2 Ingredient All Natural Baby Powder

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Although we are passionate DIYers, we do recognize that we can’t make EVERYTHING in life, even if we wanted to. There are simply not enough hours in the day. However there are some things, in our opinion, that are just silly not to make and this post is about one of them. Less than a month ago, this news came out: “$417 Million Awarded in Suit Tying Johnson’s Baby Powder to Cancer.” It’s not like it was shocking news but it certainly opened up many people to the possibility that baby products were not as clean and safe as they thought. As if parents didn’t have enough to worry about! After I saw my friends sharing the news on Facebook, I figured it would be a good time to write a post about our super simple, alternative baby powder.

It’s not that there aren’t natural or organic baby powder products out there. There certainly are. But expect to dish out anywhere from $7-12 for less than a pound of product, which can definitely add up over time. With my firstborn, we did not really use baby powder and the times when we did use it, our son would get an allergic reaction (we were using Burts Bees, I suspect it was either the fragrance or the limonene). With our second baby, we actually really needed something because our daughter had very sensitive skin and would constantly break out with just the tiniest bit of moisture. Naturally, we tried corn starch but just found it to be so clumpy when it absorbed. After a bit of research I came across the perfect substitute starch: Arrowroot powder, a natural root starch that’s soft, velvety, and absorbs cleanly. For a mild scent, I ground up some dried chamomile which is hypoallergenic and has anti-inflammatory properties (I’m not a doctor but this is pretty common knowledge). I’m not going to say that our daughter’s rash magically disappeared overnight but it did resolve after a few days. We have been using this ever since and have not had any problems. That’s it. Two ingredients. One happy baby bum. Lastly, there are many different containers, including upcycled spice dispensers, that you can use to store and dispense your baby powder but I find that something with a sifter lid works best to get a light and even dusting. I purchased mine from Marshalls for $6 but you can find similar ones on Amazon here.

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Ingredients
1 1/2 cups Arrowroot Powder
1 tablespoon Ground Chamomile

Supplies
Measuring cup
Stainless Steel Container with mesh sifting lid

Directions
1. Measure out and mix your ingredients.
2. Store in a stainless steel dispenser and use regularly as you would any baby powder. I should also add that one should be cautious when using baby powder in general because it can cause respiratory problems if the particles are inhaled. Dispense lightly and away from your baby’s face.

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Vegan Portobello Shawarmas

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I can’t believe how quickly the summer has ended! Although my husband and I both survived our first few weeks of the semester, we know that life is about to get  much busier and even more challenging. Blogging obviously isn’t going to be a main priority (booo, I know) but it will be nice to share some of our adventures as we trudge along through the rest of the school year. Some of the things that will still remain a priority, however, are eating clean and healthy and working toward a simple, sustainable lifestyle. To do that we will definitely have to become more efficient at organizing, meal planning, and prepping and that will certainly be easier with an arsenal of quick and easy recipes.

If you haven’t noticed, one of the things we’ve been trying to do around here is cut down on red meat. Sure there are many vegan dishes out there, including plenty of Middle Eastern options, but gosh darn it when you’re craving a shawarma, sometimes you really need to have your fix. Luckily, I found a way to have just that without the grease and fatty surprises and without all the baggage that comes with eating red meat. Eating portobellos as a meat substitute isn’t something new for us but incorporating meatless substitutes in very classic Middle Eastern recipes is. Who says you can’t have your cake and eat it too? I should note that this recipe has been tested and approved by my brother who leans toward carnivority (not sure if this is a thing). I won’t pretend that he was completely fooled but he had nothing but good things to say (he’s also a man of few words). I guarantee that you’ll be very pleased with this faux shawarma sandwich; the texture and flavor of the mushrooms combined with all of the vegetables and creamy tahini sauce, tastes pretty darn close to the real thing. Not only is it delicious but it is super easy to make and with minimal ingredients too. But you don’t have to take my word for it, try it yourself!

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Vegan Portobello Shawarmas

  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print

Ingredients
2 pounds portobello mushrooms
1 teaspoon shawarma spice (more if you like it spicier)
1/4 cup white vinegar
Olive Oil
Salt (to taste)

For sandwiches:
Pita bread
Tomatoes, diced
Onions, thinly sliced
Parsley, chopped
Pickled cucumbers or turnips, sliced
Sumac
Taratoor (tahini sauce)

Note: This recipe makes between 4-6 sandwiches depending on how stuffed you like them.

Directions

  1. Gently wash your portobello mushrooms and slice very thinly.
  2. In a large pan, drizzle olive oil and add in the mushrooms in batches. Each time the mushrooms start cooking down, add another batch to the pan.
  3. Once all the mushrooms are in the pan, add in the shawarma spice and vinegar, stir well to incorporate.
  4. Cook on medium-high until the liquid cooks off and the mushrooms begin to brown, approximately 10 minutes.
  5. In the meantime, prepare all your sandwich toppings and condiments.
  6. Open your pita bread into halves and layer on the goodness: portobello shawarma, tomato, parlsey, pickles, onions, sumac, and a drizzle of taratoor.
  7. Roll up and enjoy!

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Falling into Autumn

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If you are coming here from Happy Haute Home, hello and welcome to our blog. It’s always wonderful to have new faces around here 🙂 Today we are excited to share with you our autumn tablescape which includes a fun and simple DIY table runner. Autumn is such a lovely time of year and I really wanted to create a space that celebrates the beautiful colors of the season while inspiring quiet introspection. Each season offers plenty to reflect on but there is nothing quite like reflecting on your harvest (physically and spiritually) and thinking about what can be improved upon for the next cycle when you begin anew.

“Every tree, every growing thing as it grows, says this truth, you harvest what you sow.”-Rumi

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If you haven’t guessed already from our latest home decor posts and Instagram feed, we are a tad into the bohemian look. Taken to it’s extreme, however, the boho theme can tend toward maximalism and appear a bit cluttered for our taste so I sought to create a clean design based on some of our favorite bohemian colors and elements: greenery, gold, yarn, textured glass, palm leaf, and patterned fabric.

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To pull this look together, I relied mostly on what I had lying around our home. For each place setting, I simply layered palm leaf placemats with gold chargers, white plates, and checkered napkins atop. For the centerpiece, I placed a small glass cup filled with eucalyptus and sage in the middle of a black candle dish and arranged white pumpkins, faux florals and pears, and real plums all around. For colorful touches, I included teal glassware, textured crystal, and gold flatware. I used my old amber essential oil diffuser bottles to showcase the dahlias and sage from our garden. The only thing I purposefully purchased for this tablescape (other than pumpkins) were the napkins. I really liked the flannel pattern and the farmhouse vibes they exuded, not to mention they were fairly inexpensive. For your convenience, I’ve included a list of the main sources down below for the all items I knew off the top of my head.

 

 

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Of course my favorite part of this whole tablescape is the table runner that I made. I am happy to report that the finished product turned out exactly as I had pictured: an oversized tassel. All you will need to make this table runner is wool yarn and scissors. Simply unspool the yarn and cut into strips longer than the length of the table. The hardest part is making sure not to tangle the yarn as you lay the pieces side by side. When you’re happy with the width of your table runner (I used three rolls of yarn) then tie each of the ends together and voila!

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Sources:
Checkered napkins: Target |$3
Faux Pears: Target|$5
Palm Leaf Placemat: IKEA|$3
Gold Charger: Dollar Store| $1
Eucalyptus: Trader Joes| $3
White Pumpkins: Farmers Market| $2

What do you think of the final result? I know it doesn’t include the fiery red, yellow, and orange hues normally associated with fall but we actually find it quite refreshing. I’ll be using this very same color palette to make an autumn wreath early next month so stay tuned for that. If you’re looking for more autumn decor inspiration that’s subtle and beautiful then you’ll definitely want to head on over to my friend at Harlow and Thistle and see her creative display. Also don’t forget to check out the rest of the stunning tablescapes in the Falling into Autumn Blog Hop linked below!

 

 

Happy Haute Home | Harlow and Thistle | Mint Candy Designs | Live Laugh and Craft | The Cozy Home Chronicles


Mindful Homekeeping: Ditching Plastic Bottled Water

A few months ago we started a series called Mindful Homekeeping in order to share simple homekeeping practices, DIYs, and products that we feel are mindful of the environment, body, and soul as we journey toward a more sustainable lifestyle. Because we live in a time where convenience and cost drive consumption, we really wanted a space to think critically about our practices and what we can do to make healthy, meaningful but also economical choices. Many of the topics we will cover are changes that we successfully implemented and wanted to share in the hopes of motivating you to consider making them too. In this post we will be addressing a practice that is commonplace in American households: buying and drinking bottled water. Now before you go off thinking that this is such an insignificant part of your life it isn’t worth examining…you are mistaken. Your actions can absolutely make a difference.

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Bottled water has always secretly angered me. In an environmental anthropology class I took back in undergrad, we read and talked a lot about the environmental impact of Nestle and other companies that turned a free natural resource into a multi-billion dollar industry. It especially hit home for me because we live in the Great Lakes region and I was beyond bothered that a corporation could just own something that should belong to all people. And then the whole Flint water crisis and Dakota pipeline happened and it really brought the issue of clean, accessible water to the forefront. We pledged then that we would no longer purchase bottled water except on rare occasions {read as “never if we can help it”}. While we have always kept glass bottles filled in the fridge for ourselves, we were still keeping bottled water on hand for visitors. After our pledge, we invested in a larger collection of glass bottles to accommodate guests as well. Most of our collection is from IKEA and the carafes range anywhere from $1.99-$4.99.

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Why are we telling you this? Because with the cost being so cheap there’s really no reason not to completely make the switch. All you need to do is make a small investment in reusable bottles/carafes/pitchers {the cost will depend on the size of your family, we spent around $10} and then make a habit of filling them regularly. When one empties, you clean and refill it while you enjoy the next bottle. Expecting company? Fill a pitcher ahead of time and put it in the fridge. Going for a run? Fill up your canteen with cold water from the refrigerated carafes and refill the carafes for later. These simple practices can easily become habits that eliminate the need for drinking plastic bottled water. Heck you don’t even need to necessarily buy anything. I can think of plenty of glass you can upcyle {think milk jugs, cold-brew coffee, juice bottles} to use for the purposes outlined here. The best part about filling your own glass bottles ahead of time is that you can switch things up by making colorful and refreshing fruit waters. There’s no limit to what you can create once you start mixing up fruit, herbs, and citrus. I recently made a cherry, lime, mint water and it was DELICIOUS. Definitely beats boring plastic bottled water any day!

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If you are still not convinced, here are just some of the many reasons you should give up bottled water. You can read the sources for these facts in-depth here and here.

  1. The recommended eight glasses of water a day, at U.S. tap rates equals about $.49 per year; that same amount of bottled water is about $1,400.
  2. Eighty percent of the water bottles we buy end up in landfills, the absolute worst place for them to be.
  3. Plastic leaches into the water it holds, which has been linked to health issues like reproductive problems and different types of cancer.

Of course we don’t want to be too rigid. Plastic bottled water can have its time and place. We just don’t think it should be every time you reach for a drink of water. To conclude we will leave you with a goal and two action items that you can work toward:

Goal: Reduce plastic bottled-water consumption
Action item 1: Remove plastic bottled water from your grocery lists
Action item 2: Build collection of sustainable water bottles that you can refill over and over again

If you’re still thinking “it’s too hard to make the transition,” try starting with one glass bottle in your fridge and reach for that instead of your plastic bottle. Then as your plastic bottle supply depletes you can slowly build your collection of sustainable water bottles. We know that making these changes are not easy but they definitely make a difference and that is something you can feel good about.

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