Archive for the ‘New recipes’ Category

Finding the Perfect Soap Recipe

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Soaping with knowledge, experience, and confidence.

With such a variety of soaping bases, fats, and oils available in the market, one can easily see where the excitement can collide with frustration, especially if you are new to soaping.  We strive for a perfect recipe, but where to begin, the possibilities are endless.  From this soap making blog series, we have already gone over the different types of soaping processes, soap safety, and soaping terminology.  Now, we seek out creating the perfect soaping recipe.

Soap is made by the chemical reaction that occurs when mixing fatty acids, lye, and water.  The lye component actually works as an emulsifier, bonding the fatty oils and water together.  Without the lye, this bond would never form.  These 3 elements, fatty acids, lye, and water are all essential components to the saponification process.

Each soaping oil/butter has a fatty acid composition, and since every oil/butter is different, so is their fatty acid composition.  It is through the variance of each fatty acid composition that important soaping characteristics and qualities are found.   Let’s briefly look at some of the most common fatty acids, as well as, the qualities that are provided by them in a cured bar of soap.

Lauric Acid:  Provides hardness, cleansing, and bubbly lather.

Linoleic Acid:  Provides conditioning

Myristic Acid:  Provides hardness, cleansing, and bubbly lather.

Oleic Acid:  Provides conditioning

Palmitic Acid:  Provides hardness and a creamy lather

Ricinoleic Acid:  Provides conditioning, bubbly lather, and a creamy lather.

Stearic Acid:  Provides hardness and a creamy lather.

As you can see, each and every element that is put into your soaping recipe has distinct benefits or uses, and some ingredients can also inhibit certain soap bar qualities.  Please also notice, that none of the fatty acids allow for all five of the soaping qualities that you are looking for in a bar of soap.  This is why; in order to find a good symmetry among these qualities, a soaping recipe usually contains several different oils (fatty acids).

In order to create a quality bar of soap, it is necessary to find a balance between hardness, cleansing, conditioning, bubbly lather, and creamy lather. This usually involves using a combination of oils/butters in your soap recipe. A typical bar soap recipe calls for 38% water content, and a 5% superfat (the percentage of oils that do not saponifiy).

Here are the values for a typical bar of soap; they are presented in a range:

Hardness 29 to 54
Cleansing 12 to 22
Conditioning 44 to 69
Bubbly lather 14 to 46
Creamy lather 16 to 48

There is however, one example of a soap recipe that can be done with just one oil.  For people who are allergic to nuts, olive oil soap can be made with just that…olive oil.  No allergen worries.  Once this bar has cured though, you have a nice conditioning soap bar that will not leave your hands dry, but, that same soap bar also will not produce a nice lather, and will be very limited in cleansing ability.  This is why being aware of all of the capabilities of your oils, fats, butters, and additives will give you a distinct advantage over other soap bars in the market.

Remember, since all oils have their own fatty acid makeup, they also have specific saponification or SAP values.  This is why it is extremely important that once the ingredients of your soaping recipe are calculated, you MUST use those oils.  They cannot be exchanged out for other soaping oils without recalculating your recipe.

Feeling overwhelmed yet?  Don’t!  We know that this is a lot of information to grasp.  This is why if you are new to soaping, it is our suggestion that you try a recipe that has already been tried and tested.  Doing this will allow you to initiate yourself with the soaping instruction and procedure.  Performing the steps from beginning to end will also give you a firsthand experience of the soaping method and key properties of the saponification process like trace or gel phase.

Congratulations Newbies!  Now is the time where we are actually going to make our first batch together.

If you have not read our blog on soap making safety, please do so now

http://blog.naturesgardencandles.com/soap-making-safety/

Working with lye can be very dangerous!

We have already went slightly ahead, and provided you below a recipe for your 1st time soaping.

Here is what you will need for a 2 pound batch:

6 ounces of Coconut Oil, 76 degree

8.4 ounces of Olive Oil Pomace

8.4 ounces Palm Oil

1.2 ounces of Castor Oil

1.5 ounces of a body safe fragrance oil ie Oatmeal Milk & Honey

9.12 ounces of Distilled Water

3.393 ounces of lye (NaOH)

This recipe range for soap bar quality is:

Hardness 43
Cleansing 17
Conditioning 54
Bubbly lather 22
Creamy lather 31

As you will notice all of the qualities fall within the suggested range nicely.  This soap recipe will give you a balanced overall bar of soap.

When selecting your body safe fragrance oil, please take the time to review the CP soap results.  We have a link with all of our fragrance oils listed alphabetically with the CP results:

http://www.naturesgardencandles.com/mas_assets/pdf/fragrtest.pdf

Good Luck and remember, once you feel confident with your testing recipe, it is time to break the mold and explore the realm of crafting your own soap recipe.  Soap that is completely made by scratch, every ingredient controlled by you!

A very informative class has been created to help you find exactly which ingredients you may want to consider using in your recipe.  Here is the link:

http://www.naturesgardencandles.com/mas_assets/pdf/soapoils.pdf

As you looking at all of the various fats/oils/butters that are capable for soaping recipes, jot down or note any of interest.

In the next class, we will review how to use the soap calculator!

Homemade Facial Mask Recipe

Tuesday, June 26th, 2012

I have come to a grave realization lately.  An awkward awareness that I would rather keep locked up and to myself.   I am trying to embrace this change, and I feel that sharing this with you may be the first step in my acceptance.  Although, let the record state that there still is a fight left in this dog.  I have hit an unwritten milestone in my life.  It may not be a celebrated achievement, but part of me has always known that this was inevitable.   I am old!

I know, I know, some people may look at me (at age 31) and say… “No honey, you are still young…”, but I know that you are slightly stretching the truth.  But, thanks for trying to make me feel better!  The real truth is, for the first time in my life, I am no longer in the young crowd.

To get down to the nitty gritty, the signs have been evident for quite some time now.   I have lost my touch with understanding the generation below me.  I look at them, like what they are wearing specifically, and ask myself when did this become the hip thing.  See, right there, I used the word hip… is this yet another sign?

To give you a little more insight, one of my guilty pleasures is gossip magazines.  I thoroughly love reading  the buzz on celebrities, even though I know it may not be true.  I just enjoy being in the know of the rumor mill.  But, now I feel betrayed.  As I fervently flip through the pages, scanning each headline and photo, I am coming to grasp that I do not know these people.  They are not my regular celebrities.  In fact, who are these kids… and when did they start gracing the pages.  Did I fall off the face of the planet and someone forget to tell me?

More than feeling out of touch, I am lost in general when it comes down to it.  My youngest sister is 19.  She is currently living with me.   We have a blast together, just like the old days when we were all growing up in the same house.   Yet, there is an adult part of me that just does not understand her.  The music she listens to, the zany hairdo’s, and the vibrant colors embellishing her face and nails.  I am so out of the loop.

More than the outside world, I seemed to be obsessed with my own physical aging.  It is almost as if I am trying to win an uphill battle.  When did this all happen?  I see myself every day, and I never noticed any of this.  I see wrinkles on my face.   There are numerous, very evident gray hairs that daunt me.  Sometimes, when I walk past a mirror, I even see my mother’s face.  (I meant that nicely, love you mom.)  Just the other day, I noticed crumpled, puckered skin above my knees.  This all has to stop!

Visualize the famous oil painting The Scream of Nature by Edvard Munch, and you will see how I am feeling right now; out of place, unsure, lost, unrecognizable, scared.

So, I am calling myself to arms.  I am not going to sit back and watch myself grow old without a war.  This fight is about to get physical, and I am engaging the first round of battle myself.  I am smart, sophisticated, and ready to face the aging battle.  Here come the facial masks.

Skin care is super important, as I am sure you all know.  Youthfulness is wasted on the youth, boy if that ain’t the truth.  I can actually remember distinctly not listening to adults who told me to take care of myself when I was young… I always thought that I had more time.  But, isn’t that the story for everything.

So, now I am taking action.  And in true perfection, Natures Garden has just ventured into the realm of herbs.  How exciting is this.

I decided among the long list of things to youthfulize myself (yes, I did in fact make that word up), I would start with my face.  I figured this would be as good as any aspect to start on since my face is what everyone sees.

Making a facial mask is super easy, quick, and very rewarding.  It just so happens that Natures Garden carries all of these supplies too!

Here are the ingredients for a Refreshing Green Clay Mask:

24 grams French Green Clay powder

6 grams vegetable glycerin

2 grams peppermint leaf powder

2 grams of peppermint leaf cut and sifted

Step 1:  Weigh out and mixed the dry ingredients together and set aside (except for the peppermint leaves cut and sifted).

Step 2:  Make a strong peppermint tea infusion by pouring a small amount of hot water over the peppermint leaves cut and sifted and allow them to steep.

Step 3:  Strain the peppermint leaves infusion through a coffee filter to remove the leaves.

Step 4:  Using 18 grams of the peppermint tea, add 6 grams of vegetable glycerin to it and stir.

Step 5:  Now, pour this mixture over the dry ingredients and stir.

Step 6:  Apply generously to your face and allow to dry completely.

Now, I am not going to lie to you, this mask gets tight.  I couldn’t move a single muscle in my face once the mask hardened, but it was so worth the slight discomfort.  I left the mask on for about 20 minutes.  I waited until it was completely dry and hard.  Then I simply washed it off with warm water.  What was left was a rejuvenated, younger looking face; my new face.

My skin was baby butt soft.  My pores, especially the ones on and around my nose, were tiny again.  My T-zone area was not shiny at all.  It was face perfection for me.  I am now a huge fan of Natures Garden facials!

Fragrance & Fun for Everyone

Inspire, Create, and Dominate!

Sparkles!!! Nicole

(Corporate Manager of Natures Garden Candle Supplies)

www.naturesgardencandles.com

New Homemade Conditioner Recipe

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

In case you haven’t noticed yet, I am a huge advocate of trying new things.  Recently, I had the chance to expand my knowledge and crafting skill to a new level.  Spoiler Alert:  I am in love!

With all the fun and exciting recipes that are filling up Natures Garden’s recipe box on the homepage, I decided that I would take a chance and try something new myself.  I was quite intrigued by several of the recipes; however, I wanted to choose something that was going to be a little challenging.  It was while I was looking over the various recipes that I realized I have actually never made anything bath and body from scratch.

We have been working with Kim (our CP tester) from Natures Art for the last few months, so I decided that I was going to try one of her recipes.  As I am sure that you can already tell by the picture, I selected the conditioner recipe to try my hand at.

Embarking on a new creative journey, I anxiously prepped my crafting area, read through the directions (another spoiler alert… super easy), and grabbed all of the supplies that I needed.   Wow, making homemade conditioner is quite rewarding.  The most time consuming part of the whole recipe was the boiling aspect.  After that is was amazingly simple.

As soon as I finished, I rushed to the bathroom to quickly wash my hair and give the conditioner a try.  The silkiness and warmth (since I had literally just finished making it) was heavenly.  Not only did my hair smell amazing (I used Vandra Orchid Fragrance Oil), but I was really taken back by the lack of tangles.  My hair is quite lengthy and on the thin side, brushing it after a shower has been something that I’ve hated to do since I was a small child.  However, with this new conditioner… I was able to comb straight through, no brush required.  Not wanting to count my chickens before they hatch, I waited to see how my hair felt after it had dried… my results were that my hair had never been so shiny and soft.

Mad kudos to Kim Sanchez of Natures Art for the fabulous recipe.  I was so excited about this new product that I decided to share it with all 5 of my sisters; and needless to say I will be hosting a conditioner party at my house this weekend. I am even going to make special conditioner for my girls scented in the fun Fruity Rings Fragrance Oil.  They are going to love it!

This recipe is one that I highly recommend to everyone.  It is easy, has very few ingredients, and is definitely worth the time and effort.  Plus, for an added bonus, after you are finished testing your new hair conditioner; may I suggest jamming to Willow Smith’s Whip My Hair for added fun!  It is a blast!

Have hair that is sleek, sexy, sassy, and smells sooooo good.

To view the recipe (you know that you want to), click Aloe Cucumber Hair Conditioner.  Feel free to swap out the Cucumber Aloe fragrance oil for another, just pay attention to the IFRA percentage for safe recommended usage.

If you are interested in other fun recipes, check out the recipe box on Natures Garden Homepage.

Fragrance & Fun for Everyone

Inspire, Create, and Dominate!

Sparkles!!! Nicole

(Corporate Manager of Natures Garden Candle Supplies)

www.naturesgardencandles.com

Soap Hearts with Love Messages

Monday, January 9th, 2012

SOAP HEARTS WITH LOVE MESSAGES

Stackable soap hearts with a hidden, laminated love message.

INGREDIENTS:
Glycerin Melt and Pour Soap
Natural Goat’s Milk Melt and Pour Soap
Neon Pink FUN Liquid Soap Colorant
Tomato Red FUN Liquid Soap Colorant
Passionate Kisses Fragrance Oil
Stackable Hearts Mold
Transfer Pipettes
Glass Pyrex Measuring Cup with spout
Ribbon for Decorating
Love Messages
Laminating sheets

Directions:
Note: Each block of Natures Garden’s Melt and Pour Soap is perforated into 40 cubes. Each cube is approximately 1 oz.
1. Prepare Red Heart:
A. Melt 2 cubes of glycerin melt and pour soap in microwave in 15 second increments until completely melted. Add ½ teaspoon of passionate kisses fragrance oil and 2 drops of tomato red FUN liquid soap color. Stir. Pour mixture into largest heart mold. Spritz with alcohol to remove air bubbles.
2. Prepare Pink Heart:
A. Melt 1 ½ cubes of Natural Goat’s Milk melt and pour soap in microwave in 15 second increments until completely melted. Add ¼ teaspoon passionate kisses fragrance oil and 1 drop Neon pink FUN liquid soap color. Stir. Pour mixture into medium sized heart mold. Spritz with alcohol to remove air bubbles.
3. Prepare White Heart:
A. Melt 1 cube of Natural Goat’s Milk melt and pour soap in microwave in 15 second increments until completely melted. Add 1/8 teaspoon passionate kisses fragrance oil . Stir. Pour mixture into small sized heart mold. Spritz with alcohol to remove air bubbles.
4. Allow soap to set up. We allow our soap to set up in the refrigerator or freezer so that it releases more easily from the molds. Pop out of molds.
5. Prepare your love messages by printing out the free love messages we provided, laminate them, and carefully cut them out.
6. Place a love message between the large heart and the medium heart.
7. Place white heart on top.
8. Tie ribbon around all three hearts.

Natures Garden Candles and Soaps Supplies

 

Scented Play Dough

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

Fragrances like Natures Garden’s Reindeer Poo make really amazing scented childrens play dough!

This weekend was a chilly one.  Snow fell in many areas, and although ours did not stick, we did not go unnoticed.  With the weather not really cooperating, my girls and I were trapped in the house all weekend long.  Not fun!

Needless to say, we were already feeling the walls closing in.  We needed something entertaining to do.  Off to google I went to see if there were any projects we could do to pass the time away.

My girls are huge fans of creative things.  They love to color, draw, build castles with their building blocks, and play with craft dough.  So, at least I knew if I could find something that was hands on, we were in there.  I knew that my mom had made craft dough with the girls before and they had a blast.  I only needed to find a recipe.

After quite a few links, I stumbled upon a great recipe of unscented play dough.  Could this play dough be scented?  Yes it can!

This craft dough is pretty basic and can be colored and scented to extend the wow factor.   My girls selected all the fun Christmas scents, and I double checked to make sure that all of the fragrances were body safe.  I also let them choose the colors for the craft dough.

Here are the supplies that are needed:

8 cups flour- I used the All-purpose kind

8 cups warm water

4 cup salt- the regular table kind

1 cup vegetable oil

1/4 cup Cream of Tartar

Latex gloves

5 Glass plates

5 gallon sized Ziploc bags

5 Pipettes

Natures Garden Soap Dyes:  Red,
Blue, Yellow, Green

Natures Garden Cotton Headed Ninny Muggin Fragrance oil

Natures Garden Jack Frost Fragrance oil

Natures Garden Snowman Balls Fragrance oil

Natures Garden Mrs. Claus Cookies Fragrance oil

Natures Garden Reindeer Poo Fragrance oil

 

This recipe is for a really large batch, but I wanted to make sure that both girls had a nice amount of craft dough to play with.

 

First: In a large saucepan, mix the flour, salt, cream of tartar, water, and vegetable oil together.  Stir.  Place the saucepan on the stovetop and cook over low heat.  Stir occasionally.  You are looking for when the craft dough starts to look like mashed potatoes.  The key to when it is finished is when the dough clumps together and you can pull it from the sides of the saucepan.  You do not want the dough to be sticky though.  Keep the low heat on until the dough appears dry.  You are seeking the same texture as store
bought craft dough.

 

Second:  Remove the saucepan from the heat and set aside.  You want the craft dough to cool naturally.  It is done when you can touch the dough and it is cool.  While the dough is cooling, wipe down your counter space with warm soapy water.  You want to do this now so that the area is dry for the next step.

 

Third:  Carefully, dump all of the craft dough onto your work space.  Start to knead.  You will knead until the craft dough is smooth.  It will almost have a silky feel to it.

 

Four:  Divide it up.  Since we are making 5 different scents and colors, you will want to separate the dough as evenly as possible
into 5 large balls.  Please note, one of the balls will be uncolored, this will be your cream color.

 

Five:  Once you have all of the balls, using your index finger poke a hole into it.  You are going to use this hole for your soap dye coloring.  One color designated per ball.  I would suggest doing this step one ball at a time.

 

Six:  Put on your latex gloves.  Take one glass plate and place a ball on it.  Carefully, start to knead the ball on the plate.  Keep
kneading until the color is consistent throughout the entire dough portion.  If you need to go bolder on the color, just recreate the ball and hole and start over again.  The tip here is do not be afraid to knead your heart out in this step.  Repeat this step for each color until you have all colors completed.

 

Seven: Once you are happy with your new bright and beautiful dough colors, stick each one individually in a gallon Ziploc bag.  It
is time to get your scent on in the next step.

 

Pause- Here is our scent to color break down we used:

RED- Cotton Headed Ninny Muggin Fragrance oil

BLUE- Jack Frost Fragrance oil

CREAM (uncolored)- Snowman Balls Fragrance oil

GREEN- Mrs. Claus Cookies Fragrance oil

YELLOW-Reindeer Poo Fragrance oil

 

Eight: Using one pipette per dough bag, drip 2ml of the fragrance into the Ziploc bag and sealshut.  Knead again, but do it in the
Ziploc bag until all of the fragrance is absorbed.  Repeat for the remaining 4 dough bags.

 

Nine: Get crafty and have some fun!  When you are finished, store left over craft dough in Ziploc bags.

 

This was really a ton of fun to do.  My girls had a blast making it and playing with it. This is something that is fun, easy, and way cheaper than the store bought.

 

Caution:  Because the craft dough is scented with fragrance oil, make sure that any surface that is used with making or playing
with it is safe for fragrance.  Fragrance can ruin wood stained areas.  Scented play dough contains fragrance;  do not allow children to eat the play dough!

 

Fragrance & Fun For Everyone!

Nicole (Manager at Natures Garden)
www.naturesgardencandles.com

How to Make Tea Light Luminaries

Tuesday, October 4th, 2011

 

Tea Light Luminaries

These luminaries are both decorative and simple to make. By scenting only the tea light, you can change the scent frequently.  As always, when making and burning candles use caution and common sense. 

 

 

 

 

Ingredients  Needed:

- Pillar of Bliss Wax

- Joy Wax

- Spectrum Liquid Red Candle Dye

- Balloons

- Plastic Tea Light Cups

- Zinc Core 1 3/4 Inch 44-20-18z

- Natures Garden Pineapple Orchid Fragrance Oil

Equipment  Needed:

- Pouring Pot

- Thermometer

- Metal Spoons

Directions:

Step 1:  You will need to prepare your 5-10 water balloons, depending on how many luminaries you would like to make.

Step 2:  Using the double boiler method, melt approximately two pounds of Pillar of Bliss Wax.  Melt the wax to 195 degrees, and add the red candle dye.  Drop melted wax temperature to 180 degrees.

Step 3: Now you are ready to begin coating the balloon with the wax.  You need to dip the balloon several times.  Then, place the balloon on a flat surface.  You will want to do this while the wax is still warm.  This will create a level bottom.  You will need to repeat this process until you get your desired thickness.  Allow the luminaries to harden.

Step 4: While you are waiting, prepare your tea lights. Melt joy wax (using a double-boiler method) to 200F. Add coloring to your specifications. Drop the temperature to 175-170F. Add 1 ounce of fragrance oil per pound of joy wax.  Pour into Plastic Tea Light Cups.

Step 5:  Once your luminaries have hardened, you will need to pop the balloon.  Be sure to remove any pieces that may still be inside.

Step 6:  You may need to even out the tops.  You can use a heat gun for this.  Keep the heat gum about six inches away.  Slowly work your way around the rough edges.   If you direct the heat in the same spot for too long the wax will begin to drip.

Step 7:  Now place tea lights inside your luminaries and enjoy!  Use caution when burning the tea lights.  Luminaries should be placed on a flame retardant plate or surface before burning tea lights.  Always keep an eye on burning candles.

 

 

Melissa (Natures Garden Customer Service rep)
www.naturesgardencandles.com

SHOW & TELL THURSDAY!

Thursday, August 18th, 2011

Our theme this week is BEVERAGES!

Anything that smells like a beverage or looks like a beverage. You are always welcome to post homemade products that are not theme-related.

Visit our Facebook Page and post photos of your products and any links on the wall tonight at 9:30pm EST.

RECIPE MONDAY!

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

It’s Monday! Let’s get the week started with two awesome NEW recipes

Pumpkin Delight Clamshell Tarts

 

 

PUMPKIN DELIGHT CLAMSHELL TARTS

A triple layer of fragrance fun that is super easy to make!

[Download Recipe]

 

 

Monkey Farts Lip Balm

 

 

MONKEY FARTS LIP BALM

With a name like this, who could HELP but try it!!

[Download Recipe]

 

 

Every Monday we’ll post two new recipes in the Recipe Box on our Facebook Fan Page (where over 20,000 friends have joined us!). Check out our pages for tips, testimonials, helpful questions answered and lots more. For more recipe ideas, including candles, soaps, air fresheners, bath & body, and visit our website.

HAPPY MONDAY! Smiles!!

- Deborah

RECIPE MONDAY!

Monday, August 8th, 2011

It’s Monday! That means we’ve got two brand-new recipes for you. Let’s get right to it!!

Candy Corn Clamshell Tarts

 

 

CANDY CORN CLAMSHELL TARTS

A triple layer of fragrance fun that is super easy to make!

[Download the recipe]

 

 

Raspberry Cream Cupcake Wax Tarts

 

 

RASPBERRY CREAM CUPCAKE WAX TARTS

Try this sweet gourmand treat for your tart burner!

[Download the recipe]

 

 

Remember – these recipes and several others are featured on our Facebook Fan Page (where over 20,000 friends have joined us!) and it’s a great spot to meet new friends and ask questions. For more recipe ideas, including candles, soaps, air fresheners, bath & body, and visit our website.

Hope your week is off to an AMAZING start! Smiles!!

- Deborah

RECIPE MONDAY!

Monday, August 1st, 2011

Hey friends of NG!

Let’s start the week off right with two new BRAND-NEW recipes!

 

GLAMOUR AROMA BEAD AIR FRESHENER

Scent your room in style with these glamorous scented air fresheners!

[Download the recipe]

And our second recipe this week:

Kiss of Death Lip Butters

 

KISS OF DEATH LIP VENOM

 

A FUN, glittery twist on boring lip balm. You’ll love it!

[Download the recipe]

 

 

 

For more recipe ideas, including candles, soaps, air fresheners, bath & body, and visit our website. Don’t forget to fan us on Facebook (if you haven’t already joined over 19,000 others!) for the latest recipe updates.

Have an AWESOME week! Smiles!!

- Deborah