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!