Wednesday, August 31, 2005

The Peaceful Lily Spa

We had so much fun with our "home spa" night - I thought I'd share the idea in case any of you want to try it too! We had the ingredients to make the following recipes and had a great time creating and pampering. We had three scents so we could interchange them however desired: honey almond, peppermint, and citrus fantasy.

Grapefruit and Sea Salt Scrub

This recipe makes 1 x 250g jar
Place 1 c. sea salt in jar. Add 1 tsp. grapefruit oil (or other desired scent). Top with sweet almond oil (we found it at the grocery store) until the oil is just over the top of the salt.

Pepperminty Lip Balm

6 T. almond oil 2 t. honey 4 t. beeswax, grated 5 drops vitamin E oil 5 drops peppermint essential oil 8 1/2-oz. lidded pots

In a double boiler, melt almond oil, honey and beeswax together; remove from heat, allowing mixture to cool slightly. Add vitamin E and peppermint oils; stir until well blended. Pour into pots and allow to cool before covering. Makes 8 pots.

Honey-Vanilla Lip Balm

1/2 c. almond oil 2T. beeswax, grated 1T. honey 1/2 t. vanilla essential oil 10-1/2 oz. lidded pots

In a double boiler, melt almond oil and beeswax. Remove from heat and immediately stir in honey and essential oil. Pour into pots; let cool before covering. Makes 10 pots.

Strawberries and Cream Milk Bath Mix

1 c. powdered milk 3/4 c. sea salt 1/4 t. strawberry essential oil

Place milk and salt in large bowl; mix well. Scoop out about 1/2 c. and place in a small bowl. Sprinkle oil over top of mix; stir well. Add oil mix back to large bowl; mix well. Store in an airtight jar. Scoop out 1/4 c. and dissolve under running bath water.

Herbal Oatmeal Bath Sachet

1 c. long-cooking oats, uncooked 1/2 c. dried or fresh lavender
1/2 c. dried or fresh rose petals 6-inch muslin square washable ribbon

Combine oats, lavendar and rose petals. Palce 2-3 T mixture in the center of muslin; bring the 4 corners together and tie in the middle with a ribbon, making sure mixture is secure. Repeat with remaining mixture. Makes about 16 sachets. Toss under running bath water.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Gift Giving

My Mom and I have been talking a lot about the desire to continue simplifying our lives. One area that seems so difficult is the area of gift giving! With our family growing, our gift-giving is growing too. So, I wonder...

*Would you share any ideas that have worked for your family? Especially for Christmas - do you draw names, have a price limit, do one gift, do multiple gifts, etc...
* Does all this giving really please God? After all, there is a sweet and beautiful element of giving, but can't this get out of control?
* How have you communicated limits with loved ones? And what limits have you suggested?

I am really hoping to hear from the few of you who read this and learn what might have worked for you! Thanks!

Friday, August 12, 2005


Emily and I are visiting my parents for the rest of August and enjoying this view!

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Pasta e Fagioli Soup

This is David's favorite meal, so I thought maybe others would like it too. He always orders this at the Olive Garden, and since they don't share recipes, this isn't exactly the same. But, he says it is very close and just as yummy!

2 lbs. ground beef
1 onion, chopped
3 carrots, sliced
4 stalks celery, chopped
2 cans diced tomatoes, undrained
1 can red kidney beans, drained
1 can Great Northern beans, drained
3 cans beef stock (or 4 1/2 cups homemade)
3 tspn. oregano (I substitute Italian Seasoning)
2 tspn. pepper
5 tspn. parsley
1 tspn. Tobasco sauce (I omit this)
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 c. pasta

Brown beef in a skillet. Drain fat and place meat in a crock pot or large stock pot. Add everything but the pasta. Crockpot: cook on low 7-8 hours or high 4-5 hours. Stovetop: Simmer on low for about 3 hours. Just before serving, cook pasta and add to soup.

Friday, August 05, 2005


A place that is peaceful.
A place of love.
A place that is comfortable.
A place of beauty.
A place that is cozy.
A place that is welcoming.
A place that is inspiring.
A place of comfort.
A place that is inviting.
A place that is simple.
A place to be myself.
A place to create.
A place to enjoy.
A place to share.
A place of life.
A place I love to be.
A place called "home".

I love the way the light shines in the windows.
I love the way the plants and trees look from inside the house.
I love the way the color of the kitchen looks cozy.
I love the way the wood of the tables glows in the light of the lamps.
Glowing...Inviting...Beckoning me in to a place of peace and rest.
Our Home.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Happy Nine-Months Emily!

Monday, August 01, 2005

The Chocolate Pie That Wasn't

I had a cooking failure/disaster yesterday! The first mistake I made was wanting to try a new recipe while having a very crabby baby in the house. But, I did select a new recipe: Marge's Chocolate Pie with Meringue from the Mitford Cookbook and Reader. I had never tried meringue before and thought this would make a tasty and beautiful dessert for dinner last night.

The crust went fine. The chocolate pudding was "cooking" along...though not getting thick. But, after cooking and cooking the pudding, it did not thicken. It was runny and soupy. I kept thinking, "maybe it will set while refrigerating." So, I went ahead and put it in the crust and made the meringue. The meringue turned out beautiful! I was so pleased. So I spread it on top, baked it a few minutes until it was browned so pretty.

When I took it out of the oven, chocolate soup started dripping on my feet, the floor, running down the cabinet, etc... Getting more frustrated, but still hoping it would thicken, I refrigerated it for three hours.

After dinner, the fateful moment arrived where it was time for dessert. Let's just say we ended up eating pound cake that I had in the freezer with chocolate soup poured over and meringue on the top. It worked out ok, but I am curious to try it again and see if the pudding ever thickens! Oh well, a lesson learned. Don't think the pudding will thicken any more than it is in the saucepan.