Dryer Balls - The end of dryer sheets!

Where o where have these been my whole life?  

In a quest to get rid of chemicals in our house (daunting, but not impossible), I stumbled upon wool dryer balls.  

What are those? you ask....well, they are tennis ball sized spheres of wool.  You pop them in the drier and they kill the static without coating your clothes in a layer of chemicals and shorten the drying time, which saves money! Win win.  Also, at a price tag of $19 for something that lasts 1000 loads, they will save you about $30 versus the equivalent number of Bounce dryer sheets (at an average Amazon price of $.05/sheet).

I ended up getting the Smart Sheep XL ones on Amazon.  Made in Peru, packed by moms in Utah. I emailed the owner regarding whether or not they are manufactured in a socially responsible way.  No fun getting rid of chemicals if your dollars aren't helping someone stay out of poverty. I'm looking at you, non-Fair Trade products.  I'm waiting to hear back. If it turns out they aren't fair trade, I'll be looking for another brand to recommend.

Tiny House Tuesdays: Toiletries

When you open your bathroom drawers, or peer under your sink, do you cringe a bit?  

I thought I'd share a couple of photos of my toiletries, because, as a reformed product junkie, I am here to tell you that less is definitely more.   I'd like to reduce the following list even further with more natural, multipurpose products. 

Here's the tally of what I'm currently using, as seen in the photos below:

  1. Toothpaste, toothbrush and floss
  2. Scissors to trim split ends and threads on clothing
  3. Jojoba oil and coconut oil as moisturizers - trying to be as natural as possible
  4. Face cream in the white jar, but fazing that out after I use it up in favor of plain oil
  5. Nail care kit and clippers
  6. A few lip glosses and perfume solids (more on makeup in another post)
  7. Backup toothbrush heads, nightime lip balm (going to phase this out and make my own), and Listerine mint strips
  8. Hair bands (and a brush/hairdryer/curling iron not pictured)
  9. Green exfoliating towel (using this instead of St. Ives apricot scrub)
  10. Nail polish/manicure box
  11. Nail polish remover and cotton balls (replacing these with washable pads when they are gone)
  12. Bamboo heat protector and Aveda Damage Remedy creams for my hair
  13. Small hairspray
  14. Q-tips - going to try not using them once this box is gone
  15. Washcloths
My toiletry drawer - I removed JT's few items for the photo.

My toiletry drawer - I removed JT's few items for the photo.

Under the sink - my side.  

Under the sink - my side.  

 

Tonight when it's time to brush your teeth, grab 3 products you're no longer using and send them to the recycling bin.  

If you want a bit more motivation to toss things, check your products' safety ratings in the Skin Deep Database.  

There are so many wonderful natural, minimal waste, multi-purpose items available.  Take advantage of them.  You vote with your dollars, so tell marketers what they can do with their silly, single use items!  And always remember, you're beautiful.  Exactly as you are. Exactly as you wake up in the morning.  Just ask your partner, kids or friends.  A vast majority of the products on the beauty market today are designed to separate you from your money and nothing more.  

Soothing Sundays: Just Breathe.

Selfcare #.jpg

I sat down to write a list of self care ideas for myself, because a doctor, a nurse, a therapist and several friends told me to chill out, calm down and take a breath. 

Since maybe there are one or two other people out there that suck at self care, I thought I'd share my list.  Coming at you every Sunday, right here on the blog. 

So....Soothing Sunday #1.  Breathe. 

Yeah, so simple we do it automatically; so important it can kill us if we don't do it.  And so easy to do wrong.  

Place your hand just below your collar bone and take a breath.  Did your hand rise?

Place your hand flat against your belly button and take a breath.  Did your hand rise then?

Well, if we are breathing in a relaxed way, our hand should NOT rise when placed on our chest.  Our breaths should be originating in our bellies (diaphragm).  I tend to hold my breath, or breath shallowly, but both of those exacerbate stress and anxiety, not to mention the knots in my shoulders. 

So, this coming week, I want you to check in with your breath.  See where it's coming from.  If you start feeling frazzled and looking a bit like Elmo.  Watch the "Belly Breathe" song on Sesame Street and breathe along. :)