Monthly Archives: March 2010

natural soap

Hair Product Review: Anita Grant’s Babassu Amla Shampoo Bar

So after hearing people on longhaircareforum.com, naturallycurly.com and curlynikki.com rave about shampoo bars I decided to try a few. I use a shampoo bar the same way I wash my hair in my normal routine, section by section concentrating on the scalp. The other reason why I like shampoo bars is that you can also use them on your body! You guys KNOW how I like multitasking my products!

Anita Grant’s Babassu Amla Shampoo Bar £7.05 ($10.62 US)+shipping

Ingredients:
Organic Babassu Oil, Refined Mango Butter, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Amla (Indian Gooseberry), Organic Castor Oil, saponified (this makes it sudsy) with Ashbeck Mountain Spring water from Cumbria, England
The site has a detailed description of each of these ingredients and what they do. click here.

Anita Grant is located in London, England, so you have to order her products online and they take a few weeks to show up. Unless of course you live there…so Georgina, Adrianna and all of my UK followers you’re in LUCK!

This bar was worth the wait though. It’s a pretty big bar, so the first thing I did was cut it up into four pieces, and then I cut one of those pieces in half (I hate wasting soap so I do this a lot).

AG Babassou and Amla Shampoo Bar

Then I took one of the small pieces and managed to wash my whole head with it! It does lather, but not too much and you can feel the oils in it working. My hair definitely did detangle a little easier, and I didn’t use much of the bar at all. It felt great on my body too, and I wasn’t left with that dry tightness I get when I use regular soap on my skin. Continue reading

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Savvy Mailbag: Another Way Dryer Sheets Can Be a Fire Hazard

This week’s mailbag post comes from artist and my Savvy Logo designer Akinseye Brown. No relation, but him, his wife and Sexy and I are all good friends. He shared this interesting story that was sent to him by a friend:

Akinseye writes…

The heating unit went out on my dryer! The gentleman that fixes things around the house for us told us that he wanted to show us something and he went over to the dryer and pulled out the lint filter. It was clean. (I always clean the lint from the filter after every load of clothes.) He took the filter over to the sink and ran hot water over it. The lint filter is made of a mesh material. Well …. the hot water just sat on top of the mesh! It didn’t go through it at all! He told us that dryer sheets cause a film over that mesh – that’s what burns out the heating unit.

You can’t SEE the film, but it’s there. It’s what is in the dryer sheets to make your clothes soft and static free. Continue reading

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Simple Red Lentil Curry Recipe

Here’s my contribution to Meatless Monday. This is one of my favorite things to make  because it’s so quick and easy, and everyone thinks I took all day! I got this recipe from AllRecipes.com It tastes great served over brown rice or quinoa.

Red Lentil Curry Recipe

Ingredients

  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons curry paste (I found some at Fairway market, but you can get this at any specialty store, )
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ginger root, minced
  • 1 (14.25 ounce) can tomato puree

Directions

  1. Wash the lentils in cold water until the water runs clear (this is very important or the lentils will get “scummy”), put the lentils in a pot with water to cover and simmer covered until lentils tender (add more water if necessary).
  2. While the lentils are cooking: In a large skillet or saucepan, caramelize the onions in vegetable oil. Continue reading
fruit in water

5 Cheap Fruit and Veggie Wash Ideas

Don’t you hate it when you get those annoying fruit flies around your house? Well, fruit flies’ eggs get a free ride into your house from the grocery store or farmers market. (And it doesn’t matter if the fruit is organic or not). And when they hatch, the larvae can feed on wet or moist surfaces, where they lay more eggs, up to 500 at a time. And NOT just on your fruit. The best way to get rid of them, is to make sure those eggs don’t hatch in the first place. You can find veggie and fruit wash in most produce sections of your market, but it usually costs between $7-$10.

Not very savvy if you ask me.

So here’s 5 ways to wash your fruits and veggies more economically:

  1. Wash the veggies in a colander in the sink with a little baking soda and a nailbrush and dry.
  2. Spray the veggies with vinegar and dry
  3. Put a few drops of liquid castille soap into a small spray bottle full of water. (This works really well on citrus fruits and bananas) Continue reading
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Using Bentonite Clay as a Deep Conditioner

If you’ve been following this blog and the savvybrownblog twitter page then you’ve heard me talk about the many uses for Bentonite Clay. One of my favorite uses for it is as a Deep Conditioner for my hair. Bentonite clay can remove buildup without stripping hair of its moisture making the hair really soft and easier to detangle. It can also bring out curls if any, and add sheen. It is sometimes mixed with another ingredient like marshmallow root powder, coconut milk, yogurt or just water. I like mixing mine with Apple Cider Vinegar. Although I have some coconut milk left over and I think I’ll try that this weekend! Aztec Secret is a popular brand, and it’s available in the Savvy Shop!

Here’s what I did:

Bentonite Clay Deep Conditioner

Ingredients:

  • 6 tbsps Bentonite clay
  • 2 tbsps + 1 cup of Apple Cider Vinegar (I use the real kind with the apple bits floating around)creamy and smooth

Directions:

Mix the clay and vinegar until it’s the consistency of yogurt. You can add more vinegar if you need to. Apply all over making sure to cover hair and scalp thoroughly. Continue reading

hadncloth

Homemade Furniture Spray

Furniture cleaners that are made for wood may contain petroleum distillates and other chemicals that may irritate your skin, eyes, and respiratory tract (that is your throat, lungs and windpipe). If ingested, furniture polish can aggravate asthma,  and may cause nausea and vomiting. This recipe which works well on my SEALED wood after dry dusting. Oh and the best part? It’s CHEAP! Continue reading

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My Night time Skin Reggie and DIY Eye Serum

My Night time Skin Reggie and DIY Eye Serum are what I credit with keeping my skin soft and relatively blemish-free for a couple of years now. At night I don’t wash my face. Not with soap anyway. What I do is the Oil Cleansing Method. I learned about OCM from Frizzcurls over at CurlyNikki.com. Now before you say “I can’t use oil on my face”. Read her story. She suffered from acne for YEARS and this was the ONLY thing that worked. Continue reading

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Home Product Review: Skoy Cloths

I ♥ Skoy Cloths!

This is an unbiased review, I swear. But I can tell you right now, that after I tried them, that I LOVE these things. I don’t remember what site I was on that recommended them, but I ordered them and have loved them ever since.

Skoy cloths

Skoy Cloths 4 pak $7.95; Single cloth pak $3.99

The SKOY cloth is a fabulous, absorbent, biodegradable and natural multi-use cloth.  Our re-usable earth friendly cloth is perfect in your kitchen, bathroom, and on most surface areas in your home or office.  SKOY cloth can be used in place of your sponge, wash cloth or paper towels.

It is a European made product and 100% biodegradable because it is made from a natural cotton and wood-based cellulose pulp.  SKOY cloth is a chlorine-free product using water-based colors and inks.  After an independent composting test, SKOY cloth broke down completely within 5 weeks. – Skoy cloth website

How I used them:

I ordered a 4 pack and 4 lovely colors showed up, purple, pink, baby blue and orange. They are 7″ by 7″ and I promptly put one each in the kitchen, the bathroom, the laundry room and in the pantry (on reserve). They work great. Skoy cloths have the consistency of a thin sponge, but not paper thin like Handi Wipes. Continue reading

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What’s the Deal with Alumnimum and Deodorant?

Most people think that antiperspirants and deodorants are the same thing, but they aren’t.

Deodorants are applied to the body mainly to reduce body odor caused by the bacterial breakdown of perspiration. They work by neutralizing the smell of the sweat with mild germicides that kill the bacteria which feed off skin secretions. (It is the bacteria that makes you stinky). They also contain perfume to help mask the smell of sweat. Deodorants don’t interfere with sweating, which is the body’s natural cooling process.

A subgroup of deodorants, antiperspirants, prevent odor and reduce sweat produced by parts of the body.

Antiperspirants help to reduce the amount of sweat that you produce. They work by clogging, closing, or blocking the pores with strong astringents such as aluminum salts so that they can’t release sweat. Aluminium chloride is the chemical used to form a gel to partially block the sweat glands.

Antiperspirants and Deodorants are a combo of the above with Aluminum chloride added. Continue reading

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“Dusting” or How to Trim Your Own Hair

If you have 4a, 4b,or 4c hair this is for you. (For more on hair types, click here.) ALWAYS do this method on DRY HAIR.

Every few weeks I “dust” or trim my ends to get rid of knots or split ends. I don’t have HALF as many problems with my ends since I started doing this method. I learned how to do it from Harmony (aka- FreeWorshipFreeWors) on YouTube . I love how my twistouts look right after I’ve done this, because the ends look perfect! Plus it saves me money!

Continue reading