Saturday, September 3, 2016

Making Pumpkin Soap

Fall is approaching fast and I am guilty that I am one of those Fall Fanatics! I've already went through a whole Pumpkin Spice Scentsy wax! So, let't go through our first tutorial on how to make Pumpkin Soap!

    What You'll Need:
  • 3.2 oz. Lye
  • 1 Cup Distilled Water
  • 6.5 oz. Coconut Oil
  • 6.5 oz. Palm Oil
  • 7.5 oz. Olive Oil
  • 1.3 oz. Castor Oil
  • 1 ml. Vitamin E
  • Pumpkin Essential oil or Fragrance Oil
  • 1 tsp. Tumeric
  • Stick Blender
  • Seperate mixing bowl just for soap
  • Measuring cups
  • Seperate rubber spatula just for soap

First you'll want to mix up your lye solution and set it aside. I do ours outside in a well ventilated area and since I don't want any of those fumes to go to my growing baby, I cover my face with a towel.
Your lye will get to about 200 degrees, so be careful! Once this is mixed well, make sure you have a thermometer in there and find the easiest way for you to cool this lye solution down. We put ours in the fridge and freezer until it gets to temperature. You'll want it between 100 & 110 degrees.
While that's cooling down, go mix up your oils.

To mix your oils, this is the super easiest part. Just start measuring and put into a large mixing bowl. We use a scale to make sure measurements are correct. You always want to measure soap in weight, not volume.
Once you have all the oils (minus the essential oils, vitamin e, & colorant), you can gently stir to mix them all together.

Go ahead and set your oils aside and check on your lye solution. This will be your only down time in making soap.

Once your lye has reached temperature you'll get your stick blender ready and go ahead and carefully add the lye solution to your oil mixture.

Now comes the most crucial part in soapmaking (in my opinion). Use your stick blender and start blending in short bursts. You'll want to stop just as it starts getting pudding-like. You still need to hand mix in the fragrance and colorant so you want to leave room for that action. Ultimately you'll want to end up with just under pudding texture. Smooth enough to pour into molds, not scoop.

Once you have the desired consistency, you can add in your Vitamin E and your essential oils or fragrance oils. How much you add is totally up to you.
Hand stir these in gently and once you have that finished you can add in your colorant. For the pumpkin I used tumeric as a natural colorant. Not to mention now wonderful tumeric is for your skin! If you don't know how great it is. . google it!
For my colorant, I just mixed the tumeric with a little bit of water, just enough to get it to a liquid consistency. Then gently hand stir into your soap and you've got beautiful orange pumpkin soap!

Once you have your desired color, desired fragrance, and desired texture .. you are ready to pour into molds and let cure.
Once in molds, you'll want to set in a dark cool place and cover with a piece of cardboard and then towels to keep it insulated. The soap will stay with way basically until you feel comfortable unmolding it. Usually takes about 4 - 7 days.
When you have gained enough confidence to take your lovely bars of soap out of their temporary homes, you'll want to keep them stored on a rack so that they can breathe all the way around the soap. They will need flipped at least once a week and they will stay here for about 4 - 6 weeks until curing is done. Yes, it's a lengthy process, but oh so fun!

Good luck! If you have any questions please feel free to email us or leave comments.
And if you find this interesting, but don't have the time or money to attempt homemade soap on your own. Just visit our
shop and pick yourself up a few bars!

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Etsy Shop Announcement

For those of you who follow me, you already know my passion of making soaps. But did you know we have an Etsy shop!? Also, did you know we not only specialize in soaps, but we also love, love, love to dabble in pallet projects. Like anything you can think of! See something on Pinterest, we can make it for you! So let's use this space to feature some of my favorite items and talk more about the shop!

Let's start with a little about us.

Our Etsy shop has been open for a little over a year now. We have spent that year perfecting our soap recipes and branding our label. We are always learning and experimenting with new recipes though. We are taking this 2nd year of being open on Etsy, and we're considering it as our first real year knowing what we are doing. So, we've partnered with a local photographer to help us get really good pictures of our products, and we are expanding our line based off requests that we've gotten in the last year. We are very excited about year 2 and we cannot wait to share all the products with everyone.

Hippie Times Bar Soap.

Isn't that one pretty picture!? Thanks to my wonderful photographer for making our soaps totally come to life! You can view some of her work on her facebook page, here
Our Hippie Times bar soap is made with a Patchouli essential oil so you get that clean hippie smell all day long. We also use organic dried Sage as a natural exfoliate in this bar. This is one of my favorite bars because the exfoliate is not harsh on the skin. Sage is naturally a softer herb so it has a smooth feeling while still getting dirt and grime off. This bar is really a great all year round bar of soap. Summer is always good because it helps keep the bugs away, but there's something about Patchouli in Fall that I just love. Like I said, this is one of my favorite bars and one of our best sellers!

Lemongrass Bar Soap.

Lemongrass Bar Soap is our best seller. We came out with this bar just this summer to help keep the bugs away. This bar works great in the kitchen too, as it has organic lemongrass in the bar as another gentle exfoliate. This bar is made with lemongrass essential oil and organic lemongrass. I really can't say enough good things about the Lemongrass bar. Everyone that picks it up walks home with at least 1 bar. Guess you'll just have to try for yourself.

What our Soaps are Made of.

Obviously, all of our soaps are Organic, and Vegan. We do make lye based soaps, and I know Lye scares alot of people. But did you know that when the soap properly cures, there will be no traces of lye in the soap!? This is why soap takes about a month to cure.
We also do use palm oil. But i make sure to order the CSPO Certified palm oil. This means that no rainforests were harmed in the harvesting of the palm.
We use the cold process method in small batches. Our batches are average 8 bars a batch.
We use the very best essential oils and herbs and love to experiment with new scents and combinations. We are always creating something new whether it be a new scented soap or a whole new product. We also do have body mists and tinctures. We will be adding to these this winter, hopefully.
So as you can see, we take the very best pride in our soapmaking. It's always been a 'want' for me to accomplish but was never in reach. Finally my husband and I decided to venture on this journey and here we are a year later totally loving life and all that is soapmaking.

The Very Best News!

Our soaps are carried in a shop in Florida! This is huge for us because we are currently located in Illinois! We are also carried in a local coffee shop for our coffee soap, but that's another day. This is so good for us because more people all over the US will get to experience our soaps! So if you ever find yourself in Florida, track down Magpie Arts Studio and get yourself a bar of Studio 108 Soap!
If you aren't able to snag some soaps in person, please visit our Etsy shop we are working so hard at building and making wonderful! Just click on the Etsy icon to the right underneath our picture and you'll be directed to the correct place. Thanks so much for showing an interest in our soaps! If you've gotten our bars before please leave us a review on our Etsy shop! And if you have any questions about our products, feel free to email us!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Preserving Aloe Vera

Last weekend I was visiting my parents in Kentucky, and I stumbled across the largest Aloe leaf I've ever seen. I know there are plenty of areas that have Aloe this big, but coming from the cornfields in a small town, this doesn't come around often. Naturally, i bought a leaf bigger than my arm. I got it home safely and then it dawned on me that I had more Aloe than I knew what to do with. I did some research and I decided my best option would be to preserve it. This way I have it on hand so I can start using it in . . . well, everything! So, here is how i preserved my Aloe.

    Saving Your Aloe
  • As much Aloe as you can find
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin E
  • Jar for storage

First I cut my leaf. You can google how to do this if you've never cut a leaf before. This was my first time and it was super fun and pretty simple. Once you have all of the aloe meat out, chop it up into small squares. Just small enough to fit into the Ninja or food processor. For every 1/4 cup of Aloe, you'll want to add 500 mg of Vitamin C & 400 IU of Vitamin E. I had 1 1/4 Cup of Aloe in my leaf.

Blend this all up into a puree and store in an airtight jar. This will keep for up to 8 months in the fridge. And imagine how good this is for you. If you don't know the benefits of Aloe, I recommend that you do a quick search, because the list goes on and on.

Now you can start harvesting all the Aloe you can find. Or start growing your very own plant!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Strawberry Basil Lemonade

There is nothing more refreshing than ice cold lemonade on a hot day. Why not take it up a notch? This hydrating drink only takes a minute to stir up and will keep you hydrated all day long.

  • Homemade Lemonade to taste
  • 3 Frozen Organic Strawberries
  • 3 Small Basil Sprigs
  • 1/2 Lemon, Frozen

This is a pretty simple recipe. All you need to do is pour your lemonade into a Mason Jar, no ice. Then go pick and wash your Basil sprigs (hopefully from your garden). your ice will be the frozen strawberries and the lemon. Throughout the day, the strawberries will infuse into the lemonade while keeping it cold and delicious.

I've also previously posted the Basil Lemonade recipe so if you'd like to use that and just add in your strawberries and lemon, you can find that recipe HERE.

Friday, April 8, 2016

The Time We Took A Road Trip

You have this great idea that you want to travel the world and go on all these adventures. Then you start breaking it down and the whole thing becomes really overwhelming. Where do you begin? How do you prepare? Well, my hubby and I went on the ultimate road trip and I’m going to break everything down for you and share our journey. Over the course of a few posts..

We sat there on new years day, knowing we were going to take a road trip on the west coast, but not much more than that. We hadn’t started to save money yet, but we knew tax season was upon us. I pulled out my laptop and we started searching places that we knew we wanted to visit. We knew we were going to stay Portland because hubby has family there and grew up in Vancouver, WA. So I mapped how long it would take us from St. Louis, to Portland. . . 33 hours. Wow – ok.

Backtrack. Grandma had gotten us plane tickets to Portland for Christmas and we planned to rent a car from there. Literally, that was the only thing planned out and that didn’t even work out right. So no one told us that rental cars are over $1200 to rent 1 way. There goes our plane tickets, hello 33 hour drive.

So we knew we were going to drive to Portland and obviously stop once to rest up. From there it was unknown. We knew we wanted to drive down through California and stop in Vegas. We knew we were going to stop at the 4 corners and see that. And we knew we were going to go back through Denver to stay with one of my best friends. Everything in between was unknown.. Through my research there at that table with family surrounding me, I found out that Antelope Canyon was just outside of the 4 corners! This has been on my bucket list on Pinterest since Pinterest came out! And if it’s on Pinterest, it’s a legit bucket list!! Definitely adding that to the stop list! Beyond those stops, everything was really unplanned.

We then mapped everything out and determined about how long it’d take from point to point and this is what we came up with. We figured we’d take 2 days to drive to Portland. Stay in OR for 4 days. Then take a day to drive through Cali down to Vegas. Stop in Vegas, see it, leave it. Drive over to 4 corners and spend the night in Antelope Canyon. Then drive up to Denver stay with my friend, then home. Boy was it nothing like that. . . let’s get started on our journeys!

Oh, first I should talk about our preparation! We started saving up money just after Christmas. Tax season came and we only stashed about $500 of that. By the time March came, we had about $1600 saved up for the trip. We also had a MasterCard with an unlimited limit from my wonderful mother, just in case of emergencies. We also used this for the rental car because they put a hold on the card. I paid the card off as soon as we got home from the trip. We took the pup to my sister and I paid $20 to my good friend I work with to come check on our kitty every other day. Ready to rock n roll.

We didn’t get up early. We didn’t set any alarms. We woke up from excitement around 8am. All of our stuff was packed, just needed to be loaded into the truck. About 40 minutes later and we were saying our goodbyes to the kitten and nervous as heck to be going so far from home with no real plan of action. We went to drop off the puppy and get our rental car. We had a few stops to make but we finally got on the road about 11:30am on Friday morning. The drive through Illinois and Missouri was endless and boring. We got to Kansas City, MO and traffic greeted us with a steady halt. Windows down, and Road Trip radio blaring was the only way to get through that mess.

With IL & MO in our rearview, we were off through the tip of Iowa then we hit Nebraska. Still a boring state, but the openness was breathtaking. All I could do was kick my feet up on the dash and enjoy the open road and my hubby by my side. Nebraska was long and boring. We didn’t stop much, but that was mostly because we packed a whole bag of food, and a cooler of drinks. Whenever we got hungry I just made us up some sandwiches and grabbed us a drink. Not having to stop for food was a huge money saver and time saver.

We finally made it to Wyoming! We had figured up on the way there about what area we would hit around midnight so we aimed to get to Cheyenne, WY. So, this was before we discovered Air BNB and we were foolish enough to get a hotel room. *never again* We rolled into Cheyenne very sleepy and nothing booked at a hotel. I am very picky with my hotels so we found the closest Holiday Inn. $127 – heck no! At that rate we wouldn’t get past California! We found some no name hotel and took it for $80.

Keep reading to part II to see how the next leg of the trip goes.


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

New ideas

The last post we made, we were 6 weeks out from our trip to Oregon.  Now here we are 3 days away from leaving. I suppose we should get packing. We couldn't be more excited and anxious to get out there. There have been a few changes and a few new ideas have arisen.

First.. our original plan was to fly to Portland and then rent a car and drive home taking 4 leisurely days to make a few stops along the way. Well, who knew a rental car was $1200!? Not this girl! So we traded in our plan tickets and got a rental car from our hometown for $300 the entire trip. This will take us 2 extra days to get there, but I love my husband and we can't wait to spend that quality windshield time together. So 6 days of driving, 5 days of visiting, and 1 day recoup at home.

Second.. we got a puppy! Yep! A pure bred Siberian Husky. His name is Neko and he's about 9 weeks now. He's a crazy fool. So adorable though. There's been talk about taking him with us, but since he's still small, and clumsy, we're going to leave him at home for nkw. He will stay with my sister, I hope she knows what she's in for.

So the biggest update is that we are looking into doing the RV living!! We have been going every week to look at some options and we are pretty sure that right after we get back from our trip we will be making the plunge.

We are to our breaking point with our 9-5 job and we need to make some moves, and quick. We both are ready to just do it and whatever happens we will make it work. We need more adventure, more excitement. Hubby and I truly are best friends and I want to spend more of my time with him. After all, I did marry him, not this job. I think it really started to hit when we needed a day off here and there and work denied us those days. We are being 'denied' to live our life.

So we hope to have a wonderful trip and shortly after find our perfect RV and start our adventures out on the open road. I'll be sure to write about our trip all along the way.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Road blocks and game changers

So here's an update and trigger, some of it is not all happy rainbows. But I think it is just as important to post our bumps in the road and how we get through them along this journey. We will rise above and nothing is stopping us.

So we are about 6 weeks away from our big trip to oregon. Reminder: this trip determines if and when we move. So we have been saving every penny and dime we have, but we are really counting on our tax refund to get us there and hopefully enough to move afterwards. So It's a lovely Thursday evening and I  sitting down to file my taxes. Turbo tax asks if I'm madried, well of freaking course! Highlight of my life right there. So I choose yes. I continue on. Now let me tell you that most all of my refund comes from 2 things, earned income credit, and my student loans that I will be paying on until I'm dead. Not joking. So I come to the section for those lovely money advancers and BOOM, denied! What , why!? Well, turns out once your married they make you file jointly to get those lovely tax credits. Ok so why don't we just file jointly? Well, see that there proposes a problem. Long story short and to avoid dirty laundry, hubby owes so excited child support that he was never made aware of, so if we file jointly, there goes both of our tax returns. This was road block #1.

My heart shattered into a million pieces. Yes, I got a good refund, but not near enough that I was hoping to get for the trip. I stressed for about 6 hours and the next day my mom gave me wonderful advice. "Everything happens for a reason my love". So I let it be. I know in my heart we will have enough money and we will wind up wherever we are supposed to be. So what was road block #2?

Well, road block #2 wasn't really pertaining to the oregon move/trip, it was more a road block of my heart. So hubby's family planned this wonderful cruise to Mexico for everyone and we were invited. Full free trip, including airfare to get to TX from OR ;)  hubby's never been on a  cruise and I was overjoyed to get to show him the ropes from a 5 time cruiser right here. Let me just say that if I could move to the islands, I'd move to St. Marten in a heartbeat. Well cruise is booked, non refundable and hubby sent off for his passport. Guess what ?! Can't get a passport if you owe back child support! Like he is a criminal or something and he's going to skip the country! I knew this was just a material trip but still, I was really looking forward to this time with hubby and his family that we don't ever get to see.

So hubby sends the dreaded text to his mom and guess what again.  . . . You don't need a passport to go on a cruise to mexico! Some you do, but the particular one were going on you don't. We stressed for a whole day about nothing. And in the meantime, hubby is in touch with child support to get everything paid and cleared up! So possibly this was a blessing in disguise.  But wait. . . .there's more!

So we have these groups on FACEBOOK in my area for online yard sale items. I had gotten a Ninja as a wedding gift back in august from my momma. Since we are downsizing, these groups have become our best friend. I was skeptical to list my old blender on the site because it was a perfectly good blender, but I have a Ninja now, why do I need a blender. I dont. Consolidate. So I skeptically let hubby list it. On Sunday morning he had someone interested in it so we set up a time to meet. All the way across town, like we live in a huge town or something. We dont. But it was cold and my cycle had come on full throttle, thanks full moon.  So we're pulling into the Shell station to meet this guy and we see a pickup truck with 2 families crowding around a box. Awe, puppies! Not just any puppies...HUSKIES!!!!! Now, I don't think I've mentioned it much in my blog, but if you follow me on Pinterest you will see just how much we have loved and wanted a husky. The plan was to find one when we moved to oregon, but I've been in touch with a few  readers and realized it's going to be hard and expensive. So what are the chances that right here in this parking lot, where we weren't even scheduled to be. . .there are husky puppies right in front of our eyes. I think you already know own how this ends. . . His name is Neko and he comes home equity with us in about a month! I literally giggles the whole way home!want to know the craziest part. The guy that bought our blender also bought an item from the couple selling the puppies.

So what was that my mom was saying? "Everything happens for a reason my love".

A few days ago we were so beat down saying "we feel so defeated, everything is spiraling down" and now here we are on top of the world filled with love and joy and couldn't be happier and stronger.

So this is where were at and we couldn't be happier to continue up on our journey.

Stay tuned ,