Soap Making with Children

When I was first pregnant. I decided to start making my own natural soap.
I bought books, essetial oils, soap molds…
When Julia was born, reality hit my door and realized that I had no time for anything else other than pampering my little baby!
Soap making kits and wish list were put aside, until I had MY time back.

Past weekend, insipired by a book called Country Crafts, I pulled all my sources out of the drawers and planned an afternoon making soap with the kids.

I chose the kid friendly version of melting gliceryn soap in the microwave.
With  a few drops of essential oil and soap molds, we made a few very interesting looking soaps
The fun part was putting their favorite toys inside the soap and watch them freeze!
Julia’s faries made a beautiful collection and an excellent gift!
Mr. Sugar and I were wondering if that would make them have baths more often!

You will need

  • Glycerin soap, clear (This only works with clear glycerin soap) natural food stores usually carry them
  • Soap or candy molds
  • essential oil (I used lavender) and natural cosmetic dyes
  • Microwave safe liquid measuring cup
  • Spoon
  • Popsicle stick or coffee stirrer
  • Knife (adults only)



How to make it:

  1. If using big bars of soap, cut into small pieces
  2. Put glycerin soap into a measuring cup, microwave according to package directions (or 40 seconds), then in 15-second intervals until melted.
  3. After is melted, if you want colors and fragrance, this is the time to add. Add a few drops and slowly stir with a spoon to avoid air bubbles. 
  4. Set the little toys facing down and slowly pour the liquid soap into the mold. Set aside to harden for 45 minutes to an hour. Some soaps may harden sooner than others
  5. After soap has cooled completely, pop them out of the molds. If you find this difficult, you can place the soap into the freezer for ten minutes and try again.

This Thing About Woman…

What is it?!
WE laugh, in pain.
WE cry when we are happy.
WE tear during tv commercials.
WE go through all kinds of emotions in seconds.
WE are sympathetic.
WE are caring.
WE listen.
WE breastfeed and raise each others kids.
WE put ourselves in front of tanks to protect the world
WE have are so strong and with so much love to offer.
But, sometimes, just a little smile can make us fall apart.

I grew up in a Latin culture dominated by men, but with greater woman population.
All my life, I heard that man bounding were stronger than women’s.
That they really stood up for their peers and were always there for each other.
That woman would never have the same kind of friendship.
I never really got it. But certainly wanted to hang out with men so I could experience a little bit of their special gift.
I had very few girl friends and a lot of boyfriends. However, I had constantly to put boundaries on the relationship with the boys. Latin men, with rare exceptions, do not understand the friendship with woman on the basis we would like. There is always a sexual connotation to it.
When I came to Canada and met amazing women that now make part of my way larger circle of female friends. So,  I discovered that I have been betrayed all my life.
Latin men market themselves in order to diminish the power of a group of women.
Now I understand the fear they have on seeing so many of us together.
I am grateful that I have the opportunity of experiencing this and I am happy for having so many women, real and virtual, around me!
A toast to all of us!

A few friends and I have been thinking on ways of empowering women, giving them a voice in the world, but we haven’t figured a starting point yet.
Maybe, you can help us!
Please send your story and let us be inspired.

This post is dedicated to my mother, for always being a supportive of woman bonding.

“To be a star you must shine your own light, follow your own path, and don’t worry about the darkness, for that is when the stars shine the brightest.”
— Anonymous

Lace Mania

I do love lace!
They are beautiful, elegant, soft, embelish anything.
I was recently searching on the net for projects to use some of mine and this is what I found!
Totally in love with this curtain. I have a few hankies that my friend Traci gave me. I bet they would work wonders for this!

Wouldn’t you like to lye down under this tent and read your favorite book?!

Or even, be surrounded by this beautiful fence?!

And The Excursion Goes On…

I know there are a lot of people that can manage journaling during vacations and keep up with their pictures and little notes.
I have NO idea how they do that!
I’ve been trying to put in my journal all the exciting things we have been experienced so I can, one day, tell to my friends, but I don’t seem to find enough time for it!
All the beautiful places we have been seen and great people we have met, I think they all deserve a little place on my journal, but when we have little ones traveling with us, things get a little different.
It is a big change on their schedules. They never been so far from home and for so many days.
The good thing of all of this is that we are together, as a family. There is no work, school or errands, splitting our attention.
It is a very interesting way to prove our family harmony. Good time to re-think the rusty spots too.
A good laugh when a you get a flat, can make a big difference on the flow of your trip.
Hey, by the way, we got one! In the middle of the way between Nowhere and Never Land.
Seriously, the road trip assistance said they couldn’t help us there! We needed a special anti-theft tool.
So, looking around us, we saw the ocean, an awesome sunset, a B&B and a PUB!!!! Hahaha, good thing we are in Ireland. You might not have a mechanic around but there is always a pub! Problem solved!

Here some pictures of one of Mr. Sugar’s favorite pubs.
Missing you all!

Just Like Being On The Top Of The world

Yes, it is!
The feeling of being just a few inches from this cliffs is so powerful.
Wind coming from everywhere. Just us, nobody else around.

The sound of the ocean and the birds around.
The horizont infront of us…
Life is full of possibilities…

Corners Of My House 3

Well, there are certain husbands that think they can be interior designers.
My husband is one of them. When we moved to the house we live in, seven years ago, he decided to pick the colors of the walls.
I complaint a lot, but I had no arguments to stop him.
He really thought we could live on his style.
So, these were the colors he picked for the bathroom and what I had lived with for 7 years.

Now, I am re-painting my entire house and putting things the way I WANT!
I found a galon of paint in my garage. Kind of like the shade of blue, added a bit of white and that is what I ended with.

The mirror I found in a yard sale for 2 dollars! It was in wood, so I painted it!

I did made a beautiful lace skirt for the sink but I glued gun it and keept falling of. If you know how to stick it on better, let me know. I haven’t found any good source on line.
You will be hearing from me, here and there, can’t promise regularity, but I will be here getting ready for big reno projects!
Miss you all!

So…This Is What Is Going On…

I decided to put three big projects under one deadline – August 1st. – The day we all go to Ireland.

First, I have to organize my entire house, label everything and make a manual for the family that is coming from Ireland.

Hey, did I mention that we are swapping our house with a family there?! Yeap, never met them and probably never will, but they will be leaving at my house for 3 weeks while we are at theirs.

Second, I took on this huge renovation project on two houses in downtown. My aunt from Toronto inherited them and now, we have to gut the houses and get them ready for rental!

Third, after 10 years I finally convinced my husband that we need to paint the cottage, inside and out.
Of course, I need to get this done before going to Ireland. I was trying to make a page for you to see progress, but blogger is acting out on me, I will try to figure it out!

As you can see, I don’t  have much time left for blogging, but I have been finding amazing things at the house I am renovating. Family treasures, linens, unfinished quilts, take a look.

Quilting Bees

I got a very exciting summer project!
I’ve been helping my dear aunt, to empty and to renovate a house she has just inherited.
It is the house she used to live when she was a little girl.
The walls are full of history and every corner hides a treasure.
We have been going through bags, suitcases, chests and closets and even with the moth balls smell, I can’t hide  my admiration for someone that kept things for so long in excellent condition.
Today we opened a suitcase and this is what my aunt found – her mother’s quilts.
OMG! there is a lot of history on these. At the time, they couldn’t afford much and gathering with friends and making quilts off their old clothes, was the best and affordable option.

I have to say I have a very romantic view of a quilting bee party. Old books and stories tell of neighbors all being invited to a quilting.
The women would quilt all day, perhaps taking turns around the frame while others cooked up the grand meal that would be served.
They could share family news, exchange recipes, give child-rearing tips and all in all support each other.

I carefully washed it, my aunt gifted it to me and I can’t wait to grab my cup of tea and snuggle with all that history and dream…

Do You Have Good Neighbors?!

 I DO! ! !
The whole Noth-America concept of the next door neighbor being an extension of you family, never got to me until I moved to the house I have been living for the past 7 years.
Before, we were isolated in the contry and we had no kids, so there was no need to go out and socialize.
Now, we live in a beautiful crescent, where we see our neighbors daily and they actually care if we are well of need anything.
Sometimes,  I come back home and my drive way is clean of snow, or someone trimmed my hedge, or baked me cookies, got me new perennials…

Once and awhile, by door bell rings and Ted and Gerry (neighbors of the right side) bring me  pizza made by Gerry’s mother and I don’t have to say that she is an Italian mama and the pizza melts in your mouth.

Seriously, I think life can’t go wrong when you have good neighbors. God bless them all and specially Gerry’s mom, because I LOVE HER PIZZA!

Have a good weekend! Wanna bite?!

Front Yard Makeover

My back, arms, legs ache…
Three intesinve days and I finally got it done.
Revamped my front yard, so now I can just sit with a cup of tea and admire my hard work…

Jonathan and I worked very hard under the rain to get these lawn separators on…

But at the end, I really love it!

The birds are so happy, they come to visit often, now…

Banana Land

I know there is nothing more common than banana cake.
I come from Banana Land but never made so many of these cakes in my life.
Not sure if it is because I have kids and bananas are everywhere in my house or if I just like to bake.
Anyway, I was recently introduced to almond flour and thought it would be a good match to my bananas.

So I came up with the following recipe:

3 eggs
3 bananas
3 cups of almond flour
1tsp of baking powder
1/3 cup of oil

Mix all together, pre-heat oven 350F, I takes around 35 minutes plus to get ready.

This is my cake after 30 minutes! My family didn’t even wait for it to cool down!

Cottage Time

Just a picture no words needed…

photo by Jonathan Sugarman     

Sweets, Vintage and Royal Wedding

I am soooo sorry for taking so long to write to you.

My mom travelled all the way from Brazil to visit us and I didn’t have time to blog.
I did introduce the Royal mania to her.

On Kate and William’s big day, we all (only the girls, of course!) woke up very early and with our best nighties, ate cake and drink tea while amazed with the majestic ceremony.

My mom has already gone back to her home, but left a lot of good and sweet memories.
I wish Brazil was a little bit closer, so I could hang out with her more often.

Family Treasures – This is amazing!

When my mother asked me what would I like her to bring for me from Brazil, I asked her to dig at my father’s family pictures and bring any old pictures and documents.

I remember sitting beside my grandmother and going through a big wicker basket full of mementos and pictures.

I knew there were a lot of history there, I also knew that after my grandmother passed away, my father lost a lot of its content.
My mother found a few interesting looking pictures and papers, specially this very old looking file cover with my great grandfather’s initials on it.

Inside, a lot of documents written in Italian, as my family came originally from there to Brazil.
A friend of mine helped me translating the contents, and I found my great grandfather and grandmother’s, wedding contract.
 It is all listed there, every single thing my great granny brought into the marriage. 
There is a certificate from the king of Italy, recognizing the marriage between them, painted by hand – gorgeous piece of art from 1896.

I also found my grandpa’s baptism certificate, made by hand with golden leaves – what a piece!

And, the most interesting thing of all, the recognition of my great grandfather as a knight of the King of Italy, I think in North America he would be called SIR Fausto Balloni.

Who could possibly imagine that, I can even call myself  Lady Babi!!!! rsrsrsrs
Family history always surprises us!
Do you have any interesting family history to share?!
Please, leave a link, I would love to hear from you!

Happy Easter, because it is all about the family, isn’t it?!

Thrift Findings – Boxes, Boxes, Boxes!

I am totally obsessed with boxes…
Since I was a child, any container would capture my attention and  I would imagine all sort of things I could hide inside them.
I guess the idea of enclosing little treasures, gave me the incentive for collecting them.
With years I switched back and forward between organizing baskets and keepsakes.
It could be just a little box that would enchant me by its shape, color or texture.
Recently, during one of my yard sale hunts, I found this very interesting case, with a handle.

I slowly opened it and realized that had very intriguing divisions.

I haven’t figured what they were made for, but I certainly found a charming use for it!

What have you find lately during your thrift hunts?!

My Child – Julia!

Those of you that know me very well, know that love for cooking is not something that I grew up with.
As a Brazilian woman, trying to break up with all Latin machismo stigmas, I stayed far away from kitchen stuff, as much as possible.
I always appreciated a good and well prepared meal, however never took the challenge on making it from scratch.
When my daughter Julia, was born, I hated the idea of feeding her with commercial canned products.
I could not stand the fact that my little one would be eating a product that had been sitting on the supermarket shelf for over a month.

So I decided to invest some time on making her, a few little treats.

I started slowly, first with the apple sauce, rice, black beans, then I started planning complete meals and when I realized I was already baking cakes!
Julia, basically, has been growing up inside the kitchen, from morning to sunset, she would be around me just watching,  while I was trying to get things done.
Slowly, I introduced, bread making, flour mixing and other fun things to her
On the past few months, she has been planning her own little suprise meals.

She said she loves cooking and her little brother is taking her steps too.
Good for me, soon I will be retiring from the kitchen, sitting on my porch and relaxing while supper is being made!

Silent Sunday

Just a picture, no words needed.

If you feel inspired to do the same, leave us a link to yours!

Happy Sunday!

ps – inspired by Still parenting blog

Corners Of My House 2

We have been busy out here!

I already have a full list of decor plans and renos to do.

Here are a few of my recent ones that I hope you like.

I haven’t figured a good chair to add to this lovely table that we found on a yard sale.

I love my stairs, the handle is an old bar foot rest.

My Birthday Morning

March 12th was my 41th. birthday.
As usual, kids woke up earlier than during week days, which I don’t really understand why they do that!
However, this time, Mr. Sugar was there taking them out of my bed and asking for silence, because it was mommy’s birthday and she deserved a little bit more sleep.
“Yes, I do!” – I thought and curled up under the blankets.
I couldn’t sleep though. I knew something was going on in the kitchen, I could hear giggles of excitement.
Forty-five minutes later I decided to check it out!
I went downstairs and a beautiful breakfast tray was all set up, with juice, coffee (Irish, of course), bagel with cream cheese, and a funny little glass container.
The kids told me not to eat that and go back to bed.
They were ready to give what they called – A day at the spa!
They prepare their own facial treatment from scratch (oatmeal, honey, banana, yogurt, nutmeg) and gently applied to my skin, followed by two slices of cucumbers for my dark eye circles
While I was relaxing with my mask on, they little hands gave me the best foot massage ever!
My skin was soft like a rose, my foot very relaxed and I was in heaven!
This is what life is all about! Couldn’t have asked for anything else!
Thank you all for the birthday wishes!

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