The universe of DIY

So I’ve been into body care DIYs lately. Soap, face wash, bubble baths and the like. The other day my husband came out of the bathroom with the handsoap in hand and demanded, “What’s this?”

“It’s soap. It works. Use it.”

“Did you make it?” he asked suspiciously.

“Yes. It works. Use it.”

He reluctantly used it and I heard some complaints later about weird soap. “Why can’t you just buy stuff like a normal person?” he wanted to know.

This is a good question.

Cosmetics and our health

I’ve had various health issues most of my life, starting when I was a teenager. Since discovering some of the causes a few years ago, it has made me a lot more aware of what I put into my body. Learning the impacts of too many antibiotics and other medications on my body has made me realize how complex an ecosystem our body is. It’s also an amazing thing that can heal itself if given the right environment. Reducing stress in our lives can bring tremendous change, eating better can bring so much more energy, but also removing certain chemical stressors that we don’t know are or could be impacting our health is something I’m interested more in.

Canadians are fairly lucky in that our government does a pretty good job at monitoring what is helpful and harmful for its citizens. However, we don’t always know everything there is to know about every substance we interact with. I remember growing up watching commercials that advertised laundry detergent without phosphates, because they had recently been banned due to the realization it was harming the environment. From what I can see, Canada sits between the US and the EU when it comes to food and drug regulations. The US is much more lax on these things, and the EU far more strict.

When it comes to cosmetics, the EU has 1,400 substances banned, Canada has about 500 banned, while the US has only 11 banned. My husband pointed out that the EU is complicated in that sometimes it bans things for trade purposes, so that they are more economically self-sustainable. So maybe these numbers are a bit skewed. According to David Suzuki and a few other concerned parties, there are at least 12 substances that we should be more aware of that we are putting in and on our bodies because they are suspected to disrupt hormones and/or interfere with reproduction and/or lead to cancer.

Everything Causes Cancer

For awhile I had the attitude that we’re all going to die of cancer so why don’t we just live our lives. While that may be fine for me to decide for my self, if there are simple ways to reduce the negative impact on the lives of my family and children, then I’m going to do what I can.

Replacing my soaps, shampoos, and the makeup I wear each day is pretty simple. In most cases it’s really simple and cheap as well (makeup is less cheap, but I’m finding cheaper alternatives). It’s much simpler than doing a diet overhaul. I’m certainly making my choices. I do eat at McDonald’s. I’m by no means a total granola mom who doesn’t feed her kids sugar, and snacks on only veggies.

Want to give some DIYs a try?

diyHere are a few of the simplest cosmetic DIYs to try if you want. Finding the containers is the trickiest part. You can reuse other soap containers or you can buy them at well.ca.

Note: when it comes to essential oils, please make wise choices. Many are not safe for children under 2 or while pregnant or breastfeeding or can interact with various medications including SSRIs and blood thinners. To learn more check out Using EOs Safely.

Just want to buy safebuyiyr alternatives?

I started by splurging on BeautyCounter, because I was relieved I found a legit brand that I didn’t need to research. But the cost felt too high for me to really invest. If you can afford it, BeautyCounter is a great option (this links to my friend Emily‘s store). After enjoying the products (because they’re great), I was motivated to find less expensive alternatives. It turns out there are some really great ones! Some end up being cheaper than making yourself once you buy all of the containers etc, or they’re comparable in price.

  • Andalou Naturals body care. You can buy this at Loblaws/Provigo in the organic/health food section or well.ca where it’s currently linked to. It’s also at my local health food store. They’re FANTASTIC face washes and creams.
  • Physicians Formula makeup. You can also buy this at Loblaws/Provigo in the organic section or on well.ca.

There really are a lot of options once you start looking into it. More importantly, looking into it doesn’t have to be overwhelming. I looked to see what was at the health section at Provigo, then checked my local health store, and looked at well.ca. Then I compared them to the Environmental Working Group’s “Skindeep” database that rates the cosmetic. An easier option is to browse what you want on the “Green” section of well.ca, then check a product’s rating on the EWG database.

Have a recipe to share? A product you love? A fear you have? Want to share more information? Comment away!

Easter DIY

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So like I said the other day, I got a little inspired and ended Easter-ifying a Christmas printable I found on Pinterest and have been using to decorate for christmas for the last two years. I will be clear: I did not make the original. All glory and thanks goes to eighteen25. What I did was change the colours and make one have a chevron print. That’s it. No special thanks to me at all.

It was pretty surprising how quickly that Christmas stuff came down when I was motivated to put something better up. These are much better for spring than the dark colours of those Christmas ones.

easter banner

Click the image to get to the actual file

For instructions on how to make the banner, I’m going to direct you over to the eighteen25 blog, since they deserve the props. Here they are.

I also made a Easter-related Bible verse that you can print out and frame if that’s your thing. Yes, I used more than 2 fonts. Deal with it!

resurrection

Click the image to get to the actual file

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You can see the bottom line is cut off, but I edited the image so that shouldn’t be a problem for you if you choose to use it.

Do you usually decorate based on the holiday? Or the season? Do you even decorate your place? Leave your comment here.

New Year’s Resolutions

I drafted this post back in December and had meant to post it then. Work projects built up and then Christmas came. So here we are four days into the New Year. I haven’t actually started working on these yet, but that hasn’t deterred me from working towards them. My goal is to be still doing this when the hoards of new people in the gym have long left.

I have three simple resolutions for myself: Read a book every two weeks; find other exercise to do 3x a week until I can run again; start a craft I can do while I watch TV.

1. Read a book every 2 weeks.

A few years ago I decided to try to read a book a week and that worked for about four weeks. Then I let life get out of hand. This year I know I actually have more time on my hands than I did that year, but I don’t want my life to revolve around reading only (because currently I consume way too much Netflix!), either. I’ve heard the phrase “Readers are leaders” often. I’m not sure how convened I am with being a leader — I just like life (and myself) more when l’m reading (non-fiction). I’m thinking through things more, I have more things to talk about in conversation with people, and life is just more interesting. I have a stack of free books I got on Kindle so I have no shortage of books to read. So this year I’m only going to have the goal of reading a book every two weeks.

2. Continue getting exercise 3x a week until I can start running again.

Everyone knows that exercise is an important aspect of living a healthy life. For me, I’m a better employee and person when I’m exercising. Life is just better. I’ve never done a good job of maintaining any exercise through the winter so I imagine this will be the hardest one for me.

3.Start a craft (sewing or cross-stitching)

I’ve had a cross-stitch pattern in my mind for the last few months. I’ve figured out how to take it, put into Photoshop and turn it into a cross-stitch pattern. Now I just need to actually do it. My mom refreshed my memory on how to do it when I was visiting for Christmas so the next steps are to buy the right colour of embroidery thread and get going.

Have you thought about a New Year’s Resolution? Are you toying with an idea but aren’t yet ready to commit? Have you already started? Share in the comments here!

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