Category Archives: Family

Visiting Defenders of Animal Rights

Based on the recommendation of the fabulous lady (she’s a physician and also teaches a small chemistry homeschool co-op class that’s college level) who runs our local homeschool co-op, last week I took my daughter to a local animal shelter.


She had no idea where we were going. I told her two days before, I was taking her someplace, but I said that it was a surprise. Yes, she was surprised. As soon as we pulled up to Defenders of Animal Rights, she had the widest smile. She was so excited.

My daughter is a cat lover. The cats, for the most part, were friendly. There were a few shy cats that started making laps around us and finally got close to brush up against us. One was super skittish and would only let me pet it (initially) but eventually let my daughter pet her also. My daughter said, “Mom, she knows you’re a mom and so she feels safe around you.” Cute answer.


Pru and Penelope (fluffy white cat) were the most friendly and followed us like shadows.


They even hopped up on our laps. Penelope most likely would be suited to a home that doesn’t have any pets mainly because she’s a bit jealous and swatted any other cat that came around for rubs. My daughter and I swapped regularly so the other cats received plenty of rubs also while one of us tended to Penelope.

My daughter’s involved in a lot of education-based activities. But I told her it’s important to relax and enjoy herself also. As well as she did at her traditional Lutheran school, she’s doing even better now and has had the opportunity to make new friends/acquaintances. Today, my daughter spent most of her day note-taking, taking a few quizzes, and studying for an upcoming test. Tomorrow afternoon? Bowling with a friend.


We do outreach, but up until now, it’s been volunteering with people (homeless shelters and food banks). Switching up the routine is one of the many aspects we enjoy homeschooling. We can adjust and add a variety of education based adventures into our day.

Painting, vegan Indian food, dog treats and cold processed beer soap

Although we don’t really get into celebrating Christmas in our house, I must say we do enjoy spending quality time together. Yesterday was no different. My daughter and I enjoyed our time together.

She gave me a lovely picture that she’d created, which she’d titled, “Talking to the Moon,” and she spent most of the day hanging around me sketching and assisting with our luncheon meal.

She’d requested “some type of Indian dish,” and I made her… three! I haven’t made chapati (Indian flatbread) in a long time, and that’s the third dish I prepared. She loved everything and it was nice having her assist me with cooking. She normally does. To drink, we had hibiscus tea made from some of my hibiscus petals (which I purchase in bulk.)

Additionally, I made more homemade dog treats.

It’s the only type of treats that our two dogs eat and guess what, there are no fillers so each treat each chock full of muscle meat, bone, fish, greens and flax seeds. Our dogs love them and those I’ve given them to have told me that their dogs like them too.

I also made beer cold processed soap. The above is a picture of the soap after I poured it into its soap mold. Why beer? Adding beer to the ingredients supposedly produces a rich lather, and while I already achieve that from the various ingredients I use in the soap that I make, I’m always willing to experiment with “new to me” ingredients.


I’m hoping everyone is enjoying their day. I have one inspection scheduled for today and then it’s another day of creating. Today, my daughter wants to make an outfit for Bella. Uh oh! 😉

Our first Chanukah celebration

Next Monday, my daughter and I will be visiting an acquaintance house for their Chanukah celebration. I must say that this is a first time that my daughter has received such an invite. We met the family through my daughter’s local homeschool co-op. We had also been invited to the girls Bat Mitzvah (which happened earlier this month) however, we had already had plans for that day. I’ve always wanted to attend a bat mitzvah also.  According to Jennifer, the mom of my daughter’s classmate, the 18th is the best night (according to her) and so I’m thrilled that they’ve invited us to join them in their celebration. Looking over the Chanukah celebration, I find that each day one is supposed to read passages from the book of Numbers. I read my Holy Bible daily,  from cover to cover and additional readings on my own. In my cover to cover reading, I’m now in Numbers.

One of the many things that have always fascinated me about Jewish traditions, is the many different celebrations they have and how it’s tied to the Torah. In the “modernized version of Christianity” or I should say the ‘politically correct’ version (which I don’t ascribe too) the Holy Bible warns us about that and choosing man’s beliefs over him. I fear God more than anyone else and will not place anyone before him. But in our modern day Christianity it’s clear, many of the religious holidays aren’t even recognized. If you do want to learn about them, be prepared to do some research which I have done and we do recognize various Christian holidays (not the mainstream) in our home.

Soapmaking: Rules and Regulations…

Creating a business that focuses on skin care products have guidelines that must be followed. I create natural skin care products and have done so for over twenty-five years, but although there are many natural products that have been shown to help a variety of conditions, I can’t mention them in my product listings since that moves it from being a cosmetic item to being classified as a drug. Classifying it as a drug means additional rules and regulations and testing of the products that are being claimed to treat a certain condition. No thanks, I’ll pass. Yes, there are a lot of small businesses that violate this claim, no I’m not one of them. “I didn’t know that,” doesn’t work if the FDA finds you on their own or someone reports you.

I’ve hired my daughter to do some of the website/product maintenance. This is a chance for her to use her artistic abilities and be paid for that. Also, she’s designing my business logo. I wanted something simple and clean. I’m also purchasing the paper needed for the product labels. I’ll be using recycled paper. I’m still torn on whether the soap should be covered or uncovered? If I do decide to completely cover them, I believe I’ll stay away from plastic. Instead, I’ll choose paper or sheer cloth bags. We’ll see…

When my daughter was very young, I had my own natural skin care business. After a few years, I stopped. Why? I was working full-time out of the home and coming home to make natural skin care products. I enjoyed it immensely, but I simply could not keep up with the demand. At that time, I wasn’t willing to work for myself full-time, since it meant giving up some amazing benefits with the company that I worked for, however, if I was placed into that situation now, I would.


Is it a Cosmetic, Drug, or Both?

10 Things You Need to Know Before You Start a Soap Business

Posting… but elsewhere

My goodness has it been a busy year. Whew… I’m still posting, but recently my focus has been on a few of my other websites and, I have been slowly working on creating new cold processed soaps. I’ve been having so much fun experimenting with new recipes that I’ve created and tweaked a few of the older recipes. Yesterday, I made a pine tar soap and while it was a success, I’m calling that my ‘ugly soap” and will rebatch it so I can create a design that I wanted.

Homeschooling is going well and as great as my daughter did at her Lutheran school, she’s soaring even higher now because she can work at her own pace, her speed is fast. Also, homeschooling has opened up a world of new opportunities through the interactions that she has with people of various age groups. This past Friday, we toured the three labs at Hopkins. It was a fabulous opportunity for the kids and the organizers told the students to reach out to them if they had any more questions and to consider them in the future for careers.

Things are starting to slow down for me, but just a bit, before long it’s going to be Christmas. We don’t really get into the holiday that much, but we do hang lights and put out a tree. This was done before Thanksgiving. 🙂

I’m slowly working Celebrate Life back into the posting routine and yes, this task has to be penned into my Covey Planner.

Homeschooling in full swing

This is my daughter’s first year of homeschooling and she is really enjoying it immensely. Things are starting to settle down for the both of us and I’m slowly trying to incorporate blog writing back into my schedule. I had “penned” it in for earlier this week, however, I never got around to writing anything until today.

With my daughter, she’s doing a mix of online and classes at a local homeschool co-op. She’s already been to one event with her local co-op (field trip to a local 3D printing company) and she has another one coming up soon, that focuses on honeybees and ways they can incorporate 3D printing to help save the honeybee population. I gave her a few suggestions on what she might use, and am curious to see what she comes up with and see how it transfers as a 3D print. It’s her job to create the design, submit it for printing to her teacher. Socialization? That’s not an issue, and it’s something I hear some people parrot a lot without really thinking that socialization happens anywhere. Also, in regular school, children aren’t doing too much socialization within a class setting since they are typically in a class setting being instructed by the teacher. But… there are numerous ways for my daughter to socialize in what she typically does with her friends and the various activities that she’s involved with. What I do like about non-traditional schooling is that they are socializing with more than their peer group.

It’s not about the planner

Your plan means nothing, if you don’t put them into action.

I’ve always been a planner. Whether I keep a list in my head or write it down on paper, for myself, I found my productivity is best when I have a plan. It keeps me accountable. However, you can write down numerous things and it means nothing if those plans go nowhere. Based on my views of planning my recent posts about budgeting shouldn’t be a surprise. It’s just another way to document. For me… it just works! I see the results of putting my goals on paper, restricting certain wants to achieve financial freedom and for me, it’s worth the minor sacrifices. As I mentioned in my last post, one way I stay on top of my busy schedule is to visit my notebook/planner on a daily basis.

Earlier this week, I had purchased the above planner to replace my old notebook and planner. It was advertised as refillable. The frugal me leaped at that since it meant I’d only have to rotate calendar/note sheets each year. Well… guess what? It wasn’t refillable! Although it was lovely, I decided to return it and get something that suited my needs more, also I wasn’t thrilled with the false advertising.

My online search lead me to this planner, however, the more I thought about it, I realized that this would be the perfect planner for my daughter.

This is a large planner, which should easily accommodate her writing style. Currently, she writes her plans into her journal, however, she also uses that to document her thoughts and so I decided this planner will be for her. It’ll be a nice wonderful unexpected surprise for her.


Since I still need a planner, I went online and purchased a Franklin Covey planner. It’s used, but will be new to me. I love the hang tag “Attitude is Everything” that is attached. Since it is used, I’m spending much less than I would if it was purchased new. Those who know me well, realize that I in many cases, I look for used items first. I pay attention to the description and will choose “like new” or “a “gently used” item. I should receive this planner sometime next week. I must say that I’m looking forward to this product and I’m thrilled that I should receive numerous years using this item since it is refillable.

On a side note, last evening I stumbled upon CandiKCan, on YouTube and I’ve been watching and listening to her videos as I go about my daily tasks. What led me to her was searching for videos about Franklin Covey and what kept me on her page was I found her informative and entertaining. I know I’ll be back.

In other news…

I still haven’t started my free trial of the Harvest software. The more I research, the more hesitant I become that it’s exactly what I want and so I’ll do a bit more investigating before I take advantage of the free trial.