Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Peanut butter fudge squares recipe

This recipe is not a healthy recipe! It's a decadent tasting dessert that requires a few napkins to eat. Who doesn't like that?

Peanut Butter Fudge Sqares


  • 1 small jar of creamy peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 6 plain graham crackers, crushed. 


  • Sprinkle the crushed graham crackers evenly on the bottom of a 9x13 pan. Pat them lightly. 
  • In a double boiler, add butter and let it melt
  • Add peanut butter and let it soften, stir gently to combine with the butter
  • Add chocolate chips and stir to combine 
  • Add powdered sugar and mix well with a whisk 
  • Pour the mixture evenly over the graham crackers and smooth with a spatula. 
  • Let chill for 1 hour and cut into small 1 inch squares to serve.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

My no poo (no shampoo) routine

I just spent a lot of time talking about going "no poo". Most people I talk to about this answer with a slight recoil. It's like they don't want to touch me because I'm dirty. I can assure you that I am not dirty; neither is my hair. In fact, I get a lot of compliments on my hair.

Having waist length hair can be a bit of a chore even with regular shampoo. One has to worry about product and sometimes heat styling. I'm fortunate that I don't have to be concerned about that part. My hair is heavy enough that it lays straight. No flat iron needed! But when it's dirty or feels dirty, I feel gross!

That was the biggest problem in my transition period when I went "no poo". I am here to tell you the struggle is real, guys! The transition period can be a horrible pain. Especially when trial and error is how you get through it. I almost gave up. My hair felt like an oily mess and I felt dirty. But, I didn't give up. I pressed on, researched and asked questions. This lead me to my routine I have now.

I will tell you one thing, your hair will feel different. It won't feel gross or dirty, but it will feel different. Washing it will also feel different. You expect the lather and that slick feeling afterwards. You won't always get that when you go no poo.

My routine begins with a shampoo bar. I make my own and yes, I will have a video for you all sometime this year, I promise. Twice a week, I wash with a shampoo bar. You can just use a shampoo bar, but you might miss some deeper conditioning or detangler in your shampoo or conditioner. Don't worry, that can be fixed without chemicals.

I bought two small bottles at the dollar store. They're travel squeeze bottles meant for shampoo and conditioner. One bottle has apple cider vinegar in it. The other has 1 part lemon juice to 3 parts water. No, neither will go bad.

After I use the shampoo bar, I squeeze a few drops of vinegar on my roots at the front hairline, crown and back. Then I pile my hair up and squeeze a few more drops on my hair. I rub it in well and rinse with warm water. The vinegar conditions the hair and adds some softness to it. It can also help degrease the hair.

Then, I repeat the process with the lemon juice. This serves two purposes. The first one is that it helps detangle the hair. The second is that it gets rid of the vinegar smell. I despise the smell of vinegar, so this is my favorite step!

If you notice your hair getting greasy between washes, you can fix this with a baking soda wash. Just make sure you rinse really well. Then, follow up with the same conditioning routine.

The routine I use won't work for everyone. It's good to do some research and try what works for you. I have found most people stick to vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda and shampoo bars.

I hope your journey on going "no poo" works well for you and if you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Going "no poo" part 4: Dry shampoo

You're going to need dry shampoo when you go "no poo". This helps absorb excess oils and keeps your hair clean while you are transitioning. Plus, most of us "no poo" types don't wash our hair every day. A dry shampoo helps in between washes as well.

Commercial dry shampoos are a no no. These dry shampoos contain chemicals and sometimes alcohol. Stay away and make your own. You can also buy hand made dry shampoo on Etsy, but check the ingredients and make sure it's chemical free!

Many dry shampoo recipes call for baking soda, but I don't use baking soda. It can be too drying on your hair. It's better to omit it all together.

Here are a few dry shampoo recipes. You can store them in a shaker bottle in a cool dry place.

The base for all recipes: 
1 part arrowroot powder
1 part cornstarch

For dark hair:
Add to the base
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 teaspoon of cocoa powder

For light hair
Just use the base and don't add any cinnamon or cocoa powder

Optional additives:
Lavender essential oil 
Tea Tree oil
Add 3 drops of the essential oil and shake well before applying.

To use the dry shampoo simply shake gently over your hair and let sit for 2 minutes. Run a brush through your hair to remove the excess powder.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Going "no poo" part 3: Conditioning your hair

Going "no poo" also means not conditioning your hair with chemical conditioners. This means you are going to use natural conditioners in your hair. Some of it might seem a bit weird and some of it, you've probably seen online.

The most common conditioner for the hair is a simple egg white wash. All you do is take an egg and separate the yolk. Slather the egg white into your hair and let it sit for about 2 minutes. Rinse it very well with cool water. Why not warm water? You'll cook the egg. That will be messy.

The following ingredients can be used on your hair as a conditioner. You will add the ingredient to your hair and let it sit for 10 minutes and rinse with cool to lukewarm water. You should do this once a month to twice a month.

  • Avocado - mash the avocado and rinse with cool water
  • Coconut oil - use sparingly, rinse with warm water
  • Strong brewed green tea 
  • Strong brewed coffee 
  • Argan oil - use sparingly
  • Avocado oil - use sparingly 
  • Olive oil - use sparingly 

You can also use body art quality henna or cassia to condition your hair. Warning! Using henna or cassia will color your hair. Do this at your own risk and know what it will do to your hair before you try henna or cassia.

You can also make your own hair masks to deep condition your hair. Here are a few easy recipes. These are all natural hair masks that work great. Use them like you would a natural conditioner.

  • Banana hair mask

1 ripe banana
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of coconut oil

  • Yogurt hair mask

1/2 cup of plain yogurt
1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar

  • Milk and honey hair mask (this hair mask should be used right before a shampoo bar or your hair can get a bit yuck) 

3 tablespoon of milk
3 tablespoon of honey

  • Avocado hair mask

1 ripe avocado
1 tablespoon of milk
1 tablespoon of olive oil

Read Part 4

Monday, August 3, 2015

How to go "no poo" part 2: Shampoo Bars

What is a shampoo bar? You've probably heard of one and seen a few on places like Etsy. A shampoo bar is a bar of hand made soap with extra additives that make them better suited for the hair and scalp. A shampoo bar is free of chemicals and better for your hair and scalp than a bottle of shampoo.

Shampoo bars will cause a transition period. Just like a traditional "no poo" method. You need to allow 2-6 weeks for your hair to transition to not having chemicals in your hair. A shampoo bar should not be used every day. Every other day or every three days is good. Don't worry, your hair will be fine.

Do not buy commercial made shampoo bars. This means anything you find from department stores, drug stores or chain stores. Yes, this includes anything from Lush. The only shampoo bars you should buy will be hand made from a small business. This ensures there are no chemicals in them.

You can buy shampoo bars on Etsy or you can make your own. You must know that shampoo bars are soap and the recipes contain lye. If you do not know how to make cold process soap, please look up the safety information first and get educated. I should mention that I am not responsible for any of your soap making adventures and the outcome. 

Here are a few shampoo bar recipes you can try out. 

For those of you who are experienced with soap making, yes you can hot process shampoo bars. I hot process mine and they turn out great.

Shampoo bar methods with "no poo" 
1. Use a shampoo bar once a week along with your normal "no poo" routine
2. Use a shampoo bar when you need a pick-me-up along with your normal "no poo" routine
3. Add it to your regular "no poo" routine, alternating shampoo bars and baking soda or natural washes.
4. Use a shampoo bar regularly - every 2 - 3 days.

Read part 3

Image credit

Sunday, August 2, 2015

How to go "No poo" or no shampoo part 1: The basics

Let's talk for a moment about going "no poo" or not using shampoo and chemicals in your hair. First, there are a few myths to this. Some people think this means you can't wash your hair at all. That is not true! Granted, some people don't need to wash their hair. However, anyone going "no poo" can wash their hair. Most (if not all) use shampoo bars and organic soap to wash their hair.

Your hair produces natural oils that condition your hair. Using shampoo and conditioner that is commercial made has added chemicals that you don't need. Going "no poo" helps your hair condition itself naturally and keeps you from using added chemicals on your hair.

Before you begin this is important to know! Please, don't go any further before reading this. You will have a transition period. Your hair will be oily. Your hair will look oily. It is going to happen. It will stop. The transition period takes about 2 - 6 weeks depending on your hair and the condition of your hair. You can help this along by a chemical free dry shampoo an egg mask and an apple cider vinegar wash.

During the transition period, it's a good idea to have some hair clips and ponytail holders nearby. If your hair is short, some barrettes are a good idea to have around. Pulling your hair back into barrettes, combs or clips helps hide the transition and keeps you looking nice.

Begin by collecting some simple supplies. At the bare minimum, you will want baking soda, apple cider vinegar, eggs, arrowroot powder (or cornstarch). If you choose to, add to that cocoa powder, cinnamon and an organic or hand made shampoo bar.

Your first wash will be with baking soda. Just add some baking soda to the water and let the baking soda dissolve. In the shower, pour the solution over your hair and scrub it into your scalp. Rinse. Rinse. Rinse. Rinse! Make sure the water isn't too hot. To condition your hair, pour some apple cider vinegar over your hair.

Baking soda can be drying to your hair. Don't do this wash every day. In fact, you shouldn't do it more than once or twice a week. "Ew gross!" You might be saying? It's OK. You can still rinse your hair and you will still be clean. Even though the transition period might feel kind of yuck.

As you move on with the "no poo" method, you will want to learn about shampoo bars and when to use them. You will also want to know about some natural hair masks and DIY dry shampoos you can use. Using all of this together will help keep your hair clean, conditioned and strong without using chemicals.

Read part 2!

Image credit

Saturday, August 1, 2015

DIY Laundry Detergent and Dish Detergent

Making your own laundry and dishwasher detergent isn't that hard or that expensive. It's also not going to ruin your laundry or your dishes. The truth is that making your own laundry and dish washing detergent will save you money in the long run, but the initial investment is a little more than buying a box or bottle at the store.

On the upside, you will eliminate a lot of unnecessary chemicals, fragrances and dyes. You will also have a lot of laundry and dish detergent to last you up to a year.

Like that label? Me too. Check out this site for free printable labels.

Here's the supplies you'll need for both projects. 

1 - 5 gallon bucket with a lid (1 each)
1 measuring cup to scoop. (Grab it at the dollar store)
An old grater or food processor.

Laundry Detergent:
1 bar of shaved/grated Fels-Naptha bar soap 
1 cup of Borax
1 cup of Washing Soda (NOT baking soda) 

1. Grate the bar soap in an old food processor or with a grater.
2. Add the soap, borax and washing soda to the bucket.
3. Stir well with an old spoon.
4. If you'd like, add 2-3 drops of essential oil and stir well with a whisk.
5. Use 2 tablespoons of detergent per load.

Dish Detergent:
1 cup of Borax
1 cup of Washing Soda 
1/2 cup of Citric Acid
1/2 cup of Salt 

1. Stir all ingredients well in the bucket.
2. Use 1 tablespoon (or a little smaller) per load in your dishwasher.
3. You can also use this without the dishwasher to hand wash dishes. Just be careful of non stick coatings! It won't react well with those.