Common Questions

Have a question? Please feel free to contact me. I do my best to respond to each e-mail I receive, but don't hold your breath, sometimes it takes me a few weeks or months. (If your question is date-sensitive I will try to respond in a more timely manner.)

Alternately, please ask your question in the relevant post's comments section and I will respond to that comment or sometimes even write a post dedicated to that question.


  • Do you need special tools to make soap? Where do you buy supplies? I've answered these questions and more in How to Make Simple Soap Video and 4 Steps to Making Homemade Soap.
  • What if the soap doesn't turn out? In all my seven or eight years of soap making I've had a couple failures, this is one. I turned that one into dish soap (it was too caustic to use straight on our skin in the shower). Alternately, I've also grated failed batches to use for laundry soap. Although soap making is a scientific process it's also a bit of an art, at least for me. You never know exactly how it will turn out, but that's the beauty of it.
  • Do you sell your soap? Not usually.

Please see How to Make Soap for all my how-to related soap posts.


  • What kind of camera do you have? In 2008 we bought our first SLR camera, a Nikon D300 and a couple lens. You can read about the camera and lenses here. I loved that camera. After a few years of lugging that heavy equipment on our hikes and backpacking trips, we purchased a lighter camera - the Sony NEX5, specifically for our outdoor pursuits. In the fall of 2013 we sold both those cameras, downsizing to a Sony NEX6 with two lenses; the 16-70mm f/4 zoom lens and the 50mm f/1.8 fixed focal length lens. Generally, I use the zoom lens for outdoor and landscape photography and the 50 mm fixed lens for indoors and poor-lighting situations. All our thru-hike photos and the photos on the blog from October 2013 forward are taken with that camera. I have been very happy with the Sony NEX6 and both lenses.
  • What kind of entry level camera do you recommend? I honestly can't heartily recommend a particular brand or model since I don't do the camera research in our home. I have been happy with both the Nikon and our Sony cameras.
  • How do you take photos with blurry backgrounds, make images pop, etc? I haven't written much about that specifically because that's not my "focus" here. I have a getting started with photography post and you can find all my few and far between photography posts here. There are many photography how-to resources on the web. Here's a few I recommend:

Blogging "Business"

  • Will you review my product? I accept some advertising and product reviews on FIMBY. Please read my advertising page for more details.
  • Can I use your photo? Well, that depends. Mostly yes. Please read my copyright for more information. Contact me if you aren't sure. 


I write a lot about creativity because it is one of my core values. Over the years I have received questions from moms asking me how to make time for personal creativity.

I wrote a small e-book to answer that question. Nurturing Creativity: A Guide for Busy Moms is a book of encouragement, inspiration and practical ideas for how to make time for creativity in your life as a busy mom.

The following posts are about encouraging your child's creativity specifically.

What do you do with all your kids' craft projects? I answer that very common question in this post

Did you teach your children to be crafty, draw, and make art? How do I teach my kids that? Yes and no. And I don't know (smile). For a more thorough answer see this post and also Raising Kids that Craft (or Not).

When did your your kids start sewing? Did you teach them? I answer those questions in this comment. I also remember Celine was given a Klutz sewing book one year and that was very instructive in hand sewing basics.

Please see Creativity & Crafts Homeschool Resource Page for more creativity inspiration.

Family & Kids Outdoors

The most common questions I've received over the years are how do you get your kids to do all that hiking? and specific clothing and gear we recommend for family hiking.


Please see Homeschool Help for posts on why and how we homeschool.

This post has affiliate links.

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