit more energy and sounder sleeping. I'm looking forward to greater energy and hopefully some weight loss. I'll keep you updated:)

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Random Foods You Eat When Cooking Alone

About once, sometimes twice a week the beau goes to his old roomates place for guy time.
They watch movies and eat pizza.

I usually take a hot bath, watch a chick flick and make my kind of a meal.

This was last nights.

Black beans. Beautiful, delicious black beans.

Avocado. Mash it up real good.

Garlic and Herb Feta. Perfection.

Spinach whole wheat fettuccine. Yum, Yum, Yum.

Simple and a little odd, but delicious. You really don't need a sauce or any oil/butter added as the mashed avocado is so creamy and the warmed up feta makes it even better.


Monday, February 7, 2011

A country kitchen of my own

barnowlprimitives Our Nest

We are currently renting an older duplex rancher. The area where we live is transitioning from older stucko homes to those newer houses - you know the kind that they throw up in two months. I don't see us living here for that much longer, we our saving up for a place of our own, but of course it is a work in progress. I have thought quite a bit about design and what I would want our home to look like when we own. I love design, I love and admire those who have the ability to create amazing spaces. I find that I struggle with the actual process and making it all - "work". I know what I like, and what I don't like but there is also a lot I have to learn about good design.

One day I would love a country kitchen.
I get really inspired whenever my gal pal blogs about kitchen design at her blog. Visions of apron front sinks, white washed walls, vintage appliances and robins egg blue enter my dreams. I thought I would share my recent country kitchen table set up. I did this on a very tight budget so it's not amazing and designer-esque but I love it. And it's holding me off until I can have a country kitchen of my own.

I made the table runner out of a nice heavy canvas material, I wanted to do burlap but I didn't have any on hand. The only items that I purchased were the adorable bird on the smaller cake stand from Michaels for about $5 and the small ceramic creamer also from Michaels which was about $5 also. The Yellow flowers were from the dollar store and cost about $3. Everything else I had, the pitcher is from Homesense and the clear glass vase is from Wal-Mart. I do hope you enjoy my simple set up.

I thought I would also spread some Etsy love and share some country kitchen items that I adore.

Beautiful vintage seller TheOldRedHen



Sunday, February 6, 2011

To Cargoh, With Love

There is this online selling venue called Cargoh.
It's a little controversial in the Etsy/handmade world as it is a curated/juried selling venue. To get in to Cargoh you submit an application then wait, and wait... and they either send you a happy note saying, "You're in!" Or a nicely worded letter letting you down the easy way.
I heard about Cargoh and was delighted to find that they are based in Gas Town which is located in beautiful Vancouver, B.C. This is about 45 minutes from where I live, and the area is lovely - and Canadian!. I did apply to Cargoh and got the happy acceptance letter and set up shop.
From what I can tell it is fairly slow over there. It's a new selling venue which makes sense but their fee's are very desirable, and thus far I have really enjoyed the experience there. Right away I began following Cargoh on Twitter and was pleased when they too began following me. Cargoh has gone out of their way to promote me on Twitter several times as well as re tweet a few of my messages.

This morning I did my usual log onto Cargoh to see what's going on and I was so pleased to find this:

Lovely front page feature for me!
Sales for me have been slow this past week so this was a wonderful pick me up.
And I did a happy dance.
And the pug gave me the oddest look.

So if you have a minute check out Cargoh. It's not for everyone but it is another neat way that handmade is being promoted out there.
And as Martha says it, "that is a good thing."

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fratelli Bakery

Sometimes I wish I were a size 0. Or I'd even take like a size 3-4.

But then I remember I'm 5'7. And that I come from a long lineage of Amazonian type women.
Who eat size 0's for breakfast.

I also remember, when gazing wishfully at lovely petite clothing that-
I love carbohydrates. And sugar. And butter.

Seriously, have you ever had real butter slathered on a warm piece of bread?

Enter Fratelli Bakery. About a year ago my beau brought me home eclairs from this bakery. Don't get me wrong, I like an eclair now and again but they really aren't my thing so the bakery at the time was not memorable for me.
So last night he proudly brings home this box of treats for me.

And I open it.

Cheesecake heaven.

This cake. I will have dreams about this cake forever. It has a wonderful amaretto flavor with a pinch of pistachio. It is so light and fluffy, the texture is divine.

And the finale. Nanaimo Bars from heaven.

Hello, lover.

I feel a bit bad as this Nanaimo bar was my beau's. And when he arrives home tonight it likely will not still be around to greet him.

Here's the bakery's website. If you live locally (Vancouver, B.C.) - go check them out.
The beau brought home 6 of these treats, 2 of each the Pistachio cake, Nanaimo bars and of course the Cheesecake heaven wee cakes and the total for everything was 15$. I'm a gal that loves amazing treats on the cheap.


Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Brown Sugar

I love brown sugar.
The qualities I love about brown sugar are (in no particular order):
Color, it's such a lovely color.
Depth of flavor - go ahead try it in your tea or coffee instead of white sugar, you will love it.
The way it tastes in a good cookie recipe. So decadent.
Versatility, sweet, savory, brown sugar always brings the flavor.
Oh, I could go on.

My love of brown sugar inspired this soap:

I am madly in love with this soap. I'm debating leaving all of my Tea inspired soaps, and running away with this one. Instead of using a traditional soap mold I cleaned an empty cream container and used it instead. I love the way the bottom of the container made the soap look, such a lovely imprint.

The Brown Sugar Goat's Milk Bar.