First Blooms of Spring

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My husband grew up in Romania, Europe, and I in the USA. He and I THOUGHT we were talking about the same flower. “It’s the first flower that comes up, even if there is still snow on the ground.” “They are little white flowers.” “Yeah”, I said, “but they come in purple also.” After some trivial back and forth about it,  we figured out we were talking about 2 different flowers. “Crocus”, and “Snow Drops”…both beautiful in their own way. After purchasing property only last fall, we don’t have any flowers planted yet, but I’m making my list of what to plant to pop up next year. Anyone have any other nice suggestions for EARLY blooms? Image

Three questions answered!

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The same 3 questions always come up:

Q. What IS glycerin soap anyway?

A. Glycerin is found in all fats, and is a by-product of the soap making process. It is often extracted from soap and sold separately for profit by most soap manufacturers. This clear liquid substance is a humectant, drawing moisture to your skin.

Q. Does it have lye in it?
A. Yes, because technically there was lye (sodium hydroxide) used in the original soap making process. ALL soap is made with lye…period. If there is no mixture of oil, water, and lye involved, then it’s not REAL soap and can’t be labeled as such. “Beauty bars” for example, are called beauty bars because they cannot be called soap – there wasn’t an oil-water-lye mixture used, rather mostly detergents and other harsh chemicals instead. So read your labels carefully. Lye isn’t your enemy. Once the soap is dried out properly, the bar is no longer caustic to the skin and can be used safely.

Q. How can I tell if it’s a good quality glycerin soap or not?    
A. All glycerin soap is NOT created equal. Many glycerin soaps on the market today contain various chemicals and synthetics to create certain cosmetic qualities (ie: to make a clearer looking, harder feeling, or more lathering bar). These additives can wreck havoc on sensitive skin types. This is also why you can’t always tell much difference between a bar of glycerin soap and regular commercially made soap from the supermarket.
     100% glycerin soap is never 100% glycerin. If it was, it would be a blob of mushy substance. To create a glycerin bar of soap, there must be other ingredients involved. The key is to choose a bar with the minimum additives necessary to create the bar, and to stay away from soaps that contain the harsher additives. For even better results, find a glycerin bar that has an EXTRA percentage of glycerin added to it to keep skin soft and supple.
Below are 3 different types of glycerin soap ingredients to give you an idea of the differences:

Gugu Soap – Soap base ingredients:
Coconut Oil
Palm Oil
Safflower Oil
Glycerin (kosher, vegetable)
Purified Water
Sodium Hydroxide (for saponification)
Sorbitol (moisturizer)
Sorbitan oleate (emulsifier)
Soy bean protein (conditioner)
An extra 20% of glycerin is added.
There are NO detergents, surfactants, sulfates, parabens, or alcohol solutions.

Generic Brand 1:
Propylene Glycol
Sorbitol
Water
Sodium Stearate
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Sodium Laurate
Glycerin
Triethanolamine.

Generic Brand 2:
Sodium Cocoate
Propylene Glycol
Water
Sorbitol
Sodium Stearate
Glycerin
Fragrance
Sodium Laureth Sulfate
Sodium Myristate
Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate
Triethanolamine

My Rainbow Life…

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My earliest memory is when I was about 3 years old…skipping down the isle to the back of a grocery store where my mother worked in the bakery. There was always such a beautiful display of baked cookies and cakes in an array of BRIGHT pinks, purples, blues, and yellows. My favorite were the “sprinkle cookies” that came in assortment of colors. They were the ‘free sample’ cookies, so that may have played a part!
I’ve lately realized that I’ve always enjoyed color. A former hairstylist and color consultant, I’ve always been involved with color, light, and texture, and enjoy my senses of these things to their fullest. Today, I notice that my soap creations seem to follow this pattern. I love the feel of a soft bar of glycerine soap in the shower or bath…and the pure scents and bold color just enriches the experience all the more. I keep a display of my handmade soap in my bathroom, and guests wonder at it. “Why?…they ask (thinking I must be pretty high on my horse)…do you keep a soap display in your own bathroom?” “Because”…I tell them…”I LOVE IT!!!” Challenge of the day: Find a simple and healthful way to indulge YOUR senses! Maybe it’s pushing your whole face into a bouquet of sweet smelling flowers, running your fingertips over some soft bunny fur, or bathing in a silky bubble bath…
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Cravings…

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Working on some lavender soaps for gifts, but being 6 months pregnant and craving peppermint, I’m wishing I had some peppermint soap orders to fill!! Anyone else pregnant also craving peppermint? I’m afraid I could drink it by the bottle…lol! I suppose it’s really the menthol that I’m liking, because any fresh minty mint sounds pretty good about now.
I finally found an an ALL NATURAL Cayenne/Menthol salve that I love! (a Glory Gifts Herbals product) It’s sort of like an icy/hot but way more potent, and without the chemicals and crud. I love to rub it into the back of my neck after a day of soap making…and OF COURSE that menthol smell is great too! I will need some more soon 🙂 They don’t sell online, but the email is… glorygiftsherbals@yahoo.com
From the looks of things…I don’t think peppermint candy has anything to do with the peppermint plant. What do you think?
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