Wednesday, August 15, 2012

A Little More on Menu Planning

Well I'm sorry to say that I didn't get on the S.O.A.P. panel from Brambleberry. That's alright, at least I get to read about what the others are doing with their selections. So onto other things.

As you know, I love using my Menu Planner. It fits so nicely into my Home Book. But I find that often, I don't pick it up during the week after I've planned. That means I forget to start a crockpot, take frozen meats out to thaw and really mess up my plans. So I decided to make a little poster to hang on my fridge. I always go by the fridge, so when I notice the poster I can take out what I need because I'm reminded about it. I used to have a dry erase board on the fridge, but my boys kept taking it down and losing it. Also, the magnets were not very strong and kept sliding down the refrigerator. That was annoying. So I stopped using it.

After I made my little poster, I came across this neat thing on Pinterest. I think I'll end up making something like it when I have the funds, but things are really tight right now. I love playing with scrapbook paper and making things look pretty. My new obsession is making my everyday items lovely to look at. So it has been placed on the back burner.

Back to my poster, I found that even though I like started my week with Sunday the one with the Sunday on the top didn't work for me. My Sundays are very busy so most of my planning happens on Monday. I'm making due with what I printed out because I can't stand the thought of trashing this perfectly good paper. So I'm still using my menu planner, but I also put what I've planned onto my fridge poster. Everyone in the family likes knowing what is today's dinner. I laminated it after I printed it. I just pop it on the fridge with magnets. As you can see most my pretty ones have disappeared. Hmmmm, I think I need to make more!

I made my poster on Publisher, but if you didn't want to go through the trouble of making your own, I uploaded mine to Dropbox. You can get it here. There are 4 pages, 2 with my rainbow and 2 plain script. After it is laminated, you can use a dry erase marker to write down your menu. Easy and reusable.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Some of My Brambleberry Favorites

Brambleberry is one of my go to companies for my soapmaking supplies. So when they are looking for people for their S.O.A.P panel, I'm always interested but have never entered. I always talked myself out it one way or another. Well this time I thought I would try. Afterall, you will never get it if you never try. So here it is, my favorites from Brambleberry.

I love the fragrances Brambleberry has to offer. I like many of their scents. I do have to be careful because I get migraines with certain smells, but so far I've liked most of what I have chosen from their selection. My current favorite is Wake Up Rosemary. I wouldn't have even thought about getting it except that a friend of mine who helps me out with my soaping endeavors brought up that she likes the scent of rosemary, so I looked for it. It turns out, I like the scent as well. I was afraid of an Italian foodie smell. But this fragrance oil is so fresh and green! It really lives up to its name.
My next favorite is this 9 Cube Silicone Mold. I haven't had the chance to use it too much. I got interested from this post about its much bigger sister. I was so happy to see that they carried a much smaller version, since I don't make that much soap in one sitting. Now that Princess is a bit older and not so clingy, I have PLANS for it. In the picture you can see the one batch that I have done. It was a request from Roosiers. He loves watermelon and wanted to use this mold. That one is as soap crazy as me. He will give me all sorts of things and says, "Hey Mom, this would make a really great soap mold!" Ah, what a wonderful boy. I understand silicone molds are a bit tricky and you should either use sodium lactate or formulate a hard bar. I love hard bars, so that is what I did. I actually got this mold for my Sea Salt Spa bars, so I was happy with it. I can't really tell you too much about releasing with this mold. Right after I made this batch, Princess decided to make her Grand Entrance into the world, so it sat for quite a few days in the mold. I love that I don't have to line it, so if I have a little difficulty unmolding, I'm willing to deal with it. But so far, so good it unmolded fine after sitting for so long. No dents, though it was a bit tacky even after sitting for so long.

My current favorite is this Crinkle Cutter. I've always wanted one, but kept putting off getting one.  Well, when we moved from Arizona to Arkansas, I lost my regular soap blade (dough scraper). So I went ahead and bought it when I made my usual order. Man, am I glad I did. I just love it to death. I'm not sure you can see how it makes my rebatched soap look, but let me tell ya, it looks almost elegant. That is not something you usually equate with rebatched soap. My original plan was to make a Coffee Cream soap. The bottom was going to be brown with a cream textured top. *Sigh* it over heated, causing tunnels and some separation. It wasn't what I was looking for at all, so I rebatched it. I don't like wasting my materials and have fortunately been able to save all of my failures and ugly soaps. Well, when I went to cut with my new Crinkle cutter was so happy with the end result. So what I planned for a pretty soap, turned out pretty in the end. It kinda makes Cowboy Preacher scratch his head though. He always asked me, "What is up with the wavy soap." Lol, guess he just doesn't understand, I guess it is kinda girlie. Fine by me, after all, I live with 5 males. Consider it my little Girlie rebellion. :)