I like shampoo.

A lot.

This is why.

beauty , chemical free , poo-free , wordless wednesday

Well, in the spirit of honesty I’m going to honestly tell you what I think about being shampoo-free.

First let’s review:

*Two weeks ago, I went poo-free (the Man followed shortly after)
*We did this in the interest of being more eco-aware and chemical free (and it’s cheap, which is a nice feature)
*We also did this as an experiment because we like to use ourselves as subjects of research but you know, not the dangerous scientific kind where we might be scarred or permanently damaged
*We did this because shampoo is a detergent, much like tide, and washing your hair with tide sounds like a bad idea. Probably.
* I personally did this because I was intrigued by the idea that ceasing the use of the artificial things in shampoo would make my hair actually look better.

Yeah, so far, not so much.

Be ye not dismayed.

I will not go into the dark night (with shampoo).

My hair looks well… not HORRIBLE but not great, I’m not going to lie. The ends are dry, the scalp is… well let’s just say not dry and there is about a 2 inch section in between that is perfect. Well crap. You should know I’ve been growing my hair out for what seems like about 13 years. In reality it’s only been a couple but my hair grows that slow. For this reason I am abysmally bad at getting regular haircuts. I gave myself an ends trim last week in fact. But, despite the fact that I do very little to my hair, aside from washing and letting air dry (with the occasional use of a heated styling tool), it is bipolar. Which is to say the scalp is quite oily (ala my face) and the ends are quite dry. And the resulting attempt to balance these out often fails. Miserably. Even with the use of innumerable styling products. I refuse to cut my hair for this reason. Not happening.

However, I have hope. For I have been told there is an ‘adjustment’ period of a couple of weeks to a couple of months. I do not know what this means. I hope it doesn’t mean my hair is going to look like this for two months because I. Would. Cry. Since the Man is gone to the bay I’m experimenting this week. Today: Less baking soda. More vinegar. So far it’s looking pretty good. I think.

I’ll keep you posted.

The other thing I’m starting this week is the oil cleansing method (for faces).

These are the oil cleansing essentials.

I am doing this because it seems logical. Oil dissolves oil. Also oil is a moisturizer. And oil doesn’t cause acne, dirt causes acne. And acne is why most people obsess over their face. Also oil contains no chemicals. Which is what all this business was about in the first place.

But don’t trust me to tell you about it. Read about it here. I’m doing this on a week when the Man is gone because, despite what I have read in like 87 internet sources, I am terrified that my face is going to break out like a teenager. Which it has at least once a month since I became one so many many years ago. My face is that oily. Like really oily. Monumentally oily. Epically oily.

It’s oily.

Anyway, oils vary in their comedogenic-ness (that is the pore clogging likeliness) so I chose one low on that scale. Sunflower, mixed with castor, in about a 70/30 ratio respectively (purchased at Whole Foods). I added a few drops of peppermint oil because I like it. I have heard of some using just plain oil without the castor but again this makes me fear a breakout as the castor acts as a cleansing agent. So that’s what I’m doing. You can use extra virgin olive oil if you can’t find sunflower (which is not always readily available). I also have some tea-tree oil which I may add because it is a great antiseptic. Not yet though. So I started with this yesterday. Rubbed it all over my face before bed (trying to enjoy the massage while the Man bounced the crying baby, not very effective). Got a washrag nice and steamy hot and washed it off (like 3 times) and… My face is absolutely not oily. At. All.

I’m freaking out.

Don’t worry I’ll be ok.

So what about skin in general…

Again in the spirit of complete honesty you can’t count on me to tell you what I really think. I have always had an oily face. The hormonal breakouts I suffered as a teen I typically tried to cover with various makeup (to no avail). My father, in his hippie-like spirit, begged me to cease the use of all products but I refused.


Turns out he might have on to something. Despite mineral makeup (and every other kind of makeup) saying that they won’t clog your pores, I think they probably do. In fact, I think all the cosmetic companies may actually be working together to take your money.

Wear makeup to look beautiful.

Uh oh. Now your pores are a clogged up mess and you have acne.

OK. Use this product to cure your acne.

Uh oh too dry? Use this product as a moisturizer.

Etc. etc. etc.

Makeup made my face look worse. It’s a cycle. It makes you feel like you look better but it is damaging your skin and thus making your skin look worse? That’s my theory. I’m no expert (except on pie).

As an adult my acne did not improve to my dismay. In fact in some ways it got worse. I began having some cystic type acne in the typical hormonal areas (cheeks and chin). I was seeking solutions. Around three or so years ago I began wearing less makeup, and then less makeup, and around two years ago makeup for special occasions (like date night kind of special) and then zero (except for our wedding). I pay attention to my skin, but in a different way. And here’s what I noticed, I apologize if you don’t like this answer.

My dad was right.


beauty , chemical free , oil cleansing method , poo-free , shampoo-free

Not because I’m homeless. Stick around, will explain.

Let me know what you think of the blog redesign. I obviously didn’t need all that header. I found something smaller.

I’m typing up the post at a time when I wouldn’t normally be blogging. It’s dark. I think you get what I’m saying. Today is going to be a wild ride for this mom of 4. I’ll get to that later.

First things first.

Poo-free update. We are now on day 8. My head itches. This is apparently normal. Frown. I’m not enjoying this but I am sticking with it. I think I’ve combatted the dryness by using honey in the ends of my hair and reducing the baking soda (and still rinsing with AVC). Here’s hoping. I’m not a fan of the dry hair feeling so honestly if I can’t combat that, I can’t not use something. Presently I’m using almond oil and the coconut was just too greasy. The Man is having no issues but agrees that people use shampoo because it’s easy. So far this has not been. I’m holding out hope that once we get the kinks worked out it will be. Hoping. Now that I feel like I’m conquering the hair, I’m ready to start the oil cleansing method for face. More on that later.


This is the kind of day I’m going to have. The 3 big kids have to be at 3 different schools at 3 different times. 6:45. 7:45. 8:45. They also have to be picked up at 3 different times. One of them has a jazz band festival in a town about 35 minutes from here which begins at 9:00. Somehow I have to get kid #1 to school at 8:45 and still get to the festival by 9:00. Kid #3 has to be picked up at 12 because he has a minimum day. And kid #2, the jazz band kid? Well I don’t even know when he has to be picked up. Crap. I hope I don’t forget him. Thankfully Ella can’t walk or go to school yet.

I’m going to just move my stuff into the car today.

I need coffee.


And a clone.

chemical free , coconut oil , green living , kids , poo-free

Well we are a week poo-free. OK it’s been 7 days. I started last Tuesday. That’s a week right? Thanks for joining us on this adventure in green living.

Here’s the update:
Sadness has set. Please read on. While the Man’s hair has taken well to the poo-free experiment mine is in full fledged protest. I will say two things. One: I expected my hair to be super duper exxon valdez oil spill oily. But in reality it is Sahara desert dry. Or at least the ends are anyway. We haven’t reached horse hair status but we are coming close despite a variety of treatments. Conventional wisdom would suggest that I ought to skip a day of washing (or baking soda-ing as it were) but if I do that the hair that is closest to my head would be oily while the ends may recover. I will not be thwarted though. I will continue to tweak the recipe to less baking soda and more apple cider vinegar. I will probably do an egg, or avo-mayo treatment or some coconut oil to the ends tomorrow or later this evening. It’s not that bad. It’s just not that good. Also I have read to expect some scalp itching around the one week mark which has started. Two: I’m sticking to it. In the name of chem free living.
In other chem-free news: I took one of Ella’s blankets from her armoire (it’s a dresser really but it has a cabinet so technially an armoire) yesterday and it smelled so incredibly perfume-y I was downright nauseated. Here’s the funny thing, previous to this experiment I was an absolute fabric softener fanatic. Like if the load ran and I forgot to put it in I’d RUN IT AGAIN. Like that. Now, I can’t even stand it. Same with perfume, floral body lotion, plug in air fresheners and pretty much anything artificially smelly (though it’s been a while since I didn’t like the smell of those). Weird. Also weird, when there is no artificial smell you can just smell people. I have a theory about the smell of people though. It seems to me, though admittedly my experience only, and not a scientific experiment, the people you love smell good to you. Take away the perfume and see what you’re left with. Turns out I like the smell of my sweaty husband. Hm.
What I smell right now is an apple pie baking.
As for the cleaning: I’ll admit I haven’t done a thorough cleaning of the house without any chemicals yet. This is mostly because I haven’t done a thorough cleaning of my house ever. In any case as far as the chem-free thing goes I’ve scrubbed the floors and tubs and whatnot but I haven’t run into anything really nasty that a little baking soda and vinegar or Dr. Bronner’s can’t handle.
In cooking news: I made two delicious loaves of french bread this weekend and was asked about how to make bread without a bread maker (I’ve never owned one so don’t ask me how to make it with a bread maker because I can’t). Look for a recipe and tutorial soon.
This is a lot to take in in one blog post. If you’re still reading, thank you.
If you care to comment tell me what your favorite natural remedies and house cleaning tips are. :)
chemical free , green living , poo-free , shampoo-free

The Man has been home now for 2 days and also poo-free. As is Ella. The Big Kids, well not so much yet. They’re intrigued though. Not as intrigued as they are by TV, but I’ll take what I can get.

For those of you curious to know how it’s going I’ll be keeping you updated. I was disappointed to find that a couple of the great bloggers who preceded me in the poo-free movement didn’t actually stay poo-free after the initial experiment. I’m not sure what the reason was for this was, as they don’t indicate, but I’ll be keeping you all honestly up to date on what I think of it. The Man asked if I’d admit failure, and assure you I will.

As for day 4. I’m still reeling from yesterday’s coconut oil debacle. If you haven’t been keeping up, I love coconut oil. It’s my new favorite thing. Thank you Emily. I’ve used natural oils before on my skin, almond and olive primarily but I’m a total coconut convert. I used it in my homemade deodorant. I slather it all over my body, including my monumentally oily face (which it does not make oilier FYI). I use it for the baby’s nightly massage and on her bum (in the rare case of redness). So it’s follows that it would also be good on dry hair, which it is, you know, in a certain quantity that is obviously far less than how much I used yesterday. So, that being said, I’m still recovering from the “too much oil” experience. My hair was a little more weighed down that usual but it’s not frizzy so I’ll take it. The Man gives his honest opinion, “I feel like I didn’t shower at all.”

Oops. Clearly not the intended effect.

As for day 5. My hair recovered from the Coconut Oil Situation of 2011 and looks fine. I have to admit though, I miss conditioner. Hello my name is Joni and I love conditioner. I’m pushing through it though. The Man left his baking soda mixture on longer and it appears that solved his problem.

I’m happy to report that my Alabama friend Liz has boarded the poo-free train. She is my partner in chem free arms. Solidarity, people. Solidarity.

In other news: In you haven’t, please read yesterday’s post. More specifically, read the comments. I’m not trying to start a debate. I promise. I’m really not that controversial. But you should know I’m also not bitter. I’ve been itty bitty skinny (at 123 pounds, which I can tell you is WAY too small for me) and rolly poly chubby (at 183 pounds) and everywhere in between. I do not begrudge the thin or the not thin or anyone else. And I certainly don’t hate Miranda Kerr (Victoria’s Secret model and new momma). In fact, I praise her for her willingness to share her private moments. (As an aside, I also happen to thinks it’s ironic {and downright ridiculous} that breastfeeding in public would be seen an controversial when this very woman wears far less to seel underwear than is exposed when breastfeeding. Another blog. Another day.) In any case, I like her. My beef is with photoshop and false beauty and mostly unreachable ideals of thinness. I want women to want to be healthy and fit and happy, not obsessed with size and constantly in a state of comparison (of your hips or breasts or otherwise). I want us to love ourselves and rejoice in the wonderful things our bodies do for us. Not lament and loathe every flaw. I received a couple of private emails I won’t share but I will tell you this much, disordered eating is alive and well and it’s happening to people we think are “normal”.

And while we are talking about private emails… Please see the sidebar if you’ve got a question you want to ask me privately. I’ve received a few questions and I’m happy to answer them (privately or through the blog). Nothing is off limits because I have no shame. And no filter. Go ahead. Ask.

Question #1 Feminine hygiene:

What do I use? Well when Aunt Flo came back unexpectedly early after Ella was born, I used what was in my 15 year old daughters cupboard, tampons. However, I’ve used the diva cup and that’s what I’ll go back to. It’s no more difficult that a diaphragm and it’s not messy (well it can be kind of messy when you take it out) AND you can leave it in for a long time. Perfect. Because I don’t have time to change a tampon every two hours. It’s a little pricey and I need a new one (they come in two sizes btw). The lunapads intrigue me (for lighter flow days), I have not used them but I’d love to get some for back up. Etsy also has lots of handmade options. There are also the Sea Sponge tampons which I would be more than willing to give a shot. I’ve heard mixed reviews from ” LOVE THEM” to “wow these are really messy”.

There. Nothing off limits. Probably.

Tomorrow: Day 6 and don’t it make my blue eyes brown: a statement on unfulfilled wishes.

chemical free , coconut oil , poo-free