Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Shampoo bars are curing on the shelf!
Peppermint & Rosemary come together for an invigorating fragrance and wake-me-up shampoo bar. No added coloring, just a lovely creamy off white bar. My Shampoo bars are made with my same all vegetable recipe, but I have added a few extra oils. Avocado Oil for extra richness and hair nourishing power. And Castor Oil which helps create thick, large and loads of bubbles.
Look for it in about 6 weeks!
Monday, January 30, 2012
Tub Tea ~ Soak your skin. Relax, refresh, calm and cleanse.
Each package of my new "Take A Break" Tub Tea includes: Oatmeal, Powdered Milk, Sea Salt, Chamomile, Lavender, Rose, Spearmint, Rosemary, Juniper and Cocoa Butter. No added fragrance or preservatives. You will receive 1 1/2 cups of loose Tub Tea and a pre-filled muslin bag all inside a tin-tie re-closable bag. Good enough for 4 or more baths. Directions for use are on the attached tag.
Directions: Fill muslin bag with 1/2 cup of Tub Tea and toss Tub Tea bag into a warm tub. Gently squeeze the bag to help melt the cocoa butter and dissolve the sea salts into your bath water.
Caution: Tub may be slippery. Tub Tea is NOT for internal consumption.
Find it for sale at the Farmers Market and under my new "Body Care" category on my website (also listed under "Gift Ssuggestions" and "New products").
Friday, January 27, 2012
I replace the water in my soap recipe with real, melted Maine snow to create this fun, limited edition and extremely seasonal soap. Fragranced with a crisp, clean, ozone-y fragrance. Intriguing; this fragrance has supporting notes of sprint water, juniper berry, vetyver and sandalwood. Very nice and designed to mimic the feeling of peace and tranquility after a fresh snowfall.
Coming very soon!
Thursday, January 26, 2012
Brand new fun idea! 5 little soaps in the shape of hearts nestled in wood shavings and placed in a glass dish. Packaged up for a Valentines' gift in a clear cellophane bag and a sweet pink ribbon.
I will have these at the Brunswick Winter Market starting this Saturday (1/28/12).
Friday, January 20, 2012
I think that some of the most beautiful photos are taken just after the snow falls....here is what it looked like around my yard this morning after another 7" of snow fell overnight.
This was the backyard this morning,just as the snow had stopped and the sun was starting to come out.
This is the farm next door. Soo pretty!
I was out shoveling and captured this beautiful pine tree when along came a breeze and fresh snow was blown off the tree towards me.
This is not just after the snow,but 2 days ago at my moms house. The sun was rising through the woods. I thought it was very pretty and quiet looking.
Now, maybe some snow shoeing this weekend!
Tuesday, January 17, 2012
I found this on my new favorite site, Pinterest. Smoothie packs! You simply fill Ziploc baggies with your own blend of fruits and yogurt cubes and freeze them. Then when you want a smoothie, take a baggie out of the freezer and add a cup of your favorite milk (Almond, Soy or "regular") blend and there you go!
I have made about 10 baggies of these up and have them in my freezer right now! I already had loads of blueberries in my freezer (and totally local, I bought 25 pounds of them this summer at the farmers market), frozen strawberries that I had picked and some random bags of Mangos and Raspberries. The white blobs are frozen cubes of vanilla yogurt. I bought a large container of yogurt and put spooned into an ice cube tray. I let it freeze over night and then popped them out of the tray. So I put it all together. And then I put it all together and have my smoothies all ready! Don't you love it?
Monday, January 16, 2012
Wednesday, January 11, 2012
What is a Green Smoothie? A smoothie made with greens! I was first introduced to these last year at the farmers market. And made them quite frequently through the summer months when fresh greens and fruits at market are plentiful. Recently, my friend Jeanette has been posting a "fun-a-day green smoothie" on her Face Book page. I have been inspired again! I have tons of local frozen blueberries in my freezer, why not start my own green smoothie-a-day! I have been making a green smoothie each day for about 2 weeks now. A great way to start the New Year off healthy!
2 Summers ago, I met Jeanette and Heidi at our local farmers market. I blogged about it here: http://cascobaysoap.blogspot.com/2009/08/green-smoothies.html They brought their bike to market and whipped up green smoothies using a bike blender. We quickly called them the "Fender Blender Girls". Mixing fresh Kale with Mango and Banana, add some water and you have a deliciously sweet and fresh, good for you Green Smoothie! Excellent on a hot day, give them a try, you will be surprised.
Here is a link to a page about Green Smoothies:
Search for yourself and you will find lots of information out there, including videos on You Tube.
My personal favorite recipe:
3 large stalks of fresh Kale or handful of Baby Spinach leaves
1/2 C. frozen Mango chunks
1/4 C. or so of Blueberries
12/ - 1 C. of water, depending on how "loose" you like your smoothies
Put water in blender
Add Kale, I use the leaves only, picking the leaves off of the stem
Add the Banana, Blueberries and the Mango
Blend until all blended smooth.
You can add all sorts of fruits: Apples, Berries....maybe some Cinnamon or Ginger. Add a bit of natural sweetener if you like it a bit more sweet. Mix it up and enjoy!
Monday, January 9, 2012
I use both essential and fragrance oils to scent my soaps. Many times you simply can not get the fragrance you would like from a natural source and that is when I use fragrance oils. Fun fragrances like Vanilla Butter Cream, Strawberry, Chocolate or even Grapefruit would be a man made fragrance oil. Essential oils are often available and I use them with many of my soaps such as Lavender, Rosemary, Peppermint and Eucalyptus. Often Essential Oils are very very expensive and I would have to charge you much more for the soaps, that is also when I use fragrance oils.
Originally, perfumes and fragrance materials came from plants or animal sources. There is growing concern about harvesting some raw materials, such as Sandalwood. During the late 1800’s the first synthetic fragrance material was produced. From here, an explosion of fragrance houses came about. Now, perfumes were no longer reserved for the rich! http://www.teachsoap.com/fo.html
As an example, Patchouli oil has experience a huge markup in price lately. A tough year for crops, the yield was not just as large, creating a demand for Patchouli oil. 4 oz. of oil is $48.60 (and this is before I pay to have it shipped to me). I use about 4 oz. for one batch of soap. If you were to break it down to price per bar, I would need to sell an Essential Oil Patchouli soap for $8.50 or more per bar. Many of you would simply not purchase soap for that price. Due to this price, I chose to use the man-made fragrance oil. It is much less expensive and smells just as wonderful.
There are many ways to "get" the oils from plants for essential oils. Steam, Water or Solvent Distillation. Different processing methods are required to extract essential oils from different plants. Most oils are extracted using steam distillation, during which the plant material is permeated with steam. As the plant tissues break down, the essential oils and water vapor are released, then collected and cooled. http://oilganic.com/essential-oils-distillation.htm
Plants such as Patchouli, Mint and Lavender are steam distilled. Patchouli oil is steam distilled from the Patchouli leaves. Before distillation takes place the leaves are partially dried and stacked. Distillation is a physical separation process.
Commercially, distillation has a number of uses. Water is distilled to remove impurities, such as salt from seawater. Air is distilled to separate its components—notably oxygen, nitrogen, and argon—for industrial use. Distillation of fermented solutions has been used since ancient times to produce distilled beverages with a higher alcohol content.
After distillation, vapors are condensed, usually yielding a two-part system of water and the organic compounds, allowing for simple separation. Then you have your concentrated oil. It is a lengthy process.
The premises where distillation is carried out, especially distillation of alcohol, are known as a distillery. I can not do this on my own, I simply do not have the equipment, space, money or technology to perform this procedure.
(A distillation room)
I have a great supplier for these essential and fragrance oils. I have used and tried several different suppliers but found through trial and error that one supplier stands out among them all. I am happy to bring you the best essential and fragrance oils I can to use in my soaps. ALL the fragrance oils that I use in my soaps are skin safe and extensively tested. If it is of a concern to you, you can always ask me which soaps are Essential oils and which are Fragrance oils.
Thursday, January 5, 2012
I have 2 new soaps for sale....
Citrus Blossom is a delicate, light, floral, citrus fragrance. With some unique middle fragrance notes of Jasmine, Cyclamen and Peach, this fragrance has nuance and charm. Subtle musk and vanilla notes hold up the fragrance making it a lovely, sunny floral.
I added Calendula petals to the white part of the soaps and colored the top part with a bit of carrot powder to give it some orange tones.
To me is is a soft subtle citrus, a bit powdery, floral. Very nice and delicate.
Limited edition and just for winter, my new Winter Solstice soap.
Winter Solstice is a subtle twist on clean air mint with notes of Spearmint, Pepeppermint and exotic Water Mint. With a few notes of Chocolate and Cocoa, this blend is finished up with soft Vetevyr and delicate West Indian Vanilla. The vanilla in this soap is what makes it the lovely brown color.
I love this. A bit sweet, soft and subtle mint.
I will test these out, see how the sell, see what the customer reaction is at market etc. Stop by and check them out, or order on the website:
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
It's that time of year...eating healthy tops the list of soo many resolutions. I love to have creamy yogurt for lunch with a sprinkle of crunchy granola. Here is my recipe for granola. I change it up each time I make it. Combining different fruits and nuts, sometimes adding coconut or cocoa nibs. Eliminating the oil or butter, whatever I feel like. Make it your own and enjoy!
3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
3/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds or pecans or walnuts (really your favorite nuts)
1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds
1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 tablespoon wheat germ (optional)
½ T. flax seed (optional)
1/2 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 tablespoons canola oil or 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup pure maple syrup (preferably Grade A Dark Amber)
1 cup dried fruits (cranberries, cherries, apricots, dates, figs, and/or raisins) (optional)
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
In a large bowl combine the rolled oats, all nuts, seeds, wheat germ, ground cinnamon, brown sugar and salt.
In a small bowl, stir together the oil (or melted butter), vanilla and maple syrup.
Pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and toss together, making sure all the dry is coated with the wet.
Spread onto a baking sheet and bake for about 30 - 45 minutes or until golden brown, stirring occasionally so the mixture browns evenly. (The browner the granola gets (without burning) the crunchier the granola will be.) I set my timer for 10 minutes, then stir and reset for another 10 minutes etc.
Remove from the oven and cool. You will notice that the granola may still be sticky when it is removed from the oven but it will become crisp and dry as it cools. Make sure to break up any large clumps of granola while the mixture is still warm. Add fruits at this point. Stir to combine. The reason why you don't bake the fruit is so it doesn't get dry and hard.
Dried fruits, of your choice ~ cranberries, cherries, pineapple, currants, raisins, dates, figs, and apricots ~ or even chocolate chips can be stirred into the baked and cooled granola.
Try adding coconut, cocoa nibs or whatever you want for YOUR own granola.
I store my homemade granola in a Tupperware style container and it stays fresh for several weeks (maybe months, but it never has lasted that long)!
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Have you heard of Pinterest?
Pinterest is a virtual pin board. Pinterest allows you to organize and share all the beautiful things you find on the web. You can browse pin boards created by other people to discover new things and get inspiration from people who share your interests.
People use pin boards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and share their favorite recipes.
I have a group of pin boards that I have started. ORGANIZATION. I love it!! Putting all the ideas and cool things you come across online in one place, I'm in! Visit them and see what beautiful things motivate, inspire and make me happy. Browse around Pinterest, create your own pin board or follow me!
I have a button over on the right side of this blog that directly takes you to my Pinterest pin board. Enjoy!