The temperature is rapidly rising and it’s beginning to feel like summer has officially arrived here in Southern California.
Warmer weather means more soap making at the Lavender and Olive household and I already have three batches of new creations curing in the wooden crates, waiting patiently until they’re ready to be loved and enjoyed, in about four weeks.
My latest batch is this all-natural Olive Oil soap with Eucalyptus, Lavender, Rosemary and Tea Tree scents.
And just for fun, I made this 30-second clip capturing how the oil and lye mixture turn into soap! I hope you enjoy watching the transformation! I’ll make a full, “how to” video tutorial soon!
There are many great places where you can donate to Japan’s Kumamoto Earthquake relief fund, including Yahoo Japan and Japanese Red Cross.
I donated through an organization called AAR Japan (Association for Aid and Relief, Japan). It’s a silly reason but I chose this organization because of its donation site’s ease of use. You don’t need to create an account and the entire process took me less than 3 minutes.
Go to http://www.aarjapan.gr.jp/
Click on the red “English” button on the upper right hand corner.
1. Enter the donation amount (in dollars)
2. Assign a destination. Type in “Kumamoto Earthquake.”
3. Hit the “Donate” button. You will be directed to a PayPal site … and voila! You’re done!
If you need any assistance with translating something from Japanese to English, or vice versa, please feel free to leave a comment on this post. I would love to help where I can!
Thank you for your generosity, as we come together to help those in need.
Today was a sad day for Japan. The Kumamoto Prefecture was struck by a 6.2 magnitude earthquake, which resulted in several casualties, with many sustaining injuries. Thousands have been displaced from their home to ensure safety. It was reported that this was the strongest quake since the Great Tohoku Earthquake that devastated the country in 2011.
I can’t help but to feel helpless during a natural disaster and other tragic event like this one, but I like to believe that even a small loving thought can set positivity in motion. I think tonight might be a good time to hug your family a little tighter or make that phone call to a friend you’ve been wanting to catch up with.
I’ll be praying for the safely of those who were affected by today’s event.
I usually pride myself as a practical and relatively level-headed shopper, and don’t (excuse the pun) buy into the hype behind the hottest “must haves,” EXCEPT when it comes to skincare items! I can easily walk away from clothing and shoes, but it takes everything in me to say “no” to even what seems like the silliest gadget ever … like ReFa!
I do admit that ReFa, a Japanese face massager that supposedly emits microcurrent that stimulate circulation (I feel silly even trying to explain this so please read about it here for more detail ), was a complete impulse purchase. I saw one of my celebrity crushes pose with it one day on his Facebook page and I had to have one too!
But impulse buy or not, I’m extremely happy with the purchase! I’m totally serious here. Of course, I won’t be able to see or feel the real improvement, if any, for good weeks or even months, but it feels incredible when I roll it all over my face (especially around the cheeks, jawline, and hairline) and neck. I do it every chance I get and especially when I’m reading or surfing the Internet at night.
Another somewhat impulse purchase, but am completely satisfied with, is this facial steamer. My BFF Maya introduced me to this and I fell in love after the first use! You can totally feel your pores opening up from the hot steam and your skin feels super soft and moisturized immediately afterward.
And who can forget Clarisonic? I purchased Mia 1 a few years ago and I’ve been in love with it since. I don’t use it as frequently as I once did because I feel like I need to be more gentle on my face as I age, but I still think this deep facial cleanser is pretty magical.
So, here they are — some of my favorite skincare companions. I used to spend money on face masks, toners, moisturizer, etc., and although I still like to splurge on those items once in a while, I feel like it’s a better investment to spend money on devices that you can use over and over again.
I fought the urge to go to Urth Caffe this morning and settled on a more appropriate 85 Degree Bakery in Old Town Pasadena, and enjoyed a cup of coffee with a small cranberry and cream cheese bread for breakfast today.
I saved about $20 compared to the mea culpa breakfast I had the other day. And that’s with additional goodies I picked up for my husband and my daughter!
I know this is hardly newsworthy but I just had to share my excitement with the world, or the 7 kind people that actually read my blog!
I’m not sure if any of you noticed, but the URL for this blog has officially been updated to reflect the actual name of the blog — Lavender and Olive! Okay, it’s technically missing the “and” but I’m still super happy about it!
I’ve wanted to change the link from “Time for Dinner” to “Lavender and Olive” ever since I changed the direction of the blog a few years ago, and I finally took the leap today! But don’t worry — you can still access the site with the original URL. It’ll simply redirects you to the new link without any additional step on your end.
I also created a new Twitter account and updated my Instagram so please follow me! My goal is to get my Etsy shop finally up and running soon and post my craft-related adventures there, along with this blog!
This quilt has been sitting in my craft queue for, like, forever. I don’t remember exactly when I started it but it must be almost a year ago because the receipt from Missouri Quilt Company where I got this Birch Farm Design Roll from shows that it was purchased in May 2015.
One thing I really want to improve about myself is my craft follow thru skills. I get so excited to start something new but I quickly lose interest and I too often let the unfinished projects rot away in the corner of the closet. And the unfortunate thing is that these projects are usually about 85% complete. All I need to do is, say for knitting, just seam the pieces together, or, for sewing, bind the edges, etc.
For this particular Jelly Roll quilt, all I need to do is hand quilt the pieces together and just sew the bias tapes around the entire thing … and Bob’s your uncle! … or voila! … or ta da! … or insert whatever expression that tickles your fancy! The hard part is already done and I just have, maybe, 4 hours of work left.
So yeah, my goal for this month is to complete this project once and for all! I hope to post the photos of the finished project here soon!
I had a total, “oh crap,” mea culpa moment the other morning at Urth Caffe. Just take a look at the receipt and please weep with (or for) me. I just spent a whopping $26 on breakfast. Twenty six dollars! Seriously, who spends that much on breakfast FOR ONE, right? I’m convinced that an Alien came down and temporarily took over my body when I was making my order.
Well, an Alien or not, the mistake was made. And while the Nicoise Salad with smoked salmon nestled in lightly dressed bib lettuce was satisfying, it wasn’t worth as nearly as much in my opinion and I’m still regretting that I splurged so much on something I thought was mediocre, at best.
As I was walking away from the cash register feeling defeated, and with a significantly lighter wallet, I told myself that I will not be returning to Urth Caffe for a while. I still love this place but it was time for me to reevaluate my spending. As I was saying this to myself, a barista brought over my Moroccan Tea Latte with this foam art …
OMG, this is unreal. This has to be the cutest foam art I’ve ever seen. I’m convinced that Urth has some sort of technology where it detects customers that’s thinking about parting and lure them back with this cute-as-a-button puppy drink.
Darn you, Urth, darn youuuuuu!
Yes, I will be back next week.
Sometime, I wonder if I should just get real and rename my blog to “Things I Purchased at LUSH,” or “Homage to LUSH,” or “How I Got Suckered Into Purchasing Things I Don’t Really Need at LUSH … Again,” or something that shows how addicted I am to this cosmetic joint.
I’m not a fan of every product there (some are too strong in scent and some are just outright weird) but I seldom walk out of the store without a bagful of items that I never knew I needed but could no longer live without.
My latest acquisitions were a bottle of rose and lavender toner water named “Eau Roma Water” (eau my!) and a small container of Rose Cheeks fresh face mask, from the store in Portland’s NW 23rd Street, aka “Trendy” Third. If you haven’t noticed, I love all things rose.
One good thing about a visit to LUSH, other than brining home fun skincare products, is that the place reignites my love for homemade cosmetics. Every time I leave the store, I come out with a motivation to start creating again.
As soon as I got home from Portland, I got busy making a batch of Marseille soap. I scented it with Lemongrass, Lavender, Rosemary and Sweet Orange Essential Oils. I can’t wait for it to become ready in about a month!
My friend Deb and I flew up to Portland, Oregon, last weekend and stayed with my BFF Maya, and had an ah-mazing time.
We were incredibly blessed that it was sunny and warm (even hot at times) during our stay, despite the heavy rain the city experienced only few days prior. We were told that this was, hands down, the best weekend there in many, many month! Even the cabin attendant had to make a disclaimer that it’s not an April Fool’s joke that we can expect an unusually pleasant weather once we land in PDX.
We didn’t do much, other than eat good food and vegged out at home, which is exactly what Deb and I needed to relax and unwind. My favorite part of the trip, aside from catching up with my girl friends, is seeing rows and rows of Sakura trees and their lovely, pink petals dancing on the streets of Portland.
We went into this little speciality beauty shop called Blush Beauty Bar on the trendy NW 23rd Street (aka “trendy” third) and I fell in love with a bottle of this Cherry Blossom scent from Demeter. I’ve tried different Cherry Blossom fragrances, including ones from Jo Malone, Bath and Body Works and L’Occitane, but this has to be my favorite I’ve tried so far. It’s light and floral, and you immediately transport yourself to spring with just one spray.
And even more spring-y, are these designer chocolate bars from Moonstruck.