Monday, January 18, 2016

Take a Leap!

It's a Leap Year!!!!  Do you know what that means???  EVERY MONTH has a 29th day!!!  Yeah...I know....crazy amount of excitement over something kinda simple huh?  But see, I have a reason....

For myself - and any one else who wants to join in - I am posting the "Leap Year" challenge.  On the 29th day of each month (hence why leap year is important cause without it February wouldn't have 29 days right?  Anyways....) on the 29th day of each month or close to it I challenge myself to "take a leap".  It can be a leap of faith, leap into something new and different in my soap, leap off the couch and get something completed I have had on hold for a get the point right? Posting this one a little early so my faithful followers can tag along and have a chance to gear up and join in too!

When I realized it was a leap year I felt like doing something a little special - and I realized at the same time I am the queen of the "90% Club".  I get about 90% of many projects done and never finish them - just done enough that is to function.  I'll be posting reminders (as I remember) on instagram @nlrsoaps and on my Facebook page

So what does 2016 have in store in terms of my own personal Leaps?  Well I was thinking somewhere along the lines of this:

  • January - Leap into Bubble Bars - I have had many requests for bubble bars and bath fizzies and while I've made a few and done some test runs they just haven't held my attention like the soap has ( I LOVE making soap but not always the other products as much) so January I will be leaping into that commitment.
  • February - Leap into Fresh Booth Set Up - I've got this thing about reworking the booth for craft shows and keeping the set up simple yet fresh every year so this year I will be rebuilding and redesigning several elements
  • March - Leap into Cheesy Goodness - I don't make cheese products for resale BUT I do make them for the house and by March there will be plenty of milk to go around so I will be expanding my cheese making skills this year....because edible yummies are just as much fun as soap sometimes!
  • April - Leap into the Garden - Prayers said HOPEFULLY this year will not be so dang wet and rainy that I won't be able to get outside and get to gardening!  April is set aside for some fun outdoorsy projects because a girl needs to get her hands a little dirty from time to time in order to test her soaps right?
  • May - Leap into Masculine Type Products - I have had requests for man type goodies (and made a few in small batches) but I really want to add a decent line up of male skin care before Father's Day arrives so I'll probably cheat and start on this one early.....
  • June - Leap into TRAVEL! - Fingers crossed, I REALLY want to get away and visit with my West Coast Peeps....ain't been there literally in YEARS!  So maybe, just MAYBE I will dare to be gone for a while...we will see.....
  • July - Leap into CHRISTMAS! - Every year I start planning Christmas season for the soap in the summer and every year I fall behind and end up scrambling a bit.  This year I REALLY want to stick with it haha!
  • August - Leap into Organization - I keep a fairly tidy cluttered house during Christmas season mostly because I drop the ball on my organization, this year I hope to tackle that sooner and not let go.
  • September - Leap into Balms and Butters - this year I want to add a good line up of body butters and balms with natural type aspects, I've done it in the past and dropped the ball so I would like to take the calmer month of September, once I am ahead on soap that is, and fiddle around with that some.
  • October - Leap of Faith - by October show season is really starting to roll along and I tend to forget to take a little time for me and know, quiet reflective, calm down and slow your roll time?  So October I will be sure to stop and breath.....I need to remember to do that!
  • November and December......due to Christmas Season I'm not sure 100% that I'll be able to remember Leaping into my blogging maybe?  Or leaping my rear to the post office in a timely fashion with orders?  Not sure....I'll tackle that when I get there haha!
Who else is making plans to make 2016 a better year?  Share away....maybe give someone else an idea they hadn't pondered yet to ponder!  I'll be Leaping my way through 2016 and having a blast, I just know it!  I mean, come on, we even have an extra day to achieve our goals on so it must be a good year in the works right?

Monday, January 11, 2016

A bubble bar is a thing of beauty....

Late last night I found myself soaping and even later last night I wasn't quite sleepy enough for bed or alert enough to make more soap.  I'd been putting off the bubble bar thing for a while - wanting to add it to the line up of soapy goodnes, but not very fond of the ingredients.  It's a powdery blend of sneezy, itchy, coughy have to wear a face mask stuff and I am not a fan of face masks.  But....just....BUBBLES!!!!  And let's not forget here at the ranch we are "tub-less".  Shower yes - we have a nice little shower (little being the key word) but tub NO.  NO bath tub.  Hence bubbles in lasting, floating on the water form not washing off as you scrub the days dirt away have not been a priority for me.  But oh how I do so love a good bath (generally only on the rare instances when we travel and the motel room has a tub). So back at the first of the year I ordered the ingredients to make bubble bars.....
And I am in LOVE!!!!
Needless to say when I was sitting here doing the math I massively UNDER ordered one CRUCIAL ingredient - you know, the one I CANNOT find locally, the one that makes the stinkin' fabulous bubbles!  In the words of Pepe Le Pew... "Le Sigh".....
And while it stinks that all I could make was 3 batches of this solid bath time delight there is NOTHING stinky about these bubble bars!  Those yellow/blue creations smell SO DARN GOOD!  I shall call that one "Tan Lines" (as the name from my supplier is kinda tacky) and it totes reminds me of Hawaiin Tropic Suntan Oil!  Fruity, with a touch of spice and vanilla....mmmmm.....that one sticks with you and leaves you have and cheerful ALL day!

Here we have Southern Belle
Southern Belle is our popular fave from last spring - bringing it back this year - a blend of peaches, raspberries and magnolias that has just a hint of floral freshness with a pinch of fruity sweetness that is SO wonderful!  Perfect lady like scent - clean and bright and makes you smile.
What bath time ritual is complete without Lavender???
Since I only had enough ingredients for 3 batches I went with Lavender for the 3rd - it's the perfect bedtime soak in my opinion, lavender always leaves me relaxed and ready to snooze.  Ironically it was the last one I made before I went to sleep last night too haha!

And look at those frothy, foamy, floaty fun BUBBLES!!!
Seriously though - that tiny bit of left over crumbs in the first pic filled up that one gallon bowl with PLENTY of bubbles and would have made more but I ran out of room for water in the bowl.  And the third picture I snapped after like 20+ minutes no less!  These bubbles LAST! 

Now....I'm not a big "recipe passer-outer" and honestly this recipe is NOT one I created!  So I can't share that but I CAN say there are TONS of really good recipes and tutorials out there in internet land.  Google away, do some research, order up your supplies and make some bubble bars!  It's like play-doh for grown ups and it smells good while you're making them. This is one thing that does NOT have goat milk in it!  Tried a couple different ways and thus far I was just not pleased with the performance....I'll keep trying from time to time as ideas hit me to incorporate it into the product.  But for now it's a milk free fun thing and that's okay too.

If you would rather just order solid bubble bath than make it that's fine too!  Accepting pre-orders on this limited bunch (nothing ships out until Monday 1/18) on our online store here.   You can also message me on our Facebook page to get an invoice emailed to you as well. go clean up the rest of the mess I left behind when that lavender put me to sleep.....

ETA:  Little side note here....unlike bath FIZZIES (which do crazy fizzy things in my humid little house) these are MUCH better behaved for me!  BUT....stay tuned for potential fizziness in the another new gizmo coming ;)


Friday, January 8, 2016

The Road to Getting your OWN Goat Milk for soaps.....a kidding season check list....

Sooooo....this is my "soap" blog but I also focus primarily on goat milk products.  Products made with milk from my very own goats.  This leads to the fact that MANY people out there are either curious about the farming angle involved OR are on a similar farming journey.  In my eyes, the goats tie into the soap very strongly and so I will be sharing some goaty info here - I know I have a "farm" blog but yet I am not sure I have time to differentiate between the two.  Especially since in life there is very little difference for myself.

Cute little buggers aren't they?  Without them there would be no milk.....but they are a bit of work.....a few facts:

Fact #1 - If you want your own goat milk, you need a doe "in milk". In milk is like shorthand for lactating and producing milk (which comes from udders - NOT utters - and is whole 'nother blog post I'm sure).

Fact #2 - If you want a doe "in milk" she needs to "kid" first. To Kid - or "kidding" is the shorthand for giving birth, making babies and having them pop right out and BOOM there you go doe in milk, kids on ground.  Not quite that simple, but for today's post it is.

Fact #3 - You should be prepared BEFORE kids are born and learn as much as you can BEFORE the doe goes into labor.  DO NOT wait until she's pushing to start googling!

Fact #4 - Goats are pregnant for about 145-155 days....yeah...that's right.... FIVE MONTHS to learn and prepare and STILL some people just don't get it and wait.....

This brings me to my point today folks:  LEARN THE BASICS OF EVERYTHING YOU DO BEFORE YOU DO IT!  This applies to soap AND goats - you can wing it a little, we all do from time to time.  But for real - for real, for real - I think it might be time to start a segment called "Factual Friday" or maybe "Farm Facts Friday" for the curious bunch and the bunch wishing to from here on out that is the plan!

With kidding season upon us it's time to share....and share I will :) Be ready for "Farm Facts Fridays" kinda days to pop up here!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Talk About it Tuesday....100% Cotton Tampons she says!

First off - I feel like maybe if I structure things I'll stick with it a from here on out Tuesday's are "Talk About it Tuesdays" lol!  And what I'm talking about this Tuesday is TAMPONS!!!  Yes folks....the soap lady has lost her mind  gone healthy on you! 100% Cotton, rayon free, good for know ;) TAMPONS! See I have been thinking about making a few swaps in other areas of my life and honestly, while I KNOW there are ladies out there that sew/purchase hand sewn "feminine protection" and so'm just not pulling out the sewing machine lol!  But I COULD do this for myself so I did.

Last week I logged on and made a pretty small but big step towards my own health in 2016....ordered 100% cotton tampons online!  And WHAT does this have to do with SOAP you ask??? Well....think about it....

Both things are often found in the bathroom....

Both things are part of life as a lady.....

My soap is handmade, small business, pop up shop....

Lola - the provider I found online is also small, no big time J&J or Proctor Gamble here.....

My soap is free of harsh crazy chemicals....

These tampons are ALSO free of harsh crazy chemicals....

It just seemed like time to make a healthy switch and NOT pull out the sewing machine to whip up pads haha!  Easy peasy, comes right to my door, and offered as a subscription service you can cancel any time so you don't even have to remember to put them on the shopping list!

Random research has found it's way to me over time....I'm sure many people have seen the model who lost her leg due to TSS?  Or you are at least familiar with TSS?  Orrrr....maybe which case a little education can be found here for starters.  Yeah, different stuff has floated my way thanks to facebook and good ol' google and I FINALLY have decided as part of my 2016 to make a leap towards a little bit better lifestyle while staying with something familiar.

At this moment I have yet to actually try them out...but I'll attempt to keep y'all posted on my new found relationship with Lola 100% Cotton Tampons lol....I'm pretty sure we will get along just fine - at least once a month for a few days ;)

I suggest if you are still using store bought brands you check it some research....and follow a path that works for you while removing chemicals and crazy compounds! PLUS I'm not sure how long they will be doing it - but your first TWO boxes are just 9.00 TOTAL!  No, really, that was ALL I paid!  No extra charges, no shipping, just goes up after that but not much and really, what's the cost of health eh?

Friday, January 1, 2016

I'm Baaa---aaackkk!!!! (Plus Change is a-coming!)

WOW!  I can't believe it has literally been years since I posted on the blog pages! I guess that's what happens when life grabs a hold of you and you grab back and run with it right?  The soap business sprouted a mind of it's own, the farm critters have always had a mind of their own, and between the 2 I haven't sat down much.  Plus, I learned how to "facebook" and that my friends became quite the little time sucking vampire adventure in internet shenanigans (even though I dearly love all of my FB friends) for a long while. Not connected on facebook?  NadaLottaRanch Bath Works is where you can find me so be sure to come join in!

I also "learned" how to "insta" on instagram in 2015!  As a bright yet oft times tech challenged person this was a HUGE and exciting thing for my old self hahah!  You can find us there @nlrsoaps and follow along with the farm and soap adventures and random personal stuffs as well :) So now, with those 2 bits of exciting tech type stuffs under my belt I am back to blogging......

I'm taking a break from farm chores this morning and setting some goals for myself that I have had in mind for nearly a year now! Rumor is if you put something in writing you're a tad more likely to follow it....we.shall.see.  But hey, it's worth a shot right?  So here goes:

  1. Post on blogs again!  No really - it's cool to be able to share things as "notes" via the facebook page but I really need to get back to proper blog posting I think...tis time....
  2. NO MORE ITP SWIRLS!!!!  ITP = In The Pot and somehow, some way I got myself positively hooked on ITP swirls in my soap in 2015....and while it is a beautiful and lovely technique I am seeing some new soap designs that I MUST try! Okay...well....maybe a FEW itp swirls....I do so love the delicate swirl I get with them.....
  3. New Scents Coming and a Fabulous Florals Line! Seriously though, once again, I found myself only making the same ol' stuff during 2015 with only 1 new scent added all year...and that's kinda sad and boring folks.  Don't worry - all the faves are staying - but I want to add some limited edition type stuffs and branch out a tad in the product line up.  I've worked on some projects in 2014 that I should have rolled out in 2015 and I was distracted depressed (mostly by the horrible weather in TX this last year - so much rain and mud to fight I just lost hope for a while) so I'm not letting the rain get me down any longer! Watch for new things to pop up this year in many different ways.
  4. New soaping videos will be posted!  I still don't have a "nice" video's in the works however....but more videos, more tips and tricks, more sharing of info will be happening.  For a while I was so wrapped up in my own troubles (read # 3 above - seriously folks, the rain and resulting mud was a drag!) that I got away from that and I mean to get back to it. 
  5. Better set up for my wholesale peeps!  There has to be a better way to work the wholesale angle and I am getting's coming and if you are interested in becoming a wholesaler holler at me and we'll get you going with the current plan.  Working on a better set up though...more streamlined and such....
  6. Non-Soapy but still skin care related things to come......bath bombs, lip balms reworked, scrubs....seriously expanding the line one product at a time this year instead of falling back on the same ol' products....stay tuned.....maybe even some non-skincare related things to come....
I think these 6 goals will keep me busy in, you know, life might do that too!  Happy New Year and may YOUR 2016 be as fabulous as I hope mine is from NadaLottaRanch!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

OOPS! Latest supply haul, last video to go up :(

Meant to get this one up first and somehow it is the very last thing I am getting to today :(  Here is my supply haul from last month...

I really do love these new fragrances....still trying to decide which cranberry I like best...but overall I am pretty excited to start pulling out the Christmas stuff and getting it going!

The making of...THREE soaps :)

Well - really it's the making of a normal batch of "Country Skies" and then two tiny test runs of "Hansel and Gretels House" and "Saffron and Cedar".  But it's not the size of the soap it's the info in the video that counts eh?

Hansel and Gretels House I think I shall rename to "Gingerbread Man"...or maybe "Can't Catch Me" and when people ask ??? what does that mean I'll say: "Run, run run as fast as you can - can't catch me I'm the GINGERBREAD MAN" and I'll laugh wildly at the end.  What? No? Sounds Crazy?  Okay, so maybe I'll stick with Gingerbread Man....probably keep it simple like it is here too....perhaps a flat, short bar instead of a tall normal bar, but still with icing and sprinkles?  Oh how mama needs a froo froo mold for day.....anyways, top came out like this:

Then there is "Saffron and Cedar" - I dunno....I was thinking I might call it "Drop Dead Sexy" or "Awesome Sexy Man" or something! I love it! Didn't think I was going to love it as much as I do...but it really is a nice fragrance! I was just playing with the colors there - but I will probably keep it just as simple when I do a big formal batch of it....the fragrance did seep out a little the first day or so...but it reabsorbed back in before I even had the chance to cut no biggie there, I still love the way it smells!
This is the top of "Country Skies" - a remake really, it's the Fresh Outdoors scent from Nature's Garden - but I hadn't done a video of it (I don't think anyways) and since I was splitting off the other stuff from that one I figured "eh why not"....just love how it looks all fresh in the mold! Smells good too!

All three claim to accelerate trace - and maybe a little yes - but really all 3 did very well for me and came out pretty perfect...if this slow as heck old internet ever gets the first video up, I MAY post the video where I cut them LOL....and here it is:

Anyways...on to the next video lol...have that ready about Christmas time haha! Actually, with any luck it'll be up before the day is out ;)