June 29, 2010

Better than Martha Part 3: Cleaning stuff

Here's the final part of the Better than Martha series. In the other posts I told you that I've been making my own stuff. I've been doing this for two reasons. 1) To waste less and to contribute less to the landfill. Seriously, that thing needs to be less gross. 2) So that I know the ingredients in my everyday items. I like knowing there aren't chemicals in what I use. I'm slowly replacing things in my life to be more green and me-friendly.

So on to the items that I made/am making.

First item is my Swiffer mop cover. It's on hold because I am working on a time sensitive project. As soon as that's all set, back to this one. But anywho, this will make it so I don't have to keep buying the wasteful cloths that cover it. It will be nice to just have to wash it. I'm using cotton to knit it so probably won't machine dry it. I found the pattern at the Knittnfool ->MD Swiffer Mop Cover. Below is my version in progress.

The other cleaning item I made is a homemade disinfectant. Not only is it nice to know what is in the spray bottle, but it's also a cheaper alternative. I put together a simple recipe that was based on others online. I filled the bottle with 1/2 water, 1/2 vinegar, then added the following: a squirt of castile soap and 1/4 tsp of each: tea tree and lavender essential oil. I know essential oils can be pricey but they last a long time and can be used for so many different things. The nice things is that when it dries the vinegar smell goes away and you are left with the smell of the oils.

That's it for the Better than Martha entries. As you can see it would have been way too much for one entry. How are you guys being more green? I know that Joni rocks at that with her cloth diapers and everything. She's pretty hardcore. I'll slowly get there, but minus the babies for now. =)

June 27, 2010

Better than Martha Part 2: Health care

Now for part two. Below are the items that I made which were evidently for roller derby injuries. It's good that I took the herbal classes last year. Funny thing is that till recently I never really got hurt, or even sick for that matter so any remedies I did make were not for me.

Because of my many derby bruises I felt it was about time I make use of my herbal apprenticeship and make myself an Arnica salve. I also added some Chamomile for skin care. I'll be sure to let you guys know how it goes. I made the base oil from grapeseed oil a while ago and finally got around to making the salve. I liked that it didn't leave my skin super greasy. The recipe made a perfect amount for this container. I didn't add an essential oil or any thing since I'm not turned off by the scent it has. I plan on stashing it in my gear bag.

Another new derby staple of life is my heating pad. I had rice around and a sock that didn't fit around my now muscular calves. Little did I know, till I googled, that was all I needed to make a heating pad. I microwaved it for a couple of minutes and sat back and relaxed while my knee was warmed up for healing. In the future I'll add some herbs or oils to make it smell pretty.

I'm sure as I continue with derby I'll be making more. The next entry will be about cleaning stuff.

June 25, 2010

Better than Martha

I'm better than Martha because I'm not obnoxious like her. =)

I've been on a homemade kick. I like finding ways to not be wasteful in my everyday life and I like knowing the ingredients in things. I've cut out paper plates from my life, try to use washcloths instead of sponges for dishes, less paper towels and napkins, recycling like crazy, starting to compost, and probably more. I hate that we waste so much in the US, or the world for that matter.

So that I know the ingredients in things I use, I made my own lip balm, arnica salve, and household disinfectant. I will continue to find more natural alternatives as I think of things I need in life. It makes me feel more self sufficient too. The next couple of entries will be the things I made as of late, otherwise I think it would just be one ginormous post.

First up are the personal care items:

Yesterday I made my own lip balm. I got the recipe from my friend Joni (aka: The Kitchen Witch Momma). It's a simple recipe, and if she doesn't mind, it can be posted by her or I. It was so easy to make and I won't be buying store lip balm ever again. It's peppermint. Next time I hope to use some of my own herbs from my garden. Chocolate mint maybe?

I really like the oils used and after it has set for a bit you can really smell the peppermint. I've been dying for some and most of mine got washed in the machine, but I had the ingredients and would not break down and buy some store ones.

Another item I made is my own toothpaste. It is a Tammy's Kitchen recipe that can be found here. It gets a bit melted in this weather but it's still paste-like and usable. I just give it a quick mix with my toothbrush before brushing. It's salty at first because of the baking soda but the essential oil leaves a refreshing aftertaste. You get used to the saltiness that quickly goes away. I did not use the sweetener she suggests. I felt it was unnecessary and I don't want to use a processed stevia. Maybe after I dry my own stevia I can powder it and mix it in. What is nice is that I won't have to buy a tube for a long time. Sorry no photo because mine is a bit melted, but mine looked like hers before it did. Thanks a lot New England Summer.  =)

The next part of the series will be my first aid items I made. Till then, enjoy the beautiful weather!

June 22, 2010

I'm back!

So I was on a bit of a hiatus. I went on vaca and when I returned I discovered that I had to move. That was a big WTF moment but it turned out for the better.

Old place: 3rd floor, peeling plaster/paint, annoying second floor and basement neighbors, no yard, uneven and old gas stove and nowhere for me to park my car in the driveway. It did have some pros like location and huge room with a huge closet but it wasn't ideal.

New place: Cute little bedroom with a water view, the bay is literally down the road, there is a cute village down the road with a cafe and ice cream, it has a nice oven, farm with fresh eggs and local goods, a nice porch, garage, yard, a place for an herb garden, and a cat that tolerates my cat. Cons: the closet situation is not as amazing as the last but all the rest makes up for it. =)

So the last had many cons obviously. The new place wins. My roommate is nice and helpful. I don't feel like I have to do everything. He even waters my garden. It's a cute little garden. That and I have cat grass in the porch.

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="180" caption="Chocolate mint, parsley, lemon balm, yarrow, basil, and tomatoes. "][/caption]

For Zeus it was a bit traumatic of a move. He's can't read so I feel I can safely tell you his embarrassing story without backlash. Wednesday I was supposed to pick him up but I twisted my knee at practice so that was a no go. I went the next night to rescue him from Providence. I loaded him up in the car and headed home. Well, he really didn't like being in the carrier. He was meowing a sad meow, rolling around, and clawing at the door of it. While stressing out he also peed in the carrier. My poor baby was so upset with himself.

After the horrible ride in the car, we got home and went straight to the bathroom. With the door closed I let him out and he laid on his back completely content with me cleaning him up. This is probably the only cat that I have ever met that will let you clean his loins and everything. He had a sad look that said, "Mommy, fix it!"

His last obstacle was the roommate's cat Bobo. Bobo liked that he had his own house and felt the need to hiss and growl but never fighting at least. Zeus, the mama's boy that he is, sat behind my legs. He thought Bobo was crazy and felt that behind me and under the bed were great places to be. After a bit he would just chirp at Bobo while he got hissed at. Probably saying, "What's wrong?"

At this point they are doing well. Zeus is a cuddle slut and cuddles with the roommate as soon as I leave for work. Bobo has gotten used to him and they almost play a little. Zeus even went up to Bobo and licked and nuzzled his head. Sweetest. cat. ever. Things are going well. I'm really happy to be where I am now. Now to catch up on knitting and blogging as I settle in.