Blog Archives

Laughs for Breakfast

Luke and Machete waiting for a treat

Didz u say treatz?

Last night, I followed a friend’s link to a bunch of funny animal photos and I laughed so hard I cried.

I’m gonna give you the chance to giggle, too. But first, here are some other links.

  1. If you haven’t already entered the Baltimore Bumble Crafts shampoo bar giveaway, do it now! This is the last day to enter. By participating and sharing the giveaway details with friends you not only stand to win a cool product but will also help grow awareness about this blog and Baltimore Bumble Crafts, a small, woman-owned business. Click here to enter now.
  2. Make sure you have the date saved for Oct. 28 shopping party and raffle fundraiser for Midwest Adopt-a-Bull. If you are in the Kansas City area and want to buy raffle tickets in advance, contact me. You can also RSVP on Facebook. More details coming about that event next week, including how you can be part of it even if you live far away.

OK, now for the funny stuff:

Enjoy: http://www.buzzfeed.com/expresident/greatest-animal-photobombers-of-all-time

Number 21 is not the funniest, but it does show a no-nonsense golden retriever haircut I wish Luke had.

Happy Friday, everyone! What’s in store for you and your pups this weekend?

Shampoo You Can Share with the Dog (Review + Giveaway)

The truest thing about my hair right now is that it needs to be cut.

emo self portrait

Taking a self-portrait is awkward.

I don’t “do” my hair. Never have.

I require an easy, preferably bedhead-ready, cut that will look decent for the average 5 months I go between visits to my stylist. On top of that, I want my ‘do to be just a little bit rock ‘n’ roll.

That’s not much to ask, right?

The photo above was taken on a good hair day – two days ago, at the end of the day, following about three weeks of using only natural products on my hair.

Specifically, I have been using a Lavender Neem Shampoo bar and Apple Cider Vinegar with Lavender Hair Rinse from Baltimore Bumble Crafts. For styling, I have been using Pomade by Nutressant.

This post is about the shampoo bar and hair rinse.

Baltimore Bumble Crafts Lavender Neem Shampoo Bar

Shampoo bar. Image courtesy Baltimore Bumble Crafts.

apple cider vinegar hair rinse

After a couple weeks of spritz-and-rinse.

Vanessa Nakoski, the woman behind Baltimore Bumble Crafts, makes an ever-growing line of bath and beauty products. She specifically recommended the Lavender Neem Shampoo bar for me because it’s also safe for dogs.

After a couple weeks of using the shampoo bar on my own hair, I decided to try out it out on Scooby the elderpin.

Scooby bath time

For illustrative purposes only. This bathtime photo was taken years ago.

Scooby doesn’t get many baths, but he doesn’t mind them, as long as the water is warm and no one tries to stick a toothbrush in his mouth. He has incredibly short, thin fur.

Using a shampoo bar on him instead of liquid soap was actually quite convenient. It was easy to suds him up and evenly distribute the soap. Afterwards, he raced around the house at top speed.

While he was still wet and for a couple days after, his fur carried the lightest scent of lavender/neem. I liked that the smell wasn’t overwhelming and can only imagine that with a nose thousands of times more powerful than mine, Scooby did, too.

The best part of the Baltimore Bumble Craft shampoo bar when it came to Scooby is what it didn’t do – give him dandruff.

Typically, within a day or two of a scrubdown, Scooby’s skin will get a little flaky. This is why I don’t generally bathe him more than once a month. It’s been five days since his Baltimore Bumble Craft bath, and he hasn’t flaked, yet. Awesome!

dandruff-free dog

Flake-free miniature pinscher

On my head, the results of the shampoo bar were a little more mixed.

That’s probably because Scooby lives his life pretty much au natural. Dude with the collapsing trachea doesn’t even wear a collar most days, much less hair gel. (Can you imagine?)

I, on the other hand, have been washing my hair and putting petroleum-based stuff in it almost every day for basically my whole life.

There’s gonna be a transition period. And, to be honest, I’m not all the way through it yet.

However, I can say this about my trial use of the Baltimore Bumble Crafts’ lavender neem shampoo bar: The first couple of days were great. My hair felt light and clean. After that, I entered what I’m told is the gunky period. As your hair and scalp work to find the new, right balance of natural oils, the tresses might not look or feel so awesome.

Using the Baltimore Bumble Crafts apple cider vinegar and lavender hair rinse two or three times a week helped. On those days, my hair didn’t feel so weighed down or clumpy in the back.

And, no, I did not walk around all day smelling like vinegar. The scent dissipates as your hair dries.

I cheated a few times by mixing a squirt of Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap with my shampoo bar suds. That helped, too.

So did figuring out how to use the bar correctly.

Oddly enough, it took scrubbing the Scoob for me to realize I wasn’t lathering my own head correctly. Even as a crazy dog lady, I hesitated before using the shampoo bar on myself after washing the dog with it, but I had to.

As I scrubbed him, it occurred to me that on my own head I had been focusing more on my long hair strands when I should have been creating some lather on my scalp and working it down to the ends. Duh!

It’s safe to say that I’m still getting the hang of this natural shampoo thing, and I will continue to experiment with different products and routines until I figure out what works best for me.

In the meantime, I’m so happy Scooby and I got to try out Baltimore Bumble Crafts.

One lucky reader (in the U.S.) will get to try a shampoo bar for free, too!

To enter, simply visit Baltimore Bumble Crafts and report back here with a comment about other products you’d like to try.

To receive additional chances to win your own Lavender Neem Shampoo Bar, follow the link below.

Click here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I received free products for myself and one for a giveaway in exchange for an honest review.

Why I Stopped Using Commercial Hair Products

We’ve been weaning ourselves away from commercial household and personal products for a while now.

Portland portrait

Being natural in Portland last year.

Having discovered Nutressant, the Kansas City company that makes all manner of organic, non-toxic Substances One Needs for Everyday Life, we never get toothpaste, lotion, deodorant or bar soap at the store anymore.

Nutressant even inspired us to make our own laundry detergent. (DIY dish detergent is next on the list!)

Although I am gradually working toward a totally hippie-fied, all-natural existence, a few transitions have been harder to make.

Like hair. (And a whole host of dog products.)

Several months ago, Zach and I watched a movie called Chemerical. The documentary looks closely at the levels of yucky chemicals an average family is exposed to every day via common household and personal products. The family in the movie is challenged to give up all that stuff and instead use only natural and homemade alternatives for a year.

The college age daughter in the house is all for the experiment. Until it comes to her hair and make-up products. She totally freaks out when forced to get rid of all her storebought stuff and begins secretly hoarding a small stash of it. As I was watching, I remember scoffing at the girl.

“Get with the program,” I thought.

Yeah. Get with the program.

The truth is that the process of switching from commercial shampoos to the natural kind isn’t easy.

Nutressant even warned me when I tried their shampoo – because it’s not petroleum-based, it’s not powerful enough to cut through the residue left on your hair by commercial shampoos, which tend to be petroleum-based.

Only oil breaks down oil. (That’s the secret behind Dawn dish detergent’s magic ability to clean oil-slicked seabirds.)

However, at the time, I wasn’t quite ready to give up all of the other, more expensive, hair gunk I had acquired over time from my stylist.

assortment of hair products

So, I cheated.

I used the expensive hair products and a mixture of Nutressant and commercial shampoo but was never able to cut the cord completely on the chemical-laden stuff. Fail.

However, when I was recently presented with an opportunity to review another kind of handmade, organic shampoo – one that is also safe to use on the dogs – I decided to try a little harder.

It wasn’t easy, but I chucked all those pricey hair products. It’s a new day.

Come back tomorrow to learn about my – and Scooby’s – experience using a Baltimore Bumble Crafts shampoo bar! (And in my case, a vinegar-based hair rinse, too!)

Baltimore Bumble Crafts Lavender Neem Shampoo Bar

Shampoo bar. Image courtesy Baltimore Bumble Crafts.

In the meantime, if you’re thinking about making the change from regular to natural shampoo, check out this guide from A Green Routine.

Have you ever used natural shampoo?

%d bloggers like this: