How This Mama Got Her Groove Back!


It is the heart of winter and I am already dreading swim suit season! Loosing weight after LP was born was not as easy as I thought it was going to be. It has been almost three years since my Little Pumpkin entered this world and I have not lost the weight.  So I decided to change things.

Back Story

Before I got married I weighted 180 pounds

Before wedding

September 2009

The winter before my wedding (December of 2009) I decided to look the best I have ever looked for my wedding (I have always been the bigger girl growing up). So I buckled down and started eating right. Whole grain everything, healthy snacks, no pop and one cheat day. Once I got that down I joined a gym. I started working out once a week, after two weeks twice a week, after another two weeks three times a week until I was going four times a week. Through out the day I would find ways to work out. Squats while folding laundry, taking the stairs instead of the elevator things like that.

I lost 40 pounds by doing all of this by my wedding (July 2010)

Bachlorett

The week before my wedding July 2009

So I decided I am going to get back to my past glory and get back to the weight I was on my wedding day 140 pounds. I have already switched my diet back to how I should be eating, so now it’s time to start working out.

Things have changed since I lost the weight the first time. I have no free time and I have a kid now. Solution: I quit the gym I was going to once a month and bought an elliptical, a yoga tDVD and “30 Day Shred” with Jillian Michaels DVD.

I have decided to bring you along for my journey and if you would like to join me Comment your progress in the comments on my blog posts and follow my daily routines on my Facebook Page  Letjoy Cloth Diapers.

Happy Work out 🙂

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Family Cloth First Hand


  • Family Cloth is Something that people get grossed out just thinking about it. For those of you who don’t know Family cloth is a lot like Cloth wipes for babies but for the Whole Family. Gross right who wants to wash their husbands poop cloth wipe.
    I decided to write this blog post for two reasons. One: ( Caution I am about to get real personal with you) I went potty one day to do some “real Business” and like a dummy I didn’t double check to make sure there was enough TP and when I realized we were out I didn’t know what to do since we don’t use paper napkins or paper towels just cloth, Well long story short I pulled up my pants as carefully as I could and Waddled in to my daughter’s room and used her cloth wipes (thank God no one was home!) and to be honesty it was soft and kinda nice. Two I met someone who uses family cloth and decided to conduct a Letjoy Interview for my Readers to learn more in the land of family cloth.
    I interviewed a lovely Lady by the name of Ali Kunde who is the owner of Woolbutts.  FYI the shoties in woolbutts  FB profile picture is Mine (just thought you should know). Ali is an amazing natural momma who cloth diapers, uses cloth papertowels, cloth napkins and family cloth. Needless to say I had questions and here they are.
    Letjoy

    • how did you hear about family cloth?

    Ali Kunde

    • hmm not sure really, I think it was on one of the blogs I read. They always seem to be doing crazy things like that. It seemed a little long-haired-hippie-ish I guess.

  • Letjoy

    • what made you want to try it?

  • Ali

    • We were down to our last two rolls of toilet paper, when I thought about trying it. I asked DH how much toilet paper actually costs us and he informed me that for the “nice” stuff it’s actually very expensive. So I wondered aloud if I could get everyone to try cloth wipes. I figured it really couldn’t be any different or more work than the diapers I already launder.

  • Ali

    • **Insert shrug here

    • and since I had a pretty good response from the fam I went ahead with it

  • Letjoy

    • what did your hubby say when you suggested it?

  • Ali

    • He pretty much said it was up to me because he does his “business” at a certain time each day and that time is during work mon-fri. So the only time it really would affect him at all was on the weekend. I also asked Ivy (my 11 yo) if she would be okay trying it out with me and she gave me a sweet sure mom.

  • Letjoy

    • how long have you been using Family cloth?

  • Ali

    • We have been using them for about 2 weeks now.

    • and yes we did invest in tp for guest lol

  • Letjoy

    • how do you like using family cloth? and how does your husband and daughter like it?

  • Ali

    • I like it a lot actually. I have always found tp to be lacking in the softness area (unless of course you buy the über expensive) The cloth wipes are super soft of course since they are made with babies in mind wink and we have a small wetbag hanging right under the tp to toss them into. So they are super easy to “dispose” of. Joe especially likes if he catches them freshly made (warm) wink and Ivy is fairly ambivalent, but she is kinda crunchy like me and always willing to try new stuff.

  • Letjoy

    • do you use cloth wipes (for babys) or are there different ones for family cloth?

  • Ali

    • Well they all go in the same laundry and get all mixed up so I see no sense to trying to separate them. I do have certain ones that I keep dry, they are a little thinner. But other than that I just fill wipe buckets and put them in bathrooms and changing areas.

  • Letjoy

    • do you fill it with just water?

  • Ali

    • I use a couple of different wipe solutions. One from Knickernappies and the other is LuSa Organics. I just like how they smell, and the LuSa gives the wipes a soft lotiony feel.

  • Letjoy

    • when people come over do they ask what they are?

  • Ali

    • Nope. I have always had a wipe box in the bathrooms, we started out having them in there for jack when he was learning to do his business alone. Then everyone started using them.

    • They may wonder what the dry pile is for but they haven’t asked yet lol

  • Letjoy

    • Do you tell people you use family cloth if it comes up in a conversation or do you keep it to your self because its a taboo subject?

  • Ali

    • It is weird that you are the only person I have told. I don’t care that they know, but definitely don’t offer up that information. I wonder if I should…

  • Letjoy

    • what would you tell someone who is on the fence about using FC to get them to try it

  • Ali

    • It’s kind of a no brainer if you are already do laundry at all this won’t add any more loads than you already do. It saves a ton and is pretty easy. I do find that it takes a little more thought and prep, but making one bucket of wipes or three is only a difference of a few minutes. Your backside will thank you.

  • Letjoy

    • what about the poopy wipes do you just throw them in the wash as is?

  • Ali

    • Yup I do. I clean them just like the babies and I don’t spray hers off either. There isn’t really a whole lot of “stuff” on them. Everything just gets tossed in the wetbag and then dumped in the washer.

  • Letjoy

    • how much would you say the start up to do cloth is

    • FC*

  • Ali

    • A bottle of LuSa Wipe Juice is around $14 (makes 2 gallons of solution) I have around 36 thinner wipes cost of about $18. And at least 20 flannel wipes let’s say around $15 for those. So for less than $50 or slightly more than one months supply of good tp you can get set up with enough wipes and solution for a couple of bathrooms stocked with Family Cloth.

  • Letjoy

    • is there anything else you would like to share about your experience with family cloth?

  • Ali

    • What would someone want to know..? hmm I guess the idea of it is what you have to get over, because once you try it you wonder (as with most things) why didn’t I try this sooner and why don’t more people do this.

       

       

      Well I hope that you found this interview interesting. Thank you to Ali for opening up and showing us a little bit of the Family cloth world. What do you think about Family Cloth? Leave a comment and let me know.

       

      Happy Living 🙂

Rediscovering a Natural Way of Living: Part 4


Part 4: Cleaning Soft kid floor tiles.


Once a week I go and clean these tiles with a rage and 50/50 mix of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Like most things the cleaning can only go so far so I decided to give these tiles a deep cleaning. First off I must warn you that the deep cleaning is time consuming and a good workout all in one. Who needs the gym when you have kids, right 🙂

First fill your bathtub up with warm/hot water. mix in a cup of vinegar and half a cup of grated castile soap. mix the water with your hand until soap is completely dissolved.

Through in the tiles and start scrubbing. I used a scrub brush but you can use a rag if your don’t have one.

I set some towels out and set them out to dry, if it’s a nice day you can set them outside to dry.

As I scrubbed I discovered just how dirty those tiles really were. cat hair, people hair dirt, it all filled the tub. I am so happy I decided to give them a deep clean I think I will give them one every month or so.

Happy Cleaning 🙂

Rediscovering a Natural Way of Living: Part 3


Part 3: Doing the Dishes

I made my first batch of home made dishwasher detergent (powder) and I have to say I was not crazy about it at all so I went back to the computer to do some research on a liquid detergent and I found one that I LOVE!!!! My dishes are so clean the cleanest that I have ever seen and I didn’t even realize that those store bought detergents left a residue until I used my homemade recipe. To think I was putting our food on those residue covered dishes and we were eating it! YUCK! The only thing is that no matter what recipe I use all out plastic things (mixing bowls, cooking utensils, measuring cups, sippy cups) all come out with soap scum on them…. sad face :But since I am so impressed with the homemade recipe I have decided to wash the plastic by hand and replace what I can with glass and ceramic. (which is better anyways, who knows whats in those plastics)  I started washing the plastics by hand with homemade dish soap and no soap scum! I think it has something to do with the heat in the dishwasher, but I’m not sure) I don’t mind the extra time it takes to wash the plastic by hand because I know I am saving money and water in the long run giving me the motivation to keep with it.

Here are the recipes for both the Liquid dishwasher detergent and the dish soap:

Dish Soap

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups hot water
  • 1 tablespoon shredded bar soap (i.e. castile bar soap, ivory, or a homemade simple soap)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Super Washing Soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon tea tree oil (optional)
  • 4 drops Essential Oil for sent (optional)
  • 1 Teaspoon Vitamin E (optional)

Boil Water

Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl Adding the hot water last. (Don’t add the essential oil just yet you add that when the mixture has cooled)

Mix ever thing until the soap and everything dissolves, let the mixture set out all day on a counter cooling for about 8 hours mixing it through out the day

place mixture in squeeze bottle and there you go dish soap


Liquid Dishwasher detergent

Things You’ll Need

  • ½ cup castile soap
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 3 drops essential oil
  • 1-quart glass jar with lid

Instructions

  •  Add the soap, water, lemon juice, white vinegar and essential oil to a 1-quart glass jar. Choose whatever essential oil you prefer. Lemon and tea tree oils smell clean and fresh without being overpowering.
  • Seal the jar tightly and shake to mix the ingredients.

  • Shake the jar well before using, and add 1 tbsp. of the mixture to your dishwasher’s detergent dispenser. Run the cleaning cycle as usual.

I loved using these recipes and I hope you will too!

Happy Living 🙂

Rediscovering a Natural Way of Living: Part 2


Part 2: Household Cleaners

House hold cleaners is something that almost every house has. Well not my house anymore I started to use traditional cleaners like baking soda, washing soda, vinegar, but I still kept my chemical based cleaners just in case. Then I watched

“Chemerical – Redefining Clean For A New Generation”

and my world changed!

as you can see my kitchen closet consists mostly of chemical based cleaners and after watching how these chemicals that we use everyday can effect us I was completely turned off by their cleaning power and now have opted for some good old-fashioned elbow grease! I few months ago I bought the book

“Homemade: How-to Make Hundreds of Everyday Products Fast, Fresh, and More Naturally”

And I started to make homemade foods, beauty products and cleaners. Lets start with Cleaners for Part 2. Here are the basics of what you need:

Baking Soda

Washing Soda

Vinegar

Pure Soap

Essential oils (optional)

You can find anything from floor cleaners to oven cleaners to dishwasher detergent.

We have already switched to homemade liquid dish soap for hand washing dishes and it works just as good as the store-bought brands

 

I started to want to make more homemade product but found I was always short an ingredient or two so I made a list and went shopping and started to buy anything that I might need to make something .

 

I have to say it has come in handy. One night the spring cleaning bug hit me and I didn’t have any oven cleaner. being the only one home with the baby and stuck with no car I remembered my book and looked up a recipe for oven cleaner and it worked great. I will admit that it took more elbow grease then the chemical one would have needed but it was great not choking on those fumes while I was cleaning and know no fumes would drift in LPs way was a defendant plus!

As my store-bought products run out I have started to wash out the containers so I can refill them with my homemade products and it’s a lot of fun. I pick a night and make everything that needs to be refilled and I only have to do that once every few weeks! If you are willing to put some time and effort in to a healthier way to live I would recommend that you try this. The nice thing is that you can alter recipes to fit your families needs!

Happy Living 🙂

Rediscovering a Natural Way of Living: Part 1


Since LP was born I started to look at the things I do and keep in my home in a new light. When I looked at cleaners I saw only poisons and every time I throw away a paper towel I felt guilty because I know that the lack of those trees will affect my children and grandchildren for generations to come. So I decided to change and Hubby was kind of on board but since I stay home and do most of the cleaning he really didn’t mind the change. I have decided to share with you my experience of switching to a more natural chemical free way of living because I am hopping that this might a peal to you and your family and in turn will start living a healthier more natural way of life. Of course I can’t do all of this in one blog post so I have decided to do a series  called “Rediscovering a Natural Way of Living”

So I started out my educating myself .

Part 1: Air Fresheners

With two cats and a baby that uses cloth I am all about air fresheners that is until I learned about VOC.

(Source: US EPA)

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands.

Products that have VOC in it include: Household products including: paints, paint strippers, and other solvents; wood preservatives; aerosol sprays; cleansers and disinfectants; moth repellents and air fresheners; stored fuels and automotive products; hobby supplies; dry-cleaned clothing.

Health Effects

Eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches, loss of coordination, nausea; damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Some organics can cause cancer in animals; some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans. Key signs or symptoms associated with exposure to VOCs include conjunctival irritation, nose and throat discomfort, headache, allergic skin reaction, dyspnea, declines in serum cholinesterase levels, nausea, emesis, epistaxis, fatigue, dizziness.

The ability of organic chemicals to cause health effects varies greatly from those that are highly toxic, to those with no known health effect. As with other pollutants, the extent and nature of the health effect will depend on many factors including level of exposure and length of time exposed. Eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, visual disorders, and memory impairment are among the immediate symptoms that some people have experienced soon after exposure to some organics. At present, not much is known about what health effects occur from the levels of organics usually found in homes. Many organic compounds are known to cause cancer in animals; some are suspected of causing, or are known to cause, cancer in humans.

Okay Now that I have your attention. So after reading this I took all my plug-in air fresheners and unplugged them, but instead of giving up air fresheners all together (Lets be real that isn’t going to happen) I decided to make my own and it’s real easy.

I first opened my air freshener refills and dumped out what was left in them and washed them out (I also washed the cotton thing that soaks up the sent to be sure all the VOC were gone) Then I filled the container 1/3 full of essential oils (I picked Lavender) and then fill the rest (not the whole way to prevent over flow when I put the cotton stick back in) with water.

After a few hours of my new fresheners being plugged in I noticed the difference right away.  The old fresheners I had to have them turned up all the way to even get a whiff of scent from them not so with my natural alternative. I had to turn them all the way down because the smell was so powerful! so since they are all down all the way this means that they wont have to be refilled as often because they will last longer.

Starting to live a health life isn’t so bad so far 🙂

Happy Living