Homemade Shampoo and ‘My Life’ Book Review

So, it has been a really long time since my last post, in case you hadn’t noticed.  It turns out that a full time job + full time mom + Zumba + Tee Ball Manager = a very busy mom.  I have turned into the quintessential soccer mom, or in my case tee ball mom, all I’m missing is the minivan.  My trunk is full of tee balls, batting helmets, team shirts, ball caps, a baseball bat, glove, tee, and clipboard.  And my backseat looks as if someone has been living in it.  I’m not complaining, though, I’m loving this busy, hectic life.  It has been a great experience watching my team learn and grow together.  Our little geologist-to-be still plays in the dirt every chance he gets, but he can also catch the balls that come to him, hit off a pitch, and has developed a considerable throwing arm.  My boy, who started the season running circles around one of the assistant coaches, successfully played third base two games ago, and got three players from the other team out.

But enough bragging, onto the important stuff.

A couple of weeks ago I made this Rosemary Peppermint Shampoo that I found on Pinterest.  I am pretty happy with it.  It certainly gets my hair clean, although, if I make this again, I will probably change the scent.  Rosemary and Peppermint are not my favorite.

Rosemary Peppermint Shampoo:

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This recipe only makes enough to last two or three weeks, so if you don’t like it, you don’t have to worry about being stuck with it for very long.  You will definitely need a conditioner with this, as it leaves your hair pretty dry.  I haven’t found a recipe that I like for a homemade conditioner yet, so I have been putting coconut oil on my hair before I shampoo and that keeps it nicely moisturized.

While I really like this shampoo, I’m not ready to commit to it.  There are a few other concoctions I’d like to try before I settle down.  I’m eyeing a coconut milk shampoo that I found on Pinterest, I’ll let you know once I’ve tried it.

Book Review:  My Life by Bill Clinton

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I was pleasantly surprised with how much I enjoyed this book.  Bill Clinton is as good a writer as he is an orator.  In fact, I was disappointed when it was over, I wanted it to keep going.  It is a comprehensive record of Bill Clinton’s life from birth to the end of his presidency, and I do mean comprehensive.  He must have kept very detailed journals of his life, done extensive research with the people closest to him, and have a remarkable memory.  For example, once the book comes to his time as president, it is a month by month account of his time in the White House.  I didn’t realize this immediately.  It wasn’t until I got to “August started with good news” that I became aware that he was detailing each month of his eight years in office.

If you are reading this because you are interested in the “Lewinsky affair” then you will be disappointed.  He does discuss the issue, and he does so with humility and transparency, but it was not nearly as important to him as it was to the media reporting it.  And that goes for all of his over-publicized controversies.

If you are interested in it because you are interested in the inner workings of politics, or just want to know more about the man, then dig in, because it is a fascinating read.  I most enjoyed reading about his childhood and his time as Governor of Arkansas.  I thought that he was born wealthy, so I was surprised to learn that he was born to a poor widowed mother, and it was even more amazing that he went through life with an infectious optimism and an ability to strike up conversations with complete strangers, creating lasting friendships and invaluable connections, something that I have never been good at.  I enjoyed his narrative of his time as Governor because it was easier to understand the political process and the complicated nature of passing bills at the state level than it was at the national level.  However, since he was president while I was in high school, his was the first presidency that I paid any attention to.  As such, there were many events during his presidency that I was aware of but didn’t fully understand, and this book helped me remember and make sense of them.

I highly recommend this book.  If you’re not sure that you would be able to keep enough momentum to read it all the way through, then get it on audio book.  That’s how I finished it when I started losing momentum, and the reader is fantastic.  Almost as good as if Bill Clinton had read it himself.

Out of the whole book, there is one line that has stayed with me, and I hope to never forget.  It not only displays Bill Clinton’s own optimism, but instills optimism in the reader.  “You always have a chance if you never stop trying.”

 

Lemongrass Mandarin Body Wash & Confessions of a Tee Ball Manager

I finally did it.  I made my own homemade body wash.  I found this recipe on Pinterest.  The recipe is for sweet orange body wash, which sounds great, but I didn’t have any sweet orange essential orange, so I changed the scent.  I decided to make Lemongrass Mandarin.  Several years back Bath and  Body Works had lemongrass mandarin as a limited time scent.  I thought it was amazing.  At the time I was working as a security officer at a local mall, and would do regular walk-throughs at Bath and Body Works, just to get a whiff.  I still have some of their body spray, and will probably refill it with my own recipe once it’s gone.  But I digress.

Lemongrass Mandarin Body Wash:

  • 2/3 cup castille soap  – I used Dr. Brommer’s unscented Baby-Mild castille soap
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons oil (jojoba, sweet almond) – I used sweet almond oil
  • 1 teaspoon vitamin E
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable glycerin
  • 25 drops of lemongrass oil
  • 30 drops of mandarin oil

 

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I used an empty foaming soap dispenser for my body wash because I really like my soap to foam, and mixed it right in the container.  Once all the ingredients were in I stirred it really well with a spoon, and shook it up before I used it.  It smelled heavenly, and I was able to use it with my loofah.

As you can see, the recipe doesn’t make very much, so if I decide I don’t like it I won’t be stuck with it for long.  But my first use was wonderful.  If I still like it this much when it’s time to make more, then I’ll double the recipe.

My tee ball team has been practicing for about 2 weeks now, and it has been a pretty fun experience.  The kids and I are learning a lot.  If you don’t remember, I volunteered to manage my son’s team with absolutely no experience.  Thankfully, four of my parents have volunteered to coach, and three of them have done this before.  However, on the first night of practice, (which was poorly attended as it was on a makeup day due to terrible weather on practice day), the only coach that was there, other than myself, was the other first time tee ball parent.  I had been watching some videos on youtube about how to conduct a tee ball practice, and had decided to start out playing catch.  The other coach and I split them into two groups of three and would throw the ball to one of the kids, who would try to catch it and then throw it back to me, and I would throw it to the next kid.  This would have been a great idea if I had any throwing skill at all.  None of the kids I was throwing to managed to catch the ball, usually because of my own lack of skill.  I would either be too careful and not throw it far enough, or throw it too hard and it would go way over their heads.  Thankfully, before my lack of skill became so apparent that even the five year olds started noticing it, another coach showed up and we moved the batting cage.  While they waited their turn, I had them play hot potato with the ball so that they could get used to catching the ball.  Unfortunately, the kids were so busy watching the kid that was batting that none of them paid enough attention to actually catch the ball, and I had to put a stop to it before someone ended up getting beamed in the face.

Since then practice has gotten better.  Now all the practices start with the kids throwing the ball to each other, rather than me throwing it to them, and I’ve learned proper throwing techniques from watching the other coaches.  Once all the kids arrive we do a mock game, so they get practice batting, running the bases, and catching and throwing the ball.

I’m proud to say that the girls on the team are some of my best players, and are even able to hold their own against last year’s returning players.  The other players vary in their ability, and how well they play usually depends on their level of interest, which is to be expected at this age.  One of my players, I’m convinced, is going to grow up to be a geologist.  I’ve never seen a kid that likes the feel of dirt so much.  I don’t mean that he plays in the dirt, all the kids do that, he actually likes the feel of the dirt.  Not only does he dig in the dirt when he is supposed to be in the outfield, but he will slow down as he runs the bases to lean over and run his hands along the dirt, as if he is comparing the feel of the dirt in different areas of the field.  It’s pretty hysterical.

We have our first game this Saturday and I’m both excited and nervous.   It should be fun and entertaining. I look forward to telling you about it.

 

Zumba! and T-Ball

I had an amazing weekend!  I drove to Gainesville, Fl last Friday, and Saturday I attended a Zumba! instructor training course.  It was such an incredible day.  It was long and a lot of work, but we had a ton of fun, and I met some amazing people.  We worked on Zumba! from 9:00 am – 6:00 pm.  We learned the basic rhythms and how to identify them.  We learned the basic steps and how to make them more or less challenging depending on the needs of our class, and we learned how to put together a Zumba! routine.  As of Saturday I am officially licensed to teach a Zumba! class!

Logo courtesy of www.zumba.com
Logo courtesy of www.zumba.com

I was able to use the information that I learned on Saturday to finish a routine that I had been struggling with.  I also got down a routine that we worked on on Saturday so that I could add it to my repertoire.  That brings my grand total of choreographed routines to two, yes you read that right, two.  So I have a lot more work to do.  Thankfully, I was given a DVD of routines on the day of class, so I don’t have to come up with all original ones.

I also signed my son up for a T-ball team for the spring season.  My husband and I have been wanting to get him into a sport for a while, but most sports don’t let kids join until age 5.  We had him in gymnastics for a while, but I became unhappy with the gym that I was taking him to, and it was a pretty good drive to get there.  There is a gym closer to us, but when my husband took him to his first free class he wasn’t allowed into the actual gym.  He was able to sit at a window and see the classes going on, but couldn’t see clearly enough to determine if our son was having a good time, following instructions, or able to keep up with the rest of the class.  I understand the logic behind keeping parents out of the gymnastics area, but an exception should be made when parents are trying to decide whether or not to give your gym their money.

Anyway, my husband and I went back and forth about whether or not to sign the little guy up for soccer or t-ball.  Finally I pulled up two pictures on Google, one of a child playing t-ball and one of a child playing soccer, and asked him what he wanted to do.  He chose t-ball and the decision was set.  A few days ago an e-mail was sent out asking someone to volunteer as a team manager, and I raised my hand.  I let them know that I didn’t know anything about t-ball or managing a little league team, so they gave me a team with two returning coaches, so I’ll have some support.  I think it will be a lot of fun and I’m really looking forward to it.  I’m also looking forward to sharing my experiences as an inexperienced manager with you.  They should make for some interesting reading.

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