30 July 2008
29 July 2008
2008 marks 10 years of my no facial cleanser lifestyle!
Little did I know that the simple decision to give my poor, broken-out skin a short break from cleanser/soap was just the first step on my road to simple and natural body and skin care.
A former cosmetics-counter girlie-girl, I've become one of those people who believe that, in beauty, less is more, and the more natural the ingredients, the better. Let your natural beauty shine through!
See this picture of me? I get compliments on this everyday look, but I do so little to achieve it. And I firmly believe others can have the same results too!
Now, for those who asked, and for posterity, here's what I do - from head to toe - to look like this...
In the shower:
Everyday, I clean my hair with just water and a comb. Every other week, I use baking soda. I scrub my face with a wash cloth and nice warm water. Then I lather the rest of me up with Desert Essence Organics' Green Apple & Ginger Body Wash, the smell of which still reminds me of those martinis my girlfriends and I use to drink! I also use one of those rough body mitts to exfoliate.
As soon as I step out of the shower, I slather on the Aubrey Organics Ultimate Moist Unscented Body Lotion. Anti-perspirant? Dove Unscented.
At the sink:
I brush with Tom's of Maine Toothpaste. Then I scrub my face with water and a wash cloth. I find it too dry to live without facial moisturizer up here in Canada, but I'm still on the lookout for a natural and organic one. So, until I find one I like, I'm using the Aubrey Organics on my face too.
This is the same routine I use at the end of the day.
At my makeup case:
I just use Almay One-Coat Mascara in Black and Aveda Liptint SPF15 in CocoPlum. I haven't been using foundation or concealer lately. It feels uncomfortable using it in the summer, and I'm too lazy/rushed to use it in the winter, so I've just decided not to use it anymore.
I'm thinking of switching to the Black Mascara by Dr. Hauschka. My favourite organic food store just started stocking it, so I'll be trying that out.
So, that's 6 products in total, more or less natural and organic.
What's your everyday skincare? Share with me!
Here are some all-natural beauties... just so you know I'm not crazy... :)
26 July 2008
With the sofa finally out of the livingroom, Mini decided it was time for a picnic.
She spread the blanket and laid out the food. She even brought out her little Blue's Clues radio for some tunes to dine to.
To her delight, her entire family came to partake, even her too-cool-for-school brother. We drank pretend lemonade (with a real plastic lemon in it), sipped pretend soup (with a noodle that looked suspiciously like an ice cream cone), and ate pretend cake (with asparagus and watermelon in it).
We were polite and cordial, even drinking with our pinkies up. I do declare I think we're ready to dine with the Queen. Do you think she likes asparagus-watermelon cake?
25 July 2008
I'm still loving the No Shampoo thing. I think I'm totally hooked.
But I've had to make some changes after a couple of weeks.
You see, when dry, my hair felt soft and full, but in the shower, it felt... greasy, like I wasn't getting it clean enough. Water doesn't move grease, and I felt like I was wearing a wet helmet.
So, I stopped using my conditioner. Didn't help.
Determined not to reach for shampoo again, I once again turned to Sarah's no-poo saga. I also found some great information at Babs' Babyslime, who also gives great solutions to specific no-poo problems, such as dandruff, dry hair, etc.
So, armed with some new info, I hopped in the shower with a tablespoon of baking soda in 1 cup of water and another cup with a tablespoon of lemon juice in 1 cup of water.
Feeling doubtful and more than a little dopey, I poured the baking soda mixture on my head and massaged. Lo and behold, the grease washed away! It was all gone leaving light clean hair. I then rinsed it out with water.
Next, I poured the diluted lemon juice on my hair as a conditioner. It felt really good on my scalp. I combed it through then rinsed.
I let my hair air dry.
Conclusion? Well, the photo speaks for itself. My hair looks good and feels good. Very shiny. The waves are nice and full.
I think I'll be doing the baking soda/lemon juice thing once a week or every 2 weeks. Or maybe just when it needs it.
Have any of you tried the no-poo thing yet? How'd it go? Let me know!
Well, I made it. Week 1 done.
I worked out every morning for 15 minutes as promised... almost.
On Day 3, after doing 10 minutes of a step workout, I twisted my left knee. It was sore and inflamed, so I stopped, iced it the rest of the day, and skipped my Day 4 workout. It was fine for Day 5.
Feeling good. Proud of me.
TAGS: fitness + health
24 July 2008
"How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time." Well, this livingroom is my elephant. No, I'm not going to eat my furniture, but I am moving them around in an attempt to give my livingroom a whole new less-crappy, less-cluttered look. This is my first bite.
The above picture shows my living in its original state. Note the following offenders:
This weekend, we tackled Phase 1. Check it out in the photo above. Now, note:
- the crapload of boxes everywhere brought up from the basement and from Roomie's mother's home.
- the sofa, under the window on the left, that constantly moves and must be pulled out to close the curtains.
- the sheer curtains on the left that allows us to give the neighbours a peep-show ever night.
- the bookcases to the right that crowds the room and brings in the walls.
- the lamp on the left that's way too low and small.
The next step - Phase 2 - will entail tackling more boxes and the movement of the two bookcases on the right to the blue feature wall. They'll be flanking the loveseat. Stay tuned!
- the lack of boxes under the bookcases - actually, note that there are fewer boxes overall... gone to Goodwill.
- the trunk... or future coffee table.
- the sofa is gone... moved to the familyroom after the futon that was there was moved upstairs (thanks to Roomie and mr. harmzie).
- the addition of the round white clock on the blue feature wall.
23 July 2008
Guess what my 1000th Twitter update will say...
"new blog post: 1000th Update on Twitter!"
Okay, if you haven't been totally turned off by my awesome nerdiness, follow me on Twitter. Just click... HERE!
22 July 2008
I like to be prepared for anything. When I'm out with my kids, my big bag is always loaded with stuff I'll need just in case.
First aid kit, camera, emergency snacks, tissues... they've all come in handy.
But by far, the most invaluable item for my peace of mind is my cell phone, which I always keep well-charged.
Inspired by Marc & Angel, I've just loaded it with all the super-important, emergency numbers I may need just in case.
Here are those numbers - in no special order - and why I think they should be in your phone too:
Say you lose your cell phone. The kind soul who finds it can now contact you to arrange to have it returned to you.
2: Credit Card Hotline
As soon as you realize your wallet is lost or stolen, you'll want to report it to your credit card company ASAP. Go and get your credit cards. Look for the 800 numbers on the back of each. Program them into you cell phone. Do it now.
3: Friend with Your Extra Home Key
Cheaper than a locksmith. Be sure to actually give the key to a trusted friend first.
4: Autoclub (CAA/AAA) or Towing Service
Who wants to go searching for a phone book when you're in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night in 3 feet of snow with your kids in the backseat? No, that's never happened to me - oh, wait, it has! And we were half in a ditch too.
5: In Case of Emergency (ICE)
Say you've had an accident, a stroke, or something else that renders you unconscious or otherwise unable to communicate. Thanks to the ICE program, many first responders (paramedics, police officers, firefighters) are now trained to look for an "ICE" entry on your cell phone list to identify you or to contact next of kin or physician.
Handy to have anytime, especially for Don't Drink & Drive situations! Since I don't drink, I'd be happy to have it in case the car breaks down, and I'd like to get the kids home and out of the cold, traffic, etc.
7: Car Insurance
One of the first numbers to call after being in or witnessing an accident, after 911, of course.
Especially good when you have kids. When we're out and one of them suddenly develops some sudden pain, weird cough, or unusual mark or blemish, I can call Dr. C in an instant.
9: Kids' school
If you're somewhere across town and won't be at your kids' school on time to pick them up, you can call the school up to let 'em know. If you're lucky, like we are, they'll have an after-school program to keep your kids' occupied and happy 'til you get there.
10: Home Insurance Company
The house has just burned down in the middle of the night. With the family safely out and cell phone in hand, you can get your family in the warmth of a hotel room and start getting your life sorted out immediately.
11: Sushi Takeout
When you just have to have it!
12: Hair Stylist
Having a bad hair day? Call your stylist to see if she/he has an immediate opening.
13: Booty Call Number
Again, when you just have to have it! Kidding. No, this would not be considered an ICE number.
What are your cell phone must-have numbers? Am I missing any you think I should have? Let me know!
21 July 2008
While playing Lego Star Wars II, the 4yo and 6yo argue again...
Lam: Hey, it's Darth Maul!
Mini: No, that's Darth Sidious.
Lam: Darth Maul.
Me: Actually, that's Darth Vader.
Mini: *looking doubtful* Vader?
20 July 2008
We've been having a particularly wet summer this year, which means long grass more often. That also means me out mowing the lawn more often. Crap. Why did I choose this year to relieve Roomie of lawn mowing duty?
Okay, he's a wonderful man who shovels the walk and rakes the roof of snow every winter, builds playhouses from the ground up, keeps the kids occupied when mommy needs "alone time", and all sorts of other family-man-with-house hazards. I should just mow the lawn and keep my trap shut, right?
Oh, I'll still complain, because I know that Roomie isn't just saving himself the misery of lawn-allergy symptoms - he's saving himself from looking like this:
19 July 2008
Ever since our washing machine bid us a fond farewell, we've been going to Laundry World to wash our clothes.
I'd say it was a bother to wash outside the home, but it really hasn't been.
I have a system worked out. The night before, I sort the clothes into separate bags, so the next morning, I just load up the car and head off. I throw each bagful into a separate machine - I choose the front-loading ones. Washing, drying, and folding takes about 1-1/2 hours... 2 tops... enough time for me to sit and pound out some ideas for the blog.
Family-owned Laundry World is further away from my house, but I like it there. They have over 70 machines, so there's always a machine at the ready. They're always clean and in good repair. And the owners are so friendly and available for any assistance.
The kids enjoy their time there too - the video games, kids' books and pinball machine are a rare treat. They especially love that we can buy chips there.
Buying chips there always gives me a giggle. It always reminds me of the time my sister and I were on a train to Vancouver, and we decided to buy chips for breakfast because the vending dude was so cute.
No, that's not the real reason why we do laundry there.
17 July 2008
Call me foolish or call me brave - I present to you the latest picture of... my butt!
Yes, folks, it's shapeless and blobby. From February 'til today, I've slowly gained 12 pounds of unhealthy bodyfat, due to sitting on that all day and not exercising consistently.
So, now that I've got the habit of healthy-eating proceeding naturally, it's time to seriously tackle the next piece of my Get Healthy Puzzle: Making Exercise a Habit
I've decided to make this a new project. Bring it out to the forefront, like I did with the 'going green' project. Make myself accountable. Watch my transformation. And maybe bring some of you with me.
I've been doing a lot of reading online about exercise - not about what to do or how to do it, but how to make it stick.
I learned a lot, and I've made a plan... here's Phase 1:
1. Goal: 28 inch waist (currently, 38 inches)
2. Activities: hula/tahitian dance and tabata... two fun and super-effective exercises, and they're indoor activities so I can do them throughout the winter.
3. Schedule: Every morning for 15 minutes for one month.
4. Blog about it: Post an update/progress report once a week. And if I'm being too lazy, you have permission to kick my ass.
5. Reward: Shopping!
See, simple. I'm starting this tomorrow morning... Wish me luck!
How about you? Do you exercise every day? If so, what do you do? How long have you been exercising?
Other good reads...
- How to Make Exercise a Permanent Habit in Your Life
- 4 Simple Steps to Start the Exercise Habit
- How to Make Exercise a Daily Habit
TAGS: fitness + health
16 July 2008
Images from wikipedia.org
Ever imagine being so famous (or infamous!) that Hollywood decides to make a movie of your life?
I have. My movie would be a romantic-comedy, focusing on my fun and fabulous love affair with Roomie. I'd throw in a bit of erotica for some spice, but I'm sure our RL friends would think that's just too big of a creepy-assed window into their friends' lives and not watch the movie!
I'd be played by the beautiful and multi-talented Tia Carrere (can you see it?), and my love interest would be played by Gerard Butler (purely for the hotness, of course!).
What would the movie of *your* infamous life be like? Share it!
Just answer the following 3 questions in a comment here or in a post on your own blog:
1: Who would play you in your movie?This is purely fantasy, friends, so get creative!
2: Who would play your love interest/romantic partner? (have fun with this one!)
3: What genre would your movie fall in? (Musical? Comedy? Spy mystery? Action adventure?...)
If you're writing a post on your blog, be sure to leave a comment here with the link so I can count your entry.
Deadline: July 31, 2008 at 11:59pm CDT
Win one (1) book of your choice from the erotica & romantic fiction section of the lifecandy shop!
You must be 18 years of age and older. For Canada and US residents only. No purchase necessary.
The winner will be announced here on August 1, 2008.
Can't wait to hear from you! Good Luck!
(This contest is my contribution to Shai's 52WoC: Hold a Contest/Blog Raffle.)
14 July 2008
Yesterday, we attended what was the last in a wave of kids' birthday parties that Lam and Mini were either invited to or had hosted for themselves.
A whopping 6 in total. Yeah, my kids are little party animals - they're getting fitted for a toga party next week. Kidding.
Anyway, our grand finale event was for LG, who is 11 days younger than Lam and #2 in my friend harmzie's brood.
LG invited her friends to celebrate at Miracle Ranch, where they had the opportunity to ride a horse led around a trail, roast weenies and marshmallows, and of course, pig out on cake and ice cream.
Lam and Mini loved it all! Mini especially enjoyed making new girl friends - a change from her brother's buddies, who are all guys.
I too indulged in a hot dog, complete with mustard and ketchup, and a couple of roasted marshmallows for dessert. My mostly-veggie tummy didn't complain as much as I'd thought it would. :)
As you can see, I had a chance to sit in the saddle too. The beautiful horse you see in the picture with me is Fudge. Very gentle. The last time I was on a horse was almost 30 years ago on my last visit to the Philippines, but as Fudge and I rode a circuit around the room, it was as if no time had passed.
All in all, it was a great afternoon spent with great friends. Thanks for a wonderful party, guys - It was a special honour to celebrate with our LG!
11 July 2008
Image from HQ-Celebrity.com
How many sprained or broken ankles arose from this event I wonder...
This past week, 500 women from 35 states gathered at New York's Central Park to run in the High-Heel-A-Thon to raise money for the March of Dimes.
Kelly Ripa, pictured here, was one of the 500 women willing to sprint 150 yards in their 5-inch stilettos to the finish line. Good for her! I like her... and when I can't button up my jeans after a bread-binge, I secretly hate her.
The winner received $25000... and immediately, went out and blew it all on new Manolos. Just kidding. Maybe she did - I don't know.
Now, I understand that for some women, this may just be a cake walk, no-brainer, been-there-done-that kinda situation, but for me, I'd fall and take down everyone else.
Would I do it anyway? For a good cause, of course. Hey, I'll try it once.
How about you? Would you risk your ankles for a good cause?
10 July 2008
For me, it all started with Facebook. Of all the features on that social networking site, I found - and still find - the Status feature most enjoyable and most useful. My friends get a quick glimpse into my daily life, I learn what's up with my friends that day, and if I'm lucky, my hastily typed "I'm jonesing for sushi!" will result in an impromptu girls' nite at Wasabi on Osborne.
Then, I found Twitter thanks to Shai, and let me tell you, I dang near wet myself! This is basically "All Status, All the Time". My latest tweet, or twitter update, is what you see here in my top sidebar beside my profile picture.
In just 140 words, I can greet my twitter-friends when I first wake up, tell them what I'm making for dinner, or share my latest blog post to a whole new audience. Through Twitter, I've made new friends, gained new readers (hi, tweets!), and grown my feed reader with a load of funky new blogs from fellow-twitterers.
Now, I don't even have to log in to Facebook to update my status, because I've enabled it to show my Twitter updates automatically for all my FB friends to see. I *love* that!
And then, there's Plurk. Each of your updates is called a plurk, and you can see all the responses to each plurk grouped together as a conversation. The more active you are, the higher your karma points enabling you to use more cool stuff like fun emoticons, etc.
I find that, with Plurk, I get sucked into a lot of conversations and end up deleting responses just to keep up.
Reviews are mixed for both. Some prefer Twitter, others prefer Plurk. Twitter has been plagued with severe server problems over the past couple of months, interrupting service, pissing people off, and resulting in a major migration to Plurk. And with Plurk, you need to stay active to keep your karma up... and don't think I can handle that kind of pressure!
I don't know, I still like Twitter. You can reach out, but with less commitment, which, for me, makes it much easier to unchain myself from my computer to feed my kids, bathe, and go to the bathroom.
Wanna connect? To follow me on Twitter, just click here, and to be my Plurk friend, just click here.
08 July 2008
I found this picture of me (on the left) yesterday while looking for a picture for Mini's birthday post. It struck me that I'd taken a similar picture of Mini when she was about that age, so I went looking and found it! That's her on the right.
My picture was taken in the hot/dry season of the Philippines, and hers was in the cool Fall season of Canada.
Mini has such beautiful sleek shiny hair and pretty rosy cheeks, while I look like Don King's long lost lovechild.
No doubt about it - when it comes to cuteness, I don't come anywhere close to my daughter.
07 July 2008
This is me holding my brand new beautiful baby girl on her actual day of birth 4 years ago. Hard to believe Mini was ever that tiny and shmooshy. She's now such a big active girl who can do basic math. Seriously - she still has some trouble with her alphabet, but she can add.
Anyway, to celebrate her 4th birthday this weekend, we had a Moms and Girls Only party at U-Puttz Black Light Mini-Golf. It was loads of fun! Mini loved having her friends to celebrate with, a place to run around and be crazy, and of course, her Dora cupcake birthday cake. It was great!
To our favourite little princess...
Daddy, your big brother, and I love you so much. We hope your birthday party was all you wished it would be! :)
03 July 2008
Yes, this is another post about my hair.
As many of my friends can attest to, my hair is a big part of my image, my Island Girl look.
So, when I got so many compliments on my hair in my video post, I was overjoyed, over the moon, over so many things I was literally floating on air and dusting the top of my cupboards. No, not really - I hate dusting - but I was happy. Thanks again, y'all! *winky-wink*
And now, at the risk of freaking out my friends, I will tell you my gorgeous-hair secret: I don't use shampoo.
Yes, you read right. No need to re-read. I sport a No 'Poo 'Do. How's that for minimalist/low-maintenance hair?! :)
Why No Shampoo?
For the same reason why I stopped using facial cleanser. Facial cleanser, like shampoo, cleans too well.
Shampoo can be too harsh for your hair and scalp. It strips away all the sebum (natural oils), leaving your hair and scalp dry. So, in response, your scalp then produces more sebum, resulting in greasy hair fast.
Thus begins the vicious cycle: Your hair is greasy, so you shampoo, which leads to more grease.
Besides, it's more natural to clean the body mechanically (scrubbing action) rather than chemical (grease-cutting of soap). And I like to use the natural approach.
How Did I Do This?
So, I broke the shampoo-grease cycle about 6 weeks ago, I think it was, after reading about it first at Sarah's no 'poo adventures posts.
Now, when I hop in the shower, I - with water, my fingers, and a good wide-tooth comb - scrub my scalp to clean it, and comb my hair to redistribute the natural oils. I then rub conditioner into the ends.
From various sites, I was told to expect really bad greasy hair for anywhere from 2 weeks to 3 months until the oils normalize. And for about 2-3 weeks, it was really gross.
Imagine what it feels like to have a large lump of clay moulded around your head... for 3 weeks. Yeah, like that. Sexy, eh? I seriously contemplated doing a Brit. Nasty.
After the GTP (Gunky Transition Period)...
My perseverance paid off beyond my wildest expectations. I noticed the following things start to happen post-GTP:
- My hair has more shine, natural bounce and volume... even when I air-dry!
- My waves are fuller (more curly than straight).
- More good hair days... even after just rolling out of bed.
- Less hair in the shower drain catcher.
- The dandruff problem that plagued me since my teens started calming down - less itching, less flakes.
And I'm not pouring toxic, unnatural chemicals down the drain and into our lakes and rivers. Sweet.
As soon as my conditioner is used up, I'll start looking into using coconut oil instead. I've read that it prevents product build up, yet provides good moisture for those of us with flaky/dry scalps.
Oh, I may even add some ylang-ylang essential oil to get that pretty, 'just showered' smell.
Tips for Those Interested...
Some No 'Poo people use baking soda and/or apple cider vinegar to clean their hair, so if you're apprehensive about going cold turkey, you can try that in the interim.
Some great info can be assimilated at The No-'Poo Do, so check it out!
Any questions? Hit me, baby! :)
01 July 2008
I wish all my fellow proud Canadians a fun-filled Canada Day!
There will be festivities happening all across the country, and here in Winnipeg, we do our own share of celebrating our nation's birthday.
As we do every year, Roomie, the kids, and I will be heading over to check out the happenings at the Osborne Village Canada Day Street Festival. And when it starts to get dark, we'll stroll over to The Forks Market for fireworks at 11pm.
It promises to be really hot - albeit with a 60% chance of showers (yipes!) - so we'll try to stay cool with slurpees and maybe an iced green tea lemonade for me! It'll be a fun day!