Friday, August 31, 2012

UPDATE: Week 3 "No Poo"

Pin It Now! Just an update. I'm on week 3 of not using commercial detergent or conditioner and I am really really liking what is happening to my hair. FIRST WEEK was rough, the SECOND WEEK I seemed to be over producing oil, and this third week has been great!

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent

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The first product I started making homemade (and what started my green journey) was laundry detergent. After I saw the results and saw how we were saving some money, I instantly got hooked. There are soooo many different recipes and it can be made in powder or liquid form.

 One thing we had to be cautious of is making sure this was okay for our front loaders. I didn't want to damage my expensive birthday presents after all! But I have learned that MOST ingredients in homemade detergent is low suds which means it's front loader friendly :)

The ingredients in my recipe are safe for front loaders, but feel free to change it to your liking and smelly goodness preference.

What you will need:

1-4lb box of Borax
1-3lb box of Washing Soda
1- 3lb container of OxiClean
3-bars of Fels Naptha
2-2lb boxes of Baking Soda
1or2- bottles of Purex Crystals

Grate bars Fels Naptha soap (yes like grating cheese). Combine all ingredients into container. Mix well. Use 1 to 2 T per load.

 As you can obviously tell, this makes ALOT of detergent!! We went to Wal-Mart and bought one of those 5 gallon buckets with a lid, lined it with a trash bag, and mixed all the ingredients in. I suggest mixing a little at a time because the container will get heavy and mixing will become a somewhat tough.

Make sure to keep those Purex Crystal containers!! Their lids have these lines on them that measure out 1 and 2 tablespoons perfectly!

And for those of you who have front loaders, I already know what you're going to ask..Where do I put the soap?? Since I'm a visual learner, here are a few pictures to help...

Measure out your detergent.

Take out the tray where you usually pour the liquid detergent into. Pour in powder detergent and start washing!!!

I think next time I'm going to try out the liquid version. But seriously....I have enough detergent to last me a year (maybe?)!! Once again I hear my bank account applauding :)

Feel free to post any questions about making homemade laundry detergent. If you're unsure of the ingredients or afraid to try any of them, I can offer alternatives and or redirect you to some sights I have found with comments that might ease any worries.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Pecan Pie Cupcakes

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These little beauties are a spin off of the Southern favorite, Pecan Pie. Making them into "cupcakes" was genius!!! Plus I had been craving pecan pie for awhile now and I didn't have the syrup. Guess what...These little guys don't need the syrup!!! Plus you don't have to make a crust. Double YAY!

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Homemade Liquid Hand Soap

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Yet another item to replace in my home!!! I was running out of hand soap. You know, the expensive ones you buy at that store in the mall and you walk out with a headache and a dent in your bank account?? So I opted for making my own.

I can do without exposing my family to all those harmful chemicals, colorants and perfumes anyways. They aren't necessary in cleaning our hands..And I'm beginning to think all those perfumes are just brain washing us into thinking we are more clean if we smell like we were dipped in applesauce or peach puree...

Manic Mondays: DIY Fall Wreath

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Sorry for missing yesterday's Manic Mondays. Which is usually the day where I show a DIY tutorial for something crafty. Apparently my little bun in the oven decided he might want to come a whole 7 WEEKS early..Impatient much?? Just like his dad....

So I had to take a small break for the day but now I'm back to catch up. Luckily I had most of everything ready and set up. The project is a very simple and cute fall wreath using everything from the Dollar Tree. So let's get started on our DIY craft tutorial for....

Friday, August 24, 2012

Week 2 of "No-Poo"

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Just an update of how things are coming along with my "no-poo" shampoo adventure...
For those who might be new, go HERE to what it is all about. I have been on journey for 2 weeks now with-out using commercial shampoos and conditioners. I use only baking soda/water for "shampoo" and ACV/water rinse (now infused with essential oils for fragrance) as a conditioner.

 My hair has made an amazing transformation in just two weeks..

Homemade GREEN Bodywash

Pin It Now! One of the last things I had yet to get rid of in my daily shower routine was my store bought bodywash. Sure it smells nice but since our skin absorbs everything we put on it and it goes into our body. So for awhile, I started using just plain Dove soap which is what my pediatrician even suggested to use on my daughter. It's BETTER, yes, but even that bar of soap has some harsh preservatives and additives. No thanks. I'll make my own.

If you feel like you can deal with just using plain dove soap and still would like to make it into a body wash HERE is a site you can visit with the recipe (plus a ton of other fun ideas). It's easy, I've done it, and you can even do it for men! Hey, you gotta start somewhere right??

There are TWO main essential ingredients I used in MY body wash. The first is Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap ( I used baby mild, but you could use any of them.). There is a whole lot going on on the label, I think he thought he was the God of Soap Making, and apparently this guy was in the looney bin for awhile. But the uses are endless and it's safe AND GREEN!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Loaded Baked Potato and Egg

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 Everyday for dinner it's the same old tune, Me: "What do you want to eat?".......Husband: "It doesn't  matter." Really??? Insert sarcastic remark here. Soooo once again I must decide and if doesn't like it well...We just won't go there.

But this night I scored big. I love eggs, WE love eggs and I also love a good baked potato. Put them together with some extra ingedients and VIOLA! Eat your heart out Martha Stewart (even though she probably invented this anyways). This recipe goes by many names; potato boats, idaho sunrise, egg stuffed baked potato...You get the idea. Ill just called it:

Mozzarella Cheese Sticks

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 I was trying to figure out what to snack on today and came across a website for Mozzarella Sticks Yum! It's an easy recipe, comes with marinara dipping sauce, and even shares the ingredients to "Emeril's Essence".  The original recipe makes a whole lot more than what I wanted ( I just wanted a little snack!) so I brought down the measurements some (More like eyeballed it. I hate math.) Let's get started..

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

How to Clean That Musty FRONT LOADER Washer

Pin It Now! I had to have those front loaders...I just HAD to have them. Leave it to me to want something that washes and cleans yet requires that you wash and clean it. High efficiency=High maintenance. So everyone who has these knows what I'm talking about when I say I have a smelly washer problem.

 These wonderfully made front load washers use less water and energy (which means less hot water) and causes a build up behind that rubber ring right on the inside of your washer. Peel this back and you will see a wonderful collection of mildew and mold that look like they are doing the dirty with your left over hair and other nasty things that have collected under there..Well...That's cause they are and it smells just as dirty. After you've grossed out enough, and sanitized your hands in bleach (Maybe your eyeballs too. JK. Don't do that.) you can rest assured I have found a solution to this accumulation of ick and guess what?? No more smell :)

Monday, August 20, 2012

Manic Mondays: Let's get started (Coffee First Please!)

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Sometime during the day there is a period of two hours I like to call "Me" time. It's designated just for ME and usually happens when my little 2 1/2 yr old gremlin is taking her daily nap. I like to catch up on baking home goods, take a much needed nap (For the sake of my poor husband), work on some DIY projects , and more recently, work on my blog.

For today's "Manic Mondays" post I'm going to share a little DIY project. This is an easy project that can be used as a jewelery holder, candy holder, for a baby shower/bridal shower, or whatever else your little heart desires. I know some of you can be more creative than that. I just made it, you do what you want with it. You're welcome.

Doggie Green Shampoo

Pin It Now! On my journey to becoming a green goddess I have enlisted a few of my family members (mostly to use as my lab rats mwahahaha.) to try out my homemade products.  My most recent being our new little puppy, Astro.  This recipe is basic, gentle, and will make that skunky dog smell disappear.  Did I mention it's super easy and only a fraction of the cost of those insanely priced cosmetic shampoos?

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saving Lives, One Day At A Time.

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Yesterday, we welcomed a new little addition to our family.

Our local animal control was going to euthanize this adorable little guy along with his two brothers. How could they do such a thing to such a cute face?! I don't know, but we snatched him up and brought him home (I wish I could take them all!!).

AC says he is a Collie/Terrier mix (omg can you say energy?) And right now he's about the size of a Chihuahua. Simply adorable, well mannered, and took to our 2 1/2yr old daughter well (whew).
Makes my heart melt!

Since last night, I have been scouring the internet doing research on homemade dog shampoos. I've raised hunting dogs and Blue Heelers all my life so I know all about those nasty pesticides in those products. It's been on my skin, in my eyes and mouth, and it's not a good feeling. I don't want those chemicals on my daughter or on me,since I'm pregnant, or on our sweet little Astro (hubby didn't take to Cowboy, he's a Texan fan ::rolls eyes::).  He deserves better!

I've found a few homemade green alternatives but I'm still not satisfied. I won't stop till I am! Once I do find something good, I'll post a recipe for all my animal lover friends to use :)
Freaking adorable!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Baking Soda and ACV (Apple Cider Vinegar)

Pin It Now! Okay, so I have a secret. Yesterday I went to a business mixer and since I've been starting my blog, I've had a few followers now who, surprisingly, love what I have to say ( Thank you by the way, I feel the love). I had one ask me if I have been doing the "No Poo Shampoo".  I said no and stated I was just not ready yet. But in the back of my mind  I'm thinking, "Today is only day 4 I CAN get through this! God does my hair look bad? It looks dry and frizzy. And it's staring to curl. Damn this humidity."

Yep..Exactly what I was thinking (I can be such a diva)...

Week 1

So yes  I have begun my journey into the world of never using commercial shampoo and conditioners again (I think my bank account just did an applause). Sorry for the big fib guys! I promise I won't keep anymore secrets! If your curious as to what my hair looks like now that I'm on day 5, it's actually not THAT bad. I usually go 2 maaaybe 3 days in between washings anyways because my hair is so thick and curly. If I was to wash every day, my hair would dry out and look like I stuck my finger in the electrical socket. So I guess it's used to a few days without the washing.

But, I still feel the need to clean my hair somehow other than just rinse with water. Que the Baking Soda Wash and Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse. Just a quick background before I spill the recipe..

Regular shampoo has some pretty harsh sulfates in it. These sulfates clean the hair (a little too well) and strip us of its natural oils. Which THEN causes our scalp to produce more oil than is actually needed. Then there is dandruff and itchy scalps which makes us wash our hair more, and it's all ONE BIG continuous cycle. Geez...What are we doing??? Baking soda doesn't strip our hair of it's natural oils, it just simply removes the dirt from our hair. Well that sounds a whole HECK of a lot better :)

Regular conditioner can be just as nasty. "But it makes my hair feel so soft!" Yes true..But guess what. Since you used an unnecessary detergent on your hair (shampoo) and stripped your hair of all it's natural oils, you now have to use a synthetic protectant in your hair (conditioner) to make it soft and manageable. Plus the leave in conditioner, the detangler, then heat protectant. The list goes on and on...I'm no saint, I'm SO guilty of this too...Also, let's take a look to see what in it..I bet you 10 bucks if you were to look on the back of your conditioner bottle the second ingredient would be alcohol. The first is usually water. Alcohol...Really??? I might as well light a match and set my hair on fire...Okay, enough ranting..You get the idea :) 

 Baking Soda Shampoo
1 tbs baking soda
1 cup filtered water

*You will also need a measuring cup, tablespoon, and if you want a use or re-purpose an empty CLEAN container you can. 

Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse
1tbs of vinegar
1 cup of filtered water

*You will also need a measuring cup, tablespoon, and a clean empty container if you want to use one. 

The ratios for these recipes are flexible, you really can't mess this up (unless you don't rinse it out). If your hair is long and thick, add more baking soda, and if it's short and thin add less. I used a little bit more because I have thick curly hair, and it's about medium length right now. Use cool or cold water with the baking soda shampoo. Using warm to hot water can make the baking soda clump up, and that just won't work (lukewarm is fine). Pour onto hair and rub into scalp in circular motions. Rinse very thoroughly. 

For the vinegar rinse, I used a lot more than one tablespoon. Probably about 1/4 cup to 1 cup. Flip your head over and pour all over your ends only. No need to pour or rub into your scalp. Let sit for a couple of minutes and then rinse thoroughly. 

My personal experience..
I did the baking soda shampoo..Okay yeah, it feels clean but my hair feels dry. As I was doing the ACV rinse I was thinking, "There is no way in heck this is going to make my hair feel soft." Then as I started rinsing it out, something happened (and no I didn't drop the soap). I started to feel my hair smooth out.  Then it started to detangle. Then I said, "Holy &*$%, it works!".  So take THAT overly priced synthetic commercial conditioner!! And if that's not enough I had a hair dresser come to trim my hair (she's a mobile hairdresser, isn't that cool??) and I told her what I did and SHE even said, "Your hair does feel really soft!". Why yes...I know it does ::wink wink, nudge nudge:: I'm definitely hooked!

If you're worried if your hair will smell like vinegar, it won't. I was a little worried, but once your hair dries the smell is completely gone. And believe me, when your hair dries...It is OH SO soft. 


Thursday, August 16, 2012

DIY Homemade Green Deodorant

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So I finally made my first REAL batch of all natural deodorant. And I finally got my hubby to smell my armpits. What did he say?? "I don't smell anything. Cool."  Then when I started talking about how I needed a man (referring to him) to try it on, he decided sleep was a better option. Love..Haha! I'll get him one day :)

Since I'm pregnant, I've been a little bit more aware of what I'm putting in and ON my body. Since I can be nerdy I did some research on commercial deodorants and the chemicals they contain. If you want to know more information, keep reading. If you want to skip the boring educational stuff scroll down to the recipe (but I urge you to at least read up a little bit on the facts!)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Bye-Bye Deodorant!!

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Okay, it's not what you think. I didn't completely get rid of deodorant, I have a horrible fear of being smelly. I only ditched the aluminum filled, deadly, cancerous causing, commercial ones.

Why (or what) in the world brought me to this?? Well as I mentioned, almost all commercial/traditional deodorants (non natural) contain one HUGE main ingredient, ALUMINUMThis acts as an antiperspirant which helps stop the sweaty stinkyness we can develop throughout the day. Doesn't sound so bad right?? But this stuff is B-A-A-A-A-D!!!! Scientists have found that aluminum mimics estrogen  hormones and can contribute to the the development of breast cancer! It is also linked to Alzheimer's disease. Not to mention it clogs the ducts in our pits to stop us from sweating..We are humans, we are MADE to SWEAT! We need some way of releasing all the bad stuff from our bodies...Why would we want to keep it all in??

I have no clue, but I made up my mind real quick. And now to the fun stuff..All Natural Deodorant. Sounds great rolling of the tongue. Okay...I'm exaggerating a tad bit. But, I'm on WEEK TWO of using it and I must say the results are...AMAZING! It's like freaking hocus pocus magic. I don't smell at ALL. Who would have thought? I even tried getting my husband to smell my armpits (still trying) but to no avail. He hates me...haha

And really, when I first read up on all natural deodorant I thought, "What the heck? What do you do? Rub some pine cones under there??". Seriously.. I had no clue it was so easy to make and you probably already have these ingredients in your home (and didn't even know it): Baking soda, corn starch, and coconut oil (plus any essential oils you want for smelly goodness). I use tea tree and lavender.
Yes that is a pimento jar I have re-purposed..

Now...Since I live in South Texas and we are blessed with heat AND God awful humidity, I have had to modify the recipe. But, to start (cause I can never wait) I've been trying a basic cream type recipe and it's been working fine. I just give it a good rub in the 'ole pitters and I'm ready to go!

Coconut oil: Has a melting point of 76 degrees F. and is used for SO MANY things!!! You'd be amazed and surprised, I sure was! Here are over 50 uses for it.

Baking soda: Acts as a deodorizer (we all knew that). But please be wary, those with sensitive skin might break out in a rash or even get a chemical burn from using it. Use very little, omit, or replace with a clay (bentonite or other).

Cornstarch: Also helps in deodorizing but can also be an irritant. Switch with arrow root powder for better results. 

Essential Oils: Make everything smell nice and pretty. A lot of them even have healing agents and are bacteria fighters (bacteria makes is what makes us smelly). I use Tea Tree essential oil because it helps in fighting that nasty bacteria. You can also put in any others, but stay away from citrus cause it might irritate the skin. 

As I said before, I have modified my recipe to suit my needs (and because of the stupid heat). So I will update with a full COMPLETE recipe when I have made it!! Hope I sparked some interest and feel free to comment with any questions or concerns :)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

No Pooing (So not what you're thinking)

Pin It Now! So I have been reading and reading...and reading..Up on this whole "no poo shampoo" kick that has seemed to take over the blogger nation (which has inspired me to make my own blog btw). It happened when I stumbled across this blogger's experience and was immediately intrigued. Here is a section from her blog that made the little light go off in my head...

"So I decided to stop using shampoo and jump on this tiny “no poo shampoo” train that was starting. In theory it made sense to me, that commercially made hair washes strip your hair and scalp of their natural oils which makes your scalp freak out and produce more and more which makes you rely more heavily on soaps to clean it. Meanwhile, since your natural oils never get a chance to make it to the ends of your hair, you have to rely on conditioners to soften it and protect it. From the standpoint of shampoo manufacturers it makes a whole lot of sense. From a more natural beauty standpoint, um, not so much."

Seriously! It makes perfect since. Crazy sense..BUT <<Big but...I have super curly thick hair that I have been straightening and coloring for the past, oh I don't know, 10 years????? We are talking heat damage (major heat damage), chemical damage (I'm an impulsive hair color-er), and all 5 products I use in my hair that contain harmful chemicals (which are supposed to protect and make my hair look better, but don't)that I slather on it....Let's not forget I live in SOUTH Texas (hot and humid much?) and I am 7 months pregnant so my hormones are already out of whack!! So, the ultimate question is, "Will this work for me???". Can I actually do this? Will I be able to stand it?? Okay, that was like 3 questions...

But seriously, the more I read about other personal experiences, the more I'm psyching myself into doing it. And there are ways to manage through it; baking soda, tea tree oil, ACV rinses, etc. Not to mention in the end I can save SO much money. I'm sure my husband, the skeptic, will think I've completely lost my marbles this time and will most likely blame my pregnancy hormones for sure. Maybe I shouldn't tell him what I'm up to this time. Haha! I think I'm going to ponder on this adventure one more day and make a decision by tomorrow....What are your thoughts?