hey party people! let’s get crazy today and talk homemade cleaning solutions, shall we?
turns out, a lot of you are very into the idea of natural cleaners. whether it’s because you want to decrease the chemicals in your home, because you prefer to buy cruelty-free products, or even that you just want to save money, there are so many good reasons to start making your own cleaners at home.
my mom has been making homemade cleaning solutions for a really long time, so you’d think that i would do that too. well, let me tell you, it’s taken me until pretty recently to get on board. i used to like the idea of making homemade cleaners, but it just felt like it would take so much time and energy to do, so i decided it wasn’t for me. and then i made my first homemade glass cleaner, and was DUMBFOUNDED that it had taken me so long.
homemade cleaning solutions have so few ingredients, and you probably already have them all in your house already. and i’m not exaggerating when i say that making them takes less time than a run to target.
this glass cleaner is so great because it actually gets the scum off of your windows. the first time i used it on my windows, i could actually see it taking off the residue left behind by the windex that i’ve always used. my windows and mirrors are so clean and i love it! it brings me so much irrational joy!
homemade glass cleaner recipe
1 1/2 C. water (distilled or filtered is best)
1/4 C. white vinegar
2 Tbsp. rubbing alcohol
10-15 drops citrus essential oils (i used 12 lemon, 3 tangerine)
add all ingredients to a glass or heavy duty plastic spray bottle. shake to combine before using. spray on windows and wipe with a microfiber cloth, paper towel or newspaper. slap a cute label on it if you’re feeling fancy and store in a dark, cool place.
i have recipes for wood floor cleaner, toilet cleaner, and all-purpose cleaner that i’ll be posting over the next few weeks months (i’m nothing if not self-aware). if any of you try making any of these recipes, please let me know in the comments or send me a quick instagram message, i’ll be so interested to hear what you think! also, i know not everyone is familiar with essential oils, so if anyone is curious about anything to do with essential oils and how i have been using them for cleaning and around the house, or if you’re curious about the type of oils i use, please reach out, i love talking about it!
he’s walking. my eight month old is walking. that’s it. that’s the update. don’t have anything else to talk about, and don’t have the time to talk about it because i’m too busy running around after my WALKING EIGHT MONTH OLD because apparently our house is not at all babyproofed. the end.
here is what mister William was like between seven and eight months:
William still loves food. he will eat literally anything you set in front of him, and has started to refuse his purees. so our challenge is now to find solid foods that he can gum. the silver lining of him loving everything is that his typical meal can be steamed peas and carrots, ground turkey, squished beans, applesauce or pears, and every so often we can trick him into eating some rice or oat cereal. we can’t wait for him to start eating eggs and dairy so that he can participate more fully in our meals. boy will that make life about a million times easier!
you know what is really easy already? William, just as a human baby. this boy is seriously just an easygoing guy. he can stay up past his naptime or bedtime if we need him to, and while he has the occasional fussy moment when he’s cutting a tooth or is super tired or hungry, he is almost never out of sorts. people make comments all the time how freely he gives smiles to strangers, and how genuinely happy he is. and we are very thankful that this is how he is, because we needed him as our second child to be this way.
little buddy also loves very deeply. he is obsessed with his dad and sister (i think he loves me too, but he gets bored with me easily). he is in deep love with my parents dog bella, and really dogs in general. anytime he sees a dog walking toward him, he flaps his arms and starts yelling. it’s pretty great to watch. his big thing lately is looking at you and tilting his head all coyly, and making you fall in love with him as well.
so yea, i already touched on the walking thing up there. and while TECHNICALLY, he didn’t officially walk until the day after he turned eight months old, i’m counting it. so i’m too tired to really talk any more about this, because i spend a lot of time running around after two “toddlers” now. sidenote: can an eight month old be a toddler? is a toddler defined by walking, or just by being older than a year? enlighten me.
[this is what he does anytime he gets in his car seat. but dude, i don’t even drive that fast!]
little william: your personality is bursting at the seams these days, and it’s so fun to see you grow into your own little person. time is moving way too fast for me, you are losing more of your baby-ness each day and growing up before my eyes. it’s exciting to watch, but also moving faster than i can handle! i know that with your sweetness, you’ll always stay my baby boy (even though dad is your favorite). thanks for still snuggling with me when you know i need a fix.
i have been missing this space more and more the longer i’ve been away from it. it’s not that i need this space for any tangible reason – i don’t make money from it, aside from the occasional product freebie – but i feel like it’s one of the only ways that i can channel and share my creative energy in a way that fits my life right now. not to mention all of you wonderful people i know because of this blog. i can’t tell you the amount of times i’m talking to someone in real life, and i reference something that my friend did, only to have to explain that i haven’t actually met said friend in person, i just know them from blogging. and yet some of my internet friends know me better than most people. we text and we comment and we share our day to day lives, and i know if i needed anything, i’d be able to ask any one of them for help.
i’ve been feeling a little sappy about friendship and stuff lately, so in honor of friends both here and on the internet, i’m doing a long absent virtual coffee date.
if we were having coffee (or tea, you do you) i’d be drinking an americano with sugar free vanilla and a splash of cream. It’s like the caffeine kick of a latte but not as heavy. and also way cheaper. i may be drinking one right now…
i’d start out by asking about your fun summer stuff. any trips planned? do you have way too many weddings? are you able to just chill out? we have a couple cabin trips on the books, and i just got back from a girls weekend in colorado, which was nothing short of miraculous. we have a couple weddings, a record low for us. my brother-in-law is marrying the sweetest girl, i’ve known her since she was in middle school so we have lots of fun events planned for that. both kids are in the wedding (oh my gosh it’s going to be cute), Mister Man is co-best man and i am singing at the ceremony – eep! I can’t wait!
i’m obviously going to talk to you about my tiny little venture of love i started this spring, everything with love co. if you haven’t heard, i started an etsy shop making essential oil diffuser bracelets, keychains and baby accessories. i haven’t had a minute to update the shop or my instagram, but i’ve been selling them to friends, family and people in the community, and just loving it. if you don’t know what a diffuser bracelet is, it’s basically a bracelet that you apply a few drops of essential oil to so you can smell it and benefit from the scent throughout your day. i make leather and faux suede bracelets, and i’ve also branched out into keychains, stroller&crib charms, and pacifier clips. i wear my bracelet every day, and it’s been such a great thing to have in my “more stressful than normal” work environment. it would mean the world to me if you visited the shop or sent me a note if you’d be interested in learning more!
speaking of essential oils, i’ve been on a natural cleaning kick like whoa lately. i’ve been switching out as many cleaning products as i can with homemade versions. my glass cleaner works like a charm, as does my wood floor cleaner. i use the young living thieves cleaner for all purpose cleaning, and although i can’t get Mister Man to give up his scrubbing bubbles for cleaning the shower, i won’t be buying any commercial cleaners anytime soon. i do have a question for all of you. so i have recipes for all these natural cleaners that i use…would you want to see posts on those recipes? i know that not everyone is into the so-called “crunchy” life, but i don’t think you have to be crunchy to want safer, more natural cleaning products, so if there’s interest i’d love to share! i know lots of you love my soup recipes, so maybe you’d love my cleaning recipes too? let me know!
do you ever just sit back and wonder how life can possibly pass by so quickly, and also drag by like it’s not even moving? i’ve started to realize this more and more as our lives fill up with the activities and minutiae that come with being the mom of two growing children. Amelia is starting preschool in the fall, and i must be in denial, because 1) i have no idea when the first day of school is (literally, i have no idea), and 2) i haven’t given any thought to how our schedule will change once that starts, or what she’ll wear (she’s almost grown out of 90% of her clothes), or even entirely how to prep her for this change. basically what i’m saying is that i thought i had a million years before i had to spend time thinking about this stuff, but it turns out i have about a month to do it all. it’s a pretty good analogy for how i live my life. and it maybe explains why i never send out birthday cards…my intentions are good, my execution is so, so bad. also: HOW DO I HAVE A CHILD WHO WILL BE THREE AND GOING TO PRESCHOOL THIS CANNOT BE MY REAL LIFE.
[one day old. this is how old my baby is, and how old she shall always be in my mind.]
thanks for having coffee with me on this muggy, gloomy (at least where i am) friday. i hope you have the best friday ever, and enough coffee to keep you buzzing from the caffeine, but not so much to give you the shakes. i love you and i smooch you.
dear everyone: this is one of the easiest recipes in the whole world. and it is so healthy, and so good. so what i’m saying is, you should definitely make it. love, me. p.s. you can totally wait until fall to make it if you cannot imagine eating soup in the summer.
i don’t know if you’ve noticed*, but this here blog has been painfully void of recipe posts lately. summer is just not a very inspirational time in the cooking or baking arena for me. slash i forget to take pictures of the recipes i do make. woops!
this is one of those recipes that i almost didn’t share, because i was like, do people even want to see recipes that are this easy? and then i realized, those are the only types of recipes that i ever want to see, so maybe other people are lazy like me and will be into this sort of thing! like seriously, if i click over to a recipe, and there are more than 8 steps, you can guarantee that i am not making it. it might look amazing and delicious and magical, but it’s just not happening. where you at fellow lazys?
anywho, i hope you enjoy. love and smoochies to you all.
*i’m sure you have not noticed and your life has carried on as normal.
cream of broccoli soup (makes enough for about 6 servings)
1/2 small onion, diced
1/2 small carrot, finely diced
1 package frozen broccoli chunks
1/2 C. butter
1/4 C. flour
1 qt. chicken stock
1/2 pint whipping cream
salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste (i have added chili powder, cumin, and other spices as well)
sauté onion, carrot and frozen broccoli in 1/2 C. butter. add flour, stir well and cook 3 to 4 minutes. add chicken stock, cream and seasonings. heat thoroughly. if desired, blend with an immersion blender (or in a regular blender) for a creamy, smooth soup. serve with townhouse crackers or crusty bread and cheese!
use vegetable broth or stock instead of chicken stock
my sneak peek fun for the grand re-opening of the Minnesota Children’s Museum was brought to you in exchange for a complimentary museum membership. all opinions are my own.
if any of you who read here follow me on instagram (you really should if you aren’t already, i’m much more prolific there when i have small babies than i am here), you will have seen some posts about the excitement that is the re-opening of the minnesota children’s museum. i’ve been lucky enough to get some sneak peek action of the shiny and new museum that is now open after months of being closed for major renovations. i mean, my kids have been lucky too, but i have been especially jacked about all the fun stuff they’ve done.
living in st. paul, we’ve been lucky to have the children’s museum just a 10-minute drive away, which makes it perfect for a spontaneous rainy day activity. we’ve been members thanks to my mother-in-law for over a year now, and i can’t say enough good things about this place. so when i heard they were going to completely revamp and update, i was very excited. and when i was contacted to become a play advocate for the museum as they went through the process, i was over the moon.
one of the fun things we got to do was act as testers for a couple exhibits before the museum was open to sneak peek crowds and the general public. i grabbed a girlfriend and her three girls (she’s a supermom) and the seven of us headed over to the museum on a thursday morning to play!
we were so excited that we’d be getting to check out the sprouts exhibit, which is the area for kids three and under (although big siblings are welcome too), since all of our kids are within that age range. the improvements were amazing. they have water tables, a big jungle gym with activity centers, a baby area with cushy mats for crawling, and the best part: a rest area with a microwave, high chairs, and little tables for when kiddos need to stop for a snack or a feeding.
everything was challenging enough for the older girls, but there were things for the littlest ones to do as well. Amelia especially loved the water tables and the little touch/feel/organize activities in the jungle gym. we would have been able to spend the entire time in sprouts if us moms hadn’t wanted to see a few other areas.
one area we didn’t get to see (and couldn’t make it to any of the sneak peek sessions to see yet) is the backyard, the green space at the museum. they have activity areas that are made to look like abstract animal habitats, with lots of green areas, and even a workspace where kids can dig around and get their hands dirty outside. now, we live in minnesota, so we only get to enjoy this exhibit for part of the year, but i’m so excited that the outdoor area is so interactive. there are some days that just feel like museum days, even when it’s nice out, so to have the ability to get some fresh air and still do some play-learning is amazing.
part of the reason that these updates are so exciting for me is that the museum really took to heart the idea that play is the work of childhood. they have looked at the research and thought of ways to make their play less prescribed and more open-ended. kids these days get eight less hours of play per week than they did 5-7 years ago, so we need all the opportunity to let them play and be kids that we can. and if they can learn and grow while they’re doing it? even better.
if you’re interested in learning more, you can visit the museum’s website to read about “powerful play” and get a play activation kit that includes temporary tattoos, window clings, play tips and more. local friends, use the hashtag #playmoreMN to share your fun play with the rest of the community!