From Nature With Love 2 ♥ African Black Soap

I have used so many facial washes in the past, I literally spent thousands of dollars in skin care trying to find "The One." The skin care line that would shrink all of my pores down to pin drops, erase all of my blemishes, get me on the cover of Vogue, and have angels sing their exuberance over my radiant skin. Okay, so maybe there is no product that can do all of that but when you find a good product you know it and you hold on to it for dear life. I am hoping in these series I can start to steer you towards a natural approach.

When I first started out, a teenager putting my mother's anti-aging creams on my face and smothering sunscreen all over my face I didn't know what I was doing and suffered gross breakouts as a result of all of the heavy moisturizers I was putting on my skin. I have used every supermarket brand there is as well as Murad, Proactiv, and any creams that promised glowing skin in a bottle. 
Walking around in public was a NIGHTMARE, I didn't want to look people in the eye or have people look at me because of the horrendous acne I had all over my face. I always preferred to sit in the dark spots in a restaurant because at least then people could not see me so well in the dark, and the tons of makeup I had on in a bad attempt to cover up the acne would seem like it was doing its job. 
Of course the first rule of thumb is, never use tons of makeup to cover up zits. 1. you need to correct the problem at its source first and 2. concealer never really covers up any zit and makes it look worse. I had the acne problem before I started smothering creams all over my face but it sure made it a lot more worse. After reading books like: Don't Go to the Cosmetics Counter Without Me [Paperback] by Paula Begoun, I started to recognize all of the junk that was in my cosmetics, soaps, shampoos, creams etc. I love products as much as the next girl but I try hard as much as I can to eliminate most of the chemicals and junk but still keep some things I absolutely love. Hey, we only live once right?

In my never ending quest to find the best of all things, I came across something called black soap in a Walmart long ago. After looking at the ingredients on the label I still couldn't make heads or tails of what black soap was so I went home and googled black soap. It turns out there are a lot of fillers in most, if not all commercial black soaps, that the only relation to real black soap in those supermarket black soaps is the word "black" in it.

 The difference:

Real Black Soap

Consists of roasted plantain skins, cocoa pod, palm kernel oil, palm oil, natural sodium and coconut oil
The methods to making the soap is a handed down tradition that is well guarded
The quality and main component of the soap comes from the plantain skins
Is brownish-black
Not scented
Never completely black
 Fake Black Soap

Will have a bar soap shape, real black soap will come to you in malleable chunks
It is dyed black
It is hard, real black soap is pleasantly soft to the touch
Uses cheap vegetable oils that are bad for your skin
Chemically processed
Usually scented with fragrance
  Using the soap is very pleasurable, as I mentioned it is soft and the best thing that I love about it is the smell. It has a roasted, nutty, earthy smell to it that I can only obviously attribute to the roasted plantain skins. The skins are dried, then carefully roasted in an oven to achieve a perfect color, texture and smell. The skins are then mixed with the palm oil and the palm kernel oil to make the soap. Cocoa pod may also be used in place of the skin or both may be used. Some of these fake soaps may even claim to have added Vitamin E, which plantains are a natural source of Vitamin E and A. Most of the best recipes for black soap resides in Ghana but there are many other countries that have their own recipes for black soap. I order my black soap from Nasabb, whose black soap comes from a women's fair trade cooperative in Ghana, West Africa.
A plantain shown cut in half so you can see the thick skin that is used for roasting and as a main ingredient in black soap

Benefits of Black Soap
Deep cleans the skin
Works for most skin types
Great for removing makeup
Good for fine lines and wrinkles (variable for each user)
Alleviates acne, oily skin, and other skin conditions
Helpful in getting rid of skin bumps (razor bumps)
Excellent as a shampoo
Use as a facial (leave on your beautiful face for 30 sec in the shower)
Some have claimed it has helped in the removal of acne scars (brown not pitting)
The soap when it arrives to my house in the package from Nasaab
Texture of the soap up close
Soap cut into squares. I cut up my soaps because I buy them in bulk to save more money. Just bag them individually so you will have another one ready to go when you run out of your current one!
The longer the plantain skins are roasted, the darker the soap will be, which will also affect the texture and smell.

Since using the black soap myself, I have noticed that my brown spots from my acne have diminished greatly. I never sleep easily unless I wash my face with my black soap and my makeup never comes off completely unless I use it. I never really wash around the eye area with much soap or friction unless I have makeup on, since that area is really sensitive and generally only needs a gentle water bath to clean any eye debris. 

Again some products may not work for everyone so I encourage you to try it out and see if you like it or if you may have an allergic reaction to it. Storing your black soap: since there is plenty of glycerin in the soap it will pull moisture from the air sitting on your shelf and become more darker and softer as it sits there exposed. Conversely, make sure it is not stored in a puddle of water in the shower. Use a plastic bag, plastic container, or pick yourself up a cute kawaii soap dish! (just make sure it is well drained before putting your soap inside!)
 Your beautiful face will thank you!

Hello Kitty to the rescue!


From Nature With Love ❥Ayurvedic Facial Scrub

Hesh Multani Matti Powder

I am a hound for anything that is natural and is going to work. I will usually spend hours of research looking for the best of the best products to use for myself, which I then to hope to pass on to you since I spend my time browsing the internet like yourself looking for products that are going to work and improve the quality of my skin.

Multani Matti Powder is also known as Fuller's Mud (earth) and has been used for ages to cleanse the skin by women all over India. It is mud from Multan, an area in Pakistan where the lime-rich clay was originally found. You basically just mix water into the powder to make a paste to apply to the skin and it is then applied to the face. 

There are many benefits to Multani Matti:
  • Great for clearing up blackheads and whiteheads; acne
  • Removes impurities of the skin while maintaining natural skin oils
  • Improving radiance of the skin
  • Promotes good circulation
  • Addresses minor infections
I usually use this as a scrub first massaging it into my face and then let it rest on my skin for about 10-15 minutes followed by a rinse. There are many recipes for these face packs. The most preferred method is the use rosewater and mix it with the powder, or use lemon juice if you have oily skin.

The result will be pink skin when you rinse but it will go away after some time. This is due to the increase in the blood circulation from the clay on your skin. With any product, please make sure to test for sensitivity before you use.

Hydrated aluminum silicate is the mineral ingredient in the earth behind the absorbent action, therefore the powder is not the best for dry skin but is excellent for oily skin, perspiration, oily hair and as a foot powder. You can use the same mask for your scalp and leave until it dries completely or you can use it in your shampoo. For feet, just mix the earth with talcum powder.

The end result is smooth skin that appears clear and radiant. With any product the more you use it, the more you will see the benefit from it. Your skin will become more fairer, and you will have a less frequency of blackheads and acne. The recommended frequency of use is once a week, otherwise you will only increase oil production and irritate the skin. 

I find this a breeze to use, I just put enough in my palm for a good sized mask and then apply. It has a nice earthy smell to it that I appreciate isn't doused in tons of perfumes. After that I usually forget it and then blog (hey!) or do some other task around the house and then it's time to rinse. Viola! A perfect facial every time.


Blast From the Past ❤80's toys❤

Remember these?

Rainbow Brite
Pound Puppies and Pound Purries
Glo Worm & Friends
Cabbage Patch Kids
Care Bears
My Little Pony
Strawberry Shortcake
Teddy Ruxpin
The Smurf's
Fluppy Dogs
Pogo Balls
The Koosh Ball
Sweet Secrets
How sweet is it when we remember back with fondness the toys that brought us such joy in our childhood. I am always searching on ebay for old 80's toys to put in my collection. I was born in the 80's so I am officially an 80's child. The recent search for a Glo Worm brought back memories of my own Glo Worm and my mother calling my brother, sister, and I into the house to get ready for bed. We used to play out in the street of the neighborhood until dusk, getting dirty from playing tag with the other children. After the normal routine of getting ready for bed, bathing and brushing my teeth, I would curl up into the bedclothes with my Glo Worm.

Upon being pressed on its stomach, the worm lights up from within, illuminating its soft green, pajama worm body and soft, smiling face. The Glo Worm wore a pajama hat and played a soothing lullaby that would lull you to sleep peacefully. I was obsessed with it, I could not go to sleep without it. I think one time it was misplaced and they had to tear the whole place apart just to look for it because I could not fall asleep without it.
Aww, isn't he cute?
Glo-Friends Musical Glo-Worm

Cabbage Patch Kids started a craze in 1983 that was not unlike the premise that Arnold Schwarzenegger's character had to endure in the movie 'Jingle All The Way.' Violent crowds biting and shoving each other just so they could have a chance to get one of these dolls for their children or for themselves.
Maybe it was the fact that they came with adoption certificates? Or perhaps people were able to relate to them because they were so homely?

Cabbage Patch Kids Craze!

The Care Bears were created by greeting card company American Greetings in 1981 for use in their cards. What launched all of our Caring Meters was the launch of the Care Bears Movie and television series. Each bear is a different color and has a different symbol on its belly that symbolizes its personality and responsibility.
Care Bears just kickin' back...
My Little Pony was launched in 1983 and has never died down, well at least in my head it hasn't. What little girl didn't dream of owning her own pony and riding it into the sunset? Brushing its mane and decorating it with all sorts of crazy crap? Well since most little girls couldn't actually own a real pony, and because I think putting a bunch of crazy crap in a horse's mane would be animal cruelty, let's get the next best thing; a toy pony !YAY!

I remember they also used to have velvet covered ones as well. The ponies have a group of symbols on their rump that represents their name. Some ponies had flat feet, others had concave followed by Pegasi and Unicorns.

My Little Pony - Japanese Commercial-Cool they walk!

Pound Puppies made you feel like you were doing your part when you gave your child one of these stuffed animals instead of the real thing. What parent wanted all of the bathroom accidents, mess, aggravation, bills and noise that came with adopting a real pound puppy? In any case Pound Puppies came out in the 80's by Tonka and their tagline was:
Lovable. Huggable.
It later launched a television series and a line of cats called Pound Purries.
The exciting thing about it was that you had to send for a certificate of adoption and tags like it was real and it came with a cool box! I remember I would use my doctor set to play vet on these pups!
 1980s Pound Puppies Commercial
 Rainbow Brite was yet another character introduced by a greeting card company, this time by Hallmark Cards in 1983. After that the animated series started the following year. An orphan girl named Wisp is taken to a world without color by an unknown force. To find the Sphere of Light she must use her friends Twink, a sprite and Starlite, a white horse. For each 7 colors of the rainbow there are 7 color kids, and it is Rainbow Brite's job to rescue all of them and find the Color Belt so she can bring color back to the land. 
After succeeding and defeating the King of Shadows, the unknown force re-names Wisp as Rainbow Brite. She and her helpers all live in Rainbow Land and are in charge of all of the colors on Earth.
All the colors of the rainbow, Sprite Twink and Rainbow Brite

Rainbow Bright Toy Commercial
Strawberry Shortcake again introduced by American Greetings in the late 70's for use in their greeting cards, became a huge fad in the 80's with the dessert scented and themed characters.  Strawberry Shortcake being the main character with her red hair and freckles. She wears a dress and bonnet decorated with strawberries. I recall a time when I was a little girl at Halloween when I dressed up as Strawberry Shortcake. Of course it was only a vinyl smock with her image on it, and a plastic mask of her face but I was excited all the same.

Blueberry Muffin, Raspberry Tart, Orange Blossom, Plum Puddin' and Lemon Meringue are all of Strawberry Shortcake's best friends. The Peculiar Purple Pieman is Strawberry's nemesis because he likes to steal berries. Wow he is so hardcore.

Easy there..don't come bursting outta that box like Chucky


 She-Ra Princess of Power was aimed at young girls much like He-Man was aimed at young boys. She-Ra was as you might have guessed, He-Man's twin sister who leads a group of freedom fighters known as the Great Rebellion. 
You go girl

 She-Ra Opening Theme

 The Smurfs exploded onto the scene in 1981 when the animated show became a fixture for Saturday morning television. The show was on until 1989 and was nominated for multiple Daytime Emmy's. It was based off of the series of comic strips introduced by Peyo the cartoonist in 1958. The Smurfs are probably one of the most easily recognizable cartoon characters: blue skin, white pants, white cone-like cap, but some may have accessories that define their personality.

The Smurfs live in the Smurf village that operates like a cooperative in mushroom-like homes. All of this and there is only one female, Smurfette. Well, at least until the creation of Sassette if you want to get all technical on me.

Coming to a mushroom near you...

Smurfs Theme Song

Teddy Ruxpin; Love him or hate him, I actually had a Teddy Ruxpin doll and I remember the popularity surrounding him. Teddy Ruxpin was a talking bear that would move his mouth and eyes and 'read' story books to you by a tape cassette deck that was built into his back. Instead of kids bothering their parents for a bedtime story, they could have their stuffed bear read them a book encouraging readership among youth.
Teddy and his books, now on Amazon

Frankenstein Teddy Ruxpin Commercial He's Alive!

 Popples were adorable, colorful teddy bear-like animals with long tails that have a fuzzy pom pom on the end of their tail. They have pouches on their backs that they can go into, and they then resemble balls. The toys were manufactured by Mattel.

Popples! No matter how hard I tried sometimes, I could not get my Popple to go back into its pouch. They were cursed I tell you!

Pop goes the Popple!

While you may recognize Fluppy Dogs, very few might realize it was intended to become a Disney television show but never reached that point due to low ratings for the pilot episode. Fluppy Dogs were cute, cuddly dogs made of colorful, shaggy yarn and pom pom noses produced by Hasbro.

They came with tags

Fluppy Dogs Part 1 of 6 Full Movie

Sweet Secrets combined all of my favorite things as a child; jewelry, makeup, and toys. They were essentially different play-sets that looked like a doll figure that could transform into a compact, jewelry box, dollhouse, play phone, nursery, comb, bed, photo frame, and pool by unfolding the arms, legs and head. Kind of like Transformers for girls. The icing on the cake was that there was a big jewel on the doll that made it that more special. Trust me, when you're 8 years old, you get it. You could wear them as a watch, necklace, the possibilities were endless.
I could only dream of collecting them all...

Sweet Secrets from the 80s

Pogo Balls not only were the craze in the 80's but they will give you a good workout as well. Have you ever worked out with one of these things before? It was the most fun you ever had getting tired, and it worked both ways for you and your parents. You got a fun toy to play with and they got you to sleep soundly at night thanks to the Pogo Ball.

Yeaah...try balancing on that bad boy

80's Pogo Ball Commercial

Koosh Balls were invented because the inventor wanted his kids to play with a ball without getting hurt. It was designed in 1986 and was made out of rubber strings that was named after the noise it made when it landed.

The middle is filled with a jelly-like substance soft to the touch

Lastly, Madballs are on my list as the odd, gross-out humor series of toy rubber balls. They were created by AmToy in the mid-80s. They were in the same category as Garbage Pail Kids, the parody gross-out Cabbage Patch Kids sticker and card series. It was also later turned into an animated series that had only two episodes. A comic book and video game were later released.
 There were 8 original Madballs:
  • Screamin Meemie:  a baseball
  • Slobulus: a creature with one eye hanging out
  • Aargh: blue, Frankenstein's monster
  • Hornhead: horned Cyclops
  • Dustbrain: a Mummy
  • Oculus Orbus: an eyeball
  • Skull Face: a skull
  • Crack Head: a cracked head. Named changed later to "Bash Brain' due to obvious negative connotations to 'crack head.'
These grotesque orbs need their own movie...now


Well I hope I have you running for your closet to relive those memories!


An adult's guide to bringing out your inner child for a night

I tell myself that the reason why I look so young and people often refer to me as being innocent is because I never stopped being a child. I never stopped daydreaming, creating fantasies or using my imagination to get through a really ugly task that I particularly did not like. 

To this day whenever I have to wait for a prescription at the pharmacy or wait for an oil change, I go to the toy section in the store and browse around to pass the time. It has recently come to my attention that my boyfriend has never built a tent as a child. Not a tent as in a pup tent to sleep outdoors, but a home made tent made out of blankets, sheets and whatever may be laying around the house that can be used to drape over chairs, tables etc. He was an only child, and as he knows that I had a very bad childhood so I had to rely on my imagination to get away from my surroundings. 

My sister and I used whatever we could and became very resourceful at making entertainment for ourselves. We had a big backyard, a tree, lumber, and whatever else scraps we could come up with. I turned the dog's house into a "tree house" even though it was not in a tree, the dog did not use the house so it was kosher with him. He gave his approval sniff when I was done. Inside we had a curtain over the archway and would tell scary stories, eat junk food, and play dolls. When we were inside the house, we made tents out of blankets and ate ourselves silly with food of all sorts, marshmallows, watched movies and told more scary stories to scare ourselves awake.

 Here is a list of things you will need (aka provisions) and things you will need to do to remind yourself how good you had it when you were a kid, these are suggestions and will give you a starting point for your night!:


Ingredients for s'mores: marshmallows, graham crackers, and brick chocolate. This will hold you over on the long night watching movies and being scared witless. 

Who doesn't like gooey, rich, cheesy mac and cheese? No really, who? You can always pick some up at a restaurant but if you feel like cooking, here is a link to an excellent recipe: Delilah's 7 Cheese Mac and Cheese
Pizza, a staple for all children. Heck for most everyone. Have one delivered, attempt to make one your own, pick one up or:
English muffin pizzas! All you need is pizza or pasta sauce, cheese, English muffins and whatever toppings you would like. It is pretty simple but here is a quick recipe in case you need it: English Muffin Pizzas

Banana Splits!!! Bananas, cherries, whipped cream, chocolate sauce, strawberry sauce, coconut, pineapple sauce, nuts, sprinkles, vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry ice cream. Or:
Of course you will need some popcorn for your movie. Jiffy pop not only satisfies that need but is fun to pop as well

Load up on your soda, candy and chip needs!
this might depend on your tastes of course and what kind of kid you were. My parents let me watch whatever the hell I wanted, so Faces Of Death here I come! Some suggestions:  
The Adventures Of Mark Twain, The Goonies, The NeverEnding Story, The Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, Howl's Moving Castle, The Gate, Halloween, A Nightmare On Elm Street, Demons, Demons 2, The Fog, Gremlins, Carnival Of Souls, Creepshow, Fright Night

Carnival of Souls
The Adventures of Mark Twain
The NeverEnding Story
The Dark Crystal
Spirited Away
My Neighbor Totoro
Howl's Moving Castle
The Goonies
The Gate
A Nightmare on Elm Street
Demons 2
The Fog
Fright Night

These are by no means an exhaustive list or else we would be here until the cows come home :) I'm sure there is something later I will think of where I'll go, "oh yeah! dang it! should have put it in the blog! But you get the idea. Hop on Netflix or better yet, head down to your local video store (if they still have those nearest you). It makes for a better, nostalgic experience. We have a wonderful video store near us that carries almost every DVD that Netflix does and if they don't they will order it for us. I like to support local businesses. They have every single 80's film I have ever seen and they are complete with a candy section, claw arm machines and video game machines.

Blow Bubbles
Fly a kite at the beach or park
Draw on the sidewalk or on your patio with chalk
Enjoy a water balloon fight
And last but not least..making a make-shift fort, courtesy of Rubgut93:

That's all for now, thanks for reading and have fun!!!


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