Thursday, February 18, 2010

Tomato or cactus fruit?

These pictures are from November, I never got around to doing anything with them. The cactus growing to the right of the garage door at work seemed to be fruiting (is that even a term). When I first saw it though I thought someone had shoved a tomato on the cactus.

That isn't as bizarre as it may seem. We have 2 tortoises that roam the front and back yards at work and we just lay out greens and other things for them to eat. The dogs LOVE to eat the greens. I've never met dogs that love greens, fruit, and vegetables as much as them, and all three of them eat the stuff.
What I thought happened was the tortoises ignored the tomato and to keep the dogs from eating the tomato and to be able give the tomato back to the tortoise at a later point it was placed on the cactus. As the day went a long I decided to take a closer look and get a picture of the tomato on a cactus and when I got closer I realized that it was actually a cactus fruit.

But still looking at it as close as I could get with out getting poked I was not convinced it was actually a part of the cactus and not something stuck on it. This cactus has been here for years and I've never seen anything like this on it. It's just so interesting to me.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Old jacket new necklace

I saw a great leather chain necklace tutorial on's blog.Which is originally which is a great blog that I am glad I found. Here is a cucumbersome's tutorial.

I then remembered the jacket I got probably 10+ years ago that while it is a nice leather jacket the color is way too much for a whole jacket, I think I wore it a grand total of 3 times. Seriously, what was I thinking, sometimes I really do need someone with me when I buy things.

So I took apart the jacket and using the large back panel I followed the steps in the tutorial and made myself a necklace of my own. I used a much smaller scale of the template because I wanted smaller pieces and I made mine much shorter than the original.

Added bonus for me is it matches my mermaid tattoo on my left upper arm. A total coincidence, I got the jacket WAY before I got the tattoo and I didn't choose the specific color for the tattoo. The original art is blue and the tattoo artist decided on the exact color to use on my tattoo based on my skin tone and all that good stuff. He is a good artist, a very good artist. It is actually the only tattoo I have out of 6 that has color because I am a bit concerned about clothes not matching my tattoo. My mom has a color tattoo on her arm and certain colors clash pretty badly with hers. I didn't even notice it matched until I finished the necklace and looked in the mirror.

I have 8 leather pieces left already cut out and a lot more jacket to work with, although they are all small strips/pieces, will probably make a bracelet the same way and see what else I can find to with left over leather pieces.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Picture Collage 3rd-9th

  • Maya, dog at work, playing fetch. I think she's getting a bit round.
  • Otsego, the fatty, got on the plastic tube and cloth cat "tree" that is Harley Quinn's fave spot and I was afraid she was too heavy for it.
  • Harley Quinn, the little one, going through my purse, she's stolen things our of there before, her favorite is cash, cash must be secured at all times.
  • Rich got a new pair of shoes and was switching out the laces and Otsego wanted to eat them, you remember the shoe lace eating incident of last week, did NOT want a repeat of that.
  • It rained and I wanted some veggie burgers so Rich went and bbq'd me some burgers in the rain. Super steamy bbq was quite cool looking.
  • Harley Quinn kept my lap warm over the weekend.
  • Harley Quinn kept an eye on my computer while I was cooking, she is one of the most adorable things ever.
  • Went to a friends place to watch SB44. Their dog Radley would watch the commercials and attack but only when there were small animals on. It was the most entertaining thing. The commercials with the fake chickens she wouldn't go after until the end when there were some real chickens, but she did go after the fake beaver. Let's just say they are not going to be upgrading to a new plasma or lcd tv.
  • Started raining again on Tuesday and Rich went to car ahead of me at the grocery store and I had the keys. Turned out to be a pretty neat picture I snapped with my phone real quick as I was walking towards him.
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Sunday, February 7, 2010

Giving up on no 'poo

For info on what I had been doing and the ups and downs I have had check out my past blog posts.

My scalp has been horrible lately, not the worse ever but pretty flaky. My main issue with all this is soap scum due to the hard water we have. The soap scum build up on my scalp with my natural tendency to get dandruff was just too much for me.

Thursday night I decided to suck it up and find myself a natural shampoo, conditioner, and whatever else I came across. I looked around online at reviews and suggestions and didn't find much new info. When I went grocery shopping that night, at my local health food store, I spent quite a few minutes in the hair care section. At first I couldn't find a shampoo that I really wanted, I would not buy one with SLS's even natural coconut derived ones, they are just as destructive on my hair and I have talked about my personal issues with coconut products in previous posts, the poor Orangutans :(.

I do find Jason Scalp Balancing Natural Jojoba Conditioner (it is the 3rd from the bottom) and decide I might try using this for some scalp relief. I have used Jason products before and while I wasn't totally in love with them I didn't hate them, I quite liked them actually. They don't have any faults there are just so many ingredients in all this stuff I just feel like there must be a simpler way to clean your hair, but apparently what I had been doing was not the way.

After a few more minutes I find Weleda Rosemary Hair Oil with all pretty simple ingredients. I figure this can become my replacement for coconut oil which I had stopped using and never found a suitable replacement. I had been using straight olive oil and while it worked it was lacking a bit.

By this time I think my husband had done a whole lap of the store and was coming back for me to see what I found. As I am about to say ok I guess I will not be able to find a shampoo here, I look over and I see Alaffia Neem & Shea Butter Scalp Recovery Shampoo. I had bought some of their shea butter a few months ago and liked the product and the company. They are fair trade and their products come from Togo, West Africa and they give back to the community and seem to help out in many ways. This specific shampoo sounds exactly like what I needed and it has pretty simple ingredients.

Ingredients: Herbal Infusion of Neem Leaf (Azadiracta Indica), Liquid African Black Soap (Distilled Water, Saponified Shea Butter [Butyrospermum Parkii] and Virgin Palm Kernel Oil [elaeis Guineensis]), Decyl Polyglucose (from corn), Vegetable Glycerin, Panthenol (Pro-Vitamin B5), Essential Oils of Rosemary, Lavender and Tea Tree

While this does include palm kernel oil it contains next to nothing else I could find any fault with even upon looking closer at home and it became very apparent that I was going to have to give in a little and I really like the way Alaffia presents themselves and the ways they give back.

I showered that night and washed my hair, used the shampoo first, used a bit of the rosemary hair oil trying to concentrate it on my scalp, shampooed again, conditioned and was done. (From now on I will use the rosemary hair oil as a leave in like I had previously done with coconut oil, not sure why I decided to use it in the shower.) My scalp is reacting nicely and my hair isn't all that crazy but I can tell it is a bit frizzed compared to how it use to be but I believe that using any sort of soap will be likely to do that to my hair. My scalp just could not deal with the hard water and baking soda washes any more. I will post an update in a few weeks after I have had time to decide and find out how my hair and scalp react to this on a longer basis. It was cold and rainy today and I wore a beanie to work and kept my hair in a braid and under my jacket as well all day so I can't really tell how it will react on a day I let it "hang" out and do its own thing.

There is one thing I will not be able to deal with, beyond frizzy hair that I cannot even brush, I like being able to brush my hair and previous to going no 'poo I could not and would not brush my hair EVER, it would only get combed wet and fingered through because it would practically stand on end. It was horrible and miserable. It was also pretty unmanageable and honestly what is the point of having hair if you can't do anything with it and you hate it.

So hopefully this stuff works and I can report happiness. I plan on only washing my hair once maybe twice a week, pretty much what I have ALWAYS done and if I need to get it wet between then I will use just the conditioner. A few things I can tell you, the Alaffia shampoo definitely won't be liked by all because of its smell. It isn't bad but it isn't all sweet and perfumed like so many traditional products. The Jason jojoba does smell pretty good and this is the first time I have had good smelling hair in just about a year. I also would not suggest the Weleda Rosemary Hair Oil as I will use it to anyone with any sort of fine hair. I have incredibly thick coarse hair over all and individually. I am pretty sure this oil will weigh down and slick a lot of other types of hair.

*All opinions are my own and not influenced by anything but my experience with a product and how I feel about them. I was not compensated by anyone or even given any products to try for this review.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Make-up review

I am still using the make-up I posted about at the end of 2008, but I have added something to those products.

I bought Organic Wears Tinted Moisturizer. I now use this as a base and I love it as much as the other products of theirs. It combined with the face powder gives great light coverage. My freckles are all still visible but the redness I get on my forehead and my chin are gone. The moisturizer blends really well.

I wore it to work a few days, something I would never do except I wanted to see how it holds up. I work in a very well heated building and a very very well heated and high humidity room and of course the outdoors that I venture into and out of multiple times in a day. I sit directly in front of a fan space heater at some points in my day. When I got home from work it looked exactly like it had when I left for work. One of the days I worked I did some work that resulted in minor bits of water splashing on my face and I noticed no effects from that when I got home. It is winter so I am not getting super sweaty but again I wouldn't be wearing make-up to work normally or during any time I plan on getting all massively sweaty. I would only use it for times when I am going out or what not.

*All opinions are my own and not influenced by anything but my experience with a product and how I feel about them.

Friday, February 5, 2010

A look in...

One of my kitchen cabinets.

I've haven't been using much plastic in recent years and more so to what some may call and an "extreme" degree within the last year. Mostly thanks to Beth at Fake Plastic Fish. If you want to know why I am doing this go there, she's extremely passionate and explains it many times in many ways and is very detailed, informative, and knowledgeable. I have almost exclusively switched to glass and ceramic for food storage.

Here is a look in my storage container cabinet. There isn't much in there at the moment because a lot of it is being used. I bought two sets of Pyrex glass bowls/dishes with plastic lids and most of the other stuff has been gifted or given to us. My husbands grandma gave us a bunch of ceramic casserole dishes a few years back when she had to clean out her house due to a little oven fire. She also gave us a set of mixing bowls, those lovely blue glass ones in the picture. A few sets of soup and salad bowls and a set of small appetizer plates that now function as our cat food dishes. I don't know where I would be without those. I have a set of thinner glass bowls with lids that I was given and a few things are actually from our wedding registry. Maybe we should get married again so we can get some more things.

But my problem is I still have all the plastic Tupperware, Ziploc and Gladware stuff. I did separate out all items that aren't a 1, 2, or 5 plastic but that didn't amount to much. The few things I did find were mostly 6's and have been re-purposed to hold non food items. Throwing away all those things isn't really something I wanted to do. A few things have found uses elsewhere holding things that are waiting to be used or turned into something. But there is still a lot of random containers that occupy a second shelf in my cabinet.

Then there is a whole other shelf of things that rarely get used or just don't have a use, mostly plastic but also some other stuff. There is a wok in there that is just not compatible with our electric stove, a strainer bowl set that is just too big to use, it doesn't fit in our sink so I can't clean it. There is a cupcake and a cake holder that I do use occasionally but not often. There are some lids that don't have containers to fit on and some containers without lids. There is a cup in there that I can re-use for discount refills at the Wild Animal Park or The San Diego Zoo but I go there so infrequently I'm not sure it's worth actually buying them in the first place. There are a few containers I have used to hold my kitchen compost material so I don't have to take it out right away and well I then forget to take it out and now the stuff just smells of compost. This is also the home to a few things that I can't find a use for and don't have numbers on them.

At some point I am just going to have to throw this stuff out or perhaps I can find someone to take the majority of plastic stuff but that all takes effort and planning and if I just leave it in the cabinets I can "forget" about it and I don't have to deal with it.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Jan 27th to Feb 2nd

In a picture collage:
The moon on Thursday when I got home from work as seen from my parking spot.

On Tuesday I was flicking my fat cat with her favorite toy, a shoelace tied on a plastic stick, because she was lying in her bed chewing her fur, prozac hasn't stopped it completely. Well I left the toy where it fell the last time I flicked it towards her. The stick was on the ground and the string was along the edge of her bed. We always leave her toys around and she has had this one for years. I finally grabbed it early Wednesday, around 1 am, I was watching tennis that was taking place in Australia, quite a time difference there. I grab the toy and it's half the size it use to be. She ATE half of the shoelace!! She never showed any signs of having eaten it, just look at that cute shoelace eating face. Then finally Monday morning she puked it up, she held onto that thing for quite a while. (I put that picture super tiny so you don't really have to see it.)

Saturday Rich and Harley Quinn were watching me make dinner and he decided he wanted to try and eat her. He stopped before he got a mouthful of Harley fur.

On Sunday I was in the animal room cleaning things up and Mookie the little box turtle came out to say hi. He's so cute. (not actually sure if he is a he yet. We named him after Mookie Wilson)

Not much going on this week, besides me checking litter boxes and watching cats to make sure they weren't going to need a trip to the vet for shoelace blockage.
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