Liquid Shea Oil VS Semi-Solid Shea

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Semi-Solid Shea vs Liquid Shea Oil

Have you ever compared our Liquid Shea Oil vs our Semi-Solid Shea? Both are awesome products but what is the difference? Why use one over the other?

Shea, in all of its various forms, is a wonderful product. I really prefer the Liquid Shea for lighter applications. Think massage oils and even hair serums. These are places where you want the delights of Shea without the heavy feeling.

Semi-solid Shea is fabulous in lip scrubs, body scrubs and even in lip balms and glosses. It adds a fabulous creamy texture without feeling too dense and heavy.

Shea Butter is the solid stuff we are all familiar with. It is heavy and is great for lip balms, lotion bars and soap. We don’t always want this heavy form of shea so having alternatives is awesome.

Taylor

 

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Hydrovance Lesson

We receive a ton of emails each week. Some are so easy to answer and others really challenge our brains. Sometimes I sit in front of my computer rubbing my forehead and reading your emails over and over again. I learn as I go. Not only does making things in our lab challenge my thought process but also your questions. Sometimes I must lean on hobbies outside of work to answer a few of your emails. Today’s email is one that really stresses “how” to work with a product and the reasons “why” we add in the first place. Read on for a quick lesson in how to use Hydrovance – which is my favorite humectant.

From the email bag:

Happy New Year! To say that this is my favorite site to research and order my goodies is an understatement! I absolutely adore you guys and look forward to another year with The Sage.

To the question at hand, I live in the desert and its INCREDIBLY dry here with little humidity as it is in Utah. My poor skin is having a devil of a time holding on to what little moisture (read lots of water drinking and using a humidifier) I can get. I’ve been using a butter mixed with lanolin, argon, comfrey, horsetail, vitamin e, lavender and or chamomile, meadowfoam, allantoin and beeswax for a few years, and wondered if adding Hydrovance was a successful possibility. I know that Hydrovance is lovely in lotions but I’m just trying to figure out any other goodies I can add in to help my poor skin. I’ve taken to applying the butter right out of the shower and following it up with a nice layer of lotion and that seems to help, but it is more to do. I don’t have any allergies nor am I taking an medications; I’m pretty healthy overall.

I’ve been with the Sage team for 10+ years now and follow the blog with all of those great ideas. I know if anyone can help me improve this recipe, you folks can!
T

The only alterations I have made to this email are for clarity and for privacy. Here is my answer:

T,

I would not recommend Hydrovance in this situation. Hydrovance is a water soluble ingredient and your mixture is anhydrous. Years ago I thought this would be OK because the lanolin can hold 2 times its own weight in water. What happened was a superheated liquid on the bottom of the pan (all the oils floated on top) and when it started to boil it foamed out of control. Up over the top of the pan and much like a lava it flowed and oozed across the stove. To move the pan I jumped in and pulled the handle, just as the hot oil and Hydrovance flowed over my thumb. It resulted in the worst burn I have ever had. The oil mixture was sticky and I could not wash it off. I tried wiping but it just clung to everything and was so hot I cried. It doesn’t take much to get to this stage. Oils hot enough to melt the beeswax (140°F) will burn the body terribly. So, based on this experience I would skip this idea.

What I would do are two different things. First, I would add Orchid Extract to your list. I know it is one more thing but I really find that this one extract is a powerhouse. Holy cow! I can leave
calendula oil extract alone if I had to take only one extract with me. Calendula is my second favorite extract. Now, I would make a lotion that I apply before the shower. I know this seems counter
intuitive to apply a moisturizer and then go wash it off but the Hydrovance in the lotion makes the shower more hydrating. AMAZING! Once out of the shower I would apply a tiny bit more lotion once I was dried off. Then I would follow up with the butter in really tough areas (elbows, feet, hands, knees).

Butters can really help, but only if they don’t get in the way of living life. Ultra thin coats that can be reapplied during the day are awesome butter applications for the skin.

I hope this helps. May I use your question for our blog? I think you have some great things to share here.

T graciously gave permission to use this email question on the blog. YEA!

Here are some bullet points for using Hydrovance:

  • Use when you have an emulsifier or can use water. This product is water soluble and not oil soluble.
  • Use in smaller percentages when you change from another humectant to Hydrovance. If your recipe uses 3% glycerin, just swap out the glycerin and swap in the Hydrovance. Don’t jump to 10% Hydrovance immediately. Most often we find Hydrovance to be very effective at lower rates.
  • Watch when heating. All water soluble ingredients will be on the bottom and the oils will float to the top. If you have a small quantity of water soluble items they can easily heat to boiling while the top part appears to be melting. Stir often if not constantly.
  • Apply lotions containing Hydrovance to the skin before showering, bathing or swimming. If your schedule allows apply the lotion 30 minutes before entering the water. This pre-water application will make a huge difference to the skin.
  • If you are going outside don’t forget your sunscreen. I know applying a lotion feels like you have already coated the skin but sunscreens are important, don’t forget them!
  • If your skin feels like it needs more help trapping moisture inside then drop all fragrances (they are solvents and essential oils are included in this restriction). Apply your lotion and follow up with something heavier like a butter or lotion bar stick.
  • Great question! I hope everyone liked today’s lesson.
    Tina

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    Volume of my box mold

    We know how to calculate volume for the box molds, so far – so good. Do you know we get mold questions all the time? First I want to tell you that I am not a fan of dividers in soap molds. I think the bars become irregular and misshapen. When cutting soap I really strive for consistency. This does not mean your bars must be the same size, it just means that if you are thinking of molds that have dividers then I ask that you consider this concept before placing an order for a mold with dividers. If consistent sized bars are on your plus list then dividers are not for you. If irregular bars really make you happy then dividers could be very beneficial to you.

    COLD PROCESS SOAP

    Let’s cover cold process soap first. You need to know these things about cold process soap:

  • One pound of fat will make 20 to 22 ounces of finished soap.
  • A mold declaring it is a one pound mold will only hold one pound of finished soap, it is not the starting point of how much fat to use.
  • Your location (relative humidity) as well as any additives you add to the soap (oatmeal, clay, extra water or milk, lavender buds, etc) will determine the final weight of the soap which is why we do not list a specific weight, we list a range of possibilities.
  • One pound of fat will make approximately 44 cubic inches of soap. This could also be written that 450 grams of fat will make approximately 721 cubic centimeters of finished soap.
  • Your mileage will vary, testing and weighing is the ONLY way for you to know exactly what your recipe and location can produce.
  • To figure the 44 cubic inches of soap I am making these assumptions: 1) the amount of liquid you are using to mix with your lye totals 6 fl oz, no more and no less; 2) I am figuring a small amount of possible additives such as a Tablespoon of ground oatmeal, not 1/2 of a cup; 3) You are not whipping air into the soap, just nice and easy.

    UPDATE! Our Measurement Calculator will help you figure the volume of a rectangular prism. By clicking here the Measurement Calculator link will open in a new tab or window. You can enter your box mold measurements and get an answer. Proof your work and know your calculator entries are correct.

    So, now what? Once we know how many cubic inches (or centimeters) are in your mold, we can work to find out the starting weight of fats for making soap.

    Your mold: Length x Width x Height = Volume of Retangular prism soap mold.
    Using cubic inches? Volume of your mold divided (written as /) 44 = weight of fats in POUNDS needed to fill mold to desired depth
    Using cubic centimeters? Volume of your mold / 721 = weight of fats in POUNDS needed to fill mold to desired depth
    To convert from pounds of fat to grams of fat you must do this: pounds * 454 = grams

    You might wonder why these have a reference of one pound of fats – it is ONLY because I find one pound of fats is easy to weigh and it is a good test-sized batch. One kilogram of fats is too big for a test batch for me. Another thought, I do not think of each oil using a lesser amount than 1/2 ounce. No tenths of an ounce here! If at all possible I formulate with whole ounces in mind. What does this mean?

  • OK to use: 1 ounce, 2 ounces, 3 ounces, 4 ounces, etc. These are whole ounces.
  • NOT OK to use: 5.1 ounces, 5.2 ounces, 5.3 ounces, etc. These are using 1/10th of an ounce. This takes too much time and is not beneficial to the finished soap. Keep it simple!
  • Tomorrow I will share how to figure volume of a cylinder. This sounds tough, doesn’t it? It isn’t. Calculating volume of cylinders is easier than making ice!

    Anyone ready to share their math in the comments? Tell us your mold size, the cubic inches of your mold, then the amount of finished soap your mold holds, and finally the amount of fat you need to make the soap to fit your mold.

    Tina

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    Volume – can you hear me now?

    Today I am starting with volume. This word has many meanings in our daily lives. For our kids it means turning up the sound projection of the music. For people who work in purchasing it means a greater number of items for a lesser price per unit. For people who work in shipping it means taking the lion’s share of a freight truck trailer, rail container, or cargo ship container. For soapmakers it is much closer to the meaning used by shipping specialists.

    Remember, we are talking about our favorite 4-letter word…. MATH.

    Let’s be square. Sort of. Most bar soaps are cut in a rectangular prism shape. This means starting with a rectangle and adding one more measurement to take a 2-dimensional product to a 3-dimensional product. Rectangles are 2-dimensional, rectangular prisms are 3-dimensional. Isn’t this cool? It is hardly past breakfast time and you have already worked a new phrase into your vocabulary! The best thing so far is you don’t even need those silly glasses to see a 3-D rectangular prism! It is just right there! Cookies boxes, blue Kraft dinner boxes, shoe boxes and more, are all rectangular prisms.

    Together we have taken the first step. We added words to our vocabulary and can see examples around us.

    So….. Let’s calculate volume. Don’t panic. This is simple stuff here. If you can make ice then you can calculate volume. Don’t even think I will buy the story that you can’t make ice. I’ve heard of people claiming that only one person in the family can make ice and they go as far as taking the secret recipe to work with them. Well, I’m going to write the secret recipe right here so you can calculate volume any time you desire.

    Length x width x height. Or height x length x width. Or width x length x height. It does NOT matter which order you put them in. Just get out the tape measure or ruler and take each measurement. L x W x H. Simple. Remember! Take the inside measurements!

    Why do soapmakers need to know volume? Simple, how do we know the amount of soap a mold can hold? Volume. This calculation is important to soapmakers. Very important.

    Have you ever called our office to ask how many bars are in a specific amount of soap? The answer is always “ONE, until you cut it.” Soap bars vary in size. Some of you make 2 ounce bars, some make 8 ounce bars. If two different makers have 8 ounces of soap then the 2 oz bar maker has 4 bars of soap and the 8 oz maker has 1 bar. The 2 ounce maker does NOT have more soap, just more bars of soap.

    Are you ready to talk about molds? Most of you have questions about how much soap to make to fill your mold. If your soap mold is 2 inches deep you are NOT required to fill it to the top. If you want a 1 inch deep pour of soap then calculate the volume of the mold as 1 inch deep. The length and width of the soap are not easily changed so figure those numbers as set in stone. Deep, depth and height will mean the same thing when we are talking about soap molds. Length and width are the sides.

    Here are the points to remember:

    • Length x Width x Height = Volume of a Rectangular Prism
    • To determine the volume of a potential mold measure the inside of the box and not the outside of the box.
    • Keep your unit of measure the same. Use inches or centimeters, it doesn’t matter. But DO NOT make the length centimeters and the width inches. No mixed Units of Measure!

    I’m going to break today’s post into two. I think if I let you work through the information here then go forward it will help cement the idea that math is easy.

    Tina

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    A four letter word problem

    LemonsOK, I need to come clean. There is a four letter word that drives all soapmakers crazy. Sometimes they gasp when they hear it, other times they choke on their coffee. Of all the phone calls I receive this four letter word strikes more fear and anxiety into the lives of soapmakers than any other single thing. Ever.

    Put down your spoon, put down your beverage and prepare to read what upsets more of us than any other thing.

    Brace yourself. The word is…… MATH.

    Math is more likely to stop you from making soap today than anything else going on in your life. Forget the kids, forget dinner, forget the mail counter is piled so high there could be an avalanche. Forget all the rest of your life – math is your biggest hurdle. I know this. I feel this. I hear this every single day. For those of you who think that women are afraid of math and men are math geniuses – I’m telling you right now that is wrong. People are afraid of math. All people. Fear of math is not restricted to certain races, religions, sexes, ages, or any other classifier. All people have fear of math. Some of us just don’t get it. Some of us need to hear the lesson 100 times before it sinks in. Some of us fear being on the list of math dummies. Every single one of us has had this fear at one time or another. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say there is no such thing as a math genius at birth. No. Such. Thing. There are those of us that practice more math and those of us that practice less math.

    This week I want your math questions because I am going to cover every single math area that soap makers use. Yep, every single one. And I am going to explain these in real words with real life situations. No one is putting two trains on the same track and asking when they will meet as they race toward each other. Every one of us knows two trains racing toward each other on the same track means accident. We aren’t stupid! No math needed here. Whew! And I am not going to give you a word question with a math problem like: Suzy has a dog, 3 apples and is walking 2.4 miles to the park. What color is Suzy’s hair? No math needed here either. The real question to ask is what breed Suzy’s dog happens to be. My bet is the dog is a retriever or retriever mix. ;-) Retrievers love human food and apples are amazing.

    This week you need to send in your questions (private or public comments) and find a calculator and ruler or tape measure. By the end of the week you will feel smarter because we are going to make math fun. Practice this mantra any time you are in wait mode (at the grocery store check out line, waiting for a red light to turn green, drying your hair, making dinner). If you are standing still or tethered to an action then repeat these words. “Math is only a 4 letter word. With practice I will tame this former beast and math will become my friend.”

    My email is on and ready for your math problems.

    Tina

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    Martha’s Lotion

    Grandma2Martha emailed in asking for help formulating a lotion for her skin. She has spent her break spending time with her grandchildren and loving every minute of it! She wrote saying “The last several days have been a blizzard of joy. We have made gingerbread houses and demolished them, we have played every card/board game in the house and we have flattened the snow by our boots and sleds. I have loved this but my cheeks are wind burned, dry and flaking. Help!” Let’s go make a lotion that is just perfect for Martha and her grandkids!

    Ingredients
    Jewelweed Extract
    Orchid Extract
    Emulsifying Wax
    Stearic Acid
    Allantoin
    Aloe Powder
    Rose Hip Oil, Organic
    Calendula Extract
    Water
    Liquid Germall Plus
    Equipment
    Scale
    Microwave Safe Container
    Spoons
    Pipettes

    Recipe:

    Recipe in Grams
    8 g Jewelweed Extract
    8 g Orchid Extract
    12 g Emulsifying Wax
    4 g Stearic Acid
    4 g Allantoin
    4 g Aloe Powder
    48 g Rose Hip Oil, Organic
    6 g Calendula Extract
    304 g Water
    2 g Liquid Germall Plus
    Recipe in Ounces
    0.28 oz Jewelweed Extract
    0.28 oz Orchid Extract
    0.42 oz Emulsifying Wax
    0.14 oz Stearic Acid
    0.14 oz Allantoin
    0.14 oz Aloe Powder
    1.69 oz Rose Hip Oil, Organic
    0.21 oz Calendula Extract
    10.72 oz Water
    0.07 oz Liquid Germall Plus
    Recipe in Percentages
    2% Jewelweed Extract
    2% Orchid Extract
    3% Emulsifying Wax
    1% Stearic Acid
    1% Allantoin
    1% Aloe Powder
    12% Rose Hip Oil, Organic
    1.5% Calendula Extract
    76% Water
    0.5% Liquid Germall Plus

     

    Weigh everything except the Liquid Germall Plus into a microwave safe container. Heat gently until everything is liquid. Using an immersion blender, mix until emulsified. Allow to cool. Mix every so often during cooling to make sure it doesn’t separate.  We will want the mixture to be cooler than 120ºF before we add our preservative. Mix well. Put the lotion into bottles or jars. Enjoy!

    Taylor

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    New Year’s Day – Looking Forward

    Mountain Ash berries covered in fresh snow.
    Mountain Ash berries covered in fresh snow.
    I love the quiet of New Year’s Day! My family has always treated New Year’s Day as a lounge-about-the-house, low key day. While the first day of the New Year is coming to a close, I hope that I can make the remaining 364 days worth it. I saw a quote on Facebook this morning that made me smile. It not only appealed to me as a writer, but as a person who is wanting to make life fun. This quote was attributed to Brad Paisley. “Tomorrow, is the first blank page of a 365 page book. Write a good one.” If this is true, I’ve made page one a good one!

    Join me for this year for a series of unique resolutions!

    • Be happy with the imperfectly unique person that I am.
    • I’m imperfect and I do have moments where I am less than I think others think I should be. I’m giving myself permission to be happy this year with ALL of me. Lumps, curves, scars, beauty marks, smiles, failures, successes, weaknesses, strengths, inabilities and talents. I have permission to be happy and love it all!

    • Get my photo taken in five interesting places.
    • I’m found behind the camera more often than in front of it. I have the opportunity to live in a beautiful area and I have so much to show to family and friends. The best way to say, “I’ve been there,” is to have a picture of me there! This year I’m going to not just take pictures of the beautiful places I go, but be in those pictures.

    • Pay it forward!
    • When I think of this goal, the first thing that comes to mind is the movie released in 2000. I don’t mean for this to be a tear-jerker moment, I want this to be very fun! I want to make someone’s day. I want to give random people the gift of an amazing day.

    • Set boundaries.
    • This may sound like an odd resolution. I need to say “no” more when I don’t want to do something when I know I’ll end up resenting an event or a person. It is worth 5 minutes of discomfort to say “no” rather than hours or days of resentment. Life is too short to be miserable over “volunteering” for something I didn’t want to do. This is not a blanket permission to avoid everything. This is permission to take care of myself by saying “no” when it would otherwise interfere with other plans, arrangements or severely exceeds my abilities or skills.

    • Pursue real interaction.
    • I’m going to put my phone/tablet/computer down more and talk to my family and friends face to face. Like those who have been in the news and our Facebook feeds for their goals to meet all of their Facebook friends face to face, I want to meet up with my family and friends and have real life conversations with them.

    I hope you join me with these resolutions! May 2015 be a fun, happy and amazing year for you!

    Andee

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    New Year’s Eve – oh the silliness!

    Ha! I'm goofy and lovable.
    Ha! I’m goofy and lovable.
    Read to the bottom. It’s important!

    Today is New Year’s eve. I know so many of you have a long list of things to do today. The crazy hustle and bustle is just not for me. Today is a time for putting on a roast to slow cook for the day. It makes the house smell of warmth and love. Soup does the same thing! Onions, carrots, potatoes and more can go into a handsome soup that feeds the soul as much as it feeds the body. This is a new week for me as I make a journal about the important things in my life.

    A few things I have learned this year (and other years – but right now I am trying to focus on learning for keeps and not needing to relearn) is that in our list of what is most important are things like friendship and love. There are details in my life that are down right not-beautiful, details that don’t make up who I am but are the result of life hiccups that every single one of us goes through. Yet while I am not able to change every event in my life to be beautiful, I can see that the dirty details aren’t the final say about my life. Details are hiccups. Details are soap batches that don’t turn out. Details are lotions that are too thick to pump correctly and I learned this after filling the bottles and attaching the pumps. Details are also lip balms that are perfectly colored and flavored and I am so happy to share. The whole picture of my life is my desire to cultivate relationships that have profound meaning. That life picture is beautiful. That life picture is full of imperfect details and lots of imperfect events but that life picture is nothing but beautiful.

    Here is my recommended reading (no, there is not an Amazon link, get this book locally if you can), The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. I would love to put that cute little accent on the last e in Brene’s name but the code of HTML breaks with accents. Darn. Imperfect. Still beautiful!

    All of us have imperfect lives. We make mistakes and there is no shame in making mistakes. Enjoy the book. Enjoy life.

    Photo note: this photo is of a dog who was rejected by his new family. He didn’t fit. The family and this dog were incompatible. Minor detail. This dog displays actions of gratitude and thankfulness. Dogs are like people, the hiccups make us stronger and the challenges make us appreciative. The complete silliness he shows is part of his appreciation of where he is today – goofy, loved, hugged, fed, brushed, played and snuggled. He fits where he is now. Forgive the minor distracting details of a dirty lens, an un-staged photo, and an unclean house. All of these things are what makes the photo so real. They are imperfections. The photo is real joy.

    If you have an Audible.com account, or are interested in creating an Audible.com account, and would like to be in our drawing for a copy of this book then please comment on this blog. Entries on the blog will be put in for a drawing that is exclusive to MMS customers. From all the entries I will randomly assign numbers to each entry then randomly draw 3 names to receive a gift of an Audible.com version of The Gifts of Imperfection. This is an audio book. You will need a computer or MP3 player to listen. The book is about 4 hours long and worth every minute. You will be required to use an Audible.com account to redeem this offer. I will check the randomly chosen entries to verify there is an MMS customer account that corresponds to the commentator. If there is not an account then I will choose an alternate winner. Do not post your personal information in the comments area. Just tell me you are here and want to be part of the drawing. If your blog comment profile uses an alternate email than the one you use for placing orders, then send me a note through the Contact Us tab on our website.

    I will give 3 people a gift credit for purchase of this book only on Audible.com. These books can not be resold, transferred to another person/account and are subject to the other Terms and Conditions at Audible.com. Since the gifts will come through my personal Audible account please comment on our site blog.thesage.com to be entered. I have never had a Facebook account and I don’t use their service, that is a part of this company that is done by others who are “in to” social media. Go ahead and “like” the post on Facebook but make your entry official by commenting on our site. Thank you for understanding that I can’t be in all places. The drawing will take place on January 6, 2015. Winners will be emailed and announced on the blog. If you want to check out Audible.com before submitting your official entry into this drawing, you have time to do so. Knowing their rules is important because you must have their service to use this gift. If you are not interested in an audio version but think we should offer this hard copy book in our catalog let us know that as well. Comments on this blog entry are not restricted to drawing entries.

    Happy New Year!
    Tina

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    Cloud Swirls Melt & Pour Soap

    Finished Soap
    Finished Soap

    I love soap. Cold process, hot process and Melt & Pour. They are all amazing and there are certain techniques that work best for certain styles. One of my favorite things to do with Melt & Pour Soap is to make clouds of color throughout the soap. Come join me for a beautiful simple soap that is a great gift.

    These soaps remind me of the blindingly clear days with deep blue skies and huge puffy white clouds! Come join me as we enjoy the radiant skies in our bath tubs.

    Ingredients
    Transparent Melt & Pour Soap
    White Melt & Pour Soap
    Ultramarine Blue Color
    Eucalyptus Spearmint Fragrance Oil
    Equipment
    Scale
    Microwave Safe Container
    Spoons
    Pipettes

     

    Recipe:

    Recipe in Grams
    2268 g Transparent Melt & Pour Soap
    170 g White Melt & Pour Soap
    1/8 tsp Ultramarine Blue Color
    22.5 g Eucalyptus Spearmint Fragrance Oil
    Recipe in Ounces
    80 oz Transparent Melt & Pour Soap
    6 oz White Melt & Pour Soap
    1/8 tsp Ultramarine Blue Color
    0.8 oz Eucalyptus Spearmint Fragrance Oil
    Recipe in Percentages
    92.1% Transparent Melt & Pour Soap
    6.9% White Melt & Pour Soap
    Q.S. Ultramarine Blue Color
    0.9% Eucalyptus Spearmint Fragrance Oil

     

    Melt & Pour Soap
    Melt & Pour Soap

    Weigh out the white and clear soap into two separate microwave safe containers. Heat the clear one first. It has a larger amount of material and will take longer to heat as well as longer to cool down.

    Heat until liquid. While you are stirring the fragrance into the clear soap, heat the white soap until liquid. Stir the Ultamarine Blue Color into the white soap. Mix well. You don’t want any lumps of color.

    Clear Soap in Mold
    Clear Soap in Mold

    Pour all of the clear soap into a Extra Large Square Mold. Using circular and swirling motions, drizzle the blue soap into the clear soap. The heat will start to move the color around and create clouds and ribbons of colored soap. Do not stir the soap. It will make the swirls muddy. Allow it to sit until cool. Cut the bars and package. Wasn’t that fast and easy?

    Taylor

    Adding Blue Colored Soap
    Adding Blue Colored Soap

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Closeup of the swirls. Isn't it beautiful?
    Closeup of the swirls. Isn’t it beautiful?
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    What a week! What a month!

    Taylor and Obie. He is exhausted!
    Taylor and Obie. He is exhausted!
    WOW! In the last week we have had some major milestones (at least for me). On December 21st we celebrated Winter Solstice. This day represents a new awakening for me because the amount of light we receive each day will now increase! It is such a tough ride to work in the dark and to go home in the dark. WHERE IS THE SUN?

    The Earth has been going through a shedding of sorts with plants dying, animals hibernating and all becoming slower and cold. January will turn completely white for us in snow country. It can be bitter cold and we do the phone update thing to make sure the MMS crew has a network of people to call and contact if we get hit with a severe storm and the weather is unsafe for travel. When we can’t get to work we will update the web and let you know we are not able to process orders because of our severe weather. When we get updates from UPS that they are not able to safely travel we post those notices too.

    Christmas happened on the 25th of December which is always a family day for me. There is nothing like cultivating relationships. If you celebrate Christmas I hope you enjoyed the season and cultivating your own relationships.

    Boxing Day is on US calendars but it is not an official holiday or event. I love this day! It is such a nice way to spend my house cleaning hours (if one can enjoy house cleaning). Boxing Day is an opportunity to box up items that no longer warrant counter space or storage space in the home and give it to a charitable group who cares for the homeless, those in poverty and those down on their luck. Boxing Day welcomes coats, gloves, boots, gently used clothing, bedding, kitchen appliances, and more. If you are burdened by stuff in your life Boxing Day is a great way to get your life back. Boxing Day can be your excuse to live a more simple and happy life all year. If you are into such record keeping please remember to pass on donation slips to your accountant for deductions on your taxes. It is far better to save tax dollars because we are better at spending money wisely than our government, especially when it comes to social programs.

    The photo in today’s post is one of our family dogs. He expresses the sentiment of all the MMS Crew when it comes to working at break neck speed to get orders out the door. Please forgive the dirty phone camera lens and out of focus picture. This shot was one of those get-it-or-lose-it-forever moments. It makes me laugh a deep down belly laugh. Not only are the dogs a great addition to our family but they also remind us of the benefit of daily play.

    Today is winter wonderland for me. I need a new cream for my purse and some facial scrubs to clear away the dead skin that dry winter weather seems to produce so easily. What are your plans for the week as we approach New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day?

    Tina

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    Thoughts and ideas from the world of Majestic Mountain Sage.