Monday, July 16, 2012

No Poo Cheats, Tips & Tricks

In 3 years of being shampoo free (yes, you read that correctly, I don't wash my hair with shampoo), I've learned a few things.  I've learned the basics of what method works for me in my usual routine, but I've also acquired some cheats along the way!

If you want more details to either get started or solve some common problems, here's my usual washing details and here's a list of the most common questions I receive about being Poo Free.

My daughter and I!  Both shampoo free!
 In between the usual seven, eight, nine, ten days of a shampoo free wash, my hair sometimes encounters lots of different environments.  Here are some of my top tips to either extending the length between washes or dealing with unforeseen circumstances in between washes.

Cheat: Scent-Be-Gone! 

Ever been in a house or restaurant where bacon is being fried?  Really, if they're frying anything, you WILL stink, especially if you are a female with longer hair.  What do most people do when they have an unwanted scent in their hair?  They go home and wash their hair.  But what can you do if you're No Poo and you just washed yesterday?  You can't wash again, otherwise you might threaten your No Poo groove.  And you certainly can't walk around smelling like IHOP until your next shampoo free wash! 

Enter...Scent-Be-Gone!  Actually, it's nothing that fancy.  I mix a few drops of lemon essential oil (order here) with some water, mixed in a spray bottle, sprayed on your hair.  It works great and leaves your hair smelling neutral.  

From everything that I can tell, this does NOT bleach my hair, but I use Young Living essential oils, so I can't promise what your results will be if you use another brand.  You won't be left sticky or smelling like a Lemonhead (haha, I'm funny) because the lemon juice dissipates in the same way that the vinegar scent is gone when you rinse your hair with vinegar.

This works great for campfire or any other unwanted scents!

Cheat: Boar's Hair Brush

Have I mentioned I like this little creation?  Because I really do!  Sometimes, when you're close to washing day, you either notice your scalp is looking a little iffy or your ends are seeming a bit dry.  A boar's hair brush helps evenly distribute natural oils from your scalp to the ends of your hair.  You kill two birds with one stone by using this brush!

Cheat: Homemade Dry Shampoo

Sometimes, you know it's not wash day, but you really need your hair to look nice for a certain event, but it just looks a little too greasy.  While I don't recommend this technique during the transition stage of going No Poo, for someone whose hair has adapted to this method, there isn't too much harm in using this spray in emergency situations.  Here is the recipe for homemade dry shampoo for BLONDE or LIGHT hair only. 

1 TB cornstarch
4 TB of water
1 TB of rubbing alcohol

Mix it all together in a spray bottle and spray lightly on greasy spots.  Not too much.  Comb or brush through hair to help even it out.  This can be premixed and stored, but make sure you shake it up before you use it. 

Cheat: The Peri Bottle

Image source
The peri bottle has brought many women relief in the postpartum period, but little did we know it's be the perfect size for No Poo washes.  Holding 8 oz, you can easily toss a tablespoon of whatever you're using on your hair, add water, shake it up and apply to your hair.   Easy mixing, no spilling, and perfect proportions.  I know some people that bought quite a few, prefill them with baking soda and apple cider vinegar respectively, and add water once they're in the shower.  I'm not that organized and usually fill mine right as I'm rushing to the shower. 

Best of all, they are fairly cheap

I want to hear from you, No Poo'ers!  What are some of the best tricks you've learned in your Poo Free journey?

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

You're Two Now, India

You're two now, you know.  Seems like just yesterday your Daddy was saying with tears in his eyes, "Genny, it's a girl!"  I held your little body so close to mine and knew my heart and life were forever changed at that second. I still hold you that close everyday, even though you're two.

Right now, you, my sweet India, are laying on the floor singing "issy bissy 'pider...down came...out came, out came..." and distraction sets in as you talk to your baby Ahna and play the little drum Daddy got you when he was in Ghana.  I ask everyday, "What did you get so big?"  When someone asks you when your birthday is, you respond, "July 8", with a huge smile.

You are so full of joy.  And oh, so sweet.  That is probably the word people use to describe you most often.  Sweet, sweet, sweet.  You laugh and joke and like to tell knock knock jokes.  You're two now.

You're still very sensitive and tender.  You can't handle seeing others hurt, as you will talk about it for days.  Even if someone pretends, it affects you greatly and instantly go to see how you can comfort them.  Such a gift, India, is your compassion.

My view of my babies
You frequently kiss me, hug me, ask me to hold you, and ask to be near me.  In fact, you are never very far from me.  I love my little shadow.

If I get upset with you or you bump into me (or a doll) or if I'm in pain from this pregnancy, you're little voice calls out "Sawwy!"  You say 'sorry' many times a day, most of the time with full sincerity.  I guess you got that from me.

But don't be confused, you will tell exactly what you want and need and desire of others.  After you warm up to someone, you are often overheard bossing them and telling them what to do.  Stay strong, little girl, and keep your heart sensitive to others.   

You say 'hi' and flirt with everyone in the stores, but are quite timid if you're put on the spot or if someone initiates conversation with you.  You still get overwhelmed in large crowds and after a busy few hours, you can be found in the back of your car seat crying, "I wanna STAY HOOOOOME!"

You love swimming (fwimming), playing at the park, being with family, playing with your babies, all your cousins, bubbles, going on walks and doing anything outside.

If you could and if I could, you would love to spend half the day cuddling with me in bed and on the couch while I read you books.  Biscuit books are your favorite and you also enjoy longer stories.  The board books have started to bore you and you love to hear stories from your Bible.  It's because you're two now.

You're still a skinny little thing, with head and hair that seem to overtake a quarter of your body.  You still don't really eat much at meals and if there is ANYTHING distracting you while you are eating, you would rather do that than eat.  You wouldn't even eat all of your cupcake at your birthday party!  You beg for fruit, cereal (sometimes hot, sometimes cold), kefir, vitamins (yes, you cry if you don't get your fish oil), yogurt and candy.  But mostly, you beg for fruit and cereal.  You still only drink water and occasionally will have a glass of goat's milk.

You love shoes - on your feet or on others. Your babies are always near you as you don't really play with many other toys.  Oh, except your books.

In the last few days, all on your own accord, you have decided you are done with diapers.  I love your cute little booty that runs around with underwear too big for your tiny self.  No more diapers.  Hmmph.  That makes you seen really old.  Like, two-year-old old.

Pookie, you are a Mama's girl, but you LOVE your Daddy.  Lately you've been running to him when you're upset or if you need something. Your Daddy is so unbelievably protective, patient and overjoyed with you.  He loves you deeply.

You talk about "baby come out...soon...but not now. I wait."   You randomly and frequently ask to kiss my belly and talk to the baby.  Most of the time, you think this baby will be a girl. You talk about how you will kiss the baby, how you will hold its hand, how you will nurse with the baby and how you will help.  You're two now, you know.

You also have a baby in your tummy.  I'm asked to kiss and hug the baby a lot and told the "baby is kickin'."

Playing the "tiano"

I love you, India Josephine.  Always have, always will.  I'm so proud of the two year old you are and consider it pure joy to be your mama.  I can't wait to see how God uses you to change the world!

Love, Mama

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Wordless Wednesday: Full Term Pregnant Henna Belly

My 37-week, full term, pregnant, henna belly!  My friend, Danae, did it.  Pretty good considering this was her first time working with henna!  I love it!

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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Premama Prenatal Vitamin Drink Review & Giveaway

Vitamins of any type make me gag.  That smell when you open the bottle.  The ginormous horse-pill size.  The "vitamin burps" afterwards.  Add all those things into an already super sensitive pregnant nose and occasional morning sickness (yes, still, even though I'm almost full term) and I'll readily admit, taking a prenatal vitamin while pregnant leaves me groaning. 

In fact, most of the first trimester and well into the second trimester, I can't keep a prenatal down or by the time I remember to take them, it's the end of the day and I just can't muster up the courage for the battle that will ensue. 

When I heard of Premama Prenatal Vitamin Drink, my interest was piqued.  A vitamin drink, specifically designed for woman who are either trying to conceive, are pregnant or are breastfeeding?  I signed up for some samples, but I was skeptical.
My thoughts on Premama Prenatal Vitamin Drink:
I received my samples, and mixed the appropriate amount of juice immediately.  Premama can be mixed in any cold drink, even water, since it's flavorless.  I didn't taste anything different in my juice.  There wasn't any grit, but the end of the glass was left with a little residue. I don't really drink juice, so I tried it with the ultimate: water!  It looked a little different, and I could taste a little bit of the vitamin-y taste, so I quickly added some lemonade mix and remedied it.

Nutritionally, this product stacks up pretty evenly with the ingredient list for your average prenatal vitamin, except Premama has DHA in it, which many vitamins don't.  The prenatal I currently take is loaded with even more, but like I said, with the average prenatal vitamin you would buy at Target, this matches up pretty well.  And really, how would you get spirulina to taste good in a drink? 

I love how innovative this product is.  I haven't heard of a prenatal vitamin that you mix into a drink.  I could easily see this product being very convenient for a working mama on the go or a stay at home mama with lots going on! 

As far as time and preparation for this product, it breaks even with a conventional prenatal vitamin in pill form.  With a regular prenatal, you still have to get a drink out, then gag it all down.  With Premama, you need to get a drink, mix in the Premama (which doesn't take long) and drink, not gag, it down. 

Final thoughts: 
I would've absolutely adored this product in the early days of my pregnancy, when it's nearly impossible for me to get a prenatal vitamin down!  I have felt guilt, that I'm not getting additional vitamins at times when my body is rejecting the many nutritional foods I would normally eat.  Premama Prenatal Vitamin Drink could be an answer for me!  I would buy this product in the early days, then switch to a more complete vitamin later in pregnancy.  You can buy a 30-day supply (or more) of Premama conveniently online.

Thanks to Premama, one lucky Uniquely Normal Mom reader will have the chance to win a 30-day supply of Premama Prenatal Vitamin Drink!  Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I was provided this product free of charge with no monetary compensation.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.