Sunday, June 30, 2013

New Yummy Soap

Yummy soap freshly made
Friday was a good day for me..very little back pain and no arthritis flare ups.  The weather cooperated and we didn't get the predicted rain in our otherwise waterlogged region, at least where I live.  The day started off in the low 60's so I was ready to start working on at least one batch of soap and concluded the day with 5 new soaps. 

Earlier today I posted a picture of the cut bars from this log to our Facebook page and asked if anyone could guess what fragrance was used in this soap. 
Freshly cut bars of new soap

What fragrance do you think it is? You can certainly leave a guess in the comments on this post but be sure to  Find us on Facebook to see the answer and to participate in future guessing contests and soap giveaways. 

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Mom's Day Out

Today was a fun filled day of travel as we headed off to tour the Long Trail Brewing Company located in Bridgewater Corners, Vermont and sits along the banks of the Ottauquechee River.
Long Trail

I was pleasantly surprised to notice first off that the size of the facility is much smaller than I had imagined.  After taking a self-guided tour, we were treated to a VIP tour of the facility as my daughter works for this company.  The VIP tour offered a more in depth explanation of the entire process from start to finish. 

This company maximizes every square foot of their facility and everything is efficiently laid out.  This facility is very unique in that they have taken great measures to minimize the impact on the environment around them. 

Steam from the brewing process is condensed into hot water and the thermal energy is used to heat water for the next brewing cycle, saving thousands of
Where it all starts
gallons of propane per month and also reducing their water consumption by 1/3.  The spent grain and hops are fed to local dairy cattle as supplemental food.  This company has been acknowledged by the state of Vermont with the "Governor's Award for Environmental Excellence in Resource Conservation". 

This company truly gives back to the community.  A story was told that when Hurricane Irene came to visit back in 2011, the facility was spared any damage to the inside, but the river had expanded up to their building and had spilled over into the parking lot.  As they already are equipped for commercial dining and had the equipment, staffing, and facilities they became a shelter to those affected by the hurricane and offered clean clothes and meals to those who had
Fermenting Tank
no home left, or severely damaged by the hurricane.  There is only one place in that small town where a helicopter could land, and it just so happened to be right next to their building.  The military was able to get in and out to bring food and supplies to the people who needed the assistance in that area. 

Small company with a big heart in a small town in rural Vermont. 

Monday, June 17, 2013

Making Boxes is Fun!

Two Bar Gift Box
Lately I've been turning to my scrapbook supplies to create packaging for soaps that will showcase the personality of each one while  making them gift ready.  I've come up with packaging for the soap cupcakes, single bars, and one that will fit two bars of soap. 

I'll be introducing some special limited edition gift boxes of soaps featuring autumn and holiday scents later this summer. 
Single Bar Box

Soap Cupcake Boxes

Speaking of soap cupcakes...see the the little ladybugs on top of the soap cupcake to the left?  They smell amazing and will be ready to list in our online shop very soon! 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Soap made with Beer?

Soap made with IPA from Long Trail
So what have I been making lately?  First up is a great new soap made with IPA (India Pale Ale) by Long Trail Brewing Company, a local Vermont brewery.  For those? not so sure about bathing with soap that contains beer let me just say...why not?  The natural sugars in the beer aids in boosting the lather, and after testing in the shower I can honestly say that this one holds a close contention to the emollient feel of goat milk soaps.  And no, you don't smell like beer afterwards because I passed the "you don't smell like beer" test at the school where I work. 

Five adults in my house agree, and this soap disappeared rapidly with a unanimous request that I give up more bars for further quality testing "just to be sure".  Even my picky husband had to tell me that the good bar of soap was gone and I should put more like it in the shower. 

Vermont Beer Artisan Soap is now available in our online shop.

For those who may not know...The soap momentum has been a bit slow the past couple months due in great part to the fact that my lower back and hip have been giving me problems. Problems that are a result of multiple trauma to the same area over the course of several years where I have neglected/put off treatment until I could barely move. I am on the mend, but ever so slowly. For the past few months I have had good days, bad days, and some just plain awful days with the pain levels. I have a high tolerance to pain, but this is wiping me out. My husband and family have really pulled it together to help keep the house running, and for that I am extremely thankful. Most of my energy has been expended at work, leaving little time in the evenings and on the weekends to blog and create so to lend enough time for healing.   Now that summer is here my energies can shift into the soapy fun without over-doing it.