Bio Photo-1Hi.  I’m Rachael (aka Faye).  I’m a girl mom, writer, and photographer from Northern California.

I love gardening, reading books, taking pictures, and writing things on the Internet. 

Here on this blog you’ll find my most recent posts which include practical lifestyle articles, a bit of our homeschooling journey, and peeks inside of my house.  Since I’ve been writing here for about seven years, you’ll also find a dated, poorly photographed (but very entertaining) archive of posts.


I was born in Lawrence, Kansas and lived in Kansas City, Missouri when I was small.  My parents wanted a simple life, many children, and a quaint roadside fruit stand.  I’m not sure we ever had a roadside stand, but there were seven of us kids, so that part worked out.  We moved to rural Kansas where I spent most of grade school through high school.  After I graduated, my family moved to Atlanta, Georgia.  I attended college at Georgia State University.  I wanted to major in art, but I got too psyched out by my lack of formal training, so instead I earned a B.A. in Spanish for International Business.  (Which I’m very proud of, but still have yet to use.)  I spent a year in service at a local ministry and later worked as a bookkeeper for a real estate company.  

One day I unexpectedly fell in love with a computer nerd who dragged me to his home on the West Coast.  He does brilliant things like put the Internet on disks for people.  He showed me The Computers and The Web Logs and helped me learn all the buttons on my DSLR camera. 

Currently, I spend most of my time homeschooling and being outdoors with my girls.  I write devotionals for Thrive Moms and contribute regularly to the Wild + Free homeschooling community. On evenings and weekends I am sometimes a photographer.  A full tour of our home is featured here on Design Mom’s Living with Kids Series.

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  • http://happilyeverafterifinishthelaundry.blogspot.com/ Rachael

    Hello there… I am a Rachael too! :) Found your blog when researching Ikea media centers. I think I will follow it! I’m on the path to being debt free as well… though not as determined at times as I ought to be. Cheers!

    • http://www.frugalfaye.com Rachael

      Thanks for commenting! And welcome! It’s nice to meet other debt-free geeks! :)

  • Cheryl S.

    Hi…Stumbled upon your blog when I searvhed for vinegar vs alcohol based homemade cleaners. Been using a vinegar based one I loved then switched to alcohol based just to try something new and I agree with you on your findings.

    I am also several years into being debt free and always want to clean out and organize more!

  • http://www.staceyogdenshomemade.com Stacey Ogden

    Hi! I just wanted to thank you for telling others about my products! I never heard of your blog until someone mentioned you referring them to me. Your blog is great! Keep up the good work of telling others how to save money and be healthy.

    • http://www.frugalfaye.com Rachael

      Stacey, thank you! We love the tooth powder, it’s perfect for my daughter! Chrissy Helmer of Eco Chic Baby and Home told me about it!

  • Rachel Faye

    Hi Rachael…I’m actually a Rachel Faye! Stumbled upon your blog today and am really enjoying reading about your journey. Thank you so much for genuine reflections on health and debt free living! Keep up the good work!

    • frugalfaye

      Oh my goodness…what are the chances? You are the first Rachel Faye I have ever met!

  • http://www.facebook.com/carrie.brenner Carrie Brenner

    Hi Rachael,

    I stumbled upon your blog through Google. I love the content you feature about frugal living! I’m really interested in partnering with you–I also write for a blog that features money-saving tips and frugal living advice!

    • frugalfaye

      Hi Carrie, thanks for commenting! Leave me a link to the blog; I’d love to follow!

  • http://www.facebook.com/erin.mcgown.5 Erin McGown

    So I just discovered your blog and love it! I’ve been eating organic/grass-fed/local for the last year or so and have joined a CSA, but I haven’t done much of the “natural” home/personal products so I am excited to read about what you have done. Hope you are doing well!

    • frugalfaye

      Erin, thank you for stopping by! Lots of homemade cleaning and toiletries on here, and more to come!

  • http://www.jennibailey.com/ Jenni Bailey

    I found your blog last night while trying to figure out how to run my (full) dishwasher after realizing I was out of 7th Gen detergent. We’re doing Dave Ramsey too and I knew there had to be a way with what I had at home. So I found your post on dishwasher detergent, fell totally in love with your blog, and then saw that you were born in Lawrence, Kansas and fell totally in love with you too (I was born in Manhattan, Kansas). I am having so much fun reading through your posts and getting SO many ideas. You are awesome times ten.

    • frugalfaye

      Girrrrl, you know how to make a blogger’s night! Ha ha! I love it! I hope we don’t have to be arch rivals since you are a Wildcat and I’m a Jayhawk. Just kidding…I root for KU during basketball and K-State during football!

  • Kevin

    Hi Faye, I was hoping you would be open to working with me to help some moms pinch a few pennies. When you get a chance, please shoot me an email. Thanks!


  • Jayme

    Just found your blog, and I am SO excited. I am a SAHM to a 12-month-old, and expecting baby #2 in June. I love being our household manager, and finding ways to cook/clean/organize/decorate on a budget has become a fun challenge for me. New follower here! I might spend my next week reading through all of your archives!

  • Donna F

    Hi Faye! Used this granite cleaner from another site and in a search found yours. I love your photos and your site. Beautiful and helpful. I am also transplant…moved to west coast in 1994 and live in Santa Cruz. I’ve been detoxing my life and home for about a year and your blog should help tremendously! Happy!

  • Leslie Adams

    HI Faye- I go to TFH. I missed Flourish, so I just listened to your discussion on de-toxing your home. I am a former chemical engineer who worked for Clorox in Research and Development for 7 years before quitting to focus on being mom to my three littles. (I formulated and did processing for a lot of their brands, from Armor All to Hidden Valley Ranch, to Fresh Step cat litter. Oh the stories I can tell about product research and chemicals in consumer products.). These days, I’m also a rather crunchy mom, who frequents Eco Chic for my weekly milk, and I also have bottles of vinegar cleaners around my house. I just wanted to say good job fielding those scientific questions in an easy to understand way! I loved the easy simple approach you gave everyone. When you mentioned having a bottle of bleach around for when your family gets sick- I smiled because I have that too. And yes- I agree- scents are the hardest thing to wean yourself from. My husband loves his petro based products and so we have a give and take around my house. Thanks for educating people on how to detox their home and I also loved how you mentioned that it takes time and for people not to panic if they don’t switch all at once. For my family, we go through stages. We use Honest products, and Earth Friendly too, but when the budget is tight you will occasionally find me buying less than stellar products in the aisles of Target. Same as I do occasionally nosh Five Guys burgers instead of kale. It’s a give and take for sure…. Well, that was it. Just wanted to say hi. I’m guessing we will run into each in real life at some point- until then, keep up the good work- Leslie Adams

    • http://www.fromfaye.com/ fromfaye

      Leslie, thank you so much for commenting! Man, I would love to meet you and consult with you sometime on the accuracy on some of my info! Or just meet you! :)

    • Debbie Cormalis-Debons


  • Deb

    Aloha Faye,
    I so appreciate your compilation on dish detergents. I’ve been using Costco’s Kirkland (environmentally responsible) premium liquid dish soap, and noticed that their formula recently had changed. It began taking three times as much as before, but the worst difference was what it did to my hands. It’s roughened them considerably, which really doesn’t work for me. I had been using Kirkland dish soap to wash my car too, and it used to do a wonderful job. Now it leaves spots and mineral deposits on the windows. So that got me wondering what was in it. I haven’t found the answer to that but after reading about your research, I did buy the pear-scented Dishmate today, and already like it better. Thanks again!

  • Marie

    Can I ask why you stopped with the no-poo? I am thinking about doing this (I kind of started in a way…I have been using apple cider vinegar as a rinse and am definitely applying less product – just some argan oil afterwards) and am wondering why you stopped – if you just missed products in general or if you were becoming dissatisfied with your results. Thanks!

    • http://www.fromfaye.com/ fromfaye

      No deep reason! I loved my results. It was this one day during the Christmas holiday…I just missed hopping into the shower with my good smelling shampoo and conditioner! So yeah…I guess I just missed my products!

      • Olivia Torres

        I switched to Lush’s bar shampoo, it gets me the best of both. Wonderful lather, great smell and much more natural than regular shampoo. Economical too! Thanks BTW Fraye, your site is amazing. I’m coming back to it everyday.

  • Myrna Torres

    Hi Rachel! I’ve been following you since my husband, Marcus, did some freelance work for you. Your writing style makes me feel like we’re friends :) Thanks for all the advice and chuckles! I’d love to send your girls some crocheted headbands! Where could I send them?

  • Mary Anne

    The info .regarding cleaning a ceramic stove top still has me left with the problem of grease.I hardly have any spilled stuff that cakes onto the stove top ,my problem is that my top gets very greasy and i cannot get the grease to come off!I baby this stove top and even have a beach towel laying over it until i cook :)We are hooked on grilled cheese sandwiches lately and they are only good if you put a little butter on each side before browning them.For example tonight I made the sandwiches and even left the towel in place so only the area around the eye with get a little greasy.Well that did not help !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!I used about half a roll of paper towels,4 clean hand towels,a lot of the vinegar,water and dish detergent you spoke about on your blog but it still looked like i was waxing the top with vaseline!My husband suggested i go get the Krud Kleaner and it worked but i had to spray it and wipe it off about 5 times before it looked pretty good:(It still is a little greasy but I got tired of dealing with it especially since it was going on 1am!HELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!One more thing I called the Cerama people today and told them my problem and they said they had a product for grease too but I would have to go back to Lowes to by it!

    • T Jean

      Sprinkle liberally with baking soda, and wipe when greasy hasn’t cooked into goo. If so add a little water and elbow grease. If that doesn’t get it off, up the ante with vinegar water. Repeat as necessary. My husband and adult daughter can still cook stuff to the stove.

  • ear5868

    just wanted to point out that doTERRA oils are safe for children they just need to be diluted for very young children as well as for frail adults/elderly. I would not trust any other oils on my kids or pets. They are certified pure. you really have to watch what oils are out there as some are not truly pure (legally a company can state “pure” even if they only have 1 drop of the actual pure oil in the bottle.

  • Joanne Ward

    Ha yes they do – I’m hoping the basket method works for me. If ever I get the table clear …