Monday, July 29, 2013

Welcome!

According to my blog stats I get quite a few views from Ukraine. If you guys are out there actually reading this,

Ласкаво просимо!

Hope fully that says "Welcome!" in Ukrainian. I had to use Google Translate. I know a tiny bit of German and Spanish, but if it isn't English then I'm usually completely lost. I've just got my fingers crossed that I didn't just say something insulting!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Favorites Friday: Pearls



I love pearls. I think they are so elegant and classy. As you can see from my profile picture, I have a small collection. Of course, the ones in that picture are faux. I do have some real ones too.

I also like the way natural pearls are made. A mollusk gets something irritating under their shell and turns it into something beautiful.

That's something I try to keep in mind. I look at the irritations in my life and try to see the good in them, or how I can change them into something good. It doesn't always work, but I think it helps with my overall state of mind.

So in honor of shelled mollusks who give their live so women can look fabulous, here are my Favorites for this Friday:




































Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Summertime Santa

You guys!!

I solved the mystery!!

I know what Santa Claus does in the off season!!

He drives a cab in Ogden, Utah!!


Monday, July 22, 2013

Cleaning the Cleaning Machine

I went to the Farmer's Market again on Saturday, but I totally forgot to take pictures! I was wearing shoes that while completely cute, were small torture devices. All I could think was how bad I wanted to get home and change my shoes.

The rest of the day was spent doing housework. Mostly dishes and laundry.

So much laundry.

I've been having a problem lately with my whites not coming out looking clean. It seemed like no matter what I used or how I used it they'd keep coming out dingy and gray.

While playing on one my favorite sites, Pinterest, I came across a tutorial for cleaning my washing machine. I clean the outside all the time, but I never thought to clean the inside. I mean, dirty clothes go in and clean clothes come out. I thought that meant the inside of the machine was getting cleaned too!

The dingy whites were proof that I was wrong.

I am a terrible blogger, and I didn't get pictures! You're just going to have to read my florid description.

The first thing I did was turn the washer on the highest load and the hottest water. While it was filling up I poured in about a pint of bleach.

After the machine was full but before it could start agitating I pushed the button in and made it stop while the barrel was full. I left it sitting like that for an hour.

When I came back after an hour the water was gross. Seriously nasty. It was gray and I couldn't even see the bottom of the machine. No wonder my whites were coming out dingy!

I pulled the button back out and let the machine run through the rest of the cycle.

Then I did it all again, only this time I poured in vinegar instead of bleach. When I went back after an hour the water was beautifully clear and clean!

The last thing I did was just run the machine one last time, no soaking, nothing added. Just hot water. I did this to give it a final rinse. I didn't want the next thing I washed to get accidentally bleached!

I haven't washed any whites in the clean machine yet. I'd just done a huge load the night before I washed it, so I won't know if it makes a difference for a while. After seeing that nasty water, I can't see how it wouldn't!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Silver Firs Farm

We all know that the stuff you put on your skin should be just as good for you as the stuff you put in your body. Chemicals and junk shouldn't be in your foods, and they shouldn't be on your skin either. Natural is the way to go.

One of the things that I struggle with is finding beauty products that are affordable and good for me. Oh, I can find "natural" and "organic" stuff... I just can't afford to pay the prices. Even if I can find something, how do I know I can trust it? How do I know that it really will be good for me?

I buy from Silver Firs Farm, that's how!



This is another one of those times where I'm going to brag about my amazing friends, but I kind of wish I didn't know her in real life. If I didn't know her then readers wouldn't think this is biased at all! In reality though, I am so blessed to have friends like this. So what if you think I'm biased!

My dear friend Kristin is more than the fixer-upper of vintage trailers, she has a real passion for beauty. She's going to school to be a Master Esthetician, a fancy word for somebody who helps people be fabulous. She's also one of those amazing people who can't help but make things better just by being around them. Everything she touches comes out beautiful, the parties she throws are glorious, and she even has adorable kids.

She also has a passion for the products she sells in her Etsy shop. Silver Firs Farm sells top quality soap and lip balms. She's also got a few adorable necklaces (Eric, this is the one I want you to buy me!) All of the products are as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible.

Have I mentioned the quality? The quality! Every batch is scrutinized thoroughly and only the best stuff gets sold. One batch of Castille soap came out looking bad and now Kristin won't sell it! If it has to look perfect, you know it has to act perfect too.



I'm going to take a minute to talk about the lip balms. First, I need to give y'all some background.

I've written about how I get dehydrated easily, one of the side effects of that is that my lips dry out often. A lot. It's one of the first signs that I need water. Spending my teen years in Mesa, Valley of the Sun, "It's a dry heat", Arizona... I tried every single kind of lip balm on the market. Utah is desert too, so my adult life had been a continual quest to find the perfect balm.

The quest is over! Let's just say that if Kristin ever stops making lip balm I will be in trouble. I am a lifelong customer now.



Not only are the ingredients high quality, Kristin takes it further. She doesn't add any artificial scents. Everything has to be natural. She also won't add flavoring. Flavoring only makes you want to lick your lips and that dries them out more. Rather than try to get people addicted to the flavor (like so many other makers) Kristin actually wants what's best for her customers! How rare is that!?!

The feeling of the balm on my lips is heavenly too. "Lush" is the only word that comes close enough to describing the feeling. I don't have to apply it very often because it works so well, but when I do I feel pampered. I have used incredibly expensive lip balms that haven't come close to feeling this luxurious.

The Lavender Spearmint is my current favorite. The mint makes it tingle in a really fun way!

Kristin does have one exception to flavors. Her son was chewing on his lip so much that it was getting horribly chapped. Whenever she'd put balm on it, he'd just suck it all off before it had time to work. She started experimenting and came up with Bitter Stick. It feels just as amazing as her other stuff and it's still natural, flavored with lime essential oil and naturally blended pomegranate flavor oil. It has a flavor, just not a good one. Not terrible, just not good. (I tried it myself.)



I have some for my youngest. He likes to suck on his bottom lip and it gets chapped. Especially in the winter when the air is super dry and cold. I started using the Bitter Stick and it works wonders! It isn't so nasty that he hates using it, just bad enough that he realizes what he's doing and stops. He even asks for it now!

Silver Firs Farm is up and running on Etsy for your shopping pleasure! You can also read all about the fun at the Silver Firs Farm Blog and "like" them on Facebook. I highly recommend her blog. She does all kinds of reviews on beauty products. A good stop if you're in the market for face stuff, and really, what woman isn't?

All the pictures from this post are courtesy Kristin Guthrie Brandt and Silver Firs Farm. Pssh, as if anyone would believe I could take pictures this good!

Friday, July 12, 2013

Favorites Friday: Vintage Trailers



There is just something so fun about vintage camper trailers. The appeal of the 'innocent' 1950s, the lure of road trips, the freedom of the open road.

Whatever it is, I love them. My friend Kristin had a darling little trailer she named Peggy Lee after the 50s singer. She bought the trailer in so-so condition and fully restored her to better than her former glory. Peggy Lee was divine. Unfortunately, Kristin had to sell Peggy Lee to pay tuition but the legacy lives on.


In honor of Summertime and Peggy Lee this week's Favorites Friday is all about Vintage Trailers:














You have to check out this shop, there are so many adorable trailer birdhouses!





































By the way, if anyone has any suggestions for Favorites Friday Features then by all means let me know. I love doing searches for random things, so give me ideas!