Homemade, All Natural Deodorant!

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Did you know your deodorant is (more then likely) incredibly toxic?? If you haven’t, I’m sorry I have to be the one to tell you. There is aluminum and other toxic chemical ingredients in deodorant. When you rub it into your underarm (right near your breast and all over your lymph nodes) your pretty much just rubbing a lovely smelling toxin right into your skin. Its not pretty to think about, and its really not very healthy!

Out of all things natural, organic, chemical free, good for the enviroment and healthy, a good deodorant is near impossible to find. I’ve looked. My mom has looked. My sister has looked. Its tough!!

However, the stuff I make, is amazing. I never smell when I wear it, its easy to apply, its super cheap, it takes 5 minutes to mix up and its really natural and chemical free!!

Now that I’ve thoroughly talked it up, here’s the recipe!

Equal parts arrow root powder and baking soda (for instance, you want 1 cup of deodorant, use 1/2 c. arrow root, 1/2 c. baking soda)
A little coconut oil
A few drops of tea tree oil

Mix the baking soda and arrow root together and make sure they are combined. Stir in just enough coconut oil for it to come together and seem moist. It needs to be wet enough to be combined, but not so wet its runny. Add a few drops of tea tree oil, and your done!

I store mine in a dark cool place in a Mason jar.

To apply it, scoop some out onto your finger (I put just enough to cover my finger pad) and rub it onto your underarm. It may look a little white, but it melts into your skin after a minute or so. (If your wearing black, and can’t wait a minute, you can also continue to rub it until its totally invisible).

Now go remove your body odor naturally!!!

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When (and how!) to strip cloth diapers

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As of today (our daughter’s 7 month birthday) we have been cloth diapering for 3 months. And its going great! I love it and don’t plan to quit. But there comes a time when the diapers themselves want to quit. Which is when they need ‘stripped’. Stripping them just means you strip the fabric of all the build up.

There are a few times in a diapers life that it needs stripped and it will indicate to you its time. Cloth diapers have 2 different, distinct smells that indicate stripping is necessary.

The barnyard stink and the ammonia stink. They are both caused by build up in the diaper and are totally normal. So don’t be freaking out if your diapers smell like a farm or ammonia. (Ammonia is in urine, that’s where it comes from). Build up can also be caused from other things like detergents or oils.

Another sign your diapers need stripped is when they start to leak. A lot. The build up makes the diapers less absorbent.  Your actually supposed to strip brand new diapers prior to use to increase the absorbancy.

The last, and worst, sign is if your baby cakes is getting diaper rash that won’t clear up.

So in short, the 5 main times to strip cloth diapers are-

1- When they are brand new
2- When they smell like a farm
3- When they smell like ammonia
4- When they start to slack off in their absorbency
5- Your squish butt is getting extra rashes that won’t clear up

So now you know when, but how?

There are a few different methods, but I’m gonna show you my favorite.

This way is chemical free and works wonderfully. Its time consuming, but worth it.

You will need:

Clean diapers
A stove
Water
A large pot(s)
Vinegar (optional)

Fill the pot(s) most of the way with water and put the over medium heat. Get the water hot, steaming, but not boiling. If your stripping them to remove a stink, you can add a tablespoon or two of vinegar, it removes the smell. If your pots are big enough you might be able to fit up to 4 diapers, mine only fit 2 so I usually have 2 pots going at once to make it faster.

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Leave them in for 20 minutes each, stirring occasionally so nothing gets stuck. Get them out with a pair of tongs and hang them to dry. Voila! Stink free, absorbent diapers!

Go get stripping =)

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

How to Make Flower Chain Jewelry

This week my house is a mad house. Delilah has decided that sleeping is optional and is (I believe) either having a growth spurt or teething. She’s up every half hour/hour to eat at night and fussy all day. I was planning on making some fancy Pad Thai with jackfruit seeds for dinner tonight and got as far as cooking and chopping the seeds, when Delilah decided I didn’t need to finish.

So today’s post is going to be short, sweet and just for fun =)

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This really is one of the easiest crafts out there, but its so much fun and a surprising amount of people don’t know how to do it!

The first step is to pick flowers. We used white clover flowers for ours. Make sure you pick them with stems long enough to tie into a knot (or have super nimble fingers so you can tie short lengths of stem!). Pick at least a dozen for a necklace, or 4-ish for a child sized bracelet. Its really a matter of how long the stems are and how big or small your body is.

What you do is take two flowers (flowers a and b) and tie flower A’s stem in a knot right behind flower B’s flower.

Like this-

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You have to be very gentle when you tighten the knot or you’ll just rip the stems and have to start over. And that’s it! Just keep tying on more flowers until you’ve reached the length you want.

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You can do this with all kinds of flowers and thoroughly impress anyone under the age of 10!

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Rory and Gage (my niece and nephew) were both very excited to get necklaces and bracelets made from flowers. My niece, Rory, had me make a, ‘Bracelet for Delilah’s foot.’ Also know as an anklet. And Gage, my nephew, had to have a bracelet for each arm and a necklace. Just like all the other cool kids have.

Now you know how to make flower chains! Maybe you’ll even come up with a non-child use for them =)

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Epic Healing Salve

Hey guys! Don’t forget to ‘like’ me on Facebook!! I only need 100 total likes by August 11th likes to do a giveaway of 6 half gallon mason jars!!

I’ve been debating weather or not I should share this recipe. I adjusted another bloggers recipe to make mine, so its kind of from another blogger (which you should go read so you can decide which way works best for you!). But in the end, its just the most amazing salve ever so I decided you all needed to see how to make some!!

Epic Healing Salve

(Salve is pronounced sav, in case you didn’t know ….)

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This particular salve is made from the leaves of the plantain leaf. (Not the starchy banana looking fruit plant). Plantain (broad leaf or narrow leaf) can almost certainly be found in your yard or a nearby field. I used broad leaf plantain for my recipe but you could use narrow leaf plantain if that’s what you find.

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This is what the leaves look like. They are easy to identify by the thick veins that run through them in one direction and the flower stems are thick, green spikes out of the middle.

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The plant in its natural environment

This plant is really an amazing plant. You may think its a weed but its pretty awesome. Its edible (just like salad greens or cooked in a recipe in place of any greens) and medicinal. If you get stung by a bee just pick a leaf of this, chew it up and rub the poultice on the sting. It removes the stinger, stops the swelling, eases the pain and eases the itchiness.

How to make the salve-

You will need:

A mason jar loosely pack with plantain leaves* Organic Olive Oil Beeswax (Buy here) Coconut Oil (Buy here)

(*I didn’t put amounts because its how much you want to make. I used a quart jar 3/4 full of leaves and got a pint and a half of salve and half a pint of leftover infused oil. As far as beeswax and coconut oil go, use 2 tablespoons of each per 1/2 cup of oil.)

Process:

The leaves in the oil

The leaves in the oil

Add enough olive oil to your mason jar to cover your leaves (I used about 2 cups for my quart jar). Here’s where I do my own thing. Put the jar of oil in a cool, dark place. Take it out and shake it twice a day (or more) for 2 weeks. At the end of the two weeks strain the leaves out. Squeeze them in your fingers to get all of the oil out. You don’t want to waste any. Get rid of the leaves however you see fit (or save them and use them as a poultice). Put the oil in a sauce pan and melt the coconut oil ad beeswax into it over as low of heat as you can. You heat it on low heat so you don’t disrupt the nature of the beeswax.

Pour it into sterilized mason jars and let it cool. Its ready to use immediately. It lasts for a year stored in a cool, dark place.

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So what do you use it on??

Everything!!

Ok, not quite, but almost!

It stops bug bites from itching along with making them go away quicker, it helps stings, scratches, small cuts, bruises and poison ivy. It also really helps new tattoos and piercings. I recently got a new tattoo and its healing up very nicely. It was one of the most painful tattoos I’ve gotten and the salve really helps when it starts burning and itching.

Just because I mentioned it, this is the tattoo I got. It was a horrible, crappy, scratcher tattoo (just thick, black letters) that my favorite artist over at Inner Vision Body Art fixed for me =)

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Anyways, back to the salve, I’ve been rubbing it on everything. Its fantastic!!

So go make some!!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Wildcrafting Wednesday Featured Blogger Award

This post was shared on Thank Goodness It’s Monday, Natural Living Monday, Party Wave Wednesday, The Blog Strut and Wildcrafting Wednesday!

Foraging Series: Part 2- Queen Anne’s Lace

(Side note- This was called Just Like The Cavemen Did! But I decided to change it to be more simple).

Read part 1 about Staghorn Sumac here!

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First off, don’t forget the 4 main rules for foraging-

1. Make sure wherever you harvest is at minimum 100 ft. from a road cars drive on.
2. Make sure wherever your picking is public property (don’t pick on someone’s private land unless you’ve OK-ed it with the owners!)
3. Make sure where your picking is not somewhere that gets sprayed! You do not want chemicals all over your yummy wild food.
4. Give back to the earth and do your part to help keep the environment clean and healthy. Don’t take without giving back!!

Queen Anne’s Lace (aka) Wild Carrot!

You’ve probably seen this delicate flower along side of roads or in fields and you’ve possibly even picked it! It really is a beautiful flower and very common. It’s not something you’d look at and think, ‘Hmmm, I bet that would help prevent cancer, detox my body, taste delicious, help pass kidney stones, work as a diuretic and look pretty in a bouquet!’ But it does all that, and more! It seems more like a magic plant from an enchanted forest then a weed!

So, how do you identify it?

First off, there are large, white flowers on tall, green, hairy stems. The leaves are very feathery and whispy. In the center of each flower you will generally find a small, purple flower bud. This is know as ‘Queen Anne.’ Way back when women of high class would wear large, white, lacey collars, which is where the flower got its name. Queen Anne wearing her lace collar. They generally grow by the side of the road or in large, sunny fields. Somewhere there is poor soil.

Notice Queen Anne in the center?

Notice Queen Anne in the center?

How it looks when its growing

How it looks when its growing

The one poisonous look alike to Queen Anne’s lace is poison hemlock. And it is DEADLY! So make 100% certain you are picking Wild carrots and NOT Poison Hemlock. Its smaller and bushier and it looks a little different. The flowers are similar however, so make sure you can easily identify both before you accidentally pick some.

It you want to make a detox tea and fritters, all you need are the flowers and leaves. So you can just cut the, off. If you want to make root tea, you (obviously) need the roots. I suggest harvesting the roots after a rain so the ground will be softer and it will be easier to pull them out of the ground. I just picked the entire plant and brought it all home with me since I’m using all of the parts.

Fried Flowers-

These are SO GOOD!! They are light and fluffy but satisying and very flavorful, they smell like popcorn when they’re frying. It tastes like your eating something that costs 50 bucks a plate. They are m favorite food. Plus, pollen is a super food!!

You will need-

Organic flour
Queen Anne’s Lace flowers
Eggs from pastured chickens
Sea salt
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
Coconut oil for frying

Combine all the dry ingredients in one bowl and lightly whisk the eggs in another. Dip the flowers first in the eggs then into the dry mix. (I used the butt where the flower hatched to the stem as a handle to dip and put in the oil.) Place in a skillet with an inch deep of oil over high heat. (Don’t start cooking until the oil is sizzling). Fry them up flower side down, stem side up for 30 seconds to a minute, or once they become crispy and golden brown Eat while they are warm and crispy!

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Don't they look decadent and delicious!!

Don’t they look decadent and delicious!!

Yummmmmyy!!

Root Tea-

The roots are known commonly as wild carrots. When you pick them they smell just like carrots. This post would end up pages long if I delved deep into all the medicinal benefits reaped from the roots of this plant, so I will stick to a few and if you’d like to read a more detailed list, click here. There are studies showing it has anticancer activities as well as being useful in treating HIV, infertility, diabetes, Leukemia, migraines, Spina Bifida and even all the way down to treating the common cold. Its very versatile.

In order to make root tea there are a few steps.

The roots

The roots

First, wash off the roots and remove all the dirt. Chop them up as small as you can. This may prove to be more difficult then it sounds. I suggest garden shears. Get them fairly small. Wash them again and spread them evenly on a baking sheet or pan and bake in the oven for 2 hours at 250 degrees. Let them cool and add a tablespoon to a cup of boiling water. Sweeten with honey/mint or anything you prefer.

Cleaned off

Cleaned off

Leaf tea-

Leaf tea can be used as a diuretic (helps you pee), to cleanse/detox your body and to prevent kidney stones and shrink the ones already built up. However, use caution when drinking leaf tea/eating the seeds as it can do more harm then good when your pregnant. They have been used as the morning after pill of ancient times. There are really no other contraindications.

In order to make leaf tea, dry the leaves in whatever method you like best. You can use the lowest setting on a dehydrator, or go the old fashioned way and tie them upside down to dry. I like the latter because it looks pretty in your kitchen. Once they are dry just use as a tea and let the leaves steep for 20 minutes before drinking.

My leaves drying

My leaves drying

Happy picking!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

*Disclaimer- I am not a doctor or a professional. Nor do I claim to be. Use caution when picking wild plants and DO NOT pick anything unless you are 100% certain you are picking the correct plant. If you have allergies to any of the plants I feature, do not use them. If you are worried about the medicinal effects of any of the plants featured, please consult your doctor or other health professional. Do your own research before deciding what is best for you. These statements are my own and medicinal plants are not generally FDA approved.*

This post was shared on Thank Your Body Thursday, Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways, Fat Tuesday, Tuned-in Tuesdays and Wildcrafting Wednesdays!

DIY 5 Gallon Water Filter for $30!

Yup, you read right. A 5 gallon water gravity water filter for $30.

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I have always wanted a Berkey water filter. Tall, shiny, silver, water purifying happiness. But the price tag?? Waaaay out of my budget. The 3.25 gallon Berkey is $283.00. Almost half one month’s rent. And twice the cost of monthly utilities. Now, don’t get me wrong, Berkey’s are awesome and I would still like to get one. But its a big purchase and would require saving a lot of money and a lot of time. I need clean, good drinking water now.

So about a month ago I entered a giveaway to win a royal Berkey (which I didn’t win). One of the entries was earned by commenting on the blog post. A few days later I got a Facebook message on the blogs Facebook. A really nice guy messaged me and told me you can make your own for around $30!! It had never even crossed my mind. So he showed me his, and I researched it more online to see what I could find. Turns out, tons of people make their own!

So, without further ado, I’d love to share a tutorial on making your own =)

*Disclaimer- Not my original idea!! I’m simply sharing with you what I have learned in a (hopefully) helpful, easy to follow tutorial so more people can have clean drinking water!!*

You will need:

  • 2 food grade, five gallon buckets with at least one lid. You have to be able to stack the top bucket on top of the bottom bucket’s lid.

(I got mine from the pickle stand at my local farmer’s market, they sell the pickles out of 5 gal. buckets and were selling used ones for a dollar a piece, which they donated to the ASPCA. You can also ask nicely at a grocery store near you that has a bakery, they get icing in them.)

(if you order those two together on amazon it ends up being $28.29 and you get free shipping!)

  • A drill and drill bits

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First off, start by rinsing/washing out your buckets.

You will have to drill holes for the water filter’s bottom and the spigot. Figure out how big of a drill bit you need to drill that sized hole. I just used the biggest bit we had then used a cardboard knife to make the hole the correct size, since we didn’t have a big enough bit. Once you have that down, let’s put in the filter!

Stack the buckets on top of each other with a lid in between (picture labeled 1). You will want a hole through both the bottom of the top bucket and the lid of the bottom bucket at the same place (pictures number 2 and 3). This is where the filter gets attached.

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Then, put the bottom of the filter through both holes with the rubber seal inside the bucket and the wing nut outside under the lid:

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Top left- this portion goes inside the top of the bucket, top right- this is was should stick out into the bottom bucket once you put the lid on, bottom left- same thing just with the wing nut screwed on, bottom right- what the filter will look like from inside the top bucket once its attached. I put my filter off to the side because I eventually want to add another filter on the other side.

More filters = water cleans faster

Which means, with 2 filters, it would take half as long to filter all the water.

Now your filter’s installed!!

Let’s install the spigot =)

On the bottom of the bottom bucket, mark where you want you spigot to go. You want it close to the bottom, but not so close that you can’t tighten the nut to keep it on. Drill a hole where you marked and push the spigot through. The spigot will have 2 rubber seals/washers and a nut. One seal goes on either side of the bucket and the nut gets tightened on the inside of the bucket. Make sure its really tight so there’s no leaking going on when you fill it with water.

Where the hole should be located

Where the hole should be located

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That’s it!!

Test everywhere you drilled holes to make sure no water leaks out before you fill it with 5 gallons of water. Trust me, you don’t want to clean up/waste that much water if there’s a leak!!

If its all good, place the bucket with the filter on top of the bucket with the spigot. Do not snap the lid completely closed, as it will prevent water from coming out of the spigot properly, leave a section open or just rest everything and be careful around it. Mine has sections on the lid and I leave 2 or three sections unsnapped. Then fill the top bucket with water. The water will drip through the filter and out the bottom hole into the bottom bucket. The filter I used said to fill your filter and let it run through twice before drinking it. You could use that water for dishes, watering your plants, etc.

Then you can enjoy your fresh clean water!!

These filters are so good, you can set your filter out in the rain and collect rain water. It will filter out into perfectly clean, drinkable water.

I know its made of plastic, not metal like the Berkey, but its still exponentially better then tap water! Plus, its $253.00 cheaper then a Berkey filter =) I do suggest cleaning it out with a little hot water/baking soda or some vinegar every other week.

Now go make your own and drink some deliciously refreshing, better for you water!! Your half an hour and $30 away from it!

Like what your read? Follow me on Facebook!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

Shared on Tuned in Tuesday, Party Wave Wednesday, Thank Your Body Thursday and LHITS DIY Linky!

Just naturally whitening my teeth….

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before or not, but I’m getting married in September.  And all brides want  whiter teeth for all those pictures, right?

And my teeth aren’t very white….

However, here is a list of ingredients in popular whitening strips:

Polypropylene, Polyethylene, Pyrophosphate, Sodium Saccharin, Sodium Hydroxide, Acrylates Copolymer, PEG, Polyvinylpyrrolidone (PVP), Carbomer, Hydrogen Peroxide, Glycerin, Water.

(source)

Do you really want all that in your mouth? Leeching into your blood stream??

If you answered no, like I did, you’ll love this post.

As I was searching for natural whiteners, I read a lot about activated charcoal. Its supposed to whiten teeth, as well as be good for your health.

Here’s the list of ingredients:

Activated charcoal

Sounds better don’t it? Its chemical free, and one ingredient.

Then I saw Healthy Roots, Happy Soul doing it, and I knew it must work.

So how do you do it??

 First off, get yourself some activated charcoal here.

Next, get a toothbrush, dip it in the charcoal and brush gently onto your teeth until they are all evenly covered with charcoal.

Like so:

Arrrghhh. I totally felt like a pirate..

Arrrghhh. I totally felt like a pirate..

Sexy, ain’t it??

Let it rest on your teeth (or you can swish it around, or pretty much anything as long as its in your mouth and on your teeth) for 3-5 minutes.

Then rinse.

The result are immediate.

Here’s my teeth before and after 1 use:

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There a full shade whiter. I can’t wait to see how much whiter they get after I continue to use it!

Also, don’t worry if you swallowed some of it, activated charcoal actually has a plethora of uses and health benefits!!

So get whitening!!

Like what you read?

Follow me on Facebook!

~Courtney,  The Crunchy Delinquent

This post was featured on Natural Living Monday’s!

Shared on Natural Living Monday, Weekend Whatever Link-up!

How to clean your tub with baking soda and vinegar!!

Or, it could also say, ‘How I cleaned my insanely filthy, dirty, 10 months of grime, tub with just baking soda and vinegar.  Be amazed!!’

But that would be too long.

However, that’s what I did.

Let me start by saying I hate absolutely, positively despise more then anything else on earth cleaning.

I’d much rather do anything else. Hence the reason my tub got so dirty…..

But, we’re moving this weekend/week (Yay!!) and it needed cleaned.

Imagine the music from a slasher film when the murder is behind the main character for some dramatic effect....

Imagine the music from a slasher film when the murder is behind the main character for some dramatic effect….

Yes. I’m ashamed to admit my tub was really that bad…. But, you need to see how well this works.

So you wanna see how to clean it??

Gather up some supplies (I thought about getting some grenades, it seemed easier, but I’m renting and decided against it).

  • Vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Sponge
I add orange peels to my vinegar so it smells better when I clean.

I add orange peels to my vinegar so it smells better when I clean.

Spray the tub with the vinegar and cover it with baking soda. Make sure the worst spots have plenty of baking soda. Then leave and let it sit for 30 minutes.

Just.... Ew.

Just…. Ew. The clumps are orange peel from the vinegar by the way. I realize they look like something dead.

Once its set for a while, scrub away the grime with a damp sponge. The grime will come off super easy. If something is harder to get off, add extra baking soda to the sponge. Then rinse the dirty water/vinegar/baking soda down the drain and…

Bam.

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The little black mark on the left is where the tubs cracked, not dirty.

Yep. Its that clean. No grime. No dirt. No gunk. Just shiny. Very, very shiny.

I feel so accomplished.

And I solemnly swear to myself to clean my tub ever single week for the rest of my life, so it never gets that bad again.

(I promise my toilet and sink are clean! I clean them once a week. The tub just gets to me. Its so big. Too much surface to clean.)

This method of cleaning works for TONS of stuff. I use it on the kitchen sink, bathroom sink, toilet bowl, floors, window sills, pretty much anything you want shiny.

*I did edit my photos, but I just brightened them because my bathroom is so dark you could hardly see the pictures even with the flash on.*

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I especially love that its cheap, chemical free and I can clean with my baby in the bathroom =) If I were using harsh chemicals, she would have to be outside so she didn’t breathe it in.

So go clean something!!

~Courtney, The Crunchy Delinquent

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This post was shared on Thank Your Body Thursday, and Little House in The Suburbs DIY Linky!