Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Updates GALORE. Plus homemade toothpaste.

Chez Nash Humphrey has had an influx of visitors in a short time, so evenings have been mashed into chores and chillaxing because I'm tired from the chores. Oh and it's football season, so work has been all a flurry. 

I'll get back to regular posts shortly but did have some updates planned so I'm smushing all of them together into one, fairly lame, post.  Sorry, peeps but I am throwing in my homemade toothpaste recipe and review. I know you are on the edge of your seat.

Garden update
First harvest consisted of 2 jalapenos*, 4 roma tomatoes, 2 beefsteaks, handfuls of herbs.  
Tomatoes: have 4 beefsteaks greening up and 4 more romas. 
First tomato harvest
Jalapenos: ok so this is the odd man out as I have no new buds. C'est dommage.
First jalapeno harvest
Red peppers: I had one, count 'em, ONE pepper growing. Then something decided to burrow inside of it and ate it from inside out (gross). BUT the good news is there are 4-5 new buds so maybe I'll get one?
Lettuce: had pretty awesome first harvest and happy to say it's growing again. Not as profusely but given that I had no clue what I was doing, I'll take it.
Herbs: first harvest was good. Need to harvest again as they are out of control! WOOT. Except for cilantro and dill which have gone to the great garden in the sky. Bummer. 

Homemade deodorant update
Mixed review. In general, I like it and it works well. Even after a trainer lead workout for an hour, I'm really not that stinky (or not as stinky as one would expect to be after a heavy workout like that). But I have uber sensitive skin and this stuff really dries my skin out and makes it itchy. 

I've been adding extra oils (coconut and also tea tree and lavender), which has made it better but after a few days application, my skin is back to itchy and slightly red. Gonna need to do something different for the second batch. I am only about 1/2 done with first batch though, keeping in mind, I have been adding small amounts of oil to thin in out. 

Homemade facial cleansing cloths update
Un-freaking-paralleled success. I am a homemade facial cleansing cloth GENIUS!! <insert maniacal laugh here>. First batch lasted just over a month and a half. A few observations: I used them more frequently because in my mind, they were so less expensive than the store bought and also because we had a decent hot spell in July, so it was just nice to cleanse my face more often. 

Second batch, I am liking even more. I didn't use as much liquid so not as moist when I take one out of the container.

Observations: the blackheads I always have on my nose are gone. Seriously. G-O-N-E. And my skin is really soft. The cloths leave just a faint hint of coconut oil on my face so even after I've cleansed it, there's a nice layer to keep it moist. I clearly, do not have oily skin - I have normal to dry, so I really think winter will be a better, truer test of the cloths on my skin. I will frequently get dry patches on my cheeks in the winter, y'see. 

But I really love these and unless they fail me in the winter months, do not foresee going back to store bought. I do plan to explore some options other than commercial paper towels since most of them are bleached to be super white! I'm sure there's a nice option available that I've just not uncovered.

So the new part: Homemade Toothpaste
I love clean teeth. I love going to the dentist. If I could get my dental insurance to pay for it, I would go get my teeth cleaned weekly - that's how much I love clean teeth. 

I typically use a toothpaste with baking soda in it and as I was running low on my tube, decided to take a foray into homemade and see if I liked it. I do. 

The recipe is really easy and I already had all the items in my house, so really cheap too. I used 2/3 cup of organic baking soda, 2 tsp. of fine sea salt and 3-5 drops of real peppermint extract with a wee bit of water, just to make it a paste. Easy peasy

Observations: even though I sanitized the jar (twice actually) before I put it to use, I do not recommend using a garlic jar. Yes, sometimes I am super lazy so I normally have a small jar of minced garlic in olive oil on hand. The jar was a recycled version - again sanitized twice but at the end of the day, still rather heavy on the garlic scent. I ended up using a different jar after a few days since my concoction was more garlic peppermint flavored. And frankly, that is a gross combo. 

Another observation is I won't use sea salt the next time. As with the rest of me, my teeth are mildly sensitive and the baking soda does a fine job of scrubbing on its own. Plus, I'm just not a huge fan of overly salty things and this qualifies, even though it's not a lot of salt. 

Super cheap though: figuring less than a penny a "serving", esp. the jar is re/upcycled. And my teeth feel just-post-dentist clean, shiny and smooth. Every day!

What I think is awesome is there are literally a hundred bajillion ways to hack this. You can use coconut oil, you can use just sea salt, you can add cinnamon or other flavorings to your taste - the possibilities are just endless. And cheap. 

Ad hoc observation: as a woman of a certain age, when I have had blemishes of late, they have been primarily on my chin area. Without the added fluoride (and other toxic-ey chemicals), I've noticed a decrease in the frequency of the blemishes. Note I am still getting one but they are way smaller, less icky and don't stick around as long. In the spirit of full disclosure I didn't even read the article about how fluoride might be causing my blemishes until after I noticed the decrease, so use that info as you would. 

To sum up, I'm pleased to far with my fledgling entree into the world of homemade. There is tweaking to be done on a few products but:
a. they are all easy and quick to whip on my own. Frankly, take no more time than driving to the market, wandering to the correct area, standing in line to pay for the items, driving home, unpackaging them and using them. 
b. I feel a whole lot better about what is in them because I truly and literally know what's in everything. 
c. these are a heck of a lot less expensive than store bought. 

Next post will return to some of our Ohio adventures. Basically, we hit some type of festival for four weekends in a row, so coming up: Columbus Wine Festival and Columbus Food Truck and Cart Festival reviews. 

Have an awesome week!

*-technically, I had three jalapenos on the vine but the one in the middle, magically didn't fall onto the deck, it didn't fall off the I'm left to hope that whatever @$$jack squirrel whorked it had a massive case of squirrel intestine unease. So there. Stupid poopie headed squirrels!

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