Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Music To Soap By - The Supremes

It's happening. It's been gathering speed all week long, and it's happening. What's happening? The Happening, that's what's happening.

William and Kate!!! The happening couple. And I am so happening with it.

Okay, hands up... full admission here from yours truly. I am a soft mush at heart. I am so feeding into this wedding it's unreal. I'm having one long snackie party come Thursday night that's gonna stretch right through till late Friday night at least!

I did invite The Barbara, but she isn't getting here til Saturday. 'Course, I know she really loves her sleep too much. She's not fooling me with her "Oh, I can't make it I have commitments on Thursday and Friday." It's not washing with me. Lemme tell you... she ain't no 5.00am in the morning person that one isn't. Yah boo!

So, with Jason being cut from the same cloth as his mom, I'm gonna camp out in front of the telly alone with an assortment of English triangle butties filled with ham, eggs, tuna, roast beef and much much more. English scones with strawberry jam and Kerrygold butter, too many Cadbury chocolate bars to count, and an absolute mound of cream cakes. That's "fresh cream" cakes, and not the adulterated variety with sugar, or confectioners powder, or any other kind of whipped cream. Nope... fresh cream, whipped stiff the way we have it in England. And it's gonna feel great with a non stop supply of my fave staple drink... Tetley tea, milk, with no sugar please!

So, raise your glasses to the royal couple with me. On loop all through this evening while I'm packing the order boxes is this one, and I dedicate it to William and Kate. May they both enjoy many happening years together. And although the lyrics may make it seem a strange song to dedicate to the Royal couple, you know what? They split... and they just couldn't say goodbye to what they had found together. It happened... get over it media. What they've got is working for them. Roll on 4.00am Friday morning. Roll on The Happening!

I'm fancy footworking it all across the packing room floor to the loop. Wherever you are, whatever your happening is... let your hair loose some and yell out the whole nine yards with me.

The Supremes, 1967 - The Happening

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Trumpet Blare

Every year I always take a two week family break towards the end of May. I do believe family is important, and even moreso when you're at the helm of a growing business. It's all too easy to get wrapped up in days that are as long as 21 hours straight. Okay... those kinds of days for me only happen when I'm balancing things that are exciting to say the least. And only then when I need to keep on track as big projects approach completion date. If you're following on Facebook you will have noticed that Sunday was one of those 21 straight hour days for me. Believe me when I say that I truly enjoyed every minute of my sleep last night!

As is the norm here, I will be combining my usual May family time with work behind the scenes. This year though, I'm having to bring my break forward. I have a completion date approaching for a major Manor Hall project we began while the workshop was being renovated over the Christmas family break. There have been three target dates to this project so far and we've hit every one of them on time.

The next target date was set to coincide with the scheduled family break in late May, after which would come the completion of the project that I so want to shout out loud. With every intention in the world, I was set to take my family time from May 20th for the usual two weeks. But this project is too big to get behind on, so I'm having to bring my break forward if I want to be able to enjoy that time.

I was planning on making the coming weekend a four day weekend because of the royal wedding, which I just have to watch on telly. I haven't been invited, but I'm not offended. It makes sense to me that if I'm gonna be bringing my break forward, I might as well incorporate the days that were gonna see the office closed anyway. So, from Thursday 28th at 5.00pm, I will be closing the office for family break and re-opening on Monday May 16th.

I will of course still be here behind the scenes and you can keep up with what's happening on the blog, on Twitter and on the Facebook page. Orders placed before the office closes will of course be packed and shipped without a problem.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Earth Day Triple Play

Friday is Earth Day and to celebrate, there's a Two Day Sale going on at the Manor. From now until Friday the 22nd at midnight, buy two of anything on the website, and get a third for free. Yes, that's right... buy two of your Manor Hall Earth-friendly favorites, and get another one free.

Simply enter 2 in the quantity box when making your purchase, and we'll throw a third one of the same product in your order box. For every two you buy, we'll give you a third.

Just use coupon code "EARTHDAY" at checkout to claim your triple play. (Sorry, no mixing and matching flavors)

And don't forget... you still get the April order box freebies, and shipping's still only $6.00 to anywhere in the U.S.!

How's that for an Earth Day celebration? Have a great one!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Five Soap Vanity Jar

Keep Manor Hall on standby with this pretty glass jar filled with five half sized bars of Classic soap. The jar has a snug fitting seal to make sure the scent stays put, so that when you or your guests reach in to break open a bar, it's still as fresh as the moment it was wrapped.

Each hand cut bar weighs between 1.8 oz to 2.0 oz. All are individually wrapped and labeled complete with ingredients. The only thing left for you to do, is decide which cutie is going to be the flavor on your sink.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Digitally Yours

Nunzio Bruno, the man behind Financially Digital (not just another financial and tech blog) out of the Greater Springfield Area, has just put up his latest interview - me. You should head on over there and check it out.

But don't think it's just a boring number-cruncher of an article. Far from it. It's yet another glimpse into my crazy soapmaking world.

And in addition to interesting interviews, Nunzio writes about technology and social media, and even dispenses useful everyday advice like what to do with your tax return.

So click away and get a little more of the story behind your Lady of the Manor.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Curing Shelf News

Over the weekend I did my usual curing shelves check for the soaps that are reaching their due dates. There are three bars that were set to reach their curing dates this week. Spearmint Grapefruit, Carrot Complexion, and Sweet Neem.

It's normally a safe bet to estimate curing, but the percentage of olive oil used in the Spearmint Grapefruit and the Sweet Neem means that these two soaps are needing every day of their four to six week curing time. I'm never in a rush to push soap out of the door until it is ready. I like a harder bar, and so these two faves will not be back in stock until the end of the month. My apologies if you've been waiting on them.

It's not all bad news though. The Carrot Complexion bar will be back in stock as planned on Friday the 15th. And some new soaps will be hitting the website later this week. Yay!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Body Butter Bar - Silky

If you think you know your shower... think again! This body butter bar is made to moisturize all over while bathing, and the after-feel is so incredibly wonderful that your regular lotion time on those busy days can be skipped completely.

Formulated to maximize the deep moisturizing qualities of shea and cocoa butter, the Silky Bar uses natural exfoliants of almond and adzuki to prepare your skin for the blanket of softness that begins from the moment you step out of your shower.

Scented beautifully with essential oils of Red Mandarin, Tangerine, and West Indian Sandalwood, the Silky Bar deep moisturizing experience just might change the way you look at bathing forever.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Shout About Your Blog Day

What does anyone do on Wednesdays? It's the middle of the week. We wait for it. We wait to get through it. We wait to put it behind us. Tomorrow, we're not gonna do that. Tomorrow is the first Wednesday of the month, and we're gonna have a Shout About Your Blog day for the Fans over on our facebook page.

If you blog, I'm inviting you to come on over and tell us all about it. Boast, brag, shout it loud, shout it proud. Many of you have blogs and many of them are unsung. From embroidery through to rock climbing. From baking through to belly dancing. From budding author through to poodle parlors. From photography through to coupon finders. From lipstick though to the best shoes ever!

Whatever your passion is, whatever you blog about... tomorrow is your day here at the Manor. Share your blog, share your passion. Tomorrow is Shout About Your Blog Day. Come on over to our facebook page. Make sure to Like us, and then let the world know you're out there.

I'm also gonna pick a few to feature on my blog here. So, tomorrow morning it is then. Wednesday April 6th, 2011. Shout About Your Blog Day. All day long. You're invited. Let's make it a date. Come share. Come Shout About!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Over the Moon

I'll be wrapping more soap bars later today. I like to have them ready to hand when they're needed. It makes for an easier life when packing the order boxes. But secretly, I love to dress the little blocks and have them take pride of place on the stock shelves. It's a bit like being a child again, having the Barbie dolls all around me while I choose which outfit is gonna go on first.

Today's outfit is Ruby Moon. She's bewitchingly aromatic, and her swirls betray the smokiness of her allure. The essential oil blend is a haunting cedarwood, with a sensual soothe of Ylang Ylang. A little calming lavender plays chaperone while the real rose infusion drifts on the wind of Ruby's seduction.

I always hesitate to cut the logs of Ruby Moon. I want to see what lies within, and yet I want to hold onto this moment forever. Once the logs are cut, the swirls are revealed... the scent is truly released... and the wait for full cure begins.

The thin wires of the cutter always make a twang when they reach the end of their cut. I love the sound and it's always a good feeling. Somehow, the twang from the Ruby Moon soap is different. It seems to hang about in the air a little longer, resonating in a gentle hum... almost like the sweetest guitar pluck ever. As it fades, I so want to hear it again.

The last of the logs, sitting silent on the cutter as the hum fades to become another memory of a successful Ruby Moon batch. This is the moment of linger... hestitant to remove it and break apart the bars, I usually take a short walk around the workshop marvelling at the bounty I've already lined up.

A nice thick strip leftover from the logging. I get one in every batch of soap I make, to be enjoyed as samplers or Mischief Makers.

The bewitching bounty. Ruby Moon... a seductive slice of haunting allure. In stock now, and all dressed for the temptress in you.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

April Freebie

Every month I get to enjoy giving away a free bar of soap with every order. Never a sample and always full size, the order box freebie for the month of April is a wildcard soap bar from the classic collection. Check out the freebie page to see what else can be free inside your order box this month.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Crazy Days Of April

Known as the Month of Laughter... the Month of Poetry... and even the Month of Welding, the month of April starts with white-lying to a fool... and ends on a more truthful note. In between, are close on seventy days of celebration of one kind or another. Some celebrated widely, and others celebrated locally.

Feel free to tell lies on the 4th... you can always make up for it on the 30th. The former is "Tell a Lie Day"... while the latter is "National Honesty Day".

Patch things up on the 2nd with "Reconciliation Day", knowing that if all else fails you can really go to town on the 14th with "Ex-Spouse Day". On the 9th, give yourself whatever name you've always wanted, while the very next day being careful to take back all the names you ever gave to your brothers/sisters. Yes... "National Siblings Day" rides hot on the heels of "Name Yourself Day".

"Peanut Butter and Jelly Day" can be celebrated on the 2nd, with Caramel Popcorn Day coming in on the 7th, and Jelly Bean Day happening on the 22nd. Make sure to carry around the mints and parsley on the morning of the 20th though, because the day before on the 19th is "National Garlic Day."

"Big Wind Day" on the 12th... "International Day of Laughter" on the 14th... and "Titanic Remembrance Day" for the 15th. Of course... you might want to Plan Your Own Epitaph on the 6th ..., maybe Walk Around Things on the 7th... and even Look Up At The Sky on the 14th.

All sound a little too crazy for you...? Nah... crazy is happening on the 15th when the world celebrates "Rubber Eraser Day".

April... the Month of Humor. Laughter releases endorphins, the body's feel-good chemical. They say laughter is the best medicine. April is also Stress Awareness Month. So go on then... release some of that stress with a right old laugh. Err... did I mention Cheeseball Day on the 17th...?