Au Naturel Essence

All natural treats for body and soul


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My Secret Soap Project – An Army of R2D2 Soaps

I’ve been working on a secret special project for the past several weeks for a colleague of mine.

She decided a few months ago to throw a family reunion of sorts.  Her guest list included family members and close friends.  It was scheduled for the shortest day of the year (in the Northern hemisphere), December 21st, right smack in the middle of the season of Christmas parties!  To ensure that her guests would remember this party, she picked out a Sci-Fi theme.  It was to be a Sci-Fi Mash Up Family/Friends Reunion.

The Favours

Early on in the planning, I offered to help out with the favour boxes.  My friend was determined NOT to give a gift that would just take up space at her guests’ homes.  She wanted it to be consumable.  I immediately started thinking about all the sci-fi inspired soaps that could be easily made.  I asked her if she minded if I investigated a little bit to see if I could come up with a neat idea.  Of course, the extra added benefit of this approach is that her guests would have a gentle soap that is safer than their regular store-bought soap!

Ice Molds on Double Duty

After a couple of hours searching online, I found a couple of promising options.  Both were ice molds from Star Wars.  One was a mold of Hans Solo and one was an ice mold of R2D2.  I ordered three of each from Think Geek and quickly put together a few samples for my friend to look at.

R2D2 and Hans Solo Soaps

R2D2 and Hans Solo Soaps

We all agreed the grey colour was the best and that the R2D2 soaps were the best for the party.   As much as we liked the Hans Solo soaps, it seemed a little morbid to provide a party favour of someone frozen in ice. So, we agreed to go with the grey R2D2 soaps, scented with Sandalwood.  I used activated charcoal to get the grey colour.

60 “Bars” of Soap Later…

I set out to the task of creating 60 R2D2 soaps.  With only three molds, that meant I had to make 20 successful batches of soap.  It’s true, not every R2D2 came out great.  Sadly, several of them lost their legs in the process.  (Even R2D2 isn’t indestructible!)

An Army of R2D2 Soaps

An Army of R2D2 Soaps

Packaging

R2D2 fit perfectly in these jewelry boxes with a clear top.  I created a “nest” for each soap with some crinkle paper.  Finally, my friend has a great suggestion of adding a silver stretch look to the box to dress it up a wee bit.  I love the result.

R2D2 Favour Boxes

R2D2 Favour Boxes

Favour Boxes

Favour Boxes


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Striped Soap

I’ve been experimenting with soap lately.  My favorite so far is a bar of minty black and white striped soap.  It’s a great way to incorporate charcoal into my soap and also making it look a little more interesting than just a plain bar of black soap.  The minty scent is refreshing in the morning and this soap is gentle on the skin.

Minty Striped Soap

Minty Striped Soap

In fact, I recently spoke to a friend who was complaining of dry, itchy skin.  I gave her a bar of this soap to try and she said that she immediately noticed an improvement.  Her skin was less itchy and she needed less moisturizer after her shower.  I was so happy that I was able to help!


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The Final Baby Countdown Was Interrupted…by Baby!

I wrote a post about a week ago about the final countdown to my baby’s expected arrival.  You’ll see below that I had made as many preparations as I could and was quite happy about things.

Then, last Friday night, I went into labour!  What??  It was a wee bit early as I was concerned.  Anyway, into labour I went and just over a day later, early on Sunday the 25th, Baby Emir was born.

And yes, as far as I’m concerned, he’s perfect.

Prior to going to hospital, these are the final preparations that I made and wrote about to share with you all.  All I can say is, thank goodness that I made the preparations that I did!  They’ve all be very helpful!

Baby Emir – Just After His First Bath

My Original Post

It’s here, the final few days of pregnancy.  In some ways, it’s been a long 9 months.  In other ways, I can’t believe the time has already passed by!  I’ve been so lucky to have a smooth pregnancy and, aside from a few aches and pains, I’ve loved every minute of it.

I’ve been off work for a couple of weeks now. During that time, I’ve been busy completing the last-minute preparations.

Food

We have a freezer full of food.  There are healthy and wholesome baked goods that will be great snacks at any time of the day.  I’ve also got a few containers of soups and stews.  With any luck, that will last us for the first few days of our new lives with the little one!

Very Blueberry Muffins

Very Blueberry Muffins

The Nursery

The baby’s room has been ready for a long time.   More recently, I got down to the washing and did several loads of laundry to ensure that all the new gifts of clothes that we have received for Baby are washed and ready to go.

Baby  Skin Care

I even had time to put together some gentle and mild soap, some moisturizing balm, and baby powder for Baby.  I don’t know for sure if they’ll all work, but I’ve got my fingers crossed that they’ll be acceptable for his sensitive skin.

Gentle Goat's Milk Soap for Baby

Gentle Goat’s Milk Soap for Baby

Unscented Baby Balm

Unscented Baby Balm

Unscented Baby Powder

Unscented Baby Powder

The Hospital Bag(s)

They’re packed!  There’s one that’s full of clothes, blankets, diapers, and other goodies for Baby.  There’s also one for me and my hubby so that we’re also comfortable while at the hospital.

The Blog

I’ll do my best to keep posting regularly on my blog.  I’ve got a few posts that are scheduled over  the next few weeks.  However, if I’m slow in replying to comments or I seem to have dropped off the face of the blog completely, it’s probably safe to assume that there’s a little one in my life who is taking up all of my attention.  Please be patient — I’ll be back as soon as I can!


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Pink Soap – It has a following!

One of my favorite M&P soaps is my pink soap.  I make it with pink clay and Goat’s Milk Melt and Pour Soap.  It’s probably the most gently of the M&P soaps that I have mixed so far.  It’s gentle enough to be used on your face without causing irritation.

Others like my pink soap too!

I was quite flattered when, a few weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me to replenish her stock of pink soap!  Woo hoo!! I had given her a few samples to try some time ago and she stuck with them.  It was an exciting moment for me.  🙂  And of course, I’m so happy that I can share a great product with such a close friend.

Here’s the most recent batch of soap I made for her.  I’m guessing this will last her a good long while!

Goat's Milk M&P Soap with Pink Clay


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Tea Tree Oil – Nature’s First Aid

Origins

Tea Tree Oil is indigenous to eastern Australia’s tea trees.  It’s Latin name is Melaleuca alternifolia and it is also known as Australian tea tree oil or Melaleuca oil.

This oil has a strong camphor-like smell.  To be honest, it’s not my favorite scent.  However, it works great to clear a stuffy nose!

The oil itself is clear.  If you purchase it, be sure to get it in a dark glass bottle to  protect it from light that can reduce its potency.

Uses

Tea Tree Oil has long been used a natural remedy.  It has been used to treat acne, athlete’s foot, dandruff, and skin infections.  It should always be used in a diluted form and should not be ingested.

Tea Tree Oil is used in creams, shampoos, lotions and other skin care products. It’s even found in some toothpastes and mouthwashes.  These are considered safe since you should not be swallowing either the toothpaste or the mouthwash.

Tea Tree Oil is not recommended for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding. Continue reading