Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Recipes. Show all posts

Friday, June 20, 2014

Cleaning with Homemade Cleaners (Take 1)

I’ve cleaned my home for many years using both handmade and store bought cleaners.  When purchasing store bought cleaners I’ve tried to stay to more natural or eco-friendly cleaners (eg. Method).  Not until recently, have I felt ready to jump in and make a switch that will hopefully eliminate my need for store bought cleaners permanently.

One area in my house I have always used store bought chemical cleaner is… the dreaded cleaning of the toilets.  I somehow thought if I used a whole bunch of chemicals in the form of a blue liquid, that this was the only way to “safely clean” my toilets.  I had a mental block preventing me from seeing another solution.  After all, I knew there had to be another way.  Otherwise how would my grandmother have cleaned hers??  I'm pretty sure she was not investing in blue liquid.  But I needed to use a recipe from someone I trust.

I recently purchased the book “The Organically Clean Home” by Becky Rapinchuk (Clean Mama).  She has changed the way I think of “clean”.  Using her book, I’m making some changes and switching to homemade, natural, chemical free cleaners throughout my home.

The Organically Clean Home (by Becky Rapinchuk) - via

For years, I have cleaned my sinks and showers with pure 100% white vinegar.  Not a nice smell I know, but I knew it worked.  I knew that vinegar has a ton of germ killing properties.  I knew that it worked well in our old house to clean up the effects of hard well water.  Heck, “vinegar” has its own label here on my blog, I use it so much.  Sometimes vinegar was the only thing that would work to clean my sinks and showers at the old house, no store bought cleaner could compare.  But I could not get past cleaning toilets naturally and without a blue liquid.  With Becky’s book, I hope to conquer this fear.

Last night, I made 2 recipes from her book.  I wanted to start with recipes I knew I would use often and would make a big difference in our house.  One recipe is for my bathrooms – Lavender and Lemon Bathroom Disinfecting Spray.   And one is for my kitchen – Tea Tree and Orange Disinfecting Cleaner.  I’m not new to Tea Tree essential oil, and I know it has MANY benefits.  But, I’m most excited that I can now replace my 100% vinegar solutions.  My nose will thank me I’m sure.  And now I won’t be worried about using my cleaners before company arrives because I was afraid of the vinegar odour.  These cleaners smell wonderful!

My first 2 cleaners from The Organically Clean Home Book
I gave the new cleaners a test run, and I am very impressed with how easy they were to throw together.  I have all the ingredients on hand.  I can now replace my homemade kitchen cleaner and my 100% vinegar bathroom cleaner.  I’m so HAPPY!

I’m excited to try more recipes from her book.  I have sticky notes all over the pages of her book, marking recipes I want to try next.  The best part is most of the recipes use ingredients I already have on hand.

The Organically Clean Home, Post its marking recipes to make later
This week, I’m going to conquer my bathroom toilet cleaning fear.  I’m giving her very simple, chemical free recipe a try.  Not only can I pronounce all the ingredients and I know what they are.  Big step.  I will let you know how I make out!

As Always,

By the way, I’m not paid for this post, all opinions are my own.  I just love her book and want to share how it is changing my cleaning routine :)

Monday, May 12, 2014

Homemade Goo Gone

Over the summer, I made my own homemade goo gone.  I used to buy goo gone from the store until I read the back of the bottle and all the warnings and ingredients, YIKES!

Mostly, I use goo gone in my house to remove unwanted stickers from items including plates, cups, jars, spray bottles and many other items.

Don't have time to make your own goo gone and want a natural solution?  You can now purchase my natural sticker and goo remover in my Etsy shop --> Click here!  You can even purchase my lavender scented version here!

There are many versions on the internet to make your own goo gone.  Basically, you will need an oil to soak into the sticker and a gentle abrasive to work at removing the sticker.  Here is my version, which is very simple:


Baking Soda in cup
1/3 cup baking soda

Dr. Bronner's Coconut Oil
1/3 cup coconut oil (I used Dr. Bronner’s)

Lavender Essential Oil 10ml - Simple is Pretty Etsy Shop

Essential oil (optional) - Choose whatever scent you enjoy.  Check out my Etsy shop for 100% Pure Essential oils to scent your goo gone naturally.

Jar to put homemade goo gone in
A small jar (for storing your new goo gone)


1. Measure about 1/3 cup of coconut oil into a glass measuring cup.  Put it in the microwave for a few seconds (time will vary depending on the microwave used).  You will want the coconut oil to become a liquid, but not hot.

measuring cup with coconut oil
2. Add in 1/3 cup of baking soda to the coconut oil.  Stir till combined and all the lumps are gone.  Add a few drops of essential oil if you desire.  I like the smell of the coconut oil, so I did not use essential oil to scent my goo gone.

Coconut oil and baking soda

Pouring baking soda in coconut oil
3. Pour the combined mixture into a jar to store.  Let it cool to room temperature and it will become a paste.

Homemade Goo Gone
4. Once the goo gone becomes a paste, it will be easy to spread on stickers or sticker residue to remove them.  I use a paper towel to grab some from the jar and spread where I need it.  I wait a few minutes for the oil to soak in and then you will need to rub the mixture in with the paper towel to remove the sticker.


Serving tray with sticker on it, need to remove
Homemade Goo Gone Removing the Sticker:

Serving tray with homemade goo gone working

Serving tray with sticker removed
I find it works better if most of the paper from the sticker has been removed, but it will also work if it is not fully removed.  I no longer use the store bought version of goo gone.  My homemade version works just as well for what I use it for, which is mostly stickers.  Plus, I love how I can leave it in a drawer in my kitchen and feel safe knowing harsh chemicals are not involved in this recipe.  Something I could not do with the store bought version.

All ingredients for Homemade Goo Gone


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Easy Zucchini and Bread Soup

I woke up to snow covering our yard this morning.  YUCK.  It’s only October 2!  I know it won’t stick around but nonetheless, I was not prepared for it!  It has kinda sent me into panic mode, I have so much to do before winter gets here!  To make myself feel better I decided to make it a soup day.

Zucchini and Bread Soup from Simple is Pretty..

Here is what you need to make this EASY Zucchini and Bread Soup…

Zucchini and Bread Soup Ingredients from

2 onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 large zucchini or about 4 small (I had a large yellow variety on hand)
1 chicken bouillon cube
a few table spoons of Extra virgin olive oil
fresh mint to taste (optional)
8 slices of bread (frozen if you have)


Zucchini, onion, and garlic from

Peel and chop the onions.  Finely chop the garlic.  Trim the ends off the zucchini, cut them in half lengthwise and dig out the stringy and seed filled inside.  Chop up the zucchini.  Add the onion, garlic and zucchini to a large saucepan on medium-low heat, with a few table spoons of olive oil.

Cook for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally and add a little water if you need to.  Caramelize together to get the best flavour.

Bread cubes from

Cut up about 6 to 8 slices of bread into cubes.  I used frozen bread because it is easier to cut.

Add bread cubes from

After the zucchini mixture has cooked for about 1 hour, crumble in the bouillon cube and stir in the bread. 

Add water from

Pour in 4 sups of boiling water, and bring the mixture back to a boil.  Simmer for about 10 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add finely chopped mint to top of bowl or stir into soup and serve.

Zucchini and Bread Soup Recipe from
Zucchini and Bread Soup Recipe from

As Always,

Simple is Pretty Parties Here…