Monday, July 13, 2015

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

DIY Shampoo

Going 'Poo less...

I was very skeptical  about using a homemade shampoo again. A few years ago my husband, after reading an article on Huffington Post about the 'poo less movement , suggested we try baking soda and vinegar only for our hair. It left my hair feeling dirty, itchy and oily. As many of you know I have been making a lot of my own products for the last year in an attempt to save money, lessen the amount of chemicals used in our home, and lastly reduce my carbon foot print. So it was only natural that I would find myself again reading articles about making your own shampoo. I stumbled across a recipe that uses Dr. Bonner's all natural soap and herbal water. I figured it was easy enough to make and couldn't hurt to try it so I did and have been using my homemade shampoo for the last two months. 

Why DIY Shampoo?

1) Shampoo is full of chemicals! Our skin absorbs these chemicals which build up in our bodies. Examples of known chemicals in every day shampoo: petroleum distillates, sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS) and sodium laureth sulfate (SLES), and thousands of different "fragrances". What can all of these chemicals do to you: damage mucous membranes, the respiratory tract, and the immune system. They may even be carcinogenic and impose fertility issues or complications. (Kimberly Snyder). 

2). Shampoo can be EXPENSIVE! I use to break out very badly from shampoo, everything in it irritated my skin. I always had to shell out TONS of money to get the natural/organic kind, which often still irritated my skin. This doesn't irritate my skin at all, I know what is in it and since I have all of the ingredients on hand it doesn't take long or cost much to make and maintain. 

3) Good for the environment: Since I am using the same container every time I am creating less trash to throw away. I am also not allowing chemicals to go down the drain and into our water systems. 

Just as a note, there is a transition period where your hair adjust to the new shampoo. Commercial shampoo strips your hair so your scalp creates extra oils in response to the harsh detergents in shampoo. Since it is use to having the oil stripped from the hair it may take a couple of weeks for it to stop over producing. It wasn't more than two weeks for me to see results that I was looking for. 

Recipe I Use: 


3 oz bonner's baby
1c of herbal water (steep rosemary and mint for 4 hours in hot water)
20 drops of camomile essential oil
A few drops jojoba oil
Rinse or spritz with vinegar* 

* I infuse my own vinegar with lavender from my garden. Put a couple sprigs of cleaned lavender in a canning jar and let sit on the windowsill for four weeks. Voila, lavender scented vinegar!  

Other Recipe: 
8 ounces of water
1 tablespoon of baking soda
Shake until dissolved
Rinse of Spritz with Apple Cider Vinegar. 

Hair Spray Recipe: 
Citrus-Lavender Hairspray
1 orange or lemon
2 cups water
1/4 cup rubbing alcohol or clear grain alcohol (vodka, gin, etc.)
6-8 drops of Young Living Lavender Essential Oil

Step 1
Cut a whole orange or lemon into wedges and combine with 2 cups water in a small pot. Boil over medium high heat and reduce liquid by half.
Step 2
Strain liquid through cheesecloth into a measuring cup. If you boiled too much liquid out add water until you have 1 cup. Allow citrus juice to cool.
Step 3
Add alcohol and lavender essential oil to the cup of citrus juice. (Feel free to experiment with your favorite essential oil)
Step 4
Use a funnel to pour into a spray bottle (at least 10 oz.). Shake gently before each use.

Monday, March 18, 2013

DIY Laundry Detergent

For the past year or so I have been washing all of my family's clothes (including cloth diapers) with a homemade laundry detergent. My oldest son has suffered bouts of asthma and allergies all of his life. After changing to a homemade detergent his instances of asthma attacks went down dramatically. I now make almost all of our household and beauty products. I thought it would be fun to share my experience with DIY with you in case you also want to take the plunge into reducing the chemicals in your home. 

Natural products are beneficial for many reasons. For one, you save money  by using cheap homemade household products as an alternative to costly store bought cleaning products. Moreover, these natural products are not polluting our environment (and eventually us, as the chemicals leach into our water). You will also be saving you and your family from the little-known effects of dozens of carcinogenic and toxic chemicals. Chemicals found within our typical household products have been linked to all sorts of horrific ailments including various cancers. These chemicals get into our bodies via our clothing, eating off of our dishes and even by breathing the air in our home. You can save money on homemade products and keep your family safe at the same time by making your own natural cleaning products. An easy way to start is with homemade laundry detergent. 


Here’s one that will save you tons of money and it’s better for you, your home, the environment, your clothes AND your washing machine. (Even HE ones). Total cost per load? In the neighborhood of 2 cents. Store-bought detergent, depending on what you buy and where you buy it, can cost about 20 cents per load — 10 times more.
What you’ll need:
  •          1 cup Borax
  •          1 cup Washing Soda (This is NOT baking soda, it’s found in the laundry aisle)
  •          1 bar of Soap – I like Ivory (Non scented, just soap kinda soap). 
  •          Box Grater
  •          essential oil (optional)
  •          1 wide mouth container
  •          1 tablespoon or small tbsp scoop

1. Grate the soap. I use the medium grade side. You can use the smallest grade if you want, but it takes longer.
2. Pour all dry ingredients into an airtight container and add 3 drops of essential oil (I like lavender) shake vigorously to mix. This makes about 3.5 cups of detergent, BUT you don’t need to use as much as you would if you were using conventional detergent. You could always double or triple this recipe if you want.
How to use:
  •         Small loads – use 1 tablespoon of powder per loads
  •          Normal loads –  2 tbsps
  •          Heavy loads – 3 tbsps

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Hunger Games

I had been putting off reading this popular series, but finally gave in to a friends pressure. I loved the first book so much that I went right to Amazon and ordered the kindle versions of the second and third book. Such an impressive series for young adults.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Stephen King's new book: 11/22/63 and much more

I have already read a lot of great books this year. I really enjoyed Stephen King's "11/22/63", which was about a man who travels back in time to try and stop the Kennedy assassination. I haven't read anything King since high school but was pulled into this behemoth of a book(800+ pages). I highly recommend it!

I also read "Caleb's Crossing" , which was just as good as Brook's other books. It is about a small Island and a young woman's coming of age during the time of colonialism. Caleb is her native american friend who was the first to attend Harvard. Excellent read!

Lastly, another good book that I read was "Mennonite in a Little Black Dress." This memoir is smartly written, witty and a really good quick read.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Shutterfly, making the holidays easier

It is getting close to the holiday season and as a busy mom I have to plan ahead. Shutterfly helps me do this by making holiday cards take minutes to put together. Unlike store kiosk like CVS there are LOTS of different designs to choose from. My favorites are the whimsy collection and the Classic collection . Living so far away from family I like the idea of sending family and friends pictures of our son for their Christmas card. I don’t know about you all, but I normally throw away plain store bought cards from other people. I do however; always keep the cards with pictures of my friend’s kids or my nieces and nephews. This year I am also considering getting a Calendar to give away to the grandparents as gifts. Shutterfly’s calendar theme selection is total worth checking out! They also have other inventive gift ideas such as cups and bags with pictures on them—check it out! I am a sucker for the t-shirts and the apron. Don’t wait to the last minute, the holidays will be here before you know it.

If you have never ordered your cards on-line or used shutterfly before I have an opportunity for you to try it out--risk free. I have three chances for you readers to win a coupon code for 25 free cards for the holiday. To enter the contest please make a comment about your favorite holiday picture. I will randomly choose the winners by midnight on October 20th.

Are you a blogger? Want a chance at 25 free cards this holiday season? Register here: