Friday, August 28, 2009

Recipe: Low-fat Banana Bread

Oh my squash! I can't wait to try this out!


I made two loaves of this banana bread Sunday night, as a back-to-school breakfast treat. On Monday morning, an entire half a loaf was gone, and I got up at 7 a.m. I was, however, able to sneak part of a loaf out of the house and into the office; it too was gone in a short span of time.

I can't really keep track of the latest nutritional advise, so I'm no longer sure if it's a good thing that it's low fat, but the spices make it really tasty, and it's a great recipe for me to use up items that would otherwise go to waste, namely overripe bananas and about-to-expire yogurt. If you try it, please let me know how it was in the Comments!

A couple of notes:

  • Whenever a banana gets too ripe in our house, I just toss it into the freezer. I don't peel it first, I don't wrap it up. Then when I get 3 or 4 saved up, I take them out and put them in a big bowl. Once they thaw partway, it's a snap to peel them and then mash them up with a fork.

  • I've used everything from the peach yogurt that nobody in the house liked, to leftover sour cream, to regular milk with half a lemon squeezed into it (faux buttermilk), and it's always worked out fine.

  • My kids don't like chunks in their bread, but I've always thought some nuts and/or raisins would be a nice addition.

Low-Fat Banana Bread

2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar (try 1/2 cup white and 1/4 cup brown
1+ cup ripe bananas, mashed (this is maybe 3 or 4 medium bananas)
1/3 cup yogurt or 1/3 cup buttermilk
1 T vegetable oil
1 T vanilla extract
1 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour (or a combo of flours)
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 to 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 to 1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 to 1/4 tsp powdered ginger

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Lightly grease a regular-sized loaf pan, and then dust with flour. Using an electric mixer, beat the eggs and sugar together until the mixture is thick and light, about 5 minutes. Mix in the bananas, yogurt, oil, vanilla, and spices. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Slowly add the dry ingredients to the wet mixture, and beat until just blended. Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan.

Bake about 1 hour, until the bread is golden brown on top and a toothpick or other tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Turn out onto a rack to cool, or until a ravenous member of your household saunters into the kitchen and finds it.

Posted by Shawn Connally

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tea Toner

Years ago I started making my own toner because I got tired of how commercial toners made my face feel. I thought to myself that if green tea was good for your insides, it should be good for your outsides too. So, I brewed up some of my green tea and tried it out. After many trials (and a few errors) I finally have a good idea of what works and what feels good.

  • Green tea
  • Witch hazel
  • Lavender essential oil
  • Small bottle with mister (I got one of the little travel sizes)
  1. Brew your green tea normally, but double strength. I like loose leaf tea best and I've been told its releases more of the "good stuff," but its your preference.
  2. Pour green tea into your bottle until a little over 3/4 full.
  3. Fill the rest of the way with witch hazel. I get mine from a health food store, I know they have it in Wal-mart, but again I've heard that its not as good. Do not use too much witch hazel because it can be drying (I found that out). DO NOT use alcohol, it is very drying and can irritate skin.
  4. Allow to cool and add a few drops of lavender essential oil. Cap and mist lightly over face.
  5. Store in fridge and use within a week or two. If you notice any color change, throw it out and make fresh toner.
I talked to a lady this weekend about rooibos tea and I think I might try that next time! You could use chamomile essential oil instead, but avoid any citrus oils as they cause photosensitivity. You could also use peppermint tea in a mister to help keep you cool on hot days!

Boo Bees Soap

Like many people I know several women that have been diagnosed with breast cancer. I have done the Race for the Cure and I have done a Danskin Triathlon to help raise money for breast cancer research. I even did a fundraiser in my chemistry class and my awesome students raised over $40 in pocket change! So, I decided that I would do something to benefit breast cancer research with my business.

My first step was to create a soap. I wanted to make a pink soap. My motivation to call it boo bees soap came from a card a sent my dad for his birthday. I loved it and decided to make a honey soap with pink swirls and call it boo bees soap. I decided not to scent it because chemo can make patients more sensitive to scents. I used pink mica to create the pink swirls.

My first batch test batch is really lovely. The soap didn't get too hot, so it stayed a nice light brown color and I went easy on the pink swirls. My next full batch isn't quite as pretty. It got too hot and turned a much darker brown (the color of honey) and I think I had too much pink. However, when I think about it, that's probably good, I don't know how it would have shown up with darker soap. Still, the soap is pretty and usable.

So, I have my first batch of Boo Bees Soap ready to sell. I will tithe 10% from the sell of all Boo Bees Products to the Susan G. Komen foundation. Right now, I only have soaps, which will go for $5.00/bar. I plan to make a pink honey lotion and lip balm to have full line of Boo Bees Products. I'm very excited about starting this.

Dedicated to:
Ms. Webb

Friday, August 21, 2009

Pumpkin Shimmer Eyeshadow

Ok, I found this and had to repost it. I haven't done mineral makeup myself, but I've wanted to. It looks like so much fun, I just couldn't resist sharing.

As the days begin to cool, I am eagerly looking forward to the autumn colors and crisp air. In anticipation of the fall splendor I wanted to share this recipe for a warm shimmery pumpkin orange eyeshadow and instructions on how to use it. Enjoy!

Pumpkin Shimmer Eyeshadow Recipe:

2 mini scoops Sericite
1 mini scoop Copper Mica
1 mini scoop Cappuccino Mica
1 mini scoop Peach Shimmer
1 mini scoop Bronze Mica

Directions: I used the mini .15cc pigment scoops sold here. But you can use any measurement as long as you keep the proportions the same.

It's easy to make this color: place all of your measured powders in a container (like a lip balm pot) and mix well.

That's it, you're done! I did a show on Better TV last year and you can see how easy it is to mix. We did that, plus talked about 2 other projects - all in 3 minutes! You can watch that video here.

Contour Eyeshadow Directions:

For this look, I used the Pumpkin Shimmer eyeshadow blend along with the Light Brown and Dark Brown recipes from our Mineral Makeup Guide Book.


1. Apply Pumpkin Shimmer on center of lid to outer edge up to crease.


2. Apply Light Brown eyeshadow to inner lid and brow arch blending well.

3. Apply dark brown eyeshadow to outer edge of the eyelid and along crease. Also apply along the lower lash line but only 3/4 of the way across. Again, blend well.

4. Reapply a little more Pumpkin Shimmer to the center of the lid if you have blended it in and want a little more coppery goodness to show!

Pumpkin2Making eye shadows is super easy. You can buy all the ingredients seperately or you can buy the comprehensive starter kit we've put together here. No matter how you look at it, making your own make up is affordable, easy and fast. You can create what you love, make it your own and have fun doing it!

Posted by:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

No More Pessimism

I received a comment about last week's Fl!p Your Thinking and I have to say a huge THANK YOU to Rebecca Cooper the creator of the cards. What a huge help I have found them to be and I would again recommend everyone look into the deck that would be the most help to them.


So, here is how my year has gone. My father was diagnosed with prostate cancer. My mema was diagnosed with breast cancer. My Uncle Baldy passed away. My Uncle Munk passed away. My middle brother had to have ear surgery. My youngest brother lost his job. I lost my job. My computer died last week. This weekend my dog hurt herself and now her tail doesn't work. My dear friend will be having major surgery next week. WOW! You know how many times I have thought what else good possibly go wrong this year. It seems that everytime I ask that, something else goes wrong. It is so easy to get bogged down with all the negative things that happen and sometimes we miss the good things.

Now, if I flip my thinking and I look at all of this in a different light, this is what I see. My dad underwent surgery and is fine. My mema underwent major sugery and chemo and is now considered cancer free. My Uncle Baldy and Uncle Munk had wonderful lives and a loving family that was with them until the end. My middle brother's ear and hearing are fine. My youngest brother found a new job that he seems to like more. I have decided to pursue my own business instead of getting another job. While I am a bit lost without everything on my computer, I'm sure it will be recovered and I have a friend's computer to use for now. My dog seems to be feeling a little better and I'm hoping her tail will perk back up. Whatever the outcome of my friend's surgery, she will always have the love and support of her friends and family to support her through rough times.

If I were to only focus on the negative things that have happened I would miss the wonderful opportunities and experiences of this past year. I am a little nervous about things to come, but am optimistic as well. I am happy, I am surrounded by people that love and support me, and I have the ability to love them all back. What else do I really need?

Friday, August 14, 2009

National Creamsicle Day

According to the Bizarre American Holidays website today is National Creamsicle Day! I love creamsicles, there is just something about the orange popsicle with the delicious cream filling that is just wonderful. So, in honor of this holiday I decided to post a few creamsicle recipes I've found (plus a few I made up).

Creamsicle Bath:
Fill your bathtub with warm water. Add 6 drops of orange essential oil and 5 drops of vanilla essential oil (absolute or what you have). Stir well. Slip in and enjoy this delightful scent. This is great for kids too, but use less essential oil since you won't fill the tub.

Creamsicle Scrub:
For a single use sugar scrub you need 1/2 cup-1 cup of sugar (I like brown because it smells better) and 2-4 tbsp of sweet almond or olive oil. I like to use sweet almond because it doesn't smell as strong, but use what you have, regular vegetable (soybean) oil works great too. Mix together in a small bowl until the sugar is moist, but kind of clumpy and not runny (that's just messy). Add a dash of vanilla extract (cheaper than absolute) and 2 drops of orange essential oil.

Stand in shower and scoop handfuls and rub over body to lightly exfoliate, be sure to pay extra attention to rough spots. You can rinse off after, but I like to fill up the tub and soak. Do not wash oil off, but leave it to moisturize. Pat dry and follow with a moisturizer if you need it, but you probably won't.

Creamsicle Shampoo and Conditioner:
I buy unscented natural conditioners and then make my own scents. This way I can switch often and I don't get tired of it. I don't buy shampoos because I use my own bar shampoos to save on container waste, but not everyone does.

You will use about 10 drops of essential oil for 2 oz of shampoo or conditioner. I pour my conditioner into smaller 2 oz containers so I can change my scent often, but its up to you. Add 6 drops of orange essential oil and about 4 drops of vanilla eo or absolute (you can use a frangrance oil to save money, but it doesn't smell near as good). Shake well and enjoy!

So, you get the idea. Add a few drops of orange and a few of vanilla and you can smell like a creamsicle. Kids love the smell and so do plently of adults I know!

Warning: orange essential oil can make you more sensitive to sunlight, do not leave on skin before exposure to sunlight. Be sure to rinse well.

Thursday, August 13, 2009


We all know that we work our feet too hard and pay too little attention to them. So, I decided to share my at-home pedicure. I love this treatment and you can change it up depending on your needs and how much time you have.

You need:
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 5 cups water (this depends on the size of you container, you may need to increase these)
  • 1/2 cup sugar (brown or white or you can even you sea salt)
  • 2 tbsp sweet almond oil (or substitute what you have such as olive oil; or you could just use Honu Naturals Pedi-Cure Foot Scrub)
  • Good moisturizer (such as Honu Naturals' Pedi-Cure Foot Balm)
  • Big bowl to put feet in
  • Lots of towels

  1. In a large pan warm the water and milk. You want this to put warm enough to relax and soothe your tired feet, but not so hot it scalds your poor tootsies.
  2. The best place for this is in your tub, but I hate staring at my tile. So, I lay out my towels in the living room so I can watch tv. Place your big bowl in the middle of your towels to you can sit comfortably while your feet soak.
  3. In a smaller bowl, mix sugar and oil until you have a paste. Place near the big bowl with extra towels. Put your moisturizer there too. Now you are ready to get started.
  4. Go get your warmed water and milk mixture and carefully pour into your big bowl to soak your feet it.
  5. Soak your feet for about 10 minutes.
  6. After soaking, remove your feet and scoop some of your sugar mixture. Use this to gently scrub your entire foot. Don't forget all the rough spots and between your toes. I do this over the bowl to catch falling sugar.
  7. Put your feet back in the milk mixture to rinse. Remove feet and pat (not rub) dry.
  8. Finish with a rich creamy moisturizer.
  9. Enjoy your soft and beautiful feet.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Flip Your Thinking-Connected

I bought this little pack of cards called Fl!p Your Thinking and I love them. I got the confidence set and it has this tiny pack of cards on a ring. One side has an "old tired thought" and the other has a new way to look at life or a problem. The idea is that you flip through the deck and use them like flashcards on how to renew your energy and confidence. There are several decks available, but I figured that the confidence deck was the best for me.

So, what I think I will do is make this a weekly feature. Each week I will pick a card to share with you and what it means to me. I would love it if anyone would be willing to share a story or personal experience that might relate to any of the cards I post.

This week: I am not ALONE! Fl!p: I am CONNECTED!

This is so true for me. When I first decided that I would like to start Honu Naturals, I had no idea what to do. I had good products that people loved, but I didn't know how to move forward with that. So, I started researching. I soon found the Indie Beauty Community and the Handcrafted Soap Makers Guild both of which I found so wonderful and helpful. So, I learned a lot about how to market and network. I received invaluable information from Donna Maria and many others who have shared their personal experiences and lessons.

I also headed to the library to find some books on home businesses and web based businesses. I found a treasure trove of information waiting to be discovered. I have read so many books and have learned so much from such a simple resource that I just can't help but be thankful that people took the time to write the books. Ok, I know they probably did it for the money, but I'm still thankful.

I have also started networking closer to home through and I joined a few women's networking groups. These groups are so great. They are all women that are trying to make their business work too. Some are independent consultants and some are small business owners like myself, but all are eager to help and learn and network just like I am.

Now I know that I truly am not alone, I am connected in more ways than I could have imagined. I am so grateful for everything that has happened and everyone I have met.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Save An Indie Farm, Save An American Institution

By: Donna Maria

A few months ago, Indie Beauty Network member Kristie McNamara of Tilvee introduced me via email to Linette Crosby of Get Mint Farm. Kristie wanted me to know Linette not only because of my love for essential oils and aromatherapy, but also because of my love for independent and small family businesses. Turns out the Crosby “Get Mint Farm” in Michigan is in a bit of financial trouble and there is about a week left for us to join together and see if we can save their farm.


With this week’s news that one of the world’s greatest living photographers may lose all of her assets because she can’t pay back a multi-million dollar line of credit, this news is particularly hard hitting, especially since the Get Mint Farm represents not just a lifetime, but several generations of independent family business ownership. I asked Linette, who co-owns the farm with her brother, to provide me with some background on their farm and how we might be able to work together to help them save it. If you’d prefer to skip the details and get right down to how you can help, just scroll to the bottom of this post under “How You Can Help.”

dM: How did the farm find itself in this situation?

Linette: We did some refinancing through Greenstone Farm Credit Services in 2005. There were four loans: (1) a mortgage, (1) refinancing of operating equipment into a term loan (1) a new operating loan; and (4) an equipment credit line. We missed a large payment on one loan and received a 60-day extension. We were unable to come up with the money and they called in all four loans.

We began negotiating, and now, two years and $215,000 in interest, penalties, and attorney fees later, we are a little over a week away from losing the farm. We liquidated $115,000 worth of equipment and oil to put towards the loan already. We also secured a private lender for $345,000. As of today, we calculate that we must sell 77,009 1/8 ounce containers of mint oil (or raise $325,000) in order to save the farm. If we don’t do that, we will lose the farm.

dM: What steps have you taken to save the farm?

Linette: In addition to the above, we have put up 50 acres for sale and contacting all leads to sell as much oil as we can. We sold $115,000 worth of oil and equipment to put towards debt. With the current inventory, we can buy the farm back. Our attorney has worked against our bank for 20 years, as the bank is known for preying on land rich farmers. Their actions may be illegal (I’m sure they are immoral), but we can’t do much about it.

We have gone to our state capitol and spoken with two state Senators who say they support us, but are unwilling to put it in writing. We have spoken on the steps of the Capitol during a demonstration, which may have not helped. Senate Bill 1306 was introduced to put a moratorium on foreclosures in Michigan, it sat on the desk of another State Senator.

We also secured a private individual to assist us with our November 1, 2008 deadline and sold 27,000 drams nationwide. We are now contacting individuals and businesses interested in wholesale distributorships.

dM: What will happen if you don’t raise the money needed by next week?

Linette: The house, equipment, all out buildings, and land will be auctioned off and taken over by the bank. Our attorneys suggested we sell the farm land, but in this market, I don’t feel we will be able to even clear the debt.

dM: How is your local community assisting you?

Linette: Our state Rep, County Commissioner, Arts Council, hopefully Chamber are all writing letters to the judge.

We have many stories of people such as, Dottie, from a local little community who volunteered to pick up drams to sell at her local bazaar.

Or, the Lott Family who bring people out to the farm and are absolutely sold on the oil. They have donated $200 to help us put a radio add out on World Wide Christian Radio.

How about Kristie McNamara who called you? She has blessed us. There are many stories and I fell so blessed in probably the most traumatic times in my life.

My family, friends, and absolute strangers want to help…this always brings tears to my eyes. We have had many volunteers help in shipping, etc to get our product out the door. Our local businesses have come forward especially Postal Connections and Jet Speed Printing.

The emotional pain around foreclosure is amazing and many today are facing it. Annually, our town of St. Johns hosts the annual Mint Festival. There are very few mint farmers left in this community and we are the only farm to offer tours because of our historic significance.

Another example: The Greenfield Village Herb Society invited us to be a vendor at their farmer’s market at Henry Ford Museum…there, we met the publishers of edibleWow magazine who highlighted our farm in this springs publication…the research manager from Henry Ford Research read the article and ordered 300 drams of peppermint oil for their women’s retreat…they contacted me after the retreat and said they were testing our oil for headaches because their physician from Greece orders the oil from Germany!

Customers Kelly and Brian forwarded our email to a friend who was a distributor for Pure Herbs, Ltd. Kelly contacted Pure Herbs, Ltd to ask them to reach out in any way…the company called us and listened to our story…we have now secured a business relationship with them and closed our first business sale with them today for a large quantity oil! We the People…!!!

dM: What can my readers do to help you save your farm?

Linette: People can help by purchasing a dram, two drams, and product. We believe they will love it once they try it. Many know the benefits and some don’t. Our mission is to also educate people about it medicinal properties and healing capabilities.

Why I’m Helping Out

You all know how I feel about debt. Having said that, my business is very small and has never needed to take on debt in order to grow at the rate I want to to grow. In some instances, especially where a family farm is concerned, I feel like taking on debt is the only way to grow, especially in a society that does not have many public resources available to support family farms like the Crosby Get Mint Farm which produce a relatively small amount of a niche product. As a result, I feel strongly that making a contribution to the Crosby Get Mint Farm is the right thing to do.

I also find it refreshing that the Crosby’s are not just holding their hands out. They are working hard to save their farm as they also keep the business going. One look at Linette’s Twitter updates and you can see that they are not just sitting around hoping someone will show up with $325,000.

The Crosby family has been in the mint distilling business since 1912. The distillery is on their property. It is a way of life, a legacy, and heritage. Linette and her brother, Jim, were raised in the house. If it is sold, so much more than a business will be lost. An American legacy will disappear and I’d like not to see that happen.

How You Can Help

I would like to do my share to help save the Crosby Get Mint Farm. I just purchased 5 of the 117,000 drams needed to save the farm. Here’s the link where you can make your purchase.

I Tweeted this blog post and would very much appreciate it if you would too, even if you don’t buy any oil. Just cut and paste this into the Twitter status space:

I just invested $5 (or whatever) to save an independent US-based family farm. Join me and save an American institution:

Question: What do you think? Can we work together to help save a family farm!

11 Tips for a Greener Life

Buy Recycled
Help create demand for products with recycled content and send a message to manufacturers. Close the loop: buy products made from (or packaged in) recycled materials and recycle them when done. Buy 100% post-consumer recycled paper. Visit for some good ideas for the office.
Choose Sustainable Ingredients and Materials
Buy local, organic, fair trade ( and vegetarian ( Choose non-toxic recyclable yoga mats, organic cotton, hemp, bamboo and fleece clothing. Support farmers in less wealthy nations and buy fair trade coffee and chocolate. Not only will you help promote sustainable farming practices, you'll also help prevent rainforests from being further decimated.
Detoxify Your Life
Buy non-toxic paints for your house and use non-toxic natural cleaners like baking soda and vinegar. They're cheap and safe for kids and pets. Buy beauty products with little or no preservative; solid shampoos, conditioners, bubble bars and massage bars all come with no packaging and no preservatives.

BYOB (Bring Your Own Bag)
Look for products you can take home unwrapped. Don't bag produce; it stays just as fresh in your crisper naked as in a plastic bag. Take your own bag everywhere; one person using one reusable bag can save hundreds of plastic bags from the landfill and oceans every year.
BYOM (Bring Your Own Mug)
Bring your own mug with you wherever you go. Get a really good stainless steel travel mug (not plastic). It'll keep your coffee or tea hot for hours and you won't be throwing away paper cups or plastic mugs.
Get It In Glass
Buy your milk and juice in glass bottles. Buy your soft drinks and other cold beverages in aluminum cans. Avoid plastic whenever you can. It's better for your health and the environment.
Compost: It's Easier Than You Think
Put a compost bin in your apartment or backyard. It's easy, cheap and clean. Use your homemade compost to feed your garden and house plants or donate it to your local community garden (
Reduce Paper Consumption
Buy 100% post consumer recycled paper, envelopes, file folders etc. Print only what you need. Need a back up? Send it to your gmail account. Use PowerPoint for presentations and offer to email a copy in lieu of snail mail. Switch to e-billing for utility bills and bank statements.
Reduce Energy Consumption
Switch to compact fluorescent lights; they use less energy and last 10 times longer. Try solar lights for your garden or outdoor walkways. Get a programmable thermostat. Change air and dryer filters regularly. Use cold water for washing clothes and hang them out to dry. Turn down/off heat when sleeping and when leaving the house. Turn off lights when not in the room. Unplug appliances when not in use. Things like chargers, cell phones, laptops, toasters, coffee pots, tea kettles, microwaves all consume electricity even when off. Boil only as much water as you need; don't boil a full kettle for one cup of tea!
Reduce Water Use
Don't let the water run when you're brushing your teeth. Get a toilet tank displacement bag to reduce water usage per flush. Flush only when necessary. When washing dishes by hand, reuse your rinse water for your plants or garden. Save your bath and shower water and use it for your garden or lawn. Use cooled pasta water for your house plants.
Reduce Fuel Consumption and Your Carbon Footprint
Walk, ride, take transit, or carpool everywhere. Get in shape and help reduce your carbon footprint. Once a week? Twice? Everyday? It all makes a difference. Can't walk or bike to and from just yet? Ride to work, take the bus home, bus to work the next day and ride home. Baby steps. (


Top 10 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Bathroom

Think About What You Really Need
Learn about cosmetics ingredients and their effects. Read product labels. Avoid ingredients that are not beneficial to you or that are harmful to the environment. Ask for samples so you can try a product for a few days to help you make the right choices. The single most eco-friendly thing you can do is avoid collecting half-used bottles of products that weren't right for your needs.
Use Solid, Unpackaged Products
Choose bar soap instead of shower gel or liquid soap. Use shampoo bars instead of bottled shampoo and solid massage bars instead of massage oil. These are all better for the environment as there is little or no packaging. Solid products also contain no water and therefore need no environmentally-damaging preservatives.
Avoid Buying Heavily-Packaged Products
When you have no minimally packaged alternative, remove the packaging immediately after purchase and leave it at the cash register to send a clear message to the retailer. Be aware that sometimes the contents cost less than the packaging of a product.
Check For A Use-By Date
No use-by date usually means that the product is heavily preserved. (Read the ingredient label and you'll see...) More preservatives down the drain are bad for the environment.
Try to Buy Products Produced Locally
Check the label. Has it been made locally or air-freighted in from afar?
Buy Long-Lasting Products
Look for personal hygiene products with extended life spans such as toothbrushes and razors with disposable heads. If you only replace the head you are throwing less away.
Explore Water Recycling Systems
Around 60% of the Japanese population filters, recycles and reheats bath water. When you do have a bath, make the most of it! Take at least 45 minutes out of your schedule to relax and unwind. Even better, share your bath with your partner. When you're finished, try recycling your bath water. You can use it to water your house plants, garden or lawn. Your begonias will thank you.
Don't Leave The Tap On
When you shave, brush your teeth, or even shower, only turn on the water when absolutely necessary: at the beginning and the end. While you're soaping yourself or when brushing, stop gallons of water rushing down the drain needlessly by turning off the tap.
Recycle Your Plastics
Most of us are already in the habit of recycling containers like water bottles and milk jugs but we don't always remember that most of our bathroom containers can be recycled too. Just be sure to wash them first. If you don't, they can contaminate the rest of your recycling and end up in a landfill.
Shop With A Lower Carbon Footprint
Whenever you shop for cosmetic products, take your own reusable bag. Reduce your carbon footprint even more by walking or cycling to the shops. At the very least, take public transportation or carpool.


Deep Conditioning Treatment

This is so good for your hair, it will leave your hair shiny, soft, and gorgeous.

1 egg yolk
1 tbsp honey (I've read molasses is better for dark hair)
1 tbsp yogurt
dash olive oil

  1. Blend all your ingredients in a small bowl.
  2. Massage into hair and scalp. Take your time and really enjoy the massage, it will get your blood flowing.
  3. Wrap your head is plastic (I use plastic bags that I get when I forget to take my reusable ones) and let sit for 15 minutes.
  4. Rinse with cool water, do not use hot it will cook the egg and you will never get that out.
  5. Shampoo and style as usual.
This should be just enough for one treatment. If you have really short hair you could use the leftovers on your face, all the ingredients are terrific for your skin too.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Importance of Volunteering

I volunteer for the Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region ( I'll admit I don't go very often, I usually stick to fostering animals. By the way, the puppies went back today after recovering from surgery on Monday. I had a bad morning and I've been a little sick, but I decided to go in anyway.

I helped out in the evaluation center where they process incoming animals. I spent the morning kenneling animals for the ladies after they'd received all their shots and exams. It doesn't sound like much and maybe it wasn't, but I know that they are short handed and it allowed them to get things done a little faster. Plus, now I feel a little better because I did something useful today.

The point is that even when we are down, really busy, or whatever our excuses are, its important to slow down every once in a while and do something to help others out. I listened the the radio talk about Random Acts of Kindness and some of those stories were amazing. Go do something for someone else and try to make someone else's day just a little better.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Palm Oil

Soapers use palm oil in soap making because it increases the hardness of the bar, which also helps it last longer. Palm oil is used as a replacement for tallow in 100% vegetable soaps. It is possible to make soap that is free of palm oil because coconut oil will also make a hard bar and it lathers better; however, too much coconut oil can dry the skin. So, soapers often use coconut and palm oil to get a hard bar that lathers well, but isn't drying.

The problem is that the over production and use of palm oil is causing severe deforestation to create palm oil plantations. Huge expanses of rainforests are being destroyed to make room for more plantations. These plantations destroy habitat for already endangered species such as orangutans and sun bears. Many of these plantations also exploit local workers, who face unfair pay, abusive situations, and exposure to toxic pesticides.

Many small soap companies are switching to organic, sustainably harvested palm oil. This palm oil is harvested in a way that prevents rainforest destruction and the harming of local species and people. It is important for us all to get involved to help prevent further destruction. To find out what you can do and get more information visit the Rainforest Action Network.

Honu Naturals is committed to doing our part to prevent deforestation and habitat destruction. We have pledged to use only organic, sustainably harvested palm oil.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Dealing with the Unknown

I have been a teacher for 5 years. I love it! I teach high school science and its funny to watch people react when I say I teach high school. I've heard "how can you stand high school kids" more times than I could count. I don't know how I do it, but I know I do it well. I treat them like people and treat them like what's going on in their lives matters. I tried to teach elementary and it really didn't work out for me. I mean the kids are cute and they just love to be in school and learn cool science stuff, but teaching high school is for me.

I've been doing handmade toiletries for a little while as a hobby and thinking someday I might make a business out of it. This is another thing I love. What kind of oils and butters can I combine to do all sorts of fun stuff. I even do my own handmade soaps using lye. I started with melt and pour, which allows for more playing and some real artisticness (my own word), but the first time I really made a batch of soap I was hooked. They both allow for creativity, so its whichever you like and I like making the actual soap. Still, the idea of doing this full-time or for a living was kind of a distant plan.

Last March, I found out I was going to be one of 5 teachers not rehired due to budget cuts at the state level. I mean when you think about it, everyone assumes that teachers are safe from those kinds of cuts, especially science teachers. But, the state made a BIG boo boo and schools took part of that hit. I've looked for other jobs, but there just wasn't much available in my area. So, I made a decision to not go back to teaching. I decided that I could and should go ahead and get my business going. I decided I could substitute teach to earn a reliable income, but I would work on my business.

I've heard from plenty of people that this may not be the best time (you don't have to tell me that times are tough guys, I lost my job, remember), but I think this is the right time for me. Am I scared, of course I am. I'm giving up finding a teaching job with a known income and benefits to try and make a business of my own. I terrified! I didn't take any business classes in school, but I do know the basics and I have good support at home. I'm taking classes from the SBA and I'm reading lots and lots of books.

I may not make it. I know that. BUT, if I never try, I'll never know. Its the unknown that scares us all and there are plenty of things I don't know right now. However, I do know that I want to make this work, I want to be successful, and I want to continue to love my job. So, I decided not to get a job I won't enjoy, but to do what I love and make that work for me. Wish me luck.