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Homemade Body Butter Recipe

Pinterest is a time-sucker, but it can be pretty awesome too. Pinterest introduced me to making homemade body butter. It was easy enough, so I tried it. And just like that, a monster was born. Now I’m making my own toothpaste, mouth rinse, foot soaks, lotion bars, sugar scrubs, etc. I plan to make body wash, shampoo, styling hair wax, and deodorant sometime in the near future.

Why do I make my own products? I love to craft and making my own products is pretty crafty. Also, (even though I work for one of the largest chemical companies in the country), I really like the idea of getting more natural and removing chemicals from my life. I’m becoming quite passionate about it. Another reason, many lotions contain things like mineral oil which coats your skin and doesn’t let it breathe or release toxins. What is mineral oil? Most often, mineral oil is a liquid by-product of the distillation of petroleum to produce gasoline and other petroleum-based products from crude oil. Gross. I do not want that on my skin.

So, here is my first recipe. I can’t seem to find the blog that I adapted the recipe from, but most recipes ask you to weigh the ingredients. I didn’t realize the measurements were by weight, so when I made it, I went by volume (which I think is easier). Here it is, step by step.

body butter

Ingredients:

1 cup shea butter
1/2 cup coconut oil
1/2 cup almond oil or grapeseed oil
lavender or peppermint essential oils*

Directions:

Place a chunk of shea butter in large glass measuring cup (I use an 8-cup one). Melt in microwave on 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds or so. Add more shea butter until you have 1 cup of melted shea butter.

Add spoonfuls of coconut oil (solid at room temp) to the measuring cup, until it reaches 1 1/2 cups. Melt in microwave on 50% power, stirring every 30 seconds or so.

Stir in almond oil or grapeseed oil. Allow to cool for 30 minutes. Stir in 20-25 drops of either lavender or peppermint essential oils.

Allow the oils to partially solidify. Partially is the key! I use the refrigerator to help this along. One time, I started a batch and then friends came over to visit. I forgot about the body butter until the next day, when it was completely solidified. I had to microwave it to warm it up before I could do the next step. It ended up working out, but it was a pain.

Use a hand-held mixer (this is why I like to melt the ingredients in such a large measuring cup, because I can whip it in the same container), beat until it looks like butter (should only take a couple minutes).

Store in clean containers (plastic or glass jars).

To use: Scoop from jar with a wooden spatula. Start sparingly. A little goes a long way. The body butter is different from store-bought (chemical-laden) lotion. It will feel a little greasy, but not to worry, your skin will absorb it fairly quickly. After a couple days, you’ll be amazed at how soft your skin is.

*Make sure you’re using pure essential oils. Personally, I prefer lavender and peppermint because I know they are safe to use on skin. Not all essential oils are skin-safe and some have weird side effects (citrus oils are light sensitive and you shouldn’t use them on your skin before going out into the sun). Before using essential oils, you should research their properties.

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Christmas Tradition

Ashley, Ed, and I have a Christmas tradition that started accidentally… In 2008, we took our group photo in front of the Christmas tree and some time later (probably when I printed the photo), we realized that we were all wearing Aeropostale hoodies. We decided we had to do this every year.

2008 AeropostaleNow, each year, Ed gets a hoodie for his birthday, so that we can continue the tradition.

AeropostaleThis year, we are adding Carrie to the photo (so we got her a hoodies for her birthday). We are also adding baby Carter… Now, they don’t make Aeropostale hoodies in children sizes, much less baby sizes. So, I had to improvise and make my own. I can’t wait to take this year’s picture!

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Pen Pal Balloon Letter

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I have recently become pen pals with my Goddaughter in Texas. Since I can’t see her as much as I would like, I thought this would be a good way for us to keep in touch. Plus, it’s good writing and reading practice for her. Her birthday is in October, so this is the letter I sent her. I included an instruction card that includes blowing it up, reading it, and then either tying it off or letting it go to fly around the room.

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9th Day of Christmas

On the ninth day of Christmas, we took our Christmas “morning” photo.

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8th Day of Christmas

On the eighth day of Christmas, I wrapped all my presents. For my immediate family, I used word search gift tags (got the idea on Pinterest). They will have to figure out if their name is in the word search and keep the gift if it is. If their name isn’t in the word search, they’ll have to hand it off to someone else and the process will repeat itself. Should be interesting on Christmas morning… “:)

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4th Day of Christmas

On the fourth day of Christmas, I set up the Christmas tree and decorated it.

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1st Day of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, I posted a collage of the 12 Days of Christmas from 2011.

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Why I Don’t Want to Live in California

Before coming out west, several people told me I would love it in California and either I would never want to come back or I wouldn’t come back to Michigan. To these people I replied, nay. Now that I’ve been in California for almost three months and the end of the trip is near, all I can say is, “THANK GOD!” The people out here are nuts. The traffic is nuts. The only thing not nuts is the weather. So, here is my list of why I would never live in California.

Traffic – The traffic is nuts. I lived in Houston for 2 years–I understand traffic. I’ve been in traffic. The traffic here is worse. Motorcycles are legally allowed to drive between cars (on the yellow dotted line), which is fine when traffic is so heavy that it’s stopped, but to have a motorcycle zip up between you and the car next to you while you’re driving 55 MPH is a little unnerving. On top of the shear amount of traffic, people are also rude drivers. Yeah, I know, people cut you off where ever you go, I get that. But generally, when you let someone in they give a wave to say thanks (and sometimes they even wave when they cut you off, as if to say “thanks for not hitting me”), but not here. I try to be a nice driver and when traffic is nuts, you take turns etc. Not here. It’s every man for himself. The other thing that I’ve noticed is that if you get stuck behind a car that’s waiting to turn or is just stopped on the street and cars build up behind you, the last car will not let the other cars move into the left lane ahead of him. No, he zooms around leaving the rest of you still stuck. It’s not as if these things happened once or twice. No, this stuff happens almost every time I drive anywhere in the city.

Crime – 55 serial killers have operated out of California. The remaining 160-ish throughout the rest of the country. California has a higher serial killer rate than any other state. In addition to that, Oakland is constantly having riots. It’s not really surprising with the unemployment rate so high and the lack of space. The bay area is so crowded I can understand why people lose it. Of the top 15 most dangerous cities in the U.S., three are in California: Oakland (there has been at least one riot since we’ve been here), Richmond (the city that we saw a real live crime scene in), and Compton.

Expensive – Everything is way more expensive in California. Gas prices are ranging from $3.50 on one block to over $4 on the next (literally). Meat is more expensive. Restaurants are ridiculously expensive. Housing is crazy expensive. The condo we’re staying in is a one-bedroom, one-bath, one parking space, less than 1000 square feet, yet they are selling for $150k. And the unemployment rate is one of the highest in the country.

Waste – Our street constantly has litter on it and it rarely gets cleaned up–and we are in the nice area of Oakland. I don’t know about the rest of California, but I have never seen so much dog crap on sidewalks and in parking lots. I have lived in several apartments and in neighborhoods and I have never seen people that let their dogs crap on sidewalks (where people need to walk) and don’t pick it up. It’s disgusting.

Chemicals – There are signs on everything warning you that you’re being subjected to horrible chemicals that will either cause birth defects or give you cancer. There is nothing you can do about it and you can’t avoid it. The whole state is contaminated. I realize that Dow Chemical probably pollutes the crap out of the tricities, but there is a difference between knowing it and seeing reminders daily. Being constantly reminded of your impending doom is depressing.

Fashion – I’m too casual to fit in out here. I prefer jeans, T-shirts, and hoodies. I don’t fit in the land of skinny jeans and hooker boots. I don’t fit in because I seem to be the only one who doesn’t believe that leggings should be worn as pants.

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Homemade Pumpkin Pie

This was my first attempt at pumpkin pie. It was super simple to make and tasted delicious.

Pumpkin Pie

16 oz pumpkin puree
2 eggs
12 oz can sweetened condensed milk
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

Mix all ingredients and dump into a prepared pie shell. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

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Tree Book Shelf

I love this tree bookshelf. It reminds me of the Giving Tree. Someday, I think I need this… when I’m rich and can afford to pay $850 for a bookshelf.

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