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Natural Bath & Body ~ With a Twist! ;) 
 

Meet the Makers of Happy Hour Soap Company - Interview with ourselves

Posted on August 28, 2015 by Nicole Bennett Brandt | 0 comments

Meet the Makers of the Happy Hour Soap Company. The girls behind the products - Sara Bennett and Nicole Brandt. Two sisters born in Nebraska, but moved around the country (9 states!) before settling back in the midwest. Sara currently lives in Omaha and I (Nicole) live in Le Mars, Iowa. We each play our part in the company and travel back and forth between the two towns to exchange ideas, products, drinks and laughs. Interested in learning more about the sisters behind and Happy Hour Soap? Read on, friends, read on: 

Sara:

  • Favorite product- Charcoal & Rose Soap Spa Bar
  • Favorite product to make-  Cold Process Soap
  • Favorite scent-  Peach Bellini
  • Favorite song- Nothing Compares 2 U
  • 3 things you would bring with you on a deserted island-  Sunscreen, My Mom, and box wine
  • Who do you live with/family- Boyfriend Nick
  • Favorite place to see a sunset-  My parents’ front porch in Kearney, NE while we sip wine
  • Favorite guilty pleasure-  Dancing and singing to Backstreet Boys and N’ Sync
  • Natural beauty tip- Use a sugar scrub once a week for soft and smooth skin.
  • Previous job-  Elementary School Teacher
  • Why did you get into this business-   I love creating and making things and making my own beauty products is very satisfying and rewarding.

Nicole:

  • Favorite product- Seriously hard question. The Duty Squirt has changed my life. The deodorant has probably saved my life .And the Organic Sugar Scrub is so flippin' awesome I don't know how I lived life without it.
  • Favorite product to make- Melt and Pour Soap!
  • Favorite scent- It changes, but I can't stop smelling the Honey Chardonnay soap.
  • Favorite song- Lately I've been digging Alex Preston's "Fairytales." One song that always rips my soul (in a good way) is "I Can't Make You Love Me" by Bonnie Raitt
  • 3 things you would bring with you on a deserted island- A journal and a pen (can that count as 1?) A large box of books (this is not cheating) and a dog (preferably mine, but any dog would be good, really).
  • Who do you live with? - My husband Jason, my 12 year old daughter and 4 year old son. We also have an adopted yellow lab named Jess.
  • Favorite place to see a sunset- This would be a tie between St. Pete Beach Florida and my aunts house on a hill in McCook, Nebraska. Ahh, just typing that makes me happy.
  • Favorite guilty pleasure- Britney Spears. I'm not really guilty about that, though. :)
  • Natural beauty tip- Sugar scrubs have changed my life. I never knew my skin could be so soft and glowy! Of course getting a full night sleep and staying hydrated is important, but sugar scrubs are really amazing.
  • Previous job- I have had jobs in a few different areas. Photo lab clerk, radio DJ, supply packer, paralegal, and bookkeeping.
  • Why did you get into this business- I have always wanted to become my own boss. I am inspired by my parents who quit their retail jobs to own their own restaurant and by my grandfather who was a successful entrepreneur. I love creating new beautiful things and have become quite obsessed with detoxifying my lifestyle. Creating a natural beauty line seemed to fit. So far so good. It's a lot of work, but it's really fun work. I am currently studying to receive an Advanced Diploma in Organic Cosmetic Science.

 

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Go-Out-With-a-Bang Summer Drink

Posted on August 26, 2015 by Nicole Bennett Brandt | 0 comments

I can't finish this summer without sharing my absolute favorite summertime drink. We still have like.... a week or two (or a month or two for you southern bells and gents) of nice weather to squeeze out before we hunker down for the winter.

Let's go out with a bang.

With Pimm's Cup.                   

It's refreshing, it's lightly sweet and it's garnished with garden-fresh cucumbers. 

Chances are, if you live in the midwest, you haven't heard of it. But it's very popular in New Orleans (where I had my first glorious sip) and in the UK.

Pimm's Cup is made with a gin-based liquor called Pimm's No. 1. It was invented in the 1800's in England and has been a staple in British pubs since then. Why it hasn't caught on in America yet blows my mind. But here is your chance to get ahead of the trend.

Recipe for Pimm's Cup:

-Ice

-1 1/4 oz Pimm's No. 1 (You should be able to get this at a well-stocked liquor store.)

-3 oz Lemonade

-1 oz-ish 7-UP

-Cucumber slices

Fill a tall glass with a mix of cucumber slices and ice. (You have to have cucumbers, this is what makes the drink). Pour in the Pimm's and Lemonade and top with 7-up. Stir. Garnish with more cucumbers.

So here's to the last few days and weeks of summer. Cheers and bottoms up!

You're welcome.

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How to Drop the Toxins - In Small, Easy Steps

Posted on April 07, 2015 by Nicole Bennett Brandt | 2 comments

When you start investigating the ingredients in your favorite products and food, your head might explode. You might be afraid to eat or put anything on your body. You might be so angry that you have been bathing/soaking/ingesting this poisonous stuff your whole life and no one has told you about it!! You might want to pack the kids in the car and move to the forest to live off the land. Okay, so maybe not that far, but you know what I mean. It's shocking to see what the government allows in our products. And it's overwhelming. Are we just suppose to get rid of all the toxic products in our house? That's not really reasonable. We can't change our world in one day. But taking a few small steps towards living a cleaner chemical-less lifestyle can help your life (and the world) tremendously.

A few ways to begin dropping the toxins from your life:

1. Drink out of glass vs. plastic cups. Plastics wear down over time and get into our bodies via cups, bowls and plates. You can cut down on ingesting plastics by switching to glass cups.

2. Switch out your antiperspirant for natural deodorant. Antiperspirant contains aluminum, tiny bits of metal that cut into your armpit and block your sweat glands, which prevents sweating. So most people are walking around with bits of metal lodged in their armpits. Crazy, right? The thing is, our bodies are flippin' miracles. We are made to sweat. But we don't have to stink. Switch to a natural deodorant. (This one is amazing here).

3. Stop drinking pop (or soda, whatever)! Tastes so good, but oh sooo bad for you. If you miss the bubbles, mix carbonated water and add juice. It isn't quite the same, but can help when you're jonesin' for the carbonated stuff.

4. If you MUST drink pop, switch out diet for regular. The calorie free fake 'sugar' used in diet drinks can cause weight gain and migraines. Stop drinking it and you will be amazed at how fewer head aches you have. If you can find a soda with real sugar vs high fructose corn syrup, go with that. Then you only have to worry about getting diabetes. (Just give up pop, man.)

5. Switch out a veggie/fruit or two for the organic version. Organic usually
costs more- if you switch out everything in your cart for organic you might faint at the checkout stand. So at first, pick up only a couple organic items to help drop your toxin intake while keeping your bank account in tact.

6. Switch from margarine to real butter. Butter is so simple and natural. Heck, you can even make it yourself by shaking up some cream in a cup for a few minutes. Margarine, on the other hand, is a highly processed trans fat filled 'food' product made to look and taste like butter. Dude, just eat butter!

7. Drink more water. Our bodies naturally flush toxins out everyday. Help your body out by drinking water to help the daily detox.

8. Take a salt bath. Salt baths increase our sulfate levels which help clear out the pathways in our bodies that remove toxins. Kind of like clearing the snowy road with a snowplow. Plus, it feels amazing and is great for skin. It's like a win win win. Here is our pick for a great bath salt blend here.

Not too overwhelming, right? Complete a few of these steps, switch out a few products and I promise you will begin feeling better. The more natural you go, the better and cleaner you will feel. It's an addiction, it really is, saving yourself and the world bit by bit. Have you tried any of these? Do you have your own 'drop the toxin' tips? We'd love to hear them!

**Disclaimer: Hey, guess what? I'm not a doctor (not even close). I just read a lot and make really cool products. If you have a health concern or need doctorly advise, please talk to your doctor. :)

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The Secret to a Stinkless Poo

Posted on March 23, 2015 by Nicole Bennett Brandt | 0 comments

Let's just get it out there --- poop stinks. Some people have really, really stinky poo....maybe it's you. I'm sure you know someone that can clear a house out. And spraying a little "morning vanilla dew" air freshener isn't gonna do much (except maybe ruin the smell of vanilla for you forever).

This product might just change your life forever. It might make your spouse/lover/friend/pet love you even more. Because they will think your $h!t don't stink. How? Get a paper and pen out, I am going to tell you a huge secret....

The secret to a stinkless poo:

1. Walk into the bathroom casually, whistling helps pull off 'casual'.

2. Grab a bottle of Duty Squirt and shake it.

3. Squirt that magic bottle onto the surface of the toilet water until covered - about 5-8 times.

4. Doody as usual.

5. Leave the bathroom with your head held high.

Yes, it's that easy. Yes, it really works. Yes, you should get a bottle and smell (or not smell, actually) for yourself.

Duty Squirt is a flippin' miracle. It's simple. And it's natural. Essential oils create a barrier between toilet stench and the bathroom air. Just squirt "Duty Squirt" onto the toilet water before you sit down. Then go, and enjoy. Yes, I just said 'enjoy'. You won't be smelling nasty poo. You will be smelling our clever little mix of natural essential oils. No need to open windows, light a match or do a courtesy flush. Best of all, there is no gagging from friends and family members as they enter the bathroom after you. You'll feel so sneaky as you watch someone enter the bathroom right after you just dropped what should- of-been an enormous stink bomb. They won't run screaming. They won't even know you pooped. Why? Because you did your duty.

So please, do your part to make the bathroom a friendlier place. Use Duty Squirt ... it's your duty before you doody. 

And with Duty Squirt, we know exactly what's in our miracle product and we know it's toxin free.

That makes us so happy ... we could doody.

 

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Why you should be using REAL soap - Soap vs Detergent

Posted on March 18, 2015 by Nicole Bennett Brandt | 0 comments

A recent trend in this DIY crafter generation is soap making. You probably know at least one person who makes soap - either as a hobby or as a business. It's a great trend and I hope it pushes the toxic 'body washes' out of the market. Why? Because homemade soap is much better for your skin.

Did you know that most commercially made 'soaps' and body washes on the market aren't actually soap?

They are detergent. Synthetic detergent products.

Yep. Like the stuff we wash our clothes and dishes in. It's usually a mix of water, petroleum, fragrance (chemicals) and strong preservatives to make it last a million years. Why it needs to last more than a year is a mystery to me. It's hard to remember when 'body wash' didn't exist. But it really wasn't a staple in American showers until the 90's. Why did companies start selling us detergent and telling us it's soap? For a few reasons, synthetic petroleum is cheaper and faster to produce, it produces big bubbles and foam (also very drying and likely toxic to humans) and detergent doesn't leave behind residue in the sink and tub that real soap can. Also, the FDA allows detergents to be marketed as 'soap' even though it isn't. So Americans started buying liquid body wash, loving the scents and bubbles and creaminess of it, but not paying attention (until recently) to the hundred-syllable ingredients they were rubbing all over their bodies.


So if most body wash is detergent, what is 'real' soap? Technical definition: Soap is a combination of natural oils or fats and a strong alkali such as sodium hydroxide (lye).

Basically, when fats mix with alkali, soap is created via chemical reaction. When you clean yourself with a 'real' bar of soap, the soap mixes with water and gently removes extra dirt and oils from your hands, hair and body. Where detergent can irritate and dry the skin, soap leaves it moisturized since it is loaded with natural oils (the fat to make the soap).

I love the real soap craze. I have bars of soap at every sink and tub in my house, different shapes, sizes and scents. But not only do they look adorable, I know they are better for my skin and body. Plus, my hands are not dry and cracked like they were before I realized how amazing natural soap is.

So go out and get yourself some real soap. Support your local 'soaper' or even more exciting - try to make some yourself! Warning - it is kind of addictive. ;)

 P.S. - Check out our line of Happy Hour Soaps.

P.P.S. - If you prefer liquid body soap over bar soap - give our Organic Get Naked Body Wash a try. Our bodywash is made with real soap (saponified oil) and pure essential oils to scent it with. Our preservative is paraben free. As always, we include all ingredients on our labels, no hidden chemicals or harmful ingredients. SLS free, SLES free, Sulfate Free and Paraben free.

 

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