grace and peace,
Most things eventually come to their end. Knowing when to let go is as important as knowing when to begin. It is with a bit of sadness but hope for the future that this is the last post on GraceHouseDesigns.com. This will be a fresh, new year of beginnings and endings and I must be purposeful in every step...as we all should, all the time. You may read this a bit late and find links to GraceHouseDesigns.com that go nowhere but be assured I am still here and still full of ideas, hopes, plans and dreams...and even more focused and more determined to live a life defined, designed and filled with grace. Thank you to all who have read, commented and encouraged me. I hope you found something that blessed you in some way. I'm excited for the next step in this journey! Perhaps I'll see you again along the way!
grace and peace,
Saving money, saving time and being healthy are big goals for our family. Some of the best ways I've found to do this is in making my own household cleaners and body care items. What I've learned over the years is that simple is not only much more healthy but can actually save us time and money! And we don't sacrifice a thing. In fact, most of the items I now make at home perform better than anything I once purchased! Whether it be floor cleaner, linen spray, moisturizer, shampoo, hand soap or deodorant, there is one common ingredient that you'll need to get started.
Essential oils. These little gems and their usefulness have been known for ages...like thousands of years. And they actually work very well. So many mainstream products manufactured today have 'fillers' that we are just beginning to realize are often very toxic to us and our environment with extended use. In an effort to 'cut costs', most of the hard working, healthy and natural ingredients that once were successfully used have been diluted or worse simulated by a toxic fragrance that is supposed to mimic a naturally occurring helpful ingredient. Read the labels for yourself. It's amazing and frustrating. Quality products don't have to be expensive nor synthetically produced to work.
Interested in getting to know essential oils and how they can benefit you? There are many companies out there who make and sell them and I've tried a lot of them. I do try to find 100% organic when possible. I order from various online websites and watch for sales regularly.
My staple oils:
Other Important Oils
Rosehip Seed Oil
Right now, there's a 20% off sale on Vitacost's own brand of essential oils and if you click this link, create a free account and place an order, you and I both will receive $10. off our next order. Vitacost offers lots of healthy options from cosmetics to vitamins and I've always received my orders quickly and as expected. Be sure to read the uses in the descriptions for each essential oil and read the reviews for more ideas.
More to come! Recipes I've developed, tested and honed over time. All can be made in just a few minutes...usually less than 5 minutes!
Over the past few years, I've been on a journey towards simplifying and in that effort have begun to see past the message of commercialism (not having television service helps tremendously). I've been looking deeper into what is truly necessary and what is truly going to be beneficial to our family and loved ones - short term and long term.
This is THE list I check before purchasing anything that goes on or in our bodies ...or is used in and around our home. From cleaning supplies and groceries to sunscreen and lipstick, it's likely on this list at the Environmental Working Group website. I think you'll be surprised at how toxic some things are to us. Pick up your hand lotion, bath soap, laundry detergent, lipstick, bug spray and plug the name into the database and see how it rates on a scale of 0 to 10. Also note the ingredients listed in a product. Some items will surprise you in how inexpensively you could make them yourself!
Embracing the idea to Live Simply began as a way to save money but it has become so much more. I want to make every choice count. Life's short. I don't want lots of regrets. I want lots of good memories and the good health to take me there. The return for us has proved to be so much more than monetary. We feel better. We eat better. We have more time for the important things in life. We have more choices available to us...not less.
What I've found is that I can do a lot MORE for a LOT LESS and improve our health and happiness in the process.
Start small. You could even start with hand soap! I wonder where this journey might take you?!
Did you know you have gifts to share with the world? Everyone, whether they realize it or not, has at least one gift... more often many gifts to share.
But do we know what our gifts are? What we are really good at? What comes as natural to us as breathing?
There are people I see every day who share their gifts with others without even realizing it.
Take for example the friendly checkout folks at Trader Joe's and Costco. Have you ever noticed? Those people seem to have the best time at work! And no, no one is paying me to say this and I don't know anyone personally who works for either store. I just notice friendly people who greet you, offer assistance, joke with you and go out of their way to lend a helping hand. I see it EVERY single time I shop at those two stores. Those folks are sharing their gift of hospitality...the gift of a smile. Simply a smile.
Some of you don't think you have gifts but trust me, you do!