The Scrub Me Down Kitchen

Barb: My Five Favourites

According to WordPress, Happy Skin has been blogging twice a week for the past six months. And since I’m one of those people who likes to celebrate both the big and small successes so this is a celebratory post! While this blog is about 6 months old, Scrub Me Down- Happy Skin will be turning 1 in a few weeks and that is just crazy exciting! So this is a double whammy sort of post.

Trying to actually sit and think about what I’ve learnt over the past year because of Happy Skin has just been awesome. There has been so much growth and development in so many ways it’s been amazing to look back to a year ago and see where we’ve come from. And then to think of all the other things we’ve still to learn because of Happy Skin? It’s mind boggling how excited I am to learn it!

So let’s look at some fives shall we? I picked five for no reason in particular. Just seemed better than four and less than six.

Top five sites:

Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 3.09.30 AM.png

  1. Taobao: I mean take ebay+Amazon+Etsy+any shopping site+competitors competing for your shopping=Taobao. It’s my absolute favourite site on the internet. Because of all the DIY stuff I’ve bought over the past eight or nine years, my Taobao rating is through the roof. I bought professional lighting equipment, and only spent 480rmb rather than the 680rmb asking price. Oh yeah! Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 3.11.16 AM.png
  2. HumbleBee&Me: You’ve all heard me sing Marie’s praises over the past six months, and there is an amazing reason for that. This woman is a champ. I have no idea how she does all that she does and finds the time to do other things. Her blog is an inspiration to all DIY’ers who have survived the green beauty trend, and her natural plus products are bloody amazing. I think it is pretty safe to say I’ve made about 90ish% of all the recipes on her blog? Well, maybe 85%  now as I have give up on the foamy washes as I don’t think I get the right ingredients here. But! That is including most the food ones too. Try her artisanal bread! But if you try nothing else from her blog? You so have to try making the Chocolate Lip Butter!Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 3.12.28 AM.png
  3. National Center for Biotechnology Information or NCBI, it’s actually gotten to the point where I just search the NCBI before even clicking into Google. It is where I get a lot of my initial information from then continue on with specific questions to search for. And with all the mislabeling and people posting with no sources, it’s just way too hard to get accurate information from google these days. Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 3.13.23 AM.png
  4. Formula Botanica: I’ve been hanging out a fair bit of late on Formula Botanica’s website. I’m going to begin two of their classes next week so I’ve been researching a fair bit and looking through what they have and the types of products student have been making, their blog, coursework and such. I have to say, I’m actually a little intimidated by it all! Ok, not a little. Very intimidated! Teachers House
  5. Teachers House Shop: I’ve been searching out some new books for my kids and in between doing admin work for Happy Skin, I’ve been also looking at some new teaching techniques for my kids.


BoosterFive Favourite Products:

  1. Citrus Burst Hydration Booster, this stuff has wheedled its way into being probably my very favourite face product I’ve ever used. It makes my face feel so plump, and so dewy. Not to mention, I get complimented all the time that I look like I am in my 20’s rather than almost 40. Even when I hardly sleep for weeks on end, I could feel like crap, people still comment about how young I look. Either they are telling the truth, or they think it will make me happy. ‘Cause I’ve got the white hairs poking through on top so it’s pretty obvious I’m no spring chicken. But they still say I’m in my 20’s.
  2. Cocoaloe Body Butter, this stuff in the Body Butter of legends. I love love love love this stuff! It feels amazing in the pot and while you are rubbing it over your hands, but then? To feel your skin afterwards? It is like someone just covered you in satin. And with cocoa butters naturally dry touch finish? This stuff sinks in fast, leaves your skin feeling like a dream without that greasy/oily after feel. Not to mention, you’ll be walking around all the day smelling like chocolate. Which can be a bad thing when you teach teeny tiny humans who try to lick your hands. Shealoe is good, I can scent it awesomely enough, but I will forever love the feel of Cocoaloe.

    The Cream Highlighter before adding in the base
  3. Cream Highlighter in a colour cross between Brightlighter and Opal. I’m rarely without some sort of lip product on, and maybe some mascara come cooler weather. But other than that? I really don’t wear makeup. But, I will make an exception for this Cream Highlighter. I really am impressed by how it brightens up around my eyes and really makes my eyes pop. It is so bloody easy to apply! It was suggested to be poured into a pot, but I decided to pour it into a lip chap tube (which is a wee bit strange to be honest, but actually really effective) and just apply like a thick pencil and rub it in. It takes less than a minute to apply and rub in and it really does brighten up my eyes without leaving a lot of colour. If you are looking for the recipe, “Make it Up” page 111. I can’t recommend it enough!
  4. John Frieda Shampoo and Conditioner, I tried going the handmade route with shampoo bars and conditioners and apple cider vinegar rinses… yeah. Never again. I’ve tried it in so many various weather conditions, water conditions and I am never going to try it again. I’ve bought the organic products, the various other proper products for my hair and you know what? They don’t work for my hair. So I switched back to what does. And John Frieda products do. Screen Shot 2017-09-20 at 3.32.49 AM.png
  5. My new rock salt heating pad. Oh wow. When I first got this thing and tried it, I ran around everywhere showing my phone to everyone and babbling about it. I showed it to everyone, I bought four additional ones and gave one to Sonia for an early birthday present, a shopkeeper, my co-worker and I’ve one more over there on the chair waiting to find a new home, or my feet if they get cold enough. Yeah, probably not going to share it. This thing is a life saver. It gets wicked hot, is filled with salt and various Chinese herbs for TCM and yeah, who cares about that. It feel like heaven on my sore back each morning. I crank that puppy up and I can actually feel my back loosen up every morning.

Top Five Accomplishments this Past Year: there have been many accomplishments for me over the past year; personally, and professionally. But these are the ones that I am finding are the most interesting:

Yup, we picked a name that was already taken.
  1. I totally got out of my comfort zone and began a business with my good friend, Sonia. I am not very comfortable talking to new people, if you ever get the chance? Ask the people closest to me, (Sonia can probably tell you some funny stories actually) I am quite the blunt to borderline rude when it comes to me interacting with people I don’t know. Much to the embarrassment of my family. This business has had me connect with people from all over the world in China, and I’ve had the pleasure of hearing about our customers day to day lives and how Happy Skin has influenced them. So it has been a painful and slow process of learning to be somewhat pleasant when dealing with people. I do have to say, I’ve gotten much less awkward talking to random people! And I’m still not 100% there, I still refer back to my default of abruptness, but I am slowly getting better. I think this is one of those “China things” that has happened to me.
  2. I started a blog. And I’ve been linked by some pretty awesome people and commented on by a few other truly amazing people. Some of these people are my version of a rock star, so to be read and shared by them? It’s an amazing feeling! I guess this is what a teenage girl feels like.Barb and Al.jpg
  3. I’ve actually been using my real name online for the first time since the internet became mainstream. I’ve had a few questionable issues with people over the years, which made me be very hyper aware of my privacy. But, since making the decision to have a business, I cannot be hiding behind a fake name. It’s been kind of weird to actually be referred to as “Barb” that for the first little while, I always thought people were talking to and about someone else. It might actually be time to let Penny go. At some point. Not yet. And I’m actually going to post a picture too. And not just a picture of me wearing a mask, but an actual picture. You have no idea how nerve wrecking that is for me! And do you know how hard it was to actually find a picture of me????
  4. I’m learning about photography. I’ve not had much experience with photography other than point and shoot, and I never thought I’d spend forty minutes setting up all the lighting and then positioning a freaking bar of soap for an hour to get the right picture. But I was a little shocked and surprised when I realised just how important photos were. I never thought I’d own professional lighting equipment. Although, I’m still not good good, I am moderately decent. And a million times better than what I was a year ago!
  5. I bought a Mac computer. Oh yeah. A Mac. Barb, bought a Mac computer. And the world didn’t end. And to be honest? It hasn’t been too bad of a learning curve figuring out how to use it and some of the short cuts. I really like the tracking pad on it. I’ll say this for Apple products, their devices are rock stars, but their cords are pathetic excuses for technology. Surely there has to be a better alternative to these flimsy cables that break and fray all the time? My HP is almost eight years old and the recharge cord is still in perfect condition.

Five things I’m looking forward to accomplishing in the next six months:

  1. Jogging/Running; I have always wanted to jog or run but have never actually accomplished it. I found myself always wanting to go faster, so I do then I choke up then am in pain for a day or so. My new co-worker is a runner/jogger and she has agreed to be my jogging coach. My goal is 1km by Christmas (she has assured me that I’ll surpass that very quickly) but figure 1km is a good starting place as any.
  2. Getting Happy Skin Soaps and Body Scrubs their Cosmetic Safety Assessment so they will be internationally recognised as safe. How neat is that!
  3. Becoming a student again! Next week I register with Formula Botanica for their Diploma courses let the intimidation begin! Or not. I’m ok either way!
  4. Traveling to Europe and exploring the continent to see if that is someplace I could call home for a while.
  5. Actually quit smoking. I usually stop smoking for a few months every year just to “clean out me lungs” as I say it, but I have actually have been entertaining the thought of quitting and not just stopping for a short while. Like for good. Smoking is cheap in China, and I’m constantly surrounded by smokers, and I’ve already had to stop smoking in a lot of my favourite places, so why not?

So what about you all? What are your fives?


11 thoughts on “Barb: My Five Favourites”

  1. This such a great post!

    I love your default from Google! I’ve bookmarked it too on my iPad because Google gives you the fear mongering idiots like Dr. Whack (ooops! Did I say that wrong?!?😁).

    Yay for quitting smoking! You can do it!!

    Yay for going back to school! Very brave of you and I can’t wait to experience by osmosis some of the things you will learn! GO Barb!!

    I will need to try this skin quench recipe now that my facial lotion is *ahem* a little past it’s due date…….don’t ask…….why does EPO go rancid so fast?!?! Booo!!! Now you’ve got me addicted to it and I can’t live without it!

    You are not a horrible people person. Are you blunt and to the point? Yes, but I’d rather have that than people who are nice to your face and then stab you in the back any day.

    Love your blog and love your recipes! I can’t wait to see what the next year will bring!!


    1. The Body Quench isn’t just for face! Although, my face does like it to.

      Thank you for your words! I too can’t seem to understand people who are two faced. It is such a common thing here is China (mainly due to guanxi) so I’m thinking maybe I developed some of my social issues as a side effect.

      It doesn’t really matter, all I know is I need to dull some of my edges a wee bit.

      My Evening Primrose Oil doesn’t go rancid all that quickly. I usually get about 13-15 months from my bottles before I notice they begin to smell funny. But I store my Evening Primrose in the fridge. How do you store yours?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You are very welcome! 😃

    My EPO is in the fridge and is fine, but the facial lotion I made with it only lasted 2 1/2 months. Maybe (probably) it was a production issue. I made another facial lotion today and put it in a bottle vs a jar. Hoping that will help keep it fresher longer. Maybe I should store the extra bottle of lotion I’m not using in the fridge too??

    Liked by 1 person

    1. One thing I’ve learnt very quickly when working with some lotions, pump or squeeze tubes ONLY. Pots I find reduces the stability and shelf life of a lot of stuff, and jars I stopped using other than for a picture. But then what was in the jar gets tossed. Rules number something in The Kitchen, never ever reuse a container.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. You can’t keep a jar even if you clean it twice with hot soapy water, rinse, clean with a bleach solution, rinse, clean again with hot soapy water, rinse, then soak down with a 70% alcohol solution and let air dry??

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I don’t sell the things I make. These are just for my personal use. If I make gifts for anyone I ALWAYS use new ones. I wouldn’t dare take that risk on another person. But for me, I will wash and reuse, but just my jars. Bottles get tossed no matter what.


  4. Great post! So many things there that I am going to have to go check out now because I have never heard of them. Thanks so much for sharing it. I was able to quit smoking 3 years ago after roughly 30 years of smoking. I did it with e-cigarettes. It makes the transition much easier. Good luck! As for jogging though… you’re a braver woman than I! 🙂 Great accomplishments you shared as well. You are kicking butt! Good for you!


  5. Lovely to find out a little more about you (and looking forward to seeing that selfie!) Good luck with the running – I LOVE running, but I haven’t been for a month or two, purely down to lack of time (or, more honestly, lack of motivation to find the time 😳😁)


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