Stationary Drifting


Homemade Deodorant

rosemary mint deodorant: its pretty awesome! works better than any other deodorant I've used natural or aluminum laden

rosemary mint deodorant: its pretty awesome! works better than any other deodorant I’ve used natural or aluminum laden

Sorry for the crappy picture. I can’t believe I only took the one fuzzy phone picture of this when I totally love it and its the best deodorant I’ve ever used!

I’ve been getting into making my own products, its easy, quick, ridiculously cheap and doesn’t make me feel bad for smearing chemicals on my skin. So far I’ve made a couple of different types of lip balm, a pretty incredible body butter and this awesome deodorant.

I used a mix of this recipe from Frugally Sustainable minus the probiotics (because I didn’t have them and was unsure if I wanted them) and these (1) recipes(2) (the first one) from Wellness Mama. I substituted arrowroot powder for organic cornstarch since that’s what I had on hand. I’ve heard that arrowroot is better but I’m plenty happy with out this turned out so I’ll probably keep using this recipe until I either run out of cornstarch or am convinced otherwise.

Click the above link or google deodorant health risks if you want to know why one would like to find healthier ways to make ourselves smell good. Aluminum is just one of the risks but in the end I just like to know that the things my skin is absorbing daily are made of decent things and that I’m choosing every one of the ingredients. I like having fully knowledge/consent of what goes in and on my body, which is part of the reason that I started making things. I didn’t wear deodorant for a lot of years because of this desire. Not wearing deodorant was fine for me. I found that after about a month my body adjusted and I didn’t smell often, though I do shower every day so that helped. M has a really sensitive nose though, and asked me last winter if I would use deodorant again. He bought me a well known natural brand and it worked okay but I wasn’t totally pumped about it. So in November I tried making my own and I love it! Its moisturizing, smells good, keeps me dry and good smelling, and I know every single thing that went in it because I put it there!

Here’s the steps:

Homemade Deodorant

Ingredients

(I halved this recipe and still had more than enough for 2 sticks)

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 cup shea butter

1/2 cup beeswax

3 tbsp baking soda (I’ve read that if you have sensitive skin to avoid this and use extra cornstarch/arrowroot)

1/2 cup cornstarch or arrowroot powder

optional: essential oils. I used 20 drops of rosemary and 15 of peppermint

optional: a few drops of vitamin E oil to preserve

Steps

  1. Combine coconut oil, shea butter, and beeswax is a large mason jar. Put mason jar in a pot of boiling water. The water should be deep enough to come up the sides of the mason jar above the amount of ingredients but not so high that any water can get into the mason jar. I’ve taken to putting a lid very loosely on the mason jar to avoid this. Shake/swirl the mason jar frequently to help the ingredients in melting and to mix. Don’t shake too hard or the ingredients will just go up the sides of the jar and you’ll lose some of the mixture.
  2. Once melted, remove the mason jar from the water and mix in the baking soda (if you’re using it), cornstarch/arrowroot powder, essential oils of your choice, and vitamin E oil (which is healthy for your skin and helps preserve the mixture. I’ve read that grapefruit seed extract also works).
  3. While still warm pour the mixture into the containers of your choice. I used a deodorant container that I bought (though old ones can be washed out) and a small mason jar for the extra that I put in the fridge.
  4. Label the container with ingredients and date made (generally good practice for this stuff).
  5. Allow the mixture to harden overnight
  6. Use as much as you like! I find that allowing the deodorant to melt for a second on my skin before applying helps but its pretty soft anyway so if I’m in a hurry I just apply and go.

I’ve been wearing this for about 2 months and I love it. I haven’t tried it in the summer or in extreme exercising conditions but I’ve found that I stay pretty dry and good smelling all the time. I love the rosemary & mint combo. It doesn’t stain my clothes, moisturizes my skin and makes me feel good.

I’m a total homemade product convert. Upcoming are my lip balm and body butter recipes. Check out my pinterest for more recipes I want to try.

 

 

 

 


It Gets Fatter!

A good friend (and neighbour!), her friends, and the internet at large, have started this amazing new video project called It Gets Fatter (tumblr & also vimeo). Its a space to for People of Colour (POCs) who identify as fat, and also queer, to submit videos and written stuff talking about their experiences with fatness and body loving (or not). Its a brand brand new project that has been going on for barely a week and so far a few really powerful videos have been posted about fatness vs. health and how they are not always connected, self-acceptance and learning to love your body no matter what others tell you.

Here’s a video example that really touched me:

A lot of the videos have touched me, and have made me want to delve a little into my own feelings about my body and how I get through tough situations with my family and in life. I’ve had a blog post sitting in my drafts folder for months now called ‘On Being Thick’ but never really had the courage to work it out in words and moreover to post it publicly until now. So thanks It Gets Fatter folks for opening up that dialogue and pushing me to have the guts to put it out there.

The reason the above video struck a nerve with me is because Jackie talked about her experiences within her family and their feelings around her size. It is obviously very intense when the people who raise you talk negatively about your body, and I was lucky not to have that experience growing up. I was a very tiny child; short, skinny, and rocking nicknames like ‘squirt’ and ‘spaghetti legs’ (the last one was bestowed by my great-grandmother because I had long, very thin legs). It wasn’t until I hit puberty, and honestly not until my late teens that I started to gain weight for real. Its been a slow progress and has depended a lot on how active my year has been but I’ve been steadily gaining every since.

Comments about my weight started a few years ago, when I began to push the okay height to weight ratio in some of my family’s eyes. Its rarely been direct, mostly comments on how good I looked the last time I was home because I was thinner, or how I look good now as opposed to the last time because last time I was overweight and this time I was thinner. A lot of it has been indirect, and probably not aimed at me at all but comments about personal weight gain or loss definitely affect me, as well as comments from family members about how concerned they are about my dad’s weight followed by comments about how much I look like my dad. Most of the time it was meant to compliment me, or at least not to hurt me but its really hard not to take it personally when people look at me and then decide that a conversation about weight loss would be something I’d be into hearing.

I’m having difficulty saying this because I love my mom to bits and she has been my champion in so many ways, ways that I could never thank her enough for, but when it comes to my weight I’ve recently had a few experiences with her that have really stuck with me, they both involved shopping for clothes for me together, both in the past year. Last December I was looking for something to wear to my brother’s wedding in Vegas, it was last minute and we didn’t have a lot of time, plus my mom hates shopping even more than me. I remember going to store after store trying to find something that fit, and taking longer than she had patience for to find something because I just couldn’t get that comfortable combination of style and fit that I needed to feel good. I distinctly remember feeling like I had to apologize to her for my weight, not that she was asking me to but because I felt bad about being too big to fit most of the cute things she liked. I felt a lot of shame in that moment and that I had to explain myself. I stumbled through a few tries but in the end I didn’t really have an explanation, the truth is that by a lot of standards I’m not  plus sized, mall clothing just runs small in a totally mean way. It wasn’t my fault, but in that moment I felt like it was. The second time was when we were emergency shopping for a replacement wedding dress for me and my mom suggested I try on a girdle, something that she would NEVER consider wearing and, prior to me getting to the size that I am now, would probably have railed against. Its taken me a while to deconstruct that moment, and in the end I feel like my mom thought that I needed it in order to look ‘better’ in my dress. I tried it on, hated the feeling of it and the feeling behind it and decided against it. To her credit she didn’t push it but the idea that my mom thinks I’m too chubby to look good has stuck with me.  After many conversations with M about shapewear I’ve come to the conclusion as to why I’m not into it. Its not that I’m against other people wearing it for whatever reason they want to wear it, but for me I feel like I’m lying to myself about how my body looks and hiding the parts of my body that I’m struggling to love won’t make me love it any more.

Phew, still feeling iffy about that last paragraph so I’m going to move on to this really powerful video submitted to It Gets Fatter by msqueenly (who has many blogs) about being poor, black, queer and fat.

This video is important for so many reasons, and I would love to have, heard, or read further discussions of the intersections of all the points they brought up, especially around invisibility and how movements co-opt the voices of people struggling under multiple oppressions, but for this moment I want to highlight this particular point”

“it isn’t a journey of how i decorate my body with nice clothes, nice shoes, lingerie, accessories, you know. it’s not that type of journey. that’s not how i validate my fatness or my queerness or my blackness or how i talk about my poor experiences because, of course, being poor means you don’t have the money to do those things for a lot of people.”

which makes me want to stand up and clap. I’ve been trying to articulate my uncomfortableness with some blogging I see and also with some body positive blogging I see. I love it when people get excited about decorating their bodies, however they see that to be, and I definitely appreciate a visually pleasing outfit. I also get that when it comes to fatness and body positivity a lot of it is about challenging how my, your, their body is SEEN, so blogs of people dressing hot and refusing to hide their fat bodies is great and challenging and so wonderful. I guess I’m just a little disappointed that that’s as far as a lot of people take discussions about personal fashion and adornment. While clothes, accessories, tattoos, piercings, whatever are personal expressions of self and are rad in their own ways, I don’t feel like its the be all, end all of this discussion. ESPECIALLY when we’re trying to talk about body acceptance and inclusion. Dressing well is great and all but we can’t stop there. There are so many other ways this manifests in my life, to speak for myself. It manifests in how I eat in public, how I take up space, how and when I exercise, how I sit, how I dance, how I hold my body, how people see my body. It’s an awesome feeling to be wearing something hot and tight, but that feeling can very quickly be flipped to feeling shitty as soon as I catch the eye of someone who does not feel that I look awesome in my hot, tight outfit. And that feeling is not something that can always be addressed by more great outfits. Nor is it always possible to have the clothes that make me feel pumped about my body. Lately its been about making clothes work and/or fit because my current life doesn’t support new outfits, or really anything beyond the basics.

Anyway, I haven’t really done justice to msqueenly’s video or even that one quote because it means so much more than what I feel I can say on the topic right now but I just want to put it out there that this is a really great project, one that has made me want to talk out loud about my feelings ‘on being thick’. I have a lot more growing into my feelings and thoughts about this, and especially more growing into the wider topic but I love that this conversation is happening and that so many rad people are blasting open the body positivity conversation and making people think about how the intersections of identity change, influence, support and contradict how we talk about bodies, fatness, and self-love. So cheers to that.

And to this:

from the ‘fat acceptance! Yay!’ pinterest board


Bad Blogger

I don’t actually know what happened…I suddenly became terrible at blogging. Maybe I got more interested in Pinterest…I know that I’ve been spending less time in front of the computer, my days have been spent a little more running around. I also started a major addiction to Bones, I’ve been spending all my spare time watching that. I quit my cleanse, Marseau made a big soul food dinner about a week into it and I couldn’t say no, them I was totally off it and couldn’t convince myself to get back on. I feel guilty about that, and since I’ve been tracking it here I guess I was avoiding it. Jared got a job and the two of us kinda stopped taking pictures. I haven’t been very into writing down ‘small things’ they were feeling kinda repetitive. I lost energy, filled my time up with other things and haven’t written here in too long.

new month new start amiright? May will be back to the gym, back to the blog, back to the books, back to philly? Not necessarily in that order. Wedding planning is in hyper gear so I’ll probably be writing about that. Amongst other things. PULLING THE THREADS BACK TOGETHER PEOPLE.


April is for resolutions

January is not a good month for resolutions. I feel like the world is ending in January. Its so dark and cold and all I want to do is curl up under the blankets, watch a movie and eat baked goods. Basically winter is like one long pms cycle for me. The beginning of January is the last possible time I ever want to do anything active or motivate myself to do stuff I really really don’t want to do. Besides, everyone knows that the new year starts Sept 1 with the start of a new school semester. I don’t care how long you’ve been out of school, the beginning of fall is when its time to start the calendar over again.

A great time for resolutions is the beginning of spring though. When the snow finally leaves, the air starts to get warmer, hope and enjoyment of life returns, and I have all sorts of new energy. Its the time of the year that I want to clean out all my cupboards and drawers, air out the house and start planting a garden. This is the time of year that I want to make life changes, to make resolutions and really feel like I have a chance of keeping them.

So that said, here are my new season life plans:

1. Be Healthier

This one is a 3 part-er some more immediate term and some longer term, as all get healthy plans are.

– Join a gym

Marseau bought a damn scale this week and now I know how much I weigh. I hate knowing how much I weigh, it makes me so self conscious about my weight. I know that I’ve been gaining weight as I get older (I am constantly reminded of this fact whenever I go home ~ why do people insist on commenting on other people’s weight by the way?). I’m trying to learn to be okay with this fact, and okay with not being the skinny ideal in general. My height, frame, genetics, love of good foods all keep me from looking like a supermodel. I have accepted that and frankly sometimes I think that models kinda look unhealthily skinny. Trying not to comment or judge other peoples’ weight either here. The truth is that ever since I stopped biking because I was too scared/in pain after my accident I haven’t really been getting any exercise. Even if climbing the stairs to my 3rd floor apartment with a load of groceries feels that way. I found a gym that’s 3 blocks away from me that has pilates, and I like pilates (waaaaaaay more than yoga, but that’s a different story), it also has spinning and I don’t know if I like spinning but I want to like it. It has a steam room and a regular gym part (that I’m less excited about) I think that if I like some of the classes I would go frequently and start feeling like I’m getting some exercise and get energy from that. My goal is to get healthy enough to join a boxing gym, I really want to learn how to fight. In the meantime though I just want to drop some weight and feel healthier. I don’t have any particular goal weight and I’m not going to diet/deprive myself. I just want to feel better in general.

Which leads me to my second point:

– Quit smoking

I’ve been a smoker for a long time now, and I’ve been quitting smoking about as long as I have been a smoker. I’ve never been particularly successful at it, in that I don’t think I ever have truly stopped. But its my goal to not smoke anymore by the time I’m 30. This gives me 6months of quitting, possible relapses and learning to be able to see people smoke or go to parties without wanting to smoke myself. Even more difficult will be watching Marseau smoke in front of me and not want one myself too. So, as of today I have a rule that I’m not going to smoke before 6pm. No more daytime smoking. Once that becomes easier I want to go down to no more than one smoke a day. My mid-term goal is to only smoke when I’m drinking by the end of April. Long term is to stop once and for all in 6months. I’ve never felt like I was exactly addicted to smoking, I mean I can stop for days or weeks without feeling shitty or getting cranky. I never have felt like I NEED a smoke. Its just very much a habit for me. Waiting for the bus, after eating a big meal, feeling socially awkward, needing to go outside for a bit, social times with smoker friends, writing a paper or grading and needing a short break, are all reasons to smoke for me. Its been the time filler or self care or stress reliever for me for going on…..8 years now. I can’t believe its been that long! I want to have pink lungs again (or whatever colour they are supposed to be). Plus smoking weakens my immune system and I don’t need more ways to be able to get sick.

Finally:

– Do a cleanse

I’ve never done one of these before. I used to be really disdainful of cleanses (quelle surprise, me being disdainful), maybe its because the people I knew who did cleanses just stopped eating and drank a lot of chili, maple syrup and lemon juice mixes. That always seemed (and still seems) ridiculous to me, and I don’t get how that can be healthy at all. I do get how going back to basics and cleaning out my body make sense though, and I like the kinds of cleanses that people I know now do, which include cutting out a lot of food things that are rough on the system, letting my body relax a bit and slowly reintroducing more complex foods one by one. I’m all into herbs and alt health care so this seems like less of a crazy thing to do than it did year ago. Even if this is the shortest term ‘get healthy’ goal of mine, I think it might be the hardest. Particularly not drinking coffee but also I’m bad at monitoring my food. It will be a good exercise in self-discipline. Which I really need because, life plan #2 is going to require a lot of it.

2. Finish my thesis

This shit is for real. I’ve been letting this large and scary amount of work paralyze me into inaction for way too long (just ask Marseau and my mom ~ the 2 most invested in me finishing). I sit in front of my computer every day and just look at it, and then I get up and tell myself that I need to get groceries, do the dishes, make dinner, finish someone’s bday present, whatever seems more manageable and less terrifying at the moment. The problem is that even if I’m not sitting here looking at it, its looking at me, from inside my head. I wake up early in the morning thinking about it, I feel guilty as soon as I wake up, and every time a friend asks me to do something my brain says that I can’t I should be working. Most people’s reaction to this kind of thing would be to just do it. My response is to ask first if you’ve ever written an academic book that you feel totally unprepared and unqualified to write and then when you do finally finish it you must sit in front of a panel of experts while they tear it apart? Sounds like a stress nightmare to me but its actually my life. Many of you may answer yes to that question, and kudos to you but this shit terrifies me. Which is not to say that I’m not going to do it. I am. Starting today I’m going to work at this like its my job, which of course, it is.

I should probably write something about getting a job and saving money, or being better about calling my family, or sleeping but I already feel like I’ve got a lot down there. The road to self-discipline can’t all be traveled in one day right? I don’t know, probably not, maybe I’ll look into it tomorrow or something….