Monday, May 25, 2015

Handmade Organic Lotion Bars

I tried my hand at something new today:  handmade organic lotion bars.

I got the idea from a Pinterest photo and decided to try it myself.  The concept is really quite simple. I used an equal mixture of beeswax, shea butter, and sweet almond oil, then I added some tea tree essential oil, et voilà.

Handmade Organic Lotion Bars.  I used a silicone mold to be able to remove the bars easily.  I put the hot mixture into the fridge and checked every ten minutes.

First 10-minute check
Second 10-minute check; they look done, but I could tell they weren't quite ready to come out yet.

I took them out after 30 minutes and I took the final product pictures.

However, I think they should perhaps stay in the fridge a little longer to begin with because they were pretty slippery when I was taking photos.  I put them back in after the photo shoot and I think they are hardening up as I write.

I used tea tree oil because I had it on hand and because I thought it would be a good oil to keep bugs away.  I hope to make more bars using other great natural insect repellents such as citronella, lavender, and peppermint oil. Check back again to see another batch coming at you soon.

Thank you for reading.




                              Tea Tree Oil.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Dreaming of Provence...

I love France.  If you've read very many of my blog posts, you would hopefully know that by now.  I have been to many cities in that wonderful country:  Paris, Nantes, Angers, La Rochelle, Bordeaux, and Dijon, to name the biggest ones. I have been to several gorgeous châteaux in my day as well:  Chambord, Chenonceaux, Blois, and Amboise.  And I have experienced the gorgeous countryside of La Bretagne.

I haven't seen all of France, however, and the part I am looking forward to most about my upcoming trip is experiencing Provence for the first time in my life.  Provence has always felt like a dream to me, so real yet so elusive.  A few places I would like to experience:

 Le Cours Mirabeau in Aix

Le Pont du Gard

 Le Palais des Papes in Avignon


 The Prince's Palace of Monaco

Lavender Fields

I understand that the lavender in Provence may not quite be blooming until after I leave. This saddens me slightly, but can I really complain?  I'll be in Provence, for goodness sake.  Who knows?  Maybe I will be inspired to move there like Peter Mayle and write witty, successful books about my experience.  Maybe I'll take it one step further and become a lavender farmer in Provence.  If only...

The photos in this post are not my own.  They were copied and pasted following a Google search.  However, I hope to post again this summer with photos of Provence that are my own. Be on the lookout for that.

Thank you for reading.


Thursday, May 21, 2015

Dreaming of France...

I will be taking a group of students to France next month, which is an awesome responsibility.    Now that the school year is winding down, it has finally hit me that this is really going to happen, whether I'm ready or not.  Figuring out the best way to exchange money, what to pack, and how to use our cell phones internationally is somewhat daunting.  A lot has changed since the last time I was there.

Yet, there is an upside to this trip; I will get to visit La Belle France again after so many years.  I can't wait to see old favorites like...

 Notre Dame

L’Opéra Garnier

Le Louvre

L'Arc de Triomphe

La Tour Eiffel

Les Invalides

Sacré Coeur


La Madeleine

and Versailles

Tomorrow, I will write a post about the new places I hope to see on our trip to France.  





Friday, May 8, 2015

Vive les Français et vive les pompiers!

The French classes at my school were lucky enough to earn another visit from some young French firefighters/interns studying firefighting in the United States.  This time, Marion and Antoine were joined by Adrien and Gregory. All four were very gracious, kind, and patient with us.  And they brought us crêpes.  Merci beaucoup!

Bless their hearts, they withstood another long day of answering questions about their favorite foods, whether they have any boyfriends/girlfriends, etc. And pauvre Antoine had responded to a call in the middle of the night.  A couple of nights ago, he and the firefighters he is working with had five calls after midnight.  Il était tellement crevé!  But he soldiered on and everyone did a wonderful job enlightening the French students in my school.  Les voilà:

Vive les Français et vive les pompiers! 

Merci d’être venus nous rendre visite!  J’espère que vous vous êtes amusés aussi bien que nous!  


Thursday, May 7, 2015

Quelles belles fleurs!

Our air conditioner has stopped working, but that hasn't stopped me from enjoying the beautiful flowers in my garden, peonies, irises, roses, and clematis, to name a few:

I love Spring and I love flowers!

Stop and enjoy one today.