Condo Blues: health and beauty




Showing posts with label health and beauty. Show all posts
Showing posts with label health and beauty. Show all posts

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Super Silky Oh So Fluffy Coco Butter Body Butter Recipe

My latest batch of liquid soap came together beautifully. That gave me the courage to retry making the coco butter soap recipe from this soap making book that I messed up so horribly it came out like Flubber. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.) I learned from my mistakes and had e a perfect batch of coco butter soap cooking in the slow cooker. I also had a wee bit of melted coco butter and coconut oil leftover – too little to use it for soap, too much to throw away. I am just about out of moisturizer and coco butter is one of my favorite types of lotion and body butter. Hey, let’s make some!

Except.

I don’t like how my previous homemade body butters made coconut oil eventually lose their fluffy texture, the oils started to separate,  and coconut oil turn grainy in the jar.

So much so that I told myself the next time I make it, it will not include coconut oil as an ingredient and that I’d make a lotion instead of a body butter. (Lotion= moisturizing oils/butters+emulsifier+ distilled water. Body butter= moisturizing oils/butters only.)

Which I remembered after I had measured and combined the melted coconut oil, coco butter, and vitamin E oil in the measuring cup I use for water. D’oh!

Can these homemade moisturizer ingredients be saved? Yes! Keep reading to find out how!

All is not lost! First up, using a high speed stick blender or mixer (like a like this KitchenAid Stand Mixer) over a hand mixer will help loads but to really keep the ingredients fluffy and from separating you need to use an emulsifier because well, that’s what emulsifiers were born to do. 

Thursday, April 21, 2016

How to Make Rosemary Mint Salt Scrub

I recently declared a Treat Yo’ Self weekend after buying a massage special from Groupon (so much cheaper than going to the massage school and I got a much better massage too!)

A fun little family adventure with Lacey, dinner and drinks out followed. Sunday, prompted by the desire to wear a skirt on a gloriously warm day, and the state of some winter skin in desperate need of exfoliation, an in home spa day was in order since everything was closed. Otherwise - you guessed it - Groupon time.

Fortunately, everything I need to make a fantastic nontoxic and natural exfoliating skin scrub is sitting right here in my kitchen. I bet you do too!

Exfoliating Rosemary Peppermint Salt Scrub: The Step by Step Tutorial

 

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Sunday, February 28, 2016

DIY Allergy Friendly Homemade Furniture Dusting Spray

Dusting is not my favorite chore. I tried to make it easier by using a feather duster to dust the stuff on bookshelves and other hard to reach up too high places.

Until my allergist put the kibosh on that. He says feather dusters push more dust around than they pick up (including my fancy ostrich feather duster as well as the even fancier lambs wool dusters.)
Which for most of you will still work all fine and dandy but not for me. I have a litany of seasonal allergens including and especially dust mites.  So how exactly am I supposed to dust the furniture without commercial dusting sprays or a feather or lambs wool duster?

In this instance, my allergist recommended the best way to clean dust and dust mites is also the most non toxic and cheapest cleaner in the world – water!

How to Make Nontoxic and CHEAP! DIY Dust & Allergen Furniture Spray

 

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Sunday, February 21, 2016

12 Things I Do Not Buy and What I Use Instead

 Like most of you, I buy things on sale to save money where I can. Unfortunately, I’m just as guilty as anyone else who ran to the store to buy two things and came out with a buggy of stuff because I found a sale or a deal.

Sometimes I saved money and often times I didn't. The light bulb went off when I decluttered and organized the basement of our old place. Most of the Donate Pile was stuff I bought on sale because I thought I was saving money at the time.
  


 The easiest way to stop those intermittent money leaks disguised as saving was to stop buying things I didn't need even if they were on sale. I either gave up using it, found a reusable for a disposable, or repurposed something to take its place - all are extremely green, painless, and low cost options!

 So scoot over to my food blog Lazy Budget Chef to read my  post:

12 Things I Do Buy


Make sure you read the comments. A bunch of super smart folks shared their money saving tips there too!


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Monday, January 18, 2016

Even Organics Can Make You Sick – the EOS Lip Balm Lawsuit is Wrong

Today’s Baseless Internet Outrage of the Day is brought to you by people who don’t realize lip balm made from organic and natural ingredients can cause allergic reactions because – new flash!most allergies are caused by things found in nature.

Hay fever anyone?

What we commonly call hay fever is an allergic reaction to some form of pollen. Or if you are me, tree, grass, and weed pollen – including the pollen of many plants and flowers we plant inside and out of our homes. So I have first hand experience of having surprise allergic reactions, succeeding - and failing - at avoiding allergic reactions, and how much it sucks sometimes because I have allergic reactions.



The thing is, I don’t think that just because a product uses natural or organic ingredients it is automatically perfect and will not cause heath issues in some people even though products made with organic and natural ingredients are the type of products I buy and use as much as I can.

According to the New York Times article Allergies Can Be Natural, Too:
“While most skincare and hair care is filled with potential allergy triggers, it turns out that organic versions are, to green parents’ dismay, among the worst offenders. “Generally the more expensive organic products have more allergens; they’re in their purest form,” said Lisa Borden, 39, a Toronto-based mother whose 8-year-old daughter is allergic to peanuts, nuts and kiwi.”

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Our Favorite Condo Blues Craft Projects of 2015

We’re celebrating the New Year by looking back at some of our favorite Condo Blues craft projects and tutorials we published in  2015.

When it comes to crafts, upcycling and recycling materials are the things you crave. 8 out of our most popular craft post tutorials feature reclaimed materials. Woo hoo! Who says green living can’t be cute and creative living too?
 

Our Top 11 Condo Blues Craft Projects in 2015


Make Candle Wax Warmer Melts, Tarts, and Cubes: The Complete DIY Guide!  

 
 
 

How to Make Aluminum Can Coasters 

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Everyone Has a Secret. Rosacea is Mine.

I am sharing my rosacea story in this sponsored post on behalf of Galderma Laboratories, L.P., the maker of Soolantra® Cream, because I hope by sharing it you won’t have to experience the humiliation I do every day or if you do, I want you to know you are not alone and it can get better. All of the opinions in this post are my own. Tracking Pixel

I’m sharing my deepest secret and the scars I keep hidden. I have rosacea. Rosacea is a chronic, inflammatory skin condition that you can manage but never truly goes away. Before I was diagnosed as an adult, I had a breakout so severe, my forehead was disfigured and I have permanent scars. I’m not one for plastic surgery but if they could remove my scars I’d take it in a heartbeat. The disfigurement and scars mortify me and cut me to my very core. 

OK. Deep breath. Here goes.

This is me. No make-up, rosacea redness, mottling, scars, and all.

 Approximately 1 in 20 Americans suffer from rosacea. It causes many sufferers (up to 75%) to have low self-esteem and (up to 70%) to feel embarrassed – including me.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

A Non Toxic Cleanser for Challenging Skin: Block Island Organic Purifying Facial Cleanser

Recreating history for your entertainment can be a dirty business.

We try to stay as authentic to the period as possible but sometimes we have to make allowances for  climate (there is no way anyone can wear 15 petticoats or more during the summer in the US and not get heatstroke.) So while I build my costumes and do my hair and makeup with attention to historical detail, I will not be achieving the pale white skin of a noblewoman according to the period by washing my face with mercury for a period – and poisonous – Elizabethan face wash.  No thanks.

 But I do have to wash my face at the end of a long fair day with something. It has to be something that contains ingredients that are not harsh which makes my rosacea flare. My cleanser also has to be strong enough to remove makeup mixed with sunscreen, sweat, and grime and clean my skin.  I told you living history is a dirty business!

I clean up pretty good, don't I?


Sunday, October 11, 2015

What Are Your Favorite Sore Throat and Ear Ache Home Remedies?

Hi gang. I'm under the weather and singing the blues. I need a little help from you.


I have another ear infection. Well, actually, it is the same ear infection I had two weeks ago. I thought it went away but it got worse instead of better.

I shouldn't be surprised. I spent last Saturday practicing and performing with my high school alumni marching band in a bone chilling cold and drizzling rain. Sunday afternoon I felt a familiar pop! pop! pop! in my ear and couldn't balance during yoga for neither love nor money.


I'm spending quality time with hot tea with lemon and honey in ol' Snoop dog more often than I'd like. It helps some but most of the time my throat feels like I swallowed a fistful of straight pins. Ouch.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Lawn Fertilizer Made My Dog Sick


Last week Lacey started her day by vomiting on the carpet. I don’t want to sound callous or unfeeling but life with Lacey sometimes comes with spontaneous barfing. I wasn’t surprised to find grass in the clean up.

Lacey sometimes eats grass as a stress reaction. Our Homeowner’s Association has been repairing sidewalks and damaged roads for the last week or so and her anxiety has been off and on Orange Alert Level Defcon 5.



Following our vet’s advice, we wait a bit to let Lacey’s tummy settle before giving her a small portion of her breakfast. We wait again to see if Lacey keeps it down Then we give her the rest of her breakfast in smaller portions until she’s finished her half cup of morning kibble.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Project Me: Fight Stress with Coloring. Have You Tried It?

One of my friends has a tote bag that says, “I knit so I don’t kill people.” I can relate.

To part about relaxing or recharging through a creative project, not the part about knitting.  I don’t know how.

I suppose that’s one of the reasons adult coloring books are so popular.  You don’t need a garage full of fancy tools or lessons to de-stress by coloring. All you need is a couple of bucks for a coloring book and some crayons (Environmental Working Group has a a list of safe non toxic crayons here) or colored pencils and you’re good to go.



I haven’t colored since I don’t know when. One evening when I was looking for something to do, I spied the coloring page Zulily.com put on the back of the Thank You card that came with my last order in the To Recycle pile by the back door.

I decided to give it a go.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Quick Craft: Make a Portable Phone Charger Case

I  love photography. My phone has a good camera and I’m not shy about whipping it out to document the beautiful, fun, or surprising things that cross my path in any given monument. Unfortunately, using the camera so often kills my phone battery. I started carrying a portable phone charger or two in my bag or backpack when Husband and I go on one of our adventures.

My quick phone charger holder makes a great gift. 
You should pin this post for gift giving season!


I quickly realized I need some sort of phone charger holder or case to store the charger and the cord together.  Why are the things you need to grab quickly always in the deepest darkest corners of your bag or purse and take ages of rooting around to find? It’s some sort of purse conspiracy I tell ya.

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

25 of the Best Ways to Reuse Old Pill Bottles

Husband and I are relatively healthy people but every once and awhile we get sick enough to require prescription medicine. More often than not the medicine comes comes in a plastic bottle that aren’t always recyclable.

I really hate tossing something like that into the trash and sending it to a landfill to sit on a mountain of garbage for a thousand years.



Pin this post to get organized!


Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sporty Safe Sun Sunscreen with Goddess Garden Organics (Review)

This post is sponsored by Green Sisterhood but the opinion is of my own.

I seriously need to up my safe sunscreen game. My allergist gave me a new medication that makes me extremely photosensitive and I will be for most of the summer while the meds do their work.

No big deal. Sunscreen is a way of life because I’m pale.  I’m very familiar with the affects of UVB sun rays because you can see how they damage the top layer of your skin with the naked eye. For me UVB rays always cause a sunburn but for some of you hardier types the skin damage shows up as a sun tan.

My doctor told me that is a good start but I have to be just as concerned about UVA rays too.


differnce between UVA and UVB sunburn
Pin this info  for later!


Sunday, April 12, 2015

How to Make Reusable Rosacea Makeup Remover Wipes

April is Rosacea Awareness Month. Although for me the horrible scars on my forehead that I shamefully hide with my bangs reminds me that every day is Rosacea Awareness Month.

You can’t cure rosacea (bummer) but you can control it and minimize breakouts and flares. The problem is that everyone who has rosacea may have different things that trigger it and it may not respond to the exact same treatment for every person who has it (another bummer.)

In my personal experience, the only way I got my disfiguring rosacea under control was with a specialist dermatologist after years of trying every home acne treatment I could find. Once my doctor got my skin cleared up with medication, we moved on to ways I can reduce my rosacea flares without meds.




make rosasea makeup remover pads



Before we go any further, let me remind you that I’m not a doctor. I strongly suggest that you see a dermatologist if you have acne that never goes away or you suspect your constant red face is rosacea.

The National Rosacea Society has some good information and resources if you need them.  This isn't an ad. I find them helpful if I have a question in between doctor's appointments.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

6 Green and Frugal Things for March (and a Few That Aren’t!)

 Sometimes I post a list of little frugal things we do each month on my food blog Lazy Budget Chef and thought I’d do it today on Condo Blues. Some of these things are big, most are small. You don’t have to look to closely to see that most of them are green too!

real life green and frugal things that save money


1. Turned off the heat Saturday when it reached 60 degrees ( F) outside. Husband and I did a little dance thinking we were good to go until Fall.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Make Candle Wax Warmer Melts, Tarts, and Cubes: The Complete DIY Guide!

I got a candle warmer for Christmas and fell in love with it. I use it every night after dinner to clear cooking smells from the kitchen. 

The candle warmer it is more convenient than candles because it is flameless. Unfortunately I don’t quite know  if wax cubes I melt are phthalate-free and paraffin-free. Two things I try to avoid.

everything you need to know to make wax warmer melts

Pin this tutorial for later!


Being a candle maker, it didn’t take me long to clue in that the only difference between a candle and a wax melt is the container and a wick. Since I make non-toxic candles, I knew I could make non-toxic wax cubes too. Here’s how.


How to Make Non-Toxic Scented Wax Melt Cubes

Monday, February 9, 2015

Four Habits to Keep You from Being Dehydrated in Winter with DripDrop

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and DripDrop®, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #DrinkDripDrop #DripDropHydrates http://my­disclosur.es/OBsstV

During the winter, I’m not as motivated to drink water because it is cold outside and I get dehydrated during my day to day routine. 

  • My skin gets so dry an itchy it hurts and no amount of moisturizer seems to help.
  • I feel sluggish.
  • I get a headaches.
  • Most recently, I start feeling a little dizzy toward the end of my early morning ballet class.( Yes! I’m taking ballet! More on that later.) 

how to stay hydrated before during and after dance class


Since the dizziness could be a sign of something far worse than dehydration, I make an appointment with my doctor. My doctor is always telling me I’m dehydrated and need to drink more water when I frequently land in her office with a urinary tract, bladder, or kidney infection. Guess what? Surprise! I changed things up with an ear infection.

Then my doctor gave me the you need to stay hydrated now that you are dancing again speech.

How to Stay Hydrated Before, During, and After Dance Class

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Nine Uses for Nine Naturals Repairing Body Balm


Friends in my community marching band pestered me so much about joining concert band that I finally gave in. I dusted off the flute I haven’t even looked at since high school.

Needless to day, the flute joints were dry. After a long household search I found a jar of petroleum jelly buried in the back of a cupboard I was going to use to grease my flute joints.

That got me thinking. Are there were any eco friendly and non toxic alternative to petroleum jelly?




Google told me that my middle school music teacher was wrong. I should polish the joints on my flute to make them fit smoothly, not grease them with petroleum jelly. Good to know.

I was still curious about nontoxic petroleum jelly alternatives because there are times when I need to use it as a skin barrier.  Nine Naturals offered to send me samples of their no bad stuff added Simply Natural Lip Balm and Repairing Body Balm to try. I like that Nine Natural products are 100% Natural. Sulfate-free, Paraben-free, Phthalate-free, BPA-free, Triclosan-free, DEA-free, and Petrochemical-free. Natural products don’t contain artificial chemicals, dyes or synthetic fragrance either.

I have a very bad history with natural ingredient lip balms chapping my lips because they often contain honey. Not to mention I was confused about the difference between the Repairing Body Balm and their Unscented Moisturizing Pregnancy Body Cream both sounded like heavy duty moisturizers. I mentioned my concerns because I was tipping toward, “no thank you.” Nine Naturals quickly sent me answers to my questions.
  • Nine Naturals products can be used by anyone. You don’t have to be pregnant, nursing, or even a woman to use them.
  • Simply Natural Lip Balm is vegan. No honey in it to potentially chap my lips! I was intrigued. I use lip balm constantly. Would a vegan lip balm works on my I-don’t-care-if-you-want-safer-products-we-want-parabens lips?
  • The Repairing Body Balm is a vegan and non-toxic alternative to petroleum jelly. 
I decided to give Nine Naturals a try.

9 Health and Beauty Uses for Non  Petroleum Jelly Balm

Sunday, May 11, 2014

How to Make Crutch Covers and Pads

I am diligently going to physical therapy and doing my daily homework exercises to heal my leg injury. My physical therapist is happy with my progress. I hate wearing the boot, but it helps with pain management so well I don’t need to take painkillers that make me loopier than I already am or spend my day with my leg incased in ice bags.

That’s good. It also means I am in The Danger Zone.

I am in that place where I feel better and need to try going without the boot for a little bit each day which makes it easy to overdo it and take a step backwards in the healing process the following day. This is easier to control at home. It may not be so easy when we have houseguests because I know we will do a lot of walking.

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