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Peppermint Salt Dough Recipe

Scented Sensory Salt Dough Play!

Easy no cook salt dough recipe for sensory play! We livened it up with a wonderful peppermint scent and natural coloring too! I love no cook dough for how easy it is to make. Our apple sauce no cook dough and harvest no cook dough were a real hit. This recipe is one of my favorites and part of our 12 Awesome Sensory Play Recipes. I am pleased to be a part of an awesome group called All Things Kids! Each month we join together to bring you a great resource of the wonderful kids activities. This month is all about Salt Doughs for the 12 Months of Sensory Dough hosted by Lemon Lime Adventures.
Peppermint Salt Dough Recipe {No Cook!}

What is salt dough? It is a very simple mixture that creates a sort of modeling dough and can be air-dried and saved. We simply use it for sensory play He loves when I start pulling out ingredients from the kitchen, especially candy canes, and I tell him we are going to invent a new dough to play with today! I think he loves the novelty of creating something brand new! Read all about Tactile Sensory Play and its great benefits! Today we have a quick salt dough recipe provided by one of my awesome friends that we have used before!
Supplies needed:

1 Cup Flour
1 Cup Table Salt
1/2 Water
Candy Canes or Peppermints
Bowl and Spoon to mix
Cookie Cutters, Spatula, Rolling Pin and other play items!
So quick and EASY! While we were eating breakfast, I measured the water and added a few broken candy canes to it! This is where the lovely smell and color come from, but it needs some time to dissolve! We even made a peppermint water science experiment earlier in the week! We measured the salt and flour and poured them both into the bowl and then added peppermint water. Mix, knead, roll and play! SIMPLE!
Credit: http://littlebinsforlittlehands.com/peppermint-salt-dough-recipe/
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Please stop using antibacterial soaps!!

This article is a great I’ve borrowed from a fellow soapmaker. I’ve linked the original post at the bottom of the page. PLEASE, PLEASE STOP USING ANTIBACTERIAL SOAPS!!!

Even though I prefer bar soap to liquid soap every day of the year, I get why a lot of people (especially families with children) like to use liquid soap over bar soap. And I also get why people would be more likely to choose a soap that’s labelled “ANTIBACTERIAL” over one that’s not. We’re all trying to protect ourselves and our families from sicknesses – but sometimes what we think is protecting us, can actually be harming us.

For years, I’ve been hearing about the dangers of ingredients like TRICLOSAN, the most common active ingredient in “antibacterial” liquid soaps (body washes and hand washes). Whenever I visit friends and family (or even neighbors) and use their restroom, I literally cringe when I see such soaps in their bathrooms. It actually crosses my mind that it might be better to skip my hand washing at that very moment and instead quickly search for another sink nearby in the hopes that it might have a non-“antibacterial” soap option. (Perhaps one of the handmade bar soaps that I’ve been giving them for the holidays nearly every year since I started making soap??)

I have brought it up over the years, trying not to sound self-serving or judgy, but I’ve found that people (even my dearest loved ones) tend to believe a “trusted” manufacturer more than a homemade soap maker who they know & love. I guess it seems logical that a plastic bottle filled with a synthetic mixture of soap-like substance with a promise of “antibacterial” slapped on the label is safer and more trustworthy than a bar of soap made (like they did in the ol’ days) in my kitchen.

Well, I’m thrilled to help spread the wonderful news that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has FINALLY decided once and for all that “antibacterial” soaps are not safe or effective and is banning 19 common, yet harmful antimicrobial soap ingredients. One year ago, the U.S. FDA issued a news release and a final rule establishing that “over-the-counter (OTC) consumer antiseptic wash products containing certain active ingredients can no longer be marketed. Companies will no longer be able to market antibacterial washes with these ingredients because manufacturers did not demonstrate that the ingredients are both safe for long-term daily use and more effective than plain soap and water in preventing illness and the spread of certain infections. Some manufacturers have already started removing these ingredients from their products.” This final rule does not affect consumer hand “sanitizers” or wipes, or antibacterial products used in a health care settings.

Manufacturers had a whole year to comply with the new rules by removing the banned antibacterial active ingredients from their products and/or reformulating. But friends & family – there is no reason for you to wait to protect yourselves – please stop buying & using these harmful products now.

In case you don’t know, the FDA is the agency within the U.S. Dept. of Health & Human Services whose function is “to protect the public health by helping to ensure the safety, effectiveness, and security of human and veterinary drugs, vaccines and other biological products for human use, and medical devices. The agency also is responsible for helping to ensure the safety and security of our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, dietary supplements, and products that give off electronic radiation, and for regulating tobacco products.”

Now, anyone who has watched any one of the awesome tell-all food documentaries on Netflix knows that the FDA doesn’t always have our best interests as their top priority (and that’s a topic too big for me to tackle here), but this time they finally got it right. Insert golf claps & standing ovation here.

“Consumers may think antibacterial washes are more effective at preventing the spread of germs, but we have no scientific evidence that they are any better than plain soap and water,” said Janet Woodcock, M.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research (CDER). “In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients may do more harm than good over the long-term.”

“The agency issued a proposed rule in 2013 after some data suggested that long-term exposure to certain active ingredients used in antibacterial products — for example, triclosan (liquid soaps) and triclocarban (bar soaps) — could pose health risks, such as bacterial resistance or hormonal effects. Under the proposed rule, manufacturers were required to provide the agency with additional data on the safety and effectiveness of certain ingredients used in over-the-counter consumer antibacterial washes if they wanted to continue marketing antibacterial products containing those ingredients.”

“Washing with plain soap (aka Handmade Soap) and running water remains one of the most important steps consumers can take to avoid getting sick and to prevent spreading germs to others. If soap and water are not available and a consumer uses hand sanitizer instead, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that it be an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.”

PLEASE share this post with your friends & family. It’s important that we keep each other informed and when we know better, we can do better. Okay… I’m getting off my soap box now.

Please Stop Using “Antibacterial Soaps” (New FDA Ruling)

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Shrimp with Citrus Avocado Mash Recipe

I found this recipe on http://paleomg.com/shrimp-with-citrus-avocado-mash/ several months ago and have made it several times. I LOVE it. It is sooooo good. I wanted to share with you. Please make sure to check out the original post and like and comment on the authors post too. Thanks for reading.
Shrimp with Citrus Avocado Mash
Prep time
15 mins
Cook time
15 mins
Total time
30 mins
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
For the shrimp
  • 1 pound raw peeled and deveined shrimp
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil (or other fat)
  • ½ tablespoon garlic powder
  • salt, to taste
For the avocado mash
  • 2 avocados, mashed
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce of choice (I used Frank’s Red Hot Sauce)
  • juice of 1 lime
  • juice of ½ a lemon
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • ½ small red onion, minced
  • handful of cilantro, roughly chopped (about ½ cup)
  • lots of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Line a baking sheet with foil for easy clean up. Place shrimp on baking sheet, toss shrimp in olive oil then lay flat on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and garlic powder. Place in oven and bake for 15 minutes or until pink with a little browning color to them.
  3. While shrimp bake, mix together all ingredients for avocado mash.
  4. Eat shrimp with avocado mash. Boom. Summer is served.
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Love of handmade soap

I love handmade soap. I often wondered, before I began my soap making journey, why my skin was so dry when I got out of the shower. After all, I had just been in the shower. I talked to several of my friends who had used handmade soap and they raved about it. So, I found a soap maker on etsy and ordered. After the 1st use, I was hooked. I swore I would never use store bought soap again, and thus began my soap journey.

Turns out, our skin needs glycerin to stay soft, moisturized and healthy. That I knew. What I didn’t know is that, commercial ‘soap’ isn’t actually soap, but more a detergent that has the glycerin removed to use in other products. No wonder I felt dried out after using this detergent. I also found out that it is full of surfactants, which can be a skin irritant, and chemical hardeners.

I have also found that the little bumps on the tops of my arms are a reaction to the surfactants in these detergents. Since using my handmade soaps, they have diminished greatly. Most people are sensitive to the detergents and surfactants. Myself and my son are two such people. Yay! (NOT)

So, what does that mean? No chemical or artificial hardliners in our soaps, no surfactants, soap naturally will create bubbles. Glycerin is a byproduct of the soap making process. I don’t know how to remove it, and wouldn’t even if I knew how. Our skin needs it.

So, I no longer HAVE to slather myself with lotion or body butter when I get out of the shower, although sometimes I still do because I live in the South. We get very hot down here 9 months out if the year. Winter months are especially hard on my skin, so I do use it during the drier, cooler months. We get dried out quickly down here when the humidity levels drop drastically.

 

What was your introduction to handmade soaps? I’d love to know what you think of them compared to commercial soap (detergent).

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The Story Of Lye

At our last market, I was asked numerous times “Do you use lye?” The answer is yes. Soap cannot be made without lye, whether it is handmade or commercially made, it was made using lye. Most of the people I talked to understood the process as I explained it to them, but I had a few that just didn’t “get it”, which prompted me to find a way to spell it out as an explanation  for EVERYONE. I found this article on https://www.soap-cart.com/the-story-of-lye/. I’ve linked the original author of the article at the bottom of this page. She wrote it perfectly.

 

All soap is made with the chemical reaction between a base and alkali. Now, you might say, “I don’t want to wash with anything that has lye in it!” Well, me either. That’s why I don’t. That’s why I would never expect my customers to.

When the soap is cured, the base and alkali turns into a salt leaving no trace of lye (or sodium hydroxide) in the final bar.

When someone says “Here is a recipe for lye-free soap…” the recipe calls for already made soap (such as glycerine soap) which has been made using lye in the first place!

Confused? Here is a fun, informative illustration about how REAL soap is made:

THE CAST OF CHARACTERS:

 

Let’s say you have a great big grassy field. On one side of the field are lurking a bunch of hungry wolves. The middle of the field is filled with soft, fluffy bunnies, and of course, the hungry wolves want to eat them.

So the wolves run into the field and start eating bunnies.

But an interesting thing happens. Every time a wolf eats five bunnies –*Pop!* – he changes into an energetic busy Border Collie and some peaceful, soothing sheep! So, if there had been 500 bunnies in the field to  begin with, and 100 hungry wolves, all the wolves would eat all the bunnies and you’d be left with a field full of busy Border Collies and soothing sheep but no more bunnies or wolves!

This is what happens when you pour the lye solution into the oils – the lye “consumes” the oils and the resulting chemical reaction produces saponified oils (soap) and glycerin. This is the process called “Saponification”.

 

 

And what if there had been only 450 bunnies in the field to begin with?
Well, then the 100 hungry wolves would have eaten all the bunnies and most of them would be transformed into useful Border Collies and soothing Sheep. But there would still also be 10 hungry wolves left over with no bunnies left to eat, and you’d probably get bitten. Not good! This is a lye heavy soap! Good to shred and use for laundry as it is very cleansing but not too good on your skin, It leaves it dry and provides no glycerin to naturally moisturize.

 

 

This is why it is so important to make sure you have always calculated and measured your recipe carefully. You don’t want to end up with any “leftover lye” when you’re finished!

On the other hand, maybe you really like having a few soft, fluffy
bunnies around. So you make sure that there are five hundred AND FIVE bunnies in the field before you let the 100 hungry wolves in.

NOW after all the wolves have eaten their share of bunnies and been transformed into useful Border Collies and soothing Sheep you will still have five soft, fluffy bunnies left over and NO hungry wolves. This is a balanced soap.

This is “Superfatting”. Superfatting is when you deliberately add more oil to your recipe than the lye can consume. In addition to saponified oils and glycerine, a superfatted soap will also contain some oils which have been left unchanged by the saponification process and still have their original properties.

So having leftover bunnies is a good thing, right? And if 5 leftover bunnies is a good thing, then 10 leftover bunnies would be even better, right? Or 15 leftover bunnies? Or more? The more leftover bunnies the better, right?

 

 

Well, maybe, and maybe not. If you have too MANY leftover bunnies, they’ll get in the way of the Border Collies who are trying to do their job and distract them. Or the bunnies might eat all the grass in the field and then the field is no good for sheep or anything else. So while having leftover bunnies is certainly better than having leftover wolves, you still need to know just how many leftover bunnies you can have before you start getting too much of a good thing!

Remember this when you decide to superfat a soap recipe. A superfatted recipe can give you a nice mild soap with the added bonus of insurance against having any leftover lye. But if you have too much “leftover oil”, then your soap won’t be a very useful soap any more!

 

 

What it all comes down to is you gotta know your bunnies! And you don’t want to have any wolves lurking around!

So now you know. All soap is made with lye. Good Balanced Soap has No Lye! and that is No Lie!

 

Original credit to: https://www.soap-cart.com/the-story-of-lye/

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Why Should You Buy Handmade?

The question comes up frequently of, “Why should I buy from you, and pay double the price at [insert store name here]?” There are a whole slew of answers to this question, so I have put together a little list of my favorite reason to buy/sell/make handmade.

1. You embrace and encourage creativity – an essential part of human nature.

When you buy handmade, you are buying from a person who is creating in a style they love and are passionate about. It is more unique than those big box stores that are just trying to predict what the hottest new trend is. Makers don’t have the pressure to create designs to be approved by their higher-up; they go with their gut and what they think is beautiful. Without the barricades of expectations, the passion of the maker is visible in every piece that comes from a handcrafter’s studio. There’s no better way to get the creative juices flowing than making something you’re passionate about!. Lastly, but most important: you support a real person, with a real dream!

2. No two items are ever the same.

Large commercial factories strive to create consistent product, but that’s boring! When you buy handmade, no two pieces are ever identical and that only makes them all the better. In our case, every time you buy a bar of soap it is unique from the last, so you and your guests will never tire of seeing or using it. In the case of other types of makers, it only makes the product more valuable knowing that it can never be 100% recreated.

3. The possibilities are endless.

When you buy handmade you are speaking directly with the maker (or if you’re buying from a retail store, it’s often not hard to get the maker’s info!), so the opportunities to customize your order are limitless. Us makers typically have a whole room (or house, or garage, really any space we can use without our spouses complaining constantly about our “junk” all over the place) of materials, ingredients, and components with which we will do our best to accommodate custom requests.

To prove it, if you think two of our soap scents would be great combined (my personal favorite is the Lemongrass and Citrus combination) we will always be happy to make you a custom soap (cure time required)!

4. Commercial production and handcrafted are two completely different realms.

It’s like comparing apples and oranges! As stated above, large companies are concerned with consistency and predictability – which is a nice trait sometimes. But you also sacrifice other aspects when you buy commercial: quality, integrity, and care. Commercial companies are concerned with finding the lowest prices – so they can make the highest profit. When you buy handmade, the maker carefully combs through different suppliers (or sometimes even gathers materials themselves!) never looking for what is cheapest. Although price may play a factor, it’s about quality with handcrafted products. For example, here at Soaps By Handmade In A Jar we only buy the highest quality, food grade oils that we can find from certified suppliers. Sure, it’d be cheaper to go to the grocery store and pluck oils off the shelf, but with all the controversy lately over misleading food labels, it’s well worth the money to order from a reputable supplier.

“Most food fraud cases involve the substitution of a high-value product with a less expensive or lower quality alternative. Such cases include cheaper products mislabeled as extra virgin olive oil…” the list continues, but if you’d like to really become knowledgeable on food fraud I encourage you to skim through this Congressional Research Service article: https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/R43358.pdf

5. Customer service like no other!

Without corporate overlords to report to, small business owners are free to treat customers with the kindness and generosity they deserve. Often times, we sacrifice our profit in order to ensure the customer’s satisfaction with their purchase and we’re able to do this because at the end of the day we don’t have anyone to answer to other than ourselves. It’s well worth it in order to create a great experience for our customers!

6. Lastly, but most important: you support a real person, with a real dream!

When you buy handmade, you’re dealing directly with the owner/creator/packer/designer/mom/dad/spouse/sibling, you name it! There is a direct link between the money you spend and the food on the table, the gas in the car, boots on the children’s feet as they splash around in puddles on a rainy morning while waiting for the school bus. Your money doesn’t go to a large corporation where the big boss reaps all the rewards and pays the hard-working employees minimum wage.

As a maker, I can say one thing is for sure: we are grateful for every order that we receive and the ability to do what we love (while supporting our families!) and we owe it all to YOU!