Thursday, March 12, 2015

Let's try this again...

In my last post (7 months ago...gasp!) I talked about moving away from commercial deodorant to a homemade version.  Simple and straightforward with edible ingredients (well, except the oils...I'm no expert on essential oils and don't know which ones are ok to consume, so let's not go taking a swig from any bottles, m'k?).  It was good, but I had some stinky days, and the biggest drawback was that I had to keep it in the fridge.  At all times.  If I didn't it would melt.  It would also melt really quickly when it came into contact with my fingers so I usually ended up with a lot of oil on my hands. I also got quite a lot of powder build up in my pits.  It got me thinking, though; maybe I could add some beeswax to the formula to make it solid at room temperature.  There were lots of recipes online that utilized beeswax so I tried a couple out.  Some had too much, some had not enough.  Some had other ingredients that I didn't have (and was feeling too cheap to go out and buy).  I also found that my pits were starting to get little angry red bumps from the baking soda.  Apparently this is a pretty common problem for those with sensitive skin.  That got me searching further.  Finally after trying a few different formulations and using different powders as a substitute for the baking soda, I came up with my own concoction and I'm quite happy with it!  I usually don't have any stink and when I do, it seems to have more to do with the fabrics I'm wearing (polyester, anyone?  bletch!  I now really understand why Stacy and Clinton on WNTW were such proponents of natural fibers!).  So, without further ado, here is my recipe and step-by-step guide to DIY No-Stink!


1/4 c beeswax
1/4 c coconut oil
1/4 c cocoa butter
1/4 c arrowroot flour
1 tbsp. corn starch
1 dropper Vit E oil (I think it's about a tsp)
8 drops Tea Tree oil
10-20 drops essential oils for your own personal scent

I bought my beeswax in a big block from a local farmers' market.  Since a big block of beeswax is kind of hard to cut/melt/deal with, I used an old cheese grater to shred little bits at a time. It's still a bit of a pain, but it's significantly cheaper than buying wax pellets.  Pellets a good option though if you don't have access to a bee-keeper, or if the smell of unprocessed beeswax is a bit overpowering for you.  I labeled my deodorant-making-jar and use a separate wooden spoon specifically for my deodorant, simply because I also make lotion bars and don't want the powders from the deodorant mixing in with the lotion bars and, let's face it, there's always residue in the jar when I'm done. 

So, getting on with the step-by-steps: 
Start by melting the wax as this will take the longest.  Boil about 2" of water in a small pot and put your wax in the glass jar into the water.  Stir until the wax melts.  The smaller your pellets or wax shavings are, the faster it will melt. 

Once the wax has melted, pop the cocoa butter and coconut oil in.  These will melt fairly quickly. Keep stirring to melt them faster.

When all of the solid lumps are gone, remove your jar from the heat and take it to your work area.  This is what your melt will look like:

Add in the vitamin E oil, then dump in your arrowroot flour and cornstarch.  Stir until smooth.

Finally add in your essential oils, give a quick stir and pour your liquid deodorant into silicon moulds.  I ordered some silicon muffin tins online that I like for deodorant.  Let it cool and voila!  You're done!  Swipe it on in the morning and you're good to go!

Good luck!! I'd love to hear what you think about this formula, or if there are others you've liked better!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Crunchier Than Thou - Save me from the stink!

First, let me preface this by saying I'm not a hippy.  Well, maybe by comparison some would say I'm pretty crunchy, and I do believe in being good to one another and tolerance, but I'm digressing here.  I'm not a hippy and those I know who consider themselves to be earth-muffins chortle at the idea of me being called a hippy.  So, with that in mind, let's get down to business.  I have recently become disillusioned by the amount of garbage in toiletries. A few months ago I started trying to only buy body products that didn't contain parabens (scary little preservatives that mimic estrogen in the body). That got me thinking about all of the other dicey shit in the things we slather our bodies with each and every day.  The problem is that products without the scary additives are kind of pricey.  That led me to make my own.  I started with deodorant.  Why? Because I don't like to stink, because aluminium is linked to Alzheimer's, and because when I'm nursing my baby and her curious hand reaches up and starts exploring my armpit I cringe to think what she's getting on her hands and what will eventually end up in her mouth. So, if I'm afraid of her ingesting even just a little bit from her fingertips, why should I be ok putting it on my body every single day? Exactly. Also, I love the self-righteous feeling I get from "stickin it to the man".
I did some research and it turns out it's easy as pie to make!  You only need three ingredients (I used four but I'll get to that later): coconut oil, arrowroot powder and baking soda.  I also threw in some Sweet Orange Essential oil to make it smell nice.  I find the recipe here. Since it was my first attempt I decided to half the recipe.  I wasn't keen to have a whole pile of the stuff if it turned out to be atrocious.
Four simple ingredients.  It doesn't get much easier than that!
I mixed it all together in a bowl with a fork until it was thick paste then transferred it to an old baby food jar.  It's summer and I wasn't sure how warm the house would be and if the whole thing would melt to a useless puddle (as coconut oil is want to do) so I popped it in the fridge.  It turned rock hard in a very short period of time so I took it out overnight in hopes of being able to use it in the morning. The substance was very pliable and I was able to rub it on my pits after my shower this morning.  I used a bit too much though and ended up with a few white clumps. They just brushed off.  I decided the deodorant might be easier to use if it was harder though so I transferred some to an empty antiperspirant container.  It was pretty simple: just dial the thing down, smoosh the paste into the container, smooth out the top and voila! Looks like a regular chemical-laden bar!  I popped it back in the fridge and will see tomorrow if it's easier to apply that way.
I started this project at a very convenient time when I happened to be at the end of my regular antiperspirant.
Now comes the true test: will I stink? Hopefully for the sake of my husband and friends this experiment will be a success!  (Oh, and just so you know, I sweat. And I've been a die-hard antiperspirant user since my teen years.  This could get interesting!) 

Update: Since dousing myself in this tasty smelling business this morning I did a bit of reading and learned that it can take up to two weeks for the pits to shed the nasty stuff that they've been absorbing from antiperspirants, and that during that time a I MAY be stinkier than normal...a clever ploy by the deodorant companies to make you think you NEED their products.  After that it should be smooth sailing.  We shall see, my friends.  We shall see. 

Next Crunchy Project: Shampoo.  (Testing is running concurrently)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Tales of a Fixer-upper

Photo 1: Heeeeeyyyyy, what the??  What did you do to my house???
Photo 2: Well, it's a little more silvery and red than I had wanted....
Photo 3: Hey!  That's better!  Brad's hard work has paid off!  The siding is done!  (Ok, so it was a lot more work than three photos shows, but these were the only pictures took)

My Photography Class

So, I bought a new camera and now I'm trying to learn how to use it. So, when I saw a groupon for an online photography class, I figured why not? My first two weeks have gone well (and I've had lots of enthusiastic models!). Here are some of my favorite shots so far.





Thursday, August 09, 2012

Epic Birthday Present

Ok, so it's a couple of months late for Brad's birthday, but it took a while for the artist to get it right (or close to right, anyway). I took these photos because I thought Ollie might like to feel like the big one for a change.

Saturday, July 28, 2012


Sitting in the Toronto airport waiting for my flight to Saskatoon after just about a week in Indianapolis so I thought now might be a good time to update my blog.  I left for Indianapolis on Monday (terribly early in the day) and spent the week at the NAHCR (National Association of Health Care Recruiters) annual conference.  It was a spectacularly good time!  I went with 5 of counterparts from across the province.  We networked, discussed issues, learned about new trends and somehow managed to fit in some shopping.  Not really sure when we were able to do that, but, well, a girl has priorities! 
I wasn't really sure what to expect from our neighbours to the south (after all, they don't even include the "u" in "neighbours"!) but I was delighted by how friendly everyone was. We were greeted, welcomed and enthusiastically recognized by everyone there. By Wednesday I was responding to shouts of "Hey! Canada!" from across conference rooms. Lest you think the friendliness was just due to fact that the particular type of people that are attracted to Recruiting as a profession are outgoing and friendly, we were pleased to find that the staff at restaurants and stores were also delightful, happy, helpful people. I have posted a few pictures, though, in honesty, I was so busy I had very little time for phototaking.

My room.  SWANKY
View from my room.  I should have taken one at night.  It was very pretty.
 All dressed up for the President's Gala.  (See that orange bag?  Yeah, that's Kate Spade.  I won it!  WOOT!  Also, feel free to be jealous now)
 Michele from Indianapolis and I smiling because we both have Hair-Envy for each other.  I love the natural curls she's got.
 Ok, so the gala was getting a bit dry, so I made some napkin origami.  The crane's head wouldn't stand up though, so I was propping it... later on it accurately resembled Looney Toons roadkill.
One of the booths at the exhibit hall had a caricature artist so we all got our pictures done.  This was the next day, hence the different outfits. 
Those are about all of the photos I took though.  I wish I had taken more and had more time to look around Indy, but from what I did get to see it seemed like a really pretty city.  I'm glad to be heading home though, it will be nice to see Brad.  It's been a while! 
Update: flight is delayed in Pearson.  Sigh.  This is the second time I've found myself sitting in this airport facing a delay.  And I've only flown through here three times.  So far, not super good odds.