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  • Welcome!

    Thank you so much to all my wonderful clients over the past 7 years. My family has recently moved out of state and as a result I have closed my photography business in Lancaster.

My Homemade Christmas

I have this little problem where it is almost impossible for me to buy a gift for someone. ‘Buy’ being the key word. I just can’t bring myself to go to the store and pick a gift off the shelf. Even if the person has specifically asked for it!

I know – it sounds crazy, right? I’m not sure whether it is because I am always looking for ways to save money, because I feel like it is impersonal, or because I really enjoy crafting. But I almost always find myself making homemade gifts.

The result is that almost every Christmas, recipients get a homemade gift. Some years are definitely better than others. The year I decided to knit everyone something was not such a good idea. Not only did I spend WAY too many hours doing it, but I learned that it is best to just knit things for people who ask for it. It is a lot of time to spend on something that someone might never wear.

But, anyway, this year’s gift giving was no different. I got the ideas for this year’s gifts as I started to focus more on living healthier. And not just food, but in cleaning products and skin products. Seriously – have you ever read the back of those things? If you have a bottle of lotion handy – go look at the back. I couldn’t believe the long list of things I couldn’t pronounce that were in it! All those things are going into my body, my children’s bodies.

I started to see online ‘recipes’ for making my own products. Recipes that just included a couple, natural ingredients. They looked so simple and after lots of reading, I couldn’t wait to try some of them.

So, what did I make for Christmas this year? I made laundry detergent, lotion, & lip balm. Here’s the rundown.  (Click on each item title for the link with the recipe!)

Laundry Detergent – we’ve been using this for about a year and really love it! It works great, and is sooo much cheaper than regular laundry detergent. I have a family of six, and one recipe makes about a years worth of detergent. And, the best part – it costs about $15 TOTAL! (note: I used a bottle of purex crystals for a light scent and as a softener.  But if I had Wild Orange essential oil, I would have used that instead!).
homemade laundry detergent

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Leah - January 12, 2014 - 1:49 pm

Nice Bonnie!! I too make a lot of home made gifts. The only ones I buy are for my kiddoes. People just seem to like them more! Just a tip – if you want to try the mug thing again, buy markers specifically made (deco color is one brand) for this type of thing. You still bake it, but it will NEVER rub off. Love your blog!

Kathleen - January 12, 2014 - 10:55 pm

Great ideas! Love the custom labels–did you make those? Are they waterproof?

Rebekah Garber - January 19, 2014 - 9:45 pm

I love the laundry detergent!! Can I sign up for another one soon?? :)

cbportraits - January 20, 2014 - 3:46 pm

Thanks! Yes, I did make them, but they aren’t waterproof. :)

Announcing ‘Favorite Friends’ Studio Minis!

I’m really excited about these minis!  We will be able to capture precious images of your child that you will treasure forever.  Your child will be photographed with their favorite lovee or ‘friend’.   It’s a stage of their life full of innocence and beauty.  But, it won’t last forever (and might not last much longer!).   Contact me today to sign your child(ren) up.  More information in the image below!

Favorite friends studio minis lancaster pa


Baby Anik * Lancaster Baby Photographer

I had the pleasure of photographing this sweet little baby last fall. He was so expressive and loved to explore everything he could touch. His mommy, daddy and I had to really work to get him to look up at us – objects on the ground were way more fascinating! :)

Lancaster Baby PhotographerView full post »


my newest nephew * Lititz Newborn Photographer

My newest little nephew has now joined our family!  I just love finally being an aunt and that my kids have cousins to play with!  Little Adam is just the sweetest little guy and looks amazingly like his older brother did at this age.

05View full post »


{Last Years} New Years Resolution

I’m not a fan of New Years resolutions…probably because I’ve never actually made one!   I don’t like committing to something when I’m probably not going to stick with it.  I know it’s a pretty lazy philosophy to not even try…but, I have this problem where I really don’t like to fail.  So, if I don’t say I will do it, then I can’t fail at it –  …haha – see how my logic works? :)

But, around the beginning of last year, I made a New Year’s resolution.  (Well, I didn’t technically call it that in case I didn’t stick with it).  I was starting to realize all the unhealthy things that are in processed foods.  I remember looking at a loaf of ‘healthy’ bread in the grocery store (Natures Made) and I couldn’t believe all the strange ingredients that were in it.   Bread was something that my family ate a lot of, and the more I researched it, I found that I could make it a good deal cheaper and healthier than I could buy it.

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Christina Claus - December 14, 2013 - 10:57 am

Great post and thanks for sharing…looks delicious!! :) This might just be my 2014 New Years Resolution! :)

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