Summer pie time! July 23 2012, 10 Comments
I bought a good 2lbs of local blueberries (quite a steal at $3!) a little while ago, with the intent of making a pie. So, I finally got around to doing just that.
I googled basic recipe for the pie dough and filling. Nothing fancy. Earth Balance butter for the crust, which turned out quite nice. If you use the baking butter sticks from Earth Balance, you may want to add a a pinch if salt to the dough. I replaced most of the sugar with agave nectar for the filling. Added a pinch of black pepper, lemon zest and vanilla extract as well. I made it last night and it was gone by this afternoon, success!
Hmm, that sounds like a pretty good fragrance to me. Pie crust, blueberries, lemon zest and vanilla extract. Would you take or leave the black pepper?
A Sunday Reverie... July 15 2012, 1 Comment
This update will go live shortly after Noon (PST) today!
After having some fantastic Thai dinner the other night, Matt and I decided it was time to bring it back...
Mango Sticky Rice will be returning in Pumpkin Butter and perfume oil for a limited time (it will likely be brought down about the same time as Summer LE products. Sorry, no Bubbling Scrubs or Whipped soap this round!)
Momoko, our newest Reverie scent will be showing up for the first time in Pumpkin Butter and perfume oil as well. After sipping many cups of easily my most favorite tea, I knew something had to be done! And so she was born... Out of copious amounts of tea sipping and desperately wanting to visit the local Japanese gardens. Peach infused green tea, dried chrysanthemum and sun bleached cedar wood.
White Raspberry will, for the first time ever, be available in Pumpkin Butter along with this update.
Stock may sell out quickly, but we will be working on restocks as soon as possible.
Enjoy your lovely Sunday!
Soaps are being made, ya'll. May 31 2012, 4 Comments
Soap production is back in full swing right now. A full general catalog restock is underway and I'm currently working on a few Reverie items. The ridiculously popular White Raspberry is returning as well as a few new soapies!
I decided to use pure coconut water instead of plain ol' water with our new soap, Sol. It seemed quite appropriate for a solar themed soap. There's calendula, unrefined shea and fragrant powdered vanilla bean in there too!
I think it turned out pretty awesome. It's super smooth and the fragrance is rounding out quite well as it cures. Which is: Gingergrass, neroli, litsea cubeba, saffron threads, frankincense, rosemary, and a touch of cinnamon.
We're hoping to have restocks and Reverie soaps rolling out late June or early July, we'll keep you all posted once we set a firm date!
Holidays at the Haus (or confessions of a christmas junkie) December 17 2011, 1 Comment
(Hi everyone! We've switched things up a bit this time and Matt has written this post.)
December has always been my favorite month of the year. From my school years when it meant 2 weeks off and loads of presents to my adult years where it means friends and family (and loads of presents) I've always had a special love for this time of year.
In my family, Christmas is the anchor of the clan's list of annual events. My mother's side (the loud, obnoxious Irish one) is based in Hawaii, but there is quite a diaspora of kids and cousins who live all over the states. For us, Christmas always meant making the long pilgrimage back to the island to celebrate at the family home. It's a pretty nice bonus that getting to see your family meant two weeks of basking in tropical weather and going to the beach after presents.
Now that I am starting my own family, we don't get out there as much as we like, so Britton and I have our own holiday traditions that we have started. From Thanksgiving to New Year's our house gets pretty 'Yule intensive'. The tree is out the day after Thanksgiving and I'll have started wrapping presents immediately after. In our house, it's almost a bit of a holiday altar - I arrange the gifts obsessively and love to tuck little candies and treats among them. Britton teases me for this quite a bit (another developing tradition in our house).
Once the tree is up, the floodgates have been opened - the next two weeks are usually spent finishing up present shopping and sending off gifts and messages to loved ones. Then it's time to get serious! We usually start our advent on the 13th because two advent calendars would be a bit much even by our standards - so we split one. The 13th is also St. Lucia day which is important to me for marking my Swedish heritage (on my Dad's side) - it is also the day of Winter Solstice according to the old Julian calendar. St. Lucia was one of the earliest Christian saints and is one of the only ones to be recognized by many Protestant denominations as well. In Sweden, St. Lucia day is marked by children bringing their parents coffee and specially baked buns in bed. Since our "kids" are two naughty cats and two fish, we usually make these ourselves.
After winding down the last of the holiday orders from customers (you guys definitely keep us busy this time of year!) the next big day is usually Christmas Eve for us. We follow the normal tradition of opening one gift each in the evening and enjoy some Vegan nog while watching some of our favorite Christmas programs. "A Muppet Christmas Carol" and the "Good Life" Christmas special are required viewing in our house!
On the big day we get up early and drink coffee while snuggling up and watching the Peter Serafinowicz Christmas Special. (I know - we really love holiday TV). After coffee it's present time! My favorite part has to be getting to surprise Britton with things she was never expecting. I have to admit that it takes a pretty good poker face to keep her from guessing what I've gotten her.
This year we are also starting a new tradition - I learned recently that I have some English ancestry (apparently one of my ancestors was in Queen Victoria's private chapel choir), so we are incorporating Boxing Day into our holiday calendar as well. In the UK Boxing Day was celebrated the day after Xmas when the family of the manor would make gift boxes of holiday leftovers, money and treats to give to their tenant families as a show of appreciation. These days it's more of an excuse for store's to have sales - but we have decided to make it a day for giving to charity so we are going to make donations to local organizations who deserve our support.
By this time, it's New Year's and we are ready to wind things down. We'll have our collard greens and Hoppin' John (a tradition in Britton's Southern family) and open up the house at midnight while making a big racket to get rid of the old and welcome in the new year.
So what does your family do to celebrate the holidays (be it Xmas, Channukah, Kwanza, Yule, Saturnalia, Festivus, Chrimbus or any other)? We'd love to hear what the members of our "HoG Family" have planned!
Halloween Preview! August 06 2011, 315 Comments
Halloween release August 17th!
This is our biggest collection yet! A few scents from last year have returned along with many new scents. There will be a few more additions to this lineup that we are currently finalizing and will be announcing shortly before the release.
Due to the heat wave all across the country, we will be delaying the whipped soaps. When temperatures drop into a comfortable range for the whipped soaps to travel, they will become available - hopefully mid-September!
Now, on to the fun stuff!
This is what you'll find...
Gentle hay pillows, pumpkin, ripe peaches dusted with clove and nutmeg, dried summer herbs, and lastly, a lovely crown of amber. (Soap, bubbling scrub, emulsifying scrub, pumpkin butter, perfume)
Freshly turned earth, wet leaves, and a spectre ridden wind. (Soap, bubbling scrub, emulsifying scrub, pumpkin butter, perfume)
A merry drink of harvest and glowing with warmth: Peach juice simmering with sweet spices, pumpkin, silken hazelnut cream and made completely curious with a drop of orange blossom water. (Bubbling scrub, emulsifying scrub, pumpkin butter, perfume)
They look cute, but beware! Deceptive pomegranate candy floss, beneath that a spiteful blend of coffee co2, vetiver and myrrh. (Bubbling scrub, emulsifying scrub, pumpkin butter, perfume)
Olde Cider Haus
Old oak, sweet drying hay fields, crushed apple pulp and vanilla husks. (Soap, pumpkin butter, perfume)
Cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater! Cream, glowing pumpkin, rich vanilla bean and the tiniest touch of nutmeg butter. (Perfume, pumpkin butter, whipped soap)
Buttery popcorn and marshmallow goo orbs, presented on a wooden stick. (Perfume, pumpkin butter, whipped soap)
Fresh strawberry flecked porridge with maple syrup and adulterated with a splash of white cognac. (Perfume, whipped soap)
You've been bewitched! Lecherous: brackish amber, aged vanilla bean and three dark fruits, veiled in darkness and otherworldly secrecy (Perfume only)
A new tradition in the Haus! Each Halloween we will present the Queen Mother: Pumpkin Queen oil aged for a full year, with assorted olfactory accoutrements. The batches are very limited and cannot be restocked once sold out.
Queen Mother I
Last years Pumpkin Queen oil with 5 year aged patchouli, jasmine essence and the blackest vetiver, co-distilled with honeysuckle blossom.(Perfume only)
Summer Reverie, July 01 2011, 8 Comments
Warm subtropical climates, that's what has been on my mind. Here in the Pacific Northwest, the warmth got a late start. I've been pining for my childhood home in the Florida Keys, thinking of Hawaii and day dreaming of living on a mythical Polynesian island.
Please limit Pumpkin Butter and Bubbling Scrub to 1 each item per customer. Due to the 4th of July weekend and shipping slow down packaging is being delayed. We decided to go ahead and do a small upfront release so that we don't keep you guys waiting! There will be restocks shortly after the initial release.
Haus Amber (Back by popular demand!) - Rich and sultry, our own hand blended accord. (Bubbling scrub, Pumpkin Butter, perfume)
Boca Chica - Rich gardenia blossom, red mandarin, coconut cream and ripe banana. This sounds super fruity, but it is surprisingly not so! (Bubbling scrub, Pumpkin Butter, perfume)
Fe'Ausi - Frangipani, ylang, red manuka and lychee fruits. (Perfume only)
Fukushu - Green tea with kumquats and mandarin. (Perfume only)
You'll find the update in our Reverie section, Tuesday July 5th, 11am PST.
What's for dinner (or lunch), June 13 2011, 3 Comments
Still raw! Sorta. I think I would categorize myself as high raw, for the purists out there. I'll munch on a Larabar when I get a sweet craving or need something fast. I did slip up and had a packet of Justin's chocolate hazelnut butter. I was out out running errands in the city and while I was searching for some sun dried tomatoes (is there some sort of shortage? They're out everywhere!) then I saw the Justin's on the shelf. I couldn't help myself! I loved Nutella when I was an omnivore and I could not resist the opportunity that had presented itself. It's basically vegan Nutella. It could have been worse, but I could have made a better choice. On to not so naughty things...
Mmm, mmm, mm. This, or a similar version of this has been my main meal last week. It's a variation of this recipe right here: Sweet potato pasta with tangy marinara.
I don't recommend the oil packed sun dried tomatoes. Try looking in the bulk section of your health food store for the dry variety. For some reason I was unable to find any in the SE Portland area while I was out running errands the other day. Matt found some at our small local store though, the last dregs of the bulk bin, I don't know if they'll be restocking them though. There is an online source at Raw Guru.
I didn't use the sweet potato like the recipe called for. Something about an uncooked tuber just didn't seem appetizing to me, so I reached for the zucchini. I used sunflower seed and some pecan in my version. It's really delicious and very easy. I keep leftovers in a tub in the fridge and when I'm ready for more I shred up some zucchini and done! Toss in some extra sprouted seeds, chopped veg and tomatoes and you've got yourself a hearty meal. Once I've done that, it looks something like this:
What's been going on... June 12 2011, 4 Comments
The inventory kept me nice and busy last week. We implemented a new inventory system and recipe keeper, Soapmaker over those three days. I'm not totally done getting everything in there, but I got the big chucks taken care of.
I'm knee deep in Halloween scent blending and as I type I've got bits of coffee, popcorn and cotton candy wafting around me! It's a little hard trying to get into the fall mood when its been absolutely glorious and warm outside lately. I deviated a bit from the fall blending and have a few mid-summer Reverie items brewing and stewing. You should be able to find them when we put up the last round of White Raspberry soaps ;)
Time for random things!
- Lavender lemonade herb cordial.
- Hibiscus berry chia tea.
- A bunch of baby ducks! Send them to the moon!
- Love the shoes.
- Incredible soap art blog.
- Suit of Swords necklace.
Matt bought me some stargazer lilies. They're in the kitchen and releasing a most wonderful creamy fragrance.
I rescued this fuchsia from our neighbor who had set it out to die. It needs to be re-potted, but it sprang back quite well! Can you see the hidden face?
Back to blending and soaping. I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend!
What's for breakfast June 06 2011, 5 Comments
I started the real rawness June 2nd. I said I was going to start June 1st, but there was a Luna bar and some white beans in a vinaigrette that were had that day so technically June 1st doesn't count. I'm on day five now and I'm feeling pretty darn good!
This has been my powerhouse of a breakfast, probably the meal I look forward to the most... muesli!
For me personally, this is probably the most energizing breakfast I've ever eaten. I usually tuck into this at about 7-7:30am and I'm not getting hunger pangs till about noon, it's filling, but not at all heavy feeling.
What you need:
- Overnight soaked raw nuts and seeds and sprouted seeds. My current nut and seed mixture that I keep in the fridge is almond, pumpkin seed, sunflower and pecan. You can use any variety of nuts and or seeds that you wish, just make sure they're not toasted and that they're raw!
- Fruit, dried and fresh. Again, whatever you like. My basics are apples and bananas. In the photo above I also have mango and some raisins. If you have brown or spotty bananas, mash it up and mix it in, very ripe bananas add lots of sweetness. Berries would be great as would melons, peaches, pears, grapes, shredded carrot, anything goes!
- Milk, plant based or fresh fruit juice. Almond milk is my favorite raw nut milk, it has a sweet and neutral flavor. I've done hazelnut, it has quite a green flavor. You could also do oat milk, coconut, anything you prefer. I am currently using some organic vanilla Silk soymilk, I know! Not technically raw, but I have two gallons that need to be consumed - I'm not letting them go to waste!
- Spices and other goodies! Zazz it up. You'd be surprised at how much a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg can really bring out the natural sweetness in fruits. Flaked coconut and sesame seeds are great too!
- Salt. It probably sounds silly that I would mention salt, but it makes the flavor in everything come alive. Just a pinch!
- Nuts and seeds. Take your overnight soaked seeds and nuts and pulse them in a food processor with spices and the pinch of salt. I pulse my mixture until it is somewhat fine, no large chunks of nuts visible. Process them to the consistency you desire.
- Fruits. Pretty self explanatory. Chop, slice, dice and smash whatever you wish. I usually keep a small tub of whatever fruit I'm using prepped and in the fridge for ease.
- Milk. Once I've worked my way through my soy milk I'll be making almond milk. It's very easy and I recommend this how to here.
Put it all together!
I use 1/4 cup nut and seed mixture to at least two whole fruits, usually apple and banana. 1/4 cup milk and any other additions, coconut flake, raisins, etc. Mix it all thoroughly and enjoy!
The possibilities with this breakfast are probably endless. There is no real way to do it wrong either, just mix it all up and enjoy!
What's been going on... June 03 2011, 6 Comments
Thank you everyone for an amazing summer release! You guys have kept Matt and I very, very busy to say the least. Over the next few weeks we'll be restocking limited editions, general catalog and I'm currently in the blending and testing phase of Halloween scents as well!
This is mostly a touching base kinda post, nothing very specific that I want to say. On to the random notes!
I kicked off June with the decision to go raw for an entire month (and longer if I can keep going!). I've done it once before and it felt amazing. A very lovely customer suggested some raw eating themed posts and I couldn't agree more. So you'll see be seeing some of that this month. Lots of food!
- The neatest review I've seen of our products, in the form of a poem.
- Gigantes Plaki will be my bane while raw.
- Zucchini Pasta however, will be my BFF.
- This hair color maintenance guide has helped me keep the purple hair looking fresh.
- Suspender tights!
- Summer shoe want.
- Summer sandal want.
Copper tubs. It'd be dreamy to bathe in that's for sure, but a total pain to clean and polish!
Summer Limited Editions Coming May 15th! May 07 2011, 17 Comments
A few new fragrances and some from last year...
The Brier Path
Sun drenched trail leading to a day dream of ripe berries and woods' rose, rich forest loam, ozone, dark amber and cream. (Soap, perfume, bubbling scrub, emulsifying scrub, pumpkin butter.)
A welcome respite: Muskmelon, coconut water infused with bergamot flower, kaffir lime, polished ho wood and sticky benzoin. (Whipped soap, perfume, bubbling scrub, emulsifying scrub, pumpkin butter.)
Lemon Cake made with the tang of fresh buttermilk, raspberry coulis - an otherwise innocent cake corrupted by cardamom and deceptive pink peppercorns. (Whipped soap, perfume, bubbling scrub, emulsifying scrub, pumpkin butter.)
A thick haze of tonka and black vanilla, three jasmines, tuberose and ylang ylang. (Perfume, pumpkin butter. *Due to the nature of the precious oils used in this scent, it will be in leave-on products only)
When something feels a bit lackluster, dull and boring it is obviously lacking, zazz. To fix this we recommend something definitely zazzy and not overly complicated: Tart cranberry, pink grapefruit, sparkling champagne, all shook up with crushed ginger. (Soap, whipped soap, perfume)
...and A Reverie item that we're releasing along with the summer collection:
Tart raspberry and a clean cream accord. (Soap)
Lip Balms are back, new and improved! May 04 2011, 2 Comments
Lip balms are back!
The new formula features pomegranate seed oil, extremely luxurious, wonderfully textured oil that soothes dry lips. They're now waiting for you in the shop!
New flavors will be added and rotated on a seasonal basis. This round is just for starters.
Current flavor line-up includes:
A preview of our summer goodies will be coming soon, stay tuned!
White raspberries, May 02 2011, 14 Comments
This is the product of a Reverie scent I whipped up not too long ago. It's a tart smelling raspberry and a clean cream accord. It's a totally new design soap wise (for me!), and I was really pleased with how it turned out. I used a long divider down the middle of the log to achieve the layers. Matt poured one side and I did the other.
I took the in-the-mold photos at dusk, so the color looks a little odd.
I want to make another batch already. I'll have to play around with this method some more, tons of possibilities! You'll find this soap along with our summer LE release.
There will also be an announcement on summer dates soon!
Fresh soaped Zazz! April 28 2011, 6 Comments
Zazz is probably my most favorite fresh scented soap that we make. Matt loves it too. The fragrance in the bar really lasts. I had a few hidden bars from last year and they're still smelling really good and strong and they're a dream to use.
You'll find Zazz soap in our Summer collection of products!
Noms! No Bake Date Bars FTW April 23 2011, 3 Comments
I'm on a bit of a diet. Winter fat layer needs to come off and my sweets need to be reigned in!
I do have to have a little something though, a little treat that I can have every now and again to quell the sweet toothy beast. Life without the occasional satisfactory treat is well, hell.
So you cant imagine how excited I was when found this recipe:
Filling and satisfying!
Not too guilty feeling while eating it...
I made them plain at first, and with the second batch I added cinnamon to the dry mix and saffron to the date paste, which added an excellent exotic flavor. With the next batch I think I'll add orange zest and rose water! Mmm. The two main ingredients that I think make this recipe irresistible is the coconut oils richness and the salt bringing out the flavor of each ingredient.
I'll tease you no longer, the recipe was found here. Dig through her blog, there are some amazing recipes to be found!
Catalog restored - No Discontinued Scents! April 12 2011, 17 Comments
(Cross-posted from our newsletter)
We come to you with tails between our legs, totally blown away by the response that we recieved to last week's announcement about scent discontinuation. Many of you wrote to us, saying that a particular product was your "holy grail" and life just wouldn't be the same without it. In light of this, we had no choice but to re-think our plan.
We will NOT be discontinuing ANY products - those that are currently sold out wil be returning soon. Our intent is to expand the general catalog from our current line up of 16 scents to 21. The first new scents available will be Insalata Nocturna and Honeysuckle Lemon Curd - these two items will be filtering into the shop during the next few weeks. We plan to announce the remaining new scents in the coming weeks.
There may be some gaps in availability as we phase in this new plan - it will require a reset of our work space (which is only about 500sf - so things will be a tight squeeze) but we will do our absolute best to get this worked out ASAP.
All of you really do mean the world to us! We have made some awesome friends and met a lot of wonderful people during the time that we have been running HoG and we really do feel that we owed it to all of you on this one.
Matt & Britton
Friday Photo Fling 01 April 08 2011, 8 Comments
(A recent Moon Dog batch, pretty pleased with that swirl!)
(Cracknip, we keep this guy outside safe from Toki. I've never seen a cat more obsessed with catnip than him!)
(Typical. He's too cool for pictures.)
(Our old snagle-tooth ladykins, having a sunbath on the deck.)
(Chocolate cupcakes with almond paste centers. So good!)
(Vegan dream: a good and well done peanut butter cup! Salty, sweet and perfect. More on these gems later!)
General Catalog Changes April 06 2011, 20 Comments
We would like to start off by thanking each and every one of our customers for the support that you have all shown us over the last 2 years. It may sound a bit cliche, but without all of you we would be nowhere!
We are pleased to announce that starting today, we will be making our Pumpkin Butter available in general catalog scents as well as limited edition. In addition, we will also be introducing our newly resized Body Emulsion.
From now on we will be making our moisturizers available in the following sizes:
Pumpkin Butter: 2oz and 6oz jars
Body Emulsion: 8oz bottle with optional pump insert
In addition, beginning with this release, we are revising our general catalog scents to include some of our most requested Limited Edition and Reverie scents. To do this, we will be discontinuing a few of our slower selling scents to make room for the new introductions. This was a difficult decision as we hate to disappoint anyone by discontinuing, but our production capacity can only support a certain number of catalog scents.
All HoG scents will remain available as perfumes and a large majority of items will remain available. For those scents that will no longer be offered, we will be offering a "scent your own butter" kit. This will include a small amount of fragrance oil and mixing tools. With this, customers will be able to add their favorite fragrance to our Aether products or even other brands.
Starting with this release HoG moisturizers will be available in the following scents:
Honeysuckle Lemon Curd
Litchi Milk Tea
Twice Is Nice
Additional new scents including Insalata Nocturna will be released in the next few weeks.
We plan to implement these changes to scrubs and soaps over the coming months as discontinued products sell out and will be identifying such items in product listings.
Our customers mean the world to us and we believe that these changes will allow us to offer a product selection that better reflects your tastes and requests. If you have any questions about these changes, please do not hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be happy to answer them.
With love and gratitude,
Matt & Britton
Posting will resume & a few notes! April 05 2011, 3 Comments
I know it's been quiet around here. I got back into town late Friday night, after spending a week visiting family before they make a cross country move. Got to see all of my brothers and sisters all grown up and my parents. It was a wonderful time!
Today begins hardcore Body Emulsion and Pumpkin Butter making! I got this bad boy in the mail just yesterday:
We went from small 60 oz batches to 5gal batches! Crazy huh? It'll make life so much easier and help keep more products in stock, more often.
I'm also in full swing summer scent blending. All that has been on my mind is warm florals, cantaloupes and ripe Oregon berries! We will have three new fragrance and two returns of last year limited edition fragrances. One of which will be going full time catalog! More on that, soon ;)
Also, we will be sending out a very important newsletter (it will also be cross-posted here) first thing tomorrow morning, so be on the look out.
All that said, regular posting will resume starting now!
Lotion & Pumpkin Butter Update! March 23 2011, 5 Comments
(cross-posted from newsletter)
Greetings! I hope that the start of Spring finds you well. I know we're excited for the weather to start warming up out here!
A couple of quick announcements...
Body Emulsions and Pumpkin Butters will begin trickling into the store starting April 4th and should be completely in stock by the 9th. We've upgraded to making both moisturizers in 5 gallon batches, that way we'll have much more consistent stock on a regular basis. Many thanks to you all for being so patient while we work out the kinks!
Also, new and improved lip balms will be making a comeback! Our new formula includes Pomegranate seed oil, one of the most amazing oils I have had the pleasure of working with. Its light, rich, non-greasy, absorbs beautifully and has a cushion like texture on the lips. These should begin to appear shortly after the restock on lotions and butters.
My goal is, that by May everything in the store will be stocked! I understand the frustration of trying to order when one of your favorite items are out of stock. Once again, I appreciate your patience with us as we grow!
Almost there. March 12 2011, 11 Comments
Thank you everyone for the comments and content suggestions for the blog. What an awesome start!
I spent all of last week in a flurry of spring production, finished up just last night. And now, armed with a hot pot of mate and delicious plum blossom incense I'm going to get cracking on photo editing!
Spring will be going live 9AM PST tomorrow.
New Haus blog + Giveaway! (Giveaway now closed) March 09 2011, 215 Comments
We've relocated the blog to be streamlined with the website. My plans here are to provide a window into the Haus world, a little bit like our old blogspot blog, but with a good mix of business and life.
- To enter, simply leave a comment on this post - and tell me what sort of content you'd like to see on our new blog.
- Only one entry per person.
- International entries welcome.
- Winner will be chosen at random and will be e-mailed prize details.
- CLOSED Congrats to Stephanie C!
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