Sometimes a week goes completely differently to expectation. This last week the kids have been home from school for the half-term break (already! Yikes…) and I honestly thought it was going to be a toughie. I’m right in the middle of the pre-Christmas rush and I knew Dean was crazy busy with his work and not able to take any time off, so was resigned to night time working. I was able to arrange one reciprocal playdate with a friend who has similar aged children, so i had a houseful of children on Tuesday, and Thursday was to be my one and only ‘work’ day.
Still, on Monday and Tuesday I managed to escape over to the office at 4pm when Dean finished work to pack up a few orders. When I got back, I found out that he’d managed to take the following day off as a holiday so that I could work. He’s a good ‘un.
So of course on Wednesday I took full advantage of an unexpected work day and made a load of bathbombs, as well as making a serious dent in the orders that needed to be packed and dispatched.
Thursday was my kind of day. Once the kids had been safely delivered to their friends’ house, I made over 16kg of soap – the first time I’ve ever used all my moulds at once:
I think I may need more moulds! Clockwise from top left these are Serenity (Patch, Ylang Ylang, Lemon & Sweet Orange EOs), Botanica (Lavender, Lemon & Lime EOs). Blodau (Lavender & Ylang Ylang EOs) and Luscious Lavender.
Later on Thursday Dean said he’d managed to get the Friday off too – result! I managed to get another few batches of bath bombs made, and then I indulged in a little experimentation I made another test batch of lip balm – this time in packaged in a tin:
This one was made with beeswax, cocoa butter and rice bran oil, and turned out harder than the last test – this one would probably have been better in a tube rather than a tin. I didn’t flavour or fragrance, and I think I prefer it that way…
I also tried making whipped body butter – two separate batches, both made with unrefined shea butter and coconut oil, with a touch of evening primrose oil. I added lavender and rosemary essential oils to the first batch, and ylang ylang and benzoin essential oils PLUS 1tblsp of arrowroot powder to the second batch.
Amazing how much final product came from a relatively small amount of oils – these are far from dainty containers (I popped a pound coin in the photo to give some idea of scale):
I used unrefined shea butter, and I’m definitely not a fan of the fragrance – I’ll use refined next time, which is what I usually use in my soap. I also didn’t add enough fragrance, although it might be that the shea was overpowering the essential oils.
On first trying it I found the body butter to have quite a greasy texture. Being used to commercial body butters, this version does feel oily on the skin, but having used it for a few days now I find I’m liking it more and more – it sinks into my skin quite nicely. The arrowroot is supposed to reduce the greasiness of the body butter but I can’t discern much difference between the one with, and the one without.
On Saturday I took over family duties while Dean did some work on the house – the children and I visited the library and went swimming, then had fish and chips at the beach.
On Sunday Dean and the children went to visit friends for the afternoon while I went to the office and unmoulded, then cut, the soap from Thursday’s soaping session. I’m conscious that I often share photos of freshly poured soap and then forget to share the cut pictures, so I made a special effort to get a snap of the freshly cut soap – do bear in mind that they’re still soft here and haven’t been tidied up yet. Clockwise from top left – Luscious Lavender, Blodau, Botanica & Serenity:
Finally, some exciting news on the home front. Since moving into this house over three years ago now we’ve lived with a really grotty bathroom while we upgraded other parts of the house and it’s meant that I haven’t been able to share the kind of in-use product photos I would have liked. This week work begins on our new bathroom – woop! I can’t wait to share pictures, just as soon as it’s done.
Thanks for reading, back soon!