Saturday, November 14, 2009


Ok! I have gotten (roughly) a million questions and emails about recipes and how-to's from my Naturally Natural post a while back... So here are the answers to a few of your questions!

Laundry detergent:
One large box (4lbs, I think) of baking soda.
One large box (also 4 or 5 lb) of washing soda (This is found in the laundry detergent section of your grocery store. It can be hard to find. For you Oklahomans it can be found at Homeland. For the rest of you, this website might help you find which store carries it near you)
One large box of Borax
4 bars of soap, grated or shredded in a food processor (I use Dr. Bronners which can be found at any natural food store and happens to be at Target also)
Thoroughly mix all of these together. Use 1 tablespoon per load.
FYI, this gets our clothes fresh and clean. The whites stay white, the colors keep their color. It is a gentle, mild soap that gets the job done well but if you're looking for something like Tide with bleach... well, go buy Tide with bleach. :)
Bubble bath:
1 cup baby shampoo or eco-friendly liquid soap (I use Burts Bees)
3/4 cup water
1/2 - 1 tsp. glycerin
Essential oil for scent (optional)
Combine 1 cup baby shampoo or eco-friendly liquid soap with ¾ cup water, and ½ to 1 teaspoon glycerin in a reusable plastic bottle. Add a few drops to running water at bath time for a fun, bubbly, nourishing bath. As an added perk, add a few drops of essential oil such as lavender, orange, or chamomile directly to the bath water. Add dirty kids or a stressed out mama and wash the day away!

I got this recipe from The Green Parent, they've got lots of great ideas for healthful, natural parenting, check em out!
(Look how pretty and fall-y my tree is!)

Household cleaner: (That I use for EVERYTHING, windows, counters, bathrooms, wood floors, literally everything)
Equal parts water and white vinegar in a spray bottle.
I also add a few drops of lemon essential oil to make it smell fresh and clean.

For tougher jobs that need a good scrub (like toilets or the oven range) I just sprinkle baking soda on the surface and scrub w/ a scrub brush. These are the only two cleaners I ever use. No need to spend money on anything else or have any other chemicals in the house! Easy peasy.

How I compost: I have a bin in the backyard that EVERYTHING gets throw into. (It is actually a large garbage can that Eric drilled lots of quarter sized holes into for aeration and air flow) I also have a small bowl under the sink in the kitchen and toss all our food scraps into that so that I don't have to run to the backyard all the time. I just empty that into the large bin outside every few days. Here are some of the things you can put in your compost bin: Any food scrap (NO meat), egg shells, peels, coffee grinds and filters, pet hair, dryer lint, leaves, grass, weeds, shredded newspaper, tea bags. Ok you get the point, anything! Keep it out in the elements- sun, rain, snow, whatever, it all just helps in the decomposition process. FYI, If you start getting too many pests or flies in the outside bin, you probably have too much moisture/food scraps and need to add more dry material. (grass, leaves, yard clippings, paper) Every few weeks, give it a good stir, to mix up the mulch and it will slowly start to decompose. After a few months you will have beautiful, rich dirt for your garden! If you don't have a garden but want to do this just to keep those scraps from going to the landfill, give it away! Anyone who has a garden will love you forever if you give them your glorious dirt. :) Here is a website with lots of helpful tips.
Many of you have asked for some of my gluten free recipes. Instead of posting them on here when most of you are not looking for such info, I am going to tell you to go to
this blog. She has AMAZING gf recipes and I have made most of her recipes and always been very impressed. I particularly love her lemon poppy seed loaf, crepes, brown rice waffles, chocolate pudding cake and lemon custard pudding cake. Just a few faves. :)
I buy almost all of our supplements and vitamins at Vitacost. They are a fraction of the price that we'd pay at our health food store. Vitacost sells a huge variety of brands and different qualities of products but a lot of our supplements are made by NSI which you can buy on Vitacost and it is a great quality product. Our pro-biotic and fish oil are both made by NSI and the daily vitamin that Eric and I take is made by Synergy. (it is their version 3 once daily vitamin) I just ran out of the vitamin that Malak takes and I can't seem to think of the brand...I will check on that and get back to you.
Here are two recipes for granola bars that we love! Malak chows down on both of these and I love them because they're full of protein and keep us full when were out and about or if we just grab one for a quick breakfast.

Granola bar:
2 cups rolled oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup wheat germ (optional)
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup whole wheat flour (I use brown rice flour for a gluten free version)
3/4 cup raisins (optional)
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup honey
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup coconut oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350. Grease a 9×13 baking dish. Mix together first 7 ingredients, then make a well in the center and add the honey, beaten egg, oil, and vanilla extract. Mix well. Pat the mixture evenly into the baking dish.
Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the edges are beginning to turn golden. Cool for 5 minutes and then cut into bars and remove from dish while still warm.

Honey nut bars:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease (with coconut oil) a 9 x 13 casserole dish. Grind the following nuts into a coarse nut flour. Don’t let it turn into nut butter!
1/2 cup cashews

1 cup of pumpkin seeds
1 cup of almonds
Put into a medium size bowl and stir in the following.
1/2 cup of sunflower seeds

1/2 cup pf pumpkin seeds
1 cup of raisins
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Melt in a small saucepan:
1/2 cup of honey
1/4 cup high quality coconut oil
Pour honey/oil over the nut mixture and stir until everything is evenly coated with it. Press evenly into the prepared casserole dish and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until it is lightly browned on top.
Allow to cool for 20 minutes, then very gently cut and remove bars and allow to cool on a plate. They will be crumbly at this stage, but I found that if they started to fall apart, I could gently mold them back together (the honey acts like a glue). As they cool they will harden. Once cool, place in an airtight container and enjoy!

That recipe was taken from this blog which I LOVE LOVE LOVE. She has SO many nourishing recipes for your family. Check it out and love it as much as I do.
Here is a picture of the cloth napkins I made. I just used some left over fabric from some curtains I made. You can do them as big or small as you want, mine are probably about 13x13 inches.

Look how well they work?!! Amazing, I know...
Also here is an old post that I did forever ago about our experience with cloth diapers and homemade baby food. Check it. It may be helpful for some of you.

So that is all I have for now! Let me know if there are things missing that you'd like to know more about!


Sarah D. said...

Sweet! Thanks a lot T! I have been seriously considering going chemical free lately but man I love my chemicals. So this is really helpful. Seriously though, how often do you have to clean your shower in order for it to come clean with your all purpose cleaner? Or do you use something more heavy duty for the shower? Also, do you use natural toiletries? I really am wanting to go completely chemical free but not sure what to do for shampoos, makeup etc... any thoughts?

Gina said...

Oooooh, I really can't wait to try the granola recipes! I just bought three boxes of granola bars, so once they're gone, I'm definitely trying these!!! I'm asking for a sewing machine for Christmas because I want to be able to make super-cool cloth napkins like you!

Tanda said...

Thanks, I've been checking in to get the answers! I guess I'll go to Gina's house after Christmas to make the napkins!

Shannon Plumb said...

Wow Tara! You are like a superhouse wife. (That would be a great costume for you next halloween!")) I have seriously been thinking about your diapers. Would you do them again?

Eric and Tara said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Eric and Tara said...

Sar, I sprinkle baking soda around the shower a bit, scrub a little and then spray with the vinegar/water and rinse. It seems to get it sparkling clean! For shampoo I usually use Burts Bees and also apple cider vinegar (but I do trade off and use Burts conditioner too). Make up... I still use chemical laden stuff. :) Although I do us Everyday Minerals for base, concelear and blush and it is all natural. I LOVE it and they will send you good sized free samples to figure out your correct colors.
Shannon- Yes, We'd definitely do G Diapers again! Love them! Shannon we need to hang out sometime soon!

Melodie Monberg said...

Thank you. Love all the tips. I also am gluten free and like the gluten free goddess blog. Some amazing recipes that are also vegan.


aubrey said...

oh my goodness! what a cool blog..why am i not reading you? haha. i love your recipes for cleaners..i only use vinegar and water too but never thought about adding some essential oil to make it smell better. lovely tip! i will have to read through you blog when i get a minute and add it to my reader. so fun to find other green mamas! and of COURSE you can link to my homeschool blog post. not a problem whatsoever!

aubrey said...

p.s. i have been wanting to use old cloth and make some napkins because the ones i use are brown crate and barrel ones {boring} or ones with cherries on them that my mom gave me ten years ago {ugly}. i love the fabric you have there!

Liesl said...

LOVE LOVE LOVE this! Thanks so much for sharing! I am excited to start trying some of these!

Erica said...

Your my hero. I'll be looking back on these when I have more time. I use vinegar and water for cleaning but I haven't added essential oil. Your a rockstar!

kim said...

didn't you say that you make your own dish soap? what is the recipe for that?