New goodies

My friend Babs posted a picture of a gorgeous Patchouli soap on Facebook.  Creamy white base with several different colors swirled throughout, alternating white-color-white-different color-white-yet another color and so on.  She’d done a column swirl, and a darn good job of it!  Her swirls, though, reminded those of us in our group of zebra stripes, which started sparking different ideas and discussions.  How would it look to do a black and white zebra-striped soap?  Way cool, huh?  Then I chimed in with the addition of a hot pink heart or lips.  How awesome would THAT be!?

The challenge was on!  I first made up my heart, using my wonderful heart column mould.  After it had sat for a few days, I sliced it for the soap.  I didn’t care that it wasn’t even fully saponified, yet; it’d get there along with the base soap.  I mixed my soap and colored half of it with activated charcoal for a rich black color.  The scent is perfect for this soap, a duplicate of Victoria’s Secret‘s Sexy Little Things, which I’ve renamed Sexy and Sassy.  Whereas Babs did column swirls with hers (enables the soap creator to have both hands free), I opted for funnel swirls (because I didn’t know how to do column swirls).  My girls watched me pour the soap, and the firstborn wanted to take pictures.  She snapped 39 pictures of me pouring this soap!  Here are some of her photos.  (All pictures are the property of Sara’s Soaps ‘n Such and Mary E. Nesbitt.  Copying and stealing are prohibited.  You really don’t want to mess with an Indie on this.  Just trust me.)

Pouring in the colors, alternating between black and white

Building the swirl
Almost done!
Cutting through the swirls

Swirls are done!

Setting the hearts in place

Finished soap
Cut bars.  Don’t they look fabulous?!

These little gems will be available for you to enjoy on 3 March.  Not much longer to wait to experience the superior soapy goodness in a fun, chic design!

(Our financial journey is still going great!  For the latest updates, click the link to my Mom’s Life blog.)
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Earth Mother

English: Pachamama or Mama Pacha "Mother ...
Image via Wikipedia – Not your
typical Earth Mother

If I say “earth mother,” you have a vision – a lady who’s wearing natural fibers, maybe looking a little hippy, someone who is naturally nurturing and likes to create things with her hands.  I don’t claim to be one of those (though I don’t think it’d be that far of a stretch).  The truth of the matter is, more and more, we’re getting back to the earth.  We desire simpler living, which is cheaper now days.  How are we making it happen, living in a subdivision like we are?

We garden.  I think this is the one thing out of which we draw the most pleasure.  My husband thrilled in planning our garden (all raised beds because of our high-clay soil), and our daughter and he love digging in the dirt.    Our toddler and I like going out and reaping the harvest.  Last year we scored several 25+ pound watermelons, more cantaloupes than we could eat and tomatoes galore.  This year, we’re taking it to a whole new level.  Thanks to my grandparents, my brother- and sister-in-law and a good coupon from Bed, Bath & Beyond, I was able to purchase a pressure canner so we can put up some of those vegetables to enjoy after Summer’s harvest is but a distant memory.  I’ve tested it out with homemade black bean and corn salsa.

Related to gardening, we’ve started composting.  Why should we throw things like egg shells (they add LOTS of lime to the soil), apple cores and potato peels in the trash when we can add them to the pile of grass clippings that started our compost pile?  It’s something both sets of my grandparents always did (one set still does), so it must be a good idea to nourish the soil in this way.  Well-nourished soil is healthy soil, and healthy soil makes for beautiful, healthy produce.

We are also simplifying our finances.  We will not be relying on credit going forward, instead paying cash for whatever we want.  We are dropping all debts (eventually, even including our mortgage) and decluttering our home, selling off as much as we can.  We don’t need all this stuff.  Looking ahead, when we’re ready to move, we won’t have all this junk to relocate.  You can read all about this journey here at my other blog.  (That’s also why I have not been blogging here as faithfully as usual.)

Are there ways that you can think of to live more simply?  What would you like to achieve by doing so?

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