Outside of Puerto Lopez, Ecuador is a national park which has some hiking trails and three different beaches with beautiful sand, smooth stones and millions of little crabs. My niece donned one beach as ‘crab beach’ and it is the only name I have for the special place. The little waddlers were too fast and too camouflaged for me get on my camera, so I settled for the steady stillness of these rocks. The photo fades to darkness, but what was so magical was that you crawl quiet a ways into this little cave/ enclave / grotto or whatever fancy word sounds best to you.
After a wonderfully enriching week at Kirpalu Yoga retreat center in Stockbridge, Massachusetts and two fanciful nights of stuffing my face with Italian food in Boston’s North End, I am back to life-relaxed and a little transformed.
One focus of the retreat was life’s cycles. I though these gorgeous white peonies were a beautiful example.
I made the journey back to my family’s home in the Northeast, in time to see the spring blooms pop on all my dad’s various flowering plants and bushes. I have grown so accustomed to the tropical flowers in coastal south Texas that these flowers bloom so readily at 70 degrees seems a miracle.
Sleeping with the windows open, lulled by the sound of a nighttime shower was incredibly peaceful and restorative. I forget how to open windows since moving up the great state of air conditioning.
Hopefully I’ll get some better shots with my real camera (not iPhone) in the upcoming days.
We finally got some rain! Somehow this light loving cactus managed to bloom even while the gentle sky water filled the patio.
So I have never attempted to use this blog for anything beauty related but I am currently obsessed with a super easy and satisfying and cheap and awesome coconut oil cleanse/moisturizer. Passed on to me from my wise and all-knowing vegan hippy guru (find her on facebook at C’mon Get Hippie), I am now hooked. This is the type of thing that honestly doesn’t need a photo tutorial, but since I am a visual person I thought- what the hey- I haven’t picked up my camera in a couple of weeks, why not shoot my new favorite night time activity (yes, this is Friday night on a ranch- what else is there to do- I don’t know how to knit).
The articles I have read recommend the coco cleanse for gals and guys that have adult facial acne. The traditional thought process being zits are caused by natural oil coming through your pores and jacking up your face- so if you get rid of the oil, there go the zits. So peeps go to the pharmacy and grab an ‘oil free’ cleanser. But most folks that have used these traditional cleansers don’t have the results they were promised on the bottle. The face is stripped of oil and so if begins producing even more oil because it is trying to compensate for all the oil that has been removed. This causes more zits. Clearly, I am not a dermatologist, but this is my understanding of the process in which one’s face gets all dried out and oily at the same time. But, you can’t fight oil without oil. That is how everything gets clean- even palmolive, which is pretty good at cutting through grease, has petroleum in it. The theory behind the coconut oil cleanser is that you are replacing oils. You trade out the nasty zit clogging facial destroyer oil with the zen breathable beauty of coconut oil. Your face doesn’t get all dried out, your pores don’t overproduce and you fall to sleep at night with the delicious scent of coconut to lull you to sleep. I fortunately don’t have a major problem with acne, but I do like the idea of having my face feel like a baby bum. I also don’t wear makeup very often, but the word on the street is coconut oil is the shiiit to remove the gunk we gals smear on our faces to look glamourous. This is great news for me because I am terrible at removing makeup, and usually walk around looking like a baby raccoon for two days after applying mascara.
I bought this jar of unrefined coconut oil at a regular HEB super market, which for those of you outside Texas, is a pretty run of the mill standard sort of establishment. I found it in the baking aisle with the safflower oil, grape seed oil, and sunflower oil. There is a bit of contention online about whether or not to use refined or unrefined, but I think either will work just fine. This might be the cheapest moisturizer you ever buy, because the jar was only $6.99.
So first thing first. Put your hair up. I use a headband and bobby pin. You could also use a towel. I don’t think I really need to explain further then- get your hair away from your face.
Put your hair up and out of the way
Coconut oil is firm above 76 F. You can use a spoon to dig a tidbit out of the jar. You can work it between your fingers until turns into oil or you can put tiny pieces onto your face and rub.
Rub the oil all over your face, including your lips. I scooped out the amount above twice for my face. Sorry for the crappy manicure.
Using hot tap water, wet a clean wash cloth. Put over your face until it cools. Maybe 15-30 seconds. I pat my face gently to remove any excess oil. Clearly the internet needed this pic of me.
Before I go and begin to primp myself for the last night of 2012, I thought I would toss up this photograph of sandhill cranes flying in a V pattern across the sky. It was a dreary sort of day out here all day, so I may brew a cup of coffee for the road. I am usually full of my own unbridled enthusiasm, but today’s weather had me down and turning in circles. I hope everyone imbibes in merriness and gets lots of love at the stroke of midnight.