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Monthly Archives: January 2013

Are You Hungry? $$$ you really hungry? Frugal minds ask this question, as well as those conscious of health and weight management (which are really one and the same.) Thirst may often be mistaken as hunger. I have saved myself many unneeded snacks (therefore money) by drinking a tall glass of water–just in case–before sitting down to eat.

While I am always eager to offer nutritious, yummy food to my family and friends, I often answer my children (and myself!) with the question, “Are you thirsty?”

When we wake up in the morning, before anyone may eat breakfast, we all drink water.

Throughout the day, my girls may not eat snacks or meals if they have not finished their water. This is particularly true for my eldest daughter, who gets dry skin perioudically from forgetting to drink enough. As soon as we are hydrated, I load everyone up with plenty of delicious food to fill tummies and satisfy nutritional needs.

Pregnant women like me may naturally crave extra water, which works out just fine. But not everyone is blessed with the urge to stay hydrated. Drink up, and make sure your family does, too.

Save some $ and improve your health.


Western Woman


microwave[2]Almost everyone knows microwaves are bad. A simple experiment of watering your plants with fresh water vs. microwaved (and cooled) water says it all.

And yet, most people still use them. Today, we will put the matter to rest.

Reasons to send that microwave to a happier place (i.e. the trash or a safe recycling option.)

  1. Leakage: If you nuke food in plastic dishes or wrap, you have almost for sure infected your food with BPA (bisphenol A) and a host of other toxic chemicals. Plastic (which we avoid in our house) is not food, but a lot of people regularly consume through leakage in the microwave.
  2. Meat: If you must use a microwave for… religious (?) reasons, don’t cook meat in it. You will be inviting toxins like d-Nitrosodienthanolamines, a well-known carcinogen.
  3. Dairy and Cereal: In our house, our precious raw milk remains raw and will never set foot in the microwave! But if you do microwave these foods, consider that crucial amino acids will not enter your body, because they may now be carcinogens.
  4. Cholesterol: Sometimes people are alarmed at my healthy traditional diet which is high in eggs, cream, and other things their doctors warned them about), worried that I am inviting high cholesterol; of course, this reaction is misinformed. However, these same people usually use a microwave, which in itself is known to raise cholesterol levels!
  5. Veggies: If you must microwave rather than cook on the stove, then please just eat it raw! Again, the nutrients will be depleted and may be converted to carcinogens. Why would you eat nutrient-free veggies? May as well eat cake.
  6. Breastmilk: to think that someone would go the trouble of pumping, and then ruin it by microwaving the precious milk!? Crazy, I know. But I have seen people do it. Infants are in particular need of those essential amino acids, good bacteria, and vitamins. Please, don’t delete them out of the milk. Heating food/drinks for little ones? Be careful that you don’t burn them! Microwaves are known to heat foods at uneven temperatures; i.e. the top of the bottle may be cold, and the bottom may burn your newborn baby’s throat. What a horrible thing to accidentally inflict on a little baby! Now you know.
  7. Electro-Magnetic Emissions: Back away. The radiation and EM’s can still get you, up to 20 inches away, and through walls. This is especially true for little ones and pregnant women. For similar reasons, avoid X-ray’s as much as possible.
  8. Russians are smart: They banned microwaves in 1976, following decades of research. The ban was lifted 20 years later, but persists as a serious health concern.
  9. More health reasons galore: Check out the links below for further research if this is not enough.
  10. It’s just more gourmet: Show your family some love by bringing a homemade meal to the table, putting out the cloth napkins, and tossing a fresh salad. What better way to inspire wholesome family time than over a well-prepared meal? How often does a thoughtful meal like this get taken to the couch and slurped back during a mindless TV show?  Share the love! Enjoy your family!

Carcinogens, toxins, lacking nutrients, etc. All these things spell poison to your body. There is no such thing as a “neutral” food. It either helps your body or hurts it. As surely as man without vision shall perish, so man without nutrition will also die–perhaps a long, painful death.

But it saves time! Would you feed your child a poisonous mushroom if you were lost in the wilderness? No, of course not. You would allow him to be hungry a while longer while you continued to search for good, safe food. Similarly, my children wait 5 minutes rather than 1:30-quick-start while their food is warmed up, on the stove.

More reading…

Enjoy a good meal, hot tea, or warm cookie–piping hot from the stove, teapot, or toaster oven. It is worth it.


Western Woman

Magnesium for Fitness

31+-4XzBOKL._SY355_[1]When my aches and pains started several months ago, I initially bought several pairs of dance shoes, switched gyms to experiment on a softer floor, and generally gave up a lot of my gusto for Zumba. The true answer was so simple. Magnesium.

My sister,, is my go-to person for all things herbal. When I described the pain in my lower legs, aggravated by dancing and excessive exercise, she mentioned that about 80% of adults are low in magnesium. The list of symptoms for magnesium deficiency is as long as your arm! Muscle aches, snoring, anxiety, low blood pressure, and the list goes on.

Enter Life-Flo Pure Magnesium Oil, available on Amazon for $5.92. A little spray on my affected areas, and the pain was gone. Steal of deal! I estimate my 8-oz. bottle will last me several months to a year.

I also purchased Magnesium powder and pills, but found the spray to be most effective for my needs.

  • Magnesium oil can also be used as a deodorant!
  • Magnesium oil causes pain/itching when sprayed on freshly shaved skin, cuts, and even mosquito bites.
  • Magnesium oil is odor-free. No one knows it is there, except when I brag about my fantastic antidote to my lower leg pain.
  • I have also used this on my husband’s back, where he carries a lot of tension from his work and past car accidents.

I highly recommend this product and brand. It is a great value, easy to apply, and very effective.


Western Woman

Soap, Almost Free

S004oap is really cheap around here… mostly because we don’t use it! My girls and I don’t use any kind of soap to bathe, and only a mild bar soap for hand washing.

Conventional soap is not good for the skin. The “new” stuff has more chemicals than ever. Ever consider that the antibacterial part of modern soap not only kills 99.9% of germs, it also is killing good bacteria in your body? Protect your skin. It is your largest organ. Would you rub antibacterial soap on any of your other organs? “Yes; she’s crazy.”

Our hair is glossy and clean; for my hair I am currently using egg with a little tea tree oil. I’m thinking about trying a bar of herbal shampoo bar, made by a local herbalist which is chemical-free and nurturing for the hair and scalp. The girls don’t need shampoo–their hair doesn’t produce as much oil as teens and adults.

“What!? They don’t wash with soap?”

How do we clean ourselves? Exfoliation and water is usually all the body needs. For a little extra scrubbing power, I keep a tub of sugar and olive oil next to the shower. I use this on my face every day, and elsewhere as needed for myself and the girls.  Winter bathing is easy; but in the summer we will wash a lot more carefully to remove harsh pool chemicals.

Our daily baths are luxuriously sprinkled with epsom salt and sweet-smelling essential oils. (I stress daily, because a soak before bed is therapeutic and so relaxing!) I don’t even think the Duchess of Cambridge has it this good.

Shocked? Don’t be. The body cleans itself, when attended to properly. Do you think Adam and Eve were let loose in the Garden of Eden with a bar of Ivory soap in hand?

My husband works in the oil field and has to scrub invert and other harmful chemicals off of his skin. Yes, he does use soap in the shower to clean it off!


Western Woman

Cut Your Own Hair (Short!)

pixie2Last year I blogged about cutting your own shag haircut, but that only applies to long hair. My ever-evolving ‘do is now a very short pixie cut. Goodbye, splotchy mess of the Splat DIY hair color kit! Hello, sassy new look!

See my tips for cutting long hair

clippers1. I pinned up the “crown” of my hair (using 2 mirrors to ensure accuracy.)

2. The same electric clippers I use to cut Michael’s hair also works just fine for me! Easy!

3. Trim along the nape of the neck without the length attachments (Not so easy, if you can’t manage it with 2 mirrors, then request help. If Michael had been home, I would have called him, but I managed fine on my own. It just took extra maneuvering.)

pixie cutting4. Now the sides are done. I let down the top, and used my fingers to hold hair in place for the scissors. I wanted it shorter and spiky in the back, slightly longer in the front for styling. I did it by feel, as well as using the 2 mirrors as needed.

5. I finished off by using my textured scissors to soften out the edges, and girlify the “crew cut.”


pixie cut6. A little product to tame the top, and I love it! I’ve been waiting for the courage to try this look for a long time!



I used to love going to the stylist. That was when I had a reliable source of childcare (i.e. my husband did not live on location most of the time for work.) These days I cut my own hair after the girls are in bed. Also, I can save a lot of money by doing my own hair, while exploring my own artsy style. Win-win!

Disclaimer: I am not a professional stylist; I am an edgy mom who likes to share tips about what has worked for me.

Cheers! May all your haircuts reflect the beauty within you! happy hair

Western Woman

Raw Honey: Living on the Cheap

What? Where did she get the cheap raw honey?

I’m sorry, let me back up.

cut handI got a nasty cut earlier this week. It happened when I caught a falling Ninja blender blade in mid-air. Blood was squirting, I was shaking, and my girls were freaking out.

20 minutes later I had rinsed, patted dry, swabbed with raw honey, and tightly bandaged the wound. The bleeding stopped, and I thought I would wait a week and see what happens. Most people asked if I needed stitches, or if I should go to the doctor. But no. In most cases I am my own doctor, and I really think this cut will heal itself if I treat it right.

That was only 3 days ago. Surprise! My honey-coated cute is now comfortably downsized to a single sturdy bandage. And guess what? Patting raw honey on a wound is a lot cheaper than going to the doctor. And, in this case, dare I say, more effective?

Raw honey mixed with cinnamon is a lot cheaper to treat and prevent common illness like a cold than harmful antibiotics.

Raw honey in a cup of tea or coffee (instead of refined sugar) is a lot cheaper than dealing with the side effects of excess weight.

Raw honey is a lot cheaper as a face mask than a top-of-the-line beauty brand with comparable results. Also, chemical-free, thank you.

The list goes on. If you don’t have raw honey in stock, consider it a money-saving investment to get some from one of your local organic farmers. And when you do, thank them for their diligent, hard work to produce quality food for our families.

Be blessed; be healthy; and be wealthy.


Western Woman

An Ode to “Mis Papis”

mom & dadMy Mom taught me to save money by hanging laundry to dry on a clothesline, keeping healthy to avoid doctor visits, using food instead of throwing it out, tending a garden and poultry, and mending hand-me-down clothes.

I say, why wait until a person is gone before eulogizing them? (May I insert here, that my parents are spring chickens and have a great many years left in them!) Appreciate them now! Craig Hill said it right in his series “Ancient Paths.”

I raise my hands and call my Mom blessed. She is a perfect mother to me and my 5 siblings. She is quirky, creative, extremely generous, and smart–probably a genius.  She taught me so many things; for example, following my intuition and artistic longing. Thanks to her, I have confidently jumped into endeavors like performing and teaching violin, creating artwork to sell and share, and most recently, becoming a Zumba instructor. My passion for creation of beauty brings me closer to her, to my little family, to friends, and to the Lord.

I am so thankful for her! I am blessed.

And my Dad. He makes me want to love Jesus. Today he did the usual: Travelled out of his way and spent time and money taking care of a project which I could not bare to do. That is where you will discover him most days of the week, helping people, and by his love pointing them to Christ. He makes people everywhere want to love Jesus.

My father led me to Christ when I was 9 years old. I am truly blessed.

follow their story at

Do you have someone who deserves an ode of appreciation? In my case it is easy–my parents are fantastic! But if your parent (or spouse, or sibling, or good friend) needs a little creativity in their ode from you, just remember; we love God because He first loved us. Let us do the same for others. Let’s find something positive to say, and bless the people around us.

Be blessed,

Western Woman


making Abigail smileLast year I made changes to save money, the environment, our health, and our spiritual well-being. No more disposeable tissues. No more TV. etc…

Instead we spent more time together, made quaint and oh-so-soft flannel hankies, and said “no” to processed foods.

Now, I have a short but clear list in mind.

1. Focus on family; eliminate extra activities. Simplify.

2. Spend at least as much time on my knees as I do on facebook.

3. Save money by making more things at home, as a family. (Like shampoo bars, cheese, and ginger beer.)

4. Invest in all-natural pregnancy and childbirth, giving the best I can for our new baby.

5. Learn to teach Zumbatomic (Zumba for kids), so that my fancy-dancy girls can also take part in my classes.

6. Get my family’s immune system rock-solid. By next Christmas I will not  stand for us catching every bug that goes around.

What inspires you? Make your resolutions (now, and throughout the year.) Write it down; Keep the list clear; pray over it; believe it can be done; and make it happen.


Western Woman