So fresh and so clean, clean

Hey friends! I have a quick lil’ post for you today. As you may have noticed I have yet again changed the look of the blog. It seems I am never satisfied and feel the need to perpetually strive for AESTHETIC PERFECTION.

At any rate, I’m digging the new, clean look. And what better to pair with a new clean blog than a recipe for you to get yourself a NEW CLEAN TOILET? Ok, maybe not new, but clean, ever so clean.

Unlike cleaning your tub, you don’t really have to get down and dirty with your toilet bowl in order to clean it properly (if you are, you are doing it wrong). However, a lot of products are marketed to make you feel like you have to exert little to no energy whatsoever in order to clean your toilet. But you know what, you should have to work a little. Not hard, but would like a few scrubs KILL YOU? No. It wouldn’t.

Of course with conventional toilet bowl cleaners you are looking at corrosive ingredients like chlorine bleach and hydrochloric acid, which can irritate your skin and eyes, and can be quite unpleasant/deadly if ingested. Aside from the conventional products there are a host of “eco-friendly” options that use plant and mineral based ingredients, are non-toxic, biodegradable, etc. I tend to be a little skeptical sometimes about a lot of these products, because there is an unhealthy amount of green-washing going around these days, and really, if you can make something that rivals, and/or out performs store-bought products, then why bother buying anything?

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • ½ cup baking soda
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • 10 drops of tea tree oil

Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Combine.
  • Pour.
  • Scrub.
  • Done.

This recipe is SO EASY and works SO WELL that I promise that you will never use anything ever again.

{these are a few of my favorite things}

{these are a few of my favorite things}

{toilet volcano}

{toilet volcano}

{yep folks, that's where the magic happens}

{yep folks, that’s where the magic happens}

{pristine porcelain}

{pristine porcelain}

 

 

 

Homespun Apothecary

I love the Internet for a multitude of reasons. These reasons include videos of sea otters doing cute things, all of buzzfeed, and finding rad folks who are making really lovely all-natural skin products. I stumbled upon a site called Homespun Apothecary, which is a blog and online store that sells handcrafted salves and balms for a variety of common maladies.  This lovely husband and wife team make a balm for nerve pain, achy body balm and a magic put-this-stuff-on-anything balm just to name a few. The descriptions of the products are delightfully in depth and cover everything from the story behind the product, to it’s intended uses and benefits, as well as a breakdown of why they used certain ingredients. Naturally I had to buy something and will likely buy EVERYTHING they make.

I went with That Healing Feeling Balm, which is the aforementioned put-this-stuff-on-anything balm. The main ingredient is Plantain, which is apparently some MAGICAL plant which is used throughout the world to treat a bevy of conditions. I chose this one in particular because of its suggested use for new tattoos and piercings. I have gotten a few tattoos in my day, and am in the process of getting a large piece on my arm re-worked. While I enjoy getting tattoos I have never found the perfect after-care treatment. I use the recommended three days of aquaphor, but I could do without that, it’s a goopy mess and you know, it’s like petroleum. Which may be weird? I don’t know. Anyway, I usually switch to something less goopy for the rest of the healing process, and this time around I have been using straight coconut oil. Which has provided a reasonable amount of moisture, but still, not a perfect solution. Anyone who has gotten a tattoo can appreciate the search for the perfect concoction that not only moisturizes but also maybe does something to soothe the you-look-like-you-might-have-scabies itching.

I ordered the balm through their online store and received the package a few business days later with a handwritten thank you note. Man, do I love a good handwritten thank you note. Goes a long way in my book. These folks are doing it right. The balm has a delightful consistency, and smells like sweet, sweet medicinal herbal goodness. Which is exactly what I want my medicine to smell like, plants. It should smell like plants.

We try to inspire you here with easy recipes to make some useful products on your own, but you know what, I am no herbalist. So when it comes to stuff like this, I am going to look elsewhere and support people who are making really great, all natural, and action-packed products, and you should too! Check out their site and use the coupon code NEWBIE at checkout to receive 10% off your first order!

{so much love in this jar!}

{so much love in this jar!}

When a Lotion Comes Along, You Must Whip it.

Well, it shouldn’t take long to realize what this post is going to be about. You guessed it (probably), whipped body lotion! Shea butter lotion to be exact. Oooooh yeah, this is some good business here. This is a super simple recipe that only has like 3-4 ingredients depending on your preferences. The one thing that it does absolutely require is a hand mixer. You know what else absolutely requires a hand mixer? Merengue, and probably all sorts of other stuff, like…um, buttercream?. So you know, go and get one if you don’t have one.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

Here’s What You’ll Do:

  1. Use a double boiler to melt the shea butter and coconut oil until they are liquid.
  2. Stir in sweet almond and olive oil. Here’s where you can add some essential oils if you would like, but be warned, no matter what you do, this lotion smells like chocolate. Which is of course, not a terrible thing. However, it seems pretty difficult to get a scent to stick. We used some sweet orange which brings a nice citrusy note to the chocolate party.
  3. Allow to set up in fridge until lotion is almost solid.
  4. Whip it (whip it good) with hand mixer until stiff peaks form (maybe 1-2 minutes).
  5. Transfer to receptacle of your choosing.
  6. Butter yourself up.
{the fixings}

{the fixings}

{shea butter takes a while to melt, be patient and stir often}

{shea butter takes a while to melt, be patient and stir often}

{the fun part}

{the fun part}

{couldn't you just eat that with a spoon? yes, technically you could.}

{couldn’t you just eat that with a spoon? yes, technically you could.}

This is a great post shave/shower lotion. It’s luxurious and rich and a little certainly goes a long way. Happy whipping!

Funk Stick

So here is another product that we would assume you use everyday. But hey, if you don’t that’s cool too. The thing about deodorant is it’s like heroin for your armpits (yes, HEROIN). Our armpits are like “hey man, just give me another hit, or I swear I will go through the DT’s and RUIN YOUR DAY” So we give in to our junky pits and slather the stuff on. If you’ve ever gone through a bout of weening your drug addled pits off the hard stuff you might notice that in time, your body begins to figure out that lovely little balance of stank eating bacteria that will keep you stank and even sweat free. But of course, this may come with a bit of an adjustment period (some have it, some don’t, it depends on your body really).

I for one have the problem of TERRIBLE pit stains. I could literally be freezing my ass off in negative 30 degree weather and be sweating PROFUSELY through my pits. For this reason I have tended to gravitate towards the antiperspirant type of deodorant. However, even using that doesn’t really keep me sweat free, and as many of you know the way that it keeps you from sweating is by clogging up your pores with aluminum. Which has been linked to the development of breast cancer and Alzheimer’s disease. Additionally, aluminum is also the culprit that leaves the gnarly crud in your shirts caused by a reaction of the aluminum and salts in the deodorant. There are a few other unsavory products lurking around in your deodorant, I will spare you the rant, but you can read about them here.

Still, even after knowing about MOST of those things. I still find it difficult to not use conventional products, because a.) I am not-so-secretly addicted to the smell of man deodorants and b.) I, like most women, am embarrassed if I can smell myself. Recently I made the switch to Tom’s of Maine Natural Antiperspirant. It is unscented which surprisingly is fine, I don’t smell. However, it still contains aluminum. So there’s that.

Cristiana has been using her own deodorant for some time now, and I can attest to her smell, or lack thereof. Making your own is STUPID easy, and I am ready and excited to take the leap forward. Deodorant was basically the last thing that I had to give up in my quest to discontinue the use of all chemical laden hygiene products. I am looking forward to sending my pits to the morphine clinic kicking and screaming, they will thank me for it in the long run I am sure.

Here’s What You’ll Need:

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup arrow root or corn starch
  • 2.5 tbs coconut oil
  • 5 drops of tea tree oil
  • Empty deodorant container (this is where you ask your friends like a creep if you can have their empties)

Here’s What You’ll Do:

  1. Put coconut oil in a microwave save container and zap if for about 15 seconds or until it’s completely liquid (or you can use the double boiler method).
  2. Mix together baking soda and arrow root or corn starch and mix in coconut oil. You should have a paste that is a bit crumbly, too much liquid and it will not apply well to your pits.
  3. Add in tea tree oil.
  4. Pack into your empty container and there you have it!

And of course you may be thinking, how does this even work? Mostly because baking soda is bad ass and it works to both absorb moisture as well as neutralize odors (instead of just covering them up). Arrow root and corn starch also work to absorb moisture. The coconut oil moisturizes and nourishes the skin. And of course, magical, medicinal, marvelous tea tree oil which is an: antibacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, anti-parasitic, antiviral and immune stimulant! Huzzah!

Do it, you know you wanna.

{the fixings}

{the fixings}

{almost there}

{almost there}

{there you have it!}

{there you have it!}

{fill 'er up}

{fill ‘er up}

Disclaimer: There are two different types of deodorant packaging. Ones that use a screw (pictured above) and ones that use a plunger. The screw ones are a bit harder to fill because sometimes you can’t get the deodorant to pack as tightly around the screw as you would like it to. So, we recommend using a plunger type for maximum ease of use.