NO-Aluminum, Non-Toxic, EASY, Natural, DIY Deodorant

Ever google “aluminum in antiperspirant”? It’s kind of scary what problems have been potential linked to clogging your sweat pores with aluminum for decades on end. But let’s be honest… I smell like a the bad end of an onion if I go with out and that’s a little bit of an issue too. While I am a bit crunchy I an not THAT crunchy. So, what’s a girl to do? Make my own!

I wanted to test this recipe for several weeks/months before bragging on it, but I am pleased to say that it is AMAZING! Everything I have ever wanted in a DIY/Natural deodorant

  • Made from easy to find (CHEAP) ingredients
  • No annoying processes making it (Mix and go)
  • Easy to apply
  • I DON’T stink with it!

I do apply it before bed and in the AM – but really I had to do that with my Rx strength DO too (Yeah, I am THAT smelly… hanging head in shame)

Enjoy!

(Remember to use PURE unadulterated oils for this so you don’t end up putting something else potentially harmful in your body) HERE is more info on my company of choice!

Also, I add in 3 drops of Clary Sage, BUT if you are pregnant or plan to be – omit the Clary Sage. It is the one oil that is not wise to use while pregnant until you are in labor or FULL term as it could encourage contractions.

Crocheted Toddler Mittens (FREE pattern)

Ever tried to find good fitting mittens that aren’t a pain in the rear to put on your small toddler? None of them are small enough to fit their tiny hands well.

PROBLEM SOLVED!

“I’ll just make my own!”

BUUUUT… I struggled to even find a crochet pattern that worked, so I designed my own! I have used this pattern for a couple of years and made MANY mittens for my kids and my friend’s and family’s kids as well. They are amazing! Pattern is for Toddler (1-2T) and Preschooler (3-5T). I didn’t bother writing the pattern for any older kids because by the time they were 5 or so they preferred gloves and by that time gloves fit well enough to be useful.

CLICK HERE FOR A BEAUTIFUL & PRINTABLE PDF PATTERN

1-2 years:

Ribbing:

G hook and worsted weight yarn
1.) Ch 13, starting in the second ch from hook, Sc 12, ch 1 and turn
2-16.) BLO – Sc in each, ch 1 and turn
Slst last row to first to form cuff, ch 1

Hand:
Switch to H hook
Notes: Work in rounds now using a stitch marker. Do NOT join at the end of rounds.
1.) Sc in the side of each row (16)
2.) (Sc 3, inc) 4 times (20)
3.) Sc 9, inc twice, sc 9 (22)
4.) Sc 9, inc, sc 2, inc, sc 9 (24)
5.) Sc 9, inc, sc 4, inc, sc 9 (26)
6.) Sc 9, skip next 8, sc 9 (18) (thumb hole formed)
7-13.) Sc in each Sc
14.) sc2tog 9 times (9)
15.) sc2tog 3 times, sc3tog
Finish off leaving long tail to sew up hole at top.

Thumb:
Join at thumb hole on first skipped stitch time round 6, ch 1, Sc in same as joining and next 6, (insert into last skilled stitch and PUL, insert into hand portion of glove and PUL, insert into first st of this round and PUL, YO and pull through all loops, place stitch marker.
2-5.) Sc in each sc (7)
Finish off leaving long tail to sew up hole at end.

3-5 years:

Ribbing:

G hook and worsted weight yarn
1.) Ch 15, starting in the second ch from hook, Sc 14, ch 1 and turn
2-20.) BLO – Sc in each, ch 1 and turn
Slst last row to first to form cuff, ch 1

Hand:
Switch to H hook
Notes: Work in rounds now using a stitch marker. Do NOT join at the end of rounds.
1.) Sc in the side of each row (16)
2.) (Sc 3, inc) 5 times (25)
3.) Sc 11, inc, sc 1, inc, sc 11 (27)
4.) Sc 11, inc, sc 3, inc, sc 11 (29)
5.) Sc 11, inc, sc 5, inc, sc 11 (31)
6.) Sc 11, skip next 9, sc 11 (22) (thumb hole formed)
7-15.) Sc in each Sc (22)
16.) sc2tog 11 times (11)
17.) sc2tog 4 times, sc3tog
Finish off leaving long tail to sew up hole at top.

Thumb:
Join at thumb hole on first skipped stitch time round 6, ch 1, Sc in same as joining and next 7, (insert into last skilled stitch and PUL, insert into hand portion of glove and PUL, insert into first st of this round and PUL, YO and pull through all loops, place stitch marker.
2-6.) Sc in each sc (8)
Finish off leaving long tail to sew up hole at end.

Our Daily Homeschool Routine!

So many have asked what our homeschool routine looks like this year with 8 kids! Let me give you a bit of background about what each child is involved in!

Andrew and Maddie (9th and 7th) are using Classical Conversations curriculum with Teaching Textbooks for math. Both attend an all day co-op on day a week and meet with a tutor in a class setting while there.

Our other children (5th, 4th, 2nd, K) follow an eclectic curriculum that I have put together for them. You can see our curriculum choices for the year HERE.

Here is a rough outline of our plan for the day. I talk about it more in detail in the video below!

PD schedule

I Have a 15 Year Old!?

You GUYS, I feel WAY too young for this blog post! My oldest turned FIFTEEN last week! Wasn’t I 15 just a few days ago?

We had an awesome day with him! While my amazing momma watched our youngest 6 kids we took AJ and Maddie out for lunch at a local restaurant my dad built. After we shopped around for a ukulele and visited the electric piano that he wants to save for at another music shop. We hit up the mall to look for Twenty One Pilots gear and even grabbed a Starbucks before returning home to cake and ice cream with my parents and inlaws!

I am so proud of this kid! He is so talented and I can’t believe that he is growing so quickly into a man. I sometimes look back at his toddler pictures and can still hear his squeaky voice that has now been replaced for a grown up, much deeper version.

Time flies, mommas! Don’t blink!

November Specials!

First off, I want to say THANK YOU for everybody that has been so supportive of my new business throughout this year. So many of you have reached out and shared words of encouragement and support! That means so much to me. Countless others have chosen to me as their source for essential oils and other products and some of you have even joined me in this awesome adventure. I have become so close to many of you through this business and feel blessed beyond measure to connect on a deeper level!

Know that when you support a momma on her journey in a small, home based business you help her and her family on such a personal level!  I have fallen in love with the networking business plan. This business has blessed our family in such a HUGE way this year. I plan on devoting a whole post to this as it is such an awesome and God-led journey! I can’t wait to share that with you when I have a time to sit down and pour out my heart, my triumphs and my struggles with you. #foranothertime

BUT what I do want to share is the November specials!

They are AMAZING! I have been a customer for almost a year now and a Wellness Advocate 9 months and have NEVER seen them do a sale on starter kits!  BUT THEY ARE NOW!

The most popular starter kits are 20% off AND they have changed the packaging to make for less landfill waste (shipping box and packaging box are on in the same) and they made from recycled material! #LOVEthiscompany!

Our Holiday Gift Guide is here as well and it choked full of amazing gifts including the seasonal blends! Mmmmmm…

Product of the month this month is clove which means if you’re already a wholesale customer of mine you can get it FREE with a 125 PV LRP order if it ships before the 15th of the month. Clove is an amazing fall oil that has a beautifully rich scent and has many therapeutically uses as well!

  • Add one drop to toothpaste to clean teeth and gums.
  • Place one drop in two ounces of water and gargle for a soothing effect.
  • Take in veggie capsules to support cardiovascular health.*

Siberian Fir is also 10% off all month! Siberian Fir is a new product that was just released and it is SOOO good! It has a refreshing, woody scent that is known for its calming and relaxing properties. After strenuous activity, massage into skin for soothing comfort.

  • When working through difficult circumstances at home, work, or school, diffuse Siberian Fir to help reduce stress.
  • Apply topically to skin to help soothe minor skin irritations.
  • Inhale deeply and experience the refreshing aroma.

Copaiba (one of our newest oils) is back in stock! (Yes, it sold out. Sold out faster than pizza at a teenage mutant ninja turtle reunion!) If you haven’t heard about this awesome oil, then PLEASE do some research and look into the amazing benefits it carries with it! It’s a cannabinoid with NO trace THC because it isn’t derived from the cannabis plant unlike CBD oil. AND it actually has a HIGHER concentration of cannabinoids than CBD- almost 60% concentration! To top it off this cannabinoid react DIRECTLY (CBD reacts only INdirectly) with the CB2 receptor! The possibilities and uses of this oil are amazing! SO many families will benefit from it. I have a plan to dedicated post on this oil and the science behind it!

New to oils and want to get started: GO HERE!

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Halloween Costumes 2017

Happy Halloween! I wanted to share what our kids dressed up as for Halloween! It was so easy this year because our neighbor across our road dropped off a large assortment of costumes from his daughter and we keep most of our store bought and homemade costumes (that are worth saving) in a bin. I hung them all up and had them “shop” from what we had! Cora, Ezra, Georgia and Faith all picked out their costumes from those.

Cypress dressed in the bear costume I made for AJ 14 years ago. It was the first garment I ever sewed! All 8 of our kids have worn it and it was a bit bittersweet to see our last child in it.

Michael chose to be a scarecrow and it was such a cool costume that didn’t require much. Some raffia, a blank mask, a small piece of burlap and a straw hat. We already owned everything else.

Maddie went as a deer. SUPER EASY! A little makeup and a headband with pipe cleaners and felt ears and it was DONE!

AJ, our oldest, dressed as one of the members of his favorite band, Twenty One Pilots. He and his friend went out on their own so no pictures of him.

 

Does your family wear costumes on Halloween? What did your kids dress up as?

 

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Grocery Budget Challenge

October is over, so I guess it’s time to share how I did on my self-inflicted grocery budget challenge!  Mike and I had fallen off the budget train while back and we wanted a fresh start so kicked it off with a budget challenge to make sure we were paying close attention to what and where we were spending. I have seen a YouTuber that love mention the $100/person per month challenge for budgeting, which for us was $1000. I began by trying to stick to $200 per week so that I would have a margin. I shopped both online (2 out of the weeks) and in store (the 2 remaining weeks) and there are pros and cons to both which I will cover in another post.

Normally our grocery budget is between $1200-$1500/month depending on if we have special events or not or if we do a large Sam’s (bulk) haul to stock up on things.

Keep in mind there are a lot of variables that go into a grocery budget for each family. For instance, I DO include all our consumables in that total as well. Things like toilet paper, paper towel, make up and diapers/wipes (we use disposables at night and on trips).  The size of your family and the ages of your kids play into this as well. Also, the region you live in and the price of milk, produce, and meat fluctuate the most. Luckily, I live in the heart of the USA and our prices are pretty low for farmed products. Actually, our milk is the lowest it has been since I can remember at under $1.00 a gallon! #what? Also, we don’t have any food sensitives or allergies and I don’t hyperventilate over every detail of organic/GMO/processed. I do my best to feed my kids healthy food without being the crazed mom at the party that’s snatching the cupcake out of her kid’s hands and replacing it with a cardboard replica. That’s just not me! In my mind there is a fine line between healthy and health-crazy and I am doing my best to walk it with as much grace as this mom can. And while we are here please recognize we all have different opinions on the best ways to feed our families and can we at the very least RESPECTLY agree that we are all just moms trying to do the best we can and we *might* hold different standards And. That’s. OKAY. Like, really, it is. We each just need to be the mom that the Lord called us to be and thankfully we are varied and beautifully diverse in every aspect. Stepping off my soapbox now…

I did alter our food consumption and what I bought a little, but I wanted to see how close I could get without changing things too much. The biggest things that changed were the fact that I couldn’t stock up on certain items and I consciously left out more expensive meals certain types of fresh produce to stretch the budget a bit.

One thing I noticed was that we made a lot of smaller (in between) grocery trips that added up quickly! Was this because I was leaving stuff out trying to stick to a budget or because I just didn’t have my crap together in October? I don’t know… More than likely a combination of both.

Was it doable? Absolutely! I actually think in times of necessity I could cut that number down quite a bit lower by adjusting our meals even more and omitting non-essentials. Would I want to continue? Probably not. I am in a season where I’d like to save the mental energy required to check prices on Every. Single. Item. It is not exactly worthwhile at this point in my life. While I am frugal, I do NOT have the time to coupon, go to 5 different stores, make a whole bunch of separate trips (although I felt we did a lot of that this month…) or fix meals that I don’t want to eat just because they are cheaper. It’s a tradeoff and I am in the season of life where the reward just isn’t worth the effort.

Here’s the breakdown of our monthly grocery trips:

Our main weekly grocery trips:

Week 1

Walmart (pick up)            $196.85

Week 2

Walmart (pick up)            $188.82

Week 3

Aldis                                      $167.52

Walmart                               $67.39

Amazon                               $61.48

Week 4

Aldis                                      $133.86

Walmart                               $70.97

 

Our main grocery trips totaled to $886.89

Our smaller in between grocery trips totaled to $169.50

Grand Total for the month was $1052.79 which put us $52.79 over my target. This works out to $105/person per month.

What is your monthly budget and the size of your family?

How I Teach: Handwriting

Who out there over complicates something that just SCREAMS simple? (Raising my hand in the air while simultaneously hanging my head in shame.) Why do I do that? I mean, I fight for simplicity every day and try to streamline everything to make it more efficient.

Handwriting is one of those subjects that is just TOO easy to teach, yet I always seemed to make it more complicated than it needed to be. This summer as I was looking at printing out and binding all the worksheets (x4) we had done last year I started brainstorming a simpler approach.

“Why not have everyone do handwriting at the same time and even, possibly, be practicing the same letter!” LIGHT BULB! Wasn’t that how the one room school houses did it when they were teaching multiple aged children anyhow?

I started to implement this idea for the first quarter of this school year and not only is it WAY EASIER, but my children who have struggled with messy handwriting have improved more in the last 6-8 weeks than they did the entire last year! And it only takes about 15 minutes! Here’s how we do it!

In the morning after we do our memory work (so we are already sitting at the table together), I dismiss the younger crowd. Cypress (1 year old) plays in the living room or in his pack and play and Cora (3 years old) usually goes with him. Occasionally Cora stays at the at the table with us and colors in her little workbooks (dollar store finds that I have collected over the years).

While I am getting the littlest ones situated with toys my Prek/K, 2nd, 4th, and 5th grader get their paper and pencils and write their full (first, middle and last) name on the top line of their paper.

The paper they use is determined by the grade they’re in. I use primary paper for the younger grades and when they hit 3rd grade or so I switch them to wide ruled.

My 15 minutes of handwriting instruction looks like this:

Note: My very first session is an evaluation so that I can compare it to when they have finished. I have them all write (in their best handwriting) the alphabet both upper and lower case and if they have already learned it, the cursive alphabet as well.

  • White board instruction (2-3 minutes): I will draw a the top, bottom and dotted middle line that is included on primary paper. I then will very slowly (while explaining) write the  uppercase letter “A” making sure I mark the spot where I started with an “x” or a large dot. This way, when they are practicing and they forget where to start the letter they can look to the board and see. Then I move on to the lower case version of the letter “a”. Then the cursive versions of each.
  • Letter practice (5-8 minutes): The kids are then asked to write a line of their BEST upper case letters (I require 6 letters of each), skip a line, a line of their BEST lower case letters, skip a line, a line of their BEST upper case cursive letters, skip a line, and a line of their BEST lower case cursive letters. For kids that are JUST learning their letters , are new to cursive, or need a bit more help I offer then a sheet that has a traceable letters to guide them if needed. For those who haven’t learned cursive yet I only require the print letters.
  • Word practice (remaining time): When they finish their letters I allow them to write any word they want as long as it has the letter “a” in it somewhere. This is where they shine! I usually write a couple of words they suggest on the white board so they can see them spelled out. Many times they take as many random words on the board as they can and try to come up with a sentence with them all. I allow my kids to be silly and have a good time with this. The word “poop” and “toilet”(and various other colorful words) come up as often as the letters in the allow! If it gets them to enjoy handwriting I am all for it!

After we have cycled through all the letters we do another evaluation. We forgo the normal instruction and spend the 15 minutes carefully writing out their BEST alphabet (uppercase and lower case). I then compare it to the one they did at the beginning to see how much improvement has been made.

Then we start the cycle over again. Usually this time around I will require the word practice to be done in cursive (and then next time I will switch back to print). You’ll end up cycling through the alphabet 4-6 times depending on how many times a week you do handwriting and how many weeks per year you school.

For those who aren’t quite ready to print letters yet: While most of my kids have been ready to learning handwriting by this age, ,Ezra (just turned 5) is a lefty and both he and my other lefty tended to need a little extra time. During this time he traces pictures from coloring books or tracing sheets that I have printed off for him.

Budget Challenge Grocery Haul

I LOVE a good budgeting challenge! Its so amazing how much further we can stretch a dollar when we set our minds to it!

This month I have challenged to spend less than $1000 for our family of 10 for groceries, toiletries and household consumables! The challenge was presented by a YouTube video I saw that said that you CAN keep this amount at $100/person per month! So, I accepted to see how realistic it was! I will be keeping track of ALL my grocery purchases and let you know how I did at the end of October!

Week one

Menu:

  • Leftovers/sandwiches
  • Homemade pizza with salad
  • Grilled chicken with potatoes and veggies
  • Ham and swiss sliders with fruit/nut/yogurt
  • Chicken burrito bowls
  • Fettuccine alfredo with peas and carrots
  • Chili with cornbread

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October is finally here!

Is anyone else (besides me and Cypress over there) geeking out over that fact that its FALL?! Cause I am! Fall is by far my favorite time of year! And I am SO over the 90 degree weather. Here in Illinois we had a couple of record setting days in the mid 90’s at the end of SEPTEMBER! Talk about summer going out with a bang!

During that little heat wave Mike and I took the family to Peoria to see replicas of the Nina and the Pinta.  

Anyone else need lots of patience and oils when traveling with children? We have been in the habit of “Passing the Peace” when we get into the car for road trips! Peace oil is a favorite around here!

And with it being 9,000 degrees we stopped for ice cream along the riverfront too!

We are also 6 weeks into our homeschooling year and we are FINALLY into a grove of a good schedule and routine. I will share that as well as our curriculum choices for this year very soon!

With a new month comes new promotion for my little side business! Can I tell you now just how AMAZING it is to be able to contribute financially to our family! It was a complete God thing and the timing for committing to build with doTERRA was so divine. I will talk to you guys later about just how God fleshed out a mere miracle at the perfect timing for our family! #GodisGOOD (If you would like to know more about this company can bless your family’s wellness and finances, PLEASE reach out! I am so passionate about #momshelpingmoms! Email: afarmhousefull@gmail.com)

But first – FREE ESSENTIAL OIL PROMOS!

There are some awesome promos going on in the month of October!

If you are already a wholesale customer doTERRA is giving away THREE free oils (3 of my family’s favorite oils) with ANY 200 pv order! WHAT? You better bet the farm I am getting those oils for FREE this month! We have such a generous and giving company! What are the oils? BALANCE, SERENITY and CITRUS BLISS! Click here for a small Monday-night-class about these three oils. (I hold classes every Monday night in my oil group here – check them out!)

And you can stack them with the Product of the Month! Which means if you place your 200 PV order on your LRP (Loyalty Rewards Program) and have it shipped before the 15th you will get all three oils for free PLUS a 5ml bottle of OnGuard! Onguard is amazing this time of year as it is our immune/protective blend!

Anyone who has been on the fence about getting  starter kit and a wholesale account NOW IS THE TIME! Most starter kits qualify you for this amazing promo too! Choose the Home Essentials or Natural Solutions and you’ll be getting those three oils for free too!

Email me if you would like to talk over your options and discuss which kit would best suit your family and your checkbook! #respectthecheckbook!

On top of all that, anyone who enrolls with 200PV or higher and sets up a LRP order in November will be receiving a FREE gift from me! The Essential Life book! An AMAZING and beautiful resource and guide book on how to use each and every oil and supplement doTERRA carries! (US only because international shipping cost more than a black market kidney!)

How are you all enjoying this fall? What fun things are you up to?

 

 

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