Monday, December 28, 2009

Christmas and the beginning of a new year

We had a fabulous Christmas!
It was so wonderful to see everyone and to see W open his gifts this year.

I am extremely excited to start the new year. I have so many plans!

I plan to resume simplifying our lives. I'm going room by room beginning in January. I'm going to do a new room each week. In each room I plan on going through everything and getting rid of what is no longer used or needed. Hopefully I can finally get our belongings down to a manageable size. We just have so much stuff! We're going to be moving into my parent's house this upcoming summer and living out of two bedrooms (one acting as a living room) so we really need to scale back.

I also plan on starting (slowly) to start cooking healthier meals from scratch using local food. I'm super excited about that. I also plan on making the majority of holiday gifts for next year as well as some of the things our family uses (laundry detergent, etc).

Our family as a whole is going even greener (and hopefully saving money)! We're planning on purchasing electric razors, rechargeable batteries, and a few external harddrives (for music because we plan on moving all of our music to the HD and getting rid of the discs and we plan on purchasing music in it's digital form from now on.

Bring on the new year, I am ready!

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Update on "Greening Up the Shower"

I posted earlier about Greening up the Shower. Well, I overused the baking soda and dried out my hair. Then I tried to condition it with EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) and that was a mess. I used too much and it took days, and some regular old shampoo to get it out.
My hair has been a mess! I went "no-poo" for over a month and my hair was just a rat's nest. So, I'm back to using shampoo and being extremely unhappy with my hair.

I have also stopped using the oil cleansing method for my face. This is really due to sheer laziness. I think I'll start back up again at home. Since stopping my face has broken out like crazy! There were a few hectic weeks where I barely got a shower in, so my poor face was left untended as well. I started washing with a warm washcloth and applying lime juice to my face once at night and it is beginning to clear up. I might start using the OCM only once a week and use the lime juice daily. It's yummy, refreshing, and it smells good!

Friday, December 18, 2009

On being a "perfect mama"

Being a mama is hard. It uses up the majority of your brain power and fills most of your day. As a mama you are constantly criticized, not only by other people, including strangers, but by yourself. I know that I can be my harshest critic. I am constantly worrying about the choices I am making for my family. I spend hours doing research, planning, and worrying. It's never ending.
Oftentimes I turn to other mamas, usually through the internet. I subscribe to mama blogs and I belong to a mama message board. Sometimes that makes me feel better and sometimes it makes me feel worse.
It's great to hear that there are other mamas out there who make the same mistakes I do. Some days I don't get the house cleaned, sometimes I sit my child in front of the television, and sometimes we eat McDonald's for dinner. Sometimes mama just needs a break.
And then I see the model mama blogs. As inspirational as they can be, sometimes they just end up bringing me down. I see mamas who craft and cook healthy food from scratch, mamas who seem to spend so much quality time with their perfectly behaved children. When I try and do those things I end up feeling like a failure.
I think that most likely, those mamas aren't posting about the messy house, the TV time, or the fast food. And that's ok. But I need to remember that.
I think that I try too much to become a different mama when instead I need to learn what kind of mama I am and spend time nurturing my natural abilities. But I need to remember that.
I think that I have the potential to be a great mama and make great choices. There is no such thing as a "perfect mama." But I need to remember that.

My reminders for today:
Dear Me,
Remember to be mindful.
Remember to enjoy what you have.
Remember that you are the best mother for your children.
Remember to focus on the fleeting, the internet will be there later, but your children are growing.
Remember to live in the moment and be happy, for you are truly blessed.


Wednesday, December 9, 2009

I really stink at this blogging thing

I've been a little preoccupied at my parents' house. I'm staying here so my mother doesn't have to worry about my father while she is at work. DS and I are essentially living here until January. I haven't had much time for crafting. I've done a bit of knitting for a precious baby girl due in February (pictures coming soon) and a little knitting for hubby (I hope it fits him!). I'll be sure to post some pictures and updates soon.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Dying silk scarves

I had posted about dying some silk scarves previously, but forgot to update! They turned out beautifully!

It was so easy! It was a tad messy though. The hubs helped me. We had a blast!

Greening up the shower

I've recently decided that typical hair care products aren't working for me. Not only are they not helping my hair, but they aren't good for the environment (either in their production or in their waste). I heard about the "curly girl" hair washing method and decided to try it. I have been shampoo free for over a week now and my hair and scalp have never felt better! My scalp is nice and clean and my hair is curly, bouncy and shiny!
Today (after days of not showering for lack of someone to watch my son) I made a paste of baking soda and water and used it to really scrub my scalp and hair. I rinsed really well with water, then I did a second rinse with a mixture of 1/2 apple cider vinegar and 1/2 water. I didn't smell like vinegar after!

Another way I have made my hygiene routine a little more green and a little less chemical laden was the "Oil Cleansing Method" for my face. I have a small bottle that I fill 3/4 of the way with extra virgin olive oil and 1/4 of the way with castor oil. My skin is so clear and smooth! And it is so much cheaper than any fancy face wash!
Check out this site for more information:

Monday, November 2, 2009

Babysnazz contest is having a contest right now to win 20 pairs of baby leg warmers. It's this month's contest. Just thought I'd share. Good luck!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

It's been a while!

I've been pretty busy lately, going back and forth to MI. But I'm home for a while now and Wesley's first birthday is coming up!
I'm currently in search of some used and safe pots, pans, and cooking utensils for him to play with. Mine have a slightly sharp edge on them, so I'm getting him his own for his birthday. He loves to play with them at Grandma's house, so I know he'll love them. I did pick up some nesting bowls at the local thrift shop. They're all washed and ready to be played with.
In addition, I bought some silk scarves that I'll be dying. I really want Wesley to have some playsilks, but they're so expensive! They run about $10 a pop! So I decided to dye some myself. I'll be embarking on my dye journey tomorrow.

As for simplification, I recently spent some time going through all of my fabric, sewing, and crafting notions and definitely lightened the load. There wasn't much to be donated, really. A lot of the bulk was unfolded fabric, ribbon gone wild, and trash. I've completely reorganized my craft area (ie a corner of the dining room) and it looks so much better. I've even starting making things again! I'm making some diapers, a costume for Wesley for Youmacon , some rugs and reusable grocery bags.

My next simplification steps are the laundry room and Wesley's toys. I'm aiming for next week.

Among those projects are my knitting/crochet projects. I'm currently knitting a scarf for my brother who recently got into MSU! Go Kevin! I am also going to be knitting a similar scarf for his friend. AND I'm going to knit Wesley a pair of longies.

Whew! I am a busy woman!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


I'm back home, the internet is up and running again (finally), but I'm not quite ready to start getting back to simplifying my home. To be honest, I'm kind of tired. And I have to finish this damn thesis. I'm determined to have it done by the end of the month though. I'm really struggling with it. I don't know if it's because I'm discouraged due to the feedback or I've just lost interest. Could be both, I suppose.
I'm also working on a writing project with a friend of mine, gardening (trying to grow our own veggies to save money), trying to learn to knit (slow going, that one), and sewing. Lots to do and almost no time!
I'm trying to make sure that, no matter what, Wesley still gets the majority of my attention. We play, cuddle, and nap. We just bought a swing for our patio and it's been so wonderful! When it's not cold out, we go out there and rock. Sometimes he falls asleep and I read while enjoying the beautiful day. Other times, he plays in his pack and play while I read or write. It was worth every penny.
I do plan on starting this journey again soon. I'm hoping to move onto the kitchen, but it's so daunting! It's small, set up stupid, and just so cluttered! I might get Charlie to work on the garage with me first, actually.
It all needs to be done before the middle of June, that is when we'll be having our yard sale. I'm really hoping to make enough cash to pay for the swing we just bought! Here's hoping!
Thanks for reading,

Thursday, April 16, 2009


I'm on "simplification hiatus" right now. I'm visiting with family on the other side of the country.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Movie Collection

I finally convinced the hubs that he doesn't need over 400 movies. We can always rent the ones we *might* watch again. Yay! He has put over 30 movies in our "Sell" pile! I'm so excited!

Thanks for reading!

My First Blog

Is it lame that I'm pushing 30 and have never done this before? Does Livejournal count?
I decided to start a blog after posting a thread in a forum I frequent about starting a journey of simplification. I was and still am, frustrated by the burden of "stuff." My husband and I have so many things that we never even look at! It's really quite sad.
I don't want to pass this materialism, this hoarding, down to my children. I want my son to grow up knowing that memories are something you create, not something you buy.
I was inspired by an article in Mothering Magazine about mothers who are doing the same.
Here is my original post with updates:

March 25, 2009
"I've finally been inspired! Starting tomorrow I'm really going to begin working on simplifying my life. Everything is just so cluttered and it's stressing me out as well as taking time away from my son.

I'm starting an accountability thread in the hopes that it keeps me motivated, know that there might be people checking it out and waiting to hear from me.

These are my goals:

I have set up a cleaning schedule for my entire house (excluding the garage) and every room should be gone through and "simplified" by April 8th.

As soon as it warms up, I'll be out in the garage doing the same thing. I plan on going through all the items that I have determined are not needed and separating them into piles:


Keep to recycle (this will be mostly for old clothing that can be taken apart and used for something else)

Garbage (I'm hoping to keep this pile to a minimum)


Sell (I plan on either having a garage sale or posting my items for sale on a website depending on how much there is).

After I am done cleansing the house, I plan on doing some life cleansing. I'm going to get rid of obligations and relationships that are negatively affecting my life and I'm going to be laying out my goals and figuring out how best to achieve them.

Then, the real fun begins! I'm hoping to find a cheap, used sewing or craft table and I'm going to start making my own burp rags, diapers, baby slings, and clothing. Of course, I have to remember to keep my expectations to a dull roar, because I haven't sewn a lot before, so I have a lot of learning to do.

I would also like to start making candles and soap (as I mentioned before), but that will have to wait, I don't want to overwhelm myself. If I try to do too much at one time, I'll just end up sitting on the sofa eating cupcakes.

Anyway, this is my plan. I appreciate you reading it and I really hope that having this thread here keeps me motivated!

Thank you."

Update #1 March 26, 2009:
"Day 1: I took care of the pesky linen closet. It was a mess! Fortunately I only had a small bag of garbage, but I have a lot of towels, sheets, and blankets that I can use to make other things with. It looks great now and it'll be so much easier to keep clean. Hopefully I find the camera cord soon so I can post pics!"

Update #2 April 11, 2009:
"Unfortunately, my goal date has passed. While that really stinks, I'm not going to let it get me down. I'm still motivated! I keep referring back to the articles and blogs that inspired me in the first place to keep it that way.
DS has been teething and has been really needy lately, so I've been either busy or exhausted. But enough excuses!
I did get a few things accomplished. The master bedroom is officially simplified. DH and I have gone through all of our clothing! So many things can be repurposed! I have so much material to work with now! I made DS a pair of pants out of an old t-shirt (pics to follow). They're obviously made by an amateur, but they fit and the legs are both the same length. I just need some practice. Fortunately I found an incredible way to convince DH that he could get rid of all the old t-shirts that he has sentimental attachment to. I'm going to make them into a "t-shirt quilt," this way he can keep his favorites without cluttering our drawers (and without making me cringe when he wants to wear a shirt full of holes out in public).
DH and I also went through our games and got rid of ones we never play or puzzles we've already done. I can't wait to have a yard sale! Our Goodwill pile is small, but our garbage pile is even smaller!!! The only things in it (the garbage pile) are things of an adult nature that we wouldn't ever resell or attempt to give away (gross!) .
It's so liberating to be rid of all this excess "stuff! We created so much space today and I just feel lighter! The burden of "things" is something I guess you don't realize until you finally are rid of it. I feel cleansed to some degree.
I can't wait to move on to the next room! I'm leaving for MI to visit my family, but when I get home we're tackling the garage!"

Thanks for reading!

~Flowerchild~ "