To catch the interested up on what I've been up to:
Since last month, I've started doing a little cooking. It used to be that the most I'd branch into was scrambled eggs and maybe pancake from a bought mix, or helping Mom bake something she did most of the work on-- otherwise, any "cooking" I did was microwave or toaster oven. I did take a high school class that did some cooking, but it didn't appeal to me. For some reason, I've got on a kick of doing some cooking that's more... cookingy? Like fixing things for Mom and Dad to eat, too, not just heating something for myself. I've done some breakfasty stuff like applesauce pancakes
and egg quesadillas, and last Friday I even did chicken
, which I've never tried to cook before! Very different from putting something in the microwave or toaster oven.
The thing I've really been enjoying, though, is making my own bread instead of eating store-bought stuff. I'm working on perfecting a craisin-oat-wheat bread recipe modified off one I found, so I might share that sometime if I feel I've got it right enough to share it. Otherwise, the thing I'm keeping on hand is low-fat pumpkin bread
. Mmmmm. I looove pumpkin. I'll be making a couple loaves of this for Thanksgiving since at least one of my cousins and another aunt also love pumpkin.
I'm also getting more attentive to care/cosmetic things. I've tried for years to figure out natural brands, and then still run into things where the labels natural/organic don't actually match to the ingredients in them. Trying to sort that out and still
having shampoos and body and face washes leave my skin itchy isn't a happy thing.
But the wonders of the internet helped me find a beautiful thing: Dr. Bronner's Almond Castile Soap
. Shockingly available at Target, not just the local health food store. Switched to it for my body wash-- and no more dry itchiness after washing with it. Years of that, no more when I use this. I should do testimonials or something because I'll happily gush about the wonders it's done in just a couple weeks of use. For a hand soap, I'm using a mix of that diluted with distilled water + vegetable glycerin. I tried that for my face and my face was kind of iffy on it, so today I tried mixing up a recipe I found for an oatmeal cleanser that's mild and good for sensitive skin (me!), and my skin seems to love oatmeal like my tummy does. Mmmm, oatmeal. I'll see how that goes.
I wanted to switch from the detergent-based shampoo I was using since I know
I react to ingredients in it-- hello, sodium lauryl sulfate, how I hate thee in all your uses. I've tried a couple mostly-natural shampoos over the years that just didn't get my oily hair clean, so I still haven't quite found the solution for it. I tried one of them again (a clarifying rosemary shampoo) after switching to Dr. Bronner's, and I tried mixing the shampoo with some of the Dr. Bronner's hoping it'd get out more of the oil, but no luck yet getting my hair as clean as I'd like without the skin-unhappy shampoo. I used the unhappy shampoo again today to compare results and man
did my skin react-- redness, itchiness, a hive... Yeah, great stuff. Pretty sure it was the shampoo and not the oatmeal since I did an oatmeal mask before without reactions, used oatmeal scrubs before, etc., and I'm known to react to that stuff. Ugh. So, I'm researching more of what I could do to give the more natural shampoo some *oomph* or what I could make myself. I've found recipes aplenty, but don't know what's actually effective. And after I do some ingredient-shopping, I'm going to try out making my own lotions and lip balm/glosses. Should be an interesting experiment :P
So, if you happen to have any shampoo advice... holler! My hair and skin need it!
Writing/revising continues. Almost done for the month!
46000 / 50000 words. 92% done!