Holiday Season Gifts – Lather ’em Up!

Kickin’ it with Karen: Beyond Sauerkraut
If you read my last post, you know that the gift giving season is very important for me for one specific reason. As young children, my dear sister and I would make gifts and spend hours happily giggling away as we haphazardly wrapped them with the tape all wonky and the corners sticking up and not really folded where the box had a corner or an edge.

Again, the holidays are here and  I rejoice in my memories of my sister, but I miss her so much.  Forty-nine is too young to pass on. However, I was given the gift of those 49 years and I have memories to carry me through another year.

So, in my sisters honor, I will make gifts. Not drawings or cut out dolls,  but non-toxic homemade gifts that my colleagues, friends and family can make use of everyday.  As I said in my last post, I believe in gifts with a purpose. I also believe in gifts from the HEART 💖 and not from the wallet.

Winter is long here in Minnesota. Right around January, when winter is at it coldest and snowiest, Minnesotans long for spring. And, yet that elusive season could be 3 months away or it could be 5 long months until we see the first blade of grass. While lamenting about this sad truth, another “AH-HA” moment hit me; I realized I could bring and uplifting hint of spring right into my friends and loved ones homes. Another gift of hope and empathy – Palmen’s Hint of Spring Cheater Soap.

I call it a cheater because I don’t actually MAKE the soap.  I do not like working with lye – having been one of those poor children who’s scalp had been burned with hair straightener solution countless times, I pretty much won’t get within 100 yards of lye if I can help it.

For this recipe,  I use Ivory Soap “Clean”, as it rates 91 (out of 100) on the SkinSafe scale and is allergen safe for everything on my allergy and sensitivity list. This recipe only calls for 2 other ingredients: water and essential oil. *Optional – you could add a non-toxic food coloring agent like “Super Natural”.

Lather ’em Up – Hint of Spring “Cheater” Soap: 


A double – boiler or a heat safe glass bowl over a sauce pan.
A metal spoon
Soap molds or a muffin tin


Ivory Soap (or scraps of leftover soaps) – 2 cups
Water – 1 tablespoon + teaspoons as needed
Essential Oil  – 30 drops of a blend of your choice: here’s what I do – 15 drops of lavender, 10 drops of lemon or orange and 5 drops of mint.
*Optional coloring agent (the coloring in the picture is Macha Green Tea


1. Shred soap or soap scraps on the finest side of a food grater.
2. Heat water under the double – boiler or a heat safe glass bowl over a sauce pan.
3. Place the shredded soap in the bowl and add a tablespoon of water.
4. Stir gently and often but not to vigorously or you will create pockets of air in the soap.
5. If the soap is not melting, add a teaspoon of water at a time up to 3 teaspoons but not more.
6. The soap will begin to melt and come into one big melty clump. The soap        will have texture.
7. Take the soap off the heat and stir in your essential oil(s) and add optional        coloring agent.
8. Pour the soap into your mold. If you are using a regular size soap molds or        muffin tins, this recipe will make around 2-3 soaps. If you are using          smaller mold like the ones I use  it will fill up 6 of the little cups.

9. Let the the soap sit out and “cure” for a week before you pull them out of the mold. If you used more than a tablespoon of water, it could take up to 2 weeks before they are fully hardened. Soap can be used after it has hardened but they will be fully cured after 3 weeks.

I hope you try and like this recipe.

I’d like to grow my readership. If you enjoyed this blog post, add a comment and share it with a friend. 😀 Please visit, subscribe and like my YouTube channel Kickin’ it with Karen: Beyond Sauerkraut to find more things I’ve made.

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