Natural Living

Invest in healthy living resources

Healthy Living Small Step #8: Invest in Resources

Start at the beginning of our 10 Small Steps Toward Healthy Living series HERE. (Note: Some affiliate links included.) Confession I’m a quitter. When I get overwhelmed by something or don’t understand it, I have a tendency to just give it up altogether. I hate feeling dumb or inadequate. When I

read more

Healthy Living Small Step #7: Rethink How You Make Coffee

Start at the beginning of our 10 Small Steps Toward Healthy Living series HERE. I have a coffee dilemma. Maybe you do too. The dilemma in my conscience for years has been a struggle between my great love of morning coffee vs. the dangers of plastic in my coffeemaker. You see,

read more

Healthy Living Small Step #6: Make Your Own All-Purpose Cleaner

Start at the beginning of our 10 Small Steps Toward Healthy Living series HERE. Making your own household cleaner really is super easy. You can not only save money but also avoid any extra chemicals you may not want floating around your house. Why Make Your Own Cleaning Products?

read more
Healthy Living Step #5: Create a Weekly Meal Plan

Healthy Living Small Step #5: Create a Weekly Menu Plan

Start at the beginning of our 10 Small Steps Toward Healthy Living series HERE. Last Monday, we talked about the small healthy step of moving toward a diet of more homemade, real food. Have you tried to go just ONE day without processed food yet? It’s been a game changer for

read more

Healthy Living Small Step #4: Sneak in Exercise

Start at the beginning of our 10 Small Steps Toward Healthy Living series HERE. I doubt I need to convince you that exercise is a mandatory part of good health. But, if you’re like me, the problem isn’t knowing I need it. The problem of exercising regularly is 3-fold in my

read more

Healthy Living Small Step #3: Ditch the Tupperware

  Note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Read our full disclosure policy here. Start at the beginning of our 10 Small Steps Toward

read more
10 Small Steps Toward Healthy Living: Step One

Healthy Living Small Step #1: Go One Day Without Processed Foods

Start at the beginning of our 10 Small Steps Toward Healthy Living series here. (Note: Some affiliate links included.) Our Family’s Journey Toward Real Food My husband and I used to be fast food and convenience food (think store-bought frozen pizzas and lasagnas) junkies a little over a decade ago.

read more
DIY, Citrus Cleaning Spray

DIY, Citrus Cleaning Spray

This DIY, natural cleaning spray is a great way I’ve been using my essential oils for cleaning. Just like the carpet/room freshener  I previously shared about, I love the simplicity of what is in the product and oh-my-gracious, how I love the smell. Best thing about it is, it SAFE.

read more

DIY Carpet & Room Freshener

As a recovering candleholic, I am always in search of ways to make my home smell good. I’m kind of a scent junkie. Not to mention, with two dogs and two kids, it can be a challenge to keep our place smelling nice. Just the other day, I walked into

read more

Essential Oils: A Beginner’s Guide

My Story (so far): I’ll be honest, I didn’t even know what an essential oil was until 2 years ago when a yoga instructor unexpectedly put it on me in the closing relaxation portion of a class. I remember having somewhat of a moral dilemma wondering if I was dabbling

read more

What Should I Freeze My Meals In?

Note: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. Read our full disclosure policy here. Is it possible to be a freezer cooking evangelist? If so,

read more

10 Things I Would Like from MightyNest

Welp, I’ve got a good start on my Christmas list! I’ve been eying out the site, MightyNest for days. The more I look at it, the longer my wishlist gets. (Dang it!) Similar to Rachel’s story, these parents were alarmed by what research revealed about the everyday products that we

read more

A Safe, Cheap, and Effective Sunscreen for the Whole Family

Updated from May 2013. I thought this post might be helpful again for those moms out there like me who want a safe, effective, and cheap sunscreen… Every year I find myself doing new research on the best and most affordable sunscreen that will keep my family protected this summer.

read more
diy scented soap bars

DIY Scented Soap Bars

by Jessica Ellingsworth of Mayvn, Contributing Author A recent school family project assignment had my daughters and I wondering what to conquer. “Let’s make soap!” one of them suggested. What?! Jessica here, and after a little research I have a fun and easy Spring project to whip up with kids

read more

Do You Know Where Your Food Comes From?

I recently read a post on the Gospel Coalition website called “Do You Know Where Your Food Comes From?” The information and thoughts shared in the article have been churning around in my mind since I read it. I thought I’d share a few excerpts from the article in hopes

read more
how to start a freezer club

How to Start a Freezer Club (and Why You Should)

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links, which means we get a small commission if you make a purchase through one at no additional cost to you. Read more here. Tight budget? Want to eat healthy meals at home regularly? No time to cook homemade meals during the week? I’ve got

read more
Pumpkin Coffee Facial Mask

Pumpkin Coffee Facial Mask: An At-Home Fall Spa Experience!

By Jessica Ellingsworth from Mavyn, Contributing Author Autumn is definitely in the air (even here in sunny Texas, thank goodness!), and I am here to take seasonal foods to a whole new level by incorporating them into the skincare routine. Jessica here, and I was recently perusing a high-end spa

read more
why eat flaxseed

Why Eat Flaxseed?

I’ll be honest, two years ago I had no idea what flaxseed even was. Now I seem to use in it my recipes almost daily. If you’re like me you may be wondering why everyone is making such a big fuss about this powerful plant food. You may also be

read more
DIY Bee and Wasp Sting Remedy

DIY Bee and Wasp Sting Remedy

If you’ve ever been stung by a wasp, you won’t forget it. They put a healthy fear in you that results in a lifelong avoidance. Well, children don’t have the luxury of life experience and in this case, they went right into a little play house where a HUGE wasp

read more

How to Prepare, Freeze and Store Fresh Peaches

If you haven’t ever bitten into a freshly picked peach, do yourself a favor and go to your local farmers market ASAP. Tis the season and they are SO delicious. Every year I tell myself I am going to stock up on and freeze peaches for later use and every

read more
What Supplements Does Your Family Take? (We Take These 4…)

What Supplements Does Your Family Take? (We Take These 4…)

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links of products that I personally use and/or fully support. I give you full permission to make fun of me for this. My husband for sure does already. Want to know what I fall asleep reading many nights of the week, besides cooking magazines? Articles

read more
The BEST Safe and Effective Sunscreens for Kids

The BEST Safe and Effective Sunscreens for Kids

Every year I find myself doing new research on the best and most affordable sunscreen that will keep my family protected this summer. The good news is that the Environmental Working Group, a non-profit organization that rates the safety of cosmetics and other household products based on their ingredient list,

read more
How to Transplant (or Plant) Blueberries

How to Transplant (or Plant) Blueberries

This spring, I received a very special gift from my parents who were moving–FIVE BLUEBERRY BUSHES from their backyard! These bushes are about three years old, so they are already producing quite a few blueberries each year but still have some growing to do. After doing some major research about

read more
4 Ways to Go Green for the Glory of God

4 Easy Ways to Go Green for the Glory of God

It’s a day after Earth Day and I have a confession to make. I think Earth Day should have less to do with whether or not Global Warming exists and more to do with what God instructs humanity to do with what He’s given us. The Bible teaches that we

read more

Are Your Cosmetics Safe?

One of the things I’ve been learning on our family’s journey to a healthier home is that not all cosmetics and personal care products on the market are safe.  Everything from baby shampoo to sunscreen to the mascara you wear may contain chemicals that are toxic for the human body.

read more
One Baby Step to Make a Difference in the Environment

One Baby Step to Make a Difference in the Environment

In the past few years we’ve attempted to take baby steps towards being a little more kind to the environment. We try to use reusable grocery bags, and snack bags,  cloth diaper our little one, use pyrex or tupperware instead of Ziplocks, recycle, and buy in bulk. By no means are we perfect

read more
3 Key Ways to Save Money and Eat Healthier

3 Key Ways To Save Money and Eat Healthier

I’m about to make a statement that you might strongly disagree with.  But, I’ll do it anyway…and hopefully convince you. I think having healthy homemade food (vs. eating processed convenience food or fast food) for most meals is doable and is a huge benefit to you and your family. Not

read more
My Story: Marathons and MS

My Story: Marathons and MS

Guest post by Beth Lewis Things doctors told me before I was actually diagnosed with multiple sclerosis: “Stress.” “Possibly an ocular migraine? There’s nothing wrong with your eye.” “Stress.” “You’re a marathon runner, Beth! Of course you’re tired!” “Stress.” “You probably just banged a nerve.” Before my dad and I

read more
The Story of Kaitlyn: From Health-Conscious Childhood to College

The Story of Kaitlyn: From Health-Conscious Childhood to College

I’ve often wondered if by cooking and teaching my kids about “real” food—non-processed, whole food that is as close to it’s original form as possible—is a futile battle in my kids’ lives. Won’t they eventually be won over by the combined multi-billion dollar advertising campaigns of fast food and junk

read more
Pedometer Challenge Part 3: How to Kick It Up a Notch

Pedometer Challenge Part 3: How to Kick It Up a Notch

Check out Part 1 of the Pedometer Challenge Series to find out how to join in andand Part 2 to get motivated to move more. Most of us (not all) could stand to move our bodies more. Yes? I’ve been making the case this month that wearing a pedometer is

read more

10 Easy DIY All-Natural Household Products

My son was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at 20 months of age. It was terrifying, especially when we had no family history at all. So, I did what I’m guessing many terrified mothers who feel out of control do–I began to research like a madwoman. My goal was to discover what

read more
How to Peel a Pomegranate

How to Peel a Pomegranate

Did you know that pomegranates are one of the most powerful, nutrient dense foods for overall good health? This anceint fruit is crazy good for you. Health Benefits of the Pomegranate They are the most powerful anti-oxidant of all fruits They have potent anti-cancer and immune supporting effects Pomegranates inhibit

read more

Seven Benefits of Having a Family Dog

If you can’t tell from my previous post about installing a Pet Peek Window in our fence, we are dog people. Growing up, my family always had 2-4 dogs. My dad hunts and they had lots of land to run around on so it never felt like we were smothered

read more
Lessons Learned from My Daughter Choking

Lessons Learned from My Daughter Choking

Last night my 17 month old daughter choked. She’s ok but it was pretty scary. My mom was actually watching my daughter, Adelyn, while I was out with my husband and some friends for my 30th birthday. Adelyn was walking around and munching on a snack and apparently just froze

read more
Cloth Diapering Update

Cloth Diapering Update

One of our most visited posts on Thriving Home is Cloth Diapering 101. In this post that I wrote back in February,  I share why I cloth diaper, about the brand I use, how to care for cloth diapers, and even a slightly embarrassing video of how it all works. My daughter

read more
Candace’s Transformation Story

Candace’s Transformation Story

Meet Candace. She’s my friend from work. Kids and adults alike love her. (Don’t you already?) She’s truly one of the most beautiful women I know inside and out. Today, I want to share with you about the transformation Candace has gone through over the past two years. It dawned

read more
Reader Question: How Do I Handle My Picky 2-Year-Old?

Reader Question: How Do I Handle My Picky 2-Year-Old?

A friend of mine and reader of the blog emailed me a while back with several great questions about helping her picky eater, as well as incorporating healthy foods into their family’s diet. These are the same questions I was asking, researching, and anxious over only four years ago myself

read more
DIY All-Natural Carpet Cleaner (or How to Get Poop and Puke Out of Carpet)

Homemade All-Natural Carpet Cleaner

Important Update as of 4/11/14: It has been over a year since using this on my carpet. The stains are still mostly gone, but my carpet is now lighter in those areas. I have old carpet so I much prefer this to the dark stains, but I want to give

read more
meal ideas for a one year old

Healthy Recipe Ideas for a One Year Old

Feeding a little one can be so much fun! I love helping my daughter discover new tastes, textures, and combinations. At times, however, it can result in a lot of frustration. As a mom of a little one, you’re in the middle of figuring out what your baby likes and

read more
Exercise Ideas You Can Do Anywhere

Exercise Ideas You Can Do Anywhere

I often visit my parent’s house which is in a small town on a lake. I love going home but find that I have a hard time staying on track with working out when I am there. There is no gym and if I want to run it is along

read more
All-Natural DIY Drano

All-Natural DIY Drano: Safe and Effective Toilet Declogger

It worked! This all-natural DIY Drano recipe really worked.  Not just once, but it did the trick two different times on my completely clogged toilet. (Yes, we have really crappy toilets–no pun intended.) Let me tell you, I was one happy home owner upon discovering this simple, cheap, and safe

read more
homemade laundry detergent ingredients

How to Make Homemade Laundry Detergent

Guest post by Jess from Twenty-Something and Not Counting I’ve been making homemade laundry detergent for about 4 years now. Though I was a little nervous it might not work well or might take too long, I decided to give it a whirl. I made it once and never looked

read more
Born-to-Run - A Review

Born to Run: A Book Review

I’m not sure if I would classify myself as “a runner.” I like to run and pound out a few miles a few times a week. It’s a hobby that helped me lose weight and keep it off. I’ve tried twice to train for a half marathon only to be taken

read more
Meal Planning Made Simple

Meal Planning Made Simple

Once you get in the habit of weekly meal planning, you’ll never go back. Once a week (usually Saturdays) I sit down and write out what we will have for dinner every night the coming week. As of right now I only plan dinners because we usually have enough leftovers

read more

$3 Worth of Beans Gets You All This (+ Taco Salad Recipe)

With food prices skyrocketing in the past few years, I’ve had to think of cheap creative ways to continue to make healthy, mostly organic, real food for my family.  It’s not easy.  Dried beans are a tremendous help, though! Last week, I accidentally cooked WAY too many dried beans.  I

read more
My Journey Towards Healthier Living

My Journey Towards Healthier Living

True or False: At my peak weight, I was 25 pounds heavier than I am right now. True. True or False: In my last weeks of pregnancy, I weighed only 5 pounds more than I was 8 years ago. True again. Check out some of the pictures I dug up the

read more
A easy homemade granola recipe

Homemade Granola Recipe

For the past few months, my husband has kindly reminded me that I haven’t made my granola recipe in a while. I had good intentions to make it but just added it to the very long to-do list and it never made it to the top. As time went on,

read more
Going Green…Kinda

Going Green…Kinda

“It seems quite inexplicable to me that there are some Christians who claim to love and worship God, to be disciples of Jesus and yet have no concern for the earth that bears his stamp of ownership. They do not care about the abuse of the earth, and indeed by

read more

Start Your Day with a Super Food Smoothie

Here’s how our family greets most mornings of the week… …with a Super Food Smoothie.  It’s such an easy, tasty way to start your day with several servings of fruits, vegetables, and lots of fiber. Here’s the approximate Super Food Smoothie recipe, but feel free to experiment with what you

read more
DIY Reusable Snack Bags – Go Green!

DIY Reusable Snack Bags – Go Green!

I’ve become more and more aware of how many plastic bags and Ziplocks our home goes through. It’s a crazy amount that is only increasing as our family grows. I don’t like to think how many must be in landfills taking thousands of years to decompose. I realize there are some

read more
non-toxic foaming hand soap recipe

How to Make Your Own Non-Toxic Foaming Hand Soap

Seriously…why did I wait so long to do this?  For years I’ve either been buying way over-priced safe hand soap or cheap unsafe soap.  Those days are over. This past weekend, I used three simple ingredients to make my own non-toxic foaming hand wash.  It is the perfect consistency, smell,

read more
A Great Gardening Resource: The Smart Gardener

A Great Gardening Resource: The Smart Gardener

Tis the season to get your hands dirty! The idea of growing your own garden can be imitating. If my dad wasn’t gardener extraordinaire, I probably wouldn’t have a backyard garden. In the Spring, it feels like I make daily phone calls to my dad asking questions about my soil, seeds, planting,

read more
Pink Slime, Canned Foods, and Dog Milk

Pink Slime, Canned Foods, and Dog Milk

Note to self:  That has to be the strangest blog post title I have ever typed or will ever type. This post is dedicated to my sweet husband, who has patiently listened to and at times laughed at my passionate rants about America’s food industry over the past several years. 

read more
Pick-Me-Up Real Food Snacks

Pick-Me-Up Real Food Snacks

It’s 2 p.m., your eye lids are heavy, and you’re jonesing for a little snacky-snack.  If you’re like me, you’re likely to fall into the snack crap trap at this point in the day.  Your willpower is weak and only junk (read: processed, packaged, trans-fat loaded) food calls your name.

read more

Cloth Diapering 101

Cloth diapering. Isn’t that something that hippies who don’t shave their armpits do? OK, so maybe that is stereotyping a bit, but I realized very quickly that not everyone is so keen on the idea of cloth diapering. At my baby shower, I could tell that many people were skeptical about the

read more
Free 30 Minute Total Body Sculpting Workout at Home

Free 30 Minute Total Body Sculpting Workout at Home

As you may know, I’m all about sneaky exercise or working out at home using exercise videos at this stage of life.  Both save time and money, two of my top values as a stay-at-home mom of little kids.  I’ve recently discovered the free workouts on Hulu and love them.

read more
Spiritual Dynamics of Sleep Deprivation

Spiritual Dynamics of Sleep Deprivation

  Do you get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep a night that the CDC recommends for adults? Oh, you don’t?  In that case, I want you to meet my younger sister, Lynn.  She’s the tall one on the right. She’s incredibly intelligent, much more talented than I am in

read more
I Heart Trader Joe’s: Why and What We Buy

I Heart Trader Joe’s: Why and What We Buy

I heart Trader Joe’s.  Who doesn’t, really? They’re the full package if you ask me.  Here’s why they’ve stolen my heart and what favorite TJ’s products make a (smallish) dent in my grocery bill. Three Things I Love About TJ’s 1 – They are a competitive, ethical corporation yet retain their

read more

Babies with Acid Reflux: Help for Moms

I survived having a baby with acid reflux. I don’t use the term survived lightly, nor would other moms whose kiddos had reflux. But we made it. Kicking and screaming, we made it. And now we have a happy, delightful 7 month old who doesn’t even remember the rough days

read more

Homemade Disinfectant Recipe

In an attempt to reduce toxins in our homes and save money, we’ve  become official wannabe hippie pioneer women.  Well, at least I like to think I am.  Polly, have you been converted yet? Below is my homemade disinfectant recipe, which I found here.  I use this on my kitchen

read more