Thursday, October 31, 2013

Just Read This Can't Believe it!- Animals can be giant jerks

October 22, 2013 | by Anonymous
photo credit: Joe Robertson
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Humanity has a tendency to romanticize the rest of the natural world. We humans aren't so great - we destroy natural resources, harm the environment, and all around act like jerks. But the rest of nature? Oh no. Other animals are noble and kind. We should learn from them. Right? Right?
Wrong. Animals can be GIANT JERKS. Even those traditionally seen as completely adorable. And here's just some of the messed up things that the jerkiest of them have been known to do.
Sea otters are awful. You've probably seen the image macros floating around Facebook, exclaiming over how they hold hands while they sleep to make sure they don't drift apart. Well, that true. But then, they also rape baby seals. As it turns out, sea otters are some of the biggest sickos of the animal kingdom. 
It takes a lot of resources to feed an otter - they need to eat approximately 25% of their body weight every single day. When food is in short supply things can get ugly. Some males will hold otter pups hostage until the mother pays a ransom of food to the male. 
But they don't just kidnap babies. Sea otters also rape baby seals to deathMale otters will find a juvenile harbor seal and mount it, as if he were mating with a female otter. Unfortunately, part of the mating process involves holding the female’s head under water which ultimately kills the seal pups (and over 10% of female otters). For over an hour and a half, the male otter will hold the seal pup in this position, raping it until it is dead. Sometimes when the seal pup dies, it is just let go and the otter will begin to groom itself. Some otters, however, will hang on to the dead pup and continue to rape its dead and decaying corpse for up to a week later. 
Sea otters aren't even the scariest otters, believe it or not. In South America 6-foot long river otters still exist. And they hunt in packs.
Bottlenose dolphins
Not DOLPHINS. Dolphins are adorable, right? The friendliest of all sea animals. Wrong. Dolphins are total jerks. Sure, they are incredibly intelligent, always look like they’re smiling, and rescue the occasional stranded swimmer -  but that doesn’t excuse the fact that they kill for fun and like otters, enjoy a spot of rape from time to time.
A couple years ago a porpoise washed up on the shore in California that was badly beaten and bruised, with several broken bones. Several more similar sightings were made over the next two years and the injuries sustained by the porpoises was indicative of an attack by bottlenose dolphins. Two dolphins were witnessed ganging up on a porpoise. It was sandwiched between them and unable to escape as they threw it in the air and pummeled it repeatedly. The motivation behind the porpicide is unknown. Dolphins and porpoises do not compete for food or territory, and porpoises do not pose a threat to dolphins. It really appears that the dolphins do it for fun.
While it isn’t a widely held view, some believe that dolphins kill porpoises to practice killing baby dolphins. Seriously. Dolphins are yet another animal that routinely practices infanticide as a means of driving a female back into estrus. This is fairly common in the animal kingdom by the way - it's been spotted in lions, meerkats, langurs  and many more.
And then there's the rape. Sexual coercion isn't exactly unusual in the animal kingdom, but dolphins take it to the extreme. Dolphin males will form gangs, kidnap a female and then take turns raping her. What happens if there are no females around? Well, they don't turn to seals like the otters do ... they just rape a male instead.
Adélie penguins
"Noooo" I hear you say. Not the penguins! Penguins are adorable! They look like little people in suits, and they waddle and have several children's films made about how sweet they are!
Sorry. Penguins are assholes.
Naturalist George Levick ventured to the South Pole with the 1910-1913 Scott Antarctic Expedition. His report on the sexual behaviors of these penguins was deemed too extreme for publication and was hidden for one hundred years. According to Douglas Russel who analyzed his work in 2012, "The pamphlet, declined for publication with the official Scott expedition reports, commented on the frequency of sexual activity, auto-erotic behavior, and seemingly aberrant behavior of young unpaired males and females, including necrophilia, sexual coercian, sexual and physical abuse of chicks and homosexual behavior." You can read the entire pamphlet here.
Margays, which are sometimes known as tree ocelots, are nocturnal cats from southern Mexico down to South America. 
Their method is particularly horrible because of how it exploits the good nature of the prey. It has been discovered in recent years that margays hunt by mimicking the sound of a baby monkey in distress. Seriously. Although scientists have described the imitation as not being very good, it seems to be fairly effective.
The margay hides and then makes a screeching sound that sounds like a baby tamarin that has been injured. An adult tamarin, desperately seeking to rescue the youngster, is then eaten by the margay. No good deed goes unpunished, especially out in the wild. But hey, at least it's not more rape - right?
Chimpanzees are our closest cousins, so maybe it isn’t too much of a surprise that they would be included in this list. That said, chimps regularly engage in behavior that just doesn’t fly in human societies. Infanticide certainly isn’t uncommon and has already been mentioned a time or two in this list. Male chimps who wish to drive a female into estrus don’t just kill her baby, but will dismember it and eat it right in front of her. What’s worse is that female chimps have been observed doing the exact same thing to other females, though the motives for this are not as well understood. 

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The Times they are a-changing

I've seen this picture on my Facebook profile for about three weeks now. I shared it a couple of times and then I got to really thinking about the message...

"I pretend to like people everyday. It's called being an adult and THAT is why we are allowed to buy alcohol"

I started thinking.....

Is that TRUE?

Then I thought about how many times a day I pretend to be interested in what someone says, or what they are doing, or anything just to be polite so that I do not hurt their feelings or any of the things you are not allowed to do these days because it is seen as politically incorrect. 

I have to the days before Facebook, and cell phones, and all this constant keeping in touch....did we really care about whether or not people liked us? Did we care about not hurting someone's feelings? Or did we say what we mean and mean what we say and at the end of the day if someone didn't like us oh well?

People (myself included) seem to have this urgent desire to be liked....we want you to like us and we will do whatever we have to in some cases to make sure that you do. 

Well you know what.... I don't care.....

Like me or don't your opinion doesn't matter.....I will not let you liking me or not liking me define me....

I am me....

And I don't get a rats bottom if you like me or not....

(Except for you over there in the green shirt....I want you to like me)

Thursday, October 17, 2013

10 Herbs that Heal

Tricks of the Trade (3) - Using Tea as a Natural Hair Dye!

Tricks of the Trade (3) - Using Tea as a Natural Hair Dye! From the lovely-

Tricks of the Trade is a regular feature here at Holistic Chick where I showcase a simple, natural item that can commonly be found in the home and how it can be used to make your life more simple...and more green. It spotlights helpful tips involving cleaning, beauty & body care.

This week I'm featuring a natural alternative to dying your hair, without the use of harsh chemicals & odors using: tea! Yes, you can dye your hair using tea!  There is a perfect tea for your hair colour too regardless of if you're blonde, red-headed OR brunette!  Not only is dying your hair with tea a natural alternative to chemical dyes, but this actually makes your hair look & feel better.   If you're like me and deal with chemical sensitivities, allergies, migraines...or you just want to use more natural products well listen up cause this post is for you.
I'll get into the specifics for each hair color in a second but first some general guidelines:

Various Teas
  • Usually the amount of tea you need is between 3-5 teabags or roughly the equivalent in loose leaf tea.
  • You will be brewing the tea much stronger than you would for drinking.  You may end up with about a cup's worth of liquid but it will be concentrated. Tea has natural staining properties and it's richly colored anti-oxidants are perfect for adding some colour & shine to your hair!
  • You won't be able to turn your dark hair blonde or make your blonde locks brunette - tea works with your natural colouring.
  • Grey coverage tip -equal parts of tea AND fresh -OR- dried sage brewed together will help cover any grey hair because sage helps to open up the hair follicles and allows for better colour retention.
  • ALLOW MIXTURE TO COOL before pouring it on your head guys.  Just sayin' >.<
  • A good tip is to use a new hair-dye applicator handy or a clean empty plastic squeeze bottle for application, though in a pinch you can pour it liberally while standing in the shower or with your head tipped over the sink.
  • The longer you can leave the 'dye' on your hair the better.  So plan at least an hour but for really resistant grey, you may have to leave it on longer.  Since tea is natural, some people leave it on the head to dry (even overnight) and rinse out later in the day or the next morning.  Everyone is different so if after trying the mixture for one hour, the tone is too subtle -  or you still see some greys poking out, try leaving the mixture on longer next time!
  • Rinse with cool water and style as usual.
So, here are the specific tea-flavor you need for your specific colouring:

Black tea is ideal for brunettes (black hair is in this category too) and being a brunette this is the one I've tried.  It's easy & effective.  All you need is about 3 tea bags or the equivalent in loose leaf tea.  You'll need about 2 cups of water and bring the whole mixture to a boil.  Allow to boil for 3-5 minutes then let it cool. Apply to hair and let sit for about 1 hour (or more) before rinsing it out

Though my technique varies a bit, here's a great step by step link for dyeing hair with black tea:

Chamomile is the tea you want to use if you're blonde  - all you'll need is 1 cup of chamomile tea or loose flowers & 2 cups of water!  This one needs to boil 30 minutesthough to get all the active ingredients working. After the initial preparation just allow mixture to cool & apply to your hair in the shower after shampoo.  Leave on for at least 1 hour & rinse out.

 Blondes: visit this great post for a great step-by-step guide for how-to:
She also has tips for making a chamomile highlighting shampoo & conditioner!

And for redheads?!  You guessed it: red or rooibos tea is the tea you want to use!  This technique only requires about 2-3 teabags worth of rooibos tea depending on hair length.  Boil 5- 10 minutes & let cool before applying.  Leave on hair for at least 30 minutes or up to one hour then rinse & style as usual.

 Redheads: this link features an step by step how-to guide for dyeing your hair with rooibos tea

**Regardless of what tea/colour you're after - keep in mind that the more tea you use, the more intense the results will be BUT remember that this is natural and will give out natural looking resultsYou can NOT completely change your hair colour with tea - if a blonde used black tea, all it would do is make her hair darker blonde  The results are subtle so don't be afraid to try it out and from there you can see by the results if you need a stronger mixture or to leave it on longer next time!  If it's not noticeable enough, you can easily try again the next day - because it's just tea and won't fry or damage your hair!**

...And people wonder why I love tea as much as I do ♥ 
It really does a body good, both inside & out!!

*For a ton of additional beauty tricks AND health tips using tea, visit my follow up post: here *

Have you ever dyed your hair naturally, using tea or otherwise?!
Let me know in the comments below & don't forget to let me know if you're a new follower!

10 Healthiest Drink Recipes In The World

10 Healthiest Drink Recipes In The World

10 Healthiest Drink Recipes In The World
Fill your body with extra vitamins, nutrients and antioxidants, boost your energy and stimulate weight loss and fight illness and allergies with these ten supremely powerful healthy drink recipes.

Lemon Water

Adding a squeeze of lemon to a cold glass of water is a super simple way to multiply the health benefits and add flavor. Lemon water becomes alkaline in the body and an alkaline body is better able to heal itself, assimilate nutrients and fight off sickness. Plus, lemon water helps keep skin clear and glowing, aids weight loss and kick starts the digestive system.

Dr. Axe’s Secret Recipe Detox Drink

This recipe from Dr. Axe contains a number of powerful health boosting ingredients. Apple cider vinegar contains acetic acid which helps to lower blood pressure, lemon juice regulates pH, cinnamon balances blood sugar and cayenne pepper boosts metabolism.

“Sassy Water” Detox Drink

This is another recipe that adds extra health benefits and flavor to plain old water. Lemons, cucumber and mint add vitamins and antioxidants – plus try adding some ginger for an even more potent health boost. This “sassy water” flushes out impurities from your body and it’s really easy to make!

Matcha Green Tea Super Drink

In a recent blog post, we revealed how incredible Matcha Green Tea is for our health – and this drink includes Matcha as its “hero” ingredient. This drink is an instant energy booster, metabolism booster, it fights viruses and bacteria, it boosts mood, has cancer fighting properties and helps to cleanse the body to name just a few of the benefits.

Allergy Relief Drink

This super simple recipe combines apple cider vinegar, local honey and water to create a potent allergy fighting drink. Local honey includes pollen from your local area, consuming this honey builds up the pollen in your body and gradually you become immune to it.

Super Cleansing Tonic

This certainly isn’t the best tasting recipe in this list with ingredients including apple cider vinegar, garlic, onions, hot peppers, ginger, horseradish and turmeric, but it is amazingly powerful for cold,  flu and sore throats. Plus it is a natural antibiotic, antiviral and antifungal, it boosts circulation and the immune system.

Ginger Turmeric Detox Tea

Ginger, turmeric and cayenne – three wonderful spices – work their magic in this detox tea. This is another powerful detox recipe, but also a pain reliever, anti-inflammatory, migraine soother, digestive aid and anti-cold and flu agent.

Apple Cider Vinegar Elixir

You may have noticed that apple cider vinegar has feature in many of the above recipes and for good reason. It’s great for skin, digestion, blood sugar, it promotes vitality and much more. The only problem? It doesn’t taste great – but this Apple Cider Vinegar Elixir has been sweetened and improved so you get all the benefits but without the horrible taste!

Turmeric Juice

Turmeric is another ingredient that has featured heavily in this list. It is probably the healthiest spice in the world. Its active ingredient, curcumin, has been found to fight certain cancers, treat arthritis, cleanse the liver, improve brain function and much more.

Cinnamon Coconut Water Kefir

I was just going to include plain old coconut water at number ten – but then I found this drink that takes it a step further. Coconut water alone is a fantastic energy booster, helps deal with blood sugar issues, stops sugar cravings and aids weight loss. This recipe turns it into a fermented beverage and adds beneficial bacteria, enzymes, vitamins and minerals.

6 Homemade Hair Detox Shampoos & Masks

6 Homemade Hair Detox Shampoos & Masks

From the highly talented-

The hair care industry makes billions and billions of dollars each year worldwide, but you don’t have to contribute to it if you don’t want to. It’s possible to make your own detox shampoos and hair mask treatments to strip your scalp of the built up chemicals and toxins and reveal it’s naturally clean self. We’ve accumulated some of the best recipes that will show you exactly how to make and use these concoctions to the great benefit of your hair and scalp.
Homemade Detox Shampoos to Cleanse and Nourish the Scalp
Use these shampoos to effectively cleanse the scalp and free it from impurities that traditional shampoos leave behind.
The lemon in this will get your scalp nice and clean, as the citric acid will go to work. The cucumber will give a cooling effect and calms things down. The recipe is really easy and basically is conveyed through the title. The author claims that her husband uses this as his primary means of cleansing his hair, and it also doubles as a shaving cream. That makes it a versatile selection that is easy to whip up and can even help you replace your current shampoo indefinitely. This would be most recommended for those that have a dry scalp and are looking for relief.
If you’re concerned about the pH levels of your hair, this is one way to make sure that everything is in proper balance, and you can do it without having to shell out money to Big Shampoo. The recipe couldn’t be simpler and you’ll be getting the natural goodness of coconut milk plus the proven benefits of aloe vera. They figured out a very ingenious way to be able to make a larger batch and then have them available so you can dole them out as needed. They also give you instructions on how to use them, since it works a little differently than ordinary shampoo.
The use of coconut milk means that you’re going to be giving your hair a burst of nutrients and fats that can help it to grow. The use of coconut milk as a hair treatment is well-documented, which is why it shows up repeatedly in at-home shampoo recipes and DIY detox hair treatments. You can make your own coconut milk at home if you’re feeling extra adventurous, or you can simply buy it from the store instead of buying a bottle of your old shampoo. As an optional add on she’s using essential oils to really help your hair and scalp. Putting it in a squeeze bottle is also solid advice.
If you want to be part of the No-Poo revolution simply ditch your preconceived notions of shampoo and keeping your hair clean and embrace a new way of thinking. This recipe includes both a shampoo and conditioner, and they’ve kept things very basic and very natural so you know that you’re only using real ingredients for your hair. They’ve also focused on using common ingredients so you won’t have to go on a wild goose chase to different health food stores trying to find them. The best part is they say it can be used on both kids and pets as well for an entire family full of healthy hair.

Homemade Detox Hair Masks for Moisture Therapy and More
Encase your hair in these masks for deeply penetrating nutrition and notice a difference in your hair’s texture and health the same day.
The bentonite clay used in this mask is what helps it really stick to the hair and make sure everything gets absorbed properly. It’s using aloe vera gel which is an all natural way to moisturize your hair, which is why it’s found in many big brand hair products. Even though this includes apple cider vinegar you won’t be left with that vinegar smell in your hair once you’re done. This is a mask you can use as needed, or as part of a weekly or monthly detoxing program. It’s an affordable and fun way to pamper your hair and give it what it really needs.
Here’s a simple but effective mud mask made with either bentonite clay ior redmond clay. Bentonite clay is often used in detox spas because of its powerful drawing effect, whereby it’s able to draw toxins out of the skin and hair and leave it feeling refreshed and new. They’ve included the option of using essential oils which always adds a nice scent and additional cleansing effects for the scalp. There is one ingredient they use that you might already have in your home, but we’ll let them explain what it is and why they’re using it.
6 Homemade Detox Shampoos and Masks- to cleanse your hair & scalp.
As you can see, it doesn’t take much to give your hair the time of it’s life on just a few nickels and dimes. You don’t have to get duped into paying for premium hair care products made with synthetic ingredients and chemicals, you can use simple ingredients you may already have in your home or that you can easily find in any grocery store or supermarket. With this list of shampoos and hair masks you can rotate around and find which ones you like best and stick with those, or keep changing it up as you see fit.

DIY room air freshener

DIY room air freshener

December 20, 2011 by Lauren- the amazing! @
(Check out our new ONLINE SHOP for The Burlap BAG!!)
We have two cats. They get stanky. And I refused to buy air fresheners. It turns out I already had everything I needed for a homemade and EASY air freshener! No more stank in our house.

What you need:
A container (we used these)
Baking soda
Essential oil
Foil (or a lid you want to ruin and poke holes in)
This gets really complicated so pay attention….
1. Pour baking soda into container, about 1/4 full. Pour in 8ish drops of essential oils.
Oh. That’s it. Just the one step.
Well, add a lid if you want. You could nail holes into a mason jar lid but I didn’t want to ruin one. I just covered it with foil and poked some holes. No one will see mine (it’s high up on a shelf) so it didn’t need to have a pretty lid. But make yours as pretty as you want.
Seriously the easiest thing I’ve ever done. Every once in awhile, go shake it so everything mixes and freshens the stinky smells.


(p.s. we’ve had a lot of people email us asking where to get those jars! here here!)

Comfrey Ointment

 Comfrey Ointment

Comfrey has been of interest to me lately. Besides it's uses as a plant food and compost activator, it is a wonderful, natural healer, promoting speedy repair of bruises and damaged bones. It isn't known as the 'bone-knitting herb' for nothing!

Hubby had a nasty run in with the ride on lawnmower several weeks ago, and not having used this miracle herb before we decided to give it a try. We placed a bruised, bashed up leaf on his swollen hand (one really shouldn't place their hand in the moving parts of lawnmowers!), and taped it up with some of the daughter's netball tape. Two applications over 8 hours saw the swelling virtually diminish and the pain brought down to a bearable level. The healing was amazingly fast, too. Within a week!

So, as you can imagine, I was interested to know what more could be done with this most valuable plant we have growing in the garden (which also happens to be ridiculously hardy and easy to grow from root divisions).

Comfrey Ointment

To assist the healing of bruises, sprains, backpain and aches and pains associated with arthritis.

This ointment is easy to prepare using just a few ingredients. The only thing that might need to be hunted down is some beeswax, which can usually be found from honey sellers at local markets.

After digging out my old herbal remedy book bought at last year's flea market, I found a recipe for a basic ointment base. Using these quantities, I infused the comfrey leaves in the oil until I thought they looked suitably spent....

Ingredients: (yield: 300ml, shelf life: several months, approx)
300ml vegetable oil (I used olive, although sunflower is also recommended)
large handful of fresh comfrey leaves (next time I will allow mine to wilt for a day or so, just so they aren't so 'splattery' in the oil
25g-30g beeswax, grated for faster melting

So back to the infusing, I placed the oil into a small pot and as many comfrey leaves I thought could fit in there and placed (jammed) the lid on. The oil was gently heated over a low heat until the leaves were mushy, wilted and the oil had turned green. It was a bit of a guessing process as this was the first ointment I had made. I would think the slow cooker would perform this task beautifully, too. My book also suggests heating the oil in a stove-top water bath (bain marie), to be sure the oil does not overheat and burn.
The oil was left to cool slightly and then strained. For a stronger oil, this process could be repeated a second and third time if need be.

The grated beeswax was then added to the comfrey oil and placed back over a low heat for a couple of minutes, until the beeswax had melted into the oil. This was then poured into a clean salsa jar and left uncovered until set. It's worth noting that any residue in the bottom of the pan should be left in there and not added to the jar as this excess moisture will cause the ointment to spoil faster than usual.

A hidden gem in the bookcase: HERBAL REMEDIES by Christopher Hedly and Non Shaw
Apply as needed by rubbing a small amount onto the affected area (not to be used on broken skin - just aches and pains) as often as needed. Comfrey ointment really does relieve pain fast. This is coming from a person who was very silly and pulled a muscle in her back only two days into the school holidays, eek!