Laundry Detergent Update

You may remember I posted here about some homemade laundry detergent I was going to try.  I started using my homemade detergent back in December and just ran out this weekend.  Actually, I probably could have gotten 3-4 more loads done, but I went ahead and made a new batch.  Not bad – 8 months of detergent for $28!!  Thats about $3.50 a month and you know it cost more than that for one thing of detergent. 


Dinner & Dessert

I’ve been trying new recipes again and thought I’d share the ones that have turned out very delicious…

Oven-Fried Okra – click link for the recipe from The Spotted Fox

*I’m a big fan of fried okra and thought I’d give this one a try since its a bit healthier and I gotta say it was pretty darn good. Alexandra loved them too. And Levi even liked them!!

Chicken with Basil and Sun-dried Tomato Cream Sauce – click link to see recipe from The Girl Who Ate Everything

*Even David loved this one…you know, he’s a picky eater so any recipe I try that he approves becomes a staple in our house!!

Deep Dark Chocolate Cake – click link to see recipe from Becky Bakes.

*This is a super duper moist cake and the frosting tastes like a mousse! David isn’t a fan of chocolate cake, but he loves it! I brought half of it to work and it was a huge hit!!

*During dinner last night Alex didn’t want her chicken, but we told her she had to eat a few bites if she wanted chocolate cake. She seemed to actually like it after she tried it and when I asked her if she liked it after all she responded very enthusiastically with “No, but I really, really want chocolate cake so I’m gonna eat it!”. 

A Few Favorite Essentials

Ok, so this isn’t my typical post, but after a conversation with a co-worker recently I thought I’d share a few of my favorite essentials. I’ll refrain from referring to them as “beauty products” because I’ve always felt that I’m not the typical fru-fru, beauty product, spas, massages, mani’s/pedi’s type girl, but after this conversation I realized I do have some essentials that I must have.  So, maybe this makes me a “practical product” type girl. Let’s go with that!! 

The conversation started with a question from a co-worker about how I get my hair so shiny. After a brief second I responded with “genetics and baby powder”. This turned into an unusual products conversation between several of us. So here’s my list of must have’s:

Gillette Venus Razors

– I have super sensitive skin and these are the only razors (disposable and electric) that I have tried that don’t kill my skin.

Baby Powder

– I have very oily hair and by the end of the day it has a tendency to be very oily, dirty, and stringy looking.  I can’t remember where I learned this little trick, but I’ve been doing it for years and I swear it works to help absorb the oil.  After blow drying my hair I put about 2 quarter-sized dollops of baby powder in the palm of my hand and rub my hands together and with my head flipped over I run my hands through my hair at the scalp.  And if we’re headed out someone where in the evening I’ll rub a little more.  As an added benefit it makes my hair super shiny!

A&D Diaper Ointment– I have very dry lips and am constantly applying chap stick throughout the day and at night I coat my lips, including around the outside of my mouth, with A&D diaper ointment. This stuff can cure chapped lips better than anything!!

Proactiv– Love this stuff!! I have had bad acne from the moment puberty hit. I remember being in 6th grade and having kids call me pepperoni face.  Yeah, kids are cruel.  I have tried just about every kind of topical and oral medication you can think of including Accutane twice with no results.  I started using Proactiv about 6 or 7 years ago and love it.  It helped cure about 70% of my acne issues.

Spironolactone– This is the other miracle for my skin!!  It is actually a blood pressure medication, but is also used for other treatments such as adult hormonal related acne.  I’ve been taking this for 2 years now and have had maybe 2 pimples in 2 years!! My acne is related to hormones and shows up as big knots under the skin that last for weeks at a time. They are so lovely, let me tell ya! This medication blocks the hormones from reaching the skin thus stopping this type of acne.  It has also made my skin super smooth and less oily.  Big bonuses!!  It does have some side effects. The biggest one is you can not get pregnant on this medication. It will interfere with the hormonal production of fetuses and cause babies to be hermaphrodites (having both sex organs) so you HAVE to use some sort of birth control. It also has a tendency to reduce potassium levels so every 6 months potassium levels have to be checked. 

Sensodyne and mouth wash

– I also have a tendency to get canker sores on the insides of my cheeks or on the side of my tongue from stress. I always know when I hit my max stress level because one of these painful little fella’s pops up. After having multiple ones that hurt so bad I could barely eat or even talk I did some research and found that normal toothpaste has an ingredient in it that has been shown to cause or increase the prevalence of canker sores. Sensodyne or other sensitive toothpastes do not have this ingredient.  In addition to the sensitive toothpaste if you use mouth wash religiously at least twice a day it will keep these little annoyances at bay. I’ve been using this routine for about a year now and have only had 1 pop up…much less than previous experiences.

Hydrogen Peroxide – I use this also for when I get canker sores. I use it after my mouth wash. I’ve only had to use it for this purpose one time in the last year. But, it also comes in handy when I start getting a sore throat. I gargle 2-3 times a day and it helps ward off any cold I may have been getting. I tend to get colds/sinus infections a lot these days. I think Levi wore my immune system down.  I have frequent colds and allergies to prove it!!

So, there you have it! My favorite essentials.  Not your typical beauty creams and products, but again, I’ve never been that kind of girl. Give me practical any day!