September Soaps

September has always been one of the busiest months of the year. Especially now that we have two schoolchildren at home, no toddlers any longer… . Discovering that your child wants to follow a new extraschool activity, thinking twice before deciding to let them participate or not, trying to get it organized,…all these things makes this period more messy than we wanted. …Last year we could arrange everything during the weekend, but this year wasn’t possible any longer. So even on Wednesdays we are busy being taxi driver!
I don’t really like it when my kids are too busy, as I find it important to see them at home too …even if this means sometimes they get a bit bored. On the other hand I didn’t have the chance myself of following music, arts, or other activities, and in a way I regret it. With some luck and organization, we got almost everything arranged.
In the meantime, I discover new hobbies and attractions and before it gets too late, I want to try them all. Making soaps has become such a lovely part of my weekly activities that I don’t consider it a hobby anymore. Of course I like it and the moments when we cut the soaps are always special…

It’s been a while I posted some soaps here so I here are some of the lately made soaps:

Jasmin Marriage Flavor Soap made of kombucha .

Kombucha Soap

Kombucha Soap                       

Australian Red Clay

Australian Red Clay Soap

I wanted this soaps to be just a little bit red, but sometimes accidents happen when making soap ;)

Walnut shell powder soap made out of walnut milk in place of water.

Walnut Shell Soap
What are you (new) hobbies? is there something you want to learn and you find it difficult to start learning it?

Julie Natuurlijk book review

Julie natuurlijk book
I will try to come back and post something about our holidays, but for now this post is about a book I have been waiting for so long: ‘Julie natuurlijk’ ! I received it on the 1st of September. I couldn’t have started this month better! This book is so classy and delicate that I can recommend it to all of you !

Julie naatuurlijk book
I got to know Julie via her blog (check it out here ). We exchanged several mails, in which I got to know Julie a little bit better. I discovered a lovely person interested in healthy food, who studied in California at the Living Light Culinary Institute (together with her boyfriend) where she became a raw chef. As written in the book, Julie got in touch with raw food because of some health problems. In Belgium, Julie organizes raw food workshops, she opened a pure-food pop-up restaurant, and she also owns an online shop where you can order raw delicacies – Allgood. She makes beautiful cheesecake/cakes so if you heard about raw food but never dared to prepare something, it’s an occasion to find out how delicious these are! Julie is such an ispiration, she knows her stuff inside-out and everything she does is with such integrity and full of meaning.

Julie natuurlijk book
The book is simply awesome! With 60 recipes, Julie introduces you to a world free of sugar, gluten and dairy. Simple recipes and colourful dishes will make you discover how nutritious and good for you this food can be. The recipes are clearly explained and easy to follow, enriched with some tips. Forget those classical books full of too much explanation where you can’t follow the instructions. Here the design is fabulous and catches the reader’s eye from the cover until the end of the book. And ..the photograps are amazing. You simply will want to make these recipes as they are so beautifully photographed!
If you are interested in vegan food or if you simply want to have in your kitchen library a fascinating collection of recipes and a book you will want to rely on again and again, this is for you!

Cucumber-ananas gazpacho

I couldn’t easily decide about which recipe to post on my blog, as they all look so nice. I was very impressed by the spaghetti and lentils&nuts balls; the cheesecake sounds good too; The energyshake with cacao was what the girls wanted me to make first and it was so tasty! But the ananas-cucumber gazpacho was something I have never tried before. We were so thrilled about this recipe: the mix between cucumbers, basilium ananas makes such a perfect match!

So go to the shop, buy an pineapple and some cucumbers and make this beautiful recipe!

Cucumber-ananas gazpacho
Ingredients for 4 persons:
3cups cucumber
3 cups pineapple
1tbsp lemon juice
1tbsp (green) onion
1tsp ginger
1/2tsp salt
2 handful fresh basilicum
1/2 avocado
1tbsp pistachio nuts

Mix everything except the pistachio nuts in a blender and puree for 15 to 20 seconds on high speed. Decorate the soups with pistachio nuts: summer in your plate!

Raw Turmeric Magnum

Telling you that turmeric is a superfood will not come as a surprise…especially in these times, when we are overwhelmed by healthy living tips. But how many of us use this spice at least once/twice a week? I don’t. Even if I see my turmeric every time when I open the cupboard with spices. I almost always put it aside thinking that I should use it one of these…days, but it doesn’t really happen.Turmeric ice cream
Maybe putting turmeric in ice cream or shake isn’t the most common way of using it. But if you know how healthy this spice is, you will certainly want to add it in desserts too.

We discovered this ice cream last year, during our turmeric shakes mood. The taste was something new, exotic and a little bit spicy, so perfect for the summer heat .

For 10-12 Magnums or 6 cup servings
4 frozen banana’s
The juice of half a lemon
130 gr coconut milk(3/4 cup)
1tsp vanilla powder
4tsps turmeric powder

Raw turmeric ice creamOf course, this recipe should not be followed strictly, you are the one to decide how sweet/spicy/sour your ice cream should be. My girls enjoy it with 4 tea spoons of turmeric, but I like it more sharp so I usually add 2 more spoons.

To cover the Magnums with chocolate, I used this recipe but some melted chocolate works as well.

Ode to clays

I am not going to start this post saying that it’s been a while since I wrote something here… instead I will tell you how good it was seeing my mother and my sister again. We spent more than a week together and we enjoyed every second of it. Now, looking back at those moments, I know I have something beautiful to think of until the next time.
The separation was hard. Maybe harder than last time. Or the older I get , the harder it is…But picking up  the making of soaps made me feel better. Thinking of which clays, which herbs and how to best combine essential oils to make new soaps made me forget the sadness. Especially cutting the soaps. There is always a special emotion cutting them.

Black Clay Soap

Soaps made of: coconut oil, palm oil, olive oil, cacao butter. Enriched with almond oil and unrefined shea butter for a luxurious lather.

Made with black clay for gentle exfoliation and for absorbing toxins, scented with green myrte and vetiver essential oils.

Rose Clay SoapRose clay, geranium and pompelmousse essential oil, dried flowers of (Mallow) Malva Sylvestris.

Zinc Oxide&Rose Clay Soap

Rose clay and rubia cordifolia (Manjishta) root powder soap, scented with geranium and patchouli essential oil, calendula petals.

Maté Tea Soap

Maté tea soapIt’s been a while since I posted something here.  And a lot of things happened around me lately…things which make you stop and think about life at a different level … The good thing is that I am not anymore upset because our pc crashed and that we lost every single photo of our children, holidays, soaps etc; I also restarted reading novels…I know, you would say WHAT ? but when you have 2 kids, a job, some hobbies and when you want to make almost everything yourself at home, finding time for reading is not easy. And… it’s May: I love this month of the year more than any other month especially because I go to see my mother. Usually she would come to see us but… Strange how this mother-daugther relation gets stronger after all those years, even if we see each other only twice a year.Maté tea soap

10th may is Mothers day in Belgium. It felt so nice to see my girls coming to me with poems learnt at school, presents and flowers. I only wish those moments would last longer. It made me think more about my mother and her habits.

My mother loved/still loves her daily tea moments and we loved seeing her enjoying it. Every time we visit new places, we bring her some tea. During his last business trip to Chile and Argentina, my husband found a tea which one could buy almost everywhere there but of which I have never heard before: maté tea. I love to discover new ingredients, so immediately I started to google about it . I was surprised to find out that this tea has the strength of coffee, the health benefits of tea, and the euphoria of chocolate” all in one beverage. Almost known as a national drink of Argentina, this tea has become my morning routine at work at least 2-3 days a week. Drinking it, feels like being on holiday ;)

Soap made of: maté tea, coconut oil, olive oil, cacao butter, shea butter, lavender essential oil, lemon essential oil.


SoapJamIf you are one of the admirers of beautiful soaps on internet, you have certainly heard about SoapJam, soaps made by Silvia in the Philippines. When I first discovered Silvia’s soaps, I was impressed by her good looking soaps taken into account the fact that she was quite new into this hobby! Afterwards, I realized that Sivia is simply passioned and so-so talented! All her soaps look so neat and delicate, her swirls are one of the most beautiful swirls I have ever seen.  Silvia’s soaps are so easy to identify thanks to the special design-swirls which are difficult could copy. If i have to use only one word to describe her soaps it would certainly be ‘perfect’. SoapJam
What I especially admire  about Silvia is her way of combining natural and artificial colors. She does love natural ingredients, as she uses a lot of interesting colorants(some of them still unknown to some of us) like alkanet, moringa, shikon, bamboo charcoal, powdered eucalyptus leaves etc, but she is also open to use other colorants to obtain the most interesting combined swirl soaps! Besides, Silvia makes one of the most white soaps! if you are new to soaps or if you want to see some gorgeous photo’s of some stunning soaps, take a look at Silvia’s soaps.
Silvia is also known among soapers because of the tutorials she posts. Her experience and different tests are precious info. How to remove ash or how to patch up soaps are some of examples of her determination to find the way towards the best looking soaps.
When Silvia posted her moringa soap, I was so in love with the color that I knew I would like to try it also in a soap! I have tried some natural green colorants, but moringa soap made by Silvia had a different  interesting rustic nuance. Silvia was kind to propose to send me some moringa powder (a superfood, btw!), and I accepted, hoping that I could also get a piece of Soapjam soap in the pack ;). Yes, who wouldn’t?
 I had no time yet to make soaps, but I am the lucky user of the beautiful Japanese Indigo soap. I have been using it for several days and I really love this soap. I had to check on Silvia’s post to see what were the other ingredients, besides the oils and butters,  and it seems that Silvia put also yogurt and goat’s milk in it, that’s why this makes such a creamy soap. SoapJamThis precious soap – made of Japanese indigo – contains several essential oils: cypress, petitgrain, lemon, orange, cajeput, basil. The result is a refreshing, slightly spicy and woody perfume with some fruity notes.
As most of the soaps I receive, I cut this soap in 2 pieces: one piece to be used now and a 2nd one to be enjoyed later: it’s always nice to come back to special soaps.
It was a real honour to receive this gift from Silvia: after so much time admiring online her beautiful soaps, now, having one in my hands was a real dream!
Thank you, dear Silvia!

Julicu Soaps

I haven’t made soaps for some weeks, but I have been enjoying ones of the most delicate soaps on blogosphere: Julicu soaps.

IMG_1825[1]kopie (2)

When I discovered how beautiful the soap dishes, made by Iulia and her husband are, I immediately knew that I want to have at least one of them home too! I ordered some and Iulia sent me besides the dishes also 4 soaps and 1 lip balm. It took some time to get them but it was worth waiting.IMG_1848[1]kopie (2)

Iulia makes gorgeous soaps, she is attracted by all natural ingredients, she makes beautiful photos and lately she started some courses to teach other people how to make home your own soap, lip balm, deo, parfum etc. Admiring, isn’t it?
When I received her packet, I was really amazed. I was sure she would put a piece of her work in it, but I didn’t expect to receive 4 different soaps, 1 lip balm and 3 soap dishes!!! I didn’t dare to unwrap the soaps and I admired their labels and packagings during some days: a light paper which lets soaps brief, nicely written list of ingredients( in Latin, English or Romanian), lovely chosen names for the soaps! I like so much all these little details.

IMG_1842[1]kopie (2)The lip balm is such a pure beauty: nourishing the lips with such a delicious vanilla perfume! You just can’t stop using it!
All the soaps are adorable, but the bay-alep soap is such a cutie! Made out of 30% bay leaves oil, this soap smells so so good! I have never tried this oil in soap, but I can’t wait to give it a try as the color of the soap is so lovely! The 2nd soap which drew my attention was the goat milk and oats soap: love its rustic look, its delicate stamp and melissa and ylang-ylang essential oils make such a fine perfume! The 100% olive oil soap has a lavender scent and looks so simple and beautiful as it is: love its natural yellowish-white color. The last soap is a piece of art: melt and pour combined with whipped; white and green; and some petal roses op top! It’s the frozen garden! This is such a delicate soap!
We started using the goat/oats soap. It has a small and cute shape; it makes a gentle exfoliating soap, leaving the hands skin naturally hydrated, soft and with a joyful and fresh scent and I can’t wait to try the other soaps too.

shea_salvie_03The wooden soap dishes are really too beautiful to be used! I know I will use them, but only as decoration and certainly not as soap dishes: they are so attentively and perfectly made, the drawing are original and so unique. Small portraits to be hanged out!

Thank you, Iulia, for these beauties!