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426 e 650 s
LaPorte, IN, 46350
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Officially Fall!

Hannah Weeks

It's here! The Fall season has officially started & I (along with every other basic white girl) am pumped! I kid.. the Autumn season is finally here for everyone to enjoy. While on my way back from Valparaiso today, I decided it would be the perfect time to stop by Garwood's in La Porte. If you live in the LP area and haven't gone to Garwood's… WHAT'S WRONG WITH YOU?! I'm kidding…but not really. Seriously, we are so lucky to have Garwood Orchards right at our fingertips. I've been going with my family since I was a baby & it's the real deal. We've been spoiled around here, and are reminded of that when we see the influx of Illinois license plates swarming the place on the weekends and throughout the Fall seasons. 

Anyway, I just stopped by the Garwood Farm Market today to grab a few Indiana Fall essentials and spontaneously decided to snap some photos along the way. (Yes, I got several odd looks..I can imagine what others were thinking…"Why is that girl taking photos of everything..Yes, that is corn, lady…Are you a foreigner?…What's going on? " I sacrificed looking sane for a few minutes and pushed through. Come, let me take you on a tour….

The 1st thing I beelined for (yes, I looked that up and that is how you spell 'beelined') was THE best apple cider known to man. To be fair, I've pretty much only had Garwood's cider aside from a couple random other brands which are, ehh, alright. 

It's a slippery slope my friends. The good stuff. 

It's a slippery slope my friends. The good stuff. 

Then I just continued to peruse the area and take pictures like a crazy woman..

I can finally give in!

I can finally give in!

I'm going to have to pass on you today, healthy foods, first comes cider and donuts.

I'm going to have to pass on you today, healthy foods, first comes cider and donuts.

Then I got serious and made my way over to the sweets...

Is that a real question?

Is that a real question?

Hello again, old friend..

Hello again, old friend..

Of course, I got some donuts & then made my way to the salt water taffy aisle to pick some up for my husband. He loves the taffy and there's tons of flavors.

My haul. Just livin' the dream..

My haul. Just livin' the dream..

After I purchased all the sweets I went outside and snapped a few more photos. This was just a quick trip today, but of course we'll be back for apple picking and the pumpkin patch. Here's what was outside the Farm Market..

Waiting to take people to the orchards!

Waiting to take people to the orchards!

mums on mums on mums

mums on mums on mums

Then I rushed home to get my 1st sip of that apple cider and share the wealth with my husband. I'll show the actual orchards and fun festivities next time we visit this Fall! 

You can visit Garwood Orchards at 5911 W 50 S, La Porte, Indiana 46350

Find more info at www.garwoodorchard.com

www.facebook.com/garwoodappleorchard

OH, and one last thing….the HJS seasonal Pumpkin Spice bar is now available at www.hannahjanesoaps.com in the SHOP section! Let's get our Fall on.

OH, and one last thing….the HJS seasonal Pumpkin Spice bar is now available at www.hannahjanesoaps.com in the SHOP section! Let's get our Fall on.

Nest Number 4

Hannah Weeks

Hi, friends! I wanted to show you all a little preview of one of the stores Hannah Jane Soaps is carried in, Nest Number 4. My friend Kim opened shop in April and her shop is just the cutest! I actually help out a couple times a week, so I always get to see the new products she's offering!

 

Nest Number 4 is located in the Downtown Arts District in Michigan City, Indiana at 717 Franklin Street.

Nest Number 4 is located in the Downtown Arts District in Michigan City, Indiana at 717 Franklin Street.

I just love how Kim always changes the store up! She offers unique home decor including new, found and handmade items. Basically if you love Joanna Gaines and Magnolia Market, you've found your local fix! What's even better, you are supporting your own local small business and getting your hands on some unique handmade items. The store's all ready for Fall! Here are some pics I snapped today..

…And of course, you can get your fix of Hannah Jane Soaps! Im in love with the cart display Kim's husband made. 

All stocked up!

All stocked up!

Here are some of my favorite items!

Hello! These handmade signs are the perfect gift! They're so cute & great for  entryway decor. Kim has several different color options. I have the "Hello" sign in black, but I also love the natural wood and aqua options.

Hello! These handmade signs are the perfect gift! They're so cute & great for  entryway decor. Kim has several different color options. I have the "Hello" sign in black, but I also love the natural wood and aqua options.

I also LOVE these 'locally grown' shirts, especially the raglan style. They are SO comfy. You can get these in men's, women's and children's sizes!

I also LOVE these 'locally grown' shirts, especially the raglan style. They are SO comfy. You can get these in men's, women's and children's sizes!

There's so much more to see, so make sure to come stop by and get your Fall fix! 

Nest Number 4 is open Tues-Fri 11-6, Sat 10-5 at 717 Franklin Street, Michigan City, IN.

Check out Nest Number 4 on social media!

www.facebook.com/nestnumber4

www.instagram.com/nestnumber4

Everyday Bucket List - Reiki

Hannah Weeks

Okay, guys…so I've been thinking. I'm totally going in blind in regards to the blogging world and I really want you all to enjoy reading my posts. I've been brainstorming about what kind of blog posts I'd like to write about..and then..it hit me. Hit me with your best shot, hit me baby one more time…it. hit. me. I want to do some posts about my Everyday Bucket List adventures. Walk with me here.

A big part of why I started Hannah Jane Soaps was because I loved the idea of making something the natural way, that fed my creativity, would nourish my skin and brighten my day, leaving me a little bit happier (treat yoself is my anthem). Well, lately I've really been craving that ideology. It is so important to feed your mind, body and spirit with the simple things in life that are GOOD for you. But, life gets in the way..or at least that's my excuse. In reality, my Everyday Bucket List is totally attainable, I just have to make the effort. So that's what I'm going to do! It's a way to feed my spirit and help me re-focus on what life's all about. 

So one thing I've really be interested in learning more about was the practice of meditation. Up until fairly recently, I had never even heard of Reiki. Some of my thoughts were: "What exactly is Reiki?..Is it meditation..a massage…does it involve crystals..(and not so proudly I admit) is it total bullshit?" 

Home Sweet Om - 824 Lincoolnway, Loft 2.

Home Sweet Om - 824 Lincoolnway, Loft 2.

So the stars seemed to align when I met Sara Christensen, owner of Home Sweet Om right in downtown La Porte. Home Sweet Om offers such an amazing variety of services, such as massage, gentle hatha yoga, reiki, mandala making, etc. La Porte is making moves! 

Let me walk you through my first time reiki session. 

I arrived at Home Sweet Om with great anticipation. I walked in for the reiki session not fully understanding what it even was, but thankfully Sara gave me a great overview of the ideology of reiki before we got started with the session.

You had me at, "old brick historical lofts".

You had me at, "old brick historical lofts".

So what is reiki? Here's what I learned. 

Reiki is a palms-on healing practice that uses the Universal life force energy to balance the subtle energies within our bodies and to heal. Reiki practitioners act as a conduit or channel through which reiki energy travels. The intended result of receiving reiki is a balanced physical, mental, emotional and spiritual being.

The energy at Home Sweet Om is so peaceful, light & calming.

The energy at Home Sweet Om is so peaceful, light & calming.

Before we got started, Sara taught me a little about auras. Everyone has a different color aura with varying levels of strength. One way to determine the strength is by holding a stone over an individual's chakras (more on chakras in a minute) as well as the surrounding area of an individual and seeing how fast or slow it circles. Sara showed this to me first on her son, who has a nice full aura about him.

 

Children often have greater auras and may even be able to see the color of auras!

Children often have greater auras and may even be able to see the color of auras!

Then it was my turn! The session took place in a room very similar to a massage room. The room was very tranquil, smelled like lavender and had calming music of chakra balancing tones.

Sara started off placing the stone pendulum above each of my chakras. There are 7 chakras, each a different center in our bodies which energy flows through. With this method, the reiki practitioner can see if any chakras are out of line or blocked. It is also a way to gauge how much your aura emits. 

My aura and chakras seemed to be "normal", meaning there was no major pull to one chakra. 

The 7 chakra stones, sometimes used in reiki for opening an individual up. The 7 chakras include: Root Chakra, Sacral Chakra, Solar Plexus Chakra, Heart Chakra, Throat Chakra, Third Eye Chakra & Crown Chakra.

The 7 chakra stones, sometimes used in reiki for opening an individual up. The 7 chakras include: Root Chakra, Sacral Chakra, Solar Plexus Chakra, Heart Chakra, Throat Chakra, Third Eye Chakra & Crown Chakra.

Next, I was instructed to close my eyes and try to concentrate on feeling comfortable and safe while focusing on deep breathing. 

While I was doing this, Sara lightly placed her hands above each of my chakras, delivering reiki energy. 

Even with the environment so calming and light, I had a hard time not thinking of other things! For someone, like me, who hasn't actively practiced mindfulness/meditation, it can be super difficult to clear one's mind. I tried to concentrate on my breathing while pushing out other thoughts. 

Interesting enough, Sara totally felt that! While she was above my crown chakra she said, "Are you thinking about what you're going to write?" BUSTED. I totally was. I was REALLY trying to let all thoughts go, but she was right, I was thinking about this blog post. I managed to let those thoughts go by the end of the session. 

 

Home Sweet Om has such a beautiful space with services such as: Massage, Reiki, Reflexology, Cupping Massage (I want to try this too!), gentle Hatha Yoga for beginners, Tai Chi, etc.

Home Sweet Om has such a beautiful space with services such as: Massage, Reiki, Reflexology, Cupping Massage (I want to try this too!), gentle Hatha Yoga for beginners, Tai Chi, etc.

The whole experience was very calming, which was so nice. In my opinion, you get what you give. I went in open and left feeling more balanced and calm. I definitely recommend giving reiki a shot. 

Wanna give it a go?

Find Home Sweet Om on Facebook at:

www.facebook.com/homesweetomlaporte

824 Lincolnway, La Porte, IN

(219) 380-5046

 

Thanks for visiting! Have an idea for an everyday bucket list activity for me to try? Let me know & if it's feasible I will totally give it a try!

The Perfect Party Favors

Hannah Weeks

Raise your hand if you've gone to your fair share of showers this bridal/baby shower season. I've never been a fan of the cheesy games, but I do love me a good party and CAKE, of course! When I started Hannah Jane Soaps I wanted to do a smaller bar that could be used for party/shower favors, thus the Minis were born. 

The Mini bars are half versions of the full bars. I thought they would be perfect for trying out the soaps, as favors and little additions for stocking stuffers, present toppers, etc. I left the labels on the Minis blank on the front so I could handwrite labels for custom favors.

Here are some of the custom shower favor orders!

 

For this shower, they decided on a variety of scents with the labels reading, "Mr. & Mrs.", "Love" & "Latoya & Larry".

For this shower, they decided on a variety of scents with the labels reading, "Mr. & Mrs.", "Love" & "Latoya & Larry".

I loved this color combo!

I loved this color combo!

Aside from their cuteness and ability to be customized, let's face it…I'd take some cute, handmade natural soap over some mints in a bag any day!

My personal favorite labels for bridal showers are writing the couple's initials. It's so sweet & simple. (I did this for my bridal shower AND wedding favors…I have an 'in' with the maker ;). )

My personal favorite labels for bridal showers are writing the couple's initials. It's so sweet & simple. (I did this for my bridal shower AND wedding favors…I have an 'in' with the maker ;). )

minis mosaic .jpg

…and how about those sweet baby shower favors…*all the heart eyes**

These Oatmeal Milk & Honey custom Minis were so sweet as baby shower favors!

These Oatmeal Milk & Honey custom Minis were so sweet as baby shower favors!

I always recommend doing a little display of the shower favors instead of spacing them out at each place setting. They seem "pop" more when all together in a cute set-up!

"Welcome, Poppy James" --- such a sweet name!

"Welcome, Poppy James" --- such a sweet name!

Such a cute addition to bridesmaids gift sets!

Such a cute addition to bridesmaids gift sets!

I spy an Oatmeal Milk & Honey Mini in one of Marigold and Grey's pre-designed gift sets!  Styling: Marigold & Grey Photo Credit: Laura Metzler Photography

I spy an Oatmeal Milk & Honey Mini in one of Marigold and Grey's pre-designed gift sets! 

Styling: Marigold & Grey

Photo Credit: Laura Metzler Photography

I love this set-up, for obvious reasons…so gorgeous! I love how Ashley Thunder of ATE Styling used the "Hello, Gorgeous" Minis in her garden party set up! Photo Credit: Balee Images Ashley Thunder Events Styling Seen in Inspired Living Magazine

I love this set-up, for obvious reasons…so gorgeous! I love how Ashley Thunder of ATE Styling used the "Hello, Gorgeous" Minis in her garden party set up!

Photo Credit: Balee Images

Ashley Thunder Events Styling

Seen in Inspired Living Magazine

I hope you enjoyed some photos of the Minis in action! For custom shower favor inquiries email hannahjanesoaps@gmail.com

Find Hannah Jane Soaps on social media!

And as always, let me know what you think in the comments!

Behind The Scenes of HJS Soapmaking

Hannah Weeks

Hi, Guys!! First of all, thank you all for sticking with me & checking out my brand new blog! I asked you to let me know what kind of posts you would like to see & a lot of you wanted some insight on how I make my soaps…and that's totally something I can handle! I took some photos this past week during the soap making process, so here goes..

Here are some of the basic tools I use! I use the plastic containers to measure out different oils, lye, water, etc. The big pot is what I mix everything in once the oils and lye/water mixture are at the right temperatures. Obviously, the scale is crucial to making sure all the weights are correct and the hand mixer is super important unless you want a major arm workout mixing by hand..and want to add another 20 minutes on to the process ;).  **Not pictured are gloves and safety goggles…I have a great story on learning my lesson there that I may share in the future. 

Here are some of the basic tools I use! I use the plastic containers to measure out different oils, lye, water, etc. The big pot is what I mix everything in once the oils and lye/water mixture are at the right temperatures. Obviously, the scale is crucial to making sure all the weights are correct and the hand mixer is super important unless you want a major arm workout mixing by hand..and want to add another 20 minutes on to the process ;). 

**Not pictured are gloves and safety goggles…I have a great story on learning my lesson there that I may share in the future. 

I start out by measuring the lye and water. Once those are measured out I combine the lye with the water and put the combo into the sink to cool down. (The lye makes the water extremely hot so in order to cool it down I put it in a sink surrounded by cool water.)

Next up I measure out all of the base oils and heat them up in the large pot. They need to be heated up to mix all of the oils together and to be within 10 degrees of the water/lye combination. I set the oils aside to cool while the lye/water is also cooling. 

The base oils heating up 

The base oils heating up 

Once the lye/water combo and the base oils are both within 10 degrees of one another (about 120 degrees) I combine them together and use the hand mixer to speed up the saponification process. At trace, (when the mixture starts to look like pudding) I then add whatever natural colorants or beneficial skin additions such as the activated charcoal, olive leaf powder, ground oatmeal, etc. Lastly I add the essential oils or fragrance oils. 

The base oils and water/lye combo before they have been mixed together.

The base oils and water/lye combo before they have been mixed together.

This is right at the beginning of mixing the oils and lye/water together. I had to snap a quick photo and then get right back to mixing!

This is right at the beginning of mixing the oils and lye/water together. I had to snap a quick photo and then get right back to mixing!

I was making a Grapefruit batch of soap so here's a photo of the oxide and essential oil before I added them at trace during the mixing process.

I was making a Grapefruit batch of soap so here's a photo of the oxide and essential oil before I added them at trace during the mixing process.

Once the soap is all mixed and ready the next step is to pour it into the mold. I use a 5 lb wooden loaf mold because I prefer to have a more rustic look to my soaps. I have to line the wooden mold with parchment paper so the soap can easily come out after it has hardened and won't stick to the wood.

This is the wooden mold lined with parchment paper before the soap is poured in.

This is the wooden mold lined with parchment paper before the soap is poured in.

One of the main questions I get all the time is about how I make the tops of the soaps rigid and rocky. Once I pour the soap into the mold and it is at a nice consistency I can whip up the top however I'd like. (I'm sorry I couldn't snap a photo of this, but check out my other social media outlets and I have posted videos of this part of the process. )

Once I have the top of the soap looking how I'd like it, I cover the mold (I made a special cover that leaves extra room so the tops don't get crushed) and insulate it. The soap gets very hot and sits in the mold/insulation for at least a day. The following day I'm able to uncover the mold and take the soap out so it can be cut into bars.

Here's the cutter that I put the freshly made soap into.

Here's the cutter that I put the freshly made soap into.

At this point the soap is formed enough to hold together but it is still very easy to cut into for cleaner lines. This is also where I cut the full bars into Minis. 

After I cut the soap into bars they have to cure and harden for 6-8 weeks. This is the long waiting game, but it's totally worth it when you get a natural, amazing smelling bar of soap that is super great for your skin in the end. SO, I move the bars onto a curing rack to sit until they are ready to be bought up. (Seriously guys, my husband thinks I'm crazy sometimes because I'll go into my soap curing room and just sit and look at the soaps. Haha! AM I crazy?! Probably. But, I like to visually see all the soap batches so I can decide which kind of bars need to be made next. ..And I constantly smell the soaps, even though I've smelled all the scents a million times. But, when they smell that good…

So there you have it! I tried to give a brief overview, so let me know if you all still want to know or see more! Like I said, make sure to check out my Instagram and Facebook pages to see actual videos or some of the soap making process! 

Please comment & let me know what else you would like to see me post about… packaging, local fun, marketing, Target runs (I'm really pulling for that so I have a "reason", ha!), the La Porte Farmer's Market, hosted parties, etc… Shout it out, girlfriend..