All posts by Heather Stevens

A Mother’s Day Natural Gift Guide

As a new mother this year, the day has taken on a whole new meaning for me personally. There are no words that truly reflect everything our moms mean to us. So, naturally, we look forward to showing her just how much we love and appreciate her with natural, organic, and eco-friendly Mother’s Day Gifts. From great collections to handcrafted artisan soap, to sweet selection of fragrances, and more. We’ve got the goods to make Mom feel all joy on her special day. Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms, grandmas, and moms-to-be!

This day and every day 100% of the profits from each purchase at Soap Hope empowers women around the world to lift them and their families from poverty, this Mother’s Day find a gift that celebrates the one who started it all! Here’s our best of the best Mother’s Day Gift Guide.

  1. A mother by any other name is still slaying it and deserves to be pampered. Why not shower her with a Soap Hope exclusive, By Any Other Name Collection. A sweet and fragrant bouquet of some of our favorite Roses, because a classic never goes out of style.
  2. Mother’s Day is all about spoiling your mom – treat her to this indulgent Nourish Your Skin Collection so she can enjoy a spa-like escape at home every day!
  3. For the Mindfulness Momma relax her right into a higher plane with Zum Chakra Salts Gift Pack. This pairs an invigorating scent with each of the body’s seven chakras. Infused with shea butter, pure essential oils, and all-natural micas, these natural sea salts will help Momma balance and align her chakras.
  4. Let’s face it! Your pretty mug was inspired by your beautiful Mom. Not that she needs the extra luck, but just in case – share this Your Face Just Got Lucky, an all-natural skin care set for her to conquer the day with effortless natural beauty.
  5. For the eco-friendly mom-on-the-go let her carry this versatile  Klean Kanteen Classic beauty around as she tackles the day-to-day.
  6. Recycled never looked so lux and eco-friendly. These makeup brushes from Eco Tools will leave your mom looking flawless and feeling pampered.
  7. A relax and restorative Momma needs soaking time! Infuse your bath with this salty number by Indigo Wild – patchouli and ylang-ylang create a bath that is deep, intense and a little sweet – just like your love. Doesn’t hurt to light a candle or two for that extra relaxing atmosphere, burn clean with the Goodlight Candle Broderick Collection.
  8. For the Mom-to-be or new Mom, this Nurturing Life Gift Box by Motherlove has all the must-haves to celebrate motherhood! From pregnancy and labor to breastfeeding and babies, this organic herb and pure ingredients box will give her just the care she needs during this tender time.
  9. Let your mom know how essential she is with a great assortment in this J.R. Watkins Lavender Kit that is totally natural.
  10. Inspire your Mom’s next vaca with this Hawaiian Ruby Guava Solid Perfume by Pacifica Beauty that combines sweet, berry-like notes of Guava with a bright, citrusy top note of Pomelo and warm, subtle coconut base. All that is missing is your feet in the sand.
  11. We’ll say it again because seriously we love candles. Doesn’t hurt to light a candle or two for that extra relaxing atmosphere, burn clean with the Goodlight Candle Broderick Collection. Did we mention sustainably sourced palm oil? Extra win!
  12. Brighten her day today, just like she brightens your’s every day with Andalou Naturals Get Started Brightening Essentials Box. This Vitamin C infused selection will give her all the sunshine she needs.
  13. For the Mom who loves essential oils, infuse her day with this Essential Oil Discovery Kit by Aura Cacia.
  14. We are wild about Mom and we know you are too! Give her a handcrafted box of artisan soaps by A Wild Soap Bar Collection with our most popular scents designed to help relax. These scents will remind your Mother that variety really is the spice of life!

Mother’s Day is fast approaching. What are you gifting your Mom with this year?

Some Everyday Uses for Castile Soap

This natural soap is definitely making a comeback! With good reason! Castile Soap has tons of uses, from body care, household cleaning, laundry, pet care, and more. Plus, this soap is very concentrated and goes a long way. Castile soap is made all-natural, with chemical-free ingredients. It is one of the most trusted soaps around and Dr. Bronner’s is one of the most popular and known producers of Castile soap. Today, Castile is one of the most popular European soaps and has gained a ton of popularity in the US. We sell Dr. Bronner’s products at Soap Hope and here are our top methods for using Castile soap.

Dr. Bronner’s liquid Castile soaps are made of pure coconut, olive, hemp, and jojoba oils. The product is concentrated and completely biodegradable that is gentle, but effective – with a ton of uses, making it an excellent value (despite the higher price tag.) Remember a little goes a long way!

We sell Dr. Bronner’s products at Soap Hope and here are our top methods for using castile soap:

Dish Soap
Just replace your regular store-bought dish soap with castile soap and a few drops will take care of those dirty dishes.

Laundry Detergent
Castile soap is a pure laundry detergent and will allow your clothes to last longer since they aren’t exposed to harsh chemicals. It will also aid in irritation of the skin from the heavy dyes and perfumes along with a list of other unnatural ingredients found in store-bought versions of traditional laundry detergents. Here’s an easy recipe:

  • 1 cup liquid castile soap
  • ¾ cup baking soda
  • 2 ¼ cup lukewarm water
  • ¼ finely grated sea salt

Dissolve the baking soda and salt into warm water. Pour into a gallon container and add the liquid castile soap. Fill to the top with water and mix. Use just about ¼ cup per load, meaning that this recipe should last about 64 loads.

All-Purpose Cleaning Spray
Add 1/4c of castile soap to a quart of warm water, stir in well. Add your favorite essential oil for added scent, cleaning and disinfecting power. Put the solution in a spray bottle and use it to clean any surface in your home!

Fruit and Veggie Wash
To rid fresh produce of any harmful pesticides or other dirt, you can spray a simple and effect spray with castile soap to make them ready to devour. Add ¼ tsp of castile soap to a bowl of water and stir. Submerge your produce into the bowl, rub with your hands to remove dirt or debris, and then rinse under cold water.

Ant Spray
Add 1/4c of tea tree soap to a quart of water and stir to mix. Place in an easy to use a spray bottle and spray indoors or outdoors, wherever those creepy crawlers are spotted.

While there are some creative uses for castile soap, Dr. Bronner’s has tons of products from bar soaps to body care, shaving soap to hair care, toothpaste to lip balm, and more. Definitely, a brand to check out.

Pear & Fig Pastry

We love Acure Organic’s Pear and Fig Body Beautiful Shampoo and Conditioner we decided to cook up something to celebrate!

While you revive your hair with luscious aloe, fig, and rare prickly pear cactus oil – you can nourish yourself this Sunday with a decision Pear and Fig Pastry Puff!

Here’s our recipe for a clean, but delicious treat!

Prep Time: 5 min
Cook Time: 20 min

Total Time: 25 min

Ingredients

  • 1 pre-made puff pastry sheet or you can make your own (we are impressed!)
  • 2 ripened pears
  • 3 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 3 ripened figs or 2 tablespoons fig butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 beaten egg (for egg wash)

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Prep the pears by slicing thinly and chop the figs a bit chunky.
  • Mix the melted butter, brown sugar, almond extract, and lemon juice. If you have opted for the fig butter, nows the time to mix that too.
  • Roll the puff pastry sheet out into a square. Use a fork to put little perforations in the puff pastry to prevent it from over puffing. No one likes an over puffed pastry 🙂
  • Use a cooking brush to spread the butter mixture over the pastry evenly, leaving a little less than half an inch border. Fold over the pastry to create a crust. Brush the crust of the puff pastry with the egg wash.
  • Place the pears and figs over the spread. Cover the fruit with the remaining mixture for extra goodness.
  • You can brush a little more egg wash if you need it.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown flakey goodness.

Now enjoy and tell everyone you are busy washing your hair.

Check out all of Acure’s products here.

5 Essential Supplements to Fight Cold and Flu

Think this season of colds and flu are over. Think again. Colds are no fun. From a sore nose from tissues to just feeling crummy. The flu is even worse, and sometimes the vaccination just comes too late. While science works on that philosopher’s stone of a cure for the common cold, here are some good old natural supplements that can be used to prevent or shorten these two illnesses.

Zinc Lozenges

A study in Finland recently showed that taking zinc lozenges reduced a cold’s length to around five days. While the dosage they used was a bit high, America did a bit more research and decided 40mg a day works. However, it’s still recommended to ask your doctor before taking zinc long-term.

Elderberry

Elderberry’s helpfulness doesn’t just stop at the cold and flu, it can also help with asthma. It lessens symptoms and can soothe a sore throat. Sambucus is where elderberry extract can normally be found and is known to shorten the flu by three days. Elderberry is unsafe when the leaves, stems, unripened fruit, or uncooked fruit is consumed. The cooked or processed elderberry fruit is safer this way and has a lot of health benefits, but raw and unripe fruit might cause nausea, vomiting, or severe diarrhea. That’s why we suggest using a processed form of Elderberry only.

Secret tip, my favorite way to get both zinc and elderberry benefits is with Sambucus organic lozenges – great for on-the-go.

Garlic

Colds suck you dry so they can sort of be considered a vampire. Eating garlic or taking a supplement when cold or flu symptoms start appearing can reduce symptoms. Studies recommend 1 ½ cloves, so a particularly garlicky spaghetti or herb roasted chicken might do the trick.

Ginseng

Ginseng tea is one of the best supplements you can drink. Not only does it keep you from catching a cold or the flu, but if you’ve already caught one, the tea can shorten the time you are ill. Ginseng tea also helps soothe a sore throat. Besides the tea, you can also take a Ginseng supplement., Nature’s Way Ginseng is a great source.

Eucalyptus

There’s a reason those fuzzy little koalas eat this stuff. Eucalyptus mist can really help a clogged nose. In oil form, it can be applied to a cold sore to help with pain and speed the healing process. We recommend Aura Cacia’s Eucalyptus Essential Oil and right now you can get 15% off, just use code ACAEE.

While you are in the shower I would highly recommend treating yourself to a body wash that is specifically made for cold and flu by Kiss My Face. While it doesn’t provide a cure, it sure does provide a dose of soothing comfort. You don’t need to have a cold to be able to enjoy this popular bath and body wash with its ingredients that include: time-tested botanicals Eucalyptus, Fennel, Horehound and other aromatics.

Conditions of Use and Important Information: This information is meant to supplement, not replace advice from your doctor or healthcare provider and is not meant to cover all possible uses, precautions, interactions or adverse effects. This information may not fit your specific health circumstances. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified health care provider because of something you have read on The Good Life Blog. You should always speak with your doctor or health care professional before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your health care plan or treatment and to determine what course of therapy is right for you.

Benefits of Tea Tree Oil

Tea tree oil has been used for thousands of years and you can get the benefits of using tea tree oil and the many uses that are extremely effective.   Tea tree oil’s antimicrobial prowess is powerful.

Some of the traditional uses for tea tree include being used to heal:

  • Acne
  • Bacterial infections
  • Cold sores
  • Earaches
  • Fungal infections
  • Halitosis (bad breath)
  • Head lice
  • Psoriasis
  • Dry cuticles
  • Itchy insect bites
  • Sunburns

There are also many household uses of tea tree oil such as:

  • Anti-microbial laundry freshener
  • Insect repellant
  • Natural deodorant
  • Acne face wash
  • Removes foot odor
  • Removes mold

Check out the many products packed with the power of tea tree oil that you can use everyday to access the benefits both for body and home. 

A Mission with Good Returns

Meet Kyle one of our mission mangers here at Soap Hope. Kyle’s passion for helping us reach our mission of lifting women and their families out of extreme poverty can be seen in the little details to big scale projects.

How does a customer’s purchase drive an opportunity for a woman to be lifted out of poverty?
At Soap Hope we invest 100% of profits into programs and organizations that sustainably help women lift themselves out of poverty.  Currently, the organizations use Soap Hope’s investment to provide crucial, short term loans to women starting their own businesses so that they can grow and generate income for themselves and their families. When you empower women and enable them to generate their own income data shows that they are far more likely than men to use that income to invest in their communities and children’s education. This means that our investments don’t just help lift the women out of poverty but actually build the foundation to break the cycle of poverty for entire communities.

How do you pick your partners?
Relationships followed by due diligence. Salah (CEO) and I served on the board of a large nonprofit here in Dallas that funded global organizations specially focused on empowering women. Through our roles on the board we were able to develop relationships with numerous organizations and take a deep look at their management teams, mission statements, and processes. At Soap Hope you’ll notice our focus on sustainability – from the products we sell to our packaging – and our impact partners are no different. We seek out partners that are investing in long-term solutions to poverty rather than simply treating the symptoms.

Have you been to meet the women?
Oh yes! I had the privilege to visit one of the partner organizations in the Dominican Republic and meet several of the women (they refer to them as associates) in Santo Domingo.

What was that like?
Inspiring and challenging. Woman after woman that I met told stories of courage, perseverance, and a deep love for their families that kept them going through the toughest situations. I remember one woman in particular. When I asked her how her loans impacted her life she pointed at a one story home that had 3 children playing outside and said “It gave me a house, but more importantly it gave me the opportunity to provide a life for my grandchildren that I never had.”

What drives you every day to do this work?
Meeting the women truly challenged me and allowed me to experience the potential of what we are doing at Soap Hope. Every loan matters because every life matters and the ripple effect that can be felt in the community from just one empowered woman is so powerful. Take Maria, who felt called to start a school within her community for those who otherwise would have no access to proper education. Today she has over 100 children in her classrooms and has graduates who now serve in the government, are doctors and lawyers, and raising children of their own. To know that by simply selling our products those types of outcomes can be achieved gets me fired up… and that’s why I do the work I do.

Learn more about our mission.