Friday, November 20, 2009

Frugal Friday

Well, here it is! Frugal Friday! Everyone likes to look their best, but unfortunately skin care products can cost lots and LOTS of money, and not everyone has lots and LOTS of money. So today I'd like to share with you a few things that I use that are easy and frugal.

1. Castile soap: For cleansing I've gone to using castile soap. I usually add a few drops of tea tree and lavender essential oils to it for scent and added benefits to my skin. It is a very gentle soap and very versatile. Not only can you use it on your face, but you can use it as a shampoo, body wash, baby wash, hand washing, cleaning your home, fruit/veggie wash and washing dishes! Plus it is biodegradable so it is good for the earth! I get mine at Trader Joe's where it is about $3.49 for a 16 oz. bottle. Dr. Bronner's also makes a good castile soap that you can find at Whole Foods or other natural food markets.

2. Baking Soda: For exfoliating I use baking soda. It is very cheap, and can also be used for so many other things as well. I usually buy a big bag of it at Costco so I always have it on hand. The baking soda can be kind of difficult to rinse off so it is best to use it in the shower. All you do is just mix a little water with the baking soda to make a paste, rub it around gently on your face and neck, avoiding the eyes, and rinse.

3. Witch Hazel: After cleansing I use a little bit of witch hazel as toner. Witch hazel is an astingent and helps tighten and close pores. You can get a bottle for around $1 at Target or Wal-Mart. And if you'd like, you can add some drops of lavender or tea tree essential oil to it.

4. Olive Oil: Lastly, I use olive oil as a moisturizer before bed. I have a small bottle that I keep in the bathroom so that I'm not using from the same bottle that I use for cooking. You smell kind of like a salad, but it makes your skin feel wonderful!! I just recently started using it because I ran out of other moisturizer and I've already been noticing a difference in my skin. It is much softer and I don't have as much problem with dry flaking skin.

So. there you have it, my basic, frugal skin care routine.

What do you do to save money on your skin care?

Friday, November 13, 2009

Frugal Friday

I was thinking the other day about some things that I am really passionate about and how to incorporate them into my blog writing, and one thing I came up with was my passion for being frugal and saving money. So I decided that I'm going to make Friday my day to share some frugal tip, whether it is something that we already do as a family or something new that we are going to try. And I would also love to have input from you! What do you do to save money?

Since I just posted about our trip to the nature park, I figured that would be a good place to start with my frugal tips.
Checking out your local park and rec district is a great way to get out and enjoy nature, and usually at NO COST! I know here in the Portland Metro area there are parks tucked here and there all over the place with miles of trails for walking and hiking. All you have to do is drive there.
This is not something we have done very much, but I've been trying to make a better effort to get us all out for some fresh air, exercise and time together. It is always so much fun to get out in nature and explore God's beautiful creation! And it's amazing what you can find right within the city if you just get out and go!
I know with winter upon us it will not be quite as easy to do this, especially if you live in a snowy climate, but when a nice sunny day comes along, bundle up and go exploring!

What do you like to do with your family that is no cost/low cost?

Cooper Mountain Nature Park

Last week when we had a nice day without rain I decided it would be fun to go take Hannah for a walk at the new THPRD nature park, Cooper Mountain. We had never been there before, but had driven by and looked it up online. They have 3 1/2 miles of trails going through the trees and a beautiful little meadow. The view from up there is quite amazing as well. They also have a little playground and a building where they hold classes and such. I was excited to learn that they offer homeschool nature programs there as well. So in a couple more years I will be able to take Hannah to some of those.
We had a very nice time even though it was a bit chilly. Hannah loved running and walking on the trails! And we got to see some neat things and hear some different sounds too. We saw a little tiny garter snake, some deer tracks, opposum tracks, some trees with smooth reddish bark, and lots of different plants and flowers. We heard lots of birds singing, and also a frog or something making an interesting sound.
All in all we had a great afternoon and are looking forward to going back again sometime!
The view

Enjoying a run on the trail.

Hannah found a walking stick.

Listening for the birds with Daddy.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Elissa Faith

Elissa Faith 1 month old
Well, I guess since it's been two months since Elissa was born, maybe I should post something about it on here since she is now a big part of our family in the Little House in Hillsboro. Elissa Faith made her entrance into the world at 3:23 pm on Tuesday, September 1st...right on her due date!!! Yes, we are one of the few that actually has their baby exactly on the due date. Ha!
I went into labor on August 31st around 12 or 1 o'clockish (Is that a word?? O'clockish?? Oh, well. I'm using it anyway!). It was a loooooooooooong labor and everything went almost like it did with Hannah. Oy! And people kept telling me the second one would be easier! I had to have pitocin because my contractions weren't doing anything...although they sure felt like they were! And then I had an epidural which helped me to relax tremendously and make some progress. We pushed for a long time (don't ask me how long...I was too busy trying to get a baby out to look at the clock!) and then a doctor came in and flipped the baby over (what a weird feeling that was!) and they used the vacuum suction to help pull her out.
There we were with our little bundle of joy. I am sooo happy that we got to have some skin-on-skin bonding time with her before they rushed her off to do the things that they do to newborns. With Hannah we didn't get that opportunity because she was having some complications with breathing. It was such a special time for us!
We brought her home that Wednesday night and have been happy ever since! A bit tired, and maybe overwhelmed at times, but so happy!
We are so blessed to have Elissa in our lives along with our other children. Children are truly a gift from God!

Elissa Faith 2 months old

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Happy Fall!!!

My how times flies! I cannot believe that it is already November! Life has been pretty crazy around here since the birth of Elissa. Even though things have been crazy, it has all been good. Elissa is growing well and turning into such a happy baby, Hannah adores her baby sister, and James thinks it's pretty cool to have two little sisters. We are so blessed to have such a wonderful family!

A couple weeks ago I took the kids to a nearby park to feed the ducks and get some exercise out on the trails. We decided it would be fun to collect leaves for some sort of project, and James had the great idea to make a tree. When we got home we got out some big paper and the kids drew a tree shape and decorated it, then we taped on all the leaves we had gathered. Now we have a lovely "fall tree" in our dining room.

Hope you all are having a blessed fall season!