Green Thumb…

I’m not a huge gardener and usually struggle to keep my house plants alive but this year, I decided to try gardening one more time. Since I planted strawberries in my garden a few years ago, the bunnies and chipmunks have beaten me to their luscious deliciousness. So I opted for less challenging plants and flowers that need little coaxing from me, than fruits and vegetables for my front garden. It went better but it’s no English estate garden.

This year I invested in deck rail planters and have grown successfully; peppermint, spearmint, jalapeños, lettuce, baby tomatoes, basil, rosemary, and oregano. I’m total amazed and pamper them relentlessly, ask my sons, who have been required to water and tend to them when I am away. The biggest surprise is that we actually eat everything we’ve planted and to have teenage boys eat anything green is nothing short of a miracle. I’m grateful everyday that we get to harvest and share our own bounty. At least they put down their phones, don’t get me started, and we chill out on the deck and talk and eat. That’s worth the price of soil.

It turns out that rebirth and regeneration of my garden has helped move me towards a place of gratitude and peace. This summer has been one of the most joyous summers of my life. To be surrounded by nature, my plants, my puppy, my friends, and my beloved family…well there’s just nothing better than that. Getting to spend quality time with the people I cherish most, that’s the best gift of all. Peace!

Simply Soaps A Vineyard Bath Collection…

I just came back from my friend Beth’s Grand Opening of her soap and bath products store, Simply Soaps, A Vineyard Bath Collection on Martha’s Vineyard and I am in awe of my friend’s hardwork, creative vision and boundless energy.

On March 30 Beth opened her store to the public and cast her fate to the wind, she had been making soaps and other tantalizing bath products from her home and lugging them to craft fair after craft fair marketing and selling her heart out. Now she is launching herself   in a new forum, a place she had a vision about from the start, the opening of her very own store, Simply Soaps, A Vineyard Bath Collection.

I love soaps, lotions, candles, bath salts, etc., and I enjoy sampling them in national chains and in malls everywhere. So when Beth first introduced me to her Simply Soaps, I felt that I had experience trying lots of products and so I was excited to see how Simply Soaps compared. I started with her lotion Vineyard Mistletoe and promptly fell in love with it’s scent of evergreen and holly, and the texture was creamy and light, a balm for my dry skin, I was hooked. Next I tried Cape Pogue Peppermint Bath Gel and it was beyond invigorating and smelled exactly like a candy cane, then my family tried Island Guy Bath Gel and the fresh clean scent was loved by the boys too, although their enthusiasm was not equal to mine. Then there’s Gay Head Ginger Lime Lotion, and Edgartown Lilac Lotion, which allows me to the unique smell of Lilacs year round, and each smells better than the next and the delightful tongue in cheek naming of her bath products; using locations and landmarks from her beloved Martha’s Vineyard is clever marketing indeed.

I am in awe of the spectrum of Beth’s creativity and passion and I revel in her quest to bring soaps and bath products to the marketplace that are parabin free and have all natural ingredients, ingredients I might add, that you can actually prononce. The soaps, and other products are tantalizing to your nose and a delight to your senses, and are priced so that they are affordable as well.

There is more here and Beth is just getting started, so I will be discussing some of her techniques for making her bath products, how she created her business plan, how she makes her candles with cotton wicks and why that’s important, what she plans to do next and of course following the progress of her new store, Simply Soaps A Vineyard Bath Collection on Martha’s Vineyard and at

I will also continue to volunteer to test  every product in her bath collection both in the store and any new creations she has yet to debut, after all, it’s for research….right?