Friday, November 21, 2008

Frugal Friday - homemade toothpaste

My Frugal Friday tip:

Homemade Toothpaste (or rather, toothsoap!)

I love this simple toothsoap recipe from Lindsay at . People often aren't aware of what ingredients are in their personal care products -- I've done a fair amount of research on the safety of conventional toothpaste ingredients, and I was not pleased with what I found. Even Tom's of Maine products have some questionable ingredients. This recipe is completely safe to use for both adults and young children. I know there is some controversy on whether or not glycerine is safe to use in your mouth, but from the research I've done, the amount used in this recipe is not enough to cause any problems. I've been using it with great results.

-5 teaspoons coconut oil
-1 teaspoon Dr. Bronner's baby mild castile soap
-1 or 2 teaspoons xylitol sweetner (or stevia)
-5 drops peppermint essential oil
-3 drops sweet orange essential oil

Mix all ingredients.

It does NOT taste like soap at all. It tastes very pleasant, but I think next time I will add more xylitol and essential oils to make a stronger flavor.

For more Frugal Friday ideas, go to

Have a lovely weekend! :)


Saturday, November 15, 2008


The fires are getting close, and we are packed and ready to leave at a moment's notice. Please pray for those who have lost their homes, and for the brave firefighters who are struggling to keep our homes standing.

Heavenly Father, please do not let our home burn down.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Frugal Friday - homemade beauty products

Okay, so I've decided to jump on board with the Frugal Friday tips!

Here's my tip for the day:

Women have a natural desire to look nice, have good skin, hair, etc. But when money is tight, paying $8-10 just for a bottle of skin cream is ridiculous! Not to mention the harsh chemicals that are put into most commercial products. The solution? Make your beauty products at home! For the past year or so, I haven't bought a single makeup/cosmetic/skin product. And why would I, when I can make safer and more effective products at home?! I have extremely sensitive skin which is prone to breakouts, but guess what? I haven't had a major breakout in a long time. Here's what I do: To wash my face, I simply use warm water, a washcloth, and a tiny bit of Dr. Bronner's baby soap (inexpensive and totally natural). Then, for day time, I apply a mixture of 1 part aloe vera gel and 1 part oil (like jojoba or almond). At night, I just use a couple drops of oil without the aloe. You can either grow your own aloe (I do), or you can buy it at most grocery stores, or Target/Walmart. Try to find the purest form of aloe gel, as some brands have added chemicals and preservatives that are harmful for your skin.

For more Frugal Friday tips, head on over to !


Some Links

Just thought I'd take a moment to post the links to some of the blogs I read regularly:

(Note: I don't know any of these people personally)

Stacy McDonald, mother to 9 (I think). An amazing Godly woman!

And two of her daughters:

Crystal Paine's website/blog. She has wonderful ideas on frugal living, recipes, homemaking, etc.

Jenni's blog. Hilarious, witty, brilliant mother to 12. Love her blogging style!

Anna Sophia & Elizabeth Botkin, two Christian sisters. I really look up to them.

If I remember any more, I'll post them later. :)

Also, I've been trying to read a LOT more lately, so for accountability, I'm going to post the books I have read each month.

Books I read in October:

~Many Dimensions, by Charles Williams (loved it!)
~War In Heaven, by Charles Williams (loved it!)

I wish I'd gotten in a couple more, but I'll do better this month.

Books I'm currently reading:

~ All Hallow's Eve, by Charles Williams
~ Sanctuary, by David Jeremiah (this is a great devotional book, I've read it several times)


Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Update on the cyst

Thanks so much for your prayers and kind words, guys! I went to the doctor and got some antibiotics for the Bartholin cyst, and it is MUCH better. I am so grateful. Thank you, God! I am still praying for relief from the daily migraines, but still, the relief of having the cyst go away is GREAT!

Soooo to make up for the complaining rant, here are 10 random things I am thankful for:

1. My darling kittens. I love them more every day!

2. My amazing mom.

3. My amazing brother.

4. Anna Sophia and Elizabeth Botkin, and the McDonald family! I am constantly looking up to them examples of strong, Godly people.

5. Charles Williams. What a wonderful author!

6. The C.S. Lewis Foundation -- teaching students how to impact the world for Christ.

7. All the dear children I get to babysit! :)

8. My violin.

9. Potatoes!!! I've been a potato addict recently.

10. Any day we have cold and/or rainy weather!



Sunday, November 9, 2008

A bit of complaining... please forgive me...

Okay, I know that my life could be a lot worse. A LOT worse. I know that I only have a teensy weensy amount of the suffering some people face every day, but still...pain is pain and this is the only place I can share it without feeling that I'm burdening people, so here it is.

As some of you know, my health has not been good lately. It is very frustrating as a young person to have health problems. It's frustrating at any age, but now at age 16 when a lot of people my age are in top condition with few health issues, it is a bit depressing. It is even more frustrating that nobody my age understands this stuff. I don't know any person my age or even around my age with health problems, and if I try to talk to teenagers about it, they're kind of like "Uh sorry dude, bummer...ummm...OMG I STUBBED MY TOE MY LIFE IS OVER!!! oh you wanna hear about my super cute boyfriend who... just OMG dumped me??"

AAAARGH. NO, I do not want to hear about your boyfriend troubles!!!!! You shouldn't even HAVE a boyfriend!!

Okay, so I don't really say that to them. But I do get a little miffed. I understand, people have varying degrees of pain tolerance (both mental and physical). So basically, I've stopped talking about this stuff to people other than my mom and one or two friends. Even some adults don't entirely get it. I think the main thing I've realized over the past year or so is: If people haven't had painful experiences, they're not likely to understand your pain. The ones who are the most sympathetic are the ones who have gone through trials and suffering. Now, of course this is not true of everyone...just almost everyone. *cough*

Now, on to the pain itself. I was recently diagnosed with PCOS, and although it sounds like nothing, it causes a whole lot of problems, and considerable pain. It also leaves you vulnerable to several nasty diabetes. My most common symptoms are nausea, difficulty eating, stomach pain, migraines, and herpes.

Two days ago, I had the worst migraine of my entire life. (Remember, I have migraines almost daily, and they sometimes last for weeks without any I am pretty tough when it comes to headaches!) It started around 2:00 in the afternoon, and it was probably the worst pain I have ever had (although a rupturing ovarian cyst is not far behind). I honestly wanted to die, right then and there, just to ensure I would never have to go through that kind of pain again. I begged to be taken to the hospital so they could put me to sleep. My head was burning, throbbing, feeling like it was going to burst. Later that night, I vomitted the tiny amount of food I had been able to eat. At about 7:00 in the evening, I knew I could not take it any more. My mom called the hospital and spoke with a nurse who suggested that I go immediately to the ER. We were just headed out the door when I forced myself to think about how expensive emergency care is, and how we really, really couldn't afford it right now. I made myself go lie down and just be still and accept that I was going to have to deal with the pain myself. It was a really hard thing to do, but I felt stronger as I made the decision. An hour or so later, I was asleep. I woke up in a few minutes to vomit, and then got back to sleep. I stayed asleep for a couple hours, and woke up again to find the pain was still very present, although somewhat relieved. Thankfully, it was mostly gone when I woke up that morning. But I was very dizzy and weak and spent most of the day in bed.

Today, I am much better, and I can now focus on my other current health problem: My huge Bartholin cyst. It started about four days ago, and I had NO idea what it was, only that it hurt and itched like the dickens and I wanted it gone. Forever. Walking, sitting, and standing are the most painful. That down? Yeah, that's what I've been doing most of today, yesterday, and the day before. It's about 3 centimeters, or the size of a very large walnut. It's probably benign, and could go away on its own, but it could also be an abscess, or worse...cancerous. I pray it is not. And I think it's unlikely, but...always possible. I hope I hope I hope I can get it drained/removed tomorrow. I have an appointment for Wednesday, but I would much rather have it done sooner.

Whew, that was LONG. Thanks so much for reading, guys. This is my little complaining room, and I appreciate it that y'all don't just tell me to suck it up and go cry in a corner. :) Actually, you would be perfectly within your rights to do so...but please don't, because I will throw a sharpie at you. Or something.

Guys, I am blessed. I truly am. There are just some icky things going on right now.

Thanks for listening to my rant, and God Bless!