SHEEP SHOP

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas For Sheep Lovers

Marie-Helene BelangerComment
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It is no secret that our love for sheep runs deep! With Valentine’s day just a week away, I found myself perusing the Internet for inexpensive gift ideas and I wanted to share some cute and unique finds with you in case you are looking for gift inspiration for the sheep or farmhouse lover in your life!

Please note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission on the sale of an item through these links but the purchase price remains the same for you. Thank you for supporting this blog!

For more gift ideas, you can browse our selection of sheep milk soaps, body care, candles, and home décor goods. Enter discount code LOVESHEEP at checkout to save 40% on all orders through Valentine’s day.

With love and gratitude,

Marie-Hélène

Our Soothing Rose Hibiscus Collection

Marie-Helene BelangerComment

With Valentine’s Day less than two weeks away, I thought I would introduce our soothing rose hibiscus collection of sheep milk soaps, scrubs, fizzies, soaks, and candles. This collection combines the romantic scent of rose with the skin nourishing benefits of sheep milk and the antioxidant and anti-aging properties of hibiscus flowers. Our sheep milk products are handcrafted in small batches in our Vermont home using all-natural ingredients and milk from East Friesian sheep. We lovingly package your sheep milk goods in an elegant black box tied with a lace ribbon.

Now through Valentine’s day, we are offering 40% on all orders. Simply use discount code LOVESHEEP at checkout. We hope we can help you make your Valentine’s day even sweeter!

SOOTHING ROSE HIBISCUS SHEEP MILK SOAP

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Indulge yourself with our soothing rose hibiscus sheep milk soap! Handcrafted in small batches in our Vermont home, our rose hibiscus soap is made using fresh milk from East Friesian sheep. Each bar is cut by hand and is made using nourishing oils and shea butter, nutrient rich sheep milk, french pink clay, hibiscus flowers, and rose essential oil.

SOOTHING ROSE HIBISCUS SHEEP MILK SUGAR SCRUB

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Infused with the soothing aroma of rose essential oil and the antioxidant properties of hibiscus flowers, our rose hibiscus sheep milk sugar scrub will polish, revitalize, and rejuvenate your skin. The pure cane sugar will gently exfoliate and help reveal healthier and younger looking skin while the rich combination of the coconut oil and sheep milk will leave your skin soft and nourished.

SOOTHING ROSE HIBISCUS SHEEP MILK BATH FIZZIE

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Handcrafted in small batches in our Vermont kitchen, our rose hibiscus sheep milk bath fizzies are made using 11 all-natural ingredients. Watch this truly luxurious bath bomb fizz as it releases nourishing sheep milk, coconut oil, and shea butter, soothing baking soda and cornstarch, detoxifying Epsom salt, french pink clay, and citric acid, antioxidant and anti-aging witch hazel and hibiscus flowers, and nurturing rose essential oil.

SOOTHING ROSE HIBISCUS SHEEP MILK BATH SOAK

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Elevate your bath experience with our soothing rose hibiscus sheep milk soak! Luxuriate in scented rose milky water and hibiscus flowers with our special blend of sheep milk, Epsom salt, french pink clay, baking soda, and rose essential oil. Handcrafted in small batches in our Vermont home using high quality and all-natural ingredients, our soothing rose hibiscus sheep milk bath soak will leave your skin smooth and nourished. You will also benefit from the antioxidant and anti-aging properties of hibiscus flowers while soaking.

SOOTHING ROSE HIBISCUS SHEEP MILK BEESWAX CANDLE

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The sweet and floral aroma of sheep milk, beeswax, rose, and hibiscus truly makes this candle one of a kind! Our soothing rose hibiscus sheep milk beeswax candles are hand poured in small batches in our Vermont kitchen using 100% pure beeswax, fresh sheep milk, rose absolute essential oil, dried hibiscus flowers, and natural cotton wicks.  Each 9 oz candle comes in a beautiful hexagon glass jar and will burn for approximately 70 hours. We hope that you will enjoy the warm glow and the soothing aroma of our rose hibiscus sheep milk beeswax candle.

SOOTHING ROSE HIBISCUS SHEEP MILK GIFT BASKET

Soothing Rose Hibiscus Sheep Milk Basket.jpg

Shower yourself or a loved one with our soothing rose hibiscus sheep milk gift basket!

This sheep milk basket contains our entire soothing rose hibiscus collection:

  • Rose hibiscus sheep milk soap

  • Rose hibiscus sheep milk sugar scrub

  • Rose hibiscus sheep milk bath fizzie

  • Rose hibiscus sheep milk bath soak

  • Rose hibiscus sheep milk beeswax candle

All of these soothing rose hibiscus sheep milk goods are nestled in a lined wired basket filled with fresh hay. Each product is labeled and comes with directions. Our soothing rose hibiscus sheep milk gift basket also includes a metal sheep bell and a customizable sheep greeting card.

You can browse our other collections here. For the farmhouse lover in your life, we are also offering sheep cutting boards, coasters, throw pillows, and gift cards.

With love and gratitude,

Marie-Hélène

Gut-Healing & Immune-Boosting Green Juice

Marie-Helene BelangerComment
Gut-Healing & Immune-Boosting Green Juice.jpg

Gut health. Two words I did not think about much until last year.

I have always been blessed with an iron stomach. I rarely struggled with digestive issues and I have always been able to eat whatever was on my plate without any problems. That all changed 9 months ago… I started having stomach pain and bloating, I was not able to eat a lot of my usual foods anymore, and I just had a general feeling of malaise.

I think more and more people are suffering with gut issues because we live in a society where our hands are often coated with sanitizer and rarely covered with dirt, we take another round of antibiotics without questioning its efficacy or its long term side effects, and our bellies are full of food that is barely chewed and made with ingredients we can’t even pronounce. Also, over-cropping practices and the use of pesticides are prioritized over the preservation of our true wealth, a rich nutrient soil, and we live an extremely fast paced life with the need for more stimulants or the desire to numb ourselves. All of these factors take a toll on our physical, emotional, mental, and gut health.

What are the symptoms of an unhealthy and imbalanced gut? There are so many but I will list the most severe ones I have experienced myself last year:

  • Food intolerances

  • Constant and debilitating fatigue

  • Abdominal pain

  • Bloating

  • Anxiety

  • Hives

  • Sleep disturbances

After months of struggling, I decided to bite the bullet and take an expensive stool test last summer called GI-Map. I discovered that I was highly sensitive to gluten, I had low slgA (low immune function), overgrowth of opportunistic bacteria and probable SIBO (Small Intestine Bacteria Overgrowth). I was put on a low FODMAP diet for a month and a regimen of herbal antimicrobials for 3 months. I was desperate to feel better and I tried just about everything. One thing that helped me a lot was juicing. I have to admit that before my health struggles, a green juice was not on my list of favorite foods. Actually, it was not on my list at all:) I am now a convert and swear by its health benefits. By juicing a few times a week, I was able to feel more energized and boost my immune system.

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Please note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission on the sale of an item through these links but the purchase price remains the same for you. Thank you for supporting this blog!

Even if you are not incapacitated by gut issues, I would encourage you to incorporate juicing into your health regimen. I can assure you that it will help your body run more smoothly and efficiently and it will boost your immune system. If you don’t own a juicer, you can purchase one for a minimal investment. I listed some at the end of this post for your convenience.

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GUT-HEALING & IMMUNE-BOOSTING GREEN JUICE

Prep time: 5 minutes | Yield: 2 servings

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 carrots

  • 5 celery

  • 1 cucumber

  • 1 cup of pineapple chunks

  • 1 pear

  • 1 lemon

  • handful of mint leaves

  • aloe vera leaf

  • 1/8 tsp ground cayenne pepper

  • 1/8 tsp ground ginger

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Harvest the aloe vera gel from an aloe vera leaf by cutting the skin and scraping off the gel. You can also buy store bought aloe vera gel.

  2. Put fruits, vegetables, aloe vera gel, and mint leaves through a juicer.

  3. Squeeze the juice of one lemon and add ground cayenne pepper and ginger. Stir well.


I really hope you give juicing a try and cheers to higher health!

With love and gratitude,

Marie-Hélène

CLICK ON THE IMAGES TO SHOP FOR JUICERS

PIN IT FOR LATER

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Winter Living Room

Marie-Helene Belanger10 Comments

We are in the deepest cold of winter with negative temperatures and everything is buried under a thick blanket of snow. What glows in the wintry landscape are all the beautiful evergreen trees and the leafless branches and tree trunks.

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I got inspired by this muted and peaceful color palette and brought it indoors to decorate our living room for winter.

Winter living room.jpg

Please note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission on the sale of an item through these links but the purchase price remains the same for you. Thank you for supporting the Sheep Shop blog!

Seasonal decorating doesn’t have to cost a lot of money or take a lot of time to put together. This winter living room was done in no time with things I already own. I only purchased two checker plaid throw pillows, which cost $12.88 for both pillow covers. I also made two DIY hanging juniper botanical prints and I scored a free antique slat rocking chair on Craigslist.

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Another inexpensive idea for seasonal decorating is to take a walk, snap a picture, and pop it into a frame. I took a photo of the church to the left of our property and had it enlarged at our copy center for $2.00.

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I like to use different types of greenery during the winter than I used during the holidays. I clipped some juniper and pine cone bush branches from our land and sprinked them throughout the room.

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For the cupboard, I kept it simple with fresh greenery, pinecones, and tealight candles.

Winter living room.jpg
Winter living room.jpg

I also hung an oil lantern above the crock and vintage snowshoes on the antique door.

Winter living room.jpg
Winter living room.jpg
Winter living room.jpg

I hope this inpired you to infuse some winter cheer to your home, even if you are short on time and working on a shoestring budget.

With love and gratitude,

Marie-Hélène

SHOP OUR WINTER LIVING ROOM

Checker Plaid Throw Pillows

Jute Rug

Grand Hotel Wall Clock

White curtains

White Wing Chair Slipcover

PIN IT FOR LATER

Winter living room.jpg

DIY Hanging Juniper Botanical Print

Marie-Helene Belanger10 Comments
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One thing that brings me a lot of joy, balance, and serenity is to live in alignment with the changing seasons. Part of acknowledging the different cycles for me is to decorate our home by reflecting what is happening outside our front door. At this time of year, most things are dormant and buried under a thick blanket of snow. What remains and truly shines in the deepest cold of winter are all of the beautiful evergreen trees, which inpired today’s DIY project. Seasonal decorating doesn’t have to take a lot of time or cost a lot of money. This DIY hanging juniper botanical print cost less than $20.00 and took about 20 minutes to make.

There are many websites that provide free botanical art. You can click here to find the juniper botanical illustration I use in this tutorial.

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Please note: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission on the sale of an item through these links but the purchase price remains the same for you. Thank you for supporting this blog!

SUPPLIES:

TUTORIAL:

  • Cut your dowels one inch wider than your botanical illustration, leaving 1/2 inch on each side of the print.

DIY Hanging Juniper Botanical Print.jpg
DIY Hanging Juniper Botanical Print
  • Center the print and staple it to the dowel.

DIY Hanging Juniper Botanical Print
  • Repeat the process for the bottom dowel.

DIY Hanging Juniper Botanical Print
  • Hot glue the jute twine to the back of the print.

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Happy winter decorating!

With love and gratitude,

Marie-Hélène

SHOP THE SUPPLIES TO MAKE A HANGING BOTANICAL PRINT

Wooden Dowel Rods

Dark Walnut Stain

Staple Gun

Jute Twine

Hot Glue Gun


PIN IT FOR LATER

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Scheduling Self-Care in 2019 | Free Printable

Marie-Helene Belanger2 Comments

I’ve been staring at a blank screen for the past 10 minutes, erasing every sentence I type, and trying to find the best way to reach out, tell my story, and hopefully help someone… So here goes nothing… Last year was a particularly difficult one for me. After years of neglecting my physical, emotional, and mental health, I had a nervous breakdown. At 38 years old, my life came crashing down… I had to stop working, blogging, homeschooling, my husband had to take a 2 month break from his job to help me and take care of our son, and I struggled with extreme fatigue, gut issues, and severe anxiety. For months, I stayed in our house, trying not to drown and fight my hardest to heal. The road to recovery has been and still is a long and strenuous one but I can finally say that I made it to the other side. I am planning to share more of my story in another post but today, I want to talk about the importance of scheduling self-care in 2019.

Scheduling Self-Care in 2019 | Free Printable

One thing I realized last year is that nobody can run on empty. There will always be something that appear more pressing than taking care of ourselves but in reality, our wellness is our only true wealth. The Sheep Shop was born out of a need to change my own life and a call to help others put self-care in the forefront of their lives. Here is a printable I created that you can download here that will hopefully help you put self-care on top of your daily goals in 2019.

Scheduling Self-Care in 2019 | Free Printable

We are also running a sale in our shop this week and all of our sheep milk soaps, scrubs, fizzies, soaks, and candles will be 35% off until Friday. Simply enter SELFCARE2019 at checkout to get 35% off! Hydrotherapy and aromatherapy have been a huge part of my healing journey and I hope that our handmade sheep milk body care products will be useful and therapeutic to you as well this year.

Scheduling Self-Care in 2019 | Free Printable

To a healthy 2019!!!

With love and gratitude,

Marie-Hélène

A Stroll Through Our Town of 900...

Marie-Helene Belanger9 Comments

Back in December 2006, my husband and I made the move from a city of 8 million people to a rural town of 800. Relocating in the middle of winter without having secured new jobs was definitely an adventure. We were desperately longing to live a simpler and more wholesome life and we did not want to wait any longer. We purchased a property sitting on 11 acres and made the move from New York City to Woodbury, a small town located in Central Vermont. Despite all of the sacrifices we made and the hardships we endured, it was definitely the best decision we ever made. Star gazing, camp fires, sunsets, clean air, pure water, smell of lilacs, birds singing, vegetables growing, perennials blossoming, fire crackling in the wood stove have all been an integral part of our lives for the past 12 years.  Our town, land, and home have blessed us with a life that is slower, simpler, brighter, healthier and more wholesome. Living close to nature and in alignment with the seasons have brough us immense joy and inner peace. We now have a 7 year old boy and seeing him running wild with our chickens and sheep fill our hearts with happiness. We took a walk yesterday and I wanted to show you our little slice of paradise.

Welcome to Woodbury, land of lakes and ponds!

A Stroll Through Woodbury, Vermont | Sheep Shop

Woodbury has numerous streams and 23 natural ponds, the greatest number of any Vermont town. Here is the Woodbury lake, which will be soon covered with tents housing ice fishing enthusiasts.

A Stroll Through Woodbury, Vermont | Sheep Shop

This is my favorite view when you enter our town…

A Stroll Through Woodbury, Vermont | Sheep Shop

We have a church for neighbor and I will never get tired of this view and the sound of the rope hand pulled bell ringing on Sunday morning.

A Stroll Through Woodbury, Vermont | Sheep Shop
A Stroll Through Woodbury, Vermont | Sheep Shop

We love taking long walks and be surrounded by rolling hills and picturesque views…

A Stroll Through Woodbury, Vermont | Sheep Shop

This is my dream property with an 1903 barn and charming farmhouse…

A Stroll Through Woodbury, Vermont | Sheep Shop
A Stroll Through Woodbury, Vermont | Sheep Shop
A Stroll Through Woodbury, Vermont | Sheep Shop

Back in town, you can see our little post office and fire deparment where my husband has been volunteering for the past 12 years.

A Stroll Through Woodbury, Vermont | Sheep Shop

Our town hall was built in 1842. Woodbury was a town of just over 1,000 citizens in the early 1840s. Our town’s population is now 900. In the late 19th century, granite became the town’s biggest enterprise. One of the finest veins of granite in the world was discovered in Woodbury. Blocks from that quarry were shipped all over the world, and were used in the construction of at least five state capitol buildings.


A Stroll Through Woodbury, Vermont | Sheep Shop

Behind the post office and passed the wooden bridge is the Woodbury Elementary school and the community ice skating rink.

A Stroll Through Woodbury, Vermont | Sheep Shop
A Stroll Through Woodbury, Vermont | Sheep Shop

Different size ice skates and hockey sticks are available for some free impromptu fun!

A Stroll Through Woodbury, Vermont | Sheep Shop

I had a memorable time homeschooling our son last year. He is now in first grade and made the decision to attend the Woodbury Elementary school. He is probably eating cupcakes right now celebrating his 7th birthday with all of his friends.

A Stroll Through Woodbury, Vermont | Sheep Shop

I hope you enjoyed this little stroll through our town of 900! If you are thinking of chasing a crazy dream this year, I encourage you to be fearless, to trust your heart, and to follow your joy! I can assure you that it will change your life for the better!

With love and gratitude,

Marie-Hélène

A Jolly Christmas

Marie-Helene Belanger2 Comments

Welcome to our home all decked out for the holidays!

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I have to be honest, this year has been a tough and transformative one for me with lots of big changes, lessons learned, and growing pains. When it came time to pick a word for the season, I chose JOLLY. I wanted to end 2018 with a full and joyful heart.

I don’t usually decorate with red but when my husband found this antique pair of red skis in our garage, I knew I wanted to incorporate them in our Christmas décor this year. As usual, most things in our home are handmade, thrifted, repurposed, upcycled, and from nature.

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Winter in Vermont started really early this year and I have been enjoying the warm glow of candlelight almost every evening.

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I made this burlap banner last week to remind me of what this season is all about. I did not know how to elevate this little Christmas vignette and I went and grabbed these four little sheep coasters from our shop, stood them up, and they ended up being the perfect finishing touch!

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Our rocking horse has been painted so many times and I think red definitely suits it the best.

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I added more pops of red in our eat-in kitchen and I am still over the moon with these 6 dining chairs that were a free Craigslist find. The seats need some repair but they are very well made and sturdy.

A Jolly Christmas.jpg

Another item that will get a makeover in 2019 in this pantry cupboard… For now, it looks festive with a Christmas sign I made last year and some greenery from our land tucked in an antique basket.

A Jolly Christmas.jpg
A Jolly Christmas.jpg

We have been really busy with the launch of our shop but we are taking the time to enjoy the crisp air on our daily walks.

A Jolly Christmas.jpg

These three sheep were the inspiration to handcraft our own sheep milk soaps, candles, body care, and home décor goods and after 7 years of dreaming, we are so grateful to be able to share our sheep goods with all of you.

Christmas 2018

Our Maremma sheep dog is also enjoying all the snow…

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From a family to yours, we wish you a jolly Christmas and a New Year filled with happiness and exciting adventures…

With love and gratitude,

Marie-Hélène, Marcial, and Marcialito

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Benefits of Sheep Milk For Your Skin and Overall Health

Marie-Helene BelangerComment
Benefits of Sheep Milk For Your Skin and Overall Health

Like most kids who grew up in the 80s, I was raised drinking cow’s milk. It was not until three decades later that I tried sheep milk for the first time. Back in 2011 when we started our homesteading journey and welcomed our first sheep, I was pleasantly surprised to discover the many health benefits of sheep milk. Did you know that sheep milk contains double the protein and calcium than cow or goat milk? It is also richer in vitamins A, B, and E, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium. Another interesting thing about sheep milk is that the fat globules found in the milk are smaller than those in cow and goat milk, which makes it easier to digest. And how about the taste? Definitely the sweetest and creamiest milk I have ever drank! Sheep milk contains double the amount of fat in comparison to cow or goat milk and it has medium chain triglycerides that help the body in reducing high cholesterol levels. The high fat content in sheep milk makes it amazingly nourishing and moisturizing for your skin. Milk has been used for centuries as a beauty aid and has been praised for its skin healing benefits and anti-aging properties. Because of its high concentration of vitamins, minerals, protein, and butterfat, sheep milk is the premier choice to incorporate in your health and beauty regimen.

Benefits of Sheep Milk For Your Skin and Overall Health

Here at the Sheep Shop, we use milk from East Friesian sheep to make our line of luxurious skin care sheep milk products. Our rich and creamy soaps, sugar scrubs, fizzies, and bath soaks are made in small batches in our Vermont home with high quality and all-natural ingredients. All of our soaps and body care products will soften, nourish, moisturize, and rejuvenate your skin, giving it a healthy and youthful glow.

Please click here if you are ready to experience the sheep milk difference!

With love and gratitude,

Marie-Hélène


Welcome!

Marie-Helene Belanger
Welcome to the Sheep Shop!

My name is Marie-Hélène and I would like to welcome you to the Sheep Shop blog. I live in rural Vermont with my husband Marcial and our 7 year old son Marcialito. I hope to use this space to document our lives shepherding, homesteading, and creating unique and all-natural sheep products for this shop. I am excited to share about natural and sustainable living, gardening, decorating, cooking, organizing, mothering, self-care, and living in alignment with the seasons. Most of all, I aspire to use this platform to build community, to support and encourage one another, to share our knowledge and experiences, and to learn and grow along the way. I hope you will follow along on this journey and I am looking forward to connecting with you!

With love and gratitude,

Marie-Hélène