Friday, May 27, 2011

Phase 3: Homemade Green Products and Other Updates

Alright, are you ready for tons of updates? Here we go!

Me and a few friends got together the other night and made our own laundry soap. I have tried it a few times and it seems to work. I will test it on Chris' socks today. If they still smell, it's not strong enough...sorry Chris. Here is the recipe we made. The only change I made is that I only used one bar of Dr. Bronners soap. I'll keep you posted on the cleanliness of our clothes. I'll be line drying our clothes soon soon as Chris builds the, uh...lines. Is that the right word?

Isn't it lovely? You only use 2 tablespoons per load!

Secondly, I made my own deodorant. For weeks I have been only using coconut oil...and then Texas summer hit. And, basically, I just got tired of smelling myself. (TMI?) So, I tried this recipe. So far, it totally works! I'll update you on how it holds up to the rest of the summer...or if Chris starts complaining.

It smells like coconuts!

And, are you ready for this??? I successfully baked bread!! WOO HOO! AND Chris and Ramona liked it! Here is the recipe I used. I, also, used her tip on substituting 2 cups of ground oats for 2 cups of wheat flower. I'm going to try my bread machine today and see if it makes a good loaf. Hopefully it works for those weeks when I don't have alot of bread kneading time.

They didn't rise very high. But they tasted GOOD.

And my CSA box came in! Here are a few meals we made with the veggies.

Tomato, Fresh Mozzarella and Basil Salad...YUM.

Homemade Pizza with Whole Wheat Crust and Veggies. I meant to take the picture before we ate it. But I was too hungry.

And now, an update on the kiddos! Max is growing up super fast. He just learned how to dance and he's got some moves! Mainly jazz hands and popping his torso up and down. He also might have said his first word. He says "Dada" all the time. But I'm convinced it's when Chris is in the room. Still no "mama". But he does say "nana" to Ramona and Nanna. Whatever, Max, I only gave you life!!! Take your sweet time learning "mama".

He is my little eater. He tries everything I put in front of him. I love it!

Ramona is super helpful with Max. We are finally to the point where they can play together and do for hours!! This is the dream, people! It is actually harder when Ramona is napping and Max is not. She is so helpful with him. She is constantly watching to make sure he doesn't crawl anywhere dangerous or put anything small in his mouth. Which is apparently his main goal in life.
She is totally into braids right now. It's so cute!

That's it for now. I'll hopefully have a garden update soon. Several of the plants are dead. It's TOO HOT! But we do have a mystery plant spreading around the garden. Hopefully it's not a weed. DANG! I need to go water it now. See ya later!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Ramona wants a Pet

Here's how that conversation went:

Ramona: I want a pet!
Me and Chris: No
Ramona: I want a puppy!
Me and Chris: No
Ramona: I want a kitty cat!
Me and Chris: No
Ramona: I want a princess!
Me and Chris: Ha! We already have a princess.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A Typical Shower for a Stay at Home Mom

(I put Max in the jump-a-roo in the doorway of the bathroom)
Me: Ok, Ramona, I'm going to take a quick shower.

Ramona: Can I watch?
Me: Uh...No.

(I quickly prepare to get in the shower. Turning on water, grabbing a towel, etc...)

Ramona: Why are you naked?
Me: you shower with your clothes on?
Ramona: No.
Me: Well, neither do I!

(Start washing hair...)

Ramona: (Pulls aside the curtain) Mom, I'm hungry!
Me: Ok, you will have to wait until I get out.

(I attempt to soap up...Max starts crying)

Ramona: (Pulls aside the curtain) Mom, Max is crying! Hey, I can see your booty!
Me: Ha! Well, I'm in the shower.

(Start to shave legs...Max stops crying.)

Ramona: (Pulls aside the curtain) Mom, Max stopped crying!
Me: Ok, good! I'm almost done.

(Wash out conditioner)


(Turn off shower, start drying off...)

Ramona: Hey, you're naked!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Mr. Congeniality

Max is all smiles right now.
He just loves showing off his teeth!

Ramona was all jazzed up about starting a garden! Here she is sporting the latest fashions in gardening footwear in JoAnn's Fabrics. (The rest of the outfit is not a costume. Just her everday wear.)

We tried out a new cookie recipe and substitued the flour for whole wheat.
They turned out great! They earned Ramona's seal of approval, at least.

And here's the healthy rundown for the week:

1. We picked up our first CSA box today! It was so exciting. Justine (my shopping buddy) and I picked it up from the Farmer's Market and headed straight to Sprouts. We, of course, lost track of time and totally missed our husbands and the rest of the band playing their first Wednesday night at church as the worship band for the youth group. Dang Sprouts and it's organic food time warp!

2. I tried cloth diapers. They were totally fine! I researched and emailed like crazy trying to find good deals on used ones (don't gross out, it's totally normal) and no luck. So, I think I'm just going to stick with plain ol' HEB brand diapers. Maybe I'll stumble onto a good deal one day. (Alyssa, I need to give you your loaners back. Thanks for letting me try them!)

3. It still remains to be seen if the garden is going to do well...more on that in the weeks to come.

Next week...making my own laundry detergent, visiting a dairy farm and the challenge of using up my CSA box with a carnivore husband.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Phase 2: The Garden

I was a busy bee this week trying out new recipes and working in the yard. My first project was to bake whole wheat bread. Umm...I did something wrong.

Here's a "before" picture. I have visions of lovely, giant, fluffy, tasty bread.

Here's the "after". Two bricks that did NOT rise.

But, I didn't let that stop me. I went to Facebook and sought advice on how to salvage this bread. The whole point of baking my own is to save money. So, I was not going to waste these two loafs. I got creative and improvised a bread pudding recipe. I served it to my husband, daughter and in-laws....and...BOMB! Then I thought, "Maybe, I'll make breadcrumbs!" But, who am I kidding? Those loafs live in the trash now. But I DID make a successful batch of granola. I over cooked it a little so the granola BARS, they were supposed to be, were just crumbled into plain ol' granola. I took that recipe and added raisins. Very tasty! I'm not too discouraged, it was my first try at a yeast bread.

So, the big news is that I have begun Phase 2 of the hippy movement. The fruit and veggie garden! My friend, Justine, whipped me into shape and did some research and shopping to get our garden together. She is also on the road to hippyville so we decided to cultivate our green thumbs together. We are late in the season, so we could not plant our long list of veggies and settled with the following:

1. Watermelon
2. Strawberries
3. Green peppers (possibly some red ones too!)
4. Tomatoes
5. Bush Beans
6. Mint
7. I'm forgetting one, I think....Justine, help me out here.

Not too shabby, if I do say so myself!

We finished the day with some hilarious stories. Including myself almost falling into the muddy garden in a cartoon-like fashion. Complete with me yelling, "Whoa...Whoa!!" Then, of course, there was the make-shift fence we patched together to keep the rabbits out only to find out that it would NOT keep out the rabbits. I'll tear if down later. If you're lucky I'll snap a picture first.

What's next?
1. Our CSA box is on the way! Hopefully, our paperwork will go through and we can start our bi-weekly pick-ups next Wednesday.
2. A side of cow is in the works. We will be ordering a side of grass-fed beef from a farm in Smithville, TX and splitting it with 3 or 4 other families. It comes out to $4 a pound. Which is MUCH better than the $7 a pound you can buy it for in the stores.
3. Buying raw Texas honey in bulk via a co-op. (Also, much cheaper!)
4. Finding a good source for Fair Trade coffee and chocolate.
5. Visiting a local dairy to find out more about raw milk.

It all seems a little overwhelming, but Justine has jumped in with both feet to help out with the research and shopping. Which is a HUGE help, since I have two little ones scrambling around. We have big plans to have weekly meal planning and shopping trips to Sprouts together. I'm so excited! If you are planning a healthy overhaul in your life, my one recommendation is: Find a buddy!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Coconut Oil...Who Knew?!?

Nutiva Certified Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil

A "hippy product" came in the mail for me yesterday! And I LOVE it already. I ordered a huge vat of coconut oil from here. Why? Well, let me introduce you to the many hats of Mr. Coconut Oil:
1. Moisturizer (face, body, lips)
2. Conditioner (gets rid of dandruff)
3. Cooking Oil (It's REALLY healthy! I'm talkin' improves your metabolism and your thyroid function. What?!?)
4. Bath oil
5. Protectant and healing for cuts

The list goes on and on. But that sold me! And it smells yummy.

I have also been using several other "hippy" products:
1. Dr. Bronners Magic Soap - It's an all in one cleanser. It can also be used as a base for detergents. (He looks SUPER creepy. Do not let that deter you.) I can already tell that this one bottle I bought will last a long time. I use a little to wash my face and as a body soap. I might try washing my hair with it and use the coconut oil as a conditioner when my Dove runs out.

2. I also bought an all natural deodorant...I'm not a fan. I think it makes me smell worse. I'll have to keep experimenting with that area.

3. In the short week or so that I've been trying to eat more organic foods I have seen a noticeable difference. (My skinny jeans fit!) I feel better, healthier. And when I eat unhealthy foods I feel heavy and gross. Also, it doesn't taste that great! Yesterday I took a bite of Ramona's grilled cheese at a restaurant for lunch. Instant regret! I wanted to spit it out, it was so gross. That's the last time I'll order that for her.

I think that's all so far. My next projects are making my own laundry detergent and line drying our clothes. Also, I'm going to try cloth diapers...we'll see how that turns out!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Hello, Lady!

Max and Ramona LOVE getting balloons at HEB.
He's having sweet balloon dreams!

I glanced in the back seat the other day and this is what I saw.
They held hands all the way to the doctor's office for Max's 9 month well check.

Max is an army-crawling fool.
But he is unsure of how to get out of this predicament.

I found this "treasure" as Ramona calls it at Goodwill a couple of weeks ago. Now everywhere we go she has her eyes glued to the ground lookin' for more pennies.

She's the silliest goose I know. She's making the pig say, "cheese". You might notice me in the background doing the same thing. I wonder where she gets it?!?

She's in her room right now "resting" and singing at the top of her lungs, "London bridges falling down, falling down, falling down. London bridges falling down. Hello, Lady!"

I love my silly kids!