DIY Non-Toxic Air Freshener

Love a yummy smelling house, but hate the toxic cloud that comes with store bough air fresheners?  Me too!   You're going to want to try out this super simple, frugal and natural air freshener recipe!  It's really inexpensive and only requires 2 ingredients!  Woohoo!

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DIY Non-Toxic Air Freshener

Supplies:

  • 1 Tbsp Baking Soda
  • 30-40 drops Essential Oil (depending on the size of your bottle)
  • Water (distilled or filtered)
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Instructions:

Place your baking soda into a small bowl and add your essential oil.  Mix them together until well combined, the baking soda helps to keep the oil suspended in the water.  Then dump into your spray bottle (you may need a funnel to get it in there) and fill up your bottle with water.  Shake well and presto!  Homemade Non-Toxic Air Freshener!

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The best part about this recipe is you can have lots of fun with the scents.  Use different oil combinations to make your favourite scent and why not make different smells for different rooms?  Here's a few of my fave combinations:

  • Sweet Orange & Lemon - uplifting and works great in the kitchen
  • Peppermint & Rosemary -  great for focusing; perfect for the office or den
  • Lavender & Vanilla - so yummy and perfect for sleepy time; lovely in your bedroom to help you relax
  • Cinnamon, Tea Tree & Clove - deodorizing and antibacterial; super for bathrooms, closets & even gym bags

The combinations are endless with essential oils and you don't have to worry about a nasty spray that you have to keep locked away from the kids.  Have you made your own air freshener? What's your go-to scent?

DIY Homemade Handy-Wipes

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Ditch the hand-sanitizer and those old-fashioned lemony Handi-Wipes.  I've got a super simple, frugal and chemical-free way to clean those sticky fingers and loads of other messes! Yup, make your own wipes!  And it's way easier than you think.

DIY Homemade Handy-Wipes

Supplies:

1 tbsp

Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castile Soap

2 drops Tea Tree Oil

1 drop Lavender Essential Oil

1/2 tbsp Sweet Almond Oil

1 Cup Water

Small Baby Wash Cloths

Water Tight Container

Instructions:

So pour all ingredients into a water tight container.  I used a square glass container with a lid.  Seal your container and shake until all your ingredients are well mixed and bubbly.  You'll notice that I didn't indicate how many wash cloths to use.  This really is dependent on the size of your container and the thickness of your cloths. I think I used about 20 or so, but I wasn't really counting.  Start by folding your cloths so that they fit into your container. Then stack one on top of the other until you can't possibly fit anymore in.  Now if your cloths on top are bone dry, you may need to add more of the wipe mixture.  Just simply mix up another batch and add just enough to the top to ensure the cloths are damp.

Then seal with your lid and leave on the counter.  These cloths work wonders for sticky hands and faces on kids and grown-ups.  Just keep them away from your eyes.  I have even wiped off my table, counters and stove top too. All you need is a little bucket or wet bag to store your used wipes before tossing them in the laundry.  And you can even throw a few in a Ziploc bag in your purse for your travel wipe needs!

The combination of soap and essential oils cleans beautifully and the little bit of almond oil helps keep your skin soft.  The tea tree oil is antibiotic, anti-fungal and antiseptic so it's perfect for all kinds of dirtiness. And since I already had a ton of wash cloths hanging around from our diapering days, these homemade Handy-Wipes cost next to nothing to make! Plus you'll be helping the environment and avoiding lots of nasty chemicals.

7 Reasons Why You Should Grow Sprouts

I'm sure you've all seen sprouts at the supermarket or had some on top of a salad at one time or another.  But have you ever thought about growing them? Well, I'm here to tell you that YES you should, and here's why:

sprouts

7 Reasons Why You Should Grow Sprouts

  • Sprouts are delicious! if for no other reason they are fabulous on salads, sandwiches and as a topping for just about any meal.

  • Sprouts are cheap. aside from some water, a mason jar or sprout bag and seeds, you don't really need anything fancy to grow your own food. And a little bit of seeds or beans goes a long way!

  • They are the ultimate home-grown food! These easy-to-grow super foods can be grown just about anywhere in your house in just a couple days.

  • Sprouts have super powers! Maybe not like Spider-man, but sprouts pack a powerful punch. Not only are they full of fiber, but when you sprout beans, nuts or seeds their vitamin content goes through the roof! This is especially true for Vitamin A, B-Complex and C. Plus, the quality of protein improves when those beans, seeds & nuts get soaked and sprouted.

  • Enzymes & EFA's oh my! The sprouting process also increases EFA's (Essential Fatty Acids) something that most of us are lacking. Plus, sprouts contain up to 100 times more enzymes than raw fruits and veggies! Remember, enzymes are special proteins that act as catalysts to all body functions so we want to make sure we've got the best enzymes to ensure we're functioning optimally.

  • They are alkalizing. Adding sprouts to your diet is a great way to decrease acidity in the body. And since many illnesses and cancers are linked to acidity, sprouts are a great way to stay healthy.

  • Growing food is fun! Even if you're not a green thumb, sprouting is so easy your kids can do it. Plus, they'll love watching them sprout and change. I swear you can almost see them growing!

Jerked Juice Pulp Crackers

I love juice! I love making juice & drinking juice and did I say drinking juice?  But the one thing I don't like is all the left over pulp.  What do you do with all that juice pulp? I usually feed it to my worms or toss it in the compost, but even with those greener options it still feels like a waste to me.  So I decided I would make something out of that rainbow pulp and TA DA.....

Jerked Juice Pulp Crackers

Ingredients:

  • Your left over pulp from a juicing session (I had about 5 or 6 cups after making juice for me & my man)
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 1 tbsp Chia
  • 1/2 cup of your fresh juice or water
  • 1 1/2 tsp Jerk Seasoning

Instructions:

In a large bowl, mix your juice pulp and juice/water until well combined. Add your seasonings and Chia and mix it well.

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Firmly press your pulp mixture onto a fine screen for your dehydrator. My

Nesco has these great Clean- A-Screens that worked perfectly for my pulp. Make sure your soon to be crackers are a nice even thickness all around.  Mine was about 1/4 inch or so thick.

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Dehydrate your mixture for about 8-12 hours at 115 degrees.  The time will vary depending on how wet your pulp is and your dehydrator. My crackers took about 12 hours to reach the perfect crispiness. Once done you can either cut them into crackers or go for a more rustic look by breaking them into dip-able sized pieces!

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These Jerked Juice Pulp Crackers had just the right bit of kick and worked wonderfully with my hummus. Not only are they delicious, but a perfect way to add some fiber to your snack and make use of all that gorgeous healthy pulp! Got a fruitier juice? Why not make a sweet cracker with cinnamon, ground vanilla & nutmeg?

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Oh the pulpy possibilities!

10 Amazing Uses for Castile Soap



Are you cupboards overflowing with bottles and jars of cleaners, soaps and other concoctions?  Why not replace just about everything with one amazing bottle?  Yup, Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap definitely is miraculous!  I don't know why, but I only recently made the switch and I can't believe the never ending uses for this soap!
Citrus Orange Castile Liquid Soap - 32 oz.
Castile Soap is made from  plant oils and it's gentle on you and the environment because it's free from harsh cleansers, artificial foaming agents, petrochemicals or chemical anti-bacterial agents.  And since liquid Castile Soaps are made from plants, they're vegan and also biodegradable. So ya, it's pretty amazing stuff and you'll be surprised by what you can replace in your house with just one bottle of this magic soap!


10 Amazing Uses for Castile Soap


  1. Body Wash - a little goes a long way.  I keep a container of diluted version in the shower and it lathers wonderfully; leaving my skin clean & soft.
  2. Car Wash - it leaves a great shine from hood to trunk.
  3. Dog Wash - yup, good for your fur babies too!
  4. Dish Detergent - again, a great cleaner for your after dinner messes
  5. Hand Soap - fill up your old foaming hand soap bottles with a diluted version and you'll be amazed by this all natural cleanser.
  6. Shampoo - yes, I've used it head to toe and it works on all your parts!
  7. Multi-purpose Cleaner - again, dilute a bit of this fab soap and you can clean just about anything
  8. Fruit & Veggie Wash - add a drop or two into a full sink and get those veggies clean!
  9. Baby Wash - yes it's even gentile enough to use on your kids. Dr. Bronner's does make a kids version that's unscented, but my girls do just fine with the citrus.
  10. Bug Spray - so you can clean just about anything, but you can also use it to get rid of pests in your garden.
If those aren't enough reasons to get you to make a switch (or to at least try) Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap, then how about the fact that it's Fair Trade, Non-GMO & not tested on animals! Oh yeah, did I mention that it's also a great price! Way cheaper than all those other bottles under your sink!


Have you got a favourite Castile Soap use? Share it here! I'm always on the look out for more ways to use this incredible soap!


 
Disclaimer: Big props to Dr. Bronner's for their amazing soap! I am not affiliated with Dr. Bronner's & I wasn't compensated for this post.  I just really love their soap!

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly - Halfway Through My #Juice #Cleanse

Well, it's official....we've made it halfway through our 7 day juice cleanse from Pulp and Press.  I thought it would be fitting to share The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of my cleanse journey.

Warning: TMI alert! Be prepared.


The Good:
  1. Less Lbs - yup, we've both lost a few pounds and loving it!
  2. Bye bye Bloat - any belly bloat is long gone thanks to all the gorgeous juice!
  3. Hello Glow - yes, it's true, I'm starting to glow.  My skin looks brighter and my hair shinier.
The Bad:
  1. Food Torture - cleansing while still having to prepare food for the kidlets is cruel & unusual punishment and practically unbearable. At any moment I feel as though I could snatch the kid's plates and swallow them whole.
  2. Limited Energy - yes, I ran this morning, but that energy was very quickly used and having to wait until my next juice to recharge was difficult to say the least.
The Ugly:
  1. Sticky Teeth - yeah, you read that right. Since starting the cleanse my husband and I have both experienced weird sticky teeth.  Part of the detox process I guess and easily vanquished by a toothbrush, but still a little creepy.
  2. Pas de Poop -well maybe this should go under the good.  But as you proceed into the cleanse and aren't eating anything, that means there's no output either. Not a bad thing, but something that takes getting used to.
So take what you will from my observations, but I can tell you we are over the hump and the finish line is in site.  Yes, there have been obstacles to over come but the end result will completely erase any struggles in our journey.  I'm saying yes to a healthier, detoxed, lighter, glowing me!

Juice Cleanse Update - Day 1

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So Mike and I made it through our first full day of our 7 day cleanse. And I was surprised that Mike handled it as well as he did.  The juices are delicious and certainly hit the spot.  We've been drinking lots of water and herbal teas in between to help keep hydrated and aid in the detox process.

A few things I thought I should point out after my first day:

  1. Stay on schedule with your juices. If you are late for the juice, you will definitely feel it.
  2. Stay away from food.  Aside from not eating, the hardest part was preparing meals and lunches for my kids. It took all I had to resist scarfing down their little lunches I had just prepared.  As long as I don't have to look, touch, or smell food, I'm good.
  3. Rest. Yup, definitely feeling more tired that first day then usual. So took my body's cues and was in bed by 10pm. Woo!

So now onto day 2! Feeling pretty good this morning even without coffee!  

Bring on the juice!

Time for a Reboot #juice #cleanse

Today I'm pushing the reset button.  You know, that button inside your head that changes everything? The place where you put your foot down and say "No More!"

Wait, let me go back a little bit...

So the past few months have been more stressful than I would have liked.  Selling & buying a house, moving 2 kids and 2 dogs to a new town and a new school.  And then unpacking and trying to fix up our new home; all while both my husband and I continued to work.  Needless to say there was little time for taking care of me.  Too many late nights and early mornings, too much processed food, too much stress, not enough exercise or relaxation have taken their toll.

But, today I'm hitting the reset button!

Today starts my first day of a 7 day juice cleanse from Pulp & Press.  You may remember from last year that I did their 5 day cleanse after coming back from vacation.  Well, this time it's serious!  I need that jump start to reset my system, my body, mind and spirit and it's all going to start with cleaning out those toxins that have been dragging me down.

Follow along as I make my way through the next 7 days with nothing but delicious cold-pressed, organic juices and water.  I have a feeling it's going to be harder than the last time.  Ooh, and I forgot to tell you...my husband is doing it too!  So if nothing else, that should make for some good stories on how he & we handle the juice!

And before I forget, we decided to weigh in this morning just to track how our bodies change over the next 7 days.  So here it goes Internet...my weight this morning is: 154.8 lbs and Mike: 183.3 lbs.

Ugh, now that that's over with it's time to crack open that first  juice and let the cleansing begin!

Cheers,
 




Disclaimer: A huge thank you to Pulp & Press for the wonderful juices they create.  I did not  receive any compensation for this post, I just really like their juice! All opinions expressed are my own.

All-Natural Bug Repellent #DIY

In just a few days we'll be packing up the kids and dogs and heading off the to great wilderness (read: campground 1hr away from home) to enjoy a little outdoor camping adventure.

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Among many other things, we will need a good amount of bug spray.  I can't stand the thought of putting DEET on my kiddos or dogs so I've come up with my own concoction that works and is completely natural!

All-Natural Bug Repellent

What You'll Need:

  • 1 spray bottle
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Witch Hazel
  • Citronella Essential Oil
  • Rosemary Essential Oil
  • Lavender Essential Oil
  • Clove Essential Oil

Directions:

This couldn't be easier.  Pour your water and Witch Hazel into your spray bottle.  Next it's time for the essential oils.  The best part is you can tweak the recipe depending on your preference.  Here's what I used: 25 drops of Citronella, 20 drops Lavender, 7 drops of Rosemary and 7 drops of Clove essential oils.  Add to your bottle and shake well.  And PRESTO!  All-Natural Bug Repellent!

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Both my husband and I tried this spray out over the weekend with great success.  It was easy to make and goes on great; nice and light and refreshing.  I sat out on the deck last night to test it and see if it did indeed repel the bugs.  I had been cleaning up the back yard and as the sun went down the mosquitoes came out.  After applying it to my arms and legs I was surprised how well it worked.  The mosquitoes came over to for a little nibble, but when they landed or got close they didn't seem to care for my scent anymore and left.

There will be more testing this weekend at the campground so stay tuned for an update. Remember, what works for me may not work for you, so mix up the recipe to suit your needs.  And don't forget to let me know if it worked for you or if you discovered an even better bug spray recipe!

All-Natural #DIY Fruit-Fly Trap

My name is Jen and I have a Fruit fly problem.  It all started with that bunch of bananas and now with the messy kids and dogs, they seem to be all over the kitchen.

Does that sound familiar? Well, currently we have had quite the fruit fly party in our kitchen.  I find the summer is tricky with the plethora of fruits and veggies available and within a day you can become easily overrun by these tiny pests.  But don't fret, I have found quite possibly the easiest and likely most effective way to get rid of those annoying bugs.

Are you ready?!


All-Natural DIY Fruit Fly Trap
Ingredients:
Apple Cider Vinegar
Water
A glass
Plastic Wrap

Instructions:
Place equals parts of Apple Cider Vinegar and water in your glass.  I used about a 1/3 of a cup of each...maybe...but it doesn't really matter. Cover glass with plastic wrap.  Poke a few holes in the top of the plastic wrap.  Place in known Fruit Fly hangout and wait.

Kinda gross, but lots of little flies swimming in the vinegar

Yup, that's it.  Within just a few minutes I had Fruit flies circling the glass.  The beauty is they can find a way in, but their brains are too small to find a way out.  So eventually they get too tired and fall into the vinegar.

On a side note...yes the trap is quite effective, but in order to completely rid your kitchen of fruit flies you will also need to get rid of the offending food.  So whether they came in on a bunch of fruit or you left an empty beer bottle on the counter, they will continue to reproduce.  So make the trap, clean the kitchen and then you're set!


Cheers,
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