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The Making of Our Dark Chocolate Mint Patties

I’ve been meaning to revamp our Dark Chocolate soap for some time now, and I’ve finally done it!

At Christmas our Mint Patties were quite popular and we had quite a few requests to have something minty as a staple offering. At the same time, I kept thinking about how to put a bit of a fresh twist to our Dark Chocolate soap, which has always been a favourite amongst those who have particularly dry skin. Combining the scent of peppermint essential oil and its skin benefits (it helps to soothe itchy skin) together with the original formulation for our Dark Chocolate seemed like a really good idea–so here it is! 😀

Making Dark Chocolate Mint Patties 1After combining all the oils together, I had to force myself to leave the raw soap alone for quite to allow it to set up enough to be spooned in fairly even layers in the mold. There was no way I could pour the soap straight out of the mixing bowl onto the first layer without disturbing it, so I had to use ladles to gently plop the second and third layers on. I really enjoy working with cocoa powder because of its rich chocolatey scent, but it’s too bad that it doesn’t carry through to when the soap is done curing. Doesn’t this look just like chocolate pudding? =p~

Making Dark Chocolate Mint Patties 2After smoothening out the top layer as best as I could (I’m no pastry chef, it was really wavy instead of flat!), I flicked some specks of whatever remaining “white” raw soap onto the top layer.

Making Dark Chocolate Mint Patties 3The last step to decorating it was to swirl the top after yet another short round of waiting for the soap to set up a bit. I covered the mold with a tray as usual.

After this particular session I rushed on home to be with the kids again, washing undone. (Okay, I’ll admit it–my parking ticket was about to expire and I didn’t want to have to run downstairs just to put in another hour!) The next afternoon I was back at the studio to slice the soap. Unfortunately I still haven’t figured out a way to do away with soaper’s ash, so the surface of the soap didn’t look quite as appetising as it did the day before.

And here’s what the soap looks like after it was sliced. Dark Chocolate Mint Patties looking and smelling really edible! :p This batch will be ready on May 1st, so watch out for them in our shop and website!

 

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Changes to Shipping Fees

I’m flexing my writing muscles again to stop them from atrophying. :”) Things are a bit more settled at the moment, with the house a little bit quiet in the mornings when both the younger boys are down for their naps. So I’m going to try to make it a regular practice to blog a bit more frequently so I can update you the way I used to do in the past.

So many things have come to pass in the last six months, and it’s incredible just how much can happen in that short span of time. We now have a full time Little Ray of Sunshine, Kelvin, who has been working diligently to get familiarised with our store operations, as well as to help brainstorm on some activities that will hopefully be useful and beneficial to you all in the coming year. While our sales have indeed grown (for which I am truly grateful), so have our expenses. I have personally taken a while to accept this reality of doing business (and it doesn’t make it any easier to deal with!).

For those of you who have been with us in the past year, you would have enjoyed our complimentary shipping on all orders. We were really happy to be able to provide this service on our account. Unfortunately due to the increase in courier charges across most courier companies, it has caused us to actually make a loss on smaller orders (e.g. the RM20 ones). So we have decided to maintain our current free shipping status on all orders till April 30th 2013.

From May 1st 2013, we’ll be offering complimentary shipping to West Malaysian addresses for orders valued at RM100 and above. If your order is below RM100, the shipping and handling fee will stand at RM8 per order. Most of you may already be aware of the care we put into ensuring that your purchases arrive in good condition – from using padded envelops and sturdy mailer boxes, to helping you follow up with the courier service if your parcel takes a little longer than expected to arrive. These materials are a bit on the pricey side but at least we rest easy knowing that your orders are fairly well protected in their little journeys to your homes and offices.

For those of you in East Malaysia the shipping and handling fee will be increased to RM8 per order as well. We’d love to be able to offer you complimentary shipping too so we’ll be continuously on the lookout  for possible avenues to make this a reality. No promises that it will happen in the next year though.

I’m really sorry to have to finally cave in and start charging for shipping. 🙁 This issue has been on my mind for months now because I really wanted to find a way around it. It seems that this is our best available option for the time being, and I hope you can understand why we have chosen this course.

Anyway, our complimentary shipping on all orders still stands right through this month of April, so you can still take advantage of it now. You can also pop by our store at Jaya 33 if you happen to be in PJ. 🙂 Take care and have a good week!

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Kinder Soaps in Three Magazines in April

WHEEE! 😀 We’ve got an overdose of media coverage this month… Feeling extremely grateful to everyone who made this happen. Including You. Yes you, reading this.

First up is a feature in Female magazine, in the story “Big Green Hearts” on page 286 which features four women who are engaged in so-called “eco-friendly” initiatives (click on the image to be able to read the article).

The other three ladies who were interviewed are so cool, and their endeavours are certainly noteworthy. First in the story was Miriam Loh De Shield who started the Edible Project in Taman Tun which aims to create a sustainable community garden where people can come together in a common plot of land to grow their own edible flowers and vegetables (this is something close to my heart because I’m also dabbling in growing our own herbs and vegetables at home). Next was Felicia Choo Si Jia, co-founder of Something where the creative team makes and sells items based on the principle of upcycling. Finally there was Manjula Murugesan, who is in charge of environmental engineering and management of Tetra Pak Malaysia, Singapore and the Philippines (whooaaa…).

Next up is a product feature in The Malaysian Womens’ Weekly as part of their Top 100 Beauty Hotlist which, apart from the team from the magazine, was contributed to by “beauty experts, celebrities, models and other beauty fans”. Our Goat’s Milk and Patchouli soap was picked by none other than Asha Gill!

Here’s what she had to say (in case the snippet on the page isn’t easy to read):

“I am a big fan of good old-fashioned soaps and am always on the lookout for non-toxic naturally-scented delights. I also love locally-made products and the owner of Kinder Soaps makes delicious, to-die-for products.”

Thanks for the approval, Asha! 🙂

Finally, there’s a little feature of our Summer Fizz soap in Her World, page 23. Ooh, and look at that bag made out of an old pair of jeans…!

So there you have it, our media coverage to kick off 2013. Thank you once again to everyone whom we had the pleasure of crossing paths with–we wouldn’t be where we are today without you. Take care and have a terrific week ahead!