Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Whip It Good

I have been using coconut oil to moisturize my children's skin for a couple of years now. It's cheap, it smells good, and it doesn't contain any weird ingredients that cause their sensitive skin to rebel. After their bath each night, we slather them down in organic coconut oil before sliding them into their PJ's and off to bed. J's eczema has all but disappeared since we stopped "chemicalizing" him and we only have to deal with an occasional dry patch on his cheeks or tummy. I've made him a special salve with calendula and chamomile for those spots and with diligent application, they fade away in about a week.

I've been trying to incorporate more coconut oil into our daily lives, both by cooking with it and by using it in the body care products I make. Experts claim that coconut oil can help with just about everything from hair and skin health, to lowering cholesterol levels and helping maintain a healthy weight. And the fact that it smells like a tropical vacation doesn't hurt either!

Anyway, I do NOT use coconut oil as a moisturizer as my children do. I tried to but ended up feeling like a greased pig, a glistening Hawaiian Tropic model gone terribly wrong. It does soak in eventually but rarely do I have the time to lounge naked, waiting for my coconut oil to absorb before I dress and get on with my day. Who does?

I've been wanting to make my own lotion for quite some time but the emulsification process is intimidating. Oh the blending! The blending! I came across a recipe for body butter that looked easy as pie and required NO tricky emulsification techniques. Melt, chill and whip! That's it. So, so easy.

I used olive oil instead of almond since that is what I had on hand.
And oh, what a glorious concoction it is! Silky, fluffy, buttery goodness that melts right in to the skin and leaves it glowing and quenched. No greasy, glistening pig here thankyouverymuch. My DIY body butter is free of freaky chemicals and is inexpensive to boot. Gently scooped out and placed in my empty shea butter container,  I'm sure to have healthy, luminous skin for months to come.


Sunday, November 18, 2012

Back At It

I've had a rough couple of months. It's been very difficult and I expect it will continue to be for a while. I've been "emotional auto-pilot" and  in order to cope, I let a lot of things fall to the wayside. It was everything I had to just to exist. I cooked less, exercised less, cleaned less, created less and slept a whole lot more. But as I slowly adjust to what my new normal is going to be, I'm creeping out from the shadows and starting to pick up where I left off.

Today was beautiful fall day in the desert and just the thing I needed to get moving in the right direction. Our yard and garden have been sorely neglected since the end of the summer so we spent a few hours cleaning up and making plans for our next planting. Like many gardens in the desert, ours is watered by automatic irrigation which we never shut off after the intense summer sun fried what was left of our crops. Lower temperatures and ample water caused an explosion of weeds and other unwanted foliage but buried under the mess we found some of our hardier plants had survived and were thriving!

My herbs, though tangled in bermuda grass, are huge. The basil, thyme and rosemary are enormous! Our artichoke plants came back and look healthy as ever. We found a few eggplants and tomatillos hiding in the shadows of a huge tumbleweed. And peppers. OH. MY. GOODNESS. POUNDS of cayenne, cherry peppers, bell peppers and jalapenos. My hubby makes his own hot sauce but with this many peppers he'll be able to make a gallon or two!

Our lemon tree is also heavy with fruit. Not all of them are quite ready but the kids had a great time picking a pile big enough for my husband's famous lemon chicken (with our newly rediscovered backyard herbs!) and a pan of lemon squares.

And while we were picking and cleaning, K found a praying mantis hiding in the bushes. We've seen a few of these interesting creatures in our yard but this one happened to be eating a wolf spider. My kids watched him eat until he was finished. I don't think they've been that rapt with anything in a long time!

I wish I had a better lense so I could get closer but if you really look you can see the spider!