Natural Products

Let it all hang out! 

Yes with our busy lives it makes sense to take advantage of modern appliances, but think of the energy ♻️ we would save with just a couple small changes.

One I’ve started doing is drying my (majority of!) clothes, towels and sheets on an old fashion clothesline!!  Growing up in England i have memories of the backyard full of clotheslines, it’s all my grandmother would use! What better than fresh air and the beautiful sun ☀️ to dry the clothes 👚and towels that touch our skin everyday.

Yep you can still buy them…I got this wall version at Cost Plus World Market a couple years ago; its retractable and easy to install.

And the foldable version you can use inside during winter…yes summertime is best for drying!!!

Enjoy doing laundry a little more by saving energy and getting your clothes that fresh chemical-free scent!! 🔆

#bringbacktheclothesline #yestohangdry

for the Home · Natural Products

Natural products for clean living

I’ve been dabbling with homemade products for several years, starting with natural/vegan dog biscuits to laundry detergents and lip balm!  Although there are many “clean” products now on the market, there is nothing cleaner (& typically less expensive) then making them yourself.


With simple ingredients you can find at your local store and online you can buy clean, organic products to make a multitude of non-toxic products for your home and family.  Similar to the food you eat, if you can’t read/pronounce the ingredients, should you be cleaning your home and applying to your skin, your largest organ?!?

Not sure where to start?  If you want some simple swaps of store-bought toxic products, here are a couple of simple house product recipes you can whip up quickly:

  • Window/Glass Cleaner – 1/4 cup white vinegar, 1TBS cornstarch, 2 cups hot water, 15-20 drops lemon essential oil, & vodka (optional for extra punch!)  Combine and shake well before each use.  Don’t drink 🙂
  • Homemade Dish Soap – 1 cup liquid Castile soap (any scent or un-scented), 1 TBS vegetable glycerin, 10-15 drops citrus (lemon, grapefruit, citrus blend) EO, 1 capful Thieves household cleaner, and fill your container with distilled water to fill.  Shake before use to cut the grease!

Glass bottles are best, but if you have an empty (or almost empty to toss out toxins!) plastic spray bottle clean it well with hot water and some vinegar.  Use a pretty decorative dish soap container, or you can buy a mason jar with a pump lid for the dish soap.

Next post is to share some homemade recipes for: Body Soap, Lip Balm, SunScreen, Face Wash and Serum.

Be healthy, live clean and simple, and be good to yourself as well as others around you!


Let's Give

Ready, set, go! 

Before we start our team build, we settle into Managua for a quick tour of the city 

Team VSP!
 And then head down to San Rafael del Sur Region to the beautiful Barcelo Montelimer Beach hotel. A jungle like resort with a stunning beach to relax on after a hard days build!

The team is pumped and ready to start serving the 4 families we are here to help.   Here’s a couple reasons why we are here:

 and 1 in 5 child doesn’t make it past 10 due to illness and development problems by not having a clean floor to crawl on.

Here’s the homes we’ll be starting on today!!

Will be sharing pics of day 1 soon! 

Hasta luego!!

Let's Give · Let's travel

Day 1 VSP team build in the books!

We survived day 1 of our build! After a hearty breakfast we leave our beautiful resort in San Rafael del Sur and off to the community we are building in Masachspa.  It’s a small community 30 minutes inland, with little resources such as fresh water & electricity.  Our 4 homes are each a block or two away from each other.  I join team BLUE today, building a home for Gustavo & his family. Like many folks in the community he is suffering from kidney failure due to lack of access to clean drinking water, and is unable to work.  His wife passed away 5 yrs ago from the same condition.  He has a few family members living with him and they were on the job site, passing bricks and helping us fill in the bricks with mortar & concreto!! 

We are building a 2 bedroom cinderblock home for the family to live in…a roof that doesn’t leak, a solid floor that doesn’t flood with the rain, and walls and a door to keep the family safe at night. Pretty basic needs right?

Here’s how our day began…and 8 hours later our progress!!! Team BLUE rocked it!!!

And a few of our furry friends watching us work:

Our baby piglet, team blue mascot!
Our flock of smart little ducks…and they know how to untie shoelaces!
Un perro…sweet & protective of family home
And our healthy chickens

First day is always the hardest but all teams got into their grooves, worked as a team to get the task done and watched out for each other. Talking to folks at dinner tonight was awesome, seeing them light up when talking about the day & sharing funny stories, you would have no idea the hard work, sweat & tears they had put into the day.  Shows how strong and capable VSP’ers are and the huge hearts they have!

Day 2 we’re ready for you!! 

Buenas noches! 😴

Let's Give · Let's travel

Day 2 VSP build done!!

Well we survived another day! I worked with team TAN yesterday and had a great day.  After you get the uncertainties of the first day out the way, everyone has found their grove, knows their strengths, and realizes quickly it’s a tight coordination of different tasks (like everyone’s favorite mixing mortar & concrete!) to keep the rows of blocks assembled.  

It looks so easy, mix the mortar & concrete, lay mortar for mason, help mason get cinderblocks on house, fill the blocks with concrete and mortar, and repeat!!! But if you slow down your raw materials the whole process breaks down! This is where communication, rotating of duties and the whole team watching the flow to ensure you have what you need is critical. It truly makes it a team effort with every person responsible for the teams success.  Best team building ever!!

Team TAN in full swing!

Team TAN is building a home for Pánfilo Sanchez, a 76 yr old man who lives with his 73 yr old wife Virginia.  He suffers from hearing loss and arthritis and his wife has heart problems.  Hugo their son supports the family making about US$70 a month.  They are blessed that this fine team of volunteers are here to build his family a safe and dry home!

Let's Give · Let's travel

Day 3 build a breeze!!

Anytime you have a half day build your muscles 💪🏼 thank you a little more! 😬 yesterday I worked with team PINK, led by Karen who joined us last year in Estelí. This petite woman is a workhorse! Strong team with their communication and flow down! They looked like experts out there!

Everyday we have the teams take a before and after pic in front of the house, so you can see how clean they started, but most importantly the progress they’ve made! 

Team PINK is building a home for Miguel, a 66 yr old father living with his 59 yr old wife and 4 of their 12, yes 12 children. He works in the calcium mines but suffers from kidney infections.  They do have electricity in their current home but no access to drinking water, and must travel to the nearby river to bring it to the home. This is a huge problem in this community, lack of access to drinking water.  

Off to our last full build day! Tenga un Buen Día 😊

Let's Give · Let's travel

Day 4 completar!

Today was our last full build day and it was great! Team TAN was short-handed so Don and I worked with the group today to finish the walls and start the patio.  

Here’s how clean we started:

And here’s how we ended…walls done ✅ 

By tomorrow we’ll have the patio complete and the masons will finish up the home para la familia! 

Home stretch!