This post is probably going to be my last on this blog and though it somewhat pains me to admit that fact, I just have too much on my plate as a fiction author to leave stuff like this hanging out there untouched forever.
I'm learning the practice of letting go and it has truly been a blessing to let myself off the hook for trying to do everything. I have enough going on with my full time job to add even more to the pile.
Some things are going to fall off the back end. This blog is one of those things.
I'm a person who likes things natural, Green, environmentally conscious, and that won't change, but I'm also a person who likes to feel good. As my husband always says:
"Just because it's natural doesn't mean it's good for you."
The thing that sucks is when I have to admit he's right and stop trying to be "healthy" because it is messing with our health in the long run. I have finally learned what the word 'balance' really means.
Before I go for good though, I want to give an update on where our household stands on all things homemade, natural, organic and why we are at the place we are right now. Some things are left out there in limbo and you readers deserve a wrap-up on how, why, or why I'm not using those items anymore.
Oh, and FYI, none of the links in this post are affiliate links.
Toothpaste. Yes, I still love making our toothpaste and feel it does a fantastic job of cleaning our teeth. It is quick and fairly simple and now that I have the formula down I know it not only saves us money in the long run but does the job without chemicals. If I decide to give up everything else, the toothpaste will be the one thing I don't stop making.
Body lotion. I made a batch early last summer and I loved it. The stuff was like visiting a tropical island where the air hints at coconut, lemon, lime, warm breezes, and sunshine. It melted into my skin and felt ah-mazing. But then the moisture of the tropics came to the inside of the jar and the stuff started to mold. After only a couple weeks. I thought that was weird because I use primarily shelf-stable ingredients and in the past had a jar last upwards of 5 months with no trouble. Also, I never reach into the jar or place it near water. I tried again. Same result. I don't know what happened because none of my ingredients had issues. Instead of wasting more shea/cocoa butter and essential oils I stopped making my own and started experimenting with commercially available products from handmade sellers. I haven't settled on any one product yet and that's okay. Someday I'll find my go-to.
Laundry detergent. Oh boy, this one is the biggie. I was so thrilled to find a formula that seemed to get our clothes clean. The problem: it started causing major skin irritation in some of our, let's just say, more sensitive areas. At first I didn't know it was the detergent so it took some time to figure out but once I did realize what was going on I had a half a gallon of useless liquid left over. I did a LOT of research after that debacle and ended up buying Biokleen Laundry Liquid last July. It gets an A rating from ewg.org and that's good enough for me. The best news: I spent $27.00 to buy the 150 oz. and I'm only about halfway through the bottle. The stuff is super concentrated and we have an HE washer so it lets us use even less. Clothes are clean, non-irritating, and at an average of 4 loads per week I spend about $0.14 per load. More expensive than making my own but less irritating and still super cheap compared to a name brand jug of chemicals.
Lip balm. I will continue to make this forever. It moisturizes, lasts longer than petroleum based sticks, and is low on the time investment scale.
Other stuff. Makeup is my next hurdle. I've noticed recently that I sometimes get headaches after wearing chemical based crap all day. No thanks. I'm switching over to RMS Beauty, Ilia, Alima Pure, Au Naturale, Beauty by Earth, Afterglow Cosmetics, or other organic based products with an ewg rating under 3. The challenge here will be to buy just what I need because some of those products are CRAY expensive! And as a person who believes environment means personal, local, and global, I won't break my bank just to look pretty for the 3 times a week I leave the house.
Haircare is under total control with Shea Moisture. I love it and though some products rate a bit higher than I'd like, everything I use is under 3.
Soap and deodorant were two fails when I tried to make my own. And other producers just make them better. For the past year I've been using Aspen Kay Naturals dead sea and Neem soap bars. I love it and for the first time my skin isn't dry after a shower. I barely even need lotion. Recently though, my friend turned me on to Hickory Ridge Organics soap and so far I'm loving the Balinese Coffee body soap. She also sells a deodorant I'm planning to try and her moisturizer bars look (and smell) good enough to eat! They are a bit pricey and could melt in transit from FL so if anyone knows of a similar seller here in AZ I'd love to check them out. Leave me a comment!
Food is another area where we have tried to streamline. Within the next year Matt should have his garden up and going but in the meantime I buy organic wherever possible, try to shop at the Farmer's Market when I can, and we are now getting weekly delivery of SunBasket. Organic and locally sourced when possible, their meals (and even the recycled packaging) are fantastic. It runs us about $75 per week for the 3 meals but that has actually saved us money because we eat every bite of food we make (no tossing leftovers anymore) and I don't over-buy at the store only to toss things gone bad later.
So there you have it. Bottom line, I'm done trying to be a chemist who handcrafts everything. Between life, work, and hobbies I'm a busy gal with less and less time on my hands every day. I will happily transition back to commerce to free up more of that limited time as well as help support some smaller businesses who are much better at doing all of this than I am.
Like I said, this is likely my last post over here so I want to thank all of you who have stuck with me through the last ten years as this blog transitioned to many different iterations from where it began. Your loyalty has meant so much.
I'm streamlined now so if you want to find me and my opinions online, visit my personal blog
Randomness and Lunacy
or my author page on Amazon.
Again, thanks for being here and I wish all of you a long, healthy life xoxo
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