Doing the ‘NO POO DO’

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Okay so it is not really a hair do but it just the act of not using shampoo to clean your hair.  I was looking for a homemade shampoo/conditioner of sorts and to me the simpler the better.  So when I came upon this “instructables” web page (click on link to go to web page) which gives a recipe for a baking soda wash and an apple cider vinger rinse for your hair, I was excited!  SO SIMPLE! and cheap.  AND I already had all the ingredients, go figure!

The recipe calls for:

  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Soda per 8oz of water
  • 1 Tablespoon Apple Cider Vinegar per 8oz of water

This ratio works just fine for me, but may be too much baking soda for others.  Also, if you color your hair you may need to look for an extra moisturizing step after the wash.  I have heard that raw egg works really well combined with a little bit of extra virgin olive oil and finish with the apple cider vinegar rinse.  So if you really want to Do the No Poo Do, then give it a try and figure out what works best for your hair.  This will save you money and you won’t be using all those nasty chemicals on your hair which then also gets on your skin, in your body and well yea.  Also you won’t have to worry if the manufacture tests their products on animals…if you were wondering in the first place.OH and lastly, GREY WATER, if you use your grey water for irrigation or want to, this is a way to make sure you aren’t feeding your plants chemicals.

When I first made this for myself I put them both into spray bottles.  This did not work for me because my hand would get SOO tired and hurt from squeezing the spray every time!  So I got this squirt applicator bottle from a beauty supply store.

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I put the baking soda mix in this because I could get it right at the base of my hair and on my scalp way better, but then I keep the apple cider vinegar in a spray bottle since I want it to cover a wider area.  However you like to apply it, the same concept of hair washing applies…scrub and rinse, scrub and rinse… and remember..there are no bubbles.

The results that I get:  Clean hair, no fragrant smell (you could add some essentials oils if you like, but do some research on the oils before you do!), my hair is fuller (not as limp) and holds a curl better.  So I don’t really curl my hair much, but i found this out because I DO throw it up in a sloppy bun most days and when I take it down It holds the “dents” much better than before so because of this I know that if I DID curl my hair, which I usually do with rags, I know it would hold better.

DO THE NO POO DO !  And share how your experience went!

Our first Chickens!

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I really wanted to get some chickens but knew that with where we live right now we couldn’t possibly have free range chickens and have them last for any amount of time.  There is an older couple down the road where I live who have a small portable chicken coop.  I said “That is what ‘I’ need!”  I started searching the web for “portable chicken coops” and found out that what I actually was wanting was a “Chicken Tractor!”  Oh yea, I just love the name 🙂   So I searched through all the pics of chickens tractors on the web to get an idea of what kind of design I wanted for my own.  I knew I wanted it to be bigger than my neighbors, for I wanted more than just 3 chickens and I had to work with the wood we had on hand and a budget.  After I had in mind what I wanted I got my graph paper out and started drawing and thinking on it.  Next I went to the barn and gathered up some wood.  As far as pressure treated wood, what was most available was 1X3’s of various lengths between 8′-10′ or so.  I have never used a skill saw so most of the cutting I did with a hand saw.  Fine with me at the time, but towards the end of the project I used a skill saw after a quick lesson from my husband and well it really wasn’t that hard and it sure would have saved some time if I had used it in the first place.  The hand saw wasn’t so bad though, I really didn’t mind it.  So here are some pics of building my chicken tractor.

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I am not a skilled carpenter but I got the job done! and with a little help from Justin.  Putting on the chicken wire is definitely a two person job!  🙂

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I used some scrap bead board and plywood.  I painted them with a primer first and then coated them all with an exterior brown paint we got from a local scarp yard.   I liked the white but also wanted the coop to be all one color.

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I just HAD to add decorations!  Here you can see the pull out drawer as well.  This is so I can clean out the coop floor, as well as fertilize my compost and garden!  Image Here you can see the two fold down doors for access to the chicken nest and the scrap door for the main access. Almost done!

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removable chicken ladder to the coop

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It is chicken ready!!  At this point I didn’t have my wheels on yet but since it COULD house chickens I started shopping around!  I was so excited and I wanted some chickens right now! lol

I asked around, looked in the local paper, and also Craigslist.  After a few days and couple phone calls I drove to Lebanon, TN (about 45 minutes away), and bought 7 Barnevelder chickens.  4 double laced blue barnevelder hens, 1 double laced blue barnevelder rooster, and 2 regular barnevelder hens.  Yippee!  I hadn’t planned on getting a rooster, since I have had a bad experience with an aggressive rooster in the past, but the seller said he had never seen an aggressive rooster out of this breed and also these blue barnevelder roosters dress out so pretty!  So I figured I would give him a try and I actually look forward to some baby chicks one day and preserving this nice breed of chickens. 😉

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First day in their new home!

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The kids (my 2 little ones and their cousins) had to get in there and each hold a chicken.  I am sure it was a VERY nerve racking day for the chickens, caught, transported in boxes, new home, kids after them.

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Finally got the wheels on.  Took them off an old lawnmower that no longer works.  Justin looking on, and Kendall peeking in the coop.  One day we will add handle bars of some sort on the other end for easier handling when moving.

Here are some chicken coops and chicken tractors I found on the web, when searching for design ideas to make my own.  I hope they help you in making yours!

Waste reduction continued….

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I am still learning how to work my WordPress.com account.  Please bear with me 🙂

If you have ever read and thought about reducing you household waste and/or minimizing your carbon footprint, all the necessary changes can seem a little…OVERWHELMING!  But have no fear!  Just tackle one thing at a time…baby steps.

Since I have reduced my trash, I found that now I need to reduce my recycling materials!  I gathered reusable bags up and I try my best to take them with me when I go grocery shopping.  I hate it when I forget them now and it seems that the best place to keep them so as not to forget them, is in my trunk/car.  Now I just have to remember to put them back in my trunk when I am finished unloading my groceries.  And don’t limit your re-useable bags to just grocery shopping, take them in when you go clothes or anything shopping, well anything that can fit in your bag type shopping. 🙂

If you don’t have a re-useable bag, take a second look around your house and see if you do not have something that could be re-purposed as a re-useable shopping bag, a pillow or bed sheet that can be retired?  When I went home from the hospital with my babies (one in 2009 and one in 2011), I was sent home with a colorful cloth bag full of new baby goodies and such.  These were big bags too!  I use them now when I go grocery shopping but I got to be careful because they can get very heavy because they can hold so much!  Love your reusable bags!  Make them pretty, if you want, and decorate them with beads, buttons, patches!  Get creative and also don’t limit their use to just the grocery store.  Take them clothes shopping or any kind of shopping in which the items will fit into your bags.  Happy shopping!

Less Plastic, Fantastic!

I have started to use mason jars for storing food in my fridge instead of plastic food containers like Tupperware and such. I like it.  I love mason jars period, so to open my fridge and see them makes me happy and also to know that I am using less plastic. I have thought about maybe getting some one piece lids for the jars I am using for storing food instead.  The two piece works just fine, I was just thinking that I wanted to save them for my canning project instead. I look forward to getting some bigger glass canning jar like the Le Parfait French Glass Canning Jar but they are a little expensive and it seems best to buy them in a set for a better price.

So I have been using my reusable shopping bags for groceries BUT…. I am still using those little plastic produce bags and I find it so irritating!  lol  It is just I go to the store with my own bags with the intention of not bringing plastic back to my home but still find myself doing so!  I end up putting multiples of loose fruits and veggies in these plastic bags.  If it is only one or two I won’t necessarily use them and it isn’t like you can combine different types of fruits/vegetables into one back because they ring them up separately and need to weigh them separately at the check-out.  SO with that, I am excited to say that I am about to place an amazon.com order and included in this will be some Organic Cotton Muslin Produce Bags!  Yay! No more plastic produce bags and they are great for storing your produce in once you get them home too. :).

Adventures with FOOD!

These are some of the most delicious muffins I have ever made or eaten! Bob's Red Mill 'Flax Bran Muffins' Click on the picture to see the recipe!

Black Bean Veggie Burgers. YUM! This is one of my meat eating husbands favorite vegetarian dinners, and mine too! Click on the pic to go to the recipe!

My First attempt at a raw food smoothie and it wasn't too shabby! And SO FRESH! Pictured are the ingredients, used about a tablespoon or more of both the hemp and ground flax seed.

Household Waste Reduction – Recycling

I have been inspired to reduce household waste after reading a story about The Zero Waste Home posted in B.Real Magazine.  You will never accomplish anything if you don’t start somewhere, and THIS is where I am going to start.  I will be attempting to incorporate these waste reduction tips from the Zero Waste Home into my daily life and blog about my success and failures.  Click on the links above to see a list of those tips. This should be Fun!  Follow along and try these waste reducing tips too!

I started recycling about 2 months ago and it started out rough because I wasn’t sure where to take my recyclables and I also wasn’t sure what was able to be recycled.  And yes, if happened to have noticed, my recycle bin are in a bath tub. Ha, we live in a small rental house and we do not use one of the tubs so that is where I found the room to store my recyclables. So after doing some research, talking to friends who already recycle, and calling the local recycling center with questions I am much more confident in my ability to start recycling! Ha, you might not think it would seem so difficult but have you ever noticed ALL the different types of plastics out there!? And what about those cartons, O.J., almond milk, coconut milk, are those cardboard or what??  and not every recycling center takes every type of plastic or cartons.  The best thing to do in this regard to to call your local recycling center and ask them what they accept for recycling.  What types of plastic?  Cardboard? Mixed paper/junk mail? Glass? Aluminum and Metal? Electronics? Batteries? Paint? Oil? other toxic materials or liquids?

Earth911.com is a GREAT place to learn about what can be recycled and how to do it properly so that your good intentions and efforts aren’t wasted.  Some curbside recycling services do not require that you wash out food containers before putting them in your recycle bin for pick up but I would rinse them out anyways.  Just get in the habit.  This will make sure that your bin doesn’t get all stinky and will greatly reduce the amount of bugs (and possibly animals) your bin attracts. Happy Recycling!