The Latest

March 13, 2008 - One Response

Just a quick update here, I guess! I’ve been making quite a bit of soap lately. So far I’ve made Chocolate Coconut, Lemon, and Pink Grapefruit scented. The banana came out alright, but I didn’t insulate it, I guess, so…the bars have a few cracks in them. I’m not sure if I’ll be posting them onto my shop. Hopefully this weekend I’ll also being making: Coconut, Watermelon, Lime, pineapple and Lavender soap. I might also try a tropical scent mix? Like coconut/pineapple/banana mix? These should be on my shop by April 1st.

My interview to be in our local Farmers’ Market this summer is on saturday (The day after tomorrow!) I’m actually a little bit nervous. I hope it goes okay! Wish me luck!        xx.

DIY Recipe of the Day: Creamy Body Butter

2 ounces Shea Butter

1/2 Ounce Coconut Oil

2 Tablespoons Sweet Almond Oil

3-5 Drops your choice of essential oils (For this recipe, I like to mix lavender and peppermint, but any essential oils will work!)

Keep the shea butter and coconut oil at room temperature for a while, so they will stay soft. The softer they are, the better, because you will need to whip them together, without melting them. If you have trouble whipping them, you can melt them in a pot over the stove. Once melted, pour them into a bowl or container and place it in the fridge to cool. WATCH THEM CAREFULLY. If you let it sit in the fridge for too long it will become too hard to whip! I would say, check on it in 10 minutes. It should look like a thick, white, butter and soft enough to mash with a fork or spoon. When it gets to this stage (it may need more than ten minutes to cool) start whipping. An electric mixer works fine. Add the almond oil and essential oils and whip for about 4-5 minutes.

Tip: For a longer shelfline, add a couple drops of rosemary essential oil, vitamin e. oil, or grapefruit seed extract :)

Been Thinking…

March 6, 2008 - 2 Responses

What would I do with a million dollars-business wise. I’d like to say I’d open a shop somewhere-I’m not exactly sure where. But, having my own store-with a kitchen in the back for creating all my products? That would be nice. Or, instead of a store, I might open a warehouse, and hire a lovely team of people to work with me. A small team of sales, production workers, graphic artists, etc. I’d probably travel around the world a bit: India, Africa, South America, making deals with locals for fair trade. That’s always been a dream for me. It would be nice, don’t you think?

Then I decided that I’m glad I’m not a millionaire. If I were, I’d probably be quite frivolous. I’d not have bothered with a business plan, or budgeting. Every dollar would not count. As nice as it would be, I’m glad I don’t have an endless bank account supporting the RC. Firstly, it’s important to me to learn the technical and business side of what I’m doing. I hate figuring numbers and things-but it’s certainly more than necessary. And secondly, starting a business from scratch makes success all the more satisfying.

DIY Recipe of the Day: Almond Cuticle Balm

1 TBS. Sweet Almond Oil

1 tsp. Avocado Oil

2 TBS. Beeswax

1 drop Lavender or Rosemary Essential Oil

Melt all ingredients in a small pot over the stove on low heat.  Pour into a small container that has a lid. Allow to sit for 30 minutes and it is ready for use :)

Goodness…

March 4, 2008 - 10 Responses

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I actually got a ton of work done today :) Yayyy!! Considering I was at my *real* job for eight hours, I still managed to hit the etsy forums, renew/relist items, make a batch of soap (more about this in a moment), make chocolate and vanilla snoggables, and, obviously, post on my blog!

First, about the snoggables. I got these hot new containers for them. They are the little metal slide-open containers? They hold .25 ounces of balm instead of .15 like the tubes. I just made two fresh batches of vanilla and chocolate with these new containers! I’m thrilled with them-making the labels (also hopefully tonight!) is going to be great fun. What I really like about these containers? My puppy won’t be able to get into them! I’ve gone through over ten lip balms in the past month. The plastic tubes? My puppy loves them. He chews the tops off-when I’m not looking!-eats the lip balm out as far as his tongue will reach and then leaves it somewhere for me to find! I go through lip balms (or should I say Grendel goes through lip balms?) like it’s my job. But these metal tins? He won’t get his chops through these suckers! I might even take one of the empty tins, trap a little dog treat in it and let him just try and gnaw his way through it. That’ll show him to eat my lip balms! Haha!

I hope you all like coconut. And chocolate. Coconut and Chocolate, anyone? I’m baffled by anyone who honestly does not love this combination. I know that my boyfriend doesn’t like it, but I’d honestly like to believe that 1) He’s mad 2) He was just having a laugh or 3) He’s the one and only exception. Coconut and chocolate is about as close to heaven as you can get, in my opinion! So, about this soap…

I tried this new thing today with my soap, which is why I am going to call it a “happy mistake”. I let the oils and the lye water sit at room temperature before mixing them and what usually takes about 1.5+ hours to trace (thicken to the stage of just before putting it into the mold) it took ten minutes. I was in near shock. I wasn’t prepared! My fragrance oils hadn’t even been decided upon-let alone measured out and ready to pour-and here was my soap mixture, saponifying right in my mixing bowl! It was a nightmare. I rushed around like crazy, grabbing the first fragrance in sight, which turned out to be coconut. Then, after adding it, I felt it was too plain. So, I took half out of the bowl, mixed in some chocolate fragrance and cocoa powder and swirled my little heart out. It was a mistake…but hopefully a happy one? I guess I’ll have to wait several weeks to find out the results!

I also made a batch of grapefruit yesterday, which came out lovely :) It’s even better than the last one!

Hopefully my new snoggables will be posted by tomorrow, but if not, then the day after! I’m thinking about getting some micas to add a little bit of a tint to them.

DIY Recipe of the Day: Simple- but Luscious!- Bath Soak

1/2 cup dried milk powder

1/2 cup Sweet Almond oil, Sunflower oil or olive oil (again-beware the smell of olive oil!)

1 teaspoon vegetable glycerin

5 drops of your favourite essential oil

-Lavender relaxes

-Citrus rejuvenates

-Bergamot is uplifting

Combine ingredients together in a small bowl. Mix until oil is well distributed-should form a pasty mixture. Add about two tablespoons to your bath for a luscious soak!

Body Lotion

March 2, 2008 - 5 Responses

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My body lotions will be listed on my shop starting today! I’m very excited about these :)  The lotion itself if great- sweet almond oil, vitamin e., grapeseed oil. Not too thin or too thick. I think I’ve mentioned them before. I just listed the vanilla creme scented lotion, which you can find here!

I’m going to try and make a bit more lotions today, and hopefully get around to making soap! I feel so behind :( I really want to get some soap made: Chocolate, Coconut, Lavender, Grapefruit…. I still have tons of work to do!

DIY Recipe of the day: Simple Body Buffer

1 cup finely ground sugar or sea salt

3 Tablespoons olive oil, safflower oil, or almond oil

5 drops of fragrance or essential oil

Body buffer is a scrub that is used before bathing. It leaves your skin extra soft than if you were to just use an exfoliant in the shower.

Combine the sugar and oils in a bowl and mix well, until the oil is evenly distributed. Use on dry skin, prior to bathing. For best results for your skin, follow with an exfoliator in the shower/bath.

Tip: Experiment with different exfoliants! Sugar and salt are great, and most commonly used, but others that work just as well: coffee grounds, chopped oatmeal (reat for sensitive skin, but chop it very well, as not to clog the drain!) cornmeal, chopped vanilla bean, jojoba beads, etc.

Being Critiqued

March 1, 2008 - 5 Responses

So about a week or so ago, I posted in the Etsy Critique forums, asking specifically for a harsh critique. They WERE harsh. It made me really discouraged at first. I almost wanted to give up, because I realized that there were so many things that I needed to change even though I was also feeling that I’d already put so much work into it. But, then I thought about it, and the criticisms weren’t meant to be harsh. They were honest. So, I got to work. The first thing to go was my banner, as you can blatantly see if you browse my shop. Next were my pictures which I retook just today and later today I will be updating my etsy shop announcement and my blog banner. Anyway, my apologies for the short post, but I just wanted to quickly update, as I haven’t in a while. I’ve got loads more to do.

xx.

PS. My banana soap will be done curing next week!

Strawberry Shortcake Continued…

February 21, 2008 - 9 Responses

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I got my strawberry shortcake pictures posted and a listing on etsy, as promised! Check out the listing here.

xxx.

Strawberry Shortcake…

February 21, 2008 - 3 Responses

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Yum. Who doesn’t like strawberry shortcake? I love it. I made a batch of hot process soap a while back, that I’ve been meaning to post on my shop for some time now. The fragrance is, in fact, strawberry shortcake :) And it is a beautiful mauve/red colour. I also just got done making the wrapping for my soaps as well, which are gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous, thanks to my new found love for Adobe Photoshop.

I haven’t any pictures of the soap to share, yet (I’m going to mix up some lye water in a little while-making chocolate soap!-and then head off to the shop to pick up some strawberries and cream to make an attempt at some more lovely photos). But, they’ll be posted by the end of the day and available at my etsy shop :)

I also made an amazing batch of lotion yesterday. I’ve been working on tweaking my Body Lotion recipe, to be just right, and I think I finally got it. It’s not too thin, not too thick, nor too greasy or heavy. It’s exactly how I want it. I can’t wait to begin scenting them: Strawberry Shortcake, Lush Coconut, Jasmine, Vanilla Creme and English Lavender. I love scents.

Well, I’m off to do some more work. I’ll be updating later today, so stay tuned!

DIY Recipe of the day: Soothing Bath Salts

1 cup Epsom salts (Can be found at local drug store)

1 Tablespoon Almond Oil, Avocado Oil or Safflower Oil (Olive oil can also be used, but beware the strong smell!)

3-5 drops of your favourite essential oils (I would pick lavender or bergamot for a more soothing soak, but anything citrus is good, too!)

Combine all ingredients in a seal able container and mix well. Sprinkle in your bath water and enjoy :)

Tip: Add a little bit of milk powder and/or honey to the mix. The vitamins, minerals and enzymes found in milk will nourish your skin and leave it feeling very soft! (Note-adding milk powder could shorten the shelf line)

What I have learned…

February 20, 2008 - 2 Responses

Don’t give up.

I know that these words have been spoken many, many times before but I’m beginning to learn just how true they are. Firstly, I haven’t updated lately because I was discouraged. I know, it’s lame, and a horrible excuse, especially as this is only my third entry on wordpress.

I logged in to post an entry today-keep in mind that I’m still getting used to word press-and found all these comments on my last two posts! I didn’t know where to find the comments section, and wordpress didn’t alert me, so I had been under the false impression that no one was reading my blog. Thank you all so much for your comments :) They mean a lot! So, this has certainly taught me to not give up-EVER-because things aren’t always what they seem and…if they are? Keep your chin up, because they’ll get better.

Another thing: I don’t know how many people have come across this, but I’ve bookmarked it and would like to share it with all of you who are running an etsy shop, or business. Savor -an etsy shop that certainly ranks my top ten-specializes in bath and body care, as well. (Her soaps are gorgeous-deffo check them out!) She has not been on etsy for too long, but has managed to become a very successful etsy seller. She was kind enough to share some business tips and advice in this etsy thread not long ago. Please read it if you have the chance! It is very inspiring. Thanks Savor :)

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As you can see, I finally got the chance to get my new line-Chocolate Junkie-up and ready. I’ve actually already listed a couple items on my shop: Chocolate Mandarin Body Butter and Chocolate Raspberry Truffle Body Butter. A word or two about these body butters? They are very thick and very, very rich. I made them just this morning, with extra virgin coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil and cocoa butter. These are not just a thick body lotion. They are a halfway a between body lotion and a body balm. What makes them really great is that they are thick and moisturizing and feel like a body balm-but they are whipped, so they are very light. They also do not leave a greasy feeling like a balm would. And the fragrances? They smell just as good as the pictures look :P I’ll be working on getting the Chocolate Junkie Body Polish out in the next couple of days (made with brown sugar! Yummmmm!)

I’ll be updating more regularly from now on, I promise-x.

Daily DIY Recipe: Basic Lip Balm

1 Tablespoon Sweet Almond Oil

1 Tablespoon Beeswax

1/2 Teaspoon Vitamin E. Oil

3-5 drops essential oil or flavour oil

Heat the beeswax and oils in a sauce pan on low until melted. Take off of the stove and add the essential oil or flavour oil and pour into a suitable sized container with a lid. The mixture should cool after about 15 minutes and be ready for use.

Tip? Experiment with different oils. Almond oil is great for dry, chapped lips-especially in winter-but so is olive oil, coconut oil or even shea butter. If you choose to add a solid oil to your balm (e.g coconut oil or shea butter) use just a half of a tablespoon of the solid oil and a half a tablespoon of liquid oil, instead of 1 full tablespoon of just liquid or solid oil.

Don’t be afraid to experiment with flavours, as well! Instead of just peppermint, try adding a little vanilla flavour oil to the mix! Enjoy

Chocolate Bombs

February 12, 2008 - 4 Responses

Bath BombsI made a delicious smelling batch of chocolate bath bombs last night. I don’t think I will EVER get over the smell of chocolate. Chocolate is-to me- one of those scents that just makes you smile. I’ve been doing a lot of research on chocolate lately. Did you know that chocolate has a massive reputation for being a natural aphrodisiac? I’m getting together one of my newest lines, which will hopefully be introduced come spring time. The Royal Coquette: Chocolate Junkie

It will be scrubs, body butters and body balms to start with. The scents that I have in mind? Chocolate & Coconut, Chocolate Ginger, Chocolate Mandarin, Chocolate Raspberry Truffle, and Chocolate Therapy (A blend of chocolate and essential oils). Yes, that is a lot of chocolate-hence the name: Chocolate Junkie!

I’m really working hard to keep my business afloat now…’tis the season, eh? Honestly, I can’t wait for summer. Winter in Maine….I feel like it gets more and more brutal every year! At least I’m doing what I love :)

I also got in my shipments today! Coconut oil, cocoa butter, sodium hydroxide, essential oils, and a few other favourite materials I can have fun with. I just love, love, LOVE getting packages! I always track my packages online so I know what day they are arriving. When the day finally comes, I sit at my kitchen table browsing on etsy and sipping PG Tips, looking out the window for Troy (the name of our UPS delivery man). He usually comes in the morning. If, by odd chance, I happen to leave my post whilst waiting, I always know when he arrives anyways, because he beeps the horn of his truck as he pulls into our driveway. I don’t know if I’m alone here-but I also LOVE signing for packages! Doesn’t it just make you feel so…important? I love UPS deliveries. I’m like a little kid at christmas-carelessly lunging for the sharp objects to rip open the overly used packaging tape while styrofoam peanuts fly through the air. And again, like a child on Christmas, I’ll sit in my mess of boxes and wrapping, admiring my new “toys” for a few precious minutes, until I finally come to my senses of responsibility and adulthood to get back to work.

Recipe of the Day: Simple Bath Bombs:

1/2 cup citric acid

1 1/2 cups baking soda

4 tablespoons sweet almond oil

Spritz bottle of water or witch hazel

Essential or fragrance oil

Combine citric acid and baking powder in a bowl and mix well. Drizzle in the oil until well distributed (should stick together somewhat nicely if you hold some in your fist). Add a few drops of essential oil and/or a teaspoon of fragrance oil. Spritz the water a little at a time into the mixture, stirring very well as you go. If you add to much water, the mixture will fizz too much and be ruined. A nice way to tell that they are ready to be molded is that the mixture will start to form into tiny balls, such as the size of styrofoam.

Put in a mold (I use an ice cream scoop just to get the shape and take them out and let them sit in that shape overnight. When hard they are ready for use! Use in the bath or shower.

Let’s talk soap

February 9, 2008 - 7 Responses

002.jpgI made a cold process batch of grapefruit soap a few weeks ago and finally got the pleasure of using it just yesterday. First, let me say, the smell is outrageous. It’s like cutting into a fresh grapefruit! It also lathers nicely-as will all of my soaps, because I love lather-and the bars are nice and long lasting. On the down side of this batch, it was only a one pound batch, and so the bars only came out as two ounce bars, which I’m selling as sample sizes on my etsy shop. On the plus side, I get to make more; my order of sodium hydroxide comes in on Monday. Next week I will be making soap in the following scents: Mocha Creme, Grapefruit, Lemon Poppyseed, Banana (YES-banana SOAP!), Thai Coconut, and Strawberry Shortcake.

I also finally got Adobe Dreamweaver-a program I’ve never used before but have been wanting to learn- and am just beginning to design my own website! It’s really difficult work. It’s a lot of tedious codes, pages, fonts, pictures, lining up, etc. But so far, it’s coming out quite nicely (for a beginner!)

I’ll be working on my shop all day, hopefully coming up with some new recipes :p

DIY Recipe of the day: Mocha Shower Scrub

1/2 cup sweet almond oil, sunflower oil, or grapeseed oil

1/3 cup finely ground turbinado sugar

1/4 cup coffee grounds

2 tablespoons cocoa powder

2-5 drops of peppermint essential oil

Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mixing well. Store in an airtight container. To prolong shelfline, store in refrigerator or add 5-10 drops of grapefruit seed extract.

T ip: Add 1-3 drops of lavender essential oil for a more relaxed, therapeutic scrub.

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