Sue’s Cupboard – Simply Luxurious Cocoa-Mint Lip Balm

PeppermintSue e-mailed in asking for help to create an easy lip balm recipe that she could put together and give away as gifts. Her request? “Can you make a nice chocolate peppermint lip balm that feels luxurious, but doesn’t cost me an arm and a leg to make it?” Sue, I’m so excited to work on your challenge for you! I have the perfect recipe to share with you and I’m sure you will love it!

Collect needed items:

Ingredients
Beeswax
Castor Oil
Peach Kernel Oil
Cocoa Butter
Refined Shea Butter
Peppermint Essential Oil
Sugar Baby Flavor Oil
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes
Lip Balm Tubes

Recipe: (Makes 100 grams or 3.53 ounces and fills 22 Black Lip Balm Tubes)

Recipe in ounces:
0.71 ounces Beeswax
0.35 ounces Castor Oil
0.95 ounces Apricot Kernel Oil
0.53 ounces Cocoa Butter
0.88 ounces Shea Butter, Refined
0.09 ounces Sugar Baby Flavor Oil
0.02 ounces Peppermint Essential Oil Oil
Recipe in grams:
20 grams Beeswax
10 grams Castor Oil
27 grams Apricot Kernel Oil
15 grams Cocoa Butter
25 grams Shea Butter
2.5 grams Sugar Baby Flavor Oil
0.5 grams Peppermint Essential Oil
Recipe in Percentages
20% Beeswax
10% Castor Oil
27% Apricot Kernel Oil
15% Cocoa Butter
25% Shea Butter
2.5% Sugar Baby Flavor Oil
0.5% Peppermint Essential Oil

Weigh all ingredients except the Peppermint Essential Oil and Sugar Baby Flavor Oil into your microwave safe container. Microwave in short bursts until all ingredients are melted. The beeswax will take the most time to melt, but if you stir the lip balm after the other oils have been heated, it will melt quickly. Once the mixture is melted, add the flavors . Stir until all of the flavor has been incorporated. Fill tubes or jars. Cool. Label.

Andee

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Betsy’s Cupboard – Gingerbread Sugar Scrub

Gingerbread Man
Gingerbread Man

Betsy emailed in asking for help formulating a Gingerbread Sugar Scrub. She had found a recipe on Pinterest that she liked the look of but it called for using vanilla extract and kitchen spices. This is her request. “Can you help me do something that doesn’t use my good cooking vanilla and spices? I want the scrub to look like gingerbread but I want to leave my spices for the real stuff. Can I add something to give the scrub an extra oomph?” Betsy, I can’t wait for this challenge. Let’s make a fabulous scrub that leaves your baking ingredients in the kitchen and not in your body care products.

Betsy’s cupboard contains mostly soaping oils.
Olive
Coconut
Shea
Palm
Soy
Sunflower
Apricot Kernel
Polysorbate 80
Liquid Germall Plus
Liquapar
Vanilla Bean Fiber
Luffa
and a variety of fragrance and essential oils.

I am going to use a combination of white sugar and brown sugar. This will give both color and exfoliation. Brown sugar is a little more gentle as it exfoliates the skin but it can also make the scrub feel sticky. We will be making a half and half mixture of sugar.

I will also be using Polysorbate 80. Polysorbate helps remove some of the oils, leaving just enough to be conditioning to the skin but not making it overly greasy.

Ingredients
White Granulated Sugar
Brown Sugar
Sunflower Oil
Shea Butter
Polysorbate 80
Gingerbread & Spice Fragrance Oil
Liquapar
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
75 grams White Granulated Sugar
75 grams Brown Sugar
56 grams Sunflower Oil
5 grams Shea Butter
16 grams Polysorbate 80
1 gram Gingerbread & Spice Fragrance Oil
2 grams Liquapar
Recipe in Ounces
2.65 oz White Granulated Sugar
2.65 oz Brown Sugar
1.98 oz Sunflower Oil
0.18 oz Shea Butter
0.56 oz Polysorbate 80
0.04 oz Gingerbread & Spice Fragrance Oil
0.07 oz Liquapar
Recipe in Percentages
32.6% White Granulated Sugar
32.6% Brown Sugar
24.3% Sunflower Oil
2.1% Shea Butter
6.9% Polysorbate 80
0.4% Gingerbread & Spice Fragrance Oil
0.8% Liquapar

 

Weigh the Sunflower and Shea Butter into a microwave safe container. Heat gently until the Shea Butter has melted. The mixture should only be mildly warm. Add the other liquid ingredients. Stir well making sure everything is incorporated. Add the white and brown sugar. Stir well. Package into jar and label. Enjoy!

Taylor

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Cupboard Creations – MMS Help

testingDo you ever get creators block? Formulators fatigue? Well, we are here to help. Send us a list of what is in your cupboard and we will help you create some goodies from what you have on hand. How easy is that?! We can help make Christmas gifts or just goodies for the sake of making goodies.

Just leave us a comment or send us a message here. We will get to you as promptly as possible so that you can get to the fun part of creating.

Taylor

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Stocking Stuffers – Chocolate Bacon Lip Balm

Finished Lip Balm
Finished Lip Balm

I love stuffing Christmas stockings with all kinds of goodies. Candies, trinkets and even really good gag gifts. However there are some years I am just lacking inspiration. Let’s call it creators block. This year, let me help you avoid creators block. Today we will be making Chocolate Bacon Lip Balm. Not only is it funny, it is useful! Be careful. You may have family members begging for more!

Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils

Though the flavor combination may sound strange, it has a very loyal following. If you want to try this recipe but don’t want Chocolate Bacon, choose from our large selection of lip balm flavor oils. This lip balm recipe is perfect for showcasing your favorite flavors. It is rich, creamy, smooth and so easy to make. If you can use a cake mix, you can make lip balm!

Ingredients
Castor Oil
Cherry Seed Oil
Peach Kernel Oil
Cocoa Butter
Beeswax
Avocado Butter
Chocolate Bacon Flavor Wax
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
44 grams Castor Oil
20 grams Cherry Seed Oil
20 grams Peach Kernel Oil
30 grams Cocoa Butter
40 grams Beeswax
40 grams Avocado Butter
6 grams Chocolate Bacon Flavor Wax
Recipe in Ounces
1.55 oz Castor Oil
0.71 oz Cherry Seed Oil
0.71 oz Peach Kernel Oil
1.06 oz Cocoa Butter
1.41 oz Beeswax
1.41 oz Avocado Butter
0.21 oz Chocolate Bacon Flavor Wax
Recipe in Percentages
22% Castor Oil
10% Cherry Seed Oil
10% Peach Kernel Oil
15% Cocoa Butter
20% Beeswax
20% Avocado Butter
3% Chocolate Bacon Flavor Wax

 

Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils

Weigh all of the fixed oils into a microwave safe container. If you are using the Chocolate Bacon Wax, add that now. If you are using a liquid flavor oil, do not add it until all of the oils are fully liquid. Heat the oils gently. Use 30-60 second bursts. This prevents you from super heating your oils. Super heated oils take a while to cool and can cause burns. Your safety is of the utmost importance. Once everything is melted and you have add your flavor oil, stir well.

Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils

From here, you can either pipette the mixture into your tubes or you can use a filling tray. I like to use a filling tray because they are simple and fast. I am particulary fond of this method when I will be making 50 or more tubes of lip balm. If you are using a filling tray, insert your tubes into your tray. Flood the tray with your melted lip balm. Allow the mixture to cool. Scrape off the excess. I like to use a plastic putty knife. Remove the tubes from the tray and cap.

Weighing Beeswax
Weighing Beeswax

If you are going to pipette the lip balm into the tubes, fill the tube until you get a dome of liquid material at the top. Wax shrinks when it cools and doing this helps insure that you get a very pretty top. Fill all of your tubes making sure they are domed on the top before they cool. (You may need to reheat your jar of lip solutions during this process. This is normal and to be expected.) Allow the tubes to cool and cap. This method is great if you are planning on only doing a few lip balm tubes at a time.

Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils

Now you can give your lip balm a pretty label or put it into a cute bag. Now stick it into your stockings! Happy holidays!

Taylor

 

 

Weighing Chocolate Bacon Flavor Wax
Weighing Chocolate Bacon Flavor Wax
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Recycling and Repurposing Containers from MMS

Crafting your own lotions, soaps and lip balms is extremely rewarding but what does one do with all of the extra containers?! Re-purpose them! Let me share with you just a few ways I reuse and re-purpose my containers.

My fancy pen holder
My fancy pen holder

Have a Lip Balm Base Jar hanging around? These jars are great for holding and storing little things. I have one that acts as a button jar, another that is a coin jar and yet another that holds paper clips. Here at work I use another jar to hold all of my pens and pencils. These glass jars are great!

 

My tea/drink mix holder
My tea/drink mix holder

Just emptied out a 16 oz jar of Shea Butter or other oil? These plastic jars are great for storing tea bags, brown sugar and other things in your cupboard. I even use one of the jars to store cornstarch. They are handy and durable. I never have to worry about crazy messes when it is in a jar versus a box. What do you store in yours?

Fantastic flour storage bucket!
Fantastic flour storage bucket!

Okay, so these smaller containers are are great for storing other materials but what about those big buckets that hold 25lbs of oil?! These are my favorite containers to put to use. I store flour, sugar, beans, corn grits and oatmeal in these containers. I love these containers because they allow to purchase things like flour and sugar in bulk without worrying how I am going to store it. I always know I will have a clean bucket on hand.

Are you ready to share how you repurpose your MMS containers? Tell us on Facebook, Twitter or Intagram using #TheSageRecycling. We want to see your photos! Hurry quick. All submissions made by December 12th 2014 get a chance to win an Extra Large Handmade Tray Mold. We will be giving away two of these wonderful molds. You must be an existing MMS customer to win.

Taylor

 

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Required By Dates

Sometimes we need to RUSH!
Sometimes we need to RUSH!
When ordering your products on our website do you ever wonder how the REQUIRED BY DATE box works? Our dialog with Rebecca helped us learn that some of you may have questions about this service. Rebecca wrote to us “I will mention that the ‘required by date’ field made me really nervous, it read like a blank check option.”

We don’t like writing blank checks and we imagine you don’t either! So, let me explain a few things you should know about our REQUIRED BY DATE box.

Choosing a required by date helps us get your order to you on time!
Choosing a required by date helps us get your order to you on time!
1) This box is a calendar and not a free text option. You choose the date and it is specific. Why not a text box? Because we have had people enter the date they are placing their order when the order is submitted at 11PM. Umm, sorry folks, we are not pizza delivery and while we think we can perform magic, we can’t perform this kind of magic.

2) The REQUIRED BY DATE box does not allow weekends. Since the majority of everything we ship goes UPS we honor their practice of delivery on Monday through Friday. UPS has so few delivery holidays that service is really pretty smooth. USPS has far more holidays but they also deliver Saturday. Consider Saturday USPS delivery a bonus day.

3) How will you know the costs of upgrade? Look at the costs with each delivery method. If you need Next Day Air then the costs will be shown to you during checkout. Costs associated with all delivery options (except freight truck) are shown in the Choose a Shipping Method step of checkout.

4) If we can get your order there without any upgrade (and no additional costs) we will. We try to spend your money as though it were our own. If you live in a area that has delivery in two days using ground shipping and you tell us to upgrade to 2nd Day Air, we won’t. We send it Ground. It gets there the same day.

5) UPS has a time in transit guarantee, USPS does not. USPS has a * and then a disclaimer stating that the average delivery is in 2-3 days. It is a rare package that leaves our facility going USPS Expedited Guaranteed. Most of you don’t live in these areas and if you do we find you aren’t happy with shipping rates anyway and are more likely to plan ahead. Why is it that folks who live in rural areas tend to be less stressed about time and those of us who live in dense cities live by a “New York minute”? If anyone has a cure for instant-itis I would love to hear it.

6) If your date is 2 weeks out, tell us that too. If UPS damages the package and we must reship then we ask for expedited services because you ordered in advance AND told us your requirements. We always get UPS to pay these charges when damages happen (which is rare) but by telling us of any requirements you open our options to replace your order faster.

7) We never hold orders to wait for your required by date, we just ship. If you need one held because you are traveling and you want it to arrive on the same day you get home then we can do that. Use the comments field to request a specific delivery date for when you are available. Remember, delaying a shipment for appropriate receiving dates is a far different service than having a REQUIRED BY DATE.

So, now you have 7 helpful hints to get your orders to you on specific days. We do understand RUSH shipments but we also know they eat up profits faster than anything else you can do. We try to choose wisely and make this a reliable, yet cost efficient, process.

Happy holidays!
Andee

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We are Officially Peanut Free!

It has always been very important to us that your packages arrive with no broken bottles, no leaking jugs so you can just start in on the fun of creating. In the past, the best way to insure that everything arrived in one piece was to use the dreaded packing peanuts. We are thrilled to announce we have found a new solution for getting your package to you safely – without using peanuts. Celebrate with us!

As you know our glass bottles have long been shipped in cardboard tubes. We now use the cardboard tube and some bubble film to protect from shifting and drops. This transition has helped us save some of our warehouse storage space for products and not for packaging. We are very thrilled to make this change. Hawaii, you can now recycle the bubble film with your regular recycling and you don’t need to worry about how to use/discard the packaging peanuts. Our new bubble film just needs a quick slash of a box knife to deflate the bubbles. Then the film goes into the recycling bin with other sheet plastics.

Did you know our damage in transit rate for all shipments (UPS and USPS) is 1 in 4000 boxes? This is an incredibly low number and is considered “non-existant’ in the world of shipping.

We strive to create packages of raw materials for your enjoyment. Receiving a damaged package is no thrill. This is why we induction seal, use strong (and reusable) packaging and protect easily damaged items with extra measures.

Tell us how you reuse your raw material containers and how thrilled you are that we are now peanut-free. Send photos for us to share or upload them to our Facebook page.

Cheers!
Taylor

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Room Spray with Spray Clear Emulsifier

Finished Spray
Finished Spray

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving and there are lots of things that need to be done. Pie needs to be baked, turkeys need to be brined and one last trip needs to be run to the grocery store.  Whew. That is quite the To-do list . Before we all get ready for our Thanksgiving feasts, I wanted to shared a very exciting new product with you! It is our Spray Clear Emulsifier.

Trimming the dip tube on the spray bottle
Trimming the dip tube on the spray bottle

This product lets you make clear sprays. Today, I wanted to share making a room spray. I will be using Lemon Sugar Fragrance Oil because I want a fresh, clean scent in my home. Andee has begged me to make her one with Christmas Tree Fragrance Oil. She wants her house to smell like fresh cut trees! I might have to trade a  room spray (or two) for one of her fabulous pies!

Ingredients
Lemon Sugar Fragrance Oil
Spray Clear Emulsifier
Water
Equipment
Scale
Mixing Container
Spoons
Pipettes
Trigger Spray Bottle

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
3.4 g Lemon Sugar Fragrance Oil
6.8 g Spray Clear Emulsifier
340.0 g Water
Recipe in Ounces
0.12 oz Lemon Sugar Fragrance Oil
0.24 oz Spray Clear Emulsifier
12 oz  Water
Recipe in Percentages
1% Lemon Sugar Fragrance Oil
2% Spray Clear Emulsifier
97% Water

 

Trimming the dip tube on the spray bottle
Trimming the dip tube on the spray bottle

Weigh the fragrance oil and Spray Clear Emulsifier into a container. Mix well and allow to sit for 5-15 minutes. Add room temperature water. (Hot water is more likely to create a cloudy spray.) Mix well. The product will be cloudy for a minute or two but it will clear out momentarily. If it does not clear out quickly, allow the mixture to sit for several days. The cloudy material will either sink to the bottom or rise to the surface. Decant the clear material and put into your spray bottle. Label and spritz!

Weighing Spray Clear Emulsifier
Weighing Spray Clear Emulsifier

Taylor

 

 

 

 

Adding Lemon Sugar Fragrance Oil
Adding Lemon Sugar Fragrance Oil

 

 

 

 

 

Starting to mix fragrance and emulsifier
Starting to mix fragrance and emulsifier

 

 

 

 

 

Mixture after sitting for 15 minutes
Mixture after sitting for 15 minutes

 

 

 

 

 

Adding Water
Adding Water

 

 

 

 

 

Mixing in water
Mixing in water

 

 

 

 

 

Room Spray clearing out
Room Spray clearing out

 

 

 

 

 

Pouring room spray into bottle
Pouring room spray into bottle
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Thanksgiving Shopping

Ready to shop!
Ready to shop!

Here in the United States we have so much to be thankful for. We are blessed to have many things that we consider to be basic – like clean water flowing from our taps. At MMS, we are grateful to all of our amazing customers who both inspire us and support us when we give to the community. Thank you for your support.

OchoBa helps select the best toys. Durability is a must!
OchoBa helps select the best toys. Durability is a must!

Every year the MMS staff does fun events to give to the community. We go shopping for a local organization in need. Right before Thanksgiving, we generally shop for the local food pantry. Unfortunately they were hosting a huge fundraiser the only day we were able to go shopping. So we elected to shop at PetSmart for our local pet shelter!

Bob thinks collars are great.
Bob thinks collars are great.

We grouped up into teams of two. Every team had fifty dollars to spend for items for the Cache Humane Society Animal Shelter. The challenge? Spend as close to fifty dollars with the least change back and not going over budget. Boy, talk about everyone using a calculator.

 

Watson doesn't want to pause in his treat selecting.
Watson doesn’t want to pause in his treat selecting.

We had such a great time. Every team got to take a dog through the store. Our canine friends were great helpers. (They were also on their best behavior. Talk about great dogs.)They helped choose the most stylish collars, sturdiest leashes and sniff out the best brands of dog food. We even had help selecting grooming products! What fun!

 

Gracie looks at vitamins while the humans look at shampoo.
Gracie looks at vitamins while the humans look at shampoo.

As Christmas approaches, we ask that you join us in giving back. It can be time, money or things, but it should be for a cause that makes you feel good. The day after Christmas is known as Boxing Day. This is the day were we collect things that we no longer use or need then donate it. Whether it is donating to a shelter, church group or non-profit thrift store. Big or small, YOU make a difference.

Team Finished

 

Finished with our shopping adventure!
Finished with our shopping adventure!
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Thanksgiving Holiday Schedule

ThanksgivingThis week is Thanksgiving, a time to spend with family. We will be closed Wednesday afternoon so that our staff can prepare for the holiday. There are pies to bake, turkeys to brine and families to visit.

We will also be closed Thursday and Friday. We will be back in the office Monday morning making sure that your orders get shipped. If you need an order shipped this week, you are running out of time. Get it submitted soon! We will be trying to ship everything through Tuesday evening by Wednesday noontime. Any orders placed after Tuesday at midnight will not be shipped until the following week. Thank you for your understanding and have a great and safe Thanksgiving.

Taylor

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Thoughts and ideas from the world of Majestic Mountain Sage.