Category: how to

Clean Start: A FREE eBook

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Our family has been pursuing a more natural lifestyle for several years now. (Remember my chicken years? Oh, how I loved those!) Part of the process has been changing our food sources to more natural, local, and organic ones. We’ve changed our spending habits to be consume and waste less. We’ve tried to green up every area of our home from replacing plastic with glass to changing our cleaning products to more natural ones without toxic chemicals.

And, if you’ve followed me for more than, oh, I don’t know, FIVE MINUTES you know I’m fully in love with essential oils and what they have done for our family.

I’ve mentioned before that it took me a couple years to work up the courage to fully get started on essential oils in our family. We dabbled here and there but I just lacked the courage to dive right in. When I finally did start integrating them into our daily life I realized how easy it is and how much I had wished we had started using them sooner.

I am such a huge believer in what they have done for our family that I wanted to make things easier for others to get started so I put together a simple eBook to share some tips on getting started. Inside you will find recipes for diffusers, health & beauty products, and roller bottles that  all of your kids can help make and use. This is truly a fun and exciting journey for the health and wellness of your family and I am super excited to share it with you!

Check out the eBook here! I hope you enjoy it!

Natural Lice Repellant Spray

**This post contains affiliate links that provide me with ice cream money to bribe my kids. Thank you in advance for their good behavior.**

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I’ve had some friends asking about this since they’re seeing these fun little critters crop up in their school and friend groups. I don’t want to jinx things and say we’ve never gotten lice but, well, despite several times of close exposure we haven’t.

Knocks wood and furiously sprays kids hair with this spray because I’ve just tempted the universe to send them my way!

Once after a play date (where every other kid there ended up with lice) we discovered we had been exposed and I made a tea tree oil and coconut oil hair treatment just in case and I totally credit tea tree (aka Melaleuca) oil for our ability to avoid. Now we’ve started making this spray to use on school days or other times when we might come into contact with creepy crawlies.

If you would like more info on essential oils and why we use them and love them check this page out!

DIY LICE REPELLANT

2-4 Ounces Distilled Water

5 drops Lavender Oil

5 drops Peppermint Oil

5 drops Rosemary Oil

5 drops Melaleuca Oil

4 ounce spray bottle

Add oils to bottle. Fill remainder with distilled water. Spritz on hair in mornings before school.

How to make a worm farm.

This past weekend we added to the backyard craziness by making a worm farm. We figured with the composting and the chickens and our recent interest in backyard aquaponics that a worm farm was the next logical addition. If you look online there are lots of cool worm bins you can buy. But, they can cost serious money. And we’re all about being frugal in our backyard endeavors.

So, if you’re looking to make a backyard worm farm for composting or gardening or feeding chickens or bait, here’s how it’s done.

1. Get the worm bin ready. We used an old kid’s wading pool that we had lying around the backyard collecting mosquitos. No, seriously. It was gross.

2. Fill the worm bin with layers of organic materials. We did a layer of chicken manure, a layer of soil, a layer of pine shavings, a layer of wet newspaper, another layer of chicken manure, and more soil to top it off. After layering it all we wet it down.

3. Find a local place for red wigglers. We found a few places on Craigslist and even tried a local bait shop, but in the end the place we found the best prices on worms was at Farmer D Organics. We picked up 1000 worms (1 lb.) for $25.

4. Bring those fat juicy red wigglers home and introduce them to their new home.

Easy, right? Since we had everything laying around in the backyard the only cost on this was the cost of the worms. Every few days we’re adding everything from egg shells to veggie scraps and coffee grounds and so far the worms seem super fat and happy. They may not be quite so happy when they become chicken food, but in the meantime they’ll get to live it up on delicious kitchen scraps!

Cool DIY Project: Vintage Record Clock

Looking for a fun, eclectic, inexpensive, DIY gift? Then I’ve got just the thing for you!

I made this for my sister for Christmas this year because she loves old records and I thought this would look so cool in her place. I’m actually a little embarrassed to post instructions since it was so incredibly easy. So, Eryn, stop reading right now. I want you to keep thinking I spent hours slaving away on your record clock!

Step One:

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Buy an old record at any thrift store, Goodwill, or junk shop. You can use a 45 as well depending on the size of the clock you’re looking to make. I bought this record for a whopping 50 cents!

Step Two:

Pick up a clock kit online or at any craft store. The one I used only set me back $7.99. It came with self-adhesive numbers in the kit but I wanted to go for a more modern look so I left them off.

Step Three:

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Mount the clock kit to the record through the pre-established hole in the middle. And Voila! A record clock. (See I told you it was easy!)

Escape from the 1960’s

This weekend was such a whirlwind. We’re getting ready for a big Thanksgiving practice party (more on that later) and parties like that always remind me of everything that needs to be done in our house. Couple that with a serious case of preggo nesting and we’ve been quite the productive family the last couple weeks.

And my favorite thing is doing make-overs on a budget because it forces some serious creativity.

This last weekend we made over our terrible straight from the 1960’s bathroom. The counters were original to the house (built in ’67) and most of the fixtures were from that era as well. I couldn’t handle it one more second (there’s that preggo nesting coming into play) and we couldn’t afford to overhaul the bathroom completely either.

Here’s our before:

Sorry for the terrible picture. It’s one we had left over from the previous owner’s real estate info. Just in case you thought that clock was my idea, it wasn’t. And it didn’t stay in the bathroom. Who needs a clock in the bathroom anyways? That seems like a lot of pressure to get things done quickly…

Anyways, it’s a little difficult to get a good pic of the interior because of a funky angle. But, you get the idea. Boring. Even a little ugly. And, unfortunately, the counter top isn’t nearly as hideous in this pic as it is in person. But, with a new coat of paint, some inexpensive curtains & fixtures from Ikea, we turned that into this:


We hung the shower curtains from the highest point on the wall in an attempt to make the room seem taller and added the pop of orange on the curtain sash and a small medicine cabinet to make things a little more interesting in there.

But, my favorite part is the new finish on the bathroom cabinet. Did you realize you can paint your laminate countertops? It’s true. You can put a new finish on almost anything with the right process. For countertops, all you need is a quick sanding with some rough grit sand paper, a couple (or 3) coats of paint, and a thick coat of polyurethane and voila a new counter top without all the bad fake marbling that came with a 1960’s counter top. I LOVE the way it turned out:

Diaper Cake How-to

I’ve had several people email and comment with questions on how to make a diaper cake. So I thought I’d do a little tutorial. Now, I’m just giving directions based on my totally non-expert experience so there are probably a million better tutorials, but I thought I’d do one just the same.

It’s a fun gift and one you can actually adapt for other occasions. I’ve made a lingerie cake (see bottom pic) for a bachelorette party and I think it could easily be done with t-shirts for a birthday, too. Once you get the basic concept down you can do all kinds of cool things with it!

Supplies:
2 packs (or more) of diapers (I usually get generic since they tend to be white with little printing on them and make for prettier cakes)
1 package of light colored assorted sized rubber bands
decorative tray or cardboard for base
Wooden dowel rod or paper towel roll
Decorative ribbons, cake toppers, baby charms, silk flowers
optional, gifts (pacifiers, baby wash, etc.) to hide within the cake or use to decorate the outside of the cake.

Step One: Roll diapers starting at the top of the front side of the diaper. The back of the diaper should be facing out when the roll is completed. Secure with rubber band.

Step Two: To make the layers of the cake, take one very large rubber band and wrap it around several diapers. Continue adding diapers shaping the layer into a circle. I’ve found it works best to add diapers to the center of the layer. Once you have the circle shape you can add diapers until you reach the size you prefer.

Step Three: Follow step two for the subsequent layers making each layer smaller than the one before it. I usually make the second and third layer smaller by one diaper row.

Step Four: Make room in base for paper towel roll or dowel by removing a center diaper in each layer. Stack diaper layers around for center support.

Step Five: Now that you have the cake structure complete, wrap ribbon around each layer to hide the rubber bands and get ready for the fun part! Add cake toppers and other decorative items or gifts to the cake to give it more of a cake-like look.

Step Six: Put decorated cake onto platter or cardboard base and serve!

The pic below is one of my favorite (and most difficult) creations. It was a lingerie cake for my sister’s bachelorette party. The polka-dot part was made from inverted bra cups. The rest of the cake was made with panties, camisoles, and a towel wrap.

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