When I was a little girl, I fantasized about living off the land like a pioneer woman; making everything by hand, growing, cooking, and creating every waking moment. My older brother, whom I idolized pretty much from birth, lived in a hippie commune on Washington's Olympic Peninsula for a while in the early 70s. I was not allowed to visit that strange and magical place so the mystique surrounding the lifestyle was overwhelmingly romantic to my innocent, little-girl senses. I adored the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, my favorite, of course, was On the Banks of Plum Creek - who wouldn't want to live in a dugout cave in a creek bank? It's practically a Hobbit house inside a tree!
Even as an adult, the romanticism of that off-grid fantasy still lives somewhere deep inside me, but my reality is juggling running a demanding business with managing our little household here in a city neighborhood where literally everything I could ever need or want is conveniently available "just down the street". More often than not, I suppose much like I did when I was little, I feed that pioneer fantasy vicariously - through blogs and websites of creative and clever folks who have a lot more time and energy to devote to cool DIY projects than I seem to manage.
One such project caught my eye on Pinterest last month. It was this delicious looking exfoliating sugar scrub. I thought, "oh that looks neat, but who has time to make their own beauty products?" Then I saw that you basically stir 2 ingredients together and add a scent if you like. "Well, maybe for a special occasion..."
The special occasion came soon after that: a vacation with a girlfriend where we would be in the sun a lot, and pampering ourselves a bit. I made a little tub to take with us. For the first batch, I avoided the fresh lemon juice from the original tutorial because I wasn't sure how fast we would go through it (I didn't want rotting lemons in my sugar scrub) but we used it fast! This stuff makes my skin feel amazing! I'm hooked. Husband Guy was intrigued, and when I mentioned that I would be adding lavender essential oil to the next batch, sheepishly requested that I make some that was not so girly - maybe orange would be nice. By this time I had actually forgotten the lemon juice option, but I think I will try a small batch of that one next time to keep next to the kitchen sink.
The basic recipe is 1 part coconut oil to 2 parts sugar. First I melted some coconut oil in the microwave - this only takes a few seconds, don't cook it, just start to melt it! Take it out when it looks half-n-half (liquid vs. white chunks) and the rest will soften and melt, like butter does.
I don't measure the coconut oil before I melt it, and I only really measure the sugar by doubling whatever the amount of melted oil is in the cup. I just pour in sugar until the total volume seems to be about 3 times the original amount of oil.
Pack it into the container of your choice, keeping in mind that it hardens quite a bit once it cools back down again. I will probably buy some regular old white sugar for future batches - the only reason that I used this more expensive organic unbleached sugar was that it was what I had in the house.
Ok, all better now.
If you're still asking, "who has time to make their own beauty products?" in this case, my answer is everyone! Even with the extra stove-top cleanup this took me about 10 minutes. I've since seen a different recipe on Pinterest that has dried lavender flowers in it, that looks cool. The possibilities here are endless.
The hardly-any-time aspect of this project has me a little extra intrigued with other neato DIYs from One Good Thing: homemade makeup wipes, homemade "Clorox" wipes . . . underground dugout on Plum Creek, here I come!