Let’s preface this by saying – I have extremely sensitive skin. Because of this, once I find a product regimen that doesn’t dry my skin or cause breakouts, I’m not quick to stray. As far as face wash goes, for years I was hooked on an alternating system of Dr. Hauschka Cleansing Cream and MyChelle Dermaceuticals Fruit Enzyme Scrub. Then, one day when the Hauschka was empty, an amber jar of ‘cleansing powder’ appeared in its place (I was not the primary product-purchaser in the household at the time) and I freaked out.
My first thought was… WHAT??… Where’s my Cleansing Cream? and, How on earth am I supposed to clean my face with POWDER?? But I gave it a chance and was surprised to discover that the ‘new stuff’ was phenomenal. Although, in a house with two women, spending $20 a pop on a 6 oz jar of powder that disappeared in less than two weeks, was bit of an expenditure.
Luckily, the ingredients were clearly printed on the label, and with a little experiment and some help from our friend at the beauty counter at Integral Yoga and Natural Foods, we came up with the magic formula.
The ingredients are simple: Organic Oat Flour, Lavender and Sweet Orange essential oils. Add one cup of flour, 10 drops of Sweet Orange and 10 drops of Lavender oil to a lidded container, close the lid tightly then shake vigorously!! Like jumping up-and-down kinda shaking. And wall-ah — you’re done.
I keep my magic powder in a glass jar in the bathroom with a little scoop. To use, simply place a small mound (see top pic) in your hand, add water, work into a paste and apply to your face as you would any other cleansing product. I’ve been using this formula for two-plus years and I’m extremely satisfied. (**I do still alternate with the MyChelle scrub once every two or three days).
Those who know me personally are often entertained by stories of my troublesome little dog. He wears diapers, jumps on counter tops, dumps the trash, opens doors, barks at everything and everyone… and is the biggest love in the world. They also know that I cook for my dog.
Since I am often asked about his meals, I thought I would share a simple ‘everyday’ pet food recipe that is healthy, lean and inexpensive. My recipes are rough, so bear with me; just give it a whirl and you’ll see how easy it is.
To start with you will need a large casserole pan with a lid.
- a pound of ground chicken or turkey. the vet told me to use lean meats, no beef for my breed.
- bag of frozen mixed veggies: carrots, squash, cauliflower, peas, corn, broccoli, beans, almost anything goes. Please read the label and make sure there are NO ONIONS or added salt in the veggies.
- 3/4 bag or box of uncooked pasta. I usually use omega3 enriched elbow macaroni, but sometimes I just use what is available at home. This dish was prepared with gluten-free rice pasta, which is also a great alternative.
- roughly 3 cups of water.
Begin by adding a little oil to the bottom of the pan and browning the ground meat. Once brown, add the entire bag of frozen mixed veggies, dried pasta and water. Stir and then cover with lid. Cook for about 10 minutes on high heat, stir. Lower heat to a simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until all the water is absorbed and the pasta is tender.
Let stand for 10 or more minutes to cool and then, to break down the pasta and veggies, smash everything together with a hand held potato masher.
There are many alternatives to making homemade healthy dog food for your pet, this is just one very simple recipe that works for my household. Of course, frozen veggies can be substituted for fresh, and white rice (not brown, trust me) can be used in lieu of pasta.
The most important thing you can do is speak with your Vet about what constitutes a healthy diet and serving size for your breed, then get on the internet, do a little research about foods that are dangerous for dogs (like onions, grapes, garlic and avacado), and go from there.
Remember, as with any change in your pet’s diet, do so gradually to avoid stomach upset. Mix a little of the old food with a little of the new food and wean them off.
If you sit around like I do, daydreaming of museum-sized photographs filling your walls, then maybe you should try rasterbating!! (no… it’s not dirty, notice the “r”)
Rasterbating, also known as tiled printing, is a way to take a large image and break it down into smaller, page sized pieces, which can later be reassembled into a whole. So, instead of spending thousands on a 30×40 print, you can get an artful effect for the price of a new cartridge of printer ink and some photo paper. (really, you could use any sort of paper that suits your fancy, I just so happen to have boxes of glossy photo paper laying around my house so I went with that)
Here are some easy-to-follow instructions… clicking on the image will allow you to see the full-sized details:
Since I happen to be a bit of a tech-nerd, I did all of the image tiling myself via photoshop & imageready… but for the not so tech-savvy, there is this great website (although it looks like the website is down right now, so I might just have to write up some steps for the photoshop novice) that will help you through the technicalities.
It’s getting hot again, so I’m saving my leftover espresso for icy drinks. Instead of using a plastic pitcher, which not only has the danger of off-gassing, but also holds on to strong scents & colors, I used an old jar.
Pickle jars and tomato sauce jars are the perfect size for summer beverage containers. Store anything from iced coffee to margaritas or lemonade in an empty, sterilized glass jar.
Using a Sharpie, label your brew on small strip of masking tape and affix to the jar. Stay hydrated!!
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Empty tomato cans make the perfect pot for a seasonal Italian herb garden. See my old post for easy instructions on growing green at home. Bon Appetit!
New home. New needs. New uses for old projects.
Once again, I’ve transformed a piece of furniture that has been following my family around since the 70′s. This record hutch used to be some other color? before my mother stained it black in the 90′s. The doors no longer slide and I would have tossed it to the curb, if not for the serious lack of places to put things in my apartment.
Instead of adding it to a landfill, I discovered paint samples from Home Depot. These 8 oz tintable testers come in a variety of brands and can be color matched to anything, all for under $3 a pop!
The last time (and first time) I redid a piece of furniture I went with a semi-gloss, a recommendation from a friend. At first, I was upset to learn that the testers only came in an eggshell finish, but after I was done, I learned that I prefer eggshell for furniture. Try and learn.
Preparing this piece for painting was a bit more entailed than I envisioned. After I got started with the sanding, I decided to find a way to get rid of the non-working sliding doors. It took a lot of elbow grease, hammering pulling and prying, but I managed to pop the pieces out one by one. (I saved the pieces for other projects)
Once the prep and paint was complete I decided to get crafty and transform this piece of furniture into a work of art.
After choosing some beautiful paper and carefully cutting out my designs with an x-acto knife, it was time to test out a layout.
I decoupaged the paper onto the chest with mod podge. I applied a thin layer and then let dry completely before applying another. This is important, because if you try to paint more glue over the paper before it is dry you WILL tear the paper.
I wanted the design to lay seamlessly on the chest so I applied several layers of mod podge. The last step is to seal the entire piece with an acrylic sealant so that water will not damage your hard work.
This dresser has been following me around for thirty-some years. There’s a picture somewhere of my mother painting it Sunkist Orange. I was in the picture too… large and in her belly.
Twenty years later, I’m visiting my parents and noticed it’s new ‘wooden’ look. Five years after that they moved cross-country. Guess who got the dresser?
Now, I’m the one to give it a new look. Two coats of semi-gloss and new drawer pulls made this old piece come alive.
Before I repainted the dresser, I did a bit of maintenance. With use, I noticed that the bottoms of the drawers would sag under the weight of my clothes, so I reinforced the bottom board in each drawer with hammer and nails.
Then I unscrewed the old knobs, lightly sanded the dresser, rubbed it down with mineral spirits and applied the first layer of paint.
The hardest part.. waiting 12 hours before applying the second coat.
Instead of just painting and replacing the knobs, I decided that a small investment would take the dresser to new heights. My first instinct was antique looking glass knobs.. but the prices were either too high, or the gratification was not immediate, so I decided to open my options.
After rummaging through countless hardware stores, websites and eBay lists, I settled on handcrafted deer antler knobs from an artisan on eBay, $25 for 12. Since I only needed 10 for this project, there’s a lucky two laying around for something else.