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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Activated Bamboo Charcoal Facial Soap

I've been wanting to soap with activated bamboo charcoal for awhile.  I have heard so many good things about it.  Bamboo charcoal has been used for centuries in Asia for skin care, medicine and other purposes, especially in Japan, Korea and China.  

Activated bamboo charcoal helps keep skin clear by absorbing oil and getting rid of dirt deep in the pores, removes impurities, detoxes skin, reduce/eliminate acne and whitening your complexion naturally.  Back in the old days in Laos, they used bamboo charcoal to whitening their teeth.  I might give it try, way cheaper than going to the dental clinic :))  

So here's how I made my bamboo charcoal soap with goats milk.

My goats milk lye solution in ice bath to keep it cool.

Oils melted, being that this a facial soap, all of the oils I used are non-comedogenic, that means it won't clog pores.

Adding charcoal and essential oils (tea tree and lavender), one of the best essential oils for clearing acne.

Adding goats milk/lye solution to oils * Sorry it's kind of blurry I took picture with one hand and pour with the other hand.  My multi-tasks skill :}

Stickblend>>>>>> reached trace, ready to be poured.

I used a lot of soft oils, so I have to wait for two days to unmold it.

Here it is, looks like a big block of black chalk :}}  Turn out pretty good.....

I forgot to mention I also made a round facial soap. This one I made with FRESH avocado and FRENCH clay.  I didn't have time to take pictures for this one. I was having a little drama with using a mailing tube.  It was my first time so needless to say, I was struggling quite a bit.

I love the rustic looks of my bamboo charcoal soaps.

Avocado French Clay Soap

Overall, I'm pretty Happy with my soaps. It turns out great:))  Happy Soaping!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

I'm Back......

Hello friends and family!  It has been a very long time.  No...., I have not given up on my berry simple life, just enjoying my long personal vacation at Maldives island.  Yeah, you wish, right?  Well, glad to be back..  I'm up early today and I don't feel like getting out of my bed.  It's too damn cold to go anywhere, the temperature here is below zero for the past few weeks. One city up north was (-42) degrees below zero last week, they still go about their normal daily life.  I guess after you live here for so long  your skin grows a thick layer of blubber that protects you from a harsh freezing cold weather like a polar bear. Unfortunately mine didn't grow an inch.  Talk about cold freezing weather, I'm hoping to make a butter bar soap sometime next week.  This will help a lot with your skin during winter.

Last week I got a chance to make some soy candles.  It was fun and easy to make.  Short and simple, soy wax is biodegradable, made from pure soybeans/vegetable, so its natural and non-toxic.  Oh yeah, we best support the American soy farmers as well, because there are over 350,000 soybean farms in the US.  Here it is, step by step:))

        I made a small batch at a time to test it out, plus my pyrex glass is big enough for 16 oz. (1lb).  You probably cannot see, there's a round cookie cutter on the bottom of the glass so it doesn't sit directly in the pot.  My homemade double boiler. The stick in the middle is for stirring.

                                                Soy wax melted.

                                             Getting containers/jars ready                       
        I used pencil and wooden stick to secure my cotton wax                                                   
When temperature reach around 175 no more than 185 degree, remove from heat and add dye, stir until completely mixed, add fragrance oil.  Stir thoroughly and gently.  FYI - add 1 oz to 1.5 oz of fragrance oil per lb of wax.  Set aside to cool.

Once wax cool to 135 - 145 degree then pour into containers/jars. Let it sit for overnight.

I put a warning sticker on the bottom.  Looks like a store bought candle, ha.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Good Finds

I hope everyone has a great weekend.  I was so busy cleaning my house and didn't get a chance to post anything over the weekend.  Anyhow, I got an Ethan and Allen mirror for ten bucks on Craig's list!  I'm so excited and can't wait to paint it and show it to you guys. I will post it as soon as I'm done.  And for those of you who have not seen some of  my furniture makeovers I did before I started this blog, here it is.....

I got this dresser for free on Craig's list for the boys' room.  Now that's a GOOD FIND!  It has a strong foundation, all it  need is just some paints and new knobs.


Alex and Nino sanding their dresser

The boys did a great job priming the drawers...

Completely primed!

Here's a closer LOOK :} Just like a brand new dresser. Cost me roughly $25 for paint & knobs


Here is a boring side/buffet table screaming for a makeover!
Tada!!My new seaside table :}
Love the sage and white stripes, it reminds me of a beautiful seaside.  I distressed it a little bit to create a shabby chic look.
Got this cute  fish knob at TJMaxx..

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Homemade Goat’s Milk Soap

Hello everyone.., today I’m going to share with you my homemade soaps.   All of my soaps are made cold process method and I allow it to cure naturally for 4-6 weeks.  My son and my mom both have extremely sensitive skin. Alex has suffered from eczema since he was a baby.  His dermatologist prescribed many different types of topical steroid creams.  I felt like he was using it way more than he should to keep it under control.  I did some research on goat’s milk and found that it has wonderful benefits for skin care.  The extra cream in fresh goat’s milk makes a super fatted mild soap which is good for dry skin and people with eczema.  I got my fresh goat’s milk at Poplar Hill Farm here in Minnesota.   Alex and my mom was the first to try my goat milk soap.  I can’t believe the results were very positive.  Alex uses less of the creams and my mom no longer takes a backscratcher to bed with her every night. 

 My very first batch of unscented goat's milk soap I made.

                       Honey Oat Goat’s Milk 
Made with fresh goats milk, organic raw honey, colloidal oatmeal, olive oil, rice bran oil and other beneficial oils.

·         Goat's milk contains rich emollients and vitamins that moisturize and nourish your skin.

·         Colloidal oatmeal has anti-inflammatory and anti-itch properties that help ease itchy and irritating skin.

·         Raw honey is a powerful natural antioxidants, it also contains anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties.

The combination of these simple ingredients  makes a wonderful soap for people with very sensitive skin.

Commercial soaps are normally made with harsh detergent/chemicals, when you have sensitive skin it will dry up your skin even more and makes it itchy.  Image below may be too extreme..hehehe.., however your skin is the largest breathing organ in your body, whether you have sensitive skin or not I’m pretty sure you don’t want to splash anything harmful to your beautiful body everyday…