Here is the first batch I ever did, 10/21/2014. I had no mold yet and I lined an loaf pan with plastic. I didn't insulate it or anything, and the edges showed an incomplete gel phase. No picture of the cut bars for this batch.
I decided to make soap for the first time because I had some beef suet from a quarter of beef I'd gotten from a farmer. I rendered it into tallow, and then made this soap using olive oil, beef tallow, and coconut oil. And lye of course, which I'd ordered online.
I read a couple of books which were mostly unhelpful (Ann Bramson's Soap: Making it, Enjoying it is a classic but the methods are very out of date. Robert McDaniel's Essential Soap was better but didn't talk enough about cold process and all the recipes were vegan.) But I found the basic soap tutorial on humblebee & me very helpful, along with some other reading I did on the internet.