Archive for the ‘recipes’ Category

Top 24 Natural Food Blogs

Tuesday, January 7th, 2014

natural foods

There is a lot of talk over here about making your own soaps, lotions, fragrances, body scrubs, lip balms, etc. using natural ingredients to avoid some of the chemicals we are exposed to with commercial products many people use every day. I wanted to take the time to acknowledge that using natural ingredients to make candles and skincare products absolutely goes hand-in-hand with a diet that is based in natural ingredients as well.

Therefore, I have compiled a list of some of the best Natural Foods blogs and websites out there to help you on your quest for using natural ingredients in every aspect of your life. These blogs are some of the most reputable and informative Natural Foods blogs I could find and I wanted to take the time to endorse them to help my followers achieve the natural living lifestyle they deserve.

1. Jules Clancy – Jules Clancy, author of The Stone Soup blog, shares quick and simple recipes that are also based on real, whole food without processed ingredients, intimidating instructions, or fancy equipment. She prefers recipes with 5 ingredients are less to make healthy eating more accessible, but with a degree in food science, you know the recipes are also delicious.

2. Andrea Beaman – After being diagnosed with an “incurable” disease, Andrea knew she had to make some changes in her life in order to avoid invasive procedures and take control. She found that poor quality food creates a poor quality lifestyle, and once she began infusing her life with whole foods and ingredients, she found her cronic illness begin to fade. Now she is a Holistic Health Coach helping other people achive health naturally.

3. Ashely – Ashley believes in REAL food, meaning food that is whole, unprocessed, and healthy. However, she has a passion for baking and doesn’t believe that leading a healthy life means giving up delicious baked goods. Instead, she creates and refine recipes to make (primarily) baked goods from whole and unprocessed ingredients.

4. Angela – Angela’s blog is a mixture of her life adventures as a mother of two and a lover of travel, infused with her passion about living a life that gives back through recycling, composting, and making meals from natural, seasonal ingredients.

5. Erin – Erin lives her life on a primarily plant-based diet and limiting her intake of processed food. After her father had a heart attack at the age of 45, she and her family realized how important whole and healthy eating truly is to live a long and happy life.

6. Betty Bake – What you put into your body is what you get out, and that’s the motto that Betty Bake bakes by. She focuses on fresh, natural, and organic ingredients that are gluten-free, corn-free, and preservative free. But she also understands the importance of not denying yourself treats every now and then, which is why she enjoys chocolate and coffee in moderation.

7. Andrew Olson – The One Ingredient Chef lives by two simple rules, 1: Eat foods that start out as “one whole ingredient” that you can hold in your hand, and 2: Eat plants and avoid animal products. However, living by the one ingredient rule doesn’t mean that you can only munch on carrot sticks. The One Ingredient Chef shares delicious and wholesome meals you can make that follow this simple rule.

8. Kim Wilson – Kim is interested in a gluten-free lifestyle after realizing that her skin problems were actually a result of a gluten allergy. Through researching a diet that excludes gluten, she also learned the benefits of eating a diet consisting of primarily whole and natural foods.

9. Lisa Leake – 100 Days of Real Food is about a family who is looking to escape a world of processed foods by taking a pledge of living 100 days without any processed food to prove how possible it is for anyone who wishes to make a healthy lifestyle change. Now they provide meal plans and information for anyone who wishes to take a pledge for eating real food from 10 days to 100 days to for life!

10. Winnie Abramson – Winnie is a recipe developer with a degree in naturopathic medicine and a passion for holistic nutrition and green living. She shares her favorite recipes as well as her adventures in organic gardening, keeping backyard chickens, and even beekeeping.

11. Kristen Michaelis – Kristen is a self-proclaimed food rebel. She chooses not to believe what food labels tell her and instead focuses on common sense: that fresh, traditional, and wholesome foods are what is best for maintaining a healthy life. She wants to empower others to rebel against the dominant and unhealthy food culture we find ourselves in today and instead choose a way of eating and cooking that leaves the mystery out of foods and allows a diet that is simply nutritious.

12. Kelly Mulcair – After dealing with chronic migrains and IBS, Kelly realized that she could not continue living her life in the high-stress and unhealthy way she was. So, she ditched her stressful job as a lawyer and instead pursued a life as a health educator and holistic nutritionist. Now, she educates others on how to live a healthy and wholesome life with simple recipes that are minimally processed and refined.

13. Emily Davidson – Emily is a specialist in natural and holistic nutrition and uses her blog as a place for anyone interested in eating well whether that be through a diet of organic foods, vegetarian recipes, low-sugar, low-carb, gluten-free, or simply focusing on weight loss. She hopes to communicate a message of living healthily and positively to achieve your nutrition goals.

14. Elizabeth Yarnell – Elizabeth uses her blog to share wholesome recipes, healthy eating tips, and naturalistic remedies to common ailments. She believes simply that healthy food and medicine are one and the same and has used a dramatic improvement in her diet to help combat her struggle with Multiple Sclerosis.

15. Eve Fox – The Garden of Eden is a blog about all aspects of wholesome food: growing it, producing it, procuring it, cooking it, and finally eating it. She shares recipes based on simple and wholesome ingredients.

16. Kath – Kath started her blog with a mission: to lose 30 pounds. Along the way, she discovered the world of healthy, wholesome, and natural eating, and has since become a registered dietician who blogs about healthy eating, delicious recipes, and sprinkles bits of her personal life in from time to time.

17. Debbie – Debbie’s blog focuses on foods made at home and based with wholesome and natural plant and animal ingredients. She only uses traditional fats and natural sweeteners and works to share recipes that encompass all of these qualities, but are still quick and easy to make and incorporate into a busy lifestyle.

18. Christy Pooschke – After realizing that their diets were ruining their health, Christy and Chad began to pay more attention to what they were putting in their bodys. After only a few months of eliminating additives such as MSG and Aspartame, they noticed that some of their chronic health problems had completely disappeared. Over the years they have researched countless other additives that contribute to chronic health conditions and have collected natural recipes that avoid these dangerous chemicals.

19. April Mims – April is a certified Health and Wellness Consultant and Life Coach. She lives a life choosing foods that are as close to nature as possible and strives to create recipes that are quick and nutritious for her family. She wishes to help other families become healthy as well.

20. Amy, Natalie, and Jackie – Super Healthy Kids is a blog run by three mothers who strive to help other families feed their kids nutritious meals by making it easier to prepare, more delicious, and fun. This blog helps parents teach kids the values of healthy eating to develop habits that will carry on throughout their entire lives.

21. Wendy Schnitzer – Wendy hopes to help introduce people to the delicious possiblity of real and healthy food to boost overall energy and improve overall health. She wants to banish common misconceptions that low-fat, artificial food is healthy, and instead focus on educating others to create a lifestyle with a healthy balance of natural and whole foods and regular exercise.

22. Jill Dumas – After trouble with IBS, Jill went to the doctor only to be told that she would need to undergo invasive tests and be put on anti-depressants. She began to research alternatives and realized that some of the toxic foods she was consuming were the culprits. She began creating a healthy lifestyle build around whole foods and natural health remedies without completely cutting out certain foods from her diet, but instead living a life of healthy moderation.

23. Tatiana Barrera – Eat Alkaline Foods has made it a mission to become a resource for making healthy eating easier and more accessible to the everyday person. They focus on creating a lifestyle of respect for ourselves, our health, for others, and our planet.

24. Robyn Openshaw – Robyn used to weight over 200 pounds with numerous chronic health problems. After realizing that the drugs weren’t working, she took matters into her own hands and worked to build a healthy lifestyle through wholesome and natural eating (and plenty of green smoothies). Now she lives a life free of health problems without relying on drugs and living a life as a competitve athlete.

How to Make Scented Markers

Friday, August 16th, 2013
markers

Making scented markers is easy and fun. This is a great project for your little ones to let their creative drawings soar in color and scent.

It is time to celebrate!  The start of a new school year is quickly approaching and with that, it is also time to purchase your children’s school supplies.  So, why not add that little extra creative care to make your kids feel special!

Here is what you need: 
Crayola Markers TM (not the washable kind)
Disposable Pippettes
Fragrance Oil  (Choose any of Natures Garden’s Fragrance Oils to Coordinate with the colored markers you have.)

Although any of Natures Garden Fragrance Oils will work, here are a few of the favorites from the childhood scents category:
Best Friends Fragrance Oil- color suggestion Teal
Black Licorice Fragrance Oil- color suggestion Black
Blue Cotton Candy Fragrance Oil- color suggestion Blue
Bubblegum Fragrance Oil- color suggestion Pink
Chocolate Chip Cookies Fragrance Oil- color suggestion Brown
Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy Fragrance Oil- color suggestion Purple
Dreamsickle Fragrance Oil- color suggestion Orange
Easter Bunny Burps Fragrance Oil- color suggestion Gray
Green Apple Candy Fragrance Oil- color suggestion Green
Jammin Rock Candy Fragrance Oil- color suggestion Red
Sugar Cookies Fragrance Oil- color suggestion Yellow

Here are the Steps:

Step 1: One marker at a time, remove the bottom of the plastic marker encasement.

Step 2: Remove the long, cylinder-shaped marker ink pad from the plastic encasement.

Step 3: Using a transfer pipette, place at least 8 drops of fragrance oil onto each end of the marker ink pad, and place ink pad back into marker encasement. Place end cap back on the marker.

This will allow you to scent your markers whatever fragrance you would like them to be, and actually helps to refresh markers that are beginning to dry up. We have not tested this on washable markers since we believe that they are water soluble and won’t mix with fragrance oil; but we are not 100% sure that they would not work. If you find that washable markers also work, let us know!

Natures Garden is not responsible for the performance of any of the recipes provided on our website. Testing is your responsibility. If you plan to resell any recipes we provide, it is your responsibility to adhere to all FDA regulations if applicable. If there are ingredients listed in a recipe that Natures Garden does not sell, we cannot offer any advice on where to purchase those ingredients. We also do not offer any advice on formulating or altering recipes.

Fragrance & Fun for Everyone

Inspire, Create, and Dominate!

Sparkles!!! Nicole

(Corporate Manager of Natures Garden Candle Supplies)

www.naturesgardencandles.com

Best Window Cleaner Ever

Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
clean window

This recipe will amaze you! Using this cleaner will leave you super clean glass with unbelievable shine.

Best Window Cleaner Ever

I stumbled up this recipe from a friend’s post on Facebook.  After reading the short description, I knew I had to give this recipe a try.  My dad has always been very strict when it came to having clean windows.  In his mind, a window should sparkle and gleam.  He was the first person to show me the trick of cleaning windows with old newspaper; a trick of the trade I still use today.  So dad, I dedicate this recipe to you.

If you are looking to have the clearest and the cleanest windows in your neighborhood, this is the do it yourself recipe for you.  Your windows will shine to perfection.

Ingredients and Supplies:
Distilled Water
Vinegar
Arrowroot Powder
Newspaper
Bottle with sprayer
Mixing Bowl
Fork
Funnel

The addition of vinegar to this recipe will remove almost anything off your windows.  The arrowroot powder will give your glass a shine that is unmatched by store bought cleaners.

One of the best ways to clean windows is using old newspaper.  Not only for recycling reasons, but also because newspaper will not leave any paper lint behind like paper towels do.  Plus, newspaper is absorbent so why waste when you do not have to.  As a secondary measure, unused coffee filters will work as well for cleaning windows, without leaving lint behind.

Instructions:

1.  Weigh out 2 cups of distilled water.  If you do not have any distilled water, you can boil tap water on the stove top for 20 minutes to destroy any bacteria.  Although you may use tap water, chances are using tap water for this recipe will leave additional residue on your windows; resulting in streaks.

2.  Once you have the correct amount of water in your mixing bowl, add 1tablespoon Arrowroot Powder.  Stir with a fork until completely incorporated, your mixture will be cloudy.

3.  Next, add the ¼ cup vinegar, stir again.

4.  Then, grab your funnel and pour your glass cleaner into your bottle with sprayer.

5.  Finally, shake your heart out on the spray bottle.  You really want to agitate the liquid so that all the ingredients are equally dispersed.

That is it, it is just that simple.  You will need to shake the solution each time that you go to use it.  You just want to shake long enough to re disperse the arrowroot among the liquid mixture.  If the arrowroot is not shaken, it may clog your sprayer.  If this does occur, simply run hot water over the opening of the nozzle, and this should unclog the buildup.

Using this glass cleaner will give you streak free windows every time!  In fact, we even put this recipe to the test with professionals.  In order to get unbiased reviews we asked 3 different professional cleaners to swipe out their name brand window cleaner with this one.  The results are in, and all three unanimously chose this window cleaner over the brand name.  Some of their reasons included:

“Steak Free the first time, no need to keep wiping.”
“Love how it got everything up and off with just a few squirts.”
“The mirrors have never sparkled like this before.”
“I have got to make this for myself at home, I am going to need this recipe.”
“Wow, I don’t even like cleaning windows, but with this stuff, it’s a breeze!”
“For cost effectiveness and crystal clear windows; this is the route I am taking from here on out.”

Please Note:  This recipe does not include a preservative.  It is NOT intended to be made for resale reasons, we are just sharing a wonderful window cleaner that works every time.

Fragrance & Fun for Everyone

Inspire, Create, and Dominate!

Sparkles!!! Nicole

(Corporate Manager of Natures Garden Candle Supplies)

www.naturesgardencandles.com

Natures Garden is not responsible for the performance of any of the recipes provided on our website. Testing is your responsibility. If you plan to resell any recipes we provide, it is your responsibility to adhere to all FDA regulations if applicable. If there are ingredients listed in a recipe that Natures Garden does not sell, we cannot offer any advice on where to purchase those ingredients. We also do not offer any advice on formulating or altering recipes.

 

What is a Surfactant?

Friday, March 1st, 2013

Have you ever tried to wash dirty dishes equipped only with a sponge and water?  This can be quite a feat.  You will notice that it takes a lot more time and elbow grease to get the job done.  Wondering why this is?  The answer as you will notice right away is that the dish soap is missing.

Did you know that the most eminent surfactant in existence is soap?

Surfactants seem to always get the bad rap.  Many people associate surfactants as bad ingredients to have in your recipes, but truth be told, this statement is not true!  Yes, SLS (Sodium Lauryl Sulfate) is a surfactant, and it can be more irritating to your skin than other surfactants, but is it as bad as what you read in the media lately?  It is an urban myth that Sodium Lauryl Sulfate causes cancer.  Read the truth for yourself.   In fact, many of the surfactants that will be listed in this class are derived from a natural source and they work to improve the integrity and performance of your cosmetic formulations.

Surfactants work with various liquids and substances; including oil and water.  Much like that of the role of the emulsifiers, surfactants have a hydrophilic (water-loving) head, and a lipophilic (oil-loving) tail.  In fact, emulsifiers are surfactants, and surfactants are vital to the industry of bath and body products too.  They comprise the largest category of cosmetic chemicals, and seem to have an endless list of cleansing capabilities.  So, needless to say, there is quite a variety to select from when seeking the perfect surfactant for your recipes.

The main qualifier in deciding which surfactant to use is all based upon the benefit that each surfactant provides.  Just like cold process soaping or any homemade bath and body products, the components that you choose to use in your recipes have a direct beneficial affect on the skin when the recipe is transformed into a finished product.  Therefore, when selecting which surfactant to use; it is just as equally important as to what you are looking to achieve in your finished product.  Each surfactant has key functions in which it will excel and equivocally each will also have other functions where it will be lacking.

The term surfactant is actually a combination of its meaning:  surface acting agent.  Let’s look at it again: surfactant = SURFace ACTing AgeNT.  But the term surfactant is not always the one that everyone sticks with.  It seems that surfactants have several names that all become applicable depending of the role of the surfactant in a specific recipe.  For example, in recipes where foam is the finished product, the surfactant used maybe referred to as foaming agents.  Surfactants used in body recipes, can even be termed as detergents or soaps.  Or, in the example of shaving creams, surfactants are considered lubricants because they protect the skin from irritation and the razor’s sharp edge while still allowing the removal of all of the unwanted hairs.

Everything that a surfactant does occurs at the surface levels of the liquids.  The biggest role that a surfactant has is the capability to lower the surface tension of a liquid.  The reaction which then occurs is the conversing of the liquid (with the lower surface tension) and the additional substance.  To break this down in simpler terms; a surfactant has the power to change the properties of a substance.  This process is known as adsorption.  The term adsorption means:  the gathering of gas or liquid in a condensed layer on the surface.  This condensed layer creates a film which is why the surface tension is lowered.  There are four different categories of classification for surfactants based on their interfaces and charges.  They are: Anionic, Nonionic, Cationic, and Amphoteric.

Education is always a powerful thing, and it is not necessary to completely know the ins and outs of everything surfactants.  But, you will want to have a general idea of each group of surfactants and how they play a role in your finished product.  This is especially true if you are looking to accomplish a “made from scratch” recipe.  It is also beneficial to know a few other things about surfactants too.  This would include information like why the surfactants are grouped or classified together or how/if surfactants work with additional groups of surfactants in a collaborate manner.  Spoiler alert:  Not all surfactants play nice with one another!

Anionic surfactants are considered to be the go to surfactant for many formulations.  This group of surfactants is also the most commonly used among foaming product productions, like shampoos or body washes.  The reasoning for this is because the anionic surfactant’s primary functions are creating high foam, high cleansing, and high washing capabilities in a finished product.

Anionic surfactants have a negatively charged water-loving head.  Anionic surfactants work very well in recipes which have a reaction between a chemical (like lye) and fatty acids or alcohols (like animal lard or vegetable based oils).  Hand processed soap, whether it is CP, CPOP, or HP, are all examples of anionic surfactants.  Other examples of anionic surfactants are Sodium sulfates, Ammonium sulfates, sulfosuccinates, sarcosines, sarcosinates, isethionates, and taurates.

One of the drawbacks of using an anionic surfactant relates to skin sensitivity.  Due the high foaming, cleansing, and washing capabilities, skin irritations can occur.  It is for this reason that if you are looking to create a handmade recipe it is best to choose another category of surfactants, or balance the anionic surfactants with amphoteric surfactants.

Amphoteric surfactants are the go with the flow surfactants.  They have the possibility to either have a positive or negative charge.  Their charge is all based on the pH or alkalinity of your finished product.  Hence the amphi prefix.

When an amphoteric surfactant is used in a recipe where the end result of a finished product has a lower pH, the amphoteric surfactant takes on a more conditioning and nourishing role.  On the other hand, when an amphoteric surfactant is used in a recipe where there is a higher pH in the end product, it resembles more of an anionic surfactant with high foaming and cleansing capabilities.  Neither option is necessarily bad; they are just on two different planes of the beneficial skin aspects.

Amphoteric surfactants are the most docile of the surfactants.  They are also the second most used surfactants in the industry.  This is because when used alone, they are able to provide a gentle aspect to the nature of your end product.  Adversely, when an amphoteric surfactant is coupled with an anionic surfactant, the amphoteric surfactant mellows the harshness of the anionic surfactants.  In fact, amphoteric surfactants can be used solo and in conjunction with any other of the surfactant groups.  There adaptability is just one of the reasons why they are so widely used.

Some examples of well know amphoteric surfactants are Coco Bentaine, Lauryl Bentaine, and Hydroxysultaines.

Cationic surfactants are the opposite of anionic surfactants.  They have a positively charged water-loving head.  It is because of this positive charge that cationic surfactants can offer many skin loving, nourishing benefits to the skin and body.  These surfactants are best used in recipes where foaming is not necessarily mandatory such as hair conditioners.  Cationic surfactants alone do not allow for ample foaming capabilities.

Cationic surfactants work well with 2 of the 3 remaining surfactant groups.  Both amphoteric and nonionic surfactants will be compatible with cationic surfactants with no problems.  However, because of the opposing charge cationic (positive) and anionic (negative) surfactants will not combine.

Some common cationic surfactants used in bath and body recipes are your chlorides (Benzalkonium, Stearalkonium, and Centrimonium), Trimethyl Ammoniums, and Methyl Sulfates.

Nonionic surfactants have no foaming capabilities which is why this group of surfactants are rarely used as a recipe’s main surfactant.  Evident by the prefix non, these surfactants do not have a charge in their water-loving heads.  The end result of using a nonionic surfactant will allow for a finished product that has a very gentle cleansing ability.   But, just because it doesn’t foam, it doesn’t mean it does cleanse.

Psychologically speaking, there is a direct mental correlation between foaming and cleansing.  We as a race have somehow inherently made this connection.  Whether it is a physical view of suds equating to cleanliness, or simply urban myths that have taken on a life of their own, the reality is; it could not be further from the truth.

Nonionic surfactants, or at least some of them, are ethoxylated.  What this means is that the nonionic surfactants have had some reaction to the addition of ethylene oxide.  With this reaction comes an even more water-loving head, almost as if it has been supercharged.  This then makes nonionic surfactants (like Polysorbate 20) perfect solubilizers.

But, don’t just disregard this category of surfactants yet.  Nonionic surfactants can also be used in formulations to reduce irritants, due to their gentle cleansing ability.  They also have the capability to be used as an emollient, softening or soothing skin.  Not to mention, these surfactants can be used to stabilize foam in recipes.  Hold on to your seats though folks, because it gets a little better!  Due to its lack of a charge, nonionic surfactants love every other category of surfactants; you can consider them the peacemakers!

Some common nonionic surfactants used in bath and body recipes are your Polysorbates, Emulsifying Wax NF, E-wax, Glyceryl Oleate, Glyceryl Stearate, ingredients with the prefix PEG, Ceteareths, Oleths, Sorbitans, Lauryl Glucoside, and Polyglycose.

In summary, surfactants are amazing little compounds found in many items we use every day like adhesives, bath gels, creams, lotions, frozen foods, chewing gum, inks, and fabric softeners; just to name a few!  There are four main applications of surfactants particularly in just bath and body recipes.  They include: cleansing, solubility, emulsifying, and conditioning.

Some other additional aspects of surfactants to bath and body recipes include:  the potential to increase stability of a product; certain surfactants can be used as thickening agents; due to the composition of a surfactant, some maintain anti-microbial elements and therefore can be used as preservatives; there are even some that have the capability to reduce irritation allowing for a milder product on the skin.

Interested in adding some surfactants to your recipes?  Below is a list of some commonly added surfactants to bath and body recipes:

sodium lauryl sulfate (can be derived from coconuts)  Produces High Foam; easy to thicken. Strong Anionic Surfactant; can cause irritation
ammonium laureth sulfate (derived from coconuts) Produces High Foam; easy to thicken.  Strong Anionic Surfactant; can cause irritation
disodium lauryl sulfosuccinate (derived from coconuts)  Foaming agent, Mild Anionic Surfactant; gentle on the skin
Cocoamphocarboxyglycinate  (derived from coconuts)  Mild, Amphoteric Surfactant
decyl Polyglucoside (vegetable derived, used in baby shampoos for its gentleness)
cetearyl alcohol
stearyl alcohol
Cocamidopropyl Betaine (derived from coconut oil) Amphoteric Surfactant
Decyl Glucoside (derived from sugar)
Glyceryl Cocoate (derived from vegetables)
Sodium Cocoyl Isethionate (derived from coconuts)
Almond Glycerides (derived from vegetables)
Sodium Lauryl Sulphoacetate (much milder surfactant than SLS)
Sodium Lauroyl Sarcosinate (derived from vegetables and is a natural substitution for SLS) 
sodium methyl cocoyl taurate
(derived from coconut)
Sucrose Cocoate (derived from sugar)
polysorbate 20 (vegetable derived)
polysorbate 80 (vegetable derived)

If you formulate your own cosmetics, please visit our customer suggestion page and let us know which surfactants you would like to see Natures Garden carry.  We will be increasing our line of natural cosmetic supplies.

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!

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

Creativity with the Glam Wife

Friday, February 10th, 2012

Passionate about Creativity

My name is Carla – and I am the “Glam Wife” behind the blog “Creative Life of a Glam Wife”! In a nutshell, I’m a wife and mother (2 boys), beauty and cooking blogger, Beauty addict, Creative cook, Fashion junkie, Avid digital and hybrid scrapbooker, Long-time couponer, amongst many other things! But in ALL things – I’m passionate about creativity~!

Creative Life of a Glam Wife began just this past January, after heeding the advice of several different friends and family encouraging me to start a blog! A culmination of many of my passions funneled into this website – which has taken on a life of its own. I was previously using Facebook to share recipes, beauty tips, posting about digital scrapbooking etc, when I realized a blog would be a much better forum to share all of my little tidbits.

Once I decided to do a blog – it was onto the naming process! Which was no small feat. The name had to be perfect, it had to be catchy, and yet describe what I’m about in a nutshell, and for those of you who know me – I’m not good at doing “nutshells”! (haha) I was talking about this with one of my girlfriends when we started brainstorming and she asked me what I’d want in my blog name. And I told her “Well, I love pink, I love bling, I’m a beauty junkie and passionate about creativity.” And she said to me “How about Creative Life of a Glam Wife?” And right away I KNEW – this was it~! This was my name! And immediately got to work developing the website and the content for it!

The main focus of my blog is Beauty and Cooking; although I have (and will do) articles on other topics such as Fashion, Digital Scrapbooking, Staying Glam on a Bargainista Budget, and Life in General. Sharing beauty tips/trends, experimenting with products, product reviews and comparisons, and “how-to” articles, all while staying “Glam” on a budget. As well as, cooking tips I’ve learned over the years, some of my tried and true recipes and even some time-saving budget-friendly meals as well. Also sharing recipes that are geared toward a healthier, more natural diet! As well – sharing tips, projects and techniques for doing Digital and Hybrid Scrapbooking and sharing advice and tips I’ve gained over the years as a parent! Creativity is one of the key ingredients to many of the topics I’ve discussed and I’ll show you just how to infuse that into your life!

So far, its been an amazing journey. Before I started blogging, I never realized just how much fun it would be. Creating each and every article for my blog, doing the research, experimenting with different products/recipes and having a forum in which to share it all! And on top of this, I’ve been thoroughly enjoying the relationships I’ve been building through my Blog, Facebook and Twitter! I think that’s probably the biggest surprise of all – all the new and cherished relationships that I’ve been blessed with! I very much appreciate all of my readers, fellow bloggers, and businesses I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and socializing with! Wow – what a journey, and its only JUST beginning~! With that in mind, I’m SO excited for all the new things to come for my Blog Readers – many fun, new and very unique articles in the very near future!

I’m so excited to announce that Deborah is going to be “putting me to work” making some homemade body products! I have no experience in making body products, although I very much love using them! I recently started buying homemade body products from a dear friend and I’m SO happy with them, I’ve stopped shopping at Bath and Body Works all together! The quality is amazing, and being able use more natural products is also so important . And of course, Nature’s Garden scent choices don’t hurt either~! :)  I’ll be documenting the whole process on my blog with a series of detailed posts and pictures – so look for that in the near future! I just want to close with a BIG thank you to Nature’s Garden for suggesting this fun and unique partnership~!   Hugs and Blessings to all! xoxo

Contact Info:
Blog: www.creativelifeofaglamwife.com

Twitter: @Glam_Wife

Email: creativeglamwife@gmail.com