Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Rosemary Hair Rinse for no 'poo-ers!

I have started experimenting with the concept of no 'poo...

Before you click away in fright, I'm not about to discuss my toileting habits but my shampooing techniques or no 'poo to those in the know.

I'm not too keen on putting all those chemicals on my head and since I have quite long hair, I used quite a lot of 'poo to get it clean. I have been cruising around the net (as one does) and found these sites that might be useful if no 'poo-ing is something you are interested in looking at further.

Instructables - how to go no 'poo 
Uniquely Normal Mom - 2 years of no 'poo 
Nature moms - No shampoo alternitive

One of the things I found was that even though I used my own home-made hand-made pure olive oil soap, my hair was drying out. Christine over at Slow Living Essentials has a recipe for a Rosemary Hair rinse that I thought I would try - and the results are lovely! I'm really pleased!

Here is the link direct to her recipe

And here's what I did...

First I went and gave my rosemary bush a bit of a hair cut and stuffed as many stalks of rosemary into a wide mouthed bottle as I could.

Then I filled it up with boiling water and left it for 2 days on the kitchen bench while I went away for the weekend (going away is optional, but a really good part of the recipe!)

Then I pulled out the rosemary and added a couple of inches of vinegar. Christine said apple cider but I only had red wine vinegar so I used that and it seemed to work ok.

Then I decanted into a plastic drink bottle with a squirty lid as I was a bit worried about using glass in the shower in case it got knocked and smashed.

And then on the days I wash my hair (actually I usually just do my fringe as its the part the gets yucky first) I give my hair a decent squirt of the Rosemary rinse, massage it around a bit, leave it for a minute or so and then rinse it out.

I can now actually get a brush through my hair after washing it, it smells great, isn't going to hurt me, is good for the rosemary bush to get a bit of a pruning and my hair has a has a lovely shine!

Thanks Christine! I'm impressed and very happy!

Score card:
Green-ness: 5/5 All natural non-planet hurting alternitive to toxic shampoo and conditioners!
Frugal-ness: 5/5 Can't get more frugal than out of the garden!
Time cost: 10 minutes + overnight steeping time.
Skill level: Even easier than boiling an egg!
Fun -ness: Great fun to make something that most people end up buying!

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Slowing Down the Slow Living Essentials way - April 2012

I have been following Christine at Slow Living Essentials for a while and in January she set a challenge to record on our blog, monthly, how we have "slowed down" under nine categories - I have been doing this for the last three months and really got a lot out of it. This is my April reflection on Slowing Down - the Slow Living Essentials way!

Here's what I did...

NOURISH: Make and bake as much as possible from scratch. Ditch over packaged, over processed convenience foods and opt for 'real' food instead.
I have been doing OK with the baking this month. Still just banana loaves and chocolate cake. But they seem to be going down all right with the family! We generally cook from scratch each meal so the nourish segment is part of the daily life of this household already. This challenge has made me have a look at the bits that I could do but don't for some reason. The cakes are replacing muesli bars at the moment and I have been making bigger dinner meals so that the hubby doesn't end up buying takeaways for lunch - if he remembers to pack them that is!

PREPARE: Stockpile and preserve.
I am making a batch of Halomi cheese, some Ricotta and a bit of Queso Blanco (an unripe white farmhouse cheese) as I type but its hardly stockpiling as since we all like homemade cheese so much, (especially me!) it has no chance of lasting to the end of the week!! I have a reasonable amount of preserves that we are trying to get down to a reasonable level so that we don't end up throwing them out in years to come, making the exercise pointless and expensive.

REDUCE: Cut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing and repairing.
We are pretty good in this category - we compost, recycle, reject plastic bags, simply don't buy what we don't need and manage to repair rather than replace lots of things. I made a pair of slippers out of an old jumper this month!!! I cant knit or crochet (I don't have the right kind of brain for that!) but I can "construct". They wont last for many reasons - but have paved the way for many things that can be made from old woollen jumpers... stay posted!

GREEN: up our lives. Start (or continue!) using homemade products.
Last month I greened up my skincare routine and can kid myself that I'm a bit like one of those before and after ad's for various skincare products. My skin definitely looks better! (Thanks to Nicole over at it came from a plant) and then I started experimenting with my hair and am attempting the "no 'poo" regime that has been advocated by Genvieve over at Uniquely Normal Mom I was doing ok with minimal washing with my own home made soap (and no one commented- so it must have looked OK) but I found my hair a bit dry and straw like. Then I was looking back through Christine's Blog and found a recipe for Rosemary Hair Rinse and gave it a go - that was all I needed! My hair is easy to brush now and has a great shine! So now I am the proud owner of one green head!!!!

GROW: plant/harvest. What's growing this month?
We got stuck into what was the vege patch over Easter and cleared it out. We let in more light and took out practically everything growing in there - yes that's right we weeded! I added what compost was ready and got the wire cages that keep the possums out ready for action. I have bought some seeds and have a plan to plant one thing a week and see what happens. My tomatoes in the hanging basket are getting eaten by possums - so once again, my food growing is thwarted. I have a fake owl on top of the beehive that the possums use to climb up there this time so hopefully it will scare 'em off - or fall on their heads when they climb up there...

CREATE: to fill a need or feed the soul. Create for ourselves or for others.
Mothers day cards, slippers from an old jumper, a bit of cheese making, random birthday cards, movie night invitations, ginger beer and rose fizz - I love making things!!! 
I have a book on Green Sewing out from the library at the moment that has some really cool re purposed crafts in it that I am dying to try: a scarf made of woollen leaves all sewn together, skirts made from sheets, couch pillows from felted woollen blankets... The list goes on. So many things to make and only one life to try to make them all!!!


DISCOVER: Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests.
My uni subjects are varied and interesting - and a really good book (that's easy to read) that we were given as a compulsory text is Collapse by Jared Diamond. Its about the decisions that a society makes that lead to its demise. There are his theories as to why civilisations such as the ones on Easter Island, the Maya's and the Vikings disappeared. Easy to read and very relevant to those who want to live lightly on the Earth.   

ENHANCE: community: The rewards for your time are often returned tenfold.
This is one that I only do a few things each month in - and they are the same few things each month; Helping run the social basketball team at the local PCYC and helping out at the Blue Light Disco... Hmmmm... See this challenge to continually write about it brings it to the fore and makes me think about it. If I didn't have to write this I probably wouldn't think much of it. I will have to think about what else I can do for/in my community.... 

Hang on - We did attend the Dawn Service on ANZAC Day... Along with 3000 others. That's community!

ENJOY: Life! Embrace moments with friends and family.
Brother in Laws birthday weekend at his place in the NSW hinterland. Planning 50th birthdays for the coming months by email, coffee with good friends who bake the best scones! Craft mornings with the neighbours are still great fun and very productive. The car boot sale at the local church, getting rid of clutter and go to meet up again with other stall holders doing the same thing. Showing our new student around and seeing your own part of the world through new eyes. A movie night with the neighbours was heaps of fun - Red Dog is a great family movie by the way!

Ahhh - life is great!

Thanks for the opportunity to share again Christine!!! 

Easy Movie Night inviations to make!

We have the worlds greatest neighbours! We have gates between us all in our fences with paths, arches and gardens around them. We often use our neighbours gates as shortcuts to another street to catch buses or to go to the park - the kids are especially happy with the arrangement as they can ride their bikes in the cul-de-sac that the neighbours live on rather than the main road that we actually live on.

Because we have such wonderful neighbours, we often get together for birthdays, Christmas, Sunday morning breakfasts and for the sheer fun of hanging out together.

This time I have organised a Movie Night in our backyard as we have a big yard... and the movie projector! I like to make a bit of a fuss and so I made some invitations for all our neighbours to put on the fridge to remind them...

Here's what I did...

First I went on the net and searched 'Google Images' until I found a free colour clip art picture of a movie ticket.

Then I imported it to my 'paint' program and deleted out the details that weren't needed by 'selecting' them and then hitting the delete button. I recoloured the now empty bit by selecting the background colour with the 'colour picker' and then 'bucketing' the background colour into the white area.

Then I used the text tool to write in the details of our movie night and when I was happy, I 'copied and pasted' six copies of the new ticket image onto a landscape A4 page in a word type program to make a single page of tickets.

Then I hit print and, voila - one page of simple movie ticket invitations for our movie night!

Score card:
Green-ness: Hmmm...Less green than simply yelling over the fence or emailing to invite them... but more fun!
Frugal-ness: Muchly frugal - time and one A4 sheet of paper cost is all it cost!
Time cost: Probably about an hour of mucking around - but then I enjoy this sort of thing!
Skill level: Basic computer skills in paint and word are all you need!
Fun -ness: Great fun doing something to bring a like minded group of people together!
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