Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Homemade Handscrubs, and other fancy things.

Afternoon! I decided to make this particular post because several people have asked me for the recipe to  the handscrub I usually have at my apt. Also, I've just return from an amazing girls weekend in ol' Huntsville AL with some of my good friends from my last job. We crafted and talked to the wee hours (really, like 4am) but somehow didn't squeeze in making this recipe. So, if they'd like they can use this to make it themselves without me :(

While I was in college, I started moving towards making a lot of things homemade. Its cheaper, its usually healthier, and I love the process of creating something useful. Like crafting with a result that is useful to everyday life. At this point I make most of the things I use on my body at home including hand/body scrubs, facial scrubs, facial masks, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, and cleaning stuff like laundry detergent, floor cleaner, and kitchen/bathroom cleaners. After typing that I realize that seems both insane and bordering on extreme hippie levels. I swear its neither, (I can see you rolling your eyes Dad!) If you subtract everything you spend on these products at the store, you'll probably shock yourself. Archaeology is a shoestring budget in these younger years. Also, I love making all of them. The scrub I made today is my absolute favorite. It is a citrus and cinnamon scrub. It uses citrus rinds/oils, salt, cinnamon, cloves, and extra virgin olive oil. You can wiki all of these things, or trust me when I say they are allllll good for your skin in different ways.

Matt and I save all our citrus fruit peels and freeze them because they're used in so many things like scrubs, cleaners, and hair conditioner. So the yogurt container is full of frozen clementine peels. You could use and type you want, but my all time fav is orange and lemon. I use regular salt, but you can get fancy and get gourmet. I also use the cheapest EVOO, it doesn't matter at all.

You want to pick out the container for your scrub ahead of time, so you can eyeball how much to make. I like the small, flatter ball jars, like the one hiding in the back right of the photo above.

First, you are going to zest your rinds. Frozen makes it easier to zest when you have just peels left because they're stiffer. You are going to want the end result to be something like 1/3 of your container (why I say small. It also lasts longer than you think it will). The below photo is probably about 1/3 a cup. I don't use exact measurements, really because no one is going to eat this...I hope.  Zest away!!! When done, take a small break to drink a lovely beverage and regain feeling in your phalanges. If you have an elephant tea pot, you win this section.

After you've gotten all your zests zested, its time for the other ingredients. Like I said, measuring is usually not happening. But, for the first go I suggest 1.5 tbs salt, .5 tbs cinnamon, 1 tsp cloves. 


I put the cin and cloves in first. It should cover the zesties pretty well. Then the salt.... and mix with a fork. Try to get all the zesties coated nicely. 

Alright, once coated put into your container. It should fill it up 1/2 to 1/3 of the way.  Then you need to fill the container up to near the top with EVOO and stir (carefully). It will separate while it rests. The separation is natural. When you use it you are just going to pinch some out with your hand, or use a spoon so you will always stir it up before use. It should look like this....

Here is the thing though. It is not soap, its not made to be soap. The salt, cin, and zesties WILL effectively scrub whatever dirt you have on your hands off. The oil will act basically as a lotion does. So after you've washed your hands it will be as though you used used both soap and lotion. For people with dry hands, like myself this is amazing. When using the scrub use hotter water, scrub for about 30-60 seconds, then rinse for the same amount. Your skin will feel moisturized when your done, and that's the point. Skin needs oils to be healthy and this scrub doesn't strip out your natural ones. It will feel much different from using hand soaps, but it leaves your hands smelling divine, and also moisturized and clean. Its pretty much a win win. 

After trying lots of different recipes this is my favorite one. I would NOT suggest this for your face though, you'll break out instantaneously. I would instead use a honey/sugar based one. If you'd like a recipe, let me know!! For me, there are so many benefits to doing things this way. Besides how cool the laundry soap looks! 

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Beautiful Places

Since I'm just getting to this, I thought I'd throw up some of the beautiful places I've been and seen on my Adventure.

I-90, blasting through New York. 

This was the view every time I travelled through  New York to get to school. When it wasn't a white out, of course.

The view on my way to excavations in the heart of the Adirondack's.
North Elba, NY

Timbucto, NY
We had to hike in everyday, but the view was perfect.
Timbucto, NY

South Yard, Montpelier, VA. Excavations of a early 19th cent. slave quarter

Montpelier is in the Piedmont Region of VA, and is in the Blue Ridge. The whole plantation is gorgeous.

This is Poison Ivy. Are you jealous? It lasted about 4 weeks. Courtesy of Arlington House, Montpelier Station, VA. 
Turk Mountain, Blue Ridge, VA

Edge of the drop

Driving to the city, weddings season

Arlington House, my home for most of Virginia. 

Dirt roads are always better. Montpelier, VA

Fall, Virginia

Museum of the Native American, Washington D.C.

Roanoke, VA

Black River, Miss

Cork, Ireland

Irish Walls...

Cliffs of Moher, Irish coast

Irish beaches... hahahaha


Leicester, UK
New Orleans, LA

Kemper County winter, shanty town in snow.  Photo taken by Paul Shockey

To start off-

Tues, April 23 2013
8:catwantsfood AM

Forever, my roots. 
Mom wanted me to write something...

For years (eek!! I've been graduated long enough to say that) I've been moving around, seeing new places, working in new settings. I feel like I'm on a constant ebb and flow of a tide, pulling me and pushing me to new jobs and places. I've always been on this path. I can remember being young, maybe 3rd grade, and putting up a giant map in my room with a list next it stating all the places I'd visit. I get antsy after a year or two; needing to move, needing to drive. There is nothing to me like the moment I hit the road. All alone, car packed, headed to somewhere, knowing its all going to be different and new.

Archaeology at Montpelier, VA

I graduated. Headed down south to the land of the pines. I posted up in Orange, Virginia in a few different places. The most exciting being an olddddd shanty on the edge of the forest. It probably belonged to a sharecropper or some such thing. I'll always love Virginia, its beauty is unrivaled. Then Hattiesburg, Mississippi, which is by far the best city to live in in Miss. I lived in a wig wam (we constructed it out of saplings, vines, and twine) for about 8 months in Kemper County, Mississippi. Camping for 8 months takes life to a whole new level. I have never felt to close to the earth, and I have never felt so correct in living. I had no electricity, no heat/AC, no running water, no real bathroom, no kitchen. None of that mattered. Everyday was more natural, was closer to the earth. I don't think I'll ever fully adjust to living indoors again (maybe I won't....!) In the next few weeks I'm on to new places, though I don't know where yet. Til then, I'll be collecting my thoughts in Hattiesburg.

The Wig-Wam

New Orleans, LA
I just wanted to write this, because lately I feel so far away. In all my years of being far away (6-7) I haven't felt so disconnected. I have finally come to terms with the fact that because of what I do, I'll always be leaving people. But I don't want my distance to define those relationships. I hope this page can help keep the people I love and miss aware of where I end up/ what I'm doing. I miss you all, and I wish you could be on my adventure!

Irish Coast, Cliffs of Moher