I can scarcely believe it, but Humblebee & Me is three today. I can’t believe it’s been over 1000 days since I launched this site with eager expectations of the world immediately flocking to the three recipes I had online. A lot has changed since then, and I’m super excited that people actually want to read my recipes and try my projects with me 🙂
I’m re-using this celebratory type photo ’cause I think it’s hilarious. Also YAY THREE YEARS!
So, as a bit of a birthday retrospective, I thought I’d take a look back at some of my favourites from the last year—favourite breakthroughs, favourite day-to-day products, favourite gifts, and what not. I’ve published over 600 entries (this is #648!), but these are the ones I’m excited about right now.
For Christmas 2012 I was given a cute little Jane Austen themed five year journal. This journal had a page for each day of the year, and each page had five slots so you could go through and write four lines a day for a year, and then flip back to January 1 and start all over again. After 5 years you’d have half a decade of short, stacked journal entries for every day of the year.
Once I found out about cream soap (and specifically whipped cream soap), I immediately wanted to make some, so I googled it to find out what it was, and how to make it. And it turns out it’s a “secret”. As in you have to join a specific Yahoo group and are then prohibited from publishing any such recipes anywhere else. And I think that’s crap. I mean, I spend heaps of my free time developing and sharing loads of my own recipes for free online (200+/year), so I’m obviously pretty keen on open source. So, I set off to figure it out on my own, and then blog about it out in the open.
I love making marshmallows. The flavour combinations are endless, they come together like magic, and they never fail to impress. They’re also easier to make than you’d think, which is a major plus. These particular marshmallows are infused with Cream of Earl Grey tea, but you can make them straight-up vanilla marshmallows easily enough (or use your favourite tea instead).
It’s probably no surprise to you that I have an ingredient problem. So many things are just $3–$5 for the smaller size, and then the descriptions and reviews sound so promising… and before I know it I’ve justified a cart full of mysterious powders, oils, and miscellany. Unfortunately, not all of my little investigative gambles have paid off. Some have been full on regrets, and some have been the sort of thing where it’s only useful for a select few things. So, here’s my list of things I don’t think are worth buying, or should at least think twice about. Hopefully I can save you a few dollars and a few regrets.
Every colour of mica & oxide
If you just take a moment to brush up on your colour theory, you can get by with just the primary colours (red, yellow, and blue… plus brown, black and white [titanium dioxide]) for most things by blending (yellow + red = orange, etc.). Same with micas—get silver and maybe gold or copper, and then shift the colour with oxides.
I am so excited to finally have liquid soap up here, and in my bathroom at home. Like many of you I’ve read about making my own liquid soap and though “Wow. That is a ridiculously involved process, and sounds way harder than bar soap… and maybe it’s just not worth the effort.” And who could blame us? The processes I found required hours of work and supervision, careful calculations that are different from bar soap, pH testing, neutralizing the final product with acid, and a lot of mess with a potato masher. Not this method. Nope. It’s not too good to be true, either—I promise. Let’s learn how to make liquid soap the easy way!
The final liquid soap paste.