Hog Creek Farm Goat Milk Soap Review

This is my first review ever! I just really felt like I needed to review this amazing soap. It is kind of a miracle soap.

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John is allergic to any smell ever, especially soap. Our laundry soap has to be fragrance free and he can only really use Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo for bathing. Bars of soap never work. Dove soap even bothers his nose… Basically smells are bad.

A friend gifted us a delicious smelling Orange Vanilla Goat Milk Soap from Hog Creek Farm. They are based in Texas right near where I grew up.

I was so excited, because I love smells and lavish soaps. 😀

John smelled the soap. The soap didn’t irritate anything. After using it for the past two weeks he isn’t allergic and is just so happy that he can use a bar of soap! When we get back to the states this will be our soap.

I just cannot believe it.

This soap is a miracle soap. Since it is Summer time we have already tried it out on sunburns and is is wonderfully soothing. Please check out Hog Creek Farm Goat Milk Soap.

Here is a link to the online store.


Happy Summer!




Chocolate Port Cake

This is a recipe I have wanted to try for quite some time. The original can be found here. I thought today would be the perfect day. I was not disappointed! Fortunately a friend came over to help me eat it 😉 It is definitely a cake for the over 21 crowd, as there is still alcohol left after you bake it 😀

Chocolate Port Cake

  • Servings: 1 loaf
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 8 tbsp butter, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 eggs, room temperature
  • 3/4 cup port
  • 2tsp vanilla
  • 1 – 1 1/4 cups of flour
  • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon


  • In a bowl combine 1 cup of the flour with the dry ingredients
  • Cream together the butter and sugars
  • Add the eggs one at a time.
  • Gradually add in the wine and vanilla
  • Stir in the dry ingredients. If the batter is too wet add a bit of the extra flour. I did not have to add any.
  • Spoon into a buttered loaf pan
  • Bake @350 for 60 minutes. The cake was done in 45 minutes in my oven, so keep an eye on it. It can dry out if over baked.

A Very Good Visit

The last two weeks have been so wonderful. My parents and grandmother came to visit us and we had many adventures. John and I showed them York AND we went to Edinburgh and saw everything.

here is a pretty flower

To start out it was the hottest day we had had in York. Fitting since the Texas contingent had just landed.  Because of that and jet lag we just walked around the neighborhood and got the lay of the land.

A lovely tree on my favorite street, The Avenue.

The next day was a bit of a blur. John had rehearsals and we walked around his university campus to show them where he has been all year. After a delicious meal at Charles XII (a pub near school)  we went to The 24 concert. It was delightful.

Capturing the multi angular Roman Tower in the Museum Gardens

Day 3 was a tour of the city wall. It was a very pleasant day with lots of sun. I got my first English sunburn! Halfway around we had coffee at Gatehouse Coffee and met some wonderful people there. Then made our way back to our side of town, ending with lunch at The Circle Cafe on Lendal Bridge where all the doors are for tiny people.

Friday we headed off to Edinburgh. The train ride was so fun. We packed a picnic and ate on the train while watching beautiful scenery pass us mile by mile. We arrived in Edinburgh at 9pm and scurried up a close from the station to our hotel. After checking in, we decided we were hungry and scurried half way down the same close to a little greasy spoon where we ordered one of everything (it seemed like). Mmmm.

On the first full day in Edinburgh, we explored Edinburgh Castle. It was splendid. It reminded us of Gondor and must have been an inspiration to Tolkien while he was writing LOTR. It also happened to be the Queen’s 90th birthday while we were there. We got to watch a 21 gun salute from the castle battlements. On the way home we had a tasty coffee at a pub.

View from the castle
View entering the castle through the first of 7 gates.

The next day was rainy and felt very chilly because of it. We had planned to climb Arthur’s Seat, a very tall hill in Holyrood Park, but since it was raining we elected not to and sent John up alone to document. He got some amazing pictures while we stayed warm and toasty in Holyrood Palace.

Holyrood Palace courtyard
Holyrood Abbey
Arthur’s Seat the day before John climbed.
Arthur’s Seat from half way up. 

The next day we finished up all the things we had wanted to see but didn’t, like St Giles Cathedral, Mary King’s Close, and Sir Walter Scott’s Monument. Then we hangout at the train station till time to board.

Our Marks &Spencer picnic by Scott Monument 

Obligatory food pictures 🙂 Most everything got eaten too quickly to photograph!!!

Back in York we were worn out so we went a little slower for the second half of the trip.

Over the next six days we did a tour of lots of our favorite little churches, went to Clifford’s Tower and the Castle Museum, sang/played in Clamity’s St John Passion, and ate a whole bunch! Here are some highlights:::


Peony in the Museum Gardens
By the Ouse 
Wine and Cheese Night
Looking into a little side street in York.
Outside York Minster

It was hard to say good bye, but it was so worth seeing them and sharing York and Edinburgh with them! It was a very good visit.

Crocheting: starting small

After I fell in love with crocheting (Crocheting: an accidental hat), I decided I should actually follow a pattern and maybe see if I could make something look like it was supposed to look instead of naming it after I had finished. For the last few months I have been very busy crocheting and enjoying my self immensely. The only problem with crocheting is it keeps my hands so busy I forget to blog! I suppose there are worse things!

After trying to make a blanket and coming out with a hat (?) I thought I should start much smaller. I thought tiny little baby booties might be ok for my head to work with. I would only need to count to 24 max and then maybe I could make it work. Well, it worked!!!! And I just took off. Here are a few of the cute little things I made. IMG_5092


I used several different bootie and beanie patterns. These little booties are preemie size and I used Mama That Makes baby sock pattern and really enjoyed how very simple it was. Just what I needed to actually make what I meant to make haha.


All of the beanies are made from this pattern here in different sizes and then I embellished I little :))

For these adorable booties I found a wonderful pattern on AshleeMarie.com. Pictured above you will see three versions of the same bootie (left to right) scalloped wrap, plain wrap, and fold down. The only thing that changes is the wrap for each version. I loved using this pattern. Each bootie took around 45 minutes from start to finish.

***Just to clarify*** these small little baby things are not for me! haha I’m just learning. 😀

Avocado Brownies

Sometime the oddest things turn into the best things. My grandmother is the queen of interesting ingredients. She bakes the most wonderful things! As a little kid I would eat and enjoy her baking only to find out there was a can of tomato soup in her spice cake (Mother’s Conversation Cake)  or beets in her chocolate cake (Polish Beet Cake)…. It was so very tasty that I didn’t care a bit what was in it. From those early memories I learned to love baking with different and unique ingredients, so when I found this recipe of Avocado Brownies (Frugal Mom Eh!), I was ecstatic! They turned out beautifully and I will be making them again! They were soo good I forgot to take a picture of the finished product 😮 oops.


Avocado Brownies

  • Servings: 24 brownies
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


    • 300 g dark chocolate (chopped or chips)
    • 2 tbs butter
    • 2 hass avocados, pitted and peeled
    • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 3 eggs, at room temperature
    • 1/2 cup cocoa powder
    • 1/2 cup less 1 tbs flour
    • One medium sized hass avocado, pitted and peeled
    • 3 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder
    • 3 tbs maple syrup or honey


    • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
    • Line a 9 x 13 in pan with parchment paper, allowing some overhang.
    • Put the dark chocolate and butter in a double boiler or bowl set over simmering water, without it touching the water.
    • Melt the chocolate, stirring until smooth then remove from heat and set aside.
    • Place the avocado into a food processor or blender and blend until smooth.
    • Stir the avocado, honey and vanilla extract into the cooled chocolate.
    • Next, add the eggs, one at a time, making sure each is well mixed before adding the next.
    • Stir in the flour and cocoa powder until the batter is smooth.
    • Pour the batter into the prepared pan and spread to cover the pan and fill the corners. Smooth the top.
    • Bake for 12-15 minutes or until the top is firm to the touch.
    • Remove from oven and cool completely in the pan before lifting the brownie from the pan.
    • Place frosting ingredients in a food processor or blender along with the cocoa powder and maple syrup.
    • Blend, scraping down the sides as needed until very smooth.
    • Add more cocoa powder or maple syrup if needed to taste.Spread over completely cooled brownies.
    • Cut the brownie into 24 pieces and store in an airtight container for up to 3 days.