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Monday, December 14, 2009

Early Christmas!

One of my daughters and her husband decided to travel back home to NY from Oregon for Christmas. They found that the best time for them was in early December, so they came for an early celebration. Her twin sister and family came here from NJ, so we did it up just as if it were the 25th instead of the 12th.

What a wonderful time we had! We got to see two of our grandchildren for two days, and loved every minute of it. Having little ones around for gift opening is so much fun, too. I wish it didn't have to end.

In the spirit of the season, my December sale continues:

This December season is one of giving, and so I would like to give to YOU. With any $25 purchase or more, before shipping, that you make as a gift for someone else, I will include a gift for you. Just tell me what you want, and if I have it in stock, it's yours. If I don't have it in stock, I will ask for your 2nd choice. Get a gift for each $25 you spend!
The last day for sending out orders is Dec. 18th. Any orders that come in after that will be sent as I have time, but won't make it for Christmas.

Not on my site are:

Cinnamon Stick Bundles: A bundle of cinnamon sticks with true cinnamon scent, wrapped in ribbon. $5.00 each
Bath Salt Tubes: Sugary Spruce, Sweet Snowflakes, and Cranberry Spice layered in a tube and tied with a bow. Great gift! Only $4.00 ea.
Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - $2/ea.
Liquid shower gel: All natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00
Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7
Foaming Soap: Comes in the seasonal Apple Pie, plus Gingered Orange, Summer Tropical, and Lavender. Just $7/bottle for 6 fl. oz.

See www.soapandgarden.com!


Monday, November 30, 2009

December!

December has arrived already! We've gotten through Thanksgiving, and are careening into the December holiday season. It's a busy time for most of us, and I am certainly no exception. I must admit, though, that I love the holidays, from Thanksgiving until New Year's. I must also admit, however, that I do get stressed over the busy schedules, more hours at work and at business, and fitting in decorating, cookie baking, and everything else that comes with it. I may never find a comfortable balance between all that I want to do and keeping things manageable. I feel like I have Martha Stewart desires without her helpers! How about you?

With my girls, I started the small project of painting our foyer. For a small project, though, there's a lot to do--move everything out, find all of the equipment needed, wash the walls and spackle, prime, and paint. I was hoping to do it all in one day, but now I hope it can be finished in two! This was something I should have done in September rather than late November, but here we are, nevertheless. Are you ever guilty of putting off a project, and then doing it at the worst times?

We all know that for those who celebrate Christmas, shopping is an important part of the season, and I would like to make it more enjoyable for you. Order online and skip the mall!

Here's the sale:

December is a month for giving, and I'd like to give to my customers. So, with any $25 purchase for someone else, (not including tax or shipping), you'll get something for you! Just tell me what you want when you place the order, and if I have it in stock, it's yours. If not, you'll get a 2nd choice, but it must be an in stock item.

In addition, Tuesday ONLY, get a free gift with any purchase!

Not on my site are:

Cinnamon stick bundles: A bunch of cinnamon sticks, about 12" long, with authentic cinnamon scent, and a little allspice for good measure, tied with ribbon. Just $5.00 each!
Bath salts: a tube scented with Sugary Spruce, Sweet Snowflakes, and Cranberry Spice, and tied with a festive ribbon. Perfect stocking stuffer. Only $4.00! (Pictures on last post)
Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - $2/ea.
Liquid shower gel: All natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00
Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7
Foaming Soap: Comes in the seasonal Apple Pie, plus Gingered Orange, Summer Tropical, and Lavender. Just $7/bottle for 6 fl. oz.

Thanks for reading, and have a blessed week!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Thanksgiving Week





Thanksgiving is truly one of my favorite holidays. It's all about thankfulness, family, and food. I serve a very traditional meal, almost exactly as my mother did, and that's the way we prefer it.

Reading magazines and watching cooking segments on tv, there's always a twist on an old favorite or a new dish to make. Many of them look delicious, and might be good to try some other time, but not on Thanksgiving. If I made a meal with new dishes or barely recognizable old ones, I would not be a popular person! This is one day where we're not looking for novel, we're looking for tradition.

Why? I think it's because tradition is comforting. It serves a purpose in providing us with security and a set remembrance of whatever there's a tradition for. Our Thanksgiving traditions link us in several ways. It links us with our relatives, even between generations, with friends and acquaintances who share our dinner table, and even with the rest of society, as we join together in taking this day to do the same thing. We gather together to spend time with those who matter most to us, by sharing our homes and food.

I thank God this year for my husband, my three kids who are still living at home, and my dear friend, Janet, all of whom will be, Lord willing, at our dinner table on Thursday. Maybe they'll help with the dishes!

To explain the posted pictures: The first is Beau, my Peek-a-Poo who was just groomed. Look at that underbite!
The 2nd is the bath salt tubes I just finished. Only $4 each! Scented in Sugary Spruce, Sweet Snowflakes, and Cranberry Spice.
The 3rd is Roseberry Bath Whip. Decadent, but don't eat it! It has salt, sugar, and raspberry seeds for exfoliation.
The last is the beeswax ornaments I made recently. They are scented, and only $2 each. Make your tree or car smell good, or hang in a window to scent the room.

Since November is the official month for giving thanks to God for our abundance, I'd like to encourage us to remember what we're thankful for. Therefore, anyone who reads my blog and leaves a comment about what they're thankful for will receive a free bar of soap with any purchase! I do reserve the right to halt the sale if I need to, but I plan on running it through November.
In addition, at the end of the month, I will draw from the names of anyone who has commented on my blog and purchased from me, for a free box of gifts! Start thinking of Christmas giving.

Note: I am closed from Nov. 25 - Nov. 28, but any orders received during that time period are eligible for the special.


Not on my site are:

Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - $2/ea.
Liquid shower gel: All natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00
Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7
Foaming Soap: Comes in the seasonal Apple Pie, plus Gingered Orange, Summer Tropical, and Lavender. Just $7/bottle for 6 fl. oz.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Family

I am so thankful for my family. I have a husband and 6 kids, as well as parents and in-laws and 5 grandchildren. All are a blessing.

My hubby of 30 years is such a great guy, working hard to be a good husband, father, employee, and now, business owner. He is extremely busy and stressed, yet he continues with it all and in caring for us.

Three of my kids are grown and married. They are all happy with their spouses, and for that I am thankful. I'm really thankful for the grandchildren. I had no idea how much fun it would be!

Three of my kids are still at home, and I'm thankful for their daily presence. They keep me on my toes and provide help, companionship, and love, even though they're teenagers. ;-) They even do some chores to help out.

What about your family?


The November sale continues!

Since November is the official month for giving thanks to God for our abundance, I'd like to encourage us to start thinking of what we're thankful for. Therefore, anyone who reads my blog and leaves a comment about what they're thankful for will receive a free bar of soap with any purchase! I do reserve the right to halt the sale if I need to, but I plan on running it through Sunday, Nov. 22.
In addition, at the end of the month, I will draw from the names of anyone who has commented on my blog and purchased from me, for a free box of gifts! Start thinking of Christmas giving.


Not on my site are:

Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - $2/ea.
Liquid shower gel: All natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00
Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7
Foaming Soap: Comes in the seasonal Apple Pie, plus Gingered Orange, Summer Tropical, and Lavender. Just $7/bottle for 6 fl. oz.

Thanks for reading, and have an herbal week! Check out my site: www.SoapAndGarden.com

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day

I am glad that our nation has chosen a day in which to honor its veterans. So many of our citizens have sacrificed their freedoms to ensure that ours remain. So many others are serving now.

Thank you, veterans, for all you have done and continue to do for our country. You are not forgotten.

Families of veterans, thank you for the sacrifices you've endured also, in having your loved ones gone from you, protecting our nation and freedoms. You are not forgotten.

Monday, November 9, 2009

More thankfulness







It's my youngest daughter's birthday! I am thankful to have given birth to a healthy girl, and to have raised her to the ripe old age of 14. She is full of life, a real drama queen, really. She is a great person to have around when you're feeling tongue-tied, because she is never speechless. Well, it may have happened once, but I can't remember for sure. Her siblings and I hatched an elaborate plan for how we'd give her the gift we'd gotten. We had her convinced that she wasn't getting one for her birthday while we were planning to buy one all along. We decided that after dinner, we'd have her open a couple of smaller gifts and then move on to the cake business. At that time, Ethan, her brother, would call her new phone that had surreptitiously been placed by the computer she uses. In our busyness, we'd send Megan to get the phone. Once she found it, she'd see that it didn't belong to us, and would realize that it was hers. The plan went off without a hitch, and her reaction was priceless! Truly "America's Funniest Videos" worthy, as a matter of fact. That reminds me that there was a hitch--ds forgot to bring the video recorder home. Anyway, Megan came back into the kitchen, cellphone in hand, asking whose it was. We were all smiling big, me with the camera pointed at her face to capture her reaction. It was then she realized the phone was hers and she shrieked, started crying, and collapsed, "I have a cell phone!" This went on for several minutes before she calmed down enough to actually check it out. This, I think, was one of the best birthday reactions ever in our home. Thus, I am thankful not only for Megan, for the success of her gift, but for my family, showing their love in making things special for her. There's nothing like the love of a family.

What are you thankful for?

My Thankfulness sale continues, get a free bar of soap with ANY purchase! Just leave a comment on the blog what you're thankful for, and you're eligible.

Not on my site are:
Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - $2/ea.

Liquid shower gel: All natural. 2 oz. for $4

Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7

Foaming Soap, just in time for the holidays: Lavender, Apple Cinnamon, Pumpkin Spice, and Gingered Orange. I have a couple bottles left of Tropical Summer for you tropical die-hards. It's a pineapple based scent. Just $7/bottle for 6 fl. oz.


I'm also posting photos of Megan's birthday and a photo display entitled, "November Flowers," the last few flowers in my gardens that have escaped the frost to send out their last blooms. Unfortunately, I can't figure out how to rearrange the photos, so they are in backwards order. Sigh.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Giving thanks

It seems that we are so quick to complain and so quick to worry about what we don't have. I am far too often guilty of that, and I know I'm not alone.

Since November is the month of thanksgiving, I've decided to concentrate on things I'm thankful for--things I have instead of what I don't have.

First, I live in a wealthy nation and have material abundance that people in many other countries can't even imagine. Even the poorest among us have much in comparison. Furthermore, I am thankful that I am living in a country where my basic physical needs can be met. I am not starving and I have a roof over my head.

Secondly, I and my family are generally safe. I spend the day in my home and yard without fear for my safety. I go to work or to run errands, and outside of some practical considerations, like driving carefully, do not go in fear.

Our country is mostly safe. We are not living in the middle of a war as do many other families are, never knowing when the next hit will come. Yes, there are terrorists who came and rocked our world and who will attempt to do so again, but it doesn't haunt my every moment.

We still have freedoms here. I can say and do what I want, within reason, and pursue the kind of dreams I have for myself, and my children can pursue theirs. I can believe what I want to, politically, philosophically, and religiously. Tomorrow, I'll be voting with so many others across our country, for political offices. I show up at the polling place, show my i.d., sign my name, and go into the booth and vote. It's that easy.

At the outset, I had no intention of making this a patriotic piece for the USA, but that's where it went. I have more, of course, and will add to the list daily, or almost daily, and I hope you do, too! You don't have to live in the USA to do so, either, LOL, and my posts will cover all kinds of areas, so keep reading.

Now, for the gimmick. I want to encourage you to be thankful, also; so, I'm running a special offer this week. Leave a comment on something you're thankful for, and you'll get a free bar of soap with any purchase! It's just a little more fun this way. :-) Even if you don't make a purchase, I hope you'll participate by commenting. Oh, by the way, if I have to halt the sale because I'm going broke, I officially reserve the right to do so. My plan is to continue the sale through Nov. 8, however.

Not on my site are:

Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - $2/ea.
Liquid shower gel: All natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00
Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7
Foaming Soap: Comes in scents listed on site. Just $7/bottle for 6 fl. oz.

Monday, October 19, 2009

What's coming up

First of all, I am happy to report that our cold snap is over, and things have warmed up considerably to typical October temps. With our weather lately looking much more like November, I am thrilled to see it return to a more seasonal October.

Last week, I spent a lot of time getting ready for our church's All Church Dinner for our Missions' Celebration Week. I like planning and decorating for such occasions, so I helped. It took all of my free (and not so free) time, but it was worth it. We had a yummy dinner, and the speaker was fantastic--very powerful. Now, on to the upcoming craft sale on Saturday.

The October specials continue. Don't miss them:

Fall Fun Sale! Since autumn has arrived, I'd like to feature some products to celebrate it:

Soap: Apple Cinnamon, Pumpkin Spice, Toasted Vanilla, and Cinnamon & Sugar. They each have goodies like real apple and cinnamon! $6/bar.
Room Spray: see the above scents. 4 oz./$8.

Not on my site are:

Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - $2/ea.
Liquid shower gel: All natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00
Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7
Foaming Soap: Comes in scents listed on site. Just $7/bottle for 6 fl. oz.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Cuke/Aloe/Mint Soap!



I recently made a "from my garden" batch of soap. It features cucumbers and Mountain Mint infusion from my garden, as well as aloe juice.

Why, you might ask? Because I like making soaps with food, lol. I do think the cuke lends a cooling effect to the soap, as does the mint. Aloe is just good for the skin. In reality, all the soap does is clean. You lather up, wash, and rinse. No matter what might be in a bar of soap, its basic function is to cleanse skin. It won't make you younger, suddenly gorgeous, won't get rid of wrinkles, or cure disease. What it will do is clean your skin and smell great so you'll love using it.

Of course, being clean does make you prettier or more handsome and the best defense against disease is cleanliness, but other than that, I want to make soap that looks and smells like something you'll want to use. If it feels good using it, and you like the final result, then we're both happy!

A couple of pictures are in this post so you can take a gander.

Check out my site: www.SoapandGarden.com

Monday, October 12, 2009

Name a New Soap!


Some of you have been in on this already, but if you haven't, give it a shot! At any rate, you can at least see a picture of the new soap, made with cucumbers, aloe, and mint.

Here's how to enter: Just send me an email or a private message on Facebook with your best suggestion for a name for this soap. Include your name and address, and I'll send out free soap to the first 7 entries!

Look for Beth Byrne on FB or email to beth@soapandgarden.com

Thanks for your help! In the meantime, check out my site: www.SoapAndGarden.com
Not on my site are:

Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - $2/ea.
Liquid shower gel: All natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00
Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7
Foaming Soap: Comes in scents listed on site. Just $7/bottle for 6 fl. oz.

Sunday, October 11, 2009





Finally! Photos of beer soap!
  1. Lye water being added to oils

2. Wow, pudding trace, already.


3. Whew. In the molds


4. Unmolded and ready to use!

Notice that the pictures loaded exactly backwards. If you would be so kind as to reverse the order, and start looking at the pictures from the botton and going up, you'll understand what I mean, LOL.

Raspberry Beer Soap






Finally! Photos of Raspberry Beer Soap!

Friday, October 9, 2009

Garden Meanderings: Daily posts

Garden Meanderings: Daily posts

Daily posts

I got sick and forgot about blogging every day! A new initiative for the rest of October to blog daily. . .

For local readers, I'm teaching a one night class at R-H Continuing Ed. on Monday, the 19th on making botanical potpourri. We'll make a fall scented and colored potpourri and a Christmas scented and colored potpourri. I'll also talk about and have handouts for making your own.

Join us. It'll be fun!

Monday, October 5, 2009

October is here in earnest!

Fall is here, without a doubt! I'm feeling the urgency to get things finished before my garden is ready for rest.

We were at Genesee Country Museum on Saturday, and there was a vendor there for native plants and herbs. Naturally, I bought a couple of them. One was Geranium macalatum, which I may already have, but bought just in case. . . The other was Monarda fistulosa. I know I don't have that one. So, I have two more plants to get in the ground! I hope to get a few nice days soon that coincide with my schedule. I'm sure other gardeners can identify with that!

I felt very fortunate, also, to have found 4 cukes in my garden! I thought their season was over, so I stopped checking, but just happened upon them. I made soap with cucumber, aloe juice, and mint. Which brings me to my challenge. Send me a name for this soap and your address, and I'll send you some soap! I will take the first five entries, at least. Keep in mind that I want to emphasize the "cool" part of the cucumber. Of course, you'll want to send me your entry and addy privately, not as a public comment on the blog. Send it to beth@soapandgarden.com.

Last week's sale still applies throughout the month, but the contest ends on Thursday.

Fall Fun Sale! Since autumn has arrived, I'd like to feature some products to celebrate it:

Soap: Apple Cinnamon, Pumpkin Spice, Toasted Vanilla, and Cinnamon & Sugar.

They each have goodies like real apple and cinnamon! $6/bar.

Room Spray: see the above scents. 4 oz./$8.

Not on my site are: Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - $2/ea.

Liquid shower gel: All natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00

Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7

Foaming Soap: Comes in scents listed on site and fall scents. Just $7/bottle for 6 fl. oz.

Enjoy fall while we have it! Winter comes all too soon.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall is Here!

Those of you who love autumn, your time has arrived! It's getting colder, especially at night. The leaves are turning, and indeed, falling, apples have edged out many summer fruits at farmers' markets and grocery stores, and we are putting away shorts and tanks in favor of long sleeves and jeans. Like many others, I am involved in harvesting and preserving herbs for winter use. Some I use for culinary purposes, while others are for my family's home remedies. I've made elderberry tincture, syrup, and cordial, which has already been put to use by sick kids. I hate to think about what kind of winter we'll have in regards to sickness, but I plan to do all I can to keep everyone healthy. I have to say that the elderberry/apple crisp was just delicious, and worth repeating, for sure.

In addition to my culinary and remedy activities, I enjoy preserving and using many herbs for my soap and bath and body products, as well as household products. Some herbs provide cosmetic benefits, while others give us color or other benefits. I find this aspect of what I do to be engrossing and just a lot of fun. Thinking about new and even repeating "old" products for that my customers makes it even more fun!

We are having trouble with our card reader, so I still don't have pictures to post. I'll certainly update the blog once they're up, though.



Fall Fun Sale! Since autumn has arrived, I'd like to feature some products to celebrate it:

Soap: Apple Cinnamon, Pumpkin Spice, Toasted Vanilla, and Cinnamon & Sugar. They each have goodies like real apple and cinnamon! $6/bar.
Room Spray: see the above scents. 4 oz./$8.

Not on my site are:

Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - $2/ea.
Liquid shower gel: All natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00
Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7
Foaming Soap: Comes in scents listed on site. Just $7/bottle for 6 fl. oz.

Please read my blog to catch up on recent herbal and floral adventures!

Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

Monday, September 7, 2009

September is here already!

Wow, this summer went by so quickly! Why? We were busy--the kids had a lot going on, we took a trip to MI, and I spent the first month in preparation for the CNY Soapmakers Gathering in July. Still, that didn't really explain it fully for me. I soon realized that the lack of true summer weather was why it hadn't been summer for me.

Some I talked to were just as happy for the cooler temps. My bank account was thrilled at lower cooling bills since we only used our a/c for a short time. Nevertheless, to me, summer is hot weather and sunshine, pools, sprinklers, shorts and tees, everything we experience most summers, not cold and rain.

So it goes though, and the old poem, "We'll weather the weather, whatever the weather, whether we like it or not!" certainly rings true, and we count our blessings. Besides the lower electric bills, most perennials were quite happy, and I did very little watering.

Now, we are looking toward fall. In the stores, of course, it is fall. Displays feature orange, yellow, brown, and all things autumn. If I were go to Michaels, Christmas would be a prominent part of the store display, as well! Those with good garden harvests are preserving their yields. I'll be continuing to preserve my herbs until there's no more to harvest or until frost stops me. Once autumn arrives in earnest, I remember how nice it is to experience the changes: having everyone home together in the evenings, warm dinners, hot tea. . . it's not all bad!

Since autumn is on our minds, I'd like to feature some items that fit right in!

Soaps: apple cinnamon, pumpkin spice, toasted vanilla, and cinnamon & sugar - $6/bar
Room spray: See above scents. 4 oz./$8

Not on my site are:

Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - $2/ea.
Liquid shower gel: All natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00
Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7
Foaming Soap: Comes in scents listed on site. Just $7/bottle for 6 fl. oz.

As soon as I figure out what to do with the card reader we just got, I'll post new pics! It should work this time, LOL.

Monday, August 31, 2009

New Soap!

Recently, I made a soap batch using a new technique. It's made with beer. Why beer, you ask?

Good question! When I first heard of it, all I could think of was the stale beer smell, and of course, it didn't appeal to me. Somewhere along the line, however, I learned that beer contributed to great lather, and that it's often considered essential for a good shampoo bar. It's also pleasant smelling--really, even without added scent! I threw in some cornsilk and calendula for color. The beer of choice is a raspberry wheat beer brewed by Southern Tier Brewing Co. in Lakewood, NY, so I scented it in raspberry.

Try some today! It's even included in the August sale.

Emily and I will upload a couple of photos for your viewing.

On the garden front, the news is not so happy. My tomatoes fell victim to Late Tomato Blight. It wouldn't have been a great crop to begin with because the area they're planted in gets shadier every year, and because of the cold weather. Tomatoes like it warm. The Blight, however, was devastating to them. My cukes didn't do too badly, though, the peppers are OK, and I have some squash coming, so it's not all bad. Today, I cleaned up a fence garden along my front walk. I got some herbs such as strawberry leaves, lemon balm, and violet leaves to preserve and use, so I feel good about that. One more garden to tackle in the front, and we're ready to move to the back.


This week's AD


What's on special? Everything! Take 10% off of your order. Everything on the site or below is included, no minimum purchase. If that's not enough, I'll add a free bar of soap with any $25 purchase! Patchouli excluded. Just put 10% in the comments section or email me at beth@soapandgarden.com.

Not on my site are:

Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - $2/ea.
Liquid shower gel: All natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00
Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7
Foaming Soap: Comes in scents listed on site. Just $7/bottle for 6 fl. oz.


Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Summer fun

What kind of fun are you having this summer? I hope you get to do all of the things that you longed to do during the winter months. Summer has finally arrived here, so I'm doing some of the things that I enjoy.

Friday, my two girls and I went to Genesee Country Village & Museum, a 19th century living historical museum, nestled in Mumford, NY. We have visited this museum many times through the years, but each time brings something new to learn and discover. The highlight of Friday's trip, for me, was visiting the Shaker House and Gardens. A docent was there to give us a tour and to explain the Shakers' interests, primarily in growing and using herbs.

The Shakers were very industrious people, with many inventions to their credit, and they used herbs extensively for healing. In the Shaker house, rosewater was infusing, calendula petals were drying, and boxes were filled with herb and seed for sale. It's probably my favorite place in the museum.

I wanted to pick the brain of the docent of the pioneer log cabin about soap, but they were very busy readying the cabin for guests, so I decided that was best left for another visit.

The flower gardens were proudly displaying themselves to best affect for visitors to enjoy, and were particularly noteworthy because they were heirloom flowers.

On Sunday, the Henrietta Garden Club went to the Canandaigua Wine & Culinary Center and then to Sonnenberg Gardens. I doubted that we could do them both justice in one day, but we really did.

CW&CC is devoted to showing off what NY has to offer in wine and produce. For those who don't know, NY is a leading apple producer, has many wineries in the Niagara, Finger Lakes, and Hudson areas, as well as other growing crops. At the center, cooking classes are offered, including food and wine pairings, and there is a fine restaurant offering NY dishes.

One may simply tour the facility and visit the gift shop, nevertheless, and catch a beautiful view of Canandaigua Lake from the balcony of the top floor.

Our second stop, Sonnenberg Gardens, is a tour of a mansion and its grounds. The Thompson family, wealthy NY bankers, built it as their summer home, one of five residences, and had gardens created in various styles. We visited the Japanese Garden, the Roman Bath, the Rose Garden, the Perennial Garden, and the Italian Garden, as well as the greenhouses. It had been years since I was there last, and they've done an immense amount of work in restoring the house and grounds to its former glory. It was all amazing, and we enjoyed ourselves, despite the intense heat.

Pictures will follow as soon as I can coax my camera to upload them. :-)

Remember our August special!

What's on special? Everything! Take 10% off of your order. Everything on the site or below is included, no minimum purchase. If that's not enough, I'll add a free bar of soap with any $25 purchase! Patchouli is excluded. Just put 10% in the comments section or email me at beth@soapandgarden.com.
Not on my site are:

Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - $2/ea.
Liquid shower gel: All natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00
Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7
Foaming Soap: Comes in scents listed on site. Just $7/bottle for 6 fl. oz.
Thanks for reading, and have a great week!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Catching Up!







I guess it's been awhile! In reading my last post, I see that it was before the gathering that took place more than two weeks ago. I am happy to report that the CNY Soapmakers Gathering went very well. We enjoyed good attendance, many vendors were represented with their contributions to the goody bags and doorprizes, our demos were very informational, lunch was delicious, and everyone had fun. All of this and perfect weather at an ideal site. We could hardly ask for more. The weather in general hasn't improved tremendously, although we have reveled in a few sunny, warm days. Too often, though, it seems that if it isn't raining too much to go outside, the mosquitoes run me right back in. I can hardly wear enough repellent to keep them away. Nevertheless, I have to admit that my perennials are quite happy, even if I'm not as enthusiastic. I have posted a photo of my gaggle of geese (Gooseneck Loosestrife), my dog, Beau, with his new hairdo, and some recent soap batches. I've also included photos of the herbs Marshmallow and Mountain Mint. You may be surprised to learn that Marshmallow is an herb, and what's more, it was the basis for the confection we enjoy today. Historically, it has been used for inflammation, among other uses, and eaten by the Romans and other civilizations. Cosmetically, it makes products and the skin feel smoother. The botanical name is Althaea officinalis. Mountain Mint (my variety, Pycanthemum virginianum), is a more unusual type of mint. Even the taste and smell is different than the more traditional spearmint or peppermint. I like it because it is very sturdy, the flowers are beautiful and attract bees, and it dries well to use for potpourris and dried floral arrangements. I have only used it for culinary purposes, mainly tea. In reading up on it, however, I see that I should work to expand my use of it for myself and my family. Cosmetically, it may make the skin look fresher, used in soap or bath, and the mint aroma is very pleasant, of course. It's going on my "to-do" list!

So, what's on special for August? Everything! Anything is 10% off, no minimum order. Just put 10% off in the info. box, or email me, beth@soapandgarden.com, and I'll make sure you get your sale price. If that's not enough, you'll get a free bar of soap with every $20 purchase. It has to be something I have in stock besides Patchouli. See what's offered at www.SoapandGarden.com

Not on my site are:
Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - $2/ea.

Liquid shower gel: All natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00

Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7

Foaming Soap: Comes in scents listed on site. Just $7/bottle for 6 fl. oz.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mid-July Gardens

I would like to say I've been outside every day, but the weather has not cooperated! It had been cold and rainy for so many days in a row, I couldn't even count them. Today, however, was just beautiful. Of course, I had to go to work, and the rest of the week is taken up with gathering preparations, but it is nice to have the sun back.



We recently took a trip to MI to see family and had a wonderful time. The trip was long through the States, but rather uneventful, which is the way we like it.



Since we returned, I've done little else, other than finish my Saponifier article, than getting ready for the annual Central New York Soapmakers Gathering, to be held in Binghamton, NY. I'm just hoping that I get everything together in time and don't forget anything! I'm in charge for the first time, so it's all new. If it goes well, I'll be posting gleefully. If not, I may not post at all, LOL. Signs point to a great time, with helpful demonstrations, lots of donations for doorprizes and goody bags, many attendees, and a wonderful hostess, Maria Gelnett.

Check out www.soapandgarden.com for all of your soap and bath product needs!

Monday, June 8, 2009

June is Bustin' Out!

Wow, is it June already? Time really does fly. I love June, though. The warmer temps (although we have yet to experience them this month), the flowers blooming gloriously, the longer days, it's all exciting and invigorating after the long months inside. I so enjoy walking outside and seeing more things blooming than the day before.

At work, we were very busy with Mother's Day and all the wonderful children who get flowers for their mothers. We recovered from that and moved to the Junior Prom and the Senior Ball, with some concerts and early college graduations thrown in.

My hubby and I celebrated our wedding anniversary in May by taking a trip for two to Belhurst Castle in Geneva, NY. Everything was so nice and we were treated very well by the staff there. If only I hadn't gotten sick!

That same weekend, my garden club participated in a plant sale called Proud Market, where we sold plants we had all potted up. We did quite well, earning some money to pay our next year's speakers with. :-)

Sunday, I was fortunate enough to go to Linwood Gardens to see tree peonies. These gardens are located in Pavilion, NY, and were the gardens of a wealthy family. I don't know too much about the history, but someone must have loved tree peonies, because the collection is quite extensive. We were warned that the most of the peonies had already bloomed, so we didn't know if disappoinment was in store, but I am happy to report that there were enough blooms left to impress us, so I'm glad I went.

On the way back, we stopped at a garden center, Palmiter's, where I got 4 herbs--pineapple sage, lemon verbena, a Japanese herb that I can't recall the name of, and a beautiful variegated oregano. Yea! I had a lemon verbena for years, until it finally gave up. I couldn't find one last year, so I snatched it up yesterday. I've also had pineapple sage in the past, and really enjoyed it, so I was happy to find it again. I never remember to take cuttings in time in the fall!


I also found a hardy geranium, "Midnight Reiter." It's blue and beautiful, and I can't wait to plant it. I have quite a collection of geraniums now, and it's my goal to get them all photographed and properly labeled.

At my local garden store, I spotted a huge amount and variety of wonderful ceramic planters for container gardens. I gravitated toward green and white ones, but they just weren't right. Suddenly, the cobalt blue caught my eye, and there it was, the accent color I needed to spice up my front yard decor! Of course, the cost of buying all the pots I'd have liked, coupled with the weight of moving them around every year kept me from putting my money where my imagination was. Instead of purchasing the lovely ceramic pots, I took my 40% off coupon to Michael's and bought paint and am working on painting plastic pots. I used Krylon's Fusion paint for plastic. It works well, but wasn't quite the right blue, so I did a faux cobalt effect, and then added a bit of very dark blue for depth. I am spraying them with a finish spray and then they will finally be ready for planting with all of the flowers and herbs I've purchased. Whew! No wonder I'm tired.

I have photos of Belhurst to post, and some geraniums, but will have to post Linwood pictures later after my techies help me figure out what's wrong. I hope I have all the pictures.

The world is in bloom and I am thrilled! I am so thrilled, that I am offering a new item free.
If you order $25 worth of product (before shipping), I will add a full size foamer bottle of liquid soap in any scent you like, as long as it's one I have in stock. This includes essential oils. No charge.
Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - $2/ea.
Liquid shower gel: All natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00
Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7
Limited Edition Soap: Lavender Patch, a lovely blend of lavender and patchouli. Very few bars left, $6.50 ea.
Foaming Soap: Comes in scents listed on site. Just $7/bottle for 6 fl. oz.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Beau Update and Spring Splendor


Spring Splendor is at its peak here in Rochester. The crabapples and Forsythia have already shed their flowers, but Magnolias, Flowering Quince, and my favorite, Redbud, are still wowing us with their beauty. As for bulb flowers, most of my Daffs have only leaves as reminders of their previous glory, but the tulips are beckoning a closer look.

As I walk around my yard, amazed and appalled at the proliferation of the dandelions (I know, they're good for us), I see old friends returning from previous years as well as perennials I planted last fall making their debut. All of these are exciting to me, but also very special are the lilacs.

Rochester, NY boasts the largest collection of Lilacs in the world, I am proud to announce. Whether it be tall or dwarf, red violet, lavender, pink, or white, you'll find it here. At least once during the festival you'll likely find us wandering around Highland Park, drinking in the heady scent. The park is home to many other wonderful types of vegetation, as well, and is well worth the effort to get there.

This is when I pity southerners, who can't grow the cold-loving lilacs. I admit that it's nice to have something on the warmer south!

In celebration of lilac month, I'd like to announce a sale.

It's Lilac Festival time in Rochester! The lilacs are in full bloom and are not only lovely, but are perfuming the air with their gorgeous scent. For the month of May, a free bar of Rochester Lilac soap will be included in any order of just $15 or more. If you don't have lilacs where you live, here is your chance to "stop and smell the lilacs."
Additional products in lilac scent include bath salts, bath milk, body spray, lotion, and liquid soap/shower gel.

Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - $2/ea.
Liquid shower gel: All natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00
Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7
Limited Edition Soap: Lavender Patch, a lovely blend of lavender and patchouli. Very few bars left, $6.50 ea.
Foaming Soap: Comes in scents listed on site. Just $7/bottle for 6 fl. oz.

Now, for Beau news: the kid is growing, still very cute, playful, and not housebroken. It seems that he'll be one of those little guys who is so ugly that he's cute, LOL. Check out the photos. His final name is Beau, btw, but I call him, "Beaudacious," because that describes his personality. ;-)

Monday, March 23, 2009

New Family Member!





The Byrne family has welcomed a new family member! His name is Bodacious, and he is a three-month old Peekapoo (Pekingese/Poodle). Since his name is bigger than he is, he shall be nicknamed, "Bo," or derivations thereof.

He is a handful, already, very playful, and of course, not housebroken. It's a good thing babies of every species are incredibly adorable, or things would be much different in this world! Still, he has stolen our hearts, and we are having so much fun watching his antics and cuddling him. Mickey, Tobey, and Hobbes are not quite as thrilled, I must admit. I'm sure they'll all get used to each other, though.

To celebrate this happy event I am offering a sale. Get 20% off of any order, $20 minimum, not including shipping. This sale lasts for one week. After that, I'll be too tired. :-)

Some items not on the site, but for sale include:
Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - $2/ea. Ready to use, just drop it in the water when you run it.

Liquid shower gel: All natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00 New!

Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7 Moisturizing, beautifying lotion for all seasons.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

I hope you all enjoyed your mini-holiday, St. Patrick's Day. It was a pleasant one for me. The weather was warm and sunny, where it's often cold and snowy. It felt just like spring. I know that I can't allow myself to be fooled; winter will return before spring comes in earnest, but it was nice pretending for a couple of days.

We had lots of latecomers at the store, hoping for shamrocks or green carnations, but unfortunately, I had to turn them away, because we sold all we had.

We took an out of state trip to visit our dd, sil, and grandchildren. Their church dedication was on Sunday, so we wanted to be there. We had a good trip, loved spending time with all, and are happy to be back home. :-)

Now, I'm busy finalizing some tax work, paying bills, and working on projects for our garden club. There's always plenty to do!

In honor of St. Paddy's Day, and everything green, here's my special for March:

Your purchase of $10 or over (before shipping) scores you a free bar of any green soap! I carry Sweetgrass, Daybreak (spearmint & eucalyptus), Fresh Cut Grass, Lemongrass, Fresh Herbal, and others. Just ask!
If you'd rather, you can get a glycerin soap with a 4-leaf clover or celtic knot in green, with your choice of scent--Irish Mist, Peppermint, Spearmint, Lemongrass/Lime, Green Apple, and Fresh Herbal, in addition to the above soaps.

Not on site, but available:

Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - $2/ea.
Liquid shower gel: All natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00
Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7
Limited Edition Soap: Lavender Patch, a lovely blend of lavender and patchouli. Very few bars left, $6.50 ea.

I am working on the perfect shower scrub, and having fun doing it. :-) I'll post pics of kids and product soon!

Monday, February 23, 2009

February is almost over




I am not a fan of February, Valentine's Day notwithstanding. In spite of its mere 28 or 29 days, it drags on and on. It's cold, people are sick, and it's dreary. Historically, Feb. has not treated my family well, it seems, or maybe it's just my own bleak outlook. I remember years back when two of my kids had chicken pox for the first two weeks, and the other two had them for the second two weeks. Four years ago this week, we had to put our dog, Riley, down because of chronic health problems. Friday, we had to put down one of our beloved kitties, Fred.

Fred looked like a Siamese cat, but his mother was a commoner, and so were the rest of the kittens in this litter. I wasn't looking for a cat, but when I heard he was Siamese, I changed my mind.

We were never sorry we got Fred because he was such a sweet, lovable, mellow guy, and very handsome. It was hard making the decision to put him down, but we didn't want him to suffer just so we could have him longer, so we opted not to go ahead with medical procedures and let him go. We are taking comfort in the fact that his suffering did not last long and we have many happy memories of him hanging out with the dogs, looking for lovin', and enjoying my gardens.

He will be missed.

In celebration of the fact that February is on its last leg, I'd like to offer a sale. Here it is:
End of February sale! It's February, it's cold, your skin is dry. You need something heavy-duty to bring back the moisture and make your skin supple again. Buy an 8 oz. jar of whipped body butter and get a free bar of soap!

Please email me or leave, "Feb.Butter" in the comments section to get your free bar.

Not on site, but available:
Herbal Bath Teas: Oatmeal, Milk, & Honey, Purely Herbal Blend, Four Milk Blend, and Relaxation Blend - $2/ea.
Liquid shower gel: All natural. 2 oz. for $4; 4 oz. $6.00
Lotion: Hand and body lotion - 4 oz, $7
Limited Edition Soap: Lavender Patch, a lovely blend of lavender and patchouli. Very few bars left, $6.50 ea.

Visit
http://www.soapandgarden.com/ today!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Groundhog Day & Super Bowl

Super Bowl - I am a poor football fan, I must confess. In fact, I chose to root for the Cardinals because I liked their colors better than the Steelers'--pathetic, I know. We all went to our computer shop to watch because we have a huge t.v. screen there. So, I watched. It was a good, close game, to be sure, and I found myself disappointed that my team didn't win.

On to the other big happening of winter. . .

Was it any surprise that Punxatawney Phil forecast 6 more weeks of winter? It certainly wasn't for me, even though I am ready for spring! Still, we in northern climes have to think long and hard about what we like about winter. Here is what I came up with:

*Being inside, hopefully cuddled with a hubby, child, or pet and maybe even a roaring fire.
*Looking through seed and plant catalogs and dreaming about a lovely, lush garden without doing all the work.
*Working on new formulas or products, or perfecting formulas for what I already make. Since I love to produce and experiment, this truly is a delightful time.

I've been working on a body exfoliating scrub, and have made some I like and others I don't like as much. By spring, I hope to have my final product ready to unveil. My most recent one stays solid in the jar, but scoops out easily, feels great on my skin, and lathers just a tiny bit. I like that it doesn't leave my skin feeling greasy, just moisturized. This one includes sea salt, organic sugar, oils, milk powder, and oat powder, as the major ingredients. Sound good?

Groundhog day special: Get a free bottle of lotion with a $25.00 purchase! Of course, shipping doesn't count as part of the $30. Your choice of fragrance.

Monday, January 26, 2009

It's Cold!

We had one nice day last week where the temp. rose to a balmy 40 degrees. Rochestarians were reveling in it. I even saw some in shorts! Things are back to normal now, though, temps mostly in the teens.

How do we endure it? Our town's garden club taught a seminar tonight on starting seeds indoors, and I realized that many of us just wait it out, dreaming of spring. I'd go on about the sun caressing my skin with warmth and feeling the grass under my feet, but I don't want to torture myself. Instead, I'll congratulate those of us in the north on our patience and longsuffering.

We did have a good turnout, and the students seemed to enjoy absorbing the information and planting their seeds, so maybe winter isn't all bad. Besides, I can always take a nice, warm bath. . . . ah. . .

We'll continue our January special, purchase any 5 products, and get the 6th free. The 6th product will be equal to or less in price than the other 5. Go to www.soapandgarden.com to order, or email me at beth@soapandgarden.com with questions or local orders.

Leave a comment on my blog and be entered into a drawing for a free bar of soap! Eligible for US residents only, please.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Relaxing Bath Herbs

We're in for severe winter weather later this week. The temps will drop, wind will come, and we'll get snowstorms. Tomorrow will be spent in preparation for the rest of the week--shopping, trying to get the packed snow shoveled up, especially on the stairs that my dogs use, and filling the car with gas. What could put me in the mood for a nice, warm bath better than cold winter weather?

Here is my final post on relaxing bath herbs.

~ Vanilla - simply relaxing and pleasant. I don't know that vanilla will perform any therapeutic function for your skin, but if you like vanilla, it will be pleasant and will probably provoke memories of times past that you treasure. Chopped vanilla beans are just the ticket!

~ Hops - Surprised? Not only are hops used in beermaking, they have herbal use, as well, as a relaxant. Their scent is not unpleasant, and will contribute much to that totally wonderful "I-have-not-a-care-in-the-world" feeling.

~ Passionflower - Desipite its name alluding to something quite the opposite of relaxation, that is what it is known as. You'll love this distinctive flower if you ever see it blooming, and you'll love it in your bath.

What do you want in your bath?

Reminder of January special: Order any 5 products, and get the 6th free! The free product is equal to or lower in price than the other 5.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

More about bath herbs!

It's been a busy holiday season and beyond for me. I hope yours has somehow been less hectic!

We did get to visit our daughter, son-in-law, and their children, including the new baby. It was a wonderful visit that made me wish they had announced that they would soon be moving back to Rochester. I can always wish, can't I? We also took a detour to visit family in MI, which was also a very happy time. Not the driving, the company, LOL.

I had a medical procedure performed on Monday that has to be repeated in four weeks. Sigh.

My dad turned 80 years old today. What a milestone! I spoke with him by phone this evening, and he was in a very good mood as my mom invited the in-town family to a nice restaurant dinner to celebrate the momentous occasion. Wish I could have been there.

I don't know how, but somehow, this all brings us to the topic of baths and particularly, herbs to use in the bath. Maybe it's the fact that a nice bath makes us feel healthier, beautiful, and relaxed. :-) Let's delve into a few more herbs that can be used to enhance our bathing experience.

* Rose petals - These can be used either dried or fresh, although you'll want to use more of them if you choose fresh petals. The scent alone is both relaxing and delightful. In addition, the rose has been used for centuries as an aphrodisiac because of the heady perfume it exudes. Rose essential oil has been recommended to help prevent wrinkles and scarring, as well as a help for adult acne. What's not to like?

* Rose hips - Did you know that the hips are an excellent source of vitamin C? Think antioxidants!

* Calendula - Also known as Pot Marigolds, this cheery annual's rays are well known for their healing and soothing properties. I use it when I make butt balm for my grandbabies, as well as a general skin healing, soothing salve for a large variety of skin issues for my family. It's easy to see how soothing and beautifying it would be for the skin. The rays on the fresh flowers are as soft as rose petals, just in case you're thinking about growing it.


Don't forget the January offer. Buy 5 products, and get the 6th one free!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

It's 2009!

It's hard to believe that another year has gone by, already. I'm working at catching up on all I've fallen behind with during the holidays, and will be setting goals for the new year. This month, I'll be catching up record-keeping for tax time. What about you? What goals do you have for 2009?

Right after Christmas, we drove to see our newest baby, Giovanna, as well as her siblings, Noah and Frencesca, and their parents, David and Amy. We had a good trip, and enjoyed them all very much. It's great to be home, though.

I would be remiss if I didn't add how spoiled I was by my family today, on my birthday. They helped clean up, shopped, and cooked a delicious dinner for me, and I had a wonderful day. They even got me some sweaters, one a periwinkle cashmere. How nice!

Now, I'm energized for getting back to normal and accomplishing what I set out to do this year; one of which is convincing my readers to take a bath. But, don't take an ordinary bath, take a bath with something that helps your skin, or just smells lovely.

We've seen how bath salts, oils, milks, oats, baking soda, and cornstarch all play a part in a therapeutic regime. Now, let's see how herbs can help.

* Chamomile has been used historically for skin healing and for relaxing. Do you remember Peter Rabbit's chamomile tea? Use this herb in a bath for its cosmetic value, and relax at the same time! If you have ragweed allergies, however, use it with caution, as they are of the same family.

* Lavender is a classic bath herb, thought to have both cleansing properties as well as relaxing properties. It also has been used historically for skin healing. Just like chamomile, lavender is an ideal bath herb, and most people love its scent.

* Comfrey has little scent to add, but does contain allantoin, a cell-regenerating ingredient. This herb is a plus for any bather!


Now, add lip balm to the list of products that are not on the website. For just $3/tube, you can protect and moisturize your lips with many terrific flavors.

Throughout January, I'd like to extend this offer:

Buy any 5 products, and get the 6th free! If the item is not on my site, just email me, and I'll take care of things for you. All products are included, and the free item will be the one at equal or lesser cost than the other 5. Shipping is not included.