Since moving to the country I go out into the world a lot less. Since there isn’t even the off chance that I might run into the mail lady, I find I put less and less into my appearance and wardrobe. At first it was liberating, but I have grown tired of always looking like a rumpled rag.
Every morning I think it will be the morning that I get myself into the shower before Mike leaves for work, but I always find something else to tidy or it is just too damn cold. This morning, though, I forced myself into the rather unwelcoming shower stall; the worst part is always the wall of ice that smacks up against you just after shutting off the water and opening the glass door. Once I had some warm layers on again I felt so much better. I know, I know, poor little Muffin and her First World problems! 😉
Now, I love a good jammie day just as much as the next person; probably even more so. But I have noticed a marked improvement in my mood, patience, productivity, and general well being when I take that 20 or 30 minutes of self care each morning.
I used to be a bit of a product whore. I loved going to the drug store to find new products that would make my hair shinier, my skin dewier, and my eyes poppier. I have admitted to you on many occasions just how much I enjoy shopping and browsing, but in the last few years I have really begun to think about the nasty, carcinogenic crap they put in our products and have made it a goal to remove it from our home. I have found wonderful replacements for pretty much everything, but my hair products. I often have people ask me what products I use and have been meaning to make a post telling you just that for quite some time. To cram it into this post feels quite suitable, no?
Shampoo + Conditioner: Let me first tell you that I have insanely thick hair which has natural loose curls. My favourite product is Dove, but they still test on animals and contain all the usual chemicals so I try to buy the products not tested on animals. I have tried going “poo free” in which I used baking soda, water and apple cider vinegar and I thought I liked it until I caved about a month and half in and washed my hair with real shampoo and it felt like my scalp could breathe again. I have tried pretty much every natural product out there, but it always makes it feel heavy, frizzy, or just unclean. I am not quite so picky about my conditioner and do like Nature’s Gate.
Mousse: Again, I have tried all the natural brands in hopes of finding something that makes my hair work, but my favourites are Herbal Essences or Dove though they are, once again, full of chemicals and tested on animals. I even boiled flax seeds in hopes of using the gloopy bi-product for hair gel. It was nasty and turned really fast. I am still searching.
Hair Dryer: I use a Barbar Ceramic hair dryer (I bought it a couple years ago with a free shipping and 60% off coupon). I also have a CHI hair straightener which I bought on clearance when we were a dual income household. It is covered in hideous skull and crossbones, but the colour just wasn’t worth paying a premium. I only use it when I have bangs..
Moisturizer: For the body I like to use my homemade sugar scrub in the bath or shower which removed the need to moisturize afterwards. For my face, I mix a little cocoa into my Green Beaver facial moisturizer to create a chemical free, sun free self tanner because I am of the opinion that everyone looks best with a little tan (how very 1980’s of me).
Face Wash: Water. Though I have heard good things about the oil cleansing method. I use Witch Hazel as a toner.
Makeup: I am a minimalist when it comes to makeup. Nearly everything I would use (mascara, eyeshadow, and eye liner) was in this kit for 24.99 at our local-ish health food store and sometimes I will use their subtle blush for these white wintry days. I feel better when I wear a touch of makeup, but usually only where it when I leave the house.
Toothpaste: As a formal dental hygienist, I feel a little torn about the whole fluoride controversy. In an ideal world we wouldn’t need it and everyone would eat whole foods and have impeccable oral hygiene, but that just isn’t the case. I don’t believe it should be in our drinking water. We have been using this toothpaste for nearly 2 years and love it.
Deodorant: I will only use the very best homemade deodorant ever created. Some people say it can stain your clothes if you dress right after, but I have never found that. Some people think baking soda contains aluminum, but apparently it is our baking powder that we should be looking more closely at. If you’re still unsure, just get the aluminum free stuff like I did before I read that post.
Baby Wash/Shampoo – If you’re like me, you thought you were safe buying the unscented baby shampoos, but they contain all the shitty chemicals our stuff contains so I stopped buying it. First I stopped washing Poppy’s curly hair and just used a tiny bit of conditioner, but when I ran out of that I just started wetting and/or brushing her hair at bath time each night and it is just the same. I don’t even have to brush Silas’ hair. You’d think their hair would stink or get oily, but it never does. I just use homemade soap that I always seem to have given to me as gifts.
Bubble Bath: Bubble bath just isn’t bubble bath without Sodium Lauryl Sulphate. So I try to use epsom salts and essential oils instead, but I miss my bubbles.
Perfume/Cologne: Pachouli has always been my scent and I have never ever been able to use anything but the more beyond The Body Shop’s perfume oils (I am sure they contain just as many chemicals. Also they don’t make them anymore). I have not bought new perfume in years, but when my oils run out I will just use Pachouli. Mike has been saying he’d like a signature scent; something that when the kids smell it they think fondly of their daddy and his love. I am hoping one of these recipes will fit the bill.
There you have it. My biggest pet peeve is when something doesn’t do what it it supposed to do so these are the recipes, products and methods I have found to be better for us, the earth, and are actually effective. I have started a Pinterest board where I will be pinning recipes and ideas I would like to try so if you’d like to see more of what catches my eye, feel free to follow me.
What are your tried and true recipes, methods, and products? What little things make a big difference in your day?
go gently + be wonderful