You might have noticed, if you glance at my Twitter feed, that I make bath bombs. These little spheres are not weaponized in any way. Rather, you mix together baking soda and citric acid, a little oil, and a tiny bit of liquid, usually witch hazel, put the mixture into molds, and allow them to dry. When they’re dropped into water, the baking soda and the citric acid react together, creating a fun fizzing effect. Anyway, my obsession with them originated with me getting bored with my bath salts as a way to get the essential oils that I use into my bathwater. I didn’t want to pay $7 per bath bomb at the store, and I saw people made them on Etsy, so I figured I could do it, too.
If you’re a crafter, chances are you’re smiling right now, because you know that instead of dropping $7ish, I instead spent at least $45 on supplies. You know, it’s always “cheaper” to make it yourself, right?
I made them. Then I found out WHY they charge you bloody seven dollars a pop. These things are so finicky, the balance of liquid and oil can make them stop fizzing, or fizz too soon, and I have tons of friends who will tell you I did not learn how to do these correctly for a long. long. time.
I do like a challenge — mostly it annoyed the heck outta me — so I started researching recipes, troubleshooting, and figuring out how to make these things work. Other people could, so I decided I would too. It went way past just wanting to have another way to get my oils into my bath — it was like a mosquito buzzing around in the middle of the night — you can’t quite see it, but it’s always on your mind.
ANYWAY. (This is way longer than I intended it to be, but there’s a point, I promise.)
I finally got my recipe. I finally got my supplies. I became the bath bomb making machine I’d been dreaming of being. My husband is so awesome not to burst into laughter when I tell my friends how I “saved money” by making these myself. He really is the best.
Armed with stainless steel molds and my spray bottle of witch hazel, and enough baking soda that the folks at Costco know me, I made bath bombs. I made them for us, for our friends, and I sold a few, as well. So one day, whilst perusing the interwebs for suggestions on alternate recipes for fun, I ran across one called a “Surprise” bath bomb. This is basically when you put a mini bath bomb into a big bigger bath bomb. I had the different sizes, I could definitely do it. Maybe even sell a couple.
Sounded easy enough. (I really need to stop saying that.)
So I made these adorable little guys. I love’em. They dried overnight, and I woke up, ready to put those little babies into the bigger ones…. Annnnd found out that my large molds were not quite large enough. At all. Sigh.
I made a few monstrosities, but they looked…not good. Frustrating. And then my kiddo came over and said the magical words, “Ooooh, is it sugar? I wanna stir it.” And stuck her sweet little hand into my irritating batch of mixture, and I got even more annoyed. Now I couldn’t even sell it — but honestly? I couldn’t sell these in the first place because I can’t premeasure little spheres before I start a project, and I’m a terrible mother for thinking that it matters that she did that and–
Did I mention that the oils I put into my fizzies are usually for calming and relaxation? I think they kicked in about then. Or it was that still small voice that often pierces through the chaos of our worried minds. Either way, I heard it. And it said, “make this a happy memory.” Then my brain jumped, as it’s wont to do, to happy little memories. And then to happy little trees. Make happy little trees. Take the mistakes — and make them as if they’re meant to be there. Bob Ross was so wise.
My daughter is obsessed with eggs, opening them and finding things inside. She also loves dinosaurs. My settled heart and attitude saw that my daughter was molding and feeling the fizzy mixture. She was working on her motor skills. She was smiling. And so I asked her, “Do you want to make dino eggs with me?” Her eyes lit up. “Yes, please!” So I held the mini bombs, she loaded up the outer mixture, and then we squeezed and squeezed it together with our hands. And ta-dah! We had our first egg.
A few in, I did what any self-respecting girl does, and grabbed the sprinkles.
I get so irritated, frustrated, and annoyed sometimes. And it’s usually about tiny stuff, but I convince myself that it matters so much, that I have a right to express that aggravation.
I can’t prevent those things, but I wonder what would happen if I tried to turn more of them into happy trees.
Or into dinosaur eggs with rainbow sprinkles.