Cleaning and Organizing, Cooking

Stress Organizing Food Areas

Stress Organizing Food Areas

Stress Organizing Food Areas

It has come to, almost the end, of our meat.  We bought a whole cow last summer and it is dwindling down.  It makes me sad.  It’s been a long time since I’ve had to buy stuff in the market.  It is so much healthier to know what your cow has been fed before you feed it to your children.  Anyway, back to the topic of me Stress Organizing Food Areas.

When I had 3 kids, I would buy in bulk.  I would always have 2 flats of different vegetables, canned goods, seasoning, etc.  Now that I have more than the average amount of children AND my children are enormous…life is different.  If I had space, time, energy, and money, I would still be stockpiling.  Alas, I don’t any of those things.

Pandemic Changes Things

Now that the pandemic is rampant, things are limited.  Whether that is toilet paper, cleaner, or food.  It really does make you take stock in what you have and becoming a bit more inventive.  Also, less likely to waste food or throw things out.

I had these thoughts after the ice storm as well.  We did make some changes in some areas.  Now is the time to make changes in other areas too.  Luckily for me, I was raised by frugal parents and grandparents.  I’m not afraid to try something.  Making bread, cakes, muffins, rolls from scratch is normal.  Alfredo sauce can be made and not bought.  Spaghetti sauce, seasoning combinations…it is all trial and error.  My next goal is to learn to make my own pasta.  My mother in law did that and she gave me a contraption.  Now is the time to use it!

In Cleaning Out and Organizing

Refrigerator, everything has a place.  I can easily see what is what.  Our fresh veggies, I can make a side dish out of.  Fresh spinach, I can put in anything.  It really takes on the flavor profile of what you are cooking.

I had a MASSIVE influx of baby carrots.  There was some I had bought and then the school brought food for the week.  Lots of cherry tomatoes, fresh broccoli, celery, and carrots.  The broccoli, I stockpiled till I had a good amount.  Last night, I made Chinese stir-fry with a couple of packs of round steak (from our cow), the broccoli, and I even used the cherry tomatoes.  Big Daddy is not fond of those, at all.  If you chop them up smaller and saute them, he didn’t even notice.

Sadly, the celery, I can’t get anyone to eat.  Not even with peanut butter on it.  We did not waste them.  A couple of kids tried to eat them but we had so much that it was almost like torture for them.  We fed those to our chickens, which in turn, gives us eggs.  Does that count?

As for the Carrots

We all eat them on salads.  Also, the kids like to eat them by themselves with a bit of ranch.  I will snack on them.  Still…we had so many.  A couple of days ago, I made some carrot cake muffins.  I could have made a cake or a loaf of bread but muffins freeze well and the kids have been eating them for breakfast.  It is a super simple recipe that I have used for years.  I will try and remember to post it by Monday.   That used up a ton of carrots and I still have a bunch more.  I may make more and freeze it.

Freezer Organization

For my freezer, I have the one that pulls out from my fridge, a big chest freezer, and then our old refrigerator we use out in the garage.  The kitchen freezer, I utilize the 2 big bins and then the pull out drawer that has the ice maker.  Up there, I put ice packs, Berbere, Tumeric, Yeast, or sweets.  In one side bin, I put meat for super.  For instance, when I buy sausage, shrimp, fish, etc.  On the other side, I have all the kids frozen lunch items.

In the freezer in the garage (the refrigerator one), we keep extra bread, french bread, buns, or things that I bake.  My big chest freezer is where we have our beef.  Then the little rack has odds and ends.  For instance, we have the 2 other packs of round steak, stew meat, steaks, etc.  The base of the freezer has our patties and ground beef.

In recyclable bags, that is in there is where I organize all the other things.  I don’t like it when things fall to the bottom because they end up freezer burnt and wasted.  1 bag has all our frozen veggies, another has our bulk chicken that I have broken up into baggies.  There is 1 bag that has some odds and ends.  My son in law has a few bags stored up in there.  I think the last bag has meat that I have cooked and refrozen for another meal.  We also have a little shelf area that has freezer meals on it.

Pantry Area

My pantry has 5 shelves.  The top shelf, I have broken up in 2 different baskets and some clear canisters.  I think I got them from Dollar Tree.  One basket has junk food/sweets/things my son in law buys and hides here.  Another basket has all my leftover flour, sugar, almond flour, teff flour, and such.  Then, in the canisters, I have open bags of flour, sugar, etc.

The next shelf has my suppers organized.  When I make out my grocery list, I always look to see what I have on hand and work my suppers around that.  So, on that shelf (for the next 10 days or so), I have my suppers planned out and put together on that shelf.  For instance, I am making Brunzi Baseball Casserole, green bean casserole, and corn.  I have all the ingredients for that in one area.  Then there is pizza where I put all the ingredients for that, etc.  This helps me use up what I have and not overbuy.

The next shelf, I keep a container with packet mixes (when I buy premade packets), our bread box, and our extra canned stuff for me to use for the next round of meals.  That way, I will always know what I need to use up and incorporate every week.

The Rest of the Pantry

The third shelf is all things kids and paper products.  They know that if it is on their shelf, it is free for all to eat, just not in excess.  There is always a variety of breakfast stuff, lunch stuff, and protein snacks.

The fifth shelf has some appliances, a little basket with sauces and condiments, and oils.  On the floor of the pantry houses, canned drinks, water, lunch boxes, and such.  Everything has a place and most times all things are in their place.

I Hope This Helps

Hopefully this helps you get some ideas on how you can utilize the areas of your food storage.  More importantly, to not overbuy.  Just buy what you need.  If you want to stockpile, that is great.  Buy 1 thing for now, if you are a smaller family and 1 for later.  For our family, I buy 3 now and 3 for later…when I stockpile.

Be creative with your menu and be open to adding things in that might be ready to go bad.  If you don’t have chickens, use the leftover food and compost it for your yard!  Also, if canned foods you KNOW you are not going to eat, donate it to a local food pantry!

Have fun!  Be safe.  Wash your hands.  Wear a mask.  It’s a germy jungle out there!

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Cleaning and Organizing

Digital Organization: Phone

Digital Organization: Phone

It is a fresh year and a fresh start.  So, why hold onto things.  Everyone needs a new beginning.  Organizing, to me, is freeing.  I mean I feel physically lighter.  So, as I purge/donate/organize my life, I will let you know what I’m doing.  Maybe it will inspire you.  So let’s begin with Digital Organization: Phone.

My phone is NOT my lifeline.

I try not to carry it into places with me and I don’t obsessively scroll for hours and hours.  It has been becoming more and more apparent how addicted we all are to our cell phones.  Really, it is sad.

I sit in places and look around.  Everyone has their nose in their phones.  Scrolling, endlessly.  Comparing themselves to others because, in the little squares of life, everything seems perfect.  Therefore, we fall into the trap of never being enough.

Let me just tell you, in Christ…YOU ARE ENOUGH.

Text Messages

The first thing I do is work on my text messages.  How many times do you see a text and think you have responded…but you don’t?  I am so guilty of that.  Every night, I go through them and respond to what I need too.  Then, I put in my calendar what needs to go in there.

Next, I delete all my text messages.  If it is something important, I will copy/paste it into a “Note” app.  I have also been known to screenshot something.  From there, I will transfer it from my phone gallery to my tablet.  More on that in another post.  I am pretty diligent about deleting my messages, daily.  The visual clutter drives me completely insane.  I get overwhelmed.

Next up, I go through my contacts.

Delete delete delete.  I have *very* few numbers on my phone.  If I haven’t talked to you in a year, chances are, I’m not gonna talk to you in the new year.  There have been moments where someone has randomly texted me.  I simply ask who they are 🙂  Most of the time, I have a general idea of who it is.

Then, I go through my apps.

I delete the ones I do not use or have never used.  It takes up so much space.  Organize the apps you have.  On my “home” screen, I have my garage door app and a calendar.  That is it.  The rest, I take the icons off my home screen.  Again, visual clutter irritates me.  You can combine apps, into folders on your home page.  This can streamline what you see as well.

Downloads

When I check my email, sometimes I have to download something.  Go through your files and you will see the downloads file.  Delete that mess.  You don’t need it and all it does is slow your phone down.  Sometimes, I have had to send it as an email (more on that later).  Once it is sent, delete it.

Pictures/Music

Pictures, I transfer to my tablet.  Once transferred, I delete them.  I do not store music (except for what a friend sends me).

Thoughts

Put your phone down.  Talk.  Face to face.  Make eye contact.  Engage in society to make a difference.  There was a time before cell phones.  Where you could go to Wal-mart without everyone knowing what you are doing and buying.  I will say, in the beginning I spent WAY too much time on my phone.  It was a novelty.  I remember when facebook began and I was enthralled.

I also missed out on my children because my nose was so far up my phone that I couldn’t see the humans standing before me.  They are so much more fun.

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Deodorizing Essential Oil Recipe

Deodorizing Essential Oil Recipe

Deodorizing Essential Oil Recipe

Here is another Deodorizing Essential Oil Recipe that has helped take the stank out of my house.  I have 3 dogs (Francis, Lola, and Ted) and 2 cats (Karl and Karen) who live in my house.

They smell.

Much like fish, sweat, and butt gland overload.  It is nasty on any given day.  My kids have chores.  They (we) clean on the house all day long but there are certain smells that like to linger.

Also.

I have 4 boys who live in this house (we girls do not smell).  The odor that wafts from their bedroom is a mixture of sweat, feet, and onions.  We keep their doors closed because, frankly, this is why Big Daddy has no eyebrows.  The smell blew them plumb off.

Their feet is an odor I cannot even describe.  I mean, they bathe (once a week because any more than that is a nuisance).  For instance, one boy, I asked why I could see the outline of his shoe on his bare feet.

His response?

Dirt, I guess.  I asked when the last time he bathed was…he proceeded in responding with “I’m not sure, what day is it?”  Seriously, I can’t even.  This too shall pass, I know.  For now, it stinks.

Recipe:

3 drops Lavender

3 drops Tea Tree (Melaleuca)

2 drops Rosemary

2 drops Peppermint

1 drop Lemon

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Bathroom Purge and Organization

Bathroom Purge and Organization

 

I cannot even believe I’m going to show this Bathroom Purge and Organization.  Who knew you could have so much stuff in a tiny little area.

First Things First

When getting ready to minimalize and de-clutter any space.  You need to see all the things.  In order to see all the things, you need to empty everything from every corner, nook, and cranny.

Be Prepared

To be grossed out, embarrassed, shocked, and a slew of other emotions.  I mean, how many feminine hygiene products does 1 girl need when she doesn’t even have a uterus?  To the normal person, you wouldn’t have any.  For me, they were on sale and I had a coupon.  I guess I thought I was spontaneously going to regrow my uterus much like a starfish regrows a leg.

Note

If you can, consolidate things.  I had about 5 bottles that were 1/2 full of lotions.  Once combined, I now have 3 full bottles.  I had about 4 bottles that were 1/2 full and 12 little travel sized things of baby shampoo.  Once done, I ended up with 2 bottles.  If you can consolidate to use it up, do it.

Donate

If it is unused, donate it to a women’s shelter or a food pantry (they take things other than food).  I had 12 bottles of Neutrogena face wash.  Coupons, ya know.  It breaks my face out.  I tried to let my girls use it.  It breaks their face out.  So, why keep it?

Hoarder maybe?  Donate if you can.

Medications

If it is outdated THROW IT AWAY.  By throwing it away, I mean gathering it all up (if it is prescription) and taking it to your local law enforcement office.  They have proper ways of disposing, safely, of prescription medication.  Be wise.  I would, often, flush it.  Then I read that that was not safe.  Now, I take it to the people who can handle it effectively.

Never Ever

Use your husband’s beard/mustache trimmer on your dog’s butt.  Or, if you do, take it OUT of your bathroom.  There is a 100% chance you will forget you shaved your dog’s butt and he will reuse it on his face.

He will not be happy.  Not.  At.  All.

Oops.

In the End

Once everything is emptied, purged, donated, etc. you have the perfect opportunity.  Use up your leftover cleaner and clean the crap out of everything.  I still need to take a straight edge to the soap scum in the shower, but all in all, it is a thousand percent cleaner than before.  It is a nice feeling to organize, throw away, donate, clean, and traumatize your spouse.  Here are the end results of a 2-day process.  Oh, I found a charcoal face mask, so just ignore what you see in the mirror.

 

 

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New Diffusing Recipe DoTerra Essential Oils

New Diffusing Recipe DoTerra Essential Oils

New Diffusing Recipe DoTerra Essential Oils

 

This morning, when I got up, I went to start my diffusers.  I have the go-to blends that I like to smell throughout the day.  Today, however, I wanted something different.  Something that I hadn’t used or diffused before.  So, here is my New Diffusing Recipe DoTerra Essential Oils.

Citrus Oils

My eye went to Green Mandarin.  I *love* the citrus smell.  Oh, FYI, if you sign up today and put in a 125 PV order, your FREE oil for the month is Lime!  Maybe my eyeball should have gone to Lime LOL.  Oh well.

What Green Mandarin is Associated With Emotionally

In each 15 ml bottle, there are 250 drops per bottle.  In a 5 ml bottle (the Juniper Berry) is 85 drops.  As I read in my Emotions and Essentials Oils book, Green Mandarin helps when an individual is weighed down by emotional scars, self-doubt, fear, or failure.

Spot On

That is spot on for what I am feeling right now.  Well, more of the self-doubt and fear aspects.  See, I’m traveling next week…alone…with Hunter…farther than I have ever traveled.  My anxiety is through the roof.

Luckily, one of my older children is able to go with me, so that relieves some stress.  I just don’t travel without Big Daddy.  He is the navigator, driver, indulger in my oddity fascination, and sound mind person.

Well, I’ll Be Dipped

I just looked up Juniper Berry and wouldn’t you know that it is associated with irrational fears and avoidance.  Hahaha, that plays right into my fears, now doesn’t it.  Realistically, I know that I am fine and this will all be good. I just *strongly* prefer my husband to go with me.

Lavender is similar in Juniper Berry and Green Mandarin.  Hiding, fear, insecure, racing thoughts, tense.  Maybe I should be this recipe in the bathtub and soak LOL.  Or maybe a roller bottle and just slather it all over myself as I am driving.

Recipe

Today, in my 2 smaller diffusers, I used 2 drops of Green Mandarin, 2 drops of Juniper Berry, and 1 drop of Lavender.  It smells divine in this house.

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Taking the Smell out of Big Daddy’s Nose

Big Daddy and his UBER Sensitive Nose

Here I am, trying to make a feeble attempt at Taking the Smell out of Big Daddy’s Nose.  I have like 5000 kids and 2500 animals that live in my house.  Did I exaggerate?  Uhm, well…have you ever lived with a bunch of teenage boys?  Emotional girls?  Choose to take in every broken animal that is dumped on your lawn?  That is my life.

It is mine by choosing.

We live in a moderate home and it has 4 bedrooms.  All bedrooms have carpet.  That is not necessarily how I want it.  Sadly, it is expensive to rip up and replace flooring.  I mean, I have mouths to feed and debt to pay off!

Memory Issues

One of my children struggles with memory.  I don’t mean like puberty, just a kid, type of struggle.  This is a brain anomaly caused by Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder (FASD).  This child’s sole job is to take out the animals, bathe them, feed/water them, etc.

That has been reduced down because of some massive issues that we have had.  So, now he just deals with our cats and dogs.  The chickens are left up to another child.  Sadly, he “forgets” to walk the dogs.  So, they do what all animals do.  Use the bathroom on the floor.  Thankfully, in my places, we have laminate flooring.  This is easy to clean up and mopping.

However, there are still the bedrooms.

In lieu of the inability to constantly remember to take the dogs out, I bought a carpet cleaner.  I use it and abuse it.  In fact, I have burned up several of these gems because I am hard on vacuums, mops, spray mops, and carpet cleaners.

My Lady made me a great concoction that I use to scrub the carpets (and said child scrubs the carpets). They may be stain-free (the majority of the time) but the odor (think litter box) can be unbearable.

Taking the Smell out of Big Daddy’s Nose

As added luck, I have a spouse who is UBER sensitive to any and all smells.  He reminds me of being pregnant when I had sonic smelling for 9 mths.  I mean, I could smell and armpit, piece of rotten fish, dirty socks, from 10 miles away.  That is Big Daddy’s sniffer.  Super-sensitive and annoying.

He can come home to a clean house, quiet kids, quiet animals, and supper cooking.  The first thing he does is ask what that smell is.  Seriously.  I want to punch him in the nose when he says that.  Just eliminate his sense of smell altogether.

Side note:

My other mother has no sense of smell.  That has nothing to do with this but there have been times I’ve had to sniff things in her fridge to see if they were bad LOL.  I mean, she cannot smell a darn thing!

Options

I have come up with some REALLY cleaner options and diffuser blends to help with that smell.  Lots of little tricks that help save my husband’s nose (and my feelings).  You must remember that cats do not need to come in close contact with the essential oils of any kind.  Dogs, they are okay, but not cats.

Litter box:

We spread baking soda, litter, baking soda into the box.  We have set the timer for every 2 hrs for it to be changed.  Also, our box has a hood with cat filters.  We change those out every 2 weeks.  I put a litter catcher mat under the box.  It is sprayed down with 1 part vinegar to 3 parts water and a splash of Dawn dishwashing liquid.  I do add a couple of drops of Purify essential oil. We use this to clean the mat and the wall around the box.

Floors:

I vacuum first.  Then, I use an old parmesan container 1/2 full of baking soda.  I add about 10 drops of Purify in it and then top the container off with more baking soda and another 10 drops.  I shake that well.  Then, I sprinkle it on carpets (I put the cat’s up).  Let is set for 10 minutes and then vacuum again.

Carpet Cleaner:

In the carpet cleaner, I fill up the base with water, vinegar, and Dawn.  I also add Melaleuca, OnGuard, and/or Purify.  Usually, about 20 drops because the base is pretty large.  When we spot clean the stain (do that first), we just use water and dawn and scrub the crap out of it.

Mopping:

I have a spray mop.  In it, I put hot water, a splash of vinegar, a splash of Dawn.  Also, I add about 10 drops of one of the following oils.  Melaleuca, OnGuard, or Purify.  This helps disinfect, deodorize, and clean the area.

Diffuser Recipes:

5 drops Lavender, 5 drops Melaleuca, 2 drops Lemon

3 drops tangerine (or wild orange), 3 drops lime, 2 drops lemongrass, 2 drops peppermint

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doTerra Essential Oils Cleaning Recipes

 

doTerra Essential Oils Cleaning Recipes

By using doTerra Essential Oils Cleaning Recipes, I am able to do many things. I can keep my home super clean, smelling good, and safe for my medically fragile preschooler. Choosing this path helps us all.

Due to the knowledge that my baby is allergic to cleaning products, I have had to be diligent.  Luckily, I stopped using conventional cleaners, a long time ago.  The people, buildings, and offices that I have to take him too still, understandably, use chemical based products.  I get it, I do, but I also have to be mindful of his health.

Most Places We Go

They are pretty good about cleaning their facility with the cleaners I bring.  We really are blessed with great people in our lives.  In the off chance, they don’t, and something needs to be cleaned, I’ve been known to BYOC (Bring my Own Cleaner).  This is why it has been so helpful to think outside of the box and utilize my doTerra Essential Oils and create some cleaning powerhouse recipes.
We carry diluted Onguard with us everywhere.  I also have the Onguard Sanitizing Mist in my purse.  This makes it incredibly easy to spray down carts and know that I’m killing the germs.

All-Purpose Cleaners

For my house, we are SUPER simple.  I bought a large plastic spray bottle, vinegar, water, and my choice of doTerra Essential Oils.  I pour about 1 c. Vinegar in the bottle, top it off with water and add 10-20 drops of oil.  I have used Melaleuca, Onguard, and/or Lemon (be mindful that your spray bottle needs to be glass if you use Lemon).  Those really are my favorites.  You can also use Rosemary, Lavender, Eucalyptus, Wild Orange is great for grease stains.  I also throw a capful of Onguard Concentrate in there.  This basic setup is what I use for all my cleaning, throughout my house.

Carpet Deodorizer

I put baking soda in a parmesan bottle, and then I mix about 10 drops of Purify in with it.  I shake it up and use it has a carpet deodorizer.  Let it set on the floor for about 10 minutes and then vacuum it up.

Carpet Cleaner

Now, in my carpet cleaner.  I mix hot water, a splash of vinegar, a splash of Onguard concentrate, and Lemon.  Never have I used the premade carpet cleaner solution.

Laundry

There is also an Onguard concentrate detergent that I will be using to throw in my washing machine, with my Tide (yes, I use Tide).

Glass Cleaner

For glass cleaner, vinegar, water, a splash of rubbing alcohol, and your essential oil of choice.  Spray it on and wipe it off with a newspaper.  That, for some reason, keeps it from streaking too severely.

Air Freshener

My air freshener is witch hazel, water, and usually Lavender.  I spray it as I would Febreze.  For my diffuser, hands down, my favorite is Purify.  Especially in the boys’ room because it smells of dead animals, butt, and a hint of sweat.  Not a whole lot could help the odor in my boys’ room unless I got a blow torch after it LOL

Floors

My floors, we used vinegar,  water, essential oil, and Onguard concentrate (are you gathering a theme here)?  This is my life, and I have to adjust to aid in the health of my son.  I will do what I have to do.  I will no longer be filling my home with nonsense and chemicals.

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Operation USE IT UP Underway

Operation USE IT UP Underway is going down!  Have you ever thought about your cleaning supplies, what all do you have going on in there?

Let us focus on your pantry, fridge, freezer, and other places you store food?

I am embarrassed about what all I see in these areas of my life.  Seriously, embarrassed.

Looking around, I see a lot of stuff I have that is just useless, and I bought a bunch because I had a coupon.  There are also things that, sadly, I forgot that I had, as well.

Focus Squirrel Girl, Focus

Just focusing on my bathrooms is going to be a beginning for me.  My first goal is going green in all areas of our lives.  The secondary objective is to minimalize those belongings because, in reality, we do we really need 3 hair dryers, 35 sets of sheets, or 500 bottles of dried up nail polish?

Focusing on one area, at a time, is helpful for me.  I tend to have SQUIRREL moments.  One primary reason for that is because when I take something out of the bathroom, to put it where it belongs…I tend to start cleaning up the place that it belongs to.  Thus leading me to forget about the fact that I was, indeed, already cleaning the bathroom.  Does that make sense?

Bathroom Tips and Tricks

Tame Your Squirrel:

One way to tame my squirrel is diffusing my Squirrel Blend recipe from doTerra.  It smells amazing and it, honestly, keeps me moving right along.

Laundry Basket:

Another trick I use is that I get a laundry basket and I put it in the bathroom, with me.  This way, when there is something in the bathroom, that needs to go to another place in the house, I just throw it in there.  I take the basket downstairs, and I have each kid get their stuff out of it and put it where it belongs.

Using it all up

Let’s say I have 8 bottles of facial cleanser, that I bought because I had a coupon.  Now, let’s say that I have tried said facial cleanser and it is merely not my jam.  If you can imagine now, that I have given my daughter’s facial cleanser and it breaks them out.  Now visualize that 7 brand new bottles of facial cleanser are continued to be stored in my bathroom for no particular reason, yet, like a chipmunk, I hoard it.  That’s where DONATING comes to play.  Take it to a Needline, a church food/hygiene pantry, a women’s shelter, or find a friend who likes this brand and gift it to them.  The point is…is get it OUT of your bathroom.  I know that I will never use this and I refuse to throw it away.  It is brand new, that is like flushing cash down the toilet.

Makeup:

Recently, I went into our local department store, and I received a free makeup makeover.  It was so much fun.  There is so much I do not know (or care to know), but what I did find out is that makeup can go wrong.  Yes, I’m aware that you probably already knew that, but I didn’t.  So, I bought my “colors” of makeup, and I came home, and I threw away a lot of my old, broken, or nasty makeup that I already had.  I also threw away brushes that I had had for 10 years (I didn’t know they were supposed to be washed…sick, I know).  I figured if I invest in new stuff now, I would remember to clean my brushes and how old things were…new beginnings are always good.

Medication:

For the love, do not keep expired meds.  I don’t care if they are antibiotics, cold/cough meds, antacids, or tubes of cream.  Please, look at the dates and get rid of them.  There are expiration dates on the product for a reason.  These medications can lose their efficacy and could harm you.  Be wise.  We are going all natural with our medications.  I will be posting on our medication journey tomorrow, so be sure and come back!

Bathroom Cleaning Products:

My daughter was deep cleaning her home, one day.  She texted me, in the meantime, saying that she suddenly started vomiting aggressively and that she couldn’t stop.  Well, what’s a mama to do?  I high tailed my butt over there to help her.  I had no more gotten to her front door, that I started coughing.  It was like something was caught in my throat, and it wouldn’t dislodge.  Once I opened the door, this fog hit me, and I started coughing, uncontrollably, until I almost puked.

Come to find out, she had bought/used every cleaner known to man.  In her mind (and most peoples minds), if it is name brand, then it is going to a great job cleaning.  NO.  Just NO.  We were inhaling boatloads of unnecessary chemicals.  We all had headaches and were coughing.  It was pitiful.  We opened her front door, opened all the windows of the apartment, and we had to have a fan blowing out to draw this stench and chemical fog out of the apartment.

Once that happened, she quit vomiting, I quit coughing, and headaches subsided. All you need to clean with are these essential items:  Vinegar, Water, Castile Soap, Blue Dawn Dishwashing Liquid, OnGuard concentrate, baking soda, and any of these essential oils:  Lemon, Melaleuca, Onguard.  For more information on how I make cleaners or if you want the oils, yourself to create your own green cleaning supplies, be on the lookout for a post on Friday.

Organization:

Another tip is to go to the Dollar Tree or Dollar Store and buy those clear shoeboxes with a lid.  Also, get some labels and a sharpie.  I like to keep all “like” things together.  I have all nail polish in a box, all toothbrushes/toothpaste, all travel-sized bottles, etc. in these boxes.  This is a lifesaver, but only if you put the labels on them.  I made the mistake of not doing that, and one of my kids pulled every box out, opened every box, and made a mess…all looking for fingernail clippers.

First Aid Kit:

Organized, cleaned out, complete first aid kit is a must.  You can buy premade ones at Walmart or on Amazon.  You can also make your own.  I do keep mine in a red bag to make it easier to identify in high-stress moments.  Those moments can range from if a child throws a set of hedge clippers down from a tree and they landed point down on another child’s head to cut your toe-off while walking a pug or a head-on collision at the end of your driveway.  You know, simple things in life 🙂

Donate, Throw Away, or Use Up:

Be sure and clean out your little shoeboxes.  Throw away things that are old, broken, used, or not worth giving away.  If it can be donated, DONATE!  Help another person out.  If you have a smidge of something, use it up, don’t waste it.  Do not use a full product when you have 12 products that are 1/2 used.  Use those products up and don’t be wasteful.

Operation USE IT UP Underway is gonna happen and it will take over my home!

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Brandi’s Getting Her Groove Back

Brandi's Getting Her Groove Back

Spring Break Week and Brandi’s Getting Her Groove Back

It is Thursday of spring break week, and I have done a whole lot of nothing.  I’ve sat, watched Youtube, had some coke, cooked supper, scratched my head, bit off my fingernails, and played cards with my kids.  Just….ya know…….not a whole lot of productiveness.  Now, however, Brandi’s Getting Her Groove Back.

Last Night, We had Quite a Blow

There was some information that was shared, from a courageous girl, and we have had to deal with the knowledge of being lied too.  Also, the realizations of someone we love, living two lives.  Basically, what are we going to do, moving forward?  It was hard.  I just had to go to bed.  I was on edge, Hunter’s behavior was HORRIBLE, the kids were loud, I started snapping at everyone.  All over this mess that someone else created but my family.  Yet, my family and I are in the center of the storm.  Sigh.

Amongst That Crap Storm

I took advantage of the situation (actually, I was sitting at the table with my head in my hands, crying, eating 3 bags of fruit snacks) and I had a conversation with G.  It was hard.  The truth was told to her.  It was hard to say, and it was hard for her to hear.  She is very similar to the person that has caused such chaos.  Her anger has controlled her for so long, she doesn’t even know what she is angry about.  I will talk more about that in a future post.

Today, I got up, and the Sun is Shining

It is chilly outside, and it is supposed to snow tomorrow…but today the sun is shining.  I decided today was the day I was gonna get my groove back.  Today, I am awake, alert, feeling good and ready to tackle things.

I had the little boys detail my van!  Woot Woot.  Boo folded laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and watched Hunter.  He just did things that needed to be done.  G helped me.  We started in the laundry room.

Daughter #2 is supposed to be on top of the laundry.  Well, let’s just say that walking into that smell and cesspool of hell, got my dander up.  We have not had clean towels in quite a while.

Essential Oils to the Rescue

I made some cleaner spray, with my essential oils, and I got started on cleaning the outside, the inside and the drum of my washer.  Once it was done, I got the first load in and separated out the rest.  G collected all the dirty laundry.  On my agenda is washing all the bedding and curtains, as well….but first, we need towels.  The dryer is my nemesis, so I moved there.  Alas, every nook and cranny was finally tackled. I took the vent out and got my hand down there and pulled out a ton of lint that had fallen down there.  I also pulled the dryer out, swept behind everything and worked on the tubing because it has not been drying very well.

And So It Goes

We washed off the shelves, all the inside of the baskets, cleaned off and organized the shelving, put things where they belonged, spilled an entire bottle of ammonia…that was fun.  I even cleaned out from behind the freezer where clothes get thrown, yet never get picked up.  Super fun.  Once I had all that done, Daniel came in and swept and mopped the floor.  Laundry is still going.

I cleaned out my bill holder, got a pile ready to be put upstairs, cleaned out my desk and my junk drawer, cleaned off my mantle, the boys and G deep cleaned their room.  Big Daddy is going to either rent me a carpet cleaner or he is going to buy me one.  It is necessary.  You cannot live in a house with 9 people, 11 sometimes, with 3 dogs and 3 cats and not need a carpet cleaner.

Creating my EO Recipes

I also got all my essential oils out.  In doing that, I combined like bottles.  Next, I made a ton of cleaners, carpet deodorizer, car deodorizer, anti-aging face cream, hair thickener, hair growth serum, protective spray blend, tension spray blend….so much.  Making EO Recipes for every day is what I love to do!

Plans Moving Forward

Tomorrow is Friday, the 6th, and I plan on tackling the innards of my kitchen and dining room.  I also want to address the living room, the game closet, the school closet, and the toy closet.

While I’m doing that, the kids will do their regular chores, just to stay on top of the little things….like the massive mounds of dirt that are everywhere or the deflated balloons that are lining my hall.

Oh, wait, what about the cat food that is strung from here to high heaven or the disappearing toilet paper problem we have.  When they are done with that, I will give them their marching orders.

For now, we are working in the house.  When the house is done, to my liking, then I will move to organize our attic, and Big Daddy will take the people who live here and organize/clean my garage and do yard work.

We need some roof work done, some gutters and landscaping, swings hung, and such.

Spring is here.  Hallelujah for sunshine!  Beware.  Brandi’s Getting Her Groove Back.

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Essential Oil Cleaning Hacks

 

Essential Oil Cleaning Hacks

 

Bathroom Cleaner (32 oz. bottle)

1 T. baking soda (link below)

2 T. Castile soap (link below)

30 drops Tea Tree oil

20 drops Orange oil

10 drops On guard

Warm water to fill to the top.

Spray all parts of your bathroom.  Let sit for about 10 minutes.  Spray again before wiping down.

All Purpose Cleaner (32 oz. bottle)

1 c. white vinegar

4 c. water

20-30 drops essential oil (I add Onguard to this, as well as, something else….usually orange)

“Febreze” (12 oz. bottle)

1 T. Baking Soda

2 c. warm water

15 drops essential oil

Glass Cleaner (32 oz. bottle)

2 c. water

2 T. vinegar

10 drops essential oil

 

Furniture Cleaner (safe for wood) (12 oz. bottle)

2/3 c. white vinegar (link below)

1/3 c. olive oil

10 drops essential oil (I used Jasmine)

Shake before use.

Floor Cleaner (used on laminate flooring) (24 oz. attachment to steam mop)

Equal parts white vinegar and water

A squirt of Dawn Blue Dishsoap

15 drops of favorite essential oil

Foaming Handsoap (8 oz. bottle)

Empty foaming hand soap dispenser.

Water

2 T. Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap

1 T. carrier oil

15 drops of Onguard essential oil

Poo-Pourri (4 oz. bottle)

2 T. rubbing alcohol

20 drops any essential oils

Top with water

Spray 5x on the surface of toilet bowl water before going to the bathroom…..do your business like a boss…..your place will not have the odiferous odor of defecation 🙂

**One thing to remember is to use Glass Spray bottles or Metal spray bottles if you are using any citrus based essential oil.  That oil will eat through plastic bottles.**

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