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!

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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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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Reminder: Our Birthday Present to You!

birthdayThere are just a few more days left of the month of September and I wanted to remind you about our super cool birthday present for you! Since it is our 18th birthday, we have a shipping special that is our way of thanking you for supporting us as we have grown over the last 18 years.

What is the special?

  • Any orders that have an item total of $150 or more will have a $10.00 shipping discount.
  • Any orders that have an item total of $200 or more will have a $20.00 shipping discount.
  • Any orders that have an item total of $300 or more will have a $40.00 shipping discount.
  • If your shipping is less than the amount discounted, you get FREE shipping!

How do you get this awesome special? Enter the code 18-BDAY into the Item Code field in your shopping cart, then choose a quantity of 1 and you are ready to go!

This special ends on September 30th at midnight Mountain Time.

Check your cupboards this weekend and put together a shopping list! This is one shipping special you don’t want to miss out on!

Have a fantastic weekend!
Andee

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Caramel Apple Cold Process Soap

Finished bars of soap after being cut.
Finished bars of soap after being cut.
I remember being a teen and having braces. While they were uncomfortable to wear, I remember helping my mom make batches of soft, melt-in-your-mouth caramel that I could eat without damaging my braces. One time, we made a mistake and ended up with a fantastic caramel sauce that was delicious drizzled over apple slices. We still make the caramel sauce to this day and it is always enjoyed!

The release of our new Green Apple and Caramel Toffee flavors had me thinking about the caramels that we used to make and how I loved to pair the caramel sauce with apples. Since I’ve made a Caramel Apple Lip balm, I have to make a soap that is complementary. Come with me and we’ll make a great batch of Caramel Apple Soap!

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Season Change: Autumn Equinox

Autumn Leaves on a pond.
Autumn Leaves on a pond.
Today, autumn officially begins. While the weather has already started to cool down here in Northern Utah and I’m beginning to see pumpkin stands by the side of the road, I still think autumn hasn’t begun until the equinox. I love the cool weather, changing colors of the landscape and even breaking out my baking books for some new recipes. What is your favorite thing about autumn?

Now that I’ve given myself permission to think about autumn (Halloween is the only exception), I’m going to share some of my favorite scent blends that have me thinking of autumn. Let’s go check them out!

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Halloween Lip Balms

Complete set of Halloween Lip Balms.
Complete set of Halloween Lip Balms.

As I told you on Friday, Halloween is my favorite holiday. I’ve decided that now I have some adorable Halloween labels, I have to put together some lip balm samples for the Shipping Department. If you are lucky enough, you will get one of these lip balms in your order when it ships this week.

I had fun making this recipe several times as I made a batch for each flavor featured on the labels last week. Let’s go make some yummy lip balm with the new flavors!

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Lip Balm Label Special!

The super cute Halloween Lip Balm label designs!
The super cute Halloween Lip Balm label designs!
If you have ever heard me plot for and gush endlessly on the subject of Halloween, then you know it is the number one ranking holiday for me out of all the holidays in the year! I always have my Halloween costume planned by early summer and spooky music is usually playing in my car after Easter. This year, I have the chance to share my love of Halloween with you in a new way!

I asked our Graphics Team to design several super cute Halloween themed lip balm labels using our new flavors. If you haven’t checked out the new flavors, STOP! Run, check them out and then come back to read about the label special I have for you.

Are you back now? Which flavor is your favorite? Are you excited to try Cantaloupe, Caramel Toffee or Green Apple? I love all of them, but the little kid in me absolutely loves the combination of Caramel Toffee and Green Apple for a perfect caramel dipped apple. Yum! Doesn’t that just say Halloween and fall to you?

Back to the labels! I loved the labels they designed so much, I asked if I could share them so you can have them too! Guess what? We’re printing a special run of these labels just for you!

Let me tell you about this awesome deal! Each style of label is available in a bundle of 50 labels. These labels are printed on vinyl with UV stable inks. This means these labels are basically water-proof! Can you say sweat-proof?(I still don’t recommend running your lip balm through the washing machine.)

How do you order these labels?

When you place an order, you can add a bundle of 50 labels to any order for only $4.00! Simply enter the item code for the design of your choice.
OCT1 = Green Apple Lip Balm Labels, Bundle of 50
OCT2 = Caramel Apple Lip Balm Labels, Bundle of 50
OCT3 = Caramel Toffee Lip Balm Labels, Bundle of 50
OCT4 = Cantaloupe Lip Balm Labels, Bundle of 50

Can you order more than one bundle? Absolutely! Order as many as you want for favors, limited edition lip balms, treats or even just for handing out to friends and family. The labels don’t have ingredients listings, so don’t feel limited to a specific formula.

Want to look at the labels a little more closely? Click on the image above to see all four labels in a larger format!

Don’t delay! The last day to order these adorable labels is October 20th, 2014!

Andee

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Specialty Ingredients: Ingredient Listings Do Change with Location

ExoticOilMy experiences in China have opened my eyes to how location changes the ingredients that are viewed as specialty and/or exotic ingredients. Here in the USA, we often use ingredients that bring exotic and unique locations to mind. Shea Butter, Cocoa Butter, and Argan Oil are all oils that we consider to be specialty ingredients due to their exotic origins and the higher prices that are needed to bring them to the USA. Marketing for big cosmetic brands has also helped bring these ingredients to the forefront of our minds (and our customers too).

Yet in other countries and even regions within the same country, different ingredients may or may not be considered to be specialty ingredients. Here is a comparison for you. Soybeans grow in most of the USA and we use a lot of soybean oil in cooking and frying. It is easy to purchase anywhere, including most grocery stores. While I was in China I could not easily buy any type of Soybean Oil, liquid or hydrogenated. They eat lots of soy based products, but they don’t use the oil in cooking. When I did find it, the price was almost triple the price of Coconut Oil! Sometimes we don’t think about the oils that we find locally as special and it takes new experiences to remind us how special that oil is.

Do you remember my blog post about Snake Oil? Many of you commented about how you found the snake oil to be interesting and some of you even said it had you grossed out! Do you remember Jerry helped me get some Snake Oil so I could try making my own hand cream and soap? Here in the USA, we consider Snake Oil to be a specialty oil because it is something so unique to our markets.

Would you want to try a small amount of Snake Oil? I’ve been able to get a small amount of it for testing purposes and I would like to share it with you! It isn’t something that we will add to the catalog so when my *very* limited supply runs out, I won’t be able to get any more. How do you get some? Here are the steps:

  1. Go to the Contact Us page and select Blog Team.
  2. Send a message including your Name, Address, City ST ZIP, and a comment telling me what you want to do with the Snake Oil. Click SEND MESSAGE.

So, what happens after all of this? Well, I send each valid MMS customer who submitted information, a 2 fl oz sample of Snake Oil AND a handwritten note. (See the catch? You must be a Sage in order to participate.)

I hope I’ve given you some food for thought and even something to play with!

Andee

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It’s Our 18th Birthday!

It's our 18th Birthday! Grab some cake and celebrate with us. Birthdays are so much fun! Since it is our 18th birthday, I couldn’t resist doing something special for all of you!

We are offering a shipping special ALL month to you to celebrate our 18th birthday. If you were thinking about placing an order, then this month is the perfect time to do so!

  • Any orders that have an item total of $150 or more will have a $10.00 shipping discount.
  • Any orders that have an item total of $200 or more will have a $20.00 shipping discount.
  • Any orders that have an item total of $300 or more will have a $40.00 shipping discount.
  • If your shipping is less than the amount discounted, you get FREE shipping!

How do you get this awesome special? Enter the code 18-BDAY into the Item Code field in your shopping cart, then choose a quantity of 1 and you are ready to go!

This special ends on September 30th at midnight Mountain Time.

Don’t miss out on this awesome shipping special! Don’t have enough on your order to qualify? Get together with your friends, sisters-in-law, sisters, and even your neighbors to place a qualifying order! This special is the perfect reason to get stocked up for your holiday gift giving and/or sales. What will you get?

Andee

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Labor Day 2014

Labor Day2Somehow, Labor Day was able to sneak up on me this year. I don’t know why! It’s always the first Monday in September. I’m popping in to wish you a wonderful day and to remind you that MMS is closed today for the holiday.

We will be back tomorrow to process your orders and ship as many of them as possible. (We’re hoping to ship all of the orders placed over the holiday weekend!) We’ll also be back helping answer any questions you might have about products, recipe troubleshooting and more.

All orders placed after 12:30 P.M. Mountain Time on Friday, August 29th will be processed on Tuesday, September 2nd. Remember that UPS and USPS will be closed today and will not be able to pickup or deliver any packages. Both will resume their shipping services tomorrow.

If you need to travel today, please travel safely. I’m going to be staying home and enjoying a glass of Fresh Fruit Punch while I hang out with my family. I hope you enjoy your day and we will see you tomorrow!

Andee

P.S. Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow because I have some really awesome news for you! I’m so excited that I’ve barely been able to keep this news under my hat for as long as I have and tomorrow I can finally share it with all of you!

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