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Articles from: April 2013

Quick update

Just wanted to check in and say that I made a great lotion today! I will post pics and recipe later in week. My first attempt at lotion was a success!

I also made a dandruff shampoo that, upon first impressions, I am liking. Again, recipe and post in coming week!

Have a fabulous Sunday, everyone! I hope the sun is shining in your area. Mine is gorgeous. I’m not going to let this beautiful day go to waste. Get your zen on, people!

My thoughts and prayers go out to the Boston victims today

In light of this horrible tragedy, I realize that our kids’ innocence is ripped from them by the news. Each report of tragedies and senseless acts of terror takes one more piece of our children’s sense of wonder and innocence. How do we shield them from this, yet still help them to make sense of what they hear on the news?

I think Fred Rogers, aka Mister Rogers stated it best in this famous quote, “When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster,’ I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.” — Mister Rogers

Acknowledge what happened. Answer questions, affirm fears and give plenty of hugs, kisses and encouragement. Give them a sense of normalcy in this scary, uncertain time. By looking for the helpers and teaching your children that there are helpers in these events, you teach courage and purpose. You acknowledge their fears but show them that the world is still compassionate, caring and loving.

Hug your children tight tonight. Peace.

DIY Natural Eye Makeup Remover

I wanted to share this recipe I have been using for a simple, very effective makeup remover. This all natural recipe puts you in control of the ingredients that you put on your body. Take control and say “Sayonara to chemicals!” This is very quick and easy to make and I just reused my old makeup remover container! Recycling at its best.

Are you intrigued now? You know you are. Well, let’s get started!

First, gather your ingredients:

Choose your container.

Equal Parts: Witch Hazel

Jojoba Oil, or (oil of your choice)

FilteredWater

Thoroughly clean and dry your container. Add each ingredient to your container. You will notice that they will separate. Water and oil don’t mix, right?

Before using, agitate to mix thoroughly. Put some on a cotton ball and apply gently to your eye area. You will be removing tough makeup and moisturizing your delicate eye area at the same time. This important step happens without harsh chemicals and carcinogens. How can you go wrong?

Here is a pic of the finished product before and after agitation.

Simple, 3 ingredient all-natural eye makeup remover.

Simple, 3 ingredient all-natural eye makeup remover.

 

Make your own all natural, effective eye makeup remover with 3 simple ingredients!

Make your own all natural, effective eye makeup remover with 3 simple ingredients!

 

Enjoy and let me know what you think! Zen on!

The Misadventures of Adult Braces

To quote Hank Hill from King of the Hill, “Just another idiot with adult braces.” More and more adults are getting braces. And no, we are not idiots!

For those of you that do not know, last July I got braces for the first time. It’s been an interesting journey to say the least. My teeth have always been an issue for me, but my mom being a single mom, could not afford braces for me when I was younger. I always planned on getting braces and talked about doing so since high school.

The breaking point for me was when my already jacked-up lower teeth were crowding even more to the point that on one side, they were coming together to form a triangle. Every time I ate, food would get caught in the little pocket it formed. It got to be so awkward and frustrating that I had to be given a special tiny toothbrush to properly brush that area. Really? I had had enough!

Humor really does help. When I was filling out the paperwork for my first meeting with my orthodontist, I answered the question why are you interested in getting braces, as such: I have three teeth that are forming a triangle where food gets caught, my teeth are crowding forward way more than 20 years ago and I would like to look less British. This is no offense to British people. It is just my warped sense of humor. Luckily, my orthodontist gets my humor.

I have had a great experience so far with my braces. They are hopefully coming off in December of this year, fingers crossed. That said, I have had some bumps along the way. I thought I would share my experience to give my 40 year old mom vantage point as opposed to your average teenager (or younger) child going through this.

When I first got my braces on, I will tell you, it hurt way longer than I thought it would. I don’t think I even allowed my teeth to touch for at least 5 days, possibly longer. At the time, I was a vegan, so it was quite the change from my usual diet. It’s taken lots of adjustments and tweaking with my diet.

I find I eat a lot more nut butters than I did before. I have to cut up carrots now and find that tearing a sandwich into small pieces is preferential over just biting into it. Salads are doable but after eating one, I feel like I resemble the front car grill after an all-night summer drive!

I found out the hard way why they tell you NOT to eat popcorn when you have braces. My family eats popcorn at least twice a week. On top of that, the company I work for has a popcorn maker on every floor and popcorn is being made all day long. The worst part is smelling it. It’s like crack. I swear it is. (No, I’ve never taken drugs. I’m just saying!) One night I couldn’t take it anymore and in a moment of weakness, I ate some popcorn. It was heavenly…

I continued eating popcorn and not admitting it to my ortho with no consequences for about 4 months. Then one night, I was brushing my teeth and using that little dent-a-stick thing to floss and noticed my bottom back wire was completely bent and sticking out. Da da da DA!!!! Busted! The phone call the next morning went from overly casual on my end to Catholic confessional when asked if I had wax to put over the wire.

That was my first lesson learned. I got it. We all had a good laugh – at my expense.

Stay tuned for more less-than-Zen Adult Braces installments. If nothing else, it’s a good laugh, right?

DIY Green Laundry Detergent Recipe

I have been researching and creating various all natural products lately in an effort to eliminate chemicals and gain control over what my family is exposed to.  I have been using this recipe for laundry detergent and am very impressed. I can’t say enough great things about this detergent! It has 3 ingredients. It is VERY cost effective. You only use 1 Tablespoon per load. It cleans incredibly well and gets out stains too. Win, win, win!

You can get the supplies at your local grocery or department store. If you don’t need the ingredients tomorrow, you can purchase the ingredients on the internet. Click the links below to gather your supplies.

1 – 4lb 12 oz box of Borax

1 – 55 oz box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda

1 – 4 lb box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda

3 – bars of Fels-Naptha Soap

You will also need a container to store it in with a lid and a dedicated Tablespoon to measure it out.

DIY-Laundry-Detergent

Grate your 3 bars of Fels-Naptha. Don’t let the rather strong scent of the bars discourage you. Your laundry will not smell like this soap. When I first made mine, it came out looking like cheese curls. Next time, I am going to grate it on a finer setting. Once the bars are grated, you will just need to add the other ingredients and mix well!

I recommend using 1 level Tbsp per load. I have used more than that and noticed that the ingredients did not dissolve completely. Every time since that I have used only 1 Tbsp, I did not have any problems with left over residue, so that is what I recommend.

Try it and let me know what you think! Thank you for checking this out and keep Going Green Zen!

Top Five Tips For Successfully Starting Seeds Inside

So the sun is starting to shine and has overcome its shyness of late. That can only mean one thing…Spring is Here! What better way to prepare for the upcoming warmth of summer than to plant something, right?

Here are five helpful tips to ensure success when starting seeds. It’s not exactly rocket science, but can be disappointing if all your hard work comes to a screeching halt. By following these tips, you should have a healthy, successful, Zen experience and turn your thumbs a beautiful jade color!

  1. Keep in mind the space you have to add plants to. You might want to plant corn, but if you only have containers to fill, you might want to grow tomatoes or flowers instead! Fill your space accordingly. In this instance, the late, great Bob Ross’ words of wisdom, “It’s your world. You can plant a tree if you want to.” does NOT ring true!
  2. Realize that while the seedlings start out small, they do grow bigger. Sometimes overnight! You need to give yourself enough space from the beginning of the process all the way to the day you are putting that precious cargo into the fully-prepared garden bed.
  3. Great Ways to Re-purpose your Lego Advent Calendar Trays

    Keep those seedlings protected! Do you have small children? Pets? Limited space? I came up with a great solution this year. Not only did I re-purpose some trays to come up with the best seed trays ever, I also made my own little greenhouse for the seeds as they grow that would keep them completely protected from our mischievous cat. Score 1 for me! These are the inside trays from our Lego advent Calendar. How cool is that? They are deeper allowing me to use an actual peat cup, Seed-Traysnot the little Jiffy peat pellets. This will allow me to only plant seeds once and then put directly in the ground, so less shock to the seedlings and enough height for stability. The next part was my stroke of genius.I bought a clear tote that fit the plants. While the lid is not clear – I could not find one that had a clear lid, I discovered that both of my trays fit perfectly on the tray lid – (I measured prior to purchasing the tray.) By flipping the bin upside down, I created my own really large greenhouse! This is perfect for those plants that take off and shoot up and outgrown the overpriced greenhouses that they sell and only give about 2 inches maximum room. The real genius moment for me was that it was sturdy enough that my cat could even lay on top of it and not dent the bin, thus not damaging the plants. I must say, I am very impressed with this. I might have to drill some holes into the bottom to give enough air, but we’ll bridge that gap when we get there.DIY Seed Greenhouse

  4. Now that you have the seeds purchased, taking care to choose according to your space and light and zone, you are ready to plant. Check the packages and notate if any need to be prepped the night before. My pinto beans need to be soaked for 24 hours before sowing the seeds. Fill the containers all the way to the top with soil, soil-level-tips
  5. LABELS!!!!  This is so incredibly important and easily overlooked. Those of you that are only planting one type of seed, you can skip this step. The rest of us, keep reading! Get some labels. I prefer two types. Plant-Tag-Tips-for-Growing-I am pretty particular on this next step, but it is well worth it and you will thank yourself for it when you are planting in 4-8 weeks. The large labels, that can be purchased here, are for the main information. I add name of plant from seed packet. If I have two types of tomatoes or peppers, I get more specific. Next is spacing and row information. Last is maturity date. You need to know when to harvest your crop! Again, if you are planting flowers, you can skip the maturity date. Here is how my tags look. The skinny sticks then get less info because they are mainly to keep your seeds straight. I prefer the white plastic as they are easier to read and when I use a permanent sharpie marker, they don’t fade in the sun. They can also be cleaned and reused each year!

Plant-Tag-Tips

Stay tuned for my step-by-step guide to prepping your garden beds. Happy Spring, Everyone! Now, go plant something!