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Curing Completion Dates For All Soap

For the curious, here are the dates on which the new batches of each type of soap will be ready for sale:

  • Breakfast Bar (August 2nd)
  • Clarity (August 3rd)
  • Dark Chocolate (August 4th)
  • DreamTime (July 27th)
  • Goats Milk and Honey (August 7th)
  • Goats Milk and Patchouli (July 31st)
  • Spiced Coffee (August 11th)
  • Summer Fizz (July 29th)

(Psst–Tangy Lavender is Done! 😉 )

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We’ve Been Busy

Reuben knocked out
Reuben knocked out

I think this photo sums up how I feel on most days (in a good way). In fact, I’m beginning to feel that the word “busy” is way overused and I’ll need to find some other way to describe the state of my day-to-day activities. :p

(In case you’re curious, here are some words you can use instead of “busy”.)

Reuben’s a bit under the weather, soldiering rather cheerfully through a cold. He still can settle himself to sleep without much help from me, just a piece of cloth with a dash of eucalyptus essential oil placed by his pillow to help clear up his nasal passages enough to let him breathe a little easier. Poor darling. I’m managing the brood on my own this weekend as my hubby is away in Langkawi for his company’s annual retreat. They’re living it up at the Andaman (but I hear that they haven’t kept the place as well as they should have for a 5-star establishment).

As for myself, I’ve been working in as much soaping time as I can while all three children are fast asleep, and have finally replenished all my soap varieties (phew!). They’re now curing. This coming week, Tangy Lavender and Summer Fizz will be ready to ship–and while they look a tad different from the current product photos, they still have the same lovely scents that you have come to know and enjoy. I’ll be working on new photographs soon and will put them up as quick as I can.

This photo of my curing rack was taken just last week. Today there is another rack identical to this (they’re both from IKEA, RM69 each) next to it (we removed the towel rail you see to the left of this rack), and they’re both chock full of soap! Haven’t had time to photograph the new setup, but what’s even more amazing is the whole cocktail of scents floating about in my office these days.

Alas, it will take more than heavenly or invigorating scents to keep me going at all that needs to be done. There’s just no substitute for an uninterrupted night’s sleep.

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Quick Update

Phwoar. I’ve enjoyed every moment of each day for the past few weeks, but oh my, the amount of things I end up cramming into my 24 hours is approaching near ridiculous. Even finding time to reply e-mails has proven to be tricky! Thank you for your patience–you guys know who you are. 😉

Anyway, just to let you know that I’ve finally managed to squeeze in some soaping sessions to put these on the curing rack:

  • Tangy Lavender (ready by 23rd July 2010)
  • DreamTime (ready by 27 July 2010)
  • Summer Fizz (ready by 30 July 2010)

I’ve also had to stock up on my essential oils to cater to some wholesale orders and enquiries I’ve received. As a bootstrapping operation it hurts when you know that you could have gotten a much better deal if you bought supplies in bulk… but at the end of the day, managing cashflow is all important to a small business’s survival. There’s no doubt that the old adage of ‘cash is king’ rings true!

Apart from that, we’re enjoying moments like these:

My side of the family and the kids

From left to right: my dad, Brandon, my brother, his wife, and Andrea. That was taken after a home-cooked bak kut teh dinner at our place, the first meal I cooked for my dad and brother since I got out of confinement. The kids adore their uncle and aunt, and vice versa. Grandpa is always tickled pink by the things that Brandon and Andrea say.

It’s all good, but I can’t help but think that my mom’s missing from the photograph. I do miss her so.

Alright then, it’s back to work!

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Behold – My Most Expensive Soap Ingredient To Date

Pure Vanilla Planifola CO2 extract This, ladies and gents, is a 15g bottle of pure vanilla planifola CO2 extract. Professional chefs use this in their creations–none of that vanilla essence you find in supermarkets. It smells like a slice of heaven, and it WILL be appearing in at least one new soap that I’ll be making soon. Will have to experiment first.

It cost me RM215, but if it turns out well in my test batches, you can bet your bottom dollar that you’ll be getting a truly luxurious, “scent-sational” bath experience like no other!

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Stocks Wiped Out!

And I mean this in a really good way! While I was away on confinement for the better part of June, I had a backlog of orders both retail and wholesale that have pretty much cleared off all the soap I had on my curing rack.

Time to schedule some hardcore soapmaking sessions! But I reckon it will be more of sneaking them in while all three children are slumbering.

Goodness, I have three kids already?! 8-}

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Experimenting – Skin Salves

It has long been an interest of mine to create a line of skin salves or balms to address various skin concerns, particularly:

  • an anti-mosquito blend. I’ve had enough of seeing my poor Andrea come home from playschool or my in-laws’ dotted with angry, itchy mosquito bites!
  • to soothe eczema flare-ups. My soap can help soothe skin over the long term by reducing irritation caused by harsh detergents and other external factors, but sometimes a more intensive treatment that is left in the skin may be required.
  • to calm down and heal skin that’s itchy and inflamed from bug bites, diaper rash, minor cuts and nicks.

Continue reading Experimenting – Skin Salves

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Now Available – Summer Fizz Soap

Here we are–have some fun in the shower with the Summer Fizz Soap! I originally referred to these as Sweet Orange, Rosemary and Peppermint Soap in my earlier blogpost, but that was a real mouthful. :p Hence the name change.

Read more about this skin and hair-loving bar of soap that has a scent reminiscent of fizzy lemonade over at the shop.

(Psst–if not for yourself, why not get one for mom? 😉 )

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Now Curing: Sweet Orange, Rosemary and Peppermint Soap

I love how this recipe turned out! Although it looks like a pretty, demure bar thanks to the subtle colouring from french red, yellow and green clays, it smells rather like a fizzy drink. Lemony Coke perhaps? Whatever your skin type I’m sure this will be a pleasure to use in the bath or shower!

But fun scent aside, there’s a very grown-up reasoning as to why I put together particular blend of essential oils. For the skin, this soap is meant to soothe skin irritation and any itchy redness (that’s where the peppermint and rosemary essential oils come in). Sweet orange essential oil is said to encourage the natural production of collagen in the skin, helping to promote youthful suppleness (but as I mentioned in an earlier post about the Tangy Lavender bar, I haven’t been able to stake this claim for myself). Apart from these skin-loving properties, the essential oils also work together to stimulate the mind (rosemary), beat back mental fatigue (peppermint) and promote a general sense of happiness and warmth (sweet orange).

Suitable for all skin types, but I would caution against using this for very young children (they’re already so stimulated–wouldn’t want to risk pushing their parents over the edge! :p )

Available for sale from May 1st 2010 onwards.