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!)


What’s Up Wednesday? Product Review & Giveaway from Ecostore!

Not having done a formal product review before, I was only a little bit hesitant when I was contacted by someone from Ecostore products to try their products.  I wasn’t hesitant to try the products so much as to put together a product review. =)  So here goes:

Ecostore USA, in their own words:

“is an extension of a 20 year old New Zealand company that makes plant based , non-toxic Household Cleaning, Baby and Personal Care Products that contain No Nasty Chemicals(tm). Now more than ever we believe that the voice of the Mom Blogger relative to the health of her family and the planet coincide with the Ecostore mission.”

Kudos to Ecostore USA for jumping on the Mom Bloggers wagon!!!  The store is just now getting products from their e-store onto shelves at Meijer stores.  So you will see these products (as I already have) at Meijer’s or can purchase them online.


I selected three products from their lines which include Baby Care, Bath & Body, Hair Care, Household, and Pet Care.  The box was delivered a week ago (in all environmentally friendly packaging!) and I have used these products for a week.  To be honest – I’m impressed and very happy to share my results with you.

The Baby Sleepytime Bath Aromatherapy was the product I was most excited to try.  My girls love baths, and sometimes bathtime is more exciting than calming, so baths before bed are not always a good idea.  However, the addition of the Baby Sleepytime Bath was lovely for both them and me.  The scents of Geranium and Lavendar filled the bathroom, and although there were no bubbles, there was no oily residue or tub ring after use.   And I can say that it seemed to have the acclaimed “sleepytime” effect on both girls, and made settling down much easier.  The pricetag of $11.00 retail is higher than you would pay for a competitive brand – BUT it does NOT contain any harsh chemicals or dangerous ingredients  and that is worth every penny!  This is something I will keep on hand for our girls for a long while.

I also selected their Toilet Cleaner.  We have been using naturally-derived products in our home for over a year, but did not have a product specific for toilet cleaning.  While I was confident in the safety of the products we’ve been using, I wanted to try something specifically targeting the toilet.  The pine scent was NOT overpowering and the liquid gel was a cinch to apply.  With the angled neck, it was easy to target under the rim, and with just one use, I saw under-the-rim stains disappear!  This is a cleaner I will use once a week for serious cleaning, along with my (almost) daily “swish & swipe” routine.  At $8.00 retail a bottle this will last me quite some time, and won’t hurt the waterways or environment!

The third and final product was actually the one that impressed me the most.  The Pure Oxygen Whitener was so successful that even my husband commented on how much brighter everything looked!  The powdered form must be mixed with water prior to use, and at 2 Tbsp per 7+/- quarts of water, this container is going to last us at least several months.  Since I didn’t have a 7 quart container on hand, I reused an empty 24 oz container bottle (left over from my dish soap) filled with water and mixed with 1/2 tsp of the whitener.  I can squirt it into my washer quite easily and am very pleased with the results.  I did follow the directions for an overnight soak on a small load of miscellaneous white clothes (including my girls socks which get very dirty) and have not seen them get whiter.  For $12 retail – this product will not only save money but will give you great results and a SAFER alternative to bleach.

All in all, I’m really excited to have tried these products, and will look for the other products in our local Meijer’s whenever I need anything more.  For more information about Ecostore USA, click here.


I’m also thrilled to announce my first-ever contest – a $25 gift certificate to Ecostore USA.   Take a visit to their site, leave a comment telling me which product(s) you would like to try and I will draw a winner on Tuesday, April 14.  Contest ends Monday, April 13, at 11:59 p.m. EST.  One comment per person.  (Be sure to leave your name, email address &/or blog address so I can contact the winner.)

*** Plus – Ecostore USA is offering free Shipping for the month of April on orders of $25+!!!