Stuff that I am totally into right now? Natural remedies. My three current obsessions are baking soda, coconut oil, and molasses. These are three things you probably have in your pantry (and if you don't, I strongly suggest you get them. Nudge, nudge.) So what's so special about these three things? I'm so glad you asked!
Baking soda (as I'm sure you've probably guessed from Arm and Hammer's myriad product line, and probably from years of studying your mother or grandmother's cleaning habits) is a naturally wonderful cleaning agent. A few years ago, I switched to Arm and Hammer toothpaste (and my mouth feels super fresh, and my teeth nice and slick after I brush) but it wasn't until recently that I gave baking soda the chance to really work its magic.
Shampoo? Oh yeah. Mouthwash? You bet. Face wash? Definitely. It may sound strange, but trust me on this. Next time you're about to take a shower, grab a box of baking soda (I actually keep mine in a mason jar in my bathroom. But don't trying screwing the cap back on with wet hands because you'll drop it and it'll shatter everywhere and you'll cut your feet when you're already late for work...not that that happened to me on Monday or anything...)
So grab a little handful of baking soda and trickle a little water into your hand so that it creates a little paste, and scrub it around your hair (you'll probably need two handfuls, but I have pretty short hair, so I don't need much). You'll want to massage your scalp really well, then rinse rinse rinse. Your hair will feel weird, squeaky, and even dry, but don't condemn me just yet! If you really hate the feeling, you can use a dab of conditioner, or about a quarter cup of apple cider vinegar in a cup and a half or so of water, then rinse. When your hair dries, it will be shiny and soft, and you won't be able to stop running your fingers through it!
I also like to use baking soda as a face scrub. Sadly, I haven't had perfect skin since I was about ten years old, but after using baking soda, my skin feels surprisingly similar to the time before my teenage years of Clean & Clear and Neutrogena experiments.
So, want to love your hair even more? On a day (or night) when you don't have much else to do but watch BBC miniseries and episodes of Mad Men on Netflix, put some coconut oil in your hair and let your strands soak up the healthy goodness for about an hour or two (coconut oil becomes solid when it is cooled, so you may need to warm it up in the microwave first). After your movie is over and you've congratulated Betty Draper on her awesomeness, wash your hair out really well (using regular shampoo, as you've just put oil in your hair), and dry as you normally would. And then leave a comment thanking me for your luxuriously soft and coconutty hair.
What else do I use coconut oil for? (Besides baking and cooking, naturally) I like to use it as a lip balm, lotion (but not on my face), and even a shaving cream! Your skin will be so smooth, you'll want it to be summer again so you won't have to cover it up! (But not really, because fall is the best. Ever.)
So what about molasses? You're probably thinking, Oh God! She's going to tell me to bathe in molasses! Don't worry. I'm not that crazy. I've been really into molasses lately, putting it in my oatmeal, my tea, thinking about molasses cookies, etc., not realizing it's kind of a sweet, sticky super-hero.
Did you know that molasses is chock full of healthy minerals like copper, iron, and magnesium? Yeah, I didn't either, until I did a little research on this powerhouse of a sweetener. It's been rumored to help with acid reflux (which I happen to suffer from), clear up acne, reverse anemia, and even cure cancer! Seriously, I'm not making this stuff up.
So I've decided to embark on a little molasses adventure. I'm going eat about two tablespoons of molasses a day (either in my oatmeal, my tea or coffee, or in a hot cup of almond milk, which I hear-tell tastes like caramel) and see how it makes me feel. Maybe it'll prove to be a magician and my acid reflux will be gone. Maybe I'll have baby soft skin. Maybe (oh, did I mention this?) my hair will grow in thicker and richer, without any greys (hey, I'm only 23, but, I've seen a few).
So now I'm going to leave you guys with one last ditty of fun information. Did you know that brown sugar is actually just white sugar and molasses? So the next time you're baking up something delicious and run out of brown sugar, have no fear! Just mix together some molasses and white sugar and those oatmeal cookies will be just as warm and gooey as ever.