Homemade vegan lip balm

Have I mentioned that I get a little ridiculously picky about some things? I probably haven’t. But last year I discovered my favorite lip balm had changed their formulation and it was suddenly disgusting and unusable. I found the lot numbers of the old lip balm recipe and I bought a year’s worth, stashing it in my fridge. Everything was wonderful until I only had about 2 left and I started panicking. I bought one of every lip balm and Whole Foods and they were all terrible. I was beside myself and fell into a deeper depression than the time my chicken was eating all of her eggs (that’s still happening, by the way, I just try not to care about it too much)

Anyway, I decided I needed to make my own lip balm and after extensive research, I have two recipes for you. One of the lip balm recipes sucks and the other is amazing and I love it.

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I know what you’re thinking, why bother sharing the shitty lip balm recipe? I don’t really have a great answer for that. I mostly just want credit for all the work I did. And if anyone is wondering if this was an attempt to make Mary Ellen feel bad about herself for not doing things like making lasagna and DIYing lip balm, it is. I’m amazing. I definitely didn’t almost fail out of grad school to bring you this lip balm recipe. And that was definitely the kind of high caliber sentence a graduate student should be writing.

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That’s a bunched up Christmas towel in the background. Everyone uses Christmas towels year-round, right?

Recipe 1: Shitty Lip Balm

Makes about 8 tubes of lip balm

1 tbsp candelilla wax

2 tbsp coconut oil

1 tbsp shea butter

¼ tsp vitamin E oil

Optional: 3-5 drops essential oil (I used lavender)

 

Recipe 2: Amazing Lip Balm

Makes about 12 tubes of lip balm

2 tbsp candelilla wax

2 tbsp shea butter

2 tbsp coconut oil

10 drops vitamin E oil

Optional: 3-5 drops essential oil (I used lavender)

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Jars are the best makeshift double broilers because you can just throw them in the dishwasher and then your pot doesn’t smell like candelilla and lavender when you want to make pasta

The instructions are the same for both recipes

Melt candelilla wax, shea butter, and coconut oil in a double broiler (I just put a jar in a pot of simmering water)

Once melted, add vitamin E and essential oils and stir

Pour mixture into empty lip balm tubes or whatever canister you want to use. I used a pipette to transfer the mixture into the tubes. Let set for at least a few hours until room temperature, they will be fully hardened after sitting overnight. They turn off-white once hardened.

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You’d think with a pipette I wouldn’t get drips everywhere, but my hands were super shaky because I had too much caffeine that morning

May your lips be moisturized but not sticky and gross

Serafina

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Building Walls from Your Neighbors

You guys, I’ve really turned over a new leaf with the coming of spring.  I eat an entirely CLEAN diet now, and I must say, I really do feel like I’m better than all of you.  Clean eating really does change your life.  For instance, as I write this post, I’m basking in the natural sunlight of my bay window while munching on veggie straws and drinking elderflower and rose lemonade.  An entirely plant based snack.

 

Today I’d like to talk about how to build more barriers from your neighbors’ prying eyes. Really, the title should be natural barriers, since I’m doing everything natural now.

 

I have giant windows on the front of my house and while it’s great for natural light, I also feel like I live in a fishbowl.  Do you know how awkward it is to make eye contact with your neighbors when they walk by?  I have to smile and wave even though I’m busy vacuuming the house naked.  Sure, I’ve become accustomed to being watched in all my waking hours, and I don’t want to lose all that kinkiness, so that’s why I’m going about this in a complicated way instead of just shutting the blinds.

 

I decided to hang my herb garden in individual pots in front of my kitchen window, so the neighbors will have to work harder to see boob.  I used different pots for each one and rope hangers so I can get that boho chic look.  Remember, if you do it right, the hippie look will be 1000% more expensive than the bullshit country cottage kitchen.

 

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It took a while to find so many different pots, and they basically took up my entire table with dirt for like a week while I decided what to do with them.

I did an herb garden, but I guess you could do flowers.  These get full sunlight for part of the day.  These also came with attached dishes so I don’t get dirt water everywhere.

 

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I made these by hand.  Just kidding, I bought them on Amazon.  If I could buy my soul on Amazon I would, but unfortunately there is no Prime option with it.

Get hangers for the pots.  I used these, because I want to look like I am all natural and shit.

 

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Here’s an artsy shot with shadows and stuff.  It’s also part of the process. 

Get someone to hang them for you.  I guess you could hang them yourselves, but I don’t know why?

 

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Before: full boob view
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After: better lighting and also an obscured boob view

 

Cheers to a room with a boob view,

 

Mary Ellen

Upcycled Wine Cork Garden Markers

OMFG you guys, the vernal equinox has already passed, St. Patrick got drunk and puked on the sidewalk outside my house, and the Easter bunny’s cousin Igor is coming soon! All of this means that it’s TIME TO START GARDENING AGAIN!!! I’m legitimately excited about this and not just shouting because Igor scares me when he breaks in to my house to “exchange” my iPad for a basket of chocolate bunnies.

I live in an area where you can’t start planting the exciting stuff until mid-May, but they already started selling flowers at the garden store, so I’m not waiting any longer. I planted some seeds this weekend, and because I’m all about instant gratification I also planted flowers which will freeze and die almost immediately.

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I have already established that I am the best at planning a garden (protip: plant 3’ tall flower bushes between your step stones, that way you might work up enough of an appetite to want to eat another fucking zucchini).

There are about 4 or 5 million posts about DIY garden markers and MINE IS THE BEST. By saving wine corks and then reusing them, you have an excuse to buy more wine and you look like you’re being environmentally friendly.

 

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I tried to hide the cheapest looking corks so you’d all think I only drink fancy wine.

You will need:

Some wine corks

Paint

Skewers

Maybe a hammer and a nail

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I was so proud of this action shot that I didn’t bother to repeat it with the color I actually ended up using

Instructions

  1. Drink all the wine.
  2. See if you can jam one of your skewers into your cork without stabbing yourself in the hand. If you can’t, grab a thick nail and a hammer. Maybe also grab some padded gloves if you’re not confident about your aim. Nail the nail into a cork and then remove it and insert the skewer into the hole. Repeat with the rest of your skewers.
  3. You can try labeling them without painting first, but it doesn’t look very pretty, so I recommend painting the corks at this point. I took pictures of myself painting them black, but then I repainted them with silver because they were too hard to read with light lettering on a dark background. Go with light paint.
  4. Grab some sharpies or more paint to actually write the labels. I also drew a couple of fucking adorable plant illustrations on the corks because I’m amazing.
  5. Mark your plants as you plant them. Once the plants have been in the ground for  a few weeks, your labels will be obscured, so this whole process will have rendered useless!

Happy Gardening!

Serafina

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

(Or how to cope with talking to your neighbors)

Sometimes when you’re a grown up you have to talk to your neighbors. It’s awful because they’re people, and even though you put up a privacy fence a little while ago, before the fence was up, they probably saw you running around your yard with matted hair and at least one boob hanging out.

Anyway, I had to talk to one of my neighbors today, and about 20 minutes after I was back in the safety of my own home, I realized that I smelled terrible. I make my own deodorant, but sometimes the natural diy stuff just doesn’t help with the horrible anxiety sweat that you get from having to talk to a human person.

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They say build bridges not fences, but did a bridge ever stop your neighbors from calling the cops when you’re running around drunk and topless? I didn’t think so.

Fortunately, I learned that hand sanitizer makes wonderful deodorant spray that actually works. I’ve tried to make my own version, but it always just smells like rubbing alcohol. I’m not sure what the commercial armpit spray people do differently, but I don’t care enough to bother looking.

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We were supposed to get paid for endorsing this product, but Mary Ellen was pretty tipsy when she was negotiating and we ended up having to pay them.

Why is a banana bread recipe following this daring tale of bravery and armpit spray, you ask? Well, not everything is about you, and sometimes I want to make some goddamn banana bread.

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I may not have fancy place mats like Mary Ellen, but I do have a stove top that I rarely clean.

Whole Wheat Banana Bread

Adapted from Cookie and Kate

Ingredients:

1/3 cup melted coconut oil or olive oil

½ cup honey

2 eggs

2 fairly large ripe bananas

1 tbsp. molasses

½ c unsweetened almond milk or water

1 tsp baking soda

1 tsp vanilla

1 ½ tsp cinnamon

½ tsp salt

1 ¾ c brown spelt flower or whole wheat flower

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The mysterious jar is vanilla extract. And by that, I mean, vanilla beans and booze.

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 325° and grease a 9×5 loaf pan

Smash bananas

Whisk oil, honey, eggs, bananas, vanilla, molasses, and almond milk in a large bowl.

In a medium bowl, whisk flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda.

Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and mix to combine

Pour the batter into the prepared loaf pan and bake for about 55-65 minutes. Watch closely the last 10 minutes or so. It’s done when a toothpick or skewer comes out clean.

I’ve heard it’s best to wait until the loaf cools before you start cutting and eating slices, but I’ve literally never tried.

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I couldn’t even wait until I took a picture to cut a slice, but there were no negative consequences to my decision.

Do you best to eat at least one slice nude in your backyard.

-Serafina

 

How to Hem Jacket Sleeves

As an Aspiring Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman (that’s a real job you can get, right?), I sometimes have to do things like buy a lab coat for grad school. Obviously I’m not going to med school or anything, but I’m still going to call myself Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman when I graduate.

Before school started, I considered calling Mary Ellen’s husband and just asking if he had a spare lab coat laying around (since I think he might be a scientist or something), but then I remembered a few things about my future lab coat

  1. I had to get the fucker embroidered, which rules out borrowing anything
  2. Despite my beautiful feminine physique, I have super long monkey arms and sleeves are never, ever, long enough.

So, I was left with the sad option of trying on every lab coat in the school bookstore while trying to look really casual since it was orientation day and I didn’t want to be the kind of person who pays too much attention to lab coats. After about 14 coats, it became abundantly clear that our society is maliciously discriminating against tall people. I couldn’t spend much time planning a protest, though, because I still needed to buy a coat and get on with the day. I ended up getting a men’s coat with the intention of popping the arm seams and then re-hemming them, which is precisely what I did when the coat arrived. I then left it on a hanger with loose threads all over the place for many months until I remembered that I need to wear it soon.

Don’t worry, guys. I’m going to break this down into a simple, no-nonsense process. I’m pretty sure this would also work for people with T. rex arms wanting to shorten their sleeves (I’m looking at you, Mary Ellen).

Step one: pop the seam and then pin it with pins in the right place.

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This is actually really hard to do by yourself, but don’t worry, I believe in you.

Step two: Probably iron the sleeves so your hem line doesn’t look like shit.

Step three: Clear off your desk or table so you can get your sewing machine out.

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The 2017 card in the middle of the desk was from Mary Ellen. She either sends out New Years cards really late, or I never clean my desk.

Step four: Remember that there is a thing called “the bobbin” and that you will need the right colored thread on it. Hold back tears.

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Why was there yellow thread in this? When have I ever sewn anything yellow? Where did this sewing machine even come from? Maybe I stole it from someone with a sunny disposition and the theft of the sewing machine crushed their soul. We’ll likely never know.

Step five: Find your sewing machine manual because, without it, you will never remember how to “wind the bobbin” (which is surprisingly not a euphemism).

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If you’ve ever tried to watch youtube tutorials of how to use your sewing machine, you know that you actually need to keep the manual because people are incapable of explaining the whole bobbin situation.

Step six: Actually get your shit together and carefully start sewing. Try to go slowly so the hem doesn’t look too wonky.

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Yes, there is still a nerf gun on the desk. You never know when you’re going to need to protect yourself.

Step seven: Look professional as fuck.

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I put on my best sweat pants to complete the look.

Step eight: (you could probably omit this step) Remember that an older lady you used to work with once advised you to burn loose threads with a lighter so they don’t fray. Proceed to actually burn your newly hemmed coat. Decide to hang it up in the closet with its pretty new scorch mark and pour yourself a glass of wine whiskey.

Knowledge Brings Fear

-Serafina