Happy Coffee Day! Making Homemade Cleaners

Hello Coffee Girls!  Thanks for stopping by.  I’ve got a pot of medium-roast Breakfast Blend on (and the kettle on for you tea lovers) – help yourself to a pumpkin scone while you’re here!

A few weeks ago I wrote about making Lotion Bars among other things.  I did in fact make them, BUT because I didn’t have a great measuring system for the beeswax, I’ve had to remelt them down and grate in some additional wax.  The oil left things extra oily and the bars were more malleable in my hand than they should be.  So the re-newed batch is setting up now, and I’ll share the recipe when I’ve mastered it. LOL

I found some other household cleaning recipes that I wanted to share.  I really have been thrilled with using Vinegar and Baking Soda for many household cleaning projects.

Here are a few recipes I found in my Homemade recipe book from Reader’s Digest:

Creamy Scrubbing Cleaner

2 cups baking soda
1/2 cup liquid castile soap
4 tsp vegetable glycerin
5 drops essential oil

Mix well and store in sealed glass jar.  The shelf life for this cleaner is 2 years!  (I get my baking soda at Sam’s Club – got my Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap at Kroger’s, and my vegetable glycerin at a local health food storeIf you use a scented castile soap, it probably isn’t necessary to add the essential oil for scent…)

All Purpose Cleaner

2 Tbsp vinegar
1 tsp. borax powder
1 cup hot distilled water + additional water
1/4 cup liquid castile soap
1 16 oz. spray bottle

Mix vinegar and borax in bottle.  Add 1 cup hot distilled water and shake until all is dissolved.  Add more water until almost full.  Add 1/4 cup liquid castile soap and swirl until mixed.  (I’ll just plug the peppermint castile soap as my favorite cleaning smell.  It is fresh and clean and I love cleaning with it. )

Liquid Fabric Softener

2 cups baking soda
2 cups white vinegar
4 cups distilled water
10 drops essential oil

Stir all together and store in plastic lidded container.   Use 1/4 cup per wash load.  (Plain vinegar alone is a great fabric softener, but if you would like to add a nice scent to your load, this liquid recipe may work well for you!)

Hope you enjoy these recipes.  I really enjoy using more natural products in my home and spending MUCH LESS money on cleaners and cleaning products.

Do you have any homemade cleaner recipes you rely on?

*If you’re on the fence about trying homemade cleaners – you’re not alone.  Try starting with one recipe and see how it works for you.   No need to go gung ho with switching out every cleaner until you see how one works for you. =)


Happy Coffee Day!

Okay – I’m back to Coffee after a few tea posts!  I enjoyed a large cup of my favorite shop coffee this morning, but am settling in for a nice cup of afternoon tea for the moment.  Rainy, wet, dreary kind of day – but it’s warm and cozy in our home, so I’m snuggling in.

After a few tea posts, I’m glad to get back to some Company Girl Coffee talk!  But its because I have a very exciting announcement:

I’m the New Owner of Mommies Coffee Break!!!

While this will continue to be my personal blog, I have really felt God speaking to my heart about ministering to women online in a little bit different manner.  Many of the sweet people who follow me here and leave comments are already good friends of mine, and I hope you’ll all be able to follow me in both places.

It’s going to get a bit of a sprucing up in the next week or two, and then I’ll be digging into some good stuff.  I’ll be keeping up here – but things will probably be shorter (and hopefully, sweeter, too!)

If you aren’t subscribed here, just click the icons in the top left of the page – you can subscribe by email or by a reader – your choice.  And be sure to subscribe to Mommies Coffee Break, too!

I’ve always thought I might have a couple of personalities, so we’ll see how they play out online. LOL!

Rachel Anne at Home Sanctuary mourns some fashion hits & misses of her youth today.  Makes me laugh.

As far as fashion is concerned, I don’t always like what is “popular” – but I tend to gravitate towards the classics with a twist.  I prefer NOT to wear black.  Ever.  I really enjoy Navy and Chocolate if I’ve got to go dark…

When I was younger, I liked to wear some brighter colors (turquoise, pink, mint green)! Thankfully, I was blessed with some nice hand me downs from gals with GREAT fashion sense (for the most part) and I was able to enjoy some outfits during Jr Hi and High School that I wistfully remember to this day.  Being an 80’s chick – I had the perm and some big hair and used banana clips like God himself created them.  (No I don’t have photos to digitally load.  Seriously, people…  But I’ve got, ahem,”friends” on Facebook who have posted a couple…)

I’d prefer to spruce up my wardrobe, but I’ll wait until Georgie realizes that smearing spaghetti sauce in her hair isn’t cute EVERY time…  Until then, I’ll enjoy the Tshirts and comfy pants and running around in sandals most of the year…

Hey – my greatest fashion accessory (besides my beautiful girls) is a GiNormous Cuppa Coffee, so as far as Fashion is concerned – I’m the IT girl!!!

P.S. – I’ve got a cookbook giveaway going on here through 10/15 – click here to find out how to enter!

It’s Raining Coffee!!!

Woohoo!  Company Girls – Happy Friday!

Wouldn’t it be GREAT if it was raining Coffee???  Or Tea???  Sure our clothes might change colors, but think about how the caffeine would affect our, ahem, cellulite!  When I’m brave enough to make my own soap, I think I’ll use coffee grounds as an exfoliant!

Speaking of dirty clothes – I was brave enough to make my own laundry detergent last week – and so far so REALLY good!  It’s very inexpensive and made about 3 gallons and has done a bangup job on the piles of laundry I accomplished this week (no applause necessary!)  I plan to keep using it – although I need to find an essential oil to add a little bit of fragrance.  I DO love the fresh, clean scent of good laundry detergent.

I found my laundry detergent at Tip Nut’s 10 Homemade Laundry Soap Detergent Recipes.  I used Recipe #1.  It is IMPORTANT to allow the soap to fully melt or you’ll get a gritty mess.  I also plan to use 2 gallons of WARM water next time, because I think it will help everything incorporate.  My first batch was better after I used my stick blender to stir it up really well.

Vinegar really is a CHEAP, effective fabric softener. I love the way vinegar works as a fabric softener – it really makes everything soft and doesn’t leave a lingering scent. I can get 2 gallon jugs of vinegar at Sam’s club for about $4, and vinegar is useful for other cleaning in the house, too!

About 18 months ago we started using more eco-friendly products for home and cleaning – and making our own detergent and cleaners is not only something I enjoy, it’s very cost effective and I’m finding GREAT sources for recipes online!

My other favorite thing for laundry is Dawn dish detergent.  I saw several posts on my Homemaker Mentor Society group this week about using Dawn for greasy stains.  I had a little bit of some Dawn Pure Essentials left and used it on a STAINED shirt that I haven’t worn for months but couldn’t bear to get rid of.  The stain is GONE!  Hello, my Little Friend, Dawn!!!  (Now I have 3 favorite Dawns in my life!)

I have another recipe I hope to try soon – for Lotion Bars.  Do you like lotion bars?  With winter and dry skin coming – I hope to find a more natural and inexpensive way to keep our skin softer…  Once I’ve tried it, I’ll let you know and share the recipe. =)

Do you have any favorite homemade cleaners or skin care products you use?

(P.S. – check out 1001 Uses for White Distilled Vinegar for more info about how awesome it is to use in laundry, for cleaning, and more!)

Happy Coffee Girls Day! (Is it really Friday again?)

it’s time for Company Coffee Girls – Yippee!!!  Thanks to all of you for your prayers and encouragement through this past week.  It does seem to me that Christians everywhere are struggling with something heavy – and we can certainly lift one another up…

I’ve still felt physically discombobulated this week, though.  Sort of “out of body” as Roy would say.  The days came and went and I kinda felt like I missed a whole week somehow.  Some things were accomplished, but shaking off this “blah” has been a little tough.

The weather changed – although it’s warm in the day, the mornings and evenings are cooler, and with that comes the sore throats, sniffles, and little sick ones.  Curly was down for a couple days with sore throat, fever, and coughing.  Probably asthma – so we’ve been doing breathing treatments.  She missed soccer practice due to weather and is supposed to have her first game tomorrow.  Hopefully she wakes up feeling better, but if not – we’ll keep her home from school and let her rest up.  Georgie has had a low fever, but that hasn’t slowed her down any.  Most people who see her in action either refer to her as “a little peanut” (which is what I called her while I was pregnant) or “a little monkey” (and that’s where her nickname comes from – Curious George)…

Started in my new women’s Bible study this week – Lies Women Believe – by Nancy Leigh Demoss – GOOD STUFF.  Challenging stuff.  Truthful stuff.  Have read the first chapter, but am going to reread it to prepare for the next class…

And the first edition of our women’s ministry newsletter will be mailed next week.  I’m very excited.  When it’s posted online – I’ll share the link here!  I spoke with the previous editor, and we talked about how it’s something like giving birth to a new baby.  For me, it’s very much like having our FIRST baby – excitement and nervousness – and I’m really blessed that God opened this opportunity to me to serve Him this way!  I’m growing to LOVE my church and my church family – and am excited about the fellowship and friendship opportunities that are coming.

If you’ve ever been an unused vessel sitting on the shelf – either waiting for the Hands of the Master to pick you or even begging the Hands of the Master to NOT pick you…  I can say that it feels AMAZING to be used by God and to be yielded to Him for His Purpose.  This feeling of contentment – it’s what I’m praying for as I serve my family.  Writing (for me) is fun and enjoyable and I have always had a great affinity for it; serving my family – not so much.  But I love my family, and God has blessed and called me to serve them, and I’m learning to settle under His hand and let Him use me as a wife & mom to bring HIM glory.  It isn’t easy cuz I’m very willful and want my own way far more than is good for me or my family.  But I’m learning, and maybe He’s using my ministry as a means to motivate me to be more yielded at home…

Remembering 9/11 is something I will always do, but I chose not to do it here today.  I’ll steer you to my 9/11 post from last year, instead.

Have a lovely day, Company Girls!  And to all of you readers – I want to leave you with this:

Peace I leave with you; My [own] peace I now give and bequeath to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. [Stop allowing yourselves to be agitated and disturbed; and do not permit yourselves to be fearful and intimidated and cowardly and unsettled.]  ~ John 14:27 (Amp)

Coffee Girl Company – Sharing a Cup of Life…

I’m a little late sharing a cup with all of you today!  I’ll brew a fresh pot so stay awhile and let’s enjoy our visit!

It’s been a busy week!  First week of 2 new classes online.  I’m seriously digging into the counseling course and LOVE every minute of it.  The match course – well, I’ve barely stuck my toe in the water, but I’m gearing up for it. Math is NOT my forté.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m the newly appointed editor of our women’s ministry newsletter at church, and this was the week to get all of the articles together and sent to the printer.  We’ll be getting a proof and then moving on into printing.  The newsletter was a regular feature of the women’s ministry for some time, but the previous editor had to step down for health reasons.  It’s been about 18 months since they’ve had one, and I’m excited (and nervous) to get it going.  I’ll link to the PDF file at the website when it’s ready.

I remembered through this entire experience how much I LOVE to write, and how much I love to read what other women have to write.  I’m the 7th person on the ministry team, and it is remarkable how clearly God placed each woman on the team and how their different personalities, temperaments and gifts work together.  I kinda feel like the “honorary” member – not because any of them make me feel that way, oh no – they welcomed me with open arms.   I just don’t have any other ongoing ministry like teaching Sunday School or leading a Bible study right now.  I am not comparing myself in that “I’m not good enough” but God is still speaking to me about building up the church women’s website and HOPEFULLY blog, soon.  So I’m waiting.

And I’ll be joining a new Bible Study (along with M.O.P.S. in the fall!) in September, where we will be working through the book, “Lies Women Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free”  by Nancy Leigh Demoss. I imagine it’ll be something along the lines of Jennifer Rothschild’s book, “Me, Myself, and Lies – A Thought Closet Makeover” which is still difficult for me to work through.  It really hits some nerves, but I’m picking it up and working through it when I can.

The Coffee Mom's DevotionalOh, and I have to HIGHLY recommend a devotional that I’m treating myself to once a week: The Coffee Mom’s Devotional.  Oh. My. Word.  Not only is it perfectly written for coffee loving moms – it has given me so much grace, encouragement, and exhortation!

I’m taking one chapter once a week and digging in.  GOOD stuff.  I highly recommend it.  Buy it for a friend.  Put it on your wish list.  It’s a great little book and really useful.  I have a pretty journal that I am using to record my answers to her suggested questions and may pass along my copy to someone else…

So are you in the middle of any Bible Studies or great devotional books?  I’d love to hear what else I should add to my wish list (LOL)

It’s been a busy week, but I’m grateful for the chance to sit down and sip a cup of fresh brewed coffee with the Company Girls!  Thanks for stopping by!

P.S. – Hey there – I was going to post Saturday, but decided to make it a FAMILY WEEKEND.  I’ll return Monday with more – and continuing my conversation with Danielle, too!  Got some GREAT stuff coming up!  Check back on Monday, or subscribe so you don’t miss a post!

A Full Cup – Company Girl Coffee Time!

Happy Friday everyone – enjoy your Company Girl Coffee time today!

This week just flew right on by, didn’t it?  School’s starting up in our area – Curly’s starts next week – and my own classes start up on Monday!

Can I just say – again – how much I love Home Sanctuary?  I am so inspired – so refreshed every time I visit.  I’m finding some motivation to accomplish some of the tasks Rachel Anne puts out there – and it feels good.  Easy, accomplishable tasks – gotta love it.  Don’t forget to sign up for her occasional newsletter!

After posting a couple of posts this week, it’s nice to find a place of solitude – even online.  Things at home are starting to slowly take shape.  I’ve been able to remove or condense some clutter – a little bit every day – and I’m starting to feel less “foggy” at home.  I’m tackling clutter in little pieces because, frankly, it overwhelms me.  I know why professional organizers have jobs! To help people like me – who  need help seeing the forest for the trees. Read the rest of this entry »

Coffee Company Girl – July 24, 2009 – Treating Animal Bites 101

My need for coffee today is profound.  Having had NONE yesterday because LIFE HAPPENED so quickly, I’m taking my time and enjoying it today.

Do you know what to do if you, or someone close to you, gets an animal bite?  I had a crash course in Treating Animal Bites 101 yesterday after our cat Sammy bit Georgie.  Around her right ear ~ two marks on her cheek, two marks behind/below her ear.  Couldn’t bear to take a picture so you’ll have to just imagine it.  Needless to say here’s what to do in case you or someone close to you gets bit:

  • Don’t panic. I can say that I failed this area. Normally, I’m the level-headed one but when I saw the bite marks I immediately began to worry about infection and damage to her face, knowing puncture wounds are NOT GOOD. My Sister in law came over and helped me get a grip while she checked Georgie out.
  • Wash the wound with soap and water.  It’s a little difficult to manage a thorough cleaning with puncture wounds, but it’s a good start.
  • Apply pressure to stop bleeding, if necessary.
  • Seek medical treatment. With bites – and especially for cat bites which leave puncture wounds – chance of infection ranks pretty high, so medical treatment may be required.  For family pets, especially indoor pets, the concern for infection may be less but not eliminated.  If the bite came from a strange animal, consider calling Animal Control, too!
  • Monitor for Infection. Georgie is taking oral antibiotics, and we’re washing the wound with betadine.  She gets Motrin for discomfort as needed, and has a followup with the physician Saturday.  Redness, puffiness or swelling, and red streaks around the wounds are signs that infection is setting in and further treatment with antibiotics (aka – a SHOT) may be needed.

The truth is, Georgie is an animal lover and she won’t leave Sammy alone – even if he’s growling and meowing ferociously at a cat outside our front door…  That’s how it happened.  Sammy was being a cat; Georgie was being an animal lover.

And by animal lover I mean – she’s the kind of kid who pushes bigger kids out of the way to pet animals and get close to them.  Like the little girl at the county fair last weekend who was trying to feed her LARGE gray rabbit and clean out its cage.  Georgie just pushed right past her and practically CLIMBED into the cage to get to the rabbit…

Both cat and animal lover are recuperating.  Not even wary of each other.  In fact, they took a nap together yesterday afternoon…

Mommy, on the other hand, is still recovering from the scare, and taking sips of coffee and thanking God for bringing us through it.