My Safer Hair Care Routine That Actually Works


After two years of trying to find a way to wash my hair without all of the chemicals, I feel like I’ve finally found something that works!! Yay!! I went through so much frustration and a lot of gungky hair days to get here. I tried horrible baking soda and both kinds of vinegar, lemon juice, all of the Trader Joe’s shampoos, Burt’s Bees, African black soap, etc, etc, etc. Blech! And my hair was always dry and gunky. My scalp was completely out of control. Needless to say, I was frustrated, and even shed some tears over that horrible, untouchable hair. 😦


You can see the thick layer coating my hair here. It was so hard trying to hide it as much as I could all of the time…and not touching it, yuck.

Then we got a filter for our shower head, because, guess what? Most people raving about these methods have soft water…and we have super, duper HARD water. Ack! I miss that super soft Oregon water. The filter helped a little, but not enough. Then I started this routine: aloe for the scalp and Suave Professionals lower sulfates shampoo and conditioner, rinsing with reverse osmosis water from my in-law’s vacation house.This was the BEST my hair had been for a year and a half!!! But it wasn’t great, my scalp became very irritated and I had to warm up the water every time, and carry some with me when I traveled. All of these were a pain. I started pouring brewed camomile tea and using it for one of my rinses as a natural way to lighten my ever darkening hair. ( I accidentally bought the one for blonds, instead of rooibos for redheads, but who cares because I now have a more important reason to use it. 🙂 ) And occasionally mixing Tea Tree Oil into my shampoo for my poor scalp.

Then about a week ago, our water jugs were empty on the same day I decided to give Peppermint Oil a try instead of the tea tree oil that seemed to make things worse for me, and I found my new routine!!!!! 🙂

So here’s my new wonderful routing that gives me back my freedom from carting around the water, and gives me back my softer hair again:


Aloe on my scalp, rinse with Camomile tea, brewed and cooled. (Sometimes I skip the aloe now).

Suave Professionals Shampoo, rinse with shower water.

Suave Professionals Conditioner, rinse with shower water.

Finish rinsing with shower water. (Sometimes I still use the reverse osmosis water for rinses).

I use a little aloe as a gel for straightening my fringe (bangs) and taming in general if needed. And we now have our own aloe plant!!

Deep condition with coconut oil when needed.

Mix a couple of drops of peppermint oil into shampoo when need for scalp healing.


It is actually in better condition now than in this picture, but you can see…no gunk!! And no more fuzziness on top, it was quite ridiculous!

And enjoy your soft and luxurious hair!! 🙂

It’s so much easier to travel with a tea bag and a big cup than carting around soft water!

I’m still in shock over this fabulous discovery!! I think the tea does for me what the lemon juice/ vinegars do for others, but didn’t do for me. My hair has always been on the oily side, and they just made it oilier, the tea does not. This routine works better than any of the others I tried, and is so much easier for traveling!

Have you found a natural hair care routine that works for you and isn’t part of the “No Poo” fad? Share it here in the comments! 🙂


Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth
 Homemaking LInkup

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Coupon Code


Oops! I completely forgot to give you the coupon code for FREE SHIPPING! So I’m extending the sale through Tuesday with code: CYBERMONDAY2014

Pop on over to the SHOP and start perusing now!!!




Don’t you just love these Finger Puppeteer Stages? :>

Happy Tuesday!!

Christmas Wares In The Shop


Yesterday I shared some of my Christmasy and Autumn wares from my shop. But I forgot this little gem! My Winter Deer Embellished Hoop Art! So adorable!! Go and take a peek!

Also my Woodland Themed Embellished Hoop Art!



And here are the Gingerbread Ornaments and Leaf Pins I shared yesterday. All of these items are ready to sell in my ETSYSHOP now!!



Happy Shopping!! :>

Leaf Pins and Gingerbread Ornaments


I have some great things in the shop for Autumn and Christmas! Leaf Pins look great pinned on a lapel, a hat, a purse, in your hair, just about anywhere! And they come in Green, Yellow and Red!!! Pop over now and take a peek in the SHOP!



I also have adorable Gingerbread Ornaments in both men and women, ready to bake some Christmas treats! I absolutely LOVE all things gingerbread!!! They are just so fun and whimsical!!! So pop over and take a peek at these also!! Right now!! 🙂




Christmas is coming…happy shopping for your loved ones!

Modest Monday: Ellie from “Up” and a Pixar Party



Last Friday we celebrated the 23rd birthday of a dear young lady in our lives who is kind of like a daughter/niece to us. It’s always such a special time with dear young people we love so much. She decided to have a Pixar/Disney themed party, so I decided to dress like Ellie from “Up” and make her an “Up” themed gift. (You’ll see that at the end of the post) 🙂


My dress isn’t one of Ellie’s actual dresses, but the one I found was perfect in it’s style and era, so it worked. The birthday girl guessed who I was, that’s what matters!!


I rushed to take some photos for her as it was getting dark, and we took my photos at the end of the party, inside, after the humidity wreaked it’s havoc on my hair. Haha!




I’ll need to make a more permanent modesty panel for the new dress. Love those daisies!!! 🙂


Now to the party pictures:




Sally from “Cars.”








Hello cuties…and balloons and popcorn for the movie!!






The spread and pretty flowers.








The Ice Cream Cake! Yummy!!




And the movie!




And here’s the gift I made for her with the “Up” theme because she loves that film soooooooo much!!


Have a great week!












Book Review: “Until I found You” by Victoria Bylin



I’m back with another book review thanks to a complimentary copy from Bethany House in exchange for my honest review of the book, “Until I Found You” by Victoria Bylin.


Here’s the synopsis:


“Finding each other was only the beginning . . .

When Kate Darby swerves off a mountain road to avoid hitting a California condor, she ends up trapped in her car, teetering on the edge of a cliff. Terrified, she breathes a prayer that changes her life.

It’s Nick Sheridan who comes to Kate’s rescue. Nick is handsome and confident, and he seems to develop a habit of rescuing her, but Kate is in town only until her grandmother recuperates from a stroke. She isn’t planning to get involved with one of the locals.

Nick is a reformed veteran of life in the fast lane, a new Christian, and a travel writer. When he sees a car dangling on the edge of a cliff, the daredevil in him jumps into action. He doesn’t expect to be swept off his feet by the car’s occupant. He’s made a vow–no dating for a year–but keeping that vow is going to be a lot more difficult now that he’s met Kate Darby. . . .”


Here’s what I really liked about the book:

In this day and age, when careers and freedom are so valued over more important things, we see a realistic struggle with what is the best course to take. Big city vs. small town, helping family and friends vs. success in the world’s eyes, etc. The support of Nick’s Christian brother as Nick, a brand new Christian learns what it means to be a Christ Follower, is great! There is a real, honest progression of struggles and learning process as he figures it all out, what his life should look like now and how he can help Kate in the same way once she makes the same decision he has.


I live in California and have never heard anyone from here say “1-5”, which they use in the story. That’s what people like me say that are from Oregon, so I thought is was weird that they don’t call it “The 5” as everyone here does, (I like authenticity).


Anyone with a fascination for Condors will probably enjoy the story as there’s quite a bit about them here. I hadn’t heard a lot about them before this. :>


All in all, it’s a pretty good story! See for yourself!





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Camp Crop 2014




I spent last weekend with 7 other wonderful women scrapbooking our little hearts out for FOUR.FULL.DAYS at our annual Camp Crop retreat for the 6th year!  We had such a fabulous time catching up, crafting and laughing together…A LOT!! This was my absolute favorite year! The past couple of years, I’ve tried to tell myself to relax and not worry too much about the number of pages I finish, but treat the time like a combination of crafting and relaxing. I had to because of health issues. But I think this year I finally took it to heart and thoroughly enjoyed time crafting, visiting and relaxing!! It’s so much fun getting together with these same women every year and I love these special women.


Here are some of the unique things I worked on over the weekend (excluding photos of my photo pages as I forgot to take them):




I made a cute little house album kit first to get my inspiration juices flowing.




It has sweet doors that open like a house if you put it together the way I did. My favorite part. ; >





Open sesame:




Inside the house, notice I tried to make wallpaper:




Another “room” view:






And the top, blue photos are the back. Now to figure out what photos it will hold!!


I also decorated the cover of my idea book…FINALLY:




My station:




Loving these pages:





Heather’s twine and ric rac collection:



Paula’s yummy coconut cupcakes:




We each gave little gifts to the others as we prepared our meal, (we each prepare ONE, love it!), and I decided just a few days before to MAKE the gifts. A variation of my new favorite wares in my ETSY shop.






I took photos of the other ladies too, but not sure they want to be on  here for all to see. :>


It’s so great to get away with your sweetheart and so great to get away with girlfriends. I highly recommend it!!!



 The Homemaking Party with Hope in Every Season

Book Review: The Last Bride by Beverly Lewis




Here I am with another book review from Bethany House already. I picked a book three months in a row, but didn’t get the confirmation for this one, so I thought I was only getting two. I was super duper happy when this one from my favorite author arrived in the mail!!! Of course it’s the one I wanted most as my free book to review for them. I love this program!! And if you’ve read any of my other reviews, you know they don’t give me these books so I will just say they are great. I’m honestly sharing my own opinion here.


So here’s the summary:

“Of her Old Order parents’ five daughters, Tessie Miller is the last to marry. She has her heart set on Amishman Marcus King, but Tessie’s father opposes the match.

Impetuously, Tessie and Marcus elope to the English world, then return to Hickory Hollow to live as singles, trusting they’ll convince the Millers to give their love a chance over time. But when the unthinkable happens, Tessie faces the almost-certain censure of the People. Will she find a reason for hope in spite of her desperate plight?”


Intriguing, right? So I immediately guessed one twist, but not the other one! Completely took me by surprise, but I won’t reveal it so you can be surprised when you read it. :>


I loved the book! Intrigue is always interesting, even when some of the mysteries are known by the reader, but not the characters. It isn’t too often in our current culture that deception is shown as sin, but it is here. Two people seeking to follow God can still be blinded by their own wants and desires to act in deception. Also it’s another reminder that we never know how long we have to make things right with our Lord. There is a great confession and forgiveness scene as a reminder of God’s grace when we are willing to repent. As usual, Beverly creates wonderful, interesting characters which she develops in depth.


One thing I did not expect, was a sub story line about infertility, just before I leave for a conference focusing on that very topic. Because of my own struggles in this area and failed adoption, I really related to this aspect of the story and really felt a connection to Tessie’s sister Mandy and her struggles. Beverly is not afraid to tackle the difficult issues, which I’ve appreciated since I first discovered her in 1999 in our church library.


I loved the book and I’ll be rereading it many times as I do with all of her books! It’s definitely worth your time! :>


Happy Reading!!





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Hope In Every Season

Book Review: A Shining Light by Judith Miller






It’s time for another Book Review from Bethany House! This the first one in a while due to all of my traveling, and other people requested the book first. They only give away a certain number of copies for these blog reviews and sometimes they go quickly, in the first few hours. I love doing this because I LOVE reading and I get to choose the book (out of 5 or 6 choices), and whether I have time that month. :>


So…on to the review: A Shining Light by Judith Miller


Here’s the summary:


“West Amana, Iowa, 1890

After Andrea Wilson receives the devastating news that her husband has been lost at sea, she returns home to Iowa with her young son, Lukas. But what she finds there causes more heartache: The family farm has burned and her father has died, leaving Andrea with nothing.

Andrea must rely on the kindness of the people from the nearby Amana village who invite her to stay with them for a time. She discovers much generosity and contentment among the Amanans–especially from the tinsmith, Dirk Knefler, who takes her son under his wing. But is the simple, cloistered life in Amana what Andrea wants for Lukas’s future? Is she willing to give up the comforts and freedom of the outside world? And when yet another round of shocking news comes her way, will Andrea ever be able to find the serenity and hope that have eluded her for so long?”


One of the things I liked about this book was that, after the first few chapters, it feels like it will be a sweet, sleepy little story, and then it isn’t and it takes you by surprise! There’s a bigger surprise, but also some smaller surprises that keep you on your toes. There’s enough intrigue to keep you interested and guessing without it being so stressful it keeps you awake at night. The way I like it! :>


I enjoyed this book so much more than the last one, reviewed HERE. It seemed to read a bit smoother, had a good storyline and a little bit better gospel message. As I said in the other review for this series, the gospel message is too important to leave out or water down. I care too much about people to let this go, because I don’t want them to spend eternity in hell, but to follow my Savior and live eternity with Him just like I am!!


I really like the characters in this story. Andrea, her little boy and Dirk especially. He’s a great guy with integrity, sensitivity and care for her and her son. It’s really quite sweet the way he reaches out to little Lukas. :> I also love her lovely, Christian neighbor Louise who is always there for it seems.


Of course, the main part of the story is really the way this community takes Andrea and Lukas in, cares for them and looks out for them. Knowing how rare it is for outsiders to be so accepted into groups like this, it’s a special situation that gives them the opportunity to heal and begin to thrive again as they settle in and make friends, all the time unsure whether this will be a temporary or permanent arrangement. The Amana people really do act lovingly and graciously to Andrea and Lukas, portraying many Christian like characteristics.


Anytime you read about other religions it’s good to be cautious and line everything up against the Bible, which is what I did. I enjoyed the storyline and found it interesting to learn a bit more about the Amana people. The best part is that I can pray for these real life communities to see the Truth and know that we can not be saved through our “good works” (which is so very popular in our world today), but by turning from our sins and following Christ. (This book was more vague about their beliefs, but  did research when reading the last one).

“Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.”  Acts 2:38


Overall, I did enjoy reading this and I liked the clever storyline and the great characters!


Happy Reading!! :>






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Hope In Every Season