As Seen On Pinterest: Coconut Oil Hair Treatment

Self care step one

 

A post about using coconut oil on your hair went viral this week on my Pinterest. My hair is a bit of a hot mess from pregnancy and I had some coconut oil sitting in my pantry, so I thought I’d give it a try.

My hair is pretty long, almost to my bra strap, so I used a chunk that fit in the palm of my hand. I’d say probably about the size of a small bar of soap. Turning my head upside down, I started running the bar of oil through my hair.

Here’s where I would make a change in my approach. I would soften the oil up considerably next time. My hair is so fragile right now that I felt the rough pull and snag of the room temperature oil pulled some hair out. I’m sure room temp oil in the summer would work just fine but right now, with  cold weather approaching and our heat off, it was just a bit too rough. As the oil warmed in my hands, it became easier to manipulate and massage into my hair.

And then I realized I didn’t have a shower cap. Obviously, I hadn’t thought this through. I called for the kids, cited my oiling hands and asked them to get me the plastic wrap. We all managed to wrap my head up and I let it sit for about a half hour. Maybe forty five minutes.

I bribed the kids with marshmallows and hopped in the shower.

It took me a couple washes to get the oil completely out, but it was completely worth my time. My hair was so soft after it dried and not greasy at all! It’s had a lot more life to it these past few days, too. I can’t see this happening every week (I don’t have enough marshmallows!) but I’m going to make an effort to do this at least biweekly, for sure.

As Seen On Pinterest: Doll Hair Taming

Floating around Pinterest is a concoction of fabric softener and water that supposedly tames unruly doll hair. My beloved Felicity American Girl doll has horrible hair and I loved the idea of fixing it instead of sending her to the pricey doll hospital.

Before testing it out on my childhood friend, I decided to attempt it on good ol’ Pinkie Pie.

Before

I put 2 tablespoons of Mrs. Myers fabric softener into 2 cups of water. I spritzed it heavily on her hair, combed it gently and set her outside to dry.

After

This was the end result! I also tried it on a pony from the 80s to see if older hair mattered and it actually took the solution better than the McDonalds toy.

In 2 weeks time, both ponies had frizzy hair again. They got tossed right back into the toy rotation, so maybe if they had been display toys it wouldn’t have happened. Also, I felt like their hair had a weird, tacky residue. Maybe if I had used a main stream fabric softener (Mrs. Myers is plant based) or less fabric softener to water, it wouldn’t have happened. Who knows.

While I wouldn’t use it on my AG doll, it makes for a great pony salon day.

As Seen On Pinterest: Cucumber Water

Source: wp.me via Dallas Ann on Pinterest

 

I had such high hopes for cucumber water. It seemed an easy way to get my water down. Almost elegant. I’m not a fan of the taste of water and I don’t like the water flavor additive packets you can get at the store.

At the first sip, I paused. I couldn’t decide if I liked it or if it tasted how slugs would feel sliding down my throat.

Second sip, I still couldn’t decide.

I drank the entire half gallon over the next 2 days (couldn’t bring myself to put it to waste) and came to the conclusion that the idea is lovely but it’s all slugs to me.

In case you’re curious, here is the recipe I tried:

Cucumber Water

2 quarts cold water
1 medium cucumber, washed and thinly sliced
3 sprigs of mint, gently crushed

Mix all ingredients together and thoroughly chill. Sip and enjoy.

Perspective Versus Deprivation

I use to love food and every aspect of it. Planning meaningful meals around seasonal produce. I found an almost meditative experience simmering this and that on the stove while prepping produce and herbs in between stirring pots. It was an outlet for my creative process and one I enjoyed immensely. The smells, sounds, tastes and sharing with others was always something I looked forward to.

Now?

Some days, I hate food. I hate planning it. I hate prepping. I hate cooking. I even hate eating it because I have no mental or emotional energy left to even enjoy it. Some nights, I wish we could all swallow a single pill that would meet all our nutritional needs for the day and just leave it at that.

So what changed?

Over the last five years, I have slowly and grudgingly realized that my family is healthiest when not consuming dairy or gluten. Last year, we discovered gluten makes my kids not sleep. Dairy causes a whole host of other problems (the oldest has an epi pen for her dairy allergy!). This has sucked so much joy out of cooking for me. No more cream based sauces, pastas, sandwiches, toast (mmmm hot sourdough toast with salted butter), cheesy eggs, not to mention very little eating out.

These dietary restrictions and budgetary constraints pretty much decimated my cooking repertoire. I spend a lot of time combing the internet, looking for kid friendly and husband friendly meals. It is a lot of hit or miss. A lot of discouragement. We’ve tried eating gluten free vegan, paleo (minus the dairy) and everything else in between. Nothing seems to really work well for us.

When I step into my kitchen, I feel beat down, discouraged and deflated. I can’t bake cookies with the kids on a whim. It requires forethought and careful planning. Do I have the appropriate “flours”? Can I sub what the recipe requires for what I have in my pantry? If I don’t, is it worth the time to pile all the kids into the car to go to the store and can I justify the nutso prices for a recipe we may not even like? By that point, I’m too mentally tired to even try.

Don’t even get me started on sandwich bread.

I use to hold it together by telling myself that this is only a stage and as time passes, we’ll be able to go back to a more “traditional” diet. Then as more time passes, I realize that this is truly a new lifestyle and not just a life stage.  Now, I feel like I’ve finally hit a turning point. I can’t live like this. No, I refuse to live the rest of my life with this attitude towards food. It’s not healthy.

Instead of trying to recreate former dishes or yearn for things that are now forbidden, I try to find new favorites. Trying new favorites right now is difficult because we truly are in a temporary stage. Having a tiny baby pretty much takes away any cooking options other than what’s quick and easy. In time, this will change. Hazel will grow and become more content to sit by herself and can I simmer this or that on the stove while chopping fresh produce. I won’t be so exhausted by having three young children that I will be able to take the time to make up my own flour mixes to facilitate experimenting with sandwich bread.

In the mean time, I will enjoy things like this delicious breakfast:

Breakfast was delicious.

Simple eggs, fried in coconut oil, over black beans seasoned with cumin and salt, served with garden fresh tomatoes. I liked it so much that I had it again for lunch, only adding tapenade and sweet onion mustard to top the eggs. Amazing. It was practically a food party in my mouth!

Then, I discovered these cookies on Pinterest. Gluten and dairy free and needing ZERO strange flours. Peanut butter, an egg, sugar, cocoa powder. Chocolate chips (which I ran walked to the corner store for!). That’s it. Again, amazing.

Slowly, I’m turning the corner. Some days, I do stomp my feet over meal planning or sigh in exasperation at the grocery store. Those moments are coming less frequently as time goes on. If I focus on what we can have, what we can enjoy, instead of zeroing in on what we can’t experience, it is just easier all around.

These are some places I go for gluten and dairy free inspiration. Not all recipes meet our dietary needs, but I can generally modify them with ease.

Gluten Free Girl. This is a brilliant, brilliant blog. Be sure to check out her Ratio Ralley for creating gluten free flour mixes. And please, PLEASE do yourself the favor of getting a food scale if you’re going to do GF baking from scratch. It will make your life so much simpler.

Roost: A Simple Life. I come here and take a deep, calming breath as I look at the pictures. There is something deeply calming about her writing style and images. The recipes are gloriously documented in stunning pictures and they are, for the most part, attainable by the basic cook. She bakes almost exclusively with almond flour, which makes it easy to stock the pantry. Not all of her recipes are dairy free.

Once A Month Mom. Freezer cooking at its finest! They provide a dairy and gluten free menu (for free!) once a month. I’ve found this to be a wonderful resource. Not everything has been a hit with my family but that’s to be expected. This really is gluten and dairy free cooking for the busy family. Spend one day cooking all the things and you’re set for the month.

Dallas Ann’s Pinterest Board . If you’re a Pinterest fanatic, take a look at my GF/DF pin board. I haven’t tried everything, so I can’t vouch for it, but it may trigger some inspiration for you.

As Seen On Pinterest: Sidewalk Paint

The kids loved sidewalk paint! It didn’t load well onto regular paint brushes, so they used q-tips for painting. It worked well enough, though I suspect that sponge brushes would work best.

2 TB corn starch
4 TB water
Gel Food coloring until desired color. I used neon shades and it seemed to need a lot of food coloring to get the shade we wanted.

Mix well and have fun! Washes off easily with water to create a clean canvas for next time.

Meaningful work (kind of). Scrubbing the front porch at Mama's request.

Sometimes, I think Miles enjoys the cleaning more than the painting.

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