All posts by Andee

I'm a twenty something soap snob. I've grown up with hand made soaps and I love them! I really like making melt and pour soaps because they are so easy. My favorite scent is either Velocity or Cotton Candy. I tend to hoard fragrances, I even have an Earl Grey Tea from the MMS catalog. I won't tell you how old it is, but it sure is good!

The Easy Tricks of Making Dual Color Lip Balms

Do you ever wake up in the middle of the night because you dreamed of the coolest thing ever that you have to make? This dual color lip balm is the most recent project of mine that has woken me up in the middle of the night. Let me show you a tantalizing picture!

The Dual Color Lip Balm!
The Dual Color Lip Balm!

You probably looked at that and instantly thought, “Wow! That is so cool! I bet it required a fancy tool to make it.” I promise that it is much easier than it looks and you will impress every person who opens a tube of this lip balm. To make this tutorial easier, I’m using the Shea Butter Lip Solutions and the Big Lip Balm Tube. Feel free to use your favorite lip balm recipe and your favorite container!

Continue reading The Easy Tricks of Making Dual Color Lip Balms

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Doggy Dozen Products for February 2016!

It’s the 20th of January and it is time to start thinking about the February list for the Doggy Dozen Program!

PawPrintFor me, picking the list for the Doggy Dozen is like going to the bookstore and being told I can only buy a certain number of books. It makes the decision extremely difficult! I hope you enjoy these 12 items that I picked with the theme of Valentine’s Day, fun, and puppy love in mind. If you are like me, you have a dog or cat that you love to cuddle with and what better reason to celebrate that love? If you don’t have a furry friend to cuddle with, I’d recommend checking out your local no-kill shelter to find a new furry best friend! Ready for the list of products that will help dogs and cats? Drum roll please!

  • Mini Lip Balm Tubes in Ivory and White
    • The Mini Lip Balm Tubes are a staff favorite! The best part about these tubes? If you buy a 100 pack, you will auto-magically receive a filling tray specifically for these tubes!
  • Red Pearl Lip Balm Tube Caps
  • 2 oz Round Base Jars
    • This jar is one of my favorites for traveling. I love the classy appearance and it even makes a great set when paired with the 1/2 oz Jar. Don’t forget to pick your favorite lids!
  • Cantaloupe Flavor Oil
    • This sensual flavor might be overlooked in it’s seeming ordinariness, but it is well worth trying! We love keeping this one in our pockets to have sunshine for our lips at any time.
  • Honey Flavor Oil
    • It may be cold outside, but nothing warms the soul quite like honey! If you want to try something different, pair this delectable flavor with Lemon, Cinnamon or even Cheesecake to make a unique lip balm!
  • Cabana Boys Fragrance Oil
    • If you dream of tropical beaches and pineapple beverages, try Cabana Boys to be swept away to the world of your dreams! Perfect for any summer product line.
  • Cotton Candy Fragrance Oil
    • Teens, move over! Cotton Candy isn’t just for kids and teens anymore!  This fragrance is perfect as a room freshener because you can’t tell what the fragrance is, just that it smells clean, fresh and sweet. This is my favorite fragrance for the guest bathroom that I want to keep smelling nice.
  • Energy Fragrance Oil
    • If you know someone who isn’t a morning person, this is the perfect fragrance for their morning routine. Scent lotions, soaps, and even room sprays with this fabulous fragrance and they might be a little more chipper in the mornings!
  • Relaxation Fragrance Oil
    • At the end of a long day, I just want to lounge around the house and massage aching muscles with lotion. This fragrance is appropriately named because every time I smell it, I just want to find my slippers.
  • Echinacea Extract
    • This unique extract is great for skin and hair care applications. I have a few lotions that I want to make with this extract, but you should beat me to it!
  • Rocket Red Day-Glo Color
    • If you need a bright cheery color, try Rocket Red. This color truly looks like the “rocket’s red glare”!
  • Alkanet Root Powder
    • If you love using botanicals for coloring your soap, then Alkanet Root Powder is perfect for you! Blend it with Activated Charcoal to get a classic mauve colored soap.

Don’t forget! There are a few more days to get your hands on the January Doggy Dozen Products!

Enjoy!

Andee

P.S. Supporting local programs like Four Paws is fun. Check your local yellow pages for a shelter or rescue group. Find a friend to bring home or help support them with time, services or donations. They truly value every little bit!

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Love the Doggy Dozen? Show us your love!

I’ve been loving the comments we have gotten about the Doggy Dozen program. Now I’d like to challenge you to show us what you do with the products that are part of the program.

PawPrintTag us on your favorite social media with #thesage and #doggydozen to share pictures of your pets, products or recent orders including Doggy Dozen products!

Remember 20% of the purchase price goes to Four Paws, so you can stock your supply shelves and help dogs and cats in need.

There is still a little bit of time for you to pick up items from the January Doggy Dozen list before the month ends. Here is the list to remind you of the awesome products on it.

I can’t wait to see your #DoggyDozen tags!

Andee

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January 2016 Soap Challenge Club at Great Cakes Soapworks!

It’s time for another Soap Challenge Club over at Great Cake Soapworks! Amy is sharing her tutorial for Elaine Wright’s version of the Circling Taiwan Swirl. These challenges are lots of fun, a great way to learn a few new techniques, a chance for meeting soapmakers from around the world and getting inspiration for your next soaps!

Inside piece of Circling Taiwan Swirl
Inside piece of Circling Taiwan Swirl
As the sponsor for experienced soapmakers (making soap for over 2 years), we are giving away the following prizes; a $100 gift certificate for the grand prize, $75 gift certificate for 2nd place, $50 gift certificate for 3rd place, and $25 gift certificate for Sponsor’s Choice.

Circling Taiwan Swirl by Great Cakes Soapworks
Circling Taiwan Swirl by Great Cakes Soapworks
To join, you just need to have a basic understanding of cold-processed soapmaking. If you are ready to join, you will need to register and pay a small fee of $6.95 and you will gain access to the private area where you will be able to read instructions and watch the instructional video. Everyone who documents the making and final reveal of their soap and then shares it on the link-up will be eligible to win any of the prizes!

You don’t have much time to sign up! Join today because this challenge looks like fun!

Deadlines (all will occur at 2:00pm CST):
January 4-11, 2015 – This registration will be OPEN
January 20-23, 2015 – Link-up for submissions will be OPEN
January 24-26, 2015 – Voting will be OPEN
January 27, 2015 – Winners will be contacted!

register-now

Andee

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We’re Making 2016 the Year of the Berry!

Despite the snow falling, I’m looking forward to the new and exciting things that 2016 will bring. Since I have to share to excitement for the new year, I’m sharing with you that we’ve declared 2016 to be the year of the berry.

It's the year of the berry!
It’s the year of the berry!

You may be asking “Which berry?” All of them! We want to celebrate the fabulously fruity scents that cheer the soul.

Our R&D Team has been searching for new flavors and fragrances to match our berry theme, but those aren’t the only ones they have been looking for. Keep an eye on the New Products section for all the fun additions throughout the year.

In the meantime, can I entice you with some of our favorite berry scents and flavors?

Blackberry Pomegranate Flavor Oil: This flavor was released to the blog first and you, our fabulous readers, adored it! Since we have added this flavor to the catalog, it has been a strong seller and one of our most popular flavors. This is a unisex berry flavor for all ages!

Strawberry Swirl Flavor Oil: Strawberries are one of my favorite berries and I love our Strawberry Swirl. I think mixing it with Cheesecake or Chocolate Cream turns this yummy flavor into something decedent. Here’s a bonus! For the month of January, it is part of our Doggy Dozen Program!

Huckleberry Fragrance Oil: These little berries are a treasure. While they are definitely worth the hike, we’ve bottled them into a fragrance that will have your customers salivating over this special fragrance! Pick up a bottle today!

Raspberry Fragrance Oil: Just through Logan Canyon is Bear Lake. This area grows some of the sweetest raspberries I’ve ever had and the tourists flock to Bear Lake for the raspberry harvest in August. If you haven’t ever had a fresh raspberry shake, you’re missing out. Don’t worry! Our Raspberry is the aroma of fresh, sun warmed raspberries and you will think you are in heaven.

Red Grape & Blueberry Fragrance Oil: I can’t rave enough about this spectacular fragrance. Don’t let the description scare you away, this fruity fragrance has a fresh berry scent without smelling like a cloyingly sweet candy.

Enjoy the year of the berry with us! I can’t wait to share more with you!

Andee

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Clary’s Show & Tell Soap Molds

Clary sent an e-mail a little while back with pictures of soap molds that her husband had made for her and I asked if I could share these pictures with our readers. She happily agreed and even sent information about the molds and more pictures. I hope you find her perspective on an easy soap mold helpful! We’ve had our own wood soap molds that were made in 2010 and they work well! Find your local handyman(woman) and bribe him(her) with some soap.

Clary's finish soap molds.
Clary’s finish soap molds.
Just wanted to brag on my new soap molds that my husband just made for me. They are fully collapsible! I’m proud of how functional and practical these molds are.

Molds collapsed for storage.
Molds collapsed for storage.
Here’s the story: I had showed my husband photos of some wood molds that collapsed using lots of hinges and pins. He thought he could come up with something a bit less cumbersome to both make and store when not in use.

Assembled mold for a smaller batch.
Assembled mold for a smaller batch.
These are what he came up with for me and they work like a charm. The molds are fully collapsible AND adjustable. Just position the little end pieces and straps with turnbuckles wherever you want them between the bottom and side boards.

Close up of the turnbuckle and webbing holding the mold together.
Close up of the turnbuckle and webbing holding the mold together.
The molds are a bit fiddly to put together the first time or two, but really, it’s not a big deal, esp. in light of the fact that it all collapses down for easy storage. We live in small quarters and I only make soap about one to four times a year, so breaking the molds down to keep in a minimum of space is a big deal for me.

Lining the mold with paper.
Lining the mold with paper.
The lumber is 3.5” wide and came from some old crates or something. All that he had to do was to cut them to the lengths I needed. We got the turnbuckles at Menard’s (A home improvement store) and ordered the skinny webbing online.

Finished turnbuckles and webbing.
Finished turnbuckles and webbing.
Make sure the turnbuckles are not quite all the way closed when you slip the webbing through each end. Adjust the straps around the molds and sew the loose ends down. I was able to do the sewing on my regular domestic sewing machine, but it could easily be done by hand with a needle and thread. Loosen the turnbuckles to put the straps around the mold and then when everything is lined up just right, tighten the turnbuckles to hold it all together.

Clary's soap made in her fabulous molds!
Clary’s soap made in her fabulous molds!
This brought out the teacher in me, so I’ve probably overwhelmed you with more pictures and information than you had in mind, but I tend to figure more is better than not enough! 😉

Thank you Clary! We loved hearing about your fabulous molds! A free gift is heading your way as our appreciate for sharing!

Do you have something you would love to share with our readers? Send us a message with your idea! We would love to share your tutorials and inspiration! We’ll send you a free gift for sharing with us and our readers!

Andee

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2015 in Review

I don’t know what you like to do at the end of the year, but I love to review the year that has just flown by!

2015 in Review
2015 in Review
While I’m waiting for the New Year’s Eve party to start, let me share some of my favorite things we have done here at MMS in 2015.

Wow! What a year! 2015 was fantastic and I can’t wait to see what new things come in 2016 for us at MMS!

What was something amazing for you in 2015?

Andee

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Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas from all of us here at MMS!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us!
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from all of us!
We hope that your day has been spent with those close to your heart and enjoyed new or old traditions that make today special. Whether your traditions include breakfast, dinner, pajamas, gift exchanges or others, we hope they brought some cheer to your soul.

Did you add a new tradition this year or follow an old one? Tell us about them!

Team Finished

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Happy Winter Solstice!

Happy Winter Solstice! Today is the day when the days begin to get longer for us and we look forward to a little more sunlight each day. The sun will spend more time each day in our skies and I know I will be happy to have more daylight.

A winter sunrise.
A winter sunrise.
Lift your mug and share our toast for the fantastic new year ahead. Today is a promise that each day will have light. No matter the little circumstances that might have us questioning our sanity, this addition of daylight reminds us again of looking forward.

Our future is brighter already!

Andee

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How Homemade Alfredo Sauce Reminded Me About Soapmaking and Simplicity

Fettuccine Alfredo. Photo credit to  Megan Sparks*. https://www.flickr.com/photos/meginsanity/6105362476
Fettuccine Alfredo. Photo credit to
Megan Sparks. https://www.flickr.com/photos/meginsanity/6105362476
My mom and I have a very good relationship. She has taught me many of the things I know and she encourages me to learn something every day. During the Thanksgiving holiday, I was cooking with my mom and we were having another one of our cooking lessons and that lesson was about Alfredo sauce. My mom told me a story and it resonated with me and my preferences.

Have you ever heard the story of how Alfredo Sauce came about? While I’m not completely sure if the story is true, it is a good one that my mom told me. A man named Alfredo owned an Italian restaurant in the early 1900s. When his wife was pregnant with their child, she suffered from horrible nausea and she could barely keep anything down. Alfredo was so worried that he went into the restaurant kitchen and made a simple pasta dish with Parmesan, butter and cream. His goal was to give his wife a dish that was simple and yet could give her something to keep down. She loved the dish and the care he had put into making the dish for her. The dish was food for more than her body, but her soul as well.

Alfredo sauce is a cream sauce and surprisingly easy to make. While my mom starts by sautéing garlic, the rest of the ingredients are butter, cream and Parmesan cheese. It is a dish that seems more complex than it is. For me, Alfredo sauce feeds not only my body, but my soul.

How did Alfredo sauce remind me of soap making and simplicity? So many of us think that we have to add more or different ingredients to make our soaps (or foods) stand out. While I admire soaps that have intricate designs or require intensive skills and time, I find myself drawn back to simple soaps.

When I say simple, I mean soaps that have a base formula, a scent (optional) and/or no more than two additives. I think that we find too many additions and we make our soaps more prone to failure. My first batch of soap that I made by myself is a prime example of a soap that was too complex.

My first soap had lanolin, milk, and honey. Each one of the ingredients makes a lovely soap on its own, but combined with my inexperience and the temperamental nature of each ingredient, I had a volcano in my mold.

So my thought for today and challenge for you is to step back, think about your products, and make a simple soap, lip balm or lotion. Think about the reason why you started making and the love, care and intention that was the reason for your first handmade products.

Andee

*This picture was taken by Megan Sparks and is available under the Creative Commons License.

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