Wednesday, March 26, 2014

DIY Wednesday ~ The Natural Laundry Room

The Natural Laundry Room

Growing up, one of our daughters was known as the allergy queen. Everything irritated her skin. Clothing itched, soaps and detergent caused rashes and bed sheets were scratchy. The skin irritations led to her being irritated and cranky. This could also lead to me being irritated and cranky…
I quickly found ways to limit our daughters contact with known irritants. Our laundry room was one of the first rooms that became as natural and organic as possible. We begin making our own laundry soap and found a couple of secrets for laundry softeners. Soon our allergy queen was finding some relief and so were we.


16 cups baking soda

12 cups washing soda

8 cups of grated castile soap

Optional ~ 10-12 drops lavender essential oil

Grate the castile soap or blend in food processor and mix it with the baking soda and washing soda. If you want add essential oil.  Stir until all the ingredients are incorporated. Use 1/8 cup for a large load.

Natural Non-Toxic Bleach Alternative

3 quarts water ( I like to use spring water)

 1/4 cup lemon juice (fresh is best but you can use bottled)

1 cup hydrogen peroxide.

Mix together and store in glass jar. Add 1.5 to 2 cups per load of laundry. You can also use this to clean bathrooms and kitchens!


Homemade Oxyclean Stain Remover

2 cups water

1 cup hydrogen peroxide

1 cup baking soda

Combine all ingredients and put in an opaque dark bottle. You can put a sprayer from another bottle top of the hydrogen peroxide bottle.

Use as a pre-treat spray on stains or add 1/4 of the mixture above (about 1 cup total) to a load of laundry, add water and let soak for 30 minutes before washing.  Usually safe on all fabrics put please test prior to use!


Fabric Softener

And finally for a fabric softener consider white vinegar. Add one-half to 1 cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle of your machine. This is especially valuable when laundering cloth diapers as it will remove the problems usually causing diaper rash. It effectively rids the laundry of soap residue and allows the fabric to be naturally soft as well as balancing the pH which wi...ll extend the life of the fabrics. The smell of vinegar dissipates upon drying and leaves the laundry smelling fresh. If you wish to add fragrance to the laundry apply 2 or 3 drops of essential oil to a damp washcloth and place in the clothes dryer along with the wet laundry. I prefer lavender for its nice clean smell and disinfecting properties. to your washes rinse cycle. If you want scent simply add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the vinegar.

Monday, March 24, 2014

Vegan Monday ~ Warm Spring Salad


Welcome to Vegan Mondays! This is the first Vegan Monday blog and my own spin on the Meatless Monday movement. 

Why did I decide to have a Vegan Monday? It seems I am constantly looking for new, delicious and simple vegan recipes.  I need more vegan dishes that not only will my husband and I enjoy but also our grandkids. We use to eat about 75% raw and vegan, but now that is up to around 90%.  I found our health and energy levels improved with less dairy and meat. Fewer issues with inflammation, better sleep and healthier weight have all come with eating a mainly vegan diet. Don’t get me wrong we eat fish once or twice a week, a little organic dairy and occasionally organic meat. When I say occasionally, I am talking a few times a month.  There are times when I feel a need for an organic bone broth or chicken soup. When that moment arises I listen to my body and partake of what it needs.  

To be honest, if we could afford more organic dairy and meats, we might eat more of it. But on the flip side I truly believe that as an American, we eat too much red meat and too little fruits and veggies.  For us meat is the side dish, not the main course. That brings me back to the need for vegan dishes! So starting today I will be hosting Vegan Mondays which will feature vegan dishes for you and your family to try. ENJOY and remember to eat your veggies.

Today's recipe is a Warm Spring Salad (from Oh She Glows). It is delicious. Because of the addition of Quinoa, the salad has lots of protein. Where I live, my choices for finding many healthy staples are limited and nothing is in bulk. I currently purchase my Quinoa from Amazon (who is an affiliate of mine). The price is good and I can get it in 4 lb bags.

Warm Spring Salad ~

•1 cup uncooked quinoa
•1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
•1 leek, sliced into rounds or half moons
•2 garlic cloves, minced
•1 bunch asparagus, ends broken off and chopped into 1-inch pieces
•1 cup diced strawberries (optional)
•3/4 cup fresh or frozen peas
•1 cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
•2-3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, to taste
•3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
•1/2 tbsp pure maple syrup (or other sweetener)
•1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt & lots of pepper, to taste
•lemon zest, for garnish
1. Rinse quinoa in a fine mesh strainer and place into a medium pot. Add 1.5 cups vegetable broth (or water) and bring to a low boil. Reduce heat to low-medium, cover with tight-fitting lid, and cook for 15-17 minutes, or until fluffy and all the water is absorbed. Fluff with fork, remove from heat, and let sit covered for 5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, grab a very large skillet or wok. Sauté the leek and garlic in the oil for about 5 minutes over medium heat. Season generously with salt and pepper. Add in the asparagus and sauté for another 5-10 minutes or until the asparagus is just tender, but still a bit crisp. Stir in the strawberries (optional), peas, and parsley. Heat for a few minutes and then remove from heat.
3. Whisk together the dressing ingredients (olive oil, lemon juice, maple syrup, and 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt) to taste. Pour dressing onto skillet mixture and stir in the cooked quinoa. Season to taste with salt and pepper & enjoy! This would also be lovely with nuts or seeds sprinkled on top.

This is also delicious served cold ~      Recipe and image from Oh She Glows.