Sunday, October 4, 2009

Naturally natural....

Here is a glimpse of the cuteness I get to look at every day... Jealous? Thought so...
For the last few years we have gradually been attempting to make wiser and healthier choices in our home. For the sake of keeping our bodies healthy and how the good Lord intended them to be. For a while now we have been almost completely chemical free and it has been SO good to know that there aren't really things around the house that could harm Malak or us or even the dog. This is all within reason of course, I realize that almost every product created has some sort of chemical or unnatural substance in it somehow but you get what I'm sayin. Here a few things that we are doing in an attempt to keep our home healthful and be wise with our finances...
~Instead of cleaning products, I use white vinegar and baking soda for almost everything (floors, counter tops, mirrors, windows, toilets, literally everything) I add a drop or two of essential oil to make it smell fresh and clean.
~ I also use vinegar (apple cider vinegar) on my hair. Sounds weird, I know. But it is SO good for your hair, scalp and skin. I pour some over my hair after I condition- it makes my hair so soft and easy to comb through. Once you rinse it and dry it there is no vinegar smell at all. It is great for getting rid of build up from shampoo and product and helps with dandruff as well.
~I make our laundry soap (which makes it cost only about .03 cents per load).

~We compost/recycle/reuse everything- this has made a huge dent in how much garbage we send to the dump each week (for our family of three we only go through about one small garbage bag a week) all of the compost also makes for GLORIOUS dirt when spring comes around for the garden which means I don't need to go buy giant bags of dirt at the home improvement store.

~I make all of our bread (gluten free), tortillas, granola, jam, almond butter, applesauce ect so I never have to spend the money on them but mostly just so I know exactly what is going into our bodies.

~ I buy a large amount of our produce (and honey and eggs) at the farmers market, this way I know it was locally grown, organic and am supporting local farmers.

~ We all regularly take a good amount of vitamins that I know were lacking in or need which has kept us healthy. (none of us have been sick in almost a year) For Mal, he gets a daily vitamin (a chewy one that he LOVES), a pro biotic (to keep the good bacteria in his body thriving and multiplying to fight off the bad bacteria) and a fish oil (Since he has been taking those we have seen a HUGE improvement on his memory and how well his little brain is working. In my opinion, everyone should be taking these)
~ I make most of our soaps (laundry, dish soap and bubble bath)

~ Other than TP we don't use any paper products. Instead of paper towels we use dish towels or rags for clean ups, I have a few dozen flannel "wipes" that I made for cleaning Mal's hands and face and made some cute cloth napkins so we haven't had to buy those in years. They're all so small that they don't even really add to the amount of laundry loads.

~ I make almost all of our food from scratch- This way I know exactly what I am putting in my families body. When I grocery shop, I can really stay on the outer edges of the store (where you find things like eggs, meat, dairy, fruit and vegi's), it saves a huge amount of money to not have to buy any of the processed/canned foods and actually keeps my shopping trips short and sweet because I am mainly just getting those things that are around the outer edge of the store.

So that is a handful of things that we do! I know that there is always room for improvement and I am in no way even close to making all the "right" choices... So I don't talk about this to make anyone feel like they're not "doing enough", it is simply some of the things we do and maybe it will give you some ideas for your own home! These are just my own points of view and thoughts. So no judging please? :) Thanks.
Now I think you need to tell what you do! Feel free to ask questions or for recipes or if yo, I love talking about this stuff so speak up! I would love to hear your ideas and the things you are doing- I'm always open to new ideas or suggestions.

I just found out about these sweet little shoes! Bugaloo. They're made in my hometown, (Vancouver, WA) are handmade and are precious! They are similar to Robeez, have really sweet designs and are only $15! They also donate a percentage of each sale to Internation Justice Mission (an AMAZING organization that Eric and I are very passionate about), to help fight child trafficking. Your little one probably needs these cute shoes and they might make great gifts too... I'm just sayin...

21 comments:

Gina said...

I just heard about those shoes too and they are SOOO cute! And for only $15, they're much cheaper than Robeez! Ok, yes, I really want some recipes. Your bread recipe, and all your soap recipes. Ummm, yeah, that's a lot of recipes, but I NEED them. I started making my own shampoo and I think I like it. I got it from that last blog I [hopefully] sent you. I think we should get together so you can teach me your ways, such as how to compost, what meals you make during the week, etc. I feel so lost as to how to do these things (other than the meals, but I want to know how to do it healthier). I'll bring over some (healthy) organic cupcakes from Green Goodies and you can be my teacher...soon, please, very very soon...

Anonymous said...

Hi! I LOVE all the things you do to be healthier and save money! I have been reading your blog for a long time and think you have the cutest family and the sweetest story. = )

Can you tell me how you make your laundry detergent? Also, can you post pics of your little "napkins"? THANKS!!!

Kristi Baumgarner

Gina said...

Oh yeah, also, what farmers market do you go to? I haven't found a good one close to me...maybe that's the problem, I've been looking for something close??

Nicole Anderson said...

Wow, you have tons of great ideas! We are trying to do so much more at our house. It is not easy, but much easier than I had thought!
I too, would love to see your recipe for laundry and dish soap!

Mandy said...

Tara - I am amazed! Like Gina said....want to by my mentor? I am trying a few of these things, but in no way are we even close to what you've accomplished. I think this calls for some tutorials! ;) Thanks for sharing your family with us. ;)

Not By Chance said...

Hi Tara!

I love reading your posts! You are so funny!

With your household cleaner, is it equal parts vinegar and baking soda?

I'd also love to get your recipe for laundry soap!

Thanks!
Susie

Carrie Chlebanowski said...

Well Tara, I am not the first to ask for the laundry soap, I guess! I have found several online, but I am curious as to which you use. We have slacked off lately, but I am still trying to use the vinegar for cleaning and I also buy raw milk- which I swear kept me allergy free all spring! I am interested in your cooking and shopping though, since budgetary constraints have always been what has stopped me from taking this further- it is so sad how much more expensive good food is!

los cazadores said...

Tara, you are So good at this. Geez, I am in awe of you. I am going to use some of your ideas. This week I was already going to make gluten-free pizza bread because we're having a friend over for dinner who can't eat flour, wheat or anything gluten. So this is my first foray into gluten-free. I am making the pizza bread with soy flour. Will be an interesting experiment.

My desire is to be even better than we are about freaky neo-hippyearthiness, my problem is I struggle with time management. ha ha!

Bravo to you and yours~

Cindy

Rachel said...

You definitely have to do a recipe post after teasing us all! :) I've been reading your blog since we started looking into adoption from Ethiopia. We have our phone orientation this Tuesday and are so excited to start the process. Thanks for all the great ideas on how to do some small things that really add up to help the enviornment and save money! I am going to try to find a home made laundry soap recipe now!

Priscilla said...

Tara, this is amazing! Good job making those choices not just for your family but all of our future families...by reducing the amount of garbage and chemicals you use each week! I have wanted to make my own laundry soap for a while now since everyone I have heard who does it loves it. And seriously...Jeb can not stand the smell of vinegar...so does your hair not smell at all like vinegar after you put it on there??? I want to try it, so I guess he will be the test. :)

zenisin said...

Wow you are superwoman! Good for you!!!! All the little things you do help all of us globally now and in the future. I am one of those people you would probably love to slap on the hand or maybe worse. I just started to recycle. GASP! I know its bad. I always used the excuse that I live in a small house with no room for a recycle bin. My kitchen is about 3x5 which leaves little room for much of anything. But about a month ago I just decided I couldnt stand it anymore. I have been putting all of my recycle stuff in a small bag and emptying it daily into the larger recycle bin I now share with a neighbor. Ive felt extremely guilty seeing how much I am able to recycle. So there. Ive confessed my sin. The good news is Im now recycling and and very happy with my small contributions to the environment. Im hoping to do more in the future!!!! Thanks for all you do for the environment. Every lil bit counts! ~Angie

rebecca marie said...

you just made me miss being a stay at home mom SO bad. i've slacked off on soooo much since i've been back to work. ugh.

Melodie Monberg said...

I'd love your recipe for

1. Laundry soap. I've tried it before and it doesn't seem to wash whites well.

2. What kind of vitamin do you give your son? I've yet to find one that my kids will eat, much less work!

Love your post!

Melodie

Erin said...

Definately love it all. But this post makes your previous post (death by food coloring) kind of hilarious. Hey, gotta live it up a little too! I bet all that healthy living detoxed the body pretty quickly :)

Anonymous said...

These are such great ideas!! I applaud you for making this work. Any gluten free bread recipes you're willing to share would be great! Also, how does Malak take the fish oil? I'm assuming it's not in pill form. I just bought cod liver oil pills that are supposed to be great for your skin and memory, too, I believe, but I'm such a chicken when it comes to swallowing pills. haha
Thanks!
Beth

Chilling With My Peeps said...

This is inspiring! Thanks for the post and ideas. I've been trying to do some of these things...but you are doing so much more. It would be great if you did more specific posts. I'd love to know exactly how you make your products and some of your recipies. I'm going to try harder and your blog just inspired me!

The Busters said...

Hey Tara! I have been reading your blog for a while and think Malak is just adorable! My husband and I are on the Gladney waitlist.
I LOVED this post.
1. As others have expressed I would love to know your recipe for dish soap and laundry soap.
2. What fish oil pills do you give Malak? This is embarrasing to admit but I am terrible at taking pills and that has kept me from taking fish oil because they are all huge. Did you find a chewable fish oil for him? I am super excited by this possibility!
Thanks Tara!!

DrewCareyShow said...

Lady, I don't know how you're doing all of this, but I am IMPRESSED! You actually remind me of my mom when I was a kid. She was so sassy and pretty and fun and did great things like work the garden, make her own bread and pickles and jam, sew our clothes, you name it. I LOOOOOVED my childhood, so that Malek of yours is one lucky little guy to have a mom like you =)

Cloverland Farm said...

i love all of this! have you read michael pollan or mark bittman (his recipes are so great!). can't wait to make my own laundry detergent....just waiting for what i have now to run out. still hoping to do cloth diapers (thanks for your suggestions via email in the past). have a great sunday!

Jess said...

I love what you're doing too! I would love to know how to make the cleaning products and laundry detergent. Isaac has been home from ET for five months and I feel like I'm falling into the rut of "whatever is easiest" for things like paper products and snacks. I used to be so particular and now I'm feeding him crackers and cheese sticks almost daily. Maybe it will get easier as he gets older. But I don't want this insane feeling to become our reality. I would love some suggestions for healthy snack ideas for a kid with four teeth : )

aubrey said...

i need to make my own laundry detergent too..i think i'm just too busy and/or lazy. i just get the eco friendly stuff from costco and call it good. i will need to buckle down and follow your example and make some next time i run out.

we just moved into our house a few months ago so we haven't started a compost bin {i can't wait too, though!} but instead put all of our food scraps in the yard waste bin that gets picked up bi-weekly and what is so wonderful is that you can put practically ANYthing {foodwise} in there, including paper towels. we rarely use paper towels, but when we do, they are the seventh generation ones and then i just toss them into the yardwaste bin. i love it!

so, we pretty much dump our trash once a month or twice tops. i'm serious. it's so nice. plus, it's not smelly because there are no food scraps and no poopy diapers since we do cloth diapers.