23 Household Uses for Coconut Oil

May 18, 2017

23 Household Uses for Coconut Oil

By now the fact that coconut oil is great for cooking at high temperatures, popular to add to coffee and smoothies (healthy fat/energy booster/natural sweetener), and that it’s a great replacement for less healthy oils when cooking and baking is all OLD NEWS… but clever uses for coconut oil exist far beyond the kitchen.

Don’t worry, I’m not just going to tell you that it works great as lotion (haven’t we all tried that by now? #oilyjeans…).

(side note: I do use a little coconut oil in my much preferred DIY body butter recipe – better absorption into my skin, less into my denim!).

No, today I am sharing my tried and true tested use cases for coconut oil that extend beyond the obvious. I’ll also be sharing some use cases that I have yet to try that intrigue me, and a few that I have tried and don’t recommend…

If you don’t need any convincing and just want to know which coconut oil brands I’d recommend, here you go:

  1. Viva Naturals – my personal favorite!
  2. Nutiva – great bulk buy option!
  3. Betterbody – I have been using and enjoying this brand most recently
  4. Whole Foods 365 Everyday Value – great if you prefer glass packaging
  5. Trader Joe’s – slightly more affordable glass packaging option

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Google Spreadsheet Budget Tutorial

April 20, 2017

Google spreadsheet budget tracking tutorial

NOTE: Updated (more advanced) version of this budget spreadsheet is now available – Budget Template Update

I have been tracking my own finances via google spreadsheets for YEARS. Yes, I have dabbled in the online budget trackers (mint.com, and a few others) but nothing kept me on track nearly as well as a good old fashioned DIY google spreadsheet budget tracker.

Friends have asked me to share my budget tracking template with them so many times and I always had good intentions to do so, however I also wanted to be able to walk them through how I use it before sending it over. Guess what? I created a video tutorial for everyone to access and utilize their own copy of my google spreadsheet budget tutorial!

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Best Strategies for Successfully Selling on Craigslist

April 5, 2017

How to make money from Craigslist sales

As someone who has moved 12 (going on 13) times in the past 10 years, I have nearly perfected the art of the Craigslist sale.

After moving so many times, there are few things more disappointing than lugging that huge dresser or side table or dish set or kitchen appliance from one residence to another when it won’t fit well in the new space / you don’t love it / you know you won’t use it regularly!

It’s a much better feeling to plan ahead and make some money off of those items. I was able to fully fund our last move (and then some) via Craigslist sales. Yep, I made well over $1.5k in a single month from selling things on Craigslist. It becomes addicting!

While the money from Craigslist sales is an obvious incentive, it is also important to remember that selling quality items that you no longer need is a far more sustainable alternative to leaving them by a dump or on the street with the hope that someone will take and use them in their own home. If you don’t get any purchase inquiries, try listing your stuff on free Craigslist – I can almost guarantee that someone will take that old dresser off your hands.

Read on for my tried and true strategies for how to get the most bang for your buck when posting on Craigslist! Continue Reading…

Natural Deodorant Test – My Favorites

March 24, 2017

Testing three popular natural deodorant brands

I have yet to jump on the DIY deodorant bandwagon only because I don’t like the idea of using my hands to rub deodorant on my armpits. Is that juvenile? Probably. I know I’ll get over it soon but in the meantime, I want to make sure I’m avoiding any pesky harmful ingredients in my store-bought deodorant sticks!

I conducted a natural deodorant test using three popular brands over the past three months. Each have their own pros and cons. I’ll go into more in-depth reviews below, but in case you want the sparknotes version and links for where to buy:

  1. Native
  2. Crystal Essence
  3. Schmidt’s (spoiler alert – this one was my favorite!)

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Golden Rules for Cleaning Out Your Closet

March 8, 2017

Golden rules for cleaning out your closet

A few weeks ago I was visiting a friend and she asked me for help with cleaning out her closet. She had recently moved to a smaller apartment and wanted to de-clutter but was having trouble doing it herself. As a self-proclaimed purger I was happy to help!

It was an interesting process helping a friend decide what to keep and what to toss because there were multiple times when we would pull out an old T-shirt that she never wore outside of her apartment that to me was an easy “toss,” but to her it held sentimental value so she sincerely struggled with letting it go.

What ended up helping the most with this exercise was repeating the same couple of questions for each “maybe” item. Continue Reading…

Natural Cold Remedies

February 28, 2017

Natural cold remedies - neti pot

It’s that time of year again! Sniffly noses, coughing, sore throats, muscle aches… sound familiar? Instead of running to the cold and flu aisle, I like to first treat myself with the following natural cold remedies when I feel the first signs of excessive sneezing or a tickly throat. Continue Reading…

How to Clean a Suede Jacket and Liner

February 23, 2017

How to clean suede

This year, one of my personal resolutions was to buy ZERO new clothes. It’s my little way of not contributing to the over-production of clothing that so often ends up as additional waste in landfills. That’s not to mention the damaging environmental impact that results from irresponsible production factory pollution as well as the questionable work conditions for many factory employees (I went into more detail about this in a recent newsletter – if you missed it then I recommend first signing up so you don’t miss future issues and also checking out the documentary The True Cost to learn more!).

This might sound like I gave up clothes shopping entirely but that’s not the case. In fact, I am working diligently on improving my tired wardrobe and slowly replacing my old, sad pieces with items that I truly love to wear. So instead of buying new, I am buying second hand! Including this thrifted suede jacket.

This suede GAP jacket easily retailed for $200-$400 when purchased new. I bought it for $30 from a Crossroads in San Francisco.

With that said, the jacket showed signs of wear – the suede edges of the sleeves and areas around the zippers were pretty dirty. The lining had some minor stains as well. I bought it anyway and cleaned it up -now I receive compliments every time I wear it!

The moral of this story is don’t be afraid of suede! Suede shoes or suede jackets can be easily cleaned and cared for at home. See how to clean suede in the video and photos below.

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Daily Cleaning Checklist + Free PDF Download

February 16, 2017

Daily Cleaning Checklist - printable PDF!

It’s hard to deny the fact that a clean space feels GOOD.

I am a person who is severely impacted by her surroundings. When I come home after work to a messy apartment (which happens way more often than I’d like to admit) my default behavior is to eat a bowl of granola or a box of macaroni and cheese, pour myself some wine then sit in front of the TV and binge watch something brainless on Netflix or Hulu.

However, when I come home to a clean and tidy apartment I am inspired to help my husband cook something healthy for dinner, write a blog post, or read a book instead. Most people feel more energized in a clean space but struggle with the process of regularly maintaining one.

This is why I created a printable daily cleaning checklist! Continue Reading…

How to Clean a Front Load Washing Machine

February 7, 2017

How to clean a front load washing machine

We live in an apartment with an in-unit washer/dryer – a MASSIVE luxury that I do not take for granted. Because of this, it’s pretty easy to keep up with our laundry so I was surprised (and a little grossed out) when I opened one of T’s drawers not too long ago and it smelled like a thrift store. You know that mildew-y, old clothing smell? Yes – that was coming from his drawer of CLEAN clothes!

I re-washed everything from that drawer, re-folded it and put it back into the drawer until the next week when there it was AGAIN – thrift store smell.

After some research, I discovered what the problem was… our washing machine!!!

Luckily it is easy to clean a front load washing machine with just one ingredient: vinegar. Keep reading for the video and how-to.

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