About Me

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As a daughter, granddaughter (still...at my age!), wife, mom, grammy, lover of God and life, it has become my mission in life to encourage others. The purpose of this blog is to introduce the reader to the sustainable life through organic recipes, gardening tips, cleaning and organizing methods, Spiritual help, and anything else which may encourage you in your journey to wholeness--body, soul, and spirit.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Make-your-own Dish Soap!

I hate washing dishes.  Hate it.  But I love making soap!  Today, when it was time to wash the dishes, I noticed I was out of dish soap.  What to do?  I really don't like using anything but Shepherd's Harvest soap these days, but since Shepherd's Harvest (a.k.a. me) does not make a dishwashing liquid, mine has been store-bought.  An idea occurred to me...there was a jar full of soap shavings from the last batch of lavender goat milk soap which smelled just wonderful, and goat milk soap is great for the hands.  It also lathered really well, which is a great feature for dish soap.  So I set to work making dish soap from the shavings, and it worked wonderfully!  There was a bit of "soaper's" knowledge of glycerine and such that helped quite a bit, so I thought I would pass along my method.  Here it is:

Equipment and ingredients:
Blender, food processor
Stainless Steel bowl
Wire whisk
About 2 cups of Soap shavings
Distilled water
Essential oil if desired (if soap is unscented, otherwise should be the same as soap scent)

Process the soap shavings in the blender or food processor a small amount at a time until you have a fine crumbly texture.  Place the soap "crumbs" in the stainless bowl on stove burner.  Microwave about 4 cups of distilled water to the boiling point, then pour it over the crumbled soap in the bowl.  Turn the stove on a low setting.  Stir until all soap is melted and the mixture is warm and a little darker and more transparent than the original soap. The temperature should be around 150 degrees or so, in order for the soap to gel properly.  This will fully mix the water and soap and prevent separation later.

Remove the liquid soap from the heat, cool, and add 1/4 teaspoon of essential oil if desired.  Pour into a squirt bottle using a funnel.  Store remainder in a Mason Jar as a refill, or use as hand soap.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Soap, Soap, and More Soap!

 Good morning...I missed you!  For the last several weeks we have had 5 children, 5 adults, and 3 large dogs living in the house; and I have been working full time as a substitute teacher.  Busy?  I think so!  But there is nothing in the world like the happy sounds of five little ones every morning to brighten your day...5 breakfasts to prepare, 5 heads to brush, all those little shoes to sort...it was the best!  Our oldest daughter was staying with us as she was preparing to move to Hawaii with her husband who is in the military, and our younger daughter has lived with us with her two girls.  We also gained a son-in-law from Peru, who loves to do yard work, and is VERY good at it.  Truly we are blessed!  But now our daughter has moved, the girls are visiting their father for a few weeks, and it is so quiet and still...

...that I am making soap.  A LOT of soap.  What does this grammy do to avoid being sad?  Pray and make soap!  A few days before they left, I picked up several containers of goat milk, ordered some fragrances and colors, and am now performing soap experiments...like a black-and-white striped coconut soap, and a green pine-scented soap, and lavender, and unscented, and...the list goes on.  Hope someone wants to buy this mess in about a month!  It smells lovely in the workshop though.  Oh, and there is also all-natural insect repellent (made a ton of that), all-natural deodorant (2 scents!), and shampoo bars. 
I redesigned the labels.  And the packaging. 

The moral of the story is this:  it has been a rough week, but living a sustainable life does not mean living a perfect life.  Disappointments come.  Channel your time and energy into something positive.  Pray and work hard, and you will never regret your actions.  As you work hard, you have time to think about the disappointments and sorrows, but because you are working you have an outlet to express all of those feelings.  It keeps you balanced and gives you an opportunity to pour it all out to God, as well as think it through logically.  Whatever you do, just don't sit around and allow yourself to be depressed...when things are REALLY bad, I allow 1 day MAXIMUM.  Then, back to work.  Everyone moves forward, how will you do it? 
Grace and Peace...