Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Review: Oyin Handmade Funk Butter

I'm almost out of my first tin of Funk Butter from Oyin Handmade. In March a friend told me she used their Funk Butter (deodorant). I ordered three tins, one in each scent: Coco-Mango, Black Cedar Fig and Unscented. The unscented is for my husband and I started the Coco-Mango for summer. They run $5 a piece. While ordering I also picked up their Stick O'Joe, lip balm.

This product does a way better job with body odor than what I was using previously (Just a regular product from the store). The ingredients in Funk Butter are all natural and the product is handmade, as the company name states!

At first I was apprehensive about the scents. I like a little scent so I know I'm wearing deodorant...as a busy mom it is not unusual for me to forget to put some on! Both scents are very nice. I smell it when I first put the cream on but it isn't a scent that sticks with me all day. Now, if I smell near my underarm I can smell the scent...but that is how I like it. Surprisingly, I can go 24+ hours without reapplying and still not worry about odor. Even after a day at the beach I did not have any complaints with Funk Butter.

It is very important to tighten the lid every time you open it! It will dry out if you don't. I added a little olive oil to re-moisten mine the other day. It still works fine but it doesn't go on as easily as it once did.

Some people with sensitive skin may find the Funk Butter a little abrasive. I tend to shave at night and put the Funk Butter on in the morning. I really haven't had any issues but I am a sensitive skin person so I wanted to be cautious.

Now the Stick O'Joe was awesome! This is obviously a natural product so you can't keep it in your pocket (bummer). I truly love this lip balm. It has become my #1 lip moisturizer. Oyin says it has natural UV protection due to the ingredients...and I trust that BUT I still use a different lip product that has a marked SPF on it for my kids when we go out in the sun. This is just me being super protective though. :)

Oyin Handmade has several other products that look like fun! They also offer sample sizes to try before you buy. The Fizzy Milk bath is the next thing I'm looking forward to trying!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Meatless Monday: Faux Shrimp Tacos

A few months ago I found the lovely super food quinoa. Yes, I realize it is a very old super food but I am just starting to learn of its magical powers--such as replacing nearly any meat in any recipe and still tasting fabulous. Tonight I made a batch of shrimp tacos and faux shrimp tacos. I really only made the shrimp as a backup in case the jerk-seasoned quinoa didn't turn out. I must say that even my husband was extremely impressed with the flavors. I can't take credit for the foundation of the recipe but I do take full credit for being adventurous and making an awesome meatless version of this meal!

Here is my version of the Shrimp Tacos:

6 small corn tortillas
1 cup quinoa (soaked the night before)
1 TB jerk seasoning
1 TB olive oil
1 cup broccoli slaw
1/2 mango, peeled and cubed (smaller the cube the better)
1/8 red onion, chopped (small)
1 TB homemade vegan mayonnaise*
1/8 cup cilantro, chopped
1 TB rice vinegar

1) Prepare quinoa as directed (typically boil for 20 minutes or so, longer if it wasn't soaked)

2) Meanwhile, prep and measure the broccoli slaw, mango, red onion, cilantro, vinegar and mayonnaise. Stir together in a bowl and set aside.

3) Toast the corn tortillas in a pan with a little olive oil, set aside wrapped with foil or something else to keep them warm

4) When quinoa is done, pour in the jerk and olive oil. I am not sure how much olive oil I used- I just dashed a bit in and stirred and added a bit more to blend everything together. I may have used more than a TB of jerk too...taste it as you mix it.

5) Assemble by putting a spoon of the slaw mix on a tortilla and then a spoon of the quinoa.

*Chef Charlie Wilson's recipe:
1 cup homemade Almond milk
1 TB yellow mustard
1 tsp agave
1 tsp sea salt
1 cup olive oil
3/4 raw sesame oil
3/4 Irish moss gel

Blend milk, mustard, salt and agave. Slowly add oils to this mix until it thickens. Finally, add Irish moss and blend on high until it turns white and thick.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Review: Sprout Organic/Natural Skincare products

I stumbled onto a fabulous website, Jasmere, about two months ago. In that time I have saved lots of money trying out new "green" products. My first purchase was Sprout Wellness skincare products. I think their new name is just Sprout and their website is found here: "Sprout a Revolution". So for $36 I was able to purchase the "Family" kit on Sprout. This included all items pictured here PLUS a small pocket-size can of the All Over cream and their Coco lip balm.

I really like this company. Their drive and customer service is excellent. Overall, the products weren't for me. I think they would be great for someone who has been using natural skincare products for a while. I say this because they were just too...simple...for me. That sounds crazy, I know but I have used the same skincare line for 11 years. I have gotten very comfortable with the way my old products work. I'm about out of the products from my trial so I can't say I don't like them. They just aren't my cup of tea.

The company redid their website and product labels/bottles shortly after I received my order. I think the new updates will be fantastic. Some of my complaints may no longer be valid due to this update so if you head over their to browse, keep that in mind!

Instructions were no included with my "Family" of products. I did read a blog post published a few weeks ago that helped me out. As I'm reviewing the products individually, I will explain why instructions (at least for me) were necessary.

Makeup Remover: This product is pretty neat. It is made with several natural oils. I don't really know its purpose...even after reading the instructions. I personally used it as eye make up remover because I'm used to having a separate product for that. Oh and I better not forget...if you use organic cotton balls (which you should!) this skincare line will eat a hole in your pocketbook! Try the Better for Grownups Organic Cotton Rounds instead (and look for my review on these products later). I went through this remover in about 3 weeks. I use Tarte mascara and a little eye liner. I used about 4-6 rounds to clean my eyes every night. So yeah, not the most efficient product I have used.

Facial Cleanser: Before reading the blog post about how to use this- I was using so much cleanser it was insane! It goes on like an astringent...or any other water-like cleanser. So I was dabbing my cotton round on the bottle and basically trying to gently scrub my makeup off. 15 rounds later- I had to "rinse well" with a wash cloth to make sure my makeup was off. Ugh. Not cool. The blog post explained that I should just saturate my face with the cleanser and then rinse with water 10+ times. Oh. Ok. That makes a whole lot more sense. Regardless, I'm down to 1, maybe 2 applications now. I definitely think this cleanser makes my face super clean! However, I miss foaming or something. And I really don't like rubbing my face with stuff and rinsing just to wash. So not a product for me.

Facial Scrub and Body Scrub: I love the scrubs! There are two separate products here- body and face. Both are awesome. I love getting into the shower and using coconut shreds and some coarse sugar to buff my face and body. These two products may be shipping to my house again when I run out. We shall see. The only downside- they are kind of messy and if you are in the shower- you can accidentally wet the whole jar of scrub if you stick a wet hand inside. I did mix the body scrub with my usual body wash to help it spread more easily.

Toner: This was my first experience with a toner since 2001 when I first tried a Mary Kay toner. I've never really understood the benefit. I did enjoy using this because my skin looked really clean. However, I feel like it gave my skin bipolar disorder. I would be really dry for a few nights and then really oily. My skin is usually pretty even tempered. I did skip moisturizer at night as Sprout suggested. On most occasions this was better than hydrating my skin with cream. I don't know if I can blame my pimples on Sprout or not. I'm still breastfeeding so it could be hormonal?? I didn't have break outs with my first baby so these are curious.

All Over Cream: On other reviews this product is hailed as awesome. It is a pretty neat little cream. I may not have been a greasy mess if I had been told to take some of the cream and warm it up by rubbing it in my hands. Instead- I tried to smear thick cream in small amounts on my face and body (think: Crisco facial). Once I started heating the cream up it went on better and I needed less. This is a great body cream for me but it is not good on my face. I need some moisture but not this much. It is weird but my body soaks it up and is silky smooth (but not sticky or even moist) but my face keeps it on the surface. I may like this a lot in the winter. It is heavenly on dry feet that is for sure! The smell (natural oils) is great. I like that the most.

Lip balm: Ehhh...I'm addicted to lip balms. This one was not my favorite. One, I totally didn't like the cocoa fragrance. Two, it melted in my pocket. I'm sure only I would need a warning that a natural lip balm would melt in the pocket...but still...a warning would have been nice. HA! It really didn't do much for my lips either. See...long ago I killed my natural ability to lubricate my lips by wearing lip balm 24/7 (and if that is an urban myth...don't tell me...I need something to blame my addiction on).

It may seem that my overall review is negative but really- I don't dislike the products...I just don't like them for me. I think mamas who wear no makeup and don't want to wear "anti-aging" or other full-service products, this would be an excellent line to try out. This would be a super line for a teen who needs minimal skincare and just a healthy, natural and safe way to cleanse her skin. Plus, the company itself is fantastic. I would not be surprised to find myself browsing their products on a regular basis.