April Update: Sewing, Soaping, and Sand

I can’t believe April is almost over! Time just keep whizzing by and I keep filling it up with good stuff – but don’t always get around to blogging about it. Sorry! I thought I’d do a single post to try and get you caught up and see if I can’t get to a more regular posting schedule. [Read more…]

Dramatic Spare Room Re-Do

It’s been a busy weekend in our house! We spent all day yesterday making the most dramatic overhaul of our spare room. Here is what it looked like when we started.

GuestRoomBefore

And now?

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Spring Planters

Today was a great fingers-in-the-dirt kind of day. Spring is fully here in East Texas and the bugs are already out! We planted eight new planters for our back porch with plants to help keep bugs away: lavender, peppermint, citronella, and marigolds. Let’s hope these help!

Spring Planters

2015 Audiobook Challenge: Q1 Check-In

This year, in addition to setting a goal to read 52 books, I signed up for my first Audiobook Challenge, which is being hosted by The Book Nympho and Hot Listens. I set a goal for 15-20 of my books this year to be audiobooks, which they call the “Socially Awkward (Don’t Talk to Me)” Level. Cute, right?

Tomorrow is their first quarter check in – so let’s see how I’ve done!

I created a separate Goodreads shelf so I can easily tag my completed audiobooks this year. And so far…(drumroll, please!)…I have completed FOUR of my books on audio! I’m right on track with my goal! Yay, me!

Side note: I’ve been in a reading funk lately – nothing has grabbed my attention and made me want to curl up non-stop with a book, so I hope to find something SOON that sucks me back in. If you have a must-read, my-favorite-book-of-all-time recommendation, I’d love to hear it! Even with my reading funk, I’ve read/listened to 12 books total so far this year, and Goodreads says that means I’m right.on.track.

Calendula Soap in Use

Remember that first batch of soap I made? Well it FINALLY was ready to try! I’ve discovered that the very hardest part about making soap is waiting through the curing period, which is recommended to be 4-6 weeks. This allows the excess water to evaporate creating a milder, longer-lasting bar. (Between you and me, from now on I won’t wait to full amount of time to try the soaps I’m making. I’m making so much soap right now I don’t care if it dissolves in the shower a little bit faster than normal.)

Here is a quick picture when I cut the soap (about week after making it).

Calendula Soap Cut

This recipe is predominantly olive oil with some sweet almond oil. This makes for a nice mild bar, but without a lot of bubbles or lather. Maybe we’re just accustomed to that with commercially made soaps, but I definitely think I’ll end up settling on a formula with coconut oil in it which adds some good cleaning bubbles.

Speaking of coconut oil, I’ve also tried the soap that I saved by rebatching which DOES have coconut oil in it…but not enough. I want more bubbles! LOL I do love the orange essential oil that I used though – so refreshing and invigorating. I will definitely be using this EO again!