Why Goats Milk?

Do you know why soap makers use goats milk in their soap?

There are many reasons we love to use goats milk in our soap.  Goats milk is full of vitamins and minerals that our skin loves.  It has more vitamin B-6 & vitamin B-12 than cows milk.  It’s also rich in vitamin A.  Goats milk contains natural alpha-hydroxy acids which has rejuvenating and softening properties. Goats milk also helps create soap that has a pH level that is closer to our skin’s pH than soap without it.  All of this means, goats milk helps us create a soap that is extra gentle and nourishing for people with dry or sensitive skin.

Handmade soap in general is superior to mass manufactured soap because it is real soap.  Most soaps you buy, including solid bar and liquid soaps are detergent, and not soap.  They contain additives, chemical preservatives, sulfates, and artificial fragrance and colors.  Just read the labels.   These are things our skin can do without.  After all, our skin is our largest organ.  It absorbs and retains lots of chemicals from our environment and products we apply everyday.  Changing to handmade soap is one simple step you can take toward living a more natural life.  You and your skin will thank you.

Find our Oatmeal Milk & Honey Goats Milk Soap at www.serenadeproducts.com.  To see how this soap was made, check out our previous post “Time to Make Soap”.

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Time to Make Soap – Oatmeal Milk & Honey

After a successful weekend at Defeat of Jesse James Days in Northfield, I found myself sold out of my all time favorite soap, Oatmeal Milk & Honey.  So, on Saturday, with a little time to myself,  I headed down to my shop (it’s in the lower level of my home) to mix up a batch of soap.  First I had the hardest time deciding whether to make the bars round or rectangular.  I spent this summer selling bars in both shapes and collecting opinions from people on which they prefer, and honestly, I don’t think people really care about the shape of their soap.  They just care about how big it is and how great it smells.  Hmm……so I decided to make this batch in my rectangular loaf molds.  Here they are all lined and ready to go.

I’m using goats milk, real honey and colloidal oatmeal, which is just a fancy term for finely ground up oatmeal.  All these ingredients make the bar of soap super moisturizing and great for dry winter skin. The first step in making my soap is mixing the goats milk, water and lye.  I had pre-frozen my fresh goats milk and used an ice bath the help keep the temperature down as not to burn the goats milk.  When you mix lye with any liquid, a chemical reaction occurs and heat is produced.  The lye mixtures almost instantly heats up.

As the goat’s milk heats up it turns a brighter yellow color.

Now it’s time to measure out all my oils and butters.  Just like cooking, right!

I usually add my liquid oils to my big stainless steel pot first. Then, after I measure the solid oils and butters I add them each to the big mixing pot.  I use a single electric burner to melt them all together.

Here they are, all my oils and butters melting away.  I usually melt them on low so they don’t get too hot.

Usually at this time, I go check on the kiddos, make sure the house isn’t burning down, break up any fights and make my way back to my shop.  I’ll need to measure out my fragrance and grind up the oatmeal.

Now it’s a waiting game, I have to wait for the oils and the lye mixture to cool down a little.  I usually like to pour them around 100 degrees or cooler.  It can take a long time for the oils and lye to cool, so I go back to my mom duties for a while and will come back to the soap later.  A couple loads of laundry done and I’m back at soap making.  The oils and lye are about the same temperature and now it’s time to make soap! I put back on my gloves, eye protection,  and apron.  I slowly pour the lye mixture into the melted oils and butters.

Stir, Stir, Stir and the creamy goodness starts to take shape…..

I use a drill to quickly get the soap to trace.  It saves my arm from falling off, stirring can be a real workout, and it keeps my soap free of bubbles.   Many soap makers use hand blenders, like the hand held blenders used for making drinks or malts.  It does get your soap to trace really fast, but I hate all the bubbles it leaves in the soap.  Trace is a soaping term that just means that the lye and oils have completely mixed and have started to change into soap.  The soap starts to get thicker and creamier at this point, kinda like pudding.  Just like cooking, right!

I add the oatmeal, the honey, and the fragrance at this point.  I stir it for just another minute to make sure its good and mixed in.  Now it’s time to pour the soap into the molds that I lined ahead of time.  It smells amazing, and goes in smooth and level.  I cover my molds with their lids and place them into a cooler so the soap get plenty of insulation for the soaponification process.  Soaponification is another soaping term.  It’s just referring to the chemical process that occurs when soap is made.

After a day or so, I remove the soap from the cooler and slip the full loaves of soap out of the molds.  Soon I’ll cut the soap loaves into individual bars.  I do this by hand, one bar at a time.  I do my best to cut all the bars at about 5.25 to 5.65 oz.  My method is not perfect by any means.  That’s part of the charm of handmade! When the soap cures it will have lost some of it’s water weight.  By cutting the bars larger, my customers are still getting a bar of soap that’s approximately 5oz.  I cure all my soap for a minimum of  4-6 weeks before I wrap it up to sell.  The one thing about soap….the older it is, the better it is and the longer it will last.  Look for my handmade Oatmeal Milk & Honey soap on my website  www.serenadeproducts.com in a few weeks or on my Etsy shop SerenadeNaturals.

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And the winner is……………………

Congratulations to Karla from Apple Valley, the winner of the $20 gift certificate for the Serenade Natural Products drawing at the Dakota County Fair.

What a great week at the fair! Although the 12 hours days grew long, I really had lots of fun getting to know my fair neighbors.  I sat next to the most amazing artists www.paintertainment.com who did face painting all week for kids and a few adults who were maybe kids at heart.  My niece Zoey came to the fair with my sister and see got her face painted.  She loved it!  I got to chat with Carol and Harold from Cruise Holiday South Metro who gave me many ideas for a great winter vacation.  My neighbor, Joy, from Trinity Care Campus in Farmington, was a “joy”, as always.  The Dakota County Gun Club was right across from me and invited me to a their Ladies Day at the gun club.  I read two books, The Tree Spirited Woman by Colleen Baldrica, a local author and the classic, To Kill a Mockingbird.  Both books were really great reads.  I don’t know if I ever read To Kill a Mockingbird as a kid, if I did I really don’t remember.  It’s a great story from the child’s perspective about growing up and learning tolerance and life lessons about respect, self-worth and equality.  I also played a lot of solitaire on my phone.   And the food, of course was delicious fair food; cheese curds, a pork chop on a stick, cotton candy, just to list a few!  The best fair food find, had to be an amazing cupcake from A Cupcake Social www.acupcakesocial.com  food truck.  It was strawberry shortcake with real strawberry filling and buttercream frosting.  DELICIOUS!  Good thing I didn’t discover them until Saturday or I would have eaten many more.

Thank you to all my repeat customers who came out to visit us at the fair.  A huge thank you to all our new customers who were excited to try our handmade soaps and bath & beauty products.  I have to thank my kids for helping keep each other occupied while I was gone all week and for Gabe, who helped do all the heavy lifting and set up at the fair.

Remember, you can find Serenade Natural Products online all year-long at www.serenadeproducts.com.  Look on my Events and Shows page for my local schedule.  I’ll be updating it often as our Holiday schedule is set.

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Dakota County Fair is right around the corner………..

It’s that time of year again.  Dakota County Fair is in just a week away, and I’m thinking of all the long 12 hour days ahead of me.  It’s a great local fair with so many great attractions.  I’m looking forward to reconnecting with all my “fair” friends from last year.  I have a great appreciation for how hard organizers, crafters & vendors work to make these community events successful.  The long hours, the unpredictable weather, the coordination of so many factors is just amazing.  For me, the fair is a break from my regular life.  I get to go meet and talk with so many interesting people, sell the soaps I love, and if I’m lucky, make lots of new friends.  Stop by and say hello!  Visit Serenade Natural Products in the vendor South Hall from August 6th – August 12th, 2012 at the Dakota County Fair in Farmington MN.

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Our First Day at the Farmington Farmers Market

Our first day at the Farmington Farmers Market was a great success.  I had Gabe, my oldest son, as my partner in crime.  He was a huge help! Thanks Gabe for all your hard work!  We managed to figure out our tent, get set up, and even make a few sales. It was a sunny beautiful day with just a little breeze. If you missed us, don’t worry, we’ll be back at the Farmington Farmers Market on Thursday July 19th & July 26th.

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100% Natural DEET Free Bug Off is back!

Serenade Natural Products has our 100% Natural DEET Free Bug Off Spray and Lotion Bars in stock for the summer.  Get yours today online at www.serenadeproducts.com or come and see us at the Fong’s Indoor Market (4770 Pleasant St SE Prior Lake, MN) this Saturday 8am-1pm or at the Farmington Farmers Market (on Third Street in Farmington, MN) next Thursday 3-7pm. This stuff really works! I make it with essential oils that bugs hate.  You do have to apply it often, but you will see results.  Here in Minnesota, where the mosquito is the second state bird, you don’t want to be caught without some really good bug spray.

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A little time off is good for the whole family!

Life moves so quickly, especially when you’re on vacation.  We just got back from Door County Wisconsin where we enjoyed a week of relaxing, swimming, laughing and just plain having a good time.

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We visited a petting zoo and went horseback riding.  The kids laughed and played and put down their electronics for a few hours.  Imagine that!

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We’re back to work today getting caught up from being gone.  Life is busy here on the Tupy home front, but we’re thankful everyday for all the blessing we have been given!

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