Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Waiting for September

Last week I ended up with a great reason to look forward to September. My daily email/chat friend, Sharon, and I are going to meet in London, Ontario. Yay! Road trip!! Sharon lives in Canada and will be flying to London, since it is just a few hours from Detroit. So, I will drop off the puppyboy, pick up the mom and we will cross the bridge from Detroit to Windsor.

Today I found a second reason to look forward to September. The next book in the Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer is supposed to be available on September 13. I. Cannot. Wait. I think this is my favorite series ever.

September is going to be awesome. Now to just get through the next five months…

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Dear Maven - making scentless lids

Dear Maven,
How do you get the smell out of the candle lid? I would like to re-use the container as a sugar container. However, I do not want the sugar to smell like Cinnamon Garland. I have tried many things to get the smell out, including Homeology All Purpose.

Take the plastic ring off of the glass and wash them both with very hot soapy water, letting them soak 30 minutes or so. Rinse and allow them to dry. If the plastic ring still has a smell, let it sit in a bowl of baking soda for a week. Wash the plastic ring, let it dry and smell again. If it still has smell left, do another bowl of baking soda for a couple of weeks. That should do it!

I know it sometimes take a little extra work to repurpose something, but it’s all worth it. Plus, who else will have such a beautiful custom-designed diamond cut glass sugar container?

Your partner in going green,

Dear Maven is a column in our monthly demonstrator’s newsletters. I have not written any of these articles, but am sharing them here for your information.
Wow—another example of reduce, reuse, recycle. Way to go! Gold Canyon has the most powerful fragrance on the market and with this high quality it’s no wonder you can’t get that smell out. You can though—it just takes a little time.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Just the scraps.

Last night was the monthly scrapbooking group I joined in March. The theme was National Scrapbook Day (which is actually next weekend). Everyone who attended got a little gift (a package of stickers). The demos also drew names for small door prizes – which everyone won. There was also a contest to see who could finish the most layouts that night. I won with ten layouts! Yay!

My mind was elsewhere when I was packing up for the event, though. I say this because I forgot both my set of scissors and a paper cutter. I also forgot to bring the scrapbook I purchased last month. Regardless, I still did a pretty good job!

I love this monthly group. It’s not the same as what I had in Michigan, but I miss that a little less. It’s great to get together with other scrapbookers and bounce layout ideas around, share tools, and generally have a great time.

Friday, April 23, 2010

All God’s critters got a place in the choir…

I used to be a singer. I still love to sing, but I know that I’m no where near as good as I once was. It’s my own fault. I quit singing for a while, mostly for stupid reasons that I won’t go in to here, but will suffice to say that a little over ten years ago I started at least singing to myself again. (note...the hubby and I have been together for just over 10 years. Coincidence? I think not.)

I love to belt out songs. Usually to the puppyboy or to the hubby. I also have a handful of friends and coworkers that I’ll sing to – often to just get a song stuck in their heads. I get to sing at work all the time. Over the past few months, I’ve even been doing it without any accompaniment from a CD. But that music is all children’s songs.

About a month ago I joined a church. A week after I attended Mass for the first time, I started singing in the choir. This week I made it to practice for the first time.

Wow. I am out of practice. And I am having a hard time adjusting to singing harmony when needed. I almost never had to do that before, since I was a soprano, and now I’m an alto. And I’m singing with people who actually know what they are doing/hearing. Perhaps it’s time to dig out the keyboard and practice some scales.

One last note (ha!). The title for this post is from an adorable children's book based on the song with that title. Check out All God's Critters illustrated by Kadir Nelson.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Earth Day

It's Earth Day. Not only that, it's the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.

In honor of Earth Day, here are a couple of great green links:

Real Simple tells us how to recycle anything

Earth911 has 40 Tips for the 40th Earth Day

I'll save a post on how to be green with Gold Canyon products for another day. :D

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Happiness is...

New yarn. Especially soft, pretty yarn. Now...what to make with it?

In case you are wondering, there are two skeins each of Andean Treasure in Sapphire and Summer Sky, and one skein each of CotLin in Lilac and Pomegranate.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Iron Votive Centerpiece

Dear Ama,

I love the Iron Votive Centerpiece, but also love the variety of scents available in tealights. Any suggestions on how to use the tealights without getting soot in the glass holders?

I hear ya! The first holder I purchased from Gold Canyon was the Iron Votive Centerpiece. I love to mix and match scents in the holder. My favorite for autumn was Cinnamon Vanilla, Autumn Walk, Mulled Cider and Cranberry Orange. Right now I have Fresh Orange and Ginger Lime. So fresh and yummy!

But…that’s not what you asked. A great way to keep the soot away is to place something under the tealights. I went to my local WalMart and found a bag of crushed seashells (less than $4!). The bag had the perfect amount to fill each glass holder equally and still have enough room for a tealight.

While visiting one of the local dollar stores recently, I came across a bag of small stones. The price is perfect for any budget. They were only $1! This is another great filler.

The photos in this post are of my centerpiece. As you can tell, I'm far from a pro at taking photos of candles!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

home beauty treatments

I came across this article recently and thought it was too fun to not share. Why waste money on beauty treatment products that are full of chemicals when you can easily make scrubs and masks using simple kitchen ingredients? I can’t wait to try a few of them!

DIY beauty treatments you can make in your own kitchen
by Sarah McColl, Shine staff, on Tue Apr 6, 2010 7:11am PDT

Most girly girls dream of a collection of lotions and potions with fancy French labels, but a trip to the produce aisle can be a super natural way to treat your skin free from scary science lab ingredients. Equally exciting, making your own sugar scrub is a heck of a lot easier on your wallet than buying one. Most of these beauty recipes below are cheap, cheap, cheap, but the question is: would you be up for smearing banana on your face or bathing in egg whites?

1. Detoxifying Bath Salts

¾ cup Epsom salts
¼ cup baking soda
4 drops of grapefruit essential oil (or scent of your choice)

Combine dry ingredients in a bowl. One at a time, add drops of essential oil, stirring after each addition. Add salts to warm bath water.

2. Wake Me Up Scrub
from Body + Soul
¼ cup olive oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
15 drops peppermint essential oil
½ cup used coffee grounds from a freshly brewed pot

Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and thoroughly blend. Transfer the scrub to a wide mouthed jar, and store in a cool place until ready to use. The scrub will keep for one to two weeks, longer if refrigerated.

3. Almond Orange Scrub
from Self
1 handful almonds
1 orange peel
1 cup grapeseed or olive oil

Blitz all ingredients in a blender or food processor for an antioxidant rich scrub.

4. Simplest Super Scrub

½ cup brown sugar
½ cup grapeseed oil (olive oil would be great, too)
splash of vanilla extract

Stir to combine and slough away!

5. Sweet and Spicy Sugar Scrub
adapted from Care2
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white granulated sugar
¾ cup almond, hazelnut, or coconut oil
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons ginger
2 teaspoons nutmeg

In a medium-sized bowl, combine all ingredient. Using a whisk, blend ingredients thoroughly, making sure to break up any lumps of brown sugar or spice.

6. Oatmeal Yogurt Mask For All Skin Types
1 tablespoon oatmeal, finely ground
1 tablespoon plain yogurt
a few drops of honey

Add the yogurt to the oatmeal in a small bowl and mix together. Warm a few drop of honey. To do this, warm a spoon under hot water for a minute, then add a few drops of honey to the spoon. Stir the honey into the yogurt and oatmeal mixture. Apply the mask to face. Leave on for 10 minutes, then rinse off with several splashes of warm water.

7. Green Papaya Brightening Mask For All Skin Types
from Body + Soul

½ cup unripe papaya, diced
1 teaspoon plain yogurt
1 teaspoon honey

Blend ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Apply to clean skin and leave on 10 minutes. Rinse off using cool water and pat dry. Finish by applying a gentle moisturizer.

8. Avocado Mask for Dry Skin
½ avocado
¼ cup honey

Mash the avocado in a bowl, then stir in honey. Apply to skin and leave for 10 minutes, then rinse.

9. Banana Mask for Oily Skin
1 banana, preferably ripe (you can keep ripe bananas in the freezer. Let it thaw before using)
1 tbsp honey
an orange or a lemon

Mix the banana and honey together in a bowl. Add a few drops of juice from an orange or a lemon. Apply to face for 15 minutes, then rinse.

10. Classic Eye De-Puffer
2 chamomile tea bags or 2 slices cucumber

Make a cup of tea for you and a friend. Remove tea bags and place in refrigerator until chilled. Place cool tea bags on closed eyes for 10 minutes. Or put cucumber slices in fridge until chilled and place over closed eyes for 10 minutes.

11. Old-Fashioned Bubble Bath
from Real Simple
½ cup mild liquid hand or body soap
1 tablespoon sugar or honey
1 egg white

Mix ingredients together in a bowl and the entire mixture under running bath water as you draw your bath. Honey is a natural humectant, and the egg white helps create stronger, longer-lasting bubbles. For extra-dry skin, adda tablespoon of light oil, such as almond or light sesame.

12. Foaming Vanilla-Honey Bath
from Real Simple
1 cup light oil (almond, sunflower, or canola)
½ cup honey
½ cup mild liquid hand or body soap
1 tablespoon vanilla extract.

Mix ingredients together in a glass jar. To use, shake gently to remix and pour ¼ cup under running bath water.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Dear Maven - Pineapple scents

Dear Maven,

For years I have loved the fragrance in Pineapple & Cilantro pillars. Now I see the Pineapple & Cilantro description in the summer catalog’s fragrance guide says “refer to Pineapple Coast”. Is it true that Pineapple Coast and Pineapple & Cilantro are really one in the same? I think they smell so different!


Perplexed over Pineapple

Dear Perplexed,

Believe it! The scandalous truth is that these two fragrances really are one in the same. But don’t feel too betrayed. There are a couple of perfectly reasonable explanations for why this two-timing fragrance has you faked out.

First, if you’re detecting a slight difference between the two fragrances, it may not be your imagination. Any difference between the way the two fragrances smell could be attributed to the difference in wax bases. The vegetable wax blend in the pillars has a slightly different natural odor than that of the paraffin wax blend in the Heritage jars.

Also, you may have heard it said that perception is everything. That couldn’t be truer in the world of fragrance. Fragrance is very experiential. For example, a name like Pineapple Coast with a beach-themed label in a Heritage jar may conjure up different visual images and invoke a different feeling than a Tuscan-inspired pillar with a name like Pineapple & Cilantro.

Your Pineapple Private Eye,

Dear Maven is a column in our monthly demonstrator’s newsletters. I have not written any of these articles, but am sharing them here for your information.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Spring really is in the air! part 2

Chives (large pot) and bunching scallions

Urm...thyme? maybe? I'm not sure. It keeps coming back every year. lol Someone gave it to me several years ago.

I planted hyssop in this pot last year.

Black Raspberry plant my Dad gave me last year.

Look! There's new growth on it!

Strawberry plant I potted last year. I need a bigger container for it, though.

Garlic chives I planted (from seed) last year.

The fruit and herb table. :D

Pretty flowers someone gave me last year. I have yet to get them planted. Oops.

Spring really is in the air! part 1

I finally got the camera situation fixed. Hubby was able to get his laptop started, and I could download the photos to it. Then I moved the photos to my thumb drive, which meant I could upload them to the internet from another computer. Isn’t technology grand?

So…Here are some photos of plants that have been growing. However, I took these pics a few weeks ago, so things that once were in bloom are no longer, and others now have flowers or more growth.

I'm going to break this up in to two posts. This one will contain the front yard stuff. The next post will contain the back yard stuff.

Lilies are starting to come up again! :D

I don't know what this is, but is so very soft. We planted it in the front yard last year.

The hydrangea we planted up front last year.

Another plant that I can't recall what it is. Planted it last year.

I think this is St. John's Wort. Planted last year.

Buds on the lilac we planted last summer!

See the buds? :D

A friend gave me a bit of this plant a few years ago. It's really taken off!

Spikers statue hiding in the day lilies

Growth on the peach tree!

I'm not sure what to do with this plant. I hope it grows back this year. Do I need to cut it?

And for comparison, a view of last year's look:

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Themed Party Ideas

Dear Ama,

I love hosting parties and I love candles, but I don't want my candle party to be the same old direct sales party that everyone else has. Have any great themed party ideas?

Why yes I do! There are a lot of ways to party with Gold Canyon!

Girls'/Moms' Night In
Host an evening of pampering and fun without the kids! "Emerge" with a manicure using our Emerge line of body products. Relax with the scent of Essentially Soy Aromatherapy candles. Most importantly, just kick back and have fun!

Ugly Candle Party
Have a candle that’s just plain ugly? Bring it to this party for a discount on a beautiful Gold Canyon Candle. The owner of the ugliest candle will win a free replacement candle!

Wickless Wonders Party
Find out why Gold Canyon is more than just a candle company.

This party features Gold Canyon’s scented products that don’t use wicks – Pod Warmers, Diffusers, bookmarks, air fresheners and more! This is a great way to introduce Gold Canyon to those who aren't keen on burning candles, but still love a scented home.

Gold Canyon Design Workshop
Are you and your friends looking for a unique centerpiece? How about hosting a Gold Canyon Design workshop? Each guest will start out with the same base item - like a Ruffled Pedestal ($15.48). A variety of supplies will be provided. Attendees can preorder candles for their centerpiece or order them the day of the workshop.

Guest must prepay for this workshop, in order to have materials available.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Dear Mother Nature...

Dear Mother Nature.

Perhaps you are going through "the change". If so, there are medications that may help you. I only suggest this because a few weeks ago we woke up to an inch of snow on the ground. Then we had a couple of weeks of temps in the 70s and even up to low 90s a couple of days! Yet, when I returned from lunch this afternoon, there was snow in the air.

I understand that this is Ohio and the weather can be a bit crazy this time of year, but I don't recall ever having such fluctuations in temperatures in such a short amount of time.

Please seek help immediately.



Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Knitting update!

I started a new project. That doesn’t mean I finished any of the other projects I have on needles…just that I started a new one.

Currently I have three works in progress:

  1. A scarf in a beautiful shade of dark green 100% baby alpaca (Andean Treasure from I started this in January. I work on it every once in a while, so it may be done by next winter. Maybe.
  2. Felted teething rings. I have a lot of feltable wool yarn (Wool of the Andes from in a variety of colors. I also have a lot of friends and family members who are busy procreating. So, I am going to try and make a few sets of these. They are quick to knit…once I figure out what I am doing. The idea is from here: Knitting A Baby
  3. A Jellyfish amigurumi from Amigurumi Knits: Patterns for 20 cute mini knits by Hansi Singh. This is the newest project. I borrowed the book through my library (not from, though, as we don’t own it). I liked it so much I bought it. (from, of course).

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

woe is me...

at least when it comes to computers. Specifically, laptops.

Hubby accidentally spilled milk on his laptop. This meant that most of last week it was not working at all. It is working again, but not without issues. Now the keys are kinda wonky, making it difficult to type anything.

This means I'm stuck using the nearly 6 years old laptop that has both Velcro and duct tape keeping various parts together. Seriously. It has a multitude of issues. The two most annoying would be how slow the machine runs and it's tendency to frequently drop the wireless connection. There is much swearing and muttering under my breath when I am using this machine.

I have photos to share. Gardening photos. Party display photos. I'm sure a few other photos, too. Alas...the cracktop can't handle the attempt of reading my photocard. The two times I tried it crashed the machine. *sigh*

Isn't technology grand?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Dear Maven, What is the shelf life of our EMERGE products? I found one under my sink that may have been there for well over a year. It seemed OK but didn’t have much of a fragrance left.

You know my first question is going to be ‘why on earth would you hide a wonderful EMERGE product under your sink?!’ On the other hand, I am glad you are concerned about still using the old EMERGE you found!

Fragrance is the first thing that starts to go when you keep your cosmetics too long. Such a waste too because the EMERGE fragrance is so wonderful. However, once fragrance is gone, that doesn’t mean the product is useless. The shelf life of EMERGE is one year but can be longer if kept in cooler conditions—the warmer environment can reduce the shelf life of cosmetics.

As long as the product smells OK and looks OK, it is generally safe to use. I know you’re probably just trying to not waste a perfectly good product, but since the renewing fragrance of EMERGE is so important to the experience, it’s probably better to just get a fresh product. I wouldn’t want you missing out on “The World’s Finest”® EMERGE experience!

P.S. Remember to refer to the Product Knowledge Guide. You can find a lot of this information about shelf life and storage temps in there.

Helping you enjoy “The World’s Finest”,


Dear Maven is a column in our monthly demonstrator’s newsletters. I have not written any of these articles, but am sharing them here for your information.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Gold Canyon Summer 2010 Catalog preview

Wow! I just looked at the new Summer catalog! It starts May 1, but we are able to view it ahead of time. Let me know if you want a sneak peak!

We have lots of changes coming to Gold Canyon. If you love the Inspiration and Pillar lines, stock up NOW! Those lines are available only while supplies last. If it is just the scents that you adore, don’t worry. Most of the scents will be available in as Heritage candles.

There are a couple new Scent Pod Warmers – including one that can showcase your favorite photo!

New to Gold Canyon this summer are two products that are completely different from our usual.

  1. UN-scented candles! You can get an unscented candle in any of our Bella sizes or as tealights. Perfect for those who love the glow of candles, but can’t handle the scents.
  2. ScentMate™ Personal Fan Diffuser – A quiet, yet powerful battery-operated fan that uses scented oils to stream long-lasting fragrance into the air.

In addition to these great changes, Gold Canyon is offering a slew of summer seasonal scents, including Fizzy Pop and Sliced Watermelon.

Contact me to order products or to schedule your Gold Canyon party (and earn those goodies for FREE).