Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Green Cleaning Recipes~Very Refined

Immediately after discovering my allergy to Gluten, I was determined to become an expert at reading labels, you kinda have to, Gluten is in so many products!  This led me to not only being fussy about what I put in my body but what was in my families environment.  So, I bought a book; Skinny Bitch Home, Beauty & Style by Kim Barnouin.  She is pretty radical, but I took it with a grain of salt and have incorporated what I felt was 1.) EASY and 2.) CHEAP.

My focus became changing how I clean my home and laundry.

Below information was obtained from Woman's Voices for the Earth 

Here are a few "Recipes"  via to get you on your way to a Greener Home!

Here are a few of our favorite recipes. Follow the directions or experiment a little with the ingredients to make your own!

All-Purpose Cleaner
suggested uses: hard surfaces like countertops and kitchen floors, windows and mirrors

2 cups white distilled vinegar
2 cups water
20-30 or more drops of essential oil (optional)

Tip: Warming in microwave until barely hot will boost cleaning power for tough jobs. Only microwave in a glass container.

Creamy Soft Scrub

suggested uses: Use this creamy soft scrub on kitchen counters, stoves, bathroom sinks, etc.

2 cups baking soda
½ cup liquid castile soap*
4 teaspoons vegetable glycerin (acts as a preservative)
5 drops antibacterial essential oil such as lavender, tea tree, rosemary or any scent you prefer (optional)

Mix together and store in a sealed glass jar, shelf life of 2 years.

Tips: For exceptionally tough jobs spray with vinegar first—full strength or diluted, scented—let sit and follow with scrub.

Dry soft scrubs can be made with baking soda or salt (or combination of both) with 10-15 drops essential oil to scent

*WVE recommends using a liquid castile soap that does not contain sodium lauryl (laureth) sulfate (SLS) or Diethanolamine (DEA), which may have harmful side effects.

Furniture Polish

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup white distilled vinegar
20-30 drops lemon essential oil

Shake well before using
(2 teaspoons lemon juice may be substituted for lemon oil but then must be stored in refrigerator)

Dip a clean, dry cloth into the polish and rub wood in the direction of the grain. Use a soft brush to work the polish into corners or tight places.

Tips: To remove water spots rub well with toothpaste. To remove scratches use 1 part lemon juice and 1 part oil, rub with soft cloth.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner

Option 1
Sprinkle toilet bowl with baking soda, drizzle with vinegar, let soak for at least 30 minutes and scrub with toilet brush.

Option 2
Put ¼ cup borax in toilet bowl and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Swish with a toilet brush and then scrub. A few drops of pine oil can be added for increased disinfecting. (Note: some people are allergic to pine oil.)

Tip: Let ingredients soak for a while to make for easy scrubbing, especially on persistent stains like toilet bowl rings.

Drain Opener

½ cup baking soda
½ cup vinegar

Pour baking soda down the drain and follow with vinegar. Cover and let sit for at least 30 minutes. Flush with boiling water.

Tip: Prevent your shower from clogging by using a drain trap to catch hairs.

Laundry Detergent

1 cup soap flakes
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup Borax

Soap flakes can be made by grating your favorite pure vegetable soap with a cheese grater. Mix ingredients together and store in a glass container. Use 1 tablespoon per load (2 for heavily soiled laundry), wash in warm or cold water.

This standard recipe can be adjusted for soft water by using 1 cup soap flakes, 1/4 cup washing soda and 1/2 cup borax. For hard water, use 1 cup soap flakes, 1 cup washing soda, and 1 cup borax.

Note: Borax should not be ingested.

Tips: Add 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar to rinse as a fabric softener. For a whitener, use hydrogen peroxide rather than bleach. Soak your dingy white clothes for 30 minutes in the washer with 1/2 cup 20% peroxide. Launder as usual.

I am Loving Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soap  So many uses and you can get it here locally at Claudia's or Bassett's Health Food.

Happy Cleaning!!!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

New Ottawa Hills Listing Open This Sunday!

I could not be more thrilled to introduce this property to you!  Take a look up close and personal this Sunday 2.19 from 1-3
3329 Kirkwall
Ottawa Hills, OH 43606

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Remodeling? Which Projects Pay Out?

When tackling home remodeling projects, you’ll find some projects pay off more than others at times of resale. Remodeling Magazine, in conjunction with REALTOR® Magazine, recently released findings of its annual Cost vs. Value report for 2011-2012, revealing which remodeling projects offer the biggest bang for your buck.
Overall, the trend right now is replacement over remodeling–swapping out the old for the new rather than doing a total gut job, which can be much more costly.
This year’s Cost vs. Value report found that exterior replacement projects–such as new garage doors and a new entry door–offer some of the best returns at resale, allowing home owners to recoup close to 70 percent or more of the costs of the project at times of resale.
The following are the top, mid-range projects from this year’s report, based on what home owners stand to recoup at time of resale:
1. Replacing the entry door to steel~ This item has been #1 the past few years!
Estimated cost: $1,238
Cost recouped at resale: 73%
2. Attic bedroom (converting unfinished attic space into a bedroom with bathroom and shower)
Estimated cost: $50,148
Cost recouped at resale: 72.5%
3. Minor kitchen remodel (including new cabinets and drawers, countertops, hardware, and appliances)
Estimated cost: $19,588
Cost recouped at resale: 72.1%
4. Garage door replacement
Estimated cost: $1,512
Cost recouped at resale: 71.9%
5. Deck addition (wood)
Estimated cost: $10,350
Cost recouped at resale: 70.1%
6. Siding replacement (vinyl)
Estimated cost: $11,729
Cost recouped at resale: 69.5%

With all of this being said, consult a Realtor before making improvements with intentions on selling in the near future.  More cost effective alternatives may be a better and budget friendlier option!
Feel free to E-mail me with any questions!  kfeeback@danberry.com  I would love to help you!


Article By Melissa Dittmann Tracey, REALTOR® Magazine

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

My Valentine Picks from Olive & Cocoa

I could easily pick an item from each page of this fabulous catalogue...Cupids calling

Rustic gourmet delectables stock a refined pantry. The best of the best of our sweet and savory selections are packed in our Farmhouse Gourmet Pantry crate. Rose wine infused salami, hot pepper and provolone cheeses, rosemary sea salt crackers, lemon blueberry and nutberry maple granola, dried fruit and seed trail mix, spicy nut mix, a one pound burlap bag of California pistachios, rocky road popcorn, artichoke lemon pesto, and an 18 ounce tin of addictive crème brûlée almonds come gift wrapped in our signature hand crafted wood crate with ribbon.

Hand made by master candle makers, this three wick candle smells so delicious you could almost eat it! Awaken your senses with 80 hours of burn time. Comes wrapped in a reusable crate with ribbon.

NEW! Faceted citrine glass teardrops encircled by a 16 karat gold plated brass bezel hang from 14 karat gold filled ear hooks. Earrings measure 1" in length and come gift wrapped in a hand crafted wood crate with ribbon.

The free form look of organic design is the trés chic style of the season. This pair of earrings constructed of earthy elements features aqua chalcedony gemstones surrounded by gold vermeil that hang from gold filled ear wires. Measuring a dainty 1/2" in length, earrings come gift wrapped in a hand crafted wood crate with ribbon.

Vera is aglow with bright chartreuse Cymbidium orchids, orange Milva and peach Finesse roses, eggplant dahlias, and golden coxcomb, all tucked into a black lacquered box. Arrangement measures 8" x 8" x 9.5" and requires next day shipping.

Don't you love the variety of items!
Check out Olive & Cocoa HERE