Browsing Tag

natural living


So what is the green/frugal thing to do about shaving? I’m too cheap to spend $20 on replacement razors (what the eff?) and yet not hippy enough to let all my hairs grow free. Do you use coconut oil to dissolve hair or something? :)

What a fantastically timed question! I just finished this section in my book! Let me give it to you for free 🙂

For shaving, first of all don’t buy disposable razors. Horrifically wasteful, and about as effective at hacking at your leg hair with a dull butter knife. The ones where you just replace the head are marginally better in terms of waste and effectiveness, but yeah, what’s with the price? They’re always locked up in pharmacies like they’re diamonds, instead of simple tools for defurring your gams, plus you’re still using (and eventually throwing away) plastic. 

I think the best option is to invest in a double-edged old-timey razor, the one that takes real metal razor blades, like this:


You can find vintage ones on Etsy, or where I found one for Adam last Christmas, at The Copper Hat, based out of Victoria, BC.

The blades cost around $3-$4, are the sharpest I’ve ever seen, and don’t have a bit of plastic on either the razor, blade or the packaging. 

And ugh, I WISH coconut oil dissolved hair. Sadly there’s no hippie magic there. It can come into play if you use it in place of shaving cream – cheaper and no aerosol cans! It works like a hot damn and your legs will be as smooth as Olive’s bottom. Promise.


best natural laundry detergent???? help please!!!! <3

For the last three or four years I’ve made my own laundry detergent (recipe can be found here) so I’m sort of out of touch with store-bought natural stuff, but before I started making my own I used Seventh Generation. 

I find buying natural stuff so frustrating, because it’s almost *always* more expensive than its conventional counterpart, and when you look at the main ingredients they are dirt cheap: washing soda, baking soda, borax.

There’s no reason they should be so expensive, except that you’re paying a premium because being green is so trendy right now. 

I say make your own! It’s so easy and works like a dream. 

(If you have a question, click “Ask” to your right)



If any of you have made resolutions (New Year’s or otherwise) to become more eco conscious, here are some posts that I have written over the years that you might find helpful:

  • How to make your own laundry soap that works like a hot damn and won’t leave you smelling like a chemical shitstorm
  • Stop buying shampoo and conditioner! Make your own! I promise you won’t look gross!
  • Natural oils as moisturizers
  • This list I made for Skinny Scoop about small changes you can make that might make you look crazy but will also SAVE THE PLANET. NBD.

I am a giver. Never forget that.

Eco-Friendly Living, Natural Living

Cloth Diapering


I think it’s written somewhere into the blogging contract that if you blog and you use cloth diapers, you are duty bound to at some point write a blog post discussing every minute detail about your experience.

Internets, consider my contract fulfilled! BEHOLD! My cloth diapering post.

First let me say that not using cloth diapers was never an option for me. This determination wasn’t born of some over-inflated, holier-than-thou philosophy (i.e. “My baby is better than your baby because she shits into fleece.”) no, this was simply because I wouldn’t be able to handle the guilt of not doing it.

I don’t know where it came from, this guilt, this crushing sense of failure if I throw something out that could have been recycled, or if I buy something new that could have been found secondhand. It just exists. Always. Heavy on my shoulders, whispering insidiously and steering me sternly towards hemp and recycled materials.

So for us the decision to do cloth diapers was already made, we just needed to figure out which brand, and man are there OPTIONS!

I realized pretty quickly that cloth diapering is like everything else in babyland, it has its own terminology, its own websites and weird strange rituals. You think you can just go somewhere and read about the different types of diapers, pick the one that best suits you and be on your merry way. But you’re wrong. Idiot.

You read page after page, click on link after link – before you know it you’ve spent five consecutive hours squinting at the computer screen while muttering about prefolds and liners, trying to make sense of nonsensical terms like snappis and bummis and huggabunz and rockin’ green detergent. They talk about prepping and soaking and stripping and tryst me, none of it means what you think it does.

Obviously, I went deep, deep down this road. You know me. I researched and compared, read reviews and reports and lost myself for weeks inside this strange and bewildering new world.

I did eventually managed to emerge with my sanity intact, and ironically, I was saved by my own vanity. You see, Olive’s last name begins with a G, and this diaper company called gDiapers makes fun, colourfully designed diapers, all with a little g stamped on the butt. Nothing appealed to me more than the idea of our little creature tooting around in monogrammed nappies, and upon further inspection, gDiapers seemed kind of cool. They were made up of a cloth outer layer, a plastic liner that snapped inside, and either a cloth or disposable insert to go into the liner (you still with me?)

So for diaper changes, you could either change out just the insert, the insert and the liner, or toss the whole diaper in the wash in the event of a poopslosion. This was great for me because I planned on getting diapers secondhand, and was way less skeeved out by buying some of the cloth inserts new.

It’s also handy to have the option to buy disposable inserts in case we’re travelling and don’t want to arrive at our destination with a diaper bag full of dirties.


I also use cloth wipes. It’s sort of ridiculous not to, if you’re cloth diapering. I have some fuzzy ones (shown above) that were kindly made for me by my sister as a baby shower gift, and a bunch of more basic double-ply cotton ones I ordered from Etsy.

I keep my wipe solution in a plastic squeeze bottle, made up of the following

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp Dr Bronner’s Castile soap
  • 1 tsp aloe vera

When it’s butt changing time we just squeeze some solution onto a wipe, warm it briefly in our hands, then begin the de-pooping process.

Our diaper cream is just coconut oil. It’s honestly the best thing ever, cloth diaper safe, and smells like a dream. I also use it for body moisturizer and eye makeup remover (From a different jar, obviously! Ew.)


(Our drawer of diaper liners and wipes. The roll of toilet paper looking stuff is a flushable paper liner, but as Olive only poops like once a week we don’t really use it too much at the moment)


(diapers on the left, stuffed with cloth inserts and ready to go, extra plastic liners on the right)

So, in a dramatic conclusion to this riveting post about how I dispose of the waste generated by my infant daughter: I’m happy with the diapers, we have about 14 and do laundry every day or every other day, no leaks, no diaper rash, and honestly, it’s as easy as pie.


Tough Love Thursdays

(Yes, I know it’s Tuesday, this couldn’t wait!)

Apparently the groundhog predicted 6 more weeks of winter for you yankees, so this post is quite timely, actually.

Let’s talk moisturizer! Ladies, how many bottles of moisturizer do you own? I’m guessing between 4-9,  there’s probably the giant one you got on sale, the travel sized one you keep in your purse, some special cream for your hands and nails, and maybe some bullshit you regret wasting your money on like gradual tanning moisturizer, or firming moisturizer, or hair growth inhibiting moisturize or some such schlock. We all have our weakness.

But wait! Imagine! In place of all of that crap, you could have… (drumroll)


Oh my gah! It’s SESAME OIL!

This will replace all of your moisturizers and your skin will feel SO smooth and your wallet will thank you and your husband will never stop groping you even when you are JUST TRYING TO DO THE LAUNDRY ADAM!

Seriously though, smoooooooth.

I started using Sesame oil in place of store-bought stuff about two years ago when I started looking into Ayurveda. Ayurvedic practice recommends an oil massage every morning, so, obedient disciple that I am, I went and picked up a bottle of sesame oil from our local health food store.

Except I didn’t read the label properly and I bought toasted sesame oil, which, guys, don’t do this.

Toasted sesame oil is what they use in stir-frys and look, I love stir-frys, I make them all the time! Get some bok choy and rice noodles and kale and hey, we’ve got a party! But as much as I love the stir fry, I don’t like smelling like a stir-fry (add that to the Apple Cider Vinegar hair rinse and things were getting a little weird).

But, orce course the oil was organic and expeller pressed and unrefined and transported ounce by ounce through a pristine sesame field by virgin monks and thus, SO expensive that I couldn’t just waste it.

So I still used it. Every day I rubbed myself down with that toasted sesame oil and let me tell you, toasted sesame will ensure that your husband will sigh loudly every time you come within a foot of him and say “If I wanted to marry a STIR FRY, Madeleine, I I would gone to the Mongolie Grill.and then you might feel it appropriate to respond by saying “Look, you’re just upset because you have a Pitta imbalance, here why don’t you drink this cucumber water and do those breathing exercises we talked about?” and then he will sigh a little too loudly and leave the room muttering something about a crazy lady.

So yeah. Just buy the normal stuff. 

Self-massage is also, by the way, one of the treatments they recommend for those suffering from body dysmorphic disorder, and even if your body image is fine, I still think it’s a great idea to actually connect with your skin instead of viewing it impassively in a mirror, perhaps wishing you looked a little less like Adele and a little more like Gisele.

Just feel your skin, connect with your body. Maybe chant or light some incense. (Hahaha, omg, just kidding, no chanting or incense required. Unless you want to, I mean, there’s nothing wrong with incense or chanting. I’ve been known to chant a little myself now and then! Just last Friday in fact! But that’s neither here nor there. I digress…)

Here’s what I usually do. For the full body massage I usually do it after a shower, when your pores are open and more easily able to accept moisture. I recommend sitting on a towel, because you don’t want any stray oil drops to stain your carpet. I keep the oil in a plastic squeeze top container, that way I can immerse it in a cup of hot water to warm it up. You can also add essential oils like lavender or sweet orange if you want some scent.

Just work the oil into your skin, starting at the base of the neck and working down to the arms, chest, belly, legs and feet. You don’t need a ton of oil, you don’t want to be greasy-feeling, just work in as much as your skin will take.

Your skin absorbs up to 60% of what you put into it, so it just makes sense to use something that’s edible. Plus, my skin has never been more smooth.

If the idea of sitting naked on a towel, rubbing yourself with oil makes you uncomfortable (weird!) just use sesame oil as needed, like you would any other moisturizer, you’ll reap the same skin-smoothing, wallet-saving, husband-groping benefits

( Hey, did any if you try the no-shampoo? Did you love it? Hate it? Did your mom/roommate/boyfriend laugh at you and call you names? I’d love to hear your experiences.)