Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Number One Post of 2011

First and foremost, I want to thank you all for hanging out with me here, reading and commenting on the Wife Life!  It means so much to me.  I never would have imagined having over 150 followers and 100,000 page views in just a year.  I look forward to adding more facets to the blog and growing it over the year ahead.  I really hope to create conversations and a sense of community as we learn from one another.

So here it is.  Drum roll please...  The number one Wife Life post from 2011 is...

Bye-Bye Blackheads {a re-post}

While at a friend's house, we had an evening of beauty recipe making.  One that we were both interested in was the Bye-Bye Blackheads Scrub from EcoBeauty by Lauren Cox.  The best part was that the few ingredients required were all common household ingredients.  It is nice and simple to make anytime.

Bye-Bye Blackheads Scrub

1 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tbsp baking soda
2 tbsp water


Add baking soda

and sugar.

Add water and mix.

To use, massage mixture onto wet skin.  Allow to sit for a few minutes.  Rinse with warm water, and pat face dry.

The texture of this scrub was nice, much smoother than many are.  My face felt more soft and smooth than prior to the scrub, and I found it did help with the few blackheads I had on my chin.  My only issue was that after rinsing, my face was red and felt tender.  I think this is probably due to my sensitive skin, but I was still surprised since the scrub only contains a few simple ingredients.  Also, my friend found that her skin was dry afterward, though she is prone to dry skin.  This is something I would do again when necessary, but not often.


There have been a few discussions and recommendations in the comments sections for how to use this scrub on the original if you are interested in knowing more.

And so I leave you for this year with a question.

What would you like to see on The Wife Life in the upcoming year?

Monday, December 26, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Even though it's a day late, I wanted to wish you all a very merry Christmas.  I hope it was a joyful day for you and your families.

For the last two posts of the year I am going to count down the top five Wife Life posts of 2011.  Here are the first four:

5. Shampoo-yah!  
"My next hygiene necessity of which I am running low is shampoo.  The recipe I chose is from a different book, 1001 Natural Remedies by Laurel Vukovic.  What won me over was that it is supposed to bring out highlights in dark hair..."
4. Lavender Love Lotion Bars  
"I have purchased a few "massage bars" from Lush before, so when I saw this recipe for homemade lotion bars on Crunchy Betty, I was excited to try it out..."
3. A Lesson in Fat Cells  
"The No More Cottage Cheese Thighs! recipe in my EcoBeauty book by Lauren Cox is one that caught my attention right off the bat.  Before we go into how to make it though, I think it's important to have an understanding of what cellulite actually is..."
2. Hair-Raising Results  
"My hair is horribly dry and damaged.  I have been growing my hair out for what feels like an eternity, but it seems to just not be healthy when it is longer.  Recently I've had real problems with it tangling up in actual knots, and I hate the way it feels.  When a friend and I came across the Hot Oil Treatment in EcoBeauty by Lauren Cox, we thought that just might be the solution..."
You'll have to wait until Thursday to see number one!  Enjoy your holidays!

How are you celebrating?

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Eco-Christmas: Holiday Getaways

Whether it's visiting family or going on a vacation, the holidays are a great time to get away and have time off from work and school.  Travelling in general has a high green cost, but some ways of travel are greener than others.

- This is the best way to go on a holiday (aside from bicycles or on foot of course).  The carbon footprint is less than a third of driving.  Some places though (like Canada for me) trains are uncommon and difficult to coordinate.

- Driving alone is never a good option, but if you're ridesharing, carpooling, or driving with family, it helps.  I have previously written about getting the best gas mileage you can out of your car in the Green Wheels post which you can check out for some great tips not only for the holidays but all year around.  Better fuel efficiency will improve the eco-friendliness of the trip.

Planes - The emissions from airplanes are up to 90% greater than those of trains for the same distance traveled.  Yikes.  Another interesting fact about air travel is that because the emissions are released so high in the atmosphere, they actually do twice the damage.  This is not the ideal way to travel green.

Cruises - Though this is not something individuals usually participate in frequently, there are millions all together who do each and every year.  I have no doubt that a cruise would be a beautiful, relaxing experience, but for myself, the consequences are not worth it.  Where do you think the food waste, grey water (from laundry, dishwashing, bathwater), sewage (passengers going to the bathroom), and fuel end up?  In the sea.  I don't think this needs much more explanation.

Lodgings - Once you've arrived to your destination, you'll need somewhere to stay.  Check into different hotels' green rankings.  Websites like Expedia are beginning to rate hotels based on a general criteria for environmental friendliness with regard to energy use, water consumption, cleaning products, etc.  If there are options to use the same towels or not change the sheets each day, take advantage of those.

What method of transportation do you use?

Monday, December 19, 2011

Eco-Christmas: Par-tays!

The holidays are a party season.  Woohoo!  Now what decisions can make an impact on global climate change with regard to entertaining?


We all go into cleaning frenzies before hosting a party.  Be extra good to your guests by using nontoxic cleaning supplies.  I have written about a homemade air freshener recipe, and there will be many more natural cleaning posts coming in the new year.  One unbelievably simple cleaner is just 1 cup white vinegar to 1 gallon of water.  This solution cleans and kills bacteria.  Also, I love using Norwex products.  If you haven't heard of this company, please check them out!  Their purpose is to be environmentally friendly, chemical-free, and incredibly effective at cleaning.

Food and Drink
A full 25% of energy used in America goes toward food.  "Each food item in a typical American meal has traveled an average of 1,500 miles to reach your plate," according to Green Christmas.  Buying food that is in season and locally grown will cut down on transportation needs for your food.  Serve organic wines, locally brewed beer, organic juices, or natural sodas for drinks.  Fill a pitcher with water that's been run through a filter instead of handing out bottled water. (P.S. - "Americans send about 38 billion water bottles a year to landfills. Considering the 1.5 million barrels of oil needed to make those bottles, the environmental impact of plastic bottle waste is truly staggering," from Green Blog)

Plastic cutlery, styrofoam cups, paper plates all get used once and are then thrown into the garbage.  This is a huge contributing factor to waste piling up in the landfills.    Not to mention the oil, energy, and transportation required to make all those disposables.  Using real plates, silverware, drinking glasses, and cloth napkins will make a real difference.  Trade a few soapy minutes to avoid needless waste.

Oh, and always encourage people to carpool/rideshare/use public transportation to get to and from your place.

How do you green up your holiday parties?

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Eco-Christmas: Green Decorating

On Monday I just touched on Christmas trees, so now we are going to delve into the other aspects of decorating for the holidays.

I've moved to a new website! Head on over to Heartful Habits for the full post. Thanks!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Eco-Christmas: The Tree

Decorating is one of the most fun parts of getting ready for the holidays in my opinion.  The way things look different at this time if year is part of the magic of Christmas.  Of course, the focus in Christmas decorating is often the tree.

Real or fake is the age old question.  Here are some comparisons from the National Christmas Tree Association.

I've moved to a new website! Head on over to Heartful Habits for the full post. Thanks!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Rake Repurpose: Necklace Hanger

Wow, Thursday really snuck up on me this week.  As such, I had not yet written my next blog for the Eco Christmas series.  This will be an interim post on a simple repurposing project Brad and I did.

We were given an old bow rake for when we tried to plant some grass seed in our little patch of yard last spring.  I believe it only took one use before the head came off the old wooden handle.  It sat around outside for a very long time, but I thought it looked cool so I just couldn't get rid of it yet.

Then I noticed metal bow rake heads popping up on Pinterest with jewelry, scarves, wine glasses, keys, and the like hanging from them.  Since I had given away my much-too-fancy-for-my-taste stand up jewelry box, I thought this could be the perfect solution to my new necklace carrying needs.

And it is!  I thought about cleaning the rake head first, but I decided I liked the worn, rustic look.  All I had to do was have Brad stick a nail in the wall and hang it up.  As you can see, I don't have a lot of jewelry (oh, and the pocket watch is not mine), and I like the simplicity of it, as well as the ease with which I can find the piece I am looking for.

What unlikely items have you repurposed?

Monday, December 5, 2011

Eco-Christmas Series: Green Giving

Christmas spending and giving has been around since the Three Wise Men visited Jesus and present their gifts of frankincense, myrrh, and gold.  Gift giving and generosity are wonderful, but I think it is important to be mindful especially at this time of year when we have a tendency to get carried away.  Think about your personal values and work towards having those coincide with purchases.  Here are some options to consider.

I've moved to a new website! Head on over to Heartful Habits for the full post. Thanks!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Eco-Christmas Series: The Environment

Last year for Christmas Brad gave me the book Green Christmas: How to Have a Joyous, Eco-Friendly Holiday Season by Jennifer Basye and Peter Sander with Anne Basye.  It is a short, simple, straight-forward read that covers all the different aspects of the holiday season.  This will be the basis for my upcoming Eco-Christmas series I am going to do leading up to the big day at the end of December.

The first area of discussion is a big one: the environment.  There are three categories of the causes of major environmental unfriendliness.  These include waste, emissions, and energy.

I've moved to a new website! Head on over to Heartful Habits for the full post. Thanks!