Monthly Archives: January 2012

Argan Oil – a new favorite!

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Argan Oil – a new favorite!

Wow.  I got home from work today and my package arrived from Mountain Rose Herbs!  I am so excited about it, I had to post!  I couldn’t wait to get the Argan Oil that I ordered.  It’s exotic and kind of expensive, but has amazing benefits for your skin and hair.  I have been washing my face with Lavender Castile soap for the past week now and I am very impressed with the outcome of using such a simple product with organic oils on my face.  I thought using oil on oily skin was a bad thing, but it’s been completely the opposite of what I thought using good healthy oils without all the preservatives.

Anyway, I used straight Argan oil on my face after washing it with my Castile soap and the results and feel are amazing.  It feels so smooth and soft.  Some of the benefits of Argan oil are that it can reduce lines and wrinkles, softens, protects against sun damage, helps heal acne and reduces the appearance of the scarring, great for stretch marks and redness, and on and on.

It is expensive as it is very hard and labor intensive to produce.  It comes from the nuts produced on the Moroccan Argan trees.  Kind of funny, but the goats over there climb the trees to eat the nuts.  Pretty fun to see pictures of!

The oil is also very nice on hair.  I haven’t tried it directly on my hair yet, but some of my favorite professional hair products contain Argan oil, so I can’t imagine it being anything less than amazing.  I will keep you posted!

Argan Oil

Argan Oil - a new favorite

Homemade Lip Balm

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OMG!  I just made my own lip balm.  I am in heaven!  I have been accumulating various oils and butters from my local health food store and after searching on the web for some ideas, I decided to dive in and make a trial batch.  It turned out better than expected and I can’t wait to share it with some of my family and friends!

Here’s how I did it and the products I used.  I also showed the quantity it made with the containers I used.

Homemade Herbal Peppermint Lip Balm

Ingredients for Homemade Herbal Peppermint Lip Balm (bees wax not shown)

This is how I did it.

I bought separate measuring cups to use for my lotions and potions so I could just wipe them out with a paper towel.  (They are not easy to clean)  I melted a little over a Tablespoon (Tablespoon plus a teaspoon) of beeswax in a measuring cup sitting in a pan of boiling water (acts like a double boiler).  As it was melting I added 1 Tablespoon of Shea Butter, 1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil (I bought this at Costco and use it for cooking), 1 Tablespoon Jojoba oil and  1/2 tsp of Cocoa Butter.  In a separate little container I squeezed the oil out of 2 Vitamin E capsules (acts as a preservative) and 10 drops of peppermint essential oil.  After the wax and oils were melted, I removed the measuring cup of wax and oil from the water and added my mixture of Peppermint Oil and Vitamin E.  I promptly poured into 3 small glass containers and the rest into some plastic bead containers (purchased from the craft store).  The bead containers worked well for my samples for people to try. I do not know how well they will seal if the lip balm melts in a hot car, but they were cheap and easy to purchase locally.   You can substitute ingredients to your liking.  The consistency turned out great.

Healthy Alternatives for Skin

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Since I live in a very dry climate, my skin takes a hit on dryness. I’m tired of spending money on lotions and creams that don’t work or fade away quickly. Preservatives are really starting to concern me with products and foods loaded with them. I truly believe the preservatives and processing in food and products are the main cause of health issues and I’m a walking testimony. Yes, I still use products that have been processed or have preservatives, but I’m trying to make some changes that could help. A great starting point is Rose Mountain Herbs. They have some great information and they are recommended by many as I am searching for places to buy good products. Needless to say, I will be making my own body lotion soon.

I Tried Making My Own Shampoo – Attempt #1

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Being a hairstylist by trade, I have to admit I am intrigued by cosmetics.  Even though I can purchase hair and skin products at a professional price, I still am annoyed at the cost of them, especially lotions and creams.  I am getting more and more away from chemicals and preservatives as I age.  I guess I feel that that may be the main contributor to some of the health problems I deal with.

Today, I tried to make my own shampoo after researching recipes on the web.  I put together my own, but it definitely needs a little tweaking.  The one product I do love is the Dr. Woods Lavender Castile Soap with organic Shea Butter.  It has some amazing ingredients.  My recipe today was:

  • 1/4 c. Dr. Woods Lavender Castile Soap
  • 1/4 c. Distilled Water
  • 2 drops Jojoba Oil
  • 2 drops of Vegetable Glycerin

Although my hair had a ton of body, it was a little strange and I think that was due to the Glycerin (which probably added the body, but made it a little dull), so I would omit that ingredient.  I also think it stripped some of the color out of my hair. The shampoo did not lather at all and I washed it twice and that could have been due to the glycerin.  I did use a little of my current creme rinse I had on hand.  I love the castile soap for washing my face though and it smells fantastic!  I’ll most likely use the rest of it for body wash.  I have to say I like my professional products so much better after this attempt, but I am not going to give up.  I’ll make another attempt later.

Lorraine’s White Bean Chicken Chili

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There are a few things I consider myself pretty good at.  Two of them are my chili that I make.  I get asked over and over for my White Bean Chicken Chili recipe.  I happen to throw it together one day trying to use up tiny tidbitz of ingredients I had on hand.  Well, needless to say, it tasted so good to me, that I wrote down the ingredients and I continue to share this with my family and friends.  I hope you enjoy.  I’ve never taken a picture of it, but if I do, I will add it to my post:)  I can make this in 30 minutes or less and it serves 6-8.

Lorraine’s White Bean Chicken Chili

1 (32 oz) carton of chicken broth

1 cooked rotisserie chicken ( I use the ones already cooked from the store)

1 c. sour cream

2 cans white navy beans (drained)

1 can kernel corn (drained)

1 can evaporated milk (regular sized)

½ cup milk

¼ c. flour

1 small can chopped green chilies (you can use mild or hot depending on your taste, I like Hatch’s brand mild)

1 can Hatch’s green chili cooking sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Fajita seasoning to taste (about 1 tsp.)

4 oz. Colby/Jack or regular jack cheese

Remove chicken from bones and put in big pot with broth and bring to boil.  Add rest of ingredients except milk, evaporated milk, flour and cheese.  Cook on medium heat until mixture boils again.  Turn down heat and simmer.  In the meantime, add flour to milk to make thickening.  Stir until smooth, pour into pot and add evaporated milk and bits of cheese.  Heat until thick and bubbly.  Can serve with warm tortilla

Cake/Food Plates

Gallery

Thrift Store Furniture Make-over

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Thrift Store Furniture Make-over

Ok, I had no idea what I was doing when my daughter and I decided to work on a couple of old tables we acquired.  I bought mine sometime ago for $10 at a Goodwill Store.  I liked the fact that it was all wood and was very simple.  My daughter Chelsea acquired her desk for free on Craigslist.  You have to be at the right place at the right time to find the right free items on Craigslist.  It can be here today, gone in 30 seconds!  Her desk was a heavy beast, but was exactly what she wanted style wise.  And so the journey began:)  Here is a picture of my before picture.

Thrift Table Before

So I sanded my table, put primer on it, with all intentions of distressing it when finished.  I decide on white for fun.  It was my first project.  I looked on the web for tiny tidbitz of inspiration and this is what my final project looked like after painting and sanding.  I’m going to look for some cute knobs to add a little more character.

Thrift Store Table After

Start with a project that you don’t have a lot of cost involved in.  Here is a picture of my daughter’s desk right after she applied the last coat of paint.

Chelsea's Free Craigslist Desk

Chelsea's Finished Craigslist Free Desk