Where Have I Been All Your Life?

Hi Beautifuls!

I know it’s been ages since I lasted posted. For those that are not aware, my dad passed away last year after 2+ years of battling NK/T-cell lymphoma. I shut the business down during that time because I needed to focus on family.  Lots of lessons learned on that journey, I tell ya’, but those stories are for future posts.

During the time I wasn’t actively selling or making product, I was thinking about my life, my business and where I want to go with both. The most consuming thought all that time was one of self-sufficiency. I want to be able to provide for my family’s needs (food, water, shelter, and medicine) should life as we know it change drastically. Having seen Hurricane Katrina up close & personal, I know all too well what might happen if the unthinkable does happen, usually in the blink of an eye.

So to kick things off I will be participating in a three day homesteading course next month.  I hope to come away with a lot of cute goatinformation, particularly on beekeeping, raising dairy goats, organic gardening, herbs, and growing an orchard.  I’ll also be schooled in fencing (building them, no épée involved), barns, sheds, and water supply. Paw Ingles won’t have anything on me by the end of those three days!

Another step I will be taking is to become a certified herbalist. I firmly believe that the Creator has supplied us with everything we need here on earth, including medicine. Indeed, many of today’s pharmaceuticals are either plant-based or are a synthetic of plant material.  Why use synthetic when I can grow the real deal?

Oh, that reminds me! If you know of anyone in south Louisiana that is a forager or knows how to forage, please let me know. I’d love nothing more than to cook up a dinner I’ve found out in the woods.

Business-wise, my personal goals dovetail nicely into the new direction my business will be heading. As I learn more aElderberry blossomsbout how I can keep my family healthy with medicinal herbs, trees, shrubs and flowers, I’m learning how beneficial these things can be in personal care products. And the best part of all? I will be growing the botanicals in my own garden and, infusing or decocting them in my kitchen! Doing so means I will know exactly how the botanicals have been raised and processed, providing even more confidence in the quality of ingredients used in my products.

Not sure when the website will be up and running again but I will be participating in Highland Nights again this year at The Stockade Bed & Breakfast.  Save the date-Friday, November 14, 2014.  Y’all know Janice is the queen of passing a good time, right?

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Favorites Friday – Fridge Folder Magnets

Our first Favorites Friday artist is……Brenda White, owner of CuteLootnFood2Boot.

I met Brenda through the Handmade Louisiana group on Facebook.  I call Brenda the “Goddess of Paper!”  She handcrafts some of the cutest paper goods I’ve ever seen; from cupcake holders to personalize gift tags, even matchbook notepads! If you’ve recently purchased loofah seeds from me then you know Brenda’s work-she made the envelopes that contain your seeds!

While I’m a fan of everything Brenda creates, my most favorite item is her Fridge Folder Magnet.

Refrigerator Folder Magnet and Coupon Organizer in Lime Green and Pink for Coupons, Photos, Receipts and RecipesMade of sturdy patterned recycled card stock, the folder has gusseted sides with a magnetic backing and, while it looks the size of a regular manila folder, Brenda’s fridge folders measure 4-1/2″ x 6″, a perfect size for keeping your coupons organized. They are also an excellent container for receipts, grocery and shopping lists, etc. 

Here’s a pic to show you the size of the folders relative to a fridge:

Fridge Folder Magnet and Coupon Organizer in Brown and Bluebirds for Coupons, Photos, Receipts and Recipes

See? The size is perfect-keeps you organized without cluttering up your fridge door! The folders are a great way to brighten up your office filling cabinets, too. They come in a plethora of patterns and colors-solids, stripes, floral, paisley, and more. Click on the image of the single folder above the fridge pic to see for yourself!

Right now, Brenda is offering a FALL PROMO – with every purchase of a fridge folder magnet, you will receive two (2) free matchbook notepads! The little notepads are great to keep in your purse or car.  You simply MUST visit Brenda’s Etsy shop and see all she has to offer.

(photos courtesy of Brenda White/CuteLootnFood2Boot; used with permission)
Posted in Louisiana | 1 Comment

Announcing “Favorites Friday”

To support my friends and local women-owned businesses, each Friday I will be selecting one of them and highlighting what they do and why I love them so.

Be on the lookout for “Favorites Friday,” starting this week, Friday, October 26th!

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DIY Upcycled Fringed Scarf

I had the TV on in the workroom today and found myself watching Rachael Ray.  One of Rachael’s guests was Erica Domesek, author and founder of psimadethis.com  Rachael and Erica were making DIY fringed scarves out of old t-shirts.

I know my crafty friends are saying, “Really, you’re just now finding out about this?” but I’m not  crafty so I tend to neglect watching someone else do crafty things.

All I could think of was, “Finally, a craft I could do with really cool results!” I got excited and ran around the house looking for old t-shirts my son left when he moved out of the house.

Found a t-shirt and had at it.  I followed along with Erica in this video:

Somebody help me..I’ve made three scarves so far! I can’t stop! I might have to hit the Goodwill store tomorrow for more t-shirts!!

Give it a try and post a pic of your creation on our Facebook page!

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Award-winning Original King Cake Soap is back for the 2012 Carnival Season

King Cake SoapYou’ve been asking about it and how it’s here! Our award-winning King Cake Soap by the Slice is again available on our website.

Looks good enough to eat but please don’t-you’ll probably get a tummy ache!  Our pure Goat’s Milk soap is fragranced with a yummy fragrance that reminds us of a Zulu King Cake-chocolate and coconut with a little bit of coffee thrown in.  The “frosting” is actually a bath melt sprinkled with colored sugar.

Award-winning King Cake Soap by the Slice

If you are a member of a Mardi Gras krewe looking for a unique gift for your fellow krewe members, why not give a unique “slice” of Louisiana history?  We offer bulk pricing but will need your order placed well in advance of your event.  Contact us for  more information and special pricing.

Don’t forget, especially if losing weight is a New Year’s resolution, that our King Cake Soap has zero calories, zero fat, and zero Weight Watcher’s points so stock up before the carnival season ends!

Available in stores starting Twelfth Night, the official start of carnival season (that’s Friday, January 5th for the uninitiated!)

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Happy New Year-I’m going to be a bell-ringer in 2012

I have mixed emotions about leaving 2011 behind. While it was the most challenging year for my family, it was also a year of great personal and business growth.

I’ve been joking around that I don’t want any drama in the new year but then realized that the Mayans predicted the end of the world in 2012! So much for no drama!

I’ve resigned myself to the fact that there will always be drama and challenges in life and I can’t control that. I can, however, control how I respond to each event in my life, the good ones and the not-so-good ones.

My dad forwarded an email to me recently telling the story of two horses, one blind and the other, smaller horse, with a small copper bell attached to its halter.  You can read the entire story here. I would encourage you to read the story because if you do not, the rest of my post will make no sense to you.

Go ahead, read it……I’ll wait for you………………

My number one goal for 2012 is to be a bell-ringer. No, not for the Salvation Army, but for my family, friends, customer and for small business owners, particularly women-owned, in my area.

And not just some time, but every time I have contact with any one of you.  I hope to offer encouragement to you no matter where you are in your personal or business life.  I don’t have all the answers but I’ve been on this planet for nearly half a century and have owned my business for a number of years so that experience should count for something!

Please feel free to visit with me at the Main Street Market when we are there, at our new shop inside Fleur du Jour, or anywhere else we might be in 2012.  You can sign up for Handmade at Homestead’s  free newsletter, join H@H on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter to learn about the new products we will be introducing, sales we will have, meet-ups with other small business owners, and where we will be throughout the year.

Here’s to a positive, fantastic 2012!

Posted in Elizabeth Hill, Giving Back, Life, Louisiana, Main Street Market | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Great handmade gifts for under $10

Did you know Handmade at Homestead has several handcrafted bath & body products for under ten dollars? All make great last-minute gifts or stocking-stuffers and are now available at our new location inside of Fleur Du Jour Florist.
Our Luxurious Bath Salts is a welcomed gift or an indulgence for yourself-why not splurge a little? Imagine a hot, luxurious bath filled with your favorite scented salts.  Feel the silky smooth water warm your body as your senses come alive with aromatic delights. Outside your bathroom is a stressful, busy life but inside your warm tub your stress subsides and your muscles relax. Our bath salts are made using a proprietary blend of European Sea Salts, Epsom Salts, and essential or fragrance oils. Select fragrances available for $9.95.

Our lip-smoothing Kissable~a sugar scrub for your lips~ ($7.95) is formulated to help keep your lips in impeccable kissing condition. Ideal for renewing dry lips, this easy to use treatment exfoliates dull, flaky skin for super soft, super smooth lips in seconds. Follow up with our Really Good Lip Balm ($3.75) for kissable lips all season long.

Cleopatra, the Queen of the Nile, was famous for her beautiful skin. Her secret was that she soaked in baths of fresh milk scented with honey, lavender, or rose petals. Some sources even suggest that strawberries and raspberries were used on occasion to scent her bath.  Our Milk & Honey Bath Soak ($9.95) made with the finest of powdered milk and honey, is a natural way to keep your skin soft, supple and radiant.

Looking for an unusual gift? Why not try our Rope-Your-Own-Soap~Reusable Soap Saver ($8.00) a Handmade at Homestead exclusive? The secret to a long-lasting bar of soap is allowing it to thoroughly dry between uses.  Our Rope-Your-Own-Soap is unique in that you use whatever soap you choose, not what the company puts on the end of the rope. When the soap is used up, you simply replace the old bar of soap with a new one.  Makes a great gift all by itself makes an even more special one given with a bar of our Goat’s Milk Soap or our Pure Olive Oil Soap. ($5.95)

All the above mentioned products are available for purchase at Fleur Du Jour, Baton Rouge’s only downtown florist, 447 Third St., Suite B, Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm and Saturday 9am-noon.

Remember, our online shop is closed until January 4, 2012.  You can still place orders while the shop is closed and they will be processed when our online shop re-opens in 2012.

Merry Christmas from all of us at Handmade at Homestead!

Posted in Hollywood South, Louisiana, Main Street Market, Sale, Seasonal Skincare | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas Schedule Notice

I hope you have been relatively successful at keeping the “Christmas Crazies” at bay.  I’ve been trying to keep them off my doorstep but every so often a few of those crazies manage to cross the threshold!

This year, I am receiving one of the most wonderful Christmas presents ever.  I will be accompanying my parents to MD Anderson in Houston for my dad’s FINAL post-chemo series of tests.  Dad has had a rough go of it this year so I can think of no better way to end 2011 than to hear him declared cancer-free.

In order that I might make the trip, Handmade at Homestead’s online store will be closing at 8 am on Wednesday, December 14th and will be re-opening Wednesday, January 4th, 2012.

If you are local, you can still shop with us at the Main St. Market on Friday, December 16 and Saturday, December 17th.

And, you can always visit us at our new, permanent retail location inside Fleur Du Jour, Baton Rouge’s only downtown florist, 447 Third St., Ste. B, right next to The Little Village. Hours are 9am-5pm Monday through Friday, and 9am-noon on Saturdays.

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Holiday sale continues through Cyber Monday

Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, Cyber Monday-we’ve got them all covered!!

Beginning Friday, November 25, our entire catalog is 10 percent off.

But wait, there are more ways to save!

Spend $50 or more, enter coupon code Holiday50-20 in the redemption box at check out and receive 20 percent off your entire order.

Take 30 percent off your entire order of $75 or more by entering coupon code Holiday75-30 in the redemption code box at check out.

You do not need to enter a code to receive the 10 percent discount; however, to receive additional savings on orders of $50 or more, you must enter the coupon code.  Revisions to your order cannot be made once you place your order.

Sale is good through Cyber Monday, November 28th and good for orders placed through our website.  If you will be shopping with us in person at the Main St. Market this Small Business Saturday (November 26th), come check out our sale specifically for you!

Posted in Ingredients, Louisiana, Main Street Market, Products, Sale | Leave a comment

One Day Sale Tomorrow at the Main St. Market

Handmade at Homestead will have a store-wide sale tomorrow at the Main St. Market! Everything is 40% off, including our best-selling Really Good Lip Balm, Flavie’s Body Polish and more!

Take advantage of our one day sale to stock up on your favorite items or to get a head start on your Christmas shopping. Here are a few examples of what’s in store for you:

Goat Milk/Olive Oil Soap
Body Crème
Body Crème
Body Polish
Body Polish
Cleopatra’s Milk Bath
Pure Soy Candle
Pure Soy Candle
Really Good Lip Balm

Sale prices only available only to those items in-stock at the Main St. Market; does not apply to items found at our online shop.

The Main Street Market, open in conjunction with the Redstick Farmer’s Market, is held at the corner of 5th and Main Sts. in downtown Baton Rouge.

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Chalkboard Pumpkins Revisted

Just got an email from the Redstick Farmer’s Market letting the public know that heirloom pumpkins will be available at the market this Saturday.  Have you ever seen heirloom pumpkins?  They are gorgeous, at least I think so.

They are unique, are they not? As you can see, heirloom pumpkins are not always the typical orange color nor do they all have a smooth skin.  One of the most prized heirloom pumpkins is the French cultivar Cucurbita maxima ‘Brodé D’Galeux Eysines’ which means “embroidered with warts from Eysines” (a small city in the southwest of France)

Ok, so this one might not qualify as gorgeous in your eyes, but it sure is unique! From what I’ve read, there are many varieties of heirloom pumpkins, each with their own distinctive taste. I’m definitely picking a couple up this Saturday. Even if I don’t get to cook with them, grouping several of them together will make a fabulous fall decoration.

Since autumn is upon us and many are starting to talk pumpkin-talk, I thought I’d revisit one or my most popular blog posts, Chalkboard Pumpkins! I would suggest using the standard garden-variety pumpkin (pun intended) for this project.

What are some of your favorite pumpkin recipes? Do you have a craft project that involves pumpkins? If so, I’d love for you to share it!

Posted in easy recipes for kids | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Hurricane Prep Tips from Those Who Have Been Through It More Than Once

This might be a little to late for our friends on the East Coast but these tips were so good, I wanted to post them here so they can be easily accessed by anyone at anytime.

These are hints from friends from around the Gulf Coast area who have been through many a hurricane.  There are several of these hints that I’ve not ever thought of and I’ve been through a few hurricanes in my lifetime!

In the interest of time, I am posting them as I pulled them from my Facebook page. These are in no particular order. I have tried to edit, albeit quickly, but duplicate suggestions may have gotten by me:

  • Someone already mentioned having lots of ice in ice chests, cooking food from the freezer, making sure paper towel and trash bags are handy in the event one needs to clean out the fridge, what else?
  • Batteries, flashlights, candles, matches/lighters, propane for grills, cash, full gas tanks in cars, bottled water for drinking, stored up water for flushing toilets, bathing, etc.; bread, stuff like peanut butter, canned meats, soup, baby stuff (as needed).
  • Cooked food lasts longer than raw food. Oh, and a generator is nice.
  • Paper plates, cups, disposable utensils. No water, no electricity means no washing dishes
  • Axe in the attic. This is particularly a good idea if one lives in a low-lying area or below sea level. 
  • A “plug in” phone ~ no power and the cordless doesn’t ring or work but the phone lines are usually still working.
  • A radio that operates off of batteries or a crank ~ you can actually “crank” it for power.  I got mine at Radio Shack and it also has a light that can be turned on.
  • Take your window units out of the windows so they are less likely to break
  • Do your laundry now since that might not be possible and you’ll be sweaty with no AC.
  • Fix your screens so you can get some air moving without skeeters (mosquitos)
  • If you are nervous about the roof/trees go out and take some before photos of your house that will help convince your insurance co that the shingles were in fact all there and the tree standing before the storm. Assuming they don’t have the named storm thing up there.
  • Get your car off the street especially if it’s tree-lined
  • Deck of playing cards helps pass the time too.
  • Board games are great to fill the day. Also, jigsaw puzzles.
  • A small gas-powered generator, oil, gas and a window unit AC.
  • A couple of blue tarps. Duct tape. Staple gun and nails. Hammers, saws — in other words, you never know when you’ll need a tool afterwards.
  • Stock up on bottled water and lots of gallon jugs water.
  • Extra heavy-duty cords for the generator.
  • Portable tv. Battery powered lanterns.
  • Forget candles – use lots and lots of battery lamps.
  • Don’t forget to bring in the garden hoses, all lawn ornaments, door mats, anything you have out in the yard. Everything is a projectile.
  • Trim any loose branches ahead of time.
  • Chlorine bleach.
  • Find out where you can buy dry ice – get some ahead of time and let that be your first trip afterwards.
  • Make sure if you have space in your freezer that you at least fill water and things to fill up the space and create more frozen stuff. And then don’t open it up.
  • If power loss is a foregone conclusion, turn down your a/c and turn down the refrigerator.
  • My secret: lots of batteries always available at toy r us
  • Individual packets mayonnaise, ketchup, mustard, etc. so you have that handy and don’t have to open the refrigerator if there is no generator.
  • Get gasoline. Gas stations will all be closed for a while; then there will be megalines.
  • Put ziplock bags of water in the freezer to help keep cool after you lose power.
  • A hand-cranked can opener.
  • Extra pet food.
  • If you have bug allergies, stock up on bug repellent and epi pens.
  • Put all important papers in ziplock bags to keep them dry.
  • It’s also a good idea to put at least two changes of clothes into ziplock bags(the big 20 gallon ones) in the event you have roof damage or flood damage, you can at least have dry clothes.
  • You’ll need at least one flat of bottled water per person per two days.
  • Fill the bathtubs with water to flush toilets.
  • Fresh fruit in a cooler with something to keep it cool will cut down on the amount of water you need daily.
  • Lanterns are safer than candles and they have battery-powered ones now that last a while.
  • Stock up on OTC stuff. Tylenol, Advil, cough syrup, Benadryl, antibiotic cream.
  • There is a converter you can get that will allow you to use your car as a generator, if you need emergency electricity, and its available at the auto parts store. It’s good for short spans of electricity if your stove is electric.
  • Remember the generators STAY OUTSIDE!!

Let me know if you have any more hurricane prep tips that can be added to the list. Stay safe everyone!

Posted in Action Needed, Life, Louisiana | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

You, too, can be Cool as a Cucumber

This Saturday will mark our last day at the Main St. Market for the month of July.  This Saturday is also “Cool as a Cucumber” day at the market. 

I’m headed out to the Thursday Farmer’s Market to get fresh veggies, including a cucumber or two so I can try this recipe for a Cucumber Eye Gel, courtesy of SpaIndex.com:


 1 tablespoons. aloe vera gel
1 teaspoon fresh cucumber juice
¼ teaspoons cornstarch
1 tablespoons. witch hazel 

Mix together aloe, cucumber juice and cornstarch. Heat until just boiling, about 1 minute in microwave. Remove from heat source and stir in witch hazel. Stir well and allow the mixture to cool completely. You should have a clear, jelly-like cream. Spoon into a small clean jar.

To use: Dab a small amount under your eyes and be careful not to rub or pull the delicate skin under your eyes.  The shelf life of this product is very limited by the fresh cucumber. Use within a week, and kept refrigerated.

Sounds easy enough, right?  Why don’t you head to your local farmer’s market, pick up a cucumber, and give it a try, too?  I will be posting my review of the recipe on our Facebook page so head on over and “like” us if you haven’t already done so.

Posted in DIY Recipes, Ingredients, Louisiana | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Life message from two dairy farmers

Our area suffered a great loss last month. One of our beloved regional dairies, Smith Creamery, was destroyed by an explosion and fireFor those of us who love our Louisiana-based businesses and patronize our local farmer’s markets, news of this disaster hit on a personal level.

Fast forward to yesterday. Kleinpeter Dairy, a Baton Rouge-based dairy farm and a competitor of Smith Creamery, announced that it will be processing, packaging and distributing Smith Creamery milk products. I encourage you to read the entire story here.

Two particular quotes from Jeff Kleinpeter, president of Kleinpeter Dairy, caught my attention. 

“It’s not necessarily that we look at them as competition,” Kleinpeter said, “we look at them as partners in an industry.”

“We’re going to continue our partnership until they’re on their feet,” Kleinpeter said. “Now if that takes three months, fine. If it takes six months … if it takes five years, it doesn’t matter. As long as we can help them, we’re going to be there to help these guys out.”

I don’t think a single soul would have given a second thought to Kleinpeter Dairy taking advantage of the situation to increase its market share; matter of fact, many would say it was a common-sense business move.

But Kleinpeter chose to put its ego aside and do the right thing-help a partner in the industry for as long as it takes because it will only help to make the industry stronger. 

Wow, you just don’t hear about that kind of thing in today’s business climate.

Or life in general. It’s all about me and what I can get out of the situation no matter if my actions cause harm to others or causes division amongst the ranks. 

There are some things going on in my industry at present that have caused enormous distress and distrust.  Perhaps the parties involved could learn a thing or two from these two dairy farmers:

  • We are all in this together;
  • Check your ego at the door;
  • Do what is right, even if doing the right thing goes against all conventional wisdom;
  • Keep your eye on the big picture, not just your limited corner of the universe.

Actually, this is a message for everyone.

Posted in Giving Back, Louisiana | Tagged , , | 1 Comment

Rainy Day Sale tomorrow only

We are loving the rain we’ve been having the last couple of days. In fact, we love it so much that we are having a Rainy Day Sale tomorrow at the Main Street Market, corner of 5th and Main, downtown Baton Rouge.

Sorry, no rainchecks (ironic, huh?) and sale is only good on purchases made at the Main Street Market Saturday, July 16th, 8am-1pm.

Posted in Louisiana, Main Street Market, Products, Sale | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Seasonal Skincare-Crazy for Blueberries

We are at the height of blueberry season here in Louisiana.  And, like most things around here, we have a festival (several actually) to honor this little blurb orb of health & happiness. I had a great time at one such festival, the Red, White & Blueberry Festival held in Clinton, Louisiana, home to my favorite you-pick blueberry farm.

If you’ve heard me speak at a Beauty from the Kitchen party, you know that I love to find seasonal recipes for DIY (do-it-yourself) beauty products that one can make at home using ingredients one has in the kitchen or that can be readily bought from the local farmer’s market or health food store.

So in honor of the season and my love for/obsession with blueberries, I’d like to share a DIY skincare recipe I found several weeks ago. This recipe comes from The Cliff House Resort & Spa, Ogunquit, Maine.

Shopping List
1 Tablespoon Spiralina Algae
1 Teaspoon Blueberries, Puréed
1/4 Cup Aloe Vera Gel
4 Drops of Lavender Essential Oil
Gel from 2 Capsules of Chamomile Extract

Combine all ingredients in mixing bowl. Wash face with cleanser of choice. Steam face over basin of boiling water to open pores, apply Blueberry Smoothie Mask to entire face and leave on for 20 minutes. Remove with warm face cloth and then rinse with cool water to close pores. Apply facial moisturizer of choice. This recipe is for external use only; do not ingest. NOTE: do not make the mistake I made and use a white washcloth to remove the Blueberry Smoothie Mask. Yes, it was as bad as you are imagining…

I will be making this recipe, along with several others, this Saturday, July 9th, at Whole Foods Market in Baton Rouge. The cost of the class is only $7.  Registration is a must as space is limited. You can register for the class by calling the store at 225.218.0452. 

Posted in DIY Recipes, Elizabeth Hill, Life, Louisiana, Seasonal Skincare | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Congratulations to our contest winner

Congratulations to Melanie K. from Walker, La. Her name was chosen at random (random.org) to win a free Beauty from the Kitchen spa party for herself and 10 friends.

Don’t fret if you missed out on the contest.  I’ll be teaching a Beauty from the Kitchen class at the Whole Foods Market in Baton Rouge on Saturday, July 9th.   Only 15 spots are available to register now.  Click here for more information on how to register (you’ll have to scroll down to the July 9th entry)

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Win a “Beauty from the Kitchen” Party for you & 10 friends!

Hey friends –

I’ve been a tad dormant the last few weeks but I’m getting back on track now and ready to hit summer head on!

To celebrate being back in the saddle and to kick off summer 2011, I am holding a Beauty from the Kitchen Party contest.  At stake is a  free Beauty from the Kitchen Party for the winner and up to ten friends. This prize is worth in excess of $200!

 How to enter:

Mandatory Entry (You must do this to qualify even if you are an existing Handmade at Homestead customer)

1. Head over to our website, www.handmadeathomestead.com, and pick out your favorite product.

2. Leave a comment at the bottom of this blog post, along with your initials, letting me know what you’ve chosen as your favorite product from our website. 

3. Please initial your blog comments so that I can match your comment to your Full Name and Email Address on this form. NOTE: If you do not fill out the form, I will not have a way to contact you if you’re the winner.

The winner will be chosen at random.  If the winner chooses to host the Beauty from the Kitchen Party outside of the greater Baton Rouge area, transportation costs to the host site for Handmade at Homestead staff must be provided. 

Additional Entries (Check these off on the entry form)

 1. LIKE Handmade at Homestead on Facebook
2. LIKE Beauty from the Kitchen by Handmade at Homestead on Facebook
3. Follow Handmade at Homestead on Twitter
4. Tweet this:  “I’ve just entered to win a free Beauty from the Kitchen Party with Handmade at Homestead. @SimplyHomestead   http://bit.ly/kLHKpu” remove quotation marks before posting!
5. Subscribe to our blog, Thoughts from the Veranda
6. Share the link to our contest blog post on Facebook with your friends

If you are already a blog subscriber, a Facebook fan or a twitter follower-just notated on the contest entry form-it still counts!

Contest ends at midnight, Monday, June 13th. Good luck!

Posted in Action Needed, Elizabeth Hill, Louisiana | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments

Creative Collaboration Creates Uncommon Gift

Ever wonder what happens when a top-notch jewelry designer and an award-winning bath & body artisan work together? 

The result is a unique jewelry piece that smells as beautiful as it looks.  

“We are extremely pleased with how our perfume lockets have turned out,” said Ashley Holden, jewelry designer and owner of Bellaposa Collections.

 “Ashley and I have looked for ways we could work together since we met a year ago. Perfume lockets seemed like a natural fit for us,” said Elizabeth Hill, owner of Handmade at Homestead.

Holden designed the necklaces and Hill formulated the solid perfumes that each locket will contain.

“The oval lockets are available in two designs now,” explained Holden, “one with a vintage floral design and the other with a delicate fleur de lis pattern around the perimeter.”  Plans are underway to introduce additional designs.

The solid perfumes were created to be in keeping with the vintage style of the lockets.

“I’ve chosen soliflores, single-note floral fragrances, as they were very popular during the 19th century,” explained Hill.  Initial fragrance offerings are rose, lavender, orange blossom and violet.

The Secret Garden Perfume Lockets will make their debut at this year’s Head 2 Toe-The Ultimate Day Out for Women, sponsored by 225 an InRegister magazines.

“We thought Head 2 Toe would be the perfect place to debut our collaborative project, the perfume lockets, as Ashley and I first met at the event last year,” said Hill.   “We had adjoining booths and will again this year,” Holden added.

To purchase one of these unique necklaces, visit either business at Head 2 Toe, May 7th at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 4728 Constitution Ave, Baton Rouge.   Bellaposa Collections will be in booth 23 and Handmade at Homestead will be in booth 24.

Posted in Elizabeth Hill, Louisiana, Products | Tagged , , , , ,

We Do Favors & our Bunnies Lay Soap Eggs!

We will be back at the Main Street Market tomorrow, April 9th, and will be bringing lots of new product along!

One new avenue we’ve started travelling is wedding gifts and wedding favors with a Louisiana flair such as our Red Beans & Rice Lotion Bar and our Sugar Cube Sugar Scrub.  We also  have customized lip balm, and many other items, all a truly unique way to say thanks to the family and friends who share in your special day. 

The Easter Bunny visited Homestead Plantation this week and left us with lots of fun goodies.  Apparently, Peter Cottontail weaved some magic while he was here because our bunnies laid soap eggs!

Come check out our wedding favors and our Easter goodies tomorrow at the Main Street Market, corner of 5th & Main Sts., downtown Baton Rouge. Hours are from 8am until 1pm! Remember, 10 percent of all sales during the month of April go to the National Autism Association’s Helping Hand program.

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National Autism Awareness Month

Contact: Elizabeth Hill
For Immediate
March 29, 2011

Press Release

Baton Rouge, LA – Local business owner Elizabeth Hill announced today that her company, Handmade at Homestead, will donate ten percent of all sales during the month of April to the National Autism Association’s Helping Hand program. April is National Autism Awareness Month.

Inspired by a friend’s Facebook postings chronicling her family’s journey with autism, Hill sought ways to help other families travelling the same road. 

A Handmade at Homestead customer, Leslie Phillips, who is also on the board of the National Autism Association, suggested Hill look into NAA’s Helping Hand program.

“Every day, families affected by autism contact NAA looking for help, hope and support,” said Phillips.

“With one in 110 American children affected, the need today is greater than ever,” she further explained.

The Helping Hand program provides families with financial assistance in getting necessary biomedical treatments, supplements and therapy services for children with autism.

The program is overwhelmed with applications, but does not have the funding to support all who apply. 

“I’ve seen how the combination of programs and therapies can greatly benefit children with autism,” explained Hill. “We are happy to know that the proceeds from our April sales will help provide additional funding so a greater number of families can obtain assistance with their medical needs.”

All proceeds from sales via Handmade at Homestead’s online shop, www.handmadeathomestead.com, at markets, and wholesale sales made in April, will go directly to the Helping Hand program. 

For more information on The Helping Hand program and other resources available to families affected by autism, please visit the National Autism Association website at http://www.nationalautismassociation.org

Posted in Action Needed, Giving Back, Louisiana | Tagged | Leave a comment

Watch & Win Tomorrow

Not only will our home be featured on the small screen this weekend, I will be on the Around Town Show, too!

Friday, March 25th, I taped an on-air DIY spa treatment on Kimmie, one of the hosts. It was a lot of fun!

Tune in because if you contact me by midnight, Sunday, April 10th, and list at least two of the all natural ingredients I use in any of the spa treatments, you will be eligible to win 2 free tickets to the second annual Head 2 Toe-Ultimate Day Out for Women, sponsored by 225 and InRegister magazines.

The Around Town Show airs 6 – 7 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday morning on WBRZ Channel 2, and is available through WBTR Cox Channel 19, and KBTR AT&T Channel 19 from 8 – 9 a.m. It also airs at 9 a.m . and 11 a.m. every Saturday and Sunday morning on Metro Cox Channel 21.

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Homestead Plantation makes the small screen

In case you’re interested, the movie filmed at our house, “Scream of the Banshee,” featuring all but two rooms, most of our furniture and tons of exterior shots of our home, will air on the SyFy Channel this Saturday at 8pm Central.

If you’re on Twitter, follow me at @SimplyHomestead for behind the scene tweets and the scoop on the real-life nightmare.

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I’m Getting Married in the Morning….

Ok, I’m not really getting married….but if you know someone who will be heading down the aisle soon, you don’t want to miss this event!

 Handmade at Homestead will be showcased at the Love Story Bridal Showcase next Sunday, March 27th, at the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center!

What you may not know is that Handmade at Homestead has found its way into the wedding favor business. Recently, several brides have approached me with the idea of using our product, particularly our Louisiana-themed handmade products,  for wedding favors and we’ve gladly complied.  At the showcase, we will have samples of our Red Beans & Rice Lotion Bar, Sugar Cube Sugar Scrub, Sea Glass Soap, personalized lip balm, and more!

We will also be highlighting our “Beauty from the Kitchen” parties perfect for a unique bridal shower or bachelorette party!

We will be joined by the most fabulous merchants and service providers in the greater Baton Rouge area.  Brides can expect to see unique ideas that will make her big day magical, purchase beautifully hand crafted items, taste what the best Baton Rouge bakers and caterers have to offer, and enjoy a multitude of door prizes and one spectacular grand prize chance to win $25,000 to put towards her dream wedding.

Unique to the Love Story Bridal Showcase is an exclusive luncheon/mock reception featuring celebrity speaker Peggy Post, America’s leading authority on wedding etiquette.   Guests will be greeted by champagne and the wonderful string quartet, South Louisiana Wedding Music, before being struck by the awe of the Hilton’s grand Heidelberg Ballroom.  The luncheon will also feature current trends in floral arrangements by our friends at Fleur Du Jour and wedding cakes by Cake Goddess.

So if you or someone you know, has a wedding in her future, head downtown to the Hilton Baton Rouge Capitol Center next Sunday. For more information on the event, please visit the event website, Love Story Bridal Showcase.

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Get your Green On-Today Only

Get your GREEN on at Handmade at Homestead! Today only, take 17% off your online order of $60 or more.  Use coupon code GREEN17 at checkout. 

Offer good on online orders placed today only at Handmade at Homestead. Coupon code must be entered at checkout.

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The Original King Cake Soap by the Slice on Sale

Want a unique way to celebrate this Mardi Gras season? Check out our award-winning Original King Cake Soap by the Slice, a Handmade at Homestead exclusive, on sale starting Monday!  For two days only, February 21 & 22, our King Cake Soap by the Slice will be 15 percent off!

Now is the perfect time to try what has everyone talking this Mardi Gras season-Handmade at Homestead’s Original King Cake Soap by the Slice. Makes a great hostess gift, too! Stock up now because like the real King Cake, our Original King Cake Soap won’t be available after Rex meets Comus (end of Mardi Gras season for you non-locals)!

king cake piece.jpg

Sale ends midnight, Tuesday February 22nd. Sale does not apply to purchases of entire King Cake!

Posted in Louisiana, Products, Sale | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

When is a King Cake not a King Cake?

When it’s soap!!

King Cake Soap

I’m so proud of our new King Cake soap that I’m bringing it to the first ever “King Cake Taste Off” sponsored by Visit Baton Rouge and Bite and Booze.  If you’re a local, come on out and join the fun! You can find more info about the event here.

The King Cake Soap is now on our website and is available in single “slices” or you can buy the entire “cake.”

 While you’re perusing our website, please visit our “What’s New?” section to see all of our newest offerings!

Will be posting our Valentine’s Day specials later today!

Posted in Ingredients, Louisiana, Products | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Our Bath Salts Still Legal!

You may have read or heard it in the news, “Bath Salts banned in Louisiana.”

Our bath salts are still legal. What is banned is a drug sometimes known as “bath salts” and was sold at gas stations.

Here’s how you can tell the difference. On the left is what is now banned in Louisiana, on the right,  pure Dead Sea Bath Salts by Handmade at Homestead.

We wanted you to know that our bath salts are still legal !AND how great they are in your bath so all of our Bath Salts are on sale today through Tuesday! Perfect time to try them~

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Happy New Year!

Ok, so I’m a little late with the New Year wishes, does that really surprise you?

How were your holidays? Did you survive? It was a different Christmas for us this year; nothing bad, just different.  For one thing, we did not put up a Christmas tree. Can’t say that I liked not having a tree but it was nice not having the post-holiday clean up.  We have been anticipating hubby’s back surgery so I’m sure that had something to do with our lack of holiday spirit, too.

While the online shop was closed, I took time to rethink, revamp and make plans for the future of Handmade at Homestead.  All I can say is 2011 looks like it will be a great year.  

 Already on the books is the 2011 Head 2 Toe-Ultimate Day Out For Women in May at the Crowne Plaza in Baton Rouge.   Handmade at Homestead was one of the first vendors to sign up for the inaugural event last year and we would not dare miss it this year! 
Here are a couple of pics from last year:

We are also partnering with our friend, Ashley Holden, of Bellaposa Collections, for additional events throughout the year.  If you haven’t had a chance to check out Ashley’s amazing creations, do yourself a favor and take a look at her offerings.

The bulk of my planning revolves around the rising prices of our supplies. I am so grateful to many of my suppliers who are determined to keep their prices as low as possible so we can keep our retail prices from rising.  However, raw costs have risen greatly (a major oil supplier overseas is out of production so competitors are raising their prices) and we all know about rising gas costs, right?  I am trying my dead-level best to decrease my costs on the back-end, without compromising quality, so that I might keep the cost of our products from increasing.

To that end, you will notice several changes in the upcoming months, initially with packaging, but there will be other changes, too.  Rest assured: I will be ever-vigilant in seeking out cost-cutting measures without compromising the quality of our product.  I am inviting those who follow me on Twitter and who are members of our Facebook fan page to provide feedback. Please consider following us on Twitter of joining us on Facebook, if you’re not already, as I will value your input.

Well, that’s it for now.  Here’s to an amazing 2011-so glad you are a part of it!

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Merry Christmas!

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Giving DIY Sugar and Salt Scrubs as gifts

I posted this to my Facebook page earlier today but I thought the issue warranted a more in-depth post.

With the preponderance of DIY recipes floating around the internet during the holiday season, particularly for sugar and salt scrubs, I wanted to pass along a few things for you to consider if you are giving handmade scrubs for gifts, not only at Christmas, but any time of the year.

One issue in particular is the issue of water being introduced into the scrub. This will no doubt happen when the user takes the container into the bath/shower and/or uses wet fingers to scoop out the product.  And if water is introduced into the scrub, mold and bacteria will grow. And the beginning stages it will be odorless, and you can’t see it with the naked eye. You don’t want to spread that onto your skin and chances are your friend wouldn’t either. If you are not willing to add a preservative to your scrub, then it is imperative that you place a warning label on your product, at least instruction to keep product dry and away from water. 

Another issue to be mindful of is the use of essential oils in scrubs.  For instance, citrus essential oils (lemon, orange, grapefruit) can cause skin to be come photosensitive (react adversely in sunlight). There are also several essential oils that should not be used by women who are pregnant.  Just because something is considered natural, it does not mean that it is safe for everyone to use.

Those of us that make bath & body products for a living spend a great deal of time researching and learning about making personal care products that are safe for all to use.  Many of the recipes floating around are interesting and sound great, but may not contain the right ratio of ingredients or may not fully inform the user of potential problems that may arise from using the homemade product.

If you have any questions about product you are making or the products that we provide, please feel free to contact me.

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Where to Find Us in December

If you’d like to shop with us in person, head to our website for our December schedule. Remember, our online shop is opened 24/7!

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The story behind our Rope-Your-Own-Soap Reusable Soap Savers

Handmade at Homestead has one of the most unusual items for sale in the bath & body business.  I know this to be true because for the last three years, every time someone discovers our Rope-Your-Own-Soap Reusable Soap Savers, the response is always the same: “Wow, this is the coolest thing I’ve ever seen!” or “Do you have a patent on this? It’s amazing!”  (To answer that question, we are in the process of obtaining a patent).

So, I thought I would introduce our Rope-Your-Own-Soap Reusable Soap Savers to those who have not seen it and give you the story behind this unique gadget that, quite frankly, no bathroom should be without!

My mom invented the reusable soap saver nearly thirty years ago, about the time conventional soap-on-a-rope was around. Mom

Mom, right, Dad, middle, at Cafe Du Monde

loved the idea of the soap-on-a-rope but hated that once the soap was gone, you had nothing left of it.  So, through many a trial and error, mom came up with the Rope-Your-Own-Soap soap saver.

She achieved a great level of success, getting the product into several national catalogs and stores.  Many a day and night were spent by the entire family assembling, tying, bagging and stapling to fulfill orders.  Over time, mom’s endeavor went by the wayside.

Let’s fast forward thirty years or so. When I decided to turn my bath & body hobby into a full-time business, I immediately thought of mom’s Rope-Your-Own-Soap idea.  I called to ask what the components were and how to go about purchasing everything needed to put them together.  As luck would have it, mom still had everything needed to start production of these little bathroom gems.  She even had hundreds already assembled!  She had carried everything with her through at least house two moves-I couldn’t believe it!

So now, when I speak of the Rope-Your-Own-Soap soap saver, I tell folks my mom was green before being green was cool.  Not only does the Rope-Your-Own-Soap soap saver help your soap last longer, you don’t have the messy soap dish to deal with and your kids won’t leave the soap to melt in the tub. 

Our Rope-Your-Own-Soap soap saver is also great for the elderly as it decreases the instances of soap falling to the tub or shower floor.  We’ve found that folks with limited bath space (RV’ers, etc.) love the space-saving aspect, too.  Also great for college kids in dorms-no mess and keeps soap dry.

So, that’s the story of our Rope-Your-Own-Soap soap saver.  Why don’t you give it a try? Makes the ultimate stocking stuffer, too!

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~Cyber Monday Sale~

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Holiday Sale with Free Shipping!

Our biggest sale of the year! Click on the image above to start your savings shopping now! No coupon code is needed.  Sale does not apply to bulk discounted items.

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Just in time for the holidays!

I am happy to announce a couple of new additions to our line up just in time for the holidays. These were soft-launched last week and sold out within two hours; Crayon Soap and Buildling Block Soap. These replicas of  childhood icons are fun in the tub, whether your age 3 or 73!

First is our Crayon Soap.

Make bath time fun again for children of all ages! Our Crayon Soaps look just like the real thing and come in a set of 5 assorted primary colored crayons.  You can also buy them individually.  Available in Very Cherry (red), Orange Marmalade (orange), Lemon Sunshine (yellow), Super Spearmint (green), and Blue Seas (blue). 

Our Crayon Soaps do not write on walls or the tub so there is no need to worry about staining! Great for kids learning colors and hand/eye coordination or a delectable smelling gift!

The second fun addition is our Building Block Soap.

Our bubbly Building Block soap may look like the traditional children’s toy but they are much more fun and smell better, too! Each block is oversized, making them easier for little hands to grasp. These make great party favors, as well!

They come in 4 primary colors fragranced with the same yummy scents as our Crayon Soap: Red (Very Cherry), Yellow (Lemon Sunshine), Green (Super Spearmint), and Blue (Blue Seas). You can buy a set of 4, or individual blocks

Available now at Handmade at Homestead!

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We’re making the small screen!

I just returned from a taping of the Around Town TV Show that will air this Saturday morning on WBRZ at 6am.  Despite Scott Roger’s awful Thanksgiving jokes (we were laughing at how BAD they were, not how funny they were), the staff and crew really do have a lot of fun. Great positive energy all the way around.

I love any opportunity to share the amazing spa treatments that natural foods provide so the taping this morning was a real treat. 

All of my Beauty from the Kitchen recipes use ingredients readily found in ones kitchen.  Here are the two recipes featured on Saturday’s show:

Grits & Honey Hand Scrub

½ cup  honey (local is always best!)
¼ cup grits or medium ground cornmeal (cornmeal is less abrasive than grits)
1 tsp sweet almond oil (You could also use olive oil,  grapeseed oil, or whatever oil you have on hand.)

1. Mix all ingredients together
2. Apply to damp skin to gentle exfoliate.
3. Keep any leftovers in the fridge.

Avocado Banana Facial Mask—Nourishing Facial Mask for Dry Skin

* 1/2 overripe banana, mashed
* 1/2 overripe avocado, mashed
* 2 tbsp plain yogurt (not nonfat)
* 1 tsp olive oil

1. Combine ingredients and mix well.
2. Apply to clean face and neck.
3, Leave on for 20 to 30 min.
4. Rinse with plenty of warm water.
5. Keep any leftovers in the fridge.

A few things to remember when using fresh food in your homemade beauty products:

  • Use fresh, high quality ingredients for the best results, and do not store the treatment longer than the shelf life of the most perishable ingredient.
  • If you are allergic to a particular food, do not apply it to your skin; never put on your face what you would not put in your mouth. Your skin, the largest organ on your body, breathes and is porous. It will absorb the properties of the ingredients you are using.

If you’ve ever made your own beauty products, what are some of your favorite ingredients?

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Support the Tigers in Uganda!

I recently received a request from my friend, Claire Wilson, to participate in a fundraising event for the Bethany Centre School in Jjungo, Uganda, Sunday November 14th.

I am proud to say that Handmade at Homestead will be one of many artists/vendors participating in The Festival for Africa , an open-air market just outside the VanGuard Gallery at Steve Wilson Stained Glass Studio, 1469 Laurel St, Baton Rouge from noon until 4pm.  Proceeds from the event directly benefit the children attending the Bethany Centre.

Baton Rouge has a strong connection to the Bethany Centre School.  Peter Kiwanuka, a native Ugandan, attended LSU. He returned to Uganda and felt compelled to help his community by starting the ministry to “provide for the physical, emotional and spiritual well-being of the orphans, youth and HIV patients residing around the village of Jjungo, Uganda.”

Currently there are 450 children, many of them orphans that live in this region, attending free of charge. Most of these children would otherwise have no formal education. Note the uniform shirts of the school children in the pictures below-purple and gold!

I will have more information regarding all the participating artists in a few days and will post a list for you.  Meanwhile, if you’re on Facebook, please join our business page for all the latest information on the Festival for Africa and our other events and sales.

Pictures from Bethany Centre School

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Sugar Sale and Holiday Production/Shipping Schedule

Sugar Sale

sugarcane4.jpgI had such a great time at Alma Sugar Mill getting sugar for our sugar-based products, that I decided to have a sugar sale on all of our sugar products made with the finest, locally grown, Louisiana sugar.

We are offering 30%  off all our products made with our sweet sugar, including our Homestead Sugar Body Polish, Decadent Sugar Scrub Soap, Kissable~a sugar scrub for your lips~, and our Sugar Cube~Single-Use Sugar Scrub!

Exfoliating is one of the best things for your skin, especially during the winter months, so take advantage of our sugar sale and stock up! Sale good thru October 28, 2010.

Special Pricing just in time for gift-giving

We are now offering discount pricing on two of our most popular gift items, out Tiger Paw Soap and our luxurious Red Beans & Rice Lotion Bar.

Holiday Production and Shipping Schedule

In order to ensure the continued production of the highest quality products available during the upcoming holiday3_kings.jpg season, all bulk orders (10 or more of any one product) must be placed by November 1, 2010.

We are currently working on a 10 day turnaround on custom orders and we want to make sure you receive your items in time for holiday gift giving.

All other orders must be placed by December 1, 2010.  We will not ship after December 15, 2010.

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Chalkboard Pumpkins

I’m always looking for fun, crafty things to do with my niece and nephew when they come to visit us.  Problem is, I’m not as crafty as I think I am.  Just ask my son about those gingerbread houses we’d try to build every year when he was a child!

I ran across this blog post from The EdelSpot this morning. What a fun, easy project!  I can’t wait to try this with Ava and Jack Ramsey on their next visit.

Posted in DIY Recipes, easy recipes for kids, Life | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Twilight Dream limited edition fragrance now available

Most locals are aware that filming will begin on the next two installments of the ‘Twilight” movie series in and around our hometown of Baton Rouge in the coming weeks. 

In honor of ‘Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn’ coming to town, Handmade at Homestead is offering, for a limited time, one of the most sensuous fragrances we’ve ever come across, Twilight Dream

The creator of Twilight Dream describes the fragrance as a “wonderfully fresh aromatic blend of lavender, spruce and cedar enhanced by a citrus bouquet of lemon lime with a dry down of patchouli, sandalwood and oakmoss” but we don’t think that description does it justice. 

We prefer this description of this amazingly hedonistic aroma: “Lavender shadows creep across the sky, a touch of woody smoke hanging in the air. The last rays of the sun fade into dusk as you breathe deeply the sultry scent that is…TWILIGHT DREAM.”

Beginning tomorrow, October 15, through November 15, we will offer our Twilight Dream fragrance in all of our products.   Stop by the Main Street Market tomorrow from 10am until 3pm, or come see us Saturday, October 16, at Fleur Du Jour’s Holiday Open House, 640 Main St.,  from 11am-1pm to sample this truly one-of-a-kind fragrance that will take you to another world.

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Save $10 on 10-10-10!

Click on image to go directly to our website!

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Help Stop the Madness

Violence rocked our town last week; an already violent few days capped by the brutal murder of a single mom, and the near-fatal shooting of her 9-year-old daughter.  Here are the particulars.

As a former single mom, the thought of a young child growing up motherless due to a senseless act of an animal, strikes to the very core of my being.

A dear friend is offering to match, up to $1,000, donations to our local Crimestoppers to help catch the perpetrator of  this savage murder.  I am joining her effort.

This week, 10% of all sales, online at Handmade at Homestead and in-store at the Main Street Market, are going to our local Crimestoppers. Please join us in helping catch the monster(s) who took Allie’s life and dramatically altered the life of her precious child.

Please visit us at Handmade at Homestead.  All discounts and free shipping for orders $75 or more still apply.

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It’s Hip To Be Square!

Do you foursquare? If so, we’re offering you another way to save, beginning Saturday, September 25 at the Main Street Market!

We’ve established a venue, “Handmade at Homestead @ Main St. Market” on foursquare. Every time we participate in the market, you can “check in” with us, have your check-in verified by one of our sales people, then receive a coupon for 15% off your online purchases at Handmade at Homestead. Check our website for our schedule, too!

You will receive a coupon every time you check in with us, but we will only allow one coupon per online order.  With the holidays fast approaching, this is a great (and techie) way to save on your gift purchases!

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Two Sales This Saturday!

This Saturday, September 18, we will have two sales taking place; one at the Main Street Market and the other on our website, www.handmadeathomestead.com  Spend $30 or more at either location and receive a free gift.

On our website, you’ll find all the essentials you need to keep yourself smooth and supple this winter at 25% off regular price:  Unbelievable Sugar Scrub, Satin & Silk Body Crème, Kissable~A Sugar Scrub For Your Lips~, and our Really Good Lip Balm.  

At the Main Street Market, we will have an entire table full of our luxury products at 25% off their regular price, including our Satin & Silk Body Crème, Unbelievable Sugar Scrub, Bath Salts, and more, in selected fragrances.

So come see us at the Main Street Market or visit us online this Saturday for great savings on our most popular products. Don’t forget-spend $30 or more and receive a free gift!

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Hydrogen Peroxide in honey-who knew?

kişisel resim

Image via Wikipedia

“That buzzing-noise means something,  and the only reason for making a buzzing-noise that I know of is because you’re a bee… And the only reason for being a bee that I know of is making honey….. And the only reason for making honey is so as I can eat it.” Winnie the Pooh 

Y’all know how I love my honey, right? Well, imagine my delight when I read that September is “National Honey Month.” Ranks right up there with National Cupcake Day if you ask me! 

Nearly every day, I learn something new about nature’s wonder product. Not that it would matter to Winnie the Pooh, but it turns out, there’s more to natural honey than its good taste. 

Medicinal Properties of Honey 

Honey has been known for its healing properties for thousands of years. Up until World War II, honey was used for its antibacterial properties in treating wounds. But then along came penicillin and other antibiotic drugs, so honey’s medicinal qualities took a back seat. 

That is, until now. Doctors and researchers are taking a more in-depth look at the medical benefits of honey. 

“It is a common observation…in medical journals that numerous benefits result from using honey to dress wounds,” says New Zealand biochemist, Dr. Peter Molan. The potent antibacterial activity of honey keeps wounds free from infection, and the anti-inflammatory action of honey reduces pain and improves circulation, which hastens the healing process. 

According to Molan, “In all honeys, there is – to different levels – hydrogen peroxide produced from an enzyme that bees add to the nectar.” 

Wow, hydrogen peroxide in honey? 

I can attest to healing qualities of honey. I can’t quite remember what I was doing but a few weeks ago I ended up with a splinter in my left index finger; tried and tried to get the splinter out, was kind of sure I did, so I left it alone. 

The next day I noticed the cut had become red, infected and it hurt. I grabbed the bottle of honey from local beekeeper, John Harbo, and rubbed a little on the wound. 

I promise you, when I looked at my finger the next day, the redness and pain were gone, and the wound was almost completely healed. I didn’t even apply that much honey to the cut. 

One important thing of note: the most beneficial honey for wound care is local, raw honey. 

In future posts, I will look at other beneficial and amazing qualities of honey. Have you ever used honey for anything other than a sweetener? 

Posted in Education, Ingredients, Louisiana | Tagged | 2 Comments

September Market Dates

Handmade at Homestead will be at the Main Street Market the following dates in September:

Saturday, September 4
Main Street Market
Corner of 5th and Main
Baton Rouge, LA

Saturday, September 11
Main Street Market
Corner of 5th and Main
Baton Rouge, LA

Saturday, September 18
Main Street Market
Corner of 5th and Main
Baton Rouge, LA

Saturday, September 25
Main Street Market
Corner of 5th and Main
Baton Rouge, LA

We are always looking for unique venues and sales events at which to showcase our luxury products.  Please contact Elizabeth Hill with any suggestions. If we book the date(s) or sell to a venue that you suggest, you will receive a 10% discount on your next order!  Don’t forget you can follow us on Facebook and Twitter, too.

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Another Amazing DIY project-Soft Scrubby Cleanser

I had so much fun with the Moist Towelettes the other day that I decided to try another DIY project.

Today I tried making and using a soft scrubbing cleanser.  This recipe is so easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy it’s a crime we don’t all make and use this.

Put a small amount of baking soda into a bowl.  Mix liquid soap (I used liquid castille but I’m sure conventional dishwashing liquid would work as well) into baking soda to form a paste the consistency of frosting.  If you make more than a single-use batch, try adding some vegetable glycerin to keep the paste from drying out.

Scoop the mixture onto a sponge and scrub away! I tried it on my kitchen sink and counters and it worked well.  I’m going to try it in my bathtub tonight before I bath.  Word is, this works great on the bathtub because it rinses clean and doesn’t leave any grit.

Can you think of any modifications that would improve this? I havea few in mind but want to hear from you first!

Posted in DIY Recipes, easy recipes for kids, Louisiana | Tagged , | 4 Comments

“Do You Make Lye Soap?”

Had an interesting conversation with a woman who visited us at the Main Street Market a few weeks ago. Actually, it wasn’t much of a conversation but the experience was a reminder of the continual need to educate my customers and potential customers.

The experience/conversation: Lady looked around at our offerings, then asked me if I used lye in my soap. I told her, yes, all soap is made with lye. Apparently, she didn’t hear anything else I said after, “yes” because she instantly recoiled and said she could not use lye soap because it was too harsh on her skin.

I tried to briefly explain the soapmaking process but she wasn’t budging. It quickly became apparent that I would never convince this woman to try my soap. Sometimes, one just has to admit defeat and move on; this was one of those times!

I’ve thought about that interaction over the last several days and decided it might be interesting to explain, as simply as I can, the process of soap making.

The word saponify literally means “to turn into soap.” Saponification is the chemical reaction that happens when vegetable oil or animal fat mixes with a strong alkali. In soap making the alkali is either sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide (used for making liquid soap) and both are known as lye.

If you think back to your high school chemistry, you might remember that when you mix a base with an acid, you form a neutral. This is exactly what happens in the soap making process. The lye (base)mixes with the oil or fat (acid) to form the soap (a neutral). The saponification process does not happen overnight. It can take up to 8 weeks for the process to complete.

Properly handcrafted soap does not contain lye but cannot be made without lye…period…end of story. In the case of the woman who couldn’t use soap made with lye, my guess is either one of two things happened: first, too much lye was used in the soap formula and lye remained in the soap, causing irritation/burn to her skin; second, the soap was not fully cured, meaning the saponification process was cut short, leaving raw lye in the soap.

If you are worried about too much lye in your soap, ask the soap maker how long the soap has cured. You can also ask the soap maker if he/she did a tongue test on the batch of soap. A tongue test is a common, old-fashioned way to test to see if the soap has too much lye in it. Any knowledgeable soap maker will know exactly what you are asking and will not hesitate to give you an answer.

Posted in Education, Louisiana, Products | Tagged , | 1 Comment

DIY – Moist Towelettes

I found this recipe several weeks ago but never had time to make it until tonight.  It is so easy-the hardest part was folding the paper towels. Kids will have a ball with this recipe-it’s simple and not a lot of clean up for the grown-ups!

The original recipe is below (as  found at www.spaindex.com)  and my modifications follow the recipe. 

Moist Towelettes

20 to 24 Squares of white heavy-duty quality paper towels
1 cup Witch Hazel
1 teaspoon Glycerin
1-3 drops of
essential oil of your choice

Combine the Witch Hazel, Glycerin, and essential oil.*  Mix well and set aside. 

Next, separate and stack each of the paper towel squares from the roll**; cut each square in half. You will now have rectangles. Fold each rectangle into thirds as if you would a letter. Now, fold each in half as if you were closing a book.

Holding the stack of towels firmly closed, place in a pie pan and hold down with your finger.  Pour witch hazel mixture over towels. Let stand for a few minutes to absorb all of the liquid. Stack towels in an empty lidded plastic container or zip-lock type bag. 

Keep in your car, bathroom, gym locker or other useful places. * I used lemon essential oil and found it very refreshing
** Using the “choose-your-own-size” type of paper towel eliminates having to cut all the pieces. Take the smallest piece of the paper towel (a rectangle), fold into thirds, then fold in half as per the original directions. 

I’ve used these off and on all night and I love them.  These towelettes are great for people with kids-a super economical way to keep them clean!  I’m going to make a batch for my son to take back to the dorm. 

What would you change about this recipe? Would you use a different type of essential oil? If so, what kind and why?

Posted in DIY Recipes, easy recipes for kids, Elizabeth Hill | Tagged , , , | 5 Comments