Jolene’s Antibacterial Foaming Hand Soap

hand soap

Jolene’s Antibacterial Foaming Hand Soap DIY recipe:
This works amazingly well!! You can use any Dr. Bronner’s liquid castile soap, I prefer the unscented baby-mild as I have sensitive hands 🙂 I have a foaming hand soap in each bathroom and my kitchen and it’s very budget friendly!!

Q & A:
Q: What is filtered water?
A: I just basically didn’t use tap water. It can be distilled or any other way that you filter water to keep as much ‘stuff’ out of it as possible (I know everyone has their favorite way of doing this, so it’s up to you!)

Q: What did you use for the pump?
A: Unfortunately I have yet to find an empty bottle/pump to use. I just used old ones from around my house that I had already used up. I would say the best I can offer until I can find a good place (that is not expensive) to buy from, would be to buy ones from store, dump the “stuff” out and clean well. I would note to double check they say BPA free on the bottoms of them (as I made sure mine did).

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Homemade Fruit Fly Trap

fruit fly trap

I heard on Public Radio recently that fruit flies are extremely pesky nationwide this year. We’ve been experiencing more than ever it seems, and it’s that time of year where produce abounds on our counter & tabletops. Hubby went to the hardware store & saw fruit fly traps for $8, and came home & made this one. Just take a small container, put apple cider vinegar & a little dash of dish soap in, cover it with plastic wrap w/ a few holes in it & you’re all set. Those brown spots in the bottom are all dead fruit flies. This was after a day or 2. I love saving $8 by using materials we already have!

Jolene’s ear/sinus infection drops

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Ear/Sinus Infection Drops ~ Home Remedy ~
What you need:
1/4 c. unrefined organic virgin coconut oil (w/e you have on hand is fine, this is just what I prefer)
3-4 medium pieces fresh, raw garlic

What you do:
Put the coconut oil in a pan over medium heat
De-skin and lightly smash garlic until they are opened a bit, toss them in the mixture
Cover the pan (unless you want to get popped like I did!)
Simmer the two ingredients until the garlic is nice and browned.
Put through a fine mesh strainer (or cheesecloth….or both!) into a mason jar

What do we have?
A nice golden mixture that is warm, soothing, and will cure a sinus and/or ear infection in half the time those icky antibiotics will!!

How to Use:
Get a clean baby medicine dropper (or any other kind of dropper that is clean that will administer a drop at a time). Put in your ear and massage (this is important) the ear and behind the ear down into the neck to allow it to travel through your ear. If doing it for sinuses, drop a couple drops up each nostril and let gravity do its thing by tilting your head back. I like to also massage my sinus cavity area to help move things around too!

I am not a doctor and there are MANY different, wonderful home remedies for sinus/ear infections. This is just the one I use/prefer because I ALWAYS have these 2 ingredients on hand and it takes about 5 mins to make….which is great when you are in pain.

A Little Story:
Not too long ago I was sick with a sinus AND double ear infections. I was miserable! After a couple days of being miserable my husband says to me: Don’t you have some home recipe for infections? I know you hate antibiotics…. There went my light bulb…geez why YES I did have one! I for some reason just didn’t think about using it at the onset of pain to save me those extra days of misery (lessons learned right!) I took a clean baby medicine dropper and put a couple drops in each ear…ahhhh immediate relief! When those were all set in, time for the nostrils! I the warm oil was immediate relief and within about 1 1/2 – 2 days I was completely pain and infection free! Even had a follow up appointment and it was gone. So happy!!

Enjoy!! *Jolene*

Made in USA Easter Basket Ideas

I know not everyone observes Easter, but many of you do & I’ve had questions about made in the USA baskets & other ideas for what to put in them, so this is what I’ve come up with. I didn’t think I’d observe Easter last year, but won the Eco-kids egg dyeing kit from Raising Natural Kids so that spurred me to put together a little basket for my babe who had just turned one (photo attached). I put together a basket with his favorite things at the time: fresh, organic fruit & a few fun & useful things. The Moccasins are the only not-entirely made in the US item (made by Minnetonka Mocassins in the Dominican Republic of US materials). The boat is from Green Toys, and the bunny teether from Smiling Tree Toys (both linked to below). I used a basket I already had, and some Easter ornaments I’d been given in the past to finish it off.

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This year (2014) my 3 year old will be getting the Earthpaints kit. He LOVES mixing the pigments into paint himself, and we just finished up what they sent me as samples several months ago. He just celebrated his B-day less than a month ago so I won’t be giving him much else. Some organic fruit probably, and we’ll dye eggs with the Eco-kids coloring kit (Earthpaints makes one as well). My Baby Girl who is 9 months will be getting some avocados & fruit similar to the above photo, and another organic doll from Pure Play Kids to go with this one (coupon for 10% off from them included): https://ecofriendlyusa.wordpress.com/2014/02/25/pure-play-kids-it-just-doesnt-get-much-better/. They both will be getting a doll from Wildflower Innocence as well, to go with their new dollhouse: http://wildflowerinnocence.com/

Baskets– Peterboro Baket Company, made in NH. Several Easter baskets to choose from: Handcrafted in the USA from 100% USA made materials. Most ~ $30, but you get a discount of around $5 if you buy 2 or more. http://www.peterborobasket.com/s-10-childrens-room.aspx. I realize these don’t fit everyone’s budget, but if you have a little kiddo like me & will be using it for many years to come it seems like a good investment to me! Also, Etsy several options to fit every budget:http://www.etsy.com/search?q=homemade%20Easter%20baskets&view_type=gallery&ship_to=US.

Egg-dyeing kit: Eco-kids, made in Maine, $15.99 for kit. I used this last year & loved how the eggs turned out. I left some in for a couple hours, and ½ in overnight for a very deep, dark color. Comes with 3 primary color powder packs and a color chart to create 6 custom colors, a crayon for texturing your eggs and a custom egg dipper made right here in Maine. Under the exterior wrap you’ll find our exclusive creature cut outs to dress up your eggs. http://shop.ecokidsusa.com/product/eco-eggs.

Also, Earth Paints offers a wooden egg paint kit, or egg dye kit.

Also, see my photo below about using crayon shavings for a fun egg-coloring idea!

All-natural Easter candy:
Natural Candy Store: Absolutely NO artificial colors or dyes, NO artificial flavors, NO artificial sweeteners, NO preservatives, NO hydrogenated oils! Vegan, gluten-free, organic, NON-GMO offerings! Mostly made in US, but not entirely, look for US flag in description! http://www.naturalcandystore.com/?a=nHbolT

Surf Sweets: “Fruitfully Delicious, Naturally Good! Surf Sweets natural and organic candy contains no high-fructose corn syrup, is free of artificial flavors or sweeteners, is allergy-friendly, peanut-free, gluten-free and totally drenched in fresh fruit flavor!” http://www.surfsweets.com/products.php. Available through the Natural Candy Store as well.

Art supplies: I think these would make great additions to any basket: Several great companies on my Made in the USA list to choose from:
Eco-kids: http://shop.ecokidsusa.com/.
Wee Can Too: http://www.weecantooart.com/.
Earth Paint (finger paints): http://www.naturalearthpaint.com/shop/childrens-paint-kit/.

Eco Eggs: BPA-free Compostable plastic Easter eggs made from plants!! From their website: “Made in the USA from Plants, 100% Renewable Content, Plant- vs Petroleum-Base, Non-Toxic Durable Plastic, Less Energy Use and Emission Waste in Production, Meant to be Stored and Reused for Many Easters, Fully Compostable After Use”. http://ecoeggs.com/.
ALSO, don’t forget the Eco-grass: eco grass is made from 100% post recycled paper. It is 100% recyclable after use. Eco grass is crinkle cut 1/8″ thick, can be kept and reused for many Easters or after use, you can dispose of eco grass in your paper recycle bin. http://ecoeggs.com/eco-grass.cfm.
TOY IDEAS:

Bunny Teether– made in MN by Smiling Tree Toys. They are having an Easter Special ~ Free shipping + $2 off normal price (now $16) for Personalized Wood Teether . I put one in my babe’s basket last year, he was 1 at the time, I think it’s just adorable (see photo of last year’s Easter basket below) ! No, he didn’t actually use it as a teether all that much, but it does have some teeth marks on it. I intend to use it as part of his Easter basket annually, and maybe make it into a hide the bunny game as he grows a little older. It’s a great keepsake for years to come, and I LOVE supporting small businesses like Smiling Tree Toys! From their website: “Handcrafted from gorgeous, sustainably harvested hardwood, this little Easter bunny is an ideal and meaningful Easter basket toy for boys or girls. Softly curved for easy grasping, and hand sanded silky smooth for safe and natural teething. It’ll never wear out!http://www.etsy.com/listing/94624072/easter-special-free-shipping?ref=pr_shop.

Bath toys– last year I put the Tugboat from Green Toys in my babes basket:https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.573628525986125.145435.397517646930548&type=3

My made in the USA toy list– TONS of options for children of ALL ages:https://www.facebook.com/notes/eco-friendly-babyfamily-products-made-in-the-usa/awesome-battery-free-safe-toys-made-in-the-usa-list/488605551155090.

Here’s a nice link with ideas for homemade baskets:http://faithfulprovisions.com/2012/03/08/homemade-easter-baskets/.

Additional ideas for an eco-friendly Easter:
• reuse something you already have
• use real grass or hand shred construction paper
• use a bonnet/hat/watering can/shoe box/flower pot etc. (something that can be reused).

These eggs were lots of fun to make, just drop crayon shavings onto hot eggs! I can’t wait to do this with my babe when he’s older, but I sure had fun doing it myself. I’ve been saving little pieces of broken crayons all year for this!463010_430947510254228_147428358_o

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