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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

And The Winner Is...!

robiewankenobie wins the soap give-way!






I used random.org and it chose #8 for me.  So!  Robiewankenobie, sadly, when I click your link, it doesn't lead me anywhere.  Help me find you.

I'll have more give-aways!  Thanks for participating.  It was more fun than I thought!!

Have a great day!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Soap Give Away


Remember my Apple Crisp "Faces" soap bar?  I have had my fill with her staring at me at my desk and now I think she deserves a home.


And so does my Thai Coconut Cream soap that I know you want to try....

Ways of getting entries:

1.  Leave a comment saying anything
2.  Twitter this giveaway with a link and leave a comment that you did
3.  Go to my Etsy Shop and tell me what strikes your fancy the most.

I know this isn't a big giveaway, but there will be more....

very soon.

:)


UPDATE:  Winner will be announced on Tuesday 
(Sunday and Monday I am unavailable completely)


ps:  Your well wishes must be working because yesterday was the first day NOT napping and not feeling horrible all day.  Just part of the day.  Thank you xoxoxoxo

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Words

The love and support that I felt from the comments made from my last blog post were touching, unexpected and pulled me out of what felt like an isolation tank I've been sitting in for weeks.  It felt good to just get it out there.

Thank goodness for technology.  I feel like I have made human connections all over the world with all of you.  Thank you for your kindness, love, support, inspiration, understanding, and friendship.  Every one of you who left a comment touched my heart.  Really really.

xo

Joanna

Monday, March 22, 2010

Why I've Been M.I.A.

I am aprehensive about getting personal on this blog because I hate turning anyone off, but I can't really help sharing at this point.  So if you'd rather not listen to personal posts while on The Soap Bar, I'd suggest coming back when I've got some soap pictures up in a couple of days.

You guys have been my connection and my friends, what can I say?  You've helped me through my rough patches when I was nervous about opening a retail shop for my little business and then you all were so supportive when I had to close it 14 months later. 

A lot of my regular readers know I have Crohn's Disease which I was diagnosed with 6 years ago and before February, I had some bad days and some good ones.  Sometimes, I'd get a few bad days in a row, but not too often.  On my birthday (July 11th) I ate a Subway sandwich and became instantly crampy... then doubled over, had to close my shop early and forced myself to drive home without hitting anyone (me = big dummy) and to get through the pain without going to the hospital.  I knew it would pass... literally.  I thought it was a bad piece of meat or maybe the sandwich was too big because I ate the whole foot long.

The following day I felt worse and my sister-in-law who's a doctor in San Fransisco, told me to go to the ER.  She never suggests that.  They did scans and X-rays and gave me an IV for steroids, pain relievers and other fluids.  Told me I had Crohn's Disease (really, geniuses?) However, the new news was that I had ulcers and inflammation in my stomach and small intestine.  Most of my issues had been in my colon.  They sent me home with a prescription for prednisone and a pat on the back. (Thanks, $12,000 later - yes, I have insurance, but I saw the bill and I paid a pretty penny for that 4 hour visit!)

To make a long story as short as I can, I was on steroids for 4 weeks, was well for 2 months, got really bad again, got on steroids again for 4 weeks, but this time, when I weaned off of them, I got a migraine from hell that lasted almost 2 weeks!  I was paralyzed.  Dysfunctional.  Dirty.  Unmovable, unreasonable, unavailable.  It sucked.  When that headache subsided, I can't tell you how undead I felt, how amazing life was when the pain lifted. 

I hate pain more than anything.

Then the following day the migraine lifted, my Crohn's pain kicked in.  Hard.  It felt like the migraine was passing the wand to the Crohn's in one of those relay races.  I guess I was lucky that it didn't happen at once, but how weird?  Since that day in early February, I have not been well.  I can have a few good hours, but I have not been living my "normal" life since.  I do have to say that it is amazing timing that the shop closed in the nick of time.  I would not be able to man it.

I said, "When one door closes, another opens".  I still believe that.  I do not believe, however, that pain and suffering is that door, because I wouldn't have chosen door number 3, thank you.  But perhaps the store closing is what was meant to be for me to deal with my illness so that I can then move on to other things.

Laughter is contagious and so is down in the dumpedness, so I'm not here to cry to you.  Sadness pushes people away and I'm not going to do that.  I'm updating you on my boring ins and outs because I think you deserve to know.  I haven't lost interest in your soap, the soap, all SOAP! I love it more today than the day I started this blog.  I can't keep up with it with all my down days and sleeping which I seem to have no control over lately.  Yeah, the sleeping is kind of getting in the way with life.  Yesterday, I went to lie down for a 5 minute nap and woke up 4 hours later and then I woke up did a few things, laid down again and fell asleep for 2 more hours, then went to sleep at 2 am and slept until 10 am.  Think I'm getting enough sleep?  When I am awake, I need to take care of life which is filled with too much and sometimes I'd just like to avoid most of it and bury my head in the sand.

My mother used to call me an ostrich when I was 12 years old.  I'd like to think I've evolved since then, but maybe for passing moments, I''d like to be 12 again with no responsibilities and no money issues, because I know stress effects this disease quite a bit.

I don't know if I feel stressed and I know I don't act stressed.  I don't look stressed.  I do have this incredible ability to hold feelings inside and think inwardly, feel inwardly, process inside before I deal on the outside (funny, why do things sometimes just blurt out of my face?).  So I suppose there is that.

I have to apologize to you all because I am not a writer.  I don't think ahead and form sentences properly or think ahead and edit my work.  I am just blurting and that's what this blog is.  A place for me to be me.  My husband is a wonderful writer.  He reads my blog and makes a pained face.  Grammatical errors, tense confusion..... it goes on.  I try.  I write the way I think.

So I write to you in hopes that you understand my absence and that you stick around because I am here and I will continue to bring you the soap.

soap

soap

soap

:)

xo

Joanna

Thursday, March 18, 2010

My OpenSky Shop Is Filled With Goodies + Free Soap

Remember I was telling you that I was asked to set up a virtual shop and fill it up with things I thought were awesome? Well I did. OpenSky is Modern Main Street: an online marketplace - - WAY BETTER than amazon.com, where you can shop for things that have been hand picked by people you trust (ME!). I write what I think about an item, OpenSky tries make their prices really fair and get you great deals.

This is what they say: If, for any reason, you are not thrilled with your purchase, you can return it to OpenSky within 365 days of receipt for a full refund.

Does it get better than that? It gets better for me: I get a piece of whatever sells, because I sent you there. So let me tell you why I picked the things that are in my shop because it is a jumble of things. I picked handmade soap from a fellow soap maker, Trista Page of Indigo Bee who is giving away a beautifully smelling soap called OpenSky with any of her soap packages. Free soap!


Really, it smells so fresh and clean, you might want to get a bar... but it is exclusive only through my OpenSky shop. I also shared other bath and body stuff, Product Body, of course! And others.... psst...I just linked to all 3 of her soap packages because all 3 are giving away a free soap bar. :)

I also picked personal items that I use like butcher block, nail polish, a French press coffee maker and a tweezer....I mean, these are great products, why not share the goodies with my peeps?

Then there is equipment I use in my formulary: KitchenMaid stand mixers, hand blenders and digital scales.

Finally, I have listed crafty stuff which I use all the time for wrapping soaps or creating gifty type stuff. There is some really interesting things there like zinc gift tags that you can write on with chalk and reuse! Also, designer packing tape and envelope wraps and ribbons to name a few. Cool.

I'll be adding a gorgeous robe in a few days and other nifty things periodically, so keep coming back and taking a peek.

O.O






Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Luck of The Irish (Green Soap Porn)

Wow, it's been a week. I wish I could say I've been slacking off but it's just not the case. I won't get into it because it's just a whole lot of the same and I won't bore you with the ins and outs of my belly problems.

Today is a good day and it's St. Patrick's Day! This is a day I am grateful I am not in the New York City subways. Every St. Patty's Day that landed on a weekday while I lived in NY, I always ended up on the train going home and the subways always filled up with half naked men completely obliterated stinking of booze. Their breath actually stung my eyes it was so toxic! They would be trying to sing some song together in unison and "sneaking" a drink here and there from their brown bag. They were slick, I tellya... And sexy with their beer bellies hanging out, some with words or caveman drawings on them (???). New York bar men loved their excuses to drink, especially the Irish ones. Oh, it was the day to be proud and lit to the gills!

So today the porn will be green.





Margarita With Salt Please by Pink Bricks LLC



Green Thumb Gardener's Soap by Angelic Soap Shop



Childhood Trauma Soap by Septic Soaps
the copy says: Disclaimer: This soap doesn't really wash anything away but dirt and
grime and will not make your parents love you. Try therapy instead. :D



Apple & Lemonpeel Exfoliating Bar Soap by Pampered and Preens's Shop



Baby Doll Soap by Stinky Bomb's Shop



Litsea Cubeba Shea Butter Soap by Desert Soapstone



I know this isn't soap, but it could be a liquid soap dispenser. I think it is beautiful and deserves a showing in this green soap porn day.









Alaskan Fireweed Cocoa Butter soap by Swan Mountain Soaps










Ah, the luck of the Irish.



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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Honey Bee Mine. Forever & Ever & Ever

Honey Bee Mine - Handmade Cold Process SoapHoney Bee Mine - Handmade Cold Process Soap

Honey Bee Mine

handmade by Erin, of Inner Earth Soaps, in lovely
Bondi Beach near Sydney, Australia

I have been a fan of Erin's soaps for over a year now. I have been following her blog and her beach photographs of her gorgeous soaps. It always intrigued me that she'd bring her soaps to the shore and lay them on the rocks in the sun. Always beautiful. The weather and her soaps!

Erin sent me a bar of Honey Bee Mine and, of course, it was gorgeous just like the pictures.
A tantalizing combination of sweet orange essential oil and fresh local honey. Delicious! The honey adds extra bubbles to the lather and makes a great facial soap.
I didn't read about what the scent was. I just assumed by the name and the "honeycomb" top that it would be honey scented, but when I got into the shower and started showering, that bar lathered up lickety split and smelled up the shower stall instantly. Yummy! Orange, did I smell orange essential oil? What a delight! It was an orange with a hint of honey. What an odd combination but I LOVED IT!

love love love
love love love
love love love

So between the frothy creamy lovely lather and the scent and the unbelievable smoothness of the bar itself touching my skin, I'd have to say, I recommend getting a bar of this before this batch runs out. Is it a limited edition? You better go find out.

4.5 - 5.2oz for only $6!! People. It's a steal.

This is a keeper, Erin.








Monday, March 8, 2010

Manic Monday :: Soap Porn To Cheer You Up

Mania (as described in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary): excitement manifested by mental and physical hyperactivity, disorganization of behavior, and elevation of mood

Let's see how this goes without putting anybody over the edge.

In a blog post, Delicious Citrus, Purple Sparkle Crafts shared her
chocolate orange cold process soap. Yummmm.



Found this one on Nerd Approved. "The 'Fight Club' for alternative lifestyles"
"The first rule of Gay Bar is “don’t drop the soap.” Or maybe not, depending on how you like to party."







Erin, of Naiad Soap Arts, is a lovely person and excellent soap maker.
Cool manic bar o'soap!




Some people are a little obsessed with their electronics. Go see all the electronics they made out of soap....iPhone, Blackberry, PSP, video controller.... good replicas.



Tetris soap brought to you by Dirty Ass soap ;)
I love their company name....hehe


Loves Me Long Time
by Grumpy Girl Candle & Bath Co.

Sharon, of Grumpy Girl, makes her entire line of products fun and the names of her products and descriptions are not only witty but hysterical. I love her!




Wish I had more time to get this going. I have more photos to share. Okay, back to work, people... There's nothing here to see!


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Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Under The Lemon Moon




This soap review should have been written months ago. Originally, Jenn and Meg, co-owners of Dreaming Tree Soapworks, sent me soap at my shop, but I lost the package during that chaotic time where we were thinking about closing it down and then we were packing up. I felt terrible. Not only did I make them wait, but then I had to tell them I lost the damn box of soap! They were so understanding and sent me two more bars to try. Since then, they've continued to wait and send me friendly reminders once a month saying, "Hi!". Between closing the shop and my unexpected sickness this month, they are probably wondering if I just collect soaps and never write about them. :) Not true.

I am here to tell Jenn and Meg and all of you that Under The Lemon Moon is pure delight in a bar. My husband liked it and that is saying A LOT because we have 5 or so soaps in the shower and only two are disappearing quickly. This one is one of them. My hubby takes two showers a day every day, without fail, so soaps typically go faster in our shower and this one is now a sliver. He is extremely picky and doesn't like most soaps. Actually, he either hates them, or does his shrug thing with a crooked shrug mouth, you know what I'm talking about.... He's got only a small window of scent tolerance for the shower experience.

This soap smells clean, creamy and lemony with a hint of sweetness, but not overwhelming in any way. It's made with shea butter, and felt smooth and moisturizing. I loved using this soap! They sent me Just The Right Bar as well and it smells delish but I haven't showered with it yet. I've washed my hands with it and it's wonderful. An oatmeal, milk and honey porridge mix, yum yum.



just the right bar


Go check out their website! Jenn and Meg? Fab, chickies!! Thank you :)

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