Aaaaaaannnnd I’m back! Sorta, kinda, not really, maybe.

Hey all 🙂

Haven’t posted in a while, certainly nothing finance-y. Sidenote: I’ve discovered I have a bad internet addiction where I spend too much time on useless stuff aka reddit and not doing anything productive,  I need to work on this in the next few months, I’ve already cut my cell data, what else can I do to be more productive? I traveled a few weeks in October/November, moved out of my house for a few weeks to let some new immigrants stay there in November/December(they paid for it, though, but I’m broke so it was worth it) and then Christmas came and went, and New Years, and here we are! I think quite a lot has changed since I’ve last put any serious effort into blogging at all, but I’ll get to all of that eventually… or not.

Recently I’ve been toying with the idea of no longer using any shampoo or conditioner in my hair and as of today, that idea is becoming reality, I hope. Today marks day#1 of experiment no-more-shampoo-in-my-hair

hello hair!

hello hair! Picture taken about a year ago when I bought a new dress

I have very fine blonde hair, it hasn’t changed at all since I became a teen and I generally keep it the same length-ish. This pic was taken last year, it’s usually that length or two inches orso shorter and I wash and condition it every day. I like daily showers… I shower pretty quick and it helps me start the day off right. Since moving to Canada I’ve never had to worry about a water bill because I have my own well, as did my parents. The only worry in the house used to generally be if we had conditioner or not, as all my sisters and my mom have long fine hair, conditioner was/is a prime commodity. 😉

I dont spend much on shampoo and conditioner as most of it is gifted, thrifted, found etc, so this isn’t about cutting cost but more about convenience, less clutter, and less chemical.

Besides very fine blonde hair that gets greasy if I don’t wash it every day and then it’s just awful… I also have allergies, I’ll use the wrong shampoo or use something new and bam, my scalp itches and I look like I have lice because I keep scratching my head, or my forehead gets all red and bumpy, good times! So after toying with the idea and in my ongoing journey to living a more intentional life filled with less crap (minimalism, I started the year off by getting rid of more stuff and more furniture and I’m in the process of placing ads for a host of household items!) I decided, why not junk the shampoo and conditioner too.  

Last summer I went a while using dr. bronners and apple cider vinegar and baking soda rinses but that wasn’t cutting it, it was more hassle, more work, more annoyance. I also made some shampoo bars and tried that and  while it works just as well as regular shampoo I stilll ended up in the cycle of shampoo, lather, rinse, condition, lather, rinse… Then I just went through a month of using a new conditioner that kept leaving my hair feeling brassy and brittle… So I decided to just cold-turkey it.

This is day one, freshly washed with just warm water;

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I didnt bother cropping 😉 I dont usually use any product in my hair, heatdry it or style it at all. I wear it loose and down or up in a ponytail. No mess, no fuss! I switched to using a widetoothed wooden comb about a year ago already. Today I scrubbed my hair in the shower, using just my fingers tips and water, getting my scalp scrubbed well all the way around. My hair isn’t as knotted up as it is when I try to skip the conditioner, but it also isn’t as nice and smooth as when I do use a nice sillicone-filled conditioner.. .

Everything is looking and feeling good so far! I don’t own a hair dryer but I’ll be making daily pics and will be posting again soon to let you know how everything is going and what things are going to be like dry.

Here is some reddit info on quitting shampoo (the internet likes calling it “nopoo” which sounds awful, so I’ve avoided that phrase here)

No shampoo FAQ

I also found this gal’s blogpost about it helpful

Back in October I ended up buying an industrial sized drum of 35% peroxide and a 25kg bag of Lye from a guy off Kijiji. He was using it for woodworking (so he says, but who knows, maybe he was making drugs :-o) Anyway, so I ended up paying something like $35 bucks or something for them. The peroxide was for work but the lye… I had no idea what to do with the lye but I took it home anyway.

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I did some googling and quickly figured out a basic soap recipe and made a batch of basic soap with four different oils. (Castor/Olive/Semolina/Coconut) I’ll save rehashing soap recipes, there are already lots of websites out there that will tell you HOW to make soap. Just pick something you like, be careful and start your chemistry lab. It’s fun! (Also use this: Soapcalc)

I don’t know why I keep seeing all these blogs and comments of women that say it took them months to stop being scared of lye or are still terrified to work with it… maybe it’s because I’m used to handling chemicals, lye is NOT scary. Just be careful and jump right in.

I used a cute silicone heartshaped ice cube mold that I already had on hand to set the soap in. it turned out pretty cool so I made a second batch that week of larger soaps to wash the dog with.

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They’re nothing special, just a very basic olive oil soap to which I added some Tea Tree and peppermint essential oil. I tried to unmold them too quick after about 24 hours so I totally botched a few bars, they needed to sit for a few days to be hard enough to unmold. They ended up quite soft and have been curing on the shelf in my basement until now.

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They’ve turned a much darker colour and are very hard now and ready for use. In fact I used a whole bar on my dog after this happened:

IMG_4861f089a79b5626c831d0932e8f27ebDog sees beach after 4 months of no beach -> dives right in -> gets out of water and rolls his non-wet half in stinky mud. He had to be hosed down in the tub and scrubbed, I used up a full bar of soap to get his fur thoroughly shampoo’d and cleaned up. He smells clean again now though! Or rather, he just smells like his earthy, sandalwoody-pleasant dog-self again. And no itch, the soap was superfatted to be very rich – you can read what that is right here –  and contains no dye, no artificial anything, it’s very gentle.

So, having actual days off these days means my creative side comes out more. When I don’t have time to breathe and just putter around the house I just don’t have the energy or ideas to work on little projects. Late last fall I decided to start taking a regular schedule and work more regular hours with scheduled days off and it’s working out so nicely! Among all the other healthful changes I have made in my life in the past year already, I am finding more time to come up with ideas! ANYWAY, this past weekend I made another batch of soaps! I started with a simple olive oil and coconut superfatted 19% base (about 60% coconut, 40% olive oil) (yes that’s a lot, but it’s my chem lab and I’ll do what I want)

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Lye is kind of fun to play with, it reacts when you add distilled water and heats up very rapidly. I just do it in the sink with the window and door open to create good airflow and gloves on. I’ve only made small batches with about 250 grams of oil, so I’m not working with a lot of lye here.

I grabbed these cute little icecube molds from Dollarama, they have sillicone pushout bottoms making it easier to get the soaps out and I figured they are the perfect small size to make trial batch of single/a few time use mini bars. There was no actual recipe that I followed for the process after creating the soap base. I did some rough research, added salt to make some into scrub bars and added essential oils, cinnamon, honey into others to make something else.

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Look how super cute these little scrub bars are! I made four types of mini-soaps which if you follow me on instagram you’ve already seen me spam about 🙂 I made a Frosted Cranberry body scrub bar, Cinnamon, Honey & Vanilla body scrub bar, ‪‎Peppermint ‎Vanilla ‬body scrub bar and ‪a few Ylang‬ Ylang & Tea tree face bars.

So far nobody likes the Ylang Ylang :-(, I personally do think it smells a bit like old lady but… I have a small bottle of DoTerra Ylang Ylang essential oil so I figured I’d try to do something with it. I love the peppermint vanilla scent and I’ll be trying out the cinnamon scrub bar in the shower tonight.

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These hardened up much faster than my first two batches of soap due to the high coconut oil content. They were too soft after 4 hours but I was able to unmold them easily and without damage after 24 hours. I decided to wrap them up after 72 hours, they are hardening quite nicely! Right now they have the feel of a Dove bar, I suspect they will get harder over the coming weeks.

I made my own cigar band wrappers with scrapbooking leftovers I used to make my new planner a few months ago, I glued them shut and lined them all up on a plastic tray to place downstairs to cure for a few more weeks before I give them away (and ship a few off to other places)

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They look like truffles and they do smell delicious but they are definitely not edible!

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Aren’t they adorable? I tried out the Cinnamon scrub bar this evening and the lather is great, again very similar to a Dove bar. Unlike my other bars which go quite soft when wet these stay nice and hard, lather well and dont leave my hands feeling dried out at all. I am so happy with how this turned out. They’re awesome!

I will be modifying this recipe further this week. I’m looking for more scent and soap ideas. My next batch will likely be a chunk of castile soap but I’m thinking of how to make a good grease-fighting handscrub soap with added salt or sand or oatmeal something to be abrasive for cleaning hands covered in oil from working in the garage. Any ideas? Ever make soap? It’s so much fun!

This is going to be an image heavy post. On November 8, 2008 I took possession of my little house. In June 2014 I moved out and in September 2014 I put it up for sale. I currently live with my sister, renting a house that my parents purchased to fix up while I wait for my house to sell. I was going to do this post in one go but it turns out I have way, way too many pictures. I did so much, it’s hard to give a clear overview without missing too much or adding too much.

Exterior before and after

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The only exterior projects I did not complete were adding gutters and putting on a new roof. Someone is currently looking at purchasing the house and I’m holding off on the roof… I don’t exactly have money for it anyway and I’m hoping to get an offer. Stuff I did outside:

Landscaping, new floor, roof and siding on shed + moved it, installed patiostone paths around the house and to the front door. New doors, all new windows except the sunroom, built on an addition, got rid of the firepit, removed a dead tree, removed old deck and added a new one. Total cost? At this point I have no idea anymore

Old porch and newly built-on bedroom

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This is by far the largest project I did, the most time consuming, the one where I learned the most and the most expensive coming in at around 10-12k.. Stuff I did here:

The foundation under the old small porch had crumbled, I removed it, filled the hole and had a new bedroom built on. I had the framing, roof and shingles done by a family friend. I finished the interior insulation, heating, drywal, flooring, trim and paint myself. When I look back it’s like a blur… I didn’t know how to do half of it when I started and I’m still not sure I do now. The end result turned out great though!  I added about 130 sq ft to the house and once the bedroom was completed built the deck off the back. It was hard, it was lonely and expensive. I wouldn’t do it again on my own.

Sunroom (the room with all the windows in the front) turned laundry/mudroom

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The sunroom has always been my favourite room of the house, it’s bright in the summer and gets so nice and warm you feel like rolling up in a ball like a cat and just enjoying the sunshine.

I removed the old door, and the entire wall with the help of some friends. Some of the beams had rotten so part of the floor was replaced too. There used to be a window facing into the livingroom, at some point that was an exterior wall. I closed up the wall and drywalled over it to make room for the cabinets and washer and dryer. This room got all new electrical, drywal, trim, the washer and dryer were moved here after the old porch was demolished to make room for the new bedroom. My dad did the tile and vinyl on the floor and the bright squash colour was daring, I haven’t regretted it once! It’s done now… and I never got to use it!

Haha, alright, on to part #2. Check back in a few days 😛