Tuesday, December 20, 2011

a little vacation

Happy Holidays, friends!

Thank you for faithfully reading this blog!

I just wanted to let you know that I'm going to take a little blogging vacation until after the first of the year! I will have an exciting recap for you all after our Christmas celebrations!

Merry Christmas to you!

Monday, December 19, 2011

Mountain Bike Monday - hike a bike

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I was really looking forward to getting back on the bike after missing our ride the previous Saturday due to a little stomach bug. I didn't feel 100%, so we were going to take it easy and do the green and blue trails at Poco to see how I felt after each.

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When we arrived the temperature was in the mid thirties. The high for the day yesterday was 40 something, so we were pretty much not expecting too much warmer weather.

We bundled up and got going. I felt like the stay puff marshmallow man in all my winter gear. I had my lobster gloves on as well as three layers up top, my headband, my smartwool snowboarding socks, base layer socks, and of course my toasti-toes! So, I was ready for cold weather.

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They say you should start out a little cold since you will quickly warm up. Warm up I did...until, we had to stop after about 6 miles into the ride for a flat tire on MUTT. Dynamo attempted to inflate my tires up enough for me to ride a little, but each time the air just went right out. The tire had been punctured somehow and the Stan's liquid goo inside (remember I have no tubes) had dried up and wouldn't seal the hole.

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So, Dynamo pulled out the spare tube to attempt to get me rolling again, but the tube had a small leak in it so it wasn't usable. MBM offered up his 26 inch tube, but the valve stem wouldn't fit...

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The only thing to do was hike out! Since Dynamo is faster at everything than me, I rode his bike and he ran with my bike the last 2 miles back to the truck.

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I thought that I was way ahead of Dynamo on the trail. Next thing I know he's right behind me. He's pretty fast! We might still be walking if I was hoofing it out with my bike.

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Some days just aren't meant to be. But, it was still a nice day outside at the Park. There weren't many people there. It was super quiet.

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It was cold, but with the proper gear we were fine. Too bad it was a little slow going at the end! There's always next time!

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Dynamo is always there to save the day! We're a good team!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Holiday Market this Saturday - Petersburg

December Holiday Farmers' Market
Saturday, December 17, 2011
9 a.m. until noon

Find us in the parking lot at the corner of Sycamore and Bank Streets (across from Kimberly Ann's and Dixie Diner), Petersburg

Come out and see Cardinal Hill Farm, Dolce Vita Farm, Rabbit Hill Farm, Roxbury Nursery, The Flower Patch, and others this Saturday! You'll find baked yummies, meats, plants, pies, plastic flowers, mistletoe, soaps, and more from your local farmers' market vendors. When looking for local handmade gifts and goodies...this is the place! We are MADE IN THE USA!!!

The Flower Patch will have new soap creations that look good enough to eat, so stop by to see our newest creations or just to say hi! We hope to have some mistletoe for sale to help you deck your holiday halls! To view more soaps visit Flickr.
Hope to see you there this Saturday!

Friday, December 9, 2011

tropical waters and a soap review

Tropical Waters Soap

Check out this new soap! Love the scent. I'm calling it tropical waters! I think you'll love it too!

Tropical Waters Soap

Recently, I asked our friend Clay to review a bar of soap that I had given he and his wife. I thought I'd share with you his feedback.


So I have been using the soap and like it so far. You gave us the soap with the poppy seed in it and it smells kinda sweet. It is a feminine smelling soap.

I like your soap as it does not leave a residue behind like Dove for instance.

It seems to be lasting a long time and has held together well.

I did have one minor thing I would change. That is to make the soap smaller so they fit in the hand better. This may not be applicable to most people because they may use a loofa. I would like to try the round soap because I bet that soap fits in the hand nicely.

Overall, I would recommend your soap to anybody looking for soap, which is pretty much everybody.


So, when you ask for feedback you have to be ready to take what's given...good and bad. I do appreciate all feedback. That's what will ultimately make me a better soapmaker!

As a result of Clay's feedback about the size of the bar, Dynamo helped me to make the bars shorter and fatter. Dynamo had shared the same feelings about needing a smaller bar, so the new size should be a hit! Clay, I think you'll like the new sized bar!

Tropical Waters Soap

I'm not sure you can tell much in this picture of my hand, but the bar is definitely sized to better fit your hand.

We test the bars before selling them; however, we tend to use the broken pieces or the end cuts that aren't as pretty. Often they are smaller or odd-shaped. In addition, I use a wash rag so I'm not trying to hold onto the bar like those who don't use rags have to.

Tropical Waters Soap

I love the design of this new bar. Look at the top...doesn't it remind you of waves?

I'm grateful for all input. If you have thoughts, please share!

And...don't forget we'll be at the Petersburg Farmers' Market on Saturday, December 17, with our soaps!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

holiday postcards

Holiday Post Cards

I decided to do some post cards this year instead of regular Christmas cards.

Holiday Post Cards

From year to year I save every Christmas card we get and tuck it away to use the next year as gift tags (thanks to my Aunt Janet for that idea) or when I make cards the next year.

Holiday Post Cards

The sentiments are beautiful and lots of the images can be cut up and repurposed!

Holiday Post Cards

I combined cards with stamps and other holiday embellishments to make this year's cards. A little Mod Podge goes a long way!

Holiday Post Cards

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Mountain Bike Monday - Not quite...

On Saturday we met up with MBM to hit the trails at Poco. Our little adopted nieces were there to take a natural wreath making class with their mom.

Biking Dec 3_0003

The girls are so sweet! They brightened up our day!

Biking Dec 3_0007

We headed out to tackle the Lakeview Trails. Spot, my SS, and I again teamed up to have a pretty good, consistent ride.

Biking Dec 3_0004

The trails had lots of traffic as compared to a normal day. It was a lovely biking day. We figured the increased traffic was due to the recent announcement of a 50 miler coming up in February at the Park. We're sure things will get busier with bikers training after the first of the year.

Biking Dec 3_0005

Dynamo signed up for the race too, so our training has already begun. Saturday, the plan was to do 20 miles. All went well for me until the end of Lakeview 3. I started to feel funny. At first I thought it was my nutrition, so I ate a little something. I thought I was "bonking" as they say. By the time we got to the trailhead I told the guys to go ahead and finish the last 7 without me. I headed back to the car and waited.

Biking Dec 3_0008

I took my time heading back and snapped a couple of pics.

Biking Dec 3_0011

The sunshine was lovely. The water was so pretty.

Biking Dec 3_0013

Biking Dec 3_0012

I got back to the car and tried to warm up. The temperature was quickly dropping. The guys arrived having completed the 20 mile goal for the day. Unfortunately, sometimes things don't work out as planned. Next time I'll make it happen!

For the 13 miles Spot and I completed, we had a great average. I was very consistent. I'll take that.

Friday, December 2, 2011

more oatmeal, milk, and honey goodness

Oatmeal Milk Honey Soap_0005_edited-1

A classic. A favorite.

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This scent is really popular. The last time I made it I just put the oats on top. This time I added soap curls and soap sticks. I really like the look of the curls.

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I put crushed oats in the mix as well. I love the color they give the soap. Plus, gotta have a little exfoliation too.

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My goal was to make this look as good as it smells. Yummy!

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Thursday, December 1, 2011

white ginger and amber smells good

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This is a new scent I wanted to try.

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It's a soft scent. Not overpowering, but instead light.

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The bars turned out really smooth and soft. I really like the result!

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The round bars are so pretty don't you think?

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

lavender oatmeal yumminess!

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Doesn't this look delicious? Pretend you can smell the lavender in the air. Oh, and a hint of oatmeal too!

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I'm having so much fun experimenting with different ingredients and smells. Oh, so yummy!

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The loaf looked like something that you'd see in the bakery!

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I had so much fun adding the soap curls and soap sticks to the batch. I felt like I was a cake decorator! Then, I topped it off with crushed oats and lavender buds! Inside there are oats and buds for exfoliation umph!

Lavender Oatmeal Soap_0011

Yes, it is a little messy, but totally worth it!

It smells so good! I'll have some at the Farmers' Market on December 17th!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Happy Birthday, Dynamo!

biking nov 20 j&r tint

Smooch (virtually)!!!!!

Today is a great day! It's Dynamo's birthday today!

He's strong, kind, generous, faithful, patient, talented, considerate, smart, and so many other wonderful things! He is my rock...I can always count on him.

I look forward to coming home to you everyday, Jeff! I'm so blessed to have you as my husband. So, today I wish you, hun, the best birthday ever! I LOVE YOU!!!!!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Mountain Bike Monday - Freedom Fun and TTF Heaven

Having a long holiday weekend meant extra time to play and even take a little field trip! We decided to check out Freedom Park in James City County/Williamsburg!

We had heard great things about this relatively new park, and it didn't disappoint.

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So...on Saturday, we ventured out after dropping Lexi off with Momma, Daddy, and Grams. We stopped for a ham sandwich at Edwards in Surry. Wonderful little place!

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Then, we hopped on the Jamestown Ferry over to Williamsburg.

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The park is easy to find. Take the Longhill Road exit off of Route 199 and you'll drive straight into the park, located on Centreville Road.

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First thing was to check out the bathrooms. And...let me tell you they sure were nice! Yes, they were new, but it sure was nice to go to a park and see such nice clean fresh scented facilities. First impression was fantastic!

We snapped a self portrait before we got started...

Freedom Park Ride_0008

We were told to check out Trails A, B, and C, so we started out on the very well-marked route from the parking area. The multi-use path took us shortly to the trailhead where we entered with Dynamo leading. On new trails I'm a little tentative and tend to be slower than normal, so Dynamo went first and signaled what was to come. This way I was more apt to go faster.

Freedom Park Ride_0009_edited-1

Trail A was fun. It was smooth and quick. The terrain reminded us of a mix between Poor Farm flats and Poco. Features were similar to that of York River (Marl Ravine Trail). There were some really neat bridges on A. There were well-marked obstacles with directional arrows giving you the option to choose the more difficult or less difficult route based on your riding level. I really appreciate the options. I know there's some debate about allowing options, but I am a big fan of having them. When I'm ready I will venture out of my comfort zone. I don't like to be forced. I like options.

The park was a nice mix of hardwoods and pines. The trail alternated between packed pine needle beds and packed leaf beds. It was pretty scenery.

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Freedom Park Ride_0011

We got to Trail B and took it. We had mapped out our planned route before getting to the Park, so we were prepared and didn't want to be wasting time on the trail trying to figure out which way to turn.

Freedom Park Ride_0019_edited-1

Trail B was quick, only 1.7 miles. It linked back up to A, and we finished the first 6 ish miles quickly. We were ready to check out Trail C. We had heard it had some pretty wild TTFs (Technical Trail Features) and it didn't disappoint. So, Clay...this one's for you!!!

At the start of the trail there was a sign...

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We watched a couple of guys tackle it! From here it didn't look so threatening...

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But, from here???

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Or here...

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How about here?

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Then...a warning sign of a 5 ft. drop...

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I took the left and snapped some pics of Dynamo going down it...

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And...off to the next TTF...

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They just kept coming...

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We just kept saying, "The Lyons boys would be in heaven."

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This one was crazy! The signage leading up to the next one said enough...

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No, we're not joking...people really do these jumps! Check out YouTube!

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This is "The Big Easy"!

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Freedom Park Ride_0043_edited-2

Or...the Three Ridges...

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Dynamo did check out this pretty cool ramp though...

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Lots of skinnies...

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Including "The Logness Monster". What a name!

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It was like it went on forever...

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Dynamo also checked out the see-saws as we finished up Trail C. Talk about an awesome, wild ride! We had a great time watching others tackle the obstacles while snapping pics.

We finished up our ride with some history. After all, we were in Williamsburg. You can't go there without getting some history in. At Freedom Park there is a reproduction of the Free Black Settlement. Here are some pics...

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Inside the houses were small and modest...

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It was a very educational end to a great ride. We completed about 12 miles. And...we had a fun time! Next time, Clay...we're videoing you attempting some of these TTFs!