"Are you serious? ANOTHER laundry detergent recipe?"
I know, right?
So, here goes the story...
I'm lazy. The end.
Okay, so maybe not LAZY, but I'm just so tired. Why didn't anyone warn us as kids that adulting would be so tiring. We have to know so many things. And then we have kids and constantly question whether we're doing it properly. And now in 2016 everywhere you look there's TOXIC this and TOXIC that. It's scary! So, I did the whole thing and played along and got bored. Real quick.
Back to the good ol' store purchased toxic-ide to wash my children's clothes in toxic death. Well, maybe that's a tad bit dramatic.
I don't know how much of any of the whole toxic nation stuff you can believe out there, but there's one thing I know: homemade is cheap. Among many, many other reasons I decided I'm going to go back and start making our own detergent again. Except, this time I'm not digging out a recipe. I'll do the good ol' a-little-of-this-and-a-little-of-that method. Why not?
Basically, you can just simply wash you clothes in a touch of Bonner's soap, so I can't really screw this up. Right?
So, let's keep things simple.
#1) Fels Naptha soap is a pain. Almost all recipes include it. Guess what? I left it out and haven't missed it. I see absolutely no difference.
#2 I can't stand the soap to get clumpy. It stops up my front loader and makes a mess.
#3 The K.I.S.S. method tends to trump all (and no that wasn't a political pun.)
So, here we go:
LAUNDRY DETERGENT RECIPE:
(See disclaimer below)
Could that be more simple? 1 cup of each, heat, stir into water. Stop over and visit my video on Youtube to see the simplicity of it all!
How about a little Q&A:
I don't like it so watery. Can I add less water? Yup! Absolutely. This can be any consistency you want. Thicker: less water: use less to wash.
Will my clothes be clean without the Fels Naptha? My husband rebuilds cars for a living- body work, mechanics, you name it. He comes in with some funky clothes. This detergent works on it all! I see no need to add it. However, if you need a spot treatment, the Fels Naptha is great to have on hand. Just use the bar to rub on the spot before washing.
Can I add scents or essential oils? I don't see why not. We don't because A) We have sensitive skin. B) essential oils are expensive. I feel like you get more bang for your buck by using them on your skin.
A friend of mine says, "using borax on a regular basis as a detergent corrodes the machine and does quite a bit of damage to it chemically (non visible components - opposite drum side, drive components, ect). That corrosion can then end up as particulates in the clothing." I'm definitely no expert! This is only what me and my family uses. Always use your best judgment or ask a professional. Also, you could just leave the BORAX out. It's only an extra cleanser that probably isn't necessary. The washing powder is a great deodorizer and the Castile soap is a fantastic cleanser!
More questions? E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave it in the comments.
Peace, love, and clean clothes...
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I've been dragging my family up an UP-HILL slipper slope. I'm trying to rid our home of known toxins and create a healthy lifestyle. As if life wasn't difficult enough, I decide to completely turn our lives upside down (or is it right-side up?) by throwing away every item in our beauty/hygiene arsenal and starting making everything on my own.
The longer I stay on this track, the easier it is. However, life is busy. With everything we have to do as moms, we have to worry about what's put in the products we use every single day? It's difficult!
But, you know what? It's not impossible. That's because there are already people out there that have been doing it far longer than we have. I used to make my own chapstick and lotions from scratch until I got lazy and stopped making it. Did you know you can buy a lip balm base completely read to use?! And it's priced well! You can easily use as-is or have some fun with it by adding scents, essential oils, additives, and even color!
Now, it's easy to get lost and start adding unnatural colors, but I stumbled upon the most amazing colorant and it costs under $1!!
Look how vibrant the color is!! Here's the best part: it's made from a can of beets. Yes, beets. Canned beets.
DIY all-natural Beet Balm:
*optional: add essential oils. My favorite? DoTerra's MOTIVATE (An uplifting citrus blend.)
Peace, love, health (and saving time AND money!)
Essential oils seem to be quite a fad these days.
But, hey, guess what. They aren't! Oils were the very first medicinal practice in the very beginnings of mankind. From the Egyptian hieroglyphics and Chinese manuscripts, we know that priests and physicians have been using essential oils for thousands of years. The Egyptians used essential oils for embalming and preserved oils were found in alabaster jars in King Tut's tomb. Egyptian temples were dedicated to the production and blending of the oils and recipes were recorded on the walls in hieroglyphics. And- of course- we're all familiar with the terms "frankincense and myrrh." There are 188 references to essential oils in the Bible. There were endless amounts of uses for essential oils since the beginning of time and the same uses are valid today. I guess you could say they are essential to our lives. (wink.)
Where does the term Essential come from?
Contrary to what I once thought, the term essential used here does not mean indispensable. An oil is "essential" in the sense that it contains the "essence of" the plant's fragrance—the characteristic fragrance of the plant from which it is derived. (Some incredible indepth information on the history of essential oils)
How do you use them?
First, and foremost, the absolute most important thing I can tell you is ALL ESSENTIAL OILS ARE NOT CREATED EQUALLY. You can not go to your local grocery store and buy quality essential oils (Even if they say 100% pure.) You'll notice some of the bottles have little warning labels; warning you against skin application. There are some warning you of combustion! This is crazy. These essential oils are for smelling only. The worst part is, you have no idea what's actually in those bottles. And the "100% pure essential oil" label you see is only telling you that the actual oil in that bottle is pure. We don't even know what other junk could be lurking inside that bottle.
So, back to the question.
There are numerous amounts of ways to use essential oils. It can be overwhelming and intimidating at first. I always recommend to start simple: Topical.
My first oil was a blend for headaches. I was constantly popping Ibuprofen for headaches. (side note, I haven't taken any for over a year since using essential oils!)
I would take this blend and rub anywhere I was feeling the headache- temples, behind ears, on my neck.
The more I use the oils, the more I learn, I now know that I can rub this oil in the center of my hands during a breathing technique to zap the worst headaches, including migraines. There is so much to learn and it's easy to get overwhelmed and just walk away from it altogether. Just start simple and you can learn the rest later. (more indepth information on essential oil applications. )
Why use them?
I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. The older I get the more I look around and see the deterioration of people. I've always been the type of person that is drawn in and amazed by the abilities of the human body. Researching cause and effects of sicknesses, what nourishes us, what keeps us well and what brings us down, the in's and out's of our anatomy, and the beauty of what God has provided us with nutrition and alternative medicine. Somewhere along the line I lost the knowledge of health. Lifestyles change, influences change, and I got lazy. In the last few years I was at my worst: My weight was at an all-time high, my blood pressure is uncontrollable and within the levels of having a stroke, my bones ache, constant headaches, and would catch any thing coming or going. I don't have any obviously sickness, yet my body is sick.
I go to doctor after doctor and they don't have any real obvious symptoms to treat; except that I feel crummy. They write me antibiotic after antibiotic, steroids, numerous blood pressure medicine, anxiety medicine... Rx after Rx I found I needed more Rx's to treat the symptoms of the first. I was fed up. I threw everything I had in the trash, sat down at my computer, and dove back into what interested me the most: medicinal practices of those before us. Things that don't come with warning labels: a lifestyle of those generations back.
Do they work?
You don't have to just listen to me; There are testimonies of people that date back to 3000 BCE and before of people praising the effectiveness of essential oils.
For me, I've only been using essential oils for a little over a year. In the beginning I was skeptical. I continued using Doterra oils, mainly because someone said "just try it!" They gave me some samples, so I continued to use them for headaches, keeping calm, allergies, and cleaning. With each application and the more I learned, I began using them more and more. It wasn't until a year passed I realized I hadn't taken one Ibuprofen for headaches. It literally was a full year before I realized they worked! It was then I started buying them for myself and my family and using more of them, for different things. My husband replaced his daily steroid nose spray with Breathe*. We are no longer visiting the doctor every few weeks for my children because of On guard* We no longer buy cleaning agents because of Lemon, Lavender, and On guard*
What should I try first?
Ask yourself: What is my number one need? Relaxation...headaches....calm wild kids....first aid...DIY cleaning supplies...
Start with one thing. Just one.
Now that you have that in your head, drop me and e-mail (email@example.com) and I will point you in the right direction. I usually reply to my e-mails within 24 hours (if not sooner) and we will get you on the road to using essential oils!
Any more questions? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or find me on Fb, Instagram, or Google+ @shoestringAmy
Want to learn more? click here
Want to jump right in and start buying? click here
Want to sell Doterra oils? click here
Love, peace, and good health...
After yesterday's post I felt it appropriate to jump straight into Thanksgiving.
Upcycling is my favorite.
I started by coming up with the colors I wanted to use: orange, natrual beige/browns/gold tones, and aqua/blues.
We could have easily left the pumpkins orange, but we're adding glam! A touch of robin egg blue pairs perfectly with orange, so robin egg blue it is.
Painting the pumpkins and sprinkling some glitter across the top allows the glitter to stay in place and adds a little extra special, unexpected touch.
The simplest project is my "Be Thankful sign." I found a font online that I really liked and sketched it on a simple pallet board (free!) and then went over the sketch using a Sharpie marker. Could it be more simple? And adorable!
Stacking some books (displaying them backwards shows off one of my chosen colors beige-y/brown) and placing some branches in a jar add height to the display.
tucking the plate behind the sign and leaves around the pumpkins add some dimension; coming together to create a nice, simple, cohesive vignette.
Fresh Thanksgiving decor: $0
Which is awesome because we all know what's to follow.....
Christmas! We could all use some savings this time of year.
Need more inspiration? Check out some amazing talent and their painted pumpkins over at HOMETALK. Go ahead, add your links below!
Peace, Love, and thankfulness....
There was a point in my life were I started to really dig deep into my thoughts and evaluate our life. I turned 30. I realize 30 isn't "OLD." And still yet I stopped and looked at our successes, where we were, and what we had. I was disappointed. It seemed "the grass was greener" everywhere we looked. I felt I was half way through my life and I was disappointed.
Because of this I held so much resentment. I felt ashamed that I didn't make more of ourselves, I held resentment towards my husband because he wasn't making more money, I held resentment towards God because he wasn't answering my prayers for opportunity. I felt our life was crumbling.
I was selfish.
It wasn't until this point of feeling so low, feeling less than others, and feeling broken that I was able to really- deep down- evaluate our lives.
Wow...what a wake up call. How rich we were!! It was my perspective that was poor and broken. We were so truly blessed and I was being so ignorant for so many years. What did I want more money for? To keep up with everyone else. Fancy clothes, new things, the newest electronics, new vehicles, a new and larger home.... and for what? To impress other people. I was evaluating my worth based on the opinions of others.
I needed that time to feel broken to change my life.
God did answer prayers, but not in a way that was in my will- it was in his. He was giving me wealth- a wealth of knowledge! I didn't need the things I was wanting. Were we hungry? No. (although, at times we were really close!) Did we have a home? Yes! It was plenty big enough for us, it was warm in the Winter, and cold in the Summer. Was it pretty? It's a work in progress, but progress is better than nothing! My perspective has drastically changed and I now appreciate each and every thing we have because it is beautiful....to us. When we put our energy into pleasing others, we stop putting energy into ourselves and our happiness.
The moment I was able to realize we were living for worldly things our lives were completely rejuvenated. When we were able to truly appreciate the things we have, realize the difference between "need" and "want," and focus on our happiness rather than impressing others with things; we were able to truly live our lives.
The reason I created ShoestringAmy is to help others living a life of "want." Live within your means and how to do that in an amazing way!
DIY because you are able. DIY not only saves you money, but it builds your confidence. Discovering your abilities; honing in on your own skills could open up a world of possibilities.
Change your view of TRAVEL. Don't wait around because you don't have the funds to vacation and travel. Explore the world in your very own backyard or in your own town. Baby steps. Don't let a small budget hold you back.
FASHION- There are amazing deals to be had! Thrift store fashion is a horribly missed asset that people need to utilize.
The absolute most important thing to remember is to open your heart. Accept, appreciate, and love.
I want to open up a new idea of having a small budget and living within your means. A beautiful life is out there to be had. Start with priorities. Where are yours?
As is our life, my blog is a work in progress. I hope we can take this journey together! Share and inspire yourself and a friend.
Love and peace through creating your journey...
(Insert mental image of me pulling my hair, jumping up and down, and screaming at the top of my lungs.) I have adult acne. I've never had more than an occasional pimple all my life. This is something I've never had to deal with until I hit my 30's. And it's driving me insane. I've tried drinking plenty of water, eating well, and all the suggested remedies. It's just not working.
That is until I randomly read that apple cider vinegar worked. I tried regular vinegar with not much luck. Until Bragg's apple cider vinegar (With the mother) went on sale at my local grocery store. I tried it and it actually works!
I realize there's more going on in my body contributing to my acne. I don't believe it's an outwardly problem. However, when the breakouts come the vinegar shortens the amount of time the problems appear.
Let me add the disclaimer here: It burns! It burns like the dickens! It reeks, it makes my eyes burn, but boy does it work.
DIY acne FACEWASH recipe:
Mix together and rub into skin or use battery operated face brush; wipe clean.
DIY FACE RINSE
(following DIY acne face wash)
There are times when I make large batches of things. For example, my laundry detergent, soaps, and lotions. However, for specific face washes (dry skin, acne, black head remover, etc.) I make them in single batches. I rarely use the same one over and over because my skin is every changing. I feel like the small, single batches work best. Plus, I can use each ingredient for endless amounts of other things. No sense in having it sit all bottled up, not being used.
So, why did I choose these parings of particular ingredients?
Coconut Oil: Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Oils are good for removing other oils, too. If your face is oily the best way to remove the oil is with another oil, not soap. And moisturizing!
Honey: Antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. honey is a natural humectant, preserving moisture in your skin. Naturally probiotic. Consistency also helps pull dirt out of pores. And moisturizing!
Apple Cider Vinegar: balances PH level of skin, antibacterial, dissolves dead skin cells, and acts as a toner.
Witch Hazel: Natural astringent. Shrinks pores, removes excess oil, removes left over dirt and grime, and leaves skin soft.
Doterra Lavender essential oil: Works topically to sooth skin, but also works internally to help calm stressors causing acne. Leaves skin soft. antimicrobial and antioxidant characteristics. It soothes and nourishes the skin — treating acne, healing dry skin, and reducing the appearance of dark spots and scars caused by acne.
Doterra Tea Tree essential oil: Antibacterial, removes excess oil, shrinks pimples.
Do you have any home remedies to cure adult acne? I'd love to hear them!
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Shoestring Amy is a free-spirited momma. With a family of five comes an active lifestyle full of energy. Amy strives for a lifetime of fun, laughter, and memories. Rather than smothering in debt, working for "things," and walking the same ol' line of misery created by a dead end job, she creates much larger goals. CONTINUE READING....
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