Sunday, April 3, 2016

Lazy Sunday Morning Lessons Learned

I love getting ideas for things to try and new ways to do my hair.  Currently, I am on the search for how to get my hair to hold beautiful curls without hairspray or hours of a curling iron.  Sleeping with rollers or whatever is out as it gives me a headache without fail the next morning.  So, I decided to try out a method where you twist or braid your hair, then take a flat iron to create a beach wave look.  The middle picture below shows how unimpressive it was...  Lesson learned.  The curl didn't hold evenly or for very long.  Might try it with braids next time...  

Next, I tried a faux hauk.  It looked like fun!  But I am simply just not good at poofy hair.  My hair rebels and ends up looking frizzy and a mess.  The look didn't quite fly when my braid was done more tightly.  Lesson learned.  Probably won't be trying this one again.

I ended up with an old stand by updo for when I feel like having a bit of fun.  Pretty sure this one came from Anne of Green Gables.

Next, I went to look at my soaps.  Thursday evening, I made a new batch of soap.  I wanted to play more with color designs and had just discovered two silicone baking pans at Hobby Lobby for only $7.99 each!  How could I resist???  I mixed up my batch of soap.  I ended up improvising and making some oil substitutes when I discovered I didn't have as much palm oil as I thought.  I substituted it with some castor oil and olive oil thinking I would be fine.

Waiting after I made it to be able to cut into them has been, as usual, annoying.  I mostly used hard or fixed oils in my batch so I assumed I would be able to unmold them the next day.  But they were too soft.  Last night, I took the single bars out (bottom of picture below).  They were a bit sticky but pretty much set so I left them out and placed them up to finish curing.

This morning... I couldn't wait any longer.  The molds felt hard and set.  So I put some wax paper on my cutting board, set the mold upside down, and slid the mold off the loaf.  It looked gorgeous and I was so excited!  I trimmed the bottom to neaten the shape.

But... when I went to cut the slanting ends of the loaf off, my heart sank.  The soap stuck to my knife. I finished cutting off the two short-side ends anyway, stuck all the bits and pieces into a plastic baggie to repurpose down the road, and slipped the loaves back into the molds to sit back on the shelf for up to 2 more weeks.  If they are not set by the end of 2 weeks, what is done is done.  The single bars should be fine as is but I won't be able to cut up the loaves if they stay this sticky.

Lesson learned: When improvising from a recipe, write down the measurements of each ingredient I use so I can evaluate by percentages where the problem is to fix.

Lesson learned: Too much castor oil can make soap stay sticky and tacky.  Since I didn't write my exact measurements down, I can't be sure this is the problem.  Too little lye can also cause the soap to be sticky and tacky which might also be the problem.  It can still be used but won't last as long as most will come away in a thick lather in the shower/bath.

Lesson learned:  According to online forums, should my soap loaf not harden and unstickify (made up word but I like it), I can melt it down in a crockpot and add it to another batch with a recipe for rock hard soap.

Lesson learned: My color designs were beautiful!

Decided I would review the other bars of soap I have made so far since a few people have been asking.

Shampoo bars (bottom right corner below): It took a try or two to figure out how to wash all my hair, which is pretty long, with a bar of soap instead of liquid shampoo.  But when I get that part right, my hair has been fabulous and can actually go 2 full days without being even the slightest bit oily at the roots.  :)

Castille soap (stacked in the bottom left corner below):  This stuff has been fantastic!  It lathers thickly and I have found it makes a perfect shaving lather.  That will save me money on shaving cream!

Lavender soap:  The color contrast was not as stark as I was hoping but it is still fun.  The lavender buds kind of trailed down the soap and left a few brown streaks here and there.  I'll have to figure out a way to reduce that.  But overall, it looks fun.  And smells amazing!  The lavender buds combined with the Rosemary Lavender scent is still going strong.  It still has a bit more time before it can used, though.

Happy Sunday everyone and enjoy the second half of General Conference!