How to Clean Oily Dishes More Easily

A Tip On How to Clean Oily Dishes More Easily
Whipped body butter can be really hard to clean up.

I love making my own bath products, but I hate cleaning up when I'm done, because it takes a lot of hot water, soap and effort to thoroughly wash the oils and wax of my pots, pans and utensils.

Washing them with cold water is never a good idea, because the oils become a congealed mess, and any wax that I'm using becomes a hard shell that requires a lot of chiseling and scraping to come off. However, washing with hot water isn't much better, because the heat melts the oils and wax, allowing them to spread a greasy film over the entire sink and its contents, creating a bigger mess than before.

So what I do to make the process much easier, is after I'm finished using the pots and pans, and the oils and wax haven't quite cooled yet, I use paper napkins or paper towels to wipe down the greasy tools and kitchenware. Be careful not to do this while the oils and wax are still scalding hot. However, don't wait too long either, because if they cool down too much you won't be able to easily wipe them away. This is why I don't throw out any paper napkins or paper towels that have only been lightly used, because they can be used to clean out greasy bowls and utensils without wasting clean, new ones.

You'll find that pots, pans and utensils that have been first wiped down are much easier to clean under hot water than if they weren't. This is a good tip to keep in mind even if you're doing regular cooking and have greasy kitchenware to wash.

Hope this post was helpful to all you who hate cleaning up grease, oil and wax as much as I do!

How to Recycle Old Cell Phones, Computers and Batteries

How to Recycle Old Cell Phones, Computers and Batteries
I recently did an inventory of some of the technological gadgets used by the people in my household. In our home are the following items:

- 1 desktop computer
- 4 laptop computers (1 unused)
- 2 tablet computers
- 8 cell phones (3 unused)
- 1 VCR (and it's definitely unused)

There is a VCR, a VCR, sitting in a cabinet in our living room for some reason. I decided having all this unused technological junk, including their batteries and accessories, laying around is simply unacceptable. Keeping them is a danger to our health, as the precious metals inside may begin to corrode and the batteries could leak, but simply throwing them away is, of course, also not an option, as it is a danger to the environment.

This is why I decided to write this post. A lot of people don't know that you can actually recycle electronic gadgets, their accessories, and things like compact discs, memory sticks and batteries, but the way to do it varies depending on where you live. Many companies will even take their old and used products off your hands. So my goal is to create a working list of how electronic items are recycled all over the world. If you have information on how electronics are recycled in your country, please mention it in the comment section below so we can keep this list updated!



All of the major cell phone service providers in Taiwan provide recycling for old cell phones and accessories at their branch offices. It's usually a clearly marked bin in the store, or you can simply asked one of the store representatives to help you. This includes Chunghwa Telecom (中華電信), Far Eastone (遠傳電信) and Taiwan Mobile (台灣大哥大).

The major convenience store chains in Taiwan also provide recycling services for electronics, batteries and discs. However, exactly what things they recycle depends on which chain you go to, so remember to ask ahead. Some only provide recycling services for batteries, while others will help you recycle your old cell phone and computers. The great thing is, all of them will give you cash back or coupons depending on how many items you bring them. The convenience stores that provide electronic recycling services include 7-11, FamilyMart (全家便利商店), Hi-Life (萊爾富), and OK Mart.

If you have government trash pickup service in your community or directly at your home, you can simply give any kind of electronic equipment to the garbage collector and they will dispose of it appropriately. If you aren't able to hand your electronics to them personally, remember to clearly label the bag or package the electronics are in so they know it's there.

United States:

Cell phone service providers in the U.S. will allow you to recycle old cell phones at their branch offices, and will compensate you with a buy-back service, trade-in service or some other credit. Companies that provide recycling services include Apple, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.

Please help me keep this list updated!

Salubrious Selection: Nesti Dante Bar Soaps

Salubrious Selection: Nesti Dante Bar Soaps

I recently discovered Nesti Dante bar soaps and quickly became a huge fan. I highly recommend these bar soaps, which are completely natural and biodegradable and have not undergone animal testing.

What really struck me about Nesti Dante bar soaps is how clean my skin feels after a shower. The worst thing about some soaps is that even though they leave you feeling clean, you feel somehow incredibly dry and perhaps a little bit "tight," as if the suds have stripped your body of all its natural oils and moisture. Nesti Dante soaps don't do that, and after I use them not only do I feel clean, but my skin retains its moisture and elasticity.

What I love even more about their bar soaps are the many, many delicious scents they come in that linger on your skin for quite while. I'm usually very picky about scented bath products, as I don't usually enjoy most fragrances, and even when I find ones I do like, they're much too overpowering. However, so far I haven't encountered a Nesti Dante bar soap with a scent that I didn't enjoy.

I usually load up on their Il Frutetto and Romantica lines, but they have many more categories available, including gentler soaps for babies. They also produce bath products other than bar soaps.

Also, this may seem like a strange thing to appreciate when it comes to soap, but I also really like the size, shape and weight of Nesti Dante bar soaps. They're simply very sturdy blocks of soap that feel good to hold and use on your body.

These also make great, practical gifts (Nesti Dante IL Frutteto Soaps Gift Set). Everyone needs soap, and might as well gift them something that is beautifully hand-made, biodegradable, gentle on the skin and smells great. What's even nicer is that you don't have to wrap it up to look like anything fancy, as the general packaging the soaps come in are already quite beautiful and elegant. I often find myself wishing the patterns on the wrapping Nesti Dante soaps would also be printed on regular wrapping paper for me to use.

Salubrious Selection: Nesti Dante Bar Soaps
Every bar is engraved with the words, "Made with love and care by Nesti Dante.
Florence, Italy."
After some research, I've found that the cost for these soaps vary depending on where you buy it, but I think they're very reasonably priced, being a handmade soap and all. Moreover, one 250-gram block of soap lasts quite awhile, which is great, as most bar soaps disappear into nothing after just a few days' use.

Give Nesti Dante bar soaps a try, I think you'll become a fan too.

How to Make Your Own Natural Whipped Body Butter

The winter season can be very harsh on the skin. Luckily, I have a recipe for a natural, nourishing moisturizing cream to get me through the cold, dry months.

How to Make Your Own Natural Whipped Body Butter


How to Make Your Own Natural Whipped Body Butter
You'll Need:

- organic virgin coconut oil
- raw, organic shea butter (cocoa or mango butter works too)
- beeswax or soy wax (optional)
- double boiler
- vitamin E capsules (optional)
- essential oils (optional)
- electric mixer
- sterile, clean container

How to Make Your Own Natural Whipped Body Butter1. Heat equal parts virgin coconut oil and shea butter in a double boiler until they melt into a liquid. Add a couple of tablespoons of beeswax or soy wax if you'd like the mixture to be slightly thicker. Make sure there is no grittiness left in the mixture.

2. Remove the mixture from the heat, and allow it to cool to a soft solid consistency. To speed up the process, you can put the mixture in the refrigerator. One cup takes roughly an hour in the refrigerator to cool to the right consistency. Make sure you don't allow the mixture to cool too long so that it becomes a hard solid, as this will make it impossible to work with later.
How to Make Your Own Natural Whipped Body Butter3. Once the mixture is the right consistency, squeeze in a few vitamin E capsules and add essential oils for fragrance if you wish. I feel 2-3 vitamin E capsules per cup of body butter is enough. Then, whip it with an electric mixture, working your way up from a low speed to a high speed, until it becomes light and fluffy, with peaks like whipped cream.

4. Transfer your completed whipped body butter into a clean, sterile container, then you're done! Every time I'm done with a batch I marvel at how it looks good enough to eat, and you probably could if you're only using completely natural, unrefined and edible ingredients.

This body butter works extremely well for me, and has turned my skin extremely soft and smooth. I use it both on my body and on my face, with only a drop going a long way to moisturize my entire face. However, remember that using this as a face cream may not be for everybody, especially if you have very sensitive or acne-prone skin. If you are prone to breakouts, please use this mixture on your face with caution. In some cases it may actually help, in other cases, it may not.

For me, this combination of shea butter and virgin coconut oil has done wonders to lighten blemishes and even out my skin tone. After I began using this regularly, I have even gotten compliments about my glowing complexion. I think this body butter works best when I use it after toweling dry following a hot shower. It may have something to do with the fact that all my pores are probably open during this time, allowing my skin to absorb the body butter more easily.

The ingredients in this recipe are actually pretty much the same as my recipes for lotion bars and lip balm, but I think the lighter, whipped consistency makes it easier to use.

Keep in mind that the mixture may solidify in cooler climates, and melt in warmer areas, so keep it in a location with moderate temperatures to maintain its fluffy consistency.

Have fun!