Sunday, May 26, 2013

An Italian/Polish Birthday

Last month we celebrated two very important birthdays, my husband's grandparents.  Not only have they been married for over 70 years but the lives they both have lived on this earth have been enjoyed to the fullest.  When my mother-in-law asked me to create some cookies for these two very special people it meant so much to me.  Since this was an Italian/Polish birthday a sunflower and grape themed party was perfect.  The day of  their party was beautiful.  Sunny, warm and not a cloud in the sky.  A small family and friend affair with some delicious food to say the least.  Everything was fresh for each course.  It was nice to sit and relax with family while listening to the fountain in the background.  Memories were captured on film from this special day. 

Below are some pictures including what the fountain looked like to the dessert table which displayed the handmade shortbread cookies that I made for them (which were decorated with royal icing) some beautiful (and tasty I might add) cakes, stuffed cannoli's which were absolutely delicious and biscotti.  

                            Decorated table with the fountain in the background.

                                      Full view display of all the yummy goodies.

Right side view of dessert table.  

                                               Left side view of dessert table.

                                Grape cluster shortbread cookies packaged.

Close up of grape cluster shortbread cookie.

                                       Sunflower shortbread cookies packaged.

                                   Close up of sunflower shortbread cookie.

                                            Packaged birthday plaque sayings.

                                           Buon Appetito ("enjoy your meal")
                                     La Dolce Vita ("the sweet life")
                         Buon Compleanno (Happy Birthday in Italian)
                           Z Okazji Urodzin (Happy Birthday in Polish)

Friday, May 17, 2013

All Natural Lip Balms

So I decided that I wanted to try and start making my own lip balms/glosses as well as cuticle and nail balms and at some point lotions.  I wanted my lip balm product line to be all natural and chemical free.  So I started doing research on the natural ingredients that I wanted them to have. I read that coconut butter has many health benefits and I could make it myself at home since it includes one ingredient: shredded organic unsweetened coconut. All I'm doing is blending it in a mixer.  Super I thought.  So off I went.  Once I had my coconut butter and soy wax I was ready.  But my excitement turned quickly into disappointment. One thing I noticed once I made my first batch with soy wax it really didn't solidify the way I wanted it to. It almost was a bit too creamy.   Back to the drawing board.  I then decided I would eliminate the coconut butter keep the soy wax and combine it cocoa and Shea butter. From there I can add any essential and flavor oils that I wanted to.  With the addition of Vitamin E, jojoba, Avacado oil, sweet almond get the idea. 

So now that I had the first batch experience under my belt I decided to try a few more. The three that I made after this came out much better and get my stamp of approval. 

Each of the three include: soy wax, Shea and cocoa butter and a few more ingredients which I will list next to each description. 

Lower left:  Chocolate and peppermint scented.  This smells absolutely wonderful.  I added a few organic chocolate chips to this one.  

Middle: Raspberry flavor scented.  I added some mineral mauve eyeshadow to give a little color.  

Upper right:  Chocolate and Raspberry flavor scented.   This also smells wonderful.  And yes...I also added a few more organic chocolate chips to this one as well.

Again, these are natural.  Each one has been poured into a .25 oz clear pot. 

Those of you who may be interested in purchasing these or other scented lip balms I hope to have these listed in my Etsy shop soon.  If you are not huge fan of the lip balm pots I will also have them available in the lip balm tubes as well.  These little clear pots were readily available at Michael's and I was ready to start making them.

With there being so many wonderful flavor oils out there I will be working on other delicious and tempting smelling combinations.  

As mentioned above I plan on making cuticle and nail balms and hope to add lotions to my new product line as well.

                                                            All natural lip balms