It’s summer! Do you know what’s in your garden hose??

My tomatoes are turning red and delicious on their vines.  For this novice gardener, it is a very proud moment.  I took great care in choosing the right location for my seedlings, planted them with organic soil and food, gently tied their growing vines to their stakes for support and watered them daily.  They are healthy, organic, and we grew them all ourselves.  So, naturally I was dismayed when I read an article reporting lead in very likely the garden hose I have been using to water our food source!  Lead.  Wonderful.  In fact, the study in the article reported  that 70% of the 179 garden products it tested contained chemicals of “high concern,”  30% contained lead and 100% contained phthalates (a chemical linked to birth defects and breast cancer).

And, not only have we watered our garden with our lead-laden hose, we also fill the kiddie pool for our toddler – water that he inadvertently, or probably advertently, drinks.  Perfect.  The good news?  10 seconds of internet search uncovered many lead-free and phthalate safe hoses.  I took a chance and visited my local chain retailer and found a good option there and we are back in business!

***Tip: Look for “drinking water safe” and/or “lead free”on the packaging.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/21/study-finds-garden-hose-water-dangerous_n_1615774.html

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Me vs. My glass shower doors…

Ok, I know I’ve been posting a lot about cleaning…Don’t misjudge me, I don’t enjoy cleaning. In fact, on my list of peeves, it’s a chart-topper. But, I do like clean things and I DON’T enjoy spending time doing it only to be disappointed with the streaky, spotty results. Maybe I’m in a frenzy because it’s spring.  I don’t know. But I’ve been googling the topic of how to clean glass shower doors non-toxicly for months now and have tried it all: the vinegar, the lemon juice, the baking soda, the glass cleaner, the foaming bathroom cleaner, the lime remover, and even, gulp, the vodka, all with poor results.  This weekend I decided to go out on a limb and experiment with my own non-toxic recipe. To my surprise, IT WORKED! So I’m sharing with you! You can benefit from my many weeks of trial error and then gaze at the glistening results  🙂
-spray glass doors with Method Bathroom Cleaner
-sprinkle a cloth with Bon Ami scouring powder and work onto the doors in a circular motion
-repeat if necessary and rinse with clean water
-then do yourself a favor and buy a good squeegee and squeegee the doors after each shower

p.s. you can find these 2 products easily at many Target stores and supermarkets.  or try Amazon.

Miracle in a bottle. I mean it.

Where has this product been all my life???  I had tried everything on my beautiful wool carpet but nothing would take the stubborn spots out.  Some stains are even named.  I remember the time our handyman accidentally got the first big smudge on our pristine rug…he felt so badly about it, and I affectionately named the spot after him: “Melvin.”  After much trial and error with natural concoctions, I resorted to some harsh stuff (so against my “green” conscience) as a last resort and still the spots prevailed.  Then, one day, the Folex Carpet Spot Remover bottle caught my eye…it’s a no-frills, nondescript, boring bottle, which to me is like a badge of honor.  People are buying this stuff even though it is completely devoid of sparkly, eye-catching packaging tested in market research panels for efficacy.  It’s old-school.  Another mark in its favor?  I found it at my local Gelson’s – this overpriced grocery store has a limited selection of its favorites, their “tried and trues,” and sometimes they really know what they’re talking about.  So, I gave it a shot.  The directions called for rubbing the product in with my fingers and then blotting with a clean cloth, and instantly the stains were gone!  I really, really hope it’s as non-toxic as it claims to be because I am a believer.

When “catch and release” is not an option

We love animals in our house.  And while we seem to have more room in our hearts for the four-legged, furry variety, we try our best to at least practice tolerance with the ones that fly, buzz, and crawl the wall.  When we encounter a spider or bug we typically catch it quickly in a cup and release it out the door (usually, far away, maybe even in our neighbor’s yard…shhhh!).  When it comes to an army of ants, we have found no reliable way of containing all of them and we just want them gone.  In one of our homes, we even had to resort to keeping all of our sweet or sugary products in the refrigerator because ants had become such a nuisance.  We all know the dangers of pesticides, so I was thrilled when my friend gave me this hot tip for stopping ants in their tracks, safely: fruit and veggie wash!  Simply spray this in the area of concern, and problem solved.  Thank me later 🙂

All about the bottom

It’s taken me 2 years of trying various “natural” and “green” products to get to this point…my TOP 3 DIAPERING PRODUCTS!!  Here they are in no particular order:

  • Nature Babycare Diapers – these are the most eco-friendly disposable diapers I have found (that don’t leak, that is!).  They work great and are eco-certified by all sorts of people.
  • Weleda Diaper Cream – this cream is really concentrated, but not at all goopy.  It’s got a delicate scent, plus calendula and a little goes a long way.
  • Bum Boosa Wipes – these have a very good rating on Skin Deep http://www.ewg.org/skindeep/brand/Bum_Boosa_Bamboo_Products/.  They are super soft, very moist, incredibly strong and smell amazing.

face place

Adult acne.  Really?  I never had a problem in my teens, but for some reason after I had my child, as if I already didn’t have enough on my plate, my skin started getting very particular.  The discovery of this homemade, natural toner has been a life-saver.  It’s got all the good stuff from citrus and a couple other ingredients to help calm the angry skin!

Homemade Toner:

2 Tablespoons fresh squeezed citrus juice (orange or grapefruit work well and are gentle)

2 Tablespoons witch hazel

1 Tablespoon alcohol

*Store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks

 

snacks reinvented…

One of my all-time biggest peeves is wasting food. I’m slightly neurotic about it, actually, which drives my husband kind of crazy.  One day I had what Oprah has coined an “a-ha moment”… I could turn all that leftover yogurt my son didn’t finish into tasty, healthy treats!  You can, too – it takes all of 60 seconds. Just put a few bits of fruit of your choice (frozen or fresh) in the bottoms of a popsicle maker and then spoon the yogurt on top. Your child can also help by putting in the fruit or the popsicle sticks, and voilá!  Yogurt popsicles for the whole family!  P.s. this works wonders on those teething babes or for sore throats/mouths