Saturday, August 30, 2014

We're back from holidays and recipe review winners!

Hello to you, my wonderful readers, on this last weekend of summer! Raymond and I are back from holidays at beautiful Cape Lookout near Tillamook, Oregon! What a beautiful site! I cannot recommend it enough. We spent the mornings drinking tea and walking on the beach, the rest of the day reading and playing games, and the evenings drinking tea and walking on the beach. The cloud goddess was mad at us and covered the skies every night before the sunset, but it was lovely nevertheless.

I was very silly and forgot to put on sunscreen as we walked around Portland on Monday eating Brunch Box sandwiches and visiting Ground Kontrol arcade, then even sillier as we walked on the beaches every morning. Between the wind and the sun, my skin is bright red and peeling now. So I remind you about aloe. I had to buy some aloe vera gel from Safeway - Raymond said he was going to get on the blog and post anonymously about seeing Swift buying toiletries at a grocery store! How shocking! - and it has worked quite beautifully on my trashed skin. I'm still red and peeling, but I'm less red than I was before using it. I can't stress enough how much we love aloe vera around this house!

As I've done for the last three weeks, I'm inviting you to submit your reviews of various recipes on the blog! I have promised to do a random draw for those who submit their ideas, but I've decided again to offer an e-book of your choice - including the upcoming facial products e-book - to everyone who has spent their valuable time to write up a review. (To claim your e-book, write to me at

Michela offers her thoughts on a dispersing bath oil! 
Zan offers a version of an emulsified sugar scrub that sounds lovely! 
Winnie created a version of a hair conditioner! 
Anahit offered a version of the cucumber eye gel! 
Diva Soap (Maja) offered her very interesting variations on a whipped butter with emulsifier! 

And Heather Behan? Did I include you in the previous weeks for your review of the eye cream? If not, let me know!

And yes, I keep changing the rules, but I hope they're changed for the better! I have decided that you can write reviews every week and win more than one e-book. Why? Because I want to encourage you to submit those lovely reviews every week! If you want take part, you can click on the link above and see what I'm asking of you!

Join me tomorrow as I get to some of those comments you've sent me this week. Hope you have a great long weekend (if you get one in your part of the world!).


Paige B said...

Hey Susan, welcome back! I feel your pain with the burn. A couple of weeks ago I had an "incident" whilst making my coffee in the morning which resulted in a tipped french press and boiling water splashed over my (naked, *shudder*) torso. I got some cold packs on it right away, but it was very painful, angry and red, and quickly turned to a giant blister. For 24 hours I couldn't do much more than lay in bed with ice packs on it, spraying it with raw honey and lavender essential oil dissolved in distilled water. Once the pain had subsided a bit I made some burn lotion for it. I don't have the exact recipe as I'm packing up to move, but it had about 20% aloe gel, and the water portion was largely geranium, lavender, and chamomile hydrosols, plus about 5% sea kelp bioferment. I used oils (about 20-25% I think) for healing burns like seabuckthorn, argan, pomegranate, and rose hip seed, and included some coconut oil. I was out of cocoa butter, and didn't want it too thick, so I used allantoin. For the humectants I used some raw honey plus glycerin. Finally, in the cool down I added some calendula, seabuckthorn, and green tea extracts plus copious lavender and geranium essential oils. These were the ingredients that I had on hand. I can't remember which emulsifier I used, but I think it was lotion pro or polawax as I just wanted something that would come together quickly, easily, and reliably...I was still hurting! Plus, I didn't want anything too dry and "draggy"...which ruled out BTMS and also meant that I used cetyl alcohol as a thickener. This was actually the first time I had made a body lotion, as opposed to a butter. I had made facial lotions, but I tend to like thicker body products. Here though, my skin was tender and blistered, so I wanted something that would spread easily. I slathered that stuff on a few times a day until it healed up. Overall I was pretty happy with it and I think it helped my skin recover faster and hopefully without any scarring (I'm still pink, but almost all better). Sorry I don't have anything more detailed, but this is what I remember. I'll try to post the recipe in detail after I've settled from the move.

Lisa Reidzans Schmock said...

Sounds like a very relaxing time! Sorry to hear about your burn though ;/ So this is my first post here, and I wasn't sure where to ask my question(s). I've tried several different recipes so far, and I'm going to try the cuticle balm this coming week. I work Fri-Mon so I usually make my stuff Tues/Wed/Thurs. At any rate let me get back to my question! When I want to add IPM to a recipe at 2%, what item in the recipe do I reduce by 2%? And when I have a question about a particular recipe of yours, do I post the question on the recipe post? Not sure how often you see the old posts questions. Thanks in advance if you can answer me ;)


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Paige! How are you doing now? I'm going into the workshop this morning, so I'll use some of your suggestions in the toner type thing I'll make. My skin is better now - more flaking than anything else - but it looks awful!

Hi Lisa! There's no such thing as an old post. I get email information when someone posts on anything. I would prefer the question on the recipe so others will see it when they visit that post, if possible.

If you are adding something oil soluble, you would remove something oil soluble. If you are adding 2% IPM, you would reduce another oil by 2%. This is the way to keep the right amount of emulsifier.

If you are adding something water soluble, you would remove something water soluble.

I'm writing more about this in today's Weekend Wonderings.

Lisa Reidzans Schmock said...

Awesome! Thanks for the reply ;)

Paige B said...

I'm dong much better Susan, thanks. It was a pretty bad burn, but after a little more than 3 weeks I'm pretty much back to normal aside from some pink colouration. I think the area I scalded was about 25cm by 20 cm, so pretty extensive. I can hardly imaging how bad it would have been had I not been near the freezer, which happened to have a couple of gel cold-packs inside. It was actually a bit comical in hindsight...I was standing in the kitchen naked, dripping, covered in coffee grounds, holding two cold packs to my abdomen, thinking "weeeeelll, sh*t. This can't end well.". I was heading home to Ontario that Monday (it was Thursday) and could only hope that the plane ride wouldn't be too awful. Overnight, nearly the entire area became a continuous blister-yuk! I think I'll keep the burn lotion around though. I'm always getting little, minor burns on my hands from the oven. I'll probably tweak it a bit to be a generally healing lotion and get specific extracts and ingredients. Oh...I forgot that I had added colloidal oats as I knew it would get itchy as it healed (drove me crazy!).

Sarah said...

Hi Susan!

I'm volunteering to do a bunch of chemistry/physics/bio/engineering workshops for 6th-8th graders to help get them interested in science.

What do you think was your/their favorite lesson? I want to make an engaging workshop for them of stuff they normally use. I was thinking a lotion or something else that both the boys and girls could use. Or a lip balm or something.

We're doing other stuff like building rockets, making catapults, a water distillation system, solar oven, and ice cream.

I wanted to make a little lab guide packet for them or something like that.

Sorry if this is really random, I'm a little out of my element and I saw that you teach classes!


Susan Barclay-Nichols said...

Hi Sarah. I think bath bombs are the most popular workshop I do when it comes to science with boys and girls alike. (There are explosions and the word "bomb" so you know the boys like it!) It's a cheap and easy product to make, and they can make quite a lot to take home and share with family and friends.

Lip balms are popular as well with the kids. Get some flavours - Lorann are good if you can't get to your local supply shop - and let them make tons and tons of them. Make sure you bring labels because they'll want to call them different things and make them look pretty.

The kids are quite into making fragrance sprays - we called them body sprays for the boys, and brought manly fragrances like Axe Kilo - and it's a great way to show that water and oil can come together with an emulsifier!

Oh, chocolate making is fun because you get to talk to them about melting points and fatty acids and they can eat it all when you're done. (Compare the chocolate that hardens on the table with that which hardens in the fridge!)

If you need more ideas, let me know. I have so many! And I have loads of handouts I can share!

Have fun with the kids. It really is a blast to teach them these things!

Sarah said...

Hi Susan,

Oh man, I completely forgot about bath bombs! And the body spray, chocolate, and lip balm ideas are great. I'm doing this once a week until their winter break so any ideas are welcome. I'd love the handouts (should I email you?).

I was also thinking about making "goo." I did that with my niece and nephew and they had fun trying to make it stick to things like the fridge, lol.

Right now I have about 30 people signed up. How do you normally figure out how much material to bring? I figured they would make mistakes when they were trying things, so I should add more to what I was thinking.

I'm really excited about this, I was fortunate to be able to do a bunch of cool science workshops when I was younger and wanted to give that back.

I still remember a demonstration of different colored fires (from different chemicals), that totally made me want to do chemistry.

Thank you for taking the time to respond, I really appreciate it!