Category Archives: craftiness

an easy hair mask for frizzy or curly hair

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It’s been a while since I wrote about anything to do with homemade products, so I thought I’d show something simple that I used on my hair last night.

I have curly hair that tends to dry out easily. I wake up with freakishly frizzy hair that looks like the stylists for Whitesnake and Motley Crue broke into my house while I was sleeping and teased my hair. The dad is kind and averts his eyes and says nothing. Usually I am able to beat it into submission with a shower and some kind of hair product, but lately it was getting a little out of hand. Last night I made a quick hot oil treatment and the results are nice, submissive shiny curls this morning. Mostly. The curls tend to do their own thing. I call it a good day if I look less like Richard Simmons and more like Phyllis Diller. But it was shiny. And soft. And more importantly, it wasn’t frizzy.

I used coconut oil, honey and apple cider vinegar; each ingredient on its own has conditioning and moisturizing qualities. The apple cider vinegar also removes hair product residue from hair, works as a natural de-tangler and leaves hair soft and smooth. I’ve used it in the past as a rinse after shampooing (mixed with water in a squirt bottle) and my hair always felt great afterwards. And you stop smelling like a french fry as soon as your hair dries.

This made enough to cover my chin length hair, so if you have longer hair just mix a larger batch. The measurements don’t have to be precise, just in approximately the same ratio as below.

Moisturizing Coconut Oil, Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar Hair Mask

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar

Mix together in a glass jar or container that can be heated. Warm in a hot water bath or place in the microwave for a few seconds until the oil and honey are warmed and runny. Apply to dry hair, cover with an old towel or shower cap and leave on for at least 30 minutes before washing hair.

I had to borrow the new cap that I bought for our new bathroom caddy (a wine bottle holder that we found hidden in our bathtub after our annual ugly gift exchange).

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Linked to Wildcrafting Wednesday, Frugally Sustainable, GNOWFGLINS

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Slow Living Update – February 2013

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One more month of winter finished, as of yesterday. I am not yet sick of winter this year. I’ve liked the snow and the cold and have been more than happy to hibernate a little bit. Now that it’s March I know it will start to melt and warm up, so I guess hibernation is over.

I’m following the example at Slow Living Essentials again this month, and using her categories to summarize my month and list some things I’d like to accomplish. I haven’t done much of anything this month, or at least I think I haven’t. By the time I have finished these posts, I generally discover that I’ve done more than I thought.

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{Nourish}:

I spent most of the month wishing that we had someone to cook for us – I find this time of year tiring, especially after working all day. And although the dad is a much better cook than I am, he comes home later. In an effort to be fed before 8pm during the long dark winter, I do my best. We did ok, though occasionally I resort to eggs and bacon or grilled cheese and soup when inspiration fails.

I wrote about Bacon and Cheddar Muffins and Baked Rigatoni and tried out a couple of new recipes that seemed to go over well and will be tried again.

This last week will be remembered as the week of “the roast that wouldn’t quit”. Last weekend we invited the immediate grandparents over for Sunday dinner and the dad purchased a roast on his way home from hockey (never let the dad do the shopping – he believes bigger is always better).  It was spectacular, I will admit (he is a very good cook). However, that roast fed 8 hungry people, gave us lunch for a week, made Shepherd’s Pie, hot roast beef sandwiches, and beef and barley soup. It also blew most of my grocery budget for the month. And either I am suffering from something my brother-in-law calls “meat sweats” or I am entering into a new phase of life. I’m going with the former.

{Prepare}:

We are in reverse preparation mode right now. We have been eating out of the freezers, trying to empty one of them out in order to fill them back up this summer.

{Reduce/Reuse/Repurpose/Repair}:

I can never remember what we have done in this category because it is something that is done everyday. Our household is kept running by the dad, who seems to repair something every week. He has fixed the pump on the well, pulled another pump out of the well in the barn after it fell to the bottom, and of course, the manure piles continue to be moved and added to old piles to rot and become fertilizer.

There have been some minor clothing repairs and the dad even did an invisible repair to a leather jacket that his dad gave him after a closet clean-out.

{Green – cleaners, body products and basic herbal remedies}:

I made another body scrub this month to stop the dry skin itch – nothing exotic this time, just sugar, oil and some peppermint essential oil. I’ve also started to use white vinegar as a laundry rinse. I hang as many clothes as I can and I don’t buy dryer sheets or liquid fabric softener, and the vinegar seems to make the clothes a little softer – whether they are hung to dry or put in the dryer.

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{Grow}:

I refer you back to the first photo for this category. Not much is growing here this time of year (except the tall hormonal kid – I had to buy her 4 new pairs of jeans this month). We are browsing the seed catalogue and making plans for the garden.

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{Create}:

I pulled out the knitting again and finished one sock. It’s comfy and slouchy and I can see these being good lounging socks, feet up in front of the fire.  I also wrote about sewing up some swaddling blankets for a baby gift.

I have plans to get the little sewing room unpacked, but for some reason that keeps getting put off. It’s something to put on my list for March. First, I would like to get some carpet down to warm up the cold floor up there. Fortunately, I know a guy (the dad owns a flooring store).

And I have to mention the stable that the kids made last weekend. I’m still impressed. They had their dad make two cuts for them, otherwise they built these themselves.

{Discover}:

My pile of books to read continues to grow faster than the pile of books that have been read. Over the past year I have gone from reading two or three books a week to one or two books a month. I open a book when I climb into bed, read three or four lines and fall asleep. It’s probably just a life stage thing or MS fatigue thing, but hopefully I get back into my reading groove soon.

{Enhance – community}:

As far as being involved in the community, the dad is still coaching hockey and we’ve attended a community church lady ham supper. We live outside a small town where there is only two or three degrees of separation (four, maybe, if you are from away) and if you also live nearby, my father-in-law probably knows you, your parents and their grandparents. It would be hard not to be a part of the community here. We buy locally, I work locally and we own two businesses locally. The dad was also recently talked into acting as MC for another local fundraising dinner – he apparently is known in the community for his ability to talk. A lot.

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{Enjoy}:

We’ve entertained a few times in the new house already. Because it was already a home that held a lot of memories for us, the settling in has been pretty seamless. It feels like home and this space works well for our family.

We spent a fun weekend in Toronto visiting the ROM and staying overnight with friends. It was nice to get away – nice enough that the dad and I are making plans to go away soon and spend a weekend by ourselves. It’s been a couple of years since we went away for a weekend on our own.

Linked to Wildcrafting Wednesday, White Wolf Summit Farmgirl

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DIY swaddling blanket – an easy baby shower gift

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I am still in the middle of a quiet February in the new house, but my next thing on my to do list (at least it’s a small one) is to unpack the sewing room. This is a project that I completed in the sewing room, but I did it before we moved in, while the room still belonged to my mother-in-law.

When I was pregnant with the tall hormonal kid, one of the neighbours made me a couple of receiving blankets that were big enough to swaddle a baby. The ones that can be bought in stores are much too small, and the blankets that are bigger were too thick and heavy for my little blast furnaces. The blankets that Mrs. S made were perfect. I attempted to copy them and made a couple for an expectant mom a couple of months ago, hoping that she would find them as useful as I did.

This isn’t really a tutorial, but there are a couple of easy steps. I didn’t think to take pictures of the process, just the end results, but hopefully it’s easy enough to follow along without them.

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Swaddling Blanket Instructions:

1. For each blanket, you need a full yard of flannel fabric. I bought a wider width fabric than normal (I can’t remember the width – and the blankets are gone now, so I can’t measure). Wash the fabric to pre-shrink it.

2. Fold the fabric into a triangle, corner to corner to get a perfect square and cut or rip away any excess.

3. Serge or hem the edges. That’s it – but the end result is a nice large, soft blanket that is the perfect size for swaddling. I used the serger because it’s an easy shortcut and that is the way Mrs. S. made mine.

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The original blankets are still with us – one still gets cuddled by the small squeaky kid and the other is now used to wrap up her dolls at bedtime. They’ve survived years of wear and tear – though I am more than willing for the cuddle blanket to disappear soon. Any suggestions on how to break a nine-year-old of a blankie habit?

Linked to Simple Lives Thursday

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