All posts by Taylor

Throwback Thursday: Cookoo for Coconut Lip Balm

Finished Lip balm
Finished Lip balm

Our blog has featured hundreds of recipes, adventures and even some hilarious failures. It is a goldmine of information, ideas and inspiration. That being said, there are several recipes that I delight in making over and over again. So when I was asked earlier this week about how to make a lip balm with coconut flavor, this recipe immediately came to mind. Come join me!

Empty Beaker
Empty Beaker

This lip balm has spectacular fresh taste and creamy texture. I wanted something light in texture with a moderate amount of shine. I also wanted something that was easy to apply, regardless of the temperature. The Virgin Coconut Oil allows the mixture to melt when applied to the skin. The Castor Oil gives some of that shine and gloss while the Fractionated Coconut Oil keeps the formulation from feeling overwhelmingly heavy. The result is a lighter, smooth texture that is perfect as a daily lip balm.
Continue reading Throwback Thursday: Cookoo for Coconut Lip Balm

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Washable Massage Oil

Finished Massage Oil
Finished Massage Oil

I love treating myself to a massage but I hate that when I finally get to the shower to clean up, I feel like a slippery, oily, falling hazard. I would love to be able to step into the shower and wash most of the oil off with ease while leaving just a tiny amount to keep my skin soft. Well, today I decided to solve this by making my own! Come join me.

I am really pleased with this massage oil. It feels just like your typical massage oil. There is no stickiness or tackiness you might expect from have an emulsifier in the mixture. It rubs into the skin just beautifully. When I rinsed my skin, the water did not bead up like I had lots of oil on my skin. Instead it just flowed across my arm. After I dried my skin, I was pleased to discover that there was only a tiny amount of oil left. It wasn’t enough for me to worry about staining my clothes and it kept my skin soft throughout the day. Wow!

Ingredients
Castor Oil
Golden Jojoba Oil
Hemp Oil
Spray Clear Emulsifier
Optiphen
Lemoncello Fragrance Oil
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes
Thermometer
Immersion Blender

 

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
25 grams Castor Oil
350 grams Golden Jojoba Oil
102.5 grams Hemp Oil
15 grams Spray Clear Emulsifier
5 grams Optiphen
2.5 grams Lemoncello Fragrance Oil
Recipe in Ounces
0.88 oz Castor Oil
12.35 oz Golden Jojoba Oil
3.62 oz Hemp Oil
0.53 oz Spray Clear Emulsifier
0.18 oz Optiphen
0.09 oz Lemoncello Fragrance Oil
Recipe in Percentages
5% Castor Oil
70% Golden Jojoba Oil
20.5% Hemp Oil
3% Spray Clear Emulsifier
1% Optiphen
0.5% Lemoncello Fragrance Oil

 

Measuring Preservative and Castor Oil
Measuring Preservative and Castor Oil

I love making recipes like this because they are so easy to do. Are you ready? It is even easier than making Tollhouse® Ready Bake cookies!

Measure everything into a mixing container. Mix well. Package into bottles. Label and enjoy!

Adding Spray Clear Emulsfier
Adding Spray Clear Emulsifier

How simple was that? This is a great massage oil that you can use at home or at a spa. You and your clients will love how easily this product rinses the excess off while still leaving enough to keep the skin baby soft. Remember that massage oils should be scented lightly as we continually add product to the skin. A little goes a long way!

Adding Golden Jojoba Oil
Adding Golden Jojoba Oil

Taylor

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Rating: 5.0/5 (1 vote cast)

Flavor Testing

Setting up test batches
Setting up test batches

I love testing new products. For me, it is like being a kid in a candy store. So when you get a new product, let’s say a flavor oil, how do you determine what usage rate you like the most? Testing. Let me share with you how I test new items in order to determine what I like! You will love how easy it is.

Measuring out Mango Lip Solutions
Measuring out Mango Lip Solutions

Today I will be making some test batches with our Coconut Flavor Oil. I will be making a total of three different batches. Each batch will have 20 grams of Mango Lip Solutions. My first test batch will have 2% Coconut Flavor Oil. (0.4 grams of Coconut Flavor Oil) My second  batch has 3% Coconut Flavor Oil and 1% Sugar Baby Flavor Oil. (0.6 grams Coconut Flavor Oil and 0.2 grams Sugar Baby.) The last batch will have 4% Coconut Flavor Oil. (0.8 grams of Coconut Flavor Oil)

Adding Flavors
Adding Flavors

To start, I set up my three beakers with my Mango Lip Solutions. I heated them so they were liquid. I then added my flavors and stirred well. I distributed the material into some mini lip balm tubes for testing purposes. I then labeled my bags so I could keep them separate. Pretty easy, huh?

Filling Test Tubes
Filling Test Tubes

Out of each of my test batches, I think I enjoyed the one with 3% Coconut Flavor Oil and 1% Sugar Baby Flavor Oil the most. It had great coconut flavor with a hint of sweetness. I felt like it just had an extra oohmp that the others were lacking. Remember, this is just my personal preference and that taste is entirely subjective. What I like may not be the same as what you like, this is why testing is so important!

I will be sending over 100 sample sets to our shipping department. Request one in your order today!

Labeling Test Samples
Labeling Test Samples

Taylor

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New Lemoncello Fragrance Oil!

LemoncelloI have always dreamed of traveling to the Mediterranean and visiting Greece and Italy. While I still haven’t arranged a trip to go there, our new Lemoncello Fragrance Oil is the next best thing!

Lemoncello is an Italian liqueur that is made by infusing lemon zest into distilled grain alcohol.  The zest is later strained off and the liqueur is mixed with simple syrup. This gives the alcohol a slight cloudy appearance. Lemoncello is popular because of the fresh, lemony flavor without being tart or bitter.

Soap made with our Lemoncello Fragrance Oil
Soap made with our Lemoncello Fragrance Oil

Once our Research and Development Department announced that we would have a Lemoncello Fragrance Oil, I did a lot of reading about it. There are some amazing articles out there ranging from the origin and history of lemoncello to how to make it yourself. Did you know that while in the U.S. Lemoncello is often used as a flavoring agent in cocktails, in Italy it is served in small chilled glasses after a meal? This is also known as a digestivo. How cool is that?

When I got my first sniff of our Lemoncello Fragrance Oil, I was struck by how smooth and fresh it smelled. There are no bitter or sour notes that I normally associate with things like lemonade. It smelled more like a citrus grove or a box of freshly picked lemons. Wow! I am in love.

I have already made my Silky Smooth Hair Detangler and a batch of soap using the Lemoncello Fragrance Oil. I can’t wait to make lotions, bath salts and room sprays. Yummy!

Taylor

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Silky Smooth Hair Detangler

Finished Hair Detangler
Finished Hair Detangler

I love Friday nights. Friday is the night of the week where I treat myself and go out. It may be for a simple cup of coffee, dinner at a restaurant or perhaps an art show. Whatever it may be, Friday night is my night to dress up a little. Some nights I think half the fun is getting ready. That is until I get to my hair.

Weighing Citric Acid
Weighing Citric Acid

I think every woman can relate to my eternal fight with my hair. It goes frizzy and wild when I want smooth locks. It goes limp when I want volume. It does everything save for what I want it to do. It has even defied my poor hairdresser. I was reaching my wits end. So for the last few weeks, I have spent time formulating, mixing up various concoctions and testing them. The best part about all of this? I have stumbled across the perfect formula.

Weighing Hydrovance and Extracts
Weighing Hydrovance and Extracts

When I set out to create this detangler, I wanted something that would help the hair relax, resist frizzing and make the hair look shiny and healthy. The best part is that a little goes a long way. I have had a number of gals on staff try this product. The results have blown us way. We have tried it on ultrafine baby-like hair to coarse hair. We have tested it on colored hair, straight hair and tightly curled hair. It has resulted in happy, manageable hair in all cases.

 

Ingredients
Citric Acid
Dimethicone
Cyclomethicone
Hydrovance
Horsetail Extract
Chamomile Extract
Jewelweed Extract
Spray Clear Emulsifier
Liquid Germall Plus
Lemoncello Fragrance Oil
Water
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes
Thermometer
Immersion Blender

 

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
4 grams Citric Acid
8 grams Dimethicone
12 grams Cyclomethicone
16 grams Hydrovance
4 grams Horsetail Extract
4 grams Chamomile Extract
4 grams Jewelweed Extract
18 grams Spray Clear Emulsifier
2 grams Liquid Germall Plus
2 grams Lemoncello Fragrance Oil
318grams Water
Recipe in Ounces
0.14 oz Citric Acid
0.28 oz Dimethicone
0.42 oz Cyclomethicone
0.56 oz Hydrovance
0.14 oz Horsetail Extract
0.14 oz Chamomile Extract
0.14 oz Jewelweed Extract
0.63 oz Spray Clear Emulsifier
0.07 oz Liquid Germall Plus
0.07 Lemoncello Fragrance Oil
11.22 oz Water
Recipe in Percentages
1% Citric Acid
2% Dimethicone
3% Cyclomethicone
4% Hydrovance
1% Horsetail Extract
1% Chamomile Extract
1% Jewelweed Extract
4.5% Spray Clear Emulsifier
0.5% Liquid Germall Plus
0.5% Lemoncello Fragrance Oil
79.5% Water

 

Adding Fragrance, Preservative and Silicone Oils
Adding Fragrance, Preservative and Silicone Oils

Weigh everything into a large mixing container. I like to weigh out my citric first then the rest of my water soluble ingredients. It makes it much easier to ensure it has completely dissolved. Using an immersion blender, mix well.

Mixing Detangler
Mixing Detangler

One thing I have learned that helps prevent separation is to weigh everything except the water into your mixing vessel. Add only part of your water, just enough to cover the bell of your immersion blender. Blend until it won’t separate. Add the rest of the water, mixing well.

Ready to bottle
Ready to bottle

Be forewarned that you may still have a little oil that does not mix in. During my experiments I discovered that if I increased my emulsifier, it made the hair heavy, limp and greasy looking. I decided that a lower usage rate and needing to shake each time I used the product was a far better alternative to having it make the hair heavy.

Directions for use: Shake bottle prior to spritzing. Product can be applied to damp or dry hair. Spritz the hair lightly. Brush or comb the product through. If additional product is needed, spritz the hair again. Style as desired.

See? Isn’t it simple to make and even simpler to use? You will love using this detangler. It even helps with making hair easier to brush! A must if you have little ones. I will be sending about 50 bottles to our shipping department. Request one from our order desk! Hurry before they are all gone!

Taylor

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Making Soap with Castor Oil

Finished Castor Oil Soap
Finished Castor Oil Soap

As a soapmaker, when you first start looking at formulating your own recipe, it can be overwhelming with all the different types of oils out there. What do you choose? One oil that is often recommended is Castor Oil. Castor Oil is a wonderful oil that boosts lather in soap. However in areas with hard water, it can create an overwhelming amount of soap scum.

Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils

Does this mean those of us with hard water have to forgo the luxurious lather from Castor Oil? No, we just have to treat Castor Oil as one of our luxury oils.

Ingredients
Coconut Oil
Olive Oil
Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
Castor Oil
Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
Water
Equipment
Scale
Microwave Safe Container
Spoons
Pipettes
Thermometer
Immersion Blender

Recipe:

Recipe in Grams
156 grams Coconut Oil
113 grams Olive Oil
170 grams Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
14 grams Castor Oil
65 grams Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
177 mL Water
Recipe in Ounces
5.5 oz Coconut Oil
4 oz Olive Oil
6 oz Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
0.5 oz Castor Oil
2.28 oz Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
6 fl oz Water
Recipe in Percentages
34% Coconut Oil
25% Olive Oil
38% Hydrogenated Soybean Oil
3% Castor Oil
Q.S. Sodium Hydroxide (Lye)
Q.S. Water

 

Weighing Oils
Weighing Oils

Now to make soap. Weigh your oils into a microwave safe container. While the oils are heating in the microwave, weigh out your lye and mix with your water. Remember to add your lye to your water, not the other way around. Safety first!

Waiting for mixtures to cool
Waiting for mixtures to cool

Allow your two mixtures to cool. I like to put away my oils and set up my mold during this period. This helps keep my counters clean and my distractions to a minimum. When your oils are around 100°F-110°F, add your lye solution to your oils. (Using these lower temperatures results in a smoother textured soap.) Using your immersion blender, mix your soap until you reach a light trace.

Ready to Mix
Ready to Mix

Remember, trace doesn’t denote a viscosity, it just means that we aren’t seeing the oils float to the top and separate out. Often we pour our soap into the mold when it is the viscosity of whole milk not cooked custard or pudding. That is pretty fluid!

Mixing Oils and Lye Solution
Mixing Oils and Lye Solution

Allow your soap to sit in the mold undisturbed for 12-24 hours. Then cut into bars and place out on a shelf where they can dry. I like to use cardboard boxes under my soap so I don’t damage my shelves. You can use your soap immediately but it will last longer if you allow it to dry completely. A great aid in determining if your soap has fully dried are our Cure Cards. The best part is you can have them included in qualifying order for free! Let our order desk know if you want a pack.

Pouring Soap into Mold. See how fluid it is?
Pouring Soap into Mold. See how fluid it is?

Taylor

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Sizing Your Soap for Shrink Bands – Part 2

Putting shrink band around soap
Putting shrink band around soap

Okay, so now we have done the hard part. We have collected our soap and our handy-dandy tape measure. For the sake of simplifying things, we will be assuming that the right and left sides will have the open ends. If you want the open ends to be on the top and bottom, rotate your bar so that top and bottom become right and left. It will make it much easier for you to determine what size band you will need.

Soap Sample Shrink Bands

Shrunk Shrink Band (Boy, that's a mouthful.)
Shrunk Shrink Band (Boy, that’s a mouthful.)

This shrink band can hold a soap up to 2.5″ wide and 5.75″ in circumference. This is perfect for small specialty soaps, travel bars, half bars or sample bars.

Bar Soap Shrink Bands

These shrink bands have been in our catalog for a long time. This band will hold a bar of soap that is up to 3″ wide and 5.75″ in circumference. This size has long been a standard for soaps in the kitchen or bathroom sink.

Dan’s Soap Bar Shrink Bands

Dan’s Bands are just a little bit larger that our Bar Soap Shrink bands. If your soap is just a little longer or fatter around the middle, Dan’s Bands should work for you. Our Dan’s Bands can hold a bar of soap up to 3.4″ wide and 6.75″ in circumference.

Jumbo Bar Shrink Bands

Our Jumbo Bar Shrink Bands are perfect for those giant, man bars. Today we have seen a trend moving to large and even over-sized bars of soap. This band will cover some of the larger bars of soaps we have seen. This band will hold a bar up to 5″ wide and 8″ in circumference. If your soap is larger than this, don’t panic. We’ve got you covered.

Jumbo Decorated Bar Shrink Bands

Perhaps you make large bars of soap with those elaborate decorated tops. Does this mean you have to give up on shrink bands? No! Try our Jumbo Decorated Bands. This will hold bars up to 3.75″ wide and 10″ in circumference. That is one big bar with some pretty lofty peaks! Go ahead. Make those decorated tops. We have a shrink band that will cover your soap and all your special needs.

 

Remember, if you shrink a band around your soap and you think that there is just too much material on the sides, feel free to trim off the excess. Make sure that your shrink band is doing exactly what  you want! In the mean time, happy soap making and may all of your shrink bands shrink smoothly!

Taylor

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Sizing your Soap for Shrink Bands – Part 1

Measuring the width
Measuring the width

Today is going to be a rather unusual day here on Adventures with the Sage. We are going to be sharing a series of posts that will help you determine which shrink bands will fit your bar of soap. Are you ready?

Measuring the height
Measuring the height

To start, you will need a bar of soap and a tape measure. (We recommend that you choose one of the larger bars that you have.) We will need three measurements. The width, the height and the circumference. Once we have those measurements, we can start choosing the right shrink band!

Measuring the circumference
Measuring the circumference

The measurements of the soap I am using today are 3  1/8 (width) by 2 3/4 (height). The circumferences of this soap is 8 1/4 inches. Once you have your soap measured, we can work together to determine what size band you will need.

Taylor

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The 4th of July!

July4thIt is Independence Day! We hope your day is filled with parades, great food, musics and beautiful fireworks lighting up the night sky. If you need to travel, please travel safely. If you are lighting fireworks, please have some safety precautions for you and your loved ones. Your safety is extremely critical.

Our team is super excited about the holiday. We have all been planning what to serve at our respective BBQ’s. If you are at a loss for what to serve or take to a pot luck, we have some great recipes for you to try.

Finished Ernie's Bowtie Pasta Salad
Ranch Bowtie Pasta Salad

One of our staff’s all time favorites is the Ranch Bowtie Pasta Salad. I don’t know who scrambles to get to dish up first: the kids or the adults. In the end it doesn’t matter because it is always in demand. Even if you make more than you think you will need, there won’t be any left-overs. I promise.

Artichoke Spinach Dip
Artichoke Spinach Dip

Another favorite is the Artichoke and Spinach Dip. It goes well with everything from chips to bread to rolls. Tonya loves to get the festive red, white and blue corn tortilla chips. Tina adores a crisp baguette. I don’t really care how I eat it so long as there is some left for me! It is super yummy and fast to make. You won’t believe it!

Fruit Punch. Doesn't that look delectable?
Fruit Punch. Doesn’t that look delectable?

If you are looking for a great beverage to quench the thirst and put the summer heat at bay, one of my favorite drinks is our Summer Fruit Punch! I am fond of it because it looks great and while it looks like you have slaved half the day preparing for it, it is a cinch to put together. I love it because it is beautiful to look at and I don’t have to sacrifice time away from the festivities.

 

What types of things do you like to make and serve at your Independence Day get together? We want to know!

Taylor

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Caring for Wool Articles

Ready to Wash Wool Vest
Ready to Wash Wool Vest

Earlier this week we made a Wool Wash Bar and a Wool Conditioner so as to  take better care of our wool items. Today I wanted to show you how to properly wash your wool items so as not to felt them (cause them to shrink), stretch or otherwise distort their shape.

Filling sink with tepid water
Filling sink with tepid water

To start, fill your sink with tepid water. We don’t want hot water but we do want it a little warm so we can make sure the garment or article gets clean. Take your wool wash bar and soap your water. You don’t want to add your wool item just yet! Once your water is slightly soapy, add your wool item.

Soaping the water
Soaping the water

Doing this helps make sure that the item is not agitated. Agitation will cause the wool to felt. You want to be super gentle with wool once it gets wet.

Adding Wool Vest to Water
Adding Wool Vest to Water

Once you have added your wool article  to the sink of soapy water, you will want to gently press it under the surface of the water. (I am washing a vest today.) Continue to press the wool item under the water for a few minutes.  When you are ready, drain the water.

Pressing wool garment under the water
Pressing wool garment under the water

Do not lift the wool item out of the sink. Now that the wool is wet, it is very easy to distort the garment. Fill the sink with fresh water. This is to rinse all of the soap off of the fibers. Again gently press the garment under the water. Drain.

Vest in Soapy Water
Vest in Soapy Water

Transfer the item to a different sink or a colander. Rinse the sink and fill with water again. Take about a lima bean sized amount of the wool conditioner and mix it into the water. I find rubbing the conditioner into my hands prior to adding to the water prevents large particles of conditioner from not mixing into the water.

Draining Soapy Water
Draining Soapy Water

Place the wool item  into the water. Gently press under the water. Continue to press for a few minutes. You will be able to feel the texture change under your finger tips. It is similar to using conditioner in your own hair.

Rinsing Soap from Vest
Rinsing Soap from Vest

Drain the sink again without disturbing your wool article. Fill the sink again with tepid water. We want to rinse any excess conditioner from the fibers. Press the garment under the water to insure it is rinsed well. Drain the sink for the final time.

Filling sink for conditioner
Filling sink for conditioner

Gently fold up your item and transfer it to a bowl or colander. Lay a large bath towel out on the floor. Place your wool garment on it and lay it out. Starting from the bottom of the towel, roll upwards towards the top.

Adding a SMALL amount of wool conditoner
Adding a SMALL amount of wool conditoner

Once it is rolled up in the towel, press the water out of the wool garment. You can even kneel on the towel if you need to. Remember to just press. We are not wringing it out. Just pressing.

Water ready for wool vest
Water ready for wool vest

Unroll the towel. Gently transfer your wool garment to a flat surface where it can dry. Do not hang it or hold it up. This can stretch and distort the shape of the item. Allow the garment to dry. (I really like to lay my things out in an area that has a lot of air circulation. It makes it easier and speeds up the drying time.

Pressing vest under water with wool conditioner
Pressing vest under water with wool conditioner

Once your garment or wool article is dry, you can now wear and use it like normal. It just has the added bonus of being clean and soft! How wonderful is that?
Taylor

 

Laying out vest to press out excess water
Laying out vest to press out excess water

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rolling up vest
Rolling up vest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pressing out excess water
Pressing out excess water

 

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