Monday, September 28, 2015

Cakeballs, Anyone?

Delicious cakeballs from right to left: Raspberry Champagne, Red Velvet, Lemon Dream, Blueberry Muffin, Maple Bacon, Coconut Cream, CherryBomb!, Smores
Images with permission from:

Who here likes cake?  ::Raises hand::
How about cakeballs ::raises both hands!!!!::

If you're not sure what a cakeball is let me explain.  Picture a round, condensed, moist, cake nugget, enveloped in a snappy, crunchy, chocolatey (or white chocolatey) shell.  That's how my friend and baker extraordinaire, Liana Knudsen, makes them.  I piggishly bought about 24 of them from her site and fell in love! 

How much in love, you ask? Well, let's just say that no other cakeball seems to do it for me.  That's why I am EXCITED to share her Kickstarter campaign with you!
Auntie Liana is raising money on Kickstarter to bring her operations to a larger scale so that she can share her delicious creations with the world! 

Check out her delightful video on how she got started and where she hopes to take her business after the campaigns a success. Be sure to check out her rewards too!

To follow Auntie, check out her social media sites:


Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What's in a Name: Tips For Choosing a Business Name

Coconut Calendula Soap

Above is my latest creation. You can see by the state of my shop that I've been keeping busy with working on my summer soaps. After doing a quick search for my blog on google (because I'm lazy that way), I found soap company that is now using the "Soap Kitten" name (whoopsie).  At first, I was shocked, but then realized it's not quite an original idea. :)  I'm glad this happened as it's a good opportunity to discuss marketing/branding and choosing a company name.

While I'm okay with the SK name being used, it's very important that those who are considering company names to do their research!  I just recently underwent this process when I made "Havana Soap Company" official.  I scoured my state's database as well as Google, making sure I wasn't infringing on existing companies when I settled on a name.  After making it official, it's important to grab social media handles on twitter, Facebook and any other sites that you use for marketing. I knew this back in 2007 when I first started the blog, but because it was a blog that was just purely for fun (and still is), I never made the jump to reserving the name.  I'm okay with that, but a good lesson out there for those considering planning on starting a company/brand.

And as a small disclaimer, I'd like to let my readership know that the Soapkitten blog and the Soap Kitten soap company are not affiliated in any way, although I do wish the company best of luck on their new venture! :)

That said, if you haven't been keeping up with my Etsy shop, here are some of the projects I have been working on.  Really feeling the Summer/beach theme. :)

To purchase, feel free to click on the links below.

Happy Soaping Everyone!

Peppermint Rosemary Soap

Mermaid Soap

And a picture of my ADORABLE cat (sorry not for sale).  :) 

Monday, February 9, 2015

New soaps up!

Posted some new soaps up in my store! *Squeeeee*. Really excited about these since both are inspired by my Cuban upbringing!

Sueño Cubano (Cuban Dream) is a lovely chocolately-mocha scent! Available here

This soap is a salty/ocean fragrance called Salty Marinero (that translates to "Sailor"). Available here in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Soapy Sunday

Earlier I was making a fresh batch of soap. My fave scent (they all seem to be my fave these days): Oatmeal Milk & Honey.

This creamy soap is warm and inviting and made with REAL oatmeal! Designed to soothe and delight! :)

Available in my etsy store! 

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Summer's Here Early

At Havana Soap Co., that is. Check out our newest soap in our shop: Tropical Blue Crush. Fragrances with lime, bergamot oils. A real treat!

Having Fun with Vanillin

Or vanilla, as it is more commonly known, has a tendency to darken bath & body products over time. You can add chemicals to soap to slow down the process, but over time they all naturally discolor. Depending on the percentage of vanillin in your fragrance, it can change into light beige to a dark chocolatey brown. Not a bad thing if you intend on working with a fragrance that lends itself to a brown color, but sometimes you'll get something called "snow angel" and it'll discolor to a deep dark brown.

That's why it's important to always check with your fragrance distributor how fragrances behave in soap.

No stranger to this change, I expected this fragrance to discolor, since I knew it had a high percentage of vanilla in it. It worked well with a new shea butter recipe I've been eager to try!

Here's the loaf cut on the second day. Notice the vanilla color already setting in the edges?  The inside of the loaf is originally (more or less), the color I poured at. Knowing this in advance, I decided to take advantage and lighten my layers with white as I poured along.

Here's the loaf just three days later! Notice how much darker it's gotten. It's still considered a baby in the curing process, so I expect that it'll continue turning-- which works fine for my design as it works for the fragrance. I hope to unveil it in my shop next month! :)

Ta-ta for now!



One of my customers was nice enough to send me this pic! Looks like I have a fan! :D

Thanks Dawn for sharing this wonderful picture of Paws!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Taking the plunge..

It's official! Havana Soap, LLC is now on Etsy and Facebook! This year's theme is "Go big or go home", inspired me to put my energy and efforts into my new soap business.
Feel free to take a gander, like my page and check back periodically on Soapkitten for soapy updates!

Violet Soap available here

Havana Gold available here

Guava Soap available here

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

After the cut...

Very psyched that I'm getting back into cold process soaps! I forgot how lovely it was to make it from scratch.  Here's my latest-- name to be determined. Originally it had lavender buds on top, but aesthetically wasn't my thing, so I cut the tops off.  Warning to soap makers: Using lavender buds is very much a "go big, or go home" kind-of-thing. I found that as I trimmed my bars they scattered everywhere, even clinged on my untouched areas of my soap. Not fun picking tiny buds off. Make sure it's what you want before decorating your tops with it. 

This soap is made with olive, coconut, (sustainable) palm and castor oils.  The scent is an intoxicating bold mix of lavender, cedar wood and pine. Definitely a great, unisex scent.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Testing, testing...

That's right. Testing is the theme of today. I'm so PSYCHED. Besides making test batches of cold process soap to refine my reciepe, I'm also testing out high quality, natural bases to be the face of my MP soaps!  It's gonna be a good day! 

Pictured from left to right. Row 1: glycerine clear, glycerin white. Row 2: goat milk, Shea. Row 3: hemp, honey (not pictured: aloe). 

Wednesday, January 14, 2015


Today was the great unveiling of the two soaps I made yesterday.  This fun soap has peek-a-boo hearts embedded so that they reveal themselves as you use it. It's sweet sugar cane scent has hints of vanilla, shortbread and lemon rind.

On to our "mystery soap".  At first glance it looks like watermelon-- but nope, it's guava and a homage to my Caribbean roots!  This delightful soap is a yummy blend of blend of guava, orange, papaya , peach and strawberry.   


Both are available in my etsy shop here.


Tuesday, January 13, 2015

My Kitchen Smells Like Love.

Soapy love, that is! Back in the saddle for some soap crafting! I've been slowly coming back to it and bought some new soapy supplies recently. 
Can you guess what I'm making here? Hint: it's not what you think. 

 Speaking of love, the month of LUV is coming up. In celebration I'm making these candy-scented exfoliating soaps made with real sugar. It's sweet upon sweet. Here's before the pour. After pics to come. 

And if that weren't enough, I played around and make a rice flower scented soap. Since I couldn't decide what to make it look like, I opted for simple and clean, just like the fragrance.


Sunday, June 29, 2014

New Soap: Summer Honey and Calendula

This is probably my favorite soap to-date! Made with a lovely, organic honey base, REAL honey for moisture and soothing calendula petals.  We are all aware of the wonderful properties of honey, but what is calendula exactly??
Calendula or Calendula officinalis, is also known as pot marigold. The petals range from yellow to bright orange and have been used for centuries to heal skin irritations and help heal wounds. Like honey, it is anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial and can be used to disinfect wounds, heal skin irritations and even added to make a soothing eye wash.  

In soap, it makes a wonderfully soothing bar. I've also added an all-natural light honey scent to boost its overall pleasantness.

You can find it at my etsy store here.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Ocean Bloom is Here!

My last soapy post and a nice run to the Jersey Shore inspired inspired me to create something that was pretty, but also capture the essence of my favorite place-- the beach when no one's around.  I'm especially proud of this one, as I mixed up the fragrances to come up with a lovely blend of salty ocean with a hint of clean florals.  The experience? Sea-spray and the ocean breeze caressing your face, with a pleasant hint of summer flowers.

Ocean Bloom, currently for sale at my Etsy Shop!

Friday, June 6, 2014

Sea-Inspired Soaps!

My good friend pointed out that I tend to get re-inspired by soap-making around this time of the year.  Not sure if it's the warm weather, or the idea of going to the beach, but I've always been drawn to the beach/ocean. That's my haven, where I go to recharge from the city-grind.  So it makes sense that this time of the year is  where I find my creative energies rising. Time to break out the soap again!!!!

Below are a few soap designs that inspire me to get on the soapy saddle again!

This one is wildly amazing and the creativity is just AMAZING!
Get it here at Tammy Lane Soaps.
How about soap with a bit of sea kelp? Yes, please!
Image from TheYellowFinchCalif's Etsy Store.

This one is simple, but yet refreshing to look at-- like the calm of a tropical ocean.
Image from ASliceofDelight's Etsy store.
And for your sea-side apothecary? Ocean-scented foaming salt scrub!
Image from ThreeChangosSoap's Etsy Store.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Spring is Here (and yet not quite...)

Technically it's Spring, and for the last few days, we've been experiencing temperatures close to 70 and today--- BAM, frost!

No, literally-- it snowed overnight:

See the snow on the ground??
Still... the weather smells fresh enough to not deter me from my high hopes of having a lovely spring (and a fantastic Summer) that I'm going to kick-off with a flurry feature of Spring-y soaps!
SunBasil Garden's Easter Soap (Love how the polka-dots have soft lines)

Delicious-looking Carrot Soap from Daily Repose's Etsy Store
CountryLineSuds Easter egg soap --- the colors are just fantastic on this one!!! 

Cutesy Pastel Easter Egg Soaps from SeasideSoapKitchen's Etsy Store

This felted soap reminds me of little petit fours. By NutmegNaturals

And to close this happy little post and romantic Easter picture of bunny and baby chick-- Awwww! 
From KM Elegant Creation's Etsy Shop

Have a fantastic Easter everyone! :)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Hot Cocoa Anyone?

It’s been a long time since the East Coast has been pummeled with snow. The last time I can remember is 1996. This year, so far, we’ve accumulated at least 16” of snow, which for an 18 year stretch, is quite a bit!  This Winter may be harsh, but I eagerly commute back home waiting to snuggle up to a good book, my pashmina throw, Ugg boots and a nice cup of hot chocolate (squeeeee)!

I’m a SERIOUS hot chocolate lover. From spicy Mexican hot chocolate, to Italian (made with heavy cream) to the now popular salted hot chocolate, I really can’t get enough. My obsession has taken a new level, scoping out soapers on Etsy’s with their interpretation of hot chocolate soap. We have some serious soapers doing their awesome spin on on the topic from traditional, to seriously creative. Here are a few of my favorites:

Hot Chocolate- New Yorker Style:
Coffee Cart Hot Chocolate from
AJ Sweet Soap’s Etsy store

For those who crave a more traditional cup:
Hot Chocolate Soap from Garden Tale Gift’s Etsy store

A cute, abstract twist from Sun Basil Garden’s Etsy store

Another abstract view (I can’t get over how realistic and YUMMY the marshmallows look)
Hot Chocolate Soap from The Lather Co’s Etsy Store

Friday, January 24, 2014

Intentional Living (and soaps, of course)!

I have a deep fascination with anything sea-related. Maybe it's because I'm a Water sign? Or maybe it's because I've always lived near a body of water (Hello Hudson River!)?

I really can't pin point it to one, but there is something wonderful and inspiring about it. Being near the sea often recharges me.

One of my favorite trips, was this one:
Spain, 2011

During my trip, I wasn't very far from the ocean. I got to dip in it, hike along rocks and watched it crash, roll and strain itself on the rocks and admire it up close and from afar. I saw it in various stages, at night, during the day, at sunrise.  I also got to see it surrounded my rocky cliffs, near Celtic ruins, and by the beaches. It was quite an experience, but most of all, it reminded me to take delight in the simple pleasures.

One thing that we Americans "forget" is to go with the flow and live and act with intentions. Buddha calls it "mindful living".  I like to think of as enjoying things as if you are seeing them for the first time, acting purposefully and allowing ourselves to become inspired by the seemingly mundane. Whether it's savoring that first cup of coffee in the morning, or handling a fresh bar of soap and carefully and thoughtfully working it into a fluffy lather, or watching waves crash into the Earth and being taken away by it's magnificent and mighty splendor.

Life just seems more fun that way.

Speaking of fun-- here are inspiring soaps that look like they were created with intention and care:

Mermaid Rose Soap by Shesthatgirl's Esty Store

Mermaid Kiss by SaponeSoap's Etsy Store

Mermaid Glycerine by NeonBathBody's Etsy Store

Mermaid Kisses by IvyCoreen Etsy Store

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Holidays n' Packin'

Naughty Coal Soap by GardenTaleGifts

Okay, so I've been a little naughty, I haven't been updating my site as much as I like, but I have a good reason (I swear!).  I'm officially MOVING. This time, further south within NJ.  :) :) :)

Moving during the holidays is not only a real pain, but I find that, since I'm packing instead of decorating, that I'm missin' some good ol' holiday cheer!

To remedy that, I decided to find the best-looking, Christmas soaps:

Check out these fun Polar Bears! From Pigandthepeacock's Etsy Store

Spiced Cranberry Salt Bar (YUM) from asliceofdelight's Etsy store

Check out the layered swirl on this Christmas Soap! From Soap Rhapsody's Etsy store

Check out these cute peppermint twist soaps from Daisy Kays Etsy Store

Merry Christmas Ornament soap from Kokolele's Etsy Store