Healthy Home Tips: From A-Z

How to Decorate for the Holidays When You have a Super Active Toddler.  

All decorations must be out of reach.  Or they will end up on the floor in a pile, which often means the garbage.  But, not before the holidays are over, of course.  So, what is a person to do when they want nice holiday decorations with out the stress of watching your toddler like a hawk, which usually is needed anyways.  Decorate the tops of doors and windows.  You can hang garland, lights, ornaments, ribbon, bows, wreaths, etc...

Or decorate a large wreath and put it up instead of a picture that has been up all year long.

Another option, is decorating a room.  Like a powder room where you can close it off.  I also hang snowflakes on my mirrors...

Instead of a tree (unless you still want to have a tree, you could do this in addition to the tree) decorate your chandeliers, by hanging ornaments on ribbons...

And, finally everyone decorates the mantel, but what about the top of other furniture like bookcases...

And, if you don't have a mantel and don't want to hang your stockings on a bookcase that might fall over.  or on a shelf where the stockings could fall off.  Try tying them with a ribbon / bow to a railing if you have stairs.

And, remember sometimes less is more.  So, don't think that you have to have a bunch of holiday decorations.  Just have fun and try to be creative! Happy Holidays!

Organizing the Wrapping Materials

You probably shouldn’t take on a huge organizing project this time of year, but if you spend just a little bit of time organizing the wrapping paper and supplies it will make wrapping gifts so much more efficient and fun!

A great place to start is by either using old cardboard or rubbermaid type bins/boxes to put all the gift bags (and clothes boxes if they will fit and you have any) into.  I separated mine by category, you can even use an old piece of cardboard as a separator; for exp: Holiday/X-mas, b-day, babyshower, wedding shower and misc. which are the bags that can be used for pretty much anything.

Second, I would suggest to get a smaller box/bin; again you can use an old cardboard box or rubbermaid bin.  This one is for the tissue paper.  I like to try and flatten my paper as best I can and then fold it up so it will be less wrinkly.  Plus, folding it makes it easier to see the pattern on it.

Third, is ribbons, bows and tags.  Again, same concept as before with using an old cardboard box or  rubbermaid type bin.  You can either just set the ribbons in the box/bin, which is what I did since they will change as time goes by and I use them.  Or you can cut little slits in the box/bin and pull the ribbon thru so that way it is super easy to access; just be careful and tape the cut edges so you don’t cut your fingers on the sharp edges.  But, if you choose the second option, I’d suggest to use a clear plastic bin/box so that way you can see how much ribbon is left so you don’t waste your time and run out before you are finished wrapping the present.  You can also combine the tissue and ribbon boxes/bins if you have the room to put them in one.  If you have ribbons that do not have tubs to hold them anymore, you can use an old toilet paper or paper towel roll as a replacement and wrap them on it or just put them in a plastic baggy.  And, to keep the ribbons from getting tangled and unraveling, I’d tape the end of the ribbon to the tube.

Fourth, is the wrapping paper rolls.  My first suggestion, would be to use a ribbon tied around the rolls so that way they do not unroll.  I would not use tape or a rubber band, because they can tear the paper.  If you have the room and a lot of wrapping paper rolls, a great place to keep them together and from falling over and getting crunched is an old hamper or you can get a super cheap one, doesn’t need to be pretty, unless you want it to of course.  You can always spray paint it in a nice color when you have more time and the weather outside is warmer.

100% Natural & Toxic-Free Super Stain Remover

We all get stains on our clothes, and if you have kids you have to deal with even more stains.  Especially, if you have a toddler, then it’s on a daily basis.  And, who wants to spend a bunch of money on stain removers that usually don’t work, not me.  I’ve pretty much tried them all, and over half the time the stain is still partly there.  Plus, the name brand stain removers are filled with harmful chemicals that are suppose to get the stains out, but again often don’t.  And, I don’t know about you, but I don’t want toxins on my cloths, especially my sweet little babies clothes (even though he’s 2 years old now, he’ll always be my baby.)

Here’s a “fun” fact: It only takes our bodies 18 seconds to absorb whatever is on our skin, which includes the chemicals that are clothes, sheets, and towels are washed in.

Another scary fact: Scientists can tell what kind of detergent a person’s clothes or sheets have been washed in by testing their urine.  Because, yes your body absorbs those chemicals, through your skin. yuk!

So, what do we do?  Wear dirty stained clothes?  No.  Wash your clothes in natural detergents and use only natural stain removers.  There are a few natural ones on the market right now, but they don’t always remove stains.  Yes, they don’t have the harmful chemicals and toxins, but they should still do the job they are created to do, right?  Plus, they are more expensive than the non-natural brands.   So, my suggestion to you would be to use Shaklee’s laundry line.  It is 100% natural and safe.  Of course, this is up to you.  I’m just informing you that you can save money and get 100% all natural laundry detergent, stain remover and fabric softener.

What I use for removing stains is the degreaser that I make, which costs 20 cents per bottle, wow!  To remove most stains you only need a few sprays.  There also is Shaklee’s Nature Bright Laundry Booster and Stain Remover, which you only use one scoop per a load to boost the stain fighting power.  Plus, it will keep your colors from running onto your whites / lights.   The Nature Bright is great for old stains or super stubborn ones.  I wash my clothes in Shaklee’s Fresh Laundry Concentrate Powder, which lasts months and I do multiple loads a day, so it saves me lots of money even compared to the toxic brands.  I also like their Soft Fabric Dryer Sheets, because they work, and are less expensive.  Plus, they are biodegradable, so they are good for the planet, bonus!

Now for the Natural Super Stain Remover Recipe.  I just simply spray the stain with about 2-3 sprays of the Basic H2 Degreaser and let it sit for anywhere from a fews hours to a day, depending on how busy I am and if I remember to check it.  But, it really only needs a few hours.  If it looks like it could use a second set of sprays I’ll do them and then let that sit again for at least a few hours.  The, I’ll wash it as usual and if it’s a really bad stain then I’ll add the Nature Bright.  Or you could soak the clothes in water with ½ tsp of the Basic H2.  But, most often I’ll wait and see if the stain comes out without the Nature Bright or soaking.  If it doesn’t, which it usually does, then I just rewash with the Nature Bright.

Here is an example of a nasty stain in my son’s socks (He wore these socks for hours before I noticed the stains, boys will be boys.):


And, here is the after picture (all it needed was two sets of sprays and the normal wash):


You can purchase the whole Laundry line here:

and the Basic H2 for the degreaser here:

And, by the way, Basic H2 can be used as an all-purpose cleaner throughout your home for 3 cents per bottle.  I hope this helps you, by giving you safe and non-toxic and chemical free options for your home, while saving you lots of money too!

Organizing the Spice/herb Cabinet

Tip 1. I don’t know about you, but I hate it when I’m cooking and I’m out of or too low of a spice/herb I need.  To keep this from happening I have organized my spice/herb cabinet and taped up a little note so I can add spices/herbs to the list as I use them and notice they are low.

Tip 2. Even with a great system to keep the spices fully stocked, sometimes I/we drop the ball.  If this happens to you, there are certain spices/herbs you can substitute.  For example, oregano can be swapped for basil and vs. versa, or cinnamon and cloves for nutmeg and vs. versa.  Sometimes, this works out even better and you find that the replacement spice(s)/herb(s) make the dish better than the original spice(s)/herb(s).  But, sometimes they don’t work and you end up wasting your time and effort. Oh darn...

Tips 3.  Obviously the best solution is to not have this happen, by making sure you always has the spices/herbs you need on hand.  Especially, if it’s a family favorite recipe and everyone is looking forward to filling their tummies with your fantastic creation (like on Thanksgiving when your home is filled to the brim with hungry family and friends); my suggestion to keep you on track and reduce some unnecessary stress during the hectic holidays (which are stressful enough).  Would be to make sure to replenish spices/herbs once they are no less than ¾ empty.  

Tip 4.  I have slowly been transitioning my spices/herbs to Simply organic and get them from  On this site they are less than half the price of the non-organic cheap spices/herbs at the grocery store.  Plus, iHerb usually processes and ships the orders the same day and if you order $20 or more you get free shipping, awesome!  ( also has a bunch of other awesome items that I purchase often.)

Tip 5.  How to organize your spices/herbs.  I realize it’s nice to have the spices/herbs close to the stovetop for quick add-ins while cooking or baking, but spices/herbs are not suppose to be stored near warm/hot places, like the oven/stove top.  I keep my spices/herbs above the kitchen sink in a small cabinet.  I organized my spices/herbs by flavor, so if I feel adventurous, I can add-in similar spices/herbs that might just make the dish even better.  Plus, often when making a dish they require similar spices/herbs, which makes it faster to just grab them if they are next to or close to each other.  For example, hot spices are stored together like red pepper and chili powder, or sweet spices are stored together like cinnamon and nutmeg, and herbs are stored together like basil and oregano.

I hope this helps you with your cooking/baking this holiday season and throughout the year!  Because by taking a little time now to get organized will help you in the long run when you are even busier as the holidays continue to get closer.

Organizing the Coat Closet

If I were to have any advice for organizing at this time of year it would be to organize your coat closet.  

It will help you everyday with the ability to make quick decisions when dressing for the cold weather that will be here for the next 6 or more months.
Although it feels like 12 months. My coat closet was in super sad shape, and this happens every year.  These pictures will prove the dismay.  The list below will help with your plan of attack.

  1. Go thru all items and if in good shape put in pile for next years garage sale or donation pile, if in bad shape toss.
  2. Match up all gloves and mittens, if any are unmatched toss.
  3. Everything that does not usually belong on a coat closet put in a pile.  After closet is organized go thru this pile and put items were they belong.  If they have no home and you don't need them anymore put in next years garage sale or donation pile.  If you may need them, put them in storage until needed.
  4. Get empty tupperware, wooden, cardboard or any other box good for holding mittens, gloves and stocking hats.  Divide each family members items into their own box and label it (optional).  Make sure if you have a lot of these boxes that they are easily stackable as needed.
  5. Put command hooks on the inside of the door and hang larger shape holding hats and scarves.  Or you can put scarves in the boxes if there is room.  Make sure the lower hooks hold the shorter family members items so they can reach them.
  6. Hang coats in order either from heaviest to lightest or vis versa, which ever your preference.
  7. Any extra shelf area, put the extra items that are kept in the closet neatly so that they are easily seen and used and can be put back with little effort.
  8. If any shoes or other items such as umbrella, or in my case vacuum, neatly organized so that again, they are easy to see and be used and can be put away with little effort.
  9. Now the tricky part is maintaining this...
Here are my after pictures

How to make Basic H Wipes

These wipes are completely 100% natural and safe to use on a baby, I've used them and wouldn't trust anything else on my babies sensitive fragile skin, especially on his face when he needs a little wipe to clean up.  Would you knowingly use toxins and harsh chemicals on your innocent and trusting children?  I wouldn't on this sweet little face.

The video below shows you how to make the Basic H wipes, once you have the paper towel prepped.  (To see how to prep the paper towel watch the first part of the video on How to make 100% natural Hand, Face and Diaper Wipes.)

To make these Wipes you will need:
  • Roll of paper towels
  • Canister large enough to hold 1/2 a roll of paper towels (I use an old empty Shaklee 180 Smoothie Mix canister)
  • Cutting board
  • Large sharp knife
  • 8 oz water
  • 1 tsp Basic H from Shaklee
To learn how to make them, watch the video above.

These Basic H Wipes are great for almost anything!  You could even use them as hand, face and diaper wipes.  They can also be used for cleaning pretty much any surface in the home, car or office.  I use them on skin, wood, ceramic, marble, metal, glass, laminate, plastic, fabric, leather, computers, controllers, counters, handles, toys, pillows, leather couch, the list goes on and on...

  How to make 100% natural Hand, Face and Diaper Wipes

I use wipes all day every day, so I go thru them very quickly.  I use them on hands, face, baby bottom, toys, pillows, counter, cabinet and frig handles, etc.  I quickly noticed that the cost was adding up.  I also noticed that if I bought the less expensive supposed all natural brands they truly weren't all natural and safe, plus my son’s bottom would get red quickly.  If I bought the organic kind I felt safer but the cost added up even I thought why couldn’t I make my own.  I found a friends post about making homemade baby wipes.  So I tried it and it was easy.  I have since made a few adjustments and figured out a few tricks to make it quicker and re-use items to save even more money.  So, here is the list of ingredients and the how to make the wipes video...
(This video also shows how to prep for the Basic H wipes)

To make homemade hand, face and diaper wipes you will need:

  • Roll of paper towels
  • Canister large enough to hold 1/2 a roll of paper towels (I use an old empty Shaklee 180 Smoothie Mix canister)
  • Cutting board
  • Large sharp knife
  • 8 oz water
  • 1 tsp Basic H from Shaklee
  • 1 Tbsp Hand Wash Concentrate from Shaklee
  • 5-7 drops Lavender and Tea Tree essential oil (optional)
  • 5-7 drops eucalyptus essential oil (optional)

To learn how to make the wipes watch the video above.  If you need any of the Shaklee items you can get them here: Or if you need the essential oils you can get them at for much cheaper than a local health foods store.

The many uses of Basic H

Why make your home hypoallergenic?

86 million people have allergies...33 million have asthma/sinusitis...

39 million have chemical reactions...ALL kids are affected by toxins in our environment! Shaklee’s Basic H and all Shaklee's GET CLEAN products are SAFE for our families & the Planet! 

  • Always add water first, then the Shaklee product
  • These products are very concentrated - a little goes a long way
  • There’s always a “learning curve” when switching products, so be patient and if you have questions as you use these products - please call the Shaklee Distributor who shared them with you to get the answerS.
  • Use Shaklee spray & squeeze bottles...reusable cutting down on waste pollution. 

Basic H Organic Cleaner ~ Many reasons to use! 
  • Gentle - pH balanced (6.5) 
  •  Non-volatile/Non-irritating
  • No chemicals, detergents, solvents 
  •  Heavy-duty Degreaser
  • Economical-a little goes a long way 
  •  100% organic (biodegradable in 1 day)
  • Anti-static, anti-magnetic
  • Safe for all plumbing 
  •  Does not hinder bacterial action of septic fields
  • Non–Hazardous” & environmentally safe around children & pets
  • Safe for animals & marine life & vegetation
  • Basic H formula makes water many times wetter (changes the surface tension of the water and allows plants to absorb the H20 more easily and cleaning combinations to work more effectively). 

BH = Basic H2 in the following three recipes:

  1. Window spray 1 or 2 drops of BH /16 oz water 
  2. All-Purpose Cleaner 1/4 tsp. BH /16 oz water 
  3. Degreaser Spray 1⁄2 tsp BH / 16 oz water 
Basic H can be used for dusting, Rinse aid (use 1/2 Basic H & 1/2 water), Hand soap (add a few drops to hands, rub hands together then rinse clean), Coffee pot (1/2 tsp in water, run through normal coffee cycle, then run water through 3 times to rinse), odor eliminator (Skunk, onion, garlic or fish smells: rub full strength and rinse), gardening and house plants (1/2  tsp in 16oz water for watering), and much more...!

Cleaner Air

I am a little embarrassed to admit that I didn't know the air ducts in a home were suppose to be cleaned.  Meaning that a professional crew comes to your house and pretty much super vacuums them clean, and if they are really dirty and/or have mold they need to scrub them clean.  I do however, know that it is important to clean or change the furnace filters every three months.  After finding this information out, I did some research and found that the FDA suggests every home have there floor vents cleaned every year and the clean air returns cleaned every five years, man was I behind...

Being a "Green" healthy home, meaning I don't use any products that are toxic or not 100% natural in my home.  I wanted to find an air duct cleaning service that was organic.  Which I did, I actually found two!  (If you want the names just let me know and I will post them)  This year was the first year in 11 years that the air ducts in my home have been cleaned.  I'm actually excited to turn the furnace on when it gets colder to see if that icky smell won't happen this year.  You know the smell I'm talking about right?  It smells like burnt, old dust and dirt.

I've noticed that there isn't as much dust floating around my home or sitting on my furniture, since I cleaned right after the ducts were super, duper cleaned.  Also, days after we had our air ducts cleaned the temperature outside got unseasonable warm and the house got super hot.  So, we turned the A/C on for a few hours to cool it off.  Which made me wonder if more dust was going to collect around my house, but it didn't in the first time since I've lived here. 

So, my suggestion to you and any one with a baby(ies), children, asthma, allergies, breathing issues, a super dusty house, or anyone for that matter to get their air ducts cleaned.  Because, in my opinion, it will be well worth the investment in regards to the maintenance of your home and health.  After all, we all want a comfortable, clean and safe home!

The Easy Way to slice an Avocado
(Watch the video below and then follow the directions and pictures.)

Once the avocado has been cut into slices flip the avocado over and peel the skin off.

To reveal a beautifully sliced avocado, without the slimy fingers or the slippery, squishy avocado.

How to Just get the Egg White!

Crack the egg as usual, but after you open it pour it over one of your hands with your fingers openly spaced apart a little bit and catch the yoke in your palm. Easy peasy!

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