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}

 

 

 

Adventures in Oral Hygiene

Oh hello friends, we are back! Cristiana and I had a lovely Sunday of catching up and making all sorts of fun things for you folks to take a crack at, so keep an eye out in the next few days for a barrage of blog posts. This first recipe may be one of my favorite things that we have made thus far. Homemade mouthwash! The recipe was essentially lifted straight from here (with a few small adaptations). We love her blog by the way, tons of fantastic recipes!

Admittedly, I don’t have the best oral hygiene regimen (go ahead, JUDGE ME). I don’t floss (ain’t nobody got time for that, although apparently some people find time for that).  I brush twice a day, sure. However, I’ve been plagued by some bad gum recession on a few of my teeth. Dentists have never been outright ALARMED by it, however, they also aren’t super helpful with telling me what to do about it. They just seem to mark it on their little chart and move on with their lives. However, since I value keeping my teeth in my face I am trying to be more proactive about taking steps towards gum health (still probably not going to floss, sorry, I’m not sorry).

A few things that you can do to promote good gum health and healing is by making sure you are chock full of Calcium, and Vitamins A, E, and C as well as folic acid. So you know, eat right or take a multi vitamin (check). Other things include using a soft bristled brush or an electric toothbrush to make sure that you remove all of the plaque without irritating the gum line. And of course, there is flossing (ugh).

Studies have shown that another great treatment for things like bad breath, oral candidiasis, gingivitis, inflamed gums and plaque, is…wait for it….TEA TREE OIL! Betcha thought I would say baking soda, which is of course magical and also in this recipe, and also great for promoting gum growth (making a paste of baking soda and water and massaging it into gums is thought to increase circulation and promote growth).

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • One cup filtered or bottled water (if using tap, make sure to boil it first)
  • 1 tsp raw honey
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 4 drops peppermint essential oil
  • 4 drops lemon essential oil
  • 4 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 4 drops birch essential oil
  • ½ tsp xylitol (optional: to sweeten, you can also use a packet of stevia)
  • A mason jar (because you know, what’s more obnoxiously Brooklyn than your own homemade mouthwash in a mason jar?)

Here’s what you’ll do:

  • Mix that business up, shake and enjoy! Make sure you shake it every time you use it to get all of the ingredients properly mixed.

I’ve only been using it for a few days and already my mouth feels cleaner. It’s such a refreshingly minty and wonderful rinse and I am really looking forward to seeing what effects it has on my ailing gums.

That’s all for today folks, stay tuned for more fun things to come, including but not limited to: toilet bowl cleaner! And dry shampoo that doubles as a foundation (what?!)

Happy swishing.

{the fixins'}

{the fixins’}

{add whatever flavors you like best, and feel free to wing it if you want it more pepperminty, or perhaps more lemony}

{add whatever flavors you like best, and feel free to wing it if you want it more pepperminty, or perhaps more lemony}

{somebody get this girl in a mouthwash commercial quick!}

{somebody get this girl in a mouthwash commercial quick!}

{the final product. warn your roommate that it exists so he/she doesn't think you are saving a jar of your own urine.}

{the final product. warn your roommate that it exists so he/she doesn’t think you are saving a jar of your own urine.}

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. 

Pore Strips!

For being tiny little pieces of paper, pore strips can cost a pretty penny. Some can even cost you over 50 cents, PER tiny piece of paper. Ours cost you basically nothing, and are stupidly easy to make. The only downside: they smell AWFUL. We aren’t going to sugar coat this one for you, gelatin has a pretty pungent odor, and when you mix it with milk, and then add heat, well…it’s just bad. We tried a few variations, and you can make the one that suits your gag reflex.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 tsp gelatin
  • 1.5 tsp milk or water
  • a few drops tea tree oil (to combat the stank, and to add a lovely tingly antiseptic feeling that is great for acne prone skin)
  • parchment or regular ol’ paper (if you would like to make your own strips)

Here’s what you’ll do:

  1. Mix together gelatin and milk (or water), if using tea tree oil add a little less liquid and add tea tree oil before heating
  2. Heat in microwave for 15 seconds
  3. Slather it on wherever you desire clean pores, let dry and peel off. You can also spread in on parchment or regular paper, cut into strips and apply to face.

After trying a few variations there are a few things we know for sure: the mixture with just the gelatin and milk worked the best. We don’t know if it’s the lactic acid or an embodiment of the phrase “pain is beauty”, but that one really works. The water mixture works fine as well, and anything with the tea tree oil was just better smelling and fresher feeling. The nice thing is, this is so cheep to make in tiny little batches that you can experiment with what works for you.

{there's a whole lotta pore cleaning to be had in this little box}

{there’s a whole lotta pore cleaning to be had in this little box}

{at this point, it doesn't smell, wait for it}

{at this point, it doesn’t smell, wait for it}

{gags}

{gags}

{apply liberally to strip of your choice}

{apply liberally to strip of your choice}

{or just put straight on your face, so fun to peel!}

{or just put straight on your face, so fun to peel!}

{on a post-it}

{on a post-it}

{oh, so stylish}

{oh, so stylish}

Let us know if you come up with any variations that you like! Or if you somehow find a way to extract the funk. Happy peeling!

-Cristiana & Ashlee