Thursday, December 15, 2011

Music to Soap By - Slade

I was there for this one. I remember it being released. Course, I was waiting for its release cos this was my fave band during my teenage years. OMG... I played this one so loud my bedroom windows vibrated. I made myself hoarse screaming out the chorus.... and my poor dad made himself hoarse yelling at me from the bottom of the stairs to turn it down!

That Christmas was memorable for me. 1973, the year that saw gifts such as Chopper bicycles and the game of Mastermind on most childrens list in England - including my brother. For me, it was serious wow time, as I took the wrapping off a desperately longed for new record player.

OMG... it played three different speeds. 33, 45, and 78s. It was stereo, and even had two speakers that I could position around the room. And the piece de resistance I discovered by accident... that if I pulled the record stacking arm back, it played the one song on repeat F-O-R-E-V-E-R! One record of my choice, over and over again? It was hook, line and sinker for me right there and then, and I have never lost the love for playing songs like that.

The workshop door is open. Order boxes are being packed, and the music is on repeat. The office may be closed for Christmas break, but behind the scenes is never still. Sing it loud, now.... "Merry Christmas Everybody!!!"

Slade, 1973 - Merry Christmas Everybody

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Holiday Hours Reminder

Just a reminder that the office closes at the end of today for our annual Holiday break. All orders placed before 5.00pm today will be packed and shipped by Friday the 16th. Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

A Bit Of Raw Video

You'd think having a techy guru like I have in Jason, that we'd have a state of the art video camera. We don't. Jason's a still-shot kinda guy.

On a "Snowflake" photo shoot in the workshop a few weeks ago, Jason switched his Nikon over to movie mode. He was experimenting to see what it did, and gave me no cue at all other than: "I wonder what it'd be like if I switched to video. Hmm...okay, we're live".

The first minute of film was me asking him what was he talking about, and then a short back and forth happened between us about testing sound and focus etc. While the movie mode continued its few minutes run, I picked up a log of the Snowflake soap Jason had just been photographing and started talking. Surprisingly, when we played back the three or so minutes of film, we found a half decent minute's worth of raw video worth sharing.

The movie mode on the Nikon only runs for a few minutes, but it's shown us that it's long enough to give a proper glimpse of life behind the scenes. There's the camera placement to sort out and some restrictions on focus that will need to be respected, but with a bit of understanding of what our limitations are, I can see me doing more of this kinda thing.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

A Mug Or The Soap

A good day's soapmaking is always measured by the mess left behind for the clean up. Oh, and the tea mugs. It wouldn't be a work day without an army of empty ones scattered about the workshop.

And office.

And packing room.

And... oh, every room you can imagine. Yes... it's a close call between which I love best - making soap or a cuppa. Please, don't ever make me choose!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Music To Soap By - Guster

It's taken me all week long to track down this one. I first heard it last weekend on a telly commercial and was hooked. Needless to say it's already on loop in the workshop, and I just can't get enough of it!

It's feeling so good standing at the workbench right now that the soap bars are almost wrapping themselves!

Guster, (unsure of year) - Tiny Tree Chrstmas

Friday, December 2, 2011

Music To Soap By - Darlene Love

Okay... we're into December! On loop in the workshop today is this one from Darlene Love. I actually heard her sing this live on Letterman earlier in the year... and despite the years having gone by since her original was recorded, the woman can still belt this out - and then some!

To the families of all those who serve our country... I know you know the lyrics to this one only too well. I thank you for lending us your loved ones in keeping us safe.

Darlene Love, 1963 - Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Night Time Is The Right Time

It's an absolute joy to be popping this third level freebie into the order boxes from Thanksgiving week.

The smell of "Night Time" is incredibly aromatic with its synergy blend of Chamomile, Lavender, and Plumeria. Wonderful extracts of oat and green tea help soften and soothe, and all that's left for you to do is pour... and breathe the day away.

In the November order boxes now, compliments of the freebie page!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Beams From Honey and Sonny

Nothing beats the wide smiles of grandchildren to get the day off to a good start. Here's Honey and Sonny with some early morning feel-good cheers, straight from my email box. I love today's technology!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Holiday Season Ahoy

Order boxes from the Thanksgiving sale have been packing today. Shipping notices are flying tonight. It's been a busy week of it all. Having the office closed for the four day weekend gave me the chance to really go to town on a soapfest. I did get the chance to watch some television too.

December is almost upon us. Are we really ready for the festive season? Somehow it still feels like summer's end. I haven't a clue where the Fall went to. I know the winter is here though... the trees are bare, and it's frosty in the mornings.

Hope your Thanksgiving weekend was as nice as mine. It won't be long before I'm wishing everyone a Happy Christmas!

Sunday, November 27, 2011


I've been on a wrapfest since Friday evening. Two batches left to get through and it's back to the soap making. Roll on 8.00am!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Meet Snowflake

Meet Snowflake... in her full Art House glory. I so wish you could smell through the computer. I am in love with this scent. It's light and clean, sweet but not cloying, with a beckoning of a real winter's tree somewhere in the background.

Try as I might, I can't walk away from the bar without making the trip back to it for another whiff. Is it the light of the nutmeg... or is it the mystery of the clove? Maybe it's the vanilla. I'm not sure, but I love the way the Holiday evergreen pulls it all together in an incredible tease.

I have a new fave!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours from all of us here at The Manor.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Music To Soap By - Rod Stewart

On loop in the workshop since yesterday is this one. I just can't get enough of the drum beat right now.

I'm working on four batches of soap, master batching sugar scrubs, logging up, slicing and shelving yesterday's bounty... then lining up the Holiday gift selection for tonight's photo shoot. And while I'm working I am so feeling myself cantering on horseback with the wind in my hair as Rod belts it out!

Wherever you are in your day today and whatever you may be doing, stay... forever young!

Rod Stewart, 1988 - Forever Young

Olive Oil

The olive tree has a commanding tenacity. No matter how harsh the winter, or burning dry the summer, it still grows strong and upright in stoic resolution to bring us a fruit renowned for its nourishment and salve. A very emollient oil, it has been used for thousands of years on the skin to calm, to cleanse and to moisturize.

The olive is very high in polyphenols. These are a broad class of antioxidants that include flavonoids and catechins, common also to red wine, chocolate, grape juice and tea. Antioxidants are useful in the aging process... they help slow it down.

But antioxidants also hold other qualities of importance to us. The phenols found in olive oil have an antifungal and antibacterial action. Phenols also prevent "Oxidative Stress", a highly oxidized environment within cells where there is an overflow of free radicals and a lack of antioxidant support. Oxidative Stress always leads to inflammation, a common aggravator in dermatitis and other similar skin conditions.

Olive oil is a great humectant. Attracting external moisture to the skin, it still allows normal function to take place such as shedding, sweating and sebum release. Olive oil doesn't clog pores, It is gentle, and hypoallergenic.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Blade Runner

Trimming the block of Orange Tree Blast with my blade, Art House style of course. Other batches waiting in the wings for the same are: Almost Sunset, Sweet Neem, Twist of Lemongrass, Ooh La Lavender, and Golden Jojoba. I love this part of the art... I could do it all day long.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Seasonal Buy 2 Get 1 Free

Get into the Thanksgiving mood with a "buy 2 get 1 free" special on our Seasonal page.

Just select your flavor, "Sugared Pumpkin" or "Hot Apple Spice", enter 2 into the quantity box and we'll give you a third one free. Use coupon code "BUY2GET1" at checkout. Offer ends midnight on Thursday November 10th and applies only to the products on the seasonal page.

Keep dry skin at bay the Manor Hall way. Happy shopping!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Lost Week Of Snowmageddon

Well, that was certainly the week that was! It's just like a lost week.

Friday the 28th came and went as normal. Saturday was productive, and we left late afternoon to attend a neighbor's Halloween get-together. We walked over the threshold to an eerie "Hah Hah Ha!" coming through speakers as the front door was opened, and less than five minutes later it was absolute Bedlam outside with tree limbs crashing around, falling on cars, garages, rooftops and power lines to boot. To add to all this craziness was the thick falling snow, set against a pretty backdrop of gold and reds of the Autumn leaves - still on the trees.

Snowmageddon. Complete power out for six full days and nights. No electricity, heating or phones. National Guard called in, and power workers from states far and wide traveling in convoy to help put things right. Incredible. Absolutely unreal!

And so here I am, where I was expecting to be a week ago... only it isn't Monday October 31st. It's Monday November 7th, and it's like we just skipped a week. Puff. Gone. Just like that! The website changeover is waiting in the wings. New Holiday products are waiting to go live on the website. Oils weighed out in the pans waiting to soap, and shea butter whip about to be whipped.

I'm pleased to say that all orders held up because of the Lost Week of Snowmageddon are packed and ready to ship. Yay! Tracking numbers will be sent out this evening. Thank you everyone for your patience and understanding. Normal service has now resumed!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Falling For Snow

Tall white pines and beautiful Fall trees. It's 2:30pm in Springfield, MA and the snow is here.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pretty Me Pumpkin Mask

It's almost the start of the Halloween weekend, and many a good pumpkin will be hollowed out and candled this next few days. But hold on before you trash the goodness you've scooped out, because pumpkin is a wonderful natural ingredient for your skin, and a simple facial treat can be made in minutes with ingredients from your kitchen cupboard.

Pumpkin is naturally soothing on the skin, and is also very moisturizing. Used as an ingredient in facial masks, it acts similarly to a carrier oil, and helps to carry the nutrients from other ingredients deep into the skin. Pumpkin is also rich in vitamins A and C.

Pretty Me Pumpkin Mask

You will need:
3 tablespoons of pumpkin (cooked)
1 tablespoon of honey (gently warmed)
1 teaspoon of cream/milk/or yogurt

How to:
Cook fresh pumpkin in a little water, then mash with a fork. Add the warmed honey and your cream/yogurt, then blend smooth with the back of a spoon. Apply the paste gently to the face, avoiding the eye area. Leave on for about ten minutes. Wipe away with warm damp face cloth.

Notes: Always test for allergies first. Be sure to throw away any unused mask, as it is not preserved.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Lip Smackin' Packin'

Lipskippers lip balms are sporting new labels, and also... boasting two new flavors. Cinnamon Sin, is hot to trot, and Darling Clementine is so holiday citrus.

Now is the time to get that pucker in place. The cooler weather is no friend to your delicate pout. Keep it soft and pretty by sealing the moisture in.

If you're shopping today, you can enjoy 20% off your entire order by using our autumn lovers newsletter promo code. Just type in "AUTUMNLOVER" at checkout, and enjoy the deal. You'll have to be fast though. Offer ends tonight at midnight. Pucker up pretty now, won't you!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Posh Frocks For The Stocks

Just sharing more of the new look with you from the cleansing grains page.

It feels like a dream as a more uniformed look is beginning to place around the stock room. I can't wait to see them make it to the shelves in shops around the country as our drive for more wholesale accounts gets underway.

How convenient would it be to have your Manor Hall faves in stores local to you, hey? I hear you. We're working on it!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Finally The Fall

With the website changeover finally in the last stage of completion, I'm hopeful that today will prove to be a little calmer for techy guy hero, Jason.

The holiday weekend was one of those crazy times where whatever could go wrong, did so. Oh, all was well in the workshop for me... but this hot seat was a different story as one thing after another just wouldn't play ball for the TeamManor techy guru.

So, here we are two days into the working week, and the new seasonal line is now on the website. Yay! Product descriptions are following. Don't ask where five hours of copy work went to. All I will say is that I really must get the hang of creating files and then saving them! :)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Music To Soap By - Bay City Rollers

Summer is well and truly going gone, and the HAD2WAIT orders are following suit.

On loop today with plenty neat footwork from yours truly is this one. Crank up the volume, get ready for the drum beat and enjoy the Columbus Day workshop bye bye party that's taking place here all day long.

Bay City Rollers, 1975 - Bye Bye Baby

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Manor Hall Talk On YouTube

Here's Lindsay from blackandblondeone talking about a couple of her Manor Hall faves. She's posted it to her youtube channel. Like wow! Thank you so much, Lindsay!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Holiday Weekend Tears Of Joy

I've just received an email from my mum in the UK. A cancer survivor of 12 years, she's never been able to come out here to visit us because of health insurance issues.

It was huge surgery that she had - whipples surgery. She's over 70 years of age now, and she's just found travel insurance through her cancer society. Flight for April looks certain.

I'm all of a blubber right now. My mum is gonna get to see where I live and what opportunity America has given to me. Wow!

Friday, October 7, 2011

A Whole Foods Market Symphony

Another shipment of Manor Hall is headed to Whole Foods Market Symphony Store on Westland Avenue in Boston. Their Whole Body team is absolutely fantastic to work with.

Check out the Whole Body dept next time you're in the area for our foaming facial cleansers, facial grains, face masks, complexion bars, classic soap bars, liquid handwash and bodywash gels. All natural, and all perfectly Manor Hall at Whole Foods Market!

Family Friday

Here's my little BigGirl, Gayle, when she was four years old. It's one of my fave pics of her. It's past her bedtime at the funfair, and she's tired. She has terrific drive, and always has had. Always knowing where she's going, she has great resolve. With two children under the age of three, she's just started a master's degree this week. I'm feeling pretty proud this Family Friday. You go, Gayle!!!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Onward My Chariot

My chariot is arriving on Tuesday. It will carry me through the ten days that follow as I move into a time of better production, ahead of more growth.

A time when more music will blare out of the workshop. A time when my home will be tidier than the MerryMaids could ever shine on it. A time when my legs will ache from silly dancing. A time when I will feel tired but absolutely fantastic.

Roll on Tuesday the 11th. That's when The Barbara arrives. She is one helluva chariot, and her wheels spin so fast they don't touch the ground!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Hearting Family

Today is a birthday, and yesterday was a birthday too. This was in the mailbox today. Family are so wonderful to have, and it feels good to know that there's a whole generation of little ones to continue the traditions through tomorrow of the things we hold so close today.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

September Break Time

I'm busy finishing up things today ahead of our annual September break. Much to do over the next two weeks in preparation for the busiest 13 weeks of the shopping year. During last year's break we had family from England to stay. This year, we're prepping for my son's wedding. We're gonna have a new Mrs in the family come October 1st, and it's gonna see me all misty eyed.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Kings, Queens And Court Jesters

Pussy-cat, pussy-cat, where have you been?
"I've been to London to look at the queen."

Okay... so it wasn't London, and it wasn't the queen. But for me and my small soap company at Boston Statehouse yesterday, it might as well have been.

There was a hearing for a cosmetics bill or two, where in well meaning wisdom a suggestion had been put forward that it would be great for Massachusetts to turn the label of a pot of creme with three simple ingredients into a ticker tape roll measuring four foot seven inches long:

If you want to know what it was all about and who was there with me here's some links for you. These folks are far more eloquent than I could ever be on the subject.

I'm still trying to make head and tail of the individual state laws, and can't believe what is planned for New York!!!???!!!

Having to learn the federal regulations is a hard enough task for small business owners like me, but learn and respect them we must. I really don't know how I'm expected to do business with all the other states if they each decide they want their own regulations. Do I follow FDA rules and regs... or do I follow state regs? Which law will trump which? It's going to be very confusing for me and every other small business like mine. I think it's also going to be very confusing for the customers who want to buy from us.

What do you think? How would something like this affect you? Maybe it's affecting you already. I welcome your comments.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We Will Always Remember

These photos are from my own personal collection. Each are from a different visit to the World Trade Center site.

Never forget those who died there in the towers, at the Pentagon and on a plane in Pennsylvania. Never forget those whose lives were changed forever on that awful, awful day. Never forget the brave souls who were rushing up the tower stairs, while so many others were rushing down for dear life. We will always remember them all.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Rolling With It

9pm and the night shift is just starting. My feet are still going strong in my trusty Reeboks. Can't say the same for my fingers, though! Contingency plan into action, and it's ditch the pretty parcel wrap and straight into wax bags with them.

Song still on loop. Roll, roll, roll. Wrap, wrap, wrap.

Mattoon Street Arts Festival

This is my dreaded task for today. And tonight. And into the small hours of tomorrow morning. There's nothing I love more than a good WrapFest but with 16 batches of 56 bars per flavor to go, I so badly wanna get it all behind me. My big local show set up is tonight, the show is tomorrow and Sunday. Monday I shall be fit for nothing.

The Mattoon Street Arts Festival is a great one, and always takes place the weekend after Labor Day. I absolutely love it! Mattoon Street is a beautiful historical tree lined street in Springfield, Massachsuetts. Over the festival weekend it is alive with white canopies, wonderful artists who are true to their craft, and live music. It's a fantastic family atmosphere.

As relieved as I may be to get the WrapFest all out of the way today, I am so looking forward to the weekend. I'll see you there!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Music To Soap By - Lenka

It's a creative day ahead for me and I'm in aqua and grey for it. It's been a crazy weekend... full of surprises, set backs and sagas.

On loop and blaring outta the workshop today, is this one by Lenka. I just can't stop shouting out the chorus as I'm finalizing the master batches for the new seasonal line. Cooler mornings, and cooler evenings. Guess fall is knocking at the door.

Wherever you are, and whatever you're doing... take a leaf out of Lenka's book and just roll with it. I know I am!

Lenka, 2011 - Roll With The Punches.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Blade Runner

Turning out another slab of Art House soap from the molds.

I love this part of the job. It's completely "hands on". The feeling of the blade in my hands is a great one as I first use it to free the snug block from the sides of the mold. I use it again to angle the tops of each log, and then one last time with it to slice off each bar.

Oh, yeah... new Art House soaps for the Fall are on their way!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Meet "Midnight".

Remember the black squirrel I told you about a while back? Yes, well... Jason snapped him as he was paying our birdbath a visit. He's a fast cutie, but wasn't quite fast enough the other day.

Meet "Midnight", our very own black squirrel. How handsome is he then, hey?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nuts4Stuff Manor Hall Giveaway

Over at the wonderful Nuts 4 Stuff, they're having a giveaway of Manor Hall products!

I adore these products and definitely want more from Manor Hall Soap Company. I know you would love their products once you discover them. Watch their journey since they began in 2004 with their YouTube video and visit their site.

Thanks to Manor Hall Soap Company, five lucky Nuts 4 Stuff readers in the United States can win the pictured 1st place prize ($100 value) below, 2nd place prize, ($50 value), and 3rd, 4th, or 5th prize ($25 value).

Go there now to see the prize details and find out all the ways you can enter and win your Manor Hall faves.

Mary B. is hosting lots of giveaways over there, so you definitely want to go check it out and see what else you can win. Entries are free... what have you got to lose?

Monday, August 22, 2011

My Memorable Monday

This isn't Family Friday, but it is a memorable Monday. With a mound of work ahead of me today, I get this in my personal email box. It's from Gayle, my eldest daughter, and it's a smack bang up to date pic of my grand children, Honey and Sonny.

Plowing through work is always much easier when braved with a smile, don't you think?

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Bella Coconut

Dreamy, creamy caribbean coconut with a backdrop of tantalizing fresh persian lime. Bella Coconut. So tropically trelicious!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Family Friday

Not too late for family Friday. This one is Shez and Gary - again. It's such a feel good pic though, and right now as I set to work into the small hours of the morning, I just needed a boost of feel-good. What gives you a boost of feel-good when you need it most? Family always does it for me.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Bouncing Back In Pink And Black

Being a soap maker means I don't get to have a wardrobe of posh frocks to parade around the workshop in... but that doesn't mean I can't have great clothes to choose from when starting my day. I'm a Reebok girl, and have been for a number of decades. My working week sees me sporting either pink and black, or grey and aqua. Colors can do an awful lot to the mood of the mind, and I wear my working day colors according to how I think I'm gonna need to be feeling for the day ahead.

It's a pink and black day today. Pink and black gives me a determination that I don't get to feel when I'm in grey and aqua. Same clothes stitch for stitch, but yet change the color scheme and my head just doesn't seem to yield the same focus throughout the day. If I'm in a business call, you can bet I'm wearing pink and black. If I'm spinning plates, you can bank on the same. If I have a mountain to climb, then it's pink and black all the way to the summit. Needless to say, I'm in another nineteen hour day today.

The mood-fueling color doesn't stop at my work clothes though. I have a color that begins in my morning shower. Way back in the early days of Manor Hall I created an essential oil blend specifically designed to bring instant oomph on those days when the only letters my body could assemble spelled out a weak "phhtt". I'm as human as you are, and although I love my work and my business I do get days where I just feel blah.

The mood boosting energy essential oil blend of cedarwood, pink grapefruit, lavender and patchouli has stayed with me and Manor Hall all these years. You'll find it in the Take Five Collection under the scent of "Bounce Back". Yes... this guy is pink for a reason, and I always reach for it whenever I want to go from the slump of "blah" to a rally crying "Rah Rah Rah!"

Today I'm dressed in pink and black, and head to toe in full Bounce Back. What color does it for you?

Monday, August 15, 2011

Behind the Bar: Honey Me Smooth

My hands are in water a lot. When I'm soaping, they tend to take the brunt of it all. Yes, I wear rubber gloves, but I take them off whenever they're not needed for protection. I watch the ads for soap on television, but as mild and gentle as they claim their products to be... they're only mild and gentle compared to other detergent bars. A commercial detergent bar just cannot compete with real handmade soap.

With my hands constantly in water, my wrists seem to feel it the most. The skin where the hands meet the lower arms dries out much faster than the rest of me when I'm soaping. I suppose the rubber gloves don't help either. Making my own soap affords me to pick and choose my ingredients according to what I want them to do. When I first started to make soap, I quickly discovered my hands needed a little more protection than just a pair of rubber gloves.

So, a purpose made bar was the order of the day. Of all the ingredients on my shelf to choose from, there were two that I wanted to build a working-hands bar around. Honey, and almonds. I often used both together as a paste... it's great on the face, and on the hands. Actually, it's great as a gentle exfoliating scrub for the whole body too. I'd warm the sweet almond oil with the honey, and add a heaping of almond meal. It's probably one of the best home made beauty recipes around. It's basic, it's simple, and it offers one of the richest moisturizing treats you can give your skin.

Honey is a humectant. It grabs hold of the moisture from the air, and keeps hold of it. It forms a barrier on the skin, and protects it. It's also anti microbial, so it does the duty with the nasties too.

As for almonds? Oh... boy. When ground fine the almond fruit doesn't half yield some wonderful skin softening properties. Sweet almond oil is very similar to our own skin's natural oil. It's gentle, and helps with the relief of dry itchy or sore skin. It boasts naturally occurring vitamins, including the valuable anti-oxidant Vitamin E. It's considered to be anti-inflammatory, and is very emollient. It's a light oil, readily absorbed without greasy after-feel, and it is often the oil of choice for use with skin troubles such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.

Almond meal is what remains after the pressing of the almonds used to yield the sweet almond oil. As with sweet almond oil, the meal is very gentle and anti irritating to the skin. Dry, dead and flaking skin cells form a hard barrier on the skin, which prevents it from absorbing much needed moisture. Almond meal is moist with the oil from the pressing and gently exfoliates these cells.

And so "Honey Me Smooth" was born. It's my soapmaking bar. A bar for hard working hands. It protects my hands, and smooths any dry that might be flaking around. It's one of the few bars that doesn't have any essential oils in it. They weren't needed. The simplicity of the ingredients alone were enough for what I wanted. I wanted to be able to wash my hands often, and not have my skin take a pounding.

"Honey Me Smooth" is great for summer skin... and it's an absolute champion for sore and chafe. There's not many jobs out there that beat soapmaking for repetitive wear and tear on the skin. And there's not many soap bars that take on the duty like "Honey Me Smooth" does. It was made for sore hands. Those hands were mine. And for me, this bar is just what they need.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Family Friday

Here's bright light Shezzie, on vacation with us last September. Husband Gary now serves as a fireman in the UK, having served his country on different tours of duty in the middle east. The two of them never fail to bring a smile to my face.

Family pics are so precious, and the memories they bring last forever.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

OMG... Big Deal Mania is Here!!!!

Summer is in full swing and a new kind of mania is reigning at the Manor. Huge savings on all your favorites right throughout the store. Major discounts, Bulk Buys, Buy 2 Get 1 and Freebies. So many of your faves are on sale, and there is a raft of One-Timers up for grabs. Will you be the one to snap up the awesome one-timers? Get them before someone else does!

Check out all the Big Deals here!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Music To Soap By - Showaddywaddy

Workshop door is open and the olive oil is in in the pans. Today is gonna be a great soaping day, I can feel it in my bones. On loop and blaring out right now is this one.

Showaddywaddy was a great English band of the seventies. All their songs are hard to stay quiet to. And rather like the soap I make... so addictively pleasing. Get ready for the chorus!

Showaddywaddy, 1978 - A Little Bit Of Soap

Friday, August 5, 2011

Family Friday

Just received some family pics via email from Gayle, my eldest daughter in the UK. Meet Honey May, my grand-daughter. She's with her Aunt Shezzie, the bright light that you all know as my youngest daughter. I'm nominating Friday, as Family Friday. If you've any fave family photies of your own you'd like to share, please do so over on the Fan Page. Family feels so good!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Bella On The Block

Another soap making tutorial is waiting in the wings.

Here's a shot of Bella Coconut fresh out of the mold, having it's paper lining peeled away. I love handling the big blocks of soap. They're so large and heavy and yet... so so delicate.

The end product is pretty much the same too. Heavy 5oz chunks, and yet... so delicate on your skin!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Posh Frocks And Soap

More order boxes going out today. For now, it's a nice early start for me as I climb into my soaping clothes. Yes... beats a pretty dress any day of the week!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Just Another Manic Monday

First of the month means a new order box freebie page. Jason will be updating today.

Order boxes are also on the move, and all orders placed since the website launch date will be shipped by the end of this week. Thank you so much for your patience.

Yay! Hello to August!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

While The Cat's Away

It's my big day at Boston today. While I'm out, I thought I'd share with you some recent batches of my Art House soaps.

All logged up and waiting to be hand cut into big 5oz slices. From top to bottom: Bella Coconut, Beached, Dunes, and Patriot.

They smell so truly divine. Enjoy!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Oh, To Cool My Heels

I'm still dreaming of the ideal day away from it all. I'm packing order boxes right now, and I have to say... it's not a bad second choice to being barefoot on the swing. Have a great weekend, everyone!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Nunzio of Your Business

On Tuesday, I filled you in about Alfonso Santaniello, the first of two very special guests that will be appearing with me this Saturday July 30th at the Boston Indie Summer Sizzle.

The other guest I wanted to talk about is Nunzio Bruno, the man behind Financially Digital (not just another financial and tech blog) out of the Greater Springfield Area. In addition to his ultra-informative blog, and his duties as professor of economics at Bay Path College, Nunzio Bruno is a financial coach. I will let him describe what he can do for you in his own words:
I take my education and experience and coach those who need that little extra push. Not just your everyday budgets and expense charts, each experience is a dynamic one and focused on making lifestyle changes. How many times have you heard about people crash dieting only to see them eating terribly again after they lose a few pounds, that’s not what happens here. Whether you’re looking to get a second opinion on that portfolio that used to make sense or someone to hold your hand while you’re considering life changing purchases or plans, we take the time to evaluate the situation and create real strategies to get you there. Over the last few years I have successfully put the worries of retirees to rest and started fresh college graduates on paths to financial freedom. It’s not a chore, it’s a lifestyle.
If you'd like to learn more about the valuable help Nunzio offers (including Business Coaching and Sales Coaching), check out his other offerings on his consulting page.

On top of all this, Nunzio has just launched a show called Uconomy over on the Businews Channel, where he and co-host Thomas J. Fox dispense everyday economic advice in easily digestible bite sized morsels for us regular non-economic folk to understand.

I'm thrilled that Nunzio will be at the Summer Sizzle in person to conduct a workshop on creating a Business Plan. Okay, so nobody likes doing them, but they keep your business on track, banks and investors generally require them for loans, and there is a right and a wrong way to do them. Nunzio is going to be there to talk about how to do them right.

So won't you join me, Nunzio and Alfonso at Maggiano's Restaurant in Boston on Saturday? The registration details are here. It's going to be a fantastic time and I really can't wait to meet you there!