I love this time of year so much because of all the wonderful holiday soap fragrances that come out and then thinking of cool soap designs to go with them. The following are some of the soaps I made this year. My favorite is the fruity gum drop batch. I just love the bright colors and that gum drop mold is too cute! I intended on making 12 small batches of soap before December 1st but didn't quite reach my goal. Maybe next year 😀🎄⛄
Saturday, December 5, 2020
Thursday, October 15, 2020
I've been working on a few batches of soap for autumn but got sidetracked on the designs. I really need to be making soaps with colors like orange, black, yellow, green, and using embeds like fall leaves or ghosts but I ordered some new and interesting fragrances, molds and glitters so I wanted to give them a try and my design ideas didn't fit the season very much. I have one batch of soap that screams autumn and that's this one (below). It smells like pumpkin souffle.
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Spent a day visiting a dear friend in northern Minnesota a week ago. My friend lives completely off-grid on over 80 acres of land in the middle of the forest surrounded by the most diverse wildlife (plants and animals) you will find in the state of MN. It truly is a little piece of heaven at his place. It was a great place to escape to for the day.
Here is my daughter and my friend checking out a wolf den.
I've wanted to talk about my experience with SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth) on this blog for a long time but every time I start I find it just takes way too long to explain and no one wants to read all about my medical tests and every misdiagnosis so in short I will say I nearly died from SIBO. Some people say that dying from SIBO is not possible but they are wrong. You can die if you don't get the proper medical help and that is what I faced for months. I saw 14 medical doctors, 2 Psychiatrists, a Psychologist, 2 surgeons, 3 naturopaths, 2 functional medical doctors and even made a visit to the Mayo Clinic before I was on my way to recovery - and no, Mayo didn't help me recover. The only other person I've come in contact with that had SIBO has awful as I did was a woman who was misdiagnosed with MS (Multiple Sclerosis) and she was confined to a wheelchair for months. Once she received a proper diagnosis and was treated for SIBO she was back hiking mountains again. So yes, you can be severely ill from SIBO and you can die if no one will help you. I nearly starved to death, lost 25 lbs in two months, could not get out of bed for more than few minutes each day and no one would help me or knew how to help me until I found the RIGHT Naturopathic doctor.
Today I am so much better. I'd say I am 100% better but I have SIBO again. I had kidney surgery a year ago (an issue caused by SIBO) and about 6 months later was diagnosed with SIBO again. Not sure if the surgery was the cause, the antibiotics given during surgery, or the probiotics I was put on following my first successful treatment of SIBO. It's hard to say, but I back on treatment again and doing really well. One major change I made this time around is sticking to the SCD diet. I stuck to it 80% of the time before but I cheated by eating oatmeal to maintain my weight and I ate buckwheat flour and maple syrup not knowing at the time they were not SCD legal. Now I know what is and isn't legal so I stick to the SCD diet 100% of the time and it makes a huge difference in how my gut feels and the response I am having to the SIBO treatment.
One of the biggest challenges for me when I was diagnosed with SIBO was finding the right foods to eat so I am going to post on my blog recipes I create or recipes I find that are SCD legal in hopes of helping others with SIBO. You will be able to find all SIBO related posts under the SIBO tab across the top of this blog.
Monday, September 28, 2020
Friday, August 14, 2020
Lye should never be this weak. Even Bramble Berry admits this on their website.
Wednesday, August 12, 2020
I am pretty angry right now. Like most people I get really frustrated when I spend a lot of money and I get junk. A year ago I posted about a mold I purchased from Bramble Berry. I bought their 2 lb mold with 2 silicone liners. When my package arrived I opened it to make sure I received what I ordered and then I stuck everything in a cupboard for future use. When I finally got around to using the mold which was months later I discovered that neither silicone liner fit properly. They were both narrow on the ends and the weight of the soap didn't fix it. There was no way to tape the mold to sides because the liner was actually smaller on the ends than it was in the middle. Here is a photo:
I wasn't happy about this but too much time had passed for me to complain (so I felt). I figured I'd use the liner anyway and just slice off the ends.
I rarely use the 2 lb mold but because I liked the simpleness of having a silicone liner (my other molds are 5 & 6 lb molds and they don't have silicone liners) I bought a 2nd mold. I didn't need to buy a 2nd liner because I had purchased two the first time around and one was unused. I decided to start using both 2 lb molds more often. I made about half a dozen with the first mold I bought and today I was on the 3rd use of the 2nd mold (and liner) I bought.
Keep in mind that I wash the silicone molds by hand, using warm water, careful not to stretch. I've read quite a bit about silicone liners and wanted to make sure mine would last.
Here is a photo of what a Bramble Berry silicone liner looks like after using only 3x.
No matter how hard I tried I could not get the liner to straighten. I poured the soap in thinking the weight would straighten the liner out (like it does with the other one) but it didn't work. I tried to tape it but that failed too, I then tried using vaseline since I've read other Soapmakers have done that with liners but it didn't work either. Measuring the liner shows it has completely warped.
I am not the only person this has happened to. Bramble Berry Reviews.
I decided to post about it here because reaching out to BB is useless. I've tried contacting them about orders or items in the past and I never hear back.
If you have a silicone liner from Bramble Berry, how did they work for you? Also, if you know of a good company to buy a silicone liner from please let me know.