Sunday, June 17, 2012

Supporting Local

My little city recently added a great incentive to support and shop at local Businesses within Puyallup.
Puyallup Passport encourages you to be a "Tourist in your own Town."

Basically its a coupon style book that gives you everything from Free items if you visit a specific location to savings and $$ off whatever that business is offering. 
And who doesn't love free?!?! 
For $20 you can be a Tourist for sure, but the best part is supporting local businesses within Puyallup.

Consider supporting a local business like this little saying that has been floating around the Internet:
"When you buy from a small mom or pop business, you are not helping a CEO buy a third vacation home. You are helping a little girl get dance lessons, a little boy get his team jersey, a mom or dad put food on the table, a family pay a mortgage, or a student pay for college.
Our customers are our shareholders and they are the ones we strive to make happy."

I'm blessed to work for a small business within Puyallup and knowing that something as simple as this little passport can bring traffic to not only the business I work for but also those around us.  Small businesses is what makes this country so great!

Yes there will always be those places like Wal*Mart or Target, but instead of Starbucks why not support the local coffee shop - one where the owners kids might go to your school.  Your argument might be that the prices are too high, but I think you might be surprised.  After all, these businesses have to compete with the local "heavy weights" but the long term effect in helping those smaller businesses around us far OUT-weighs those who are heavy in the market.

One little business featured in the Passport I know the lady personally and she is trying to really hard to get her business off the ground.  Its so important because her husband recently lost a corporate job and now they are putting everything out there to get her business going.  Its dreams like hers that are really something to admire.

I also work for another company that started out as a small espresso stand and is now a larger roasting company -- again a company that started out of someones dream that expanded and expanded.  And again, they are local guys who keep everything local and also love to support local.

When you consider the quote above about how a small mom or pop shop and how you supporting them might bring food to the table vs. helping a CEO pay for another vacation home it really puts things into perspective.  It reminds me that my dollars really Do go far even in this economy.  And while it might seem convenient to go to places that are more of a chain because of the prices, I think I need to put more focus on staying right here in my town supporting the "little guy." 

For more information about the Puyallup Passport please visit HERE or on their Facebook page.  Passports are available now and you might just win a car! Who doesn't like an incentive to buy!?!?

(**Please note I was not paid for this blog post - I purchased my Passport just like everyone else did and did not receive any sort of discount either.  I just think its important to buy local!!)

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Off the Brand

Because my hubby is still out of work and won't be graduating school until Aug this summer I'm looking for all ways to cut costs and just go off the "brand."
A lot of people live off the grid and while I can't quite afford that yet I have decided to try harder every day to live off the brand which is my hooky way of saying I don't want any more brand names for purchased items but instead make my own.
In most cases making your own items like soaps, detergents, foods it is a lot cheaper then purchasing a name brand.  Heck if you can make your own Mayonnaise why not make everything else right?!?!  (Ok I haven't made my own mayonnaise yet don't hold me to that)

So last night I decided that I wanted to make my own dishwasher detergent.
After searching Google for the best commented on recipe with the most tips I decided to go with the recipe on One Good Thing by Jillee.
Her's had the original recipe she had posted but then revised it months later.  I like that - tells me she kept at it and perfected her recipe.  Plus she had a TON of comments and suggestions from readers of her blog.  I love to Internet for this EXACT thing - tried and true comments. 

I spent about $12 buying all the goods to make it and I made 2 batches once I did a load and liked how the dishes looked once it was done.
Obviously I don't normally spend $12 on dish soap and this recipe from what I gathered figures you spend about $0.06-$0.10 per load.  I'm sure I could spend about that for a generic version of dish detergent at Walmart but again - I want to get away from branding.  
If you decide you do not like this detergent it also doubles as scouring powder which I did try out on my sink and it did a pretty good job!

Powdered Dishwasher Detergent/Scouring Powder:
* 1 cup Washing soda or Baking soda (I’ve seen many recipes that use use whatever you have on hand or a combination of the two.)

* 1 cup Borax (Borax and baking soda/wash are both natural disinfectants and mild abrasives.)

* 1/4 cup Kosher salt (reduces the effects of hard water)

* 1/4 cup citric acid (As an alternative you can use the same amount of Fruit Fresh or two packets of Lemonade-Flavored Kool-Aid, ONLY lemon and ONLY unsweetened!)

Quick tip: I found Citric Acid in the Canning aisle at my grocery store. 

Add 1 to 2 tablespoons of this mixture to your dishwasher detergent compartment along with 3 drops of  liquid dish soap. Do not use more than three drops. The dishwasher will overflow if you use too much dish soap!

Then splash 1/2 to 1 cup of white vinegar into the bottom of the dishwasher and start the machine.

Once I finished the recipe I just threw everything into a Tupperware type container with the recipe and a measuring scoop inside.
Hopefully my son will remember to add the vinegar and the liquid dish soap!!!! 
I read thru the comments on her site and one person noted you don't have to add the dish soap every load if you put if where most dishwashers allow for Jet Dry.  I will keep you posted on that idea.

Best part is this recipe has no phosphates in it!!! 
So its safe to use in the good ol' State of WA where phosphates are not so great to our lakes.

Hope this helps you cut costs on your dish soap and maybe you will want to join me in my de-branding of my home.  I love the idea of seeing items w/out a ton of brand names cluttering up my pantry or kitchen.  Sounds like i need to buy more glass to keep my items in!  I love that look!

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Mother Earth News Fair
 This weekend Puyallup Hosted the 2nd Annual Mother Earth News Fair.   Last year we went to the very first one so I had a little idea of what to expect and I anticipated it would be much larger this year and it was! 
Probably my favorite thing was getting to see  a quick little talk with the founder of Bob's Red Mill - Bob Moore.  He was there obviously to promote his products but also talk about his book "People Before Profit" which talks about his life and how Bob's Red Mill got started but also about his company which is employee owned.  It was so important to him to have a company that cares about their employees that now they all own it.  I'd have to say that is pretty stinkin' awesome and rare.  I haven't ever heard of that concept before so it floored me to think about how employees own his company.  Just blew my mind really.   I guess I've worked for too many corporations in the past to see how hard people work and how much money the Corporate types take home. 
Anyway the best part was learning that Bob and his wife are clearly devote Christians.  The way he talked about being so blessed and how important it was for him to be a blessing.  He also spoke about how originally he was going to study at a Seminary school in Portland to study the bible in Greek and Hebrew before he got started milling.  Great story.  Here is a little pic of Bob I snapped from the back. Sorry about the bald guys head in the way! 

Anyway listening to him speak was inspiring and really made me think about companies and how their profits are spent and where the money goes.  It was clear that much of his profits goes back into his people. 
Thank you Bob for not only creating a wonderful company with many great products but also caring for your employees.  you really walk the talk.

After Bob spoke we got to hear from Ed Begley.  I had missed him last year and really wanted to see him this year. He mostly talked about the basics - how doing the simple things can add up to big things.  Such as changing light bulbs, checking your home for leaks, etc etc.  It was all stuff that he's discussed in his book as well as on his show when he did have it but it was  just fun to be near a celebrity.  And honestly I did watch his show when we had cable back in the day ..... Living with Ed was shown on the Green Channel which sadly Ed informed us that the Channel is going away.  Ah well I guess for some the "green movement" has moved on but for me I feel like its just ramping back up again!
I'm glad Ed got to come to our little Town. 
He even complimented on how the Puyallup Fair has a long standing history with so many things relating to agriculture and so on.  YAY for being recognized for all the Fair does each year.  Go puyallup!
Ed was quite humorous and light hearted the entire hour and took questions which he would run out into the audience so we all could hear the question with his mike.  I'm glad he's not one of the many out of touch celebrities and admire him blazing a trail for so many in his industry.  Gotta hand it to a guy who is willing to ride his bike literally all over town.  Love it.

All in all it was a good fair.
I wish there had been more food or food offerings.  Last year there was tons of food people offering samples and honestly because of the Fair last year I got hooked on Coconut milk because I got to taste it.  This year there was very little offerings for Food options.
Also Mother Earth News Fair if you ever read this - please try to keep the window people or roofing people to a very small bunch.  I personally cannot stand window people - they are pushy and ALWAYS at the Puyallup Fair.  Sure they probably have a great product but by golly they don't let up when you walk past.  Same for the roofing people.  no I do not want to enter to win windows just so you can get my name an blitz me with a phone calls.  No thank you.

Here were some of my favorite people who attended this year:

Pepperjack Home they sold reusable items from laundry sheets, lunch sacks, paper towels, bags, wet bags, and even made their own laundry soap.  Great smelling items and cute CUTE stuff.  Loved their patterns & prints.  I purchased their dryer sheets - reusable of course.  Basically I bought the scent to put on the laundry sheet.  Got the Orange smelling one.  Yum.

Bon Ami - always a favorite of mine. Love their cleaning products and love the logo. I'm highly attracted to great logos that have a retro twist. Plus they gave me a ton of samples and a free Powder Cleaner which is my ALL TIME favorite item. Thank you again for my gift! Glad you didn't have to pack it. ;) 

Happy Hen Treats - yep. Treats for chickens. Don't laugh! My chickens LOVED the treats which are basically freeze dried Meal worms.  Oh yes. they are gross but at least they are dried up. Great protein for chickens. 

And of course thanks for Mother Earth News for putting on another great Fair.  Really enjoyed going and the BEST part was getting in FREE all weekend because I recycled an old Cell Phone.  And I must mention that thanks to all who DID recycle those phones because they recycled 1412 cell phones!!!! WHOOHOO! Thanks T-Mobile!

Ok that's all I got.  Now my feet are a little tired.  TTFN.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Almost Amish

Almost Amish By Nancy Sleeth
From Blessed Earth
 So I have been blessed to receive this book by an amazing author whom originally inspired me to really start living a more sustainable lifestyle about 5 yrs ago now. 
Nancy Sleeth is wife to Matthew Sleeth who wrote "Serve God, Save the Planet" (which I still highly recommend) and she loves to write a lot of about how to simplify your life and your lifestyle with really basic ideas that are not hard or crazy.
When I saw that the book was coming out I got really excited because personally I'm obsessed with the Amish.  I read a TON of Amish Fiction by anyone and everyone and thoroughly enjoy learning about their lifestyle.
I think the Amish are the ones who are going to have it made if we ever go "off the grid" in the future.  Truly they are the only self sustaining people within the US that can live just off the land.
I dream about such a simple lifestyle like they live - having nothing on the walls, no need to decorate the house to the hilt and they definitely don't keep up with the Jones or the Yoders for that matter!
(sorry  - bad Amish Joke)

Anyway, if you don't know a lot about the Amish people except from Hollywood movies like Witness or For Richer or For Poorer I recommend reading more about how they live.  Even if you don't agree with their living completely off the grid at the very least they are an incredible testament to forgiveness and living a life that places no blame on a person.  They truly could teach us a lot about that basic principle that I know God wishes we could understand like they do.

So I'm going to go read my book now. 
I'll let you know how it turns out and write a review here shortly!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

I'm Baaaacccccck!!!

I'm back friends of Puyallup who want to live life with a Purpose!
I know I have been gone for a LONG time (basically a year to be exact) but I need to get back on the wagon again as I have missed writing but also have missed living a lifestyle that has purpose.

I have been reading a book called, "Crazy Love: Overwhelmed by a Relentless God" by Francis Chan and although I'm only a few chapters into the book I can say that it has no only rekindled my interest in living a more sustaniable lifestyle but also made me really think hard about the things I'm passionate about and why.

I'm finding that more and more during the day I'm thinking about giving to others and how I can give back.  I am naturally a giver about my things that I have and I enjoy giving people things which is evident in some of my past posts, but I feel like I'm not doing enough to give MORE of myself.

I realize that God has instilled that feeling in me because he is a God who loves to give and give ABUNDANTLY.  Now mind you, I'm not talking about a Sugar Daddy God - I'm not one that lives and breathes by the "prosperity movement" in any way shape or form.  But I do believe wholeheartedly that we are to go and give to those in the world because God would want us to.

I have also caught myself thinking about all the "stuff" I have and how rich, filthy rich - I'm when compared to others in the world.  According to Global Rich List (an tool that shows where you stack up against the rest of the world based on your yearly income) I'm in the top 4.91% of the Richest People in the world based on my yearly income of $34000 a year. 
They go on and point out a few awesome statistics that I love:

$8 could buy you 15 organic apples OR 25 fruit trees for farmers in Honduras to grow and sell fruit at their local market.

$30 could buy you an ER DVD Boxset OR a First Aid kit for a village in Haiti.

$73 could buy you a new mobile phone OR a new mobile health clinic to care for AIDS orphans in Uganda.

$2400 could buy you a second generation High Definition TV OR schooling for an entire generation of school children in an Angolan village.
Those types of stats about what I could buy with $8 or $30 or $73 is what I love. I so desperately want to be a part of this type of stuff.  Lately, when I consider what I do spend my $$ on and how it doesn't really benefit me or someone else....I have really started to stop and think.  God would really want me to help get  school to a child in an Angolan Village because it helps those in need and the poor.  God meant some serious business when it came to the poor and widows:

Luke 3:10-11 ESV

Seems so basic but yet so difficult when we think about giving to those around us.....I added a link for the Global Rich List here on the Right hand side of my blog. Check it out!
See how you can help AND how rich you really are.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

On a Break

Its pretty obvious I haven't written in forever.
Just taking a much needed blogging break for awhile.
I hope to come back sooner then later with ideas,thoughts and other misc things to inspire.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Neti Pot

last month I was sick and I had to be leaving for a trip on a plane in about week from the time I got sick.

So as a last ditch effort I decided to invest in a Neti Pot.

This one pictured is the one I got and its from the Himalayan Institute. I bought it at Super Supplements mainly because i had a coupon and I was already there buying homeopathic remedies for my cold/flu I was battling. A friend recommended it but I'll admit I was skeptical at first.

I did some research online to see if there was anything negative surrounding it and surprisingly I didn't find anything that made me doubt its effectiveness. Of course most people saw how popular a Neti Pot can become after being on the Oprah Show with Dr. Oz. I never saw the episode but man there were A LOT of pictures of that girl using it on National TV.

So I can't say it healed my illness but it did help especially at night. I suffer from allergies to begin with and I could actually stop taking my Zyrtec for a couple of days rather then taking it daily. now I'm down to taking it maybe every 2-3 days. I don't use my Neti Pot daily, rather I use it when I know the pollen count is very high or I was doing a lot of cleaning for example.

How it works is after you have mixed warm water and a tiny bit of salt formulated for the neti pot you press the spout up to one nostril and tilt it up a little and out the yuck comes. Sometimes it does make me feel a little like I'm going to drown or something and I can feel the water going down my throat but if I adjust my head a little and tilt more or less it'll adjust. Its actually very easy to use and cheaper then my Zyrtec.

Give it a try on your next sinus infection or if you have chronic allergies like myself.