Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Chambanachik Giveaway

While my hubby was still in the military, I got very connected to a bunch of other military spouses.  It kept me sane and I'm still good friends with many of them, even if we've never met in person.  They're wonderful and I love to do fun things with them from time to time when I can.  Which is why I am involved in my lovely friend's holiday giveaway series. You should check out her blog here.

You should also check out all the other amazing giveaways that she has going (and the rest of her blog because she's a fantastic lady who I'm honored to have gotten to know better over the past couple of years).  Plus, who doesn't love something fun at the holidays?

Saturday, October 27, 2012

::Crawls Out From Under the Soap::

Hi friends! I'm so sorry I've been missing the last few months.  Life has a way of changing even our best laid plans.  I recently accepted a new full time job and have been very busy adjusting to that as well as getting ready for the holiday season.  I even have a few new holiday soaps I thought you'd like to see.  Mostly, I want to have pretty pictures to distract you from the fact that I've been gone for so long.

The fall is my favorite season. One of the reasons is apple picking and cider. This not only smells like the fresh pressed apple cider of my youth, but it also has the added cinnamon and other spices to round it out making it more sophisticated.
Just in time for the cool winter months, this soap will have you dreaming of sugar plums in no time. The tart scent of cranberry is paired perfectly with the sweetness of figs. It reminds me of one of my mom's chutneys that she uses around the holidays. With just the slightest hint of spices like cinnamon and nutmeg, you won't know whether you should wash with it or use it as a garnish.
 I am also excited to announce that we are offering variety packs of soap.  You can choose your own soap in 3, 5, or 7 bar packages.  The more you buy, the better the price!  And if you let us know, we can gift wrap them for you for the holidays.
 And last but not least, something I am very excited about offering, we now have sample packs.  Get 5 or 10 samples of your choice so you can see if you like a soap before you commit to a full sized bar.  I know that choosing fragrances online can be tricky, but now this helps.  Also, a great gift for someone who has ever changing tastes!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Lift Off!!!!

I am so excited to finally announce the launch of our From Scratch line.  These are made using the traditional cold process method using oils, water, and lye.  Yes, I said lye.  It's what makes oil turn into soap during the saponification process.  Which really translates to is "to make soap".   And I promise, there isn't any left once they have finished mixing and curing.   Just lovely soap that will have your body feel super clean and lovely.

I've also used some other fun ingredients that I hope you love, like coffee, oatmeal, aloe juice, beer and wine.  Yes, real beer and wine!!! It creates amazing bubbles because of the sugars.  And wait until you smell them.  To start, we have things like Mocha, Honey Ale, Champagne, Cocoa, and more.  We'll have more coming out as the weeks go since our soaps need 4-6 weeks cure to make them as gentle as possible.  Once you try handmade soap, you'll never go back.  Make sure you check out our whole line at  Also, because of this new launch which has been 9+ months in the making, we are celebrating with a giveaway on our Facebook page.  Make sure you go over and click on the Giveaway tab for a chance to win a 3-pack of our new soaps!

Happy cleaning!!!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

MISA (Missing in Soap Action)

Hello lovelies! I'm so sorry that I haven't been around lately.  Between the full time job, household duties, craft shows, visitors, and prepping for my new line release next month, I keep putting my blog on the back burner.  And I'm sorry :-(  I will try to do better.  I've actually been coming up with some topics/tutorials that I'll be posting in the next few weeks.  These include:

Carbonated Melt & Pour
Soap Cupcakes
Infusing Alkanet
Simple Scrubs you can make at home

In the meantime, I am releasing my new line of soaps on August 1.  In conjunction with that, I'll be doing a giveaway that you can enter to win! I'll be giving away a three pack of my new From Scratch (cold process) soaps.  I'll be giving away a Lemon Poppy Seed, Lavender, and a third soap that is yet to be determined (although, I think I may do one of my wine soaps, which is made with real wine!)

Want a sneak peek?  Here's the Lemon Poppy Seed.  It's scented with Lemon Verbena and has real poppy seeds for exfoliation.  I can't get enough of this one.

 Make sure you check out my Facebook page if you haven't already to pre-order new soaps, find out what we're up to, and give us your feedback and input. 

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

What's New

Here at Inspiri, we're always looking for the next thing that will inspire us.  This spring has been full of muses and ideas.  We have been busy making lots of new products.  Here's some of the new ones we have either recently added to our line or we will be adding to the shop soon.

 I LOVE LOVE LOVE this soap.  This is our Citrus Sunburst. We've had the lotion for several months, but we've been trying to develop a style that we liked.  I finally found the perfect orange and this bright soap has tones of orange, tangerine, and satsuma.

 Did you grow up with honeysuckle bushes the way I did?  Our Honeysuckle soap smells very true to the delicate flower.  I love how the green and yellow swirl together to remind you of the colors of the flowers and the bush together.  This is one of my new favorites and hope that you all like it as well.
 My most favorite floral scent is Lily of the Valley.  This was one of the first fragrances that I started working with.  We have the lotion and a small guest bar.  We've had several people ask for a large bar and we're happy to present it.  Already popular at our Farmer's Markets.
 I wasn't too sure about this one, but this is another new favorite! Royal Honey is a blend of honey, beeswax, floral blossoms, and just a hint of almond.  This is perfect for the Queen Bee in your life (even if that's you!).
 We'd like to introduce our Rub-A-Dub Ducks.  These cute little guys are perfect for your favorite little one (although we recommend 3 & up) or for a baby shower.  We currently offer them in Raspberry, Bubble Gum, Grape, and Pearberry.  Let us know if you'd like a different fragrance and we can work with you on a custom order.
 Groovy, isn't it?  This is Trippy Hippy.  Strong with notes of patchouli, it has a slight smoky scent to it, similar to a campfire.  Great for someone who is looking for a more earthy tone. 

Along with our Lily of the Valley, our Evening Lilac is now available in large bars as well.  I grew up with Lilac bushes just outside my front door, and the sweet scent wafted through the night air, making for a very romantic setting.  Smells very true to the flower. 

So that's what we've been up to.  Other things you can look forward to in the near future: AfterGlow: An After Sun Lotion, After Shave, and of course, our line of from scratch Cold Process soaps which we will be releasing later this year (although we may sneak one or two in before the end of the summer).

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Essential Oils, Essential to Inspiri

Many of you have probably heard of essential oils.  These are derived directly from a plant/herb/fruit etc. So when you smell lavender essential oil, it is coming directly from a lavender plant (well, probably many lavender plants).  Fragrance oils are usually created in a lab and can cover almost any scent you want.

As my regular customers may know, I don't have a ton of products with essential oils. Being that they are natural, they do have some things that need to be considered. For example, did you know that there are certain essential oils you shouldn't use during pregnancy or if you have high blood pressure?  Others are photo-synthesizers so they can make you burn quicker if you have them on your skin if you go out into the sun.  It's for these reasons that I have been slowly working them into my line.  You can expect to see a lot more being used in the next year.  However, I do have a few favorite essential oils that I want to tell you about.

Lavender - This is a very common oil.  The reason I love this is for its calming properties.  Add a few drops to your bath water for a wonderful way to wind down after a rough day

Orange -  This is another favorite of mine.  It has energizing properties and is awesome when you need a pick me up in the morning.  I am actually formulating a soap that mixes orange and my next favorite oil

Rosemary - Such an awesome essential oil, but it must be used sparingly.  Not only is it energizing, its great for soothing nasal passages.  Think Vick's Vapo products.  Another that I like that's a bit similar is eucalyptus.

Peppermint and Spearmint - These two are technically different but I like to group them together since they are both in the mint family.  Peppermint and spearmint both have cooling properties which is why we use peppermint in out foot products.  Spearmint is a little sweeter but still great, I especially love it in lip balm.  We use it in small quantities and leaves just the coolest tingle on your lips.

As I continue to experiment more, I am sure that my list of favorites will grow and I can't wait to test more.  There's a bottle of basil essential oil that I cant wait to test out!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Getting it All Done

Recently, I've had several people say to me, "I don't know how you do it."  What they mean is juggle my life.  Currently, I work a full time job (besides Inspiri), have a husband, dogs, house, side business, spend as much time with friends and family as I can and I haven't completely lost my mind.  Well, I lose my mind sometimes, but that's just because I have a tendency to do that.  I've even had people ask me if I will quit my business once we have children.  To that I simply let them know that I do not plan on quitting, but how it is treated will have to be re-evaluated. 

To be honest, there are days that I'm overwhelmed and exhausted.  There are days I want to throw in the towel, grab a giant bowl of potato chips, and never leave the couch again.  But I don't.  And I won't.  I have developed a few key ingredients into making it all work.  Here they are:

1) Time Management - I recently took a course that helped me develop some better time management skills.  Personally, what I find what works best for me is something I call "Power Scheduling".  I literally schedule out an insane number of things in my day, no matter how inane.  Whether it's 20 minutes for "Cleaning out Inbox" or "Write blog post" for an hour once a week to 10 minutes of "Empty Dish Washer", I try to schedule these things and follow my schedule as closely as possible.  This doesn't work for everyone, but for me, it's extremely useful, especially at my day job.  It's made it possible for me to be able to get all of my regular work done during normal hours so at the end of the day, I can head home and work on what I really love.

2) Determine what's important - This may seem like a no-brainer, but this is something else that came from the course I took.  I actually keep a time diary of the time I spend doing many of my daily and regular tasks.  I can see if certain things are giving me benefit and if not, I don't have to worry about them.  For example, at my day job there's a certain task where I would drop everything to handle a request coming in.  I realized that these requests weren't as urgent as I made them be in my head.  I have now set aside a two hour block once a week to deal with them and it saves me a ton of time, stress, and distraction.

3) Eat Right - I know, I know, everyone says this, but it's true! Do you eat breakfast every morning?  I do.  And I do my best to get some protein in there.  Try eating a solid breakfast every day for a week (and no, Froot Loops do not count as a solid breakfast) and see how you feel.  The extra energy and momentum you have will really keep you going.  We eat salads at least once a week for dinner and we always feel so fresh and clean the next day.  What you feed your body is important and will definitely have an affect on what you can be motivated to do.

4) Sleep - I am an 8 hour a night kind of sleeper.  And most nights, I get that much or more.  It's  because I make it a priority.  If I don't get enough sleep, you might as well just leave me in a hole all day because I'm not going to get anything done.  If you need only 6 hours a night, like my husband, good for you.  But don't forget how important recharging your body is.  You can't expect to get everything done if your energy levels are low and all you want is to crawl in next to your teddy. 

It's as simple as that.  That's how I work 40+ hours a week at my full time job, make/label/sell all of my own products, as well as doing Farmer's Markets and craft shows, be a good wife, dog-mom, housekeeper, cook, and everything else involved in every day life.

Think about your own life and what you can do to keep it all together.

Live life inspired!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Learn From Our Mistakes

When you first learned how to ride a bike, did you fall off once or twice?  I know I did.  And I should've known better when it came to soaping.  I wasn't going to be ready for the Tour de France after 10 batches.  But unfortunately, I got cocky. 

Over the weekend, after a rather unfortunate incident where I flooded the kitchen with palm oil (a story for another day) I made a batch of soap.  And it was the most beautiful batch of soap that I've ever made.  Ever.  No seriously.  Look at the picture, it's absolutely gorgeous and turned out perfectly, in my mind.

I checked it in the morning and was so impressed with myself.  I tried a new method and it had worked so perfectly.  Except....then I noticed a couple little spots of brown liquid seeping out.  "That's odd," I thought to myself.  I had had liquid seep out before (sometimes an effect of it overheating or the glycerin pushing it's way out) but it was always clear. I went to my full time job and let the lovely soap sit, basking in all it's glory, on the kitchen table.

At lunch, I had to check it out again, because I was just so proud of it.  However, the fact that the liquid had not reabsorbed had me a little nervous.  I decided to test it, just to make sure it was oils or something totally harmless.  Have you ever tested a 9-volt battery with your tongue to see if it has a charge?  Yeah, that's sorta what it feels like when something isn't going right.  And let me tell you, I got a "shock" of a life into me.

I hung my head low once I realized what had happened.  And even lower when I realized I had to scrap this batch.  But not scrap as in throw away.  I had to do something called rebatch.  It is also known as double milled or French milled soap.  Unfortunately, it makes the beautiful swirls in the soap go away, because I basically had to chop the soap up, melt it down and then get it into the mold.

It ends up looking like this:

Looks a bit like a cement block, huh?  Yeah, I was pretty sad.   But on the positive side, I did learn a new technique.  And also a technique I will NOT be trying again in the future.

And failure comes in all forms, from soaps to bath bombs.  I spent several hours and multiple pounds of products working on a new recipe so that I can start offering the amazingness that is bath bombs.  The first batch, well, they went off early and then, started to grow, then shrank.  At least the color is pretty.

Well, the next batch, well, let's just skip that one.  After severe frustration, I threw that in the sink and just let it foam everywhere.  The next batch, I had high hopes for.  I was trying to use less ingredients, but I was expecting too much and once again, it started to expand, which meant I had set them off early.  It just turned into a big pile of foaming crumbles.

However, I couldn't let this go.  So I made one more batch. I tried not to get over eager.  I measured my ingredients exactly and didn't go over board.  I played with the mixture until it was just the right consistency.  I ended up making four nice half spheres.  The two blown up ones, well, I got a little eager to see if they had hardened.  I'll let you in on a secret...not as much as I expected.

From failure we learn.  What doesn't work and what may be best for us.  Plus, while my beautiful soap maybe didn't stay beautiful, I did learn a new technique and am getting better at my photography.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Mad Scientist

Making soap, while an art, has a bit of science to it.  Especially if you're making cold process.  My husband likes to refer to me as a mad scientist, and I believe many people who make soap feel that in one way, we sort of are mad scientists. 

As I've been delving more into the world of cold process, I'm finding myself thinking up recipes and oil combinations that people will love.  My favorites right now include Coconut, Palm, Olive Oil, Avocado Oil, as well as my favorite for lotion....shea butter.  But getting the right mix and having the soap still come out right can be tricky.  There's lots of experimenting going on in our kitchen right now....and soon, my soap shop.

My husband has been very supportive of my little endeavor and for that, I am eternally grateful.  He likes to see how products look, he'll smell every product I put under his nose, and last week, he got me the best gift own soap lab.  Well, sort of.

For Valentine's Day, my hubby got me the makings of a soap lab.  He's converting part of our garage and giving up some of his tool space to provide me with my own dedicated space. I'll have cabinets and storage, a work space, and peace of mind that I won't hurt our kitchen counters. 

So now, this mad scientist not only has her experiments and creations, but also a lab in which to work.  Check for updates on this soon to happen makeover!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Fell Off the Earth, and Back Again

So sorry I have been MIA from this blog.  With the holiday season, I was unbelievably busy.  The best part is, 2012 is looking to be even more busy.  I already have two shows booked and I'm working on two new lines for this year: Children's Soaps & From Scratch Soaps.  The children's soaps are slowly being added, but they are super fun and will definitely get your little ones wanting to wash.

The from scratch are a little different.  I started making soaps with a process of something called Melt & Pour.  Melt & Pour (or MP) is great, because it allows for amazing creativity without the handling of certain chemicals.  I love Melt & Pour and throw my whole self into it. However, I needed a little something more.  I decided in the last couple months of 2011 that it was time to start experimenting. 

Think of MP as making a cake from a mix.  You still have a lot of work to do, but some of the measuring was done ahead of time.  From scratch is just that....the soap is entirely from scratch.  Since this is a new process and takes a little bit of a learning curve, 2012 is our year of testing.  We have several testers and their first samples will be going out in the next week or two.  Why test for a year?  Well, I want to bring the absolute best products out rather than add one or two, then find out people don't like them.  We're doing our best to make sure that these products are awesome from day 1!

So that's what has been going on here.  I'll do my best to update this more and with some awesome pictures.  In the meantime, here are some of our fabulous Valentine's soaps.  If you're interested in any of them, please visit us at

Champagne & Strawberries - I love this soap.  While making it, I couldn't help but keep sniffing it, it's intoxicating.

The Romance Package - A blend of roses, champagne, and a hint of chocolate.  Everything you love about romance in a soapy cube!