There is money to be saved at the checkout if you make your own cleaning products. Here are some recipes to try.
1.5 litres water
1 bar of laundry soap, grated
1/2 cup washing soda
1/2 cup borax
Put water and grated soap in a large saucepan. Stir over medium heat until dissolved completely. Add the washing soda and borax. Stir until thickened and remove from heat. Pour mixture into a bucket and fill with hot water from the tap. Stir to combine. Using a funnel, pour the mixture into plastic containers. This recipe makes 9 – 10 litres. Use 1/2 – 1 cup per load.
Mix together 1/2 cup of home made liquid laundry detergent and 1/2 cup bicarbonate of soda.
I find the vinegar in this cleaner quite pungent. Be sure to keep the bathroom well ventilated when you are using it.
1 cup white vinegar
1 Tbs cornflour
2 Tbs dishwashing liquid
Combine vinegar and cornflour and gently heat, whisking. Allow to cool a bit, add dishwash liquid and mix well. Pour into a spray bottle. Spray over tiles and wipe off with a soft cloth and water.
In my quest to live a slower and more thoughtful lifestyle, I find myself thinking and talking a lot about the work-earn-spend-waste-repeat cycle. It’s all too easy to get caught in this cycle. Ok, I’ll come right out and say it. I think that many of us are way too focused on earning money. Some of us aspire to live the sort of consumption-focused lifestyle that we believe will bring happiness. Others are already living it, and need to work to maintain it. This comes at a considerable cost to the individual’s wellbeing. But the other impact is an environmental one. This impact can be seen everywhere. Discarded coffee cups from the morning’s Continue reading
In thinking about this post, a number of other potential titles crossed my mind. Amongst them, “A simple guide to relating” and “The (almost) lost art of conversation”. I’ve been feeling quite disgruntled with the superficial level of chatter in some social gatherings. The conversation goes here and there. Discussions started get interrupted and derailed, going off in different directions. At the end of it I am left wondering what of substance has actually been said. Continue reading
The beginning of a new year is the time when people traditionally take pause, reflect on the past year, and resolve to make some positive changes. ‘A better work/life balance’ is something we hear lots of people expressing a desire for. Many people say that they feel out of balance. They feel that ‘work’ dominates, robbing them of time and energy for ‘life’.
I see 2 problems with the ‘work/life balance’ concept. The first is the actual language used. It infers that our lives can be categorised into 2 parts, ‘work’ and ‘life’. But we don’t have a ‘work’ and a ‘life’. We have just one life. And our paid employment, assigned the broad term ‘work’, is just one part of the portfolio of activities that integrate to make up our life as a whole. The second problem is the Continue reading
This is the last in my season of posts on the topic of simplifying Christmas. I hope that you have been influenced to think differently about gift giving, gathering, and menus, particularly if these have been a source of stress for you.
Today, I’m making a disclosure that some will already know about. I have SAS – Supermarket Avoidance Syndrome – especially during the holiday season. I was going to call it SCAS – Shopping Centre Avoidance Syndrome. But saying ‘I have SAS’ sounds more appealing than saying ‘I have SCAS’! Unlike most syndromes, I won’t say I ‘suffer’ from SAS, because there is absolutely no suffering involved in Continue reading
For me, part of simplifying Christmas is avoiding the shops! It is so nice, during the holiday season and at any other time, to give and receive something that has been home made rather than store-bought. Here are my top 5 home made gifts, for the host, teacher, or to put together in a gift basket for a friend. They can all be made weeks ahead of time. Just make sure to hide the sweet things somewhere so that they don’t disappear before you need them!
1. White Christmas Crackles. The addition of pistachios and cranberries adds Christmas colour to this popular sweet.
Russian Caramels are quite easy to make, provided you don’t get distracted! The mixture does need to be stirred constantly. Even stepping away from the saucepan for a few seconds will lead to it burning on the bottom.
2 Tbl golden syrup
1 cup white sugar
395g can condensed milk
2 tsp vanilla essence
Prepare a square or rectangular cake tin with baking paper. Spray or smear saucepan with cooking oil, and add butter, golden syrup, sugar and condensed milk. Stir constantly over medium heat as it comes to the boil, using a wooden spoon. Turn the heat down to low and keep the mixture bubbling away whilst stirring constantly for about 10 minutes or until it starts to thicken and come away from the bottom. Remove from heat, and add vanilla. Pour into prepared tin and leave at room temperature to cool. Cut into squares and refrigerate.
Rum Balls are so easy to make! They are a lovely addition to a home made gift basket or to take as a hostess gift.
1 cup raisins, chopped
1/2 cup plain flour or almond meal
1/2 cup cocoa
125 g melted butter
2 Tbl rum
2 ts vanilla
Coconut to coat
Combine all ingredients. Roll into balls and coat in coconut.
This White Christmas Crackles recipe adds a splash of holiday season colour with the addition of pistachios and dried cranberries.
2 x 180g blocks white chocolate, broken up
80g dried cranberries, chopped
100g rice puffs
Line a tin with baking paper. Set chocolate over boiling water until melted. Set aside for 5 minutes and stir until smooth. Add cranberries, pistachios and rice puffs. Stir until well combine. Spoon into prepared tin, and refrigerate. Once set, cut into squares.
To make vanilla, simply pour vodka over a vanilla bean. That’s it. What could be easier? Use an interesting bottle or jar if you are giving it as a gift. Make it a month or so ahead of when you need it. Home made vanilla darkens as the weeks pass, and gets better with age.