Love Notes

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone! I know, I know, February 14th is a giant cliche wrapped in a big red bow, but it’s still fun. It’s great seeing people get gorgeous flowers and people going the extra mile for their loved ones. For my part, I took it as an opportunity for some inspiration and decided to have fun with some DIY projects. Well, I didn’t submit Matt’s present to the risk that my attempts would fail, he got a monogrammed somethin’:

Chewie approves

Chewie approves

I was thinking of making some cupcakes for the occasion, but decided to do something a little different. I’ve had this black soap dish lying around for years, and most days I use it as a candleholder, but this time it gave me an idea. Why not make some themed heart-shaped soap? It’s decorative and practical. Guys love that, right?

Themed Valentine's Day Soap!

Themed Valentine’s Day Soap!

So I grabbed a bar of Yardley’s Shea Butter from our local pharmacy, some dried cranberries, and some oatmeal I had at home – to make sure that Matt didn’t think this was too girly for him to use 🙂

Looks good enough to eat

Looks good enough to eat

I chopped the soap up and melted it in the microwave for a minute. Because this was soap with additives and not just a soap base, it was a lot harder to melt. I had to use a double boiler (well, stacked pots) for nearly an hour, with added water before it melted to a smooth consistency. This is when I added the cranberries (chopped up in – get this – our coffee grinder) and oatmeal, before pouring out the entire mixture into this adorable mold I found at Sur La Table. I added some vanilla essence to kick up the scent, and I almost forgot that it was soap I was making for a second there…

I got the last mold in the store, lucky me

I got the last mold in the store, lucky me

I cooled those overnight, and voila! Wouldn’t these be great little gifts for just about any occasion? Best part is, you can get creative any mold, and they’re inexpensive. Word of caution though, if you plan on trying this out and giving it to someone, do your research. Fresh ingredients in Melt and Pour soap can rot if you don’t do it right. Blech.

The second project is one I’ve wanted to try ever since we got an SLR camera: custom bokeh. You make a lens hood out of construction paper and insert a shaped cutout in front, one that is just the right size for your lens: Bokeh Hood

Then you throw your aperture wide open, and go nuts. Well I did, anyway.

Recessed Light Hearts

LED Bokeh

Okay so I went really nuts - these are lights on our kitchen hood

Okay so I went really nuts – these are lights on our kitchen range hood

Moon Heart Bokeh

Yep, that’s the moon

I’ll leave you guys with a shot from our roof deck:

San Francisco Hearts Bokeh

How’s everyone celebrating? Any unique plans for this holiday? Feel free to share in the comments below!


xo Rucha