Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Toiletries out of your pantry

Ok, I know the title is a little odd but did you know you could make face wash from some things you have in your refrigerator and pantry? This is really good for two reasons. One, it's much cheaper and two, have you ever read the ingredients list on your face wash? Do you really want all of that junk on your face? Have you ever run out of face wash or toothpaste and forget to buy more?  Read on then.

My face wash:
I don't remember the last time I bought face wash, moisturizer or a scrub.
I have oily skin so I mix equal parts of yogurt and lemon juice, stir until it gets smooth again and apply to my face with a cotton ball or a couple squares of toilet paper. I don't leave it on long, usually enough time to take the yogurt mix back to the fridge. I just wipe it off gently with warm water. The lemon kills the bacteria and the yogurt moisturizes (no need to buy moisturizer). The lemon is also helping the red acne scars on my face fade. I don't mix much, usually enough for two or three face washings and I keep it in the fridge.

I do not buy eye make up remover. I gently and carefully wipe olive oil on my eye lids and lashes and wipe it off with a cotton ball. You don't have to make sure to get all of the oil off because it will act as a moisturizer on your eyes and NO, olive oil won't clog your skin. If you've ever read the book of Esther in the Bible, you'll see that the women bathed in oil and had oil treatments. Considering they were in an area that grew olives the way we grow oranges in Florida, I'm willing to bet it was olive oil.

While we are on the subject of olive oil lets talk about my facial scrub. Pour just a tiny bit of olive oil on your hands and rub it onto your face and down your neck. Then, with oil still on your hands, dip your hands into sugar and rub the sugar all over your face. Make sure every area of your face has been rubbed about 30 seconds. Please be careful around your eyes. Also since this is food, I will wash the face yuck off my hands and rub some sugar on my lips to ex-foliate them. Carefully wipe most of the sugar off your face and rinse the rest off in the shower. I take a shower right after this because I almost always get some sugar in my hair.

In a pinch you can mix baking soda and peroxide together to make a paste. Honestly, this is what most whitening toothpastes are made of any way, they just add mint and sugar to make it taste good.

Shampoo and conditioner:
When you run out of shampoo, or gone to take a shower only to find out your child has pumped all of your shampoo into the bath tub so he can have a bubble bath you don't have to skip the hair wash. Mix a teaspoon or so of baking soda and mix with some water (1/2 a cup or so) and rub that into your hair, then rinse.
For conditioner use about a half a cup of vinegar and half a cup of water, pour onto your hair and then rinse well. I usually do the conditioner rinse about once a week any way because it takes out all of the product and residue left over by shampoo or conditioner.

Shaving product:
You can use olive oil to shave your legs. I've done it a couple of times it makes your legs feel fantastic! If you want to use it all the time, I would add some tea tree oil for antiseptic reasons.

Body Moisturizer:
Once again, olive oil. After your shower just put it on. If you do it when you are a little wet, it doesn't feel as "oily".  I don't do this very often either, when I really want to feel like a princess.

@@@@@ If you are allergic to ANY of the ingrediants, please don't do this. AKA, I'm not responsible for allergic reactions.@@@@@

Even tho Esther did not want to be in that palace, I have to think that she felt amazing after bathing in olive oil. I hope you feel like the princess you are too.

** Esther is the story of a common Jewish woman who was chosen to become a queen against her will. While she was queen, her husband decided to kill all Jews (he didn't know Esther was Jewish) and Esther stepped up, put her own life on the line save her people. Her story can be found in the Bible, the book of Esther.**


"If you keep quiet at such a time as this, deliverance and  relief for the Jews will come from somewhere else, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows, perhaps you were made queen for such a time as this."

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The prayers of a child.

Something really cool happened the last night while I was putting Nick to bed.

Every night since the day he was born we have said night time prayers with our son. Just a simple little prayer:
"Thank You for today, Thank You for letting me play. Help me get a good night sleep so I can play tomorrow."
Short, sweet, to the point and NOT "Now I lay me down to sleep..." I really don't like that prayer.

But over the last few months, now that he's three, we have been letting him say his own prayers. He does a pretty good job for a three-year-old. He doesn't really thank God for the day any more usually things that are on his mind. His bear, his bath, we saw the space shuttle go up on Monday so lately he thanks God for the space ship and always, always "thank You for Mrs. Julie" his Sunday School teacher. After all this is done, with out fail he will say "and thank You God for good night sleep so I can play tomorrow."

I've never corrected him before and I've never thought much about what he was saying. He's done this for a few months now and it only struck me last night.  As I was opening my mouth to correct him it was as if the Spirit came on me to tell me to shut up.

How many times do we ask God to do something and still have a faint shadow of doubt that it will happen? More than we would like to admit, I'm sure. Last night it felt to me as if my son was so sure that God was going to give him a good night sleep that he was already thanking God for it.  How cool is that?

How many times do we ask God for something with such confidence that we thank Him as we ask him?

OK, I know that God is not going to answer every prayer, I know that not every prayer is Biblically sound. I would not expect God to say yes to a prayer that says, "God, I really want that (insert sports car here) cause I know I will get the girls, Thank You."  Some prayers that may seem good and Holy may not be answered with a yes. David wanted to build a temple for God (good and holy). God said no. Maybe, just maybe, someone will hear about God because you were in a car accident or your car broke down on that road trip you prayed for travelling mercies on. (Blame Francis Chan "Crazy Love" for that one.)

I would feel confident, however, praying like this, "God, thank You that tomorrow You will help me be more like You and show Your love to my neighbors. Thank You that tomorrow You will show me how to manage Your money in a way that is pleasing to You. Thank You that tomorrow You will help me be a more Godly mother, wife, in-law, daughter."

James 1:6-7 says "But when you ask Him be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waiver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave on the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect anything from the Lord."  Ok, it DOES refer to asking for wisdom (James 1:5), but I think that asking for help being a better steward of the things (money, home, family, neighbors) counts as asking for wisdom.

Nick probably doesn't realize what he is praying, he probably doesn't realize he is misquoting the prayer he has heard every night of his life. Regardless, it spoke to me, made me think and maybe it will make you think.

** This is an after thought, the post was published 20 minutes ago. Was this what Paul meant when he wrote "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything in prayer and petition, with thanksgiving present your requests to God." Phil 4:6**


"I will hide Your word in my heart so that I might not sin against You." Psalm 119:11

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Apologies...

Hi readers- the few that are left after my hiatus. I do apologize for the long stint of silence, I promise I haven't abandoned you. I have had zero energy over the past two weeks. I think it has to do with the fact that after I quit my job I just threw myself into catching up on all the housework that didn't get done while I was working. I feel like I haven't stopped moving from my last day of work until two weeks ago.

I have to be honest, it does feel good to only do the necessary. Well I did go thru Nick's toys and clothes last week, the only NOT necessary thing that has gotten done. But I have thoroughly enjoyed being lazy for a while.

Next week tho, I have to get it in gear and DO things, maybe that's when I'll start my herb garden. I want to grow mint, rosemary, basil and oregano. Christian is Italian so there will be no herb garden on our property that does not include that staple Italian herb. =)

I'm also starting to miss the country. I grew up on a small farm with lots of room to run around, lots of sun and a lot of privacy. We've lived in the country for about 18 months now and it's the longest I have lived away from my childhood playground. My back yard gets some sun but not nearly as much as I would like, especially for line drying clothes. I would like to grow tomatoes and peppers as well but the same question arises, where is there enough sun? It's also hard to remember to have the blinds down or curtains pulled before I changes clothes. Oh the things you take for granted...

Any way, just some ramblings for today, I am going to be better about writing on  a schedule and posting regularly.

"I (GOD) am with you and will keep watch over you where ever you go." Genesis 28:15

Friday, May 6, 2011

Home made leather cleaner

For several years Christian and I lived with family and much of our stuff was in storage, this included Christian’s golf bag.  When we moved to our current apartment we noticed that the bag looked mildewy and dry. To be completely honest, it looked disgusting.  So we did what any normal people would do. We stuck it in a closet and tried to pretend it wasn’t there.

It worked too, well that was until Christian and a friend of his decided to go golfing a few weeks ago. We pulled the long forgotten golf bag out of the corner of the closet and quickly decided that it was not fit to take golfing.

I knew that vinegar would clean mildew off leather. I also knew it would dry out leather. So I did some research on how to clean leather and found this super simple recipe.

1 part vinegar and 3 parts olive oil.  It couldn’t be easier. All you do is dip a rag into the mixture wring it out so it’s not dripping and wipe down whatever you are cleaning. Use a clean rag to wipe off the excess oil.

I don’t remember what blog I found this recipe on (sorry to that author) however, that person said they use it to clean their leather couch. I am sure you could use it to clean jackets, car seats.

It was amazing the difference it made in Christian’s golf bag! It looks brand new now. I did have to wipe it down twice because it was so dry. The leather licked up the oil in no time. I hope you don’t have anything in your house as gross as the golf bag, but if you do, you now have the knowledge to make it look brand new again.

So I hope I didn’t embarrass Christian too badly. If I go missing in the next few days, you’ll know why.  =)  As always, your comments and suggestions on improvements are always welcome. 

Happy polishing!

"Then they (older women) can train the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind and to be subject to their husbands so that no one will malign the word of God." Titus 2:4-5

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Instant Oatmeal Packs (update)

This was posted as a Facebook note several weeks ago, I thought I would share it on the blog.

Nick LOOOVES oatmeal, he'll eat two packets a day. But have you bought a box of Quaker instant oatmeal lately? It's usually $3-$4 for a box of 10 (which might last us a week).  I try to buy it on sale but we have a tiny apartment and I can't buy enough and store it for the two to three months it takes for the sale cycle to repeat itself.

That being said, I was doing some research on freezable foods and came across this recipe on It is for make your own instant oatmeal packs. I found it today so I haven't had a chance to try it out yet, but we are coming to the end of our current, and last, box of Quaker so I thought I would give it a try.

If you decide to try it, let me know what you or your kids think.

Oatmeal Packets Recipe

1 large canister quick oats
1 large canister rolled oats
1/8 cup cinnamon
2 cups flax seed, ground (optional)
1 box of snack-sized zip-top baggies
Mix rolled oats, quick oats and cinnamon together in a large bowl. Take 2 cups of mixture and grind it in a blender or food processor until it becomes powder-like.
Set up an assembly line with a small bowl of the ground flax seed, a small bowl of the ground oat mixture and the large bowl of oats. Take a baggie and put in 1/8 cup flax seed, 1/8 cup ground oats and ¾ cup oat mixture. Seal the baggie.
Repeat until you’ve successfully filled all your baggies.
To prepare, add ½ to ¾ cup boiling water and stir. Top with dried fruit, nuts or sweetener of your choice.
If you add in the ground flax seed, you’ll want to store in an airtight container in the refrigerator or freezer and use within 1-2 months to prevent the flax seed from going rancid.

Since this was posted on Facebook I have used several of the packets. Nick absolutely loves them. I did not put the flax in it. I do have to add a heaping teaspoon of brown sugar to make it taste good. I didn't add sugar at first and I tasted it-Seriously gross. Nick also likes to add raisins to his oatmeal. This recipe makes about twice as much as one packet of store bought oatmeal so he normally eats only one packet as opposed to his 2-3 store bought packs.
I really like this too. I have always loved instant oatmeal and I would eat real oatmeal but I never really liked the texture. This recipe has the taste of real oatmeal but the texture of instant packets. Win Win!
Let me know if you like this or not and let me know if you have any ideas on how to improve this/things to add to it.

Happy breakfasting!!