Make Your Own Sugar Scrubs

Do you like sugar scrubs?  Did you know you can whip up a batch or two or three in a matter of minutes? 

Why you should make sugar scrub

  • Smells yummy!
  • Edible
  • You control the quality of ingredients
  • Easy
  • Great way to pamper yourself
  • Gift idea
  • Efficient way to smooth out all those rough areas…knees, bottoms of feet, elbows
  • Most ingredients are already in your pantry

Recipes please

  • Peppermint Sugar Scrub (pictured)
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
    • 10 drops Peppermint Essential Oil
  • Brown Sugar Body Scrub (pictured)
    • 1 cup coconut palm sugar (or brown sugar)
    • 1/2 cup olive oil
    • 2 Tbsp. honey
  • Homemade Lemon and Thyme Salt Scrub
    • I haven’t made this one yet, but it is going to be stirred up soon!
  • Lavendar Salt Scrub
    • This one is a yet to be made scrub too.
  • Coffee Body Scrub, plus more

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Day 23: Paint Smarter!

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Do you like to paint?  I do, I guess.  I go in streaks and I paint and paint and paint until I end up at the chiropractor because I have worn my hands out.  I do enjoy the brush strokes, the endless Pandora listening, the unavailability to anyone else,  and the finished product.  I really like the Mythic Brand of paint.  (If you are Madison, WI local, go to Premier Paint and Wallpaper to grab some.  They are always very helpful, knowledgeable, and super cool with my girls grabbing all of their sample swatches.)  It is safe, non-toxic, waterbased, easy clean-up, and no VOCs!  Even so, I do notice that I still smell a little bit of the paint smell for a few days and my throat feels a little scratchy after painting for days on end.  I like to diffuse Purification Essential Oil while painting and then, I will leave it diffusing for a few days following painting.  That seems to take care of any residual paint smell.  So, I am using the safest paint I can find (other than Milk Paint), and I am still having some respiratory stuff going on.  Can you imagine how my body would rebel with normal paint?  I want to encourage you to find the safest version of paint available to you and use it for your next project.  Do you notice a difference in how you feel or how long the paint smell lasts?  For the Day 23 Small Changes, BIG Impact Challenge, I am simply challenging you to either research your current favorite paint brand a little, or decide to research a more eco-friendly version of what you typically use.

Do you think I have a painting problem?  Hahahahahahahaha!  Laundry Room is next up!

Day 9: Drink Something New! Nettles anyone?

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All Ready To Make Some Nettle Tea

Day 9 is so much fun for me!!!  I love to share some of the things I do here in our home that keep us feeling energized.  So the challenge for Day 9 is to drink something new.  Let’s say that the new microbrew would not fall into the Small Changes, BIG Impact Challenge, unless it is local and responsibly sourced.  (I am not a prude after all!)

Nettles are something that my family and I enjoy.  We buy dried nettles in bulk from our local Willy Street Co-op.  You may be able to buy them locally at a Farmer’s Market, or if you are adventurous, you can harvest some yourself.  Nettles have a grassy taste I guess is how you would describe it.  They are easy to drink and are refreshing.  (I am not really selling the am I?  Just trust me!)  I like to brew a jar full, frig it, strain it the next day, and enjoy.  I have gotten the most benefits from drinking nettles a few weeks in a row.  A few years back, I drank them every day and I had an AMAZING surge in energy!  I would wake at 4 or 4:30am and still be going strong at 10:30 or 11 pm.  (Why did I not keep up with this good habit?!?!?!!!!)

Nettles are great for strengthening your kidneys, clearing your adrenals, increasing energy, helping with allergies, and a bunch of other stuff.

Here is how I make ours:

  • Throw a fist full of dried nettles in the bottom of a quart jar.
  • Boil water
  • Place boiling water over dried nettles
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Steeping!!!
  • Cool to room temp
  • Frig overnight
  • Strain and drink in the morning

Are nettles for you?  I won’t give up my mochas, but I will continue to add the nettles back into my daily routine.  What are some other drinks you could try?  Tea?  Green or fruit smoothie?  Raw milk?  Coconut milk?  Coconut water?  Lemon and turmeric elixer?  Kombucha?  (You can make that at home.  I need to hit up my dear friend for another Scoby and start brewing again.)  There are so many options out there.  The challenge for today is to grab something new and healthful to drink.  What are you sipping on?

See you tomorrow for our 10th day of the Small Changes, BIG Impact Challenge!!!

Day 5: Eco-friendly Lawn Care

Day 5 is a tough one for me to write.  I practice the following lawn care:  mow, let girls pick dandelions and eat them, pick up any trash that may float our way, and mow some more.  If you are looking for a die hard lush green lawn, then this girl does not know much about that, BUT, I did look into it, so here it goes.  For Day 5 of the Small Changes, BIG Impact Challenge you need to simply read the information here, do some thinking, and then decide if you want to do further research on your own.  Your lawn, in my opinion, should be a place where you can sit down and play with the kids or crack a cold one at the end of the day.  It should not be something that you worry about walking barefoot on.  (She steps off of her soapbox and onto her lawn managed by her chickens.)

Mulching

  • Saves time and energy
  • Grass clippings provide up to 25% of the fertilizer your lawn needs
  • Lawn clippings can be used for erosion control in flower beds

Watering

Use Eco-friendly Lawn Equipment

  • Helps reduce pollution
  • Electric lawnmower are not as portable as the battery operated option, but tend to work better
  • Mowers don’t adhere to the same EPA standards as gas cars, so you are likely to be sucking in some pretty toxic emissions while mowing.
  • According to Briggs and Stratton, an annual lawn mower tune up can significantly cut emissions and save fuel.  EPA says that Americans spill an average of 17 million gallons of gasoline each year just filling their mowers.

No mow lawn without looking like a foreclosure

  • Hardscape your lawn by building a desert or rock scene, which requires no maintenance and no erosion issues
  • Turn your lawn into a garden and grow your own food.  Hey, the neighbors can’t complain when they are picking fresh produce instead of running to the market!

Green it up

  • Test your soil pH yearly.  It will help you identify deficiencies and help you formulate a plan for potential problems.
  • Clean debris and aerate your lawn to provide a fresh start for your new lawn to grow
  • Mow regularly and never cut more than 1/3 of the leaf blade at a time.  This should help crowd out weeds and help you save time, and gas money by going longer between mowings.
  • Leaves from sugar maple or red maple trees, mulched in the Fall (I know that doesn’t help you now, but you can plan for next year) and spread over grass for 2-3 years have shown to prevent weeds from germinating.
  • Listen to your weeds!  Weeds will grow back unless you change your soil conditions.  For example, if you have excess Plantain, you likely have heavily compacted soil.  If you have dandelions, it is likely that your soil needs more calcium and magnesium.

Serious Lawn Folks

  • Use an organic herbicide made from corn gluten
  • Look for and use organic fertilizers made from biodegradable materials and apply in late Spring for the best results
  • EcoSmart is a brand you can check out.  They use food grade materials in their pesticides.

Get Rid of Old Synthetic Products Safely

Happy lawn care!

 

 

Day 1: April Fools Pranks

Welcome to Day 1 of the Small Changes, BIG Impact Challenge!!  It is April Fools Day that I am beginning this challenge with, so I thought, why not kick it off with the April Fools prank ideas.  I am trying to keep them as green as I can, but really today is about lots of fun and laughs.

Prank 1:  A free download to a fake parking ticket.  This one is way funny and I would do this to the hubs if only our printer was working!  You can use recycled paper to make it more eco-friendly.

Prank 2:  Tell your potential target that you are playing an April Fools prank on them, but in reality you are doing nothing.  They will be looking over their shoulder all day.

Prank 3:  No TV trick!  Place small pieces of tape over the sensors on the remote.  Your family will be wondering why the TV doesn’t work.  The girls and I are totally doing this one to the hubs.  We will see how funny it turns out to be.  Hehehehe

Prank 4:  Put some eco-friendly food dye into your child’s milk.  Pour the milk over her morning cereal and watch her face get all silly with wonder.

Prank 5:  This one makes me wish I worked in an office!!  If you do this, you must share here!!!  Attach an air horn to your co-workers chair.

Prank 6:  Chewbacca Roar Contest.  Get your favorite friend many times throughout the day with this one.

Prank 7:  Stick googly eyes on things in your frig.  This is not super eco-friendly, but funny!

Prank 8:  Put a surprise in your mailbox (after the mail delivery arrives).  Some ideas are a stuffed toy, an action figure, a fake spider, etc.  Have fun with it!

Prank 9:  Tricky milk.  Here is what you do.  First dissolve 1 package of gelatin in 1/2 cup of boiling water until it is pretty much dissolved.  Then, stir in 3/4 cup of milk, 2 Tbsps. of Sweetened Condensed Milk, and 1/2 tsp or so of Vanilla Extract.  Put the mixture in a glass and let it cool and then serve the ‘milk’ to your unsuspecting target.

What tricks have you been playing today?  fools trick