Natural Deodorant

I have always had a pretty sensitive sniffer, but ever since cutting out grains and dairy my sense of smell is shocking.  I remember it being like this when I was expecting.  I would have to hold my nose and RUN past the dog food isle at the grocery store.  There was no being polite about it....

For some reason yesterday I kept running into unpleasant BO.  First I went to the health food store.  No big surprise there.  It always smells of herbs, incense, and patchouli oil and maybe just a hint of Old Hippy BO in the mix.

Then I went to the post office and was lucky enough to be in line right in front of a biker who had to have just peddled his way across the country.... with no shower.  Ok he works out....fine, I'll hold my breath.  (because He wouldn't cut in line when I offered to let him)

At the grocery store I met some French tourists.  This is pretty normal in a tourist town.  The thing is...  I could smell them 4 isles before I saw them.  How do the French get all that loveN done if they smell????  It must be the good wine they have.

Now I support everybody's choice to not put chemicals on their body.  Aluminum chlohydrate can build up in the tissue and has been linked to Alzheimers disease.  The fragrances and propylparabens have been linked to beast cancer.  Good enough reason for anyone to stay away.

  After all a healthy body Odor should be a pleasant thing that conveys information about our hormonal and pheromone state.  Fresh perspiration should be odorless.  Only when mixed with bacteria does it become less than savory.

I have enough recipes to make several posts on the subject of stink.  In order to save the world from BO I am just going to share most of  them now.  

1. the best way to smell better is to clean up your body.   Shower regularly (or at least use a wash cloth on your pits.

2. Eat plenty of greens and drink lemon water to keep your PH levels where they should be.  (inside and out)  Super green foods such as Spirulina and Wheatgrass work really well.  If you can't stand the taste you can get Chlorophyll capsules at the health food store.

3. Eat Fenugreek!  It will make you smell sweet like amber.  You can find it in capsules too.

Now that we are fighting the problem from the inside out lest look at some topical things that can help.

4.  Witch Hazel. 
Mix 1oz witch hazel with 10 drops of the essential oil of your choice.  Apply to skin with a cotton ball or put in a spray bottle.

5.  Baking Soda
Plain baking soda will work just fine.  Or if you have a particularly sour smell....
1 C. baking soda
30 drops lavender oil
20 drops coriander oil
10 drops tea tree oil
Combine and mix well.  Store in a glass jar and apply as needed.  Yes this one is spicy.

6. Be sure spray is super easy.
1/4 C vodka  (apple cider vinegar would work too)
1/4 C. distilled water
50 drops essential oil of your choice.
Combine and apply with a cotton ball or use a spry bottle.

7. Arrowroot
This is really simple and very effective.
6 T. arrowroot powder
10 drops lavender oil
10 drops sage oil
Combine and store in a glass jar.

8.  Salt rock
Buy it at the health food store and rub on pits.

*** Sweat is made up of water, sodium, salts lactic acid, sulfuric acid, potassium, phosphorus, iron, and urea.   

9. Lemon refresher
juice from half a lemon
1/2 cup witch hazel
Apply with spray bottle

10. rub the peel (not the juice) of a lemon directly on your pits

11. Cosmetic clay can be dusted on alone or miced with essential oil.

*** It is normal to excrete between 1.7 to 2.6 pints of sweat each day!  That amount can be up to 10 times more if you are in conditions that cause perspiration. (yikes)

12. Corn starch will also work.

13. Fresh sage leave rubbed on pits will inhibit bacteria.

*** A persons smell can very according to conditions of health and mental well being.

14. Aloe vera juice can be applied as an antibacterial, antifungal, and deodorizing gel.

15. Equal parts powdered Calendula flowers and arrowroot.

16. Equal parts powdered Neem and clay.

*** Blonds tend to smell more cheesy or sour.  Brunettes usually have a sweet or pungent type of perspiration.  Redheads are more acid or sharp smelling.

This should be plenty of ideas... If you need more let me know because I have lots.  Do the right thing people! Think about hygiene.

PS.  If some one asks you if you want a mint.....   always say yes.


Easy Asparagus

It is that time of year.  I love when I see the asparagus shoots coming through the straw bed.

Asparagus is super easy.  Most of the time I just steam it and then squeeze a bit of lemon on top.

Today,  because I wanted to up how much fat I got, I grabbed a bundle and submerged them in boiling water for a few moments then drained.  I sauted onion in olive oil and then tossed with the asparagus.  Top with sea salt and pepper.

You can't get too much easier than that.  As you can see, this was my whole meal.  Hubby had his asparagus with a side of T-bone. 


Herbal oil and Salve for skin

I'm excited to share this with you today!  I learned this technique from Grandma Ruthie about 10 years ago.  I had no idea at the time that I would have a child with extreme chemical sensitivity. (She can't even ware a band aid because she reacts to the adhesive)  It has been SO great to be able to treat her scrapes and scratches with something natural.

Oil infusions are infusions are exceptionally useful for burns,  sunburns, chapped and dry skin, skin infections, and ear drops and on wounds as salves.  For a salve, the oil is made thick by adding a bit of beeswax.

Don't worry, You can use either dried herbs or fresh.  When using dried herbs you need to grind them as fine as possible.  Place the herbs in to a glass baking dish and cover with oil.  Olive oil works really well because it doesn't go rancid like other oils can.  Stir the mixture to make sure the herbs are covered.  You may leave them in the sun for two weeks or bake them in the oven on the lowest heat for 8 hours.   When your preparation is ready, strain through a cloth.

To make from Fresh herbs, place herbs in a Mason jar and cover with just enough oil to leave no part of the plant exposed to air.  Let it sit in the sun for two weeks.  Then press through a cloth and toss out the herbs.  Let the decanted oil sit.  After a day, the water naturally present in the herbs will settle to the bottom. Pour off the oil and discard the water.

A Salve is really just an oil that has been hardened with beeswax!  Make the oil infusion, then put it into a glass or stainless pan.  Heat it gently on the stove.  Add chopped beeswax to the oil.  2 oz for ever cup.   A perfect salve should stay hard for a few seconds as you press your fingertip on it, then suddenly soften from your body heat.

Oils work better for things like dry skin or a sunburn because they will cover a large area easily.  Salves work best for wounds or any time you want it to stay put in one place.

I was trying to show here just how soft the salve is.  By the time I took the picture it was already melting off my finger.

The two recipes pictured here are:

Herbal oil for skin infection

1 quart olive oil
1 oz usnea
1 oz acacia
1 oz echinacea root or seed
1 oz garlic
1 oz sage

If your wondering.... yep, it does smell "savory".  Best to use it when you are not going to be out and about.

Salve for wounds

1 quart olive oil
1 oz echinacea root
1 oz cryptolepsis root
2 oz juniper
1 oz wild geranium
1 oz acacia leaf
1/2 oz powdered worm wood
1/2 oz usnea
4 oz beeswax
1/2 teaspoon vitamin E
1/4 teaspoon eucalyptus essential oil

*make sure to pour out the salve into heat safe containers while it is still warm.

I was a little intimidated the first time I tried this.   I quickly found out that it is easy and fun.  Now I am addicted to making new formulas for soothing, moisturizing, love, and relaxing..... 


Cauliflower with Mushrooms

When I was little my Mom would make venison tenderloin in mushroom gravy over rice.  It was my absolute Favorite Favorite dinner.

I didn't know when I first tried this... but it is going to turn into my Primalized version of Moms recipe.

1 large head of cauliflower
1 t. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 pound fresh mushrooms sliced
1/3 C. green onions
1 C. chicken broth

In a saucepan containing 1 inch of water, steam whole cauliflower until tender. (about 20 minutes) Meanwhile, in a skillet, steam-saute mushrooms and onions in oil on medium heat until tender. Add chicken broth.

Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly.  Cook and stir for 2 minutes.  Place cauliflower in a large bowl: pour mushroom mixture over it and serve.

Next time I do this I am going to break up the cauliflower so it is like rice.  place Venison tenderloin on top and pour the mushroom mixture over the top.....  mmmm comfort food.

* The mushrooms would have been nice with a bit of coconut milk or cream in them for a more saucy feel.

Tip:  Take a damp paper towel and wipe the mushrooms clean.  If you put them under the faucet and wash them they will absorb too much water and not cook correctly.


How to get gum out of hair!

Today a friend of mine came over with her little girl...  Not for a visit.  They were both in tears and needed help.  Kayla had a big wad of bright green bubble gum in her hair.  (up on top where you never could hide it)

Now, little boys who get gum in their hair get their head shaved.  They love it, they look cool, and not to much harm done.

Little girls on the other hand....   

So if you find yourself in this predicament march yourself out to the garage and grab the WD40!  I am not kidding.  It works way better than peanut butter.

First separate as much hair away from the gum as you can.  Then pull out any gum that is not attached to any hair.  Next generously spray the gum and hair with WD40 and work it in.  Pull out any gum that comes loose and then spray again.  Repeat till all gum is gone and then wash you hair.


Hopi Squash Soup

Two years ago a friend of mine (who doesn't want her name mentioned) was hiking in a canyon and found an Anasazi Dwelling that looked like it had remained hidden from the tourists.  Below the dwelling was a spring and just to the side of the spring a beautiful squash plant was growing.  There were a few squashes that were ready to pick ... so she stole one and packed it home!  I am sure that kind of thing is really frowned upon here.  However, that is how we got the Anasazi beans, so it is not like she is the first to do something like that.

Last year she planted the seeds from the squash and they did amazingly well.  I kept asking for some seeds but she was pretty stingy about them....  Then finally the other day she came to get her hair cut and Gifted me with a whole squash!

The squash looks like a deformed pumpkin.  Happily it is much much softer and easy to cut.

I was just trying to be artsy here.  The smell is really light and sweet.  The seeds are quite a bit longer and fatter than pumpkin seeds.  I saved seeds to plant this year but next year I am going to try to roast them.

It is incredible how far this went.  I cut the squash into 6 pieces and gave 5 away to my clients that day.  As far as I know this one Hopi fed 18 people!  I took my slice and wrapped it in foil and tossed it in the oven till it was tender.  I think it would have been amazing right then with a bit of butter, salt, and pepper.  I decided to make soup instead.


2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, diced
2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
 (2 pound) hopi squash - peeled, seeded, and cubed
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1/2 cup coconut milk
 salt and black pepper to taste
1 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme, or to taste

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, ginger, and jalapeno pepper; cook and stir until the onion has softened and turned translucent, about 7 minutes. Add the Hopi squash and chicken broth, and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer.

Stir in the evaporated milk, coconut milk, salt and pepper. Cook and stir 5 minutes more. Pour the soup into a blender, filling the pitcher no more than halfway full. Hold down the lid of the blender with a folded kitchen towel, and carefully start the blender, using a few quick pulses to get the soup moving before leaving it on to puree. Puree in batches until smooth, and pour into a clean pot. Alternately, you can use a stick blender and puree the soup right in the cooking pot. Ladle into bowls, and garnish with sour cream and thyme to serve.

Mmmmm!  Even hubby liked this one and he is not a soup person.


Stairway to heaven

My father in law is building a stairway from the shop to the fish pond.  Glen is just Incredible!!!  He is in his 70s and he gets up at the crack of dawn and works all day till it gets dark.  He builds the most amazing things.  He built a swimming pool, light house, green houses, giant bird house,  a cabin, and a fish pond with a bridge!  This is all in the last 10 years since I have known him.  He has more energy than most 20 year olds.

This stairway goes 110 feet strait up the hillside! 

To give you a little perspective there are 90 steps now and may end up being closer to 95 when he is done.  Glen is a big man standing 6 foot 4.... on the stairs he looks like a child.

This is what is at the top.  A beautiful pond full of gold fish and frogs.  What a wonderful surprise in the middle of the desert.  It is our little slice of heaven.

Here is another angle of the pond looking down the bridge.  If you look close you can see the fish.... and even closer you can see my daughter taking a nap on the grass.

Check back in this summer for photos of the finished stairway.


Love, Balance and New Beginnings

I love this time of Year! Don't you?

Whether you celebrate Easter, Ostara, or just that it is getting warmer this is a beautiful magical time of year.  I always like to take the time during the Vernal Equinox to think about balance in all things.  I always check in with my eating/workout, my spiritual practise, and my relationships.  This is the amazing time of year when life springs right up from what once was dead, when we are allowed an other chance to thrive and prosper.

The sun and the moon rule the sky as equals.  It is good to look at how we bring light or darkness into the world.

The full moon in March is called the Chaste moon or the Windy moon by the locals.  It signals that it is time to get ready to plant your garden, get ready to change and transform, and maybe if you are lucky... smooch your sweetheart and *be fertile.

This year the Chaste Moon comes the day before the Equinox and it just so happens to be on a weekend.  Can you even think of a better reason to have a big party and a bone fire? 

So to help you celebrate and because I am a married type woman (haven't been chaste in quite some time) I am offering you some of my favorite Love potion recipes.

Ruby-Red Passion Tea

This sweet and tart aphrodisiac tea is perfect for the expecting mother or any one who doesn't want to drink alcohol.

4 C. mineral water
1/4 C. hibiscus flowers
2 T. lemon grass or lemon balm
2 T. rose hips
the peel of an Orange cut into slices
Raw honey

In a sauce pan bring the water to a boil, the remove from heat. Add everything but the honey and allow to steep for 45 minutes to an hour.  The mixture should be beautifully red. Strain and add honey to taste.  This can be served hot or cold.  *I love to freeze it into cubes and serve with other drinks.

Get Lucky in Love Liqueur

This is sweet, tart, warm, and spicy!  Perfect to share with that special some one.

1/2 C. smooth Brandy
1/2 C. vodka, unsweetened
1/2 C. distilled water
1/4 C. raw Honey
2 T. Eleuthero root (siberian ginsing)  *this is a must!  Don't skip
1 T. ginger
1/2 t. cardamom seeds
7 pitted cherries
2 dried or candied apricots
1 cinnamon stick
1 vanilla bean cut to 1/2 inch pieces.

Add all ingredients to a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.  Put plastic wrap on the opening so the lid doesn't rust.  Shake Vigorously for 15 seconds.  Store in a cool dark place for 2 weeks to a month.  Shake the Jar daily.  Strain the liquid into a beautiful bottle.  You can eat the fruit but be careful because they are Strong!

Keep you Love Potion in the refrigerator and consume within 3 months.

Spicy Love Balm

This little goodie warms and tingles on contact!  It softens and soothes the skin.

2 T. + 1t.  almond oil
1 T. coco butter
1 1/2 t. vegetable glycerin
1 t. beeswax
6 to 8 drops cinnamon oil

In a sauce pan heat all ingredients except flavoring on low.  Stir til just melted.  Remove from heat and add flavoring. whisk for a few minutes till it starts to turn opaque.  Then pour into a storage container.  Let cool for a few hours before putting a cap on it. No need to refrigerate this one!

Spread a little wherever you need a little kissing or caressing.  Note: a little goes a long way and this is not latex friendly!

Body Dessert

This is sweet and sticky...  spreadable and edible... sure to pleasure and please.

3 T. Coconut oil
1 T. vanilla bean paste

Place both in a bowl and stir to blend.  If your kitchen is cold you may need to heat it just a bit.   Put in a container and keep in the fridge.

*Edit for some Credit-  Passion tea and Body desert are from my own kitchen.  Love liqueur is from Grandma Julie.  Spicy Love balm is made by Grandma Ruthie.


B.L.T. Salad

Oh Goodness!  I could just eat this every day of my life and be a happy girl.  It is SO easy and fast to make that it is a real possibility.   The only reason I don't eat it every day is that it freaks me out to have bacon that much.

I just noticed that you can't really see the tomatoes in the  photo... sorry.  Just Trust me, they are in there.

apple cider vinegar

First slice the bacon and toss in in a small frying pan.  Then chop the lettuce and place it in a bowl.  stir the bacon and then chop up the Onion.  Toss the onion in with the bacon and stir.  Split a few cherry tomatoes and toss on top of the lettuce.  when the onion is translucent take the pan off the heat.  add in a splash of vinegar and stir.  Pour the mixture over the lettuce and tomatoes and toss.

That's It!  It is so easy and takes maybe less than 10 minutes.  It is really comforting to me and the best part is you can make it faster than you could go through the drive through window.


we are One

I have a confession.  Underneath this clever disguise of a boring mom...I am an artist.  I am full of passion and just bursting with creativity.  This is not going to be a big surprise to my clients who see my paintings, jewelry and costumes.  My newest love is rock carving.  I have gotten into of the habit bringing back the "perfect" rock form a run or hike and then changing it to a beautiful spiritual carving.  The last few that I have done have been kind of alters.  They are big and flat and would make a great table or work space.

I am in love love love with this last one.  Hubby was kind enough to bring it home for me because it is way too big for me to carry.

I saw an Ammonite fossil at the rock shop here in town and just got enchanted by the shape.  That made me think of how many times in nature the spiral is repeated and how we all seem to be made of the same fabric.  Even in our DNA we spiral.

This is my take on it...  the picture doesn't do it justice.  I'm not sure what I am going to do with it.  For now it is next to my fire pit and makes the sanctuary a bit more interesting.


Yucca Shampoo

I have not been using shampoo for quite a while now and I have never been happier with my hair.  You can read all about the vinegar/baking soda method (here). 

Here in the Desert Southwest it is very common for the Native girls to use Yucca shampoo. 

Yucca is a desert plant that is associated with the Earth Goddess by the locals.  It is said that having one in your garden promotes balance with nature.  Just like it's blossoms that spring up in the summer it helps us to rise above the prickly painful parts of life and Bloom beautifully.

The Yucca is a leathery plant whose leaves are very sharp and pointed.  It does very well in the hot dry climates here but on the years that it rains.....  Just beautiful!

You can buy the root at a health food store. The dried root works every bit as well for making soap.  If you do decide to dig your own please be careful to save the plant.   This is actually pretty sustainable if we don't kill the plants.  The roots of the Yucca grow in the shape of a capitol T.  Only take one of the arms of the T, the plant will live and you will have enough for a whole year.

Use 2 Cups rosemary (for dark hair) or Chamomile (for light hair) tea.  Mix it with powdered/crushed yucca root.

Use enough on your hair to work up a mild lather.  Keep the left over in the refrigerator.

I tried this and it is just amazing!  It made my hair so shiny and it felt so thick.   It also seemed to bring out my natural curl.  If you want to spice up your No Poo routine I defiantly recommend this one.


Oven-Fried Chicken and acorn squash

This is on of my hubby's favorite dinners.  I always make it for him when I want to do something nice. I think it reminds him of sunday dinner as a kid. 

The cool thing is it is Easy peasy.

Pre heat the oven to 425.

First take you Acorn squash  and wash it really well.  Next cut it in half and scoop out the seeds with a spoon.  I save mine for the garden.  You can put oil or butter in the middle or not.  Wrap in foil and set aside.

For the chicken you need:
3 to 3 1/2 pound fryer (or breasts as shown)  I was feeling lazy and didn't want to do any cutting.
1 t. paprika
1/2 t. sea salt
1/2 t. pepper
1 t. rosemary leaves
1/2 t. thyme
1/4 C. coconut oil

First put the coconut oil in a baking dish and put in the oven to melt.
Then coat the chicken with the herbs and spices.  Place chicken skin side down on the dish.
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes or until the juice is no longer pink.  At this point turn the chicken  over and put the squash in the oven next to the chicken.  bake for another 30 minutes.

You can serve the squash in the peal and that always looks pretty.  Hubby likes ours mixed with all the drippings from the chicken pan and served like mashed potatoes.

Because I don't think it is a real meal with out salad... that goes with out saying.

One hour of time and almost no work to get a beautiful (kiss the cook) meal.