gaming xmas guide; grades; xmas shopping and the rest…

OK, first things first:

  • the NZGamer christmas guide for gamers has just been posted. Talk about a pile under the christmas tree!
  • I’m not going for anything electronic this year (uh, not that I do other years either, not really) – Steve and I have decided we’re going to make as many of our presents as possible. We’re going to give things like dukkah and spice mixes, homemade cookies (Snickerdoodles for Dad!), some of my pottery, knitted things (socks), and I’m sending my sis some of my homespun wool. Yeah, a real touchy-feely christmas for all, but it’s actually pretty fun.

In other news:

  • I made soap! Yes, soap! I started off with this recipe here, but had to modify it when I realised we got home from our grocery shop and I’d forgotten to get the olive oil! Had to rush down to the dairy but they only had one 500 ml bottle. I increased the amount of coconut  and palm oils to make up for the lacking 500ml. In addition, I decreased the amount of lye used, as I double checked the quantities using the very great Majestic Mountain Sage Lye Calculator. Unfortunately, as MMS can’t send liquids overseas, I had to purchase my ingredients somewhere else – and did so through the very excellent Aromatics and More, for the oils (including fragrance oils), and I purchased the sodium hydroxide (lye) from Go Native. Both sites were very good to deal with – I recommend them wholeheartedly. I also changed the recipe a bit by splitting the batch into two after I reached trace, and gave each a different fragrance (using half the sweet almond oil and fragrance oil for each batch). So I have two trays of vanilla and green apple soaps all curing now in my kitchen. It’s going to be hard to wait for them to cure!
  • I got an A for my research essay! I’m still waiting to find out about my final grade (as the honours mark incorporates the work you do in all your subjects, and is just one overall grade), but in a way I don’t care – I put in a lot of work into my essay and I’m really proud of it. That mark alone has made last year’s work all worthwile!

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