Saturday, June 28, 2014

How to Make Goat Milk, Oatmeal, and Honey Moisturizing Soap

This blog post finds me making a batch of home made soap.  I used a different recipe than the first time I made soap because I wanted to try something different and a bit more complicated this time.  It turned out well.

This recipe uses goat milk and oatmeal and will be a good moisturizing soap.  First I get all my ingredients together.

This recipe calls for Palm oil, Olive oil, and Coconut oil.

Goat milk, Honey, and Oats


Essential oils for fragrance.  I decided to make 2 different fragrance combination soaps based on recommendations I got off the internet.

Batch 1

Batch 2

 Next I got my safety gear together.  I also wear long sleeves to keep splatters from burning my arms.

Measuring out the oatmeal.  1.35 ounces - I chop it in the blender.

Olive Oil - 14 ounces

 Coconut Oil - 9.35 ounces

Palm Oil - 6.0 ounces

Honey - 0.7 ounces

Lye - 4.2 ounces

Goat Milk - 11 ounces

Mix the oils together.

 Put on your safety gear.  Go outside on the porch.  Pour out the Goat Milk into a stainless steel bowl.  Add Lye slowly to the Goat Milk in that order only.   Do NOT breathe the fumes.  Stir constantly.  Have your thermometer handy for measuring the temperature.  This mixture will get hot fast due to the chemical reaction taking place.  It can exceed 140 degrees!

Microwave the oils so that they are melted together and mix.  I cooled the mixture in an ice bath to speed up the process.  You want the temperature of the oils to match the eventual temperature of the goat milk/lye mixture.  92 degrees is the optimum temperature that you want both bowls to be at.
When both bowls are at 92 degrees, pour them in the same bowl (larger).  Begin mixing with a hand mixer until you see waves in the mixture.  This is the Trace phase.

When the mixture reaches Trace phase, add the oatmeal and honey. 

I then split the batch (it was about 5 cups total) and added the essential oils to each batch as indicated below.

Batch 1:  1/4 ounce Sage plus 1/4 ounce Lemon = 1/2 ounce total

I made the lemon-sage soap in a loaf pan (to be cut after it dries in 48 hours).

 Batch 2:  3/8 ounce Lavender  and 1/8 ounce of Peppermint = 1/2 ounce total

I made the Lavender- Peppermint mixture in soap mold shapes.  I got all of the soap molds at Good Will.  Just be on the look out.  However, the aluminum mold (hearts) in the back got thrown away because it is difficult to get the soap out.  I learned that silicone molds are definitely the best.

After 48 hours, take the soap out of the pans.  Cut the loaf.  Let it cure (harden off) for 4-6 weeks out in the open.  This time is necessary so the soap will be hard and won't disingrate when you wash with it.   The soap looks great and smells wonderful. 

Happy Lathering!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Vegetable Garden Status on Summer Solstice - 2014

The pictures below are of my vegetable garden on the longest day of the year - Summer Solstice, June 21, 2014.  I found some interesting facts regarding the Summer Solstice at the following link:

 The Cucumbers are doing well - we will have plenty this year - not quite ready for harvest yet.


The girls are looking for bugs.


Beautiful Bell Peppers

 Zucchini - we have lots.

Bush Beans are coming up - no harvest yet.

A small Dragonfly

The Garden Spider is waiting for pests.

 Asian Persimmons - I'm really concerned about this tree this year - it is not very healthy.  We may lose it.  I attribute its' demise to the really large temperature drop (+60 degrees) in March.

The Peach tree has a lot of fruit this year.

The Peaches will be ready for harvest in another week or so.


This is our first crop of Almonds on this tree.

 Harvested Garlic


Our Tomato plants look really ratty this year, but at least we were able to harvest some tomatoes.

 The day's harvest on Summer Solstice- the Zucchini are LARGE!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Early June 2014 - Day-lilys In Bloom and the Latest Visiting Backyard Critters

It is starting to warm up around here in North Texas this first week of June 2014.  The afternoon temperatures are reaching the low 90's.  We haven't had rain in over a week and cracks are starting to appear in my yard.  Several towns within the DFW Metroplex have severe watering restrictions for yards and are limiting watering to once every other week now.  My particular community limits watering to once per week.

Lately, we have had an extraordinary number of bunnies in the yard this year.  Since my little dog, Festus is slowing down, the bunnies are getting more bold and have no fear of him at all now.  So far our garden fence has been doing a pretty good job of keeping them out of the vegetable patch.

The Purple Martins are busy feeding their chicks now.   Male (left) and female (right)

The Cow's Tongue Prickly Pear is blooming now - there are not as many blooms on this plant as usual this year.

The Spineless Prickly Pear is also in bloom.

 Butterfly weed - can you see the tiny ants covering the blooms?

The Petunia baskets on the front porch are still in full bloom.

The Lamb's Ear is blooming now.

A male Cardinal sitting in the Bur Oak Tree.

A female Cardinal on the roof.

I have several different colors of traditional day-lily's blooming this week.

PEST:  Grasshopper

The Trumpet Vine is in full bloom!  Perfect for the hummingbirds.

Another variety of Blue Salvia is also blooming now.  Hummingbirds and butterflies also like this flower.

Mockingbird in a Crepe Myrtle.

The property I live on was a farm field before I moved here.  There were no trees except on the fence row.  I have lived here since 2002.  This is the first year that a squirrel has visited my yard!

We thought we had dug up all our strawberry plants from last year - we decided not to replant.  This is one coming up as a volunteer.

Mushrooms are growing in the hardwood mulch.

A Mediterranean House Gecko is visiting the garden looking for bugs.

Another Mockingbird on the fence.

A Katydid on the dried Columbine flower.