Sunday, August 31, 2008

Mmmm... Chocolate...

The change of the season is happening again. I never tire of watching the seasons come and go. Each one offering something new to replace the colors and smells of the season past. As summer begins to fade into fall, we welcome warm familiar tones and scents, while looking toward preparing our skin in readiness for the cool and bluster of the months ahead.

Cocoa butter is an ingredient new to the Manor. Pressed from the cocoa bean, it carries a wonderful chocolate aroma. But aside from its heavenly natural scent, it also holds excellent benefits for the skin, and has been used through the centuries as an effective moisturizer helping to keep the skin soft and supple. Cocoa butter melts into the skin with ease, creating a natural barrier between the skin and the harsher elements associated with our weather. Rich in antioxidants, cocoa butter helps retain moisture and offers emollience to dry or chafed skin.

There's a new wild child running the halls of the Manor. Set against a backdrop of sweet orange essential oil, and stirred through with moisturizing cocoa butter and rich cocoa bean powder, "Choccy Orange Kerfuffle" is an indulgent heavenly delight. It's a little chocolate commotion with a big feeling of lotion. On the website and available to chocoholics near and far. Get yours now, and prepare to feel the melt.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mattoon Street Arts Festival '08

Labor Day is nearly upon us, and the weekend after Labor Day always means the Mattoon Street Arts Festival.

The Festival, celebrating its 36th year, is Springfield's signature festival, and one of New England's longest running arts and crafts fairs. With over 90 exhibitors displaying and selling handmade arts and artisan crafts on a wonderfully historic tree-lined urban street over two weekend days, it is as unique as the artists and craftspeople that participate in it year in and year out. Herringbone brick sidewalks, stately London Plane shade trees, and cast iron ornamental street lights all contribute to the charm of this designated historic district.

Next weekend will be my fourth appearance at the Festival, and although it is a lot of hard work preparing for it, I am looking forward to it. It's a chance for me to meet my local customers and for you all to come by and say hello. The third year was great because it was the first time people were coming up to me and saying that they look for me there "every year".

Mattoon Street Arts Festival, Mattoon Street, Springfield Massachusetts. September 6th and 7th, 10:00-5:00. Hope to see you there!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Beauty Counter Contest

Want to win some free Manor Hall soap? Head over to The Beauty Counter and enter their contest. The Beauty Counter is a beauty product review blog which covers everything from makeup to shower stuff.

Hil'Lesha, who runs The Beauty Counter, just wrote up a great review on there of a few different Manor Hall products. And now she's doing a contest giveaway of one of our Three Bar Gift Totes. Entering is easy. All you have to do is click this link, read the post carefully, and just mention your favorite Manor Hall product, name and email in the competition entry box. That's it!

Please remember this competition is happening on The Beauty Counter and not the Manor Hall Soap Blog. Commenting on this post right here will not enter you into the competition. You must go there in order to enter. The giveaway ends September 7th.

Good luck!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Rinse and Shine

The outer layer of each strand of hair is made up of small cuticle scales. They overlap for protection of the hair shaft, laying flat and reflecting the light to give shine.

Rather like louvre blinds, these cuticles open when the hair is washed. When this layer of protective scales is damaged, the cuticles don't close properly, causing an uneven sheath. The hair looks course, tangles frequently and breaks with ease. Instead of reflecting the light, the hair absorbs it taking on a dull and lifeless appearance.

The residue left behind from many of today's hair products builds up on the hair shaft. This residue coats the strands, and impedes the cuticle's ability to lay flat. Rinsing the hair with cider vinegar helps to condition the scalp, removes residual build up, and promotes closing of the cuticle layer. Tangles are fewer because the strands of hair are smooth, and natural shine is restored.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Beauty in a Bottle

Olive oil is a wonderful friend to many home beauty treatments. Used alone, or with other kitchen cupboard staples, olive oil is a favorite among natural beauty enthusiasts.

Nails and Cuticles: A twenty minute soak in a small cup of olive oil does wonders for brittle nails and rough cuticles. Add a little sugar when you're done soaking for a moisturizing hand massage.

Hands: If your hands are feeling the rough of the season, massage in a little olive oil before bed and slip on some cotton gloves.

Bath: Add a drizzle of olive oil to your bath water for an all over moisturizing treat. A few drops of lavender essential oil makes for a nice soothing calm.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Peppermint Essential Oil

The use of peppermint oil dates back through many centuries. Found in the tombs of Egypt as early as 1000BC, it is also documented in early Greece and Rome, where it was used primarily to aid digestion. A perennial herb native to the Mediterranean, it grows to around three feet tall.

Distilled from the whole plant, peppermint oil is very cooling and refreshing. Its smell is very fresh, very sharp, and very menthol.

Antiseptic, analgesic, and decongestant, peppemint oil is excellent for refreshing the spirit, and also for stimulating the mind. It helps with headaches, nausea, and nervous stress. Peppermint oil is also good for respiratory ease, being effective with coughs, colds, and sinuses.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

New England's Beauty

New England has some beautiful places. One of them is Hogback Mountain in Vermont, where you can stand in one place on a clear day and admire the terrain of four states - Vermont, New Hampshire, Massachusetts and New York.

Pictured above is a bar of Rainy Day Sunrise, perched on beautiful Hogback Mountain in Marlboro. The latest addition to the Manor Hall Around the World page.

Next time you're going out for the day, take a wrapped Manor Hall soap bar with you. Click a pic somewhere nice and send it to us in an email. If we use it on our page, we'll send a voucher your way to spend on the web site.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Harvest Bar Fest

One of the great things about making natural products with real plant-based aromas is the encouragement for growth that Mother Nature constantly provides. Whether it's that special night you always remember, or the refreshment of a just drenched morning, She'll never leave you short of inspiration.

August is harvest time. Harvest time is that sweet apex of Summer's fade swirled with the promise of a crisp, yet fruitful Fall. Hmm... did I say swirled? Yep... do believe I did. Swirled. Suppose I can never resist the temptation to swirl up a good batch of soap.
Born in August of 2006 and curing now, Hardy Har Harvest is my way of bringing a little slice of nature to you. Just as the days of Autumn are unique and unpredictable, so is the swirl you will find in each individual bar. But the smooth texture and snuggly scent is as reliable as the change of seasons. Please enjoy.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Grab and Go Special

There's a sale going on at The Manor. 15% off your order, all week long. Just enter the coupon code GRABNGO at checkout to receive 15% off your order.

This month's order box freebie is a bar of soothing Ooh La Lavender and Oatmeal. Check out the freebie page to see what else can be free inside your order box this month.

And shipping is still just five dollars, to anywhere in the U.S. Happy shopping!

Friday, August 1, 2008

This Month's Freebie

Every month I get to enjoy giving away a free bar of soap with every order. Never a mystery and always full size, the order box freebie for the month of August is a bar of Ooh La Lavender & Oatmeal. Check out the freebie page to see what else can be free inside your order box this month.