Tag Archive | Natural Living

Book Review: Organic Housekeeping

 I randomnly picked up this book at the library in Mesa before we moved. Amelia and I were headed to the kids reading room and it caught my eye on a display shelf so I stopped, thumbed through the table of contents and added it to my bag. I had no clue what I was getting myself into. This book is amazing! I ended up buying a cheap used copy off Amazon because I knew it was a keeper. The whole first section I felt like I was reading my own thoughts down on paper and published into a book. That section of course is about organizing! How to keep a manageable home : ) I wish I had my own copy when I read this section so I could’ve highlighted as now my daily “free-time” slot is minimal to go back and re-read and highlight so the solution to this is for all of you to get your own copy!

 She covers organizing the whole house so everyone can live in a more efficient and clutter-free way; kitchen cleaning (i.e. most sanitary cooking utensils, non-toxic cleaning products, how to clean appliances); bathroom and bedroom cleaning and maintenance; LAUNDRY (this has been my go to reference manual for stain removal, laundry aids, line drying, etc.); general house cleaning (walls, flooring, windows, etc.); indoor air quality and how to improve it and what is in your house that is polluting your air quality (simple things like synthetic air fresheners, etc.); gardening and lawn care. 

 One of the key points that I am continuing to think about and that is changing the way I manage my house is a point that most people will not get sick from dirty clothes that are caked with mud on them but many people are getting all sorts of diseases and illnesses due to the chemicals in the laundry detergents and laundry aids that we use to “clean” our clothes when all they do is slather the clothes with dangerous chemicals that smell “fresh” but are actually toxic.

 I have never given much thought to all the chemical ingredients that are in our daily insecticides, pesticides, herbicides, all-purpose cleaners, dishwasher detergent, laundry detergent, and synthetic materials in our homes like certain paints, certain carpet materials, certain candles/air fresheners, and the list goes on. I am thankful that God led me to this book to open my eyes to the toxic exposure that has saturated the air we breathe for my family. It seems it is just briefly touching the surface of why cancer and other illnesses/diseases are on the rise these days since most of what is in our homes is toxic to our lives yet it smells and looks good and is cheap so it must be ok… right?  

 Definitely something to think about…


Homemade Dishwasher Soap

I have found a new hobby which is to make my own cleaning and personal care products. I have no clue why this excites me… it’s much like the cloth diapers. I am fully aware that these are not for everyone as about one year ago I thought people who did this were weird hippies with weird amounts of free time on their hands. I guess since I was born and raised in Portland it’s in my blood to be a weird hippie/tree hugger??? I also drive a Subaru?? and I love Columbia brand and Chacos??? Hmmm… anyways moving on.

 My two favorite blogs to follow My Blessed Home and Passionate Homemaking have links to this dishwasher soap (just type it into their search engines) and I have been using this for about 4 months now. In Arizona with the hard water you really had to give your dishes a good scrub before putting them in the dishwasher but here in Colorado I find my scrubbing time less : ) Here’s the recipe:

 1 cup Dr. Bronner Sal Suds

1 1/2 cups White Vinegar

1 cup water

2 tsp. lemon juice

6 drops tea tree oil

Use 1 Tlbs. per load

 I store mine in what is actually a beverage container (so be sure not to confuse it!) and I write the recipe on the front so when I run out it’s right there to make another batch. I also sprinkle 2 tsp. (approximately) of baking soda on top of the soap once it’s in the dishwasher which helps cut the grease on the dishes to make them cleaner.

 The two blogs estimate the cost of this recipe to be 5 – 6 cents per load!

 I absolutely love this soap, it is all natural, cheap and I love love love the smell of Sal Suds with it’s use of Fir and Spruce essential oils… then mixed in with the lemon juice and tea tree oil… yummy!

Reading List 2012

Updated: 10/7/12

 I have spent the last few weeks working on my Home Management Binder as I described in my post here. Well, I sort of described… it is such a work in progress that I’m not quite sure when I will post pictures and a full description of what is in the binder (I get giddy even thinking about sharing it!!!). But I have been spending time praying and seeking God’s wisdom in how to live my life more intentionally and making the most of every opportunity (Ephesians 5:17) and it has resulted in making a list of personal goals for the year, encouraging scripture to memorize, practical lists like a meal planner and to-do list, etc., and a book reading list for the year with a goal to read 12 books this year. So… here is my list:

To see any book reviews on these books please go to the Book Review tab at the top of the blog.


 The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins  I just finished this 2 nights ago! My first finished book in 2012!

Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins 

Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins

The Parting by Beverly Lewis


 The Fruit of Her Hands by Nancy Wilson My new favorite book!

The Power of a Praying Wife by Stormie Omartian

 The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace (I added this book in May after seeing it on a woman’s bookshelf who I someday aspire to be like… she has all the qualities of a Proverbs 31 woman and is an amazing Christian woman following God hard for her life. So I figured if she read it then I should read it!)


 The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot 

Instructing a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp I have changed my mind about reading this book this year and I am going to cross it off and save it for another year.

 Shepherding a Child’s Heart by Tedd Tripp – This is a re-read as this book was so fundamental to me understanding discipline based on God’s desires and what the Bible says but we read it right after Amelia was born and her temperament now is much different than then!!!

 The Power of a Praying Parent by Stormie Omartian

 Standing on the Promises by Douglas Wilson

Dare to Discipline by James Dobson

Christian Discipleship:

 The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis

 Biblical Womanhood in the Home by Nancy Leigh DeMoss

The Practice of Godliness by Jerry Bridges – I added this one in August after finding it again at a local thrift store for 50 cents! This morning I felt God telling me that He wanted me to do some more studying on the fruit of the spirits and I was wishing for my Beth Moore study on the fruit of the spirits which is in Arizona in our storage boxes! Well, I checked my bookshelf and looked at the Table of Contents in this book and it was perfect! I am excited to read this as the most important way to improve and grow in my roles as a wife and mother is to improve and grow in my relationship with the Lord and His character and there’s no better way than to grow in the fruit of the spirits!


 Organic Housekeeping by Ellen Sandbeck 

Mother Food by Hilary Jacobson – I decided to add this book in March since Joshua is underweight and our Dr. has encouraged us to find some way to supplement and increase calories to speed up his weight gain. The subtitle for this book is “A Breastfeeding Diet Guide with Lactogenic Foods and Herbs – Build Milk Supply, Boost Immunity, Lift Depression, Detox, Lose Weight, Optimize a Baby’s IQ, and Reduce Colic and Alergies”. My little growing man is in need of my increase in milk supply as I am determined to continue feeding him only from the breast and without adding formula for weight gain.

Natural Childbirth after Cesearean by Karis Crawford – I added this book in September once we found out we were pregnant with our third baby. After my trial visit to a midwives office they had this book for loan and I borrowed it since I am going to have a VBAC with this baby (Joshua was breech requiring a c-section).