Embracing Healthy Bacteria, Inside and Out. {how-to home brew kombucha}

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #HealthySkinSolutions #CollectiveBias

Embracing heatlhy bacteria

It’s well known about me that self care = beverages. I never have a bath without at least four different drinks (typically coffee, lacroix, kombucha, and water) and either a book or Netflix. I remember the first time I tried home-brewed kombucha, I nearly spit it out! It was five years ago, at a baby shower, and a friend’s Mom brought strawberry kombucha to share. I thought it would be soda like, sweet, and I was shocked! I sipped it politely while she sang its praises to me and the seed was planted, but I wasn’t ready to water it.

 

Years down the line my midwife talked to me (postpartum) about the digestion benefits, and begrudgingly I snagged a bottle. I started easy with extra sweet flavors, like mango and guava, but quickly felt the benefits of its healthy bacteria and probiotics in my body and energy and moved on to the harder stuff.

 

The bacteria in Kombucha is what helps your digestive system to restore its balance, flora, and health. I’ve long held the belief that what our bodies do naturally, is best. I was really excited to find this skin care brand, Mother Dirt, that embodies the same belief. Bacteria are a natural part of our bodies’ ecosystem. By ‘cleaning’ with harsh soap we end up more dried out and still seeking healthy skin. Mother Dirt products help your skin to maintain the balanced microbiome of your skin, naturally. I tried out the Shampoo, Face Wash and AO+ Mist. After being no-poo for years, this shampoo is the perfect choice for me, for those times (like after swimming in a chlorinated pool!) that I do need a shampoo. 

 

The effect is an improvement in the look and feel, for me, it leaves my skin feeling soft  instead of tight and dry, the typical effect of soap. I’m a big fan of ‘less is more’ and love that Mother Dirt promotes ditching the endless lotions, soaps, and creams we are sold as a means of stripping/hydrating/repeating this process to our skin, and instead offers up an easy solution that works for your whole body. Not only that, but it works with your body’s natural bacteria, and with an aim to balance and free you up from feeling like you need a ton of products just to feel like your skin is at its best and healthiest.

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Kombucha has moved into the forefront of grocery stores, and hipster lips in the past few years. It’s risen from “com-boo-what?” to eleventy hundred options of flavors at our local shops and full on Kombucha Cafes! My love for it runs deep, but my pocket book doesn’t run quite as deep. So, about a year ago, we started experimenting with brewing our own kombucha, and the results were easy and amazing.

 

The benefits aren’t just fizzy drinks that aren’t sugar laden, extra cool points, and an abundance of glass bottles. Kombucha is incredibly beneficial to your body. It is a fermented tea, and rich in bacteria and probiotics. It can help with gut health imbalances, aid in digestion, boost energy, and fight inflammation and joint pain.

 

Making your own kombucha is pretty easy, especially once you get brewing! The hardest part is finding a scoby, but even that has gotten easier and easier with the increase in kombucha popularity. You can grow your own at home, or even buy a kit. The easiest way is to ask a friend who already brews (you probably know someone!) and ask for “a baby starter”. The scoby grows a new layer with each ferment, so it’s as easy as peeling a layer off your “mama” and passing on a “baby” (sounds so bizarre!). Most people who brew have an abundance of scoby babies and just keep them in a jar on the counter (also known as a Scoby Hotel) and would be happy to pass one on.

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To get started brewing you will need:

A large glass container with a spigot (easiest for continuous brew, because you can easily siphon off what you want at the end of each ferment). I use a huge container (three gallons) but a one gallon one is plenty large enough to start with.

 

A tight-weave towel to put over the top of your jar. It’s important it’s tight-weave so no fruit flies/bugs can get in, but that you don’t seal it – it needs air!

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Black Tea (you can experiment with green, white, or a mix. I suggest starting with the traditional black first to get the hang of it!) in bags or loose leaf. This batch I just used the inexpensive black English breakfast from Trader Joe’s.

Cane sugar (this doesn’t make it a sugary drink, it’s what your scoby “eats” to ferment the tea!)

Brewing Your Own Kombucha

  1. Bring 1/2 gallon of water to a boil.
  2. Add in 8 tea bags (or 1/4 cup loose leaf tea – be sure to use a strainer!)
  3. Let steep 30 min
  4. Stir in two cups of cane sugar
  5. Once all sugar is dissolved slowly add in 1.5 gallons cool water
  6. Pour entire sweet tea mixture into sanitized (cleaned with *warm water and vinegar* not soap, soap will kill a scoby. You want all that healthy bacteria!) jar for brewing.
  7. Wait for all of it to come to room temperature; hot tea will kill your scoby.
  8. Add your scoby. You want to have clean hands, and handle it minimally. It may sink, but will eventually (hours can pass before it does sometimes) make its way to the top of your tea.
  9. Cover your brew with a tight weave towel and a rubber band to hold it in place well.
  10. Give your kombucha some time, in a hot environment the fermentation process could be as fast as three days, if it’s cooler or drafty it may take as long as two weeks. It should lose most sweetness, begin to fizz a bit, and have a little bit of a vinegar taste and smell. I begin tasting around day six here in Washington.

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Once your kombucha is brewed you can either enjoy it straight away or you can do what is called a “second ferment”. It’s another way to flavor your kombucha and ensure that it gets a bit more bubbly. Adding in fruit puree’s, fruit juices, or whole fruit will add extra flavor. My favorites are melon (with the honeydew juice from trader joe’s) and blueberry mint! If you choose to do this, pour your brewed kombucha into a flip top or any sealed jar with its flavoring, allow it to ferment on the counter for 3 days, and then pop it in the fridge! It’s all ready for you to enjoy.

 

If you have any questions about Mother Dirt or about Kombucha brewing, please reach out to me here or on Facebook or Instagram. I would love to chat more about it! To shop for Mother Dirt products go here, and use the coupon code CBAUTUMN25 to take 25% off your order (for new customers!).

Transition Time, Back to (home) School

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #StimulateTheSenses #CollectiveBias

BACK TO (HOME) SCHOOL

As each of their playdate buddies has been packing up and heading off on the school bus, it’s gotten clearer and clearer, back-to-school is here, no matter how deeply I dig in my heels. Our home has been in full SUMMER VACATION swing for months now. Transitioning from endless beach days, slow mornings, cartoon filled afternoons, and a general “whatever goes!” vibe, into Back To School, routine, schedules, and places to be… early… is tough.

Embarrassingly it’s hardest on me as my girls are amazingly go-with-the-flow and love routine as much as they love sporadic camping trips. But the days are beginning to shorten and I’m starting to feel the pull towards roasting veggies, cozy sweaters, chapter books read aloud to start our day, and pulling out and cracking open some curriculum. This is our second year home schooling, and I am realizing how much setting up our ‘school space’ is an enormous part of the transition from Summer to Autumn, for me. Part of that involves using a few different essential oils, like these two I’ve been using recently from Nature’s Truth – Calming and Focus.  I’ve been diffusing the calming blend, more for me than anyone else, and I notice that our home feels less frantic. The roller on focus blend has been coming to my rescue as my brain goes wild with ideas and options and all the “we have to study this!” and “I’m not doing enough!”.

We end up doing the majority of our school at the kitchen table, a park bench, the car, on a road trip, in a hotel room, at the cafeteria table at our supplemental school program… you get the idea. However, there is something to having a special space, just their own, where we can set out the schedule, I can sit to read to them, and they can organize their tools just how they like; it’s been very important to all of us. One of the components of traditional school that I loved the most, growing up, was my desk. Having a space to organize and focus at, and decorate on my own – and I knew that having a spot like that was paramount to giving my girls the experiences they will enjoy in our homeschool journey.

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The space we created is a flip down table, so we can fold it away for when we just want a cozy reading space or have guests over. Our school year hasn’t quite started and already this little table has been getting daily use, as the calmer and less frantic feeling of fall is settling over us. I’ve been reading aloud each morning from The Magicians Nephew and the girls have taken to sitting and coloring at the desk while I read. It’s been amazing how palpable the shift from Summer to Fall feels just by adding in this small bit of routine. Diffusing the lavender and calm blend is a gentle way to supplement this transition. I have also put a few drops in our baths here and there, spiked my homemade room sprays (half witch hazel, water, and several drops of lavender or calm oil from Nature’s Truth). I’m really looking forward to adding more schedule and routine to our days, and seeing how our productivity and learning changes and grows.

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Here are a few of my go-to tips for making that move from Summer to Fall:

  1. Quiet your environment. Use the shift in weather as a time to shake off the summer habits. For us, summer was a time where we started our mornings with TV. We are dropping that habit and picking up this reading out loud one. I’m waking with the kids, adding reading into our morning while the oatmeal cooks. It doesn’t have to be reading out loud, but any small shift into a morning routine that involves your children is a good way to move into Fall, no matter what their ages.
  2. Set an intention for the day. The girls and I are doing this together. Deciding what today will be: will it be a home day, an adventure day, a productive day, a journaling day, a movie day, we talk together and figure out which/what combination we will be creating.
  3. Smells. I’m a big smell person. Fall for me is baking, roasting, incense, all of it. So giving essential oil defusing a try was an easy leap for me, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised at it’s positive effects.
  4. Cozy. In the PNW the weather has begun its turn into fall, as our mornings and nights get chilly, and with it I’ve been transitioning our decor. Adding in far more big blankets, floor pillows, and warm light lamps. When it feels cozy inside, it’s easier to be excited for the grey and rain, instead of missing the sun and beach.

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I saw these oils at Walgreens and was happy about 1. their quality and 2. their price. At our local store they were on sale, so buying two to give a try to help us snap out of our summer obsession wasn’t going to break the bank and was easy to swallow. I chose to try a roller of focus for me because I’ve been struggling with really wanting to jump in with both feet into school this year. I’ve felt pulled between two extremes of Unschooling and Public Schooling, neither of which is the right fit for our family. I knew I needed all the help I could get to focus, calm down, and start some list making to get every ball rolling for my family.

Finding these oils was easy at the store, they are in the vitamin aisle, and all together in an easy to spot display.

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I have a little diffuser, but have my eyes out for one of the gorgeous wood ones, now that I know my family is a fan and that we can actually feel the benefits.  We are slow and steady stepping into Fall, and making it as gentle a transition as we can has helped immeasurably in all of us growing in excitement and readiness for this year ahead. Here’s to Pre-K and 1st grade, second year of Homeschooling, and as much Calm as I can infuse into this little house!

Also, here is a coupon code to make Nature’s Truth Oils even more affordable for you. To connect and learn more, check out their social hub Nature’s Truth  Let me know if you give them a try! Or if you find any other blends of theirs that you especially love!

Paleo Pumpkin Spice

There are hundreds of homemade pumpkin spice syrups out there, but I’ll be totally unbiased and let you know that this one is the best, and isn’t loaded with weird ingredients or corn syrup. The ingredients are simple, and you likely have them on hand, and it tastes like real pumpkin. It’s sweet enough to be perfect to just spike a cup of black coffee with, but smooth enough to easily blend into your bullet proof to make it basic AF and all your fall dreams. You can also easily omit the real pumpkin and you’ll still end up with a really tasty, and fall flavored drink, but it won’t be near as amazing.

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Paleo Pumpkin Spice Syrup

1/3 cup maple syrup

1/3 cup raw (or not, but raw is better and actually beneficial to your body!) honey

1/3 cup pumpkin puree

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ginger

1/2 tsp. nutmeg

(optional) 1tsp. tumeric I like the flavor it adds, and it’s anti-inflammatory benefits, but it does change the profile a bit!

Mix your maple and honey in a sauce pan on low heat until fully melted, combined, and beginning to bubble around the edges. Stir in your pumpkin puree and spices, well. Turn off heat and allow it to sit a minute, stir again, strain well, and jar. Keeps in the fridge for a week+. It’s very sweet stuff so a little goes a long way!

{affiliate links included for your convenience}

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Mix it! Pumpkin Spice Protein Latte!

In your blender combine:

1 scoop Vital Proteins Unflavored Collagen Whey or Collagen Peptides

2tbs (one if you aren’t a fan of sweet coffee!) Pumpkin Spice Syrup

12oz (I do 16!) hot, black, coffee

Blend blend blend blend!  If you want it extra milky, add a little almond or coconut milk, but it will get frothy from the Collagen or the Whey on it’s own. I top mine with cinnamon!

You can use a blender, but it also works to use an immersion blender, or stick blender (if you don’t have one, they are magic. Bullet proof coffee and the EASIEST way to make creamy and smooth soups!) I have this brand. That’s often what I use since it’s small and easy to clean (and came with a perfect sized container for coffee making!). Just remember that the liquid will go way up on the sides so it can spill easily if you aren’t paying attention.

 

Enjoy, and FALL!

deep love for this 102 year old lady(home).


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Grass green, pale pink, sky blue, flowered wall paper, linear “Roberts” flowers, those are the layers we’ve discovered under our white paint in the office. They are all so beautiful, and sitting here, thinking about all the people and families who poured their style, taste and love, into our 102 year old home. . . I’m awed and don’t want to cover it all up (now that each chipping layer is exposed on one portion, of one small wall).

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Chipping away these flies on the wall of our homes history, wondering about all the previous owners, and thinking about the decades… century (!) of love and memories  etched into each layer.

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The deepest layer of wall paper is paper bag brown with beautiful botanical book style flowers on it, and I am imagining it was once a sweet nursery full of golden books read by a darling chubby cheeked little baby girl, and a spindly white cradle rocking next to to the beautifully framed window where my gangly girls now hang out their bob haired heads to yell for they neighbor boys to come over.

And, the newest layers. The chalk walls, first words written and sounded out, serious stares of sleepy shuttered eyes. And of two sisters. Who are leaving big love and memories and marks.

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I have fallen deeply for this home. Over, and over, and over again.

And am proud to hang a bit of it’s history in on my walls.

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Weekend Projects; Open Shelving!

I’ve been seeing open shelving all over and really loving the clean look and how quickly it lightens up a kitchen. But instead of going all demo and ripping out a cabinet we decided to try a lesser commitment and see if we can even do open shelving, because, I mean, in practice it kinda seems like a lot of work. Only beautiful things on those shelves, dusted or used often, and no clutter. The nice thing is that if this doesn’t work, we can always pop the doors back on and we aren’t out anything.

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We started by taking the doors off, ripping out  the previous owners contact paper, and then painting the whole shebang. Upon looking at it done I am doubting my choice in black and considering re-doing it in a bright white, but I chose black because the old cabs are all an off white and I thought it might just draw further attention to that. But, I mean, I have to change that at some point anyway so maybe nows the time? Who knows. We’ve got some other (big!) projects percolating now, and this is working cute for now!

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{also, there is a little peek at our mudroom ceiling! Bright blue! I adore it.}

We also found some stellar deals on lights at our local ReStore so the mudroom got a new cute globe light ($7!!) and we found a super fun 70’s chandelier for above our dining room table for $25! I want to paint the outer wood a bright white, Charlie wants to keep it as is. We hung it up there (not in it’s final resting spot) to see if we like it, and are going to live with if a couple days before we bust out the paint or not.)

10504862_10100949834960180_2806723189425276707_oWhat do you think? Paint it white (or? a bright color?) or leave it be and just get it in its rightful spot? We’re torn!

5 tips for decorating a small home

{1} Pick your colors!

My knee jerk is to paint each room as sounds good to me in the moment, or as pintrest inspires me in the moment…ahem. BUT, Because we have a small home we need all the rooms to work together, flow well, and have some continuity to make the whole space feel larger and more fluid. The house seems larger because each space isn’t jarring. Our colors are black, white, grey, and different variations of blue. I am sure we will deviate here and there (hey yellow! I adore you!) but keeping the bulk of our big pieces and paint in those families is helping SO much. For example, I was worried that bringing a grey rug into our already pretty monotone living room would make the space feel a little blah, wrong! The rug wholly pulled the room together.

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{2} Keep your furniture Low

Keeping furniture to scale is important. Large pieces can help fill a space, so a couch that fits well across a whole wall is important, and will help you not have dead space, but keep them low profile and legs visible so that you still have nice bright site lines. For us that meant that we needed a lower coffee table (ours was about mid thigh height and it felt a little invasive since it sat higher than the seat of our couch). I found one with nice bones at a local thrift shop for $15, a coat of bright paint on the bottom and some sanding and clear coat on the top made it a great and easy couple hour DIY project that added some great punch to our space.

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{3} Draw the Eyes UP!

Drawing the eye up is important in opening up a small space, so having a bright or interest filled ceiling (coffered ceilings are in my dreams) helps loads, but if your budget is a bit lower then adding a large mirror to an empty wall or some lights strung well and high can do wonders. We have little pink twinkles in our girls room to have as evening reading light, but they also draw attention to the gorgeous tall ceilings. But in our kitchen the top felt a little empty, soon we will install some open shelving and that will do the trick. But this little decoration is bringing some whimsy to our space as well as fun light in the evenings. Eyes up, and it’s starry bright. 10271536_10100905858534290_3111675366007054655_n

{4} Make the functional pieces fun pieces.

Our kitchen cabinets are TALL. So we needed a step stool desperately. My knee jerk was to buy the cheapest plastic one from Ikea (like we have in the bathroom… out of necessity thanks to a certain two year old pee monster) since it’s so functional. But because our home is little the stool can’t be hidden away. So we picked up a wooden one (also from ikea) and painted it (the same bright blue as the bottom of the coffee table and our entry room, see? continuity! It’s fun, not boring! and saves you money 😉 ). I love how it turned out and that it isn’t an eye sore in the kitchen but instead another cute moment. And, for only $15 it’s a pretty nice deal too.

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{5} Don’t follow the rules too closely.

My bedroom is small, it shouldn’t have a four poster huge bed. But? I adore it, so it does. The entry room would look bigger if it had bright walls, but I wanted a saturated jewel tone, so? I did it anyway. If you love it in your home, it’s worth it to have in your home!

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Super strict black/white/grey in the office… except when it’s not.

Office Space

We have been in the house for a little over a month and are just starting to figure out the best ways to get each space working. We ended up switching our bedroom and the office this past weekend, and while that was a bummer because it meant my pretty giant midcentury school desk had to go (no room, sob sob) it also meant that we got a MUCH bigger bedroom and I could start to really remiagine the office into a space that could easily work for all of us.

There is still a lot of work (and BIG HUGE WHITE WALL SPACE… what do I do???)  left to happen. A little couch is being delivered this week, a new light fixture at the end of the month, and I need to paint the girl’s art chairs. But for now, from my iPhone, here’s what we have done with the space!

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And my side is still a work in progress, but here it is at the moment. I am in love, and this space feels SO much closer to what I was envisioning.

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I’ve got about a hundred (more?) inspiration pictures of office ideas on pintrest going, and am still dreaming and scheming up some cool wall treatments, and some dip dyed stools for the girls’ desk (down the line). And maybe some big polka dots? So many ideas! But for now, this space is really functioning just how we want, and feels calm and bright when we walk in.

Do you have a sweet office? Or an office play room? or an office/guest room? Share some pictures, I need inspiration!

spring fling.

The sun has been out in full force and with it I’ve felt the settling into this home. Hanging some photos, getting some personality into the nooks and crannies, hosting friends and so many kids for all day playdates, and getting down to business on back yard planning. But in all of it I can get so swirled up in ideaplanmoneytodorepeat that I don’t get anything done and instead end up pinning for days and stream of conscious planning with Charlie but never pulling the trigger on even the small projects. So, I need a few goals. A couple of bullet points to get going for the upcoming spring; Happy Spring Year? Happy New Weather? Happy Midmarch? I’m not sure. Whatever it is, I’ve got the fresh bug and want to get while the gettings good!

First Off! FOOD. We’ve been packing in the fancy pizza, amazing mead, endless pudding and pie, and… obviously… pounds. So some smoothies, clean eating, and fresh foods are first on the list. And, WATER.

1977237_10100813944166420_485947768_n{Charlie got me a Ninja as a housewarming gift, not the biggest fancy set but the sweet $100 one from Target. It still felt like a big pill to swallow $$$ but OH MY  has she been earning her keep. I’m going to post some of my favorite things I’ve been making in there. But let me just say; If you aren’t making pancake batter in a blender, you’re doing it wrong.}

Two: Get in the sun, every chance I get!

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I am a rain lover, a cozy upper, and a hot drink connosouir. But lately? I’m a sun cat. I want to be in it, around it, soaking it in, and keeping all those rays in my pocket for the harder days. Our new back yard is super different (wrap around, say whaaa?) and has some work to be done. We need to fence a portion of it, make the whole space a little more entertain friendly and get some playspaces set up. And the planning phases are SO fun. But the execution is going to need to really get started! Brings me to my next one…

Three: Put my  hands in the dirt at every chance. Need to till up the garden beds, get my seeds going ASAP, and make all my big long seed lists!

Four: Run. I’ve been sorely neglecting the gym and the pavement and my body/heart/mind are all suffering. I feel lost about trying to shore up the motivation (again again again) but I know how worth it the fight is. Here’s to starting anew tomorrow. If I put it here, it’ll happen, right?

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Do you have any new goals? How are you carrying them out? Forehead tattoos? I’m thinking thats my next step.

So fresh and so clean! My home/body/laundry master list of recipes!

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I heard, about five years ago, someone say “if you wouldn’t put it in your body, don’t put it on your body.” it hit home, stuck in my head, but didn’t bring about much change. Till we had a baby… after having Nolie I started to really consider what I was using on her/me and around our house. I knew she would crawl/get into stuff and put her mouth on every single thing… and I felt like it was really time to change. I started with homemade laundry detergent, that quickly led me to home made spray cleaners, and finally into no-poo hair care, body scrubs, and lotions. We kind of jumped ship quick! And haven’t looked back! Since then we’ve gotten even deeper and don’t do no-poo anymore, but just use hot hot water and scrub well daily. All of our hair has never been healthier! I want to quickly share our go-to family recipes for around our home.

A bottle of Dr.Bronners still finds it’s way in (it seems to be the only way to really get extra virgin coconut oil out of hair, or greek yogurt for that matter 😉 ) and brings us many bubble baths, and I buy Mrs.Meyer house cleaner spray here and there because the marketing has won me over. But about 90% of the time we are using wholly homemade cleaners for our home, clothes, and bodies. And loving it! And? LOVING the  money we save!

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For Home:

I use a spray bottle with half white vinegar and half water for nearly everything! I have a few bottles and add different essential oils to each one depending on where I use it most. For the kitchen I typically make satsuma vinegar (I put orange peels/satsuma peels into a glass jar filled with vinegar, I let it sit for about ten days. Don’t worry! It won’t mold! and then strain out the peels and use that as my kitchen vinegar.) and mix it with half water and use that for my countertops/kitchen table/stove/highchair/sink. When my sink gets extra rank I do a sprinkle of baking soda all over it and then spray my vinegar (Nolie and Evie LOVE to watch it bubble up!) and give it a quick scrub and then lots of water to wash/rinse it off. It will shine after!

For the bathroom, I mix half vinegar and half water with a few drops of tea tree oil (available at most natural food store, or for pretty cheap even at Trader Joe’s!). That helps keep bugs away, is a natural way of making your bathroom smell stellar, and is a natural antimicrobial. But keep it up and away because when drank straight (as opposed to diluted a few drops in water/vinegar) it is unsafe.

For the Tub/Toilet, I have found the BEST mix is one cup white vinegar, one cup hot (from the tap) water, and a few drops of Dawn Dish Soap. Shake it up, spray into tub/toilet and give it a little scrub. It works wonders!

For Laundry I mix equal parts borax and baking (or washing) soda and then half that amount of biokleen or oxyclean. (for example, one cup baking soda, one cup borax, 1/2cup bio/oxy) and then use one Tbs. per load in my washing machine. I’ve been using that recipe for four years and it has never gone wrong! It is SO CHEAP.

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For Exterior doors/windows I keep a spray bottle of water with lemon oil in it. Evidently spiders don’t like lemon. And I REALLY don’t like spiders. So I spray around all opening windows and doors a few times a week during the summer. It also brings a really nice fresh scent to our house.

Window Washing, we go old school here with straight vinegar and newspaper! Just like your Mom and Grandma did 😉 I will say though, I do love and miss windex. It’s possibly my one holdover with the whole natural home stuff, I miss it like whoa.

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For Body:

For Hair, we used to be “no-poo” and use a mixture of baking soda/water for washing and then a dilution of Apple Cider Viengar (ACV) and water for conditioning. I still use ACV here and here if my hair feels a little coarse, but not often at all (maybe once every two months?). Otherwise I am going on two years of nothing and Charlie just broke over six months. Both of us had fairly long “adjustment” periods where our hairs oils balanced back out, and looked pretty ugly for a bit. For me it was just a couple weeks, for Charlie it was almost a month. He works a hard labor job, gets sweaty often, and struggled with not great skin. Since moving to just hot water washing his skin has cleared up considerably and his hair is healthier and less greasy than before! So, for hair, the recipe is hot hot water (as hot as you can stand is what I do, Charlie and the girl do theirs considerably less) and scrub it pretty hard (to redistribute the oils that are there) and that’s all. I do a little rub of tea tree oil along the nape and behind the ears when I think of it just so that we all smell a little extra fresh and because I am a bug worried freak, but that’s just preference and totally not necessary.

For Body Cleaning, Charlie is a big fan of the Dr.Bronner bar soap. The girls love bubbles so we put Dr.Bronners liquid soap into their baths pretty often too. I use baking soda and salt scrubs. My go-to, everyday, scrub is equal parts sugar and salt, a big drizzle of honey, and some eucalyptus oil (a drop or so). I use that to scrub my whole body and it leaves me smelling amazing and being super smooth. Nolie and Ever also love scrubs and epsom salts too so those get a lot of use. On a day when I know I am going to be cleaning my tub anyhow I will also use my coffee grounds as a body scrub too, evidently it’s great for circulation and can help lessen the look of cellulite even, crazy! I mix them (coffee grounds) with either a little melted coconut oil or olive oil and use them on my legs before I shave.

Shaving! I do shave, despite all the other hippie sounding tendencies 😉 I use a tiny bit of coconut oil on my legs in the shower (we keep a jar in the kitchen, bathroom, shower, and bedroom) and then shave and rinse the razor very well (EVCO can kinda build up if you don’t!).

Body Lotion, I use plain coconut oil on my whole body as a lotion/moisturizer. It smells amazing, melts on contact, and absorbs into your skin really quickly. I put only a tiny bit on my face/mainly just lips because I have naturally pretty oily skin on my face. But I lather it on the rest of me! You could melt it ahead of time and add an essential oil to if it you wanted more of a scent (almond or lavender would be amazing!) but I never get around to doing that.

Face, I use one tbs baking soda and two tbs milk on my face really often as a wash/scrub and it cleans really well. I also use an egg white all whisked together and applied to my nose like a mask for black heads. Another frequent one around here is oatmeal/honey/sugar as a scrub/mask for long baths or “beauty parlor” with the girls. They especially love that one because it tastes good too!

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For the Girls:

Here’s the beauty… nothing any different that what I use on anyone else. We all just do hot water scrubs for hair, use coconut oil for lotion, and it also works great for diaper rashes too 😉

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comment section or on my Facebook page! I’ll try to respond promptly!

Little Dream Home- Entry Room

This sweet little house has more rooms than we have ever had before. It’s a small house (hovering just above 1100sq feet) but boasts three rooms that I have had on my ‘forever home’ dream list. An entry room, a mud room, and a laundry room. The entry room is the tiniest of the three, but is kinda darling. It has a square, high, stain glass window, and once we buy a door filled with windows too, I think this itty bitty triangular room will actually have some substantial light to it.

I am more of a bright-white-walls kinda girl (I like to add color everywhere else! and switch my my decor and are all.the.time.) but am planning on bringing some funk to these smaller spaces as a means of adding character to the house without compromising the main flow aesthetic I am looking for (keeping to a similar pallet throughout the house, for continuity sake, and since down the line we are going to do a renovation that will give it a more ‘open concept’ and having colors that work together will make that easier). That said. . . here are a few of the crazy colors I am entertaining.

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That blue tops my list. It goes well with the rest of our paint pallet for the main rooms (white, black, grey and some yellows) but is still super fun and unexpected.

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I love green but haven’t found a shade that really works. It seems a fine line between starbucks green and lime…

I love the look of jewel tones and in a bright small space I think it might be fun. There is really no danger of ‘making it feel smaller’ because it’s already just a little entry, postage stamp sized room. So bringing bright color and then more cohesive storage is really appealing to me.

For storage and hooks we are going to be pretty plain and minimal. 39c2bde1c5fac619501658e21ff89d9a

Likely two row of hooks, one up high for adults, and one down low for our kiddo visitors. It’s important to us that our house not look like kid junk exploded all over it, but that it also function well for our whole family. And half our family is under 3.5 feet tall, so… some low hooks and easy crates for shoes to be tossed into are  paramount. My guess is also that Nolie and Ever will play a big roll in deciding what colors we choose for this room/the inside of the door (toying with chalk paint for that, it seems SO practical!).

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That style of clean line/not rustic storage and bench also really appeals to me. I like low benches for kids and shoes and for adults to pop a foot onto for tying up laces. It seems like it could work well, but I won’t really know till I can live in the space a bit and do some measuring.

We know that one of the first things on our ‘hunt for’ list is a craftsman style, windowed, wooden, front door. We plan to sand and refinish it a bright color and hope that it will bring some light to the entry room.

We aren’t sure what color to paint it yet, but likely the inside of it will match the outside, or be chalk inside. Here are two that are looking bright and fun to me today, and would go well with  the jewel toned blue.

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Any little storage solutions you’ve seen? Any good advice on what kind of paint will REALLY hold up on a front door? And… is it too trendy to paint my door a bright color? I’ll probably do it anyway but, still. This is the smallest room in the house, but I am so excited to have it! Currently we have a little faux entry area we’ve created with hooks and shoe crates, and it functions SO well, and is pretty cute to look at! But it bleeds into our living space so much (shoes/coats/abandoned preschool art projects/everything) kind of pour out and full up the living room spaces, especially during playdates. So I am really looking forward to having an area to confine all those rogue boots and scarves to!