Recipe: Homemade Herbal Oil

An easy alternative to pure essential oils!

This last month, I’ve spent more time messing around in my kitchen than I have in a long while. Whether I was baking batch after batch of chocolatey brownies for my niece and nephew ( and myself of course), whipping up a hair treatment, or brewing scented oils, the moments I dedicated to these little forms of creation were chances to decompress from a stressful day at work and sink back into myself. Ironically, I’ve never been very comfortable on my own in a kitchen, and in the past, I wouldn’t have called myself a good cook. I’d glance at my mother’s spice rack and be overwhelmed by the wall of herbs, salts, and powders. I’d open the pantry and read the labels on what we had stored there as if they were in another language. I had no idea what went with what, no understanding of how to take raw ingredients and produce something (hopefully) edible. I was just as likely to make something delicious as I was to give someone a case of intense, explosive diarrhea. It only got worse after I went to college and spent four years being pampered (and sometimes poisoned) by my school’s cafeteria. When I came home after the end of my senior year, I lived off of cereal and overnight oats for longer than I’m willing to admit. ¬†All that aside, I gotta eat, so in this past year in between my undergrad graduation and my first semester of graduate study, I’ve learned to operate in a kitchen out of necessity. Since then, it’s been smooth sailing. Continue reading “Recipe: Homemade Herbal Oil”

DIY Body Positivity

When I was eleven, I remember looking in my bathroom mirror at my body. I was a bit big for my age. My cheeks bulged when I smiled and my thighs and hips were wider than almost all of the other girls in my grade at school, including my sister who was widely known as “the pretty one”.

When I was eleven, I remember looking in my bathroom mirror at my body. I was a bit big for my age. My cheeks bulged when I smiled and my thighs and hips were wider than almost all of the other girls in my grade at school, including my sister who was widely known as “the pretty one”. Most nights after showering I’d step out onto the bath mat and inspect myself, praying that miraculously I would emerge from the steam skinny. I never did, and I’d dry myself off each night and head to bed disappointed that my body was still the same.

Even so, for some reason that night was different. I had started my period a few months earlier, so when I looked at myself in the mirror, I thought “This is a woman’s body. This is what women look like.” I had stubby leg hair, patchy pubes, thick thick thighs, tiny breasts, and awkward, protruding hip bones. Instead of looking away quickly, as I often did when I saw something I didn’t like, I tried to conjure up the image of a woman that looked like me. I thought of Beyonce Knowles.

Continue reading “DIY Body Positivity”