7 Quick Takes #26

Back again for 7 Quick Takes with Jen & Co. Last week was tough and painstakingly slow, this week is the opposite. I feel like I just wrote this post yesterday. –1– First order of business is the therapy evaluations … Continue reading

DIY Coffee Face Scrub

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Since the discovery of the amazing Iced Coffee recipe, I’ve made four ty five batches of it. Each time, after throwing away a pound of coffee grounds, I feel it a pity that I can’t use some small amount for …SOMETHING! (I don’t have a garden, or I’d definitely use it there!) I have a hard time throwing stuff away if I can see uses for it in the future. Maybe I hoardeth a little.

My face usually feels like the epitome of Nefertiri’s jealous, haughty description from the movie The Ten Commandments:

“Does she… grate garlic on her skin? Or is it soft… as mine? Are her lips chafed and dry as the desert sand? or are they moist and red like a pomegranate?”

And though Moses shuts ol’ Neffy down, I’ve always been the worry-faced meme, wringing my hands in “what to do” anxiety, saying “okay.”

My mother, and sister, and friend, Heather prompted me to start reading the ingredients on the labels of of my soaps/lotions/perfumes/deodorants etc. hmm.
“What are these ingredients?”
“What is methylparaben?”*
“What is alksjflajfpejqfklnfsghskljgdn?”
And “Why and how can companies put alksdjaslkjfalksfjalkfjalkfj into my lotion and think I’m not going to question what it is?”
Well… I actually hadn’t ever questioned, or even bothered to read the labels until someone bothered to bother me. It started with my mom telling the dentist to opt us out of fluoride treatments, then reading about aluminum levels found in antiperspirants… all downhill from there, folks.

*To answer: methylparaben is one of a family of “parabens” which serve as a preservative (keeps them from getting nasty, growing mold) found in the wide array of beauty products, high end and drugstore brands, and even in food. These parabens are suspects in the ongoing unsolved mysteries of many different causes of cancer, though they are tied to breast cancer. …I’m lazy, you can research too! One might start here, or here. (<The second link is a database of cosmetics and their toxicity level ratings. Ugh, I just searched my favorite hair styling products and they’re listed as “highly toxic”)

These mystery ingredients are in almost everything I put my hand on at the grocery store. It drives me insane.
Though I’m a little extreme and this kind of stuff radiates into how we eat and how we breed. Foreign chemicals and hormones come at a price. Maybe the bill comes due when I’m 50 years old, maybe 100, maybe the price is indebted into my own childrens’ bodies…

Once I learned what certain ingredients actually were, I became ENRAGED to discover that I was throwing away dem hundo dollaz at Sephora for cancer ingredients, BEESWAX, AND MINERAL OIL. In a .3oz jar. To give you an idea of the absurdity: one can purchase a pint (16oz) of mineral oil at Kroger for under $5.

But hey, pretty jar, right? At least the inconclusive-possibility-of-cancer-which-more-studies-need-to-be-conducted-but-until-then-go-ahead-and-risk-it looks pretty in pink, no? At least there’s that.
I don’t make all of my own stuff. I can’t.
I don’t have the time/resources/humility to dedicate to DIY’ing ALL THE THINGZ nor to stop using Kenra #25 Hairspray. That stuff is pure toxic gold.
S’why I said “within my own reasonable means”. It’s up there. I wrote it.

So within my own means and for my sanity’s sake, I have slowly, over the course of a few years, tried a few Make Your Owns for the betterment of my health, the health of my family, the environment, and because in many cases, it costs less moula and you can have better quality.
I always have to say to myself, “CALM THYSELF. Try one thing at a time.”

I’ve been beginning to question the daily use of soap to wash my face. Ew? I dunno. My face tends to do better when I don’t wash it so much. When I do, I use a small dab of baby shampoo (yes, I’ve seen DIY baby shampoo recipes, haven’t tried it), yet I still become Nefertiri’s image of worked-desert-mule skin and I molt. Gross.
So I says to myself, I says, “Self, you need one o’dem MY-CROW-DERM-AH-BRAYSHUNZ.” Get all of that dead, desert sand offa that face.
Another factor as to why I’m motivated to try DIY’s is that I am terribly impatient, and when I says things to myself like the above, I start scratchin’ all over Pinterest for ideas as opposed to wanting to wait and purchase something that may or may not have Cancerbeans in it.
As it always does, Pinterest pulled through.

USE THOSE BREWED COFFEE GROUNDS, you hoarder, you! And store it in a saved diced pimento jar. Bangarang.

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For my concoction, I used:

1/4 cup brewed coffee grounds (any coffee will do, heck, tear open a used K-cup!)
1/4 cup sugar in the raw
1 T coconut oil
3-4 drops Sweet Orange essential oil (it takes the bitter notes off of the scent of the brewed coffee and adds a lovely sweetness)
1 T Epsom Salts

Mix into a jar.
Apply, scrub, rinse.
Sorry, I’ve talked you into getting your sink dirty.

Anyway, I decided to share this here, had it drafted out, and then as I was raking through a fairly new-to-me blog, I discovered this fun-to-read lady shared a coffee scrub too. here’s her recipe. here’s my pin, too. Not that I have the audacity to believe this is an original post in any way whatsoever, but go figure. It’s been done before. again and again and again.

I did not mean for this to turn into a “DUMP YOUR COSMETICS, EVERYTHING YOU HAVE WILL KILL YOU” post.
I’m slowly over time, learning more, eliminating more and more products, if I find I’m willing to part ways. Bath & Body Works, we broke up long, long time ago. Kenra… I still want you. I need you. I love you long time. maybe.

Oh. Yes. Here’s photographic evidence that the coffee did not tint my skin a shade darker, though I kind of hoped it would.

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And my skin feels and looks AMAZE. ING. Nefertiri-like, perhaps, except for the beard.

What are your favorite healthy beauty products or DYI pins?

I wanna know! I wanna do mad scientist projects!

7 Quick Takes The Summer Things Issue

Guys, gals, it’s summer time.  Well, actually, it’s still spring, but whatever.  I’ve been out with my family, under the sun! Here are some of the things that have quickly become my summer favorites for on-the-go with my ruffians three. Enjoy! Then go see what Jen & co are writing about!

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The Ergo Baby Carrier.

I carry Collin everywhere.  Ev-ry-WHERE.  For months, I have been dying for something a bit sturdier than my Balboa sling (which I still love and use for short amounts of time).

Target has finally started selling more baby carriers other than the Baby Bjorn. We never got Baby Bjorn because of the reported hip displacement/stress the carrier induces by the way it holds the baby.  Now granted, many people believe that this is not an issue because of the brief amount of time the baby will likely spend in the carrier.  However this is not the case for my babes. I like peace.  I carry him because that makes him happy.  Happy baby = happy mommy = happy baby. I am an AP mom, and given the evidence and personal experience, there’s nothing that will convince me otherwise. Happy Mother’s Day to me.

I’ve been wearing Collin for two weeks in this carrier with no neck pain. However, I still prefer to wear him on my front. We went to the Zoo last weekend and he stayed put the entire time, save for a diaper changing.

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There is a zip pouch on the front, which I absolutely love.  It’s much bigger than it appears: room enough for one diaper, a small ziplock baggy of wipes, my essential wallet items, cell phone, and car keys.  No need to haul a huge diaper bag into the grocery store!
There’s a strange piece of fabric that is tucked into a second front pocket– strange, it appears, until one realizes its purpose!  Pull it up and snap it in place and this handy piece of fabric serves as a head covering to protect from sunshine, holds baby’s head from lulling backwards when baby falls asleep (he’s napping here as I type!), and serves as a cover so you can breastfeed (just loosen the straps a little) without taking him out of the carrier at all.  I wore my 2.5 year old on my back, and he was so comfortable, he cried when I took him out.  I was impressed with the weight distribution, and again, felt no strain on my neck at all.

I am less likely to use a carrier that requires the most pomp and circumstance to assemble, which explains my love for the Balboa sling, and while this carrier may appear to have a gazillion clips and straps, there are only two that need bothered with, once fitted to mom’s size. Snap, snap! and you’re good to go.   Bravo, Ergobaby, Bravo.

Neither Target, nor ErgoBaby paid or asked for me to write this review… but they should have, right?  I will accept iced espresso drinks as payment. thanks.

This carrier can be found on Amazon, but beware, I read that certain warehouses from Amazon are selling fakes.

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Public places with breastfeeding accommodation.

nursing nest

In the Cincinnati area, the Zoo and the Kenwood Mall both have rooms dedicated for nursing moms/moms with young babies.  I have been particularly impressed with the Cincinnati Zoo’s “Nursing Nest”.  For me, having a separate environment away from the loud, echoing toilet flushing, if even to change baby’s diaper, is a plus.  But extra rooms with privacy curtains, rocking chairs, or cozy couches?  Now that’s fancy!

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Iced coffee.

Preferably, with caramel and espresso.  But from Starbucks, that’s about $5 per heavenly drink. Even if I were really wealthy, I can’t reason spending $5 a day on a drink. A DRINK. That’s $35 a week. $35 can buy a box of diapers. So then, I imagine myself drinking a box of diapers away from my childrens’ sweet bottoms and I can’t do it. Starbucks is a special treat for me, something I award myself in advance for days when, say, I have to vacuum out the car because we have a family of rodents living the good life somewhere within.  I currently purchase the Caramel flavor syrup from Starbucks (yes, they’ll sell you one with a pump too, if you ask nicely), but they won’t sell me their frappuccino coffee concentrate. So I’ve been left to try to brew regular coffee and use it, failing miserably with watery, weak blended/iced coffee.
Nay!  Alack! It doesn’t have to be this way!  
My mom sent me a link from our friend, Mrs. Langenkamp, a link to coffee heaven.  This method keeps coffee cold, without it growing bitter over time.  I used Starbuck’s Pikes Place roast and only steeped it with 6qts, instead of the 8qts the Pioneer Woman instructs, and lemme tell you whut: thar be plenty yonder.

coffe fridge

I set it up at night, let it steep while I went to sleep. And when I woke up, I had an Iced Starbucks Caramel DREAM.

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Here you go, here’s the Pin.  You’re welcome.

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This sweet blue Mason jar.

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 I found them at Target at the end of an aisle with clearance stuff.  I was intending to use them to make candles, but drinking the magic coffee concoction out of one just made more sense. Don’t worry, Kate, I got one for you, too.

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Water Bottle.

CamelBak

Given the choice between the two, I pick coffee over water.  As much as I need coffee, I need water more.  The difference is that I don’t want it more.  Last summer I was Mrs. Preggers and in order to coax myself to drink more water, I found this pink CamelBak with a straw.  Now that warm weather is back, I’m continuing the use of this pretty charm. Coffee- check! Water- check!

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Blueberry Muffins with streusel crumble on top.

image via bakedbree.com

image via bakedbree.com

The muffins in my pic with the coffee are from this recipe. Again, you’re welcome.

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My Emmett saying “Mommy”

This has nothing to do with the rest of my quick takes, but it’s so noteworthy.  Last week, Emmett woke up from a nap and said “Mommy” with purpose.  If you’ve been following along, you’ll know he’s a little delayed on his speech development.  It was the sweetest symphony I’ve ever heard, and I thanked Jesus. I do thank Jesus.  “Mommy” is the best music in the world to hear, coming from your little babies.

Lastly, I’ve added a few things to my menu at the top of this page!  I compiled all of my birth stories!  It’s neat to see my transformation from uninformed, giving birth the way I fearfully believed “everyone does”, to a much more informed, empowered birth.  Hooray for knowledge!  Go have a read!