We’re back from France. It was quite a trip. As you can probably tell from recent blog posts, it was full of relaxing, taking walks in beautiful places, and eating delicious food. A recipe for a wonderful vacation, indeed.
Now that we’re home (and both of our computers are back from the “doctor!” Yay!), I’m back in business. Blogging business, that is. It’s tough to write blog posts from an iPad, especially if I want to include pictures, which I basically always do. Anyway, my lack of posting recently does not mean that I haven’t been working on lots of fun projects! Some things to look for on Fraises et Tartines soon include, re-painting a thrift store mirror, tissue paper pom poms, more freezer paper stenciling, and probably one or two more posts about France.
First, though, I want to wish all the dads out there a very happy Father’s Day! Thank you to my dad for being the smartest guy I know and teaching me that learning doesn’t end after you finish school. My dad is definitely where I get my thirst for figuring out how to make things myself (even if he is interested in things like computers, batteries and lights, and I am more interested in things like soap, vinegar and macarons).
And let’s not forget a newer dad in my life, my sweet husband, Trevor! Thank you for always caring for Quentin and me. You are helpful, patient, and most importantly, you can make Quentin laugh the harder than anyone else can. I love you and look forward to going through each stage of our little boy’s life together.
For Trevor’s first Father’s Day, I wanted to do something special, but budget-friendly. I had the idea a while back of having a photo mug made for Trevor and filling it with shaving soap. He shaves with old school shaving soap, a badger hair brush, and a straight blade safety razor (like this one). I’ve made all of his shaving soap for the last few years, and it has worked out great! We save loads of money on razors and shaving cream, and he finally gets the close shave he’s been looking for. Win win! Hopefully I can have him write a guest post about it soon, but for now, that’s the gist.
Anyway, I decided Father’s Day was a good occasion for this particular gift idea. So, I browsed through the mug templates available on shutterfly.com and found one with a mustache, which totally sealed the deal.
I ordered the mug while we were still in Paris, and it arrived the day Trevor left for a business trip. Perfect! While he was out of town, I assembled my supplies: 1 lb block of melt and pour shave soap from www.brambleberry.com, vegetable glycerin, bentonite clay, essential oils, rubbing alcohol in a small sprayer, a sharp knife, a pyrex bowl, a small bowl, a spatula, some plastic wrap, and of course, the mug!
For this batch of soap, I used 1/2 lb of melt and pour shaving soap, 1 tsp of bentonite clay, a big enough squirt of vegetable glycerin to make a paste with the clay, and 2 tsp of essential oil (the EO I used is called “Rain,” also purchased from www.brambleberry.com).
Here’s my process for making melt and pour shaving soap: First, cut the soap into cubes. Place it in your microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave in 30 second increments until completely melted. Mix with a spatula after each heating. With only a 1/2 lb of soap, it only took 1 minute total to melt the soap down completely.
In a small bowl, mix the bentonite clay with a squirt of vegetable glycerin to make a paste. Mix into melted soap, along with the essential oils. Wait a few minutes for the soap to cool down before pouring it into your mug. Otherwise, the clay will settle to the bottom. Just before pouring the soap, give it one last stir to distribute the clay. Use a funnel to pour the soap into the mug. Spray with rubbing alcohol to get rid of bubbles. Allow the soap to cool completely, undisturbed, for at least 2 hours. Once cooled, cover the whole thing with plastic wrap until it’s ready to be used.
Once again, happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! Hope everyone is having a lovely day.