Coconut Oil is Magic

Coconut Oil is Magic

This post may contain affiliate links.  You can read my disclosure policy here.

 

Coconut oil is the most used ingredient for my skincare products and I always keep a few jars around the house. Not only is coconut oil easy to find, it is versatile and very affordable. There are literally dozens of uses for coconut oil and I almost feel guilty for only paying $7.00 a jar when I get so much use out of it.

 

So what’s the deal with coconut oil and its benefits?

 

Lauric Acid – This is the “magic Ingredient” in coconut oil. Lauric Acid is an anti-viral, anti-parasitic, anti-fungal and anti-bacterial compound in coconut oil. In fact, coconut oil is nature’s richest source of lauric acid which is why it is beneficial to the body in so many ways.

Medium Chained Triglycerides (MCT) – Breaking down this type of healthy fat in the liver leads to efficient burning of energy. Most fatty acids consumed in the diet are long-chain fatty acids but medium-chain fatty acids in coconut oil are metabolized differently. MCT go straight to the liver from the digestive tract, where they are used as a quick of source energy rather than being stored as fat.

Antioxidants – Especially high in Vitamin E, which proves to be effective for maintaining healthy skin, hair and nails. The antioxidants protect us from free radicals. Free radicals are organic molecules responsible for aging and tissue damage. These molecules are very unstable and therefore will bond with other molecules, destroy their health and ultimately damage them. This is especially true for the face. Just think of how much contact our face has with, well, air? Antioxidants prevent free radicals from hitching a ride on our skin and damaging the tissue.

In order to reap the full benefits of coconut oil, you will need to buy a certain kind. Unrefined, organic, extra-virgin coconut oil is your best option. But don’t stress out over finding that specific kind, just start with organic and go from there. I usually buy my oil from a local grocery but here is a whole page of choices for your viewing pleasure.

 

Different kinds of coconut oil on the market.

 

Pure: This means that the oil is unrefined without any additives. Pure coconut oil has multiple uses and can be used externally and internally.

Unrefined: Often referred to as virgin or pure. This oil is extracted from the fresh “meat” of the coconut rather than a dry version. The process is quicker this way therefore the oil does not need additives or bleaching. Unrefined coconut oil maintains its coconut smell and flavor.

Organic: Organic oils have been extracted from coconut palms raised on organic manure without the use of synthetic fertilizers. Also, there were no chemical used in the production, giving you pure, chemical free oil. Try to use organic if you are using the oil on your skin. It only takes 26 seconds for our skin to absorb whatever we rub into it. We surely don’t want to rub chemicals and toxins into our skin.

Virgin: One of the most respected and trusted varieties. This version of oil comes from the mild of fresh coconut meat. Little to no heat is used in the extraction therefore, the oil tastes and smells like fresh coconuts. Due to the care of production, virgin coconut oil maintains the most antioxidants and anti-microbial properties.

Refined: This oil has been bleached and deodorized (I’m out on this one). Due to being extracted from the dried coconut meat, the oil has to be purified because of contaminants that arise during the drying process. High heat is used to kill the contaminants and also removes the distinct coconut smell and flavor.

 

Another interesting fact about coconut oil is that it has a high melting point. I keep a jar in my pantry and in the summer the oil is liquid and the winter, the oil remains solid. The oil will melt quickly once introduced to the heat of your hands or body.

So next time you are at the store, make sure you grab a jar of organic, pure coconut oil. Put it on your list! You will be glad you did.  I can’t wait to hear how you use coconut oil.

 

Check out these posts that use Magical Coconut oil.

Wild Orange and Clove Lip Balm

VapoRub for Cough and Cold

Moisturizing Body Wash Recipe

 

Coconut Oil

28 Ways to Clean your Home with Vinegar

28 Ways to Clean your Home with Vinegar

This post may contain affiliate links.  Check out my disclosure policy here.

 

You probably have used white distilled vinegar in a recipe, but did you know that you can clean your home with vinegar? Vinegar is a tried and true jack of all cleaning trades that can kill weeds, clean your floors, and get rid of mildew in your shower.

Vinegar is created by the oxidation of alcohol into acetic acid, which is the magic ingredient that makes it such a versatile cleaning machine. The smell is pungent at first but completely disappears once dry. Adding essential oils to your vinegar will help mask the smell until the vinegar dries.

Below is a list of 28 ways to clean your home with vinegar.

Be prepared to be amazed.

 

Clean your Home with Vinegar – Room by Room

 

KitchenClean your home with vinegar.

 

Window Cleaner – just add vinegar, water, and rubbing alcohol to a recycled spray bottle and you have yourself a non-toxic, effective window cleaner.

Clean Chrome and Stainless Steel – lightly mist appliances with undiluted white vinegar and buff.

Steam Clean your Microwave – place a glass bowl filled with one cup water and 1/4 cup vinegar inside the microwave and “cook” it for 3-5 minutes.  After cooling, use the liquid to wipe down the interior.

Fruit and Veggie Cleaner – this fruit and veggie cleaner will not only remove the bacteria and little critters but up to 98% of the pesticide residue on the outside of your produce.

Disinfect and Deodorize Wood Cutting Boards – wipe your wood cutting boards with full strength white vinegar after each use to disinfect and clean. To deodorize your wood cutting boards, spread some baking soda over it and spritz on undiluted vinegar. Let stand for 10 minutes then wipe clean with a wet cloth. 

Clean your Coffeemaker – hard water minerals can build up in your coffee machine.  Fill the reservoir with equal parts of water and vinegar. Brew a full pot of the water/vinegar mix and then brew a pot of plain water to rinse.  Cleaning your coffee maker with vinegar will keep it in tip-top shape.

Dishwasher – Vinegar is an excellent rinse agent.  Just give the rinse compartment a good squirt and keep your glassware spotless. Eco-friendly bonus points if you use it after this non-toxic DIY dishwasher detergent.  To keep your dishwasher clean, pour a cup of white vinegar into the bottom of an empty dishwasher to get rid of the lime and soap build-up.

**Warning** Vinegar and marble are not friends. The acid in vinegar may damage stone surfaces. 

 

 

BathroomClean your home with vinegar.

 

All-Purpose Bathroom Cleaner – put equal parts water and vinegar in a spray bottle to clean counters, tile, and toilets.  You can strengthen the cleaner by adding essential oils.  Vinegar is super effective at getting rid of hard water stains.

Remove Mineral Deposits from Shower-heads – place removable shower heads in a gallon of hot water with 1 cup vinegar for 15 minutes to clear away blockages and mineral deposits.  If your shower-head is not removable, fill a gallon size baggie with 1 cup water and 1 cup vinegar and tape the bag around the shower-head. Let it sit for 30 minutes to 1 hour, then remove the bag and wipe the shower-head clean.

Clean Shower Door Tracks – those things get funky. Pour straight vinegar into the tracks and let set overnight.  Rinse with hot water to remove the funk and then brush the rest away with an old toothbrush.

Clean and Shine Bathroom Fixtures –make the bathroom fixtures shine by pouring undiluted vinegar on a soft cloth and wiping down the faucets, towel racks, and doorknobs.

Clean Mirror – just add vinegar, water, and rubbing alcohol to a recycled spray bottle and you have yourself a non-toxic, effective mirror cleaner.

Remove Toilet Water Rings – Undiluted vinegar will help keep your toilet looking and smelling clean. Pour in 2 cups and let set overnight to keep those annoying water rings at bay.

 

 

LaundryClean your home with vinegar.

 

Clean and Disinfect Washing Machine – pour 2 cups of undiluted vinegar into your washing machine and run a full cycle to clean out soap scum and get your washer sparkly clean.

Remove Lint and Static from Clothes – add a cup of vinegar to the rinse cycle to keep your clothes static and lint free.

Brighten Clothes – adding 1/2 cup vinegar to the final rinse cycle will brighten those clothes.

Remove Mildew Smell – ever find a wet towel at the bottom of the hamper or worse yet, your kid’s backpack? Add 2 cups of vinegar to a load of mildewy items and wash through one cycle.  Wash a second time like normal and the musty smell will be gone.

Kill Bacteria – if you are washing cloth diapers, add a cup of vinegar to the load to kill any bacteria that may be present.

Softens Clothes – adding a cup of vinegar to the wash will soften and freshen your clothes.  Which is great because you can skip the chemical-laden fabric softener perfumy dryer sheets.

 

 

FloorsClean your home with vinegar.

 

Remove Carpet Odor – spray undiluted vinegar on your carpet – you can mix a few drops of your favorite essential oil to mask the vinegar smell – and spray the trouble areas.

Clean Porcelain or Tile Floors – add 1/2 cup vinegar to 1 gallon of warm water and mop porcelain or tile floors.  If the grout is dirty, make a baking soda paste and gently scrub. Rinse the grout clean before mopping.

Pet Odor Remover: pour vinegar on the trouble area and sprinkle with baking soda. Scrub the area and let dry for at least 4-5 hours.  Vacuum up the baking soda and viola(!), smell gone.

Floor Cleaner – mop with 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar and 1 gallon of warm water. No rinsing required.  Keep in mind that vinegar and stone do not mix.

 

Lawn and GardenClean your home with vinegar.

 

Kill Weeds on Driveway and Sidewalk – spray undiluted vinegar on weeds and pull them up after they wither away. It usually takes 2-3 days for the weeds to completely die.

Clean Rust from Garden Tools – spray garden tools with vinegar and let sit for a few minutes.  The rust will wipe right away.

Freshen Up Cut Flowers – add 2 tablespoons vinegar and 1 teaspoon sugar for each quart of water and your cut flowers will stay fresher, longer.

Clean Bird Baths and Feeders – clean with undiluted vinegar and rinse well.  Soap will leave an unhealthy residue behind.

Increase Acidity of Garden Soil – Azaleas, Rhododendrons, Hydrangeas, and Gardenias prefer higher soil acidity.  Water once a week with a white distilled vinegar solution. A cup of white distilled vinegar to a gallon of tap water is a good mixture.

 

 

If cleaning with vinegar isn’t your thing, here are some good quality, non-toxic cleaners you can buy.

 

Puracy Natural All Purpose Cleaner, Child and Pet Safe, Green Tea and Lime

Better Life Natural Plant Based Best Hardwood Floor Cleaner, Citrus Mint

Seventh Generation Free and Clear Glass and Surface Cleaner

 

As you see by this list, it’s totally worth it to buy stock in white distilled vinegar and keep gallons under your sink, in your bathroom closet, and in your garage.  Ok, don’t go crazy with it, but vinegar is cheap, versatile, and non-toxic, making it a great alternative to those expensive and harsh cleaning chemicals.

How do you clean your home with vinegar?

 

 

If you enjoyed this info, check out these other cool posts.

How to eat organic on a budget

Clean and purify indoor air with plants!

10 super helpful ways to use Castille Soap

DIY Ant Killer

DIY Ant Killer

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. YOU CAN READ MY DISCLOSURE POLICY HERE.

 

When the ants come marching in, make this non-toxic ant killer for the win.

The other morning, Xan and Evie sat down at the breakfast counter in the kitchen only to find dozens of ants crawling all over.

They were totally grossed out and it was B.C. (before coffee) and I simply couldn’t move that fast.

Now, if you know me, you know I wouldn’t use commercial ant killers in the house because of the toxic chemicals and fumes. And I’ve tried the cinnamon thing and it didn’t stop ants and peppermint essential oil spray may be a great spider repellent, but it didn’t stop the ants either.

 

Conventional ant killers have gross ingredients like Piperonyl butoxide (PBO), Pyrethrins, and Petroleum.

 

Piperonyl butoxide – Piperonyl butoxide (PBO) is a man-made pesticide synergist (ingredients more effective at killing pests). By itself, PBO is not designed to harm insects. Instead, it works with bug killers to increase their effectiveness.  It can cause eye and skin irritation on contact.  Studies have led the U.S. EPA to classify Piperonyl butoxide as a possible human carcinogen.

Pyrethrins – Pyrethrins are pesticides found naturally in some chrysanthemum flowers. They are a mixture of six chemicals that are toxic to insects. Exposure can lead to wheezing, cough, difficulty breathing, and irritation of the airways.  Highly toxic to honey bees. #savethebees

Petroleum – Originally, petroleum was discovered hanging out on the bottom of oil rigs and although refined, it potentially can contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that have been linked to several cancers, including skin, lung, bladder, liver and certain digestive system cancers.

 

Raid Ant and Roach Killer contains all three of these ingredients and actually has this warning:

“HAZARDS TO HUMANS AND DOMESTIC ANIMALS. CAUTION: Harmful if swallowed or absorbed through skin. Avoid breathing spray mist. Avoid contact with skin or clothing.” (Source)

 

Yeah, thanks but no thanks.

You can make a simple and effective ant killer with ingredients that you probably already have in your kitchen: water, baking soda, and powdered sugar.

I experimented to see which DIY ant killer would be the most effective.  The top dish contains equal parts of water, baking soda, and powdered sugar.

The bottom left contains equal parts of baking soda (1 tbsp) and powdered sugar (1 tbsp) but only half part water (1/2 tbsp).

The bottom right contains only equal parts of baking soda and powder sugar.  No water.

As you can see, the bottom left was the winner.

 

 

Non-Toxic Ant Killer

Ingredients:

1 tbsp baking soda

1 tbsp powdered sugar

1/2 tbsp water

Container with low sides.

 

Directions:

  1. Mix baking soda, powdered sugar, and water in a container with low sides.
  2. Place ant killer where you see ants entering your home.
  3. Clean and replace as needed.

 

If you aren’t in the mood to make a non-toxic ant killer, these eco-friendly options are available for purchase.

 

Wondercide Natural Indoor Pest Control Home and Patio Spray 

All Natural Non-toxic Insect Killer Spray by Killer Green

EcoRaider Ant Killer & Crawling Insect Killer

 

Do you have a favorite ant killer?

 

DIY ANT KILLER

 

Cold Brew Coffee is Life

Cold Brew Coffee is Life

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS.  YOU CAN READ MY DISCLOSURE POLICY HERE.

Coffee is my favorite.

Hot, iced, slushed, or candy style.  It just makes my heart happy.

Cold brew coffee is perfect any day but especially when those temps start rising.  It is so easy to make that you just may stop swinging by your fave coffee shop and start making it yourself!  Just think about how much money you will save.

Making coffee cold brew style will result in a smooth tasting coffee as opposed to brewing coffee and then icing it.  That results in watery, bitter coffee.

You only need a few items like a jar with lid, coffee grounds or beans, filter, and filter basket.  And patience.  It takes at least 12 hours for the coffee to “brew”.  But I promise you that it is worth it!

Now if you have a coffee bean grinder, then you can grind your beans right before you brew. Your local coffee shop may sell their beans by the pound. #shoplocal  Or you can just buy some at the grocery.

Now let me show you how super simple it is to make Cold Brew Coffee.

 

Cold Brew Coffee Recipe

 

Ingredients:

1 cup of coffee grounds

3 cups water

Large Jar with a lid – Like these

Filter basket 

Coffee filter or cheesecloth

Directions:

1. Add 1 cup of coffee grounds to 3 cups water.

 

 

2. Stir and screw the lid on.

 

 

3. Place jar in the fridge overnight or for 12 hours.  Waiting is seriously the hardest part.

 

4. Wait patiently.

 

5. Strain the grounds.  This is definitely the most time-consuming part. But if you have a conventional coffee maker, you can put a filter in the basket and a clean jar underneath and viola(!), a cold brew coffee. I used my pour over basket and it does go slowly as you can see here.

 

 

 

6. Drink some of the most delicious coffee ever.

 

 

 

Do you have a favorite cold brew coffee recipe?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fruit and Nut Overnight Oats

Fruit and Nut Overnight Oats

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS.  You can read my disclosure policy here.

 

Eating breakfast is super important.  Eating a tasty, no fuss, healthy breakfast is even better.

With just a little prep, like minuscule, you can throw this breakfast together on Sunday and have it prepped all week.  Just grab and go.

Overnight oats consist of the following basics.

  • Jar
  • Oats
  • Nut Milk

Super simple, right?

After that, you get to add the fun stuff like nuts, fruits, seeds, sweetener, or flavor.  Down below is a list of ingredients that you can mix and match to your heart’s desire.  Possibilities are endless.

 

Fruit and Nut Overnight Oats Recipe

 

Ingredients:

Jar with Lid – 8-12 oz Mason Jars work great.

1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats – good complex carb, high in soluble and insoluble fiber.

1 cup milk – plant-based milk can be a great alternative to cow’s milk.  Buy unsweetened and organic when possible.

  • Almond – unsweetened almond milk is low in fat but high in energy, proteins, lipids, and fiber.
  • Cashew – boosts the feel-good hormone tryptophan, which increases serotonin production in your brain.
  • Coconut – contains a beneficial fat, lauric acid, that’s easily absorbed and used by the body for energy.

Fruit – naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories.

  • Berries – exceptionally high in antioxidants and vitamin C.
  • Kiwi – high in vitamin A, K, E, and B, potassium, copper, folate, and fiber.
  • Bananas – high carb and mineral content of makes them a great source of fuel before exercise.
  • Oranges – excellent source of vitamin C.

Nuts – boost nutritional intake by adding nuts to your oats.

  • Walnuts – 1/4 cup provides 100 percent of the daily-recommended value of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats.
  • Slivered almonds – high in protein – nearly one gram per almond.
  • Pecans – contains anti-inflammatory magnesium, heart-healthy oleic acid, phenolic antioxidants, and immune-boosting manganese.
  • Cashews – a powerhouse of proteins and essential minerals.

Seeds – a great source of healthy fats, vegetarian protein, fiber and antioxidant polyphenols.

  • Chia seeds – high fiber content.
  • Flax seeds – an excellent source of magnesium and fiber.

Natural Sweeteners – great alternative to sugar. Sugar contains high calories with NO essential nutrients. 

  • Maple syrup – contains antioxidants and minerals like zinc and manganese.
  • Honey – raw honey contains bee pollen which provides natural allergy relief and boosts overall immunity.

Flavor – common ingredients to spice up your oats and keep you healthy.

  • Vanilla – antiviral, antioxidant, and anti-inflammatory.
  • Cinnamon – lowers blood sugar levels and also can improve sensitivity to the hormone insulin.

 

Directions: 

1. Place oats, nut juice or milk, and add-in’s of choice (nuts, seeds, flavor, sweetener). Play around with the measurements for the fun stuff.  See what works for you. Stir well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

2. The next morning, give your oats a stir.  If they are dry, add a splash of liquid. I like to add my fruit and nuts in the morning so that the fruit stays plump and the nuts are crunchy.  It’s totally a texture thing but feel free to add the night before.  One less thing to do in the morning.

3. Enjoy!

 

 

Pro-Tip: Hard boil some eggs while you prep your overnight oats.

Adding a couple of eggs along with your oats will provide a protein-packed breakfast that will keep you full until lunch.

 

Prep your breakfast for the week and you are on your way to a healthy, convenient, and economical way to start your day.

 

Check out these other tasty breakfast ideas. 

 

 

Homemade VapoRub for Cough and Cold

Homemade VapoRub for Cough and Cold

This post may contain affiliate links.  You can read the disclosure policy here

Spring is just around the corner (yay!) but there is still some funk going around.  Homemade Vaporub will save the day when you need insta relief from cough and cold.  None of the gross ingredients and all of the soothing essential oil love you can handle.

Conventional VapoRub contains funky and potentially harmful ingredients.

  • Camphor: you cannot swallow because camphor overdose can have severe effects, including death in toddlers.
  • Petrolatum: or Petroleum as the jelly used for beauty products. Originally, petroleum was discovered hanging out on the bottom of oil rigs and although refined, it potentially can contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that have been linked to several cancers, including skin, lung, bladder, liver and certain digestive system cancers.
  • Turpentine oil: toxic if swallowed. Used as a paint solvent, turpentine also is an ingredient in Vicks VapoRub.

Homemade VapoRub contains beneficial components that promote healthy respiratory function.

Be sure to use high-quality essential oils (these are the oils I use personally).  Some essential oils on the market contain harmful fragrance and fillers and contain very little of the beneficial plant ingredients.  The oils used in this recipe are safe for adult use only.  If you would like to use for small children or babies, use the child VapoRub Recipe version. As always, if pregnant or nursing, ask your practitioner before use.

  • The main chemical components of Eucalyptus Essential Oil are eucalyptol and alpha-terpineol which aids in clear breathing and opening airways.
  • Peppermint Essential Oil has a high menthol content that promotes healthy respiratory function.
  • Lemon Essential Oil supports a healthy respiratory function and gives an uplifting boost to the mood which helps when you are feeling blah because you are sick.
  • Coconut oil contains Lauric acid which is particularly good at killing bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
  • Beeswax contains powerful anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties that are all beneficial to the skin.

Homemade VapoRub (Adult) Recipe

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Coconut Oil

2 TBSP Beeswax Pellets

20 Eucalyptus Essential Oil

20 Peppermint Essential Oil

10 Lemon Essential Oil

4-6 0z Jar

Directions:

  1. Melt Coconut Oil and Beeswax in a double boiler (which is placing your jar in a small pot, on low heat with water that only reaches up the side of the jar – make sense?) to melt oil and wax.
  2. Once melted, take the mixture of oil and beeswax off the heat.
  3. Add the oils and stir.
  4. The Vaporub is ready to use once cooled and firm.

Homemade VapoRub Recipe for Small Children

Ingredients:

1/2 Cup Coconut Oil

2 TBSP Beeswax Pellets

4 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil

4-6 0z Jar

Directions:

  1. Melt Coconut Oil and Beeswax in a double boiler (which is placing your jar in a small pot, on low heat with water that only reaches up the side of the jar – make sense?) to melt oil and wax.
  2. Once melted, take the mixture of oil and beeswax off the heat.
  3. Add the oils and stir.
  4. The Vaporub is ready to use once cooled and firm.

If homemade VapoRub isn’t your thing, there are a few good ones on the market.

Natural Premade Options

Maty’s All Natural Vapor Rub Soothing Relief (Amazon)

Badger Aromatic Chest Rub for Colds (Thrive Market)

If you would like to read more about making your own non-toxic body products, check out the following list. xo

Hearty Beef and Black Bean Chili Recipe

Hearty Beef and Black Bean Chili Recipe

This post may contain affiliate links.  You can read the disclosure policy here.

 

 

 

And these guys have been out of school for daaays.

 

 

In our Southern, thin-skin defense, we simply do not have the equipment to remove the snow that may come once a year.  Coupled with the fact that it doesn’t stay cold here long so what snow we get melts, then refreezes overnight turning into ice.  And ice doesn’t play.  No one can drive on ice.

With that being said, when it snows in Nashville, everyone gets a snow day, even adults.  And it’s fantastic.

Cold, blustery days deserve warm, hearty meals.  Today I made my favorite chili, Hearty Beef and Black Bean Chili. This chili is made with organic, grass-fed beef, black beans, tomatoes, and veggies. Everyone in the house personalizes the toppings.  Some add cheese, some add sour cream, tortilla chips or jalapenos.

Personally, I add it all.

Just a heads up, if you didn’t know, I love Aldi’s and do 95% of my grocery shopping there.  I save so much money shopping at Aldi.  Before I started making my chili, I took a quick (staged) photo of the ingredients I bought at Aldi the day before.  Organic food at Aldi is very reasonably priced and only slightly higher than conventionally grown products.

 

 

Alright.  Super easy recipe. Let’s go.

 

Hearty Beef and Black Bean Chili Recipe

 

 

Ingredients:

1/2 cup chopped celery

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 28 oz can of diced tomatoes, drained.

4 cups broth – chicken, beef or vegetable

 

Directions:

  1. Sautee the onion, celery, and bell pepper until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add beef and cook until crumbly.
  3. Add everything else.
  4. Cook for at least one hour but the longer, the better.
  5. Top with cheese, sour, jalapenos, cilantro….or just whatever your sweet little heart desires.

 

 

You can mix it up and have the leftovers as Chili Cheese Fries or over a baked potato.  If you double this recipe, you can freeze half for another dinner down the road.

 

How did you spend your lovely snow day?!

 

 

Check out these other tasty recipes.

 

Online Organic and Natural Food Coupons

 

Check out the following links for Organic and Natural food coupons. You will have to sign up on some sites, some you won’t.  If you don’t want to junk up your primary email account, create a new one that you use solely for coupons and newsletters.  Happy Saving!

 

Amy’s Kitchen

Annie’s Homegrown Food 

Apple & Eve

Applegate Farms

Barbara’s

Be Free For Me (Gluten Free)`

Bob’s Red Mill

Common Kindness

Earth’s Best Organics

Earthfare

Enjoy Life Food

Honest Kids

Horizon

Imagine

Kashi

KIND Healthy Snacks

Laura’s Lean Beef

Mambo Sprouts

Nutiva

Pacific Foods

Plum Organics

Rudi’s Organic Bakery

Silk

Stonyfield Organics

Traditional Medicinals

Udi’s Gluten Free

Uncle Matt’s Organic

Van’s Foods

 

If you like saving money, you really should check out the following info. 🙂

Save Money on Organic and natural foods when you shop at Aldi.

10 Ways to Eat Organic Food on a Budget

 

Window and Glass Cleaner Recipe – DIY

Window and Glass Cleaner Recipe – DIY

This post may contain affiliate links.  You can read the disclosure policy here.

Fortunately, my days of window and mirror cleaning are far and few between now that this job is added to Xan and Evie’s chore list. I am seriously working my way out of this maid-esque position I acquired 11 years ago when Xan was born.

Now that the kids are cleaning the windows on the reg, it is even more important that the window cleaner be non-toxic. After researching the ingredients in Windex, I tossed the bottle (ahem, I mean, recycled) and started making my own window and glass cleaner.  Some of the ingredients in Windex are super funky and can cause some unnecessary problems.

Just trying to clean some windows here folks.  Not trying to have an asthmatic fit or skin irritation.

The Environmental Working Group grades products based on the toxicity of their ingredients. The grades indicate the relative level of concern posed by exposure to the ingredients in this product.

The EWG rates Windex a D which means, “HIGH CONCERN – Likely hazards to health or the environment. May also have poor ingredient disclosure.”

According to SC Johnson’s website, Windex® is made of the following ingredients:

 

The most dangerous chemicals in Windex are 2-Hexoxyethanol, Ammonium Hydroxide, and fragrance. 

 

Toxic Ingredients in Windex

 

2-Hexoxyethanol: According to the National Library of Medicine, “2-Hexoxyethanol is moderately toxic. The NLM recommends taking great care to prevent eye and skin contact due to the toxicity by absorption.   Breathing in the vapors is not a good idea either.

Ammonium Hydroxide: A colorless solution of Ammonia in water with a pungent odor.  Household cleaners, photography and fertilizers, textiles, rubber and pharmaceuticals all contain Ammonium Hydroxide. Inhaling Ammonium Hydroxide can cause a cough, shortness of breath and sore throat. Blurred vision, redness and skin irritation is also known to occur if the chemical gets on skin or in your eyes.

Fragrance: Of the thousands of chemicals used in fragrances, most have not been tested for toxicity, alone or in combination. Many of these unlisted ingredients are irritants and can trigger allergies, migraines, and asthma symptoms.  Seriously, fragrance is in everything! Check ingredient labels.  You’ll see what I mean.

 

Making your own window and glass cleaner is super easy and affordable. You probably already have all the ingredients in your kitchen.

 

Window and Glass Cleaner Recipe

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons rubbing alcohol
  • 10 drops peppermint or lemon essential oil.  Good quality oils are important.  Some oils even contain fragrance which we are trying to stay away from.  Personally, I use doTERRA because of the quality and I know that the oils are pure.
  • Glass spray bottle.  Essential oils will break down plastic over time so glass is best! These bottles are my favorite and they are such a pretty blue color.

 

 

Directions:

  1. Pour Water, Vinegar, Rubbing Alcohol and essential oils in your spray bottle.
  2. Shake well before use.  All done!

 

Microfiber cloths like these, work really well and help cut down on waste by not using paper towels that will just get thrown away.  I keep mine in a little basket under the sink and use them for everything except floor spills.  Paper Towels do that job.

 

 

Another fun option is the cleaning cloths from Mightynest.  These guys clean everything from counters to windows to little faces.

 

 

 

What it boils down to is that cleaning is good.  Toxic chemicals in your cleaning products are bad.   Take control of your environment and health by simplifying the ingredients in your everyday cleaning products.  You are doing yourself, your family and the environment a favor.

 

Here are a few other DIY cleaning recipes you will enjoy. Happy Cleaning!

 

Bathroom Spray Cleaner Recipe

DIY Soft Scrub

Natural, All-Purpose Cleaner

 

 

Sheet Pan Steak and Veggies

Sheet Pan Steak and Veggies

“Good food, fast” is my motto in the kitchen.

Real food isn’t convenient or fast, or wrapped up in boxes and wax paper.  Real food is raw and whole. It needs washed, prepped and cooked. Eating real food can be a pain in the ass, no matter how amazingly good it is for you.

Washing, prepping and cooking is not even close to something I enjoy doing.  So I have made it my mission to make eating real food as easy on myself as possible and I would love to share some tips with you to help with your kitchen life balance. A real food kitchen if you will.

The following recipe is super easy to prep, cook and clean up.  Plus, most importantly, the Sheet Pan Steak and Veggies is nutritious with a healthy portion of protein, healthy fats and healthy carbs. It tastes pretty darn good too.

 

Sheet Pan Steak and Veggies

 

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 pound baby red potatoes, quartered
  • 1 pound brussel sprouts, halved
  • 2 pounds flank steak
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Dijon Mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh or dried Rosemary

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to broil.
  2. In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook potatoes and brussel sprouts until parboiled for 10 minutes; drain well.
  3. Place potatoes and brussel sprouts in a large baggie.  Add olive oil, garlic, salt, pepper and rosemary. Shake the bag to evenly coat veggies with ALL the flavor.
  4. Pour the potatoes and sprouts onto a sheet pan.  Drizzle balsamic vinegar over veggies. Place a baking rack on top of the veggies.
  5. Rub 2 tbsp of dijon mustard over the steak.  Sprinkle salt and pepper to taste to taste, and add it to the baking rack on top of the sheet pan.
  6. Place into oven and broil until the steak is browned and charred at the edges, about 7-8 minutes per side for medium. Shave a couple of minutes off for mid-rare or add 2 minutes for mid-well.

 

Pro-Tip: Cut up and parboil a few extra potatoes. You can make breakfast potatoes or add them to scrambled eggs the next morning.

 

All of this deliciousness was made using a sheet pan, baking rack, cutting board, knife and a gallon baggie.

 

I have adapted the no fuss, no muss philosophy with all my meals and it has made my clean eating life so much easier! Stay tuned for more meal time saving recipes.

 

Until then, here is a pictorial version of the recipe.

 

Quartered red potatoes, herbs and olive oil in large baggies. Shake to coat.

Veggies and lubed up with olive oil and placed on sheet pan. 

The Steak is rubbed with marinade. The longer the steak marinades the better but even 10 minute will do.

 

Yum.  All done. In only 30 minutes.  Now you have more time to do fun stuff.

 

If you enjoyed this time saving, real food recipe, check out the following deliciousness.