We used to have stained concrete floors. The were pretty. They were easy to clean. They were freezing cold in the winter. So, we had laminate put in, hoping that it would help the downstairs temperature stay warmer. It did help, but at a price! That laminate is SO high maintenance! Yes, I had to sweep the concrete all the time, and yes I have to sweep the laminate all the time, but it's the MOPPING that has been a huge difference! I used to be able to fill up my mop bucket with water and use whatever kind of mop I wanted to wash the concrete. You couldn't tell a difference. With the laminate, I have gone through so many mops. I can't use a "regular" mop, a sponge mop, or a microfiber mop without leaving water everywhere. Streaks and spots and footprints and film. I got a Swiffer Wet Jet. It works pretty good, but I HATE using the swiffer cleaner. It smells so strong and I just know I'm getting toxic cleaner everywhere. I started my health journey by realizing that what you put on your skin does get absorbed into your body. Then, as I started using essential oils, I started to become more paranoid about using toxic cleaners and stepping on things with my bare feet. So the swiffer was only used in dire "mopping" emergencies of laziness. If I wanted my floor to look clean, truly clean, I had to get a cup of water with either some vinegar, liquid soap, or Thieves cleaner in it, pour it on the ground, push it around with the microfiber mop, and then get on my hands and knees and wipe the ENTIRE floor with a towel. Ugh! It became the bane of my existence to mop the floor. I think I mop once every 2-3 months now. It's really bad. So, I was chatting with my friend who said that she had "hacked" her Swiffer refill and put Thieves cleaner in it instead! *Tell me more* She said that she had put it in boiling water for 30 seconds and then the cap twisted off. I had to try it out for myself! So I boiled some water and dunked the refill in there for 30 seconds. Nothing happened. I tried it again. Nothing.
So, I poured that water into a mug and set the refill in there. I set the timer for two minutes and came back to try again. Nothing.
Then I realized that I might need some resistance. So I found a fat rubber band to tie around the lid.
Voila! Success! (I discovered later that if you are super strong *like my hubby* you can skip the boiling step and just twist the lid off with the rubber band on the lid!) I then rinsed out the bottle with the boiling water, then put a couple drops of soap and shook it up and rinsed it out until all the soap was gone. Then, I filled it up almost full with water.
I then put three caps of Thieves Household Cleaner in the refill. I decided to use three caps because I deduced that there was about 80 caps worth of water in the refill and, according to the chart on the back of the cleaner, using 3 caps would = heavy degreaser. I figured the floor needed a strong cleaner. I put the lid back on and put the refill back in the Swiffer Wet Jet. I was totally out of the pads, so I got a washcloth and folded it like so:
This allows for the jets to still spray the liquid from the container. I used a rubber band on each side to hold the washcloth in place.
Here's what the floor looked like prior to me mopping it:
Look! The sprayer works! Yay!
Here's what the washcloth looks like after I'm done:
Here's what the floor looks like after I mopped it:
Much better, but it's still streaky. I realized that it needed some vinegar. Thankfully, I was able to get the lid of by using the fat rubber band again, instead of having to boil the lid again. I added 1/2 a cup of apple cider vinegar to the mixture.
Then I mopped again:
Much much better! I'm happy with it considering it took a LOT less effort to mop the entire floor twice than it would have to mop it once the way I was doing it before! Now I can mop more often than once every three months and not have to break my back or sacrifice my family's health. I'm a happy camper! Until next time,
Making your own baby wipes is convenient, quick, and easy. It's nice to be able to make a batch quick when you realize you're running low, because I usually have all the things I need on hand. It's also nice to have piece of mind about what you're using on your baby's skin. You will need:
First, you will need a roll of paper towels. The paper towels are thick enough that they don't tear or or allow any poop to seep through to your hands. I like to use plain white paper towels because I don't like the idea of the dye being saturated for an extended period of time and then being used to wipe a sensitive area. I have friends that make their own reusable wipes with baby wash cloths. You're more than welcome to go that route, but since I don't use cloth diapers, I'm not going to use cloth wipes, either.
First, you've got to chop that sucker in half. Make sure to use a serrated knife, otherwise it'll be much more difficult to cut!
Ta da! Half-ish. It makes a tiny bit of a mess. No biggie.
Next, you've got to run the middle of the roll under the faucet, continuously turning it so that the entire cardboard middle is saturated with water.
Insert the roll into your container. You may have to take some paper towels off until it can fit, if you have a really thick roll. Now that the cardboard is wet, it should be really easy to pull out.
Leaving you with a nice place to pull the wipes from.
Add to one cup of water (I used purified water) one tablespoon of carrier oil. I used sesame. You can use something like olive, jojoba, sunflower, avocado, if you wish. I don't think coconut is the best option because it's hard to work with a solid in this recipe. Even if it was in it's melted state, I'm not sure that it wouldn't solidify later, and that might be kind of strange.
Add one tablespoon of castile soap. I have Dr. Bronner's Baby Mild, but I plan on trying Penns Hill Soap Company Organic Olive Oil Castile Soap when I run out, because I noticed that Dr. Bronner's has coconut oil in it, which is one of my food sensitivities, I try to avoid it when possible.
Next, add in half a cap full of Thieves cleaner. In the past, I've used Purification, Thieves and Melrose essential oils but I feel like they don't evenly distribute in the wipes. It leaves certain parts of the wipes smelling very essential oily, but other wipes will still leave a poopy smell behind. I have been experimenting with using Thieves cleaner recently in things like our Foaming Hand Soap, and it has worked out great, so I'm going to try it here. It's something that I feel totally confident using on our skin.
Pour your mixture slowly over your paper towels, making sure to evenly distribute.
It will soak into your paper towels about half way. Add another cup of purified water to the towels to push the mixture through to the other half of the towels.
Put the lid on and you're done! I just let it sit for a little while to make sure that they're completely saturated before use. I had the fortune to have a poopy diaper to change a few hours after making this and they worked perfect! Every thing came off easy and clean, it wasn't too wet, it didn't foam up (which can happen if there's too much soap), and it didn't leave behind any poop smells. Hurrah! Happy wiping! Until next time,
I hate doing the dishes. I think it's on the top of my list of chores I wish I could never do again (along with putting the clean clothes away). Our dishwasher was broken during my second pregnancy and I had to wash all the dishes by hand. It was torture! The hot water plus the hot summer temperatures (over 100 every day for over a month!) had me laying on the floor to cool off every time I had to do the dishes. I would just get lightheaded from the heat. So, my hubby got me a brand new (to me) dishwasher off of craiglist. That thing was amazing. It didn't have the hole in the middle that you had to fit your dishes around. It had a spinning water thing just for the top rack in addition to the one for the bottom rack. Best. Present. Ever!!! When we switched to stainless steel appliances, I made sure that our new dishwasher was going to have the same features. It does. I love it. Anyway, when I started doing things like making my own laundry detergent (post on this to come soon!) I wanted to make my own dishwashing detergent too. The recipe I found was pretty lame. It called for citric acid, or a bag of lemon koolaid. I had to grate a bar of soap. I DON'T grate bar soap. It makes me sneeze like a mad person. It takes FORever!!!! It's really hard to wash the grater afterwards. My food processor wouldn't chop it up. It was lame. Did I mention that I don't grate bar soap??? Anyway! So I made that recipe once and never made it again. Besides the fact that it was a complicated recipe, it totally removed the picture off of one of tourist cups I got from our honeymoon! So, I continued to use traditional detergent from the store, but I hated it! I felt like there was a film left on our dishes that we were ingesting when we put the food in the dishes later. It wasn't cleaning the dishes well. It just made me feel uneasy when we used it. One day, Lucas got past the childlock and rubber band contraption on the cabinet under the sink, got a hold of the detergent and squeezed it all out on the floor. This was the last straw. I am not going to have toxic cleaners around our house that my kids can get into! I've already gotten rid of everything else and replaced it with Thieves cleaner, I HAD to find a replacement for the dishwasher detergent. So, I experimented with three ingredients, and it worked! Yay! I'm so excited about it! What's even more exciting is that I didn't scrub the dishes, at all, and they had been sitting out, and they still came clean! No film either! Wahoo! So, what do you need?
First, shake some salt into the dishwasher. I hit the bottom of it 5-10 times. I'm not a measuring kind of person.
Shake some baking soda into the detergent holder.
Put a leeeeeetle bit of soap on top of the baking soda.
I did 5ish drops. You don't want to put a lot of soap or the bubbles will overflow from your dishwasher!
I have my washer settings on top rack wash, hi-temp wash, sani rinse, high heat dry, and heavy load. All this to insure that the dishes come clean and I don't have to wash anything by hand! Then I hit start and let it run, and dry, then put all the sparkling clean dishes away! Yay! Dishwashers and easy peasy dishwashing detergent save the day! Until next time,
Update: I have since been told that putting a few drops of Thieves Household Cleaner in place of the dishwashing soap works even better!
Some people LOVE being pregnant. They feel like glowing goddesses, bringing a life into the world. Then there are the people who just feel like a cow. That's me.
I can't sleep on my stomach for 4ish months. I have to eat. All. The. Time. Seriously, I would wake up in the middle of the night to eat. And then again first thing in the morning. This is coming from someone who usually doesn't get hungry until 2pm. I would get that achy feeling on the top of my stomach. My belly was itchy. If I dropped something on the floor, it was a whole ordeal to pick it up again. But I think the thing that was the worst was the hip spreading.
It allowed my to push those babies out really fast. Like, they told me to push twice, and they came out fast. But before that, it was MISERABLE. I am normally somewhere between a size 4-8 in pants. Whenever I get pregnant, I go up to a size 14! The problem is that when it gets to a certain point in the "spreading journey", my leg catches, my tailbone is in extreme pain, and my sciatic nerve likes to send shooting pains down my leg. Yay! It's super awesome! I literally can't even put my pants on. Besides the fact that I can't bend over at all, I can't lift one of my legs off the ground higher than an inch. For this reason,
Now, with my first pregnancy, I didn't get so lucky. I had no idea that there were chiropractors who specialized in pregnancy, so I just went to a regular one, who couldn't really figure out how to adjust me with my big ole belly in the way. Second pregnancy, I got much more lucky. We just happened to have moved 10 minutes down the road from a chiropractor who specialized in pregnancy! It was GREAT! She has this belly shaped pillow that she puts on the table so you can lay on your stomach! That was super impressive to me. She has this shooty gun thing that pops your bones back into place. Every week she had to use this on my pelvis.
After that it was amazing. I could walk around normal again! No more leg catching, no more tail bone pain, no more sciatic nerve stuff. Wahoo! Even when recovering from delivery, when my hips are "unspreading", I go through the same pain stuff. But, by seeing her consistently, I was able to avoid the discomfort of that too. Plus, she also specialized in newborns. So she was able to adjust my baby too. The first time she did this, he slept for 30 minutes in his car seat, and he HATED his car seat. It was amazing! I'll have to post a video of him getting adjusted now, it's been two years and it's so cute to see him crawl up on the table like he's a big boy. It totally makes sense to have your kids adjusted, especially when they're learning to walk and crawl. Lucas would always have a hip out, or something, from his various shenanigans. Check out Family 1st Chiro for more detailed information on how chiropractic works for pregnant ladies and children. If you live in North Dallas I highly recommend you see her! But, if you don't, and you have the "curse of the spreading hips" like I do, or a colicky, acid reflux newborn, I highly recommend that you find a chiropractor in your area who specializes in pregnancy and children. What a blessing! Until next time,
Reducing toxin intake is what I'm all about. One way we do this in our home is by making our own foaming hand soap. We've been doing this since May 2013, and I haven't ever felt a need to go back to "regular" hand soap. In fact, this is the soap I use to wash all my produce, and I even use it to wash my kids in the bath! It's super easy to make too! You only need four things:
First thing's first, you have got to have the foaming hand pump!
When foaming pumps first came out, I honestly thought they were so dumb. Who wants their soap pre-foamed? Are people so lazy that they can't make the foam themselves when they rub their hands together?!? Then I started making my own hand soap and now I see how amazing they are! If you try to use this recipe with a normal pump you will just get a bunch of water squirted on your hand and it doesn't feel like they're getting clean at all! Plus, you'll get the soapy wateriness all over the sink and around the bottle too. It is not a mess free thing. And every guest you have who uses your soap will hate it and give you a hard time about your watery soap that doesn't make their hands feel clean. The foaming pump is magic. It turns the watery mess into wonderful foaminess that feels like and acts like soap should. Yay!
I have always used Dr. Bronners Baby Mild but I've recently been looking at the ingredients and noticed that it has coconut oil in it. I try to avoid coconut oil if I can because it's one of my food sensitivities. I have probably half of the bottle left and then I'm going to try this unscented olive oil castile soap from the Penn Hills Soap Company.
This stuff is AHsome! You can use it for EVERYTHING from washing your vegetables, to scrubbing the toilet, to cleaning the windows! It took me over a year to try out this gem...don't wait like I did!
Fill the bottle 1/3 of the way full. I just eye ball it. Looks like I could have used a little less soap this time.
Then you can add your essential oil of choice. I have always used about 7 drops each of Thieves, Purification, and Melrose, today, however, I'm experimenting by adding in 1/2 cap full of Thieves cleaner.
I'm going to keep this one in our kitchen. Thieves cleaner is my new favorite thing. I'm having a lot of fun experimenting with new ways to use it.
The last thing you want to do is slowly fill the rest of the bottle up with water. I use sink water, because I don't have a filter for the whole house, and that's what I'm going to be rinsing my hands with anyway!
Try to be careful to leave enough room in the top to put the pump back in without causing an overflow. I usually do this part in the sink because it always overflows anyway!
You're all done, hooray! You just took a step in your health journey! High fives! Until next time,
More Oily Goodness
Do you ever feel like whoever coined the phase "sleeps like a baby" must not have been around a baby...ever? Sure, babies sleep a lot during the day, but it's never for very long and getting them to sleep through the night is a chore. It was for me, anyway. Some people may be blessed with babies that sleep through the night from day one, but what about toddlers?
and lately he has been VERY particular about how we put him to sleep. First of all, you can't tell when he's tired. He doesn't start "winding down", he doesn't say he's ready for bed. The only indication is when he starts acting CaRaZy! He starts being completely unreasonable about everything. That means it's time for bed! Then he wants his blankie, his water, and he wants us to rock him until he goes to sleep. After that, you have to veeeery carefully lay him in his bed. If he wakes up a little you have to pat/rock him in the bed until he goes back to sleep. If he wakes up enough, you have to pick him back up and hold him for a while longer because he stretches out his little arms and says "uh! uuuuuuuuh!!! hold!" until you pick him up. Then, when he's finally asleep, you've got to sneak out and shut the door and hope he won't wake up again and start hysterically crying because you're not there.
I recently gave Lucas a zyto scan, and Endoflex came up as his number one oil. It reminded me of when I use Endoflex. If I feel stressed and overwhelmed, I take a few deep breaths from the bottle and I can feel the calmness moving over my body. I decided to put the bottle next to Lucas' bed.
We had been out at Pops' house all night and he was super tired, but wouldn't fall asleep in the car. He had eaten a bunch of stuff that isn't good for him while he was there: a popsicle, sixlets, reese's, etc. so I know that's part of the reason he was being restless. He kept saying things like "I hungry" but didn't want anything we tried to give him. When we got home, he was throwing fits and being a cranky tired baby, in general. That's the sign that it's bed time. I told him, "okay, it's time for bed!" and brought him upstairs. He struggled to get free the whole time, and kept saying "down down!" in his whiney voice. So, I held the open bottle of Endoflex under his nose. He stopped fighting and took 5 deep breaths! I rocked him for a bit and laid him in bed. He was not asleep at this point and he did not have his water. I said "Ni-night Lucas!" and he said "Ni-night Mommy" and I left and shut the door. And he went to sleep. Without crying. All night.
Surely it's a fluke, right? So, I did it at nap time the next day, same thing! Bed time the next night, same thing!!! AND he slept in an HOUR past when he usually wakes up! Nap time the next day, same thing, and he took a 3 hour nap!!! Okay, this Endoflex + Lucas thing is definitely working in my favor! Endoflex supports your adrenals, which control how you respond to stress, so I can see why it's helping him. He must be all worked up before bed and have a hard time switching into "calm" mode. So, by supporting his endocrine system, it's helping to get him in a calm, stress free, state. Perfect! And I LOVE that it works just by him smelling it, too! If Endoflex is about $0.09 a drop, how much do the vapors cost?! And I don't have to worry about him becoming dependent on it, because essential oils aren't habit forming. Wahoo for sleeping babies! Until next time,
Get the next Health Adventures post via email!
Hi! I'm Jessica.
Join the Adventure!