My upcycling outlet

I just love, love, love the stuff that Jay’s upcycling. He really got me into the mood to try it myself. I’ll start with something small. A chair maybe? 🙂


Bath Bombing

The heat is on! Just 4 more days until we take our products to market. My place looks a candy factory boiler exploded in there. Bath bombs, soaps, labels everywhere. It doesn’t help that Leo is trying to lick a mixture of sodium bicarbonate and citric acid off the floor because he thinks it’s edible caramel powder.

We are having some lovely delights for the market. First and foremost, our soaps. We’ll bring an eclectic mix of lemongrass, espresso, ginger & honey, green tea and oatmeal soaps. There’ll be body butters with lavish amounts of shea, mango and cocoa butter ingredients, grapefruit salt scrub and bath salts. And we’ll bring our problem child. The bath bombs.

We left it to last preparing the bombs because we thought it was going to be a stroll in the park. Well… as per usual we were wrong. Austin built a mad contraption for custom made bath bombs after our snowball maker proved to be inadequate for round bath bombs. So after a lot of hammering and sanding and drilling we went ahead only to find out that our bombs regularly broke straight in the middle (that had the price of the bath bomb go up immediately…). Argh, super frustrating. Only 25 more to go… 😉

Here … hair, hair! I said here, hair!

I am obsessed with my hair lately. I had it really short but it’s growing nicely now and is getting to a length that doesn’t make me look like a 16 year old boy any longer. With my hair growing out I am noticing things I didn’t need to bother with before though.

For example the damn frizziness 20 minutes after blow drying it into shape (my auto-correct also suggests the words “dizziness,” “fuzziness,” and “friskiness” – all sort of really good descriptions for my hair in its current state!). Granted, the climate in Ireland doesn’t help with this but … really? Frizzy after only 20 minutes? C’mon you wind swept, humid island, give me a break!

And what about luster and shine? All non existent in my case. Usually not a hero worshiper I am  drooling regularly over Jessie J’s lovely, shiny, fully straightened hair on the Voice UK and went even so far as to send her a tweet learning more about her secret (she has not revealed it yet and maybe never will; I hope she doesn’t come back and tells me she’s washing it in the blood of 7 virgins or so; where the heck would I find 7 virgins?). In my quest for shiny and straight hair I am also considering buying a hair straightener. Lidl had a “Desperate Housewives” model just the other day that seemed reasonably priced and perfectly fits my current situation.

Desperate Housewives MultiStyling

So where is all of this leading you might wonder? It’s leading to the re-discovery of household remedies for hair. That’s where it’s leading. The majority of all commercial shampoos that you buy in your friendly neighbourhood supermarket strip your hair of it’s natural oils leaving it too dry. Applying conditioner right after only replaces some of the oils – certainly not all.

Please note at this stage that I am not trying to make the point that you shouldn’t wash your hair or only wash it so and so many times a week. I wash my hair daily and feel gross when I miss a day. My point is rather that there are amazing natural remedies out there that help you getting moisture and good oils back into your hair making it look shiny and beautiful. However, if you want to get rid of commercial shampoos try baking soda. I am currently experimenting with baking soda instead of shampoo and will – of course – report.

Here are my favourite natural hair remedies (to be used once a week):

Avocado for frizzy (or dizzy, fuzzy and frisky) hair

Mash up half an avocado with 2 table spoons of sour cream. Apply on clean, damp hair and let it sit for 15-20 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water.

Avocado is a really light oil (in fact, sweet almond and apricot oil work equally well); as any oil it will weigh down your hair – but not too much which makes it perfect.

Olive oil and honey for shiny and soft hair

Pour extra virgin olive oil into a bowl (maybe fill it one third) and add 3 table spoons of honey. Heat the mixture slightly in the microwave so it blends well. Work the mixture through your hair from root to tip. Wrap into a damp towel and let sit for about an hour. Wash hair with a mild baby shampoo and condition as usual.

Olive oil is also a pretty light weight oil which makes it great for moisturizing. It’s got anti-inflammatory properties that are good for your scalp and prevent dandruff. And did I mention the vitamin E that’s in extra virgin olive oil? Honey is just a miracle worker … vitamins, minerals, antibacterial, humectant (attacting moisture). ‘Nuff said.

Apple cider vinegar hair rinse for full bodied shiny hair

Mix one part of apple cider vinegar with one part of water. Rinse wet, just shampooed hair with the mixture. Some people recommend using a spray bottle others claim that the vinegar poured over their hair does double duty as a drain cleaner. I leave this one up to your digression. Let it sit for 5 minutes and rinse with water (and maybe rinse twice if you can still sniff the vinegar after the first rinse). No need for extra conditioner.

Vinegar balances your skin and hair’s natural pH levels and thus counteracts the above mentioned process of oil stripping through commercial shampoos. Folks on the internet (including James Wong in his book “Grow your own drugs”) are pretty set on apple cider vinegar – don’t ask me why. If you want to go the extra mile go for organic vinegar.

cider vinegar