Medical Emergency

So, I know this blog is supposed to be about my kreative koncoctions that I like to try at home but I want to veer from that for this post to just talk about life. Sometimes we can cling to the idea of being our own “doctor” by coming up with and using our own home remedies but sometimes, in a real pinch, those don’t always work. Sometimes, we need an actual intervention with the good ol’ western doctors…which leads me to today’s post…

In the past few weeks, the BF (if you wonder why I don’t disclose his name, he’s VERY private – isn’t on social media or anything, so I respect his wishes and just refer to him as BF) has had some health issues that were really scary and needed some medical attention.

One day a few weeks ago, he started to feel a little “under the weather” , as if he might be coming down with the flu, except he didn’t really exhibit any flu-like symptoms other than feeling really weak and tired. So, he took a few days off work hoping some extra rest would get him back to normal but he just kept getting worse. One night, I tried to talk him into going to urgent care but he refused and said he’d call his doctor the next morning to schedule an appointment. We make it through the night only to find that his doctor didn’t have any availability that day and so I INSISTED on taking him to urgent care. BF is unbelievably stubborn and nearly refused to go but I think he realized things were NOT normal and he needed to see a professional.

By this point, he can barely stand, walk or get dressed on his own; his energy levels were too low and I’ve never seen him like this before so I’m staying strong and composed but secretly FREAKING out! He refuses to leave the house without a shower so he hops in only to realize that he can barely lift his arms to pick up his sponge and soap up, so I literally had to bathe him, help him get dressed and practically carry him to the car. Now, BF played football in HS and is really built like he belongs on a field; very strong and muscular but you wouldn’t have guessed it that morning; on a lite day he’s 225.

Anyways, I cart him over to our nearest urgent care, where we sit for an eternity in the waiting room (it wasn’t really that long of a wait, but in his state, it felt like forever!). He seems like he’s fading in and out of reality and can barely hold his head up. Finally they call us back, they take his vitals, we see a doc and he orders his sugar to be checked. The meter that they have only counts sugar levels up to 500; anything higher than that they get an “error” reading. Well, he got an error on his readings, which means he was waaaayyy above the normal range of between 70-110. The doctor briefly educated him on his new diagnosis of being a Type 2 Diabetic, gave him some pills and told me to make sure he drinks plenty of water because “he’s really dehydrated”. Looking back, (and other medical professionals have agreed) he should have sent us STRAIGHT to the ER…over 500 is a medical emergency and when we found out his actual numbers, he could have died!

Well, there was no keeping him hydrated that afternoon. When we got home, I tried to get him to drink some water, diet soda, suck on ice chips or anything to get fluid in his body but he couldn’t keep it down. I called urgent care back and the doctor told me, “Get him to an emergency room immediately. They are going to have to admit him for fluids. Tell me which hospital you’re going to and I’ll call ahead to make sure they’re ready for him.” YIKES! That was super scary! When a doctor is that persistent, you know it’s a serious situation.

So, I followed the doctors orders even though BF insisted “I’ll be fine…this is all a coincidence”. At this point, he’s barely lucid and I’m terrified he’s going to slip into a diabetic coma or something.  As soon as we got to the ER, they put in a room almost immediately, got him hooked up to fluids and an insulin drip and started him on the process to getting his sugar lowered. After taking some more precise tests, they found his sugar level to be 950!! As I said earlier, that is a serious situation and he could have died! Many have reminded him (us) that it’s a miracle he doesn’t have any permanent damage (he could have lost his vision, gone into a coma, had other organs shut down, etc.) Thank goodness he’s ok!

So, after the initial visit to the ER, they ended up moving him to ICU for 2-3 nights so his insulin drip could get monitored regularly. Then, he stayed in another room for 2 additional nights. By the time he left, his sugars were down under 250 (still high but not as worrisome as what they were initially). He’s been on some diabetic meds (no insulin at home for now, but we’ll see how much lower his numbers get on the pills; he may need to use insulin to regulate it a little more) as well as blood pressure and cholesterol pills. Slowly, by changing his diet, he’s gotten his numbers to around 150 or so. Hopefully, as he cuts back more and more on his carbs and sugars, he’ll get back to normal.

I share all of this with you guys because I know how some of us that prefer using “natural” remedies can be towards western medicine. I hate taking drugs and would rather make my own creams and ointments than purchase something in a tube that is filled with god-knows-what. But, there are times when a medical emergency arises and we are completely powerless. Nothing I could have done would have made the BF better in his hyperglycemic state; he needed insulin injections to get his sugar levels stabilized. He needed medical professionals to monitor his sugar, take blood samples, etc. to see exactly what was happening to him to make sure there wasn’t something more serious going on. Luckily for us, there wasn’t.

I also want to remind us to listen to our intuition. I mentioned that I wanted BF to go to urgent care the night before all of this happened but he was being stubborn. I wish I wouldn’t have listened. My gut was telling me something wasn’t right with him and that he needed  medical attention immediately. I don’t know what I would have done if he fell asleep that night and never woke (it happens!). We all have a god-given gut instinct that tells us when something isn’t right and I should have listened to mine. Thank goodness nothing worse happened to my sweetie pie. Next time, I will insist he goes to the ER or call an ambulance against his will, whether he agrees or not!

Thanks for listening. I hope that no one has to go through such a nightmare but I’m so glad BF is back home and trying to return to his healthy state. Now, we’re coping with a new diet and trying new recipes. I can’t honestly say that I’m excited about going low carb but hey, maybe it prevent me from becoming diabetic myself! Any recipes you guys swear by for new diabetics?



My Favorite DIY Home Cleaners

It’s been awhile since my last “hippy post”, as I like to call them, but that doesn’t mean I’ve completely fallen off the wagon and stopped going au naturale as much as possible. I’ve still been trying new things and figuring out ways to use less harmful chemicals, but honestly just haven’t made it a priority to blog. My apologies (I’m working on changing this…see this post)

I have tried lots of kreative koncoctions that I use regularly and don’t even think twice about anymore, so I thought I’d share a few of my favorite homemade cleaning remedies that I’ve learned thus far. You’ll find that it really boils down to three main ingredients that have multiple uses: baking soda, borax and apple cider vinegar (ACV) (and maybe some essential oils to make things smell nice:)). Between these three things, you’ll find you won’t need all those store-bought chemicals that are full of carcinogens and other harmful ingredients and they alone can handle most of your cleaning needs.

To jump right in, I’ll go through both the bathroom and kitchen (the yuckiest parts of my house) and share my favorite remedy for each “problem” area.


I really don’t like to clean but the bathroom has got to be my least favorite. I’m sure you can relate and understand without me needing to go into further explanation here. It’s just yucky! Despite that, it absolutely must be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent build up and germies that can make us sick.

I typically start with the toilet. I’ll sprinkle a little bit of baking soda in after a fresh flush, then leave it sit while I clean everything else. I may even add a bit of ACV to make it bubble for some added scrubbing power (think of middle school science class volcanoes!). Then I’ll come back after a half hour or so, when I’ve finished cleaning everything else, and give it a quick wipe with the toilet brush. (I must confess here, though. I DO use Clorox wands to clean my toilet because I simply cannot stand the idea of a dirty toilet brush hanging around the bathroom. So, after each use, I can toss the cleaning wand ‘head’ in the trash, where it belongs. Even though I use the Clorox wands now, I know this works without them because I’ve used a regular scrub brush before. Super easy. Maybe I can come up with a way to make my own ‘homemade’ wands to get rid of the bleach in the Clorox wands? I’ll have to research!) Anyways, the baking soda works like a charm and if you add ACV, even better. Hardly any scrubbing necessary here. And let’s be honest, the less time you spend scrubbing the porcelain throne, the better, right?

On the bathroom sink and counter, I like to sprinkle a little bit of baking soda and use a wet sponge. Sometimes, because of the Oil Cleansing Method that I use on my face, the sink can get pretty gunky and build up lots of grime quickly. I usually have to do this a few times a week to prevent it from getting totally disgusting. The baking soda really breaks down all those oils and brings back the shine, especially on the porcelain sink and faucet handles.

For the tub, I like to use a mix of borax and baking soda. The borax is very grainy, like sea salt, so it gives it a good scrub. The baking soda is much finer and more powdery, but because of my serious oil usage, the borax alone is not enough; it doesn’t break down those oils like the baking soda. Together, you’ll find they can really get your tub to shine! I’ve used baking soda alone on my tub, but recently tried a combo of the two and the borax adds some extra scrubbing power that baking soda alone just doesn’t give. Sometimes, if the tub is super grimey, I’ll even add a little Dawn detergent {GASP! Not super natural but boy does it help break down the oils I use.}

Borax, Baking Soda and Dawn

How to: I’ll usually spray the tub down with the shower head to get it wet first, then sprinkle a small amount of borax and baking soda on it (and Dawn, if necessary).  The first time you do this, if your tub has some stubborn stains, you may want to let it soak for a bit after you scrub. I mix the ingredients with water into a nice paste then let it sit on the bottom to break up the dirt. This really surprised me how nice and WHITE my tub got! Below are some pictures. Pretty, pretty please, with sugar on top, please don’t judge my tub. The combination of oils that I use, along with my black soap (not a paid endorsement…I literally love the CRAP out of that soap!) leaves my tub stained a nice grey-ish color most of the time, until I clean it. It’s really not THAT dirty…the black soap debris makes it look much worse!

On top of that, I bought an old house, with original old plumbing and every so often my drain gets clogged and moves very sloooowwly…the pics represent a few days of a clogged drain; before that it was sparkly clean:)! (Learn about my plumbing issues with my house and my homemade remedy for clogged drains here!)

[Forgive the state of my pictures; I am no professional photographer and these were taken with my handy-dandy iPhone, thank you very much.]


The “before”: full tub


The “before”: near the drain that was backed up

The "after": full tub

The “after”: full tub

The "after" near the clogged drain

The “after” near the clogged drain

I hope we can all move past the former state of my bathtub and leave behind any judgments going forward. I have now let you into my home and shown you the grossest part of it. I hope I didn’t lose you in the before pictures…you may now remove your jaw from the floor and continue reading…

Another thing that drives me crazy is when my shower head gets a build up of lime or calcium (like I know the difference! Lol) that minimizes the pressure the water. Mama needs a good, powerful shower after a long, hard day at the office, so I did some research to find a remedy. I found that soaking the shower head in a bit of ACV really does the trick. I put a bit of ACV in a ziplock baggy and tie it to my shower head. I leave it soak for a few hours to let the ACV get into those crevices to bring life back to my shower head; if it’s really bad and you’ve never done this before, leave it overnight. This really works! I have a few different pressure settings on my shower head and I noticed that a few of them weren’t working hardly at all because they had so much gunk built up. I actually did this today and now my shower head is like new!

Lastly, for your bathrooms, I’ve got a separate post that talks about clogged drains. If you notice that your tub or sink are draining slowly (remember those photos I posted that you promised to forget? My clogged sink is the culprit!), then a safe way to unclog the drains is with a combination of ACV and Baking Soda. Please check it out here! This is, by far, one of my favorite DIY fix-it remedies.


Most kitchen appliances I clean with baking soda alone. It has just the right amount of grit, but not too much, so it won’t scratch any delicate, pretty surfaces. Keep in mind that anytime you use baking soda, you can always add a bit of your favorite essential oil to give it a fresh scent. My “go-to” favorite oil for the kitchen is definitely lemon. You could probably even use some fresh lemon juice as well – it’s great for fighting germs and will definitely give you a nice, fresh scent. I haven’t tried it but it certainly couldn’t hurt:). I use baking soda for everything from counter tops, inside and outside the refrigerator, stove top and over many other surfaces. I’ve even converted the BF…when there’s something sticky on dishes that he can’t get off, he always reaches for the baking soda!

You could also use baking soda in the microwave but I’ve found the microwave has a lot of crevices that the baking soda can sneak into and get lost forever. Instead, I’ll mix about a cup of water with a half cup of ACV and microwave them for about 5-10 minutes, depending on the strength of your microwave. You want the water to get hot enough to start to steam and condensate but make sure it doesn’t boil over inside the microwave. This steam will loosen up some of the built up stuff and the ACV dissolves some of the funky smells that you may have gone “nose blind” to. When the microwave dings, just wipe it down with a sponge and it will be like new!

ACV is really good at getting rid of those funky smells and refreshing your appliances. Just as it works well with the microwave, it does wonders for your coffee pot! Fill your coffee pot 3/4 of the way with water, then top it off with ACV and run this through your coffee system without a filter. This is a great way to clean your coffee pot so that you can always have the freshest tasting coffee. Once it brews, then run just water through your pot, to get rid of any remaining vinegar scent.

I know that was a long post but hopefully you found some handy ideas that you can use for your cleaning. Do you have any other favorites? Please share in the comments!


Unclog that drain, baby!

A little over a year ago, I became a first time homeowner. Super exciting, right? Except, not. A few days after we moved in, we started having plumbing issues. And I’m not talking minor issues here…I’m talking water-coming-from-every-possible-crevice-of-the-plumbing problems! This all occurred despite a “thorough” home inspection and even an extra ($350!) video inspection of the pipes. (That’s a whole other post…but HOW is it possible that they missed this in the inspections?!)

Anyway, needless to say, that was an interesting situation. Thank God the BF has some plumbing experience and was able to come to the rescue. The sucky thing about my house is it’s a slab house, so should there be a SERIOUS plumbing issue, it’s gonna cost $$$ because the slab has to be broken and they have to dig to get to the pipes, replace them and then refill the hole with concrete — LOTS of labor costs! We’re talking thousands of dollars, here. I’m not getting paid for blogging, so I considered selling my soul, but the devil was busy with my home inspectors.

I have NO idea what happened but our big plumbing issues eventually ceased. I think the gods decided to have mercy on me because I was turning to tequila for stress relief and when I turn to tequila – ain’t nothing pretty about that!

One weekend last January we tried a DIY fix-it solution and rented an auger (an electric snake, basically, that can go hundreds of feet into your pipes – that sounds dirty, doesn’t it?:)) The BF didn’t think it did anything because the auger never “caught” on anything like it was busting up any gunk, so we figured it was a waste of time and money. But, it must’ve done something because we haven’t had any more leaking since then. (KNOCK ON WOOD and PRAY to the plumbing gods PLEASE because I cannot relive that nightmare!)

Since then, we have had to deal with the occasional clogged drains. I have to say, I shed. A LOT! My hair is EVERYWHERE and when I wash it, it goes straight down the drain! I even bought one of those hair traps but it doesn’t do anything. On top of my hair constantly falling out, some of the products I use in the shower only compound the situation – washing my face with oil, thick black soap, etc. So, we’re always dealing with standing water by the the end of our shower.

My remedy for this is a magical combination of BAKING SODA and VINEGAR. Remember those old science experiments you did as a kid when you mixed the two together to form a nice volcano…same concept, only imagine the volcano effect in the small confines of a 1.5 inch pipes (or whatever the dimensions are). I keep this stuff handy all the time and because I use it for many other things besides unclogging drains, I buy it in bulk at Costco for hell-a cheap! (Note the sizes: 1.32 gallons of Vinegar and 13.5 lbs of BS – for under $10!!)


Here’s my method:

  1. At the FIRST sign of slow drainage, I grab about a cup of BS and shove it down the drain as far as my little fingers will reach.
  2. Immediately following, I SLOWLY pour about a cup of vinegar over the BS. The combination will start to bubble. I usually pour a little vinegar at a time; each time you pour more, it will bubble more.
  3. Once I feel like the BS and Vinegar have combined pretty well, I grab an old wash cloth and shove it in the drain to trap them in so they’re no longer bubbling into the tub.
  4. I leave it sit as long as I can. This might be an hour (depending on if I need to get ready for something) or overnight. I don’t think that this will ruin your pipes in any way – at least not any more so than those harsh chemicals that cost WAY too much! I’ve read several blogs about this and no one has mentioned damaged pipes as a result of this. (Please NOTE: I’m no professional plumber! Just know that I’ve been using this method up again 60+ year old cast iron pipes and have had no negative repercussions.)
  5. Once the time is up, I remove the wash cloth and allow really HOT water to run through the pipes. This helps push that deadly combination further along the pipes.
  6. Then, I use my plunger (for the BATHTUB only…Yes, I have a special plunger just for the tub) and pump it a little bit. Run some more hot water, plunge and repeat a few times.
  7. Watch as the water freely flows down the drain…just the way nature intended!

This has been a lifesaver for me since buying the house. At my old apartment, I always called my landlord and I’d have to wait days for him to come snake the drain. Now, I can basically do it on my own with no muscle power at all. So, next time you have a plumber disaster (or a minor clog), give this a try and see how it works. It’s pretty fantastic!



So, I’ve been meaning to post but…

[insert any number of good excuses, including, I’ve been lazy, depressed, too busy, too tired, too uninspired, etc.]

And those are legitimate excuses but I’ve honestly MISSED writing and keeping up this blog. It’s funny because I started my blog when I discovered Pinterest and I wanted to use it as a way to share with everyone all the cool Pinterest projects that I had tried. And believe me, I tried quite a few and still use a lot of the ideas today. What I discovered during the process was that I really enjoyed writing. The projects themselves were fun and handy and I’m all about being as chemical-free as possible but the true passion was in the writing.  I also liked the feedback that I got from others. It’s somewhat rewarding and validating to have someone say, “I tried this too and it helped me!” But, then life happens and you lose sight of things you enjoy. You get busy, you buy a house that requires a lot of upkeep, you have three dogs and a full time job and…there go the excuses again.

But, enough excuses. I’m baaaack and wholeheartedly looking forward to a NEW year and saying, “Good riddance” to 2014. With the New Year approaching, I’m tired of making excuses and want to make 2015 a year of significant change. While I know that we’re all busy making resolutions that we usually don’t keep, I want this year to be different. I don’t want to be complacent and nonchalant about my health, weight, mental state, etc. My New Years Resolutions usually last about 2 weeks, (and that’s IF I’m somewhat disciplined) but they certainly don’t go into February. Now, I know that some of us may actually make significant changes in our lives from time to time but you know that when you’re in a mindset to make changes, you don’t have to wait until January 1 to make those changes. That’s where I am and that’s why I’m starting this post today…I’m getting ahead of the game;).

So, I’ve started my list of resolutions and obviously writing more is one of the biggest things that I want to work on this year. That includes my own personal writing in the form of journaling, poetry, etc. but it also includes taking better care of this blog. Writing is something I’ve always been passionate about and I find it so incredibly therapeutic. Hopefully, people like reading my blog because I’m going to be much more active, like it or not:). I’m going to set a goal of one post a week but am well aware that could be overly ambitious and it may be lowered to once a month during my really busy times at work. Either way, I’ll be writing more than I did last year, so any improvement is a win in my book! Please be patient as I try to come up with ideas on what to write about (if you have any suggestions, let me know!)

Another resolution is one we all make Every. Single. Year: to lose weight. I’m tired of feeling gross and I know my health is at risk. Both of my parents were overweight and very unhealthy. Now, on a ranking scale, I’m WAY better in my lifestyle habits than how they chose to live, but still. I’m no spring chicken anymore and clearly, I have “bad” genes that can take over (both parents died very young; Dad at 46 and Mom at 53). So, getting my weight in order is a priority and needs to remain as such. I could easily stand to lose between 50-60 pounds to get where my BMI is no longer in the “Obese” category.

So, BF and I ordered a very fancy, schmancy new treadmill…one of those cool NordicTrack ones with the iFit technology that cost a fortune (this was our Christmas gift to each other). With iFit, you can supposedly select anywhere in the world that you want to be and visually be on a path in that area. I’m really looking forward to running (panting) in Paris or meandering through the ancient ruins at Chichen Itza (where I just visited two weeks ago!) or in Egypt. So, hopefully the new gadget will keep my excitement level up. If not, I think the BF will keep me motivated, as I know he would not complain if I drop the lbs either. And once we both reach our goal weights, then we can reward ourselves with a fun cruise or something to show off our new bathing suit-worthy bodies!

The other major thing I want to do, along with getting in shape physically, is to mend my mental state. If you know me personally, you know I can get easily flustered, depressed, agitated and I have a SERIOUS case of road rage (you try living in New Orleans where I’m convinced people never learned to drive…it’s TERRIBLE). All my outbursts boil down to me not being in the present and not taking things in stride. I get tense way too easily and carry such a heavy burden ALL.THE.TIME. So much of what I worry about NEVER comes to fruition but when I worry and get anxious, I’m aging myself much more rapidly than I need to and making myself a complete basket case.

My cure for this is yoga and meditation. In the past, when I practiced yoga frequently, I have been much more level-headed, mild-mannered and much easier to be around. I would really like this to begin to become a daily practice for me or at least 5 days a week. Again, I’m not setting anything in stone here because I don’t want to set myself up for failure but taking 30 minutes in the evening before bed is not difficult. And the biggest thing is that I deserve it. My mind is busy working, thinking, calculating, worrying, etc. all day long. It needs a little break during my waking moments to recoup.

The last thing I want to do is take a ceramics class. I learned to use the potter’s wheel in high school and have been wanting to get back at it ever since. I feel like I need creative outlets to let loose and the plus is that I can make cool knick-knacks for myself or gifts for others. Win-Win! This doesn’t have to happen right away, maybe a few months from now, but at some point this year, I want to be in a studio with a wheel, slinging some serious vases or something:) Keep an eye out for pictures as my koncoctions come to life!

So, there’s my list. I know this blog post has been different than some of my other posts in the past, but I’m just going with the flow. And who knows…maybe by sharing my resolutions on a large scale, I’ll have that much more accountability to keep them in check. I don’t think they’re too lofty and very attainable. I’m excited about really working on myself this year. We can also stand a little improvement to better ourselves when we start to feel “stale”. What about you? Any fun, exciting, challenging resolutions you’re setting for this year? I’d love to hear your thoughts or if you have made resolutions in the past, what helped you keep them? Do share!?


OCM Follow Up and Other Blemish Tips!

Follow Up

I created a post a few months back on the Oil Cleansing Method (OCM) that I had just started trying. (If you didn’t read the original post, you can find it here, with some great pointers on how to create the perfect recipe for your skin type.) I like to give you guys a follow up after I’ve given the koncoction some time to either work or fail miserably and let you in on any tips that worked for me along the way. I also know y’all are just dying to hear about my personal experience with my koncoctions, waiting with bated breath, right!? 🙂 Well, hopefully some of you have started to try it out for yourselves because I’ve had a great experience!

Now, it honestly took me some time to perfect the formula for my skin. I originally started off with more of an “oily skin” combination of oils, using more castor oil than jojoba oil, because using regular cleansers has always left my skin a bit oily. But after a few weeks, I realized that combo was over drying my skin, so I evened the recipe out to about a 50/50 mixture of jojoba/castor oil. That seems to be working really well. For a few days, as I was trying to find the proper ratio, I added more jojoba than castor oil and that was a disaster. I looked like I was 15 all over again!! Gladly, I found a good combination and I couldn’t be more pleased! So, be patient if you haven’t found the right combo. It may take some time for your skin to adjust to the new cleansing method. You skin may also begin to produce less oil as you stop using traditional cleansers, so as time goes on, you may need to adjust as I did. It definitely takes some patience, but I am very happy with the results and glad that I persevered!

My skin no longer gets oily halfway through the day like it used to! No need for powder or shine-removers! I’ve actually gone several days without wearing any kind of cover up or foundation as well! During my breakout period, I went back to wearing foundation for a few days to try to cover up some of the blemishes, but that seemed to make me breakout even more. Thankfully, it seems like I have the proper combination of castor and jojoba oil that will work for my skin type. I feel like my face is just glowing!

Tips and Tricks

I did, however, come up with a few tips/tricks to tackle those ugly blemishes when they do appear. Even though I believe the OCM works well on it’s own, life happens and stress and eating habits can trigger our hormones in crazy ways. When your body overreacts and you feel like your skin is going through puberty all over again, hopefully you’ll try one or both of these and they’ll get rid of the bumps!

First, use diluted apple cider vinegar (ACV) as a toner after cleansing. ACV is acidic (it may sting your skin a bit the first couple times you use it) but it helps the skin balance out. It also helps shrink pores and remove any remaining dirt from the skin. I use a couple drops (using a recycled medicine dropper) on a wet cotton ball. Thoroughly wipe down your face and you’ll be radiant! The ACV smells like vinegar (duh!) when you apply it, but as it dries, the scent dissipates and you’re left with soft (ACV is a natural conditioner), glowing skin!

Second, after my skin has dried from the diluted ACV toner and typically right before bed, I mix a drop of tea tree oil (TTO) with about a half teaspoon of jojoba oil. Dab with cotton ball or swab onto blemishes. The TTO is anti-bacterial and gets rid of the dirty stuff making you break out and the jojoba oil is lightly moisturizing, so you won’t get too dry from the TTO. (*One thing to note with TTO, though, is that some folks have a sensitivity to it. So before you go dabbing it on your blemishes, make sure you don’t have a sensitivity to it, otherwise the mixture could have an adverse affect.) Very quickly the blemishes dry up and disappear. I noticed that if I do this right before bed, when I wake in the morning the spots have minimized unbelievably! I LOVE this treatment!

Try It and You Will See

These two koncoctions mixed with the OCM have been really great on my skin. Not only do I feel like my skin is balanced and glowing, I also feel like it’s nice a tight. I’m still very young (NEVER ask a woman’s age 😉 ) but I definitely want to prevent premature wrinkles if I can. Oils are very good for your skin, despite marketing ploys to deter us otherwise. You skin needs oil to stay moisturized and younger looking! So, give the OCM a try and if you have problems finding the right balance of oils and get those ugly blemishes, try the ACV toner and/or TTO mixture! Hopefully you find them as helpful as I did!

Homemade Deodorant

Get ready for this. Brace yourself. Seriously.

Ok, so you all know I’ve been on an all-natural kick, thus sparking the idea for this blog. I have tried most of the neat tricks that I come across and have willingly shared them with my vast audience (all 5 of you!). Whenever I run out of a traditional, store-brought product, I research how I can make it myself. I’m looking for healthier alternatives, with fewer chemicals and if I can save a buck or two, even better!

I was leery when it came to deodorant, mostly because I can seriously start to stink. Living in Southeast Louisiana in the middle of the summer, the whole city is musty at one point or another. Something about the thick air that you have to eat your way through and the blazing temperatures—the combination does NOT make for pleasant aromas. But, I also know that deodorants and antiperspirants are SO bad for you, so it was worth a shot at possibly stinking a little to prolong my life! (A lot of the mainstream deodorants that are advertised come filled with aluminum and zinc, not to mention they are pumped full of parabens and sulfates galore—all of which are potential carcinogens! How is this stuff still on the market??!!) So, I researched some of my favorite sites and on the first try, found a complete and total winner! (Thanks, as always to Crunchy Betty!)

It really works!

I have to start by saying that y’all should feel blessed that I’m sharing this recipe with you and not patenting it myself to make MILLIONS. But, alas, someone shared it with me, so it’s not really mine to hoard and profit from. I could make a killing off of this stuff because it works better than ANY deodorant I have EVER tried!! For the past few years, I’ve been using natural deodorants, like Tom’s or Crystal, but they’ve always left that faint B.O. smell, if for no one else to smell but myself.  And I’ve also tried going without it completely, which pretty much ends in the same result of using said natural brands. I’d wanted to make my own, but didn’t have an empty deodorant jar to use, so when I finished mine last week, I was ready for the plunge.

Oh my GOSH!! This is BY FAR the BEST kreative koncoction I have experienced! Works amazing!! I put a small amount of it on in the morning, go to work, hit the gym and by the time I get home, sweaty from a crazy workout, there is NO stinky smell AT ALL!! Even my boyfriend was surprised. Bless his heart. He always has to try my koncoctions or suffer through smelling mine. I often have him do a smell test when I’m feeling a little musty myself, with my armpit waving in the air. This usually ends in him crinkling his nose and saying, “You may want to powder that down”. This time was different. There were no words, no funny faces, no moment where he was thinking to himself, “Why do I love this stinky woman?” None of that. When I uttered the words, waiting with bated breath, hoping for the best, “Babe, how do I smell”, he says, “Fine.” “Fine? Like, you don’t smell any odor?” “Nope. Nothing!” I jump up and down and say, “How do you like me now, baby!? How do you like me now?!” It really was more of a victory, more so because he has put up with me going all hippie on him.  But, trust me, he’ll be trying this koncoction as soon as his deodorant runs out, no doubt!

Here’s what you need:

  • An empty deodorant container or jar to store finished product
  • 1/4 c. baking soda
  • 1/4 c. cornstarch or arrowroot powder
  • 5 Tbsp. coconut oil
  • Essential oils (optional – I used 4 drops of Tea Tree Oil (TTO) and 4 drops of Lavender)

In a small bowl, I mixed all the ingredients together until smooth. If you have never used coconut oil before, it is solid at room temperature and starts to soften when mixed with other ingredients, but still stays pretty solid. I also chose to use arrowroot powder because cornstarch can cause irritation on sensitive skin types. I often have reactions to regular deodorants, so I figured better safe than sorry. Once everything was blended, just spoon it into your deodorant container. Make sure if you’re using an old deodorant container, you clean it out really well and that the dial is turned as low as it will go, so you can fill it up to the maximum capacity. By the time I mixed everything up, the coconut oil was kind of soft, so I just put in the fridge for a few minutes and it hardened right up. Now I just keep it in my medicine cabinet like I did my old deodorant and it works great!!

The next time I make this, I would probably cut down a little bit on the ingredients. It made more than my old deodorant container would hold, so I had to store some in another container and just massage it in with my fingers. No big deal, but I’d probably use 4 tablespoons of coconut oil and less than a ¼ cup for each baking soda and arrowroot powder. It really just depends on the size of your container. I used TTO with lavender, but TTO can also cause sensitivity, so if you are unfamiliar with how your skin reacts to it, you may want to try something else to start off.

Don’t knock it. Try it.

Seriously, guys, if there’s one kreative koncoction that you try, I hope it’s this one. I was pleasantly surprised that 1) it was so easy and 2) it worked so well!! It kind of infuriates me that I’ve been spending my money on JUNK for so many years and I could have been making a FAR superior product right at home.

I know I definitely won my boyfriend over when he got a whiff of, well, nothing but the faint scent of coconut, TTO and lavender from my armpits. Guess I’ll be smelling mighty fine from here on out! Sweet!

Oil Cleansing Method

Alright, so apparently I’ve become obsessed with oil—mostly from the coconut, but oil in general. I’ve been using a little bit of oil to remove my eye makeup (which also is supposed to make my eyelashes grow lusciously long!), oil pulling, applying it to the ends of my hair for moisture, using it as a moisturizer for my dry feet and now I’ve discovered this Oil Cleansing Method that I’m going to give a try. I’ve been reading about it and at first I was freaked out that washing my face with oil seems somewhat counterintuitive…isn’t OIL going to make my skin more oily? But, everything that I’ve read says NO. Plus, it moisturizes your skin, so no need for chemical-laden lotions and moisturizers.

So here’s the deal:

You wet your face with warm water to open up your pores, massage some oil onto your face and allow it to sit for 30 seconds or so with a warm wash cloth over your face. Then, rinse really well with warm water (as HOT as you can stand it) and voila! Your face is clean!

I can’t tell you the intricacies of WHY it works, but it does. I’ve heard it said that like dissolves like, so maybe that’s the deal with the OCM and getting the oil off your face. One thing to note: OIL does not make your skin break out. It’s the DIRT that makes you break out. So, don’t be thrown off by lathering your face in oil to get rid of oil. I promise, it works! I started doing this last week and I’m loving it. Honestly, I like it because it kinda makes me slow down a bit. I’m always in such a hurry and I don’t know why that is, but it makes me just chill out in the shower and breathe…massage my face…breathe…relax with the warm wash cloth…breathe…rinse…breathe. Seriously. It just helps me feel more Zen. It takes a few minutes to massage the oil in and then let your pores open up with the warm washcloth, so enjoy it. It’s kind of your own mini-spa treatment. You deserve it.

Alright, here are the specs:

There are a few recipes out there depending on your skin type. My skin is more oily, so apparently that means you need to use more castor oil. Try to think in thirds for preparing your koncoction. If your skin is oily, use more castor oil. If it’s on the dry side, use more of your carrier oil. And, if it’s more normal, then use the same amounts of each oil. I used 2 tablespoons of castor oil for every 1 tablespoon of jojoba oil and I am just keeping it in a small glass apothecary jar, but you can mix it up as you need if you want to try it in small amounts first. Castor oil is the necessity here, because this is the oil that acts as the cleanser.

The carrier oils simply dilute the castor oil, making it therapeutic and dreamy. Your carrier oil could be anything from sunflower oil, to olive oil. Different oils are good for different skin types. Some have better anti-aging properties and some are better to treat acne-prone skin. Crunchy Betty has a great list of some oils and what they are good for. Check out her page here for some great details.  One thing to note, even though I’m a huge fan of a million uses for coconut oil, it has the potential to clog your pores, thus having an adverse effect on the OCM, so use something besides coconut oil.

That’s all there is to it. I have been using it in place of my old acne wash and so far, so good. I have only being doing it at night, when I shower and then in the morning, all I do is rinse my face with very warm water. No breakouts. No blemishes. Nada. I was afraid of this because when I’ve tried to change cleansers before, I would always breakout and just go back to my old chemical-cleansers that are bad for my skin even though it makes it look nice. The OCM doesn’t strip the oils, thus making my face clean without overdrying. And, as we’ve learned from no ‘poo, over-cleaning your skin, leads to the over production of sebum, thus leading to vicious cycle of cleaning, overdrying, cleaning, etc.

So, give it a try. I promise it’s worth at least a try. Folks back in ancient times used oil for so many different uses. We’ve become so commercialized to believe that we have to have sudsy, latherous koncoctions to be clean. That is SO not true. Oil works beautifully.

Below are some of the sights that I found pretty helpful. I’ve tried to sum it up, but if you want the dets, as I did, go ahead, click the links. You’ll find  so much helpful info. Happy cleansing:)

A Fix to No ‘Poo

If you’ve read any of my blogs, you have probably heard me talk about my no ‘poo experiment, which is basically stepping away from all the chemicals in modern shampoos and finding healthy substitutes. (You can find my blogs about it here.) I was using baking soda and water with a few drops of tea tree oil to “wash” my hair, followed by an apple cider vinegar (ACV) and water solution to “condition” my hair. Well, after about a month or so of this, I found that my hair just became too greasy. I couldn’t find the appropriate combination of water to baking soda and my water is super hard, making it even rougher on my hair. I just couldn’t handle it feeling so dirty, so I found an alternative. If you don’t follow Crunchy Betty, you NEED to. And I’m serious. Go over to her page now and follow her on Facebook or pinterest or whatever method you have to in order to find some really kreative koncoctions. Her blog is where I first heard of no ‘poo and where I also found a solution to my overly oily no ‘poo nightmare.

So, needless to say, my hair was oily. I mean, couldn’t run my fingers through it oily. And when I did try to run my fingers through it, my hands felt filmy, as if I was wiping away some of the oil that had accumulated. I had gotten in the routine of no ‘pooing probably every 3 days or so, whenever my scalp started to feel itchy or dirty. I wore it mostly in a pony tail, except for the few days when my hair didn’t look disgusting. I just couldn’t do it anymore. I was looking through old photos and saw how long, shiny and pretty my hair was and felt envious. Why was I putting myself through this for the sake of being natural and not really reaping any benefit from it? Well, I still want to be somewhat natural and use organic and healthy things on my skin and hair but I also am somewhat girly and want to look nice. So, something had to give.

That’s when I stumbled upon “sorta ‘poo” as Crunchy Betty calls it, which is a mixture of coconut milk and castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s lavender because I love the smell, but there are a few different makers of castile soap out there). There is the recommendation to make your own coconut milk from pressed coconut and water (you can find the recipe here) but I just used organic coconut milk from Whole Foods and it worked wonderfully. And by wonderfully, I mean, OH MY GOODNESS!! There was so much lather, I didn’t know what to do with  myself. Having gone a month with no suds whatsoever, I felt I was in heaven.

So here’s what I did: I mixed 1 teaspoon organic coconut milk per 1 Tablespoon of castile soap. Some say you shouldn’t mix too much up at a time because it will go bad, but I’m going to keep mine in the refrigerator and hope I can get a week or so out of it. I probably mixed about 10 tsp/tbsp of each because I won’t be the only one in my house to use it. Then, you just sorta swish it around so the two mix together (not too much or it will get super sudsy) and then lather up. I probably used a little too much on my hair this morning just because it felt so gross from the bs/acv mess but you probably only need about a quarter-sized up to a tablespoon.

After I washed, I rinsed with my same koncoction of vinegar: 1 Tablespoon of ACV to 1 Cup of water. I let the ACV sit on my hair while I wash and hang out in the shower and right before I get out, I rinse it off. I promise, you don’t end up wreaking of ACV−the scent dissipates as your hair dries, but if you must, you can add some essential oils to make it smell all girly. I’m trying to be as simple as possible, so for now, I’m just going to use the basic rinse.

I can’t tell you how glad I am that I found this solution to going natural. Castile soap is amazing. I’ve been using it for a while now as a body wash, but when it’s mixed with the coconut milk, it creates a creamy lather that you will die for! It’s supposedly great for shaving too. I have only done this today, so it will obviously take some time to see if it works on my hair long-term but I really hope the results are better than the no ‘poo. I’d been reading about the no ‘poo method and maybe I gave up too soon because some folks say it can take 8 weeks before your hair finally evens out and stops being so oily but I wanted my soft mane back again and so far so good. I can actually run my fingers through my hair. Today, I left the house with my hair slightly damp and it dried naturally on my way to work. It still looks great! I still have this natural wave that appeared when I gave up regular shampoo awhile back, which I really like. My hair used to be so straight, like I flat-ironed it straight, so it’s nice to have some volume and body now. I’m convinced that somehow I’ll find the perfect homemade substitution for shampoo. I hope this is it. I’ll keep you posted!!

Oil Pulling Follow up

I think I have been doing my oil pulling for about three weeks now and unfortunately, not much has changed for me and I’m not sure if that’s a good or bad thing. I’ve been pulling daily, first thing in the morning before I eat or drink anything for about 15-20 minutes. After I spit, I still feel my sinuses drain pretty quickly but my sinuses and allergies are still bothering me pretty regularly. (I was hoping to find a quick cure that would get me away from using my neti pot because Ihatethat feeling of saline in my nose, but I may need to go back to that because it is SO effective!) My boyfriend, who suffers from migraine headaches has also been oil pulling the same amount of time that I have and he is still getting his migraines pretty regularly. I had read previously that oil pulling can help with our particular ailments, but maybe not. We’re now even more skeptical that this may not work for us, but again, we’re going to keep at it for a while longer to see if our bodies “detox” and things start to go better for us.

A curious post by Dr. Andrew Weil that I came across today seems to stomp what I’ve read elsewhere by stating:

On the Internet, oil pulling is promoted as a cure for a long list of disorders including headache, bronchitis, toothache, thrombosis, eczema, ulcers and other diseases of the stomach, intestines, heart, blood, kidney, liver, lungs and female reproductive organs. I’ve also seen claims that oil pulling can prevent the growth of malignant tumors. I know of no evidence to support any of these claims. (Emphasis mine. Read Dr. Weil’s Q&A about Oil Pulling here.)

Well, that kinda makes me rethink this process. However, one thing I can attest to—my mouth feels and looks cleaner. My teeth are nice and white and it’s also helped with the pain from a cavity I have in one of my molars. If you’re anything like me, you hate going to the dentist, so I keep putting off getting it filled. It had been bothering me for a while and since oil pulling regularly, I’m not feeling any pain. So, maybe oil pulling won’t cure all of my ailments and maybe I need to go back to that darn neti pot, but I’ll probably keep the oil pulling up just to see what happens. From what I’ve read, the effects of oil pulling on internal organs and issues could take several months to clear up. I’ll let you know the outcome! 🙂

I did find a couple other websites related to oil pulling that you may find helpful if you have more questions. Happy swishing!

A Personal Experience with Oil Pulling

The Benefits of Oil Pulling

Dr Weil’s Q&A

Oil Pulling for Detoxing

Tea tree oil and no ‘poo

Well, I’m well on my way to detoxing my scalp and hair of chemicals and the vicious cycle of over-washing. Today, for the first time, I wore my hair down with confidence that it didn’t look gross and actually looked pretty. Again, I’ve gotten this wave in my locks that I’ve never had before, which I hear is common when going no ‘poo. I have no complaints about it. It’s better than straight, stringy hair that I normally have. I’ve gone a good THREE days with no baking soda/ACV rinse and certain that I’m on the path to recovery–I can feel it!

But, this weekend I felt a hiccup in my routine. I was going to go all weekend without rinsing but on Saturday, my scalp got really itchy. And I mean ITCHY! I have had dry scalp in the past but usually this happens when the air is cold and dry–neither or which happens often in Southeastern Louisiana. So, my only conclusion for the itchies was detoxing from the chemicals my body was used to. I did some research online and after a hunch, I already knew that tea tree oil may be just the thing to cure my itch. Tea tree oil is great for scalp conditions and because it’s a natural anti-fungal, it can be great if you have dandruff or other fungus-related stuff like that going on. (My boyfriend uses it mixed with coconut oil to get rid of athletes foot from time to time and it works great!)

Anyways, I decided to add a few drops of tea tree oil to my baking soda mixture to see if that would do the trick and immediately I felt relief. I can’t tell you why, but the tea tree oil is fantastic and I plan on making it part of my routine from now. It’s a nice, clean scent and feels like it opens my pores up and just feels good! Rather than reinvent the wheel, I found a couple of great sites that list some of the many uses of tea tree oil. It’s pretty amazing how one oil can be used in so many ways! Here’s a list of sites I found with lots of helpful information:

So there you have it…if you are struggling with the no ‘poo method and maybe have itchy, irritated scalp, try a little tea tree oil  and see if that helps. But remember, a little goes a long way–some folks have sensitive skin and the TTO has an adverse affect. Always try it on a small area of skin and see how your body reacts. Good luck!! 🙂