Sunday, April 21, 2013


Now available in the Contentedly Crunchy Shop, it's the smooth and creamy Shea Butter Deodorant!

I tried all the commercially-available non-aluminum-containing deodorants I could find, and came up empty-handed, gunky, and smelling awful.  I started trying to make my own a couple years ago.  I ended up loving the original recipe, but not loving keeping it in the fridge.  Plus, it didn't work for The Beast.  For the first problem, I tried adding beeswax.  That made it much firmer out of the fridge, but the beeswax stained my clothes (so watch out for it in other brands of natural deodorant!).

I've tried out a few other recipes, and settled on a slightly modified version of Kimberlily's recipe from here. The result is an all-natural deodorant that works for self-proclaimed stinky women as well as men, in a hot and humid midwest summer and through sweaty exercise.  It really works!

I do personally prefer a stick deodorant, so I am still working on ways to harden this without staining or a loss of effectiveness.  Also, a sensitive skin version is on the way!

Shea Butter Deodorant is available in a 2oz tub as a well as a .5oz sample size.  You can see available essential oils here.  If you are looking for scent ideas, my favorite scents are lavender or tea tree/grapefruit.  The Beast likes sandalwood/lavender.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Money where my mouth is, or simply down the drain?

The Beast and a young toddler Bean visiting a farm with grassfed dairy and free-ranging chickens.  We can't afford to purchase their products except for special occasions.
Awhile ago, I started looking into the myriad of milk options out there.  My kids drink a lot of milk, and with all the hypotheses and occasional research, it seemed something I should educate myself about.

Eventually, we decided we couldn't afford organic or grass-fed milk (no hormones, no pesticides in their diets, being fed what their bodies are meant to digest, and no antibiotics, this is the ideal - or maybe raw milk is, but I can't even entertain the notion right now given the cost and the fact that it is illegal to sell raw milk for human consumption in my state), but we could afford the brands whose farmers "pledge" not to use hormones.

However, I have no doubt that I'm still drinking milk from hormone-treated animals - not to mention animals treated with antibiotics and fed grain treated with pesticides.  I have seen Food, Inc. and am currently reading Fast Food Nation, and I don't put much stock in any aspect of the food industry regulating itself.  My assumption is that the farmers make an effort not to use hormones, but use them all the same when the giant companies they contract with put pressure on them to increase profit margins. Then it's the farmers who are at risk of breaking a (non-legally-binding?) pledge, and not the larger companies.

But I'm putting my money into an idea, right?  I have very little money to vote with, but money seems to be the only thing with a voice in politics.  My hope is that this "step-up" milk will see the same government/legal/litigious attention that step-up ("free range," "cage free," "pasture-raised," but still not organic) eggs are now seeing.  And, of course, we purchase the step-up eggs as well.  Can't win!  Who the heck knows what we're eating?!?

I constantly think about just purchasing the cheapest milk and eggs - I'd know what I was getting, and I'd save my money - but then I worry that if we all do that, there will be less pressure for reform.  Even less.  Because I don't exactly see there being a lot of pressure on Big Agro or Big Food...

But then again, is there a reason to advocate for organic milk with my limited bucks?  I went looking for research, and all I found were blog entries that lacked citations entirely!  I did find a couple articles that lead me to think I should save some of our milk money for additional organic produce,  unless I can go whole hog (whole cow?) and buy milk from grassfed cows.

And then there's this blog by a dairy farmer that - while interesting and seemingly thorough - I happen to know is not entirely accurate.  I know that conventional dairy cows are sometimes fed unsalable processed human foods like sub-par licorice, gumballs, and stuffing.  True story.  I have no idea if organic dairy farms are feeding their cows the organic equivalent of these things, and also no idea if candy and stuffing are any worse for cows or the people who drink their milk than corn is.

What are your thoughts?  Personally, I'm completely confused.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Reasons my son is crying


A cousin of mine sent me a link to this tumblr last night.  It is hilarious.
If I were to add my own reasons my smaller son is often crying:

Reasons why my smaller son is often crying:
  • he woke up
  • he didn't want that, but now that you're eating it he wants all of it but not on his plate -DEFINITELY NOT ON HIS PLATE
  • his brother hit him with a sword
  • he hit his brother with a sword
  • we won't let him have a sword
  • his sword broke
  • his sword cannot be in two places at once
  • his body cannot be in two places at once
  • Mom cannot  be in two places at once
  • toast doesn't come out of a bag warm and have to toast it
  • we won't let him hit when he's angry
  • I can't "take off" the cut on his finger and kissing it doesn't make it disappear
  • I have to rinse the shampoo out of his hair
  • I won't let him run in the road or parking lots
  • I gave him the apple he asked for
  • he was screaming to be put down so I put him down...

I could go on and on...

Why is your son (or daughter) crying?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

What's mine could be yours!

Right now, I have moisturizer and lip balm setting, ready to be labeled and photographed tomorrow!

I have been making my own body products for a few years - deodorant, moisturizer, a salve for cracked skin, lip balm, sugar scrub, body oil, hair product (if plain coconut oil counts), and more.

A few people mentioned to me that they'd be interesting purchasing them, and tomorrow (if all goes according to plan), the first one will be available for purchase on Etsy!  (I'll post links when the shop officially launches!)

I am really excited to share these with friends, family, blog readers, and total strangers. I hope people will love them as much as I do. They are all made with straightforward ingredients so you always know what you are getting! And I will, to at least some degree, be able to tweak things for people's preferences or even allergies.

And, in other news, both of my kids are completely obsessed with weapons, armor, and warriors.  A-Train often says "wet's just have a batt-oh!"  (Let's just have a battle!)  And Bean is constantly  showing off his latest scheme for storing/wearing/drawing/using weapons.  That kid designs armor and sheaths and weapons belts!  Oh, and we totally went out and got him another skirt.  The new one is "a kilt."  It's green plaid!

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