Thursday, July 31, 2014

July at Our House

Two whole weeks since I have last blogged?! Wow, that just tells you how busy it's been 'round here. My brother just got married last Saturday and that definitely kept me going, going, going this month with planning. Hopefully August will be a better month for me to get more writing done. In the meantime, please enjoy the goofy things the kids said this month.

July 2, 2014
L {discussing hair}: "Are your bumpies hair, too?" {points to Brett's stubble}
Makes me glad I shave my legs often enough to have never had this particular discussion.

July 12, 2014
L: "When we're all grown up will we still have the same names?"
Me: "Yes."
L: "So I'll still be Logan?"
Me {laughing}: "Yes."
L: "But I want a nickname!"
Well, good news then, junior high is coming... hopefully, not for a really, really long time, though.

July 14, 2014
L {noting my plaid shorts}: "Are you wearing Daddy's swim trunks?"
No. Just no.

July 15, 2014
M: "M-o-o-o-o-o-m, he drank water off the driveway!"
Oh, well. At least he's drinking water, which he really never seems to drink enough of, in my opinion.

July 18, 2014
M: "It smells so much better in the basement!"
I had gotten distracted and walked away from the grilled cheese sandwich I was making, so it got quite blackened and the entire first floor stunk. It happens. Not often, okay, but every once in a loooong while.

July 28, 2014
L {seeing bird poop on his side of the van as we were getting ready to leave}: "I don't want our car to have purple poop on it!"
It will all be okay. Really.

July 29, 2014
L: "Don't get white feet." {said while stepping in between the lines of the crosswalk}
Earlier in the day, he had seen the men painting the center line, so he was worried that the paint might be wet outside of Sam's Club.

July 31, 2014
L: "I wanna do my Bigfoot."
Me: "What do you mean?"
L: "I wanna ride my Bigfoot."
Me: "Oh, you mean your Big Wheel?"
L: "Yeah!"
He just bought this today with his own money at community-wide yard sales. Brings back memories.

July 31, 2014
M: {after reading Henry and Mudge books}: "Now I feel like eating crackers."
Not happening, sister. I am totally on to your bedtime delay tactics. Nice try, though!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A Boy's World

Some days I think that I will never truly understand this kid. I really just do not know what goes on inside his little head. One thing is for sure. He often brings a smile to my face just by being himself. For example, today's snack time turned into a creative activity. The dinosaurs all got new shoes made from grapes and Goldfish crackers. (I am guessing this was inspired by yesterday's trip to the shoe store for new sneakers.) It's pretty ingenious, albeit impractical. But really, what's the point of always being practical? This life lesson brought to you by my four-year-old.

{Perhaps even dinosaurs need new shoes.}

Sunday, July 13, 2014

3-Ingredient Homemade Shaving Cream: Update

I posted this recipe over a year ago, and decided to do an updated post now. I am still making my own shaving cream and loving it! I have made a couple of minor changes that I thought were worth noting for the past couple of batches, though. I think my first changes came in March, and I just made another batch this week using these methods.

#1 I decided to experiment with almond oil in place of extra virgin olive oil. I wasn't sure if this would make a difference. The olive oil is probably cheaper, but I figured it was worth trying since I had it on hand anyway for my homemade face moisturizing oil. This changes the color slightly, but at first glance, it is pretty much the same. For a trial, I shaved one leg with the new batch of homemade stuff and the other with my old can of Skintimate. For me, there was a clear winner in the smoothness department, but just to be fair, I asked my hubby to do a "blind test" asking him to feel them and tell them if he noticed a difference -- without telling him why. Not surprisingly, he decided that the leg shaved with my homemade version was softer and smoother. Yeah!

#2 Shea butter. So, when I went to order more on Amazon, I actually ended up getting African shea butter for whatever reason. I must not have paid attention very closely. Is there a difference in how they work? Not that I can tell. There is a difference in color (more yellow) and smell. The African one seems a bit more chocolate-y to me, and trust me, that is not a bad thing at all. Hence, my newer batches are more yellow and smell different than my previous batches, but otherwise they have had the same skin conditioning qualities.

#3 My old hand mixer bit the dust last June, which you may have recalled if you happened to read this post about how in love I was with my new stand mixer. So, the old hand mixer worked pretty well for whipping up shaving cream, but it was messy and my hands did get tired doing it. Since it is no longer in the picture, I put my shaving cream block (more on that in directions below) in the stand mixer bowl, and whipped it up with the wire whisk attachment. Strangely, this takes about twice the amount of time than doing it by hand (6-7 minutes versus 3) BUT it's hands-free and definitely less messy. The only suggestion I have is to stop it a couple of times and stir the mixture by hand to get the solid chunks down from the sides of the bowl and back into optimal position for proper mixing. Easy.

{Here's a new batch after it "settled."}

Why homemade shaving cream? I wanted to eliminate chemicals! I like knowing what I am putting on my body. Also, my last batch lasted just over 4 months -- take that store-bought shaving cream! (There is no way a can of that stuff would have made it that long.) Here is how to make your own natural shaving cream. (Organic ingredients are always a plus, but I wouldn't say they are a must.)

  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 1/3 cup shea butter (mine is African)
  • 1/4 cup almond oil (or extra virgin olive oil, if you don't happen to have almond oil)

  1. In a sauce pan over low heat, melt the shea butter and coconut oil. (This takes between 5 and ten minutes -- a bit longer with African shea butter than with plain shea butter, which I don't remember as being as dense.)
  2. Pour the melted contents of the pan into a container. (I use a plastic bowl.) Add your almond oil (or olive oil) and stir to combine.
  3. Allow the mixture to solidify in the refrigerator. (I still can't tell you how long this takes. More than an hour, but it will certainly be ready if you let it set over night, which is what I tend to do since I seem to always be making a new batch after the kids are in bed.)
  4. Remove the block from the bowl (or other container) and place it in your mixing bowl. (Mine have always slid out easily once I tipped the bowl over, so this shouldn't be hard for you either.)
  5. Whip the shaving cream. This used to take about 3 minutes with my hand mixer. Now, it takes a bit longer with the stand mixer (as mentioned above).
  6. Store your shaving cream in air-tight containers. Labeling them is suggested. I like to just use masking tape and permanent marker to write the contents and date made.
  7. To shave, I use my fingers to remove a dollop of shaving cream and spread it on my skin. It liquefies once you rub it in, and I love this. It never runs down my legs and gets wasted like commercial shaving creams or gels have a tendency to do. Also, the moisture gets locked into the skin. I know this because I see the water bead up where I have applied my shaving cream -- so it does two jobs in one. It works in all the usual places: underarms, legs, bikini area, and although I have not personally tried it, a man could also shave his face with this stuff. Note: Use caution if you like to shave in the shower since it may make the shower floor a teensy bit slippery at times.