So in a previous post I brought up changes I want to make. Like many others I have become interested in a more "natural" lifestyle. I am bothered by the amount of chemicals that we are surrounding ourselves with and putting into our bodies. As a mother I am particularly concerned with how this effects my children. My oldest daughter who is now 6 has had eczema since she was about 4 weeks old. So very early on I removed dyes and scents from our detergent, I did this by buying commercial dye and scent free detergent. We did everything the doctors recommended yet her eczema persisted. Her skin cracked and oozed. I would look at her poor cracked knuckles and try very hard not to cry. She would cry out when the medicine and lotions made her skin burn. I was at a loss, what else can I do? So I started looking at other methods. Our first and most substantial change to date is making our own laundry soap. This simple change has helped her skin so much. She isn't 100% clear, but her skin is not cracking, she has no oozing and when we put her lotions on she is not in pain. I also love the convenience of making my own laundry soap. When we run low no need to head to the store at 9pm on a Tuesday night because that shirt HAS to be clean tomorrow. No just take 20 min in the kitchen and viola! In a recent Twitter conversation I spontaneously documented the process and realized how quick and easy it really is. I started doing this around March 2013 I've only had to make soap a total of 3 times and has cost us less than 10.00 total. Pretty freaking awesome when a large container of our previous commercial detergent cost between 15 and 20 dollars. Our clothes are as clean if not cleaner, actually smell clean even though there is no fragrance in the homemade soap. This adventure into homemade laundry soap has me thinking about what else we can do for ourselves.
I have taken to trying to find easy and convenient ways to do things for ourselves. The more I think on it the more I realize that as a society we have lost how to do things. Easy things, making spaghetti sauce for instance. Until recently I have ALWAYS bought sauce. My parents for a large portion of my life bought sauce. It is "easier" than making our own. While in a pinch this is true but if you plan a little you can make your own without the chemical additive and freeze or can (if you know how, another lost art for large numbers of us) as many as you would buy. The more I think about it the more frustrated I get by how expensive things are and how much we have lost. I do not know how to can, I know my parents have done it when they make homemade pickles (which are awesome btw, nothing better than homemade award winning dill pickles). This is a process I was never interested in but now see the value in. I also have the blackest thumb known to man, I kill any and every plant. I do see the value in growing our own food. I desperately want to learn how to garden. This spring we will be trying, something small. Lettuce, tomatoes, a few other veggies. Strawberry plants for the kids. I want to be able to look in our backyard and have pride in what we have done. My husband thinks I have lost it most of the time though he has been impressed with some of the new recipes I have tried. He is being supportive though which I really appreciate. Small steps are important though. I keep reigning myself in a bit. One or two changes at a time so we don't get overwhelmed. I have started making shampoo as well. The recipe I have tried seems to work ok on the girls hair, not so much on mine so some tweaking will be occurring.
Today will bring another new adventure my package of supplies to make body butter has arrived!! So excited to try this, this should help my daughter's skin heal much better than store bought lotions. I fully plan on taking advantage of staying home with a sick child by trying something new and exciting. I am excited to try these new things to become more self-sufficient to learn old things. I am documenting our adventure as a family because one it's fun and two maybe a person or two might find it helpful. Look for a post soon about shea body butter and about how the garden will progress. woohoo! Feel free to email suggestions/comments to firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter @jaygurrl.
Peace and Love