How to “afford” organic living

“Oh, you do organic? We just can’t afford it.”

Now hold on. My husband is enlisted navy. Not a politician. We are most certainly not made of money.

It’s all about being driven toward health and you’ll learn to be thrifty because of your passion! At least that’s how it worked for us.

This blog entry is going to be all about how we “afford” to live organically, at least, the process to get where we are! We aren’t 100% there! It is most certainly a day at a time, but we prioritized.

We started off where we knew the biggest cost was going to come our way.
Salem.

My sweet 1.5 year old was the scariest thing in the world to us when we found out he was on his way. We were newly weds. He was a surprise, honeymoon baby. We just moved. I was in school. And we spent our savings on our wedding.

Now, we were blessed enough to have my in laws remove car payments from our plate, and my parents took a big piece of the wedding, but everyone always says babies cost a fortune. That’s why so many couples wait and save. What are we to do?

How we saved with Salem and continue to save with Maebel

Step 1: Cloth Diapering
This has become really trendy and a lot of families take their “stash” beyond the saving level, but we were looking at disposable diaper cost, and woah. Diapers were gonna be a damper on our bank account.

There are two ways to cloth diaper: you’re only planning on one and you’re going to have a horde of children.

If you plan on having one baby and stopping there, no reason to make the plunge into really high quality diapers. Especially if you’re tight with money and you need to make ends meet. Sunbaby, kawaii, grovia, alva, and the like. These brands are great! They’re cost efficient, they will last you at least one baby if not a few, if you care for them properly!

If you plan on a horde, slowly build your stash with softbums or make your own (tutorial to come!). Making my own diapers was by far the best decision I made, but we started out with baby city diapers our first year!

Now, there’s a big debate on whether cloth diapers actually save as far as utilities go. If you live in Hawaii, like me, it’s possible to cut it close if you’re washing less full loads and drying every time. You live in a sunny place. Unless you need diapers ASAP, hang them in the sun! Besides, it’s a natural bleach (: otherwise, you folks on the mainland, utilities are cheap. Full loads, line dry when you can, and your fluffy bottomed babies are gonna cost you virtually nothing but the start up cost.

P.S. If you already have a baby, it’s not too late. Don’t tell yourself that. Trainers cost way more than diapers! And swim diapers, too! You can still save yourself a lot of money.

Step 2: Breastfeeding and homemade baby food
Not all women can breastfeed and this fact makes my heart heavy. It’s also more easily said than done, but if you can do it, then by all means! Your breast milk is exactly what your baby needs! You will have to stick to it. The first 6-8 weeks are not for the meek of heart. Doctors tend to not say the most encouraging things when it comes to reflux (Salem), jaundice (Maebel), or small babies, but find a La Leche League or lactation consultant. Get somebody to be your advocate when you’re too tired to fight. And please! Educate yourself on breastfeeding: common issues and how to correct them, what to expect, myths, etc.

If you were unable to breastfeed your first and are medically unable to breastfeed any future children, but formula hurts your wallet, look into human milk 4 human babies. Women who have oversupply (including myself), donate here to local moms in need. You read that right, free breast milk! If you’re passionate about breast milk there are ways to get some. If other mommy milk freaks you out, which is completely appropriate, see if you qualify for women, infants, and children (WIC). No need to take money you could be using for your children elsewhere, WIC is absolutely an appropriate option for families who struggle and want to provide the best lives for their children. We, too, used WIC while preparing for Salem’s arrival.

Homemade baby food. Sounds like a hassle, it’s totally not. Pick a day of the week, your day off for working moms, the best opportunity to present itself for SAHM/WAHM. Look up a few recipes on Pinterest, or copy gerber! Steam some carrots, bake potatoes and sweet potatoes, cook a whole chicken (definitely most cost efficient use of chicken), sauté mushroom, peppers, onions, etc. then, throw some mixtures together in a blender and freeze for the week! This will save you almost as much as cloth diapering! Baby food is expensive!

Step 3: Essential Oils and natural medicine and cleaning alternatives
There are all sorts of back and forth on Tylenol use for pregnant moms and new babies. And then, how does our heart feel when we see toddler has figured out the child lock on the cleaning cabinet?

How much money do you not realize you spend on (overpriced) infant Tylenol and midol/Advil for yourself? How about diaper creams, especially if you have the baby with sensitive skin and low tolerance for synthetics? Then, there’s the one time you can’t wait out the tummy ache so you bought pepto bismol or anti-diarrhea stuff, and then you forget about it in the back of your medicine cabinet…

Here is one of the really great things about essential oils: you can use them as medicine and to clean, chemical free! They have so many uses! From chronic pain and health concerns to a mild headache, these oils can help you. And a little bit goes a long way! 3-4 drops of lemon in my 250 drop bottle is plenty in an 8 oz glass spray bottle to last me multiple kitchen and bathroom cleanings.

You’re going to find that a few other cleaners pair well with essential oils: organic baking soda, organic vinegar, organic apple cider vinegar, and organic Castile soap. These are your must haves for cleaning.

As far as medicines go, invest in a big tub of organic coconut oil and you’re set!

Essential oils can save your multiple trips to stores and doctors appointments. Really, consider them! They are truly a wonderful make over for your home and family,

If you’re interested in purchasing essential oils at retail, visit my website: click here!

If you’re wanting to maximize your benefits, talk to me about becoming a doTERRA member, today! Candacedoterra1@gmail.com

Step 4: Garden
We spent $300 on our raised bed, and it is estimated to give us more than enough crop for our family. When you’re already switching a lot in your life over to organic, you start to worry as you glimpse at organic grocery prices. Vegetables and fruit and best grown in your own back yard. And that $300 mark for gardening? We saved up for it, but the soil is 100% organic and our seeds are heritage seeds! Meaning the seeds we keep will grow more crop!

This step is really great for those in warm climates when you can grow year round! But, places with seasons, there’s no reason to let winter scare you. Grow in the spring, summer, and fall, and learn about canning your own veggies and dehydrating fruit!

No yard or small yard? Look into a potted garden. Save space by growing herbs under windows!

This is only as far as we’ve really traveled on our organic adventure. We purchase organic milk and aim for hormone and anti biotic free meats, but it’s a slow process. However, it’s a good one, and saving us money all the while, even with living in one of the most expensive states in the union!

Not sure where to start with the change in your life? Comment below or email me at candacedoterra1@gmail.com

Candace

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Sugar Scrub

I get asked for my recipe for my sugar scrub on Facebook at least 3 times a day! So, I thought you’d like to read it here with a couple of different suggestions on how to cater to your own skin!

First, there are soooo many different carrier oils you can use in this scrub.

Almond
Apricot
Avacado
Castor
Grapeseed
Hemp
Jojoba
Olive

Off the top of my head, these are just a few that have become really popular in the alternative health world. It’s important to do your research about each oil to really know what skin types they’re best for, but I can tell you that almost all of these oils are very rich in vitamin e, a vitamin incredibly good for skin, hair, and nails.

My personal favorite is jojoba. I love how it makes my skin feel, and my hair is growing faster than ever. Avacado is known to be really helpful with eczema and dermatitis skin types. Grapeseed is known for being helpful with aging skin. And almond and apricot are for those with very sensitive and delicate skin types.

Next, let’s talk essential oils.

If you’re a person struggling with acne, you’re already thinking I’m crazy for wanting you to put the above oils on your skin. Now I’m talking about more!? Fun fact, oil cuts oil better than water and soap do, and, washing your face with different, healthy oils, can actually regulate your skin. See, soap completely strips your skin of all oils. Sounds like a good idea, but it’s a lot like antibacterial soap killing the good bacteria. Your skin needs oil, that’s why it makes it in the first place. And trust me. As someone who has struggled with acne treatment her whole life, this is actually working.

Frankincense and melaleuca (tea tree oil) are both really good to add to your sugar scrub. Frankincense is known to help scarring, melaleuca is helpful with bacteria. Both of these oils are noted for giving skin a really healthy, beautiful glow.
Lavender is really great to add if you have trouble with hormonal cysts on your skin. It’s a calming oil, and it can help soothe the skin.
Peppermint. Burrrr. This oil is really good for helping cool you off in the shower! But it’s great for acne because it brings down inflammation!

Now, some of you don’t have acne. So what about you? Which oils should you invest in?

Well, you’re probably my other half of friends that struggle with stretch marks, wrinkles, or loose skin. Those are signs of a beautiful life, but ones we tend to not be fond of.

Any of your citrus oils help with skin elasticity and restoring firmness. Grapefruit, lemon, lime, and orange. Fun fact: they also curb appetite. Feel free to shower before breakfast and your soap can help regulate appetite! However, citrus oils are known to increase skin vulnerability in sun. Use accordingly.
Myrrh is also a really great essential oil for smoothing wrinkles and frankincense is wonderful for fading stretch marks and other scarring.

My last little bit on helping you understand the ingredients is the importance of organic. Use organic ingredients in your soap. It will make an incredible difference for your skin, and your health. Your body knows how to use these ingredients.

Sugar scrub
1/2 pint glass mason jar (never put essential oils in plastic or any other synthetic container)
1/4 organic coconut oil
1/2 cup shredded Castile soap (here! or buy a scent if you plan on using it alone!)
1 cup organic sugar (Sebastian and I prefer finely ground sugar. I also use light or dark brown. Gives my skin healthy color).
2 tbsp organic jojoba oil
15-30 drops essential oil

These measurements can very from 1/3 a cup to 1/4 cup, depending on how oily my coconut oil is, how dry my sugar is, etc. really, you’ll be safe by eyeballing your measurements!

If you’re wanting to buy some essential oils to add to your sugar scrub, doTERRA is a wonderful place to purchase from.

Visit my website: Here!

Or, if you’re interested in becoming a member and maximizing your rewards, email me: candacedoterra1@gmail.com

Enjoy! Use this scrub on your whole body! Even your face!! You’ll feel like you need to scrub with soap, but don’t! There’s soap in your sugar scrub, and the oily feeling will subside. Let your skin soak up the nutrients.

Lastly! Be ever so careful in the shower. Oil can cause it to become slick, and glass mason jars can make a scary mess. Be smart, and be careful.

Candace

Rodents, and spiders, and pests oh my!

In my parents home, there’s this back room in our basement. It’s where the heater for the house is, but my parents also stored the dry cereal and canned foods, among a few keep sakes in there. Growing up, it was the spookiest room in the whole house. You know that fear that grips you in most other kids’ basements? Our basement was nice, so it was allll concentrated in that room. The worst part of it for me was all the mouse traps. For good reason, they surrounded the dry cereal. However, for me there was this horrid anxiety of opening the door to find a dead mouse in the trap mixed with finding an empty trap, because that meant I had to play Operation to get the box out. It was game over if a spider made its web attach to the box.

Spring has sprung, especially for my family and friends in central Illinois, and that means it’s time to start planting our gardens. I’ve learned a lot about pest control here in Hawaii, where the bugs are year round and they don’t die, rather, they grow bigger. Since I had the chance to really specialize my pest control, I thought you would want in on the secret!

Mice is a big concern for Midwesterners. Surrounded by fields of corn and soybeans, sometimes mice get a little lost and find themselves in our pantries. Who can blame them? But there was always that unsettling feeling when you heard the trap let loose on the poor, unsuspecting fellow. Now I have a nice alternative for you that will help ward off mice without the yucky after effect of the traps, let alone the unsafe atmosphere for those with tiny fingers.

Peppermint essential oil has lots of incredible uses. It brings down fevers, acts as an anti-inflammatory, helps with headaches and migraines of epic proportions. It’s also antibacterial and when you clean with it, it gives you some nice energy and motivation to keep going! A little help to get you through spring cleaning! Wait, there’s more wonderful things about peppermint! Mice don’t like it!

Take some cotton balls, put a few drops of peppermint essential oil on them, and place them about your home, particularly in areas of concern, or areas you feel uncomfortable having a mouse trap and a dead mouse! Pantries and kitchen cupboards especially (:

Guess what other pests don’t like peppermint?

Ants
Aphids
Beetles
Caterpillars
Flies
Moths
And SPIDERS!

Where can you buy this incredible oil? Here!

Ants are a tricky little bunch. I have a special spray for those buggars in Hawaii. I get an 8 oz glass spray bottle (glass is important, essential oils break down the compounds of plastic and release chemicals into the solution). In the solution I mix:
15 drops of peppermint,
10 drops of wild orange, and
5-7 drops of cinnamon, depending on their stubbornness.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of Castile soap (Dr. Bronners unscented)
Fill with water!

This blend is perfectly safe to spray around your doors, windows, and sugar canisters, because each ingredient is completely edible! These oils are warm oils, so using them where babies crawl should be cautioned, but once the solution dries you’re golden! BONUS: flies hate peppermint too, so they’ll keep away from your windows and doors on their way in. Add about 10 drops of lavender for extra effect.

Lastly, I want to address garden pests! Yes, there is a natural solution for pesticides and insecticides, and your oils are safe to ingest in small amounts so spraying your fruits and veggies with it until they’re mature is a-okay! However, it is always recommended you wash your fresh produce before consumption (:

Aphids (peppermint and white fir), beetles (peppermint and thyme), caterpillars (peppermint), flies (lavender and peppermint), gnats (patchouli), slugs/snails (patchouli and white fir), spiders (peppermint), and weevils (patchouli).

Here, I have them all. So I use all of those oils!

12-16 oz glass spray bottle
20 drops of peppermint
15 drops patchouli
10 drops white fir
10 drops lavender
5 drops of thyme
1 tablespoon Castile soap (I love dr. Bronners!!!)
Fill with water

There are lots of other oils you can use for outdoor use and ridding yourself of pests, or even preventing them! Mosquito blends, termites, and even warding off mildew and fungi from your garden! The world of essential oils and their uses is vast and it’s a fun one to learn about!

If you’re interested in using these oils, purchasing blends, or wanting to sign up with doTERRA today and get the best rewards on essential oils, feel free to contact me:

Candacedoterra1@gmail.com

Or purchase oils at retail:
here!

Crunchy Candace

The first time someone asked me if I was crunchy, I was in upstate New York. Saratoga Springs to be exact. Sebastian and I had received news of a big move up ahead and I had 200+ ounces of frozen breast milk staring me in the face.

I’m blessed enough to stay home with my son and I was (and am) equally blessed with the ability to breastfeed (and pump, a lot!). But, because I stay home, I also have few occasions to use the frozen milk. And now I found myself in a frantic state of wondering how in the world you move something that’s frozen and needed to stay frozen! After a few hours online looking at medical grade shipping boxes and wondering where I should even mail it, I started exploring the donating option. I sent out a post on human milk 4 human babies on Facebook and a mom 30 minutes away asked if she could take it off my hands. When she picked it up, and saw my dreadlocks and cloth diapered baby, she asked me if I was crunchy.

I didn’t know what it meant, but since then, I’ve come to understand it well because I accidentally fell into the lifestyle!

Crunchy, as defined by urban dictionary, is an adjective used to describe persons who have adjusted or altered their lifestyle for environmental reasons. Crunchy persons tend to be politically strongly left-leaning and may be additionally but not exclusively categorized as vegetarians, vegans, eco-tarians, conservationists, environmentalists, neo-hippies, tree huggers, nature enthusiasts, etc.

While I am not politically left-leaning and I enjoy beef jerky and whole milk too much to be a vegetarian or vegan, I have become very passionate about nature and conserving it.

I branched away from my other blog to bring you this one. Specifically addressing the “crunchy” aspects of my family. I get a lot of questions about natural labor, breastfeeding, baby wearing, cloth diapering, essential oils, and delayed and selective vaccines. While I’m not an expert and my two children are under the age of two, I’m figuring it all out and I like to share what I’ve learned with those who are interested.

So, here’s a little bit about my family and me. My husband’s name is Sebastian. I call him Seb for short. We’ve been together (loosely in our high school years) for 7 years. We’ve been married for over 2 years. In that span of time, we had two children, Salem (18 months) and Maebel (3 months), we have adopted two dogs, Stark and Watson, and we’ve moved 3 times, one move being around the 5000 mile mark. It included an ocean and a 9 hour direct flight.

Why do we move so much? My husband is a member of the United States Navy. The Navy pulled us out of Saratoga Springs and moved us to the tiny island of Oahu.

Aloha and welcome to the most recent and exciting chapter of our lives. We’ve been living in paradise for exactly 1 year today. And Hawaii is the place where crunchy has invaded my soul.

Maybe it’s the beautiful water or the way the clouds always linger on the mountains. Perhaps it’s the annoying way sand is positively terrible and wonderful all at once. (It’s certainly not the gnarly centipedes and giant cockroaches.)

But Hawaii has stolen my heart and made me want to be as natural and in-tune to God’s incredible world as I can be. I love this planet we live on and I want to do the best I can to leave the smallest fingerprint of harm behind me. Most of that boils down to the list I shared above.

So, welcome to my journey of natural, organic, healthy, honorable living. Feel free to join the ride in whatever you feel is best for you and your family.

Candace