Monday, April 29, 2013

Garden: First Harvest!

We came home yesterday from a mini vacation of sorts from Vicksburg, MS. Matt attended the Knights of Columbus Conference and while there the kids and I explored the town and saw a few sites. More on that to come in another post. This morning I was eager to get back to juicing some kind of fresh vegetable/fruit mixture, and looked out over the garden. It seems like everything doubled since the last photo. Yes, I have to brag a little about the beauty in our garden, not because I want anyone to feel bad, but because I don't think that we have ever had such a beautiful garden as we do this year. Timing worked out just right for us.
The cool start to spring set us on a perfect planting schedule and everything is on track...well mostly, our peas are a little behind, but I am hopeful. Our harvest included, several heads of lettuce, a beautiful bouquet of rainbow swiss chard, spinach, a handful of green onion tops, a lovely bunch of kale, a beautiful little basket of micro-greens(beet,lettuce,mustard, etc) and some endive.

Anyone else out there like endive? It is a great little plant for variety of flavor. It is a sharp, pungent, peppery flavor that gives your salad a little lift, kind of like a mustard, but different. The whole plant is great; leaves, flowers, and even the young stems are good to eat. The older stems get tough and stringy like asparagus. Endive is an early spring plant that will bolt when it gets too hot, so plant it early and continue to clip the new leaves and flowers for as long as you can and enjoy a different flavor in your greens. I was going to add a picture of our endive, but forgot to photograph it before I harvested. I will try to remember to add a picture.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Garden: Growing Beautifully

It's been really busy here with visiting family, First Communion, Baptism, school, making soap, the new chickens, the big chickens, the kids and activities, the gardens.
It has been very fast paced and hectic but for the most part lots of fun. One of the most enjoyable parts of the last couple of weeks was getting out to enjoy this beautiful Spring weather.

 Our family garden has really taken off in the last couple of weeks. We have been very excited with the progress and have even begun to taste the success of what we have toiled over. We have been able to harvest several bunches of spinach, the strawberry plants are beginning to explode with lots of little green berries that the kids are anxiously anticipating.

Swiss Chard has also given us some lovely colorful stalks that the kids have enjoyed straight out the garden.

This week we will pick one of our beautiful Romaine Lettuce heads.

The kale is growing by leaps and bounds and soon we will be able to add fresh from the garden kale to our juicing, salads, and future meals.

There are also lots of sprouts to thin that will soon become micro greens, lettuce greens for as long as they last before it gets hot, and hopefully a crop of beets. Sugar Snap peas are reaching up and grabbing onto their trellising, and everything else looks like it is making a great start.

The broccoli is amazing, it's the first time that I have had anything bigger than a sprout come up and manage to make it. Right now we have beautiful dark green leaves, and anticipating seeing flower heads soon. 

So Happy Earth Day to you all. Hope you went out there on this lovely, cool, sunny, Spring day and helped make our Earth a better place to live...

What did you do on Earth Day 2013?

Baptisms are Beautiful

Benjamin getting ready for his big day.
What could be better than spending the day with friends and  family in the presence of God. Last Sunday, our newest baby was Baptized into the Catholic Church.
 This was the first time we have baptized one of our children in Mississippi. We usually go home to Louisiana in the presence of most of our family and what we have come to call our family priest. Father Gary has been with our family since my parents were married. He has been with us for many, many weddings, funerals, and baptisms, not to mention many many years of being the priest at several churches that we attended including being part of our years in Catholic school. Because of circumstances here and at home in Louisiana, we found ourselves here in Mississippi, and although the atmosphere of this particular baptism -because we were surrounded with a lot less family that is related by blood, we created new bonds with a new extended family - it was very different, but we had a great day; it was a wonderful and beautiful experience. We are so very blessed to have met some wonderful people here who have truly touched our lives, and I know will be a wonderful blessing in Benjamin's life.
Fr. Joe, Parrin, and Nanny
We shared the day with Father Joe, our friends the Richmond's(Godparents), Matt's father(Gramps), and of course our children. Benjamin was dressed in my father's Baptismal Gown. Which has been such a wonderful gift and family treasure that most of my children have been dressed in. Benjamin was wide awake and smiling the whole time, even when he was blessed with holy water. The cold water was a little shocking, but other than being a little surprised, it didn't phase him; he kept on smiling.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Noah's First Communion

This year Noah made his First Confession and First Communion(Sunday April 7th).
 It is so important to remember that these are the cherished moments in life that we need to look forward to and hold dear. Even though there are fewer of them in life, they are what makes life so memorable. We are so happy for you Noah during this most treasured day in your life...I hope it stands out for you throughout your life as you grow up.
 It was an absolutely perfect day, wonderful Mass and everything was beautiful. All of the children were so cute, and they all did a great job. It was a beautiful day to share with all of the families and our Church Parish. We are so proud to share such a wonderful moment with our little man. Seriously, could he be any cuter dressed up in his coat and slacks. They grow so quickly and these moments just seem to be coming quicker with each child.

It seems like it wasn't that long ago that Nathan made his First Communion and this year he was sitting up at the alter as an Alter Server watching over his little brother.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Soap: New Batches...

Just out of the molds and onto the curing racks. These are the first batches of the year. As with all the soap we make, every bar is a unique and individual creation cut by hand. Each one will differ slightly size and shape. Every bar containing color, or herbs will vary from bar to bar as well as batch to batch. The color, design and sometimes even the scent are always a state of evolution... I love the ability of always having a product that is growing, changing, and evolving over time...I hope you do too.

Plain, simple, gentle, fabulous. If you are a fan of Lavender this bar of soap will probably win you over. It is one of the simplest bars that we make other than plain old soap, unscented Oat and Grain, and Lavender Oatmeal. A simple base soap of Olive, Palm, Coconut, Castor, Almond and Shea Butter, with Lavender and Tea Tree essential oils for scent. These bars contain no color, or exfoliants, they are made simply so that even the most sensitive skins can use it. . Lavender is a calming and soothing scent. These make great soaps the days you need a bath to unwind, or a soothing bath for baby.
Orange Eucalyptus

This is an excellent bar of soap for a citrus lover, the combination of Orange, Eucalyptus, and a cinnamon swirl makes this bar a wonderful morning shower bar. It has a warm, spicy herbal scent, sometimes it reminds me of orange cinnamon rolls.

Patchouli Lavender
The mixture of Patchouli and Lavender creates the most amazing scent combination, it is  warm, earthy, inviting scent. Even though floral scents are used, this soap is actually designed to be a manly scent. It has become our best selling unisex bar, and probably our most popular bar sold.

Patchouli Rose
Very similar to Patchouli Lavender, this bar is a beautiful combination of the earthy scent of Patchouli, and the lovely scent of rose a creates the most amazing scent combination, it is  warm, earthy, and inviting and maybe even sensual and alluring.This is NOT the sweet rose fragrance oil that comes to mind when you first think of rose scent. This soap is a special soap that we don't make very often because it uses the real essential oil of rose that creates depth in the scent that fragrance oils just can not reach.

Rosemary Mint
Another of our most popular scents. Rosemary is a blend of several essential oils with the main focus being a mixture of  Rosemary and Peppermint. Each of our scent blends are carefully considered and blended together to make the wonderful scents in the finished bars...It is almost like layering the flavors of a fine wine. This is a classic scent that is liked by most, strong, invigorating, wake you up kind of scent. The peppermint even leaves a tingle when you use it. 

This bar is a citrus floral that we love making at the beginning of  spring. The scent combination just seems to be Spring-like. The juicy scent of lime, mixed with the floral of several lovely flowers, come together reminiscent of fresh dew on new spring leaves.

These will all be available next week, and for the May Maker's Market on the Square in Oxford. We will also be restocking at Mississippi Madness, and The Farmer's Market. We are always open at Cypress Lake Soap's Website visit us there to see what is currently available. 

 Keep checking back with us to see what will be coming up next...and along with these new batches, new sample bars and soap rocks have also been created. If you like smaller sizes of soap or want to try something out first, be sure to check out these options.