the best all-natural stove cleaner
The more and more I look for natural ways to clean and improve my home, the more pleasantly surprised I am. Truth be told, in the beginning when I heard the notion of cleaning with vinegar and scrubbing with baking soda, I believed I needed the chemicals for my house to get clean and to SMELL clean.
But as I've experimented, I've learned that only do some of the recipes get the house CLEAN, that when used with the right natural oils, it can smell heavenly. No chemicals, no worries.
Below you will find an easy mix to spray on kitchen appliances, especially the surfaces where food gets stuck on, like your stove top and oven doors.
What You'll Need
2 C. Warm Water
1 1/2 Tbsp. Baking Soda
1/4 C. White Vinegar
*optional - you may add 5 drops of your favorite essential oil. I myself keep this one unscented to save cost.
Mix all ingredients in spray bottle. Use caution when mixing, as the vinegar and baking soda will foam up when mixed. Spray on stove and inside oven door and allow to sit for 15 minutes. Sprinkle a small amount of added baking soda to really bad stains or areas. Clean with a scrub sponge, one that's abrasive, but still gentle enough for a delicate flat top stove surface.
Wipe with a damp towel to remove any baking soda residue.
This worked WONDERS on my stove top. I have burnt on rings around each burner and soaking them in this solution allowed it to wipe clean with minimal elbow grease! My kind of cleaning and NO chemicals!!
I'd love to hear your natural kitchen remedies!!
freshen your mattress naturally
Our bedroom is one of my very favorite rooms in our home. It's small and romantic and just so homey. Mr. Charming had the mattresses of all mattresses when I moved in with him and our bed is luxuriously comfortable. Our pups have their own little beds and our room is filled with photos of our travels, our friends and our wedding. It's just such a loving space.
One of the most important things is keeping our room fresh and clean to help lower allergens from the seasonal changes and rooming with two pups. Although they aren't allowed on the bed, the room still gets quite dusty and sometimes musty from four of us sharing the space.
All natural cleansing is at the top of my list when it comes to caring for our home, especially the bedroom because we do spend so much time here, and it's where we sleep and rejuvenate. I wash the bedding weekly with Honest laundry soap and Meyer all natural dryer sheets, but one of my favorite things to do is freshen our pillows and mattresses. I also keep the down pillows and our mattress zipped up in organic covers to eliminate dust mites and allergens from making it from the fabrics to our noses.
Once a month, I unzip the mattress and pillows and sprinkle them deliberately with the recipe below. I love the smell of lavender, as it makes the room smell pretty and promotes sleep and relaxation. Scroll down for the recipe and instructions for this sweet and easy room refresher.
natural mattress refresher.
1 C. Baking Soda
4-5 Drops of Essential Oil (I use Lavender for its relaxing properties & pleasant smell)
Mix baking soda and essential oil in a container with small holes for sprinkling. (I actually used a recycled gluten-free travel oatmeal container and poked holes in the top.) Remove sheets and pillow cases, and sprinkle generously on pillows and mattress and allow to sit for thirty minutes. Vacuum off completely using the hose attachment of your vacuum. Replace bedding.
an all-natural puploaf
So, as I stated earlier this month, I wanted to explore the world of creating natural, real meals for our dogs, Princeton and Charlie. Our lab, Princeton has suffered from allergies and inflammation for the last few years, and I find it a blessing that in learning so much about how what WE eat affects US, I can use the same tools to help extend the life of our fur babies.
Charlie, our baby schnauzer, at just nine months old, started to have seasonal allergy reaction and itchy paws and I knew I didn't want him going through his life suffering if I could help strengthen his little system.
So much of what's in conventional dog food, or "kibble", is processed fillers and harmful grain ingredients that react in dogs bodies much like they do in ours.
Now, I am not going to say this is cheap. But I believe in giving them the best life I can for what I can afford. We already bought higher end dog food before starting the natural dog food endeavor. Princeton has been on a grain-free food for a few years now, which has definitely offered him improvements in his health. However, the vet and our trainer has Charlie on an Iams Puppy, which I'm just not 100% comfortable with him consuming.
So, I went for it, and I got some meat, eggs, and veggies to make them a "Pup" loaf. The full recipe is below, but the process was SUPER easy and this was pretty affordable. When I did the math on the cost of the trade off natural/higher end dog food, it ended up $10 more a month for Princeton and around $5 extra for Charlie. To me, that's totally worth it.
I have about nine recipes that I'd like to try, and to make it a permanent switch I will be talking to a holistic vet so I can make sure they get the fats and vitamins they NEED to thrive. Always make sure you speak to your vet or a naturopathic or holistic vet to supply your pet with the best diet for them. We decided to make this switch because they are both regularly at the vet, and are in great health.
Sprouts carries a full line of supplemental coconut and flax oil and vitamins for dogs for those wanting to feed their pups a natural food diet. I loved seeing all of the healthy options. They also carry a line of dehydrated "real food" packaged items, but beware, my pups tummy's tolerate the natural diet well, but something in the dehydrated mix made them quite sick as they didn't keep the food down. It may have been the barley, as I feed them a mainly gluten-free, grain-free diet with lots of healthy fats.
I'd love to hear your plans for feeing your dog naturally, your experience or any questions you may have as I take on this journey. The recipe below is easy to pin to save for later.
foods to never feed your dog
While I'm exploring the world of natural food for my dogs, I wanted to put out a list of foods to never feed your animal. There are healthy fruits, meats and vegetables for our furry friends and then there are some that, although healthy for us, can harm them.
A handy little pinable graphic to keep on hand.
A year ago, that title would have sounded absolutely ridiculous to me. Don't get me wrong, I'm a dog person. I am most definitely a dog person. My two dogs, Princeton (an 11 yr old lab) and Charlie (my 9 mo old schnauzer) are my fur-children. We stuff their Christmas stockings, we throw little birthday celebrations for them, and Charlie even may have had pro pics of him in a graduation cap when he graduated training school, but I never thought I'd be making their food.
That was, until recently. A couple of years ago our lab started developing allergies. I could see in him some of the same symptoms I was experiencing, so for almost two years now, he has been gluten and grain free. We buy high end dog food and treats for both, but it wasn't until our little one had an allergic reaction and started licking his paws (at only 9 months!) that I realized I wanted to look into a healthier, more natural approach to caring for our fur babies.
My first thought was of course, we can't afford to feed another two mouths the same food we eat. We are, after all, trying to have a human little of our own & that isn't cheap. But as I started doing more research I realized it can be a lot more affordable than I initially thought. (JOY!)
My plan is to switch Charlie to a natural food diet (consisting of proteins, minimal grains, vegetables and some fruits for snacking) with the added fats and supplements he needs as a growing puppy. For Princeton, since he's so large and WOULD eat us out of house and home, I plan to stick with his higher end grain-free dog food and add in healthy fats to the food to help heal some of his issues.
In comparing the options, raw against cooked food, I have decided to do an all-cooked food diet. Since we are trying to conceive, there is just too much risk to have raw meat in our home. So while I support the decision of those who want to feed their dogs a raw diet, it just doesn't make sense for our family to do so.
I will be updating along the way with our journey and some of our recipes. I'm excited for the journey to give our little fur boys a healthier life. I'd love to hear your stories on natural food diets for YOUR fur babies and advice on how you supplement.
I also posted a handy pinable post on the top foods to NEVER feed your dog.