Category Archives: Simple Living

How to Make A Backup Sourdough Starter

How to make a backup sourdough starter |

If you like baking with a sourdough starter, the best thing you can do to make sure you can continue using it for a long time is to make a backup sourdough starter.

Even though sourdough starters are usually pretty resilient and hard to kill, if you neglect feeding it for too long, or if you go away on vacation and completely forget about your starter, the wild yeast can die off. Continue Reading

How to Store Vegetables for Winter

How to store vegetables for winter |


Whether you want to store your own garden-grown produce or whether you want to take advantage of a bulk discount for fresh vegetables from a local farm stand or farmer’s market, one of the most important things to know is how to properly store those vegetables for the winter.

Storing produce for the winter is something we don’t always think about today since we have the option of running out to the grocery store anytime we want, but our ancestors had to plan carefully for winter storage to make sure they would have a well-preserved food supply to last through the winter without spoiling.Continue Reading

A Surprising Way to Create More Joy In Your Life


A surprising way to create more joy in your life |

When you think of the idea of creating more joy in your life, what’s the first thing you think of?

Chances are, you probably didn’t think of words like “tidying” or “organizing” or “de-cluttering,” right?

Yeah, those are probably the last words that would have come to my mind, too! That’s why I was so surprised when I first heard about the concept that taking care of clutter could actually lead to creating more joy.Continue Reading

How to Save Seeds From Your Garden for Next Year

How to save seeds from your garden for next year |


Saving the seeds from your own garden plants is a simple and easy way to make your frugal, old-fashioned garden even more frugal. Whether you’ve been gardening for years or whether this is your very first year gardening, with a little bit of planning you can easily save seeds from your garden harvest to use again for next year’s planting.

For most types of vegetables, saving seeds is a very easy process that requires little hands-on time and just a bit of organization and planning. Here are a few simple guidelines to make sure that your seeds are stored in a way that will keep them viable for planting next spring.Continue Reading

Are You Making Time to Enjoy the Simple Things?


Are you taking time to enjoy the simple things in life, or are you too busy to even notice them? |

This spring, I did something I haven’t always done other years. I’ve made a point of really enjoying and appreciating the flowers blooming this time of year and bringing some inside so I can look at them more often.

I’m not really sure why I’ve never done this other years. It’s not like it takes a lot of time to cut a few flower blooms and put them in a vase with some water. I guess I just always felt like I was “too busy” to bother. My mental to-do list was so full that there wasn’t room in my mind to even notice the flowers, let alone think to bring them inside.Continue Reading

Is It Really Healthier to Grind Your Own Grain?


Is it really healthier to grind your own grain? |

It took a long while before I finally decided to get my own grain grinder. For several months, I had debated whether it would be worth the cost and the effort, but I finally decided to just go ahead and give it a try.

Grinding your own grain is getting more popular, at least among the natural real food crowd anyways, but the question is, is it really healthier to grind your own grain? I wondered that at first but after doing some reading and some thinking there were two main reasons that finally convinced me to get a grain grinder: the freshness of the flour and the cost savings.

Continue Reading


How natural is your beauty routine? |

Have you ever actually wondered what was in the beauty products you use every day? Even the ones that seem like they would be fine for a natural beauty routine may not be quite as natural as they seem. This was something that I never even thought of until I started trying to eat healthier food and learning about the negative health effects of chemicals and artificial ingredients.

I used to think that it didn’t really matter what was in beauty products since I was putting them on my body rather than eating them, but then I learned that since the skin is actually the body’s largest organ, the things that we put on our skin are actually absorbed into the bloodstream. And besides that, we’re also exposed to those ingredients in a second way by inhaling them (especially for perfumes or hairsprays.)

What exactly are all those ingredients anyways?

I used to just assume that the products I was using were ok, and I read the part about all of the special “natural botanical extracts” that were supposed to do wonders for my skin and hair, but I never bothered to look at the rest of the label.

But once I became more aware of the potentially harmful effects of some of the common ingredients in personal care products, I started paying more attention to them. Many of the preservatives, synthetic fragrances, and other chemicals in beauty products pose the risk of being developmental toxins, hormone-disrupting chemicals, or carcinogens.

A great resource for finding out more about the types of chemicals (and their harmful effects) is a website called the Skin Deep Cosmetics Database. I tried looking up some of the products I used to use on this website, and I was shocked to see how many potentially toxic chemicals I was using every single day! At best there would be one or two ingredients that I could recognize. The rest were long, unpronounceable words that looked like they should have been part of a science experiment rather than a lotion or shampoo.

How many ingredients are you using?

And it wasn’t just the toxic ingredients that shocked me either. It was the incredible amount of ingredients, too. Since I was using several different products every day (like shampoo, conditioner, hairspray, face wash, moisturizer, perfume, etc.) and since each of those products had about 20-25 ingredients on the label (and sometimes more,) I was using dozens or even hundreds of different chemicals every day.

That’s a lot of different ingredients for the body to try to process all at once! Especially when you compare all of those ingredients to how simple beauty products used to be. In past centuries, people mainly used simple soaps, either homemade with lye and lard or a castille soap similar to Dr. Bronner’s. And common ingredients for moisturizers were tallow or oils like almond oil or olive oil. Rosewater and perfumes made from essential oils served as natural perfumes. It’s only fairly recently that people started using so many different kinds of products filled with a long list of chemical ingredients.

Simpler is better

Since learning about what’s really in most personal care products, I’ve gradually switched over to a natural beauty routine. I’ve gotten rid of all of the old chemical-laden products I used to use and have replaced them with natural options or with natural DIY versions. Some of the natural ingredients I use on a regular basis are:

And these are a few of my favorite DIY recipes to make:

I love the fact that the products I use now are so much simpler and more natural, and I feel so much better about the fact that I’m not using all of the toxic chemicals I used to use. It’s also really nice to use less ingredients in general rather than dozens of different ones. I probably use about the same amount of ingredients now in all of the products I used as what used to be in just one of my old drugstore products. I also like the fact that I’m using just less ingredients in general.
When it comes to health and beauty products, I now follow the old-fahioned “less is more” principle because the simpler and more natural a product is, the better!
How natural is your beauty routine? |

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