Thursday, April 5, 2012

April 5, 2012 Tons of Snow

 This post is completely off topic but I just had to complain about our weather. On the Canadian prairies we get extremes in weather often within the same day. A common saying here is "if you don't like the weather now, wait a couple of hours".


This is what I saw out the window this morning. As you can see, the street is full of slushy, heavy, wet snow. It makes driving really treacherous so I am glad that I don't have to go anywhere today.

April is here and it is supposed to be spring. We should be getting ready for the kids to start baseball and soccer. It is not supposed to snow. On the weekend, I was thinking about raking up the thatch on the lawn and getting the flower beds ready. 

Below is our lawn swing in the yard. Its a good thing we didn't put the cushions on it yet. 
Those round things in the next picture are wooden planter tubs and believe it or not there is a sidewalk under all that white stuff. This is our back gate.
Yes, fresh, white, fluffy snow can be pretty to see. At this time of year, it also quite wet so it makes excellent snowballs and snowmen. The kids love it.

I have had enough of winter though. I would like it to go away and come back after October when I have had enough sun and warm temperatures. At this point, the only fluffy white stuff I want to see is the milk froth at the top of my capuccino so I intend to wait until it changes. Somehow, I think it will take longer than a couple of hours.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Goat Milk Baby Soap

Handmade Goat Milk Baby Soap has just been listed in the shop.

Goat milk soap is rich and gentle. Some people say it is like washing with lotion. Lovely, light, fluffy and moisturizing lather that rinses easily. This bar contains chamomile and lavender essential oils for their soothing and skin loving properties.

Our soap is wrapped in food grade shrink wrap with a parchment paper label.

It can be found here

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


We have been asked many times how we make our Tiny Hiny Cream and why we have chosen the ingredients that we use in it.

Nominee for Chatelaine Magazine's Beauty 100 contest!

100% natural organic diaper cream for baby's delicate skin.

Organic sunflower and sweet almond oils infused with organic chamomile, calendula and lavender. Contains zinc oxide and natural Vitamin E.

We start by infusing organic sunflower and sweet almond oils with organic herbs. We use organic lavender, calendula and chamomile. In INCI terms that would be Lavandula angustifolia, Calendula officinalis and Matricaria recutita respectively. We use stainless steel equipment because it can be easily sterilized with alcohol and our work surface can be sterilized easily with the alcohol.

Organic Sunflower Oil, High Oleic is a light, easily absorbed, non-comedogenic oil that provides skin benefits including softening of the skin, alleviation of dry skin and anti-inflammatory effects.We use organic sweet almond oil because it is rich in proteins, fatty acids and Vitamin D, and is considered extremely nourishing, softening and smoothing the skin. We use organic versions of the herbs and oils because we do not believe that any residue that may be left behind from artificial fertilizers and pesticides would be beneficial to skin and may possibly be harmful. The INCI names for sunflower and sweet almond oils are Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower) Seed Oil and Prunus amygdalus dulcis (almond) oil.

The oils and herbs are very gently heated and kept warm for 4 to 6 hours for the herbs to release their goodies into the oil. We then strain the oil through cheesecloth to remove all the plant material.  We usually have to strain it several times. By now the oil smells fabulous. 

We then heat the oil in a stainless steel container with the beeswax. In this picture the white blobby, stringy appearing stuff is the beeswax melting into the oil. The INCI name for beeswax is Cera Alba.

Once the mixture is all melted and blended nicely together we add Vitamin E which is an anti-oxident.  Antioxidants fight free radicals, prevent cellular damage from occurring and will extend the shelf life of the oils. Tocopherol is the INCI name for Vitamin E. We use a natural form derived from vegetable oils.

We then mix in the zinc oxide using a hand blender to ensure that it is evenly dispersed. Zinc oxide has astringent and antiseptic properties that help relieve chapped and red skin. It works great for rashes. The INCI name is the same as the common name.

We then pour the mixture into jars, allow them to cool, then cap, label and apply shrink wrap seals. 

Ready for shipping.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

How to Read a Label Part 2

Why do formulators use all those long, chemical sounding names?

Health Canada, the United States Food and Drug Administration and the European Union require all labelling for soap and cosmetics to be in INCI names.

What the heck is INCI you ask. INCI is International Nomenclature of Cosmetic Ingredients. INCI names are uniform scientific names. This terminology ensures that ingredients are listed consistently using the same name from product to product.

Ideally, you should be able to pick up a jar of cream in any country and read the ingredients on the label. Melaleuca Alternifolia Leaf Oil will be tea tree oil in any language.

Because of the lack of public knowledge of the INCI system many formulators will use the common term placed in brackets in their ingredient listings. We also do this. Our spearmint lip balm contains: hazelnut oil, avocado oil, shea butter, beeswax, Vitamin E and spearmint essential oil.  Below is how these ingredients look on our label.

Don’t be fooled into believing that “If you can’t pronounce it, it can’t be good for you”. I have a difficult time saying Simmondsia Chinensis Seed Oil, but I know that jojoba oil is safe and is wonderful for skin and hair.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

How to Read a Label AKA What do all those words mean and why is it in my stuff?

There is a lot of misinformation about the ingredients of personal care products. Many people are horrified when they look at an ingredient list and they can’t even read the words. They see long lists of a bunch of chemicals and people think “OMG! I’m not putting that on my skin!”

What if you were asked to put Butyrospermum Parkii Fruit, sodium chloride, magnesium sulphate, Lavandula Angustifolia, citric acid, sodium bicarbonate, and tocopherol in your bath water? Would you do it? Would you be a little concerned about putting all those chemicals into your bath?

Go ahead, put it in the bath water. You will have just dropped a lavender bath bomb into your bath. Now add yourself and relax in the fragrant and detoxifying water that also has sea salt, Epsom salt, baking soda, a cleaning agent derived from citric fruit, shea butter, lavender essential oil and Vitamin E in it. Your skin will love it. Heck, light a few candles and place them around the tub too. Now, enjoy your bath!

Join me next time and we will talk some more about ingredients and why they have those long, unpronouncable names.