Top 5 Natural Summertime Must-Haves

Top 5 Natural Summertime Must-Haves
Summer is the season of sunshine, beach trips, and outdoor adventures on the homestead or in the park. To make the most of these warm, glorious days, having the right essentials is key. This summer, why not embrace natural and eco-friendly products that are kind to both your body and the environment? Here are my top five natural summertime must-haves to keep you cool, protected, and glowing all season long.

1. Natural Sunscreen

Protecting your skin from the sun's harsh rays is crucial, but conventional sunscreens often contain chemicals that can harm both your skin and marine or lake life. Opt for a natural sunscreen made with zinc oxide or titanium dioxide (our favorite is this one). These mineral-based sunscreens provide broad-spectrum protection without the harmful chemicals. Look for options that are reef-safe and biodegradable to ensure you're not contributing to ocean pollution while enjoying the waves.

Why Choose It:
  • Non-toxic ingredients
  • Safe for sensitive skin
  • Environmentally friendly

2. Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe vera is a summer skincare staple. Known for its soothing and healing properties, aloe vera gel is perfect for treating sunburns, insect bites, and general skin irritation. It's also a fantastic natural moisturizer that won't leave your skin feeling greasy. Keep a bottle of pure, organic aloe vera gel in your fridge for a refreshing and cooling application after a day in the sun. Add some lavender to it for additional skin soothing properties.

Benefits:
  • Natural anti-inflammatory properties
  • Hydrates and soothes skin, especially when lavender is added
  • Can be used on hair and scalp for hydration

3. Homeopathic Allergy Relief

Summer brings a bloom of flowers and, unfortunately, a surge in allergens. For those who suffer from seasonal allergies, homeopathic remedies can provide effective relief without the side effects of conventional medications. Remedies like Allium cepa, Histaminum Hydrochloricum, and Sabadilla are known to alleviate symptoms such as sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes. (Always consult with a healthcare provider to determine the best remedy for your specific symptoms.)

Advantages:
  • Minimal side effects
  • Gentle on the body
  • Targets the root cause of symptoms without negative effects

4. Natural Insect Repellent

Bugs can be a real nuisance during summer, but conventional insect repellents are often loaded with DEET and other harmful chemicals. Natural insect repellents, made with essential oils like citronella, eucalyptus, and lavender, provide effective protection without the toxicity (our favorite here). These botanical ingredients not only repel bugs but also smell good and benefit the environment.

Why It's Better:
  • Free from harmful chemicals
  • Safe for all ages
  • Pleasant natural fragrance

5. Homeopathic Bug Bite Relief

Despite your best efforts, sometimes those pesky bugs still manage to bite. Homeopathic remedies can offer soothing relief from the itching and swelling. Remedies like Apis mellifica are particularly effective for bug bites. My 20 month old daughter got huge welt-like swelling from bug bites a few weeks ago, but she's barely had any swelling from bug bites since we grabbed this remedy and gave it to her after seeing she had bugs bothering her. Additionally, individuals who frequently attract bugs might have deficiencies in certain vitamins and minerals, such as B vitamins, zinc, and magnesium. Ensuring you have a balanced diet or taking appropriate supplements can help reduce your attractiveness to insects.

Perks:
  • Reduces itching and swelling naturally
  • Safe for all skin types
  • Can address underlying deficiencies that attract bugs

Embrace a Natural Summer

By incorporating these natural summertime must-haves into your daily routine, you can enjoy the season to the fullest while being kind to your body and the planet. Whether you're lounging on the beach, hiking through the mountains, or simply enjoying your yard, these eco-friendly essentials will keep you protected, refreshed, and ready for adventure. Embrace the natural way of living this summer and experience the difference for yourself!

5 Natural Resources for Moms on a Budget

Being a crunchy mom on a budget means wanting to incorporate natural and holistic approaches to parenting while also being mindful of your finances. Here are five resources that can help you navigate this lifestyle without breaking the bank:

1. Natural Parenting Blogs and Forums:
   - Mothering.com: This is a community-driven website that covers topics like natural childbirth, breastfeeding, cloth diapering, and more. The forums are especially helpful for connecting with other like-minded parents.
   - Mama Natural: While not exclusively for moms who want to homebirth or birth center, this blog offers a wealth of information on natural living from pregnancy through toddlerhood.
   - The Hippy Homemaker: This blog focuses on DIY natural living with an emphasis on budget-friendly options. It covers everything from natural beauty products to healthy recipes.

2. Library and Online Articles:
   - Your local library is a treasure trove of resources. You can find books on natural parenting, herbal remedies, and eco-friendly living.
   - Many online platforms have articles and guides on budget-friendly crunchy living. Look for blogs or websites dedicated to topics like natural parenting, sustainable living, and eco-friendly products.

3. Social Media and Online Communities:
   - Platforms like Facebook, Reddit, and Instagram have groups and pages dedicated to natural lifestyle and parenting. You can join communities where members share tips, advice, and budget-friendly ideas. A great one is Happy Healthy and Loving Life -- you can write my name, Andrea Orem, in the membership question asking who referred you there!

4. DIY and Homemade Products:
   - Learning to make your own products can save a lot of money. You can find recipes for homemade cleaning supplies, baby products, and even personal care items like shampoos and lotions. One of my most-used ingredients in our DIY items is castile soap.
   - Websites like Pinterest and blogs mentioned earlier often have a plethora of DIY recipes. If you need some recommendations, I'm happy to send some your way, just ask! I have lots of cloth diaper, natural recipes and other recommendations I could point you to.

5. Local Farmers' Markets and Co-ops:
   - Buying organic and locally-sourced food can be more affordable when you shop at farmers' markets or participate in a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program.
   - Many co-ops also offer bulk buying options for pantry staples like grains, beans, and spices at a lower cost.
   - My state has a "Farm Direct" site and Facebook group for farmers to connect directly with consumers, which cuts the cost down a LOT. If you're in Minnesota, connect with me if you'd like an invite! And if not, try searching for your own local area to see if one exists.

Remember, being on a budget doesn't mean you have to compromise your crunchy lifestyle. It often means finding creative ways to incorporate natural and holistic practices into your life without overspending. These resources can help you discover affordable alternatives and connect with a community that shares your values.