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5 Amazing Homemade Soap Recipes For Natural Living

5 Amazing Homemade Soap Recipes For Natural Living

The idea of making your own soap can seem bizarre at first. It is not like soap is expensive, and nor is store-bought soap that harmful. So why go through all that effort?

The thing is, is that soap-making is not actually all that difficult. Yes, there are safety issues when it comes to using lye (and if you’re making soap without lye, you’re not making soap). But if you take some basic safety precautions, you will be fine and discover that in addition to the ease of making soap, you can put your own natural, artistic touch into it.

Different soap recipes can have different effects, so don’t hesitate to try and try until you find your favorite soap. Here are five easy recipes which can get you started on the road to homemade soap:

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1. Olive Oil Soap

At a fundamental level, every soap recipe consists of mixing together three ingredients: oil, lye, and some other liquid. Olive oil is one of the easiest and most popular oils to use for soap cooking, though coconut oil is another popular, basic choice.

A general soap recipe will work like this: first, you take your oils and heat them until they reach around 100 degrees Fahrenheit, preferably in a slow cooker. Then while wearing protective equipment, you mix together lye and water by pouring the lye into the water (and this cannot be stressed enough: DO NOT POUR THE WATER INTO THE LYE). After that, you mix everything together until they reach a firm, but not solid consistency. Then you pour the ingredients into a mold and let it wait. Some soap makers will wait as long as a year, but there is nothing wrong with using your homemade soap bar after a few days.

Soap made just with olive oil is known as “castile soap” and is named after the Castile region in Spain. It is known for being fairly soft, though there are ways to make it harder. If you’re interested in a more detailed recipe for how to make Castile soap, then check out this recipe and get to work.

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2. Peppermint Soap

If you think that making soap is going to be too difficult or dangerous, there are ways to simplify the process. One way is to use a soap base such as Goats Milk Soap Base, which you can order on Amazon. When you get the soap base, melt it inside a microwave. Then you can add peppermint oil or peppermint zest and mix it to ensure that the soap has a good consistency. You can also use other oils if you’re interested such as lemon.

A peppermint-laced soap smells fantastic, ensures that your body smells fantastic after you’re done showering, and is great for your skin because it contains so many nutrients and vitamins.

3. Oatmeal Soap

Soaps may largely consist of oils, liquids, and lye, but those do not have to be the only ingredients you use. Solid ingredients such as herbs and flowers can be added into any soap mixture to give the soap new fragrances and textures. Mint is a good choice, as are fruit rinds and berries.

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But my personal favorite solid ingredient is oatmeal. While we should know the health benefits of eating oatmeal, oatmeal can also be used in other ways to improve our skin. Using oatmeal in the soap adds chemicals called saponins, which can cleanse our face from germs and dirty which harm your skin.

4. Pumpkin Soap

One of the best parts of making soap is that you can customize it to what you need. This can take on a health perspective – for example, a soap made for people with sensitive skin should use more oil and less lye.

But customization can be done just for fine, such as a pumpkin soap which is just perfect for fall. If you want to make pumpkin soap, follow the standard soap making recipes discussed above, but mix pumpkin batter in with everything else. Vanilla blends extremely well with pumpkin, but don’t use more than a couple teaspoons. Otherwise, it will turn your soap brown.

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The result is a hearty, rich-smelling soap which works just great on your skin and leaves you smelling of fall.

5. Christmas Soap

In addition to all the wonderful benefits of homemade soap talked about above, soap can also serve as a great holiday gift. Once your friends and family realize the work you put in to make soap from scratch, and feel the benefits of the natural ingredients you used, they will appreciate you all the more.

This recipe offers a fantastic path to creating a red, white, and green soap perfect for the holiday season. And combining with it with peppermint just makes too much sense for a Christmas soap. Don’t worry about using oxide in your soup, too. Just remember that it’s a form of coloring, because soap is an art.

Featured photo credit: a- kang via flickr.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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