Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Easy DIY Natural Deodorant

Hey, guys!

It is October, Breast Cancer Awareness month. I am fortunate enough to say that this disease doesn't run in my family. However, I realize that the risk doesn't fall on genetics alone.

A while back, I read an article you can check out here, that stated that, "because estrogen can promote the growth of breast cancer cells, some scientists have suggested that the aluminum-based compounds in antiperspirants may contribute to the development of breast cancer. In addition, it has been suggested that aluminum may have direct activity in breast tissue." Mind me, I know there is a lot of information coming out these days about things that are harmful and the next day a different article comes out saying that they're no longer a risk. I actually have a pretty set opinion on that subject that I would love to share with you at a later time. But, basically, I hardly listen to these types of articles anymore because they create too much confusion. Most of them come from random sources or sources that are legitimate, but have been paid research by major corporations that "instruct" these sources to twist the information enough, without obviously lying, to conclude with something that is in their best interest (that something is very often money). This article, however, was done by the National Cancer Institute, so I took it a little bit more seriously. Also, something in my gut just told me to stop using aluminum-based antiperspirants/deodorants, and I have learned that intuition is something you just listen to without question (at least, that is me). It's perfectly healthy to perspire, so what I did need, was a deodorant to control bo. 

So, harmful or not, I stopped using regular commercial deodorant. And there were a few reasons for that. The first, explained above. The second, it's so much cheaper to make my own. Third, I'm not an obsessed fanatic about using all things natural (I very well realize there are many, many things in nature that if taken, eaten or swallowed, can kill you), but I do prefer them because they are typically more safe! And as a bonus, this natural, home-made deodorant smells delicious and is so easy to make!

So, would you like to try it out? Here's my recipe:

  • In a pan, heat about a cup of organic coconut oil. 
  • When melted, add a teaspoon of baking soda (known for its cleaning and antibacterial properties) and a couple of drops of tea tree essential oil (among many more, tea tree oil is also known for its antibacterial properties), and a couple more drops of another favorite essential oil of yours, either only one or a combination of two; my favorite are lavender and bergamot together, the smell is  delicious!
  • Mix. Pour in a small tight lid container and let it cool.

Pour it in your favorite container, preferably glass. 

When it cools, it will become a solid texture, which will be your deodorant. You can use a cotton pad or even your clean fingers to apply it, distribute the little bit of left over in your hands (your hands will love this) and that is it, guys!

Becomes solid when it cools, perfect for application. 

Obviously this home-made deodorant might not work for everyone. But it has worked for me and it might for you too! Whichever the case, let me know in the comments below. 

Oh, and Happy, Happy Halloween! (I hope you liked, and noticed, my couldron above)... ;)

Also, here is a short video on how to make this deodorant. Check it out! 


Tuesday, October 9, 2018

The Charms of Mexico: Episode One - Nevado de Colima

I've told you guys before that I moved to Mexico two years ago after I got married. I am not a complete stranger to this nation at all, actually. Both my parents are Mexican and even my youngest brother was born in this country. But I was born in the United States and have lived most of my life there. There was always a yearning, however, for this place... It's not only what you hear on the news, it's so much more! It has such amazing things to offer, it's no coincidence people from all over the place choose to set residency in this country; Chapala and Ajijic, towns about forty minutes from Guadalajara (where I live), has a major population of American retirees!

Anyway, because there are so many wonderful things this country has to offer, I wanted to start a series in my blog that showcased these wonders: The Charms of Mexico. And this is the first episode.
A couple of weekends ago, my husband and I went to Nevado de Colima that translates to something like: Snowed Peak of Colima.  It is an ancient volcano located on the state of Jalisco, also the state where Guadalajara is, of 4260 masl. The area is protected by the government as the Parque Nacional del Nevado de Colima (Snowed Peak of Colima National Park). It's commonly visited during winter, where it fills with snow and tourists from everywhere climb up to its peak. There are also areas for camping so you can stay overnight and enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Nevado when it is snowed. Image courtesy of TripAdvisor.co.uk

It was September when my hubby and I went, summer and the rainy season almost over, so we didn't get to see snow, but we want to come back for that for sure!

Nevertheless, it was still a wonderful experience, everything was so green and wet! ha! Full of life, life all around us, the clouds with us on our walk, and a full moon to watch over us at night when we camped.

The whole endeavor took us about 4 hours to go up and about three more to come down. The whole day, yes. But it was well worth it. It was chilly, of course, but we had jackets on and when we finally got to the camping site, settled our things and hubby worked the bonfire, it was such a relaxing time, drank hot tea, had dinner, watched the bonfire. You know that is some mesmerizing stuff right there. We cozied up in our sleeping bags and slept right next to each other. And the next morning had a fresh air you can only breath in and experience in a site like that.

Here are a few recommendations if you plan to visit:
  • For the climb up by foot: pack lightly, bring snacks, enough water, sun block and a hat to cover you from the sun.
  • I highly suggest you bring your hiking sticks to help you on your way up.
  • Bring all your camping gear (tent, sleeping bags, blankets, cooking containers, etc.), food for dinner (*cough* hot dogs and s'mores *cough*), prep items for tea or coffee, breakfast for next morning, extra set of clothes, etc., and leave it in your car before you start your climb up by foot.
  • If you are visiting during the months of winter, bring adequate clothing and make sure to check the weather report as it's very probable there will be ice and safety measures cautions should be even greater.
  • You can bring your car up all the way to La Joya, (labels will be there to show you), and leave it there to continue your climb by foot!
  • Some people camp halfway up and then continue in the morning, but if you go early enough, you can come back and camp at one of the camping sites like La Joya at the end.

How to get there:
  1. Hop on a plane to GDL (Guadalajara's International  Airport).
  2. From Guadalajara, you must take the highway Guadalajara-Colima/México 54D or search for Ciudad Guzman in your GPS. Ciudad Guzman is the closest town to Nevado de Colima, about fifteen minutes away.
  3. Follow the road until you pass the town and you see the signs for Camino al Nevado de Colima, follow them until you see the sign Parque Nacional Nevado de Colima, enter the road, which will become a dirt road, and drive up and up and up.
  4. After about half an hour or so, you will see the gate and sign for Parque Nacional and charging booth. Currently, entry is 35 MXN, which equals about 1.85 USD (Yup!).  
  5. Keep driving to La Joya or more until you meet the next gate, which will be the last stop where you can leave your car and continue your climb by foot.

If you have any more questions, feel free to contact me!

I hope you find this information useful and consider visiting this wonder of nature and Mexico.

And I will see you later on another episode of The Charms of Mexico. Until next time! :D

*All pictures (except snowed peak by TripAdvisor) protected by copyright.