Handmade beauty with Beauty by Shea

You know how people tell you that many commercial health and beauty products are bad for you and how we should go more natural?  What they don’t tell you is how expensive it is to go more natural.  Sticker shock is a killer!  But once you get over the shock you hit Google and Pinterest.  Once you hit Google and Pinterest, you find recipes for the health and beauty items you need.  And sometimes you realize that you have most of the ingredients on hand.  Then you go into the kitchen and blend, giggling all the while.   Sometimes you share these handmade products with friends and family.

That’s my story.  I drifted away from handmade a little, but learning more about Fibromyalgia and environmental sensitivities sent me back into the kitchen.  I make my own laundry detergent, dish soap, all-purpose cleaner, body wash, shampoo, deodorant, and skin cream.  The family doesn’t always share my enthusiasm for my handmade concoctions, but the addition of Shea Butter to the skin cream recipes brings them around.

Beauty by Shea photo.

Beauty by Shea photo.

I regularly make my own foot cream and muscle rubs with essential and coconut oils, but the family wasn’t fond of the coconut oil base.  Adding Shea Butter seems to do the trick.  It thickens the base and the products leave no oily or sticky residue when applied.  I had the chance to try Beauty By Shea’s Pure Organic Unrefined Raw Shea Butter and jumped on it.  This was not my first purchase of raw Shea Butter so I knew what to expect.  My package arrived quickly (thanks to Amazon Prime) and I was impressed from the jump. Real, unrefined Shea Butter is firm-textured at room temperature, has a creamy ivory color, and a faint fragrance on its own that blends perfectly with any added fragrance.

I use it straight up on my elbows and knees to help soften the rough skin. Just a touch is all you need. For my hands, I use a 60/40 blend of Shea Butter and Coconut Oil without added fragrance as a nightly hand cream.  In cold weather when my hands are particularly dry and cracked, nothing beats a 90/10 Shea/Coconut blend, especially when its still warm and has a hint of added fragrance. I reach for essential oils because I’m cutting out as much junk such as artificial fragrance as possible.

This is the start of something wonderful.  Sherrie Thompson photo.

This is the start of something wonderful. Sherrie Thompson photo.

When I need to pick up more Shea Butter, Beauty By Shea is where I’ll shop.  The 1 pound bricks regularly sell for $19, but right now are on sale for $11!  That is an unreal deal!  I may order another bag now so I’ll have it on hand through cooler months and for holiday gifts.

Do you make your own household or beauty products?  What are your favorites?

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Ahh, chocolate! Thanks, Freedom Superfoods Organic Raw Cacao!

freedom cacaoHello.  My name is Sherrie and I have a chocolate problem.  I could eat it every day and never get tired of it.   I like it sweet, dark, mild, straight up or in recipes.  Cutting out dairy meant cutting way back on store-bought chocolate goodness and getting back into the kitchen for my fix.  That wasn’t a problem necessarily, but it wasn’t exactly the best thing for me to do.  You know, since I have that problem.

When I was asked if I’d be interested in trying Freedom Superfoods Organic Raw Cacao, I was not opposed.  Well, more than that.  I was excited; giddy, even.  I know that good quality chocolate has health benefits (it’s rich in antioxidants and minerals), but it seems this stuff is even better.  According to the folks at Freedom Superfoods, their raw cacao is alkalizing and energizing in addition its fiber, magnesium, potassium, copper, and iron that help keep my blood pressure and energy level on point.  It’s non-fermented, organic, raw goodness.

The first thing I did when I received the bag was make a mocha.  It was late morning when my shipment arrived and I needed caffeine.  I noticed how smooth and fine the powder was.  This was not the cocoa powder I was used to.   It blended perfectly into my mocha and made my chocolate-loving self smile.  I think the flavor did more to lift the afternoon slump than the caffeine.

Freedom Superfoods Organic Raw Cacao has adds rich dark chocolate flavor in anything its added to.  When you order a bag, Freedom Superfoods includes an e-book with recipes to try.  Instead of following their recipes, I used the raw cacao the way I usually use cocoa powder.  I mixed it into smoothies and oatmeal at breakfast, coffee and coconut milk for afternoon lattes and mochas, chili at lunch and dinner, and for dessert, everything.  I made raw banana chocolate ice cream, chocolate syrup for topping and dipping, chocolate mousse, and, my current favorite, homemade coconut dark chocolate candy. Thanks to Angela Liddon (Oh She Glows) for that one.   she inspired me and sent me on a candy-making spree.

cacao ig

Coconut Oil, raw cacao, and maple syrup = vegan superfood candy bars!

The recloseable bag helps keep the cacao powder fresh until its all gone.  At this rate, I’ll finish it by the end of the year.  Yes, I plan to give chocolate goodness as holiday presents.   If you want your dark chocolate goodness throughout the day like I do, Freedom Superfoods Organic Raw Cacao is the way to go.  Check them out on Facebook and see why I love this stuff.  The company stands behind their products and offers a 60 day money-back guarantee.

If you’ll excuse me, I have a raw banana chocolate smoothie to finish while I work.  I’d share, but, you know, you’re not here with me.

choc smoothie

Cheers!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Happy Sunday!

What’s going on with you?   Football,  fitness,  family, and meal prep here.  It’s going to be a busy week, so a head start is a good thing.

Sorry, I was distracted by the Falcons’s awesome OT win against the Saints.  Raiders, it was close, but you know next week will be better.  Here’s to an awesome NFL season and killer week!

Oh, and check on me tomorrow,  please.  I took on PiYo Define: Upper Body and 10 minutes of TurboFire Low HIIT 20 this afternoon.  Eep!

 

 

Review: Ozeri WeightMaster Digital Bath Scale with BMI and Weight Differential Detection

I try to avoid the scale. I know, weight is a measure of health (so they say), and there’s a scale hop required at every doc’s visit and one at the physical therapist’s office.  We always had a scale growing up and for some reason were expected to have one.  I didn’t have one during my single days and didn’t care, but for some reason just had to have one once the life with hubs, kids, and dogs started.  For some reason I felt like we needed one.

I hate the scale in general.  It mocks me when I think I look smaller and feel lighter.  It jumps out from under the bed and kicks me in the toe.  It calls to me when I ignore it for too long, taunting me.  Yes, I’m aware it may not happen that way, but it feels like it.

I had the opportunity to move on up to a prettier, less bossy scale and jumped at the chance. The timing was perfect because physical therapy was in full swing and so was my tweaked eating plan.  I figured it wouldn’t hurt to add something else new
to the mix, even if it was as intimidating as a scale. The Ozeri WeightMaster Digital Bath Scale with BMI and Weight Differential Detection has a long name, sleek look,  and nice features.

See, I told you it was attractive.

See, I told you it was attractive.

The first thing I noticed when I opened the package is how attractive the scale is. This baby is a nice-looking slab of
tempered glass with non-slip pads that are gentle on my hardwood floor.  It came with batteries (nice) and clear instructions on
setting up separate profiles for multiple users.  The Weight Differential Detection tracks changes from your last weigh in,
and averages of the last three and seven weigh-ins.  How cool is that?  I like this feature because I can accurately track my
results alone.  Granted I had to teach the family to switch between profiles, but that was no biggie – when they paid attention.

The WeightMaster accepts weight up to 400 pounds.  I don’t want to need that weight limit, but it’s nice to have that option.  It also measures Body Mass Index (BMI), but honestly I try to ignore BMI measures myself because it doesn’t paint a clear picture of health.
I do love the Color Alert Technology which displays a green light for a loss and red light for gain.  If I wanted to gain weight, I might find this annoying.  But I’m all about gains in health and losses in fat and pants size.

I almost bought a different scale, but am glad the Ozeri WeightMaster fell into my lap.  Not only is it accurate (compared to the doc’s scale) and attractive, it’s engineered and manufactured in the USA.  More companies need to stay here instead of trying to move out of the country (I’m  looking at you, Burger King). Ozeri stands behind their products with a 100% Hassle-Free Satisfaction Guarantee. Pick up the WeightMaster in (black or white) or check out Ozeri’s other scales.  I won’t get on the scale more often, but when I do, it will be the WeightMaster.

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

Happy Saturday, Whovians!

It’s happening today!  I’m happy dancing and watching a little of the BBCA marathon in anticipation.

What does a television show have to do with a healthier lifestyle?  It’s not about the show as much as it is about finding something that you enjoy.  If an hour of television can take you away from stress, enjoy it.  Get lost in it and smile, laugh,  giggle, cry, or whatever it does.  Doctor Who does all of the above for me.

So, if you call, text, or drop by while the Doctor is on, don’t expect a response.   Well, not a pleasant one. 😉

Do you have a favorite show?

Endless pool + migraine = bad idea

Happy Migraine Wednesday.

I’m two days in and not feeling fine.  I went to my regularly scheduled aquatic therapy session this morning and kept it at 45 minutes.  It felt pretty good even though my head was spinning.

This is part of my old habit of not listening to the inner voice that tells me to stop.  Ignoring it is rarely a good idea. 

Fast forward to 6:15 pm and I’m about done.  We’d planned a short workout at our potential new gym, but I don’t think I can make it. Yeah, it’s an early bedtime for Sherrie tonight.

Hope your Wednesday is better.

August is here!

Yes, it’s a new month complete with a new tropical storm (hi, Bertha).  Kids are heading back to school, tax-free shopping weekend sales are starting,  and the thought of a quiet house between 8 and 3 pm is making parents giddy.

Sorry, kids.  Well, no, not really.

To me, the start of a new month is time to reflect on the gains of the previous month and set new targets for the current month.  Notice I said gains?  It’s my way of focusing on the positive.  In July I increased resistance, speed, and strength.  I hit a smaller size.  I wanted to shop for clothing instead of just grabbing whatever I thought would fit.  It sunk in that I need to eat if I’m going to succeed.  No more drastic cuts to calorie intake.   For August I want to increase my aquatic therapy sessions.  I want to wear a certain top and have it look good.  I want to improve on July’s fitness targets.  See, all positive and also realistic and attainable.   It took years to fall apart and it takes time to fully recover, heal, and thrive.

What are your August targets?  You can reach them.  I’ll be right here, cheering you on.

Stormy Weather

Just call me the human barometer.

A nasty thunderstorm popped up a little over an hour ago.  I knew it was coming because I felt it in my bones.  My already sore knee and ankle went into overdrive.  Pain that burns, tingles, and feels numb at once.  Then my shoulder decided to join in.  The day went from awesome to holy crap in just a few hours.  The plan before the flare was to get some cooking and organization going.  It hasn’t changed,  but the timetable has.  Instead of going nuts in there, I’ll tackle cooking today and finish organizing over the weekend.   Listening to my body makes a huge difference in my good and bad days.  I hope you listen to yours.

What are you up to?  How’s the weather where you are?  No matter what it’s like,  I hope you have a great weekend.

Happy Friday, all! What’s shaking?

So, what’s shaking?  The same old thing here, but with a little more happy.

If it seems like I’m extra happy right now it’s because I am.  I went to physical therapy as usual on Wednesday and was released as a pt client.  That means I’ve improved enough that I can start the work on my own.  While I plan to stay on as a wellness client (to use that fab Endless Pool), I’m also going to slowly get back to my old activity level.  Part of my ramped up activity includes more low impact bodywork, including PiYo.

piyo 3 day

I’m sure you’ve heard of PiYo by now because it’s the newest Beachbody release from Chalene Johnson – love her!  It’s a home version of the PiYo classes offered in clubs all over the place.  I need low impact workouts like Pilates and yoga so that I don’t hurt myself or slow my recovery.    As much as I love 21-Day Fix, even the modified movements are too much for me right now.  I’ll go back to it when I get the all-clear to do so.

There’s no shame in admitting that you need a change and moving on.  Never feel ashamed or let anyone tell you that you’re lazy because you recognize your limits and are working around them .  Do not ignore them for the sake of proving you’re not lazy.  It’s better to work harder and smarter than to go all out when you’re body is unable.   Trust me, I fell into that trap and did much more harm than good.  

Now back to my regularly scheduled message. 

PiYo has a six days on, one off weekly schedule.  Because I’m going to listen to my body, my plan is to start with three days of PiYo with one day of aquatic therapy each week.  I’ll train for a day and take the following day off.  On my rest days, I’ll still get in my usual five to ten minutes of gentle yoga and walking.   My eating plan will stay about the same for now with one exception.   Gluten has to go, doc’s orders.

So that’s what I’m up to.  If you want to know more about PiYo, my eating plan (regular and cheat day), or how I modify fitness and eating plans to suit my needs, give me a shout.   I’m on Facebook and all over social media.  Just look for Sherrie Thompson or WAHMinSC.  I’d love to hear from you.