Friday, April 25, 2014

Vanessa Has Gone Coco-nutty!

I am in danger of becoming obsessed with coconut oil, so much so that Joshua has accused me of being a little bit coco-nutty!
But seriously, this is one amazing product!
Let me share with you another of my favorite uses...
As a face wash/mask!
My story is that I had clear skin until I had my first baby, and then hormonal acne set in.  The trouble with hormonal acne, is that the regular acne treatments are too harsh and can actually make it worse...gentle is best.  I have had some success with gentle treatments but nothing has returned me to my formerly clear skinned state...
I was nervous to try using coconut oil on my face at first, it seems so counter-intuitive, oil as a facial cleanser?
But I have been using it for two weeks now and my skin is clearer, my scars are fading, and my skin is incredibly soft!
It's simple, take about a teaspoon of coconut oil, massage it into your face, including your eyes to remove eye makeup, then take a washcloth soaked in water as warm as you can stand it, and press it against your face until it begins to cool down.  Then use the washcloth to wipe away the coconut oil!
I use a natural toner and my regular moisturizer after that and I'm done!
The coconut oil is supposed to help your skin find its balance, and it nourishes your eyelashes and eyebrows as well! 
You know I must be a fan if I was willing to share my naked face with you to prove my point!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

It's Amazing! It's a Miracle! It's...Deodorant?!

Ok, so here is something I never thought I would say...
I made my own deodorant!
Ummm, yes, you heard me, and I am thrilled with it!
Breast cancer is very prevalent in my family, and the aluminum in regular deodorant has always scared me, but I have tried several natural brands that are aluminum free and they do not work for all.
So, given the option of smelling bad or risking the aluminum, I have always chosen not to smell...until this week!
Meet the magic maker!...
I'm a little behind the times on this health trend, but I'm catching up quickly, hello coconut oil!
I researched several recipes on pinterest and kind of put together a combination that works for me, if you try this at home, you may need to make a few minor adjustments based on your needs...
Deodorant recipe:
1/8 cup cornstarch
1/8 cup baking soda
4-5 tablespoons of coconut oil
*several drops of pure lavender essential oil
 Any scent would work but lavender has some antibacterial and soothing properties that I find beneficial!
Just put all of your ingredients into a medium sized bowl and using a fork or your fingers, shmoosh everything together until it's a smooth paste!
(Because of the cornstarch and the liquid/solid complex of coconut oil, it has a slightly ooblick-like texture when your in the process of shmooshing, but don't worry...
You will not end up with this...
Instead, your final product will look something like this!
The key to application (at least for me) is to stick with the less is more theory, the amount pictured above (about two pea sized scoops) is enough for both underarm areas.  
The deodorant melts with the heat of your underarm and you can just rub it in!  Make sure to get the whole area, and give it a minute or two before getting dressed.  
So here is my personal testimonial:
I have put this recipe to the ultimate Tuesday step/weight training class!
Sadly, I am not one of those perfectly groomed, no hair out of place fitness instructors.
 When I work out, I look like I worked out, and thanks to my Italian heritage, I crazy! 
 My aluminum infused store bought deodorant was never up to the task and reapplication after this class was always a must...
Amazingly enough, my homemade deodorant stays strong and I still smell clean and fresh despite my sweaty bedraggled appearance after my 60 minute class!
But, the biggest thing to me is the knowledge that I have been able to eliminate a potentially cancer causing chemical from my daily routine, and as my grandmother was a 10 year breast cancer survivor, that is something that is very important to me!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Long Time, No See...

I've been hibernating...
At least that is the best explanation I can come up with for my long term absence and neglect of my blog!
No particular reason for it except, kids, teaching, grocery shopping, play dates, spring break, sewing, cooking, cleaning, homeworking (no seriously, homework is a thing, even in kindergarten!  Who knew?)
But, now I'm back, and hopefully I will be able to stay on top of my blog world now that spring is here...
And spring is DEFINITELY here, I know because...
Glorious 70 degree weather was immediately followed by this!
Of course, I'm not complaining, snow like that is quickly gone, allowing us to enjoy our spring break with activities like...
Playing with ooblick, a surprisingly complicated liquid/solid concoction made from surprisingly simple ingredients!
Roughly 2 parts cornstarch to 1 part water with a little food coloring mixed in!
It's always a hit!
And since Josh's birthday fell during our break, we couldn't pass up an opportunity to meet him for a lunch break ice cream cone!
Followed by a "massive" celebration including banners...
And lovingly homemade and carefully decorated cake!
But then it was back to the spring break activities, and this Moon sand was such a success I had to share it!  I found the idea on pinterest, but I tweaked the recipe a little, adding a bit more baby oil than it calls for thereby making it a bit more dense!
This little activity had Noah engaged for over an hour!
Of course, Noah wasn't the only one keeping busy, Gigi got her tutu on in ballet...
Her Doc McStuffins on at play...
And her sass on at bath time!
So, as you can see, we have been busy, and hopefully you will forgive my reticence in blogging...
Just kidding!  Phew!
It's good to be back!