Dating my husband: A #1 Podcast!

20140218-DSC_81831As a couple, it’s always been important for us to keep learning and growing with each other.  We always laugh about how little we knew about each other when we were first married.  You have to start somewhere, right?

A few weeks ago we were able to take a trip to Portland, Oregon where we took a fishing adventure on the Willamette to catch some sturgeon.  It was raining and gorgeous. I really wanted to go fishing my Ed because this is something he REALLY loves.  I need to do more of the things that HE loves.  There is so much more to see and enjoy in life when your best friend is by your side.

Sooo, this is kinda crazy guys.  My husband just started this fishing show on iTunes.  In one day, it is the #1 fishing show, #1 outdoor show, and #37 of ALL shows on itunes, beating shows like Suze Orman, Dave Ramsey, Joyce Meyers, and a bunch of popular radio shows like ESPN!  Amazing, right?  He’s worked so hard on this show with his fishing friend Paul Moritz.

I’m so proud of him.

I want to show my support for him by asking my friends and readers HERE to download the podcast from itunes and get this show to #1!  Yay!  Can you guys PLEASE help me?! You might become a fishing convert in the process! ;)

Click this link now to go download and share with the men on your life (or women, if they love to fish)!!!

Download here!

Thanks, friends!


Homemade Lip Balm: Burt’s Bees Copycat

DSC_0004 copyYou asked how my new recipe went last week so here are the results…LOVE IT!

Burt’s Bees.  Some of us have used it since high school or even before.  It was a staple in our purses and pockets.  Then those meanies went and changed the recipe and the formula just never felt that same smooth and super tingly way again.  Did that happen to you too?  Last year I tried a few copycat recipes with no success.  One was too hard.  One was too soft.  They both had no peppermint zing to them AT ALL.  Minty lip balm…maybe?  Burt’s Bees wannabee? Nope.

I know that it’s not possible to claim an exact replica because I’d have to have a lab and well, I just have a kitchen with a sleeping pug in it.  This is the closest I’ve come to a matched recipe and I’m super happy with it.  I’d love to hear your feedback to help us all get closer to a lip balm that has only a couple of pure, whole ingredients and is SUPER easy to make in bulk or as a gift!  The ingredients on the Burt’s Bees chap-stick state that they use sunflower oil, but I opted for the more nourishing jojoba oil.  I use round metal tins from Specialty Bottle or sliding ones from SKS Bottle instead of filling plastic tubes because we try to be a plastic-free household.  The round tins were only 42 cents! Sticking your finger in a tin isn’t as easy, but you can actually apply this balm to most areas of your body, so the tin is actually quite handy!

One of the MANY reasons I love making my own body care products is getting to choose my own scents and healing options with essential oils.  I have used essential oils for a long time but I am CONSTANTLY finding new ways to incorporate them.  If you have been curious about how essential oils can improve your health or maybe just provide you with pure and natural scent options, PLEASE see my friend Lynsey’s wellness page on IG here to see practical ways they can help or go buy an essential oil starter kit from her here.  That kit is a great option if you want to take the next step to improve your health.  You will NOT regret it, friends.  End soapbox.  haha

If you’ve never made lip balm, it’s SO EASY!  You just…

measure and melt!

Homemade Peppermint Lip Balm

(Burt’s Bees copycat)

3 Tablespoons beeswax, chopped off the whole block with a knife

3 Tablespoons organic coconut oil

2 tablespoons jojoba oil

1/2 teaspoon lanolin

several drops vitamin E oil, optional

60 drops organic peppermint essential oil

10 drops organic rosemary essential oil

raw honey, optional (add a touch at the end for some sweetness)

beet powder, optional

Metal tins (I got my round ones here and my sliding ones here)

Labels (I used these Rifle Paper Company stickers…my sister’s idea ;))

Melt all of the ingredients (except the essential oils and beet powder) over medium heat in a double-boiler (or heat-safe bowl on top of a small saucepan with 1/2 inch of water in the pan).  When all of the ingredients are melted, turn off the heat, then add the essential oils.  60 drops totally sounds like a lot, but if you want that Burt’s tingle, you need to use all 60 or even more if you dare! To test the strength of the mint or the feel of the balm, let a little dab dry on your counter (tastes 10 seconds!) and take it for a test drive.  Pour the mixture into tins, using a measuring cup, until they are almost full.  Let them set overnight, but they really only take about an hour to cool all the way.

For color: If you desire color, add about 3 Tablespoons of beet powder to your mixture.  If you desire more color, add more beet powder.  It will seem like you’re adding a lot of powder but let me assure you…it won’t taste like beets and the color doesn’t saturate as well as you’d think! ;)  The powder doesn’t fully dissolve, so you are left with small grains of beet, but if you are truly desiring NATURAL color, this is the only way to go that I’m aware of.

Methods/Ingredients I see in a LOT of recipes that haven’t worked for me…so far:

Extra lanolin.  Dude…this stuff tastes bad so too much is no.bueno.  It might keep winter dryness away but you’ll lose your taste buds in the process. Ick.

Shea Butter.  Tried it a few times and didn’t like that it makes the balm less smooth.  Who wants a sticky lip balm?  I thought so.  I’ve tried using only a little, but at that point it just becomes an extra ingredient so why bother.

Beeswax that doesn’t smell like honey.  I mean…that just doesn’t make sense.

Less ingredients.  I’ve tried recipes with less ingredients but the consistency is not what I look for in a balm…too goop-y.

Large quantities at a time.  Before you make 75 tins of lip balm, make half or even a quarter of the recipe so you can see if it works for you.  Not all lips are created equal.  Just sayin’.

Adding lipstick for tint.  Natural lip balm becomes unnatural when you add lipstick.  I don’t understand why people do that.

Have fun and enjoy!

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NEW Cricut Explore cutting machine!

1920568_587132674694642_1668692810_n(1)Today is the day!

The new Explore machine from Cricut is going up for sale at MIDNIGHT EST on HSN!

Remember, this is the ridiculously amazing machine I posted about before that cuts fabric, felt, vinyl, and faux-leather!

There are no settings you have to mess with, so many projects are done within a few minutes, and you can upload your own design! Yippee!

Buy HERE now! I can’t wait to get started on my projects.  I got to play around with this machine and my mind went crazy with ideas.

Who’s getting one of the first releases tonight?!

Soaking in the Good Days

IMG_4119Faith requested school at the park today. She made lunch, packed it, got the bikes in the car. Kinda couldn’t say no after that, right? I was able to get all of our reading, history, and science done with ease. Today was a reminder to think on these good days instead of all of the frustrating ones I let creep into my mind sometimes.

I need these reminders often, don’t you?

Tea Collection Giveaway: 14 Days of Love

14-days-of-love-logoYou guys are the best.

You continually come to my little space here to read about life, learn new recipes, join conversations, and hopefully find inspiration and happiness to take with you in your day.  Thanks everyone for sharing in the parts of my life that hold meaning to me.  I really want to thank you with more than words.  Tea Collection has generously offered a $150 gift certificate for this giveaway!!!  Amazing, right?

You guys are WELL aware of my love for Tea Collection.  They are quite simply one of the best children’s clothing companies out there and the owner, Emily, is a sweet and inspiring lady.  Tea understands that play-clothes don’t have to look stained and frumpy.  I love seeing my kiddos dash around the yard in Tea‘s globally inspired patterns.  They wash nicely and are EXTREMELY durable.  My other favorite thing about Tea is their sales.  Man, they have such good sales I feel like they are begging me to take the clothes off their hands.  I’m happy to oblige and I’m finding myself stocking up on future sizes. ;)

Some of my favorites from the new Moroccan Collection:

tea3This giveaway is part of the collaborative 14 Days of Love giveaway which brings even more fun from my other blogging friends. Follow and “like” the 14 days of love Facebook Page to keep up with the DAILY prizes until Valentine’s Day! Just remember, each giveaway is only three days long so enter NOW! Here is each of the 14 days, including a few contests which are now ended.  Don’t miss them!

Go to the bottom of the post for ways to ENTER NOW!

Feb. 1 Oleander and Palm – $100 Land of Nod ecard (CLOSED)

Feb. 2  Design Improvised – $100 Hayneedle ecard (CLOSED)

Feb. 3 Sarah Hearts – $150 Wayfair gift card (CLOSED)

Feb. 4 Bunny and Dolly -Petunia Pickle Bottom Diaper Bag + Baby Book (ENDING SOON!)

Feb. 5 Poppy Haus – $100 gift certificate to Kidecals

Feb. 6 ME!!! – $150 gift certificate to Tea Collection

Feb. 7 Lulu the Baker -$100 in Umba Products

Feb. 8 The Flair Exchange – $100 Tiny Prints giftcard

Feb. 9 Melissa Creates – $100 prize package from Sassy Steals

Feb. 10 Frock Files –  $185 giftbox from  Eat Boutique

Feb. 11 Hello Lidy – $100 West Elm giftcard

Feb. 12 Living on Love - $75 Minted giftcard

Feb. 13 Jade and Fern – $50 Home Depot giftcard + Handmade Valentine

Feb. 14 Squirrelly Minds – Omiyage gift box valued at $100

Thanks again for supporting A Golden Afternoon!
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