Monday, June 30, 2008

How-to Mondays

I've decided to start a theme for Mondays. We all need a little inspiration to start the week so here goes How-to Mondays! Let start with something simple and something on my to-do list for today: Homemade Laundry soap. Ever since starting cloth diapers I decided to make my own to get away from all the harsh chemicals in detergents. Soap is so much better for your skin!

You can find all these ingredients at your grocery store and it only takes a few minutes to prepare.

I buy kirk's castile soap which is coconut oil based I think it was around 3 bars for 2.20... not bad! Washing soda and borax, both you can find in the detergent soap isle.

Shave one bar of soap into a large pot with 8 cups of water and heat until melted. Next, place one cup of borax, and one cup of washing soda in the pot and stir until dissolved. Pour into a large bucket with 16 more cups of water. Let sit covered for a few hours until cooled... stir occasionally. It will look kinda sludgy but it works! I usually pour into two recycled detergent jugs. All you need is about a half a cup per load. If you want to do more and just store it in the 5 gallon bucket and pull it out when needed just increase the recipe. I think it ends up being a few pennies a load and its gentle for baby! That concludes the first installment of how-to Mondays! Woo hoo!

I forgot to mention a small detail. Make sure you put some vinegar in a downy ball for the rinse cycle... it helps get the soap completely out. Vinegar is also a natural fabric softener. You don't want to know what's in the chemical fabric softeners!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

My own worst enemy

So do you ever set yourself up to fail? I feel like its my other part time job besides being a graphic designer/mom/wife.... I put too much on my plate and try to over achieve and end up letting myself down in the process and possibly letting someone else down. Then I spend the rest of the day beating myself up about it. Thank God for grace. It surprising how little I have for myself sometimes though. Is there any one else out there that gives themselves such a hard time?

It has taken and long time but I am slowly getting better... well... until I had my son and now I feel like I've had a lapse!! I'm going to get back on track though. Anyway... since realizing that I do this to myself I try to be so gracious with other peoples time. I know time is a sweet commodity and in this crazy, fast-paced, hustle and bustle world we live in it's hard to find a minute sometimes. I dread going into a weekend when I know we have more than one thing planned each day. It just tends to fall apart and nothing goes as planned. But all you can do is pick yourself back up and keep trying to keep it all together. Hey if I was perfect I would not need God. That brings me so much peace. At least my short comings can come to some good. My father has so much grace for me, I am so blessed.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Forget sugar in the raw... what about milk?

Okay so I've mentioned before I am on this health journey so to speak. I am researching about local foods, organic, etc. I am looking into raw milk and all of it's health benefits and found this great website, this will take you to the raw medicine page with a section on immune milk. It's quite fascinating! The more I research the closer I get to finalizing my decision to switch. The whole website is a plethora of knowledge on the subject... go check it out! I think there is actually a dairy farm down the road but I haven't gotten the chance to go check it out. I will try to do that this weekend and I'll let you know how it goes. Meanwhile... with all the salmonella/Ecoli scares I am definitely switching to local grown vegetables... there is just something calming about looking your farmer in the face! Lord knows where the grocery stores get their produce oh wait... it comes from all kinds of different countries that don't have the strict regulations that we do... hmmm.... and even we can get salmonilla/ecoli... hmmmm. Makes you think!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

savvy by design

I thought I would share a little about how I came up with my blog title. Well I didn't really want to do a blog all about being a graphic designer... to tell the truth I didn't know if I would have a theme at all. I just wanted something where I could put my thoughts down and get them out. So after much debate with myself. I wanted something that would encompass me as a person. Over and over again ... especially after having my first child, I find myself being a devourer of knowledge... I want to know as much as I can about having the best pregnancy, birth, being the best parent, living the eco-friendliest life etc. I hate to admit it but my husband is rubbing off on me and I am so hungry for knowledge. I want to be well-educated and savvy about every life choice. God gave me this beautiful life and I want to be a good steward of that... no matter how nutty it makes me look or feel. I feel like I am growing into motherhood. Everyday I am making new choices about how I want my child raised, how I want my house to be run, how I am going to interact with my husband, how I am going to take care of my body. A lot of the choices I make are not so glamorous... for example .. I make my own laundry soap, use cloth diapers/wipes, make my own dish detergent, baby wipes solutions etc. All these things take extra time and energy but they are worth it to me.

I still find myself embarassed a little. I had someone in church last Sunday ask me what I used for laundry soap for my cloth diapers and she said, "you must use dreft".... I turned a little red and slowly said "No... I make... my own... laundry ... detergent." Spaced out just like that too! I usually don't get asked that question so I don't share that sort of thing. There is just this "hippy, braided hair, smell bad" attachment to things like that. I don't see us as that... we are pretty modern in our tastes but I just think people knew what they were doing before all these chemicals went in everything we buy. And why not take a little extra effort to be healthier and it's cheaper! Having a baby has cost us little to nothing between breastfeeding, cloth diapering/wipes, and clothes that were given to us as hand me downs or at my baby showers. We have been so richly blessed. I hope that it is a direct consequence of me taking my stewardship seriously. So ... all that being said... I didn't intend to write a novel.. this was actually going to be a short post ... oh well! I think God designed me to be savvy in all that I do. Be thoughtful in every choice and every step. Savvy by design.

Give generously to him and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.
Deuteronomy 15:10

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

How do you make a family?

I know that some people think you pop out a baby and poof! You have a family... but I really want my family to be on purpose. Not just same blood type under the same roof. But what does a close knit family look like? My family is pretty close... there are still areas to improve but we get together on holidays/birthdays and talk on the phone now and then. Hug when we leave etc. But sometimes it does feel like there are a few empty spots. I would love to have all of my sons, daughters and their family go on yearly trips and come together to share and pray together on a regular basis. I don't know... I know it sounds a little too dreamy but I think its possible.

So my husband and I decided to attend a new home group at our church that is focused on family inclusive bible study/worship. We are really enjoying it. We are the only ones with one child and he can't interact very well because he is only 6 months but the other kids love him. They come up and play with him and everyone makes us feel welcome. It so nice to be refreshed and just be around other believers that want the same thing for their family.

My husband and I led a group about a year and a half ago and were so tired and spiritually exhausted we decided to take a break from home groups for a while. We were trying to do too much - I was a full time student and part time worker and my husband worked full time and we were both leaders in the youth group which consisted of Wednesday nights, Sunday Nights and other special events along with a Monday night home group which we were hosting/leading/and doing worship - needless to say we had too much on our plate. Then we found out we were pregnant and after classes, doctors visits etc.. it took us almost 2 years to get back into another home group. Better late than never I suppose. In the end I think we were supposed to end up in this group. I can already see my husband be encouraged by the other fathers. Every night since our last meeting we curl up together and he prays for our family. It's the most beautiful thing a wife and mother can hear - her husband praying over her and their baby. What more security and love do you need than your husband walking with God and leading your family?

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Wow! I'm actually going to post my first blog!

Hello all... I have been dreading this moment for a while. Of course I put so much pressure on myself that I just gave up on writing my thoughts down on a blog because I couldn't possibly meet up to my expectations. But I guess it's time to change it up and do it anyway!! So here I am with all my crazy thoughts and thoughtless babbling. Get ready for a fun ride!

I am a WAHM with my first beautiful baby boy "C." He is the most beautiful happy baby in the world and he just makes my day.... sometimes he makes it difficult and sometimes he makes it the best ever. I am a graphic designer by profession and I am all over the place these days so I can't wait to share some of the things that I am getting into like sewing, crafts, all things baby, cloth diapers, parenting, etc. My new project right this second is a nursing cover. It's getting way too hot trying to cover up with a flannel blanket so here goes sewing a cute new cotton print cover.... I'll post some pics when I am done.

Now for some deep thoughts because it's 11:30 at night so what else is there to think about. My husband is away this evening, he has to take a friend to the airport in the morning. So it's just me and "C." Well really just me because he is sleeping soundly in the other room.... gosh I love sleeping babies, so peaceful, so cute. Okay ... back on track... I've started reading a book that a friend recommended to me about being a better wife ... I guess that's the best way to describe it. I don't know how I feel about it yet. I've never been one to be the quiet submissive wife in the corner that jumps at her husbands beckoned call. Now don't get me wrong - I love my husband and I could be better at him taking the lead but I think there are extremes on both ends. I just don't know... is it just my sinful nature to want to have more of a say in our household or to be a leader? Are women not supposed to be leaders in church etc. I read a passage in the book and it basically said that there aren't nearly as many scriptures about women being leaders as there are for women being submissive and helpful, so we should take the latter as truth. Just because there aren't a significant amount of scriptures doesn't mean that you completely throw out a concept. I believe that the whole Bible is true... if you start picking and choosing then we get ourselves in a lot of trouble. The verdict is still out on this book. I'll write more as I take my journey through it. Maybe it'll give me a different perspective or change my mind... who knows.
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