Monthly Chats | Exciting New Things 

First of all I want to say that I hope all of you had a wonderful New Year’s and that the first month of 2018 is going well for you.

Last year went by so quickly so here’s to a slower and more peaceful new year for all.

Shop Talk | It’s crazy to think that Tangerine and Me has only been up and running since June of last year which makes it not even a year old.

I have learned so much and have had the opportunity to connect with so many kind shop owners and customers and feel as though I have been immensely blessed as a new Etsy seller.

Every month I feel as though I fall more in love with the process of being a self-employed, shop owner and though it’s rarely easy I enjoy the flexibility and the creative side of it all.

In 2018 I have already put into motion, the workings of a new product and cannot wait to share it with all of you as well as several other ideas that I have yet to completely focus on.

I believe that it is going to be an amazing new year and I look forward to sharing all of the little bits and pieces of the journey with you.

Slow Moments | I had wonderfully planned for last month since I wanted it to be as festive and stress free as possible and it was a good thing too since I ended up having to deal with some unexpected health issues.

These health issues have continued into January unfortunately, meaning that I wasn’t able to come out with a Valentine’s day line of soaps and my soap release for this month came out a bit late.

With my lack of ability to plan as much as I usually do, I have felt a little bit on edge and frazzled this month since time seems to slip by so quickly if not properly managed.

With all stress aside, I do still try to have time everyday where I do not watch the clock or have any certain task to accomplish. Now i just need to figure out how to turn my mind off which is much easier said then done.

Thoughts | Most of my thoughts of this month have mainly been around what I am hoping for in the new year.

As someone who is self-employed I think that we could all probably admit to comparing ourselves to one another a bit too much.

I’m the kind of person who finds it hard to celebrate their own accomplishments and I often find myself comparing what I feel is a little success to other’s bigger success.

It’s easy to forget that the definition of success is different for everyone and that someone is looking up to you and hoping to reach your level of success while you do the same to someone else and that we have all started from the bottom.

Those are the words that I tell myself whenever I start to feel less than, because success takes time as does anything else in life.

Even the tallest tree was once a seed but with time and care it slowly grew.

 

 

An Honest Talk About Essential Oils VS Fragrance Oils

As a soap maker I wanted to talk about the differences between fragrance oils and essential oils in soap making.

The argument between the safety and efficiency  of natural oils vs fragrance oils can spark quite a reaction from many and as a soap maker who has chosen to only use essential oils and resins, I wanted to be able to go into detail about the pros and cons of both options.

As long as the person handling the oils is making sure to use skin safe oils, then both fragrance and essential oils are considered to be safe for most skin types which begs the question of what the difference between these two oils really is.

Fragrance Oils | First of all lets take a look at what fragrance oils are exactly.

Fragrance oils are a combination of various chemical components, some are natural, being extracted from plants and even animals occasionally as well as some synthetic components.

Pros | Fragrance oils are very cheap which means that anyone who uses them in their products will most likely be able to provide the most affordable options of products.

Fragrance oils often smell amazing and come in an endless variety of scents that do and do not come naturally in nature such as apples and lavender or sugar cookies and winter wonderland.

Most fragrance oils are much stronger in smaller quantities than essential oils are and also have a longer shelf life when it comes to scent fading.

Cons | Fragrance oils however, are not natural which not only exposes the user to more chemicals, whether they are considered bad or not, but also makes them more likely to be irritating to sensitive skin types or people with serious allergies.

Sellers of fragrance oils are not required to give out a full disclosure of the ingredients that are used in their fragrances which can not only gives the person making the soap less control over their product but also the customer. Someone who is allergic to specific things will most likely have to avoid products scented with fragrance oils since no one can be certain about the specific ingredients included.

 

Essential Oils | Essential oils are steam distilled plant extracts that come from the natural oils in plants such as cinnamon bark and orange rind.

Pros | Essential oils as you might have already guessed, are all natural and are considered by many to be the least harmful way of scenting products.

Essential oils not only scent soap but they also provide a number of natural health benefits that fragrance oils cannot provide such as tea tree which is anti-bacterial as well as many other oils that provide their own specific health benefits.

Much like the ability to provide health benefits, essential oils can also provide a variety of mental wellbeing and aromatherapy benefits that synthetic fragrance oils have yet to achieve. For example, a lavender fragrance oil has not yet been created with the same ability to relax and sooth like the origin lavender essential oil.

Cons | Since the extraction of essential oils is a lengthy process that provides a small amount of oil, they are more costly and so create more costly products.

Essential oils in their undiluted state are considered to be irritating to certain skin types which make the formulating and measuring of the oils very important for soap makers. Certain oils should be avoided by individuals who have a history of irritation but thankfully most soap makers will give a full ingredient list with no irritating oils hidden.

 

I hope that this list of pros and cons of fragrance oils vs essential oils has been found useful to some of you and has perhaps, helped you to better understand which oils you prefer.

 

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

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.

 

Tangerine and Me is Officially Open

I have never mentioned the fact that I have been working on opening a shop with the same brand as this blog so surprise, surprise.

I am opening a soap shop on Etsy which has been in the making for quite some time and I guess that I have never mentioned it strictly because it just didn’t really seem to fit into any of my content.

A little over a year ago I taught myself how to make soap since, as I have mentioned before, I love natural skincare.

Soap making is a pretty extravagant hobby since it takes a few pricey ingredients and is usually made in batches of ten bars and upwards which is quite a lot of soap for one person to use on their own.

My very first batch of soap smelled weird and looked even weirder but despite the numerous ingredient calculations and a mild chemical burn, I fell in love with the process of making something that most people would never think of making at home.

I remember anxiously waiting six weeks before I could try out my new creation and though it might have not been the best smelling or prettiest soap out there it worked better than any other soap I had used before.

So that was the beginning of my soap making adventure.

That being said, there is a much more detailed about page that I have written on my Etsy shop where you can read more about how my soaps are made, what the ingredients are, and what my shop stands for.

Tangerine and Me has been a long time in the making and I couldn’t be more thrilled to bring the news to all of you who are reading this.

If you would like to check out the shop just click on this link here.