Thursday, December 24, 2009

Going South

Leaving today for Sunny Florida. Our own Christmas tree has already been sitting lonely on our front porch, a bit confused as to why it didn't get to stand around until Christmas.

Goodbye snow, Goodbye Virginia. We will meet again soon, but for now we must away....

Merry Christmas!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Dreaming of White

My 5 year old son Warren told me right after Thanksgiving that every night he was praying that God would send snow. Well, He did. Soon after Warren's petitions began we got a few inches of snow and the boys were beside themselves with the excitement of answered prayer and sledding fun....but that is nothing compared to the snow we got last night and today. My son's prayers seem to have been answered in ways that I would never have imagined. After a few attempts to measure it all, it seems that we got around a foot of snow. It was amazingly white and so very beautiful.

So we spent the better part of our day, after the few hours it took to get all the layers, boots, gloves, hats, and trash bags (yes, I did say that...Ben put trash bags as the final touch over the boys clothes to keep them dry and it worked amazingly well) playing, shoveling, pounding and eating the beautiful white snow that covered our little piece of earth.

I suppose we'll be talking about this snow for years to come, "Remember that snow of '09!" but for now we are just enjoying the moment and no longer having to dream of a white Christmas.

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Eye of Beauty

We finally decorated the tree last weekend. It was an amazing time to do it.

I woke up to my oldest son Warren in my face exclaiming in a loud whisper, "Mommy, it snowed last night!!" Warren has been praying for snow since Thanksgiving. He declared on November 30th, "Well, tomorrow it is going to snow!"

"Why do you think that?"

"Because tomorrow is December 1st and it snows in December!"

It seems simple enough but unfortunately he dealt with a small measure of disappointment when he woke up to green grass and sunny skies.

This past Saturday was different though. He woke up to a blanket of snow covering the ground and could hardly contain himself. The best part of it all was that large wet snowflakes were still falling.

So after groggily pulling ourselves out of our extremely warm bed, fixing and eating a family breakfast, we decorated our tree to the sounds of Bing Crosby and the sight of snow falling outside.

After it was all done Warren declared in amazement, "Now, Daddy, every time you come downstairs to go to work you will think, 'Wow, what a beautiful tree.'"

This is why I love winter....

Monday, December 7, 2009

And the Winner Is......

Thank you to all who stopped by my blog and my shop. I hope this will only be the beginning of your experience with Oil and Spice.

As for the Giveaway, I have radomly selected two winners. Each winner will be receiving a lovely sample kit of my all natural soap.

Winner #1 Angie Pritchard

Winner #2 Momma Rae

It was hard to announce only two winners since I really want everyone who commented to receive my soap. Maybe I will have to do this again soon.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

All Good Things

Well, as always things must come to an end. This is good news for the two of you out there who will finally be finding out who you are and receiving a lovely sample kit of soap.

The Giveaway will be closing tomorrow, December 6th, at 12pm so if entering has been on your agenda, put it off no longer! I will be choosing the two winners and announcing them on Monday. So stay tuned...

Thanks again to all those who did enter and comment. I LOVE the feedback, and I now have so many more wonderful blogs and ideas to add to my list.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Taking time to listen

Every Christmas I find myself extremely tired of the songs they are playing on the radio long before we are ripping into our presents. So, I spend countless hours (well, maybe not hours but it seems like it) searching Itunes for a different mix of Christmas music. Last year I had a mix that I made but tired of it too quickly this year so I have made another mix for 2009. Unfortunately I have yet to get an Ipod. It has been on my wish this since the very first one made an appearance.

So, at this point I do it the old fashioned way and burn CD after CD until I get just the right mix and even then I find myself reorganizing, adding new music and burning a new one; however, if you are fortunate enough to actually own one of these music transporting wonders then you might just want to add some of these songs to your Christmas Playlist....

1. Winter Song---Sara Bareilles and Ingrid Michaelson
2. All That I Want---The Weepies
3. Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)---Death Cab for Cutie
4. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear---Sixpence None the Richer
5. In The Bleak Midwinter---Sarah Mclachlan
6. Christmas Song---Dave Matthews
7. Christmastime---Smashing Pumpkins
8. Fairytale in New York---Kristy McColl and the Pogues
9. Baby, It's Cold Outside-- Dean Martin **Note: there are so many versions of this song but
none compares to this one--this is the one off of the Album "Christmas with Dino" 2006..this is important because there is one that he sings with a choir of women who answer back....definitely don't want this one confused with that one...
10. I Want You For Christmas---Big Band Christmas (this is an old big band song NOT to be
confused with All I want for christmas by Mariah Carey!)
11. River---Sarah Mclachlan
12. Christmas for Two---Sixpence None the Richer
13. A Great Big Sled---the Killers
14. Oiche Chuin---Enya
15. Wintersong---Sarah McLachlan
16. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas---Kermit

Okay, so there it is....hope it helps provide a bit of variety to your Christmas listening experience.

P.S. If you're here for my wonderful Soap Giveaway click here....

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

The Giveaway is Here

It's time to give a gift to yourself this year! You've already fought through the crowds on Black Friday and now as you sit slumped in your computer chair, exhausted from the mayhem and stress of the holidays, it's time to give a little something to yourself.

I have just the thing to lighten up your load and help you pamper yourself. I am giving away, on this very blog, a sample kit of my all-natural soap. My sample kit includes 3 2.5oz bars of my all natural soap.

If you're new to the all-natural soap world I would like to give you a bit more info about the bar you so nonchalantly take in your hands practically everyday. Did you know that almost all the soap that you throw into your cart is detergent based soap? These soaps end up stripping your skin of it's natural moisturizers. Even the ones that strive to be moisturizing are working against their own ingredients and leave your skin dry, especially in the already dry winter.

My all-natural handmade soap has no chemical additives or detergents. It is made purely with oils such as Olive Oil, Coconut Oil, Cocoa Butter and many more. These oils give back to your skin what your detergent based soap has stripped away. They can remedy such conditions as dry skin, eczema, acne and more. I also only use 100% pure essential oils to scent my soap, along with flower petals and other all natural ingredients to add character and quality to the soap.

Okay, so now that I am done advertising for my soap it is your chance to enter to win the giveaway. Just comment on this post and include the soaps you would like to have in the sample kit. Be sure to leave your e-mail or blog link so that I can contact you with the wonderful news of your win! The winner will be chosen randomly from the comments. Unfortunately at this time I cannot ship Internationally.

This giveaway will only be open until Sunday, December 6th. The winner will be selected and announced Monday, December 7th and your sample kit mailed for you to enjoy right away.

To participate in more just go to Sew Mama Sew.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: After reading some of the comments I find myself wanting to send soap to all of you! So, I have decided to give away Sample Kits to 2 winners instead of just one. That increases your chance of winning!! Also, if you want to heart me in etsy just post again to let me know and you will get an additional entry and chance to win! Thanks again!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Giving Christmas Cheer

Tomorrow I will be participating in the Sew Mama Sew Giveaway!

What does this mean for you? Well, you not only get the extremely exciting chance to win some of my all-natural, wonderfully scented handcrafted soap (stay tuned tomorrow for more details) but you might even get the opportunity to win so many more wonderful Christmas lovelies made my other handcrafters, sewers, artisans, and all around crafty people.

So tune in tomorrow, not only to my site but also my sister-in-law's site as well as the main giveaway site to grab your chance

...and don't put it off by saying, "I never win anything"..This is your time.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Adjusting back again

It's cold and rainy today which doesn't seem to sooth the dull aches and sadness that seem to accompany returning back into the routine and off of vacation.

Sometimes days just don't quite go as you expect.

I lost my 3 year old today....
I was out scrambling to find a gift for my niece. Yes, I was stressed, my mind was full of things I needed to get done and on top of it all I found myself and my 3 boys driving off to the craft store.
"Why didn't I do this sooner?" "Why do I always wait until the last minute to do these things?"

After spending way too long going from aisle to aisle, staring at every possible option while trying to sooth my 1 year old and keep my other two boys from playing cars with the ink pads, I finally made a decision...well almost. Just one more thing to check, then I turn around and Peter is gone. Warren (the one who is supposed to be the most responsible but still too young to even grasp why) has no idea where he is. I fight back the panic that is slowly welling up inside. "Everything's going to be fine." "I'm sure he's right here.."


no answer. I'm starting to get slightly more frantic but trying to suppress my desire to ditch my other two kids and run around screaming Peter's name. I look at the sympathetic women at the register who begin looking around as well... still nothing.

"Peter!" (getting much more nervous now)...

No answer...finally not knowing what to do I just stood there for a moment and in he walks. His eyes red from crying. I hug him and all the stress I was feeling just seems to fade. A few moments later I discover that he had followed another woman out of the store thinking it was me or that I was out there somewhere and then didn't know what to do.

Some days are definitely harder than others...

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


I do realize that as I write this probably 100s of others are thinking and doing the same thing but I can't escape thinking a bit more on this during this time of year.


that 8 years ago during a Thanksgiving celebration I met Ben who would eventually become my husband (although at the time I was oblivious to that fact)

for those moments when I find myself sitting back and watching...
watching Ben and the boys laugh and play together, watching Warren read to his little brother, watching little Chris look out the window, fascinated by the world around him

for those times when Ben and I escape, get off by ourselves to enjoy a cup of coffee, an evening out, a weekend away

for music, the kind that makes me dance around the kitchen with the kids while I'm making supper, the songs that draw me into a pensive, somewhat morose mood; the songs that make me think more deeply about life; and the ones that I know are shallow but so very fun

for family, who make me feel like I can be at home, do anything and they will still love me but aren't afraid to chip away at the parts of me that stick out

the games, the constant snacking, sitting in front of the fireplace or on the front porch

Happy Thanksgiving....

Friday, November 20, 2009

Festive Cheer

I've added these Red and Green Washcloths to my shop just in time for Christmas.

Combine these with my Frankincense and Myrrh or Orange Cocoa Butter Soap and you will have the perfect gift for your co-worker or stocking stuffer for your favorite family member.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Afternoon Tea

As I write this my oldest son is downstairs drinking English Teatime tea, eating pumpkin bread and making Christmas cards. I just polished off my pumpkin bread and switched my pandora station to Christmas music. I have broken down and broken my, as of yet, life-long rule that I will not play Christmas music until after Thanksgiving. I couldn't help it. It's getting cold and gloomy outside, it's warm and cozy inside and there's something about Christmas music that instantly seems to bring warmth and comfort.

It probably didn't help that this morning as we were traipsing through our local major department store they kept playing Deck the Halls and advertising so many of the things you "can't live without" this holiday season. Warren and I spent most of the time singing our conversation to the tune of Deck the Halls. I'm pretty sure me and my boys (and my husband) all belong in a musical since that is usually how we spend most of our time. We often break out into song and sing whatever is happening at the time. At one point when Warren was a bit younger I heard him singing about his little people to the tune of The Doxology. So there we were today the cereal aisle discussing what cereal we would be bringing home to "Deck the Halls".

I'm striving hard not to get overwhelmed with what seems to be crammed into such a small amount of time. It seems that no matter how hard we try it's like jumping onto an out of control train and holding on for dear life. I'm already dreading the family picture that accompanies a brief summary of our lives and accomplishments this past year. Ever since we had kids the family picture went from a blissful couple getting a quick shot to countless photo shoots only to scrap them all and start over. Yes, I can see why people transition to just taking pictures of their kids for the Christmas card (that's intense enough) but we still insist on getting us all in the picture. I just want to make sure that people know that these kids aren't raising themselves. When we say "Greetings from the Trice family" that the Trice family is actually in the picture. In order to accomplish this we might come close to killing each other, but so far we have managed to produce something acceptable and I'm sure this year will prove to be the same.

So I'm jumping on and getting ready to hold on for dear life. Hooray for Christmas music, egg nog, hot chocolate and snow.

(Note: the picture at the top is from last year...we have not gone quite gone that far and will wait to get our tree until after Thanksgiving)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


It's dismal, dark and rainy outside. As I woke up this morning the house was silent, the boys still tucked snugly under their covers enjoying the darkness of their rooms. It is a rare thing to have the house quiet and the boys still in bed and I drink in the moment. Visions flash through my head of the soon to come tractor racing through the kitchen under my feet, the sounds of laughter which are inevitably followed by immediate sorrow from a seemingly irreparable wound or sibling struggle; but for now all is quiet....

Thursday, October 29, 2009


My world is full of tiny sniffles, low fevers and looney tunes. Fall comes and goes, rainy days to brilliant sun and amazingly blue skies. I don't think I ever get used to it--being surrounded by amazingly brilliant colors. My favorite are the trees that still cling to their green leaves but lose half the battle as some of the leaves have turned a vivid red. Then, of course, there's the ones who give in gleefully and embrace yellow.

Being housebound has its advantages. I am forced to reckon with so many of the things that cry out for my attention and also put out of my mind the desire to flee. I have been overcome recently with a need for order. So much so that everything around me seems to be screaming at me from its chaos. So one by one I am dealing with the anarchy and soothing my own little boys simultaneously.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Fall Fun

We are surrounded by the beauty and melancholy of fall and I can't drink in enough.
Yesterday we soaked in the fall sun as it poured through the trees. We played in the leaves and wished that these moments would not slip away too quickly.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

From Friends to Distant Acquaintances

I have fallen so deeply in love with handmade and vintage items that I can't help checking Etsy several times a day on a quest for extraordinary and inspiring products that people have put their heart and love into creating. I am also driven by my desire to support the person and not the corporation. This Christmas my goal is to follow these desires as I think of gifts for my loved ones.

I have family and friends on etsy as well as some very distant acquaintances. Here are some sites I love to alight upon and I hope you will enjoy as well.

My very creative Sister-In Law's site: All Things Brite
I am amazed at what Brite is able to create. I am not much for ribbons and bows and because of this I find myself loving her cards. I enjoy the sleek lines and minimalistic messages. Here are a few that I was given. They make wonderful gifts.

One summer morning as I was visiting with this friend I found myself overwhelmed with all the things she is able to do and create while chasing after her two children and finishing up a master's thesis. As I savored each bite of homemade strawberry shortcake she displayed her jewelry, children's creations, bags and clothes and departed truly inspired. She has recently opened up a shop on etsy and I am very excited to see what she adds to her collection: Gentle Home

Distant Acquaintance....
Mollie went to the same college I did although I never got to know her very well. I knew she played the cello beautifully and had an incredibly artistic flair that seemed to follow her wherever she went. I never cease to be amazed at the moments she is able to capture through her camera lens and the most exquisite creations that she can make out of paper. Her site is definitely worth seeing: Royal Buffet

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Coming Home

Most of us know what it's like to go away only to return home changed. Whether its college, traveling abroad, or just staying with someone else for a while. After you're gone away from all that is familiar things seem different upon your return. Places that seemed big appear somewhat smaller. You have a new perspective on the things you once loved and held so dear--your parents, your old hangouts, and even who you were before you left.

This change is even more drastic for those who have joined any branch of the armed forces and found themselves in Afghanistan or Iraq. What does home look like when they return? How does one adjust back to everyday life after having experienced war and intensity that surpasses anything they've ever known?

I caught a brief glimps of this after reading about a man who served in WWII. He was taken captive by the Japanese and spent 6 years of his young life on the brink of death. In the prison camp the prisoners dreamed of the smell, feel, and taste of home. Sometimes the only thing that gave them the will to live was the hope of one day returning to their loved ones and all that was familiar to them. However, once home they found themselves to be so much changed that what they dreamed of returning to does not feel, taste, or smell the same at all.

Here are some of that man's thoughts...

"Everyone spoke of seeking security. But what did security mean but animal comfort, anesthetized souls, closed minds, and cold hearts? It meant a return to the cacophonous cocktail party as a substitute for fellowship, where, with glass in hand, men would touch each other but never meet. They would speak, at their partner, but would not see them. With glassy eyes they would stare past them into nothingness.
It meant a return to the cheap love made possible by contraceptives, wherein male and female used each other as a thing, taking their share of sex in the same way as they took their cocktails and wondering where was the fulfillment, where was the satisfaction. With the despairing cry of 'I must be loved!' they would return periodically from the psychiatrist's couch to seek new partners and new problems. All the while their ears remained closed to the divine imperative, 'Thou shalt love!'
It meant a return to the faceless mass; to culture dragged down to the level of advertising media; to education, not as an instrument for enrichment and enlightenment of minds, but as a tool for mass conditioning. It meant a return to faith in technology and the Big Machine. As their powers were used to unleash yet a greater hidden force in Nature, so men could find themselves more enslaved then ever and ever readier to use those forces to bring about the total destruction of mankind. The contributions of free men seeking to serve the Infinitely Great in honesty, responsibility and love would be denied. Socrates would have to drink his cup of hemlock again, the prophets be stoned afresh. Atheistic materialism would fetter men to a hard, knobbly universe in which humanity was rejected.
In short, it meant flight from God and descent into the hell of loneliness and despair."

---To End All Wars by Ernest Gorden

Subnote: Ernest Gorden did eventually take a job at Princeton University and adjust back to life in the ever moving modern world. However, his perspective as a changed man returning to a society that was mostly oblivious to the effects and horrors of war was illuminating and sobering.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009


My soap was posted in this beautiful Treasury from another Etsy member. Check it out.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Something new

Two new soaps

Almond Coffee

Peppermint Tea

Saturday, September 26, 2009


Storms can be exhilarating, frightening. As we peer out the window in the safety of our homes, nestled together, the crack of the thunder makes us jump, then laugh--a stilted, nervous laugh. We gather in closer and keep watching and listening. Like the accident we so desperately want to turn away from and see all at the same time, we can't bring ourselves to walk away. Keep watching each flash and waiting in the stillness for the crash to follow.
It does not cost anything in the comfort and shelter of a warm home; the lights glowing, warming the inside. The safe haven.

I watch the storm in another's life. I stay nestled in the comfort of my life surrounded by love and blessing. I stare silently, speechless. I'm not quite sure how to comfort. Floods of "I told you so's" race through my mind but that won't help right now. If only.....but the past cannot mend. The storm is happening now. So I watch and pray and hold my little ones a little tighter, drink in the warmth and safety of my own little room where we all sit nestled together, and pray to the One who calms the storm that He would calm this one.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Freedom for Tiny Feet

I know many of you have passed this stage of life but I am in the throws of baby feet, tiny toes and chubby legs that refuse do to anything but crawl. I cringe to think of shoving those delicate little virgin feet into anything hard, squeaky, pinchy or bunion producing and so I have found myself on a quest for shoes that will make my little guy feel like running (although at this point I would settle for walking).

Before my littlest one entered the world I have shoved a borrowed pair of Robeez into an old shoe bin and forgotten about them completely. I had actually never seen or heard of such a shoe (nor was I particularly interested) when my neighbor thrust them upon me and insisted I try them out. My first impression was that they looked a bit odd so I pushed them aside and there they remained, forgotten and discarded.

Once my youngest boy entered the world 2 generations of shoes had finally seen their death and I pulled the forgotten Robeez out of the bin and fell in love with them. But now no matter how much I yank, squish and hope that I can continue putting them on my little guy until he is breaking out with acne I have had to come to grips with the reality that they are too small for him.
Thus, began my quest. Unlike my neighbor I cannot afford to pay $20 or more on shoes for my precious boy no matter how much I love his little feet. However, I couldn't bring myself to pick up the hard, stiff, unforgiving shoe on the discount racks at my local department store. I searched for something even comparable and ended up tired and staring at my computer instead of the store shelves. I began on Etsy and searched through what seemed like millions of booties until I came upon these....
Just what I had been looking for and reasonably priced. They are handcrafted so probably better quality if not comparable quality to Robeez and they have some incredibly adorable designs. Since my discovery through etsy my sister-in-law informed me that the woman in charge of these wonderful shoes is related to Passionate Homemaking and that there is also a direct website for these shoes.

Please check her out and the wonderful shoes she is crafting for the tiny feet in our homes.

Now if only my 15 month old would actually start walking.....

Friday, September 18, 2009

baking the man

Okay, I understand that this may sound a bit weird...even verging on the psychotic but I was baking a pie today (that's not the weird part) and as I was rolling out my pie crust I discovered this.....


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Growing up

Richard Scarey tells my boys that they can be anything they want when they grow up. My 2nd oldest has now declared that he wants to be a cow when he grows up and at this point I don't have heart to tell him his dream will not come true.

My oldest son creates things--worlds, villages, castles....His most recent endeavor--a city full of army men.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

I Am Who I Am

For those of you out there who know me you know that I LOVE music. In fact there is probably not a moment of the day when I don't have something playing in the background whether it's Pandora, a CD, or the radio. Last night I was mopping and listening to a CD I had just burned (no, I do not have an IPOD yet.. however, it is forever on my wish list and one of these days...sigh) .

Anyway, back to the burned CD...”I am who I am” by Ben's Brother (and no that's not my husband's brother, it's the actual name of the group) was playing and I found myself becoming completely wrapped up in the lyrics.

The song starts out

No I don't mind if you think I should grow my hair
And no I don't mind if you pick out the clothes I wear”

He goes on....

Why when you dream do you see me as something I'm not?
Why don't you wake up and see all the good things you've got?

A heart isn't made out of clay
Not something you shape with your hands

Is the reason you ask me to change so that you'll stay the same?
Well I'm sorry if I keep disappointing you again and again”

His answer to all this...

“I am who I am, and you can't change me
I've done what I can, now I'll stand my ground
You're tying my hands if you re-arrange me
It all falls down,”

I sank deeply into his words as I realized how true it is that we as woman are so guilty of this. Of course we've all run into our fair share of weak men who are much more willing and desirous that a woman come along and tell him what to do or think but that is definitely not what we want! So why is it that we have ideas of what we want and we want to mold those ideas into someone else? We smile and say that we love someone exactly the way they are but then we proceed to try to change that person into the person that we really want. The one we created in our mind that doesn't really exist. So in the end we end up destroying that image and the person that we've tried to smash into it.

Of course a song is much more powerful if combined with the music so I'm not sure just reading the lyrics does it justice, but the point remains.

Final note: I know nothing more about Ben's Brother or the other songs that he has so if you check him out further and find that all of his other songs belong in some elevator please don't put me in that box.