Rediscovering a Natural Way of Living: Part 4


Part 4: Cleaning Soft kid floor tiles.


Once a week I go and clean these tiles with a rage and 50/50 mix of water and vinegar in a spray bottle. Like most things the cleaning can only go so far so I decided to give these tiles a deep cleaning. First off I must warn you that the deep cleaning is time consuming and a good workout all in one. Who needs the gym when you have kids, right 🙂

First fill your bathtub up with warm/hot water. mix in a cup of vinegar and half a cup of grated castile soap. mix the water with your hand until soap is completely dissolved.

Through in the tiles and start scrubbing. I used a scrub brush but you can use a rag if your don’t have one.

I set some towels out and set them out to dry, if it’s a nice day you can set them outside to dry.

As I scrubbed I discovered just how dirty those tiles really were. cat hair, people hair dirt, it all filled the tub. I am so happy I decided to give them a deep clean I think I will give them one every month or so.

Happy Cleaning 🙂

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Rediscovering a Natural Way of Living: Part 3


Part 3: Doing the Dishes

I made my first batch of home made dishwasher detergent (powder) and I have to say I was not crazy about it at all so I went back to the computer to do some research on a liquid detergent and I found one that I LOVE!!!! My dishes are so clean the cleanest that I have ever seen and I didn’t even realize that those store bought detergents left a residue until I used my homemade recipe. To think I was putting our food on those residue covered dishes and we were eating it! YUCK! The only thing is that no matter what recipe I use all out plastic things (mixing bowls, cooking utensils, measuring cups, sippy cups) all come out with soap scum on them…. sad face :But since I am so impressed with the homemade recipe I have decided to wash the plastic by hand and replace what I can with glass and ceramic. (which is better anyways, who knows whats in those plastics)  I started washing the plastics by hand with homemade dish soap and no soap scum! I think it has something to do with the heat in the dishwasher, but I’m not sure) I don’t mind the extra time it takes to wash the plastic by hand because I know I am saving money and water in the long run giving me the motivation to keep with it.

Here are the recipes for both the Liquid dishwasher detergent and the dish soap:

Dish Soap

Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups hot water
  • 1 tablespoon shredded bar soap (i.e. castile bar soap, ivory, or a homemade simple soap)
  • 1 tablespoon white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Super Washing Soda
  • 1/8 teaspoon tea tree oil (optional)
  • 4 drops Essential Oil for sent (optional)
  • 1 Teaspoon Vitamin E (optional)

Boil Water

Mix all the ingredients in a mixing bowl Adding the hot water last. (Don’t add the essential oil just yet you add that when the mixture has cooled)

Mix ever thing until the soap and everything dissolves, let the mixture set out all day on a counter cooling for about 8 hours mixing it through out the day

place mixture in squeeze bottle and there you go dish soap


Liquid Dishwasher detergent

Things You’ll Need

  • ½ cup castile soap
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 3 drops essential oil
  • 1-quart glass jar with lid

Instructions

  •  Add the soap, water, lemon juice, white vinegar and essential oil to a 1-quart glass jar. Choose whatever essential oil you prefer. Lemon and tea tree oils smell clean and fresh without being overpowering.
  • Seal the jar tightly and shake to mix the ingredients.

  • Shake the jar well before using, and add 1 tbsp. of the mixture to your dishwasher’s detergent dispenser. Run the cleaning cycle as usual.

I loved using these recipes and I hope you will too!

Happy Living 🙂

The Way Children Learn is Messy


Lately LP has been getting in to everything especially now that she has learned to walk. When she was crawling her focuses  were on anything on the floor but now that she has joined the world of walkers she is discovering that there is a world beyond the floor. There are book shelves and other things that have things on them that are just waiting to be taken and thrown on the floor. At first I was excited because that’s a big milestone, being able to take things of/ out. Then i soon realized that this big milestone creates much more work for me. The toy room that was once clean and clear is now cluttered with toys that LP plays with for two seconds and moves on to the next toy. At first I tried to teach her to put things back into the toy bin thinking she would have the same enthusiasm but I soon realized this was not going to be the case. After reviewing my child development books I soon learned that the ability to empty things comes months before the ability to be able to put things back. (yay for me and the cleaning to come the next few months….can you gear the sarcasm in my writing?) I also learned that LP isn’t just throwing things on the floor she is also working on her fine motor skills (developing her hand dexterity) and flexing her cognitive muscles (testing out cause and effect). Oh how I love to know that the things and messes my angel face makes isn’t in vain.

Then this got me to thinking how many people know this I mean yeah there are the parents like me that has shelves of child development books and parenting books but what about the parents that don’t and the grandparents that watch their grandchildren a lot. that makes sure that messes can’t be made. How does that affect the child’s development? So how do you support your child’s development but don’t have a house that is completely destroyed?

Your child will have the impulse to empty even if she doesn’t want to play with any thing that she is throwing out on to the floor, this is something you are just going to have to live with for the time being. There are somethings you can do provide small baskets filled with soft blocks, toys or even cardboard books for her to empty. You can try to teach her to fill them back up again and it may even work if you turn it in to a game, maybe even sing a “cleanup” song. (my favorite is the barney clean up song) So my house maybe messy the next few months but the people who come to my house on a regular basis will just have to understand because I am not going to spend all my time in the day running after LP putting things back.

Happy Parenting 🙂

Rediscovering a Natural Way of Living: Part 2


Part 2: Household Cleaners

House hold cleaners is something that almost every house has. Well not my house anymore I started to use traditional cleaners like baking soda, washing soda, vinegar, but I still kept my chemical based cleaners just in case. Then I watched

“Chemerical – Redefining Clean For A New Generation”

and my world changed!

as you can see my kitchen closet consists mostly of chemical based cleaners and after watching how these chemicals that we use everyday can effect us I was completely turned off by their cleaning power and now have opted for some good old-fashioned elbow grease! I few months ago I bought the book

“Homemade: How-to Make Hundreds of Everyday Products Fast, Fresh, and More Naturally”

And I started to make homemade foods, beauty products and cleaners. Lets start with Cleaners for Part 2. Here are the basics of what you need:

Baking Soda

Washing Soda

Vinegar

Pure Soap

Essential oils (optional)

You can find anything from floor cleaners to oven cleaners to dishwasher detergent.

We have already switched to homemade liquid dish soap for hand washing dishes and it works just as good as the store-bought brands

 

I started to want to make more homemade product but found I was always short an ingredient or two so I made a list and went shopping and started to buy anything that I might need to make something .

 

I have to say it has come in handy. One night the spring cleaning bug hit me and I didn’t have any oven cleaner. being the only one home with the baby and stuck with no car I remembered my book and looked up a recipe for oven cleaner and it worked great. I will admit that it took more elbow grease then the chemical one would have needed but it was great not choking on those fumes while I was cleaning and know no fumes would drift in LPs way was a defendant plus!

As my store-bought products run out I have started to wash out the containers so I can refill them with my homemade products and it’s a lot of fun. I pick a night and make everything that needs to be refilled and I only have to do that once every few weeks! If you are willing to put some time and effort in to a healthier way to live I would recommend that you try this. The nice thing is that you can alter recipes to fit your families needs!

Happy Living 🙂

Rediscovering a Natural Way of Living: Part 1


Since LP was born I started to look at the things I do and keep in my home in a new light. When I looked at cleaners I saw only poisons and every time I throw away a paper towel I felt guilty because I know that the lack of those trees will affect my children and grandchildren for generations to come. So I decided to change and Hubby was kind of on board but since I stay home and do most of the cleaning he really didn’t mind the change. I have decided to share with you my experience of switching to a more natural chemical free way of living because I am hopping that this might a peal to you and your family and in turn will start living a healthier more natural way of life. Of course I can’t do all of this in one blog post so I have decided to do a series  called “Rediscovering a Natural Way of Living”

So I started out my educating myself .

Part 1: Air Fresheners

With two cats and a baby that uses cloth I am all about air fresheners that is until I learned about VOC.

(Source: US EPA)

Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are emitted as gases from certain solids or liquids. VOCs include a variety of chemicals, some of which may have short- and long-term adverse health effects. Concentrations of many VOCs are consistently higher indoors (up to ten times higher) than outdoors. VOCs are emitted by a wide array of products numbering in the thousands.

Products that have VOC in it include: Household products including: paints, paint strippers, and other solvents; wood preservatives; aerosol sprays; cleansers and disinfectants; moth repellents and air fresheners; stored fuels and automotive products; hobby supplies; dry-cleaned clothing.

Health Effects

Eye, nose, and throat irritation; headaches, loss of coordination, nausea; damage to liver, kidney, and central nervous system. Some organics can cause cancer in animals; some are suspected or known to cause cancer in humans. Key signs or symptoms associated with exposure to VOCs include conjunctival irritation, nose and throat discomfort, headache, allergic skin reaction, dyspnea, declines in serum cholinesterase levels, nausea, emesis, epistaxis, fatigue, dizziness.

The ability of organic chemicals to cause health effects varies greatly from those that are highly toxic, to those with no known health effect. As with other pollutants, the extent and nature of the health effect will depend on many factors including level of exposure and length of time exposed. Eye and respiratory tract irritation, headaches, dizziness, visual disorders, and memory impairment are among the immediate symptoms that some people have experienced soon after exposure to some organics. At present, not much is known about what health effects occur from the levels of organics usually found in homes. Many organic compounds are known to cause cancer in animals; some are suspected of causing, or are known to cause, cancer in humans.

Okay Now that I have your attention. So after reading this I took all my plug-in air fresheners and unplugged them, but instead of giving up air fresheners all together (Lets be real that isn’t going to happen) I decided to make my own and it’s real easy.

I first opened my air freshener refills and dumped out what was left in them and washed them out (I also washed the cotton thing that soaks up the sent to be sure all the VOC were gone) Then I filled the container 1/3 full of essential oils (I picked Lavender) and then fill the rest (not the whole way to prevent over flow when I put the cotton stick back in) with water.

After a few hours of my new fresheners being plugged in I noticed the difference right away.  The old fresheners I had to have them turned up all the way to even get a whiff of scent from them not so with my natural alternative. I had to turn them all the way down because the smell was so powerful! so since they are all down all the way this means that they wont have to be refilled as often because they will last longer.

Starting to live a health life isn’t so bad so far 🙂

Happy Living

Happy Mothers Day


ok I know this is a day late but I was having computer problems

A New Chapter


So a few months ago I lost my job, I had never lost a job before so I took it kinda hard but at the same time I hated my job so it was bitter-sweet. Now I am starting a new chapter in my life starting in December I will become a nanny to a three month old little girl. I am so excited about this because it’s so convenient. The little girl is the soon to be daughter to my next door neighbors and this job will allow me to stay home with LP. I am so excited to have a new little baby in our home again. With all the first and cuteness that comes with new a baby this is something that I just can’t wait for. LP will have another little friend to play with ( with time) which is also a big plus because this will get her use to having to share me with another baby which will prepare her for when we are ready to have a second child (which I don’t think will be for a while 😦  ) So until then I will look for a part-time job to hold me over until December.

Happy Living 🙂

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