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Make Your Own Foaming Hand Soap

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Making your own foaming hand soap is so easy and cheap! Foaming hand soap is kind of expensive for what it is. Somewhere on the web a while back(probably Pinterest), I found a post where somebody used castile soap to make their own foaming hand soap. I can’t remember which blog I originally found the recipe on, but I’ve used the recipe from Little House Living.

It is so super easy that you won’t even believe it! 1 cup of water plus 1 tablespoon of castile soap equals your own foaming hand soap. I buy the cheap container of soap from Walmart and dump out the chemical soap, saving the container to use for my homemade version. I like using castile because it is made with organic oils and doesn’t have all the funky detergents and unpronounceable chemicals you’ll find in standard liquid soaps.

And, the icing on the cake is that you can make a cup of foaming hand soap for about 18-23 cents!! I found a 32 ounce container for only 11.99 so that equals 18 cents per cup of foaming soap.You can order castile online or find it in health stores. Our local Target even has it! Be sure to check the clearance section as I have found it there marked down.

Have you ever made your own foaming hand soap? Share your tips and tricks in the comments below.

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Lunch Box Boredom Busters {healthy lunches part 2}

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Image: Christian Cable

Healthy lunch boxes can be more challenging to pack than they may seem! It is not that hard to come up with some ideas, but what is a bit more challenging is creating something new each day and not falling into the rut of packing the same lunch over and over. Bless my son’s heart, he probably ate PB&J with carrots sticks and some kind of fruit for 90% of his first grade career and he never even complained! Here are a some luncbox ideas to try to spice things up and keep your lunchbox from falling into a rut:

 

Entree Ideas Wraps: tortillas can be filled with leftover beans, chopped up meat or chicken and cheese for a yummy wrap to turn those left overs into something new Nut Butter sandwich- pair nut butter (coconut PB is yummy for coconut lovers) paired with jelly, raw honey or even apple slices. I usually use homemade sourdough for bread Hard boiled eggs Kabobs- mix up cubes of meats, cheeses and berries or cubed fruit and stick them on toothpicks for another great way to use up leftovers Grilled cheese Egg Salad, tuna fish Meat and cheese roll ups- thin slices of meat and cheese rolled up and stuck in a muffin liner or held together with a toothpick Cut up hotdogs without fillers/nasty stuff added (we love Applegate Farms) Breakfast for lunch- leftover breakfast meats such as sausages or bacon, with leftover pancakes, waffles or toast spread with plenty of butter or cream cheese Snacks and Sides Fruits: strawberries, blueberries, balled melons, apples, peaches, pears, plums, cuties, grapes, sliced kiwi etc… Veggies: sliced cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, sugar snap peas, ants on a stick (celery filled with peanut butter and topped with raisins or chocolate chips), mini peppers or colorful pepper slices, baby carrots etc… Cheese cubes Popcorn with butter sprinkled with freshly grated parmesan or a bit of salt or even a tiny sprinkling of salt and sugar for a salty and sweet treat Yogurt with berries, vanilla or honey Coconut Chips Trail mix: make your own with nuts, dried fruit, coconut chips and maybe throw in just a few chocolate chips once in a while as a treat

 

Sweet Treats Homemade popsicles- I’ve had my eye on these silicone molds for a while to make homemade ”Go-gurt” type yogurts or freeze as a popsicle treat Cookies Fruit and nut bars such as homemade Lara bars 5 Minute Candied nuts Fruit Roll ups (you can easily make your own! or find nice ones at a natural foods store) Coconut Macaroons Cookies, bars or muffins (lots of recipes)

What are your favorite items to pack in the lunch box? Please share them in the comments below!

Inspiration from: Pinterest

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Follow This One Garden Tip for Stronger, Healthier Organic Plants

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When I saw the tip from my friend Halle at Whole Lifestyle Nutrition, I knew I wanted to share a tip on watering easily that I have seen all over the internet, It seems that the hardest part of gardening is remembering to keep the plants well watered. I used to think that the hardest part was weeding, but since we read about Square Foot Gardening and implemented our raised bed, square foot gardens a while back, weeding has become practically eliminated. Yay :) Time to conquer my next nemesis- even, deep watering without wetting the leaves of the plants or installing drip irrigation.

The trick with growing plants that are hearty and have a deeper, stronger root system is deep, even watering. When you water your edible garden you want to water way down- at least dampening 6 inches of soil to promote healthy root growth. You also want to avoid wetting the leaves as this can cause problems such as blight and other diseases. A year or two ago I saw the idea for burying a jug and using it to water your plants. This tip works awesome for all kinds of plants: tomatoes, squash, pumpkins, eggplant.

Simply use an ice pick or knife to poke a bunch of holes in the bottom 2/3 of a large milk jug or water bottle. Then, dig a whole close to your plant and bury the jug so that only the top opening remains above ground. Once a week (or possibly more often in extreme heat) you can fill up the jug and it will give a nice, deep watering for your plants without having to worry about splashing the leaves. Here are a few helpful watering mixtures for occasionally nourishing your plants:

Mix 1 tablespoon of epsom salts per gallon of water. This should be applied for tomatoes and peppers when they are planted, when the first flowers form and again when the first fruits set. Use fish emulsion at a ratio of 1-2 tablespoons of emulsion per gallon of water. Make your own compost tea poured into the containers to accomplish watering and nourishing your plants in one fell swoop.

What do you do to make organic gardening easier?

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Edible Perennials {plant once… eat for years!}

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Who doesn’t enjoy the bounty of the garden? Delicious, juicy strawberries, sun ripened tomatoes, crispy lettuce. Yum! Gardening is such a great way to be self sufficient and get great food raised exactly the way you want it- in your own yard! Perennials are so wonderful since you plant once and keep reaping the benefits for years to come.

Unlike the bulk of a vegetable garden, these great perennials will come back year after year! We recently moved to a new home and are trying to utilize more edible perennials (and annuals) in our landscaping to make the most of our gardening space. Lately I’ve been reading The Edible Front Yard and Landscaping With Fruit to get more ideas for incorporating edible landscaping in the yard.

There are so many beautiful and functional edible gardens! Here is a simple list of perennials divided into categories for herbs, fruits and veggies to consider that I hope you’ll find helpful!

Perennial Herbs Sage Thyme Rosemary Lavendar Chives Lemon balm Mint Oregano Parsley Lovage Perennial Fruits Woodland or Alpine Strawberries Apples Raspberries Plums Apricots Pears Blueberries Blackberries Cherries Lemons Limes Huckleberry Goji Berry Nectarines Currants

 

Perennial Veggies Sweet Potatoes Asparagus Rhubarb Jerusalem Artichoke Water Cress Yams

I’m hoping to especially incorporate lots of herbs to use fresh and dry in my dehydrator to use for teas, winter cooking and to share as gifts! And, don’t forget about edible flowers as well :)

Have you incorporated edibles in your landscapings? What is your favorite edible perennial?

sources: 1 , 2, 3

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