An Adventure in food, DIY, and More

Monthly Archives: June 2013

Ever wondered what those nasty, unpronounceable chemicals are in your household cleaners? Yeah, me too. I have begun to follow a rule of thumb here in my home lately, if I can’t pronounce something in the ingredient list and it looks a bit scary, it’s probably best to put it aside and use something else. That goes for food products, cleaning products, and even bath and body products. Yeah, sure, I’m probably being a bit paranoid and over the top, but I want to make sure my unborn little man is safe and I’m not exposing myself to harmful chemicals or preservatives, or who knows what else might be out there.

I would like to share with you a few how-to’s on making your own household cleaning supplies. We have a wonderful shop at our local Country Village that is a wealth of knowledge on this type of thing, and they sell everything I could possibly need! I sure do hope you have a store near you that you can visit, both for resources and just to chat! Small shop owners like this are full of fantastic information. 🙂

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(Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap, above)

All-Purpose Cleaning Spray

  • 32oz spray bottle
  • 16oz purified or distilled water
  • 16oz white distilled vinegar
  • 20 drops (total) essential oils

Combine, and shake well! A fantastic combination of essential oils for this cleaner is Lemon or Lemon Myrtle, and Eucalyptus. Smells fantastic. You can use this on counter tops, and just about anywhere really!

Antiseptic Soap Spray

  • 16oz spray or squirt bottle
  • 15oz purified or distilled water
  • 1oz Castile soap
  • 20 drops (total) essential oils

Fill the bottle with water first, top it off with the castile soap, add the essential oils, and then shake well. Good antiseptic oils include Tea Tree, Niaouli, Eucalyptus, Thyme, Oregano, and Palmarosa. This spray is great to use on floors, laundry stains, kids toys, doorknobs, bathtubs, and more! You can also use it to clean up nasty problems like toilet overflows, etc. And best of all, you can even wash your hands with this one! Very versatile.

All Purpose Liquid Soap

  • 12oz foamer bottle
  • 12oz Castile Soap
  • 10 drops (total) essential oils

Fill bottle with castile soap, add essential oils. This one is very simple. Some easy and cheap options for essential oils are lavender, peppermint, lemon, etc. This soap is fantastic for hand-washing, for hand-washing dirty dishes, and even as a body soap! It’s a good grease cutter too, you can use this first and then finish it off with the All-Purpose Spray from above!

Sink, Bathtub, and Tile Cleaner

  • 16oz wide mouth jar with tight screw lid
  • 1 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1/2 cup Castile soap
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 2 Tablespoons white distilled vinegar
  • 10-20 drops (total) essential oils

In a bowl, mix baking soda, soap, and water with a fork until smooth. After mixing these ingredients, THEN mix in the vinegar, THEN the essential oils. If you do this out of order, it will end up as a goo. Transfer to jar. You can use it right out of the jar with a cloth or sponge. If it dries out, mix in a tiny bit of water. After cleaning, if there is any baking soda residue remaining, whip out the All-Purpose Spray and it will clean it up right away.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

  • 16oz squirt bottle
  • 1/3 cup Castile Soap
  • 1 3/4 cup baking soda
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 10-20 drops (total) essential oils

In a bowl, mix baking soda, soap and water with a fork until smooth. After mixing these ingredients, THEN mix in the vinegar, and THEN the essential oils. Again, if this one is done out of order as well, you will end up with goo. If it is too thick to funnel into a bottle, you may add a little water to thin it out. Good essential oils for this one are Lemon, Eucalyptus, and/or Pine. Shake well before using. Squirt the cleaner inside the toilet, and don’t forget to spray on and under the rim. Scrub with a toilet brush or rag. Rinse with the All-Purpose Spray if needed.

Scented Baking Soda

  • Shaker Bottles, 6 or 8oz
  • 1lb box baking soda
  • 10 drops (total) essential oils

Mix baking soda and essential oils with a fork. Pour into shaker bottles, and place one in each bathroom or under each sink in the house.

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(NOW essential oils, above)

Well, that’s all I have for you right now. But before we go, a bit about the Castile soap. Detergents are usually created from polluting petroleum. True liquid Castile soaps are made from basic vegetable oils which are a renewable and clean resource. Detergents tend to sud up wonderfully, but it takes a lot more rinsing, wastes water, and more importantly, your time! So, when you are looking for non-petroleum based soap, look for the words “vegetable oil based soap” or “Castile soap”.

Credit where it’s due;


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What CAN honey do for you? No no, I don’t mean that silly but adorable couch ornament some of us call our significant other (ahem, I promise, I really do love him!)…I mean the liquid gold that comes from those obnoxious summery bee friends that we are in fact lucky to have around. Honey is unique in the fact that there are lots of different types, some are lightly flavored and some are very rich flavored. Because there are many different bee types and the fact that the world’s geography is so different from place to place is how we are able to have these different varieties of honey. Honey isn’t just a fantastic sweetener or addition to a recipe though. It can be used in other ways as well. This particular post will share them with you, and I sure hope at least one or two ways might come in handy at some point!

Honey can be used on the skin, as it makes a fantastic moisturizer. You can add it in to your lotions or soaps. It’s fantastic because honey is what is called a humectant. It draws moisture out from the air and then binds to it. If you are making soap, a little goes a long way. Because of this fact, it can cause soap recipes to not “set up” properly. You can also apply honey directly to your face! Leave it on for about 20 minutes and then rinse. Your face will feel fabulous after! Careful though, if you have pets, they might decide your face is rather tasty while you’re basking in your mask. 😉

Surprisingly, honey can be used internally as well, not just as an addition to your biscuits or to a recipe. It can be used to combat allergies that are local to your region. Because honey is made from pollen, the pollen is present inside the honey in small amounts. Your body can then build up an immunity to the pollen. For example, if you are allergic to fireweed, if you eat fireweed honey, it will not cause an allergic reaction, but it will begin the immunity process. I can’t promise you it will work for sure, each human’s body is different but it’s worth a shot!

You can also use honey on wounds, it is an antibacterial and because of it’s consistency, it can be used to seal out other moisture and germs. Use it just like you would use neosporin, put a bit on your band-aid and you’re all set. Honey will also act as a hydrogen peroxide because of it’s enzymes, you can also use it to disinfect wounds and it will also reduce swelling.

Now that you know all this, where can you find some good honey, you ask?

The best place to look for local, farm produced honey is at your area Farmer’s Market. You can also call around to farms in your area and ask if they know of any honey producers. A fantastic website is http://www.localharvest.com , you can find out what is produced in your locale and where to find it. Stay away from store bought honey if possible, it has added preservatives and has typically been refined or pasteurized, as well as some are loaded with extra sugars.

And remember, cooking with honey is fun too. You can add a little bit of honey in place of refined sugars in some recipes as well. There are so many options out there! Be creative!


So lately I have been leaning toward all natural foods and making my own cleaning supplies, shampoos, detergents, and even lotions! I already posted my coconut oil lotion recipe on here, and that one I still use to this day, especially on my tummy to save me from those nasty pregnancy stretch marks (one can hope, right?).

With my son being born within the next 3 1/2 months, it makes me realize that our world has some NASTY stuff in our foods and health and beauty products. The amount of GMO’s and “icky” stuff in our foods today is shocking, like the use of pesticides, preservatives and artificial flavorings. I don’t want that in my system, and I certainly don’t believe that my son should be exposed to these products either, whether it be through me during my pregnancy or after he’s born.

With that in mind,  I am beginning my search for all sorts of home DIY stuff. Soaps, candles, lotions, detergents, cleaners, etc. My hubby has extremely sensitive skin and can’t use soaps with glycerin or anything like that, so my first big task is to create a soap that doesn’t irritate his skin. I too have sensitive skin, but not quite to that extreme. I do anticipate our son to have sensitive skin too because of that though. I will be posting my findings here to share with any of you that read or follow my blog. And for those of you who do..thank you! I truly appreciate it. I realize I may not update every day, but that’s mainly due to my pregnancy brain right now. I forget even the simplest things! So bear with me, and hopefully I can share with you some wonderful and safe DIY recipes for the whole family.


I stumbled across this icing alternative the other day, and it’s remarkably good for being so simple. I’m amazed at the properties of cool whip, it really CAN do anything. This alternative has much less sugar than your average icing or frosting, and is easy to make, and versatile. You can make different flavors and different colors, just like your typical frosting or icing.

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(I don’t take credit at all on the photo, for some reason my camera on my phone wouldn’t focus when I tried to take a pic of mine. It may have been too white and just washed out too much.)

It’s as simple as this;

1. Mix one instant pudding packet (flavor of your choice), with HALF of the milk called for on the package.

2. Whisk it until it begins to thicken.

3. Then, fold in one container of cool whip. You can use light or regular cool whip here.

4. Optional; If you want, you can add a few drops of your choice of food coloring to change the color for frosting cakes, etc.

This recipe is good for frosting cakes, icing anything that needs icing (Haha), and you can also use it as a topping or filling for waffles and crepes, just add some fresh fruit or a fruit sauce of your choice!


This is definitely a fun little twist on your classic S’mores dessert. Super easy and super fun to make, especially for the kiddos! It’s definitely not the healthiest choice out there for a dessert, but hey, sometimes you just have to splurge a little. Got a campfire? Make a campfire cone! The alternative is to make these on a barbeque grill as well, both charcoal and propane grills work too.

campfirecone

Campfire Cones!

Ingredients

  • Waffle Cones
  • Peanut Butter
  • Banana slices
  • Mini Marshmallows
  • Chocolate Chips (I prefer semi-sweet, but the kids usually like milk chocolate chips)
  • Aluminum Foil

Directions

  • Spread peanut butter inside of waffle cone, fill with banana slices, mini marshmallows and chocolate chips.
  • Wrap in Aluminum Foil and pop over hot coals (or on BBQ grill) for 5-10 minutes, turning occasionally.
  • Unwrap foil, make sure everything is gooey and melted, and ENJOY. 🙂

Well, what did I say? Super simple and fun, huh? Something you can throw together as a surprise for your little ones one of these nights in the upcoming Summer! Sure to please them!

(recipe idea courtesy of http://www.cometogetherkids.com)


One of my favorite things about summer are the many varieties of salads and slaws there are. From fruit salads, to macaroni salad, potato salad…all sorts! But my favorite…it just has to be coleslaw. I don’t know why but I just love the flavor and how well it pairs with the many entrees of summer like fried chicken or even steak. This coleslaw recipe that I want to share is actually one straight from Kraft. It’s wonderful! Something to be said about making your own versus just buying the pre-made kits or a tub from the Deli. This slaw is wonderful because it features fresh fruit, crunchy apples and tart cranberries.

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Creamy Apple Cranberry Coleslaw

1 cup Kraft MIRACLE WHIP Dressing
1/4 cup milk
2 tablespoons white vinegar
1-1/2 tablespoon sugar
1 pkg. (16 oz.) coleslaw blend (cabbage slaw mix)
1 medium crisp apple (such as Granny Smith, Braeburn or Fuji), chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries (I used Craisins)

Whisk salad dressing, milk, vinegar and sugar together in a small bowl until well blended. In a large bowl, add coleslaw blend, chopped apple and cranberries. Pour prepared dressing over top and mix together until well combined. Refrigerate until serving, approximately one hour.

(The direct link for this recipe on the Kraft page is here: http://www.kraftrecipes.com/recipes/creamy-apple-cranberry-coleslaw-148466.aspx?cm_mmc=social-_-facebook-_-timeline-_-recipe . They have a lot of other amazing recipes so I figured I would include it for anyone interested.)

And there you go! A tasty coleslaw that’s sure to please even the little ones! Happy grilling!