Cooking soap

One of the things I love about Pinterest is the craftiness it has returned to my life. I grew up making all sorts of things. Little Sheri loved crafts, cooking and sewing. She made cookies, pies, hook rugs, doll clothes and all sorts of things with her grandma when she was 10. When she was a teenager and had many more responsibilities, she reveled in making dinner from the Lincoln County Home Extension anniversary cookbook she found in her dad’s cookbook collection.

Strangely, that all went away in my 20s when I got married and started my family. I think the “making things” for me was less about domestication and more about how I expressed my creativity. When my “spare” time was filled with matrimony and children (and the rise of The Internet), I got diverted from making things. Then I started my career path and any spare creativity at that point was spent at work.

Fast forward through several years of life shifting. Fast forward all the way to last year when Pinterest sprung onto the social-whatever scene.


And because of it, I’ve rediscovered and just-plain-discovered new things to create.

And 9 months ago I created a big batch of body soap for about $3. I just now ran out. So…this weekend…I made another batch. I love that I can save so much waste and avoid a teensy bit of the plastic bottle consumption that is too big a part of my life.


Cast of characters! 2 bars of soap, bottle of glycerin, a stock pot and a gallon of distilled water.


Grate the soaps on a cheese grater.


Pour in the water and turn on the burner to medium or medium low. You won’t be boiling anything. You’ll be heating the water and occasionally stirring the mixture until the soap melts. At some point, add the glycerin. Preferably add it in the beginning so you don’t forget.


The recipe I found said to get vegetable glycerin but I just bought the first bottle I found and it works just fine. For all I know it is make from virgins and kittens.


Heat and stir occasionally until you don’t see any soap bits. Just a soapy soup the color of whatever you put in your pot.


Look, Ma! No hands!


Look, Ma! Extra hands!

Once slightly cool (only so you don’t burn yourself), pour your soap into containers. I reuse a bodywash bottle and then the rest have in the past gone into glass jars. This time I’m trying the used gallon jug for storage to see how it fares. I’ll keep you posted.

Body Soap
1 gallon distilled water
2 bars grated soap 
2 Tbsp glycerin oil

Put all this in a stock pot over medium heat. Stir occassionally until soap is melted. Pour into containers and dance a jig that you’ve just saved yourself about $40 in soap expenditures and kept at least 7 new plastic bottles out of the whole waste system.

Hair probs solved (for now)

I gaaaht mah hurrr did.

I received tons of suggestions when I posted about my Hair Probs. It was overwhelming! I had 2 or three suggestions for the Velvet Monkey alone, so settled on that salon. Also because it was close to work and home. Yesterday was my appointment and chose Parker in particular because I’ve known him for years and years and want to support his talents. He’s a singer/songwriter and volunteer, and when he’s not doing those things he does a damn find job doing hair and make-up at Velvet Monkey in the Plaza District.

I had sent him the blog post a couple of weeks ago and when I sat down we took 10 minutes with hair swatches, my Pinterest account and my blog and formulated a plan of attack.


Bangs! Red! Layers! The bangs dried a little shorter than I wanted, but I’ll rock a little Betty Page for a week or two. The red wasn’t as artificial red as I wanted. The length is maybe a little longer than I wanted to keep. The whole thing is so different for me that it looks like I’m wearing a wig when I look in the mirror. But, I really like it.



Can you see my new, auburn birthmarks? I hope those fade quickly. Any tips on that? The color starts on my temple, goes above my ears and follows my hairline to the nape of my neck. Then there’s lots of layers and the red just pokes out wherever it feels like poking out.

Overall, I’m really pleased and am gonna have fun with my new hair. No more probs.


A tale of two dolmas

Recently, we were shopping at our favorite local asian market and stumbled upon dolmas. I stacked a few jars of these treats in the cart with a twinkle in my eye and Clayton said, “Meh… just get enough for you. I don’t like the ones in the jar.”

I scoffed and thought him to be foolish for non-fresh dolmas are all the same. Actually, jarred were probably better because canned foods are kind of evil. A few aisles down, we stumbled across the canned dolmas of the same brand. Just to be right…I put back a jar of mine so that we had one of each.

A taste test was born!


From the outside, the jar wins every day. What would you prefer? A pretty little jar full of deep green fragrant oil and lemony, creamy dolmas? Or a military-grade can of hidden-from-sight dolmas? What are you hiding in your closed up can, little dolmas?


Ewww. That’s what. Jelly, gooey, white rice starchy weirdness.



But, on the plate, we can see my jarred dolmas look darker and drier. (They were.) The canned dolmas were way creamier, more lemony and there were more dolmas in the can for the same price.

So much better that we polished off the can and put the jarred dolmas back in the fridge for someone else to enjoy. Someone who doesn’t yet know that not all dolmas are created equal.

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