Category: Women Entrepreneurs

The light bulb came on above my head while watching this film.

Solar Mamas was presented to a small Fayetteville Public Library audience at 2:00 this afternoon. It showed how the Barefoot College in India is training women to become solar engineers.  I watched it like I have viewed many documentaries, but in this unusual case I realized just how much Ripples has changed the way I engage with new information. I didn’t want to donate money to the impoverished people on the screen; rather, I wanted to pay them to teach me their skills. View full article »

Revisiting How I Spend My Homestead Hopeful Days

Last year, I wrote about Why I’m Not Seeking Traditional Employment.  One of the main reasons left out of this post is the obvious one – my health issues make it difficult to hold down a steady job at this point.  But while I’ve been working to figure out what was going on inside my body, I’ve also been working to generate income without the need to commute to an office.  Living off-grid will make commuting very difficult, and both Ryan & I are developing ways to work from home. View full article »

This teen cookie exchange was such an awesome, fun event!

Many thanks to the library, and to Shay Brooks for her hard work and excellent decorating skills! Check out these photos of the event. It was my first cookie exchange, well unless you count kindergarten in Pennsylvania, and despite being sick I did have a great time.

Ripples' Cookies with event sign

Table of cookies

Ripples' Cookies presentation

Lots of people!

A delicious way to make a difference on Valentine’s Day!

Ripples now sells fair trade organic chocolates as well as cookies!  The chocolates come from high-quality dark chocolate bars bought at ONF, certified organic and fair trade.  They’re placed into handmade origami boxes, 4 chocolates per box, and come in a variety of shapes including hearts, bunnies, roosters and more!  You pick the shapes and can choose between a standard box or heart-shaped box (see pictures below).

There’s still time to place your order to be ready by Valentine’s Day!

Just call and leave a message at (931) 532-0639 or Email:

Swirled design in cream cheese frosting!

Organic Heart-Shaped Sugar Cookies!

Chocolate dipped cookies!

Melting chocolate

Origami Heart Box for your chocolates!

Imagine, greeting cards that come with a special tea bag inserted inside!

Wrapped tea bag is inserted into cup!

A long time ago, a very special art mentor of mine named Linda was teaching me all about watercolor painting.  As an amazing artist, she could reproduce china teacups with just a brush, water and paints.  At the time I was just stretching my artists’ wings, and did not yet realize that water color painting would soon go into that category of dreams where lives “figure skating, Disney animator, and flying with birds”.  I was really into it.  So I saved her cards, very special cards with tea bags inserted into the painting of the cup (see images).

This year, I began thinking about what kind of cards I want to sell along with the cookies in my social profit.

Watercolor Tea Card

I wanted the cards to be environmentally friendly, so I bought banana paper.  But there it sat on the shelf, without inspiration of the designs I wanted to do. Then it occurred to me: tea goes with cookies, why not make tea cards?  True, I cannot do masterfully painted watercolor teacups, but I can draw teacups and use recycled materials to make creative collages.

As a supporter of fair trade, I’m going to include (as a start) Irish Breakfast Black Tea, Fair Trade Certified, with each card.

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Ripples’ Sugar Cookies are now made with a smooth cream cheese frosting!

For Christmas this year I decided to change the frosting recipe from one that was harder and conducive to artwork, to one that tasted good and contained less artificial coloring (or none!).  Using all organic cream cheese and butter added to these 100% organic sugar cookies was a tasty idea.  They’re softer, creamier and keep well in the refrigerator.

I’m happy to customize cookie orders (as you can see, there is variety) and leave out the food coloring or sugar coating. Also, I can use a sugar replacement of your choice to substitute for sugar – just ask me if it’s possible and we’ll work together.  Valentine’s Day is coming up and I can easily do pink hearts!

Christmas cookies!

Cream Cheese Frosting :)

The green tree was my favorite

The sweet taste of success! View full article »

How much time does going off-grid really take?

Often I feel like a Hogwarts student, learning about all these subjects not taught during my school days: earthbag construction, how to build your own solar panels, tarantulas, window gardening, water catchment, bears, cat architecture, cheap bulk cooking, rope-and-rack laundry methods, snakes, composting, rock walls, etc.  It’s like I’m jumping from Defense Against the Dark Arts (like venomous spiders) to Herbology (growing my own healing tea).

Plant your own Harry Potter herb garden!

Yep, it takes a long, long time to learn all this.  Imagine how much longer it would take if I could learn it only on some evenings and weekends! Then add up all that rent it would cost – at $495 / month – woa! View full article »

Pumpkin Cookies are here!

Pumpkin Cookies with Chocolate Chips!

But this year, these chocolate-chippy ooey-gooey spheres of autumness aren’t just making my tummy happy.  I’m also selling them at $8.00 per dozen to raise money for Ripples and donate 10% of all sales to the National Wildlife Federation.  I only have to raise $20.00 to certify habitat in my apartment neighborhood.  So far, I’ve sold just 2 dozen cookies, earning $1.60 for the National Wildlife Federation.  I haven’t broken even yet (to cover the cost of the cookie ingredients, which was about $17.00 for 7 dozen pumpkin chocolate chip cookies) but I’m close.  Once that happens, the profits will go towards the Ripples project – our first goal is to save up for a solar cooker!


Pumpkin cookies are only available thru November, so order them while you can!

I have 2 dozen unclaimed cookies already packaged here and ready to be delivered.  Of course, I should have had 5 dozen left, but between giving out free samples and Ryan eating about 20 of them, well…at least we know they’re tasty.

*Note* you can track our profits, but it doesn’t include the cost of ingredients and materials. It only shows pure profits for donation and to support Ripples.

Thanks for the encouraging words for Ripples’ Cookies! We’ve gotten the exact ratios for the frosting.  But the exciting news is that I’ve figured out how to put my designs into the frosting, as long as the cookies aren’t exposed to heat (above 70 degrees or direct sunlight) after being decorated. These designs are just experimental; I’m getting a feel for the new frosting.  My goal is to make designs look “rippled” to represent Ripples’ message of making positive change in the world; so, rather than straight lines, I’m trying to stick with swirls and shades of color (similar to a tie-dye effect) and avoid solid colors that don’t blend into each other (like on most piped-on frosting decorations).

What do you think? View full article »