So for those of you who are following along, you know that I’ve been on a make-your-own quest of sorts.
I’m not really sure what drives this do-it-yourself desire.
Is it a concern over all those unpronouncable words on the ingredients labels of everything from shampoo to granola? Is it nostalgia for a simpler time? Is it that I’m a control freak, show off, do-gooder who, like a certain three year old I know, must prove that I can and will do it “BY MYSELF!” thank you very much?
Maybe it’s all of that, to some degree, but I think mostly it’s that, well, I just find it kind of amusing and contrary and hippy chic-ish to make my own stuff, and frankly a mama to three boys has to get her kicks where she can.
I take some kind of smirking, half cocked, “take that” pleasure in not buying something that I’m supposed to have to buy. And, it’s kinda nice too, showing my kids that jelly comes from fruit and yogurt comes from milk and, oddly enough, bread and toilet cleaner alike come from baking soda.
I just think it’s kind of fun that maybe, some day far from now, when other people are waxing nostalgic over the cookies Mom once made, mine will say something like, “Remember how mom always made our deodorant? Those were the good ol’ days. They just don’t make deodorant like that anymore.”
It’s like an insurance policy of sorts. My children, in all their do-it-yourselfishness will be so hopelessly dorky that when they do find a girl to marry them, we will be certain she is in love with the man himself, and not just his swarthy good looks.
I feel a certain responsibility to you though, dear readers. I feel I must spare you some of the harsh realities of homemade, or at least arm you with as much information as possible, before you go plunging half cocked into the vast chasm of “Things To Make and Do.”
So, today I will share with you some things that have worked, and some things that now reside in the Hall of Fervent Flopitude.
1. Shampoo – I was truly excited about the whole baking soda and apple cider vinegar approach to hair care. Firstly, these things are cheap, simple and readily available. Second, I tend to have a testy scalp that gets greasy in the summer and irritated and flakey in the winter. Attractive, right?
After lots of reading, I thought maybe the trouble was that I’d thrown off the natural, preordained balance of my hair, and that simplifying my routine would work miracles.
Alas, after six solid days of earnest effort, I was a complete and total wreck. My roots were greasier than a diner hamburger and my ends were the stuff scarecrows dreams are made of.
I tried. Really I did. I knew that there was going to be a “detox” period. I knew that I was going to have to pony-tail it for a while. But friends, it was bad. BAD.
You will note that there are no photos here. None. Oh no.
On the seventh day, God rested and Stefani used shampoo. I lathered up THREE separate times in one shower folks. It felt SO good. You know those old Herbal Essence commercials? Yeah, it was like that.
Not to be deterred though, I ordered up some shampoo bar samples from Chagrin Valley Soap
, and so far, I’m very pleased. They lather up nicely, and do a good job of cleaning my hair, plus they smell really good. I’m still having to use a bit of conditioner, but I’m hoping that after I’ve tried a few varieties of their shampoo bars and found the right one for my hair, or just by using them for awhile, I will eventually no longer need the store bought rinse.
2. Deodorant –
Okay, I’m going to preface this discussion with some information that may fall under the “too much” category. Brace yourselves.
I’m a sweaty individual.
It does not matter the season, or the locale. I sweat. A lot.
I don’t glisten. I don’t glow. I sweat.
I near about jumped over the moon when the clinical strength Secret came out, but, for me at least, it didn’t work one wit better than the regular stuff.
I never in a million years expected it to work! I’m telling you, all these years I’ve been looking for the toxic chemical that would finally, FINALLY do the job, and lo and behold, I find that a simple mixture of shea butter, cocoa butter, baking soda, corn starch and some smelly good oils would do the trick!
You know what? Even though it’s a deodorant, and not an antiperspirant, I actually sweat far less using this than the CLINICAL strength deodorant.
Fabulous, right? Amazing, right?
Yes, accept for one sorry little side affect. My underarms have turned brown.
What. The. Heck?
They don’t itch or feel different at all. The skin doesn’t seem irritated, it’s just brown. What is THAT?
So here’s my dilemma: sweaty and smelly or disturbing brown spottage?
Why can nothing be simple?
I can tell about one thing that is exceeding all my expectations though. You knew that we were making our own yogurt
. I love that. A lot. It’s fun and easy and cheap and healthy. Plus, since I have one picky little eater who will not let a fruit of any sort pass his lips, the yogurt has become a vehicle for his alloted daily dose of fruit.
We make a lot of smoothies.
So, when I saw these popsicle molds a while back, I thought it might be fun to turn our leftover smoothie bits into dessert.
Yogurt + milk + honey + peaches = three happy boys. (and yes, those are feet on the table.)
They think it is beyond fun that I’m willing to let them eat popsicles for breakfast too. I’m like the best mom evah.
(and also these
) are super easy to use, sturdy and worth their weight in vitamin supplements, if you ask me.
Phew! Is anyone still reading? I do believe that I’ll take my straw haired, brown pitted, way too wordy self into the kitchen for a popsicle now.