Friday, December 28, 2012

Pintesting - Chemical-Free - Flea Spray

I have no idea what these fleas are on. There may be less of them but any of them is really unacceptable. My husband decided it was time to try a flea bath on the dog again and I decided to try out a chemical-free flea spray.

Todays pintest comes via this pin and the information found here.

The more common oils for repelling insects, including fleas, are:
-       Lavender
-       Citronella
-       Peppermint
-       Eucalyptus
-       Cedar
-       Lemongrass

I currently had peppermint and Eucalyptus.

Flea, tick and mosquito spray for dogs:
In a 32 ounce spray bottle filled with distilled water, add 10 drops of one of the oils listed above.  Shake the bottle well and mist your dog every day.  You can also spray this mixture on their bedding, around doorways and along baseboards to repel fleas.
This makes a good bug spray for people, too.

It was true, a lot of recipes for chemical-free bug sprays contained similar ingredients to some of those for flea sprays. So I took a cue from one of the sites that said using a mixture of oils usually provides better protection from bugs and used Peppermint, Eucalyptus, and Tee tree oil.

My spray bottle was around 18 ounces and I didn't have distilled water. I used purified water. I put 5 - 6 drops of each oil in the bottle and shook it.

Once again we play the waiting game.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Two Pintests In One! Chemical-Free Cleaning

The other day I saw a lemon bar recipe I really wanted to try. After spending an entire day feeling awful I decided I would make some lemon bars for my husband and myself. My lemons were about ready to be thrown away but the zest still looked viable - or viable enough.
After standing in the kitchen for an indeterminate amount of time zesting lemons my husband told me he didn't like lemon bars. He'd eat a few - but isn't a lemon bar fan. Completely uninterested in wasting lemons, possibly overloading the worms I'm planning to use in composting with citrus, or being left to eat all of the lemon bars myself - I remembered a couple of pins I felt would be useful.

The first pin provides some info on how to whiten your whites that have become dingy.

The second felt like a good plan about what to do about my lemon rinds.

I cut off all of my lemon rinds and placed them in a Mason jar for later.

Meanwhile I cut up my lemons. Placed them in a large pot.

Filled it with water and dropped in about half of the lemons I now had.

Once the water began to boil I put some of my husbands dingy shirts into the water. It appeared I'd been too cautious about water displacement and ended up needing to add more very hot water to the mix.

I let the water come back up to a boil. Turned off the heat. Put a lid on my pot and let it sit for an hour.
After that first "load" I decided to do another containing minky inserts for my little lamb's cloth diapers.

I didn't have any clean Mason lids so I had to clean some. Once they were ready to go I filled the Mason jar containing the lemon rinds with vinegar.
If you  noticed in my first photo I have the lemons on one of my UnPaper towels. I chose to cut them on that because I didn't feel like doing any dishes or getting out my cutting board. Cutting the lemons this way left me with a nice lemon cloth that I used to scrub my kitchen sink!
When I finally finished boiling whites I strained the lemons to be composted later.

The instructions for your new vinegar cleaner is to let your jar sit for 10 days. So . . . . I guess I'll be concluding this in around 10 days?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Pintesting In The Kitchen - Crock Pot Chicken With Noodles

Ohio has a wonderful program called, Help Me Grow, and each Christmas they have a Christmas party. The first year I was able to go with my husband, the second we didn't have all the information to know when it was, and that brings us to this year. It was looking a lot like my husband was probably not going to be able to make it because of the time he leaves work. So i invited his grandmother to go with us and figured we'd just hope that my husband would be able to join us later on.

But just in case I thought it wise to pop some dinner in the crock pot for him should he find himself coming home instead of joining us at the party. I had a very late start in the day and found myself incredibly busy so I didn't get the food into the crock pot until around 2 PM.

Today's pintest comes via this pin and the information here.

This recipe is supposed to be cooked on low for eight hours but as I mentioned, I was trying to insure my husband came home to food so I chose to cook it on high for four hours.

Thankfully this is pretty quick and easy to throw together.

 Into the crock pot.

Two cans of cream of chicken soup.
Into the crock pot.

Chicken stock.

I like to use the chicken stock to help clean out the cream of chicken soup still left in the cans.
Into the crock pot.

A half of a cup of butter.

Sliced and thrown in.

Then I walked away until it was nearly time to leave for the party. Removed the chicken a bit early and did my best to shred it.

Left the noodles next to the crock pot.

Then left a note for my husband saying for him to stir the crock pot's contents, add the noodles, and make sure the crock pot is set for either high at 30 minutes or low for 1 hour.

This is the part where if you're the religious or spiritual type that you pray your husband can do this. Mine actually made it to the party so it never came up.

When I got home I put the noodles in and left it to cook on low for an additional hour. The result was delicious! Best of all the little picky eater ate some as well!
I will be adding this our rotation of regular meals and even plan to take some of the leftovers to my husbands grandmothers house for lunch to share.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Pintresting BLT's

This pin has been making its rounds and I haven't forgotten the idea.Once again I bought some lovely sandwich making bread

and thought - I want a BLT.

I carefully wove the bacon

A package of bacon spread out a bit better on two cookie sheets.

I placed it in the oven at 300 degrees until it looked done, flipping the bacon once during cooking.

My husband hates vegetables  . . . and most condiments . . . and most cheese. So his sandwich was just bacon. I cut the woven bacon in half so it would fit the bread even better.

I on the other hand . . .
simply cannot get enough vegetables.
The center pieces of sourdough bread were long enough

that to avoid making a massive mess I cut the sandwich into three pieces.

It was every bit as delicious as it looks.
 Well the point of this post was to see how helpful trying this method really is, not just to show you my delicious dinner. Making the bacon this way really did end up making things easier and the sandwiches quicker to assemble, I also think it contributed to the low amount of mess my sandwich left me with versus the amount I'm usually left with.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Pintesting - Chemical Free Cleaning Let's Kill Some Mold!!

Mold is a problem I have run into more often than I would care to over the last few years. We ran into it the last place we lived and we've run into it a few times in the current place we are.

The places that we have these issues are in our bathroom over the shower area,

 and in the laundry room in a few spots.

Typically if you call your landlord or leasing office and complain about mold they send someone out to spray or wipe the area with bleach. In the past we have done this as well because using bleach really does work, but we now no longer keep bleach in our home.

Today's pintest comes from the information you can read right on this pin.

I purchased my spray bottle at my nearest Jo-Ann Fabrics (and I of course made sure to use a coupon.)

The tea tree oil I purchased  via Amazon.

For each cup of water you use, add one teaspoon of tea tree oil. This bottle held nearly 3 cups of water so I used 3 teaspoons of tea tree oil.

Instead of trying my very hardest to neatly pour the water into my spray bottle I used one of the funnels that come with a flask.

I noticed an immediate difference when I sprayed the wall but didn't get the full effect until I wiped the surface as well.

I wasn't going to be able to get back behind our makeshift pantry so it looked as if this would have to be a job for my husband.

I didn't notice a lot of change in the bathroom but I felt maybe that area would need to be wiped as well so once again I was going to have to wait for my tall husband to come home to give it a try.Wiping did indeed help.

This is definitely a pin worth trying. Especially for those who are either to live chemical free lives or even pregnant women who shouldn't be cleaning with harsh chemicals.