Baking Soda Works for Me!

Yesterday I shared my new quest for a more simplistic lifestyle.  In doing so, I’m not only massively decluttering, flylady style to get rid of “extra” stuff, but I’m trying to go greener, cleaner, and all-around more purposeful. FamilyNatural style.

One of the ideas I’d been tossing around my head for awhile was going “no poo,” meaning not using traditional shampoo. I have begun that endeavor and will post about that soon (update: here’s the post), but the reason I bring it up now is that in doing so, I employ what is quickly becoming my new good friend: sodium bicarbonate AKA baking soda.

I’d also been thinking about toothpaste and wanting to make my own less expensive, all natural alternative, and also am using my new good friend: baking soda.

I’m seeing a trend here.

Just thinking of the things I won’t need to buy or store (because I can use baking soda instead) makes me feel inspired in an “I’m headed for a simpler life” – kind – of – a – way.

Here’s a great article listing 40 uses for baking soda. I can’t wait to try more of them out.

And as far as the toothpaste thing, all I did was mix some baking soda with a little sea salt. I dip my moistened brush in and use. It’s definitely salty tasting, but boy, does my mouth feel clean afterward! As soon as I can get my hands on some mint oil, I’ll add that in.

I like the looks of this recipe from Organic Body Care Recipes (Storey, 2007) By Stephanie Tourles.

INGREDIENTS
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, finely ground
1 drop peppermint, spearmint, sweet orange, clove, or cinnamon bark essential oil
A few drops tap water

Combine ingredients in a small bowl and mix them thoroughly with a toothbrush, your finger, or a small spoon until a smooth, thick paste forms. The paste shouldn’t be too runny; it has to stay on your toothbrush.

Dip your toothbrush into the paste and use as you would regular commercial toothpaste.

Baking Soda is one of those things that definitely works for me. What’s your favorite way to use it?

Flylady’s Beginner’s Baby Steps-Works For Me Wednesday

I was brought up well. I was taught manners and grooming, responsibility and morals. I graduated as an honor student, went to college and got a Bachelor’s degree. And then I went to graduate school and got a Doctorate in Chiropractic. I studied hard, worked hard, learned a lot. I’m no brain surgeon, but I consider myself a fairly intelligent, hard working person.

So, when it came to cooking and cleaning my home, staying on top of things, I figured I could handle it.

HA.

I repeat. HA HA.

After a few years of floundering around, feeling like a failure because I couldn’t manage my home, I found Flylady.net.

Flylady is an online coach/fairy godmother who lovingly nudges you with very specific instructions that are easy to follow. And if you follow them, you can have a peaceful home with everything in order. No more CHAOS (Can’t Have Anybody Over Syndrome).


Now, I’m not new to the Flylady system. I’ve been “using” it for a few years now. I put “using” in quotes, because although I’ve learned a ton and made many changes, there are a few things I just haven’t made habits yet. Things that really are preventing me from having the peace I want in my home.


A few of my friends on twitter have decided to begin again with Flylady. And I’m joining in. It begins with
the Beginner’s Babysteps.

Step 1 is to Go Shine Your Kitchen Sink
. If you want to know why, you’re better off checking out the source.

I’m glad that I can start again, at any point. Taking babysteps is something that I know Works For Me.

If you want to jump in and join us, let me know! Leave a comment!

I’ll be posting the daily baby step assignment as well as my progress. Stay tuned for pictures of my shiny sink!

For more WFMW, go to WeAreThatFamily.com


Rewards Help Me Get It Done! -WFMW

You may have noticed a dramatic increase in my number of posts lately. If you haven’t, that’s okay. I know some people who have noticed, but not because they read this blog. I am, of course, referring to mi familia.

And the way they have noticed is this: every evening when the kiddos are told to lay out their clothes for the next morning (something I learned from Flylady; very helpful), I inevitably hear something that sounds like this:

“I can’t find a shirt” or “I have no socks” or, well, you get the picture. And although I do believe we must house an entire tribe of sock hiding gremlins, at least one or two pair would be found for use, that is, if I had actually folded and put the laundry away.

I get it washed; doing one full load (sometimes 2) a day keeps me on top of it. And it gets line dried in the sun. I even figured out that I can fold as I take it off the line and stack it by owner as I put it in the basket. But still…..I just haven’t been putting it away. Some, but not all.

So, I made a new rule for myself, starting today: No Publishing A Post Until ALL Laundry is FOLDED and PUT AWAY.

As you can see, I did it!

Little rewards help me get things done. It works for me. What works for you?

See what works for lots of other moms at wearethatfamily.com

Assigned Dinner Helper-Works For Me Wednesday

I don’t know about you, but the hours between 4:30 and 6:30 are really tough for me. Really tough. Naptime is over, snacks are dealt, and The Dinner Preparation Begins.

I’m feeling a grroannn just thinking about it.

That’s because, in my family with 5 littles, it’s not that simple. One or more will need a diaper. One will get hurt. Two or more will argue or fight. And they all want to help. In the kitchen. With me. Laugh.

Hey….wait a minute. If someone could actually be of help, well, that would be helpful, right? Right.

I recently discovered that my older children are actually capable of real help. I’ve been training them since the beginning to do chores. Of course, with little ones, the work they do is usually not helpful at all, to say the least. Now that the oldest are 7, and 6, I’m finding that they and even the 4 year old are able to provide actual help with what they can do. (Yes, that’s my 4 year old cutting with (gasp) a real knife. Preparing a salad) It’s wonderful! Yes, they are slow. Yes, their work is not high quality. But with good scheduling and lowered expectations, they get good practice at things they need to know how to do, and I get help.

Enter: the Assigned Dinner Helper plan. It’s just as it sounds: I have an assigned helper for each day of the week. The older 2 get 2 days each, and the 4 year old gets 1. Twice a week I have no helper; I just don’t want one on those days.

The boys are always very excited to help and look forward to their day. They get to wear an apron, ring the dinner bell to call everyone to the table, and be proud of their contribution. And you would be amazed how a child will devour a salad that he has made himself.

Having Assigned Dinner Helpers works for me.

What works for you?

See what works for lots of other moms at WeAreThatFamily.com

Homemade Pancake Mix-Works For Me Wednesday


singing….“Nothing could be finer than the taste of Aunt Jemima in the mo-ho-ho-rning..”

Do you remember that? I actually paused here to look on YouTube to find that commercial, but couldn’t…I’ll look later.

Back to Aunt Jemima. Or Bisquick. Or any mix. (um…Pillsbury brownies, anyone? I’m not saying I like them or anything. Ahem.)

Here are the ingredients of original pancake mix as listed on Aunt Jemima’s website: INGREDIENTS: ENRICHED BLEACHED FLOUR (BLEACHED WHEAT FLOUR, NIACIN, REDUCED IRON, THIAMIN MONONITRATE, RIBOFLAVIN, FOLIC ACID), SUGAR, LEAVENING (SODIUM BICARBONATE, SODIUM ALUMINUM PHOSPHATE, MONOCALCIUM PHOSPHATE), SALT, CALCIUM CARBONATE (A SOURCE OF CALCIUM).

I made bold the bleach, the bleach, the sugar. By the way, that’s bleached WHITE flour, in case you weren’t sure. And the other stuff….basically other than the salt and the baking soda, none of it should be added to your food.

Flour should be whole wheat, (or other whole grain), and freshly ground. I began a post series on the benefits of freshly ground flour;I didn’t finish it, but hope to soon. But read here for the first part.

A box of pre made mix costs about $2. Your ingredients cost less than that. But to make it all from scratch takes too long, you say. So…why not make your own mix? A mix is just the dry ingredients pre-combined with instructions of what to add. I can do that!

I made a pancake supper last night, and while preparing my batter, I grabbed 2 ziplocks and made 2 mix bags. Easy as pie. Or should I say pancakes. 🙂

By the way, you can do the same thing for all kinds of mixes. Makes it easier to “whip something up.”

Homemade mixes are definitely something that work for me.

This post is linked to Works For Me Wednesday.