Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Castile Soap

If you are looking for the mildest cold process soap, look no further than Castile soap!

Castile soap is quite interesting... It comes from the Castile region of Spain and is known for being made from 100% olive oil, rather than made with animal fats, like traditional soaps of the time. Olive oil is a mild, light-colored oil pressed from olives. (Read more about olive oil here.)

One of the more interesting facts about castile soap is the cure time... Most cold process soap is ready to go after curing for 4-6 weeks, but castile soap gets better as it ages! Some folks use castile soap as early as 4 months into its cure, some claim that 6 months is prime, and more still say that castile soap is best after curing for a full year! Wow!!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

East Tennessee Crafter's Network: March 2012 Meeting

One of my favorite teams on Etsy is the East Tennessee Crafter's Network. The team is filled with artists and crafters from all over East Tennessee, Western North Carolina, and Southwest Virginia. Every month, the team meets in Johnson City for a little while to meet and talk, and I finally got a chance to go!

Our meeting was super laid back, and everyone was so kind. We traded business cards and talked about our trades, and we were able to meet two new ladies who havent even opened shops yet! We talked about treasuries, and finding teams, and we had a lovely time!

Go and meet some of my team mates:

Pink Mouse Boutique

Diva Doll Clothes

Razzle Dazzle Me

Monday, March 19, 2012

Green Tea and Skin Benefits

Anyone who has ever traveled to the South knows that Southerners LOVE their sweet tea... For Christmas this past year, my husband's grandparents gifted my little family with a HUGE tin of assorted teas! Orange spice, peach, raspberry, green tea, earl gray... all kinds of yummy things! I've tried unsweetened teas before and never really cared for them, but I decided this week to give it another try... I am hooked! I've spent the past three days guzzling peach tea and raspberry tea... and now I am on to green tea, and I am hooked!!

I have always heard that green tea can do amazing things for the body, so while sipping on a glass of green tea with lemon, I started doing a bit of research. Did you know that the antioxidants in green tea can help lower cholesterol, help ward off cancer, help prevent heart attacks, and can even help you lose weight?

Green tea is even beneficial for your skin! People who use green tea on their faces claim that they have seen new brightness and more even-toned skin, as well as more youthful looking skin. Here's a few ideas that you can try:
  • Brew some strong green tea and cool it. Store it in a spray bottle and spray your face in the morning.
  • After brewing tea, open the used tea bag and remove the leaves. Add the leaves to a face cream (like a face mask or Noxema-type cream and apply to your face. Leave it on for about 5 minutes, then wash.
  • Make a homemade face mask! Mix up pureed cucumber, honey, french green clay (You can find this at health food stores in the Health/Bath section) and green tea leaves for a soothing, rejuvenating mask!
You can even use green tea in homemade toothpaste. Just follow our recipe and substitute green tea for water! Lemon extract may make for a great flavor!


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Pearls and Mason Jars

It has recently come to my attention that a very good friend of mine has started a blog!

I met Chasity in middle school, waaaaaay back in the day (circa 1997!), and we grew very close before she moved away a year or two later... Now, with the great age of Facebook, we were able to find each other and keep in touch! (Thanks, technology!)

Well, Chasity has a blog! A crafty blog!

You can visit it here: Pearls and Mason Jars

Go and give my girl some love! Keep it up, Chas!!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Bath Salts vs. "Bath Salt" drugs

I have recently began adding some bath salts to my line of products to go along with my herbal bath teas, and I have inadvertently stumbled across a growing trend in the world of synthetic drugs: “bath salts.” Apparently, there is a new line of synthetic drugs termed “bath salts” that are being sold in local head shops, and are causing devastating effects to those to use them. So, I wanted to take a moment and clear up any confusion that you may have between real bath salts, and those used as drugs.
My rose bath salts!

First, I want to talk about my own bath salts. My bath salts are handmade by me in my home, and contain only mineral salts. Currently, my bath salts are comprised of Epsom salts (Magnesium Sulfate) and naturally occurring sea salts, and I am looking to add Dead Sea Salts and Himalayan Pink salts in the near future. My bath salts are usually colored and are scented with either synthetic fragrance oils or naturally derived essential oils.

Now, lets look at the synthetic drug that people are calling “bath salts.” The term "bath salts" given to the drug is very misleading... These synthetics are not sodium (salt) based, like my handmade bath salts, or traditional bath salts found in most shopping centers. In fact, instead of being composed of a variety of salt rocks, these synthetics come in powder form. The drug is comprised of three amphetamine-like substances: methylenedioxypyrovalerone (MPDV), mephedrone and pyrovalerone. These substances can be deadly, and persons who use these substances are usually quick to overdose. In fact, our local rehabilitation center has recently reported that over a quarter of their patients are there seeking treatment because of “bath salt” abuse. These synthetic drugs are not sold in regular stores, but can only be found in places like head shops and smoke shops. And while some states have already started taking measures against the synthetic drugs, they can still be bought locally here in Tennessee.

I hope that this little post has shed some light onto this bath salt vs. "bath salt" controversy! Just take a look at the bath salt ingredients label to learn more about what you are holding... If you have any more questions about my handmade (real!) bath salts, feel free to email me!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Blog Review

A few weeks ago, I got the wonderful opportunity to be reviewed by a blog called The Married Life Blog. They just published their review of my soaps, lip balm, and my new bath salts! Here are a few quotes:

Cherries and Berries Lip Balm: "I was completely blown away with how silky it left my lips feeling! I have this horrible habit of picking at my lips, which leaves them dry and rough and this balm was perfect for them! It didn't leave a waxy residue like many chapsticks either!"

PBR Soap: "One of his (Ashley's husband, Jeffery) favorite things about this soap was how well it lathered up! Most bar soaps don't really seem to lather at all. It left him smelling yummy and super clean!"

Cucumber/Melon Bath Salts: "I could smell the luscious aroma of cucumber melon as soon as I opened the envelope! I couldn't wait to take a bath that night and try them out! I started my bath and sprinkled in some of the salt. It left the bath water smelling absolutely amazing!"

Want to read more? Check out the review here: Second Spring Soaps Product Review

Monday, March 5, 2012

Wedding Season!

Wedding season is upon us! Soon, lovely couples will join together in marriage... Blushing brides and handsome grooms... And the parties afterwards are always so much fun! And guests always leave happy when they have fun, unique party favors!

My sister-in-law, Elizabeth, is getting married to her sweetheart, Michael, in April, and we are all so excited! Elizabeth has this fantastic rustic wedding planned, and she has called on little ol' me to put together some wedding favors! And you know me (aka, The Crafty One)... I cannot pass up a chance to make things!
Perfect Party Favors!
Elise has not chosen a color or theme, but rather ALL of the colors of Spring! And they are happily exchanging their vows at the family farm, with the river as their gorgeous backdrop... So, I am putting together some great small wedding favor soaps in pinks, purples, greens, and browns! The scents will include: smokey green rosemary, brown lumberjack, creamy apple/mint jelly (a Southern favorite!), purple lilac, blush pink rose, and forest green oakmoss/sage... Great spring and outdoors scents!
The soaps will be identical in size and shape to my sampler soaps, which are small, handheld squares, perfect for sink-side hand washing, or a quick shower! As a fun embellishment, I will be stamping the tops of the soap with a large, brown "K" for their new, shared last name... King!

Are you interested in some handmade soap favors for your wedding, party, or other event? Well, email me at for more information and pricing!
These soaps are small squares, approx. 1.5 inch by 1.5 inch, and weigh approx. .6oz. These soaps are prefect for personalization, and can come in any choice of color and scented with any fragrance! For some added personalization, you can add a personalized label for no extra cost! Stamping is available as well. All of the soaps will come individually wrapped in cellophane to help preserve the soaps.
For orders of 50 or less, please allow for a 6-8 week period before shipping.
For orders of 51 to 100, please allow for a 8-10 week period before shipping. Orders of 100+ may require longer wait times before shipping.

I ship all of my orders through USPS. Orders will come with both delivery confirmation and signature confirmation, and will be shipped within a designated window. All soaps sold through Second Spring Soaps cure for a minimum of 6 weeks to ensure the hardest bar for the most superior product.

Please email me if you have any questions! I love to hear from you!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Soap Labels and your Skin

Soap is great! It gets us clean, itmakes bubbles, it smells nice... But have you ever bought a bar ofsoap that just didnt agree with your skin type? Maybe you broke outin acne or had a reaction... Well, the best thing that you can do foryour skin is to read!!

But wait... what am I looking for?
Well, first lets start out with thefront of the label. Does your “soap” actually say that it issoap? Some commercial “soaps” are actually “detergent bars”,which contain more synthetic ingredients that can cause irritations.
Next, lets look on the back at theingredients. If you are looking at a commercial bar of soap (andyou've determined that you are looking at real soap!), it may lookkind of confusing... sodium tallowate, sodium cocoate or sodium palmkernelate... sounds like a nightmare chemistry test! You're actuallylooking at the names for the natural oils that have been effected bysodium hydroxide, or lye. For instance, sodium palm kernelate is thegeneric name for Palm Kernel Oil after it has combined with lye. Manylarge soap making companies will have the generic names on theirlabels, but smaller soap makers may just stick with “tallow,coconut oil, palm kernel oil, sodium hydroxide.” Both are the same!

Now, what about your pores?
Some oils used in soap making can beclogging to pores, which can lead to break outs of acne. Some oils,such as cocoa butter, coconut oil (in large amounts), and wheat germoil are very prone to clogging pores. Other oils, like sweet almondoil and castor oil, have a low probability of clogging pores. You canfind a great list of oils here:(

Once you determine your skin type, youcan work towards finding great skin products that work well with yourskin to keep it healthy, supple, and firm!

Wow, this is our 50th blog post! I am so proud of this milestone... And I want to celebrate!!
As a special gift to you, my sweet blog readers, when you make a purchase in my Etsy shop, use the coupon code "50BLOG" to get free shipping on your order, and you'll also receive a free surprise gift!! (Valid through May 1, 2012)