the end....

of this blog has come.
but not the end of my blogging!

As I mentioned in an earlier post, Joey and I decided to combine our blogs, as we're combining our lives.

the new blog is

on the new blog, you'll get to see posts from both Joey and I - and the Mr. is a great writer!

see ya there!

and hey, if you're a follower and you have a blog, then leave me a comment with your URL or email it to me; I'd love to check out your blog!


So, this past week has been an adventure into the world of homemade. SInce we are trying to organic and it can be quite expensive, I've been researching ways to make it more cost-effective.

The first little project was a shampoo/body wash. I looked at few recipes online, and then made some modifications.
At EarthFare you can buy items such as oils, soap, and bath salts in bulk and they also have some clear containers that are perfect for homemade creations! The containers are free if you're buying bulk items, but a small price if not - and they're re-usable! The basics for this recipe involves castile soap (I used liquid because it's easier), some essential oils (lemon/lavender zum oil at EF), and water. In a 20 oz. container, I mixed 1/4 cup castile soap, about 2-3 tsp of oil, and filled the rest with warm water. Shake to mix well.
I've used it a little over a week now, and for the most part I really like it! If you try this, be careful with the ratios and make sure you rinse well, or it will leave your hair looking oily. Note that this also doesn't have a ton of lather with it, but none the less cleans very well!

Joey made some shaving cream last night, and I made some hairspray today. I'll let ya know how it goes as I haven't used either yet! We did make a video of the shaving cream experience last night, but for some reason I can't get it to load. Hopefully, we'll get it posted soon!

If you want to check out some more recipes, take a look at Life123 and Pioneer Thinking !
As far as expenses go on some of these recipes, some items may be a higher front end cost, but it lasts for a loooong time. For instance, 2 of the oils we bought for shaving cream were between 8 and 9 bucks for a 16 or 20 ounce jar, but the recipe only calls for a teaspoons or tablespoons. We'll be able to go for a while before having to buy any new ingredients! (that is, if it works well, I guess!....)

and the ORGANIC trail continues with birth control!

actually, the story behind the blog post today began a few months back..... i just haven't blogged about it yet!

After Joey and I became engaged, we began to have the obvious discussions of what to do about birth control. I did research, hours and hours of it. Joey did research. We researched together.
I was NOT crazy about using traditional birth control pills. If you read the last post, then you know we are making the transition to going all organic, as we can. Even before, I like being healthy. Eating healthy, moving my body to stay active, and I oh so rarely will ever take any kind of medicine. Not even over the counter stuff, unless I'm pretty desperate. I just am not crazy about the idea of putting lots of things in my body that are synthetic.

*Before I go on, let me make a disclaimer that isn't necessarily a spiritual conviction for me. I don't think it's sin to take meds; I just don't happen to like doing it. As far back as I can remember, I've always been this way. Ask my momma.

Anyway, we thought we found a solution when studying up on the IUD (Intra-uterine device) that would work best for us. This is a pretty well known device that is placed in the uterus to prevent pregnancy and last up to about 5 years. You only have to check it once a month to ensure that it's still in place and you're good to go. Some forms release hormones but we found one that did not. As with every birth control option, there are always possibilities of some form of malfunction or complication. With the IUD, it can become lodged in the uterus causing a lot of pain and can leave a woman totally infertile. Now, this is a very, very rare occurrence but it can happen. Even with that, I thought it was worth the risk because we wouldn't have to worry too much about birth control. And it's a one time expense, or would have been for us anyway. We're hoping to wait about 5 years before having a little tiny. But then, our great little plan came to a crashing halt. The more research I did, the more I learned that it was a controversial BC method due to the fact that some see it as abortive. The reasoning behind this is because if an egg is fertilized by sperm, the new little creation cannot attach itself to the uterine wall (because of the device) and therefore, ceases to be. (There are some pregnancies even with the IUD, and also a number or miscarriages as well.) Joey and I prayed and prayed and researched and researched and prayed, and we came to the conclusion that this just wasn't a good option for us. Now, please don't misunderstand me - I have a few godly, Jesus loving friends who use this and are ok with it, and it has worked great for them! But the thing is, we have to go with Scripture and our own consciences to see where God is leading us. And for Joey and I, the IUD got kicked off the options list.

Honestly, it was pretty discouraging. It seems like there are no great BC methods and really, I guess it kind of makes sense. God designed us to reproduce and it's really difficult to try and halt those natural processes.

So back to square one we go. More research. More praying. And repeat....

When we got to Tennessee, we decided to go see a doctor and have some informed discussion about out options. I specifically requested someone at this particular practice who was on board with natural, holistic methods in her practice. I was assured that I was getting a great fit with a Dr. Turns out, she looks pretty earthy, but she isn't really convinced that anything natural is a viable option. Over a tough conversation, we walk out with a prescription for birth control. I really wasn't wild about it, but I felt like we had no other option so I reasoned that I would try it and see how it goes at least until we'd been married for a little while and then we could reevaluate. Honest to goodness, on the first night I had to take it, I cried. Yes, I cried. And my sweet fiance ever so tenderly consoled me and said that if he could take them, he would. I just didn't feel good about it. Trying to do what I thought had to be done, I started taking it and....... well, let's just say that I turned into a crazy-head. I was so emotional, I was driving myself wild. I even broke down in tears when my boss was in my office - and over nothing! Thankfully, he didn't fire me, haha! Joey and I decided together that nothing was worth this insanity, so back to the doctor I go. Well, actually I just called. They switched my prescription to a lower dose, and thankfully the crazy-head syndrome went away. But, this new BC gave me a whole new kind of issue! However, even as real as I'm being in this blog post, I am not bold enough to disclose what the new irritant was. ;) So, What were we to do?!
Alas, back to research and praying we go. Still taking the BC. Researching. Praying. Then, we found it....

We had frolicked with the idea of using a form of natural family planning early on. And then abandoned it. And then, we returned. Still on the BC pills, I basically decided to use them to switch my cycle, anticipating good, no great, timing for our wedding, and then stop using it. And that's what I did; the whole BC pills process start to finish lasted about 2 or 3 weeks. Just long enough to use them, then lose them!

I'm aware that there are a lot of nay-sayers out there about using a natural method for family planning, and I've heard the jokes. "What do you call someone who uses natural family planning?" "Parents." Ba.ha.ha.

But there are some great resources out there, and when used correctly, it's an effective, natural form of birth control. There's a book called "Taking Charge Of Your Fertility" by Toni Weschler that offers a lot of great info. This book is a national bestseller, has been around for awhile, and in my opinion is a must read for every woman. I'm learning so many new things about my body, fertility, and all around health. This promotes a type of family planning called Fertility Awareness Method (FAM) which teaches you the signs of when you are the most fertile (and it's way more than just checking temperatures girls!). You can learn not only to track a pattern of your body, but signs in which you can be specific of when you are most apt to conceive. The idea is that around the time of ovulation, a woman either abstains from intercourse (generally if someone has moral issues against BC, this is the route they will take) OR otherwise uses a back-up method like condoms. It is work; not a ton, but some. Every morning, I have to try and make my not-yet-cohesive-brain try to remember to take my temperature, before I even get out of bed. There is some charting involved and some other signs to look for. But honestly, this is how women planned their families for years and years. They knew their bodies.

Even though it is a bit of work, it is totally worth it (or at least I say that now, while unmarried lol). Seriously though, Joey and I feel confident with the method that we've chosen to plan our family (or for us, plan to wait a few years down the road to expand our family). It's natural, it's effective (if used properly), and it's pretty cheap. All in all, a win. Go Team Wilson!