Easy “Natural” laundry soap

4If you are planing to change a few things around your home to remove and reduce chemicals and toxins, this is the easiest way to start. Clean your cloths without synthetic dyes or perfumes that can be extremely harmful to people with sensitive skin or allergies.  You will never go back to those pricey store bought laundry soaps again.

I started making this laundry soap over 6 years ago and still make it using just a few “back to basic” ingredients.

3We buy Eco-Pioneer products that we use for almost everything to clean our home. You will need:

Pure Soap Flakes (made from vegetable oils)- Forces out dirt
Pure Washing Soda- Cuts grease and softens water
Pure Baking Soda- A Natural deodorizer
Borax- Kills germs and whitens

We buy these products through Well.ca but you can find most of these ingredients at your local grocery store.

Here is the easiest DIY natural laundry soap.

In a large bowl I mix:

    • 1 cup of Soap flakes
    • half cup of Borax
    • half cup of Baking soda
    • half cup of washing soda

Add a teaspoon of your favorite essential oil and mix up very well. Best scents for laundry are Sweet orange, Lemon, Lime, Peppermint, Grapefruit, Tea tree, etc.

Once you have mixed up your laundry soap, store it in an air tight jar to keep the essential oils locked in.

2This will last you many, many washings. I add 2 to 4 tablespoons in about 2 cups of hot water to dissolve it before adding  into the wash, this helps dissolve it since I wash with cold water. I add vinegar to the final rinse to soften the cloths and to help remove any soap residue. Please note that you will not get a lot of bubbles, but it’s not needed since your cloths will come out nice and clean. This is a great laundry soap for cloth diapers, babies clothing, people with sensitive skin, and will work with HE washing machines as well.

HAPPY LAUNDRY DAY!

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Breath Well

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Today I’ve decided to make some natural room spray. This can save on some serious cash, while saving your home environment and lungs from chemicals, toxins, and a whole lifetime of respiratory problems. Try making your very own with 100% essential oils. They don’t just smell amazing, they also have therapeutic benefits. I have been mixing essential oils with nothing more than water for years to freshen our home. I always took my favorite scents and blending them without thinking about their benefits. Now, I am reading up on the many different benefits and uses. I made a room spray to keep the cold and flu away.

Here are some essential oils that work wonders for just that:

Peppermint:

Eucalyptus:

Lemon:

Lavender:

Tea Tree:

Thyme:

Oregano:

Most of these oils are antiseptic, antibacterial, detoxifying, disinfectant, germicide, fungicide, purifying, cleansing, deodorizing….

I did have some of these oils so here’s what I’ve mixed.

20 drops of Lemon Eucalyptus

20 drops of Peppermint

10 drops of Lavender

10 drops of tea tree

This was added to a 4 oz blue glass spray bottle with spring water and shaken well. Please note that a dark glass bottle is much better than clear glass or plastic ones, the darkened glass will extend the life of your spray.

to extend the life of your spray.
to extend the life of your spray.

Eco Christmas

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I know what your thinking….” Christmas already?????? ” It’s not even Halloween yet!

But when your someone who makes all the gifts you do need to start early.

Over the weekend our son Liam made us a beautiful, natural Christmas tree garland. He took some thick Hemp rope and natural stained wooden balls to make this. I love the natural colors mixed with the raw look of hemp rope. Each year for the last 12 years, Henry and I have made Christmas gifts for everyone. Each year is different from the previous, so it’s time we get some ideas together and get busy. This Christmas, I think I will make some Hemp/cotton comfy pants for everyone. I have lots of extra fabric and they are quick and easy for me to make.

All our gifts are made with natural and organic in mind. From herb boxes, clothing, soaps and recycled projects. I feel that a gift made by us is much more heart felt. We stay clear of the craziness in stores, the craziness of other people who forgot the true meaning of gift giving and kindness.  I have enjoyed each year making my gifts and will do so as the years go by.

We (Really me) have made pants a few years ago for everyone however, I’m thinking those all long gone or don’t fit some of them. Along with our handmade soap, this should be a wonderful gift to give.

What do you make for Christmas gifts?

Will you make something new this year?

Do you keep Eco friendly in mind with your gifts?

Handmade Soap with Local Organic Beer

beer-soap

We have been busy making a few batches of Beer soap for the up and coming markets.  Just down the road from us is the first Cape Breton Organic Brewing company. We decided to make some soap with their beer and they’ve turned out great. Big Spruce Brewing produce organic beers and also grow their own organic hops.

Some distinguishing  characteristics of beer soap are that it lathers well and is moisturizing for the skin. As a herb hops has several unique qualities, the two most prominent are its anti-bacterial preserving properties, which are important for making beer, and the other is its calming and slight sedative affects. These properties are only very slightly present in the soap due to the saponification process.

The last batch we are making with beer is our Favorite Shaven Soap. All 3 Beer soaps will be the perfect gift to give your Man for Christmas this year.

Not to worry, bathing in Beer soap will not leave you smelling like you spent the day at the Pub.

soap

We love that Big Spruce Beer comes in these Amber glass jugs.

soap-1

The soap shown above has Veg. Oil, Coconut Oil, Hemp Oil, Cocoa Butter and is scented with Bergamot essential oil.

soap-2

The soap shown above has Veg. Oil, Coconut Oil, Hemp Oil, Cocoa Butter and is scented with Sweet Orange and Clary-sage essential oils. Ground walnut husk are added for a bit of grit.

Let’s make a difference

When making our soaps as well as all our other products we carefully source the ingredients and materials that go into making each item. The main factor that influences our choice is the environmental impact any ingredient may inherit through production or processing. With our soap we make sure not to use any Palm Oils or derivatives from this entire industry. The production of palm oil has become one of the worst scenarios for environmental degradation on our planet. Not only annihilating animal and plant species but destroying complete ecosystems. Natural habitat for indigenous tree species (even within so called protected areas) has been totally destroyed bringing whole species to extinction. Another concern is the continued destruction of what is left of the critically endangered Orangutangs and Sumatran Tigers natural habitat. The destruction is so vast it is difficult to even fathom it’s true extent.

plantation

Palm oil is found in many products including processed foods, cosmetics, cleaners, soaps and shampoos and is now used extensively as a bio-fuel. In many instances companies hide the use of palm oil by labeling it as a vegetable oil. There are better suited and more local alternatives for us to use in place of Palm Oil. We strongly support using Canadian produced Hemp Oil and Canola Oil. Besides becoming aware of the negative impacts that products carry we must also take action by only purchasing and using products which help create and sustain a viable natural environment and future.

Not Quite Grounded

This has been the hardest year for me, “my soul to speak”.

The first day Henry and I met over 12 years ago, we dreamed of having our own land and home in the forest. We would take long walks everyday throughout Edmonton trails and back allies, picking all kinds of flowers and weeds. Henry talked about each of them, teaching me their names and useful things one could do with all of them. I was sold on the wonders of such things from that moment. We planted our first herb garden together from seeds and watched it grow.

Trips to many greenhouses, Henry bought me many books about herbs and dried flowers, we would have long talks about one day taking those herbs and planting them on our very own land.

I dove into hanging and drying everything. Turning them into dried arrangements, bath products and such. Adding them into handmade paper, fragrant sachets, gifts for Christmas for everyone.

We moved many times in Edmonton. We dug up our herbs, leaving a little behind for the next, and replanted them again. Those herbs are no longer ours and left behind as we could not bring them to Cape Breton.

ap

We have been here in Cape Breton for 3 years now. Each Mother’s Day and Birthdays I only ask for seeds and Herbs to start again. I have had no or very little time to garden. Our few herbs are now planted here and there, temporary homes, “not quite grounded”.

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Soapwort

We did buy that land in the forest last year and it is wonderful. However, I’m feeling a bit left out. Henry is amazing and talented. Clearing some land and building our home with his very own two hands. I long to put my hands to work on what we own. Digging them into our soil and starting a place to grow many things. I’m so antsy but I will need to wait till Spring next year. I have another Birthday coming up soon. It will be a lovely day going to town and picking up more Herbs to place here on our rental land.

I hope some stores have lots left for for me.

Mama

Gardening

Earlier this year we had resolved not to put in much of a garden, mostly due to our new location and the overwhelming time constraints with all the scheduled work ahead.  However …. after +/- 1600 shovels of turned sod a small plot has emerged in our back yard. This will provide a small space for a fellow gardener while she develops her own land for future gardens.

garden

The gardening has been very delayed this year mostly due to the continued frosts and damp weather. Despite all the unseasonal cool spring weather we now have a profusion of blossoms. The apple trees have outdone themselves and are literally overflowing with blossoms.

apple

The bees now have a fresh feast to enjoy in the apple orchard as all the dandelions turn into fluffy puff balls.

dandy

A cascade of white Spirea blossoms greets us at the corner of the porch and the Lilac blossoms will open soon and exhale their  sweet aroma into the air.

spirea

Berries

The summer is flying by with all the hectic activities on the go. There is a stream of endless tasks along with the major undertaking of building the shop and house. This morning while mowing the grass and organizing around the yard I picked a handful of stray raspberries at the fringe of our yard. I ended up getting a bit carried away. I went inside and got a small container to hold the berries that practically fell into my hands and before you know it I had to go in again to get a bigger container. In less than half an hour I had picked more than 6 cups full.

This year is definitely a “berry good” year. Lots of wild raspberries and there are loads of blueberries ready to pick in the field. The blackberries are just starting to ripen and it looks as though there will be buckets of them too.

Picking berries provides a brief repose from the hectic day. A chance to reminisce about summers as a child in the wilds of Alberta picking berries with my siblings. My mother made endless amounts of preserves from the wild berries we used to pick.  At that time an important part of my summer holidays was to pick wild Raspberries, Blueberries and Saskatoon’s. On our family outings picking berries both my sisters and I had to pick a small bucket full of berries before we were allowed to go play for the remainder of each picking day. After our buckets were filled we would explore the forests and fields. One of my favorite activities was to escape my sisters and scavenge the fallow fields for Indian arrowheads and other stone tooling. In the attic at my parents place is a box full of artifacts I found on some of these summer days gone by.

It is amazing when I reflect back at the amount of work my parents did to maintain our family. Picking all those berries and then preserving them in jams, juices and jellies. I will be putting these berries in the freezer, it’s so easy and Tracey loves to use them frozen for the Smoothies she makes every day. I will be definitely straying away from the regular work day to reminisce among the berries.