Window Cleaner: Put 1/8 cup white vinegar to 1 cup water into a recycled spray bottle -- shake to mix it up and you're ready to go! Frankly, I don't measure the vinegar -- I just glug a bit into a spray bottle, fill the rest with water and call it a day -- it works very well and doesn't fume me to death. (Ok, I'm being a wee bit dramatic -- but try using the vinegar spray for a month then go back to Windex and you'll see what I mean.)
Homemade Furniture Polish: 2 t Olive oil, 1/4 C white distilled vinegar, 20 drops pure essential lemon oil, and water. Put olive oil, vinegar and essential lemon oil into a recycled spray bottle 22 ounces or so. Then, fill up to the top with water. Voila! Your done. Shake, spray and polish.
(Thanks Tanya for the above info)
Simple Powdered Laundry Soap:
As a footnote when you grate the soap, grate it small. I understand that you can use Dr. Bronner's bar soap. This soap is fine for front loading washing machines.
Link it at Raingarden here
Link it at Plain Old Kristi here
Liquid Laundry Soap:
This is the soap I'm using at the moment. It's working very well with my front loading washing machine and it's very inexpensive.
Link it at Plain Old Kristi here
Dishwasher Soap: I'm using this now and let me tell you it's maybe 10 minutes to make (including getting out the boxes of ingredients) it's very inexpensive (again) and works well. I can't be quite as aggressive (I don't wash my dishes before putting them into the dishwasher -- don't get me started! Just go ahead and wash them ... ) in loading my dishwasher, but for the price and the environment (most regular dishwashing detergents still have phosphates in them) it's worth it. Link it at Plain Old Kristi here
To clean my house from floors to bathrooms I use Dr. Bronner's Sal Suds. I've been using the first container of it that I purchased for six months or so and I've hardly made a dent in it. You use only 1 t per gallon of water. I also made a spray out of it for the shower and bathtubs. About two teaspoons in a spray bottle and fill the rest with water -- that's it. Very inexpensive.
Now, to more newsy things ...
My friend Michelle came over today to teach me how to make egg rolls which she'd learn how to make from her Filipino Sister-in-Law. I in-turn taught her how to make my pie crust -- which she'd been struggling with. (I think I need to make a video b/c she's not the only one. Once you get the hang of it though, it's easy, yummy and better for you than butter.) What a fun day we had -- cooking away while our children (who happen to be almost exactly matched in age and adore each other ... wonderful!) played both inside and outside on this beautiful fall Veterans Day. For dinner, to go with the egg rolls (which were made with the local Rehoboth hamburger that I purchased last month) I will be making fried rice with the broccoli and bok choy that I just picked in my little garden. Yumola!
AND ... Our new wood stove insert was installed today. Wood stoves today have to pass new emissions standards, so a wood stove is actually far more efficient and environmentally friendly than using your fireplace. I'd had it last year when our oil bill went close to $600 in one month with the thermostat set at 66 degrees! As we speak, it's 71 degrees inside the house and in the 30's outside. Yipee. I turned down my thermostat to 60 degrees!
Ok, time to get busy. Enjoy the pictures!