Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Spring Fashion: Day 3 - Here Comes The Sun!

I'm in a bit of an accessory desert right now, a little wooden cigar box full of earrings and rings and brooches has disappeared, years worth of collecting all gone. I feel a bit lost trying to keep it interesting without little doo-dads, but for this outfit I would probably keep it simple anyway.
Tank: H&M
Skirt: Thrifted
Shoes: TJ Maxx from college?

Head over to Emery Jo's blog for all the other participants!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Spring Fashion: Day 2 - It's Still Raining

I forgot to smile. Tuesday is actually my favorite day of the week though you wouldn't know it from my face.
A few months ago when I Facebooked that I bought-formal-high-waisted-shorts-and-what-would-the-Fug-Girls-think Summer asked me how I'm wearing the shorts since she just bought a pair too. I forgot to get back to her until now. This is how I wear them.
Tank: Old Navy clearance
Sweater: TJ Maxx ten years ago?
Shorts: Anthropologie clearance
Cable knit leggings: Target
Cowboy Boots: Thrifted in Idaho

Click here for the hub of blog fashion week.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Spring Fashion Week: Day 1

It's that time again! Emery Jo is coordinating Spring Fashion Week. Visit her blog for links to all the other participating blogs!

It might technically be spring, but it's raining and misting through the cherry blossoms here.

Sweater: Forever 21 clearance
White T-Shirt: Forever 21
Skirt: Thrifted
Thigh Highs (rolled down): Target
Hunter Boots: Nordstrom
Necklace: Modcloth (birthday gift from Zeb)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


These photos have been a long time coming. Last Thanksgiving I coerced my brother into wardrobe consultation and set styling for me, Anna into modeling, cousin Becky held extra gear, and Aunt Mimi, Jon and Kim carted furniture up to an ancient, abandoned mental hospital on the top of a hill in Athens, Ohio. Since then I've gone back over and over again to the over 700 photos we took over 2 days, and re-edited them a million times, trying new tricks and and changing my mind. With lots of other shoots coming up it's time to send a precious favorite few, finally, out into the world. We had an absolute blast with the location, the outfits, and lots of props that didn't end up making it into all the pictures (we had vintage satchels, birdcages, a book of Audubon's bird plates, tartan wool blankets and more). Anna was a super and sometimes saucy little model and we're already planning more fun for her and other senior cousins this fall!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Lentil Loaf

Not that it's gourmet in the slightest, but it is good, I posted the recipe for our favorite Lentil Loaf over at The Gutenberg Gourmet.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Homemade Deodorant

Homemade Deodorant
Warning: TMI Ahead! (Is there a delicate way to talk about deodorant and all that goes along with it?)
A few years ago something in my body chemistry changed (it coincided with the entrance of one Zeb into my life so I think it was a influx of happy hormones) and I became a stinky girl. I'm highly sensitive to smell so this was mortifying. In the ensuing years I've tried all sorts of deodorants, all sorts. I wanted so badly for the natural and organic ones to work, but they didn't, so I ended up with a triple strength men's formula that coated my skin in a layer of gunk that I had to scrape off in the shower each day. It was completely disturbing but it mostly kept the stinky at bay and that took priority. A year or so ago I stumbled upon this post about a homemade deodorant that seemed promising so last June I made up a batch and I've been using it ever since. I love that it has few and pronounceable ingredients and I don't have to worry about things like aluminum, but I'm thrilled that it is the first deodorant to do what it should - keep me deodorized. Even on the worst of our swampy mid atlantic days I'm stink free with just one application. For quick reference here is the recipe I use:

3 Tablespoons shea butter
3 Tablespoons baking soda
2 Tablespoons corn starch
2 Tablespoons cocoa butter
2 vitamin E oil gel caps (puncture and squeeze out the oil)
About 20 drops of essential oil (optional)

Over low heat melt together all the ingredients except the essential oil. Turn off heat and add oil, pour into container and allow to harden.
This lasts me about eight months.

A few notes: I get shea butter and cocoa butter from Mountain Rose Herbs because I couldn't find the raw butters without other things mixed in at Whole Foods.
I used no essential oils the first time and it was fine, just a totally neutral smell. This time I added lavender and clary sage since both have antibacterial properties and bacteria is the cause of smelly pits in the first place. The oils add a very light fragrance, not even enough to conflict with perfume.
The first two weeks that I used the deodorant last summer my lymph nodes became very inflamed. That was not uncommon with regular deodorants, so I wasn't too alarmed. I switched to an every other day application, and found that was sufficient -this stuff is effective - and the swelling subsided.
I also experienced a bit of itching and redness/irritation in the first few weeks and off and on since then. I'm pretty sure this is because baking soda is a bit abrasive and in strong amounts causes itching, so I could cut down on the amount I use in the concoction, but I just switch to every other day when it's a problem and I'm fine. Also, I try to not apply it to freshly shaved skin.
This is not an antiperspirant. I still sweat, it's just not stinky sweat. But I'm OK with that, sweat is just a fact of life in the summer here, even with a drugstore antiperspirant.
About the ingredients: Some people recommend just using a mixture of cornstarch (for light antiperspirant) and baking soda (for deodorant) brushed onto the skin. I tried that and it didn't work for me. In this combination I think the butters help the powders stick around, and the vitamin E oil acts as a preservative.
I wouldn't say this leaves a 'residue', but sometimes it leaves a light dust that is easily brushed off. But that residue is far less than that left by even clear gels I've used in the past.
This has the consistency of a solid creme. I usually just scrape a bit off and warm it between my fingers before I apply it so that I'm not tugging at my skin too much.
Though the ingredients cost a bit to start up, I think in the long run this is much cheaper than drugstore deodorant.
So there you have more than you probably ever wanted to know about my personal grooming habits, and hopefully something helpful about homemade deodorant.