Thursday, September 9, 2010

Handmade Soap...You'll Become Addicted!

I'll admit it...I'm a Handmade Soap Junkie! I never knew how incredible this stuff was until a friend of mine asked me to try some. It doesn't dry my skin out like commercial soap and it smells so amazing.

I love it so much that I'm excited to announce that Urban Farmhouse now has a private label of handmade soaps debuting in our showroom this week.

Handmade soaps are made with quality oils blended with essential oils and herbs and made using the cold pressed method. The soaps smell lovely without that sharp chemical smell and do not contain animal fat, sodium laureth sulfate and preservatives.

Lavendar Vanilla

Fall Apple Oatmeal Spice

Lemon Poppyseed

After reading this article courtesy of Country Girl Gardens, I'm now even more excited about carrying the chemical-free soap.

Why Use Handmade Soap?
What Is Soap?

Created by a chemical reaction between oils, water and lye. soap is the oldest cleanser around. Although lye is used to make soap there is no lye left after saponification (the chemical reaction that makes soap) is complete. All soaps are created with lye. Different soaps are made using a variety of different oils. Both animal & plant oils can be used in the soap making process, each adding different qualities to the soap.

Conventional Soap

Most soaps available in the store today are not really soaps at all, but detergents. Detergents are a petroleum based product, like gasoline and kerosene. Detergents tend to leave your skin feeling dry, itchy and tight. Alkali, the most common irritant in soap is most often blamed for this effect. Other ingredients in mass-marketed soap have been proven harmful to human health and can cause severe skin irritations in some people. These include ingredients such as DEA, Isopropyl Alcohol, BHT and Triclosan (commonly found in anti-bacterial soap). The most common ingredient in conventional bar soaps is sodium tallowate. It is the natural product of combining tallow, or beef fat, with lye.

Tallow processes quickly, produces a harder bar of soap and is cheap and plentiful making it attractive for mass producing and marketing conventional soap.
Handmade Soaps

Popularity is growing rapidly with handmade soaps. People are beginning to discover the benefits handmade, chemical free soaps have to offer. With the common use of synthetic chemicals and studies about their dangerous effects, consumers are searching for alternatives.
Benefits Of Handmade Soap

There are said to be many healing properties of a handmade bar of soap. Those who suffer from skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema, as well as people that have sensitive skin or are hypoallergenic often find immediate relief by switching to an all natural chemical free handmade soap. Compared to a conventional bar of soap, handmade soap is very mild. Most of them are made from vegetable-based oils, such as olive, coconut, and palm and do not contain the potentially harmful chemicals found in store bought soap. Some say one of the biggest differences between commercial soap and handmade soap is glycerine. Glycerine is a clear liquid that absorbs water from the air and is a key factor in keeping skin soft and healthy. Glycerin soap is especially good for sensitive and delicate skin, and for children. Because it is a high quality by-product in the soap making process, many mass commercial soap manufacturers often extract the glycerine and sell it as a by-product to be used in higher priced beauty products like lotions and skin creams.
Handmade Soap Is Good For Your Body, Spirit and Soul

Skin is the largest human organ and is the bodies first line of defense against dehydration, temperature, infection and harmful substances. Handmade soaps give your skin the care it deserves and make bathing a gentle, soothing experience.
In our busy day to day life we often put aside the indulgences of a simple thing like a special bar of soap. With our limited time it becomes last on our list of priorities. But a fragrant, handmade bar of soap is a simple indulgence that fosters a feeling of relaxation and being pampered. Treat yourself or someone you love to the benefits of handmade soap!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Halloween Fall Mantel

It's not quite fall in Texas yet, but with temperatures starting to drop below 100 degrees lately, it must be right around the corner! I decided to drag down my "fall" bins out of the attic this morning to see what I had to work with for the mantel.

I'm actually proud to say I pulled this off without spending a dime. It's all about using what's on hand in different ways.

The book wreath is what pulls everything together for a Vintage Halloween feel. You can get your own book wreath at Urban Farmhouse. This wreath will transition from Halloween to Thanksgiving to Christmas through New Year's simply by changing the rest of the mantel around it.

Old book pages were an impromptu filler inside this lantern with a flickering flameless candle.

My trusty chunky pillar candles serve as stands for the platinum pumpkins I've had for years. Now they look like brand new accessories simply by placing them on the candle pillars.

Dollar Store finds include glittery skulls and black crowes from last year's store display at Urban Farmhouse.

Love this vintage candy black cat bucket!

I also grabbed a wooden planter crate that I've had sitting on my kitchen counter top and filled it with  scrap pieces of burlap. Then I layered in some wooden pumpkins, dollar store pumpkins and an iron jack-o-lantern to create a seasonal display on my coffee table. Again, these were all pieces that I've collected over the years, but found a way to freshen them up a bit this year.

Hope you'll find ways to use some of the great accessories you already have laying around your house this year in your seasonal decor!

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