Friday, February 29, 2008

I'll bet ya never would have guessed

Wierd things you may not know about me:

1. Eating Croutons makes me dizzy. Something about the crunching kind of twinges my inner ear, and it seriously makes me lightheaded and dizzy. No other crunchy food does it, just croutons. So whenever I get a salad at a restaurant, I pick them off and make my kids eat them.

2. I LOVE sourkraut. my Maiden name is Koch, I am half german, of course I love Kraut. Pork Roast and Sourkraut. YUM. I order extra kraut on reuben sandwiches too. Hot dogs, sausage. Can't get enough Kraut.

3. As much as I love reading a good book, uplifting literature and the classics, I also have a soft spot for ridiculous "bodice rippers". My favorite line from the WORST romance novel ever written is "with a low feral growl, he ripped her gown asunder" AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! Thats freaking awesome.

4. I have been to 49 of the 50 states. I have never been to Maine.maybe someday. I've eaten Lobster from maine...does that count?

5. I lived in Aix-en-Provence, France in college while attending Centre d'Aix at the Institute for American Universities. It was my goal to try every cheese and pastry produced in france. My favorite store was The Monoprix. I still dream about "Caprice des Dieux" and those Smoked Almonds.

6. I can do the Pigeon. (as in Bert and Ernie Doing the wah wah pigeon)

7. My favorite book of all time is "Monster at the end of the book" with Grover.

8. I secretly like Yo Gabba Gabba. My name is Sarah, I like to Dance!

I like it when people make fun of Brittney Spears...bring it on Chris Crocker!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

I was going to do a whole blog on Project Runway, but realized I didnt have all the "presentation materials" I needed at just this very moment. Rest assured, gentle reader, that tomorrow there will be a FULL rundown of Project runway-the good, the bad and the ugly.

Today I will discus ... My mother.
I love her. I do. But my kids have been grounded from her.
My parents live 5 miles away. My mom and dad get to see my boys several times a week.
they love the boys, they spoil the boys.then they bring them back to me. Usually decked out with new toys, snacks or other nonsense that they don't need.

As many of you know, Transformers has been HUGE in our house.
It seems like every week they were coming home with a new transformer, a new toy, a new SOMETHING.
Yesterday My mom and Dad and I, along with my youngest son, went to Lowes to look at more shelving for my table displays.
Before they came to pick us up, this is the conversation I had with Finn:

FINN: Is Gramma coming with us?
ME: Yes she is.
FINN: Im going to ask her to get me Optimus Prime(something or other)
ME: No, Gramma is done buying you toys and stuff. It is not your birthday and it is not christmas. No more toys from Gram, so dont even ask.
FINN:(in a very snooty tone). Well, we will just wait and see, wont we?

WE WILL JUST WAIT AND SEE, WONT WE????keep in mind this child is 4 1/2. I swear I am raising a teenager sometimes.
We went to Lowes. Dad and I wandered the aisles, getting ideas while my mom and Finn wandered around in search of "kid things".
We met up again and Finn says to me, "mom, can Gram and I go pick up Peter from school? Then she says she will take us to Target....(my mom clamps her hand over Finn's mouth at this point and says "oh no, dont you be saying stuff like that!"
Stupid me, I let it drop, assuming that Finn had decided he could bully my mom into taking him to Target, but that If I told her no she would respect my opinion. (fool me once shame on you, fool me 1136 times, shame on me)

After lunch, I was dropped off at my house. Before they left again I specifically said "NO TOYS. They have enough transformers. Finn it is not your birthday and it is not christmas. Dont ask for anything else. You may not get new toys. Please do not ask, you are not allowed to have anything new". Finn started crying. He had it in his head that he was going to Finagle a new transformer out of Gram one way or the other.
I figured that since I had made my wishes known in front of my mom AND dad, that all would be right with the world.
My mom took Finn and picked Peter up from school. She took them to get haircuts. She took them back to her house to play. THEN She took them to Target."Just to look".
When they got home there was a bag with new transformers in it. Finn looked at me. his eyes were narrowed, his lips were pouty. He was shaking his head with a cocky swagger. (kind of like Stewie from Family guy)
I asked "Where did these come from??"

Very honestly and with great snootery(is that a word?) he said "From Target. Gramma bought them for us. I told you she would".(snottery snootery and more snootery)
I looked at my mom and said "What are these?"
she kind of shrugged, gave me a grimace and said(I KID YOU NOT), "I dont know. Gotta go" and ran out the door. She KNEW she had called down the thunder and didnt want to stick around for the storm.
Peter immediately started to backpedal and said, within seconds of me shutting the door and turning around, "It was Finn's Idea." Well Played Peter.

So mom, I love you. The boys love you. But no means no. You are grounded.

Dad, you should have known better. You were there in the car when I told them no more toys. You have the wallet, refuse to hand over the cash, bro! You are usually pretty good about keeping mom in line when I say no. We're you not availible for the Target Excursion? Did you HONESTLY think they were going there "just to look?". Dad, you're grounded.


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

It's a No Brainer, if you are a Polar Bear

All information was gathered from

Today we celebrate two holidays: No Brainer Day and Polar Bear Day.
A No Brainer is something that is obvious. A "well, Duh!" kind of moment.
Today is the day for you to do easy, no thought required tasks. I can live with this.
My whole day will be spent with no-brainer moments. I shall watch TV that requires no thinking or extra "hmmm" on my part. I shall eat Bologna and cheese so I dont have to cook. Anything requiring extra thought or study or preparation will be put off until tomorrow. After all, it IS a holiday.

Happy Polar Bear Day!

Did you know that Polar bears are the worlds largest Carnivore? They can stand up to 9 feet tall and weigh over 1000 pounds! Polar bears live in the North Pole, and are native to Alaska, Canada, Greenland, Norway, and Russia. Polar Bears are Left Handed (Now what agency gave money to study THAT??). Polar Bears skin is black. This allows their skin and bodies to absorb sunlight to help keep them warm.
"Need some ideas on how to celebrate today? Try visiting the local zoo to see live polar bears. Teachers like to use this day to teach about polar bears and other bears, as kids are fascinated with all kinds of bears. Also, check the nature channels on cable Tv. The networks often pick up on holidays like today, and run documentaries"(

Who knew.

so I am celebrating Polar bear day by posting the no brainer etsy find .

This ACEO card from fancykstudio is called Max and the Polar Bear.
I really love this card. The Polar Bear looks so sweet and Benevolent (dont let the Art fool ya, Polar Bears will rip your heads off). A beautiful ACEO. Thanks Fancykstudio!
To wrap it up: Dont think too hard., and a poem for you (It was a funny email I received. I changed it to Yep, I'm gonna be a Polar Bear")
In this life I am a woman. In my next life, I'd like to come back as a Polar bear. When you're a Polar bear, you get to hibernate. You do nothing but sleep for six months. I could deal with that.
Before you hibernate, you're supposed to eat yourself stupid. I could deal with that too.
When you're a girl Polar bear, you birth your children (who are the size of walnuts) while you're sleeping and wake to partially grown cute, cuddly cubs. I could definitely deal with that.
If you're a mama Polar bear, everyone knows you mean business. You swat anyone who bothers your cubs. If your cubs get out of line, you swat them too. I could deal with that.
If you're a Polar bear, your mate expects you to wake up growling. He expects that you will have hairy legs and excess body fat.
Yep, gonna be a Polar bear!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

This is one of my favorite E-mails. I wish I could say it isn't true, but the fact of the matter is I use 1,2,3,5,6 and 9 on a daily basis. At first I was indignant, but the further down I read, the more I knew I was guilty.

1. FINE: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right and you need to shut up.

2. FIVE MINUTES : If she is getting dressed, this means a half an hour. Five Minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

3. NOTHING This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine. (see #1)

4. GO AHEAD This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

5. LOUD SIGH: This is actually a word, but is a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing.

6. THATS OKAY This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. That's okay means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

7. THANKS: A woman is thanking you, do not question, or Faint. Just say you're welcome.

8. WHATEVER Is a women's way of saying SHUT UP!

9. DONT WORRY ABOUT IT, I GOT IT Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking, "what's wrong"(see #3 for the answer)

Men, you totally understand this e-mail.
women, you will act all huffy and mad, then laugh because you will realize you, too, are a "words women use" sinner.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Eat me! Eeeeat mmmeeeeee!

This morning I had a Come To Jesus Moment.
A true, heart stopping "oh Lord, help me Jesus" moment.
The past two years or so I have kind of fluctuated with my weight. I would lose, then gain, lose then gain. I finally decided to not even pay attention, to go about my daily life and make small healthy changes along the way.
In Theory thats a great idea. In practice it only works if you put effort into it(which I did not). I did not even realize how TERRIBLE it was.
I stepped on the scale. (CRINGE). I have not stepped on a scale in quite awhile. I did notice that my pants were getting tight(and not fresh from the dryer tight).I wont tell you what it read, a lady never divulges her age or her weight. (but I will tell you this. I felt like Nell Carter in the opening credits of Gimme a Break, where she steps on the scale and picks up the scale as if to strangle it.)
I thought, "There must be some mistake!" Yes, a mistake. The Scale is acting wonky, it needs a new battery. I tried weighing myself on hardwood, on tile, on carpet(I was contemplating taking it outside but figured my neighbors didnt need a peep show my my backside. Then, I tried to convince myself it was my 22 pound pair of underwear. Alas, shedding the underwear only helped me lose a tenth of a pound. I took off my wedding band and ring, my camisole, and my socks. woo hoo , down another two tenths!! So, I tried going to the bathroom to help shed some water weight. All in all I managed to lose almost 1/2 a pound in accoutrements and water.

(Obviously) I have decided to go back on a diet. (You better believe in my weight loss journal I am writing my original weight down and counting that 1/2 pound weight loss!!)
THE PLAN:Juicing, plenty of water, going back to the Y for work outs, and eating healthy I can do it. I did it once 6 years ago I can do it again. So I am looking forward to losing the weight and being healthy and buying new clothes.

However, while looking through etsy to find something for Peters school teacher for Teacher Appreciation Week, I found these: Pretzel windows covered in white and milk chocolate, and nuts.(ahhhhhhhh, the heavens are singing praises unto thee!!) However, I am now on a diet and firmly committed, so get thee behind me Satan!! Get thee behind me with your sweet and salty, crunchy goodness that I am sure would just melt in my mouth and leave me feeling warm and smooshy inside! As I sit here with my bottle of water and a healthy, nutritious breakfast these bad boys are calling my name. Eaaaat meeeeeee. Eeeaaaat meeeeeeeee! Buuuuyyyy meeeeeeee and eeeeaaaaat mmeeeeee! GAH! Lord, give me strength.

This is not the first time I have had a run-in with Nuts4candy. Remember these from my previous blog??

(Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Hallllleeeeellluuuuujah!)
Handle wrote the Hallelujah chorus about these pretzels, I am sure.

But as I said before, i am firmy committed. It is time to lose all my weight for once and for all. No more messing around.
My goal is 60 pounds.
So I will lose 80 so I can buy victory pretzels...

goodbye my sweets, I will see you in a few months! I count down to the days when you will be in my hands and I will sit and eat you in one fell swoop...

Sunday, February 24, 2008

I'm Goin' wholesale

As many of you know, I make gourmet lip balms. I have beeswax and vegan gourmet balms in 3 different blends.(Original, healing and TLC). I have a goal to get my name out there as a great balm maker and eventually make a living on my bath and body products. However, my gourmet balms have pricey ingredients in them. I know I will be harassed by people at craft shows to lower my pricing. I am POSITIVE that there are people out there who look for nothing more than the cheapest they can find. I expect to get comments like "I can get it for cheaper at the dollar store".
I would like to sell my gourmet lip balms wholesale as well. I think people would be willing to pay 2.99 a tube for it at their local gift shop, pharmacy etc the way they do Burts Bees(I want to give BB a run for their money!). I dont think I would have any problems getting into nice shops and boutiques. And, I think I would do well at Craft shows.
That's not the issue plaguing me. What I AM grappling with is "Cheap" (UGH, I hate that word.)

I believe whole heartedly in my lip balm. I think it is honestly the best balm out on the market. I have worked for several years perfecting the recipes, and developing a product line. It is a GOURMET Lip Balm. It is full of high end, lip pampering ingredients. That is not cheap. So to make those wholesale(to where I actually make a small profit that doesnt get reinvested back into materials etc) they would HAVE to retail for almost 3.00 a tube. I would be able to wholesale them for 1.40 a tube.

But there are always THOSE PEOPLE. The "I can get it cheaper elsewhere" or the "It's nice, but I dont want to pay $2.75 for a tube of lip balm" or "Hey Shelia, doesnt your sister make lip balm out of crisco??How much would she charge me for a cup of it?" It is inevitable, I am well aware. It is a part of life and part of the crafting experience.
So, how do I keep my gourmet balms higher end yet appease the bargain hunters?? How do I make a profit on wholesale balms that can be sold cheaply, yet still be worthy of THE BALM SHOPPE name?? I have found a solution.

Introducing my EVERYDAY BALM.

This balm is vegan. The base consists of Soybean Oil and Candelilla Wax. Add to it cocoa butter and palm kernel oil, then wonderful aloe butter, jojoba, shea oil, castor, rice bran, and almond oils. It is a fantastic balm that is worthy of The Balm Shoppe label. Smooth and Creamy, an all around economy balm that is sure to please the bargain hunters and wholesalers as well. It is truly an everyday balm that anyone can use. i think it will especially appeal to teenage girls. It is inexpensive, it comes in awesome girly flavors AND the castor oil leaves a great shine on the lips to rival Bonnie Bell!

I can sell it to the cheapo's at the craft shows. I can put labels on it and use it to promote my shop. I can hand them out as free gifts with purchase. I can do a buy one get one with them. It is a great economic balm that I can sell wholesale for a reasonable price and then in turn the wholesalers can retail for a price that most people would be willing to pay. It is a happy medium that I can live with and not feel as though I have compromised myself.

Now, to find a label I am happy with. There is the label above, or this one:

Any input would be appreciated on the labels. Leave me a comment and let me know which label you prefer! Top one or this bottom one.

may your lips be smooth and supple...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

star wars...nothing but star wars...

Every time I see this video, I cringe. This POOR WOMAN! But thats the life of a pageant girl. You do what you gotta do to get remembered. And now she is immortalized forever! BUT she made a great topc for my blog this morning. So I thank you Miss Douglas, Stacey Hedger.

Now here are some talented folks who REALLY know how to do star wars.

Get out your knitting needles ladies! This pattern will help you create the hairstyle of the millenium!
AnsleyBleu over at etsy has this cinnamon bun-a-riffic Princess Leia hair pattern. You will be the hit of any Convention!
Now all I need is a Gold Bikini and my husband can be Jabba the Hutt!

I am totally buying these for my husband who is a HUGE Star Wars Geek(I mean fan). These cufflinks are from the etsy shop of, you guessed it, Cufflinks.
These storm troopers would look great in the cuff of any Star Wars geek on your list!

This is a stained glass portrait of my favorite character from Star Wars, Yoda.
This beauty was done by FishInTheC.
hang it as a picture. I personally would put it in a window and let Yoda fill the room on a sunny day. Clever, you are.

These Light Saber earrings rock my world. They are lego earrings by Heavenandthehell.
available in yellow too!
pair them with that leia pattern from ansley bleu and you re good to go!

My sentiments exactly LizStaley.
great little badge to show your true feelings about Young Skywalker.

A very clever take on Starry Night by Van Gogh, this Star Wars night by Newbpainter is a winner. I love it. Very clever and different. This print would be perfect for any geek room.


Friday, February 22, 2008

Everybody's talkin' at me, I cant hear a word they're sayin'....

So much to do! So Much to say! thank goodness for free association and lists!

1. I got into the 4 day Rock Hill Galleria Mall craft show. It is Christmas in October and will be the first Thurs-Sunday of October. I need to get tables and think of some cool displays. I will be headed there as The Balm Shoppe. My daddy and I are going to Lowes or Home depot today to look at wood and think of cool display ideas. I have a few things in mind, but am worried that they may be a little too grandiose. But he is super handy and good at making stuff, I think he is the perfect person to help me out.

2. I went to a Hot Chocolate Hodge Podge last night atMichelle's house. Just a small group of women enjoying hot chocolate, games and Krispy Kreme donut holes. We had a lot of fun and I got to know some new faces and friends! I totally kick butt at Taboo.

3. I still have my sale at The Balm Shoppe going on. 3 original lip balms for $6. Vegan or Beeswax and you choose from a huge list of flavors. So far I have sold 12 lip balms through this sale, which has been great. Hopefully I can reach the greatest amount of people and get my name out there. What I would really like to do is wholesale to gift shops etc. So who knows who these lip balms will end up with!!

4. This is still my favorite video of all time. I dont know if it was a commercial or if it was real. All I know is I laugh my tush off every time I watch it.

5.I got my new business cards a few days ago from Got Print. This was my own design that I uploaded, to go along with my shop banner and my blog banner.
They turned out SO WELL. You get the heavy cardstock paper and it comes with the glossy coating for free. The price cant be beat and they dont hound you with messages and spam like vistaprint.
I like vistaprint, dont get me wrong, but now that I have found GotPrint, I am never going back to VP for business cards. You can get 500 for 12.75 if you upload your own. It is an amazing deal and they are so professional looking. Check them out.

6. This was my favorite commercial this superbowl. Naomi Campbell cant dance worth crap, but the lizards are darn entertaining. very clever. Glad I found it on Youtube(of course you can find just about anything there!)

And Finally, my Must Have from Etsy.
This awesome necklace comes from the etsy
shop of VintageFiligree.
Isnt it stunning?? I can see that around my neck!!

And thanks to my dear friend Dana for sending me these pictures from her last visit and our trip to Monkey joes. Those two cuties are my boys Finn(left) and Peter(right)
a.k.a. Bumblebee and Optimus Prime.

I think thats enough for one day, dont you??

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Attention BalmShoppe Shoppers, we now have a blazing blue beacon of savings....

Normally I dont use my blog for self promotion. Well, maybe a teensy bit, but this time I am going to. I want everyone to know about the special sale going on in TheBalmShoppe.
Until Friday, I am offering my original recipe lip balms at a special sale price:
3 for $6. Vegan and Original Beeswax.
This is the balm that started it all. All natural, moisturizing all purpose balm. Gentle and creamy smooth, this balm is an all around balm for every lip lifestyle! My balms have had rave reviews, so try a stick for yourself. You choose any 3 flavors from the list below.
ALMOND-classic Almond. a bestseller.
APPLE-green apple, tart and juicy!
BANANA-great for kids!
BLACK CHERRY-classic dark cherry.
BLACK FOREST CAKE-Chocolate Cherry and almond
BUBBLE GUM-pink bubblegum. Smells like Bazooka!
CAPPUCCINO-Java and cinnamon.
CARAMEL-sweet caramel.
CARAMEL APPLE-tart apple covered with ooey gooey caramel
CARAMEL CAPPUCCINO-java, cinnamon and caramel
CHAI TEA-classic black tea with cinnamon, cloves and cassia.
CHEESECAKE-want a slice??
CHERRY ALMOND- CLASSIC cherries and almond.
CHOCOLATE-choclate cream. So indulgent and YUM-O!
CHOCOLATE BANANA- Banana with chocolate cream.
CHOCOLATE STRAWBERRY- just like choco covered strawberries
COCONUT-tropical coconut, but not heavy or overpowering.
COCONUT LEMONGRASS-coconut with lemongrass. A great combo!
CUCUMBER MELON-traditional cucumbers with sweet melon.
GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE-chocolate, coconut and caramel
GINGER PEACH-peach with a hint of spicy ginger
GUMMY BEAR-just like opening a bag of the real thing.
HERBAL BLEND- blend of mint and herbal essential oils.
HONEY ALMOND- #1 bestseller ever. warm honey/sweet almond.
HONEYSUCKLE NECTARINE-juicy nectarine with sweet honeysuckle
JAVA-just like a cup of joe!
LAVANDER VANILLA-fragrant Lavander with creamy sweet vanilla
LEMON-Wonderful Lemon Essential Oil. Perks you up
MARGARITA-like Friday night for your lips! Lemon Lime flavor
MOCHA-chocolate and coffee
PEACH-sweet juicy Georgia Peach!
PLAIN JANE- No scent, all natural nothing added.
PLUM APRICOT-sweet and seductive. This will be a new fave!
PURPLE GRAPE-great for kids!
RASPBERRY CREAM PIE-sweet and creamy and tempting!
RASPBERRY LEMONADE-this is one of my new faves.
SKITTLES-just like the real thing.
STRAWBERRY- fresh from the field strawberry

STRAWBERRY BANANA- A classic combination. Cant beat it!
STRAWBERRY CHEESECAKE- YUM! cheesecake with strawberries!
SWEET- This is plain jane with a sweetener added.
TURTLE- Chocolate and Caramel
WATERMELON-fresh off the vine Jolly Rancher type watermelon.

Ingredients(Beeswax): Beeswax, Shea Butter, Mango Butter, Cocoa Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, Sunflower Oil, Flavor

Ingredients(Vegan): Candelilla Wax, Carnauba Wax, Shea Butter, Mango Butter, Cocoa Butter, Sweet Almond Oil, Sunflower oil, flavor

So please check out my shop. I am trying to sell as many of these as I can before Friday. I want to get my balms out on the market, and get people talking!! Right now i have 9 or 10 of each left, and if they sell out, I can add more.
THANKS for looking!!
And like I said, Normally I do not use my shop solely for blog promotion.(you can check out my other posts!!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Sodium For the Soul

I love bath salts. Enough said. Usually I am a shower taker, but once a week when I do the complete bathroom cleaning and scrub out the tub, etc. I am the first one to take a bath in it.

I usually have bath salts added to soften up the water and make me smell purdy.
They leave your skin smooth, silky and feeling fresh, invigorated and smelling great.

These Bath salts are deceptively easy to make. Salt, glycerine, fragrance and color. This is a basic recipe that I love. You can get more creative, layering colors and fragrances, adding herbs and other essential oils etc. You can make bath salts(like these) or aromatherapy salts, using essential oils. Just be sure you read up and research the various properties of essential oils and know what you are doing.
Salt- Use Sea Salt. I prefer the coarse ground sea salt. You can also use Epsom Salt. Generally I use plain sea salts, but you can mix sea salt and epsom salt together for a nice bath blend.
Glycerine- Use liquid vegetable glycerine. You can find it at Majestic Mountain Sage, Chemistry store and many craft stores in their soap and candle making section. You can also try your local Pharmacy or Garden Ridge.
Fragrance- You can use essential oils, either fruit or herbal. You need to use fragrance oils that are body safe. Oils and fragrances for soaps and body products. Try your local craft shop in their soap making section. I like Peak Candle, The Sage, Chemistry Store, Ponte Verdra Soap , Brambleberry and Sweetcakes. I have ordered fragrances from all of them and have yet to be disappointed. I will say that the Sage has probably the BEST scents and they are very concentrated so a little goes a LONG way. I love their Fresh Fruit Salsa fragrance.

Color- Use soap colors, not food coloring. Soap colors are meant for bath making and wont stain the tub. has Bath Salt Tubes. They hold about 3/4 cup of coarse sea salt, a little more of fine grained sea salt. You can even get shrink bands for them.
Measure out the amount of salt you need. Place in a ziplock baggie. Add a small amount of glycerine, your fragrance(not too much, a little goes a long way) and a few drops of soap color. Zip up your bag, shake, massage and mix up all the ingredients. leave overnight to settle. Next day, place in tubes, add labels, shrinkwrap and you are done. They will finish drying and be ready to use within a day or two.
For 3/4 cup salts I use about 1 teaspoon of glycerine. It coats the salt crystals perfectly, giving them a nice glossy sheen, and addes extra hydration. Glycerine is a natural emollient, so it helps your skin draw in and retain moisture. The salts help soften heard water and leave you skin silky smooth(it also can leave the tub silky smooth too, so use extra caution you dont slip when using bath salts)
To Use- place 2 to 3 Tablespoons into a hot running bath, let them dissolve, slip in and enjoy!
Here are some that I have made and are available at The Balm Shoppe

Try some easy bath salts for yourself. They are fun, and are great for people with hard water.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

My biological clock is ticking...well not really.

Looking at this child makes my non-existant biological clock start to tick.
no, not really, but seeing that sweet laugh puts a smile on my face.

See, I am not a baby person. If I could give birth to a 7 month old, I would. I would completely skip the whole newborn stage. I just hate it. I hate the crying and total dependence and waking every 3 hours to feed. If a woman has a little baby and she asks if anyone wants to hold it, I am the first one running to the door. I Just dont do babies. Including my own kids. Isn't that terrible?? I loved my babies, but I LOVED it when my babies turned about 6 months. They start crawling and sitting up and getting more independent, and reacting and playing.

But I saw this video on You Tube and just fell in love with this child.

Just the simple joy of this child as his mom and dad say "bong". To be 8 months old again and have that kind of simple joy and outlook on life.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Foaming Bath Butter...a.k.a. foaming Bath Meringue, Bath Souffle , whipped bath butter, and as Gudonyatoo calls it "whipped Clean"(TM)
It is a concentrated soap base that you whip with various oils of your choosing to make light and fluffy whipped soap. Bath Meringue is a soft fluffy consistency. Put on a bath poof and raise an army of suds. Use as a shaving lotion and your legs will be "as smooth as a baby's butt"(according to kviolet1). Foaming bath soap leaves your skin feeling soft, smooth, sexy and clean.

You can color and add fragrance to it, just like other soap and bath products. A little bit goes a long way!
You can buy the base at a number of online retailers. It is semi-expensive, about 4.50 a pound, 5 to 10 pound minimum purchase. Try these as a supplier. Search for Foaming Bath Butter, or foaming butter base. Or you can google it. (VERY nice base, fast shipping, Reasonably priced) (Nice base as well. Fast shipping, reasonable pricing) (same brand as Chemistrystore, BUT they have a $10 convenience fee if you dont spend a minimum of $100)
You can buy beautiful cosmetic jars from various retailers online.
you have to whip at least 2 lbs at a time and make sure you whip it enough. There is nothing worse than bath butter that has been underwhipped. It is greasy and heavy and NOT awesome.
The same can be said for OVERwhipped butter. If you whip it TOO much it will start to break down.
1. Start with your desired amount, lets say 2 lbs. Kind of start to break it up with your mixer.
2. Add your oils (about 2 oz per pound). Make sure the oils you use are light and easily absorbed by the body. (jojoba, sunflower, sweet almond, grapeseed). Whip the hell out of them with your mixer until doubled in size. It will be fluffy, a little heavier than cool whip.
3. Once you are there, add your fragrance and color, whip a little more to incoporate.
4. Spoon into a cosmetic jar, put on your labels, and voila!
See how pretty they look??

You can give them as great gifts, sell them at craft shows or online. EVERYONE loves body products.
For great selection of fragrances try : majestic mountain sage. They have, hands down, the BEST frangrances anywhere. - Chemistry store has great fragrances as well, including a lot of "types" at reasonable prices) they have some beautiful scents available. I LOVE the wild Mountain Honey. -great shipping, nice selection with lots of popular "types" as well.
dont feel like making your own?? just go to!
30 fragrances to choose from, including several very popular Types, such as Lavander Feur, Pear Glace, Pink Sugar Aquolina, Lemon Sugar and more.
Make showering fun again!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Stop your squealing and say cheese!

Whilst "organizing"(read, finally cleaning out the photo drawer) I stumbled upon a picture that really made me laugh.

It was Taken in August of 1997, just weeks before DH and I were married. I was up visiting from North Carolina, putting all of the furniture and wedding gifts and goodies into our future apartment. I was staying with his parents, sleeping in the basement on a matress (which was the best place to sleep as it was the coolest part in the house and the weather outside was hot and humid).
At that time, DH was working 2nd shift to earn some extra money. One night he got home about 2am. He came downstairs to say good night and turned on the light. What happened next, I honestly do not know. All I know is I hear scuffling and a few curse words and flutter flutter flutter . I pop up and ask "whats wrong?"
I hear yelling from somewhere behind me "Lay down! Stay Down!"
Charles hurtles up the stairs at Superhuman speed(I dont think I have seen him move this fast in almost 11 years) and re-emerges several minutes later. He is wearing a pair of gloves and carrying what looks a pillowcase taped the the end of a broomstick. He turns on the light and the racket starts up again.
Charles gets to work. After a minute of jumping and swinging the redneck butterfly net, there is victory at last.
He reaches in and grabs the intruder. It is a little brown Bat that somehow got into the house(probably through the open window in the kitchen) and flew downstairs into the cooler basement, where he was minding his own business when my husband intruded.
Trhoughout this entire ordeal, there was a high pitched "squealing". Charles yells to me "Hey! Get the camera!!" I pulled out the trusty 35mm, point, aim and shoot.
this is what developed.(ignore the terrible picture of DH who turns on the cheese smile whenever a camera is near. You should see our wedding pictures. I swear the velveeta conventon was in town. But I digress.)

We got them developed and like most pictures, tossed the envelope onto the table for later perusal. A few days later as we were going through the pictures I looked a little more closely at the memento of our adventure. That bat was SMILING! This picture shows that the bat stopped struggling, cocked his little bat head and smiled for the photo.(Not really, but I like to think so)

You can see it a little better here:

What makes the whole thing so funny is that both the Bat AND Charles have the same smile.

Say Cheese!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Photoshop, redux

As many of you know from a previous post I recenly became the proud new parent of Photoshop. Since then I have had fun playing and learning new things, rabidly reading my Photoshop CS3 bible, online tutorials of fun effects and etsy Storque articles. i THINK I can do a pretty basic banner that doesnt suck, actually. For being a beginner, I feel pretty confident that these are halfway decent.

However, in comparison to other banner makers on etsy I feel VERY out of my league to be quite honest. They are Rembrandt, I am some guy painting in his attic.
But practice makes perfect. I have been able to learn new skills with every chapter in my books, with every new tutorial. check these out:

This is the Aquarel Effect. It looks like a painting on canvas that has the foggy edges. I thought it was pretty cool.
I found that in an online tutorial. It was fairly simple to do, although to be quite honest I dont know what I would do with it in the real world

Kind of impractical I guess. But hey, a cool new skill.

This is the title to my blog. I did that using a pink gerbera daisy clip art and a watercolor effect using verious layers and filters.

This is an Old Timey type photo, complete with self made striping and noise and filters etc.
I think I could have a lot of fun with that, maybe re-doing some of my pictures from Paris in it. Make it look old retro vintag-y. (is that a word?)

So I have really enjoyed my photoshop the past few weeks. I never realized just how much you could do with it.
you can download a free trial HERE. It is for 30 days. If you like it, you can purchase it for a tiny fraction of the price at (NEVER pay full price kids. NEVER)
There are all sorts of online tutorials , just google free photoshop tutorials.
I have found the Photoshop CS3 Bible to be helpful as well as Photoshop for photographers.(Thank you for all the recommends friends!!)
This morning I am going to "Pop Art" a picture of my son, kind of like this:

(Obviously thats not MY picture. My attempts, I am quite positive, will look like Sesame Street on Crack.)
Viva la Photoshop!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

I-I-I-I-I I'm hooked on a feeling

I dont know why, I really needed something to make me laugh. I think this video is hilarious and watching it always makes me smile! Ooga Chucka.

I guess I am feeling a little grouchy. I dont think I slept well last night, I know for sure I had some wierd dreams.(something about reviewing an application, google adwords, a friend from highschool, cutting in line to beat a slow person getting on a plane and sasquatch??) GAH. what am I thinking about subconsiously to have such a random assortment of wierdness in my dreams? Honestly.

On a good note, last night the UPS guy came and had 9 BOXES for me. Yes, NINE! I bought shipping boxes and crinkle paper, I bought some more soap fragrances and needed some more ingredients, I got some more lip balm flavorings, I got my knuckle buster credit card imprinter and Charles(DH) got his wireless mouse he bid on from (fe)Ebay for his laptop.

I tried to open the door and the dumbass had blocked us in with our mountain of packages. They deliver to our side door, which is the door we use mostly for going in and out. So we had to push push push to get a space big enough to squeeze through and moce stuff into the house. In retrospect I suppose it would have been easier to cut through the piano room and go out the front door and around to the side of the house. But I am not that smart in the heat of the moment, and you know what they say about hindsight. It really IS always 20/20. And on another good note I now have enough packing peanuts and foam sleeves and bubble wrap to last me for the next 6 years. It is in a GIANT lawn bag, filled to the brim. Thats fine with me, now I dont have to pay for shipping cushioners!(yay. I'm being somewhat earth conscious!)

So despite my bout with "The Mondays"(which is odd, since it is actually Tuesday) I guess I am starting to feel pretty happy.

Thanks Hoff.

Monday, February 11, 2008

TGFR (Thank goodness for remnants)

I have been wanting to get some decorative throw pillows for my couch to kind of add some color to my drab family room. The walls are white, the carpet(the only carpet in this hardwood floored house) is kind of an off white/beige. We have a red brick fireplace with a white mantle and some brown wooden bookshelves. Our couch is kind of a tan leather, and other than that it is very neutral, beige and boring. I tried to make it spiffy by artistically arranging the bookshelves and adding a few knicknacks...but they were browns. So really I felt colorless. I am not planning on painting down there at least for 6 more months, so I just needed something to spice it up.

Well I went to all my favorite stores and looked at throw pillows. Hand to God , some of them wanted more than 25$ PER PILLOW(Pottery Barn)(Pier One)(World market). HECK NO! I am NOT going to buy a 32 dollar pillow that my kids will slobber on, the dog will lay on or try and bury in the backyard and that wont last a long time before needing to be replaced. I even tried the cheapo stores, and even THEY wanted $14 PER PILLOW. Plus their pillows just werent what I had in mind. Have you ever had that? You have something in mind and just cant express it when someone asks what you are looking for. You cant describe it, but you will know it when you see it. Well I wasnt seeing it. I even looked on etsy and came close, but just wasnt right.
So at last resort I went to the fabric store. They have a very large selection of home decorator fabrics that happened to be on sale for 9.99 a yard. I figured I only needed 1/2 yard of each, and there were 3 pillows for less than 1/2 the price of ONE pricey PB pillow.
But as I was looking around I didnt really see anything that caught my eye. So the farther back I went through the store, the more slim the pickings became. Then I saw the remnants tables.
All the remnants of the decorator fabrics. Not only were they 6$ a yard, they were an additional 30% off! PLUS I happened to have a special coupon, for an additional 20% off!!
so I looked through the tables and stumbled across these:

I took them up to the cutting table and measured out how much was left of each one. Most of them were 54" wide and averaged between 1 and 2 yards. So for 3.36 PER YARD I got 14 to 19 dollar a yard fabric. They were exactly what I was looking for. It was as if my mind was opened up and the table provided. Now I was thinking about just using stuffing, but lo and behold the Gods were smiling down on me that day and the pillowforms were on sale too. 3$ each. So I grabbed 3. (2 of them are 16x16 and the other is 12 x 16. I wanted a little variety.)I went home, called my mom and drafted her help (I was dealing with prints and stripes. It was really a disaster of epic proportions waiting to happen had I tried to attempt this on my own)

90 minutes later, VOILA!

(ignore the 12 year old leather couch that is in desperate need to conditioning and cleaning).

I have material left over, so I think I may go back and buy more pillow forms and make some more. I am in LOVE with these pillows. Now I feel like my room as a little color, I didnt break my budget PLUS I ended up with extra fabric to use towards more, or something else. (especially the toile print. I have a TON left over. Any ideas??

Life is good.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

So I have to brag a little on myself right now.
These are my first glycerine soap attempts. They are 4oz bars.
They are pure glycerine soap with avocado, cucumber and olive oils.

I think they turned out great! And they SMELL freaking awesome.
I was REALLY pleased with how vibrant the colors were. The lather is so aundant and they leave your skin just silky smooth and hydrated and really lovely.

The Blue one is OXYGEN. It is a very green and clean smelling fragrance.
Neroli, bergamot, sandalwood and cedar. Reminds me of clean linen and irish spring all rolled into one. The blue color is a Carolina Blue and reminded me of a spring day and seemed the perfect color for this outdoorsy scent.
The Yellow Swirl is CHOCOLATE OBSESSION! This is sweet and wonderful milk chocolate mixed with jasmine, honey and a bottom lingering note of vanilla. A very grown up, indulgent chocolate. I dont like to color my soaps brown. I really like color. So yellow was the next closest thing to brown. It is a beautiful buttercup yellow.
Fuchsia Swirl is OATMEAL MILK AND HONEY. The heart of the fragrance consists of delicate notes of rose, lilac, carnation, cinnamon and nutmeg. Creamy, powder and vanilla base notes.
I really like pink, so my favorite fragrance of the three gets my favorite color approval! The fuchsia really colored the soap beautifully.

Plus I am LOVING the pictures the new camera takes, and THANK GOODNESS for Photoshop. I feel like a real pro and that my pictures can really show how lovely they are.
You can link to my shop at

As you can see by my banner the pink gerbera daisy is a running theme. I actually just got that as business cards printed up through gotprint. i think they look great. (see below)

So in all of my pictures i will have the pink Gerbera Daisy. It is kind of my trademark and running theme throughout my shop. It is really the one unifying theme.
Thats all, I was just really happy and proud at how well they turned out and I hope you like them too!(obviously they are for sale at my shop)

Saturday, February 9, 2008

It's mine Mine MINE!!! Thanks to the pictures.

HOW BEAUTIFUL IS THIS TOTE???? Well ladies and gentlemen it is off the market. This beauty was purchased by me this morning. Jealous, aren't you?? I can hear you saying to your self "Oh, how cute! I want that too!!" Well you cant, it's mine. (sticking tongue out in taunting fashion)

but in all seriousness: Do you want to know why I chose THIS particular tote?? (apart from the awesome colors and fabric that are totally my personality) There are MANY talented purse and bag makers on etsy, but ultimately the deciding factor to chose sewgracious was her pictures. The bag is AWESOME, her shop is clean and her pictures are bright. There were other bags I liked as well, but the pictures were too dark and I couldnt see exactly how bright and beautiful the fabric was, and the different views of the bag. Sewgracious has it dead on perfect. She shows you the front, back, inside, pockets everything. Her descriptions are thorough, her pictures are bright and beautiful and you can see just how professionally sewn her bags look. You can see every seam, every line, every inch of her bags. I Like that. I think most people appreciate that, and if pictures sold purses, she would be a millionaire.

I wont lie I spent a good 48 minutes and 27 seconds perusing "tote bags" and "Amy Butler tote bags". There were PAGES and PAGES of totes and purses and handbags (along with tag abuse items that I immediately flagged. Thats right! I'm in a flaggin mood this morning kids!) I favorited several new sellers, I compared, I hemmed and hawed. This purse was more expensive then 2 others I really liked. Usually I am an advocate of "on sale", "Clearance" or "cheaper". However, in the end, I decided on this beauty from Sewgracious because of the wonderful pictures. They HONESTLY were the deciding factor.

Then my next battle was to choose WHICH bag from Sewgracious. seriously, her shop is to die for. But when I die I will be buried with this bag, so grubby paws off ya vultures!!

Friday, February 8, 2008

I'm going for it

Yesterday, I downloaded and filled out two applications. No not for a job, or a new puppy-for Craft Shows.
The first Application is for a juried entry craft show for one of the largest festivals in the South, "Matthews Alive". It is a 4 day festival held in historic Downtown Matthews, NC(which happens to be a block from my house!!). Over the 4 days they have 175,000 visitors!
They have games and carnival rides, bands, food, entertainment and of course arts and craft vendors. The application fee is only $10. I have to submit photos of my work, photos of me actually MAKING my work, photos of my supplies, workshop etc and pictures of my set up.
If I get in and get accepted ,THEN I pay the spot fee. That is for 3 days of A&C vending.
So I decided to strap on my boots, roll up my sleeves and jump in. I am submitting an application as The Balm Shoppe and sell my bath and body products.
I am really excited. I think I may have a shot at getting in. If I do, I have a buttload of work to do!! So over the next few weeks I am going to be taking pictures(making 'em purdy!) and making my application really stand out. I will know in May wether or not I was accepted. So please keep your fingers crossed for me! They JUST put out the applications, so I am getting mine in bright and early! It is Juried, and there are about 170 slots available. They only do a few spots of each type of craft(Jewelry being saturated). Well looking over the previous years roster, there is ONE other vendor that does bath and body products.

The second application was for a 4 day craft show at the Rock Hill Galleria Mall.(which is 20 miles from my home) It's an "everyone's invited" event and no one gets turned away.
Again I would go as The Balm Shoppe and sell my bath and beauty products.
I have also been looking into local Christmas Bazaars and more popular shows.

This is the year that I go for it. I cant be scared, I cant be worried about rejection. I have to do it and I have to go for it. I know that if I want to succeed I have to be willing to take a little rejection and go through a little uncomfortableness.
I already signed up for ProPay, I have a knuckle buster credit card imprinter, I am READY to make this happen.
I have turned over a new leaf and cant be scared to try new things. So what if I get rejected. At least I tried!

I am currently reading HANDMADE FOR PROFIT! by Barbara Brabec. She is a successful home business advisor and a leading expert on turning craft hobbies into successful businesses.
It seems promising, and she even has a whole section on craft shows, set up, checklists and more.

So wish me luck! any hints or suggestions I am happy to take them. Please just leave me a comment!

Thursday, February 7, 2008

It's the Year of the Rat-Happy Chinese New Year


The Rat was welcomed in ancient times as a bringer of material prosperity.
The Rat is associated with aggression, wealth, charm and order. It is also associated with death, war, the occult, pestilence and atrocities.
Being the first sign of the Chinese zodiacs, rats are leaders, pioneers and conquerors. They are charming, passionate, charismatic, practical and hardworking. Rat people are endowed with great leadership skills and are the most highly organized, meticulous, and systematic of the twelve signs. Intelligent and cunning at the same time, rats are highly ambitious and strong-willed people who are keen and unapologetic promoters of their own agendas, which often include money and power. They are energetic and versatile and can usually find their way around obstacles, and adapt to various environments easily. A rat's natural charm and sharp demeanor make it an appealing friend for almost anyone, but rats are usually highly exclusive and selective when choosing friends and so often have only a few very close friends whom they trust.
Behind the smiles and charm, rats can be terribly obstinate and controlling, insisting on having things their way no matter what the cost. These people tend to have immense control of their emotions, which they may use as a tool to manipulate and exploit others, both emotionally and mentally. Rats are masters of mind games and can be very dangerous, calculative and downright cruel if the need arises. Quick-tempered and aggressive, they will not think twice about exacting revenge on those that hurt them in any way. Rats need to learn to relax sometimes, as they can be quite obsessed with detail, intolerant and strict, demanding order, obedience, and perfection.
Rats consider others before themselves, at least sometimes, and avoid forcing their ideas onto others. Rats are fair in their dealings and expect the same from others in return, and can be deeply affronted if they feel they have been deceived or that their trust has been abused. Sometimes they set their targets too high, whether in relation to their friends or in their career. But as the years pass, they will become more idealistic and tolerant. If they can develop their sense of self and realize it leaves room for others in their life as well, Rats can find true happiness.
According to tradition, Rats often carry heavy karma and at some point in life may face an identity crisis or some kind of feeling of guilt. Rats are said to often have to work very long and hard for everything they may earn or have in life. However, a Rat born during the day is said to have things a bit easier than those who are born at night. Traditionally, Rats born during the night may face extreme hardships and suffering throughout life. Rats in general should guard themselves against hedonism, as it may lead to self-destruction. Gambling, alcohol and drugs tend to be great temptations to Rat natives.
Traditionally, Rats should avoid Horses, but they can usually find their best friends and love interests in Monkeys, Dragons, and Oxen.
Professions include espionage, psychiatry, psychology, writing, politics, law, engineering, accounting, detective work, acting, and pathology.

Traditional Rat Attributes/Associations
Zodiac Location-1st
Ruling hours-11pm-1am
Season and month-Winter, December
Chinese Lunar Month For The Rat-December 7 to January 5
Colors-Black, red, white
Lucky Number-11
Roughly equivalent western sign-Sagittarius
Food-Pork, peas, cabbage
Positive Traits-Meticulous, intelligent, shrewd, compassionate, charismatic, charming, ambitious, practical, industrious, honest, eloquent, versatile, familial, creative, hard-working, neat, organized
Negative Traits-Controlling, obstinate, resentful, lacks-a-sense-of-humor, manipulative, cruel, vengeful, power-driven, critical, possessive, stingy, bossy, fickle, defensive
Most Compatibility-Dragon, Monkey, Ox
Semi-Compatibility-Snake, Rat, Dog, Tiger
Incompatibility-Rabbit, Rooster, Horse, Pig, Sheep

So in Honor of Chinese New Year, go to your favorite takeout, order some Sesame Chicken, and enjoy the Year of the Rat.

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Chocolate= happiness

Maybe it is just my hormones, but I have TOTALLY been consuming WAY too much chocolate the past 2 weeks. White, dark, milk, with peanuts and nougat, it doesnt matter. I have really been craving it.
Scientists have shown that Dark Chocolate is wonderful for your bodies. Natural anti oxidants and Manganese. You cant go wrong with a little dark chocolate in your lives (70% unprocessed cacao). What is it about chocolate that I find so completely irresistable?? As Hersheys says "chocolate is Happiness". It really is. Chocolate makes me feel happy. I eat chocolate and I get a warm rush. My skin flushes, my pupils dilate, I even start to sweat. I get the "afterglow" when I eat it.
With Valentines day coming up my DH asked me "What would you like for valentines day?" (a choco fountain so I can dip everything I eat. Like a chocolate fondue...mmm, chocolate fondue.) I wont lie, I am looking forward to ripping the top off the Whitmans Sampler and devouring every piece of candy in that box(except the chocolate covered Cherries. blech)
So as a tribute to my favorite food group, here are some etsy finds to put a little chocolate back into your lives.

A hot chocolate soy wax poured candle.
can you imagine burning this on a cold winters day??
It makes me happy just thinking about it!
this is chili chocolate spoon fudge.
slow burn, yet chilis and chocolate
are a natural combination.
milk chocolate soap with real chocolate.
I would LOVE to walk around smelling like chocolate all day.
this soap looks good enough to eat!

Chocolate Covered Pretzels are one of my favorite snacks
in the world. Add an M&M to it and even more so. YUM!!!

this is a foaming bath meringue from my shop.
It is Chocolate obsession.
Moisturizing foaming bath wash leaves you
smelling of chocolate and your friends and
coworkers following you around.
Thank you chocolate for making this world a happier place!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

The Greatest Place in the World

I have a favorite place.
When I am feeling down and blue, I think of this place. I have been coming here since I was a child. Our first trip was in 1979.
Every summer for 10 days to 2 weeks we would come here.
It wasnt anywhere fancy or tropical, it wasnt a high falutin' resort area.
It was Nags Head North Carolina on the Outer Banks of NC.

I have had the opportunity to travel to many many places both in the US and Abroad, and when someone asks me "Where is your favorite place you have ever traveled to?", my answer is always Nags Head.

Every summer my family would pack into 1 car complete with our summer gear, fishing tackle and poles, rafts, boogie boards etc. When my brothers were old enough to drive we would take 2 cars and caravan. They would be in my moms old Volkswagon Rabbit and I would be stuck in the other car with my folks. After all 15, 16 and 17 year old boys didnt want to be bothered with their much younger sister.
Every summer I would play hard, swim in the ocean, build sandcastles, torture jellyfish, get burned to a crisp, eat crabs and clams and all sorts of seafood, and buy a pursefull of crappy souveniers from the Souvenir shop across the road.
Every year I looked forward to MY place. And every year it never failed to deliver.
My husband and I went there for our honeymoon almost 11 years ago. We stayed in my parents beachhouse and spent days and nights at the beach, touring the lighthouses, fishing, walking in the sand, looking for shells, crabs, starfish and more. We went to the Sand Dune and watched the sunsets, ate fudge and played mini golf. We toured Elizabethan Gardens and the Aquarium. It was a magical time and the perfect place for our newlywed bliss.
Every year we go back for a few days, sometimes a week. We never get tired of it. Nags Head is OUR place, our special family time. The kids love it. We take friends and family, we invite people to share in our love of the Outer Banks.
The Beaches never seem crowded, the weather always seems nice and the sky is always that Carolina Blue you hear about.
I love Nags Head and the outer Banks. I cant image the world without it. In the almost 30 years I have been going to Nags Head, i STILL get the excitement butterflies as we pack up and head out. Oh Nags Head, I love you.