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In Conversation: Combining Hobbies with Quality Family Time

Ever wanted to make your own soap? Read on to find out why Paula, Media Executive and mum of four boys, thinks it’s one of the best ways to spend quality time as a family.

You’ll notice a reoccurring theme on City Mum regarding the time we spend with our little ones… basically, ensuring that time is of the quality variety. I got to have an awesome run-down from City Mum, Paula, on how she spends quality time with her four kids. That’s right, she balances an awesome media career with four children. I dunno about you, but I just have to pause and salute! Now that’s done, we can get into the nitty gritty.

"The first rule of spending quality time with your kids is to switch all technology off….and I mean ALL!" says Paula.

Getting back to basics with your kids is a cathartic experience and works best with minimal distraction to enable everyone involved to focus on the task at hand.  In our home, with four busy boys with multiple interests and an endless list of sporting commitments, there’s one that brings us all together – and that’s making our very own SOAP.

It’s logical really, Paula continues. After all….we go through a LOT of soap and it does worry me that many commercial soaps are loaded with petrochemicals, sulphates, parabens, and toxic fragrances and colours. Why on earth would I want my gorgeous children to be lathering their perfect bodies every day with potentially harmful ingredients to both themselves and to the environment?

So, we decided to make our own soap. My first step was to undertake a soap making workshop with the hope that by some miracle, my capacity to weigh and measure ingredients with perfection in a soap kitchen would somehow differ from my inability to create a delicious family meal following even the simplest Jamie Oliver recipe!  As luck would have it, it turns out you don’t need to be a whizz in the kitchen to make great cold press soap, you just need to follow the directions, measure ingredients carefully and take your time. 

After undertaking my half day workshop with a couple of friends (and a few wines) we were on our way. I returned home with my first log of ‘soap’ feeling empowered and inspired to make more. I have, since then, enjoyed many evenings in the kitchen, once the kids are asleep, conjuring up new soap styles, textures and scents…it’s been so much fun. So much so that the boys started to provide input and show an interest in my newfound hobby. It wasn’t long before they were all involved and actively participating in our newfound appreciation of ‘quality hand-made organic goats milk soap’. Each batch (10 soaps) taking just under two hours to create from set up to wash up.

Our inquisitive 8 year old discovered that his Halloween skull and cross bone ice mould would make THE PERFECT soap mould.  Here’s his creation….and aren’t they just fabulous!!! Bath time in our home is no longer painstaking mission to peal the kids from their ipads to ensure they have met the minimum level of personal hygiene, it’s now a race to the bathroom to see who can get there FIRST – I’d definitely call that a WIN WIN!

We agree, that does sound like a win, win.


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