Christmas 2016

Christmas 2016
God Bless Our Troops

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.

Click on the cabin below to see our family website.
We love what we do!
On the lowcarb front:
My stats for today:
Type: treadmill
Route: workout room while watching Biggest Loser
Time: 32 minutes
Average heart rate: 112
Maximum heart rate: 129
Calories burned: 208
I’m up 2 pounds from last Monday
What a difference a day makes. Today I feel great and rarin' to go. I was reading my DANDR on the treadmill today and the chapter on temptation and what to do about it is one that I am going to run off and put in my notebook. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I have a notebook. I keep my stats and routines etc in it. I was also watching last season's Biggest Loser. I can't wait until September and a new one begins.

On the home/business front:
I made Candy Apple soap yesterday. I use a process which allows me to test a bar the day after I make it. I let it cure and harden for several weeks, but I just have to try a piece of each batch I make. I have recently altered my main recipe with the addition of goat's milk. Omigosh!

People who don't use handmade soap just do not know what they are missing. I use a lot of oils in my soap so about once a month I measure all of my oils out into plastic Christmas pails that I bought on clearance. Measuring the oils is the least favorite part of soapmaking and it would be easier if I didn't use so many oils, but my recipe is my reputation and I am not about to change it.

I use coconut, avocado, cottonseed, soybean, sweet almond, cocoa butter, olive, castor, and palm oils. Measuring them out is messy so I measure out as many batches as I can at one time - usually about 10 or so before I run out of one oil or another. Each oil in our soap is there for a specific reason.

Then I measure out my lye crystals into jars. I line my two slab molds and then I'm ready for soapmaking days. When I first started making soap, it would take me several hours to do a batch. Since then I have streamlined my method and if everything is ready to go, it takes me less than an hour from mixing to pouring in the mold to cleanup For those of you who are interested, here is my soaping routine.

Monthly - measure out oils and lye
Grab soap bucket and lye jar
Measure out distilled water into glass pitcher
Take upstairs to kitchen.
Put on gloves and goggles
Mix lye and water on stovetop with fan running to keep fumes away.
Cover lye pitcher with soap bucket lid and move to safe place
Melt oils on stovetop
Leave oils and lye water to cool for 2 hours - in the mean time:
Line both slab molds and keep one in reserve for Wednesday
Measure out fragrance oils and colorant into containers and have ready
After 2 hours:
Put on gloves and goggles. Place lined mold on stovetop (I have a smooth top range)
Pour melted oils into soap pot and add goat's milk - blend with stick blender
Add lye water
Blend with stick blender until mixture looks like thin pudding
Pull out about 3/4 cup of raw soap mixture and add to color pitcher. Stir until blended.
Go back to soap pot and stick blend until very light trace. Then I add the fragrance oil to the main batch and stick blend until well mixed.
Drizzle colored soap into soap pot and stir ONCE.
Pour into slab mold and cover.
I then put my soap into a 170 degree oven for 2 hours. This forces it to gel and lets me test a bar right away. If I am soaping late in the evening, I just set the oven to shut off in 2 hours and leave it until morning. Usually, though I take it out after 2 hours and cut into bars the next morning.

I clean everything up while my gloves are still on because raw soap is caustic and I don't want anyone getting hurt. Everything is washed and in the dishwasher before I call it a day.

Then comes the fun. After the slab is cut into bars, one bar is designated for testing and I cut that into several pieces and distribute to others for testing. After several weeks I package the soap and put into boxes to await a craft show or a website sale.

We have a show with an apple theme coming up so I am concentrating on my apple scents. After that I will move on to pumpkin and the Christmas Holiday scents. All of this has to be done a little earlier this year because we have no idea what to expect from our Christmas stocking ad in Country Sampler.

I love what I do, can you tell?

Word of the day:
Matthew 12:46-50
While Jesus was still speaking to the crowds, his mother and his brothers were standing outside, wanting to speak to him. Someone told him, "Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you." But to the one who had told him this, Jesus replied, "Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?" And pointing to his disciples, he said, "Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother."

God bless the troops!

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