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

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.

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 🙂