blog

hay doods! i’ve been out of the tumblr world for a minute. but i’m back. and have added a new site at thestegosaurusrex.blogspot.com  

i’ll be posting updates of my adventure into going back to school (to study herbalism and holistic nutrition) and also share new concoctions and products that make life healthier and easier. so please follow :)

alfalfa sprouts: day 2

alfalfa sprouts: day 2

texturizing sea salt spray

seen here for oily hair and here for dry hair

This is a 4oz recycled PET plastic amber bottle of my completely natural texturizing hair spray that does NOT contain aluminum, parabens, propylene glycol, alcohol, sodium lauryl/lauryth sulfate, any other chemicals, preservatives, or products tested on animals. 

Summer is almost here! But not all of us are fortunate enough to be able to go to the beach to get the tousled look of sun drenched hair. 


Natural sea salt and seaweed gelatin provide texture and hold, while a small amount of avocado oil (rich in monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants) nourishes and counteracts salt’s drying effect without adding to hair’s oil level. Tea Tree essential oil is antiseptic and removes excess oil and/or product buildup on the hair shaft. 


Styling Suggestions:

***Spray the sea salt solution onto wet hair from the roots down. If you have wavy hair, simply scrunch it with your fingers until it forms clumps. Don’t break these clumps apart, and let your hair air-dry. 

***If your hair is naturally straight, braiding it can help create natural waves. Start with dry unwashed hair and saturate it with the sea salt spray, then braid it and allow it to air-dry.

*Shake well before use*

accidental foot odor cessation

recently i’ve been tinkering with my deodorant recipe. the baking soda/corn starch/coconut oil recipe works like a charm, alas, it cant stay solid when it’s hot out. it melts at 76 degrees F, and even PORTLAND has been warmer than that (finally).

each time i shipped it out for an order i kept my fingers crossed and emphasized the importance of refrigerating it once it was received… then came the punch in the gut that i had been dreading: a message asking for a refund since it had completely melted and leaked out in the mail. fortunately the customer was super understanding and nice about it and loved the toothpaste she purchased, but i was sick to my stomach knowing one of my most prized products had failed. on TOP of that, that very same day i asked a friend of mine who had recently purchased the deodorant if it was working for her. she sheepishly confessed, “it melted.” she had taken it camping and it didn’t hold up (she was so excited to get it that she didn’t listen when i told her to keep it in the fridge in the summer!)

disappointed in myself, i went straight to the herb shoppe to buy some cocoa butter and shea butter. i knew the recipe i needed to try all along, but butters are just so expensive and i already had the coconut recipe mastered. 

after spending all night in the kitchen, i think i finally managed a summer formula for my deodorant! 

what in the hell does this have to do with foot odor?

i thought you’d never ask.

one recipe i tried ended up being much too soft for underarm application. too much shea butter. ::whines::

but wait! i remembered that my same friend who took the coconut formula camping has gotten in the habit of swiping store bought deodorant on her feet after waiting tables since they are horrendously stinky. but you and i know that crap doesn’t work.

too soft deodorant + stinky feet = barkin’ dog balm!

same great ingredients as the powerful pitty party deodorant, but with the added moisturizing power of shea butter and cocoa butter, peppermint essential oil for its cooling effects, and myrrh essential oil for its effectiveness at healing dry cracked skin. 

one happy accident. 

how to make a herbal hydrosol.

first of all, what is a hydrosol?

if you’ve heard of an “essential oil”, a hydrosol is kind of like an “essential water” and it contains diluted essential oils.

technically, it is an herbal distillate, obtained by steam distillation from aromatic plants. These herbal distillates have uses in flavorings, medicine and in skin care. they go by many other names including floral water, hydrosol, hydrolate, herbal water and essential water.

because hydrosols are produced at high temperatures and are somewhat acidic, they tend to inhibit bacterial growth. they are not however sterile. they are a fresh product, like milk, and should be kept refrigerated.

so, how do you make it?

it’s actually quite easy. you will need:

  • a large stock pot with a lid
  • a small glass bowl that will fit in the pot
  • a clean brick or something else that can withstand heat and act as a pedestal for your bowl inside the pot
  • ice
  • fresh or dried herbs

make sure everything is extremely clean, then:

  • place the brick inside the stock pot 
  • fill the pot with water up to about 1/2inch below the top of the brick
  • place as many herbs as you can fit in the water around the brick
  • place your glass bowl on top of the brick (make sure everything fits inside the pot when the lid is on. if it doesn’t, you need a shorter “pedistal”
  • place the lid on upside down.
  • fill a ziplock bag(s) (any size) with ice and fill the lid, covering as much of it as you can.
  • bring the water to a boil
  • once boiling, turn the heat down to just a simmer
  • the hydrosol will collect on the underside of the lid and drip down into the bowl
  • keep the lid on, and let it steam 4-6 hours, or until you have the desired amount of hydrosol in your glass bowl.

that’s it! store your hydrosol in a sterile dark glass bottle with a tight cap in a cool, dark location. 

keep bottles full by transferring hydrosols to smaller bottles as needed. when a bottle of hydrosol is left only partially full, the oxygen that also lives inside the bottle reacts with the hydrosol and begins to oxidize it. this process can cause the hydrosol to deteriorate more quickly. 

don’t allow unsterilized items like your fingers, cotton balls or other items to come into direct contact with your hydrosols. instead, pour off the quantity that you need or measure it into a different container. then, work from that container, leaving the integrity of your original hydrosol intact.

the shelf life of hydrosols is 6-24 months, depending on the specific hydrosol, but you may be able to extend the shelf life by adding 2% high-proof vodka. 




Sprouted Almond Herbal Mask


Great for all skin types, but especially for oily skin. 

All of these ingredients are easily made into powder by grinding them in a blender or food processor, but since I use such small amounts I always use a coffee grinder ;)

The power of plants is astounding. This fresh, earthy smelling mask/scrub will leave your face feeling soft and clean without feeling tight or dry. Nourish your body, outside and in!

Ingredients:

Ground Organic Sprouted Almonds
- contain phytochemicals which repair skin
- astringent and antioxidant
- nutrients in sprouted almonds are more easily absorbed than those in regular almonds
- great for oily skin
- rich in vitamins E, C, B and A, protein, amino acids, calcium, magnesium, iron and phosphorus.
- exfoliates

Calendula Powder
- anti-inflammatory, reduces redness

Chamomile Powder
- antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal
- reduces inflammation and redness
- calming

Nettle Powder
- potent detoxifier
- cleanses without stripping natural oils

Instructions:

- Pour about 1 tablespoon into your hand
- Add just enough water to create a paste
- Apply to entire face, avoiding eyes and hair
- Massage at least two minutes 
- If desired, leave on as a mask for 10 minutes
- Rinsey rinsey. 





***Always test a new cosmetic for sensitivity or allergy by placing a dab under your chin and noting any redness or itchiness after 15 minutes.




***Store in a cool, dry place out of sunlight in an airtight, glass, container 
***Avoid the addition of any water during storage, as there are no preservatives and bacteria love to grow in wet, humid places.

seen here, in my shop

adventures in vermicomposting

Vermicomposting is the process of composting by utilizing various species of worms to create a mixture of decomposing vegetable or food waste, bedding materials, and worm castings (the end product of the breakdown of organic matter and an excellent nutrient-rich organic fertilizer and soil conditioner).

In June of this year, I purchased 2,000 red wigglers on somewhat of a whim. I had done my research on worm keeping, but didn’t give my partner much warning regarding the addition of 2,000 worms to our family. whoops! 

So there she was. The 4’x2’ worm bin I got for free from some good friends. After drilling a few holes and tearing up endless amounts of junk mail, old newspapers, and egg cartons, I had a home for my worms. I also threw in some coconut coir for good measure. Then I waited. And fed. And watered. And shooed away fruitflies. And fed. Until, after lots of picking through…



That’s a lot of worm poo. Now, in August, it’s time to change their bedding (because who wants to live in their own poo). But I’m not about to pick out who-knows-how-many worms (I’ve seen tons of babies). So the trick is to move all of the castings to one side, put fresh bedding and rotten food on the other, and let the worms hit the road.

  

In a few days I’ll be able to remove all of the castings and use them in the garden!

pickled homegrown pepperoncinis

I loooove pepperoncinis. I can sit on the couch with a jar and eat the whole thing. So, naturally, due to my obsession with making rather than buying (sparked by saying too many times “why would i spend $x on that? I can just make it myself”) I decided to try my hand at making my own. I pickle everything else on earth, why not peppers? 

So, with my first garden taking off today seemed like the perfect time to harvest them. I only had two small pepperoncini plants, so it was a small batch. Only about 20 peppers. On the bright side, I guess only having one jar will keep me from having to preserve them (which apparently can cause them to get mushy).

The recipe:

1cup water
1cup white vinegar
1tbsp pickling or kosher salt
3 cloves of garlic

It’s super important that you poke a hole through both sides of each pepper so that the brine can get in and do it’s job.

I packed the peppers into a sterile jar, brought the ingredients to a boil (made sure the salt was dissolved) and poured the brine over the peppers.

I used the handle of a wooden spoon to gently press the air out of them. By the time it had cooled every one looked delicious and soft (there’s nothing worse than a crunchy pepperoncini if you ask me). Since I’m not preserving them these should last about a month in the fridge. They’ll all be in my belly in about a week though. 

Next year I’ll definitely plant a few more plants!

today’s harvest

today’s harvest

DIY Biodegradable Multi-Purpose House Cleaner

It’s super easy to make your own cheap powdered, non-abrasive, deodorizing, biodegradable, multi-purpose household cleaner. 


Works wonders on counters, dishes, sinks, grout, stoves, floors, toilet bowls, garbage disposals, stainless steel, etc. Use it in place of Comet!

Sprinkle some in the garbage disposal, laundry, or dishwasher for a deodorizer or added boost!

Ingredients:

Sodium tetraborate
-aka Borax (sodium, boron, oxygen, and water)
-naturally occurs from the repeated evaporation of lakes
-softens hard water
-cuts grease and grime
-deodorizes
- $5 for a 5lb box 


Sodium bicarbonate
-aka baking soda
-neutralizes odors
-smooth particles remove stuck on gunk
- 79 cents for 1lb

If you like, add an antiseptic essential oil and scent of your choice:
-lavender
-cedar
-tea tree
-orange
-rosemary


Mix equal parts baking soda and borax in a reusable container.
Sprinkle onto the area you’re cleaning instead of harsh, toxic chemicals.
Scrub a dub!
Rinse or wipe the area clean with water.
Piece of cake. 



The shelf life is indefinite if kept in a dry place.