Homemade tissues can help break our reliance on single-use products

Sometimes breaking our reliance on single-use products can be difficult. Here is one easy way to start! For years, we have been using our own tissues at home rather than buying a box after box of paper tissues from the store. Cloth tissues are easy to make and care for. To make your own cloth tissues, you simply need a piece of flannel cloth. I like to use ripped sheets, but if I don’t have any I will run to a thrift store and look for a flannel sheet to buy. If you want to start small, a pillowcase will make quite a few!

Cut your flannel sheet into squares. I like mine to be about 8 inches square but have them in many different sizes because I didn’t want any leftover fabric. After cutting, you’re done if you want! Fold your tissues and store in a container around the house. You can also choose to bind the edges by surging or folding over and sewing. I don’t do that anymore; it takes more time and my kids prefer quantity over quality when they’ve got colds. Eventually the flannel unravels, but that’s generally about the time they’re getting stained or holey and they end up in the compost pile.
To care for your tissues; simply throw into the wash with your other laundry!

What would it be like to be ageless… or at least LOOK ageless?

How would you feel finding fewer lines and wrinkles in the mirror?

Within a few months of turning 40, I noticed a deep wrinkle appear between my eyes. I’m not very particular about showing my age but it did surprise me with how fast it appeared! At first I didn’t worry about it too much, but this winter I started playing around with essential oils to see what I could do to to make it disappear and I came up with my Ageless Facial Serum!

Our Ageless Facial Serum can be used both for specific spots of concern and as a moisturizer for your entire face. When I remember, I use about 5 drops for my whole face and when I’m on my way out of the house I just put one drop between my eyes (I’m more likely to do the latter). The serum’s base oil is hemp seed oil, which is one of my favorite oils. It helps ease inflammation and is noncomedogenic (does not cause blocked pores). In it I add essential oils of Frankincense, Sandalwood , Lavender, Myrrh, Helichrysum, and Rose diluted
to total of 1% of the final volume.

Real Life Math

Today, Ari’s math didn’t come from a book or a worksheet. Instead she budgeted for a shopping trip and made the purchases for our family! It was a busy afternoon; we planned to go to the library (free!) and then we needed to visit the farmer’s market, BJ’s, Michaels, the grocery store and a local farm store. Before we left we made a list of the items we needed and I estimated what I thought each cost. Then, we built some money into the budget because I inevitably forget a lot on the lists!

It started off well as she noticed a sign for $.05 off gas on Thursdays just as my tank was about to hit “empty”. She calculated it out and we saved $.42 due to her “eagle eyes”.

After our weekly visit to the library, we decided to go to Michael’s first.  This is the place we can spend the most money AND it was the furthest, so I decided to test Ari’s budget skills! She passed with flying colors, though I did insist we buy something on “one-day-only” sale.

BJ’s went just as well (darn, we forgot bananas from the list too), and we carried on to the farmer’s market. Our budgeting was a bit trickier here because some of the needed items were not what I regularly buy and I had to estimate. Ari kept us on track and as we figured out what we could spend to have enough for other items, she made sure we weren’t going overboard. I was not allowed to buy a second dozen eggs “just in case” or any shitake mushrooms that were a surprise (she hates mushrooms) and she reasoned with me that we needed to buy some milk and chicken, which I had forgotten on the list… sigh.

We worked in a bit of math with Abby too, as she was given $1 to spend and we informed her honey sticks (her favorite) were 4/$1 at the farmer’s market or 5/$1 at the farm store. She resisted the immediate temptation and saved her money for later.

Ari reasoned we needed to go to the grocery store next so we knew just how much we had left for the farm store, where we obtain our milk and meat. We ended up with enough left to buy our milk, chicken and some fruit with a tiny bit extra! As a thank you for a great job Ari and Abby were each given $2 to spend (black cherry soda and chocolate milk respectively) and adorably, they switched drinks halfway through the ride home.

Ari was really proud of herself for not only sticking to a budget but also not losing the money(!). I can’t imagine why I didn’t do this before and I’m pretty sure this will become our weekly ritual.

But I just remembered I forgot to get something we need at BJ’s 🙁

Homeschooling Day 3: What’s Working and Needed Tweaks

Pshew. Day 3 done. Now its time to step back and see how it’s going, at least with Ari.

Here is my envisioned rhythm for our days and week (click to zoom in):

daily_weekly rhythm

Here is reality:

tie up teacher

Ok, just kidding. That’s not me or my kids; it’s a random picture from Google (which I linked to the picture in hopes someone won’t sue me).


Reality was some things worked and some didn’t. On Tuesday, Ari woke up early. Really early for her. This meant all the time I would have used to relax, or as on the rhythm, do yoga, I instead spent with her asking if we could start school yet. It was cute, but certainly unexpected. On the other hand, Abby didn’t wake up at all and we waited and waited and finally I gave in. Ari and I started school early only to hear “Mmmoooommmm” 5 minutes later.


Rest time isn’t happening. Ari, who loves to go read or hang out in ther room, says she hates being asked to  do a quiet time. Abby doesn’t even want to go upstairs despite being reminded that she can play with her trains or dolls. Both my kids left naps behind at about two and have bad memories of being forced to lay on cots for an hour during “rest time” at daycare, so I’m guessing it’s reminding them. Of course, that was my “plan dinner and maybe read something for a bit” time that I think I really need :/


Ari’s actual “schooling” is going well. In math we are reviewing and extending the basics and on Tuesday she had an “aha” moment when she realized she hadn’t ever learned multiplying double+ digit numbers… We’ve tried taking things down to basics and are using Cuisenaire rods and colored markers to understand some concepts. I’d love to take her back to learning the processes, but she is very hesitant, so maybe we will hold off until it becomes clear to her that the “baby” stuff is important.


Finally, the rhythm is nice to have. It gives me an idea about where we should be in the day and keeps me from getting sidetracked as I so often do. The rhythm is often said to be beneficial to children, but I think it help me as much or more than it does them.


If you check our rhythm, you will see that tomorrow is a fun day that includes a trip to the library and the farmer’s market. I’m not sure which one I like better!




Homeschooling Day 1

Today we started homeschooling. After a big move and at a temporary address, we decided homeschooling might not be a bad plan for our two girls. After all, we don’t know how long we will stay and it would be sad to put them in school and where they will learn new routines and procedures only to pull them out at some unknown point in the future This way we can continue on with as little interruption in our daily rhythm as possible. Plus, I’ve always wanted to homeschool my kids!

Homeschooling has intrigued me since I became a parent. While I had a great education from wonderful teachers in public school, I feel like I could have gotten more out of education had my learning been more individualized. I was pretty adept at doing the minimum to get pretty good grades, but I never really had to work at school until I got to college. Boy, was that a wake up! I’ve wondered what would have happened if I’d been allowed to work at my own pace in my learning. Would I have learned better study skills or found my education more interesting to me?

I’m starting out only teaching my 10 year old. I can work out some of the kinks with her first, and hopefully I’ll have something working in place before next Monday, my official start date for my 6 year old.

A synopsis of DAY 1:

The good

  • We followed our daily planned routine fairly closely
  • Ari (10) liked most of the activities and was wanting more of some
  • Most everything went as planned

The bad

  • Math was more complicated/ took longer than I thought – I need to make some changes!
  • Without something “school-ish” to do, Abby(6) likes to be “in” on the action (distracting!)

The ugly

  • Boiling a pot of soup dry when I forgot about it (luckily it was on low)
  • The dog returned from a romp selling like horse manure (how?)
Ok, the last two weren’t homeschooling-related, but they sure didn’t make my day any easier!

I will tweak math tomorrow; it took so long today and part of it was just the sheer number of problems Ari had to do. Overall though, I like feeling so connected to my kids and really understanding more about how they are learning!