Category Archives: Crafts

Earth Day Sprouting


Hi Friends!

As you may or may not know, Earth Day was on April 22nd, and to keep up the good vibes, I planted some old seeds that I had leftover from my Vermont days. To be honest, I was a little nervous as to whether or not the seeds would actually sprout, since those things are said to have expiration dates.

Nevertheless, I collected a wheelbarrow full of very old horse manure – which is now beautiful compost equipped with earthworms (!!!) – tidied up the window boxes in front of my house and planted within them large handfuls of the “expired” seeds. I also up-cycled old protein scoops that I have been hoarding for some time now and planted seeds in them to hopefully sprout indoors.

Window Boxes

Lo and behold, I have some sprouters! Never underestimate the power of a little seed and it’s will to grow. I’m a happy camper; let’s hope some make it to adulthood and eventually, into my belly 😉

We Have Babies!

We Have Babies!

The above photo is the up-cycled protein scoop – crafty idea, huh? I thought so. However, at the aggressive rate that the Dinosaur Kale is growing, they won’t be in the scoop for long! The last time I tried growing Lacinato (Dino) Kale, they made it pretty far, only to get devoured by deer a few days before cultivation. Mer. Wish me better luck this time.

Enjoy the rest of your day, babes ❤

That Which We Call A Rose…

Hello there, beautiful people.
In case you were wondering about the origin of the title:
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
    – William Shakespeare
It appears that I have a TON of pictures from my old phone scattered around my desktop right now, and I slowly want to integrate them into some lovely posts when the proper time arises. Two of them jumped out at me today, and so they are the chosen ones.
We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.
    – Abraham Lincoln (my favorite president)
As you may know, I am the proud owner of an Excalibur Dehydrator – she is a thing of beauty and I honestly don’t use her as much as I should… something I hope to change. I have made some killer chicken jerky in the past amongst other things, but the items I have been dehydrating most lately are flowers. Roses, in particular.
How did it happen that their lips came together? How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill? A kiss, and all was said.

        – Victor Hugo

I have the beginnings of a nice cacophony of flower colors for a beautiful potpourri, and it turns out the majority of them even retain their smell. Someday, I want to use the dried petals for rose tea, but I need to either grow my own flowers for that (another goal) or find a reputable supplier who doesn’t use pesticides. I’m not really interested in drinking nasty bug drugs, thank you very much.




Aren’t they beautiful?! Who knew that receiving flowers as gifts could bring so much happiness, both during and after peak bloom. It’s all about the little things, people.

It is the time you have wasted for your rose that makes your rose so important.
      – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, Le Petit Prince
To stay in the spirit of roses, I compiled some quotes from a few of my favorite brains of the past that involve roses and embedded them throughout this post. If the names don’t spark recognition, I suggest you look into them. Enjoy!
But he who dares not grasp the thorn
Should never crave the rose.
     – Anne Brontë
Until next time ❤

Hey Babes!

I’m trying to find a cool use for my old perfume bottle, and while searching for inspiration I stumbled upon this post. It is by far one of the most crafty pieces I have come across in terms of re-purposing regular household goods. I highly recommend you check it out. Stay tuned because I have every intention of utilizing essentially all of the 51 ideas. Soooo crafty!

Anyway, enjoy the rest of your week! I’m off to the gym and then onward to NYC tomorrow for a few days. I’m sure I’ll come back with some fun stories/things to share.

Hugs and kisses,

Re-Purposing At It’s Finest

I’m In Love With My Mixer


Good evening my beauties!

How is everyone doing on this rainy Saturday night? I just came back from a nice, mild climb and a filling Thai dinner with Sarah. Now, I’m sipping on a “Grey Lady” from Cisco Brewers, enjoying life. I’ve got no complaints.

In honor of today (3.14 “Pi Day”), in this post I wanted to vaunt about the new toy I acquired a few weeks ago: My Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer.

Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer

Oh gosh, is she magnificent. I’m obsessed. I purchased an Artisan Series, and there is a reason these beauties are so coveted. Seriously. I will have this for many, many moon phases and my belly (along with the bellies of loved ones) will be constantly contented. Any requests are welcome!!!

Obviously, I have been putting her to work. So far the concoctions we have created together are limited, but damn delicious. The maiden voyage were these bad boys:

THE BOMBLet me assure you, they were even better than how they looked. The were fudge brownies with an emphasis on vanilla extract (my homemade vanilla extract); the ones on the left are topped with peanut butter frosting and the ones on the right have nutella frosting. Yes, that is correct. Those didn’t last long.

Homemade Vanilla Extract

My Homemade Vanilla Extract! Jus d’Azure

Once the brownies disappeared, I made baked oatmeal with walnuts, dark chocolate, strawberries and banana. Another great success. Normally, I don’t even enjoy oatmeal, but this is one I will definitely be making again for a climbing trip breakfast.

The last project I took on were mountains of almond butter and banana bread cookies. Essentially, they were healthier shortbread cookies with a twist. Autre fois, they were thoroughly enjoyed.

Almond Butter Banana Bread Cookies

Here’s where I got really crafty: I had made too many cookies and wanted to do something creative with them. So, I smashed up a few and lined a pan with the crumble, forming a pie crust. From there, I made pecan pie bars that are deadly awesome. Need I say more? Nope.

Now that I am sufficiently drooling (kidding, sort of), I’m going to leave you all to have a little treat – aka, my pecan pie bars. Have a splendid Saturday and take advantage of Sunday… go live! Sending out my love, as always.



Bonsoir my darlings!

I just crawled into bed on this chilly January night; I finally caught the sickness that has been circulating around my family and friends… meh. However, considering I am fairly healthy, it seems to be decently mild thus far *knocks on wood*, and I’m hoping if I stay in and relax this cold will be kind to me. I’ve also been taking Vitamin C and Zinc supplements along with healthy-packed juices to stay as one step ahead 😉 I suggest you guys do the same around this time of year — drink lots of water and eat tons of veggies! But really, you should be doing this all the time.

Anyway, you may have noticed that the title of this post is “smudging”. I first learned about this when I was in Colorado a few weeks back. Native American culture is huge out there, which I loved. Smudging is part of the Native American culture, and I came across a piece of paper in one of the various shops catered to these ideals in Boulder, so I snagged a copy.

Smudging. The burning of herbs is a sacred, traditional practice among Native Americans. Herbs are burned to release their purifying and healing affects. Sage, in particular, is used to purify one’s soul, one’s living space, and to enhance the effectiveness of spiritual objects. Sweetgrass and cedar are also used for this purpose.

After being harvested by hand, the herbs are dried and tied into bundles called “smudge sticks”. The stick should be held in a flame until it glows red and then is removed from the flame and allowed to smolder for a few minutes. The purpose of burning sage is to release it’s energy and fragrance, not to fill a space with smoke. It is customary to point the smoldering stick towards the 6 cardinal directions: east, west, north, south, above and below. The smoke is then fanned over the entire body, using one’s hand or better, a prayer feather. This is done while saying the appropriate prayers for the healing ceremony. This releases the old, unhealthy, negative energy and allows the special, positive, healing energy of the sage, sweetgrass, or cedar to take it’s place.

Now, I’ve never actually tried smudging, so I have to trust that this is an accurate description. I do want to give it a try though, so I’ll probably have to hunt down a smudge stick in the 401. I’m sure they’re around here somewhere. I happen to have Native American blood, so it was also really cool to get in touch with my roots in a sort of way, and I feel like it couldn’t hurt to give smudging a try.

I also loved how big gemstones, rocks and fossils were out there. I guess living on the East Coast your whole life, we don’t have that stuff. You also aren’t used to such grandeur being a small Rhode Islander… I adore being overwhelmed by large natural surroundings, so Colorado and I got along.

If anyone has tried smudging before, let me know how it is! In the meantime, goodnight everybody.

Not Just A Pretty Face, But Natural, Too!

Well hello there 🙂
It’s a rainy day today… but you know what? I actually am sort of digging it; it’s soothing to hear it outside my window, and as long as I’m still wrapped up in a bathrobe and toasty warm, it can hang around. We’ve been having some drought problems lately, so this should hopefully help.
If you aren’t so thrilled about the rain as yours truly, but still find yourself trapped indoors with nothing too exciting to do, here I am at the rescue! Here are two natural face mask recipes that I encourage you to try. What harm can it do? I mean, it’s your FACE! You should want to keep it beautiful at all times, yes? Yes. Plus, going natural is way better, as you know. There are too many companies out there that test on animals (cruel) and use sketchy chemicals that are probably doing more harm than good to that lovely mug of yours.
So, without further ado, here are the recipes:
1. Carrot & Friends. The ingredients within contain natural antiseptics and antioxidants which kill germs – great for this time of year – and protect the skin from damaging free radicals while at the same time promoting the regeneration of healthy skin cells. Boo-yah!
  • 2 Medium Carrots
  • 1 Tbsp Honey
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 Lemon


  1. Peal the carrots and steam until soft.
  2. Mash the carrots until they’ve reached a creamy consistency.
  3. Mix in the all natural honey – try local if you can, too.
  4. Stir in olive oil.
  5. Squeeze a few drops of fresh lemon juice into the face mask mixture. Lemon is a natural astringent and will help clean greasy skin.  If your skin tends to dry easily, add only 8 to 10 drops; if you skin tends to be oily, add up to 1 tbsp. of lemon juice.
  6. Use a spoon to drop small amounts onto your hands and gently massage the mask onto your face for several minutes – you can keep it on for an additional 5 minutes for maximum awesomness.
  7. Wash it off with water in sink or hop in the shower.

2. Pumpkin Spice. This do-it-yourself face mask recipe with all natural ingredients is so incredibly simple to concoct and only takes about two minutes to make; there is no reason not to give it a try.


  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin puree (fresh or canned, but with no added ingredients)
  • 1 teaspoon raw honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon Bentonite Clay
  • 1/4 teaspoon (or less) cinnamon powder*


  1. Mix all ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Apply to face in a gentle, circular motion.
  3. Leave on skin for 5 minutes, then wash off with a warm, wet washcloth.

*Be advised that this is not for sensitive skin, so omit if you fall in this category.
This recipe will make enough for 2 face masks, but can be doubled or tripled to make a larger batch. However, a little goes a long way. I wouldn’t recommend making a bunch and storing it for later, either. Fresh is best.

If you’re not familiar with Bentonite Clay, it is composed of aged volcanic ash and is named after the largest known deposit of Bentonite Clay in Fort Benton, Wyoming. In this instance, it’s purpose is for external skin care, but it has various other beneficial uses. A good quality of clay should be a cream or gray color (be wary of white), and the texture is fine with a velvety feel. It does not smell or stain, so it’s kid friendly! You can find Bentonite Clay in various online stores as well as select stores that sell health supplies, such as The Vitamin Shoppe, Walgreens or Walmart.

There you have it my turtle doves. Now, what are you waiting for? Try at least one of those masks, pop on a Christmas movie, make some hot chocolate and let your pores do their happy dance. Plus, think of how much money you would spend for a facial at the spa… this makes your pocket pleased to boot. Stay awesome everyone ❤

Greener Cleaners


Howdy hi everybody!

Let me start off by saying I KILLED it in the exercise department today. I climbed at The Rock Spot with Max this morning from 10-12, went home and did some “real work” for about 4 1/2 hours then went to Ocean State Health & Fitness – the gym I am a member at – with my close friend Aly who is in town for the week from 5-7. That’s a grand total of 4 hours of exercise today… WOOOOO! It feels nice. Then I conquered a bit more “real work” at home and now I’m here, snuggled in bed, blogging for you lovely individuals. If I’m sore tomorrow, we know why.

For this post, I would like to share with all of you how to make your own household cleaners. Exciting, yes? Okay, well maybe cleaning isn’t exactly exciting, but being able to make your own cleaning products is awesome because a) it saves you some dolla dolla bill$ y’all and b) you know exactly what is going into it, so hello being healthy to boot!
If you still aren’t persuaded… picture this: Mass Christmas Gifts! Last year I created a ton of variously scented and colored homemade bath salts and handed jars out to family and friends, maybe this year I will do cleaning products instead. It may not be as exciting as a sports car or as tantalizing as a cookie (which I will probably also make), but it’s non-toxic, green and useful… all of which I support.

I digress. First, let’s talk about what you should avoid in terms of cleaning:

  1. Chlorine
  2. Ammonia
  3. Formaldehyde
  4. Ketones
  5. Phosphates
  6. Hydrocarbons
  7. Hydrochloric Acid
  8. Phenols
  9. Artificial Fragrances

So yes. Avoid those ingredients at all costs, s’il vous plait. If you see a product with any of those listed, don’t buy it! Especially if you have young children, pets or simply value the air that you breath, which you should ;).

Now, for the recipes:
All-Purpose Cleaner: Combine 1/2 teaspoon washing soda, a dash of plant-based liquid soap and 2 cups of hot tap water in a spray bottle. Shake bottle until washing soda dissolves. Spray this on surfaces and wipe off with a sponge or rag.

Mold Killers: Combine 2 teaspoons tea tree oil and 2 cups water in a spray bottle. Shake to blend and spray this on problem areas. Do not rinse. If you have high mold levels, straight vinegar will also do the trick with many types.

Sink, Tub and Toilet Cleaner: Wet surfaces first, then apply a generous shake of baking soda. Scrub with a sponge/bristled brush. Don’t be afraid to also add some plant-based liquid soap for even more cleaning power. Be sure to rinse well.

Glass Cleaner: Combine 1/4 cup of white vinegar and a few drops of plant-based liquid soap in a spray bottle, filling the rest with water. Rub dry with a lint-free clothe.

… that’s all she wrote, folks! I do hope that you give at least one of these a try, even if it’s just to say you did it. Meanwhile, I am definitely about to hit the hay, 4 hours of working out is now starting to hit me. Sweet dreams, sugar plums.


Dehydration Nation


Hello, lovers.

Just had a pretty solid rock climbing workout! Max and I have been going quite frequently, and we even went and climbed outside (!!!!!) on Sunday at Lincoln Woods. We didn’t climb for long, but it was pretty cool to have our first outdoors adventure. This summer, our goal is to get outside and climb as often as possible, and I want to try and go camping at places that have diesel climbing — gotta love the outdoors!

Today, we finally started belaying in Rhode Island for the first time. We were certified in Florida, but didn’t actually start climbing at The Rock Spot until today. It was a good time, and what was really great is that we can now climb everything minus the lead routes in the gym. WOOO! We’re getting into the big leagues meow.

So, how is everyone? Ready for spring? I sure am. I’ve been working more frequently now being the manager at this new juice bar two gentlemen and myself as starting up, called The Power Bar. We put in our first full order of basically everything on Monday, and yesterday I completed the first weeks’ employee schedule, so I’m feeling pretty excited about the whole thing.
We still have to set up all our equipment, and I have to schedule a training day for my new employees, but it’s a little too early in the game to do that just yet. It’s fun though! For the most part, I have always enjoyed the jobs that I have worked, but this one is a different level of enjoyment. It’s quite awesome being the head lady who gets to make executive decisions and actually come up with creative ideas and such. Let’s hope it stays this awesome! I think it will — I enjoy the environment and the people, and that’s the majority of the battle right there.

Want to hear something else uber exciting?? I GOT A DEHYDRATOR!! It finally came in the mail on Monday, and she’s so beautiful and awesome and I can already tell that this is going to become a mild addiction of mine. Yeah!!

ExcaliberWhat you’re looking at there, folks, is the Excalibur 3926TB… a 9-tray Excalibur dehydrator with a timer. It was a pricey toy – $300, but totally worth it in my opinion. It has a 10-year warranty and the timer allows me to not have to watch my treats as they dehydrate; it shuts off once the timer hits 0.

There are about a million and one things I want to make, including jerky, dog and horse treats, fruit leather, dried fruits, veggies and herbs, and even yogurt. I currently have beef marinating for jerky, and I just finished these lovely ladies this morning:

Apples^^ Those are two Empire apples dusted with cinnamon, before and after they went through my dehydrator. I left them in for 12 hours, and I think next time I’m only going to leave them in for 10; they weren’t as pliable as I would have liked. However, they taste awesome and for my first attempt, I would call it a great success!! Don’t worry, this is not going to be the last time you will see my experiments up here – addicted! Soon enough I will let you know why things are so awesome when dehydrated, but I want to have all my facts straight first.

Well… I need to go do some studying for my second servsafe exam coming up (oh joy oh rapture). I already have my Food Handler Certification, but since I’m going to be the manager, I have to get my Manager’s Certification as well. Fun times up in hurr. As always, if you want me to talk about something in particular, let me know! I don’t bite. Usually. 😉

Have a great evening my friends! x’s and o’s.


Do-It-Yourself: Vanilla Extract


If you’re a baker – or even if you just spend some time in the kitchen – you probably know that vanilla extract is expensive. Like $11 for a tiny bottle of organic vanilla kind of expensive. I use vanilla extract pretty often, especially since I have been adding it to my homemade almond milk recipes.

So, in an effort to save some money, and just because I really enjoy making things myself; that way I know exactly what goes into the product, I have made my own vanilla extract! It’s super easy and I highly recommend that you try this out. Of course, once you make the concoction, you have to leave it alone for at least a month (longer if you want more potency), but I think it is so worth it!

Vanilla ExtractWhat You Need:
~ 3-5 vanilla beans (make sure they are Grade B**) for every 1 cup of your choice of hard alcohol. I went with vodka, but brandy, bourbon and rum are also recommended.

What To Do:

  1. Split each vanilla bean in half lengthwise. If you like, you can leave an inch connected at the end of the bean for an attractive presentation. You can also chop the beans into smaller pieces if necessary to fit in your jar or bottle.
  2. Place the vanilla beans in a clean jar or bottle. Cover them with alcohol, making sure they are completely submerged. Cover the jar/bottle and give it a good shake.
  3. Store the jar/bottle of vanilla beans in a cool, dark place for at least one month, shaking it from time to time.
  4. You may wish to remove the vanilla pods afterwards; the flecks of seeds can be a nice touch, but if you want a clear extract you can strain them out using a coffee filter.
  5. You can also leave the beans in the alcohol and top off the bottle as you use the extract. Eventually, all the flavor will be extracted from the original vanilla beans, so you should periodically add fresh beans as well as leftover vanilla pods.

Obviously, I don’t know what the extract tastes like yet because I just made the concoction, but in a month or two I will give you beautiful people an update!

** Also, take note that you should use Grade B vanilla beans – and better yet, make them Madagascar (that’s what I used). Grade B beans contain significantly less moisture (and are less attractive) which makes them perfect for extracts, but not for baking. The flavor is rich, dark and creamy with a sweet and buttery aroma. I had originally gone to the grocery store in search of them, but 1 bean was $8, which is insane. So… to the inter-web I went! I wound up finding a great deal here – 12 beans for $6! Now that’s how you do it, folks.

Stay beautiful 🙂

Pleasantly Pampered


The other day, I did a double session, going to both Gold’s Gym to do a leg workout and The Rock Spot with Max to get in a nice rock climbing night session. Then, again this afternoon, I went back to The Rock Spot since I had the day off – woohoo!

From all the [awesome] physical exertion I’ve been addicted to doing, my body is plum tuckered out… so I thought I would treat myself to a nice relaxing bath; I went all out, utilizing my own homemade bath salts along with some senorita margarita bubble bath that my sister got me for Christmas. The set-up was divine and just what the doctor ordered.

Bubble Bath

Candle, Bath Salts, Bubbles… need I say more?

The “flavor” bath salts that I went with today were Honey and Oat. 

Want to to know why/the benefits??

Honey was Cleopatra’s preferred method for beauty, and science has since proven that she had the right idea. Honey, especially when it is raw/unpasteurized (I used raw honey in my recipe), is a fantastic all-natural ingredient for the skin. It is loaded with antioxidants, which are good for wrinkles and aging skin; it is antibacterial, helping to treat and even prevent acne, it clarifies skin by opening up and unclogging pores, and it is a great moisturizer that soothes your skin/irritations/blemishes, and honey leaves you glowing.
Oats are also an amazing natural beauty enhancer… and they also are considered to be one of nature’s most potent aphrodisiacs (good to know with Valentine’s Day around the corner!!!). So, how do oats help? They soothe and heal the skin while also reducing inflammation – a huge cause of premature aging. Since oats have a rougher texture, they make a perfect natural exfoliate, softening the skin and making it smooth as silk. Oats also have been known to help those who suffer from dry skin, mosquito bites and eczema (they’re also hypoallergenic), and I used organic, natural oats in mine, adding to the awesomeness.

SOOO, I vote that you should go grab some bath salts or bubble bath (or both), a scented candle, a good book or some relaxing music and maybe even a glass of wine, then go have a little “me” time just relishing in the warm water, letting your mind, body and soul unwind. It’s a necessary thing to do every so often, especially during the winter months.
Take my word for it! 😉