Monday, August 1, 2011

Forever Smunchy (in the body hair management department)

     On the granola path, I've tried my best to ditch many disposable, throw away items.  We cloth diaper, use more cloth towels and napkins than paper towels and napkins, and I'm even using mama cloth now.  After the initial research and transition phases, it's actually, really nice, and I feel great about not throwing away so much stuff. 

     However, I'm really finding myself stuck when it comes to shaving.  Every time I used one of those pretty, pink razors for the last time, (btw, I use them until they are absolutely begging to be released from their tour of duty), and it's time to throw it away, I cringe.  There goes one more item to spend it's tiny plastic after life forever in the land fill.  And for what?  My vanity and comfort.  (Picture me hanging my head in shame now.)

     I've thought about and researched options.  Seems like it's either this:

Eep!  I can't picture myself taking this beast to my legs or under my arms.

Or this: Uhh nevermind.  You do not want to go looking for images of women with hairy legs, either real or cartoon.  :shudder:   (Or maybe you do.  Just don't come back and post about it here, please.)

      I do realize that just letting it all grow wild and free is probably the most natural of options, but thanks.  Not for me.  Now, if you don't shave and are happy that way, more power to ya, but I just can't go there.  The smooth side definitely beats the crunchy one in this case.

     So what other options are there?  Nair?  No thanks.  I haven't researched it, but something seems inherently wrong about applying something to your skin that will dissolve away the hair.  Razors made from recycled plastic?  It's a start, but they still end up being tossed and in the land fill. Waxing?  There's a thought. Do any of you wax?  How do you like it? 

     Anyone else have any other more natural alternatives?   I'm all ears.  And  so thankful they are naturally not hairy.


Sunday, July 31, 2011


in·spi·ra·tion  (Lifted straight from

an inspiring or animating action or influence: I cannot write poetry without inspiration.
something inspired, as an idea.
a result of inspired activity.
Have you been inspired lately?   I have been the lucky recipient of all 3 definitions of 'inspiration' in the last few days.  (Picture me here with an arm pump and an audible "YES!".)  Inspiration doesn't come along every day, yanno.
Oh hey...they do say things come in 3's.  Hmm....but I digress.  Here's what happened...
     First, my husband bought my birthday present a month and a half early.  He got me, (at my request....he would never be dumb enough to suggest such a thing), a Wii Fit Plus with the accessories.  I'm SO excited!  Really.  I used to be really, really fit.  Back in the day (aka over 20 years ago), I was even certified and taught some aerobics at a fitness club here in town  Another time in my life, I was almost ripped.  My fitness level now could be described as....well, pathetic is the word that comes to mind.  I've been blessed with a body type/metabolism or whatever has allowed me to not become large in size, but I promise you it's not because of my activity level and only in a small part because of my diet.  I'm not talking about weight, though, I'm talking about fitness...cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength, and flexibility in particular.   Pathetic, I tell ya.  Since I haven't had the will power to get up at 5 a.m... to work out before the kids get up, it just hasn't happened, and I've reached the 'use it or lose it' stage of life.  I used to do Turbo Jam, which I loved, but it involves a lot of kicks and jabs which can be dangerous with little people wanting to participate.  So now I'm inspired to get in MUCH better shape by the time my 45th birthday arrives mid September.  That's a great gift, honey.  And the gift from myself will be to actually use it. 
     Second,  some Naturally Wise customers asked me about offering a facial cleanser.  I recently added goat's milk soaps to my line and was ok with using them for my face, but I went to a couple of my favorite recipe places and found one just for your face that had some extra goodies in it besides soap.  I happened to have all the ingredients, which is one huge advantage to having my own natural bath/body factory right here at home. It filled that hunger for some instant gratification. :D  So I made up the recipe, with a little tweaking, and LOVE it.  It's so much nicer than plain ol' soap.  It sort of has that little pampering thing to it.  As soon as my new batch of containers arrive, I'm sending the 2 ladies who suggested the cleaner some samples to test and give feedback.  I love that kind of inspiration.  Thanks guys!
     Third, and probably most importantly, I was inspired by a discussion thread about gentle parenting.  I had made a conscious decision to not spank when my son was born.   However, my strong-willed daughter has been a huge challenge to me,and I admit, some times I yell.  I "hate" this as much as if I had spanked.  It's really not the mother I want to be.  At all.  Part of it has been coming off medications my doctor pur me on for PPD, which has been really hard and will be addressed in another post.  I've prayed and searched for some techniques and methods to help me be more of the mom I want to be, the mom my kids deserve.  And POOF, God handed it to me.  It's called Grace Based Discipline.  It truly speaks to my heart and yes...INSPIRES me, gives me tools to parent the way that feels right.  I'll share more another time.
     For now, I just feel so...blessed, to have such inspiration on many different levels recently.  I hope you have, too!  What has inspired you lately?  If not, how long has it been since true inspiration came calling?  I'd love to hear what inspires you.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Where It All Started

     As many of you probably know, I have my own line of natural products, some for home cleaning and freshening, some for bath and body.  I get asked a lot how I got started making my own products or how I got interested in it.  I thought I'd answer that question here.  Would you believe a lot of it has to do with John Travolta and wife Kelly Preston???  Sure I like Welcome Back, Kotter as much as the next girl, but it actually has to do with their home life. 

     Here they are, many years ago when their son Jett was just a little guy.  When Jett was a baby, John and Kelly did what many parents do, they made sure their house was as clean as possible for their new baby.  They had their carpets professionally cleaned often.  Turns out, the chemicals in the cleaning solution actually caused their baby harm and Jett had to be hospitalized.  They have even wondered if the use of carpet cleaners led to Jett's development of Kawasaki Disease that reportedly led to his death. 

     Now, I'm not saying using chemical cleaners leads to any formal disease, but it sure caught my attention that some children, like Jett, are sensitive enough to chemicals to end up hospitalized from exposure, and it stuck with me all the years in between that incident and when I became a mother.   I began to ponder all the ways in which we try to keep our children safe, which led to all kinds of discoveries about the dangers of some chemicals, not only to our children, but to adults and of course, the environment.

     I began to explore recipes for home made laundry soap and natural cleaners, and guess what?  They are inexpensive and easy!  Why purchase a bottle of the blue stuff for your windows when you can mix up a batch of vinegar and water for pennies?  Sure, it's not dangerous, but pricey?  It is when compared to mixing up your own batch of half vinegar, half water.

     But we were talking about safety, weren't we.  Ok, how about good ol' Formula 409?  This is directly from the Material Safety Data Sheet:
Blood and Bone Marrow Damage....Carcinogen....Yikes!   Oh, and if it's spilled...

     Those are their caps, btw, not mine.  And shall we discuss cleaners that are marketed with a 'fresh scent', and the fine print says to use in a well venthilated area?  Huh?  Aren't we supposed to take in fresh scents?  I have to ask the question....who benefits from these commerically made products?  And why were they formulated?  Well, you and I certainly don't benefit if there is a health risk.  And the environment doesn't benefit if those chemicals end up in our ground water.  Oh, the big company benefits.  Great.    It really makes me see red to have companies only looking out for themselves. But let's give them the benefit of the doubt for a minute and assume they started out just making an 'effective' product, not realizing the danger involved.  Why go down the road of synthetic chemicals at all?  I believe it all comes down to pride, that we humans could make something bigger and better than God made in nature.  But that's another post for another day.  I've gone on too long already.

     So, in a nutshell, that's where my quest for safe cleaners began.  I wanted a clean home, with items that are safe to use, safe for babies, children, adults, and also safe to return to the environment.  That quest led to discovery of all kinds of fun recipes for lotions, scrubs, soaps, etc.  And again, the discovery that items that are not considered completely safe for your skin and body are out there for public consumption.  And again...that's a another blog for another day.  :-)

     I'd love to hear your thoughts about cleaners and chemicals!  What do you use and why?  Have you thought about the safety for yourself and the environment?  BTW, there's no flaming or judgement for anyone and your choices, just curiosity and discussion ideas.

Friday, July 22, 2011

The Origins of Smunch

     Thanks for joining me, everyone!  I have to admit, I feel a bit naked.  And I'm not really sure why I am compelled to do something that is a little bit frightening at the same time.  What's up with that??

     Thanks for all the kind feedback about the concept of smunchiness!  I must clarify...I did not come up with that word on my own.  I'm not sure who did, but I remember coming across it in a forum of other moms who were trying to become crunchier, but not feeling they had quite achieved the status of Crunchy.  I immediately identified with the whole smunchdome and it stuck with me.

     Which reminds me, someone had commented saying something about learning from me.  My hope for this blog is that we can all learn from each other!  I'm still pretty green at being green, lol.  I'm sure many of you have some wonderful green ways and habits that I haven't even heard of, so as the opportunity arises, please share what you do and the little things that work for you and your lifestyle.  I think that's a big part of any change, the ease of transition and maintenance of the change.  If it's too much of a hassle, it's not going to stick.

     That's all for today.  I've got to get the van packed up with my items that are up for sale at the farmers market tomorrow and hit the hay early.  Some time I'll work on getting some photos up or something to liven up my page.  I'm still brand new to this site, so bear with me as I get to know this place. :-)

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Here We Go....

     I'm delving into the waters of blogville.  Why you ask?  Well, all these thoughts tend to keep me up at night.  (Note the time of the blog entry.) Plus, organizing my thoughts enough to make even a semi-coherent paragraph or two about them helps manage them and keep them some what organized.  This whole blogging this is brand new to me.  I sort of follow a few blogs, and don't know a thing about managing mine, but hey, you have to start some where, right?

     So what are all these thoughts about?  My life and priorities, and trying to raise my children in the best way I know how.  A big part of that right now is by trying to simplify and live more naturally, which to me, means having less STUFF.  Man, that stuff can sure distract you from the real things in life.  And living naturally to me means using as many natural materials as possible and less synthetically made items.  Less medicines and more herbs.  Less man made, more God made. 

     Some may call me a trend jumper.  And that's fine, but it's actually been in my life and on my mind for a long, long time, but trying to implement it and learn, when so many wasteful and non natural ways have been a part of me as well has been challenging. 

     So there you have the whole "smunchy" thing.  I'm aiming to be a more crunchy, granola type, because it just feels right for me and as something important to pass on to my children.  But there's still a whole lotta smooth left, some I'm completely willing to give up, some...well, some I'm not sure I really want to.  Mix a little smooth in with some crunchy and you have...smunchy.  Any other smunchers out there?