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That title might be a bit misleading because there are no actual saddles involved, unless you count the leather scent in our "man" products. But we are BACK. After slightly more than a year away from actively selling at the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market, we returned for the First Saturday of February. We got to enjoy a clear, cool day, reconnect with our market friends, and enjoy the company of customers both old and new. We won't discuss taking three days to recuperate!

For those of you who don't know, we were on hiatus due to the fun of building a house. Not our house, mind you, our daughter's house. She and her family finally moved to a 20-acre farm just north of Calvert where they will be setting up a regenerative agriculture operation. Right now, the only things they are raising are children, a pack of livestock guardian dogs, and one slightly befuddled chicken who wandered onto the property and found herself part of the circus. But in another few weeks it will be planting time and the work begins!

Getting the house project finished and the younger set moved onto the farm means that now we can focus on making soap. We've got bars of our popular man soap curing, our lavender mint and licorice root shampoos are back in stock, and I'm doing some much-needed "housekeeping" on our website. There are a couple other projects in the works including a handout on natural living that will be available at our booth soon, and just maybe a book idea percolating in the background. We'll have to see if my time, my enthusiasm, and my writing can all get together in the same room for that last one!

For the foreseeable future, our market schedule will be First Fridays along with the other Market vendors on Main Street and then First Saturdays at the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market farther down Main close to Ronin. As always, you can contact us via email, Facebook, Instagram, or phone/text if you have questions. You can place orders on our website for local pickup on First Saturdays, local delivery (with a $5 fee), or we can ship in the Continental U.S.

From our cottage to yours...

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Autumn is finally here!

If you live in Texas, or you've ever been here for the change of seasons, you know that fall means we can finally breathe a sigh of relief as the endless summer heat blows out and the cooler air blows in. Well, okay, I breathe a sigh of relief. The rest of my heat-loving family breaks out the winter weather gear and starts complaining until some time in late spring!

As I mentioned in my last blog post, we had hoped to make our first big craft fair this fall, but the pandemic still has a lot of those fairs shut down. We'll just shift our focus to spring and hope for the best. But autumn's cooler weather means we're BAAACCKKK at the Brazos Valley Farmer's Market. We are at the market the 1st and 2nd Saturdays of every month from 8 a.m. - 12 p.m. We will also be there on Saturday, October 31st, for their Halloween market. I encourage everyone to take advantage of the great weather and come join us and all the other vendors. The market is growing so there are plenty of fantastic items to explore!

We might not have been at the market over the hot summer months, but we weren't idle. I'm pleased to say that our products are now in Village Foods & Pharmacy. They've been one of our favorite places to get healthy foods, herbs, etc. for many years and we're delighted to be partnering with them. You can find our products right next to the checkout counter.

I'm one of those purists who hates it when my holidays overlap (think Halloween decorations on the shelves in late August!) But autumn inevitably means that Christmas will be here before you know it and we have something special planned this year. We are hard at work putting together gift baskets with sample-sized products for that special someone in your life. They are also priced to be a great option for holiday gift exchanges at your office or social gathering.

Our gift baskets will be available starting the first of December at the farmers' market and on our website. We will be offering both a standard basket with products in a variety of scents as well as a special "man basket" with products that all feature our signature scent for men (bourbon, tobacco, leather, and sandalwood). We know from experience how hard it can be to find a gift for the guy in your life...these baskets can make that process a little less painful. This scent has won over many a skeptical man who was following his wife/girlfriend/daughter around the market and got trapped at the soap booth. The look on their faces when they reluctantly sniff it and then realize we really do have a scent for men - and it smells GOOD - is quite comical.

While we're on the subject of gift giving, I wanted to remind everyone that we also offer gift cards in any denomination. These can be a great stocking stuffer, an office party gift, or a great way to send a gift to someone far away. We ship throughout the continental United States.

While the fresh winds are blowing in, we are also bringing out fresh products. We've had a number of customers ask us about candles; this fall we're rolling out our line of beeswax/tallow container candles in a variety of scents. Initially, they will be available exclusively in our holiday gift baskets (yet another reason to check those out). Our standard and man baskets will include a single candle, but we will also have candle-only gift baskets with three scents in each. We'll start offering our larger beeswax/tallow container candles in a variety of scents in the spring.

Do you have someone who just can't do the scented body or home products? We can still cover your gift giving needs with our handmade kitchen products. We offer beautiful, hand-crocheted dish clothes with both individual cloths and color-coordinated bundles available. We also have dish scrubbies in a rainbow of colors. These long-lasting scrubbies are good for everything from glasses and china to pots and pans.

Last, but not least, we have a new line of hand-woven hot pads in two sizes and a multitude of colors to fit any decor. These will also be available as both individual items and as sets.

Whew! Just telling you about all the great items we are offering for the upcoming holidays is wearing me out...but having that many awesome gift options in one place might just make your holiday shopping a little less exhausting this year. Remember, if you're local you can explore all the great new items at the farmers' market starting the first weekend in December. If you don't make it by the market, or you're not local, check out our website for gift ideas starting the first part of December.

We hope you have a wonderful, safe holiday season. Whether you can gather in person, or you're still sharing special moments only online, cherish the memories you make just by being together. From our cottage to yours...

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Updated: Oct 26, 2020

Well, okay, masks aren't exactly optional these days, and we're doing our part to keep everyone safe when we go out. But we were already making the world a cleaner place one bar of soap at a time, and that hasn't changed, even with the crazy time we're all living through.

I was grateful to see that when the rest of the world started shutting down this spring, we still had friends visit us at the Brazos Valley Farmers' Market. With less things taking up time on Saturday, we even made some new friends who had never tried the market before. We were still able to talk about the weather, which booth currently had honey, and all the great benefits of handmade, natural cleaning products. Talking to people, even with masks, is the best part of our job.

Our attempt at our first major craft fair this past April did get shut down, but we're hoping and planning to hit one this fall - pandemic permitting. As usual, that means we're spending our summer planning, ordering, and making soap batches. This year, my very handy husband is working on an R&D project to create new molds that will make our soap process simpler and more efficient. We've already tried the beta version with great success.

Not to worry, though. We may be in the middle of our summer soap production frenzy, but we still have plenty of great products available on our website. If you're local to the Bryan/College Station area, we can safely deliver them to you, or we can ship them anywhere in the continental United States.

We have some NEW items, too! We recently added gorgeous, hand-crocheted washcloths made by the same crafter that does our dish scrubbies. I like to joke that these are an imported product...from Colorado! Available in a rainbow of colors, you can purchase individual items, or you can get bundles of two or three cloths in complementary color themes. Check out our product pages to see all our current options. Regardless of your final color choice, they all pair nicely with our moisturizing bar soaps.

If the summer is leaving your skin less in need of a soft cloth and more in need of some extra scrubbing, try one of our affordable, all-natural, homegrown loofahs. These gently invigorating sponges exfoliate rough skin to leave it wonderfully smooth and soft. They are long-lasting, biodegradable, and compostable.

Here's wishing everyone a safe summer that still holds the joys of fun and family, albeit in a modified format. We managed to make our annual fireworks show, even with social distancing; it was even more enjoyable given that so many things that we've all taken for granted in years past weren't being held. Be safe, but be creative in making things happen that make those precious memories.

From our cottage to yours...

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