Don’t Smooch The Mooch!

In talking with friends about relationships, the subject of “women who mooch” came up. My male friends asked me if I knew any women like that. I told them that I used to be that woman. They couldn’t believe it because I’m so independent today. I reminded them that my independence came later in life because of my sober lifestyle and the desperation for self respect and self sufficiency, not in spite of doing nothing to change.

There is nothing more attractive, in my opinion, than people who think of the needs of others and take action to live selflessly. We are not saints and we will fail at living selflessly over and over again, but it’s obvious when we’re working toward selflessness as opposed to living a life of “what about me?”.

Here’s a question: if you’re only dating women who you believe to be “mooches”, would you be open to the thought that maybe you’re one of them or that you practice behavior of similar caliber? We’ve all heard the phrase “like attracts like”, right? I mean, we can point fingers all we want but what good is that if the result is unhappiness?

If you’re a man who wants to stop meeting moochie girls, here are a few suggestions from the biggest ex mooch of them all (me):

• Quit dating and sleeping with party girls. Duh!
• Date women who are wise with the money they earn. If they’re wise with their own money, they will be considerate of yours (because they understand the value in investing as opposed to foolish spending).
• Stop spending all of your money on dates, find free things to do instead (you’ll weed out the mooches indefinitely).
• Go out with women who read for pleasure.
• Do volunteer work.
• Quit dating unemployed girls who don’t have their own place! Another duh!
• Listen to how she talks about people. Is she nasty? If so, she is probably a selfish, hateful person and you should run for your life!
• Date a woman who can throw down in the kitchen. She will want to cook for you and when she cooks for you, you’ll save money on dinner.
• Date a low-maintenance girl. Don’t ask, just do it.

Any thoughts? 

Common Scents

Fragrance is an important part of my life. When my home and I smell good, I feel good. Bad smells do not make me feel good and are often referred to as offensive. I find overpowering, chemically-laden perfumes, colognes, air fresheners, and detergents pretty darn offensive, too. Since I am striving to live a more affordable, back-to-basics, natural lifestyle, I make my own skin and haircare products, laundry detergent, and other cleaning products out of basic, natural ingredients. In the beginning of my DIY journey, I thought my house and I smelled boring, then I was introduced to essential oils.

Not all essential oils are created equal. I did not know this until I attended some classes on the benefits of using essential oils. If you’d like more information on essential oils, I’d suggest doing some research at the library or online. You can probably find a class on essential oils near you. The classes really helped me understand how essential oils work and the benefits I can expect from using them. 

I add essential oils to my homemade cleaning products, laundry detergent, and skin and haircare products. I dab a few drops on my pulse points, on the bottoms of my feet, and on my scalp. I even put a drop of oil in my mouth after I brush my teeth with sea salt.

In addition to using essential oils, I burn quality incense and candles, mull spices, and place fresh flowers around my home. House plants are used in place of air purifiers- and they add natural beauty to any home. These are all affordable ways to replace expensive, toxic fragrances. 

What are some of your favorite fragrances? Have you tried using essential oils instead of perfume and air freshener? 

Tooth Whitening Recipe

What you need
1 strawberry
1 tsp baking soda
Toothbrush

What you do
Mash the strawberry and the baking soda together in a bowl until well combined. Dip your toothbrush in and brush your teeth. Brush lightly in circular strokes for at least 2 minutes. Spit and rinse.

Have you tried whitening your teeth using this recipe? Have you tried other methods? What were your results?

Versatile Staples

The following is a list of items I never go without, and the many ways I use them.

Honey
Uses
Face Wash and Brightening Mask: Apply it all over face, let sit for 10 minutes, then rinse off and pat dry .
Cuts, Scrapes, Burns: Lightly dab a small amount onto affected area a few times per day until wound heals.
Hair Mask: Generously coat hair with it, leave on for 10-20 minutes, then rinse well.
Sweetener: Add to food and beverages.

Liquid Castile Soap
Uses
Dish Soap Recipe
Body Wash Recipe
Laundry Soap Recipe
All Purpose Cleaner Recipe
Hand Soap Recipe

Distilled White Vinegar
Uses
Window & Glass Cleaner: 1 part water to 1 part vinegar in a spray bottle.
Fabric Softener: Add 1/4 cup to final rinse.
Hard Water Deposits: Soak shower head and knobs overnight by tying plastic bags filled with vinegar around them. Spray on kitchen and bathroom sinks then wipe dry.
Douche: 1 part warm water to 1 part vinegar in a douche bag.
Fermenting
Food & Condiment Recipes
Anti-Fungal Foot Soak: 1 part vinegar to 1 part warm water in a basin.
Dish Sanitizer: Fill sink or empty basin with hot water and a cup of vinegar. Place dishes and utensils that have been washed and rinsed into vinegar water. Let sit for about 5 minutes before removing and drying.

Baking Soda
Uses
Fridge/Freezer: Pour 1/4 cup into a small mason jar. Cover the top with a coffee filter or small tea towel and a rubber band. Place one jar in fridge and one jar in freezer. Empty and refill once a month.
Scouring Powder: Sprinkle into tub, sinks, and toilet. Add a small amount of water to an abrasive pad before scrubbing. Afterwards, rinse well and wipe dry with a towel.
Bath Soak: Add 1 cup to bath water. Get in and soak.
Shampoo Recipe
Tooth Whitening Recipe
Brush Cleaner: Soak brushes in 1 part warm water and 1 part baking soda for 30 minutes.
Laundry Booster: Add 1/4 cup to machine.
Carpet Powder
Food Recipes
Antacid: Add 1 tbsp to water and then drink it. It tastes gross but it works.
Bug Bites: Make a paste out of baking soda and water. Apply to affected area and let sit for a minimum of 10 minutes.
Hard-To-Clean Dishes: Sprinkle baking soda on dishes, pots, and pans. Let sit for 10 minutes before scrubbing.

Coconut Oil
Uses
Moisturizer: Rub into the skin on face and body. For dry hands and feet: Apply generously and cover with socks and gloves before bed.
Deep Conditioner: Saturate hair in oil and leave-in overnight (plastic caps keep oil from getting on pillows).
Oil Pulling
Cuticle Oil
Food Recipes
Lube Yep, you read that correctly.
Massage Oil
Shaving Oil

Olive Oil
Uses
The Oil Cleansing Method
Same ways I use coconut oil except that I don’t use it as lube or for oil pulling.

What are your staples? How do you make the most out of them?

And Now About Money…

People are always curious as to how I’m able to live in my own place, pay off debt, save money, and afford certain luxuries. This is my answer:

1. I make my own food, laundry detergent, cleaning products, and beauty products from inexpensive items I buy at the grocery store (or grow myself).

2. I participate in clothing swaps and I shop at thrift stores.

3. I grocery shop once a week, and I don’t go back to the store until I’ve eaten everything in my fridge and cupboards.

4. I never buy frozen, instant, canned, pre-chopped, or pre-made food.

5. I tithe.

6. I budget according to my needs, not my wants, and pay off debt using the money that’s left over.

7. I don’t use credit cards or take out loans.

8. I rent free books, dvd’s, and cd’s from the library, and I don’t have cable.

9. I trim my own hair, I give myself manicures and pedicures (without using nail polish), and I don’t wear makeup.

10. I review my bank statements every month and cut from my budget monthly. 

11. I ONLY seek financial counsel from people who are currently living the way I choose to live. (I mean, you don’t go to the guy who still drinks to learn how to get sober… right?)

This lifestyle takes practice and, although I don’t do it perfectly, my responsible financial habits are becoming more comfortable the longer I practice them.

 

What are some of your favorite money saving techniques? What do you consider necessities? What do you consider luxuries? Do you tithe? How often are you reviewing your bank statements? Do you know where your money is going every month? Do you spend according to a budget?

Oil Pulling

Swishing your mouth out with oil for 20 minutes every day helps to detoxify your mouth of toxins and heavy metals. A lot of people have experienced weight loss, clearer skin, and better health due to oil pulling. Most people claim that their mouths feel cleaner after practicing the oil pulling method. I decided to give this a try.

What you need
Coconut or sesame oil

What you do
Put a tbsp of oil in your mouth and swish it around for 20 minutes. Spit the oil into your toilet, not your shower or sinks. I floss then brush my teeth, gums, tongue, and roof with sea salt afterwards, and follow with pouring a drop or two of essential oils in my mouth

Have you tried oil pulling? What natural methods do you practice for oral health?