— whollyKao

01-whollyKao-deodorant A few weeks ago, I made deodorant. I’m not a hippie, but I also don’t like how store bought deodorant contains aluminum and other bad-for-you things in it. I am also someone that truly needs to wear some sort of underarm protection (just ask Jeff, who has a superhuman sense of smell).

I decided to try out one of the recipes on Wellness Mama’s blog. She’s got two recipes, and I used her second one because I had all the ingredients at home, minus the essential oil (I ended up buying a bottle at Whole Foods).

It was really easy to make the deodorant. The recipe says to mash all the ingredients together, but I ended up microwaving the coconut oil so that it would mix more easily with the powders. And at first I had wanted to store it in an old deodorant tube, but ended up storing it in a jar I had lying around (The coconut oil would have also leaked all over the place if I tried to pour it into the tube as a liquid!).

So you’re probably wondering how well it works, right? I’ve been using it for two weeks, and so far it has held up pretty good. I haven’t noticed any weird odors, and I’ve used it for yoga class (in an 85 degree room), a wedding where I wore a formal dress, and walking the dog in 75 degree weather. I can’t say I’ve noticed abnormal amounts of perspiration, but it’s hard to tell since it hasn’t been crazy hot yet. And it hasn’t stained my clothes either. I’m pretty curious to see how it will fare once the summer hits. I guess I’ll just have to see! And in the meantime, hopefully my body will adjust to using the homemade deodorant and will naturally produce less odors. I do know, though, that come summer, I will need to store this in the fridge so it doesn’t melt.

Has anyone else tried to make their own deodorant? How well has it worked for you?

And just a disclaimer: a lot of the reviewers on the Wellness Mama post talk about how their armpits broke out in a rash from using the deodorant (supposedly from the baking soda being irritating to the skin). I was scared I’d be one of those who would break out, but so far my skin has just been normal).

Natural Deodorant
recipe from Wellness Mama

Makes approximately 1/2 cup deodorant

• 6 T coconut oil
• 1/4 cup baking soda
• 1/4 cup cornstarch
• essential oils (I used 20+ drops of Jasmine oil)

Mix baking soda and cornstarch together in a medium sized bowl.
Mash in coconut oil with a fork until well mixed. (**I microwaved mine for 10 seconds at a time until it melted, and then mixed the oil with the baking soda, cornstarch and oil).
Add oils if desired.
Store in small glass jar or old deodorant container for easy use.

01-whollyKao_CrochetedtreeI’m on a crocheting kick. It’s funny, since last year I had no desire to knit or crochet. But this year, I have found myself making lots of mini Christmas trees. I had bought the pattern (and blogged about it!) back in 2011, and thought I’d share it again. We’ve been traveling a lot recently, and this is the perfect size project to take on the road. And each tree only takes an hour to make, which is great. Did I mention they make great little gifts?

The pattern is available for purchase on the Planet June website, and includes instructions on how to make a 5.5″ and a 2.5″ tree, as well as the decorative star that goes on top.

You’ve still got time before Christmas to make a few!

whollykao-furikakeChexMix This Thanksgiving, the dish that I ate the most of was not turkey, stuffing or sweet potatoes. It was furikake Chex mix. It was sweet and crunchy, with a hint of seaweed savory-ness that made it very addicting. My friend Grace made it, and she was kind enough to share her recipe. I made it for the first time this weekend, and thought I’d pass it along too.

Be aware this makes a LOT of Chex mix. Good for sharing. Bad for if you’re at home in front of the TV snacking.


Furikake Chex Mix
Makes approximately 10-12 cups

2 sticks of butter
3/4 cup Karo light corn syrup
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons soy sauce
1.5 bottles furikake rice seasoning*
1/2 box rice Chex
1/2 box Honeycombs cereal
1/2 bag pretzels
1/2 bag Bugle chips

*For those of you not familiar with furikake, it’s a seaweed seasoning that is sprinkled over rice, and typically contains seaweed and sesame seeds. You can find it at your local Asian store.*

1. Preheat oven to 250.

2. Melt butter in a small saucepan, then add the sugar. Stir until dissolved.

3. Add corn syrup, oil, and soy sauce to the butter mix and stir.

4. In a large bowl (or pot), mix together both cereals, pretzels, and Bugles. Spoon the butter mixture over the cereal mix, then sprinkle a generous shake of furikake seasoning. Toss well so that every piece is coated. Repeat this procedure until you have used all the butter mixture and furikake. If the cereal/pretzel/Bugle mixture seems too wet, you can add more dry ingredients to soak up some of the butter.

5. Once the cereal/pretzel/Bugle mixture is evenly coated, spread it out in a single layer on a sheet pan.

6. Bake at 250 for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Be careful to not let the mixture burn.

7. Cool mixture before serving. Enjoy!