Archive for the ‘Homemaking’ Category

Cleaning that’s Doable!

Cleaning glovesI love a clean house.  Actually I love to clean house.  Seriously, I really love cleaning and organizing – strange I know!  I’ve even done both professionally.  I function better when my home is clean and organized too.  I used to be able to clean and organize all in one morning but for some time I have been noticing that as life has gotten more demanding that the house cleaning has been piling up.  I decided to come up with a cleaning/maintenance plan to ensure that what needs to get done gets done.  I actually scheduled them into my phone as repeat with day of reminders so I wont forget – gotta love scheduling.

Creating a plan has many benefits:

  • – You will be more productive.  You’ll be focused, have better direction and get more done in less time.

– Helps to alleviate the build up of chores or household items

–  Creates balance.  You spend less time focusing on unnecessary things and more time focusing on what is important.

The plan I devised is for the week so that I am able to rest and spend time with friends and family on the weekends.

Monday:    Vacuum/Sweep/Mop Floors

Tuesday: Clean bathrooms

Wednesday: Dust

Thursday: Do laundry

Friday: Tidy up and organize

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Batch Cooking

loaves of breadBatch cooking!  This is something I have wanted to do for quite a while but never had the confidence or freezer space to do it.  We’ll I now have a second freezer and my confidence in my baking and cooking skills is growing tremendously.  So I figure now is a good time to start.  Batch cooking is supposed to be a great way to save time and money.  The gist of it is that you make extra food and then freeze it.  You can either set aside a specific time or day and spend that time making meals you are going to freeze or you can make extra while you are making dinner and then freeze the extra.

I think it will work better for me if I set aside time to bake or cook rather than making extra during regular dinner cooking.  I need somethings baked for tomorrow for a playdate I am hosting, so I thought it would be a great time to make extra  So today I am going to give it my first go and Batch Bake!

What I’ll be baking…

Applesauce Bread Loaf & Muffins

Cinnamon Raisin Bread x2

Banana Nut Bread and Muffins

Corndog Muffins x2


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greencleaning-main_FullHome sweet Home!  We had a great weekend.  On Saturday, we took a spontaneous trip to the beach (Judah’s first) and we spent the day there and headed back late that night.  I was so ready to get home and get to bed seeing how we had church early Sunday.  But when we got home we walked through the door and were greeted with intense heat.  Our A/C broke! Judah was exhausted and we decided that I should head over to the our parents house to get Judah to bed.  Hubby quickly called a friend who rushed over to discover that it was a broken fuse – they got that fixed well past midnight.  So this afternoon after the house had cooled down I came home to get my cleaning for the week done.  Last week I posted some non-toxic cleaning mixtures that I use and there is an interesting article in the book I refer to on the History of Housekeeping.  I just love being home and I want to do all I can to create a home that is clean, organized and a haven!

Sited from Green Clean by Mason Hunter and Halpin

In the beginning, life wasn’t easy but it was simple.  Humans lived in caves and hunted and gathered their food; trash went into a heap.  Then the mighty agricultural revolution swept the planet.  Shelter changed and families began to live in huts.  Housekeeping progressed – floors were swept, cobwebs whisked from the corners and hygiene became more important.  In the mid 1600’s, the Western world entered the Industrial Age and houses became larger and housekeeping more complex.  By the mid-seventeenth century, spring cleaning was a widely observed ritual – a week long marathon in which housekeepers whitewashed walls, aired mattresses, beat the dust out of rugs and oiled hardwood.  The Industrial Revolution caused epic shifts in the way people lived.  By the beginning of the last century…at home, indoor plumbing replaced outdoor privies; central heating replaced the wood or coal stove; electricity lengthened the productive hours of the day; and the hand-cranked washing machine, the icebox and the gas oven simplified everyday chores.

Still, housekeeping solutions remained pretty simple.  Through the 1930s, homemakers continued to make their own cleaners and stain removers from everyday ingredients – baking soda, distilled white vinegar, salt, lemon juice.  WWII changed much of that!  Chemicals initially developed for warfare sound their way into America’s cleaners, building materials, cosmetics, pesticides, and hundreds of other products.  Advertisements promised to get clothes “whiter than white,”  make countertops “cleaner than clean,” and bring “sparkle” to the toilet bowl.  It was “better living” through chemistry.

Though most people weren’t aware of it at the time, America’s houses were filling up with fumes from paints, stains, cleaners and other human-made materials.  By the 1970s, the term “sick buildings” became part of the lexicon, describing places where people reported an unusually high instance of symptoms like lethargy, fatigue, headaches and nausea – all due to indoor air pollution.

Today, we are far more likely to breathe unhealthy substances inside our homes than outside.  A 5 year study revealed that pollution inside the typical American home was two to fives times worse than the air outdoors.  We’ve insulated, caulked and weather-stripped to the point where our houses no longer breathe.  Unsafe chemicals hang around for days, creating a synthetic brew for us to inhale.

“Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful.”

I’m a strange girl – I LOVE to clean.  Really!  I do it for fun!  I have always been like this and b/c of my love of cleaning I grew up around cleaning products.  Lots of them!  I remember cleaning the bathroom or the floors with strong smelling “products” and would literally have to cover my mouth and open a window b/c the smell was horrific and the way it affected my nose and throat was awful!  I didn’t know any better at the time nor did my parents, so I exposed myself to thise stuff for years.  As I grew into my understanding of living green and non-toxic I went all natural.  It’s tough at first because you have to fight the thoughts that things wont really be clean.  But now I love to clean and never have to cover my mouth or gag.  And I don’t have to worry about exposing my family to things that are harmful to them.  And I no longer spend money on needless products!  Now I gladly clean green!!!!!

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A Good Wife

Proverbs 31 HandFor Christmas my hubby gave me an NIV/Message Parallel Bible and I love to read it.  Since I have been studying womanhood and have been reading Proverbs – Proverbs 31 in the Message version has spoken so much to me.  It is an encouragement and a challenge for me to know that God is pleased by my efforts and yet recognize that I’m still a work in progress as He molds me into a great woman, wife and mom.  I’m so glad I’m not trying to figure this out all on my own but have the creator of it all leading me.  

Everything in the word is good but I’ve highlighted some verses that are resonating within me.


Proverbs 31:10-31

 A good woman is hard to find, and worth far more than diamonds.

Her husband trusts her without reserve, and never has reason to regret it.

Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.

She shops around for the best yarns and cottons, and enjoys knitting and sewing.

She’s like a trading ship that sails to faraway places and brings back exotic surprises.

She’s up before dawn, preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day.

She looks over a field and buys it, then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.

First thing in the morning, she dresses for work, rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.

She senses the worth of her work, is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.

She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking.

She’s quick to assist anyone in need, reaches out to help the poor.

She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows; their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.

She makes her own clothing, and dresses in colorful linens and silks.

Her husband is greatly respected when he deliberates with the city fathers.

She designs gowns and sells them, brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.

Her clothes are well-made and elegant, and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.

When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say, and she always says it kindly.

She keeps an eye on everyone in her household, and keeps them all busy and productive.

Her children respect and bless her; her husband joins in with words of praise:

“Many women have done wonderful things, but you’ve outclassed them all!”

Charm can mislead and beauty soon fades.

The woman to be admired and praised is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.

Give her everything she deserves!

Festoon her life with praises!

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greencleaning-main_FullThink of your house as a second skin.  If you nurture your physical body, keeping it tuned and healthy, you’ll want to extend that TLC to your shelter, the four walls and roof surrounding you.  Your home is an extension of yourself.  It deserves to be healthy too.  -Green Clean

About a year and a half ago we decided to make every effort to have a healthy and non-toxic home. Some things I did right from the start were: stopped buying commercial cleaners and started making my own, stopped using air freshners and aerosols, and began recycling.  Deciding to live a non-toxic and environmentally friendly lifestyle is a process. Little by little I try to adopt new ways of living – from our food, cleaners, toiletries and even now to the toys Judah plays with.  It seems like I am always coming up with new ways to live as non-toxic, healthy and frugally as possible.  It’s quite an exciting thing to pursue!  

I wanted to share a few cleaning mixtures I have used and stand by.  I’ll keep adding other things over time.  I’m also going to post some info on the history of housekeeping.

All Purpose Cleaner:  Scented Vinegar Spray

1 Tablespoon castile soap

1/8 Cup distilled vinegar

2 cups water

5-10 drops of essential oil – optional

16 ounce spray bottle

Mix all ingredients in bottle.  Use as needed and wipe with sponge or rag.  Shelf Life: Indefinite

Glass/Surface Cleaner:  Club Soda Spray

2+ cups of club soda

16 ounce bottle

Spray and wipe with sponge, rag or newspaper.  Shelf Life:  Indefinite

Liquid Dishwashing Soap:

Castile Soap (liquid or bar)

Distilled White Vinegar

Mix ingredients in bottle if using liquid soap.  If using bar soap:  grate soap and add to dishwater.  Shelf life:  Indefinite

Mildew Remover:

Baking Soda

Distilled White Vinegar

Mix vinegar with water or sprinkle baking soda on a damp sponge to clean affected area.  Vinegar helps prevent mildew because acid kills mildew fungus.  Shelf Life:  Use and discard

Floor Cleaner:

1/4 cup distilled white vinegar

Warm water


Mix ingredients in bucket and mop lightly wood, laminate or tile floors.  Rinse with water.  Do NOT leave pools of water on the floors.  Shelf Life:  Use and discard

Furniture Polish:

Olive Oil

Lemon Juice

Mix oil with lemon juice.  Apply with a soft cloth and buff until desired.  Shelf Life:  Use and discard.

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