Sunday, March 30, 2014


Yesterday in the shower, I was reflecting on some changes I have made in my life.  I had one of those (OK several) of those, "How did I not know about this sooner!?" revelations.  The parent revelation led to me ranting on Facebook. 
1. Recently, I started using baking soda to wash my scalp and apple cider vinegar to condition my hair.  My uber fine hair is easier to style and feels softer.  Before, it just felt slippery.  My scalp is less itchy (product of this lovely winter we have been experiencing).  Thinking about how did I not discover the baking soda/apple cider vinegar thing sooner; I thought about all the other more natural things I have incorporated into my life in the past two years...

2. Exercise - natural anti-depressant/high.  Why don't more sources prescribe exercise when people are feeling down?  Today, I took my dog for a run (I am training for a 5K).  I don't particularly enjoy running (OK, I dislike it), but I do love the way I feel afterwards.  I feel lighter, energized, and happy, albeit worn out.

3. Laundry detergent - I originally started out with a recipe that was borax, washing soda, and Dawn dish soap that I found on Pinterest.  I was looking for a way to improve my family's budget and laundry detergent is expensive.  I know from taking18 credit hours of Textile Sciences in college and in my career, that Tide is one of the best detergents/most popular.  I know from having babies that Dreft is best for baby's skin.  I also know that Americans use entirely too much detergent in the wash.  Hmmmmm.....  My recent recipe for liquid laundry detergent is: 3 TBSP of Borax and 3 TBSP of Washing Soda, poured into a gallon container.  Add 4 cups of HOT water.  Put a cover on the container.  Shake the container until the powders are disolved.  Add 3 TBSPs of your favorite Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap (liquid) scent (mine is lavender).  Top off the container with water.  I use 1/2 - 1 cup per load.  I started using Borax and Washing Soda for cleaning products about 2 years ago.  Each box cost me a couple of bucks. I still have plenty to last me awhile...

4. Multipurpose cleaner - White distilled vinegar and water in a spray bottle.  I add a couple drops of essential oil to make it smell pretty (you guessed it, I use lavender essential oil).

5. Heavy duty cleaner - Baking soda and white vinegar...sit back and watch it bubble and fizz.  Wipe with a damp sponge.

6. Carpet cleaner - Vinegar, dish soap, and water.

7. Body scrubs (this is my favorite) - for those of you who do not eat sugar, this is a great way to use of any sugar supply you have...Equal parts brown and white sugar mixed well.  Add Vitamin E Oil, Coconut Oil, or Extra Virgin Olive Oil in any combination you want until the sugars look moist.  Add a few drops of your favorite scent (lavender) essential oil.  Slather on your wet hands and/or feet and rinse after a minute or so...The last commercial body scrub I bought was $15 for a small container.  I used it very sparingly and only when I wanted to treat myself...

8. Foot soak - I just found this one somewhere on the interwebs.  It is the best soak I have found.  I may have modified it a bit based on my experiences...1/8 cup of epsom salt, 1/4 baking soda, 1 tbsp lemon juice, and a couple drops of essential oil (guess what I used...lavender) and fill whatever you are soaking your feet in with warm water.  Soak for at least 10 minutes.  Use a foot file or pumice stone to scrub off all the dry skin. 

9. Spa water - Slice up some fruit, cucumbers, and or mint. Add them to your glass of water.  I am enjoying strawberries and lemon right now.

10. Facial cleanser - Crap, I can't remember the recipe.  I better find it, as I am almost out....1/4 Cup Chamomile Tea (brewed), 1/4 Cup Olive Oil, Vitamin E Oil, Essential Oil (your favorite scent), couple drops of Dr. Bronner's.  Keep it in an airtight container.  I keep mine in the shower.

Bonus: I had another "How did I not know this sooner!?" moment with organic not sweetened shredded coconut.  It tastes so much better than the non-organic sweetened one that is most easily found at the grocery store.  Added bonus, is that it is cheaper and I don't have to use as much :)

I am sure there are more that I use.  And you, are probably wondering is there any more natural product I have tried to make and use with out success....why yes, dishwasher detergent was an epic failure.  At first I liked it, but towards the end of the batch my dishes felt dry and dull.