Worm Farming DIY

Worm Farming DIY

Making your own DIY worm farm is easy, but it’s definitely one of those things that you’ll either be super into…or not at all. I mean, let’s be honest – worms aren’t exactly cute and cuddly.

Worm farming, or vermiculture for the fancy among us, is a great way to reduce waste, but there are many other benefits, depending on how far you want to take it. It may be a weird way to save money, but it’s certainly a fun one!

Benefits of Worm Farming

First, when your wriggly friends break down your kitchen waste, they are eating up stuff that would otherwise take up space at the landfill while decomposing. As minimal as it may be, it all adds up over time!

Your worm farm will also be amazing for those of you are into gardening on a budget. Not only will the castings be great to mix in (no having to actually buy compost!) but the liquid “tea” they generate is one of the best fertilizers you can find…and it’ll cost you nothing to keep it going!

Another benefit is that it’s a great way to teach your children to care about the environment and about those around them. While not all kids will be into worm farming, let’s be real – most will be rather excited about it! Plus worm farming is easy to set up and care for, making it a great project for even the youngest among us.

What You Need for a Worm Farm

There are many (MANY) different wants to DIY a worm farm, but the route we went requires the following:

  • 5 gallon tote with lid
  • Screen material
  • Hot glue gun
  • X-Acto Knife or box cutter
  • Heat gun (not completely necessary but will definitely make cutting the tote easier!)
  • Shredded newspaper – about a Sunday’s edition worth – soaked in water and wrung out
  • Worms – check your local resale sites on Facebook or Craigslist to find ’em. You’d be surprised how common vermiculture is!

Where to Keep Your Worm Farm

Before you start building your worm habitat, decide on where you’ll keep the critters. Do *NOT* plan to keep them outside!! A warm, dry, dark environment is best – like your basement – but anywhere out of direct sunlight that’ll stay 40 – 80 F (4 – 27 C) will be fine. They tend to generate a lot of their own heat as they break down their food, so it’s exceptionally important you keep them somewhere relatively cool, though obviously not so cold they’ll freeze.

How to DIY a Worm Farm

diy worm farm

Once you have your ideal location set, it’s time to get building!

First, if you have a heat gun, use it to warm up the area of your tote lid you’ll be cutting. It really does make a difference in getting that center cut out:

tote lid cut

Then use that center cut out to trace and cut out screen material big enough to cover the area you just cut out. From there you’ll hot glue that screen onto the top of the lid. I then used duct tape to secure it all the better – again done on TOP the lid.

tote lid cut with duct tape

Originally I went the route of just drilling holes into the lid and that was fine…until my wriggly friends started to wriggle their way out of the nice home I built them! So rude, right? Supposedly the worms won’t do that if you have a nice environment for them, but uh…no. Heh trust me, the screen is the way to go!

You can also drill and insert a spigot into the bottom to drain some of the liquid that’ll accumulate, but I just make sure to monitor the dampness every few days and will add shredded newspaper or cardboard as needed.

What to Put In Your Worm Farm

When you’re first adding your worms, you can start with whatever dirt they’ve come in and then use wet, shredded newspaper and cardboard – be sure to wring it out first as you want it wet, but no where near dripping. Fill your tote about half full with the shreds and make sure it’s fluffed up enough for the worms to move freely and have plenty of oxygen.

There’s no need to add additional dirt, yard waste, etc. In fact, it’s safer to avoid ever doing that, as you never know what sort of contaminants might be there.

You can then go ahead and add your worms, but wait a couple days before adding in any food.

What to Feed Worms

Fortunately worms aren’t too picky when it comes to food, though mine are certainly big fans of moldy tomatoes (yum…)

You’ll want to avoid meat or highly acidic foods, like onions and citrus. Also try to avoid going overboard on the coffee grounds.

Your worms will thrive best when given a 2:1 ratio of pounds of worms to daily pounds of food, but this may vary a bit. It’s best to start off with food in one corner and then monitor it to see how fast it goes. As that corner starts to dissipate, put another serving in another corner. This helps keeps the worms moving and keeps the waste well circulated.

Should you start seeing gnats or other flying friends, cut back on the food a bit and/or loosely place a piece of dry cardboard in the bin on top of the papers/waste.

worm farm tote with cardboard

As they begin to generate those castings, feel free to scoop it out and add it to your garden or indoor plants. Eventually you may find your worm friends have reproduced so much that they need a new home – this can be a great way to earn some extra cash from home or you can create a second home if your garden is in need!

Do you have any questions about DIY’ing your own worm farm?

Comment below, I’m happy to help!

Chuck E Cheese Birthday Party Review

Chuck E Cheese Birthday Party Review

I’m so excited to share my experience with hosting our first Chuck E Cheese birthday party! I’m a bit of a control freak, so I can’t say I wasn’t worried about how this party would go down, but it was even better than I could have expected.

It’s important to note here that I’m in no way affiliated with Chuck E Cheese nor am I receiving anything in return for this post. It’s simply an experience worth sharing with other mommas in need of party planning help!

How does a Chuck E Cheese birthday party work?

When my daughter announced she wanted to hold her 4th birthday at Chuck E Cheese, my frugal brain immediately went to the cost. So I went on the Chuck E Cheese website and was pleasantly surprised by the affordable options. Even when we go the party-at-home-DIY-route (like we did for our Dr. Seuss birthday party!) there’s still the stress and time planning it all.

I truly love to throw parties, but not necessarily during the cold days of February, which happens to be my daughter’s birthday month. So this time I handed over the party planning reigns and here’s what happened…

Chuck E Cheese Birthday Party Review

chuck e cheese birthday party

What’s the schedule like?

We arrived at Chuck E Cheese about 15 minutes before the party was set to start. Everything was set up in the back already and our host greeted us. She handed over a bag of play passes as well as a birthday bracelet for my sweet birthday girl.

Our host then went over our order (we opted for extra pizzas and drinks for the adults). From there, she went over the schedule, which looked like this:

12pm – party starts, kids play

12:45pm – pizza time! Our host served the children and made sure they all got what they needed.

After pizza, Chuck E himself came out to dance with the kids. We then sang “Happy Birthday” while the host cut and distributed the cake. Since we got the Mega Super Star package, it also included Dippin’ Dots (yum!!)

Chuck E Cheese dippin dots birthday party

From there, it would’ve been gift time, but we nixed that to do gifts at home.

After cake, it was ticket blaster time! My daughter wasn’t too keen on it, so her big brother stepped in.

Do they have to do the ticket blaster?

Our host was kind enough to show my daughter how the ticket blaster worked, but even then, my daughter wasn’t interested. My 5yr old son was all about it, though, so he stepped up to get those tickets. That said, there was also the option to skip the ticket blaster and simply collect 200 tickets (plus her 1000 bonus tickets as a part of the party package).

After the ticket blaster, the kids are then welcome to go back to playing.

Chuck E Cheese Ticket Blaster

Can you bring your own cake to a Chuck E Cheese birthday party?

Absolutely! While Chuck E Cheese offers a number of gorgeous cake options, you can also bring in your own cake and ice cream.

Do you tip for a Chuck E Cheese birthday party?

I’ve actually reached out to Chuck E Cheese to see if they have a policy/common practice on this. While I in no way felt pressured to tip, there’s no doubt our hostess deserved it! Our total party cost was $300, on which we tipped $40. This might seem like a bit much to some (like my husband…hehe) but I’ve worked in food service before and the tip was well earned.

Is the Mega Super Star package worth it?

It really, really is. It was so nice to not have to worry about goody bags or ice cream, plus the unlimited play for the 2 hours really helped parents better enjoy the experience and not worry about watching (or having to re-up!) their child’s play points. I also love that the goody bags allow for every child to leave with something, regardless of how many tickets they earned.

chuck e cheese goody bag

What happens if you have no-shows?

Sure enough, on the day of the party we had a couple children who suddenly couldn’t make it. Luckily Chuck E Cheese offers a 2-child no-show policy so we weren’t charged for the absent children.

The Easiest Birthday Party Ever

Overall, I truly could not have been happier with the whole experience. I did EVERYTHING online on my own schedule and it was the smoothest, most relaxed party I’ve had. Frankly, I’m considering hosting my own next birthday party there – they do have beer, after all! 😉

chuck e cheese birthday party review

Have you had a Chuck E Cheese birthday party experience?

Would love for you to comment below and share your thoughts!

Home Remedies That Actually Work

Home Remedies That Actually Work

Are you looking for natural ways to help your family live healthier lives? Do you believe in the power of natural remedies and want to start using them more intelligently?

There’s definitely a lot to learn and it can be tricky knowing where to start!

When my husband and I first met, he used to tease me about being a witch – and of course I’d have to answer back “I’m not a witch, I’m your wife!” (Princess Bride, anyone?)

It wasn’t commentary on my attitude, but rather my predisposition to homeopathic remedies whenever I was feeling sick. Now before we go too deep into this post, I do want to mention two VERY important things:

  1. I am in no way recommending you forgo talking to your doctor when you suspect something is wrong. I am a professional blogger, not a doctor, so don’t take my word as law.
  2. I do have affiliate links below, which means should you click through to make a purchase on any recommended products/services, I may receive a small commission. This in no way impacts my recommendation of said products/services.

So with that out of the way, back to our point – using nature to help you live a healthier life!

Herbs and Essential Oils Bundle Review

There are a few ways in which I try to maintain a healthy lifestyle on a daily basis. I’ll drink ACV and lemon water, use a bit of coconut oil in my coffee, eat greek yogurt, and will even eat a garlic clove if I’m feeling off.

Heh I can already see a few of you rolling your eyes, but stick with me! In just the examples above, we’re looking at products that are jam packed with antiviral properties (the allicin in garlic and monolaurin from coconut oil) as well as antibiotic and probiotic properties. So again while I wouldn’t tell you to skip your doctor’s advice on medical care or a prescription, being conscious of what we’re ingesting can go a long way in preventing and shortening the duration of many illnesses.

That said, you do have to know:

  • What’s safe
  • What works
  • What to buy
  • Which remedies are right for which situations
  • And then how to use them all (recipes and techniques that actually work!)

With so many conflicting opinions online, finding clear answers can be hard – not to mention time-consuming and frustrating.

 

HEOSB2018 text graphic 2This is why I’m SO excited to talk to you to day about the Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle created by my friends at Ultimate Bundles.

This phenomenal set will help you:

  • Match the best remedies to your unique health needs
  • Discover why and how the various remedies actually work (and the science behind it)
  • Use essential oils and herbs in your home for cleaning, relaxation, beauty, skincare, energy, even cooking and more
  • Feel confident with easy-to-follow guides whether you’re just starting out or ready for more advanced uses.

And the best part is, by partnering with the herbalists, certified aromatherapists, and other experts who created these resources (like me!), Ultimate Bundles can offer guidance on these remedies at an 83% discount.

You’ll learn how to use them for relaxation and body care, how to grow or forage for ingredients, how to make safe cleaning or beauty products, and how to respond to common ailments you or your family suffer from. This bundle was created by experts — aromatherapists, herbalists, a chiropractor, a registered nurse, a nutritional therapy practitioner, and more.

I bought this bundle a few weeks ago and I’ve been obsessed with it ever since! If you’re ready to check it out, you can CLICK HERE and get to it! But if you’re still on the fence, let me address some common questions I’ve had while talking to friends and family about this kit…

Keep yourself and your family healthy

What is Ultimate Bundles?

Well if you’ve read my post on Ultimate Bundles before, you know they’re a company that brings together products to sell to consumers at a massive discount; they’re able to sell these bundles at a low cost for a variety of reasons, namely that they’re VERY limited in the times that they sell them and also because of people (like me!) who contribute their products in exchange for a higher affiliate commission fee. It’s a genius business model if you ask me.

What is the Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle?

It’s a curated collection of 22 eBooks, 4 eCourses, 6 printables, and 2 membership sites — all about natural remedies, and the use of herbs and essential oils.

What will this bundle help me do?

You’ll find natural remedies for colds, flu, infections, pain, stress, hormones, skin issues, sleeping troubles, and more (plus you’ll understand more of the research and science behind why they work and how to use them safely).

You’ll learn how to make your own (all natural!) lip scrubs, lip balm, hand salve, body scrubs, foot soaks, sunscreen, diaper cream, lotion, soap bars, rollerballs, relaxing sprays, facial cleansers… (and the list could go on)

And last but not least, you’ll learn how to clean your home with toxin-free homemade products, and even enhance your cooking with nutritious and beneficial herbal ingredients from your pantry (or even the wild!).

Better healthy doesn't come from a pill

Who is this bundle for?

It’s for anyone who believes in the power of traditional healing wisdom (combined with modern science) and wants to start using herbs and essential oils more intelligently in their home and life.

You’ll discover detailed information on individual herbs and oils (and how to combine them into effective combinations and easy-to-use remedies), new applications and uses you’ve never thought of, time-saving shortcuts and tips, ways to save money on ingredients by foraging or growing your own, and so much more.

Is there a guarantee?

Yep! 30-days, 100% satisfaction or ALL your money back. Rarely do online purchases come with such a worry-free guarantee, but should you be unhappy for any reason all you do is e-mail the folks at Ultimate Bundles and you’ll get your money back, easy peasy.

When it comes to your health, I know how easy it can be to give in to discouragement. But I truly believe a healthier life is possible for people who embrace the power of natural remedies and holistic wellness. Hopefully it won’t lead to your significant other calling into question the potential of witchcraft, but hey those results you’ll see will certainly be magical!

Buy your bundle today before it’s too late!!

Then comment below and let me know – do you already use any sort of home remedies when you’re feeling ill? Turmeric tea perhaps? Or maybe lemon water? Share with me in the comments!

DIY home natural remedies to help families stay healthy and avoid getting sick

Candy Free Trick-or-Treat Idea

Candy Free Trick-or-Treat Idea

Many children have food allergies so trick-or-treating can be…well, tricky.

So this year why not skip the candy altogether and make something super fun for the kiddos? This is also a great project if you have children in school who need to bring in goodies for their class.

Skip the candy this year and give away monster kits instead! DIY idea for trick-or-treaters that doesn't include food, great for The Teal Pumpkin Project! Candy-free trick-or-treat idea for Halloween, great for class or party favors. Fun Halloween project to do with your kids.

Last year we made these for my son’s preschool class and on the note at the top, I included a link to this website. Some may see this as shameless promotion but hey! There’s quality stuff here and why not use this as an opportunity to not just share a fun craft, but share more parenting and frugal living ideas.

So without further ado, I present to you…

The Candy-Free Trick-or-Treat Monster Kit

monster kit halloween trick or treat

What You’ll Need for the Monster Kit:

Note: Most of the components are linked to the exact products I bought for mine from Amazon. Clicking through to make a purchase may earn me a small commission, but this in no way impacts my recommendation of these products or the cost to you.

Total cost per kit: $.59

In each baggie, put a can of Play-Doh, 2-4 puff balls, a few googly eyes, and a pipecleaner (you can either fold and put in a whole one, or cut one in half to fit).

Staple the bag shut and then put the label over the staples – this helps people understand what exactly this goodie bag is while also keeping fingers safe from potentially pointy staples.

I then used packing tape to seal the label so that they wouldn’t tear when put in a bag with other trick-or-treat Halloween goodies.

Candy free trick or treat idea

You can even enlist the help your little ones as you assemble these, though I can’t promise they won’t get distracted and start making monsters themselves.

halloween monster making kit

While this may cost a bit more than your usual giant bag of candy, it’s a lot more and the leftovers won’t cause you to put on 5lbs!

And don’t forget to grab your free resources from The Teal Pumpkin Project! The Teal Pumpkin Project is a way for families to let trick-or-treaters know that they have non-food treats available. This is such a kind way to ensure those with food allergies or other conditions are included in the Halloween fun!

What was your favorite thing to get when trick-or-treating?

Comment below and let me know!

 

DIY Stretchmark Cream

DIY Stretchmark Cream

Stretchmarks are one of the most unpleasant side effects from a pregnancy, or any type of rapid weight gain. And they are very hard to eliminate, if not impossible. Stretchmarks are even tougher than cellulite! But still there is hope! And before you jump into buying the next expensive hyped cosmetic product, try my natural toxin-free suggestions. They might put all the commercial creams in their pockets with regards to effectiveness and price!

But first let’s talk a little bit about the benefits of making your own cosmetic formulas:

  1. Homemade cosmetics do not contain artificial chemicals, which are proven to damage our health. Substances like parabens, petroleum derivatives, synthetic aromas and preservatives, are proven to cause allergies, eczema, dermatitis, and some even claim they can cause some types of cancer! So, having full control over the ingredients is a big plus.
  2. We help the planet as well. Pollution coming from the above mentioned chemicals is a huge problem right now. By choosing natural cosmetics, we decrease the detrimental effects of the commercial products. And also, we weaken the power of companies that use animal testing for their goods.
  3. DIY cosmetics are totally adjustable. You can devise your own formulas and use the oils and butters you like best. We are all different and our skin’s needs may vary. So, at the end of the day, you can change the recipes and experiment to find which ingredients fit best for you.
  4. Last, but not least – making your own beauty products is a wonderful hobby, which can occupy your free time and give you some positive emotions. After all, dealing with natural aromatic substances is a very pleasant and therapeutic activity!

But let’s get to the recipes!

Here are my favorite natural stretchmark creams and ointments suitable for anyone who wants to improve their skin elasticity and texture —

(Please note this post contains affiliate links, which means I may make a small commission should you make a purchase. This comes at no additional cost to you and in no way impacts my recommendation of any products or services.)

Stretchmark Lotion DIY


Ingredients:

1/4 cup Shea butter

1/4 cup Coconut butter

3 Tbsps. Apricot oil

1 Tbsp. Calendula blossoms

1/4 Tbsp. Ginger powder

A few drops Essential oil of choice (except the citrus ones)

 

Instructions:

Place the apricot oil, the calendula and the ginger powder in a double boiler. Heat the mixture on low temperature and stir for about 30 minutes. Do not let the water boil and burn the oil. Strain the infusion.

Place the infused oil back in the double boiler and add the coconut butter and the shea butter.

Melt the oils and blend them completely. Take the mixture off the heat and let it cool off a little. Add the essential oils and stir well.

Pour the lotion in a glass jar with a lid.

It is best to start applying this lotion during pregnancy before the stretchmarks appear. Remember to choose a suitable essential oil which is safe to use during pregnancy. Consult with your doctor beforehand!

The cream is also applicable for people who quickly build muscles (bodybuilders) and those who gain weight rapidly.

Stretchmark Body Oil DIY

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp. Cocoa butter

1 1/2 Tbsp. Shea butter

2 tsps. Sesame oil

1 tsp. Tamanu oil

8 drops Lavender essential oil

7 drops Neroli essential oil

Instructions:

Melt the cocoa and the shea butter in a double boiler. Add the sesame and the tamanu oil and stir well.

Take the oil blend off the heat and leave it to lower its temperature for a couple of minutes. Next, simply mix all the ingredients well and blend them completely.

Apply on the problem areas daily. If you are currently pregnant, massage your thighs, belly, lower back, and upper arms to prevent form stretchmarks formation.

Store the oil in a glass bottle in a dark and cool place.


Stretchmark Cream

Ingredients:

1/2 cup Cocoa butter

1 Tbsp. Wheat germ oil

1 Tbsp. Apricot kernel oil

1 Tbsp. Vitamin E oil

2 Tbsps. Grated beeswax or beeswax pastilles

 

Instructions:

Mix the ingredients in a double boiler until well melted.

Pour the mixture in a container and store in the refrigerator.

Apply the cream every day after bath/shower and let it stay for 20 min before you put your clothes on (so the cream won’t be absorbed in the fabric).

You can use the cream until full recovery of the skin.

 

Apply these natural remedies daily during the pregnancy (or during the period of muscle/weight gain) to prevent from stretchmarks. If you already have them, do not despair – keep massaging the skin with these ointments and combine them with regular dry brushing and skin exfoliation. In time, the scar tissue will fade away and the marks won’t be so visible or they might completely vanish!

 

If you liked these recipes, like and share this article or leave a comment below and tell me about your favorite natural skin remedy!

 

My name is Milica and I am a blogger, writer, holistic living, personal development, physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health and wellbeing enthusiast. I am the author of “Toxin-free Homemade Easy Beauty Recipes” and “Healthy Body Cleanse: Gently Burn Body Fat and Lose Weight Naturally”.

You can find more valuable holistic health articles on my blog http://mindbodyandspiritwellbeing.com, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/MindBodySpiritWellbeing, or Pinterest https://www.pinterest.com/milicavladova