Monthly Archives: August 2011

When Life Hands You Apples…


My lemon tree is covered with aphids. My orange tree is still a baby. But my neighbor’s apple tree is putting out like a champ.

For the last week or so, the tree has been dumping in the backyard and the side of our house.

This has been going on every fall since we moved in and it really makes a big mess. My neighbor never offers to clean it up or to prune the tree back. Since the person didn’t want to do anything about it, I decided that I would. And here is my solution.

A trip to OSH and $21.99 later, I’ve got a nice little pile of apples to eat. In fact, I think we’re having pork chops with fried apples for dinner tonight. A few more picking sessions and the picker will have paid for itself. Pesticide free, non sprayed apples.

Mmmmmmmmm…That’s what I’m talking about!

So friends, the moral of this story is not to get mad when you have a lazy neighbor. The moral is to enjoy the hell out of the apples they are too lazy to take care of themselves.


Who’s That Peepin’ Through My Window?


This just cracks me up. I wonder if homeboy is hoping I’ll throw him some scraps.

Whether it’s the apple tree (more on that later) or a cat(s), everything of our neighbor’s seems to find it’s way into our yard.


Hand Mixed Tea Blend for Gifts


Fernando asked me to start making more tea in an effort to decrease all the juice and other sugary filled drinks that we normally consume. Having a room full of herbs to pick from, I was more than happy to oblige. As I filled a jar full of things I love to drink, I realized how pretty it looked and how nice it would be to receive something like this as a gift.

And here it is all mixed up.

And here it is freshly poured in my cast iron.

I let the whole mix brew for about 10 minutes and then I let it sit in the pot another 20. Why, I don’t know. I think I was being lazy. After all that laziness, I strained it and then let it cool in the fridge. The mix was a beautiful purple color, tart, fruity and flowery at the same time. And the smell? Heavenly!

Look at that pretty purple color.

If you’re interested in making this blend as a gift , the cost is very affordable. For this blend, the cost of all the herbs was about $32. For that price, you get a lot of material to work with. I purchase the majority of my herbs from San Francisco Herb Co. They have a store on the outskirts of the Mission in S.F. and I like to see what I’m buying. Here is a breakdown of the tea blend costs and sizes if you were to buy them from SFHC.

Herb Cost Oz
Orange Peel (California cut)  $      4.50 16
Hibiscus (whole flowers)  $      7.55 16
Chamomile Flowers  $      6.90 16
Elder Berries  $      5.85 16
Peppermint Leaf (8 oz)  $      2.30 8
Rose Petals (red with buds)  $      4.45 16
Total  $    31.55 88

If you filled mason jar with 8 ounces, you’d get 11 jars for $3.94. I usually buy The Republic of Tea and Tazo teas anywhere from $6 – $15 and on average they are only 1 ounce to 3 ounces full. Not only that, who knows how old the tea is? When you make your own blends, you control the ingredients and the quality.

Can you tell I’m an advocate of making your own teas here?

You can take it even a step further, and get sealable tea bags and fill them yourself.  It would not be as pretty as loose tea in a jar, but would make it less messy for whomever you give the gift too.

At Home Facial Pt. 3


The last step to my el cheapo at home facial series is steaming.

These are my favorite herbs to steam my face with. The mix includes roses, jasmine, calendula and lavender. Their benefits are:

a. Roses not only smell amazing, but they are a major skin rejuvenator.

b. Jasmine has calming qualities when taken internally as well as used externally. It’s believed that jasmine also helps with relief to skin afflictions.

c. Calendula is full of anti oxidants and is used in many anti-aging creams.

e. Lavender is antiseptic but also is good for healing skin irritations.

Steaming your skin is insanely easy.

1. Grab a pot and fill it with water.

2. Dump the herbs in and bring to a boil. I used a heaping tablespoon of each. You can eyeball how much you want to use.

3. Go wash your face so there is nothing between you and the steam.

4. Check on the pot. Once the herbs and water start boiling and steam is rising, turn off the stove and put the pot on a trivet or something that will protect the counter or table where you will be steaming.

4. Put your face over the steam and using a towel, cover your head like a tent.

5. Wait 5 minutes. Take breaks if you need to. Done.

I love steaming because it opens up your pores and all the good herbal essences from the herbs get in them bad boys and clean house. The best part is that you don’t really need to use herbs, but it’s nice to have some because you get extra benefits from steaming. I mean, you could have just stood in the shower and absorbed the steam too right?

So check out my el cheapo 3 step at home facial. I noticed a significant difference once I started doing this regiment weekly after about 2 weeks, but you may have different results.

Quilting Bees and Me


When I was a little girl, my grandmother presented me with a quilt she had made. I always used it, and later on, when my cousin was little, my aunt (my mom’s sister) began using my quilt for her. My dad wanted me to get my quilt back, because his mother had made it for me, and he wanted it to stay with me and my siblings. I did ask for it back, but I felt terrible. The quilt was on my cousin’s bed and she used it, just like I had.

Now that I’m older, I understand why my dad wanted the quilt back. But more importantly, as I look back at the situation, I understand something much more deeply than my dad’s request. My quilt was special, not only because my grandmother made it for me with love. It was even more special because someone else I love, in this case my aunt, realized how special this quilt was, and wanted her daughter to feel the same love and happiness I felt when I saw my quilt. Needless to say, I still feel bad about asking for the quilt back.

As I thought about it, I decided to learn how to quilt myself. So, this weekend I’m hanging out with a bunch of more experienced quilters who will hopefully help me along the way. I’ll be taking a lot of pictures, so keep checking back.

Here is the material I’ve chosen for my first bed sized quilt. I already have someone in mind for this quilt, and that person may have figured out this is for them based on the colors.

Here is a close up of the fabric I’ve chosen to focus on. I found it at a quilting fabric store in Paso Robles when visiting Miss Kathryn. Isn’t it gorgeous?

These will be the complimentary colors on the front of the quilt along with the focus fabric. Because the focus is so vibrant, I thought soft, muted colors would compliment the reds and pinks really well.

For the back, I decided to go ultra bright. I love this color and the person this quilt is going to (as long as it comes out okay) wears this color a lot.

Have you figured out yet who this quilt is going to? *wink*

I want to be able to give those I love a special gift that they know comes from the heart, just like my grandmother gave me. And, if I’m lucky, someone will decide to hand down my quilt to someone else they love.

Love and lots of fabric,


At Home Facial Pt. 2


Last year I posted my el cheapo (but all natural) microderm recipe with baking soda. Now I’m going to post my 2nd el cheapo at home facial recipe.

This one involves:

(Ignore the baking soda. I was also doing my el cheapo microderm.)

First, mash up one or two strawberries.

Add a tablespoon of plain yogurt and mix together.


Slather on your face and leave on for about 10 or 15 minutes. It gets a little sloppy, so just pull your hair back and lay on a pillow. Rinse the mask off gently with cool water and pat your face dry.

Strawberries are full of anti-oxidants, vitamin C and salicylic acid. Plain yogurt is full of lactic acid which helps slough off dead skin and tighten the remaining skin underneath. Also, I’ve been told the acids in both strawberries and yogurt help diminish age spots, brown spots, etc. My brown spots are still here sadly, but they do seem to be getting lighter and smaller.

While going to the spa and getting a full facial is a real treat, these at home remedies aren’t too shabby either. Plus I love that they are all natural and you know exactly what’s going on your skin.

Coming up, I’ll show you part 3 of my el cheapo at home facial steps.

Oh, and guess what another huge benefit is for making this strawberry mask?

That’s right, strawberry shortcake! And you know I made some as soon as I was done with my facial mask.

Love, strawberry shortcake and tighter pores,


Tokyo Milk – Honey & The Moon


I absolutely love this perfume.

(Just ignore my crappy photo taking)

Look how cute the bottle is on the back.

(Or maybe it’s the front)

I got it when I went to visit Miss Kathryn in Cambria last week. She mentioned to me that Tokyo Milk had come out with a new line called “Dark” and I couldn’t wait to check out the fragrances. The one I wanted, “La Vie La Mort,” sadly sold out within a few days of Kathryn stocking it. Well, sadly for me, definitely not sadly for Hearts Ease. So I got my next favorite scent, which was “Honey & The Moon.”

The bottle lists its scents as: Sweet Honey, Sugared Violet, Jasmine and Sandalwood. To me, it smells like honey, vanilla and jasmine. Either way, I love it. I’ve been wearing it even when I’m alone doing chores and no one else can smell it. Yes dear friends, I am absolutely addicted to my new perfume.

The other thing I love about Tokyo Milk is how affordable it is. One ounce is about $30. The last perfume I bought was Kenzo Amour, which was about $60 for an ounce.

So, if you’re looking for a new fragrance, check out Tokyo Milk. You can always find it online, or you can call Miss Kathryn at Heart’s Ease and have her send you one.

Love & honey & the moon,