Saturday, October 29, 2011

Two New Lotions and an SNS!

I've had a busy day today - especially considering I'm on my 2nd migraine in two days. I did some product photography this morning, cleaned up the pictures a bit and listed my two newest lotion scents - my holiday ones!

Sparkling Plum is a lovely sweet plum complimented by a hint of tangy citrus and softened with a touch of jasmine and light musk. A very feminine scent that I think is just gorgeous.

Lump of Coal is just flat out fun. Star anise and vanilla blend perfectly to create a scent so tempting, you'll have everyone leaning in for another whiff.

PLUS, today is Saturday, which means it is time for Etsy's SNS (Saturday Night Special) hooray! Visit my shop and use coupon code "SNS1029" to save 25% off EVERYTHING! This sale only lasts until 6 am EST Sunday so better get shopping!

Check out the SNS thread on Etsy - lots of good sales going on tonight!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Homemade Applesauce

Very few things smell or taste better than fresh, warm homemade applesauce.

I made some today for my kids. We bought the apples 2 1/2 weeks ago when we went to the pumpkin farm, which is also a major apple farm in the area (BelleWood Acres) - the cashier recommended I wait a couple weeks before making applesauce because the apples would be sweeter and need less added sugar.

The apples most recommended for applesauce are Gala, Jonagold, Golden Delicious, and Fuji.

I used 8 apples, peeled, cored and sliced. I added them to a pan with 1 1/2 cups of water (which easily could have been reduced to just one cup... I had to let some of the liquid cook off at the end). Then I added 1/4 cup of sugar, several dashes of ground cinnamon and two dashes of ground cloves. The cinnamon and cloves are basically to personal taste - you could add them after cooking if you aren't sure where you stand on your spice levels. :)

Cook over medium heat until the apple slices are soft and easily mashed. You can then mash them in the pot for a lumpier sauce or run it through a food grinder for a smoother sauce.

Here are my kiddos enjoying the fruits of my labor. Well, two of my three, anyway - my younger son (the pickiest of my three) devoured his bowl so quickly, I didn't have time to get a picture!

I put one container in the freezer for later and the rest in the fridge for this week! I'm thinking pork chops might be in our near future.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Take A Closer Look

I spend half my time browsing Etsy impressed by the products offered by amazingly talented artisans. I spend the other half of my browsing time impressed by their product photography. This is something I've spent years striving to improve (and believe me, there has been improvement! Y'all should see the first items I listed on Etsy. In fact, if you went to my sold history and looked at the first pages, you could!) and I'm always appreciative of other sellers who do it well.

So I made a treasury list of items I thought had excellent detail and perspective in the first listed photo of that item. I encourage you to click the picture to visit my treasury, then actually click some of the individual items so that you can see the detail I am talking about!

Friday, October 21, 2011

My Brain Is Going in Too Many Directions

This week has been so busy! Of course, there are a lot of weeks I say that now that I have three kids in school. Which reminds me that I wish the "Now" me could go back and tell the "Then" me that it was true what parents of older children warned me about life being busier once kids start school. Seriously, I thought having the kids in school would free up all this extra time for me to have to myself (and in some ways it has) BUT it also means that the time outside of that is FULL OF STUFF. Appointments, field trips, parent/teacher conferences, not to mention the other stuff I'm involved in - which I try to keep to a minimum, but it seems that this year in particular, things are just getting out of hand AND MY KIDS AREN'T EVEN IN SPORTS YET. I just don't know how other moms do it! Of course, I've been assured that those other moms are saying the exact same thing about all other moms too.

Mostly, I just feel that there are all these things I want to do, that even when I have some free time to do something, I don't even know which thing to do first, and I get overwhelmed and end up doing nothing - just waste time playing a game on facebook or reading an actual book. Or a book on my Kindle, which is a real book, but not an ACTUAL book. All you avid readers out there will know what I mean.

[side note: I love my Kindle. I was afraid it would detract from my enjoyment of holding and reading an actual book, but it hasn't. I still read actual books - now I just have the chance to read MORE books because I can buy the actual books that I really want, and I can ALSO get cheaper e-books to sample new authors or genres. Since I have a hard time allowing books to leave my shelves (even ones I didn't love all that much) this has also helped the space issues we have in our house. I mean, a person can only physically store so many books in her home before her children start asking for their closet space back...]

All this to say - I wish I had more time to devote to my many interests and passions. One of which is photography and photo-enhancement/alteration. I play around and I love it, but I lose all confidence when I see the spectacular work that is out there. Trolling etsy, looking at photography, I alternate between "wow, that person is SO talented, I'd be wasting my time listing my stuff" and "wow, my stuff is definitely better than that, I should list it!" Which sounds extremely rude and pretentious now that I've typed it out, ha.

So, before I bore you to death, here is my Red Dahlia.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

NEW Scent in My Shop!

I ordered my fall scents over a month ago and so far have managed to get ONE of them made and listed. Is that sad? Probably. Is that life? With three kids - definitely. Things just get in the way sometime.

That being said, I chose Enchanted Apple to be the first in line, and if I do say so myself, it is amazing! My sister came over this weekend and took one sniff and had to have one!

Enchanted Apple takes advantage of the best of the apple world, being tart and sweet at the same time (how do apples DO that?) PLUS this particular apple scent is underlaid with a hint of jasmine and light musk, so it is fresh and fruity yet still manages to be soft and feminine too.

Just the color of the label makes me want to bite into a juicy apple!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Orange You Glad?

So, I have a bazillion things on my to-do list and what do I spend an hour this afternoon doing? Creating a  treasury list on Etsy, of course!

I just needed a mental break and putting together a treasury list is a lovely outlet for my creativity and love of window shopping while (very) marginally fulfilling my online promotion quota. Ok, that's probably a real stretch, as I don't think many people who view my treasury lists ever actually visit my shop, but I'm too tired to quibble with my non-logical side today so I'm letting it go.

Now, without further ado (because the previous ado was more than enough and it is time you get to witness the creative magnificence I have assembled) - here it is!

No, no ... no applause necessary. Just click on the picture and go click and comment on my treasury. That will be thanks enough. ;D

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Pumpkin Patch Time!

I absolutely ADORE fall. The crunchy leaves, the wind in the trees, the stormy rainy days, cozy meals, and the annual family trip to the pumpkin patch!

This year we decided to try out BelleWood Acres - known mostly for their apples (and they are amazing!) but they also have a pumpkin patch. BONUS: you can ride in a train of apple carts pulled by a tractor. My kids were thrilled.

You get a gorgeous view of Mount Baker while selecting your pumpkins. They've set up a great photo opportunity to take advantage of it. The cart in front is our selection of pumpkins. My oldest was excited that his pumpkin was the tallest of the five.

 They also have a wonderful shopping area where you can buy fresh-made donut holes, apple cider, a wide variety of apples, caramel apples, cookies, other treats, and fun decorations! Plus, the kids can sit on this awesome rocking horse. Although, as you can see, my 2nd son was less than thrilled to share his turn with little sister, hahaha!

Despite the look on Thad's face, we had quite a fun time on this year's pumpkin picking trip. Our two boys both have extra needs plus our daughter is three, so family outings are always an unknown. Will they behave? Will we have a meltdown? Will more than one of them meltdown at the same time? (This has happened and is probably one of the most parenting stressors known to mankind, ha!) Thankfully this time everyone behaved (mostly - they ARE kids, after all - some whining is expected) and we all went home happy.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

More Soap!

I made more soap! This time, I even colored it. The excitement knows no limits now. I made a lavender shea butter soap, scented with lavender essential oil of course. I decided to pour most of the soap into the mold, reserving just about a quarter of it, to which I added some color. I was aiming for lavender, of course, but when I stirred in the color, it turned very very pink. However, I couldn't mess around with it because I needed to get the top layer poured before everything set up on me, so I figured "live and learn" and that this entire batch would be going into my own shower.

BUT... the next day when I went to un-mold it and cut it into bars, it was a very lovely lavender color! Hooray! The shade is more pink than blue, but it is definitely in the purple family. Phew!

In fact, here is a very rough picture - it was evening and the lighting was horrid, and this is right after I cut it, but I think it looks so pretty!