Saturday, December 29, 2012

Washing your hair without shampoo

I know lots of you are probably thinking, "WTH, how are you supposed to wash your hair without shampoo?" And to be honest, I haven't been quite so brave as to try it out myself. But I have seen many people swear by washing your hair with baking soda and apple cider vinegar so maybe one day I might try it...

I have been washing my hair and face and body with Dr Bronner's Baby Mild Organic Hand and Body Soap. It is unscented but does have a smell because of the ingredients inside. Husband and son have both said they don't like the smell. Perhaps when I try the peppermint one they will change their minds.

So far I have found that the soap lathers well, but the lather disappears quickly. It does not leave a soapy slimy feeling after rinsing, unlike some other types of body wash (my past experience has found that the moisturising body washes are the worst culprits in this respect). It does have a tendency to leave my hair feeling a bit tangly, but after towel drying my hair I put a bit of Dr Bronner's Peppermint Hair Rinse and Styling Crème and when my hair is dry it is lovely and smooth.

For my face, at the moment I am trying out the Burt's Bees Garden Tomato Toner, which I use after my shower. It is light and refreshing but I thought it smelt too strongly of alcohol (or whatever it is that gives it that alcohol smell). As a moisturiser, I am trying out pure jojoba oil at the moment. I apply it with a cotton ball. It might seem a bit strange to be putting oil on one's face (especially if you have oily skin), but I have been doing it for just over a week now and my face has never felt better. No outbreaks (not that I got them before anyway) and no oily feeling once the oil has been absorbed into my skin.

I am still using a leftover bottle of moisturiser from Garnier, every second or third day. You can tell I am very lax with my skin care. Skin feels pretty good, although it may be the hot weather and the accompanying perspiration that is keeping my skin moist. Haha.

Hope you find yourself brave enough to try something different with your skin care regime. I think moving towards an additive-free skin care regime is definitely a good thing - less chemicals being absorbed into your skin can only be good right? :)


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Books to read

For those who aren't aware, I am doing a PhD in Design at the moment. The topic centres on how exposure to Web 2.0 aesthetics may result in changes in students' visual literacy and the way they learn.

As you might guess, the topic involves a lot of reading about visual literacy (as well as other types of literacy) and also learning. But it does lead to some unexpected tangents as well. I'll be posting some of the more interesting finds here, hopefully you find something that you can use in your own lives.

What Video Games Have To Teach Us About Learning and Literacy - James Paul Gee
A Whole New Mind - Daniel Pink
The Woman Who Changed Her Brain - Barbara Arrowsmith Young


The list is short at the moment, but I expect it will grow longer... now to find the time to get through them all.

Friday, December 07, 2012

A moisturising bar, anyone?

My little eco footprints has a lovely and easy recipe for a moisturising bar that simply requires you to rub it on yourself to use it. And it only has 4 ingredients, which means anyone should be able to make this! (Even me...)

Picture from My little eco footprints

What I am going to eat the next time I am in Singapore

If you don't know the dish in the above photo, it is Thunder Tea (aka Lei Cha) Rice. I just found a blog called Annielicious Food while looking up information about rice cookers (Annielicious was reviewing her $500 rice cooker, I almost fainted when I saw the price). The blog itself is choc full of yummy food and also recipes of traditional Chinese Singaporean dishes.

If you go to the Annielicious Food blogpost she gives a pretty detailed history and description of the Thunder Tea Rice dish and also instructions on how to make it yourself. I doubt I will ever make this as I am pretty certain the only person who will want to eat it will be me. The tea that you pour into the rice has a certain taste that is not for everyone.

However, this is one of my favourite dishes of all time because it has loads of dark green veg (7 different kinds!) which I love. This is one of the things I miss most about Singapore
 - the availability of dark green veg when you eat out. (Hai, economy rice, I miss you too!)

Thursday, December 06, 2012

Inspirational bedrooms for kids

Circle of Moms had a post about 27 inspiring shared kids' bedrooms. These are my favourites:

If only our ceilings were high enough, and the kids' room was big enough...

The kids would love this, but I suspect that we might have a few dents in the wall after less than a day.

Maybe in our next (and final) house we can do this... so cool!

This bed configuration is similar to what my sis and I had in Singapore before we moved to Australia. We didn't have the cool striped walls though...

This looks fabulous but my first thought was - where in the world do kids have such massive bedrooms?!

If only it wasn't so hot here... we could do this.

This funny thing about this image is that it came from a site called Improving Small Spaces - this room looks twice the size of the kids' room.

Too cool for school. I want this for me. The top bunk would be my reading nook. Hah!

In a separate post, 33 Dream Bedrooms for Kids, I found more eye candy...

I actually saw this on Etsy a few months ago and DROOLED over it.

How big is this kid's room?!?!?! Insane! But also cool. That would be the best cubby in the universe.

I am a sucker for all white rooms and pretty lights.

Hmm I wonder if I can convince Ryan to let me put a ferris wheel in our room...

This is great because you can get this look without spending the insane amounts of money that have obviously gone into the other rooms. Can you spot all the Ikea pieces in this room? ;)

If Peter Pan moved away from Neverland to live with very rich foster parents, this would be his room.

But most of all, I want Kidtropolis' Magic Tree House.
That wooden box in the top right corner is where the bed is.
Can swings indoors be made mandatory in all houses? Then Ryan will have to let me have one.
The platform play/art area has hidden storage! (And see the table folded up against the wall...)
The table on the wall is down and ready for some action!
The tree stores bags and shoes inside!


Wednesday, December 05, 2012

Holiday yumminess


This salad looks amazing - and it is totally raw! Courtesy of Fully Raw Kristina.

I came across Kristina while looking for video reviews of cold press juicers (I ended up buying a Oscar Hurom 400 from Sprout.net.au). She's a fully raw vegan - which to me sounds both amazing and hardcore (check out this video which shows how much food she eats in one week). Maybe one day I will be brave enough to give it a try.

And in case you were wondering, here's what my new juicer looks like:
It should be arriving soon - can't wait to use it :D

More homemade skincare

So how about some facial oil moisturiser or homemade deodorant (here's another that might take your fancy)? Or maybe you just want soft elbows and hands...

I am terribly lazy with the skincare routine, so it may take me a while to get started... that said, my minimal routine of Dr Bronner's Castile Soap with toner and moisturiser every two days seems to be working ok.

I think I need to work on my elbows and knees though... :D

Sunday, December 02, 2012

Homeschooling in Australia - one day!

Ryan has strong opinions about homeschooling - in one word, NO. I had hoped to do homeschooling, but for the moment it isn't practical anyway.

Still, that doesn't mean I can't collect information about it...

Homeschooling - Australian History
Ambleside Year 1 reading schedule
Secular Charlotte Mason education
Montessori shape activities

There are some good links under the 'teaching' category on the right as well...

Starting on natural skin care

I have always had 'crunchy' tendencies, I think.

While I make an effort to use a minimal amount of chemicals to clean our house and ourselves, it is much easier to simply buy something from a supermarket or a place like Priceline, than do the necessary homework to figure out which products are good to use and then hunt for the best prices.

I am now slowly switching over to Dr Bronner's products. At the moment, I am using the citrus orange castile soap and the citrus hair conditioning rinse. The soap smells nice and doesn't leave that soapy feeling when you rinse off, also foams really well. The rinse smells like orange peel and I had to change my conditioning method as it requires you to dilute in water before using, but it seems to condition quite well (after I use the castile soap as a shampoo). I have ordered some other Dr Bronner products to try, including some for the kids, will post on them later.

I am also going to try out the 3 ingredient facial oil moisturiser from Crunchy Betty. Crunchy Betty also has a list of 7 must-have important natural skincare ingredients and a recipe for homemade deodorant. I don't normally use deodorant but I thought it would be good to have a recipe handy.

We have switched to a fluoride-free toothpaste as well (see why here) I am currently using Grant's toothpaste, available from Coles. It seems to be one of the cheaper ones, $2.99 per tube.

So, I have started on this journey and it is slow-going. There is always a learning curve. Hopefully as time passes, it gets easier and less time-consuming.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

My sink will never be the same



Now I just need to figure out which colour to choose...

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