The Crazymomma Files

The GOOD, the BAD, and the UGLY

Breast Exams are Crucial May 26, 2008

Filed under: For Your Health — Flickerchic @ 6:34 am
Tags:

As women, we have many things to worry about when it comes to our bodies. One of the most dreadful, life altering of these things is breast cancer. As I read across the blogosphere, I came across a post about a mother who had an egg-sized lump removed from her breasts. She’d done monthly self-exams, but apparently the lump was in an area where it went unnoticeable until she became pregnant. Fortunately for her, the lump was benign and she had it removed with no problems to her health. However, every day, women across the world are dying from breast cancer. This post touched me. So much so that I decided to share, with her permission, part of her posting. The part that I’m posting was actually taken from another blog that she’d read.

(repost)
The post is written by a fellow mom of two boys. She is fearlessly fighting a form of breast cancer that I didn’t even know existed until I read her post. Applaud her courage. Say a little prayer. Hug your children just a little tighter. Now take a look and pass it on. Consider it your good deed for the day.

“We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the U.S. today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of breast cancer?

I didn’t. I thought that breast cancer was all the same. I figured that if I did my monthly breast self-exams, and found no lump, I’d be fine.

Oops. It turns out that you don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer. Six weeks ago, I went to my OB/GYN because my breast felt funny. It was red, hot, inflamed, and the skin looked…funny. But there was no lump, so I wasn’t worried. I should have been. After a round of antibiotics didn’t clear up the inflammation, my doctor sent me to a breast specialist and did a skin punch biopsy. That test showed that I have inflammatory breast cancer, a very aggressive cancer that can be deadly.

Inflammatory breast cancer is often misdiagnosed as mastitis because many doctors have never seen it before and consider it rare. “Rare” or not, there are over 100,000 women in the U.S. with this cancer right now; only half will survive five years. Please call your OB/GYN if you experience several of the following symptoms in your breast, or any unusual changes: redness, rapid increase in size of one breast, persistent itching of breast or nipple, thickening of breast tissue, stabbing pain, soreness, swelling under the arm, dimpling or ridging (for example, when you take your bra off, the bra marks stay – for a while), flattening or retracting of the nipple, or a texture that looks or feels like an orange (called peau d’orange). Ask if your GYN is familiar with inflammatory breast cancer, and tell her that you’re concerned and want to come in to rule it out.

There is more than one kind of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is the most aggressive form of breast cancer out there, and early detection is critical. It’s not usually detected by mammogram. It does not usually present with a lump. It may be overlooked with all of the changes that our breasts undergo during the years when we’re pregnant and/or nursing our little ones. It’s important not to miss this one.

Inflammatory breast cancer is detected by women and their doctors who notice a change in one of their breasts. If you notice a change, call your doctor today. Tell her about it. Tell her that you have a friend with this disease, and it’s trying to kill her. Now you know what I wish I had known before six weeks ago.

You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer.
(end repost)

Please, remember to: perform your own monthly self breast exams. We know that survival rates are much higher the earlier it’s discovered. Have regular, annual visits with your OB/GYN.

 

Take care of your skin and still save money…Make your own skincare products – Skin Care Part 2

Filed under: It's All About Me,Skin Care — Flickerchic @ 1:58 am
Tags: ,

With the price of everything from food to gas, and even skincare products constantly rising, I’m always looking for practical ways to save money. One way that I’ve found to do this has been to make some of my own skincare products.

Making your own products not only keeps a few bucks in your pocketbook, it also leads to glowing, healthy skin because the products being used are all natural and have vitamins essential to healthy skin; not to mention, most ingredients are things that you might have at home anyway. Homemade products can be made for all skin types and skin conditions. In my search for natural ways to take care of my skin, I found a wealth of information to share. So take care of your skin and still save money, make your own, homemade, natural skincare products, and create a personalized, home spa experience!

Benefits of natural ingredients
Lemon juice is good for the skin because it cuts through dirt and oil to clean pores and prevent infections from acne. Leaves skin feeling soft, smooth, and healthy. Lemon juice is one of the best ingredients for a cleanser for oily skin. You can mix lemon juice with an exfoliating ingredient like oats or skim milk powder, or a creamy substance like yogurt for a more soothing type of cleaning.

Oatmeal is a common household product that is wonderful for your skin. It’s very absorbent, softens the skin and is hypoallergenic. The amino acids it contains are nearly perfectly balanced, the better to heal skin that’s dry or itchy. Oats or oatmeal helps smooth and refine the skin. It also has a whitening effect. Oats relieve irritated skin and is good for those with a sensitive skin type.

Honey is a natural humectant, which means it draws water to the skin and helps it stay there. So honey is an ideal natural moisturizer and facial treatment because it has the ability to attract and retain moisture while also providing a gentle exfoliating treatment. Honey is known to have natural antioxidant properties as well, which play a part in protecting our skin from harmful ultra violet rays; antioxidants are also known to aid in skin rejuvenation. Honey is also a non-irritant so it is suitable for sensitive skin. Pure honey is preferred because it has all of its natural properties.

Yogurt will cleanse and nourish the skin.

Oranges are full of Vitamin C and AHA’s.

Apple helps in toning the skin and keeping it tight.

Strawberries soften the skin.

Cucumbers relieve swelling and puffiness. Great for refreshing and rejuvanating the eyes.

Salt and Sugar are good for exfoliating dead skin cells and can also have therapeutic qualities.

Milk Powders provide a soothing effect to the skin. It also gives additional nourishment and moisturizing benefits.

Cornmeal acts as an exfoliant.

Vegetable oil (from seed extracts) help rejuvenate the skin and also possess moisturizing benefits.

Olive oil is an ideal moisturizer that won’t clog your pores. Be certain to use the highest grade possible – extra virgin. Can be applied anywhere skin is dry or chapped.

Ginseng helps prevent wrinkles from developing and aids in the multiplication of skin cells.

Chamomile adds anti-inflammatory agents to the skin.

Floral ingredients can be used as sprays or mists and help with the skin tone.

Soy refines the pores and makes the skin softer.

Vegetable Butters (Shea, Avocado, Almond, etc) help prevent skin from aging. Butter also contributes to the thickness and consistency of the mixture making it easier to apply.

Kinds of Herbs
Stimulating: bay, lemon balm, marjoram, peppermint, rosemary, yarrow.

Relaxing: chamomile, lemon verbena, lavender, comfrey, thyme, vanilla.

Soothing: aloe vera, calendula, rose, sage, yarrow, honey, oatmeal.

Facial Cleansers
All Skin Types
Homemade Facial Cleaner

1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 Tbsp. sunflower oil
1 1/2 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Mix all ingredients together and place in a sealed container. Store in the refrigerator. Use 1 tsp. morning and night to cleanse face.

Lemon and Yogurt Facial Cleanser

1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp plain yogurt.

Mix and apply to your face. Leave it on for 10 minutes and then rinse with warm water.

Oatmeal Cleanser

1/2 cup oatmeal (not instant)
plain yogurt

Mix oatmeal with just enough plain yogurt to make a paste. It will give you one of the healthiest facial cleansers you can make or buy. Avoid the eyes when cleansing, rinse off with warm water and your skin will reward you with a glowing, acne-free appearance if you use this wash regularly.

Honey Blueberry Facial

1/2 Cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1/2 Cup pure honey
1/2 Cup plain yogurt

Rinse blueberries and place in a blender or food processor. Add honey and yogurt, blend until smooth. Using fingertips, apply blueberry smoothie on clean skin, let sit for 1- 15 minutes. Rmove with cool water and damp cloth.

Cucumber Facial Cleanser (dry skin)
This is a gentle cleanser for dry skin.
Ingredients:

1 Cucumber
1/2 Cup Whole Milk
Directions:

Peel cucumber and liquify it in a blender or food processor. Use some cheese cloth to strain the seeds out of the cucumber. Then put the cucumber and milk into a bottle or jar. You will need to refrigerate this solution in between uses. It will keep for 5 to 7 days. Don’t use it if it smells like it has turned and pretest it on your arm if you have not used this cleanser before.

Chamomile Cleansing Milk (For Dry and Sensitive Skin)
1/4 cup cream
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp chamomile flowers, fresh or dried

Simmer ingredients in top of a double boiler for about 30 minutes, do not allow milk to boil. Turn off heat and let sit for about 2 hours, strain. Keep refrigerated. Apply with cotton balls to the face.
Variations: Use elderflowers, sweet violets or lime blossoms in place of chamomile

Facial Moisturizers
Mix 1 tsp plain yogurt with 2 tbsp orange juice. Add 1/2 tsp lemon juice. Apply to clean face and leave it on for 10 minutes, then rinse off. The orange is full of AHA’s and yogurt will leave your skin clean and nourished.

Mix 2 tsp milk with 2 tbsp honey, smooth all over the face. Leave on 30 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

Mix 2 tbsp lemon juice with 2 tbsp cucumber juice. Add 3 tsp rose water and 1 tsp flour. Apply gently using your fingertips. Leave on for 30 minutes, then rinse off. Pat yor face dry.

Almond Oil Moisturizing Cream
2 tsp beeswax
1 tsp emulsifying wax
5 tsp almond oil
lavendar oil

Put beeswax and emulsifying wax into a bowl and melt over the water bath. When melted, add in almond oil. In a separate bowl, heat the water over the same water bath so that the two bowls are at the same temperature. Slowly add water to the melted waxes and oils, stirring all the time. Remove from the heat and continue stirring. When cool add a few drops of lavender oil.

Avocado and Almond Cream
3 teaspoons beeswax
3 teaspoons emulsifying wax
1/2 cup almond oil
1/2 cup avocado oil, and
3 tablespoons rose water

Melt that waxes in an enamel pan over a water bath, then add the avocado and almond oils. Now add the heated rosewater drop by drop, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and continue stirring till it is cool. While it cools, you may add a few drops of perfume. Both almond and avocado oils are fine and rich for the skin.

Body Butter
3 oz. cocoa butter
2 oz. mango butter
2 oz. shea butter
2 drops of ROE (rosemary oil extract to prevent rancidity of butters and oil)
1 oz. coconut oil
1/2 tsp. or more (depending on your preference) of fragrance oil or essential oil. DO NOT use any citrus essential oil, as they are phototoxic when worn in the sun!!!! Phototoxicity causes skin damage!

Melt the mango and shea butters, stir in the ROE, coconut oil, and FO/EO, then pour immediately into a SANITIZED container. Do not lid the container until the body butter is completely cool and hardened…otherwise, condensation will form. Shea butter is an excellent ingredient in this recipe, as it has proven skin-healing properties.

Cocoa Butter Cream
2 tablespoons cocoa butter
2 tablespoons emulsifying wax
1 tablespoon beeswax
4 tablespoons sesame oil, and
1 tablespoon almond oil

Heat the following ingredients together over a water bath, stirring them thoroughly: When the ingredients are completely melted, remove from the heat and stir until the cream is cool. Add a few drops of perfume while stirring. this cream leaves the skin smooth without being greasy.

Facial Scrubs & Masks
All Skin Types
Honey & Sugar Scrub
Just simply mix honey and sugar together (and if you like, add a small amount of milk and/or a tiny drop of extra virgin olive oil). This works like a dream, leaving skin touchably soft, smooth and gorgeous.

Baking Soda Facial Scrub

Apply baking soda on wet face using circular motions and you’ll be amazed how soft your skin is going to be afterwards!

Strawberry & Brown Sugar Facial Scrub

Make a mixture of 1 tsp brown sugar and 2 mashed strawberries. Spread onto your face and leave on for at least 10 minutes. Rinse off with warm water.

Strawberry & Honey Facial Scrub
8 – 9 whole strawberries
3 tablespoons honey

Using a fork mash strawberries into a pulp, add honey. Mix. Don’t over blend or it will be runny. Apply directly to the skin, let sit for a few minutes then rinse off.

Herbal Facial Mask (Cleans and tightens pores)

1 Tbsp. honey
1 egg
1 tsp crumbled dried chamomile flowers
1 tsp finely chopped fresh mint

Mix all ingredients in a small bowl. Apply the mixture to your face and neck. Let dry (10-15 minutes) and rinse off with warm water.

Oatmeal Face Mask
1/2 cup of oatmeal
1 smashed avocado
1/3 cup of honey

In a bowl mix smashed avocado with the honey, then continuously add oatmeal. When all ingredients are mixed well apply to face and relax. After 10-15 minutes,wash off with warm water. Do this once a week or when you desire relaxation. You won’t believe the difference!

Orange Yogurt Mask
1 tsp plain yogurt
the juice of 1/4 of an orange

Stir to mix and then dip fingers into mixture and smooth onto face. The sensation is both cool and relaxing. Leave on for a five minutes and then rinse. If you are feeling sluggish, this is the perfect mask for you.

Peel-Off Mask
This mask will peel off your blackheads and tighten your skin. It is very strong, so those with sensitive skin may want to rinse this off instead of peeling it off. Do not use if you have acne.

1 tablespoon of unflavored gelatin
1 1/2 tablespoons of cold milk
1 egg white
Vitamin E Oil (break open a capsule, or buy in a bottle)

In a small pan mix the unflavored gelatin and the cold milk. Stir until melted over a very low flame. Once melted, remove from heat and let the gelatin mixture cool slightly. Then add one egg white. Mix until smooth, and when cool enough to touch, apply evenly over face. Do not apply on, or directly under, your eyes or on your upper lip. Apply quickly before mixture hardens in pan. Apply enough to cover your skin but not too thickly. Lie on the couch and let it dry completely, about 30 minutes. Once dry, lift up a corner under your chin and peel off lightly in an upward motion. This will really tingle. Rinse face with lukewarm water and apply vitamin E.
Tip: The vitamin E is for moisture. If you prefer, you can use your favorite moisturizer on your face instead.

Revitalizing Mask
Mash 1/2 cucumber, 2 strawberries, 1 tsp honey and 1 tbsp yogurt in a food processor. Apply to face and allow to dry. Wipe off with a damp wash cloth.

Pore Tightening Mask
Ingredients:
1 beaten egg white combined
2 tsp lemon juice
Mix together and spread onto your face. It will make your pores look really tiny!

Replenishing Mask
Combine 4 cups fresh spinach, 1 cup fresh mint and 1 piece ginger (cut and peeled ).
Blend on low setting. Add 3 tbsp honey and 1 ripe banana. Smooth all over your face. Leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse with lukewarm water. Store the rest of the mixture covered in refrigerator for up to 1 week.

Rejuvenating Mask
Make a mixture of 2 tbsp sweet almond oil, 2 tbsp honey, 1 drop vitamin E oil and 5 drops essential oil of rose. Massage onto face with fingertips. Leave on 20 minutes,
then rinse with lukewarm water.

Wrinkle Minimizing Mask
Mix 1 tbsp honey with 30 ml of cabbage juice. Leave on 15 minutes and rinse well. Apply daily for keeping the wrinkles away.

Milk & Honey Bath
1/2 cup liquid honey
3 cups powdered milk
lavender buds (added for color and fragrance)

Combine the ingredients above in a large bowl and then transfer to a decorative glass bottle in your bathroom. Scoop out a luxurious amount of the milk bath and dissolve in a warm bath.

Honey Oatmeal Facial Mask (normal skin)
Put 1/2 cup oats and 1/2 cup honey in a blender and mix until it becomes a paste. To use, massage 2 tablespoons of the mixture on your face. Let the mixture sit on your face for a few minutes, then rinse well. It helps remove dead skin and leaves your face feeling refreshed and clean. Store in a jar with a tight lid and refrigerate. Microwave for 10 seconds before using the refrigerated mixture.

Just Peachy Facial Mask (all skin types)
1 medium peach
1 tablespoons honey
oatmeal

Cook peach until its soft, mash with a fork, add honey and oatmeal until its a thick consistency. Apply to skin. Let sit for 10 minutes, rinse well with cool water.

Banana Supreme Facial Mask (dry skin)
2 medium bananas
* honey optional

Mash bananas with a fork…dont over mash or it will be too runny. Add honey* if desired. Smooth over skin, let sit for 10 minutes, rinse off with cool water.

Oatmeal Mask (dry skin)
Try this make for smooth, moist, soft skin.

Ingredients:
Oatmeal (not instant)
Water

Mix the oatmeal with some water until gooey. Spread over your face. Leave on until it dries – will start to get cool. Rinse off with warm water.

Brown Sugar Scrubs
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 heaping tablespoons almond oil
few drops of honey
3 to 5 drops of your favorite essential oil

Or

1/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon jojoba oil
1 tablespoon almond oil
2 teaspoons honey
5-7 drops orange essential oil
dash of cinnamon

Mix ingredients thoroughly in a glass bowl. In the shower, gently scrub all over body.

Fruit Sugar Scrub
1/2 cup white sugar
3 Tbsp. coconut milk or oil
3 Tbsp. almond or jojoba oil
1/2 cup fresh papaya and guava

Mix sugar and coconut milk or oil with almond or jojoba oil. Puree fruit in a blender or food processor, stir into oil and sugar mixture. Exfoliate with dry brush or exfoliation gloves, rinse off in shower. Pat dry (skin should be damp) and apply mixture from feet to head in circular motions always towards the heart. Rinse with warm water, pat dry, and enjoy silky smooth, sweet-smelling skin!

Facial Mask to loosen blackheads: To loosen blackheads, combine equal parts baking soda and water in your hand and rub gently on your skin for 2 to 3 minutes. Rinse with warm water.

Preserving your products
Store your homemade products in sealed, air-tight jars. Anything which is perishable should by kept in the refrigerator. All other items should be stored in a cool, dark place. For items such as masks, creams, etc. consider making only small amounts on a weekly or bi-weekly basis in order to be sure that they don’t spoil.

 

Did You Know – Zelma Henderson, lone survivor of landmark case Brown v Board of Education Dies May 23, 2008

Filed under: Did You Know — Flickerchic @ 2:33 pm
Tags:


Being a black woman, I thought it was appropriate for me to bring attention to this. The Brown v Board of Education case made it possible for me, as well as other black people, to attend prominent schools and receive a quality education. Mrs. Henderson once stated, “I wanted my children to know all races like I did. It means a lot to a person’s outlook on life. No inferiority complex at all, that’s what I wanted for my children as far as race was concerned.” Well said, Mrs. Henderson. Many thanks to you and the other 12 parents who chose to be pioneers and take a stand against inequality. R.I.P.

Click the title to read the New York Times article.

Click this link to read more about the Brown v Board of Education case. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_v._Board_of_Education

 

Natural cleaning with Tea Tree Oil May 21, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Flickerchic @ 5:34 am
Tags: , ,

“Tea tree oil comes from the leaves of the plant Melaleuca Alternifolia and is native to Australia. With it’s antibacterial, antiviral, anti-fungal and antiseptic properties, tea tree oil makes a great all-natural household cleaner.”

All-Purpose Cleaner: Use 15 drops of tea tree oil to 1 quart of water in a spray bottle. Use on counter tops or for general cleaning.

Mold Killer: Combine 2 teaspoons of tea tree oil in 2 cups of water in a spray bottle. Shake to blend. Spray on mold and don’t rinse.

Laundry Disinfectant: Add one teaspoon of tea tree oil per load to disinfect laundry such as diapers or to prevent transmission of fungal infections.

Happy green cleaning!

Courtesy of Green Mom Finds

 

Be good to your skin – Skin Care Part 1 May 19, 2008

Filed under: It's All About Me,Skin Care — Flickerchic @ 4:52 am
Tags: ,

Our skin is the first line of defense against all types of weather. The harsh effects of wind and sun can cause the skin to look less than it’s natural best. Irritants and pollutants in the air also damage our skin. That’s why it’s important that we establish daily skin care rituals to counter these effects.

Skin care needs change as we get older. What you did for your skin in your 20s may no longer be effective in your 30s, so you may need to add or take away a few products from your routine. Skin care should be be just as personalized as the cosmetics you use. The basics of any skin care routine include cleansing, exfoliating, and moisturizing. Other procedures such as toning, chemical peels, and microderm abrasion may also be necessary for certain types of skin.

Below you will find some basic skin care tips to help you keep your skin looking its natural, radiant best during any kind of weather. It’s the only skin you have, so take care of it!

Daily Skin Care Regimen
* Cleanse your face morning and night. Avoid harsh rubbing as this will only irritate skin and won’t get it any cleaner.

* Rinse with lukewarm (not hot) water. Gently pat your skin with a clean towel. Don’t rub or dry vigorously as it will irritate skin.

* While skin is still slightly damp, apply moisturizing cream. Applying while damp helps trap moisture on your skin to keep it soft and smooth. Apply moisturizer in the morning and at night. During the day, be sure to use a moisturizer that has sunscreen – the higher the SPF the better.

* Don’t leave home without wearing your sunscreen — even if you’re going to be in the office all day. Protecting your skin from the sun is the best way to keep it healthy.

REMEMBER: Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily. Also, smoking is one of the quickest ways to age your skin.

 

What’s Cooking – Week of May 18th-24th May 18, 2008

Filed under: What's Cooking — Flickerchic @ 5:55 pm
Tags:

Our menu for the week. This week I’m cooking a special dessert. Everyone in my house loves Monkey Break. Click the link below if you’d like the recipe.

Sunday: Pork Chops, Mac n Cheese, green beans, rolls
Monday: Spaghetti Carbonara, salad
Tuesday: Sloppy Joes
Wednesday: Steaks, mashed potatoes, broccoli n cheese, carrots
Thursday: Grilled Cheeseburgers
Friday: Stroganoff Hamburger Helper, green beans, corn
Saturday: BBQ ribs, potato salad, baked beans

Dessert for the week: Homemade Monkey Bread (Click for recipe)

Grocery List:
ribs
ham
hamburger buns
milk
heavy whipping cream

 

Recipe of the Week – Monkey Bread

Filed under: Recipe of the Week — Flickerchic @ 5:34 pm
Tags:

Monkey Bread is a favorite in my house. I’m making this treat for my family this week decided to post it as well. So here’s a second Recipe of the Week. Make this yummy treat for your family this week too. It’s sure to be a hit!

(Note: In order to save time, substitute a store bought bread dough.)

Monkey Bread

Difficulty: Easy/Intermediate
Prep Time: approx. 2 1/2 hours (if making homemade dough); approx. 10 minutes if using store bought dough)
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Yield: approx. 6-8 servings

Ingredients

Dough
2 tbsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
3-4 cups all purpose flour

Topping
1/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup butter, melted

Dough
1. In a large mixing bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. (Think warm bath water, not hot.)

2. Melt the butter in a sauce pan. Add the milk and heat until just warm.

3. Pour the milk mixture in the bowl with the yeast. Add the eggs, salt, sugar, and wheat flour. Stir well.

4. Add the all purpose flour 1 cup at a time until you can form a ball.

5. Turn the dough out onto a flour surface and knead for 5 minutes.

6. Place the dough in a large, lightly greased bowl. Cover with plastic wrap or a damp cloth. Set in a warm, draft-free spot.

7. Once the dough has doubled in size (about 1 1/2 hours) punch it down.

Topping
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Mix the sugars and cinnamon in a medium sized bowl.

4. Melt the butter and pour it into a separate bowl.

4. Roll the dough out into a log shape – about 3 1/2 inches wide. Cut it into 1 inch pieces. Roll each piece into a ball. Dip it into the melted butter and then toss it the cinnamon-sugar mixture.

5. Place two layers of the balls into a greased, 10 inch tube or bundt pan. Cover the pan with plastic wrap or a damp cloth and let the dough rise until it has doubled in size (about 45 minutes).

6. Bake the bread about 25 minutes. Serve warm.