Imperfect People

Imperfect People in love with a perfect God

Share your story

Imperfect People - Imperfect People in love with a perfect God

Probiotics and keeping your kids well. Our experience

I have been so impressed with the amazing power of probiotics in our family in keeping us well.

You may have heard about probiotics in correlation with digestion.  And while it is true that they help regulate your digestive track they do much more than just that.

Yes it’s the good bacteria in yogurt but we take it in a tablet form getting MUCH more of these good guys in our system.  We have been taking a daily probiotic for about a year and a half now and I can’t help but notice…we sure haven’t seen our doctors office in a while!

Probiotics can provide multiple benefits for your immune system. When probiotics are abundant in your body, it’s harder for bacteria that cause illness to get a foothold. Some also keep you healthy by making bacteriocins, which suppress the growth of harmful bacteria.-Dr. Oz

About two years ago our youngest daughter had a double ear infection.  The doctor prescribed an antibiotic and sent us home.

I guess that is standard procedure but I was a little disappointed she was prescribed the SAME antibiotic that gave her a horrible rash only 6 months before that!
When we got home from the doctor I was very hesitant to give her the antibiotic so I did some homework to see if there was anything else I could do first.  What I found was very interesting.

The word “antibiotic” at its root meaning translates “no life” And I’m sure you don’t need me telling you “probiotic” means pro life.  If that weren’t enough to raise a few eyebrows, what about the countless side effects caused by antibiotics including the NEED for a probiotic?? What in the world?

Essentially we all have good and bad bacteria in our bodies.  We need more of the good to fight off the bad.  The good guys and the bad fighting each other in our body (I’m sure that’s how they describe it in the medical textbooks.)



Yes antibiotics have their place, and we haven’t completely sworn them off but  in my humble opinion they are prescribed WAYYYYY too much.  The best defense is a good offense so I decided to try what probiotics could do for our family.

Back to the ear infection story…I ultimatley decided to start giving my daughter a probiotic and treat her ear infection with garlic drops.  Yes garlic drops.  I got the idea from keeper of the home but essentially you just heat olive oil and fresh chopped garlic on the stove until it is warm but not too hot.  Then simply put a few drops in each ear 3 times a day. Her ear infection was completely gone in 24 hours without a drop of the prescribed antibiotic.  I continued the drops for about 3 days and both our girls have had a probiotic pretty much every day since (over 2 years ago).  That was the last time we have had an ear infection OR a sick visit to the doctor.

Did you catch that!!? That means no waiting in a crowded waiting room, no co-pays, no trips to the pharmacy and more time feeling WELL!!


I was so impressed at how quickly the natural remedy worked I was hooked!  I loaded up my “natural medicine cabinet” And have been fascinated with natural remedies since.

The one thing I have learned over anything else is how amazingly beneficial it is to take a daily probiotic.

When the stomach flu hit our school so bad the teacher sent him a note….we had one tummy ache, for one afternoon, and that was it.
When our kids shared drinks with a child who we later realized had “hand foot and mouth disease”…nothing.
When ALL of their friends they play with on a regular basis had the flu, we just had a little runny nose.

I’m not nieve enough to think they make our kids made of steel but I can’t help but notice they sure seem to keep their immunity up!

I recently had what I thought to be the start of a UTI.  I loaded up on probiotics and cranberry juice, two days later, no more symptoms.

If you decide to give it a try I suggest taking them daily not just when you feel sick.  The idea is to keep the immunity wall up instead of trying to build it when you are under attack.

What kind should you get?

We have tried several kinds but I have been the most happy with Kyo-dophilus from (Lucky vitamin is VERY affordable.  I love them for all my hippy remedies).

Kyo-dophilus also comes in several adult options and our kids LOVE the children’s chewable variety.  They call them “marshmallow vitamins” and I even offer them as a treat!  Bribe them with vitamins…that’s what i’m talking about.

I like this kind because, from what I have researched, they seem to remain the most stable and actually make its way down to do it’s job instead of many varieties that can be destroyed as soon as they are injested due to stomach acid and body temperatures.

Every time I hear people talk about getting on antibiotics I want to shout knowing that often there is a better way!

We are so thankful for our daily pro-biotic.  What are your thoughts of pro-biotics?  Have you had any experience good or bad?

Shopping ethically made easy and affordable: In it to end it

Today has been declared Shine A Light On Slavery Day by End It Movement.
To help bring awareness I am reposting this from the archive.  This post gives practical advice on how you can shop ethically.  


As long as I can remember I have been a bargain shopper.  My mom taught me to shop for bathing suits in the September and winter coats in May.  I have never been a stranger to the clearance racks or couponing.

But here I am in turmoil over my purchases.  I am realizing there is so much more to consider than just a good deal.

A quote from the the social justice handbook:

Everyday we are confronted by challenging societal problems, from poverty and institutional racism to AIDS and homelessness.  It can all seem so overwhelming.  But while none of us can do everything, all of us can do something. 

If I were to ask you if you wanted to support a company that had slave labor you would, of course, say no.  But unfortunately every time we make a purchase we “vote” for what we think are acceptable company practices.

There are an estimated 27 million slaves at work today.  More than ever before.  Many slaves are working hard to produce the food we buy and the clothes we wear.  With raised awareness customers are starting to make wiser choices by supporting companies committed to ethical treatment of their workers.

The good news is there are very easy, practical and yes, even FRUGAL ways to shop ethically.

Scan before you buy

free 2 work

Free2Work is a really cool company that grades companies on a scale of “A” to “F” based on supply chain transparency, code of conduct, response to child and forced labor, and overall efforts to empower workers. Plus they have a free app that lets you easily search for companies making your “research” a snap!

Good Guide is a similar company only the also grade the company on it’s health and environmental impact.  They have a free ap that lets you scan the barcode!

Had I been a little wiser the last time i bought shoes I would not have bought Sketchers, who have a grade F, and would have looked at maybe some Adidas, or Nikes who have a grade A (Nike’s have come a long way!  Go Nike!).

Buy Second Hand


I’m a big fan of second hand shopping. Yard sales, thrift stores, and hand me downs are all fabulous ways to “shop”.

When you buy something second hand the damage from the store (and factory) has already been made.  Second hand shopping means you are supporting a local family yard sale, a church fund raiser, or a charity like goodwill or salvation army.  Plus who doesn’t get excited about a super cute pair of jeans for $1!

Buy in bulk 

Equal Exchange is a wonderful organization that offers a coop for buying fair trade, ethical products and very reasonable prices.  Go in with a few friends to split an order or just store your own olive oil, bananas, nuts and coffee.

Buy local and or handmade

Locally grown food, handmade items or items made right in your own town not only have character and are better for you, they also DON’T carry with it a story of forced labor and unethical treatment.

Etsy is a great place to find homemade…everything!

Our dollars really are the loudest voice we have.  When we stop supporting shady practices, companies change.   Let us LIVE the gospel with our dollars and “vote” yes to companies that are practicing good ethics.

Share your thoughts on all this! Anyone have any tips on how you shop ethical? Tags: fair trade,christian,Shopping

How to sell on ebay (the really simple and easy version)

I opened up an eBay account when I was in college.  I still remember my first purchase, a simple silver chain to replace my broken one.  Shortly after, I started selling some of my old formal dresses, accessories, textbooks etc.  Over 900 transactions later (WOW that is nuts)  I guess I have learned a few things about the wonderful world of eBay.   I have been asked more than once how to do it, so I figured why not write a blog post about it!

Being able to sell on eBay opens up a world of opportunity.  If you buy the wrong size and can’t take it back, just sell it on eBay.  If you got two of the same thing..sell it on eBay.  And if you have extra STUFF yet short on cash….eBay it is.  Your payment goes directly to paypal which is accepted almost everywhere online AND you can do a free transfer to your bank account!

If you have a smart phone or iPad there is an eBay app that makes all this even easier.  For many items that still have a bar code (books, dvd’s or items still in box)  You can simply scan the bar code and BAM your item is there.  You simply list the condition and short description and your done.

***WARNING*** Dust collectors on your shelf will start to look more like dollar bills and you won’t hold on to so much “just incase”  because money is much more fun than stuff.  It is an ideal way to de-clutter and get $$$.  Plus it’s way easier than you think…I promise

How to sell on ebay (the really easy and simple version)

How to sell on ebay (the really easy and simple version)

First things first..

1)  Decide what to sell

As their slogan says, “whatever IT is, you can find it on eBay”  so chances are you have PLENTY of stuff to sell.  You actually would be surprised how much.  Here are a few ideas to get your brain going:

-The china you never use

-The name brand serving dish too

-The fancy candle you will never burn

-The designer jeans that are too tight

-The toys in your parents attic

-The purse you don’t like

-The cute clothes the kids outgrew

-The heels that are too painful

-The book you already read

-The gift card you will never use

-DVD’s and video games

-Sorority, fraternity, or club memorabilia

-I have even sold plant bulbs and cuttings!

-And of course the gift that you can’t return

I once sold an Anderson Cooper poster (that I randomly had) for $100!

2) See if it is worth it

Not all items are worth your time and effort to list on eBay.  GENERALLY (especially when it comes to clothing)  If it is not name brand, or brand new, I wouldn’t waste your time.  Used items still have plenty of value (depending on condition) but a used shirt from wall-mart or worn out old shoes…not so much.

The best and simplest way to decide if your item has worth is to look it up on eBay.  From the homepage, just type in the search bar exactly what you would like to sell and see what comes up.

For examples sake, let’s say we have a vera bradley purse we would like to sell. First we would determine what style we have and type in a search

Typing in just “vera bradley” gave me 48,686 results….I’m not kidding.

For examples sake, let’s say we have a vera bradley purse we would like to sell. First we would determine what style we have and type in a search
Typing in just “vera bradley” gave me 48,686 results….I’m not kidding.

Typing “vera bradley purse dogwood(the pattern name)” narrowed it down to 137 listings
Typing “vera bradley purse dogwood caroline (the style name)” narrowed it down to 3 listings

They are listed from $140 to $170 which gives us an idea on where to list our (example) purse.

**It is not uncommon to find items listed for very high amounts but have NO bids. Listing a $100 purse for $400 is fine but it is highly unlikely it will sell. When deciding the price range of your item make sure you notice items that HAVE BIDS. You can also search “sold listings” to see what similar items are worth.

3)Should you get it appraised?
If it is old coins, baseball cards, jewelry or autographs, you might look into getting it appraised.

Before you do anything search your item to be sure it is worth something. My husband had a baseball card collection from when he was a kid. We searched several of the cards we thought would be of value. When we found he had a Ken Griffey Jr rookie card we new we had a gem. The card as is was MAYBE worth $20 BUT if I sent it to Beckett (the baseball card appraisal system) And got a good rating, we were looking at $100+ value. Getting an appraisal is, of course, not free. But you typically make more than your money’s worth IF what you have is of true value.

4) Listing your item:

(a)Assuming you already have an account with eBay, (if not go get one now) Your first step is to click sell, then choose a category. eBay makes this every easy by just typing on what you are selling then providing a list of possible category choices.

myWPEdit Image

(b)A picture is worth a thousand words: No matter what you are selling you want to make sure you get a good picture. eBay now allows up to 12 pictures uploaded of your item for FREE on each listing. You don’t have to be a professional photographer but don’t just plop your item on the floor and snap a few pics. Consider laying down a pretty backdrop, or if you have access to it, take a picture of your clothing on a mannequin! If nothing else, iron the clothes, get good lighting for your jewelry, and make sure your flash doesn’t shine out your books or DVD’s!

©Describe it like a salesperson: In every listing you have to describe the item you are selling. You must be 100% honest of the condition and wear of your item. Your feedback score and seller rating depend on it. That being said you also need to play your item up a little! What would a potential buyer love about your item? Why should they buy from you? Why are you getting rid of it? If you are selling multiple items will you combine shipping? All this information is helpful in buyers making a decision.

(d) The details: In every listing ebay has several details you must list like measurements, condition, brand, color etc. It is all spelled out right there for you and a good reminder for details you may want to add to your listing.

(e) Name your price: Having a low price will encourage bidding, but I typically set my price just below what I would like to receive for my item. That way if I get just one bid, at least I sold it and if more people bid, then I get more $$!

(f) Decide shipping cost: Anything under 13 ounces (including envelope) can ship first class which is typically $3 or less. Anything larger than that I typically like to weigh first to estimate shipping (all provided on their website). USPS also has several flat rate boxes which takes a lot of the guess work out it if fits it ships! More on shipping below…

5) Ship it

Saaa-wweeet!! Your item sold! Now you have to ship it out!

(a) Package your item up. I save all my boxes and padded envelopes to re-use for this. USPS also offers flat rate boxes, or you can buy 9X12 manilla envelopes pretty inexpensively in a box of 20 or more.

(b) Print your label: From the eBay home page click on “my eBay” From there you can see a list of your sold items. To the right of the item you just sold will be a “print shipping label” option. Click here. You will need a postage scale, food scale or any scale that measures ounces. Fill in the proper info provided by eBay and print your label right from your computer! i just print mine on a piece of paper then tape it to the package but if you want to by label paper than go for it.

Cha-Ching! You just made quick and easy money from stuff you didn’t want anyway!

6) Leave feedback. Don’t forget to list your feedback for the buyer. They should return the favor. The more feedback you have the more buyers trust you.

eBay offers many more details and tools here to help get you started. It is a very user friendly site. Now go sell something!

“Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautifu”l. – William Morris

Our family this summer

Summertime is in full swing at our house, here is what we are up to:

myWPEdit Image


Most evenings, after the girls are asleep and the heat of the day has passed, I am outside with a good pair of gardening gloves and my iPod. My tomatoes are doing great but I have been fighting off the slugs on my okra, peppers, and melons.


This time of year there are some super fun yard sales.

I found a beautiful bolt of wavily fabric that will soon be curtains for our bedroom (thanks to a mom that can sew) There were at least 20 yards on the bolt that I got for a total of $5..oh yea


We just got a fabulous little hand-me-down play house. The girls love it! When it’s too hot to play outside I highly recommend Toca Boca games!  myWPEdit Image

Me and the hubs

We just had a great little getaway to Atlanta, went to a concert on the lawn at North Point, and got to have some good conversation thanks to Mark Driscolls book, Real Marriage.

(more on that later)

myWPEdit Image

Other random news:

One of our favorite girls is moving. She lived with us for a few months last semester and we just fell in love with her. Our “adopted daughter” as we call her, is moving to Atlanta to get her doctorate in psychology.  We are so proud but super bummed she will live so far away.

myWPEdit Image

We eat a lot of boiled peanuts and watermelon (preferably together)

We are getting new neighbors that have a little girl!!

I am currently reading, “7” by Jen Hatmaker and I LOVE it.

What is your family up to this summer?


How to make HEALING chicken stock

Anyone had the flu this season?  Remember the old fashioned remedy that is chicken soup?  When your grandmothers soup could always make you feel so much better than anything from a can? 

Why is chicken soup better than “Tylenol?” It is because chicken soup has a natural ingredient which feeds, repairs, and calms the mucous lining in the small intestine. This inner lining is the beginning or ending of the nervous system. It is easily pulled away from the intestine through too  many food additives. Chicken soup… heals the nerves, improves digestion, reduces allergies, relaxes and gives strength. Hanna Kroeger- Ageless remedies from mother’s kitchen

Wow!  No wonder chicken soup is often refered to as a cure all when you are sick!  But I don’t think the effect is exactly the same from a can. 

Plus you can use chicken stock instead of bullion! 


Why bother? 

Animal bones are full of calcium, magnesium, potassium, and lots of other good stuff.

Bullion cubes are full of salt, hydrolyzed oils, sugar, and lots of other stuff I can’t pronounce. 

Here’s how it works:

  1. Buy your chicken with the bone in (it is cheaper that way anyway)
  2. Prepare the meat as you normally would
  3. When nothing is left except “scraps” Place the scraps in a pot and cover with water.
    For every 2-3 quarts water add 1/4 vinegar (which helps draw out the nutrients)
    Or the “imperfect” way is add enough water to cover everything and a splash of vinegar. 
  4. Add a few slices of onion and carrot, spices, whatever suits your fancy.
  5. Bring to a boil for about a half an hour then turn off and let cool.  Skim off any excess that rises to top. 

After it cools, pour your stock into the colander (making sure you have a large bowl UNDER the colander to catch the yummy stock). And there you have your stock!  

It can be used right away to make your own HEALING chicken soup or veggie soup! 

If you would like to use for bullion, pour them into ice cube trays, freeze, then place in a large freezer bag for later use.  I use 3-4 cubes in my vegetables, rice etc.  


How does it taste?

YUM!!  MUCH more flavorful than bullion and I feel so good that I am adding nutrients to our food instead of chemicals and unnecessary ingredients.  This is our favorite dish when anyone is feeling under the weather too.

What do you think?  Do you use stock in your home?

Part of the Green Resource at Sorta Crunchy, the Greenbacks girl, Life renewed, and a Delightful home

A tour of our home’s thrifty finds

Who says you have to pay full price?

Goodwill, yard sales and have become my favorite places.  Not only do I score super exciting stuff for very little cash, I also get to support neighbors and charities like goodwill!  So what kind of bargains can you get at a yard sale and or second hand?  Well, welcome to my happy home as I share some pictures of some of my favorite second hand finds!

First, my all time favorite yard sale find.  A ceiling fan!  Who knew right?

I snagged this guy for $40 about 4 years ago.  It is still for sale today at Lowe’s for $250.

My next favorite is a recent find, the irobot automatic vacuum.  I was a little skeptical buying someone else’s used vacuum but I am sooo glad I did.  It was a snap to clean up good as new.  Now I use this bad boy at least twice a week.  Not only can I vacuum the floors AND play outside with my kids at the same time, it also gets under the bed and furniture where this imperfect person rarely never vacuums.  It works great too!

Oh and P.S.  I got it for $10, it retails for $180.

Once I learned about all the randomness in microwave popcorn I have been popping mine the good old fashion way, on the stove.  It has officially turned me into a popcorn snob now that I realize it TASTE SO MUCH BETTER!!  Popping corn is much easier with a whirley pop (got it at good will for $4 retails for $30)

Another favorite find is my kitchen island.  It is the perfect fit and color for our kitchen and I LOVE the added counter space!  (the baby on the bottom was a bonus…just kidding)

Now onto the backyard shall we? Everything you see here including swing set, sandbox, wheelbarrow, playhouse, and slide were all FREE.  Thank you hand me downs!

While we are in the backyard, may I show you my favorite garden piece?

I knew the owner of a local garden center.  He needed advertising help (my specialty) and I was in love with this gazebo he had on display.  We worked it out a trade and I am so glad we did!  I have enjoyed this gazebo for a few years now!

I could go on and on about my favorite pair of jeans, flip flops, the desk I am typing on, pretty much every toy my girls have ever had (besides those from grandparents) and much more!

What was one of your all time favorites bargains?



15 Things you should NOT pay for


There are plenty of things we HAVE to pay for but here is a quick list of everyday items that you should NOT have to pay for.  Enjoy saving some money!


Cleaning Supplies you DON’T need to pay for:


  1. A cleaner for every surface of your home: A solution of equal parts vinegar and water plus a splash of lemon juice is the perfect all purpose, all natural, and all frugal cleaning solution.  Perfect for an empty bottle of your old cleaning solution or a purchased spray bottle.  Bonus: vinegar is an awesome disinfectant! 
    A damp rag is all you need to dust and baking soda sprinkled in the toilet is a perfect toilet bowl cleaner! 
  2. Laundry detergent: I make my laundry detergent using soap nuts. Complete recipe here.  As if it wasn’t simple enough I found an even easier already made SUPER concentrated version of the same thing here. It is affordable, all natural, and very easy! 


Health and Beauty products you DON’T need to pay for:


  1. Face wash, toner, AND moisturizer: Face wash is full of random yucky unidentified chemicals, yet it leaves your face with nothing good.  Taking away all the oil  from your face leaves it needing moisturizer and a few hours later your face has to produce more oil to make up for what has been lost.  Ask any chemist and they will tell you oil cleans oil.  Yes I am talking about washing your face with oil.  I have done it for two years now and have no acne to speak of!  Only soft skin and less expense!  All the details here.   
  2. Shampoo and conditioner:
    Same rules apply to your hair as they do your face although i don’t advice washing your hair with oil.  I wash my hair with a shampoo bar. Affordable, chemical free, and it give my lifeless hair volume!  I dab coconut oil on my fingers and apply it to the ends after they have dried. Also worthy of note is the “poo free method” it didn’t work for me but many people swear by it and it doesn’t get any cheaper than that! 
  3. Hair products: Now that I clean my hair with natural products it is so weightless!  I no longer need mouse, gel, hairspray etc!
  4. Mouthwash: a solution of half peroxide half water is actually better than most commercial mouthwashes (says my dentist.)


General Items you DON’t need to pay for:


  1. Books Remember the library?  Good news…it still exists!  You can place a hold for your books online and it will be there waiting for you at the front desk.  If you have a kindle make sure you check the amazon kindle site and check it often. There are always free books.
  2. Basic Computer Software when you are buying a computer they want lots of extra cash for basic software (word-processing etc.)  Open Office is a free site where you can download all of that stuff for FREE
  3. Bottled water I think most people know by now that bottled water is nothing fancier than tap water. It is between 240 and 10,000 times more expensive than tap water and horribly bad for the environment (yes even if you recycle them).  If you are still stuck on bottled water read this
  4. Your credit report., the only truly free place to see all three of your credit reports for free once a year.
  5. Shipping:  This doesn’t work every time but before you complete your online purchase check
  6. DVD Rentals You can rent DVDs from RedBox locations for $1 a night and better yet, if you use one of the coupon codes from you can get it FREE. Most libraries now have free DVD rental as well.
  7. Cell Phone – Most major carriers will give you a free phone, even a free smart phone, with a 2 year contract.
  8. Basic Tax Preparation – If your taxes are not overly complicated, then you should probably be preparing your own tax return using one of the many free online services. It’s now common for e-filing to be free as well with many services. You won’t even need a stamp!
  9. Tupperware: Why not reuse that old spagetti jar? 

 Part of the Green Resource at Sorta Crunchy, the Greenbacks girl, Life renewed, and a Delightful home

 Have other suggestions?  I would love to hear your comments!

Frugal Christmas, Homemade gifts and wrapping!

I thought it would be fun to do a little homework on some fun homemade Christmas gifts!   My search lead me to plenty of suggestions.  I weeded out all of the horribly tacky, non-useful, and way too difficult projects.  Leaving you with all the good stuff :) 

Without further adieu, Plug in your glue gun, open the kitchen cabinets, and let’s go homemade this Christmas! 

First up, the wrapping:

 Let’s think “outside the box”

  • Reusable shopping totes cost just as much as a gift bag yet they are reusable!  Tie a bow to the top and there ya go!
  • Baskets also make a great reusable gift presentation.

Inside the box

  • When wrapping a box, instead of wrapping the box and lid as one unit, wrap each separately. When you use the wrapped box, secure it closed with ribbon or another tie, not tape or glue. Also, tie on the gift card and trimming. Reuse the box without re-wrapping it until it looks shabby.
  • Newspaper, butcher paper, and paper bags (laid flat and cut) are all great wrapping paper alternatives. 

Now the gifts!

  • Conversation starters booklets.  A cute book of lots of fun random questions like:

What’s the longest you’ve gone without sleep?
What did you do for your 13th birthday?

  Perfect for car rides or date night and a great gift for a couple.

Homeade gifts

complete instructions here

  • Herbal infused Olive oil  Got a Rosemary plant?  Got olive oil?  Why not make a super easy rosemary infused olive oil.

homeade gift
Warm olive oil in a sauce pan.  Pour  into the bottle with a few freshly harvested clean rosemary sprigs.  Put the bottle (perfect opportunity to re-purpose an old bottle) aside to cool. Seal with a lid or a cork. Set the bottle in a dry, cool place with no direct sunlight for at least one week. And there you have a fabulous gift for the chef in your family.  More details here.

  • Homemade candies, chocolates, cookies and cakes are always a hit.  Try this recipe for homemade truffles!
  • Give the gift of your time or skill.  Whether you are Mr. Fix it, a hairstylist, or you can babysit.  Offering your service is a great gift! 
  • Themed baskets/or buckets are always fun.  Fill a popcorn bucket with packages of microwave popcorn and movie tickets for a date night basket! Other ideas are:  Spaghetti night  baskets with sauce, noodles, garlic bulbs all in a colander. Or (my personal favorite) a watering can filled with gardening gloves, seed packets and a trowel.  
  • The gift of family history.  This is one of my favorite ides.  Each year choose a topic to write about your family’s history.  Every member contributes their own unique story to the theme.  Example themes are: how you met your spouse, the first home you lived in, a funny story about when you were a kid.  What a treasure these stories would be from our 80 year plus grandparents! 
  • Reasons why I love you.  Just take an empty jar,  then type out all the reasons you love that person.  Print then cut into strips and place in jar.  Recipient can pull one out a day to be reminded of your love.

memory jar, homeade gift

  • A memory jar.  Similarly  to the reasons why I love you this gift is a GREAT idea for a grandparent or other older relative:  Contact friends and family members and ask them to send memories and old pictures.  Memories can be placed on folded card stock placed in a large jar or may be better in a homemade booklet.   They will LOVE it! 
  • Family Recipe Books collecting all your families favorite recipes (if they are not a secret) and compiling them in a book to share with everyone is certain to be a crowd pleaser. 

If homemade is not your thing, please check out my gifts with meaning post.  Whether your gift is homemade or fair trade what a wonderful difference you are making! 

Join the conversation.  What is one of your favorite homemade gifts you have given or received?   

Part of the Green Resource at Sorta Crunchy, the Greenbacks girl, Life renewed, and a Delightful home Tags: Frugal,homeade,christmas,green,simple living

Rich People problems

US and Canada represent 5% of the world’s population but almost 30% of the world’s wealth.  Africa is home to double the world’s population yet only 1.5% of the world’s wealth. (source)

Yet when polled, 98% of American’s considered themselves NOT rich. 

Rich is a moving target one that apparently only 2% of Americans (the richest countries in the world) feel they ever reach. 

If you were to ask me if I were rich I would have said no…but I think I had a perspective problem. 

From Craig Groeschel’s book “weird” he met a young man who heard “stories” of rich people that lived like this:

“There are some people who are so rich, they own a car!  I think it’s only 3 to 5% of people in the world so not many, but some people are so rich, they own TWO cars!  Some of these people even have a house for their cars!  It’s called a garage, …then they get in their cars and they eat at restaurants, they are so rich they pay other people to make their food and serve it to them!…Some of these people are so rich they have special rooms in their home just for their clothes!  Nobody sleeps in there, only clothes on hangers and shelves like a store.  Some are so rich they have a closet for the man and for the woman.  Clothes for hot weather, cold weather, some for work, some for church.  It’s crazy! “

What’s crazy is how blind I have been to how MUCH I have compared to how little so many others have. 

What’s crazy is how I sit here in my comfy pajamas and type on my computer, the hum of the TV in the background, a full belly, and pretend I don’t have it made!!

I am realizing how BLESSED I am and thinking twice before I complain about ANYTHING.   I am shifting more toward living in gratitude instead of want. 

Here are some things I could be prone to complain about lately:

  •  I backed my husband’s car (because we have two cars) into the side of the garage (because we have a garage).
  • I can’t decide what to wear because I have so many choices! 
  • And my house could use another de-cluttering.  Because we can afford “clutter.”



I will take these “problems” any day over not knowing where I will sleep or if I will eat tonight.

Check out Rich Word Problems.  It’s a blog dedicated to all the humors stuff we complain about like:

  • I lost my phone and it’s on silent
  • I just updated my status with important news, one hour later, no comments. 
  • My computer is operating at least 1 second slower that it did yesterday.   
  • I just got used to the old facebook and then they changed it again!

Let’s encourage each other to live in gratitude and laugh at all of our “rich people problems.”

We have a LOT to be thankful for.

What is something silly you have complained about lately?  

Simple, natural, and frugal ways to clean

I was doing a little grocery shopping the other day and I realized I rarely visit the cleaning isle.  There are TWO rows full of cleaning products in most grocery stores that I am able to avoid with a few simple products.

I think advertisers want us to believe we need a different product to clean every surface in our home.  Well I am entirely to cheap, frugal for all that.  What you see in this picture is what I use to clean pretty much every surface in our home. 

Vinegar is a miracle product when it comes to cleaning your home.  Plus it disinfects! 

All purpose spray:

A solution of equal parts vinegar and water plus a splash of lemon juice is the perfect all purpose, all natural, and all frugal cleaning solution.  Perfect for an empty bottle of your old cleaning solution or a purchased spray bottle. 


A damp rag woks just as good as anything else. Don’t fall for advertising that makes you believe you need fancy sprays or equipment. 


I use baking soda.  It cleans, deodorizes, and it’s $.50 a box.  A little sprinkle and a light scrub from the toilet brush is all it needs.  I do occasionally use bleach but only when I have to (hey I never said I was perfect). 


We have a H20 mop and as much as you can possibly love a mop…I love this one.  All it needs is plain water to clean and it does a way better job than any mop I have had in the past!  It is about $100 but it will easily outlast 10 $10 mops, I don’t have to buy additional cleaners, and it is less work than standard mops! Complete review here.


I make my laundry detergent using soap nuts. Complete recipe here.  As if it wasn’t simple enough I found an even easier already made SUPER concentrated version of the same thing here. It is affordable, all natural, and very easy! 


The last several times I unloaded the dishwasher there was a film of soap left on our dishes.  Dishwasher detergent sounds much more dangerous than delicious so I decided to give the Soap nuts solution a try.  Turns out it worked great!  The dishes were clean and residue free! 

  • Ok let’s do a review.  Here are my must haves for regular cleaning: Vinegar
    Baking Soda
    Cleaning clothes
    Soap nuts or Soap nuts liquid
  • Optional use and occasional cleaning:
    Lemon juice (makes the vinegar solution smell nice)
    Dr. Bronner’s soap (makes your laundry smell nice and can be used for lots of other stuff)
    Bleach: occasional tough stains in laundry and cleaning.
    Windex: I don’t know of anything that works better on mirrors and windows. 

I have the same bottle from when we first got married 7 years ago…don’t judge me. 

The must haves AND the optionals are still much wiser choices than what most Americans have in their cleaning supply closet. 

What do you use (or don’t use) to clean your home? Tags: simple living,frugal


Featured at Sorta Crunchy, the Greenbacks girl, Life renewed, and a Delightful home