the hearts project

written by tammy

open your heart

Get in the Valentine’s mood and start spreading the love a little earlier this year with a project that ends in a gift. While this is a photo project, moreover, it’s a way to leave a little heart in some unexpected places.

Shown, are just a sampling of outtakes from my Hearts Project. To get started all you need is brightly colored paper, scissors, tape, a digital camera, and the guts to look ridiculous in front other people for a few moments.

The adventure began by cutting out a purse-full of hot pink hearts, grabbing my camera, some silver duct tape (for lastablitiy) and going about my week as usual. The only difference being that, like cupid, I left a little love everywhere I went… and photographed it!!  Sometimes it was not possible or appropriate, but whenever I could I left the heart where it was shot, like tiny pink remanence of joy for whomever might cross its path.

There are oodles of things to do with the pics when you’re done, but if you’re want to really go for it, I suggest transforming your digital collection into a beautifully bound book to present to your Valentine. Both Kodak Gallery and iPhoto are great reasonably priced places to get you going.

be stupid, who cares

please officer have a heart

love your neighborhood


my heart is caught in your web

I hope to see your hearts around town!!


wonka party

written by tammy

Someone I know is having a birthday this week and it’s going to be a Wonka Party!!  In preparation for the big day her sister and I helped her make some decorations over the weekend. It was a cold winter day so we spent some time at the table creating hand drawn masterpieces.

We began with GIANT CANDY drawings. We outlined extra-large lollipops then filled them in with rainbow swirls, peace signs and hearts. We drew Wonka Bars and candy canes and candy hearts. Then, when we were all scribbled out, we got down to the serious business constructing the Wonka-Land sized candy you see below.

The project is simple: blow up a balloon, roll a piece of colored tissue paper around it, pinch the ends and tie with curling ribbon. And there you have it… huge party decorations!!

wonka sized candy

As it turns out, the super-cool aunt of another friend also threw a Wonka themed party recently, so here are a few collective ideas to make the magic happen:

1. The Wonka Hat: Create a giant sparkly green and purple hat like the one Willy Wonka wears in the movie. Starting with the birthday child, the idea is sort-of like Simon Says, whomever wears the hat gets to be the leader and the rest of the party goers have to follow along. If they are still up for it, the last kid standing gets to be the leader of the second round.

2. Candy-like Necklaces: Using colored loop cereal (aka. Fruit Loops or whatever natural/organic variety you prefer), let everyone make their own necklaces and bracelets.

3. Burping Contest: Now, if you (or the kids) have seen the original version of the movie, you know that Charlie and his Grandpa drink the fizzy floating drink and the only way to save themselves from being chopped up is to burp. Now I know it sounds disgusting… but it’s just the kind of thing KIDS LOVE!!  Give them some seltzer and let them rip their biggest (mostly fake) burps. Better yet, if you’re having a movie viewing at your party, do it during the scene!!

4. Cupcake Decorating: Instead of cake, get tons of different colored frosting and ewwwie gooey candies and have the kids go wild decorating their own oversized cupcakes.

There are loads of ridiculous ideas one can come up with once you’ve decided on a theme. Mostly… have fun!! And if you throw a candy-themed party like this one, maybe consider including a toothbrush in the goodie bag as a gesture of good will to the parents.


the natural face

written by tammy

Let’s preface this by saying – I have extremely sensitive skin.  Because of this, once I find a product regimen that doesn’t dry my skin or cause breakouts, I’m not quick to stray. As far as face wash goes, for years I was hooked on an alternating system of Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream and MyChelle Dermaceuticals Fruit Enzyme Scrub. Then, one day when the Hauschka was empty, an amber jar of  ‘cleansing powder’ appeared in its place (I was not the primary product-purchaser in the household at the time) and I freaked out.

organic face powder wash

My first thought was… WHAT??… Where’s my Cleansing Cream? and,  How on earth am I supposed to clean my face with POWDER?? But I gave it a chance and was surprised to discover that the ‘new stuff’ was phenomenal. Although, in a house with two women, spending $20 a pop on a 6 oz jar of powder that disappeared in less than two weeks, was bit of an expenditure.

organic face wash ingredients

Luckily, the ingredients were clearly printed on the label, and with a little experiment and some help from our friend at the beauty counter at Integral Yoga and Natural  Foods, we came up with the magic formula.

The ingredients are simple: Organic Oat Flour, Lavender and Sweet Orange essential oils.  Add one cup of flour, 10 drops of Sweet Orange and 10 drops of Lavender oil to a lidded container, close the lid tightly then shake vigorously!!  Like jumping up-and-down kinda shaking. And wall-ah — you’re done.

organic face wash powder

I keep my magic powder in a glass jar in the bathroom with a little scoop. To use, simply place a small mound (see top pic) in your hand, add water, work into a paste and apply to your face as you would any other cleansing product.  I’ve been using this formula for two-plus years and I’m extremely satisfied.  (**I do still alternate with the MyChelle scrub once every two or three days).

mix with water and form it into a nice paste


real home style

written by tammy

empty jar love

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