Saturday, March 22, 2014

aleppo

Do you have enough of cheap smelling fake chocolate and vanilla soaps? Or maybe you decided to spend those extra pennies on the soaps which, just because don't have dangerous ingredients in them, are unreasonably priced? I know you want just organic products, but you also like the lovely smelly foam in the bath...well you cannot have it all.
I would like to introduce you to the aleppo soap. Never heard of it? Well just like you haven't heard of shea butter some time ago, you will see it more. 

What is it? 


Aleppo soap (also known as savon d'Alep, laurel soap, Syrian soap, or ghar soap, the Syrian word for 'laurel') is a handmade, hard bar soap.
Aleppo soap is classified as a Castile soap as it is a hard soap made from olive oil and lye, from which it is distinguished by the inclusion of laurel oil.

History

The origin of Aleppo soap is lost in time. Although claims of its great antiquity abound, such as references in the popular press to Egyptian Queen Cleopatra and Queen Zenobia of Syria using Aleppo soap,[3][4] these claims have yet to be verified by Scholarly method.
It is commonly thought that the process of soap-making emanated from the Levant region (of which Aleppo is a main city) and to have moved west from there to Europe after the first crusades based on the claim that the earliest soap made in Europe was just after the crusades, but in fact the Romans in the first century AD knew about soap and Zosimos of Panopolis ca. 300 AD described soap and soapmaking.
Today most Aleppo soap, especially that containing >16% of laurel oil, is exported to Europe and East Asia.

Traditional Aleppo soap (Ghar) is made by the "hot process".
First, the olive oil is brought into a large, in-ground vat along with water and lye. Underneath the vat, there is an underground fire which heats the contents to a boil. Boiling lasts three days while the oil reacts with the lye and water to become a thick liquid soap.
The laurel oil is added at the end of the process, and after it is mixed in, the mix is taken from the vat and poured over a large sheet of waxed paper on the floor of the factory.
At this point the soap is a large, green, flat mass, and it is allowed to cool down and harden for about a day. While the soap is cooling, workers with planks of wood strapped to their feet walk over the soap to try to smooth out the batch and make it an even thickness.
The soap is then cut; three workers drag a rudimentary, rake-like cutting device through the soap to cut it one way, then again the other way until the whole mass is cut into individual cubes. Each cube is stamped with the soap artisan's name.
The cubes of soap are then stacked in staggered cylinders to allow maximum air exposure. Once they have dried sufficiently, they are put into a special subterranean chamber to be aged for six months to a year.
While it is aging, the soap goes through several chemical changes. First, and most importantly, the free alkaline content of the soap (the alkaline which did not react with the oil during saponification) breaks down upon slow reaction with air. The moisture content of the soap is also reduced, making the soap hard and long lasting. And lastly, the color of the outside of the soap turns a pale gold, while the inside remains green.
Modern Aleppo soaps are manufactured using a "cold process" and contain olive and laurel oils, and may contain a variety of herbs and/or essential oils.

Ingredients

Traditional Aleppo soap is made with 100% natural, olive and laurel berry oils, water and lye
The relative concentration of laurel oil (typically from 2% - 30%) determines the quality and cost of the soap.
In the 20th century, with the introduction of cold process soap making, Allepian soap artisans began introducing a variety of herbs and essential oils to their soaps.

Skin care properties

Aleppo soap can be used daily as soap for washing and shampooing, as face mask, as shaving cream, and for bathing infants and babies
The soap is effective against insect bites and is used for a variety of skin ailments such as skin allergies, irritated skin or conditions such as general dermatitis like eczema, psoriasis, bacterial dermatitis, acne, herpes, rosacea, it also helps prevent hair loss and it aids in the recovery of skin diseases.
Laurel oil is an effective cleanser, antibiotic, anti-fungal and anti-itching agent. Compounds extracted from Laurus Nobilis have recently been identified as an inhibitor of human melanoma (skin cancer) cell proliferation, as well as inhibiting other human tumor cell growths such as amelanotic melanoma, renal cell adenocarcinoma, and breast cancer cell lines.
Olive oil has been known for generations not only for its healing qualities but also as a natural, deep penetration moisturizer, regenerating skin cells and softening the tissue.
Unlike most soaps, Aleppo soap will float in water.

Environmental facts

Aleppo soap is made from natural oils derived from the fruits of olive and laurel trees and is biodegradable.


 Info from Wikipedia

Thursday, March 20, 2014

American Beauty

I love to watch good movies.
This week I watch Kevin Spacey movies. 
Today: American Beauty.
Classic! 
I watched it already few times, but I couldn't skip it in my Spacey theme week.
I am almost sure that you have watched it too, but it's worth to come back to it. 
Good story and amazing soundtrack.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

House of Cards- An American Twist on a British Classic

House of Cards
http://www.hollyscoop.com/sites/hollyscoop.com/files/HS_ClaireUnderwood_08.gif

Majority House Whip Francis Underwood takes you on a long journey as he exacts his vengeance on those he feels wronged him - that is, his own cabinet members including the President of the United States himself. Dashing, cunning, methodical and vicious, Frank Underwood along with his equally manipulative yet ambiguous wife, Claire take Washington by storm through climbing the hierarchical ladder to power in this Americanized recreation of the BBC series of the same name. Written by Jacob Oberfrank

http://i.imgur.com/Ot42nur.gif

I watched with delight the BBC version and iked it a lot. Now I finished the second serie of American one and I just cannot wait for more!
If you haven't seen it, you have to give it a go. You won't regret it. Clever dialogs, unexpected story line and of course Kevin Spacey, as a main character. If you think you are not a fan of a political drama, you will change your mind. After the Wire and Breaking Bad I missed a good serie.
Do yourself a favour and watch it.
IMDB


 If you would like to compare the BBC trilogy. I highly recommend watching it.
IMDB 
I cannot wait to read the book:
http://www.amazon.co.uk/House-Cards-Michael-Dobbs/dp/0006176909
P.S. If you love the look of Claire Underwood, have a look here:
Claire Underwood-style
 

Friday, March 7, 2014

OP flats

Who said that only high heels can build a sophisticated look? If your comfort is a priority, flats are your best friends. My collection is getting bigger but it is ridiculously small comparing to Olivia Palermo's one.
Let's take some inspiration from this lady.


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

be colourful be happy


If you love colour and pattern but are not sure how to mix and match it, have a look at Joy.
Colour block is such fun!
 

 
 
 
 
 
And if you are not feeling brave enough but still want to have some colourful elements in your outfit, try experiment with shoes. They are such a strong accessory they can carry the whole outfit, but they can also help to sneak the strong colour or unusual combination even if the rest of our clothes is calm and monochrome.



 All pictures in this post are from http://ohjoy.blogs.com/my_weblog/


 

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