Saturday, August 27, 2011

Homemade Deodorant

I've been using homemade deodorant for over a year now. Prior to the change, I was using Tom's of Maine, but I was nearly always smelly at the end of the day. One day, I read a post on Simple Organic challenging readers to use a store-bought or homemade natural deodorant for one month. The rules: no aluminum (the main reason I stopped using antiperspirants), no parabens or propylene glycol, no added fragrance, no triclosan. I read the comments to that challenge, and many readers had said how much they liked a certain kitchen concoction.

I didn't commit to the challenge, but a few weeks later, just before I stepped into the shower one day, I impulsively whipped up the homemade blend I'd read about.

Here's the recipe I find works best:
  • 4 T. baking soda
  • 4 T. cornstarch or arrowroot powder (I've used both... most recently prefer arrowroot)
  • 6 T. coconut oil
Mix it all together in a little glass container.

Option #1: You can just keep it like this in the bathroom, which is what we do. When you're ready to use it, just dip a couple fingertips in the mixture and rub it in. One of the wonderful things about coconut oil (among many) is that it absorbs completely into the skin. Coconut oil has a melting point of about 76 degrees, so if it's cold, your deodorant will be hard. Just let it sit in an inch or so of hot water for a minute (while you shower) and it will soften up. If the temperature is hot, the oil might start to separate a bit. If this happens, remix before applying. We mix ours pretty often, whatever the weather.

Option #2: Save an old deodorant container and pour the mixture in there so you can just roll on. If you choose this option, keep your deodorant in the fridge or you'll have a mess on hot days!

I've always been a sweater, but when I started using this deodorant, I was eight months pregnant during a hot SoCal summer, busy with several outdoor projects. I haven't been smelly since the first application! Keenan started using it shortly after I did, and we've both been using it ever since. (The only hitch we've faced is occasionally finding some marks on some of Keenan's shirts, caused by his hairier underarms... just doesn't rub in as easily! However, they do come clean in the wash.)

By the way, the one who gave the original challenge at Simple Organic followed up with her results. She loved this one the most too!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Wet Rooms

As you guys know, we are in the process of buying a house (!)

My mind has been a whir of excitement and planning.  There is a lot of work to do.  That's a serious understatement.  But most of it is really exciting work.  I love any excuse to re-examine our things and purge ourselves of unnecessary clutter (checkout  I always feel less cluttered just scanning the blog!).

I have a few friends who are really talented in the design arena, and I have never felt particularly gifted in that area.  However, now that we will have a house that I already love, I find that I'm really excited to start decorating it and making it my own!  I hope you don't mind if I bounce some ideas off of you to see if my design ideas are
  • Practical
  • Beautiful
  • Enriching
Today at the library, I about broke my back carrying out all the boys' books plus my new design books/diy home renovation books (we are thinking of turning that crazy basement into an apartment!).
Here's my newest idea.  Have you ever heard of a "wet room"?  Apparently they're big in Europe.  I think I've been in one, but I can't remember where.  The basic idea is that there is a sink, toilet, and open shower where the water converges to a central drain in the floor.  Here are a few pictures.


It seems to me to be a good idea for a small bathroom.  Everything else that you generally have in the bathroom could be in a nearby bigger closet area.  And doesn't it seem easier to clean?  Bathroom floors can be such black holes.  What do you think?  If you were looking to buy/rent, would this be a + or - for you?