Sadly, this blog is a bit sleepier than I'd like these days. Pop over here if you'd like to know why.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Creation Overload / Sugar Scrub

Do you ever get so inspired that you can't sleep at night? Like, there's a million things you want to create and put together and line up? Sunday night, that was me. It has toned down a bit but... don't take long walks by yourself in Portland unless you want your inspiration to amp right back up.

Not that this is suddenly my personal dear diary blog, but I finally connected the dots about my career path anxiety. I think it was right around the time when I passed the man sitting outside on the sidewalk in the lower half of a snowsuit. (It was probably 80 degrees out). I was so tempted to take photos, especially of the front yard bedecked with christmas decor and Thomas the Tank Engine, but... I wasn't sure about the degree of friendliness in my immediate surroundings (read: the woman who remarked on my outfit as I walked by: "some people are all fashion" [not in a good way]). All that to say I'm blowing up with handmade love over here.

Since I've brought up the subject of personal hygiene... let's keep going. I made a sugar scrub yesterday. Now in addition to washing my hair with baking soda, I'm washing my body with sugar. There's a recipe here, and below is how I changed it (besides doubling).

Blood Orange Sugar Scrub

Mixed a cup of sugar with a half cup of canola oil. Added a few teaspoons of lemon juice. I didn't have any essential oils (I don't think I'm an EO person), so I experimented a bit. I grated the skin of a blood orange and mixed it in. It made it smell nice and the little flecks of orange peel look really pretty. Note: The recipe calls for a plastic jar. If you make this, use glass. Essential oils will soak in to the plastic and you don't want that.

Blood Orange Sugar Scrub

I used the scrub today. A little goes a long way. I accidently slathered too much on my left arm, but it was pretty smooth and glowy all day.

And this morning was day #2 for washing my hair with baking soda (I didn't use the vinegar). I'm still very happy with the results.

Oh. And I got a haircut. It was part of that Sunday-night-inspiration-anxiety-I-need-changes deal I mentioned. But in order to take a photo of it I had to hang my camera from a tree. This is what you get.

In which she tries to take a photo of her new haircut by hanging her camera in a tree.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Um... Don't Judge Me...

But... I've decided to stop shampooing my hair, and I took flowers from a senior center.

I can explain.

I've been engaged in an ongoing battle with shampoo. In my quest to reduce my contribution to cruelty, I've decided to only use products that don't test on animals and are earth friendly. (I do a pretty good job, but I'm not perfect, so you don't need to snoop in my medicine cabinet!) Shampoo has been a major problem. I bought some natural stuff and hated it. I bought some other stuff (don't actually remember) and didn't like it. In Peru hair issues went from bad to worse. I could not get the shampoo to rinse out of my hair. I blamed the cold water, but Shauna didn't really have any problems. Seriously, when you go a few weeks with shampoo (and various other detergents I tried) just building in your hair, you get pigtails like these. It's not pretty. But we came back and things were a little bit better. My current shampoo, Trader Joe's, I super hate. My roommate lets me use her shampoo on occasion (it's Clairol, so it's cheating). But really, same problem. I cannot get shampoo to wash completely out of my hair. I am always left with this weird shampooy matted mess in the back. But not anymore.

I'm engaging in an experiment. No more shampoo. Instead... baking soda. Last night I was reading all about the evils of shampoo and the glory of baking soda (and vinegar) over here, that I first read about here. Basically, shampoo is harmful for your hair because it strips out the oils. You need conditioner to return the oils, but it doesn't do such a hot job of it. But... washing your hair with a mix of baking soda and water, and giving a periodic rinse with apple cider vinegar, restores your hair to its pre-shampoo state. I'm going to give it a month (less if this experiment goes awry).

An Experiment in Haircare

I did it this morning and really liked the results. I didn't have the sticky shampooy mess I usually have in the back, and my hair felt really clean. (It doesn't smell like vinegar, I swear). I will let you know how the experiment goes. (Molly, you should try it too! Your hair would be perfect!)

If you feel brave...

To Wash:
mix 1 tablespoon baking soda per 1 cup of warm water

Vinegar Rinse:
mix 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar per 1 cup of cool water

Now the flowers.

I was at the senior center today to finish up some paperwook for job #2. All the seniors were exiting the building with these lovely dahlias. In making conversation with the attendant at the front desk, I commented on how pretty the flowers looked. She told me the farmers market donates all the left over flowers from the weekend to the senior center. I must have shown the correct level of enthusiasm because she then invited me to help myself! I admit, I felt a little weird taking flowers from a senior center while the Luepke Center Singers rehearsed The Sound of Music just over my shoulder... but, well, they are really pretty.

Farmers Market via Luepke Senior Center

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Blackberry Jam

Blackberry Jam

Way back when I lived at The Homestead (it feels like an eternity, only been a month)... I made blackberry jam!

Blackberries are not the friendliest of invasive species, but I have to forgive them for a few weeks each year when you can't turn a corner in Bellingham without running into berries. We picked around the yard and down the street.

Now my freezer is fully stocked.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Italian Prunes

One good thing about moving back near my family... reuniting with my favorite plums from childhood. We would go to my grandmother's house and fill grocery sacks full of plums... and eat and eat and eat. Now that I'm back in town during the harvest, I can take part again. So. I did.

Italian Prunes

Coming home with a box full of plums I knew the next day would be a baking day. There really aren't too many italian prune recipes out there, but I finally came across one that would do after a few changes.

Vegan Purple Plum Pie

4 c. sliced italian prunes
3/4 c. sugar
3 tbsp. flour
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. Earth Balance

Pit the plums and slice thinly, probably into eighths
Combine flour and sugar in a bowl, mix with plums
Pour into prepared pie crust
Drizzle lemon juice over top, dot with Earth Balance
Place top pie crust, cut to vent

If you need a pie crust recipe, this one is tops.

2 c. flour
1/3 c. water
2/3 c. olive oil

Mix ingredients in bowl until a ball forms, divide in half
Place dough between two pieces of parchment paper and roll into a circle, this is your bottom
Repeat for top

Bake for 8 minutes at 350, reduce heat to 250 and bake for an hour
(Note: the baking time isn't quite right, I always end up baking the pie much longer, or turning the heat up and baking until it bubbles)

I've said before that my Housewifery Out of Control Pie was my favorite pie of all time both for taste and color... and I still stand by those statements. But this pie comes in a close second for color.

Italian Prune Pie

Monday, September 15, 2008


September has felt more like August this year. It must be the combination of hot weather and unemployment. But I'm definitely not complaining... it's like making up for the first few weeks of summer that I missed, but with huckleberries.


We headed towards Indian Heaven (southwest of Mount Adams) yesterday to scout out the best picking spot, and found a pretty good one. My favorite places are where you can just drop to the ground and pick huckleberries while sitting in the grass. (After checking for deer droppings, almost made that mistake yesterday).


We each picked just shy of a gallon... which is fairly impressive considering how huckleberries grow. They are very small and scattered all over the bush, not in nice little easy to pick clumps. It takes a lot of work. Not to mention you have to keep your eyes and ears on alert for hungry bears. (A couple of false alarms yesterday... turns out my mom can sound very bear-like when sampling berries).


I can't think of too many better ways to spend a sunny weekend in September than traveling through the gorge and being outside in the woods.

Friday, September 5, 2008


So yesterday was my 1 year Blogiversary. I don't think it deserves the same pomp and circumstance as a Vegebration (Vegetarian + Celebration = vegetarian anniversary that I've never mentioned here) but it seems noteworthy, nonetheless.

And I did make cupcakes.

Happy Cupcake

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


Look at that new masthead!

Thanks Julia!