I’m experiencing my first Spring in Western New York.
More than being a lovely season, it’s been an honest time of “firsts” for me. One such realization came not too long ago… Continue reading
I’m experiencing my first Spring in Western New York.
More than being a lovely season, it’s been an honest time of “firsts” for me. One such realization came not too long ago… Continue reading
The Homesteading/Survivalism Facebook page posted a simple photo of a DIY orange cleaner with some very simple directions. It immediately caught my eye, and I had all the ingredients on hand, and thus I figured: why not!
All it said with the pic is “Quick Orange Peel Vinegar Cleaner: Orange peels, vinegar in a quart jar, let sit for 10 days or so…strain out the liquid and use as an all-purpose cleaner. Easy, cheap, natural, smells good!”
I use White Distilled Vinegar (WDV) nonstop for all my cleaning and housekeeping needs, and I am from Florida… so citrus meets WDV seemed right up my alley.
How I Made It:
I didn’t have a jar on hand, but I did have an empty juice jug, a near ’bout empty Lysol spray bottle, some oranges and a grapefruit. I used three oranges and one grapefruit, to be exact.
There wasn’t an exact science to it, just citrus peel + WDV, let it marinade for 10 days.
A caveat I was worried about? My sloppily peeled oranges would have too much pulp attached – thus adding juice to the mixture, making the cleaner sticky. The final test was the sticky factor. I also wasn’t sure by how much to dilute it (I always dilute WDV with water as an all-surface cleaner). I didn’t want to lose all the citrus smell-good by adding water, but full strength WDV seemed a bit too strong.
Ten Days Later…
I was so rip roarin’ ready to go!
The BEST SMELLING vinegar ever.
You can hardly tell it’s vinegar, it’s amazing. Sticky? Not at all, it’s a perfect cleaner.
I ended up eye-balling the water-to-WDV ratio.
I have a feeling I’m going to use this sweet little mix for everything. It’s heavenly in the kitchen, that’s for sure. My next test will be mopping with it (I already mop with WDV + water).
The next batch I make? Lemon-lime. I want to make all kinds of varieties with citrus.
A friend told me she just always adds in more WDV and citrus peels, and just keeps a batch brewing all the time. I think I’ll do that for a while and see how it goes. She also mentioned she keeps it out of the sun, so I moved mine off the window sill and into a dark cabinet.
Hey Rose, why do you use WDV all the time?
Great question! I love WDV; it’s a real jack of all trades. It’s an all-natural, vegan, pet/baby/kid/anybody-safe substance that’s a disinfectant, a degreaser, a natural fabric softener, insect repellant, water stain remover, and cleaner. It’s cheap, easily produced, and a great way to stretch out fancier/pricier products so they last longer. It’s also fabulous on its own.
The smell is a little funky when plain WDV is wet. However, it always dried odorless (no, my clothes NEVER smell like vinegar, neither does the house, etc.).
I love keeping a clean home in a way that’s safe, healthy, and earth-friendly.
Now, go eat an orange or three and start brewing your own batch!
As always, thanks for reading! xoxo, hhr
Today I mopped with my new citrus cleaner, and oh yeah – it’s awesome! The floors dried perfectly clean and lovely, and the house had this all-over citrus smell as I was just cleaning away. LOVE!
OR: Some Happy Hippie Habits I Still Have
On Sunday I posted a rather woe-is-me piece about how I’ve lost my eco-friendly “religion” as of late (I’ve been a slacker, I’ve been in a new place – and I haven’t been adhering to my usual routine of kind-to-our-plantet practice).
It’s true. I’ve shopped at Walmart, we’re going through roll after roll of paper towels around here, I’m drinking Keurig coffee and so on… It’s embarrassing. Happy HIPPIE Rose is my blog after all, this is a place where I post about loving the earth and being green and all that jazz. I’m a self-proclaimed hippie and if I expect people to trust my advice or try out my tips, there’s a certain point to which I need to practice what I preach!
And really, I usually do. I’m blaming it on our move and all the commotion of living our of a hotel, visiting family for a week, and now moving in with my cousin and acclimating to his routines and what not. I won’t re-hash it all – go read the post for yourself if you want to revel in my failure.
(I’m also being pretty overdramatic.)
I know I’m super far from a failure right now. As was pointed out in the comments on Sunday, it’s not a terribly huge crime I’ve committed here. It’s life, it happens. My intention was actually never to lament, but rather to come clean and then take it from there. So Sunday I ‘fessed up. Now, we’ll be moving forward.
After be-smudging my good hippie name, I did make the self-defensive claim that not everything has gone to hell in a handbasket. There are, actually, plenty of things I’ve kept up with and am doing now that are mighty green.
Today, lemme brag on those!
I love the earth, I am a legit hippie. There are easy, fun, money-saving ways to run a home and live your life that are kinder to the earth than some of the typical American practices. Especially when it comes to chores, I love to keep a tidy home in crunchy fashion – using hippie cleaning methods.
For one, rags – not paper towels.
Paper towels are pricey. And they’re wasteful. Landfills are clogged with paper towels, paper plates, paper napkins. If I must buy some kind of paper product (that’s a disposable version of something that totally exists in reusable form), I at least go for the recycled materials version. Depending on what the use of the paper item was, when you’re done with it you may be able to recycle it – so keep that aspect in mind if the paper-made route is one you must go.
But really, rags love messes. Rags are the best! They work better than paper towel, and you just wash them. It’s nice. I get so annoyed at the paper towel commercials that equate rags to smearing bacteria all over your home. UGH. Common sense goes a real long way. If you’ve just used a rag to wipe up some raw chicken goo, how abouts you retire that one to the dirty laundry hamper and not rub it on the counter until it’s been properly laundered.
It’s home cleaning 101. It’s how people have been tidying up for years, centuries! It’s not rocket science. I’ll elaborate more on a paper towel based rant some other day, because I feel like I could go on and on about all of the anti-rag marketing and propaganda out there that’s just so bunk.
Use rags. Wash them. Apply common sense.
You know what really helps the cleaning process? A solution that’s antibacterial. Like say, white distilled vinegar (WDV). WDV is amazing. It kills germs, it cleans up all kinds of messes, stains, spills, grease, gunk, and more. Yeah, it smells strong at the time of use – but as it dries it is 100% odorless, colorless, and unnoticeable.
I use WDV everywhere. Dishes, laundry, surfaces, mopping solution, the bathroom, the bedroom, the living room. Anything that can be cleaned, I involve WDV somehow.
Remember my old Tide Challenge?
(I bought a big jug of liquid Tide, very pricey and wonderful smelling laundry detergent – and as an experiment, I diluted it with WDV for every load of laundry to see how far I could stretch a bottle). Here’s the premise of the challenge, a midway update post, and finally – the results post.
Check those out to read all about the magical laundry powers of WDV. Detergent, microbe killer, disinfectant, funk eliminator, fabric softener… it does it all. And in its wake it leaves clean-smelling, lovely, soft clothes.
Speaking of reusable rags and WDV, let’s talk about mopping.
If you so much as own a Swiffer, I don’t even know if we can be friends. Swiffers are so so so so bad. They’re evil! They create so much waste, and why? For what? It’s lazy and ridic. You can get a mop with the exact same function as a Swiffer (the spray with the little pad on a stick that you use instead of the old school rope mop or the sponge and squeegee kind) that – get this – uses a reusable pad on the bottom.
Instead of those pre-soaked Swiffer pads that cost a fortune, are chock full of chemicals, clog up your garbage can, and eventually our whole planent with all of those dirty pads – just use a mop with a washing fluid chamber that squirts out a little stream of cleaner and houses a cloth pad on the bottom that you simply wash and reuse.
I used to have a Lipman spray mop back in Hawaii, with reusable cloth pads. I liked it just fine. When we arrived in Western New York, I needed a new mop, though. (The Lipman worked just fine, it was packed up and it’s in the Pacific Ocean on a ship somewhere, with the rest of our belongings).
Totally coincidental to my viewership of Celebrity Apprentice (really, I didn’t realize it was the same mop from the show until just now as I was looking it up online and saw Lou Ferrigno pics), I am now the proud and ecstatic owner of the O-Ceder ProMist spray mop.
It caught my eye because it was the cheapest one of its kind in the store. And boy oh boy am I so glad I took this baby home!
There’s a microfiber pad that easily sticks to the bottom, I bought a secondary pad for a few dollars – so if one’s in the wash, I can still mop it up. And in the RARE case that a mess deems you must mop with something disposable, they do sell paper pads that fit as well (but don’t do that, just wash the reusable ones).
I LOVE THIS MOP!
It’s great. It’s so sturdy, the head pivots so nicely. It’s incredibly easy to use, and it’s so eco-friendly. I fill up the cleaning fluid tank with a simple mix of WDV and water. WDV is the perfect mopping solution, you know. It kills the germs, it cleans, the floor will sparkle and shine – withOUT the stick left behind from Lysol or whatever other chemical mopping stuff you use. And yes, it smells wacky… but as soon as it dries there is no scent. None!
Okay, I think you get my point about the cleaning. It’s so easy to do, y’all. Being green is not hard, it’s not always expensive or scary. I know that when you’re in the grocery store and you see the free range organic food, it costs more than the hormone-filled antibiotic-ridden regular version. The monetary commitment to an eco-friendly life can seem daunting. But that’s only for certain types of green living.
For most of the things I do around the home, I actually save money.
WDV is way cheaper than any fancy cleaning product you can buy. Samesies with baking soda (another awesome cleaning agent that works miracles). Buying something once, like a rag or a towel and then being able to re-wash it and use it for a really long time is epically cheaper than going through disposable stuffs.
You get the idea? I hope.
Now. I know I mentioned food. So there’s a couple more things I’ll sling into this post.
We feed our dog fancy food. As in, organic doggie food. I don’t believe in making him eat that corn-filled, horse meat, food colored, toxic fake garbage that’s all fillers and no nutrients. We were so blessed at the ole MCBH Commissary, because they carried Organix brand dog food and it only cost a dollar more than the typical on-the-shelf doggie food crap.
Specialty dog foods can be very pricey and you may have to go out of your way to get your hands on them. I understand that’s not feasible for everyone. But check this out… Purina has a new label of food out, and although it’s pricier than the typical bag of Beneful, it’s still very affordable. No corn, no fillers, no super duper garbage – and it’s made by Purina (my cousin works there, as does my Uncle Bobby, we love Purina around here).
JJ loves it! He eats it right up, and we’re able to easily find it in the dog food section of our local grocers. It’s called “One Beyond” and the commercials are super cute too (they always advertise for it on Hulu, I’ve noticed).
And finally. I know in Sunday’s post I lamented about drinking coffee from the Keurig. The uber-wasteful single cup coffee dispensary that makes you a solo cup of joe, out of a single disposable plastic-y cup. Oy, the waste. So much garbage, so much packaging. It’s convenient and lovely and delicious – yes. But the hippie in me just feels like such a heel.
So, I went old school and busted out the regular coffee pot.
It’s a lot less wasteful, as long as we drink all that we end up making. Coffee itself is such a slippery slope of hippiedom anyways… from fair trade, to poor work practices and shady farming, etc. So I won’t get into that side of the bean in this post. I’ll just tackle my end, the making and drinking side of the story. And yes, I’m still imbibing in the Keurig-made stuff (it’s what we have in the house), but I’m not exclusively drinking Keurig and I intend to make my way back to the good ole brewing pot.
So there you have it!
Yeah, I’m not as super duper green green green as I had it when we were in Hawaii. I’ve slipped a bit, I’ve let some things slide. I’ve had to make accommodations and adjustments because of moving.
It is what it is.
But I’m turning it around. And hey! Even on my worst days, I was still maintaining some very clutch eco-kindly habits. Some is better than none, every little bit really does help.
So as I continue to get my green groove back, I’ll keep y’all in the loop. The tips and tricks I learn, I’ll pass on. Because let’s be real, I didn’t invent this stuff – not by a long shot – other hippies taught me, and thus I want to teach you. And if you have some good tidbits, tell me! Shoot me an email or let me know right here (email@example.com).
I’m always looking to build up my repertoire of hippie living. So go out, get some WDV and a spray mop and clean with kindness. Happy Housekeeping, y’all!
As always, thanks for reading! xoxo, hhr
“That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight … losing my religion.” Great R.E.M. jam, right? It’s totally how I feel today.
Friends of faith, calm down! I’m not being literal, or rather – I’m not talking about my spiritual religion, Christianity. My love of Jesus is as intact as ever. It’s actually thriving I’d say: going through this huge move with so much uncertainty and loose ends, Duggs and I have been very laid back. I’ve really been able to just hand the reigns over to God and trust that we’ll be fine, it’ll all work out in His time, and that He has my back. He always does, so why worry now?
Of course, we’re doing all we can to work hard and set ourselves up for success – but fretting over things out of our control? Not happening. We’ve had faith and it’s been very comforting.
What I’m referring to is my religion of eco-friendliness.
Practicing my beliefs through the way I run a home, the purchases I make, the products I choose to surround myself with, put into the environment and my body… I’ve lost that “religion” big time.
I’ve been SO BAD.
Drive-throughs, food dye, nitrates, preservatives… you name it, I’ve been eating it this past month+. I’ve had more take out and delivery than you’d even think humanly possible. My first week in New York I ate at Dunkin Donuts literally every single day. (There aren’t any DDs in Hawaii, and I was dying for jelly donuts and pumpernickel bagels like woah).
It gets worse… Much worse.
Hi. My name is Rose, and I’ve shopped at Walmart recently.
Yeah, I need a Walmart Anonymous meeting or something to help me cope.
I’m downright ASHAMED that I’ve supported the giant corporation that I’ve been a sworn enemy of for years. I mean, I belong to an anti-Walmart watchdog group that keeps tabs on all of the pollution-causing antics, third world sweatshop supporting practices and employee rights-squashing shenanigans that the big blue box condones (and usually tries to hide with price roll back smoke and mirrors).
It still gets WORSE.
I’ve used paper towels. Lots of them.
(I’m basically in tears at this point. Who am I? Where has the real Rose gone?).
I’ve drank coffee made in a Keurig. Oh how I swore I never would. But I did. In multiple homes on multiple occasions… and I liked it. It’s delicious. I even bought more K-cups to refill the ones I willfully consumed.
And if we’re getting really honest – which we are, I’m confessing to quite a lot of eco-sins here – I’ve also used some chemically crazy cleaning agents. A little bleach here, a little neon colored scented spray there. SIGH.
I mean, I have excuses – sure. I’ve been a guest in the homes of others. I’m trying to be polite and keep things simple. I’m living out of suitcases (essentially), and for a while we were technically homeless. Going with the flow, not making waves, and so on… but you know what they say: the road to hell is paved with good intentions.
I know I’m being hard on myself. But there’s a certain level of conscientious living that I’ve strived for and I feel like I’ve just totally ignored all of my earthly beliefs lately.
Really though, there is some adjustment period to be expected. I didn’t pack rags with us like I had intended to (I was so ill the day the movers came to our house in Hawaii, so many of my plans for what was to get packed/shipped and what was to come with us for immediate access went totally out the window – I’m lucky to have underwear and socks with me, it was that crazy, I was that ill).
So I’ve been bad and I know it.
Duggs and I went more than a year with only buying a single roll of paper towels for our home (for doggie pee when we were dog sitting and other such “emergencies”). We use cloth napkins, rags, and towels.
I had actually kicked my coffee habit to the curb and was drinking tea, usually only one caffeinated tea a day – the others decaf, herbal, etc. And even if/when we made coffee, it was with a regular pot. Many of my (dear beloved) pals have gone Keurig, and while the idea of making one cup at a time seems convenient and nice, the waste just seems inexcusable. All that packaging! Ugh. (And I know there’s the “my K-cup” thingy that’s reusable, but still… who uses those? It’s way more fun and easy to just buy the regular disposable K-cups).
And Walmart? Ha! I haven’t been in a walmart in years. Actually, Duggs and I made ONE purchase there the entire time I lived in Hawaii. And before that, I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d been in one.
I like to practice what I preach. I sure try to anyways. We all slip up, yes. I know I’m not perfect, but I try and that’s been something I define myself by, a source of pride.
As an American I know I have power in my vote, sure. But we all have a power that seems to carry even more impact: consumer power. Where we spend our hard earned money speaks volumes. By not buying products I consider wasteful or harmful, by not shopping at stores whose practices I’m not down with – I vote with my money.
I’m proud of the strides I’ve made in recent years. It seems like every year since ’07, my resolution has been “to be greener,” and every year I’ve made imporvements.
Buying and eating better food to not support farming practices I don’t agree with (factory farming is downright evil) and to be kinder to my body is one that I’ve worked on for years. The amount of waste reduction in our home has been impressive. Using less and less “disposable” items and more reusable stuffs – it’s better for the earth and it’s better for our pocketbooks.
Do you know how pricey paper towels and paper napkins are? That junk adds up! Back in Hawaii, I cut up one old towel and made like 15 rags. They work better than paper towels and you just wash ’em and voila, good to go. Cloth napkins are nice too, they’re softer on your skin and again, save money, waste less, so on. Making our own cleaning products is WAY better for the environment and much, much cheaper. Those fancy products add up; but white distilled vinegar? Blessedly affordable.
My crunchy habits do save us money, which is great.
But more than that, I’ve been able to live a lifestyle I’m proud of, one that allows me to live out my beliefs.
So without those habits I feel like I’m being untrue to my heart. I’ve had that R.E.M. song stuck in my head for days, and I don’t think it’s coincidence. My eco-religion is a little lost right now.
I’m not all evil these days, though. I’m slowly getting back into my green hippie groove. The jostle of moving and being on the road, going from place to place was unstable. But now that we’re here at Nick’s and settled in, I’ve been getting back into a greener routine. I know it won’t be long before I’m up to my old hippie tricks and living at a level that’s reasonable and good.
It’s just the lapse that happened during the in-between for which I feel guilty.
I had to confess, get it off my chest. But that’s it, I’m wiping the slate clean and moving on. While I’m not pleased with some of the wasteful ways I’ve taken up lately, and the whole Wamart thing (*shudders*) … I’m not going to beat myself up too much. What’s the point?
I’ve recognized the problem, and that’s always the first step. So now, it’s about moving on and regaining my crunchy cred. I’ll post soon (tomorrow maybe?) about the greenie ways I’m getting back and the hippie practices I’ve never lost sight of. There are so many little, easy ways to keep an eco-friendly home, save money and be nice to ourselves and our animals (chemicals kill, yo).
And at some point I should post about all the crunchy hippie habits of mine that save money. You’d be amazed at how my gentle ways also go so easy on the wallet. But that’ll be a long post, and I’ll need to think of all the things I do – I don’t want to leave anything out.
For today though, the confession feels nice. It’s off my chest – so thanks for letting me do that.
As always, thanks for reading! xoxo, hhr
Aloha Beautiful Hawaii!
Saying goodbye to paradise was harder than I thought it was going to be. This next step of life is so exciting and wonderful, and trust me: I’m blessed, happy to be where I am physically, emotionally, and everything – this point in life is good.
Our life in Hawaii was extreme, we saw great times and faced challenges. We reunited there after deployments, but it’s also the place from which we had to say good bye. We spent sun kissed afternoons out on the water, luxurious days at Turtle Bay, fun evenings out and about… it’s where we said “I do,” and it’s where we found the apple of our eye – our sweet pooch JJ Duggan!
It’s also where I’ve battled some health issues, it’s where we suffered a great loss when we experienced our miscarriage, coping through a lonely and hard deployment that was tossed at us without much warning. But through it all, we came out on top, our marriage was bonded tighter and stronger – so we’ll take with us the happy sunny sweet tropical memories and get ready for a clean slate as we wipe away and move past some of life’s tougher trials.
I’m excited to be in New York and starting this next phase of our lives. We’re literally writing the first page of a new chapter. Matthew is out of the Marine Corps and he’s now a civilian, we’ve left Hawaii and moved to New York. We’re setting out on our own, together. Duggs was already established in the USMC and living in Hawaii when I came out and joined him – this is a step we’re taking together, going through it all hand in hand.
So yes, I’m stoked to be here in New York…
But I’m going to genuinely miss Hawaii. I just wanted to take a little post to reflect on the gorgeous aina paradise and really say Aloha.
Hawaii is the kind of place where everywhere you go, there’s an epic view and a breath-taking scene to just suck in and fill yourself with. The lush mountains, rainbows, flowers, the amazing bright blue oceans and the warm buttery sun bathing all of us. Hawaii really is this vibrant, happy, relaxed paradise and I am so incredibly blessed to have lived there and spent the time there I was able to.
When family and old friends came out to visit, we were able to have an awesome time with them in Hawaii – showing off our island home. I made some amazing friends and connections in Hawaii, Hope Chapel Kaneohe Bay refreshed and renewed my faith and my love of Christ.
The military experience is one that we’ll always remember. Me as a spouse and Duggs as a dutiful member of the United States Marine Corps. His service is the whole reason we were ever in Hawaii. Even though the USMC liked to throw wrenches in our plans all the time, I have the utmost respect for the branch and the military in general. I’m grateful for the hard and brave work those dedicated men and women do, and I’m so proud to be married to a man as nobel as a Marine.
I tried to pick a couple photos to sum up my amazing Hawaiian experience, the wonderful times I’ve spent in paradise. And yeah, it was impossible. So thus… here’s a crazy montage of pics as a way for me to say Aloha!
I’ll miss Hawaii so very much. I hope that we’ll be able to visit again one day, and hopefully it won’t be too far in the future that we get to go back. Until then, I’ll take my mainland life one day at a time and find new beautiful sights to oooh and aaah over, I’ll discover new favorite places and I’m sure Duggs and I will forge tons of new memories and create lots of new adventures, all with stories to tell. But as we do, I take some little pieces of Hawaii with me always – the sea turtle tattoo I got on my first trip to the island, the wedding ring on my hand that will always make me think of Kailua’s soft sandy beach, and the thousands of memories forever etched into my heart.
Aloha Hawaii – I’ll love you always!
And to my readers, I thank you (as always) for reading! xoxo, hhr
Today I am so honored and excited to introduce everyone to a lovely and talented guest blogger: Rebecca from Die, Food Dye! has so graciously written up this super helpful, informative list about food dyes and additives, providing us all with info that is so needed to know. And just in time for the holidays, she’s suggested some places where dye-free gifts may be purchased.
So please give a warm, happyhippierose welcome to Rebecca and today’s post:
12 Things Everybody Ought To Know About Artificial Food Coloring
Food coloring tested on animals has shown some scary results, and yet the FDA continues to approve their use in foods, drinks, medications, and personal care products. It should be the other way around – instead of approving chemicals until they are proven unsafe, the FDA should protect our food system from additives until these chemicals are proven safe.
Hind sight is 20/20 for sure – Since we discovered our daughter’s food coloring sensitivity (and mine), I’ve learned so much about food additives and the “Big Food” industry. Their bottom line seems to be in direct conflict with Americans’ health, especially the most vulnerable among us. And they’re using us as their guinea pigs.
Next time you go grocery shopping, bring your values with you, and think about this –
I envision a day when healthy foods will be the “norm”, and cheaper than processed “food.” A small shift in consumer preference is enough to make big food manufacturers take notice. Send tweets to manufacturers asking them when they’ll ditch the dyes. Share this information with friends, doctors, parents, grandparents, teachers, restauranteurs, school officials, store owners, and lawmakers. Vote with your dollars…and let your voice be heard!
For more information, check out studies referenced by the Feingold Association (www.feingold.org) and the Center For Science In The Public Interest (www.cspinet.org). For help adjusting to life without food coloring, visit my blog at www.DieFoodDye.com. Follow @DieFoodDye on Twitter, and interact with other dye-sensitive folks on the DFD Facebook fan page.
Thank you so much, Rebecca!! There is always so much to learn, it’s great to get these applicable tips to help sort out the action plan. It’s easy to know about wanting to do something, but hard to know where and how to start. Now, I feel so motivated to keep fighting the good fight against dye.
Do you react to food dye? How? Leave me a comment to discuss! I personally have a strong reaction to artificial dyes, Red 40 being the worst of the worst. This is an issue that gets me so heated up, so quick!
Please, check out a couple other great ones from Rebecca’s blog…
As always, thanks for reading! I’ll be back tomorrow with some super easy DIY crafts/decor ideas. xoxo, hhr
Oil Cleanisng Method
I wash my face with pure oil.
Sounds crazy, right? It’s honestly what I do though, and once you hear me out, you might not think that sounds so very crazy at all. You may actually want to get in on this all natural, vegan/cruelty-free, easy, old-fashioned, simple facial cleansing method for yourself too.
Some friends were discussing the “oil cleansing method” months and months ago, and it piqued my interest. Washing your face with oil? I’d never heard of such of a thing. It sounded insaneo and awesome at the same time.
You see, ever since I quit taking any form of birth control in 2007, and ever since my face has been a mess. I have the worst acne ever. And at age 28, it’s so tiring. I should have been ending my acne phase a decade ago. I’ve tried everything. Even *gasp* Proactive. I’ve been to dermatologists, I’ve taken really strong stuff that I’m not allowed to go out in the sun while using. I’ve tried creams and washes. Been there, done that.
The Oil Cleansing Method was so far off course of anything I’d ever tried before, that it fascinated me. The ideology is simple: since our body naturally produces oil, oil is part of our skin and not the enemy. All the facewashes that proudly boast “oil free!” – are actually counterintuitive and making things worse. When you dry up all the oil on your face, your glands react by producing more oil. When your glands overcompensate and over-produce oil, you get clogged pores, breakouts, acne.
There’s a happy medium that should be happening on the surface of our faces: a natural, healthy amount of oil belongs on our skin! So goes the ideology of the oil cleansing method. The thinking is that by using oil on our faces, we stop those glands from getting protective and overcompensating. We clean out our pores, keep our skin supple and moisturized, and stop over-washing. Besides, the ingredients you need can be bought in a grocery store (or health food store, depending on what you choose to use) and in the long run are far cheaper than buying washes, cleansers, toners, soaps, etc. And to prove to you what I mean, I made myself the guinea pig and I have serious results to brag about!
Before i started the oil cleansing method (January 28, 2011):
One week later I wrote: I can totally feel a difference in the quality of my skin, its much smoother and it feels supple. i’m not sure if you can tell much of a difference in these pics… but we’ll see as it goes.
Pics from one week after I started:
I linked to the site that taught me everything I needed to know to start the method earlier in this post, but in case you didn’t click on it… here ya go: The Oil Cleansing Method. Read that page, and it will explain to you how/when to use this method.
For my personal use, I mix Castor Oil and Sunflower Oil, in a 25/75 ratio.
As copied verbatim from the OCM website:
The Oil Cleansing Method
First and foremost, this is typically done in the evening, prior to bed. There should be no need for deep cleansing in the morning if you’re waking up with skin cleansed the night before. In the morning, a quick wipe with a warm washcloth should suffice. We don’t want to overcleanse our skin as this will serve only to irritate and cause more oil production. The objective of using this method is to deep clean while balancing our skins oil production at the same time.
- You’ll need a soft washcloth, your oil blend, and hot, running water.
- Pour a generous puddle of oil into the palm of your hand. Roughly, the size of a quarter, but more is acceptable. Rub your hands together to warm the oil and smooth over your face.
- Begin massaging the oil into your face. This will remove makeup, dirt, and other impurities, so there is no need to use a makeup remover or wash your face prior to the massage. I’ve found that this removes even my stubborn waterproof mascara and concealor.
- Using slow, firm motions across the skin, massage the oil deeply into your pores. Take your time and focus on your problem areas. You want the oil to work into your pores so that blackheads and the like can be dissolved and steamed away.
- As you’re massaging, let your mind drift off to something calming and breathe deeply. Take this time to relax and release some of the stress that your body is harboring. Sit down, breathe deeply, and take your time. Give the oil enough time to work on dissolving the impurities in your pores and give yourself enough time to unwind. Picture what your face would look like if it were completely clear and free from blemishes. Focus on that image and know that it is attainable. Trust that it is attainable. Accept that it is attainable. You can have clear skin, free of blemishes and you will have clear skin, free of blemishes. Focus on perfect skin and breathe deeply.
- Once you’re satisfied that your pores are saturated and you’re feeling calm, pick up your washcloth and soak it in clean, steamy water. We want the water to be warm enough to open your pores and remove the oil. Cool water will not open your pores, nor will it remove the oil efficiently. We’re not scalding our skin, we’re steaming to coax our pores to release the oil carrying the impurities. We’re essentially steaming our skin as an esthetician would, but without the luxury of a steam machine.
- Hold the washcloth to cover your face. Allow it to stay until it cools. You will feel your pores releasing the impurities. Wipe the oil gently away and rinse the washcloth well in hot, running water. Hold the washcloth to your face again, allowing it to cool. Wipe gently, rinse well, and repeat two or three more times. Avoid any temptation to scrub, as you’ll find it’s completely unnecessary and your skin will be soft, smooth, and free of flakes without the additional manual exfoliation and irritation that will result. Impurities, dead skin cells, and bacteria will be gently swept away.
- Have no fear of the oil, as the steamy washcloth will remove it. The Castor Oil, though it is an oil, will help with the removal of the other oils, as well. It is our main cleansing oil and is easily removed with warm water.
- If your skin feels tight, take a tiny drop of your oil blend, rub it between your clean, damp palms and pat it onto your damp skin. Gently massage any oil residue into your skin so there is no film of oil left sitting on the surface. Your skin should now glow!
I use Sunflower Oil as a general moisturizer too. I don’t even use any creams or lotions anymore. Literally, oil and makeup are the only things I put on my face. Well, sometimes I use a little soap (here and there, like in the shower on days I’m not doing OCM … and I use sunscreen, but you know what I mean: the lotions and stuff I used to use in the past, I haven’t touched in months. I prefer my oil). Before I apply make up, I use sunflower oil. I just put a teeny amount in my clean hands, rub together, and then pat on my face. I get such an even amount of moisturizer, it makes applying makeup so much easier. It’s my daily moisturizer!
I get compliments on my skin all the time now. My mom is out here visiting us this week, one of the first things she said after we picked her up from the airport was a compliment on how great my skin looks. I can go out without makeup on now. I feel happy about my skin. I like the quality of how it feels, soft, even, nice.
Don’t get me wrong: I still get occaisional breakouts. When its my time of the month, always. Ugh. But, the overall quality of my skin and the overall condition of my acne is so much improved. I know many of us gals in our 20’s deal with acne and it just sucks. I’m sure it happens to guys too. So, as someone who’s been there, done that: hated the way my skin looks, piled on the makeup, hated going out and hating seeing photos of myself… as someone who’s dealt with that for years, and now doesn’t have to, I’m just passing on the knowledge of what’s worked for me.
Do you use OCM? Have you had great luck with it? Are you going to try it? Tell me about your own experiences!
Remember my Tide Challenge? I’m trying to see how many loads I can milk out of one bottle of Tide liquid laundry detergent by cutting it down with vinegar. (check out the original post about the challenge: Tide Challenge Blog Post).
My Tide Challenge: Update!!
I’ve officially lived in Hawaii for a year, and thus I’ve owned the same bottle of Tide for a year. I think an update at this juncture is, by all means, appropriate.
As of 12:33am HST, July 20, 2011 – I’m at ONE HUNDRED THIRTY loads. From my “sixty-four load” bottle! Yeah, take that!
At 130 loads in a year, simple math says I average two and a half loads a week. That feels about right. For seven months of the last year, my husband was deployed. During that time I only had my own clothes to wash. I own a ton of clothes and I can really stretch it out a while before doing laundry becomes necessary. Also, living in Hawaii, my loads are of small summer clothes: I can fit a few weeks worth of wardrobe in one wash. (wowee awesome alliteration). I re-use towels several times, especially beach towels.
(For tie dye loads I don’t use Tide – I use a special product; so business loads haven’t been factored into my guestimates/stats).
I still have a bit left, I’d say maybe 15% or so? We’ll see. With the bottle being so dark and varying in widths, it’s hard to guess for sure. I’ve marked some lines show a couple different levels.
Boasting “64 Loads” I’ve just doubled their claim. My goal was to possibly triple it, but we’ll see. That would mean 62 more loads. As optimistic as I am, I sure will try! But even I know that we’re pushing it now. I’m not going to start using super tiny amounts just for this project, don’t worry. I’ll stay the course and we’ll see what happens. For anyone who made the switch to using vinegar in the laundry room – what do you think? How clean are your clothes? How happy is your budget??
I’ll keep y’all updated, and for sure I’ll post when the bottle runs dry (hopefully not in the near future)!
VINEGAR = THE BEST!
PS – this makes me realize… i really need a signature. i hate how i just kinda… trail off… without any strong sense of finality…
How Cruelty-Free Are Your Cosmetics?
I used to be like you. I bought my shampoo and soap from my neighborhood super wal-mart or other megagrocer. Dove, Secret, Suave, etc. – I shopped based on price, smells, or the promises made in high budget advertising. It just seemed like a simple, obvious thing to do. No big deal, just buy whatever you like, right? In my mind and heart, I’d always been an animal lover. If and when “animal testing” came up in conversation, I’d get ill just thinking about it. But somehow that visceral connection was lost when I went a-shopping, and I never thought about rabbits getting shampoo squirted in their eyes as I grabbed whatevs off the shelf. I just didn’t think about it.
During my early 20’s I was doing a lot of self-discovery. I found my political voice, learned how I really felt about the world. I actively chose not to live an unexamined life: I don’t want to just go through the motions of living, autopilot style. I am a person who examines the world around me, gets the most out of life, and uses my mellon as I’m saying and doing (or at least I try to make that effort, ya know?).
In learning to ask questions, open my eyes, and identify where I draw the lines between right and wrong… I realized that animal testing is not something I’m okay with. I can get so fresh and so clean, or do my eyes up without killing, hurting, maiming helpless small animals. I didn’t become a vegan or cut red meat out of my lifestyle. I still take medications that have pointlessly been tested on animals (different argument for a different day)… but choosing which bathroom supplies I buy is an active decision that I can make; I use my consumer power to stand up for something I believe in. By purposefully choosing to own and use only products that are cruelty-free I put my money where my mouth is.
It’s more of an awareness/mentality shift than an entire lifestyle change, ya know? I’m still washing my hair and wearing make up, I’m just conscious of what products I use to do so.
In the past three and a half years I’ve done a lot of learning. Some cruelty-free products can be more expensive than your mainstream brands. Often cruelty-free companies go hand in hand with using organic ingredients or are produced by smaller, mom and pop kind of entities. I’ve used some hippie-dippy stuff that was lackluster at best: gooey deodorants, shampoos that won’t lather. Back in 2008 when I started this journey, finding safe items in mainstream stores was hard. I’d have to speciality shop around, and keep trial and erroring different goods. The issue has come a long way though, and now many stores carry the brands I trust, making this commitment easier than ever. I’ve also found lines of products I love, and I feel like I’m taking my stand whilst maintaining convenience.
So, are you ready? Interested in learning more? Want to make the change?
Why Cruelty-Free? What’s the Big Deal?
Animal testing is so icky. It’s still legal in the USA (which is crazy), although the FDA does encourage that companies seek the most humane methods possible to prove the safety of their products. That’s cool. But encouragement ain’t the law, we need to take it further. Here’s the FDA’s stance: http://www.fda.gov/Cosmetics/ProductandIngredientSafety/ProductTesting/ucm072268.htm
Google “vivisection.” Go on, do it. Open a new tab and give it a google.
Did you do it? Do you already know about vivisection? Vivisection is the scientific experimentation of LIVE subjects. When applied to the cosmetic world, the rampant use of needless vivisection is disgusting. Millions of small animals are tortured alive in the name of science, under the guise of proving product safety. When you google the term a lot of graphic images pop up: so gut-wrenching nasty, huh?
DoSomething.org gives some fun facts about animal testing, explaining that millions of small animals are subjected to cruel and painful tests each year in the USA: http://www.dosomething.org/tipsandtools/11-facts-about-animal-testing
Here’s a great youtube video, chock full of vom-inducing graphic images, and heart twisting stats to help paint the picture of what cosmetic animal testing is really all about. Warning, VERY graphic: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSwR70Xtaug
Animal testing isn’t making our world safe one eye shadow at a time: it’s performing redundant and unnecessary tests that can be easily managed in other, harmless ways. The body of data we already have is sufficient for creating safe products made of ingredients that are safe for human consumption or use. Here’s a page that debunks some myths about animal testing, very informative: http://www.leapingbunny.org/myths.php
Third party testing is something that also must be taken into consideration. Many products will say “final product not tested on animals.” That’s neat, but that’s not fighting the whole issue. Ingredients are being tested on furry critters. The problem is that many ingredients have already been tested on animals, and that can’t be un-done. We don’t have a time machine. But certified “cruelty-free” products don’t currently test on animals or use new animal testing to develop a product. They buy ingredients that aren’t currently tested on animals. So while the sad past can’t be taken back and information obtained from those experiments is used: new testing is not needed or condoned. We can build off the body of knowledge we already have without subjecting more animals to torture.
Make The Switch
Making the actual switch is easy-peasy. Like I said, it’s not a lifestyle change. There aren’t any habits I’m greatly altering, it’s just the specific products I use. I still brush my teeth, apply deodorant and what not – I just am careful about what I toss in the buggy when I’m shopping. I use my consumer power constructively.
Dont like reading? Or are you dying to see my mug and hear my voice? I made a little video to accompany this blog, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UkVUGzkyGek
Here’s a like-minded fella’ giving his point of view, Wayne Goss (makeup artist) on animal testing in relation to cosmetics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cd0g4shOXSI&NR=1&feature=fvwp
Here’s an easy-to-use list that can help you identify cruelty-free products: http://www.peta.org/living/beauty-and-personal-care/companies/default.asp
And here are some other good resources:
Out at the store and not sure what should buy? There’s an app for that! I just got it today, actually. http://www.peta.org/features/Stephanie-Pratt-iphone-app.aspx
What am I using?
Yay! The fun part. I love reviewing products and spreading the word about something I really love to use.
When I first dived into the cruelty-free world I used a lot of Kiss My Face products. Burt’s Bees, Kiss My Face, and Tom’s of Maine are probably my top three go-to companies. All of them are becoming accessible to the masses, I see them in every drug store and super market. Awesome! The Kiss My Face body washes and hand soaps are my fave. I don’t really care for any Burt’s Bees or Kiss My Face hair care products, though. For that I use the Say Yes To… brand (Say Yes To Carrots = my shampoo/conditioner of choice!).
That Nature’s Gate shampoo isn’t the best shampoo ever, NGL. But, it’s an epic body wash. My husband goes crazy for the smell, it’s delicious really. I get a huge lather on my loofah and I just love to use it all over myself, just not on my hair. That’s okay though.
Sunflower oil is so very moisturizing – I love it! I use it in combination with the Castor oil as part of my face cleansing regime: The Oil Cleansing Method. (I’ll make a post about that in a bit, it’s a whole ‘nother topic). I use the Sunflower oil as a general skin moisturizer. It’s so softening and light. Good stuff right there!
Yes To Cucumbers is my favorite product (as in other than the oil cleansing method) to use on my face. They have a facewash that I use, as well as these wipes.
So Kiss My Face makes a deo, and I’ve tried it before. It says somethingerother about “active enzymes” on it, so I gacve it a whirl. For me, and whatever my body makes my pits do, it was not a good choice. By nature, I don’t really have stinky sweaty pits. I actually don’t even wear deo most days, and no one notices at all. I’m just not really stinky. Unless I work out or something, then it’s on and I sweat like a crazy person. Or go to the dentist: I’m terrified of the dentist and I break out in the craziest sweat ever. Buckets. Anyways… here’s my point: not all natural deodorants have worked for me. I didn’t care for the kind with the “active enzymes.” But the Tom’s Apricot stuff pictured above = wonderful. I lurve it!
When it comes to makeup – ALL I use is M.A.C. It’s the best quality anyways, it has the awesomest variety of colors, coverage types, etc. The stuff you buy lasts and withstands travel, being in my lil makeup pouch and getting tossed around in my giant purse, and sitting in the car when I accidentally leave it there. And it’s just the best, and they do NOT test on lil animals at all. So rad!
Brands I love and trust:
You can clean your microwave in a SUPER easy and safe way.
Just microwave a cup of white distilled vinegar in there for one minute. Then take a wet sponge and wipe everything clean. Yeah, it’s THAT easy.
The vinegar steam loosens all that gunk and makes cleaning super easy. And guess what? Vineagr is safe! You don’t want to clean a device that cooks your food with harmful chemical sprays. Eww. Where do you think those chemicals go when you’re done cleaning? Into your food the next time you microwave. Not to mention that vinegar is way cheaper.
I know a true hippie wouldn’t even use a microwave to cook, but let’s not kid – sometimes you just want to re-heat something in a jiff.
Anyways, here’s the step by step:
My microwave was NASTY!! For a clean freak like me, this is embarrassing.
So, I had people coming over and I HAD to make sure this was cleaned up! ASAP!
So try it out and you can thank me later. Its so easy, its crazy!