I have been using this recipe for almost 2 years now and I am loving it. I have never had a face product work so well consistently with fighting acne as well as keeping my skin moist and young looking.
I have tried out lots of the recipes and recommend the whole book, but I wanted to share with you the one that I use the most for face wash.
1 tsp liquid soap
2 tbsp water
2 tbsp glycerine or honey (I use honey)
1/2 cup olive oil
Mix and use about 1-2 tsps as a face wash once a day.
What I didn’t realise and this book pointed out is that olive oil was used to clean and protect the skin long ago. It is an oil that cleans! This is super exciting to the skin on any face.
Using this mixture leaves the face feeling a bit oily at first but the oil helps moisturizer and soaks in quick. It doesn’t lead to breakouts.
Depending on your skin type (mine is mostly dry) this book is full of lots more good, natural recipes for masks, scrubs, and toners. It also has stuff for hair, nails and whole body. A rough estimate would be over 300 recipes and they are all natural.
When we simplified and moved I got rid of most of my book collection, but this one made the cut. I love it for everyday as well as special spa, pampering evenings on a budget.
Another fun, natural recipe I found lately but haven’t tried yet is natural deodorant at Passionate Homemaking.
Loving Simple Living posts 6 days a week. Like the recipe? Come back next Thursday for a step-by-step mouth-watering blackberry chrip recipe!
Wanted to feature a group that is fighting for something I feel very strongly about. Tiny Hands International (recommended to me by a friend) is an organization that works with orphans, street children and sex trafficking and as they say ‘committed to finding the greatest injustices in the world, and working towards relieving them however possible’.
The fact that these children are hurting is hellish beyond words. The fact that there is those that love them enough to help is beautiful. This is a relatively small organization and I would love it if I/we could help get the word out and increase their prayer, monetary, and volunteer support. There site has lots more information.
I wanted to write a few posts on thinking and outlook. I have probably touched on it before, but it is so huge. So much of life is formed in how we choose in our head to see it.
So minimalism or simple living is having less stuff right? Society tries very hard to make us feel like we don’t have enough stuff and tries to makes us want to buy more and more. This isn’t evil, it makes tones of economic sense, I just don’t want to follow it.
The way to combat the feeling of needing more and more stuff is to really focus on being thankful for what I have. What I have is a gift. I didn’t deserve it but I want to manage and make the most of it.
I wanted to focus a bit on what I am thankful for. Your list is probably a bit different, but I bet we have lots of the same things. (sorry, kinda on a list kick from last Wed still)
I am thankful for:
Life, all 31 years
Health, not always the best, but sure could be far worse
An amazing husband who is teaching me how to love and that I am valued
Energetic, healthy, and smart kids
Enough money in the bank to not worry about buying groceries
Almost being out of debt (we have been working hard at paying off the Prius)
The ability to read and the incredible amount of books available
The chance and finances to stay home with my kids and home school them
Modern medicine and the preventative health information to use it as little as possible
Caffeine free coffee (I can’t handle the caffeine, wigs me out, but I love the taste)
Olives… ok, I should probably just put great food or this list could really get long
Sunny days, and hot summer days, and a south facing apartment
Mostly consistent work since we became self-employed over 4 years ago
A God who loves and has saved me
Our minimalism journey which makes it much easier to clean, find things and/or move
Awesome garage sales and Craigslist to both sell what we don’t need anymore and get things we do
Blogging, the fun people I have gotten to know through it, and the challenging process of learning how to do it
Sleep…. my favorite hobby
Facebook and the fact that I have caught up with almost everyone I ever knew in the last few years… and the ability to take my time back and not spend near as much time on it as I have been.
Brown paper packages and whiskers on kittens
Early bedtimes and quiet evenings
…..my need to finish off a list with a nice round number like 25.
What does your list look like? I dare you to make on–just making one makes the day feel better.
I was so excited to find these guys and their blog!
This is a pic of the couple (taken from their website with permission)
In their own words:
We are a recovering, 40-year-old, Type-A couple who learned that living large is not necessarily living well. We did all the typical things people do in their 20s and 30s: climb the corporate ladder, get married, buy a house, get divorced, climb the ladder some more, get married again, accumulate more crap, and keep repeating the process like hamsters on a wheel.
We were in love with each other but not with our lives.
After a serious wakeup call, we decided to focus on what matters and get rid of everything else.
What we kept:
A sense of adventure
What we trashed:
Everything that would not fit into our backpacks
Living by someone else’s rules
Debt and obligation
What do you get when you do the math from that equation? An open-ended trip around the world.
How cool is that! Check out their blog and follow it with me (if you aren’t already… because they are so cool).
They are living their dream. Your dream might not be travel, but as long as your dream includes something beyond the treadmill of the familiar and easy, these guys have hints, tips and even a BOOK to help you. I really like these guys because my dream is travel too.
I read their book in the past few days and really enjoyed it! It is practical and fun.
Do you have a favorite blog or your own blog you would like to share?
The air is turning colder. I hate cold… and I live in Nebraska The one redeeming quality of the cold (besides Christmas and Thanksgiving) is the excuse for more fancy coffee drinks.
A friend sent me this link a few weeks ago… and I have fully tested it Here is the original link. (lots more fancy pictures with her post)
Here’s what you need:
1 cup milk (soy, almond, rice, .. I tried coconut because it was all we had once and it wasn’t good)
1/4 cup or more canned pumpkin*
2 tsp pumpkin spice or to taste
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
sweetener – sugar etc. I used honey. At least 2 tbsp
optional gara masala or ginger (super good, I would recommend)
*get the real thing, cut it in half, clean out the seeds and bake cut side down in a casserole dish with some water on the bottom. After baking it is much easier to peel and work with. I didn’t do it this year, but have in the past. Freeze the extra… for more coffee drinks next month.
This batch turned out a bit spicy, so if yours doesn’t look this spiced it is probably fine too.
Ok, blend all these up in the blender. Pour half of it into a cup (the cup should be about half full). Warm the mixture for about 1 to 1 1/2 minutes in the microwave. Pour coffee over the mixture until cup is full. You can sprinkle cinnamon or add a cinnamon stick to really make it feel fancy
The recipe serves 2 people (or you twice)
Here is Brenda trying it out. It is good to have brave friends
This past sunday the kids went to play at grandma’s for the day and Bryon and I wandered kid-less for a few hours downtown. These are some of the pictures he took.
I want to start off by saying that in no way am I saying that anyone needs to be more than a mom to be fulfilled. I am a stay-at-home mom. I am also not saying that being a mom isn’t super important to me. It is my biggest responsibility and my greatest job.
That being said, I am more than a mom.
Becoming a mom is the single largest identity change. Graduating from college, getting married, getting the corner office, none of these are close to the social change that comes from becoming a mother. (probably the biggest personal and physical change too)
I was someone before I had kids, and I will be someone after they leave home. I want my life and how I see myself as well as others and society to remember that identity.
I am not talking about doing, this isn’t a post about working or non-working mom’s, I am talking about who I am.
Sure the world is going to end, but convinced I need to trust God and enjoy life, only dealing with what can make a difference and not stressing about what I can’t change… or packing cans in the basement. … this isn’t a problem we can work out or plan for beyond staying close to Jesus.
Accepting of others but unsure how to culturally meet several
Live life in fast/happy or slow/sad swing
Don’t watch TV or movies much, I get too emotionally drained
Don’t watch or read the news (see #15)
Believe that most of life is what we create, how we respond and what glasses we choose to look through
Not near as strong or healthy as I wish I was, but determined to keep working on it
I don’t spell very whell
Have been in 7 countries and really hope to multiply that by 10 or so if I get the chance
Love my life
In love with my husband more than when we were married
Really this is a post about stereotypes (motherhood is just the big one I see everyday). It is hard with human nature to look beyond them. But, I am learning the joy of taking the time to look past the outside and obvious parts of a person and finding some of their true self. Often, even though the outside/obvious person doesn’t seem similar or have ‘friend potential’, the inside has pieces identical to mine.
Kive is a super cool organization. I have ment to loan to them for well over a year, but finally got to it today. I have given to this lady to help her with her dairy business.
As I am typing this I am realizing that it is probably kind of strange for me to be giving her money for a dairy business when I am trying to be vegan . I liked her and I liked the fact that she had been already working for a while and her motivation was established. I like that this is helping her become self-sufficient and my money has the potential to change her life as well as years down the line to her kids and grandkids. Dairy doesn’t have the same animal cruelty issues in other countries and its high calorie content is much more needed. There is lots more projects and stories.
We are a non-profit organization with a mission to connect people through lending to alleviate poverty. Leveraging the internet and a worldwide network of microfinance institutions, Kiva lets individuals lend as little as $25 to help create opportunity around the world. Learn more about how it works.
Since Kiva was founded in 2005:
633,471 Kiva lenders
$252 million in loans
98.90% Repayment rate
We work with:
143 Field Partners
450 volunteers around the world
60 different countries
Why we do what we do
We envision a world where all people – even in the most remote areas of the globe – hold the power to create opportunity for themselves and others.
We believe providing safe, affordable access to capital to those in need helps people create better lives for themselves and their families.
How we do it
Making a loan on Kiva is so simple that you may not realize how much work goes on behind the scenes.
Kiva works with microfinance institutions on five continents to provide loans to people without access to traditional banking systems. One hundred percent of your loan is sent to these microfinance institutions, which we call Field Partners, who administer the loans in the field.
Kiva relies on a world wide network of over 450 volunteers who work with our Field Partners, edit and translate borrower stories, and ensure the smooth operation of countless other Kiva programs.
I would like to think I live big. I also live small.
Let me explain. Within my grasp of walking or driving I have access to a nice pool, several parks, shops, a great library and even a world class zoo. The great thing is that I don’t have to pay to maintain any of it. (The small membership fee for the zoo is nothing compared to what we get)
Our living is much bigger, smaller:
First off the library. Sure we used our local branch on the edge of town, but we also housed several hundred books in the house. Our whole family are readers (now even my 4 year old, I am so proud). They usually didn’t cost much, especially the kids books because we got them at garage sale or gifts. What they did cost was space and clean up time. The kids had books all over their rooms and playroom all the time! My son would also come into my room and clean off my book shelf. We got rid of over 90% of them. As a family we have access to 160 books at a time from the library, and it is only a mile away. Sure, we still have piles at the house, but they are smaller piles and they are different books every week.
That stack of books next to Lily.. that is just her getting started
Here is Ian showing me what books he wants to look for.
Second the pool. I really wanted to make sure my kids learned to swim a few year ago, and they need practice a well as swim lessons so we got a 15′ above ground pool for the back yard. We spent hours trying to get that thing to work. Our first problem was that the yard had a gradual slope so we went at it with shovels. We ended up with a hole in the yard and it was still not flat. Second, I hated messing with chemicals. Third, we couldn’t keep the leaves out of it. Fourth, it was cold…. you get the idea. Now we have an awesome warm, clean, indoor pool and hot tub at our apartment without even a gym membership cost. Even if we needed to pay a gym membership it would be less money and stress than all that maintenance.
Just in the last week he has been practicing without his life jacket. He can’t really touch that well, even in the shallow end. He is a nut though. He has been practicing with the jacket so well that when we took it off he could swim about 10 feet on his own.
Lily is a fish, she spends more time under the water than above it.
Third the parks. We had a gym set in the back yard for the kids… we got it for free and we gave it away for free… it wasn’t that great. Now we have a few parks within walking distance and some really good ones just a short drive away. The great part for the kids is that they even come with playmates most days.
Lily at the park
Forth, we are much closer now to the zoo and stores which saves time and gas.
I thought this looked cute. Looks like he is trying to get the tiger to bite his ear, but he is probably just trying to hide behind it as soon as daddy pulled out the camera.
Both kids love bounce houses. This one was set up at the zoo when we went.
Fifth the yard care. With the apartment I have no yard maintainance …except throwing out the dead plants off my porch (my thumb isn’t as green as I want it to be).
When I look at this list it and remember all the work we did it makes me tired…. it represents so much time and work I put into bringing the world to us when it wasn’t all that far away.
Many people have asked me how we can manage to live in such a small place, and this is really the reason. In our bigger ‘real’ house we still had the same access, but we didn’t go out and take advantage of it as much. Now when we do go play, or sit down and read, or swim it is way easier and much better.
I wanted to share a recipe for cake. I know this is under ‘Simple Eating’, but trust me… this sure isn’t hard. Really I think it is a great shame that we have box cakes. I think they taste yucky and, because of them, most people have never tried to make a cake from scratch or are afraid to try.
Trust me, it isn’t hard and it is sooo worth it. Not only does it taste better it is healthier and there is no goofy, fake ingredients in it. I will walk you through it, we will do it together
This recipe started from Better Homes and Gardens New Baking book… and I have adapted to make it vegan and healthier.
First assemble the ingredients and set oven to 375 degrees.
1 cup unbleached white flour
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp flax seeds ground
1/4 cup oil (I use canola)
1 1/2 cups sugar (you can use brown or other natural sugars or use less than this if you want)
2 tsp vanilla
1 3/4 cups milk (soy, almond, rice, whatever your prefer)
Next put some oil on the pan and then dust flour over the oil (I used some butter… sorry to the die hard vegans, it works fine without it, it was just what I grabbed). Put about 1 tbsp of white flour in the pan and then shake it around till it covers bottom and sides and then dump out the extra.
Not a very exciting picture… but you get the idea.
Next mix the dry ingredients. This is the flours, baking powder, salt and ground flax seed (not the sugar…even though it is dry).
Next, in another bowl mix the sugar, oil and vanilla.
Measure out the milk and add about 1/2 cup to mixture to make it runny (as shown above).
Alternate adding about about 1/2 to 1 cup of dry ingredients and mixing and then adding some milk to thin it back out until all the dry and milk are mixed in. Milk, mix, dry, mix, repeat.
Then divide into the two cake pans. Let mixture sit for 15 minutes. This lets the whole wheat flour soak up some moisture.
Bake at 375 degrees for about 30 minutes or until the toothpick inserted comes out clean or you tap it on the top and it is firm.
Let cool for 10 minutes and then pull out of pans.
There you have it. Isn’t it beautiful! And the house now smells awesome. You have now done what an embarrassingly small percent of women ever try, you have successfully baked a cake from scratch.
Let it cool for an hour or more and then you are ready to frost. This recipe can also be made into cupcakes, it only takes about 20 minutes (or less so watch them close) to bake them.
Ok, so I cheated here too. I frosted it with whipped cream. I really dislike the super sweet gritty frosting and really like the whipped cream taste with the yellow cake. Maybe sometime I will make up my chocolate version, I have a good vegan chocolate frosting that is super good. This cake was for Grandma’s birthday. Happy Birthday Grandma!
For this post I wanted to get pictures of our feet representing how we need to focus on where we are at presently. I love these shoes of Lily’s. It was cold and getting dark so she wouldn’t take off her socks like I wanted.
I am excited to write this post. This is something that God has probably been trying to teach me for years, but it is only now that I am really ready to understand and rest in it.
I want to work for God. I want to make a difference in my world. I have spent most of my adult life trying to figure out how I can achieve this. As a family we have looked at lots of mission calls, and lots of ‘mission’ jobs here at home. I read about people helping orphans or doing relief work and I want to be part of it.
My boy will take off his shoes and socks and play in the grass no matter how cold it is outside
For all these years it has never worked out. I am ok with that and assume God has something else we are supposed to do, but I am always looking, always wanting the ‘change’ to ‘true’ service for God. I completely understand that my family and my kids are my ministry, but there is so much pain and hurt in the world I want to try and help.
The problem with always looking for ‘the call’ is that I am living in the future. I am focused on what I could do, or what I might be called to do, and everything I am doing now has just been a time filler till something else.
What I have discovered is that this is dangerous for both my sanity and simplicity, as well as my position and relationship with God.
My husband never takes off his shoes, here he is standing on the slide at the park. Thanks for playing along baby!
A common saying in our culture is ‘Don’t just stand there, do something’. God however calls us to ‘Don’t just do something, stand there and focus on me’
We try so hard to work for God that we don’t have a chance to know God. And, if we don’t know Him, how can we really know what He wants us to do?
We learn about God, and we grow to want to serve Him, but all to often, we jump from one to the other without getting to know Him in the middle. Once we fill our life with lots of ‘good-God-work’ we don’t have the time to ‘Be still, and know that I am God’ Ps 46:10
Here are my feet with my home-done toes. I love red! Usually looks better from a distance… up close they look pretty messy.
So What Does It All Mean?
Our society has us living in the future… when I get past this busy time at work…. after the kids get potty trained…. after I get at least one good night sleep…. when I am finally out of debt…., and I was taking the same problem to my spiritual life.
We have to live in the present. Live in the present with our kids, our finances, our life, and our God. It is a simple law of biology and physics, there is only mental energy and time for the present.
God wants my worship and service today, maybe just this hour or this minute. It isn’t that we shouldn’t wish to make a difference for Him, it is that we need to focus on what He wants us to do now.