Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Green in '14

For the past 8 years or so, I've wanted to make some major changes with our lifestyle.  I've made small changes before but they seemed to never stick.  A part of my problem was that I was on my own with these changes.  It's very hard to make changes for an entire family, whether good or bad, with only one person.

After doing some reading and research, my sweet husband is finally on board!  I can't tell you how excited I am for this and what it's going to do for my family.

My goal and challenge for this coming year is to get rid of all the chemicals, preservatives, and junk that fills our lives.  This is no easy task and not a cheap one either.  At least with some of the items that we will be purchasing.

Our plan is to replace household items with safer alternatives as we run out.  We've already changed toothpaste, body wash, shampoo and conditioners.  We still have many more items to change out.

Here are the things that we have changed:

Ed went with a natural toothpaste from a local health foods store.  It's a nice option but also pricey.  It was about $4 for a single tube.

To save money, I made toothpaste.  It taste a lot like baking soda and Ed said that my breath, though did not stink, smelled like oil.
                                     To make homemade natural toothpaste
                                      mix together- 1/4 c baking soda, 1/4 c organic coconut oil, 1 T sea salt, few drops                                       peppermint oil.

Body Wash:
We picked up some Dr. Bronners soap and Ed really likes it.  I still have some of my body wash/soap to use up before I switch over.

Shampoo & Condition:
Ed is using the Dr. Bronners soap to also wash his hair and for shaving.  I'm a bit more leery to wash my hair with an all purpose soap.  I guess I really won't know unless I try it. I opted for a homemade shampoo and conditioner.

                                     For the shampoo
                                     Mix together 1 T baking soda, 2 cups water, 10 drops essential oil of your choice.
                                     After wetting your hair in the shower, put the mixture on and work through your                                            hair.  I had a large measuring cup that I used but I think a squeeze bottle would be                                        easier to use.  Some websites say to use 1 part baking soda to 3 parts water.  I                                            think this will be an experiment until I get the amount that my hair needs.

I used it for the first time today and was surprised.  I thought that it would be hard to work through my hair or that it would be full of tangles.  I was told that there will be a few weeks for your hair to adjust to this and that it will probably feel differently the second time that I use it.  

                                    For the conditioner
                                    Mix together 2 T apple cider vinegar, 2 cups water, 10 drops essential oil of your                                         choice.  Work through hair.  I let it sit on my hair while I washed my body.  Rinse                                         with cold water.

Friday, December 20, 2013


This week Ed officially finished his coursework for his Master's degree in City & Metropolitan Planning.  This has been a long process which I am grateful for.  After his coursework all that he has to finish is his professional project which is like a Master's thesis.  He plans on walking in May and graduating shortly after.

Living here has been a huge sacrifice.  It hasn't been easy but I can't help but feel this has been a blessing.  I've learned so much through this experience.  It has humbled me greatly.  I do look forward to this ending.

Christmas is next week.  I love this time of year when I can celebrate my Savior's birth.  I cherish the time I have with my family.  We're keeping it simple this year; there isn't much that we can do on our college student income.  Even with it simple, I'm excited to see my children enjoy Christmas morning.

I've been aching for trip.  It's been two years since our last trip when we went to Venezuela and Aruba.  I have planned several trips over the last 24 months knowing that they won't happen; at least not now.  Depending on my mood or what we're studying in homeschool determines where we're going next.

Ezra is starting to sleep a little better at night.  Naps are going well with a good schedule.  He is taking a 1 to 2 hour nap in the morning and then a 1 to 2 hour nap in the afternoon.  My poor system is messed up though.  I wake up every hour whether I need to or not.  It takes me several hours to fall asleep at night, sometimes not until 2am.  I then sleep until 10a.  I believe that my circadian rhythm is out of balance. 

Saturday, November 16, 2013

A year

It's been a year since I last blogged.  Oops!

We are still living in student housing at the University with a new graduation date set for the spring or possibly the summer.  Ed is working a few jobs at the University but we're still living on student loans.  This has been beyond hard!  He finally has a topic for his professional project (like a Master's Thesis) which will be on International Development.  He is hoping to find a job in International Development soon.

My sweet baby boy was born February 6 and is now 9 months old.  He is a joy in my life, although I wish he's sleep through the night.  He is super happy and is a wonderful addition to our family.

I have started to homeschool Olivia and I LOVE it!  Her anxiety became unbearable over the summer. I couldn't even leave the room to nurse Ezra without her freaking out.  3 weeks before school was suppose to start, we decided to keep her at home.  It has been a great choice for our family.  Her anxiety is nearly gone and she is learning so much!

Lucia is in preschool and loving it.  She just turned 4 last month.  We were able to have a huge birthday party for her which she loved.  She has been so much happier over the last year.  (She wasn't a happy baby or a happy toddler)

I have been in physical therapy for months due to some complications from my pregnancy.  The good news is that I'm finally able to sit on the floor without being in pain and it is becoming easier for me to stand up (after being on the floor).  My back still hurts while I sleep, but it's getting better.

I have started to go to the gym at 6am three times a week.  This is pure torture for me!  One-I get very little sleep at night so I much rather be in bed and Two-I have to modify many of the workouts because I am too weak to do them.  But I know that this is good for me so I have hopes that I will see changes in my body soon.

Ed's grandmother traveled from Venezuela and visited us for a few weeks.  It was wonderful!  I cried when we had to say good-bye.  I love that my children have 3 living great-grandparents.  Olivia and Lucia have met all of them and I am happy that Ezra got to meet one.  They all live in Venezuela.

I am signed up to begin class at the University (not the same one that Ed is attending) in January.  I'm excited to go back.
Ezra--age 9 months

Olivia--age 6

Lucia--age 4

My family!
Perhaps I'll be better at keeping up with this.