Monday, October 8, 2012

Tooth Fairy Entitlement vs. Toenail Fairy Joy


      Do your children believe in Santa Claus, the Easter Bunny, and the Tooth Fairy? And how's that going for you? Most of us grew up believing in such fantasies, and we would probably say that we turned out fine, and that is probably true as well. There have been many articles written about these holiday icons, and whether is wrong to not be completely truthful to your kids, or whether it is just harmless childhood fun....sorry, but this is not one of those articles. My purpose is to give you a different perspective  to consider...what is the effect of these traditions? I propose that the result is that our kids learn a sense of entitlement. What flabbergasted parent has not on Christmas morning heard something along the lines of: "Is that all the presents?!" or, "This is not what I wanted!" or "Not fair! Johnny got a (fill in the blank with this year's overpriced completely useless popular toy) and I didn't!"  Then every year the expectations are raised even higher, which is impossible to keep up.

 
         
        Let's just focus on the Tooth Fairy for the sake of argument.  One year I actually received a note from one of my children saying, "Dear Thooth Fairy, I can't wait to see what you are going to give me. Thank you for giving me the mony and candy.  I hope this time you wold leve me a toy to go with the candy and mony. Love, (name of guilty child here.)  P.S. I hope you give me a toy." (Actual transcript of note.)  Apparently the money and candy were not enough. One friend told me that her daughter said, "But I wanted a crisp, new $20 bill!" Very endearing, indeed.

          All right, enough of the negatives. What I really wanted to share with you is the wonderful fruit of going a different route. With seven kids, fairly spread out, we have learned a lot over the years, and are constantly changing the way we do things.  One of these was that we'd always tell the truth to the kids, because we wanted them to believe us when we taught them about God (oops, sorry--that's a whole other post.) At first , we were afraid that the younger kids would be deprived of all the fun that the older ones had gotten, but we went ahead with what we believed to be right. I would now like to share with you the results in one child, and in regards to the Tooth Fairy specifically. 

          My four-year-old was quite saddened by all the older kids receiving special treats from the Tooth Fairy under their pillow, and none for him. Having to wait two years for any possibility of this special visit was almost too much for him to take. Well, one day he knocked a heavy patio stone on his toe. It was very painful; the nail turned purple, and eventually fell off. I told him that maybe the "Toenail Fairy" would come if he put his toenail under his pillow. Eagerly he did so, and woke up to a wonderful surprise. When he asked if there really was a "Toe Fairy," we told him that no, it was just his mom. Well, his eyes lit up as he got a brilliant idea...the next morning, I had a treat under my pillow!  Oh, was he excited to be the cause of such a surprise. Soon he was surprising other members of the family with treats under their pillows as well! Oh, the pure joy those secret acts of giving gave him! He was learning how to give joyfully to others without thinking only of himself! What a blessing, and great gift that has been to him! Now, we just never know who will be the recipient of a secret gift from that sneaky fairy in the night.. ..and there's never any doubt as to who that fairy is...it's the one who is grinning from ear to ear!

          So, don't deprive your child of the joy of giving to others, especially in secret. Consider letting them know that the gifts they receive at Christmas, Easter, and Tooth Fairy time are from you, because you love them, and it gives you joy. Encourage giving, especially in secret, all year long. It just may stop the miserable, selfish feeling of entitlement in its tracks, and replace it with joy.


Sunday, August 19, 2012

Repurposed Register Grate Garden


Repurposed Register Garden

Is this just not the cutest idea? Turn your old register grate into a unique succulent garden! No prep needed! Just fill an old register with potting soil, then plant with your favorite succulents or "steppables!" A beautiful way to upcycle!


Upcycled Register Garden


 
*Disclaimer: I can't take credit for this creative idea...I found this at The Mustard Seed Retreat in Ostrander, Ohio, ..."a special place for gardeners, writers, peace seekers & such!"


Linked up at:
A Delightsome Life
Deep Roots at Home 
Far Above Rubies
Frugally Sustainable
Homestead Revival 
Raising Homemakers
Women Living Well
 


Monday, July 9, 2012

Easy Five-Minute Layered Haircut


I am so excited to share with you an ultra-simple, super-quick way to cut your hair in beautiful layers! You can easily cut your daughter's or even your own hair in only 5 minutes!  You may never go to the salon again!

Easy Five-Minute Layered Haircut
This is what my daughter's hair looked like before  and after the haircut:




If you want to learn how to do this easy 5-minute layered haircut on yourself or your daughters, click the image below to download your FREE guide!




Monday, June 18, 2012

How to Make Easy, Homemade, Natural Deodorant


Easy, Natural, Homemade Deodorant

 For a long time, I'd tried to get away from using commercial antiperspirants and deodorants, because for one, they are full of aluminum, which may cause cancer, Alzheimer's, and other health problems; and two, recent studies have shown the presence of  parabens in 99% of breast cancer patients. That's enough to scare anyone off of using toxic substances in such a sensitive area!

In my quest for a natural alternative, I tried numerous natural, store-bought products, such as Tom's of Maine, The Body Shoppe, Trader Joe's, and crystal deodorant stones. None worked great, and two of them gave me bad rashes! 

Then I tried a homemade version using coconut oil, but it tended to stain my shirts (although admittedly I may have used too much oil.) I had read that Dr. Mercola simply used baking soda, but I dismissed that idea, thinking surely that would not be strong enough for me!  Well, when  a friend mentioned that she, too, used baking soda with no problems, I decided to try it for myself! Lo and behold, it worked! Amazing! Whoever would have thought that something so simple and easy (not to mention cheap!) could work so well! 



Easy, Homemade, Natural Deodorant

 All you need is baking soda, a dish, and a makeup brush (a flat mineral foundation brush works great.) The one-ingredient version is simply baking soda! For a nicely scented version, you can add the essential oil of your choice. My favorite happens to be orange, so that is the one I use. Just shake several drops into the bowl of baking soda, and stir.  

That's it! It couldn't be simpler or more frugal! If you have sensitive skin, you may want to wait a while after shaving to apply. Also, some people may be more sensitive to baking soda, and might want to try arrowroot powder instead, as a gentler substitute. Enjoy!

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Monday, June 11, 2012

Lovely Lilla Rose You-Pins


I just had to share these lovely photos of my friend Stephanie, using Lilla Rose You-Pins!  Aren't  they simply gorgeous???  You can enter to win an elegant set of You-Pins for yourself this week at Pure Modesty! They are great for your summer "messy bun!"


You-Pins are also available for purchase at Lilla Rose in eleven beautiful styles!

Antique-Style You-Pins

Etched Daisies You-Pins

Copper Rose You-Pins

Princess Crown You-Pins

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

How to Make Easy, Homemade Brown Sugar Scrub


Have you ever tried  brown sugar scrub on your skin? If not, you absolutely must! It is an excellent exfoliator and a luxurious moisturizer...not to mention, it smells simply delicious! And if you make it yourself with a few simple ingredients you probably already have in your pantry, it is frugal as well!


Vanilla Brown Sugar Scrub

2 cups brown sugar
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup honey
1 tsp. vanilla
2 Vitamin E capsules


Simply mix all ingredients together, and put into the lovely container of your choice!


For those who love the scent of fall, here is a nice variation:

Pumpkin Pie Brown Sugar Scrub
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup olive oil
1/8 cup honey
1 Vitamin E capsule
3 1/2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Pumpkin Pie Spice
1 TBS cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Repurposed Entertainment Center as Shoe Organizer



For years I struggled with what to do with the mess  of strewn shoes inside the front door. Not only was it an eyesore, but it was a hazardous danger zone! For a family of nine, coat closets and small ready-made shoe shelves just did not cut it.

Then we decided to no longer use our entertainment armoire for our TV. ..it was too big and in the way in our family room.  Being the thrifty person that I am, I could not bear the thought of just throwing it out. And  I probably couldn't even give it away, as entertainment centers are becoming obsolete with the advent of flat-screen TV's.  So, I started looking around the house for a new use for the behemoth. 


 
Then, I  thought of our front-door shoe problem! It was  certainly large enough for all our shoes. And better yet, it had doors to hide the unsightly collection! Why not? So, we got shelving to go inside of it, and presto!...We had a perfect storage solution for our shoes!

Not only does it organize our shoes, but it is a perfect "landing station" by the front door. The top shelf is perfect for holding things that need to be returned to the store or library, as well as items that need to be returned to friends.

I know that there will soon be a glut in the garage sale market of old obsolete entertainment centers in need of repurposing, so why not try a front door shoe organizer!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Super Moon

These are photos of the awesome Super Moon out our backdoor this evening:




The full moon came as close to Earth tonight, May 5, as it will all year. It was 14% closer to Earth and 30% brighter than when it is at its furthest point. Most definitely a beautiful sight to behold!

Monday, April 30, 2012

Modesty: A Guy's Opinion (Part 1)


After many debates with peers on the controversial subject of modesty, my son decided that a series on modesty from a guy's perspective was long overdue. I've  included this preview from his first post here. Please read and share!

(Part 1 of 3)

Part 1: What’s wrong with Modesty?



What’s the deal with Modesty?



It doesn’t take a genius to realize that women are wearing less clothing than ever in our Western society. Is this good or bad? Is it freeing women and improving society? Or is it having the opposite effect?



First off, what is modesty? It has become a “buzz” word today in our culture. “Modesty” has become synonymous with oppression, unattractiveness, judging, Legalism, and a host of other unpleasant words and ideas. But what does modesty really mean? Here are a couple definitions.

1. the quality of being modest;  freedom from vanity, boastfulness, etc.

2. regard for decency of behavior, speech, dress, etc.



Just looking at those definitions, they look really good! Who wouldn’t say that a person should be free from vanity and boastfulness, and that a person should act decently in behavior, speech, and dress? No one would refute that those are good qualities to have, right?  So then why are so many men and women advocating immodest dress?



Could it be that there is some benefit to wearing immodest clothing that we are not seeing? Or are there problems with modesty that go beyond the definition? What’s wrong with modesty?



One thing I hear often is that dressing modestly isn’t comfortable. For example, one girl (girl A) has told me, “I've always hated skirts and dresses as a child, because being forced into them so often, and I feel bad for girls that dress like Muslims because of it - though, I have met girls that prefer it. It depends on your mind set - wear what you feel comfy in!”


I don’t know what gave her the impression that a girl has to dress like a Muslim to be modest, but does she have a point? Should comfort be the number one factor in what we wear?



That’s a very relative statement. What’s comfortable for one person may not be for another. What if someone feels most comfortable going naked? Should they because it’s comfortable? I think almost everyone would agree absolutely not. Why? Because it’s not respectful to others. 


I very much dislike waiting in long lines. It’s very uncomfortable. Should I just start cutting to the front of lines from now on? No, because that’s not respectful to all the other people waiting in line. I have to sacrifice my comfort to respect others. Can you imagine if everyone just ran around looking out for their own comfort, disregarding others? A frightening thought, don’t you think?



So if our comfort will slight other people, then we should forgo it in consideration of others. But is dressing modestly so uncomfortable? What’s so uncomfortable about skirts? I’ve never worn one, so I can’t say, however, my two younger sisters say skirts are much more comfortable than pants. I have a guy friend who won’t even wear jeans because he says they’re uncomfortable. So I don’t think anyone can say skin-tight jeans are more comfortable than skirts. Now, I know a girl who has said that she only wears cleavage exposing shirts because anything higher is uncomfortable. *blink* Really? I almost exclusively wear crew neck shirts, and they are not uncomfortable at all. I think V-necks are actually less-comfortable. But I’m not a girl, so what do I know?...(read the rest here*)

 

Monday, April 9, 2012

How to Make Easy, Homemade, Natural Face and Body Wash

I love, love, love, my new homemade face and body wash! I've been using this for several months now, and love it! It is gentle, effective, and all-natural, with no harmful parabens. It is also oh-so-easy to make!



First, use up a bottle of store-bought foaming hand soap.



Next, pour Dr. Bronner's Pure Castille Soap into the empty bottle, filling it about one-fifth to one-fourth full. I use Dr. Bronner's Unscented Mild Baby Soap. It is wonderful for baby wash, as well as for family members with sensitive skin. You can buy this at Target or Trader Joe's.



Then fill up the rest of the bottle with water, leaving room for the large foaming pump.

Finally, pour in several drops of your favorite essential oil. My favorite is orange. I get mine at a great price from A Scents Worth



Thursday, March 8, 2012

Even American Girl Dolls Love the Flexi-Clip!

Even American Girl dolls love the flexi, because they can do their hair in so many enchanting ways!

To see how to do these adorable hairstyles on your dolls or yourself, watch the Lilla Rose Sizing and Styling videos.  To find out more about the lovely landscape that these sweet dolls are all admiring, go to www.rachelramm.com.

And if you are Irish, or just plain love celebrating St. Patrick's Day, you won't want to miss the sweet shamrock Flexi-of-the-Month, "Lucky Four Leaf Clover," for March!


To find out more about the flexi-of-the-month and other lovely hair clips, go to www.lillarose.biz/BeautifulLife. Once you try one, you will wonder how you lived all these years without it!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

How to Make Easy, Homemade, Natural, Powdered Laundry Detergent

Do you know what is lurking in your laundry detergent? 
Do you realize that the toxic chemicals found in cleaners and detergents find their way into your body, wreaking havoc as they go? 

 
Maybe it is time to learn how to make your own natural laundry detergent! It is quick, easy, and inexpensive! I had heard about families such as the Duggars making economical liquid homemade detergent, but it looked difficult, messy, and hard to store! No thanks!  But then I learned that it is so easy to make your own POWDERED laundry detergent!  Well, THAT I could try, and you can, too!




 

To prepare, take a trip to your local Walmart, and pick up three simple ingredients: Borax, Fels-Naptha Bar Soap, and Washing Soda...that's all! This recipe must be catching on, because Walmart had all three ingredients located all together on a shelf in the cleaning aisle!  And they were CHEAP! 




 First, use the grating attachment on your food processor to grate the bar of Fels-Naptha soap. Some people substitute Ivory soap for the Fels-Naptha. The kids love this step, because it's really fun to push the soap down, and watch the soap grate up into long orange slivers. (If you don't have a food processor, you can grate the soap by hand, but it takes a bit longer, and is just not quite as fun.)

 





 
Did I mention that this was fun for the kids???


Next, dump the grated soap into a bowl so that you can change the grating attachment to the blending attachment.


Then dump the grated soap back into the food processor. 


    Add one cup of Borax and one cup of Washing Soda (this is NOT baking soda!)

                                    

Blend this lovely mixture into a lovely, sweet-smelling powder.


                                     

Finally, pour your beautiful natural laundry detergent into the container of your choice. 




This even makes a lovely gift for a friend! Find a beautiful glass jar, attach a coffee scoop and gift label with some twine, and you have a practical, unique gift that everyone will appreciate!

Instructions for using your easy, homemade, natural laundry detergent:  For regular washing machines, dissolve 2 TBS in the bottom of the washer before adding clothes. For high-efficiency washers, place 1 TBS in the bottom of the washer with your clothes. Do not use the powder dispenser, as it could clog....trust me...  ;)
Your clothes will come out smelling simply and refreshingly clean!