Keeping things simple in a not so simple world

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handy ideas and a bit on essential oils

Several years ago, when my son outgrew his baby blankets, you know, the kind that are flannel for swaddling, I had an “Ah ha!” moment.  I couldn’t bear to get rid of them.  After all, he was my last child and because I hated the idea of wasting blankets.  At around the same time, both of the kids had spring colds and would scream every time I would come at them with tissues.
Ah ha! Why not take the flannel blankets and make them into handkerchiefs? We have used them ever since.


Add to that…handmade napkins with leftover fabric from sewing projects (actually, it is cheaper to get some fabric from the store and make your own napkins rather than buying fabric napkins from the store.)


And…let’s not forget the old cloth baby diapers that someone gave me at the birth of our daughter that I have never used. These diapers are now used as a replacement for paper towels.


We have effectively replaced all of the most wasteful paper products – tissues, napkins and paper towels.

Now, I have been making my own laundry soap for a while now and felt that I wanted a better disinfectant booster. One of the reasons for my concern is above. All of these cloth items are great! But I typically wash all of these items together (rather than mixing them with clothes) and I was concerned that they needed more disinfecting than regular laundry.
After taking a class to get get more information on essential oils, I realized that a bit of tea tree oil is all I needed. So using this recipe as a base, I now use Dr. Bronner’s Tea Tree Soap and add a few drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil directly to the wash, not the soap. I also use hot water when washing these items, rather than the cold water I use during our clothes cycles.

I could go on and on about essential oils and the use of them in your home and on your body. This, however, has been done by many people before me. You can find some of this here.
There are a couple of things that I do want to emphasize:
1. The quality of essential oils is important. Not only is it important that the oils are from organic, sustainable sources but the processing of the oils needs to be done at low heat and low pressure to have the most potent effect. For this, doTerra and Young Living are the best. They are also the most costly. For things like my laundry, I use the Aura Cacia brand.
2. Essential oils work! I recommend taking a class in their use or finding an aromatherapist for guidance. I highly recommend trying them.
3. When I use oils on the body, I most often use them on our feet (think reflexology). For the children, I dilute the oils with another oil -jojoba, vitamin e, olive oil.
4. My most commonly used oils are peppermint, lavender, tea tree, ylang ylang, bergamot, eucalyptus, geranium, lemon, vetiver, and oregano.

A simple internet search will give you more information than you would probably  like.  My best advice is to find an aromatherapist or a good book on aromatherapy to use as a guide.



connecting good ideas

I am a big believer in connecting the world.  Connection makes us closer as beings, it helps us to relate to each other and appreciate differences with understanding.  That sounds a bit lofty, I know, but I do believe this.  I also believe that this does not necessarily mean a grand gesture.  It may be the mundane: how to make our everyday lives simple and fulfilling.  This is why I share things that I find elsewhere on this interconnected world wide web – I am no genius and I do not have all the answers.  Sometimes I come across other things that are helpful, ingenius or inspiring.  I want to share those things too!

So, pardon today’s post.  It is not an original thought of mine, and to be honest, not all of my posts will be.  But I hope that they follow in the vein of this simple little blog.


I recently came across this lovely, cost-saving idea on the web and have to share it with you.  We have now tried this and it works.  We have incredibly hard water.  I’m talking about lime and calcium.  When we first moved here I ruined my brand-new set of glass cups in the dishwasher because the water was too hard.  I still need our drains and tub snaked every few months because of build-up.  The following works, though I do have to place a cup in the bottom rack of my dishwasher about 3/4 full of vinegar as a replacement to Jet Dry.  But vinegar is so much better than Jet Dry.

Homemade Dishwashing Cubes from Louise’s Country Closet