Muffins and Magnolias Book Club



Each year I make out a reading list based on the goals that I have set for the upcoming year.

    Through the years some of the topics that I have studied have included holiday traditions, cooking techniques, and underwater basket weaving.

      This upcoming year my main goal is to de-clutter, organize, and embrace a minimalist lifestyle.

        Here are the books that I have chosen for this upcoming year.


          Clean My Space: The Secret to Cleaning Better, Faster, and Loving Your Home Every Day

            Author…Rachel Hoffman

              Topics include…cleanIng each room or space in your home more efficiently and effectively, sorting and scheduling laundry, choosing the right detergent and products, using the various washing machine and dryer settings, stocking a simple and effective cleaning kit, creating a cleaning routine and schedule 

                Table of Contents…

                • CHAPTER 1: Welcome to This Book
                • CHAPTER 2: The Basics
                • CHAPTER 3: The Entryway
                • CHAPTER 4: The Living Room and Dining Room
                • CHAPTER 5: The Kitchen
                • CHAPTER 6: The Den
                • CHAPTER 7: The Bathroom
                • CHAPTER 8: The Bedroom
                • CHAPTER 9: The Home Office
                • CHAPTER 10: Hallways, Staircases, and Other Passageways
                • CHAPTER 11: Storage Spaces
                • CHAPTER 12: Laundry
                • CHAPTER 13: Routines and Schedules

                Each month I will attack a new book, and once a week post about the things that I have learned the previous week. I also plan to create worksheets that can be used as you read so that you will be able to “read with purpose.”
                The books that I have chosen for the upcoming year are…

                February……Design*Sponge at Home…(Grace Bonney)

                March..Elements of Style: Designing a Home & a Life…(Erin Gates)

                April…Flea Market Style…(Emily Chalmers)

                May…New Order: A Decluttering Handbook for Creative Folks…(Fay Wolf)

                 June…Organized Enough: The Anti-Perfectionist’s Guide to Getting—and Staying—Organized …(Melissa Maker)

                July…Sage Living: Decorate for the Life You Want…(Anne Sage)

                  August…The Joy of Leaving Your Sh*t All Over the Place…(Jennifer McCartney)

                  September…..The Joy of Less: A Minimalist Guide to Declutter, Organize, and Simplify 

                  October…The Things that Matter …(Nate Berkus)

                  November…Unf*ck Your Habitat: You’re Better Than Your Mess …(Stephanie Bennett Vo)

                  December…Your Spacious Self: Clear the Clutter and Discover Who You Are …(Francine Joy)


                    Blessing the Bibliophiles


                    For those of us book lovers who have a nightstand piled high with books, subscribe to the local bookstore’s newsletter, and always keep a paperback close at hand, we belong to a special breed of people called bibliophiles.

                    And this year why not share your love of reading with other bibliophiles by making a big deal out of this shared passion and giving a literary-themed Christmas gift such as the perfect coffee mug, pair of comfy socks, or a nice and warm blanket. 


                    Blanket…Musical Background in Retro Style Throw Blanket ($40)by Cafe Press

                    Bookmark…Music Beaded Bookmark ($3) by Peter Pauper Press


                    Library Stamp…Monogram Stamp ($20) from The Stamp Maker


                    Mug…”Kindly Go Away, I’m Reading” Mug ($16) by Zazzle


                     Reading Socks…Fur Tipped Cable Knit Reading Socks




                    Sweatshirt…The Great Gatsby Sweatshirt ($42)…Out of Print Clothing

                    Tea…The Literary Tea Collection ($51) from First Edition Tea Co.


                    Tote Bag…Keep Calm and Read On” Tote Bag ($21) from The Library StoWith Love

                      A Baker’s Dozen of Books About Soapmaking So That Your Friends and Family Can Give Soaps to You for Christmas Next Year Instead

                      For those of us who are “old fashioned” and still love learning  from books, instead of or in addition to, the Internet, there are many books available to help you along your journey into the adventures of making soap.

                        Even though there is much to be learned from the internet, a few basic soapmaking books written by different soap makers will serve as handy references for recipes, formulations, troubleshooting, techniques, and information about different types of soap.

                          Although the basic soapmaking processes will remain the same,there are always new and unique tips, tricks and techniques to be learned from every author.

                            Some of the best soap making books include…

                                1.  Essentially Soap

                                • Author…Dr. Robert S. McDaniel
                                • Geared Towards…all levels of soapmaking experience
                                • Price (all prices are Amazon new cost)…$5
                                • Published…2000
                                • Review
                                • Topics…simple instructions for cold process soaps, melt-and-pour soaps, and rebatched soaps “custom-made” with just the right scent, emollients, eye-appeal, fragrances, skin treatments, colors, shapes, and essential oils


                                    2.  Making Transparent Soap

                                    • Author…Catherine Failor
                                    • Geared Towards…readers that already have an understanding of ingredients and basic techniques
                                    • Price…$12
                                    • Review…From Nature With Love
                                    • Topics…creating large batches, as in dozens of soap bars for each recipe, of soap with a more transparent and appealing design to sell or give as gifts


                                    3.  Melt & Mold Soap Crafting

                                    • Author…C. Kaila Westerman
                                    • Geared towards…both basic and more advanced soapmakers
                                    • Price…$15
                                    • Reviews
                                    • Topics…soaps using a meltable soapbase, techniques, possible problems you might  encounter and their solution, colors, ideas, and advice


                                     4.  Natural Soap Making

                                    • Author..Kelly Cable
                                    • Geared towards…beginners
                                    • Price…$12
                                    • Topics…organic soapmaking, different soap oils, coloring additives, cold process technique, ratios and recipes that can be scaled and adjusted for your needs


                                    5. Pure Soapmaking

                                    • Author…Ann-Marie Faiola
                                    • Geared towards…intermediate soapmakers who have already made some soaps at home…one of the most complex yet most detailed books available, so super complicated for beginners
                                    • Price…$16
                                    • Review…Soap Queen
                                    • Topic…massive list of 32 recipes with step-by-step instructions, but  involving many steps and ingredients 


                                    6.  Soap Crafting

                                    • Author…Anne-Marie Faiola
                                    • Geared towards…all levels of soapmakers
                                    • Price…$15
                                    • Topic…three dozen recipes using various household ingredients like avocados, cinnamon, and pumpkin spices…with techniques for adding swirls and glistening effects into your soap


                                    7.  Soap Maker’s Workshop

                                    • Author..Robert and Katherine McDaniel
                                    • Geared towards…beginners
                                    • Price…$22
                                    • Topic…a light overview of soap making with basic practice ideas…includes a DVD with instructions for each of the major recipes


                                    8.  Soap Making Reloaded

                                    • Author…Janet Evans
                                    • Geared towards…novice soapmakers 
                                    • Price…$9
                                    • Topic…an overview of the soapmaking process written especially for people wanting to explore soapmaking without making an actual commitment 


                                    9.  Soap Naturally

                                    • Authors…Australian soap makers Patrizia Garzena and Marina Tadiello 
                                    • Geared towards…”novices and masters alike”
                                    • Price…$150 (why?!)
                                    • Review…
                                    • Topic..hands down, the absolute ‘must have’ book for all natural, homemade, handmade soap 


                                    10.  The Soapmaker’s Companion

                                    • Author…Susan Miller Cavitch
                                    • Geared towards…at-home soapmakers
                                    • Price…$14
                                    • Topics…one of the best references for at-home soapmakers because it covers such topics as adding textures, colors, varying oils, and altering the soap’s aroma…as well as soapmaking as a business and selling your soaps with e-shops like Etsy


                                       11.  The Complete Soapmaker

                                      • Author…Norma Coney
                                      • Price…$11
                                      • Topic…detailed instructions and recipes for basic lye soaps made with animal or vegetable fats, and for hand-milled and specialty soaps using almond meal, chamomile, glycerin, and milk.


                                           12.  The Everything Soapmaking Book 

                                          • Author…Alicia Grosso
                                          • Geared towards…beginners who need simple advice for getting started in soapmaking
                                          • Price…$11
                                          • Topic…a detailed guide to the entire soapmaking process


                                          13.  The Ultimate Guide To Soap Making

                                          • Author…Amanda McCarthy
                                          • Geared towards…beginners
                                          • Price…$12
                                          • Review…The Curiously Creative
                                          • Topics…a true encyclopedia answering all sorts of questions about soap making from start to finish…including recipes, the difference between cold process and hot process techniques, and the potential dangers of individual ingredients and how you should handle them with precaution

                                          Book Review…Making Soap from Scratch by Gregory White

                                          Making Soap From Scratch, is a guide about soap making written for beginners without any prior knowledge of soap making. This book sparked my interest because after learning about all of the “bad stuff” found in skincare and cosmetics, I am seriously contemplating this whole idea of making my own “good stuff..”

                                            The title, Making Soap From Scratch, is appropriate for the book because the book carries the reader from the most basic supplies to making your own soaps to selling your homemade soaps at flea markets and bazaars.

                                              This theme is carried out throughout the book as evident by all of the recipes for making cold processed soaps, specialty soaps, luxury soaps, soaps for everyday use, and lard or beef tallow soap.


                                                  The author of the book is Gregory Lee White, founder of the company,  AROMAGREGORY CREATIVE INC..Gregory began as an employee at a friend’s local Garden Botanika store to opening his own store in 2003 to now owning the most “hip and funky New Age – Metaphysical store” in Nashville, that sells a  “repertoire” of products including largest variety of essential oils, aromatherapy diffusers, and over 250 teas and herbs. Gregory White is also the author of the book ESSENTIAL OILS AND AROMATHERAPY: HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS FOR BEAUTY, HEALTH, AND SPIRITUALITY.

                                                  According to the introduction, this book promises to teach the reader the beginning process of making good soaps that are great for your skin.

                                                  I particularly liked the fact that the book that the ingredients found in the book’s recipes are easy to find and not extremely expensivebecause I don’t want to waste more time and effort into my soapmaik got journey than necessary.

                                                  I honestly do think that the book fulfills the purpose and promises that the author makes in the preface and introduction, and highly recommend this book because the book is easy to follow and packed with information written in a way that simply makes sense.

                                                  The book was easy to understand and even more interesting than I had originally hoped, and I would recommend this book mainly to readers who simply want to “get their feet wet” in this soap making world. 

                                                    A Baker’s Dozen of Recipes for Homemade Soap Just in Time to Give for Christmas This Year 

                                                    The best way to know what’s exactly in a given product is obviously to make that product from scratch…and here are a baker’s dozen of homemade natural soap recipes for those willing to take the dare…

                                                    Perfectly in time for Christmas gift-giving!!!

                                                    1.  Bacon Soap-This natural homemade bacon soap recipe is made using real bacon fat. Bacon fat gives this soap extra conditioning properties.


                                                    2.  Banana and Oatmeal Soap-This natural homemade oatmeal banana soap recipe is made using real bananas. Bananas are great for conditioning the skin.

                                                    3.  Blueberry and Carrot Soap-This natural homemade blueberry and carrot soap recipe is made using real carrot puree and blueberries. Both carrots and blueberries are rich in anti-oxidants and highly prized for their anti-aging properties.

                                                    4.  Chamomile and Neroli Beer Soap-This natural homemade beer soap recipe is made using beer…go figure?!

                                                    5.  Coffee Soap-This natural homemade coffee soap recipe is made using real brewed coffee. Coffee naturally helps neutralize tough odors and is believed to help with rosacea, skin redness, and other skin ailments.

                                                    6.  Egg Soap-This natural homemade egg soap recipe is made using egg yolks. Eggs have many skincare benefits…such as tightening skin, shrinking pores, and calming redness and breakouts. 


                                                      7. Green Tea and Agave Soa-This natural homemade green tea and agave soap recipe is made using green tea and agave extract. Green tea and agave extract offer skin conditioning oils and anti-oxidant power.

                                                      8.  Mango and Coconut Milk Soap-This natural homemade mango and coconut soap recipe is made using ripe mango and coconut milk.


                                                        9.  Pear Soap-This natural homemade pear soap recipe is made using overripe pears.

                                                        10.  Pumpkin Soap-This natural homemade pumpkin soap recipe is made using real organic pumpkin. Pumpkin is packed with fruit enzymes and alpha hydroxy acids which are shown to help smooth and brighten skin. Pumpkin also contains vitamins A and C which have been shown to help soften and soothe skin as well as boost collagen production which helps to prevent signs of aging.

                                                        11.  Tomato Soap-This natural homemade tomato soap recipe is made using overripe tomatoes and basil essential oil. 


                                                          12.  Wine Soap– This natural wine soap recipe is made using leftover wine.


                                                            13.  Yogurt and Avocado Soap-This natural homemade yogurt and avocado soap recipe is made using a small, ripe avocado and real Greek yogurt. Ripe fruit and yogurt give homemade soaps extra skin conditioning properties.

                                                              Actually I Changed My Mind…You Stink!!!

                                                              Thankfully there are many alternatives to such traditional bar soaps available… alternatives that are actually safe and natural, vegan, and cruelty-free. These include…
                                                              1.  100% Pure Butter Soap 

                                                              • Ingredients…pure vegetable soap enhanced with shea butter and coconut oil…scented with steam distilled essential oils
                                                              • Kudos…all natural, 100% vegan, and gluten-free… 
                                                              • Price…$10
                                                              • Scents…Eucalyptus, Apple, Peach, Lavender, Seaweed, Coconut, Meyer Lemon, Mango, Caffeine Olive Oil, Mandarin, Green Tea Olive Oil

                                                              2.  Christina Maser Handmade Goats Milk Soaps

                                                              • Ingredients…food grade olive, palm, coconut, sweet almond and castor oils, natural clays, goat’s milk, honey, herbs, grains and natural pigments…scented with only pure essential oils
                                                              • Kudos…no synthetic ingredients, no phthalates, no chemicals of any kind
                                                              • Price…average of $10 a bar
                                                              • Scents…Almond, Citrus Eucalyptus, Citrus, Espresso, Geranium, Grapefruit, Green Clay Lavender, Honey Milk & Oats, Lavender Citrus, Lavender, Lavender Milk, Lavender Oats, Lavender Patchouli, Lemon Wasabi, Patchouli, Peppermint Poppy, Rosemary Clay, Rosemary Mint, Signature, Spa, and Tea Tree Citrus


                                                              3. Dr. Bronner’s

                                                              • Availability…almost anywhere
                                                              • Best for…
                                                              • Ingredients…extra virgin coconut, jojoba, and hemp oils, and pure essential oils
                                                              • Kudos…certified organic and fair trade, completely biodegradable and vegetable-based
                                                              • Price…average of $5 a bar
                                                              • Scents…Peppermint, Almond, Lavender, Tea Tree, Unscented, Rose, Citrus Orange, Eucalyptus


                                                              4.  Farmaesthetics Organic Bath & Beauty Bars

                                                              • Availability…Nordstrom
                                                              • Ingredients…organically grown herbs, flowers & grains 
                                                              • Kudos…organic and handmade, hypo-allergenic, non-irritating & dermatological tested
                                                              • Price…an average of $12.99
                                                              • Scents…Saltwater Rain, Cinnamon & Rose, Blood Orange & Calendula Petals, Chamomile Flowers, Field Lavender, Aloe & Lemongrass, and Beach Rose & Vetivert



                                                                5.  Hugo Naturals Bar Soaps 

                                                                • Availability…Natural Wellness, Whole Foods
                                                                • Ingredients…pure and natural ingredients such as all-natural vegetable glycerin, nutrition-quality Vitamin E, natural botanical extracts, and a mixture of moisturizing coconut, castor, and safflower oils
                                                                • Kudos…gluten free, vegan, cruelty free, and free of harsh chemicals like propylene glycol, parabens, and petroleum products
                                                                • Price…$4
                                                                • Scents…Mexican Lime & Bergamot, Spearmint, Geranium & Indonesian Patchouli, Creamy Coconut, French Lavender, Geranium and Indonesian Patchouli, Grapefruit, Indonesian Patchouli and Sandalwood, Oatmeal Mint, Shea Butter and Oatmeal, Unscented, Vanilla & Sweet Orange, Clove

                                                                  6.  LATHER Natural Soap

                                                                • Ingredients
                                                                • Kudos…For every olive oil soap sold, LATHER will donate the equivalent of five bars of soap to Clean The World, a non-profit organization that recycles and distributes soap around the world to people in need. 
                                                                • Price…$8
                                                                • Scents…Patchouli Olive, Orange Peel, Vanilla Bean & Shea, Eucalyptus & Clay, Honey Almond, Oatmeal Lavender, Rose Tangerine, Lemongrass, Rosemary Peppermint, Lavender Lime, Mint, Wild Mint, Vanilla Bean & Shea, and Barbao & Shea

                                                                7.  Plantlife

                                                                • Ingredients…pure essential oils and organic botanicals
                                                                • Kudos…free of artificial fragrances, dyes, and harmful chemicals like sodium lauryl sulfate, parabens, and phthalates…vegan, gluten free, and never tasted on animals. 
                                                                • Price…$6
                                                                • Scents…Coconut Vanilla, Sandalwood, Rosemary Tea Tree, Ambrosia, Carrot & Vitamin E, Cassia Clove, Coconut Lime, Comfrey Root with Aloe, Double Mint. Eucalyptus, Green Tea, Lemongrass, Lavender, Oatmeal Almond, Patchouli, Peppermint, Sandalwood, Vanilla Orange, Rosemary Tea Tree, Cocoa Mint, Frankincense Myrhh, and Pumpkin Spice

                                                                8.  Poofy Organics

                                                                • Founded…in 2006 after a family member was diagnosed with breast cancer
                                                                • Ingredients…no toxic ingredients such as synthetic fragrance, parabens, triclosan, PEGs, Triethanolamine, Oxybenzone, and GMOs …fragranced only with essential oils and extracts 
                                                                • Kudos…partnered with and support BREAST CANCER ACTION which educates and empowers women by demanding transparency and accountability in pink ribbon marketing.
                                                                • Price…average of $6 per bar
                                                                • Scents…Leaf and Cloves, Almond Clove, Lemony Lavender, Eucalyptus Spearmint, Enchanted Vanilla, Orange Ginger Patchouli, Sweet Lemongrass

                                                                9. Soap for Goodness Sake

                                                                • Ingredients…certified organic base oils, pure grade essential oils, Hot Springs Thermal Water-known as some of the cleanest and purest water on earth
                                                                • Kudos…no unsafe synthetics, preservatives, artificial dyes, parabens, or synthetic fragrances
                                                                • Price…average of $6 per bar
                                                                • Scents…Shea and Oats, Balancing Act, Extra Gentle, Coconut Oil, Olive Oil


                                                                   10.  Tom’s of Maine

                                                                  • Ingredients…only naturally-sourced, plant-derived ingredients like coconut, olive, and jojoba oils
                                                                  • Price…$4
                                                                  • Scents…Creamy Coconut, Lavender Tea Tree, Orange Blossom, Morning Mint, Fragrance Free Sensitive, Deodorant, and Daily Moisture

                                                                  22 Reasons Never to Take a Shower or Bath Again


                                                                  Traditional bar soaps often contain any number of harmful ingredients. A few of the worst and most common of these ingredients include…

                                                                  1. Artificial Colors…

                                                                  • What is it…The letters “F” (food) and “D”(drugs) and “C” (cosmetics) followed by a color and number, such as D&C Red 27 or FD&C Blue 1, represent artificial or synthetic colors that are derived from petroleum or coal tar sources. 
                                                                  • Why to avoid…suspected to be a human carcinogen, a skin irritant, and contributing factor to ADHD in children

                                                                  2. Artificial Fragrances…

                                                                  • What is it…”fragrance” is a catchall term for the thousands of hidden chemicals used to make fragrances smell good. Federal law doesn’t require companies to list the actual ingredients in a product’s “secret formula,” meaning you as the consumer could actually be putting tons of chemicals that are hazardous to your health without realizing it
                                                                  • Where it’s found…found in many cosmetics and skin care products including perfume, cologne, conditioner, face creams, shampoo, lotion, deodorant, body wash and moisturizers
                                                                  • Why to avoid…allergic reactions, headache, aggravated asthma, dizziness, dermatitis, respiratory distress, and potential effects on the reproductive system

                                                                  3. Benzophenone…

                                                                  • What is it…preservative commonly used to keep cosmetics and nail polishes from breaking down when they are exposed to ultraviolet light
                                                                  • Where it’s found…lip balms and nail enamels
                                                                  • Why to avoid…carcinogen

                                                                  4. Diethyl Phthalate (DEP)…

                                                                  • What is it…a masking agent 
                                                                  • Where it’s many cosmetics
                                                                  • Why to avoid…believed to alter the function of hormones

                                                                  5. Formaldehyde…

                                                                  • What is it…a potent preservative considered a known human carcinogen by the International Agency on Research on Carcinogens (IARC)
                                                                  • Where it’s found…nail products, body washes, conditioners, cleansers, eye shadows, hair dye, fake eyelash adhesives, shampoos
                                                                  • Why to avoid…has been linked to nasal and nasopharyngeal cancer, known to cause allergic skin reactions, may also be harmful to the immune system

                                                                  6. Formaldehyde-Releasing Preservatives (FRP) …

                                                                  • What is it…preservatives used to help prevent bacteria growth-including sodium hydroxymethylglycinate, methenamine, Bronopol, DMDM hydantoin, Diazolidinyl urea, Imidzaolidinyl urea and Quaternium-15
                                                                  • Where it’s found…widely used in US products
                                                                  • Why to avoid..known human carcinogen, can trigger allergic skin reactions

                                                                  7. Homosalate…

                                                                  • Where it’s found…sunscreens, liquid and powder foundations with SPF 
                                                                  • Why to avoid…may negatively impact the function of hormones, makes it simpler for your body to absorb pesticides

                                                                  8. Hydroquinone…

                                                                  • What is it…a skin bleaching chemical 
                                                                  • Where it’s found…found in a lot of cosmetics, such as foundations, that have skin lightening properties
                                                                  • Why to avoid… can cause a skin disease called ochronosis, with blue-black lesions that in the worst cases become permanent black caviar-size bumps…may also trigger the development of cancer or irritation of the respiratory tract, as well as the toxicity of organ systems.

                                                                  9. Lead…

                                                                  • What is it…a neurotoxin
                                                                  • Where it’s found…hair dye and lipstick
                                                                  • Why to avoid…known carcinogen 

                                                                  10. Mercury…

                                                                  • What is it…known allergen 
                                                                  • Where it’s found…mascara and some eyedrops
                                                                  • Why to avoid…impairs brain development

                                                                  11. Mineral Oil…

                                                                  • What is it…by-product of petroleum 
                                                                  • Where it’s found…baby oil, moisturizers, styling gels
                                                                  • Why to avoid…creates a film that impairs the skin’s ability to release toxins.

                                                                  12. Oxybenzone…

                                                                  • What is it…active ingredient found in chemical sunscreens 
                                                                  • Where it’s found…sunscreens
                                                                  • Why to avoid…: linked to irritation, sensitization, allergies, hormone disruption, cellular damage, low birth weight

                                                                  13. Parabens…

                                                                  • What is it…estrogen-mimicking preservative used widely in cosmetics used to prevent the growth of bacteria, mold and yeast in cosmetic products
                                                                  • Where it’s found…makeup, moisturizer, shaving gel, shampoo, personal lubricant, body washes, deodorants,cperfumes and other scented products, facial cleansers, and spray tan products
                                                                  • Why to avoid…linked to breast cancer, skin cancer and decreased sperm count…may disrupt the endocrine system and cause reproductive and developmental disorder

                                                                  14. PEGs…

                                                                  • What is it…polyethylene glycol, synthetic petroleum-based chemicals
                                                                  • Where it’s found…often used as a creamy base in moisturing cosmetics such as scrubs, body wash, makeup, toothpaste …recognizable as the tiny plastic beads seen in face scrubs, lip scrubs, and exfoliating washes 
                                                                  • Why to avoid…skin-irritating carcinogen

                                                                  15. Petrochemicals…

                                                                  • What is it…ingredients like mineral oil, paraffin, or petrolatum jelly that are produced in oil refineries at the same time as automobile fuel, heating oil and chemical feedstocks
                                                                  • Where it’s found…mascara
                                                                  • Why to avoid…may cause contact dermatitis and are often contaminated with cancer-causing impurities

                                                                  16. Pthalates…

                                                                  • What is it…a group of chemicals used to improve the performance of some skincare and cosmetic products 
                                                                  • Where it’s found…used in hundreds of products, including nail polish, perfumes, lotions, moisturizers, fragrances, deodorants, and hair spray
                                                                  • Why to avoid…have been linked to increased risk of cancer–including breast, liver, kidney, and lung,—early breast development in girls, reproductive birth defects , endocrine disruption, damage, cancer


                                                                  17. Propylene Glycol…

                                                                  • What is it…a small organic alcohol 
                                                                  • Where it’s found…commonly used as a skin-conditioning agent in moisturizers, sunscreen, makeup products, conditioners, shampoo and hair sprays.
                                                                  • Why to avoid…has been associated with causing both dermatitis and hives

                                                                  18. Retinol…

                                                                  • What is it…Vitamin A compounds 
                                                                  • Where it’s found…widely used in sunscreens, skin lotions, lip products, and makeup
                                                                  • Why to avoid…when applied to sun-exposed skin these compounds can increase risk skin sensitivity, skin lesions, and tumors 

                                                                  19. Siloxanes…

                                                                  • What is it…non-biodegradeable silicone-derived compounds 
                                                                  • Where it’s found…common emollient used in makeup products to make the skin feel softer and smoother and to add moisture to the skin
                                                                  • Why to avoid…linked to tumour growth and skin irritation…also believed to disrupt the function of the endocrine system, interfere in hormone activity, and negatively impact fertility

                                                                  20. Sodium Lauryl Sulfate…

                                                                  • What is it…an industrial-strength degreaser that can be found in more than 90 percent of personal care and cleaning products, especially foamy soaps
                                                                  • Where it’s found…shampoo, body wash, foundation, face wash, mascara, acne treatment products, mouthwash, and toothpaste
                                                                  • Why to avoid…known skin, lung, and eye irritant…also has the potential to interact and combine with other chemicals to form nitrosamines, a carcinogen that can also lead to a host of other issues like kidney and respiratory damage…has also been shown to cause or contribute to canker sores, disruptions of skin’s natural oil balance and eye damage,and cystic acne around the mouth and chin


                                                                  21. Toluene…

                                                                  • What is it…petrochemical solvent, paint thinner, and neurotoxicant that is able to dissolve paint and paint thinne…often listed as benzene, toluol, phenylmethane, methylbenzene
                                                                  • Where it’s found…found in nail and hair products
                                                                  • Why to avoid…affects the immune, endocrine, and respiratory systems…may also impair fetal development, linked to malignant lymphoma

                                                                  22. Triclosan…

                                                                  • What is it…widely-used antimicrobial chemical…(found in liquid soaps as triclosan…and bar soaps as triclocarban)that are very toxic to the aquatic environment
                                                                  • Where it’s found…often added to cosmetics and other personal care items cease of its germ-resisting properties…especially in oothpaste, deodorant, antibacterial soap, and hand sanitizers
                                                                  • Why to avoid…known thyroid and reproductive hormonal disruptor…could possibly impair both muscle function and the immune system…considered to be potentially irritating to the lungs, eyes, and skin 

                                                                  Seven Signifignant Soapmaking Sources

                                                                    As a new inductee to the world of essential oils, I am constantly looking for information from a lot of websites and blogs, but not all of these blogs are worth the time and effort…and can often make me feel even more confused.

                                                                  Here is a list of the most useful blogs that I have found so far…

                                                                    1.  Aroma Web

                                                                    • Founded…1997
                                                                    • Founder…Wendy Robbins
                                                                    • Home Base.…Michigan
                                                                    • Managed by..…AromaWeb, LLC
                                                                    • Topics…over sixty recipes, the table of contents for a large number of books related to holistic aromatherapy essential oils and natural living, essential oil profile


                                                                     2.  Essential Oil Sanctuary

                                                                    • Founder…Loren
                                                                    • Topics…experiences and tips about natural methods, a series of different articles talking about groups of oil for essential purposes in our daily life


                                                                    3.  Mommypotamus

                                                                    • Founder…Heather
                                                                    • Topics…recipes,  DIY projects, natural remedies, the particular features of a large of number essential oils, excellent tips for beauty care and health care, the pros and cons of some natural oils on the market



                                                                    4.  Natural Beauty Tips

                                                                    natural tips for hair care, skin care, lip care, face care, beauty care, and health care


                                                                      5.  Natural Living Ideas

                                                                      basic tips for natural health, home decoration, natural beauty,  gardening, herb and essential oils

                                                                        6.  Nature’s Garden

                                                                        • Foundedin 1997 by Deborah and Mike Ward
                                                                        • Topics…homemade candles and bath products, incense, soap, essential oils, fragrance oils, and cosmetics


                                                                          7.  Wellness Mama 

                                                                          •  Founder…Katie, the “Wellness Mama” 
                                                                          • Goal…to help make the transition to living naturally easier for you than it has been for me, and to share my own journey
                                                                          • Topics…practical tips, real food recipes, natural living and cleaning tutorials, natural remedies, beauty recipes and health hacks with natural ingredients, and so much more

                                                                          9 More Books about Essential Oils Currently on My Reading List

                                                                          Essential oils have been used by many cultures-including Greek, Egyptian, Asian, and Roman-for centuries both as medicine and cosmetics…but I personally am just now starting to explore essential oils and their many uses..Getting started with essential oils and aromatherapy as a natural and holistic way for improving your health and for treating certain health issues…not to mention for the pleasing aroma…can be more than a little confusing and overwhelming though.

                                                                          As I begin my journey as a beginning user of essential oils hoping to learn learn how to make my own recipes using essential oils for both healthier hair and skin, I am sure that the following list of books will come in handy.


                                                                          1.  Aromatherapy A Complete Guide To The Healing Art (Kathi Keville and Mindy Green)


                                                                              2. Art of Aromatherapy (Robert B. Tisserand)


                                                                              3.  Complete Aromatherapy & Essential Oils Handbook for Everyday Wellness (Nerys Purchon and Lora Cantele)
                                                                              4.  Essential Oils & Aromatherapy, An Introductory Guide: More Than 300 Recipes for Health, Home, and Beauty by Sonoma Press…

                                                                                 5.  Essential Oils Natural Remedies: The Complete A-Z Reference of Essential Oils for Health and Healing


                                                                              6.  Essential Oils Pocket Reference (Gary Young)

                                                                              7.  The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy: Over 600 Natural, Non-Toxic and Fragrant Recipes to Create Health — Beauty — a Safe Home Environment (Valerie Ann Worwood)


                                                                              8.  The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Essential Oils: The Complete Guide to the Use of Oils in Aromatherapy & Herbalism (Julia Lawless)


                                                                               9. Reference Guide for Essential Oils (Connie and Alan Higley)

                                                                                Book Review…Essential Oils: The Complete Guide: Essential Oils for Beginners, Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Recipes


                                                                                Essential Oils: The Complete Guide: Essential Oils for Beginners, Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Recipes is a guide book about essential oils written to “introduce you to the world of essential oils and aromatherapy.” 

                                                                                The book was written primarily for beginners who have absolutely no prior knowledge about using essential oils and carrier show how to use them properly…

                                                                                This book sparked my interest because so many of the natural body care and skincare products that I will be making and sharing in the near future contain them.

                                                                                The title, Essential Oils: The Complete Guide: Essential Oils for Beginners, Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Recipes, is appropriate for the book because the book explains everything in simple, easy to understand steps.. 

                                                                                The purpose of the book–showing how to use essential oils  properly-is carried out throughout the book as evident by the fact that the book tells the reader how to store your essential oils and carrier oils, and the fact that It is important to know what you are doing when you are using essential oils because some essential oils can do things such as increase UV light/sunlight sensitivity and affect your hormones.

                                                                                According to the introduction, this book promises to teach you a natural treatment that takes care of both your mental and physical health at the same time…how to cure your common cold without the use of drugand how to start the day exploding with motivation and energy, whilst finishing the day calm, content and stress-free.all through the proper application of essential oils. 

                                                                                The author of the book is Amy Joyson.

                                                                                The main idea of the book is that both your health and vitality can be improved through the use of essential oils.

                                                                                My favorite part of the book was definitely the over 100 recipes for natural body and skincare products, as well as home cleaning products because this is something that I am focusing on right now in both my life and my blog…recipes to enhance your calm or self-esteem and confidence, to uplift your mood, to support your detox and many, many more.

                                                                                Other topics discussed include what aromatherapy is and how you can use aromatherapy at home for stress relief and weight loss, what carrier oils are and how to use them, and what exactly essential oils are and how they work in the body.

                                                                                 I highly recommend this book, and feel that you will also be happy that you bought it.