Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas is coming fast...

Wow! It is almost Christmas day, just 6 prep days to go. I have to say I have been very busy with orders; most of them from local people, but several from our online venues. Hooray! I haven't been a very good blogger lately, it has been hard to keep up with everything. Our site even had a sale. I was starting to wonder if anyone would ever find us there. So thanks to everyone who purchased from Garden Gate Botanicals, we are blessed with your patronage, and appreciate you choosing us over the gazillions of bath, body and jewelry opportunities online.

On a personal note, my daughter is doing well in New York. She has a job and is reconnecting with family. I am happy she is enjoying city life. I prefer our small town over the hustle and bustle of a larger metropolis, but I understand it's not for everyone. I'm happy if she's happy!

Remember my lament of our chickens and no egg laying? Well, that is most certainly over...I have more eggs than I know what to do with. I am eating an egg sandwich as I am writing this blog! I need some serious egg using recipes. Quiche for dinner tonight!

Well I need to wrap this up, I have three orders for body butter to make today! (yay) I also need to post some new pics of earrings my other daughter has created.

Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas this year!

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Snow, Snow, Snow!

It has snowed all day today. The calendar doesn't acknowledge winter until well into December, but all this white stuff falling from the sky tells me a different story. Time to find the snow pants, boots, mittens and scarves. My grandson can't stop looking out the window. You can see the wonder in his eyes; it is so very sweet.

Last post was about a caramel recipe I was going to attempt. Well we still have some work to do on that little project. I cannot seem to master the caramel, but I won't give up yet, Lol. My first batch was gritty? My second batch was better, but is seemed a little greasy? I will keep on trying, eventually I should get something edible.*smile*

The toughest thing that happened since my last post; my daughter moved to New York. Yep, one side of the country for the other. She said she needed a change, she sure went a long way for a change. I'm trying not to be too sad about it, she is an adult, but NY is so far away. She left on Saturday and arrived today. Her dad drove out with her, and will be there for five days to help her get set up. Just another one of life's little challenges parent's get to work through. *sigh*

Friday, November 5, 2010

Turkey Day is Next

November Days

It's November already! That means Turkey Day. Yummy! I know it's about more than good eats, but lets face it, almost all of us love the special treats! Now I know there is probably someone out there saying they don't like Thanksgiving or even holidays, but really, it is the true start to the Christmas count down. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a home, where holidays are a cherished memory. We didn't have a lot, in fact we didn't have much, but we sure had good times. My mom was very frugal and crafty; we did  tons of handmade, and whatever we really needed (not wanted) we usually had. There were five of us kids,  and even though we fought like cats and dogs, I love the memory of every minute of it.

I try to make the same homey, comfortable feeling in our home. My grandson and I will make crafts, or craps,*smile* as he call them. We made the cutest turkeys yesterday, out of nothing more than brown paper lunch bags, construction paper, glue stick, string, crumpled paper filling, markers and crayons.(see pic below) He had a great time, and we have two nice turkeys to display. I found several different crafts, we will be making to decorate the house. It keeps him busy, and makes the house look festive.

I am supposed to be trying my hand at homemade caramel today. I tried a recipe  for caramel apples on Halloween, well lets just say we won't be making that again. Lol. It looked perfect on the apples until it cooled, and then it turned  into a  gritty dull mess! It didn't even taste like caramel. I am going to try again, I'll let you know how it goes *grin*.

Still no sales at any of our shops, I am soooo discouraged! What can we do? I keep thinking one of these days I will get up,  check my email, and be blown away with orders.... it isn't happening. If anyone out there has any ideas I would love to hear them, seriously, help a girl out. Lol

Off to the world of caramel..............

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Livin the life!

Well, I didn't get to the soap making I had planned. I might have to do it on the weekend. My grandson has kept me running. It was flu shot clinic & preschool yesterday, by the time we got home and took care of the animals, it was too late. Oh well, I got some cute pic's of our broody banty and her two fostered chicks.  At eight weeks old the chicks are as big as her now. It is funny to see them trying to get under her wings to warm up. I wish the other girls  would start laying again; I am tired of  store bought eggs. I also posted  a pic of the last  of  our black eyed susans. I wish winter wouldn't come, but it always does. We had a hard frost this morning, so it isn't far off before we have snow.

Still no sales in our shops, we have five different venues going, and nothing. It is so discouraging. Ashley and I will keep trying, I added new items this morning to three shops, so we will see if it stirs up any business.

Body Milk

 Some of the new items are just for men, you don't usually see many  bath and beauty items for men in the online shops. I posted some Bamboo and Teak scented body wash, body milk, salt scrub, and a  lotion bar. My husband says the scent is very nice.

Body Wash

I gave my husband a lotion bar for his dry hands a few weeks ago. It has made an amazing difference. I know I use mine regularly, and I am not having cracks and splits anymore. I thought they would be great stocking stuffers, and the low price really                                                            nice.

Lotion Bar

Salt Scrub

Well it is time to start planning dinner... sometimes I have a hard time deciding what to cook. I think I need to plan a menu again. That seems to help me. I don't have to think, just follow the menu. I'm leaning towards pasta with chicken, broccoli
 and parmesan cheese. Everyone seems to eat it, and it is reatively healthy.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


Yea! We had some sales last night. I'm so excited and relieved. Now to keep this flow going. Not really too sure how to do that. (smiling) We sold a body cream sample, and a pair of earrings. (I'll post a pic)
Zibbet is offering a competition to see if we can post over 150,000 new items. Then they will pick some items to showcase.  Two lucky winners will get premium accounts for life. I think that is a great prize. We are posting some new jewelry. Maybe our luck is changing, we have definitely learned about the hard knocks of life lately, and could use some positive change. I need to get busy posting new items. Oh, and I probably have a million chores to take care of in my other life, you know the one: Mother, Grammy, Wife, Homeowner, Gardener, Chicken keeper.... I could go on and on. Don't think I'm complaining... I really love it! *big cheesy grin*...........I think I'll make some soap today

Monday, October 25, 2010

Monday Madness

Mad Monday today, I went a little crazy and canned up homemade cranberry sauce, and a few jars of applesauce. I thought it would be fun to make my own jellied cranberry sauce. It turned out really good. I did two jellied, and two whole berry with orange rind. (thats how my hubby likes it) I had eight apples so I decided to sauce them up as well. Lol, sometimes I just want to jar everything up, it looks so pretty, and I feel so productive. 

Heres where the mad Monday comes into play. I decided to wash all my drapes because I noticed they were growing dust bunnies on the tabs, Yuk! My drapes instructions said wash and tumble dry, I thought OK that will be a breeze....well they all needed ironing, it took 2-1/2 hours to finish them. Ugh! They do look great though.

I have no sales at any of my shops, etsy, zibbet, artfire, bonanza and ebay, it is very discouraging. I will keep trying, of course, but it is hard sometimes.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Reaching out!

We have been making and using our own bath and body products for many years. Our friends and family have encouraged us to sell our products for a long time. With a job loss, and a new grandson added to our family, everything seemed to be saying now was the time.

We took some time developing our products, selling to friends and co-workers, and working on packaging. It was a trial period to see if our products were as good as we thought they were. It was exciting to have everyone encourage us to start our business.  We started selling our bath and body products about a year ago, and have recently added jewelry to our shop.  A little bling always makes a girl feel good! My daughter is the jeweler, and adding her jewelry has been a positive move for our business.

We try to make things as  naturally as possible, so we have some completely additive free body butter, salt and sugar scrubs, soaps, lotion bars, baby products, and belly butters. Our lotions, creams, and body wash have  the least amount of additives we can get away with legally.

We have been trying to market our products online, it has been very slow. We have sold a few items on, and a little on We were encouraged to start a blog, and promote ourselves. I am not very comfortable with the promotion side of business, but I am trying. All I ask is you check us out and maybe tell your friends to take a look.

We hope you like our products; we would love any feedback you can provide us.
Ashley & Shona

We believe you can make your own products from natural, wholesome ingredients.