Thursday, February 28, 2008

Natural Cleaners

At the Essential Herbal yahoo group, we have been challenged to share our natural cleaning products.

My all time favorite is this simple, all purpose cleaner made with vinegar and ammonia. I use it on windows, counter tops, floors and just about everything but wood.

To a half gallon of warm water, add:
1 cup vinegar
1/2 cup ammonia

I prefer to use rubber gloves on my hands.
Use a 100% cotton wash rag and apply to the window or surface.
If you are washing windows, try using a squeegee or newspaper to wipe the solution off for a finish that is streak-free.

If you have previously used a commercial spray product for washing your windows you will find that there is usually some type of film left behind, so it may take two washings to complete rid the pane of the residue. No residue is left behind with the vinegar and ammonia.

It works great on car windows and interiors.

The smell dissipates rapidly and you are left with a nice clean smell.

Returning Soaps for Patti's Potions

I've been very busy in the studio now that I've finished my taxes. It sure is good to have that ordeal over for yet another year.

There have been some soap fragrances that were introduced in recent years that were very popular. Summer Solstice and Lilac have been favorites for folks of all ages. Now you would think it would be easy to find great fragrances that behave well and have great scent. That is not the case.

I've tried several lilac fragrance oils and this one that I offer is just the best out there! It is just like sticking your nose in an old fashioned and very fragrant lilac bush! How wonderful is that! This is not the cloying smell that you get from those horrid air fresheners that just smell fake and very chemical. Ick to that I say! I want the real thing and this is it.

Summer Solstice is a fragrance that my customers just fell in love with and were really unhappy when I ran out. But hey, I always have to test the market to see how a new one holds up over time. This one is just clean and fresh, not floral or spicy. Everyone loves it!

If you skin is suffering from winter dryness, then try our soothing lavender and oatmeal soap. It is made with organic oatmeal and a pure lavender essential oil.

All the soaps have an olive oil base and are enriched with shea butter and jojoba for the best in a moisturizing handmade artisan soap.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Fun in Maui

There are so many things to do on this small island. Lahaina Town has the banyon tree that fills a full city block. The shopping and people watching is pure pleasure.

One of the really fun things to do is to go up to Up Country and visit the Tedescherie Winery.

Then of course there are the spectacular views on the Road to Hana.

I hope that all of you can get to paradise.

Whale Watch

The whales return to Maui in early December from their summer season in Alaska. Our first year in Maui was in November so we didn't see them that trip but have on all the rest. Last year with my sister Brigid and nephew Chris, we went on a whale watch excursion. They were so incredibly close to the boat and you could really see just how huge they are! You can see them from the shoreline too during high season.

Maui Wild Life

The Manta Ray in the tube of the Ocean Center in Ma'alea Harbor is awesome!

This little gecko always comes to say howdy to us. His chirping is so friendly and welcome.

Then of course my favorite is the Green Sea Turtle. This big fella was nearly on top of me at Black Rock! My eyes just bugged out of my mask and some words that my mother would hate issued into my snorkel.

And my favorite little fish friend is the Humuhumunukunukupukuapua'a. It's a wonder to finally be able to learn to say it! I wish that I could say I took the one of him but alas, mine are all pretty cloudy. The underwater cameras you buy are pretty good, but the pros really know how to do it.

The first time I saw him I was so excited. "I saw a plaid fish"! Woo hoo!

Hang Gliding over Hana

Maui is known for it's beaches and the famous Road to Hana.

I discovered the little known activity of powered hang gliding on the travel channel and just had to DO IT!

We had to drive to Hana which is spectacular to say the least. It take about three hours to travel 50 miles. It is hair raising with very tight hair pin turns on one lane. At the end of the road is the Hana airport and Armand with his little craft. I soared for an hour above the clouds and at that point he turned off the engine. What a view!

Big Beach

My favorite place in the whole world is Big Beach. It is pristine. Words cannot say what pictures can.

In the early morning we have seen a pod of dolphins crossing the channel. Around 11 am the surf really kicks up! And the backdrop is as natural and unspoiled as it was ages ago before Captain Cook discovered this paradise.

Haleakakala Crater

A must see if you visit Maui is Haleakala Crater and the Summit. It is amazing to say the least. At sea level it can be 80 degrees but at the summit there can be snow as was the case this past week. It is truly no mans land! The wind howls and it is dang cold!

Golfing in Pukulani

One of the activities that we really enjoy is golfing. Most of the courses are for the rich-y rich as we like to say. Pukulani is in Up Country and more for the locals who do not have the need to impress anyone. We sure were impressed and felt very rich with the affordable prices. The holes are challenging and the view can't be beat!

Yes, it may mist a bit in the afternoon but when the golf course is not crowded and you have rainbows, no problem man!

Maui Vacations

We have been to Maui several times. We found this great condo unit in Kihei. The building is a low rise on Sugar Beach in Ma'alea Harbor. Most units are around 800 sq. ft. and very comfortable. All are ocean front.

These pretty orchids are on the property.

Spring Break 2007

Last year, 2007, I joined my sister Brigid and nephew Chris Moore for spring break. Chris is one happy 12 year old!

We spent three days in Oahu and three in Maui. Honolulu is a huge city with over 70% of all the island population located here. It is a mass of high rise buildings. Our beach view was eclipsed by this.

This is a view from the window of the airplane of Diamond Head Crater.

We visited the Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor. My Dad was there during WWII and I was humbled.

The little fellow in the sand was just too cute!
We found this fun little crabbie on a sea wall.
The view from the whale sighting trip of Honolulu gives you an idea of how concentrated the population is on Oahu. We did some snorkeling in Honauma Bay during low tide.