May 2016

All posts in the May 2016 category

How not to impress a lady:

Published May 25, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

I was standing in the check out line waiting for the cashier that seemed to be nowhere in sight. I have patients like a saint. I don’t get mad or rude if the cashier isn’t there behind the register at that exact moment. Even if I’m in a hurry and feel this enormous pressure that I have to be elsewhere at any given time, I still try to plan everything ahead of time. The cashier could likely be busy doing something else like talking with their boss or maybe they’re in the middle of stocking shelves. And it never fails that a line forms at the most busiest time of evening—right before supper. Maybe the manager just stepped out for a smoke or the cashier doesn’t see that a long line was forming behind me and I had been at the check out less than two minutes.

And there’s some random guy standing too close for comfort behind me. He was one of those stealthy types that just cut in line and was there. And he might be thinking that by raising his voice in a holler while pounding loudly on the check out counter will make a woman like me turn to him with an expression of gratitude or fall head over heels… and if that’s the case, forget it. In the real world that kind of rude behavior doesn’t cut the mustard with me, pal and just gets on my bad side extremely fast.

 

And the fact this guy was literally breathing down my neck the whole time made me feel extremely uneasy, nervous, and always got to watch my stuff on that counter. The guy behind me just dumps his crap load of Little Debbie snacks, sodas, Gatorades, and junk food onto my purchases and doesn’t use one of those plastic divider bars or even bother to separate his stuff from mine. So there I am hoisting two 1 gallon jugs of water and clutched a can of tuna. My poison ivy rashes are flaring up badly. I’m in no mood for this guy’s sarcasm.

 

This guy lacks common sense, for the most part. He seems to have no clue about decency while shouting and pounding on the counter, “Hey, can we get some service over here?!” Then, looks at me and says with a grin on his face like he’s Mr. Macho, “That’s how you get them to get off their damn standing asses around here.”

I’m thinking, “You [to the guy behind me] belligerent simpleton!” and I felt like politely speaking up and telling this guy to a.) back off and respect my personal space! and b.) Never raise your voice to the cashiers. They work hard for what little they do earn, and its morons like this guy in particular that make their long work day equally grueling and tiresome. I don’t work in retail and don’t ever plan to and this guy would be a prime example as to why not. I’m just a customer. However, I do try to place myself in the cashier’s shoes whom wasn’t the least happy with the guy behind me and it showed. I do sympathize with those that have a billion trillion other things they’d rather be doing than checking out…

The obnoxious guy that hollers and thinks it will impress a lady like me? I think not. I gave the obnoxious guy behind me some disgusted glances and quickly moved to the opposite side at the far end of counter just so he’d stop with the invasion of my personal space so I could pay for my stuff and get the heck out of there.

Well, it’s that guy’s particular behavior that makes me steamed and I don’t care what time of the month it is for me. That guy’s stupid behavior should have ended in grade school—eons ago. And its just one of the many unpleasant, rude, and disrespectful things I deal with from some men (not all, mind you) who constantly try to either a.) impress me with their childish loud, disrespectful behavior like obnoxious guy tried. b.) constantly try to flirt with me and these men aren’t even in the neighborhood of handsome nor are they the clean-cut, church-going types in appearance and c.) some men just feel the need to fly off the handle at me when I politely refuse to accept one of those plastic fresh produce bags that they try to hand me.

The guy I refer was neither a store clerk nor did he work at the store. He was just another customer with sleeve tattoos I guess they call them and his neck, hands and fingers were all inked as well.

I’ve been chewed out for simply hesitating accepting a produce bag from a lowlife who was recently let out of jail. I only know this because he was one aisle over from me in another store boasting to a store manager how he gave attitude to his parole officer like he was so proud of his cocky attitude and then proceeded to question the manager why he got fired from his employment of only three days. The convict’s explanation was simply dumb. He didn’t feel like showing up for work because it was “…too early in the morning and boring.” The manager simply explained to him that if he doesn’t call or even notify them he won’t be at work, then the boss reserves the right to assume he didn’t want the job very badly in the first place.

The convict had the mentality of a third-grader because it was like he still didn’t understand even when the manager tried to simplify it in terms even a kindergartner could understand. I recognized this lowlife as the same man from the grocery store where he became extremely irate with me when I, at first, politely refused to take a plastic produce bag he offered to me. Then he lost his cool in a flash and shouted at me where everybody around me could hear, “What’s it look like? That I have some god-damned disease or somethin’? Now Take it!”

“Fine!” I huffed under my breath, feeling like if I didn’t, he’d be the type to knock my block off at any given moment.

I wouldn’t doubt what landed him in jail in the first place was probably domestic violence or something similar of that nature. He had a pregnant young woman with him and she was pushing a baby stroller with a baby in it, completely unfazed by his hot-headed attitude. She appeared to be one of those types that didn’t care too much about her personal appearance, was dressed between boho-ish on a wally world budget/ sloppily dressed in a long sundress, hair unkempt and greasy in a sloppy pony tail. She forgot to put on some shoes or sandals before leaving the house because she was barefoot. Uh, when did grocery stores throw out the ‘No shirt, no shoes, no service’ signs? I haven’t seen those since the 90s.

I loathe men like that one that pitched a royal fit in the grocery store when I tried to refuse the produce bag he was handing off to me. And the guy behind me in line today that was obnoxious just got on my nerves. Maybe it was my recent horrible bout poison ivy that literally rubbed me raw on this day in particular and that didn’t help. I felt like a real crab apple but thank god I didn’t take it out on those around me.

And then there’s the jogging Jaywalker I encountered on my way home.

She was standing at the end of an alley facing a busy street. She has on massive huge headphones, completely tuning out her surroundings. She’s doing a move like she either has ants in her shorts or its some kind of new uncontrollable dance move. She’s eyeing me as I approach like Grandma Moses behind the wheel since I don’t know what she’ll attempt. I’ve had random people try to walk into my vehicle (not walk around it, in front of it or even behind it, mind you). I don’t know what these kinds of people must think or what they’re on for that matter. And these types of people always appear to be in a major hurry and/ or they get annoyed when you [the driver] stop to yield to them even when you know you’re risking a potential fender bender from behind.

Just this evening as I was going home I caught a glimpse of a man in my review walk behind my vehicle while I was stopped at a red light. He jay-walked out in front of traffic without so much looking to where he was going with an air about him like he owned the town. And the jogging jaywalker’s looking straight ahead, her body jerking all over the place like someone with Tardive Dyskinesia. I’ve seen a lot of folks around town with this same uncontrollable herky jerky body movement. Whether it’s from them being meth addicts or if they legitimately have some kind of nervous system damage, it’s anybody’s guess. And if you see them in the store they always seem to be talking a mile a minute with themselves, very pre-consumed like they’re off in another world, and racing to and from their carts to dump stuff in it and go back for something else all the while rambling onto themselves like they haven’t had a decent night’s sleep in days or weeks even.

It’s one thing to see meth heads hanging out at the library or when they’re at the store and try to pay for a chocolate bar, bag of chips, and a bottle of soda while jerking so badly they can’t even stand still for a single minute and hand over the change which they wind up dumping out on the counter anyway. And it’ll scare the crap out of you when a meth head suddenly appears out of nowhere, knocks on your vehicle window and smiles revealing their black/rotted and missing teeth, hoping that you (the driver) will spare them some money, or perhaps they’ll just try and rob you, etc. They look aged beyond their years like they’re fifty or even sixty and have open sores all over their face, arms, hands, and yet, they might be no older than twenty-something or just barely out of their late teens, give or take.

As always thanks for liking, commenting, sharing, tweeting, etc. I truly appreciate it. 🙂

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Chia seed Carbo & Chocolate Cookies with Chocolate Dessert Topping- My Recipe

Published May 24, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1
choc dessert topping

My homemade chocolate dessert topping drizzled… eh, rather adhered to a frozen banana, sliced fresh strawberries and topped with sumptuous unsweetened Carbo chips.

I created maybe not the first chocolate dessert topping out there, but the most chemically-free one for that matter. In my endeavor to remain as healthy as possible I don’t consume sugar. I substitute it with raw honey. And there are certain treats in life I won’t deny myself. If it’s an unsweetened baking cocoa bar, Carbo unsweetened chips (it tastes like actual chocolate, but isn’t), or unsweetened baking cocoa powder count me in. I certainly put the Carbo chips to the test and they won me over when I made both chia seed Carbo chip cookies, and my first ever attempt at making chocolate cookies. I had the idea after I’d seen a pre-packaged deal of sugar and chemical-laden overkill called “soft-baked brownie chocolate cookies” or something to that effect, and since I no longer consume sugar, reviewed the ingredients of said package of cookies and there were more chemicals and sugars cleverly disguised by other names and maybe three or four actual ingredients that went into making the bad junk food cookies. I jotted down the ingredients and moseyed over to the baking aisle of Dollar General and discovered a brownie recipe on a box of Nestle Tollhouse baking cocoa. I didn’t need the baking cocoa so I jotted down that recipe, paid for my distilled waters and returned home. I didn’t expect my improvised cookie recipes to turn out. And before this I never made pure chocolate cookies. Since I already had all of the ingredients on hand, I decided to give it a try.

The Chia seed & Carbo chip cookies were excellent I thought. And the finished result of my chocolate cookies? They turned out good, if not, great. I believe I ate about five in one sitting and made half the recipe using some ground flax seed, but not much since it can act like nature’s laxative. In the Carbo chip cookies I threw in some organic raw unsalted pumpkin seeds, organic unsalted (plain) sunflower seeds, some qouina seeds, Nature Nate’s raw unfiltered honey, two Teaspoons of Rumford’s aluminum-free baking powder, a pinch  of Redmond’s Real Salt, One cup of whole wheat flour, two palm-sized handfuls of unsweetened Carbo chips, one raw egg *(please note, the egg is optional, but DO NOT eat it raw due to possible Salmonella, a.k.a. food poisoning if egg is used). This Chia-seed & Carbo chip cookie recipe can be made without the egg, but you might need to use a little more water to form a dough.

I already had my cookie sheets lined in foil and greased with coconut oil so clean up is easier. Whenever I use water in my recipes and for cooking I always go with steam-treated distilled water and/ or Hiland Drinking water. I never ever use tap (city) water due to it’s nasty fluoridation and potential bacteria surprises. And the amount of distilled water I use in my cookie recipes will vary. I prefer to use just enough so the dough is between sticky and yet able to be dropped onto the cookie sheet by the spoonful. And the amount of honey I use also varies with each recipe.

My Chocolate cookies recipe (this turned out a lot like a brownie):

I like to melt down one square of Baker’s unsweetened chocolate, add in one palm-sized amount of Carbo chips, 3/4 cup of Nature Nate’s raw unfiltered honey, 2 teaspoons of Rumford’s aluminum-free baking powder, a handful of ground flax seed meal (optional), a pinch of Chia-seeds, two heaping spoonfuls of unsweetened baking cocoa, one egg (sometimes I skip the egg and just use distilled water only) one, sometimes, two cups of whole wheat flour. I make my chocolate cookies a lot like I do with my Chia seed & Carbo chip cookies. I pre-heat my oven to about 350 degrees and bake the cookies for about fifteen minutes and watch them as they bake so they won’t burn. When a toothpick inserted in them comes out clean (and depending on how well done you prefer), remove the cookies from the oven and let them cool down on a wire rack. Since I like my cookies to be on the soft side I’ve never had success making thin, crispy cookies. I like to store my cookies in an air-tight container in the fridge. I also had some condensation issues with my cookies if I place them into plastic zip lock bags and store them in the fridge without allowing them to cool off completely first.

Both cookie recipes should yield about 12 cookies (depending on amount of the ingredients used) and have a shelf life in the refrigerator up to four days. Nothing beyond a week as these cookies will turn moldy. I don’t use yeast or any other ingredients other than what I’ve mentioned.

For my home made Chocolate dessert topping you will need the following:

Hershey’s unsweetened baking cocoa powder and/ or any baking cocoa powder will do. I prefer the unsweetened baking cocoa since I laid off the sugar as much as possible except if it’s already in the food to begin with. I like to add three Tablespoons of cocoa baking powder into a sauce pan, then break off one (sometimes two) small squares of Baker’s brand unsweetened chocolate, place this in with the baking powder over low heat, pour in about three or four Tablespoons of raw honey and allow the ingredients to melt. If you put this on medium or high heat it will burn and your sauce pan and utensils will have to soak overnight. I watch this stuff like a hawk so it won’t burn and through my many attempts found out that I love to melt just raw honey and the unsweetened baking cocoa together.

Next, you’ll want to stir this constantly, and then remove it from the burner once its melted, and the chocolate baking powder is absorbed. For an added natural sweet treat, try adding in some sliced banana, washed and cut fresh strawberries and blueberries and top it off with Carbo chips. This kind of  reminds me of Fondu in a way, but tastes very similar (in my opinion) to chocolate Sunday dessert topping but without all the loaded down heavily pre-processed chemicals. It is rich, so a little bit of my chocolate topping goes a long way. By the way, I haven’t tried this over ice cream since I don’t consume dairy products whatsoever, but I’m sure it would be excellent on ice cream. If I had to recommend a brand (or more than one), Ben & Jerry’s as I heard they were at one time supposed to be all-natural, and also Breyer’s ice cream. However, the true ice cream I ever enjoyed growing up was homemade using rock salt, ice, fresh cream, sugar, milk and mixed in an antique hand crank ice cream maker. I haven’t tasted any commercial ice cream since that could ever top homemade.

On a side note the Carbo chips are a lot like chocolate chips and can be found at your local health food store. The Carbo chips also come in the semi-sweet, and sweet varieties as well. The Baker’s brand baking chocolate comes in unsweetened (orange box), semi-sweet baking bar (comes in a red box with a depiction of a slice of chocolate cake topped with a few raspberries), Baker’s White Chocolate and Baker’s German Chocolate. The Baker’s Semi-sweet chocolate will have either 6 or 9 grams of sugar in it. I don’t know how much the others contain since I don’t buy them.

Thanks as always for sharing, liking, re-blogging, commenting, tweeting, etc. I truly appreciate it. 🙂

 

 

 

How to make your own flavored tooth picks.

Published May 14, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

How to make your own cinnamon-flavored toothpicks:

 

Things you will need:

 

Wooden took picks.

 

One bottle of Lor-Ann hard candy cinnamon flavored candy making oil. Actually, any flavor of Lor-Ann brand oil/ hard candy flavoring will do.

 

Take two or three tooth picks at a time and gingerly dip them into the small dram Lor-Ann bottle. Keep tooth picks in the bottle for about a minute, gently remove and place in a custard cup to thoroughly soak up the cinnamon oil and allow to air dry over night.

 

Repeat using a few tooth picks at a time taking care not to spill the contents of the tiny jar of hard candy flavoring to make as many (or as little) flavored tooth picks as you desire.

 

Helpful tip: discard any green-colored tooth picks. This might be a nasty chemical treatment that was used back in the 80’s manufacturing of preserving fence posts and wooden playground/ tree houses when creosol was once used to preserve telephone pole from rotting back in the ground, then not allowed due to possible carcinogens. Creosol resembled black tar and would give off a strong smell in the heat of summer as I recall. I believe this mysterious ‘green wood’ treatment was it’s successor. Anyhow, discard the tooth picks if they’re green and use the best looking ones. Finding American-made wooden tooth picks is pretty much a thing of the past nowadays. When tooth picks used to be USA made never did I come across one made with green-looking wood. It could be inferior wood, who knows. I just remember hearing that the green wood had/ maybe still contains some nasty chemicals that can leave chemical burns on your skin. My ex actually told me this when he put in a fence using the [then] newer treated wood fence posts and sustained splinters that set his skin on fire for days on end.

 

Other Lor-Ann brand varieties that might make good flavored toothpicks: cherry, watermelon, lemon, spearmint (tried), peppermint (personally tried and love), orange oil, bubblegum, crème de menth (has a soft chocolate Andes mint kind of light flavor since its not really an oil, more of a hard candy flavor that would be great in a crème center filling in hard candy, personally tried and liked), cinnamon (personal favorite), raspberry, root beer flavor, etc.

 

I haven’t tried all the above listed except where noted. Also, make sure it is Lor-Ann brand hard candy making oils. If you purchase them at wally world they’ll cost $4 for a double pack. If you purchase from Hobby Lobby they’ll be about $3.67 for a pack of two. If you shop on Amazon for these hard candy oils they make cost more/less depending on shipping.

 

These hard candy oils come in tiny dram-sized glass bottles with imprinted neck bands and a recipe booklet is included I believe for making various hard candies as well. As always, thanks for liking, commenting, tweeting, re-blogging, sharing, I truly appreciate it!  🙂

Get the most out of your store-bought celery: grow it yourself and other inexpensive kitchen food discoveries.

Published May 14, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

celery leaves drying for aloe vera blog

 

And that was another very easy nearly ‘free’ food I found out about two years ago. Surprisingly my first attempt yielded celery during the first freeze we had last year (before winter set in, that is). Now the celery chutes don’t get terribly huge when going form the container growing method. My first celery stalk growing experience left me with small, slender stalks that were young and still went great in soups and salads. They also froze extremely well.

 

Living on a shoe-string budget is tough and wherever nearly free food can be discovered, grown at home, frozen, dried (think in terms of long-term prepping), or even so insanely easy to re-plant and grow I find myself scratching my head thinking, “Why didn’t I think of this sooner? This is so easy!”

 

And my first celery stalk was chopped off mid-way and sat in a bowl of tap water (before I became wise about the fluoridation) on my kitchen window sill. I didn’t hold out any hope and thought my efforts would be a waste of time. Yes, my celery stalk had to share space with my beloved (although somewhat hearty soil-bankrupt) air purifying airplane/spider plant that’s been the dominant houseplant going on five years. I was surprised when I noticed leafy greens sprouting up from the lopped celery stalk. I can’t remember if I changed out the water or if that’s a necessary thing to do. Since my first celery stalk died during the winter and I had no place to bring it in out of the harsh weather, it didn’t last. Yet, I managed to re-grow enough celery from that first stalk to fill a large zip lock bag and I didn’t need to buy celery at the store for the whole year. When frozen about all celery is good for is using in stir-fry, soups and stews. I never had any success using frozen/ thawed celery in leafy green salads. But frozen celery goes great in my freshly prepared plain cucumber salads which means I don’t slather my cucumbers in any type of oils, mayonnaise, or commercial salad dressings since those don’t agree with my system. I make my own mustard-onion dressing that I will share in this post as well.

 

And a year later, I’ve nearly finished off my entire bag of celery. I haven’t tried to grow any celery stalks in the garden. I like to plant them in patio containers and snip off the stalks as I need them and allow the celery to re-grow more chutes. I have two more celery stalks that I re-grew using distilled water and was surprised when they appeared greener and more heartier. I transplanted those to outdoor containers recently and started on my third celery stalk in distilled water. Hopefully it will grow as well as the others.

 

How to make my onion-mustard cucumber salad dressing:

 

Wash, cut and place green onions in a clean mason jar. I like to use a pair of kitchen shears to snip the onions. And other times I will go out to my garden and cut off a large onion leaf. These are very potent and a little bit goes a long way. I also use the small onion bulb as well and chop that up. Next, I mix equal parts of Dijon and Spicy Brown mustard and add that in with my onions. I stir this concoction and leave it in the fridge while I prepare my cucumber salad.

How to make my cucumber salad (no-dressing or oil variety):

 

Wash, peel and slice up the cucumber if its store bought. Believe me, you don’t want to ingest the wax they use on the veggies. I’ve heard horror stories that the wax used is no different than what they use to wax floors with, Yeesh! And if it’s true, that’s a dirty little inside trick to make veggies appear delicious and ‘preserve’ them, I suppose. If you can grow your own cucumbers and don’t use pesticides, you could skip peeling off the outer skin. Since I don’t use pesticides on my garden for the very reason they can be toxic, I don’t have to worry so much.

 

There’s no wrong way to slice a cucumber. If you like thick slices, got for it. If you prefer small, thin slices, that’s excellent too.

 

Next wash, and slice one or two red tomatoes. Again, if they’re store-bought tomatoes they may have been gassed in order to ‘ripen’ them while their still green, and eating green tomatoes is okay too. Ever hear of the old 80’s movie, Fried Green Tomatoes? Anyways, if your tomatoes are home grown, then your assured of the safety of your own produce. Place the sliced tomatoes and cucumbers in a bowl and set aside. Next slice up some red, white, and yellow onion (if you have any on hand and this is optional). I’m kind of basing this on my late grandma’s recipe but without the dressing. My grandmother used to use white onion cut into rings.

 

I also like to spice things up with a fresh cut Japeno and throw that in with the cucumber and tomatoes and mix some crushed red pepper as well. I then give this salad a soak in a little Apple Cider Vinegar/ distilled bath just for good measure, rinse and return to the bowl. I like to finish off with a few snips of fresh Kale (the yellow blooms will produce a delicate sweet taste, too), Parsley, Chives, Peppermint, Spearmint, Pineapple Sage leaf, one leaf of cabbage and fresh Brussels sprouts (never the canned or frozen variety for me). So technically its not a straight cucumber and tomato salad, rather an actual salad. Eh, sometimes I enjoy a change of pace.

 

What to do with those celery leaves: don’t throw them out! Wash them off really good and dry them. I say this because the cost of buying celery either in seed, salt, or even the crushed leaf variety can be expensive. Since I don’t have a pestle and mortar I can’t grind the leaves  into a powder so it’s the very old-fashioned ‘drying’ method by placing the celery leaves (preferably washed, dried off, and place on a cookie sheet or in my case a pie pan lined with a coffee filter will do. Allow the celery leaves to thoroughly dry for two weeks or a month or so. When they’re completely dry (and some might be curled), then you can store them in a spice jar or use them immediately in soups, stews, stir-fry, etc. I had great success drying two bunches of half priced cilantro for a month and yielded two huge batches to last me a year or better. Cilantro goes great in homemade pico de gallo (Mexican condiment/ salsa).

Hope my shoe string budget kitchen tips help. Thanks for liking, re-blogging, commenting, sharing, tweeting, I truly appreciate it. 🙂

My homemade skincare/ hair care aloe vera lotion: a how-to guide with step-by-step pictures:

Published May 14, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

It will cost about a dollar or less for the aloe vera leaves depending on your geographical location, and if your supermarket stocks these huge leaves since they might likely be considered a ‘specialty’ item and hard to find/ purchase. I know before we got a new grocery store, I had no idea aloe vera leaves were sold fresh much less grown for their edible purposes as well. In fact, I had never seen a large aloe vera leaf in person until I popped into the new grocer to see what all the hubbub was about. And what I found was some very new and somewhat exotic edibles such as aloe vera and cactus leaves (when boiled cactus leaves are very similar to green beans and freeze well, too) which I’ll blog about here in a little bit in a separate post.

 

Before I spent any money on the aloe vera leaves, I did my research. I scoured youtube to see what others had to say about fresh aloe vera leaves. It turns out I learned of the many benefits of aloe vera and cactus leaves. I had seen whole cactus leaves being sold at some other grocers between $5-7 dollars and you only received two small cactus leaves that you had to then go to the trouble to de-thorn, slice, chop—essentially ‘prep’ the old-fashioned way. I watched several youtube videos on how to cut up a cactus leaf and the thorns fly everywhere even when using a plastic bag and scrapping them with a paring knife. Sounded like a potential whacking off a digit accident waiting to happen.

 

I did more research late at night while waiting for my [then working] off-balance washing machine to finish thrashing another load of laundry. After watching about ten ‘how to’ cut aloe vera leaves and boil cactus leaves youtube videos I decided to give both the aloe vera and cactus leaves a try.

 

Are the aloe vera leaves edible? Yes, the gooey clear gel is edible. However, if the slime is yellow this will act as nature’s laxative and it’s highly recommended to discard the yellow stuff. In small quantities the aloe vera leaf gel can be blended into smoothies, chopped up and frozen for later use for skin application and/or used in DIY olive, coconut, and argan oil hair mask treatments. I even found a use for the aloe vera leaf itself and like to cut it up, bag, label and freeze them for later use when dry shaving my legs or whenever I might need something quick and handy for rubbing on my skin or through my hair to make it soft. I usually run on a very erratic schedule, so yes, there’s going to be prep work involved which should take about 30-35 minutes and you’ll have to set aside time to cut the aloe vera leaves. I find that I can make this aloe vera gel last me about a month (conserving it that is) and stretching it with some steam-treated distilled water. Never use city tap water as that can contain bacteria and other nasties that can’t be filtered out in a city water treatment facility try as they might, plus if the city fluoridates their water or its hard water that’s really yucky!

 

“Make sure it’s steam-treated [distilled water], not the other kind,” That was sound advice from my dear dad a year ago. He’s been a health nut long before I was ever born.

 

Here’s the steps I use for making my homemade aloe vera lotion. Oh, and this must be kept in the fridge or else it will go rancid if sitting out since there’s no preservatives whatsoever when I make my aloe vera lotion.

aloe leaves for hair care

Step one: Wash the aloe vera leaf with some distilled water (never tap water) to give it a quick rinse. Drying the aloe vera leaf isn’t necessary unless you want to do this extra step.

aloe vera step2

Step two: Make sure you have a bowl or other container ready. I find that placing a bowl in the kitchen sink helps and I just scrape the gooey goodness into it from the cutting board. Use a serrated knife and a cutting board as well. Also, be extremely careful when slicing these aloe vera leaves. The gooey stuff is slimy and will be the consistency of egg yoke and it gets over everything and makes work surfaces and the knife you’re using very slippery. So, do exercise caution when cutting the aloe vera leaves with a sharp knife and take your time.

aloe vera step 3

Step three: I like to cut off the tip and end and discard those in my compost container that I plan to empty into my garden. Next, I slice downward to remove the prickly thorny sides of the aloe vera leaf. Sometimes they’ll yield a very tiny amount of clear gooey stuff and I’ll cut those into slices and place them in my freezer bag for later use. When I can help it I don’t like to discard a lot of stuff until I get as much use from it as humanly possible.

aloe vera step 4

Step four: Transfer the clear gooey stuff from the bowl and pour it into the blender. Blenders will vary and I like to start blending with the ice crushing option, then whip and puree. At this point the clear aloe vera gel should turn frothy and foamy. This is normal and the foam will settle. To make this stretch further I also pour in about half a cup of distilled water and blend it some more. Again, this will turn foamy and it will settle. I then make sure my aloe vera jar is handy and fill it. After screwing the cap on it I like to give the contents a good shake then place it in the fridge.

 

Shelf life of my homemade aloe vera lotion is about one week in the fridge. However, I’ve been able to make my aloe vera lotion last for about two weeks even a month if I’m conservative with it and haven’t noticed it going rancid in the fridge. And always whenever I remember I will pick up one or two aloe vera leaves and store them in my fridge until I need one this way I have a constant stock of them on hand. And look for the discounts. Sometime aloe vera leaves will be sold by the red tape bundle at a discount if they’re wilted. This I’ve discovered doesn’t matter much to me since I don’t use the wilted aloe vera leaves for smoothies. I use the wilted aloe vera leaves for my skin and hair care lotions. I use the good aloe vera leaves for the smoothies which I seldom make except once-in-a-while due to their cleansing/ detoxing properties.

aloe vera step 5

Step five: pour the aloe vera lotion in a glass jar. I have heard that plastic containers can leach out chemicals into food and drinks so I re-use a 10 ounce glass green olive jar for my homemade aloe vera lotion (pictured).

 

Hope this how-to tutorial helps for my fresh homemade aloe vera lotion. I never use any preservatives when making this. When it settles it will feel like a raw egg when applying it to the hair and skin. But no need to panic, the skin absorbs the aloe vera gel rather fast and leaves your skin feeling velvety smooth. Sometimes there might be some gel sediment that adheres to the skin and hair. I use a soft-bristle natural foot brush to whisk this from my skin and hair. When applied to the hair (a little bit goes a long way), wrap your hair in a silk or cotton scarf or any soft large light-weight material will do and keep it on for an hour, then remove the scarf and gently comb your fingers through your dry hair. Doing this step after you’ve washed and towel-dried your hair works great and makes your hair feel extremely soft and gives it some shine. I found this to be a huge relief since my area is hard water. And since I quit exposing my hair to all the fluoridated city water recently, I noticed my hair is not as limp, weighed down, greasy or unhealthy or ‘unwashed’ in appearance. Also, I don’t wash my hair daily into overkill like I once used to do years ago and saturate my poor hair strands to chemically-laden shampoos and conditioners (whatever was cheap at one time). I also re-use my fresh fruit/ fresh veggie distilled rinse water and make my own Camomile sun tea on occasion to give some high lights to my hair. Other times I keep a large pickle jar in the fridge filled with part distilled and bottled drinking water (supposedly non-fluoridated when I checked).

DO NOT use a plastic comb to brush out your hair when applying this aloe vera gel into your hair. Sometimes it will leave microscopic gel balls that can tangle the hair, so go easy when brushing your hair. This hair care process shouldn’t be rushed as I found out in my early trial and errors.

Recently, I’ve heard from many folks that strive to grow out their hair and keep it healthy advise to ditch the plastic hair brushes and combs completely, and if at all possible, do not wash your hair with city water unless you have a water purifier/ filtration system that can filter out heavy metals, contaminants and some traces of fluoride. Another hair care top: opt for boar hair bristle hair brushes/combs. And those are difficult to find unless they’re antique. I saw a ‘made in China’ boar hair shower brush at Big Lots a while back, but inset in the middle of it was a chunk of plastic as a faux loofah sponge. I’ll pass thank you very much even though I realize getting rid of all plastics out of my life is nearly impossible although little by little I am making snail pace strides to natural vegan materials as I can afford to do so.

When I need to brush my hair I use an itty bitty antique celluloid comb. The rest of the time I use my antique hair/ clothing brushes since they were made during the 1850’s/ 1900’s and have real hair bristles (not nylon even though it was produced back in this time frame). Since using the antique hair/ clothing brushes to brush my hair vs. using plastic hair brushes has made a huge difference. I haven’t dealt with many tangles when brushing my hair after it’s completely dry, that is. And I haven’t felt any knots or painful tangles in my hair either like I used to get often when using a plastic brush and comb. And I quit combing my hair while its still wet. This is when the hair is most fragile and elastic-like. It can snap, strands can fall out (often referred to hair fall out) when brushed wet, tangle and knot like it’s nobody’s business, and did I mention all of it painful if you have a sensitive scalp? It is.

Thanks for re-blogging, liking, commenting, sharing, tweeting and especially to all of my subscribers. I truly appreciate your likes, shares, etc.! 🙂

I’ll be posting some budget gourmet kitchen how-to goodies from how to grow your own celery on your kitchen window sill, drying your own spices from fresh store-bought/ patio-grown herbs, making cinnamon-flavored toothpicks, and my almost “sugar free” dessert. 😀

 

 

 

 

Aloe Vera leaves, scarves for soft, luxurious hair and Chinese chopsticks: how I discovered some remarkable benefits for the least amount of money.

Published May 10, 2016 by AntiqueMystique1

Okay, I admit, it still costs money to buy these things to get started if you don’t have them around your house. However, since I’m always cramming my cranium with more knowledge about health benefits, pros vs. cons using everyday commercial hair care products that I grew up with my entire life and studying up on tons of articles out there both in print (freebie magazines from the health food store and via the internet and Farmer’s Almanac). I used to read the Farmer’s Almanac religiously when it was inexpensive years ago. An issue nowadays will cost $6.97… ouch! And along the way I discovered some fascinating healthy tidbits in my own pursuit of continuing my good health and overall well-being, especially from the of the dusty antique pages of my beloved set of late natural path Bernarr Macfadden Physical Culture encyclopedia. Now, I’m not saying this man is god. His methods and remedies, although outdated by today’s standards, may seem very far out there in left field, but the knowledge he presented (and updated from time to time clear into the 1940s) I find to be highly invaluable and educational. And it was Bernarr Macfadden who essentially opened my eyes to a healthier lifestyle. I also have a copy of his book written specifically for women that includes tailored exercises of the day, ditching the corset, health(ier) clothing choices although plastics weren’t invented yet when this book was written and a host of other information.

And I wanted more than just the egg hair rinse. I began my new hair care routine with the natural and health benefits of the aloe vera leaf. Sure, you can buy an itty bitty spindly aloe plants at Lowe’s on their discount/ distressed plant shelf for about $4 or maybe even at your local grocer for an astronomical amount for a little plant containing three puny leaves that look half dead… and let’s face it, unless you live in an arid, hot year-round climate, then growing your own aloe vera in your backyard for harvesting is nearly impossible to do in cold climates unless maybe if you bring it indoors for the winter. Believe me, I tried keeping small aloe vera plants alive indoors and just didn’t have the right terrarium atmosphere for them to survive. And then again, I only knew as much as my pre-Internet knowledge allotted me back in the day. I understood that aloe vera are desert loving plants and that’s was about it. And I knew back then the juice from a snippet of aloe leaf did wonders for burns, bruises and minor cuts. However, I didn’t come to realize just how beneficial these plants truly are until just a few months back. I live in an area that do stock aloe vera leaves (huge leaves at that). However, sometimes I can find two or even three large aloe leaves bundled for 40 cents-80 cents in the reduced merchandise cooler. Even if the aloe vera leaves look a little expired, I still find that they come in useful for my skin and hair regimen since I don’t consume the juice in smoothies.

 

And what are the health benefits? For starters, the aloe vera juice extracted from a leaf when applied to a burn, minor cuts or even scrapes helps promote healing. But did you know you can also cut open the aloe vera leaf of that clear slimy substance and whip it up in a blender to use straight as a natural skin and hair softner?  Yep, and it feels baby soft to the touch from my personal experience, gives natural luster to the hair follicle, again based on my experience, and when added in with fruit and veggie smoothies packs a lot of vitamins and antiseptics. In actuality the extracted aloe vera gooey stuff has no taste whatsoever. The kind that is produced in the bottles is oversaturated with nasty sugars.

 

It is advised to avoid consuming the yellow-ish aloe vera gooey substance because this acts like nature’s fast acting laxative. And when adding in aloe vera juice to a smoothie, do so sparingly as suggested by some health advocates and avid juicers due to a laxative effect. Also, the leaves I have found to be of use long after I remove the gooey clear substance. I like to cut the leaves in chunks and then freeze them for use later on and scrape the remaining gooey substance and use that to shave my legs with (makes the skin velvety smooth when dry shaving) and it feels excellent after a hard day working outside in the heat as well.

 

The shelf life of aloe vera juice when blended into a frothy foam that settles in the container can be stored in the fridge up to one week. I have heard from many women who also add in olive oil and coconut oil for their hair care routines, but if you hate the greasy weighed down feel it might produce, avoid using these oils entirely. It’s all about personal preference though. Personally, I found the DIY coconut oil and olive oil leave-in hair treatments to soften and restore damaged hair make my hair look and feel really gross as though I haven’t washed it in many months. And it doesn’t help living in a hard water area with nasty, industrial waste fluoride treatments, either. And it took several repeated ACV washings to get said oils out of my hair. I have alternated with the no shampoo, or “no-poo” trials with not so impressive results, either. My hair doesn’t look dirty or anything, but it’s either dry or brittle as a result even though I refrain from using shampoos and conditioners. I do, however, find that washing in city water isn’t helpful at all. I find that I’m literally at my wits end trying to get rid of the chemicals out of my life, especially when it comes to finding a shampoo that doesn’t contain Dimetheicone and its many sneaky aliases which is a polymer silicone and used in a wide array of hair products, skin care products, etc. and I believe I when doing some extensive and exhaustive night owl reading and research into this chemical is also classified as toxic according to the EWG (Environmental Watch Group). Dimetheicone also belongs to the polymeric organosilicon compounds (silicone). It is also used as an antifoaming agent, skin protectant, and skin conditioner. It is also approved for use in food as well. Eww, I’ll pass on that second helping of mystery pie. Here are Dimetheicone’s many different aliases:

 

DIMETHICONE COPOLYOL; DIMETHYL SILICONE; HIGHLY POLYMERIZED METHYL POLYSILOXANE; METHYL POLYSILOXANE; SILICONE L-45; DC 1664; DIMETHICONE 350; DIMETICONE; DOW CORNING 1664; MIRASIL DM 20; VISCASIL 5M.

 

Whew! Now that’s a long list to add to my shopping list of no-no’s. Moving along… the aloe vera leaf has many healthy properties. I heard it might help with anti-aging although I’m a firm believer we all grow ‘old’ gracefully and that is a fact of life. No amount of beauty creams and downright overpriced anti-aging concealers and beauty ‘add-ons’ that are pushed onto us women will amount to much, except perhaps do the exact opposite of what the products promise and could, for example, maybe exacerbate the natural aging process and help it along rather than magically ‘fix’ something that  isn’t broke. I also go by the philosophy, “If it’s not broke, don’t fix it.”

 

I noticed first hand the benefits of using pure aloe vera after the first week of using it like lotion. I’m not talking about the chemically-laden fake aloe vera that comes loaded with man made sugars in a 10 gallon oil drum for $1.80 at Big Lot’s. Okay, I exaggerated on the 10 gallon oil drum serving. I think it was more like 32 ounces, but still—that’s sugar overkill if you ask me. I don’t even use sugar in my evening/ morning beauty routine, although I have heard it makes the skin soft and so does pure raw honey. But skin can also absorb the sugars just the same.

 

I like to use straight aloe vera juice and go through one leaf per two weeks (when I can stretch it that far). It does wonders when your hair is damp and you’re drying it naturally (without heat of a hair dryer). I also wrap my damp hair in a soft cotton and/ or silk long scarf and let it completely dry. Using long scarves as in place of a bath towel or hair dryer to dry the hair I stumbled upon quite by accident and I highly credit a youtuber Steph Arizona for using scarves when applying hair masks to prevent it from dripping all over the place and also for throwing out some helpful advice on what to do with all those plastic grocery sacks that can accumulate like dust bunnies around the house. The grocery sacks make really good ‘one use only’ improvised shower caps and you’ll save a few bucks as well.

 

So, I gave some of Steph’s hair care tips a try and went at it with a somewhat skeptical approach at first since most of these DIY hair masks never worked for me in the past. I tried the coconut milk hair mask Steph uploaded on her youtube channel and individual results will vary. Therefore, I wasn’t discouraged when it didn’t work for me. I was only out $1.25. But I didn’t like the chemical they sneak into the Polar brand of Organic Coconut milk that I purchased wasn’t a natural ingredient and the actual coconut content didn’t amount to much. My result was my hair was very weighed down, limp and felt like it had a thick film on it that wasn’t easy to wash out even with repeated ACV (apple cider vinegar) rinses and followed up with a full strength distilled white vinegar rinse with distilled water.

Although it did make my hair look shiny and silky, it was a huge mess to wash out. I then tried Steph’s ‘rice milk’ hair mask. Although, here again I didn’t allow my rice to ferment for three days (I believe that’s what she recommended) so I didn’t notice much of a difference in my hair. And mind you I did these hair mask recipes two weeks apart to give my hair some rest. What I didn’t do was reach for the Mane and Tail conditioner or the even the vegan shampoo (found at Sally’s Beauty Supply). However, even though its listed as vegan the shampoo is still loaded with chemicals in extremely small print, so you’ll need to carry a jeweler’s loop on your person to read these ingredients on the bottle. So I only reserve the vegan shampoo when the olive oil and coconut oil hair mask blunders made my hair greasy, albeit shiny. Also, I had some success with an avocado hair mask mixed with some aloe vera juice in place of shampoo.

 

But since doing the scarves for the hair mask recipes, I do strongly urge to make careful buying choices when shopping for scarves. I admit I buy mine from thrift shops and often times they don’t have tags listing the fabric content. Sounds icky to buy second-hand stuff but if you add a little bleach to the wash (before you put your laundry in), this helps and believe me, anywhere I can save money, I opt for that and leave the big box retailers and online shops alone.

 

Also, when purchasing used scarves for these hair masks I made quite a few ‘disastrous DIY infinity scarf’ shopping blunders, not ‘buyer’s remorse’ per se since I didn’t know said scarves weren’t wide enough, but instead thin, long and slapped together likely by a newbie to using a thimble, needle, and thread (hand stitched in most cases, not that that’s a bad thing). Most of these disastrous homemade infinity scarves I do happen across are less than $1. Sometimes they’ll set me back 49 cents here and there. And if there’s a tag attached to the scarf look for silk and/ or cotton. If its polyester this is spun plastic. And rayon is even worse yet since it’s a chemical that can leech out toxins.

 

Oh, and some helpful buying advice: always look for the tag and read the label for the fabric content. This threw me off a few times since the scarves would lack their tags and feel like soft cotton, when instead they were still stretchy, clingy, and made of either nylon, rayon, and viscose fabrics. Since I did some major spring cleaning yesterday, cleaned out my overburdened closets and donated ten large bags today, I got rid of nearly all of my clothing that not only no longer fit me, but also contained polyester, rayon (which is a toxic chemical and potential carcinogen that can seep into your skin), and nearly all nylons (including hose, trouser socks, trousers, and tank tops). This included many of the scarves that I just recently purchased for my hair mask treatments and natural hair drying.

 

Then what is advisable to wear in place of all these synthetic fabrics? And what if you have extremely sensitive skin? Then what? Look at the tag in the clothing and/ or scarves before you buy them. And do TRY on the clothes before you buy them. I am a repeat offender of ‘assuming it will fit’ mentality, when in fact, it’s the opposite in some cases and it make not look good on me or it make look fantastic on the dress form, but too small around the bust or too large around the waist, etc. And why is this a ‘one size fits all’ society all the sudden nowadays?! Aw, man!

 

I hauled ten trash bags crammed full of clothing and that outgrew me since I lost weight and changed my diet for better and made (hopefully healthier) eating choices for myself in the long run. I’m almost completely vegan now, except I do eat the occasional hard-boiled eggs about once a month. So if I were to say I was full vegan, then it would make me a hypocrite. I am a full vegetarian though and don’t consume meat, chicken, pork, or even hamburger. I don’t even do those ‘veggie burgers’ since here again its all highly processed foods on my ‘no-no’ list.

 

And what does this have to do with Chinese chopsticks? Well, aside from wanting to learn how to use a pair of chopsticks (that’s on my bucket list of things to learn how to do eventually when consuming rice), I also found a new pair of wooden chopsticks today for 29 cents and they were a lucky thrift store find. There’s nothing special about them and they’re not fancy or anything. When I opened the package I was slightly disheartened to see a few splinters so I designated these pair of chopsticks as hair sticks. Hunh? Hair sticks to hold your bun in place. I found some beautiful, elaborate //ws-na.amazon-adsystem.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&OneJS=1&Operation=GetAdHtml&MarketPlace=US&source=ss&ref=as_ss_li_til&ad_type=product_link&tracking_id=antiquemystiq-20&marketplace=amazon&region=US&placement=B00RHL8XR2&asins=B00RHL8XR2&linkId=89fc8d0b469478d24b773175273788f6&show_border=true&link_opens_in_new_window=true” target=”_blank”>hair sticks on Amazon. So, I did a quick skim on youtube for tutorial hair stick videos and used one of the chopsticks to draw my hair in a bun and let it completely dry.

 

I used to keep my hair in a bun all the time back in my younger days with plastic hair clips before I fully understood that plastics are bad for the environment, etc. and keeping my hair in a bun constantly used to give some natural curls to my hair when I let it down so I wouldn’t have to kill my poor [then] chemically treated dyed hair or submit it to harsh hair spray. I used to be a fan of Aqua Net ‘concrete’ super hold hair spray back in the 90’s and that’s how we younger women got that ‘big hair’ look. Back then we called it, “teasing our hair” since the term ‘big hair’ didn’t come into vogue until about, oh… let me think here, around 2008 when I first heard of the term, that and the saying “big hair bands”. We simply used to call our beloved rock stars “hair bands” back in the day and not to be confused with the pony tail holders.

 

So, I’m trying out the chopstick bun in my hair as I write this and will give an update later on. I have a very tough day ahead of me and I need to get some beauty sleep. Oh, and I haven’t packed my lunch, either. I was more pre-consumed with food prepping earlier this evening and making space in my fridge for my leftovers of mashed potatoes mixed with red and yellow onion, fresh broccoli, and Chia seeds and my one pot meal of tri-color Rotini (spinach and tomato variety) without the added man made ‘enriched’ junk. I will post my mashed potato recipe for anybody that might be interested. It’s simple and takes a few minutes of food prep work, but so filling and good after a long day of running one’s legs off. I always say a hot meal, iced herbal tea (not the cheap instant teas), and some dessert of cut up fresh banana, strawberry drizzled with homemade chocolate sauce using Baker’s Unsweetened Baking chocolate bar, two tea spoons of raw honey and a few Carbo unsweetened chips is a real treat! As always thanks for reading, liking, commenting, re-blogging, tweeting, etc. I always truly appreciate it. 🙂