Things have been busy and stressful lately, but I’m still going. Right now, I’m trying really hard to get my shit sorted. I want my cluttered apartment (which STILL has cardboard boxes everywhere from the fact that we’re hoarders who can’t afford storage) to actually look like a home. I want to find a way for us to live within our means, even if that means having less. And I’m very interested in the concept of simplification. As in, I’m actually kind of exited about having less stuff – it means less to replace when things break, less cleaning, less money spent on storage for stuff I don’t use! I want all 700 square feet of the apartment to be for its human inhabitants, not for our junk! But its hard to accomplish because 1) I hate cleaning 2) my time-management sucks, and 3) I hate cleaning. Still, I’m trying. Today I’m going to go through all my clothes to either donate or recycle what I haven’t worn in over 6 months (accounting for seasonal stuff, of course). This is all inspired by recently having read Organized Simplicity by Tsh Oxenreider. Tsh also has a wonderful blog called Simple Mom, which I highly recommend for anyone wanting tips or inspiration for loving life-with-less.
Lately my mission has been finding natural – and affordable – solutions to beauty and health needs. An example: For the past year or two I’ve been CO washing (conditioner-only washing) my hair. The product I use, while awesome, is just a little expensive, and it comes in a tiny plastic bottle that I doubt is eco-friendly. Unfortunately this product isn’t listed on EWG’s Skin Deep Database, so I had to research each ingredient separately. Most of the ingredients are not problematic, but a couple are slightly concerning – and then their is the dreaded “fragrance/parfum”, which could mean anything. So now I’m researching/experimenting with other “no poo” options. I tried using baking soda as shampoo and apple cider vinegar as a rinse, but I hated this method. I think the baking soda is just too harsh, it reminded me of the shampoo I gave up ages ago. Frizztastic. So now I’m experimenting with Indian herbs. The powdered forms are only about $2 per box (cardboard box with plastic baggy inside = more eco-friendly than plastic bottle with pump), and since I just use a few spoonful’s they’ll last quite a while. Since they are just dried and powdered plants, its a non-synthetic and totally renewable product. But, I’m still tweaking my potion to find just the right amount of cleansing and conditioning. This has been both fun and traumatic, as I’ve had a few pretty bad hair days, and one awful nightmare about my hair falling out in clumps (hasn’t actually happened… yet). Also, one of the mixtures make my hair smell like curry. For several days.
However, I’ve had some clear successes! I started washing my face with honey instead of traditional cleanser. Sounds crazy, but its AWSOME. My skin has NEVER looked so good! The redness I assumed was hereditary is gone, I’m getting fewer and smaller breakouts, and it’s safe for my skin and the environment. I also discovered the miracle that is coconut oil. I got a jar of organic extra virgin coconut oil for about $10 that will last me a looooooooong time since I use it in terms of drops rather than spoonfuls or cups. I use it to remove makeup (which is now the super-granola-hippie-all-natural variety), to moisturize my face and body, and as a leave-in conditioner for my hair. Again, it’s safe and renewable, and I can reuse the glass jar it came in! I found some really helpful ideas on this theme at the blog of my new guru/girl crush, Crunchy Betty. This site is a must for going crunchy and looking good doing it!
The final bit of hippie behavior I’m embracing is something I’m still a little sensitive about, but here goes: I’ve entirely stopped wearing bras. I did it initially because of some stuff I read on the internet about links between bras and breast cancer, a claim which I now believe to be tenuous. However, in the short time before I reached that conclusion, I notice a marked decrease in neck, shoulder and breast pain. Aches that I had tolerated for so long that I barely noticed them, suddenly disappeared. Movement is actually more comfortable now, without “support”. My posture has improved too! The girls now hang at their natural height (although mine have perked up noticeably since being forced to fight gravity themselves!)… which is definitely lower than what is considered normal-looking in a world where cloth and metal bindings are considered normal. So I’m still a little self-conscious about the whole thing. For one, I don’t look like Heather up there. I’m pretty sure she could wear a potato sack and still look fabulous. For another, I’m a 38DD. So there’s a LOT to worry about, ya know? But so far no one has commented or treated me any differently – with the exception of my boyfriend, who has given me nothing but positive feedback! 😉 – and its been about a month already. The fact is, bras are just modern corsets, and even if they don’t cause problems like cancer, they certainly aren’t medically necessary either. And I feel stronger and healthier without one.