Thursday, July 15, 2010

Natural Mosquito Repellent

If your family is anything like my family, in the summer mosquitos and other flying, biting insects can be quite a problem.  In our family, myself and Thing #2 are plagued the most by these little annoying bugs.  And while I admit to using commercial bug spray (with some really nasty chemicals) while on vacation, I usually don't like to do that.  And I really don't like to use it on the kids.

A few years back I did quite a bit of research into natural bug repellents.  At the time I was just starting my "green" quest and was looking for any and all information on how to make my family's life more natural and green.  There's so much information out there and it takes a while to sort through it all and try things to see what works for you and your family.

Here are some things we do around the Auburn Glen farmstead to help with repelling bugs naturally.  I hope it helps!!


The most natural thing you can do is to make your land and home bug repellent.  You can do this by planting certain plants with bug repelling properties.  Generally speaking, catmint, scented geraniums and citronella are good ones.  Plant them in pots (cause otherwise they can take over your yard!) and place them near entrances to the house, near picnic/play areas and by ditches where water will collect.


Another tip I have been given and tried with moderate success is to uptake your Vitamin B levels during the warm months.  Supposedly the higher levels make your blood not quite as tasty to those little vampires we call mosquitos.


As for making your own bug repellent, it's quite easy.  Take a few drops of essential oils such as lavendar, calundra, or peppermint and add them to a TBS or so of either witch hazel or rubbing alcohol.  Rub on your body before heading out.

If you're nervous about using alcohol as a base, try this recipe - I LOVE this one!
3 drops peppermint essential oil
2 drops lemongrass essential oil
2-3 TBS coconut oil (or almond oil) for base
Rub it on before going outside.


If you do get bites, what is the best way to treat them?

I like to use a bit of baking soda paste on bites.  Mix a couple of TBS baking soda with some water - enough to make a thick paste.  Then dab on bites.  It might sting at first, and it can be a bit messy, but it takes the sting/bite right out.

Dabbing bites with a cotton ball soaked in apple cider vinegar works pretty well also.


Hopefully you are able to get outside and enjoy God's beautiful nature without getting too many bug bites!! 
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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fitness for Momma CrazyLife

I've really been trying to take hold of my health and fitness this year.  So far, I think I'm making a dent in things.  I've lost about 5 lbs this year - not a huge accomplishment, but one I feel good about.  My weight seems to be stuck in a rut since having kids.  However, I have lost quite a few inches off my waist and hips and thighs, so I think that makes up for the lack of weight loss.

Since April 1st, I've managed to walk or run or jog over 175 miles!  I started by going on 3 mile walks/runs during my lunch hour at work.  Then when school ended, I started going on 6 mile walk/runs during the times the kids were still in daycare.  I'm still keeping up on that routine and will be renewing my gym membership next week so that when it rains, I can still keep up the walk/run routine.

Another thing I've started is a Zumba class.  If you haven't seen or heard of these, you have to check it out!  It combines dance and fitness into one.  Mostly it consists of latin style dancing, but also includes some hip hop and belly dance, among others.  It's a fantastic workout!  I've never sweated so much in my life!  I'm now taking two classes a week and loving it!!  It totally appeals to the dancer in me, as well as my need to get fit.

And finally, I've started working yoga workouts into my life.  Yoga totally appeals to me for its simplistic nature and calming effects.  I can do it anywhere, anytime.  I started doing some yoga workouts posted on youtube by Yoga Polly and then started doing my own routine.  Lately I've been doing this lunar yoga routine from this month's Natural Health magazine.  I love having the time to relax and meditate and tone and stretch all at once.
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Vacation Time

We just got back from our annual summer vacation.  This year we went into Michigan's Upper Peninsula to the far western edges of the state.  It was about a 12+ hour drive for us.  My mother-in-law grew up in the area up there, so every year her family holds it's annual Northwoods 4th reunion.  It was a lot of fun.  We camped in a tent with 4 kids, so that was interesting.  Saw lots of waterfalls and beautiful sunsets.  Went swimming in Lake Superior and even climbed to the top of the world's tallest ski jump.  We picked wild raspberries and had fresh fish fry, right out of the lake!

Here's a small picture recap of the highlights of our little trip.  Hope you enjoy them as much as we enjoyed our family holiday!!

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Here we go again...

So another bloggy break for me.  I guess the summer and blogging just don't go well together in my world.  I've got a ton of things I want to post on and just never seem to find the time to post.  I think I'm going to try to type some up as drafts and then go and post them bit by bit.  Maybe that will help me keep updated!

Anyhoo...since my last postings....we've gone on holiday.  I'll do more on that one later.  We've been working in the garden and harvesting a few things.  It seems that the big farms are harvesting about two weeks early this year due to the heat and water, but since we planted a bit late, we're right on schedule.  Playing with the kids and trying to keep them busy.  Working on catching up with unfinished and half-finished home projects.  Just really keeping busy. 

So to all my wonderful followers and friends, I hope you're still out there!  Drop me a note to say hello!
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