The Liebster Award

Thank you, Vandana Mathur of The Food Funda for nominating me for a Liebster Award. I am still finding my blogging voice and style; your nomination is encouraging. A sincere thanks. Check out the great recipes on her blog!

Here’s what you need to do for the Liebster Award:

The rules…
1. Acknowledge the blogger that nominated you and display the award
2. Answer 10 question that blogger gives you
3. Give 10 random facts about yourself
4. Nominate 10 blogs with under 200 followers
5. Notify the bloggers that you have nominated them
6. Give them 10 questions to answer

Here are the questions (and my answers) given to me by The Food Funda:

1. Which is your favorite blog?

I started reading blogs because I was a clueless parent. My favorite established blog is 100 Days of Real Food. My favorite up and coming blog is one I connected with on WordPress: With Only One Life. I look forward to the weekend reads and find the content very inspiring.

2. When did you start blogging and why?

I started blogging to find an outlet for stress and to connect with like minded people.

3. What are the best things about your blog? (Go on, let’s have some shameless self promotion!)

My blog is very practical.

4. What’s your favorite city, and why?

My favorite city is Edinburgh. I have visited this magical city at various stages in my life and every time I have a wonderful experience.

5. If you won the lottery what’s the first thing you’d buy?

I would be buy a lake house with room for all.

6. What was the last film you saw?

Pippi Longstockings.

7. What is your favorite food item?

Pasta.

8. What do you use to take pictures for your blog?

My iPhone.

9. Movies or novels?

This is a difficult question because I most enjoy reading a book and then immediately watching the movie. It’s my guilty pleasure :-).

10. What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?

I have made many mistakes and they have brought me to where I am and I have a lovely life.

 

Rosemary Vinegar Spray

Inspired by my misadventures in DIY essential oils I decided to try and infuse my vinegar spray used for cleaning the kitchen with rosemary. I love the smell of rosemary. It turned out great. Next I will try out a citrus spray. I have been using my rosemary-vinegar spray for cleaning up the kitchen floor at night and doing floorboards (well, I give the spray bottle to one of my kids and let them have on it).

What You Need

  1. Spray Bottle
  2. 6-8 Rosemary Sprigs
  3. Strainer
  4. Vinegar
  5. Water

What To Do

  1. Remove the rosemary leaves from the stem and place them at the bottom of a spray bottle.
  2. Cover the rosemary with vinegar, filling the bottle about halfway.
  3. Let the rosemary and vinegar sit in a dark cupboard (I put mine under the sink) for a week.
  4. Strain the rosemary and vinegar into a bowl.
  5. Add the rosemary infused vinegar back into the spray bottle.
  6. Fill the remainder of the space in the spray bottle with water.

FullSizeRender (24)

 

 

Rainy Day Activities

This past weekend was filled with rain, rain, rain. The kids were getting on each other’s last nerve and a big blow up was coming our way. Most days we just get out in it, but that was not possible this weekend. I used this opportunity to come up with a list of activities to keep on file for the future. All activities require only what you probably already have in your house. I must note that a few activities are “screen time” activities, but they do require movement on the child’s part. Once I started brainstorming I realized the options were endless. I will do a Part II later on so as not to overwhelm.

Clean the Grout/Chores

Yep! Put them to work. My favorite is to hand them a few old tooth brushes, a cup of baking soda, a spray bottle of vinegar and tell them to SCRUB. An invitiation to clean! Any other chores to do around the house? Show them the list of the activities below and tell them you will set up the activities of their choice if they first complete all the items on your chore list.

 Obstacle Course

Clear a room, turn over some chairs, pull off the couch cushions and make an amazing obstacle course. Couch cushions leaning against a couch make for a great tunnel.

Wall Stand Competitions

Find a wall in a carpeted area (no owies, please), put your hands on the floor and walk up the wall with your feet.  Challenge the kids to see who can stay up the longest.

Build a Reading Fort

The best (and easiest) way to build a fort is to throw a blanket over the dining room table. If you do not have a big enough table, turn your couch around and place two chairs opposite the back and throw a blanket over that. Add some pillows and a bunch of books and you have your very own rainy day reading fort!

IMG_1040.JPG

Jim Gill Sing and Dance Along

One day I would love to take the kids to see Jim Gill, but until then we love his YouTube videos. They require the kids to listen, act silly and sing. A few of his songs introduce children to classical music and the instruments at the symphony

Color a Mural

Take a large piece of paper (or tape a bunch of small pieces together; these can be used on one side). Use a pencil to divide it up into cool shapes, get out the box of crayons, assign each child a section and go to town!

Animal Charades

Cut out some cards and work with the kids to brainstorm animals. The older kids can write the animal name on the card or draw a picture of the animal. Put the cards in the basket and take turns drawing the cards and acting out the animal on the card while the others guess.

Road Race

This one will require some colored tape (painter’s tape works great) and small toy cars. If you don’t have toy cars around, not to worry, the kids can be the cars. Tear up the tape to make road marks and create a course to follow around the house. Have the kids use paper and crayons to make stop signs, cross walk signs, speed limit signs, etc. Talk about the “Rules of the Road” and then watch them have fun. Check out the Drive In Movie Night activity below for a box car idea.

Cosmic Kids Yoga

The kids are worn out now. Good job! However, the lack of outdoor time means they still can’t quite settle down. My kids adore Cosmic Kid’s Yoga videos; they are free on YouTube and range from 10 minutes to 30 minutes. The yoga instructor leads the children through a yoga inspired movement story focused around a theme such as a lost mermaid or Harry Potter.

Drive In Movie Night

Have a few boxes lying around? Work during the day to turn them into cars to be used for your family movie night, drive in style! These box cars can also be used for the Road Race activity above. Check out this link for a great example.

Check out TheCleansedLife pinterest board here for more ideas.

 

Kitchen Part I: DIY Dishwasher Detergent and Pot/Pan Cleaning

 

I have been slowly transitioning over to home made, non toxic, Terrific Twenty list products to use in the kitchen. There is so much that happens and needs to be taken care of in the kitchen that I have decided to break it up into three parts. This first part focuses on ways to clean the dishes, pots and pans. Here is what you will find in this post:

  1. Dishwasher Detergent
  2. Basic Scrub
  3. Tough Scrub

Dishwasher Detergent

What You Need

  1. A jar (I used a 1 pint mason jar, but any size will do; just adjust amounts.)
  2. 1 part water (I used a little less than 1/2 cup)
  3. 1 part Castile Soap (I used a little less than 1/2 cup of Dr. Bronner’s Baby Hemp)
  4. 1 cup vinegar (for the rinse)

What To Do

  1. Mix the ingredients in the jar
  2. Put 1 Tablespoon of the mixture in the compartment where you usually put the dish washing detergent.
  3. Add 1 cup vinegar to the rinse compartment of your dishwasher or just to the bottom of the dishwasher.

Note: Do not combine the vinegar and Castile Soap; they will counteract each other. The main website I used for this recipe can be found here. Really great website. This works REALLY well. My dishes and glasses come out clean and shiny, even when the dishes have been put in without a good rinse off.

FullSizeRender(3)

Basic Scrub

What You Need

  1. Baking soda
  2. Half of a lemon

What To Do

  1. Place the baking soda and a little water in the pot, pan or sink that you want to clean.
  2. Use the halved lemon to scrub.
  3. That’s all!

FullSizeRender (23)

Tough Scrub

This works WONDERS on those tough to clean pots and pans. I don’t have any before and after pictures at the moment.

What You Need

  1. Water
  2. Vinegar
  3. 1-2 Tablespoons Baking Soda
  4. Scrub brush

What To Do

  1. Combine vinegar and water in the bottom of the pot or pan.
  2. Make sure the mixture reaches the area you want to clean.
  3. Place the pot or pan on the stove.
  4. Turn the burner on and wait for it to come to a boil.
  5. Turn off the burner and remove the pot or pan from the heat.
  6. Add the baking soda.
  7. Scrub until clean.

Note: I have seen this idea on various websites and tried it out myself multiple times. It really works. Check this website out for more detailed instructions and a second opinion.