First up today is a shopping site I first heard about on The Browsers radio show on KSL. Nomorerack sells a wide variety of items at good and great prices. Some deals are better than others, but it's worth giving a look. They have iPads, computers, jewelry, home decor, bedding, clothes, shoes, luggage, and much more. I do wish their site was a little more user-friendly-- searches are especially annoying to navigate, because you can't narrow searches by category or anything else. Hopefully over time the site will improve useability.
Second is the children's book author that I think will replace Doctor Seuss as the best writer of entertaining books for early readers. Mo Willems has a brilliant sense of humor that comes through in his books, especially those that he also illustrates.
|From the award winning We Are in a Book!|
The third cool thing today is something that many people are already very excited about, but that I've only recently begun really using: Coconut oil. In the past, I bought and used one container of coconut oil in my cooking, and then decided it was so expensive, I might not be able to use it regularly. Then my sister sent me an email discussing all the ways she uses the stuff and how wonderful it is. I decided to give it another look. There are many ways to use coconut oil, but the kicker for me was this post about how good it is for dental health. My teeth aren't terrible, but I do get cavities in spite of being a faithful brusher/flosser and almost never drinking soda. And my husband has some gum disease issues, so I decided we could give coconut oil a try.
|from Food Matters|
- I use it in place of toothpaste every few days, and in addition to paste the other days.
- My husband has started working up to the 10-20 minute, 1 TBSP "oil pulling" that purportedly will help with his gums and overall oral health.
- I have been using a little once a week on my daughter's hair for dandruff control. She is in the pre-teen almost 12 age group and as such she has both oily and dandruffy hair. The coconut oil does seem to make a difference, though she has to shampoo twice to get it all out of her hair, and as shampoo isn't very good for hair, I'm not sure if it will be beneficial or not in the long run. We'll find out!
- I have begun putting about a TBSP of coconut oil in the pan when I cook an egg, instead of the canola oil cooking spray I normally use. I also used it when I made brownies last week, in place of canola oil, and they tasted just like normal to me.
- I have adult acne, and it used to be pretty bad, but a few years ago I found a solution that really works well. One of the steps is to mix jojoba oil with an oil-free moisturizer and use it generously on the face. I just ran out of jojoba oil (which is extremely expensive), and I have been putting a little bit of coconut oil with my moisturizer instead, and it seems to be even better. It has a melting point around 70 degrees, so I just put a little in my palm and squirt the moisturizer on top. As soon as my body heat melts the oil, I just mix it together with my fingers and apply it to my face and neck.
- Our favorite way to use it is to pop popcorn on the stove. It smells amazing and tastes almost as good as movie theater popcorn-- I'm not exaggerating! It's really good. We just use a normal pot on the stovetop, put in a couple of scoops of oil, and after it melts add enough popcorn to loosely cover the bottom. Add the lid and shake it as it pops, until the popping slows. Then, we dump it into a big bowl, sprinkle on popcorn salt and enjoy! (You can find measurements online, if you prefer to be more exact.) Because of the health benefits of coconut oil, this has become the only way we make popcorn. It's so yummy and not a greasy mess on the fingers, like home-popped and buttered corn. (For the record, I love butter and will continue to use it in much of my cooking and baking, but coconut oil sounds like a great healthy alternative for many recipes.)
So, how do you use coconut oil? And, if you've found a great place to buy it, share that information, too, please.