Archive for November, 2011

Thankful Guest Blog Winner!

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011
I am pleased to announce the winner for the Thankful Themed Guest Blogger Challenge. This was a hard theme to choose a winner but after a long discussion and vote tallying, we made up our minds.

Mesha, you are the winner for the Thankful theme! I’ll be contacting you shortly about your $100 gift certificate.

One thing that I noticed about all of the entries was that the writers were thankful for their families. This was very touching to read the stories and be reminded that I was thankful for my own family. Thank you to all of you who contributed entries! I hope to see more from you.

Don’t forget! We are taking submissions through Friday for blog posts on Charity!

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Patience Guest Blogger ~ Cindy

Tuesday, November 29th, 2011
I am excited to share with you our second guest blogger this week. I hope you enjoy her story and don’t forget to vote for the guest blog winner of the week! Also, don’t forget to enter your story for a chance to win a $100 MMS gift certificate! Don’t miss out on this amazing deal! Next weeks theme is charity. I hope to see your story!Taylor

 

This time of year has been an especially unique one. My youngest daughter has been pregnant with twin boys and it has been so hard to be patient in order for things to progress far enough for her to be delivered. She went in on November 18th and had a C-Section. We were headed down to see her when we got a call. One of the babies did not make it. Oh how I cannot even begin to describe the empty and sad feeling that this left for us! We had to travel about 3.5 hours to see her and her husband. During that time all we could think of was how we wanted to be there to help comfort and love our family. We went down with the idea that we would only be down there for a couple of days, but ended up staying nearly a whole week.

 

During the time spent with my daughter and her family, we learned that patience indeed is not a virtue that comes easily. We wanted to see our new little grandson (Charlie) but had to wait as he was in the NICU. We also learned just how thankful we truly are for wonderful family, friends, and professional staff who were all so loving and supportive during a difficult time for everyone. We cried, we laughed, and we just enjoyed each other’s company and the love that we felt. This whole experience made us realize just how short life is and it caused us to hug a little longer, love a whole lot more, appreciate each other more, and let the small stuff go by the wayside a bit more.

 

We also learned that when you have these “feelings” that you should perhaps pack more clothing, and toiletries, you should listen to that little voice. We got down there and had so soap, no shaving cream or razors, no lotion, and ran out of clothing. Because we were staying at a hotel, we didn’t have easy access to washing our clothing; so we purchased some extra clothing and had to purchase toiletries which we have not had to do in over 12 years! Now, can I tell you that no matter how much marketing goes into saying how “wonderful” a product is, it doesn’t begin to compare with those that you make yourself! The lip balm was blasé, the lotion was sub-standard, and the soap, well even though the company that makes it calls it ¼ moisturizing cream, yeah right…even my worst bar is better than their bar…ugh!

 

So I have put together a little travel pack that has some disposable razors, and all of the toiletries that we need in order to be prepared: lip balm, herbal toothpaste, shampoo, soap, lotion, mouthwash, deodorant, and of course all of the things that I don’t make as well. This whole experience has helped me to see more of the big picture, and to appreciate the people at work who covered for me and for my husband, and to be excited to get back home to the hand made things that I make. It also made me realize that I should bring extra for others…my daughter needed some lip balm and of course I had none to give so my husband had to go and purchase some…that felt like the CEO of Ford Motor company purchasing a Chevrolet for his child. I know, a slight exaggeration, but I’m sure you see my point.

 

So my take on all of this? We all have wonderful talents, gifts, and things that we can appreciate and learn to be patient with as we grow along life’s journey. Don’t sweat the small stuff, because in the grand scheme of things, nothing compares to family. Enjoy every precious moment that you have, because you never know when life will take a detour and you may end up somewhere that you hadn’t planned. And even when life throws you a pile of manure, just laugh and keep on digging, because you just know there is a horse under that whole pile somewhere! May we all remember to be a little more kind to others, a little more patient with ourselves, and a little more forgiving especially during this special time of year!

 

Cindy

Our precious little Charlie; 5 pounds, 15 oz.

Our precious little Charlie; 5 pounds, 15 oz.

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Guest Blog Theme – Charity

Monday, November 28th, 2011
During this time of year, many of us give to a local food pantry or other causes for the holidays. Here at MMS, right before Thanksgiving and Christmas, we go grocery shopping for the local food pantry. That way local families can have some holiday favorites including turkey, ham, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, gravy, rolls and even pies. This a fun event we all look forward to. It gets somewhat chaotic as we are all shopping at the same time, laughing, talking and cheering. That leads me to the guest writers blog theme of this week. The theme is charity. 

Sometimes charity is helping a cause by donating goods or money but charity also includes the giving of time. Sometimes spending time with someone is the best gift one can give. What has the making of soap and other cosmetics and toiletries taught you about charity? What life lesson do you most appreciate about charity? Write your blogs and tell us! Submit them to blog@thesage.com and we will post them next week. The weekly winner gets a $100 MMS gift certificate. Don’t miss your chance at this great gift certificate!

 

Taylor

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Patience Guest Blogger ~ Judy

Monday, November 28th, 2011
I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe Thanksgiving holiday. I know I did. I got to spend time with friends and family. We played a puzzle that took all of us to solve. That was great! This week, the theme for our guest bloggers is patience. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite this week. The weekly winner receives a $100 MMS gift certificate! 

 

Taylor

 

One of our favorite holiday traditions is an exercise in patience.  My Norwegian grandmother, who passed away in 2009 at the age of nearly 102, made traditional Scandinavian cookies for the holidays, all of which are incredibly delicious and incredibly time consuming.  Sandkake, for example, are made by pressing dough into fluted tart tins painstakingly by hand to just the right thinness.  Krumkake, which she made only once a year, require the use of an iron placed on the stove top.  If you have ever made pizelle cookies, the equipment is similar.  You place a dollop of batter (equal parts by weight of butter, sugar, flour, and eggs augmented with freshly ground cardamom and almond flavor) in the center of the iron, close it, wait about thirty seconds to a minute, flip it, wait another thirty seconds, and then remove a delicately thin circle measuring about six inches across.  You then shift gears from patience to panic :!: as you must roll the cookie around a wooden dowel to form a cylinder before it hardens and crumbles.  And then you repeat the process.

 

This is not a process that can be rushed. As a child I looked forward to these cookies every year when we went to her house for holiday dinners.  As my grandmother aged, handling the iron became more difficult for her as it is made of cast iron and is quite heavy.  After my grandfather passed she moved out of her home into an apartment and she gave me her krumkake iron, which had been passed down from her mother.  It dates from the 19th century and is made of cast iron.  The inside is engraved with delicate tracery and the patina of over a century of use.  The outside is blackened from over a century of cooking grease.  It is one of my most treasured possessions.  During the last few years of her life, I made krumkake for her.  Towards the end her mind wasn’t very clear but she knew and recognized those cookies.

For me, these cookies are emblematic of patience.  When I think of her and her long life and its many struggles, they are indelibly linked with these krumkake.  When I make them every year for my own children, I feel connected to her.  And the fact that you can’t make them slowly, requires me to slow down during a very hectic time of year.  Making them one at a time becomes a kind of meditative exercise, relaxing in its own way, and evocative of long-standing family traditions and of my grandmother.

I am still perfecting a soap recipe in her honor that is inspired by krumkake and evokes the scents of almond and cardamom.

Happy Holidays!

Judy

Judy and her Grandmother at 100!

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Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 24th, 2011
Hello. Andee and I just wanted to wish everyone a happy and safe Thanksgiving Day. Whether you are having turkey, ham, tofu, chicken, beef or fish for your Thanksgiving meal, I hope it brings enjoyment, laughter and a good time. Know that there is always someone, somewhere, thinking of you and wishing you all the best. Have a great holiday!

 

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Thankful Guest Blogger ~ Karie

Wednesday, November 23rd, 2011
Can you believe it? Thanksgiving is tomorrow! Wow! Where has all of the time gone? While you think of what you have to be thankful of, don’t forget to vote of the guest bloggers this week! In the mean time, allow me to wish you a happy and safe Thanksgiving.

 

 

Taylor

 

Like most of you, I have many things for which to be thankful. But the one thing for which I am most thankful it is not a THING at all. It’s my step son, Brandon.

 

You see, April 9, 2011 started out like any other beautiful Saturday. My husband and I had gone fishing on the Angelina River about 100 miles from our home. It’s very remote and cell phone signals rarely get through. So it wasn’t until late that afternoon on our way home that we finally got the message that our son had been in a serious accident. He was in critical condition as a result of a motorcycle crash and had sustained what we would later know is a traumatic brain injury.

 

He would spend the next five weeks in Neuro Intensive Care and surviving multiple brain surgeries to remove damaged tissue and blood clots. He would then be transferred to TIRR – the rehabilitation facility that you may recognize for treating Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford.

 

So what EXACTLY does all of this have to do with a blog on The Sage, you might be asking?

Well the good Lord knew what He was doing when He prompted me to place an order for a soap-making kit early in April. And, Him being God and all, He knew how much comfort I would take in learning to make soap. So it was no coincidence that two days after Brandon’s injury the package would arrive.

 

After it became clear that my step- son’s recovery would be measured in months and not days or weeks, I had to return to work while my husband stayed at the hospital bedside 3 hours away. Home alone after a long day at work, I lost myself in – you guessed it – soap making. The selection of fragrances and the choices of different oils. Finding a great lye calculator! (thank you Sage) Learning to swirl! Woo-hoo! It kept me sane. And let me feel a little bit of control at a time in my life when I most needed it.

 

Today, Brandon continues his recovery at home with his mother and has Outpatient Rehab therapy. We measure his progress by the new things he can do and do not focus on what he cannot. He’ll whip you at a game of dominoes, that’s for sure. And I continue to make soap. I have made approximately twenty five batches by now – some better than others as I am sure you can imagine.

 

So as we gather around our table this Thanksgiving, we think about how things might have ended very, very differently. And we are give thanks.

 

Karie Burnaman

Rapture Handcrafted Soaps



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Thankful Guest Blogger ~ Papa Soap

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2011
Our next guest blogger this week is Stan and Stel with Papa Soap. Don’t forget to vote for your favorite guest writer this week!

 

Taylor

 

Thankful: We are thankful for family. The love of family is what makes us who we are and what we strive to become.

As Granny and Papa we started our soap business only after playing around with making soap and only after one of our youngest grandchildren made the comment that he wanted to go home and take a bath with Papa Soap. This is where we began in July of this year and the reason for our business name.

Our children and our grandchildren are an active part of our family business. One of our sons gave us a web site and developed the site for us. They help us promote our business, name our soaps, give us ideas for our monthly web site promotions, and provide us the support and encouragement to make the best products that we can.

Granny takes a bar of soap and turns it into a craft masterpiece. We recently had an open house for family and friends to show off our craft and we had several of our grandchildren set up a table to sell their own homemade sweets and handmade goods. What a wonderful day it was. Another annual event that we share that is fast approaching is making cookies with the grandchildren to give to all of our friends and family and now we will be including soap in our gift baskets. Thank you for all you do for your customers.

Stan & Stel Galloway






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Guest Blog Theme – Patience

Monday, November 21st, 2011

This week is Thanksgiving. This is one of my favorite holidays. Family gathers round, we all talk, prepare food, play with the kids and have an afternoon nap. What joy! Have you ever heard “Those who break bread together are less likely to engage in animosity”? I really like this phrase because it is so true. Imagine a family reunion without food. Bickering would soon come into play and the day wouldn’t be so enjoyable. Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because we don’t give presents, we just give of ourselves.

Crimping the edges of the pie crust.

So, Thanksgiving gives me the next Guest Blog theme: PATIENCE. Turkeys don’t cook in 30 minutes or less. Pies won’t appear in 30 minutes or less. Thanksgiving is about garden harvests, joining as a team and sharing the bounty with others. What has soap or personal care products taught you about patience this year? What do you enjoy the most in your “life lessons” on patience?

Go ahead! Write your blogs. Submit them to blog@thesage.com and we will post them next week. The weekly winner gets a $100 MMS gift certificate.

Enjoy!

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Thankful Guest Blogger ~ Mesha

Monday, November 21st, 2011

The first guest blogger we have this week is Mesha. She emailed in for our blog challenge and told us what she is thankful this season. What a treat. I hope you enjoy her story and don’t forget to participate in our guest blogger challenge. Each guest writer who wins that week gets a $100 gift certificate! Don’t miss out on your entry and don’t forget to vote for your favorite entry! In the mean time, let me turn the time and spotlight over to Mesha.

Taylor

 

 

So this year in starting up a new business making soap I learned a ton about being thankful.

First off without the encouragement and crazy idea of my dear friend and business partner the whole thing would have never gotton off the ground as I would have never had the courage to make such a leap all on my own. Even better is how her and I have learned to work together and become close as sisters. The camaraderie I share with her is something I truly treasure.

 

 

Now one would thing a new sister friend would be plenty to be thankful of but I have watched each and everyone one of my family members step up and show their support for me in this new endeavor.

Poor Dear hubby spends weekends alone while I go off to work at my new hobby, eating nasty man concocted food and wearing dirty socks because I was to occupied with making soap to do laundry. He has also tried every bar including the flowery ones and swore it was the best he ever sniffed- even the pine one I can’t give away it smells so much like old mop water.

Then the kids have also been such troopers eating said man food. They have really got into Mom’s new hobby too.

 

Danni has taken on the tittle of professional soap cutter. The girl never has time for anything in her whirl of social activity but tell her you got a loaf to cut and she can’t wait to get out the choppy thing as she calls it. The wavy one is her favorite- go figure-lol.

Nicky-well I can’t say enough about her commitment to making this work. She is full of ideas and pointers to help us ell better. Most of all though when the deadline crunched near preparing for our first sale she was right there with me up all night working her but off making artsy signs for me. Even more she was there with me working the sale the next day from dawn to dusk hauling big tubs of equipment and soap around, stringing tarps into a tent and saving us from sudden rainstorms.

 

 

She did it all with a smile on her face too and kept my spirits up with her words of encouragement- now I thought that was my job! She really impresses me with her work ethic.

Then there is Mom who sells her bars of soap I give her to her neighbors for me. She also is there for me with her RV willing to go to any sales event I can come up with it just so that we can spend time together. She was so cute going around with a jar of my lotion drumming up sales by getting everyone to sample it. I really treasure this new way we have found of spending time together.

 

 

Yup! Soap making has helped me be more thankful for my family :)

Mesha

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Freebie Friday!

Friday, November 18th, 2011
Today is Freebie Friday! I have been so excited to share this particular Freebie Friday because today we are featuring some of our bases! Wahoo! Today, it is snowing here in Cache Valley and on snow days, one of my favorite things to do is to test new products on myself. (Hehe.) Everyone needs a self soothe and pamper day. Today, we have sample for everyone. Let’s take a look at the samples being released today! 

The first base on our list today is our Bubble Bath Base. This base is fun to use because it uses water based colors beautifully and is so easy to fragrance. This is definitely a base that brings out the inner child or make bath time great fun for kids. Do you want to see a really cool project Andee did creating bubble bath paints? Check out her blog post! You are sure to enjoy!

 

Next on our list today is our Shaving Cream Base. Now this is not your average soapy shaving cream. In fact, it isn’t soapy at all! This shaving cream base protects, glides and conditions your skin. Don’t worry about that dreaded razor burn, you are protected from those shape blades. Plus, you can scent the shaving cream with anything you desire. Could this get any better?!

 

With winter weather coming and making skin dry and worse for wear, it is nice to have a jar of cream on hand. Try our Body Cream Base to keep you and your family’s skin soft, supple and hydrated. Try this Minty Foot Cream recipe that Treva posted. Just remember to reduce the usage rate of the Peppermint Essential Oil. With maybe a little luck, you just might get a foot massage too!

 

The last base on our list today is our Shower Gel Base. This base is clear, cleansing gel with a smooth creamy lather. I recently made a a bottle using the Shower Gel Base, our new Woodland Ice fragrance Oil and our water soluble colors. It was green in color and though I did not use much color at all, it was eye catching and brilliant! Wow! Try this fantastic base today!

 

Now don’t forget to request one of these bases in your next order! You won’t want to miss out. I will be sending 250 samples of each base down to the shipping department. Enjoy and have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!

Taylor

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