the ramblings of my journey through life, following my passion and enjoying the adventure

Friday, November 18, 2011

black and white sea salt bar

(my blog posts are as erratic as my hormones)

It's a case of pre-christmas hecticness.

Made with coconut oil and some extra castor, avocado and sweet almond oil, fragranced with lemon, lavender and rosemary essential oils.

Some grated coloured soap bits and sea salt and they are good to go.

Next salt bar I make I think I will add more salt (this was 400g salt to 800g oils), or maybe just a courser grain of salt .... to add that extra bit of scrubbiness.

Greetings from Cape Town, South Africa.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Don't fix something that ain't broken!

It has been a while since I posted here, but that hasn't meant that I have not regularly read the posts of the blogs that I follow and of course been inspired.

Over the last month I have been fighting a nasty influenza virus, and just when I feel I have shaken it off it comes back to bite me on the butt! More in the ears, throat, head and (sore) body than on the butt - the butt side of things I do believe is from sitting on it too long!!

I did however muster up enough energy (been completely out of it) to make four new batches of soap....  When I say new, I mean taking a tried and tested recipes that work perfectly well and tweaking them - a little bit more of this, a little less of that and so on. You probably get the picture.

Why mess with something that is working? If only I could say my mind was fuzzy from medication; if only I had some kind of explanation that, if not for my peace of mind, then to at least convince anybody else. Silly. Silly, silly, silly is all I can say!

Sadly, two of those batches not only ended up as a disaster, they also landed in the trash can. The third batch, 100% olive oil, I unmolded when it was still too soft, and the last batch is a salt bar, which hasn't come out exactly how I envisioned it - will post pics at a later stage.

In the meantime, mostly to make me feel better about my own soap making abilities, I'll add some photo's of this season's efforts.

Petitgrain e/o, with poppy seeds and finely ground oats.

Orange, palmarosa e/o, honey and beeswax, with calendula petals.

Patchouli, orange and lemon e/o.

Sweet orange, rose geranium and lemongrass e/o, calendula petals.

Geranium, lavender, patchouli and petitgrain e/o.

Spring (I hope) is around the corner and with it comes soaps with slightly varied fragrances. I am looking forward to both!

Greetings from Cape Town, South Africa.

Sunday, July 31, 2011

It's cold out there!

There is a blustering, cold wind blowing outside, so I am off to have a hot bath ......

the essential oils of sandalwood, cedar wood and lemongrass, combined with the earthy colours of the soap, are sure to warm me up ......

And then off to bed, with a warm glass of Horlicks.

Hope I don't have nightmares about the price of sandalwood EO......

Monday, July 25, 2011

My kind of Monday!

Wow, wow, no I mean WOW!!! My very first blog award.

After a couple of days under the weather with influenza, I was going through a ton of mails when I came across an email from Claudia, who informed me that she nominated me for 'The Versatile Blogger Award'. I can tell you that I feel much better, and it has got nothing to do with the medication I am taking.
 Thank you so much Claudia, not only for making my day, but also for the nomination.
The rules of the Versatile Blogger Award are:
1 – Make a post and link it back to the person who gave you the award (and include their website address)
2 – Share 7 random things about yourself
3 – Award 7 recently discovered bloggers with this award and contact them to let them know they have won.

I am so chuffed and have been on cloud nine since I heard, so I hope I get these rules of the award done properly.

You will find Claudia's blog at 
Seven random things about myself:
  • I believe behind every face their is a story worth being heard.
  • Any day now Johnny Depp will realise that following my blog is what is missing in his life.
  • Somedays I say things to my children and I sound just like my mother, even although I always said I wouldn't. Wisdom does come with age.
  • One more pair of denim jeans will never be too many.
  • Apart from my Stud Muffin (dear hubby), my children, my dog, tea, pineapples, grapes, strawberries, figuratively chatting a hind leg off a donkey, walking on the beach collecting pebbles and seashells, I also love roasted garlic and mushrooms.
  • I have 1 husband (thankfully), 2 brothers, 3 sons, 4 sister-in-laws, 5 koi fish and 6 followers on my blog (okay, that one's not so random).
  • I love hats, even buy them with the best of intention of wearing them but never do, as I can't stand having anything on my head.

The blogs that I nominate have been recently discovered by me, although some of them have been around for some time. In the spirit of paying it forward, may these blogs accept, if not the award, then my deep appreciation for sharing a piece of themselves.

My nominations:

So I'm off to inform these bloggers that I have nominated them and I hope you follow the links to Claudia's as well as my 7 nominated blogs. Enjoy the blog hopping, I know I always do.

Friday, July 8, 2011

just natural soap

My journey into soap making began as a response to personal skin care issues. I discovered that using a soap made with natural ingredients that I could pronounce, compared to the commercially bought product which ingredient list was completely confusing with chemical components that were mind boggling, put paid to unwanted skin reactions and personal issues that I had endured for many years.

My first batch of soap that I made, more than ten years ago, I still recall with fond memories. At the time I resided in an apartment on the 2nd floor. With a pot, bucket, spoon, thermometer and 3 oils, recipe and instructions, a pair of swimming goggles and gloves, with mixed feelings of excitement and fear (kids were informed only to come into the garage if I hadn’t returned by nightfall); I set off to the garage on the ground floor. With shaking hands, inaccurate scale, not to mention the difficulty in seeing clearly through misted up goggles which were also interfering with my breathing, I weighed and patiently stirred with sweaty palms, and stood gob-smacked when my alkaline solution and oils saponified. An ice-cream container was used as a mold. I hardly slept that night, my mind was all over the place; did I follow all the instructions properly, did I insulate it enough, did I pour into the mold at the right time, would I have soap. And yes I did. Beautiful, unscented, pure and natural soap. Waiting for it to cure over the ensuing weeks, I lovingly touched and smelt and admired those beauties, checking the calendar every day just to make sure I had calculated correctly when I could start using them. The day arrived, and I fell in love. Twice over.  Making soap is a very addictive and deeply satisfying process. I had created something that was not only a useful everyday item; I was also rewarded with something that was beautiful and good for me and my family.

Over the years I have made many batches of soap, used different combinations of oils and butters, added botanicals, spices and essential oils, only allowing integrity and practicality of ingredients to curb my creativity and imagination.

It’s pure, it’s simple ……

It’s unscented ……

Just natural soap.

The same one the Julian gang still prefer.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

This winter thing!

I have this love/hate relationship with winter.

I don’t like the fact that at most times my body is bordering on hypothermia. Spending twenty minutes to clothe myself with layer upon layer of winter woolies therefore restricting me to geriatric mobility is one more thing to put a frown on my brow. And with all this clothing on, taking it off in record time to go to the bathroom, after prolonging the inevitable contact of a cold loo seat, is nothing short of a humongous effort.

Then I love all those favorite comfort foods especially the soups, the guiltless hot pure chocolate drinks, snuggling under thick warm blankets, the log fire, basking in the sun with a cup of tea, boots (I’m a sucker for a pair of boots), the misty days with the foghorns in the distance, and those long hot soaks in a bathtub.

With a mind that feels as if it is hibernating I’ll be marking off the days till Spring.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Excerpt from a mothers CV

While raising three boys I have learnt to cook and bake, figured out how to disguise certain vegetables, have read a gazillion 'how to ..' books, fine tuned my social skills standing next to a sports field, realized that to have an organized nest I need to double up on multi tasking, went through all the grades 3 times over, learnt new words like ‘gnarly’ and ‘stoked’. I donned the “Florence Nightingale’ uniform on more occasions than I wanted to, attended/joined/ PTA meetings and took notes, accumulated handfuls of speeding fines getting to 3 different venues to support each child’s extra-curricular activities, fixed punctures on bicycles, called a whole lot of ‘time-outs’ over the years between the 3 of them, bought a lot of elastoplast, and taken many photo’s to document all the highs and lows. I admired their art, gave reviews on their ‘breakfasts in bed’, clapped and cheered the loudest at school plays, taught them to say please and thank you, to be true to themselves, to do things right. I have laughed and cried, praised and moaned with them; smiled and nagged at them; I’ve been proud, and then, been even prouder.   

Now they are all grown men, 2 with little families of their own. I’m still cooking and baking, still fine tuning my social skills but now on the internet, and learning new words like ‘links’ and ‘feeds’. The ‘how to’ books have been replaced by Google, I still get speeding fines on the way to different shopping centre’s, and as always I love my children.
Based on the above, this is what you now know about me:
·         I don't have the recipe to make daughters
·         I can cook and bake, with the added talent of being able to camouflage certain veggies
·         Researcher
·         Socially acceptable
·         Love sports, especially those that I can stand and chat on the side line
·         Obsessive compulsive organized lunatic
·         I have self-studied
·         Linguist and can use a dictionary
·         Can be a nurse and not harm you in many ways, quite deft when it comes to elastoplasts especially the cute picture ones
·         I have a tendency to speeding
·         I know how to ‘taxi’ therefore
o   I can use navigational equipment
·         ‘Manly’ equipment doesn’t faze me
·         I’m adept at being a referee
·         I can aim and shoot (camera that is, but don’t try me as I might be having a bad day and I own a weapon)
·         Appreciate art
·         Food critic
·         Life coach
·         Emotional woman
·         I have laughter lines and a couple of worry ones too
Can I at least get some response?

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Taking over the world one list at a time

If taking over the world depended on making to-do lists, grocery lists, maintenance lists, cleaning lists, gardening and plant lists, art supplies and try my hand at this list, when to do this and when not to do that list, what craft or soap supplies to find, what books to read, where to eat and all the other hundreds of lists I make, I’m afraid Pinky and Brain don’t stand a chance. At the least I will most certainly be their No 1 sidekick, handing them their “list” for the night’s adventure.
For me, having these lists is my figurative daily rudder. Without them I am I could say lost, but motionless is the more appropriate description. With my trusty list in my hand I’m a schooner racing to the finish line, the sails billowing in the wind, driving me forward and onward to ticking off each ‘do’ as ‘done’, each don’t as didn’t.
Now, for effectiveness, peace of mind, calm waters, smooth sailing (read as control issues), I have one ‘big kahuna’  list – the mast of my schooner, the one that raises the sails of all the other to-do’s and don’ts.
It’s a beautiful day here in Cape Town, just enough wind for a pleasant sail. Were I able to hoist my schooner’s sails, I sure would be cutting a mean picture on the blue waters. Sadly, I have wasted time looking for my misplaced ‘big kahuna’ list, and without my mast I figuratively more resemble The Titanic.
Good luck Pinky and Brain, I won’t make it tonight.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Loving all 29 of them!

I love celebrating my birthday. I even love the build up to it, counting the days, the anticipation of what the day holds for me. Everyone and anyone who crosses my path prior to my birthday gets informed in one way or another that I am having a birthday soon. For me, celebrating my birthday is all about the great gift of life that was given to me; that by God's Grace I was born.

So, every now and again, you will hear how much time before my birthday. However, today someone very special and dear to me celebrates his, and celebrating this birthday is even better than celebrating my own. Just after nine o'clock on a Sunday morning, 29 years ago, my first-born, shortly after taking his first breath, was placed in my arms. Just as many mothers before me, and many mothers still to come will tell you, nothing can compare with that moment.

On that cold morning, in my arms I held the things to come. Many diaper changes and many more feeding times, bath times, grazed knees and bruises; lost teeth and school clothes, height charts, certificates, progress reports and medals; sport seasons, sport equipment and many sport days; friends, girlfriends, hamsters and bicycles; and much, much more!

I held future laughter and tears, joy and sadness, victories and defeats, milestones and possibilities. Nestled in my arms was a 4.1kg baby boy with 'still a lot of awesomeness to come, still to bring great pride and joy, still to bring a lot of love'.

As I sit here vividly remembering that day, I can't help wondering who gave you permission to grow up so quick. (It was probably me when I wished the 'teenage phase' would pass). Today, physically you are much taller than 55cm and you weigh a bit more than then, so as everyday, but especially today, I can only hold ALL of you in my heart; with my arms I can hug and hold you close; in my voice and in my eyes you will hear and see my love for you. Brendon, you are everything and much more than I held in that nursing home way back then.

 May this day be as special to you as what it is to me, may your year be filled with love as you have filled mine, and may you always know how special and loved you are.


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Just do it!

So this is my first blog post. On Thursday's, Lumka my charlady is here, which means it's the weekly "big cleaning day" and that relates to not being the best day in my eyes to start a blog. However, according to Penelope Trunk's blog post on How to Blog, her advice struck a chord. "Post, post, post," she says, "don't tell yourself you'll do it tomorrow, practice, no one is reading your blog, ignore that, sit down and post on a regular basis".

Having kept journals for most of my life means that writing, and writing on a regular basis comes quite easy, and having no readers is very much in line with journaling. So how difficult or different can this be?

After numerous hours spent educating myself on templates and backgrounds, weighing up the pros and con's of a 2 or 3 column layout, gadgets, colours, followers, RSS, SEO, HTML, choices of software and after many boo-hoo, a-ha and what happened now moments, this is my progress.

Journaling for me has a very distinct process to it. Its not only about putting your thoughts onto paper or expressing your emotions, it starts way before that. Many of my journals have been regular exercise books, covered and decorated; some were bought with beautiful images on them; handmade journals; those with collage covers and my favourite right now is the mixed media art covers. It's about the feeling the journal cover evokes in me, it's the tactile feel of the paper, the sound my pen makes as my thoughts become a living testimony to who I am. Many hours are spent creating the cover, sometimes even more than the amount of time it takes to journal.

On many levels, starting a blog hasn't been more difficult or different than journaling. Both are a creative process that I enjoy and find rewarding. Where blogging will take me is something I will have to wait out and see. So far it has been great. I have become more acquainted with a lot of "buzz words", and although I have seen many that I cannot for the life of me comprehend - I have my own blog!