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Today’s Pick-Me-Up

It’s not a new soap variety, but rather an e-mail that came from a new customer that completely made my day. Here’s an excerpt:

“Husband ran out of his usual Protex soap so he curiously used the only other soap in the bathroom – my DreamTime. (My husband) is a pretty manly man – he came out of a spa hating it because it makes him smell like a girl. But he loves Dreamtime, said it reminds him of the soaps from Russia he used in his childhood. I used it mainly as a convenient cleanser for my face in between waking up and bed time. The difference is amazing. Love the smooth texture of my skin and my face feels moisturized without being oily.” -Shaza Hakim, Partner and Creative Lead, Stampede Design, 7 October 2010

I reckon this is the most flattering feedback I’ve received about DreamTime so far. Thanks for sharing your feedback, Shaza. Much appreciated.

You can read testimonials from other customers here. Feel free to stroke my ego. ;;)

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Back In Action!

Phew, last night my gynae finally gave me the go-ahead to be discharged from the hospital, and I’m now home with my family! Baby and I are doing well. I’m very grateful for the whole experience–I got some much-needed rest, and I’m also even more thankful for my hubby and children (though I can’t say I’ll miss hospital food).

Apart from medication, the doctor sent me home with advice to put my feet up more often and not to do anything too strenuous. I’ll have to adjust to being even less active than I was last week, which feels very strange! But still, business will go on as usual here, though not quite as speedily as I would like.

Thank you for all your good wishes and prayers–they helped in some way or other, I’m sure! Have yourselves a great weekend.

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The Bestest Mother’s Day Video I Can Think Of

Gone are the days of me cringing at the thought of my mom yelling at me to do things (or Not to, more often!) — because I’m the one now sounding like a broken record when I’m with my two darlings!

My favourite line: “And if all your friends jumped off a cliff, would you jump too?” ;))

Happy Mother’s Day to all you mommies out there. And while I’m at it, why not treat your mom (or yourself) to some skin-loving goodness by getting her a bar or two of my soap? Go on, have a nose around the shop. 🙂

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My First Etsy Treasury List!

My First Etsy Treasury, "What Mommy Wants" I waited and waited and waited…

Then finally the window of opportunity opened and grabbed my first chance to create an Etsy Treasury. 🙂 Oh, the (cheap) thrill! I called it “Mommy Wants These!”. You will not get a prize for guessing the rationale behind it.

Found that fun? Then please visit the Treasury and check out all the wonderful handmade things that other Etsy sellers lovingly craft for our enjoyment.

Happy weekend!

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What Are A Soapmaker’s Instruments?

I read somewhere that one soapmaker likened churning out a batch of cold process soap to making a banana cake in your kitchen. They are both just as easy or complicated to make, depending on how fancy you want the outcome to be. Now that I’ve been making soap for quite a while I can see how that comparison came to be. :p

Here are some photos of the utensils I can’t do without when I pull on my gloves to make a batch of soap.

Stainless steel pots. The one on the left is for making the lye solution (sodium hydroxide + water), while the larger one on the right is for warming up the oils. It’s important not to use any utensils that contain aluminium, as the metal reacts with sodium hydroxide and won’t do anything good for soap. Trust me on this, because I found out from first-hand experience. Ahem. :”>

Clockwise from bottom left corner: 2 heavy duty plastic pitchers (to measure out lye and for containing raw soap), 2 slotted spoons (to mix lye and oils), melamine mixing bowl (I usually mix my raw soap in there), another heavy duty plastic pitcher containing hand blender attachment, two stick thermometers and a rubber spatula (for scraping off every last little bit of soap from the sides of my mixing bowl).

My two stick thermometers (also known as meat thermometers). Very important, as I have to keep track of the temperatures of both the oils and lye mixtures, ensuring that they both fall within the same range of between 32C and 42C, before I can mix them together to get saponification going. Falling out of this temperature range can mean a failed batch of soap (so I read), although I have yet to experience this.

You can find these thermometers at specialty baking shops, the more uppity departmental stores and also your local hardware store. I bought mine from Isetan KLCC, as I was still holding down a full-time job nearby at the time.

And finally, the item that works the hardest for me — my trusty Philips hand-held blender. Without it, I could be stirring my raw soap mixture for 3 hours before it saponifies enough to be poured into molds! Thankfully it usually takes me just 5-10 minutes tops to bring my raw soap to trace.

So there you have it — a little tour of my kitchen utensils that help me make soap. Isn’t it great that they’re familiar items? No fancy specialty gear needed. And for the record, all these are used ONLY for making soap — I don’t use them to prepare any of my meals. While I take great pains to make sure they are thoroughly cleaned after each soapmaking session, I can do without the possibility of having traces of soap, essential oils or at worst, LYE, in my food!

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Our 100% Money Back Guarantee

Sorry for going MIA from the blog for quite a while. The household has been very busy (as has been everyone else) with Chinese New year preparations and me trying to keep up with the children! :p It’s been fun — our new servant from Cambodia arrived about 2 weeks ago and she’s settling in well. Her English is pretty rudimentary, so it’s like teaching another child in the household how to speak the language. I think she’s doing admirably well.

I took a short break from making soap but it looks like it’s time to restock again. My DreamTime bars are almost all gone now! Thank you to all who placed orders over the Chinese New Year and Valentine’s period, and a very warm hello to new customers who made their first purchases from us recently.

Ah, here’s the thing that I’d like to announce — The Kinder Soap Company’s 100% Money Back Guarantee. I’m so confident that my soaps will benefit your skin in some way or other, that I’m willing to offer a full refund on any purchase that you are not satisfied with, for whatever reason (except for them turning up a little worse for wear after going through the postal service, sorry :p). You needn’t send the soap back to me. Just write in to me at michelle(at)kindersoaps(dot)com and I’ll make arrangements for a refund right away (including shipping costs, if applicable).

Now how’s that for quality assurance and peace of mind? And as an internet shopper, would you feel more at ease with this kind of guarantee being offered to you? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

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We Now Accept Payments Via Paypal!

Oh finally, oh joy, Kinder Soaps is now able to process your payments securely using PayPal, for a more complete online shopping experience! 😀 You’ll see it as a payment option as you make your way through the checkout process.

In other news, we found out today that we’ll be expecting a baby boy in June. :”> I’m just glad that with all the rushing around with my two little monkeys, baby no. 3 is growing very nicely.

I’m also happy to announce that I’m gearing up for this year’s Chinese New Year and Valentine’s double celebration by whipping up new soap recipes to fill your gift baskets! Also in the pipeline is a purifying french green clay facial mask which I am still perfecting, meant for congested and sensitive skin that needs some extra cleansing and pampering. Hoping to unveil that within the coming week.

Happy weekend!

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Essential Oils In The Mail, Whee!

Last week I was poking around to get some essential oils for my next batch of soap. There was such a variety on offer, it was quite difficult to rein myself in and not get carried away! So I finally settled on 5 bottles. They arrived beautifully and safely packaged on Saturday morning–the start of my excellent purchasing experience with them.

Continue reading Essential Oils In The Mail, Whee!