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fun, fun soap swap!

Alright, so I’ve only been involved in two my entire life, but they’re so fun!
I was introduced to them over on one of the forums last year,
and it was such a nice experience, I wanted to participate again.

The way that it works is this: a swap hostess posts the swap info
on the forum, and who ever wants to participate, signs up.

There’s usually a limit of 12 or so people, so you gotta sign up quick.
The hostess then collects shipping money from all the participants,
and we have a certain amount of time to create and then mail her our 12 items.

She will divide these up and make each one of us a box.
Each participant will receive a package containing 12 different items!

I’ve seen lip-balm swaps, soaps made with freshly dried herbs,
welcome swaps, and soaps using all-natural colorants.
Basically a swap theme can be whatever anyone dreams up.

It just so happens that both times I joined, it was a Halloween/Autumn themed swap.
Fall is my favorite season, I’m all about the pumpkin!
So, I made Pumpkin Seed Oil Body Butter:
That beautiful amber liquid is pure vitamin E, being added at the ‘cool down’ stage.
And below, my finished product:
So I mailed in my body butter, by the given deadline,
and I received a package in return, containing the twelve different items!
It included candles, lotions, soaps, bubble bath, perfume and a body scrub:
All of it wonderful.
I knew it was here, because the minute I opened the mailbox, I could smell it!
I didn’t get a chance to go through it until the following night at around 9:30 pm.
My friend was over and we were enjoying a glass of wine, when I remembered
I hadn’t had a chance to open it yet!

With Ooo’s and Ahh’s we admired the packaging, all the
while slathering ourselves in delicious-smellling lotions and body butters.
Then I put everything away, to wait for everyone to receive their boxes.
Once everyone has gotten theirs, the postings and reviews will begin.

I can barely wait to use all my Halloween Treats,
so much better than candy  😉


When I was little, my mom used to take us to the thrift store. She liked one in particular, but we would go to several different stores.
My Grandma used to call it The Junkie Store.
Sometimes, when it was my turn to sleep at Grams house, she would make me jelly toast for breakfast, and then take me to the big Junkie Store at the church. That was a great one because it covered the entire main floor and the basement,
which meant lots and lots of treasures to be discovered.
High heeled shoes, and fancy little brass make-up compacts. I would stand there and imagine the lady that once held that make-up compact.
Was she beautiful, elegant and worldly? In my young mind, she always was.

I used to get excited to go because I never knew what kind of special things I would find, and my mom always let us purchase what we wanted, something that never happened in a ‘regular’ store. I clearly remember the day I found a
grass Hula skirt, roller skates that fit me, and a Monkee’s album!
Awesome, awesome haul.

To this day, I am still an avid thrift shopper. It was a very satisfying feeling when last year, for the first time, my 15 year old daughter said, “Mom, can we go thrift-store shopping? I need some cool clothes and stuff.” Although I had to act casual about it, it was music to my ears. She was paying attention..

Hollister (and the mall pretty much in general) has got me on the verge of contempt. Besides the fact that it’s wastefully over-priced, there’s no..imagination.
Here kid, buy this. And they all do.

For practically my entire life, I could find almost anything I was seeking out at thrift. This morning I stopped at the store right around the corner from me to get myself a large crock-pot for soaping. I wanted to try a new method (for me) called hot-process. With this method, you cook the soap in the crock until neutral.
This means you can basically use the soap right away, as opposed to the
4-6 week cure for the cold-process method.
Within all of 15 minutes, I found this great big 7-quart pot, and low and behold, today, orange sticker items were 50% off.
Of course they were. The thrift gods love me, and I love them back.
I paid $7.50 for this perfect specimen of a crock-pot!
Another plus; I can almost promise that a little blond girl will not
spray you with perfume as you walk in the door.
Thanks, Mom. Thanks, Gram. 🙂

nicely aged monkey farts.

My Sea Salt soap, or ‘Spa Bar’ that is.
Although it’s got a funny name, I love this fragrance! It’s  juicy, fresh and summery.

After a nice afternoon at the beach you feel rejuvenated, energized, maybe even healthier; but why? One reason is that the sea salt you are swimming in is full of great minerals such as magnesium, zinc, calcium, and potassium, among others.
I poured these big, 6+ ounce, mineral-rich, sea salty bars back in May, so they are cured for two months as of right now. Salt soaps only get better with age,
so the longer they cure, the more divine they become.
I had never even heard of Salt Soap or Spa Bars before I started making soap at home. Now, it’s my favorite kind of soap. I love to make it and I love to use it.
My showers are longer these days, but I conserve in other areas, I swear that I do..
Salt soap makes you feel extra clean, it lasts and lasts, and as an added bonus, never gets gooey in the soap dish!
Ye old saltydog speaks the truth.

lovely amber glass

I’ve always loved the look of amber glass.  The dark bottles are a protective cloak, ideal for storing all oils, especially those that are fragile,
like fragrance and Essential Oils.
Being the Fragrance Hoarder that I am, I buy (too much) the most beautiful fragrance oils and Essential Oils from a few different suppliers, and I need them to live a long, healthy shelf life. Some companies package their fragrance in the amber glass, but most often, larger quantities come in plastic.
Of course, big glass bottles are trickier to ship, being heavier than plastic and prone to breakage. I get this, but it leaves me with yet something else to purchase, in order to protect my investments.
I was so glad to finally get my 16 oz. amber glass bottles! They were on back order from SKS, and I was hoping I didn’t have to wait too long.
I have almost all of my fragrances transferred to glass, now.
Hear, hear! Long Live my beautiful oils!

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