Thursday, December 31, 2009

Six New Years' Resolutions

I think goal-setting is extremely important, and the New Year is a convenient time to make measurable goals for the upcoming year. Writing down your goals as a reminder is wise. Telling over 1,500 people, via a blog, is a sure way to be kept accountable.

Frugal/Green/Health Goals:

1) I want to go "no poo". I want to end my and my husband's shampoo addiction and stop my kids' before it takes hold. My husband has oily-ish hair, where my hair is rather dry, so this will be an adventure.

2) I want to start soap-making. I've wanted to for a while, but we had a large stash of store-bought soap that we've been working through. When that's used up, I am going to start churning out my own soap.

3) I want to start cheese making. This is not a frugal undertaking, but a hobby. I think I've figured out a way for it to not cost more than store-bought cheese, but I'll save those details for another post.

Personal Goals

1) I want to be a better wife. Mainly, I want to be a better forgiver. My husband is very forgiving, and I would like to reciprocate with Christ-like forgiveness.

2) I want to blog with reckless abandon. Whenever I try to make this blog less controversial, it becomes more and more of a battleground. Believe it or not, that is not what I am aiming for. So, I'm going to stop trying to avoid the the controversy and blog however I want.

3) I want Daniel to be able to write his name by the end of the year. He can recognize maybe half of the letters of the alphabet. I would like him to know them all by the summer, and start writing enough for his name by the end of the year. If he writes "DAN" and not "DANIEL" that counts as success.

What are your goals?

68 comments:

BubbleJ said...

I am curious... What will you use instead of shampoo?

Please blog about your soap making, it sounds very interesting!

Emily said...

Bubblej, baking soda and vinegar. There is a link in the post. I'll be blogging about all of them, except the being a better forgiver one.

Anonymous said...

I wash my hair with shampoo about twice a week and then "wash" my hair with a light conditioner every day. The secret to reducing your shampoo usage is to do it really gradually, so your scalp will acclimate and stop producing as much oil. When I started the process, I shampooed two days and then went one day without. After a couple weeks, I started shampooing every other day. After a couple more weeks, I started shampooing every three days. It helps if you don't use greasy styling products, especially those with silicon.

mishie9608 said...

I love reading your blog! You articulate your ideas and purpose well. Your sense of humor is cute :D I will enjoy reading and watching you accomplish your resolutions. This year I hope to cut the cost of living in my home and find family time in the daily duties. Your frugality is a but much for me but your family time is inspiring.

Pam said...

My resolutions involve "healthy" changes in five areas, and I have specific goals for each one:

Healthy Spirit
Healthy Body
Healthy Family
Healthy Home
Healthy Business

Amanda said...

I tried going No Poo earlier this year. I stuck to it for a couple of weeks (I think) before I just couldn't handle it anymore! And, actually, as little as I blog myself, I managed to blog about No Poo! http://graceofimperfection.blogspot.com/2009/05/down-with-poo.html

Good luck, I hope you are more successful than I!

Lindsay said...

Emily,

Those are some great goals. I'm attempting the 101 things in 1001 days. I've tried before and not done so well, so hopefully blogging about it will help keep me accountable as well.

I look forward to reading your blog in the next year to see how it goes. Many of your opinions may be different than mine, but it is always good to hear opinions from all ends of the spectrum.

Clisby said...

I've thought about trying no-shampoo, but I shampoo only once a week anyway, so I don't have a lot of incentive to stop. I periodically treat my hair with baking soda/water paste - just rub it in and let it sit for about 5 minutes before rinsing - that gets rid of any shampoo buildup.

Our Family Is His said...

Great goals. I will post about mine later on my blog (since this is a good topic for today). I have never tried the no poo route, not sure I could since I do have psoriassis. But sounds interesting. I know many women and families that have and love it. They said their hair actually feels better and looks better.

Amy said...

I found the book Cultivating a Forgiving Heart to be very helpful when I was trying to learn how to forgive some very big hurts in my life.

Here's the link to the book at Amazon if you're interested.http://www.amazon.com/Cultivating-Forgiving-Heart-Forgiveness-Gardening/dp/0310251176/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1262268290&sr=8-1

Amy @ thecircusmcgurkus.blogspot.com

Jen said...

"3. I want Daniel to be able to write his name by the end of the year."

Good luck with that! Anything to make his blog more legible would be great!!!

Amanda Jo said...

Emily,

I went No Poo in June of this year (2009) and I love it. Mostly because of the cost and environmental factor. Most people think I am crazy for doing so so I don't mention it to to many people. The people who don't know can't tell a difference. I do use a Baking Soda paste though instead of mixing it with water. It works great.

Good luck!

Amanda

wonderfullyinlove.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

OMFG Jen, I just spat out my coffee laughing....

Andrea said...

Great goals! I like the way you kept them pretty simple and doable (well, the better wife one is usually difficult). :-)

I've tried no-poo and homemade shampoo without success. My hair is pretty oily. However, I started making my own soap this year, and my homemade soap makes a wonderful shampoo if I use vinegar to "condition" it. I'm going to try a homemade liquid soap for shampoo soon.

You will love your homemade soap! I can't believe how much better it is than the stuff I used to buy in the store!

I have the rennet to make mozzarella, but I haven't tried it yet. If you interested in procuring milk kefir grains (and able to get them, of course), you might want to look at this site for some cultured cheese recipes:
http://users.sa.chariot.net.au/~dna/kefir_cheese.html

Happy New Year! I'm looking forward to reading about your new adventures.

~Andrea (wife to the papier mache eater - haha)

Melissa said...

Really Jen was that at all necessary? I guess someone has to start the drama, right? sigh.

Anyway, My resolution is to eat more healthier. Good luck with the no shampoo thing! I could never give it up!

Melissa

Atheist Mama said...

You should check out www.starfall.com. It helped my dd learn all of her letters/sounds when she was 2-3 and it's fun :)

P.S. No Poo didn't work for me...I couldn't stand the grease...but if your hair is dry then maybe it'll be good for you.

Anonymous said...

I have a question for no-pooers out there... how do you handle extreme sweatiness? There's a part of me that would love to give up shampoo, but I run several miles four days a week and by the time I'm finished, my hair is ususally so soaked with sweat that it looks like I washed it. (Sorry for TMI.) I would love to do something more natural, but my hair also gets very filthy on days when I run!

-Ellen

Rachel in Florida said...

Emily, good luck! Haven't even thought about any New years resolutions yet. But the one thing I keep thinking about is saving enough money to add on to our kitchen and living room. we could use the space. And I would love to pay cash for it rather than borrow the money. So I guess I should pull out those Tightwad Gazettes and dust them off, and read your blog every day as well.Happy New Year!

Angel said...

Good luck w/ the goals. I can't go shampoo free as I have oily hair. Its easy if your hair is dry but for your husband this may not be a good idea. If you use cheap shampoo (I can get it for .75 a bottle) & guys don't use that much anyways then I really don't see how it is going to put any kind of dent in your budget. But to each their own.

Liz said...

Emily,

I really enjoy reading your blog and most of the comments. However all the stalkerish snarky comments, especially those done under "anonymous" are grating on my nerves. Please use some moderation with your comments or at least delete the innapropriate ones. Also, it would be very much appreciated if you would disable posting anonymously. Not only does it allow cowards to come out of the woodwork, it gets confusing when they are several posters using the anonymous name.

liveoncejuicy said...

I've done baking soda and vinegar. It worked really well for about three weeks, and then my hair got a weird texture to it. I have a LOT of very thick curly hair, so I don't know if that is why? It's super dry, and I did notice that the no poo thing helped with that. Especially my itchy scalp. I have a feeling I didn't give it long enough, and that my oil glands were just compensating and would have balanced eventually, so I might try again.

My whole blog is about my New Year's Resolutions!
http://www.liveoncejuicy.wordpress.com

I'm Lori...and maybe I'm you, too. said...

Hey, Emily, just an FYI...

I got a malicious trojan horse attack today. It was the second time I've had this happen when I clicked on a link from your blog. I don't know if someone is hacking your links or what, but I thought you should know.

SoMo said...

I think it is funny that the No Poo site has an ad for hair products. Not so funny, was the virus box that popped up. Please be careful about the links you post. I would really like to keep my computer in working order. Thank you.

Emily said...

Sorry, it didn't do that for me. I took down the link. Thanks for letting me know.

Early Modern Mom said...

I can never decide whether to make resolutions or not. I like the process of thinking about how I want to grow and mature over the course of the next year, but I'm such a rules girl that I hate making new rules to follow for myself. I like the idea of coming up with a family mission statement though. I got the idea from Dave Ramsey's twitter feed. I might give that a shot for 2010 and see where we go with it.

Amber said...

Good luck on your goals!! I'm sure they will all be met :)

This is my main New Year's Resolution (aside from losing weight lol!):

http://www.ayearofclean.blogspot.com

heather said...

the best way that i helped my girls with writing was using highlighters. i'd write out their name for example a few times and then they could trace it, and practice on their own. worked great!

not sure about "no poo", i really like my hair to smell nice. i've read about vinegar and stuff like that...just doesn't seem appealing. i have no doubt it's a great clarifying wash though.

Anonymous said...

Not being preachy here, just making a suggestion. A truly green and healthy goal would be to give up meat, or at least cut way back on your consumption of it. Meat production is the #1 source of pollution on our planet.

Maureen said...

Long time reader, first time commenter.

When teaching your son to write his name, you might want to consider to teach him to write "Dan" instead of "DAN". I have heard about kindergarten teachers having to re-teach their students to use the lower case letters.

I know you are planning to homeschool, so this means that you would have to reteach him in a couple of years

Just something to think about......

Amber said...

There are plenty of people trying to be green who don't go the vegetarian route :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Emily, I think one really positive change you could make would be to buy organic meat. Have you researched where your ground beef comes from? Organic ground beef IS more expensive, but if you ate a lot less of it, then it would not be. Why not try adding in other sources of protein a few nights each week?

I admit, I don't agree with a lot of the choices you make, and I consider myself frugal but meat is just not an area I will cheap out on!

Sue said...

Shouldn't number one be Dan's resolution too? Does he want to stop using shampoo? I could never get my husband to use vinegar on his hair or do most of the other strange things you write about on here. Does he want to do these things or does he just go along with what you say?

SavingDiva said...

I don't think I could ever give up shampoo! I did switch to a shampoo bar, but it's still not great for the environment. I have cut down my hair washing to 3 times per week...but I can't give it up! I look forward to reading your family's progress!

~Melissa said...

Good for you for making resolutions. I'm no good at making or keeping them so I resolved several years ago to stop.
I'll be making small changes over the year to make my life easier but mini goals work best for me.
I'm going to agree with the pp's about a higher quality of meat. We switched over to organic meats a few years ago and eat less of it to compensate for the price difference.
On a side note to some of the pp's, not everyone using anon is a troll. It happens that for me I have no valid accounts that correspond with any of the options below. I can post my name with it but as there isn't a ID check with that any of us using that option could be lying about our names so it really doesn't matter if I use anon or not for true identification sake. So being called "cowards" for disagreeing with Emily under anon is a pretty weak retort.

Erin T. said...

Why no-poo Emily? The chemicals in it or to be frugal? I'm just curious. My areas of improvement for the new year:
1. Personal spirituality
2. Family spirituality
3. Weight loss
4. Healthier diet for the whole family
5. Buy a home

Anonymous said...

So vinegar will detangle hair?
I second using the "Handwriting Without Tears" strategy! (Using the highlighter first and the pencil second.) It is a very successful program. Here are some free pdf. files from their site:
http://www.hwtears.com/educators/classroomextras

Me said...

I actually use Ivory soap to wash my hair. The baking soda didn't work for me. I normally use Dr Bronners Castile but I am out. I keep a small jug of apple cider vinegar in the shower and pour about 2 ounces into a cup that I mix with hot water (the vinegar gets REALLY cold). Them I pour it over my hair, massage it a bit and rinse. My hair is SO much healthier since I stopped using commercial shampoo/conditioner. I get quite a few compliments now.

Good luck with the switch!

Liz said...

Melissa - I wasn't referring to those who respectfully disagree, but to those who are name calling and trolling. I stand my ground on that it IS cowardly to use 'Anonymous' when name calling or trolling. And that is only one of many reasons as to why I don't think it's a good idea to allow anonymous user names.

amulbunny said...

Trader joes (if there is one near you) sells a natural soap that is basically Dr Bronners with their label. We keep Dr Bronners in our motorhome and use it for shampoo, cleaning, and basically everything. It works well, is all natural and doesn't use animal testing. For the cost of supplies you'd need to make your own soap, his is one of the best.

My resolution is to just to treat others the way I'd want to be treated. Nothing more, nothing less.

Best wishes for a good 2010.

~Melissa said...

Liz,
I was referring to the pp's calling ALL anon posters cowardly as clearly stated in my post. Calling trolls posting anon cowardly is one thing. Calling all anon posters cowardly, which has been stated by many posters, is another.
And while it would serve to keep negative comments off it would also keep a lot of people without the listed profiles from posting and again, anyone can lie about their names.

Our Family Is His said...

I have a wonderful site marked in my favorites for handwriting made simple. If you have a printer, you can do these in a jiffy.

http://handwritingworksheets.com/print-k/make-pk-all.htm

You type in letters or words and it will put it in the format that many of us learned to write with (the paper that has two dark lines and a dotted line in the middle) in dotted line format. They can trace for as many times as you like, then they can practice freehand. Hope this helps.

Oh, I second starfall.com. It's a wonderful site to help with letter recognition and learning letter sounds. My son used it when he was younger and knows so many of his letters now.

Captain Cleavage said...

I make short term goals every year by month and one long term goal.

Last years long term goal was stop smoking...which I did :)

My first goal this year (and really the only thing I have thought out) is to give birth in the best way possible a bring a healthy child into this world. We are going natural at a birthing center but we also have a hospital plan in case something goes wrong.

Good luck with your goals for 2010!

Penny Saver said...

I've made a savings resolution, to save $6,000 in 2010, which is 25% of our income. I started a blog, too, so hopefully that will help me stay on track!

http://thesavedquarter.wordpress.com/

Good luck with your resolutions. I tried no-poo with no success. My oily hair got oddly crusty and felt kind of gooey. No amount of vinegar rinse improved it. I hope it works better for you. You could also try shampoo soap bars if the no-poo doesn't work out.

Penny Saver said...

Also, I recommend the Kumon books for upper and lower case letters. My son likes the worksheets and the skills are practiced before being put into letters. For example, vertical lines, horizontal lines, then letters L, H, T, F, and I. Next, // and \\ followed by A, X, and so on. The prewriting skill of angled lines and straight lines and c shapes and humps are first, then applied, and that seems easier for my little guy than jumping straight into letters.

I also agree with Dan rather than DAN. That's what a kindy teacher friend of mine recommends too.

Amber said...

Captain Cleavage congrats on quitting smoking!!

Emily said...

Sue, my husband isn't so attached to shampoo, but I will be doing extra work to make the transition easier for him.

Erin, I'm not sure there will be a big cost difference with "no poo" since we get really cheap shampoo, so definitely the chemicals.

Anon, a brush will detangle hair, as it does now.

PennySaver, I'm looking forward to reading your blog!

Anonymous said...

I love making New Year's resolutions, probably because I keep them;) I'm intrigued by the "save $6,000" one. I think I'm going to choose a set amount like that over the generic save more.

As far as hair I do the "water only" method. Massage my scalp once or twice a month, then comb out to distribute oils, rinse in water once a month. Fortunately I had very short hair when I first started. Ick as to the transition, but totally worth it.

I enjoyed all the informative comments on this post. -Cris

Captain Cleavage said...

Amber
Thanks!

and totally off topic...but I giggle like an immature child everytime I read the term No Poo...Yup...that is my kinda humor! lol

Organizing Mommy said...

What great goals. I need to post mine also. I you are ahead of me in some of those things, but I would like start soap. Keep us posted.

Treva said...

The only real goal I've set for myself so far is to get my house painted during 2010. It's wood paneling through and through b/c that's what was popular when my in-laws did their decorating. It's easy enough to paint over so I don't feel the need to put up dry-wall. Most of it is larger panels, not the striped wood veneered stuff. My grandma gave me some money for Christmas (and some belated for my birthday) so I may buy a couple of gallons and get started soon.

Mrs. Money said...

I wrote a post on no poo last January. There are many good comments on there if you have any questions! I think you have great resolutions. I make soap too, so if you have any questions, you know where to find me! :) Happy New Year!

Anonymous said...

Oh for heaven's sake...it's the INTERNET. So what if someone makes an anonymous comment? Are you under the impression that one is obligated to reveal their entire legal name to make a comment on a blog? Has it occurred to those of you complaining about "anon" posts that I could well make up a fake name to post under? Do you realise that I can use a log-in ID that is merely a nickname? Forcing someone to choose a moniker to post under is just splitting silly hairs. Also? For those of you instructing Emily how to run her blog? Your hypocrisy is showing. You don't want other people to tell Emily how to run her family or her blog - why do you get to dictate how her comments are run?

sonny said...

Emily,
Why not use your soap nuts for shampoo on your hair?
Also, I am curious about how you would know if CPS came to your blog and why they would? Are you ever going to comment on how you discilpine your children? Do you let your kids CIO? Do you blanket or sleep train your kids?

Anonymous said...

Sounds like little Dan will pass his father in writing skills in a few short months.

Anita said...

As a former hair stylist the no poo thing just wouldn't go over well for me. I will say this, there are ways to make good shampoo at home Here's a link that might interest you. http://www.methodsofhealing.com/how-do-you-make-your-own-shampoo/

My resolutions list is all about starting a book in life (some will say new chapter but I'm throwing out the old book all together.) I'm sharing about it on my blog. www.aklivelovelearn.net

Making your own soap can be expensive, but I'm sure you can find ways to make it frugally. And you might want to consider infusing some of your soap nuts with herbs such as rosemary, chamomile. Also check out http://www.motherearthnews.com/Natural-Health/2007-08-01/Recipes-to-Make-Your-Own-Soap-Lotion-and-More.aspx

Hope it all works out for ya sweetie.

Minn said...

Happy new year, Emily!

Anonymous said...

Be careful with the baking soda, it can really dry out your hair!

What I did, was find a nice conditioner (usually Treseme is nice and cheap) and wash my hair with that everyday(I've really thick curly hair and it is dry up here). Then if it felt like I needed to wash with shampoo, I would mix a couple tablespoons of brown sugar with the conditioner to sort of exfoliate my scalp...it works wonders and so much better than the baking soda and vinegar! And it doesn't leave a sticky mess! Smells nice and leaves your hair really soft! I know it sounds weird, but it works!

I really enjoy your blog! Have a blessed New Year!

Anonymous said...

Hello Emily,
Your blog is very interesting and helpful! Please continue with all of your recipes!!!
I have found the Jeub family website and their cookbooks to be wonderful, esspecially when you are working with a budget to feed a family, have you visited their site or used any of their suggestions for food or family?

dust in the wind said...

You are going to try no shampoo thing? Yay! I am working up my post for that right now. I think you will love it. My hair is so much better for it, and it's so cheap! Look for my post on it today or tomorrow.

Thanks for the blogging!

dustin
www.onlydustinthewind.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

I tried to go no shampoo for a short while and gave in - very unmanagable and did not feel clean at all. But good luck!

Lisa said...

Hi! I don't use shampoo or conditioner as of last year.My hair has not looked better or shinier in last 15 years. Also now no dandruff or any flakes, but used shampoo 1 time to test if that was it & it came back. I only use baking soda & rinse with vinegar & water. I only wash it even then around once a month. It has helped it not to be dry, flaky or fly away.I use only baking soda on a wash rag to bathe with too & my skin does not dry out at all anymore.Shampoo & conditioners are bad for your hair. White rain will make your hair fall out. The ingredient that makes them lather up is a cancer causing agent & they know it causes it.Stick with it. It may take a couple months if you have oily hair for it to even out to normal. I have some links to other sites on the no shampoo thing . I'll have to look them up & post them. Lisa

cnuland said...

I saw the "no poo" goal and my first thought was - how is that going to happen with a baby in the house? (thinking diapers) LOL

My goals this year are:
1) lose weight with the help of SparkPeople
2) decrease our "stuff" (help from http://365daysofdecluttering.blogspot.com/)

We also need to get a better handle on our finances - but I don't have any specific goals for that (yet).

Andrea said...

Happy New Year. My goal this year is to start cooking more from scratch.

sunnymommy said...

My goal for this year is to get our home and family ready for another foster and/or adoptive placement. We adopted our younger daughter out of the foster care system in October at 15 months old after 15 months as a foster placement in our home. Right now we are on "social worker vacation" as requested by my husband. During this time I am working on making our home a peaceful, organized place into which to welcome the next child(ren) so that we have the margin necessary to deal with the inevitable stress and frustration.

Daphne said...

Just piping up about the no-poo thing as well. I tried it earlier this year and it worked great for a little while (a few weeks) but then my hair just freaked out and looked TERRIBLE and I decided that my super-fine hair just wasn't cut out for no-poo. However, I now only wash my hair 2-3 times a week, with VERY little shampoo, and it's fantastic. I haven't had to buy shampoo in over a year and a half! And am using natural shampoo, so very little chemical/waste happening. If you have dry hair, your hair will probably do great with no-poo. Good luck!

Andrew Wilder said...

Emily -

I'm so glad to hear you're going to be making cheese! It's an incredibly rewarding hobby, though I must agree it's not necessarily all that cost-effective. It depends on the type of cheese you want to make, and the type of milk you buy.

As a general guidelines, a gallon of milk will yield about a pound of hard cheese (and about three quarts of Whey). I usually use organic milk, so that tends to double the cost ($5.99/gallon).

Soft cheeses yield more, so you may get more "bang for your buck" on those -- and they're easier (no pressing or aging required)!

A lemon cheese would be a great way to get started. All you need is milk and fresh lemon juice (or lime, or orange, or vinegar) and then you'll want to add salt and perhaps some herbs after it's drained.

Here's an entry in my blog about Lemon Cheese:

http://www.imakecheese.com/2009/09/lemon-cheese.html

Good luck, and keep me posted!

- Andrew

Amanda said...

Those are some excellent personal goals!! I think they mimic mine as well. Blessings!

Amanda

sara said...

I'm still fairly new to your blog and am slowly catching up on all the old posts :) I just started doing the 'no poo' method this week and LOVE it! I use a mixture of baking soda and water for the wash and a mixture of acv, vanilla, and cinnamon for the rinse. My hair looks the best it ever has! I also started making my own deodorant this week too-and next week I'm learning how to make diswhaser detergent :) Loving your blog so far-I think we're a lot a like!
sara http://myfrugalfunlife.blogspot.com/

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