Back in October I ended up buying an industrial sized drum of 35% peroxide and a 25kg bag of Lye from a guy off Kijiji. He was using it for woodworking (so he says, but who knows, maybe he was making drugs :-o) Anyway, so I ended up paying something like $35 bucks or something for them. The peroxide was for work but the lye… I had no idea what to do with the lye but I took it home anyway.

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I did some googling and quickly figured out a basic soap recipe and made a batch of basic soap with four different oils. (Castor/Olive/Semolina/Coconut) I’ll save rehashing soap recipes, there are already lots of websites out there that will tell you HOW to make soap. Just pick something you like, be careful and start your chemistry lab. It’s fun! (Also use this: Soapcalc)

I don’t know why I keep seeing all these blogs and comments of women that say it took them months to stop being scared of lye or are still terrified to work with it… maybe it’s because I’m used to handling chemicals, lye is NOT scary. Just be careful and jump right in.

I used a cute silicone heartshaped ice cube mold that I already had on hand to set the soap in. it turned out pretty cool so I made a second batch that week of larger soaps to wash the dog with.

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They’re nothing special, just a very basic olive oil soap to which I added some Tea Tree and peppermint essential oil. I tried to unmold them too quick after about 24 hours so I totally botched a few bars, they needed to sit for a few days to be hard enough to unmold. They ended up quite soft and have been curing on the shelf in my basement until now.

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They’ve turned a much darker colour and are very hard now and ready for use. In fact I used a whole bar on my dog after this happened:

IMG_4861f089a79b5626c831d0932e8f27ebDog sees beach after 4 months of no beach -> dives right in -> gets out of water and rolls his non-wet half in stinky mud. He had to be hosed down in the tub and scrubbed, I used up a full bar of soap to get his fur thoroughly shampoo’d and cleaned up. He smells clean again now though! Or rather, he just smells like his earthy, sandalwoody-pleasant dog-self again. And no itch, the soap was superfatted to be very rich – you can read what that is right here –  and contains no dye, no artificial anything, it’s very gentle.

So, having actual days off these days means my creative side comes out more. When I don’t have time to breathe and just putter around the house I just don’t have the energy or ideas to work on little projects. Late last fall I decided to start taking a regular schedule and work more regular hours with scheduled days off and it’s working out so nicely! Among all the other healthful changes I have made in my life in the past year already, I am finding more time to come up with ideas! ANYWAY, this past weekend I made another batch of soaps! I started with a simple olive oil and coconut superfatted 19% base (about 60% coconut, 40% olive oil) (yes that’s a lot, but it’s my chem lab and I’ll do what I want)

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Lye is kind of fun to play with, it reacts when you add distilled water and heats up very rapidly. I just do it in the sink with the window and door open to create good airflow and gloves on. I’ve only made small batches with about 250 grams of oil, so I’m not working with a lot of lye here.

I grabbed these cute little icecube molds from Dollarama, they have sillicone pushout bottoms making it easier to get the soaps out and I figured they are the perfect small size to make trial batch of single/a few time use mini bars. There was no actual recipe that I followed for the process after creating the soap base. I did some rough research, added salt to make some into scrub bars and added essential oils, cinnamon, honey into others to make something else.

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Look how super cute these little scrub bars are! I made four types of mini-soaps which if you follow me on instagram you’ve already seen me spam about :) I made a Frosted Cranberry body scrub bar, Cinnamon, Honey & Vanilla body scrub bar, ‪‎Peppermint ‎Vanilla ‬body scrub bar and ‪a few Ylang‬ Ylang & Tea tree face bars.

So far nobody likes the Ylang Ylang :-(, I personally do think it smells a bit like old lady but… I have a small bottle of DoTerra Ylang Ylang essential oil so I figured I’d try to do something with it. I love the peppermint vanilla scent and I’ll be trying out the cinnamon scrub bar in the shower tonight.

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These hardened up much faster than my first two batches of soap due to the high coconut oil content. They were too soft after 4 hours but I was able to unmold them easily and without damage after 24 hours. I decided to wrap them up after 72 hours, they are hardening quite nicely! Right now they have the feel of a Dove bar, I suspect they will get harder over the coming weeks.

I made my own cigar band wrappers with scrapbooking leftovers I used to make my new planner a few months ago, I glued them shut and lined them all up on a plastic tray to place downstairs to cure for a few more weeks before I give them away (and ship a few off to other places)

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They look like truffles and they do smell delicious but they are definitely not edible!

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Aren’t they adorable? I tried out the Cinnamon scrub bar this evening and the lather is great, again very similar to a Dove bar. Unlike my other bars which go quite soft when wet these stay nice and hard, lather well and dont leave my hands feeling dried out at all. I am so happy with how this turned out. They’re awesome!

I will be modifying this recipe further this week. I’m looking for more scent and soap ideas. My next batch will likely be a chunk of castile soap but I’m thinking of how to make a good grease-fighting handscrub soap with added salt or sand or oatmeal something to be abrasive for cleaning hands covered in oil from working in the garage. Any ideas? Ever make soap? It’s so much fun!

You’ve probably noticed this website is mainly a personal finance diary these days. When I was a young and eager (ha!) blogger I did at times try to write useful articles about things that I felt were relevant. Like how to cut down utility bills, get out of debt and other general personal finance stuff.

I tried to jump into the PF blogging world more serious at times but it meant turning away from what this website is to me; personal, towards business. I’m an entrepreneur and I get great enjoyment out of streamlining and fixing and making things better but it never felt quite “right” to do that to this bloggityblog. I never felt genuine when I wrote general articles specifically for others to read. I like helping people but I prefer to do so more on a personal basis by talking to someone in the middle of the night with a beer in hand, rather than writing to the anonymous internet, I suppose.

I’ve stuck to this personal finance diary-type format for more than a year after writing this piece in January last year. I went through a really rough time in my life last spring  but since then a lot of things have  definitely changed, I am posting more but I don’t think I’ll ever continue on the big-blogger or businessy-blogger path. I think I’ll keep it as it is and I suppose I wanted to throw that out there and let you know because I somehow felt guilty about it. (Even though I really don’t have to) :-) Happy weekend!

Botanical Gardens, Dublin

Botanical Gardens, Dublin

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Here we go again! Let’s sit down and take a look. I deleted a few goals that I no longer need to track for the rest of the year.

Financial

2. Save & splurge on a nice new purse in the spring. I’m still drooling over this one.
3. Sell my house. In progress
4. Savings – Emergency $571.59/month. Fail. .
5. Savings – Retirement TFSA/RSP  $105.53/month. Done.
6. Savings – Vehicle fund $17.33/month. Done.
7. Savings – Future House  $41.66/month. Done.
8. Travel expense 2015 $1,500 jan – oct. In progress. I went to Florida!
9. Networth of $72,000.  In progress.

Well, I failed one of my financial goals… my emergency fund contributions were less important than going to Florida for 10 days. But it was awesome! I am now behind $261.24 this month and $200 from last month. That means in May I need to drop $1,032.82 into my emergency fund to keep on target. Um, I might not be able to do that… I will try?

My trip to Florida ended up costing about $1,000 Canadian excluding some clothes and underwear shopping.

Financially for May I want to work on building up a larger buffer in my chequeing as well, I’m thinking a minimum amount of about $1,000, for peace of mind and to really truly start living off last months pay.

Travel

10. Visit Cape Breton. Haven’t done anything with this yet.
13. Go camping in the Magdalen Island for a week. Haven’t done anything with this yet.

Lifestyle

15. Lose 30 for 30. In progress. 
16. Track food, journal, exercise daily. Done.
17. Go swimming once a week. Fail.
18. Complete c25k a second time by April 30, 2015. Fail. (Also I quit this one)
19. Start weighing in weekly by June 30, 2015. Haven’t done anything with this yet.
20. Average steps per day 8,500. Done! 10,881 daily average!
21. Read more: read 30 books this year. In progress.
22. Wear out shoes, don’t buy more, reduce total amount of shoes owed. In progress.
23. Complete the #100happydays challenge. In progress.
24. Finish two bible studies. Done.
25. Keep track of these goals weekly here. Done.

I’m generally well on track with my health goals. I was reading a forum I frequent yesterday and it really made me think twice about the whole kids and family thing. I want to be the best I can be. I’m turning 30 this year, it’s time to take care of myself and I’ve run out of time to keep coming up with excuses. My step average was 10,881 this past month which is great! Hopefully I can keep that up again in May!

I went swimming a few times in Florida but didn’t go swimming at home at all. After twisting my knee after I fell on ice at home and then again at work two days later at the end of March my knee has been bothering me so a second go around of c25k isn’t going to happen. I also realized over the winter that I really enjoy walking and hiking outside. I love being outside! But running was more something I did to get a sweat and a workout in, I never quite loved it. Because of that and the bum knee I think I can cross that one off my list permanently

On the job front, two more no thank you emails, one application with no response and I entered into two other job pools. Didn’t apply for as many jobs as I should have this month. The last 6 months of my job contract start next week… Trying to keep calm and have faith that  all will work out just fine. :)

Cottage rentals are picking up even more though, I’m now expecting 150% of what I earned last year with cottage cleaning and renting.  I also decided to rent out my own house as a seasonal rental to cover some of my carrying costs. Any bit will help.

And that rounds off April, May is looking like a busy month, getting my planters ready, prepping my house for rental and my cottage job starts soon, yay!

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