Sunday, March 23, 2014

Scent Review - Pure Fragrance Oil - Green Tweed

Today we are soaping Green Tweed from Pure Fragrance Oils.

Cary Grant's fragrance of choice! Top notes of Mysore sandalwood,
ambergris, violet leaves, French verbena and Florentine iris.
Green Tweed is a wonderfully fresh, green scent that has a soft Oakmoss background.

This fragrance oil has such a nice clean scent...comparable to Irish Spring and a great scent for a man or a woman. In this latest order of fragrance oils the Irish Tweed came in these little white jugs...they are cute and store nicely...but I didn't like how clumsy it poured out of the bottle, so be sure to have a wipe nearby to catch the drips down the bottle...but I did like the handle when pouring.

My soap thickened on me because I didn't like the shade of green I ended up with so I needed to add more mica... and I guess I took a little too much time, so no itp (in the pot) swirl today, instead today it was spoon plops for me...which I enjoy just as much.

This fragrance plays nice with no acceleration. As for discoloration the oil itself has a green tint to doesn't discolor the soap too much, no browning, but a gentle green hue so I actually like to use the darker green olive oil with this to enhance the green tint. Today I was out so I used my light colored olive oil.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Gonga Sale on Strawberries and Pineapples

Strawberries and pineapples were on sale for .97 cents each...that is too good a deal to pass up!!

We bought a lot....above is the first trip...we made several more! We used our dehydrator for some pinapple snacks...first cutting the outer peel off...

Then quartered it and cut the core out...

Then we sliced it up and laid on the trays...(must get more trays for bigger batches SOON)...then we let it dry away for 12-15 hours. Some family members like it at the 12 hour mark...I like the long term storage part so I like it more towards 15 hours. It is crispier, but softens quickly as you chew. Makes a great snack!! 

Then we made jam.....I love my Kitchen Aid for this as I prefer smooth non chunky jam.

I got all 3 batches ready....strawberry...strawberry pineapple....pineapple. (I used the sure-jell recipes for cooked jam)

I ended up with 24 jars of jam...plenty to see us through the year and give away as gifts.

Next we tried something new and dehydrated some strawberries for snacks.

This is what 5 quarts of strawberries dries down to after 8 hours.

We did quite a few batches....

We made one more strawberry run to the store before the sale was up and made strawberry banana jam. I think we got our monies worth on this sale.

What are your favorite strawberry or pineapple recipes?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Little Horse Trail

We tried to do the tea cup hike again today....again a FULL parking lot...we are going to have to figure out how to better time this hike. So we headed a different direction and tried another hike we have never done. Which way should we go....

We first went left and took the Mystic Trail which gave us a nice view of The Chapel of the Holy Cross...can you see it?

How about now? We have been to this chapel several times, it is beautiful and serene and built so nicely right into the Sedona red rocks.

We looped back to the beginning and then took the Little Horse Trail. I just love these big old dead trees. 

Courthouse Butte is on the left and Bell Rock is on the right.

Yes that ledge is the trail...and is actually nothing compared to a trail we did on Bell Rock.

This is Cathedral Rock off in the distance.

We hiked an easy 2.3 miles.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Bramble Berry Fragrance Review - Beau Brummel

Today I soaped Beau Brummel from Bramble Berry. The scent is described as...
Tobacco and black tea are the dominate notes with hints
of fruit and spice. This fragrance is heady, masculine and
evokes images of the classic well dressed gentleman
I made this the day we were going on a hike, and I guess I was excited for that...I forgot to take pictures as I went, but here it is in the mold.

I used my guest sized mold as this batch was for a custom order.

I love this scent! My nose isn't the best at always picking up all the notes of fragrance oils...but I just know I like what I like. To me at first sniff...this scent is honeylicious!! Then I do pick out the other notes. This fragrance oil is wonderful to soap, no acceleration and no discoloration....two huge plus' in me liking a fragrance oil and wanting to use it again.  

Here I have pictured 3 different sizes, regular bar (center), half sized bars (left) and guest sized bars (right).

In our shop you will find it listed as Arizona Moonlight as we used to embed a "moon" into the soap log...maybe someday we will bring that back.

Monday, February 17, 2014

A Hike and a Soap

First the soap, gotta work before play :)

OK...That was off we gooooo.....
I have wanted to do what is called the tea cup hike for months today finally gets to be the day, here we are entering Sedona...
...we drive to the trailhead........we missed the turn...turn around, but the car behind us (who also missed the turn) turns around first and we enter the parking lot behind them.....WHAT?? Sign says only 14 cars at a time.....take a wild guess who was #15???!!!!!!! We wait a minute to see if anyone is leaving...only to find the car that beat us in just eating in their car??!!??!!  Sadly we leave...pure silence in the car as I am so disappointed. So The Hubs just drives...gorgeous views on the drive to ???? 
Then he parks and says we can do this I still get a hike today, the smile returns. :) 
Can you believe we are wearing shorts in February?? Love our AZ weather!!!!
We are doing Fay Canyon today...
I have heard of it but neither of us have done it off we go.....  

This is a manzanita....looks big in this photo but I stand taller than it. To me they are bonsai looking and I love the red colored trunks, they are much prettier in person than my photo is showing.

I love this rock formation we saw....

Zoomed in it looks like a face, I see hair, eyes, a nose, a chin...and even an ear!

and here is the backside of the "face"...looks so precariously perched from this angle.

 We come to the end of the maintained portion of the trail, somehow in our picture taking we gained 2 tenths of a mile as the trail is only a tad over a mile. 
So we have our snack here...overhear a conversation that 10 minutes down the unmaintained portion are some indian we mentally note that for a future hike and start back....when what do we find without even trying?? a geocache!
I have mentioned caching in my earlier blogs, but we have been so busy  we haven't been able to go, but this year we are beginning again so stay tuned for those adventures.
I was sad I didn't get to do the trail I have been wanting to do...but this trail was so gorgeous that our day turned out even better than planned...look at this map.... many little I guess we best get going here. :)
Some of these look long so they will be picnic days...what are your favorite snacks/lunches for hiking?

Friday, February 14, 2014

Happy Valentines Day

The Hubs and I don't always exchange much for Valentines Day, usually just something this year I decided to be silly with his gift and get him a bunch of snacks and have a fun play on words with a lil note on each item...

What did I buy?
Kool-Aid - "you're KOOL"
Cream Soda - "i SODA think you are amazing"
Strawberry Crush - "i have a CRUSH on you"
Goldfish - "you oFISHally have my heart"
Hot Tamales - "you are one HOT TAMALE"
Swedish Fish - "you're a great catch"
Peanuts - "i'm NUTS over you"
Pop Rocks - "you ROCK"
Gummy Bears - "life would be unBEARable without you"
Hot Wheels - "i WHEELie love you"
Reece's Pieces - I love you to PIECES"
Almond Joy - 'it's a JOY being married to you"
Cereal - "i CEREALsly love you"
Animal Crackers - "our life may be a circus sometimes, but i'm glad we're in it together"

Then I put them all in a basket.

And topped it off with a ginormous balloon.

I left it out on the couch for him to find when he gets up at 4am for work. 

Just a fun styled Valentine to shake it up this year...and he LOVED it!!!

What is the funnest/silliest Valentine you ever gave/received?

Monday, January 20, 2014

Mechanic Soap

Making our mechanic/gardener/kitchen soap today. We use beef tallow in the recipe along with triple brewed coffee and an essential oil blend that smells like fresh citrus.

At trace we add fresh coffee and pumice for exfoliation.

I wish the color stayed this beautiful "cafe au lait" color....

...but it turns a dark brown...and thats smells fresh and fabulous!

Today we also dehydrated some tomato wedges for our very own sun dried tomatoes....

...and we had a visitor that I was none to happy about. The coyotes scare me because of our lil chihuahua...they seem to want to snack on him, so I get nervous when I see them right outside my gate. This guy was waiting for a buddy that soon appeared and the two went off down the of living in the boonies I suppose.