Chocolate and Roses Valentine Soap

I often hear that my soaps look downright edible, but I think I may have outdone myself with this decadent Chocolate and Roses Valentine Soap. It’s a beautiful dark bar with what looks like a swirl of nougat running through the center, and if you don’t want to lick it on sight, there might be something a bit wrong with you. These cold processed bars are loaded with rich cocoa butter and moisturizing olive oil, and they work up into an utterly lovely creamy lather. I’m not sure how you couldn’t be completely smitten with them, so let’s dive in.

How to Make Chocolate and Roses Valentine Soap

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Let’s talk about “natural”

One of the things that seems to draw people into this hobby the most is a desire to work with more natural ingredients and purge synthetics and harmful chemicals from their skincare routine and life. While this is a rather lovely idea on the surface of things (it really pairs nicely with the notion of shopping at farmers’ markets, baking all your own bread, and gardening), it is a surprisingly difficult thing to pin down. I’ve learned over the years that many people have vastly different definitions of “natural” and “chemicals”, and my notions about what I will and won’t use have certainly changed and developed over the years as I’ve learned more and tried new things. So, I thought we could have a bit of a discussion on the idea of “natural”.

Let's talk about natural

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10 Recipes to Make with Mango Butter

When you first dive into buying ingredients for this hobby, mango butter isn’t usually on the starter DIY shortlist, but I would like to make a case for adding it. Most people purchase shea butter first, and the two are somewhat similar. They’re both soft, creamy butters with similar melting points (~37°C/99°F), and out of the two shea is much more common, and typically cheaper ($9/kg for shea vs. $20/kg for mango). While shea butter is amazing for many things (soap and eczema pop to mind immediately), it has a couple characteristics that people aren’t always crazy about. The first is the smell, which can easily be solved by purchasing the refined version. The second is the absorption speed. It is sloooooow. Shea is quite heavy and even a wee bit tacky, and while those certainly aren’t bad qualities, they aren’t always desirable. That’s where mango butter comes in.

10 recipes to make with mango butter

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Happy Christmas!

I hope you all had a lovely holiday! I took a few days off to do a lot of baking and relax with my family, so instead of sharing a new recipe of mine I’m sharing some photos from the last few days, and a link to the recipe for the insanely delicious Pumpkin Cheesecake with a Bourbon Sour Cream Topping I made for Christmas dessert. I used spiced rum instead of bourbon, and it was amazing. I highly recommend making one… it would probably be best to do it while you have company around to help you eat it, but that’s definitely not a requirement 😉

The Best of 2016

With just over a week of 2016 left, I thought I’d take a moment to look back at some of my favourite and most popular recipes from this year, just in case you missed ’em. Some of these are recipes with lots of comments, others have been visited tens of thousands of times, and others are ones that I’m really proud of and hope you’ll take another look at. Happy making, and happy holidays everybody!

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Winter Solstice Face Cream

I’ve had a lot of requests for a straight-up face cream, but for some reason or another, I haven’t really strayed into that territory too much until now. That’s mostly because I adore oil-based serums; my skin loves their potency, and when a serum is...

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Tinted Coal Lip Balm

I thought I’d mix things up a bit with this seasonal lip balm and bring my Lumps of Coal holiday theme to the realm of lip balms. And I love it. It definitely seemed a bit odd when I jotted down the idea a few weeks ago, with aims of avoiding creating something...

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Gentle Hemp and Shea Soap

After a few weeks of some fancy-pants, layered-up, Christmas themed soaps, I fancied a bit of a rustic break. A simple to make, quick-to-assemble, low-fuss bar soap made with some lovely oils and butters, lots of creamy clay, and no timers or pomp and circumstance....

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Whipped Pumpkin Spice Body Butter

This decadent Whipped Pumpkin Spice Body Butter is pure autumnal perfection. It’s soft and creamy, and smells deliciously of cinnamon, vanilla, ginger, and cloves. It sinks into the skin shockingly quickly for how thick and luscious it is, and the texture is...

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Sea Buckthorn Mattifying Moisturizer

If you’re looking for touchable, smooth, soft skin, this Sea Buckthorn Mattifying Moisturizer is right up your alley. It’s a creamy, orange-hued moisturizer features a few scoops of silky smooth arrowroot starch to give your hydrated skin a beautiful dry...

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Moraine Lake Body Lotion

I love few things more than the scent of the forest floor in the sun in the Canadian Rockies. A few weeks ago we took a trip out to Moraine Lake—one of the most famous lakes in the world. You might not know it by name, but you know the view; it’s incredibly...

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Pumpkin Shimmer Lip Gloss

It’s still two days until it’s “technically” autumn, but Calgary clearly missed that memo—our trees have been turning since late August. Along with coarsely knit knee socks, my scarf collection, and this awesome jacket that I bought on sale in...

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Soothing Oat Bath and Body Oil

This soothing oat bath and body oil was born from a recipe request from Claudia, who loves Aveeno’s Skin Relief Shower and Bath Oil. She said that it was fantastic for dry winter skin and even helped with her son’s eczema. Taking a look at the ingredients,...

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White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Lotion

To me, macadamia nuts will forever evoke memories of Hawaii. I was last there with my family when I was seventeen, and I remember picking up a bag of some chocolate covered macadamia nuts in the airport on our way home. Those nuggets of chocolatey goodness were...

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Mermaid Silk Shampoo Bars

Prepare to feel like you’re sudsing up in a lagoon in Neverland with the mermaids; these seriously beautiful Mermaid Silk Shampoo Bars are just the sort of thing I imagine mermaids would use (do mermaids wash their hair? A question for another day, perhaps.)....

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Luxury Facial Serum

The amount of money some shop-bought natural skincare products sell for never ceases to amaze me. You’d think I’d be used to seeing price tags north of $150 for a few tablespoons of something, but I’m not. I’m perpetually astonished to find a...

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Chocolate Lip Butter

Out of all the things I’ve made that I have to frequently remind myself not to eat, this Chocolate Lip Butter is pretty high up that list. It smells downright delicious, and leaves my lips oh-so wonderfully soft and hydrated. And did I mention that it smells...

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Natural Dry Shampoo Spray

I’ve been watching lots of hair tutorials on YouTube lately, and I can’t help but notice how many of them use dry shampoo to achieve a bit of added texture and volume for updos. So, a few weeks ago when I was wandering the aisles of Costco a pack of...

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Creamy Lavender Meadow Bath Melts

Love a hydrating, relaxing bath? These Creamy Lavender Meadow Bath Melts are about to become your favourite thing. These little nuggets of cocoa-shea goodness quickly melt into your hot bath, leaving your with a lavender scented tub of water to soak away your worries...

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Gentle Foaming Clay Scrub

This super gentle foaming clay scrub smells amazing, leaves your skin wonderfully soft. A base of gentle kaolin clay is spiked with a touch of exfoliating oatmeal and a bright, fresh blend of essential oils to give you a fantastic lathery face scrub in no time flat. A...

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Olive and Jojoba Silk Conditioner

This recipe for Olive and Jojoba Silk Conditioner was inspired by a request from Nick, who says “Came across your website and it’s great. Despite being the manliest of men I do like the finer things in life and the rubbish mass produced stuff from the high...

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Lots & Lots of Clay Soap

I adore clay in my soap, so I thought I’d try a bar with lots of the stuff. The general rule of thumb I’ve been following is one tablespoon per 500g/pound of oils so I decided to take that up by about 10x and I’m loving the results. All that clay...

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Rose Cardamom Body Lotion

This pretty pink rose cardamom body lotion is light as a feather but leaves skin unbelievably soft and hydrated. A blend of nourishing oils, fragrant rose wax, luxurious silk, and hydrating rose water comes together easily, leaving you with a decadent pot of...

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Scottish Rose Salve

In honour of Robbie Burn’s day, I’m sharing this recipe for a Scottish Rose Salve today (“O my Luve is like a red, red rose”). It was inspired by a recipe request from Jade, who wrote “I love this [rosebud] lip salve. I’ve been...

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Houdini Anti Acne Creme

I’ve had a few requests for a lotion similar to LUSH’s Vanishing Creme, so this is it. The idea is the creme will make your acne vanish, so with that in mind, I set out to make my very own Houdini Anti Acne Creme—something worthy of the great Houdini. I...

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Cold Snap Cleansing Balm

I am utterly smitten with this Cold Snap Cleansing Balm. I’ve already emptied two tins of it. It’s perfectly soft and smooth, and leaves my skin delightfully clean without drying it out. A wee bit of menthol gives it a perfect wee tingle that’s...

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Let’s not forget the videos!

I’ve been sharing two videos a week on YouTube since June, and I’m loving watching my channel grow and having the opportunity to show you guys new techniques and fun experiments. All of these recipes have videos to go with them, so you can watch instead of read if that’s your jam!

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Chocolate and Roses Valentine Soap

I often hear that my soaps look downright edible, but I think I may have outdone myself with this decadent Chocolate and Roses Valentine Soap. It’s a beautiful dark bar with what looks like a swirl of nougat running through the center, and if you don’t...

Gentle Hemp and Shea Soap

After a few weeks of some fancy-pants, layered-up, Christmas themed soaps, I fancied a bit of a rustic break. A simple to make, quick-to-assemble, low-fuss bar soap made with some lovely oils and butters, lots of creamy clay, and no timers or pomp and circumstance....

Winter Wonderland Christmas Soap

This beautiful dusty-blue gradiated Winter Wonderland Christmas Soap is my last soap of the 2016 Christmas soaping season, and I love it. I tried a new technique for the first time, and while I’m super excited to play with it more and improve, I’m still...

Lumps of Coal Christmas Soap

Brace yourselves, ladies and gentleman—it’s Christmas soaping season already! I’m not sure how this has happened already as my brain is still patiently waiting for summer to arrive, but I’m assuming the calendar doesn’t lie, so holiday soaps,...

Marula Overnight Hair Mask

With drier days on the way, and a few months of sun exposure behind us, this rich and hydrating Marula Overnight Hair Mask couldn’t be more timely. I learned about overnight hair masks from a YouTube video of “beauty hacks that work” (or something to...

Minty Poppy Seed Scrubby Soap

This pretty double-sided bar of Minty Poppy Seed Scrubby Soap has one end that’s scrubby and one side that’s minty fresh for a bit of end-of-summer tootsy scrubbing. If your summers (and feet) are anything like mine, you likely need it! These bars are also fantastic...

Citrus Summer Punch Swirl Soap

These bright, colourful Citrus Summer Punch Swirl Soap bars are perfect for summer. They smell like fresh, juicy grapefruit and they’re basically a swirly chunk of beautiful sunny weather in sudsible form. This soap recipe is also the first soap recipe...

Two-in-One Creamy Hair Conditioner

Ever since I started publishing creamy hair conditioner recipes a few months ago, readers have been asking about the possibility of including some vinegar in the water part of the emulsion to create a two-in-one conditioner that eliminates the need for a separate...

Creamy Lavender Meadow Bath Melts

Love a hydrating, relaxing bath? These Creamy Lavender Meadow Bath Melts are about to become your favourite thing. These little nuggets of cocoa-shea goodness quickly melt into your hot bath, leaving your with a lavender scented tub of water to soak away your worries...

Well, those are my top picks from 2016! What are yours? What have you made that you’ve been excited about? Any wonderful new discoveries you’d like to share? Comment below!

10 Recipes to Make with Argan Oil

If you’ve spent much time around these parts, you know that argan oil and I have a long-standing love affair based on a mutual love of my skin looking awesome. Argan oil is the first oil I ever put on my skin (after much reassurance from Meredith, who swore up and down putting oil on my skin wouldn’t trigger the breakout to end all breakouts), and despite my initial hesitation, I fell hard and fast. In fact, you could probably blame argan oil for all of Humblebee & Me, which seems like a lot to put on the shoulders of a humble oil from Morocco, but there you have it!

10 Recipes to Make With Argan Oil

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