Friday, January 27, 2012

I love cloth diapers (giveaway)

        What kind of aspiring hippy would I be if I didn't use cloth diapers on my little baby's bottom?  We started cloth diapering when our second son was 6 months old.  Now, our 3rd son is 4 months old and has been in cloth since he was two weeks old.  We love cloth diapering.  We have saved so much money, it is way easier on the enviroment,  and they are just so cute!
         The cloth is much easier on their skin.  The only diaper rash Bennett has had was when he was still wearing disposables.  When we put him in cloth it went away.
This is Bennett sporting a bright orange Bamboo Minky diaper from Kawaii Baby.

    I think our favorite thing about cloth diapers is that they just work better at holding in the poo.  I prefer to use cloth when we are travelling because that will always be when the major poop-cident happens.  If Bennett is wearing a disposable the poop is sure to go up his back.  The cloth diaper will keep it contained.

                                                                        This is Aleksei back in the day.

So,  we have used two different brands of cloth diapers.  One brand (I don't want anyone to get mad at me, so we'll call it brand X)   was a very reputable brand that you can find at most baby boutique places.  We bought them second hand but still in very good condition, for $15 a diaper.  Brand new they cost more like $25.  We then learned about Kawaii Baby diapers and they looked about the same as brand X but for only $7 a diaper so we bought some of those too.  Well,  brand X did not hold up too well,  when I finally got rid of them they were barely holding together.  Our Kawaii babies are still going strong.  I still have the 10 that I bought for Aleksei and I bought 15 more for Bennett.  So,  I have a whopping 25 diapers, it's a luxury,  it's in no way a neccesity.  15 diapers is a nice amount.

                                          This is Aleksei in Kawaii Baby one size heavy duty diaper.

Now, getting to the fun part,  Kawaii baby has offered to give away this adorable cloth diaper to one of my readers.

To enter this giveaway you just need to leave a comment on this post and/or 'like' my facebook page.  I will pick a winner on Feburary 6th.

Now, go take a look at the other kawaii baby diapers at

Update:  Congratulations to Pearl Lee Wanderlust the winner of the Kawaii Baby giveaway.  Thanks to everyone who entered.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Lotion Recipe

As part of my bathroom cupboard revolution,  I've started to make my own lotions.  We have really dry skin around here.  Indiana has always had terrible eczema and for some reason in my old age I've developed it too.  It makes me so sad to have to rub lotion on Indiana's legs and have him scream because it stings so much.  If you make your own,  with regular ingredients,  it won't sting..... it probably won't cause cancer either,  just saying.

This is what you need.

a pretty little glass jar
1 part beeswax
1 part coconut oil
2 parts olive oil
Vitamin E oil (optional)
essential oils (optional)

Sadly,  I don't have a nice little kitchen scale,  if I did,  this would be easier.
I just guess the amounts and put everything (except the vit.E and essential oils) in my jar.  I then put that jar in a pot of boiling water.


Let it heat up until melted.  Stir from time to time.

Next,  you can test the consistency by taking a spoonful of the liquid and put it on a plate or something and put in the refrigerator.

After 2 minutes you can check and make sure it's a nice lotiony consistency.  If it's too soft, add more beeswax to the jar,  if too hard, add more olive oil.  At this point you can add a capsule or two of vitamin E
oil and essential oils if you want.  The Vitamin E oil adds some healing benefits and is also a preservative.

Next take your jar and give it another stir for good measure and put it in the refrigerator with the spoon in it.

Let it cool for about an hour in the refrigerator stirring every 15 minutes.

And that's all.

A quick word to the wise...
Beeswax is a pain to clean up.  So,  it is NOT a good idea to make a large batch of lotion in a bigger dish and then transfer to small jars.  Not a good idea at all.

This post was shared at Things I Love Thursdays and Simple Lives Thursday

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Laundry Soap (without borax)

A few years ago,  I started making my own laundry soap.  It was easy to find recipes,  it seemed that everyone else was making their own laundry soap too.  I found that there were two basic recipes,  one dry and one liquid, both using borax.  It was very cheap,  so I happily bought all the ingrdients and made my own.  It worked okay.  Then people started telling me that borax was bad.  So,  being true to myself, I instantly donned a hazmat suit and began to rid my home of borax.  After a little bit of research it was obvious that the hazmat suit was a bit of an over-reaction. But,  this fear of borax caused me to think outside the box and create a different recipe for laundry soap,  and low and behold it actually worked better in my ultra hard water.

This is what you need;
one bar of soap
washing soda

So, this is what I do,
this recipe is for 2.5 gallons of soap.  I have a 3 gallon pail.


I take a bar of soap,  whatever soap was on sale (usually ivory, sometimes jergens)
I grate it in a pot and add 2 cups of water.
Heat it up slowly,  it is a pain to clean up if it boils over.
Pour the melted soap into the bucket
add 3/4  cup washing soda
fill the bucket with hot water while stirring.
let it set for about 24 hours.
What you end up with isn't pretty....
...But it sure does a nice job!

I use about 1/2 cup for a load,   maybe a cup for really dirty stuff.  I do use this to clean Bennett's cloth diapers too.  Not only does this save a ton of money,  but we could all do with less plastic jugs in our life now couldn't we?                      

This was shared at Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways at                      

Monday, January 23, 2012

Breakfast Day OH! Breakfast Day

One of my favorite childhood memories is breakfast days with my dad.  Every Saturday he would take one of us kids out for breakfast.  It was our very own time with dad.
Now whenever my dad comes to visit he takes our boys out to breakfast,  and sometimes I can come too.  I think this tradition is why I love breakfast so much.  

We decided to continue the tradition in our family.  So,  once a month Alex takes one of the older boys out for breakfast.  This Saturday was Aleksei's turn,  and they went for lunch.

This makes my heart happy.

Thursday, January 19, 2012


This isn't really a rant at all.  I'm not really in the mood to rant.  I just want to share my deodorant recipe.  But, here's the lesson,  store bought deodorants = bad.  anti-perspirant = badder.
Here's the recipe.

3 Tbsp Shea butter
2Tbsp Cocoa butter
3Tbsp baking soda
2Tbsp cornstarch
essential oils

Put everything except the essential oils in a bowl and microwave 20 second intervals with stirring between  until all melted.  If you don't have a microwave,  all the power to you.  You can place the bowl in a pot of boiling water and stir until melted.
Then you just add whatever essential oils suit your fancy  probably 10-15 drops should do.

Pour into a jar,  when it cools it should have a very deodorant like consistency.  You can keep it in your cupboard.

this is genius... use an old deodorant container.  Clean it out really well first then pour your deodorant in.  Put in the refridgerator for about an hour.

Now,  I must add that I LOVE the shea butter in this recipe,  however,  it was hard to find and  really expensive.  I probably won't buy it again.  Here is another option.

2Tbsp baking soda
2Tbsp cornstarch
3Tbsp coconut oil

I'm sure that this will work just as well,  and who knows you might already have coconut oil around for cradle cap or shaving your legs.

This post has been shared at Domestically Divine Tuesdays at and Healthy 2 day Wednesdays at

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Get rid of your shaving cream

If anybody out there is wanting to participate in a bathroom cupboard revolution here is a first step.  It's kinda a baby step,  but really with this kind of thing baby steps are the way to go.  Small changes,  one by one and soon you'll realize you're a granola crunching hippy and no one will be the wiser.

So, here you go....

 Use Coconut Oil instead of Shaving Cream.

I'm new at this hippy thing,  so yes I still shave my legs.  I've been addicted to using shaving cream ever since I got married and could use my husband's.  But, now he can have his shaving cream back, at least unitl I can convince him to join me on the crunchy side.

Rubbing coconut oil on your legs (or wherever) will protect and moisturize to prevent rash.  It feels so nice.

Please note;  coconut oil can clog your pores,  so if you actually convince your husband to ditch the shaving cream,  it could cause break outs if he has oily skin.

One more thing...
The ingredients on my can of shaving cream:
Water, Stearic Acid, Triethanolamine, Isobutane, Laureth-23, Sodium lauryl sulfate, Propane, Fragrance, BHT.
....enough said.

this post has been linked to Works for me Wednesdays.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Bathroom Cupboard Revolution

I'm bad at titles.....
These last few months  I've been working on cleaning out my bathroom.  I'm not talking about organization (that's not what I do)  I'm talking about changing the products that I use.  Going without, like in the case of Shampoo,  or making it myself,  like deodorant or lotions.

Won't you smell bad?  You Ask....
Maybe, but I have enlisted the help of my husband.  It is his job to tell me if I stink,  and he knows how to be painfully honest.

Why in the world would you ever do that?
A few reasons,
 #1 In a time where everything is getting linked to cancer,  how could it hurt to just simplify the things I put on my skin.  Just like we are trying to eat "real food" as in food we can pronounce,  why not take that to the next level and only put things we can easily say on our skin.

#2  It's a whole lot cheaper.  If I go from using shampoo, to not using shampoo,  that's like a savings of 100%.

#3  Stick it to the man.  Who says I need to wash my hair everyday?  People for centuries have gone their whole lives without shampoo, and they have probably had really nice hair. Why has it changed now?  Because the "man" needs money,  so the "man" tells us we need to shampoo everyday,  and that in turn makes our hair dry which means we need conditioner everyday too, as well as hair gel and moose.  So, this "man" has just made a whole butt load of money. Well, I say "Suck it! Mr. proverbial man"  I will not use shampoo and in doing so I will eliminate the need for conditioner and styling products. AND, just because I can, and you don't want me to,  I will make my own deodorant and lotions and maybe even soap.

The Revolution has started.

Give your cold some Tea

We're a bunch of sickies at this house right now.  Everyone's having some sort of cough and runny nose.  Tis' the season I guess.  This is our first cold of the winter,  so I think we're doing pretty good.  This is something we've been having a lot of this week.

Cold Tea
(it's for a cold,  it's not actually cold)
2 cups water
4-6 cloves of garlic
honey and lemon juice to taste

-just boil the water and garlic together a few minutes until the garlic is soft and mushy.  Strain out the garlic and add honey and lemon juice.

O.K.  so,  that's the base recipe,  but I hardly ever do that.  Here are some other things you can put in there to help your cold.

Anise seed - relieves coughs

Ginger - breaks up congestion

Thyme - antimicrobial,  good for relieving respiratory infections.

Onions - breaks up congestion

You can put any or all of those things in your tea.  It tastes good as long as you have enough honey. It feels just like a good cup of Neo Citron.

This post has been shared at Frugal Days,  Sustainable Ways.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My husband will love me

I think I will have to try this recipe soon.  Alex loves Jello so much,  I can't understand it.  Often I'll ask him to pick up milk on his way home from work and he'll come in with ten boxes of Jello.  Our pantry is full of Jello,  and I don't like it, so I don't make it.  Jello doesn't really go along with our "real food"  goals.  This homemade version looks good though.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Well, At least I loved the soup.

As promised yesterday,  here is the recipe for the soup I made with my coconut milk.
I found it very delicious, however,  the little boys, not so much.

Curry Vegetable and Rice Soup.
3 cups chopped veggies (I used broccoli, red pepper, and carrots)
2 cups of chicken broth
1/2 cup brown rice
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon of salt
2 cups of coconut milk.

1.  Combine everything except the coconut milk in medium saucepan.  Cover, and bring to boil over high heat.  Reduce heat to medium and simmer for about 10 minutes until rice is done.
2.  Add coconut milk and heat.
3.  Blend with immersion blender.

Absolutely delicious I thought and so did Alex.  The boys left their bowls full.

With the rest of the coconut milk I made  GREEN SMOOTHIES!
I've been wanting to try these for a long time,  but haven't had the guts,  anything with the main ingredient being spinach I have to think twice about.  There is not an exact science to these, so I'll just list what I put in mine.

Carrot, grated
Coconut milk

YUMMY!!!  I made myself another one today,  and I might have tomorrow too.  These are wonderful,  the coconut milk gave a really nice flavour too.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Make your own coconut milk

 A few "health kicks" ago, we were really into coconut milk.  We bought it all the time and used it in everything.  I remember it being kinda expensive and it came in a can.  Now days I've gotten kinda cheap,  and I like to avoid canned goods when possible.

This has always been in my "you can't make that yourself" category.  But if I think about it,  Coconut milk does not fall from a tree already in a can. It goes through a process, and if somebody in a factory can do that process then why can't I? You could say I'm a little slow about these things.

Oh, one more thing, the health benefits of coconut milk are many.  Read about them here.

Here's the Recipe
 Take one cup of unsweetened coconut (preferably organic) and one cup of hot water and blend in your food processor for 30 seconds.
 Let it steep for 5-10 minutes.
Strain through a colander.  Squeeze out as much milk as you can with a spoon.
Put the coconut back in the food processor with another cup of hot water and do it all again.
I did this three times, I stopped because the coconut didn't taste like coconut anymore,  so I figured I had gotten all the juice out of it.

This keeps in the fridge for about 2 days.   I made soup for lunch with it,  maybe I'll post the recipe tomorrow.  I really can't remember all the things we used to make with coconut milk.  Is there anybody out there in internet land who has some good recipes?

This post was shared at Simple Lives Thursay at and Real Food Wednesdays at

Monday, January 9, 2012


Shout it from the roof tops!!!  I found a cure for cradle cap.  Anybody else excited?
      All of our kids have had terrible cradle cap that doesn't go away.  We've been at a loss for what to do.  We of course don't want to use harsh shampoos on their little heads.  And so, we would just comb their hair after every bath and the cradle cap would flake a bit but never come off.
      So,  the magic cure is COCONUT OIL.  It takes a bit of time,  but the rewards are great.  Rub coconut oil on your little ones head about an hour or two before bath time.  Let them run around with the greasy mess,  just try not to let them snuggle into your shirt.  Then at bath time,  comb their hair and shampoo as normal.   You'll probably need to do this 4 or 5 nights in a row.  Then all your cradle cap worries will be gone.
DISCLAIMER; The word "cure" may be a bit misleading,  I can't guarantee that the cradle cap won't return.  However,  we did this about two months ago and we're still good.
Also,  apparently this works for dandruff as well,  so get rid of your head and shoulders.
Now, go tell all your friends.

this post was shared at Things I love Thursday at and Works for Wednesdays at

Sunday, January 8, 2012

A Birthday Birth Story

       Hello, This is my new blog,  it's supposed to help me with my new resolve to eat real food and make more things homemade.  However,  today is much too important for that.  Today is our little boy's birthday.  Aleksei Henrik is 3 years old and to celebrate I will tell you all the wonderful story of how he came into the world.
      It was two days before my due date at 5:30 in the morning when I awoke with a contraction.  Contractions continued every 15 minutes with some general cramping in between.  My previous labour was a good 38 hours long, so when I sent Alex off to work that morning it never crossed my mind that this baby could be born before he got home.  I started my day and decided a walk around town with my two-year old would get things going.  I stopped and breathed through contractions, sometimes needing to stop in the middle of the street.  At exactly noon the contractions suddenly changed to 5 minutes apart.  I called my sister-in-law and she came and picked up Indiana.  Seeing him walk down the street with her I became a bleary-eyed mess thinking about how his life would never be the same after that day.
      This next part is all a blur.  I was all alone at home trying to make arrangements,  lots of phone calls were made and lots of people called me.  Meanwhile contractions are getting stronger and a bit closer together and I'm getting this very strong pain between contractions.  Somewhere in there I stopped making sense and the phone calls stopped.  My other sister-in-law Angie came over to take me to the hospital as I had made an appointment with the midwife for 4:30.  I was still waddling around trying to pack and put away the supper I had in the crock-pot. We got everything all packed and me into the car.  
      The car ride was sheer agony.  The pain between contractions was actually worse than the contraction itself.  I think I said something to Angie as we were leaving,  but then was unable to speak the rest of the trip.  When we got to town,  we stopped at the university to pick-up Alex.  Angie went in to get him and I sat in the car.  As I'm writhing in pain I'm imagining them visiting and taking a tour of the piano shop, maybe getting a coffee.  Anyways,  I'm sure none of that happened,  they did get back to the car.  We arrive at the hospital,  I have tears streaming down my face and my chin is quivering.  I walk up to the admitting desk and hand over my health card and the lady asks me to repeat my address, phone number and date of birth. Are you serious!?  You think I can talk much less remember my postal code?
      We get up to the labour and delivery floor and meet my midwife.  I'm seven centimeters dilated.  I get into the bath tub and finally the pain between contractions goes away.  It's not sweet relief though,  by now the contractions are a minute and a half apart and very intense.  I labour for maybe 45 minutes and then ask if I can push. I get on the bed,  I'm fully dilated and the midwife breaks my waters.  I keep thinking about my last labour where I pushed for 2 hours and 40 minutes.  This will not happen again I tell myself,  so I push like crazy.  The midwife keeps saying things like "that's really good SLOW pushing Gabrielle."  So I push harder and keep pushing even without a contraction.  And then after only ten minutes our little Alyosha was born.  9lbs. 3oz.  21 inches. 6:08 p.m.

      The next few hours were pure bliss.  Just us in our quiet little room enjoying our baby.  The midwives did their thing but let us hold our baby for hours before he needed to be weighed and get a diaper on.  Soon my mom came with Indiana.  He fell instantly in love with his little brother  as we all did.
      And so, Happy Birthday our precious Alyosha,  you bring us joy.