Soapy stuff · Weekends

Soaping on a Sunday

When I really started to think seriously about this whole soap-making endeavor, I thought that taking a class was not only a good idea, but necessary to up my legit factor. I really imagined that I would have some breakthroughs and have tons to talk about here on the blog.

Alas, I did not and I do not.

OK, let me try not sound too defeatist. We all know I’ll be able to talk about something. There were definitely interesting things that I learned. Like how to soap at room temperature instead of heating up oils and mixing lye separately. (We used a method where we measured our solid oils, mixed our lye solution and added that to the oils to melt them. We then added in our liquid oil (olive oil) and hand-mixed a bit before stick blending.) I never knew about this method and it definitely seems like it would be a time saver, so I’ll keep that info in my back pocket.

I also really appreciated someone sitting down with me and doing the calculations for recipes. You see, soap making is 1/3 math (yuck!), 1/3 science (cool!), and 1/3 creativity (my juices are flowing!). And, as someone who barely passed geometry, it was helpful to do calculations with a group and get my “middle school” on.

But there were some annoying things about being in a soap-making class with 12 other women. First off, Sunday was one of the nicest February days on record and I was stuck in a room with a bunch of people. Some of those people were super nice, while others made me give an eye-roll or two. But, I digress.

Here’s play-by-play of my Soaping Sunday.

7:30: wake up, get coffee, workout, shower. Load bag full of goggles and spatulas and aprons (thanks Alisha!), pop the address in my phone and start my journey to the middle of nowhere. (Literally. I wound up somewhere down by the docks of Newark and was honestly a little uneasy about the secluded location.)

9:45: text my boyfriend and send him my maps location just incase I die. Then I realize the workspace is actually really cool. For being in a creepy local, the building is pretty awesome. Sleek and modern and full of startups and small businesses, I breathe a sigh of relief and find my way to the room where the class would be held.

10:15: we start by going around the room, sharing our love of soaps and fragrances and essential oils and natural remedies. I have never felt like more of a basic bitch.

11:00: we get into the nitty gritty. We learn the history and science behind soap making. Did you know that soap making has been around since 2300 B.C.?! A lot of it is just a refresher for me, but it’s good to hear the information in person. After going through the fact-learning and algebra equations, t’s time to make some soap!  And this is where the annoying part begins…

1:00: we are asked to break into groups of five, and I learn that I really like to have control over my product. Leaving the measuring and mixing to other team members proves to be tough for me, but I try to give up the reigns a little bit. We start out by making a swirl soap with lavender, orange and peppermint essential oils. It looks funky and cool and I’m happy with our teamwork!

3:00: some bitch steals my fragrance and uses it all.

3:45: the frozen milk for our goat’s milk soap won’t melt.

4:30: we are just now starting our final soap. We were supposed to be done at 5. That ain’t happening.

5:00: this recipe calls for some beer. I wish I could drink it.

5:45: we want to take a group picture, but we can’t find two of the girls so we stand around for 15 minutes.

6:00: we finally take the picture, clean up and say our goodbye’s.I end up leaving with three plastic containers of soap. I would share the pictures, but the soaps are still too soft to unmold because we used plastic containers (unmolding from wood or silicone can be done a bit sooner than plastic).

Overall, I enjoyed the experience and it really got me psyched to start making my own recipes. As soon as I got home, I started jotting down ideas for my soap line’s first 3-5 soaps and I’m so excited to share them with everyone. However, these things take time and you all need to simmer down! (hehe, just playing)

Anyway, my shopping cart of soap making supplies is full and I’m about to hit “checkout,” so I’m sure I’ll have some yummy soaps coming soon enough! Until then, I’m headed to a friend’s house to work on an upcoming blog post about essential oils. SO KEEP CHECKING BACK HERE! Better yet, follow the blog! Just pop your email address in and you can get these lovely posts right to your inbox. Fun times, yes? OK, I must run.

XOXO
Amanda

Weekends

Weekend warriors

First in my weekly series keeping you up to date on my weekend shenanigans…or lack thereof…

Weekends in Jersey center around a few key ingredients. There must be a healthy mix of several things in order for a weekend to be a success:

1. Friends

2. Frolicking

3. Fermented grapes

…I’m trying to stick with an alliterative theme here but the only other f-word I can think of is not appropriate for my younger audience and this is a PG blog, guys!

Anyway, friends and frolicking are two of my favorite things, alright fine we will add fermented grapes in there as well because who doesn’t like some wine now and again (or every night) so that’s how I like to roll a lot of the time. Don’t get me wrong, I love laying on the couch and watching a movie/falling asleep to a movie as much as the next person, but sometimes you just need some fun, drinks and time to play catch-up with the people that you consider family. This weekend was one of those.

It started off on Friday with some longggg overdue time with some of my favorite college ladies. We laughed, we wined and…we didn’t really dine but I heated up some fabulous mini quiche and we were set for the night.

Next up, was Saturday. Because I’ve been a Jersey girl my whole life, I’d like to think I have this frolicking thing down pat. A few rules to live by when just wanting a nice day out with the girls?

1. There are no rules!

2. Rules are made to be broken!

3. Throw the rules out the window!

End cheesy, motivationl life quotes.

But in all seriousness, plans change and places you thought would be amazing turn out to not be your cup of tea. That’s why it’s always good to head to an area where you can walk around and find different locations to settle down at for awhile. This weekend, a few friends and I headed to one of my favorite areas in Jersey City to do a little bar hopping, eat yummy food, listen to some great music and shop at cool local stores. We only got three of the four done and I’ll give you a hint, my wallet thanked me. The night ended with me satisfyingly hitting the pillow and never looking back, so I’ll say it was definitely a success. Especially since I rediscovered my love of mezcal…which brings me to my final day…

Super Bowl Sunday began with a teensie hangover but I was good to go after chugging some water and dousing myself in peppermint essential oil. That will be a whole other blog post, so stay tuned.

Anyway, my boyfriend’s friend had a party that was full of food and not lacking in the beverage department. So, again, I played by some rules.

1. Sip slowly.

2. Then chug because warm beer is gross.

3. Finally, stuff your face.

I know those aren’t really the best rules, but they got the job done for me. Two beers and 70 tortilla chips with chili dip later, and I was feeling surprisingly fabulous. I brought some spinach dip to the party (recipe to the right), and the night was solid (minus that Pats win…no offense guys Brady can go home now).

And can we say that was the ultimate return of Gaga? She’s so amazingly talented and I was thrilled to see her perform to perfection and make a political statement without being even the teensiest bit annoying about it. If it was BeyoncĂ© I’m sure I would have had to turn off the TV…(don’t hate me!)

Weekend rating? 8/10

What was yours??

 

XOXO
Amanda