Alivity, and GMO Foods

Why yes, yes I am still alive. Maybe. Probably. *checks for rotting limbs that may indicate zombieism* Nope, all clear. I am definitely, absolutely, 100% alive. Later in the week, I might even post pictures of my trip to Laos with school. See be have Plans to be Organised.

 

Randomly, I found this article today, and thought it provided a perspective on GMO foods that is often overlooked. So. Go read it, and discover why GM oranges may be a Thing Near You in the future.

Sugar-free Chocolate!

Also, in other (much more exciting) news, I am now making sugar-free chocolate by the block, and you can have some, if you’d like. Check it out at http://cobbettandpaws.wordpress.com 🙂

In fact, because I am excited about my chocolate, how about I offer you a block? Comment below with your name and some way to get in contact with you (email, facebook, twitter, phone if you live in Australia, whatever), and on Friday I’ll draw the names out of a hat. Metaphorically speaking. Winner can choose a block – at the moment I have 60% dark (all blocks are based on this, so they’re all dark), almond, coconut rough (dark with a touch of milk), and mint (not pictured). Go to, and if you spread the word somehow and let me know you can have an extra entry 😉

Five Pack of Cobbett&Paws Chocolate

The Making Of…

We’re nearly out of baby wipes. I went to the supermarket about a week ago, intending to buy some (along with groceries for the week), and came out with none. Every single brand except one was choc full of parabens (emerging research – example – shows that high concentrations of parabens are found in breast cancers, and that they encourage tumour growth; the exact link is as yet unknown, and of course, for every study linking the two, there is a study claiming no link – and bearing in mind the fact that a lot of scientific reserach is funded by companies who have a significantly vested interest in parabens NOT being linked to breast cancers… Well, let’s just say I’d much rather be safe than sorry.), and the one that had no parabens was – yay – the organic brand, but – boo – more expensive than I was willing to pay.

Given I’d read like a year or more ago, when still pregnant, that making your own was dead easy, I figured it was time to give it a try. It’s taken a week and of course I decided to do it on the day when I’m sick and feel like my face is going to explode. Maybe trying to distract myself from how ick I feel? But anyway. I’m quite pleased with the result.

I decided to go with the spray-on method. I’d bought a box of wipes (rather than a packet) relatively recently, half-thinking that I’d use the box to make my own wipes when it was empty, but reading around and thinking about it, there doesn’t seem to be a way to avoid making new batches of wipes pretty frequently with this method – too much liquid in the box, it’ll spill everywhere, and the bottoms ones will be soaked and useless, not enough liquid and the paper towel that is the base of the wipes will dry out, and as a friend pointed out, there is always the potential for mould o.O

So. Another blog I found talked about using cloth wipes, and to do that, you just dampen the cloth before using. Tried that at one point, and it was massively inconvenient, because I’d sit down to nappy-change and realise I haven’t wet the cloth, and kid was now half naked, and it was all just too late.

Enter the spray bottle. Which, once I thought of it, I saw in a bazillion places around the web, so you know. A friend linked me to this page, with some ‘recipes’ on it, and being the person I am I mixed and matched. This is what I ended up doing:

 

  • Boil some water, and make a large mug of chamomile tea. The brand I have also includes citrus peel, rosehip, and liquorice root. Double checked, and all are not only safe but good for the skin, so win there.
  • Add the mucousy pulpy insides of an aloe vera leaf. I think it was probably a little less than a tablespoon of the gunk in the end.
  • 4 drops of lavendar essential oil (remember to go easy on the essential oils as they can irritate the skin otherwise).
  • 2 ish tablespoons of grape seed oil (or any good-for-the-skin oil).
  • Put it all into a spray bottle, top it up with cold water if there’s room, wait for it to cool, and use! Spray it onto cloth wipes or paper towels or whatever else you’d like to use, and change those nappies! :o)

 

Also under the category of ‘making of’, I’m in the middle of making a batch of the world’s most heavenly body butter today – it’s in the fridge cooling. It smells like chocolate, you can spread it on toast, it hydrates without stripping your natural oils, and it really is just amazing. Recipe is from my friend Steph here, but instead of coconut and macadamia oils I used grape seed and apricot kernel (and lessened the amount slightly to compensate for the fact that neither are solid like coconut oil). Can’t wait to see how it turns out!

 

Oils, Oils, Magical Oils

The last couple of weeks have been a haze and a blur of pain, aches, and snuffed-up noses. I mananged to contract a pretty decent cold on top of recovering from surgery, WELL DONE ME. To make things even more fun, the Boyo had it last week when he was home baby-wrangling while I was still only semi-conscious, and then Small Person got it on the weekend, and now I have it too, and SP still has it and Boyo has just departed for the long weekend >.<

Suffice to say, I love all the parentals, who have been/are dropping in and out to keep me sane and help with the dinner/bath/bed routine.

ANYWAY, despite all this I’ve been feeling like I’m neglecting the blog, and I figured that I could at least manage a simple copy and paste tonight (though apparently I have also managed a Whinge, Class 1): the research I’ve done into the various usefulnesses of various oils. Variously. And yes, that first one is true – some vegetable/fruit oils actually have an SPF value, though it’s not allowed to be avertised as such without lab testing blah blah blah – but raspberry seed oil, well, estimates have it at at least 30+. Woot. I gots to get me some of that.

Raspberry Seed for sunscreen
Rosehip Seed Oil for face
Grape Seed for body generally (this is what we are bathing the SP in – even better because I don’t have to worry when he drinks half the bath liquid)
Tamanu for eyes, dry/damaged skin, hair shiner
Coconut RDB for (liquid) soap
Sweet Almond for massage base
Blueberry Seed for face serums + everything; berry seed oils are pretty much just magical
Coconut oil for moisture by itself or in stuff (fractionate version as an essential oil carrier for massage etc)
Cranberry Seed as an emollient, for skin, hair, lip, baby – often used for itchy/scaly/irritated skin conditions (again with the magical berries)
Cucumber oil for skin-tightening
Coffee for anything damaged (coffee OIL, people; just to clarify)
Camellia for dry/sundamaged skin/hair (also hand, nail, face)
Borage is anti-aging
Pomegranate for menopause & post-menopause everything
Pine nuts are an appetite suppressant, both the oil and the nuts themselves
Peach/apricot kernel penetrates quickly, so is good to combine with other oils
Macadamia nut oil absorbed very easily also
Castor oil for soaps and cleansing – mix it with another oil for face cleanser (more castor for oily skin, less castor for dry)
Meadowfoam Seed oil for shampoo (especially for dry scalp), soaps and lip balm

So there you have it: the wondrous properties of a bunch of vegetable, fruit and seed oils. For an AWESOME and DEAD EASY example of something you can make with oils (other than my body scrub), Steph over at My Kitchen Crowd just posted a recipe for the most amazing body butter in the world. (Bonus: it smells like chocolate, AND it’s edible. Body butter you can also use to butter your toast, that tastes and smells like chocolate. I told you: MOST. AMAZING. BODY BUTTER. EVER.)

What. The Hell.

So, here’s some terrifying information for you. Randomly, I was doing a click-read-click spree again tonight and stumbled across a Nov-2001 article where Johnson&Johnson were promising to remove a known carcinogen from their baby products. UM, I THINK THAT WOULD BE A REALLY GOOD IDEA, JOHNSON&JOHNSON. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

It prompted me to go grab Small Person’s shampoo and examine the ingredients. The carginogenic compound is not listed, but of course, I had no clue what most of the listed ingredients were. Usually, the solution is to ignore these ingredients – but tonight I was struck by curiosity.

Here are the terrifying results. Some ingredients fell under more than one category, so despite what the numbers add up to, this is out of 15 ingredients.

8 safe (sigh of relief)

BUT:
1 known skin irritant
1 known immune system irritant
5 known skin toxicants
1 not safe for use on damaged or irritated skin
1 toxic or harmful for organs; not for products used on the mouth (lipstick etc) – dude, this is BABY WASH/SHAMPOO. OF COURSE IT’S GOING IN THE MOUTH.
1 potential neuro-toxicant

What. The hell.

Seriously. From now on, we are all bathing in olive oil with sugar. (Actually, I totally bought some grape seed oil from Costco on the weekend for the Small Person – it’s supposed to be one of the best oils for the skin ;)).

If you’re interested in checking out any of the complicated products on your ingredient lists, google, or use this awesome site here.

My Favourite Face Scrub Ever

Totally random, but I have to share, because I’ve just made up a new batch and it really is awesome. I always intend to use this stuff 2-3 times a week, and in reality end up using it about once a fortnight, if that – but whenever I do, my skin practically glows the next day (I’m a night showerer), so you know.

Also, bonus: it’s DEAD SIMPLE.

Wanna know what’s in my super favouritest face cleanser/scrub ever? Sure, I’ll tell you.

Sugar.

Olive oil.

That’s it. Though sometimes I throw in a spoonful of dried lavendar from the garden, because it smells pretty. And yes, I know, cleaning my face with oil sounds counterintuitive – but it works, and apparently I’m not the only one who does it.

So there you go. Favouritest scrub ever, and all you do it mix the two ingredients together until they form a goopy paste. Good for all skin, not just your face.

<3