Thursday, April 3, 2014

DIY Fabric Pennant Banner

 
Pennant Banners are so adorable! I make them all the time. Which means they're easy. Yes, most of my sewing projects are quite simple. Don't tell my friends and family though!!

Pennant banners can be used for just about anything. I used them at my wedding, give them as gifts, have them hanging all over my house. Love 'em.

Jump over to Modern Alternative Mama to check out my simple tutorial on how you can make your own pennant banner in minutes!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

35 Gifts for the Crunchy/Alternative Friend in your life



Do you have "crunchy" friends in your life that are hard to buy for come Christmas or birthday time? They live differently than you, but you still want to bless them with something they'll love?You're not sure where to start or maybe you don't want to ask for fear of what their answer might be. A Himalayan salt lamp, what's that?! (PS My awesome sister got me one for Christmas!)

I'm guessing you happened upon this blog after searching for "gifts for crunchy people" or something similar. Well, welcome. This list has been put together by a network of women who would be considered alternative, crunchy, natural, simple, traditional, holistic. So, if you would describe someone in your life as any of those, I think this list will be a great resource for you. If you're still not sure what gift she'd love, the best thing to do is ask. I would say the same thing to anyone, as I'm not one for getting someone a gift "just because". Chances are your friend also tries to living intentionally or minimally, use this list as a guide and maybe a conversation starter.

**Please note, as an affiliate of Amazon, some of the links in this post will take you to Amazon products. Should you order by clicking on these links, I will receive a small commission (at no extra charge to you). However, all of the other companies and products, I have no affiliation to. I am not being paid for including them in this post, I am simply sharing with you the products that I love and that have been recommended to me by my similarly hippie friends. You might think it silly that I include this, but I wanted to be honest about my affiliation, but more importantly, wanted you to know I'm not just saying these products/companies are swell for my benefit. (Rant: These days, it seems like writers, genuine as they may be, want to promote products/companies so they can make some $$.)<----That doesn't happen here, just so ya know.

Okay, now that that is taken care of.....

Companies

This is but a small list of companies that I've either used personally or that have been recommended for their quality of products and/or commitment to customer service.

Real Salt Find "real" or unadulterated salt, salt mills/grinder, and seasoning mixes from this Utah-based company

Redmond Clay The same Utah company that sells Real Salt also sells clay and clay products, of which can be used to make homemade deodorants, bath salt blends, and much more. We use their Earthpaste!

Mountain Rose Herbs Find bulk herbs, essential oils, tea blends, jars, candles, and much more.

Primal Pit Paste A deodorant made with all natural ingredients- my hubby loves the thyme and lemongrass

doTERRA The essential oil company I use, they sell only therapeutic-grade oils

Poppy Soap Company Based out of SoCal, this company uses only natural ingredients, and for every bar you buy, they send one to someone in need. How awesome is that?

Apply Valley Naturals Homemade, natural beauty products--their Man 2.0 sounds fun, a body, shampoo, and shaving bar all in one!

The Bumble Bee Studios Homemade, natural beauty products




Food/Drink

Organic Teas Most health food stores have these, there are also companies online that sell in bulk

Coconut oil The "Everything" oil, can be used for cooking, in beauty products, for oil pulling, to oil bike chains- yes, we used coconut oil for that (I personally buy in bulk!). Tropical Traditions offers high quality coconut oil and often runs free shipping or buy one, get one deals.

Homemade Vanilla Extract I always have a batch of this going in the back of my cupboard. You can buy vanilla beans here.

Bulk Herbs You can find these on Amazon, most health food stores, and online- I would recommend Mountain Rose Herbs for quality ingredients

Fruit/Veggie Basket Put together some yummy produce in a nice basket, oranges, apples, lemons, avocados, find out what their favorites are!


Kitchen Fun

Cute coffee mugs/tea pots You can buy really fun, cute mugs just about anywhere

Tea infuser If buying bulk tea blends, consider giving an infuser alongside, they're inexpensive and super handy

Stainless steel/glass water bottle These eco-friendly options are sure to please any crunchy gal

Small kitchen gadgets Some useful kitchen tools would include a microplane zester, garlic press, or mandolin slicer

Mason jars

Mason jars deserve a category on their own. Jars can be used for canning, storing, drinking, decorating. Anything, seriously anything.

Ball Jar Heritage Collection--they're blue! How rad is that?

Cuppow Drinking Lids Adult sippy cup anyone?

Jarden Home Elite Collection--they're short (and cute!) and perfect for homemade beauty products!


DIY Supplies

So your friend is a DIYer, chances are if she's making her own beauty products (lotion, lip balm, etc) she's using most of the following products.

Beeswax Pellets seem to work best as they melt quickly, look for pure/organic cosmetic wax


Cocoa Butter or Shea Butter These two butters are used in most homemade beauty products for their nourishing effects, cocoa butter does have a bit of a chocolatey scent just FYI

Coconut oil I know, I already mentioned this one, but it bears repeating, The Everything Oil, remember? That wasn't a joke.

Containers If you know she makes her own lip balm, get her some tubes or metal tins, mason jars are great for DIY beauty products. You can find just about any empty container on Amazon-- I've personally bought lip balm tubes, mascara tubes, deodorant sticks, jars, and essential oil rollers from there



For the Gardener

Seed Pellets and mini greenhouse for starting their own seeds, that's the one I got and by simply placing it under a shop light in my garage my seeds did great

Seeds You can find heirloom and organic seeds as seedsnow.com and Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds
Gardening tools like pruners, shears, trowels

Natural garden enhancers Blood meal and diatomaceous earth are popular with organic gardeners

Potted plant/vegetable If your friend loves growing her own produce, why not give her a potted vegetable, herb, or flower instead of fresh-cut flowers? 


Essential Oils

Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon Oils These are our most popular and versatile oils, most everyone can find uses for them! The Intro Kit with these 3 oils is less than $27

Sample Bottles If your friend sells/uses essential oils, I'm sure she loves sharing them. If you're lucky, she'll give you some of these bottles back full!

Roller bottles If she's into making her own oil blends, make it easier for her by giving her these glass roller bottles.

Diffuser Diffusing oils is easy and allows the oil molecules to spread throughout the entire house.There are so many to choose from with a wide variety of prices, here's the one I have


Online

Etsy Etsy is a homemade online store in which thousands of "stores" sell any number of things. Based on your friend's interests, you can search for products on Etsy that they may like.

Online boutiques As the alternative, homemade lifestyle surges on, more and more cute little boutiques are opening up. Ask your friend what some of their favorites are!

Have you ever found yourself wondering what your "hippie" friend would like?If you are the crunchy friend, what are some products or companies you'd add to this list? 

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Confessions: The Ezer Wife on Food



So what does a guy crazy enough to lift a tree over his head and a hippie gal wearing a Kansas shirt have to do with confessions or food?

Glad you asked! 

You guys are in luck. Over at Modern Alternative Mama, we're running a series this month, Real Food Chronicles, in which the writers let you virtually peek into their kitchens.

We are sharing with you our failures and successes and the honest truth about what we're eating. Ever wonder what a "real foodies" eats all the time? Check out photos and recipes from our daily lives. Think we're some kind of Wonder Women doing it all? Find out how each of us actually make this lifestyle work.

So, go on! I'm over at MAM today. Let me know what you think or what questions you may have.


Monday, March 10, 2014

Quick&Easy Lunch: Egg Salad, an Old Favorite



Do you love hard-boiled eggs? What about deviled eggs? Why not make an egg salad that's a combination of the two?

I love this quick, easy lunch! It's almost so easy and this post is so short, I almost feel silly sharing it. But then I don't because I want everyone to be inspired for "those days". If we're out of leftovers to make a lunch the following day, it's either Egg Salad or Tuna Salad. Gotta love the throw-together salads!

Now that both my husband and I are working, I need quick and easy meals to prepare. This recipe fits the bill! I've found that when I "fat load" earlier in the day, aka eat lots of fat at breakfast or lunch, I stay fuller so much longer. For instance, oatmeal doesn't do it for me. I know those creamy oats stick to some people's ribs all morning, but not mine. Less than two hours after eating a heaping bowl of oats stuffed with fruit, nut butter, and full fat milk of some kind, I'm starved. It's not enough.


We enjoy eggs at breakfast, so why not bring them into our next meal with us? If going without grains, have this (or chicken or tuna salads) in half an avocado or rolled up in a piece of romaine lettuce!

Egg Salad for One (and a half?)

2 hard-boiled eggs
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
salt, pepper, paprika to taste
ground mustard (optional)

After cutting eggs into small pieces, add remaining ingredients and mix well.

That's it. Yum. Keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days, although I don't think it will last that long!

What are some of your go to, wholesome lunches? Please share!