Category Archives: Everyday Awesome

Just the Essentials

Just the Essentials is now available! Check it out here.

Shari L Tapscott

 

After twenty-year-old Kinsley is dumped by her longtime boyfriend, she escapes to her grandparent’s Colorado cabin to rethink her future and focus on her writing. But when she arrives, she finds a patchy roof, a death-trap deck, and rosebushes that threaten to swallow her whole. Just when Kinsley’s ready to cut her losses and return home, she meets Jack—the local handyman with hazel eyes and a wicked smirk.

Thinking Jack is precisely the meaningless summer distraction she needs, Kinsley resolves to rough it in the cabin despite its current lack of water, electricity, Internet, cell phone service, and heat.

But soon Kinsley realizes that Jack isn’t distraction material. He might just end up being something a little more essential…

What’s Planned For March and April!

Happy March, everyone! It’s almost spring!

First of all, I wanted to let you know I’ve been using the deer tallow in soap! It’s incredible. I’ve swapped it out for the palm oil in my favorite recipe and adjusted the lye content. It makes a great bar of soap.

I will be making a hot-process batch later today (we’re out again), and I promise I will be taking pictures. I know I haven’t posted as much as I used to, and I am sorry. I’ve found that it takes a lot more time and focus to edit and prepare a book for print than it does to write the first draft. Pippa of Lauramore will be released April 24th, and I am buried in details–in a good way. But with homeschooling my kiddos at the same time, there isn’t a lot of time left for crafting.

Most of all, I miss sewing. Things should settle down toward the end of April, and I plan to dive into my craft to-do list.

Here’s a few things I hope to tackle in the next few months:

1. Pippa of Lauramore Inspired Recipe – I’ve mentioned a soap in my book (I’m obsessed with soaping, I know), and I will be creating that recipe to share with you! It will be a blend of masculine, earthy, woodsy essential oils.

2. Summer Dresses for Chelsea – The girl needs them. The ones she has are short. Way short.

3. Dragon Quilt for Weston – I still haven’t done this! Horrible, I know. I will get it finished.

4. Family Quilt – I need to machine quilt a very large family blanket my mother-in-law made my husband’s grandmother. I’m afraid I’ve been putting this off because it is so large, and I have no idea where I’m going to do this.

5. Sugar/Salt Scrubs – Spring is coming, and it will be time to exfoliate that dry winter skin!

6. Vegetable Garden? I don’t know if this is happening this year. We’ll see. I might just focus on some hardy herbs and call it good.

Have a great day! I’ll be posting that soap recipe tomorrow!

Writing, Soap, and Sewing

You know what’s difficult? Keeping up with two blogs. I’m getting there. I haven’t been crafting as much as I would like, mostly because there is only so much time in the day. With homeschooling, writing, preparing to publish Pippa of Lauramore, and feeding my family occasionally, it’s hard to fit in the crafts.

I did make a batch of citrus hot process soap with Marlo, and that was a lot of fun. We’ve been using the tallow in the place of palm oil, and it makes a wonderful bar. I hope to post the recipe soon. We also made a cold process pumpkin soap that will be finished curing around the first of March. There is no right time of year for pumpkin soap. It’s so wonderful it’s good all year long. This time we created the batch with goat’s milk. I’m excited to see how it turns out.

As for sewing, I haven’t done too much after New Years. I did manage to make a couple American Girl dresses and two scarves for Christmas gifts. Then a few weekends ago I constructed a cute little purse for a birthday gift for my husband’s cousin’s daughter.

Most of the candles I wanted to get done before the holidays are still on hold. If you’ll remember, Gunther ate the wicks. I need to get some more ordered in.

That’s about it for now!

My Desktop Computer’s Near Death Experience

You know what’s fun? Losing the first 17,000 words of a novel you’re working on and almost all  your children’s baby pictures. My old desktop computer died today.

So I did what any rational eating-clean person would do. I broke down and ate a fun size Kit-Kat bar and a baby Tootsie Roll. It’s called willpower. I am the queen.

I did not have a diet soda, though. If you read this post, you’ll see what an accomplishment that is.

The good news is there are tons of people out there who are way more computer savvy than I am. After a few searches, I found out the horrible alarm going off when I tried to start my computer wasn’t just its death call–it was trying to communicate with me! That was lame. Sorry.

Anyway, the five alarms on startup and the black screen meant the cmos battery needed reset or replaced. It took lots of searches to figure out what in the world a cmos battery is, but we got it! It’s like a watch battery in your computer, and apparently it’s more important than it looks. We opened the computer up (terrifying), popped out the battery, waited about fifteen minutes, and then we put it all back together and plugged it in.

It worked! Oh, it worked! I can’t even tell you the joy.

So now I’ve done my version of open heart surgery on a computer.  I feel pretty good about that, even if all you high tech people out there are laughing at me right now.

Oh, and yes, I know I should have my pictures backed up. I have been talking about getting it done for years (once again, please refer to the title of my blog).

It’s Soap Day!

This week is our school district’s Fall Break. Fall break–seriously? Kiddos get a week off at the beginning of October around here. Um…didn’t school just start?

Well, I decided, why not? I wouldn’t mind a week off, so let’s just jump on that band wagon. Yep. We’re taking the week off.

I have a quick meeting this afternoon, but once I get home, I’m making soap! The first soap will be a peppermint soap with coconut oil, olive oil, and deer tallow. That’s right–I’m using the deer. Wish me luck.

The second soap will be a hot process 100% coconut oil laundry bar that will be shredded up for a huge batch of laundry soap. I’m hoping to do a post on both.

What are you soaping or crafting today?

Toy Review – Target’s Our Generation Dolls

Chelsea’s 6th birthday has come and gone–unbelievable. Where does the time go?

OurGeneration2

Anyway, for her birthday she wanted an American Girl Doll. The thing is, Jake and I didn’t want to buy a six year old a $120.00 doll. I felt like she needed a ‘starter’ doll. Something like an American Girl Doll, but not something so expensive that I would cry if I walked into her room and found it discarded in the corner with a rat’s nest for a hairdo.

I did a little research and found Target’s Our Generation Dolls. They got great reviews, and many people said they were perfect for girls younger than American Girl’s recommended age eight.  I browsed the website with Chelsea, and I asked her which doll she liked. She picked out the super adorable auburn-haired Eva.

The next day while at the mall, Jake took the kids to the food court and I made a little trip to Target. They had one Eva doll. I bought it and a backpack to store the doll in.

OurGeneration

Chelsea opened it on her birthday and loved it! She’s not great with it. I have found it discarded with a rat’s nest for a hairdo on a few occasions, but the doll’s hair brushes out very easily, and that’s nice. She seems pretty sturdy, and though she’s not quite the same quality as American Girl, she’s pretty close.

The best part? I’ve already made like a gazillion outfits for her! So much fun!

Let’s See If I Remember How to Post, Shall We?

Hello!!!!!

If it’s not five things, it’s fourteen others! The main reason I haven’t been on is because I was having computer issues–issues that almost needed to be handled by a specialist. Instead, being the mighty procrastinator I am, I did everything I could to fix it myself, and then stuck it in the corner to gather dust while I tried to ignore it. Eventually, when my need for a computer went from inconvenienced-without-one to desperately-needing-one, I finally got the rascally monster fixed.

So I’m back. Again.

A little update on my Camp NaNoWriMo–I reached my goal at 60,000 words!!! Yay!!! I didn’t get it verified because my computer crashed. The. Very. Next. Day.

But all was not lost, I had just saved the entire manuscript online. Not that it did me a lot of good there, but it was safe and happy, and I’m so glad to be reunited with it again. I’ve almost finished the entire novel, and I’m scrambling to get my ducks in a row for NaNoWriMo in November.

Another update–we’re homeschooling again this year. We are using Sonlight/I-Like-My-Read-Aloud-Books-Better curriculum.  I’m using some of theirs, and we’re reading lots of mine. Hello, Narnia! The kids are loving it, as I rather expected they would. There’s something pretty wonderful about The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

My children need fed, so that’s all for now. More soon! Promise!

A Gentle Answer Turns Away Wrath

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” – Proverbs 15:1

AGentleWord

When I first read this verse, or more likely the first time this verse soaked in, it was on a poster in my aunt and uncle’s laundry room. We were on vacation and staying with them, and I’d just moved some clothes over to the dryer. I remember looking at it, and having this grand epiphany. Of course! These are words to live by.

You know what? They are. Oh my, are they ever. There are also really, really hard to follow.  Easy to remember, hard to follow. 

My son, my sweet son, is like a volcano.  When he’s upset he has massive bursts of anger, and then–just like that–he’s fine. But oh, help me, I have to get past the explosion without losing my cool as well. You see, I’m a volcano too. I think we all are in a way, but some of us are a little more fiery than others.

He’s vocal, and loud, and stubborn, and sometimes it’s really hard not to snap back.  Sometimes he’s just trying to get me to snap back. I know, I see it in his eyes, and I remember doing it to my mother when I was young.

Those times when I keep my cool and answer with a gentle answer, and with prayer those times are becoming much more frequent, he cools a little too.  It’s hard for him, I know. I remember, but he’s growing so much.

God is working in his life, and it’s amazing to watch. Sometimes it’s painful, but in a good way. It’s also scary that imperfect, flawed me is his mother. I’m so grateful we have the Word to guide us, because without it, I’d be completely lost.

Makin’ it Personal

It’s been almost a year since I started this blog, and I realized the first time I posted a picture of myself was a few weeks ago for a Weekly Photo Challenge.  I don’t think I’m terribly mysterious; I post pictures of my family and pets, but I realized that my readers (hi readers!) might like to know a little more about me. Maybe, I guess. So here we go.

This is me:

AuthorPhoto

1. My name is Shari. It rhymes with starry and, unfortunately, sorry. No one ever pronounces it right. Not ever. Most people skim over it and see ‘ Sherry’. A lot of people read it as ‘Shuh-ree’.  I answer to both of those, and it doesn’t bother me when people say it wrong. I also have a bad habit of turning toward someone when they say a passing ‘sorry’ in the grocery store.

2. I adore crimson red. It’s absolutely my favorite color, and it was the color of the bodice on my wedding dress. A lot of people loved it. A lot of people didn’t. Wedding

3. I love animals, but they must have fur or feathers–no reptiles, fish, or amphibians for me.  I find hairless dogs and cats terrifying. I would really love to have a pet fox, but I don’t think that’s legal…

4. I’m a writer. As of right now, I have three books and one novella published on Amazon. My fourth book will be released in January of 2016. My favorite genre is fantasy, but I also love to lose myself in fun contemporary fiction. You can check out all of my books here.

5. Every couple of months I go in to have my hair highlighted, lowlighted, and layered–and about 95% of my life, it’s twisted up in a bun. Go figure.

6. I start hundreds of vegetable and flower seedlings every single spring. They are happy, healthy, and then they get planted outside and forgotten about. The last couple years were the only years the poor things actually made it through the summer.

This picture is from 2012. It's the first year our garden lived all through the summer!
This picture is from 2012. It’s the first year our garden lived all through the summer!

7. I’m a closet geek. Or nerd, maybe. I don’t know the terminology, but I love fantasy novels, movies, games, and so on. My husband is too.  Most people don’t know this about us; we hide it well.  I also really love to dress up, and I really wish there were a holiday that involved costumes that wasn’t Halloween (which I’m not a fan of). I’m thinking of creating one. Ha ha–I’m joking. No, I’m not.

8.  In real life, I’m an introvert, and sometimes painfully so. In high school, I covered it up with a “diva shield,” but I don’t do that anymore. I’m one of those crazy people that have heart failure when people drop by unannounced. I almost can’t handle it. Home is my refuge from…people. I love to have friends and family over, however. I just need to plan for it. Give me five minutes, at least. I need it.  

9. I have a thing for schedules and lists. They are necessary for breathing. My husband takes the greatest joy in deviating from my schedules and changing my lists. I think it’s why we work so well. He keeps me from running myself ragged, and I keep him…moving. He’s so lovely and mellow. I wish I were mellow–until I actually try it, and then I go crazy.

10. A bunch of fast random facts:

I like coffee better than tea, pie more than cake, and I can’t stand cake and ice cream together. I often have a strong indifference to chocolate chip cookies.

I like books more than movies.

I would much rather go through the drive-thru at Starbucks than inside.

I think every zoo would be complete with a platypus, and I don’t like monkeys. Lemurs are fine.

That’s enough. Probably more than enough! Have a great day!

Weekly Photo Challenge: Threes

This week’s theme is ‘threes’– or more specifically, three photos that together tell a story.

Here’s my story!

PhotoChallengeThrees

Check out the original challenge here.