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!

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We’re opening a shop and your invited to help us celebrate

You haven’t heard from us lately but we’ve been working hard behind the scenes and now we have some exciting news to share!

We are opening a permanent retail location in downtown Baton Rouge just in time for your holiday shopping!

Our friends at Fleur du Jour, Baton Rouge’s only downtown florist, are moving into the historic Kress Building, 447 Third Street, next door to The Little Village restaurant. Handmade at Homestead is one of a select number of local artists to be featured in Fleur du Jour’s spacious showroom.

We’d like to invite you to join in our celebration! You are cordially invited to our Christmas Open House on Friday, December 2 from 12pm until 8pm.  We will have live art demonstrations, door prizes, live music, refreshment and tons of shopping throughout the day.  From bath & body products to jewelry and more, we will have it all at Kress at Third & Main!

During our open house, we are partnering with Trafficking Hope, a local organization whose focus is to promote public awareness and to provide safe housing for victims of human trafficking, particularly those along Interstate 10 between Baton Rouge and New Orleans.

For  a donation of $5 or more made at the open house, you will receive a voucher good for 20 percent off everything in the showroom, good on merchandize from all participating artists.

So come join us in celebrating this milestone in Handmade at Homestead history while enjoying the first retail holiday shopping experience in downtown Baton Rouge in decades. Hope to see you there!

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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!

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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!

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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


 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.

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