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How Often Did The Founding Father's Take A Bath? June 29, 2017 00:00 1 Comment

bathing habits of the founding fathers

Ever wish you were a fly on the wall to hear what these guys were talking about as they signed the Declaration of Independence or the Constitution?  Ever wonder how stinky the room was?  I do, probably because I'm a soap person.  But seriously, it had to smell pretty bad.  Hygiene at that time was A LITTLE DIFFERENT than it is today!  Getting clean in Colonial America meant 'sponging off' usually just the hands and face.  Those that had a more luxurious home, may of had a wash basin and pitcher.  An under shirt was used to conceal sweat that would stain the "fancy" fabrics these men probably wore.

If you needed to thoroughly wash (which was usually once a month) a wooden tub would do the job. However, it was an ordeal to prepare this bath.  The tub had to be dragged out, someone had to draw the water from the well and then heat it.  The towel and soap would need to be found. And the person would have to stop worrying about catching a disease, as it was commonly though that a clean body would attract illness.  In other words, dirt and your natural oils created a protective layer guarding against disease.

Then there was the soap making processes that was fairly tricky.  Soap making was left to the women.  They had to make lye and save enough oil to make the soap.  They needed 6 bushels of wood ash for the lye and 24 pounds of grease/oil to make one barrel of soap.  To make lye, they added wood ash to a barrel and layered each addition with straw.  The straw would stop the ash from clogging as water was added every once in a while to it. The ash water (lye) would seep out of a hole at the bottom of the barrel.  The grease and lye were cooked together to make a very soft soap that was used for monthly baths. The most challenging part was figuring out how strong the lye was.  To see if the lye was strong enough, they tested the lye on a potato.  If it perforated, it was strong enough!

So yes, that room was EXTREMELY smelly.  Maybe I wouldn't want to be a fly on the wall!  LOL

Hope this creates some great conversation this Fourth of July!  If you need some cool beer labels for your party, checkout our free printable beer labels.






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Don't Give Up EVER!!!

5 Ways To Love Yourself in 2016 January 25, 2016 12:33

  To welcome in the New Year, we have a candle lighting ceremony. It's a way for us to acknowledge and say goodbye to the previous year and a big hello to the up and coming one. As a person lights a candles, he/she says what they are thankful for in 2015 and what they inspire to be/ do in the coming year. In past years, this has been a jovial experience where you get to listen to your friends talk about past accomplishments and future aspirations in a very "Facebooky" type of way. This year however, was refreshingly different. The first candle that was lite was accompanied with an overwhelming sigh and a single question was posed, "What happened to 2015?"

We've all been there, when time goes by so fast that with so many things (celebrations/ tragedies/ day to day living) happening all at once, that the next thing you realize is four months have gone by and you haven't come up for air. Honestly, I get extremely emotional when this happens and find myself thinking, "That was insane. How did I get through that?" And then I realize that maybe I wasn't living life, but life was living me.

As our candle tradition continued, our opening question set the tone for an intense group discovery. With a sense of ferociousness,urgency, and longing, with tears streaming down our cheeks, we shared our inspirations for 2016:
"To live without fear." "To not be lonely." "To finally get pregnant." "To stand up to my boss." "To stop isolating myself and reach out to my friends more." "To stop doubting myself." "To find happiness by being less self absorbed." "To truly follow my dreams!"                                                           
Like everyone, we are all trying to get by with what life throws at us..every single up and down. We are in it together, but often times we only share the good stuff in our lives. Lives are messy and complicated. Many times we are just trying to up hold what we think others see us as instead of being our authentic selves. We have shitty days, we may not be where we thought we'd be at this time in our lives, we want to lock ourselves in the bathroom to get away from our kids for 10 minutes...                                                       
As I participated in this activity with friends, I realized how important it is to share the messy part of our lives with each other. That yes our successes and aspiration should be shared, but to know that often times the messy part of life gets brushed under the rug and we are left carrying our own self doubts and fears that often steam roles into bigger issues.
We become so consumed in our own thoughts that we wake up four months later trying to figure out what just happened...
And as I vowed to my dear friends that night, I encourage you to:
  1. Ask for help, knowing it's easier to carry our load with others.
  2. Take care of you first, so you have the energy to care for those that depend on you whether it be family, coworkers, or friends.
  3. Create community by planing a once a month get together with friends.
  4. Don't forget to enjoy a great beer or glass of wine.
  5. Most importantly, forgive yourself, we are our own worst enemy!
Happy New Year from Handbrewed Soaps!