Free Soap.




Well good morning. I got up early again with even intention of hitting the trail with my pup. But the book I keep saying I am writing is calling today. And truly, so is this cup of tea. I'm skipping my daily sunrise walk and penning a few pages instead. It won't write itself, so I'd better get to work.

Before I go, I wanted to tell you that this month is my four-year blog anniversary. Four years feels like a long time. Lupine was just a baby when I began, and Sage was the age she is now. And poof! Over 700 posts are somehow done and here you are, reading my words.

It's humbling.

In those first few months I shared a blog mission statement with you. Well, with a couple of you. There were so few of you here that only two people commented. (Oh wait. One of those people was me.)

I thought I would share it again to let you know why I've been coming here since the beginning.

Here is what I said when this all began:

So here is my blog Manifesto, my Mission, Intention, or Over-Thought-Moment-of-Misplaced-Seriousness:

1. Inspire

Our world is brimming with hidden beauty and inspiration. I strive to inspire you through the moments and thoughts that I share through words and pictures.

2. Be Inspired

I will seek inspiration and beauty each day. There is so much around me that is magical. I will touch it, photograph it, and share it.

3. Uplift

Our words shape our world and I choose to work for good. May my message lift your heart and make your soul sing.

4. Challenge

I challenge myself to try new things, to post with regularity, to be present each day. I challenge you with ideas that may be new, unusual, non-conformist.

And you know, four years later I think that sums it up. From posts about making toothpaste to picking nettles, peaceful parenting to clearing the clutter. I think it's all there. Do you?

Why do you come here?

This is something I wonder often. So many of you are quiet, coming here to read and then slipping away until tomorrow. What brings you back everyday? I've often wondered.

Leave a comment here with anything you want me to know. Tell me your favorite sort of post (parenting, crafting, homeschooling, cooking, etc.) or tell me something about you. Tell me how long you've been reading or what you want more of. Tell me why you are here.

You can post a second entry for sharing a link to the blog or this giveaway via whatever method you choose. (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, email, phone, tin-can-and-string, etc.) Just leave a second commenting saying so.

Comments are now closed. Thank you for the amazing love-fest that you left with your notes on this post. What a tresure this turned out to be! I'll annonce the winner later this week.

The winner is Katie who said:

I love LuSa products – the Belly Balm has saved my ever growing pregnant belly 🙂 I appreciate companies who are making a difference and care about their customers. I love bragging about your products to my friends and recommend them to everyone! Thank you!

I'll pick one comment at random and send you some of my delicious LuSa Organics goodies. A nice box of my organic body care that smells like heaven. You'll love it. I promise. 

And for everyone, to celebrate my anniversary here receive a free bar of my LuSa Organics naked soap with any order on my website. Type "I love LuSa. And I love ______." In the  comments field of your order. In the blank write mint, lavender, patchouli, or citrus to help us choose your soap. Then we'll add a bar of naked soap of our choice. Offer is good through June 22, 2012.

So that's it. Happy anniversary to Clean and thank you to everyone who finds there way into my world each day. Now then. Onto that book…




107 thoughts on “Free Soap.

  1. Emily says:

    Hi Rachel,

    I come here because I want to know that other people lead lives different from that of my parents and are happy doing it. I’m a college student looking at potentially leading a very different life from the one my parents envision for me, and it’s beautiful to see your life with your family and your soap! I hope someday to find my way into parenting and doing what I love. Thank you for sharing your life with all of us.


  2. Casey says:

    Congratulations Rachel! What a wonderful accomplishment. I come here to be inspired and challenged. To be a better mom and live a better life.

  3. Kristina says:

    I love getting a peak at a life that is so different, yet so similar to my own. We lead very different lives, but many of our hopes and dreams are the same. It is wonderful to read how you go about reaching for your dreams. The adorably cute kids help. 😀

  4. Jenn says:

    I come here everyday because your words DO inspire, and uplift, and educate. I come here because you’re living a life that I’m striving towards, especially the Mama soaping business part. And I come here because the pictures are pretty, and because there is always someone here…it’s like why visit a shop if the shopkeeper is always away – but you’re always here, and I love that!

  5. emily says:

    I started coming because I love the Lusa products. I keep coming to read about other moms who think like I do.

  6. Janice says:

    Hi Rachel,
    I come here because I love reading anything you write. Your style is so calming and soothing. I also love reading about all your crafts and recipes. So much fun!! Thanks for writing the blog and for making wonderful LuSa goodness for us all! Love your products!!

  7. Alison says:

    I come here for ideas, recipes and inspiration. It’s a breath of fresh air. My family uses your products. My husband is a huge fan too. Long story short: He crashed a golf cart, got REALLY bad road rash on his face (not pretty) and within a week his face healed–all because of Booty Balm!

  8. Susie says:

    Hello Rachel
    I’ve been reading your blog for about two years. I read it because I like what you have to say, you make me think about some things I hadn’t considered and your honesty is much appreciated.
    I live in Scotland so don’t worry if that’s too far to post soapy goodness but I thought this was a nice opportunity to say ‘thank you – for all your inspiration, struggles and compassion. Well done you!’

  9. Michelle says:

    Darn it. This is the second time I missed a giveaway. I just ordered last week! Oh well.
    I have been reading your blog for about 2 years now. Truthfully I was drawn in by the bug spray that I love so very much but stayed because I like your writing style. Like everyone else, I don’t always agree with what you write but you have such a nice way of explaining things and you never force your ideas. I have learned a lot from you Rachel, so thank you for writing. Can’t wait to read your book!

  10. Beth says:

    I’ve only been reading your blog for a few months, and I’m one of those people who usually just read and disappear without commenting. But for your blog-versary I’ll break the ice! I’m a new mom (17 weeks!)and I live an urban life very different from yours. However, I admire all that you’ve done both with your family and your business. I love the parenting, crafting and cooking posts, and I am inspired by your writing to be a more creative and conscientious mom. Thank you for writing!

  11. Amanda says:

    I have been coming here for about two years I think, and I can’t remember what brought me. But your blog is so unique. I love the recipes and crafts (now making yogurt is a mainstay in our house and I LOVE it!) and everything in between. I enjoyed the simplicity posts as this is something I’m always striving toward. I like to be provoked by new ideas and you are always here to bring them!

  12. Elizabeth says:

    I believe you have fulfilled each of your missions in each post you share with us. You have opened yourself and shown your truth with us and it is a privilege to be a part of that. Thank you.

    I come here to read of the everyday occurences that happen in your life. This is where I am inspired to continue the path I am on which is so similar to yours.

  13. Page says:

    I come here because I love your products. I first learned of them at Art v. Craft a few years ago. They are my favorite. i use them constantly and give them as gifts to all that I love. I actually didn’t know you had a blog until i saw your pins on pinterest. My fave posts are about crafting.

  14. april says:

    happy anniversary! i always enjoy your cooking and craft posts. and your de-cluttering posts helped me get inspired to do the same, at least on a small scale!

  15. Noel says:

    Congratulations Rachel! I come here to be inspired. To be challenged. And simply to enjoy being. You have even inspired me to drive two hours to Viroqua today. Why? Because it’s Exploration Friday and my kids and I think your town sounds simply wonderful! Have a wonderful day!

  16. Monica says:

    I love all your posts, but especially the ones on parenting, simplicity, and homeschooling. In fact, it your posts on the latter topic that has me very seriously researching the prospect of educating my kids myself. I’ve never tried your products but am excited at the chance to win a giveaway.

  17. Julien says:

    I come here because I’m a nanny (a job I love) and you teach me how to be better at it. My parents were pretty terrible so I get a lot of inspiration and practical ideas from your blog. I admire your approach and philosophies and I incorporate a lot of them into the way I interact with people. And I think other’s have said this already, but I really enjoy the voyeuristic view into your lifestyle that is so vastly different from mine.

  18. Amanda says:

    I am here because you seem to be so present and mindful of every little thing you do, I am inspired by it

  19. Evan says:

    Hi Rachel,

    I’ve been coming to your blog for almost three years now and I am one of the many silent readers. I come on a daily basis for inspiration and calm – two things you have to offer in spades. Your craft and food posts are particularly exciting for me, but I suspect I will be re-reading your parenting posts when I become a mother. Your downsizing posts struck a nerve and the hubs and I have since freed ourselves of a tremendous amount to stuff/burden. Thank you for all that you do – it is certainly appreciated!

  20. mandy jean capote says:

    I started reading your blog very recently. I was living in Miami and pregnant. I randomly met a woman who was cloth diapering her child and I had many questions for her to which she graciously invited me to her home to give me a “workshop” on all she had learned. She used the LuSa diaper wipe wash and so when my husband and I moved to Birmingham, AL and I was getting all of our baby essentials ready, I ordered some. When it came in the mail, I looked at where it was from and to my amazement, it was from Viroqua, WI. My favorite small town ever, and where I still have family and my mother was raised. I grew up in Milwauke…anyways, I had remembered going to the Co-op and buying your soaps a few years back and was all sorts of nostalgic. I saw that you had a blog and was instantly hooked. I just had my baby girl, Marbella, on The Farm, after 35 hours of intense labor (but she was born naturally and wonderfully with the help of amazing midwives)on May 30th. I find your blog so refreshing and inspiring, and the fact that it comes from my home state in my ancestor’s town, makes me feel a sense of familiarity while I get adjusted to a new town where I know no one.

  21. Jess says:

    I started reading your blog around Easter, when you posted about the lovely, simple things your family was doing to celebrate spring. As I sit here nursing my now almost 8-month old son, I know that I want to do things differently as a parent. Different in a way that my family and some friends might judge me for, or disapprove of. Your writing inspires me to pursue different routes, whatever they might be. I love posts on parenting, challenges you’ve overcome, and of course, homemade crafty goodness!

  22. Karen says:

    I remain a regular to your blog because I enjoy the fact that despite the fact that the subject matter isn’t always rainbows and glitter, you seem to remain a hopeful, grounded and happy person.
    I appreciate that.
    So, thank you.

  23. Kate says:

    For the past few years, I have tried to visit your blog at least once a week in an effort to keep myself centered and inspired. I find your lifestyle and adventures very dreamy (since living on a farm and running some sort of my own business is a personal dream I have always had), and I also love to get new ideas to use in my daily life as a parent. 🙂

  24. Karla says:

    Hm… I think I’ve been coming here a year or two. I’ve lost track. I first found you while looking for a natural toothpaste recipe, saw your post about downsizing, then got excited when I realized you knit and homeschool, too. Your vision for your family and way of life is inspiring and I appreciate so many of the insights you share.

    Sometimes I don’t comment even though I appreciate what you’ve written simply because I don’t have anything else to add to what you’ve already said. Sometimes if there’s something controversial I don’t want to stir the pot, as it were. Sometimes I avoid the more challenging things you write – like peaceful parenting! – because I know I’ll feel guilty. 🙁

    I truly appreciate all of your insights and don’t think you need to tailor it in a specific direction.

  25. Caitie says:

    I don’t always comment, but I really enjoy your lifestyle posts…you’ve got the inspire part of your manifesto nailed for sure!

  26. Wendy says:

    Hi Rachel,

    I am a recent reader and I am loving being here. I was first attracted and keep coming because of the life you lead and the philosophies behind it. My husband and I have a somewhat different vision on parenting and living than most around us. The encouragement and posts on motherhood especially speak to me. Congrats on the anniversary!

  27. Lisa says:

    Hi Rachel, I can’t remember how I stumbled upon your blog, but I’ve probably been reading for a year or so. I come everyday because you are living the life I’m striving for, with your own business and just being together as a family. And quite frankly, I like reading your words on whatever you have to say. Having recently started on the GAPS diet I also find it a great source of information and inspiration. Thanks – and congratulations!!

  28. Irina says:

    Hi Rachel!
    I’m from Russia, and it’s hard for me to speak and write in English, but I will try. I read your blog about six months. Your posts about parenting give good food for thought. I come to your blog and feel the warmth, calm and peace here. And of course I come here for inspiration! Thank you!

  29. carli says:

    Congratulations on 4 years Rachel! A friend introduced me to your blog a few months ago and I’ve been a loyal follower ever since. It’s not easy finding families that have similar thoughts and lifestyles as we do, so I really enjoy your posts. I’ve learned quite a bit from you both in the kitchen (I use your yogurt recipe weekly!) and as a parent. Thank you for you for sharing your life and your family with us <3

  30. Laura says:

    Hi Rachel! I’ve been reading your blog for over a year now and it’s my favorite thing to check every morning while I drink my tea. My favorite posts are recipes and tutorials on making your own natural products. I’m not a mother yet but I find a lot of what you write on parenting to be very inspirational as I think of what kind of mother I want to be!

  31. heather says:

    I first came across your blog (and your amazing products) when I was researching vaccines. I read your post about pertussis and was instantly hooked. I wish so much that I could live more “off the grid.” I struggle every day with how (and if) I should protect my kids from the influences of typical society. I love how pure and simple your life appears (by simple I don’t mean easy, just relaxed I guess), I’m tired of being busy and stressed and rushed and judged. I also love your posts about grandparents, I’m very happy that they’re supportive and understanding of your lifestyle – that has been a huge challenge for us. Sorry for rambling, just wanted to say congrats and that I truly appreciate your view on life & parenting and get so much inspiration and hope from your words!

  32. Christina says:

    Hi Rachel,
    I’m a new mama who is trying to be conscious, present and connected with our child. I had never visited a blog before, until meeting a wonderful mama, find her at a life sustained, and found my way to you as I started looking for other supportive parenting resources. Everything that you offer either validates or expands my personal goal to be the best mama for my babe – peaceful parenting, being in the moment, truly experiencing our connection and time together as a family. We dream about being more self-sufficient, and “joke” frequently about moving away to a little plot of land, with similarities to the dreams you share. Now I am drinking up all the information I can on child-led/interest based learning, after being introduced to unschooling by you. I recently read Naomi Aldort’s book after your began your peaceful parenting series. And all of these words, inspiration, and stories are helping me create my own parenting and family journey, and I am appreciative of the time and effort you give to share your life experience. Thank you!

  33. Sarah says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for a week. But I think I bought some of your diaper wipe lotion years ago! (Now I make my own) I like reading your blog because it reminds me that there are plenty other yogurt-making, play-silk dyeing, chicken loving parents out there… even if I haven’t found many in my neighborhood. I like your tutorials the best. I wish I had the gumption to start a blog, but I can’t even manage to call my grandparents weekly. You inspire me to do do better. Keep it coming!

  34. Karen C says:

    Why do I come here? I wish there was a simple answer to that. I come here for so many reasons. I love that you and your family are all about nature and using what the earth gives you. I love that you are real and speak from your heart. I love that you are not afraid to post something that may be perceived as controversial. I love all the natural remedies and recipes you post. I could go on and on, but I think you get the point. I have been reading your blog for about a year and a half now, and it is the first one I go to when I sit down to read my favorite blogs. (And it’s not because ‘Clean’ is at the beginning of the alphabet.) I admire you. And you inspire me. To be a better parent, Mom, and person. So thank you for being here for me.

  35. Tanya Bright says:

    Well I come because I love handmade soap and body products. It’s my favorite thing to look at!

  36. kathleen says:

    congratulations on four years! i love reading your blog because of your honesty. i love that you make homemade tonic water and take goofy pictures of yourself and your husband, that was the post that made me add you to my google reader! i love all the great stuff about the knitty gritty business of parenting. i love your creativity, and i love that you’ve shared your dreams and hopes and challenges with your readers in a way that has us all rooting for you. i also was gifted a few of your products and am looking forward to getting some more when my new baby comes this fall!

  37. Jenny Miller says:

    I’ve been reading your blog for some time now. I don’t remember how I first discovered it, but it’s one of my favorite reads. I enjoy your honest, inspiring posts. I see them as very refreshing and heartfelt. I read them all! Thanks so much for sharing your space and your giveaway.

  38. megan says:

    happy four year blog anniversary!

    i found this blog after the birth of my daughter, and i come here because what you write about your parenting journey truly resonates. i love your “reflections on motherhood” post and have read it many times.

    i have a read a few different parenting blogs over the years; so many of them are so resolutely happy and optimistic. thank you for exploring your own parenting with more depth and honesty.

  39. Teri says:

    Congratulations on your blog-birthday!

    I consider myself a radical homesteading sort of gal, and love finding ways to urge myself and my family to greater health, happiness, and sustainability. I was hooked on your homemade toothpaste post, since we’re going through ECCs with our 4 year old, and continue to enjoy your provocative posts.

    Thank you!

  40. Elizabeth Anne says:

    I love all of your posts, honestly! Parenting, crafting, homeschooling… they’re all of a piece, and it’s all why I keep coming back.

  41. Becky says:

    I started reading your blog just about exactly a year ago, when searching for more information on GAPS, strangely enough. I absolutely love the glimpses into your life your camera and words give us. They give me something to aspire to, and a feeling of peace in my soul that I try to spread. Thank you.

  42. Ms. Smoochy says:

    Hi Rachel. I love your blog and I come here often. I have several of your GAPS recipes bookmarked and refer to them often, Yogurt, Ghee, White bean squash soup with bacon (OH LOVE). I keep coming back for more because I love to read what you’re up to. I relate to you in quest for a more natural and authentic life and more mindfulness in life with children. I come here to be reminded that when you put your energy into good and worthwhile things the divine always rewards. Sometime in unexpected ways, but consistently none-the-less. It seems to me you have been very true to your mission statement. Congrats on all your blogy success!

  43. Anne says:

    I am inspired by most of your posts, but find the mothering and food related posts speak to me the most. congrats on the blogaversar

  44. sati glenn says:

    Hello, Rachel 🙂
    I come here because I am a homeschooling WAHM who believes in cloth diapering, extended breastfeeding and wants to become a self-sufficient homesteader one day. Your posts give me ideas and inspiration. My hat is off to you.

  45. liz says:

    Hi 🙂
    I’ve been following along for at least a year now. My boys are still small (2 & 4 with another on the way!), but we plan on unschooling. I love the glimpse you offer into all that a homeschooling day can hold and find myself relating to most of your posts. Parenting, gardening, crafting, homeschooling, cooking, life….it’s all inspiring. I love that you dig deeper and it isn’t all butterflies and rainbows.

  46. Tanya Hulbert says:

    Hi Rachel!
    I recently found your blog through a friend’s “Pin”. I started checking out your blog and have been completely hooked! I am a mom who stays home to homeschool our almost 2nd grade girl and we have a little guy too, one and a half years of age. I have always been a farm gal at heart. Although we live in the suburbs, we have three plots at our local community garden, I love making my own toiletries and I knit! So I feel so connected with you and your blog. You truly do inspire me! When I was a little girl I dreamed of owning my own sheep, sheering, dying, spinning and knitting from that wool! So since I live in suburbia, I keep thinking I’ll get an angora rabbit to sheer, dye, spin and knit from her since I don’t have room for sheep…and then I saw your post yesterday about your new angora! Anyway, so many connection that I just adore this place! Thank you for inspiring me to live simply, take healthy care of my family, appreciate nature and to be a better mom and wife.

  47. Sharilyn says:

    I’ve only been reading your blog for a few months- a close friend of mine who lives far away pointed me in your direction. I like to start out my day with my latte in the quiet before everyone wakes up – gathering some inspiration from Clean & imagining my friend far away I’d reading too!

  48. Nettie Black says:

    Rachel, you are incredibly inspiring! Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all you offer. We continually return to this space again and again for recipes, tutorials, and guidance.

  49. Mary says:

    I come here because the space you provide is like a deep slow exhale of clarity & honesty in the busy traffic of life & bloggosphere.
    Many of your posts move me so deeply, that I become a puddle of tears.
    You inspire, you make me think, & you remind me to breathe.
    Thank you.

  50. Kim says:

    I come here because I feel like I belong, I feel like part of a community. It is not easy finding others who choose to live a life differently than the norm, and to parent differently from most of society. When I come here I can breath and I feel at home.

    Thank you Rachel and congratulations.

    Wishing you and your family a lovely weekend.

  51. Kristin says:

    I come here to be inspired on this simple/natural living journey that I am on. I think I came to you originally via Heather’s Whole Food Kitchen Workshop. I love visiting each day to see what you and your family are up to!

  52. jeanine says:

    I’ve enjoyed returning to your blog each week to catch up because we have enough in common that it feels like we could be ‘friends’ and yet we are different enough that I feel like I learn something new or find inspiration with so many of your posts. I don’t comment a whole lot as much of my reading time is bits snuck in here and there during a day with three little kids, homesteading, and homeschooling…but I just keep coming back. Thanks for continuing to write here and for sharing your journey. Cheers to four years!

  53. Mikaela says:

    What a sweet post, a lusa love-fest of sorts 🙂 I come here for so many reasons–it is perhaps my favorite place on the web. The posts I like best are the ones in which you talk about living with intention, and the ways in which you do this. The greatest thing I’ve learned from your blog is that we (middle-class citizens in the first world, that is) have significant power to create the life we want, and that we should not feel like we are stuck doing what society says we ought to, just because. While I think I will choose to lead a rather conventional life in many ways, just this knowledge that alternatives are possible is extrememly empowering. Thank you!

    Now I’m curious… Why do YOU come here? That’s something *I* often wonder!

  54. Colleen says:

    happy day! I am a quiet reader of a couple months or so. Your wise words and insights keep me reading, and you seem fun and spunky to boot. I am just starting to learn about ECC, and feel you are a trusted resource who has already done the research for me. Thank you!

  55. Amanda J says:

    Your blog is one of only three that I follow. And I’ve been with you since close to the start when I stumbled upon it. Later, I realized I *knew* you (or knew of you) in college.. Coincidentally, Viroqua has been a town I’ve been drawn to for a decade – my fly fishing husband was hooked first – and we are always watching for jobs. My favorite posts involve food — from canning recipes to wild edibles as well as those that show me glimpses of the town.

  56. Bee Girl (AKA Melissa) says:

    Congratulations on such an amazing milestone!

    I’ve been reading your posts for a few months now and keep coming back because of your beautiful posts and complete honesty. Both are greatly appreciated.

  57. kimberly says:

    Happy Blog Anniversary! I began to your blog for the great recipes for home and body. I keep reading your blog to be inspired and to know many people in our world do live like you , including myself…simply!! thank you for sharing

  58. Melissa says:

    Hi Rachel,

    Although I’ve never left a comment before, your blog has transformed my life and my family’s. Your words resonate with me on so many levels and inspire me daily…helping me to dig deeper into the kind of mother, spouse and friend I strive to be. I love your simplicity parenting ideas & peaceful parenting series…your recipes and unschooling adventures, everything really. Thank you so much for sharing so much. You truly are changing the world (in such a positive way) one mama at a time.

  59. Emily says:

    Hello Rachel,
    I have been reading your blog for about a year and a half. I love this blog because it inspires me in my everyday life. The posts on food and sewing are great because I am working on reclaiming domestic skills. I also enjoy your parenting posts, they remind me of the things I know and inspire me to keep going 🙂 Thanks for being here.

  60. Dawn says:

    You crafting/DIY health and beauty posts (like the toothpaste one) are my favorites, but I read each and every post. Your genuine, unique voice is definitely what keeps me coming back. 🙂

  61. Sesasha says:

    I found your blog when I was looking for home remedies for some illnesses, but I stayed because I love the way you are looking for simplicity and peace in your relationships, especially with your kids. I felt a kindred spirit in you, so I read your posts every day. The more I read, the more I want to stay.

  62. maryla says:

    i really like your parenting advises and really got in to more back to nature and making stuff from scratch

  63. karen says:

    I like the blog because you share “alternative” parenting info, like philosphy and “manifestos”, sewing patterns, nutrition ideas, parenting suggestions, etc. Many in my area are parenting in the usual way, so the online community supports many of my decisions and gives me inspiration for how to create a home environment I want for my family. Thanks so much!

  64. Kate says:

    I think I ended up here thanks to a post about “unschooling” and I’ve stayed because of things like that, and natural living practices, and ways to use nettles, and things like that. Thanks for sharing a piece of your world.

  65. Jess says:

    I come here because we love your Lusa products, and use them (from bug spray, to baby wipe solution) all around our home. The sleep potion and lip balm and hard lotion are all favs as well. So I come here because of that, and because of the spirit that goes into creating personal care products for others with a “family mind” a “big mind” which is Buddhism takes into account how our actions inhabit the larger family of beings in the universe.

    Also, your photography inspires me. Centers me. Focuses my attention on small, precious moments, encouraging me to be more present. To notice. To be still. So I come here to breathe in a little of that stillness through your photography, through your words which seem also full of intention, rather than care-lessness.

  66. jenny says:

    what delightful mission statements.

    i come here to visit because it helps me feel connected to a spider web of consciously choosing to live a little gentler, a little slower, a little differently. your writing style is honest, and clean and delightful (just like your soap!)

  67. Lea says:

    I feel that you are a kindred spirit. I’m always attracted to people who are experimental and who challenge and expand my thinking. Your thoughts on food and recipes are my favorite. I don’t have a lot of outside-the-box-friends where I currently live so I’m happy to visit your site for some inspiration.

  68. Erica says:

    What a joy it is to see the depth of your soul and see how “real” you make this blog. I find it inspiring to the core. You genuinely care about your readers and really do make a difference in the world one post at a time. You inspire us to live fuller, healthier lives. Keep on keeping on. Everyone needs a little inspiration in their life. Everyone needs a little Clean. Thank you!!!

  69. Melanie says:

    Congratulations Rachel! I’m happy for you in celebrating your anniversary! I don’t comment here often partly because I don’t have much to say…you say it so beautifully that I don’t need to add a word…but also because Im learning. Absorbing. I’m the type that quietly absorbs and debates in my mind and learns all about issues before I make an opinion. Sometimes I never do make opinions but I love to learn various paths with which we each walk on this earth…because we all have something to learn from eachother. I found your blog through Lusa several years ago when searching for gentle soap for my first baby. Three babies later I feel we have walked and grown and matured together…even though you don’t really know me…mostly because our passion for raising our children took us both by suprise. The “mother bear” drive that took over when our newborns nursed for the first time…the search for healthy nourishing food…the passion for sustainable living…the deep love and connection to nature…respecting our dear husbands…crafts and creativity…!!! So so much we share in common and your blog gives me courage to live this way and introduce my children to a beautiful life regardless that most people I know think us a little strange. So thank you my dear Rachel and your lovely children! And thank you for the most fabulous soap on the face of this earth!

  70. Ansley Livingston says:

    Congratulations Rachel,
    Thank you for providing a space for me to come to be inspired, motivated and informed! I appreciate the honesty and realness. I have found we have so many of the same likes!!
    Sincerely, Ansley Livingston

  71. Amber Jackson says:

    I really enjoy your blog for many reasons, including the parenting ideas/tips, the real food recipes, and the overall realness that you share here on a regular basis. Thank you for shining your light!

  72. jo says:

    i have been reading your blog for a few months now after i read the part you wrote on heather’s whole food kitchen workshop. i had never heard of a traditional diet before and was intrigued. i am pleased to say i have started to change the way our family eats to include many more traditional ways of preparing our food. i would love to hear more about your food journey but i also kept coming back for your parenting posts. this is such a down to earth and natural blog and i feel like i am in good company here. happy blog anniversary!

  73. yaelirt says:

    Happy anniversary and thank you for this blog. I started reading when my first child was born in 2008 and you inspire me and making me a better mom. sorru for my poor english…

  74. alexandra says:

    Hello Rachel! I visit you almost every day ( or at least as often as I can) because I love staying in the light you shine. I strongly believe the world needs people like you who not only talk about a different approach to life other than the commercialism way that is so ingrained in our culture today, but is living it every day. I love the new perspective of life you show through your writing, photos, decisions ( did I mention that I think you have an eye for photography?)
    Anyway I am glad you are ” here” for me. 🙂 Happy anniversary !

  75. nikka says:

    i came here today to see what you had written because i needed to reconnect with with what i beleive in and strive for after a massive failed conflict resolution with my child. what you say resonates so deeply with me, what i do and how i am is often far removed from that, a timely post gives me a thought for the day to be inspired by. love your posts and so grateful for your sharing. you have rocked my world.

  76. Laura says:

    I come here as I always find inspiration in everything – mothering, crafting, conscious living…just love your blog so much!!!

  77. Cassandra says:

    Originally I came here for the toothpaste soap, then saw you were a Real Food, crafting, peaceful parenting person and knew I just had to stick around. Now I come back time and again for the super simple reflection posts – you know the ones where you put up gorgeous pictures and say a few lines about what you’re doing or where you’re going or what you’re thinking. I admit that I’m one of those horrible jealous people who envies the crap out of your life, but I’ve been ever so slowly learning to deal with those feelings in a mature way, instead turning them into happy thoughts of escape to a life I’ll never have. So it’s therapeutic now, relaxing even.

  78. Katie says:

    I love LuSa products – the Belly Balm has saved my ever growing pregnant belly 🙂 I appreciate companies who are making a difference and care about their customers. I love bragging about your products to my friends and recommend them to everyone! Thank you!

  79. amy says:

    I love your posts about homeschooling/unschooling your children, b/c I’m at the beginning of my unschooling journey with my 5 and 2 year olds, and I appreciate the ideas/inspiration. I referred to your kombucha post alot when I got back into making kombucha again — my last two kombuchas died, sadly, but I’m applying a bit more effor this time, and it’s doing really well! So thank you! 🙂 Also love the simplifying posts, as I’m also on a simplifying kick… and craftiness in general makes me happy… And… Free soap? Yay!

  80. Stacy says:

    Hi Rachel,

    I found your blog about a year ago and immediately loved it. I found myself sitting down whenever I had a few minutes and reading previous posts. I think I’ve read every single one now. 🙂 I really appreciate your posts on parenting (especially your motherhood post) and education. I’m a public school teacher (I know, I know), so I am genuinely intrigued by the way unschooling works for you and your family. Thank for sharing your life in this space. Oh, and I am always inspired by your before and after photos of rooms in your home. My husband is a public school teacher too (I promise we’re cool…really!), so our goal is to work through our house this summer and SIMPLIFY!!!

  81. denise says:

    Hey you! I’ve been reading your words since the very beginning — because I adore you immensely and even though at the time we lived just a hedgerow apart and now only a few extra blocks have come between us — I still miss you from time to time! Your words and photos are inspiring in countless ways. The way that you embrace life is a continual reminder to me to be present and mindful of where I choose to send my energy into the world. I, too, am surrounded by beauty, I just need to remember to remove my clutter-focusing-busy-body goggles more often!

  82. shayray says:

    I come here because I love natural projects, and families living natural lives. I have made salve, lip balm, oils etc… for myself and love to read about folks making a living creating.

  83. Emily says:

    I love everything, but found your blog while searching for unschooling inspiration, and those are still my favorite posts. I`ve been here about one year.

  84. Aron says:

    I haven’t been reading long, My daughter is 18 months now and I’ve been using your products that long. I came because I was curious about the family behind the business. I’ve learned so much from this little blog. I’ve become a better parent and partner. I can’t thank you enough for continuing to write.

  85. Kelly says:

    I was searching for a solution and LuSa provided me with more than I could have asked for. My son has very sensitive skin. He was getting diaper rashes with every kind of diaper we tried (cloth to disposable) and nothing was helping. Booty Balm saved us. Also, we had recently moved and he wasn’t sleeping well. Sleeping Potion answered my sleep-deprived prayers. After Finding and using you wonderful products I found your blog. I was happily reading many posts a week to catch up on the last 4 years. Then Mother’s Day came and you re-posted an old post about Sage and motherhood. I was bawling my eyes out. You had perfectly described the last year of my life…the first of my son’s. It was amazing to hear from someone who knows what it is like to have a little guy that is his own person and to be in tune enough to listen to what he needs and not what everyone thinks he does. Thank you so much for that post. And for the post of your beautifully thrifted dish set….I am incredibly jealous! Much love!

  86. Alex says:

    Hi Rachel, this is my first time commenting, though I read almost daily. I started reading because my sister used to work with you. I continued reading because I loved the photos on your blog, the projects and cooking post, and your beautiful perspective on the the world. I also feel so inspired by your high level of energy and productivity. It inspires me to accomplish more myself, and more unafraid to try different creative endeavors. Last, but not least, I love Lusa Products!

  87. Kendra Mitchell says:

    I’m still stumbling through the world of natural living and I love all your posts – homeschooling, tutorials, creative fun, etc. I live in a small town that has pretty much never heard of anything natural. It has been very hard trying to hack my way through that wilderness on my own and I love your inspiration and all your products!

  88. Lee says:

    Hi. I don’t want to go for the soap, just want to comment. I found Clean through your Whip Up post, and I am now coming here because the tone of your blog is gentle but not precious; I love the photos of your beautiful children; you’re honest but don’t whine or complain, and it is obvious you and your husband work hard, but are not being self-congratulatory about it.
    Also, at this time in my life I really need to see examples of people who have chosen a different path than the usual and are doing well. I am in a major transition moment, and things have to change. I can’t do it the same way. So CLEAN encourages me, and I am going for it. Thanks.

  89. Kimball says:

    I am one of those quiet ones who slip in and then slip out; have been for about a year. I peek in almost every day to see what is happening in your world that seems so very far from mine, but also inspires me to continue to forge my path as only I can for me and my family. Thank you for your words, your strength, your generosity, your light.

  90. Em says:

    Happy Anniversary! My favorite posts are crafting and cooking- two things that I can physically take into in my NYC world. If I had a safe local place to collect, the posts about finding, harvesting, and using wild plants and herbs would be up there, too. I also really enjoy the glimpse into your life to see what similar parenting beliefs look like in a different setting- and with older kids. It’s also fun to know something about the woman who makes most of my body care products 🙂

  91. Kate says:

    Hi Rachel, I found your blog after purchasing LuSa products at the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair a couple of years ago and have been coming back on a daily basis ever since. This blog and your words inspire me. I love your peaceful parenting series and have been taking each post to heart, trying to be a more patient and more present mother to my three little boys. I also love reading about your crafting and foraging, storaing, and cooking. I look forward to each and every update on here.

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