Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Free to Feel

This photograph was shared on a blog - KindOverMatter. I think it's lovely!
(Thanks for the tip, Heather!)

My First Original Herbal DIY Tutorial - Deodorant

So...this is my first attempt at making my own herbal recipe. I chose deodorant, because really it is my most pressing need at this time (gross, I know). Since the active ingredient in most deodorants is some form of aluminum zirconium, I decided that I needed another option other than spreading a powdery metallic substance in my armpits. However, going without deodorant is definitely NOT an option.
I am really excited about this! So here is what I did...
First, I cleaned out some old deodorant containers...
Then I took the recipe from PassionateHomemaking and used her ingredients, but altered her method. Since I wanted to add some essential oils, I first melted 6 Tbsp. Organic Virgin Coconut Oil in the microwave, then I added in...

Top Note - 30 drops Orange Essential Oil
(Anti-cancer, anti-depressant, anti-inflammatory. Kills bacteria)

Middle Notes - 15 drops Tea Tree & Lavendar Essential Oil
(TT = Anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal. Kills pain)
(L = Cell regenerator. Anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory)

Base Note - 8 drops Patchouli Essential Oil
(Anti-bacterial, anti-viral, anti-fungal. Cell regenerator)

*For more info on blending essential oils, you can visit Cranberry Lane

After that I added in 1/4 baking soda & 1/4 cornstarch, mixed it up, poured it in the containers and popped them in the freezer, so the oils wouldn't have time to separate or evaporate before the mixture solidified.

While they were solidifying themselves, I made some labels to mod podge on when they were finished.
(Bad Picture...I know)

Voila! Healthy, natural, deodorant. I will probably still sweat, but I will smell lovely doing it (I'm also thrilled to see what this does for those nasty little razor bumps)! :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

In a Nutshell - It's Soap!

I've been undertaking the task of making some of my own cleansing products & bath/body care. However, almost every recipe that I've looked at has lye or glycerin in it, neither of which do I want to use. I have read a good deal of info on it too, and everyone says that you really can't make a sudsy soap or cleaner without lye.
WELL! Look at what I found! :) These Soap Nuts have been used for centuries as a cleaning agent and for personal hygiene because of the substance "saponin" found in large amounts in the shell of this fruit. Our Latin root for soap is "sapo." Interesting, huh?
I'm looking forward to getting my sample of nuts in the mail soon. After I do, I'll post a tutorial on making soap and laundry detergent. For now, you can check out the NaturOli and SoapNuts websites for more info.

Saturday, June 27, 2009


It has been a wonderful yet crazy couple of days. First, I had a lovely birthday with a breakfast made by my awesome husband, he got me my cartilage piercing as a gift, which as of yet is still in tip top shape. Then Elliot and I headed out to drive about five miles in my car, which would not accelerate out of 1st gear, so we turned around after about 500 ft and came home. Kayla picked us up and we headed out on a wild goose chase to find The Peony Tea House. I am always excited about trying a new tea place, but a little tentative because I'm not sure if it will meet my expectations. This one was beautiful with good food, good price, and great service. I still don't think we'll ever find anything to top Aunt Sue's, but the different experiences are so much fun and give me lots of different ideas.
Then Elliot and I came home. I did some surfing on Amazon and found some really cool fabrics, while he napped. Then we went out to dinner at Panera with the Heironimi and Joe, followed by an impromptu gift card shopping spree! :)
Yesterday was Gearfest! Ev is selling some gear there and managed to pick up a cool VOX guitar amp with some of the money he made. I hadn't been there for over six months, so it was interesting to go back in and see how things had changed. Sarah came over then for a quick chat about coffeehouse design, followed by a frenzied run through Menards to collect inspiring samples of wallpaper, paint, and tile. After this, Heather and I headed out to the mall, where I was able to get in a little early Christmas shopping (if you haven't been out shopping lately, because you're trying to save money and convince yourself that you don't really "need" anything - like me, head out just to see if you can get some Christmas stuff, because EVERYTHING is on sale for super cheap right now). We then grabbed some dinner with Joe and the Heironimi and headed back to our place for some stimulating conversation about....dreams, panic attacks, and vegetables.
Elliot and Ev are both coughing up their lungs, and today Ev heads back to Gearfest, while Elliot and I run to Elwood and Upland to help move and install Mimi's surprised $50 washer/dryer find for the new house. (Thanks Mimi!)
So there's the news. Crazy, yet wonderful!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Seriously Now?!

Okay...this seriously now is short and sweet. But when I saw it, I was honestly like, "SERIOUSLY NOW?! That is awesome!"
Glidden paint is having a free paint give away. You just go to their website here, put in your name and address and they send you a quart of your favorite paint color for free! Just one person can do it per household. But it's a great deal for a small accent wall or if you were wanting to do any crafty things!
How cool!!!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Housing - Take 2

We were able to walk through three houses yesterday, while all of them had different pros and cons. The one that we like best - feel safest, most comfortable and meets our personal needs - is the one in Upland that I posted pictures of last week. We also visited a nice house on the east side of Marion, that would be a fine second choice if the Upland house doesn't go through.
With the house in Upland though, we need to have everything signed and taken care of as far as the deposit goes by the third week in July. This I find hilarious...because that is three weeks away! And I go back to work next week. So I'll be doing a lot through the rest of this week to get some things packed up and then we'll start patching up walls and those sorts of things here.
To my incredible supportive family and friends -- I love you! Thank you so much for the irreplaceable role that each of you play in my life!

CUTE Name Blocks

SO CUTE! I love this! Check out TheCreativeCrate for the tutorial.

It would make a great wedding gift, but I was thinking of making one as a doorstop for our new house...possibly out of stone or tiles instead of wood.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Happy Father's Day, Dad!

Love you!

Selections from Psalm 5

Yahweh, in the morning you shall hear my voice.
In the morning I will lay my requests before you, and will watch expectantly.

As for me, in the abundance of your loving kindness I will come into your house.
I will bow toward your holy temple in reverence of you.
Lead me, Yahweh, in your righteousness
Make your way straight before my face.

Let all those who take refuge in you rejoice,
Let them always shout for joy, because you defend them.
Let them also who love your name be joyful in you.
For you will bless the righteous.
Yahweh, you will surround him with favor as with a shield.
His lovingkindness is eternal and his faithfulness endures forever.
He is my shield, my refuge, my joy, and the first love of my heart!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


During Evan and I's two years as a married couple, it seems that there has not been any time where we have not been in any sort of major transition as a couple. Be it switching jobs, moving, having a baby, getting a dog, finding a church - there seems to be no end to this infinite cycle of change. Maybe it is naive of me, but I do like routine, predictability, and order. Despite this assault to my personal preferences, our life together has been filled with blessings and there seems to be joy in all the transitions, whether they present themselves as trials or exciting adventures.As a couple, these transitions have forged an even stronger bond between us, and personally it causes me to realize continuously that God is so gracious and loving to me. He grants wisdom, peace, and provision at ever turn, and I treasure the fact that I can be in an eternal relationship with Him.
So, within the past month, I have been offered a job and turned it down, Evan has been offered a job and accepted it, Elliot has begun crawling and standing, and people that we care deeply about have been wading through some rough emotional times, while others are continuing to struggle physically.
Now we look toward another move in the not too distant future! Here's the house that is at the top of our list right now. It is in Upland, and we're excited to be visiting it today. :)

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Wishlist...With Regrets

Alright...I really don't like making wishlists! I feel rude doing it. To me, it seems presumptuous and impersonal, BUT I do realize that it is helpful for some people that are planning to purchase a gift for me but aren't sure what I would like or need.
So I am posting this only because it has been requested! (I've actually been keeping it in the bookmarks tab on my personal computer, because that made me feel better.)

Here are a few things:
There you go! :) I'm sure there are other things, but these are some of them that have caught and kept my fancy lately.

Free Legal Software!

I was talking with Evan last night and after doing a little research we found that worldwide, about 52% of all software is pirated. How ridiculous! This is what actually drives the cost of software up to ridiculous amounts.
However, I do understand that in such difficult financial times when everyone is trying to use their computers to make money, it is a temptation. Well....be tempted no more. Evan has posted a great guide to free software that is easy to use and interfaces well with various different formats of computers and files.
Check out his post here!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Hurray for TEA!

June is NATIONAL ICED TEA MONTH! Yes...I was as surpised as you and Ethel over here in the picture, but we've got to ditch our hot tea for a month. (Okay, maybe not ditch, I'm not sure I could really do that). We must at least give Iced Tea a shot. Time to pull out the tea bags and that hand-painted pitcher, let it sit in the sun and just brew. 
One of my favorite things about tea is that regardless of the pace of my day, it forces me to savor something and relax my breathing. So savor your iced tea...DON'T USE A STRAW! (That's right, I don't care if your dentist disagrees) and for goodness sake...DON'T CHUG IT! :)
Here's a nice fresh summer recipe to enjoy on some toast or other baked item with your iced tea:

Strawberry Tea Butter:
  1. Combine 10 oz thawed, frozen strawberries with 1 stick of softened butter, 1/2 cup confectioners sugar, and 1 teaspoon grated orange zest.
  2. Puree until smooth
  3. Spread on toast, biscuits, scones, or what ever you like
**If you swap the butter with plain yogurt or sour cream, you could have a delectable dip on your hands!**

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

2 Years...And Counting!

Happy anniversary, my Love, my dearest Ev!
"I belong to my lover, and his desire is for me!"
-Song of Songs 7:10 -

Today was our cotton anniversary! For those of you not in the know about such things, that means #2. :) What a day too! After gifts, breakfast in bed (with a flower picked from our little patio "garden"), a trip to the YMCA, and the park close by for some swinging action with Elliot, we went to Jimmy Johns for lunch ("gourmet" sub sandwiches, you know), then the Heironimi came and had a play date with Elliot, while we went out for a photo shoot. SO FUN!!! I have always wanted to learn to use a manual camera and develop the film myself, and I have a super talented husband that knows how to do both. So we took our cameras and went to a new park to do some shooting. I picked a bunch of wildflowers and took lots of pictures. Ev took lots of pictures, realized he didn't have film in his camera....and then took lots more. Then we went to our anniversary dinner at Biaggi's. We came home to spend some time with friends and settled in for the night. What a beautiful day spent with a wonderful man - my husband and lover and friend!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Essence to Essence

I've been learning more and more about natural, essential, and herbal care and nutrition. I still have so much more to learn, but the more I learn about my own body and these elements that God provided in creation around me to nourish it - it just makes me love Him so much! He is such an amazing, gracious and loving God that provides for our needs in so many different ways.
Now, I would be the last person to deny the benefits of modern medicine, but I do think that lifestyle choices - just like the people that make them - should be multidimensional as well as congruent.
I have found a few websites with different recipes for bath and body products. You can add the essential oils that meet your needs to almost any of them for optimal results! :) This one is pretty comprehensive...and FUN!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Design on a Dime...Kinda

I've been trying to be creative with our apartment - adding touches here and there to make it feel and look like our home, while still abiding by the rules of our management. To paint a whole room we need to pay a $50 fine, so I try to do as much as possible without painting every wall. Right now, I'm working on our hall bathroom. It was YUCK! before...to say the least. 

I've finally had some time to work on it this week and $25 later, this is what I have! :)

I got the Cotton Ball & QTip "holders" from Target at the $1 Spot and painted them. The basket with washcloths I was able to get for less than a dollar on clearance after Easter. The "Splish Splash" Bathtub frame was a gift from one of Elliot's showers. I got the 3 shadowboxes at a garage sale for free and painted them gold. Check out The Idea Room and Martha for instructions on etching glass like I did on these shadowbox frames. And the pictures and mod podged paper in them cost $2.49.
I know, I know...you're thinking, "Dang! That's only $5.49." Well, you see that polka dot shower curtain? That was my splurge. It was $17 at Target.
I still need to do a couple more things to a wall and a shelf, but I'm getting close! :)


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