My Beautiful English day in the Dutch Countryside

A while back I had asked my friends if they thought I should be doing a giveaway on my blog. Lots of blogs seem to do them and I thought.. why not? Well, so many questions started swimming through my mind. Of course the first was, what should I give away? It needed to be something inexpensive since I’d be the one paying for it. I thought it would be nice to give something from The Netherlands.  My friend Helen, suggested I come over and make handmade soap to give away. She has her own company called Soap Matters and I thought, this is perfect! I love being creative and I’ve always wanted to learn how to make soap.

 Beautiful Dutch homes
So yesterday I made the short drive to her home. Wandering through Leende and then onto the small village of Strijp. Past fields, past beautiful old Dutch homes and through an amazing display of the leaves just starting to turn their autumn colors.

Helen making her grandmother's scones.

Our amazing day began as I came through her welcoming door to find her making scones. How delightful. Tea and coffee served and onto our little science experiement of making soap.
 Ingredients ready
With a clip clip here and a tap tap there and a couple of tra la la’s, we were on our way to the merry ole land of … soap. She has every little ingredient that makes soap just right. Flowers, herbs, scents, even the secret ingredient to make it to the soapification process. Ok, maybe not a secret but I never knew.
Soap trays ready to set for 6 weeks

As my trays of soap were put aside to set, she threw together the most delightful lunch followed by the scones for dessert.
 Goat cheese sandwich
Scones~Devonshire way
We walked around her beautiful home that used to be a milking parlor for cows and had then become a butter factory and then later a school before finally becoming a family home.
The milking Parlor

The house was several hundred years old but oh so beautiful and so full of character.

Helen's barn door. My love affair with doors continue.

Our day lasted well into the afternoon and as I drove home so tickled with our day, I thought to myself.. Making soap is like making a friend. Put all the right ingredients into a pot, add a touch of English style and a pinch of American charm, mix well and you’ve got yourself one beautiful friendship. Thank you Helen, for a lovely day!
Dutch wooden shoes representing family members

6 weeks to set... then we'll have a little giveaway for one lucky winner:)


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