Sunday, August 31, 2008


Ella has a language all her own. We call her personal interpretation of words Ellisms. I don't think she means to change the words, but we all crack up when she does. (Quietly or else she gets super~mad at us.) We've actually incorporated some of her words into our everyday language. Here are a few examples:

Friona~her friend Riona
Monnenary Jack~Monterey Jack Cheese
The Combo~Gerry's parents'ski condo

There are more isms to share... I will fill you in every once in awhile. What will we do when she says all of these words the right way?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

What's Your Favorite Blackberry Recipe?

I'm looking for a little audience participation today. One of the best things about living on our land is that we have a huge amount of wild blackberries. I have been picking about 2 quarts a day for the past week. We've put them on cereal and yogurt. We've eaten them by the handful. I've thought of cobbler & crisp. But, I'm wondering, what would all of you do with these blackberries??
Please leave me your ideas. I'm clinging to this last, juicy, wonderful part of summer with all of my being!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

First Day of School... Check!

We all survived the first day of school. Some of us had butterflies (like me!). Ella started Kindergarten, Cora went to 2nd grade, Peter went to 5th grade & Austen went off to the Junior/Senior High school for 7th grade.

Everyone made the transition really smoothly. We had a fairly relaxed morning. It was probably as relaxed as we could be on any given morning. Ella had a 1/2 day from 8-11:30 and Austen had a 1/2 day from 11:30 'til 2:30. Luckily, I've learned how to be in two places at (almost) the same time so it all worked out.

The best part of the day for me was collecting everyone back up and hearing all of the chatter about who, what, when & for how long! Wishing you all a great start to the school year~

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Great Friends, Good Times

Friday afternoon/evening was Dinner Picnic at Silver Lake Night. It's kind of a tradition in the most loose way. It ends up being "whoever feels like it bringing whatever they feel like." Nothing structured or formal. We were blessed with beautiful weather. Lots and lots of wonderful friends gathered for a a great time. The highlight was all of the "MOMS" lining up at the end of the dock, holding hands and jumping in. I'm so sad that there's no footage. Austen and Peter were impressed. (What mom doesn't want to impress their pre-teen?)
Can you notice the little patch of leaves taking on their Autumn colors? *sigh*

As we send our little ones back to school tomorrow am, I am giving thanks for all of our amazing friends and all of their amazing kids~and there are LOTS of them. We are so lucky and glad to raise our kids with you all! Thanks for a great time!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Way to Go Ella!!!

Little Miss Ella is well on her way to being a Black Belt! She tested successfully for her yellow stripe last week! I can tell you first hand that it's a tad nerve~wracking to stand in front of the instructors and the whole class to test for your next rank. Ella did it on her own and she did an outstanding job! See for yourself:

Here is our instructor Master Tom Chase putting Ella's new belt on her!
Both Master Tom Chase and our other instructor, Master Peter Chase (his father) are 5th Degree Black Belts. Toms daughter Jenny (our excellent babysitter) is a 2nd Degree.
Ella and I only have 9 more testings to be recommended for our Black Belts. :)

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Let Me Do You a Favor!

My friend Cindy's daughter is having her bridal shower next week. Cindy is a great customer and she asked me to do up a huge basket of party favors for all of the girls. I think it's the coolest idea. Everyone gets to pick from the assortment, so they will love what they get. Cindy provided her basket and I filled it full of goodies.

Julie (the bride) is using a Starry Night theme for her wedding. So, Cindy chose some Starry Night Kaleidosoap. She also ordered some Starry Night Bath Confetti, Energy Spa Bars, Lime in the Coconut Spa Bars & Energy Shea Butter Lotion. Isn't that so fun? Happy Shower, Julie!!

I'd be so happy to do this for anyone. The favors are $4.50 a piece with a minimum of 20 pieces. The best part is working to customize it for the event. I just love this stuff! Leave me a comment if you have a party coming up!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Super Softening Sparkling Bath Treatment

Ironically, I don't take nearly as many nice, relaxing baths as I should. I have so many reasons to run for the tub and yet, like many of us, I don't set aside that time for myself! That's pretty funny since I spend a lot of my energy encouraging my girlfriends (and people that I don't even know!) to take the time to pamper themselves with some yummy bath products.

Don't get me wrong, I am the number one tester of every single thing that I formulate! I only use what I make these days. The thing is that I shower/bathe with the mindset of the product tester. I'm in there with my critical thinking cap on. "How does it feel? How does this smell? How can it be better?" It's time to enjoy my bathroom and body products the way they are meant to be enjoyed. Sparkling Bath Treatment is my first step in "bath tub rehab".

I did this first batch in Champagne Chic (another nod to Anne-Marie's amazing supply of FO's).
It's a fun, effervescent party for the bath. Featuring Kaolin Clay & Coconut Milk, it offers the most softening, soothing bath water! Hop over to etsy and treat yourself! It's time to walk the walk and enjoy a couple of precious, quiet, wonderful moments to ourselves!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Time in Monet's Garden

This was such a fun batch of soap to make. It's full of softening olive oil, coconut oil & palm kernel oil. It's a nice hard bar that's full of lather! I went way out on the swirly limb and used three colors to mimic Monet's Water Garden. Swirling was a treat! I had one of those soaper's adrenaline rushes while I was pulling it all together. The fragrance is Brambleberry's Sweet Pea, which was great in the batch. Six weeks later, it's still sharing it's yummy scent. It's sweet, fresh & a tiny bit musky. I love it.

Of course, it's available on Etsy! ;)

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Free Shipping for 110th Order!

I've had 97 sales on Etsy Woo Hoo! I love shipping my products out... it's so satisfying! :) So, if you're my 110th order, leave me a comment and I'll pick up the shipping tab! Here are some of the items you might choose:Sweet Birch Shea & Shimmer ScrubGinger Lime Artisan SoapFoaming Hand WashSweet Birch Shower Butter in Pamplemousse
Happy Girl Pedicure Kit

Whatever you do...
have fun with it!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

What Once Was Cheesy...

Isn't it amazing how all of the things you firmly believed in your single-life 20's are proven untrue during your married with kids 30's & 40's? My girlfriend Ronda has always said, "Parenthood is the greatest humbler." She's usually spot on.

We've gone to Gerry's family condo at Loon Mountain since day one. (That would be about 21 years ago.) It's relaxing & beautiful, high up in the White Mountains. The skiing is great (especially because you can hop on right outside the condo) and during the summer, there is no shortage of hiking, biking or swimming to be done. It's also right around the bend from the now~deceased Old Man in the Mountain and Franconia Notch. Awesome. One thing that I turned my nose way up to 21 years ago was the "cheesy~money~sucking" theme parks planted in this region. If you asked the 20 year old me to go to Whale's Tale, I'd tell you, "No way!".

Well, times change. We took the kids there on Sunday and had a ball. So what if we handed over a fat wad of cash to get in? So what if there were thousands of screaming kidlets running around
with their slightly addled parents? It was great family fun! Here's a little video of Gerry at his best going down what we affectionately call "the toilet bowl".

Thursday, August 7, 2008

How Cool Is This?!

I got to try some Bo Staff work at Blue Wave Summer Camp. It was awesome! I love it and I'm determined to master it (I'm sure it will take a long time!) Here is Mr. Kwiatek who is one of the instructors at the dojang in Beverly, MA. He makes it look so easy and seamless. I can share with you all that I bonked myself in the head more than once during our seminar.
Find more videos like this on The Blue Wave Taekwondo Association

I'll post some pictures of summer camp next week. We are off for a long weekend to Loon Mountain. Gerry's parents have had a condo on the mountain for many years. It's a great, quiet place to go and regroup. Can't wait for some hiking and playing at the Whales Tale Waterpark.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Sweet Birch Shea & Shimmer Scrub

I've found my favorite product. I've been using it everyday this Summer and I can officially say that I am in LOVE!!! My Sweet Birch Shea & Shimmer Scrub is an offspring of Sweet Birch Shower Butter which you can read about here. These products are members of the Sweet Birch family, which is a line of scrubs featuring the uber~gentle exfoliating properties of sugar. Sweet Birch Lip Scrub & Face Polish are coming soon.

The thing about Shea & Shimmer Scrub that has me so amped up is that it has solved my biggest problem in life... DRY SKIN!!! I lean towards scal
y on the dryness measuring system. If I don't slather on lotion after a shower, my skin is visibly parched. You know, scratch-your-name-into-it kind of dry. My friends, those days are over for me!

Here's the rundown~Organic Shea Butter, sweet almond oil, vegetable glycerin, pure cane sugar, the finest, yummiest fragrance oils or essential oils around and (drumroll) a pinch of shimmer dust. The scrub goes on like buttah and rinses off to leave you SOOOOO SOFT. The pinch of shimmer is just enough to show that you have inner sparkle & beauty. It's wonderful for date~night! Right now, it's available in Island Girl, Energy & Grapefruit Lily. More fragrances are showing up every day!

The difference from our Shower Butter is that there is no soap in this product. So, you can choose a soapy, bubbly lathery good time or super~softening moisturizing, won't-need-any-lotion-after-this scrub! Either way, you win!~ PS. I've been scrubbing away for 8 weeks and haven't had one break-out. No promises that you won't, but it hasn't been an issue for me!

Buy the Sweet Birch Shea & Shimmer Scrub here and the Sweet Birch Shower Butter here.