Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Naturally Clean Home

Dear Friends,

Have you seen our great new little book of interest, The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn Siegel-Maier? It's bright, cheery, modern cover is so refreshing, as are the recipes inside. I never liked breathing in so many chemicals, and certainly neither did Tasha! Why did we have to do so much damage to our bodies and the environment just to keep things "clean"? I love how Siegel-Maier says that cleaning naturally is actually--gasp!--a pleasure!


I gave a few recipes in her book a go, and I must say I'm impressed and rather addicted to natural cleaning. With only a small investment (mostly in the essential oils--even the book itself is only $10.95) and common household ingredients, you can clean every surface in your home. I do mean every surface: your septic system, your delicate laundry, your wood floors, your mini-blinds, your tools, the leather upholstery in your car, wicker furniture, your barbeque grill....and of course, the kitchen sink! Phew. Good thing all that cleaning is fun :)


I used one of the simple recipes on my old, stained porcelain sink. It turned out beautifully and I didn't have to plug my nose and open the windows after scrubbing. I did have to use a bit of extra elbow grease compared to the 'chemical' cleaners, but it was worth it. The lavender and lemon essential oils I used made the kitchen smell so fresh and comfortable at the same time.


Porcelain Sink Saver, by Karyn Siegel-Maier
1 part sage, rosemary, lemon balm, thyme, or mint, fresh or dried
1 part water

Brew a strong infusion by steeping the herb in hot water for 2 to 3 hours. Strain, reserving the liquid. Close the sink drain, pour in the liquid, and allow it to work for several hours or overnight. If the stain persists, place 4 to 6 drops of your favorite esential oil directly on the stain and then scrub the spot with a baking soda sprinkled on a damp sponge.


Simple Sink Cleanser, by Karyn Siegel-Maier

Bon Ami brand cleanser is made of grated detergent and feldspar and is nontoxic and nonabrasive. Sprinkle it freely in the sink basin and add 5 to 6 essential oil of choice. Scrub and rinse well.

Recipes used with permission: The Naturally Clean Home by Karyn SiegelMaier © Storey Publishing, pgs 37–38. http://www.storey.com.

Both Siegel-Maier and I are fans of Bon Ami cleanser. Have you tried it? It's an old-fashioned favorite, and here in Vermont, I pick it up whenever I visit the Vermont Country Store. If you haven't heard of the Vermont Country Store, you'll love it, I'm sure! They are "Purveyors of the Practical and Hard-to-Find." Here is their website: Vermont Country Store.

Truly, this little book will change how you think about cleaning. Snap up a cute little copy and indulge your senses in the process of cleaning. You'll feel so connected and satisfied...and Tasha would be pleased! You can view and order the book by clicking on this link to our website. Let me know what you think of this book! Tried any recipes? Have any of your own to share?
Greetings from Vermont!
~Natalie

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Whale of a Good Shelf

Dear Friends,

First off, thanks so much for the great response to the blog! I received so many wonderful emails, notes, and comments (and followers!). We're off to a great start.

I just wanted to tell you about Seth's Whale Shelf today. A dear woman just ordered one and I'm sure she'll love it when it arrives. Seth makes them from pine on the family property, and they are just like one on the wall in Tasha's winter kitchen. The silhouette on the side is that of a whale. It has so much old-fashioned charm!



Tasha had hers painted blue, but the one we just sent out was unfinished. I'm telling you, the wood was just a thing of beauty. Creamy white, smooth as can be, I wanted one myself right then and there! I think they'd be perfect for a nautical-themed little boy's room (or an adult study, for that matter!), or any room in a country home. Bathroom, kitchen, living room, hallway?

You can find Seth's Whale Shelves and other items by clicking on this link to our website: Seth's Furniture. Do you have one of Seth's Whale Shelves or an antique one? Tell us about it!