Thursday, 25 December 2008

Merry Christmas!

I'm spending my first christmas away from my family this year. Instead, I'm here in Australia spending it with Dan's family which is all well and good but I still can't help feeling I should be somewhere else.

Anyway, I came online quickly to wish everyone a Merry Christmas! I hope that everyone will have a wonderfully joyous celebration today ;)

I leave you with a picture that my dad sent me of my grandfather and my sister titled "Mandy and the Christmas Gnome".


I laughed out loud. He's the cutest grandfather in the world!

See you all very soon!

Monday, 15 December 2008

Make Your Own Solid Body Butter

My most popular blog post of all was the Make Your Own Bath Bomb post way back in November of last year. I have yet to post anymore tutorials like that and decided it was certainly time to bring back a "make your own..." tutorial.

This tutorial teaches you how to make your own exfoliating, solid body butter much like another most wanted Lush product called Buffy.


Fair Trade Cocoa Butter (Theobroma cacao), Shea Butter (Butyrospermum parkii), Ground Rice (Oryza sativa), Ground Almonds (Prunus dulcis), Ground Aduki Beans (Phaseolus), Perfume, Lavender Oil (Lavandula hybrida), Lemon Oil (Citrus limonum), *Citral, *Limonene, *Linalool.

Scrub-a-dub-dub, get this body butter in the tub (or shower) and buff away the day's worries. Stress disappears as our lavender-scented body butter melts into your skin, making it way beyond silky. Ground rice, almonds and aduki beans exfoliate to velvety perfection as the natural butters provide maximum miniaturization. So put down your loofah, grab your Buffy, and smooth your cares away.

Buffy (Lush replica)

Makes: Two 100g bars
Difficulty: Easy

78 g refined cocoa butter (39%)
78 g refined shea butter (39%)
14 g ground rice (7%)
14 g ground almonds (7%)
12 g ground adzuki or red beans (6%)
*4 g fragrance/essential oils (2%)
mould for individual 100 g rectangular shaped bars

1. Melt the butters gently over a double boiler or in short 10-15 second bursts in the microwave.
2. Add in ground exfoliants and stir well.
3. When the mixture is warm to the touch, around 45C/115F, add in your fragrance/essential oils.
4. Allow to cool in the fridge until the mixture becomes opaque and has thickened slightly. This helps keep the exfoliants suspended in the mixture instead of sinking to the bottom when placed in the mould. Stir well.
5. Spoon the mixture into your mould and bang it down gently on the counter to get an even surface and release trapped air bubbles.
6. Put the mould back into the fridge and wait. Check back after 20 minutes and it should have hardened nicely. Pop it out of the mould and enjoy!

*the amount of each essential oil to add really depends on what you like. Lush uses lavender and lemon oil; play around with them to come up with a blend that you are happy with.

The recipe uses 80% butters (including fragrance/essential oils) and 20% exfoliants. You may adjust the percentages of butters and exfoliants to come up with a scrubbier bar or one that is less scrubby. However, I recommend not reducing the percentage of your butters to any less than 70% or it might not hold together very well. 70% butters and 30% exfoliants makes for a very scrubby bar!

This makes a very hard bar and the high content of cocoa butter will ensure your bar doesn't melt at room temperature.You should still store it in a cool, dry place when not in use especially on hot days or if you live in a tropical country. You may have difficulty rubbing it into your skin but the bar is designed to be used in a hot shower and should melt nicely.


A picture of the solid body butters I made. I used 70% unrefined butters, 30% exfoliants and omitted the use of fragrance or essential oils. You can tell it's a bit more speckly :)

The above recipe is NOT the actual Lush recipe (I wish!) but a result of experimentation by me. If you choose to republish the recipe on your site or through any other medium, a heads-up and credit back to my original recipe would be greatly appreciated!

That being said, I hope you have enjoyed the recipe and stay tuned for more Lush "Make Your Own" recipes!

Tip: If you don't have adzuki beans you can use ground coffee beans instead. Caffeine applied topically is apparently supposed to help with cellulite.

Ingredients, description and picture of Lush's Buffy were taken from Lush USA.

Saturday, 13 December 2008

Shiricki at Kyaaa

I was searching the web late last night for photoshop brushes and I stumbled across Shiricki's website. She had some beautiful brushes up for free download because she felt bad about having to charge for them before (isn't she sweet?). From her site, I gathered that Shiricki is one of those rare, talented people who are just brimming with creativity all the time.

Anyway, I found out that she also makes soap which she sells on this website. And wow, what soap! Here are some pictures below taken from her site of the soaps she has made.

Strawberries Soap

Jellyfish Soap

She calls her felt soaps, cozy soaps because you can cuddle them in the shower. I know, it's the cutest thing! I feel like getting one just because they are so cute I can actually imagine myself hugging them in the shower.

These are my favourite. Her soap chocolates are absolutely gorgeous. They look incredibly hard to make and I am suitably impressed!

They aren't just good looking, here's a list for the ingredients she uses for one of her soaps.

"olive oil, coconut oil, cream, strawberries, blue poppy seeds, strawberry perfume-oil, beetroot juice, NaOH "

Yum, yum! It sounds like it would be absolutely divine on its own even without the felt. The felt obviously makes them that much more desirable!

Thank you, Shiricki for letting me share your amazing soaps with my blog friends and readers. It was truly a pleasure!

Sunday, 7 December 2008

My Top 10

I've listed below a list of my Top 10 favourite and staple ingredients that I have to have stocked in my soap pantry. I'm sure some of these must be your favourites too!

10. Almond Meal

picture from Dane International Commodities Inc.

Some almond meal mixed with a dash of the liquid of your choice make for an excellent facial cleanser and scrub suited for the delicate skin of your face. There is really no need for a moisturiser after cleansing unless you have really dry skin as the almonds are loaded with its natural oil. If you don't have almond meal you can make your own by blanching the almonds in hot water and then grinding them in a blender.

9. Coconut Oil


This is THE oil for soapmaking and I just can't do without! It gives soap its bubbly lather which we all love! I also have around extra virgin coconut oil for its delicious, natural scent! It can be used in lotions, body butters, scrubs and it works wonders in a hot oil treatment for hair.

8. Olive Oil


Again, this oil performs divinely in soap and is essential if you enjoy making 100% olive oil soaps. I use regular olive oil for soaps as extra virgin olive oils are expensive. However, I believe they work just as well in soap. I do have my regular supply of extra virgin olive oil as well! Only, I use them in recipes which don't call for heat for fear of damaging any of its wonderful properties.

7. Unrefined Beeswax


This lovely wax has such a sweet smell of honey that it is my favourite wax to use in any recipes that call for wax. Coupled with regular honey, beeswax helps the scent to stick when I make my OMH soaps. It also feels beautiful and smooth when applied to lips in the form of a lip balm.

6. Vanilla Beans


There is absolutely nothing I don't like about vanilla beans. Even if I try to hate it, I just cannot. Vanilla is the smell most loved by everyone and imparts such a comforting warmth and smoothness when added to your products. It goes with just about every scent! I infuse oils with it, put it in my sugar jar, grind it and add it to scrubs as well as soak it in vodka to make vanilla extract.

5. Unrefined Cocoa Butter


Chocolate! That's what my cocoa butter always smells like. I know of a delightful supplier who sells the yummiest cocoa butter and have blogged about them before here. These huge chunks of fair trade cocoa butter are an absolute must in my massage bars. The chocolate-y smell is to die for! If you use enough of it in soaps, the scent will come through as the soap mellows over time.

4. Unrefined Shea Butter


Shea butter is so popular especially in its whipped form for an easy and nourishing moisturiser. I don't have a problem with its smell but it is quite strong and will be prominent in your finished product. This butter is said to have natural, healing properties and soaks in to the skin quite nicely!

3. Honey


Delicious, runny, golden honey; what will I do without you? I love the feel of a jar of warm honey in my hands. As it can be difficult to work with when it's cold, I normally warm it for a few seconds in the microwave. I use this in just about everything. When I'm lazy, I warm up a small bit of honey in a bowl of hot water and apply it to my face for a quick and easy face mask!

2. Full Cream Milk


Goat's milk, cow's milk, soy milk, almond milk, I love them all! If I can find a way to use them in my recipes I will. Fresh full fat milk as the liquid in your face scrubs, masks or cleansers feels delightful on dry, sensitive skin. In powdered form, it can be added to bath bombs or bath milks. One or two cups of full fat goat's milk powder in a bath can transform it in to something so indulgent and luxurious!

1. Oats


Oats! How I love thee, let me count the ways. No, forget it, there are just TOO many ways. I use them in EVERYTHING! I keep regular oats, fine oatmeal and hydrolyzed oat protein. They are often used in my soaps, scrubs, bath bombs, bath milks, shampoo, conditioner, lotions and anything else I can think of. They just feel so soothing on the skin and have such a yummy smell I can't help but be in love. Oats, my number one favourite ingredient!

Do you have a Top 10 list of your favourite ingredients? If you do, I'd like to hear about it or better yet, why don't you blog about it? I'd be thrilled to know if anyone else shares the same infatuation that I have with my Top 10 list :)

Sunday, 30 November 2008

I'll try to be good, I promise!

I'm back from busy, busy land and hoping that I've passed all my exams in my final semester. That being said, if I do pass, I will have completed my first degree :). So many things have happened!

I was doing a Bachelor of Business (Tourism and Hospitality) and I do not want to start working yet!! Well, work for real or full-time rather. I told you I'm lazy. Anyway, in high school in Malaysia or Year 11 here in Australia, I took purely science and maths subjects. Now, I have this crazy desire to take up science and maths again. It's either a Bachelor of Science or a Bachelor of Arts. If I do science I have no clue what subjects I will take but if I do arts I will take up two languages and linguistics.

I wouldn't mind doing a Masters but I don't want to be overqualified and besides, I don't know if I will be able to survive a Masters! If anyone wants to offer their opinions or advice it will be gladly appreciated :)

Back to soap and such! A picture below of the shampoo and conditioner I made for my sister. The recipe for this particular conditioner is different to the one I made before. I upped the water content plus added some extra goodies like green tea extract and dimethicone. Overall, I preferred the previous recipe eventhough it was simpler.


This conditioner is very light and suitable for people with oily hair or those who wash their hair everyday. Otherwise, if you have hair like me on the drier side, you will need to slather on heaps more. However, I find with this conditioner, you can get away with less washing as it conditions but doesn't weigh down the hair. In essence, it takes longer for you hair to become oily (accumulate sebum) between washes.

Still, I will try reducing the water content for next time to increase the strength of the conditioner. However, it still is a lovely conditioner and my friend commented on the softness of my hair which made me happy!

The shampoo has a rich lather and leaves your hair squeaky clean. That may or may not be a good thing depending on what you like. It does contain glyceryl cocoate for emollient properties and absolutely no sodium laureth sulfate! The main surfactant was a PBS base from Aussie Soap Supplies. I, personally, do not like the squeaky clean feel and might experiment with different surfactants.

Both the shampoo and conditioner are paraben free as well as pH balanced to about 4.5 - 5. There is some science to acidic shampoos and conditioners which tighten the cuticles of the hair instead of lifting them up like basic hair products do. It is supposed to make hair look shinier and feel smoother. I was doing some googling about pH and hair which you can do too if you are interested! There are quite a few articles.

The one in the picture is fragranced with Ginger Souffle by Aussie Soap Supplies. The colour was achieved by steeping some hops flowers in boiling water. I'm happy with the colour and although the smell is unlike the Ginger Souffle fragrance from Origins, it is still very pleasant. The smell of the ginger is a bit more evident and there is a touch of honey in it which works extremely well with the sharpness of the ginger.

I also scented another batch with Island Kiss (Escada Type) which by the way smells exactly like the real thing! However, the earthy smell of the hops messed with the fragrance a little. So, in my next batch I will have to keep an eye out for smell altering properties. Some of the surfactants had a strong smell as well but the fragrances covered it up nicely.

Anyway, I'm off! I am going to make a yummy eye cream next which will have a secret ingredient I'm eager to try out. See you all soon! I've missed all my blogging friends :(

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

A Long Break

Hi guys! I'm so sorry for my absolutely dead blog :(. I haven't forgotten about it! I still love formulating! I have exams until the 14th of November so I'll be taking a break until then. Expect more posts and a Christmas giveaway after that. Hope to see you all at my "grand reopening" :) Bye!


Sunday, 5 October 2008

To Garden or Not to Garden?

That is the question I am asking myself at this very moment. My aunt loves gardening and I think she gets it from my grandfather who is also an avid gardener. He has a pretty little vegetable garden and a small part is being overrun by the notorious peppermint plant! I'll have to take pictures the next time I go back to Malaysia.

Anyway, it was a beautiful, balmy spring day today and I was looking out into the back garden. Both the front and back garden are badly neglected because my aunt doesn't have time to look after them anymore. She used to devote her weekends to tending them but now she spends her weekends at the farm. So, the poor gardens are literally choked with weeds.

I saw a plant in the corner with pretty purple and pink flowers which I couldn't see properly at first due to all the weeds. They had grown so tall it was like pushing through foliage in a jungle. I started about weeding it and I used to love pulling up weeds as a child in my grandfather's garden. Anyway, I must have forgotten what it was like because I wasn't prepared for this...


and this


and this


and one small unidentified grayish white insect which sort of looked like that small insect next to the spider in the previous picture though I'm not sure if they're the same thing.

I think I now have four new phobias. Four different creepy crawlies in one pot, what are the odds?!? Okay, maybe the odds are good and someone should have told me that before I went outside! The millipede was the worse! I poked it with a dry leaf and it started scuttling out. It's like a worm that can scuttle!!! The worm-like appearance, the amount of tiny legs and that curling up thingy that they do eeewwwww!!

Ugh, so to garden or not to garden? Can I man up to the task?

I don't know.

Right now, I'm cowering indoors like a little girl in my millipede-free world with my millipede-free cup of tea typing on my millipede-free laptop.

I still get shivers looking at that picture.

On another note, ph paper is not so readily accessible and I will have to order them online from a supplier. Sigh, can you say too much hassle?? I was bored waiting for the delivery of the paper so I made some soap. Unveiling tomorrow or the day after!

Have a nice millipede-free day people! Unless, of course, millipedes are your thing then you're welcome to mine. Bye!

P.S. As I went to type center in HTML I typed centipede LOL!

Friday, 19 September 2008

The Hermit Life

I bet you've all been wondering (or not) why I dropped off the face off the earth *again*. Well, this time it's because I'm planning something big! I'm planning a *drum roll please* wait for it...wait for it...I'm planning a....GIVEAWAY!!!!!!!

That's right! It's spring in Melbourne the weather is 21C today and I'm happy. I've been holed up in my house experimenting with my latest creation. I thought it would be easy to put this together but boy, was I kidding myself. There were so many unanswered questions I had that I've been doing a huge amount of research. It really needs to be just right.

So, I think I'm almost there. All I need to do now is to find some pH Hydrion paper. It's proving more difficult than I thought.

Okay, I'm rambling and I'm eager to show you what I've been working on! I've told Dan to contact his high school today to see if they have any. Fingers crossed.

I'll be back with the unveiling and the giveaway details ;)

Wednesday, 3 September 2008

Banana Bread

A few days ago, I was over at Joanna's blog Product Body who by the way is an awesome bath and body formulator, and found out about a trade she did with Leslie from The Hungry Housewife. You can read Leslie's take on the trade here. Leslie's banana bread for Joanna's product goodies! How incredible is that? Pure genius, I say!

That's how I discovered Leslie's recipe for a banana bread. If you had gone over to Joanna's blog and read about the trade and taken a peek at the pictures of the banana bread you will understand why I just *had* to make this. It was great timing because I had four bananas sitting in the fruit basket that were starting to turn black.



Wow wow wow!! These were so-very-incredibly delicious! I can't believe I actually made these! Why do they look like muffins? I wish I could say I did it on purpose just to be creative and different but the truth is, I don't have a bread baking tin so I improvised :).



Also, there are only three banana muffins pictured in this photo because I took these two days later and these were all that were left. 10 people tasted the bread and all of them gave a thumbs up! And this was without the blueberries!


So, if you are just dying to make some banana bread now and I know you are ;) scoot on over to The Hungry Housewife's blog and check out her banana bread recipe. Then after that, banana bread french toast maybe? All in all, this really is the perfect banana bread!

Sunday, 31 August 2008


It is Malaysia's Independence Day today on the 31st of August. That is a picture of Tunku Abdul Rahman, the first Prime Minister of Malaysia announcing Malaysia's independence from British rule amidst the cheers from the crowd

There are many things I may not like about Malaysia, but I still love my country. So to all Malaysians, here's to celebrating 51 years of our country's independence. May we always strive to live and work together in harmony.

Selamat Hari Merdeka!

Tuesday, 26 August 2008

Kenyir Lake - Waterfall!







We had the entire waterfall to ourselves, no one else came by! There were tons of fish swimming around in the little lake and ponds! Pretty silvery fish that nibbled at your toes. The water was absolutely divine, crystal clear and deliciously cool. We spent hours swimming and playing with the dangerous looking rope swing ;)

Thursday, 21 August 2008

Snow Continued






It was fun while it lasted :). Spring is coming in September!

Thursday, 14 August 2008

A Break from the Snow

Kenyir Lake, Terengganu





These are the views from the Kenyir Spa Resort. Blue skies are a rare thing indeed in tropical, showery Malaysia!

Tuesday, 12 August 2008


Hello! I'm so happy to see some of you still read my blog!!! *big hugs to all* I won't be soaping so much for the moment because I need to find a part-time job! After that, I can go back to soaping!! Wheee! Here are some pictures from our trip to Falls Creek.


This door was fully accessible on the first day! Taken here on the third day. Look at all that snow!!




My snow angel :) More pictures later!

Friday, 8 August 2008


Hello! I can't believe I've been away for over a month!!!! My holiday in Malaysia was incredible and I have so much things to write about I don't know where to start. First things first, I've been tagged by Trisha over at Suds to Love and Heather at One Bubble at a Time. I miss each and everyone of my soapy friends and will slowly adjust to my normal routine of visiting blogs and writing more posts! My life lately has been a whirlwind of activity which I dislike by the way. If anyone knows me, they know I am the world's laziest person. Okay, on to the meme!

These are the rules:

1) Link to the person who tagged you
2) Post the rules on your blog (this is what you are now reading)
3) Write 6 random things about yourself (see below)
4) Tag 6 people at the end of your post and link to them (This is only a game)
5) Let each person know they have been tagged and leave a comment on their blog
6) Let the tagger know when your entry is up

Random items:
1) I am extremely high-strung. A very annoying trait of mine. I need to learn to relax!
2) I have an unhealthy addiction to Coke that I am in the process of kicking unsuccessfully.
3) I love the seaside and if I could live forever near the sea I would.
4) My family and Dan are most important in my life.
5) Everything I do, I do last minute.
6) For some strange reason I cannot read love stories which involves one of the couple in the story dying. Although, I can read crime, thriller and horror books just fine!

People I'm Tagging:

I REALLY did this last minute because everyone has already been tagged :( Oh, well I'm bound to find someone who hasn't been tagged (I hope) and I'll add you up here :) In the meantime, if you haven't done this yet and want to have some fun link me to the 6 random facts about yourself :D Goodnight everyone!

Saturday, 21 June 2008

Creme Caramel


I took a little break from studying and made some creme caramel soaps. I'm happy with the design but am really confused about the smell!


The top is scented with Special Edition Vanilla fragrance from Sweetcakes and the bottom part of the soap is scented with Brown Sugar Fragrance from Save on Scents. The reason I switched the two scents was due to the vanilla's discolouring agent. However, when I first removed it out of the mould, the soap smelled like a cross between eggs and cake. Not unpleasant but not great either.


Now, it doesn't really smell like anything. Just sweet and very mildly so which I think is due to the raw cane sugar I sprinkled on top. The heat from the saponification caramelised it quite well even if it was a pain to get it out of the mould.


I think I'll have to increase the amount of fragrance I included although I thought I put in loads of the vanilla! I suspect its not very concentrated at all which is a shame. Anyone have any experience with fragrances from Sweetcakes?

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Hello everyone

I know my posts have been few and far in-between. Things have been a little hectic lately. I have so many things to do and I just want to get them over with. 

First, I have to get my visa renewed to continue my studies and I can't decide if I should get a medical check-up with or without a blood test. A blood test is required if I want to apply for a permanent visa which I am thinking of getting done. The check up costs AUD223 and if I do one without a blood test now, I'll have to pay another AUD223 to get it done again even if it hasn't already been 12 months!

You'd think it would be easy though. Just get a blood test done! Unfortunately, I'm a big fat chicken hiding in the body of a 21 year old girl. I detest blood tests. Maybe I need to start practicing by donating blood. Can you imagine me chickening out on donating blood? I won't actually be the most popular kid on the block.

I don't like injections but I'm not afraid of them. It's when they start drawing the blood that I get a little iffy. Apparently, you can feel the blood flowing through your vein when they do it! What's up with that? I just got stuck by a needle, I don't need to feel the blood rushing out of my vein! Plus, I don't think it helps that I hate the sight of blood? Makes me automatically reach for my neck (too many vampire films). AHH, okay I'm freaking out.

I also have to renew my medical insurance, get passport photos blah blah blah I'm boring myself. Basically, need to tick off all the things on my visa checklist and I don't know why I'm even stressing about this.

Secondly, I have an INSANE exam timetable. I have an exam on the 25th and two on the 26th and I'm leaving on a jet plane (insert tune to leaving on a jet plane here) at midnight. I booked my ticket on the 26th because what are the odds I'll have an exam on the very last day anyway. Never happened to me before. Well, someone hates me because i have TWO on the last day.

I'm supposed to do some shopping for family before I go back to Malaysia and I don't know how I'm going to find the time to do that. Did I mention I'm also working??? Four hours a day for five days starting monday. My boss is a tyrant and doesn't allow students to take time off work for exams because most of his employees are students. Although, I'm quitting after this semester so it's all good!

There you have it, I'm a little stressed. I had the worse nightmare last night. I was stuck in the middle of a war from a horror movie, chased by a monster with the biggest and sharpest teeth ever and a bomb dropped on to my baby brother. Woke up at 1 in the afternoon feeling completely drained.

Put some oats in the microwave and it exploded. Oh, okay then! Sighed to myself, cleaned up the microwave, made a fresh batch and set the power to a lower level and a shorter time. Came back to find the oats had exploded again. It wasn't okay this time.

These are the oats that I cook everyday for breakfast and they've never exploded on me. Well, maybe the first time I did them but that doesn't count!

I'm feeling very frazzled and anxious. As I type this, I'm sitting on the edge of my seat. What is going on? However, I'm determined not to adopt a negative attitude but I will be taking a little break from blogging as frequently as I was a month or two ago.

Everything will be back to normal after the end of this month. I have not lost my passion for soaps, creams, bombs, melts, etc. So expect more to come! Wish me luck for my exams everyone!

I'll still be visiting my favourite blogs from time to time. Love, kisses and hugs to all my regular readers and blogging friends!


Tuesday, 10 June 2008


Look what came to me in the mail recently.


Black Cherry and Vanilla Shea Butter Lip Balm from Elizabeth Gassner at Gassner Custom Soaps! She sent me a little present for commenting on a little competition she had on her blog post. I didn't actually get it right but she sent me something anyway. Isn't she a sweetie? The packaging didn't actually come like that. I've been using it and my fingers must have rubbed some of the ink off. That is proof that I adore this lip balm!


Oh lip balm, how I love thee, let me count the ways! Okay, first of all, this lip balm comes packed in the cutest oval tube I've ever seen. Makes for an easy applicator, I absolutely love it. Very unique!

Second, I fell in love with the scent, oh and what a scent! It smells exactly like sweet cherries. I used to have a doll that smelled like cherries when I was younger and this sure does bring back memories :).

Last but not least, I adore how it feels on my lips! It glides on smoothly and leaves behind a gorgeous, glossy sheen. The best part? It doesn't feel oily at all. After a while, I barely realise it's there!

Thank you Elizabeth for the lovely gift!!

You can get one of her amazing lip balms here. You can also pick any flavour you want and for USD 2.50 it's a steal!

Gassner Custom Soaps Main Website
Gassner Custom Soaps's Etsy
Elizabeth's Blog