Category Archives: Natural Living at Home

DIY Ghee! Make Ghee at Home

DIY Ghee! Make Ghee at Home
DIY Ghee! Make Ghee at Home

What on earth is ghee, do you ask? If you are new to natural living, or have not cooked a lot of Indian food then ghee may be unfamiliar to you. Clear, delicious, liquid gold is what I like to call it. But if you are looking for a more appropriate definition, it is more specifically clarified butter. It is used often in Indian cuisine. The butter is cooked until all of the milk solids have been cleared and all that is left is a golden liquid. In addition to cooking, ghee is used in ayurvedic medicine and religious rituals. Read the rest of this entry

DIY All-Purpose Cleaner

DIY All-Purpose Cleaner
DIY All-Purpose Cleaner

There’s something about spring that just makes me want to clear out all the cupboards and give them a good cleaning. The kids recently had their spring break and I have to admit that I spent about 1/3 of vacation finishing house projects and cleaning. That doesn’t sound very exciting, but it was necessary. And, it feels so good to have a clean and organized space!

I wrote a post recently about a DIY non-toxic wood cleaner and about how conventional household cleaning products can negatively impact the indoor air quality in one’s home. It prompted me to want to share a recipe for a DIY non-toxic cleaner that I’ve been using for years. Many cleaners, especially glass cleaners, have a natural (but harmful) substance as a common ingredient – ammonia. This is an excerpt from the New York State Department of Health website:(1) Read the rest of this entry

DIY Non-Toxic Wood Cleaner

DIY Non-Toxic Wood Cleaner
DIY Non-Toxic Wood Cleaner

I remember over a decade ago after reading Annie B. Bond’s book, “Better Basics,” I decided in one fell swoop to throw out all of my conventional cleaning products. After reading what chemicals many of them contained and their effect on the body, I’d decided they no longer had a place in my home. It never occurred to me until then that I could make simple cleaning products myself that were just as effective, easy on the environment, and non-toxic.

While many are aware of the dangers of indoor air pollution, I’m still surprised to learn that they are not as commonly known as they should be. There was a study released in 2006 by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, where scientists studied such chemicals as indoor cleaning agents and toxic air contaminants and their effects on air quality.(1) They found that many common cleaning agents, among other things, had a significant and detrimental effect on air quality. The US’s EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) even warns that the indoor air quality in many homes rivaled the outdoor air quality in the biggest and most industrialized cities.(2) Read the rest of this entry

2 Minute Non-Toxic Hand Soap

2 Minute Non-Toxic Hand Soap
2 Minute Non-Toxic Hand Soap

You can make fast, easy, organic, and most importantly non-toxic hand soap in minutes. We are certainly not perfect in the ‘green’ department, but we do our best and make continued strides every day. Changing out my personal care products to something non-toxic has been a goal for a while now and I was really pleasantly surprised to learn that it was not that difficult to do.

There are so many chemicals and additives in personal care products. They are not only detrimental for your skin but they are also harmful to the environment. Read the rest of this entry

Living Without a Microwave

Living Without a Microwave
Living Without a Microwave

We decided a little over a year ago to ditch our microwave. It wasn’t an easy decision, however. You might think that as much of a neo-hippy mama as I am that I’d already be without one, but the fact was that I used it a good deal.

Before we moved to Europe we’d nearly stopped using our microwave. It sat in the corner of our kitchen taking space. But after we moved to Europe, I caved in to the convenience. I had a lot to deal with and trying to figure out how to heat up my food quickly was just not something I wanted to tackle while getting settled into a new country. Read the rest of this entry

Scent Your Home Naturally For The Holidays

Scent Your Home Naturally For The Holidays
Scent Your Home Naturally For The Holidays

There are so many sights, sounds and smells during the holidays that help to evoke comfort, wellness and happiness. Crisp and cold days contrasted with warm and cozy comforts within the home can transform feelings and bring about a sense of peace.

One of the aspects that I love most about the holidays are scents.  Who doesn’t love the smell of a freshly baked pie or a newly-dressed Christmas tree?  These smells can bring about memories of wonderful holidays that have passed and a sense of anticipation for the holidays to come. Read the rest of this entry

Disinfect Your Toothbrush Naturally

Disinfect Your Toothbrush Naturally
Disinfect Your Toothbrush Naturally

Streptococci, staphylococci and treponema denticola – these are just a few names of the different bacteria that exist in the average mouth every day.  It is estimated that most people’s mouths have literally millions of these organisms thriving just on the surfaces of the teeth. Having an abundance of bacteria is a contributor to tooth decay and gum disease, so keeping an environment less friendly to the harmful bacteria is one way to promote oral health. Read the rest of this entry

The Nature Festival in Basel, Switzerland (Natur Festival 2013)

The Nature Festival in Basel, Switzerland (Natur Festival 2013)
The Nature Festival in Basel, Switzerland (Natur Festival 2013)

We moved to Switzerland last year and it has been a transition. We were living in Bulgaria before moving here and spent almost four years there.  After a time, Bulgaria did feel like a home to us in many ways… and Switzerland is now gradually beginning to feel like home to us. Meeting people and doing the things to help us feel settled has helped in that regard.

The Swiss are very protective of the environment. There is good reason for this, because the country is really beautiful and the Swiss people go to great measures to keep it that way.  Additionally, they have great respect for their natural resources.
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Juicing Wheatgrass Without a Juicer

Juicing Wheatgrass Without a Juicer
Juicing Wheatgrass Without a Juicer

 

Photo credit: James Cridland

Juicing fresh wheatgrass is a delight.  It’s refreshing and is a great nutritional supplement.  Juicing wheatgrass is a cinch if you have a wheatgrass juicer, but what to do if you don’t?!  No problem!  Juicing wheatgrass without a juicer is super easy.  You just need the right items.

What You Will Need

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A Chat With Innovative Chef, Casey Angelova

A Chat With Innovative Chef, Casey Angelova
A Chat With Innovative Chef, Casey Angelova

I love to eat!  And, I love to eat good, real food.  My interviewee, Casey Angelova loves real food, too, and it was one of the things that inspired her to become a chef.  I love to eat but I also like to understand the nutrition behind food because I believe it’s the key to health and longevity.  And, for those who may not already be aware, I live in Bulgaria while my husband finishes medical school.  Some might say that we live…well…an unorthodox life.  I suppose, we do.  I’m ok with that.  While my husband’s medical aspirations brought us here, I manage to keep myself busy and engaged no matter where we are.  My interests and passions have led me to meet some wonderfully unique and interesting people along the way.

This brings me to Casey Angelova.  Casey (despite her foreign sounding last name) is actually an American.  She married a brawny Bulgarian guy whom she met while living in the United States.  They got married and shortly after moved to Bulgaria with their daughters in search of a different way of life.  I sat down with Casey not too long ago and it resulted in an interview!  Here’s what Casey and I talked about.
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