Ingredients: 3 Cups White Vinegar 1/4 Cup Rubbing Alcohol About 20 Drops […]

Soap ingredients: 3 Cups Washing Soda (similar to baking soda; look for […]

I made these adorable reusable pull-ups for my kids while they were […]

Liquid Fabric Softener

Ingredients:

  • 3 Cups White Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Rubbing Alcohol
  • About 20 Drops of Essential Oil (optional)

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a jug and shake.  Add to the fabric softener dispenser of washing machine.

I use about 1/4 cup per load.

Note:  If you multiply this recipe by 5, you will fill an entire gallon jug.  That is what I do because it saves a good amount of time.

Recipe from:  www.overthrowmartha.com

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Homemade Powder Laundry Soap

Soap ingredients:

  • 3 Cups Washing Soda (similar to baking soda; look for it near laundry products at the supermarket)
  • 3 Cups Borax
  • 1 Cup Baking Soda
  • 1 Bar of Castile Soap (Olive Oil Based)
  • Essential Oil are optional

Other Supplies Needed:

  • Cheese grater for grating soap
  • Container for storing powder detergent

Directions:

  1. Grate the bar of soap into a small bowl and set aside.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the washing soda, borax, and baking soda.  Mix well to get rid of clumps.  Add the essential oils if desired.  Mix them into the powder well to avoid clumping.
  3. Add the grated soap and mix ingredients together.
  4. Store detergent in a half-gallon mason jar or other well-sealed container.  Use approximating 2 to 4 heaping tablespoons per load of laundry.
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Sewing Projects

I made these adorable reusable pull-ups for my kids while they were transitioning between cloth diapers and big kid underwear.  I recycled a cloth diaper to make the absorbent inside and a waterproof fabric for the outside.  They worked great!

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Lip Balm Recipe

I don’t know about you, but I am seriously addicted to lip balm.  I use it all the time and like to always have a tube near me so I can use it throughout the day.  Since becoming more aware of chemicals in my cosmetics, I wanted to give homemade lip balm a try.

When you stop to think about it, every time you put lip balm on your lips, you are actually eating it because it WILL end up getting into your body through your mouth.  I’m not saying you intentionally EAT lip balm, but there is just no avoiding it!  That is why out of all of the natural cosmetics out there, I believe lip balm is the most important one.  Think of all of those ingredients that you are ingesting if you are using store bought ones made with scary ingredients.

The good new is that this lip balm is so easy to make and you get the peace of mind knowing exactly what is in it!

You can find new tubes if you search online, or you can reuse your old containers.  I bought some new ones to start with, but I always end up reusing them over and over.
If reusing your old lip balm containers, just make sure to clean them really good.  I usually soak mine in soapy water and then use a chop stick with some paper towel on the tip to dig down into the space. I have also recycled small tins with lids and used them too.

This recipe uses only 4 ingredients!

Lip Balm

  • 2 teaspoons Coconut Oil
  • 1 teaspoon Beeswax Pellets
  • 1 Vitamin E pill or 1/8 teaspoon of Vitamin E oil
  • 5 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil

Make sure to have all your containers ready because once the mixture cools, it is impossible to pour.  Melt the coconut oil and the beeswax together.  I use a small pan over very low heat to melt them.  Or you can use a microwave and heat at 30 second intervals until it’s melted together.  Stir well, and then add the Vitamin E oil and essential oils.  If using the Vitamin E pills, just poke a hole in it and squeeze it out.  Mix again.

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It’s easier to put the hot mixture into a spouted cup, and then pour it into the tubes.  Don’t forget that it cools quickly!  If the mixture hardens before you are ready, just simply reheat it until it’s a liquid again.

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Once your containers are filled, let them cool a few minutes.  Then cap them.  Keeping the extra tubes stored in the refrigerator long term will help keep them preserved.  Because this lip balm contains Vitamin E, it will help prolong the shelf life because Vitamin E has anti-oxidation properties.

Be sure to wipe your pan and other utensils while they are still warm for easier clean-up!

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Note:  This recipe will make about 2 or 3 tubes worth.  I always double my recipe and store the extra ones in the fridge until I am ready for them.

 

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Up-cycled Dress

Upcycled Dress

I loved the fabric on the gorgeous dress in the top left corner, but I hated how it was asymmetrical.  I felt naked on one side and didn’t like that one bit.  So I cut off the skirt and sewed it to a simple grey tee and added a pretty lace band to cover the seam.  I also added a little piece of stretch lace to the neck to dress it up a bit.  The new outfit is really comfy and so adorable!

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Eco-Artwork

I really enjoy creating artwork by recycling objects that would normally end up in the garbage.  It’s amazing what can be made by using a bit of imagination.  I hope my pieces inspire you to make your own Eco Art!

Eco Vibrance was created by recycling packing paper, plastic caps, leftover buttons, and plastic shavings from a rain barrel.

Eco Tree is made with cardboard tubes that were rolled up into spirals. The background is acrylic paint.

Eco Tree is made with cardboard tubes that were rolled up into spirals. The background is acrylic paint.

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This profile view shows the dimension of this artwork. It wasn’t easy to get a good photo of this piece.

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Eco Radiance is made with a recycled board, broken crayons, packing paper, cardboard tubes, and a metal lid. I added the sequins and silk flowers for the final touches.

 

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Eco Flowers is made with recycled cardboard tubes over an acrylic background.

 

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My kids made these ones! Cardboard tubes were glued onto small canvas boards. We added the ribbons for hanging.

 

Bossom Buddy

Recycled bust from a retail shop that went out of business. This is just a mix of random things I had on hand.

 

Chair-ity Art

An old broken chair given an upgrade for a “Chair-ity” Auction.

 

Cat with Fabric

Used some extra fabric to make curtains for this one. The background is chalk pastel.

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My Second Birthing Story

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I want to first state that my intention for advocating a natural childbirth is to empower and educate women.  I know that not every person will feel the way that I do and that is OK.  I also realize that sometimes natural childbirth just can’t happen for a variety of different reasons and there is absolutely no reason any mom should feel bad or ashamed about that.  And, sometimes things don’t go as planned, and we have to accept that because giving birth to a healthy baby should be the number one priority for all parents.  With that being said, I want to share my birthing stories with you in the hopes that you may learn something about natural childbirth and not be afraid of it.

If you haven’t yet read why I choose to have a natural childbirth, you can learn more about it here.

You can read my first birthing story here.

When I was pregnant with my daughter, which was my second pregnancy, I saw a midwife the entire time.  I knew immediately that I wanted to have a natural childbirth, but this time I wanted to give birth at a hospital with labor tubs.  I wanted to have a new experience at a new place.  I also loved the idea that the hospital I chose had an organic chief on site.  The food selection was amazing and right up my alley!

I had heard a few stories of women using hypnosis during childbirth and wanted to find out more about it.  The more I learned, the more interested I became.  I just had to give it a try!  I had to make a choice between taking an actual class with an instructor, or ordering a home study course.  I chose the home study course because it allowed me to learn in the comfort of my own home and on my own schedule.

The kit I received came with several CD’s and a few workbooks.  To get the bull benefits of the course, I had to work on it daily.  Each day I was supposed to read a little bit from the books, do a few recommended exercises, and listen to some tracks on the CD’s.  I always did everything at night right before bedtime.  The hypnosis disks usually made me fall asleep because they relaxed me so much and I was worried I wasn’t “getting” it right because of that.  The course clearly stated that falling asleep while listening to the disks was perfectly fine and I would still get the benefits, but I had a few doubts in the back of my mind.  I went through the entire course twice just to make sure I had everything down.  It probably wasn’t completely necessary, but if I do something, I like to make sure I do it right.

I actually enjoyed everything the course had taught me.  There were several different techniques that I learned for easing myself into hypnosis, and I got to chose the one that I felt was the most comfortable doing.  During self-hypnosis, I was able to relax my entire body and mind and block off everything else.

The course I took stressed how important it was to be positive about childbirth.  There was one track I listened to every day that was nothing but positive affirmations.  I was supposed to ignore people who tried to talk me out of natural childbirth.  If someone told me horror stories about childbirth, I was supposed to let it go and not let it sink into my mind and make me afraid.  I was also supposed to avoid television shows about “typical” hospital births because they always focus on the problems that arise in childbirth.

I had contractions on and off for a few weeks before I actually went into labor.  The night I officially went into labor, I waited until I knew for sure things were moving along.  I put myself into hypnosis mode, but I was still able to function and do other things while “hypnotized”.  My contractions were becoming more regular, but I wasn’t having any kind of pain at all.  I called the midwife at the hospital and told her I was coming in.

Once I got to the hospital, the nurses and the midwife didn’t think I was in labor because I was completely calm and relaxed.  I was immediately sent to triage to make sure I was really in labor.  I had to stay in triage until things started moving a little more.  The midwife later told me she thought I was going to get sent back home.  It wasn’t until about an hour later that I started to feel pain.  I was then “checked” and had made incredible progress in a very short amount of time.   Finally a tub was filled for me and I was able to go into my room.

Once in the room, my contractions were super strong and it was hard for me to walk.  My husband put on my relaxation music, and I turned off all the pain again by doing the exercises I had been practicing.  I submerged myself into the warm tub water and immediately felt my body relax.  It felt so amazing to be in that water.  Like my previous experience, it seemed like once I was in the water, the baby was ready!  But I managed to stay in for about 15 minutes or so just so I could further relax my body.

After I got out of the tub, it was time to push.  I continued to block off all the pain and just let my body do all of the work.  I focused on the relaxing music, my breath, and the hypnosis techniques.  It was a surreal experience.  I delivered my beautiful daughter just hours after arriving at the hospital.  It was like a dream birth and all the nurses wanted to come and see me because they had never witnessed a “Hypnobirth” before.  It was the strangest and most empowering experience I have ever had.

The total length of my labor lasted for maybe 5 hours and only about 2 of those hours were painful.  Although I can’t vouch that my labor was completely pain-free, it was by far easier and shorter than I could have imagined.  I felt so amazing afterwards.  I had so much energy and was able to nurse my beautiful new baby without any trouble at all.

Because I had such an easy birth, I was released from the hospital a lot earlier than most moms because I was up and walking around and feeling great.  The doctors at the hospital who happened to come into my room were amazed and couldn’t believe I just had a baby.  They weren’t used to seeing patients who didn’t go through the “standard procedures” of a typical birth.  Most moms who are recovering from child birth are stuck in bed and kind of “out of it” from the all the drug interventions.  I didn’t need any drugs before, during, or after the birth.  My body healed really quickly and I was back to my normal self in no time.  It was a really empowering experience and if you have any interest in natural childbirth, then I recommend you learn as much as you possibly can and get all the support you can!  It is all worth it!

Overall, I highly recommend trying hypnosis for childbirth.   It was an amazing experience and I really hope more women consider using hypnosis during childbirth!

Here is a home birth using Hypnobirthing.  Notice how calm and relaxed the mother is.  This is such a beautiful birthing experience:

 

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