Friday, February 28, 2014

The Home-made Series: Shampoo

I've been intrigued by all the homemade soaps, cleaning products and beauty products 
that people are coming up with as an alternative 
to the chemically-laden options that most stores carry.
There seems to be no lack of recipes; all anyone needs is a little time to dive in!
Winter is my project time.
We can't do much outdoors, so my to-do list becomes quite lengthy.
My friend, Edith & I decided to start making some of those recipes
and I wanted to blog about the results.
Obviously, it's a trial-and-error process, and not everything turns out the way you wish. Ahem.
But, it's still fun trying!
And hopefully, I'm learning some things as I go too.

Our first project was homemade shampoo.
The recipe used castile soap as the main ingredient, with honey, coconut milk and essential oils.

Here are the amounts:
  • 1/2 cup liquid castile soap
  • 1/4 cup canned coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp. fractionated coconut oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Vitamin E oil
  • 40-50 drops essential oils [we used lavendar & orange]

We didn't find these items in our local stores, although a natural food store would probably have some things.
Vitacost is my favorite place to shop for these ingredients,
and they carried everything but the coconut oil.
That can be purchased on Amazon.

You also need 1 cute little girl with curly hair and a big red bowl.
And a whisk.
Well, you can make it minus the cute little girl, 
but it won't be as...

Just dump the ingredients in a big bowl and stir,
or put on a lid and shake to combine.
Dispense into bottles and shake before using.

Edith loves this shampoo, and my husband has been very happy with it too!
My hair is more greasy and I wasn't happy with how it cleaned it, 
even though it's supposed to work well for more oily hair.
So...I'm sticking with a really basic routine,
which is to wash my hair with baking soda
and rinse with vinegar.
Works beautifully!

Do you have a favorite home made shampoo?

Saturday, February 15, 2014

V Day Musings & the Meaning of Love

Valentine's Day has come and gone,
but with all the controversy about whether or not it's worth celebrating,
I've been thinking a lot about the meaning of this day.
For years, V day was a big deal to me.
When I was single, it was a reminder of what I was missing out on.
After I got married, it was a time to celebrate with my husband...
and hope that just maybe he'd remember to buy me some flowers,
or take me on a date!

Flowers and chocolates and dates are wonderful,
if they don't become the gauge for true love.
Because let's face it,
sometimes we end up getting disappointed.
Husband comes home from work late and is too tired to go out for supper.
Or he completely forgot about Valentine's Day and those anticipated flowers never arrived!

Is that really a true test of love?
Because that's what the celebration is all about, right?
What exactly is that?
It's a selfless giving of oneself for the good of another,
a choice to place another above ourselves.
So, it's really not about me.
It's about pouring out my life into someone else.

It's the mother who labored long hours to make a special dinner for her family.
It's the father who got up early and came home tired, working to pay the bills.
It's the patient care for a sick child.
It's the faithful prayer for someone who is lost.
It's the encouraging word for a friend who is struggling.
And yes, sometimes it is a dozen red roses!

What matters isn't if or how we celebrate Valentine's Day;
what matters is that we love,
the sacrificial kind of love that pours life into those around us,
the Love that Christ poured into us.

"This is love: not that we loved God, but that He loved us,
and sent His Son to be an atoning sacrifice for our sins."
I John 4:10

And hey, if you got roses on top of that,
consider yourself really blessed!

Friday, February 7, 2014

New York City Getaway Part I

A few weeks ago,
Eddie took me to NYC
for an unforgettable two days!
It was my 30th birthday I will always treasure.

Seeing a Broadway Show has been on my bucket list for a long time.
And getting to experience that with my husband was a dream come true!

We chose to see the Lion King.
It was the most expensive choice, but it was worth every penny!


I worried a little that we would enjoy a musical,
but it was so much better than I imagined it to be!
The costumes, music & story line were all sensational.
It was unlike anything I've ever seen!

"There is simply nothing else like it!" Truth.
From the opening act, we were captivated!

I was actually here! Pinch me.
I'm already dreaming of going back to see another show!! 

Times Square is such a fascinating place, with the mobs of people and neon-lighted billboards flashing advertisements on skyscrapers.

There was so much noise, with constant traffic and the blaring of horns.
I don't think this city ever sleeps!

Dramatic color everywhere!

Roasted chestnuts.
Christmas lights.
Pretty cozy, huh?

An American Girl Doll Store!
Oh, the bliss.
Someday, we'll bring Hadassah here to choose a doll. Maybe I'll get one too.

Rockefeller Center was especially festive with all the lights!

A parade of angels with trumpets welcomed us at the entrance.

It had an absolutely magical feeling.

The Christmas tree was stunning!
Skating on The Rink was on my list,
until I saw that it cost $100/person.
But since that included hot chocolate & cookies, it was almost a good deal!

Here's our obvious tourist shot.
1) It's in front of the tree
2) A stranger's arm is in the photo
3) I look super giddy, because I am!

From there, we headed to The Rock.
The view was breathtaking!!!

The Empire State Building was a beautiful sight.

Seriously, I love the city best at night!
Can you see why?

And this was the view from our motel room...a perfect end to an amazing day!

In case you were wondering, this is what I wore!

Come back soon to see pics of the second part of our trip!! Happy weekend!