Event season is nearly upon us! All of us Soap Gnomes are working hard to make all the goodies you need to get you through the most self-care-necessary season and provide all the healthy, happy gifts you need! Can’t make the events? You know you can always come see us Wednesday-Sunday 10:30-7:30pm at the Soap Shop & Vegan Boutique at 15th Ave and Thomas for the greatest variety of our handcrafted cruelty free, toxin free skin care AND 50+ other makers and artists’ work!
We had our first pick up date for the Blue Sky Farms Community Supported Agriculture Farm Box at the Soap Shop and Vegan Boutique last week! I was thrilled with the selection from the Big Box. I love that they are local and organic and that I am in for a surprise each week! I love coming up with new ideas for how to prepare surprise veggies. I had never seen these cutie pie round squashes and wanted to take advantage of the gorgeous baby spinach.
Fried Squash with Field Roast
2 round squash (thin slices)
1 Clove garlic (thin slices)
splash of olive oil
pinch of almond flour (optional)
salt and pepper
4 field roast brand mini plant based sausages, sliced
Heat olive oil to medium heat, add garlic then lay the squash down for a single layer of squash across the pan. Sprinkle with almond flour, salt and pepper. Allow to cook until the squash starts to appear transparent, flip each piece and continue until the squash begins to brown. Make space in the pan by stacking squash pieces and add the sausages for a moment just to heat through. Toss your gorgeous fresh spinach with a bit of dressing then top with your squash and sausage. Enjoy!!
bowl full of fresh spinach
1/4 cup each olive oil, water, and apple cider vinegar
Tbsp of coarse grain mustard
tsp each onion powder, dill, celery seeds, marjoram, Thyme, salt and pepper
We will be having a Blue Sky Organic Farms Community Supported Agriculture Farm Box pick up at the Soap Shop & Vegan Boutique with Friday afternoon pick ups! Want in? Head to https://blueskyorganicfarms.csaware.com/store/ and choose Strawberry Hedgehog Soap Shop and Vegan Boutique at 1501 W Thomas Rd, Phoenix 85015 as your pick up location.
Blue Sky Farms in Litchfield Park now carries our Soap by the slice along side their beautiful organic produce! Head to their website to get directions and hours and see below for pictures of what you can look forward to! 💖
They received their Strawberry Hedgehog soaps just in time for their special event, Open Farm Day 12-3pm, Sunday Dec 3.
Hi, loves. Tracy here, soap maker extraordinaire. 💖 At any given moment these days it may feel like the world is going to hell in a hand basket, as my dear old Dad likes to quote his Mom as saying. Times are WEIRD and difficult and changing but they are also amazing! I'm going to take a break from listening to my brain ☝️and make a heart post for a moment.
In just over a week we will be back in New York to participate in the World Maker Faire for our third year as part of the BUST Magazine Craftacular! I'm so proud and amazed that this is even possible, it is a total dream come true and 3x?! Well, 3 is my favorite number so you know it will be great! There's no way I would have managed these without Matty. He showed this Yuma-girl how to get around the big big city and his family there treats me like I am their own. Well, on top of being hugely supportive of Strawberry Hedgehog and an integral part of my life and our success at the Maker Faire, he's been busy being a creative dynamo and big things are happening!!
Play The Documentary at Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
While we are in New York, the first night of the Maker Faire he was asked to screen his first full length film, Play the documentary, at the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music! What an honor!
The Process With Calais Campbell on ESPN
Matty's dream has been to make a powerful sports film and this year he did just that! Not only did he film a spectacular documentary of Calais Campbell's free agent period, it is now playing on ESPN through producers, Uninteruppted!
Snake River Blues the documentary on Amazon
This time last year Matty left for a month to document the process of a one month residency in New York for our friend, Decker. This film is now streaming for free on Amazon Prime! Holy smokes! First film on Amazon is a huge deal! More to come..
YRSB hits the film festival circuit!
Last but certainly not least, his latest collaborative project with Pita Juarez, and his second feature length documentary, has now been submitted to Sundance and Tribeca Film Festivals!
To top it all off he is shifting to shiny new business name that better represents the vitality and limitless nature of his creations, Mango Skies Films is here! Please follow along on Twitter and Instagram @mangoskiesfilm 👌😘 The best is yet to come and I am so grateful to have Matty in my life and for all the magic he contributes to this world. 💖💖💖
It's time for more of April's favorite things.
This week, I'd like to highlight the love of my skin's life: the famous Whipped Body Creme. If you are fortunate enough to receive Christmas presents from me, you'll be very familiar with this magical potion. It's not made from unicorn kisses, although it seems like it would be, but of fair trade shea and cocoa butters, organic sweet almond and apricot kernel oils, aloe, and a proprietary herbal tisane, (which might actually be unicorn kisses). I use this everywhere--my body, my face, sometimes my hair. I've got oily skin, but this sinks in so quickly that I never feel like I've got an oil slick in my face.
It's legitimately wonderful.
There's no scent, so I give it to my extremely sensitive mom every year, and there's no artificial anything so people with the most temperamental skin can use it daily. I'll sometimes add patchouli (of course) oil to it so I can smell extra amazing throughout the day. But adding anything is unnecessary. It is practically perfect in every way.
I've been around Strawberry Hedgehog for a long, long time. Having known Tracy for what seems like forever... 1999ish... I've been privileged with watching SBHH grow from a tiny, baby seedling of an idea in 2003 to the magical soapy heaven on earth that it is today. I love everything in the shop -- no lie.
That being said, I am full of opinions and I have my favorites. Let's go through them for the next few weeks, shall we?
This week I want to talk about the Sandalwood Patchouli soap. I'm not going to apologize for it; I am an unabashed lover of all things patchouli. From the moment I bought my first vial of Spiritual Sky Patchouly at Bebop Records, (spoiler: it's not as great as you remember), I've been in love. Needless to say, my taste in patchouli has become more sophisticated over time, but I'll always remember that first patchouli with much fondness. That being said, the SBHH patchouli is top notch. I'm spoiled by it.
The thing I love most about this particular iteration of patchouli is the depth given to it by the addition of smooth sandalwood, woody Virginian cedar, amber-like labdanum and sweet benzoin. Patchouli is already deep, but it's got a greenness to it that sandalwood does not possess. Sandalwood is earthier, darker, and along with its woody kin-oils, it compliments the patchouli very well. It's basically like bathing in temple incense every morning, which is an image I personally cannot get enough of. There's a reason it's a staple at the shop, and why you owe it to yourself to at least try it.
Next week: Lavender Tea Tree Facial Moisturizer. Irritated skin begone!
Freshly swirled sandalwood-Patchouli in the making! PS the deep red color is from the mineral hematite and will make for fun red suds. ❤️🖤❤️
A few weeks ago, I had the privilege of attending a wonderful workshop led by my friend Michelle, of Between Heaven and Earth Aromatherapy, at Uprooted Bloom Room in Scottsdale. It was such a relaxing, positive experience. Michelle is so knowledgeable and such a fantastic teacher. I loved the loads of mind-blowing information that she presented in an easy, comprehensive way. It wasn't overwhelming--it was fascinating. There was so much hands on experience as well, I feel like I've retained the info. (Well, I also kept my notes.) I'm excited to attend another workshop at the Strawberry Hedgehog boutique this Thursday, 8/17.
We made two custom blends -- an inhaler and a roll on scent -- both of which live in my purse. Really understanding the different properties and intentions of each oil helps you create things of beauty you will use and that will benefit you, and I'm so grateful to Michelle for deepening my knowledge on this. I feel that it is similar to cooking in that you have to know the food you're working with to know what will work well together. Michelle is like a master chef, and her knowledge is invaluable.
Such a great experience. This Thursday will be more of the same. I'm so excited. I wouldn't miss it for anything. (Maybe Keanu Reeves. That would probably be the only reason I'd miss it. But I feel like Keanu would want to come. He seems like that kind of guy.)
I hate to admit this, but I will always be stuck in the '90's in some ways. I still love grunge, I still love putting tiny barrettes in my pixie cut, and I still love combat boots with short sundresses. What can I say? I was programmed in the '90's. By the time the future arrived, I was already hardwired.
I don't even want to go over how hard I took Chris Cornell's death. Honey, I'm still in mourning. I practically belong to a support group of other '90's kids who feel just as ill-equipped as I to face getting older. (And you're right, I don't look 40. Thank you.)
Back in '92, I was introduced to David Lynch through this obscure little show called Twin Peaks -- ever heard of it? I did not understand what was going on, nor did I care. Sherilyn Fenn's Audrey Horne was a vision in saddle shoes, her illicit cigarette and arched eyebrow giving her the weariest of world-weary stares. I wanted to be her. Lara Flynn Boyle's Donna Hayward was the naïve goody-goody I felt I was. I wanted that Audrey Horne gaze.
I watched the show through the end of the second and last season, but I'll be honest, I still didn't know what the heck was going on. When I heard that Agent Cooper and the rest of the crew were coming back for one more go, I was so excited. Tracy was too, and the Twin Peaks, limited run soap set was born.
I'll be honest -- I'm all about honesty -- I still don't know what's going on in Twin Peaks. Dougie? Evil Coop? Bobby is a cop? Michael Cera is the lovechild of Andy and Lucy and he dresses and talks like Brando from the Wild Bunch? I'm so confused. But I don't have to understand it to love it, just like I don't have to understand how Tracy makes magic happen to produce soap that smells exactly like I imagine Audrey would smell. The Laura Palmer soap smells fresh and innocent with an undercurrent of deeper, darker notes.
Basically, they're amazing. I have stockpiled Audrey and Josie under my sink. They may get turned into laundry soap, like last year's Autumn Harvest did -- you have got to smell my clothes: out of control vetiver, one of my favorite scents of all time -- or I may continue to use them for everything, so that my entire world smells like Audrey.
All I know is that they're amazing, and every time I smell them, I don't know how Tracy got it so right.
For some reason, every time I try to write out an introduction for this page, my internal monologue is voiced by Phil Hartman as Troy McClure. “Hi, I’m April, and you may know me from the handful of times I’ve covered shifts at the soap shop,” or “You may know me from my ridiculously adorable children, who often appear in Instagram photos looking precocious and ridiculously cute,” or “Hi, I’m April. Have you heard about Strawberry Hedgehog?” Okay, the last one didn’t sound like Troy McClure; it sounded like a missionary, but that might be a conversation for another time.
Anyway, I’m April, and I’ll be posting stuff here sometimes. I’m a SBHH true believer, a complete convert, and I am not ashamed. I’ve made my peace with it.
So I’ve been trying out the new Pain Soother Essential Oil stick this week and I just love it. I used to use Aveda’s Blue Oil rollerball, until I lost it and decided I didn’t want to pay $22 for less than a 1/4 of an ounce that would get lost in my purse again. I made my own for awhile, but getting the peppermint right was difficult. I mean, one drop too many and you’re looking at some serious frostbite. It was great for my sinus headaches during allergy season, however, especially when they don’t respond to ibuprofen. But I’m a little lazy and kind of cheap, so I just figured I’d have to do without. Until, that is, I found the Strawberry Hedgehog Pain Soother.
Peppermint, lavender, wintergreen, rosemary, and spruce. More versatile than my old go-to, and, (at least in my case), more effective. Peppermint, wintergreen, and spruce cool immediately, while the lavender and rosemary calm and cut inflammation. It smells great too, which is an added bonus.
Roughly every six months, I have an annoying, low grade allergic reaction to life, I guess, and I get itchy, rashy, and ultimately cranky. I can never find any relief. It just goes away after a week or two, usually after I’ve washed everything, including the dog, twice a day for a week. I never figure out what it is, and I’m shocked when it happens again. I’m blaming the dog, who lays in the dying grass, (to which I am terribly allergic), and then lays on my couch and bed and floor and clean clothes. It’s a good thing he’s cute.
So that’s been flaring up this week, with some particularly annoying headaches that have the audacity to turn into something akin to my head being squeezed in a vice for an hour straight. Enter the Pain Soother. A little dab on each temple, and I will prevail. Or at least abide. I abide.
The tiniest dot onto an annoying mosquito bite, diluted with a bit of sunflower/avocado/olive oil, and the itch is relieved. And then there was Memorial Day, when I decided to do CrossFit after about a year of only biking. My legs were so sore, I kind of wanted to die, but I rubbed my aching legs with the soother and I felt the difference. It’s like Tiger Balm in oil form, only you don’t smell like camphor and menthol, or whatever Tiger Balm has in it.
Now, it is comprised of undiluted essential oils, and therefore not recommended for sensitive areas or kids, obviously. It will, however, last a long time, seeing as you only have to use the smallest amount to feel better instantly. It really is that effective.
I can’t recommend this enough. We have it in the physical store at 1501 W. Thomas Rd, in Phoenix, and we should have it on the website soon, (which is actually my job, so I’ll get on that). As I wrote this, I actually put some on my aching knee, and it almost instantly made a huge difference. It’s wonderful stuff.
Well, I hope you don’t mind my contributions to this space. I love everything about Strawberry Hedgehog, and I’m looking forward to getting to talk about all things SBHH all the time. Good stuff is made here by very good people.
Hi, I'm April!
one can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
Tbsp whole grain mustard
Tbsp apple cider vinegar plus extra to drizzle
Tbsp liquid aminos
1 celery stalk diced
Heaping handful parsley
salt and pepper
quarter head of purple cabbage, thinly sliced
apple sweetened dried cranberries for garnish
Put your sliced cabbage in a bowl and drizzle with apple cider vinegar and toss with salt and pepper. Add all other ingredients to your blender and pulse until chopped but not totally smooth. Pile your chickpea salad high on your cabbage and top with cranberries.
This would lend itself perfectly to a jar salad on the go as the cabbage won't get soggy or squished and will just taste better sitting in some salt and vinegar 👅 This meal was inspired by Clean Food, Dirty Girl. I am currently obsessed with the ease of eating well and enjoying cooking again now that it is all a no-brainer (recipes, grocery list, and batch cooking methods provided weekly! 😱👌).
I love the generous parsley in this. This easily dismissed Herb is a power house for UTI's, kidney stones, edema/limb swelling, cystitis/bladder inflammation, heart disease and cancer prevention! I love love love recipes that emphasize this brilliant,simply delicious green! I added extra because I always need more.. who wouldn't??
The other star of this show is the red cabbage! Tasty and crunchy, of course, but packed with nutrients like cancer fighting Polyphenols, vitamins A and C, essential for immunity and vitamin K, important for bones, along with minerals potassium helping with blood pressure and regulating heart beat and trace mineral manganese, important to convert carbohydrates, fats and proteins into usable energy for cells.