Saturday, August 30, 2014

A Little Less Laboring on Labor Day

Labor Day is a national holiday which most of us don't really pay a whole lot of attention to - except that it's the unofficial end of summer.  It's the other bookend holiday, with Memorial Day being the start of summer in May.  Since Labor Day lines up so well with the back-to-school rush, and the dwindling sunshine, it makes the perfect marking point for us to have our final hurrah - taking the last possible weekend for a little vacation getaway, or gathering friends and family to squeak in one more pool and grilling party before fall sets in.

Labor Day, however, is a little bit bigger than that, as you might imagine. It is a day that pays tribute to the contributions and achievements of American workers. That is no small thing. This country was built around the hard work and back-breaking efforts of millions of Americans.  

In the late 1800s, at the height of the Industrial Revolution in the United States, the average American worked 12-hour days and seven-day weeks in order to eke out a basic living. Children as young as 5 or 6 toiled in mills, factories and mines across the country, earning a fraction of wages paid to adults. People of all ages, especially the poor and new immigrants, faced extremely unsafe working conditions, with very little access to fresh air, bathrooms or breaks.

As manufacturing continued to outgrow agriculture as the mainstay of American employment, labor unions, which first appeared in the late 1700's, grew more prominent and vocal. They began organizing strikes and rallies to protest lousy work conditions and convince employers to renegotiate hours and pay. Some of these events turned violent - with both demonstrators and police being killed. But other rallies were the start of new traditions. On September 5, 1882, 10,000 workers took unpaid time off to march from City Hall to Union Square in New York City, holding the first Labor Day parade in U.S. history.
The idea of a “workingmen’s holiday" caught on in cities across the country, and states started passing legislation to recognize that first Monday in September. But it took a wave of riots in the wake of the highly contentious Pullman Palace Car strike in Chicago to finally move Congress to make it a federal holiday in 1894.
Unions, strikes, worker's rights and pay issues have raised battles continuously since then and it's a constant even in today's news.  But while there's always going to be two sides to every fight, I think it's important to take a minute to appreciate all the hard work that generations have put into making our country excellent, and giving us a first class reputation in so many fields of endeavor: science, technology, manufacturing and so much more. It's the every working folk who even now, are paving (some even literally) the way to our future.
Even if I have to work a little bit myself this Monday, I'm going to take a moment to give thanks to not only those long-suffering, tireless workers (even kids), but the strikers and unions who made it possible for so many Americans to have living wage paychecks, regular hours and even vacations. 

Thursday, August 28, 2014

The Importance of Moisturizing

If you think regularly using moisturizer on your skin is just for the ladies, or just to feel pretty, you are dead wrong.  Moisturizing is absolutely vital to healthy skin. 

The human skin is the body's largest organ and requires regular attention to stay young, healthy and free of problems. Moisturizers prevent and treat dry skin.  They also protect sensitive skin, improve skin tone and texture, and mask imperfections.

At the most basic level, moisturizers hold water in the outermost layer of skin.  They also act as a temporary barrier, keeping in your own natural skin oils, hindering evaporation, and warding off exposure to the elements.  They also soften rough or dry patches, because that crocodile look is so not appealing.

What Moisturizer to Use

Using lotion or moisturizer on a daily basis should be part of any good skin care routine, but some are better than others. The moisturizer that's best for you depends on several factors, including your skin type, your age, and whether you have specific conditions (hello acne).  Generally choose a lotion with vitamins and sun protection (SPF 15 or more).
  • Vitamin A and Vitamin B5 increase firmness and build moisture levels.
  • Anti-Oxidant Vitamins C and E help protect new skin and fight skin damage.
  • PABA-Free SPF 15 sunscreens help prevent premature lines and wrinkles.
Take into consideration your own personal skin type too.  General guidelines are:
  • Normal skin. Normal skin is not too dry and not too oily. To maintain this natural moisture balance, use a water-based moisturizer that has a light, nongreasy feel. 
  • Dry skin. To restore moisture to dry skin, choose a heavier, oil-based moisturizer that contains ingredients that help keep your skin hydrated. For very dry and cracked skin, look for a richer shea butter or cocoa butter type moisturizer which has more staying power than creams do and are more effective at preventing water from evaporating from your skin.
  • Oily skin. Oily skin is prone to acne and breakouts. Though oily, such skin still needs moisture, especially after using skin care products that remove oils and dry out the skin. A light moisturizer can also help protect your skin after washing. Choose a water-based product that's labeled noncomedogenic, which means it won't clog pores.
  • Sensitive skin. Sensitive skin is susceptible to skin irritations, redness, itching or rashes. Look for a moisturizer that contains soothing ingredients, such as chamomile or aloe, and doesn't contain potential irritants, such as fragrances, dyes, preservatives, chemicals galore. Also, avoid products containing acids, which can irritate sensitive skin.
  • Mature skin. As you age, your skin tends to become drier because your oil-producing glands become less active. To keep your skin soft and well hydrated, choose an oil-based moisturizer, along with antioxidants or alpha hydroxy acids to combat wrinkles. These ingredients help hold in moisture and prevent flaky, scaly skin.
Skin type can vary quite a lot - it's not set for life.  Things like environment, hormonal changes that occur in pregnancy and menopause, and disease can change your natural skin type temporarily.
When to Moisturize
The most important times to use moisturizer are after a shower, bath, shaving or exfoliation, even if this is a couple of times a day. Moisturizing after a shower is important because hot water strips moisture and oils out of your skin, leaving it parched and dry. While hot water may be relaxing, it also wreaks havoc on your skin. Don't skip the moisturizer.
Moisturizing Helps Skin Stay Young and Reduces Skin Problems
The skin on your face, ears, neck and chest are very sensitive to environmental changes and are the most frequent areas of the body known to develop skin cancer. These areas of skin shed cells more rapidly than the rest of your body, so they need moisture to do their repair work, and that allows for younger skin cells to rise to the surface (that fresh, healthy look). The gentle massaging action that happens as you're applying your moisturizer helps stimulate blood circulation and new cell generation. 
Moisturizing everyday can reduce the chance of developing extreme dryness or oiliness. Absolutely counter-intuitive, but over-washing and/or using too many harsh, drying acne or blemish creams can actually cause acne. Skin needs to keep a certain natural balance, and your oil glands will begin to produce more oils - actually over-producing oils to compensate, causing more trouble than you started with. So even if you're fighting zits, continue to moisturize daily.
Quick Tips for A Natural Glow
  • Watch the water temperature – Hot showers and baths are not good for your skin. Shower for a shorter amount of time and with warm water. You’ll see the difference in your skin.
  • Pat dry, don’t rub dry—After a shower gently pat your skin dry instead of rubbing your skin dry. Your skin will stay just a tad bit damp which will be sealed in when you moisturize, giving you a bigger boost.  Rubbing is just irritating anyway.
  • Drink more water – the moisture your skin receives also comes from your body. Yep, that 8 cups a day rule. Or at least close to that. And eating clean never hurt either.
  • Use really good soap - Handmade with the best ingredients (like mine) wouldn't hurt :)
  • Use a humidifier – If you live in a dry place or during winter months when the heated air is quite dry, a humidifier can add much needed moisture to the air.
  • Give extra special attention to your hands — hands show the affects of a dry environment more than any other part of the body. Apply lotion (or a great natural salve or balm) after hand washing.
  • Wear sunscreen when outdoors – nothing will save your skin more than protecting it from the harmful UV rays of the sun. Wear a low, or high, SPF sunscreen depending on your outdoor activities.
  • Apply lip balm regularly — applying a good, natural lip balm frequently helps heal dry, cracked lips. 
  • Moisturize, Moisturize, Moisturize!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014


I've spent the last few months trying to answer frequently asked customer questions. Just stuff people ask me about all the time. With my new(ish) monthly newsletter and the blog here, I'm trying to cover the bases, one at a time, like:

How long does the soap last?
What's your best seller?
What's the best soap dish?

But there are so many other - and even more basic - questions that people want to know about soap in general, my soap specifically, and lots of other product and business questions. That's the kind of stuff that should be answered right up front in the FAQ page on the web site, right?

I wrote up my FAQ page a million years ago when I first built the site. I think it was a few years after they discovered the earth was round, or right around the time of Edison and the light bulb. Anyway, it was way, way too long ago. And I am embarrassed to admit that I haven't even thought about it since then. There's just too many things bouncing around vying for attention when you wear ALL the hats, and some things just slip through the cracks. That's not an excuse. That's an explanation.

So  . . . with much fanfare . . . TA DAH!! The brand spanking new FAQ page. And this one hopefully covers the whole kit and caboodle. If you see something missing, please let me know. Or a topic that I haven't covered, ditto. I expect there will be corrections and additions as I try this on and twirl around a bit in the mirror.

If you want to see it live, head over with this link. If you can't be bothered to click, or you're like me and your clicker finger is pooped out and you think you might be developing carpal tunnel, you can scroll down right here with the full text below. Use your thumb on the little down-arrow key - that's what I'm doing.  It doesn't hurt as much.


What’s the deal with handmade soap? Why are they better than Dove or any of the other commercial brands?
Short answer: handmade soap is a million times kinder to your skin, better for your health in general, and has minimum ecological impact too. 
Longer version: Commercially made soaps are harsh, petroleum-derived detergents rather than real soap, often made with leftover animal fats from the industrial meat industry or recycled cooking oils that have already been used in the food industry (hello french fry grease and used popcorn oil!). They contain all kinds of synthetic, chemical ingredients, like preservatives, which often cause dryness, sensitivities and itchiness.  Some people think that’s normal, since that’s all they’ve ever used on their skin.  It’s not.  Healthy skin doesn’t itch when you get out of the shower.
In the soap making process, glycerin is a naturally occurring byproduct and is a really silky, moisturizing part of a handmade soap bar. The commercial soaps, always looking for a way to increase profits, remove the good stuff for use in the cosmetic business, leaving the soap much harsher and drying.
And when you realize that 99% of what you put on your skin gets absorbed into your body, you want to choose products with less ingredients altogether and more natural stuff that soothes your skin.  Fewer ingredients equals less chance for irritation, higher potency nutirent benefits, and smaller overall ecological impact too.  Have you seen the ingredient list on a bar of Dove “Beauty Bar” soap? You need a degree in chemistry just to read it --
sodium cocoyl isethionate
(derived from coconut oil)
stearic acid
(synthetic sodium salt)
coconut acid
sodium tallowate
(soap from animal fats)
sodium isethionate
sodium stearate
(synthetic sodium salt)
cocamidopropyl betaine
(synthetic surfactant; may cause irritation)
sodium cocoate or palm kernelate
(we use palm kernel oil)
(artificial scent)
tetrasodium EDTA
(preservative with no known benefit to skin)
trisodium etidronate
(Butylated hydroxytoluene; cancer suspect agent; may cause reproductive defects; harmful if swallowed; eye, respiratory tract and skin irritant)
titanium dioxide
(whitening agent)
sodium dodecyl benzene sulfonate
(suspected gastrointestinal and liver toxin; possible neurotoxin; waste water hazard)
Do you really want to wash up with all that in the shower?  Soapworks Studio soaps have just a short list of food grade vegetable oils, a bit of natural colorant often derived from actual food, and a scent which is most likely botanical essential oils, though we use a few high  quality fragrance oils by demand also.
Why are Soapworks Studio soaps better?
We’ve taken that whole handmade soap thing and kicked it up a notch.  If Emerill were here, he’d give it a “BAM.” We choose the highest quality ingredients, organic and free trade when possible, and local and sustainable when available too.  We’re constantly sourcing better stuff to put in our products, because we’re putting this stuff on ourselves too.  These are some of the smoooothest, longest lasting soaps you’ll find anywhere, with really fun seasonal ingredients. Who doesn’t love to lather up with pumpkin and cinnamon in October, or suds with tomato, cucumber and yogurt in the heat of summer?
How are your soaps made?
We handcraft our soaps in the time-honored traditional way, called the cold process method – cooked on a stove-top and stirred by hand.  All of the products are made in small batches with great carem ensuring freshness, quality, and the highest standards. 
The soap bars are all vegetable-based, utilizing food-grade olive oil, organic coconut oil, sustainably harvested palm oil, plus luxurious nourishing organic shea butter. All of the formulations are super-fatted, meaning they have higher levels of unsaponified oils, creating a glycerin-rich, highly moisturizing bar for all skin types and sensitivites. The clouds of rich, luxurious lather are soothing and healthy for your skin.

Colors and textures are created from organic herbs, spices, grains, clays, minerals and sea vegetables. No synthetic dyes, preservatives, fixatives, germicides or extra fillers are ever added.  The unique scents are made primarily with pure botanical essential oils and a few of them contain the highest quality fragrance oils.
Why should I pay $4.50 for a bar of soap when the supermarket brands are so much cheaper?
For starters, a bar of Soapworks Studio soap will last at least twice as long as a bar of supermarket soap, usually outlasting that stuff by three times or more.  And then you factor in a whole bunch of extra body lotions and creams you need to buy to counteract all that dryness and/or itchiness.  Or doctor’s appointments because you’ve developed skin issues like dermatitis, eczema, psoriasis – many of which have been caused by harsh soaps, or cruel laundry detergents and dryer sheets. So you spend a few cents more up front on a bar of really good soap, but you feel great, your skin is healthy and you’ve saved a ton of money on long term effects down the road.  What’s the better deal?
How long will a bar of your soap last in the shower?
My customers are often amazed at how long a bar of my soap lasts, right down to the very thinnest sliver.  As a standard rule of thumb, they will last 2 to 3 times longer than a commercially made soap.  But obviously this depends on how many people are using that same bar, how long their showers are, and how they handle it too – like if they are using a good soap dish that lets the soap dry out between uses.  The blend of oils we use ensure that it will be a hard, durable bar of soap. They weigh approximately 4.5 ounces at the start, but continue to lose a bit of water weight due to evaporation as they continue to cure.  Although the bar may weigh just a tad less, these bars will have a bit more longevity too.  Grandma used to unwrap her bars of soap and leave them in the linen closet for a year before she used them, just so they would last longer.  We don’t recommend that, since we are using fresher and foodie ingredients, plus we want you to enjoy the scent while it still has a lovely fragrance.
What is the shelf life of a bar of your soap?
Commercial soaps have a shelf life of forever, like a twinkie.  We use fresh, natural and sometimes food ingredients in our soaps, but no chemical preservatives, so we recommend that you use them within about six months.  That way they are at their absolute peak.  If you wait for a year, they are still pretty fabulous, but some of the lighter scents will begin to fade.  I’ve had some soaps in storage for several years that are still scented and wonderful. But I’ve also had soaps in the summer heat begin to turn a little “off” due to the high content of nutrient oils in them.  These are still perfectly fine to use without causing irritation, just not as lovely in scent or color.
Does your soap leave scum in my bathroom?
Good handmade soaps do leave a natural residue on bathroom surfaces, yes they do, it’s true.  It’s a super easy clean-up with warm water and any basic cleanser, which we find doesn’t take any more time and effort to clean your bathroom than usual.  Any body soap product that claims not to leave a residue is most likely a detergent, probably with a bunch of additives. If it’s stripping the natural oils of the soap off your bathroom sink, it’s certainly stripping it off your body too.
Is your soap antibacterial?
Yes! But not in the way the advertised commercial antibacterial soaps are. Scientific studies have repeatedly shown that using regular soap and water for a full minute removes 99.5% of all germs that any antibacterial soap does.  In addition these antibiotics have been proven to be so harmful that Triclosan in particular has been banned from all products in the state of Minnesota.  The overuse of antibacterial products of all kinds is a major factor in the rise of those deadly antibiotic-resistant superbugs.  By killing off all bacteria, we are destroying the good bacteria as well, which are proven to boost our health and immunity, and fight disease too. Good old soap and water keeps our natural ecosystem and wellness in balance and perfect harmony.
Are your products vegan?
Everything we make is 100% vegetarian or vegetable-based. All of our soaps are vegan, except for the Oatmeal, Buttermilk and Honey soap, which uses both milk and honey in the recipe.  Any other “honey” named soap is for fragrance description only and doesn’t actually have honey in the ingredients.
Our lip balms, Shea Butter Balm, and Healing Salve use local beeswax in them.
Everything else – bath salts, aromatic sprays, etc. are most definitely vegan.
Do you do animal testing?
No way!! Never ever ever. Though some people have used the soaps on their dogs with great results. And other customers have used the aromatic sprays on their pets with pleasant smelling outcomes too.
Which soap is the most moisturizing?
All of our soaps are richly moisturizing and are formulated with the same blend of base oils.  Every bar is loaded with extra emollients, especially lush shea butter, to soften and soothe skin. If someone is extra sensitive or looking for the absolute most-est one, we recommend the Oatmeal, Buttermilk & Honey because the addition of fresh, whole buttermilk, real honey and powdered oatmeal has the benefits of those classic beautifiers that even Cleopatra bathed in.  And the Bergamot Shea Butter soap has a smidge more shea butter than the standard recipe, if you want to take it up a notch.
Which bar is best for sensitive skin?
We’ve gotten lots of compliments on the gentle nature of our soap bars from loads of sensitive skin customers.  We usually advise people with concerns to stick to the all-natural ones that use botanic essential oils instead of fragrance oils.  (The ingredient listing for each bar will have a special note if they are all natural.) And we also make a Pure Soap, which is 100% color free, fragrance free, additive free – it’s just the plain soap with absolutely nothing else in it.
I’ve heard that we should boycott palm oil because the industry is devastating the tropical forests and orangutan populations in Indonesia.  Do you use palm oil?
Yes, we do use palm oil in our soap recipe. While it is used in smaller quantities than some of the other base oils, it is essential to our soap's creamy, luscious lather as well as the longevity and hardness of the bar. No other vegetable oils can replace the quality that palm oil brings to soap. And like all crops really, it's not what is grown, but how it's grown.
And yes, the palm oil industry is destroying the wildlife and the tropical forests in their efforts to grow their local economies, primarily in Indonesia.  While the food industry accounts for over 95% of the palm oil use, the soap and skin care industry has their own stake in the issue.  No matter how small our cottage business is in that big picture, our beliefs and personal responsibility are at the heart of what we do, and we take extra care to purchase ingredients and supplies from sources that promote environmental sustainability.  The palm oil that is used in our soap recipe is RSPO certified (Round Table for Sustainable Palm Oil) as 100% sustainably grown. This organization is working to protect the environment by utilizing previously cleared land and protecting conservation of valuable forests, increasing yields and harvest through better agricultural practices, and protecting the rights of workers and small farmers too.  For more complete information, see our blog post on the issue.
What do you use to fragrance your products?
We use a combination of natural essential oils and high quality fragrance oils.  Whenever possible, we like to utilize nature’s brilliant gifts by using top grade essential oils, distilled from pure plant material.  If you are concerned about using all natural soaps, there are many of these on our list.  Check the ingredient list where the scent will be essential oils only and they will have the “100% natural” tag.
We also use synthetic fragrance oils in some of our soaps and products. We strive to give our customers the best of both worlds, and want to include some of the seasonal fragrances (pear, vanilla, lilac) that are much loved and anticipated. These oils are manufactured especially for skin care and cosmetics and are proven to be safe. We are constantly searching to find the best possible ingredients, including phthalate-free fragrance oils when we can, and always using the highest quality on the market.
Do you make a liquid soap?
Short answer: no.  There seems to be two camps – the bar soap folks and the liquid pump soap folks.  We’re in the bar soap camp, because we believe they are healthier. Plus we just plain like to hold onto something substantial in the shower - not some plastic “puff”. There’s no use going back and forth on the debate between which one is less messy or easier to use – it’s really just a personal preference and both sides go their own way.  We’re sticking with the solid form.
Of note, however, most liquid “soaps” are not soap at all, but a lot of water mixed with a detergent, preservatives, clarifiers, emulsifiers, stabilizers, surfactants, fragrances, etc., which are often harsh and drying.
Where can I find Soapworks Studio products?
The full, up-to-the- minute line of Soapworks Studio products can always be found here on this web site.  We sell our items primarily through craft shows, street fairs, festivals, and mail order -- through the seasonal newsletters and this web site.  For the full list of shows we are participating in, please check out the Events tab. 
Are there any retail stores in my area that carry Soapworks Studio products?
Unfortunately, due to the fleeting nature of many of the seasonal Soapworks Studio products and the small quantity we produce, we're unable to do a large wholesale business. Preferring to keep the collection small, special, freshly made, and in harmony with the seasons, we promise that we are able to offer you excellent quality at a reasonable price.
Having said that, there are just a select few shops which carry Soapworks Studio Products, and they are listed under the “Stockists” button at the bottom of the page.
If I don’t do that whole internet shopping thing, is there another way to order your products?
Yes, you can also call the studio during office hours (9am-5pm Mon-Fri) at 206-322-4503 and order directly by phone using Visa, MasterCard, or Discover.   You can also send in the order form attached to the most recent brochure, with a check or credit card number for payment. There is also a printable order form that you can print and mail in with your payment, located at the bottom of the page.
Do you wholesale your products?
Due to the seasonal nature of our products, and the limited quantities we produce, we are doing just a little bit of wholesale or consignment sales at this time.  Please email us at if you are interested.
Ooops!  I thought I saw the shipping charges when I was checking out, but they don't show up on my email confirmation.  What are the shipping charges and how does that work?
The shopping cart affiliated with this web site cannot calculate shipping charges because I have chosen flat rates based on the amount of the order, rather than by weight calculations.  When you are placing your order, this chart will appear in red on the page where you fill in your name, address and credit information.  Since the shopping cart is not calculating the cost for shipping, it will not appear in your email confirmation -- but it will be charged to your credit card exactly as explained, and will appear in the actual invoice that comes with your order.  That final invoice is your actual receipt for the amount charged.   It will include taxes too if you are local.  The chart is as follows -- but if there are any questions, please don't hesitate to call and ask!
Orders totalling:
$20 or less = $5.00
$21.00 to $35.00 = $6.50
$36 to $60.00 = $ 8.00
$61.00 to $99.00 = $10.00
$100 and above = 10% of order total
One final note:  The 4 bars for $16.00 discount that is mentioned in all our material will also be calculated at the time of transaction and will appear on your final invoice.
I don't see your (blank) soap on the list anymore?  or I used to buy your (blank) spray and it's not listed here?  Do you still have it?
One of the most unique aspects of the Soapworks Studio business is the seasonal focus.  We are always experimenting with seasonal scents and ingredients, and creating new product ideas that are available just for a short window of time.   While our regular menu remains standard, four times each year as the seasons change, we announce a new menu of seasonal scents and products.  These are made in smaller quantity and available for a limited time, until the item is sold out. If you find something you can't live without - stock up! 
However, the fragrances that become huge hits or get requested often, usually show up again.   I plan my new scents around requests and customer feedback, so it's always great to hear from you.  Aromatic spray fragrances can almost always be made out of season as a custom order, so don't hesitate to call.  And out-of-season soap scents are also sometimes still available - just quietly resting here at the studio - it never hurts to ask. 
For more detailed Shipping Information, click here.
For more information on our returns and exchanges policies, click here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Totally Coconuts for Coconut Oil

Everywhere you go lately, it's coconuts, coconuts, coconuts.  The list of health and wellness benefits is a mile long and growing. It's the new miracle that not only helps your heart, digestion, metabolism and weight loss, it boosts your beauty too. You can now find every kind of coconut something under the sun at your local grocery store - and drug store too!  

Usually this kind of craze (trending! ding!) makes me craze-eeee and I tend to be a bit skeptical about it all. But the science and research is undeniable. Coconut actually IS good for us, in a whole lot of ways. Cook with it. Eat it raw. Gargle with it. And rub it all over yourself - your skin and your hair.

I'm sure you've seen lists all over the internet that tell you what to do with it and why (you might want to check out this, or this, or this), but don't forget to come back here. I wanted to chat a little bit about the coconut oil I use in my soap.  This is not a new development, it's been there since the very beginning, in the first bar of soap I ever made right up until now. And it's still a good thing, even if it's suddenly "trendy."

One of the primary oils in my soap (#2 in fact, after olive oil) is coconut oil. I use a certified organic coconut oil, which is odorless, unlike the very fragrant tropical extra virgin stuff that everyone is eating right now. 

There used to be a rumor about how coconut oil was "drying" when used in soap. That was and is totally false. It has been proven repeatedly to be a really super moisturizer for skin with antioxidant properties, helping protect against environmental and free-radical damage. It's also known to alleviate redness and inflammation, be a bacterial and fungal fighter, and provide sun protection by screening ultraviolet exposure. There are literally thousands of DIY beauty recipes that begin with coconut oil.

Using coconut oil in your soap recipe gains you all these skin benefits too.  But the primary reason to use coconut oil is the rich, creamy, luscious lather it gives to a bar of soap. Nothing else even comes close. And I just don't feel like I'm getting clean if there is no lathering or sudsing up.

Blended with olive oil, palm oil, and shea butter, this coconut oil makes a pretty darn good bar of soap if I say so myself.

Do you have a favorite way to eat or use coconut oil? Please share! We'd love to hear about it in the comments below.

Thursday, August 07, 2014


"The first week of August hangs at the very top of summer, the top of the live-long year, like the highest seat of a Ferris wheel when it pauses in its turning. The weeks that  come before are only a climb from balmy spring, and those that follow a drop to the chill of autumn.  But the first week of August is motionless, and hot. It is curiously silent, too, with blank white dawns and glaring noons, and sunsets smeared with with too much color.

- Natalie Babbit,
Tuck Everlasting