Friday, February 26, 2010

One week, No-Shampoo

Okay, so it's been a week now since I went shampoo free. Ben still thinks I'm crazy, but I figure why not. If you follow "natural" type blogs, I'm sure you've heard of it. And really, the first time I read it, I thought those people were crazy, too! But I kept hearing about it and it seemed like a lot of people were doing it. And it's super cheap, so I figured I needed to try it before spending more money on shampoo.

I'm pretty much using the same method as Tsh at Simple Mom. Baking soda with water, pour it on, scrub it in, rinse it out. Then spray on some apple cider vinegar. And rinse. It's super easy - I definitely like that! Some people say their hair was miraculously better from the first time they did it. Mine wasn't. Lots of people talk about a transition period where your hair could be yucky. And I'm not into dirty hair. :) Well, even after a week, my hair doesn't look dirty, I don't think. However, it feels a little dirty. I'm not sure whether that's the transition or that's what it's going to feel like as long as I'm doing this. But I'm hanging on. I will say, I used to use lots of "product", as salon people say. Because my hair is frizzy and curly and thick and long. Anyway, I think I need a haircut (It's been at least a year - have I mentioned our tiny budget? LOL) and that would make it better, but I'm not sure. But I've done the completely natural thing since I started this method - no additional products. And my hair's not very frizzy. It is, however, over the top static-y! I don't know why, but I've just been wearing it back to manage the static.

Anyway, I'm hanging on. I told myself when I started, I could do it for two weeks and if I hated it, I would stop. But I don't hate it. I just don't love it yet. Jury's still out. I'll keep you updated.

Oh, another thing - I've been doing it with Anne, too. And for her, I do love it! There are more tangles, so that's not great, but the washing part is good. It rinses out so easily. It has almost ended the tears in the bathtub. (She hates having shampoo rinsed out of her hair.) That alone is reason enough to keep doing it with Anne. :)

Gotta go get some rest in before Anne wakes up from her nap! Happy reading. Happy Friday!

Friday Quick Post

So I made a necklace for my sister yesterday morning. It was my first try on beading with Anne around. It wasn't bad. She had some of the same beads in front of her and she was stringing them on her own cord. There were some pretty specific design requirements since she wants her baby to be able to play with it while she's nursing, but I think I like it. It's longer than I like (due to the nursing), but I think I'd like a shorter one.

I also made myself a new necklace last night that I love, but I haven't taken pictures of it yet. So you'll have to wait. Sorry!

The Best Muffins Ever

So Simple Bites posted earlier this week How to Make the Best Muffins Ever. And I have to say, I was pretty skeptical. I mean, I've made some pretty good muffins before. But I used her recipe yesterday (a basic oatmeal muffin) and added in white chocolate chips and frozen blueberries (one of her suggestions). Oh my goodness. Best. Muffins. Ever. Really! You've got to try them. Oh, and I liked that they weren't that sweet. If I wasn't adding in something fairly sweet, I might even want to add some sugar, but the recipe only has 1/4 c of brown sugar. And I'm thinking of trying Agave nectar next time and see how that tastes. But really. Try them. You'll love them!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Shape Collage

I found this fun site. Shape Collage Here's the collage I made really quickly this morning.

Monday, February 22, 2010


Lent seems a little surreal this year. Mostly because I have a two-year-old daughter, I didn't get to attend our church's Ash Wednesday service. And this past week, as I have been trying to live into the Lenten season, I've realized how important that service has been to me in the past. Kind of like how important they say a funeral is for mental closure with a death. Next year, I'm definitely going to go to a Ash Wednesday service. Anne will be three, so I'm sure things like this will be easier.

Speaking of which, I'm really struggling with how to observe Lent with Anne. I've looked at lots of sites online and gotten some great ideas (like this one and this one) but they just seem a little old for her. But I'm really enjoying the way our pastors are leading us this Lent. Okay, it's only been one Sunday, but Mindy's sermon was great. Essentially, the idea is that Lent is about love and joy. Only through understanding God's sacrificial love for us, can we begin to know ourselves and live into God's kingdom here on earth. (Mindy, forgive me if this is not the point you were trying to make! I miss pieces here and there while caring for Anne.) Anyway, so to connect those two points - I've decided to just try to find new and creative ways to help Anne understand how much God loves her. What could be a better way to understand Easter, right? It doesn't get any more basic than that. God loves us.

It's too late now, but tomorrow I promise to update you on my no-poo adventure.

A Classic

Until Anne got this book for Christmas, I did not understand people's fascination with it. How could it really be that cool?! But it is. Really. It is. Anne loves it and we read it just about every night. I've decided it's the words. I fully admit that I love words and can randomly love or hate a word just because of how it sounds. The phonemes she puts together are soothing. They really are. The repetitive "oo" and "sh" sounds are so calming. Anyway, it's just what I've been thinking about.

Catching up

That's what I feel like I've been doing all week! I have a pile of laundry on my couch to fold that feels like Mt Everest! I'm determined to tackle it tonight during The Big Bang Theory (Ben and I love that show! :)). But part of the work, I'm making for myself, I'll admit. Here's the pile of Anne's toys that I'm going to go through after she's in bed to figure out which to keep upstairs, which to put in the basement and which to give away.
Yikes! That's a big pile! Definitely high on my to-do list. One little girl doesn't need that many toys!

But there are still beautiful things in my life.
She's not really big into dress-up yet, but she does like her fairy wings. :)
Isn't this a beautiful daisy? It was at Ben's parents house. Spring is on the way.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Two - 30 Days of Beauty

Ben's brother is getting married tomorrow, so we're in Lincoln. Anne loves her grandparents, and it's nice to come for a visit. This one will be brief since we have to be back for work and school Monday. Travel today was great. Traffic was fast but not too heavy. And Anne slept. Aren't sleeping children precious?

And I've rediscovered a crochet project this week:
I pulled it out of the closet and remembered how pretty it is! It's a repeating ribbed shell pattern. It will be a small afghan for Anne; I started it before she was born. I guess that's the other thing - she still doesn't have a mommy-made blanket and I feel like she needs one! So I'm working on it again.

And I don't think this really goes with the beauty theme, but I had a flash of brilliance and discovered how to take pictures of Anne!
While I was taking pictures of the blanket she wanted, as usual, to see what pictures I was taking. She's noticed that pictures show up on the back of the camera (on the LCD). But my camera's LCD is one that flips out and around. So I flipped it out so that she could see it while I take pictures of her; I looked through the viewfinder. She loved it! She sat still for about 20 pictures. Not all of them came out, of course, but it worked better than usual.

And to close, a beautiful quote, courtesy of ...infinitely learning...
“There is no such thing as a simple act of compassion
or an inconsequential act of service.
Everything we do for another person has infinite consequences.”
                  ~ Caroline Myss ~

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Simple Living Media Giveaways

So I told you earlier that Simple Mom added on. So to celebrate the blog launches, they're each giving away a great prize package.

Simple Organic is giving away a package that includes Laundry Tree SoapNuts (I've really wanted to try these!), Bummis organic cotton diapering kit, a Diva Cup, [Me] & Goji custom cereal, and Amanda Blake Soule's (SouleMama) books The Creative Family and Handmade Home.

Simple Mom is giving away a package that includes a 70 inch strand of pearls from One Pearl, a year of photo overlays from Ali Edwards, and a year's subscription to Seeing the Everyday magazine.

Simple Bites package includes 25 vanilla beans, a Smith knife sharpener, a cookbook called Blog Aid that was created to benefit Haiti, a sampling of products from Canterbury Naturals, and a Keurig single serve coffee brewer.

Simple Kids and Simple Homeschool are both giving away packages as well. They include Amanda Blake Soule's books, $50 gift card to Imagine Childhood (that's the place Carra blogged about last week), creative coloring books by Flipflops and Applesauce, as well as a signed copy of Jamie Martin's Steady Days which I can highly recommend, even though I haven't made my way all the way through.

In the interest of full disclosure, I get an extra entry in these giveaways by blogging about them, LOL, but I am really excited to be reading these blogs. And the products in the giveaway are top notch.

Monday, February 08, 2010

SimpleMom adds on

So I've been reading Tsh at SimpleMom for a while now and I love it. :) She inspires me to be the best version of myself without going crazy. "Live Simply. Stay Sane." But they've unveiled today an umbrella company, Simple Living Media. And they've opened three new blogs, Simple Homeschool, Simple Bites, and the one I'm most excited about, Simple Organic.
Simple Organic is about sustainable and healthy living for mainstream people. We’ll cover green tips and trends, provide tutorials on repurposing items you already own, frugal crafts that celebrate nature and responsible living, and ways to improve your health and lifestyle with natural remedies.
This is a positive, family-friendly place geared to the average home manager interested in “greenifying” their home and lifestyle. We have no interest in piling on the guilt or preaching a hermit lifestyle.
The goal of Simple Organic is just as it sounds: to make things simple. Attainable. Do-able.
Anyway, that's my plug for Simple Mom today. :)

30 Days of Beauty

Emotional stress takes so much out of me! It's been a rough weekend and I feel like I've got nothing left to start my week with... yech. So I'm taking this opportunity to remember the beautiful things. Bluebirdbaby has started
30 Days of Beauty

So I'm going to join her quest to remember that spring is coming!

And while today's photos certainly aren't as beautiful as hers, they spoke peace into my life this morning. And that's the point.

So actually on my to-do list today is to enjoy spending time with Anne. Since I have no energy today for two-year-old-ness, I thought I needed the reminder every time I looked at my daily docket. And I realized that Anne enjoying drawing with markers (so much more exciting than crayons, apparently :)) is a beautiful thing. To enjoy each thing you are doing, as you are doing it - that's a great thing about a kid. No worrying about the next thing - just enjoying the present. 

And it's snowing today. Again. And it's February 8. Can you tell I'm not that excited about it? But thinking about the 30 days of beauty, I was reminded that I'm lucky to live somewhere in the city where I get to look at trees. Trees are very important to me! And trees are beautiful covered in a blanket of new white snow. So this is the view from my front porch.

And I'm going to relax and remember that the laundry will always be waiting for me and choose to focus on Anne. We'll both be happier.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Homemade Cleaners

So Laura, these are for you. :)
When I was researching recipes, most everything said to use the Alkaline cleaner for basic cleaning. And I use it occasionally. But I really like the Acidic cleaner. I use it all the time. Maybe it's because I don't use cleaner for things like wiping off counters, or maybe its because I have hard water, or because I have a small child, but I find the Acidic cleaner is what I reach for first. I spray it on, leave it for a minute or so, then wipe clean. It works great!

All Purpose Cleaner - Acidic
The acid in this cleaner will dissolve mineral buildup and neutralize and deodorize many body fluid odors.

1/4 c white distilled vinegar
1/2 t liquid soap or detergent
3/4 c warm water
couple of drops of essential oil - I like orange oil

Combine ingredients in a spray bottle and shake to blend before use. Spray surface generously then wipe clean.
All Purpose Cleaner - Alkaline
This is the all-purpose cleanser you should reach for first, because it works on most dirt.

1/2 t washing soda (NOT baking soda)
2 t borax
1/2 t liquid soap or detergent
2 c hot water
couple of drops of essential oil - I like orange oil

Combine the washing soda, borax, and soap in a spray bottle. Pour in the hot water (it will dissolve the minerals), screw on the lid, and shake to blend and dissolve. Spritz on surface and wipe to clean. For tough dirt, leave the cleaner on for few minutes before wiping it off.
This cleaner is environmentally friendly, but the washing soda and borax are caustic, so keep out of reach of children and pets.

Consumption for Convenience

I was cooking tonight and was struck by just how ingrained it is in our society to use throw-away items just because it's convenient. This recipe told me to put the partially prepared items on waxed paper or aluminum foil until the next step. And frankly, I probably wouldn't do this just because I don't have enough countertop space - I'd automatically use something that would hold up on its own. But why use something to throw away? Just so you don't have another dish to wash? That's not an awful reason, I admit. But it seems a little lazy and shallow. I know these are not revolutionary ideas, but it just struck me differently tonight.

Monday, February 01, 2010


 This is our cozy "fireplace." Anne's warming her toes after a bath.

This is the face of a very unhappy 2 year old that couldn't have another cookie. She can cry at the drop of a hat. :)

This is Anne's first tearing/gluing art project. Cute, eh? She's pretty proud of it.

Isn't she cute with her really big monkey? (Thanks, Uncle Seth!)

And a picture from December that I've never posted. This was the Southern Rail Christmas Train that we saw at Union Station. It was fun. Anne liked the train part more than the Christmas part. :)

Funniest Thing I Heard Today

Anne made me laugh today. When we got home from work today we were going to start an art project, but I thought she had a dirty diaper. When I asked, though, she said she didn't. I'm trying to work with her on telling the truth, so I got in her face and asked her again. Nope, no poopy pants here. So then I patiently reminded her that if she has poopy pants and doesn't change them, she'll have a sore bottom. "Will you have a sore bottom later, Anne?" She tilted her head, then said thoughtfully, "Lil' bit."

We changed her diaper.