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Saturday, February 28, 2015

The Sparkly Necklace - Raising Girls

I was recently in Boston on a business trip, for my 9-5 job.  After long meetings, a female co-worker and I decided to go walk the mall that happened to be attached to our hotel, to get some exercise.   I found this to be an excellent idea considering I was planning on bringing home presents to my girls.  I found a stuffed lobster for the youngest (she’s into anything with claws…don’t ask), and I found a sparkly bling -bling heart locket for my six year old. So as I’m paying to the necklace, my co-worker says, “Maybe I should get that for my daughter, but that might be sending the wrong message.” I let the comment go… but of course I pressed for info awhile later.  She told me that she didn’t want to get her daughter a gift that could send a message of 'that is what girls should be liking… ' 

That's when I started BREWIN'  (my thoughts that is...)

I totally get that!  And actually support that idea 100%! I even wondered if I was sending a wrong message??? 6 years ago, when I found out that I was having girls…  I told everyone…  do not by her pink or purple…  nothing girly.   Buy none gender specific items….  And when in doubt… go with an educational toy… primary colors!!!  I introduced her to soccer and basketball.  Puzzles were a way of life for us.    

If you ask my daughter what she wants to be when she grows up, she’ll tell you… “Well I’m already it… I’m an artist.”  We never gave her any formal art classes, but she always had access to paper, crayons, and markers. She has self-taught herself how to draw, paint, and blend colors. She created things at the age of 5 that I didn’t learn how to do until I was in middle school.  And her art expands into her fashion. She combines patterns and colors together… as well as picks out accessories.  She even helps me every once in awhile…  So this purchase could seem to an outsider that I was buying a ‘girlie’ item, because this is how a girl should be.  But in actuality, I was buying an “article” for my daughter to design with.

I am thankful for my co-worker challenging me to think about why I got the necklace in the first place. And I’m thankful for a daughter that knows who she is… an artist. (And yes, this will probably change a million times.)  But the bottom line is, every mom knows their kid the best.  Every mom needs to be confident with that!


What issues have you 'brewin' as a parent?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Being Schooled in Selling Wholesale Part 3: Trade Shows

Again, I am no expert! Please take this video with a grain of salt.   I do think that I could have a career as an anchor woman!  Nah, I think I'll stay soapin'!


Tuesday, February 24, 2015

I Struggle, but I am Driven - Juggling a life of soap and family

I struggle with managing being a mom, working a full time job, and launching my dream job.  I struggle with blogging and promoting my business.  I struggle …  I get frustrated when I have spilt half of my olive oil on the floor.  My anxiety increases when my two year old has a tantrum right when I pour my sodium-hydroxide solution into my oils and my husband isn’t helping the situation because he can’t be peeled away from the football game.  I get nervous using new technology (i.e. Paypal or the Square) at shows, there is always some sort of update that I seemed to have missed…

But I remain driven.  I remain driven because I get to meet new people and talk to them about two of my favorite things: beer and soap.  I get to create.  I get to be my own boss.  I get to be a role model for my two girls, teaching them that women can start their own business and carve a path in a male dominate field (in this case brewing). I know one day, my dream job will be my full time job!!

In the meantime, I have great days and so-so days.

We all struggle. What keeps you driven?

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Cooking with Homebrewed Beer: Chicken Fajita





YUM, YUM, YUM!

Note:  I am not a chef.  I love reading recipes and coming up with my own. I cook what I know my family will eat!  I also eyeball everything…  exact measurements aren’t my forte.  And I use what I have.  Oftentimes I look in my fridge and throw something together or substitute ingredients because I don’t have what a recipe calls for.  As a result, my meals always come out a little different each time I make them! Please let me know what you think…  if I need to add or take away!  I’m learning too!!







What you’ll need:

1-gallon size baggy
¾ cup of homebrewed beer
1 pound or so of Chicken (or any meat)
Eyeball about 2 Tlbs spoons of Soy sauce
Eyeball about 2 Tlbs spoons Worchester Sauce
Garlic
A wee bit of olive oil

Throw all of this into the gallon size baggy, and marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes.  (Try not to spill the beer while pouring it into baggy, I’m always spilling the beer…in EVERY recipe, and I swear I’m not drinking!)
While it’s in the fridge, start cutting up:

1 yellow onion
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper

Add this to the baggy when through.

After about an hour of everything marinating in the fridge, take out just the chicken, sprinkle it with a little salt and pepper, and cook it on both sides until done.  Then add the veggies and add a little of the beer marinade.  Cook for about 6 minutes until veggies are tender.  Make sure you heat up corn tortillas.

On a plate place the warm tortillas, scoop up the fajita mixture and add garnish with any of the following:

Jalapenos
Cilantro
Sour Cream
Salsa
Avocado

Enjoy!  Let me know of any changes/additions that need to be made!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Airing My Dirty Laundry, It's Good for the Environment

Am I really posting a picture of my dirty laundry?  Well, it kinda looks like it...  but really it's clean, dirty laundry.  Huh?

These are my soap rags.  I use them for about everything when I make soap, from wiping up soap spills to wiping out soap buckets.  They are much more durable and absorbent that paper towels or newspaper.  And they are better for the environment.  How, you ask?  Well, I do use water to wash them, but I'm keeping paper (trees) out of the landfill! And I don't add any extra soap to wash the rags as they all ready have soap on them.

A few words of warning:

1) Make sure that you wait a few days after you use the rags before you wash them.  The soap needs to harden on the material. Otherwise, you'll get an oily mess in your washer!!

2)  Don't put a lot of used soap rags in the washer.  (I'm talking 30-40.)  Otherwise this will happen (see picture!)  I suggest you wash10-15 heavily soaped rags and add some of your other laundry to it as well!

What clean up tricks do you use when making soap or any other messy hobby?

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Recipe: The Best Pancakes in the Whole World!! (And they're made withOatmeal!!!)


Now that's a strong statement, "The Best Pancakes I'm the Whole World!!" But it's the truth! I'm not one for homemade pancakes! They tend to be thick and too dry for me.  I envision myself looking like a dog trying to get peanut butter off the roof of my mouth when I eat them! So I've been sticking to a boxed mix, preferring Krusteaz. But last weekend, while camping with the fam, Aunt Sharon broke out with THE BEST PANCAKES EVER!!!! Homemade, from scratch, the moistest (is that a word?) pancakes! So here I introduce you to ....homemade Oatmeal Pancakes!!!
Ingredients for about 12 pancakes:
2 cups of oatmeal
2 cups of buttermilk
3 eggs
2 Tbs sugar
4 Tbs oil
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt

Step 1: Soak oatmeal in buttermilk over night!

Step 2: Mix dry ingredients!

Step 3: Add in wet ingredients including oatmeal mixture!


Step 4: Cook


Step 5: Eat and Enjoy! And please let me know what you thought of this recipe!!



Friday, July 11, 2014

Inspiration in Soap Packaging!

I'll be honest... I was nervous about the idea of taking a vacation for so long.  As I teacher, I look forward to my summer break (any break actually!) This time though, I was nervous about being away from my soap!!! (A little wierd huh?)  On any other vacay, I would take my craft with me: knifty knitters, art supplies etc. But soap making supplies aren't that easy to transport. So I went through withdrawals... Salivating on other soap makers projects I found on Facebook or Pinterest.  But by day three, envy turned into inspiration.  I got out a pen and paper and started planning what I would make when I got home, creating a calendar of what would be made and when, and getting to things I never could find time for because I'd rather be making soap.  I redesigned labels/ packaging, blogged, and rewrote product descriptions! I started to exercise!!!!! (I just walked 4 miles and am participating in a squat challenge!).   I'm actually finding out that time away from my passion is exactly what I needed! I needed space to think and plan so that when I come home to my oils, I'm off and running! Here are some great packaging tutorials that I found. This one is from: http://ohhappyday.com/2012/08/print-on-brown-paper-bags/
And this one is from: http://www.diywedding.org/diy-wedding-ideas/free-downloads/diy-wedding-favor-bags-with-a-twist


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