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For handcrafted soap visit the online store or the Etsy Store!

Lora's artisan soaps, an affordable luxury.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Shop Small

I've been busy replenishing my soap stock for the holidays.

I've made some more of the popular Cinnamon and Honey Goats' Milk soap.

There are so many benefits of cinnamon to skin and this bar is packed with it!

A touch of honey is also added to this bar for it's skin soothing properties.

Another popular bar, is my Little Black Bar made with activated charcoal.

Activated charcoal has been taking the beauty industry by storm for all it's skin benefits!

Both these bars, or any of Lora's Beauty's soaps, would make great, all natural holiday presents!

As always, there's Free Shipping for orders over $30!

Soap is something EVERYONE needs and your purchase supports a small business.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Checkboard Stool

This stool Jeff picked up one evening.  It was a little rickety but a nice, solid wood stool none the less.

It was definitely worth carrying home.

With a little paint and some tightened screws...it's transformed!

I used chalk paintto paint the entire stool.

I then taped off the top into 4 inch squares and filled in the outside and middle squares with milk paint.

This will be another item featured in the Home and Patio Sale in July!

Monday, November 21, 2016

New Free Finds

I've picked up a few small items free on the sidewalk recently.

This sweet, little metal water pitcher I probably would have even bought, but free is better and it doesn't need any work!

This magazine rack has the perfect mid-century look to it.  I'll clean up the brass and straighten a few of the spindles but all in all, a great find.

This stool, I have big plans for!  I can't wait to get started on in it and share the after pictures.

Finally, I picked up this step ladder at an estate sale. It wasn't free but at $3 it practically was. Step ladders sold really well in my last sale and with a little paint on this I have high hopes it will sell.

All these items will be in the Home and Patio Sale in July!

Friday, November 18, 2016

A Matching Set

Last month I shared this table redo. I finally managed to finish the chairs to complete the set.

These chairs were my parents but have been sitting in my workroom for several months.

They originally had this orange-brown finish. Cute, but orange furniture isn't my thing.

They have nice lines though and their simple style works well with the rustic table.

I painted two of the four chairs with Miss Mustard Seed's Milk Paint Layla's Mint.

I sanded them just a little to give them a worn look. I then finished them with Miss Mustard Seed's Hemp Oil

This set will be available in the Home and Patio Sale next July!

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Bazaar Time!

This Wednesday is the first Holiday Bazaar of the season! Hard to believe, I know. This year I ordered three of these cupcake stands to display my soap.

If you're in downtown Portland November 16, drop in on the bazaar at 601 SW 2nd ave, 11th floor from 10 to 3.  Or order soap online at Lora's Beauty.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Welcome Ed and Olive

We had to go to the pet shop anyway. Sure it was a rainy Saturday and we didn't have much going on so a trip to the pet shop was a necessary distraction.

We have this routine when we go to the pet shop, first I grab a cup of free coffee (I know, awesome pet shop!) we then visit the cats who want adopted. Then we visit the bunnies if there are any, then we go to the bird section, and last we get what we came for.

On this particular day, the cats were both snuggled deep in their snuggle sacks so we couldn't see them and there were no bunnies. The birds though, they were awake and very social!

There were Budgies (green and blue), owl finches, and even a couple Macaws (one was the store bird and the other was vacationing at the store while it's owners were gone). There were also two cockatiels that instantly perked up when we walked over.

They were so social and seemed to understand the baby nonsense talk I was saying to them!

However, we ended up buying what we needed and leaving with out them.

Once home, we did a little research about what it took to care for a cockatiel. After a couple hours, we decided we had what it took!

Back to the pet store we went and this time we returned home with Ed and Olive.

Apparently you need a blood test to actually tell the sex of the birds but from everything we've read, I think we've got a male and a female.

They've warmed up to us very quickly and we had them out of the cage the same day we brought them home.  Usually, they need a few days to adjust to a new home so we feel lucky they are so social.

I've never had birds as pets before. From what I've read, they're very much like a young child. They like to play, and you can teach them colors, to count and to speak.

Welcome Ed and Olive!

Thursday, November 10, 2016


The sun has continued to come up even after Tuesday, albeit not quite as beautiful as this which was taken last weekend, but someday...I have faith.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Dryer Ball

I've got a great hack for your dryer to make your clothes dry faster, fluffier, and smelling great!

Two words: Tennis ball.

Seriously, throw a tennis ball in your dryer with your load and your clothes will dry faster!

I cover mine with an old white sock so the dye from a new tennis ball doesn't discolor my whites.

Use it when you dry your pillows and comforters and notice how fluffier and static free they are.

I sometimes spritz the sock covered tennis ball with a little essential oil, like lemongrass or lavender, before I toss it in the dryer. The clothes come out smelling terrific!

Friday, November 4, 2016

Stuffed Acorn Squash

I'm a firm believer that anyone who says they don't like vegetables hasn't had them cooked properly. It's not hard to cook vegetables correctly.  For example, I've found that just about everyone loves vegetables if you stuff them with sausage!

Today, I'm sharing one of my favorite fall vegetable dishes; stuffed acorn squash.

To make this recipe, you really only need two ingredients; acorn squash and sausage.  It's a lot better though, if you add a few other things. So, keeping with the way I cook, I'll supply a list of optional extra ingredients and if you make this recipe, just pick as many as you'd like or have on hand.

Let's start with the squash.  Now this is the hard part: cutting the squash in half.  Sorry, I don't have any nifty tricks for this but I will say, start with a sharp, sturdy knife.  I have found it easier if you don't try to cut the stem, just cut the rest of it and then use your hands to tear it open across the stem.

Use a spoon to clean out the seeds.  Here's another helpful hint, dig a little of the squash out so you have a nice deep hole for the stuffing (translation: more sausage!).

Cook the sausage and optional ingredients in a frying pan.

Once the sausage is cooked, spoon it into the waiting squash.

Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for at least an hour, probably more like an hour and 15 minutes.

With about 15 minutes left in the baking cycle, I add a little cheddar cheese to the top to keep the stuffing contained (and just like sausage, cheddar cheese makes everyone a vegetable lover!)

You will know when the squash is fully cooked when you can easily stick a fork in it.

I've found the easiest way to eat this is to put it in a bowl so the squash doesn't move around as I mix the squash and stuffing together. My son, however, likes to dump it all out and scrape the sides of the squash on to a plate--which then seems perfect for rolling in a tortilla!

Required ingredients:

  • Acorn Squash
  • Sausage.

Optional ingredients:
  • onion
  • garlic
  • bell pepper
  • celery
  • carrot
  • nuts (chopped walnuts, peanuts, almonds, whateva)
  • apples
  • hot peppers
  • green chilies
  • cheese
  • chives
  • whatever you want that goes good with sausage (oh yea, that would be EVERYTHING!).
Bake at 350 for 60-75 minutes. Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Hydrangea Wreath

Did you cut all your hydrangea blooms last month? Do you have a wreath frame or some grapevine sticks? Do you have a glue gun and 10 minutes to make a pretty fall wreath?

I did!

Let's back up...After yoga last week we were walking home past a flower shop.  In their window was a pretty wreath made of dried hydrangea blossoms. My mind immediately went to work!

I had dried hydrangea blossoms and I even had a wreath frame I picked up years ago from a garage sale.  I don't know why I never put the two together before now, but after seeing the wreath in the window I knew I was going to make that wreath!

A little glue and a couple days later, I did.

Now, I'm not going to insult your intelligence, this is obviously a really easy project.  If you're not starting with a wreath frame you can make one from some grapevine sticks.

Amazon also has wreath frames quite cheap.

The best way to dry hydrangeas is to pick them in early Fall and put them in a vase with no water. This will keep them from turning brown.

For symmetry's sake, It's a good idea to lay your blossoms on the wreath before you glue them.

If you had a small wreath frame you could do this and use it as a candle ring.  A couple of those on the table for Thanksgiving would look so pretty!