Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Holiday Soap

I've been a busy little soaper these days, mainly focusing on some fun new holiday bars.  Plus I can't get enough of these holiday fragrances!  So, now its time for a little show and tell...

I may have shared a few of these before, but I will just include them all!  Let's start with some festive fall soap bars...
Pumpkin Pie Soap... yum.

Pumpkin cheesecake -- this may be my favorite of the bunch!

Pumpkin Spice Latte Soap - One layer of spiced pumpkin and one layer of chocolaty espresso.  Think I might be obsessed with pumpkin?  Also (unrelated to soap) the Murrays will be digging up part of our yard next year for a little pumpkin patch.

Ready for Christmas yet?
Peppermint Loofah Foot Scrub -- already a best-seller in the shop and a favorite at our house.  This one is made with pure peppermint essential oil which produces a cooling effect on your feet.

Gingerbread Man Soap - these are pretty small and work well for little gifts and festive guest soap.

Cranberry Fig - Kind of sweet, kind of tart.  I personally love the fragrance.

I call this one "Cozy Christmas" because that is just what it smells like... a mix of apple pie, cloves, orange, and a little peppermint.  The design took several tries and several hours (I think I told my husband I would be done in 20 minutes - ha!) but it was worth it for the final result.

Snowy Sleigh Ride - smells like Cozy Christmas mixed with sweet vanilla.

Santa's Coal Soap - This is the kind of coal you won't mind receiving in your stocking :)
Scented with black raspberry.

Another favorite of mine ... Cinnamon Vanilla.  There is even a little sparkle in one layer. 

Christmas Tree Soap!  Smells like a pine forest.

And because I love the smell of Christmas trees so much... I couldn't stop at just ONE tree soap.  This one has tiny jojoba beads for a bit of exfoliation.

Champagne Celebration Soap - smells like champagne or ginger ale, which smells surprisingly good in a soap!  Also has some sassy sparkle in it.

Not necessarily a "holiday" soap, but its new too!  Chocolate Mint - reminds me of a giant Andes mint.  This one is dedicated to my old college roommate who is obsessed with chocolate mint, and who reads my blog :)

Also new... but not a holiday soap.  Sweet Pea Soap - I can't get enough of this scent!

They are all available in the Etsy Shop! I am also attending two in-person craft fairs in the Denver area over the next few weeks. I'll be sharing more details about that!

Side note... I typically spell check my blog posts and I always chuckle a little each time spell check wants to correct "Murray" and change it to "Hurray." 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Kid, A Spider, and Candy.

So, this post is about 8 days late... but I just had to share my cute little Halloween man:

Want to guess what he's holding?  A dead spider he found in the doorway.  lovely.

This is actually the costume my mom sewed for me to wear 28 years ago! Charlie James thought it was pretty neat that the neighbors all gave him candy in his bucket.  He woke up the next morning and the first words out of his mouth were, "CANDY! CANNNNNDY!" Someone has a sweet tooth like his parents :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Fishing Birthday

This post is a little overdue...about a month overdue actually. oops. I wanted to share some pictures from the little man's second birthday.  Charlie James bring us so much joy and this year seemed like an extra special celebration of his life after a really sad month

We had a fishing birthday party!  I ordered the invitation from Lily Pad Boutique on Etsy, which was super easy and they turned out really terrific.  Basically they did all the design work, sent me the JPEG, and all I had to do was print.

Nana made a fishing cake, but I'm not sure Charlie knew what he was supposed to do when it was time to blow out his two candles.  We had some other fishy snacks like goldfish and gummy worms. 

The two things that never fail to make this boy happy are:
1. an ice cream cone (but don't try to take it away)
2. Any type of ball (or balloon) 

Especially when there is a bat involved...

We even had a "fishing hole" for the little ones... it was just a swimming pool, plastic fish, and some nets. But, it was a hit!

It was such a fun day with new friends, and old friends that we don't get to see often.  I wish I had gotten a picture of all of Charlie's little friends together.

I don't think that Charlie really knew it was his birthday, or that the party was for him...but he had so much fun and was really sad when everyone left.  Surprising for our normally shy kid!

The next day was Charlie's real birthday, so of course he needed another ice cream cone!

Happy birthday Charlie James! You are a blessing to your mom and dad.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Fun Feature by a Fellow Mommy Painter...

What a fun treat to be featured on the Paint-Me-A-Picture blog today!

I am a big fan of Lindsay and her amazing artwork.  I adore her "state love" paintings...absolutely worth paying a visit to her blog/ Etsy shop.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Life Lessons for My Toddler

Today I took my two-year-old to Hobby Lobby to return something.  Standing in the return line is already torture.  Thank you Hobby Lobby for making my time just a little more miserable by putting the candy rack on the counter at eye level (but just out reach) of my two-year-old sitting in the cart.

After about 3 seconds, he begins shouting "CANNNNDDDYYYYY, CAAAAAAANDY, CANNNNNDY" and leaning as far towards the candy as he possibly can. The shouting becomes screaming which naturally becomes a tantrum within 3 seconds, and I decide in my head that I'm not giving in, hoping that the other 67 people in line will magically be understanding of my decision (I have waited so long that there is no possible way I am leaving my place in line).  I say to him, " I cannot reward this behavior.  You may not have candy when you throw a tantrum" and try to move him away from the candy.  Screaming continues, but not as bad... he's calming down a little.  Maybe I won?  Feeling pretty good about myself.

Then I gave in.  Not to the two-year-old, but to this sweet old woman who appeared out of nowhere and reminded me of my Grandma. "Can I please give him this lollipop?" she said so sweetly with candy in her hand. Really? Can't you see we are learning valuable life lessons here?  But guess what I said to her with a big smile...  "Oh, sure! He would love that. Thank you -- that is so nice of you." 

And he did love it... laughed and smiled with his candy all the way to car.  Oh well, we'll try again tomorrow.

Today's score: Charlie 1, Mommy 0

Friday, September 2, 2011

Life is a Fragile Thing

I was so hesitant to write this post because I am usually a pretty private person, especially when it comes to social media; however, there is something in me that just wants to write this down... mostly because its hard to act "normal" when the last couple weeks have been really really hard.

In July we found out that we were expecting Murray Baby #2 in March and we were over the moon happy.  On August 19 (two weeks ago today) we went to our first appointment and had an ultrasound... the baby measured close to 8 weeks but had no heartbeat.  Deep down I felt peace and could literally see that tiny baby safe in the arms of Jesus, but at the same time a wave of sadness that I didn't expect came over me.  I was devastated.

This had been the farthest thing from my mind... I honestly never really thought about miscarriage and had no physical signs of it whatsoever. I never excpeted it to feel like we lost part of our family. The more I have thought about this in the last couple weeks, the more I have concluded that I'm not just sad about this baby not surviving; but maybe even more sadness comes from mourning the death of my hopes. 

What I mean is that it probably wouldn't have mattered if I was 1 week or 20 weeks along.  As soon as I saw that positive pregnancy test, I was filled with hope.  I could imagine this little child's face, I could see Charlie James being a big brother, I saw them sharing a room, I imagined Charlie meeting this sweet baby at the hospital, I pictured taking the baby to meet friends at a wedding in May... I was filled with so much hope for this little life.  That hope died during the ultrasound.

Things are getting better -- I can finally talk about it a little without having a complete meltdown.  I'm not sure I have any big life lessons from this experience, but I know that it has helped me refocus on what is truly important in my life.   I am more thankful than ever for these two guys:

I feel grateful for every day that I was able to be pregnant with Charlie -- even the ones when I threw up three times a day and even the very last one that involved a 21 hour labor.  I am thankful that we will have more time for our daytime adventures -- just the two of us.  I enjoy this child so much and I love to watch him explore and learn.  He has so many new words and we've also learned that when he talks, he's LOUD (lack of volume control inherited from his Dad).  He is such a funny, silly, sweet natured little boy. 

We have a lot to be grateful for and are just trying to do normal things and move forward, but the sadness still sneaks up on me unexpectedly.  Every night I pray that God can give that sweet baby a hug and kiss from mommy.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Basil Pesto...mmmmm

My basil has grown like crazy in the garden and I always struggle with finding way to use the mass amount of herbs that grow -- its sad to see some die unused in the fall. I dry them, save them in jars, use them fresh, etc. Basil is one of my absolute favorites.

Today I made basil pesto from a recipe from one of my favorite food blogs.  Some of the yummiest recipes I have ever encountered, and the basil pesto was no exception.

Some notes about this recipe:
  • Be warned, 3 cups of packed fresh basil is no joke! I mean, I cleared off several plants to get this much. 
  • I used Romano instead of Parmesan (because that's what we had) and it was still super tasty.
  • I only had to buy one ingredient -- pine nuts.  Ever bought pine nuts?  Those babies are not cheap! But, they are sooo unbelievably delicious. Thankfully you only need a 1/2 cup in this recipe.
I decided something today while pesto-making. If we ever find ourselves with more money than we know what to do with (ha) I am going to buy pine nuts and eat them every single day for snacks. 

Post image for Fresh Basil Pesto

(photo from My Baking Addiction)

Now for some cute kid photos...

This is Charlie when we was barely a year old.  He thought it was so funny to have his dog in his bed with him.

He is almost 2 and still asks for his dog every morning.  She doesn't love to be put in his crib with no escape (especially now that he tries to "snuggle" her), but tolerates the whole deal.  I think they will be best buddies as soon as he isn't so rough and she doesn't run away all the time.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


I wantto share alittle secret with you. The spacebaron our computer is terrible.Sometimes it works, sometimesit doesn't. See?I usuallyspendseveral minutes after typingan email or blog going backto add the spaces where the spacebar failed. Well, thistime I'm not doing it.  You getthe privilege of seeing first hand what it is liketo type on the Murray computer.I'm sure keyboards aren't very expensiveand it would save us a lotof frustration to justgo buy a newone.  Myhusband typed an 80+page thesis on this ridiculous thing so Iguess I shouldn'tcomplain too muchabout anemail orblog post. Italso seems liek the fasterI type the less spacesI actually receivefrom the spacebar.  Annoyedyet?

Andnow for a picture of a sillylittle boy whopiled up all his animals, wrapped himself in blanket,sat on the animals,and proceededto eathis snackies.  Its a littleblurry because I hadto getitfast...
This kid cracks meup!

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Birds & Trees and Trees & Birds

Want to know what moms like for their little ones' rooms?  Three words: BIRDS AND TREES!

I need to start this post by saying how grateful I am for every single bird, tree, branch, leaf, flower and owl I have painted.  I'm pretty sure the birds and trees of the world are responsible for keeping me in business and I will gladly paint 1000 more to be able to stay home with my little boy.

Join me on a tour of the birds and trees that have come through my studio art corner in the spare room in the last six months...

It started with these 20x20 Happy Birds that I painted for my sister's nursery:

Then there was this group of four 12x12 canvases that coordinates with popular Pottery Barn bedding:

Next was 4 Happy Bird Canvases instead of 3:

3 Birds and Owls instead of 4:

In January, I had about 15 canvases full of birds and trees in the art corner...

This sweet little bird was part of a larger painting:

A couple fun purple canvases:

This is just a tiny piece of a painting that I am so excited about but can't reveal yet:

A Happy Birds set of 3 with a mocha bird instead of blue:

Then the Happy Birds got a lovely pink makeover in a set of 3:

I even did a set of two for a baby boy that I really love (no pink in these!)

Just a few birds hanging out in a tree:

Happy Birds on a darker green background:

And recently, some really fun tangreine and lime birds that I can't completely reveal yet... but here's a tiny piece of the set:

I think the grand total is somewhere around FORTY canvases full of happy little birds sitting in their trees.  If you would have asked me in the fall if I would be painting 40 birds in the next 6 months I would have laughed.  I am truly amazing and honored every single time someone finds my shop in the big big world of Etsy!

When I was 10 I had a little white pet bird named Ruby.  I used to sit in my room and practice drawing her... wish I could find the drawings. I guess some things never change!