New Products and Pictures

Sugar Cubes

Sugar Cube Scrub

Lilac Goat Milk Soap

Simply Lilac Goat Milk Soap

Hi Friends!  I’ll be the first to tell you that my pictures on the website are in a mess.  Rest assured, I am working on fixing those.  Even though I have been for years now, THIS time is different.  I also have a lake for sale in the desert!  Really, I am trying to fix them.  I changed the entire website last year and in doing so, I have had to make changes to everything.

New Stuff

Recently added is Sugar Cube Scrubs – these resemble actual sugar cubes, except they are larger.  I opted for Seasonal fragrances for now.  An example of seasonal would be Spring – a light floral fragrance, or Summer – a fruity or beachy fragrance.  These are so great for the shower – no mess, efficient and beneficial, and luxurious.

Also, I have added a new Lemon soap named Citron.  This soap has added honey and is made with goat milk, my milk of choice.  Goat Milk is closer to the PH of our skin and is my favorite milk to make soap with.  A bit of trivia – my other favorite milk to make soap with – Jersey Cow Milk is next, followed by Coconut Milk and Almond Milk.

Other News

Other news – our puppy is now 9 months old.  He is an unusual breed and we think he is pretty weird (please, please don’t tell him I said this!)  He’s a Havanese.  His first groomer sent him home from school and turns out, he was expelled.  He has broken 2 leashes so far.  We love him for his sweet disposition and his sheer weird behavior.  If we could all be so unique, what would life be like?  If you are wondering why the groomer sent him home, he doesn’t like his paws messed with.

My youngest son is graduating high school this year.  I remember thinking about the day this would happen and wondering what it would feel like.  I am just not thinking about it.  Everything has an expiration date, doesn’t it?

I love you all and wish you the best Valentine’s Day ever!  Stay warm and know that sunny days are coming!

 

 

Things That Make Life Easier

No matter the plans we make, life can always throw the curve balls.  Right when you think it’s all going well, something else comes up and there is another problem to be solved.  That’s ok, it’s pretty much expected, right?

If you have a small business, there is a danger of letting it totally derail you when there are curve balls – I know, because it has happened to me.  In the past year or so, I have found a few things that make my life easier.  One of them is Flylady.net.  I have been following her principles for longer than a year now, maybe more like five years.  I can say that my life would not be the same if not for her.

Another principal that I practice is meal planning.  I used to not meal plan.  I’m not really sure how I managed back then.  I had three children at home, a full time job, and sometimes, I was alone, without the help of my husband.  I actually can’t even remember what I did.  I think we ate spaghetti without sauce quite often, as well as hamburger helper and pizza.  I pretty much knew the pizza delivery guy by name.  I would sigh in relief when the pizza arrived, knowing that dinner was here and I was off the hook.

I meal plan and have for years.  I do it religiously and I stick to it the entire week.  I usually have a few freezer meals put aside as well for emergencies.  One thing that has helped me tremendously is my Instant Pot.

Sure, there is a learning curve, just like with anything.  There’s an excellent group on Facebook that posts recipes and ideas.  There are many bloggers who post recipes and one of my favorites is www.365daysofcrockpot.com.  She posts recipes for crockpot and instant pot so you can pick.  Her recipes are usually good and my family likes them.

Because even with meal planning, there are days that life is so hectic, and time is short.  The instant pot cuts down on kitchen time and you do not have to watch the pot, so to speak.  It cooks quickly and safely.

If you have an Instant Pot, let me know.  I would not be able to live without mine and if something were to happen to it, a replacement would be on it’s way that day!

Lately, I have been making yogurt and homemade granola.  Yum!  The Instant Pot has a Yogurt Function, rice, soup, etc.

 

Finding Peace During this Busy Season

I don’t know about you but I have been busy for weeks now. It isn’t just soap (since I would have gotten all orders out by now if it was). There have been school events, finals, traffic, decorations, day to day things that are always there, sickness, and just business. I often find things that land in my lap at times like these, and something that conveys peacefulness and calm is a lifeline. I found this journal that is perfect for studying and finding the peace that I crave so I thought I would share it with you. It isn’t soap related but it is somehow related to everything. It would make a great gift for anyone as well. That and soap of course!

I like this journal because it has a place to write your thoughts and observations. I read about the SOAP method of studying the Bible and this seems like something that would fit that. S stands for scripture. O stands for observations. A stands for attainable results, within a 24 hour period (so you can go on to another verse after that time). P stands for prayer!

I hope that you can find peace during this season and hope as well. This is a time that I struggle with and I’m guessing many of you do as well. This is the first year in a long time that I do not feel such an overwhelming feeling of stress.

Last year was hard for me – I do not even know why. It wasn’t particularly full of anything but the stress monster was after me the whole time. As the year draws to a close, I am not feeling it anymore. Instead there is a calm that has finally come home to roost.

If you try the journal, let me know what you think.

A Book Review

Hi Friends!  It’s been a while and I’ve had many things going on.  A phase maybe?  I thought I would just do a post about a book I have been reading.  The book is 300 Years of Natural Soap & Cosmetic Recipes, by Marie Gale.  After reading this book, I think of the Bible verse from Ecclesiastes 1:9  What has been will be again, what has been done will be done again; there is nothing new under the sun.

In the book, the earliest documented soap recipe is from 1898.  Some of the recipes are named Yellow Domestic Soap, Pale Soap, etc. and later soap names in 1918 were French White Soap, A Good Soap, etc.  The ingredients are not so different from what soap is made from today.  The difference is that today, there are many oils and butters that are readily available to anyone who wants to obtains them.

The next chapter in the book contains scent blends made of essential oils.  Some of the scent blends include names like Spanish Bouquet, Jockey Club and Lemon.  The first synthetic fragrance oil was made on or around 1898 and expanded from there.

There are more chapters with recipes for all sorts of lotions, creams, and beauty aids.  The book is chock full of information and is a great compilation of the past leading up to the present.  I enjoyed this book very much as it offers inspiration for new scent blends and other types of soap.  It is interesting that milk soaps were not made until much later when the cold process method became widely used.

Soap making has changed since it began but not very much in a few hundred years.

I hope you find this interesting and informative!

Soap Scents

Berries & Cream Goat Milk Soap

Goat Milk Soap Berries & CreamI love Berries & Cream goat milk soap!  I’ve been making it for years now.  It is one of the few goat milk soaps I add any color to (although, I’m starting to add natural mica now).  The color comes from Rose Clay.  The fragrance is Black Raspberry Vanilla Type.  I made this soap today and it fills up my home with scent.  It is cold and rainy today, so this definitely brightens things up a bit.  I used the oil I got from a new company, which I am keeping a secret since I need all the edges I can get.  I had a slight problem with the sodium hydroxide becoming too cold and settling on the bottom of my pot as a solid chunk.  Don’t worry, I fixed it!

Today, I also made a batch of Dead Sea Mud soap, another consistently good soap.  Dead Sea Mud contains many minerals and this soap is very good for most skin types.  The fragrance has gone through several changes in the past few years though.  The original fragrance oil I used is never in stock and because I make this one so often, I had to find another fragrance, which brings me to the point of this post.

I have found some amazing, beautiful, fragrance oils that have been consistently good in everything I have tried.  That being said, I’m going over to them and as I make soap, I am switching to these fragrances.  They have depth, longevity and many contain essential oils as an ingredient.  I love them so much and I look forward to making soap with them!

I will also be making some new soap when I have time, but I’ve been promising that for a while.  I just never seem to have time.  I try to keep my priorities in order – God, family, work and that seems to work for me.  When I do that, time seems to come more easily.  But it’s hard sometimes, isn’t it?

“What you do today can improve all of your tomorrows.”  – Ralph Marston

 

This and That

Recently, I changed the look of my website to just a simple black and white.  I have wanted to do this for a long time.  I finally decided to make the change and I am so glad I did!  My shopping cart theme was originally just black and white with some red highlights.  Mostly though, it is just black and white, so the heading at the top matches up perfectly now with the theme I already had.  Brilliant!  No, not me, just why didn’t I do this sooner?

  • Next change – I will be listing individual soap loaves.  This will make ordering easy and it will also speed up the shopping cart.
  • One more change, but probably not the only one – I will list the cream fragrances separately and add more of them.
  • Great news for some – I will be adding the lotion back, along with Milk Bath Salts.
Soap Gift

February Box

Y’all don’t forget your sweetie!  I have a few February Boxes left and there’s still time to get one.  

That’s all for now.  Stay warm and well. 

February Box – Valentine’s Day Gift

 

Women't Soap Gift

February Valentine Box

Hello, cold world!  It’s cold, even in the Deep South.  I guess you do not needme to tell you that!  This post is not about the cold though,it is about the gift of a February Box!  

The February Box is up on the website and it is simple and sweet,  containing a bag of milk bath salts, along with Amber Romance soap.  Did I mention that it smells good?  The soap also contains Himalayan Pink salt.  The bars are only about 1.5 ounces each, but they pack a fragrant punch.

All of this is nestled in a box and tied with a ribbon.  It makes a great Valentine’s gift for a woman, or a gift for yourself.  If you are anything like me, I really enjoy gifts for moi!

I have only 12 of these boxes and they are priced to sell.  So, warm up with milk bath and sweet soap to get through the cold weather.

 

All About Gift Certificates

Gift Certificates are perfect for last minute gifts or hard to buy for people.  They are great for those of us who struggle with gift buying every year (like me).  Country Scents offers gift certificates that can be sent by email to anyone.

The gift certificate option is located on the left toolbar of the home page of countryscents.net website.  It is not glaringly obvious and I have not been able to change that (not yet).  So, I am just reminding anyone who is frantically thinking that Christmas is here!  That sort of thing, there are options.  I, myself, love to receive gift cards and certificates.  They can be used after Christmas when stuff goes on sale.  Yea!

Gift Certificate

A soapy gift certificate

Premium members who have created a profile and login earn gift points with every order which may then be converted to a gift certificate!  There are a few premium members who have gift certificates waiting for them to use!  If you haven’t checked lately or placed an order in a while, please check out your profile to find out how many points you have earned and may convert to a gift for yourself or someone else.

 

Trip to Raven Haven Bed and Breakfast

Recently, my husband and I had our 31st anniversary.  We decided to go to a Bed and Breakfast that was not too far away.  We chose Raven Haven in Mentone, Alabama.  I’m so glad we did!

Raven Haven is a traditional Bed and Breakfast in that the guests have their own rooms, but share the dining and kitchen area.  We happened to be the only guests there that day (possibly because the SEC Championship game was that same day! #footballinAlabama).  We picked the Prairie Room to stay in.  Here’s a picture of the mantel in that room, all decorated for Christmas –

Bed and Breakfast

Prairie Room Mantel

Here are some more pictures from the room –

Raven Haven

Prairie Room Christmas Tree

Bed and Breakfast

Prairie Room Painted Door

We had such a good time!  Everything was decorated for Christmas and there was so much wonderful decor.  The weather was nice and we were able to walk around the grounds a bit.  I took these pictures of a few sights around the house.  The gardens are beautiful and in the Spring and Summer would be bursting with blooms.

Raven Haven

Raven Haven Grounds

Raven Haven

Raven Haven Bridge

Raven Haven Gnomes

Gnome Habitat

The Gnome village may have been my favorite thing there!

The breakfast they served was superb.  In fact, everything about it was great.  We went shopping in town, ate at a local restaurant and stayed in the Prairie Room.

Maybe next year, we can go back for another visit!

Black Friday Sale is Now!

Just a reminder – our first ever Black Friday sale is still going on and does not end until Monday.  For all orders, receive a 15% discount, no matter the size.  No coupon requited for this discount.  Next, receive free shipping for any order over $35.00 by using the coupon NOVEMBER.  Last, all purchases will receive a free mini Christmas stocking with mini soaps!  Best of all, these specials are in addition to our regular specials!

Black Friday Sale

Christmas Mini Stocking