Household, Recipes

DIY Dry Shampoo

Here is a recipe for DIY dry shampoo. It is super easy to make and it works just as well as store bought dry shampoo. I found this recipe from wellnessmama.com.

Dry Shampoo Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup arrowroot powder or organic cornstarch OR 2 tablespoons arrowroot/cornstarch + 2 Tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 5 drops of essential oil of choice (optional- I use lavender)
  • An old make-up brush to apply

Dry Shampoo Instructions

  1. Put the drops of essential oil into the arrowroot or cornstarch and mix with a spoon. Store the mix in a small jar or old powder container.
  2. Apply with an old make-up brush to the roots or oily parts of your hair. Applying with the brush is optional, but it removes the need to comb through as much and is better for styled hair. If you don’t use the brush, comb the powder through your hair and style as usual.

 

IMG_6433

Household

Lavender Room Spray

IMG_0328

My favorite scent is lavender.  I burn lavender candles, use lavender soap and lotion, diffuse lavender oil and spritz my rooms with lavender spray.  I used to spend about $10 for a bottle of room spray at my food co-op.  But now I make my own for a couple dollars, at the most.  The recipe is easy and found all over the internet.

Lavender Room Spray

1 1/2 tbsp vodka

6 tbsp water

10 drops essential lavender oil

spray bottle (mine is a recycled bottle from the spray I purchased)

Pour all ingredients in bottle and shake.

Household

Memorial Day Weekend

It was a lovely long weekend with the family.  I am forever grateful for the blessings I have living in the country I live in, surrounded by family and friends.  It should go without saying that those who died while fighting for their country deserve to be honored.  The USA is extremely polarized at this moment in time, but I think we can all agree that those soldiers who died while defending our nation have earned the respect of all of us.

My husband planted the garden this weekend.  We have had relentless rain, so I am concerned that everything might drown.  He planted tomatoes, peppers, brussel sprouts, purple cabbage, eggplant, watermelon, cantaloupe, beans and herbs.  He planted lettuce, spinach and peas several weeks ago.  It looks like we might have enough lettuce for a salad very soon.  We were able to get enough asparagus for 2 dinners.  Nothing beats asparagus from your own garden.  I prepare asparagus very simply, I roast it at 350 degrees with olive oil and Penzey’s Fox Point, it turns out perfect every single time.

60191196_10214882947092621_3304854734430535680_o

We stuck close to home over the weekend.  We had some friends over for dinner on Saturday night.  It was wonderful.  We had our first summer like evening and we sat on the patio with good food, wine, music and conversation.  Those moments are free of charge but worth so much.  I made Kale Salad on both Saturday and Sunday night.  I wish I could take credit for this recipe, but I cannot.  It’s absolutely delicious.  Sunday night dinner brought all 3 of my children home and my daughters included their boyfriends.  My husband made his famous Korean Ribs.  We have given up meat, but they were still in the freezer from the pig we bought last year.  I did forgo the ribs and had veggie burger instead.  The 3 boys that were here certainly appreciated a rack of slow cooked ribs from the grill though.

My daughter is moving back home from college for at least a year.  She will commute to school, so she had to buy her first car over the weekend.  Car shopping takes way too long.  The girl test drove ONE car, was pre-approved for a loan and asked very few questions.  It still took 5 hours to complete the transaction.  I am very proud of her, she saved her money and secured a loan without any help from us.

61377886_10214941163988007_7559803543801036800_n

Hannah with her new car

Our chickens continue to lay a crazy amount of eggs and the bees have been very busy.  We lost a hive in recent weeks.  Pretty unbelievable that they survived what has to be our coldest winter in decades, only to die off when it was warmer.  Eric has no idea what caused the hive to collapse, but it goes to show that we need to everything we can to protect our honey bee population, they are so fragile.

After being fortunate enough to have a 5 day weekend, today it is time to get back to work and get back to real life.

 

Household

5 Frugal Things – May 1-7

We tried to continue with frugal and earth friendly choices the first week of May.

  1.  I bought a second hand halogen lamp from a friend for $15.  She is moving soon and getting rid of stuff.  We needed a lamp so it was a win-win.
  2. I did my monthly gas fill up on my car.  With gas points from my grocery store, I saved 90 cents per gallon on a 20 gallon tank.  Not too bad.
  3. On impulse a couple weeks ago, I bought a $60 moisturizer at Macy’s.  I don’t do things like that and knew I had to return it because I didn’t need it.  My husband on the other hand needed new shoes, desperately.  So I returned the moisturizer and bought the shoes.
  4. More on shoes.  My daughter needs sandals and as a size 11 foot, they are hard to come by.  I ordered a pair for her and for me from Teva, received a 10% off code and got free shipping.  Teva tend to be pricey, but quality shoes are worth every penny.
  5. We are phasing meat out of our diets.  This was not a spur of the moment decision and not a decision based on health.  As more news comes out about the consequences of meat consumption to the planet, we knew it was time for us to do our part.  I have also been having a difficult time reconciling my love of animals with my diet that included meat.   I did not buy any meat at the grocery store this week and the savings was noticeable.

Side note regarding our decision to phase meat out of our diet.  I know this is a personal decision and I personally do not have issues with others eating meat.  I will never be the person who lectures someone about it.  I have been on the receiving end of a lecture about why I am wrong to enjoy a hamburger (I do enjoy hamburgers).  So, I am not looking to debate the issue either way.

What did you do to save money this week?

 

57852635_10214752942242581_8366936110420459520_o

Luna pondering life

Household

5 Frugal Things

Spring is finally sprung in the midwest.  We had a really nice Easter and my birthday was also on Easter Sunday.  My family spoiled me with a wonderful day and the greatest gift a mother of 3 could ask for.  They were home with me all day and my husband took a portrait of them and had put on canvas and framed.  It had been 10 years since we had a photo like that taken.  Wow, kids change a lot in 10 years!  Even with my birthday and Easter, we were able to stick to frugality.

  1.  We had Easter brunch at home.  I made quiche with the eggs from our backyard, served with kringle, bacon and fruit.  We also had mimosas.  My birthday dinner was also at home, shrimp kabobs, rice, asparagus and homemade chocolate cake.
  2. I still try to give my kids gifts for Easter.  We keep it simple and give them things they need in addition to something for fun.  This year we were able to give our son a 6 pack of beer.  He’s 21, so totally legal.
  3. My daughter had prom.  We did not pay for her to have her hair done.  Instead, her sister came home form college and did a great job.
  4. I needed to purchase new tires for my car (not frugal, but totally necessary).  We chose tires that include a $70 rebate.
  5. My husband and daughter went to the theatre to see the new Avengers movie.  They used gift cards, saving us the cost of full price movie tickets.

What did you do to save pennies this week?

Household

5 Frugal Things This Week

We didn’t start this week off frugally.  Saturday night we went out for dinner, a rare occurrence for us.  When we go out, we tend to not keep it cheap and instead enjoy the time out.  But, we did do other things to save pennies.

  1.  My husband and I both took our lunches to work.  This is such a huge money saver.  My husband makes himself a batch of chili every week for lunches at home and the office.
  2. It’s tax time.  My husband prepared our taxes at home.  Using the site is not free, but so much cheaper than using an accountant.
  3. I stocked up on naturally made soaps at a local farm.  Four times per year the owner has an open house and sells the soap for CHEAP!  She sends out a coupon to those who have signed up on her website, I also received an additional percentage off because I am a frequent buyer.  Her soaps are wrapped in paper and twine.  No plastic, no chemicals, no waste.  I bought enough to get us through to her summer open house.
  4. I made homemade sour cream.  Suprisingly simple to make and frugal.
  5. Meal planned for the week.  Used a list at the grocery store and stuck to it.

 

56247915_10214624172703423_6658004503498850304_o

Household

Five Frugal Things

I love to turn frugality into a game.  We have to, our 2 oldest are in college and we committed to paying for their state tuition so that they don’t have to start their lives in debt.  We are proud of this gift we can give them, it does come with sacrifices on our part.  I look for ways to be frugal every day.  Here is a list of 5 things I did this week to save a few pennies here and there.

  1. We have 2 cars.  One car has a 10 gallon tank and gets amazing mileage.  That is the car we use for errands, travel and my husband’s commute downtown.  The other car gets adequate mileage, I use that for my commute 2.5 miles away from home.  We have timed gas fill ups for my car to once a month on the last day.  I use points from our grocery store to lower the cost of gas to 40 cents less per gallon.  This week was fill up day for the month of April.  Total saved $6.40
  2. As I do every week, I used the library.  It helps that I work there, but even if I didn’t I would be using it.  I checked out 4 recent movies, for free.  According to my daughter, the free viewing of Aquaman was worth $0.  She said it was terrible.  Total saved $30. This is a guesstimate of how much it would have cost had we gone to the movie theatre instead.
  3. Last summer my husband had an accident and had to have some dental work done.  What insurance did not cover (which in the United States isn’t much) I put on a Care Credit account.  We got 6 months to pay without interest.  The due date was April 5.  I paid that off on April 1.  Total saved $150.00.
  4. I have been shopping the pantry and freezer this week.  Our freezer is in desperate need of defrosting, but first it needs to be emptied, so I am getting creative.  Not sure how much I saved on groceries this week.
  5. My husband brewed a batch of beer last weekend.  He recycled the grains that he used in the beer for homemade bread.  Delicious bread.  Again, not sure on the savings.

books

 

 

 

Household

Earth Day, Every Day

Last night I challenged by friends on Facebook to choose one thing that they can do every day in the month of April to reduce their consumption of plastic.  Then this morning, while scrolling through my news feed I came across a story of a pregnant whale that died with 44 pounds of plastic in her stomach.  I truly wish that story was a rarity and that it  was not a follow-up to the story I read last week about the whale that died of starvation and dehydration, a result of ingesting 88 pounds of plastic.  These stories are becoming a part of our daily lives and to say they are heartbreaking would actually minimize the true consequences of our addiction to plastic.  Specifically, single use plastic.

To say that this has become my cause would be an understatement.  I have always been aware of the problems with single use plastic.  But, I believed that since I put mine in the recycling bin after use, I was doing my part.  Then 2 years ago, my husband and I watched the movie Plastic Paradise.  This movie reformed me and my views on plastic.  I am not going to give a synopsis of the movie, but I highly suggest watching it.  It should be part of the curriculum in our public schools.  If we start young, maybe future generations will care more than we do. Since seeing the movie,  I have spent the last 2 years talking to anyone who will listen to me, trying to get them to reduce, reduce, reduce.  I believe I have changed more than a few minds.  But, it is truly not enough.

Yesterday my mom and I were driving through Milwaukee and the streets were covered with plastic bags, plastic bottles and balloons.  Those are all products that do not decompose.  In 1000 years, if not picked up and thrown into a landfill, they will still be there, probably looking the same way they do today.  It’s a crime.  As the only species on this planet with the ability to create such mess, it is our responsibility to all the other creatures to clean it up.  I think we have all seen the pictures of turtles with a six-pack ring around their shell.

All this being said, I truly believe that plastic serves an important purpose.  Hospitals could not run efficiently without it.  Those without clean water after natural disasters could not survive without bottled water.  It also nearly impossible to eliminate is completely, it is part of our lives now.  But like so many things in life, less is more.

Think about some of the things you can do to reduce.  Do you get coffee at your local coffee shop everyday?  If so, can you bring your own takeaway mug and eliminate 30 plastic covers from our landfills?  Do you use the plastic grocery bags at the store?  If so, can you bring your own?  Do you need a new toothbrush?  Can you replace it with a bamboo toothbrush?  My parents have swapped their daily vegetable juice from the plastic containers to the metal containers.  One couple will be responsible for 52 fewer bottles in the landfill each year.   The possibilities are endless and it can be fun if you make a game out of it.  I work on it every single day, often times fall short.  But, it’s worth the effort.

So, what are you going to do in April to reduce your plastic consumption?  Everyone together can make a difference.

gem-lauris-rk-409606-unsplash (1)Photo courtesy of gemmalouisek.com/unsplash

Household

Glass Cleaner

cleaning supplies

I make a lot of my own cleaning supplies.  Saving money is a big reason why I choose to make my own.  But, an even bigger reason is our health.  So many store-bought cleaning supplies are filled with toxic chemicals that I personally don’t believe are good for the health of my family.  For this reason, we go the homemade route as much as possible.  It also means we put less plastic into our ecosystem, which is obviously better for all of us.

This recipe is for the window cleaner we use.  It costs pennies to make and smells great.  Quick side note, that bottle of Dr. Bronner’s is 18 years old.  We have been recycling it since the year 2001.  We buy it by the gallon and continue to refill that bottle.  In 18 years, we have only purchased 3 gallons.

Glass Cleaner

1/4 cup white vinegar

1/2 teaspoon castile soap (we use Dr. Bronner’s)

2 cups water

4 drops lavender essential oil

4 drops lemon essential oil

The directions are pretty straightforward.  Add all ingredients to a bottle and mix.

You can use any essential oil of your choice.  I just prefer the lemon lavender mix.

Happy Cleaning!