Saturday, July 6, 2013

Natural Body Care

     In between power-cooking and catching up on game requests on Facebook today, I have been going through old magazines trying to de-clutter. My magazines are organized neatly, but seriously, how many different magazine issues do I REALLY need?
     I have numerous years of Oprah's magazines starting from the very first issue. Hmmm. Should I hang on to those? Will they be collectible one day? A quick eBay search resulted in a few of the premiere issues available. Starting bids range from $5 to $19.99. Well, I won't get rich at those prices, but having that first issue makes me feel like I was part of the beginning ... like being on the ground floor of a new investment. Silly? Perhaps. But ... that's how I feel.
      I also have many issues of the "Food Network"and "Every Day with Rachael Ray" magazines. My reasoning for hanging on to them is I can use them for research for  my newspaper food column.
     There are a multitude of issues of Cook's Illustrated," "Eating Well," "Vegetarian Times," "Cooking Light," "Taste of Home," "Cuisine." The list goes on. Oh, my!
     There are many issues of "The Herb Quarterly," dating back to 1987 when I first discovered that wonderful magazine. I have been a subscriber off and on since then. Ditto "The Herb Companion." And, of course, I must keep the issues we have of "Smithsonian." And don't forget those "National Geographic" magazines dating back to the 1960s.
     My husband and I sold bundles of magazines at garage sales - "Cooking Light," "Better Homes and Gardens," "Sunset," "Woman's Day," "Good Housekeeping," "Family Circle" "JP," "Popular Science," "Popular Mechanics," "Road and Track," "Car and Driver" and more. We have donated magazines to the Longview Public Library for its magazine exchange program. 
     Yet we continue to be overwhelmed with magazines - and newsletters. When I first started writing my food column, I subscribed to numerous newsletters - "Cinnamon Hearts," "Food History,"  "The Culinary Sleuth," "The Art of Food," "Home Food Preservers," "The Recipe Detective: Gloria Spitzer's Secret Recipes," "Cook Speak" and more. I admit I am not ready to give them up.
     But ... I have been poring over magazines. I told myself I wasn't going to rip out pages of recipes and info, but that didn't work out. Instead, I am making a "mess," so to speak, by placing the torn out pages in boxes. I will go through them one day and organize them. I will. I know I will.
    In the meantime, I am enjoying looking through the old issues.
    I came across an article in the May 2007 issue of "The Herb Companion" by Janice Cox who happened to write the 2002 book "Natural Beauty at Home," which I have a copy of - somewhere among the stacks and stacks of books we own.
   The article is titled "Baby Yourself with Natural Body Care" and was written for new and/or expectant parents with recipes for Cocoa Butter Cream, Buttermilk Baby Bath, Lavender Scented Dusting Powder and more. 
     You don't have to be an expectant parent to pamper yourself with these little gems.
     Enjoy. Oh ... and please note, none of these images are mine. I found them online.

Cocoa Butter Cream
     1/4 cup grated cocoa butter
     1 teaspoon almond oil
     1 teaspoon light sesame oil
     1 teaspoon vitamin E oil

     Place all ingredients in a glass container and slowly heat in the microwave or in a water bath until the cocoa butter is melted and the oils are well-mixed.
     Pour into a clean container and allow the cream to completely cool.
     To use, massage a small amount into your skin as needed to soothe and soften.
     Yield: 2 ounces

Buttermilk Baby Bath
     1/4 cup nonfat dry milk
     1/4 cup whole dry buttermilk
     1 tablespoon cornstarch (I prefer arrowroot powder)
     2 to 3 drops sweet orange essential oil or favorite essential oil, optional (I like jasmine, gardenia and peppermint)

     Mix together all ingredients and pour into a clean, dry container. 
     To use, for adults, pour 1/4 cup of the bath powder into a full bath of warm water. For infants, pour 1 tablespoon into a small baby bathtub.
     Yield: 4 ounces

Lavender Scented Dusting Powder
     1 cup cornstarch (I prefer arrowroot powder)
     1/2 teaspoon light oil, such as almond, sesame or sunflower
     2 to 3 drops lavender essential oil

     Mix all ingredients in a resealable plastic bag. Seal bag and massage the powder until all of the oil is evenly distributed. 
     Store in a clean, dry container.
     Yield: 8 ounces

Honey Facial Mask
     1 egg yolk
     1 teaspoon honey
     1 teaspoon almond oil
     1 teaspoon vitamin E oil

     Place all ingredients in bowl and stir until smooth.
     To use, massage onto face and neck. Leave on for 15 minutes, then rinse off with warm water and pat dry.
     Yield: 2 ounces

Peppermint Leg Gel

     1/2 cup aloe vera gel
     1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch (again, I prefer arrowroot powder)
     1 tablespoon witch hazel
     3 to 4 drops peppermint essential oil 

     Combine the aloe vera, cornstarch and witch hazel in a glass container. Warm the mixture in the microwave, stirring every 30 seconds or in a double boiler until it is the consistency of honey.
    Let mixture cool, then add peppermint oil and stir well. Pour into a clean container.
    For instant rejuvenation, massage onto legs and feet.
    Yield: 4 ounces

Cinnamon Massage Oil
     1/2 cup light oil (canola, almond or sesame)
     1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
     1/2  teaspoon pure vanilla extract 

     Mix together all ingredients and pour into a clean container. You may need to shake the oil gently to blend before using.
     To use, massage a small amount into skin. This oil also makes a nice bath or after-bath moisturizer.
     Yield: 4 ounces


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