Thursday, January 12, 2017

Wintery Weather

I live in Northern Nevada, near Reno and about 45 minutes from Lake Tahoe. This week has been rough! We had flooding in Reno and the surrounding areas, lots of snow, ice, and now more snow. The mountain areas have had between 4 and 11 FEET of snow since Tuesday night, great for the ski resorts but a pain for people trying to get to and from work.

Yesterday I started my drive to work on 1/2 inch of ice. The roads were awful but by 4:00 pm ALL of the snow and ice had melted. I thought this morning would be a nice, dry drive - NOPE, I woke up to more snow. Since I am considered essential personnel at work I left early and made it to the office 1/2 hour before they told us to go home. It is supposed to snow until around 10:00 PM. I was really impressed that our central office staff were told to go home due to worsening weather and all too happy to oblige.

I love snow - when I go visit it up in the mountains but I really don't like having to drive it in with people who have no clue. I did see Karma in action several times and while that was sort of fun even I was glad to be off the roads and no longer a witness to mass stupidity! Dear Goddess, if you have a big truck the ice still rules, you can not stop on ice - Slow Down... just saying. I'm am always grateful that I drive a Jeep, especially in snow, but no matter what you drive you need to be cautions.

Anyway, now that I am home, safe and sound, I am thoroughly enjoying the snow. I made cookies for the family. The dogs and I have had some hot chocolate on the deck (Ok I had hot chocolate, they had a biscuit), we played in the snow and now I am going to settle in by the fire and read a book!

So this is what a snow day feels like!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Witchy Green Cleaning: Window and Glass Cleaner

This is a re-post from my Witchy Green Cleaning Series. I've been using these homemade cleaners for several years and I am hooked! They work, they can be personalized and my hands no longer burn after I clean.

For this post I experimented with two green window and glass cleaners.  Both are simple to make and the ingredients are very similar.

Window & Mirror Cleaner 1

This recipe was listed on the Being Frugal website:
·         2 Cups Water
·         ¼ C. Vinegar
·         ½ tsp. Original Formula Dawn Dishwashing Liquid

      Add all ingredients to a spray bottle. Gently shake to mix.

Window & Mirror Cleaner 2

The second recipe is super simple, very similar to the one above and was found on the Daily Green Website:

·         2 Tablespoons White Vinegar
·         1 Gallon Water

Mix and pour into a spray bottle.

With both formulas you spray the mixture onto your window or mirror and then wipe clean with newsprint, not paper towels since paper towels tend to cause streaking.

My results: Both cleaners worked beautifully. The mirrors were sparkling clean and were streak free.

After the first use I decided to add a tiny bit of essential oil to the second formula. The reason I chose to experiment with this particular formula was because it did not contain the Dawn Dishwashing Liquid and I am pretty confident that if the oil does not leave a file with this formula it will also be fine in the first formula.

Since this product is for windows as well as mirrors I chose to add Bergamot oil for its protection, prosperity and luck properties. I added 10 drops to the 25 oz. spray bottle of my solution.
My results were fantastic. No residue, no smearing and no streaking.

Formula 1
2 Cups. Water = .12
¼ C. Vinegar = .04
½ Teaspoon Dawn Dishwashing Liquid = .01
Total:  $.17 per 18 oz batch roughly .01 per ounce

Formula 2
2 Tablespoons Vinegar = .02
1 Gallon Water = .88 (cost for 1 gallon of bottle water at Walmart)
Total= .90 which breaks down to .007 or less than 1 penny per ounce!

Cost Comparison
Windex = $3.49 for 20 oz = .18 per ounce

While saving money is awesome, the fact that I can whip up a batch from ingredients I almost always have on hand, in less than a minute, can personalize the scent and can add some additional magical mojo to my cleaning… I have no idea why it has taken me so long to do this. Seriously!

Next up and all purpose cleaner, this one is a bit more involved ingredient wise but it is very versatile, still a green choice, inexpensive to make and again, I can add some extra oomph to it! 

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Witchy Green Bathroom Cleaner

Below is a re-post of my first Witchy Green Cleaning Post. I have been using these products for several years now and I have been very happy with the results. My house is clean, it smells great and I don’t worry that I am working with hazardous chemicals every time I pick up my cleaning products.  My hands are no longer cracked and red after I clean and the products are quick and easy to make and – once you get the basic ingredients- inexpensive compared to the harsher products. I hope you enjoy my Witchy Green Cleaning Series. 

Originally posted January 2, 2013:

Some of my Natural Cleaning Supplies

As the year begins I always feel like cleaning, well, pretty much everything! I really like to start the calendar year off with a deeply cleaned house but over the holidays(the day before Thanksgiving) I managed to do some serious damage to my hands because I forgot to wear gloves while cleaning my oven(yes I acknowledge that it was my own fault)! It has taken almost 6 weeks for my hands to be almost healed.  After that horrible experience I decided to make the switch to green products that are economical, easy for me to make at home and safe to use around my family, my pets and in my house.  Above is a picture of some of the ingredients I will be talking about over the next couple of weeks as I make the switch from chemical cleaners to homemade. 

The first recipe I choose to try was for a Bathroom cleaner that I saw on the site.

This bathroom cleaner is an easy one to make. You’ll need the following:

Spray Bottle
½ Cup Original formula 
Dawn Dishwashing Liquid and
 Vinegar (I used white vinegar, it is easy to find and very inexpensive)

Pour the Dawn Dishwashing liquid into the spray bottle and then fill the rest of the way with white vinegar. Gently shake to mix and you are ready to go. Like I said – easy peasy!
Cost for this batch (Based on the prices at my local Walmart and Lowe’s stores) –
½ cup of Dawn =  .24
18 oz of Vinegar =  .36
22 oz Spray Bottle = $2.28 at Lowes
Total Initial Cost = $2.88 (cost decreases each time you refill since you don’t have to purchase a new spray bottle)

Cost for the cleaner comes out to about .03 per ounce (I did not include the cost of the bottle in the per ounce cost because it is reusable and not part of the actual cleaning recipe). Formula 409 is roughly .18 per ounce

A great money saver and making this product is easy on the environment and on me!

The first time I used this I was thrilled. It did an excellent job cleaning the tub, toilet and counter tops - in the bathroom my boys use – ‘nuf said! It was also easy to make and did not of require tons of scrubbing. There was a very strong vinegar odor at first but that only lasted about 10 minutes. Once the tub was dry the vinegar smell was gone. After that first use I added 25 drops of essential oil to my bottle of cleaner. The result, the vinegary smell dissipated much quicker and there was a very light, lingering fragrance of my choosing, over all - I LOVE it!

Another benefit – I did not cough, my eyes did not burn or water and my still healing skin did not get red, cracked or become sore, in fact, after cleaning all three bathrooms in my house I am surprised at how soft my hands are. I will definitely not be going back to chemical cleaners. 
Now, for the Witchy add-ins…

The fun thing about making your own cleaning products is that, as a witch, you can add a little bit more oomph to the recipe just by the essential oil you decide to add. Of course you want to make sure it has a scent you like as well as a purpose that is compatible with what you are using it for.
A couple of ideas:

Add 20 -30 drops of peppermint oil to clear a room of negativity. This will also help get rid of the tendency to procrastinate and during the holidays it smells very festive.
Add 20 -30 drops of Lavender Oil to balance and calm an area, this is great for bedroom windowsills (mine are tile) and bathrooms, imagine taking a nice warm bath in a room that has been cleaned with a lavender charged cleaner!

Add 20 -30 drops of Sage Oil for overall purification and cleansing, this is a great way to purify spaces between uses of your sage smudge stick!

The variations are limitless! I love working with oils so this was an added benefit to making my own cleaning products. I chose to add Clovebud Oil to my cleaner due to its purification properties, ability to drive away negative forces as well as its tendency to invite abundance. It also has a smell that I find very pleasing!  

What I noticed about adding the essential oil was that there was no oily residue, only a very light scent of the oil that I added. I would imagine that this is due to the small amount of oil used, the fact that I used essential oil AND the fact that it is combined with a really nice grease cutter in the Dawn dish washing liquid.

One thing to add, vinegar has been proven in many scientific studies to be an effective disinfectant.  Here are some of the sites I visited while researching green cleaners which discuss the effectiveness of vinegar.

Coming Up Next:
A  Witchy Green window and glass cleaner

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

I don’t know about you but I am very happy to see the last of 2016. What a crazy, disappointing year! I’m glad it’s over and I plan to make the most of this new year.

As promised I will be reposting the Witchy Green Cleaning series (starting tomorrow). These are a series of posts that originally were published in 2013 but are still valuable. One of my favorite ways to start the new year is to clean the house - seriously. Starting the new year with my home sparkling clean and magically enhanced just feels right.

You don’t have to be magically inclined to make and use these products though if you are there are suggestions on ways to add extra purpose to the cleaners. For instance, using peppermint oil in a cleaner that is being used in the bedroom can help with sleep, love, and healing. I have been using these cleaners since 2013 (after I forgot to wear gloves while cleaning the oven and received a nasty chemical burn!) and have been thrilled with the results.

I am so happy to be back and looking forward to sharing my love of life, magic and are with you this year.