Weekly Chats | Holiday Soap Planning and Reading

Shop Talk | This week, or more like this month, has been all about getting into a stable work flow when it comes to the Tangerine and Me soap shop.

Instead of adding new soap listings randomly throughout the month like I was before, I have now started to create release dates for each month were I will be releasing groups of new products into the shop.

One thing that I am quickly learning about running your own business is that you must be on top of everything at all times. No slacking or loitering allowed!

Another exciting thing that I have been working tirelessly on is a holiday soap series. Though it may seem pretty early to be thinking about the holidays, soap takes at least four weeks to cure which means that you need to seriously plan ahead in order to have products ready on time.

Overall, I’ve been doing much more soap planning than actual soap making lately and though I do enjoy it, I’m looking forward to making soap again soon.

 

Slow Moments | Slow moments are still quite scarce since any spare time I have usually ends up with me falling asleep at some random part of the house.

Taking time for myself is something that I love to do but is also quite hard for me to allow myself, especially when you are someone who struggles with fatigue.

I am very easily tired which means that any energy I have is usually carefully planned to be spent doing something productive. I find it hard to simply take that time for myself when I know how rare a good day really is.

That, however, is something that I am aware of and am always working on since I know just how important it is to give ourselves a mental break as well as a physical one.

 

Thoughts | I’ve recently taken up reading once again after taking almost a two year break of hardly ever picking up a book.

I used to be a big reader when I was still in school and it always had a way of inspiring me to write more.

It amazes me at how easily I had forgotten how precious my reading time really was to me. I had forgotten the beauty of drowning in a good book and reading for hours without the slightest desire to stop.

Everyone finds inspiration in their own ways but I have always found it in books. In the characters, the writing style, and even the authors themselves.

This week especially, I have made the extra effort to have an hour of reading time every morning before I start my day.

It isn’t productive or in any way useful which makes it a perfect moment of self care, as a small but beloved gift to myself.

Overnight Oil Hair Treatment

When it comes to taking care of myself my hair usually ends up falling to the bottom of the list since I prefer to throw it up into a bun and forget about it altogether.

Recently, however, I have been trying to make the extra effort to do a deep conditioning or an oil hair treatment a few nights out of the month.

They are fast and simple with only a few ingredients and a few spare minutes to apply then go to sleep and let the magic happen.

Recipe |

– 4 oz. Olive Oil

– 2 Drops Lavender Oil

– 3 Drops Peppermint Oil

 4 Drops Rosemary

 

This amount of oil should last for many hair treatment and should be stored in a glass bottle since essential oils eat away at any plastic materials.

For this hair treatment I decided to reach for olive oil because of its heartiness as well as the fact that it is a kitchen staple for most.

As for the essential oils, rosemary is a very well know treatment for thick hair growth. Peppermint cleanses as well as promotes hair growth and gives the scalp a pleasant, tingling feeling. Lavender also promotes hair growth, as well as having a deep conditioning effect on both a dry and oily hair and scalp.

This hair treatment is incredibly moisturizing and helps with hair growth but most of all it smells amazing and is the perfect scent combination for a relaxing transition to nighttime.

Apply no more than one to two tablespoons to scalp and massage as well as disperse evenly through hair. Put your hair up and either cover your pillow or hair to avoid making a mess while sleeping and wash out thoroughly in the morning.

This oil can also be used to moisturize and smooth out hair by applying a few drops and massaging it through your hair as a daily hair serum.

August 10th Soap Release

This month has quite a hefty list of soaps to be released since I did a lot of experimenting during July.

There is an unplanned theme of citrus laced through this month’s soap options which makes them perfect for a summer treat for yourself.

If your curious about the details of any of the soaps listed here make sure you go and check out the Etsy shop where I give a more in depth description of each product and it’s qualities. You can find the link here.

All of the soaps being released for the time being are going to be limited additions until I can decide on a list of soaps that will be regulars in the shop. So if one catches your fancy make sure you buy it since it might not be restocked!

 

August Releases |

Ginger Tea Soap

Chamomile Castile Soap

Lemon Mint Herbal Soap

Lime and Sea Salt Soap

Calendula and Kaolin Clay Soap

Skin Care Basics | Honey

Honey is the only animal made ingredient that I include in my soap making and skin care routine, mainly because I think that it is very important to support local bee keepers to keep our little friends pollinating.

I include honey in several of my soap recipes which always adds that extra luxurious flare to an otherwise average skin care product.

Break Outs | One thing that honey is well known for is its antibacterial properties.

Often times any kind of skin break out or acne can be treated by removing the excess build up of bacteria on the skin. There are plenty of commercially made antibacterial cleansers and soaps for skin but none of them are as sweet and gentle as honey is.

It’s calming abilities also make it a good option for a less intense, over night spot treatment that will allow you to wake up to less inflamed break outs.

Hydrating | Honey is a natural humectant which is a long word that simply means that it draws moisture from the air into the skin.

That extra benefit is what makes honey a fantastic option for those who suffer from dry or sensitive skin that is in need of a little extra hydration.

Honey is a good ingredient for those who are looking for moisturizing face and hair masks.

Anti Aging | The antioxidants in honey make it a great ingredient to include in a more mature skin care routine.

The purpose of antioxidants is to protect your skin for the harsh chemicals and climate as well as to improve the appearance of skin. Honey is a harmless and natural way of providing that extra boost to dry, tired skin that might not be getting enough antioxidants on its own.

It is important to keep in mind that there are numerous different kinds of honey and that not all are made equal.

Manuka honey is widely praised for its strong antibacterial abilities while a honey made from a specific plant, such as orange blossoms, will have different benefits for your skin.

One common rule to always follow when picking out your honey is to choose locally made or from a trust worthy company and to always choose raw and unfiltered since many benefits are lost in the purifying process.

Skin Care Basics | Fresh Ingredients

When someone mentions using fresh ingredients in skin care everyone in the room will automatically think of the banana and honey hair mask or the cucumber and papaya face mask that they saw on Pinterest.

Though I’m not saying that either one of those options is bad, they are also not the most pleasant skin treatments that come to mind.

I will admit that this post was inspired by my recent venture into adding fresh fruit and vegetable puree’s into my soap recipes but I have been using fresh ingredients in my skin care for much longer.

Fresh | Probably the most obvious but also most important reason why fresh ingredients are good for your skin is because they are fresh.

They are at their truest form without having been damaged by preservatives or other, less natural products.

Fresh ingredients are loaded with vitamins and minerals that your skin will love and each fruit or vegetable offers its own unique benefits.

Hydrating | Fresh ingredients are extremely hydrating in a way that lotions and oils will never be.

All fruits and vegetables are composed mainly of water, a great example of that is cucumber and watermelon. Our skin loves that kind of vitamin rich hydration that comes in its most natural form.

Indulgent | Having fresh ingredients in your skin care routine will always be an indulgent treat that is not only better for your skin but will always be more effective than a preservative laced, product in a jar.

You get to experience the beauty of each unique ingredient from the exfoliating seeds and sweet scent of the strawberry to the decadently  moisturizing avocado.

Once you begin to experiment with your own natural skin care creations you will never be able to go back to the artificial brand name products that pale in comparison.

And if you needed any more convincing, fresh ingredients equal less expenses, less packaging, and an amazingly less amount of waste in the long run.

 

 

 

Weekly Chats | Grating Soap and Melancholy Thoughts

Welcome to the first weekly chat post, a series that I hope can become a staple to the Tangerine and Me blog.

Since I recently renovated this blog into a more business oriented platform I wanted to find a way to still keep it interesting and personal upon occasion. And so the weekly chats series was born.

Shop Talk | The month of June was the birthday of the Tangerine and Me soap shop which was incredibly exciting as well as equally scary.

It was a relatively successful beginning with many lessons and realizations that could only come through experience and a few failures.

The dozens of fragrant soap bars cluttering my cabinets seemed like a hefty product selection to open shop with but I quickly realized just how few products I actually had to offer once each listing was put up.

That little lesson has taught me to be less hesitant when it comes to stocking up, so this month will be all about making, making, making.

Slow Moments | To be terribly honest, I haven’t made much room for slowness as of late.

Growing a business, writing a book, taking care of health issues, and just living life in general is apparently a lot for one persons plate and I just happen to be trying to balance all of that.

I have stuck to my routine of leaving one day free a week to relax and spend as I please, a few work related things might worm their way in occasionally but as a rule I usually just stick to take a breather.

One strange but calming thing that I have found myself doing recently is grating soap. It sounds crazy, I know, but I have been experimenting with some new soap products lately and I have found myself, more than once, completely lulled into a strange state of calm as I grated a chunk of soft soap into wispy, little strips.

Thoughts | Lately I have been thinking about balance and how it is such a rickety concept that is constantly changing with the times and seasons and how once you seem to grasp it everything changes and you have to start again.

Perhaps that melancholy thought has been in my mind because I am still struggling daily to keep up with life or perhaps it is merely bred from my fear of falling behind and somehow failing that goal that we are all taught to strive for.

There are times where I sometimes feel like I might permanently be trapped in a mid-life crisis with all of the melodramatic thoughts that seem to clutter my mind.

But for now I will keep trying to find that sneaky little thing called balance with the hopes of one day finally grasping it.

 

All Natural Mouth Care

One of the first things that I made when I began to use more natural skin care was my own toothpaste and mouth wash.

The idea of making your own mouth products might seem strange to most people but it is really such a cheap and affordable step towards a more natural lifestyle.

The realization that what I was putting in my mouth might not be the healthiest option for my teeth and gum health was when I really started to notice the ingredients in the toothpaste and mouth wash that I was using.

Both were usually riddled with unnatural dyes, sugar, and a hoard of long words that I thought, must surely be unnecessary.

The ingredients seemed to contradict the products purpose and besides it being highly manufactured, excessively packaged, and unhealthy, there was a much more natural and affordable option.

Toothpaste | The one recipe that I have stuck with through the years has been a very quick and simple one made up of only two ingredients. Coconut oil and baking soda.

Oil has a way of latching onto dirt and bacteria in a way that most other ingredients cannot do which means that it will stick to and pull out the build up on teeth and gums.

Coconut oil is also the perfect consistency to whip up by hand and has a pleasant taste and a soft feel to it.

Throw in a small portion of baking soda which is known for its cleaning capabilities as well as having a slight whitening affect and you will have a very simple, all natural toothpaste recipe to use as is or to build on.

If you are want a more uniquely made toothpaste then you can add in a small bit of stevia for sweetness, benonite clay for an extra cleaning toothpaste, or a small amount of essential oils for flavor.

Mouth Wash | Creating a mouth wash personalized for your dental needs can be a little more tricky then putting together toothpaste.

Being someone who has always suffered from sensitive, bleeding gums, I use a simple mouth wash of sea salt and water to promote healing and good bacteria.

You should always reasearch natural options for your personal needs, if you suffer from bad breath maybe a strong cinnamon tea would make a good mouth wash for you or another herbal tea could help with any other dental issues you may have.

Always make sure that what you are making is safe especially if it is going into your body and always stop using your products if they are causing any negative reactions.

 

Skin Care Basics | Essential Oils

Essential oils are very ‘in’ right now and though I’m not one to follow trends or fads, I do fully support the promotion of more natural living.

The addition of essential oils into my skin care routine has been a slow journey and a cautious one since essential oils are very potent oils that need to be handled with care.

They are fun and wonderful ingredients to introduce into your skin care routine and with enough education and a light hand, they can be utterly harmless.

Lavender | Though I tend to stay away from most floral oils because of personal preferences, I do always have a bottle of lavender essential oil on hand.

It’s fragrant and has the amazing ability of calming irritated skin as well as reducing redness. It is also a very moisturizing essential oil which makes it a perfect match for dry skin.

Chamomile | Chamomile just might be one of the most expensive essential oils to buy but if you are really interested in incorporating essential oils into your skin care here are a few reasons why it might be worth the expense.

We all know that chamomile tea is amazing at calming irritation whether that be internal or external, when you use chamomile essential oil you multiply that by ten.

It is very potent and fragrant with a brightening and lightening effect on the skin as well as calming any redness or irritation. It is a fantastic option for those who suffer from acne or skin conditions similar to eczema.

Tea Tree | I have saved the best for last because this essential oil is by far my most used and favorite oil.

As someone who has chronically red and inflamed skin, this oil is my go to almost everyday because of its antibacterial properties.

It has the amazing ability of reducing redness and healing cuts or irritated skin blemishes almost overnight. For those reasons it is very popular as a spot treatment.

As a word of caution, tea tree oil is toxic if taken internally so always keep it away from your mouth and eyes.

Though I have only listed but a very few essential oil options, there are hundreds to choose from and experiment with but as always, you must do so with caution.

When you take charge of your own skin care you must also take charge of the safety measures. Never take essential oils internally unless you have properly researched the oil first and always be light handed with the amount you use even externally since anything can become irritating with too high of a dose.

Blog Updates

Hello everyone, you might have noticed that I haven’t been very active on the blog lately and when I have posted it may have seemed to be a bit lack luster.

I opened an Etsy shop last month where I sell handmade soap and as much as I love my randomly chatty, type of blog posts it is time to mesh the two brands together.

I completely understand if I find a sudden drop in readers since I’m completely changing the direction of this blog but I hope that you will choose to stick around.

Who knows, you might end up enjoying the new content to come.

Essential Oils: The Basics

Something that I’ve really gotten into lately is essential oils and how to incorporate them into my daily routines.

When I first began making my own beauty products years ago, it took me a while to buy my first essential oils. In my ignorance I only purchased the least expensive oils I could find and ultimately ended up wasting money.

It has taken quite a while for me to find the quality of essential oils that I am happy with but now that I have, I have been experimenting with blends and different uses for them.

I still have yet to really begin growing my collection but I have a pretty lovely group of oils that I use regularly and I wanted to share some of them.

Sweet Orange Oil

– I love any kind of citrus oil so sweet orange is one of my most reached for essential oils. I use this oil with a nighttime blend for most of my baths since it pairs nicely with just about any other scent.

Eucalyptus Oil

– Eucalyptus should be one of your first oils to buy if you want to start experimenting with essential oils. It is amazing in nasal steams for when you are sick or battling with seasonal allergies. Eucalyptus often makes an appearance in my essential oil diffuser blends as well.

Cinnamon Leaf Oil

– This essential oil was my first good quality essential oil and I still enjoy and use it quite regularly. I often put a few drops in my diffuser to make my space smell very much like christmas or I use it in the form of a diluted perfume.

Peppermint Oil

– Peppermint essential oil is another one of those oils that you should buy right away if your looking into essential oils. It’s uses are endless but some of the ways that I regularly use it are in facial steams, roll ons for headaches and overheating, and in my diffuser.

Earth and Wood Synergy Blend

– When I first received this essential oil blend I really didn’t like it at first since it was much more woody than I had expected but as I continued to use it, it really began to grow on me. It is made with a blend of cardamom, fir needle, patchouli, and sandalwood which I imagine would be a great scent for men.

I enjoy this blend the most in baths since the water dilutes the scent enough to mellow the earthiness out just enough.

Those are a handful of my most used and liked essential oils and I hope to soon share a post on my favorite essential oil blends for diffusing.

Thank you for taking the time to read today’s blog post and let me know in the comments if any of you have essential oil suggestions.