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Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Teaching Natural Beauty Recipes

 Katie (15) asked me to buy her some Sea Salt Spray for her hair to encourage her hair into ringlet type curls. I felt a bit mean, but I took a photo of the label of the product in the supermarket (@$18) and said I would like her to try one that I make first, and then if she's not happy with it I would buy her one.

I was fairly confident - and she's happy with it. 
It's good to look up all those chemicals so that you know what they do when you are copying a product. Most of these are preservatives and for keeping the solution in suspension. We can just shake the bottle.

Sea Salt Hair Treatment

Sea Salt Hair Treatment
1 cup of warm - hot water
1 tablespoon of sea salt (rock salt)
1 teaspoon of glycerine
6 drops of essential oil (we used ylang ylang)
1 dessert spoon of jojoba oil
Dissolve together, pour into a spray bottle(which we already had), shake before each use.

I want her to think about sustainable ways of achieving what she wants, and with her whole life ahead of her, she will save herself a lot of money if she's not sold on having to pay money for products for them to be successful.
This follows quickly after a nasty rash she developed after using a disposable plastic razor, one that had moisturizing chemicals on it. It was a fine opportunity for me to buy her a reusable one that just requires standard blades. She had tried my Sugaring Wax, but found it too difficult to manage. The reusable razor is a success.

So when Katie was wishing for some Lush Bath Bombs to add to a friend's birthday present I told her she can make those, because I've done it successfully before. She hopped online and found a good recipe, and whipped these up.
Bath Bombs

The large ones sell for $10 in Lush, so she made $50 worth of bath bombs with what we already had in the house - citric acid, baking soda, epsom salts, coconut oil, colouring, essential oil. She tried one out last night - it worked perfectly.

I just wrote a letter to the editor of the Sunday Star Times after reading this article about how to get rid of bumps on the back of your arms. 

They recommended two products costing $79 and $46.99 respectively. I suggested that they could run an article on natural products, such as organic coconut oil that would smooth the whole body for months for about $12. Now that would be a real service to women and the environment.
One of the advantages of making beauty products for yourself is that you know exactly what is in them, and in this day and age we do not need a cocktail of more chemicals.

Friday, 16 September 2016

Junk and Junk Mail

I have been reading two books simultaneously (as you do) and between them they have prompted me to action.
The first is 

I was interested to learn that US Route 411 becomes a giant 250 mile long junk-a-palooza known as the Highway 411 Yard Sale, for 4 days every Fall (Autumn).
What fun that must be! And on the other side of the coin, a great way to have a clear out. 
Both Derek and I appear to be collectors, not hoarders (much), but we're going to have to work on sorting it.
The second book is rather tongue-in-cheek...

In which I found this quote that I rather liked...

"If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?"
                                             - Albert Einstein

These two books have been directly responsible for my sorting the spare bedroom ("Oh there is a bed in there" says Derek), my potting area and the studio.

Of course, having everything left out around you promotes creativity. The neatness will only last so long I'm afraid.

Junk Mail has been on my mind since we had a fill-in postie a few weeks back and I found this pile in our letterbox. 

We had put a halt to junk mail a long time ago.  Most people get this amount several times a week, which set me thinking... Several years ago I joined a campaign to reduce junk mail in my suburb, by taking these stickers around, but I was supposed to canvas people before giving them out. Well my parents became ill at that stage and I didn't get far, so still have the little pile of stickers. 

I have decided to just deliver them to letterboxes in my daughter's street, then monitor how many actually go onto those letterboxes. Ironic really, as I will be adding to the junk mail, but I'm only going to do a little bit and then see if it is worth it. 
I think junk mail should be something people should have to opt in to, rather than opt out of, as many people just let it keep coming by not doing anything, and it promotes needless consumerism and waste. Rant over. 

Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Beetroot Joy and Non-Stick Bakeware

This year I have grown beetroot for the very first time. It was by accident really, as they were a free packet of seeds that came from Koanga Gardens, where I order my seeds online. 

When I was young my parents grew beetroot, but it was only ever used sliced and bottled in vinegar. In recent years I have discovered a whole new world of beetroot uses - first as a juice component - yum, then roasted beetroot (who knew!), and just recently grated raw beetroot in salads, and the baby leaves in salads too.
I haven't even tried beetroot powder as make up colouring or natural dye yet.
One of the great things about growing beetroot is that the possums only eat the tops, so I don't lose the crop.

These came in the mail yesterday - so guess what I'm going to be busy doing today.

Non Stick Pans
Ok, so this is a little rant.
I strongly dislike non-stick bakeware. What is that coating anyway? - because eventually it comes off - and you find it stuck to your baking!
I have been searching for some new bread pans that are not non-stick and that has been a mission.
I don't use any baking paper now that I have discovered Miracle Pan Release so I don't want that flaking surface near my food.
I have finally purchased some of these stainless steel pans from a hospitality/catering equipment shop.

They are actually the containers that restaurants use for serving food in heated counters for buffet type meals. They were $18.00 each and should last forever - and they work perfectly.
The old pans will be repurposed - probably as seed trays.