Monday, August 19, 2013

Trouble In Store - Book Review
There's Trouble In Store, when a young governess finds herself alone in the world, with only a letter from a distant cousin bequeathing his share in an Arizona mercantile to her. Melanie Ross takes the next train west but what she finds when she arrives in Cedar Ridge, is not what she expected. Instead of a warm welcome from her cousin's business partner, Alvin, she discovers a rival claim to her inheritance. Alvin, now deceased, has left his half of the store to his nephew and Caleb Nelson doesn't want Melanie around. Melanie is determined to claim her inheritance - it's all she has to hold onto. Soon, bigger problems come their way, as a mysterious stranger is murdered on the steps of the mercantile and no one is free from suspicion. Will Caleb and Melanie lose their last hope of livelihood? Or will they join together to solve the murder and find something more precious?

Once again, Carol Cox paints a vivid picture of 1880's Arizona, alive with piercing blue skies, red sunsets and raging flash floods. Even the townspeople are a colorful mixture of the rogues, rebels and wanderers that inhabit small-town Arizona to this day. Meticulous research and a love for history keep Carol writing enjoyable and interesting stories about old west Arizona, with a healthy dose of spiritual direction. I enjoy her wry sense of humor and had to laugh as Caleb kept trying to get rid of Melanie, while Melanie kept trying to "improve" the store.

I recommend this book for ages 12 and up. Available from Baker Publishing for $14.99, as a 352 page paperback or in e-book format. Also available from Amazon and other distributors.

Thank you to Carol Cox and Baker Publishing for providing me with a free review copy of this book. Looking forward to your next one, Carol.

Friday, August 9, 2013

What IS a Lotion Bar?

These yummy looking candies are actually solid lotion bars.  I have been making lotion bars for many years, now, but since a lot of people don't know what they are, I will give you a brief overview.  

Lotion bars are solid lotion. Not soap. Lotion. Rub one between your hands to soften, then spread wherever you need extra moisture and silky softening.  I use mine on my face, hands and body.  My friend uses hers on her cracked heels: she massages it in before bed, puts on cotton socks and in the morning - soft feet. For especially tough dirt and grease, even makeup, rub some lotion bar in and let it set for a few minutes. Then wash with some good old-fashioned homemade soap (which I also make) and watch the grease float away. Baking soda can provide grit to help get the grease out, if necessary.  Rub some more lotion in to moisturize after that tough scrubbing.

Now for the exciting news!  For years, I have been making my lotion bars with shea butter, beeswax, olive oil and essential oils. This combination makes a nice, solid bar, which is just a bit too solid. I have had an ongoing discussion with my friend and sometimes business partner (mostly brainstorming partner) Maryruth, about the virtues of coconut oil and at what percentage to incorporate it into the lotion bars. I am happy to say that I have finally hit upon a formulation which produces a solid, spreadable, silky-soft product. The addition of coconut oil was pure genius on Maryruth's part. Getting it right has been purely hard work for me. 

Mrs. D's new and improved lotion bars now contain shea butter, coconut oil, olive oil, beeswax and essential oils. They are also available in unscented. We are also offering the same formula in our Lucious Lip Butters, in a handy tube. Several flavors and unflavored available.

I hope you will give Mrs. D's new formula lotion bars a try. I think you will be as pleased as I am at the improved performance. Visit one of our stores below:

Mrs. D's Homestead
Mrs. D's Etsy Shop
Cool Canine Clothing