Category Archives: Cleaning

These are a few of my favourite things…

Anyone who knows me knows that I get excited about, well, pretty much everything. I LOVE great customer service and great products, so when I findย  them, so I do tend to rave a bit! Here are a few of the things I raved about this week…

This awesome BLOG that is super inspiring and written by a super cool mum. I’m not terribly crafty, so I need inspiration like this to get motivated! Her blog is http://happymumhappychild.co.nz/ and on facebook she is at https://www.facebook.com/happymumhappychild?pnref=lhc

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This awesome SOAP that is all natural and super duper lovely on the skin! I picked it up from a local mum who has been selling it for years now and it’s a new fave in this house! Hubby really likes his man-musk one, and I love my pink grapefruit one, so it’s a big WIN. Oh, and she’s very affordable too, especially considering the ingredients are actually GOOD for your skin! Check her out at her facebook page- https://www.facebook.com/vintage.violet.naturals

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We are big fans of natural immunity and home remedies in this household, so our main go-to is Nutribiotics Sodium Ascorbate from iHerb. It’s the most easily absorbed form of vitamin C, and we take it at the first sign of illness. It’s a natural pain reliever and anti-histamine. You can imagine that you don’t need many things in the medicine cabinet when you have this! iHerb has a ton of great stuff at cheap prices, and if you want a discount on your first order, you can use the code LBW350 and get $5-$10 off.
NutriBiotic, Sodium Ascorbate, Crystalline Powder, 16 oz (454 g) - iHerb.com 2015-01-25 08-35-21

I’m pretty much always excited about the great products that are available through my website, one of which is the face wash. I never imagined that I would ever RAVE about a face wash, but yeah- it’s awesome. It’s available here http://www.bestmascaraever.co.nz or comment below if you’re in NZ and want to save on shipping. ๐Ÿ™‚

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I’m sure I’ll have more things to rave about soon…life is too short to ignore the little things. ๐Ÿ˜‰

From an excited mama,

Lydia

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The Great Dish Dilemma

THIS.

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This is the great dish dilemma.ย 

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They just keep appearing!ย  Whyyyyy?!

From what I have heard, most people have a chore that they dislike and put lowest on the priority list. Dishes is mine.

I have good phases where the dishes are done promptly– for a day or two, phases when they get done fairly regularly– when hubby takes on the dishwasher role, and normal– when they get done because we have run out of either bench space or clean dishes.

Honestly, though, I don’t hate doing dishes! I actually enjoy the hour in which I get to do them in peace when Hubby watches the boys and I prop my tablet on the windowsill and watch a Hallmark movie on youtube. This happens because hubby just wants them done, and so do I!! It’s not a conspiracy!

And you know how there is always that one dish that proves more challenging than the rest- the one you soak three times? This is mine…

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The porridge bowl. I love porridge but hate the bowl cleaning. But hey, to get more porridge, I have to clean the bowl, and so the great dish dilemma continues.

But hey! Before you’re totally grossed out, my house can be pretty much spotless in less than half an hour on pretty much any given day if I hear that someone is coming over! I’m a pretty tidy person generally. This is just my weak spot domestically. Well, this and my whole “lightning storage”, but that’s another post entirely!

What is your thing? What chore do you prefer to avoid or delay?ย  Please tell me I am not alone in this?! I’m sorry if this makes clean freaks freak. ๐Ÿ˜‰ย  Feel free to swing by and remedy the problem!

The true confessions of a real-life mama,

Lydia

Be real! You have to have a weak spot somewhere!
Be real! You have to have a weak spot somewhere!

On Using Soap Nuts

“What on earth are soap nuts?!” you ask.

I wondered as well after I won some at a cloth nappy gathering I attended during Cloth Nappy Week .

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This is what they look like.
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They are super versatile!

So, my first try at using them was that day,ย  I think (endless cloth nappy and child laundry!) I didn’t have a great experience with them, though, and my clothes stunk. :/ Not ideal! I stopped using them and there they sat.

As I was nearing the end of my cloth nappy detergent, I started researching how I could avoid the smell and I came across a couple helpful blogs (here and here) and comments that made me keen to try it as a liquid rather than the soap nuts straight in the bag in the washing machine.

So, one day while mom was visiting, I got out the saucepan, popped 6 shells into the cotton bag, tied it shut,ย  added 4 cups of water, and turned the element on and started the process!

I then let it get to boil, mashed the bag a little to release more suds, and then turned it down to simmer for thirty sixty minutes. Then I prodded it a few more times, and it then sat in the pan for a couple hours overnight before I poured it into a plastic container.

I was also out of shampoo by this point, so I HAD to make it. I have been trying to replace things with stuff I already have around the house. See my Baking Soda and Coconut toothpaste post coming soon.

Here’s how it’s been going…

As a shampoo-

I’ve only used it twice so far, so the jury is still out on it. I did learn the first time that I needed less than I used, but it’s hard to gauge as it’s not sudsy like “normal” shampoo. I poured a little into my hands, put it onto my head, massaged it through my hair (kinda guessing because you can’t really feel it!) and did a little in my hands and added that to the ends of my hair. Then I stuck my head under the water and massaged it all in a heap more, trying to make sure that it spread out evenly.

My hair definitely felt different (probably because it’s not full of chemicals!), but afterwards seemed super heavy and greasy, but felt clean and soft within an hour of drying it. I tried it again this morning and used half as much or less and it still came out appearing greasy, but now (14hrs later) actually looks even better than it did when I got out and dried it. Weird. I’ll have to do an update after using it a bit longer!

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As laundry detergent-

I love it as a liquid- especially once I learned that it helps to add it to warm water first and then pour it in. Absolutely no smell problems now, and they definitely seem cleaner than ever. You use only a tablespoon or two of the liquid, so it’s super duper economical! See here for a price comparison.

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I didn’t intend to try it out like this, but after I made the liquid, I had the bag sitting by the sink and it was turning a bit brown from the wet soap nuts, so I went to rinse it out and got heaps of suds! So, I set it aside again and with the next lot of dishes, I just squeezed the bag a few times and had my dish soap! AWESOME! Dishes came out as clean as usual and I am quite keen to carry on doing that.

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So as you can see, it’s a very versatile product and I’m excited to see how we go over the coming months! I’ll be sure to update this or link back to it as my uses continue to vary and I see the longer term results- pros and cons.

Please do share your experiences and tips on how they’ve worked for you!

**Update April 2015- So I didn’t end up using it as a shampoo for long. I am sure it was cleaning well enough, but I wasn’t quite there in my crunchy journey to give up my sudsy, luxurious feeling shampoo. I still used it as a laundry soap until just the other day, but only because I was trying something new with the cloth nappies. The soap nuts weren’t the problem- I think it is more of my routine that is the problem. ๐Ÿ˜‰ (laziness!)

I would still highly recommend using them for laundry and dish soap!**

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They are all these good things…natural, hypoallergenic, fragrance free, biodegradable- but my favourite part is the “up to 90 loads thing!”
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Obviously, since I won these, it’s the only brand I’ve tried, but I am happy with them!