Posts tagged natural living
kicking caffeine | warm lemon water trick | via: chatham st. house

Raise your hand if you've ever tried quitting caffeine? I think once or twice a year I contemplate the notion, but I've never been able to see it completely through. That is until recently. A couple weeks back I got really sick (like insides on the outside sick). Suddenly coffee didn't seem very appealing...

I decided to take this opportunity as a sign I should kick the caffeine habit. I haven't had coffee in a little over 2 weeks, but I do have a cup of caffeinated tea a day, because weaning yourself off of coffee is not for the faint of heart. I swear I went through drug-level withdrawal! There's an article about it in fact. 

Each day I try to wait a little later in the day to have that cup of tea, making it when my headache is at its peak. At this point I'm good until about 4pm. Now I'm also trying not to finish the whole cup, getting about half way through before I throw the rest out. 

I am not a health coach, and I don't pretend to be an expert in anything, but I think this is actually working. One thing that has really helped me is drinking a cup of warm lemon water each morning. I think part of the "habit" for me was wanting a warm cup of anything in my hand when I wake up. For more on the health benefits of drinking lemon water, read this article. I use half a lemon and squeeze it into warm, not boiling, water each morning - right after I feed Nellie of course.

One Google search will tell you there's a lot of contradicting research out there on the benefits or risks of drinking caffeine. I don't want to sway you one way or another, but I'm always striving to be more natural, and less dependent on just about anything.

Any tricks out there from the other non-caffeine drinkers? Tell me on Instagram - b.

Greens grow Summer CSA | Farm Fresh in the City | via: bekuh b.

Once upon a time we lived in a place where farmland was plentiful and the sun seemed to always shine. Organic produce seemed to grow everywhere- It was the land of milk & honey. Ok, that's an exaggeration, but we did live in the Appalachian Mountains of Virginia where finding locally grown produce was a lot easier than in Philly. It's sad to think that what comes naturally to people of one region could be seen as a granola-loving hipster ideal to another. 

Now that we live in the (big bad) city it seems the only place to get really good organic vegetables is Whole Foods. No offense to the holier-than-thou natural foods chain, but that sucks! So this summer we decided to try a CSA share with a pick-up within easy walking distance of our house. We love you Greensgrow

Also know as Community Supported Agriculture, the idea is that you pay for a season's worth of produce up front so that the farmers producing your food can cover the expensive start-up costs of the season. It helps them stay profitable throughout the year and gives you access to organic produce that's grown within an hour-or-so of your house.

Here's a sampling of dishes we've prepared from our share:

summer CSA shakshuka | via: bekuh b.
summer CSA carrot & ricotta tartine | via: bekuh b.
summer CSA meals | via: bekuh b.
sumer CSA fried rice | image via: bekuh b.

The downside is you typically have to pay for the entire CSA share up front- ouch. We did a half-share this year, which means we pick-up every other week, but we're looking forward to upping to a full-share next year! Once the produce starts flowing in the dent in your bank account starts to feel less painful, not to mention our grocery bills are almost non-existent. 

A sample summer share:

  1. 4x Tomatoes
  2. 4x Mini Eggplant
  3. 4x Ears of Corn
  4. Large bunch of Kale
  5. Large bunch of Celery
  6. 3 lbs. purple potatoes
  7. 6 Cubanelle Peppers

What do you think- Would you ever consider buying into a CSA share? I'd love to hear your thoughts- follow me on Instagram (@bekuhb) and start the conversation. - b.

diy lavender & chamomile sachets | via: bekuh b.

Who doesn't love the smell of laundry fresh-off-the-line? Its delicate floral scent is like aromatherapy for the soul. Unfortunately air drying is not always an option and until recently I thought capturing that illusive summer scent near impossible. That is until I took matters into my own hands and decided to recreate that line-dried scent using a handful of dried herbs and a household staple- rice. 

Fresh herbs and spices have been used to ward off bugs and freshen linens for centuries. Though we have lots of sprays and soaps to use nowadays, I still enjoy combining a few natural ingredients to organically remove unwelcome smells in dusty drawers or open baskets. Not to mention they're incredibly easy to make, I'll show you...

diy lavender & chamomile sachets | via: bekuh b.

Supply List (makes 4 sachets)

1 | Dried Lavender- The natural home's workhorse. This dried herb finds its way into almost everything and naturally wards off unwanted pests. Home grown would be even more incredible, maybe next year! 1/4 cup

2 | Dried Chamomile- An herb that smells like sunshine. Its warm floral scent and natural soothing qualities are a personal fav. 1/4 cup

3 | Dried Rosemary- I snuck an extra herb in the mix! I love the earthy quality that rosemary adds and it's also a pest preventer (no moths please). I snipped some from our garden, but you can use some from your spice cupboard. 1/8 cup 

4 | Rice- An type will do, but since we're going all natural perhaps look for an organic bag the next time you're shopping? 1/4 cup

5 | Scrap fabric, Needle & Thread - I quickly whipped up a few sachet bags, but you can buy them too!

diy lavender & chamomile sachets | via: bekuh b.

The next steps are so easy I almost feel bad calling this a DIY! Simply mix together your dry ingredients and assemble. I found the easiest way to get the mix into the pouch was to do it by hand. Once you've filled the sachet, close the pouch and getting ready for heavenly smelling dresser drawers. It's that easy.

You may notice the scent fading after a couple of weeks- grab the sachet and rub it in your hand for 30 seconds to release more scent, you can do this 2-3 times before you need to remake. The reusable bags make it easy to create a new batch. big kiss, bekuh

I find this method just as effective as using Febreeze, or other sprays to freshen clothes. It's also a much milder scent, and environmentally friendly!