Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Blessed are the Meek.

I recently wrote this short devotional for the Metochai Newsletter. Our theme this year is the Beatitudes. I thought I would share this!

I have given my life to ministry, joyfully following the Lord on this difficult journey. Each day I ask Him 'Lord! Transform my heart, so that I can be used for your Glory!' I repent of my flaws that I battle incessantly, asking Him for personality traits that are noble and righteous.

I contemplate the characteristics of the Godly women I respect, desiring to have the qualities of Christ, that they have put on so that they may minister to their families, their brothers and sisters in Christ and the lost. I have come to the conclusion that 'meekness' is the very heartbeat of what makes them effective in God's work.

Meekness is not to be confused with being weak or timid, indeed it requires incredible strength from Christ, self control and self assurance.

Meekness is having a profound understanding of God's mercy and grace in response to our sin, thus coming completely under the authority and control of God.

As we serve, we are humbled, looking on each other with the grace and mercy of our Lord. In our interactions, in the most trying circumstances we are mild and even tempered. We are compassionate and patient as we minister, in the very heat of this battle for the lost.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Creative and Thrifty Play Kitchen

I came across this and thought it was a wonderful idea, so I wanted to share it with you! It shows you how to make an old entertainment center into a play kitchen for a super thrifty price!

Wooden Play Kitchen

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Namesake Keepsake...

A few weeks ago, I went to a Just Between Friends Sale and was accosted by a man who was selling print outs of your child's name, with birth date and poem on pretty paper. He was selling them for $7 plus extra for a frame.

They were really cute, but I had a feeling I could make my own for much less. Here is the cost breakdown per 'Namesake'.

Cardstock: 25c (50% off at Michaels)
Border, cut from a scrapbook paper sheet: 59c
Frame: $1 from the Dollar Tree.

Instead of a poem, I picked a scripture for each of the girls. I hope they are something they can keep and be encouraged by when they are older.

Here are the finished products...I intend to hang them above the girls beds.

The non-toxic cleaning kit.

I have wanted to make my own cleaning kit for a while but since I already had cleaners, it would not have been cost efficient or thrifty. However, since we are moving to a new apartment and currently have no cleaning products, I have no choice but to make new supplies (We got rid of the old stuff, because we didn't want bottles of half full cleaners in storage for 4 months!).

Not only is it cheap, it's also safer and gentler for those of use with little curious children... who will happily eat from the floor, dunk their hands in the toilet and lick the windows. To add to the excitement... its a little better for the environment!

Here is the 'tutorial' I plan on using... I will update you when I have made my cleaning products.... with pictures of course!


Friday, September 18, 2009

The Esther Survey

Today Esther handed me a block and explained that it was my microphone and I had to ask her questions. Some of the answers seem so simple, but as I asked and listened, I was suddenly aware of how grown up she was getting. She not only is really mastering language, but that she has very detailed opinions on things, likes and dislikes.

It went something like this...

What is your name?

How old are you?
(Holds up 3 fingers)

What is your favourite colour?


What is your favourite food?

Ice Cream

What is your favourite drink?
Apple Juice Limeade

What is your favourite movie?

Any others?
Letter Factory.

Where to you like to play?
My room

Where do you like to eat?

Downstairs in the kitchen

Who is best at cooking?

Mommy, you are.

What is your favorite animal?

Cats and dogs. I am going to get them when I am older.

Do you have a brother or sister?

(Points at Rachel) That baby there. Its a sister.

Who is your best friend?

What do you like to wear?


Saturday, August 29, 2009

Shopping the Farmer's Markets

This morning we headed out bright and early to catch the farmers market. As we pulled up, we were all excited since a row of stalls is a rare site in a Texas city! It was a new experience for Esther also.

I first was drawn to the stall with Goat's cheese which was delicious, then some hand made soaps. After that we looked at the vegetables. It was so hard to choose since everything looked great. We settle for some peaches, pears, a big cantaloupe melon and some jalapenos.

Next, we headed out to the Ridgelea farmers market which is open all week. They have a wide variety there always, so I was drawn to ask some questions. Upon inquiring, I found that the grapes, strawberries and blueberries were not local but she told me what was. I also asked what of that was grown through sustainable methods but they were not sure.

Before checking out the preserves, we sat down for a bottle of Dublin Dr Pepper (if you haven't had it, you should! Its made just a few hours away from us with cane sugar, much tastier than the canned stuff!).

I was excited to find some raw honey at a not so inflated price and we also got some damson plum jam.

Overall it was a fun time! I have to admit though, I am looking forward to the time when I can spend some time on some sustainable pick your own farms or have my own patch! I cannot imagine the thrill of cooking my home grown produce. In the meantime, I am reading as much as I can to prepare!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Delicious - Curried Butternut Squash Soup

I just remembered this delicious recipe as I was trying to make this weeks meal plan... enjoy!

Curried Butternut Squash

An article of interest from this weeks issue of TIME.

Getting Real about the High Price of Cheap Foods by Bryan Walsh

I thought this was a really interesting article. Sometimes it is hard to spend that extra on better organic foods, but in the end, can we really afford not to?

Learning from Charlotte Mason

Several months ago, a dear friend gave me a copy to read of The Charlotte Mason Companion by by Karen Andreola. Charlotte was born in 1842 in Bangor, England and went on to revolutionize education in Great Britain. You can read her biography HERE.

I am falling in love with her idea's, most notably the concept of 'Living Books' and 'Narration' in the early years. She wrote, of books...

"For the children? They must grow up upon the best . . . There is never a time
when they are unequal to worthy thoughts, well put; inspiring tales, well
told. Let Blake's 'Songs of Innocence' represent their standard in poetry
DeFoe and Stevenson, in prose; and we shall train a race of readers who will
demand literature--that is, the fit and beautiful expression of inspiring ideas
and pictures of life."

I love her thoughts in this quote:

"Education is a life. That life is sustained on ideas. Ideas are of spiritual origin,
and God has made us so that we get them chiefly as we convey them to one another,
whether by word of mouth, written page, Scripture word, musical symphony;
but we must sustain a child's inner life with ideas as we sustain his body with food."

As I read Charlotte's idea's, I find a passion and excitement to teach my children in my home. I find myself nodding as I read and narrating thoughts to my husband who agrees also.

I am currently looking for some good writing on classical education, so if you know of any please let me know!

This book is on the way, I am excited to receive it... I am sure I will be updating you when I read it!

Anyway... back to Charlotte Mason in our home. Karen Andreola suggests two books for using with very young children prior to the age of formal narration. "Aesop's Fables" and "Mother Goose". As soon as a read this, I admonished myself for not already having copies of either and the next day found them at Half Price Book's.

Esther already has a passion for books and will just sit with a pile and 'read' them, so she was enthusiastic to dig into some new material with me.

This morning we read "The Crab and its Mother"

"A CRAB said to her son, "Why do you walk so one-sided, my child? It is far more becoming to go straight forward." The young Crab replied: "Quite true, dear Mother; and if you will show me the straight way, I will promise to walk in it." The Mother tried in vain, and submitted without remonstrance to the reproof of her child.

Example is more powerful than precept."

Its such a short story, but its perfect for Esther. She was able to re tell the story, then talked about crabs, shells, the ocean and then practiced walking around like crabs.

I also encouraged her to tell her Daddy about it when he got home and she immediately started walking like a crab with a big grin on her face.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Are you sure you are ready to turn forward?

Growing evidence shows that rear facing beyond the minimum 1 year and 20 pounds is much safer for children. In fact, rear facing is recommended until 2 years and beyond.
This is a great video, please take the time to watch it.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Thai Iced Coffee

There is this fantastic Thai restaurant in Arlington called Sukho Thai. Josh and I went there on our first date, it has been a regular haunt since then. They have delicious thai iced coffee, which we are trying to reproduce at home.

We've tried several recipes from the web to no avail. Does anyone have a tried and true recipe?

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Outside my window... Are dream's of my own garden one day. A vegetable patch... a tree swing... a fort... a cloth's line... roses... working as the children run and play. I have ordered The Backyard Homestead. to educate myself!

I am thinking... about the future, the plans God has for us... our life feels like a an adventure story, we've barely made it past the prologue yet!

I am thankful for... this cozy rocking chair in the girls room, where I can relax after our voyage to the park in the hot sun, while they play contented.
From the kitchen... Last night I made cottage pie, a favorite in our home. Somehow last night, it happened to taste just perfect!

I am wearing... all black!?! I try to avoid alot of black. I was wearing a green shirt over a black tank, but I got too hot, hence... woman in black.

I am creating... not much, since my sewing machine and fabric is packed right now. Although... I am 'creating' a little sanctuary for me and the girls in their room.

I am going... to be mostly at home this week, working on unpacking. Also, enjoying a park right around the corner!

I am reading... Feeding your child for lifelong health. Learning about metabolic programming and understanding vitamins and minerals more! I am also reading some blogs, enjoying Elizabeth Foss's right now.

I am hoping... that my husband and I can have a date night this week.

I am hearing... drum rhythms! First worship team practice tomorrow. I am nervous.

Around the house... boxes, boxes and more boxes. A project a day! Tomorrow, I am working on re-shelving books and CDs.

One of my favorite things... Cold milk and chocolate. So nice after a long day!

I am praying... for Josh's uncle who is having some major medical issues right now.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Worship Team Practice, Food Ministry, Date :-D Fun family day, unpacking, hopefully seeing Ashley.

Friday, July 31, 2009

A sweet date

Yesterday, my husband and I went on an afternoon date. We decided that would be better so that we could keep the children in there evening routines and not have to move them sleeping.

First we went to Barnes and Nobles, where we walked around and found books that we were wanting to read, then flicked through them and discussed them over some coffee. We also shared a huge brownie with chocolate chunks.

After, we decided to go and check out the half price books clearance section where Josh found two books he had been needing for just a $1. Funnily, he was just saying how he never finds anything in the clearance section for himself whereas I always do. We had a reversal of results, I found nothing!

Wandering around and bantering, Josh pointed to a book and used its title to finish his sentence making me giggle, I quickly looked around for a title to respond with. Thus a game was born!

I know that our conversation made very little sense, but we had a great time and were giggling and smiling like a pair of teenagers on their first date!

Sometimes, the simplest, cheapest dates are the most wonderful!

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Outside my window...
Dark gray clouds... its been a rainy, humid and dark week weather wise. We've had some fun 'rainy days'. A rare treat!

I am thinking... the date my husband and I are going on this afternoon! I am so excited.

I am thankful for...God's amazing provision and love for us. He cares about the details of our lives and blesses us so greatly!

From the kitchen... we ate ham sandwiches for lunch!

I am wearing... my pajamas still! Why dress to clean and play?

I am creating... decorations for Rachel's birthday party. We're going to get some poster board and have some fun with markers!

I am going... to have a wonderful week with my husband home! Looking forward to family time, growing closer to each other and the Lord.

I am reading... I just finished Redeeming Love by Francine Rivers, this morning I was skimming through 'Raising your spirited child'.

I am hoping... to keep the joy of the Lord in my heat and be thankful for all things!

I am hearing... Esther is singing and swishing a blanket, Rachel is babbling sweetly!

Around the house... things are looking good, maybe I'll make some curtains for the front room?

One of my favorite things... my husband not working nights, falling to sleep together and waking up together being pounced on by small children!

I am praying... so many friends going through challenging times. Peace about the future!

A few plans for the rest of the week: Lots of visits with friends and family, various appointments, having a nice time!

Friday, July 24, 2009

The Nibble Tray

I came across this idea in my reading and today, as a rummaged around for something to supplement our lunch (black beans, brown rice, tomatoes, onion, ground beef, some seasoning...yummy!), I remembered this idea. I combined 2 ideas - the nibble tray and the dipping, since my fridge needs restocking so I was limited.

Taken from the Sear's website...

Toddlers like to graze their way through a variety of foods, so why not offer them a customized smorgasbord? The first tip from the Sears' kitchen is to offer toddlers a nibble tray. Use an ice-cube tray, a muffin tin, or a compartmentalized dish, and put bite-size portions of colorful and nutritious foods in each section. Call these finger foods playful names that a two-year-old can appreciate, such as:

* apple moons (thinly sliced)
* avocado boats (a quarter of an avocado)
* banana wheels
* broccoli trees (steamed broccoli florets)
* carrot swords (cooked and thinly sliced)
* cheese building blocks
* egg canoes (hard- boiled egg wedges)
* little O's (o-shaped cereal)

Place the food on an easy-to-reach table. As your toddler makes his rounds through the house, he can stop, sit down, nibble a bit, and, when he's done, continue on his way. These foods have a table-life of an hour or two.

Dip it. Young children think that immersing foods in a tasty dip is pure fun (and delightfully messy). Some possibilities to dip into:

* cottage cheese or tofu dip
* cream cheese
* fruit juice-sweetened preserves
* guacamole
* peanut butter, thinly spread
* pureed fruits or vegetables
* yogurt, plain or sweetened with juice concentrate

Those dips serve equally well as spreads on apple or pear slices, bell-pepper strips, rice cakes, bagels, toast, or other nutritious platforms.

Today in our nibble tray was: organic Celery Sticks, organic Carrots, Blueberries, organic Bananas, Wholewheat crackers, cottage cheese, organic peanut butter, plain yoghurt sweetened with some honey.

Hopefully I can offer different things each a day and get more creative!

Raw Milk!

I had my first glass of raw milk the other day, a friend had driven out to a farm in Cleburne to buy some to try. I must saw I was a little nervous as I lifted the glass to my mouth.

My last experience with milk straight from the source, was goats milk and it tasted like the goats last meal!

However, I was pleasantly surprised! It was creamy, pure and delicious! I look forward to heading out to the farm myself soon! At $7.00 a gallon, it will be a very occasional treat.

I just found this website and am reading about the benefits etc.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

A verse for the week and a new journey through Romans

My good friend sent this scripture to me after it spoke volumes to her heart, so I decided to make it my memory verse for the week. May it bless you also!

"Let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth" 1 John 3:18

Last night I felt the Lord leading me to spend time reading through Roman's, if you would like to read along with me, please let me know, I'd love to explore it with you! I have just read 1:1-16 and am still meditating on it.

I say this, after reading Paul's salutation and being struck by the importance of fellowship, encouragement and prayer with the body of Christ as we live each day by Faith.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Daybook :-)

Outside my window...
Red blooms on the green tree, looking out of place in the Texas heat.

I am thinking... of fall, cooler, windy days and time outdoors, colorful leaf montages.

I am thankful for... A lovely morning with sweet, uplifting ladies and special little ones.

From the kitchen... Delicious pancakes for breakfast

I am wearing... My new favorite full length skirt from the Clothing Exchange this last saturday, a dark brown t-shirt and barefeet.

I am creating... there is a pattern for a little girl's capri and ruffle shirt on my table just waiting to be made!

I am going... I am home for the rest of the evening and looking forward to time with P & S tomorrow afternoon.

I am reading... The Nutrition Book but hoping to find some Christian fiction to 'relax' to!

I am hoping... to watch another sermon with my beloved tonight before he leaves for work.

I am hearing...
My A/C unit turning on, the lovely sound of my nursling enjoying mama's milk.

Around the house...
things needs to be put in order, my laundry needs to be put away, the dishes taken out the dishwasher, the floor swept and mopped and dinner cooked all before 5pm!

One of my favorite things... heartfelt hugs and I love you's from E and sweet giggles from little R.

I am praying... for a joyful, thankful and peaceful heart.

A few plans for the rest of the week: Reorganizing the girl's room, planning Rachel's first birthday party.

Babies Don't Keep by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton

Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.

Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.

Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo

The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.

The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I finally made the dress...

From the tutorial posted below! Its very cute, and Esther loves it, my sewing is not the best, mostly due to my ornery sewing machine. I didn't do the trim on the bottom because I ran out of white thread. So, here you go, made out of a man's shirt from the Metochai Clothing Exchange!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tasty Sprite Tea.

I wasn't sure whether to call it 'Tea Sprite' , makes me think of a fairytale creature that loves tea... anyway!...

You can learn how to make this delicious drink and also read about a pretty awesome family right here...

Saturday, July 18, 2009


I was sent this article after a conversation with the lovely Michelle Bullens. Its a fantastic little article on modesty. I've pasted it below for your convenience, here's the link in case you want to explore the website more, which I have not done yet!

"Truth Or Bare?" Modesty Tests

This is the much requested list of creative tests to determine whether an outfit is modest or not. We developed them so a girl can go through the thinking process by herself and let her heart be molded into modesty rather than face a legalistic set of rules. These may work for you or you may want to develop your own tests. Try them out and send us new ideas!

"Is my shirt too tight?"

Take the tips of your fingers and press into your shirt right where your ribs come together in the "valley" in the middle of your chest. When you take your fingers away does your shirt immediately spring back like a small Smurf trampoline? If so, your shirt it too tight!
SOLUTION: Get rid of the shirt. It's not going to get bigger overnight. Try a different bra first as sometimes that can make a huge difference.

"Am I showing too much belly?"

Stand and pretend you are totally going for it in worship and lift your hands up in the air with your arms fully extended to God. Is this exposing any belly skin? Even if you don't raise your hands to worship, just think of all the things you do every day that causes you to lift them up.
SOLUTION: Go for layers and put a longer shirt under a shorter one. Our secret weapon: a ribbed t-shirt or tank from the men's department. They're nice and long and stay tucked in under a cool, trendy shirt.

"Can you see my underpants?"

Can you see a distinct outline of your panties through your pants, skirt or shorts? This can happen if your pants are too tight or because your undies are too bright! And while we're on the subject, can you see any straps from your bra? That's not A-O-K! The only straps showing on a girl of God should be the straps from her cute summer sandals!
SOLUTION: Trash your tight pants. For lighter colored pants and skirts, keep a few pair of "Grannie Panties" (big plain white ones) on hand for a safe look. And as far as those bra straps...don't do it! Make sure your tank tops have nice wide straps to cover your bra.

"How short is too short?"

When you buy either shorts or a skirt, try this test. Sit in front of a full length mirror. Sit both "indian style" on the floor and with your legs crossed in a chair. What do you see? If you see too much thigh or your panties, guess what? So can everyone else. If you really want to up the ante, imagine that mirror is your dear ol' grandpa! (P.S. We stole this test from Susie Shellenberger or Brio magazine! Thanks, Susie!)
SOLUTION: Today's skirts are about extremes. Go for extremely long...extremely full...but pass on extremely short. As far as shorts go...they can be hard to find but keep looking! And check out the favorite places to shop on this blog. It'll help you find shorts with longer in-seams!

"Are my pants just too low?"

It 'aint cute on the plumber and it 'aint so cute on girls either. The terrible...the awful....crack view! Sit "indian style" on the floor. Bend forward as if you're about to devour a great magazine. Now, reach behind you and get a feel of what might be the featured view if your jeans are too low. (Or ask a girlfriend to check you out!)
SOLUTION: Some low riders are just too low. Find a pair that won't cause viewers to blush for you.

"Tell me my shirt too tight?"

When wearing a button down shirt, stand sideways and look in the mirror. Is the space between the buttons gaping open, even just a little bit? If it's pulling enough to cause a gap you're in danger of exposing way too much and in danger of losing a button!
SOLUTION: NO Brainer. Shirts that are too tight are a totally bad idea if you want to dress modestly. It's not JUST about how much of our beautiful epidermis is showing, but how much of our shape is showing! Try buying a size or two larger. (If that bugs you cut out the tag when you get home.) Or, try a t-shirt under the button down and leave it open for a layered look.

"Is it cold in here?"

OK, girls...hate to bring this one up but when we get cold or nervous sometimes we can "get nippy"...if you catch my drift. When this happens, it is visible to others IF our bras are not thick enough. There's no test for this least not one that I want to take! But keep in mind that when you're wearing thinner shirts, wear a thicker bra to avoid this problem. When you have on a sweater or a thicker shirt, go for a thin and cute bra if you want!

"Is my shirt too low?"

It's time for a secret weapon! A men's tank, slip this under a button down that exposes cleavage below your hand when placing your thumb on your collar bone. You can also try a trendy layering technique by putting a button down under a polo or rugby shirt that plunges too low.


Monday, July 13, 2009

What's for Dinner?

Do you ever just look at your cupboards and think 'I have no idea what to make tonight?'... sure, I try to plan my meals but sometimes I haven't been grocery shopping yet, or just want a change!

I've been really enjoying these websites lately... and

You can type in the ingredients you want to use, then search. You'll get a list of recipes using the items you have.

If you read the reviews, they will give you tips on how you can change/modify the recipe to make it better.

This is tasty, one that Ashley found for me :-D except we use a whole bottle of Wishbone Italian Robusto dressing and add chicken.

We made this last night...

And last week we had...a tasty way to enjoy spinach!

Please share your recipes!

Friday, July 3, 2009

What a great idea! Little Girl's Dress Tutorial.

I would LOVE to sew more. However, on a limited budget, its not often I can spend the money on the fabric and its not everyday you stumble on a bargain at a yard sale. So I am really excited to find this tutorial using an old shirt - maybe you can find one at Goodwill or a yard sale, or even one that your good cooking has deemed unwearable for your husband!

I hope to try it very soon! I will be sure to post pictures when I do. This is a link from a forum, I think the mommy made the pattern herself, so be sure to give credit!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Conversations with a 3 year old.

As you probably know, 3 year old children are probably the best comedians. Whether they try or not. Here are some recent conversations with Esther, who is as cheeky as she looks in the above picture!

Mommy: Esther, time to brush your hair!
Esther: I don't want to brush my hair.
Mommy: But don't you want to look like a princess, like Belle?

Later on that hour...

Mommy: Come here my little penguin!
Esther: I am not a penguin. I'm a snake.

I love this stage, she is just figuring so much out, testing social interactions, reasoning the world all around her, asking 'why?'. Its an age of wonder and beauty. If you have a cheeky chatterbox of a three year old, nurture and enjoy that little mind!

Rachel walks!

I think I can say that Rachel officially walks... I think. She can walk, she has taken as many as 8 steps in a row several times. Here is the thing though, you have to entice her to come to you with a toy or promises of milk. Otherwise she is happier crawling. If she made the choice that walking was more advantageous, she could do it, she just hasn't made that choice yet! But, I'll say 'she walks!' because I know the sweet, stubborn baby can and would, as soon as it suits her, ability is not holding her back!

Thinking about cloth diapering?

I get a lot of questions about cloth diapers. I have written a cloth diaper 101, but I figured that would be long and tedious. So, I asked some questions of some sweet mama's on, an interview of sorts, to help you navigate the world of cloth and decide whether it's right for your family.


Why do you cloth diaper?
I think it's better for my LOs skin.

What cloth diapering system do you use?
Fitted + wool (for breathability) and pocket AIOs (for convenience).

What do you love about cd'ing?
I love doing laundry. There is something magical about getting stains out, putting dirty clothes in and getting clean clothes out. Washing CDs is much more rewarding than washing regular clothes, and I get to do it every day.

What is your least favorite thing about cd'ing?

Feeling like it's my fault when rashes happen.

What detergent do you use to wash?

I have tried several but keep having to go back to Tide HE powder. The others just haven't cut it for me.
If you had to tell a new cd'er just ONE piece of advice... what would it be? K.I.S.S. (keep it simple)


Why do you cloth diaper?
I cloth diaper for many reasons: 1. it was a financially cheaper choice for our family 2.cloth diapers are healthier for baby 3.cloth diapers are healthier for the environment…no disposable-polluting here 4.cloth diapers are just plain cuter than disposables!

What cloth diapering system do you use?
We use prefolds and covers, fitteds and covers, pockets, and AIOs.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of your cloth diapering system?
Advantages for us: saving lots of money, cuter diapers, healthier bottom for baby.
Disadvantages: I hate washing laundry, so washing dipes every 3 days is a chore, but it’s beginning to be less bothersome to me.

What do you love about cd'ing?
I love that my son has a cuter tushie than most other babies. LOL. I also love sewing, so making dipes is super fun for me!

What is you least favorite thing about cd'ing?

Laundry day. LOL

What detergent to you use to wash?
We use Sun free and clear…it’s cheap and it gets the dipes super clean.

If you had to tell a new cd'er just ONE piece of advice... what would it be?
Prefolds and snappis get easier with practice! I promise!

Parkers Mom

Why do you cloth diaper? Better for the enviroment is my number one reason, closely followed by cost.

What cloth diapering system do you use? A little of everything. We mostly use pockets, but also have some AIO's, and prefolds and fitteds with some fleece and PUL covers.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of your cloth diapering system?
I love having options when I am picking out a diaper. For instance, if we are just hanging around the house, prefolds are great with fitteds for naps, if we will be running around, I love Pockets or AIOs. I like having a little of everything. The disadvantage to me would be having to learn a little about all the options we have. For instance, DH just sticks with pockets because once he has learned one way of doing things he doesn't want to have to learn all about another.

What do you love about cd'ing? Mostly everything. I love knowing I am doing something to help out the environment my son is growing up in. I love not having to waste money on a disposable that I will just throw away. And mostly, I love the fun, cute diapers there are around. Nothing beats a cute CD bum.

What is you least favorite thing about cd'ing? The learning process for washing diapers. I am still trying to figure out what works best for us and I have spent more money and time on detergents/other additives than I care to think about. I really wish there were a way to make it a more simple process altogether.

What detergent to you use to wash? Purex Free and Clear at the moment, which is working okay, but I have tried several of the other popularly suggested detergents. I am still looking for the right one for us.

If you had to tell a new cd'er just ONE piece of advice... what would it be? Don't give up. It won't be the easiest thing at first, but its worth it. Don't expect that what you had completely planned on using will be what actually works best for you. Practice makes perfect so to speak, so if one diaper doesn't work, give another one a try. You will eventually find what works best for you.


1. Why do you cloth diaper? To save money and for the environment
2. What cloth diapering system do you use? Primarily prefolds and covers with a few fitted diapers and All in Ones for going out
3. What are the advantages/disadvantages of your cloth diapering system? Prefolds with a snappi are not easy for everyone to use (my mom can't get the hang of the snappi!)
4. What do you love about cd'ing? Knowing I am saving money and my daughter's diapers aren't sitting in a landfill for the next 500 years!
5. What is you least favorite thing about cd'ing? Having to carry a bigger diaper bag
6. What detergent to you use to wash? Tide HE original
7. If you had to tell a new cd'er just ONE peice of advice... what would it be? Keep it simple....remember it is just a diaper!


Why do you cloth diaper? no chemicals, less waste, fun
What cloth diapering system do you use? AIOs and pf fitteds w/wool
What are the advantages/disadvantages of your cloth diapering system? wool can be expensive, AIOs can take long to dry and fitteds need a snappi and a cover
What do you love about cd'ing? I love the softness of the dipes - I use mostly cotton, colors and prints are fun too
What is you least favorite thing about cd'ing? when I forget to use a liner and have to dunk and flush to get poo off
What detergent to you use to wash? Charlie's Soap and OxoBrite
If you had to tell a new cd'er just ONE piece of advice... what would it be? Find one thing that works well and buy that as your bulk - for me it was pfs and now pf fitteds, then have a few of some other types of things that work but give you some variety like I have a dozen of different types of AIOs and in different colors too.


Why do you cloth diaper?

Economical reasons, environmental reasons, and NO diaper rash, EVER!

What cloth diapering system do you use?

We use mostly PFs and fitteds with covers, although we have a handful of AIOs and pockets that DH prefers. We use AIOs for outings because they're easier to change, but NEVER at night. I've made almost every dipe in my stash, and love trying out new fabrics and fine-tuning my pattern to fit my DS perfectly.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of your cloth diapering system?

I love cloth so much! DS #2 had terrible raw diaper rashes with sposies. I travel a LOT for work; 150 days a year, so we didn't even consider cloth as an option back then, but if I'd known how EASY it is, I would have at least used cloth when I was not traveling. Until DS #3 I thought all CDs were the PFs with pins and seriously yucky rubber pants. I had no idea cloth had been through such an evolution. The only disadvantages would be using cloth away from home (although not as bad as the rash that ensues from sposies), and the fact that DH can't seem to learn which dipes need covers, which ones AREN'T okay for night time, etc.)

What do you love about cd'ing?

Knowing how much money I'm saving, how much better it is for the earth, how much more comfortable DS must be. Also, the one week we used sposies at MIL's we found that every third one leaked all over his clothes, and of course he developed a rash.

What is you least favorite thing about cd'ing?

It is more work. But not that much. It's one extra load of laundry every other day. Rinsing off poo is no real thrill, but not such a biggie. When people ask me: "Isn't it more work?", my answer is yes, but so is separating the recycling from the rest of the trash, and we all do that without even thinking about it.

What detergent to you use to wash?

We've used Purex Free and Clear from day one with no problems. I've never used anything else. It's inexpensive, I can use it on the rest of our laundry, and I don't have to go to Whole Foods to buy it.

If you had to tell a new cd'er just ONE piece of advice... what would it be?

Don't go out and buy a whole stash worth of one style and brand before you've tried a few different things. Not every style/brand works for every baby so try out a few options before you invest heavily in one thing.


Why do you cloth diaper?

-We choose to CD because of cost and environmental issues. The idea of spending hundreds of dollars on something you throw away really bothered me, and since we're on a single income right now, it really helps to not have that be a worry.

What cloth diapering system do you use?
-We are currently using a very mixed stash. Mostly GMD pf's and covers, with some fitteds (BG bamboo), pockets (cloth diaper wholesale stuffed with hemp babies little weeds), and AIOs (BG and Sposoeasy). I intend to add some BG organic AIOs and start using the flats I have once DS is bigger.

What are the advantages/disadvantages of your cloth diapering system?
-Advantage: It's pretty easy- since it's mostly natural fibers, the wash routine is simple, and since it's so varied, we don't get bored!
Disadvantage: pfs can get bulky at times, and jelly roll folding on a squirmy, screaming newborn can be challenging!

What do you love about cd'ing?

- I love that I'm doing something good for DS- no rashes, no horrid perfumes, no gel, no chemicals! I also love that our diapering routine is a little "unconventional." And even so, no one who's come to visit has even noticed that he's got a fluffy bum!

What is you least favorite thing about cd'ing?

- Probably the fact that people who don't do it don't get it. Members of my family are totally grossed out by it and say some pretty rude things about our choice.

What detergent to you use to wash?

-We are currently using Planet Ultra powder detergent. So far, so good... although I've only washed 4 or so times.

If you had to tell a new cd'er just ONE piece of advice... what would it be?

- Simpler is usually better when it comes to cloth diapering. You don't need to have the latest and greatest of everything IMO. If it works, stick with it!


Why do you cloth diaper? I cloth diaper to be different But really, a big advantage is that we save money and my baby's butt is healthy!
What cloth diapering system do you use? Mostly Fuzzi Bunz pockets and BGOS at night
What are the advantages/disadvantages of your cloth diapering system? Some people don't like using pockets because there's an extra step of stuffing them after they're dried, but I don't mind.
What do you love about cd'ing? Everything! I love knowing it's better for my baby. I love the colors and prints. I love not buying a box of smelly disposables every time I go out!
What is you least favorite thing about cd'ing? It's hard to find a good detergent that works with your dipes and your water and your LO.
What detergent to you use to wash? Purex F & C
If you had to tell a new cd'er just ONE piece of advice... what would it be? Don't give up, just keep trying til you find what works for you

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What's on the coffee table?

Josh and I are undeniable, slightly obsessed with books. We both have a passion to just read everything we can on any subject that peaks our interest. We also, both have the habit of having multiple books on the go at once.

I am sharing my reading list, for a number of reasons - Firstly, because I like to share book's that I am reading, you may find my list helpful and secondly, you can be expecting me to ramble on about any of the below topics over the next few months.

You will probably notice, that several of my books are on the same topic. I like to read the leading books recommended on any one topic in order to round out my education and draw from each book the key points, rather than relying solely on one author's perspective.

Here's what I am reading or planning to read this summer... most I have read at least several chapters of.

Deceptively Delicious, Jessica Seinfield
The Sneaky Chef, Missy Chase Lapine
The Excellent Wife, Martha Peace
Created to be His Helpmeet by Debi Pearl.
The Nutrition Book, Sears Library
Feeding Your Child for Lifelong Health, Susan B. Roberts and Melvin Heyman
The No-cry sleep solution for Toddlers and Preschoolers - Elizabeth Pantley
Better Basics for the Home, Berthold-Bond
The Coconut Oil Miracle, Bruce Fiff
A Charlotte Mason Companion, Karen Andreola
For the Childrens Sake, Susan Schaeffer Macauley
A Mother's Heart, Jean Fleming
Teach Me to do it Myself (Montessori activity book)

Here's what I hope to find soon either at Half Price Books or on Amazon!

The Backyard Homestead, Carleen Madigan
The Vaccine Book, Dr Sears
The No-cry sleep solution for Babies, Elizabeth Pantley
Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon
Real Learning: Education in the Heart of the Home by Elizabeth Foss
Becoming a Titus 2 Woman; A Bible Study with Martha Peace

Finally, I would like to add - Please, if you have any constructive input on any of the books above, that you have read, I would love to hear your thoughts!

Smart Medicine for a Healthier Child - A book review.

Growing up, I was exposed to alternative medicine, saw its effectiveness and thus continued to learn more and use it either in addition to or as an alternative to conventional medicine. My interest was even more peaked during my pregnancy, when my wonderful midwives always suggested a more natural remedy before getting into harsher, conventional medicines.

Varicose veins called for butcher's broom, rutin and nettle tea, preparing for labor included evening primrose oil and red raspberry leaf tea. I found these remedies not only worked, but didn't have any negative side effects, unlike many medication that have a list... your bowels may work better, but you have the risk of nausea, vomitting, your little toe might fall off... well, not really, but you get the idea. Why not pick up some Senna tea?

On the other hand, I think conventional medicines can be fantastic and we should not in any way dismiss them - rather, we should look at the options and make an informed decision.

THIS, is why I love this book. I ordered it from Amazon after browsing through it at The Sunflower Shoppe. Written by an MD, a pediatric nurse and a naturopath, it brings together the best of all the options.

Take Eczema, for example. There is first a short introduction, explaining the problem - what it is, how and when it occurs. Next is a thorough explanation of how to treat it with conventional medicine.

Next are dietary guidelines, which point out allergens in your child's diet that could be related to the problem and also foods that can be used to help. For example, in eczema, one example is eating lots of berries because of the bioflavonoids that act as an anti-inflamatory.

This is followed by a comprehensive schedule for Herbal treatment (burdock root, echinacea, red clover and goldenseal used at different points over a 5 week period).

After this is a description of each type of eczema and how a different homeopathic remedy can be used for each, a dry and scaly eczema calls for Urtica Urens gel applied 2-3 times a day.

Finally, there is a reference to Bach Flower Remedies.

Accupressure is also dealt with for example when dealing with headaches and pain.

All the information is delivered objectively. There are no opinions or recommendations that one treatment is better than the other.

It is simply a GREAT reference guide that can be the first thing you pick up when your child is sick or has some other ailment.

As a parent, it is our job to research all the options and make an educated, well thought out and responsible choice.

There are times when I am not going to even think about anything other than conventional medicine - My child needs a Dr right now! But if she has a bump that doesn't need attention from a Dr, I will be pulling out the arnica, if she's bedwetting... I can look up natural alternatives to help.

If my child is being treated with conventional medicine - I can use alternatives to supplement what the pediatrician is doing.

This book has lots of 'When to call the Doctor' 'boxes'.

Its a great reference book. A must have for any parent's library. Even if you do not want to venture into homeopathy and herbal medicine, the nutritional and dietary recommendations are worth having the book for.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Why make my own, you ask? Well, other than the satisfaction and the lovely soapy smell...

Its better for you and your clothes... it does not contain harmful chemicals, brighteners or perfumes that can irritate your skin and it actually makes the clothes really clean rather than coating them with brighteners that merely give the illusion of cleansliness. You'll be surprised at how much dirt will come off and how many suds in your rinse you'll find!

Secondly... its significantly cheaper. I think it can be as cheap as 3c per load compared to over 20c per load for Tide.

Although slightly labor intensive, if like me you do not have a food processor, I believe this is a simple, thrifty and natural alternative to store bought clothes detergent. This is also safe for washing cloth diapers although if you have hard water or are using microfiber, I suggest using Kirk's Castille over Fels Naptha.

The most reliable place to find all the ingredients you need is Kroger. I have however seen Kirk's Castille in liquid form at Albertsons if you prefer to make your detergent in liquid over powder form.

The main reason I chose powder, was because it takes up less storage space which is very important in student housing.

What you need...

Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (Not Baking Soda!)
20 Mule Team Borax
A bar of soap - Popular ones are Kirk's Castille, Fels Naptha or Ivory Soap

There are many variants but I use 2 cups of Washing Soda, 2 cups of Borax and 1 Bar of soap.

The soap will need to be ground up very fine. I grate it on the parmesan side of the grater, you can use a food processor its faster... believe me!

If you want to make it in liquid form... try here...

Also... you can change your recipe as you want, as with the no-shampoo, its about finding a good balance for you! Experiment. Have fun. I sure do!

The no shampoo experiment.

Quite frankly, my hair has always been difficult. I have 'frizz-eased', curled, hot ironed, done hair masks, tried different styles all to the same end.. my hair is dry, not curly or not straight. It lies in a bizzare not-so-wonderful land in between.

Whenever I go and have a haircut, the 'stylist' comes out wielding an assortment of fantastical products in shiny, brightly colored bottles. I walk out the salon, my soft, flowing locks looking lush. I then spend several days avoiding washing, wishing I had the time and money to spend to keep it like this.

But, alas... reality hits and I am a busy mom with two mini princesses, a husband with a book fetish and only 5 minutes a day to quoff... well throw on clothes and make myself presentable at least in mommy circles!

I was desperate, well, at least willing to try anything. So when I stumbled across 'No-Pooing' on forums, I quickly pulled out the baking soda and bought some apple cider vinegar.

So... Why 'No-Poo'?

1. It offers the opportunity for wondrous shiny and healthy hair.
2. Its so very very cheap.
3. Your skin absorbs anything you put on it, including your scalp. Shampoo's often include chemicals that are linking with various health issues.
4. Shampoo's strip away the natural oils that your body produces to condition you hair. In response, your hair then overproduces. The chemicals in the shampoo throw off your hairs 'ph'

The Bad Bits...

1. Your hair will be nasty for at least a few weeks, perhaps a month or more. For me it was 5 weeks.
2. You may really miss washing your hair everytime you jump in the shower. On the brightside, it makes it even more of a treat when your weekly no-poo comes around.

What you will need:

Baking Sofa
Apple Cider Vinegar
Something to store the above in your bathroom.

How it works...

A good ratio is 1 tbsp of baking soda to one cup of water, prepare this ahead of time (although I tend to pour the baking soda into my hand and make a paste). Apply this to your scalp and roots, giving a good massage and gradually working through your hair. Rinse off thoroughly.

To Condition -

Prepare ahead of time - 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar and a cup of water. Optionally, you can add your favorite essential oil, honey or lemon. Apply this to THE ENDS OF YOUR HAIR ONLY. Leave in for about 3 minutes and rinse off well.

You can repeat this process weekly at first. The eventual aim is to let you natural oils take care of your hair. So you can slowly reduce the quantities until you are no longer using anything on your hair.

You can 'water' wash your hair as much as you want between 'no-poo'ing' washes.

When my hair is feeling a little dry, I like to rub in a little coconut oil, works wonders.

I will be adding a troubleshooting section later on!

Here below is my hair, 6 weeks since using conventional shampoo, airdried and unstyled.

The birth of a new blog to explore old ideas.

Many a hours have my husband, friends and family listened to my rambling thoughts. Recalling of experiments, things I have read, crazy and brilliant idea's alike, new and old. Many times do I find myself explaining things that I have become passionate about to friend, family and strangers.

I decided it was time to blog.

Here I will record this journey. Blog's will be eclectic. Some will be well thought out, other's short and sweet. Some not so sweet. Some, like this, done with a baby crawling around my toes and a the dinner cooking on the stove.

Be on the look out for these articles...

Uses of coconut oil
Making your own detergent
Making your own non-toxic housecleaning kit
Various articles on alternative medicines
Using Baking Soda
Cloth Diapering 101
Book Reviews