Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I'm Bedazzling & Junk

I'm making stuff.
Really making stuff.

I've always been a bit crafty, a bit mad scientist. But usually I have a ton of paint, fabric and strange odds and ends that sit around impatiently waiting to be used in some glorious creation.

But I've been on Pinterest a lot lately and find myself with, *gasp*, free time (not working does allow for that). I'll add some of my food endeavors here in future posts, simply because I'm proud of what I've learned and how I've snuck some efficiency into my life.

But in an effort to start blogging- and stop thinking about it, I'll do a quick post of one of my projects this morning- making my own shaving cream.

Now, I'm a shave-aholic. I do it everyday, more for special occasions. I wear a lot of dresses and not many pairs of pantyhose, so it's an important part of not being mistaken for the Chupracabra. But more than that, I just loved how it feels.
And I love to indulge in shave gel. But at 1-2 cans a month, and around $2 per can, it irritates my frugal sensibilities. It's not that much money, but it's frustrating to get a can that doesn't spray right and have all sorts of wasted product. And I don't like the Dollar Store variety, so what to do?

Well, make it, of course.

People make their own products for different reasons. Some for frugality, some for control over ingredients, some for earth sustainability. I would say that all three factor into my current at home science experiments (oh yes, there are more. Many more).

But it's time I let you in on a little secret.

When I was little, we would go to my maternal grandparents house many times per week. I would often disappear into the bathroom for huge chunks of time, baffling my parents. Did I need more fiber in my diet? Did I find a wormhole into another dimension? Was I perusing the Playboy magazines that were under the National Geographic and Reader's Digest? Um, well, there was a bit if that, actually.

But mostly I was...

Performing a cooking show in the large bathroom mirror while imitating Julia Child.

Well, truth be told, I was more imitating the Swedish Chef imitating Julia Child.

Kinda like this:

Yes, welcome to my darkness.

I would carefully lay out a complex assortment of tissue on the counter, and then proceed to add my "ingredients." Lotions, Shower-to-Shower powder, a little glob of Noxzema, some lipstick... truly, nothing was safe. All narrated as I spoke into the camera big giant mirror, and usually carefully stirred with a Q-tip.

I was many things as a child. Lacking imagination I was not.

Imagine my disappointment when I had a burnt-out chemistry teacher in high school and found that I would not pursue a destiny of mixing crap for fun and profit.

But this episode of True Confessions has a point... (rustles around, looking for point).

Oh, yes. So, I made my own shave cream today. It's not all gloriously gel-like, but I may experiment that with some ideas about that. In the meantime, behold my creations:

I've been all over the interwebs (teehee) looking at recipes and suggestions. This is just my first, experimental batch, so keep that in mind if you want to use it. I will post updates on how it works and other recipes that I try.

DIY Shave Cream

1 Cup Shampoo
1 Cup Conditioner
7 Tablespoons of Body/ Hand Lotion
5 Tablespoons of Coconut Oil

Mix all together and let sit to thicken. I bought cheap sauce bottles from the kitchen section of a big box store (.99) and this recipe filled both with just a little room at the top to allow for shaking before use. I like these bottles because I think that they will allow for easy portion control and application.

I used cheap Suave products and lotion that my mom had left at my house. I think that a thicker hand cream would be nicer next time, along with experimenting with essential oils and some gel-ish thickening agents. Many other recipes used baby oil or olive oil- I had coconut oil because I've been reading about some of the great properties it is supposed to have. This is my first time using it, so we'll see.

It's nice to know that I would be putting those metal bottles in the garbage anymore and that I made something inexpensive and useful. And I am sticking it to the man!

Monday, November 7, 2011


The other big theme of my life is the nature of love.

Last week, my son and I tackled the question, "Why are we here?" He brought it up as we were driving to church Wednesday night. We discussed a lot of different philosophies and ways that people have answered this question throughout the ages. I emphasized our ability and responsibility to learn, to grow, to explore and honor truth. We talked about God and creation and gnawed on ideas.

But that is only part of my answer.

I forgot to talk about love.

The concept of a million faces and dimensions,

the subject of philosophers and poets,

the bane of the bitter and brokenhearted.

The Alpha and Omega, the beginning and end.

I am joined by a million in my chorus, but it has just recently dawned on me how vital this exploration is to the core of who I am. It's one of my sacred truths, a defining element to who I am.

To wrestle the angels, to look under the boulders...

We read books, watch movies, write, and enter into the messy tangle of humanity searching to understand and experience love in all of it's many incarnations.




The grandest, and yet infused in our very atoms.

And in this dawning of awareness, in this embracing of truth, I find an old friend who has been here the whole time, waiting for me to acknowledge what is and what shall be.

There is a greatest purpose growing in me, a parting of the curtain to a great light.

"If we ever leave a legacy, it's that we loved each other well."

I Always Wondered...

...what "stay at home" mothers did all day if their kids are in school.

And yet, I have plenty to do. It's rather amazing. And I haven't even been here to capture some of the highs and lows.

It's warmish again here in Texas, for the moment, and it's overcast and spitting rain at the moment. I need to clean and prep lunches and dinners for the week. I'm composing a thank-you letter for an interview. It's the third I've had for a nonprofit, and if I progress to the next level there will be at least two more. I haven't applied for many jobs and I am holding off in hopes that this job will be "The One." The pay & benefits would be an amazing blessing- it would change many aspects of our lives. It will be a big job, hard work, lots of responsibility, lots of hours. But important, and potentially life altering in mission and scope. I am cautiously optimistic, but it can be scary to care so much again. So I feel very zen at this point about it all. I feel like God has a plan and I'm doing my part- so I feel good about just letting it unfold. I am not going to push my will on this and I will trust that either outcome is the way it should be. This does not release me from the prep and follow-up that must be done, it just frees me to know that the work is not in vain, regardless of the results.

There are two concurrent themes of my life that I am working on right now. The first is based on the book I just read- The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin. I saw it posted on a MeetUp group I had joined online and it prompted me to buy it and join a book club that met yesterday.

It was interesting to try on my brain again. It's been rather dormant. As has my socialization skills. It's nice to see neither is broken, just rusty. I'll keep greasing the wheels and explore my truths at the same time.

Anyway, back to the book- I enjoyed it. It was simple, but there were many places that I found immediate applications to my own life. I am committed to continuing my growth in this area and will share more as it develops.

One of the quotes that resounds with me from the book is:

The days are long, but the years are short.

As a parent, I found this especially striking and it rang the truth bell deep inside of me.