Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Personal Updates AND 2 New Ready To Ship Shaving Soaps Added

WOW it's been a long week.  Last week I didn't get a lot accomplished because I was nursing our dog back to health.  Well it's not as bad as it sounds, but our one dogs did injure himself and needed a bit of attention.   He was trying to jump up on our higher than normal bed and didn't make it.  He fell backwards onto his hip and thankfully it was just a sprain and not broken or dislocated.   So I had to coddle him and carry him around a bit.  When he went outside (to attend to business) he only could walk so far, and needed to be carried in.   Or so he thought, but it was quite painful for him.   Monday he started walking more normal and today he's back to running, although it is still sensitive.  But he won't even attempt to jump up on my bed anymore, he won't even go close to it and stands in the doorway and yips, because that's where he sleeps at night.  By my feet so I have to lift him up there yet.   But I did bring up from the basement the step stool that my dad made my oldest daughter when she was a toddler so she could wash her hands at the sink herself.  It's well crafted and made from solid wood and has two steps to it to put by the bed.  Later when he's gotten over his shell shock I plan on teaching him to use the step to get up onto the bed instead of jumping.  We have had the bed for over a year and this is the first time he did this and it scared the daylights out of me.   I hope it's the last time because Jack is my cuddle bug.   He's not a big dog, just a terrier mutt about 20 pounds.   I'll get a photo of him later to add.

Yesterday my daughter called me from school because she remembered that she signed up to take treats to the basketball game concessions after school!  Yikes, that put me in a pickle because as I was planning on working on orders I ended up baking cupcakes instead.  I made white cupcakes (thanks Duncan) then I frosted them with red frosting (school color)  that was doodled on with a piping frosting tip and sprinkled a bit of regular white sugar on top.   But I did make the frosting from scratch as I can't stand the stuff in the jars in the stores!   They did turn out very nice looking at least.  But did you know that cupcakes cool very quickly when placed out in the garage when it's ten below zero out.  Thank goodness because they cooled nice and quick so I was able to get them frosted and up to the school without being too late.  She needed them by 3:30 when the game started, but they actually got there about four.  But it was worth it!

Here is the frosting recipe that I used.
3 sticks + 2 tablespoons Butter, softened
3 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
3 tablespoons Milk (I only used 1 tbs but I used half and half instead)
1 teaspoon Vanilla Extract*

* real vanilla is best.  I made mine just before Christmas by using real vanilla pods in bourbon.  I'll post the recipe and instructions in another post. 

Whip the butter with a hand mixer on medum high speed for six minutes.  The butter will turn a nice light yellow color and the butter will be very soft and creamy.

Add the powdered sugar, vanilla and milk adding one tablespoon at a time until it reaches the desired consistency.    This is a very light and creamy frosting and whipping the butter first really makes a big difference on how it tastes.  It's much better than just whipping the butter for a minute before adding the powdered sugar.  I want to say it doesn't coat your mouth with the butter when it's whipped for that six minutes.   I'll be using this recipe more often!

I didn't get pictures of the cupcakes because I was so busy trying to get them done and out the door.

But last night I did work on some orders that I had so I could get them out in the mail today!!!  Yay!   I've decided to increase the batch size of my Tallow & Lanolin Shaving Soap that I make.  Normally I made smaller batches more often.  But my last batch earlier earlier in the month I did increase it some from the size I normally made.  But last night I made it even bigger!  The total weight of the batch made to over 13 pounds!  That's a LOT of shaving soap and it will save me quite a bit of time.  Since the whole recipe is based on percents the batch will be exactly the same regardless if I only used 500 grams of oils or as this batch was 3,000 grams of oils.   I have a special way that is long and drawn out technique to prepare the shaving soap that I make into the scented pucks that are desired.  Because of it's time consuming process I have chosen to fill those orders that are made to order (called custom on my site) shaving soaps.  While I am working with it I make extras to list as ready to ship (RTS) shaving soaps.

Each batch of shaving soap is given a batch number and a born on date.  That's the date in which the batch of shaving soap was made, not the date your particular order was scented.   I keep the actual recipe sheet of that particular batch in a binder for future reference if needed.  On each package of shaving soap, either puck or put into a jar, that number and date goes onto the side.   I decided to do this because a number of years ago I was falsely accused of selling shaving soap that was lye heavy.  That means that there was too much lye in the product.  That was simply untrue and was a ploy to hurt my business.   The person also refused to send the soap back at my expense to me so I could test it myself and instead chose to post it all over any and all shaving soaps as further attempt to hurt my business.  Also there was no one else who came forward with the same accusation and my batches at that time were very large to accommodate a lot of customers as I was just starting to sell my shaving soap and getting caught up with orders.  Similar numbers go onto other products as well, but are on the actual label.


The mold that I use for my pucks has 6 cavities in it, (I used 2 molds) and I needed to make 10 pucks for customers so the two left over cavities didn't go to waste.  I used them to make pucks to add to my store in the ready to ship section for the Tallow & Lanolin shaving soap made with aloe.
At the time this is written I currently have 25 listings of shaving soaps that have already been made up and are ready to be shipped!  You will find scents here that are not in my current listing for something different and unique.

Or I can make a custom one for you that is made to order with one of the numerous scents that I carry.

But if you prefer your shaving soap to be made with Blue Moon Beer, I do have several that are ready to ship.  The scent does not smell like beer but it has it's own unique scent that can morph any scent added to it.  This happens to be my husbands favorite shaving soap at the moment.   The beer does add to the lather of the shaving soap in a very positive way.  So the beer isn't added just for label appeal or looks.
At the time this is written I currently have 3 listings of shaving soaps that have already been made up and are ready to be shipped.  That have been made with my Beer version of my Tallow & Lanolin Shaving Soap.  The scents currently there are ones that I have as a part of my normal stock with the exception of the beer scent. 
I can also make shaving soap for you with the beer in any one of the scents that I carry.

The two pucks that I made up and added to my store are............
Both made with the Aloe version of my Tallow & Lanolin Shaving Soap


French Lavender Essential Oil ~
Lavandula Angustifolia imported from France. Lavender essential oil is native to the Mediterranean region and is cultivated in France, Spain and elsewhere. It has been used for aromatic purposes by the Romans in washing water and baths. Lavender essential oil has uses in culinary, cosmetics and medicine. It is effective to cure headaches, especially when related to stress, to clear depression associated with weakness and depression. Externally, lavender essential oil has been used as a stimulating liniment to help ease aches and pains of rheumatism.
Link To French Lavender EO Shaving Soap

Lemongrass & Sage ~
A fresh clean perfectly balanced mixture of lemongrass and sage. Top notes of ozone, zesty lemon, grape, muguet and lemongrass. Middle notes of jasmine, rose and sage. Powder and musk at the base completes the fragrance.
Link To Lemongrass & Sage Shaving Soap

This afternoon I'll be working on a PIF giveaway on my website.  I'll make another blog post about that once I have it ready to go!

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