http://astariedennis.com Mon, 04 Dec 2017 05:01:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.1 134307257 History Of Christmas Hymns SILENT NIGHT | Blogmas Day 3 http://astariedennis.com/history-of-christmas-hymns-silent-night-blogmas-day-3/ http://astariedennis.com/history-of-christmas-hymns-silent-night-blogmas-day-3/#respond Sun, 03 Dec 2017 23:01:24 +0000 http://astariedennis.com/?p=792 Welcome to Blogmas Day 3! Since it’s Sunday, I figured it be ok to take it to church around here. Hope you don’t mind.

I was raised uber conservative. (Think Duggar Style rules, minus the meat eating.) So most of the year, all I sang and listened to were hymns. To this day hymns are some of my favorite music to hear and to sing. Granted I sing them a bit differently than I did as a kid. So when the holidays roll around, I still prefer reverting back to old faithfuls such as Oh Come All Ye Faithful, and Joy to The World. Being that I am a homeschool mama, I also like to use this time to study and learn about where these hymns come from. (Among other holiday themed lessons). So today, I wanted to share with you my ALL TIME FAVORITE holiday Hymn and its origins.

According to legend (since we have no real written record of how this song came about)

In 1818, a roving band of actors was performing in towns throughout the Austrian Alps. On December 23 they arrived at Oberndorf, a village near Salzburg where they were to re-enact the story of Christ’s birth in the small Church of St. Nicholas.
Unfortunately, the St. Nicholas’ church organ wasn’t working and would not be repaired before Christmas. (Note: some versions of the story point to mice as the problem; others say rust was the culprit) Because the church organ was out of commission, the actors presented their Christmas drama in a private home. That Christmas presentation of the events in the first chapters of Matthew and Luke put assistant pastor Josef Mohr in a meditative mood. Instead of walking straight to his house that night, Mohr took a longer way home. The longer path took him up over a hill overlooking the village.
From that hilltop, Mohr looked down on the peaceful snow-covered village. Reveling in majestic silence of the wintry night, Mohr gazed down at the glowing Christmas-card like scene. His thoughts about the Christmas play he had just seen made him remember a poem he had written a couple of years before. That poem was about the night when angels announced the birth of the long-awaited Messiah to shepherds on a hillside.
Mohr decided those words might make a good carol for his congregation the following evening at their Christmas eve service. The one problem was that he didn’t have any music to which that poem could be sung. So, the next day Mohr went to see the church organist, Franz Xaver Gruber. Gruber only had a few hours to come up with a melody which could be sung with a guitar. However, by that evening, Gruber had managed to compose a musical setting for the poem. It no longer mattered to Mohr and Gruber that their church organ was inoperable. They now had a Christmas carol that could be sung without that organ.
On Christmas Eve, the little Oberndorf congregation heard Gruber and Mohr sing their new composition to the accompaniment of Gruber’s guitar.
Weeks later, well-known organ builder Karl Mauracher arrived in Oberndorf to fix the organ in St. Nicholas church. When Mauracher finished, he stepped back to let Gruber test the instrument. When Gruber sat down, his fingers began playing the simple melody he had written for Mohr’s Christmas poem. Deeply impressed, Mauracher took copies of the music and words of “Silent Night” back to his own Alpine village, Kapfing. There, two well-known families of singers — the Rainers and the Strassers — heard it. Captivated by “Silent Night,” both groups put the new song into their Christmas season repertoire.

The Strasser sisters spread the carol across northern Europe. In 1834, they performed “Silent Night” for King Frederick William IV of Prussia, and he then ordered his cathedral choir to sing it every Christmas eve.
Twenty years after “Silent Night” was written, the Rainers brought the song to the United States, singing it (in German) at the Alexander Hamilton Monument located outside New York City’s Trinity Church.
In 1863, nearly fifty years after being first sung in German, “Silent Night” was translated into English (by either Jane Campbell or John Young). Eight years later, that English version made its way into print in Charles Hutchins’ Sunday School Hymnal. Today the words of “Silent Night” are sung in more than 300 different languages around the world.

Now there are questions as to if that “broken piano” bit is true, but the fact remains that Silent night is one the best known and loved Christmas Carols of this time.

Because of my conservative upbringing and my rigidness in the music I was allowed to listen to, I tend to analyze the words to songs quite a bit. Even Hymns. The words to this one are very Beautiful. Just think of the night Jesus was born!

Silent Night
Holy Night
All is calm
All is bright
Round yon virgin
Mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace
Silent Night
Holy Night
Shepherds pray at the sight
Glory streams from heaven afar
Heavenly hosts sing hallelujah
Christ the Savior is born
Christ the Savior is born
Silent Night
Holy Night
All is calm
And all is bright
Round yon virgin
Mother and child
Holy infant so tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace
Sleep in heavenly peace
Silent Night
Holy Night
Sleep in heavenly peace
I can only imagine what Mary and Joseph must have felt in that moment. Knowing they were holing not only their new child but the Savoir of the whole world! Gives me chills just thinking about it. How humbling that experience must have been.
* Ok wait, Let me be real for second, as a mom I wonder, was Jesus a “good” baby? Did He cry a lot? Did He sleep through the night right away? I mean how does God behave as an infant? Sorry, back to the post at hand*
There are many versions of this song out there including the traditional version heard here:

While this one is BORING! I mean traditional, this ain’t for me! My praise sounds has a bit more to it. Tomorrow I will share the best rendition of this song there is! I said what I said. (In my NeNe Voice) Along with some more songs on my Holiday Playlist!

Next Sunday I will share the backstory of Oh Come All Ye Faithful.

Til then tell me your favorite Christmas Hymn/Carol,

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10 Movies to Help You Reclaim Your Time This Holiday |Blogmas 2017 Day 2 http://astariedennis.com/10-movies-to-help-you-reclaim-your-time-this-holiday-blogmas-2017-day-2/ http://astariedennis.com/10-movies-to-help-you-reclaim-your-time-this-holiday-blogmas-2017-day-2/#respond Sat, 02 Dec 2017 06:13:35 +0000 http://astariedennis.com/?p=753 Hey Friends, Welcome to day 2 of Blogmas.

Now, we are supposed to be in the holiday spirit and all, but I have a bone to pick with a certain Broadcasting Company and their holiday movie list. I mean, no shade to 25 Days of Christmas, but where IS the shade, ANY shade, other than pale?

I love a good holiday movie, and there are some that qualify as classics in my book, no matter the cast, but for a list that is 25 titles long, we couldn’t get a couple with some diversity?

Reclaiming My Time!

No thanks Freeform I have my own list of movies I plan to watch. Maybe  it can help you add some diversity to your holiday movie list.

Here are 10 Movies to Help You Reclaim Your Time This Holiday. I know it’s not 25 but it’s a start. So let’s Go!

1. The Preacher’s Wife

Seriously, what Black Holiday Movie list would be complete without this classic? Denzel Washington is an angel in this beautiful family comedy directed by Penny Marshall. It’s a remake of 1947’s Bishop’s Wife — and this time it’s set in a poor New York City neighborhood. A Baptist preacher (Courtney B. Vance) is trying to get his parish out of financial trouble. Whitney Houston and that voice shine in this story, which earned her and Loretta Devine NAACP Image Awards.

2. Last Holiday

The Queen is a sweet store assistant named Georgia who thinks she’s dying — so she cashes it all in to take a super grand vacation before she kicks the bucket. She may not be dying, though! And it turns out her super secret crush (played by LL Cool J) likes her back!

3. This Christmas

At holiday time, family matriarch Ma’Dere Whitfield (Loretta Devine) assembles her large brood for their first reunion in four years. However, family ties show signs of strain when various secrets come to light, especially concerning Marine Claude’s (Columbus Short) true military status, Quentin’s (Idris Elba) debts and teenage Baby’s (Chris Brown) secret plans to become a singer.

4. Black Nativity

Let me just say that Langston Hughes is my all time favorite Poet, so this one based on his play, was bound to be on my list! In this movie Langston (Jacob Latimore), a Baltimore teen raised by a single mother (Jennifer Hudson), travels to New York City to spend the Christmas holiday with estranged relatives, the Rev. Cornell Cobbs (Forest Whitaker) and his wife, Aretha (Angela Bassett). However, Langston soon finds that Cobbs has strict rules, and the youth is unwilling to follow them. Instead, he sets out on a return journey to his mother and finds the value of faith, healing and family along the way.

5. Almost Christmas

Walter Meyer (Danny Glover) is a retired mechanic who lost the love of his life one year earlier. Now that the holiday season is here, he invites daughters Rachel (Gabrielle Union) and Cheryl (Kimberly Elise) and sons Christian (Romany Malco) and Evan (Jessie T. Usher) to his house for a traditional celebration. Poor Walter soon realizes that if his bickering children and the rest of the family can spend five days together under the same roof, it will truly be a Christmas miracle.

6. The Kid Who Loved Christmas

This one is new to me. but this is Sammy Davis Jr.’s last screen performance — and he only appears briefly. When a young boy is taken from his new family after his adopted mother is killed in a car accident, he writes to Santa Claus for help. While waiting for an answer he and his adopted dad fight to remain a family.

7. Fat Albert’s Christmas Special

All the ’70s kids, and those younger ones with cool parents, grew up watching this animated series that was created by my dad’s favorite comedian back in the day He will remain unnamed here. Don’t fuss at me, Nostalgia is the ONLY thing that got this one on the list.  This was a half-hour, animated prime-time TV special that saw the kids staging a production of a Nativity pageant in their junkyard clubhouse.

8. Best Man Holiday

All the Chocolate a girl can handle! Nearly 15 years after they were last together as a group, college friends Lance (Morris Chestnut), Harper (Taye Diggs), Candace (Regina Hall), Quentin (Terrence Howard), Robyn (Sanaa Lathan), Jordan (Nia Long), Murch (Harold Perrineau), and Mia (Monica Calhoun) finally reunite over the Christmas holidays. Though much has changed in their lives, the friends discover just how easy it is for long-forgotten rivalries and passionate romances to be reignited.

9. Soul Food

This one is a Cult Classic. I tend to forget that it’s a holiday movie in all of the other parts of the plot that happen, but it is. In my book anyway. In this movie When Ahmad Simmons’ (Brandon Hammond) diabetic grandmother, Josephine “Big Mama” Joseph (Irma P. Hall), falls into a coma during an operation to amputate her leg, it throws the Joseph family into chaos. Ahmad watches as his mother, Maxine (Vivica A. Fox), and aunts Teri (Vanessa L. Williams) and Tracy (Nia Long) struggle to adjust to the family matriarch’s sudden absence, fall into old rivalries, share memories, and work to maintain the long-standing tradition of Sunday family dinners.

10. Friday After Next

This one is posted last, but it’s definitely not least! This one will have you laughing EVERY SINGLE TIME YOU WATCH! Ice Cube gave us a movie that shows the good side of a holiday in the hood lol. Friday After Next finds Craig (Ice Cube) and Day-Day (Mike Epps) back in the old neighborhood where it all began. It’s Christmas time and a ghetto Santa Claus breaks into their run-down apartment, stealing all their presents, along with anything else he can stuff into his sack, including the rent money hidden in their stereo speakers. Their only hope to not get evicted before Christmas is to take jobs as security guards at a local mall, where they learn some comic lessons about the true meaning of the holidays.

 

This list is by no means the end all be all of Black Holiday Movies. But it’s a good place to start! Can you say Netflix and Chill? (Now I ain’t condoning any extra-marital activities. Please watch Responsibly).

Did I miss a good one? Let me know what Black Holiday Movies YOU love.

See y’all tomorrow,

 

 

 

*Astarie Dennis Blog is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com*

 

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BLOGMAS 2017 http://astariedennis.com/blogmas-2017/ http://astariedennis.com/blogmas-2017/#respond Fri, 01 Dec 2017 19:35:57 +0000 http://astariedennis.com/?p=739 It’s been FOREVER!

I’ve missed writing to you all.  First things first, for those that have been faithful readers in the past,  you’ll notice some changes. Previously I focused more on Bath and Body relayed posts, but I often found myself wanting to wrote content that didn’t quite fit that category,  and I didn’t want to kill the vibe. 😊 Since I had to take an unplanned break from Soapmkaing and Blogging (more on that in a later blog post) this year,  I had time to reevaluate things.  I decided I was going to go in a more Lifestyle blog direction.  This will allow me to wrote about a myriad of topics instead of just one.

Now that that is out of the way, let’s talk Blogmas! 25 days of Holiday related Blog Posts. I think this will be a great way to get back into the swing of writing.

This past November my family and I moved to Houston Texas! Our family has been contemplating this move for a while, and it’s finally happened. While I am enjoying this warmer weather, I’ve never had a Christmas that was somewhat cold, other than when I was visiting family in Florida one year. Even living in Alabama, Mississippi, and Georgia. It was either chilly or COLD on Christmas. The weather for today is a high of 80 degrees, so I think a cold Christmas is out this year. The plan is to make some new warm Christmas traditions. For the next 25 (well 31 becuase I’ll post through Kwanzaa) I’ll share what we come up with and how we celebrate Christmas in Texas

I’ll also share some great movies, stories and more for the Holiday season. I hope you tune in for all of my Blogmas posts!

See you tomorrow!

 

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Watch Me Make Melt and Pour Soap! http://astariedennis.com/watch-me-make-melt-and-pour-soap/ Wed, 05 Apr 2017 18:12:32 +0000 http://ladybugwrites.com/?p=537


​Hi Friends!

It has been a long time since I posted here. I will be posting all about that soon, but I wanted to share this video I did a while back on how I make my melt and pour soap base. It was really important to me to know what all was in my soaps. Many commercial melt and pour bases just include far too many questionable ingredients. I have an exciting new addition coming to the shop made with this base, so while I finish getting that ready for you, please enjoy this video. 

I've missed you and can't with to get back to it!

Astarie

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Mothers Day: Bitter but Oh So Sweet http://astariedennis.com/mothersday/ http://astariedennis.com/mothersday/#comments Sun, 08 May 2016 10:00:32 +0000 http://ladybugwrites.com/?p=520 Happy Mothers Day to all of my mommy readers. No matter if you are a biological mom, a step mom, a mom at heart or mom to an angel. This day is for you!

I have been MIA for a while, but I wanted to be sure and acknowledge the day with you all.

Mothers day is always a bittersweet day for my. My beautiful mother passed away when I was just 3 months old due to leukemia.

Mothers Day
My Mommy

There she is with that fly afro 🙂 Everything I have ever been told about her, let’s me know she was an amazing woman who loved God, Her family and especially me. She fought hard just to bring me into this world and in the end she gave her all for me. I am grateful to be able to call her my mom. You would think, since I didn’t really get to know her, I’d not really be all that influenced by her. But I am. I don’t normally think too deeply about it, but she is a large part of the reason I am who I am today. I want to be like her. I want to the be the sweet, loving person everyone who knew her says she was. My dad tells me I have her laugh, so I try and laugh as much as possible! Even though I will never know her this side of heaven, I am trying my best to be just like my mom. She left big shoes to fill.

Mothers Day
My Mom and Grandma
mother's Day
Mommy and Me

Two years ago now, I also lost my grandmother. The very woman who helped turn my mother into who she was. My grandmother also had a huge impact on my life. She reminded me to be proud of who I was ans where I came from. She battled illness for a long time as well, and all the way til the end, she was nothing but the picture of strength and grace.

Both of these women among so many others that I have been blessed to have in my life, have shaped the mom I am today! I have the honor of being mom and step mom to two amazing children. Mothers DayI cannot express how much joy ( and grey hair) they both bring me!

I spent two years as a single mom to my son. Those years and that time, showed me that I possessed the same strength I knew my mom and grandmother had. I found courage and a voice I hadn’t known before.

Just this past year my husband and I suffered the blow of a miscarriage after 3 long years of praying and hooping for a little one together. As I am sure you can imagine Mothers Day took a sharp turn toward the bitter that year.

I wanted to share all of this to say, that while this day can me tough for me in many ways, I remain thankful that I am blessed to have these two children in my life. I have a Mother in Love who is really like the mom I didn’t get to have and I have had two Step Mom’s who took me as their own child at different parts of my life! I could focus on what is bitter in my heart and spend the day sad, but I would miss all the SWEET that this day also brings! Bouquets of Dandelions from my son, breakfast in bed from my husband, and even sweet memories from my dad about who my mom was and what she was like. I will admit that it’s hard to focus on those things at times.
When I have moments of sadness and even feeling a bit sorry for myself, besides praying about it, I always go create something. Creating has gotten me through many sad, difficult moments in my life. I am able to channel all of my feeling into a tangible project. In turn I am able to use my sadness for good. I believe God has blessed each one of us with unique abilities that can be used to do all sorts of amazing things. Those amazing things might just start with helping ourselves. He knows just what we need.

I pray each of you has a great Mothers Day, and remember:

“…weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” Psalm 30:5 KJV

Be Blessed,

Astarie

 

 

 

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Salt Bar Soap |Coconut Oil Soap Part 3 http://astariedennis.com/salt-bar-soap/ http://astariedennis.com/salt-bar-soap/#comments Sat, 13 Feb 2016 07:35:08 +0000 http://ladybugwrites.com/?p=505 Salt Bar Soap is my FAVORITE!

Not only is salt bar soap quick to make, it is amazing on the skin.

What is a Salt Bar Soap?

A salt bar is soap usually made with a high percentage of coconut oil and sea salt. These help produce a bar that is long lasting, still able to lather, and provides the benefits of sea salt. It also offers a gentle exfoliation.

Sea Salt

Sea salt is salt comes from evaporated sea water. It is used in both cooking and in skin care. Sea salt is a natural detoxifier, as the salt absorbs the toxins from the skin. Sea Salt also is known to contribute to increased circulation, have antiseptic effects, soften skin without a greasy feel and reduce fluid retention. Since sea salt does not go through the same manufacturing processes as table salt, the minerals from the sea remain, giving sea salts different colorings depending on where they are from. Many of these minerals also provide nutrients and benefits to the skin. Magnesium helps in getting rid of dry skin. Magnesium improves the texture of skin and skin hydration. You can get an improved tone by bathing in sea salt. The permeability of skin improves and it helps to deliver the oxygen to all cells of the skin effectively. Thus, you can get glowing and fresh skin after bathing in sea salt water and of course, using a sea salt bar. 🙂

 

Sea Salt Bars and Coconut Oil

While Sea Salt Bars do offer lots of great benefits, there is one major drawback: salt kills bubbles and lather. Add in hard water, and you are left with an almost sticky bar that is far from Spa like. In comes Super Coconut oil! In my coconut oil post I wrote about how coconut oil is one oil that allows for bubbles even in salty water. It is drying to the skin in high amounts though, so you have to use a recipe that is superfatted between 15%-20%. This combo makes the perfect salt bar soap. Of course every skin is different, so it may still require some experimentation. In general, I stick with a 1-1 salt and oil ratio (if I have 20oz of oils I use 20oz of salt). This makes a bar that is very hard and lasts a long long time. As this bar is used and worn down, it smooths out like alabaster.

Salt Bar Soap Blog Image

RECIPE!

I wanted to include my simple sea salt/coconut oil soap recipe, in case you want to try this for yourself.

I strongly advise that you use proper precautions when using lye for soapmaking. Check out tips here: http://www.soapqueen.com/bath-and-body-tutorials/tips-and-tricks/back-to-basics-lye-safety-guide/ In sharing this recipe I assume you have some basic knowledge of soapmaking and its process.

This is NOT a beginner recipe.

Sea Salt Spa Bar Recipe-1 LB (Click the link for a SoapCalc Download of the Recipe)

20% Superfat

38% Lye Concentration

6.08 oz Distilled Water

2.35oz Sodium Hydroxide

Coconut Oil-100% 16 oz

Sea Salt- 16oz

You can always add special additives. My favorites include coconut milk, colloidal oatmeal, and kaolin clay. You can experiment and replace the water with all milk, beer, tea, aloe juice and lots more. Want to see how I make my bars? Watch here I’d love to see what you come up with. Share it on social media using the hashtag #ladybugsuds.

Next week is my last video and post in this series, and it has also been the longest process! Liquid Soap! See you then.

Be Blessed,

Astare

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Sea Salt Spa Soap |YouTube Tuesday http://astariedennis.com/sea-salt-spa-soap-youtube-tuesday/ Tue, 09 Feb 2016 21:24:28 +0000 http://ladybugwrites.com/?p=484 Hey Y’all! Today is all about Sea Salt Spa Soap!

This is probably my top favorite soap to make and it’s my husband’s favorite to use. Our Sea Salt Spa soap is also a top seller over at Ladybug Suds and Sundries.

In keeping with the current Coconut Oil Soap Theme, I used 100% coconut oil which allows me to use a very high salt amount but not sacrifice bubbles as we learned here.

This Sea Salt Spa Soap is scented in Stud Muffin, my FAVORITE scent for guys, especially one really handsome guy in particular. (Really smart too, cause he married me 🙂 ) It is long lasting and now overpowering but is decidedly masculine. Here is the scent description A true classic, fresh and fruity male fragrance of watery top notes, and citrus nuances infused with white flowers of muguet and jasmine. Undeniably sexy notes of coumarin and fresh mint finished with soft woody notes of sandalwood and sweet musk.

It is simply amazing! It is always the first to go at any show or fair I participate in. Salt Bars have a tiny bit of exfoliation, but are not scratchy. The soap itself does tend to be a harder, longer lasting bar due to the coconut oil and salt, but it wears down beautifully in the shower, leaving a smooth polishing bar behind.

I went with my usual green to blue gradient, the green always seems a little yucky until after it it allowed to cure. Here are after pictures:

Sea Salt Spa Soap IMG_3682 IMG_3686

Both of the colors really lightened up once they had time to cure. Watch the video to see how they looked when they were first made and cut.

Tomorrow I will share more about Sea Salt Spa Soap. How it Works, how to use it and what it does for the skin. See you then

Be Blessed,

Astarie

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Homemade Laundry Butter |Coconut Oil Soap Series P2 http://astariedennis.com/homemade-laundry-butter/ Wed, 03 Feb 2016 20:00:47 +0000 http://ladybugwrites.com/?p=472 A couple of weeks ago over on my YouTube channel, I shared the first part of me making Homemade Laundry Butter. I recorded a previous version of this process but the video was blurry and not well put together, ironically that is my second highest watched video 🙂

Anyhow, I have been using that batch of Laundry Butter ever since. Guys, that was over 9 months ago, for a family of 5! I’m just now down to the final bits of butter. I love that one tablespoon is all I need for my whole load of laundry! But I’m getting ahead of myself…

What in the world is this Homemade Laundry Butter Stuff Anyway?

Glad you asked. Essentially Laundry Butter is a scoop-able laundry soap, that is super concentrated and safe to use on just about any clothing item you can wash, including cloth diapers! The best part is this soap is natural and great for even sensitive skin.

Laundry Butter is made with 4 basic ingredients:

  • Coconut Oil Soap
  • Distilled Water
  • Borax
  • Washing Soda
  • (fragrance is optional)

That’s it. That’s all you need to make the most amazing cleaner you’ve ever used.

Coconut Oil Soap is made with only Coconut Oil, Lye and Water, I wrote about coconut oil and coconut oil soap in this post. This soap is quick to make and can be used to make Laundry Soap almost right away. Coconut oil is a powerhouse at stripping away grease and oils, which makes too much of it bad for a bathing soap (except in certain conditions) but perfect to clean with. Even though it strips away grease and oils, it is gentle on clothes.

Distilled Water is very important when making any sort of soap. Distilled water is water that has had many of its impurities removed through distillation. Distillation involves boiling the water and then condensing the steam into a clean container. Since it has less impurities, that means less to interact with the lye and less to worry about mixing into your Laundry Butter. I use distilled water in any product I made that requires water. It helps me have a great finished product that I can feel safe in sharing with my customers and especially my family.

Borax, also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate, is an important boron compound, a mineral, and a salt of boric acid. While it is a salt of boric acid it is NOT BORIC ACID! Powdered borax is white, consisting of soft colorless crystals that dissolve easily in water. Borax has a wide variety of uses. Some include being used as a component in many detergents, cosmetics, and enamel glazes. This Wellness Mama Blog post shares a lot more on Borax and its safety. Bottom Line, Borax helps give us whiter clothes and also helps with hard water issues.

Washing Soda is also known as sodium carbonate. It is a salt of carbonic acid, a chemical that produces a wide range of salts known as carbonates. In laundry, washing soda accomplishes several things. The high alkalinity of washing soda helps it act as a solvent to remove a range of stains, and unlike bleach, washing soda does not usually stain. It is also used in detergent mixtures to treat hard water; the washing soda binds to the minerals which make water hard, allowing detergent to foam properly so that clothing will come out clean, without any residue.

Make Your Own Washing Soda

Bake 1 Cup of Baking soda at 350 degrees for 30 Mins

When baking soda is heated above a certain temperature, its chemical structure changes. When heated, the baking soda decomposes, or undergoes a dehydration process, and loses its hydrogen molecule, leaving behind washing soda, water, and carbon dioxide.

Towards the end of the Laundry Butter process before you whip it, you can also add an essential oil or fragrance. I don’t add any fragrance or essential oil because I don’t find that the scent lasts through the wash and drying. I also try and keep things really simple when it comes to anything that comes in contact with my son’s skin.

Laundry Butter Blog Graphic

All you need is ONE tablespoon per load of laundry. That is IT, I promise. Of course if you have really soiled clothes you could throw in another scoop. This Laundry Butter works great in Bottom and Top loading machines. Don’t look for lots of suds with this soap. It is not meant to bubble but to CLEAN! That is what makes it so perfect for any type of machine. Yes you can use it in HE machines! Add your tablespoon of Butter to the machine after you have added your clothes, it dissolves in warm and cold water, but does dissolve best in warm water.

I never planned to sell my Laundry Butter, I just wanted something more economical and effective for my families clothes. After the Release of My Rainbow Baby line of products, I realized how much Cloth Diapering parent’s needed a reliable detergent. Any parent really, but cloth diapers need a little extra attention. I love that I can now offer this as part of the Rainbow Baby line, of course this is great for ANYONE!

On my Coconut Oil Soap video I got a request to show how Stain Sticks are used. I did a small demo in the video on YouTube, but here are a few pictures. The Stain Sticks are great for using on stubborn stains prior to throwing the clothes in the wash. Homemade Laundry Butter and Stain Sticks just go hand in hand.   IMG_3616IMG_3619IMG_3617IMG_3620 Dawn from Custer Cottage shared the recipe that I use. It was shared with us soapers by ANOTHER sweet soaper Miki. I am grateful to Miki for sharing and allowing us to not only make this recipe but share it with our customers as well. If you would like to try out this recipe, but don’t want to fuss around with soap safety and lye, I will have my 100% Coconut Oil Soap available in my shop. Pre-Shredded in 6oz packages ready for you to try your first batch. I will also include the recipe. If you just don’t want to bother making it at all (Even I have those days 🙂 ) I also have my Laundry Butter available in 1 quart Tubs.

If you are visual, Like I am make sure you watch the entire series on Coconut Oil soaps and how to make the Laundry Butter so you can make your own.

Stay tuned, next week we will be making liquid coconut oil soap for cleaning around the house!

Leave me a comment and tell me, do you make any of your own Household cleaning items?

Be Blessed

Astarie

 

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Bible Journaling |Heaven Is Calling 1 Samuel 1:1-20 http://astariedennis.com/bible-journaling-heaven-is-calling-1-samuel-11-20/ Mon, 01 Feb 2016 14:25:31 +0000 http://ladybugwrites.com/?p=446 This year I have committed to more Bible journaling. I want to take time to dig deep into God’s word and Steep in it. Many times we read the Word but don’t really allow it to sink in. What I love about Bible Journaling is that it gives me a chance to not only express what I am gaining from a passage of scripture, but also sit on that word as I Journal about it in my Bible.

Bible journaling is basically using whatever artistic form you’d like to visually convey what you have learned from a verse or verses of scripture. Something that stands out to you. I started out with a basic King James Version Bible that I had for years, but over Christmas my husband gifted me a brand new KJV Journaling Bible. What is so great about Bibles made for Journaling is that they come with a blank or lined margin on either side of every page. Space for whatever notes you’d like to put in. Bible Journaling

Bible Journaling Challenge

This week I participated in Rebecka R Jones’s Bible Art Journaling Challenge for 2016. She shared a weekly challenge last year and I plan to take on a few of those this year as well. For 2016 Rebecka is doing a Monthly challenge this past weekend she shared her first one. The verses that she journaled about were in 1 Samuel 1:1-20:

 

Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:

2 And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

And this man went up out of his city yearly to worship and to sacrifice unto the Lord of hosts in Shiloh. And the two sons of Eli, Hophni and Phinehas, the priests of the Lord, were there.

And when the time was that Elkanah offered, he gave to Peninnah his wife, and to all her sons and her daughters, portions:

But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the Lord had shut up her womb.

And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the Lord had shut up her womb.

And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.

Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?

So Hannah rose up after they had eaten in Shiloh, and after they had drunk. Now Eli the priest sat upon a seat by a post of the temple of the Lord.

10 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the Lord, and wept sore.

11 And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.

12 And it came to pass, as she continued praying before the Lord, that Eli marked her mouth.

13 Now Hannah, she spake in her heart; only her lips moved, but her voice was not heard: therefore Eli thought she had been drunken.

14 And Eli said unto her, How long wilt thou be drunken? put away thy wine from thee.

15 And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the Lord.

16 Count not thine handmaid for a daughter of Belial: for out of the abundance of my complaint and grief have I spoken hitherto.

17 Then Eli answered and said, Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of him.

18 And she said, Let thine handmaid find grace in thy sight. So the woman went her way, and did eat, and her countenance was no more sad.

19 And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the Lord, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the Lord remembered her.

20 Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the Lord.

In this story, we see a woman who was pleading to God for a child. We see God answer her prayer. If you continue to read on in 1 Samuel, not only did have 1 child she was blessed with 5 more children after Samuel. We serve a GOOD GOD! He desires to answer our prayers, we just have to let Him. Hanna offered the child God blessed her with to Him, and she made good on her promise. This story touches me very closely because my husband and I have been struggling with infertility for almost 5 years now, we suffered a loss last year, but we refuse to give up hoping in a GOOD GOD. He is able to answer our prayers and He has all the power to do so. This story only helps my hope grow stronger, but I also gained even more from this, I know that no matter the outcome God is still Good and He will only give me His best. Maybe a child isn’t in His plan for us, it will be hard, but I can keep my hope set on a Good God and know He will keep me.

Bible Journaling

For this Challenge, Rebecka did some painting with a plastic card and stamped over the color. I did a similar technique with some Micheal’s acrylic paint. I used an old ER room key. I love using the paints in the Bible because of the bold color, but it doesn’t bleed and doesn’t take forever to dry. I used my Memento Tuxedo Black Ink Pad to stamp “Set Your Hope on a GOOD GOD” I am using an alpha stamp set from Micheal’s it had no name, but any alphabet set would work. What I liked about this set was it had upper and lowercase letters, so I was able to make Hope, and God stand out even more.

Bible Journaling

I used some metallic paint for the green and then went back in with a blue and purple metallic paint over the matte ones I had used originally, next time I think I will stick with the matte paint for stamping over, I feel like the ink just sits on top of the page instead of sinking in more. I believe that is because the paint dries with a glossy finish. Also since I added even more paint some of the words under the blue are hard to read. Not impossible, but a little difficult in some places

Bible Journaling

All in all I like how it turned out. I love how Bible journaling doesn’t have to be “perfect.” It is your worship with and for God.  Whenever I come to this page, I will be reminded to set my Hope on my Good God, in all things. I pray I will be blessed enough to come back and journal the page on the other side of this page where Hanna tells The priest: “for this child I prayed.”

Watch how this Bible Journaling page came together for me:

Read this passage for yourself and tell me how you can set your hope on a GOOD GOD and I’ll see you next Sunday with another Bible journaling entry.

Be Blessed,

Astarie

“DISCLOSURE: I may be an affiliate for products that I recommend. If you purchase those items through my links I will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through my link. This allows me to continue to provide free quality content. I appreciate your understanding!
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Coconut Oil Soap |The Super Cleaner Part 1 http://astariedennis.com/coconut-oil-soap/ http://astariedennis.com/coconut-oil-soap/#comments Mon, 25 Jan 2016 06:30:07 +0000 http://ladybugwrites.com/?p=433 Coconut Oil Soap |The Super Cleaner

Ever since I timidly walked into my local home improvement store and searched out my first container of lye, I have loved making soap. I have tried all sorts of recipes from simple olive, coconut and castor oil, to one where all I use is my stick blender to complete the soaponification process. Out of all my soaps, coconut oil soap is definitely in my top 3.

Why do I love it so much? Coconut Oil Soap is an Anomaly. It is supposed to act a certain way in soap scientifically, but it does what it wants and becomes this amazingly bubbly cleaner when placed in the right conditions. We’ll talk more about that a  little later in this post. Since I love coconut in soap so much, I am dedicating the next few weeks here on the blog and on YouTube to all things coconut oil. I’ve already posted Parts 1 and 2 where I showed how I make 100% Coconut Oil Soap for Laundry Butter and use in Homemade laundry soap recipes.  I posted Part 1 of making Laundry Butter as well. Let’s talk about what makes Coconut Oil so great in the first place.

Coconut oil comes from the ripe coconut fruit of the coconut palm tree. The oil is extracted in one of two way: wet or dry.

DRY:

  • the meat is extracted from the shell and dried using fire, sunlight, or kilns to create copra.
  • The copra is dissolved with solvents, producing the coconut oil and a high-protein, high-fiber mash.

WET

  • uses raw coconut rather than dried copra.
  • the protein in the coconut creates an emulsion of oil and water.
  • centrifuges and pre-treatments including cold, heat, acids, salts, enzymes, electrolysis, shock waves are then used to extract the oil from the emulsion.

 

Coconut Oil can fall into a few different category types: 76 degree, 92 degree, Fractionated, Virgin. For most soap making purposes I use 76 degree coconut oil. This oil is non-hydrogenated and melts at temperatures over 76 degrees. 92 degree coconut oil is hydrogenated and melts at 92 degrees (there is even a 102 degree classification of coconut oil) If you’d like to learn even more about Coconut Oil classifications head over to this post by Quality First International, they break down all the types of coconut oil and the ways they are produced.

As with all oil and fats used in soaps, coconut oil has a make up of fatty acids that need to be taken into consideration when being used in a recipe.

Lauric 39-54%
Myristic 15-23%
Palmitic 6-11%
Capric 6%
Oleic 4-11%
Stearic 1-4%
Linoleic 1-2%

Now I am not a science person, Kenna, over at Modern Soapmaking breaks down what each of these means much better than I ever could 🙂 (If you plan on becoming a great soapmaker, I’d definitely suggest checking her blog out, she shares AMAZING information that will help you make not only pretty looking soap, but safe and effective soap as well.)

Basically coconut oil will produce a hard bar of soap with nice fluffy bubbles of lather. This oil even lathers in salt water.

In soap making, 100% Coconut Oil Soap is one of the easiest types of soaps to make.  Normally it is advised not use coconut oil as more than 30% of your soaping oils because it breaks up oil and grease se well, that it can be drying and stripping to the skin. But if you don’t mind being a little rebellious you can get around that rule. By using a superfat of 20% (which means your use 20% more oil than the lye can change to soap) your are left with a luxury bar that is FAR from drying. more coconut oil than the lye can convert to soap, you end up with a luxurious body bar. What makes it so great is that coconut oil has a long shelf life, no worries of your soap going rancid from all of the extra unsoaponified oils. You can also use supperfatting to make a bar or liquid soap that is perfect for laundry and household cleaning. By Superfatting at 0% or not allowing for any oil to be left over after soaponification, you are left with a bar that is a powerful grease fighter and stain remover. Coconut oil soapThis oil really is an anomaly of soapmaking oils: It breaks usage rules, superfatting rules, it even breaks the rules of salt killing bubbles. As the weeks progress we will use this oil in a number of different ways, demonstrating some of these very ideas. We will finish our Laundry Butter made with coconut oil soap superfatted at 0%, Liquid cleaning soap, a Sea Salt Bar that is reminiscent of a spa-like experience and a 100% Coconut Oil soap that is superfatted at 20%. Coconut Milk might even make an appearance along the line. Friday  I will be sharing Part Two of making my Laundry Butter Video and even more about the amazing cleaner that is coconut oil soap.

Make sure you watch the first two videos in this coconut oil series Here.

Be Blessed

Astarie

 

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