Cassia and henna hair dye

I have used Rajastani Twilight Henna for years so I am switching to Rajastani Monsoon which is a lighter red, I will be mixing this with Cassia, which dyes hair a golden yellow color. My hair is already pretty dark so it wont make much of a difference. but I do have some pure white hair and ashy lighter colored roots, the length of my hair is a deep red.

It’s interesting that three ingredients can dye hair from blonde, red, brown to black if you know how to mix the colorants right and you hair doesn’t need to be lightened. And most of these natural dyes are good for your hair instead of damaging like chemical dyes, and in terms of red’s they do not fade like chemical dyes.

To prepare the dye I have mixed roughly 25 grams of henna powder and 75 grams of cassia powder together in a bowl. I have selected ordering from the Mehandi website but another site I would recommend by word of mouth would be The Henna Guy’s though I have not ordered from them directly. Not all henna is the same. The dye requires a mild acid so I have used the juice of two lemons by hand, and a little bit of water. When working with Henna never use your bare hands or metal implements, it is best to get some plastic gloves and to mix it by hand, mix thoroughly with the lemon juice and then add water to make it into a thick paste. You could do with just the juice of one lemon even. Alternately some chamomile tea or a little bit of vinegar can also do the job as well. Then let it sit for 12-24 hours. If it is in a warmer location it will release the dye faster, the summer time I cover it from the light and set it in the sun to gather warmth, in the winter I set it near the stove or near a heat source to gently absorb warmth. After it has sat I will add some luke warm water and mix it until you get a plaster or pancake batter type consistency. I prefer to leave it a little thick so it doesn’t drip. Apply to your hair and scalp until all hair is saturated, use a roll of plastic wrap to wrap your head then once everything wet is covered wrap your head up in a towel and keep it warm. After 4 hours rinse thoroughly and shampoo and condition your hair twice to get all of the dye out.

Cassia is a mild dye that will make pale hair look golden yellow. it is great for changing grey or white hair to blonde. Henna is a much more powerful dye that builds and darkens over time and with following applications. The combination of 3/4 cassia and 1/4 henna is a light red or strawberry blonde color. Because my hair is darker it may just tinge my ash color red and shift the color of my white hair to reddish blonde. Later on I plan on lightening the length of my hair as I get more grey’s so I am shifting my henna to a light more blonde color and will start doing more roots only treatments so I stop darkening the length.

These are my roots right before and after adding the dye. My natural hair is an ash toned color that just tends to look grey naturally in some light and my grey hairs come in pure white.

Henna will oxidize and darken slightly over a few days.



Dragon’s Blood Soap

This is a basic vegetable based soap, made of olive oil, palm oil, coconut oil, rice bran oil, cocoa butter and castor oil. I added 1 teaspoon of sea salt and sugar to the oil and I replaced half of the distilled water with coconut milk.

For the colorant I separated  the batter into three parts and blended in brick red oxide and activated charcoal, I used activated charcoal and some titanium dioxide for the grey.

I was looking for a thicker trace to do a drop swirl that wont instantly blend, plus alternating hangar swirls.

The scent is Dragon’s Blood, the resin from the dracena tropical plant.

Oat Bran Muffins

I don’t have time for breakfast in the morning so I started making these the night before, oatmeal in muffin form is a perfect heart healthy on the go breakfast.

Oat bran is usually sold with specialty flours or with the hot cereals in stores, I had to look twice to find it.

This is a well established recipe, I found it from AllRecipes to 10 other web sites and even on the package the oat bran were all the same recipe so I went with it.

I make half the recipe so that I have six standard size muffins, this last two days in my household so nothing is wasted and nothing goes bad. You can double the recipe for 12 muffins.

I like to change it up, I leave the lumps in the brown sugar so it gets gooey sugar pockets, I add different dried fruit and I add different flavors of yogurt. In the pictures I used  cinnamon, dried blueberries and Peach Almond milk yogurt which added peach chunks to my muffins. I like to use dried fruit if it’s available, You get all the flavor but not a soggy pocket in the muffin from water content evaporation. So check out the dried fruit section, I like to go to the bulk bins in the market instead of prepackaged for this. Add apple sauce, add chocolate chips, coconut flakes, add banana or maple syrup, add everything all at once! I like it because of the versatility.

Here is the base recipe before being dressed up, add things like cinnamon or cocoa powder in at 1 teaspoon. And add the fruit berries and nuts as thick or thin as suits your taste.



3/4 cup flour

3/4 cup oat bran

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 egg

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup yogurt


In a bowl mix oat bran, flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and any dry additives of your choice.  Stir and then add Egg, oil, and yogurt. Mix until combined and add any remaining additives. Scoop evenly between 6 baking cup liners and let stand for 10 minutes before placing into the oven.

Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes.


Blueberry Peach

Apple Cinnamon

Cranberry Dark Chocolate

Cardamom spice with chocolate chips and pecans


Aerogarden Salad

Aerogarden grow: Red Sails Lettuce, Cilantro, Genovese Basil, Dill, Curly Parsley and Chervil. Everything is doing well except for dill which has had a slow start.

I can make my own salad now. I put off trying any of the lettuce so red sails is my first salad green, I am really enjoying it. Lettuce will probably become more common in my grows for a while.

Second aerogarden: two more types of lettuce and mini tomato. The tomato keeps producing, I just change out to new lettuce pods when it bolts.

Pine Tar Soap Recipe

Pine tar is made from placing pine in a kiln and heating it until it becomes charcoal and pine tar, which drips down from the wood and is caught in a container.

Pine tar has been used for centuries for sealing wood, protecting rope from sea water, for bug bites and skin problems such as eczema and psoriasis. Despite advances in modern medicine pine tar soap is still around and people with skin conditions still use it. As to if they are being old-timey or it’s still relevant in comparison I cannot say. It does however make a uniquely wonderful soap.

A caution however, when wood burns it releases creosote which is a carcinogen, most pine tar contains some creosote. But you also have to consider other interactions you may have with creosote for perspective, when you eat BBQ for instance, or use liquid smoke on your food, you are ingesting creosote. There is creosote free pine tar for those who wish to eliminate creosote though it can occasionally be hard to find closed kiln pine tar.

I has a very strong scent you will not be able to mask with a fragrance oil. It smells a bit like pine, rubber and smoke. Some fragrances that can work well with it are peppermint, patchouli, rosemary, cedar wood, tea tree and fir needle. You can also leave it unscented, eventually the pine tar scent will mellow. I choose to scent mine with Siberian Fir needle essential oil, it smells like pine trees and camp fire with a hint of kerosene.

There are several methods to adding the pine tar, it is recommended you add it to your oils before you add the lye water. Then blend it to thin trace and pour immediately. You can also add it just after emulsification at the thinnest trace but you should use a whisk once it has been added because it will thicken incredibly fast. Pour it as soon as you have it mixed well or it will solidify and you will be scooping and squishing it into your mold. If you add your pine tar at emulsification and whisk you should give yourself no more than 60 seconds from the addition of the pine tar before pouring, the faster the better.

This soap will be a bit soft in terms of unmolding. I let mine sit for a bit longer than usual before unmolding and cutting. I added extra water to this recipe to help with how fast it was going to thicken. I am planning on it taking 3-6 months for a full cure before this soap will be at it’s best.


317 g olive oil

272 g lard

91 g coconut oil

91 g palm oil

136 g pine tar

365 g distilled water

111 g sodium hydroxide