DIY Bug Spray

I don’t know where you live, but since the start of June, the mesquitos of Wisconsin have been out to get me!  Where did I wrong them?

Most of the common bug sprays are not safe for children and pets, and are in no way at all composed of natural ingredients.  I decided it was just another product I could easily make at home.  Check my post here for my DIY Laundry soap….life changing!


So quick and simple, here it is:

For a 12 oz. spray bottle, pour in 6oz. distilled water.

Add 5 oz. with witch hazel.  (I like to use Thayers Aloe Vera blend)

Add in 10 drops tea tree oil, 10 drops lavender oil, 10 drops eucalyptus oil, and 10 drops clove oil.

Give it a shake, spray and you’re set for the outdoors!


I did run out of clove oil, so I steeped a ‘tea’ of 1 cup distilled water with 2 Tablespoons of whole cloves, and 1 Tablespoon of dried peppermint. This solution would replace the water and clove oil. It smells great too!

Roundup : April 2014


My new loom.

 I’ve decided that I would start a roundup of all my favorite things/happenings/interests of the past month.  Sort of a what-I’m-into-these-days kind of thing for each month.  So much is happening that I want to share, but who wants to read an entire blog post on my new obsessions with wall tapestries?  (Well, I would, but that’s beside the point) Here goes:

Wall Tapestries–  I’ve been loving my new rigid heddle loom my hubby got me for Christmas.  I started seeing these mini woven wall hangings online and wanted to try one out on my loom.  I believe they are usually made on frame looms, but I figured I could make it work on my rigid heddle.  I bought some odd textured yarn from the fabric store and gave it a shot.  I must say I’m quite pleased!  It’s sort of 70’s boho sheik, but if you know anything about me, then you’ll know it’s right up my alley!  I will post some pictures of my first wall hangings soon.


These lovely pieces are made by Justine Ashbee.  I am becoming slightly obsessed with her work.

Game Of Thrones-  Yup.  It’s happened.  I knew something had to fill the place of ‘The Walking Dead’, and G.O.T. has been awesome!  So much action, great character development, and the story behind it all intrigues me. We’ve finished season 1, and are going to see how long we can hold off before starting season 2.  Erik has become a slight fanatic as well, which makes both our early mornings unbearable.  I also just found out that Peter Dinklage (who plays Tyrion Lannister), is a vegan!

The General Store-  Has anyone been here?  Am I preaching to the choir?  I follow one of the women, Hannah Henderson on Instagram, who co-runs this amazing shop in Venice Beach CA.  I am lucky not to live out there anymore, or I fear I’d have no money left to eat!  Everything they sell seems delicately hand picked.

DSC_0280_grandeTriangle cutting boards….drool.

Blind PilotThis love affair has been going on for quite sometime.  I think with the coming of spring, Blind Pilot tunes are such a nice fit.  All of their albums are quite good, but lately their iTunes live show has been in repeat in my kitchen.

Stencils-  Another old obsession, but since our little one has been growing leaps and bounds, we had to craft up another array of onesies.  I even made a special 13 pointed lightening bolt (homage to the grateful dead).  So much fun.  I will attempt to make these shirts next week for some special people.  In case you were wondering how I have perfected the skill of stenciling, check out my post here.

imagesShop Midnight Rider.

Food- March is always a transitional month for vegetables.  I am so thankful that winter has ended in Maryland.  As far as food here, we’ve been enjoying asparagus, fiddle head ferns, lots of sweet potatoes, and lots of greens, with the pairings of heartier meals such as loafs and stews.  I am still awaiting rhubarb, which I think should be peaking sometime soon. I have also been working at perfecting my chocolate chip recipe (I am close!) which has resulted in late night cookie feasts….no one’s complaining.


 Perfecting perfect.

Books-  The babe and I have been trying out our yoga moves together with Baby Om.  So far when we get going its been nothing but laughs.  Though that makes it a little hard for me to take it serious.  I’ve also been skipping through pages of The Vaccine Book, by Dr. Sears.  Its completely been mind blowing!  As a person who has spent the last 13 years of her life checking ingredient labels, learning about the preservatives in each vaccine has been slightly disturbing.


This cover pose, the child’s flying pose, is by far Olivers favorite!

That concludes my month!  Till next.

My pre babe DIY month

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My entire 10 months of awaiting Oliver was filled with random happenings.  Aside from working full time at Field to Fork and the farmers markets, we packed up our whole house, put 90% of our belongings in storage, and moved to the east coast.  Once we were settled in,I had about a month to dilly dally; and find another low key job that would allow me to stay off my feet, to ensure a healthy pregnancy.  After finding the two perfect jobs, I finally started to get my nesting on!

I feel as though I am a natural nester.  I love my home.  Since most of our belongings are still in storage I’ve had to turn our bedroom into my little nest.  Our space is pretty limited, but we make the most of it.

I knew we wanted to use cloth diapers from the start.  Now because I’d be washing a batch of dirty diapers every morning, why wouldn’t I use cloth wipes?  I first cut up a pair of old flannel pajama pants, then got some hand me down flannel fabric scraps.  After cutting up square after square, it was sew time!  Finished product:


And voila!  Cute, soft on your bum, cloth wipes!  Here is a link to a tutorial.  And whats even better, is my homemade bum spray!  My solution is made up of Dr. Bronners unscented baby soap, sunflower oil, lavender, calendula, and camomile oils, along with a couple drops of grapefruit seed extract.

Erik and I recently drove back to Wisconsin for Christmas break.  On the road, we knew it would be hard to wash our diapers, so we used the Seventh Generation and Naty brand of disposables.  We also used an organic disposable wipe.  Oliver had a rash by day 2.  As soon as we arrived in WI we switched back to our Soft Bums and cloth wipes. The rash disappeared.
Side note:  Soft Bums are made in the USA.  Whoot whoot!

My next project stemed from realizing how much paper work comes with a baby!  I know we’ve always had papers that needed some organizing, so I decided to bring home a file cabinet from work and modge podge it. My roommate had this great copy of an extremely old dictionary, and that worked perfectly.


It turned out awesome.  Nice and neutral, and so easy to do. I now feel super organized!  

The next thing I knew I had to make was a mobile.  At the start of fall we had been collecting numerous varieties of leaves.  The fall here felt like it only ended at the start of December so we had plenty of time to collect the best of the colors.  We dried and flattened them in books, then I laminated them.  My original plan was to hang the leaves from some roughed up looking sticks, but my roommate got me on this gods eye kick.  So I decided to make a massive Gods eye using 3 sticks, and then hang the leaves from there.


Some of those leaves look pre-historic!

 I think it turned out awesome!  It does seem a little over the top, but as Oliver starts to see lines and patterns more clearly, he loves the reflection the laminate gives when it hits the sunlight from the window.  And I love the idea of us capturing the Autumn of his birth.  It was such a happy time for us!

The last project we accomplished was our onesies.  I am so proud of these onesies.  I also can’t stress how EASY they we to make.  I am still amazed I never thought to try this technique before.  I mean Freezer paper?!?  I’m not even sure I know how to use freezer paper for its intended purpose.  I now have all these crazy ideas for shirts, pillow cases, cloth napkins, a cool pair of high top chucks, you name it!  And just think of all the possible gift options!  Here is a link to the tutorial as well as the print out templates.  She also writes about bleaching techniques which I’ll have to try next.

20140104-114848.jpgMy little lotus.

The only sad thing, as I was warned of this, was how quick he’s grown out of them.  Erik and I still try to squeeze him into our favorites, but my how time is flying!  I sadly already have a box saved for future children, should there be any.

As for the projects I didn’t get to finish:  Cloth napkins and Cold pressed soap.  I purchased everything to make a camomile bar soap as Christmas presents, then discovered you have to let the soap sit for at least 4 weeks to allow excess water to drain.  I knew they wouldn’t be done in time, so I will have to shoot for Valentines presents.

When little Ollie arrived of course there was a million more things I wished I had gotten done.  But thats a thing of the past.  I’m now trying to teach myself to just allow things to go.  Who cares if I don’t sweep?  Who cares if the laundry sits there another day?  The only job I have right now is being a mom to this little nugget we brought into this crazy world.  And its the most important job I’ve ever had!


DIY Laundry Detergent

afterlight (1)I never in a million years would have thought l’d like to be the stay at home kind of girl.  But with the little vegan bun so close to arriving (!), I find myself ‘nesting’, with so many DIY projects on my list!

Becoming domestic is always something I’ve wanted to explore more.  Though its hard with the everyday work schedule.  Now with just one week of work left, I have time to dive in.  First on my list was making my own laundry detergent.  Wait, let me be honest;  first on my list, for years, has been to make my own dog food.  And that will come in time, as my excuse of now is needing more storage space.  So laundry detergent…. a totally simple-money saving task that would prove to be easy as pie to work into anyone’s lifestyle.  I have had a couple friends that have been doing this for so long, with far busier schedules than me, so I knew I had no excuse.  And along with the cloth diapers about to start rolling in daily, I knew this was the time.  Method adapted from Wellness Mama!

Materials / Ingredients

  • BoraxA natural laundry booster that lifts stains and odors from your clothes.  You can find this at just about any grocery store.  
  • Washing SodaA natural water softener and stain remover.  Also found in the detergent aisle at many grocery stores.
  • Bar SoapI prefer to use an all natural, less perfume-y style soap.  Dr. Bronners makes bar soaps, and if whole foods happens to have a sale going on- even better.
  • Container – You will need something to store the detergent in, preferably something that has a large opening, so you can easily use your scoop. 
  • Cheese GraterYour standard, handheld grater.
  • 1/4 cup scoop Any measuring cup will do!

Now to start:

In a large bowl, using cheese grater, shred the bar soap.  I use the medium sized teeth.  Once you have finished, mix in 2 cups borax, and 2 cups washing soda.  The proportions should be 1 cup bar soap, 2 cups borax, and 2 cups washing soda.  Gently stir together till fully incorporated.  Make sure you get to see little specs of your bar soap squiggles throughout the batch!  Transfer to your storing container.

And Voila!  You just made Laundry Detergent!
To use:  1/8 of a cup for smaller loads, and 1/4 cup for large loads.

Our first trial run just happened to be the day Erik brought all of his soccer clothes home.  And boy were they stinky!  The detergent proved to work!  I am still accessing my math on how mush this will save us, but I think it cuts the price in half (possibly more) of what we’d spend on liquid detergent.  Not to mention we cut back on contributing more to the plastic take over of the world.  This article was posted last week about plastic in our oceans, and the effects it has on whales, and various animals around the globe.