Friday, June 7, 2013

How to make your own deoderant

Homemade Natural Deodorant Stick

So, we all should know by now how many harmful toxins and chemicals commercial deodorant/sticks/roll ons contain.
I am going to give you our very own natural recipe which is basic to make your very own. 

I love finding cheap recipes. Whether they're for food or for other household products, if the recipe contains natural, frugal ingredients, especially if I have them around the house already, I'm totally psyched.
And if its easy as pie to make on top of all that, then I do a little jig out of excitement. Not that I'm actually afraid of doing hard work, because I'm willing to put in a lot of physical effort to get things done (like my foraging, making food from scratch, canning, etc), but I also enjoy taking it easy in between my bursts of insane productivity.
This recipe is perfect for when I don't want to do hard work, because it takes less than 5 minutes total, involves no complicated steps.
Oh, so I'm talking so much about my love of recipes that I didn't even tell you what I was talking about.
Homemade deodorant. The stick kind.

Homemade Stick Deodorant

And yes, it actually works. Very well. Its not an antiperspirant; it won't stop you from sweating on the hottest days, but thats better, because your body releases toxins through sweating, and if you stop your body from releasing those toxins, you can very possibly increase your risk of getting breast cancer.
This deodorant stops you from stinking. Even doing lots of physical labor in the hottest of summers with no AC, when using this deodorant, I can easily go at least 2 or 3 days without showering, and no, I don't stink up the place- it just works that well!
In case you were wondering, it also works on men with hairy underarms. Just sayin.

This deodorant is totally edible if you should chose to eat it; not that it tastes good or anything, but since it is made with only natural real food ingredients, its safe to put on your skin. Your skin is one very absorbent organ, and ideally you should only be putting things on your skin things that are safe to put into your mouth, as things on your skin can get absorbed and go directly into your bloodstream, without even having the added safety feature of having gone through your digestive system to filter out toxins.

So, how do you make it?

1/2 cup baking soda
1/2 cup corn starch/potato starch/tapioca starch/arrowroot powder
8-10 tablespoons coconut oil

Plastic wrap or sandwich bag
Empty toilet paper roll tube (or if that makes you squeamish, a paper towel tube should do, so long as you cut it shorter- not that you'd have something as unfrugal and ungreen as paper towels in your home- you'd borrow from a neighbor, of course)
Mixing container
Food processor/blender if needed/desired

1. Make sure your baking soda isn't clumpy. If you buy it in bulk and store it for a while like I do, you may find that it clumps into large chunks. If this is the case, whiz it in a blender/food processor until it is broken up.

2. Mix baking soda with your corn starch, potato starch, tapioca starch, or arrowroot powder. Make sure its mixed well.

3. Add coconut oil, one tablespoon at a time, until you get a nice, thick paste (almost like playdough).

4. Spoon the paste into a cut piece of plastic wrap or into a sandwich bag.

5. Place the wrapped mixture inside your toilet paper tube. Push it down so that it reaches all the way to the bottom. You'll have enough so that there will be more of the mixture above the rim, making a mound, as in the picture above.

6. Wrap the excess plastic wrap or sandwich bag over the mound and place in the refrigerator until hard.

To use, remove from fridge, remove plastic wrap, and rub on your underarms as you would any other stick deodorant.
When the deodorant mound on top gets finished, push up what remains inside the tube so you have more sticking out.

How does it work? Baking soda stops things from stinking, and is an antibacterial. Corn starch or the like absorb moisture. And coconut oil, in addition to binding the mixture, is good for the skin, and is antibacterial and antifungal, and even stops things from smelling.

Note: If you can't afford coconut oil, or don't have access to it, you can make a deodorant powder just by mixing equal amounts of starch and baking soda, and apply it with a paintbrush designated for that purpose. It works well, but be prepared to get white powder all over your clothes and floor when applying it. The stick eliminates the mess involved.

P.S. I did not make up this idea, so I can't take the credit. Its a conglomeration of a few different posts I read over a few different years in various places.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Will Smith: How to Get Anything In This Life That You Want

This is one of the reasons why Will Smith is one of my favorite people. Everything, and I mean EVERYTHING he said in this 10 minute video resonated with my spirit.This entire video is about manifesting, making real and tangible whatever it is in this life that you want. Please check this out.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Help! My Child Is A Picky Eater!

I know a lot of parents struggle trying to feed their young children their daily recommended servings of fruits and veggies. Its hard ya know, when your 2 year old refuses to eat those steamed broccoli florets and those banana slices you put in front of them and I aint even gonna talk about the rice and beans and fish you put on that dinner plate.

They are definatly NOT feeling that. So what do you do?

I have 4 children. The youngest is 3 and the oldest is 12 and all of them eat their fruits, veggies, and whatever else I put in front of them. They are even to the point now where they request salads and veggies in place of  fries whenever we go out to eat (which isnt all that often.) Im sure you think I must be joking but Im not. They eat this way because thats the way I trained them. Yes thats right. I trained them to eat that way.

When they began to eat whole foods I gave them what I cooked and ate myself. They eat what I eat. My diet is pretty healthy so quite naturally I feed them the same things I eat. If fruits, veggies, grains, and other healthy foods is all they know, thats all they know. If my children decided they didnt want to eat the food I sat in front of them, they didnt get anything else to eat. They had a choice to eat it or eat nothing. 9 times out of 10 they ate what I put before them. Eventually they learned to love healthy foods and even ask for them on their own.

Please keep in mind that your child will NOT starve. Have you noticed that small children eat way less than you think they should and still go on gaining weight and thriving? I know you have asked yourself why they dont eat what you put in front of them but will go on playing for hours and hours without eating. This is normal. So training them to eat the way I did it will not damage your child. They WILL eat and they will eat what you give them if you MAKE them and train them in the way they should go or in this case eat. :)

Red Lobster's Cheese Biscuit Recipe as a Loaf

I found this on Facebook so I dont have a link to this but it looks like the BOMB!!!

This is Red Lobster's Cheese Biscuit recipe done in a loaf pan.

3 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
4 ounces cheddar cheese, cut into 1/4 inch cubes
1 1/4 cups milk
3/4 cup sour cream
3 Tablespoons of butter, melted
1 egg, lightly beaten

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 9×5 loaf pan with oil. In a bowl, whisk together the first 5 ingredients. Carefully stir in cheese cubes until covered in flour mixture, this will help prevent your cheese sinking to the bottom of your loaf of bread.

In a different bowl, whisk together the remaining ingredients. Fold the wet mixture into the flour and cheese mixture, stir until just combined, do not over stir. Spread the mixture into the loaf pan. Bake for 45-50 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes and then remove from pan. Allow to cool for one hour before slicing and serving.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Salmon Croquettes

This is also known as Salmon Patties if you're country. LOL!!

These patties are really really tasty if you do them right and in my humble opinion, this recipe is the right way. :)

I use canned salmon. You have to keep in mind though, that if you use canned salmon you should take the skin off and remove the bones and the best way to accomplish this is to carefully separate the chunks of meat so that you can open it up to remove the bones. Its somewhat hard to explain how in words, but when you open it up and slide it out, you have to just look and see what the best way is to remove those bones. You wont die if you dont get them all and you dont even have to remove them, I just prefer to.

After you "clean" your salmon if you choose to add fresh cut veggies. I used red onion, green pepper, and celery Also add 2 eggs ( if you use 2 cans), old bay, pepper, seasoning salt and bread crumbs. The purpose of the bread crumbs is to make the salmon less watery so it will  be easier to form the patties. The eggs is what makes it watery but you absolutely need the eggs to hold the patties together. You will have to gauge how much bread crumbs to add based on how loose or watery your salmon mixture is so add accordingly. Mix all the above together and season to taste. Now just form them into patties and lay them on an olive oil greased pan and put in the over on 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. After about 15 minutes I flipped them over and let them cook on the other side until they were done. You can either eat them plain or add tarter sauce on the side.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Mint: The Relaxation Herb

This herb is one of my favorites. Its grows fast, its hard to kill, and it grows EVERYWHERE. It grows so much and so fast that you have to be careful or else it will take over your flower beds and yard. I dug up some mint from my grandmothers yard which was growing everywhere and let it grow in mine for a bit then I cut off a few leaves for a mint tea. I just added hot water to the leaves in the mug and let it steep for a few minutes and added honey to it. It really does have a calming affect on you. It makes you somewhat drowsy.  Not only is it a good her for relaxation but it also has many other uses as well. Here are a few that I found on this page:

1. All aBuzz: Growing mint will keep your yard and garden buzzing with beneficial insects. Mint is rich in nectar and pollen, and its small flower clusters keep these sweet treats easily accessible for helpful bugs such as honeybees and hoverflies.
2. Bug Off: While it attracts “good bugs,” mint also deters “bad bugs.” Repel ants and flies by growing pennyroyal mint right outside your door, or spray diluted peppermint essential oil (10 parts water to one part oil) around doorways and windows.
3. Flea Free: Keep pets free of bothersome fleas with this homemade repellent: Bundle 2 parts fresh spearmint, 1 part fresh thyme and 1 part fresh wormwood, and tuck it inside a small pillow. Place the pillow near your pet’s bed or another favorite resting place.
4. Room Refresher: Keep your home smelling fresh by adding a few drops of mint essential oil to your favorite homemade or unscented store-bought cleaner. Try this simple floor cleaning solution, good for wood, concrete or tile floors: Dilute a cup of white vinegar in a gallon of water and add 3 to 5 drops of mint essential oil.
5. Beverage Booster: Mint is refreshing in iced beverages. Add sprigs of fresh mint to a pitcher of water or plain iced tea, let it sit for 30 minutes or more, and serve it over ice. If you enjoy cocktails, mix fresh mint into homemade juleps or mojitos.
6. Veggie Revamp: Enjoy an interesting twist on a vegetable medley by adding fresh or dried chopped mint to peas, green beans, carrots or cauliflower during their last two minutes of cooking.
7. Divine Desserts: Mix 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint leaves into chocolate chip cookie dough and bake as usual for wonderfully minty treats.
8. Breath Saver: You don’t have to rely on mint gum or candies to freshen your breath. A sprig of your favorite fresh mint variety will get rid of bad breath just as well. Simply pluck and chew.
9. Tummy Tamer: Peppermint tea is an excellent way to ease an upset stomach. Peppermint helps calm the digestive tract and alleviate indigestion, intestinal gas and abdominal cramping.
10. Hiccup Help: Try this homemade concoction to help soothe the diaphragm irritation that can cause hiccups: Pour a glass of lukewarm water, then add a couple squeezes of fresh lemon juice, a pinch of salt and a few mint leaves.
11. Steam Clean: A peppermint steam can help clear sinuses and congestion and fight infection. Bring a pot of water to boil, turn off the heat, add a few drops of peppermint essential oil and lean over the pot, draping a towel over your head. Breathe in the minty steam. Mint steams also act as a cleansing and stimulating facial.
12. Nausea Nix: Peppermint essential oil can boost your mood and reduce feelings of nausea. Simply add a couple drops to a clean handkerchief and breathe in.
13. Headache Healer: Apply a few drops of peppermint essential oil to your temple to relieve migraines, as compounds in peppermint oil are known to calm muscle spasms. You can also make a simple compress to get rid of tension headaches: Pour 3 cups hot water over 3 peppermint tea bags. Steep, covered for 5 to 7 minutes; remove tea bags and add ice. To use, dip wash cloth into cold tea and apply to forehead.
14. Fresh Feet: Mint soothes aching feet thanks to the pain-relieving properties in menthol, a compound in mint. Menthol also triggers a cooling sensation, perfect for foot scrubs. Try this one: Combine 1 cup sea salt, 1⁄3 cup olive oil and 6 drops peppermint essential oil. Scrub feet and rinse.
15. Sunburn Soother: Menthol cools and refreshes the skin, making mint a handy herb to keep around in the summer. Use it to ease sunburn pain by making a strong peppermint tea and refrigerating the mixture for several hours. To use, gently apply to the burned area with cotton pads.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

India Irie- Her Brown Skin Looks More Like Lighter Brown Skin

Now, I do realize that lighting during a photo shoot is always used and such lighting as well as Photoshop is also used to achieve a desired look. This right here threw me for a loop. When I first saw it I didnt even recognize India! She is a woman who is in love with herself, in love with her blackness and all the things that go along with it like natural hair and dark skin that make us uniquely black and beautiful. Not saying that light skinned blacks dont fit the bill of black and beautiful but anyhoo, I was shocked to say the least at how much paler Miss Irie looked in this photo for the album cover. Was this lighter, whiter India Irie the desired look that she or her lable was going for? If so WHY? Why would SHE want to look whiter? Why would her lable WANT her to look paler?
The first thing that came to mind was maybe she didnt necessarily WANT to go for the light bright look but her management and record lable INSISTED she go for it. Thats what my mind said. I do realize that most artists dont have much control over their image but I also have to believe that Miss Irie would NOT go for this. No, not my India. 

We have seen in the recent past other artists who have "changed" the way the look in terms of color and representation. Beyonce and Alicia Keys are cases in point. Anybody with half an eye can see that Beyonce now looks like she can pass and Alicia Keys, one of our beautiful sisters who actually covered herself up now is wearing skin tight cat suits with nothing much left to the imagination. You cant reach a certain plateau of success unless you change to fit into the dominant society or into a manner which is COMFORTABLE for those who are the dominant culture ie white people. We have seen this happen before. I just NEVER EVER thought it would happen to Inida Irie.

I am just disappointed I guess. After all these years, we STILL have to be other than ourselves in order to "make it big."  Yeah I know this is JUST a magazine cover, but isnt this how it always starts? It starts small, then it gets worse and worse, bigger and bigger until you look up and dont know who the hell you are and how you got there. I sincerely hope this does not happen to our sister.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Make Your OWN Seasoning Blend

I use chopped veggies in a lot of my meals. Plus lots of recipes actually call for them. Of course you can go to your grocery store and grab a pack of frozen seasoning blend and that will get you by. I used to do this all the time but once I made my OWN blend, I could never go back to that. The fresh vegetables that I cut and even freeze seem to have more flavor. In all honesty, using fresh chopped vegetables do a AMAZING job of flavoring your food all on their own.
It smelled so good!
These veggies are what I typically use in my seasoning blend
Now I have to be honest. It takes about 30 minutes to chop up all these veggies but check out your reward! Just from what is pictured, I got 5 bags of seasoning blend and that was AFTER putting in a heaping helping of it into a soup I was making. I think that was a 30 minutes well spent. :)

Sunday, March 31, 2013

I made this about 4 years ago from an extreamly easy pattern. It only has 4 or 5 pieces. I made pants to match and while these pics do it NO justice, this is the outfit that I have gotten the most compliments on in my entire life.

Talented Tenth

This child here has got to be my number one source of entertainment ever. I will let this video speak for itself. That girl has got TALENT!