31 March 2013

20 pounds down

In reality, I lost five pounds this month. I worked out for two months and dropped 25 pounds then gained back ten pounds, unfortunately. But I started back again on March 04, 2013 and as of March 23, 2013 I lost 50% of that weight I gained back. WOOOHOOO! That's the update on my weight loss so far. I am also back to eating clean again but still have a few cheat meals. Yes, there are times when I will binge but since eating clean again, my body will shut down if I eat crap.

I struggle from time to time then I have days when I feel like I just murdered a giant (meaning my elliptical machine at home). But most days are good :)

Review: Hempz Original Lotion

It has been over two weeks since I received this baby and I am more than happy with it! My opinion is not influenced and results/experience will differ.

My skin type: Normal
Skin color: Slight tanned

Texture: Not too watery but not thick.
Scent: Not strong but has a very light flower fragrance.
Price: Fair ($60 Free shipping from Ebay)
Review: This is a gallon bottle that includes a pump for it. It is best used, like other lotions, to apply after shower. 1 full pump or an ounce will cover your body from head to toe. It is just the right texture where it does not feel like it is just sitting on top of your skin. It's not sticky so when you sweat, you do not see streak or feel "oily or greasy". It moisturizes very well and will last full 24 hours. It works much like Olay body lotion without the shimmers, thick texture, and greasy feeling. Great for men and women (I mean come on, my boyfriend loves this thing.) The only con about this is that it comes in a plastic container but it beats having to buy 5-10 tiny plastic bottles every year. You can always clean up the bottle, remove the sticker, and reuse the bottle for pumped soap, etc.

26 March 2013


My household (meaning my boyfriend, the house, the dogs, and myself) are trying to go natural from cooking, containers, cleaning, and hygienes (my favorite so far). Please excuse the plastic Target spray bottle, I could not find a glass version and the one I found online were cheap BUT shipping to Hawaii was crazy for a tiny $2 bottle. 

  1. Spectrum organic coconut oil 
  2. Mixture of castile soap (unscented baby mild)
  3. Sugar scrub
  4. ACV hair rinse
I have been using the coconut oil for about a week now and yes, it is almost half way. I bought it for the purpose of using a long lasting face moisturizer at night but after coming home, I researched about it and read that it can be used as a mouthwash (I do oil pulling every night now), day and night moisturizer, great for dog's hair (I add a tablespoon daily for two of my hair pomeranians), and hair moisturizer (I need to give it a week before I can say I 'like' it).

I made my first batch of anything castile yesterday and it was my first time trying out my own recipe as well. The amount for each ingredients might differ for each individual that will suit your hair type. I have a cross between thin and thick hair, black but oddly growing reddish brown hair for the past year, and it is straight. If you want to give it a try, here is the recipe I used. Modify the amount depending how many fluid ounce your container has. My bottle was 16 fl. oz.
  1. 1-2 T. Fresh rosemary (It says fresh is for gray hair and dried is for black hair. I wanted it to be REALLY natural and organic so I went with the fresh one.)
  2. 1/2 T. grapeseed oil
  3. 1/2 T. vitamin E oil or 1 capsule (poke with a pin and squeeze out)
  4. 3/4 cup unscented castile soap baby mild
  • Add rosemary sprig and water (I added 3 cups), bring to a boil. Bring heat to low, cover, and let simmer for 30 minutes. 
  • Remove sprig and strain out the rest of the rosemary. Let it cool.  
  • Depending on your bottle capacity, pour rosemary water in your bottle. I put 1 cup rosemary water into my container. 
  • Pour castile in a bowl, add the rest of your ingredients, pour in bottle container. 
You are done! Easy enough right? You can also substitute the rosemary with simple water but I wanted to bring extra darkness to my hair and to promote hair growth. This is a 2 or 3 in one bottle for me. I used it as my shampoo, body wash, and face wash last night and I love it! So did my boyfriend so it is a winner at the moment. I will give it a one-week full trial before I can say anything else on it. 

Third item is my ACV hair since, I purchase the Bragger organic Apple Cider VInegar. I used the 1:1 ratio ACV and water. This is also a 2 in 1 bottle for me as a hair rinse and face toner but I will make a different batch for my face toner of 1:2 ACV to water because it is a little strong. 

The last recipe is our favorite body scrub. Although it can be used for the entire body, we like to concentrate on our soles every night. It is plain ol' white sugar with a few this and that. 
Recipes: (Feel free to modify depending on your container)
  1. 12 T. white sugar
  2. 1 T. cinnamon ground (optional)
  3. 1 T. grapeseed oil
  4. 1 tsp. vanilla extract (optional or use other scent)
  5. 1/4 cup Lemongrass liquid soap (I am trying to finish my last bottle, I am sure you may use castile soap).
  • Mix everything in a bowl until it gets a little runny but still thick enough to spread. 
  • Pour into glass jar and viola!

Bonus on my new hygiene items, I hand knitted a small hemp loofah our of my leftover beading rustic hemp twine (I will buy a hemp yarn once I use it all up) as a face scrubber. I also made another two for me and my boyfriend to use in the shower. Ditch those synthetic body loofah!

25 March 2013


I am contemplating if I should really devote this blog into my new journey into going almost no plastic household? I am having a blast switching to natural and organic goods, and so is my boyfriend. hmmmm???


I came home to the cutest thing today, more than than the vintage cooper. 


Our bathroom suffers but not as much as our eyes. But to renovate this entire bathroom will mean that our wallet will suffer big time. We do not own the house since we are only living at the other half of my in-laws 9 bedroom home. We are allowed to do renovations but I mean, we are not living here forever so why waste money? We can however afford to do a little to make the place clean looking and fresh atmosphere. Here, we decided to literally yank out the medicine cabinet three fold mirrors (by the way, all the endless mismatching tiles and colors in this house was the previous owners "wrong doing"), repainted the sink bottom drawer, attached knobs, added $5 window blinds, and replaced a $10 project DIY mirror. I will make a separate post on the mirror as well as the shower area. I found a brand new Behr white paint in the mother-in-law's storage outback and thought it was the same eggshell Behr in our master bedroom and I wanted to repaint the dirty spots and holes on them. Turns out, it was 2 shades lighter and decided to paint the entire room (it was unplanned). We decided to use some of the leftover paint and started attacking the bathroom sink and anything else that would look good white (everything became white but I had enough self-control to not paint my dogs lol). 

We are almost done with the bathroom but I feel like it is never ending trying to get it done-done! It always seems a mess to me but then again I guess I am just a little OCD and my definition of clean is different from those who don't see it MY way ;]

Hawaii 2013 Auto Show

Is it not the cutest thing you have ever seen? I don't really care for car show, let alone interest in cars I mean unless we were talking about a brand new car for me then yes we will talk. But if it is just to sit in the shade for people to awe over it, no thanks. But I wanted to go out to check out my brother in law's car that he entered into the show plus a free pass to check out the brand new autos so why not. It is a shame that this little guy was tucked away in the corner. Yes, it had some oil leak on the bottom, some wires were sticking out the front light but really? It is freaking awesome I mean I would drive this car around! Just a few work, more wax, and more cleaning I would be caught in a Chanel purchase, JC Litas, and a messy hair bun in this bad boy ;)

Slow & Steady switching

I have been making the "switch" this entire month.... errr slowly anyway. The first thing that I decided to bring into our home is organic spectrum coconut oil from Wal-Mart. I ran out of my Olay night cream that usually last me about six months. It cost about $25 so that is a total of $50 a year on night cream alone. After learning that my holy grail of a brand is a participant of testing on animals, I had to say no bueno to purchasing another one. I read about organic coconut oil being used as moisturizer, mouth wash, etc. so I figured why not?! I purchased a 14 fl. oz Spectrum coconut oil from Wal-Mart for $7.50 in the oil aisle and it has been about a week since I purchased it and..... I LOVE IT!

I recently researched about the other uses of coconut oil and the result was abundant. Someone mentioned that you cannot state certain information for coconut oil (which I find a complete weird thing) but I will state just what I use it for.

  • Oil pulling (will post a separate post on this later)
  • Tablespoon serving for my dogs meal once a day for shiny coat (specially since they are pomeranians)
  • Face moisturizer (day and night)
  • Hair tip moisturizer (alternating with my leftover Chi silk infusion)
These are my current uses for my organic coconut oil but I cannot wait until I make my own deodorant and eye cream. 

Other switches made:
  1. Ditched my favorite Olay body lotion for a gallon of Hempz original lotion (I will right a review soon). Switching our lotion means less tiny bottles, economical, organic, eco-friendly, and cheaper. 
  2. Replaced synthetic body loofah for 100% hemp washcloth scrubber that I knitted myself. I used my leftover beading hemp twine (rustic) from a year ago and it does the job better than the $2 plastic loofahs at the store. It is rough enough to get the job done but gentle enough to not hurt. It is still in the testing zone so I will not write a full review just yet. 
  3. Dryer balls instead of store bought dryer sheets. 
  4. No more store bought foot scrubber. I make batches weekly for our daily use in the shower. 
So far, these are the small adjustments we have made in our household but are progressing with other things. I will share other switches we have made. I am happy to announce my boyfriend is being so kind to let me use him as my little lab rat to try out DIY castile soap recipes. 

16 March 2013

Homestyle Yakiniku

It was an ultimate money saving cheat day today. Peppers, jalapenos, and okra all grown locally at the family farm. They were fresh from the farm this evening and handpicked :D. 
I worked extremely hard with my workout and clean eating that a cheat day was well deserved. Remember that previous post I wrote on the jalapenos? Yes, these are the meat minus the cow tongue since I was not up for cleaning, freezing, and thinly slicing them LOL. Indoor grilling with my griddle/grill for the first time AND it was my first time ever grilling anything on my own. The boyfriend high five me on that. 

Organic jalapenos

My father-in-law has a huge farm that caters to our family only (I know, selfish in a good way) but his jalapeno plant bear a ton this month. They are very crispy, clean, very spicy, and organic. We had so much jalapenos that I had to add jalapenos in almost all of my cooking this week. What do you eat with yours? I love mines with grilled meat especially cow tongue, briskets, and pork belly :D.

Wood louvers DIY update

My current floor at the moment consist of wood glue and a bunch of wooden louvers. I went a little crazy and grabbed a few more at my local Re-use Hawaii warehouse for their March Madness free louvers. I am in the middle of making a bunch wood crates for my computer desk storage, under sink, and hallway closet storage. This process takes about three days as I am not using any screws or nails and only wood glue. It takes 24 hours for the glue to set in and I am on my second day. It depends how many walls my crates has that determines how long the project will take. This one will be about four days. By tomorrow, I will be putting all the pieces together and by Sunday (hopefully), I will be using them. It sucks I have to wait for payday to come so I can purchase some paint. 

12 March 2013

Mung beans & sesbania flower

Sesbania flower or corkwood flower (sabung ti katuday in Filipino) is highly known and consumed in the Philippines. They come in various colors but to a Filipino culture, the white one is known the most. I grew up with a bunch of these growing in our backyard, eating it as a salad with tomatoes or with mung beans (refer to second picture). Sesbania flower is very low in calories and tasty, with only 8 calories in one ounce of it raw. I have inherited (or self-taught) how to prepare this flower:

Sesbania flower salad:
  • 2 cups sesbania flowers
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 large tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon fish sauce (or Filipino buggoong)
  1. Heat pan to medium heat.
  2. To clean sesbania, split open and remove the nectar and stem. Rinse.
  3. Add sesbania in the pan and add pinch of salt. 
  4. Cover and cook until it wilts. 
  5. Remove and place on a plate. 
  6. Cut tomatoes and fish sauce. Mix and serve
Sesbania flower with mung beans:
  • 1 cup dry mung beans (soak over night or at least 8 hours.)
  • 2 cups sesbania flower. Cleaned.
  • 2 gloves garlic
  • 1 Tablespoon fish sauce (or buggoong)
  • pinch salt 
  1. Boil mung beans until it is soft. (It cooks faster if  you soak them overnight or at least 8 hours)
  2. Add garlic and fish sauce.
  3. When beans are cooked, add sesbania flower and cover. Bring heat to low medium. 
  4. Cover until flowers wilt. Stir and serve. 

10 March 2013

Upcycle wood louvers

I don't know whether this post will be dedicated to a free item, a DIY, the company Re-use Hawaii, or why I collected trash. Either way, it is a green living DIY and it is a bonus that it was for free. I started with shopping at thrift stores to have one of a kind clothes to save money and moved up to saving the  environment by buying secondhand goods. I did not want to stop there because my boyfriend and I love to do DIY to our little place. I actually stumbled upon Re-use Hawaii when I was doing my regular Free Category on Craigslist scouting for any good items I can do a good DIY on. I seen a bunch of free sink, cabinets, and woods. The post had a website and I decided to Yelp it. To my surprise it is a whole warehouse filled with cheap, upcycle potential items. 

The next day, my boyfriend and I wanted to check it out with only $20 in cash. The warehouse was not huge but their lot were filled with woods, planks, tiles, slabs of countertops, and plywoods. It was a cheap Home Depot galore for us. Coming from me, I do not like going into a hardware store or have interest walking around for 10 minutes. We found their free items that were posted on their add, grabbed a few woods for a kitchen dining table DIY, bought a few hooks for my bags to hang, grabbed three wooden doors for a DIY cabinet, and then there was this pile of weird chip of woods: WOOD LOUVERS. I knew nothing about it until yesterday, they are the wood from wood blinds or bi-folds. Pounds after pounds of them in a wooden bin. It was dusty and we were both wearing white shirts not knowing we were about to get a little dirty. Started grabbing a bunch and putting it into our cart. On our way out, we purchased another 2 long 2" X 4" for some wood crate for the farm. After 3 hours of walking around the store, we checked out with a truck load of wood scraps for $7.25!!! Majority of our "purchase" were the FREE GOODIES! Think of it as the ultimate Goodwill of hardware stores. 

These wood louvers are perfect for small projects since they are already precut for you and are the same length as the rest of the pieces. 

  • Wood vegetable crate
  • Wood crate for computer desk (jar holders)
  • Keyboard and laptop table
I am in the process of working on the computer desk wood crate at the moment so I will be posting it shortly once I have dust it off and repainted it. Got any ideas what else to make with wood louvers? Let us know. 

The warehouse is closed today and I am planning to hit the place up again tomorrow to grab a few more of the louvers and their jalousies :D

Red Thai curry mussels

I love seafood just as much as the next person and second to my love for red curry or just Thai food in general. I am still in the process of learning more Thai recipes as well as Vietnamese but I am slowly getting there. But if not, I am stuck from getting there because I am so in love with red curry mussels recipe. By the way, this was last night's dinner. It was not my intention to cook this meal last night but my father in law gave a bunch of organic jalapeno and I wanted to eat them with something soupy, crunchy, and gooey (in the word of Andrew Zimmern). So I decided to pick up a few of my mother's organic Thai basil plant at her house, made use of my purchase of bulk coconut milk, my left over Thai red curry paste, and some mussels laying in my fridge. 

Ingredients: (Feel free to change the amount to your liking)
  • 1 pound frozen or fresh mussels. 
  • 1 can of Chaokoh coconut milk
  • 1 cup fresh thai basil
  • 1/2 cup fresh jalapeno optional
  • 3 Tablespoon Thai red curry paste
  • 1 fresh lime optional
  1. Rinse and scrub your mussels. Drain out leftover juices. 
  2. Heat wok and add curry paste. Stir to dissolve. 
  3. Add entire can of coconut milk and jalapenos. Bring to a boil.
  4. Add in mussels, stir and let it simmer for 10 minutes or until mussels are cooked. 
  5. Add thai basil 5 minutes before turning off heat. 
  6. Add lime juice and stir. 
  7. Serve with hot jasmine rice or with toasted bread. 

Loofah Squash

I grew up in a super Filipino cooking family and we ate loofah (kabatiti in Filipino) at least once a week. I did not care for it UNTIL I had to learn to eat healthy and cook for my own household. That sums the reason behind my love for it, I guess.

Loofah or luffa, lufa, patola, kabatiti, or loofah squash carries many health benefits plus very low in calories. It is commonly grown and used in Africa and Asia. Some of the health benefits includes:

  • Unripe loofah is a good source of calcium, iron, and excellent source of phosphorus, and fair amount of vitamin B. 
  • Oil produced from the seeds can help cure irritant skin.
Click here for a list of the many benefits of this awesome vegetable. 

The most common recipes I found online is to stir fry it with different vegetables and add a few salt. But growing up to endless meal with this vegetable, I have picked up a few from my own mother and grandmother. 

Loofah & Pumpkin:
Ingredients - 
  • 3 cups loofah
  • 2 cups pumpkin
  • 1 cup yellow onion
  • 2 clove garlic
  • fish sauce (patis)
  • salt and pepper for taste
Direction - 
  1. Peel and cut loofah in circles and pumpkin into cubes.
  2. Heat pan to medium.
  3. Saute garlic and onion with a tablespoon cooking oil. 
  4. Saute for about 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add pumpkin and loofah, add 1/2 cup water.
  6. Cover and let simmer for about 15-20 minutes.
  7. Add water as needed. Add fish sauce, salt, and pepper to taste. 
  8. Serve over hot rice. 
Loofah & Pork:
Ingredients - 
  • 1/2 pound pork belly 
  • 1 cup tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion
  • 2 gloves garlic
  • salt and pepper for taste
  1. Heat pan to medium.
  2. Cut loofah. Cut pork into small cubes about 1/2".
  3. Saute onion, garlic, tomatoes, and pork. 
  4. Add 1 cup water, cover and let simmer.
  5. Cook until pork is cooked through (brown in color with clear juices).
  6. Add loofah, salt, and pepper. Cover and let simmer for 5-10 minutes until loofah is cooked.
  7. Serve on hot rice. 
There are many ways you can cook loofah and even as a vegan meal. Cook loofah by itself with onion, garlic, salt, pepper, and tomatoes. It is a fast meal, filling, and low in calories. You can fill yourself up with 3 cups of loofah and only consume about 50-100 calories with other vegetable ingredients. 

06 March 2013

Look at what came in the mail for me today! Now my skin can get high and be care-free O__o. It does not get you high but I have read hundreds of positive reviews on how well it works, smells good etc. I got a little giddy when I received it so I decided to try it out from the bottle cap. We are going to be best friends my little gallon pot lotion. 

  1. It smells divine but not so over powering. Very mild and calming smell. 
  2. Not too thick, not too watery. 
  3. Goes on smooth. 
  4. It does not make you feel greasy. 
My full review will be given once I give it a week trial because I have been getting a little dry on my hands so we will see how that works. If you want to try, purchase one here -  Hempz Herbal Moisturizer (Google Affiliate Ad)

02 March 2013

Mood board: Kitchen Zone

Crate and Barrel Inspiration 

Mood Board: Computer Zone

I am in the process of finishing up my computer area meaning the wall to hide the ugly unused outlets, unpainted desk, and mess everywhere. My current mood board to inspire me tonight. *Yawn*. Purchase some cake stand here Cake Stand with Nonslip Pad - White (Google Affiliate Ad) 

Baby Steps

I finally started with the baby step by making the decision to finish the rest of my "no-no" items at home and purchased a gallon of Hempz original lotion. Give it a try here before purchasing a gallon for yourself. Hempz Herbal Moisturizer (Google Affiliate Ad) I will provide a review once I use it for at least two months, maybe? I have normal skin but all the cleaning and washing I do nowadays, my hands became extremely dry eeeeek. 

I have decided to number the items on here to show which I am planning to tackle first or will TRY to go in order. I have a feeling the toothbrush will come 4th just because I am so excited about the panda on it :). 

My second step requires getting rid of all my clorox wipes, dishwashing soap, hand soap, and shampoo and completely converting to the holy grail - Castile soap in baby mild. Purchase yours here Organic Castile Liquid Soap Baby Mild - 1 gal (Google Affiliate Ad) , you cannot go wrong with a multi-purpose gallon of goodness. Check out this site 12 uses of Castile soap to get some ideas. 

Third step, I have tried going vegan a few years ago and lasted about a month or two but was suckered in by chicken (I believe it was), what a fail. But this time around, I hope it will be easier since my boyfriend is on board by trying it out with me. We are planning to start with level one: pescatarian which is pretty much someone who abstain from meat with the exception of fish. I am sure we will try to slowly move away from level one and onto the next etc. I want to remove poultry, beef, and pork out of our diet as well as any animal products. Slowly but surely is the key guys. 

Fourth step, we have a few of our soap at home still and will try to go through it at least by the end of the year or so. We are on a budget so we want to use what we have at the moment and slowly progress to the certified all natural bar soap. Try this out Bar Soap Olive & Chamomile - 8 oz (Google Affiliate Ad) and see how it works for you. When you are ready, purchase bulk for $1.80 a piece here as I will start as soon as possible. 

The last baby step is removing our habit of using plastic toothbrush. The environmental toothbrush can be purchased by the dozen here and bonus on the cute panda :)

I am sure I will update with new stepping stone so keep on the look out for it. If you use or have tried any of the products I posted, please do let me know how they work for you.