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Category Archives: Beauty

Things I No Longer Buy

The frugal side of me always wonders, “can I make that?” There are a lot of things I have learned to make myself, or simply do without. I try to learn just one product at a time. Also, I like to simplify recipes whenever possible. Remember, K.I.S.S. (Keep It Simple, Sweetheart.)
4.Eye Cream (straight shea butter, coconut or olive oil, whatever is on hand.)
5.Dry shampoo (I keep it very basic, just arrowroot or cornstarch, cocoa, and lavender.)
6.Hair Conditioner (vinegar water rinse.)
7.Shaving Cream (Lathered soap or a little oil)
8.Deoderant (I haven’t gotten there yet, but when I run out I will try this recipe.)
9.Skin cleansers, exfoliators, and lotions (A tub of sugar and olive oil, scrubbed gently from head to toe. A light rinse, and the body has been exfoliated and moisturized. A quick spraying down of the shower may be in order…)
10.Loose Face Powder (cornstarch or arrowroot powder, tinted with cocoa powder according to your skin tone.)
11.New Clothes (I no longer buy new. I really don’t need anything, but if I did, the thrift store is where I would go. Socks and underwear must be new, though–I draw the line there.)
12.Household Cleaners (vinegar water for most cleaning, or a mixture of vinegar water and LOC–Liquid Organic Cleaner from Amway. Other cleaners (straight baking soda, vinegar, or hydrogen peroxide usually does the trick. I still buy Bioquest Laundry Detergent and Dish Drops, which are very good for our private septic.)
13.Coffee Shops (I no longer feel the need. I can out-barista any coffee shop out there. Total waste of my money–unless I am running on zero sleep, then “yes please.” The same goes for restaurants. I truly enjoy my own home and my own cooking.)
14.Gym (with my fitness license, I can’t justify paying for that anymore. Also, it is so fun to explore the many fitness DVDs, most of them available for free through Netflix, Amazon, Youtube, or the library!)
15.Tanning salon (I no longer…)
16.Eggs (Because I have my own chickens! Dreams do come true.)
17.Prepared Food (I prepare everything myself. It is not very hard, and so much nicer. Remember, one thing at a time.)
18.Vanilla (This is on my list to make! Vanilla beans and vodka.
19.Gift bags (reuse, recycle. If you don’t have a gift bag to reuse, it is a good joke to wrap something in newspaper. The thrift store is also a great for baskets to arrange gifts in.)
20.Cards (If I have something cutesy to say, I write it out myself. A nice card might be $3.99 or more. A photo also works well in lieu of a card, or one of the littles can always be employed to make a beautiful card for Auntie Ruthie someone)

Just a few of the things I have grown out of buying! What do you make? What have you given up?

Soap, Almost Free

S004oap is really cheap around here… mostly because we don’t use it! My girls and I don’t use any kind of soap to bathe, and only a mild bar soap for hand washing.

Conventional soap is not good for the skin. The “new” stuff has more chemicals than ever. Ever consider that the antibacterial part of modern soap not only kills 99.9% of germs, it also is killing good bacteria in your body? Protect your skin. It is your largest organ. Would you rub antibacterial soap on any of your other organs? “Yes; she’s crazy.”

Our hair is glossy and clean; for my hair I am currently using egg with a little tea tree oil. I’m thinking about trying a bar of herbal shampoo bar, made by a local herbalist which is chemical-free and nurturing for the hair and scalp. The girls don’t need shampoo–their hair doesn’t produce as much oil as teens and adults.

“What!? They don’t wash with soap?”

How do we clean ourselves? Exfoliation and water is usually all the body needs. For a little extra scrubbing power, I keep a tub of sugar and olive oil next to the shower. I use this on my face every day, and elsewhere as needed for myself and the girls.  Winter bathing is easy; but in the summer we will wash a lot more carefully to remove harsh pool chemicals.

Our daily baths are luxuriously sprinkled with epsom salt and sweet-smelling essential oils. (I stress daily, because a soak before bed is therapeutic and so relaxing!) I don’t even think the Duchess of Cambridge has it this good.

Shocked? Don’t be. The body cleans itself, when attended to properly. Do you think Adam and Eve were let loose in the Garden of Eden with a bar of Ivory soap in hand?

My husband works in the oil field and has to scrub invert and other harmful chemicals off of his skin. Yes, he does use soap in the shower to clean it off!


Western Woman

Cut Your Own Hair (Short!)

pixie2Last year I blogged about cutting your own shag haircut, but that only applies to long hair. My ever-evolving ‘do is now a very short pixie cut. Goodbye, splotchy mess of the Splat DIY hair color kit! Hello, sassy new look!

See my tips for cutting long hair

clippers1. I pinned up the “crown” of my hair (using 2 mirrors to ensure accuracy.)

2. The same electric clippers I use to cut Michael’s hair also works just fine for me! Easy!

3. Trim along the nape of the neck without the length attachments (Not so easy, if you can’t manage it with 2 mirrors, then request help. If Michael had been home, I would have called him, but I managed fine on my own. It just took extra maneuvering.)

pixie cutting4. Now the sides are done. I let down the top, and used my fingers to hold hair in place for the scissors. I wanted it shorter and spiky in the back, slightly longer in the front for styling. I did it by feel, as well as using the 2 mirrors as needed.

5. I finished off by using my textured scissors to soften out the edges, and girlify the “crew cut.”


pixie cut6. A little product to tame the top, and I love it! I’ve been waiting for the courage to try this look for a long time!



I used to love going to the stylist. That was when I had a reliable source of childcare (i.e. my husband did not live on location most of the time for work.) These days I cut my own hair after the girls are in bed. Also, I can save a lot of money by doing my own hair, while exploring my own artsy style. Win-win!

Disclaimer: I am not a professional stylist; I am an edgy mom who likes to share tips about what has worked for me.

Cheers! May all your haircuts reflect the beauty within you! happy hair

Western Woman

It Won’t Wash Out–Please Help!

What is that? Actually it looks better in the picture than real life. That is me after trying to wash the splotchy faded pink-purple-orange-blonde mess. At this point I had done: 3 hours of mayonnaise mask, 8 hours of vitamin C + shampoo, 3 hours of warm olive oil, 2 hours of lemon juice, and 15 washes of equal parts alcohol + shampoo. (The last one was recommended by Splat customer service. They told me once or twice should do it.)

I am now up to 25 washes of alcohol + shampoo, and another 6 hours of vitamin C mask; but the my hair looks almost exactly the same, so don’t worry about more pictures. Unless you have the cure. Then I will proudly post a picture of my splotch-free hair and dedicate my next blog post to you. Until then, I give up. My hair will just have to grow out. I will pull out my hats.

My last color started out beautifully vibrant purple.  It looked great for a couple weeks! Splat Lusty Lavender Semi Permanent Hair Dye





Underneath the purple was shocking pink, which was also fun. (Stop smirking, girl… you have no idea.) Splat Pink Fetish Semi Permanent Hair Dye




Archangela, age 4, also got in on the pink hair.




I think this is my natural color. (A picture from 2009!) I am really curious to see that color again.






Don’t buy Splat if you plan to return to a normal-looking color at some point.

This has been a product review from a frustrated DIYer.


Western Woman

lovelo, my latest and greatest beauty find

lovelo, my latest and greatest beauty find

Cleanse and tighten pores through a simple 30-minute honey mask? Or deep-moisturize the face the same way, except with mayonnaise? I’m always a fan of solutions from the kitchen. Sign me up!

Thanks to the salesman who both sold us a car and directed me to his daughter’s blog, I enjoyed a good read on various topics from a beauty expert/product review perspective.

Follow this link to her blog on Red Carpet Glow, and enjoy!

As a disclaimer: I believe in such decadent rituals as a daily small glass of red wine (Thank you, Spain! Delicious, antioxidant, calming, and an aid to digestion.) Every skin type, beauty style, and nutritional needs/opinions will be slightly different. A grain of salt is encouraged in all reading, nonetheless I found this post nicely refreshing.

I’m off to pamper myself with a facial mask of Freedom Farms honey 🙂


Cut Your Own Hair

Cut Your Own Hair

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Several months ago I bemoaned to a co-worker, my friend Angel, my lack of time to go in for a hair appointment. My stylist always did an incredible job, however money was tight and time was even tighter to get myself to the salon. Then, a light was turned on for me when Angel informed me she has been cutting her own hair for years, and I have always admired her shag hairstyle! I took note of her instructions, adjusting it somewhat for my desired style. Several months later, I have used the technique many times and would like to share my joyful results with you.

This style works for long hair. The wispy look is carefree, reminiscent of the 1970’s, easy to style, and good for busy women as the cutting process should only take about five minutes. As a disclaimer, I am not a professional. I am a woman who wants to achieve healthy, beautiful hair, quickly and inexpensively.

How to Cut Your Shag Hairstyle

  1. Bend forward at the waist, and brush your dry hair into a ponytail at the top of your forehead.
  2. Cut straight across at the desired length. (I like an Eclipse Cushion-Grip Shears from $19.99 for members) Remember, cutting about eye level will give you about chest-length hair, so don’t be nervous about all that hair landing in the trash. If you are creating new layers, the bulk of what you cut off if coming from the upper layers. (This step is easy, so if you are unsure, allow ‘room for improvement’ by starting out with longer layers.)
  3. Flip your hair back and check for accuracy, using a mirror or a friend to see the back. You can always repeat step 2 if needed.
  4. Bangs or no bangs? At this time in my life, I like bangs! I use a texture shears which I purchased on Sally Beauty for about $15. I clean it up with my regular regular shears. If you are creating bangs for the first time, select the amount of hair carefully. There is a big difference between Lea Michelle’s thick bangs and Audrey Hepburn’s delicately ultra-short fringe in Breakfast At Tiffany’s. Hold hair between two fingers over your forehead, and cut a slight rainbow shape, allowing extra length to any cowlicks. One more thing–vision-obstruction is so overrated… if you can’t see, trim them shorter, or clip them to the side! my preference is to not have bangs that cover one’s eyes!
  5. If you want to get a fancier edge such as choppy layers, look up more involved instructions online, or take some professional classes. Whatever you decide to do with your hair: Have fun, look fabulous, and drink your coffee 🙂

Natural Beauty: Hair

With permission I have translated for you my sister’s post from her Spanish blog.

She writes, “Today I will share with you my personal natural beauty routine.

Your Hair

“Shampoo: Take an egg yoke and use it as you would shampoo.  It will not foam, but it works!  The result is similar to a high quality shampoo. Afterwards, rinse with water.”

Thank you Elisa for sharing! I have personally enjoyed the protein-rich treat for my hair. My hair has been very damaged (my fault–see photos of me in the last year sporting bleach blonde, dark blonde, and red hair!) and I have seen improvement by alternating my regular shampoo with the Natural Beauty method.