Monday, June 27, 2011

Now and Later

Guy's I'm sorry, but I'm going to have to put the blog on hold. Until we have a faster internet connection it just takes too much time to put up a post.

And when I say too much time I mean around three to four hours. I don't have that much spare time. Hopefully, soon I will be able to come back but until then, thank you so much for reading.


Friday, June 3, 2011


I know I haven't posted a lot and I apologize, but something has taken up most of the time in my day.

We got a pool!!! Maybe this isn't as significant to you as it is to me but I am a water baby. Always have been and always will be.

I promise to post a longer post soon. Probably on a rainy day.

I have a recipe for the baby shower that will blow you away. And I have lots more pictures.


Sunday, May 29, 2011

Renaissance Festival

Yesterday was so much fun. The TN Renaissance is in it's last weekend here and we decided to play hookie and go. Our neighbors went with us and we all had a ball. The only downside is that it turned hot.

On one hand I wish I had dressed up, some of the costumes were great. On the other hand, I'm glad I didn't have to walk around under five layers of clothes in 90 degree weather. Maybe next year.

There was a joust. It was ok, but a little disappointing. I guess asking for an actual joust is too much in this day and age. I did take pictures, but my camera leaves a lot to be desired. It does not capture motion at all.

We also took a tour of the castle. What is so impressive is that the castle is a private residence. The man who built it actually lives there.
This is part of their actual kitchen.

Another pic. of the kitchen

 One of the tapestries. Isn't it beautiful

 Chain mail shirt

A rock formation outside the castle.

The vendors were great too. We stopped at a lot of them but we didn't actually buy anything. It was tempting to but some of the handmade soaps though. If they hadn't been so expensive I would have. Six dollars is too much. Even for homemade soap.

We arrived at the fair when it opened at ten and stayed til two. By then it was just too hot. So we came home and worked on the house (of course).Next year we will probably go in early May when it is cooler so we can wear costumes. 

Maybe by then I will have a better camera.

Thanks for reading,

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Plan B

Ok, well soaping fell though today. I wanted to but it just wasn't happening. Planning and shopping for the food I want to make at the shower took priority. Visiting my neighbor was also great. Then there is planning the pool area and making raised beds for more herbs.

So, I just didn't get to it.

But the Farmer found something cool. I mean really cool!

Disclaimer: the Farmer is not Jeff Corwin or Steve Irwin or Crocodile Dundee. He has lived in this region for many years and knows the wildlife. Please DO Not go around picking up random snakes. Many are venomous and can be deadly.

I think it's gorgeous. It is an eastern milk snake. When I asked him if he was sure that was the type of snake it was he said, "I hope so, it's bitten me like five times."

Isn't he hilarious?

Thanks for reading,

Monday, May 23, 2011

Oh My!

My Brambleberry order came in today!! I feel a little bad for the delivery guy though. I don't know why they won't drive up our driveway, but every time I have a package (which is way too often; seriously, it's like I have a birthday every month) they park in the street and walk all the way up our drive.

But my order came in!! What did I order? I'm so glad you asked. Here, I'll show you.

 Baby blocks mold for the shower. I love the little feet!

 This is one of their "oops" molds. It was on a sheet of molds that were imperfect. Rather than recycle them, Brambleberry sells them at a discount. It was hard to stop at three.

 Another "oops" mold. Can't wait to use this one.

 This will be great for 4th of July. Wish I had more than one.

 I'm going to blend this fragrance with honeysuckle as soon as they get more in stock.

 You wouldn't think this would smell good but it is amazing.

 Every order gets a free fragrance sample. Tropical vacation. Mmmmm!

 This is the fragrance I am going to use for the baby shower soaps.

 Three natural colors for me to use in CP soap.

Five un-natural (but awesome) colors that will be used in both CP and MP.

I will probably make some of the soaps today. More pictures will come tomorrow.

Thanks for reading,

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Baby Shower

In about a month my sister-in law is having her baby shower. A fun monkey themed party to celebrate the arrival of her little boy James. I, myself have never been to a baby shower. So, what do I do when she tells me about it? I say "can I do the food?"

What possesed me to utter those words? Because I love to cook and so far nobody has let me cook for a party/get together/holiday/shindig.

So, I do what I always do, I research. Yesterday we went to Books-A-Million where I bought four cookbooks. Then we went to Wal-Mart to get the supplies. And last night I made two of the recipes in the book.


They were both just bad. Not being one to give up easily, I'm going to tweak the recipes and try again in a day or two, after my confidence comes back.

I'm going to try for lots of variety. Nothing too fancy but nothing too dull. In trying to fit in with the theme of the party some of the desserts are definitely going to have bananas in them. You know, frozen bananas covered in chocolate, banana ice cream (drool worthy), and so forth.

The biggest problem I see so far is that most of the dishes on my "maybe" list have either chicken or cheese or some combination of the two. Variety...yeah.

Oh yeah, not to mention, this baby shower is composed of about 30 people. So, I'm going to cook appetizers for about 30 women and men.

So, I turn to my few readers. Should I prepare lots of just a few varieties or just have a sampling of lots of different varieties?

Sunday, May 15, 2011


Well, the chickies are still alive. It would be my luck to decide to put them outside during the one week that a weird front moves through and makes it cold. Two week of beautiful weather and then freezing.

Ok, not actually freezing, but it feels like it after 90 degree temps for a week.

But, they are moving around and eating so I think they are going to be ok. *breath sigh of relief*.

On another note, I spent lots of money yesterday on two splurges. I ordered a large amount of kefir culture from Leeners. What is kefir?

Kefir is a milk product made from cultures. It is similar to yogurt. Now I could also say it is fermented milk, but to most American palates, fermentation just doesn't sound good.

But Kefir is very very good. And it is very good for you. My favorite way to drink kefir is in smoothie form in the morning. I blend it with strawberries, bananas, a little honey and ice. Yummm! I haven't had it in almost six months but I placed an order with Leeners yesterday and I can't wait til they deliver it.

Of course, I won't be able to drink it right away. What I buy from Leeners is the live culture. When I get it, I take a gallon of milk. I use store bought milk for now but I'm hoping that will change in the future. You could use any type of milk (cow, goat, even coconut I'm told,even though it technically isn't milk). I then heat the milk up to 86 degrees. Once it's there I take it off the heat and pour in the powdered culture. Once the culture is all mixed in I pour the milk into half gallon ball jars and wait.

It's really up to you how long you wait. I'm told that the longer it sits the more sour it gets. I let it sit between 18 and 24 hours and then stick it in the fridge.

It can last for a couple of weeks but mine never make it that long. The really beautiful part about kefir is that you can re-batch it. Theoretically, you can re-batch as many times as you want but the taste does change. I usually re-batch once and then start over with a fresh culture.

You can use it in baking as well. Just replace any buttermilk with kefir, I think on a 1:1 ratio. Although if you're going to try it I would do a little research. I've never baked with it, I just like to drink it.

So, that was one splurge yesterday. My second splurge was from Brambleberry.

I absolutely love to make soap. I started almost a year ago after doing an embarrassingly large amount of research. Now I make a large batch ever other month or so and it's all we use. We don't buy shampoo or conditioner either. The soap I make works so much better than any shampoo bought in the store. For conditioner, I use a mixture of water and apple-cider vinegar. No, my hair doesn't stink.

I buy all of my soap making supplies from Brambleberry. The stuff I bought yesterday is mostly for the soap I am going to be making for my sister-in-law's baby shower next month. After I make everything I'll post pictures. Or maybe that will be my first tutorial! I like that idea.