Soapy Saturday

https://www.facebook.com/SafffaSoaps-Kensington-and-Chelsea-1527836953900319/
UPDATE……
My orange passion fruit scented soap turned out good. BUT some of it was a bit messy. I made too much and needed to use a flat soap mold. A flat soap mold I find is not good for hot process soap. I will put these into my shower bag and use them at the gym. At least they are soapy and lathery and smell almost good enough to eat. 

The tidy batch

orange-and-passion-fruit-scented orange-soap

The messy batch 

I would recommend NOT using a flat square mold when making Hot Process soap. it is messy and doesn’t even out well and difficult to smooth over.

orange-passion-soap-spoils

Yesterday I tried a recipe meant for cold process soap. Somehow I don’t think it worked. However, the smell is good even my neighbour commented on it as she passed the door. It looks too messy to take pics. I will post the finished product when I cut the soap.

The hot process method is what I began with and preferred until now that is. But only time will tell

 

Soap making basics

Such a tough week but I have been busy purchasing my oils and fragrances. I can’t believe that I’m now spending less on goodies to sit and eat all day. The most yummy smells coming from kitchen are fragrances and oils. There was a time it baked apple pie and triple chocolate layers.

SOAP., SOAP, SOAP……………if you are getting into soap there is no need to spend a fortunate on equipment. I will set out here all you need.

EQUIPMENT health and safety first

  • WEAR PROTECTIVE CLOTHING, LONG SLEEVED SHIRT, JEANS,  GOGGLES TO PROTECT EYES AND MASK TO PROTECT FROM FUMES FROM LYE
  • i wear an old shirt and a pair of washed out jeans. I cover my feet with a pair of slippers. They were given to me as a Christmas present in the office. I assumed someone wanted to dispose of them. I was planning to do just until I found use for them. I also purchased a pair of goggles below for £6.99. They are adjustable too

safety-goggles-galactic-deluxCLOTHING….i wear an old shirt and jeans and a pair of work slippers that cover my feet.

long-sleeves-protective-clothing-old-clothessafety-goggles-galactic-delux

scart-lol

  • MAKING SOAP IS ABOUT HEALTH AND SAFETY. THE PROCESS IS NOT FOR THE FASHION OR MAKE-UP CONSCIOUS

I refer to Vinegar as an necessary piece of equipment. In the event of burning apply white vinegar to the skin. I always keep a bottle on the counter. It has remained full thanks to the protective clothing.

vinigar

You probably have the following items in your kitchen. Kitchen items is are the tools you need. Pleases do not ever reuse the items used for soap making to prepare food.  I checked out what cooking utensils needed to be renewed in my kitchen. I used the older utensils for my soap making, I store them in plastic storage units that I have squeezed into a corner in my kitchen. You should not go out and spend too much money. The tools required allow for thriftiness. The plastic see through boxes were used from bay cost £5 each. They were sold locally and I saved on postage and packaging. 

soap-utensil-box

I am interested in making both cold process and hot process soap. A crock pot is recommended for hot process soap. I started off this hobby to save money so I raided my kitchen utensil storage space. I found a deep fat fryer that I had no use for. I couldn’t believe I had two. One my mother purchased for me and one  a friend gave to me. I sold one on ebay for half price as it was nearly new. I was able to purchase a nearly new crock pot for less than what I sold the fryer. It was in excellent condition.

crockpot-hp crockpot-inside crockpot-two

YOU ALSO NEED 

  • A large stainless steel spook and plastic spatulas. The spook is to stir in the lye and the spatula to mix the oils. These can purchased at your nearest pound or poundland stores. Also you need rubber gloves. I purchased mine from ebay at £3 for a box of forty.  plastic spoon — for stirring the lye solution.

spatula

  • A soap mold — to pour your raw soap into
  • silicon-mould
  • many different options here – from a commercial soap mold to yogurt cups, or Tupperware container – basically any leak-proof container made of plastic, glass or stainless steel. Wood or cardboard molds can be used too if they are first lined with freezer paper.
  • A large Pyrex pitcher to measure hard and soft oils. In the case of CP soap the Pyrex can also be used for mixing ingredients. Do not use the glass pitcher to mix lye. The temperature from the lye will crack the glass. 

glass-pitcher

  • Lye must be measured accurately.
  • I use a regular sized Salter scale for measuring oils and a mini scale for fragrances.

scale-and-mini-scale

  • I find it easier using a Pipette to extract fragrances

pippetts

  • temperature of cold process ingredients (the oils and lye solution) can greatly affect the final product. Measurements therefore must be accurate. The temperature of your soaping area also affects your results. If you were to ask advanced soapers, “What is the perfect soaping temperature?” you would receive a wide range of answers. This is because it depends greatly on the particular recipe and design. For most soapers, the preferred temperature of soaping lye and oils are 120-130 ° F. In addition, many soapers and books believe it is helpful to have the lye and oil within 10 degrees of each other.
  • Check out this oil chart link…….http://www.lovinsoap.com/oils-chart/
  • Lye  can be measured in a glass pitcher but should only be mixed with distilled water in a plastic pitcher
  • Always wear eye protection and face mask to protect from the temperatures and fumes.
  • lye-to-water

Distilled or rain water must be used in soap making. Tap water crystallizes the soap. Distilled is the recommended fluid for soap. I have never used bottled water.  I purchased 2×5 liters on ebay for £13. I shopped around and found suppliers willing to sell two bottles for the price of three.

distelled-jug

ALWAYS add lye to distilled water. NEVER add water to lye.it is DANGEROUS and can be FATAL.  

lye-to-water

  • Adding lye to room temperature water can cause the water to reach temperatures up to 200 ° F. The mixture also creates fumes, which should not be inhaled (ensure you wear your mask)
  • TIP, TIP, TIP  (I froze half my distilled water quantity and added the remainder at room temperature. The temperatures was just under 100 ° F). Always ensure you get your temperature in accordance with your recipe. 

frozen-lye frozen-combined-lye

  • The lye will be misty until it sets

lye

The lie must be cool and clear before it can be applied to the oils. I used this time to prepare my oil, fragrance and colouring

clear-lye

  • NOTE TO THE SELF……Some soap makers say soap can be made without lye. NOTE TO SELF after extensive research and expensive soap making classes with expert soap maker and successful business woman Linda Cross stresses……NO LYE NO SOAP. That goes for hot or cold process.
  •     ALWAYS LYE FOR HOT OR COLD PROCESS SOAPS.soaps

 

 

OTHER TOOLS

  • A Stick blender — to blend the oils with the lye mixture and start the saponification process. The stick blender is essential for hot and cold process soap. The food mixer better used for mixing colours in hot processing soap.

stick-blender-and-mixer

  • A good range of oils particularly coconut oil,, butters and fragrances. Fragrances are not essential.

palm-oil

fragrances

 

 

 

Day 6

Day six and the cold is clearing up. I treated myself online from Little Black Dress a Boux Avenue high Waisted Control Briefs. I know I have put back on the couple of pounds I fought hard to lose and my body is screaming for it’s walk in Hyde Park.  I have had to deprive myself of this need because of my cold. For someone in my condition catching a cold leads to bigger issues. I will treat my body when I get the new briefs and wear them under my yoga pants. I might as well compensate for having no fancy tight slinky black dress to wear this Christmas.  LBD explain that it is also about posture as well as shape who knows I might become the sexiest middle aged woman strutting around Hyde Park!

Slenderness is slow but it’s sure happening

The weight is finally dropping off slowly with time and patience. I started walking regularly and have also had an experienced trainer who specialises in disabilities helping me. His motto take the little bit of energy you have and put it to good use, think of those nice jeans you desire to fit into. I’m now coming to the realisation that it also takes energy to sit and eat in front of the TV all day. I renewed my oyster card for the bus only and walk a little bit each day following the bus routes that way when I get tired I can hop on the bus. It sounds boring but at least I’m sitting on the bus thinking on what I’m doing, what I want and buzzing with ideas on change. It beats sitting in front of the TV all day gorging on junk food and watching TV. I’m hardly likely to do that on the bus. Its less boring than wasting away at home. I can get off the bus if I feel like another ten-minute walk and it is amazing how this is making me more energetic. The swimming also helps relax the muscles don’t be put off by those majorly energetic people as in my case I remind myself they all had to start somewhere and for people who find it hard either through willpower with or without disability even the smallest bit of exercise is just as good for the body as those who spend hours exercising.

As for the bad eating habits I find that now since gaining that small piece of willpower and energy I’m starting to stop eating when I’m full rather than continuing until the plate is empty. I also through what is left in the bin rather than keep it for later in a storage bowl in the fridge because I am concerned that it will only lead to snacking later in the night out of greed and a lack of mind over matter knowing it is in the fridge. I have yet to conquer my affair with sugar but at least I’ve cut down a little and not so addicted.  I believe if I try to cut it right out I will binge more however, the Custard Creams are banned from my biscuit tin and will remain that way forever.

Today I am considering starting my own business in sport and outdoor activity fashion. I miss outdoor activity and some sports with a passion and whilst I am out of it physically doesn’t mean to say that I can’t still be involved other ways. Today I’m researching Chinese buying and marketing and all the things that small businesses should look out for. It is an exciting place right now to be and I know had I not started to take note and control of my physical appearance my mental health would have also suffered and I would never be here today. Disability will not stop me today or ever again.

 

Constructive Self-Criticism

afternoon-tea-with-edith

I was always interested in psychology of the mind years prior to undertaking a degree in psychology.  Throughout the hundreds of books, I read explanatory style always interested me with its explanation of why people blame negative events on all the surrounding, permanent aspects of the self and external forces. For example, in my case, I argued with consultants and even the dietician that my disability and restrictive lifestyle was to blame. I also blamed the mini-Sainsbury on my doorstep and the Poundshop within a ten minute drive and convinced myself that should I not be surrounded by these shops I would not binge on Custard Creams and packs of chocolates. Prior to constructive self-criticism kicking in I never once told myself that if I avoided these places I would not have the goodies to binge on. Nor did I consider researching and discussing with professionals and others in my situation ways of getting fit within my limits. Then I experienced a strange encounter with myself. 

It was the day of my first swimming lessons and I was relieved that the locker room was empty. I had signed up for a membership that day also so that I could avoid using the public locker rooms. After a struggle getting into my swimsuit and bearing excruciating pain from the straps digging into my shoulders whilst walking through the changing room I noticed the woman at the end of the room watching me. The closer I got the familiar she became as the chubby stranger with two chins and flabby arms eyed me up and down with a look of sheer horror and disgust. I suddenly felt uneasy and embarrassed and turned my head away and rushed out to the pool area.  However, it was no use I couldn’t relax and with five minutes to spare before my swimming lesson I rushed back to changing room to confront that look of horror. As I expected she was still there waiting when I returned and again staring straight at me. However, this time her look was of sorrow and sadness. She looked familiar because she was me looking back at myself in the full-length locker room mirror.  The tears welled up in my eyes as I let my towel drop and I asked myself out loudly “how could you let that happen”?  

I already had the answers but until that moment I couldn’t see them until I allowed constructive self-criticism to kick in. The reality that my weight gain, lack of activity and reclusiveness could not solely be blamed on my disability had now sunk in. I was forced to admit that I am responsible for my body irrespective of my circumstances and that it was only me who could make changes and put things right with myself.

Constructive criticism covers the degree to which someone attributes changes in lifestyle externally or to the inner-self. Disability can be physical or psychological. In my case it is chronic disease that affects my physical capability but being the one-time optimist and after three years of ignorance I stopped dwelling on how much weight I put on or how badly I felt. I knew it was time to turn my bad experience in the locker room into something positive and a new start.  I prepared myself for a difficult road but I knew I would re-educate myself and put my life back into perspective. 

Behind every disability is a person and in keeping that in mind so began my swimming lesson and journey back to fitness began. 

 

Get Fit to Fit into Fashion

 

afternoon-tea-with-edith

One dark secret most women admit to is harbouring the smaller sized outfit in their wardrobe that they are unable to part with. This is because it represents a time in their lives when they felt good within themselves. If you’re like me you probably still have more than one pair of undersized jeans in your closet and/or at least one outfit you cannot bare to part with. So what is the solution particularly when one has a chronic disability that restricts them physically and also affects their diet and fluid consumption?

In my case chronic disease affects my appetite. I used that as an excuse to binge and graze on sugary foods and drinks. However, the majority of people that have issues with binging also have issues with some type of mental or physical health  problem.  It is a psychological fact that illness affects a person’s behaviour. This is because we seek comfort and to replace the restriction illness has placed on our capabilities. 

Having attended Clinical Health Psychology (CHP) lectures as part of my degree many moons ago I should have realised that my urge to gorge on packet after packet of Custard Creams and packs of chocolate down were more to do with my behaviour as opposed to my diagnosis. But I instead I argued with myself that if there was not so many shops with tempting treats then I would be less tempted. Of course I never considered moving out to the countryside where I would be less tempted. I simply convinced myself that one day I will be well again and the weight will just disappear.

According to CHP research behaviour changed during any type of illness is common particularly comfort eating which usually occurs owing to the lack of motivation in people’s lives.  CHP educates us in understanding the techniques of behavioural change towards food, exercise, socialising, mood and many other aspects that affect us during difficult times. In my case my illness is chronic and affects my physical capability. 

I cheered up when my consultant informed me that I could stop taking steroids until she added that she was extremely concerned about my quick weight gain. She recommended me to see the dietician later that day.  I hadn’t weighed myself in three-years since becoming ill and was now faced with the news that I had piled on three-stone. I knew I had gained weight because my fashionable clothes no longer fitted me and I had switched to wearing leggings and baggy tops. My one time clothe shopping appetite had been replaced by the sugary appetite. I not only gained weight but I had also allowed my appearance to go and besides my trip to the hairdressers and the beautician to get my eyebrows done I had lost interest in my pedicures and manicures. I was also a recluse and was losing touch with friends and socialised only with the TV day and night and food. I cried as I discussed with the consultant that through my disability I was no longer to able continue my twelve mile walk to and from work everyday and weekend country walks with my friend and the walking group we joined. The consultant was sympathetic but advised me that I could undertake some exercise within my limits and socialise more she believed would take my mind of sugar. 

I discussed my diet with the dietican later that day and she found that my food itself wasn’t the problem the problem was I wasn’t eating enough of it because I was full of sugar.  I had become a couch potato in a rut with life passing me by. She advised me that long walks for me at this time was not possible but I could always take up another hobby like swimming.  I pointed out that I couldn’t swim and she responded that it was probably time I learned adding that there were plenty of health clubs with swimming pools in my local area. It was her belief that even a small exercise would be better than nothing. . 

On reflection I had plenty of time to learn as I was unable return to my stressful job owing to blood pressure and I was bored. Learning to swim had to beat sitting glued to the TV all day binging on food. I felt that now would be the best time to learn a new hobby such as swimming.  

I booked swimming lessons at my local swimming baths that would eventually lead to me changing my life for the better in terms of my health.

Swimming helps you to improve heart rate and blood flow and maintain a healthy weight. What most people don’t know are the little benefits of swimming that separate it from other forms of exercise. Swimming not only helps with general physical fitness, but it encompasses a host of other benefits such as muscle toning, breath control, and meditative qualities. With so many peripheral benefits in one workout, you can kill two birds (or should I say six birds!) with one stone. Here are the little known benefits of swimming:

Swimming not only helps with general physical fitness, but it encompasses a host of other benefits such as muscle toning, breath control, and meditative qualities. With so many peripheral benefits in one workout, you can kill two birds (or should I say six birds!) with one stone. Stone’s, Stones and Stone’s are what I need to lose lessons booked and now for the plunge!

 

Get out there!

This is the first blog I’ve attempted to write. Through chronic disability my life is restricted. It took three years for me learn that I had to put my limitations to use and so I began writing a diary. It was only a few months ago I was advised that blogging was also a good way to get out there and learn from others and share their experiences to help others. Blogging is now becoming a hobby and helps one to think of good coping skills and strategies even if it is only me blogging to myself. I know chronic disability is hard and it effects everyone differently which is why I have opted out of mentioning my type of chronic disease. However, my disability affected my ability to cope with my hectic but well paid job and also restricted my social life that included daily physical exercise.

Living became impossible until I was forced to make changes that I began by writing a list.  At the top of that list was my physic and health and I knew that until I worked on this my creativity would be gone forever. I have a lot of ideas and plans to start up a business so when I get well again I will not have to return to my stressful job. I have no idea how to blog and set up this website that will also be my business website one. However, I want to thank the Daily Mail for telling us about Natasha Courtney-Smith’s story http://natashacourtenaysmith.com as this has enabled me to take the plunge although I am terrified. 

Natasha encourages people in her blog to get out there and that is what I will try to do.  After a consultation with the dietician that I will discuss in a later post I knew the only option in my situation was to sink or swim. The prospect of swimming was a difficult because at that time I was unable to swim. I made this my first step to positivism and change and booked swimming lessons with Virgin Active https://www.virginactive.co.uk/active-matters/articles/swim-to-supercharge-your-fitness.  My lovely swimming instructor Magda encouraged me to move ahead with my physic and learn how to make my limitations work for me. I will be blogging and writing a kindle book on getting back to fitness through a combination of swimming and walking. The walking urge returned during the swimming lessons because my adrenaline was up after the lesson.  

Swimming helps you to improve heart rate and blood flow and maintain a healthy weight. What most people don’t know are the little benefits of swimming that separate it from other forms of exercise. Swimming not only helps with general physical fitness, but it encompasses a host of other benefits such as muscle toning, breath control, and meditative qualities. With so many peripheral benefits in one workout, you can kill two birds (or should I say six birds!) with one stone. Here are the little known benefits of swimming:
Swimming helps you to improve heart rate and blood flow and maintain a healthy weight. What most people don’t know are the little benefits of swimming that separate it from other forms of exercise.
Swimming not only helps with general physical fitness, but it encompasses a host of other benefits such as muscle toning, breath control, and meditative qualities. With so many peripheral benefits in one workout, you can kill two birds (or should I say six birds!) with one stone. Here are the little known benefits of swimming:

WALKING

Walking can be done almost anywhere, at any time, and in any weather. It's a great way to get from A to B, which means you can fit walking into your daily routine. Walking is classed as a moderate-intensity activity and counts towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise. If you walk 10,000 steps a day, you will probably do more than 150 minutes and that's great: research suggests that the more activity you do the better, as there are numerous benefits of exercise.
Walking can be done almost anywhere, at any time, and in any weather. It’s a great way to get from A to B, which means you can fit walking into your daily routine. Walking is classed as a moderate-intensity activity and counts towards your recommended 150 minutes of weekly exercise. If you walk 10,000 steps a day, you will probably do more than 150 minutes and that’s great: research suggests that the more activity you do the better, as there are numerous benefits of exercise.

Walking the steps recommended seems daunting andI will explain this more in later posts how to conquer the fear and walk back into fitness.