I went to the Oakley Kroger the other night with Moses. That place is HUGE! As we were walking (aka me walking & wearing all 23+ pounds of him) inside we decided to check out the outside floral section and I ended up buying a cherry tomato starter plant & a strawberry starter plant.
When we got home it was too late to start a gardening project, so I set them aside for the next morning.
When I went to plant them, I came to the conclusion that I really didn’t want to plant food that we plan to eat near our trash cans, even with a fence separating them. So I figured out a new solution!
I moved the raised bed into this space along the fence.
I thought that it looked a little out of place by itself, so I built a little rock pathway with rocks out of the stockpile I already had.
Once I had all the rock placement laid out, I began collecting these mosaic tiles around my back yard. I had originally had them in the gravel patio area, but I think that they will be much more appreciated over here.
I’ve got a pretty good start going, but I definitely need to continue picking more out to make sure the spaces in between are really full.
I also moved this little red bird bath from a different garden space in my yard. It makes more sense over here since the hose can reach here, but not where it was previously.
I planted the cherry tomatoes in the middle container and strawberries to the right. I am going to plant lettuce in the container to the left when it isn’t raining.
To be completed:
• Finish filling in mosaic pieces between rock spaces.
• Plant a creeping flower in the tower growing up the sides.
• Weed and prepare the right side near the fence to sculpt out a garden bed + plant some flowers.
• Trim bush to the left side and sculpt out garden bed + plant some flowers.
• Create fun garden stakes with the kids for each container.
• Find and/or make more garden decor to personalize it more!
Just a small, spur of the moment project I wanted to document on here. I hope you like it and it Inspires you to do some gardening yourself! Gardening can be really, really therapeutic as well as a great work out & way to connect with nature.
Are you big into gardening, or a beginner? Have you tried raised garden beds or container gardens? What kind of things do you like to grow?
In our family, we celebrate the Earth every day, but for national Earth Day (& month) we are going to make sure to celebrate a little extra!
We wore our flower headbands to be extra festive on Earth Day on April 22.
Not Our Trash, but it IS Our Earth
One of our very favorite outdoor family activities is plogging: picking up litter while jogging. Since my kids are pretty little, we mostly just walk briskly rather than jog, but it’s still exercise for our bodies and it’s still cleaning up our Earth.
We tied a trash bag to our stroller. The park is on the other side of the train, so all of the trash collected at this point was from our walk from our home to the park alone.
I want my children to know that it’s up to them to change the world. They cannot wait for someone else to do it for them. It is our duty to leave the Earth a better place than we found it.
By the end of our walk, we had filled our entire bag.
We ended up going back out the next morning with Niko + the older girls as well. We walked back to the park, a different way, and picked up more litter. When we got there, there was actually a Community Park Clean Up going on which was really cool! They were handing out free gloves and trash bags for people to volunteer to clean up the park. I was unaware that our park offered that, but I love it!
We made “Dirt cake” which we decided to rename “Dirt Dessert” instead since it wasn’t exactly a cake.
It was really yummy and everyone gobbled it up! This is definitely a dessert that I will be remaking with different themes throughout the year!
We talked about the Earth & why worms are good for it. In case you didn’t know, worms are decomposers!
Drive Less, Walk More
This month our weather has really started warming up, so we have began walking to the bus stop to pick up Ella & Mia and then walking home. We bring a trash bag with us each time we walk.
Mia drew a face on a piece of cardboard we cut from a box. Then we poked lots of holes where we wanted her hair to be.
We walked around the beautiful flower garden at Ault Park looking for flowers to use as our hair. We tried to use only flowers that had already fallen, or weeds that we thought they wouldn’t mind us picking for them.
Even though the playground distracted the kids & we didn’t end up filling all of our holes, I still think that it turned out really cute.
5 Easy Ways You Can Be More Eco Friendly!
1. Stop using plastic bags. Instead, opt for reusable insulated tote bags & mesh produce bags. It makes carrying groceries in from the car WAY easier too!
2. Use a refillable cleaning solution (like Thieves Household Cleaner). Thieves is non-toxic, plant-based, & can replace literally EVERY single cleaning product you currently own. (You can order Thieves HERE).
3. Shop at a second-hand store first before buying new. Chances are, a second-hand store will have what you are looking for at only a fraction of the price.
4. Utilize your local library. Libraries go WAY beyond just books. There are so many activities and classes that they offer, as well as information on local resources. It is a great place to bring children as well (just kindly remind them to use their inside voices.)
5. Use what you have before buying more. This goes for food, hygiene or household products, decor items, anything & everything. It helps cut down on waste & clutter as well.
🌍 I hope you had a good Earth Month. What did you do to celebrate the Earth this month?
I can’t believe tomorrow it will be May! Mothers Day is coming up as well as Moses FIRST BIRTHDAY!! How the heck has it already been a year?? Then after that it will be SUMMER BREAK ☀️! So many exciting things coming up! Don’t forget to subscribe so you don’t miss out on any of it!
When Ella was a baby, we went through ALL of the brands of baby wipes available on the market. No matter what brand we tried, her “diaper rashes” got worse and worse. Huggies were by far the most harmful brand to her skin.
We eventually learned that diaper rashes are NOT normal, and are in fact chemical burns caused by the wipes. So I began making my own baby wipes, which completely stopped the rashes. The only time new rashes appeared were when she went to family members houses that still used store-bought wipes.
I have been making my own baby wipes ever since for all of my babies born after her, and have since switched to cloth diapering after learning how dangerous disposable diapers are for babies health as well.
Making your own wipes is inexpensive, easy to do, and SAFE for your babies.
Phenoxyethanol – harmful to children’s health including adverse effects to the central and peripheral nervous system, skin irritation, lung irritation, toxic to kidneys and liver,
Benzyl Alcohol – causes irritations and rashes and inflammation on the skin of young children including: irritation, severe itching, reddening of skin, loss of sensation, eye irritations, vision problems, pain, peeling skin, heat burn.
Formaldehyde – carcinogenic to humans. Causes cancer and contact dermatitis including blisters, scales, thickening of skin, leathery skin, asthma, respiratory problems, eye, nose, and throat irritations, conjunctival irritation, allergies, low blood pressure, headaches, irregular breathing, abnormalities of heart rhythm, unconsciousness, restlessness, loss of red blood cells.
Polypropylene – can cause dizziness, drowsiness, low blood pressure, nausea, vomiting, lung disease.
Viscose – Derived from wood pulp, the process to make viscose involves many harsh chemicals. Those chemicals cause coronary heart failure, birth defects, skin conditions, and cancer. Viscose is highly pollutable to our planet and has a devastating impact on forests, people, and animals.
Polyester – Polyester is absolutely detrimental to our environment. More than 70 million barrels of oil are used to make polyester each year. It is the biggest source of microplastic pollution in the oceans. Each time you wash polyester, up to 1900 fibres are washed off back into our water systems and oceans. It takes up to 200 ywars to biodegrade- that is more than 2 lifetimes. The production of polyester uses very harsh chemicals including carcinogens. Carcinogens generate skin problems and lung and heart cancer. Polyester causes chronic and severe respiratory infections. Causes rashes, itching, redness, eczema, and dermatitis. Causes allergies, chemical sensitivity, and other serious health problems. Lowers sperm count in men. Toxic to babies immune systems. Not breathable material.
Petrochemicals – Ethylene Oxide, 1,4-Dioxane, Polysorbate 20, Bis-PEG/PPG-16/16 PEG/PPG-16/16 Dimethicone, Potassium Laureth Phosphate, PEG-75 Lanolin, Ceteareth-20. These cause cancer, birth defects, headaches, respiratory irritation, and both female and male reproductive harm. They cause leukemia, lung cancer, nose, throat, and sinus cancer, blood and lymphatic cancer. Affect development of children including brain development, learning and behavioral problems. Using while pregnant will affect both you and your unborn baby.
Phthalates – usually found under the name “fragrance,” “perfume,” or “perfum.” This causes allergies, hormone disruptions, infertility, dermatitis, and respiratory distress. Causes damage to liver, kidneys, lungs, and reproductive system. Lowers sperm count and quality and lowers testosterone levels. Has a lasting impact on neurodevelopment including lower IQ, problems with attention and hyperactivity as well as poor social communication, depression, and aggression. Changes hormone levels, alters development of genitals. Causes breast cancer, obesity, thyroid problems, asthma, and metabolic issues.
These are just a few of the chemicals that are found in store-bought baby wipes including the brands you have put your trust into. As you can see, these are NOT safe for anyone, especially babies, yet they are marketed for mothers to use on their babies. The FDA is a scam, and should NEVER be trusted. Always do your own research before using anything, especially on the tiny humans you are responsible to take care of and keep safe.
Note: The “natural” wipes do not mean they are safe. There are few rules, regulations, or guidelines when it comes to a “natural” product. “Natural” does not make a product vegan, organic, non-toxic, cruelty or chemical free. Remember, crude oil is natural.
Water wipes would SEEM safe, but they contain grapefruit seed extract which may contain harmful contaminants meant to act as preservatives. Grapefruit seed extract is a general lable to hide: Benzetheonium Chloride, Methylparaben, and Triclosan. Water without a broad-spectrum preservation system cannot prevent the growth of mold and bacteria which can cause seriously infections. No cleansing agents, means that when babies poop it does not properly disinfect babies genitals. The poop residue left behind can cause skin irritation and leaves bacteria behind which can cause urinary tract infections, meningitis, septicaemia, and purulent conjunctivitis. Meningitis and septicaemia have been known to cause death in infants.
The ONLY way to know that the wipes that you are using on your baby are safe is to make them yourself. It sounds hard, but it is not at all!
How to Make Baby Wipes (Step by Step)
● Start by putting your dry wipes into your wipes container. You can also make reusable cloth ones which is a better option for our environmental waste and I hope to get to that point, however I currently use disposable wipes.
● Measure 2 cups of warm to hot water.
● Add 2 Tablespoons of Organic Coconut Oil.
● Add 1 Tablespoon of a non-toxic soap such as Young Living’s KidScents like I use, or Dr. Bronners Castile soap.
● Add 5 drops of Young Living’s Lavender Essential Oil (or any of their Seedling oils specifically for babies). Do NOT, I repeat DO NOT, use grocery store essential oils including those purchased on Amazon, Target, or Walmart- they are NOT pure and NOT safe to use especially on an infant or child.
Young Living is the ONLY essential oil company in the WORLD that has a Seed to Seal promise and conducts intensive testing to ensure that they are 100% safe to use.
● Mix together using your tablespoon to make sure you get all of the residue from the coconut oil and soap and don’t waste any.
● Pour mixture evenly over wipes container and leave upright for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, flip container over to sit for another 20 minutes. This spreads the mixture to absorb evenly.
It looks soapy when first poured, but it soaks into the wipes as it disperses over the setting time.
It is as easy as that! Takes a minute to mix up and pour, and a total of 40 minutes to settle. I suggest making them during nap times, or at night once baby has fallen asleep so you don’t find yourself needing wipes before they have set.
My sweet Mia recently decided that she is going vegetarian! My husband recently told me that he is going pescatarian! Hooray! We are taking another giant step closer to being a completely meat-free home!
My mom also recently told me about these “Blue Zone People” who eat very little meat and live to be over 100 years old. I’m not a fad-diet person, or a diet person at all if we’re being honest, but if it involves no meat, I’m a supporter!
However, all three share a lack of enthusiasm when it comes to “fake meat,” or meat alternatives. I, for one, LOVE ❤ “fake meat,” but that is probably for the first time in my life, I can eat something that resembles meat without being afraid of eating it. We aren’t supposed to put dead things inside living things 🤷🏼♀️.
[ ❇ FUN FACT: I did not eat meat growing up due to a very debilitating phobia of vomit (better known as emetophobia), but did not classify myself as vegetarian because my diet consisted of strictly noodles, butter, and cheese until I met my husband. So basically, I was a carb-ivore. 😂]
I became determined to find recipes that make “fake meat” more appetizing to keep them from losing their interest in going meat-free and provide a variety of healthy AND large-family affordable meatless meals, using mostly ingredients we keep regularly stocked in our pantry. Using what you already have is the MOST eco-friendly thing you can do.
Let’s Get Cooking
◾ Fresh Ingredients:
1 Yellow onion
1 Green pepper
1 Yellow pepper
1 large tomato
1 LB. “Meatless Grind”
◾ Pantry Ingredients:
3 TBSP olive oil
1 Carton vegetable broth
3 TBSP tomato paste
1 TSP dried oregano
2 TSP dried basil
1 TSP garlic powder
1/2 TSP black pepper
Salt to taste
1 Cup brown rice
Get Prepared – Begin heating 3 TBSP olive oil over medium heat in your Dutch Oven pan (I prefer Lodge brand) + chop all veggies.
Dump in your peppers & onions, after a few minutes add the tomatoes, cooking for another minute or so.
Scoot your veggies over against the sides and add your meatless grind into the center & cover. Stir grind, cover. Stir grind, cover. Eventually you will mix all of the meatless grind in with the veggies as it cooks.
Add your 3 TBSP tomato paste, stir. Add 1 carton of vegetable broth, stir. Add 1 TSP oregano, 2 TSP basil, 1 TSP garlic powder, 1/2 TSP black pepper, + salt to taste, stir.
Bring the temp down to low, cover + let simmer for 20 minutes.
Add 1 Cup brown rice. Cover + cook until rice is finished.
Serve, paired with a crusty bread. We chose French Baguette.
Found this recipe delicious? Please consider sharing! Make sure to subscribe for more easy & affordable meat-free recipes!
My youngest baby is already about to turn 1 year old in just a few weeks! It is hard to believe this time last year I was perfecting every last detail of her nursery makeover before she arrived.
I never got to design Kaden’s nursery since we lived with my parents at the time he was born and they made the executive decisions about what was purchased for his nursery.
I never got to design Ella’s nursery, and as we added more and more girls, we just sort of left the dull pink color and mismatched furniture for all of the girls. I finally decided to design the nursery that I wanted and would love, and learned that I really don’t care for pink all that much, especially as a wall color.
My DIY Dream Nursery
This bed has made it through all 5 of my babies. It’s time is certainly coming to an end, but for now, I’m still loving all of its beauty.
This nursing chair has also made it through all 5 of my children, and 2 of my cousins before them. It came with an ottoman, which was well loved, but very large and in a small home, every inch of space counts. So it was freecycled, and hopefully loved.
I have always preferred hand created art over store bought art. I want my home filled with unique items that no one else in the world has. Basic is an insult in my vocabulary, so I prefer to be anything but.
I made this dream catcher to match my fall + earth inspired nursery with hemp and ribbons. I think it pulled the room together with its color palette.
The stars are decals that I found on Etsy. They were very easy to put on and made a huge difference in the room.
I have had this shelving unit since my oldest was a toddler and housed his VHS & DVD collection. I asked my husband to hang them on the wall instead. I love being able to have my cloth diapers on display, easily accessible, yet stylish at the same time. I spent a long time finding the perfect additions to style these shelves and I have to say, as simple as it is, this is probably my favorite wall in the house.
When my husband came to America this was his dresser which we were gifted by his parents. The shelf I have had since Ella was a baby which I picked up at the thrift store.
I chose to omit a changing table this time around and use a Moses changing basket instead which I highly recommend. We didn’t have enough space for a changing table, and quite honestly, over a span of 4 kids, it was only used about 6 months per kid, if that. I decided to convert my changing table into a hutch for my dining room. I love being able to take the Moses basket easily from room to room. And it takes up no extra space.
The Llama toy basket came Target.
This shelf I had a bit of trouble styling, but I love the wood and simplicity of it.
The lamp came from Target. The Adventure sign came from Hobby Lobby.
Small houses require a lot of additional storage anywhere you can add it. This cloth storage unit added some extra storage and fit well in this room’s color palette.
This was an additional step that everyone thought I was silly for adding, especially at around $15 a piece, but I think small details are important in the big picture. Why redo an entire room and leave those ugly plastic ones? Especially when we want to be a plastic-free home! I think they look beautiful in this room, and with the amount of money I saved shopping my home, using mostly what we already had, I figured that I could splurge a little on the cover plates I wanted.
I loved these animal hangers from Hobby Lobby. I got them during a 50% hanging decor sale making them less than $5 a piece. They went so well in here and add even a little bit more extra storage space. Every little bit counts in a small house!
So that’s my DIY Dream Nursery! I loved designing it and I love the feel that it has brought to our home. If you love it as much as I do, I ask that you please share!
Be sure to check back for more home makeovers as I share each room!!
A few years ago during the worst of my grief depression following the death of my son’s father, I began what I later learned as “Swedish Death Cleaning.”
Swedish Death Cleaning is the idea of clearing out all of the clutter from your home in order to leave less of a burden on your loved ones when you die to make it simpler on them.
I began obsessively tossing everything in my home and organizing everything perfectly in the event that I would pass. I wanted everything to be in order (even controlling from my grave, I see 🤪) so that when I was gone they would be able to find everything easily and they wouldn’t have to go through any of my things.
I got rid of almost everything in my home and found that a huge part of my stress had gone away. I found that my children actually played with the toys they had left. I found that every item left in my home has a purpose, and is used. I found that having a completely decluttered and organized home significantly cut down on waste. I found that it is much easier to thoroughly clean when you have less to move.
I learned that holding onto items for the off chance that I “might” fit in something one day or “might” use it one day even though we haven’t used it once in years was only creating extra unnecessary clutter. Why was I holding onto it? What purpose did it serve sitting in a corner or on a shelf being stored away. We aren’t supposed to hoard earthly treasures. We should give freely when we can, and if we have things that we truly are not using, we should offer it up to someone who could use it now.
With my 30th birthday approaching as well as the holiday season that will also soon be upon us, I thought I would create a gift guide to make shopping for the minimalist woman 😘 in your life a little easier.
A Gift Guide for the Minimalist Woman in your Life
Personal Care Gift Card (Massage, nail appointment, hair appointment, a facial. 💆🏼♀️💇🏼♀️ [ ⚠️TIP: Find out what salon the miminalist woman in your life uses before purchasing a gift card.]
A new candle🕯
Take care of one bill, expense, or outstanding debt. 💵 No matter how big or how small, its always nice to feel less financially stressed.
A grocery store gift card, or take grocery shopping! 🧁 It’s always nice to be able to get some things outside your family food budget.
A gasoline gift card ⛽
A new plant 🌿 real or faux!
Offer to help with something that needs finished! 🙌🏼 From finishing a project together to getting the laundry caught up for her, there’s always so much to do & not enough time to do it. An extra set of hands can be greatly appreciated.
Offer to babysit 🤱🏼
Provide an already prepared meal that is heat-able in the oven or crockpot for a night off from cooking, with minimal cleaning. OR go out for a meal. 🥗 [ ⚠️TIP: find out dietary restrictions ahead of time!]
A book or cookbook 📚 (Find out dietary restrictions ahead of time).
A Kitchen Aide Stand Mixer attachment for the homemaking minimalist woman. There are so many neat attachments that make cooking or baking from scratch even easier!
Cute reusable grocery bags
Earrings from a local artist or Etsy.[ ⚠️TIP: Etsy can sometimes have long shipping times. Plan accordingly.]
Baked goods. 🍪 Homemade is always best.
A bag of coffee from a favorite local coffee shop
I hope that this list helped give you a few ideas for creative and useful minimalist gift giving for the woman in your life! 🎁
🙏🏼 PLEASE SHARE AND SUBSCRIBE! & Also check back for my Gift Guide for the Minimalist Children & Families, as well as my Gift Guide for the Minimalist Man!