Blissfully Informed Hippie Chick

Encouraging people to think critically about everything.

Loving My Dirty Dishes

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This sink full (always full) of dirty dishes would normally make me sigh a sigh of discontent. I would look at it and see imperfection, failure, and work.

Today, this sink makes me happy. Today, I look at these dishes and know what they represent…

They are the food I cook for my family daily.

They are my four children, unschooled and here all day most days.

They are the time I spend with my husband and children after dinner; not standing at a sink, but talking and playing games and watching our favorite shows.

They are the cookies I bake with my toddlers.

They are the time I spent crocheting rather than doing housework.

They are the peaceful, non-coercive relationship I strive to have with my children.

One day, I will have a clean, empty sink. One day, I’ll do dishes before heading to bed. One day, my sink won’t be piled with brightly-colored plastic plates and bowls. One day, every single fork and spoon won’t be dirty. One day, my children will be the ones with toddlers running amok and full sinks.

So today, I choose to smile at these dishes. Today, these dishes represent love.

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A quick note about food choices…

Over the summer, we started eating more wheat again. Starting at about Halloween up until New Years, we have had a LOT of sugar. Mostly homemade treats… pies and cookies and such… but still sugar. And far more processed food than “usual”. Last winter, I had only a couple days of fibromyalgia and arthritis pain. I also had no dairy, soy, or wheat and very little sugar. (My youngest was very sensitive to dairy, soy, and wheat.) This winter, I am in excruciating pain a lot of days. It’s so bad today that I have waves of pain just sitting here on the couch in the sun. I am totally convinced that it’s my diet. I started upping my fruit and veggie intake, and will be trying to cut back on wheat and sugar. I don’t want to live with this pain any longer. No amount of cookies is worth this!

There is hidden dairy, wheat, and soy in nearly every processed food, which is why I eliminated those almost entirely last year. I’m sure all the chemicals don’t help my body function properly, either. So what did I eat? A lot of fruit and veggies, meat, eggs, lots of root veggies like potatoes, corn tortillas and chips, beans, rice, quinoa, nuts. It took some getting used to, but I think that getting back into those habits will be far easier this time!

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Brie and Jelly Croissants

We were given a bunch of brie last week. Having no experience with brie (call me sheltered), I turned to Pinterest for inspiration. I found a recipe that I simplified. I don’t normally like to use packaged, preserved foods, but sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. Especially when you have two toddlers!

The recipe is so simple…

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Before going in the oven.

Place a piece or two of brie on a piece of croissant dough, place about a teaspoon of jelly on top of the cheese, roll up the dough around the cheese and jelly, making sure to press the seams together to prevent leaking, then bake at 350 for 15 minutes.

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After being taken out of the oven.

Yum! Maybe you can make these for a holiday party! We used 3 packages of croissant dough, which made 24 of these, and we made half with strawberry jelly and half with blackberry.

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Finished product... on a plastic baby plate... so chic!

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Sausage, Veggies, and Rice…oh, my!

I made a delicious dinner last night and my best friend told me that I simply must share the recipe here! (So that she can make it another day!)

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What you’ll need:
– 16 oz roll of seasoned sausage (I used sage flavored)
– 1 small red onion, diced
– 3 cloves garlic, diced
– 3 bell peppers, cut into chunks (I used green, red, and purple!)
– 1 small zucchini, cut into chunks
– 1 package fresh green beans, cut into pieces (or about 4 handfuls of loose ones! Sorry, I rarely measure ingredients!)
– salt and pepper, to taste
– oregano, about 1 tsp
– paprika, about 1/2 tsp
– juice from one large (or two regular) lemons
– 24 oz (3 small cans) tomato sauce
– 2 cups rice, cooked

What to do:
1) Brown the sausage over high heat, chopping into bite-sized pieces as you cook it. (This is a good time to start your rice.)
2) When the sausage is almost cooked through, add the onion and garlic.
3) Add the other veggies and stir well.
4) Add the seasonings and stir again.
5) Add the lemon juice and tomato sauce, stir once more and simmer over low heat for about 10 minutes.
6) Serve over rice! This recipe will give you 4 large plates of food!

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Saving the World: Priorities

German footwear giant Adidas has proposed a non-trivial idea on what to do with ocean waste – to make shoes out of it, of course!

The company has created a prototype of sustainable sneakers made almost entirely from ocean trash. In particular, the upper shoe is made out of illegal gill nets and other plastic debris removed from the ocean while the shoe base incorporates sustainable materials.

Collecting plastic from the ocean to knit the sneakers was not an easy task. In fact, it was done with the collaboration of the nonprofit organization Sea Shepherd, which organized a 110-day expedition to track illegal fishing boats in West African waters. The green part of the Adidas shoes is nothing but fishing nets collected in the course of this expedition.

(source)

At first glance, this seems like a terrific idea and makes us go “Awww, how awesome of Adidas! I’m going to go give my money to them right now!” But that’s the point, isn’t it? They know people are starting to actually care about the environment, and they want to appeal to that concern as a way to turn profits. Sure, they’re one of the “better” companies, when comparing their environmental and philanthropic practices to other companies. But first, let’s take a closer look at the issue here…

These fishing nets that Adidas plans to recycle into shoes are most likely from the illegal Chinese fishing boats that have been spotted in great numbers off the coast of Africa. Why are they there? More than likely, they are trying to meet a growing demand for meat in China, as the people there are increasingly transitioning from a rice-based diet to a meat-based one.

The impact of the switch to meat has a significant impact on agricultural output and the demand for grain. Because 3 kilograms of feed are needed to produce each kilogram of meat, feeding a large and growing population of animals will be a big challenge as China and the rest of the world gear up to produce more corn and soy beans for animal food.

(source)

As much as I hate to say it, because I like eating meat, our current diet is unsustainable on a large scale.

Agriculture, particularly meat and dairy products, accounts for 70% of global freshwater consumption, 38% of the total land use and 19% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions,…

Last year the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation said that food production would have to increase globally by 70% by 2050 to feed the world’s surging population. The panel says that efficiency gains in agriculture will be overwhelmed by the expected population growth.

(source)

To show you the impact that meat consumption has on our planet, here are some images:

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Saving water is especially important if you live anywhere currently affected by drought.

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If you don't know anything about factory farms, take a quick trip to Google after reading this...

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Imagine if we all committed to driving less, too!

In addition to eating less meat overall, urban farming is the future of food. Rooftop gardens, backyard greenhouses, community plots…these are not only sustainable for the planet, but they are beneficial in more ways than nutritionally for people. The act of gardening, and even simply the sight of green plants, has huge impacts on stress levels.

So how did I get to urban farming from Adidas manufacturing recycled shoes? My point is that if companies really cared about the planet as a whole, they’d be using their profits and influence to actually solve the problems facing humanity and, ultimately, earth. Instead of harvesting the discarded fishing nets from illegal Chinese fishing boats, why not fund start-ups for urban farms in China? Bottom line, Adidas cares more about their profit margin than their fellow humans. This new line of shoes may help the earth a smidgen, but it’s merely a positive side effect of their quest for more money with which to line their pockets.

Instead of buying shoes made from recycled fishing nets, scour local thrift stores or consignment stores for like-new shoes for a fraction of the cost. Use the rest of the money you would have spent on new shoes to start a container garden or raised bed in your own backyard or a community space. Encourage others to do the same. Many small, individual choices are what will change this world for the better!

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What’s wrong with those pickles?

A few years ago, I made the decision to eat much healthier. I had multiple health problems, and was taking several medications daily. Once I got pregnant with my 3rd child, I immediately decided to stop taking all the pharmaceuticals, including supplements like fish oil and Vitamin C. There are no definitive studies on the effect of any of these on an unborn baby. I knew that the risk for potential detriment wasn’t worth it to me. Also, while all those pills may have helped a little, they certainly didn’t cure my fibromyalgia, arthritis, chronic back pain from scoliosis, etc.

I opined that anything could be made from scratch rather than buying it in a package. After all, how did people make that things before the advent of food factories? Packaged foods are high in preservatives, “natural” and artificial flavors, etc.; I knew that couldn’t be healthy. Thankfully, there are some healthy alternatives that you can buy, but they are often much more costly. So I was on a mission! I tried my hand at nearly every packaged food we routinely bought. I found that some things were too time consuming, especially for feeding a lot of kids (crackers, especially graham crackers!), some were quite fun to try (hot dog buns!), and others have become such favorites that I have the recipes memorized (biscuits, pancakes, tortillas).

A couple weeks ago, I decided to use some organic cucumbers we had recently bought to make pickles. I don’t have canning equipment, but I remember my grandma making “refrigerator pickles”. So I set out to find a recipe! Here is my version (because I never follow a recipe exactly):

Refrigerator pickles
– cucumbers, thinly sliced (I left the peel on mine, because I like the taste and am aware of the fibrous benefits of it!)
– onion, sliced
– sugar
– salt and pepper
– white vinegar

1) Fill a large jar (I used an empty pickle jar that I had cleaned out) about 3/4 of the way with the cucumber slices. How many cucumbers you’ll need depends on how big your jar is and the size of the cucumbers!
2) Add slices of onion to the jar until it’s nearly full.
3) Pour in about 1/4 cup sugar and about 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper.
4) Fill the jar with white vinegar, put the lid on tightly, then shake and turn the jar to mix thoroughly until you don’t see any more sugar granules.
5) You can eat the pickles right away, but let them sit in the fridge overnight for a fuller flavor! They should stay good for at least 10 days in the fridge.

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I also made a small jar of pickles, using a large cucumber from our garden! I made those pickles the same way, except I also added a clove of garlic, chopped into little pieces. These pickles are very tangy! For a sweeter taste, add more sugar.

When I placed the jar in the fridge next to the store-bought jar of dill pickle slices, my 9 year old daughter immediately said, “What’s wrong with those pickles?” The most obvious difference is the green color that the store-bought pickles are tinted with. I told her to read the label and spot the differences between our pickles and the store-bought ones:

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I can’t find anything that says calcium chloride is dangerous to consume, but it does pose a danger to the workers who add it to food products.

Turmeric oleoresin is a derivative of turmeric, a spice that has many health benefits. Changing the spice, however, seems to be a bad idea. A two-year study of the effects of ingesting this additive has shown an increase in carcinogenic activity and an increase in the formation of ulcers, among other things. (So why is it still being used? Good question!)

Polysorbate 80 is a common food additive that has been shown in various studies to decrease fertility in female rats and increase and/or exasperate bowel problems. (Why is this additive still widely used? Maybe you should be asking yourself what the FDA actually does.)

“Natural flavors” sounds innocuous, but could literally mean almost anything.

…artificial and natural add-ins might trick you into expecting flavors out of your foods that don’t exist in real life. “The goal is to make a short intense flavor that quickly dissipates so you come back for more,”…

This article does a great job of explaining what the terms “natural” or “artificial” flavors mean.

Straight from the FDA:

The term natural flavor or natural flavoring means the essential oil, oleoresin, essence or extractive, protein hydrolysate, distillate, or any product of roasting, heating or enzymolysis, which contains the flavoring constituents derived from a spice, fruit or fruit juice, vegetable or vegetable juice, edible yeast, herb, bark, bud, root, leaf or similar plant material, meat, seafood, poultry, eggs, dairy products, or fermentation products thereof, whose significant function in food is flavoring rather than nutritional.

Research about the food dye yellow #5 (tartrazine) is hard to find, if it exists. I did find this study, which states:

As tartrazine belongs to the azo class, it is still a possible food carcinogen. Other studies with different doses and schedules, observing their effects associated to other carcinogens should be carried out if their safe use is to be recommended.

It is known to cause allergic reactions in at least .1% of people, and is potentially linked with an increase in ADHD symptoms (which could explain the boom in this “disorder” being diagnosed, as more and more children consume packaged foods instead of whole foods).

When all is said and done, it is also worth noting that the pickles in my fridge come from India. If you’re at all concerned with the use of fossil fuels, the treatment of factory workers in other countries, or building a stable local economy, you will agree that buying jars of pickles from India is a bad idea.

In light of all this, I do believe I will be making my own pickles from now on. Even using non-organic cucumbers to make refrigerator pickles throughout the year has to be better than buying these jars full of known carcinogens. I can only hope that my formerly massive pickle consumption hasn’t already sealed my fate.

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Cast Iron Breakfast Casserole

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This is the best breakfast I’ve made, maybe ever! Fairly easy to make, just a little time-consuming. Perfect for a Saturday morning!

What you’ll need:
– 4 large russet potatoes
– 1 pkg bacon
– 1/2 of a yellow onion
– 1 large slicing tomato
– about 4 oz cheddar cheese
– garlic powder
– salt and pepper

How to make it:
1) Cut the bacon into 1-2 inch pieces with some kitchen scissors and put it into a large cast iron skillet over high heat. Dice the onion and add it to the pan. Stir occasionally until the bacon is crispy.
2) While the bacon is cooking, preheat the oven to 375 and slice the potatoes. Also, slice the tomatoes and cheese.
3) When the bacon is crispy, remove from heat and layer half the potato slices on top of the bacon and onions in the skillet. Sprinkle garlic powder, salt and pepper on the potatoes, then top with the tomato slices.
4) Layer the remaining potatoes on top of the tomato slices, sprinkle with more garlic powder, salt and pepper, then top with the slices of cheese.
5) Bake for 25-30 min.

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Cast Iron Skillet Pizza

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Pizza is the one food I could eat every single day. Not the greasy fast food pizza, or the preservative-laden frozen pizza. I’m talking about the totally from-scratch, takes 2 hours start-to-finish to make pizza! I guarantee, you’ll never look at those other pizzas the same way again.

What you’ll need:

Dough:
– 2 1/4 teaspoon yeast
– 1 tsp sugar
– 1 cup warm water
– 1 Tbsp oil (I prefer olive oil)
– 1/2 tsp salt
– 2 1/2 cups flour (plus extra for kneading)

Sauce:
– 1 small can tomato paste
– 1 cup water (more or less, depending on how thick you like your sauce to be)
– seasonings (salt, pepper, garlic, onion, basil, oregano, parsley…fresh tastes best, dried will work!)

Toppings:
Let your imagination go wild! Here’s what we put on ours…
– mozzarella cheese
– sausage
– tomatoes
– bell peppers
– mushrooms
– red onion
– pineapple
– capers

Directions:
1) In a large bowl, mix the yeast and sugar. Add the warm water and stir with a whisk or fork until there are no more lumps. Let this mixture sit until the top of it is covered with foamy bubbles.

2) Stir in oil and salt, then add the flour. After I’ve stirred as much as is easy to do, I use my hands to mix the rest!

3) Knead the dough in the bowl until it is smooth and pulls apart like elastic. You’ll probably have to add more flour to it in this step; my dough is usually sticky at this point.

4) Cover the bowl and place in a warm spot to rise for about 15 minutes (like on top of the stove while the oven preheats to 375 degrees!).

5) While the dough is rising, make your sauce! Spoon the tomato paste into a small saucepan, add water while the heat is on low until the sauce is the consistency that you like for your pizza. Then add whatever seasonings you like. Continue to heat on low until the dough is ready.

6) When the dough has risen, punch it down and knead again about 10 times. *If your cast iron skillet is well-seasoned, no oil is necessary. If you’re not sure, add a bit of oil, because pizza dough loves to stick!* Spread the dough evenly on the bottom of the pan, and about halfway up the sides.

7) Remove the sauce from the heat and spread it on the dough…*careful, it’ll be hot!*

8) Add all your toppings, ending with the cheese on top.

9) Bake at 375 for about 20-30 minutes, this will depend on how many toppings you put on your pizza.

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“I can’t afford to…”

Stop. Right there. I’m calling bullshit. I’ve heard this line far too many times and I’m here to tell you the cold hard truth: yes, you can! OK, maybe you can’t afford anything you want, but I can tell you 9 things right now that you think are necessary that really aren’t.

I’ve stayed home with my kids since the first one was born 11 years ago. It’s something i always planned on doing. We’ve had to sacrifice luxuries to make that happen, but it’s important enough to my husband and I that we did what it took to enable me to do so. Especially now that we decided to unschool our kids. Before you get ahead of yourself, no, my husband never had a spectacular job. In fact, lower-enlisted soldiers (as my husband used to be) actually get paid right around the poverty line. (Here is an article about that, if you’re interested.) We qualified for WIC (an American program that gives mothers formula and/or food for their children up until the age of 5) and could have received food stamps. The jobs he’s held since getting out of the Army have paid far less than what most Americans consider necessary for a family to live on a single income. So now that you know my qualifications for living on a tight budget, here’s my list of things you can eliminate from your budget that are actually unnecessary:

1. Vacations
This is fairly straightforward. No, you don’t need a vacation. Not even a little one. Yes, it’s nice, but completely unnecessary. More people are realizing this and opting for “staycations“, where they stay at home and do fun things locally. However, this can add up to quite a bit of money also. I think the issue is that people are too stressed out on a daily basis and feel they need that week or two to recharge, so to speak.

My alternative:
Work on de-stressing all year long, and you won’t feel so strongly that you need a vacation. Do fun things throughout the year that are free, or nearly free. Check your local newspaper, community bulletin boards or websites, area Facebook groups, etc. Pick up brochures from the lobby of a motel or the library. Better yet, ask your friends for places to go that might be largely unadvertised. Here and here are lists of fun, mostly free things to do (hint: pick the free stuff).

2. Television
Nope, not kidding. Believe it or not, you don’t need TV! Not at all. We haven’t had a TV in the house for 10 months now, and I don’t miss it one bit! Not only do I really not miss cable (which we’ve not had for years, besides one short stint last year), I don’t miss the mindless movies we used to watch. There are some good movies out there. Mostly older ones. The ones that actually inspire people to think. Sadly, most movies these days come nowhere close to fitting that bill. They are complete time-wasters. We do watch an occasional movie on the laptop, but it is very rare.

My alternative:
We would much rather play a board game, go for a walk, work in the garden, go to the park, or *gasp* just sit around and talk! Really, not having even the temptation to put on a DVD is amazing. It took some getting used to, and I admit I watched something on the laptop almost nightly for awhile in transition. But the habit is completely broken now, and it’s such a freeing feeling.

3. Eating out (including prepared food)
This one takes a lot more time and effort. It takes planning and preparation. And there will be times you falter, especially in the beginning. But add it up, even the rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, or the take n bake pizza, or the donuts. Everything. While you’re at it, add in all packaged foods. You won’t be able to nix all of these overnight. It’s taken us a few years to get to where we are. But it’s so very much worth the effort! We are so much healthier and homemade food tastes so much better! Even my 11 and 9 year olds are able to cook a lot of foods themselves now.

My alternative:
Start by eliminating going out to eat, since that’s the easiest to control. Buy used cookbooks or utilize online recipe sources and start cooking! The only way to learn is through trying. Then get really bold and pick something to make from scratch. I started with pancakes. I’m not talking about using a baking mix; I’m talking about using flour, milk, and eggs (and a few other ingredients). Then biscuits, brownies, cake…you name it! It might seem overwhelming at first, but it’s a skill that has to be learned. Once upon a time, people learned as children from their mothers and grandmothers. So don’t be too hard on yourself when you fail. Dust yourself off and try again. If you need more motivation than saving money, start researching the ingredients on the food packages in your pantry.

4. New clothes
Ok, so you’ll probably need new underwear and socks every now and then, although I have actually found those at thrift stores as well, new with tags! Most of the time, you don’t actually “need” more clothes at all. When you do, buy used!

My alternative:
I can almost guarantee you can find what you need at a thrift store, secondhand store, consignment store, yard sale, flea market, Craigslist, or other similar place. Even nice clothes for work or school! Yes, it takes a bit more time, but you can save incredible amounts of money. I got my toddler all the clothes she needed this summer for under $25. I bought myself some name-brand sneakers in like-new condition at a consignment store for $10. It can be done!

5. A second vehicle
A lot of you will balk at this suggestion, even more than the others. Having your own car equals independence somehow. I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way! It’s possible that it won’t work in your situation, but hear me out. My husband and I have shared a vehicle for almost our entire marriage. Yes, it was less than optimal at times, but we made it work. This isn’t so easy if both of you are employed, but if only one of you is working, I don’t see many instances when it can’t be done.

My alternative:
Utilize public transportation in your area. Buy bikes for everyone (used, of course!). Better yet, walk! When a car really is a must, consider giving your spouse a ride to work and consolidating your errands into one day. Get a ride from a friend. Borrow a car from a family member. Wait until your spouse has a day off. Host a play date or book club at your house so you don’t have to go elsewhere.

6. New furniture or other household items
Like clothing, most everything can be bought used. No, you might not be able to have a specific color scheme. But what’s more important to you? Having your house look perfect, or saving a ton of money for things that are far more important to you?

My alternative:
Again, utilize local stores, yard sales, and websites to find the things you need. I’ve had great success posting wanted ads on local buy/sell groups (ex. “Wanted: washer and dryer, delivered to my house, will pay extra for your time and gas”). Tip: Don’t post a price limit on wanted ads, allow sellers to contact you with the price they are willing to sell it for and negotiate down from there if necessary. My rule of thumb for buying anything is to check all the local sources first, then if I really need it now, I will buy it new. You’d be surprised what you can actually live without, though! Another tip: keep a running list on your phone of things you need so that when you make a trip to a thrift store or pass by a yard sale, you know exactly what you’re looking for and don’t wind up passing up on something you need or buying something you don’t!

7. Lessons/sports for your kids
This is a difficult one for some people to give up. While some lessons can be quite enjoyable and beneficial for kids, I think that they often would rather be engaging in free play, or a fun (free!) family activity (as listed in #1).

My alternative:
Do things together as a family regularly. Check for free (or inexpensive) classes, clubs, or activities offered in your community. Some places to check are Home Depot, Michaels, the parks and recreation department of your city, your local library, etc. If your kids express a strong desire to participate in a more costly activity, you can at least buy used clothing and gear when possible, or consider having your kids earn part or all of the money needed by doing extra chores around the house. Which brings me to my next point…

8. Allowances
Let’s face it, most of the time, parents either have stipulations about what kids are allowed to spend the money on (which means it’s not actually theirs anyway), or the kids spend it on crap. Besides, how does getting paid for no reason teach them any sort of lesson?

My alternative:
Housework that needs to be done because it’s effected by everyone shouldn’t be paid. (i.e. You use dishes; therefore, you help wash dishes.) Anything else should be optional. Come up with a list of housework that you think should be shared and figure out the best way to divvy it up. Then come up with a list of “extra” chores along with the dollar amount you’re willing to pay one of your kids to do it. They can use this money to buy all the things they want that you don’t feel the need to buy them. I like this idea:

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9. Expensive cleaners/soaps and paper towels
I kid you not, I use water, white vinegar, and baking soda to clean most surfaces in my home. Most cleaners not only contain harsh chemicals, but are really unnecessary. The ones that are necessary have very inexpensive alternatives.

My alternative:
First, ditch the paper towels. No need to make the fancy ones you’ve seen on Pinterest, either. Buy a big pack of cheap washcloths, or better yet, find old washcloths at a thrift store! Or some big towels that you can cut up into squares. They can easily be thrown in the wash with other towels or jeans; or if you’re like me, you can throw everything in together!

For most messes, I use a spray bottle with half white vinegar, half water. I use this to mop with also. Floors, counters, walls, toilet, tub, sinks, stove, everything! Even the windows (I use a coffee filter or newspaper in place of paper towels for that). If you’re like me, you’ll worry that vinegar doesn’t actually kill germs. Here is an article to read about that. And if you think a sterile environment is what kids need, think again. Now, I do use bleach for some surfaces. Like after my kids poop in the tub (fun times). But mostly it’s just vinegar. If I’m trying to cut through grease or tough stains, I sprinkle some baking soda first, then spray vinegar and let it soak for awhile first.

For laundry, try this DIY stain remover. And try making your own laundry detergent, or use soap nuts.

Try using coconut oil as a moisturizer, which is especially nice because it has an SPF of about 8, and coupled with wearing a hat, using a sun umbrella, and just not staying in the sun too long, coconut oil can help you avoid toxic sunscreen. You can even make a sugar scrub with coconut oil to use in place of expensive body wash.

I could go on and on about natural, homemade alternatives to harsh chemical cleaners and hygiene products. Suffice to say, you’ll save a ton of money and be healthier for it!

If you have any of your own money-saving tips, please share them in the comments!

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Sandwiches No More!

There’s nothing wrong with sandwiches, they can be quite delicious. But let’s face it, eating one every single day for lunch can get quite boring. Not to mention that it’s terribly difficult to find packaged bread without a long list of chemicals, and finding lunch meat without nitrates used as a preservative can be nearly impossible. I’m here to tell you that lunch can be easy, flavorful, and nutritious! Case and point, this beautiful fried rice I made yesterday:

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It’s very simple…

1) Cook some rice as per the directions. How much you cook depends on how much you want to eat, and how many people will be eating.
2) While the rice is cooking, cut up some vegetables. The beauty of fried rice is that you can use whatever you have on hand! I used some purple cabbage, and some broccoli leaves and green beans from my garden. I also threw in a handful of peanuts.
3) Fry the veggies in a little oil in a skillet. I used leftover sausage grease! For a healthier oil, try olive or sunflower oil. For a more authentic taste, try sesame or peanut oil.
4) Season the veggies as they cook. I used garlic powder, minced onion, and pepper. I also threw in a splash of apple cider vinegar for flavor and to help cook the cabbage more thoroughly.
5) Add the cooked rice to the skillet. This is when you should add a bit of soy sauce also. In addition to the soy sauce, I used a bit of Worcestershire sauce.
6) Stir well and cook for a couple minutes longer.

That’s it! This whole process takes minimal time and effort and will leave you feeling much more greatly satisfied than a plain old sandwich.

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