Posts by kar41287:
Toys can be an organization nightmare when you live in a small space. In December my son received more toys than I could dream of due to having his 1st birthday and Christmas. As many of you know, we live in a RV and have very little storage options, especially for toys.
Since there is a small amount of square footage, vertical space has to be maximized for organization. To store all of the toys, I built my own system.
We used a wire cube unit that can be customized for many designs; vertical shelves, horizontal shelves, multi-layer shelving, and even small animal cages. Each cube can hold up 10 to 15 lbs, depending how they are put together and anchored. To make the storage unit sturdier, use zip ties in place of the connectors provided and use cable mounting clips to anchor each cube to the wall.
To maximize on the vertical storage, I used hair ties to hang stuffed animals. By wrapping the hair tie around a wire and pulling it through itself, I was able to secure all of our stuffed animals to the toy cubes.
For small toys, like toy food, and baby safe books, I used mesh laundry bags. Hang the mesh laundry bags with the opening facing out, instead of up, to allow easier access for toddlers. Secure the bags to the wire shelves with binder clips.
Our favorite toys primarily seem to be capable of growing with our son, be easily portable, and be made of high quality material, such as metal, wood, or thick recycled plastic. Our current 3 favorite toys are:
- Indestructible books (Archer can quickly tear up all other books, but these haven’t been harmed.): , , , , and
- Hape Mini Mighty Kitchen (It is small, portable, and made of wood.) With Ikea Toy Cookware (It is real cookware in miniature form. Toy food fits better in it than other toy cookware.) Hape Mini Mighty Kitchen
- B. Brand Parum Pum Pum Drum (A working drum, that is used to store the percussion implements, made from recycled plastic. We love B. Brand!)
What creative ways do you store your children’s toys and what are some of your favorite toys, that seem to last and spark imagination?
This creamy Alfredo sauce is amazing! It is easy to make dairy free, for a healthy vegan option. You will be surprised by the key ingredient: Cashews. Yes, this Alfredo is made with cashews!
Due to breastfeeding, I had to be dairy free for the first 6 months of my son’s life, until his intestinal issues improved. This transition made it very difficult. I had to cook and shop completely differently, since we love cheese and butter and most processed foods have some form of dairy. This Alfredo sauce really helped satisfy my dairy craving.
1 cup cashews
2.5 cups WARM water
1/2 cup MELTED non-dairy butter (If you can have dairy, regular butter is fine)
1/2 teaspoon salt (I use Himalayan pink salt.)
3 large garlic cloves
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 (8oz) pckg. Daiya mozzarella shreds (These Daiya shreds freeze well in their package.) (You can use 2 cups of any mozzarella shreds you like.)
In a high speed blender (I prefer Vitamix), blend water and cashews until creamy.
Add butter and spices to blender.
Slowly add cheese until complete.
Serve with pasta of choice (try making zucchini noodles).
It is also great with grilled chicken or shrimp. (I combine the sauce in the pan to mix it all together.)
You can warm in a sauce pan before serving (I usually do this, to keep it warm while we eat our first serving.)
Freeze any left over Alfredo sauce.
Proper sunscreen use is important, but having my breast feeding infant son led me to be even more diligent about using natural products, including sunscreen. I found out that components of chemical sunscreens (absorbing and converting sunlight) are damaging to the skin, and are absorbed and passed to babies through the breast milk. I refused to put harmful substances on my son’s skin (using cloth diapers and cloth wipes) and wanted to make sure everything he was consuming through my breast milk was as healthy as possible, so I began making a homemade sunscreen.
After using my natural, homemade sunscreen for many months of hiking, walking, swimming, going to the beach and lake, and visiting the zoo, I can say this sunscreen not only protects our skin from the sun, but is nourishing too. Many of the ingredients in this recipe have a natural SPF, but since this is a homemade recipe and has not been scientifically tested, I cannot make claims on its overall SPF rating. I can only discuss how this has worked for my family. My son’s pediatrician promotes a more natural lifestyle and was pleased with our choice to make our own sunscreen. (Please always consult your doctor before using a new product.)
This natural, homemade sunscreen is a must for my family. Sometimes, being outside is the only way we can calm my son down, or get him to sleep. He has yet to have a sunburn.
The other day we were walking and swimming almost all day, I put sunscreen on my son but forgot to put any on myself. His skin still looked perfect, but I was red as a lobster.
Homemade Sunscreen Ingredients:
- ¼ cup beeswax
- ¼ cup coconut oil (natural SPF 7.119)
- ½ cup almond oil (natural SPF 4.659) /olive oil (natural SPF 7.549)
- 1 tsp Red Raspberry Seed Oil (natural SPF 28-50)
- 1 tsp Carrot Seed Oil (natural SPF 35-40)
- 2 Tbsp Shea Butter (natural SPF 4-5)
- 3 Tbsp Zinc Oxide (natural SPF 2-20 depending on quantity) (Buy the NON-Nano version that cannot be absorbed into the skin. Also, be careful to not inhale the powder.)
- Optional: 1 tsp Vitamin E oil
- Optional: 20 drops lavender essential oil
- Optional: 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
How to Make Natural Sunscreen:
- Combine ingredients, except zinc oxide, in a pint-sized or larger glass jar.
- Fill a medium saucepan with 2 inches of water and place over medium heat.
- Place a loose lid on the jar and place in the pan with the water.
- As the water heats, the ingredients in the jar will start to melt. Shake or stir occasionally to mix. When all ingredients are completely melted, add the zinc oxide and stir well. Pour into whatever jar or tin you will use for storage (the mixture needs to still be warm).
- Small mason jars (pint size) are great for this or 2 baby food size mason jars (my favorite). It is thick, like body butter, so it cannot be used in a pump bottle.
- Stir a few times as it cools to make sure zinc oxide is incorporated.
- Use daily.
- Make sure not to inhale the Zinc Oxide.
- This sunscreen is somewhat waterproof and will need to be reapplied after sweating or swimming.
- Store in a cool, dry place or in the refrigerator.
- I prefer to store in a baby food size mason jar for easy travel. We keep one in our diaper bag at all times.
- It works great on diaper rashes and as a protective layer during nights. – I haven’t had any issues using it on my cloth diapers, but we rarely use it for this purpose and we use organic cotton flats, which wash very easily.
I’m always looking for ways of adding more vegetables into our diet, this one-dish sweet potato chili is an easy way of doing that.
- 1 lb. ground turkey
- 1 medium white onion, chopped
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 10 oz can diced tomatoes and chilies (I like Hot Rotel with habaneros)
- 15 oz can black beans (drained)
- 1 large sweet potato (about 1 lb), peeled and chopped small
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1 cup water
Toppings: shredded cheese, chopped avocado, tortilla chips, green onions
- Add ground turkey and chopped onion to large skillet. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook until ground turkey is fully cooked, no longer pink.
- Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds.
- Add ground turkey mixture to crock pot.
- Add remaining ingredients to slow cooker and stir.
- Cook on high for 3 hours, or low for 6 hours, or until sweet potatoes are tender.
- Serve with toppings of choice.
Nutrition based on a 2,000 calorie diet:
Serving size: 1 cup, Servings: 12
Total Fat: 4.46g, 7%
Saturated Fat: .92g, 4.67%
Cholesterol: 28.08mg, 9.33%
Carbohydrates: 8.83g, 3%
Sodium: 262.03g, 21.67%
Fiber: 2.17g, 9.25%
Vitamin A: 41.33%
Vitamin C: 8.08%
Vitamin K: 2.25%
How do you like this sweet potato chili and how spicy do you prefer yours?
I needed a way of increasing my whole wheat consumption without adding sugar to my diet; solution, Whole Wheat Cinnamon Banana Bread. This bread is moist, packed with a cinnamon sugar (stevia) flavor, and easy to make.
I have created two recipes for this bread, one that is 100% organic whole wheat with no added sugar and one that uses organic all purpose flour. organic whole wheat, and organic sugar. Choose which version will meet your needs (the nutritional information is for the 100% whole wheat and stevia recipe).
- 3 small bananas (about 6 inches long) – smashed
- 1/3 cup melted organic butter
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. Stevia (Truvia Baking Blend) or 3/4 cup organic sugar
- 1 egg beaten (I use organic cage free eggs)
- 1/2 tsp. imitation vanilla
- 1/2 tsp. almond extract
- 1 tsp. organic cinnamon
- 1 tsp. baking soda (aluminum free)
- dash of sea salt
- 1 1/2 cup organic whole wheat flour or 3/4 cup organic unbleached all purpose flour + 3/4 cup organic whole wheat flour
- 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. stevia (Truvia Baking Blend) or 1/6 cup organic sugar
- 1/2 Tbsp. organic cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Spray bread pan. (I used 10″ x 8″)
- Mix bananas, butter, 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp. stevia/3/4 cup sugar, egg, vanilla, almond extract, and 1 tsp. cinnamon.
- Sprinkle baking soda and sea salt on top of banana mixture.
- Gently mix in flour. (I used a fork for all mixing.)
- Pour dough into pan
- Mix remaining stevia/sugar and cinnamon together.
- Sprinkle cinnamon mixture on top of dough.
- Bake for 40 – 60 minutes (time will depend on pan size and moisture from bananas).
- Cut bread into 12 equal parts.
- Enjoy your Whole Wheat Cinnamon Banana Bread!!!
Nutrition based on a 2,000 calorie diet:
Total Fat: 4.96g, 7.67%
Sat. Fat: 3.04g, 15.25%
Cholesterol: 30.42mg, 10.08%
Sodium: 155.92mg, 6.58%
Carbohydrates: 13.5g, 5.83%
Fiber: 1g, 3.83%
Folate: 5.05mcg, 1.25%
Potassium: 90.5mg, 2.5%
Vitamin A: 4.08%
Vitamin C: 3.75%
Vitamin B6: .1mg, 28.5%
These homemade Peanut Butter and Honey Protein Bars are perfect for me. I needed a way of helping me get the 100g of protein a day my midwife wants me to eat while pregnant. The protein bars at the store are filled with a lot of preservatives and ingredients I don’t feel comfortable feeding myself or my unborn child.
- 2 cups oats
- 1/2 cup peanut butter (try my homemade peanut butter recipe)
- 1/2 cup honey
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 scoop of protein powder (I use the organic, vegan, raw flavored Garden of Life Raw Protein)
- Mix all ingredients.
- Press protein bar mixture into a small baking dish.
- Refrigerate overnight.
- Cut into 12 equal portions.
Nutrition based on a 2,000 calorie diet.
1 serving (Servings per container 12)
Saturated Fat: .83g
Total Carbohydrate: 22.58g
Dietary Fiber: 1.08g
Vitamin A: 16.67 IU .33%
Vitamin D: 33.33 IU 8.33%
I am pregnant!!! My husband and I have been planning to have a child for 2 years now and trying to conceive since the beginning of this year and it paid off. We found out I was 14 days pregnant on April 16, 2014. We can’t wait for the journey ahead of us.
Our goals are to use a midwife and for me to have natural labor (as long as baby and I stay healthy and medical intervention isn’t needed); as I said we have been planning for 2 years and a lot of research with scientific journals and opinion pieces were used to help us determine our goals. I will share more information as my pregnancy goes on about what I have learned and what I experience.
Cleaning Out The Clutter will also give me a chance to share tips about healthy and financially savvy ways of raising a child. We plan on using as much natural and organic material as possible, breastfeed, cloth diaper, and co-sleep. If you remember, we live in an RV, so space is at a minimum, we will have to be minimalist parents and be creative with storage for the baby.
Be prepared for plenty of pregnancy related articles in these next 9 months. I will keep everyone updated on my progress.
Before No Poo, despite trying a variety of shampoos and conditioners, including expensive “all natural” brands you find in salons and on TV, my hair was always thin, oily, and filled with tangles. Due to my hair problems, it is typically chin length or shorter. I decided to grow my hair to donate to Locks Of Love and wasn’t able to manage this with my hair cleansing method. I began looking at ways to make my hair healthier and stronger, discovering No Poo.
In 2012 I began buying Dr. Bonner’s Organic Shampoo, which left my hair very clean but dry and frizzy (this might not have been a problem if I had used a moisturizer like coconut oil). To remedy this, over the past year, I have followed the “No Poo” method. No Poo is where shampoos and conditioners aren’t used; and water is used by itself, or along with things like baking soda and apple cider vinegar (for other options, such as lemon juice, search online). No, this does not mean for the last 12 months I have gone around with dirty hair. I clean my hair once a week and rinse when needed. Yes, with the No Poo method I clean my hair only every 7 days!
Using baking soda and apple cider vinegar (the vinegar smell disappears after your hair dries), my hair grows faster than it did before, I can see new hair growth, and my natural hair color (I haven’t dyed it since November, 2011) used to be a dull monotone light brown, but now my natural highlights pop out and there is dimension to my color. My hairstylist explained that traditional shampoos and conditioners make hair look dull and monotone since sulfates (what deep clean your hair) are stripping away your natural oil and silicones (what make your hair feel silky) create a buildup since they are being left behind. For more information about sulfates read this article, and for more on silicones click here.
Why is a shampoo’s ability to strip away natural oils considered negative? Think of the natural oil on your head and your cleansing method as a supply and demand relationship. When you wash your hair you remove the oils, therefore, your body compensates by producing additional oils. Previously, I had to use shampoo and conditioner every day to two days due to how oily my hair got. The conditioner was required due to the shampoo drying the ends of my hair out and making it break. With No Poo, now I only wash my hair once a week and by the end of the week my hair is only as oily as it used to be after one day.
How NOT to Use The No Poo Method
By reading articles and watching YouTube (My favorite No Poo vloger can be found here) over the past year I have learned a lot about various ways to apply the No Poo method. Let’s begin with what I now consider the wrong way (at least for my hair). Like everyone, I went through a transition period, but luckily I had already removed sulfates and silicones (no –cone, -xane, -cate, or copolyol) from my hair care routine by using Dr. Bronner’s organic shampoo. My transition period (a time where your hair looks dirty and oily and is unmanageable every day due to your body’s continued over production of oil) only lasted two weeks. However, my sister washed her hair every day with traditional shampoo and had a 7 week transition period. In the beginning I kept 3 spray bottles in my shower: 1 to clean/clarify my hair, 1 to rinse/smooth my hair, and 1 for a leave in conditioner.
- Cleaning/Clarifying Mixture: 3 cups Water + 3 ½ Tbs. aluminum-free Baking Soda
- Rinsing/Smoothing Mixture: 3 cups Water + 3 Tbs. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar
- Conditioner Mixture: 3 cups Water + 3 Tbs. Organic Coconut Oil
Why do I consider this the wrong way to use No Poo?
- My baking soda mixture stayed mixed for about 2 months, due to how frequently it was used. Baking soda needs to be fresh and potent when used. It should be stored in a dry and air tight container and be able to create a few bubbles when added to water.
- The baking soda and water mixture is used to cleanse your roots and scalp, so I didn’t need to spray it on and saturate all of my hair. I also needed to be more efficient at applying the solution directly to my roots.
- Spraying doesn’t soak hair like pouring does. This means mixing apple cider vinegar with water was requiring me to use more of the mixture to get the soft and silky hair I desired.
- Spraying a coconut oil moisturizer was getting more oil on my naturally oily roots than needed.
How I FIXED My No Poo Routine
Using the above mentioned No Poo method, my hair was looking better than before but I was struggling not washing for 7 days and my hair felt like it had a slight oily buildup on it, which I could continue feeling on my hand after touching it. To fix my No Poo method I made a few alterations to my hair care routine.
- Instead of storing baking soda in the box/bag it comes in, I store it in a glass airtight container.
- I mix my baking soda and water together right before washing my hair. I use 1 cup of COLD distilled/filtered water with 1 Tbs. of baking soda.
- I apply the baking soda using a condiment bottle, since it has a tapered tip, allowing me to focus on one section of my scalp and roots at a time.
- I decided to keep my spray bottle for my apple cider vinegar, but I no longer mix it with water. I try to focus this part of the process on my hair shaft (I do spray a couple of times on my roots, just to close the follicles but I don’t saturate them).
- Instead of using the coconut oil as a leave in moisturizer on a regular basis, I make a deep conditioning mask every 2 weeks, or as needed. This can be a finger tips worth of organic coconut oil left on for a couple of hours (I have trouble getting it out of my hair without having to wash with soap, but this works great for my sister), or making a deep conditioning mask (my favorite is 1 Tbs. honey + 2 Tbs. plain Greek yogurt + 1 egg). Tip: Wet hair with warm water, apply deep conditioning hair mask, wrap hair with clear wrap, and wrap with a towel to keep from dripping.
These changes left my hair healthy, soft, silky, tangle free, and where it takes 7 days for it to look oily and dirty in-between washes (I do rinse my hair with warm water every time I shower).
Rules and Tips for Starting and Following No Poo
- Be creative styling your hair during the transition period without adding hair products. Try wearing caps, cloth headbands, bandannas, scarves, or braids. The transition period can last 1 week to 8 weeks, depending on how much silicone buildup you have, how healthy your hair already is, and how often you wash your hair with traditional shampoo.
- To speed up your transition period try washing with Dr. Bronner’s Organic Shampoo for a month before beginning or for a couple of days before try applying egg yolks (however many you need) from root to tip, letting it sit for a few minutes to 1 hour before rinsing with cool water.
- Don’t comb/brush hair while wet. Some No Poo advocates say to comb through hair during each wash to distribute solutions evenly, which I was gullible enough to try without thinking about what would happen. Combing or brushing while wet results in the pulling and breaking of hair. Instead, use your fingers to comb through hair, then brush your hair when it is almost dry.
- Use only a natural brush, such as a boar’s hair brush. This distributes natural oil from root down through the shaft. Don’t use a metal or plastic bristle brush, they will pull and break your hair.
- Clean your natural brush once or twice a week. Remove hair from brush, and then clean with castile soap and water.
- Use the ingredient combination that works for you. Oily hair will need more baking soda than apple cider vinegar, and dry hair will need more apple cider vinegar than baking soda. Try ¼ Tbsp. to 2 Tbsp. for every cup of water. You also may need to increase your solution quantity if you have long and thick hair.
- Make sure you always use Apple Cider Vinegar after Baking Soda. Baking soda makes hair follicles stand on end, since it has a different pH than hair and apple cider vinegar closes hair follicles.
- Dilute apple cider vinegar if pouring and use pure if spraying. I recommend Bragg’s Organic Apple Cider Vinegar since it has mother in it, and in comparison to other brands my hair feels softer and silkier with it.
- Wait for absorption. Wait for about 1 minute while you massage your scalp with the baking soda mixture, and 3 to 5 minutes with the apple cider vinegar. Use this time to clean your face and body, and to shave.
- Begin with warm water and end with cold water. Make sure to rinse the apple cider vinegar out with cold water to aid in closing hair follicles. You will still rinse your baking soda our with warm water. Make sure during each rinsing process you scrub your scalp thoroughly, this will remove any baking soda flakes you didn’t shake up well and get blood flowing to your head.
- Exercise is allowed. You can get sweaty; I do every day without hurting my hair.
- Between No Poo days rinse your hair with warm water.
- You can dye/perm your hair. Ask for a sulfate and silicon free shampoo at a salon, or use castile soap to remove hair product chemicals as directed at home. (If you don’t use some type of soap you risk chemical burn.)
- Use sulfate and silicone-free hair products or try to minimize use.
- Use a dry shampoo to remove excess oil. Some No Poo users recommend baking soda, which works great, but it can cause drying and breaking of the root. Lightly sprinkle corn starch (for light hair) or cocoa powder (for dark hair) on roots and brush through. Store them in a sealable spice shaker.
- Apply baking soda solution on scalp only, to keep at roots (Try this bottle for application).
- Go at your own pace. It will take time to heal your hair and get the look and feel you desire. You can lengthen your transition period by washing every 3 days and building up to every 5 to 7 days, or you can make the transition period shorter by beginning with 7 days between washes and just hiding your hair.
- Hard water is your enemy! Invest in a showerhead filter or home water filter. The minerals and sediments will make your hair not feel clean and feel weighed down.
I hope my year of No Poo can help you get the hair of your dreams. Feel free to ask any No Poo questions you have.
January is Financial Awareness Month and a great time to make a fresh start on your budget. Everyone has a different approach to how they stick to a budget, so I’m going to discuss the different parts of my budget and how I keep track of bills and expenses.
Keeping Track of Bills, Online Accounts, and Payment Dates
We try to live a paper free lifestyle, so we set up as many bills with online statements as we have available. Since, we don’t get bills in the mail, this means I have to remember due dates and account information. I’ll admit I have a horrible memory for numbers. To solve this I do use paper. I decided it was safer for me to keep all of my account information on a piece of paper that I keep safely at home (instead of on the computer where anything can happen to it with a virus), ready to use any time I decide to go over our finances (this also allows my husband to have access to financial information if he ever needs to take over management).
How is this important piece of paper organized? Simple, with a four column system. (Tip: Use a Pencil!)
- Column 1: Bill Name and Due Date– This is where I list which bills/expenses we have and the date they are due. Some of them are listed as basic names, like “Dental Loan” or “Car”; others are listed with the proper name, like “Discover Card” or “Humana One Health Insurance”. It all depends on what I know them as, or if a specific name is shown on my bank statement.
- Column 2: Account Information – This is where I place web addresses, user IDs, passwords, phone numbers, account numbers, and pin numbers.
- Column 3: Amount Due – This column is for the amount paid. I write the exact amount if it is an automatic draft for the same amount each month, like health insurance or storage. If it is a debt, like a car payment, or something that can fluctuate with use, like a cell phone payment, I write down about $10 more than the typical amount owed, so we have enough to pay for overages, or to pay more than the minimum payment.
- Column 4: Bill/ Expense Type – This is where I list what method the bill/expense is paid. I have 3 names that can be listed in this section.
- Cash – Cash is for expenses like groceries, gas/diesel, and propane.
- Automatic – Automatic means that the bill is automatically drafted out of my bank account, like health insurance, or my cell phone bill. I don’t have to worry about remembering to pay them; I just have to remember to write it down in my bank registry.
- Online – Online is for bills that require me to schedule a payment each month. This is where Column 2 comes in handy, for login information and account numbers.
Month to Month Budgeting
Most people don’t make the same amount every single month, plus you always have to have room for emergency expenses, sickness, bad weather days, or a job loss. Because of this I have a document that is set up to show 4 months of bills/expenses. All I have listed is the information from Column 1 and Column 3, from above. This allows the amount due to change based on pay for each month. If we have extra income, we can add more to a debt or savings. If we have less income, we can remove expenses like “entertainment” or make our “groceries” or “gas” budget smaller.
With every bill/expense I schedule and write in my bank registry I mark a line through the one listed on this document. When I see the payment is verified on my bank statement, or I place the cash in my cash envelope system, I place a check mark next to it, to show completion.
The reason I chose to write down 4 months, is because I love to plan ahead. When my husband is on a job (he does pipeline work, so there can be several months between jobs) we put some of our extra income towards payments for coming months. Our goal is to always be ahead by at least two months to be prepared for times we have no income. With the 4 month system I can keep track of payments already scheduled for the current month, and see what still needs to be budgeted for months ahead.
Determining Numbers for a Budget
You know now how I follow my budget, but you need to know how I live within my means. My husband is lucky enough to work overtime, when he is on a job, but there have been many times that illness or weather has caused him to get less than 40 hours in a week. To compensate for these unfortunate times, we have our basic budget (the 4 column system) set up to account for three 40 hour work weeks and one 30 hour work week. You can make yours with however many hours you feel comfortable with, as long as they are less than what your average is. Let’s say you make $10 per hour, and you get to keep 78% of your earnings after taxes (I like to estimate high on taxes). This ($10 x 40 hours x .78 take home) would have you at $312 for every 40 hour week and ($10 x 30 x .78) $234 for a 30 hour week. Your total monthly budget would be $1170. You would use this total to create your basic budget. Everything you list cannot have a sum greater than that amount.
If you notice your monthly expenses are higher than this amount, find ways to make all bills and expenses fit. Get a cheaper cell phone plan (many smart phones cost additional charges just to have internet access); compare car insurance to find a better plan or raise your deductible; cook more or raise your own food to lower your grocery budget; carpool, walk, or ride a bike to lower your gas budget.
If your total budget doesn’t fit into the amount that allows you to have a sick day, even after making budget cuts, but it does fit if you were to work all 40 hours per week, then hope you don’t get sick, or hope there isn’t bad weather. But you could always try to find ways to supplement your income; get a second job, sale items, talk to your boss about what you need to do to get a promotion, collect scrap metal, get a roommate, etc.
Use whatever method works for you to follow your budget; just make sure you have some way of keeping track of everything and planning for unforeseen circumstances. Excel is a great software to use for your check registry and to keep track of your month to month expenses. What are your tips for following a budget?
We have been busy this year, both with the Cleaning Out The Clutter, and in our personal lives. Let’s look at our Top 10 Posts of 2013 (based on number of views).
Evidently, many families have decided to take a healthier and eco-friendly approach to cleaning little behinds (or big behinds if you use them as a family cloth, like I do). This was by far our most popular post written to date (with over 12,000 views this year) and the one with the most questions asked.
Many responses state that this article has helped them in a washing machine crisis, or with ideas to improve their hand washing routine.
I will admit, I loved writing this article. I’ve always been out spoken and not afraid to talk about “personal” issues, so getting into how to improve menstruation habits was perfect for me. I’m actually planning additional posts on this subject, since I have learned even more this past year.
This was a real revelation for me. To really look into the individual ingredients on what is being used and to look for both health and environmental effects is important. I will say, I got a major complement after I made a batch for my very picky grandmother, and she kept raving about how much she loves it during Christmas dinner.
This moisturizer has become my favorite beauty product. We always make some when my teenage and preteen sisters visit, just because it smells so good and really makes your skin feel and look great.
I love this pie crust!!! I’m pretty sure all of my family and friends know that by now, because I talk about it every time I make a sweet potato pie, which has been a few times a month this fall and winter.
When writing this article I realized just how much my husband and I have changed our lives. It also inspired me to look for additional ways to live an eco-friendly and healthy lifestyle.
My mom, Rhonda Wylie, did a nice article on presents that don’t break the bank. There are several good ideas for different DIY gifts.
This has been a popular smoothie recipe that my mom uses regularly. Anything to add a natural source of energy is needed.
My mom’s baked pork chops and brown rice recipe make me hungry just thinking about it. Yummy!
Now we know more about what type of posts you enjoy reading. 2014 will expand on ideas from above and continue to provide additional inspiration. Was there a post we wrote that you loved, but wasn’t mentioned? Comment to let us know what type of posts you want more of; if it is something we have never experienced we love to do research and try new things.