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Friday, December 4, 2015

Foaming Bath Bomber Recipe

I would like to thank the creator of this recipe.  It is actually a very good recipe and does wonderfully well with embeds to make it spin and color.

Now we all know that bath bombs are tricky little buggers.  Some have issues with humidity making them warty and soft while others have no issues at all with that sort of thing.  Thankfully I am one of the lucky ones and never have that problem.  Now that being said this recipe has a lot of options.  I will put them in parenthesis so you know my alterations and they will be marked with red ink.

Dry ingredients:
30oz baking soda
16oz citric acid
2oz SLSa (you can leave this out)
2.7oz cornstarch (tapioca starch and arrowroot powder both work)
.4 oz clay of choice (I prefer Kaolin in the white variety)
Add dry colorant here. (Lake dyes are what will give you the color blast. Straight dyes as well)
Wet ingredients:
2.6oz cocoa butter (2oz without SLSa) (You can also use coconut oil 93degree at 2.3 oz)
1.3oz Fragrance of choice (1 oz without SLSa) (i generally go by smell rather than amount)
.4 oz witch Hazel

While mixing in a stand mixer or with a electric hand mixer slowly pour in the wet ingredients. Add liquid colors at this point. (I find that hand mixing works just as well and less mess)
Mix well this is very Important
It may feel too dry, it's not just mold and go.

If your mix starts to not mold a few things can be done.
First try cleaning out your mold.  Sometimes the mix can get sticky in there.  Clean it well and try again.

If cleaning your mold does not work, spray your hand with witch Hazel and mix mix mix. (witch hazel assists in the hardness of the bomb but 90% or higher alcohol works as well)

Try again.

Hint when trying to mold round bombs BE SURE to have something metal to tap the top/bottom and lightly around the ring to help dislodge any air pockets that may cause the bomb to pull apart and not stay around coming out of the mold. If you try to unmold and it wont EASY , STOP!!! Tap again!!

Rendering deer tallow. Aka. deer fat

I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your loved ones.   Mine was 2 days of wonderful food and lots of great catching up with family I have not seen in several months.

Along with Thanksgiving... hunting season in Wisconsin is upon us.   Several hunter friends graciously brought me their fat from butchering.  Deer fat makes amazing soap so it is well worth the effort in rendering it.  I promised several people I would document the process for them so let the tutorial begin...

First you will need to get yourself some deer tallow.  Here is a small load that I picked up a few days ago.  7 grocery bags full of tallow.

The next step is going to be the worst part.  It is the cutting process.  Normally I would grind all this in a grinder but mine seems to be hidden from me at the moment so hand cutting it is. You want your pieces to be small so they melt down efficiently.  Mine are not all that great but hey...  7 bags is a lot of cutting. haha

 The next step is tossing it all in a pan to cook.  I prefer a roaster so that I can control the temperature better. Put the lid on and let it cook. DO NOT ADD WATER TO THE CUT OF FAT.    I do dry rendering so I do not add water to the roaster.  I let it cook just like you would if you were making bacon.  Let all that fatty goodness melt down leaving nothing but bits of cracklin's. Now is the waiting game.   I suspect this young hunter has little experience in butchering so you can see that it is not the cleanest of fat.  But..  Beggers can't be choosers so.. here we go.   There is hair and other debris that I did not get out.. That is okay. It will all be gone in a few hours.  This is a lengthy process. 

This picture below is after about 2 hours of cooking.

This pitcher has some goo in it.  I scoop some fat out and pour it into a pitcher with hot water in it.  You do not want to shock the hot fat or the debris will solidify with the oil.  You can see the separation of fat and water.   There is a nice dark line separating them.  That dark line is excess cooked blood and meat that is being suspended in the water.  This is what we want.   After it solidifies I will pop it out of the pitcher, scrape the bottom of the block of fat to get some of the gunk off and put the fat into a pot for washing.  Washing is basically a simple process of combining oil with water so that all the debris in the oil will sink into the water rather than being suspended in the oil.  Hence the "washing" of tallow.  If it is super clean tallow you will have to wash it less.  The more meat and gunk the more washes it will take.  Some people also use baking soda in their wash water.   I try not to do this simply because you will need to keep washing until all the baking soda is out of it as well.   I choose not to use it unless it is a very stinky tallow.

This is after 3 washings.  Notice how the clean it looks.  But it will still need 1 more washing to be perfect.

Here is a stack of tallow that is waiting for its final washing.

This tall stack is sweating after bringing it in so I have towels to absorb the condensation.

This is a pad of tallow that is going into the pan for its 4th and final washing.  I use 16 ounces of water for each pan of tallow.   Once this one is done it will sit on a drying rack so that all the moisture is gone.  Then it will be melted down and placed into molds.  

Here is the cleaned tallow in smaller containers.   I like to mold them into 8 and 16 ounce blocks.  It makes it easier when soaping time comes about. You already know how much each block is going to weigh and it saves you from having to scoop (or chisel it) out of a huge bucket especially if you keep it in the freezer like I do.  After I weigh them out I pop them in the freezer until they are solid.

This is a stack of molded tallow that is just chillin' out waiting for the rest of the deer tallow to be molded and added to the pile for a final count.  The eight (8) on the left are all eight ounces.   The fifteen (15) on the right are all one pound blocks.   So.. with a ton more to go I already have nineteen (19) pounds of tallow this season.  I have more to pick up next week so hoping to have this batch all done today :)

Thursday, December 3, 2015

The competitive nature of making bath products

Oh lord. let me just say that some people in the bath & body community are really prize winners.   There is so much unnecessary competition that it blows me away.  I have always been a giver and the selfish nature of some of the newer soaper/bath & body makers (by newer I mean less than 10 years soaping experience) kills me.  Okay, so you have been making soap for what? 5 years or so.  Yup that surely qualifies you as a professional soaper.  Someone who knows it all and all your recipes are prize possessions.  Hate to break it to you but compared to my 20 years of soaping YOU are a new soap maker.  I see the same people posting pictures of their things over and over and get totally offended when someone asks them for the recipe or at least basic instructions. If you don't want people to ask for your recipe then stop posting pictures of your creations.   Pretty simple if you ask me.   Oh wait.  You don't really post pictures to inspire others, you post pictures so you get the almighty pat on the back and the "you are the Queen of soaping" speech.  Get the heck over yourselves.  I have been making soap for over 20 years and none of you are making anything new.  Nothing that hasn't been seen a million times before. NOTHING is original anymore.  With the exception of very few recipes or products, you are making nothing that is more special than anyone else.  Seriously.  If you were making something so dang special then guess what. YOU WOULD BE A HUGE PRODUCT LINE THAT IS DESIRED AND COVETED BY THE ENTIRE WORLD.  but guess what.  YOU ARE NOT.

Nothing makes me more angry than seeing someone bash a less experienced product maker because they think they are better than someone else.   EXCUSE YOU.  You are nothing special.  I mean nothing special to anyone other than the minions in your head and those that blindly follow your idiot ways.   You copy other peoples work.   You claim to have "invented" new recipes (based on the ingredients of other peoples work).  You also claim that your products are unique (again based on pictures you have seen of other peoples work).  Okay, well then.  I am happy you are so proud of your work (that was based on other peoples creations), but where does the superiority come in?  What makes you so special that you think you can treat others with disrespect?  Just curious.  What is the difference between you and I?  Well. honestly.  the difference is that I have no problem telling people that I got the idea for my creation off of a website, facebook post, pinterest or whatever else.   I have no problem giving credit to the person I copied it from.   You have NEVER done that as far as I can see.  All I see is you letting people believe you are an original, unique, creative person rather than letting them accept you for who you truly are.  An average joe just like the rest of us.

Now.  I was sent several messages via facebook messanger (actually 30 or 40 messages to be exact) by 4 different people who were offended that I am posting dupe recipes. The recipes I have duped are actually dupes themselves so where is the problem? These were NOT original recipes to begin with, so I do not understand the problem with me tweaking them to perform to my liking.  They are a dupe.. of a dupe.. of an original.  They were based on the ingredients used not the original recipe themselves.  I DID NOT post the actual recipes for anyone elses specific recipe.  I will also continue to dupe products and share the recipes I use with everyone freely.  Why?  BECAUSE WE SHOULD BE HELPING EACH OTHER SUCCEED RATHER THAN TEARING EACH OTHER DOWN. 

That being said.  I want you all to know that this entire thing did not make me angry.  My feelings were not hurt by this (I have pretty thick skin).  The best part of it all is that I KNOW I am doing nothing wrong in YOUR eyes because YOU do the same thing as what I have done here.  The difference is that YOU are profiting from someone elses work and I am not.   YOUR recipes are copies of other peoples work and creation.  So get off your high horse and deal with the fact that someone has the balls to do to you what you have been doing to others :)   Find your inner peace and love yourself.  Respect yourself and others..  Most of all please find happiness in your life and treat others with the compassion that you expect from others :)  Start giving credit to those who deserve it and stop trying to take the shine away from people.

Live happy my friends!

Friday, November 13, 2015

Bath & Body Videos and Tutorials with recipes

The online bath & body community has so many wonderful things to offer.  Today I am going to share with you a few (or more) of my favorite youtube tutorials.   Grab ya some coffee or beverage of your choice and enjoy!

This video is such a great one to watch.   It is a technique called SBHP which I absolutely love.  Marlon Jiles did a wonderful job explaining the process.  Free tutorials are just as good as paid ones.   Give this a shot and save some money.

This is another of my favorites.   Bernadette Munguia did a wonderful job of showing us hot process soapmaking in a crock pot.   Beautiful show!


Wanna make bath bombs but don't have citric acid..  Well here is the solution to your problem.   Bath bombs made with cream of tartar instead.  Well done!


This video is a must watch for you bath bomb makers.  Lex Hart shows you how to make spinners and floaters.  She also includes her recipe.   Great video Lex!

To make things even better.  Here is the tutorial Lex created on how to make the embeds she talks about in the previous video :)

To further assist you in your embed making for bath bombs. The beautiful Miss Irene of Body Bonbon has shared her recipe and technique for making her version of embeds.  If you have ever seen her bath bombs you will definitely be pleased with this video.


Just a little sample of Irene's work.   Be sure to watch all her amazing videos.  You will be happy you did when you see all the color shows.


This bubble bar video is compliments of Bonnie from Good Earth Spa.  She includes her recipe as well (I have provided it below as well) as a bubble test at the end of the video.  She also shows you how she makes her rolls.

  • 1/3 Cup Cornstarch
  • 1/3 Cup Cream of Tartar
  • 1 Cup Baking Soda
  • 1 Cup- 1 1/2 Cups SLSA (Sodium lauryl sulfoacetate)
  • 1 Tablespoon Tapioca Starch
  • 1/3 Cup - 1/2 cup Vegetable Glycerine
  • 1 Tablespoon Moisturizing Oil
  • 2 teaspoons, more or less Fragrance or Essential Oil
  • Colorant of your choice.
****   Lana's personal note:  Try to use the least amount of glycerin as you can.  The less you use the faster it will dry**********

Okay..  so now that you have watched some videos..  you can use the recipes I have shared in previous posts or you can use the ones provided in the videos to create fantastic gifts for your friends and family.  All of these can be made and ready in time for Christmas.   Who doesn't love usable presents :)

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Lana's Bubble Bath Dough Recipe

So here is a little freebie for you.   I have created a single use bubble dough recipe to share with you.  This is the one I mentioned in the previous bubble dough post.  This was a happy little accident when I was creating a different recipe and I was quite surprised at the results.    This is a single use item and it is not recommended to be reused.

Lana's Bubble Bath Dough


2 cups Cornstarch (have an extra ¼ cup ready in case you need it)
3/4 cup slsa
1/2 cup (120 ml)  jojoba oil
1/3 cup (80 ml) Cocamidopropyl Betaine (or secondary of your choice)
1/4 (60 ml) cup glycerin
2 tbsp jojoba beads (optional)
Fragrance at manufacturers recommendations (I used the highest allowed)
Liquid color to your liking.  If you use powdered you may need to add a bit more of a liquid.  I recommend increasing the betaine.
Preservative as recommended at the rate of manufacturers recommendations.   This product will be used around water therefore to protect the safety of all it should be used.

Measure out your dry ingredients into a bowl (except your jojoba beads). I find a stainless bowl makes mixing much easier. 
Gently mix then to distribute evenly.  
Measure out your liquid ingredients into a bowl (including fragrance and preservative) and mix to distribute them evenly. 
Now combine your wet ingredients into your dry and mix well.   Knead it until you get a non sticky dough texture.  If you find the dough is to sticky then add small amounts of cornstarch at a time.. You should not have to add more than a tbsp.
Once mixed add your jojoba beads and blend well or leave without additives.
Package and enjoy.

*** On a side note, this makes an amazing shaving dough.  My legs get super smooth and no nicks.   that is a BONUS***

Friday, November 6, 2015

Slsa free Bubble Bar recipe

 Slsa Free Bubble Bar Recipe
 This is a recipe that I created for those of you that do not want to create a bubble bar using slsa.   This is a great alternative for someone with allergies to the powdered surfactants (the stuff that makes it bubble).   Give this a go and see what you think.   There is also a demo of the bubble show on my youtube channel.

2 cup Baking Soda
1/2 cup Tapioca Starch
4 Tbsp Cream of Tartar
2 Tbsp Citric Acid
3 Tbsp Coco Betaine
1.5 Tbsp Decyl Glucoside
2 tsp Sodium Lactate (Liquid)
1 tsp fragrance or to liking (remember the more you add, the more you will need to work it in)
color to taste
1 tbsp (optional) glycerin

**Please Note**
This recipe is a very tricky recipe and will require patience.  Due to the ingredient combination, it is not going to be the normal consistency you will be used to if you use a recipe with glycerin.  You are going to be tempted at certain points to add more ingredients.. Don't do it...  Resist the urge until right before you roll.   Then you can use the optional tbsp of glycerin if you feel you need it but it will make it a bit stickier to roll.

Have your paper ready with a bit of baking soda or tapioca starch on it to help with the sticking.  I keep a smidge of it on the side just in case I need it.  You will need to move fast once you stop mixing.

Mix all your powder ingredients together completely and then add your liquids mixing as you go.

You will notice that your batter is very airy, fluffy and sticky.  No worries..  Keep working it with your hand.  After you have completely blended it together and it is no longer fluffy scrape your gloves and let your mix sit for 5 minutes so that it can rise.   You will notice it has a crust on it..  That is fine and nothing to worry about.  Beat it down and mix some more. 

When you feel the mix getting thicker and more doughish, seperate into your colors and work fast.   If you feel it is getting crumbly add a spritz or 2 of water.  But don't over do it.  It will get very sticky again.  If it does just let it sit again for a few minutes and remix it.

Now comes the fun part.   Plop your first color and make a large flat rectangle.   Take your second color and do the same only on top of the first layer.   I find it is easier to crumble it on top evenly then lightly smoosh it so it doesn't distort the bottom color.  Once you have this squared you can roll it into a jelly roll.   If it sticks to your paper just scrape it up and keep rolling.  

This dough will continue to try and raise which is what you want.  Airy and light.  More like a famous bar we all know.  Don't be tempted to pack it down unless you want a more compact bar like the ones with large amounts of glycerin.   You will also notice that the outside of the roll wants to crack..  That is okay too.  Just lightly with a finger press it down.  I find using a finger dipped in baking soda works best.

Now for the cutting..  Generally you will see that these are dried sitting the same way they are cut.  We are not going to do that.  These will get fluffier as they sit and the sides will buldge out if you do that.  So we are going to lay them on their sides.    You can reshape them into squares or circles at this point.   Once you are happy with how they look leave them sit.  Do not be tempted to play with them.   After 3 hours you will notice that you can pick them up and flip them if you like.   They should be completely dry within 12 hours.  If not just leave them for a bit longer.

Lana's Bubble Bar 11 free recipe

This darling recipe was formulated by myself.   i spend a bit of time creating a bar that was fast drying and loaded with bubbles... I am in love...   If you subscribe to my youtube channel you can see a demo of me making these as well as how they perform in the tub.

                   Lana's Bubble Bar 11

250 g  Baking soda
70 g SLSA powder
65 g Cream of Tartar
60 g Lauramidopropyl Betaine
Fragrance or essential oil

optional 1 tsp of glycerin if needed for rolling..  Do not add if humidity is high.

Sift and mix all powdered ingredients into a metal bowl.  Add liquid ingredients and fragrance and mix well.

Separate into balls for coloring.

Spread first color onto parchment paper forming a rectangle.  Add each color and pat down on top of the first.  When all your colors are added, use another piece of parchment paper and roll to desired thickness.  

Square edges and use the paper to help roll your dough into a jelly roll.  Pack in the sides.  Don't worry about cracks..   Smooth them out with your paper by gently rubbing the paper across the top of the roll.    Cut into bars and let dry.    These are fast drying.  You will notice the firmness within hours..

Completely dry in 10 hours

60 g cocamidapropyl Betaine in place of the lauramidopropyl betaine-  dough rises and foams when mixing.  You may find that you need to add 1 tbsp of glycerin to the mix to make it less "dry" feeling.   Dough is slightly harder to roll without the added glycerin.  Slices tend to be less compact and more "airy".   Starts showing signs of hardening within the same time frame as above.   End result is not quite as hard and breaks easier.   Also gives great bubbles but not quite as much as  the L-Betaine.

Color tab embeds Dupe Recipe

Now aren't these the coolest things?   Drop one or 2 in the bathtub and get an ocean of color.   another cool thing is that these can be put into bath bombs for a huge color explosion.   My friend Irene from Body Bonbon makes the coolest bath bombs ever including ones made from a cookie cutter as a mold..     Check out her youtube channel to see all her demos.   It really is fantastic.

Anyway..   I make standard boring bath bombs and wanted to figure out how she was doing it.  I did a quick search and found some really great information.   I decided to dupe another recipe and well.... I love them.   I am sharing this recipe.  It is based on the ingredients listed with a few minor changes.

Inspired by
Na*kedHBP's "Color Tab Recipe"
Body BonBons youtube tutorial
Lex Harts youtube tutorial

Have you ever wondered how people who make bath bombs get the really cool colors to shoot out of the bomb as it floats around the tub?   Well let me help you out.  They use colored inserts made a bit faster fizzing with loads of dye and put those inside the standard bath bombs.   When this hits the water it will begin to dissolve and when it hits the embeds they will fizz faster than the normal bomb creating a spinning bomb that shoots out color.  That is all there is to it.   Easy Peasy...   Now get to work and get creative.

Dry Ingredients:

  •     1 Cup Baking Soda                                                                   
  •     1 Cup Citric Acid
Wet Ingredients:
  • Your choice of alcohol, witch hazel or water for spraying (I prefer alcohol)
Optional Ingredients:
  •     1 Tbsp Kaolin Clay or Cream of Tartar (optional ingredient that gives little benefit for the amount used per batch other than it is said to help with hardening)
  •     1 tsp Colorant of choice (I like to do one color at a time)  
  •     1/2 TBSP Polysorbate 80 (optional to assist in emulsifying the oil in the bathtub so it isn't all floating on the top as well as to keep your dyes from sticking to the tub)
  •     1 Tbsp oil of choice ( I prefer jojoba oil or monoi oil)    
  •     fragrance
Fragrance oil is optional with these.. If you know you are going to be using these in a specific bath bomb then adding fragrance to them would be a good thing.... but... if you are making these in bulk then leaving them unscented might be your better option.
Measure out all of your dry ingredients EXCEPT the citric acid.   Mix them in a bowl and blend them well.  If you are using a powder color this is when you would add it.
Measure out all your liquid ingredients into a mixing cup and blend well.  If you are using a liquid color this is when you would add it.

Slowly mix your wet ingredients into your dry ingredients.  You do not have to worry about fizzing action because you have not added your citric acid yet.   Blend it well until everything is incorporated well.

Measure out your citric acid and add it to the mix.   You will notice less fizzing reaction if any.  Blend this well..  and then blend more.

Take your spray bottle and give the mix a few squirts.  I like using high grain alcohol so that it doesn’t have the reaction that water does.  However you can use any of the choices above.   You want your mix to be like wet sand.   Not damp sand but wet sand where when you squeeze it in your hand it sticks together.

Now is the time to mold.   Take the mold of your choice.. I like using a metal measuring tsp for these but I have also used a ½ tsp too.  Just depends on what you like.  Now scoop your mix into the mold and press firmly with your thumb to pack it in.   Release the mix and set it on a paper lined cookie sheet or paper to dry.  You will not want to move these around much.   Keep molding until you have it complete.  


Dupe of Bubble Bath Dough/Putty

Here is my version based on several recipes.  Please note that this is not the EXACT recipe of any of these brands. This is the recipe I used before creating my own recipe which I will share in a future post.

Bubble Bath Dough Putty

Inspired by:

Lush's "Fun" Recipe
Atomic Balm's " Tub-time bubble bath play-dough"
 Na*kedHBP’s “Original Bath Putty Recipe”
Body bonbon's "Extended Playtime Bubbling Bath Dough"

This Bath Putty is basically a soap and bubble bath in one product.   The kids can mold it, squish it, use it as soap and so much more.  This putty will completely dissolve in the water and as it dissolves.
 This putty is not reusable and is intended as a single use product.  1.5 ounces is the recommended single use portion.  One day I might come up with a reusable one but so far the only two that I have seen are by the FANTASTIC Miss Irene from Body Bonbon and the other is by the Incredible Miss Tammy from Atomic Balm Bath and Body

227 g Tapioca Starch or Corn Starch  (corn starch has a better consistency)
142g  Lauramidopropyl Betaine  
43g Castor Oil
28g Glycerin
17g Decyl Glucoside  
5 mL Fragrance oil
1.2 mL Optiphen plus
color of your choice
 Measure out your cornstarch and pour it into your mixing bowl.  If you are using a powdered color add it in now with the corn starch.  Give it a good mixing to incorporate it into the mix.  Set the bowl aside for later use.
Measure the wet ingredients into a measuring cup. Mix all your wet ingredients together so that they are evenly distributed.   This includes your fragrance and your preservative.   If you are using a liquid colorant you will add that now too. 
Get your bowl of dry ingredients and slowly pour your wet ingredients into it.   Mix this together well.  Knead it like bread dough.  Keep mixing and kneading until you have a well formed dough.       
If your dough feels to sticky add a little pinch or 2 of cornstarch.   Keep adding little amounts to get the desired consistency.  You want this to be like a soft clay.   If your dough is to dry just add a small dash of the lauramidopropyl betaine or the decyl glucoside.   Remember to always add extra ingredients in very small amounts.   You can always add more but you can never take away.
Packaging.   This is always every ones favorite part.   I like to use 1.5 ounce portions.   You can find all kinds of packaging ideas on google… I personally like to use little 2 ounce containers from the dollar store.   Make up 4 different colors and stack the containers inside of a tube gift bag and tie with a bow.   The perfect gift for a child.  Heck. even us adults love fun things too.

Now stop paying for a dough product and get creative..   Make some :)

Have any of you noticed how many fantastic products there are out there in the Bath & Body catergory?  Man..  Lush really puts on a good show.  Fantastic looking products that the whole bath & body community tries to duplicate..  Yes... I do too.. haha      There is nothing better than being able to drop in a tub of hot water and soak in luscious bubbles or plop a bath bomb in the water and soak in all the fantastic oils and botanicals.

I joined the facebook soaping/bath and body community so see what was going on there.  I really miss the old yahoo groups and wanted to connect with a few of the soapers from my past.  I have successfully found several which is super great.

Now..  back in the day when I started creating soap, candles and bath products, it was a whole different world than it is now.   I mean.. seriously... people are charging OUTRAGEOUS amounts for a simple bath bomb recipe.   WTF~ I mean really.   All you need is a little baking soda, citric acid, light oil and fragrance for a simple bath bomb. Add a little slsa to get some foaming action with the fizzing.   I just don't get it.   Now out of curiosity I have bought several recipes and have found that not only are they pretty basic, they are by far not work the price you all pay for them.   RIP OFFS with the exception of a few.  I will tell you who the great sellers are in another post since that topic is worthy of its own post.

With that being said.. I have created a few dupes of my own (based on some recipes that get huge raves in the online Facebook Community)  which I would love to share with you all.   I will be posting several free recipes over the course of the weekend.   I hope you all enjoy!