My greener, healthier lifestyle & products that made my summer awesome!

Sep 24 2018
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I think a lot of people understand what its like to be the only person in a relationship (or family) who is health, frugal or eco conscious. It can be a HUGE struggle! Whether its to save money, do things that are greener for the environment or, just plain, trying to live a healthier life. Here are a few of the things that I’ve been doing this summer and a couple products that made my life awesome!

One of the perks I didn’t see coming with the divorce was: OMG It is AMAZING to be able to have a household now that aligns entirely with my beliefs!

Not having an air conditioner was always a note of contention. Seriously though, my house stays incredibly COOL no matter how hot it is outside! And this is northern MN – it is so rare when its actually hot enough (in my opinion) for an air conditioner.

I literally have my windows open for months now lol I just love it though. Summer is my very favorite time of the year which is why I built a huge deck and have three doors out to it.

I built a screen door for one of my deck doors a couple of years ago and have had it on my list to either buy or build screen doors for the other two doors as well.

I have a confession to make: I kinda hate screen doors.

I know! I Know! I know! There is nothing more awesome or iconic to an old farm like mine then the bang of a screen door. And that 100 year old screen door on the front of my house is NOT GOING ANYWHERE.

But I digress…

They just don’t work very well! Even the very best screen doors I’ve seen still somehow let bugs in. So, I went searching for something else and I found it and I totally LOVE it.

They’re called magnetic screen doors and I’m really mad I didn’t discover them sooner! And they’re really affordable!

My far more frugal, greener and healthier life (since my divorce) eliminating all toxins, creating a green energy efficient home, cleaner eating and living.My far more frugal, greener and healthier life (since my divorce) eliminating all toxins, creating a green energy efficient home, cleaner eating and living.My far more frugal, greener and healthier life (since my divorce) eliminating all toxins, creating a green energy efficient home, cleaner eating and living.My far more frugal, greener and healthier life (since my divorce) eliminating all toxins, creating a green energy efficient home, cleaner eating and living.

Now I have my doors to my deck open all evening before I go to bed. (Perk I didn’t see coming: Where my new magnetic screen doors are the birds no longer fly into those glass doors – it eliminated the reflection.)

Other little things really added up energy-wise like the TV and all the lights in the house always being on. Of course now I’m not leaving the lights on lol. But did you know your TV never really turns off either even after you “turn it off”?

I don’t have “normal” tv, I have Netflix and an Amazon Prime account all connected through an Amazon Firestick.

Now, I knew in my head that the firestick never “turned off” but it really hit me one day when I came home from work and turned my TV on and BOOM: my Amazon Prime Music was still playing… It had played ALL night after I went to bed and all day when I was at work because Firesticks do not have an OFF button.

(Thank goodness unlimited internet is the norm now, ten years ago that would have cost me a small fortune!)

At least with a TV you can turn it mostly off lol

So, I got myself a power strip, attached it to the back of my entertainment center and plugged my firestick and my tv into it. Now I just click it off.

I don’t watch a lot of tv so now I go literally days without ever turning any of it on. MAJOR ENERGY WIN.

I also now have a power strip by my bed too and have my lamp, my clock, my fan and my phone charger all plugged into it. I click it on when I go to bed and I click it off when I get up in the morning.

This goes for all of my kitchen appliances as well and any appliances I don’t use at LEAST once of month I put away.

Whenever I have a bulb burn out (which has only happened twice in the last 8 months!) I replace it with an LED bulb.

Better for the environment and they last FOREVER.

I can’t believe how lovely and quiet my home is. You don’t really realize how much NOISE electronics make!

(MAJOR ANNOYANCE: I live so far out in the country that just having electric service at my home costs me $38 a month without even using it. For the last four months my electricity use was LESS than it cost me to have the service.)

I realized that my laundry soap recipe works just as well leaving it in its dry form instead of melting it into several, 1 gallon jugs.

So I went from a full laundry cabinet to one little container, funny how that made me really happy. You know you’re an adult when… LOL

I’ve been able to remove a lot of meat from my diet. Am I vegetarian? No, but I’ve realized 1 pound of anything cooked up with enough veggies can literally feed me for supper all week.

My groceries went from over $400 a month to less than $50 – meat is expensive!

I’ve also eliminated almost all dairy from my diet which means I feel SO much better! Dairy and my stomach have NEVER gotten along going all the way back to when I was a baby. I still keep a little cheese on hand but, otherwise, I don’t add dairy to any of my cooking now.

Bread is no longer in my kitchen either as its simply something that has been affecting me worse and worse over the years.

I went to the grocery store for the first time as a single gal and, also for the first time, walked around in search of what my body actually wanted. (I think we all get into the habit of simply buying the “staples” etc.)

Instead, I approached eating in an entirely different way.

This is what I learned about myself: Beans, rice, fresh fruit and veggies, and eggs are three foods that I can’t seem to get enough of and that agree with me totally. Organic, gluten free rice crackers with a smear of almond butter on them is my new favorite snack.

The only real problem is I’m totally terrible at cooking rice. How is it even possible for someone to be bad at cooking rice? I don’t get it!

So, my best friend has an Instapot and I’ve been SO impressed with it. When looking on Amazon at Instapots (to buy for my mom for her birthday) I ran into rice cookers and got kinda excited.

I was worried because I think we’ve all learned the hard way what its like to buy a kitchen appliance, use it once and then never use it again. Its been two months and I’ve used my new Rice Cooker and Food Steamer at least a couple of times a month.

My far more frugal, greener and healthier life (since my divorce) eliminating all toxins, creating a green energy efficient home, cleaner eating and living.

It makes me enough rice for several meals (my favorite is homemade fried rice) and I can also steam a meal in the top rack while I’m making the rice.

I had already eliminated most chemical cleaners but now I’ve done it entirely throughout my house and replaced them with my own homemade versions.

I even started making my own tooth paste which I am really excited about! Once I get the recipe just right I’ll share it here on the blog.

(One product though I just have not been able to replace (or find a natural or organic version of) is deodorant. Do you guys have any brands you would recommend?)

Going up to my master floor now is like ascending into temple to some goddess 10,000 years ago. The combination of mugwart and lavender essential oils I use to help me sleep is almost heady in how good it smells. And now I use just a couple drops of jasmine as a perfume too, I absolutely love it.

Two thrift store lamps from two different eras and places get new shades and a paint job that bring them together and create cohesion between them for my master bedroom in chrome spray paint and shiny rustoleum black gloss paint. How to, diy, do it yourself lamp makeover, how toWith a new rug, shower curtain, shelf my master bathroom refresh combines bohemiam style with farmhouse chic! Adding life with a double slipper bathtub

Anyone who has ever lived in a toxic environment understands why its been proven that stress can literally destroy your health.

So many of the small issues I was having health wise simply disappeared. From night terrors, to insomnia, to panic attacks, to queasiness and stomach problems constantly laying me up. It seemed like no matter what I did I was constantly getting sick.

I have never felt better and, of course, its a combination of so many things from my emotional well being to my new cleaner eating plan.

It is just so cool to have a home now that aligns with how I’ve always wanted to live!

My far more frugal, greener and healthier life (since my divorce) eliminating all toxins, creating a green energy efficient home, cleaner eating and living.


  1. September 24, 2018 at 11:27 am

    I love the magnetic screen door. What a great idea!

    • September 25, 2018 at 8:51 am

      Thanks Donna, I SO wish I had discovered them sooner!

  2. September 25, 2018 at 12:45 am

    This was a thoroughly good read! It’s great to ‘meet’ you and I’m so pleased you are finding ways to be happier and healthier xx

    • September 25, 2018 at 8:52 am

      Thanks so much Maria for coming by and commenting, its great to meet you too!

  3. September 27, 2018 at 5:49 am

    I think I have seen these screens in mail order catalogs for YEARS and they are very affordable! I wanted to get one for our back hallway because the kids go in and out of there but didn’t want to invest in a screen door that is only used four months out of the year. Midwest-gotta love it. ๐Ÿ™

    • September 27, 2018 at 8:37 am

      Hi Kari, yup the midwest for sure lol And screen doors just don’t do a great job in keeping the bugs out and holding up etc. With these at only $20 a piece if they last even just a couple of years I’ll be happy!

  4. September 28, 2018 at 11:36 am

    Hello Tarah, I can’t talk about screen doors as we don’t have them over here, but I have used them on hols in the US and Canada, and I know what you mean about the noise they make. Mr Mac got really excited the first time he opened one!
    Natural deodorant…. that’s what I wanted to tell you about. You night look for a salt stick deoderant. They seem to work well…. x

    • October 1, 2018 at 9:13 am

      Hi Susan, thank you for that tip about natural deodorant! Have a great week!

  5. Dee
    September 30, 2018 at 11:51 am

    I so agree with you. As I got older I developed one autoimmmune problem after another. Less meat..more fish..little American breads and grain. I find I do not have problems with grains when Iโ€™m in Ireland AND most of all I got rid of most preservative and additives. Have not had as much problems with my rheumatoid arthritis and feeling much better.
    Have to get those screens for the door great idea.
    Could you post more about your use of essential oils sometime?
    Thanks from one nana to another

    • October 1, 2018 at 9:28 am

      Hi Dee, I definitely will post about my essential oil uses. I just keep adding more and more of them to my life I love how they smell and so many of them have helped me in many ways.

  6. Linda Martin
    September 30, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    I bought one of those screens for my upstairs sliding glass door and it didn’t work. ๐Ÿ˜ข The velcro wouldn’t stick and the magnets didn’t close correctly so I took it back to Walmart. Good luck with yours! Have a great Fall! ๐Ÿ˜Š

    • October 1, 2018 at 9:29 am

      Oh I’m sorry to hear that Linda! My screens came with upholstery tacks besides being really impressively sticky. I did have to adjust as I went though to make sure they would close properly.

  7. October 1, 2018 at 11:35 am

    My sister in law got one of these screens and they love it, but I’m not sure how I would adjust to closing it after myself… It looks really nice.
    Thanks for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop.

    • October 1, 2018 at 12:29 pm

      Thanks for coming by Kelly!

  8. October 2, 2018 at 12:26 pm

    Thank you for sharing all of these ideas and tips at last week’s Reader Tip Tuesday, I always love seeing what DIY you are up to at the house each week. Hope to see you at this week’s party!

    • October 2, 2018 at 1:11 pm

      Thanks Jodie, have a great week!

  9. Willow
    October 17, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    I have used those screens and really like them. It was great because my dog could let herself out on her own. We now have a wooden screen door because we raise puppies for a service organization and they can’t go out on their own.

    I recently found a natural deodorant that actually works. I was out for the day and needed something. I went into a Whole Foods and bought Alaffia Coconut, Reishi and Charcoal deodorant – it looked interesting and was on sale. It’s $5.99 at Whole Foods and more expensive on Amazon. I am amazed that it works really well. I do keep an extra one in my car just in case but it got me through some very hot weather.

    • October 18, 2018 at 8:34 am

      Hi Willow, thank you so much for that suggestion I just purchased one on Amazon, so looking forward to trying it!

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