How to Make Laundry Soap

Homemade Laundry Soap

Homemade Laundry Soap

Ok, so I have been making my own laundry soap for years.  I have tried the powdered soap, and find that I really like the liquid better.  I like this one the best, since it leaves a fresh clean scent on the laundry.  And the best part…it only costs about $0.86 per 64 loads!  It also meets the h.e. requirements for energy efficient front loaders.  How cool is that?

Here’s what you need:

1 bar of Fels-Naptha Soap (you can find this at the grocery store on the laundry isle)

1.5 Cups Arm & hammer Super Washing Soda (NOT Baking Soda, and this can also be found at the grocery store on the laundry isle)

¾ Cup Borax (grocery store on the laundry isle)

5 Gallons of Distilled Water (using distilled water prevents bacteria growth)

Lemongrass or other essential oil (optional)

Large pan

Funnel

Slotted spoon

Take the 5 one gallon jugs and pour ½ of the water into another container.  Set that container aside, you will need it for later.  If you are going to add an essential oil, put about 5 drops in each jug with the water.  Lemongrass essential oil offers a wonderful clean smell and is also antimicrobial.

Next grate the bar of Fels-Naptha using a cheese grater.  Yeah you know the old knuckle buster kind…and be careful.  Don’t want any knuckle skin in your soap.  Put the shavings in a large pan with 8 cups of water you reserved.  Warm over medium heat until completely dissolved.  Turn down the heat if it starts to boil.  This is where the slotted spoon is helpful, because the water gets really milky and it’s hard to tell when it is completely melted.

Remove from heat and make sure it is not boiling.  Stir in the Washing Soda and Borax.  Add 2 gallons of water (the reserved water) and stir some more.  Now, top off each of the 5 gallon jugs with the mix.  Put the lid on and shake like crazy.  Making sure to hold the lid on.

To Use:  Shake the jug before each use.  Use as little as 1/3 cup per load.

Note:  It will gel, but not always to the same thickness.  Sometimes you will need to adjust the water.  I usually have extra empty gallon jugs on hand in case it turns out really thick.

Safety Note:  Please label your soap containers accordingly, since you may be reusing milk jugs, or other containers that are already labeled as food.  It is very important that the kids know it is NOT a food item.  #IBN30

Until next time, Blessings and Bubbles,

Sandy

 

Shea Butter

Shea Butter

Shea Butter

Our luxurious Shea butter is expeller pressed and unrefined.  Shea butter comes from the Karite tree (Shea) and is indigenous to Africa.  Shea butter has been used for centuries in Africa for its moisturizing properties, and has been used to protect and condition skin that has been damaged.  Shea butter is becoming ever popular in the natural skin care industry, and we agree for good reason.

Shea butter is naturally rich in Vitamins A and E as well as fatty acids and other vitamins and minerals.  This makes it an intense moisturizer for dry skin.  Due to the soothing nature of Shea butter, it’s great for rough, dry or chapped skin.  Shea butter is also good for damaged hair.  Since Shea butter is beneficial for so many skin conditions it is a perfect ingredient in our products.  Shea butter will easily penetrate the skin, which allows it to breathe without clogging pores.

Some popular uses for Shea butter include daily moisturizer, soothing sunburn, minimize skin peeling after sunburn, reduce or prevent stretch marks, soothes skin after shaving, soothes cracked skin.

All of our soaps contain Shea butter.  As well as our lotions and lotion bars which are chock full of Shea butter.

Please note, we are NOT making any medical claims.  Shea butter is not a cure all.  However, our clients report that it has helped with many skin conditions.  #IBN30

Until next time, Blessings and Bubbles,

Sandy

Our Day Trip to New Orleans

Jackson Square

Jackson Square

Hey Yall, it’s a day trip to New Orleans.  Got the car gassed up and ready to geaux…ya get everyone up early and head an hour and 45 minutes south to New Orleans.

Cafe du Monde

Cafe du Monde

Of course the first stop if Café de Monde across from Jackson Square.  You must get an order of beignets and a café au lait…I like mine with chocolate…so it’s a mocha café au lait.  The easiest way to explain a beignet is sorta like a fried doughnut…only a gazillion times better.  Now these things are fried, then they “sprinkle” powdered sugar on top.  It don’t get no better than this!  Now I would caution you not to wear anything black or dark the day you are going to eat beignets…otherwise you leave there looking like a dalmatian…all spotted and everything.  Trust me no matter how hard you try to wipe that powdered sugar off, it ain’t comin off….till it’s washed.

Now is a good time to walk the French Quarter and work off some of the beignets…cause lunch is just around the corner.  But first you have to stop in Aunt Sallys and pick up a dozen or more creamy pralines…that’s pra, like bra and lines like leans.  Say it with me pralines…ya got it?  Good, cause these babies are soo good.

Pralines

Pralines

There are a gazillon awesome places to eat lunch, so just pick one and enjoy.  This time we went to Pat O’Briens…or better known as Pat O’s.  I have yet to get anything that I didn’t like there…but my favorite is the Shrimp and Grits…can you say yummo?  I didn’t geaux for the Hurricane, don’t think I can drink these anymore…and that’s another blog for another day.  So I had a Pat O’s Lemonade…it was nice and refreshing on a hot summer day.  And to top it off I shared a Hurricane Cheesecake…and that was interesting and oh, so good.  If you love cheesecake like I do, ya gotta try it.

Time to walk down to the French Market and check out what going on down there…lots of fresh produce and stuff.  This end of the “French Quarter” is very artsy.  I love to look at all the creative things that people have made.

What’s your favorite place to eat or thing to do in New Orleans?    #IBN30

Until next time, Blessings and Bubbles,

Sandy

Young Entrepreneur

Hey Yall, I have a talented young entrepreneur that I would love to introduce to you.  I had the pleasure to interview her, so come along for an interesting journey.

TPS:So Catherine, what is the name of your company and how did you come up with it?

Catherine:My business is called Compass Rose Jewelry Designs by C.E.Rouchon. It is kind of a silly story. My family owned a country general store. I was home schooled and much of my schooling was spent in the office at the store. In one of my work books in the 4th grade they had a diagram showing how to draw a compass, that one would see in the corner of an old world map. The “rose” term arises from the fairly ornate figures used with early compasses. Needless to say I spent the rest of the day perfecting my drawing and design. Dad walked in and looked over my shoulder. He asked what I was drawing? Obviously it was not school work. He was about to head to the bank. I gave him a hug, a kiss and a “see you in a little while”. As he walked out I thought to myself if I ever have my own business I will call it Compass Rose.

TPS:Is this a family owned company?  Mother/daughter?

CatherineI own the business. But I could not have had come this far without the help of my family. My Mom, Dad and at times my Sister are the best volunteer employees one could ask for. Making the product, working with customers and the paperwork end of the business takes up all my time.  Mom is my partner and does all most all of the research in looking up craft markets and shows to attend. She comes with me to nearly all the craft markets to help me set up and take down. She makes lunch and helps me work with customers at the shows. She also makes amazing wire wrap bracelets and stone pendants.  Dad is my go to with business questions and guidance. He helps me design and has built my: silversmithing table, displays, and table lighting display just to name a few. He and my Sister have helped me work the craft shows as well.  I have an awesome family!

TPS:  How long have you been making jewelry, how long in business?

CatherineI have been making jewelry from the time I was a little girl. Mom always encouraged my sister and I to make crafts. When I was sixteen my Sunday school teacher asked me to make some bracelets to give as gifts. I had all these leftover supplies and decided to make a few more items and sell them at the local community market on the first Saturday of every month. So, I guess you can say I was sixteen when I started my jewelry business and have been in business for ten years.

TPS:  What attracted you to this field?

CatherineIt was fun and I have always enjoyed rock and minerals.

TPS: Do you have a favorite technique?

CatherineI do not know that I have a favorite. I enjoy the art of silver piercing a lot. I am always willing to learn and try something new.

TPS:  Do you have a favorite piece?

Compass Rose

Compass Rose

CatherineI would say this is one of my favorites. I have started adding flower designs to my silver work.

TPS:  Are there stones that you love to work with?

CatherineYes! All of them. Each kind has its unique challenge and inspires me. If I had to narrow it down it would be: kyanite, Louisiana opal, and amazonite.

TPS:  Where do you find your stones, any local rivers?  Is there a “sweet spot”?  Or is it random?

CatherineIt’s random. Every time it rains the Amite River changes and brings out new gravel. We find carnelian, agates, fossilize coral and wood. Jaspers of every color. You never know what you will discover. It is an adventure every time.

TPS:  Describe how you feel when working with a customer.

CatherineI get so much enjoyment when I see a customer light up when they discover one my pieces and fall in love with it. Every now and then I run into one of my customers in day to day life and they are wearing the item they purchased. It’s really gratifying when a customer returns because they have enjoyed my work and wish to purchase again for themselves or for a special occasion.

 TPS:  Do you see yourself traveling to share/sale your jewelry?

CatherineYes. I travel around Louisiana now and hope to continue to grow and venture to larger shows outside of Louisiana. 

TPS:  If you have any advice to offer someone starting out…what would that be?  Either dos or don’ts?

CatherineDo not be afraid to ask for help. Some of the best advice will come from fellow craft vendors. Not every craft show will be a success. So think ahead and have a plan B, C and D.  Know when to step back and look at your work objectively.

Having your own business can become overwhelming. It’s hard to walk away. You will have to make yourself take a break otherwise you will get burned out.

Custom projects are the hardest. They are necessary to business. They will take extra time in ordering the supplies and crafting the item. Try to stay organize and motivated with customs. Your best learning experiences will come from customs. If it is going to go wrong it will happen while you are doing a custom. Try not to feel the pressure. Rise to the challenge, after you finish hitting your head against the wall.

Believe in yourself.

TPS:  What do you love about being an entrepreneur?

CatherineI have a job I love. I get to do something I enjoy every day.  As an entrepreneur you will find yourself tied to your job. There are times when you hold your breath and take gambles. The pressure of failure hangs over your head. Even with this I could not imagine doing something different. I have fulfillment in my life with my work.

TPS:  And lastly how has Compass Rose taken you where you wanted to go as a career/job.

Catherine:  I am independent. What was my hobby is now my career. I could not ask for more in a job.

TPS:  Catherine how can people reach you?

Catherine:  Cell 225-244-0391

Home 225-683-9264

Email: Rouchonc@starband.net

Website:  Compass Rose

Yall check out this lovely young entrepreneur!  #IBN30

Until next time, Blessings and Bubbles,

Sandy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Country Life

Hey Yall, as most of you know we live in the country, so here’s a day in the life of some good ole country boys and girls.  Aaah, country life…it don’t get no better than this.    Hubby invites a few of his work buddies, our son, our daughter, her boyfriend, and my grown adopted daughter and her hubby that used to live next door, over for a day of target shooting.  So most everyone shows up around 9.  And I’m thinking GREAT!  I have time to soap today and get a few necessary things done…more on that later….Everybody brings out the small guns, big guns and everything in between…all the bragging starts about who can out shoot who.  All of this moves out of my house to the area outside where the target practice is to take place…ah, peace and quite….HA!

Who are you kidding.  Ya hear tap, tap tap.  Ok, so they brought out the small guns first…and everybody is taking turns.  It continues tap, tap, tap.  Then someone does it really fast taaaappppp, taaaaaappppp, taaaaaaappppp.  Show off.  Ok, so much for the peace and quite.  So I decide while there is no one inside, I’ll make some healthy truffles…yummo!  As they are being made, seems that it was break time…barely get any to the fridge, before they are all gone.

Skeet with shot hole

Skeet with shot hole

Ok, onto the next cooking project…getting supper in the crock pot…cutting up chicken…and I hear boom, boom boom.  Yeah, not gonna be a quite day to get things done.  Chicken is cut up, seasoned and tossed into the crock pot…supper is ON!  Then our daughter comes in and says, Mama, I feel so bad, those guys have not had anything to eat…should I go pick up some pizzas?  LOL, oh, such a funny girl!  But a true southern woman, after my own heart.  She knows these guys gotta have something to eat to keep their energy up for shooting.  Pizzas ordered and picked up….break time, again….and all these girls and guys come in for pizza…no beer.  Listening to who shot the best, or better yet says they shot the best is too funny.

All this time, I’m trying to make it out to the studio…still not there yet.  As the daughter and the adopted daughter decide they need to hone their skill….Memaw is now babysitting…wait what happened to a day in the studio….so everyone is back out target practicing…Memaw is watching babies…then it’s kaboom, kaboom, kaboom….oh, yeah, they brought out all the big guns.

Shot skeet

Shot skeet

So a day of country life, skills have been honed or improved…something every good American country boy and girl needs to do.  Ha, was there any soap made…nah, but the memories of my grandson, spending time with the girls and guys and such will remain.  That’s just one of the beauties of living the country life, we are FREE to have a full day of target shooting and skill improvement.  Everyone goes home content…babies are happy, hubby is happy, and MeMaw….well she will soap another day.  #IBN30

Until next time, Blessings and Bubbles,

Sandy

Pure White Emu Oil

While I was doing research on Emu oil, I discovered that it was useful for sunburns.  We carry the Pure White Emu Oil here at The Purple Sage.

A little back story if you will…In the past I have always used Apple Cider Vinegar when I would get a nasty sunburn.  Lol, and this just happened last month.  I was out on the beach…and yes I did use sunscreen.  BUT…I did not put it on before we went to the beach, I put it on after we got situated on the beach.  With that being said, I missed the bottom of my legs and the top of my feet.

Ouch!

Ouch!

Can you say ouch?  It hurt like the dickens!  So I ran, well actually I drove to the grocery store and picked up some ACV.  Here’s the sad part…now, we all know that I make lovely soaps, lotions and emu creams….right?  Yep!  I forgot to pack my first aid kit of this stuff!  What on earth was I thinking…I’ll tell ya what I was thinking…the only thing on my mind as I was packing was getting my butt to the beach.  And boy did I pay for that lapse in memory…trust me that will not happen again.  So next month I’ll be back at the beach…and this time I will have my trusty first aid kit…and my Pure White Emu Oil…and I’ll be sure to report back how it works.

Please note, I am not making any medical claims, but I will be checking this out for myself.  #IBN30

Until next time, Blessings and Bubbles,

Sandy

Sparklefly Candle Co. and Alzheimer’s Awarness

My sweet friend, Anne Marie Esposito of Sparklefly Candle Company makes the most amazing candles and sparkle stones.  Anne Marie is working to make a difference for those affected by Alzheimer’s.  After watching my mother in law suffer with this terrible disease, and what it does to the family members was heartbreaking.  Let’s see if we can help make a difference for others.  Here’s Anne Marie’s story.

Spark of Hope

Spark of Hope

My love affair with candles started at a young age when traveling with my family. When I was in my teens, I would take home scented candles from each trip as a remembrance of where we went and enjoy them with my mother at home. This was a special bond that only she and I shared, memories that I hold dear. We would get so excited in those days to smell each one and choose the one or two that would make the cut. I dream about what she would think of how I have grown Sparklefly Candle Company making products that she inspired me to love.

June is Alzheimer’s Awareness month. My mother began showing signs of Dementia in her early 60’s. By the age of 65, we knew what was happening but we could not possibly understand or prepare for what was to come. How could this happen to my beautiful, SMART, generous best friend? The answer is; Alzheimer’s does not care how successful you are, how much money you have, how many people love you or how young you are. It is a disease that has no cure, no prevention and currently effects 1 out of 3 seniors of which 2/3 are women. It is the 6th leading cause of death in the U.S. and it has affected every day of my family’s life for the past 7 years. I had wanted to dedicate a collection to her and her battle and the battle that millions of us face each day for longer than I would like to admit.

Anne Marie and her Mom

Anne Marie and her Mom

The “Spark of Hope” collection launched at the beginning of June and I am greatly appreciative to those that reached out to me with their own stories, support and love. I WAS NOT ALONE and neither are you. Together, we can make a difference. Please visit the “Spark of Hope” page to find out how you can make a purchase and please consider sharing with your loved ones.

The Spark of Hope Collection includes a choice of scented candle or scented Sparkle Stones. 40% of the sales will be donated to the Alzheimer’s Disease Resource Center, Inc.

The Memories candle and Sparkle Stones were designed to help us hold on to our most precious memories. Adorned with a purple ribbon and a handcrafted candle bracelet with a small picture frame to hold onto that special memory. Each item is scented with our Sand Castles scent in white.

*For more information on Alzheimer’s and Brain Awareness, visit http://www.alz.org

These are 2 beautiful women…Would you join me in supporting Anne Marie’s Spark of Hope?  #IBN30

Until next time, Blessing and Bubbles,

Sandy

DIY Dishwasher Cubes

Making dishwasher cubes

Making dishwasher cubes

I’m a bit of a DIYer.  And I like to save money, heck who doesn’t these days?  Enter the DIY Dishwasher Cubes.  I have been using these for over a year and love them.  They clean the dishes as well as any expensive commercial dishwashing powder or liquid.  So here ya geaux:

Dishwasher Cubes

1 cup + 1 tbl Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (you can find this on the laundry isle at the grocery store)

1 cup + 1 tbl Borax (you can find on the laundry isle at the grocery store)

1/3 cup Citric Acid

1/4 cup Water

2 Easy push out ice cube trays (Amazon)

Combine the washing soda, borax and citric acid.  Mix up really really well. Oh, did I say REALLY well?  Add in the water and mix.  It will get fizzy and fluffy.  That’s ok.  Now let it rest for about 2 minutes for it to relax.  And hey, why not grab a cup of coffee and relax while you wait.  Now comes the hardest part…PRESS (yes pack/press in firmly with your fingers) your detergent mixture into your easy push out ice cube trays.  Scrape off any extra to make them neat.  I have tried regular ice cube trays and they just don’t work as well.  The easy push really do make a difference.  Place your filled trays in the fridge for about 1 hour to firm up.  The refrigeration helps them to dtry out more quickly than just sitting on the counter since the humidity is lower in the fridge.  Once they are firm, pop them out of the trays and keep in a container with a lid.  If there are any crumbs leftover that didn’t fit in your trays, just use in the dishwasher.

All of the above ingredients can be purchased on Amazon.  #IBN30

Until next time, Blessings and Bubbles

Sandy

 

 

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil

What can I say, we LOVE our Coconut oil.  There is beauty in coconut oil.  Coconut oil is extracted from the meat of the coconut. Coconut oil has been used for centuries.  It seems to have really surfaced lately as the magic cure all.

Now, I don’t disagree that it is helpful for a ton of uses, I have yet to not find something that it is good for.  But what we love about our Coconut oil is how it creates an incredible lather for our bar soap, and also adds to the hardness of the bar.  Not only that, but it helps to moisturize the skin, without that drying feeling.

I found some really interesting uses for Coconut oil that I’ll share:

Bath time – add a generous scoop of Coconut oil to a bath and soak in its moisturizing benefits.  To make it even better add some Epsom salts, and your favorite essential oil and just relax the day away.

Scratchy throat – forget the cough drops, next time soothe a sore throat by swallowing a bit of Coconut oil on its own or adding it to your tea.

Cooking – Coconut oil is great for high heat, like stir fry.  It’s got a high smoke point so it won’t emit free radicals as some other oils do.

Stuck zipper – coat the zipper with coconut oil and they should work fine.

Take some time and just google all the uses for Coconut oil…because this by no means is a complete list, just a few of the things that I found. #IBN30

Until next time, Blessings and Bubbles,

Sandy

Spicy Cauliflower – Yummo!

Cauliflower

Cauliflower

I’m not a vegetarian by any stretch of the word.  But I do love cauliflower.  Well, actually I love a lot of different veggies.  However, I have found cauliflower to be one of the most versatile veggies.

Did you know that you can make faux mashed potatoes, faux rice, and one of my favorite is pizza crust.  Yep, you read that right, I use cauliflower to make a pizza crust.  That recipe will be for another blog.

Tonight I made some Spicy Cauliflower.  I got the recipe online from The Pioneer Woman, but I made some changes to make it like we eat.  So here goes:

Spicy Cauliflower

1 whole Head Cauliflower

2 tablespoons Coconut oil, more if needed

2 cloves Garlic, Minced

2 tablespoons Coconut Aminos

1 whole Lime (or Sub A Splash Of Rice Wine Vinegar)

1 tablespoon Sriracha, Or Other Hot Sauce

After washing the cauliflower, break into large florets, and then using your hands, break it into smalller florets.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the oil, then the cauliflower and minced garlic.  Stir the cauliflower, allowing it to get brown.  Cook for about 5 minutes, then turn the heat to low.  Add the coconut aminos, and juice of the lime.  Stir and allow to cook for 5 minutes, then pour the hot sauce over the cauliflower.  Stir until the hot sauce has been incorporated.  Add more hot sauce if you want a deeper color and flavor.

If you decide to try it, let me know what you think.

Until next time, Blessings and Bubbles,

Sandy