Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spring Gardening Fever

I wish my garden looked like Tintinhull Gardens. I lived in the southern part of England for six years and really enjoyed seeing as many gardens as I could. At one point I could name almost every plant by it's Latin name...that is how "into" horticulture I was. When I came back over here after my divorce...I did not have too much time to garden as I was overwhelmed with just trying to survive as a single parent. But, I did manage to hold on to some of the passion by at least having a small vegetable garden every year and some flowers in pots.

Now it is absolutely necessary to grow vegetables just to save money on my grocery bill!

It helps that my boyfriend let me borrow his John Deere riding mower...instead of it taking me three days to complete the lawn with the decrepit push will just take me about 30 minutes! Now I actually have more time to get my hands into the soil and plant for a RRREAALlly GOOOOOd ShOOOOOw that Ed Sullivan would be proud of.....if you remember him then you might be in the same age bracket!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Hip Hip Hooray on Ex Getting Married!

Three cheers for my ex getting re-married in Florida! I am so thrilled for the happy couple! Here is a picture of my daughter (with her half-brother and cousin) all dressed in a lovely red dress and her nails were done up...can't see them in this picture but I know as she sent a separate pic with just her hand!

It's been almost 15 years since the divorce, so people will probably wonder why it has not happened for me yet. I guess it's really hard to find a really good man these days. Now that the economy has took a bad turn, it will be even harder to find a guy that has the disposable cash to take us women out on proper dates! We all need to hold ourselves to higher standards, but we don't want to be gold diggers either. Sometimes the problem comes from thinking that we will just "bump" into our potential man in the grocery store or at the gym.....maybe that works for less shy people as I don't just strike up conversations in the meat pun intended!

Not everyone is suited to marriage anyhow. I quite like the fact I can go where I want to go, see who I want to see, do what I want to do without someone nagging me about these things. But, when the time comes to take the plunge...I am certainly not going to lower my expectations just because my former other half has beat me to the whipping post alter!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Homemade Sunscreen

Getting ready for another round of summer and cooking up a batch of sunscreens. Here is a recipe you can try at home:

Screen out the Sun, Cream

Water Base: ¼ Cup Aloe, ¼ Cup Water, Pinch of Natural Borax, Pinch Green Tea Leaf Powder, 3 Tbsp. Zinc Oxide Powder

Oil Base: ¼ Cup Olive Oil, 2 Tbsp. Organic Coconut Oil, 3 Tbsp. Natural Wax Pellets, 2 Tsp. Stearic Acid (Thickener), 10 Drops Vanilla Essential Oil, 6 Drops Geranium Essential Oil, 6 Drops Carrot Seed Essential Oil

Cook the water base ingredients separate from the oil base ingredients, both can just be on medium low. Sprinkle in the Zinc Oxide slowly while stirring. Cook the oil base just until all the wax melts down. The water mixture can be strained to get the Green Tea particles out. The stearic acid melts down with the oil ingredients and makes the oil emulsify into the water, plus it is a natural thickener.

Remember to put the essential oils in last (in the oil) before you mix with the water base, as you want them to stay fresh in the recipe and not get overheated. Put the water mixture in a glass bowl and trickle in the oil while beating on medium.

The trick is to keep both the water and oil at same temp. as you are mixing them so you do not get coagulation which is a separation of the oil and water. It helps to have two temp. thermometers and have the batches at between 90-120 degrees to prevent coagulation. Do not microwave this as it reduces the effectiveness of the ingredients.

Olive oil and Coconut Oils filter out the suns rays between 20-30% naturally, Aloe and Green Tea prevent cellular damage, Carrot Seed and Geranium Oil also filter the sun's rays, and Zinc Oxide provides a UVA/UVB protection.

Don't worry if your formula has bits of zinc that don't sink in immediately like the brands on the market, just keep rubbing until the water in the mix evaporates and it will smooth out. If you are particular about this you can always grind up your zinc particles more in a mortar and pestle. You are getting the benefits of more available nutrients for the skin rather than being "cancelled" out by the damage the chemical ridden brands will cause.

Using this formula will create a natural SPF of approximately 20-30

Have fun!