Sunday, February 27, 2011

Frugal and Eco Friedly Cleaning in My home.

This is a bit of a boring post, but I wanted to share it for those who are looking for a way to reduce the use of detergents and chemicals to clean their homes.
That's Tara, my niece Alex and my son David, kids I adore!

When I decided to stay home and work at home, I knew already that I would have to make my home "any" child friendly. I decided first, on no pets, then on cleaning the home without chemicals and making it eco friendly too.
Cleaning without chemicals is a choice great choice, after all the information available about how we absorb, ingest and breathe cancer/skin condition/asthma causing ingredients in most household cleaners, I am not sure why people still insist on using them in a home with small children. It was enough to make me completely change the way I did things in my home.

Some more of the kids, we spend a lot of time playing on the floor!

I was introduced to Norwex by a friend, they sell eco friendly products that are incredible for cleaning the house from top to bottom, great for when you have young children.  I bought a small amount of things from her, as the products are very costly. What I realized though was that I loved the micro-fibre cloths and was very impressed with a lot of the products, but could not afford them all. I decided on the baby cloths for washing my son up, on the kitchen cloths, and scrubbers, and cleaning paste.
Micro-fibre cloths and mop heads started popping up everywhere (even the dollar store), so I bought a mop with 3 pads from Canadian Tire, lots of cloths (special ones for glass too) and a few other minor items, like dish cloths and microfibre tea towels from the dollar store. Micro-fibre pics up the dust, leaves glass spotless and really makes clean without much more than hot water, vinegar and baking soda for the tough spots. "Microfiber textiles designed for cleaning clean on a microscopic scale. According to tests using microfiber materials to clean a surface leads to reducing the number of bacteria by 99%, whereas a conventional cleaning material reduces this number only by 33%"
I love how you can clean the carpet spots with microfibre towels, they seem to pic up dirt and not re-release it like regular towels. I use regular rags for really dirty jobs, start with those and finish with microfibre.
Table salt is another favourite, I use it to scrub pots, scrub around the sink and even in the tub (mix it with a little liquid dish soap and it brilliantly removes any grime build up, I haven't had a ring in a few years!!) for an extra scrubby yet eco-friendly cleaning boost.
For my floors, I mix a little dish soap in with super hot water, it cuts through the grease in the kitchen and leaves the floor sparkling. Then I boil lemon rinds (yes I save them for a day or two, or you can just use vinegar) and use the liquid for rinsing the floor. Then I give it a quick once over with a dry pad to pick up anything left behind. Hence the three mop pads. The mop pad is great for picking up dust off the walls, static makes it cling and you can see it in the stair case, yuck!
About the only place I still use store bought cleaner (eco-friendly) is the toilet, but if you run the toilet brush in it every day or two just after you use it, it keeps it from having any yucky build-up. Then you can disinfect it with the toilet liquid and voila!
My house isn't always spic and span, but it is very child friendly, they can play on the floor because there is no chemicals on it, they even help with cleaning their little finger prints off the wall, because microfibre is child friendly unlike a certain Mr's magic eraser!
When you are done with a cloth, you can just throw them in the wash like regular laundry (without using fabric softener, another environmental killer) and hang to dry. I wash them along with my sheets and pillow cases, they come out like new!

Here's a list of the common household items to use, they do double duty at half the price of chemical cleaners, and are fine for the environment.
  • Assorted Micro-fibre cloths
  • White vinegar
  • Liquid dish soap or soft soap
  • Bicarbonate of Soda (Baking Soda or Soda Crystals)
  • Salt
  • Assorted Rags – Anything of cloth origin (old towels, sheets, t-shirts) past its best cut up and stored for those really dirty jobs
  • Stainless Steel Scourer/Pot Scrubber
  • Citrus – any old lemons/limes even halves which have been juiced
Although microfibre is not made from renewable resource and is not bio-degradable, they last a very, very long time (contray to Norwex's rule to replace every six months, which is just a marketing ploy) and can be washed thousands of times without much wear compared to cotton fibre cloths. What I love the most is that you don't need detergents or cleaning solutions, just a little elbow grease to get the job done!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Spring Blossom for a Winter Day

It is -24 today with a windchill that makes it in order to get through this with no mental damages, I have decided to keep busy with my sewing and creating for my spring clothes, if spring ever comes that is!!
I must tell you, that I have been checking out tons of sewing blogs, trolling for new ideas. And of course, it helped that this weekend I got a great deal on a few t-shirts (bargain prices!!) that I can play with without feeling guilty. I also got a new shipment from Stampin' Up, which included a new blossom die which is (no pun intended) to DIE FOR!!

So here is a sneak at my new die,  yummers, no??

Sneak a peek!!

The new die has these beautiful flowers, oh my they definitely look wonderful and are a good size, none of these puny baby size blossoms here! Well, maybe a couple....

So the shirts I used for this particular project were 40% off the lowest price.

Notice I got 2 shirts in 3XL (I am a XL, but wanted the extra fabric for what you'll see.
I took the pink one, cut off the sleeves and removed about 5 inches off the bottom. I also took it in quite a bit under the arms, and left it fuller at the hips. I have a wider bottom so I don't like my tops to fit tight along there, usually they are too big for me at the shoulders, so I normally take them it at the arm pits anyhow.
I then took the sleeves and cut as many flowers as I could out of them, both in the small and large.
I layered them (3 large petaled and one small for the big ones) and hand sewed them together, then pinned them onto the top using my wonderful dummy body.
 Lucky for me, I have this really great plus size body form (size 14, just my size!!) So I can try things on it and make sure they will fit me properly. Though I am a little shorter, this form works well because it allows me to pin and tuck where I need it most. I got it from a store for plus sized ladies (it was not easy finding one though, took a couple weeks), and covered it with vintage dictionary pages to hide the logo!

This is how they looked once I sewed them onto the blouse.

I think it was so easy to just use my die cutter, the whole thing took me about 1 hour to make!
So there you have it, my own blossom blouse....very much like the one seen here for a lot more...
I quite like mine, for $3 plus time, worth it for sure!

Cheers and enjoy crafting,

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Family Day Adventures

It's been months since we had a chance to go tobogganing, but yesterday was the perfect day...though it did takes us a while to find a hill that actually had some snow rather than just dirt and grass. It really hasn't been cold enough to melt, just think it's evaporated because it's been cold and dry!

Snow on my knees, proof I did go down on the crazy carpet!!

It really was fun and the afternoon ended with us going to Tim Horton's for a mug and dinner at Boston Pizza, it was a perfect day!

Cheers and happy Tuesday,

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

I LOVE my dies and die cutter, I may have said it before!

Just showing off my flower power using 2 dies with my Big Kick. It's just like a Big Shot or a Cuttle Bug, so you can use many dies in it and it's super easy to use.

So this was a sweater dress, rather unflattering on my figure now, but I didn't want to throw it in the give-away-bin, so I had to re purpose it. I cute about 10 inches off it (it was quite long so it was looking like a wool mumu) and used my dies to make some blossoms out of the part I cut turned out well for what became a vest. I left it slightly longer because I like things to sit on my hips rather than father up my waist, it looks better on my body.
The die you can't see is the Tattered Florals, look for it here.

I layered the Tim Holtz tattered floral flowers onto my Big Flower die from Stampin' Up and use d a silvery button for the middle. I had to of these buttons, one bigger than the other, I used them to give the blossoms some dimension.

I sewed the buttons on and hot glued the bar pins so I can also use the flowers on something else like a headband or on a jacket.

Next time I will use my tripod to take a better picture!
Cheers and thanks for looking!

PhotobucketSurvey JunkieAnything RelatedChic on a Shoestring Decorating

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Valentines not just for lovers!

Even the goat needs some lovin'!!
I used to think I was special, born on Valentine's day and all, it made me feel unique....actually, it just mean I was conceived sometime in the late spring and was born a full term baby. If you're conceived on Valentines day, now that is special, but you are born in mid November then....but the date just doesn't seem special. It's really not all that romantic, and to try to celebrate means trying to get your friends together while they are trying to get together with their partner/lover etc.
Since I was in college many many moons ago, I have yet to spend Valentine's with a boyfriend, husband or a better seems I'm forever single...and now I have a "love" that is 4 foot nothing, in grade 1 and I've already had to explain to him why he can't marry his Mommy!
What surprises me most about Valentine's Day, is how giddy and excited I get for it, not for my Birthday, but for the celebration of love!! Weather or not I'm single for it has long ago stopped being a factor, it is about loving everybody, sharing the feeling and continuing in the celebration of love all year round.
This year is no different, I've made gifts and cards and special treats and I'm looking forward to another wonderful year full of love and hugs and whatever else it brings!

"Freedom only exists when love is present.That is the true experience of freedom: having the most important thing in the world without owning it." Paolo Coelho.
Happy Sunday and Happy Valentine's Day tomorrow too!!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

My $2 lamp Redo

I love it when a project works out better than expected!I chose Burgundy and as it turned out, it completely changed the feel of the room and added a depth to the room for, it looks cozier and there is more light even if it's subdued, it is perfect!!
It's perfect for my free table (got it from a back alley, it was being thrown out I guess), which will get refinished at a later date.

This little wall shelf got the treatment too.

I love Krylon paints, they not only dry in 10 minutes, they are inexpensive and you can paint almost anything!
I covered the lampshade with the cheap burlap, I wanted it to have lots of contrast with the shiny paint job.

This hangs on the wall on the other side of the entrance of the living room, it looks great with my Russian Matryoshka Dolls.

I got the lamp for $2, the shelf for $1, the paint for $4, I already had the burlap, the hot glue gun and the spray glue. All together, the project cost $7 and about 1 hour of work. Loves it!!!!
Check out all the other projects and thrifty finds at, SpeakingChic on a Shoestring Decorating
Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving some comments.


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