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Month: August 2011



Well barely down from the whirlwind of the first heartsy deal back in April, the move, Artscape and here I am full circle jumping back in to the Heartsy ring. You might ask why. The simple reason is I over made for Artscape. I didn’t know ahead of time there were going to be 7 yes seven soap vendors at Artscape and went a little nuts making! So to clear out the studio and make room for new fall goodies I’ll offer another hands down awesome deal!


Its supposed to be available to the vip’s today and go live tomorrow. Have fun!

Packaging Revamp … 1st stage

Packaging Revamp … 1st stage

It’s a double edges sword for me. While I LOVE , I mean really love cute packaging I also know that my soap packaging probably ends up in the trash, and thus I have trouble designing it. In a perfect world cost wouldn’t matter. I would have some fancy schmancy packaging that didn’t matter how much it cost but until that day I’d prefer to pass on to you a larger bar of soap with minimal and as eco responsible packaging as possible.

Here is the current packaging minus the simple upgrade to the label at the bottom to include the website & new location.

The front of brainstorm number one. I was using cheap printer paper while brainstorming instead of the heavy weight card stock so you have to IMAGINE the white is really a nice ivory. The bar of soap is wrapped in corrugated cardboard then has a layer of card stock (printer paper for my brainstorming session) around it, on top of that a decorative tissue tape piece and a label with just my brand, the scent & the website.

The back has in a much larger font than currently used the ingredients of the bar and other important information.

Brainstorm number two used the corrugated cardboard, the rice paper that is part of our current packaging around it, the tissue tape from the previous brainstorm and the label currently being use on the bars of soap.

Brainstorm number three. Unbleached muslin wrapping the bar, bar flipped the other direction, tissue tape to add a decorative flair, card stock label with name & fragrance on the front. I’m not entirely happy with how the Lana Bella & the Almost Naked are spaced this is where my lacking graphic design skills irritate me.

Brainstorm number three continued, now you can see the front and the back. Still not entirely happy with the wording and spacing. Throwing my hands in the air and thinking about it for a few more days.

Its now been a week until this post I’ve been mostly ignoring it but need to really start thinking more about what I want those labels to be otherwise I think I like brainstorm 3’s basic packaging the best I could swap out different fabrics for different bars or make them fun.

What do you think? What project have you been working on that you may be struggling with?

What I’m Working On … Curtains

What I’m Working On … Curtains

Are you tired of my home projects and ready for more soap yet? Sorry you will have to wait a little longer. I’m so pleased with how these little curtains I made to coordinate with Lexi’s Quilt.

After being in a dark dreary row home in Baltimore I really hate to cover up the windows at all honestly but we do need something. The halfway point on the windows is at about 5.5 feet so that means cafe curtains!!

I cut into my fat quarter of the bliss multi to make it a little easier and not to have to piece them I wanted this to be a quick project after all. Then I was worried that if I just hemmed the bliss then it would be just too thin, so I pulled out the ruffler. After some arguing and grumbled words I realized I sold the machine I bought it to go with and the machine I have to sew on now is a high shank not a long shank machine so I had to use Lexi’s own little 3/4 non electronic machine the horror!

There you go a daytime photo of the close up of the bottom.

There you can see the curtains on the window behind the bed. Don’t they look just darling together. We will have to get her a bit more sturdy rod as the one we have is sagging in the middle a bit but it will do for a while, besides she says she likes that little glimpse out.

The other big curtain redo rooms are the “play” room because thats what the kids call it. While I was at Artscape I had the benefit of being nest to the lovely ladies from As If! Bags they were just delightful. On their table was this lovely polka dot fabric that both Steve and I immediately thought of the boys bathroom when we saw it. I showed them the fabric and offered to buy a yard. They so generously gave me nearly 2. I got it home and showed the kids but when I had it out in the play room they thought it would be even better in there. Two yards three windows even with cafe curtains in this house I’d still need a little over a yard a piece. I emailed them and asked if I could pretty please purchase a bit more and told them why.

Yes I know they are a teeny bit short and not hemmed I am thinking a ruffle here too but I want a little color so I’ll patiently wait until the right color or maybe a cute chevron or stripe comes along and then I will add it on! Aren’t they totally cute though even unfinished?

THIS was the best part! Not only did those wonderful ladies at As If! Bags  send me enough for the third window in the play room but I had enough to squeak out the curtain for the boys bathroom too! Yes I know that one looks short too but I really hung it on a tension rod a little high because they tend to put toothbrushes and stuff on the window sill when they are showering. So it can be hung correctly it just isn’t for my own sanity. Rory personally loves that the curtain brings a little pink into the bathroom where the shower curtain was lacking.

So there you have it my sewing projects from the past week! What have YOU been working on?

Tuesday’s Tip… Cutting veggies

Tuesday’s Tip… Cutting veggies

Once upon a time I had 3 children under the age of 3. Yes I know that makes me a little insane. Even before the third boy came along I knew I needed to be able to cut down my prep time before dinner. I had plenty of time around 10 am to work in the kitchen when Jack & Rory would play nicely together, and Lexi would be working independently if only I could cook dinner at 10 am! EUREKA! It hit me, why didn’t I at least do all my chopping and slicing in the mornings when I had more time vs at 430 pm when Finn was hungry, Rory was cranky, and I just wanted to take a nap.

Then I started to think if I could cut an onion for today’s dinner why couldn’t I just cut up a few of them. So thats how it started. I usually have a bag of sliced and a bag of diced onions and it saves me the time when I least have it in my day. Those skins those will go in an odds & ends bag in the freezer that I use when I make stock.

What time saving tips do you have ? I really would love to hear them with 5 kids (soon to be 6) in the house all the time I could probably use a few more up my sleeves!

Menu Plan Monday … August

Menu Plan Monday … August

Yes I know most people just post what they are eating that week but well there are many kids in our house and because  of the dynamics of a military budget I plan for about a month at a time. I will link to anywhere I can for a recipe though I do tend to tweak them a bit for our family and will try to notate when I do!

Week 1


Sunday July 31 Paula Deen’s Chicken Pot Pie personally I don’t make it in separate dishes or make the top all fancy like, I also leave the veggies frozen and use plain organic mixed veggies from costco.

Monday Aug 1 Zuppa Toscana ok so once upon a pregnancy I had a craving for breadsticks and well soup. I love soup I eat soup all summer long. We had some Kale in our CSA box so what better way to use it.  I may even be motivated to make some fresh breadsticks as a treat for kids.

Tuesday Aug 2 Marlboro Man’s Favorite Sandwich a couple weeks ago as a gift to lexi I got her Pioneer Woman’s Cookbook. Yes I know the recipes are online but there is just something about flipping through a cookbook for inspiration. Our favorite thing is all of the amazing picture. Jack’s favorite thing is COWBOYS duh!

Wednesday Aug 3 Grilled Salmon no link just boring take salmon put on grill and sauté some veggies to go with it probably sugar snap peas!

Thursday Aug 4 Steaks on the grill with parsley butter this is so simple and yum. The trick is to slowly melt the butter add lots of fresh chopped parsley & a clove of garlic then put in a small dish and pop in the freezer to set while you grill steaks. When you serve steaks put a bit of the herbed butter on each serving. Will pair with garlic dill potatoes & fresh green beans with parsley, garlic & paprika.

Friday Aug 5 Family Fun Night home made pizza & a movie

Saturday Aug 6 Red Beans & Rice  Shhh don’t tell Steve he thinks he makes it better than I do.

Week 2

Sunday Aug 7 PW Chicken Spagetti  This was the very first Pioneer Woman recipe I tried back a year or so ago and YUMMO! Make this you will like it!

Monday Aug 8 Hamburgers & Brats & Dogs on the grill because well its Brenna’s arrival day and she is a picky eater!

Tuesday Aug 9 PW Ranch Dressing and salad because Rory said Brenna likes to eat salad when we were looking through the cookbook.

Wednesday Aug 10 Jenni’s lazy Girl lasagna aka White Lasagna with spicy red pepper sausage and spinach. Check back for the Recipe!

Thursday Aug 11 Almond crusted Fish of some sort.

Friday Aug 12 Family Fun Night home made pizza & a movie!

Saturday Aug 13 Stir fry with lots of squash and zucchini (which Aidan used to not like and now loves)

Week 3

Sunday Aug 14 PW Enchiladas yeah yeah I know there is a theme going on here. We had these last week though I doubled the recipe the kids devoured them!

Monday Aug 15 Cream of Broccoli soup with My famous (ok to us anyway) Cheesy bread rolls.

Tuesday Aug 16 Ann Miller’s Greek Pasta Salad just think greek salad meets pasta did I mention the yummy olives & feta.

Wednesday Aug 17 Shish Kaboba aka Meat on a Stick how is it that meat on a stick makes kids so happy?

Thursday Aug 18  Pork Molasses Butter with sweet potato fries and veggies  the recipe will give you the gist.

Friday Aug 19 Family Fun Night home made pizza & a movie!

Saturday Aidan’s Request is Olive Garden for his Birthday

Week 4

Sunday Aug 21 Burgers & Dogs again

Monday Aug 22 Stone Soup our version of a beef vegetable soup the kids love reading stone soup and then cleaning out the fridge to make it.

Tuesday Aug 23 Grilled Chicken with a salad

Wednesday Aug 24 Aunt Cheryl’s Easy Peasy Chicken Burritos using the leftover chicken

Thursday Aug 25 Sloppy Joes because well its fun to say the kids love them, they are easy and by the time I’ve planned a whole month of food I’ve lost my inspiration.

Friday Aug 26 LEFTOVERS thats right kids clean out the fridge.


Do you menu plan? What time/ money savers do you have?




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