Thursday, May 6, 2010


I've mentioned on my blog in the past about trying to improve the lifestyle and health of my family and myself.  We are continually making small changes that are beginning to add up to something bigger.  We took that next step this week.

A little background...

A few weeks ago I had an appointment for that (supposed to be) yearly female test that we all just can't wait to go to.  Except, I hadn't been in YEARS.  I had been having a few issues that I talked to the doc about.  And, she drained 1/3 of the blood in my body to run some tests.  None to my surprise, my results showed that I have some things really out of whack.  I'm just thankful that I have a doctor who cares about fixing the root issues rather than throwing pills at me.  Although, she did some of that, too.  I now am on one prescription and 4 supplements.  Notice the ratio of scripts to supplements.  I'm pretty happy about that.  Anyway,  I also have to make some lifestyle changes.

You've read repeatedly about my learning to bake my own bread so we can be sure to have only wholesome, nutritious, non-chemically stuff in the staff of life that we partake in.  Except...I found out that my body can't tolerate the staff of life at this point in time.  Nor, any carbs, for that matter.  So, I'm really having to re-evaluate my meal prep.  

Also, I'm having to make weekly trips to the doctor for the next couple of months.  It's a 40-45 minute drive each way.  And, you know how time consuming doctor appointments can be.  My son gets hungry.  So, I decided to plan ahead this time.

Last week when I ran into Goodwill I found a little lunchbox sized cooler for $2.99.  I snatched it up quick.  It would be the perfect item to help us in this new 'thinking ahead' lifestyle. 

My husband attended a seminar with me a couple of weeks ago that my doctor was giving in regards to some of the issues I'm dealing with.  She mentioned about water bottles leaching chemicals (carcinogens) into the water and that was all he needed to say ix-nay on the ater-way, bottled that is.  I've yet to buy the stainless steel reusable water bottles that are all the rage right now - so I went old school.  Did anyone else drink out of mason jars when they were kids?  Something about doing that seemed like a treat to me.  So, I pulled out 2 pint sized jars and filled 'em up with some good ol' filtered H2O.

I added some hard boiled eggs (peeled, salt and peppered), a stick of string cheese and little container of natural peanut butter with some celery sticks for dipping.

It didn't really take all that long to pull together and Isaac had some healthy snack options when the hunger pangs hit to tide him over until meal time .

I think we're gonna like bein' old school.

So, how 'bout it?  Do you take snacks with you for the kids when you're on the go - or do hit the nearest 7-11 when they start crying, "I'm hungry!"?

Happy Homemaking!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


So, yesterday I spent the whole day in the kitchen baking bread; 2 loaves of whole wheat and 6 loaves of French Baguette.  As you may or may not know - French Baguette needs a container of water cooking underneath it for part of the bake time.  I have this glazed earthenware casserole dish that I have been using for this purpose.

I bake 3 loaves at a time.  The first batch went off without a hitch.  But, then...

when the beeper when off signaling me to remove the pot of water from the oven...

I grabbed my pot holders, opened the oven door, clasped the casserole dish by the handles, lifted it up, and...

this happened:

Look closer:

The whole side just lifted right off - pouring steaming hot water all over my oven door, which in turn, spilled all over my floor.  Buuuummmmmmer!

I was shocked.  I couldn't even articulate what had just happened.  But hearing my moans of horror - my big, strappin', helpful husband hopped up and came to my rescue.  I love that man!  At least it was just water - albeit, scalding water.  I choose to look at it as an opportunity to sanitize my kitchen tile! :0) 

I have NO idea what caused this dish to snap like that - I'm just thankful it happened before I had it up in the air.  I'm sure there would have been burns involved at that point.

Have you had any kitchen (or other) mishaps lately?

Happy Homemaking!

Friday, April 16, 2010


Just about the only thing I drink anymore is water.  But, sometimes...I want a little flavor.  Yesterday, I decided that instead of drinking my water from the filter in the fridge, I would just fill up a pitcher with ice and filtered water because I go through it pretty quickly.  And, it's just prettier that way. :0)

After I filled my pretty pitcher with water - I noticed I had 3 oranges left.  "Hmmm....that might be nice floating in there."  So, I sliced one up and tossed it in.  Then, I remembered the lemon balm growing in my front flower bed.  "Hmmm...that's lemony.  That might be nice in there."  So, I snipped some, washed it, crushed it in my hands a little to release the flavor, and in it went.  I gave it a good stir and poured myself a cool, refreshing glass of good ol' H2O - with a kick.

The nice thing about it was that the longer it set, the more flavored it became.  It tinted the water a pretty shade like Ginger Ale, too, after a while.  When my pitcher was empty - I simply added more ice and water.  I did this 2 or 3 times and it still flavored the water.

If you have a hard time drinking plain water - or if you just want a little something extra - you should give this refreshing twist on water a try.  You may just find that if you have a pitcher of it waiting on you, you may drink more during the day.

This would be delicious with any citrus fruit - lemons, limes, tangerines...  Lots of different types of herbs would be fabulous as well - mint, rosemary, lavender...

So, how do you take your water?  Straight up?  With a twist?  Sparkling?  Do you ever flavor it - and with what?

Happy Homemaking!

Thursday, April 15, 2010


I needed an easy supper last night because I was going to be gone all afternoon.  So, I threw a chicken in the crockpot and let it cook while I had my appointments. 

When I got home - I pulled the bird out of the slow cooker.

I grabbed a few organic potatoes.

And got them ready to go into the oven for fries. Click here for my super simple recipe.

Then I started making a crazy-easy homemade BBQ sauce.


3 c. ketchup
2 c. brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
3 tbsp. liquid smoke
optional - various other seasonings

The basic recipe calls for the ketchup, brown sugar, liquid smoke and salt to be combined in a pot and heated through on medium low until it's warm and thick.

But, since I can't leave 'well enough' alone - I added a few things.  I'm going to give you approximate measurements, because this part would be all to taste anyway.  I threw in about 2 tbsp. of paprika, 1 tbsp. cayenne pepper, 1/2 - 1 tsp. garlic powder and a dash of onion powder.  We like our BBQ sauce with an ever-so-mild kick. 

This is the part where I forgot to take more pictures. :0)  So, pretend that you see me shred up the chicken and add a little bit of sauce to it for the sandwiches.

We used the last of my homemade sourdough buns to serve them up on.  I remembered to take the last picture after I ate my first bite!

My Notes:

  • This sauce was really quick and simple to throw together.

  • It made plenty, so I have a ton of it left in the freezer for another use. 

  • It would be great on another pulled meat sandwich, brushing on ribs or chicken when grilling, or even as the base for a BBQ Chicken Pizza. Mmmmm....

  • My husband, who is isn't a huge fan of BBQ sauce, loved this stuff.

  • You can add different flavorings to it to make it uniquely your own.

  • Although, it has a lot of sugar in it - I figure it's still got to be better for us than the store bought kind that is not only full of sugar (probably more), but an inch long list of ingredients that I can't pronounce, also. 

  • I will still probably cut back on the sugar amount the next time I make it to see how little sugar I can actually use while keeping a well-flavored sauce.

  • I will definitely keep this in my repertoire.
Happy Homemaking!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010


Last night I made tacos for dinner - with homemade flour tortillas. Oh my - they were a huge hit!  I wish that I could have video taped my guy's faces for you.  I'll definitely be making these again because they were not only yummy, but they were pretty easy, too.  Here's the recipe...

Homemade Flour Tortillas:

3 c. flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
1-1/2 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. lard or bacon grease (I suspect that butter or coconut oil would work, too.)
1/2 c. water
1/2 c. milk

Mix dry ingredients together.  Cut in fat.  Add liquids.  Stir into a ball.  Knead slightly if you need to.

Wrap lightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.  You can make these early in the day, if you need to and they will keep 'till supper time. 

When you're ready to cook them - cut dough into 8 pieces (keep covered while you're rolling them out, so they don't dry out). 

Heat an un-greased cast iron skillet to medium-high heat.  Roll out the balls into disks about 10".  (Mine did better on medium.)  Cook on each  side until brown spots begin to appear.  The original recipe said about 2 minutes per side.  Mine actually cooked in about 15 seconds per side.  It may take you 1 or 2 tortillas to get it down.  Cover with a towel to keep warm while you cook the rest.  Enjoy!

This recipe was adapted from a recipe from Sarah's Musings.

Happy Homemaking!

Monday, April 12, 2010


Today I am sore.  Well, only when I stand up or sit down.  However, I can walk a little more normally than yesterday.  I'm pretty happy about that. :0)  You see, we spent the entire day on Saturday FINALLY painting that old, ugly, nasty, scratched up wood work in the dining room, living room and hallway.

I'll share just a little peek with you.



The white wood work makes the house feel so much lighter, fresher and cozy.  It was definitely worth the sore muscles.  I can't wait to tackle those kitchen cabinets next!

Happy Homemaking!

Friday, April 9, 2010


I made roasted chicken for dinner last night - something I don't often do.  For some reason it has a tendancy to intimidate me - whether it's not getting it to turn out with moist meat and crispy skin, or just thinking that it's a pain in my backside - I'm not really sure.  But, after last night's supper - I'll definitely be adding it to our menu more often.  It was so easy.  And, so yummy!

Roasted Chicken:

The most important part to do before you get started is to pre-heat the oven to 500 degrees and lower the rack to the 2nd lowest spot it can go in the oven.

Next, put a roasting rack in your cake pan or roaster.  I found that spraying the roasting rack with a little bit of cooking oil helped to release the bird when it was done, as well as make clean-up much easier.  Wash the bird in cold water and take out the packet of innards.  Fold the wings under the back and place it on the roasting rack.

Sprinkle the cavity with salt and pepper.

Rub the skin and the breast under the skin with butter.  Be generous.  Butter is good for a bird.  (Olive oil can do in a pinch.)

This next part is where you can feel free to get creative.  I always salt the skin with salt and pepper.  This time I used lavender sea salt.  I also, sprinkled on some French Thyme.  Whatever herbs are your flavor preferance can be used.  I also use fresh herbs when I have them.  Rosemary is divine.  This always changes by what I have on hand, though.

The next part is the cavity.  It is a great place to infuse flavor from the inside.  I always stick a couple cloves of garlic in the cavity.  Last night I also added 1/2 an apple.  Sometimes, I add celery and onion or oranges and more fresh herbs...  it really doesn't matter - you just want to add more flavor. 

I put the rest of the apple in the bottom of the pan along with the innards - these are my husbands favorite.  Then, and this is the super important part,  before you stick the bird in the oven - pour 1 inch of water in the bottom of the pan.  It really helps to keep the meat moist.

Now we're ready for the oven.  Roast the bird uncovered at 500 degrees.  The amount of time will vary according to the size of your bird.  Mine was really large - probably 5 lbs or more.  It took about 1 hour and 15-20 minutes.  The important thing is to wait for the little white thing to pop up - or until the meat reads 185 degrees with a thermometer.

One last thing - leave it uncovered until the skin is a nice, crispy, golden brown - then loosely cover it with foil for the rest of the baking time.  You're striving for golden brown, not burnt.

This was so yummy!  The skin won rave reviews. :0)

The key is to cook it high (500 degrees) and put that water in the bottom of the pan.  These are the two things that will keep your bird juicy and it's skin delish.  This is also how I cook my turkey now. 

It didn't take long at all to prepare the bird for the oven and then I was free to let it be until it was done.  I just had to whip together some simple sides (basmati rice, asparagus, carrot salad) and dinner was ready to be served.

I hope that you consider roasted chicken the next time you're in a menu planning funk. 

Happy Homemaking!

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Instead of making 2 loaves of bread the last time I made sourdough bread, I decided to make 1 loaf of bread and attempt to make hamburger buns with the rest of the dough.  Click here for the recipe.  I patted out the dough and cut them like I would a biscuit.  My 'biscuit cutter' is just an old vegetable or soup can that I washed and popped air holes in.  It works beautifully and was free.  I also have one made from a tomato sauce can that is smaller.  I thank my mom for this idea. :0)

Next, I laid my 'buns' out on a cookie sheet to rise until they were doubled in size.

Once they had risen I baked them at 375 degrees until they were done.  Definitely check them after about 15 minutes.  Cooking time will vary according to the size of your 'buns'.

Here is my final result:

My thoughts:
  • When I buy whole wheat hamburger buns in the store I spend about $3.00 for an eight pack.  I got eight buns out of my dough for pennies.  This makes much more sense financially.  Plus, I know exactly what is in there - no processed gunk.
  • Next time I make them I will use a cake pan so they won't be so far apart from each other.  They didn't rise as much as I was hoping.  I think if they are closer together in a pan that just barely fits them, it will force the buns to rise up instead of out.  But, skinny rolls seem to be the in thing right now, anyway.  :0)
  • They freeze extremely well.  I didn't plan on using mine right away - so I stuck them in a freezer bag in the freezer after they were completely cooled.  They thawed much more quickly than a loaf of bread because of their size and density. 
  • The taste was great.
  • I will definitely be making these again the next time I make sourdough bread.
  • Making hamburger buns would probably work with my basic whole grain recipe, too.  I may try that next.
  • The next time I need hot dog buns, I'll try hand forming them with this same method.  I'm sure it would work as well.
There you go.  If you are looking for ways to "healthy up" and have been easing your way into bread-making, I hope you consider making your own hamburger or hot dog buns.  They're easy, peasy, home-baked goodness!

Happy Homemaking!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


OK, y'all.  I'm pretty excited about the give away going on over at Nourished Kitchen right now. 

My family is on a journey to better health.  We have eliminated just about all processed foods from our house.  We are eating homemade yogurt every day.  We are eating more organic fruits and veggies.  And, we have significantly cut our sugar intake.

One area that is on my list of changes yet to be made is switching over to grass-fed beef.  Can you guess why I'm so excited about this give away?

US Wellness Meats is giving one of Jenny's readers a grass-fed beef package worth over $100 that includes:

Hickory Smoked Brisket (1.5 lb.)
Liverwurst (1 lb.)
Garlic Beef Franks (1 lb.)
Plain Beef Franks (1 lb.)
Beef Bologna (1 lb.)
Pot Roast (2 lb.)
Salami (1 lb.)
Summer Sausage (1 lb.)
Shredded BBQ Beef (1.5 lb.)

So, if you're wanting to switch over to grass-fed beef - or if you just live with a bunch of carnivores and would like some free meat, head on over to Nourished Kitchen to find out how to enter. 
*Disclaimer:  If you win and I don't, I would happily accept the summer sausage on your behalf for introducing you to the give away.  :0)  I'm just sayin'...
Happy Homemaking!

Friday, March 12, 2010


Yesterday, I posted about a few updates I've made in my bedroom this at my other blog.  But, I have other plans for that blog today (hope I have time to get to it).  So, I thought I'd share a couple of quick and cheap udates here that I made to the dining room.

I have always had red accents in my neutral(ish) home.  This is a picture from last Spring.  I added a white table runner (the one made from the shower curtain) and a Springtime/Easter display.  But, lately I have wanted to change things up a bit and get some softer colors in the house for Spring and Summer.

I have a guest room upstairs that has a beautiful comforter in blues on the bed that my mom gave me when she re-did her bedroom.  I have spent the last year combing Goodwill and thrift stores for accessories to fill the guest room out.  Since the room has had guests in it for a total of 3 nights in the past 25 months - and it's upstairs where no one, except me and the boy (and on rare occasions - the husband) goes - I felt that I could safely swap a few items from up there with no one really noticing.  Hence, the new blue color scheme was born.

I have spent about the past month looking for things at Goodwill to help me freshen things up in the main living areas.  This is what I came up with for the dining room.

I found this tablecloth for $1.99.  There is another one exactly like it that I plan on picking up today - if it's still there.  I now realize the value of having a back-up for when this one is in the wash.  I also took the red rug out to the garage and lugged this one that used to be in the living room back in with Isaac's help.  It has much softer colors with some blue sprinkled in there. 

Then, there's the windows.

I found these at Goodwill for $3.99 per panel - $7.98 total for a huge amount of drapes.  They are actually just king sized flat sheets.  I did nothing to them, save for the washing.  The top of the sheet (when it's on a bed) with the large four or five(ish) inch hem is by the floor.  I simply clipped the other end to my rings,  making a double fold at the top to get them the right length.  You can see it if you look closely.

In the above picture you can also see that I took the black shade off of the chandelier.  My goal (if it goes like I see it in my head) is to cover the shades with some really pretty soft blue and white toile wrapping paper that I have and then put them back on the chandy.  But, that would require me remembering to buy some double-sided tape when I'm out today. :0)

And, centerpiece for the table.  I already had this Jasmine topiary, so I decided to make it work for Spring.  It's sitting in my wicker Goodwill tray (lined with burlap) that has held many other things in the past.  I had this nest of eggs from last year.  It needed something around the base, so I bought 2 bags of blue glass for a buck a piece at the dollar store and put them in there.  And since I had a nest of eggs - I thought it only fitting to swipe the lovebirds from my bedroom to fill it out.  Is it perfect?  Nope.  Is it good enough?  Good enough for me!

So, that's a peek of where I am with the dining room right now.  I think that it will make a huge difference when the woodwork is all painted out white, too.  I hoping that happens tomorrow. :0)  Total spent in this room = $11.97.  Not bad for new curtains and everything.  I'll share the living room next.

Happy Homemaking!

Saturday, March 6, 2010


I promised that I would share my first attempt at making sourdough bread.  Let me first just say that I was slightly, just slightly apprehensive about this little venture.  From what I've read about sourdough, you have to have patience, because it can be slightly tempermental at times.  But, what the heck...I like to live on the wild side!  Sourdough?  Bring it on, Baby!  I used Sarah's recipe from Sarah's Musings, once again.  She has become my virtual sourdough guru. 
See yesterday's post to learn how to make your sourdough starter.

OK, enough jibber jabber!  Let's make bread!


1 c. sourdough starter
2 c. whole milk
1/4 c. honey - I prefer raw because it's nutrients are in tact.
2 large eggs
6 c. (divided) whole wheat flour
2 tsp. sea salt - I used kosher. It's what I had.
6 TBSP. unsalted butter, room temperature


Make a sponge.  Does anyone know why it's called a sponge?  I certainly wouldn't eat my kitchen sponge and I sure as heck ain't going to clean with this one.  What a mess that would be!  Anyway, here's how you make it.

In a large bowl, mix your starter, milk and 2 cups of flour.  Cover with plastic wrap and leave on counter over night.

This was my sponge in the morning, after I stirred it.


Stir your sponge.  Add eggs and honey and stir well to incorporate.  Add the remaining 4 c. of flour, salt and butter and stir until it forms a mass.  Dump out onto a lightly floured surface.

Knead for about 5-7 minutes, until it's smooth and elastic.  I like to err on the side of a longer kneading time.  Only knead it with enough flour to keep it from sticking.  Also, I used damp hands for this particular bread. It worked very nicely and didn't stick at all.

Place dough ball in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with oil.  Let it rise in a warm spot until it has doubled in size.  This will take longer than yeast risen bread, anywhere from 2 to 4 hours, depending on the conditions in your kitchen.  Go give yourself a pedicure or something.

Now that your dough has doubled in size, butter two 9" x 5" loaf pans.  Then, punch the dough down and dump out onto a clean work surface.  Cut in half.  Flatten each dough section with the heel of your hand (about the width of your pans).  Next, roll the bottom 1/3 up onto itself and seal edges.  Continue rolling and sealing until you have an oval log.  Place in loaf pans seam side down and flatten slightly to evenly disperse in pan.

Leave them plain. Or, brush the tops with water and sprinkle on a topping like I did.  I used a combo of poppy and sesame seeds.  But, you could use oats, nuts, cornmeal, or any other seeds you like.  Just make sure that you cover the loaves loosely and allow to double in size again - up to 2 hours.  Go watch a chick flick and eat bon bons.

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees when they're getting close to the right size.

Once they're ready - slash the tops of the loaves and immediately stick them in the oven for about 35 to 40 minutes.  You'll know they're done when they sound hollow on the bottom when tapped. 

Remove from pans and let cool completely on wire racks.

Beautiful, Daaahling.  Just beautiful.

Once the bread has cooled completely, feel free to slice and enjoy!

  • I don't know why I was intimidated by the process - it went off without a hitch.
  • This bread has a beautiful crumb and makes a great sandwich bread.
  • It actually holds together much more nicely than my multigrain bread.
  • See Sarah's post on making it for a few more ideas about using this dough.
  • I will DEFINITELY be making this bread more often.
  • I like that I don't even have to buy yeast to make this bread.
I hope you consider taking the plunge in sourdough (and bread-making for that matter)!

Happy Homemaking!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I've been reading about the benefits of sourdough lately.  And since I've begun to tackle and expand my skills at bread-making - learning to make sourdough bread just seemed like the next logical step.

First I had to make a starter.  I followed the process from Breadtopia to make it.  It uses pineapple juice instead of water to initially get it started.  Evidently, there is something in the pineapple juice that prevents bad bacteria, while encouraging the good. 

The first step was to mix 3 1/2 TBSP. whole wheat flour with 1/4 cup unsweetened pineapple juice, cover it and set it aside for 48 hours at room temperature.  Stir it 2 to 3 times a day.

It doesn't look like much now, but hang in there.

The next step was to add 2 TBSP. whole wheat flour and 2 TBSP. pineapple juice after the first 48 hours have passed.  Once again, set aside (covered) for a day or two, remembering to stir a few times a day.

Beautiful tell-tale bubbles that signal fermentation is beginning!

The next step was to add 5 1/4 TBSP. whole wheat flour and 3 TBSP. purified water (from my fridge), cover and set aside for 24 hours.

Lastly, I added 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1/4 - 1/3 cup purified water.  I had a healthy starter at this point, so I transferred it to a crock that would hold more starter and easily allow me to get it out when I needed it.

Now, to keep it alive, all I have to do is feed it every day with a 1:1 ratio of flour and water.  It smells all yeasty and wonderful.

OK.  So, now that I had a healthy starter I needed to make something with it.  I turned to Sarah's Musings for this.  Sarah seems to have a really good handle on all things sourdough and she has a bunch of recipes on her site, too. 

The first thing I decided to try was her pizza dough.  We eat homemade pizza pretty regularly.  I usually make a whole wheat crust, but opted to shake things up a bit this time.  Here's Sarah's recipe a la Pam.


1 1/2 c. sourdough starter
1 1/2 c. flour
3/4 tsp. salt
2 TBSP. olive oil
water (optional)

In a large bowl combine all ingredients and mix well, adding water or flour as necessary to make a soft dough.  (If you feed your starter with a 1:1 ratio of flour/water this shouldn't be necessary.)

Knead for about 5 minutes until dough is soft and elastic and is not sticky to the touch.  Form into a ball and let rise in an oiled bowl (covering dough on all sides with oil).  Cover with plastic wrap that has been sprayed with oil and place in a warm spot until it has doubled in size.  I usually turn my oven on about 250 degrees and set the bowl on top of the oven.

After the kneading process.

The risen dough.

And, here is where I forgot got too busy to take more pictures.

Go ahead and get your oven pre-heating to 500 degrees.  If you have a baking stone, let it heat up as well.  I used 1 regular old metal pizza pan and 2 iron skillets.  I let the iron skillets pre-heat.

After the dough has risen, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface and cut it into pieces to make your crusts.  It will make 2 - 12" crusts.  But, we all like our pizzas slightly different, so I cut mine into 3.  Whatever...just make yourself happy.  Cover the dough balls with a damp towel and allow to rest for 10 minutes.  Use this time to gather/prepare your toppings. 

Roll the dough out to about a 1/4" thickness.  Sprinkle a little cornmeal onto your pans and then put the dough down.  Top them as you wish.

Bake pizzas for 10-15 minutes until the crust is crisp and brown.  Remove and let rest for about 5 minutes before slicing to serve.

A few notes: 
I used 1/2 cup whole wheat flour and 1 cup of  unbleached flour in my crust.

This was by far one of the best pizzas I've ever put in my mouth.  Remember the scene from "What About Bob?" when he was eating dinner with his therapist's family?  That's kind of what we felt like eating this pizza. 

I liked the fact that I didn't have to drag my heavy stand mixer out to make this crust like I do with the one I usually make.  I will be making this one from now on.

Tomorrow, I'll share my first attempt at making a sourdough sandwich bread.

Happy Homemaking!

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Every since Isaac's hands went from looking like this...

to this...

They're actually even better than this now.  Read about what we changed to get them healed up here.  Anyway, I've been wanting to learn how to make our own natural soap. 

You can't make soap without lye.  Guess who can't find lye?  Evidently, it's getting harder to come by in the stores because - wonder of wonders - it's not only an ingredient in soap, but it's also used for making Meth.  Hmmm... can you sell that on Etsy?  Just joking, people.  Geesh.

Well, looky what some really smokin' hot married man was able to acquire for me this past week:

That is 8 pounds of lye right there.

And a butt load of essential oils.

Guess who's going to be learning how to clean up her act in the not-too-distant future?  I'll be keeping you updated.

Happy Homemaking!