Friday, April 29, 2011

One Small Green Change: Use SLS Free Toothpaste

A Chinese friend mentioned that they have toothpaste back home that prevents you from getting canker sores. Soon after I had that conversation, Rembrandt introduced their canker sore preventing toothpaste and gave out coupons so often it was like feeding stray cats. We tried Rembrandt and it reduced Huband’s canker sore outbreaks.YAY!

Of course you know what happened next. We were hooked on the toothpaste and Rembrandt stopping issuing coupons and the price went up. It’s now $7.00 a tube at CVS. Rembrandt is smaller than a conventional (and cheaper) tube of toothpaste. Yikes!

Since I don’t get canker sores from toothpaste like Husband,  he used the spendy toothpaste. I switched to Colgate. It’s cheaper and rates a 3 on Environmental Working Group Skin Deep database. A three - Moderate Hazard rating and below is my guideline when using Skin Deep as my shopping guide.(Your mileage may vary.)

We’ve been going merrily along with the his and hers toothpaste for quite awhile. It sure would be nice to have a cheaper option or at least some coupons for the stuff Husband uses.

Tom's of Maine Simply White Toothpaste, Clean Mint , 4.7 Ounce(Pack of 6)I researched. I found that the Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) in our conventional toothpaste may be causing Husband’s canker sores, not the fluoride. As an experiment, Husband switched to Tom’s of Maine, a less expensive brand of SLS free toothpaste. He didn’t have an outbreak.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How to Make Orange Essential Oil from Orange Peels

It’s clementine season! I snatched a box up the first minute I saw them in the grocery store and raced home. As usual I ate so many so often I got canker sores in my mouth from the citric acid. I don't care. At least I'm safe from scurvy!

The orange peels piled up. I can’t compost citrus. I used most of the ideas I wrote about 10 Ways to Use Orange Peels. I still have a pile of orange peels. If I had the distillation equipment I could make pure essential oil from orange peels but I don't. Since I want to use this to give a citrus oil cleaming oomph to in my homemade cleaning products, I will make an orange oil extract (this is also called a tincture) instead. Orange oil extract is a bit less potent than a pure essential oil, so it doesn't really work well for aromatherphy, candle, or cold process soap making. I save real orange essential oil for those things.

However orange oil extract (tincture) works well for things like DIY cleaning products, melt and pour soaps, and homemade room sprays.  You might need to use a bit more since an extract is less concentrated than a distilled essential oil depending upon how prominent you want the scent in your project.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Shaklee Earth Day Giveaway!

I’ve read a bunch about the miracle cleaner Shaklee Basic H2. It’s plant based, supposed to clean everything, and a little goes a long way. To make an all purpose cleaner you mix ¼ teaspoon of Basic H2 in 16 oz of water. For a window and mirror cleaner Shaklee says to mix a few drops of Basic H2 in a 16 oz spray bottle of water. 

No offense to all you Shaklee lovers out there but the directions made me raise an eyebrow. The free sample I received of  Basic H2 window cleaner mix cleaned Blitzkrieg’s nose prints off the patio door. However, so does plain water and a little elbow grease. How do I know if I am actually making a cleaning solution with Basic H2 or am I just cleaning my house with a more expensive spray bottle full of water? 

I mixed the all purpose cleaner and tried it on something a little more difficult to remove than smudges on a door. Coffee and shoe polish stains on my carpeting.

I’m the Number One offender when it comes to spilling coffee on my carpeting. I try to clean it quickly with a wet sponge when it happens. However, plain water won’t remove coffee from my carpeting.  I get a bit of this on the carpet.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

3 More Earth Day Freebies and Deals

What are you doing this Earth Day?

I’m going to buy toilet paper.

No joke.

Yes, I know. I know. Earth Day started out as an education day. I get it. Earth day is every day around here. Officially, Columbus had their Earth Day volunteer day last Saturday when more people could attend without taking a day off work so as far as celebrating goes I did it early.

I don’t knock Earth Day specials. I get emails and hear from folks who want to go greener but find that it’s more expensive. Not always, but I can’t deny that some green and organic products cost more money than their conventional equivalents and in this economy everyone is watching their pennies more closely.

If a coupon or deal is jump-start you need to try something new I say have at? If it’s an affordable way for you to keep on keeping on. I’m right behind you sister (or brother)!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

End Table Upcycled into a Whimsical Dog Bed

I am loving all of the end tables upcycled into dog beds I see in blogland. Check out this whimsical painted dog bed Lucy Designs made from a discarded end table, finals, and a whole lotta talent.

 Photo courtesy of Lucy Designs

I wish it were bigger. I’d take a nap on it. Would you?

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chalkboard Juice Lid Labels

My linen closet is small. That’s the excuse I told myself every time I had to put my hip into shutting the door because there was so much stuff in my linen closet.

No more.

After my inner brat threw a tantrum after doing the shove-clean-towels-in-the-closet- slam-the-door-follow-through-with-hip-action one time too many (mostly likely you have no idea what I’m talking about because you have a neat and tidy linen closet.) It was time to go into the closet.

I purged a bunch of towels and threadbare washcloths that were supposed to be dog towels but I always accidentally put them back into the bathroom towel rotation. Guest towels and such went into the guest bathroom (novel concept I know.) I can find everything and everything has its place. The closet door shuts without extra hip action. Yay!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Friday Fragments: Earth Day Deals, Coupons, and Events

I have a lot of little bits and bobs running through my head and blog post idea folder. Most of those bits are  upcoming Earth Day events, specials, and coupons that don’t really warrant a giant post on their own.

Last week I had way too many great, weird, and wonderful conversations on Twitter, Facebook, and email with so many of you, my  ‘friends who live in my computer’ to list. I just want to thank all of you for reading this little ol’ blog and being my friend. I get big warm fuzzies when I think of the amazing people I've met through this blog and more than once wished you lived closer so we could hang out in real life. Blitzkrieg wishes more of you lived closer to us so you can pet him until your arm fall all and stuff him full of treats. He sends you Five 5s and tail wags too. Thanks.

Speaking of Blitzkrieg, he’s on Crafterminds!

 Blitzkrieg now wants to renegotiate his Condo Blues 
appearance contract. This is going to cost me some kibble...

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Glass Clouche Pendent Lights

Husband and I ate dinner at Der Dutchman (nicknamed The Der by the locals) in Amish Country with his parents. After a country fresh dinner we waddled around the gift shop to work off the bread pudding I had for dessert..

Surprisingly there wasn’t much in the way of country too cutesie. Their buyer had the Contemporary-Country thing DOWN. There were so many things that my Victorian/Country Farm House antique loving mother in law liked and just as many things that made me drool with my Mid-Century Modern-Bauhaus-Contemporary-Found-and-Funkified-Retro-DaDa-Danish decorating style.

I saw this pendent lamp and my heart did a little jump.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Make an iPad Cover and Stand

I won an iPad from ConAgra* in a drawing at Blissdom.  I’m still pinching myself! I never win anything super cool like that.

Now I know what the heck Angry Birds is and why it’s insanely addictive.


Griffin Screen Care Kit for iPad, Matte
Seriously, order one of these. You won't regret it.
The first thing I did is order a screen care kit. I had sectors on a screen kill a just-out-of-warranty PDA (remember those?)  As a precaution, I always buy a screen protector to my touch screen devices and recommend you do the same. It will be the best $13 you spend to protect a $500 investment. I'm not joking, go buy one. I'll wait.

I Want to Build This

I want to build a Zoetrope.

Not this kind.

 Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

How to Spring Clean with Steam!

Haan MS-30 Multi-Purpose Steam CleanerApril’s One Small Green Change is to actually use the steam floor cleaner I’ve had for two years to clean my floors and house.

Before we bought our condo, I had a canister steam cleaner (I can’t remember the brand) that had interchangeable nozzles. I used it to clean the stove, bathtub, counter tops, as well as floors. It worked better than any cleanser I tried on the stove and bathtub. When it died, I cried.

After seeing commercials for steam mops, I wondered if there was something more multipurpose like my old steam cleaner. Husband bought me a Haan Multi-Purpose Steam Cleaner for Christmas* (yep, I asked for more cleaning tech toys as gifts. I'm weird like that.)

My Haan isn’t as powerful as my old steam cleaner but it still works well. For most floor cleaning jobs, I use the wide steam brush instead of the microfiber pad attachment. I think the steam brush cleans my textured floors a bit better than the steam pad. Although I like the pad attachment for cleaning the monster size builder mirror in our bathroom. Like my old steamer, this one has little brush attachments I can use to clean the grill, stove, bathtub, what have you.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Book Page Storage Shelves

They say the cheapest way to spruce up a room is to paint it. I say cheapest way to spruce up a room is to clean and reorganize it.

The utility room is one of those rooms I walk into that makes me go ARRRRGH!

Clutter makes me cranky.