Friday, January 31, 2020

New Year; Wonderful Beginnings!

January was a great beginning to the year.  It was a time for me to reorganize, recover and rejuvenate for 2020.  I planned to write blog posts, but I chose not to when I got entrenched in reorganizing my paperwork, contacts, and personal spaces.

Gratuitous squirrel photo, because I love squirrels!
I have been decluttering, downsizing and organizing and it is very freeing.  My husband and I are collectors, not horders, but collectors. As a result we own many things, but we would like to simplify so we have been slowly decluttering, removing excess and choosing from the many items we collect, can we rescue them into practical items in our home rather than display pieces.  This took a lot of mental energy and I decided to focus on that to get the project through the first phase.  Now for the next 11 months, I can sort, toss and downsize while I keep up on other tasks.

I love the fact that everything in the herb room now has a place to be put away which will keep my table from becoming a catchall of things to be put away "when I have time."  I also found a whole box of files and notes I created for blog posts and new products.  I knew they were somewhere!!

I love winter so I take as many photos now as in the summer!
I am continuing the recipe theme this year as for the last two - this month will be Appetizers and party foods.  If you want to check out the theme recipes from 2019 and 2018 you can see these saved searches - Recipe Theme 2018 and Recipe Theme 2019.

One of the things that spurred my desire to simplify this year is that I want to spend more time traveling and experiencing things and I cannot do that if I am tied to cleaning or my tasks take twice as long.

I crafted a list of things to do in 2019 (it was supposed to be instead of new year resolutions,) but like a new year's resolution I did not make it through very many, so I decided to continue it in 2020 and make sure I had no "time excuses" to avoid doing them. Some of them are silly, some are fun, some are ideas to try to get my mind to stay active, and others are a bucket list.

Here is the list -- wanna try them with me?
  • Learn to make a great Mocktail -- seriously I have a whole program on that now!
  • Find a regular or one time event -- This we chose to be the Porter County Garden Expo (it was not held in 2019 so we went January 25, 2020)
  • Get a scooter and have fun
  • Take a famous hike
  • Make ravioli from scratch
  • Take an online learning course - just did that in January OLAB - a decluttering starter
  • Shop somewhere you have never shopped before - we accomplished this at Christmas visiting a town called Lewisburg, WV
  • Enjoy a cultural event for a culture not your own
  • Cut something from  life that doesn't serve you
  • Take a spontaneous trip (or train)
  • Visit a public garden and take a selfie
  • Create something with your own hands
  • Attend a flea market
  • Grow a plant you never have before
  • Swap coffee for green tea for a week (or maybe mine should be swap black tea for green tea for a week)
  • Keep a bullet journal or garden journal
  • Cook a recipe you have pinned
  • Research something, not using the internet
  • Try a food you are afraid of
  • See fireworks somewhere new
  • Learn or teach a game 
  • Attend a program at your local library
  • Go stargazing / appreciate a solar event
  • Join a club
  • Go Geocaching
  • Thank someone who helped you
  • Buy a National or State Park Pass
  • Support a local band or organization by going to as many shows as possible
Off and on throughout the year, I will share the details of this list of adventures as I work my way though them.  If you do any of these, please share with me here or in the furture!
An accidental park find in Illinois
My newsletter is also a priority this year, so if you want to join now for extra recipes, tips and DIY projects, now is the time.  You can choose to join here: Backyard Patch Newsletter. If you join this way, you will get a bonus of a new booklet I created called "Cooking with Herbs."

I am working on a book series which was actually requested by my lecture participants and others I speak to about herbs -- Herbs are Easy.  I am going to break herb use and growing into simple bits and explain techniques and share recipes and prove to everyone how easy it is to incorporate herbs into your life.  The books will be small, easy to carry, quick to read and easy to use. The first two should be out just in time to be used with my programs at the Chicago Flower and Garden Show (March 18 to 22, 2020.)  I am featured Saturday and Sunday at 3:30 pm.

So now you know my plans for 2020, share yours with me!

Friday, January 3, 2020

Bath Cookies - Bath Blend of the Month

I usually share a cookie recipe in December, but I decided not to wait on this one, because a bubbly bath in January will chase away the chills and give you a chance to relax after all that holiday hoopla.  This blend has an ingredient I have just recently discovered -SLSA, or Sodium Lauryl Sulfoacetate.  If you make bath bombs or other bubbling bath items, you'll love SLSA. It creates amazing bubbles in the water. You can also use it for solid bubble bath, bath truffles, and bath salts. This product is derived from coconut and palm oil, so it's 100 percent natural.

Bath Cookies

1 cup Baking Soda

1/2 cup Citric Acid

½ cup SLSA (or increase baking soda and/or citric acid by ½ cup to make up for the volume)

2 oz Melted Cocoa Butter

1 oz Melted Shea Butter

1 oz Essential oil of your choice (Lavender to relax, Peppermint to wake up, or Lemon to increase happy thoughts)


Melt your Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter. Combine all of your dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Pour your Cocoa Butter and Shea Butter into your dry mixture and add your essential oil. Mix until well combined. You want your mixture to hold its shape when pressed into a ball, so experiment that it has enough stickiness to stay together and not crumble, by making a ball in your hands to test it. Once it is firm enough and not crumbly, press your mixture into a silicone mold as tightly as you can. Allow to set over night. Remove from molds and enjoy a nice relaxing fizzing bubble bath.

TO USE: Drop a single bath bomb into the bath water and watch the fizz!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...