Posted in 2016 NaBloPoMo, 2016 NanoPoblano

NanoPoblano Day #15

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Today was more of a Monday for me than a Tuesday.  I even actually forgot, because I was trying to catch up on all the Monday chores I blew off yesterday for my son’s birthday and because my husband was home.  Usually when he’s home, it’s kind of a day of hooky for all of us.  And he’ll be home on vacation all next week! 

I’ve been playing with a soap recipe this evening.  Not actually making soap, but playing with the calculations of a recipe I’d like to try.  One of the soap calculators I use will give you an idea of what your soap will end up like – bubbly, hard, soft, not lathery at all, etc – before you get down to the fun part of actually making the soap.  It’s such a great feature!  I don’t know if such a calculator exists for baking recipes but it would be awesome if there was!  Learning how the different oils will react once they’re combined and saponified is pretty cool and sometimes I can get lost in the tweaking of it all. 

The recipe I’ve been playing with tonight is for a shaving soap.  My husband got into the wet shave method a year or so ago, but finding a good homemade recipe seems to be really hard to find.  He’s been buying some stuff from Amazon, but today I came across this recipe – well actually I guess it came across me because it was in my inbox from a soaping newsletter I get, lol – and now I really want to try to see if I can pull it off.  It’s a bit more complex than stuff I’ve made before, as it utilizes two different kinds of alkalis, but oh how fun to try!  Now I want to head over to Amazon and see if I can find all the ingredients for a reasonable price. 

I’ve been kicking around ideas for a business name.  Nothing concrete yet, but I’m thinking I’d like the last part of it to be either Soapworks, or Soapery.

My son said the sweetest thing to me last night after unwrapping his gifts.  See, we used to have the kids make Amazon lists of things they’d like for birthdays and Christmas, and then we’d order from their lists.  In the last year or so though, my son has kind of rebelled against that idea.  He says he doesn’t know what he wants.  It has become, “You pick something for me.”  Last night he said, “See, I knew I was right to trust you to pick out gifts for me!”  It was above the courteous, “Thanks, Mom!” that he always says whenever he receives anything.  He made me feel really good. 

Fasting today.  I swear, it’s really more of a relief than anything.  After indulging for my son’s birthday, I woke up feeling so “blech.”  I’m hoping to last until Friday dinner, Shabbat.  It kind of makes me laugh.  After being afraid of it so much for my whole life, now it’s become something I’m actually looking forward to.

That, and seeing just how many times I can use the word “actually” in a single blog post.  It must be my word of the day or something, sheesh. 

Happy Day #15!  Wow, halfway through the challenge already? 

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12 thoughts on “NanoPoblano Day #15

  1. YAYAY! I’m glad that you’ll have your husband home next week and especially glad for Thanksgiving!

    Have fun pinning down your business name. There is always so much second-guessing that comes along with this process. When you find the right one, you’ll know it. 🙂 One question that I have about soap making, and bear in mind this comes from watching old TV shows where soap could kill you or at least make you wish you were dead. I’ll assume “official” recipes are tried and true and have proven themselves safe to make and use. But, how does one know if this substitution or that one will be safe and okay to use? I have wanted to try soap making, but have never been brave enough to actually give it a try. I’m afraid of my soap boiling someone’s skin off or something. Just like I’m afraid if I try canning, I’ll end up poisoning somebody. Yeah, I know. I’m a big chicken and am held back because of it.

    Awww what a sweet boy you have! I know that goes down in the Treasure Book of Special Moments. 🙂

    Don’t you just love it when we have those word of the day days? haha Have a blessed day!

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    1. Those old soaps could be kind of hit or miss so don’t feel bad for being a bit afraid of the process! Back then, lye was not made commercially in a lab, but leached from wood ashes, so getting a consistent solution could be hairy. Then, different oils saponify at different strengths which can create a soap that may have too much lye or not enough. Too much lye will sting and be really harsh on the skin, but not enough in your soap will cause the oils to probably go rancid over time.

      Now-a-days, we have lye that’s produced in a factory so it’s always nice and consistent. We have soap calculators that enable soapers to put together recipes and they figure out how much lye is needed depending on which oils you plan on using. And the bonus kick is stick blenders. In the old days, soap required stirring. Lots and lots and lots of stirring, to make sure everything got blended. Now, press a button and that little spinning blade does 45 mins worth of stirring in just a few minutes.

      I was really scared of lye before I ever made soap, which kept me from even trying it. My friend who made soap was really encouraging and supporting. “Don’t be afraid of the lye! It’s no more dangerous than bleach! Your house won’t explode if it splashes and you won’t die.” Yes, be cautious, be as careful as you would if you were working with bleach. Don’t breathe it, don’t splash it and if you do rinse it off right away, keep kids and pets out of reach of it, and don’t be intimidated by it. Respect it, but don’t be scared.

      You won’t boil anyone’s skin off, I promise. 🙂 Watch lots of soaping videos to help you get comfortable (Google “how to make soap” and you’ll get a ton of choices), start by following a tried and true recipe, in small batches. And don’t deviate from the recipe on the fly. That’s really all there is to it. If you enjoy baking, you will love soaping! Way less calories, too. 😉

      Plus, you can start with melt and pour soap, which has already gone through the saponification process (so you don’t use lye with it) and all you have to do is melt it, add some scents and colors, and pour it.

      Here’s a link to get you started! https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLAADF6209996265D2 Can’t wait to see what you come up with! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you so much for this response. How do you do the “don’t breathe it” part?
        I already have a lung disorder (asthma and COPD), would this, then, be an unsafe thing for me to try to do? Do you think the melt and pour route would be the best way for me as far as my lungs are concerned?
        Thank you for the link to the video. I appreciate your encouragement very much. Have a blessed day!

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        1. I think you can absolutely do cold process soaping, even with a lung issue. When I say “don’t breathe it,” what I mean is don’t hold your head over the lye-water solution while you stir, or over the container of lye. Your lye and water will be weighed out prior to mixing. What I do, when I’m ready to combine them, I take the lye portion and holding it at arm’s reach, I gently pour it into the water. I stand sideways to it, and turn my head completely opposite of it, and hold my breath while pouring and stirring it. Once it’s dissolved (and you can tell because it’s not longer “crunchy”) I put it on my upper counter and let it set for a couple hours to cool down to room temperature. I don’t soap at higher temperatures.

          I also do not wear a mask. I have them (a whole box!), as well as all the other safely equipment, but I just don’t wear any of it because it’s just annoying to me. However, if I had a lung issue, I would absolutely wear the mask whenever I was working directly with the lye and lye solution. The mask will keep you from breathing any fumes. Just painter’s dust masks that you can get at any hardware store, they are just fine for soaping.

          Take the precautions, be careful, and it’s no more unsafe than using bleach in your laundry. 🙂

          You can do this thing!

          You have a blessed day too! *hugs*

          Liked by 1 person

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