Sunday, September 29, 2013

Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal

Say hello to my newest favorite breakfast!

Cinnamon Apple Oatmeal.
It's based on this Apple 'N' Oat Cobbler recipe by Joy Bauer
I made a few modifications, and came up with this similar recipe.
1/2 cup quick 5 minute oatmeal
1 cup skim milk
1 Apple, cut into little pieces
1/2 Teaspoon Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon Sugar
Dash Cinnamon
Combine oats and milk in microwavable dish.
I like to use a Pampered Chef 1 quart microwave pan.
Make sure the dish is loosely covered.
I covered mine tightly once.
Just once.
I ended up with half cooked oatmeal all over my microwave.
Live and learn, I guess.
Microwave for 1 minute, 40 seconds.
While that is cooking, it's a great time to chop your apple.
I leave the skin on because
1. I like it
2. It's supposed to be good for you
But mostly because I like it.
Remove the oatmeal from the microwave.
Carefully uncover the dish.
Steam burns are no fun.
Add the Splenda and stir.
It will be pretty runny at this point.
Add most of the apple.
Stir some more.
Reserve about 1/4 of the apple for the top.
Put the dish back into the microwave.
Again, cover the dish loosely.
Cook for a minute.
Since microwaves vary, you may need to tweak the time.
Remove from microwave.
Carefully uncover.
Stir gently.
Toss the rest of the apple on top.
Sprinkle with the cinnamon sugar,
And the cinnamon.
Wait for it to cool a bit.
Don't tell anyone,
But I eat mine straight from the pan.
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Tractor Soaps

I love harvest time in Iowa.
These are everywhere!
Tractors hard at work.
Bringing in the much awaited harvest.
These tractor soaps work hard, too.
They lather and clean well.
And there are no detergents in them.
They are made of glycerin soap.
Soap with color added.
Soap with fragrance added.
The fragrance of Fresh Mowed Grass.
Maybe you know a farmer who drives one of these.
This was inspired by John Deere tractors.
How about one of these?
It was inspired by the Case IH tractor.
The red needs to be a bit deeper to be more true to life.
This one was sure fun to make!
It was inspired by a blue Ford tractor.
I hadn't heard of the Allis-Chalmers tractor until recently.
A customer requested this Allis-Chalmers inspired soap.
Thank you, Farmers,
For working hard to feed America.
Tractor soaps are for sale in my Etsy shop.
They are also for sale on SoapArtOnline.
Thanks for reading!


Monday, July 15, 2013

New Video

French Green Clay Spa Soap
New Video
After a year or so,
I finally posted another soap making video on Youtube!
I hope you enjoy it.
I'll post the cut in a few days.
Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Cupcake Soaps

HSCG Cupcake Soap Session with Ruth Esteves
Some finished cupcake soaps
Do you like soap cupcakes?
Want to see a how-to for making them?
Please check out my guest post on
Ruth's session at the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild Conference
You can find it on the Soap Queen Blog
The session was well attended,
And it was very interesting and informative.
Thank you, Ruth, for a wonderful session!
And thank you, Bramble Berry,
For the chance to attend conference and write about it!
Thanks for reading, Everyone!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Wedding Favor Soaps

I feel so honored that I was asked to make these soaps.
They are for my cousin's daughter's wedding.
She is going to put them in gift baskets.
Each guest will receive one.
The label on the back has the names of the couple.
It has their wedding date.
It also has a list of the ingredients.
 I can make these soaps with just about any word or phrase in them.
They can even have the couple's names and wedding date on them.
I think they would be a fun anniversary gift too.

You can learn more about these soaps on the SoapArtOnline website.
Thanks for Reading!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Making Milk Soap

Milk Soap Samples

Making milk soaps can be a little tricky.
At the Soap Conference,
I attended a session on making milk soaps.
It was fun and informative.
You can read all about it on

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Chemistry Lesson at the Soap Conference

Here's another blog post about the Soap Conference.
This one is on chemistry.
It was the most fun chemistry lesson I've ever experienced.
I learned a lot, and laughed a lot.
I hope you'll check it out on the Soap Queen Blog

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Peacock Swirl Soap

How to Make a Peacock Swirl
In Cold Process Soap
I'm so excited!
At the Handcrafted Soap and Cosmetic Guild conference,
AKA The Soap Conference,
I got to attend a session on a very cool kind of swirl.
It's called the peacock swirl.
Anne-Marie, the Soap Queen and the CEO of Bramble Berry,
 Invited me to be a guest blogger on the Soap Queen Blog.
She missed the soap conference this year.
She was awaiting the arrival of her sweet baby girl.
So I get to write about some of the sessions.
The Peacock Swirl is one of the sessions I wrote about.
I hope you'll stop by The Soap Queen blog and read about
Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

I'm Here!

I keep pinching myself to make sure it's true.
I'm at the soap conference!!!!!!!
Here's a picture for proof.
Get ready to be impressed.
This lovely creation was submitted to the soaper's showcase.
Yes, it's soap.
My photo doesn't do it justice.
If I can get a better one, I'll post it later.

See the huge bag the gal to the right is carrying?
That's a goody bag full of gifts.
Every conference attendee gets one.
Here's what Bramble Berry gave.
Yes, to each attendee.
I have 4 of these in my Bramble Berry shopping cart.
It's 4 inches square and holds about one pound of soap.
I've been wanting one.
For how long, you ask?
Ever since Bramble Berry introduced it.
Now I have one.
This is a 9 cavity silicone sphere mold.
I already have some of these.
I'm not telling you how many.
I love them.
Now I have one more!
 I use them to make soaps like these.
I got this great coupon book!
Some Brazilian clay and activated charcoal.
The goodies from Bramble Berry
Included oils and fragrance,
Clay and Charcoal,
Everything but the equipment (safety first, please!),
Lye and water
To make a batch of soap
In this cute little mold.
They even included the recipe.
And directions.
If you are thinking about making cold process soap,
But are concerned about the ingredients,
Or about the process,
Check out this kit from Bramble Berry.
It includes everything in my pictures,
And more!
It's a low risk, low investment
Way to try out cold process soap making.
Check back soon for more conference updates!
I better get going -
I have a full day of soapy fun
Headed my way tomorrow.
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

HSMG Annual Soap Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina

I am so excited to have the chance to attend the
HSMG Annual Soap Conference in Raleigh, North Carolina!
I have dreamed of going since I became a soap maker.
But I didn't know whether would ever get the chance.
Then along came this great opportunity.
I get to attend the conference as a
Guest Blogger for Bramble Berry!
Anne-Marie, owner of Bramble Berry and
the world famous Soap Queen,
Is unable to attend this year.
Why would the Soap Queen miss the Annual Soap Conference?
Her baby is due during the conference!
How exciting is that?
That's how this wonderful opportunity came my way.
I'm excited to meet fellow guest blogger,
Michele Lang, of Tierra Verde Handmade Soaps.
You can follow our posts on
If you are going to the conference,
I'd love to meet you!
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy Mother's Day 2013

It's Mother's Day.
Oops! You didn't forget, did you?
In case you did,
Quick run and pick up some handmade soap for Mom.
She'll love it.

Here's what we got for my Mom for Mother's Day.
Want one?
We got it from Doherty's Flowers in Des Moines.
They did the flowers for our wedding.

That was a few years ago.
They did a wonderful job then.
And they still do a wonderful job today.

I am so thankful for my Mom.
I love her for who she is
And for who I am because of her.

I wasn't easy to raise.
Just ask her. She knows.
Oh, she'll be kind about what she tells you.
But raising me was definitely a challenge.

I appreciate my Mom more all the time.
My respect for her has grown through the years.
Especially as we raised our children.
I can't count how many times I wondered how she did it.
For Example:
How to you settle down giggling kids at bedtime?
How do you drop them off on that first day of school?
How do you get them to eat their vegetables?

I don't understand how much she has done for me.
Or how much she continues to do.
However, once I had children of my own,
I believe I began to understand some of it.
And I felt more loved than ever.

My Mom has always be creative and crafty.
Crafty in the making things kind of way.
She passed along her love of creating to me.
So there's a little part of her in the soaps I make.
Not literally.
You know what I mean.

Mom, I hope you know that
I am very thankful that God gave me to you.
I love you.
Happy Mother's Day!

Here's what we got for my husband's Mom for Mother's Day
This delicious Handmade Traditional English Fudge
Is available at TeaAtTheBrits on Etsy.

Of course, I had to try some before
Giving it as a gift.
And then I had to try some more.
Addicted? Who, me?

Miriam from TeaAtTheBrits was kind enough to send
A Couple of orders of this fudge
Directly to Hubby's Mom.
That was good.
That way, we know she got ALL of the fudge.
Not just the left overs from what I couldn't resist taste testing.
Like there would have been any left overs.

 Hubby's Mom is my Mother-in-Love.
I am blessed that God put me in my husband's family.
My Mother-in-Love is a
Wonderful mentor and friend.
Thank you for that.
Happy Mother's Day!

These are my grown up kids.
I couldn't be more proud of them.

Happy Mother's Day to all the moms who read this.
I hope you have a lovely day.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Soap on a Rope

Have you ever used soap on a rope?
I love soap on a rope.
Okay, you got me.
I love soap.
These soaps are made from a Goat's Milk glycerin base.
It's so creamy and bubbly.
It leaves skin feeling soft and moisturized.
This is a Celtic Triskele.
It's kind of cool.
This is a massage bar.
It has massaging bumps on one side.
It's contoured on the other side.
Both of these soaps are available
in my Etsy Shop.
Thanks for reading!

Monday, April 22, 2013

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day!
Here's a soap I made last year in honor of Earth Day.
It smells like my garden in the Spring.
Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Beer Soap, Part 2

If you missed the first post about beer soap,
You can find it here.
Now, for the reveal of the unmolded soap!
In this photo, you can see the beer on the bottom
And the froth on top.
I wish you could smell it.
Here it is from a slightly different angle.
Here it is right after I cut it.
I love how the edges are darker.
The difference between the beer and froth
Is very vague, but it's there.
My eyes keep getting drawn
To the edges.
Here's how it looked a day or two later.
The darker edges are less noticeable.
The contrast between the beer and froth
Is more visible.
And here it is a month later.
I'm happy that it still has the
Beer and froth look going.
Thanks for reading!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Happy Birthday, James

Our son, James, is an Army Infantryman.
He is currently deployed to Afghanistan.
He turns 21 today.
Happy Birthday, James.
This post is in honor of his 21st birthday.
Certainly it's every son's dream
To have his mom blog in his honor on his birthday.
Especially on his 21st.
Ahem. But I digress.
I'm going to tell you about the beer soap I made recently.
Hey, a guy only turns 21 once.
Let's celebrate with beer soap.
I made some beer soap a few years ago.
At the time, I couldn’t find a beer fragrance to add.
So I didn’t add any fragrance to it.
It was great soap.
It was mild and bubbly.
Bramble Berry began offering beer fragrances a while back.
This time around, I got to add beer fragrance to the soap.
I decided to try one called Oatmeal Stout.
Thus the hunt began for Oatmeal Stout beer.
I found this.
I used this post on the Soap Queen blog as a guide.
I began by boiling the beer.
Yuck. It stunk.
Once the boiled beer was room temperature,
I added the lye to the beer.
Again, yuck.
It stunk even worse!
I added the beer/lye mixture to the oils.
It actually smelled okay.
In fact, it smelled good!
It became a gorgeous caramel color.
Here I'm adding the Oatmeal Stout Fragrance.
I divided the batch into two parts.
I added Pearly White Mica from Bramble Berry  to part of the batch.
The mica lightened the base a bit.
The lighter portion was designed to be
The foamy part on top.
The darker portion was to be
The beer itself.
Here is the beer portion in the molds.
And the frothy top.
I'll show you the cut bars in another post.
In the meantime,
Happy Birthday, James.
We miss you and love you.
Thanks for reading!