Might as well just eat and drink what we want. We’re going to die anyway.

And that’s true, my dears. You are. But the enormous conscious and ethical reasons for living a more “crunchy” and “real” life actually pale in comparison to the way you feel, the energy you have, and the glow your skin takes on when you start making more natural, healthier choices. It’s just … a little exhausting sometimes.

Take It One Step At A Time – Here Are Some Steps.

On Downsizing

One of the things that happened as a result of some major drama at the end of last year was my decision to PURGE. EVERYTHING. EVER. That’s the beauty of the way I deal with bad things happening, is that I always have a sudden and terrible urge to completely reboot my entire life. Sometimes I pack up and move across the country, and sometimes I pack up and just purge. This time, I started with everything in my house that had bad memories attached, or that was ugly or outdated or could be improved upon or made me unhappy or uncomfortable or wasn’t improving my space or life in any meaningful way. Once that part of the storm was over, I ended up with a garage full of junk, including 2 tube TVs and a couch.

Then the real purging happened, the meat of the whole endeavor: my closet. Everything that didn’t fit, gone. I needed to face the truth that the pants I’d been hanging onto for five years in hopes that I would one day actually get back into them could be let go. If I’m being realistic, I’m at a size that I feel comfortable in, I’m healthy, I have no idea how much I actually weigh, and therefore have no real motivation to try and get back into clothes that fit me in my early college years, when I have much better style now anyway. Then went the clothes that I held onto for sentimental reasons but that I never ever wore (or would be caught dead in). Slightly harder to get rid of, and I had to keep reminding myself that for whatever reason they were sentimental to me, they would never be missed because it is the reason for the sentimentality, not the actual object, that matters. Then clothes that I knew, in practice, looked good on me, but that for some reason I could never bring myself to wear because they just were not my style. Lots of Anthropologie fad pieces in this section. Too many colors, too many patterns, just too much style for me. I have become a jeans or leggings, plain t shirt, cardigan, boots girl. Grey, black, off white, and rose are pretty much the only colors I wear, and so nearly everything else got tossed. What I ended up with was four. GIGANTIC. tupperware bins of clothes in my garage. And I STILL have mountains of laundry. Right now, I couldn’t name one thing that is in any of those bins, let alone anything that I might miss.

And I’m still going through my house and finding things to purge. I have this fantasy where my life is rid of plastic and all of my storage is glass containers, Ball jars, wicker baskets handmade by happy, ethically sourced craftsmen, etc. So far, that’s not super attainable since I still have so much shit. But come spring, my big plan is to have a massive garage sale, make money off of as much of this crap as I can (which will be a lot because I happen to live in Garage Sale Country), and dump the rest at one of our local charity thrift stores. 

Simplifying your life, becoming more earthly and more aware of your belongings, it’s a huge undertaking. It doesn’t happen overnight. Sometimes I wish it was that easy, but then I think about the process, about being able to judge and consider the things I own and how to either live without them or replace them with more conscionable choices, and it’s actually sort of fulfilling.

Well hello again, my poor, neglected space in the internets.

It’s a new year, and even though I wasn’t planning on making any resolutions (one might say I resolved to make no resolutions…), I find myself drawn to the idea of getting back into the swing of all-natural, organic, healthy, and most importantly: cost-effective and simplified living. Towards the end of last year, things got dicey… a few major hiccups, some path-altering decisions, a major depressive episode, an epiphany here and there… and it all effected my crunchy urban granola lifestyle. Shampoo reappeared in my shower (not gonna lie, it’s probably gonna stick around, but I’m sure there is a more earthy alternative to the common brands that I’ll find). I consumed way more fast food than I ever intended (cheeseburgers have always been my go-to comfort food). I never did get the hang of drinking ACV. Some things stayed around though, like using organic coconut oil for just about everything under the sun (omg make scrambled eggs with a small spoonful of it… it is TO DIE FOR). I’m also still using raw honey and the OCM on my face and still loving it. I use raw honey as a sweetener in coffee and things too, and it’s delish.

Anyway, now that it’s a new year and a new me and a new life (sorta) I’m really going to try to keep on keepin on with living all-natural, saving money through DIY, and being generally UGH-ly.

Wow. UGHly. That’s a thing now.




Winter sore throat “tea”- In a jar combine lemon slices, organic honey and sliced ginger. Close jar and put it in the fridge, it will form into a “jelly”. To serve- spoon jelly into mug and pour boiling water over it. Store in fridge 2-3 months.

Not winter yet.  But I get sore throats a lot and I like home remedies and kitchen witchery.

Im totally doing this~

(via phil0kalia)

The ~*LAUNDRY*~ Post

It’s been a while, so I guess I should write something.

I’ll write about ~*LAUNDRY*~!!

This is the first of at least a couple of posts about ~*LAUNDRY*~, though I can’t promise that the very next post will be on this topic. But here you go. Post numero uno.

I am currently, as we speak, trying something new with my t-shirts that I never wear because they are too t-shirty. You know what I mean. It’s the band t-shirt dilemma: you want to show off how much you love the band, but the shirt is new, kind of stiff, over saturated, and has that hot-off-the-press feel that no one likes. No matter how many times you wash it and wear it and sweat in it and roll around in the grass in it, it doesn’t ever lose the brand new t-shirtiness.

Last night I discovered a remedy that should make your shirts look like they were passed down from your so-hip-he-loved-the-same-bands-you-do-before-they-even-existed uncle. All you need is some Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (which you will use again when I make my next ~*LAUNDRY*~ post, so stock up), some salt (they suggest Morton’s but all I have is Kosher, though I’m sure the effect is the same), some fine-grit sandpaper (optional, if you have t-shirts with plasticine printing), and access to a washing machine and dryer. And, you know, a t-shirt.

NOTE: This comes with a warning that your shirts may shrink a considerable amount. I don’t know how true that will be for me since I generally dry my shirts on high heat anyway, so any shrinkage has probably already happened. But we’ll see. Just be aware that if you do this, you might be passing your super cool pretend uncle’s shirts down to your baby sister.

The recipe is as follows: Throw your shirts in the wash in the hottest water possible on the highest speed. We’re trying to loosen the fibers as much as possible. Once the water reaches the top of your load, throw in 1/4 c of the washing soda, and 2 c salt. The recipe suggests using your standard detergent too, but I feel like some detergents might just coat your shirts with some protective chemical so I didn’t do that. When the wash is done, throw your shirts in the dryer on the highest heat, sans dryer sheets (again with the protective chemicals). Once the shirts are dry, throw them back in the wash with a slightly smaller amount of the soda and salt (another warning: this will use a lot of water. Sorry.) Repeat the process three or four more times, or until your shirts have aged by at least 15 years.

If your shirts have the plasticine printing on them, use your sandpaper and lightly (lightly!!) rub the printing to distress it. Use random strokes to make it look naturally oldish.

Since I’m in the middle of my first wash here, I can’t tell you how well it has worked yet. But you can expect an update later tonight!



urbangranola (aka me):

My hair has not seen shampoo since the 4th of February. That is ten days. Ten days of shampooless showers. And my hair. Is. FANTASTIC. [read more]

Drat.  OK, I guess I’ll stick with it then.  I must be still in the transition period.  Crazy static, constantly greasy hair despite washing every other day (although it doesn’t look too greasy when it’s up, just when it’s down).  I did a higher concentration of baking soda this morning and it seems to have helped a little.  But it still doesn’t feel right.  I’m giving it till the end of the month.

Have you been doing the baking soda/acv every time you wash? I have only done the baking soda probably every other wash (just doing a water rinse and massaging my scalp for a while on the off days). The ACV I use pretty sparingly, in fact I haven’t used it at all in the last few days. I would say… maybe once a week with that? And then just on the ends of your hair, not your scalp. And I definitely suggest investing in a boar bristle brush. I got mine at Target for like $7.

Also, to cut down on the grease between washes if you really really can’t stand it, try 100% pure corn starch. I’ve done that a couple of times too and then brushed it through with the boar bristle brush. Don’t wear what you plan on wearing for the day though while you sprinkle it on, you’ll have white spots on your shirt! ;)

My hair has not seen shampoo since the 4th of February. That is ten days. Ten days of shampooless showers. And my hair. Is. FANTASTIC.

Admittedly, I did use that funky organic oil stuff, but that doesn’t have anything that makes shampoo shampoo in it, and I only used it twice. Other than that it’s been baking soda and massages. Also, and I really think this has helped quite a bit, i have been brushing my hair with a boar bristle brush. Supposedly, it distributes the sebum through the length of your hair so it doesn’t just pile up on your head. I think that’s working wonders. Also, I’ve been semi-religiously taking vitamins E and D, both of which are great for your hair. Also also, I have less hair (I chopped like six inches off) and wayyyy fewer split ends because of that.

Some of you mentioned having an icky-ish texture to your hair. I noticed that too, and at first it bothered me but I think the boar bristle brush has helped with that. It has stopped feeling so… I dunno, gritty, maybe? in the last couple of days. Another thing you guys have noticed is a major increase in static. I did too and I don’t know if that is because of the winter weather, the lack of conditioner, the use of ACV, or some combination of those things, but it was driving me FRIGGIN CRAZY. It’s finally gotten much, much better for me. Man that transition phase was rough.

But here are the amazing benefits that I have noticed, and why I can guarantee I’ll never go back to store-bought shampoo. My hair has a thickness that I have never experienced before. I have always been sooo self-conscious about my hair because it has always been extremely fine and if I pull it back in a ponytail too tight you can see my scalp. If it’s not back in a ponytail, it just kind of hangs there, no body, no texture… just sad, limp hair. But for the past few days, my hair has done things I’ve never seen it do before. If I tussle it a little at the roots, it gains volume. I don’t have nearly as many fly aways. My bangs had never failed to look like a grease pit halfway through the day, but now they are near perfect all day long. And, if I pull it back… no scalp! My hair and I are finally friends.

How is everyone else doing? Have you given up in the little hiatus I had there for a while? Sorry about that. I know I promised a laundry post and that is coming eventually… it’s just that there are pictures and I haven’t had a chance to get them off my phone yet. Besides, this adventure is so much fun.

Shampoo-freeness: Success!

An Update, Sorta

I have a confession to make.

The Shampoo Free experiment sort of… took a detour.

I have another confession to make.

This post is not going to be about laundry.

Here’s the thing. The night before I had a very important thing going on at work, my roommate asked me if I had just gotten out of the shower.

I had not.

I took that as a sign that maybe, just maybe, I should wait till I had a long weekend or something. HOWEVER, I didn’t totally flake out because the shampoo that I used to wash my hair consists of these ingredients: decyl glucoside (which as far as I can tell is like, decomposing fermented vegetable sugars), wheat protein, amino acids, and a whole list of oils and veras and butters and extracts. And it’s organic.

That being said, I still really want to go shampooless, so I am trying to cut back on the frequency that I wash my hair at least. So far I can get away with two days without looking homeless, three if I’m lucky (or it’s the weekend). 

Also, I got a haircut, during which she shampooed and conditioned my hair for no less than twenty minutes. I’m a sucker for a head massage.

I do have a ray of light, however. The OCM… is my favorite thing in the UNIVERSE. I have learned more things to add to this evening ritual I’ve created. I now put a tiny little dollop of honey in the palm of my hand and then pour the oil over it. The honey is like a little extra moisturizer, which I think my face really needed (who knew oil would dry it out so much?!). Plus, when it’s spread thinly, it gets pretty sticky so I like to pat all over my face with my fingertips to help pull gunk out of my pores. That sounds crazy and suspicious but judging by my face, it works. And my face wouldn’t lie.

The other thing I’ve started doing is using a little ACV as an astringent. I have recently learned that I am doing it sort of the wrong way, which is SO good to know because I literally almost suffocated when I applied the straight ACV. I mean that stuff is nasty. Luckily, I discovered that straight ACV is unnecessary and what works just as well is soaking a cotton ball in water (or using the corner of your washcloth) and putting juuuuuuust a tiny bit of the ACV on it, so it’s very diluted. Apparently ACV is strong enough that you don’t need a whole cotton ball doused in it, right under your nose, so you can’t breathe without crying. Good to know!

How about you? Are you guys having any luck with shampoo freedom or the OCM?

reblogging from my real life tumblr:

Food, Inc.

I’m sure you’ve heard of this documentary. I did a long time ago and I was interested because I’m generally interested in agriculture and where food comes from… ever since I was a misguided little PETA-loving vegetarian freak (I outgrew that). I sort of dismissed this film though because I thought it was going to be, well, PETA-ish. And I think PETA is abhorrent. 

Not the case. I watched it tonight and it was fascinating. It was about food, of course, but it was also about so much more. From economics to immigration, it covered so many topics of why the things that are wrong with the world ARE wrong. How one big company can monopolize basically everything from the farms to the supermarkets to the government to the healthcare system and individual lives. And it all revolves around the food industry.

If you are planning on watching a movie sometime in the near future, I definitely suggest this one.