Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Cinnamon & Ginger Soap Recipe

A week ago, a reader asked my Cinnamon & Ginger CP recipe.  Though occupied by my routine day jobs and taking care of my puppies, I had this in my mind for a while and want to share with all my friends.  It's nothing really new or different with other recipes you might find over the internet.  But the soap came out really aromatic, plus the scrubby touch of ginger powder.  I have friends who really enjoy this soap.  This soap does not produce bubbles but has subtle & creamy lather with a rather good moisturizing score.   I actually did three batches in the past few months:

Here is the recipe:

Olive Oil       30%
  Coconut Oil       28%
Palm Oil       16%
Safflower Oil     8%
Shea Butter     10%
Castor  Oil         8%

with  5% Lye Discount

Additives:                Ginger Root Powder added at trace
                                     Cocoa Powder added into half of the soap mixture
Essential Oil:                                                                   
  Ginger Root      24%
Cinnamon Leaf    24%
Cinnamon Bark    52%

Run thru any software (Bramble Berry or SoapCalc) to calculate the corresponding Lye & Water you will need.  Handle lye with proper care.  It should bring you a warm, aromatic & blissful bar.
Happy Soaping!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Puppy Update

I've been pretty lazy, or to make myself feel better, enjoy a slower life lately.  I've been easy let go, accomplish less daily errands and not feel guilty at all.  Call it age or whatever. Oh by the way, I spend pretty much of time just sit to my puppies and watch them sleep, eat & play.  Here is a little something recording a happy period of my life.

 Puppy  Rocky Jr. / Handsome Jr. / Little Beauty
 Puppy Rocky Jr.
 Puppy Handsome Jr. (see he peed >:<  )
Puppy Little Beauty

Every day I have two voices of totally opposite ends, keep them/spread the joy.  It sounds difficult but it's a sweet struggle though.

During the month, I whipped several soap batch and will have to come back to share.
For now, I'm sharing my little cuties :)

Monday, November 4, 2013

Puppies are finally here !

We love dogs and so much so, we decided to breed our female Maltese Danielle.  4 years ago we bred Danielle's mom and kept Danielle.  We called her Niel and enjoyed so much of her companion.  she's daddy's girl and brought happiness and laughter all the time.

What we did not expect is that the puppies grew so big and she was not able to deliver.  Ended up that we have to take her to the vet and they had to do a surgery in the middle of the night. Oh my poor baby.  She lost the 1st one since it was stocked there for too long.  3 hours with the vet, we returned home with 3 puppies, 2 male & 1 male.  All of them are overweight.

 Next day after the surgery.  The mom is still not really herself yet.

2 days later.  She was still very weak and did not have enough milk for the babies.  We cooked special food for her.  Watched her closely and I had to get ups several times a night..... boy I guess I'm bit too old for this.  Puppies all stick with mom like 24 hours a day.  They even slept with her nipple in the mouth.

Day 6, they finally could sleep without sticking to Mom's tummy.
Sleep tight.
Ohhhhh cute little faces.

One more week, the eyes will open, new hair will come out.  It's gonna be more fun.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

End of Summer Soaps

These soap were made about a month ago, well in few different days when I was filled with that huge soap-making urge.  Guess it'd be time again for soap making :)

Old time love - Lavender Fusion (color by mixing Ultramarine Blue & Ultravmarine Violet, well too bad the color was not quite as expected)

Cinnamon & Ginger

Ginseng & Mugwort Buttermilk

Rosemary, Nettle & Lemon Balm (infused)

Dead Sea Salt Soap - Lemongrass, Rosemary & Lavender Scented, topped with Himalayan Salt

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Herbal Vitamin Tea

All the years my body will not take store-bought vitamin pills, by saying that, my body shows problems if I take vitamins of any sort for a consecutive few days..... so  how do I get enough vitamins for my body in a more natural way?  The answer comes in handy from all these "Herbs & Natural Living" books & recipes I've accumulated in the years.  So here is my herbal vitamin tea bag:

The taste?  super smooth & delicious,  with the peppermint, stevia & lemon peel.
I think I'll add some Goji Berry with my next batch, for its benefit of eye nourishment.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Soda Ash

Few weeks ago I stumbled into Jenny's blog regarding options to deal with a common problem for almost all soapmakers, more or less.  It just happened with one of my recent soap .  This is a batch of Black & White color theme.  I had Pearl Mica for the white part & activated charcoal for the black.  I did spritzed the top with alcohol and covered the soap but that annoying ash still decided come & stay.  This makes the top surface looks really blur, without the clear & crisp image I want.

So here it is the perfect thing for me to try this method Jenny did and it worked.

The ash floats especially on the white part.

Close-up of the soda ash almost covers the whole white part the 2nd day the soap log was cut.  And I know it's gonna spread and cover more area.  

After steaming (by holding the soap surface over boiling water), the soap is shining freshly.

A close-up on the surface.  It even enlarged the tiny crack line.....

Right after steaming,  the soap looks great.  Once they got dry, the sheen becomes a little bit dull but still nice.

Monday, August 26, 2013

Aug - Full of Activities

August is a busy month, full of activities.  Under the busy & fast pace, it still flashes to its end.

This month, hubby went fishing like crazy.  He was swift among different places such as river, reservoir & ocean.  He's a happy sailor and fisherman.

Fish with no name yet to find

My helper shows off Big Rock Cod
my Jack Russel Terrier is below

24" Ling Cod

Almost 27" Rock Cod

All kinds of Cod

Our friends, employees all get to have their share of these fresh fish for there dinner.  Every body is happy.  Maybe my hubby was a fisherman in his previous life.

As to me, could be a dream weaver.  That's why I'm so fascinated with handmade, though I'm still dreaming about knitting, sewing, making leather item, except things I'm doing already like soap-making, wannabe herbalist & holistic life. 

I'm late with my blog since there are so much things out here.  Yes I'm trying to update it, at least a little a day.......

Friday, July 5, 2013

Herbal Remedies - Sleep Tight Tinctures

Here is an update on my Deep Sleep Tincture.  I've been taken this tincture for almost 3 weeks now.  Just 1 tsp before bed and it seems work for me.  (Maybe the vodka is working since I'm a non-alcohol person....?  LOL)

Under the rules of thumb that one should keep a relax mood, doing nothing that gets you too high, not consuming too much liquid.... I found it make me sleep deeper and woke up less in the middle of night.       8/16/2013


In the past few years my sleep disorder had come and go.  Most of time it was triggered by work pressure but sometimes it just come out of nowhere, without the least reason.  Since my mom has similar problem for almost 20 years, I suspect it might come with the genes (yah blame on the genes)!

Normally I would use Melatonin by bed time plus 2 drops EO Blend (Lavender+Chamomile+Marjoram) on my pillow and it works most of the time.  But 1 week ago I started to have trouble to fall asleep, spending almost 2 hours flips-and-flops.  So annoying and I started to think I need other ways to deal with it.  Even though I'm a 100% no-alcohol type of person (not even beers), I want to try if herbal tincture of Rosemary Gladstar's recipe and see if it can help.

By end of June, I made two tinctures:

Lavender Flower + Hops + Valerian Root

Add 80 proof vodka plus the beautiful California sunshine :)

2 inch alcohol over the herbs 

The 2nd tincture is St John Wort + 80 proof vodka but I did not take a picture.

It takes 4~6 weeks for the tincture to be ready...... am so eager to try (not the alcohol part though !)

Friday, June 28, 2013

Ultramarine Blue Challenge

Among all the natural colorants, Ultramarine Blue definitely ranks very top of my list. It's a beautiful & brilliant color to make your soap shine thru when properly handled.  Yes, properly handled..... It takes several trial  and error to get what you want to achieve, especially with cold process soap.

See the first photo was that vibrant, vivid blue that got me hooked since.  I still remember it was REALLY dark when the soap mixture was poured into the mold.  At that time I thought I had too much pigment in it.  But 24 hours later it turned out so beautiful....

Another batch, the blue became dark due to the Oakmoss essential oil.

In this batch, the charcoal kind of ate up the thin fine lines of blue.  Only the top blue survived.

 This is my latest batch about 2 weeks ago.  While mixing the pigment, a shearing force is required to get it thoroughly blended.  I used a mini  blender.  Apparently it was not blended enough, I ended up having these undissolved tiny dots in there (see the speckles in the picture, yak!!).  Imperfect color makes me sigh every time I saw it.  Fortunately it still smells wonderful with the Clary Sage, Lavender & Sandalwood EO. 

Now the urge to make another batch just to run after that splendid blue has grown inside of me every day.  How many days I can tolerate with that sound repeating "one more shoot" ?  I really have no idea !

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Colors from Nature: Sugar Lip Scrub

It's been a long while I have not made anything simply because of too much tasks from my day job which seems exhausted this body of mine ; then yesterday I got this bling in my head.  With the image in my mind, I think today is a good day for doing something with natural colorful ingredients.  So here they are, sugar lip scrub of all natural ingredients:

The simple joyfulness of life.......


Saturday, June 1, 2013

Flora Infusion

Chamomile Blooming / Filled with Boiling Water /  Strained Infusion with the help of coffee filter paper

 Chamomile, Horsemint & Rosemary / Filled with Boiling Water / Finished Infusion

Chamomile & Rose Petal / Filled with Boiling Water / Finished Infusion

Friday, May 17, 2013

Make your own labels

The other days I was wandering around those blogs I read always then stumble on this one, telling details of how to make your own "professional looking" label.

I was so grateful.  It's these people who are so generous to share their professional & experiences.  One of the biggest thanks and appreciation from my heart, especially a person came from the other country and rooted on her second home land, and, actually the place she has been staying even longer than her origin.

Let me not to stray from the label thing, here is the link to this lovely lady and I believe it had light up many other's heart:


Since I'm expressing my gratitude, here are people I've never met but received their warmth thru the internet world.  For me they are the mentors that make the world so beautiful.  They are:

Anne-Marie Faiola
Ruth Esteves
Rosemary Gladstar

I know there are far more great people out there.  Maybe I should find a good sunny day, with a good-old herb tea and peaceful hours, I would write down all these magnificent people in my life.......

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Breaks Along The Journey

I've neglected my blog for quite a while.... but if this is a record of my journey, no matter what the journey turns to, it still needs to be written.

First quarter of the year, I still made soaps.  Soaps made of herbs & spices, milk & clay.

Shampoo Soap

Ginger Spicy

Ginseng Buttermilk
Shea Butter with May Chang & Benzoin

Have been focused on my day job by devoting almost all my energy & time, my mind is also hibernated......