Monthly Archives: March 2014

Happy Spring!!

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Respect your Armpits – with Updates, y’all!

Today, I am writing on the subject of making natural homemade deodorant. I have seen many pins on the subject and have wanted to do this for some time. I looked for a while and finally found arrowroot powder in my small town (which is just starch, people).

My reasons for seeking an alternative deodorant which doesn’t use aluminum in any form is that aluminum is linked to dementia (or Alzheimer’s) and cancer in many studies. You may disagree, but both of those run in my family and I think if you can dodge a bullet, you should do your best. My dad even tries to avoid aluminum, he drinks beer only out of bottles these days.

Back to the actual making of this wonder salve for ye olde stanky pits. I initially used three ingredients. Most of ya have them in your kitchen.

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Here are the ratios, adjust them to your preference. Some people like it a little softer and more malleable, some people want that solid deodorant stick feeling. Do what you want!

  • 1/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder – some recipes say corn starch is just as good. Not cornmeal..I checked.
  • 6 Tablespoons coconut oil – I heated mine as its still cold here in Missouri and I figured it was easier to mix.

I just poured them all into a bowl, mixed them a bit to get the lumps out and voila…deodorant. That was so very easy and fast! I should have stopped there. But I couldn’t. It had no smell!

I get out my essential oils and like a mad scientist start putting a dab of this and that in there to give me that Teen Spirit smell from middle school. Well, that never happened but the final result smelled refreshing. I ended up splashing a little tea tree oil (which is super anti-fungal and everything), a little eucalyptus oil, some lavender, and finally about 8 drops of lemongrass oil. It smelled great! I even had an empty, used eye makeup remover container that was the perfect size for my first homemade deodorant. I plan to just take a little pea sized amount and rub it on each underarm. Here’s the final product:20140328-215221.jpg

Now, I had already put on some Tom’s Natural Deoderant an hour or so earlier, but I couldn’t help but take my fresh new batch on it’s maiden voyage! I rubbed a bit on each underarm enjoying the scent and went on my way cleaning up the kitchen.

And then the burning started. One recipe had mentioned a bit of minor burning initially that went away. Ok, no worries. Better than dementia, right? I ignore it and carry on.

Oh God, the burning. Ok at this point im walking around in a tank top with my arms up thinking I can cool down the burning. It’s bad…I can’t ignore it. When something as tender and sensitive as your underarms is on fire, it becomes a crisis. I tried wiping it off with a damp washcloth, which helped but the sting continued a good 5 minutes. Also, red blotchy armpits…not pretty.

So what went awry in my quest for good smellin, aluminum free underarms? Could be a couple of things. First some people are sensitive to baking soda. Secondly, I may have used too much essential oil, which can be really harsh when not diluted. I should have measured better but I couldn’t find my pipet thing. I also am developing allergies in my old age. Every time I swim at the gym, I have an allergic reaction to the chlorine. Maybe I’m allergic to something?  I will try a few things to troubleshoot and post updates.

For now, the moral of the story is respect your ‘pits and don’t go slapping random crap from around the house on there without thinking it through.

UPDATE: The homemade deodorant had solidified overnight and so while my coffee brewed this morning, I took a pinch and…holding my breath against the agony…put some under each arm. It didn’t hurt. Weird. No burning. Nothing. Maybe having it be a solid changed something about it. I was also cautious this go round to only apply the deodorant where I shave my underarms, as the sensitive skin that was very red was kind of behind that. I think that was the problem the first time, was putting it on in a haphazard manner.

2nd UPDATE: Worked outside in the yard all weekend using only this deoderant and never had a problem. Seems to honestly work better than Degree or Secret! Yay, right??

To the Woman Behind Me in Line at the Grocery Store

REBLOG: The Midwest is just the Best

Sunshine & Daisies

Dear woman behind me in line at the grocery store,

You don’t know me. You have no clue what my life has been like since October 1, 2013. You have no clue that my family has gone through the wringer. You have no clue that we have faced unbelievable hardship. You have no clue we have been humiliated, humbled, destitute.
You have no clue I have cried more days than not; that I fight against bitterness taking control of my heart. You have no clue that my husband’s pride was shattered. You have no clue my kids have had the worries of an adult on their shoulders. You have no clue their innocence was snatched from them for no good reason. You know none of this.

What you do know is I tried to buy my kids some food and that the EBT machine was down so I couldn’t buy…

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On eating naked. A memoir.

Last summer, as I pursued my fitness goals I would try to fit in little workouts wherever I could. One such time was directly after work and before my sons’ baseball game. They were with their dad and I had an hour or so where I could get in some cardio.

I hustled home and changed into shorts and a tank top and took off jogging to a local park with a trail. Summer here in Missouri is hot and humid. Unless you are sitting in a creek, it is pretty miserable.

I get back home drenched in sweat and jump into the shower. I get out and I’m still overheated, so I don’t dress yet. I don’t want to get sweaty again. I’m hungry and a multi-tasker, so while I continue to cool off, I go into the kitchen and grab whatevers at hand. A clementine (like a small orange). As I hurredly stand in the kitchen and peel the clementine, I start tossing wedges of fruit in my mouth as I go.

Until I begin to choke.

I don’t know about you, but choking is a scary thing. When you are alone, its terrifying.

My thoughts start racing. “I can’t breathe. Should I throw myself over a chair? Is this really happening? Man…my family is going to think I’m so weird when they find my dead body because I choked on a clementine while naked. Will they mistake this for some kind of fetish?”

As you can surmise, I survived the choking situation. I lived to attend my sons’ baseball game. And I can assure you that I eat only when dressed these days.

Pinterest is slightly misleading

Abraham Lincoln once famously said, “Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.” And it’s true. Let’s focus on Pinterest for a moment.

Like most women, I pin things to encourage me to be healthier, a better homemaker, and to be more stylish. None of which really ever happen. But I continue to be hopeful.

One evening, I decide to go ahead and make something I had seen pinned multiple times– homemade makeup. Makeup is so expensive and full of awful toxins, dontcha know? I hear anyway.

Regardless, I gather my ingredients:
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Cocoa powder, arrowroot powder, green French clay, and some different finely ground spices to try to get a natural tone out of the translucent powder.

I mix the powders, like a mad scientist, testing and retesting on my skin. I sample it. Looks pretty good. Maybe makes me look a little dirty but that will probably improve when I’m tan. It’s a sacrifice for natural living, right? Here is the result:

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Looks dark in this light, but it’s actually a pretty close match. I think it will stretch my current powder well if I combine them. Onto step two!

At this point, you can mix the powder with facial moisturizer to make a tinted moisturizer, which I wear a lot. So, I mix em up and it seems pretty dark. But sometimes my tinted moisturizer does too and it blends in just fine. I proceed.

At this point, obviously I am ignoring some law of physics or chemistry that states anything wet is darker than dry. I mean…duh. I smear it on anyway. You be the judge.

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I should’ve listened to Abraham Lincoln.

Minimalism, Continued

Saturday, I summoned some inner motivation and jumped back on the Minimalist bandwagon and went through some remaining kitchen cabinets, the freezers, and medicine cabinet. Despite all my intentions to be all naturally healthy and shit, I have a tendency to purchase vitamins and herbal supplements only to let them sit in the medicine cabinet and expire. Not only is this expensive, it doesn’t help me in the least.

During one health streak, I purchased several things from GNC during a big sale and encountered them in this expedition. Painfully, I tossed long expired items and lamented the money I had spent on them. Then, I put the items I wanted to remember to take on a daily basis and put them in a basket next to my Keurig, where I stand for a good two minutes each morning awaiting my life-giving coffee. Now, I will hopefully remember to take my vitamins and all that daily.

Next, I inventoried my freezer. Again, I painfully either tossed or fed Larry the Dog the freezer burnt meats. I set some out to thaw for meals this week. My older son is ill today so I actually put a bunch of the meat on the smoker to have ready for meals this week. For the curious, this is the cookbook I use for smoking meat, as I am a novice. All of the recipes have been really great so far inspiring my younger son to declare my BBQ Pulled Pork as the best in the world. And that’s saying something, we eat a lot of barbecue. Seriously.

Back to whatever I did on Saturday…as I went through the medicine cabinet, one particular garlic supplement expired in 2006. That’s right, people..I’ve been dragging old garlic around for 8 years and I’ve moved like three or four times since then.

Don’t judge me.

On the subject of dating: A Serial Killer

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Until very recently, my last date was with a UPS delivery man who we shall call Dexter. And the reason for that specific name is that I had been on a Dexter Netflix bender and I was pretty sure my date was going to kill me.

Here’s the story.

The evening started off as a quick meetup for drinks after I got out of Wednesday night church. Because I’m very busy and that’s how I roll.

After a drink or two and some pretty good conversation, Dexter inquired as to whether I like ice cream. He became very serious and still as he awaited my verdict about this ice cream. I sensed a potential deal breaker here. So I chose an extreme side and responded with an over-the-top,”Hell yes, I love ice cream!” Apparently, I said the right thing because his little blue eyes lit up like a Christmas tree and he said, “you wanna go get some? Like right now?”

Listen, no one wants ice cream after having beer but I am a people pleaser and I say yes again. Over the top still but maybe a little more restrained. I ride with him, because if I have to choke down ice cream and let it melt on the beer foam in my stomach, I’m gonna do it in the comfort of the shotgun side. And yes, I yelled shotgun even though there was no one else with us.

So we drive across town to get the damned ice cream and drive around chatting as we eat. Dexter is a pretty good conversationalist and I relax and let the dessert fat go straight to my butt as the date progresses. Things are going nicely.

Until I suddenly realize we are now out of town on a dark, curvy road which I vaguely remember and I cannot recall Dexter’s last name. I casually mention that we are really getting out in the country and he responds, “yeah, you aren’t freaked out, are you? I once took a date down this road and she started freaking out and told me to take her back home.”

Red flag.

I summon all my false confidence and jovially state that I actually know exactly where we are and how I know the area pretty good (lies). Then, I pick up my phone in a subtle manner and text a girlfriend a description of the suspect and give her Dexter’s name and occupation. Do killers tell their real occupation to a target? Either way, I tell her I may be killed and the general area to search for my body. This is not exactly how the texts went, but it’s pretty close.

Anyway, we make our way back to town. I breathe a sigh of sweet relief as we head in the direction of my car. Just then he turns off and parks near a recently rebuilt park, most of which is well lit. He says it’s peaceful there. I agree. We sit and talk and enjoy the night.

Being the sweet girl that I am, I gather our sticky ice cream trash and open the door to take it to the park trash can. He gets out too and recommends a walk since the weather is nice. He’s right. I’ve been all anxious and uptight and he is just a romantic, sweet guy. I haven’t given him a real chance. The park is well lit and has new sidewalks. Despite my high heels, I agree.

We walk. Hand in hand. Staying close to keep warm when the wind picks up. It’s sweet. Romantic. He mentions wanting to go see the bridge at the far end. I agree and we head that way. I hear water. It’s dark over there. We are going off of the sidewalk. I’m unstable in my heels on the uneven ground and stumbling a little. The bridge is gone but a small waterfall is running. I get closer to see the water feature in the low light. Suddenly, he comes up behind me in the dark. I instantly have the thought that I have nothing to defend myself against an attack except my iPhone, which may help deflect a knife. I’m going to die.

Oh wait…he is rubbing my arms to warm me. We head back to his truck as I make a weak joke about how you can’t trust runners because they are always the first ones to find a body. He laughs.

I survive. Obviously.

I didn’t talk to Dexter much after that despite him texting me a few times about when we could hang out again. I probably shouldn’t watch shows about serial killers before a first date either. I felt bad for thinking the worst of such a nice person. Until he randomly texted me a pic of himself wearing a hoodie looking all creepy like the Unabomber. For no reason. I believe I dodged a bullet here.