Juicer of My Dreams

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Hurom’s premium slow juicer has become my new obsession! My goal is to save up enough money to buy this bad boy and it will be a vital tool in my new health regime. I’m so excited. I have been doing tons of research and watching a ton of videos and I have found the one!

Beer, Hookah, and The Great Gatsby (psshh, I wish!)

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I’m visiting my father in San Antonio and when I arrived around 7 pm… he wasn’t here!! He was in Galveston til 3 pm the next day visiting a lady friend. Rude! Well I didn’t know where anything was at, I was alone, and I did not know anyone (feel sorry for me please!). Needless to say, I was pretty bored and despite being exhausted, wanted to do something exciting! When in doubt, go to the movies.

Luckily about 5 minutes down the road was a theater, the best part? They served beer and wine. Woot! Woot! Getting tipsy before your movie not good enough? How about some hookah with friends? A non-smoker? Try the billiards on the other side, man what a great location, right? I thought so, but how pathetic would it be to walk in and see someone smoking hookah solo, before sitting in a theater all by themselves sipping on some Shiner Bock or a Merlot while munching on an overly-processed veggie burger (which was super yummy by the way – avocados, hummus, bean sprouts, and some magical sauce I wish I knew the name of on top of a delicious wheat bun) – pretty sad. Needless to say I didn’t want to be that person so I stuck to water and that delicious veggie burger –  a plus – my server was cute and being solo didn’t keep him from flirting in the least – huzzah – even left a cute little note on my receipt (I’m a sucker for that stuff)

ANYWAYS, the point of this post was to talk about how great it would have been to have some friends to do all this with and then to go shopping and yada yada, but also so i could talk about how AMAZING the Great Gatsby was!!! Leonardo DiCaprio? Yum. Movie? Fantastic. Soundtrack? B+. 

Firstly, I have to say – whoever designed the art deco masterpiece is amazing. That must have taken an enormous amount of time to perfect. I loved the “new” interpretation of the book and although Jay-Z;s awful song at the beginning was pointless, it had an awesome introduction into the story. I also enjoyed the electronica party scenes especially my favorite song of the track(aside from Love is Blindness of course!) A Little Party Never Killed Nobody by Fergie and company.

Carey Mulligan was the ideal Daisy – her voice the way I imagined it and her portrayal of Daisy’s selfish innocence was masterful. The inner conflict of always loving Gatsby, but not being able to deny the love and devotion to Buchanan so delightfully portrayed. Then there is Leonardo DiCaprio’s suave and class as he became Gatsby. His ability to be charming and embarrassed at the same time, the way that his faced stayed stoic and pleasant with only the slightest hint of unease and the hopefulness he kept for him and Daisy could not have been better. I could just watch it over and over again, just to watch the amazing performances and I am agreeing with everybody else demanding that Leo get his Oscar for that role, since he is an amazing artist and just shy of 40 – he has many more great movies to come. 

And the sets!! They were remarkable, perfectly accented by the period costumes. It was like I really was experiencing their lives in the Prohibition Era (hard to believe with all the booze flying around in the film). The castle that Gatsby owned compared to the cute little cottage Carraway lived in was almost comical, but artistically decorated. I could go on so many more tangents, but I must draw to an end and get on with my own life. Until next time!!! 

Let me know what you thought!! 

DIY Henna Hair Dye

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DIY Henna Hair Dye

I was flipping through my Family Herbal book by Rosemary Gladstar for some shampoo alternatives, besides the baking soda rinse I use and came across not only a pluthera of herbal rinses and more but she also had a section dedicated to henna. I have always wanted to use henna, but definitely do not have the artistic capabilities to do any of the fancy designs, so when I found out that you could dye your hair with it, I figured why not? So here is my extremely messy journey of how I dyed my hair with henna. I used Gladstar’s recipe for Copper tones: 1 part Copper, 1 part Medium Brown, and 1 part Red (wish i used more red!).

You will need:

Gloves,

Shower cap(plastic bag will do)

towel

hair clips,

mixing bowl,

wooden spoon,

measuring cup(not pictured)

Henna

3 Cups Boiling Water

Jojoba Oil (optional)

Wear something you don’t mind getting messy in, remove anything you don’t want to get stained, grab a towel or protective cover and get ready to get messy!!

Tools

First you want to boil 3 cups of water. While that is working measure out your henna, since i used three different kinds I did a 1/2 cup of each. So I measured 1/2 cup Red, 1/2 Cup Medium Brown, 1/2 Cup Copper and then mix it all together. I had to transfer it into a larger bowl than what is pictured above for better mixing and so I could add the water. Also I massaged some jojoba oil into my hair, focusing on the tips just for some extra moisture since henna is known to dry hair out in some occasions if misused.Combined Henna

Second, I transferred my boiling water into a measuring pitcher for easy cup by cup pouring. I added one cup at a time and then slowly added 1/4 by 1/4 of the last cup to make sure I didn’t get it too runny. You want a mud-like consistency, each time you do it, you will get better and better at knowing what it should look like. Just make sure that you stir out all the clumps (pictured below) so that it isn’t too dry and starts flaking on you.

add the boiling water to your hennamuddyhenna

Third, apply a cream or some oil around your face so you don’t get stained, really just a preventative measure so you don’ t look all crazy. Drape the towel over your shoulders, put your gloves on and apply liberally to your hair. Most instructions say to separate your hair into 1″ sections and apply with an applicator brush thing. I started off like that, but became impatient and just started applying with my hands, which I honestly prefer, massaging it into my scalp and throughout my hair. Don’t be alarmed, it gets pretty thick, which is especially useful because you don;t even need a hair tie. I was able to twirl my hair into a bun and it stayed put.

Henna Bun

Put your shower cap on and wrap a towel around it to insulate your body heat and keep on anywhere from 1-6 hours. I only had time to keep it on for two and I wish it would have been longer. The reason for this step is so that the henna absorbs into your hair just like regular dye and the longer you keep it in there, the deeper the color.

henna coat

Your last step, very vital for preserving your color!!! I only wash my hair in baking soda and water and I gotta be honest, it isn’t always the softest, but since henna is an amazing conditioner in itself I was thrilled when I washed it out how soft and lustrous it was. Full of volume and all shiny and not to mention it smelled awful. Yes, awful. Like spoiled matcha powder, if that is possible. Even my extra drops of essential oil could not cover the very distinctive smell of henna.

So my best advice and what I have concluded from my resources is to just wash your hair normally. If you use regular shampoo and conditioner, do just that. If you normally deep condition your hair, do so, although I can guarantee you wont need that extra step nor conditioner for that matter. Whatever is left you can just comb out, you don’t want to wash out all the wonderful henna you just spent hours waiting for to infuse into your hair!beautiful henna hair beautiful henna hair

The Aftermath… If you can I would advise immediately washing whatever henna you have spilt away( i did mine over my bathtub and it made a terrible stain). If it stains, you can try using apple cider vinegar and baking soda, but i had to break out good ole’ bleach to get the stains out. (sorry environment!!)the aftermath

Vitamin C Gives You Super Powers

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vitamin c gives you super powers

Several weeks ago I was pretty sick and in my year and a half of working at Chili’s I have never called in to not work, but I couldn’t nor did I want to go to work that evening. So I curled up on my sofa and tried to find something decent on Netflix, I love documentaries so when I came across Food Matters I was thrilled. If you have not seen it, you should. It was so informative and I learned quite a bit, the big thing that stuck with me though was the constant insistence of Vitamin C mega doses. I began researching it and there were so many outrageous claims and backlashes that I didn’t know what to believe. I am not a skeptic, but I dont believe everything I read so I always spend hours looking at endless sources trying to find the middle ground and that is exactly what you have to do when it comes to Vitamin C the miracle supplement.

Several sources, including the documentary Food Matters, insist that it is a cure-all, common cold, herpes, scurvy, hepatitis, leukemia and most types of cancer. The list is endless and so are the counter arguments. I am a firm believer in mother nature’s all natural gifts, I believe she has given us all that we need to thrive in the world, but in today’s society it isn’t as simple as that. Vitamin C could be just what they say it is, but what I wanted to know is how much should I take for optimal health benefits and that’s where it got even more cloudier.

There were several sources that bashed the FDA for setting our recommended intake as adults at less than 100 mg., they insisted that was the bare minimum to function on and we should be consuming close to 13,000 mg. if not more. This was based on the fact that other mammals, like the overused 160 Ibs. goat produces the same amount to function.  What I soon began uncovering though was that they were using the extremes of the data. Yes, a goat may produce up to 13,ooo mg., but anywhere from 2,000 mg.  – 13,000 mg. See the difference? Some charts only recommended what the FDA quoted and other sources everywhere in between, which is where I found  a comfortable middle ground. This is the one that I referenced for my own personal use, but again it is up to you.

Age
Vitamin C RDA
Vitamin C UL
1-3 years 15 mg per day 400 mg per day
4-8 years 25 mg per day 650 mg per day
9-13 years 45 mg per day 1200 mg per day
14-18 years Females 65 mg per day
1800 mg per day
Males 75 mg per day
19 years and older Females 75 mg per day
2000 mg per day
Males 90 mg per day
Pregnant women 18 years and under 80 mg per day 1800 mg per day
19 years and older 85 mg per day 2000 mg per day
Breastfeeding women 18 years and under 115 mg per day 1800 mg per day
19 years and older 120 mg per day 2000 mg per day

(the chart lost it’s formatting after publishing, but you can view the formatted version here)

For easy reference I have compiled a list of what I found.

Vitamin C is great for collagen production, clean arteries, preventing cold symptoms from being worse, curbing growth of cancer cells,  oral intake is more effective than IV admission, protects from free radicals due to it’s anti-oxidant properties, ensures proper dilation of blood vessels to help fight blood pressure and high cholesterol, supports good tummy bacteria, antidepressant, removes heavy metals, allergies, asthma and diabetes.

Vitamin C overdose, if you will, consists of overactive bowel movements, such as diarrhea and flatulence along with some cramps since it increases the body’s ability to absorb Iron more effectively. I’ll take that. Also, it has been reported that your body can only absorb so much and the more you take the less you absorb.

Strawberries contain the highest amount of Vitamin C, but here are some other sources to increase your intake. Broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, papaya, kiwi, mango, black currants, grapefruit, tomatoes, cantaloupe, watermelon, oranges and the exotic bell peppers like yellow, orange and red.

Lets Learn together, let me know what you found and what works best for you!

Articles I read:

http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=nutrient&dbid=109  (this is great source to see how much you are intaking based on your fruit consumption)

Declawing? More Like Amputation.

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Warning – Obnoxious bolding to emphasis point.Declawing, more like amputation.ge

This is Kitty Meow Meow, she is very active, which I love and she is easily amused, but I’m all scratched up, she attacks my hair and i end up with claws in my back, or jumps on my pants and scratches my legs, but it’s my hands that she’s mauled. I brought up that I wanted to declaw her because of my wounds to one of my co-workers, and she was very adamant about why I shouldn’t declaw her and after what she told me about what happens to them, the process that they have to go through just for our convenience, I felt awful. How could anyone want to do this to their precious pet? Then I realized, it’s probably because they just don’t know, like myself, i was ignorant to the gruesome act.

I know, I know, you probably are thinking that I have built this up, that it’s nothing but a clipping for them and that I’m just some drama queen, but just hear me out.

For those of you who do know how inhumane it is, than you know that declawing an animal is like amputating your finger at the first joint. I was filled with disgust at myself for wanting to do that to my little kitten. It’s awful! You have to sever not just the nail but the tendons and the ligaments around the bone. Sad, I know.
Declawing, more like amputation

Then I started reading more and more and seeing all these little infected and deformed paws because of surgeries gone wrong and ingrown nails that weren’t removed properly and I just couldn’t get past the fact that we still allow declawing in America. France, Italy, Bosnia, Ireland, Switzerland Australia, Brazil and way too many other countries to list (point made hopefully) have banned it.

Now there is a reason why it is so wrong, not just because they are removing a bone, but because they are removing your cats most vital tool. Cats walk and and stand on their toes, scratch and stretch with their little feetsies, there are things I even didn’t realize it affected. When they are in the kitty litter box and when they groom themselves, for balance and of course for defense. They depend on their toes for balance and agility and when we hinder that we can be the reason that they get arthritis, since they have to change their whole way of walking, using the back legs which aren’t meant to carry that weight. Even after that painful surgery, they still have to walk on their feet, use to dig around in the litter box, to play on, groom with, stretch with, think of how painful that would be if you didn’t have a wheelchair to carry you around if they removed your toes and you still had to walk, exercise, and work everyday on them. Wouldn’t you be less playful, more irritable, and a little wobbly?

If You love your kitty dont do it

If You Love Your Kitty, Dont Do It!!

There are much better alternatives, you can purchase scratching posts for them to stretch and claw at. I have heard that the smooth ones (not the rope) are the best for them or you can get Soft Paws/ Soft Claws if you feel it is absolutely necessary.They are little caps you push onto your kitten or cat’s nails to keep them from scratching you or your material possessions. It’s not as convenient since you have to reapply them every few weeks, but it definitely beats amputation in my book.

I know that everyone has a different situation or view point and this is mine, I’m not planning on chastising anyone if it has already been done, but I did want to share my findings, because if you don’t know, you can’t prevent it.    

DIY Lavender Shampoo… of sorts

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In my journey to find an alternative to chemical-laden products I have come across several simple recipes for hair and skin care. I hardly wash my hair, maybe every other day and I ration my products to save as much money as possible so when I ran out of shampoo and conditioner, I didn’t really want to go out and spend $7-$15 dollars a piece on a supposedly all natural, Eco-friendly shampoo or conditioner (I was an avid Aveeno fan).

So I started researching and came across a honey, olive oil, and lemon hair mask, i tried it before I went to work and skipped the shampooing step – that was a huge huge huge mistake. Since I was in a hurry, i threw it up in a ponytail and went on with my afternoon, but since I skipped that vital step i never got all the honey out and my hair was still extremely oily – someone asked if i had used a whole bottle of gel on my hair – it was bad. Needless to say I went home, borrowed some shampoo and washed it very thoroughly. The next morning it looked amazing, but in the end I still had to use bad-for-you shampoo.

Then I found all these claims about how baking soda worked wonders for your hair and skin, just as long as you dilute it properly. I bought a box and didn’t premix it first, i just kinda dumped it in my hair and rubbed it around a little – do not do that. One, it’s not very effective and two, my hair was really gross and dry. So I ditched that idea and just started taking a lot of baths adding Vitamin E oil and Jojoba Oil and sometimes Avocado Oil and a few drops of some essential oils so I would still smell pretty, but I wasn’t satisfied. So I went back to backing soda after actually reading recipes and now that I do it properly, I love it! It’s a real simple recipe that takes five minutes tops to do, which is good for me because I am always on the go.

You Will Need 1 1/2 Cup Water, 1 Tbsp Baking Soda, 2 Drops Essential Oil DIY Lavender Shampoo

You may need to tweak the recipe based on individual needs and how your hair produces it’s oils. Simply mix the baking soda and water together and add the essential oil, just two drops will do since they are highly concentrated, trust me. Apply liberally, you will feel it working it kinda suds a little, not like normal shampoo, but just enough to give you that clean feeling and rinse. You will smell amazing and your hair will look amazing. I did this before I had to go to work, so I used my blow dryer on low setting for my bangs since they have a mind of their own and then drove with my windows down, fluffing my hair, here and there.