Friday, February 4, 2011

Find Out Friday: Shampoo

I hear all the time about how "something" is going to kill us. Why am I so drastically trying to change our life-style? Why am I going against the every day American way?

Let me clear it up for you... Why am I so wrapped up in trying to better my family's health and well-being?

I know something is going to take us home to our Father. I know that changing our life-style to natural and healthy isn't going to save us or make us immortal. God's plan is set in motion. However, I do feel a mandate from our Heavenly Father to take the best care of my and my family's "temple" the best that I can. I am doing what I feel is best for my family and in all this research along the way, I just know some things are bad for us. I am not doing this because it's becoming a "fad" or trendy, I am doing this because I cannot just look the other way. I cannot live knowing something I am putting into my child could harm them. I just cannot and could not live with that - I am doing what I feel is best.

With that being said, I am turning back to our regularly scheduled post...

I tried the "no poo" thing. It did not work for me. I could not get past the "dirty" feeling I felt. I felt like I could not totally get clean without using shampoo and having clean hair.

Let's get some background on why I feel shampoo is dangerous for myself and my family...

First of all.. The skin is the largest organ of the body. Our skin absorbs every chemical we put on it and the chemical goes straight into our bloodstream.

Second of all.. There are many dangerous chemicals found in your every day shampoo:
  • Ammonium laureth sulphate - a chemical found in most shampoo which is known to be highly toxic and cancer causing.
  • Sodium Lauryl Sulfate - a chemical that is used in car degreasers and floor cleaners. It is known to cause blindness. It causes skin irritations including dermatitis and allergic reactions.
  • Lauramide DEA - used to create more foaming. Known to cause cancer.
  • Polyquaternium - used in conditioner. It causes skin problems and possibly anaphylactic shock.
  • Propylene Glycol - used in anti-freeze.
These are just a few of the chemicals found in shampoos and conditioners.

With that being said.... Does anyone have a good yet affordable natural shampoo/conditioner idea to offer? I just cannot handle the "no poo" method!

Have you tried the "no poo" method and it worked for you? Did you know there was all that unhealthy yucky stuff in shampoo/conditioner? Please share!

    Thursday, February 3, 2011

    What I Have Learned About Using Debit Cards

    This year we have dubbed the year to "make the rubber hit the road" when it comes to our finances. We have prayed, sought guidance, found accountability partners and came up with a realistic budget.

    With all those wonderful steps being taken, I have made one mistake - using my debit card as cash.

    Need some groceries? Whip out the debit card. Gas? Swipe the debit card. There have got to be funds in there. I will write the balance in the checkbook later. Not to worry!

    "Honey, can you stop by the store for a few things on the way home? Just use the debit card." Need a receipt? No way! I'll just look it up later!

    At the end of the month (thank God nothing ever bounced!) I would wonder why we seemed over budget or why there wasn't more money or where all the money went. I then got the brilliant, not so brilliant idea to get online and total up our "budget" grocery purchases. We were way over in the food category!

    While there were no lasting scars, I did learn a valuable lesson about myself: Debit cards are just as addicting and dangerous and innocent as credit cards.

    When you have a certain amount of cash in your hands, you know just how much you have to spend. When it's gone, it's gone...

    The month of January we decided to live on a totally cash only basis (with the exception of gasoline so we don't have to get the kids out in the cold). It's been trying! I have had to wait for Andy to get home to hand him grocery money. I have walked the stores with my little handy dandy calculator (I'm not going to be at the cash register without the proper amount of money!). To be honest, it was a little embarrassing when I felt people watching me or getting impatient with me for taking so long in front of the juice but in the end I felt free. I felt like I had done the best I could with what we had and I was happy with myself.

    I just knew I would feel restricted and unfulfilled living on a budget. How wrong I was! It's amazing how free it feels to live on a budget and stick to it. There are no feelings of lacking whatsoever. What replaced those feelings of restriction were feelings of blessings. I feel blessed to have the grocery money we have and I love that I am trying my best to steward it the best way I can!

    How about you? Do you have problems with temptation and using debit cards?

    *This post is linked to Frugal Friday.*

    Wednesday, February 2, 2011

    Oldies but Goodies

    My mom and dad recently gave Andy and me their old computer. They have had it for a long time (but kept much nicer with no littles "helping"). When I say long time, I mean they got it when I was in high school.

    A couple of days, I was looking through my user page and found some pictures. They are truly "oldies but goodies". Hope y'all get a good laugh when you look through them! :)

    Hope you enjoyed this stroll down memory lane with me and maybe had a few good laughs! Maybe next time, I will break out the ones of Andy in the folder entitled "blackmail" but then again, maybe not... I'm sure he has some good ones of me through the years! :)

    Tuesday, February 1, 2011

    The Ultimate Valentine's Day Gift

    I always try and make a big deal for Valentine's Day around our house. I know some claim the holiday to be one of  Hallmark's publicity schemes but even so, it's a day where I can show every member in our family just how much I treasure them. It's not as if I don't show them every day but I like to go over the top on February 14th.

    Here are a couple of ideas in which I've tried to make tradition:

    I write things I love about each person and put them up the night before so when they wake up on Valentine's Day, they wake up reading them...

    I make heart foods such as pancakes, pizzas, etc.

    The ONE breakfast a year where my children are allowed to eat their "love" candy.

    We dressed up in "lovey dovey" shirts and get our picture taken (this tradition is on it's way out I believe but it was fun for a time..Maybe I'll bring it back around when the boys start high school? I'm sure they'd love it!).
    Doesn't Andy look excited as well? ;) 

    This year, I want to be more intentional about Valentine's Day. We had a lot of fun and did a lot of silly things, most of which we will continue, but I really want to share the Ultimate Love with my family - God's unyielding, unwavering love. This year, we will discuss the sacrifice Jesus gave for sinners like us.

    All this thinking came around when I was listening to JJ Heller's song "What Love Really Is..."

    When I heard this song, I had to pull off to the side of the road. It shocked me. I knew that God loved me but I never knew that He loved me... That no matter how much I love my husband and my boys, I could never understand the depth or the perfect love that the Lord feels for them and myself. My mission this year is to drive home just how much Jesus loves them. He is the Ultimate Gift for Valentine's Day or any other. He loves us for us...

    This post is linked to Works for Me Wednesday!

    Easy Pot Pie

    Easy Pot Pie

    1 pie crust - not baked (homemade or pre-made)
    1 can Veg-All
    1 can cream of potato soup
    1 - 2 cups of chicken
    1 cup milk

    Grease pie dish. Sprinkle salt on plate. Lay crust on plate. Drain Veg-All. Mix Veg-All, cream of potato soup, chicken and milk. Spoon mixture into crust. Place top portion of crust and press edges. Make an "x" on top to vent steam. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

    *This recipe can be made as healthy or as easy as possible. Examples: homemade wheat crust, chopped/steamed unsprayed veggies, homemade cream of potato soup, free-range chicken and raw milk.*

    Monday, January 31, 2011

    Gratituesday: Sickness

    I can hear you now... "What Jodi? You're grateful for sickness? Are you sick in the head?". Now hold on, wait a second, give me a chance to explain. I know it is weird to be thankful for sickness but I think that it was a blessing from God.

    I think it was just what our family needed - myself especially included.

    I'll give you the run down:

    We had vacation in October with me being nine months pregnant. We had Thanksgiving and all the "getting ready" you do for having a baby in November. I, dragging my husband and boys along, worked hard and ran myself down keeping up with all the "normal" Holiday activities. We welcomed another member into our family right before Christmas. Then, once again, I ran us all ragged trying to do every. stinkin'. Christmas. activity we have always done. We then jumped into trying to keep up with our normal day to day stuff while trying to recover and get back to the grind.

    I never once allowed us time to recoup and get our feet back on the ground. We were tired. We were worn down. It's no wonder we all welcomed every virus and illness into our bodies. We had nothing to fight with.

    I declared last week, quarantine week only allowing Andy to go to work. Then Friday we found out it's not just the cold I thought it was. It was strep. Finding that out as well as that we were contagious, I designated last weekend "nobody in, nobody out" weekend.

    We spent the weekend cleaning, getting our barrings straight, resting, watching movies... All things our family really needed. Time spent at home. Time just being.

    So this week, I am grateful for the sickness which brought us much needed time at home.

    What are you thankful this week? Take time to think about it, write about it (if you don't have a blog, post it in the comments section) and visit Laura and tell her and others all about it.

    Tex Mex Dip

    One of our favorite party foods is Tex Mex dip.

    It is so delicious but let me warn you- this is a party food that you want to eat when the crowd is small... Get my drift (punt intended)?! Oh my, can you tell I live in a house full of males? Once- insert funny, awkward story- we invited a new couple over after church and I had prepared this Tex Mex dip and it was really, really uncomfortable (literally and figuratively). Believe it or not, they stayed at our church and we became good friends. Funny story- huh?

    Tex Mex Dip

    1 cup water
    6 tablespoon of homemade taco seasoning or 2 packets (need a recipe for homemade?)
    1 pound ground beef
    16 ounce crushed tomatoes (if using homemade canned tomatoes, omit water and use 1 quart tomatoes)
    1 can chili beans (or soaked kidney beans with spices)
    1/2 cup quick rice
    1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
    1/2 teaspoon garlic salt
    3/4 cup cheese
    sour cream
    corn chips or tortillas

    Brown ground beef. Stir in water, seasoning, tomatoes, beans, rice, chili powder and garlic salt. Cook 20 minutes on medium; stirring occasionally. Top with cheese and serve with salsa, sour cream, guacamole,  chips or tortillas.

    Sunday, January 30, 2011

    Menu Plan #3: January 30 - February 5

    When I came across this picture, three things came to mind... One- Goodness woman! Clean up your dining room!  Two- Look at all that plastic your child is eating off and with!  And three- Look how sweet and innocent my little baby looks! Can you believe how big he's gotten (and um.a.. gooberish!)!

    With that little stroll down memory lane behind us, let's move on to the menu plan - shall we?

    As promised, I am incorporating breakfasts and lunches into the plan. I just cannot begin to convey just how much menu plan has improved the daily operating system at my home!

    Sunday- January 30:
    eggs, toast
    sloppy Joe's, oven fries, peas, pears
    chicken pot pie, pears

    Monday- January 31:
    oatmeal, toast
    chicken divine, salad
    chili red, grilled chicken sandwiches

    Tuesday- February 1:
    eggs, toast
    re-run sloppy Joe's, oven fries
    pot roast, potatoes, carrots, salad

    Wednesday- February 2:
    French toast
    shredded chicken sandwiches, salad
    crock-pot potato, chicken and corn chowder, salad, bread

    Thursday- February 3:
    oatmeal, toast
    pizza, fruit
    re-runs buffet style

    Friday- February 4:
    pancake and sausage muffins
    chicken quesadillas, rice, beans

    Saturday- February 5:
    Daddy's dirty eggs, toast
    bean soup, corn bread, salad
    cheddar ranch burgers, fries, baked beans

    Know what happens next Sunday? I barely do. I used to be such an avid football fan but with the kids and a husband that hears "football" and thinks "soccer", I hardly EVER get the chance to watch any. However, with the Super Bowl comes some yummy foods and sometimes (used to be Always!) some good commercials.  I just can't resist. This week I will be sharing some recipes. Some Super Bowl favorites and some easy tried and true dinners and desserts. Check back daily!

    *This post is linked to Menu Plan Monday.*

    Friday, January 28, 2011

    My Homemaking Binder

    Do you have a hard time keeping your home from falling around you? Too many papers, not enough organization? Do you forget where your head is and often feel like a chicken running around trying to catch it? Perhaps you have too many irons in the fire and not enough memory space to remember where you are supposed to be going? Maybe you have young children and the last thing you want to do is try to remember what you are supposed to be having for dinner and guess what! It's four o'clock and hubby is on his way home? 

    This was my life before I came upon the idea for a homemaking binder. Some call it a homekeeper's guide. Some call it a Brain Binder. Me? I call it priceless. Without it, I am lost. I remember five years ago, when I was still trying to fine tune my organizational book, we were moving and my notebook got lost in the shuffle. I searched and then actually mourned when I couldn't find it. Ask my husband. He was quite annoyed!

    Now five years later with a house twice the size and twice as many kids running around under foot, betcha bootie - I know where my homemaking binder is! I rely on it daily and I know my husband truly appreciates the small sanity it brings to me daily! :) 

    There are often times, such as when my kids were sick during the past few weeks, when my house and organization and routine has gone such awry that I just do not know where to begin. Times such as these are when I search out my binder and just pick right up on what I am supposed to be doing. Now do not get me wrong, there are many days in which I just want to throw the binder out the door and go back to bed but it is an awesome tool which makes me feel as if I am maximizing me day and glorifying God through taking care of my family. 

    Today I want to share with you my homemaking binder. This binder is many years of trial and error. What works for me might now work for you. I encourage you to begin a home  management and tune it to fit you and your family's needs. (I adore all lists and organizational plans!

    What you see when you open the binder. Family... Need I say more?

    My Mission Statement and verses in which remind me to remember my statement. 

     This page is a nice little reference you can find at Karen Ehman's page .

    This is the routines and schedules part of my binder. Here are  couple of pages in mine.
     My cleaning routine and schedules are next.
    This is my menu planning and food notes area in my binder.
    This is where I keep a quick idea of what food I need to buy.
     I like to keep all previous menu plans for rotating and ideas.
     Special food instructions.
     This area holds all things revolving around my kids - lost teeth, potty training, etc.

    In this section, I also keep my prayer and praise journal. 
    As many of you know, the Lord has placed adoption on our hearts. 

     This is were I keep all gardening notes.

    This is just a small peek into the homemaking binder. To show and explain every part of it would take so much time. Instead take some pictures of your homemaking binder and join the fun Monday, January 31st over at Life As Mom!



    Thursday, January 27, 2011

    Yet Another Post...

    Have I mentioned just how much I now adore menu planning? Do you know how much easier life has been since I have truly embraced the power of menu planning? It took a while but I finally figured out just worked for me and my family.

    The month of January we have been eating out of our freezer. We have a crazy amount of food in our home. Here are a couple of pictures of just how much we had in our freezers.

    With eating solely from the freezer, we knocked the above pictures of our freezers (I believe our freezers were even more stocked that that!) to these pictures...

    I know that it does not look like a huge dent but we now have all the meat in the inside freezer and all the frozen juice, cheese and veggies in the outside freezer. We have saved a TON of money this month and we are trucking away at trying to eat all the freezer foods. 

    It's amazing just how easy it is to eat at home when you have a plan in place. I have rarely missed running out for a bite to eat. We have had tons of sickness and such so before my menu plan, we would have most likely eaten out most meals. I cannot begin to reiterate just how awesome it has been to have all our food needs right at our finger tips. I am sure that it will also play a huge role in helping us overcome our illness.

    The next Menu Plan Monday, I will be adding breakfasts and lunches as well since things have been going so well with planning dinners!

    Do you menu plan? How has it made an impact in your days? Do you find it a help or a hinder?

    *This post has been linked to Frugal Fridays.*

    Wednesday, January 26, 2011

    My Right - Hand Men....

    I'm not really sure that these can be classified as "men" but I'm so very sure that in this season of my life I could not live without them!

    In my last post tried to convey just how sickly the littles in my home have been and just how much puke and snot I have been cleaning up. Buckets of puke and boxes of snotty tissues and crying and whining and oh.. wait I will get back to the scheduled post...

    Also, I have often alluded to the fact I am totally and awesomely in love with all things natural. It all started ... Okay. I digress yet again. That is another story for another day.

    Back to my two right - hand men...

    I am one of those people who grew up in a home where bleach was used on all and everything. "Bleach it!" was my dad's motto for everything. Therefore, when I think clean I think bleach. If it doesn't have that strong smell, it isn't clean. As you can guess, bleach and asthmatics do not go hand and hand. I had to find something which was natural and safe for my home and children as well as give me the peace of "smelling clean". Enter - Basic- G.

    Basic-G is a  germicidal cleaner. It is an EPA-registered product that cleans, disinfects and deodorizes like no other product I know. Basic -G effectively kills nearly 50 known pathogens, i.e. Salmonella, Candida, Fungi, Staph, E.Coli, Herpes, and HIV 1; in pet areas, it destroys Feline Leukemia and Rabies. Basic-G is highly concentrated; it only takes ½ ounce/gal of water. Basic G is the most economical product out there!

    I also have come to adore BioKleen Bac-Out. It has been such a blessing on all the sheets and clothes which are housing nasty stains from uh.. hm.. giving your child grapes before a huge vomiting session. Besides it's stain taking out ability, Bac-Out also neutralizes odor. I can spray it and let the dirty sheets and clothing lay on the floor without wanting to puke myself due to the awful smell. How awesome is that?

    These two products have saved our clothes and sheets, floors and stairs and will, hopefully, eventually help us turn our germ environment around! Not only have they saved material things, these products have saved Mama's sanity and that my friends is a Thing that I love!

    *Shaklee and BioKleen have not given me any perks for writing this post. I just want to get the word out on these awesome products. This post is linked to Things I love Thursday. *
    Copyright © Resolve to Simplify!
    Convert By NewBloggerTemplates Wordpress by WpThemesCreator