Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Homemade Dish Detergent for Dishwashers

I have had this recipe for a while, but I have not used it in a while (we don't use a dishwasher).

1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Borax
1/4 cup Kosher Salt

I added the salt because I had researched homemade detergents and several people suggested the salt helps get the dishes clean. I put vinegar in the rinse cycle to help with the hard water we had.

Homemade Bath Fizzy

I know my daughter loves all things bubbles and if there is pink or purple involved it's even better. I came across how to make Bath Fizzies (Thanks Martha Stewart). They turned out awesome.
Here's the ingredients:
Baking Soda
Corn Starch
Citric Acid (I found my at Whole Food)
Essential Oils (I used Cinnamon Leaf and Bergamot, also from Whole Food)

Martha suggests putting them in cute little molds, and I probably would have done this.....except I don't have one. I used a bread pan and filled it with the mixture and oh so carefully cut cubes out. I used some food coloring and made pink, purple, and white layers.

I have thoughts of Christmas Gifts floating in my head.....

Friday, November 11, 2011

Pumpkin Walnut Bread

I got this recipe from Keeper Of The Home. It is a great source for yummy and healthy food.

Pumpkin Walnut Bread


4 cups whole-wheat flour or sprouted grain flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon ginger
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 can (15 ounce) pumpkin
2 cups packed Sucanat or Rapadura sugar
1 cup apple juice
4 large eggs
1/4 cup melted, unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts


Combine dry ingredients in large mixing bowl and set aside.
In separate bowl (I used my mixer bowl), mix pumpkin, brown sugar, apple juice, eggs, butter and vanilla.
Add flour mixture a bit at a time, just until blended.
Add walnuts and stir.
Bake in two 9x5x3 loaf pans on 350 for 45 to 60 minutes or until done.
Cool in pans for a few minutes, then turn out onto plate.

Friday, April 1, 2011


In my effort to remove (almost) all things unhealthy from my family's diet, I have been doing some serious research for what to eat and not eat. Of course, high fructose corn syrup has come up. I have already been reading labels and avoiding it in almost all of my food choices because of sites like below.

But, seriously, come on.......
I am running out of energy and getting a bit tired from making all my food from scratch to avoid such items. So, if anyone has any food choices that they love that does not contain high fructose corn syrup (or BHT, or Red Dye #40, or other bad things) please please please leave me a comment.

I know am so blessed that I can stay home and I have the opportunity to make our food from scratch, but I would love to find some easier quick snacks that I can throw in my purse for my daughter and myself when we are out and about.

(and if by chance you do have some corn syrup in your pantry, don't just toss it out, use it to entertain the kiddos)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Parabens, to use or not to use?

I have been scrutinizing every single item our family owns and uses, looking for red flags that may be dangerous to my family's health. Parabens are a funny thing. Some people think they are linked to cancer, others say they are totally fine. Either way, they are in a LOT of everyday items (toothpaste, lotion, shower gels for example....good thing I make my own of these things)
Here are a few sites I have read that have looked into.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Eco Friendly Birthday

With my husband's birthday having just passed, and my daughter's only a few short days away I have had birthday on the brain. I really wanted to make sure this year we did a better job of creating less waste, and not showering my daughter with ideas of consumerism.

Last year I think we did pretty clever things. I started planning a few months before by saving Macaroni and Cheese boxes after we ate them. The size of the cardboard was perfect for making block letters that spelled out "Happy Birthday". I also stockpiled all our Sunday newspapers. I cut strips, and made paper chains from them. I sprayed painted them to liven them up a little (not the most eco-friendly, I know....but it was a little blah). I saved the letters I made, because they were flat and easily fit into our file cabinet, the paper chains made it to the recycling bin when we were finished.

This year we are planning on reusing the letters (with a new coat of paint). We are also wrapping our daughter's gifts in festive cloth bags. I did this for Christmas this last year, and loved it. It took a whole 10 minutes to sew up the bags, and mere seconds to put the gifts inside, which is way less time than it would have taken for me to using actual wrapping paper. I love that we can reuse them.

We are also trying something new this year. We asked in our invitations (which were all sent via the internet except for a few for the grandparents) for guests to split their gift 50/50. Half the gift goes to a small toy for Tootsie Roll, and the other half is cash that is going to be collected to provide a goat or a cow to a family in need (we are doing this through Compassion International).

Now, onto the food. I am still throwing around ideas for this one. We don't want to push our ideas onto our family and friends by making them eat our exceptionally healthy diet. I am fine splurging and letting our daughter and our family eat junk food once in a while. This birthday party is going to probably be one of those times. I am planning on dipping small balloons in dark chocolate to create bowls, and then filling them with mousse and fresh fruit.

Our theme for the birthday party is a Tea Party, so we will be using a combination of corn-based throw away utensils, and my great grandmother's china she gave me (gasp, I know. Nobody uses china, but I think it is silly to have it and not use it).

Well, I think that about sums up most of what we are doing. I will probably put another post up here, after the party with how everything played out.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Make your own Face Wash

Here is a link to a couple of great ways to clean your face.

Recipe Goldmine also has some great ideas for making your own body products from everyday items.

Friday, March 25, 2011

It's Spring! Time to Detox

We have been away from home for 6 weeks, and I can't wait to get back home! Back to our normal routines, back to healthier meals, and my bed!
To celebrate, my family and I are detoxing from are extended trip. We were inspired by Planet Green's article to detox.
Some of the things we will be doing are:

1) Detoxing our bodies. We have been eating so much junk food I am embarrassed to own up to most of it. Our daughter knows the name of several fast food joints (this really devastates me). I received a 21 day detox diet from a friend of mine, who does it with her 5 children and husband a few times a year. She loves it, so we are going to try it as well. It avoids gluten, most fats (except the omega 3's and what not), salt, sugar. It will be a rude awakening after a few days I am sure!

2) I am really big on teaching my daughter in a Montessori style, and I found some great yoga nomenclature cards over at Sew Liberated. I am going to print these out and work on them with Tootsie Roll, as well as do my own version.

3) I am going to do a thorough scan of all our bathroom products and get rid of any items that contain the following parabens, diethanolamine (DEA), or phthalates.

4) Open my windows. It's been weeks without anyone in our house. I think it will be in need of some serious airing out.

5) Cutting out the microwave use. Did you know if you microwave something on a plate that is not specifically microwave safe it can cause toxins to get into your food which hinders fertility?

6) Doing some major research on our current diet while we are on the detox. We are going to be more aware of what is in our food. I have currently been looking at the ingredient list to make sure I can pronounce the names and avoid high fructose corn syrup but I am also going to start avoiding Red dye #40, and BHT. Although I bake our own bread and doing a lot of cooking from scratch I think I am going to amp it up a bit, by doing freezer meals. I tend to want to grab quick meals rather than be in the kitchen all day, so I think this will help us .

Happy Spring Detoxing!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Birth Control (Continued)

In light of yesterday's post, I have another article to share....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Birth Control

The first time my husband told me birth control had an effect on fish, I laughed. For whatever reason, I didn't think of what happened after it left my system...... Here are some interesting reads.

Although this one is a little heavier on the science jargon it's worth a read

This one looks like it was in a newspaper, so it's easier to understand

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Sing along

I know it is a little silly, but as my husband says I am a walking iPod for children's songs, and lately this song has been in my head a lot.
Enjoy! (you can youtube it)

Good Garbage
John Forster & Tom Chapin © 1990

I had a turkey dinner, threw the bones away
They hauled them to the county dump without delay
By the following Thanksgiving they had turned to clay
They’re bio-de, bio-de, biodegradable garbage

Good garbage breaks down as it goes
That’s why it smells bad to your nose
Bad garbage grows and grows and grows
Garbage is supposed to decompose

Styrofoam is bad, it lasts a thousand years
Once a packing peanut’s born it never disappears
So crumple up your comics when you ship your chandeliers
‘Cause comics are bio-de, biodegradable garbage

Bridge: Well every time that you buy food you also buy the package
Bottles, boxes, cans, and bags; they end up in the garbage

Half of all our cash we’re spending on our trash
For the sake of Mother Earth let’s get our money’s worth!
Only buy bio-de, biodegradable garbage

Monday, March 21, 2011


here are a few sites that offer ideas for how you can upcycle your stuff. I just want to say ahead of time, at first glance some seem crazy but you may want to give it a chance and you just may be surpristed.

100 Amazing Upcycling Ideas

Recycle Denim: Floor mat from Waistbands and inseams -- This site has a plethora of ideas, but in particular I like the green section. Some ideas they have are making a rug from the inseams and waistbands of jeans (you can make a jean quilt with the rest of the jeans),
Go Green Upside Down Hanging Planters
a generic version of the Topsy Turvy Tomato hanger (love this idea, minus leaving the logo on the bottle),

Sunday, March 20, 2011

I have been throwing around the idea of getting Forrest a reusable razor from this place for his birthday or Father's day. I love that there is nothing to throw away if we get the straight razor but it does looking a little frightening. Even if we decide to go with the standard style we will still have way less to throw away and buy (the refills are way cheaper than refills for say a Mach3)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Daily Rhythm

Lately I have really been trying to figure out what my family's rhythm is. What we doing daily, weekly, monthly, and trying to do less. Less structured activities, less running around, and spending more time wisely doing what we really want to be doing. I have (for a while now) felt that so many of the items we use daily to make life easier actually cause more hassles and take just as much time. Say, the dishwasher for example, how much time do we actually save by having a machine do our dishes? We have to maintain the machine, and when my family had a dishwasher there were always dishes in the sink waiting to be put in the dishwasher. Then there were the discussions with my husband about a lid melting in the dishwasher, so we should not put ____ in the dishwasher any longer. Not to mention the dirty dishes that came out after the dishwasher was ran. We have since given up using a dishwasher (our new house doesn't even have one). At first I was annoyed that I had to use my valuable time to wash dishes, but honestly I rather enjoy slowing down a bit and having my daughter "help momma" or just stand on her step stool and watch.
How many other items in our home our actually making our lives more of a hassle? The washing machine? I am not saying this method is for everyone, but I do like how I now actually think about what I am doing, why I am doing it, and the cost-benefit analysis.

Some great inspiration for daily rhythms is the site They have simple crafts to do with your family, recipes, celebrations, and all of these are under the theme of the season. They have just updated it to the spring season. It is a Waldorf-inspired site (it's a style of education).

Friday, March 18, 2011

Clean Home

Organic Housekeeping: In Which the Non-Toxic Avenger Shows You How to Improve Your Health and That of Your Family, While You Save Time, Money, and, Perhaps, Your Sanity

I have to say that I have checked this book out of the library not once, not twice, but three times. I love this book. I love the simplicity, and how eco-friendly it is and how I have to be aware of what I am doing. Ellen Sandbeck does a wonderful job explaining how to clean, organize and keep a sense of peace in your home. I HIGHLY suggest it to anyone looking for some great tips on household management

Thursday, March 17, 2011

random yet interesting reads
This site sells reusable sanitary napkins and a nifty little device called a diva cup. Interesting. Even if one has no interest in making the switch to cloth reusable pads, I would still check out their info in the "tips and advice" as well as the "about" section for the company.
I love this man's story. He is a Christian from San Diego, and he felt like he had too much stuff, so he did something about it. He limited the amount of things he owned to just 100 items. Now we are talking just his items. He has a family with teen girls (I think teen girls), and they did not participate. He wrote about his experience (it has been some time since he did this).
I think it is awesome that he is finding happiness with less stuff. He had somewhat of a cheat because he had a large collection of books which is counted at "1 library" but I think that gives people with hobbies (sewing, scrapbooking, etc) the motivation to limit their other things. The point of the story is not following the rules to a T, it's about changing your perspective on why you buy, what you buy, and how much you buy. I think all of this has a huge part of being eco-friendly and green. There is so much stuff on this planet do we really need to get more of it?

on that note, another interesting site I found...
Basically a group of women pledged not to buy any new clothes for a year.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Traveling with a Toddler

We have been traveling for the last 3 weeks in the Florida/Alabama/Georgia area, and we still have another 3 weeks to go. Before we left I planned, organized, and assembled various activities for Tootsie Roll to do (mainly for the 13 hour car ride). My goal was to find items/activities that would both entertain her, and not just be used once and tossed. Although several other moms I talked to, thought pipe cleaners was the best toy, I just could not justify buying them because I know my daughter, and just didn't think she would find them entertaining or stimulating.

Since I am so particular about what my daughter plays with, I set about making my own activities. Here is what I came up with.

1 inch 3 ring binder
plastic cover sheets
Reusable/reposition-able stickers
Various colors of card stock
Dry Erase markers and a towel or something to wipe off marker

I made a variety of puzzles, mazes, activities for my toddler to work on. I made simple mazes with markers and then made them a little more interesting by adding reposition-able stickers at the beginning and end (as in help the baby duckling find his mama at the end of the maze). I also did an assortment of matching games. The sticker book I bought had various animals and then animal prints, so I have several pages of matching the print to the animal. I also had matching adult animals with baby animals, and colors (I picked up some paint chips at a hardware store).
Since we are starting to work on letter sounds with her, I had several pages with letter sounds as the theme. I made an "A" page with the letter on top (made in dots for her to trace), and various items that begin with the "aaaa" sound (alligator, Africa, apple, ant, ambulance).
I felt a little better about making the books because they offer a bit more variety and they really did seem to do the trick. Plus, everything is removable and reusable. When I get back home I can take the stickers off and make new mazes or use the as a completely different activity.

Another activity that I made for our road trip was a button snake.

It is felt squares (about 2 inches) with a slit cut in the middle. I strung a piece of ribbon through a wooden button, and tied off the end with a piece of felt. Tootsie Roll can then put the felt pieces on the ribbon to make a snake and then take them off. Honestly, this one wasn't as big of a hit as some of my other activities but it did occupy her time for a little while. Like the binder book, when we get back I can disassemble this activity and use the felt for other projects as well as the ribbon and button.

I have no idea what kind of seeds these are, but Tootsie Roll and I found them at a playground one day, so we collected quite a few of them and have been using them as counters.

I made these felt pieces a while ago after we picked up the book "We're going on a Bear Hunt" by Michael Rosen. We brought along a smaller felt board (which doubled as a hard surface to work on in the car seat) and Tootsie Roll had several felt play sets to play with.

More felt board items.
Hearts to sort by size and color.

And finally, last but not least one of my more ingenious ideas. On a trip out to eat we passed by some toothpicks, and I grabbed a few and some straws to entertain Tootsie Roll while we waited on our food (she put the toothpicks through the straw). She enjoyed it so much, that I grabbed a few more on the way out for back at the hotel. Well, instead of dropping them through the straw, I gave her a sheet a paper that I had drawn an outline of Australia on, and had her use the toothpick to poke holes in the paper (she was sitting on the carpet). She LOVED the activity, and so did I. Fine motor control, concentrating, pre-writing pincer grip, etc., etc. for the early childhood educator in me. Since then we have used newspapers with interesting photos to poke holes in as well.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Wheat Berries

Although I have been on a hiatus because tootsie roll and I have been traveling with my husband, I have not stopped looking for ideas for how to improve our home/lifestyle. One idea I have come across (several other blogs/websites talked about this) is using wheat berries to grow grass for Easter baskets.

The process is pretty simple. Choose a basket of your liking, and line it with plastic. Next fill with soil (if you are planning on using the wheat grass later to make nutritious smoothies make sure to use good soil). Plant the seeds, water, and wait.

I am not sure if our grass will be very long considering we won't be able to start this project until later, however the grass can be trimmed and put in a food mill. The juice can be drank straight up (I have heard/read mixed reviews about the taste, and I have not tried this personally yet) or you can add to a smoothie.

Here are some of the common health benefits noted from wheat grass.

  • Increases and sustains energy naturally
  • Detoxifies and cleanses your body
  • High alkalinity helps balance your body’s pH level
  • Strengthens your immune system
  • Insoluble fiber gently cleanses your digestive tract and promotes regularity
  • Complete food with enzymes and all essential amino acids
  • Natural source of antioxidants to help repair damaged cells
  • Excellent source of beta carotene, folic acid and vitamin C

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Garden Planning

We are at a new house again this year so all of my hard work planning last year is pretty much useless now. So I am beginning again with plans for my new garden. We do not have a very big yard at all (it is so small we are actually planning on getting a manual push mower. I have been researching how to do a garden in a small area and I am pleased with all the possibilities for container gardening. I think I will be able to have quite a few vegetables. I am considering using grow bags because they are pretty cheap and apparently great for beginner gardeners.
Although I will do the standard carrots, tomatoes, lettuce, and herbs I want to try some new vegetables I have never tried before (either ate or grown).

Chard, Five Color Silverbeet

Cucumber, Poona Kheera

Lavender, English

Pea, Green Arrow Conv

I think some of these would be a lot of fun to try. However my list keeps getting longer and my yard is not growing at the same rate. I really only need a few seeds of each, not 250 or a pound of them. Soo, I am thinking about finding some other people who also want to try some vegetables and split the seeds.

Does anyone have any great ideas for gardening in a small place?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Washing Soda


Washing soda (also known as sodium carbonate or soda ash) used to be a common household product when people made their own soap. It is closely related to Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate), and it is actually made by heating baking soda. Washing soda was first made from salt and limestone to create a cheaper more accessible way for people to bathe daily. Washing soda can be used for everyday household uses such as cleaning and added to homemade detergents.

The first obvious use for washing soda that I have mentioned before is laundry detergent. The borax, fels naptha, and washing soda combo has been a tried and true way to clean clothes for a long time.

Another way washing soda can be used is for household cleaning. Although I usually just grab a spray bottle of vinegar for cleaning up spills and messes, washing soda can be used for grimier tasks (think coffee stains, grease, blood, soil). I have also heard it is good for cleaning out greenhouses (all the slime and goo that tends to grow there).

I am not sure how effective it is but I have also heard that a washing soda paste (just soda and water mixed together) will strip paint off surfaces.

I would caution that washing soda is not child friendly. It can cause eye irritants and will make one sick if ingested so be careful using this product around small children.

Friday, February 18, 2011

How to ReFashion your clothes is a great site for some ideas on how to remake some clothes into things you might actually wear. Love the idea!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Alfalfa Sprouts

My family and I are more than a little tired of the snow everywhere and the blah produce section at our local grocery. I ordered some alfalfa seeds online and have been growing them in the house during this to help us get our extra vitamins. This sprouts are yummy and filled with all kinds of good vitamins. Plus they are easy to grow! We just fill up a quart size canning jar with water and a couple tablespoons of sprouts the first day. We cover the top with a pair of cut up hose. We rinse them a few times a day and in just 5 short days we have something that looks like what is above. They are delicious and great for my daughter to help with. We can see them growing so it keeps her attention span a little more. We put them in salads, on cold cut sandwiches, and in thai food.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Freezer paper

I have just recently been introduced to the idea of freezer paper stenciling. My goodness a whole new world of ideas has sprung from this. I have a basket filled with shirts that need some pizazz and I can't wait to get started. From what I can tell freezer paper stenciling works well with a variety of items like flour sack towels, canvas bags, shirts, and the like. All you need is some creativity or the internet to find an image you like. Print the design (or draw) and then use an exacto knife to cut out the image on the freezer paper. Leave a few inches around the image to prevent paint from getting in the wrong spot. Then you iron the freezer paper to your shirt (or whatever) shiny side down. Paint in the lines with fabric paint. Let dry, and then peel paper off, and ta-da! Pretty image to update a boring bag.
Right now I am playing around with photoshop to make an image for my little one's 3rd birthday. I can't wait to get started.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

What to do other than recycle?

We have a box that we keep on hand of toilet paper tubes, plastic containers from yogurt or whatever else and newspapers. Some of the things we make with this odd assortment of items is a marble run and paper mache. It is a great craft that allows us to use some of these items more than once before we throw them in the recycling. has some great ideas for what and how to paper mache.
Also if you google homemade marble runs you will be amazed at some creations people make.

Friday, February 11, 2011


These are some of my favorite go-to sites for learning how to make my own things. this site has a plethora of information. It explains the whys, hows, and what nots of how to do make a ton of stuff. I highly suggest taking a look. Even if you are not interested in the green movement it offers a lot of great money saving tips and advice for taking care of your family. (in the search engine I suggest looking up 'homemade shampoo') This site is awesome.....AWESOME. this site is a real mom of two kids and how her family makes their own things. Very creative and nice to hear stories about real life (ie sick kids and such). this lady is quite the crafty one. If any of you knit or sew or aspire to she has a fun blog. She also is raising her child in a Montessori environment and you can get a glimpse of what she does to make her house kid friendly. this site has AWESOME toys for children. They err on the side of heirloom and are so much fun. We love the bee hive. this site is for all things small. Everything you need to teach your child practical life skills (small brooms, small bowls, small tongs, small cups, small drying rack. I love this site because the items enable children to be more self sufficient. There are light switch adaptors too. These allow children to turn on and off light switches so lights are not left on all day long wasting energy. I also love the books they have. They are real photos and great explantations of everything from the solar system to humans and animals. this is a fun site that has some unusual and some eco friendly items this is a cool site where stay at home moms make pretty cute dolls

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Dirty Dozen

Here is an (old) article about the dirty dozen fruits and vegetables that contain high amounts of pesticides (it also includes the clean dozen).

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Healthy Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

This is my own recipe that I adapted from "Deceptively Delicious" I replace part of the sugar with grape juice and add purred garbanzo beans to add protein. We use semi-sweet chocolate because of the research we have found saying it's a little healthier than milk chocolate.

1 cup wheat flour
1 1/4 cup white flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup white grape juice
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup nuts
1/2 cup Garbanzo beans (chickpeas)--use a food processor and make a puree

Preheat oven to 350
Combine flour, salt, and soda in a bowl. Cream butter and sugar together. Add eggs and vanilla. Add grape juice. Add flour mixture. Add chickpeas. Stir in nuts and chips. Drop by spoonfuls on baking sheet and bake for 9-10 minutes.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Our family uses vinegar for a whole lotta things. This site has some great ideas for why you should start using vinegar.

Monday, February 7, 2011


Many things to compost.....
Paper napkins
Freezer-burned vegetables
Pet hair
Potash rock
Post-it notes
Freezer-burned fruit
Wood chips
Bee droppings
Lint from behind refrigerator
Popcorn (unpopped, 'Old Maids,' too)
Freezer-burned fish
Old spices
Pine needles
Leather dust
Old, dried up and faded herbs
Bird cage cleanings
Paper towels
Brewery wastes
Grass clippings
Hoof and horn meal
Molasses residue
Potato peelings
Unpaid bills
Hair clippings from the barber
Stale bread
Coffee grounds
Wood ashes
Tea bags and grounds
Shredded newspapers
Egg shells
Winter rye
Grapefruit rinds
Pea vines
Houseplant trimmings
Old pasta
Grape wastes
Garden soil
Powdered/ground phosphate rock
Corncobs (takes a long time to decompose)
Jell-o (gelatin)
Blood meal
Winery wastes
Spanish moss
Fish meal
Aquarium plants
Beet wastes
Sunday comics
Harbor mud
Felt waste
Wheat straw
Peat moss
Kleenex tissues
Milk (in small amounts)
Soy milk
Tree bark
Starfish (dead ones!)
Melted ice cream
Flower petals
Pumpkin seeds
Q-tips (cotton swabs: cardboard, not plastic sticks)
Expired flower arrangements
Elmer's glue
BBQ'd fish skin
Bone meal
Citrus wastes
Stale potato chips
Rhubarb stems
Old leather gardening gloves
Tobacco wastes
Bird guano
Hog manure
Dried jellyfish
Wheat bran
Guinea pig cage cleanings
Nut shells
Cattail reeds
Granite dust
Moldy cheese
Shredded cardboard
Dolomite lime
Cover crops

Bat guano
Fish scraps
Tea bags (black and herbal)
Apple cores
Electric razor trimmings
Kitchen wastes
Outdated yogurt
Toenail clippings
Shrimp shells
Crab shells
Lobster shells
Pie crust
Leather wallets
Onion skins
Bagasse (sugar cane residue)
Watermelon rinds
Date pits
Olive pits
Peanut shells
Burned oatmeal (sorry, Mom)
Lint from clothes dryer
Bread crusts
Cooked rice
River mud
Tofu (it's only soybeans, man!)
Wine gone bad (what a waste!)
Banana peels
Fingernail and toenail clippings
Chocolate cookies
Wooden toothpicks
Moss from last year's hanging baskets
Stale breakfast cereal
'Dust bunnies' from under the bed
Pencil shavings
Wool socks
Artichoke leaves
Leather watch bands
Fruit salad
Tossed salad (now THERE's tossing it!)
Brown paper bags
Soggy Cheerios
Theater tickets
Lees from making wine
Burned toast
Animal fur
Vacuum cleaner bag contents
Coconut hull fiber
Old or outdated seeds
Macaroni and cheese
Liquid from canned vegetables
Liquid from canned fruit
Old beer
Wedding bouquets
Greeting card envelopes
Dead bees and flies
Horse hair
Peanut butter sandwiches
Dirt from soles of shoes, boots
Fish bones
Ivory soap scraps
Spoiled canned fruits and vegetables
Produce trimmings from grocery store
Cardboard cereal boxes (shredded)
Grocery receipts

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Chop one lemon (or orange). Place in 2 cups of water. Boil half the water off. Strain. Pour into a spray bottle with 1 ounce rubbing alcohol. May be stored unrefrigerated for 2 weeks

Friday, February 4, 2011

Homemade Noodles

1 beaten egg
2 tablespoons milk
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup flour

Mix all of the ingredients in a bowl and let it set for 20 minutes. Dust the cutting board with flour to prevent the dough from sticking and roll it out very thin. Use a pizza cutter to slice the rolled out dough into ¼" wide strips and let them dry uncovered for an hour.
If you will be using the noodles right away just drop them into a pan of boiling chicken or beef broth or water and cook them uncovered for about 45 minutes. If you will be needing them for later use lay the noodles out on a cookie sheet and freeze them, then put them in a freezer bag for storage.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Homemade Hand Sanitizer
This website does a great job of explaining how to combine essential oils that naturally are disinfectants to make a hand sanitizer.

Alcohol Free Hand Sanitizer Gel

  • 1 cup pure aloe vera gel
  • 1-2 teaspoons of witch hazel (add until the desired consistency is reached)
  • 8 drops of essential oils

Mostly Alcohol Free Hand Sanitizer Gel

  • 2 cups pure aloe vera gel
  • 2 tablespoons 90% SD40 alcohol (perfumer’s alcohol if you can get it)
  • 2-3 teaspoons essential oils

Alcohol-based Hand Sanitizer

  • 1/4 cup pure aloe vera gel
  • 1/4 cup grain alcohol or vodka
  • 10 drops essential oils

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Dish Soap

2 cups liquid castile soap (like Dr. Bronners)
1/2 cup water
essential oil of choice.

Combine in a reusable container and shake well.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sunday, January 30, 2011



  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • 1 cup cashews
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons maple syrup (as in REAL maple syrup)
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup raisins


Preheat oven to 250 degrees F.

In a large bowl, combine the oats, nuts, and brown sugar.

In a separate bowl, combine maple syrup, oil, and salt. Combine both mixtures and pour onto 2 sheet pans. Cook for 1 hour and 15 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes to achieve an even color.

Remove from oven and transfer into a large bowl. Add raisins and mix until evenly distributed.

(This recipe comes from Alton Brown, minus the coconut)

Thrifty Idea for children's clothing

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Large Quantity of Bread


  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 3 (.25 ounce) packages active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup bread flour
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 2 cups quick cooking oats
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 4 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons salt
  • 2/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 10 cups bread flour


  1. In the mixing bowl of an electric mixer, stir together 1/2 cup warm water, 1 tablespoon sugar, 1/4 cup bread flour, and yeast. Let grow for about 5 minutes. It will bubble almost immediately.
  2. Measure oats, 4 1/2 cups warm water, whole wheat flour, salt, 2/3 cup sugar, and 2/3 cup oil into the mixing bowl. Mix on low speed with a dough hook for 1 to 2 minutes. Increase speed slightly, and begin adding bread flour 1/2 to 1 cup at a time until dough pulls away from sides of bowl. Humidity determines how much flour you need before the bread pulls away from the edge of the bowl. It is normal for the dough to be sticky.
  3. Place dough in an oiled bowl, and turn to coat the surface. Cover with a damp cloth. Let rise in a warm spot for 1 hour, or until doubled in size.
  4. Divide dough into 6 pieces. Shape loaves, and place in greased 8 x 4 inch pans. Let rise until dough is 1 inch above rim of pans, usually 1 hour.
  5. Bake at 350 degrees F ( 175 degrees C) for 35 minutes, or until tops are browned. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes, and then turn out onto wire racks to cool completely.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Salt and Flour Finger paint

2 c. flour
2 tsp. salt
3 c. cold water
2 c. hot water
Food coloring

Add the salt to the flour in a saucepan. Pour in cold water gradually and beat the mixture with an egg beater until smooth. Add the hot water and boil the mixture until it becomes glossy. Beat it until it is smooth. Mix in food

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Play Dough

2 cups flour
2 cups warm water
1 cup salt
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
1 Tablespoon cream of tartar
Mix all ingredients in saucepan and heat on medium until the play dough has a mashed potato consistency. Take off heat and mix until dough pulls from sides of pan. Add food coloring and essential oils. Optional: add glitter. Dough will last several months if kept in a sealed container. If dough begins to dry out add a little more essential oil or vegetable oil

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Why we do what we do

For a little over a year I have been making many of my family's necessities. We started out with what we clean our house with, because I was concerned about the chemicals and the smells around my new little one. Eventually I started making laundry detergent, and body washes for us as well.

We are still adapting to some of my creations. Some of our homemade items were easier to adapt to than others. Things like toothpaste has been on and off again as we try to attune our taste buds to new flavors.

We started this change for several reasons.
1) First and foremost we wanted to make sure we were surrounding ourselves with higher quality ingredients and fewer unneeded additives.
2) We want to reduce our waste. By making our own things we buy products in bulk so there is less packaging. We also reuse things like spray bottles rather than filling landfills with them.
3) We think things should be in their purest form when we consume them. That's the way they were intended to be used.
4) We feel it is important to be good stewards. God gave us this earth to take care of. That means using our resources wisely. We love the book, Serve God Save the Planet by Matthew Sleeth. It is a great book that shows that Christians can and should be concerned with environmental issues.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Lip Balm

Small tins can be purchased from
Boil a small pan of water.
put a few pellets of beeswax or some small shavings of beeswax in the tin
Pour in about 1 part Jojoba oil per 3 parts beeswax.
Close the tin, and place in boiling water. In 2-3 minutes the wax will melt. Remove tin from the boiling water and stir in any preferred essential oil with a toothpick. Allow to cool.

Sunday, January 23, 2011


2 tablespoons Cornstarch
2 tablespoons Baking Soda
2 tablespoons Coconut Oil
¼ cup Shea Butter
10-20 drops Tea Tree Oil
various essential oils

Melt shea butter and coconut oil.  Add cornstarch and baking soda to liquid mixing thoroughly.  Add essential oils.  This amount fits pretty well in a 1/2 pint mason jar.

From what I have read:
Baking Soda absorbs odor
Cornstarch/Arrowroot absorbs wetness
Coconut oil is anti-fungal/anti-bacterial
Shea butter softens skin
Tea Tree Oil is anti-fungal
*Also whatever other essential oils you use, I would stay away from the citrus family.  I have heard that they cause problems with the deodorant.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Body Wash

½ cup Dr. Bronners

2 tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar

¾ tablespoons Tea Tree Oil and/or Vitamin E

2 tablespoons Glycerin

3 ½ cups water

Various Aromatherapy oils (ylang ylang, orange, eucalyptus, etc)

2 teaspoons Xanthan Gum

In a saucepan melt glycerin, and then combine all ingredients in an old shampoo bottle and shake well. The xanthan gum thickens the soap, so more or less may be used to reach preferred consistency

**This is meant to be a starting recipe, which adapts and grows to individual and family needs. It's not a science. Try different amounts of the ingredients to reach personal preference

Friday, January 21, 2011


Laundry Detergent

1 Box of Borax

1 Box of Washing Soda

1 Box of Baking Soda

2 Bars of Fels Naptha

Grate the bars of Fels Naptha and combine all ingredients and store in an airtight container. Use 2 tablespoons per load.

*Fels Naptha can be found at Marsh, Meijer, and Rural King.

*Washing soda can be found at Rural King

As far as my guess-timation goes it cost about $.10 per load. I store the detergent in a 12 quart container and it last me about 9 months

Fabric Softner

Use ½ cup distilled white vinegar

Thursday, January 20, 2011


2 teaspoons natural liquid soap (Dr. Bronners, peppermint works well)

4 tablespoons Coconut Oil

1 tablespoon water

½ teaspoon stevia powder or 2 tablespoons xylitol

10-20 drops peppermind oil

5-10 drops spearmint or orange oil

Baking Soda

Boil small pan of water. Pull out 1 tablespoon, and stir in stevia/xylitol. Melt coconut oil and add. Blend well. Add essential oils. Pour in enough baking soda to thicken to toothpaste consistency. Fill a squeeze bottle (think of those picnic ketchup/mustard bottle)

All-Purpose Cleaners

2 cups Distilled White Vinegar

½ cup Hydrogen Peroxide

1 cup water

Use this cleaner for things like tile grout, or low contamination areas

For full strength omit the water (areas like the kitchen counters, bathroom sinks, doorknobs, etc.)

For scrubbing tubs or kitchen sinks sprinkle baking soda on the area and then spray with vinegar/peroxide. Let fizz and then scrub clean.

Table salt can also be added to the above for extra scrubbing power.