Friday, December 5, 2014

Homemade Toiletries: An Experiment in Peacemaking

Ever wonder about those crunchy ladies? You know the ones I'm talking about. All natural beauties who eat nothing but veggie wraps made of backyard-grown organic heirloom spinach and self-raised-and-butchered chicken? They bake their own bread, wash their hair with baking soda, and brush their teeth with a chewing stick?


Well I do.

You see, sometimes, this world comes at us with 1,000 angry, horrible things. Sometimes people get sick. Sometimes people get beaten. Sometimes people die. And in almost all of those instances, it is not, in any way, shape, or form, ok. I hear these disgusting stories and I fear for my family. I hear these disgusting stories and I fear for my friends and for the future of our country. When I get scared, I get angry, and when I get angry, I want to fly into action. The problem is, the horrors I witness on the news, or in the paper, or on my Facebook feed, these horrors seem so removed from me, a chick in PJ pants, chillin' on the couch. I feel helpless. I can talk and scream and rant and cry until there is nothing left, but when push comes to shove, I cannot force someone think the way I do, no matter the amount of life, liberty, and happiness at stake. The only thing I can do, and the only person I can truly control, is myself. My actions. My thoughts. My words. My vote.

So, on this, a day where I look back at the week and think "Why is this happening, how can people be so horrific, and what can I do to stop them?" I am going to fight oppression and injustice by being the best damn person I can be, living life according to the basic human principles I find important, and try my damnedest to leave my kids with a world they can still find beauty in, despite the bleak outlook we face today.

The crunchy life is one of my coping mechanism, one of my tools. It's a way to get back to my roots, literally. It's a way to educate about the falsities we fail to recognize as we blindly cycle through the churning, mechanical consumerism and politics we've come to depend on for everything in our lives. It's a way of providing a new outlook for my family, my readers, and it allows me to offer my kids the opportunity to sever ties with the social norms and non-questioning behaviors that continue to kill us, quite literally. It's my way of asking questions and encouraging them to do the same.

Why? What does it mean? How can it be done better?

I know I'm not solving our nation's problems, here. A homemade tube of toothpaste isn't going to fix the inequalities and terrors we face today. Homemade shampoo pales in comparison to those working to develop legislature, or creating petitions, or marching peacefully in protest. My hope, however, is that these silly little recipes, this focused effort on making meaningful choices, damning the man's standards, and exercising my right to live a life centered on responsibility, will ignite in my children a passion to move with purpose and shun the phrase "ignorance is bliss" and to instead ask questions, to dig deeper, to investigate and clarify what it means to be a free country.

Blogging about deodorant doesn't create justice in a world that seems to have none...but if it convinces even just one person, just one person, to think outside the box, to extend beyond that which we've been raised to believe our entire lives, then maybe, just maybe, we have a shot at widening our minds to encompass the change we need to undergo as a nation and as individuals each and every day.

So without further ado, allow me to introduce to you....

Jen's Crunchy Life Experiment

For the next few Fridays I'm going to highlight a homemade product I've made and been using in my home. I'll discuss the cost comparison, the ingredients, the challenges, and every little detail in between. I'll divulge the facts and studies I've found that contrast with the faith I've traditionally had in our governmental regulating bodies. I will frame the contest, so to speak, and give you a firsthand perspective of how reducing my dependence on grocery stores has impacted my life.

You'll find out why my medicine cabinet looks like this:

And why my bathroom cabinet looks like this:

And how this could be a real life hair care routine:

And why I have random charts like this taped to the inside of my closet doors:

And who knows? Maybe following along or joining me in this little experiment will help you break through some of the mental barriers you have in your life and cause you to revisit things you never even realized were in there. And yea...sometimes, a simple glass jar full of lotion can do that...because even at its most basic level, change paves the way to a better you, a better me, a more peaceful we.

Thank you for reading, lovely friends. 



  1. I hear you - I'm appalled at the stare of our society today as well and have no way to process it. I'm not sure making homemade deodorant will help, but I totally get you! I have been going back to our roots with homemade, non processed first step to granola-ville. I am a few months behind you but I applaud your efforts! And if you figure out how to make a mint salt body scrub - hit me up! :)

    1. Thank you Kristen!! Yea homemade stuff does nothing directly....but opening these avenues of exploration and information creates a mentality that this country is terribly lacking. I will totally shoot you a recipe!! I made a bomb-ass lotion!

  2. I used to want to be one of those "crunchy ladies," but life and my job keep getting in the way. I don't know where it comes from - I did know a few people like this growing up and they must have made an influence. I too have been slowly embracing the real food movement too, but am not quite ready to make my own deoderant. I will enjoy reading your series.

    1. That does not surprise me about you, Savvy! It's my opinion that the crunchy life is harder, but smarter...and it requires someone who likes to read, learn, and work for the goodness in their life. You strike me as someone who owns all those characteristics! So glad you're excited about the series - I am too :)

  3. That's pretty awesome and very well organized/laid out. It's good to be informed and proactive and you are so good for you. That's more than most do. :) For the hair regime, how did you get started on that? What link did you find the most helpful? I I tried the no-poo method but didn't stick to it very well. Have a great one Jennifer!! -Iva

    1. Thanks Iva :) :) :) Researching the truth and keeping an open mind - two things Americans tend to waive in favor of having things handled for them!

      I did no poo for a while and have just recently switched to my new regime.........ingredients and links and costs and EVERYTHING coming in the series!!! Can't wait to tell you all about it!!

  4. Good luck with it all! I personally couldn't do it, but I do know people who go the natural route of things.

  5. I am SUPER impressed, and I can honestly say I would be willing to give it a shot...especially to make the world a better place...that is the deal, right?! ;)-Ashley

  6. I definitely wouldn't consider myself "crunchy"...but I've also found that life overseas especially lends itself to a much more natural lifestyle--okay, organic groceries might not really be a choice, but I can point to the shop where my chickens are slaughtered (and I can see the blood and guts running into a drain) and most of what we eat is 'real food'....and I use as few beauty/skincare products as possible just because I'd rather not use products than figure out how to make them with what's available here! I'm interested to see what you've found that works for you!