Friday, April 20, 2007

Natural Spring Cleaning

As spring arrives, many people start clearing their home of the clutter and dirt from winter. When cleaning, keep in mind all the chemicals you may be exposing your family to. After all, you want to purify, not pollute your home. Did you know that it is easy and inexpensive to clean safely? Here are some tips for natural spring cleaning:
  • Vinegar, baking soda, lemon, washing soda/soda ash, borax and peroxide are all cheap and effective natural cleaning agents.
    • Baking soda can be used for anything that needs to be scrubbed (sink, bathtub). Cleans, deodorizes and softens water.
    • Peroxide can be added to a squirt bottle and sprayed onto areas that need disinfecting.
    • Vinegar mixed with water works like an all-purpose cleaner. Cuts grease and removes mildew and odors. It's also a great natural fabric softener when adding 1/4 cup to the rinse cycle (it will also help to break down laundry detergents if you use those nasty chemical ridden ones). Do not use on marble. Undiluted vinegar should not be used on grout.
    • Lemon juice dissolves soap scum and can be used to clean/shine copper and brass fixtures. Add to baking soda to create a scrubbing paste that smells fresh and clean.
    • Borax cleans, deodorizes, disinfects and softens water. Can be used on walls, floors, etc. Pick up a box and read through all it's uses. Quite handy to have around and a box lasts forever.
    • Washing soda or soda ash is another water softener that cuts grease, removes stains, and can be used on walls, floors, tubs and sinks.
  • Adding a few drops of lavender or tea tree essential oils will add to the anti-septic and disinfectant properties of the cleaners listed above.
  • I make a Lavender anti-septic cleaner by adding 2 tablespoons washing soda, 1 tablespoon borax, 1 tablespoon vegetable glycerin soap and up to a teaspoon lavender essential oil to 2 cups of warm water. Leave on surfaces for 15 minutes to give the lavender time to disinfect. Tea tree oil can be used as well.
  • Don't want to make your own cleaners? Itsa Greener Clean natural laundry detergent is not just for clothes and diapers! It contains 4 of the cleaners mentioned above. Add 1/4 cup to a gallon of water to clean floors, walls, etc. I even use it in the dishwasher with vinegar as a rinse aid. Samples are now available in my stores.
  • Citrus solvent is my second favorite method of cleaning floors. I find that it is very effective in removing all traces of dog from the house. The smell can get overpowering so I try to use it sparingly, and to mix it with lots of fresh air. Cats do not like citrus scents so it's not recommended for areas cats frequent. It also keeps fleas away.
  • Cleaning rags can easily be made from old shirts, towels, cloth diapers, receiving blankets, etc. You may be surprised by how much money and waste you can save by using cloth over paper towels.
  • Keep in mind that bleach is a very powerful substance which should only be used in a well ventilated area. The alternatives listed above are MUCH safer.
  • One of my favorite clutter busters (and I am really not one to talk, but here it goes) is to use three boxes or baskets while cleaning. Mark them "trash", "store", and "donate". Be honest when going through your things. The hardest part is making sure those boxes get to their intended destinations :) More boxes may be necessary unless you've got appliance boxes handy!

Operation Hokie Hope

Click on the banner to learn more about the greeting card drive Delaney Gates is organizing. All cards will be forwarded to Virginia Tech.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Busy, Busy

The Wilton WAHM Co-Op, which I am a proud member of, is opening a storefront in downtown Wilton, Maine. It's coming together fast. I have been busy this past week with meetings and creating. You may not hear from me as much until the store is running smoothly. Only 18 days until we open, and 15 before we stock the store! Ah! I'll be sure to post updates and some pics of finished products as the days wind down. I hope to see all you local readers May 1st when Blessed Baby is born! By the way, why the heck is it snowing in the middle of April?
Back to the sewing room I go...

Saturday, April 7, 2007

Pictures that I have been meaning to post...

Aiden playing at my Mom's. Too bad I don't have the patience to upload the videos of him head-butting the horses. It was hilarious!

Lovely view in No View Greenhouse! Mom has lettuce and spinach growing in one house and seedlings in another.
Look at those greens! Yum!
I made Aiden a fleece cover. All but a couple wool soakers were bought and are ruined. Why all the bulk? That's NOT a Boo Bear Buns diaper underneath, but one of the few I bought back in the days before Slings and Sacks.These were my Scooby toe socks. I cut off the toes and made an tank top that was never going to fit again into cuffs. Very cool!
Rambling side note: In high school I had a glow in the dark Scooby comforter and an orange Scooby lunch box (my school was not vegetarian friendly so packed lunch was a necessity). This was while I was living own my own mind you. Ah, the days of driving my friends around listening to CKY and punk. Video taping those sweet kick-flips and ollies. Wearing questionable tee shirts to school.

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Real Men Wear Babies - The Latest in Spring Fashion

Dr. Sear's isn't the only man who wears babies. Check out these rugged men and their babies:

This is Dave. He's showing off his new pouch sling. You can't get more manly than black and green camo! Here you see beautiful little Bellatrix all cozy in her sling. I love the look on her face :)
Jon and Aiden modeled it for me literally minutes before I rushed it to the post office. I love custom orders, but this one was my favorite. A pocket is hidden in the seam. Perfect for a wallet and cell phone.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Trip to the playground

On the last day of March, we could be found at the playground up the street. Aiden was very intrigued by all the space to run and the interesting structures to climb and explore, however Mum and Da may have had the most fun! A daily jaunt up has been planned for the nice, lazy days of spring and summer.