Forks and Socks

I know I have not been posting and frankly I don’t have much inspiration to post about lately but I found something today while feeding the kids lunch. Their forks always disappear! I liken it to a pair of socks, you know how one always gets lost between putting it in the washer and pulling it out of the dryer? Well I buy sets of utensils for the kids (you know the plastic, kid friendly, spoon and fork sets that they can’t damage anything with?), and I ALWAYS seem to lose the forks! I have at least 8 spoons now, to two forks. Where do they go? Lost some where between the table and putting dishes away after they are washed. Sheesh I wish I could find this abyss where all those items seem to go. I could be rich! Charge people admission to find their lost things… Oh yeah that would be the life:) In all reality though, do you have that problem, where you always seem to misplace one of a pair?

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Removing commercialism…

Another small step toward getting rid of commercial chemical laden products in my home! So as I have been posting, my husband and I have gone no-poo. Right now we are between using toothpaste and using baking soda or just brushing with water. I use vinegar and dish soap to clean my tub. A good scrubbing with hot water (maybe vinegar) for pretty much any other hard surface.  Well today I took the step to make my own laundry soap and it was really, really simple. I have a big tub of commercial detergent so I kept putting off making my own. Well today I finally decided “who cares? I want to do this!” and I bought the items to make my laundry soap, made it, washed a load of laundry and am happy with the results. 

 

Here is my recipe what I decided on after searching high and low over the web. If you need tips just search homemade laundry soap and it will take you where you need. There are many recipes that all have slight variations, and this is mine for my hard water. 

1 cup grated pink Zote soap 

1/2 cup washing soda*

1/2 cup baking soda

1 cup Borax, divided

7 cups water, divided

*You can make your own washing soda by cooking baking soda at 400 degrees F for half an hour or so until it starts turning a light golden brown. Store in an airtight container if you make more than what is needed for this recipe.

Boil 3 cups water and add in grated soap. Stir until dissolved. Add in washing soda and 1/2 cup Borax and remaining water, let the mixture simmer while stirring constantly. Let cool and then add in baking soda and remaining Borax. Whisk or use a mixer until all mixed together. Pour into an old laundry detergent container or a glass jar, what ever you have on hand. I just used a scoop from my laundry detergent, so I think it measures about  1/4cup for small load and 1/2cup for large load. Gauge your laundry though, you may need to use more or less depending on your water and how dirty the load is.

I used mine about an hour after that final mixing. I was too impatient to let sit 24 hours like everything I read. However it worked beautifully on what I did wash. Doesn’t quit get out all stains but it doesn’t bother me since it wasn’t clothing (note to self: find good pre-treatment). My towels came out soft without using chemical fabric softener or adding white distilled vinegar to the washing machine. Only one load so there is not much to be said from it but I am excited to see how it works over time with our clothing. 

 

Slowly but surely eliminating those nasty chemicals from my home and feeling better for it. Next will be natural dish soap, I wonder if I could use the laundry soap on dishes? I want to make my own soap eventually but once my supply runs out (that I have had for close to two years now…) I am going to buy natural soap unless I developed the guts to make my own! 

 

Happy Tuesday everyone!

 

Gardens, No-Poo and work!

So I re-entered the work force for the first time in nearly three years, needless to say I have been focused on that and spending time with my family more than anything else. I am enjoying getting out of the house but I am really missing my kids! I just have to see what time brings for me and working though.

I found my method f no-poo and can go a week between washes (maybe more but I don’t want to push it right now). Best part is, no one at work can tell! I definitely feel much better about my hair, well aside from the day after I wash or if I am in a rush and blow dry. Blow drying my hair makes it a frizzy mess just like the day after I wash, YIKES!

On the plus, my garden is growing and I am very excited. Albeit worried because of the heat we have been experiencing. Tomatoes, cantaloupe, green beans, garlic, green onion, watermelon and potato. Tried growing mint but it just didn’t happen. Oh, I have lettuce growing too from the base of a romaine head I purchased! I received some red wrigglers in the mail for my compost so I am hoping that helps along with my compost, well composting process. I just have to wait and see though again because of the heat I don’t want the poor worms to die but the hubby doesn’t want that bin in the house.

Overall I have been busy with life and still haven’t figured out how to get my pictures up here so that is something I will work on so I can share my lovely garden and my hair with no-poo even though I have no before pictures of that. I will try to keep updates at least once a week but I am getting busy with work and family that it is hard to find time!

Happy Thursday!

Healthy lifestyles

What do you think is part of a healthy lifestyle? Does it have to do with what you put in your body, or how about what you use to clean your home?

 I think it has everything to do with all of those and then some. I have a friend who goes between vegetarian and vegan as well as gardening and only using organic food. I want to take the step to organic only but it is an expensive step. I also want to grow my own fruits and vegetables so that I know exactly what is put in the soil and on the plants. Slowly my family is making changes to eat more fruits and vegetables and get away from the typical western diet of junk food. 

Another part of getting healthy, I am starting to limit the use of commercial cleaning products in my home. I still have a few bottles under the sink but they are just gathering dust now. Once my laundry soap is finished up I will be making my own so that I know what is getting used to wash the clothing we wear on a daily basis. I am also only using baking soda and apple cider vinegar for my hair( see my posts on no-poo). I will be starting week three of this experiment in just a few days and so far my hair has never been better! 

All in all getting rid of chemicals and junk from our lives has a dramatic impact on the way we feel and the way we look. Just think about it, how did people way back when get along with no fast food, 8oz sodas, no chemicals that we have now? They did not have the  health problems, diabetes and obesity epidemic we have today, that is one thing for sure!

Detox and going natural

Well a week ago we made the decision to eliminate junk food and salt from our diets since the hubby wants to lose weight to enlist. Lots of fruits, veggies and lean meats have made their way into our fridge compared to what we used to buy. So far by just the two simple steps he has lost 10lbs and I have lost 5lbs and it is a bit noticeable! Well now that we are a week in, my body is going through a detox phase and I feel like crap. I won’t go into details of it though since that is all besides the point. However I am pushing through and I will still continue with my morning 1.71 mile route to walk and work my way back up to running again since I have not really worked out in over three years aside from walking. I may be average to skinny build but I am sure out of shape after two kids!

As for going natural I am still pushing on with no-poo as previously mentioned. I am really liking what my hair is doing aside from waiting for the oily phase to subside. My hair is thicker it seems like and wavy when it used to be stick straight! Another plus is that my hair is not getting tangled like it used to. I honestly wish I would have given into it sooner after trying shampoo after shampoo to work with my hair and make it do something. Who would have guessed that shampoo was the problem?

Happy Sunday to you all and may more natural ways of life find their way into your homes!

No-Poo Method

Yes I know it sounds a bit odd but basically it means no shampoo. Have you ever read the ingredients in your shampoo? Can you even pronounce half of them? Well most people can’t unless you have natural shampoo’s. The 19th of April I posted about using natural cleaning and using ACV(apple cider vinegar) to help with dandruff. Well the last day I washed my hair with shampoo was April 22nd. April 24th I used baking soda and ACV. Today my hair is a bit greasy after 36 hours or so but I am trying to hold out another day or two before using baking soda again. I don’t know how to post pictures here or I would share my progress. Till then I guess I will still take pictures and upload them when I figure out how!

All about Cleaning without chemicals

 Cleaning! That one thing most of us just dread and put off until we have no other choice. Well get rid of those nasty chemical’s for one and you will feel ton’s better. Even though it means a bit more elbow grease, you won’t have toxic smells lurking in your home for your kids to breathe in! 

I am currently looking for a good furniture polish recipe and have made one that works for me I will be sure to share! 

Tile: Hot water, once in a while I will add in some distilled vinegar if the floor is really dirty. 

Carpet cleaner: Hot water, Dishsoap and peroxide or hot water and vinegar.  

6 cups water, 1tbls soap added after water is in the machine, 3tbls peroxide or a splash of vinegar to the hot water. 

Bathtub/Shower: 1:1 ratio dish soap and distilled vinegar. Mix and leave in a spray bottle or the scrub brush with the soap handle. Rinse well because it will leave the tub slippery!

Cast Iron Pans: Salt and scouring pad. Usually I just use hot water and a scouring pad to clean my cast iron but if there is something caked on I will pour on a bit of salt and it helps scrub away what is burnt on. I am sure this would work for stainless steel as well. Do not recommend for teflon/non-stick though. 

Dandruff: 1:1 apple cider vinegar and warm water. Be sure you are getting apple cider vinegar and not distilled vinegar with coloring and caramel flavor added, preferably ACV with the mother but I know that is a little more expensive. Wash your hair as normal then pour on the mixture being sure to get on your scalp, gently rub into the areas with the worst problems. Let it soak in for 15-45 minutes and rinse out.  It may burn a bit on the area that are really dry and flaky as my husband found out. Watch out for your eyes when using this too. Yes this works, my husband and I both have used it. However he stinks like vinegar a few days after even with normal showering because it sweats out of his pores. But he doesn’t have as much of a problem with flakes or itchy scalp! I have used it because I have one spot on my head that is always itchy and it helps, it also conditions my hair so much better than any store conditioner. My next step will be no-poo but for now I will just use ACV once in a while. 

 

Yes yes I know dish soap is not all natural but there are some out there that are starting to get rid of harmful ingredients so look for those to use. I would recommend one but I have just been using the regular cheap dish soap from the dollar store. I get distilled vinegar for about $3 a gallon but I know it will be different every where you go. 

Next will be furniture polish and laundry soap. If anyone has any tips feel free to comment with them:)

(Almost) Natural Capet Shampoo

Sorry about the delay in posting! We have been busy trying to find a new home, jobs, etc to move out of California! Now we are moving in a week and I am running around trying to pack and clean. Today I started on the living room floor (half of it anyway) and had no carpet shampoo. So I looked around online for a recipe with household items. I tried the first one I found and I have to say I am glad I did! 

 

Homemade Carpet Shampoo

Rachel @ Surviving the Stores

 

Ingredients
  • 1½ quarts of hot (NOT boiling) water
  • ¼ cup of 3% Hydrogen Peroxide (it’s the regular hydrogen peroxide that you can get at any store)
  • 1½ Tablespoons of White Vinegar
  • 1½ Tablespoons of Dish Soap (we use Seventh Generation and it worked great)
  • About ⅛ of a teaspoon of your favorite essential oil(s) – either just one or a combination. Vanilla and lavender would be a good one. I had ginger and lavender on hand so I used those, but I’m going to get vanilla for next time.

 

Instructions
  1. Mix all of the ingredients together (be sure to add the dish soap to the water and not the water to the dish soap – you’ll see why if you do it the wrong way just once)
  2. Pour into your carpet cleaning machine.
  3. Clean like the directions tell you to.

 

 

I messed around with the recipe a bit because I only have a little bit of peroxide on hand. I followed it like the original for the first round with only 3 tablespoons of peroxide instead of the 1/4 cup.  Worked fine aside from my machine getting a bit foamy. The second round I filled my clean water container to the fill line (I think it is 2 1/2 quarts), 2 tablespoons vinegar, 2 tablespoons soap and 3 tablespoons peroxide. That did not cause my machine to get foamy and still did a great job cleaning. I have to say I wish I took pictures because living in an apartment with cheap carpet, well no one has to tell you that it gets dirty and gross no matter what you do!  

The end of a Great Year

I can’t believe that 2012 is coming to an end already. In February my oldest turned 1 year old. In April My husband turned 24 and we had our 2nd wedding anniversary. In July our second child was born. In October I turned 23. Now here we are in December getting ready to close out this year to begin another. Time has just flown by it seems and it is hard to find a second to just pause and reflect on what this year brought us. We have had our ups and downs financially especially with the baby being born but we are on track for a better new year if it is in the cards for us. I have a great chance at a job in the new year and I will be going to school as well as my husband, so we are going to be busy bee’s in the new year! It will get us where we want to be in life so in the end it is all worth what we do. 

 

I found some great ideas for Christmas gifts for next year since I ran across them a little too late to had out this year. Not to mention I am going to use up the rest of the chemical cleaners I have and start using all natural products since I do have my two boys. I also want to make more of a conscious decision to eat more healthy foods and stop buying the oh so tempting junk food. My lovely husband is not a help with that! 

 

How was your year? What do you want to do in the coming year?