Monday, July 29, 2013

Clean Your Home Naturally - Easy Homemade Disinfecting Spray and Toilet Bowl Cleaner

I have been wanting a really simple recipe to make that will disinfect the bathroom and be a good all-purpose light cleaner. When you just want to disinfect and don't actually need to scrub off hard-to-remove residue, this spray is perfect. I use it in the bathroom and on the kitchen floor (which is linoleum :(...) and it leaves a light, really nice "clean" scent behind.

Bathroom Spray - Use this to disinfect the toilet, tub, and other surfaces in the bathroom. Spray on and let dry for best results.

You will need:
A spray bottle
8-10 oz. distilled water
20-25 drops eucalyptus radiata essential oil
20-25 drops tea tree oil
10-15 drops lavender oil

First label the bottle with permanent ink. Then add the water and the oils and swish around to mix.
This should be good for 6 months, but you'll probably use it up faster than that.

*For incredible, non-toxic toilet bowl cleaner: Combine 1/4 cup baking soda and 1 cup vinegar. Stir together, dump in toilet, let sit for 5 or more minutes, scrub with a toilet brush.

Monday, July 22, 2013

Finding Our Weekly Rhythm

Being of sanguine temperament I always struggle with sticking to our rhythm. I even find it hard to "finalize" our family rhythm, because I get so hypnotized by all of the lovely details, and want to do it all. One thing I strive for is no media in front of the kids. This is nearly impossible, as I have two jobs which require computer and iPhone time. However, my goal is zero media so that I expose them to as little as possible.

Probably also due to my temperament, I have to stay busy, doing at least two things at once, or else I go crazy. In the past this has meant 1. knitting a sweater while watching a movie while writing my thesis, 2. reading a book while checking my email while cooking dinner, 3. doing an oil painting while talking on the phone while journaling, etc. So much of what I did before kids is on the back-burner now, but I still crave doing multiple things at once.

The bad days look like this: watching my children while sneakily working on my iPhone while filling jewelry orders every time someone is not crying. Not ideal. It is so important to me to make time to play with my kids, and I definitely do that, but I think I needed to find some other things to do in front of them while they play independently or with each other that would be enriching for their lives as well.

When I do a meaningful task, like folding laundry or making dinner, the girls either join me or play *for the most part* happily somewhere near me. The second I try to do something on the computer, or pick up a book or my phone, suddenly they are both falling apart. I think it's so good for them to see me working at something purposefully with my hands, and I don't mean typing on a keyboard.

I am working on writing up a chart for a weekly rhythm, where each day lists an activity taking care of the home. Some contenders are: folding laundry, deep-cleaning the bathrooms, weeding the garden, push-mowing the grass (have to get a push-mower...), mending clothes, and re-beeswaxing the wooden bowls and utensils. I do all of these things every week, but there is no real order to them. I would like to have the sing-songy "Wednesday is polishing the bowls day" about these tasks, and when I have it all drawn up, I'll be sure to post it.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Make A Little Fairy Mobile

Beneath the Rowan tree on easy sells, among other things kits to make sweet little fairy mobiles. I am always on the lookout for fun projects to do with Isla during our "special time" while Lyra naps. This was a good one, and you can buy one here. It would also be a sweet project for a pregnant mama expecting a little one.

Here is our finished mobile, hanging up in the play room:

Monday, July 8, 2013

The Best Kid Hike in SB

One of my favorite hikes to do with children is Tucker's Grove. To get there, take the 101 north to Turnpike exit and turn towards the mountains. Once in the park, drive all the way to the end and park near the trailhead. Here's Lyr, on our way back, with a little friend she found on the road:

Monday, July 1, 2013

Get Camping

There are so many beautiful places to camp near Santa Barbara, and it's not as hard to pull it off as you might think. I didn't camp for years after having Isla, thinking it would be too difficult without Ryan, who was busy working and building our business. Now that the girls are 4 and 2, I've taken them twice, without the hardworking hubby, and both trips were surprisingly easy.

Our most recent trip was to Big Sur, which was an easy 3 hour car trip away (ok, maybe 3.5 hours since we had to stop 4 times to go potty!) We stayed at Plaskett Creek, on the Southern side of Big Sur.

It was a great spot, with lots of room for the kids to run and climb:

...and a very short walk to the bluffs and beach:

Because we were only staying one night, and setting up/taking down a tent seemed like a lot of work to me, we camped in the Prius!

We didn't bring a stove, (which we will be sure to bring next time!) so I just brought a cooler and a big basket of easy food like fruit, yogurt, nut butter, rice cakes, corn cakes, gluten-free pizza, prepared gluten-free pasta, prepared oatmeal and agave, prepared rice and beans, cold chai for me, coconut water, salami and turkey for my carnivorous children, avocados, lots of veggies like carrots and zucchini, etc. I will admit, we met some of our dear mamatoto friends there, and Emma made us a gourmet dinner that night, but we arguably would have survived without it...

We left home at 6am, arrived by 9:30, played all day, ate Emma's homemade gluten-free s'mores around a campfire, slept in the car, packed up, and headed home around 11. Both girls were happily exhausted and slept the whole way home, so we made it back by 2. An entire vacation in 31 hours. Success!