Friday, December 7, 2012

I feel like a natural woman

This post is in honor of my sweet friend Sarah who had asked for my natural cleaning solutions.  I'm not an expert in this field by any means, but I'm slowly on a path!  Since having small kiddos in the house, I have felt pulled to everything being more natural.  Here is what I have tried, liked, and some not so liked.

House Cleaning:

Natural Febreze:  Mix 5-10 drops of favorite essential oils (Orange, Lemon, Lavender, Tea Tree, whatever you like) with 1/2 c of water.  And spray just like you would with febreze.  I know Tea Tree and Lavender have disinfecting properties, and I love the house smelling more like nature, and less like chemicals!

Dishwasher Detergent:  This  (find the dishwasher detergent on this list...this is also a very comprehensive list of cleaners) is what I've used.  I can't say I'm a huge fan, because I tend to have residue on my dishes.  I tend to swap this cleaner and an eco-friendly detergent.  I will say just use 1 tablespoon of this...don't fill up the whole cup in your dishwasher.  That's a tip I found from reading the bottles of conventional detergent also.  Most of the time, you don't need to fill up the whole cup.  This can save you a lot of $$, especially if you buy the more expensive kinds!

Rinsing Agent:  I just use plain white vinegar instead of Jet-dry.

Wood Polisher:  Mix olive oil with lemon juice and water.  I usually do equal parts, but you can adjust to your liking.  

Toilet cleaner:  Sprinkle in borax and clean with toilet brush.  

Carpet deodorizer:  Simply sprinkle on baking soda, let sit for 10-15 minutes and vacuum up.  If you want to get fancy, mix your baking soda with some essential oils and do the same thing.

Laundry Detergent:  This  liquid laundry detergent is what I want to try, but have not made yet.  My laundry tip which has made my life so much easier, is I throw the colors and whites in together, put in 1/2 c of vinegar and colors don't bleed and it makes sorting so much easier!  I still sort our delicates into colors/whites, but for everyday clothes, it all goes in together.  

General cleaner/abrasive:  I'll use plain baking soda to scrub.  Vinegar can be used for glass cleaners, etc.  Baking soda and vinegar are really all you need to clean so much in your house!  Cheap and natural.  Yea!

Natural toiletries:

Lotion:  Straight coconut oil.  It is solid at about 75 degrees, so I just rub it in my hands to liquefy.  It's nice to know there aren't any scary ingredients lurking.  Coconut oil, straight up!  FYI:  For the best coconut smell, buy the least refined kind.  The more refined can be used for higher temperatures in cooking.  We love coconut oil in this house!

Makeup:  I am pretty simple when it comes to makeup.  I love Bare Minerals and Everyday Minerals.  

Makeup Setter:  I think a makeup setter really helps when using mineral makeup.  This is what I am going to make for it.  Cheap and simple ingredients.

Eye Cream:  This is what I'm going to make.  I had been using straight coconut oil until I found this.  Seriously, eye cream is so expensive!  But with not always getting the most sleep (love those little people we live with, even though they are sleep stealers!), I think eye cream is a great benefit.  So, this is the best of both worlds...eye cream, done naturally and cheap.  :)

Face Wash:  I've been using the Oil Cleansing Method for over 2 years now and love it.  Simple, moisturizing, and you control the ingredients.  I currently use extra virgin olive oil and castor oil.  

Face Scrub:  I hate hate hate blackheads, and more than that I HATE, HATE, HATE my blackheads.  This milk/nutmeg scrub is a scrub I like.  

Moisturizer:  I want to try making this.  My face really doesn't get that dry.  I think the Oil Cleansing Method is a big reason for that.  

Toothpaste:  My dear friend Amy shared her recipe and I have combined it with a little coconut oil when I read this recipe.  Jason told me he actually prefers the homemade toothpaste.  I'll admit that it takes a little bit to get used to the baking soda, but I do like it and it feels like my teeth get cleaner.  

Shampoo/Conditioner:  I tried to love the no-poo method.  I did.  I really did.  And there were parts I hair held curls better, I loved using simple ingredients.  But I seemed to develop a buildup I couldn't get rid of.  So the combo I've found that I like (for the time being) is these shampoo bars.  They smell super-yummy and I love that I'm not using chemicals that strip my hair.  

So, there are what I like to use.  I'm sure there are many more that are amazing out there (and if so, I'd love to be informed!) but this is what makes our life a little simpler, more natural, and more economical.  

Thursday, October 18, 2012

a year

It's hard to fathom it's been a year...a year since I had my last conversation with Dad.  A year...seems like a lot happens in a year, and yet it feels like he has only been gone a week.  I don't know that I'm processing it all very well.  Does anyone ever process loss perfectly though?  I don't know where I thought I'd be a year later,but I can't say this is it.

I don't know that it's sadness that I feel, because I have such a peace and joy of knowing exactly where Dad is...he's with the Big Dad, our true Father.  He is restored to health. He is in complete joy.  Seriously, what else could I want for him?  And yet, I just feel bummed that I can't just chat with him.  But just to know that my earthly dad is here.

There are things I like to do to remind myself of him.  They may seem silly but they bring me comfort...whether it's making his yearly peanut/candy corn mix that was always so yummy.  Or decluttering...Dad would be proud I know!  Or saving that special carrot cake recipe.  Or going for a run.  Or smiling about Jason wearing my dad's hat.  It's good to remind myself of him.   I miss him.  

Saturday, August 11, 2012

30 days

I wish I felt more passionate about journaling on here.  I'm such a random blogger.  I'm glad I don't do this for money!  I do wish I would chronicle more life for future reference.  I do an online journal which I enjoy too.  I should be inspired by my grandmother who has kept a journal for over 50 years.  I think it's timeless.  I want our children to be able to look over our lives and realize that we are more than their parents.  We are individuals who are just trying to serve the Lord in our daily lives.  We are certainly not perfect, just forgiven, Praise God!

Anyways, one of my best friends turned me on to  A website full of talks...maybe I'm the last one to know.  Regardless I have loved learning and I stumbled onto this one:  Try Something New for 30 Days    And it had me inspired.  I've decided I'd like to do a few different approaches.

#1  Learn my camera, taking a different picture everyday.
#2  The Love Dare...I've started it a few times, but never finished it.
#3  Purge an item or more everyday
#4  Endless possiblities...

Monday, July 16, 2012


I just began reading Choosing to See by Mary Beth Chapman...this book has so touched my heart.  I mentioned to Jason he had to read this one chapter about the story behind Cinderella.  I then had to find the song so we could listen to it.  I played it and chatted with Jason while he washed dishes.  When I walked back in the kitchen, I noticed Jason had tears welled up in his eyes.  Jason's not a very emotional guy, but in that moment, I was able to see my wonderful husband who just adores his daughters and truly grasps how important it is to savor this time.

Friday, July 6, 2012

not many can say...

that they just ate breakfast with 2 cute girls wearing nothing but their birthday suit, but today I can indeed say it.  kinda makes me feel like i'm eating breakfast in las vegas or something.

Monday, June 18, 2012


I'm wiping the dust off my blog as I celebrate a birthday.  I enjoyed writing some random ramblings for my last birthday so I thought I'd do it again.  It's kinda fun to look back and see what's on my heart and how I transform through the years.  So, I'm turning 34 (already turned 34)!  How did that happen?  In my mind, I feel like I'm still 10 years old!  But alas, I have been blessed with a precious family to love and nurture.  I'm glad the Lord trusts me!
Here goes...34 thoughts, unedited me
1.  I did not achieve my goal for my 33rd year.  I had wanted to read the entire bible.  Instead I did some indepth studies, so I don't have regrets.  I can honestly say at the end of this year, I have a deeper love and reverence for my Lord and Savior.
2.  I have read some uncomfortable books this year.  Crazy Love, Radical, 7.  It hurts to know I must die to myself to live the life I'm called to.  Yet, I know that is where true life is.
3.  I wish I liked kale.  Seriously it's just gross to me.  Tried kale chips.  Crunchy, salty disgustingness.  Kale=fail
4.  I wake up everyday and think, "Did Dad really die?"  It still feels like a dream.
5.  I miss our sweet Lucy dog.  It still hurts.  Who knew I could love a silly dog so much?
6.  I must admit, the girls are sleeping, I'm having me time and while I'm typing this, I'm watching The Bachelorette.  I gave up watching The Bachelor last season.  Not as painful as I thought.  You may wonder why I'm watching The Bachelorette...well, I try to justify it by the fact that Emily is different, traditional, a mom.
7.  I love staying home with the girls.  I just think at home motherhood would be more fun if you had a couple moms there all day to keep me company!
8.  I'm experimenting a lot with natural beauty products.
9.  So far, I love using cornstarch when my hair is a little greasy and I don't have time to wash it.
10.  The Oil Cleansing Method replaces my conventional face soap.  LOVE!
11.  I am actually right now using a system on my hair that uses baking soda and vinegar for shampoo/conditioner and nothing else.  I know, it sounds crazy.  I tried it before and didn't like it, but have now come back to it and am loving it!
12.  Coconut oil is my go-to lotion.
13.  I make our toothpaste and we love it so much more than regular toothpaste.
14.  The girls DO NOT USE my toothpaste...someday...MAYBE?!
15.  I make a homemade febreze that I love!
16.  Gosh, I sound crunchy, huh?  I never liked that word.  I like "natural".  Crunchy sounds like something that really needs to be cleaned.
17.  I have read so many great books this past year!  But I have to say 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess is probably my favorite.  Probably because the author is real, yet loves Jesus, but is real!  Check 7 out!
18.  I hate softball.  I know my mom and Jason would shun me for saying that.  But seriously... whoever thought having a hard ball thrown at you/hit at you was a good idea?  That and the fact that I got kicked off a competitive softball team in 3rd grade scarred me for life!  That and when I was 5, I walked up on my brother swinging a bat.
19.  I hope that we teach our kids to be independent thinkers.  I don't want them to ascribe to Republican/Democrat or Methodist/Baptist, but to just love the Lord and seek Him above all else.  To love and respect that we live in a country that we have privileges.
20.  Going through the death experience with my dad was such a glorious time.  I know that sounds weird and maybe insensitive, but really, to know without a doubt the Lord was present is indescribable.  To be able to tell my dad everything I wanted to say, to be able to ask him if he was proud of me...and to feel in my heart he was.  To be with him the moment he passed.  It changed my life.  I hope he could understand me and know how much he meant and still means to me.
21.  Our family has been drinking real milk (aka raw milk) for over a year.  I find it ironic that real milk is controversial in today's society.  Really?  Milk, straight from a cow is scary.  Yet we don't find it scary the crazy chemicals we eat in our food everyday.  Something's not right about that.
22.  A pet peeve of mine is when able bodied people do not put their carts back at the store.  Really?
23.  We have not had cable in almost 4 years now.  I have not missed it one day.
24.  When I was about 4, I was in a program at church singing with the other kids on stage.  I knew I had to go to the bathroom, but I was too embarrassed to say anything.  So I had an accident.  I still can feel the pain from that mortifying day!  The next day at church they had a fan blowing on the spot that I had my accident.  I can still remember my little heart being broken!  (Don't's funny now!)
25.  I love that Jason is riding my dad's old bike.  I love feeling Dad still with us.
26.  I love our quaint little town. I never want to live in a big city again.
27.  I wish my feet were smaller.
28.  I don't have many regrets in my life.  But looking back, I wish I wouldn't have been afraid to do some things that scared me.  Go out for track/cross country in high school.  Gotten a part-time job while I was in KC.  yada yada
29.  Some days I wish I could've gotten my P.E.  But most days I am so thankful to be at home and focused on my girls.  I don't miss engineering.  I miss working with people.
30.  Decluttering is a hobby of mine.  Less stuff makes me happy.
31.  I'd like to run a full marathon someday.  I'm going to run a full marathon someday.
32.  I miss Costco.
33.  I'm so passionate about natural birth.  I, in no way, want to force my ideas on anyone, but my heart sometimes aches for women to just be open to the idea of doing it the natural way.  To know how much it changed my life...I desperately wish that every woman could experience it the way it was meant to be.  (I feel like I can say this, because I have experienced an unnatural c-section and the natural homebirth...but I also know that when intervention is necessary, it is a blessing to have it available.
34.  I am listening to the book, So Long Insecurity by Beth Moore.  I dream of the day where I would be completely secure!  Help me Lord!

I feel that's a weird one to end on, but it's me and I'm not going to edit myself to sound better.  :)

Monday, June 4, 2012


this made me smile

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

what I'm grappling right now

The Trouble with Dave Ramsey
How Much is too Much? 
and Part 2 

I love Dave Ramsey, but I also am being pulled to remember our kingdom is in heaven and not on earth.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Project Simplify!

Pantry Before

Pantry After

Fridge (before and after below)

I have discovered a wonderful set of blogs that resonate with so much I am passionate about in this time of life. Check out: This month, she challenged her readers to Project Simplify...a focused area of decluttering. And I love to declutter! Less stuff=less stuff to lose, pickup, walk on=more peace, order=one happy mama! One area I actually took pics of was the fridge and pantry. And it brought me a lot of joy!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

raindrops on roses

These are a few of my (latest) favorite things.
Daniel Study: This has been a great, though convicting study for me. It's amazing how similar our culture is to the past Babylon. I'd encourage anyone to do this. It'll forever change you!

Beyond the Sling, Mayim Bialik: I have loved this book! It's so refreshing to find a mama who is living the attachment parenting method. I thought this would just be reinforcement on how we parent, but I have been pleasantly surprised to be encouraged and challenged by new ideas regarding bedsharing, discipline and children "stuff". Love it!
Real Marriage: I just checked this book out from the library, but love it already! I love that the authors are transparent with their relationship. I also love that they speak so much about friendship in marriage. It seems most books skip over this!
Strong Stride DVD: This is a great workout to complement running. I have always hated that when I'm training for a run that I inevitably give up pilates and yoga. This brings pilates and strength training back to my life, specifically designed to improve your running. It's a tough workout, but that's what makes it great!

So I have tons more favorite things but I have a little one who needs me and this will have to do for now. :)

Saturday, February 18, 2012

a thought on marriage

So I recently started listening to more Focus on the Family broadcasts, probably because
#1 Marriage is always a work in progress and
#2 I don't want to settle for a good marriage, and I should say "we" want a great marriage!

So, I realized I start a lot of sentences with "so".

So, the thought that stuck out is that marriage is a sanctification process. I've never thought of it that way, and it's a good thought to ponder. Marriage, just like God will not settle on leaving you unchanged. It's a tough thought and a wonderful thought all at the same time.

If you'd like to check out the broadcasts, go here and find the series, "God's blueprint for a healthy marriage." I hope it blesses you!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012



Last night I started the Daniel study (Beth Moore's study) at church. And boy howdy, did it get in my business! In a good way...but an oh so tough way. I am grappling now with am I this world's or am I Christ's? And I it ok to spend money re-decorating our house, as opposed to say giving it away? Do I spend too much time dreaming about my dreams instead of asking the Lord what His will is? Now I do believe that the Lord gives us desires and desires that are good and pure. I truly believe that my love of house design and photography are given to me by the perfect Creator. What I am struggling with is when do they take the place of God? I'm really hoping this bible study will bring me clarity. I so want to honor God with everything. But this world can pull you away and you don't even know that you have another lover.

I was listening to a Rich Mullins' song today and it said, "The world can't stand what it cannot own." And I wonder, "Does the world own me?"

This might be way too deep, but it's what is going on in this little brain of mine. I know that the spiritual gifts God gives are way better than a perfectly designed house could ever give me. What is the right balance?

(end of deep thought for the day...does anyone else smell something burning?)

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

not so carpe diem

So, I know this blog is quiet for my 1 reader out there. But honestly I don't have much to say. Late at night I think about writing a long post on what's been going on. But that's at night and I decide I'd rather get sleep so I'm not a grouchy mama bear. My heart feels quiet and contemplative. My heart is full of joy but also a bit of shocked sadness. God is so good. Gosh, He's so good.

But I read this today and it really resonated. I love being a mama, but sometimes in my day, I think, "Am I really serving God's purpose when my ugly self comes out in parenting complications?" And then I read this, and I thank God for those special times. It makes it worth it.