Second Archery Attempt

“Even as the archer loves the arrow that flies, so too he loves the bow that remains constant in his hands.”— Nigerian Proverb

My hands longed for the sleek and sturdy feel of a bow and the excitement that comes from arrows. It’s been almost a year and a half since I last visited The Archery Academy in Greenhills, San Juan, for archery lessons. I remember having a grand time with my lesson. So, when I saw that they have a similar promo in MetroDeal to the one I got last year, I was so excited and I made it a point to purchase vouchers for me and two of my friends.

Unfortunately, only Zammy could make it with me to the lessons today. We hope that next time, Cherry could already come with us. I really think I should bring more people to try archery out.

As expected, Coach Gio was as thorough as I remembered. Since I could still remember most of the tips and reminders, I let Zammy have her turn first, because that will allow me to document her first time at The Archery Academy. I admit I feel more excited for her than for myself. I was very much like a stage-parent earlier. Hahaha…

U5E8N%4wT2SvV8K1NY38zwAt one point, Coach Gio taught us about scoring. However, we didn’t want any pressure and were more focused on having fun, so we did not score ourselves anymore. We just kept having a go with our bows and arrows for the entire one hour of lessons we paid for. Don’t belittle that one hour! It’s more than enough to shoot several times. Plus, if you’re not very active and it’s your first time to try archery, one hour is enough or you’ll risk getting very sore muscles the following day.

I must say that Zammy, despite her claim to not have slept enough the day before, was way better than I was during my first attempt! Look at her pop that blue balloon!

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Pop! Nice one Zammy! #archery #thearcheryacademy

A post shared by Sunshine and Robins (@sunshinenrobins) on

I also managed to pop my red balloon at my first attempt. This was a huge improvement from my attempt last year because it took a while for me to pop my white balloon. Hearing the loud burst of a balloon popping was so satisfying!

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First target face during my first attempt at archery.

I really feel like I should make archery a more regular hobby because I enjoy it a lot. I should make an effort to have the budget and time for this because going to Greenhills isn’t cheap when you don’t know how to commute and rely highly on Grab services.

Overall, I think we did a pretty good job considering we aren’t really archers. We managed to keep our target face and so I was able to compare it to my performance last year. I was still hitting beyond my target face from time to time, but at least I was hitting the yellow and red areas more frequently than I did last year. I noticed hitting the blue areas a lot, so I still need to practice my aim. Mind you, traditional archery does not depend on the sight and sight window (parts of the archery bow). Rather, it relies on your instinct to hit your mark. Most of my shots were still blind shots. I wasn’t sure where my arrows will land at all.

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Left: Feb. 2018. Right: Jul. 2019

What a fun day this was! I was so glad Zammy was able to join me. However, I feel bad for her because I am feeling my shoulder and arm muscles getting sore as I type. Surely her muscles are feeling the same thing by now. Oh gosh, good luck to us tomorrow. I hope I will still have enough strength to carry my laptop to work.

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Just Tried: i Darts DASH

“It’s a form of mental and verbal gymnastics, and one of the things that appeals to me most about commenting on darts is that no one knows exactly what I’m going to come out with next – and neither do I.” -Sid Waddell

Feels like I haven’t written for ages! I neglected my blog for a couple of weeks already and must get back on the habit of writing. Also, I can see that I have much catching up to do in terms of reading the posts of people I follow. I will try to go through their posts as soon as I get this post up. I am excited for what I will be reading about!

I have to admit that the last few weeks were tough on me. I was not sleeping very well. When I did find myself sleeping, I was plagued with dreams of people trying to kill me and, at one time, of a narcotics junkie I was trying to kill. I was going through my day feeling like a zombie, a tad irritable, and heavily demotivated. It was so bad that I even stopped going to my yoga classes.

The culprit? I think it was the birth control pills I was taking to regulate my period. My hormones went craaaaaazy! Damn you, PCOS, for having to put me through all of this!

Anyway, before I almost hit rock bottom, my very awesome friends came to the rescue (but, to be honest, they didn’t know what I was going through that time) by planning a night out at i Darts DASH in Bonifacio Global City (BGC). It’s the first electronic darts bar in the Philippines that is a franchise of the internationally known i Darts. Already present in different places like Australia, Canada, China, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mexico and Singapore, I am delighted that it’s already in my country too.

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For an easier time finding this place, just look for the Uniqlo store at 7th Ave. cor 30th Street. Yup, just go inside the Uniqlo store and use the escalator to go up to the top most level/floor.

IMG_9556Inside, it kinda felt like a fusion of a pub and an arcade, except that you can only play darts. I wasn’t able to count how many machines there were but they were enough for a lot of people to have a hell of a good time.

Each machine can allow four players and there are different types of games that you can play. Each game will cost one credit per player. Only one reloadable card is needed for all four players to play.

Ten credits cost Php 300 while 25 credits cost Php 600. That is quite a steal already because each game will usually be around 8 rounds per player, throwing 3 darts per round. Believe me, you will not want to use up all the 25 credits because you’ll be exhausted already midway.

We played three different games. The first one aimed to reach the highest score. The second one aimed to be the first to reach zero from 501. The third one, my favorite, was a group effort game where you have to kill zombies by scoring high.

I tremendously enjoyed the zombie game because there were side challenges apart from simply killing off the ugly zombies. When we managed finishing the entire game, one of the instructors told us that most groups only lasted midway. Our group even kept getting additional lives! Hurray!!!

So, what are my thoughts about darts? It was my first time to play and I only hit one bull’s eye the whole night. Also, I had no idea what exactly to do so I just kept throwing and throwing, hoping to hit spots that will give me high points. I think it’s more of a muscle memory thing where you know already which height, angle, and level of force will make you hit your target spots.

Did I have fun? Hell, yeah! Actually, I think not knowing where my darts will land was part of the fun. Plus, the zombie game got us cheering for one another and feeling proud when we gain yet another extra life. This will make a fun team building activity, to be honest.

Enough about the game. Let’s talk about the food!

Please don’t expect set meals here. The food are basically snack foods, most of which are awesome to have with alcoholic drinks. They’re kinda pricey, to be honest, but tasted really good.

img_9562Our first orders were the naked nachos (with chili beef) and the chicken karaage.

The chicken karaage’s serving was like, pfffft, but they were so yummy! The chicken was tender and the dips (barbeque and honey mustard) went really well with whatever breading/coating they put on the chicken. I just wish it came in a bigger serving size for its price.

The naked nachos, on the other hand, put my favorite Nacho King to shame. The chili beef was not that spicy (which I love!!!). I could taste a bit of cumin (which I hate!!!) but the amount they put in was not enough to offend my taste buds completely. I suggest digging for the nachos at the bottom first because they have no cheese or toppings, whatsoever.

We also ordered margherita pizza but we were not able to take a picture because we devoured it right away. Enough to serve three people, the pizza crust was not too thin, but not too thick either. I do not know what kind of magic they put on the tomato sauce, cheese and basil (the only ingredients of the pizza) but I loved the pizza very much.

To go with the tower of draft beer that we ordered, we chose to have the street food platter. We fondly called it the “high-street food platter” because of the price and because of the proximity of Bonifacio High Street to where we were.

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I loved everything except for squid balls. There was simply something off that night and it wasn’t sitting well with me. I went for the kikiam though because that’s my favorite street food. We had two orders of this platter.

My most favorite of all, however, was the lemon pepper chicken skin. We ordered 2 sets again because of the serving size. My golly, it was sooooooooooo good! The chicken skin was so crispy and the amount of pepper used was perfect. And the lemon taste? Heavenly!

Oh, diet, forgive me for forgetting about you again. I just hope my cholesterol levels won’t be shooting way beyond normal because of all the food we had.

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Thank God the food was awesome because the mild draft beer tower we ordered didn’t meet my expectations. It was so mild that it tasted like beer-flavored soda. We weren’t looking to get drunk that night but Php 1,600 felt too expensive for the kind of beer tower we got. I wish we spent on other drinks instead.

The staff at i Darts DASH were courteous and accommodating. We found it amusing that they were obsessing over making sure our draft beer tower had lights and even they even got fresh batteries to use. They were also patient when they taught us how to play darts and they were also cheering us on when we manage to score high.

The best part of this night was spending time with my friends and former colleagues. I miss them so much even though I do not miss my previous work. Two of us already left for new jobs. I just hope that no matter where life brings us, we will always manage to make time to have as much fun as we did on this day.

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My DIY Solid Shampoo Experience

“If your hair is done properly and you have on good shoes, you can get away with anything.” – Iris Apfel

I was fourteen when I was finally allowed to grow my hair past the tops of my shoulder. Prior to that, I had to fight to keep from going to the hairdresser. It meant hours of crying, throwing a tantrum, and hugging the banister of our staircase. Dad insisted on having our hair cut because he felt long hair meant using up more shampoo. Using up more shampoo meant buying it more frequently. By the time I was fourteen, Dad probably realized my hair grew so fast, it was more expensive to keep going to the hairdresser than to just buy shampoo.

I loved having long hair and would always delay trips to the salon, waiting until I saw signs of my hair needing a cut. Luckily, I was born with straight hair that did not require much maintainance. Deep inside though, I wish I had hair with elegant curls instead.

I loved trying out different kinds of shampoos. Recently though, my friends have been telling me about solid shampoo bars. It’s like soap but for the hair. Shampoo bars are great for those who wish to be more environmentally friendly because regular shampoo used plastic bottle packaging that get thrown away eventually.

Out of curiosity, I researched DIY shampoo bar recipes and ended up realizing I have the ingredients on hand, most of which were from my soap making projects earlier this year. I settled with the following recipe:

0.5 lbs of goat’s milk soap base

0.5 tsp shea butter

1.0 tsp of castor oil

5.0 drops of peppermint essential oil

7.0 drops of grapefruit essential oil

Red liquid coloring

I melted the shea butter and soap base in the microwave for two minutes. Then, I added the castor oil and essential oils. I dipped two toothpicks into the red liquid coloring then dipped them into the shampoo mixture to give a pink tint to it.

I poured them into my round soap mold and was able to make around five and a half of solid shampoo.

They looked so adorable! The pink tinge was just right and they smelled lovely! Grapefruit and peppermint combo was awesome at perking up your senses!

I immediately used the smallest one to test it out. The result? Errrr…

I struggled to make it lather up enough for my long hair that’s currently past my waist. But, it did rinse out pretty easily. However, it left my hair feeling squeaky clean. That being said, my hair did not feel soft like it would have felt using regular shampoo. I struggled combing my hair because it tangled up pretty badly.

After it dried, it felt much softer than expected but did not have its usual shine. It also felt like it had all its moisture sucked out of it. Okay, maybe not that drastically. But, I was not fond of the results no matter how light and bouncy my hair felt.

I searched for reviews of people who transitioned to using solid shampoo and it turns out that I was not alone. Some recommended an acid rinse, wherein one uses apple cider vinegar, to help in the transitioning. Errr…. no thanks.

Thankfully though, it makes an awesome soap for the skin. I should probably stick to that and leave my hair alone.

I really hope manufacturing companies of bath products will be able to come up with environmentally friendlier packaging much sooner.

Bends and Twists

“Your mind is a key, and whatever it unlocks, the greatest treasure of all.” -Michael Bassey Johnson

After joining the workshop on caging crystals, I got hooked on making accessories. I promised myself to buy materials and tools so I could busy myself with making baubles, putting into practice what I have learned.

I made a trip to Wellmanson Beads and Accessories in Quiapo, very near the Quiapo Church, in my search for tools, wires, and charms. I did not expect to be overwhelmed by how many awesome items they had in the store! There were rows and rows of beads, chains, gauge wires, and so many more!

The items I got from this store include my wire cutter, round nose pliers and long nose pliers that I think were only around ₱60-₱70 each! I also got wires, some chains, jump rings and lobster claw locks and a string of rose quartz beads.

Outside the store, along Villalobos Street, there were tons of other stores that sold beads, chains, charms and stones for making accessories. One of them was DIY Beads.

If you thought the beads and charms selection from Wellmanson was overwhelming already, this store was even more so! I was not able to snap a pic because I was so busy looking at stuff to buy!

I got a string each of carnelian, moonstone and rhodorite. I am no gemologist and cannot attest to the authenticity of these stones. All I know is that they are super pretty to look at!

Since I was not satisfied yet, I went to a couple more stores until I found one that sold some heart-shaped cherry quartz. Again, I do not know if these are real but I truly hope so.

Once home and have had my lunch, I immediately went ahead to play with my purchases! I ended up making keychains for everyone in my team at work. I also made some pendants to wear.Making accessories has helped me lately because my insomnia has come back, allowing me only three hours of sleep instead of my normal six to seven hours. By the time my hands were tired, I was ready to doze off.

I realized that I forgot to get gold-colored gauge wires so I searched online to buy. I ended up buying from PlanetAccessory over Shopee. From that shop, I also got a few more charms, and strings of black onyx, ruby, jade and amazonite beads.

Because of the heavy rains, I had to wait for about half a week to get my hands on my orders. By this time, I have found lots of ideas on Pinterest on designs to re-create and tips to be better at making wired jewelry. I am so glad that there are lots of DIY guides that could be found there!

I could not sleep at all last night (again) and so,I busied myself making a few more accessories. Most of them were rings.

In my attempt to be better at bending and twisting wires, I cut myself in the process. Thankfully it was just small. I wrapped the wound with a plaster and went back to wringing the hell out of my wires.

By the time I knew it, it was sunrise already. My fingertips were aching and I think I grew callouses in the process.

I realized how quickly time passed by when I busied myself with making trinkets. My mind went on laser focus mode and did not have space for worries and anxieties. I found the activity truly realxing (except for when I scratched of cut myself).

On the other hand, I realized how I could not entirely make the wires bend to how I want them to at all times. Sometimes, they have a will of their own and would want to bend to a different direction than what I had planned. Forcing the wire sometimes meant making dents or marks that I could not straighten anymore. I had to work with them not against them.

I also found out that my ring finger is of the same circumference as a Vicks Inhaler. I did not have a ring sizer or ring mandrel (costs a lot!!!) on hand so the inhaler was such a huge help to me when I made rings. I guess having caught a flu recently had its perks.

I plan to grow my collection of semi-precious stones. I also need to buy them not in these round form, but in irregular shapes for added charm. I already got myself an organizer from Daiso that will allow me to keep them in containers that are so cute! I think I will need to buy some more!

I hope to greatly improve my creativity and hand dexterity so I can make beautiful accessories. For now, I shall be browsing my Pinterest for inspiration.

Fancy Cages

A woman makes an outfit her own with accessories.” — Oscar de la Renta

When I was a little girl, I remember always asking to wear my Mom’s jewelries or my Dad’s heirloom necklace. Jewelries and accessories made my eyes shine with glee when I lay my hands on those sparkly things. My Mom would always remind me that when I was around two years old, I kept on begging to have my ears pierced and I felt so “grown up” when I finally had them.

img_7754I guess it’s karma for my insisting to have them early because my ears developed an allergy for gold earrings. My lobes would swell and get wounded so I stayed away from those things unless absolutely necessary. Even then, I would remove them after a few hours. As I grew up, I lost that fondness over accessories. I either just wear a necklace or a bracelet, but never the whole shebang.

Lately though, I have rediscovered my penchant for gemstones or crystals. I used to love reading about them as a kid and wondering if their so-called healing properties were real. I am not sure how a stone could make one more tranquil or relaxed but what I am sure of is that they are pretty things, regardless of whether they are impregnated already (with added materials) or in their pure state. So, when I discovered the Caged Crystal Jewelry Making Workshop hosted by Maartsy, I made it a point to make sure I could attend it.

After attending church service, I went straight to the workshop. An hour early there, I saw Ms. Benj of @penumbra.ph (the instructor) preparing the materials to be used throughout the workshop. She was as pretty as her jewels and charms! It looked like she really made sure to prepare everything we will need. We had tools, handout, and a buffet of crystals and charms to use that afternoon.img_7671

Ms. Benj was very hands-on in teaching us, going around the table to make sure we were getting the instructions from the manual right. She would make it a point to show everyone our finished work of art every time we would complete one. I think she taught us a total of six ways of caging crystals.

img_7712My most favorite is this tree of life style I used on a very adorable heart-shaped rose quartz. It looked so feminine and sweet! I paired it with a long chain because I have not tried wearing long necklace pieces. I figured, I should try experimenting on wearing such kind.

I had so much fun bending and looping wires that I forgot all my worries at work that day (deadlines coming up). All I could focus on was the design I was trying to make. And despite struggling with the silver wire that was a little too thick for comfort, I was so happy that I was learning how they made those pretty accessories I would see from online shops in my IG feed. It was not easy but I was glad to know doing it was not too difficult for me not to manage.

img_7728I went home with the accessories I made and some extra wire. I remembered the amethyst crystal I bought not so long ago and tried to apply my learnings from the workshop by caging it in my remaining gold wire. The result was so cute! I guess I now have two favorites.

I realized how much I loved creating stuff with my hands. I may not find happiness in drawing or painting because I was not gifted in those areas at all, but I found that I enjoy creating stuff with my hands like when I bake or when I mix up some concoctions. This was not any different. I loved it so much! I found the process therapeutic for a reason.

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Products of my hard work.

Do I recommend this workshop? Yes! Whether you’re a girl or a guy (yes, we had a male participant that day), learning how to turn crystals into wearable accessories will not only be a good pastime but might also turn into an income-generating activity.

What will you need?

Patience

You cannot create a beautiful piece in one or two twists of the wire. You have to be patient when working with it especially when you have to loop them around.

Hand dexterity

Some designs can be intricate and will require careful and calculated maneuvering of the wires. The thicker ones are tougher to bend into place. I even cut myself a little bit in the process. But, that should not stop you from enjoying this activity.

With practice and time, you will be twisting and bending wires like a pro to create beautiful crystal cages to house your favorite gemstones.

A creative mind

There is no such thing as an ugly design but you can let your creativity flow in this activity. You can twist and bend the wires in multitude ways and no work can ever be exactly the same as another.  You just have to trust yourself and the design you are aiming to create.

I am glad to have found another activity that I am sure to enjoy doing. I am already scouting for sources of materials to make accessories for myself and for friends and family. I am pretty excited about what I can create once I have all that I need.

Grapefruit and Rosemary Foot Soak

 “And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.” –Kahlil Gibran

The last time I read about sprains, I learned that it takes four to six weeks to heal if it is a Grade 1 kind of sprain. It’s been about three weeks so I more or less have three more weeks to go. It sucks that I developed hip bursitis in the process that is why my entire right leg has been feeling weak and my knees about to buckle at any time.

After two PT sessions, I have regained a bit of my leg’s strength and I lost that disturbing (but not painful) feeling deep in my back and hip that caused me sleepless nights. It was a very uncomfortable, but not painful, feeling that irritated me at night because I didn’t know what to do with it. In a twist of events though, the muscles in my right leg have tightened so much that I now have spasms from hip to toes. I immediately went to my family’s ortho doctor and he gave me a different muscle relaxant to deal with the spasms.

Thankfully, I had to knee surgery to make the spasms really bad like what happened to my sister when she had her MPFL surgery back in 2014. To be fair, it wasn’t our ortho doctor’s fault because while he operated on her, it was the nerve block that caused my sister’s leg to spasm non-stop (unless we massaged the leg).

Note: I made this foot soak on the same day as the evening the spasms started.

If you read my Lavender and Peppermint Foot Soak post from last time, you would know that I enjoyed it greatly. I still do not know how epsom salt helps with sprains but just getting to soak my feet in warm water is so relaxing that I forget about my injury until I have to stand up. So, I decided to make another foot soak. This time, I wanted it pink!

The inspiration came from reading about Grapefruit Rosemary Bath Salt from Homey Oh My. Hers involved Himalayan pink salt which I did not have on hand. Plus, being very expensive, I did not feel like my feet deserved that luxury. So, just epsom salt it is.

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I should really take a pic of the baking soda next time…

Just like last time, 8 tbsps of epsom salt and 1 tbsp of baking soda. To that, I added 1/4 teaspoon of red liquid food coloring (with matching prayers that it won’t turn my feet red) and mixed them all together until the entire mixture looked a little more pink than Himalayan pink salt.

Now it makes me wonder if all the Himalayan Pink Salt products I see being sold everywhere are authentic or some of them were ordinary salt dyed pink.

Once mixed, I added a few drops of grapefruit essential oil and a quarter teaspoon of rosemary essential oil (bottle did not come with a dropper). It’s a little strong, to be honest, but my goal is to have the entire living room smelling like grapefruit and rosemary when I soak my foot in.

I remembered that we had dried rosemary in the house so I got half a tablespoon just to make this foot soak look all the more interesting. Also, I want to get antibacterial properties from the rosemary so I am hoping that with the hot water, it will be like tea but for my feet (and red).

There! My very own foot soak that is pink and girly like me, smelling wonderfully of grapefruit and rosemary. Citrus and minty scents really go together! Time to get soaking!

Lavender and Peppermint Foot Soak

Who said tea is only for the tummy?

I am back with another DIY project. This time, it isn’t soap! I put my soapmaking supplies away first because I still have too many soaps from my past projects.

My ankle has not completely healed yet from my sprain. While it does not hurt anymore when I put weight on the foot, certain positions still cause shooting pain from my ankle and the inner arch of my foot. Researching online on how to help a sprained ankle heal led me to learning about epsom salt.

Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, is said to help reduce inflammation in the muscles. I am not sure how it works at all and if it’s proven but a nice and warm foot soak sounded like a good idea to me. Despite my ankle not being swollen anymore, my PT sessions still involve hot compresses and ultrasound therapy that both warm the affected areas. So I guess a warm foot soak would not hurt.

I searched for DIY recipes but I ended up using 8 tablespoons of epsom salt, 1 tablespoon of baking soda (to soften my dry, cracked heels that I peel when I am anxious), and peppermint tea leaves. I also added a few drops of lavender and peppermint essential oils for that refreshing scent.

I thought it was going to be easy looking for epsom salt but I actually had a hard time looking for it in drugstores, groceries or some spa and bath product boutiques in our malls. I had fo find it online through Shopee where I got my cute bottle with a wooden scooper to go. Argh! I am so in love with that bottle!

Anyway, I basically just mixed all the ingredients together until they resembled damp sand. The baking soda, being finer than the salt, had a tendency stay at the bottom of the mixture so I had to make sure everything was well blended and distributed all throughout.

I saved some to put in the basin to soak my feet in right away and poured the rest in the cute container I intended for it.

After pouring warm water and dissolving the foot soak, the entire house smelled really nicely of lavender and peppermint! I loved that combination!

I let my feet soak for about fifteen minutes until I felt that the heat from the water was already gone. The pain has not magically disappeared from my injured foot but at least the warmth from the soak helped relax it. My feet also felt a little bit of the cooling sensation from the peppermint essential oil after I lifted them from the basin. So refreshing!

I shall make more foot soaks using the rest of my essential oils at home. I’ll try to incorporate other ingredients too. I read that milk helps soften the skin.

Do you love foot soaks too? What’s your favorite scent?

Peppermint and Charcoal Soap

“There is a legend that if you go take shower and scream out loud “Mom” three times, a nice lady appears bringing the towel you forgot.” -Source unknown

As promised, I am back with another soapmaking project. This time, it’s peppermint and charcoal soap.

I decided to eye-ball my measurements again and trust my instincts. Since there will be no flower buds or teas going into this soap, I was not very wary about what the results might be.

To start, I chopped up my last bits of opaque white glycerin melt-and-pour soap base to get 1 & 1/2 cups of melted soap.

Before melting the soap, I took 1 tsp of shea butter and melted it in a glass measuring cup using the microwave. It was at this point that I realized my soap base melted quicker than the tiny amount of shea butter I put in. I had to wait for a couple minutes to put it back in the microwave to heat and melt further. I was afraid the glass measuring cup will not be able to take more of the heat and shatter inside if I did not stop every 30 seconds until the butter has completely melted.

Now on to the star of the soap…

Activated charcoal is said to be very good in helping remove impurities. I have also used a few charcoal soap bars and my skin always felt squeaky clean afterwards.

I dissolved 1 tsp of the activated charcoal in the shea butter before adding to my soap base that I melted after three 30-second bursts in the microwave. Most of the recipes I looked at called for 1 to 2 tbsps of charcoal for every 2 lbs of soap base so I felt like 1 tsp should already work for the amount of soap base I had.

I was not expecting my soap base to turn into an intense black color given that it was so opaquely white. If I had used clear glycerin or goat’s milk melt-and-pour base, I am sure it would have turned much more darker and closer to black.

Next, I added about 20 drops of peppermint essential oil, stopping when I reached my preferred level of the scent’s strength.

I love peppermint anything from tea to candies to peppermint mocha drinks. I also love it in bath products like the Peppermint Fresh Scalp Shampoo from SkinFood that my sister let me use when I stayed with her in Hong Kong.

I poured the mixture into two of my round silicone molds and was able to fill an equivalent of nine round soaps. Then I sprayed the tops with alcohol to try and get ride of air bubbles. Then I let the soaps cool and harden on their own.

I waited for two hours before popping them out and here they are!

Some of the charcoal powder refused to completely dissolve in the shea butter and sank at the bottom of the mold during the cooling process. Hence, those specks of carbon you can see on some of the soaps.

The soaps smelled so good and lathered up nicely. Despite the addition of shea butter, it is still advisable to follow up with moisturizer. My dermatologist always reminds me to moisturize even if it does not feel like a very exciting idea when you live in a country with tropical climate.

I still have a few melt-and-pour recipes to try but I am now very curious on how I can make the soap base myself. I just need to prepare all that I need to safely handle the use of lye. Also, I will need the patience in allowing the saponification process to take its course of a few weeks before being able to use the soap base safely. Guess I really have to save up for the Php 5,500 workshop to learn the tricks.

To read about my other soapmaking projects, click here.

Calm Me Down Soap

“Your calm mind is the ultimate weapon against your challenges. So relax.” -Bryant McGill

It amazes me how despite how much soap I have already made, I still have lots of dried lavender buds left from the single pack I opened when I first tried to make a lavender and rosemary soap. I had this urge to use up all the remaining buds from that small pack so today, I paired lavender with chamomile. I got the inspiration from the lavender and chamomile soap from A Pumpkin and a Princess. I just eye-balled the amount of ingredients I put in, trying to experiment a bit and hoping I don’t create a disaster.

Instead of goat’s milk soap base though, I made use of most of the remaining opaque white glycerin melt-and-pour soap base from my first attempt. I chopped it into small cubes for quicker melting in the microwave. I think it took around 2 minutes, stopping every 30 seconds, for the base to melt and yield one and a half cup worth of base.

Together with the soap base while heating in the microwave was 1/2 tbsp of refined shea butter that I bought from PurpleButterflyCrafts for Php 150 (100 grams).

I lightly mixed the oil into the soap, careful not to incorporate too much air in the melted base. Then I poured in 1/4 tsp of lavender essential oil for a light fragrance.

I tried chopping the lavender buds a bit (and failed) and opened two chamomile tea bags to get the contents. This was a tablespoon of lavender buds, which finally was the end of the first pack I opened.

It does not look very nice at this stage. The base was not a suspension type so the lavender and chamomile kept floating at the top of the mixture. I shall try to wait until the base has cooled a bit more next time to see if I can get ingredients such as these to scatter throughout the mixture.

I poured the mixture the rectangular soap mold and got three bars worth plus a few teaspoons more. The remaining teaspoons of mixture were poured in another cavity of the mold because I intended to use it as a sampler after the soap has hardened. I waited for around two hours for the bars to cool down and harden before popping them out.

They’re here!!!

For the first and third bars, the side facing up was the one that sat in the bottom of the mold. As for the middle bar, I did not flip it over to show how much most of the lavender and chamomile floated up. I should really try to find a suspension-type soap base.

The soap still lathered up well despite the addition of shea butter but I realized I should not have used too much chamomile and lavender buds. They were too much for the amount of soap base I had. Also, since I only used 1/4 tsp of lavender essential oil, it was not enough to overpower the scent coming from the chamomile tea, which I was not partial to. I suggest following the original recipe to the letter.

I think that’s enough of lavender for now. My next soapmaking attempt will be a peppermint and charcoal soap. I am truly looking forward to it. I shall endeavor improve my eye-balling skills too. Or better yet, I should endeavor to sticking to original recipes.

DIY Jasmine Lavender Clear Soap

“Jasmine is just the most delicate and beautiful scent.” -Natalie Portman

When I was a little girl, my Mom had a jasmine-scented perfume that I loved. I think it was a Jasmin Ulric perfume although I cannot be very sure. I do remember the black and gold box and the most beautiful scent I have ever smelled!

Mom used to tell me that jasmine was the favorite scent of angels. For that reason, I wanted to spray on her perfume to see if angels will appear. At one point, I took a chair and used it so I climb the countertop and reach the cupboard where she hid her perfume. I managed to get it but I slipped on my way down and slammed onto the floor. Surprisingly, I did not have any scratch, bruise or fracture despite the height of my fall. Maybe an angel caught me and made sure I was safe.

After successfully making a lavender and rosemary soap recently, I was bent on making more soaps. Today, I saw a post on making jasmine lavender soap from Bulk Apothecary. I had all the ingredients on hand so I proceeded to make it though I halved the recipe.

I got my clear glycerine melt-and-pour soap base from PurpleButterflyCraft for Php 115 for 500 grams. I used about 4/5 of the block to reach 1 and 1/2 cups of soap.

I still used the full 1 tsp of lavender buds that the recipe called for. The lavender buds were from my previous purchase when I made the lavender and rosemary soap.

For vitamin e, I bought Myra capsules from the pharmacy. They were not very expensive but were not cheap either. I had to pierce the capsules to get the vitamin e oil out which took some time to do since I had to squeeze out 1/2 tbsp worth of the oil. I will try to find vitamin e in a bottle with a dropper next time.

My white jasmine essential oil was from another online shop that I lost the details of. It came with a dropper which made it easier to use the right amount (1/2 tsp for my soap). I believe it was repackaged from a larger, more expensive bottle.

I chopped the soap base into small cubes for easier melting. I popped it in the microwave and heated it for 2 minutes at 30-second intervals. Then, I poured the vitamin e, lavender buds and the white jasmine essential oil. I mixed them only a little bit to avoid air bubbles before pouring them into a mold.

Yes, I have proper soap molds this time (yay!!!) after buying from Raw Essentials. I got this mold for only Php 171. The shop has other shapes and sizes of soap molds that I am planning to get in the future.

There was a little left over that I poured into a rectangle soap bar mold but it only filled half of one cavity.

After about an hour, the soaps were already set!

Because the glycerin soap base I used was not a suspension-type pf base, most of the buds settled in one place rather than getting suspended in the middle as I would have wanted. It does not matter much to me though.

I wrapped them in clear plastic because glycerin soaps have a tendency to “sweat” and form unsightly beads around them. I think they would make cute gifts!

It lathered up though not as much as the previous soap I made. The scent was not too strong but did leave some trace of the scent on my hands. It left my skin feeling squeaky clean but not too tight and dry. I love it!

Do you have melt-and-pour soap recipes that I should try? What combinations of essential oils would be amazing? Please do let me know in the comments. I would really appreciate it.