January Simplicity

New-Year-Eve-1I find this time of year so refreshing. The non-stop activity of the holidays is winding down and everything shifts back to routines, simplicity, and quiet. Well, as quiet as it can be with a nearly 4-year-old who thinks she’s a werewolf puppy.

We’ve taken down our decorations and have shifted our focus to the new year. While I don’t necessarily create resolutions, I do love setting goals. So here are a few I’m pouring most of my energy into this coming year-

  • Focus on nutrient density. I’m seriously the worst with this. I never get enough protein or veggies. (I KNOW.) The last few weeks have been eye-opening, to say the least. I’ve been tracking my food by nutrient and I’m horrified. Not only do I want to be as healthy as I can be for me, I want to set a stellar example for Emme. This naturally ties into my next goal.
  • Focus on physical activity. I’ve already started this goal and am seeing some pretty amazing results. I’ve been working with a coach and doing the Master’s Hammer and Chisel Program. Warning- this is a TOUGH workout. One month in and I’m still sore most days. I didn’t think I’d like it, but I’m so glad I made the decision to try. I’m loving the variety and strength work. I’ve also learned something valuable emotionally- just do it. Yeah, I know. Seems simple. Just press play. Even if you’re going slow and half assing the moves, you’re still putting in the effort and reinforcing your commitment to yourself.
  • Organize My Businesses. I’ve really let these slide since Emme’s birth. We’re finally at the age we can be independent. I need/want more to my life than just being a mom and she needs more than just me all day, every day.
  • Less Technology, More Play. I struggle with this daily. I’m addicted to my phone and all it can do for me. This year I’m doing my best to treat it like it’s only a phone and not a tiny computer keeping me up to date on every move everyone else makes. If I want to check email, I need to sit my ass down at my computer.

I hope reflecting on this past year has been beneficial and the new year brings you love, joy, and happiness!

Brown Sugar Body Scrub

theveganfarmer.com bodyscrubI don’t know about you, but winter weather really takes a toll on my skin. It’s even worse this year as we’ve been spending so much time outside working on our Great Playground Tour of Baltimore. I also kind of suck at keeping moisturized. Who has the time for so many steps?? Not this girl. To combat dryness (and laziness) I’ve whipped up this super easy, super moisturizing body scrub.

What You’ll Need

1 C brown sugar

1/3 C coconut oil

1/2 TSP cinnamon

1 TSP vanilla extract

Heat the coconut oil in the microwave for 30-40 seconds, until melted. Pour it over the sugar. Add the vanilla extract and cinnamon and stir. Store it in an airtight container for up to 2 months. Your skin will thank you. And you’ll smell delicious.

Cheap And Non-Toxic Household Cleaners

non toxic cleanersI love cleaning.  Seriously.  I clean every day. I also love knowing it’s done in a safe, non-toxic way.  I am very mindful of what I use around my home.  We all also know I am cheap. Thankfully the two happen to go together quite nicely.  Here are the products I use around my home, their effectiveness, and why you should use them too.

1. Hydrogen Peroxide.  If you’re not currently using this, I urge you to run to your nearest dollar store and pick up a bottle.  Or twelve.  Trust me.  You’ll thank me later.  It’s a miracle cleaner.  It is an excellent, odorless disinfectant. I use it to clean everything- cutting boards, kids toys, bathtub, kitchen sink, floors, and even as a bleach alternative in the laundry. I screw a sprayer on to the bottle, spray surfaces, let it sit a few minutes, and wipe away.  You’ll know it’s working because it’ll bubble.  I like imagining the bubbles are devouring the germs.

2. Vinegar.  Another amazing liquid.  Not only does it kill bacteria, it shines wood floors, cleans windows to a streak free shine, softens laundry (That’s right. It’s a fabric softener.  Slip a cup into the rinse cycle.  I promise your clothes will not smell like a giant salad.), and even repels fleas and ticks from your pets.

3. Baking Soda.  Combine it with a little water to form a paste and you have an amazing scrub.  I use this paste to clean my stove top. It also deodorizes rugs and removes smells from fridges. Sprinkle a little on your carpet, let sit 15 minutes then vacuum. Baking soda mixed with vinegar makes an excellent drain opener.

4. Dr. Bronner’s castile soap.  Love this in peppermint.  It can literally be used for anything from washing dishes, laundry, floors, and even your hair. This is the most expensive of the products I use.  It averages about $10 a bottle, but it lasts quite a long time.

5. Lemons. They smell lovely and are fantastic for cleaning windows, removing grease stains from clothing, and killing germs from cutting boards.

These are the only cleaning supplies I have in my home.  They are cheap, effective, and take up very little space.  What amazing, natural products do you use?

 

Honey Lollipops

It’s that time of year again.  You know, when germs take up residence and can be heard laughing as they pass from family member to family member.  We have several tried and true natural remedies to help us feel better, faster. I thought I’d share some of them with you over the next few weeks.

First up- honey lollipops.  These are super fantastic for sore throats and coughs.  I swear it works better than anything you can find over the counter. Emme happens to love honey in every and all forms.  I thought I’d make it more fun by turning it into lollipops. Since plain yellow can be quite boring, I whipped up some all natural food coloring with veggies growing in my garden- beets for red, carrots for orange, and spinach for green.  I simply ran them through my juicer and added the color once the honey was ready.  I was going to make blue and purple by boiling cabbage, but I ran out of time.  Next batch will surely contain both of those colors. Let’s get started.

theveganfarmer.com honeypopsWhat You’ll Need-

1 C honey

pinch of cinnamon

food coloring of your choice- optional

candy thermometer

lollipop sticks

wax or parchment paper

Lay the lollipop sticks on parchment paper. Heat the honey to 300 degrees (hard crack stage).  If you don’t have a candy thermometer, simply add a drop of boiling honey to cold water.  It’s ready once it hardens and forms a ball. Next, I quickly divided the honey into three bowls and added the food coloring.Lastly, I used a teaspoon and slowly poured the honey over the sticks.

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It wasn’t until I was nearly out of sticks that I perfected the circle.  So I made cough drops.

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Let them harden for about an hour then individually wrap in cello or wax paper to keep them from sticking together.  Store in a dry place.  They should last a couple weeks.

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This is her can’t you see this one is almost gone, why do you not have another ready for me face.

Do you use home remedies? If so, which work best for you?

 

 

 

 

***Please do not give honey to infants under 12 months.