Saturday, August 28, 2010

Sugar Scrub

Yesterday I made a sugar scrub. Nothing fancy, just some clear M&P base, grape seed oil, sugar, apple fragrance oil and colorant. But, it is sooooooo cool! I used it in the shower last night, and it doesn't leave that greasy feeling after you used it (like some scrubs from the containers). I think it has something to do with a little soap in it. I still need to play with the amount of fragrance oil and probably use different type of sugar. I used just simple white sugar, but I'm thinking to use raw sugar in the next batch.

Sugar scrubs are also great for the "garden" hands. Last night I went to pick some tomatoes and other vegetables from the garden and didn't put on gloves. Well, if you have a garden you probably know that after you harvest your vegetables, your hands have that nice greenish - brownish color that is very hard to wash away. I just grabbed a little piece of the sugar scrub, and my hands were white and squeaky :-)

Friday, August 27, 2010

My Favourite Thing from Bramble Berry

I'm relatively new to the soap making, but I love it. The other day, when my husband helped me to get the soap out of the mold, he told me: "You know, I'm at that point that I'm ready to make soaps too!" :-)))
So far, my favourite (and my husband's too) fragrance oil is Applejack Peel. It smells so delicious, and I couldn't believe that I made that soap with my own hands. It is awesome!
The other thing that I love about Bramble Berry is their customer service. In my last order I ordered a pound of walnut seeds to try them out in the recipe. I've noticed that the packet was too small for a lb, it was only 1 oz. Well, I understand that it was probably a mistake so I wrote an e-mail to BB, and within just few hours I've got a reply saying that they are very sorry for this mistake and they're sending me the rest of the seeds. I didn't even hope for that, but for sure it was a very nice thing to hear!
Thank you Bramble Berry for being such a great business that respects their customers. It is always a pleasure to have a business with you!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Chocolate - Coffee and Apple - Walnut Seed

I was playing in the kitchen last weekend with my soaps and here what I've created:

1. Chocolate - coffee. Smells soooo delicious and has a real ground coffee in it
2. Apple Jack - Walnut Seeds. Smells even better and has a real walnut seeds in it. It would be a great scrubbing soap.
Now, the hardest part - I have to wait for 4 weeks before I can try them out... auuuuu...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Little Anniversary

Today is exactly 4 years since I landed in Washington D.C. It seems that it happened just yesterday... Lufthansa lost my bag (with my make up supplies!!!)... Met Anna at the hotel and spent two days learning CPR and how to become a good nanny... Couldn't call Wayne from the hotel just because didn't have enough guts (I even picked up the phone and started to dial the number :-) but hanged up)... Flew to Reno, NV to meet Scott, Geraldine and little Ashley... Spent about two weeks in Canada (saw the most beautiful mountains and the OCEAN)... I'm so happy to have such wonderful memories that can warm me up!

Friday, August 6, 2010

My First Cold Process Soap!!!

Yay! I did it! I made it!

Well, it was supposed to be swirls, but I whipped it too much and have layers instead :-)

Now, I have to wait for 4 weeks before I can use it. And I already have an inspiration to make another batch. There are so many awesome soaps on Etsy. OMG! I wish someday I make such a perfect loaf of soap!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Fresh Herbal Tea

Continuing Tea Topic, I made a herbal tea yesterday from fresh herbs that I have in my garden. Delicious!
I add mint, sweet leaf (stevia), lavender, lemon grass, eucalypt, lemon and dried hibiscus flowers. Sweetened with some homemade maple syrup, yummy!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Ice Tea Recipe

In my country it is a tradition to have a tea after a meal time. When people get together it is 100% that there would be tea involved (especially if we’re talking about girls get together) with some sweets and chocolate. There are so many different kinds of teas that everyone can find something tasty and pleasant.
I used to drink hot teal all the time, usually black with all kind of herbs and flowers. In America people don’t drink that much of a hot tea. Well, not a lot of people drink tea at all. My husband used to drink ice tea (you know that Lipton ice “tea”) before I came into his life and showed him how the real tea looks and tastes like. Now he loves it! In winter we do drink hot tea. When it is cold and snowing outside it is so nice to have a cup of hot tea with spices and a cookie, sitting next to each other and watch a movie… But in summertime when it is hot I learned how to make an ice tea, and I’d like to share with you.
1. Make your favorite tea (put some loose leaf tea in your tea pot – I use French Press; boil hot water – if you’re making green tea make sure it is not boiling when you poor over your tea; let it steep for 5-10 minutes).
2. Fill a pitcher with ice. If you like sweet tea you can use sugar, agave syrup, maple syrup (my favorite), just have some in a separate glass.
3. Pour your hot tea over the ice (reserve a little bit to mix with sweetener).
4. Stir well reserved tea with sweetener.
5. Enjoy!

Friday, June 25, 2010

Book give away at women-prenuers galore

I just found this blog: and it has a lot of interesting onformation. Also they have a giveaway of a 3 Day Cleanse book. Leave a coment and get a chance to win!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Give them a kiss and a hug

You know how some times you don’t appreciate things until something happens and makes you realize how little you need to be happy? It’s good to have money… You can buy a lot of things, the more you have, the more you can buy. Money can make you warm. They can pay your electric bill… You can buy a new blanket… or a tea pot to make a hot tea… But it won’t feel the same as the warmth of the hug of your loved one. Money won’t give you that comfort feeling when his (or her) arms lay around your body and you drift away in the dream. It won’t be the same joy when you wake up in the morning and don’t see his sleepy face and have that first kiss. Now, does it really matter who has to do dishes tonight, or pick up dirty socks, or something else. I would give anything right now just to have a hug. Anything…

Monday, May 31, 2010

Pike Place Market

The next day we went to Seattle, walked down the Pike Place. It is a huge market, where artists from the state sell what they make by hands. If it is not handmade, you can’t sell it – that’s the rule!

Did you ever heard about the “Flying Fish”. It is a little company (or maybe not so little), that sell any kind of fish and sea products that you can imagine. When you go there to buy some fish, it is always fresh. And they always make a little bit of the show at that place, throwing a gigantic salmon or a King Crab. You can see a lot of tourists around their spot. I’ve heard about them about a year ago at my school, check their web site.

At the Pike Place Market you can walk hours and hours looking at little things, trying different food and just enjoy your time. I bough some wonderful honey there from the Snoqualmie Valley Honey Farm. They had about 50 (!) different honey, and I tried them all :-) Delicious!!!
Another interesting purchase - Black Currant fruit spread. They also had a lot of spreads for trying. Some even had hot pepers and combined sweatness and hotness. Different.
It was a wonderful day. If you're going to visit Seattle, make sure to stop by this wonderfl place - Pike Place Market.

Welcome to Seattle

I had to go to Seattle to the embassy to pick up my passport. I didn't want to do it alone, so I planned a trip for the week with my husband. So that he can finally get a vacation and spend some time with me. A little get away just for two of us. It was a wonderful time! I enjoyed every second with Wayne, his aunt and uncle, Gianna and Ken. We also visited my host family in CA that I didn't see in three years.
Gianna and Ken live in Monroe, just 45 minutes away from Seattle. We had lots of fun when we went to Snoqualmie Falls. I’ve never seen any falls before (I mean decent size, not just few feet), and it was gorgeous. I have some very beautiful pictures with rainbows. It looked like a fairy tail.

Operation - Save the Snail

On our way back from the falls we found a little snail on the road. Someone must stepped on it and it was hurting. Wayne picked it up and took it away from the road. Hopefully it survived :-)

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Tea Time? Bath Time!

I found two recipes of the bath teas at Soap Queen BlogSpot and gave it a try. One is “Healing Orange” contains Chamomile, Calendula, Orange Peel, Vitamin E oil and Orange Essential oil. The other one is “Relaxing Rose and Lavender” contains Lavender, Pink Moroccan Rosebuds, Lavender Essential oil and Vitamin E oil. Before I put those recipes together I did a research about bath teas and I found a lot of interesting and useful information. For example, our body can absorb a lot of nutrition’s through our skin, such as antioxidants and minerals that come from tea. This bath can nourish the skin and relax the body. I also found out about Cleopatra’s famous Milk Baths. It appears that she was a very beautiful woman, and one of her secrets was to soak in milk bath. This would probably be one of my next projects!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Blog Design

It came to my mind - how in the world people can create such an amazing blog templates? Can look for hours at some of them and wonder. So, I was thinking what it takes to create a nice, friendly blog? Looking at the Amazon for books, should probably go to Borders too.
New soap coming up soon!


Saturday, April 24, 2010


I’ve been thinking… You know all that theories, fights, and claims about synthetic preservatives in the cosmetic? Parabens, aluminum, glycols, MEA, DEA on other things that I can’t even pronounce. Ones say it is ok to use them in such a small amount. Others say no way. So I’ve been thinking and tried to find that happy center. I’ve googled this topic, read bunch of articles, but whom do you believe?
On one hand, it does make sense that if you use only 1% of preservatives in your cosmetic – it won’t kill you. The main purpose of using them is to prevent bacteria and molds in our lotions. When we spend $10-$30 on the cream and lotion we do not expect them to have “green hair” after a month of the purchase.
On another hand, when I buy milk, I’m expecting it to get sour in a week or so, otherwise it is not real milk. I don’t want any preservatives in my food whatsoever. But lotions are food too for our skin, so why would I want to have synthetic preservatives there? There are some natural preservatives like oils, honey, sugar, salt and etc. Those ingredients don’t give 2 years shelf life, but can keep lotions fresh for 3-6 months.
I guess it is all about people’s priorities and wishes. It is a choice.
So what is mine choice? I think I’ll stick to the nature. It doesn’t bother me if my lotion will have mold after a while, I’ll make new one. Mold will tell me that there was nothing harmful in that jar and I didn’t do any harm to my skin.
I think I'll make both types with and without preservatives. If the customer will chose to go without I'll simply educate and let them decide what is important for them.

Friday, February 26, 2010

A little bit of Russia

My speech was great! FABULOUS!!! I had so much fun. Honestly, I didn’t even “prepare” the speech itself. I just through few pictures, some of my own some from the Internet into a slide show and told what I knew while showing pictures. The time just flew. After that I had a rush. That was a great feeling. Like you’re a sprinter and just won the Olympics. I’ll do it again in a heartbeat! :-)))

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

More soap

Some new soaps - Lovely Hearts

This is my first soap in a "fancy"wrap.

Ok, I've been busy lately with school, work, homework...

I did make some soap for St. Valentine's Day. It turned ok. I tried embedded technique, but it didn't turn very well. I sold few of them, so people must liked them. I have few ideas for Easter soap though.

Here is another new. I've been invited to be a guest speaker at the Globe University. Topic.... all about Russia! I'm so excited! It is going to be next Monday, February 22.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

I'm broke!!! :-)

I just placed another order with Bramble Berry... And I feel broke... Poor husband... :-)))
That's how it starts! Your creativity... First you try, you like it, then you can't wait to try more, and more, and more... I bet it sounds familiar, doesn't it? :-)))

Ok, I can't wait, until I get my box! The only thing that I don't like about Bramble Berry - shipping cost. $17. Ouch!!!

I did it!!!

Ok, my box arrived yesterday!!! Full of fun stuff. I was so excited that barely could sit still and finish my dinner. The day before I went to the dollar store and bought few baking dishes and containers to use them as molds (just $4.20!!!)

I got few micas and dioxides (I hope I spelled it wright :-)), dozen fragrance oils and cherry FO as a free sample and pound of each clear and white soaps from Bramble Berry (

For few days I was watching episodes on YouTube - Soap Queen TV with Anne-Marie. It is a GREAT tutorial for the beginners like me, she explains how to melt soap, add oils and colors, do layers and swirls. So I followed her instructions to make a swirl soap. What a fun!

1. Cut soap in a little pieces and melt it. Will never do it again. I had to reheat it over and over, as I was too slow and it would harden on me. Add Fragrance oils (0.25 oz per 1 lb or 1.5 tsp).

2. Pour first clear layer and sprinkled with the Fairy Dust :-)

3. Mixed different colours and made swirls. (For future - buy liquid colors, it is a hassle to make them!)
4. Done! Let it stand for 4-6 hours. I left it overnight. This morning it looked like this and smelled cherries :-)
Now I need to find out where I can get more base! :-)))

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

THIS is what I call Winter!

That just made my day!
Sometimes I just hate 8 months winter with that cold weather, wind, snow with the ice on the roads, brrrrr.... But when you wake up in the morning and that is the first thing you see - it just lifts you up and nothing else matters. I love it!
Elena Z.

Saturday, January 16, 2010


I don't know if it is winter, cold weather, mom is gone or what else, but I'm so sad!
It's like there is that big emptiness inside, you feel like a looser. Suck at work, suck at school, suck at home, everywhere... Yeah, I know, some people call it "depression"...
Well, I don't know what to do, I ate so much chocolate tonight, that my belly is hearting. But I feel so lonely, that in the middle of the night I had to get up and write about it. Really??? God, I gotta change something about it...

OK, back to the soap making. My sister-in-law ordered some stuff for my birthday, so it should be here sometime this week. I can't wait!!! Since I don't have any plastic molds and don't want to spend on them either, I went to the Dollar store and bought 4 different molds (actually it is a baking pan, round container, 4 small baby snack dishes and a tray with 3 nice dishes), and it was only $4! Yay!!! I'll have to see how they're going to work though. It is also looks like eBay might be a good spot for molds, I'll have to check that out.

Elena Z.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Got bored!

I probably spent couple hours thinking how to start my first post on my first blog, and.... didn't have a clue... so I just sat down and started to push some buttons :-)
I'm 26 y.o. EZ Girl from Russia (sorry about my English, I try to do my best. If you see any mistakes, please smile!)
To make it sweet and short - I got board over the weekend. It is two more weeks till school starts, my mom went back home (after 3 wonderful months that she spent with us), so besides going to work, cooking and watching movies I need something else.
Well, I'm pretty "crafted" person (means that I don't have both left or both right hands :-)) I love knitting, crochet, cross-stitching (I even won state competition when I was 14), not-too-hard sawing projects. But this time I just wanted something different, something that I've never tried. After few days searching of that something-that-I-would-like, I found a bunch of interesting websites, blogs, forums... And soap making... Yeah... After more time searching I know - I want to try it out!


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