Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Homemade Deodorant

You are thinking I've gone off the deep end here, but just hear me out!  This is the best deodorant ever, I'm not even joking!  Now that I've been using this for a few months, I can safely say I'm not rushing out to buy deodorant from the store again.

First of all, it's very inexpensive to make your own.  There's just 3 ingredients: coconut oil, corn starch, and baking soda.  The coconut oil does not have to be exra-virgin organic or anything special.  I found a large jar (32 oz) of coconut oil at WalMart and it was around $2.99 (don't quote me on that!)  So, if each batch needs 8 oz of oil, the deodorant cost comes to less than $1.00 altogether.  I've spent a lot of money on "all-natural" deodorants in the store, and none of them are that cheap!  Now, for my second batch I am going to use my Tropical Traditions coconut oil, but I've found the cheap stuff works fine :)

Another reason, it's better for you!  Now, I'm not sure if it's been proven or not, but there's been some concern over the aluminum and other chemicals in deodorants and a possible link to breast cancer.  I'd rather avoid the possible risk!

Lastly, it actually works.  I was skeptical at first, but I can tell you that it does the job well.  It is not an anti-perspirant, so it won't reduce sweating, but your body is supposed to sweat!  At least you won't stink.....:)

Homemade All-Natural Deodorant

from Passionate Homemaking


6-8 Tbsp Coconut oil (solid state)
1/4 cup baking soda
1/4 cup arrowroot powder or cornstarch (arrowroot is preferred)


  1. Combine equal portions of baking soda & arrowroot powder.

  2. Slowly add coconut oil and work it in with a spoon or hand blender until it maintains a firm but pliable texture. It should be about the same texture as commercial deodorant, solid but able to be applied easily. If it is too wet, add further arrowroot powder/cornstarch to thicken.

  3. You can either scoop this recipe into your old deodorant dispensers or place in a small container with lid and apply with fingers with each use. Makes about 1 cup. This recipe lasts about 3 months for two people with regular daily use.

**You can also add a few drops of essential oil if you'd like it scented.  I added a few drops of tea tree oil to give it a fresh scent.**

I keep mine in a little 1-cup tupperware container and apply the deodorant with my fingers.  It feels like I'm just applying lotion to my underarms!  I also usually put it on after bathing and wait a few minutes before getting dressed so that it won't leave an oil mark on my clothes.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Day 1: A Biblical View of Womanhood

I signed up for the 30 Day True Woman Make-Over with Nancy Leigh DeMoss and began Day 1 today!  Sign up and we can learn together what the Bible has to say about being a woman :)

When I read or hear about the Proverbs 31 woman, I often feel like I'm just never going to live up to that standard.  I mean, I don't like getting up early, let alone rising before my family while it is still dark!  I feel tired and overwhelmed reading about all that she does and then come the feelings of comparison and guilt.  Here's Proverbs 31: 10-31:
10An excellent wife, who can find?
For her worth is far above jewels.
11The heart of her husband trusts in her,
And he will have no lack of gain.
12She does him good and not evil
All the days of her life.
13She looks for wool and flax
And works with her hands in delight.
14She is like merchant ships;
She brings her food from afar.
15She rises also while it is still night
And gives food to her household
And portions to her maidens.
16She considers a field and buys it;
From her earnings she plants a vineyard.
17She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.
18She senses that her gain is good;
Her lamp does not go out at night.
19She stretches out her hands to the distaff,
And her hands grasp the spindle.
20She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.
21She is not afraid of the snow for her household,
For all her household are clothed with scarlet.
22She makes coverings for herself;
Her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23Her husband is known in the gates,
When he sits among the elders of the land.
24She makes linen garments and sells them,
And supplies belts to the tradesmen.
25Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
26She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
29"Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all."
30Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.
31Give her the product of her hands,
And let her works praise her in the gates.

I feel so intimidated by this Super Woman that I often feel that I should just give up without even trying, just follow the world's standard of what it means to be a woman.  After all, it seems more fun that way: have it my way, do what I want, take control, do what's pleasing to ME!

"Now, it’s easy, when we’re reading this passage, to focus on all the things that this woman does—all the skills that she has, all her accomplishments, all her achievements. But can I tell you, that is not the heart of this passage.

The heart of this passage is the woman’s heart. It’s her relationship with God, and out of that relationship comes flowing all the things that she does. It’s a picture of her character, her conduct, her priorities, her values, her daily routine, her marriage, her family life. But all of that flows out of the fact that here is a woman who has a reverence for God." (from this transcript).

Okay, that takes some of the pressure off.  Now I realize I need to lay off the checklists and focus more on my relationship with God.  One thing I need to do for sure is spend time every day in the Word.  How often I get sidetracked by other things: taking care of the kids, cooking, cleaning, etc. that I feel I don't have time to read the Bible.  I need to change that way of thinking and make time for it.  Since I'm not an early riser, it'll be either at naptime or before bed.

I'm excited to learn more each day about what God says it means to be a true woman.  I fully realize that this is definitely a counter-cultural idea, and it's not easy to swim against the tide.  I'm fully aware that I may be labeled a "Jesus Freak", religious nut, wacko, etc.  Luckily, I'm not doing this in my own strength :)

The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.  Psalm 28:7

Monday, June 21, 2010

Favorite Apps

I thought I'd share some of my favorite apps that I have on my iPhone.  I'd love you to share yours as well!  I haven't had my phone very long, so I'm sure there's lots more out there to enjoy.  In no particular order:

  1. Facebook:  of course!  No explanation needed here.

  2. WordPress: I can publish posts right from my phone and use photos I've taken or take a new one for the post.

  3. Home Routine:  So great!  It's very FlyLady friendly, including a Morning, Evening, and Weekly Tasks routine.  You can add more if you'd like (I added a Homeschool routine).  On the home menu is an "Accomplishments" tab, which shows everything you've completed so far in the day.  It makes you feel good to see how much you've done (Even if some of the tasks are "brush teeth", "make coffee", etc.  haha).  There are also Focus Zones for cleaning, such as "Kitchen & Dining Room", and tasks to complete each week depending on the zone.  At this season of my life, I am lucky to have the clutter under control and mop and vacuum once a week!  Though I'm sure some day I will have more time to clean :)  Another thing: there is a handy 15 minute timer that I've found very useful to motivate myself and the kids to hurry and finish our tasks before the timer goes off.

  4. Bible Memory Verses: Included are lots of topics and verses within each topic to memorize.  I'm starting with the topic "60 Fundamental Verses".  There's a neat "Blanks" feature to help with memorization that puts lots of blanks in the verse you're working on. If you get stuck, just tap on a blank and the word appears.  Another good thing is that you can change what version of the Bible you'd like to use.  I hope this will help me with memorization, as it is something that isn't easy for me and I am also pretty lazy about it!

  5. Kid Quips Journal:  Neat little app to store those cute or funny "quips" you hear from your darling kids.  You can add a picture and also send the quote via email, facebook, or twitter.

  6. Grocery Gadget: I was looking for a grocery shopping app that could store a weekly grocery list, store the price and brand of the item, and be able to send it to my husband in case I needed him to pick some things up on his way home from work.  This app does all of that and has more features that I haven't discovered yet.

  7. Words with Friends: fun Scrabble-like game.

  8. LEGO Photo: Take a picture and then make a Lego mosaic out of it.  Davin really likes this one because, well, it's Lego!

  9. Cozi: Great family app!  Now Mike can not say that he did not know about any doctor's appointments or other events, because they are on this shared calendar.  Also includes a shopping list and really neat family journal.  I am not the best at scrapbooking or journaling, but the journal on this app is really easy to use and jot down a little note or add a picture for the day.  You can go on the website and set it up to share the family journal with relatives as well, which is really nice!

  10. Debt Tracker: Kind of depressing, but keeps track of how much debt you owe and helps you set up a payoff plan (from lowest to highest debt, highest interest rate first, etc.)  Pretty useful and Dave Ramsey-friendly.

  11. AllRecipes Pro: Neat "dinner spinner" feature for searching for recipes by ingredient and preparation time.  Lets you add recipes to the "recipe box" (or access stored recipes from your online allrecipes account) and make a shopping list.  It's nice to use my phone to view the cooking instructions while trying out a new recipe so that I don't waste paper printing it out.

  12. Hipstamatic: Ahhhhmazing photo app!  I am in love with this and have taken some pretty neat photos with it.  It is so much fun to play around with and see the different effects the lens and film has on the pictures.  You can also share the photos via email, facebook, or upload to Flickr.

There you have it!  I hope to hear from you about your favorite apps!

P.S.  I pre-ordered the new iPhone 4 and am super excited to get it :)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Bathtime Math

I usually try and take a bath at night after the kids are in bed, but sometimes, like today, I take one in the morning.  It's really not a very good idea, as I then have several little hands throwing bath toys in the tub and helping give me a bath!  Although you never know when a learning opportunity will pop up during the day, and today during my bath happened to be one :)

I asked Davin to get me a washcloth and described it as a small square folded up, motioning the approximate dimensions.  (For some reason, he never can remember that a washcloth is the smallest towel!)  He got me the correct one and I held it up asking him what shape it was, how many sides did it have, and how many angles.  Then I folded it into a rectangle asking him the same questions.  I made a triangle next, and then he got a washcloth to quiz me!  He made a triangle, but claimed it was a "paper hat", then I guessed "square" for the next one, but it was in fact a "diamond".  He then made a "line", and I taught him that if you were to put 2 arrows onto the end of a line that both ends would continue on into infinity!  So there's beginning Geometry :)  He was quite amazed by that information.

Meanwhile, Dorian was pouring water on my head helping to wash my hair and using his stacking cups to pour water into the tub.  Then he found some of my lipgloss and put it on himself, pointing to his nose, eyes, ears, and head asking where it went and giggling the whole time.  I showed him where it really goes and then he was kind enough to put some on my lips as well.

So, even though I didn't get to enjoy my coffee and book in peace, it was worth it :)