Non-Toxic, All-Natural, DIY Household Cleaner Recipe

The humble but mighty ingredients

I think you and I have a few things in common.

The chances are very good that we both care about what we put on our body, what we put in our body, and even what goes on around our body.

That’s why I’m so excited to share this recipe with you.

It’s an all-purpose cleaner that works wonders in the bathroom and kitchen. It gets the job done quickly and effectively, and when you make it you’ll have the peace of mind knowing that it is safe, gentle and non-toxic. Woohoo!

I originally got the tip on these ingredients from a friend at the Healthy Beauty Social. I’ve tweaked it a bit, but I thank the lovely S.P. for the initial inspiration!

Ingredients for a Non-Toxic Household Cleaner

1/2 c baking soda
3 Tbs mild soap (I use castille soap)
1 Tb white vinegar

Directions

Mix the baking soda with the castille soap in a small bowl to make a thick paste. Once it is thoroughly incorporated, add the vinegar. It will fizz a bit and thin out the consistency just a touch.

Yield: about 5 ounces of all-natural cleaner, enough for one tub/shower/sink cleaning.

To Use

Wet the surface you’re about to clean. Scoop out the cleaner a few tablespoons at a time and scrub the surface thoroughly with a cloth or paper towel. Rinse away.

This product does wonders on soap scum and ring-around the tub. It also easily clears out any oil residue that may be left behind from your favorite handmade sugar scrub. *wink wink*

What are some of your favorite DIY household remedies?

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Friday Finds Volume 2: Beauty, Foodie and Fun!

This week’s Friday Finds post features my favorite blogs from around the world-wide-blogosphere.  The categories: Beauty, Foodie and Fun!  I believe each of these lovely bloggers to be tested and true, and they are all worth adding to your RSS feed.  Enjoy!

Favorite Beauty:

The Organic Blonde http://www.theorganicblonde.com

Written by the lovely Jacqueline, this blog is beautiful to behold and stocked full of useful information about organic beauty products and tips.

The Natural Beauty Vixen http://www.naturalbeautyvixen.com

I’ve gotten to know Jen through the Healthy Beauty Social, and she offers lots of insightful tips, features, and deals from several beauty brands that have wonderful, safe, and healthy products!

Favorite Foodie:

Food Wine ModPodge http://www.foodwineandmodpodge.com

Katie P. of FW&MP writes a beautifully balanced blog about three of her favorite things (can you guess what they are?) I go to her for delicious recipes and DIY craft tips.  I’m still waiting for the right time to try making this awesome headboard for our guest room!

My Kitchen Addiction http://www.mykitchenaddiction.com

The title of this blog really says it all.  Jen Schall offers daring and delicious recipes and I want to try each one.  (Um, Nutella Sandwich Cookies?!  Yes, please!)  Her blog is as pleasing to the eye as her recipes are to my mouth.  I also love her cookbook section.  I’ve found some great new ones to add to my collection!

Favorite Fun:

Little Brown Pen http://www.littlebrownpen.blogspot.com

I have to admit that I’m a bit of a Little Brown Pen junkie.  My husband bought me Nicole’s Paris in Yellow set for Christmas and I love to get lost in each photo’s sunny wonder.  Her blog is equally entertaining, offering fun snapshots and tidbits from her travels through the City of Light.

The Book of Alice http://www.thebookofalice.wordpress.com

Last (but most certainly not least), may I have the pleasure of introducing you to AliceThe Book of Alice is the testament of a charming, intelligent and witty young lady who will teach you the ways of the world while she practices spelling her name. Chronicled by her insightful mother, Christine, I love  seeing the world through Alice’s eyes whenever I read her posts.

***

Enjoy these reads, my friends, and have a wonderful weekend.  But before you go, won’t you share some of your favorites? Inquiring minds want to know…

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Time to Play Name-that-Sugar-Scrub!

My mint sugar scrub needs a new name.  I love its holiday version: Merry Mint, but I’m not sure that should be its name year-round.

Last year it went by the name After-Dinner Mint.  I flavored it with pure vanilla extract and organic peppermint essential oil.  It reminded me of one of those pastel mints you get at weddings, perfectly minty with a hint of sweetness.

Your feedback let me know that most of you prefer a stronger mint to the sweeter, more subtle mint of the After-Dinner version.  Merry Mint was a huge hit over the holidays, so I want to reintroduce it with a name that will suit all seasons.

Funnily, everything I come up with sounds like it should be a name for gum, not a sugar scrub.

Any suggestions?

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Friday Finds Volume 1: Etsy Lovin’

Fridays are such happy days.  It signals the start of the weekend, which I like to call a two day vacation.  Plus it comes every single week!

In its honor, I’m starting a new tradition: Friday Finds.  I’ll highlight some of my favorite things from the week, and I hope you’ll share some of your favorites, too.

This week I’m featuring a few faves from Etsy, the home of Sugared Beauty’s online shop.

Enjoy!  (And happy two day vacation!)

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Mini Ruche Bag in Coffee Bean Leather, by JennyNDesign

Mini Ruche in Coffee Bean Leather, by JennyNDesign

I’ve been swooning over these bags for months now, wondering when I’ll order one, and which color I’d like to get.

These original-design bags are all handmade in Pittsburgh by Jenny N. herself.  (Read about the design inspiration for this bag here.

Bookmark her Etsy shop and visit often.  New colors pop up frequently!


Queen Street Draped Jersey Dress, by CarolHannah

Any Project Runway fans out there?  This dress is designed and made by Carol Hannah, a finalist from season 6.  I was a fan of hers from the show, so you can imagine my delight when I found her collection for sale on Etsy!

I recently purchased on of her tops, (which I’ll be happily wearing on our anniversary date tonight), and this dress is also high on my watch list.  I love the single shoulder and its swoopy, Grecian, I-just-draped-this-over-me look.  It comes made to order in any of these colors.


 

 

Made to Order, Kindle cover, eReader Cover Book Style Aviary 2 Damask Bark

After finally entering the age of e-readers, I went shopping around for Kindle covers.  This caught my eye, a lovely handmade design from Carol Weyandt in Duncansville, Pennsylvania.

Each cover is made to order and she has patterns for all the popular e-readers, including the new Kindle Touch.

This design happens to be my favorite, but she has lots of different colors and styles available.

***While each artist has been notified that they’ve been featured in today’s post, I did not receive any compensation to feature them today.  Every opinion expressed here is my own. 

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Free Sample Trio with Purchase!

I like to tuck a little something special into each order, whether it be a free sample, a note, or a coupon code for next time.  I aim to treat my customers the way I like being treated, and I like free stuff!

So this week, with each order over $35, I’ll gift you with not one, but three free treats.  One of them is even full size!

What you’ll get:

  • 0.25oz sample of my best-selling Happy Face foaming scrub cleanser.
  • A FULL size Cocoa Butter Lotion Bar, perfect for travel and dry skin everywhere.
  • A single-serving of my brand new Cocoa Butter Bath Melt in Love Me Lemon.
No coupon code needed! Last day to order: January 29, 2012. Enjoy, my friends! xoxo

Free with Any Order Over $35! This week only.

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The Contents of My Desk.

This is Not My Desk, But Isn't it Beautiful? Credit: Melissa-Lissame. Creative Commons

Allow me to describe the contents of my desk.

To my left is an iron, a baggie full of almonds, a wine glass with a few dregs of shiraz from over a week ago, a pedometer, my camera, a half-eaten banana, a stack of various credit cards, my Square reader, and the last few Christmas cards I didn’t get around to sending.

To my right: a to-do list for the day, my iTouch, a pen, a role of packing tape, two pregnancy tests (unopened, btw), a candle, a book of checks, a headband, three blank CD’s and a pencil holder full of mediocre pens, a nail clipper and a few scraps of paper.

My desk is a bona fide mess.

Most of the time I’m strangely comforted by being surrounded with all this stuff. Other times, like today, it drives me crazy and I want to shovel it all into the garbage.

But I know better than to do that. The things on my desk are most likely the things that I’m actually going to use/need soon. If it makes it on my desk it has a higher chance of survival than say, the stuff under my bed.

Still.

I have this dream of having a Real Simple-esque office. It has minimal but classy decor and only a few useful effects sitting upon a pristine desk. The walls are white or ecru and they’re adorned with a few colorful photos by Little Brown Pen.  It’s from here that I compose witty blog posts and tweets, make friends on Facebook and thank my customers for their many purchases. I think that will always be something of a far off dream. Maybe I can produce that kind of content, but the desk?  I wonder.

Today’s to-do list contains several items, one of which reads, “clean off desk, yo!”

Wish me luck!

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Farewell for Now, Farmers Market in Hershey!

As the days get shorter and the leaves get crunchier, I am slowly accepting the fact that fall is here.

Last Thursday was my last day at the Farmers Market in Hershey.  Even as I expand to other markets and shows, I hold a special place in my heart for this little market in Chocolatetown.  Held on Thursday afternoons from 3p-6p, I’ve met wonderful friends, tasted delicious local fare, and learned a lot about what my customers want.

Here are some pictures from this season.  As I pull on my sweater and dab some Cocoa Butter lotion bar on my already-drier skin, I’m looking forward to next year!  

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What Do You Want for Christmas?

First let me say that I know the Holidays are still nearly four months away.

Like you, I never understand why some stores start decorating for Christmas before Halloween.  But Santa is a very busy man, and I’ve got to meet with him early if I’m going to meet with him at all.

So I’m curious: what’s on your wishlist for Sugared Beauty this year?  What do you hope to see as far as sugar scrub flavors,  gift sets, and specials or sales?

I’m listening very carefully to what you tell me, so feel free to go for it.  Dream big!  And who knows?  You just may get what you wish for!

Happy Labor Day!  (See, I really do know which holiday it is.)  🙂

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Same Product, Different Title: Changes to Item Listings on Etsy

Etsy, the host of my online shop, has recently responded to requests for a stronger, more relevant search system within their site.  They’ve completely revamped how people find products, namely through improved keyword searches.

Thanks to their search systems, I’ve been able to cast a wider net as a fledgling business to reach customers I couldn’t have found otherwise.

I saw Sugared Beauty when I did a search for products made with coconut oil.” G.V.

“I found you through a keyword when I was doing some browsing here on Etsy.” -E.S.

In order to take advantage of this increased searchability, I’ve had to seriously edit my titles.  Before, I enjoyed using descriptive words with my products’ dessert-themed names like Chocolate Cake! and Sugared Lemonade.  But now I’ve adopted a much more matter-of-fact approach to titling my items.

For example, the listing for my four ounce jar of Sugared Lemonade body sugar used to read:

Four Ounces, Sugared Lemonade Moisturizing Body Sugar. Handmade Skin Care with Organic Virgin Coconut Oil and Raw Sugar

It now reads:

Lemon Sugar Scrub with Organic Ingredients. Four Ounces. Gluten Free and Vegan Friendly with Organic Coconut Oil and Raw Sugar.

It’s still the same product you’ve come to love, and the label on the jar will still read Sugared Lemonade, but hopefully this title will help reach those who don’t yet know that they love it.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below or send me an email.  I haven’t changed any of my sugar scrub formulas, I’m simply growing with Etsy as they grow into a more search-friendly site.

And yes, you’ll probably see the phrase “Gluten Free” on most of my products’ titles.  It’s amazing how many people are searching for gluten free cosmetics these days.

I’m happy to be among the brands that offer products to meet that demand!

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New Uses for the Cocoa Butter Lotion Bar: Lip Balm and Under Eye Cream!

“Your Cocoa Butter lotion bar makes an amazing lip balm…one of the best ones I’ve ever used :)”

This comment came through my Facebook page the other day.  Her comment astounded me, because she was using this product in a totally new way…one that I hadn’t even thought of.  She went on to write:

“I used it as a night under eye treatment. I does wonders. We really have to give more credit to that “little miracle worker””

Since then, I’ve been using the lotion bar every night as an under-eye treatment.  It goes on smoothly, the twist-up tube makes it very easy to do a finger-free application, and I know that the delicate skin around my eyes are getting a hefty dose of anti-oxidants, vitamins, anti-microbial goodness.  Those crows feet can just fly, fly away!

Thank you S.P., for getting creative with this product and discovering new ways to use it. I love products that have multi-uses.  You get a better value for your money, and it helps de-clutter your skin regime, too!

The Cocoa Butter Lotion Bar can work in all these ways:

  • A dainty, purse-sized moisturizer that won’t spill in your bag.
  • An easy-to-apply lotion after shaving.
  • A powerful weapon against those pesky lines around your eyes.
  • A moisture-packed lip balm to protect and preserve those kissable lips!

It’s also formulated without any:

  • Parabens
  • Gluten
  • Synthetic Emulsifiers
  • Perfumes/Fragrance
  • Undisclosed Ingredients

Plus, for you jet-setters out there, it passes muster with the FAA so it doesn’t have to take up precious room in your quart-sized toiletry bag!

To order now, click HERE.

Have you discovered a favorite way to use your Sugared Beauty products?  Share the love below!

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