Thursday, October 28, 2010

Holiday Craft Fair Schedule

We're doing two Holiday Craft Fairs this year! Here are the details:

Friends of Williams-Cone Holiday Craft Fair
Saturday, October 30 from 9 am - 3 pm
Williams-Cone School Gym
From Main St. in Topsham (Rt 201) go east on Rt 24 (Elm St) and take left onto Perkins St.

Brunswick Hockey Boosters Holiday Craft Show
Saturday, November 20, 9 am - 4 pm
Sunday, November 21, 10 am - 2 pm
Brunswick High School Gym
(from downtown go South on Maine Street to Maquoit Road, turn right)

Hope you can join us!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Treasures

I've done a lot of packing and cleaning in the past few weeks as I moved my office and then reorganized my house. While I wasn't looking forward to this part of the move, I forgot one of the best parts of moving: treasures. In every drawer, under each shelf I found forgotten objects, some of which had been lost years ago. Among all the dust bunnies behind my desk I found the best one: Rilke's Letters To A Young Poet. I have owned several copies of this book but this pocket-sized edition, a Stephen Mitchell translation, is my favorite.

The poet Rainer Maria Rilke wrote a series of letters to (surprise!) a young poet named Franz Kappus. (It might have been called "Younger Poet," as Kappus was only about 8 years his junior.) The two corresponded over 6 years of time, touching on a wide range of topics. After Rilke's death, Kappus compiled and published the letters, sharing the treasure of Rilke's thoughts on art, relationships, and solitude.

"A work of art is good if it has arisen out of necessity. That is the only way one can judge it. So, dear Sir, I can't give you any advice but this: to go into yourself and see how deep the place is from which your life flows; at its source you will find the answer to the question whether you must create. Accept that answer, just as it is given to you, without trying to interpret it." Letter One, February 17, 1903

"You are so young, so much before all beginning, and I would like to beg you, dear Sir, as well as I can, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don't search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer." Letter Four, July 16, 1903

"And this more human love...will resemble what we are now preparing painfully and with great struggle: the love that consists in this: that two solitudes protect and border and greet each other." Letter Seven, May 14, 1904

Do you have a favorite book that you treasure? Do you rediscover it over and over again? Please share your thoughts!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Feedback Friday is Pink Ribbons

October has been such a busy month for us that Feedback Friday just slipped right by! If you're not familiar with it, Feedback Friday is when we feature one of our fragrances or flavors with an invitation to share your opinions below. If you haven't tried the featured product, we make it easier by offering a sample that you can add to your next order.

I'm feeling a little disappointed that with all of my packing and moving in the past few weeks, I haven't talked more about the pink ribbon products we offer each October. We donate $1 from the sale of each Pink Lady lip balm, Pink Cupcake lip balm, Pink Lady hand cream, or Pink Lady lotion, and a whopping $3 from the sale of each Pink Lady gift set to Susan G. Komen for the Cure. (Please note that Pink Lady products are available year round, while the Pink Cupcake lip balm, shown above, is only available in October.)

The Pink Lady shares its name with a gin cocktail, and the balm is a sweet blend of the flavors of lemon, gin, cream and grenadine (it's non-alcoholic, of course). The Pink Lady lotion and hand cream have a sweet cranberry fragrance. The Pink Cupcake balm tastes just like vanilla cupcakes with buttercream frosting! All of our Pink Lady and Limited Edition Pink Cupcake products are available here (you can also order party favors).

If you've tried our Pink Lady products, I'd love to hear what you thought of them! Please share your comments below. If you haven't tried Pink Lady (or Pink Cupcake), please consider ordering and make a donation to Susan G. Komen for the Cure! Order a Pink Cupcake balm by October 31 and we'll increase the donation to $1.50 per balm. That's 50% of the purchase price!

Thanks so much for your interest!

You may be interested in these other Feedback Friday posts:
Lemon Blueberry
Lilac
Green Clover & Aloe
Apricot Freesia
Sweetini Spa
Lip Balm Tubes
Maine Woodland Berry
Coconut Twist
Lollipop
Pumpkin Pie

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Rock Candy Soap from Milk and Cookeez

I have long admired the mouthwatering soap creations of Tammy Brodbeck at Milk and Cookeez...soaps shaped like popsicles! Soap Caramel Apples! Cupcake soaps! They're all so adorable and fun, how is it possible to choose? A few weeks ago Tammy was talking about her Rock Candy soap on her Facebook page and I just couldn't resist any longer.

Each Rock Candy soap comes on a stick (just like the real candy!) and is wrapped in a clear bag with coordinating polka dot bow. I chose pink, green, yellow, and blue, all of which come in a scent described as a "sweet tart" candy fragrance, a blend of "berries, lemons, sugar, and a hint of vanilla." Sounded good enough to eat...which is probably why the parting advice on the Rock Candy page is "Don't Eat it!" (They must know what happens with candy soaps and kids...)

I don't know how it's possible, but this soap is even cuter in person. I showed my kids (ages 10 and 12) and so began the conversations about the soap: Is it candy or soap? (It's soap shaped like candy.) Mmmm, it smells like candy, maybe it really IS candy? (No, it has a remarkable resemblance to candy in every way, but it is meant for washing.) Why does it SAY candy if it's not candy? (Haven't you guys ever SEEN rock candy? This looks JUST LIKE rock candy, but it's SOAP!) Once I was finished taking pictures of the soap for this post and they could try it out, the confusion was over and the good, clean fun could start. Delicious fragrance! Awesome lather! Kids with clean hands! What's not to like?

For those of you who are concerned about ingredients, Milk and Cookeez uses only detergent free soap bases and phthalate free fragrances. They are kid-safe and VERY kid-friendly, so I am making a mental list of all the "kids" on my Christmas list who absolutely must try these yummy soaps. (Wouldn't they make fabulous stocking stuffers?)

You can find out more about Milk and Cookeez on Facebook...follow Milk and Cookeez on Twitter...and place your orders here. (For the record, I purchased these soaps and was not paid for this review.)

Did you click those links above to check out the popsicles and cupcakes? What's your favorite Milk and Cookeez product? Which one should I order next?!

Thursday, October 07, 2010

A Bridal Shower Game for Everyone

I have to admit, I don't always enjoy bridal showers. I like to visit with family and friends, and I'm all over that snacks-and-presents-and-favors thing. It's when we get to the bridal shower games that I start to squirm.

Maybe I'm not the only one who's experienced some truly cringe-worthy bridal shower games? While I love the idea of the Naughty-and-Nice theme, too much emphasis on the naughty puts us squarely in bachelorette party territory—and would you want your mom (or mom-in-law) at your bachelorette party? Selecting bridal shower games for everyone is especially important if you're planning a shower with guests of all ages or from different backgrounds.

"You Complete Me."

Anyone who has seen Jerry Maguire has quoted this line--and even those who haven't seen the movie know what it's from. Every generation has their love stories, and every big screen romance has its quotable quote. Why not see how many of your guests can match those quotes with their movies? Each guest list will require slightly different movie quotes; include movies from any decade that you think your guests would remember. We thought of some memorable love stories and then Googled the titles with the word "quotes." So for example, a search for "Love Story quotes" gives us this entry from imdb.com. It includes that famous line: "Love means never having to say you're sorry." Here are more from AFI's 100 Years...100 Movie Quotes. And here are some of our favorites:

"I came here tonight because when you realize you want to spend the rest of your life with somebody, you want the rest of your life to start as soon as possible." Harry Burns in When Harry Met Sally

"You had me at 'hello'." Dorothy in Jerry Maguire

"No, I don't think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That's what's wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how." Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind

"The odd thing about this form of communication is that you're more likely to talk about nothing than something. But I just want to say that all this nothing has meant more to me than so many somethings." Kathleen Kelly in You've Got Mail

"What I really want to do with my life - what I want to do for a living - is I want to be with your daughter. I'm good at it." Lloyd Dobler in Say Anything

"Here's looking at you, kid." Rick Blaine in Casablanca

"Beautiful Aurelia, I've come here with a view of asking you to marriage me. I know I seems an insane person - because I hardly knows you - but sometimes things are so transparency, they don't need evidential proof." Jamie in Love, Actually

"After all... I'm just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her." Anna Scott in Notting Hill

"Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me... Aren't you?" Benjamin Braddock in The Graduate

Brainstorm your own list of movies and find quotes to go with them. Once you have your list, there are different ways you could play this game. Make a list of quotes and a list of movies and create a matching game for your guests. Or make a list of quotes and see how many can come up with the corresponding movies. Guests can match them on their own, or can team up with other guests to complete the lists (a great way to talk with those folks you've never met). You could even set it up with teams like a game show--this is totally up to you! Choose some easier quotes that everyone will know, and include a few of the less famous quotes to make it challenging. And of course, you'll need to reward the winners with prizes!

What is your favorite romantic movie? Which do you think has the most quotable quotes?

photo from istockphoto.com

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Pumpkin Cheesecake

This time of year I find that I am craving everything pumpkin: pumpkin bread, pumpkin soup, pumpkin cookies. No list would be complete without the cheesecake.


I talked about cheesecake here before when I shared a recipe for chocolate cheesecake. You'll see that this recipe is very similar; it's based on my favorite quick-and-easy cheesecake recipe, which makes just the right amount of these cupcake-sized, delectable treats.
These are usually baked in cupcake pans with vanilla wafers on the bottom for a tiny "crust"; for these I used ginger snap cookies. Think of them as a sweet and spicy addition to the fall themed bridal shower or baby shower menu! Here's what you need:

Mini Pumpkin Cheesecakes
2 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
2 eggs
1/2 tsp cinnamon
dash of nutmeg and ginger
ginger snap cookies (2 dozen)
whipped cream topping or powdered sugar (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°. Beat together first six ingredients until creamy. Place cupcake liners in pans, and put cookie "crust" into bottom of each liner. Add 1 - 2 tablespoons of cheesecake mixture to top each cookie, then bake for 15-20 minutes.
Allow to cool before topping with whipped cream or powdered sugar. Makes about 2 dozen cupcakes.
Hope you enjoy! What's your favorite way to eat pumpkin?

Monday, October 04, 2010

Update

We finally know what our moving schedule will be! We'll be closing this Thursday, October 7, and will reopen on October 18. Any orders placed between October 6 - 17 will begin shipping on the 18th. Please email or call us at 1.888.778.1666 if you have any questions or concerns about an order, and we'll get back to you as soon as possible.

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