Monday, June 29, 2009

Soap for sensitive souls

Once upon a time, I was a full-time executive and and full-time caregiver. Or at least that's what I tried to be. At one point, my skin started screaming, no doubt because I wanted to do the same! I did a huge amount of research on "natural" skin care back then, and in time screened out most of the silly scares and claims. There are plenty of natural ingredients that are irritating, and plenty of synthetic ones that are just fine. And of course, some hand- or home-made products are harsher than ones you find in chain stores - you just never know.

This is a product recommendation for natural, hand-made(cold process)soaps from a small company that's just large and sensible enough to stay in business. They ship lightening-fast and use top grade ingredients, so the products are high-value (though mid-range in price). And yes, they welcome questions about what products might help sooth specific allergies or skin conditions.

If this interests you, head over to Alabu and check out the Rich Unscented Goat Milk Soap, Sara's Unscented Goat Milk Soap, and Baby Face Oil. If your skin has very dry areas, I like their Shea Butter Lotion Stick. (The Baby Face oil is great mixed with any brand of 100% aloe vera gel in the summer). They have some great scented soaps, too - vanilla, generally, doesn't irritate skin or nosy noses.

These days, I don't have to be quite as careful about skin irritants, but still use Alabu products about half the time because they work so well. I always use them after cleaning with harsh cleansers or chemical products*, or after exposure to a lot of sun and pollen.

I have no financial interest in this company, I'm just passing along a tip to other irritated or sensitive souls :-) feel free to recommend similar companies in the comment section.

*I don't really like housecleaning so tend to do a lot of things at once, and of course some products shouldn't be mixed. After a cleaning blitz, my mother once said, "go take a shower before your skin explodes from all those things you've been using."

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sunday Music: In Honor of Two Good Lives

Lovely friends and neighbors suffered the loss of sister and mother six days apart this week.

In memory of Barbara and Mama B., lights eternal. Rise in glory, rest in peace.

Lux Aeterna, John Rutter, Requiem; performed by the Monteverdi Choir Würzburg, conductor Matthias Beckert

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Coffee Hour Cinnamon Rolls

I want you to take a look at this photo, and then envision a lot of very happy people the next time you volunteer for coffee hour. That's exactly what happened one Sunday at a nice little church in New York, and that's how I know about this recipe. Cinnamon. Sugar. Butter. Yum.

Now, head on over to The Pioneer Woman for easy, step-by-step directions with photos (honest, you can make these). Find out the "secret ingredients" in her glaze, and all the lovely variations people have tried and shared in the comment section.

And for those that prefer the savory to the sweet when indulging in naughty calories, I highly recommend another of the PW's recipes: Marlboro Man's Favorite Sandwich. All her recipes are sound, have great instructions, and use ingredients readily available in neighborhood grocery stores. And she rights darn funny commentary, too.

Now, go enjoy, and thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday Music - Happy Father's Day!

The Westminster Abbey choir and congregation, Dear Lord and Father of Mankind.

Who knows, I might even get up a couple of regular posts this week...but don't alert the media quite yet.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday Music - The Lamb

John Tavener's The Lamb, performed by the Choir of King's College, Cambridge.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Sunday Music - Trinity Sunday

Mellow Christian rock from Michael W. Smith. Enjoy.