HOLD THE PHONE: It’s National COFFEE Day?!

It’s National Coffee Day!

Say whaaaaat? How did I let this slip? It’s National Coffee Night, now, dagnabit! It’s like I missed my own anniversary or something. At least I’m not the only one late to the party. Had I known, I would have gone out at relished in my love of all beans roasted and cashed in on all the free coffee being given out today. Ugh.

I missed free coffee! YOU probably missed free coffee. There could have been a handful of parents just that one bit happier all over America today, had I known there was a holiday so near and dear to my heart. (Next to Chocolate Day, that is. 😉 Alas and alack, I can’t change the past… so here I am, drinkin’ decaf while my slobbering teething monster catches a few winks.  ::knocks on wood::

Coffee is an integral part of life for many parents- I know it is for me. One of my first Wordless Wednesday posts was entitled, “Thanks a Latte For Everything“… because it’s true and I have an ever-expanding collection of coffee pictures on my FB page here. We may have missed Coffee Day this year- but at my house, it’s Coffee Day every day- so I don’t feel too bad.

Just the other morning, I was about to toss my grounds in the trash (I live in an apartment and have no yard to in which to compost or use compost) and decided to poke around Google and ask fellow parents in my community page and see if there was use I could find for what I am throwing away each morning. It turns out that in addition to energizing our mornings, coffee also energizes skin! I am always interested in natural beauty treatments and home remedies, so this information was right up my alley.

Many expensive beauty products used to firm, tighten and exfoliate skin contain caffeine; it gets blood going as much on the surface as much as it does when we drink it, providing that “healthy glow’. Finding myself in my mid-30s has me caught between my teenage skin and my ever-aging skin; just like the good friend it’s always been for me, coffee is the solution for both acne and aging.

Have I mentioned how much I love coffee? Because I love coffee. Okay, we can move on…

Coffee also has the same neutral pH as our skin (4.5) and acts as a rebalancing astringent while removing dead skin cells, shrinking pores and fighting excess oil production- the culprits behind most pimples. Coffee’s astringent and rebalancing properties are also a great way to get shiny, smooth hair!

The same antioxidant  properties that can lower the risk of cancer and type II Diabetes by drinking coffee is responsible for coffee’s ability when applied topically.  It protects the skin from free radicals that damage skin’s DNA and cause the appearance of aging.

I’ll show you a few ways to use coffee at home- aside from consuming it in mass quantities.

Ways to use cold coffee:
(for that cup that’s always hiding in the microwave!)

Hair Detox– Soak your hair with cooled coffee, (you can do this by using it in place of shampoo in the shower if  you are afraid of staining your clothes) and let it soak for 15 minutes- with longer hair like mine, I take a cup of (black, cooled) coffee and put my hair into it to absorb most of the liquid, then pour the rest on my scalp and massage, then put it up in a bun while I wait for it to do it’s thang.) Then, rinse & viola! Kiss product buildup goodbye & say hello to your shiny new strands. (Tip: You can also add a teaspoon of vinegar into the mix to add/lock in color to brunette hair! … and kill the part where it smells like something you want to eat, 😉

Plant Food- Plants such as rosebushes, azaleas, rhododendrons, evergreen and camellias that prefer acidic soils will appreciate the leftovers from your morning cup. You can also change the color of certain blooms by adding coffee grounds/leftover coffee. I’ve done it to turn Hydrangeas from pink to blue!

Baking: Mocha brownies, anyone? Replace water/milk with coffee (depending on the recipe) for a new twist on an old favorite. I’ve also heard of mixing coffee with chili powder, soy sauce and other available spices-to-taste and using it as a marinade!

Ice Cubes: So when you find the cup in the microwave three hours later, you can just go with it and not water down your drink. (One thing I am NOT fond of is weak or watery coffee- this is the best remedy for iced coffee so far!)

Wood Stain/ Scratch Concealer: Use the coffee on on a rag or paper towel to restain and camouflage scratches in treated wood furniture.

Ways to use coffee grounds:

Facial exfoliant– combine coffee grounds with cocoa (for extra antioxidants and rejuvenation… and aromatherapy!) and milk (and a few drops of coconut oil, if you have some. I’m pretty certain breastmilk —-Hey! You could totally put that in, too!- and coconut oil can heal almost everything, btw… but I digress) to make a paste, then massage gently (with warm water, as needed) to make a paste on your face. Leave for 10-15 minutes and behold your dewy, glowing skin. It even takes the red out of any irritations (read: accursed adult acne) on the skin, too. Nice.

Freezer/fridge deodorizer – Place a bowl with used coffee grounds in the freezer to remove unwanted odors. You can also add a few drops of vanilla for extra scent-y goodness. 🙂

Slug, snail and kitty repellant – For some reason, those yucky critters (and some other insects, too!) don’t like coffee. (Wait, isn’t coffee like, totally against sluggish principles? Perhaps scientists have overlooked the little buggers’ moral objection?)

Cellulite Treatment: I may be skinny, but it  doesn’t mean I don’t have cellulite! That whole firming-and-tightening-properties situation I mentioned earlier come nicely into play here! To use, mix used grounds with your favorite carrier oil, (I happen to love coconut oil at the moment) milk, lotion or more (brewed) coffee! Adding sea salts can also make the grounds feel softer on your skin. Rub onto skin using stimulating pressure (get that blood flowing!) and wrap using plastic wrap for 10-15 minutes, rinse & check out your smoother, glowing skin- you sexy beast, you!

Plant Fertilizer: Once a month, add the grounds to soil to provide acidity, aeration, nitrogen, phosphorus, magnesium, copper and other trace minerals, too. It also works to help make rich compost, if you have the availability to do that, too.

Have you ever used coffee for something other than waking up in the morning?
If you try any of these tips, let me know how it goes & I’d love to try yours, too!

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