Overnight Refrigerator Pickles (10 min) 🧂🥒

This year my cucumber plants are thriving. We often eat them quickly with lunch or dinner, but every now and then we get more than we can keep up with.

Incidentally, we also all really love pickles at my house! My great grandmother always canned the most delicious homemade dill pickles, and my husband’s grandmother often made refrigerator pickles (which are pickles made without the lengthy fermentation process). Many refrigerator pickle recipes online have a ton of sugar (2 cups or more per jar), which I don’t especially enjoy as a primarily dill pickle fan, and also use white vinegar for processing, while I prefer the taste and health benefits of apple cider vinegar.

The Loveliest DIY Face Cream

This week I made my first attempt at following Rosemary Gladstar’s guidelines for creating her “Perfect Cream” recipe.

I am thrilled with the way it turned out.  This somehow rich yet light moisturizer is positively decadent.  

I am so grateful to Rosemary Gladstar for so freely sharing her knowledge and light with the world! I agree with Gladstar, that traditions involving food, remedies, and plants should be re-connected on a personal basis with every human household, so that we can sense, taste, smell and feel the quality and nourishment nature provides when we mingle with her respectfully. And alternatively, so that we may recognize both overt and subtle clues indicating compromised quality or assault to nature, and ultimately our own health, which helps us know when to take restorative action.

DIY Tahini Lemon Salad Dressing (5 min)

One of my favorite restaurants on the planet is Casa de Luz in Austin, Texas.  It is so delicious, and I can feel the cells of my body grow more resilient with every bite of their macrobiotic, plant-based, gluten free menu.  Often I think, “I would be so healthy if I ate this way every day,” but then forget to actually try until the next time I eat there.  However…

DIY Shampoo & DIY Conditioner in 5 min.

I’ve been curious to see if I can make my own shampoo and conditioner for a while. I finally tried two – and each only took 2 minutes to make! One was a hit at our house and the other was a miss. Let me know if you try either!

Easy Loquat Preserves

We co-habitate with a wonderful hearty loquat tree that lives at the edge of our 1/2 acre lot along one of our neighborhood’s busiest streets. About three years ago I began harvesting the fruit annually for a simple loquat preserves recipe I like to make with my kids. Jump to the bottom if you want to get right to it!

There is something that is delightfully enticing about finding food in your own yard – especially food that is offered by nature without any effort or coercion – and turning it into a routine to look forward to seasonally.  My now 7 year old daughter is always my buddy when it comes time to harvest loquat, and we all get excited when we see the tree limbs start to become weighed down with fruit in April.

DIY Plantain Salve for Burns, Bites, Stings & Eczema

Here is a simple DIY Plantain salve to add to your first aid kit for Burns, Bites, Stings & Eczema. This plant is so abundant you likely have some growing in your own yard!

DIY Lavender Honey Body Wash

Today I’m sharing a quick and easy 5 minute DIY body wash recipe. This recipe is a simple way to reduce our plastic footprint and chemical consumption.

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Why DIY?

So why make stuff that is often easier and cheaper to buy? I like to do homestead projects because, for me, making stuff is just plain fun – at times it’s even meditative. But equally as important to me is the fact that there are often far fewer chemicals, waste and plastics involved with things that are homemade.  I also tend to appreciate the things I take time to bring to life by hand more than anything I quickly purchase on impulse.

Humans are wired to create.

I find it interesting that when I take time to “make”, I am always more deeply satisfied at the end of the day.  Additionally I love the bonus of community-building that can occur when I share or trade the things I make with others.

Try making something this week, however simple, and see if it doesn’t enrich your life too!

DIY Peppermint Lip Balm

This DIY peppermint lip balm recipe took me from start to finish about 10 minutes.  It feels great and is about as clean as it comes, with only two ingredients plus optional peppermint essential oil.  

Garden Abundance: Sneaky Greens

When you have an abundance of kale or other greens to consume, here’s an easy, make-ahead ice cube tray recipe to help you add a serving of greens to your smoothies.

Garden Abundance: Cilantro & Parsley Pesto 🌱

If you have an abundance of cilantro and parsley in your garden, check out my easy, make-ahead, Cilantro Parsley Pesto recipe. Both of these herbs have an impressive array of health benefits. Also, ever wonder why some people love cilantro and others hate it?

DIY: Quick & Easy Hand Sanitizing Gel

If you’re like me, you probably prefer soap and water for hand-washing, but every now and then need a hand sanitizer instead.  I try to avoid using alcohol-based products because they dry my skin so much and often have ingredients with concerning health effects like triclosan, Benzalkonium Chloride and phthalates. This recipe literally took me less than 10 minutes to make.  It has a pleasant cinnamon and citrus scent and nice moisturizing effects.

Kid Fun: Composting Wormery Bins

In a recent post I discussed how and why making a tiny wormery with your kids could maybe save the world.  To build on that thread, today I want to talk about making a larger scale worm bin to compost your family’s kitchen scraps.

DIY: Olive Oil Lamps

Now why on earth would you make a homemade olive oil lamp, you ask? Because it is a surprisingly delightful and easy project that adds beauty and excitement to an otherwise uneventful day.  At least that was my reason.

DIY: Tea Tree Oil Shower Spray

I’m sharing a simple recipe today for a DIY tea tree oil household spray that I’ve been using the past week or so. It inhibits the growth of mildew and molds, so if you’re interested in learning simple ways to use fewer chemicals and still have good cleaning results, read on.

DIY: Whipped Shea Butter with Lavender & Vitamin E

I tend to have really dry hands due to spending all my waking hours with kids – which always includes a lot of hand washing, messy projects, clean up and food prep.  At times, particularly in winter and also when I attend hand drumming classes consistently, my hands can even develop painful cracks.  Store-bought lotions typically […]