Wednesday, July 2, 2014

DIY Deodorant

I have not used deodorant for over a year.  Say that again!?!  Maybe I should clarify that statement.  I have not used "deodorant" for over a year.  See those quotation marks?  Those quotation marks make all the difference.  Those quotation marks differentiate between what you may call deodorant and what I call deodorant. If you know me at all, you know that I consider myself "semi-crunchy"  According to the online slang dictionary (totally reliable right?!) crunchy is:

hippie-esque; "all-natural". Refers to the crunch of granola, which (as goes the stereotype) hippies are likely to eat.

I would not consider myself full-on crunchy, mostly because there are some things I just can't give up (while I like being barefoot in the grass, my heels are an accessory I will not relinquish and I just kind of like the smell of my salon shampoo.  I must say that I tried the whole "no poo" thing, but thats for another day.)  Plus, living in this tiny little town, there are some things I can't find and are not easily accessible.  I seriously have to drive 40 minutes to get goat cheese, and that's not even the organic kind!

Back to deodorant.  There are so many reasons why it's a smart choice to ditch the "deodorant" (notice the quotations.)  Yes, even during these summer months.  Just do a quick Google search of "ingredients in deodorant" and you'll have plenty of reading material. That's not even going into the antiperspirant realm.  Don't even get me started!  

When I first started the research on this "hot" topic, I tried some of the natural brands and let me tell you, they just didn't get the job done.  So, in true crunchy  fashion, I decided to just make my own. I tried it once and the rest is history.  It worked so well and the benefits are amazing: super cheap, no nasty chemicals, and you can personalize your scent depending on the essential oils you use. 

I'm not sure who originally came up with the recipe, but I've seen it everywhere with a few tweaks here and there. 

What you need:
Baking soda
Corn Starch
Coconut Oil
Essential Oils (optional)

This is so simple that you really don't need the pictures, but why not?

 Equal parts of baking soda... (I used 1/4 cup)

...and cornstarch (1/4 cup)

Add in enough coconut oil to create the right spreadable consistency.  This will depend on a couple of things.  1.) the temperature of the oil, because coconut oil will melt in the heat and become a solid in cooler temperatures  2.) what kind of consistency you like.  I prefer mine a little more soft.

Next, add the essential oils if you are using them.   Because patchouli is my scent, I added some patchouli oil and a little bit of tea tree oil for it's antibacterial effect.  

That's it!  Put that mixutre in a container and you are good to go!

 Okay, so I'm guessing some of you may be asking how this goes from the container to your pits right?  Simple.  Scoop some onto your fingers and rub it in.  I know.  It was strange for me at first too, but sometimes you just gotta put on your big girl/boy panties and do it.  Trust me, it's worth it!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Who needs water anyway?

So I have a problem.  A problem keeping things alive.  More specifically plants.  I don't know what it is but I just cant keep them living.   No, I know exactly what it is.  I ignore them.  There I said it.  I ignore them and just let them go.  I like the idea of them.  They are pretty.  They smell good. It's the work that it takes to keep them that way that I can't handle.  Every year I start out all gung-ho. I buy the mulch, I buy the potting soil.  My mom comes over and plants new starts from the plants that are just "getting too big."   She's kind of got a green thumb.  She can just walk by a flower or plant and it immediately grows five new buds.   I promise myself every year that this year will be different.   This year, I'll stick with it. This year, I'll have the prettiest yard in the neighborhood.  And then, a week goes by and I realize I forgot to go out and pull those weeds.  Two weeks go by and my mom stops over to cut off the flowers that had bloomed and died and are still there sucking the life out of my new growing ones.  Three weeks go by and "oh crap! I forgot to water them and it hasn't rained yet!" I finally get around to tending to  my beautiful growing flowers, only to see that they've completely dried up.  The buds are withered and the soil has turned to dust.   But you know what's amazing??  Most of the time, if I water them really really good at that point, they'll come back.  Flowers are pretty resilient.   They want to  live and thrive.   Every time I see them bounce back I'm amazed.  How in the world did they survive what I just put them through??

Isn't that how our lives are sometimes?  We want a life full of happiness and joy , but we don't want to do anything about it.   Instead, we neglect it.  We ignore it and hope that  it will just grow on its own because that's easier.   When we finally take a look, we are dried up.... But, just like the flowers, we are resilient.   We want to live and survive. We want to be "beautiful."    Whatever that means to you, do it.  If it means digging into your bible it.  If it means giving up something that you've been holding on to, then just like the dead flowers that were sucking the life out of the ones trying to grow, cut it off.    Whatever it takes to make you bloom, do it.  Yes, it's work. Yes it's hard, but believe me, you are worth it!!

This picture above was taken this morning (eek!)   Here's to hoping that in a few days, this will be the beautiful blue plant that I know it can be!

Friday, June 6, 2014

be still

A few months ago I got my second tattoo.  The words “be still” are now permanently inked on my right shoulder blade.  As I was telling the tattoo artist what I wanted, he verified that I didn’t want  “and know” to be part of the piece.  I told him that the two words were all that I needed.  Most people know this phrase as Psalm 46:10 that says “be still and know that I am God.”  This verse speaks to many and has gotten them through  times they feel they cannot go on, so I’m not discouraging it.  For me, though, the “be still” part is what I was after.   

The older I get, the more I am drawn to nature.  Over the past couple of years, I’ve also gotten into running.  The most perfect thing in the whole wide world to me is a nice long run on a quiet, tree lined trail; no one around but the birds and flowers.  Now granted, I run with music (still haven’t managed to give that up yet), but there is just nowhere in the world I would rather be than out in nature, experiencing it.   When the run is over and the ear buds come out, it’s just me and the trees…and there is something so beautiful about that: just standing there taking in the beauty that God created.

This is what the words “be still” mean to me.  In addition, this is the one time that I am forced to slow down.  If you know me at all, you know that I’m a ‘doer.’  I have to be busy. I enjoy being busy.  I do, but at times, it’s exhausting. Not necessarily physically exhausting, but more mentally exhausting.   I get so wrapped up in things and projects that my mind gets overwhelmed.  It’s very hard for me to just sit still when my head has a list 3 miles long of things that need to be done or finished.  Running is my way of getting away from that.  When I’m running, my mind turns to the bigger things in life.  I don’t know if it’s the extra oxygen being flooded to my head, but instead of laundry and dishes, it starts to wander to life and what’s really important. That clarity for the 45 minutes (or longer depending on the miles) is truly addicting. 

Little did I know that these two little words would continue to take shape and mold into something even greater.  Life is crazy.  Life is hard. It’s beautiful, yes, but it’s also extremely hard some days.  In the times when life isn’t easy, when it’s not all butterflies and roses, when it’s maybe easier to throw your hands in the air and give up, be still.    Be. Still.  Be still and rest in the fact that you may not know some things….and that is okay.  Rest in the beauty that good things take time.  Those trees that bring me so much peace and joy take years to grow.   You may only be able to see one step in front of you, step anyway.  Breath in, breath out…repeat.


“Wisdom comes once we learn to become still…In the silence of the heart, one learns the journey of the wise.”