Wednesday, February 1, 2012

A Couple of Updates

Back in December, we decided that we would not be eating out the entire month of January. We almost made it. Twice, I took the kids to lunch when we were out grocery shopping, once my husband took our son to lunch because they had errands to run in town and once I picked up KFC just because I couldn't think of one thing I wanted to cook! Not perfect but we saw progress. I cook 3 meals a day, EVERY DAY so sometimes I just needed a break. The main thing I learned was that A) It isn't that hard to cook from scratch once you know what you are making and B) I kinda like my cooking better than any restaurant. I think we will be continuing this through February.

In January, I tried the no-poo method of washing my hair. After 3 1/2 weeks I am dropping this for a couple of reasons. First, I really don't like the smell of apple cider vinegar. Even though you cannot smell it in your hair once it is dry, it really stinks up the shower while you are in there! Second, part of the idea was that I would be able to only "wash" my hair a few times a week. Nope. I had to do it every single day or the greasies took over. Third, I am not quite happy with some of the results. I do love that my hair is much fuller at the crown (usually that only happened when I colored my hair) and that I wasn't using anything toxic on my head. However, my hair never really felt clean. There were a couple of times when I had to put my hair up because it just looked a bit greasy even after I showered. My ends are also in serious bad shape. Not because of the no-poo, though. They were rough when I started so I will be going and getting a bunch of it cut off :-( I think I will look for a shampoo/conditioner that doesn't contain harmful chemicals and that doesn't stink like ACV!!!!

Our goal for February is to continue eating most meals at home as I really love saving the money! I will get hubby out for a date night once in awhile, though! This is also the time to begin starting my seeds and prepping the garden. I want to grow 75% of our fruits and veggies this year. I will be doing MUCH canning and preserving over the next several months. I CAN'T WAIT!!!! Funny how, at the end of the growing season last year, I was so happy for it to be over and now I can't wait to get my hands dirty again. Go figure.
This month I will also being trying a new recipe using a familiar meat in a new way. Nothing ground breaking for those of you that are used to eating wild game but quite a first for me. I have used venison ground, cubed and stewed but never have I used the tenderloin. I tasted it once, years ago, and hated it. But then again, I hated venison period at that time. Since hubby hunts a lot, deer is our main meat source so I am giving it another shot. Plus the tenderloin steaks will be wrapped in bacon so how bad could it be??? I am thinking of making them for Valentine's Day so I will post about it then.

On the cleaning front, I have journeyed into making my own laundry detergent. Just started using it this week and, so far so good. I'll post the recipe I am using for that later once I use it a bit more. The real test will be when we start working outside again and get all dirty, smelly and grimy. As far as household cleaners, this is what I use:
Granite counters- combo of castille soap, hot water and tea tree oil all mixed together and kept in a squirt bottle. I have read some blogs that use vinegar on their granite but I have been told that, over time, vinegar will pit granite and I am NOT taking any chances!

Sinks, showers, tubs, toilets- Good ol' vinegar and baking soda. Honestly, there isn't anything better! Plus, no bad chemicals to mess with the delicate balance of organisms in our septic tank! If you have ever had septic tank trouble you can appreciate that!

Carpets- To freshen, baking soda mixed with some essential oil, sprinkled all over and later vacuumed up.
To clean- Baking soda and tea tree oil mixed with hot water and poured into the cleanser dispenser on my carpet cleaner. Makes the whole house smell fresh and my carpets are clean and oh so soft!

Mirrors/windows-I just use vinegar in a spray bottle but some people say to mix either water or alcohol with it to keep it from streaking. I haven't had a streaking problem so I am sticking with it.

Hand Soap- I ran out of my chemical filled hand soap refill so I made my own using a grated bar of Ivory, glycerin and water. It is a bit runnier but works just fine. I'll post that recipe soon.

Facial Cleanser-I still have some of my oil of olay left so I will use that until it is done then I will use what my kids use which is the cleaner I use on my counters. I LOVE things with multiple uses!!!

As soon as I use up my chapstick (I am an addict to them!), lotion, moisturizer and deodorant, I will be making those myself too. I will post those recipes as I make and use them.

Well, that is about it my friends. Things are getting pretty busy around here. Just the way I like it!

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