Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Spring Clean! & Going Natural

This week begins SimpleMom's decluttering challenge! I am planning to participate. Basically she gives a challenge each week of March and I will blog about it and link up with her at the end of the week (these posts are supposed to include before and after photos).

Week 1 challenge: Kid's stuff! Honestly, I don't have that much in this area of my life...YET! I do have some things that need to be gone through though...mainly clothes! I have been doing it little by little, so hopefully this project won't be too time consuming.

Consider joining us? I know decluttering isn't easy...but with this you have some accountability. If you are unsure of where to begin and maybe not sure what the point is in getting rid of stuff, I encourage you to read SimpleMom's book Organized Simplicity. She helps put everything into perspective!

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Moving on to another though that I have been wanting to tell you about for a few weeks now!
We are going all-natural in our home!
I had been wanting to do this for a while, but was unsure of where to start. SimpleMom's other book One Bite at a Time was super helpful in this area!
So, where did we begin?? In the bathroom! Not sure about you, but we spend tons of money every year on shampoo, conditioner, facewash, etc. I really hate spending money on something that I am just going to throw away (one reason we use cloth diapers...I have a hard time paying money for something my child will poop on and I will throw away). I feel that way about shampoo and stuff as well. Granted, it does have a purpose...cleaning!...but I want to do things as cost effectively as possible and as naturally as possible.
I am proud to say that I have now been using natural product to clean my hair, face, and even shower for several weeks now! I was skeptical at first (as you may be) but after a few weeks, I'm a believer! :)

Shampoo--I took an old plastic bottle (that used to hold body wash) and filled it with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of baking soda and 8oz. of water. I squirt it onto wet hair and massage it onto my scalp. It took my hair a bit of time to adjust to this because unlike regular shampoo this recipe doesn't strip your hair of its natural (good for it) oils! I feel like my body is finally adjusting and not making excess oils. I usually have to make a batch about once a week depending on how often I wash my hair. Seriously, you can go a few days once your hair adjusts because the oils aren't being produced as quickly.

Conditioner--I used another old bottle and mixed 1 part apple cider vinegar and 1 part water (I added a few drops of peppermint essential oil just for a nice clean smell). I put it on the ends of my hair after washing it and then rinse. Simple as that!

Facewash-I've been using the oil cleansing method. Basically 1 part olive oil with 1 part castor oil. Rub it on your dry face, wet a wash cloth with HOT water and put it over your face to steam for 1 minute. It feels heavenly, really! Like a mini facial. I know you're probably thinking that using oil on your face can't possibly be good, but have you ever taken chemistry? It wasn't my favorite (to be completely honest I struggled with it), but one thing I remember is one of the basic principles of chemistry is "Like dissolves Like". Oil and water won't mix, so you are having to use a detergent on your face (when you buy facial cleansing products) which tends to dry out your skin. Using these oils simply breaks down the oils on your face without over drying skin leaving your face feeling smooth, soft, and clean! Not to mention it is a great eye-make-up remover (and cost a ton less)!

Don't believe me? Try thes things for yourself! The cost factor alone is enough to make me do it, not to mention it is better for you, your family, your environment, etc. No chemicals is usually a pretty good thing :) The ingedients are simple and extremely cheap!
 Next on my list is homemade toothpaste...we'll see how that goes!

I also switched some of my cleaning products out. First was my kitchen counter cleaner. I got a recipe from a book my mom got me and I love it! I use lemon essential oil in it to give it that nice clean smell.
Then, I tried this and boy was I shocked! My shower tends to get soap scum and mildew built up pretty quickly. I mixed 1 part hot vinegar with 1 part blue Dawn dish liquid, and voila! My shower was sparkling! After using this, I will never go back to store bought cleaner!

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Once again, works great, is cost effective, and SAFE! Having children around makes me want to have things that are safe for me to use around them.

Do you have any natrual/homemade recipes that you love? Please share!!


1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the ideas! Ooo I love the oil face wash! My face already looks brighter! ;) I've used almond oil on my face recently, but not as actual face wash. So I used 1 part almond oil to 3 parts EVOO with one drop of tea tree oil for my blemishes. I love it. You can infuse your vinegar with herbs for extra bounce or hi lights. Simmer vinegar with herbs/lemon peel on low heat for an hour; strain out the herbs. Chamomile and citrus for blondes, rosemary and lavandar for brunettes. Dilute in water as usual for rinsing. I've used shampoo bars before with the vinegar rinses and have always tried to leave behind shampoo, but have always gone back. I'm excited to try the baking soda instead! Grapefruit seed extract has great cleaning ability too! It's worth the investment in the $12 bottle that can last up to 2 years. I've used it here in Uganda for 8 years. Use it on countertops, cleaning vegetables, soaking cutting boards (that you've cut meat on) etc. My sister also said you can use peroxide and soda with things to whiten them up (your wash) instead of buying expensive products. Have fun and well done cutting costs! I'm waiting to hear how to cut out body wash! I keep trying to get my family to use good 'ol soap!


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