Sunday, September 29, 2013

Autumn Traditions

I would love to share some family traditions but honestly I have none. I have a large family but over the years all have sorta went their separate ways. I would really love for my girls to have wonderful family memories attached to each season. Instead of just accepting our lack of family time I will change this. This year I decided that we will start our own traditions. Not only am I teaching my girls family time is important but I'm also teaching to never accept whats in front of you but make your own path.  

After much researching I have come up with a great bucket list of autumn traditions I would love to keep. Enjoy!

1. Autumn Cleaning-Perfect time to pack away all your summer clothes and get out your winter items. Bring out those warm sweaters, wool socks, scarves and rubber boots. Perfect time to donate what you don't wear or out grow.

2.  Bake more-Not only is homemade baked food the best but it also heats up your home and adds a lovely scent.  Nothing beats the smell of freshly made bread! Try out new recipes using the freshest seasonal produce. Make sure to use Fall cookie cutters if making cookies!

3.  Winter Garden-Time to pull all those spring plants and replace with winter hearty plants. There's so many things you can grow in the winter so be brave and grow things new!

4.  Indoor Picnicing-Yes even in the Fall you can have a great picnic right in your home. Gather your favorite quilt, make some hot chocolate and eat some warm heart foods. 

5. Soups soups soups-There's nothing better on a cold yucky day than a big bowl of homemade soup. Make it a challenge to try a new one each time.  

6. Neighborhood Strolls-Go for a walk in your neighborhood.  Better yet visit a neighborhood not so close and have fun looking at different homes and decorations.  I really love walking around looking at homes.  I get so many great idea's on paint colors, decorations and garden ideas.

7.  New Findings-Don't be scared to try new things. When your in a coffee shop try their latest seasonal drink. Restaurant having a special of the week try it out. Maybe a new Fall candle or even a new lotion.  Try something new thats seasonal and have fun with it. 

8.  Seasonal Cooking-Instead of planning your meals plan your meals around whats in season.  Check out your closest local farmers market/farm and buy whats in season and on sale.  Then look up recipes and try to make your meal around the produce.  Not only are you supporting a local farmer but your saving money and eating the freshest produce possible. 

9.  Seasonal Picking-Want to save yourself even more money? Try picking your own produce at a local farm. Ask friends or get online to research local farms. When you pick the produce yourself you save so much more money and you get the freshest produce possible.  Bring the kids and make it a experience.  

10.  Sports Time-Nothing beats a cold day snuggling up in your blanket watching a good soccer game (go TIMBERS!!!). Or whatever sport you want. Go air pop some popcorn or grab a local brew. Enjoy!

11.  Seasonal Decorating-On the first day of Fall go grab your Fall decorations and have fun with the kids. Try putting things in a different spot than the previous year. To top it off light a Fall scented candle and put on some music.  Lets not forget outside decorations as well!

12.  Outdoor Fun-Go for walks each day. Heck go for a hike if you can.  Just get outside and enjoy the season. See the changes, smell the changes and feel the changes of the season.

13.  Autumn Treasure Hunting-While on your walks/hike gather nature along the way. Kids can use leaves that have fallen and use them to do art work.  Pinecones can be used as decorations in your home or even as fire starters.  Let the kids bring a bag and gather things that remind them of the season.  

14.  Booed-First I've heard of this but looks exciting. Basically you  bring some goodies to a neighbor, put up a sign stating they have been booed and to boo someone else. What a fun idea this is! You can make your own signs or print some out here.  Its a great way to get to know your neighbors and spread some cheer. 

15.  Cornucopia Fun-In Greek Mythology its been said that Amalthea broke off one of her horns and offered it to Zeus the ruler of gods.  Somehow it ended up that people fill a cornucopia with seasonal produce and ate it as time went by. This could be fun with the kids. Fill it with apples, oranges and fruit that keeps for a long time. Let the kids eat it as time goes. Don't have a cornucopia? Make one from paper! 

16.  Make a cornhusk doll-You can find easy directions to make them here.  Try to use things you have and get creative! 

17.  Dia De Los Muertus-Otherwise known as day of the dead.  Let the kids raid your recycling and try to make some day of the dead decorations. Heck take them to a lost loved ones grave. Celebrate them by cleaning the grave and leaving decorations.  You don't have to have Mexican roots to do this one people. Anyone can celebrate a loved ones life. 

And there you go.  All these idea's can be free and save you money.  Remember to be kind to the earth and use what you have. But most of all enjoy the season 100% each time it comes. Then you can look forward to it next year. 


Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Green review-Schmidt's Natural Deodorant Giveaway!

CONTEST HAS ENDED *******************
And the winner is.......

Blogger Carissa Bonham said...
this sound great. I'm still trying to find a natural deodorant I like. Lots of them keep you from smelling bad but I don't like feeling damp. I'd love to check this out. 
Please email me at 

and lets get your free  deodorant to you!!! 

You have 1 week or I will have to pick 
another winner. 

Months ago I was at a convention center with my mama checking out the newest green products for the home and garden.  I went as a personal fun trip but also wanted to find some local companies to get samples to try out. I'm a non profit blogger so anything I review is given to me or bought out of my own pocket. 

I walked by a booth for Schmidt's Natural Deodorant and was excited to see a great product made right here in Oregon. Woot! I really actively look for local companies who strive to be sustainable and as close to nature as possible. Schmidt's fits the bill! I mentioned I was a non profit blogger and Jaime Schmidt gave me a large sample to try out for myself. I walked away with a giant smile on my face! 

Here are a few facts about this amazing company-

-Hand crafted here in Oregon! 
-Propylene Glycol-Free
-Scents include Cedarwood/Juniper, Ylang/-Ylang/Calendula(I sampled), Bergamot/Lime, Lavender/Sage and Fragrance Free for those who can't use essential oils or are sensitive to them.
-Neutralizes under arm odor
-Absorbs wetness without the use of aluminum or other harmful chemicals
-100% natural ingredients
-Glass jar with plastic lid
-You can buy online if not local to them.
-Also found in many retail stores across the USA 
-Retail packages have no outside packaging. Just the product which means less waste! 

In August we went on a vacation to California and I packaged my Schmidt sample. It was going to be hot and I knew that this would be a great time to test it out. First thing I noticed was that it didn't melt into a liquid when it was in my baggage.  I was a bit worried about leakage but nope!  I used it each day and my pits smelled so lovely. Stayed on when I was in the pool and let me just say we were in the pool most of the time.  Nothing worst than a deodorant coming off mid day and having to reapply it often.  I'm happy to report nothing but good things. This deodorant was awesome.

I knew the best test would be to hand over this deodorant to my 15 year old daughter.  She is a typical active teenager who NEEDS deodorant each and every single day. Plus she plays soccer. Need I say more? I handed over the deodorant and said use it. As a mother I didn't smell her after practice like the usual.  No rolling down the windows for fresh air. She also said it helped with keeping her arm pits dry.  Most natural deodorants don't help with wetness in the pits at all.  HUGE bonus! From now on she will be using Schmidt's Natural Deodorant as long as I can buy Bergamot & Lime so her arm pits can smell like Skittles candy.  Silly teenager! 

Although the essential oils are not organic they do use pure essential oils.  They use baking powder and arrowroot powder to control wetness and odor. No yucky chemicals here! What really impressed me was their customer service. Didn't hesitate to answer any of my questions. Which I had a ton. Ive got your back everyone and ask what I know you want to know.  I'm kinda awesome like that. 


For my plastic free readers-I asked and Jaime Schmidt gives the A okay for asking for no plastic bubble wrap when shipping their product to you. Because the container is glass she wraps it in bubble wrap but if your okay with the possibility of breakage she will leave it out. But honestly the glass jar is very durable if you ask me.  

(503) 473-3997
postal address: 5527 SE 71st Avenue, Portland, OR  97206

Read my disclosure on the left side of this page. I'm a non profit and was not paid to do this review and these are my views and personal opinions. 

Leave a comment below and 1 lucky person will win a free full size bottle of Schmidt's Deodorant and the scent of their choice!!!!!!!  

What are you waiting for ??? Hurry enter! 

Rules-One entry per person please. Leave your name and I will announce the winner the day the contest ends. Winner will email me & details will be emailed.  One lucky person will be chosen at random. Contest ends September 25th 11 am Pacific Time. 

CONTEST HAS ENDED*******************

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Lessons Learned by my Bike

Yesterday I decided to ride my bike up to the store to return some beer bottles we had in our recycling bin.  My husband doesn't see the reason to take them in when you only get a five cents each. My girls were all in school for the first time this year so I was bored. I loaded up my bike basket with the bottles in a paper bag and headed off. Here is what I learned

-I'm out of shape. I'm having hip issues so this is less stressful on my body than running. I'm still out of shape.

-Old bike isn't comfortable. I have butt bruises.

-Old bike means loud bike. Especially with glass jars.

-Bike was collecting dust for a while and mocking me anytime I saw it. "Get off your lazy butt lady!" 

-Don't forget your bike lock. I did. Had to bring bike in with me....embarrassing.

-Check deposits to see if they are accepted in Oregon where I live. Do this BEFORE you leave. I didn't. Yeah so my lovely bike ride got me nothing.

-It's exercise. Anything is better than nothing.

-It was beautiful out so I enjoyed the smells, sights and sounds all the way to the store. I have a duck pond walking/bike path near my home. I'm pretty lucky.

-I learned that not all glass bottles have deposits. Who knew! 

I plan on using my bike way more often. I have a trailer that hooks up to it for those grocery trips.  My goal is to not be a sissy and even ride in the rain. We will see how this pans out. Less I use my car means the less gas I have to buy which means the less pollutants I put into the air because I'm too lazy to walk or bike. Good all around! Peace

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Schmoozing my grandma

So I broke my Grandma Mary's green glass bowl. I was moving another bowl and wasn't being very careful about it. I knew better. But I broke it. I was so mad at myself for doing it because I knew better. I take pride in everything I own especially something so special to me. I literally found this completely covered in dirt on my grandma's property after she passed away.  It was like finding a diamond in the rough. The whole day I felt pretty crappy about myself. Until last night that is! 

I remembered that I brought home a shelf and 2 rakes that I thought I could do something with. I had an idea to make a necklace holder with the rakes and the shelf needed some new paint. Honestly they were stashed away and I completely forgot about them. My husband was in a "hanging" mood so I started finding anything I could to hang up. I had a few things around sitting along the wall as a hint for him. 

Here is the end results. Not exactly fancy but to my likings.  I plan on adding some other green colors to my room as well but thats another project. I recently changed my bedding because it was a bit boring. After trying to replace my comforter and failing I decided on just adding colorful decorations. Not only is this easier for me but its also cheaper. Queen size comforters are not cheap! Its a work in progress and maybe one day I will share the results when its done.

There is a story behind this shelf. Originally this shelf hung in my grandma's dining area.  We realized after she passed that she was a hoarder. She hid things very well! This shelf was full of little trinkets and literally had never been cleaned or dusted. I really just loved the size and shape of this shelf. It is handmade and constructed pretty rough which leads me to believe my grandpa made it for her. He had a wood shop in the back of their property and the two of them were pretty creative.  

I cleaned this shelf up as much as I could and went looking for paint we already had. Since I loved the texture of the old existing paint I decided just to spray paint it so i could keep it.  Plus I'm impatient and this was a quick project. 

My grandmother loved ordering things from Avon whether she needed them or not. Whoever sold Avon to her really didn't need many customers. Grandma was enough! She bought lots of necklaces because she was a tall lady and needed long necklaces. Avon had a great selection and sizes.  Grandma would also buy us grandkids lots of things from Avon. Usually soaps, bubble bath and Chapstick. What I didn't know was how much she loved rings. I don't really remember her wearing many but then again I don't remember much because I have the worst memory. But when we went through all her belongings we found so many rings. I have very small hands so I can't wear any of them.  Instead of giving them away I decided to display them. Also I recently discovered that one of them had lead in it and that completely freaks me out. These are up high so my children don't touch them but low enough they can enjoy looking at them. 

My grandparents were amazing gardeners. They had lots of structures in their back property that had to be gone through after she passed away. It was like Christmas for me. Some family members took furniture but not me. All I wanted was my grandparents garden equipment and her kitchen tools.  I knew I would use them daily and honestly I prefer older kitchen tools anyways. They made them way better back in the day.  

In the back of my grandparents garden was a small shed that looked like a out house. Inside I found several garden tools including these two rake heads. I'm sure grandpa was going to give them new life eventually but never got around to it.  Lucky me I snagged them up! 

One rake is for bracelets and the other for my necklaces.  As you can tell I love natural types of jewelry.  Pearls are my favorite but I also love silver,shells, leather, glass and natural stones.  I'm allergic to gold and nickel so I have to stick to these things or I will break out. Even my wedding ring is just silver.  That pretty blue necklace was given to me by my sister but I don't wear it because it too had lead in it. Most vintage glass jewelry does. I wore it up until I found that little toxic fact out.

I hope all this schmoozing has her looking down on me and smiling.  I hope she knows I was always there as a spectator taking in everything.  I hope she knows that I miss her and grandpa so much. They were the most hard working people I knew. It was them who made my single mother the hard working mother she was.  I owe my blog to them. Had I not grown up in that beautiful environment this blog wouldn't exist.  Many thanks Gram