Posted on

Essential Oils vs Fragrance Oils

Essential Oils Vs. Fragrance Oils

What is the difference between essential oils and fragrance oils? What are the benefits and drawbacks of each? When should you use each of them? To finance the time and research that goes into this blog we do use amazon links.

Essential Oils vs. Fragrance Oils

The positive benefits of essential oils

Essential oil have lots of benefits since they are the essence from nature. Plants, fruits, and herbs used to make them. So they are the more natural choice when it comes to scent. They are great to use for skin care products that want is more “natural”. Aromatherapy is definitely a thing. Essential oils like tea tree are great for acne, psoriasis, dandruff and general healing properties.

Natural is a problematic word.

Natural means different thing to different people but in the Oxford English Dictionary it means a “person or thing having a natural, unaltered, or unrefined quality or attribute. A natural thing or object; something having its basis in the natural world or in the usual course of nature. In modern use: a natural product, a product that has not been processed or manufactured.” I take this to mean if nature doesn’t create it then it is not natural. It is made with natural ingredients but if I created it, it is not natural. It has (especially in advertising) meant that the product hasn’t undergone chemical changes or is not manufactured in a lab.

There are plenty of things that are made in labs that are extremely beneficial like soap. Soap does not occur in nature it is a chemical process made using lab equipment (even if that la equipment is not designated as lab equipment, a bowl and a mixing flask serve the same purpose). There are also things that nature creates that are toxic and horrifying. For example, the different snake venoms or spider venoms are not something you would want to rub on your skin.

The Drawbacks of Essential Oils

Some of the drawbacks of using essential oils are that many of them are not recommended topically by themselves. They need a carrier oil which if you are using them in skin care products you are probably diluting them, but you must make sure to dilute them enough and thoroughly mix them into the carrier oil. You don’t want undiluted materials in your skin care product.

Another problem is that some are not recommended for use around dogs, babies, or pregnant women. Of course anything in excess is bad, even water can kill you if there is too much of it (drowning).

You also need to look at where you get your essential oils and the quality of them. While I have nothing against the oils themselves from young living and Doterra I do seriously have a problem paying so much for them to use them in soap. If I were to I would have to charge way more for a bar. Also I know that Young living is against you using their products to make other products and selling them. I recommend Plant Therapy. Their oils are a lot less money and a very high quality.

Another negative is that more essential oil needed to make the same scent as a fragrance oil. This can prove expensive very quickly and many essential oils have low flash points. So in soap or other processes where heat is involved you must use caution because if you add the essential oil  to soap and it then goes through gel phase (which can get pretty hot) then you lose your scent and just wasted the essential oils. Flash points are important and effect fragrance oils too, but not to the same degree.

To prevent the scent from degrading in soap

I recommend putting the essential oils you are going to use in Indian Healing Bentonite Detox Clay – 16 oz 100% Natural Powder Face Mask Reduces Acne – Aztec Organic Deep Pore Cleansing – All Natural for Skin & Hair Removes Toxins Premium Nature before making your soap. I use about a tablespoon clay to about 20 drops of essential oil. Then I put them together in a small covered bowl the day before then just add to the soap the next day. It is still heat sensative so add once soap has cooled if hot processing and after trace if cold processing.

Fragrance Oils

Fragrance oils offer a great variety of scents to choose from and hold the scent better. A lot of times an essential oil will fade as the soap cures. Fragrance oils are less expensive and you do not need as much of them most of the time. There are a vast array of choices out there some of which are naturally derived some of which are generated in a lab. Personally for soap I try to stick with Fragrance oils. For other products like bath bombs, lotion bars, lip balms, etc. I will use either an essential oil or a fragrance oil depending on what I am going for.

For valentines day I uses a lot of champagne and roses and other flowery scents. If you have ever priced out flowery essential oils you will be astounded (young living charges $250.00 for 5 mL of rose essential oil) so I used a lot of fragrance oils. For natural plain jane creams and lotions though I use essential oils.

The only drawback of fragrance oils is that most are not “natural” they are made in a lab. There are some that are a blend of essential oils and fragrance oils if you choose to go that path.

What do you like and dislike about essential oils? fragrance oils?

Posted on

Bath Salts Tutorial

Bath Salts are a great addition to a bath after a long day. Whether it be a stressful day or a physically demanding day. The great thing about this recipe is that most of the ingredients can be found at your local grocery.

Bath Salts

Recipe for Bath Salts

Ingredients:

2 Cups Epsoak Epsom Salt 2 Lbs – 100% Pure Magnesium Sulfate, Made in USA

2 cups coarse sea salt or Morton Salt Kosher Salt, 3 lbs

1 scoop Meyenberg Whole Powdered Goat Milk, Vitamin D, 12 Ounce

½ cup Arm & Hammer Baking Soda, 5 Lbs

Scent (essential oils or fragrance oils)

Colorant (lakes preferred) if using mica add polysorbate 80

 

Instructions:

Mix it all together. Very simple. The colorant and scent are your preference. If making it for someone else remember you cannot smell the scent nearly as well as someone else. Don’t overdo it.

If using mica, it may stick to the sides of the tub if not used with polysorbate 80. The polysorbate allows oil based and water based to mix. Mica is oil based and will float on top of the water, leaving a ring.

Do not store in glass for an extended amount of time. A chemical reaction happens between the baking soda and essential oils that will expand. I takes awhile but I have heard of glass jars exploding so to be on the safe side store in plastic or use within a month.

Bath Salts Printable Recipe

Posted on

Freedom? – A Poem/ Idea / Choice

Freedom?

A Poem / Idea / Choice

I am not you and you are not me

I am free because I choose to be

I choose not to define

not to confine

there are no chains to bind

I choose to stand

to speak

to yell

I choose to be or not to be

I choose to be free

Under no circumstance do you have to forfeit that choice

to forfeit is choice

it may be obvious which you should choose

which I may choose

but there the choice is

all the same

I am me

and you are you

I am free

are you?

 

Posted on

Soap Safety -What do you need to know before you make soap?

Soap Safety

With everything you do there is some level of safety that is maintained. While making soap is very similar to cooking there are some extra precautions that are necessary. The chemical reaction between lye and water (or milk) creates a lot of heat and the steam (mostly water vapor) has sodium (or potassium) hydroxide in it and can make you cough or hurt your eyes if your face is near it.

Soap Safety

If you were making soap in a lab you would mix your lye and water under a hood which would suck the fumes away from you.

I know that I can t afford to have an industrial hood in my house, but there are other ways of dealing with this steam. The one I prefer is to use the hood over my stove. I turn on the fan and keep my face away as I mix the lye and water. Another way is to make soap outside. Once the lye vapor is diluted by the outside air it is much less harmful (everything is harmful in excess). Personally I don’t want to make soap outside because of the creatures and people in my small neighborhood. You could wear a mask (which is definitely recommended if you use SLSA, but that is another conversation), but I don’t prefer one. The vapor is created only for a few seconds and I find it easier to just look away.

Use Goggles. 
Safety glasses
(These are cute and pink.)

Your eyes need protection too. If you wear glasses that is all well and good, but some nice goggles with spatter shield are even better.

Another concern would be your hands.

Spills and splatter happen and not only is lye a base that will react with your skin (not nearly as bad as portrayed in “Fight Club”) but it can get as hot as 170 degrees Fahrenheit. It is important to wear gloves. I like the dish washing gloves because they have some thermal protection and are washable so I don’t have to constantly buy new ones. I do not suggest latex gloves like doctors wear. Those can melt at the temperatures you will be dealing with, and you do not want to try to get melted latex off your skin while it is burning. Plus dish washing gloves go past the wrist and usually to your elbows or close to your elbows, offering more protected area.

Long sleeves and pants are also important.

I have spilled a gallon of oil on the floor, could you imagine if it was lye water instead. Plus oil is a slip hazard. (best way to get oil up is kitty litter) A little splatter on your clothes wont hurt you and will protect your skin. I wear an apron (partly for the cuteness factor), but mostly to protect my clothes. Oil is a pain to get out of clothes.

Keep the kids and pets away.

My kids love being right up near me, especially when I tell them to back off. Just like with cooking you don’t want a child to get burned. I put up a gate between my soap room and the living room. This way I can see and hear what the kids are watching but also keep them away and safe. Mostly I wait till they are sleeping, but if I did that as much as I make soap I would never sleep.

Posted on

Tackling the Grocery Store- With 4 Kids

While most of the time I go to the grocery store alone sometimes there is no way to make that happen. Most recently while my Fiance’ was gone for a week training for a new job. Four kids, no help, and no school. The grocery store would seem an impossible task but I have learned several tricks that I would love to share with you.

potty-training-tips-and-tricks-1

7 Ideas for Tackling the Grocery Store with 4 Kids

  1. Park next to a cart return. Preferably one with a nice shopping cart in it. If there is a cart to load kids in then it is so much easier to get to the front door without chasing kids around a parking lot. Plus when you finish shopping you don’t have to walk away from the kids to drop off the cart. All in all it is much safer.
  2. Use the multi child carts. I wish stores had car carts that seated 4 but 3 is good too. I don’t even care that they are really hard to push and steer, the ability to strap the child in is well worth it. car-cart
  3. Go down every aisle. I always forget things and if I walk down all the aisles i will usually forget less (or buy more I don’t need but better to have it and not need it then need it and not have it or is that with weapons). Except any aisle with avoid even the sight of those.
  4. Stop at the Samples of food. Feed them all for free. Snacks make shopping ten times easier. If you can remember to bring snacks more power to you. I barely get mine out the door with shoes on the right feet half the time. Sometimes the cashiers will even give you lollipops.
  5. Go when no one else is there. This is not always possible but if you are planning a grocery trip go really early in the morning or super late so there isn’t as much crowd. Kroger and Wal-Mart are open 24 hours in most places and going in the middle of the night is by far the easiest. I have put a blanket in the bottom of the cart and laid sleeping kids in more times than I can count.
  6. Master the 2 cart method. I push one cart and pull another more than you know. Loading the kids into one and the groceries into the other is by far the easiest way to protect eggs, bread, and snacks from grabby hands. img_0835
  7. Baby Carrier is a must when they are young. I have worn each of my children and it makes life so much easier. Especially when breast-feeding. I would never want to try to breastfeed in a bathroom with 4 kids. I do like some privacy though and a carrier gives me that privacy. Plus it keeps little hands off stuff. img_0830

What tips do you have for the grocery store? Do you have pictures of your kids at the grocery store? Are they as crazy as mine?

Posted on

Time Management- How I Balance All I Do

Have you been overwhelmed? Felt like there just are not enough hours in the day to get it all done? Stressed over impending deadlines? I completely understand. Having a large family (4 children 5 and under) is a balancing act. I have to make sure to spend time with each of them individually so they don’t feel let out. I have to make sure to keep up with their Pre K schedule. Then I added in my soap making company. I wish I could make soap everyday. Then there is marketing, craft shows, updating the websites and this amazing blog. Now I even added in going back to college. Crazy I know. There is a way to spin all those plates though.

spinning-plates

Is multitasking a thing?

While some things are easily multitasked many can not. Listening to music while working out is symbiotic. Writing  research paper while kids jump on the couch is definitely not. You can not keep kids from getting hurt while doing a major assignment. That is not to say that there are not ways to do homework with kids around. I regularly practice speeches for my public speaking class in front of my kids. I have taught them the bones of the hand as practice for me for anatomy. (Teaching is the best form of learning.)

Yet when it comes to most assignments peace and quiet is essential. Focusing on one thing at a time allows me to do a better job. My thoughts are more coherent. When I make soap or write a post on this blog I usually have to break it up into multiple short tasks so that I can finish. Finding an hour of time without interruptions is difficult, but fifteen minutes is doable sometimes even thirty.

Eating the Frog

This is a saying from a popular book Eat That Frog: 21 great ways to stop procrastinating and get more done in less time by Brian Tracy. Eating the frog pretty much means the most difficult task on your to do list and doing it first. Get it finished and you will have the momentum to tackle the rest of the day. Don’t keep putting it off or it will loom over your head. If you don’t like reading (that thing you are doing now) there is also a video that sums it up quite well. Eat that frog on YouTube.

The Dreaded List

While the list helps most people it does not help me. I will try to do wayyyyyyyy too much when I make myself a list. This makes me anxious and I end up getting nothing done. Having it all written tends to make me feel like I have to get the entire list done and Murphy’s Law (whatever can happen will) always intercedes, some huge event that demands my attention happens.

One of my twins slams the others finger in the door and breaks it……

Or my fiancé falls through a ceiling while installing insulation at his parents house…..

Or my sister goes into labor……

So many things can completely alter a To Do list. So I prefer to keep mine in my head so I can rework it and alter it as needed. Some important time sensitive things I will put in my phone or on my calendar, but the little things, like what needs cleaning or making soap I don’t schedule I just do. It helps that cleaning and soaping are relaxing to me. Flexibility is important. Lists may work for you and if so by all means use them. By all means organize everything. Channel your inner Sheldon Cooper but remember to be flexible. Life happens and sometimes (often for me) you have to just roll with it.

Prioritize

My most essential tool in my belt, when you figure out what you need  to do first everything just falls into place. There are a couple of questions to ask…..

Is this task time sensitive and if so how much so? Does it need to be done today or will tomorrow do, or can it wait a year?

Is this task important? Do you really NEED to do it?

I sort all these things into a table like the following. The urgent and important tasks get done first, then the urgent non-important ones, then the non-urgent but important ones, then lastly the non-urgent non-important ones. I do this in my head and very often switch the importance/ urgency of tasks but for some of you writing it down will help.

prioritization-table

If you want to see the article I got this graph from click here.

Ideas at the most inconvenient times

I have a very difficult time with recording all my ideas. Often,ideas start flowing and I am flooded with so many that I can not remember them all or even write them down fast enough. Ideas such as soaps I should make, or things I want to share with my readers, or answers to school problems that I struggle to save all of. A device to record thoughts would be the greatest invention ever, but alas it is not invented yet.

Voice to text and notes on my phone are very useful since I usually have my phone. I will jot down ideas (many of which I have no idea what they mean later) and work on them later when I have time. Many of the times when this happens I a driving or talking to someone. How rude would it be to stop a conversation to write something on my phone? The looks you get for doing so are only worth it if you are curing world hunger or the solving the grand unification theory. (I know too many big bang references)

I am sure there are many other ways all of you balance your spinning plates. What are they? I would love to hear your time management methods.

Posted on

Refreshing Bath Bomb

These are great for after a workout or a long sweaty day. When the biggest organ in your body (your skin) needs a refresh, a nice soak with this bomb can go a long way. For all of you who are starting a new fitness regime this at the end of a workout may be just the motivation you need to sweat your butt off.

refreshing-bath-bomb

Dry Ingredients
Wet Ingredients
Utensils

Notice that I did not add and fragrance oils or colorants. After all that sweating I would not want to add anything “pretty” just functional, no added stuff you don’t need just the refreshing awesomeness.

Instructions
  1. Melt coconut oil. You can use a double boiler a microwave or a crock pot. While this is melting you can move to step 2. If using a microwave do 30 second bursts so as not to scorch and stir in between. Microwaves do not heat evenly and are not prefered.
  2. Mix dry ingredients. I like to sift them through the strainer so I don’t get chunks. Make sure it is thoroughly mixed so you don’t get pockets of one ingredient.img_0891
  3. Mix wet ingredients. I like to put them in a small spray bottle so i can evenly disperse liquids. Make sure they are thoroughly mixed first. Once they are all mixed work quickly because if the coconut oil cools it will be solid again.
  4. Spray dry ingredients. While spraying the dry mixture mix it thoroughly. I find it is easier to mix with my hands which i why i use the gloves. It may fizz slightly and that needs to be snuffed out quickly. Make sure to disperse liquid as evenly as possible. It will help with molding later.
  5. For silicone mold you want to use more than you would regularly (right hand picture above) notice how the mixture looks in the bowl, not nearly as powdery. For the muffin bomb I put it in the spherical mold then put the sphere in a cupcake liner. Molding the cupcake bath bomb
  6. Then flip it and walk away. it will take about an hour to sink down into the silicone cupcake liner. This has taken me awhile to get right so it may not work the first time. If it doesn’t work then next time use more moisture. Don’t use too much or it will overly squish.

After about a day you can wrap them or use them whichever you prefer. I hope you enjoy your Refreshing after workout bath bomb. If you have any questions feel free to comment or if you are shy we have a contact page as well.

Posted on

New Year, New Workout

I will be thirty this year and maintaining my weight has been easy before now. Four kids and a sedentary lifestyle have taken their toll. I can not let it continue to. My once DD’s are now J. My once size 14 hips are now 22. So it is time. New year, New workout.

new-year-newworkout

I cut red meat and have eaten fish and chicken for a few weeks. I have started making salads daily. I also skipped the candy canes and chocolate for Christmas. About a week ago I started working out while watching tv instead of laying on the couch. Even now I am telling Siri to write this instead of sitting and typing.

My kids have even joined me. Squats, crunches, push-ups, running With 4 kids in tow has been difficult but determination will solve all problems.

Squats: while doing laundry, to the mailbox, my kids thought mommy was funny at first but now they are trying to do them too. Even the 2 yr old tries and mostly sits down (it’s super cute though).

img_0843

Crunches: while watching my grey’s anatomy or game of thrones, with baby while nursing(yes I nurse my two-year old).

Push-ups: this usually goes badly. My littlest climbs on my back every time he sees me get in pushup position, but the other three get right next to me and try.

Running: this one is the hardest. They don’t make 4 seat jogging strollers, so I pretty much jog (mostly in place) trying to get them to keep up. The boys are great but my daughter is very spoiled and always tells me how tired she is. Eventually she will run for a bit but then she starts the scream crying. I keep trying though the hope is eventually she will run with me.

4922e71f-6433-4cdd-b767-ed05f14d23eb
What does your workout look like? How do you overcome your hindrances? What’s your favorite healthy food?

Posted on

Body Butter Tutorial- with printable recipe

body-butter-tutorial

I love body butter especially in winter. It is so moisturizing to my dried out skin and made completely with natural ingredients. I even have some customers who use it in their hair for their curls. It goes on like butter and melts into your skin just like butter and toast.

Body Butter Tutorial

img_0795All you need is shea, mango or cocoa butter, coconut oil or tallow, and a liquid oil (like olive, jojoba, or babassu). I use Shea, coconut and jojoba usually, but I have some customers who are allergic to coconut oil so I modify the recipe for them. I melt down my butters and oils first. You can use your trusty crock pot or the double boiler method.

Once all are completely melted, blend really well. You can also add in scents (essential oils or fragrance oils but if you are going for natural go with essential) or even colors (I like mine naturally colored but you can use micas or other colorant). img_0796Once your mixture is thoroughly mixed remove it from heat and chill. This step takes about an hour or two depending on your fridge. You can also use the freezer but I never have room in mine. I like to use a freezer bag or cellophane to seal it before chilling so if there is stinky stuff in my fridge it doesn’t transfer to my body butter and via versa (Lavender carrots img_0797are just weird). It is done when it is no longer clear but starts to solidify.

If you forget about it you can still whip it it just takes more effort and doesn’t get quite the right consistency. For the whipping stage I love my stand alone mixer but the electric hand mixers work fine. Just whip away until it looks like frosting consistency. I like to use a piping bag and various tips to fill containers. Then put the containers in the fridge to set for about 5-10 minutes.

Printable Recipe:

Body Butter

img_0802

I like to use these jars because you can get them with the sealing disks and it helps keep it fresh and professional looking. You can add labels to the top or sides of the bottle. I suggest waterproof labels since as the customer uses the product they may get oil on the outside. I for one hate when I can’t read the label and want more but can’t remember the name of the company.