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Re-usable Wrapping Paper

20 Nov

I know, I know… Christmas talk already?  Talk of Christmas and putting up decorations before Thanksgiving just shouldn’t be done.  Unless of course you are my friend Kristin! 🙂

BUT,  I just came across a nice Christmassy giveaway on a blog I frequently read that I would love to win 😉

Live Renewed is having a giveaway here for some re-usable Christmas bags!  They are beautiful and a great idea.  I plan to make some of my own as soon as I learn to sew… haha.

Wrapping paper usually doesn’t cost much money but neverthelesss, it costs money.  I’ve always thought of wrapping paper as a huge waste of money and paper.  I try to save paper gift bags and re-use those as much as possible.  Making your own “wrapping paper” is another great idea!

For some other great ideas on gift wrapping, check out this website.

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Saving on Organic Groceries

18 Nov

I’m new at buying healthy food.  I’ve always just bought whatever was cheapest.

Now I’m on a search to find good food while still maintaining a budget. I’m not one who believes all groceries need to be organic.  As long as the food is nutritional and there are little or no artificial ingredients or preservatives, I’m pretty happy with the food.  Depending on what you are buying, sometimes the nutritional value stays the same regardless of whether it is organic or not.  As a rule of thumb, the more natural the food is the better nutritional value it is going to have.  Organic just means it’s about as natural as it can be.  Foods raised organically do not contain pesticides, antibiotics, hormones, or preservatives.  Organic food is more expensive, but in my opinion the nutritional benefits of many of these foods outweigh the extra cost of food.

There are ways to purchase organic foods while sticking to your budget!

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Should Christians "Go Green"?

3 Oct
As a Christian, should I “Go Green”?

My verdict is…yes and no! 🙂

Lately it seems that everyone has turned into an environmental activist.  Everywhere you turn there are products labeled as “Green”, “Natural”, or “Organic”.  Much of this, unfortunately, stems from the idea of global warming and/or climate change, and not so much a genuine concern for the care of the planet.  Whether or not global warming is an actual threat to the world, the fact is that God is not the primary focus of this movement.

This movement is a result of human fears of having something to do with the destruction of the world.   The primary focus is ourselves and our future grandchildren, great-grandchildren…and so on.  It is true that humans have had a bad effect on the environment and the only responsible way to react to this is to stop what we’ve been doing and take steps to erase the harmful effects of what has been done by man.   This is a marvelous act of stewardship, it is taking care of the planet, which is what God intended for us to do.

My problem with “going green” is that most people do this to save the planet and all if its inhabitants from extinction.  It is a fear that humans are going to destroy the earth and will no longer be able to survive.  The truth is, God is in complete control of this planet and it’s destruction will not come as a result of human activity alone.  The earth is “warming” in some areas because it is God’s will for it to happen, and it is “cooling” in some areas because it is God’s will.

Heating and cooling are  natural occurrences that have happened before and will happen again as long as the earth exists.  This is how God designed our planet. Our mistreatment of the environment may be one way he brings it to destruction, but in the end it is God who will destroy the earth, the sun, the moon, and everything else in this universe.  I believe our culture puts too much emphasis on the goodness of this earth, it is believed to be the sole sustainer of our lives and our love of the earth can quickly turn into idolatry if we are not careful  to realize that God is the true sustainer. As Christians we are to worship the Creator, not the creation. (Suggested reading: Deuternonomy 4:15-20)

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Substitute for Borax?

29 Sep

Natural homemade cleaning recipes are all the rage on the internet right now! It’s exciting to have so many options for natural cleaning products.  Unfortunately many of the recipes contain the natural product Borax.  Borax is natural (by the fact that it can be mined) but it is also toxic which is why I want to avoid it if possible.

Yes, I do love the Soap Nuts for use as laundry detergent.  However, I’ve heard from many people that making your own homemade laundry soap is even more cost effective than the Soap Nuts.   I’ve also heard that homemade laundry soap works just as well (if not better) than regular detergent.  I ended up finding a recipe on the Duggars website. It is what they use for their family of 20 (soon to be 21)!

This recipe includes water, washing soda, borax, and melted bars of soap. This recipe yields hundreds of loads for approximately $3.00. Sounds like a great deal to me! I want to try it, but it contains borax. I’m on a search to find a recipe that contains no harsh chemicals and that is also non-toxic.
These were some suggestions I found as Substitutes for Borax:
  • Arm & Hammar Washing Soda (for use in laundry or general household cleaning)
  • Baking Soda or Salt (for abrasive scrubbing)

Not a lot of solutions!  Have any of you readers out there (yeah, all 5 of you!)  heard of any other substitutions for Borax?

Natural Living from a Biblical Perspective

28 Sep

The Bible is silent on the issue of genetically modified foods and toxic cleaning agents and such, but it is not silent on these two things:

Our Bodies: Health / Nutrition: 1 Corinthians 6: 19-20  says, “Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; 20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your body.” As a Christian wife and mother, it is my duty to make sure my family well fed and safe (Proverbs 31: 10-31). One way of honoring God with our bodies is to be careful and wise about what we are putting into our bodies. I believe it is important to be well educated on the foods that we eat. So much of what we have been taught about food in this country is misleading.  Foods in their original form contain all of the nutrients God created them with.

God’s Creation – Our Environment: The natural resources that God created have sustained the lives of billions of people, animals, and plants from the very beginning of the Earth’s existence. God expects us to care for his creation, not to destroy it. While I’m not a huge fan of the social “Green” movement (as I do not believe in a global warming crisis), but I do believe in good stewardship over the land that God has given to us.

My Journey to Natural Living

17 Sep

For years I was turned off by anything labeled as natural or organic, I thought it was for the paranoid people afraid of pesticides and it also tied in with political environmental issues that I have never believed to be true.  I never thought of these (whole) foods as a source of good health and an excellent source of nutrition! In fact, I’ve never been much of a nutritionist.  My views of nutrition have been shaped by the media almost entirely.  If the commercial said it was healthy, I believed it.  If the cereal box said it had all the vitamins I needed, I believed it. I always just assumed that whatever the media had to say about nutrition must be true.

In the past couple of years the Lord has shown me that the media has been deceiving me in more ways than I can count. Food is definitely one of them.  The more I looked into nutritional facts, the more I came to realize that a large majority of the food I thought was perfectly normal had little or no nutrition value whatsoever.   No wonder why we have so many health problems and obesity issues these days!

I began to read a few blogs by other women who have found the same things to be true and have since changed their ways.  I have been inspired by these women and have now decided that it’s time to get serious about nutrition and health in our family.  Natural living is simply using the most natural resources available, that means avoiding harmful cleaning chemicals, avoiding highly processed and nutritionally deficient food, recycling, and being a good steward of the land God has provided us with.

I am very new at this so basically if you are a reader of this site,  we will be learning together one baby step at a time!  As I study I will continue to post beneficial links and resources on this page as I find them.

Soap Nuts: A Natural Laundry Detergent

1 Sep

I know what you’re thinking. Soap nuts??

Yes, laundry soap that grows on trees.  Love it!

Soap Nuts are the fruits of soapberry trees and they contain saponin, a natural cleanser that’s been used to centuries for laundering.

It is (obviously) a 100% natural product and chemical free.  It costs about the same or a little less than other detergents, depending on if they are on sale or not.  It is great for people with allergies and they work great with cloth diapers!

“Soap Nuts are a 100% natural alternative to harsh chemical detergents & household cleaners. Eco-friendly, biodegradable, hypoallergenic, unscented, highly effective, yet very gentle. No more softeners & dryer sheets! ” – NaturOli Website

They have a 5 load sample you can buy for $2.95! I decided that if nothing else came out of this it would at least be a fun thing to try. So I bought it and within a couple days my little bag filled with 5 soap nuts arrived.

To my absolute surprise, they worked! Our clothes are fresh, soft, and clean! I didn’t even have to use any fabric softener or dryer sheets. I have done 2 loads with them so far and I can probably do about 2-3 more loads with these 5 nuts. The only “problems” I have:

1) Since I didn’t use a dryer sheet my clothes were staticy, which really has nothing to do with the soap nuts. I think I’ll continue to use dryer sheets until I find a new solution.

2) I LOVE the smell of regular laundry soaps. Especially the one I regularly buy. I know, I’m weird. I have always adored the smell of laundry rooms. The NaturOli company suggests adding a few drops of an essential oil to a cloth in the dryer if we want a frangrance but I’m doubting there is an essential oil out there that will resemble that of laundry soap, haha.

In addition to the raw soap nuts you can also purchase a liquid version, and an all-purpose cleaner. When you order the raw soap nuts you are also given instructions on how to make your own liquid soap and other household cleaners.

How to use the raw Soap Nuts:

It is very simple. Just throw 4-5 soap nuts into the little bag they send you. Close the bag, place in the wash before you put in your clothes. They work best in warm water. They send detailed instructions when you buy them, but that is basically it! Super simple!

Click here to find out about the Sampler!

For more information:

Soap Nuts FAQ’s

Soap Nuts Pro