Monday, February 22, 2010

say no to jiggly arms!

Yes, I have them. Don't like them, but I have them. I was told about the Tracy Anderson Method recently and shown a video of Gwyneth Paltrow demonstrating it on her GOOP website. Have you heard of Goop? I hadn't. All these amazing things and I had no idea?! Guess it's time to come out from under the rock! lol

Check it out HERE. It's interesting. You'll see an array of moves, mostly with the upper body/arms that mimic moves you'll see in swimming, martial arts, dance, volleyball, and tennis, to name a few.

Goop, btw is an ambiguous term thought of by Gwyneth that can mean anything or absolutely nothing.



Friday, February 12, 2010

soap cakes & wedding favors

Brides are busy little bee's preparing for their upcoming weddings! So, we've been cooking up some soapalicious wedding favors in honor of the blushing bride~

These organic handmade soaps are absolutely adorable in a cute little custom printed cake box with a bow. It makes the wedding favor memorable and is something everyone will use.

All of our soap cakes are made with pure organic oils and are also extra skin loving from the heaping dollop of fair trade, organic cocoa butter we hand stir into each batch.

Here we have a mini cheesecake (soap cake) with roses on top. Each slice weighs approximately 2.5 oz.

Or a perfect shower favor...a slice of organic soap that looks good enough to eat! This is our Ring of Roses soap cake. We get about 20 or so, 3.5 oz slices in this size cake.

And last, but not least...our Simply Scrumptious Chocolate soap cake. Rich milk chocolate swirls around a layer of warm, buttery vanilla. Oh if only you had a scratch-n-sniff screen!!!! It's kinda yummy! :)

From wedding favors to bridal or baby showers, all of our soap cakes can be custom designed and scented based on individual needs.

peace~love~and wedding bells,

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

be mine, valentine

"If I could reach up and hold a star for every time you've made me smile, the entire evening sky would be in the palm of my hand." -Unknown

Some super cute ideas for your Valentine~ :)

Heart in the hole, eggs & toast. Get recipe here!

Or how about a Sweetheart Valentine Cake? Get recipe here!

Or what about a Love Letter? I may do this! ;)

Here's an adorable cuppycake song for you my sweets! XOXO


Tuesday, February 9, 2010

cream soap tutorial

*photo taken from Cream Soap Naturally e-book cover

Or my adventures with cream soap, I should say! ;)

If you are considering making cream soap, here are a few necessary steps that will help make your journey with cream soap a success!

1. Join the cream soap group on yahoo.

2. Download the cream soap bible aka Cream Soap Naturally; an e-book full of the exact steps you need to take to make cream soap...and what NOT to do.

3. Order some KOH (potassium hydroxide) which is different from our sodium hydroxide lye. I found mine here, at Essential Depot or you can order at, but ED has better prices.

4. Order a small bottle of Phenolphthalein. This is what you use to test the pH of your cream soap. I found mine at the *you only use a drop to test, so the smallest bottle will last for years.

Ok, you'd be ready to go. Well, after reading the handbook, you're ready to make a small batch of test soap. Not to resell....just to get use to the making and finished product of cream soap.

I'm using a recipe I found in the recipes section of the cream soap yahoo group. **Sorry, I had a recipe posted, but is considered infringement of the cream soap groups rules, so you will have to go thru the steps and join the group, then find a recipe that you can follow along with.**

Always remember, Safety First when working with lye. I wore a long sleeved shirt, gloves and goggles while making this soap.

Get all of your ingredients out and ready....

I measured my stearic acid out in a bowl.

I then transferred to a pot and melted it on the stove top. Doesn’t take long…so watch it as it melts.

I weighted out my oils and used the stove top on low.

I then weighed out my distilled water in a plastic pitcher.

I weighed out my potassium hydroxide and sodium hydroxide, pouring each right on top of the other. The KoH sounds like glass when you pour it, interesting....

Pour the lyes into the water in a well ventilated area.
Stir the water until it’s all dissolved and the water is clear.

I added the lye solution to my melted oils to the pot on the stove. I then used my stick blender and started blending. The consistency changed from liquid to a lumpy
mashed potato texture.

I continued blending on high and start to see more changes to the consistency, now it's like a thick syrup or honey.

I stopped blending with a stick blender and went to a hair stir with a big spoon.

I placed the lid on my pot and put in a 250 degree PREHEATED oven.

Air will get trapped and it will inflate the soap, so you will need to stir it regularly to turn it over. You'll notice the soap will start to become like a solid blob and will start to use the technique called "chunking" which takes some elbow grease.

Check you soap about every 30 minutes. Lots of babysitting here! lol
Stir or "chunk" it down and continue to cook.

My soap has been cooking of a little over 1.5 hours. It looks clear with a yellow tinge to it. I start to test the soap with the phenol at this point.

I take a little bit of the raw soap out, add the recommended amount of Phenol and mine was pink (not finished), so back in the oven to cook!

I weigh out my super-creaming ingredients and add to my soap

I add the mixture to my soap, stir and put the lid back on and back in the oven

Once my soap was finished, I turned the heat off and removed from the oven to cool.

I covered mine with saran wrap and stuck it in the fridge overnight to cool.

The next day, wow! It's opaque and looks like really thick mashed potatoes!

Give it a good stir and voila! It's starts to look creamy!

Day 5, after stirring.

So, that's the status of the cream soap. It's day 5 and I only have....oh, about 5 weeks to go! lol

This stuff needs to 'rot' aka cure to become the smooth and creamy I will keep you posted!

I hope this tutorial has been helpful and/or encouraged you to take the cream soap challenge, where fluffy clouds of cream soap and fabulous shave creams await! :)

peace~love and learning,

Saturday, February 6, 2010

oats & honey organic soap

This latest batch of our oats & honey turned out lovely. I can breathe again! lol
It's made with coconut milk, organic soybean oil, organic coconut oil, organic olive oil, organic fair trade cocoa butter, organic palma christi oil and topped with whole oats and the smell.....warm and inviting!

We've also made up a few prototypes for clients. Two are Italian inspired for a conference where they will be cut into 1.75 oz bars and go into goody bags:

The first is the cannoli.....Smelling of freshly baked yumminess, slathered in chocolate, cream, toasted nuts and topped with a vanilla cream, chocolate chip stuffed layer.

The second is inspired by the Limoncello liquor. It smells of sweet sugared lemons and we've topped off with a shiny golden cork to boot!

On another note....did I mention I'm making CREAM SOAP?! It's an adventure! :) Pictures and tutorial to come within the next few days. One thing is for sure, it IS a labor of love!



Thursday, February 4, 2010

soap making supplies

This is a list of soap making tutorials, soap supplies, lye calculators, soap history and soap recipes that you may find beneficial.

If you're new to soaping, not all lye calculators are created equal, meaning, they each have different formulations for your lye & water amounts. You'll find, some are more suited for cp (cold process) soaps while others tend to make a more firm hp (hot process) bar.

Happy soaping!

CP (cold process) soap tutorials:
The Soap Bar
Soap Making Essentials

CP (cold process) soap swirl tutorials:
Nizzy Moulds
Soap Queen

CP (cold process) whipped soap tutorials:
Nizzy Moulds

HP (hot process) soap tutorials:
Teach Soap

Soap mold ideas:
Nizzy Moulds

Soap cutters:
Nizzy Moulds
Willow Way

M&P (melt & pour) soap tutorials
Teach Soap
Go Planet Earth

Other recipes:
Cuticle Butter
Salt Bars

Lye calculators for cp soap:
The Sage
Soap Calc

Lye calculators for cp & liquid soap:
Summer Bee Meadow
Snow Drift Farm

Lye calculator for cp/hp/liquid or cream soap:
Snow Drift Farm

Common Soapmaking terms:
Cibaria Soap Supplies

Soap History:
Alca Soft

Fragrance oil info:
Fragrance Oil Finder
Scent Forum

Glossary soap terms
Alca Soft

Atlantic Spice
SF Herb
The Sage
Creative Fragrances
Sweet Cakes
The Chemistry Store
Elements Bath & Body
Symphony Scents
Soapers Choice aka Columbus Foods
TKB Trading
Camden Grey
Scent Works
Peak Candle
From Nature With Love
Lotion Crafter
Snow Drift Farm
PV Soap
Essential Wholesale

Scent Forum
Craft Server
Soap Making Forum
Teach Soap


Wednesday, February 3, 2010

neon rose bud

Wasn't supposed to be yellow/orange NEON rosebud...but cest la vie.

This is what happens when you think you're clever and mix the soap colorant in with the lye water, which turned a lovely shade of pink and little ol' me thought..."oh that will be pretty" well.......not so much. It's not disgustingly horrible, but trust me, the neon color is not really coming thru in the photo and it's pretty neon! lol It smells lovely, it just looks strange.

I had to share. DO NOT add your colorant to the lye water. It morphs and cp soap can be morphy all on it's own.

So, 8 lbs of neon rosebud sitting here! It's nice when an 'oopsie' can turn into a different 'I mean't to do that' soap, but this is a little more challenging!

peace~love~and always learning,

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

oh no they didn't!

Scrumptious and simply SINFUL! You know what?? SHAME ON US! This stuff is too good! :) It is actually pretty yummy! Even our number one tester, little Mr. Michael says so and he's 7 and is BRUTALLY honest about things ;)

First is our Neapolitan Ice Cream Parfait Sugar Scrub
Layers of scrumptious strawberry, warm vanilla and creamy chocolate in an awesome sugar scrub. Not at all greasy, but leaves your skin buttery soft and squeaky clean.

Then...why stop now we asked? "No, lets go for it!" exclaimed Nichol aka Soap Girl..and so we did. You can blame her.

Chocolate Raspberry Roll Lotion.
Really????? Now....this stuff. OMG. Literally makes you want to lick it. But don't!
It's that good. Smells SOOOOOO good (scientifically speaking) you're brain must register it as FOOD and you get the urge to eat it. FIGHT this, you must, because eating lotion is 'not a good thing' as Martha would say.

Lastly, after many emails and threats of a lynch mob, we've brought our beloved Sugar Cookie scent back. It was supposed to be a holiday fragrance, but fate would otherwise decide....."um...NO!" So, it's repackaged and back up on the Etsy sales block. Soon will be joined by the sugar cookie buttercream sugar scrub too.

You can find all these and more at our Etsy shop.

Ok, enough blathering about products! :)

Until next time...

peace~love~and MUCH happiness!