The 5 things that I’ve learned about soap so far

I’ve learned 5 important things so far about Soap that I’d like to share with you.

# 1 – Not everyone likes to talk about soap. OK, that is just plain crazy isn’t it? I mean you like soap right? Now why in the world wouldn’t everyone like it as much as we do? But sadly I’ve found out when those people say something like ‘Hows the soap going’ and then they cringe when I proceed into a 15 minute story on what soaps I’m making and what is the newest scent.. we’ll you can see where that is going. It only took me about 6 months to realize that these people are just trying to make conversation with me and kinda don’t really care about soap. Weird.

#2 – I have come a long way from the first bars of soap that I made. When I first started with this crazy soap habit I was just so excited to have the soap turn out I really didn’t care if the soap was going to have a superfatting level of 5% or not. I just didn’t want it to turn out like a big glob of junk when it was all done. And now? Well the last batch I made I think I had around 6 different oils in it and 9 different colors. Yea, pretty sweet huh?

# 3 – I have a very long way to go. I am by far not an expert in making soap and have just tons and tons of stuff to learn. Have you ever thought to yourself ‘I’m pretty good at this’ and then step back and wonder if you’ve been living in the twilight zone or something? I think it’s one of those things that you always are learning. And seriously I thought I was probably way too old to learn something new. Boy was I wrong!

# 4 – The soap doesn’t have to be perfect to be good. When I made some of the first batches of soap, if it wasn’t perfect there was no way in the world was anyone going to see it. I would take it and either try to use it up in the shower by leaving it get way too wet and turning into some type of funky liquid soap or I just plain got rid of it. Now? Well if it doesn’t have 4 perfect lines separating the different layers of the soap I’m guessing that it’s not that important and others might think it brings character to the craft.

# 5 – Feel good about the little steps of this whole adventure. Now there are people that are not going to understand that this craft really isn’t the worst thing to do with your time and money (see #1 above) But seriously why should I care about them? Tonight I was so nervous about going to one of the shops that is selling my soap now for a couple of weeks. It was the first time I would visit them since I dropped off my soap and I mean I literally practiced on the drive over how to act not disappointed if they said no one liked my soap. But guess what? People bought my soap and I had to bring in more for them to sell. Yea, I didn’t even have to use my acting skills tonight at all. Score! Now granted it was only a few bars of soap that they sold, but still it was a few bars of soap! I’m sure that there will be times that I won’t sell any, but guess what? I’ve contacted another store and they said they would like me to bring in some and see how the next month or so goes to see if people are interested in buying it. So that brings my distribution up to 3 stores. Man I’m on a roll now!

Now I’m sure that I can go on and on with this post but I said that I would only share the top 5 things that I learned so far. So if you are reading this, the next time you see someone selling soap at a craft show or it’s available at a speciality store, you might just think to yourself if they also had the same 5 things to share. Oh and yea if they practice their acting skills in their car too! Happy Thursday!!!

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Discipline

I really wanted a new planner for Christmas and not just any old planner – I was hoping for the Tools4Wisdom planner. It is awesome and I ended up getting one! Whoo hoo!! Now this planner is something that you need to not only be organized to use (kinda defeats the purpose doesn’t it?) but it also is something that you need to be disciplined with. There is a lot of goal planning to do not only for the year, but also monthly and daily.  And I’m really hoping to get better at keeping it filled in as the year goes on so I can be better organized. Why you ask? Well I still have some Christmas stuff to put away and I haven’t lost any of my New Years Resolution weight yet. Maybe a second glass of wine tonight will help me with the planning that’s needed. I’m thinking though it’s not going to help me with the Christmas stuff that needs to be put away :)

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Getting our groove on

We have a new addition to our family. And before you start thinking … is it a new cow or maybe a dog? Nope nothing like that. We have a new exercise equipment that has joined our family. Our treadmill has completely died this winter and with all the cookies and caramel popcorn that we eat, well I’ll just say that it’s a good thing that we replaced it. Daryl picked up an elliptical after work tonight and both him and Kyle worked quite a while on putting it together. I was glad it was them because I heard them say ‘OK, now onto the third step’ and this was after they spent some time already on it. Daryl said it was just a workout putting it together! As you can tell they were working on it in our laundry/soap room. DSCN8542But I’ll be interested in how it’s going to work. I went on one once and lasted about 3 minutes. My arms were so sore and my legs were about to die. So I’m guessing it’ll be a good thing for me this winter!

While they were working on that, I took some soap out of the mold that I had made the other day. It has a lot of soft oils in it that it needs to sit a little longer than other soaps that I have made. It smells pretty good and I’m going to let it set for a couple more days before I cut it into bars. To say that I knew what I was doing when I made it would not have any truth to it at all! Holy cow I had a mess!! It was one of those times that I had started something and it was too late to turn back. I’m sure you know what I’m talking about. But I would like to try it again and give it another shot because I know that I can do better. I’m not sure what I’ll call it, but what I’m thinking is ‘Not for the faint of heart’ :)DSCN8540

And the photo of the night is that of the dogs. They were pretty cold so I felt bad for them. They usually don’t move or make a sound when they are in the house and it works well for them. We kinda forget about them.DSCN8544

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Christmas cookies

If you remember a couple of weeks ago Ma sent over a big container of Christmas cookies. She said that we should put them in the freezer and they will keep for quite awhile. Yea, like they were actually going to make it to the freezer! Instead we just kept them out and kept working on them until tonight. Tonight we had one lonely one left and even though it looked a little tough because most of the sprinkles had fallen off, it didn’t take long and just like that it was gone! DSCN8537Now I’m OK that they are gone because most of them went straight to my hips and I’m kinda not kidding.  But they sure were good!! Humm, I wonder if Ma has any Easter cookie cutters?

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Baby it’s cold outside

Well we finally got our winter. And it’s coming in pretty cold! The air temperature has been around -11 degrees and when it’s that cold it seems like the cars and pickup just kind of growl when you start them in the morning. I couldn’t figure out what the cows were doing this morning when I opened the door to see just how cold it was and then I realized that even though the wind was cold and blowing, the sun was actually out and was pretty warm if you were out of the wind. So the cows took full advantage of this and stayed on the south side of the barn. DSCN8536The dogs also stayed close to the house and tried to keep warm. I saw frost of Reno’s nose but they wouldn’t stay in the barn and insisted to be out for the day. I’ll bet she’ll be in the house more than once before the cold front is over. DSCN8538

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Green- Us?

OK, I’m first going to start off this post as saying that in the past people have asked if we are one of those ‘Green’ people and I kinda do a weird smile back and say well not so much but possibly a little bit. I mean I am probably more conscience of what we use in our house for chemicals and I guess that I’ve taken a personal global footprints test or two, but green?

So that brings me to todays topic – being green and fire starters. I like fire starters and use them quite a bit when we have campfires. Now I could say that I use them because our firewood is always so wet, but probably what is a better reason is because I don’t really have the patience to wait for the wood to get a good fire going. And if you are wondering just what in the world a fire starter actually is, well it is something that you add to your campfire to not only get the fire started but to use it as a constant fire source until you’ve really got a good fire. It can be about anything and in the past we had used sawdust from my dad’s woodwork shop and some wax. Now this brings me to the green part of this post. Guess what was used today? I’m pretty sure that you didn’t guess dryer lint, but if you did than you guessed right! I try to keep our dryer screen clean in-between loads and for some reason we can accumulate a lot of lint. I keep a trash can close by in our laundry room and well you can guess the rest. So today the kids went and melted down some old wax that I had leftover from candles and also picked up some more old candles from the thrift store for the fire starters that they wanted to make. And if you think our house smells good when I make soap, we’ll I can’d hold a candle to how it smelled this afternoon (pretty good pun huh?) The kids had a kettle on the stove for the afternoon and it was filled to the top with the candles that were melting. DSCN8534Now granted I do like using these fire starters and by the looks of it,  I think we’ll have enough for about 10 years.  Great job kids!!  Go Green! :)DSCN8535

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Helping Hands

You know when your kids are young and they help out once in awhile and help pick up their toys, it sure makes you feel good doesn’t it? Well our kids have always helped around the house and farm but tonight when I got home from work, the boys this afternoon took down all the Christmas lights from the yard fences, the tree and wagon, the lights off of 3 buildings, the porch poles, and also they also took down all the garland and the lights off of our house. Now I’m just saying that coming home to having all this done and packed away is a VERY good feeling and I sure appreciated it!

So what did I do tonight? Well I made soap of course. I’m working on building up my inventory and have made a couple of different soaps lately. I’m hoping to make a few more batches before the weekend is over and then do a good inventory to see just what I’ve got. I’m so going to be ready for a Spring craft show and I just hope they will be ready for me!!DSCN8532

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Maintenance work

I’ve been in the maintenance mode lately and boy am I doing a good job at it! Within 10 days I’ll have gone to my first mole checkup at the dermatologist, the optometrist , dentist, massage therapist, and hairdresser. Yea, pretty much a full body once over! So tonight was my dentist checkup.

If you know me by now, I’m not the fondest of dentists and really never get too excited to go there. I mean why bother if nothing is hurting you right? Well it’s so hard to get into any office anymore after work so I decided I better just do go. I was hoping for a snow storm that would cause me not to be able to make my appointment, but no luck on that! So of course in the morning I grab my toothbrush and toothpaste and head to work. Now I was so careful on what I ate during the day and did bring along some mints for my breath, but forgot about any kind of flossing. I’m not the best at thinking about flossing anyway and am OK with that. But when it comes to a checkup, I think about it A LOT more than when I don’t have a dentist checkup :)

So when work was over I get in my car and started to head over to the dentist. On the way there I remember how it sure seems like they yank my lips around at the dentist office so I start digging in my purse for my new chapstick that I bought the other day. I knew that it was in there but had the worst time trying to find it. So I’m driving and still digging in my purse and I think I finally had found it. But when I take it out of my purse I see what I really found was a small container of dental floss. Totally weird! First of all I had no idea that it was in there and second of all it was like fate or something. Well now that I had it in my hand I thought it’s probably a good time to use it. OK, flossing your teeth while you’re driving isn’t the easiest or the smartest thing to do so I was just out of town and decided to pull into the grocery parking lot and floss. I was thinking to myself that I’m so smart! When I get asked if I have been flossing by the dental office I can honestly say back, ‘you bet’ And guess what? It wouldn’t even be a lie! So I head over to the dentist and while I was in the chair the dental hygienist said that my teeth and gums are looking so good and I must be taking good care of my teeth and flossing. Now I waited for right time to chime in and then it happened. She said have you been flossing lately?  Shazam!! I said back to her “You Bet!” I didn’t really tell her that I just did it maybe only when I was in the grocery store parking lot, but sometimes you don’t want to share too much information anyway. But when the dentist came in to do a once over look at my teeth he said how good everything was looking and again I was feeling pretty smug about the whole thing. Now I don’t know if my mouth looked that bad before – but I’m taking these comments only as positive ones. Finally I told them that I use coconut oil in the morning and do what is called pulling. This is a process that you put the coconut oil in your mouth and kind of pull it between your teeth to get rid of all the bad germs before you brush. And it must work for me because I’ve been doing this pretty faithfully for almost a year and from the sounds of my dental visit – it was a huge success.  Score!

Now I don’t recommend this process if you don’t like coconut because you’re putting straight coconut oil in your mouth to melt it. I use about a tsp. of it and it’s an organic food grade coconut oil that I get at the health store. You swish it around in your mouth for about 10 minutes or so and then spit it out in the garbage. Kinda gross, but your mouth an teeth really feel good after it’s done.

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Weekend Photo’s

Well Christmas and the New Year has officially come to a close at our house. Yes we are one of those people who leaves the lights lit until the Epiphany and with it only 3 days away, I actually took down the tree. I had it lit up all day and felt kind of bad when I was taking it apart. OK, I know that this sounds a little strange, but I was stripping it of all the presents, ornaments, and lights and knowing that it gets tossed outside in the garden to decompose it did make me a little sad. But when William took the tree out of the living room and put it on the front porch, the living room was so clean and open without the tree it didn’t take me too long to get over the feeling bad for the tree thing. And now that the tree is gone, the dogs can see inside again and when the kids saw their sad faces, well we had company :)DSCN8512

Here are more pictures taken this weekend

Out for supper with the kids2016-01-02 18.22.37

Kelcie having to go back to New York today. Hopefully she’s going to have better traveling on her return flight! DSCN8511

Daryl bought another bed and to say that the dogs are loving them is an understatement! DSCN8504

We even caught the dogs actually sharing their beds with the catsDSCN8507

AND guess who is the most awesome card players in the house??DSCN8508

 

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Happy New Year!!

2016 – Holy Cow !! Who would have guessed that it’s January already. Now I don’t want to jinx this winter going fast thing.. but if it’s January already, then February is almost around the corner. Hopefully we won’t have such crazy snow storms or even worse such cold weather this winter. If it gets really cold the frost goes down too deep and well that also means that the pipes all start to freeze and you’ve got trouble! So we for sure don’t want that. Just keep thinking Spring!

So now with the beginning of a New Year also comes the great opportunity to start over with a clean slate. And what a better way to do that other than with a new planner. I wanted to try this one planner that I’ve been reading about and was lucky enough to get one for Christmas. Now this planner isn’t one that you just pick up and can use, there is some reading and goal planning that also goes along with it. Yup, just up my alley! So while I was thinking about this upcoming year I started to think of things that I didn’t get done in 2015. But because dwelling on the past sure can make your belly hurt, I decided to think about what I did get done this year instead. Now some of them was fun and well some of them were done purely out of obligation. Here is my 2015 list: Helped to organize an Irish Stew supper for the community in our parish, help to publish the second book in a serious of 5 for our town (this book dealt with our town’s business history going back to 1915 and it really was a big task), worked on setting up a photo gallery in our town for the Irish Fest, got a crown for my tooth (yuck!),  joined a new committee for creating an exercise trail for our town (Vice President), took a new position at work, started a soap business (Yea!!), got a mole checkup (promised William for 7 years that I would do this and finally did it), hosted 3 big family occasions this year on the farm with 2 of these occasions within 10 days of each other and around 100 people, and finally got my Secret Project done!!  Yup, it was kind of a busy year now that I look back. And I’m not sure which one is actually the best that I got to check off,  but I do know that I worked probably too long on the secret project and honestly wasn’t sure if I was ever going to get it done. Oh well, better late than never! DSCN8498

All wrapped up and ready to go

All wrapped up and ready to go

The book that I created is recipes from my Aunts and pictures and information that details their family as they grew up. I was able to add quite a few pictures and information and not that I’m biased or anything, but it is seriously a pretty cool book. I delivered them just this week and from what I’ve heard,  they like them as much as I do. Score! Well now it’s time to think about next year and my goals. My thoughts for 2016? It’s going to be an awesome year!! Happy New Year!!

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