I have been a busy little bee lately.  My latest endeavor is to learn the art of homemaking, complete with homemade foods, homemade soaps, and even homemade handkerchiefs.  (The last one was kind of a bust.)

So here are some examples of what I’ve done:

A by-product of the straining yogurt is whey – full of protein and very healthy! I used it to make some very questionable cultured mayo.

I use the coconut oil for a moisturizer – oily but I love the smell! The Lanolin is great for dry anything. And the little tin of hair butter works as a styling wax/moisturizer. Awesome!

So. Stinking. Good.

Matthew proclaimed this bread the best he had ever tasted, and Brad called it “dessert bread”. High praise indeed!

If you don’t have this recipe, you need it!!! It’s fabulous!

Did you know Greek Yogurt is just plain yogurt put through a strainer? And that you can make yogurt from milk???

Baking soda, coconut oil and some peppermint.

Yes, I’ve been making deodorant from corn starch, baking soda and coconut oil.

This is honey & cinnamon. Works great for acne!

I’m using a Baking Soda/Water mix to clean my hair and an Apple Cider Vinegar/Water mix to condition it.

I did NOT include the failed mayo picture or any of the other things that have not made the cut.  But most of the changes, I’ve really liked.  I made a whole bunch of homemade liquid soap from soap flakes & glycerin – the soap flakes were just bars of soap from the hotels Brad stays at all grated up on a cheese grater.  That didn’t deserve a picture because frankly, it’s ugly.  But it works and the kids seem to like it – I put it in the foaming-type of dispensers and it works better in those.  We’ve also started using cloth napkins instead of paper and I’m trying to teach the boys to use my little basket of rags instead of paper towels, as well as to carry a handkerchief in their pockets to use if they can’t find a tissue.  I have several in my purse, along with a zip-lock bag of wet wipes.

So I can hear you asking the big question…WHAT ARE YOU THINKING???  Or maybe just, why?  Well, that answer is complex, but here’s the short version: simplicity and frugality.  I’m ashamed to admit that I’m addicted to household cleansers.  (Oh, I forgot to mention that I have glass cleaner, table wax, all-purpose cleaner and some others that I made.)  I have an entire set of shelves full of them – but they stay there because I don’t actually use them.  I just collect them for the cleaning fairies I keep hoping will ascend upon my house while we are all sleeping one night.  I am also addicted to make-up and hair supplies, and while I can’t even conceive of creating homemade make-up, I have cut back to almost no hair products by switching to baking soda/ACV.  It’s called “the poo-free method” by some freaks  women on blogs I read, but I absolutely detest that label.  Because at no time did I ever consider using “poo” in my hair.  It’s called shampoo, and never have I heard someone shorten it (in real life) to “poo”.  As in, “Honey, we’re all out of poo in here.  Can you get me some more?”.  That’s just silly.  So all I’m doing is using baking soda in place of shampoo.  And it has really changed my hair a lot.  It’s thicker and coarser, which means I need less styling products, but best of all, it’s not nearly as oily as it used to be, which means I can go longer between cleanings – like every other day instead of every day.  That’s a huge time savings for me, not to mention the money I hope to save by not spending so much on hair products.

Other things probably won’t end up being long-term solutions.  We really really like the homemade yogurt – it’s like having “legal” ice cream in the house (and by “legal”, I mean that I can eat it and not have to do push-ups at the gym).  And the bread recipe and granola recipe, as well as the spice tea – are all keepers.  As far as the face cleanser – did I mention that one?  Olive oil (I substitute Grapeseed oil because it’s not as heavy), castor oil and some tea tree essential oil.  It’s really wonderful and I love the way my skin feels after I use it.  The homemade deodorant has a secondary purpose, since the aluminum in commercial deodorants has been linked to Alzheimer’s.  And while it’s worked amazingly well (at least, so far – it is still winter), it did start drying out my skin and making me itch under my arms, which in turn made me look like a monkey at the gym while working out.  The Lanolin has all but solved that problem, but I think next batch I’ll try to adjust the amount of cornstarch I put in it.

So there it is.  In other news, I have not lost another pound, even though I’ve gotten back into the ye ole workout routine (I don’t know why writing about working out makes me start talking like a pirate), but I’m feeling much better and stronger.  And sorer.  (I don’t know if that’s a word, but go with it.)  When & if things improve in that area, I’ll let you know.  For now, I’m just counting it a victory every day I make it to workout, since I had to take so much time off due to illness.

So that’s it from our neck of the woods.  So what are you up to these days?