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DIY Ice Cream In Five Minutes

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One Saturday, this past spring, my friend asked me over to make ice cream after we had lunch together. She had me at ice cream. My favourite flavours are cookies and cream, green tea and Kawartha’s dairy moose tracks (vanilla base with fudge swirled through and small peanut butter cups). If given the choice between vanilla and chocolate though… I’d choose vanilla. 🙂

We made two types: vanilla and green tea. I’ve included photos from both in this post.

Matcha Green Tea Powder & Sugar

Matcha Green Tea Powder & Sugar

 

small bag of cream, sugar, & matcha green tea powder sitting on top of ice and salt and covered with ice and salt.

small bag of cream, sugar, & matcha green tea powder sitting on top of ice and salt and covered with ice and salt.

Green Tea Ice Cream

Voila! Green Tea Ice Cream

My favourite step after SHAKE SHAKE Shaking… is eating. :)

My favourite step after SHAKE SHAKE Shaking… is eating. 🙂

I asked her how we were going to make it and what we needed. She told me all we needed was cream or half and half, vanilla, sugar, ice, a yogurt cup, some zip lock bags and salt. I was intrigued that this didn’t involve a fancy ice cream machine.

My friend is a high school teacher and she had her grade 9 science class do this. It was a very quick and delicious DIY activity and I would definitely see this as a fun experiment to do with kids or basically anyone that likes ice cream or single serving sizes of ice cream.

DIY Ice Cream

Davies, L. (2011). Neilson Science Connections 9. Scarborough, Ont.:Thomson/Neilson

Ingredients

  • 1 small sealable bag
    • (optional: double up to prevent bag with cream from opening up and having salt seep in)
  • large clean empty yogurt container (or large sealable bag)
  • 1/2 cup of cream or half & half
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla flavouring (or other desired flavouring)
  • 2 tbsp of sugar
  • 2 cups of ice
  • 2 tbsp of salt (preferably large crystals)
  • measuring spoons
  • measuring cup
  • timer
  • oven mitts or kitchen towel

Method

  1. We put the sugar and the vanilla extract into the small sealable bag. Then added cream and squeeze out extra air and seal it up.
  2. Then filled the yogurt containers halfway with ice and 1 tbsp of salt.
  3. Then we put our small bag and filled up the rest of the container with ice and 1 tbsp of salt and cover with the lid.
  4. And now set a timer for 5 minutes, put on those oven mitts and start shaking the container. Stop at the 5 minute mark to check to see if your cream is becoming more solid. If your cream isn’t as solid as you’d like but you still have plenty of solid ice, add more salt. Otherwise, add more ice and salt to the container.
  5. Once your cream is looking more solid just carefully remove from the container and carefully open the small sealable bag.

How could this be?

When we add salt it lowers the freezing point of water and when the ice melts it starts to absorb heat from the ice cream which causes the ice cream to solidify. I might’ve enjoyed science class more if there were more food experiments that ended with the class eating.

Results

The texture isn’t as hard as hard ice cream straight from the box or your neighbourhood ice cream shop it’s on the ice-y side but both were delicious. I did get a bit of salt water that seeped into one and hence my recommendation to double up on the small bags. We used the half size small bags but that’s just because it’s what she had on hand. I’m sure the regular small size bags would work fine and might have less chances of opening up during the shaking as long as as much air as possible is squeezed out.

Vanilla Extract and Sugar

Vanilla Extract and Sugar

Half & Half, Vanilla Syrup, Small sealable bag.

Half & Half, Vanilla Syrup, Small sealable bag.

Ice cream is ready

Ice cream is ready

Vanilla Ice Cream for One. :)

Vanilla Ice Cream for One. Some cream fell into the yogurt cup during shaking resulting in less ice cream 😦

Have you made ice cream before? How do you make it?

If you decide to give this a go let me know how you enjoyed the process and end result. Also, let me know if you come up with some delicious flavour combinations.

 

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My No Poo Update

8ZzOUHeyyy! I’ve been keeping you in suspense for months. Hope you had an incredible summer and great kick off to the fall season.

Does she still no ‘poo? Has she done more experimenting? What is she washing her hair with?  So many changes ya’ll.. mm..not really..but sorta.. hang on tight. I’m going to address all of that. 🙂

First of all, I went into this alternative hair washing method for mainly these reasons:

  1. To go longer without hair washing
  2. Reducing my exposure to harmful ingredients
  3. Neat DIY

And most importantly, I went in with an open mind. I knew this wasn’t going to be an easy transition but I wanted to make an effort to try this routine out. I knew that as my routine and life circumstances changed, it might make more sense for me to buy shampoo (cleaners with low toxins of course).

I can’t believe I started making my own rinses since the end of April 2012 – That’s 2 years and 5 months. Whoa.

Early on this spring, I tried a few shampoos from the health food store with mixed results. I tried a few bottles but I still felt my hair felt cleaner with no ‘poo and could go longer without washes with no poo. My hair tended to feel oilier after a day of washing. I’d use dry shampoo to stretch out my washings by another day or two and style my hair in braids. As with no poo, I could usually go 3 days from wash day to my next wash. So naturally, I went back to no poo after I finished a bottle.

A couple of changes I made since my No Poo series was I swapped ACV for lemon juice this summer, mainly to just see if it would work and so I wouldn’t have to refrigerate it. The latest change I made was stop using baking soda for my washes… Let me explain. 🙂

unIHS

Baking Soda, ACV Rinses & PH levels

The last time I washed my hair with baking soda might’ve been a couple weeks ago. *sigh* here it goes. I read Baking Soda Destroyed My Hair by Kanelstrand (Her blog goes into detail about the PH level with diagrams too! Definitely good to check out if you’re currently no poo’ing) that highlighted the effects of raising your scalp/hair’s PH level ((baking soda is alkaline and ACV is acidic) and lowering it in a short amount of time isn’t good for your hair in the long run because it makes your hair prone to breakage and dryness. And hence the importance of looking for a PH balanced shampoo.

The more I read, the more it made sense for me to try another alternative. I was experiencing some dryness and decided to try a shampoo recipe with aloe vera and glycerin from a blog post about no-poo alternatives by Sara at My Merry Messy Life. The mistake I made was that I read the post really fast and missed the part where Sara says she likes using it to freshen up her curls. She has curly hair but I don’t…and I didn’t realize this until after the 2nd wash. Regardless of my mistake, I really appreciated the insights from her post.

I happily mixed up a concoction of vegetable glycerin with aloe vera and some essential oils and I washed my hair. My hair felt heavy but I figured I was probably transitioning. So, I waited 3 days and used dry shampoo for the 2nd and 3rd day. On wash day, I washed it and it felt kind of greasy but I figured once again it was probably the transition. The next morning I looked like I had just slicked my entire scalp in gel.. So, I put my hair in a bun. I looked like I was ready to ready for a ballet exam or recital. GROSS.

I had no time for tears. My hair looked absolutely disgusting but it was clean and I was going to work out that day so I would deal with it in the evening.

I tried a PH balanced coconut milk and aloe vera gel recipe. I loved how simple this recipe was but given the state of my GREASY scalp, it wasn’t cutting it. I felt I needed baking soda. It’s a hard habit to break. I tried to mix a little bit in my palm with water and I scrubbed my head. It was still heavy with the residue/grease. I reached for the last bit of Apple Cider Vinegar Clarifying Shampoo by Live Clean from my pre-no ‘poo days. It was the best decision in that moment but I also felt defeated to be honest. I knew I needed something to remove all the buildup in my hair. There have been different times that I have returned to using this clarifying shampoo – a couple of weeks in June 2013 and a few times during my mom’s treatment this fall and this instance.

I had revisited the curly hair shampoo recipe post after I woke up with the really greasy ballet bun hair and realized the mistake I had made.

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My Current Routine.

I decided the day of the greasy ballet hair bun to pick up a couple of new products to try from the health food store because I had no time/energy/patience to devote to tweaking hair recipes on top of my current routine. I probably spent about an hour in the store reading labels and checking the handy Good Guide app on my phone that scores the product based on the health concerns, the environmental and societal impact of the product. I can easily scan the product’s barcode with my phone to pull up this information while I’m shopping.

I have been using TheraNeem Gentle Therape Shampoo for the past two weeks (washing every 3-4 days), I am loving the mild scent and the lather was a surprise. I wet my scalp and scrub it as I normally would before adding rinses, and then I add in the shampoo and scrub really well all over. I wait a few minutes then rinse out the shampoo and towel dry as much as I can then blow dry.

I brush with a boar bristle brush everyday and I use my own dry shampoo (another recipe for another post) when my the crown of my head looks a bit oily (usually 2-3 days after a wash) or I’ll just put my hair up or braid it.

I will likely experiment with DIY shampoo recipes again – I would love to use more pantry items like herbs and tea. But right now, I’m going to use up what I’ve bought so far. I am not too ecstatic with the higher price tag.

Are you a no poo’er? Do you wash with baking soda? If you’re a no poo’er have you experimented with any baking soda free recipes? Do you have any PH balanced shampoo recipes to share?

Hope you have a great weekend!

If you’re interested in reading about the No Poo series: start with My No Poo Secret followed by the Transition Phase & Method and if you want more, Resources & Solutions 


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{DIY} Face Moisturizer

The other day, I shared about my simple 1-ingredient oil moisturizer. Today, I’m sharing a DIY recipe I made up with a friend this past summer. Disclosure: I’m not an expert on skin care and everything I’m sharing is based on my experience and what I’ve read online. To be on the safe side, please contact a medical professional for advice prior to experimenting with oils as with any change in skin care regimen, you may experience adverse reactions. Thanks for stopping by.

After my initial visit to buy face oils, I found myself going back to the health food store and researching online about making my own moisturizer. I read many recipes which intrigued me but I was nervous about taking the leap and actually doing it on my own. This past summer, I made my own moisturizer from a combination of oils (coconut oil, cocoa butter, avocado oil, grape seed oil, vitamin e oil and lavender essential oil).

I had been collecting glass jars and recently used up a raw honey jar. I washed it a few times with hot water and dish detergent. If there was still any odour I would’ve removed the odour from the glass jar before sterilizing. Since it was a moisturizer I wanted, I decided to use my honey jar to store my DIY moisturizer.

I went to my friend Cherry’s house after work to make it one friday night (one of my favourite nights this summer!). We had been talking for weeks about our big Green Beauty night. LOL! At first I was hoping we’d be able to make some lip moisturizers and body butters but as the days drew near we were both realizing we probably should just focus on one product. This face moisturizer took priority because we were thinking ahead about cold fall and winter months.

Naturally, I researched recipes other people had and printed 2 and told her I wanted to do a combination of 2 of them and just add whatever she had that sounded interesting (avocado oil). That’s pretty much my approach for cooking too. If I have a particular type of food in mind and I haven’t made it before, I’ll research about 2-5 recipes and do some combination of the ones I like the best.I wanted to incorporate grapeseed oil and coconut oil. Prior to this, I was just using grape seed oil or sweet almond oil on my face.

DIY Face Moisturizer Ingredients

DIY Face Moisturizer Ingredients

DIY Face Moisturizer

Ingredients

When I made this, I wrote down everything but the shea butter and cocoa butter amounts. I am guess-timating my shea and cocoa butter amounts.

  • 4.5 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tbsp shea butter
  • 1 tbsp cocoa butter
  • 1 tsp avocado oil
  • 2 tsp sweet almond oil
  • 2 tsp grapeseed oil (good for sensitive skin)
  • few drops of vitamin E oil
  • several drops of lavender essential oil
Before Melting Shot

Before Melting Shot

Instructions

  1. If you are reusing a glass jar, remember to sterilize your glass jar. I did this the night before actually making it to save time.
  2. Put your empty jar into the pot and fill with cold water with enough to cover about 1/3 of it. Make sure not to get any water into your jar as we’re attempting to make a face moisturizer not a lotion.
  3. Bring water to a boil. While water is boiling, combine oils into jar.
  4. Once water comes to a boil, bring it down to low heat.
  5. Once the oils in the jar become translucent, everything has melted.
  6. Take the jar out of the hot water carefully and set it on a trivet. Add essential oils at this stage.
  7. Let the jar cool then place in the fridge.
  8. You can leave it overnight and when you take it out, you can store it in a cool/dry place. If it begins to liquify, just stick it in the fridge. I’ve been able to keep mine just in my room all winter and it has remained soft. There you have it, you’re own very unique DIY Moisturizer, made by you! Woohoo!! 🙂

Ideas for Next Time

  • The only thing I would do next time is cut back on the coconut oil and try using more butter or incorporating some beeswax and perhaps trying different combinations of essential oils to change things up.
  • As I edited this post, it occurred to me, I could probably have just melted the butters with coconut oil then added the other oils when the melted mixture was off the stove and cooling since the other oils didn’t need to be heated. Something that I didn’t really think about until I was writing up this post.
Oils are all melted

Oils are all melted

This was a lot of fun to make. Cherry is a “go by feel, what’s the rush?” kind of girl. I’m more of a “precise and cautious” person when it comes to doing something new. We talked about this and laughed because she was so cool with just “eyeballing” and I wanted to track every spoonful/step. 🙂 I told her I wanted it to be as precise as possible so if I wanted to tweak it next time, I could compare and see how my adjustment effected my outcome and it would be easier to share (with you lovely readers) how I made it. She told me that a little bit of coconut oil goes a long way and she was right. I would like to try cutting back on the coconut oil next time to see if it will make it less oily.

Cooling

Cooling

DIY Face Moisturizer: Ready to use!

DIY Face Moisturizer: Ready to use!

When using this, I only needed a small pea size amount for my whole face. A little bit goes a long way. This is the same reason why this is such an economical thing to do. I use to probably spend around $80-90 for my facial moisturizers for the year. Now, I can spend about $30-35 on oils and butters and use it towards more than just my face and for more than a year.

I was so happy that Cherry was cool about having me over to learn how to make my own moisturizer. I told her I was nervous about melting oils in a glass container at home. LOL! YUp, I still get nervous about being alone and MELTING stuff on the stove and since we were melting oils in glass, I just had this fear that something could go wrong if I was on my own.

I was incredibly excited to try this when it was done. When you open the jar, the scent of lavender hits your nostrils. I ADORE this moisturizer. It took a lot for me not announce it to everyone I talked to. That level of excitement people. haha

I primarily use it on my face on cold fall/winter days and on my hands overnight. I can pretty much use it all over but I mainly use it for my face.

My recipe didn’t use water but if you wanted to use water in a DIY beauty project (perhaps making a lotion or spray) definitely take a look at this very informative link on DIY 101: Working with water by Crunchy Betty.

Check out my friend Cherry’s post on her DIY moisturizer.

What scents do you like in your moisturizer? Do you have a DIY moisturizer recipe to share? What’s in your favourite moisturizer?

Please share!


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Skin Care: Moisturizing Your Face With Oil

Grape seed oil and Jojoba Oil.

Grape seed oil and Jojoba Oil.

My old face moisturizing routine included using a Vichy moisturizer during the winter months and a La Roche Moisturizer during the summer. I started this in university and before that I don’t remember (maybe a cream by Nivea). My face has always been on the normal/combination. I use to have dry areas around my nose and mouth and my forehead was on the shinier side. I would occasionally get pimples around my hairline or around my mouth.

It wasn’t until one cold fall day two years ago, that I applied my Vichy moisturizer after a summer of using La Roche and felt a burning sensation on my cheeks. At first, I didn’t think too much about the burning sensation, reasoning that it was because I took a break from using it in the summer. Then I thought “moisturizers shouldn’t hurt”, I don’t want to get used to this. I wanted something simpler and nourishing for my skin. I went to my local health store and asked one of the associates to recommend a daily moisturizer face cream. Unfortunately, this face cream still left my face with the same dry spots I had when I used my old Vichy moisturizer. I felt like I needed to apply it more than once during the day. I felt like my skin needed something stronger that would absorb into my skin and help it stay moisturized. I didn’t want to have to reapply during the day.

I researched online and learned that we could use oils to moisturize our faces. Just oil? Lotion and creams involve a combination of water and oil, take out the water and all I’m left with is oil. Definitely sounded like this would work. I figured, if I didn’t like it, I could always go back to experimenting with new facial creams. I started using grapeseed oil, then sweet almond oil, and am now using the jojoba oil. I’ve found that my skin looks and feels softer using these oils. Going this route wasn’t just good for my skin but for my wallet too! I use a few drops to cover my entire face.

Naturally, I went into work and couldn’t wait to share it with my two blogger friends. One of them started out with grapeseed oil. The other one tried sweet almond oil and has since made her own DIY moisturizer. I’ll share her link in another post where I talk about my own DIY moisturizer (Stay Tuned! It is on the way!).

Now, you might think it sounds a bit weird to put OIL on your face. Especially because there are products that are suppose to REMOVE oil off our faces (i.e. those oil blotting sheets). However, contrary to popular belief that oil is bad and we need to get rid of it, oil is very good for our skin as it moisturizes it without drying it out. As for which types of oils to use depends on your skin and preference.  There are lots of oils to choose from, I decided to start with these three because my skin was a combination of dry spots and oily areas. I’ve included some of the benefits of each oil. I feel like my skin has become softer and stays moisturized.

Grape seed Oil

  • Great for dry or sensitive skin
  • Light moisturizing oil
  • Helps protect collagen
  • Evens out skin tone
  • Easily absorbed and won’t clog pores
  • Can use on hair and skin

Sweet Almond Oil

  • Good for all skin types
  • Easily absorbed and won’t clog pores
  • Helps retain or restore glow
  • Nourishes skin and keeps it looking soft
  • Improves skin tone and complexion
  • Helps get rid of dark circles under eyes and reduce puffiness
  • Can use on body as well

Jojoba Oil

  • Good for dry skin and oily skin
  • Combating fine lines and wrinkles
  • Very similar properties to sebum 
  • Helps with oil control
  • Won’t clog your pores
  • Can be used on hair and body (dry lips and on cuticles)

Application

After washing and drying my face in the morning, I use few drops of oil (about 1/3-1/2 tsp) and spread it over my face using my fingers or a cotton pad. That’s basically it when it comes to my moisturizing routine. I’ve thought about trying out moisturizing at night too but I haven’t felt the need to.

I’m very happy I made the switch to oils and it was so easy to do. What do you use on your face? What’s your favourite oil? 

Disclosure: I’m not an expert on skin care and everything I’m sharing is based on my experience and what I’ve read online. To be on the safe side, please contact a medical professional for advice prior to experimenting with oils as with any change in skin care regimen, you may experience adverse reactions. Thanks for stopping by.

– Julie


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DIY Antibacterial Soft Scrub Cleanser

In late September, I was jumping around on DIY blogs and I ended up on One Good Thing By Jillie. I ADORE her blog. She’s got a ton of great posts and is just one of those blogs that I can probably spend an entire day browsing around laughing at her commentary and in complete awe over the wonderful and very useful ideas she’s sharing. When you’re done reading this post, seriously jump over to hers. It is full of DIY goodness, crafts, recipes, home remedies/solutions and more. The one that stuck out to me was the DIY cleaning solutions. Now, I’ve been using either a 50/50 vinegar-water spray or a mixture of vinegar and baking soda for cleaning most surfaces and a few quirts of Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Soap in citrus in vinegar/hot water solution for mopping. However, I’ve been wanting to mix things up a little and wondered about whether I could combine my Dr. Bonner’s with baking soda. I didn’t think to take the plunge, until I came across Jillie’s soft scrub cleaner post (She got the recipe from Emily of Live Renewed)

Jillie’s post reminded me of my childhood. Specifically, memories of mixing up concoctions in the bathroom with my sister. We use to like taking lotion and mixing it with baby powder. It was exciting to watch the liquidy texture of lotion change to a stiffer paste with the addition of baking powder. It made us feel like we were creating something new, even though there wasn’t a purpose – that’s the whole point of playtime right? To just play.

I had an empty dish washing detergent bottle I washed and saved from the recycling bin and hadn’t yet given it a purpose yet. I just knew I wanted to use it somehow. This antibacterial soft scrub was it. I grabbed a mixing bowl and followed Jillie’s instructions to a T (except for the vinegar). I recently read about a common green cleaning mistake – not to mix vinegar with castille soap (yikes, I had been adding Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Soap to my vinegar/hot water solution for mopping – not anymore!). I felt like a kid again mixing away. Yes, making your own cleaning solutions can be fun. I made a double batch and used a funnel to fill the dish washing detergent bottle.

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I’ve used this in the tub, on the taps, in the sinks, counter tops and the door knobs. It left our bath tub shiny and I loved the scent as I washed it. It smells just like my yoga mat spray. So if you have ever used a yoga mat spray or tea tree oil, you’ll know what I’m talking about. The scent has really grown on me. 🙂

I’ve been making this about once a week for the past few months. I tried to make a triple batch and store it but I found the mixture would dry up and I’d need to add water to loosen it and I’d end up with globs of white stuff. That was fine. It still cleaned well but I just couldn’t get it to come out of the squeeze bottle without taking the top off.

If however, you want a more liquid solution, I’d recommend just making a batch or double and use within the week.

Do you have any homemade cleaning concoctions to share? What are your go to favourite green cleaning products? What do you use to clean your home?