Monday, October 25, 2010

The sniff test...

I've caught the homemade deodorant bug, and I'm happy to report that it's as good as it smells! {which is fantastic, with a touch of coconut and a dash of spearmint}

I'm sure there are a variety of homemade deodorant concocktions out there, but recently there were a few recipes floating around on the internet that caught my eye. First it was Angry Chicken's. Her's looked awesome, and simple, but it contained a few ingredients that I didn't have on hand, namely the shea butter, cocoa butter, and vitamin E tablets. All good things, I'm sure, but meh, it was just too much effort.

Then, I saw this one on Sew Green. Just four ingredients! And one is optional. woo to the hoo. Can it be any more simple?

Yes, actually, when you're living in the "one-spoon kitchen" that I'm currently in, you can toss those measurements out the window and just wing it! That's what I did, and I think we have a winner! I had two essential oils on hand: spearmint and lemongrass. I went with the spearmint this time and love it, but am excited to try out the lemongrass soon.

Just as the recipes say, I just scoop out a pea-sized dollop, rub it on and I'm good to go. And, seriously guys, I know everyone making homemade deodorant says this, but really, there's no stink! It's amazing. And I've done a few stress tests this week: two intense hot yoga classes, a sweaty trip to the gym, and constant moving around the city. And at the end of every day. nothing.

So, after all of that blabbing, you might be wondering why make my own deodorant? Well...
~ it's just as much fun as making anything else!
~ four ingredients! How many ingredients are on the back of your deodorant stick?
~ it only took 5 minutes. That's less time than going to the store to pick up a new stick, AND it's true, I have to buy the ingredients to make the deodorant, but they're all multi-purpose ingredients that will get used up in other projects.

But wait! there's more! {this is an infomercial for homemade deodorant}
~ I wanted to do this because there's some controversy over the use of aluminum in antiperspirants {not deodorants}. The aluminum compounds react with your sweat to clog your pores in an effort to reduce sweating. Studies have shown the the aluminum can pass through your skin leading to higher concentrations in your body. In tiny doses this isn't necessarily a big deal but in large doses may be a problem... this is where I'm going to stop there are a variety of studies out there, you can read them if you like.
~BUT, this leads to one very bad thing : I still sweat like a @(*#&^$%. So, I'm taking the good with the bad, less nasty aluminum, more nasty sweat. I'm not crazy, there's still a stick of antiperspirant handy for those important moments. Like mowing the lawn. kidding.

~Ok, one more thing on aluminum... in my research I did find out that when aluminium zirconium tetrachlorohydrex gly mixes with sweat, it's the cause of those yellow stains. yuck! If that's not a reason to use the new potion, I don't know what is :-)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

It's an apple-pickin' follow-up!

The chilly, rainy, windy weather at the start of last weekend motivated me to finally do something with our apples. And Sarah's fantastic stop animation video of our apple picking motivated this post.

On Saturday afternoon, I started with this Apple Galette and used the cream-cheese crust as recommended.

Sunday it was an apple crisp from Martha.

I can't recommend these recipes enough, and I just hope that I remember them when we go out picking nest year's apples! If you need proof, just know that neither item lasted for more than 24 hours before the last morsels were scraped from the pans. The crisp was hands-down one of the best crisps I've had in a long, long time.

For the month of October, I'm living in one of the most under-equipped kitchens ever. It's worse than college, but I think it's just going to make me that much more appreciative of a stocked kitchen when I finally move. I mention this because these recipes were measured with my eye and one large soup spoon. Seriously. So, I'm a bit worried that when I make the crisp again with actual measurements it may not taste the same. In particular, I loved that it wasn't too sweet, and if anything was a bit salty ~ I may have had a heavy hand with the salt, or it may be the way the recipe is written ~ I'm hoping for the latter.

And keeping with our apple theme, today's music is brought to us by Apple Records.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Daisies! {or translating crochet}

Fall weather has arrived in full force here in Boston, but the daisies are still blooming! {I know, you're groaning at my cutesy.}The last time these made an appearance on the blog, I was just using Soozs' pattern. Anyone looking at her pattern, beware :: there is a difference between the British and American English crochet terminology! What they {the Brits} call a double crochet, we {The Yankees} call a single. What they call a treble, we call a double. You can find the translations here.

So, I was making the small ones for a while sitting on the beach way back in August {it seems like a year ago}, I had a brainstorm. Using some of the stitches I learned while making the hexagon afghan {which is coming along nicely}, I could make a larger daisy!

So, here's what I do {using the American terminology}:
~First the inner circle~
-make the same 4-chain loop as you do for the small daisies
-chain 2 {here many folks will say chain 3, but I prefer 2, do as you like}
-then, double-crochet into the loop 10 times {just to re-iterate, the american double-crochet}
-form a complete circle by joining your last double crochet to your first

~Now the petals~
-Chain three
-Make a bobble stitch in the next free stitch on your "inner circle"
--you can find instructions and a video for the bobble stitch here.
-Chain three
-Now you're going to finish the petal by attaching your chain to the next free stitch on your inner circle.
-Repeat the preceding 4 steps 4 more times. You'll end up with a five-petalled daisy that's slightly larger than Soozs' version.

These directions are a bit sparse, but I think if you start by making Soozs' daisies first, then you'll have no trouble making this larger version... just remember, are you doing your double crochet with an American or an English accent? It makes all the difference.

And, once you have the pattern down, it's super easy to make daisies with different colored centers::
One of these weekends when all the crafty ladies get together we're going to make a long chain of these daisies {like Soozs' necklace}, and I think it's going to look awesome with both the large and small flowers!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

How you know...

You're a true crafter : you're driving down the highway with a bobbin of thread hanging out your car door and the thread magically winds itself around your tire valve! I wanted to keep it there for as long as possible, but unfortunately the garage cut it off when I went in for an oil change last week... and yes, I could use a set of hubcaps to cover those cruddy wheels.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wednesday Soundtrack


Artist ~ Neko Case
Song ~ A Widow's Toast

Be warned : It's a short song, but it'll get stuck in your head for hours!

I'm off to "Craftoberfest", the name my roommates and I have given our October craft nights. I'll be crocheting. more. flowers. I'm building

Monday, October 11, 2010

When I'm not here...

Graduating is great, if not for the complete stress relief, then definitely for the gifts! I was given my first-ever iPhone {you know, because doctors have to be on call at all hours of the day}, which I graciously accepted with a giddy "really?" or two.

{an outtake from our apple-picking adventure}

Taking pictures with the iPhone is so much fun that I've started a Tumblr blog ~ I wanted a space where I could post random pictures that I take while I'm out and about. A fun way to keep in touch while not saying much; sometimes there will be an explanation, but other times just the picture.

So, even when things are slow here, you can check in over there!

Friday, October 08, 2010

Let's do this thing

Hello there!

I hope Autumn's treating you well. Me? I've been so bowled over by life that it's been hard to find time for crafting, cooking, or taking photos let alone blogging about anything along those lines. Although, I have a sense things are about to change! {The little piggy below is skeptical. Don't pay attention to him.}
I am officially done with my PhD; all 200+ pages of my dissertation are off of my desk and in the good hands of the folks in the library who will turn them into microfiche. Funny, right? So, what's next? Well, there's still a wedding that needs planning, and {fingers crossed} there will be plenty of projects required to spruce up our new living quarters! You could say I'm as happy as a pig ...
Plus, the weekends! Now begins a life of {relatively} free weekends {I'm sure my crazy brain will want to work, so I don't want to claim that every weekend will be free:-)}, but I'm off to a great start! First it was the fair with the Schwartz clan and this weekend it's a wine tour of the NY Finger Lakes region with some fantastic ladies. Let the fun begin.