Monday, September 15, 2014

Milk + Honey and Why I ♥ Goats

Bee + Sunflower lotion bar by Milk + Honey ///

At Vogue Knitting Live Seattle, Shannon and I picked up the Almost Everything kit from Bar-Maids. I'd never used a bar lotion and since then it's been my preference over liquid lotion. Especially during the summer months when I'm in shorts everyday. I love being able to quickly rub the bar directly on my legs as I'm running out the door rather than squeezing lotion into my hands and  rubbing it in. 

So when I was given a chance to try Milk + Honey's lotion bar for knitters I said yes please!! I've had their Lavender scented Bee+Sunflower lotion bar on my bedside table and I am loving my nightly routine of moisturizing my hands when I crawl into bed because the lavender scent lulls me to sleep, it's such a soothing smell. And the bar is so silky smooth. 

Bee + Sunflower lotion bar by Milk + Honey ///

Another thing that's really important to me is that products be all-natural. This is a change I made after little Miss E was born. All of a sudden I was thinking twice about the chemical cleaners and paraben-laden body products in my home. But I really hate to waste, so the change to all-natural (and more often homemade) had to happen gradually. As things were used up I would replace them with green products. So I love finding new all-natural products to use. 

Bee + Sunflower lotion bar by Milk + Honey ///

Another reason I was drawn to Milk + Honey products is because of my love of goat products! If you follow me on Instagram or Pinterest you may have noticed I post and pin a lot of dairy-free recipes. It's not because I'm vegan or paleo but because I can't have cow's milk. The dairy products in my diet are all made of goat's milk and I get really excited when I discover new ones! I'm constantly experimenting with goat dairy in recipes so that I don't have to be deprived of yummy things like cream cheese, sour cream, and icing (...or frosting if you are from the US?).

In short, I ♥ Goats!

What about you? Do you have a favorite lotion for your knitting hands? 

How about food sensitivities? Are you in the same boat as me? Do you have any goat dairy recipes or substitutions?! Wanna trade notes? 

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

In the Garden /// Bonus Beds

Wow! Is it just me or did summer fly by in the blink of an eye?

I'm sad it's nearly over but I really have no regrets. For the first time in years I let myself really enjoy the summer months with planned vacation time and random days off to camp, picnic, play, beach comb, you name it, we did it!

And amongst all of the craziness my garden grew leaps and bounds while I wasn't looking. I figured a garden update was in order!

I'm not sure if I mentioned it, but our new place has a communal garden on the grounds consisting of two full-sun vegetable beds that were originally planted by Lifestyles Market (amazing!). Since moving in I'd watched them like a hawk hoping someone would tend to them and I could enthusiastically volunteer my assistance but the beds overwintered and then spring came and they were badly overtaken with morning glory and mint. No one paid them any mind and eventually most everything edible died off. 

{ strawberries transplanted from the old house }

I waited until I couldn't take it any longer and finally asked our caretaker if I could manage the beds. By this time it was late spring and I'd blown my gardening budget on my own backyard. All I had to offer was my elbow grease and a large collection of seeds from gardens past. 

I bought some cheap soil and started as many seeds as I could on my window ledge and out back. While I waited for things to germinate I set to work cleaning out the beds (an enormous job!). 

The seeds were old but everything sprouted and the neighborhood kids were eager to help plant up all of the young veggie starts.

{ nasturtiums from seed }

{ sweeties--started late--from seed }

Lately I can barely keep up with the weeds, watering has become a bit of a chore in this heat, and the soil needs some serious amending, but things are growing and I'm excited for next year when I can get a head start on my seeds and time to create a garden plan. 

I'm already collecting seeds and drying them in my closet to use for next year. 

{ dried chive flowers }

{ seed packet template by Gayla Trail of You Grow Girl }

And I just harvested my first handful of green beans for lunch today!
(Feeling pretty darn lucky) 

What about you? What are you harvesting from the garden this August?
Does anyone have tips on simple ways to amend poor soil? 

Monday, July 7, 2014

SALE // JOURNEY Road Trip Sale!!!

When you are self employed, as some of you may know, you are working all the time. There is no punching out for the day and leaving it all behind. Your work is your life and finding a balance is an ongoing battle. 

This year, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I took a real vacation. A vacation that didn't involve a tent or bringing my work with me. 

For the first time ever, since starting my business back in 2008, I set my email to auto respond with a vacation notice. 

For the very first time in 6 years, I resisted the urge to do any work... well besides knitting. 

And I realized something. My world didn't fall apart. Nobody got mad at me for not responding to their email right away. All of the work I'd left behind was waiting patiently for me when I got back. It made me realize something -- I need to carve out a small window of time, each year, for a little vacation time.  

Shannon takes time off as infrequently as I do -- and today? Well it's the first full day of her well-deserved, sun-and-sand, get-out-of-town-for-a-real-vacation, holiday!

In honour of these rare occasions we are celebrating the spirit of vacation and road tripping with a fun summer sale!!!

Now until the end of the week, enjoy 20% off all of the patterns from JOURNEY as well as the eBook!!!



20% off 
Any JOURNEY pattern or eBook 
July 7th - July 13th

Simply use the coupon code "roadtrip" at check out on Ravelry!


What about you? Are you getting away this summer? 

Monday, June 30, 2014

In the Garden || Branching Out

{ roxy }

Summer is in full swing which means things are changing on a daily basis in the garden. I thought it was high time for a garden update. 

Since my last post, my potted herbs started to go down hill -- even with the fresh soil they had clearly outgrown their planters and after stumbling upon this in my Pinterest feed I felt way more confident about planting them in my new garden bed. 

The results? They are all thriving! Everything has exploded and not one plant seems to be suffering from lack of sun. The greens I started are exceptionally happy -- it's the perfect temperature and amount of sunlight for them down there. Even after all of our hot sunny weather, none of my lettuce plants have bolted! I'm so thrilled -- it opens up so much possibility. Elsie and I harvested our first head of lettuce yesterday -- we were so proud.

{ perennial arugula }

{ Italian parsley }

The heat loving herbs have a new home in the front of the house in a huge terracotta pot that's been empty for years. We live in attached townhouses where our front door is set back creating a little alcove that heats up like a green house in the morning sun. It's the perfect place for basil. 

{ spearmint, parsley, peppermint, basil, nasturtiums }

There is a small garden bed next to the front door as well that has existing plants that I am not allowed to remove, beds like this are maintained by the maintenance company. However I've found a little path of paving stones along the bed that were hidden by foliage and I've tucked two pots there to take advantage of the green house effect. 

{ Mr Fig }

{ seedless cucumber }

This year I decided to tidy up all of my succulent planters -- they are my babies and have been with me for over a decade. I've collected many of the plants from cuttings on hikes or from friends gardens or gardens where I've lived so each plants has a story and means something to me. 

I took a little vacation to see my sister in Penticton. While I was away my sweet neighbor watered my plants and let me tell you -- I think they like her better than me because by the time I returned my planters were exploding with new growth! I don't think I've ever seen them looking so good!

What's exciting and new in your garden?

Monday, June 9, 2014

EXTRA Slouch Hat || Blue Sky Alpacas

Extra Slouch Hat

A while back I had the privilege of sampling Blue Sky Alpacas newest yarn EXTRA. With it I designed a super slouchy hat in a simple beaded rib. I love this cheery blue and the yarn is so springy and bouncy! 

You can find the pattern on the Blue Sky Alpacas website HERE.

Happy Monday!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Beacon Hill Cardigan || Now Available Individually!


. . .

Last fall my Beacon Hill cardigan design was published in Cascadia, a fabulous collection of local talent put together by the amazing organizers of Knit City

Well today, my friends, (actually yesterday, to be precise), all of the fantastic patterns from the book were released for individual sale!
You can download the pattern directly from Ravelry: Beacon Hill cardigan

Monday, May 5, 2014

In the Garden || April Showers Bring May Flowers

{ flowering chives }

I've dug up some of the grass and made a small shade bed along part of the fence to accommodate my little collection of plants I shared with you during my last In the Garden post. I've come home with just a few more plants that were too pretty to leave behind and now I'm really happy with the shape it's in! It's just outside the window that my desk looks on and it makes me smile every morning when I sit down to work. 

Here are a few of the new additions that just had to come home with me. 

{ Primula : Gold Lace }

{ Saxifraga : Triumph } 

I've been so consumed with growing food I had no idea there were so many beautiful flowers that grow in the shade. I'm really adoring the Primula, the different varieties are so varied!

I've also tidied up the herb planters and purchased a few new plants to fill in the gaps where annuals had been growing. I can't believe how lively they've become since just a few weeks ago when I posted this picture. 

Top planter: dill, Italian parsley, curly leaf parsley, peppermint, tarragon, cilantro
Bottom planter: English thyme, spearmint, sage, alpine strawberry, chives, oregano 

I've also purchased one more planter and have dedicated it to sowing seeds. I've sown a selection of my faves from our veggie garden, we'll see how well they like it atop the fence where the sun shines longer. So far the herbs are incredibly happy up there so I'm hopeful.

 { Spinach : Corvair }

I am having a problem with aphids on some of the herbs and strawberries. I've sprayed with a solution of dish soap and water which has been effective. I've also noticed ladybugs move in which should help control their numbers as well. 

{ Fig Cutting -- Summer 2013 }

...and let's not forget this guy. The little fig tree I'd rooted from a cutting taken from the old house. The one I so lovingly cared for over winter that surprised me last spring by coming to life. Well I decided to give him a permanent home and planted him in the ground in a sunny spot where he could thrive. He immediately responded and just days after the transplant two new leaves had shot out of the dormant stems. Then a few days later the lawn guy mowed over him, cut him right to the ground, and I nearly cried real tears. I decided to pull him up and put him back in his pot where I knew he would be safe. After weeks of checking on him daily I am SO happy to report that just today I discovered new signs of life, if you look closely you can see new green leaves forming at each node... 

This little guy has nine lives indeed.

I hope all of you lovely gardening friends are having fun in the soil like me!