Monday, March 31, 2008

fatty fatty two by four

I decided to add a new blog to my roster.
I have a personal weight loss blog that I will now be doing

the new title of my blog is fatty fatty two by four.
Hopefully i can inspire or motivate others to lose weight.
Maybe I can get a whole club going!

so if you have a moment please check it out.
Like I said it is brand new only one post so far.

Curse of the Elliptical

I got my butt handed to me by an eliptical machine this morning.
Seriously... handed to an unpleasant manner.

As Many of you know i am on a diet and have been working to try and lose weight. thusfar inb 2 weeks I have lost 1 pound.(obviously i havent been serious. I was all talk)
I decided to really get serious about it this morning.
We have a trip to Disney World in October(ish) then in February I am going to Las vegas with a few girlfriends. I really do have a lot to work towards and I am motivated.

So while at the YMCA, looking around at all the gung ho perkies, feeling flabby, fat and lazy(beauty and the beast) I decided to get down to business.
Watching myself try the eliptical machine in the mirror I realized how pathetic I was.
Perky #1 in front of me had nothing jiggling.
Perky #2 next to her had nothing jiggling.
They were chatting while attacking like tigresses.
They were not out of breath, the were barely breaking a sweat. These women were ellipticizing their fannies off and looked as if they were taking a leisurly stroll on the beach.

Yet here I was, barely on the move, huffing, puffing, dripping and dying.

So I did 30 solid minutes. i wanted to DIE. I wanted to fall off, have a heart attack and wake up in heaven where my body will be a perfect size 6. (however I didnt want to leave my children motherless with a father who has no clue how to boil water).
So I fought through the pain. My calves and legs were shaking and rubbery.

But,I worked through it. I did it.

i feel so good.

So although it was only 30 minutes I feel great! The webs free Calorie Guide

yes 85 pounds. I have gained 85 pounds over the last 11 years, 3 pregnancies and loads of stress.
So once a week I will hopefully update with my weight loss.
PLEASE keep me motivated. Last time I TRULY was motivated and had support I lost 60 pounds.

My husband and I are doing this together. he needs to lose about the same amount of weight.
So this is DAY ONE. You need to start somewhere.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Where has my sweet Finny gone??

This is Finn. He is almost 5 years old.

He is a Pill. You know, being 5 is a hard thing. The world demands so much from these little guys. (SARCASM)

Shoot being 5 is hard for ME...I have to put up with it and try to not completely lose my mind in the process. August can't come too soon. Then he starts school.

We were at a family picnic, having fun, having a cook out. The kids had an easter egg hunt, smores, a playground. The sky was beautiful., the weather was perfect.

Finn was in rare form.

1. It was too hot

2. He didnt want a hot dog, he wanted McDonalds. Then he decided to have a hot dog...only to discover he would rather have a cheeseburger(FROM MCDONALDS)

3. He didnt like THAT playground, he wanted the playgrounds at the park near our house.

4. He didnt want to go for a nature walk, he wanted to play on the playground(the very same playground he DIDNT want to play on only an hour before)

5. The Easter egg hunt wasnt fair, he only found 10 eggs(the same as all of his other cousins). He wanted more than everyone else.

6. He didnt want water, he wanted a juicebox. Juicebox was not to his liking. He wanted apple juice, not fruit punch. Bottled water was not cold enough. He wanted it straight from the fridge, not the cooler.

7. he wanted to go home

8. He didnt want to go home

9. He cried all the way home because he was having so much fun and it just wasnt fair.

10. He cried at home because he wanted eggs with jellybeans in them and instead got eggs with chocolate.

11. Was tired and wanted to go to bed.

12. Cried because he WASN'T tired and DIDNT want to go to bed.

13. Got out of bed 3 times. Once to tell me I was a mean mom and that I didnt love him because I was making him go to bed. The second to get a drink of water because he was thirsty and to remind me how mean I am because I wouldnt let him have Kool-Aid for a bedtime thirst quencher and the third time to go to the bathroom and to tell me to leave him alone he needed privacy.

14. FINALLY went to sleep.

That was just on Sunday. Lord, grant me patience.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

By any other name...

I got this as a "send to all your friends" email. I love these. So here is my list of various names.
My Real name is Sarah McBride (for this little exercise I had to get creative with the spelling of my last name and change it to MAC-Bride.

1.YOUR GANGSTA NAME: (1st 3 or 4 letters of real name + izzle) Sarizzle

2. YOUR “FLY Guy/Girl” NAME: (first initial of first name, first three letters of your last name)S-Mac

3. YOUR DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal) Pink Giraffe

4. YOUR SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name/maiden name, city where you were born)Lynn Cleveland

5. STRIPPER NAME: ( the name of your favorite perfume/cologne/scent, favorite candy) Jasmine Skittles

6. YOUR STAR WARS NAME: (the first 3 letters of your last name, first 2 letters of your first 1st 3 letters of mothers maiden name)Mac-sa-wal

7.SUPERHERO NAME: (”The” + 2nd favorite color, favorite drink)The Turquoise Limonada

8. NASCAR NAME: (the first names of your grandfathers)J.C. Floyd

9.WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother’s & father’s middle names )Faye Nelson

10. TV WEATHER ANCHOR NAME: (Your 6th grade teacher’s last name, a major city that starts with the same letter)Fritch Fresno

11. SPY NAME/BOND GIRL: (your favorite season/holiday, flower)Autumn Stargazer

12. CARTOON NAME: (favorite fruit, article of clothing you’re wearing right now + “ie” or “y”)Watermelon Jeansie

13. HIPPY NAME: (What you ate for breakfast, your favorite tree) Pineapple Tulip Tree

14. YOUR DIRKA DIRKA STANI NAME:(2nd letter of your first name, 3rd letter of your last name, any letter of your middle name, 2nd letter of your moms maiden name, 3rd letter of you dads middle name, 1st letter of a siblings first name, last letter of your moms middle name) Ablalpe (wow that was a hard one to get through)

15. YOUR GOTH NAME: (black, and the name of one your pets)Black CLifford

16. YOUR PORNSTAR NAME: (First Pet's name,First street you lived on)KatieWayburn

17.YOUR ROCK STAR NAME: (first pet & current car) Katie Galant

18. YOUR ROCKSTAR TOUR NAME: (”The” + Your fave hobby/craft, fave weather element + “Tour”)The Soaping Wind Tour

Have a great day, all!


Fritch Fresno

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Well, at least is TASTES good

I love to make bread. I prefer to make bread rather than buy it from the store. I make bread about once a week. It tastes better, there are no preservatives and I know the right flour ratio to get the kind of texture I like. I know what I like, I know what I dont like in bread.

  • I dont like plain white bread. (Too blah and bland.)
  • I dont like 100% whole wheat(too dark and coarse and grainy)
  • I dont like Honey Wheat (too sweet)
So I came up with a bread recipe that is out of this world. It tastes great, it has just the right ratio of white to wheat, has a nice soft consistency and yeasty flavour. It is not to sweet, coarse or heavy. It is just right.

That being said... As much as I love to make bread, I still have not mastered the rolling and forming loaves. My foremothers must be hanging their heads in shame.

Here is my journey in breadmaking:


4 cups all purpose white flour
2 cups wheat flour
3 TBSP white sugar
2 1/2 TBSP butter
2 pkgs active dry yeast(I use regular instead of quick rise)
2 1/4 cups very warm water (120 to 130 degrees)
2 TBSP wheat gluten (optional)

1.MELT BUTTER, set aside.
2.combine the flours together to make a white/wheat mixture and set aside.
3.In a large bowl combine 3 1/2 cups of the flour mixture, the sugar, salt, melted butter and yeast.
4. Add the warm water. Stir with mixer(or by hand) scraping bowl frequently.
5. Stir in enough remaining flour, about 1 cup at a time, to make the dough easy to handle.
6. Flour a countertop or surface of your choice. Turn the dough out and knead for 10 MINUTES!!(or until smooth and elastic)
7.Place in greased bowl and turn greased side up.
8. Cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place for about an hour (or until DOUBLED in size)
Dough will be ready when indentation remains when touched.
9. Grease 2 bread loaf pans.
10. Punch down dough(my favorite part) and divide in half into two equal portions.
11. Use a rolling pin to roll the dough into rectangles(about 18x9). Roll dough tightly fromn the short end and press with thumbs after each turn to seal. Pinch edge of dough into roll to seal. Press each end with the heel of your hand to flatted edges, and fold under loaf.
12. Place in pans.
OPTIONAL STEP: brush each loaf with margarine and sprinkle with rolled oats)
13. Cover and let rise for 45 minutes, or until double in size.

Bake at 425 degrees for 25 minutes, or until deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped.

Remove from pans and brush crust with margarine. Cool.

Here is a brief photoshop collage of my efforts:

I dont know what it is. I cannot get the hang of rolling the dough right to make nice pretty loaves. They turn out completely deformed or the crust will be really huge on the one top side. They get crooked misshapen. It is really frustrating. There was a crooked man, who had a crooked wife...who made crooked bread.

BUT it tastes great. Thats the plus side. My kids can handle wierd shaped bread. As long as it is edible right? (and smeared with jam.)

Try this bread still warm from the oven(not hot) with butter and honey. (I am sure you can use margarine. We just dont eat it in our house. We use the real deal)
My kids eat it with butter and homemade strawberry jam. It makes great french toast (it is a little firmer that white bread so it doesnt soak up as much egg and get all mushy on the inside)
It makes wonderful stuffing, croutons, breadcrumbs and more.

any suggestions on how to make pretty loaves would be appreciated...

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Josiah Leming? What??

I am confused. I am befuddled.
Apparently I am old and unhip. At the ripe old age of almost 32, my taste in music is firmly rooted. I know what I like, I know what I dont like. That being said, I am about to drop the bomb:

I do not like Josiah Leming.

He seems like a sweet, albeit homeless, kid who lived in his car. A chance encounter with American Idol catapulted him into instant stardom with AI viewers. Unfortunately, his ego got the better of him and his self-indulgent performance irked Simon to no end. He got the ax. Buh Bye. I figured this is the last we would see of Josiah Leming. Things would die down and go back to normal. How wrong I was.

People crowed and protested, hooted, hollered and tore out their hair, wore sackcloth and ashes when he got booted. Petitions were making their rounds to get him BACK on the show.He wrote a letter to his myspace fans(can you tell which market he is going to sell to??) telling them things were going well and to fear not.

His fans call themselves Lemingheads.

Really? For Josiah? Am I missing something?

I dont know what it is. I think when he sings he sounds like a sheep. A British Sheep. His vibrato is b-a-a-a-a d, chap. This video makes me think of a woman moaning and groaning and weeping and wailing. I JUST DON'T GET IT!

Apparently my favorite contestant has already landed himself a record deal with WB. The kid who was living in his car and singing for his friends, reportedly bought his dad a new truck. Really? A new truck? Where did he get the money?
Seems to me that they (WB) are counting their chickens before they hatch. If they are not careful they are going to have a Carly Smithson on their hands(2 million dollar record deal and only like 378 albums sold)
We will see if all his loyal myspace fans and AI groupies will pony up $20 to buy his new CD. It is the curse of American Idol. Just because you have fans and get votes, that does not always translate into record sales. I fear Josiah Leming will be the same.
But I could be wrong, it has been known to happen.

But,will someone PLEASE explain to me what it is about this kid that gets people all in a tizzy?

Sigh, I just REALLY dont understand.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Oh Marshmellow Peeps how I love you.

I know the most important part of Easter should be focusing on Jesus Christ and the resurrection. I know that my heart should be rejoicing and singing hallelujahs to the Saviour. He is risen! and Christ the Lord is ris'n today! etc. But it was hard. REALLY hard.

why was my religious contemplation so difficult for me this year?


I love Easter Candy... I am on a diet...I am going crazy.

All through church all I could think about was my childrens easter baskets filled with starburst, chocolate bunnies, robin eggs and my favorite, Marshmellow peeps.

Peeps are best eaten when the package has been opened and the peeps sit out and develop the hard chewy crust on the outside..

You can roast peeps over a flame and make smores out of them. You can put them in the microwave and blow them up. Peeps are just the best thing about easter. (the yellow chicks. NOT any other color and/or shape. It MUST be the YELLOW CHICKS)

In sunday school my kids got candy from their teachers as a little present. I could smell it all the way home as they were eating it.

All last night at my parents house for Easter dinner all I could think about was diving into that stringy plastic grass and fishing out a stray jellybelly.

But I resisted.

This morning I woke up and the baskets were there staring at me. mocking me.

Today at the drugstore down the road all their easter candy is 75% off. (O sweet mystery of life at last I've found you!)

I am going to have to make Charles hide the keys to the truck.

Oh who am I kidding. Those peeps are going to meet their doom in my stomach.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

List of the Day used my clip!

One of my favorite blogs that I read is List of the Day. Every day he posts funny stories, pictures, ad's, mugshots, videos and more.
He asks people to send in funny pictures or videos or clips etc, then if he uses them he gives you credit for them.

I sent him a funny video of Spongebob voice actors doing some famous movie clips.
He used it!
You can see it here.


thanks LOTD! You made MY day!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Salt Scrubs

The newest member of the TheBalmShoppe line:
Salt Silkies-dead sea salt body polish
This body polish is almost identical to the Brown Sugar Scrub, but is made with Fine grain dead sea salt rather than organic brown sugar, and Shea Butter instead of cocoa butter.
Again, this is another Vegan Friendly Product. 98% all Natural.

This scrub helps exfoliate and slough off dead skin cells, leaving behind smoother, younger looking skin. Regular exfoliation helps the skin breathe easier, helps circulation and removes daily toxins from your skin. It also helps future skin regeneration. It keeps it younger looking and helps firm and strengthen skin tissue.
INGREDIENTS: Sunflower Oil, Shea Butter, Rice Bran Oil, Golden Jojoba Oil, Fine Grain Dead Sea Salt, preservative.

The sunflower oil, rice bran oil and golden jojoba oil are absorbed quickly by the skin and make skin soft and supple. The shea butter leaves skin buttery and smooth and hydrated. Shea butter is so good for the skin!

The theraputic spa grade dead sea salt is a VERY fine grain, so it exfoliates without being harsh.
There is a preservative added. It is a bacteria, yeast and mold inhibitor. Rice Bran oil is very High in Vitamin E, which is a natural preservative, BUT this keeps the scrubs lasting long without the worry of anything icky growing in it, which can happen in a moist shower environment.
INSTRUCTIONS: In the shower, take a dollop of salt silkies and rub over arms and legs, chest, hands feet or wherever may need exfoliation. Rinse well(careful, tub may get slippery).
AVOID eye area.

This Pody Polish Makes your skin absolutely glow.

It is amazing how much brighter, fresher and more rejuvinated the skin looks after being polished. You dont realize how dull and BLAH your skin gets, just from the every day hubbub

It comes in a 4oz container and a 6oz container.
It will come in a variety of fragrances, or plain.
I will be listing them in my shop just in time for weekend shoppers!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Make A Wish Foundation

As many of you know, my oldest son, Peter, had a heart transplant in 2005.
He was born with a rare heart defect called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. The left side of his heart did not form properly and did not function. In a series of 3 surgeries the doctors rerouted his blood through the right side. The first 4 years of his life were nothing more than hospitals, doctors visits, medications and naps. At the age of 5 a heart transplant was necessary. we waited in the hospital for 3 FULL MONTHS hooked up to monitors and drugs to keep the heart pumping etc. Honestly the first 5 years of his life were not really a life for him. In the 2 1/2 years since his transplant he has really been able to do anything and everything he has always wanted to do. he can run, jump on the trampoline, play sports, go to school and more. He is finally having a normal life.
A few months back at a heart biopsy his cardiologist, Dr Robinson, asked if Peter had gotten his "wish" yet. I didnt know what he was talking about and he told me about Make A Wish. He said that Peter would qualify.
I thought Make A Wish was for kids who had terminal illnesses and Cancer and Lukemia and other diseases like that. It isn't.
He told me that it is for any child who has a medical issue that could be potentially life threatening. Plus with Peters history and past hospital life and past medical history he is 100% deserving.
He said kids that spend a lot of time in the hospital, have medical hardships etc. This is their chance to go out and finally have a normal day and spend time with their families and make up for lost time.
They can go somewhere(WDW being the #1 wish of all time), meet their favorite celebrity or be someone for a day(fireman, policeman etc).
So, I submitted his name to Make a Wish and they called me to get the information. They sent paperwork to Dr Robinson, he filled it out. We were contacted Tuesday. He has been approved for a wish!!
The wish makers are coming on Wednesday to talk to Peter, give us all the paperwork etc.

Peter REALLY wants to go to Disney World in Orlando. So that is what he is wishing for.
Make a Wish kids get the hook up down there too! They treat them like royalty. They make their trip the greatest day in their lives. I am so excited for Peter.
I know that I love Disneyworld. My husband and I went there for our 10th anniversary and just had a blast. We are really excited to be able to take the kids. I know that Make a Wish is going to be able to make it so much more exciting than had it just been us going for a regular vacation. I know that Make a Wish will make it a dream come true for Peter.

Make a Wish started in 1980. The very first wish was a 7 year old boy with Lukemia. All he wanted to do was be a police officer. He had a day as a police officer. They custom tailored a uniform, he got the city tour , he was sworn in, got to take a motorcycle proficiency test to earn his wings. The next day he was back in the hospital. All he wanted to do was look at his uniform and hat and wings and remember his dream coming true. He passed away a day later. How much better his life was for having that day. That one very special day just for him. He was able to live a normal life and have his special wish come true before passing away.
Ever since then, it has been the mission of make a wish to help as many children as possible.
Since 1980, make a wish has sponsored over 162,000 worldwide dreams.
They now grant a wish every 40 minutes!
Make a wish relies on Donations from businesses and individuals. They have over 25,000 VOLUNTEERS helping with wish granting, fundraising and special assistance.
78% of funds is used towards wishes. 8% goes towards management and paid workers and the remaining 14% goes towards advertising and fundraising.
Make a Wish is a really great non profit charity. To see how you can help, visit
You can donate money, you can sponser a wish, you can donate frequent flier miles, tangible goods and items and more. Some companies will match their employees monetary donations to Make a Wish as well. You can even shop online for items relating directly to wishes:
I am really grateful to Make A Wish. They are a wonderful non profit organization to donate to, and such a worthy cause.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

I am NOT June Cleaver

How June Cleaver did it is beyond me. (well I know she is a TV Character and I know she is not real, so please do not think I am crazy)
But I know women who are reall like June Cleaver. They always look nice. They always wear makeup and jewelry. Their hair is usually coiffed, nails manicured, toenails pedicured. They have a nice house, nice kids, cook Breakfast every morning, dinner every night and in between clean, sew, knit, socialize, run charity events and workout.

I on the stark contrast, roll out of bed, throw on something that isnt TOO wrinkled or looks like it came from a Hobo's dirty bandana- and-stick suitcase.
I shower at night, go to bed with wet hair and wake up with white girl afro. I usually have a ponytail to disguise said afro, and never wear makeup.

Breakfast usually consists of anyone of the three:
1. poptarts.
2. cold cereal, usually ending in charms, pebbles, pops, smacks or crisp
3. pancakes at Bob Evans

Lunch consists of sandwiches, nachos or some sort of boxed pasta. Pretty original I know.
Peters lunch is whipped together from a frozen uncrustables PB&J sandwich, a juicebox, and pre bagged snacks from the store. I dont wash, cut, chop or process anything. I am a lazy mom.

Dinner I can whip together if I manage to remember to take something out of the freezer. I am not one to make tuna casserole or grilled cheese if I forget to thaw the meat. But I wont lie, we have eaten our fair share of fish sticks, tater tots, sandwiches and cold cereal for dinner.

I try and keep the house clean, but I feel it is a losing proposition. I get it clean and shiny and sparkly and organized and 37.8 seconds later it is a pit of doom and despair, thanks to my two hurricanes(Finn and Peter), a dog and a husband who doesnt know what a clothes hamper is.

This morning I walked downstairs and noted 4 socks, 2 shirts, an undershirt, 2 pairs of jeans and 4 pairs on underwear in the hall...INCHES from the clothes hamper.
In the kitchen I saw mail just piled up from weeks of neglect and abuse. The table was covered in my work and projects that I hadnt had a chance to clean up yet. The sink was full of last nights dishes and food processor, and the bottom level of the houe was a den of transformers and kids toys and dog hair.

I cleaned on Saturday. I straightened on monday. I go out of town monday night and got home last night. I kind of ignored the house when I got home, as I was tired from driving and just so glad to be home again. I got up this morning and just shook my head in disbelief.

I am up to my armpits in housework today.

I cant tell you the last time I had a manicure. I would probably just bite the nails off anyways...
I CAN tell you the last time I had a pedicure...September 2005.

I am in a sad, pathetic state right now my friends.
I wish I could say that I had some pressing business and active social life..I dont. I really have no excuse. Itis pure laziness sometimes.
If being a mom and homemaker were a job in the world with managers and supervisors etc, I would totally be fired. Somedays I just want to ist and read a book, or watch a movie or go shopping. I have no desire to cook, clean, nurture, make beds etc.
Is that terrible??

Oh well, time to wrestle with a vacuum and put away laundry(the bane of my existence)
faretheewell my friends. I shall post more tomorrow...from a clean and sparkly house.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Tag, you're it!

So I FINALLY got tagged this week!! Callooh Callay over at the snickersnack tagged me.
She said she hated to do it to me, but to be honest I was thrilled! I thought only the cool people got tagged and I was being picked last (visions of elementary school Kickball all over again). So thank you Callooh Callay!(you saved me from having to think of something to blog about)
So I am being forced to reveal 7 random, strange or unusual facts about myself. Since I myself AM strange and unusual(beetlejuice fans will pick up on that one), this shouldn't be a hard one.

1. My husband and I had a whirlwind courtship and engagement. We met on February 9th, briefly. We met again on February 23, breifly. He called our mutual friend to get my phone number.
He called me Feb 26th to ask me out. We went out Feb 27th. We were engaged March 26th and Married September 12th in Washington DC.
That was almost 11 years ago. My mother was STUNNED when her 21 year old(flaky) daughter told her that after less than a month she found the man she was going to marry and be with for the rest of forever.
Look at how young.....But I would do it all over again. Our colors were burgundy and black. Our song was "Longer" by Dan Fogelberg .

2. I HATE peas and Lima Beans. ANY legume with that pre chewed food consistency is just barfy and gives me the dry heaves. Actually any food with a wierd texture makes me queasy. Sushi(like the flavor, cant stand the texture), cottage cheese, overly cooked vegetables...(sorry grandma)

3. I have played piano for almost 27 years. I started very young. I had the honor to take from the late, great Eugene Masluck in Livermore California for almost 3 years. He was the greatest teacher I ever had. He made me work my tush off. I hated it at the time, but can now look back and appreciate his technique and teaching. I took all through college. I am a great sight reader, I SUCK at music theory. I suck at memorization of songs too. I currently play organ for my church and am also the choir pianist for our church choir. I am just about ready to accept applications for students in my home!

4. I am a vacation Nazi. I start planning my vacation about a year or two in advance. I google every bit of info I can. I organize everything into a notebook. I buy the travel guides and read them voraciously. I highlight, make notes, dog ear pages, circle, research some more and make itineraries. I print out little maps with walking and sightseeing directions on them. I have the vacation planned and scheduled down to the minute about 3 months in advance. Our trip to Disneyworld last september was a nightmare for my husband. I even have eating, photo opportunities, bathroom breaks, snack breaks etc scheduled. My girlfriends and I are planning a trip to Vegas in February and I am trying to keep my demon under control.

5. I like to photoshop my husband and I into scenic photos so we look like real world travelers. By myself I have been blessed to have traveled quite a bit before getting married. My husband has had lots of travel under his belt as well. Together as a couple, not so much. So In my imagination we went to greece, stonehenge, and aix en Provence France(my favorite place in France). Of course Charles pointed out that I used the same picture in Stonehenge and Aix. ..oh well, live and learn. I am currently working on Machu Pichu, The Great Barrier Reef and The Great Wall of China. I am thinking about making a whole scrapbook based upon these lies and deceptions....

6. I am OBSESSED with Christian Bale. I saw Newsies in the Theaters back when I was about 15 years old. Ever since I have been mentally stalking his every move. He hasnt made it easy! He isnt one to get himself in the tabloids or get stalked by the paparazzi. He is pretty out of the way and avoids scandal like the plague. I have seen every movie. The good, the bad and even a few of the ugly. I was THRILLED when he was the new batman. Although what REALLY ticks me off are the people who are JUST NOW jumping onto the CB bandwagon. "oh he is so hot, I love him". Oh yeah, where have you been the past 17 years!?!?"

7. I have had Harry Potter Puppet Pals music stuck in my head the past 4 days(thank you VERY MUCH Amy F!!) Snape Snape Severus Snape(Dumbledore!)

Hope you have enjoyed my 7 wierd things.


Dawn at A Day in the life

Helen at artyallsorts

Denice at Home is where your pillow is

Lindsey at Hairwrecker

Jennifer at Stiletto Heights

Charmaine at High Desert Diva

Erin at Out of Character


1. Link to your tagger and post these rules on your blog.

2. Share 7 facts about yourself on your blog, some random, some weird.

3. Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names as well as links to their blogs

.4. Let them know they are tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

YEah Toast

This was Heywood Banks on the Bob and Tom show.

I LOVE this song.

My kids think it is hilarious.

a perfect funny clip for Sunday morning.

please to enjoy.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

My week in photographs

Every Spring down south the Bradford Pear Trees bloom. They are usually the first tree to flower and are quite beautiful. The blossoms last about a week or so, then they scatter like a blizzard of snow leaving behind leafy green foliage. Charlotte is FULL of Bradford Pear Trees. They line streets and avenues, and no front or back yard is complete without a BP Tree. HOWEVER, my husband and I have dubbed them "pee pee trees". The scent from these blossoms smell like cat urine and old baby pee pee diapers that have been left out to sit too long.

This is Oliver. He is the stray cat that followed my dad home before Christmas. My dad was taking a walk around his neighborhood. As he was strolling past a new home development, a tiny kitten came strolling out of the woods and started to follow him. This cat crossed the street(almost getting hit by a car) and meowed at my dad and followed after him. My dad walked faster, the cat meowed louder and started to RUN after my dad. He said this cat meowed the entire 1/2 mile home and wouldnt leave him alone. he sat outside their house for 30 minutes meowing as loudly as he could. My parents finally brought him in and he has been there ever since. He is their baby and the SWEETEST thing ever.

At one of our favorite Chinese restaurants in Charlotte they have a giant koi fish display. It is about 3 feet tall by 12 feet long. It is a long open "pond" full of these giant koi fish. Off to the side they have a gumball machine full of food. You put in your quarter and out comes a little snap on lid container with fish food in it. You can feed the fish. They are greedy little beggars. They will come right up, stick their heads out and their little mouths are just open shut open shut. It looks as if they are saying "feed me!" They will eat the little pieces right out of your fingers. My kids LOVE feeding these fish, and the chinese restaurant makes a KILLING off of these 25 cent feeder containers.

I took this picture of Peter at my mom and dads house. He was out in the backyard, enjoying the beautiful weather. How I managed to get a picture of him without his fake smile or without his eyes half closed is beyond me.!! I think it is adorable.
We went over to my parents house for dinner the other night. It was my dads birthday. We had a great time . So happy Birthday Dad (66).

This is Finn in theratty old hammock in my parents backyard. (forgive the ugly lawn, they are in process of ripping everything out and start afresh...) They have this old hammock in their backyard that should have been condemned long ago. It is ratty and full of holes and I am quite positive the rope was made in the 15th century. This thing is decrepit. BUT Finn loves it. He loves going out there, laying on it(avoiding the potholes) and just swinging. My favorite thing is watching him try to get off. It usually ends with the hammock swinging upside down and finn on his back covered in dirt.
That was my pitifully dull week in photos. Hopefully next week will be a little more exciting!

Friday, March 14, 2008

Brown Sugar Scrub

The latest addition to the Balm Shoppe and newest listing is a Brown Sugar Body Polish.(or scrub... however you want to call it)
Organic Brown Sugar, Cocoa Butter, Sunflower Oil, Rice bran Oil, golden jojoba oil, and a preservative to keep it from spoiling.

It is 98% all-natural.

The natural cocoa butter has a natural chocolate scent,. A little fragrance has been added to boost the chocolat-y goodness! It is like a sweet milk chocolate with a hint of vanilla. It smells like a luxurious cocoa butter and will leave you feeling happy!
The brown Sugar Body polish will scrub away loose or dead skin sells, leaving your skin glowing, soft and refreshed.
Brown sugar is a great exfoliant, without being harsh. White Sugar is a great exfoliant but can be a little abrasive, especially on more sensitive skins. Brown sugar is a perfect exfoliant without being harsh. It is a little softer and more gentle.
The sunflower oil, jojoba oil and rice bran oil are wonderful skin softeners and is absorbed quickly by the skin, leaving it soft and hydrated.
The cocoa butter adds the wonderful chocolate fragrance and makes skin soft and supple.

It comes in a 4 oz container or a 6 oz container. A little bit goes a long way.

DIRECTIONS FOR USE: In your shower take a dollop of sugar scrub and spread on arms, back, chest, legs, feet...wherever needs softening (not really recommended for the face). Scrub gently with hands to exfoliate and slough off all the dead skin cells. Rinse well.

You can also keep one by the skin and use as a hand scrub to keep hands soft and silky smooth.

I am thrilled with the Brown Sugar and Cocoa Butter body polishing scrub. It is a wonderful addition to my shop, and I am excited to now be offering it. check it out!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

HERBS every bath and body entrepreneur needs to know

Herbs, wether you pronounce it "erb" or "her-b" they are easy to grow in your own garden, and a must have for every Bath and body entrepreneur.
You can dry them out and use them in sachets, you can use them in soapmaking, oil infusions, water infusions, tub teas, bath salts and in your personal kitchen.

CALENDULA. This flower from the Marigold family is a wonderful herb in bath and body. Use this for herbal tub tea, oil infusions and water infusions. A vigorous plant with great antiseptic and healing properties. Great for cuts, burns, stings, chafed skin and cracked lips.
Make an oil infusion with calendula and use the oil in lip balm, foot balm, belly balm or soapmaking. Or make a water infusion and use that as your water in your soap.

LAVENDER: The most versatile herb in all the land. These fragrant flowers make great dried herb sachets, the oil infusion and water infusions make wonderful soaps and balm. Lavender is a stress reducer and helps calm nerves. They make a great herbal bath tea and wonderful bath salts. Try them in a relaxing eye pillow. Lavender needs rich, well drained soil. Add sand and calcium rich nutrients to your soil and you will have lavender plants that will reward you. They are pretty cold tolerant.

CHAMOMILE- mild, fragrant, soothing. Chamomile is a wonderful addition to any Bath and Body entrepreneurs garden. A hardy plant that requires full sun. They also like lots of compost.
Chamomile makes wonderful bath teas, herbal drinking teas, sachets, infusions and more.
The oil and water infusions will give you the herbal benefit, while drying up and grounding will give you added texture and scrub to soaps.

LEMON BALM- This is one of my personal favorite herbs. Easy to grow. Normal soil, minimal water and can tolerate full sun or shade. A wonderful lemony scent. Herbal and oil infusions work well. BUT in soapmaking the lye overpowers the delicate scent, leaving very little lemony scent in the finished product. Dry it out and use it as herbal sachets, tub teas, and add texture to your soap or balms.

ROSEMARY. Comes in every way imaginable. Fresh, dried, ground, powdered, chopped etc. Infuse oil or water with rosemary for wonderful soaps and balms. Infuse in grapeseed or jojoba oil for a wonderful massage oil. Herbal tea, herbal tub tea, bath salts, personal kitchen, anything can benefit from rosemary. Good for the heart and digestion. It is refreshing and invigorating, a very stimulating herb for skin care. Grind it up for extra soap and balm texture. If you are pregnant or nursing ask your health care professional before using rosemary.

PEPPERMINT and SPEARMINT: Use these herbs sparingly in your herbal bath teas and bath salts. Too much mint in a bath tea will give your body the sweats and chills, possibly fever.

Peppermint makes a great invigorating foot balm. Dry and grind up and a sharp cooling effect in your balms and herbal blends. They make wonderful herbal drinking teas. These plants are easy to grow but are very invasive and will take over your garden if you are not careful. Trim them frequently to encourage bushy growth.

SAGE: Another one of my favorite herbs to grow and use. Easy to grow, great for herbal and water infusions. Try as a mouthwash or gargle. A great antiseptic, gargle for sore throat. This is a must have in the kitchen as well. Beautiful silvery green stalks and the flowers are a beautiful purple stalk. Sage can be used in herbal teas for headaches and ulcers. A great treatment for bleeding gums as well. Use it in your herbal tub tea, bath salts and grind it up in your balms.


Bundle them- If you have a shady window, bundle the herbs in small bunches with yarn, twine or embroidery thread. Be careful not to bundle too tightly. Suspend herb bundles from the curtain rod, or from pins hammered into the wall or woodwork.

Lay them flat: If you dont have a window you can lay the herbs in a single layer on a baking sheet on top of your stove. If your range is electric, heat the stove to 200 degrees, then shut off. Heat on the stove once a day until dried.

Microwave it: You CAN microwave them, it is just not the preferred method by most herbalists. Place herbs in a single layer on a paper towel. Cover herbs with two more paper towels.
place in microwave and set for 1 minute. Check the herbs. Repeat until herbs are dry, making sure not to burn the herbs.


water Infusion
: Place fresh herbs in heated water and steep them, like they were tea. Use this water in place of normal water in your soapmaking recipe. If you want the herbal bits in your soaps, then you dont need to strain the water. If you just want the infusion without all the bits and plant matter, strain the water. The water that is left will have the scent and herbal properties, without the herbs. I dont have an exact science. Usually 2 cups of not quite boiling water(tea kettle) poured onto 4 or 5 TBSP fresh herbs does the trick. More or less depending on your taste. Certain herbs can use more. Other herbs(such as rosemary and mint) dont need quite as much.
You can also use dried herbs in your infusions. Dried herbs are much more potent than fresh herbs, so use less.

oil infusion
: the same as water. Usually Olive oil is used for oil infusions. Heat the olive oil to very hot(not boiling) and add your herbs of choice. Steep and strain if needed.
You can also use vegetable oil for your oil infusions, but if you are making soap from your oil infusions, you may want to stick with olive oil.

try setting aside a bit of earth for your herbs. You will be greatly rewarded in the seasons to come with fresh herbs for all your soapmaking and bath and body care needs.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Photo greeting Cards

I went to the photo/camera shop yesterday. I took my digital camera card and an idea.
I chose 4 of my favorite pictures to print out, 4x6 glossy photos.

They turned out so crisp and clear and perfectly. The Photog. shop did a great job(a little pricer than your average drugstore, but well worth the extra money) TIP: go to your local camera/photography shop and print your pictures there. They usually can give you ideas and tips on improving your photos and help you edit where necessary. The drugstore will not. All they are interested in is you doing all the work at the "print them yourself" kiosk and paying the money.

I brought them home, and mounted them with archival quality adhesive onto white cardstock and turned them into Blank greeting cards.(you can see one listed here)

Beautiful photos on the outside, blank on the inside. You can customize them for any occasion and for any person.

Each card is titled and signed.

You can send them as cards, or frame them as is, in a 5x7 frame. They come in an envelope should you decide to give them away.

Obviously I like outdoors and nature. Flowers and blossoms are my favorite subject to photograph.

Many etsy photographers sell their photograph greeting cards.
a wonderful way to collect art and photography without breaking the bank.
These are kind like the jumbo version of artists ACEO's.
Photography cards range from $3.00 up to about $8.00.

Want to make your own photo art card?
Take your favorite picture, have it printed out into a 4x6. Mount it onto a folded greeting card measuring 5x7. Title and date. It is as simple as that. If you want to make them a little artsier, play around with color and filters on photoshop. Add shapes and texture. There are many ways to spice up your photography to show off to the world.
You can make them as big or as little as you want. I chose the 5x7 so my pictures would be a little larger and wouldnt lose some of the detail.
If you have a really high quality printer you can buy your own photo paper and print off your own photos in whatever size you so desire.
Just make sure you use the proper adhesive. I suggest going to a scrapbooking store and asking for adhesive that is safe for photos. I use the Tombo mono adhesive tape runner. Any craft store with a scrapbooking section should carry it.
OR as a really cute idea you can take a photograph of your child. Print off however many you want, and go to the photography department of your local drugstore or even camera shop. Ask if they carry the adhesive postcards, specifically for photos. Many of them do. They are 30 cents each(ballpark). You can attach your childs photo to these postcards and send them out as postcards or announcements or invitations. We did that when Peter turned 1. Dont want to buy the generic postcards from your vacation?? Take memorable photos and use THOSE as postcards instead.
Check out some of the really talented etsy sellers and photograph greeting cards. Or make your own. It is a fun rewarding hobby!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My latest Listing-Oatmeal Soap

This soap by me (Thebalmshoppe) is Oatmeal, Milk and Honey with organic ground oatmeal.
The fragrance is Oatmeal, milk and honey, which is a sweet creamy oatmeal with a hit of cream, honey and cinnamon. It smells delicious.

This is a Cold Process soap. After pouring it into the molds and letting it set, I popped it out. I didnt like the smooth bar that was produced. I wanted something a little "rougher" and natural looking. So I grated the bars, reheated and reworkd them and hand milled them into bars. They are nubby, nobby, bumpy and much more what I had in mind for natural oatmeal soap.
Normally I do make smooth bars of soap, that is true. But this is my oatmeal exfoliating soap, I wanted something a bit more "homespun" (I guess that is the word I am trying to think of.)
When it was too smooth, it just didnt seem right to me. ( I am trying to do a better job of trusting, and acting upon, my instincts.) So I jumped in, destroyed my smooth bars and reworked them.
I love the new bar and texture. It fits perfectly into your hand, the oatmeal gently exfoliates and the lather is frothy, yet stable. The bar itself is semi hard,( not too hard but not soft.) I made them 3 x 2 x 1, which is the perfect scrubbing size.
The base is soybean oil, palm oil, and palm kernel oil. I added golden jojoba and shea butter along with castor oil. This soap also moisturizes and nourishes you skin. I ground up organic oatmeal and added it as a gentle and natural exfoliant

It is gentle for your skin, too. Oatmeal soap is great for those with eczema, as it is a soothing additive.

I hope you like my latest addition to The Balm Shoppe.If you are interested in this soap, you can purchase it here. I have 6 bars available. Once they are gone, they are gone!!

Monday, March 10, 2008

My Latest Find at Bob Evans

have really been loving my new camera. it is a Kodak Easy Share Z1275. The 12megapix make it a more "serious camera" without the "serious pricetag". It is priced under $200. Very affordable.

I have been toting it around with me wherever I go, snapping random pictures. With spring making an entrace here down south, the flowers and trees are blooming. So most of my pictures are outdoors and nature. I have really been trying to learn about the different functions. I have been using the Macro function and playing around with shutter speeds.


Every Other Saturday morning we take the kids to Bob Evans for Breakfast. They love the pancakes there, and it is a fun family time for us.

After we were done eating, we stepped outside. Finn decided he had to go to the bathroom, so my husband took him. Peter and I waited outside and kind of wandered around. At the side of the building was a Tulip Tree. (Also known as a Saucer Magnolia or Japanese Magnolia)

It was really beautiful. I pulled out my trusty camera and took a few pictures. I was surprised at how well they turned out. I turned on the macro function and reduced the shutter speed.

I had to do very little to it in photoshop. I am thinking about uploading to to a stock photography site and see if anyone would purchase it. Maybe print some off and make them into a card. I dont know. I really love these pictures. And I really LOVE my camera.

I find that by practicing out in the real world with real, live and uncontrollable objects, my pictures in a controlled setting with a lightbox are turning out much better. I find that the more I practice and learn and use, the better photographer I become, which in turn can really help my business.( Especially on Juried Entry Craft Shows.)

So my(amateur) advice to burgeoning etsy artists..get to know your camera. Take it out into the real world. Play with the settings. Find out what you can about the different functions. Read through the owners manual. DEFINITELY learn to use the macro function. Not only will your everyday pictures surprise you, but you will carry what you have learned into your business as well.

Good luck and happy shooting!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

The smell of Jasmine

This is the jasmine I planted 4 years ago in front of my fence in the garden plot.
When I bought them, they were tiny, wimpy, puny little twigs in pots that were WAY too big for them. I actually felt sorry for these poor plants and decided to give them a good home.
I never imagined it would become as monstrous and beautiful as it is now. It has grown and twined and grown and massed and grown and taken over the entire fencing area out front. Every morning when i walk out my door I am greeted with the sweet scent of Carolina Jasmine. The beautiful yellow blossoms are little rays of sunshine. They are just starting to bloom, so in a few dys all those buds will be open and saying hello!

Friday, March 7, 2008


I actually got a treasury this morning. Dont ask me how, I dont have a magic formula. Right place, right time. This is the first treasury I have been able to curate in almost a year!
I, of course, went with my etsy finds for the week theme of berries.
Please check it out if you have a chance and make a comment!!


The Joy Of Soap

I LOVE making soap. It is a newfound passion of mine. For years I made Melt and Pour(MP) and glycerine soap. The bases they have out now are really wonderful and luxurious. you can add any oils or butters, colorants, herbs, fragrances etc. You can do some really beautiful things with Melt and Pour Soap. You can use them immediately after setting and the clean up is quick and easy...after all it IS soap! Generally MP soap is glycerine soap. MP soaps hold color the best. You can get the best colors out of glycerine and MP soaps.

This is a GREAT example of Melt and Pour Soap. This is from thekeepershouse . MP soap can be made into beautiful layers, fragrances and scents. MP soap comes out of molds really beautifully.

These Astro Pops from SoapyLove are wonderful! They remind me of when I was a kid and getting my favorite Popsicles from the Ice cream Man that came through our neighborhood.

These "turqoise gemstones" are actually glycerine soap! They are from AmethystSoap over on etsy. These look JUST like turquoise gemstone nuggets dont they?? So cute and creative. It is amazing what can be done with Glycerine soap base.

Last year I started making Cold Process Soap (CP). After my first trace,(where it first starts to thicken) I knew I was hooked. CP soap is the process of heating and mixing together lye, fats and oils, cooling and stirring until they thicken.(or saponify) Pour into molds, let sit for a day or two, and pop out. BUT because it is made with lye they need to sit and "cure" for about 4 weeks. The longer they sit out and cure, the more gentle the soap will be. If you were to use the soap right away, you would have very dryskin. The soap would be excessively harsh. Different oils give the soap different properties. Some oils and fats create great lather. Others give great moisturizing properties. Some make the bar of soap hard. The right combination of these fats and oils can give you amazing results. I like my bars a little on the hard side. I like lots of lather. I love shea and jojoba in my soap. 2 weeks ago I made oatmeal milk and honey soap. I made a great base and added ground oatmeal. The fragrance I used was Oatmeal Milk and Honey.. After I poured it, I cut it into bars. But I didnt like the smooth look of it. It is Oatmeal soap. So I grated it, reheated it and re- molded it into nubby, more earthy organic looking bars. I love it. So in 2 weeks when it is ready, I will have it listed in my shop.

These CP beauties are from DennisAnderson.

His soaps are really beautiful and very natural. This is Tango with Mango soap. The colors are beautiful and his swirling is very nice.

Daisycakessoap is the best B&B seller on etsy. She has sold more soaps than Proctor and Gamble practically! Her soaps are beautiful, unique and the packaging and display are out of this world.

This layered CP soap is from Pinkparchmentsoaps.

It is called raspberry parfait. I think it is beautiful. I love the layering and the slight swirl on top. Raspberry is a favorite soap scent of mine.

There is Also Hot Process Soap Making (HP). Hot Process is like Cold Process, except you cook or crock pot your soap ALL DAY. The bars are bumpy and more "handmade" looking AND you can use the soap as soon as it is set. BUT there are so many talented soapmakers that make the bars as smooth as CP soap, it is amazing. Practice makes perfect!!

This is HP soap from Dragon06.
Vegan friendly Mocha Cappuccino.

makes a goat milk HP soap. It looks so luxurious and creamy! Obviously, this is a non vegan bar.

No matter what your soap preference, there can be something found for everyone. Please check out some of the uber talented soapmakers on etsy. You wont be disappointed.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

The Man Song

Every now and then I have to break out this bad boy and play it loud ebough for Charles to hear...just enough to bring home the point. Make him really think long and hard about his place on the totem pole in this relationship. This is Rodney Carrington on the Bob and Tom Show.

He's the man
He's the man

I dont take no crap from anybody...else but you
I wear the pants around here...when I finish with your laundry
Cuz I;m a guy you dont want to fight, when I say Jump you say ...yeah right
I'm the man of the house...until you get home.

he's the man he's the man

What I say goes around here...right out the window
And I don't want to hear a lot of I'll shut up
The sooner you learn who's boss around here...the sooner you can give me my orders dear
Cuz I'm head honcho around here...but it's all in my head.

he's the man he's the man

And I can have sex anytime...that you want it
Cuz I'm a man who has needs...but they're not that important
And dont expect any flowers from me...cuz if I'm not mistaken you prefer jewelry
I'm the King of my castle...when you're not around

hes the man he's the man

And i'll drink and watch sports whenever wanna...get in trouble
And I'll come home when I'm good and sleep on the couch
Cuz a Mans gotta do what a man's gotta do...and I'm gonna do what you tell me to
Because I'm top dog around here...but I've been neutered.

He's the man he's the man

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Random snapshot and post of the day

Last week was Teacher appreciation week at Peters school. Each student was to bring in a flower, and then the teacher would have a mixed bouquet of flowers by her students.
So we went to Sams and Peter picked out Alstroemeria. It is also known as Peruvian Lily, aand each stem has several trumpet shaped blossoms. The stems are a beautiful green and the leaves are fairly long and full.
Well, Peter took 3 flowers. One for his teacher, one for the teachers assistant and one for his Physical Therapist, Miss Janet. I got the rest.

They have been sitting on my table in a vase for over a week now, and are still so beautiful. I took a picture of them last night to remember. These may be the best batch of Alstroemeria I have ever purchased. I try and buy at least 1 bouquet a month of them to have on my table. They last forever, they are really beautiful and they make me happy.