Friday Featured Favorites: Wicker and Wonderful

I… love… baskets. I don’t know what it is about baskets that makes them so appealing to me, they’re just fun!

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So naturally I was pleased to find the Etsy shop JGBaskets, with a wonderful variety of baskets. And when I say variety, I mean Variety!

The basket on the left is a mail basket. She also has stair baskets, bread baskets, napkin baskets and wall baskets (all of which are worth looking at!)

Jan, the owner of the shop, got started about 28 years ago, when she decided to get a kit and make herself a basket. Apparently, her first basket wasn’t a roaring success, but she kept at it until, as you can see, she got fantastic results!

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Besides selling on Etsy, Jan sells her baskets at art shows. As well as weaving, she’s tried her hand at cross stitch, macramé, quilting, crochet and rug hooking. What really impresses me is that she runs her Etsy shop on the side, and works as a surgical technologist and surgical assistant during the day.

I really enjoyed featuring this shop today. I kept running into it, and seeing different, fun baskets every time. I love the simple, beautiful look and I look forward to coming back to see what else she has. By the way, she has some really fun Easter baskets you have to check out!

Once again, the shop is JGBaskets.

Hope everyone has a great weekend!

Sarah

Chocolate – and the pleasures of life

I like chocolate in just about any form… candy bars, white chocolate, hot cocoa, ice cream, dark chocolate, milk chocolate, semi sweet, cocoa, Nutella, cake, cookies, cocoa nibs… the list is endless!

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It’s really, really easy for me to just keep eating/munching/sipping on chocolate. Admittedly, when you’ve had enough, you’ve had enough, like with super rich, amazing hot cocoa.

It helps that chocolate, especially the darker it gets, is actually good for you! I don’t feel as guilty munching on it then.

Which brings me to something I’ve slowly come to realize… even when food is good for you, you don’t need to pig out on it!

This is something I’ve come to realize from reading French Women Don’t Get Fat, by Mireille Guiliano. She points out that you don’t need to have lots of something to enjoy it, and often your treat tastes best in the first few bites.

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What sparked the idea for this blog post was a bag of dark chocolate chips on the table, which I naturally took advantage of by putting some chocolate chips in a little cup and munching on them while I worked on a few things in the kitchen. What’s strange is that, practically from the beginning, I planned on getting a second helping before leaving the room. I was nearly done with my first batch, when I suddenly realized I didn’t really feel like having anymore! Naturally, I wanted more, but I had had enough.

I have fallen into the bad habit of thinking I need more to really be satisfied… and that chocolate, or something else, is the only thing that will satisfy me. As Hannah and I realized recently, and laughed over for about 10 minutes, was that we fall into the habit of saying the extra collection we get of some treat (weather it’s chips, chocolate or fruit) is our treat, and all the rest of the munching didn’t really count!

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Food is a good thing – well, most of the time. And there is nothing wrong with eating! As I have mentioned before, cooking makes me happy… food makes me happy!

But one problem I realize I’ve had is relying on food to make me happy.

I have just as much, if not more sometimes, pleasure in the company of friends and family, or the early blossoms of March, or a nice cup of tea, or finishing Northanger Abbey, or taking a walk, or loving my dog, or listening/playing music. I don’t need food, even chocolate, to make any of those things better than they already are.

What about you? What are some of your favorite simple, awesome pleasures? I’d love to hear about them!

Hope everyone continues to have a great week!

Sarah

 

DIY Dishwasher Detergent

Over the last few years the acronym DIY (or Do It Yourself) has been floating around the internet. When I first saw it, I got annoyed at it – kinda dorky word! But then Abigail, Sarah and I realized that it’s no different from what we’ve always done – work with what you have and make up little projects or crafts or food dishes or cleaning supplies or – well the list goes on – and my mind runs blank. 🙂 There are too many things that we’ve done to list them all.

So to celebrate my continuation of creatively finding solutions for little everyday problems, I’m making a blog post about it! And maybe we’ll do more blog posts about our own version of DIY.

Ok, so the problem was we just ran out of dish detergent tabs and kind of need to run the dishwasher – we use a lot of dishes in one day, people! And since I’ve been curious about making my own dish detergent for a while now, I decided to look one up. I found a couple that looked pretty similar. (First one I found was on Tipnut and the second, which is the one I used, was on DIY Natural)

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DIY Dishwasher Detergent

  • 1 cup Borax
  • 1 cup Baking Soda
  • 1/2 cup Citric Acid
  • 1/2 cut Salt
  • 3-4 drops essential oil (optional)

Mix it all up, making sure to evenly spread the essential oil. I used lavender, but you could use lemon, orange, eucalyptus, tea tree, lemongrass essential oil.

Use about 1 tablespoon per load, or more if desired.

 

 

 

This stuff is sooo white! It’s all powdery and clean smelling – until I added lavender, and then it smelt all pretty!

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An added bonus for me was using up a few things we have in the cabinet. Like this stuff – we found the regular salt in the back of the cabinet – does salt go bad? What little I tasted of it just tasted like regular salt. But since I didn’t want to use it in cooking, this was the perfect thing! 🙂 And I used up the sour salt – or citric acid. Don’t really use sour salt for anything else.

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Then I put it into my handy dandy jar, and there you go! And of course, always use the Collaborator – that’s the word we girls use for a big funnel – don’t ask why!

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Just ran the load with it – looks pretty good to me! Nice and clean!

Has anyone else tried a homemade dishwasher detergent before?

What did you think of the results?

~Hannah~