Outlander Soaps from On a Branch Soaps!

After waiting with bated breath, I finally received my wonderful Outlander soaps from Tara! (They had quite the journey from Ontario to Tennessee!) They both smell amazing, but the lovely lemongrass scent of Claire’s soap was calling my name the loudest, so I tore into it and jumped into the shower. Jamie’s soap smells just as delicious, but I’m saving him for later ;) I consider myself a bit of a home-made soap connoisseur, and I can tell you that these are quality soaps, and I love that she took the time to include a personal, handwritten note! A perfect gift for an Outlander fan! I’m so happy! Thanks again, Tara (and Theresa for hosting the giveaway)!!

Now, go check out On a Branch Soaps on Etsy and buy some!

Instead of being realistic and thinking about Jamie and Claire’s lack of hygiene, from here on out I will imagine them smelling like these beautiful soaps :)

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Outlander Birthday Double Whammy!

Hellooooooo, my long lost friends! I hope you have all been well and happy for the past 3 months! I rather unintentionally took a hiatus from my blog – my brain has been overburdened with heavy philosophical questions and ponderings that I won’t bother you with- but oddly enough, I didn’t even have the slightest desire to blog.

So, what has brought me back to the blogging world? Well, I turned 30 last week (Eeek! Nah, I’m totally over it at this point) and Richie made me an amazing dinner that deserves to be shared. He created an Outlander-themed menu based off of Outlander Kitchen’s incredibly creative blog. (I often read her posts aloud to him because they’re always either cracking me up or blowing me away with imaginativeness…and apparently, he was paying attention!)

First off was Mr. Willoughby’s Coral Knob (a.k.a. cheese balls)

And then came Roger and Bree’s Pizza (or in our case, Richie and Bri’s Pizza, he he)

And for dessert, we had Stephen Bonnet’s Salted Chocolate Pretzel Balls!

The food was seriously amazing, and of course he gets major points on multiple levels, but I was probably most giddy about the Outlander connection :) Richie is obsessed with the pretzel balls, he ate them for breakfast the next day and he actually made them again today. It’s a running joke in our household that he is in love with “Stephen Bonnet’s Balls” ;)

(Richie accidentally deleted the one pic where his eyes were open...)

It was too hot inside, so we relocated outdoors and Levi thought it smelled delicious!

And as if that wasn’t enough…

I had entered Outlander Kitchen’s Giveaway for Outlander themed soaps – a bar of “Jamie’s Soap” and a bar of “Claire’s Soap” from On a Branch Soap shop (on Etsy) – and lo and behold, I WON!!!!! I am still in disbelief because I never win anything! And home-made soaps are literally the one single indulgent item that I allow myself, so if I could’ve chosen a giveaway to win, it would have been this one. I am going to LUXURIATE in these soaps!! I am SO EXCITED I CAN’T EVEN TELL YOU. Thank you so much, Theresa and Tara!!!

jamie's-oatmeal-soap

Jamie's-oatmeal-soap

claire-soap

Claire's soap

Outlander Jewelry: The Author’s Attic

Well, it’s been nothing but bad news bears around here lately. (That lucky bamboo that I received for my birthday hasn’t kicked in yet… ) Hubs was in a car wreck this morning and thankfully he is okay (albeit bruised and sore), but unfortunately the car didn’t fare so well. He has been wanting a new one lately however, so perhaps something good will come out of it all.
 
I will hopefully get back in the groove of blogging very soon, I ordered some new books from Amazon this weekend and I am SO EXCITED…plus I have an Outlander craft idea. Yep, you read that right, an Outlander craft idea. Intrigued? I hope I can find some time this weekend to work on it.
 
Speaking of Outlander inspired art, I discovered this lovely website, The Author’s Attic,  some time ago and have been meaning to post about it ever since. It’s jewelry and charms inspired by the works of some of my favorite authors: Diana Gabaldon, Jane Austen, Anya Seton, and Charlotte Bronte. I haven’t ordered anything, but I love the concept and it seems reasonably priced. You’ll want to check it out if you’re an Outlander fangirl. I’m partial to Brianna’s Bracelet.

*I heart Roger*

 

Punchnep and a little poetry

On this day in 1759, Scotland’s most famed National Bard, Robert Burns, was born. In honor of his 252nd birthday, I decided to make some neeps and tatties. (I’ll admit, I didn’t know it was auld Robbie’s b-day until I checked in on MOP this morning, but I’ll take any chance I can get to eat “neeps” and “tatties.”) I found a recipe in my new Celtic cookbook for Punchnep, which is one of the few vegetarian-friendly Scottish dishes, and it is super easy to make…

Dice, boil, and mash 1 pound of potatoes (a.k.a. “tatties”)

Dice, boil, and mash 1 pound turnips (a.k.a. “neeps”)

Mix them together and add butter and milk (and a boiled and mashed apple, if you are adventurous), then season to taste with salt and pepper.  I also cooked up the turnip greens.

And you’ve just made Punchnep!! (Please ignore the non-Scottish grilled cheese…I was hungry.)

I don’t read much poetry; I typically get my poetic fix via music. I thought tonight would be a fitting time to share with you the lyrics of a song that always make me think of Jamie and Claire.

“The Greatest Sum” by the Avett Brothers

This and who I used to be
Don’t matter much at all to me.
To pin you down, to plant your feet’s
A far cry from my destiny.

Not even the clouds,
Not even the past,
Not even the hands of God
could hold me back from you.

Dark and lonely is the ride,
the devil always by my side.
Though no match for what lies between
the thought of you,
your trust for me.

Not even the sun,
A bullet from a gun,
No, nothing that this world could bring or
Anything someone could do
Could hold me back from you.

No count of gold placed in my hand,
The largest find,
The greatest sum.
Though some would say
It’d ease our pain,
We know that it can’t be done.

Not even the sun,
Not even the clouds.
Not even the past,
No, nothing that this world can bring or anything someone can do,
Could hold me back from you. 

Dragon*Con, here I come!

It’s official: I am going to Dragon*Con. What else is official? I have crossed that invisible line and reached a whole new level of nerdiness. I might just be the nerdiest person you know.

I’ve been listening to Rachel’s tales of Dragon*Con shenanigans for years now.  While I always thought it sounded amazing, I guess I assumed that my lack of interest in Star Trek or Battlestar Galactica would prevent my acceptance at such an event. I had visions of Klingons and Storm Troopers shunning me or forcibly removing me from the premises after finding out that I’ve never actually been able to sit through Star Wars from beginning to end (much to my husband’s chagrin).

Well, that still remains to be seen, but all hesitation and insecurities ceased to exist when I found out that DIANA GABALDON is going to be there! I was already planning on making a Claire Fraser costume and taking pictures (yep, I’m awesome like that), so when I discovered that she was going to be at Dragon*Con promoting the new Outlander graphic novel only days after discussing the possibility of going this year with Rachel, I took it as a sign that my nerd level far exceeded the requirement and that I absolutely had to be there.

Now comes the tricky part: narrowing down my ever-growing list of costume ideas and actually getting them made in such a short period of time (only a month!). In addition to dressing up as Claire so that I’ll appear as crazy as humanly possible when I (hopefully) get to meet Diana G, I will also be dressing up as a Vampire Squid for the special “Night at the Georgia Aquarium” event. I haven’t exactly figured out how to pull this off, but here is my inspiration…

Rachel and her friend Greggo will be donning jellyfish costumes, complete with blinking LED lights. Ah, we’ll be the life of the party for sure ;)

I always have great ideas when it comes to costumes, unfortunately I have a little procrastination problem that usually gets the best of me. I want to post updates of my progress that will hopefully keep me motivated to get everything done in a timely fashion and keep the stress level at a minimum . Does anyone remember me being up all night -with a needle and thread in one hand and a glass of wine in the other – on the eve of my wedding day, trying to finish up all the bridesmaid dresses? Yeah, I’d like to avoid that if at all possible.

Let the costuming begin!