I love sugar scrub! Economical, exfoliating, moisturizing, sexy! In 2 minutes or less!
And you're likely to have everything on hand. A substitution list is at the end, in case you need it.
2 Minute DIY Sugar Scrub
3 Tablespoons Sugar
10 Sprays of Avon Naturals Bath & Body Spray (This time in my fave, juicy pomegranate mango!)
1 Tablespoon Light Olive Oil
Small dish and mini plastic spoon
Put Sugar into the dish first.
Spray 10 times with Body Spray (This will give it a faint scent & neutralize the olive oil smell.)
Add light olive oil 1 teaspoon at a time and stir each time to absorb.
Don't overdo the oil!
The sugar should cling and clump in spots, but the oil should not be "pooling" or visually noticeable.
2 minutes, start to finish and only my measuring spoon to wash - neeto!
For Body Spray:
For Light Olive Oil:
Some of the substitution list I've tried, some friends have tried.
Leave me a comment below. Let me know how it worked for you. What are your fave scents or substitutions?
Enjoying my new soft hands ;)
Let's just jump right in, why don't we?
If you're looking for my dirt cheap Hydrogen Peroxide cleaner click here.
Oranges that are past their "fresh eating" but good for juice, are great for this, because the peels have thinned. The thinner peels "orange" the vinegar faster, I think, due to being less "pithy".
100% Natural Homemade Glass Cleaner
2/3 Cup of 5% Distilled White Vinegar
1/2 Orange Peel, pith removed
1/2 Cup Water
Clean spray bottle
Soak 1/2 orange peel in 3/4 Cup Vinegar. I use a measuring cup for soaking, the measure's right there and it's easier to pour in the spray bottle later.
Cover it with a sandwich baggie. Vinegar, phew! (Cost of baggie is 1 cent).
Leave it to sit overnight. The purpose of the orange is to cut back the vinegar smell. If you're trying to actually scent it orange, you'll need to soak it longer than overnight.
Remove peel from vinegar.
Pour the "oranged" vinegar and 1/2 cup water into the spray bottle.
Cap with sprayer and shake to mix.
Look how orange the vinegar turned! It also cleans great, and smells about 50/50 orange and vinegar, so the vinegar isn't overpowering!
You can clean the usual, Windows--Glass--Mirrors with it,
NO mixing with bleach (Same as regular window cleaner, you'll get toxic fumes!)
NO cleaning tech device screens, cell phones, tablets, touch screens. You'll ruin the protective coating on the screens!
Tile Cleaning/Grout cleaning is questionable, some say it works on grout, other say it corrodes/erodes grout.
There are other vinegar don'ts, but I limited it to what you'd likely use a glass cleaner for. Vinegar is hard on several metals, but I don't know anyone who uses glass cleaner on metal items. I wonder about some plastics as well.
Anyone know additional, safe uses for our natural cleaner?
Leave me a comment; let me know!
I'm in no mood to clean after this...I quit! Lol. Where's the candied orange peels and iced tea I made with the other 1/2 of that orange?
See ya 'round the next blog post,
You can subscribe to Apartment Homesteading, Minimalist Living & Frugality blog by clicking here.
Where do I start? Lol!
Avon Cosmetics, now known as Avon Products, Inc. has been around since 1886 and was started by a man, David H. McConnell. It was virtually unheard of back then to have a company that hired only women! Way to go Dave! We salute you!
Skin So Soft came onto the market in 1961.
Ever since then Avon gals have been promoting the numerous and handy uses of SSS Bath Oil, a long list that is not endorsed or promoted by Avon Products, Inc. (Disclaimer done! Whew!)
These uses are for Skin So Soft Bath Oil and Skin So Soft Bath Oil Spray in the Original scent only, and only the bath oil.
Avon, to the best of my knowledge, has never said what the Original scent is, but to me it smells exactly like citronella. The citronella plant is also known as "The Mosquito Plant", and thereby kicks off our list.....this is what I and friends have used it for!
Best Household Uses for Skin So Soft
1--Bug Repellant for adults, bigger kids, dogs that aren't "lick happy" and horses. Yes, horses!
2--Removing price stickers. On "oil safe" purchases, dab on SSS, let sit over night. Wash with a soapy scrubbie sponge the next morning. Rinse the price tag bits out of the scrubbie sponge.
3--Removing bandage tape residue from skin.
4--Removing ink from skin.
5--Removing paint from skin! Skip the harsh chemicals-SSS it! Then, soap off.
6--Removing makeup, but avoid the eye area!
7--Removing chewing gum from hair.
8--Removing chewing gum from surfaces that won't be damaged by the oil.
9--Skin moisturizer. Wipe and leave on, or wipe on, wait 1 minute, towel off excess.
10--Dry hair pomade. Use on dry, not wet hair. On UN-dyed hair works fine. My fave use is on the dry ends of my naturally curly hair. I know on my hair, which is dyed a lighter color, it has no affect on the dye holding, darker dyed hair I have no idea if it would compromise the dye.
I've heard it can also remove crayon marks, but I have never tried it for that. If the munchkins are drawing on the walls, wouldn't the SSS leave oil splotches embedded in the paint once the crayon was gone? I don't know.
The following uses I have not tried Skin So Soft for yet, so I don't know the efficacy, but here goes:
13--Inhibits re-building of wasp nests, if sprayed on their previous area once nest is removed.
14--Ease of braiding horse manes.
15--Removing tar, from older kids, adults & dog paws! (Again, avoid the eyes.)
16--Removes tree sap from older kids, adults & surfaces that can handle oil without damaging.
17--Sunscreen free tanning oil, in which case the bug repellent feature is a great plus!
18--Hot oil hair treatment.
19--Cuts grease on kitchen range hoods. (If the hood hasn't been cleaned in years, it may remove some of the paint with the grease.)
20--Car vinyl & dashboards, cleans & moisturizers. Rub in with a cloth, let sit 2 minutes, clean off excess with paper towels.
Hope that helps you keep less items in your cleaning "chemicals" stash. (I use hydrogen peroxide as one of my main cleaners. See blog post here.)
I'll be doing more future blog posts on the natural, simple and frugal cleaners I use. So, why not subscribe?
What other uses do you use Skin So Soft for? Leave a comment below, and clue us all in!
Wishing you a Happy, Fun & Frugal New Year,
We live in an age of stuff, stuff, and more stuff!
A manufacturer's job, often times, is to "create a need" where there formerly was no need. For many people, an air popcorn popper would be a prime example of that. Then, again, there are some who won't eat popcorn unless it's air popped. Years ago, when air poppers were "the latest new thing", tons of people bought air poppers, then they retired the their air poppers and went back to throwing the popcorn bag back in the microwave. The proof of that lines the shelves at the local Goodwill secondhand. Plenty of air poppers, no buyers.
So what did I really need? I moved and thereby downsized my already small
galley-style kitchen by 1/2. Counter and storage space for kitchen electrics is now at a premium.
I love lists, so here we go!
The first list is what is essential; the second list is optional. The third list is laughable - gosh, did they really make that?
Essential Kitchen Electrics for the Minimalist Lifestyle
I have all these and 3 of the optional ones.
Coffee Maker or Tea Brewer (Most minimalists won't have the single cup kind.)
Optional Kitchen Electrics List If you don't use it monthly, it's doubtful you need it.
Foreman/Press Style Grill
Portable Induction Burner
Ice Cream Machine
Seriously? They want me to buy this?
Pizza Maker/Baker If it's not flat and round, this item is useless.
Cotton Candy Maker Donate it to Goodwill as soon as the grandkids go home.
Fondu Pot Skip it and get the portable induction burner instead.
Hot Dog & Bun Cooker/Warmer No, seriously? Yes, they did! See......
So how much is too much and how few are too few?
Only you can decide. For me it's:
Toaster Oven with Convection (I don't own an oven.)
Coffee Machine with Programmable Delay Start
Hand Mixer with Self Storing Beaters & Whisk
Coffee Grinder which I also use to grind other things & make peanut butter
2 Portable Induction Burners (I don't own a stove.)
Mini Foreman Press Grill
That's 8 total for me. 3 live on the counter and the microwave is on a cabinet shelf.
So what's your list? Is there a speciality electric you can't live without? Or did you find one so useless you can't stop laughing? Do share! Leave me note in the comments below.
See you next year!
Rose Marie :D
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Eeewww! I know it looks greasy, yucky, BUT - "You're going to throw away all the GOOD STUFF!", Grandma used to say.
She was so, SO right, too! And, if we do it right, making and saving the stock stuck to the sheet pan will leave the messy pan a whole lot easier to clean. Isn't that neat? (And clean, hahaha....)
So, let's get to it and make some stock!
How to Make Frugal Soup Stock from A Greasy Meat Pan
1--Let pan cool.
2--Boil some water, enough to cover the bottom of the greasy pan (about 1 cup here.)
3--Set the cooled pan on a heat resistant, level surface, and carefully pour the boiling water into the greasy pan, just enough to fully cover the bottom of the pan and all the stuck on bits.
4--Leave to set for 3-5 minutes, so the boiling water can do its job loosening the grease and bits. If you wait too long, and the pan cools (oops! you forgot about it!), then you're going to need to work to free the stock and grease from the pan. Work with the pan still warm, not scalding.
5--Using a high temperature flexible spatula, loosen everything stuck to the pan. Loosen it all. Now, that it's soaked it should come off in a breeze!
6--Then, scrape the grease, stock, and bits into a heat safe, refrigerator safe, lidded container.
7--I can hear you saying, "Eeeww, grease!" Be patient, we'll deal with that.
8--Secure the lid. Look at that beautiful stock! The grease has risen to the top and you can see bits floating in the stock.
9--Let sit in a level spot in the refrigerator over night. The grease will harden to a soft solid state making it easier to remove. It will be harder to remove if it congeals at an angle, so try to avoid stacking this container on something else in your fridge.
10--The next day, take it out of the fridge. Using a spatula or a flat fork, carefully lift out the thin sheet of grease. If it breaks, keep digging out every bit of congealed grease you see floating on top. Grease does not sink, so it will be easy to see. (I leave the chicken bits in the stock, but they can be strained out with a hand strainer, if you choose). The stock will gelatinous due to some of the chicken cartridge being liquified into the pan during baking. It will re-liquefy when you reheat the stock. It's this liquified cartilage that gives homemade stock that incredible mouth feel! You'll never be satisfied with canned again once you've had the real thing!
11--Throw away the grease in a bag tied shut. When the grease comes back to room temperature it will liquefy. Choose a bag without holes, and tie it tight to throw it away, or you can put your tied grease bag back in the fridge so it stays hard till you throw it out on "trash day".
12--Freeze the stock or use it! If I freeze mine, I wait to season it until I thaw it for use.
When I choose to use it, I season chicken stock to taste with:
--Salt (Regular salt, and sometime a bit of pink Himalayan salt. If you use potassium chloride aka "salt substitute" in higher quantities, the soup will taste "metallic"!)
--Dehydrated Onions aka "Chopped Onions" $1 at Dollar Tree (see pic below)
I hope it was an entertaining read. :) Leave me a comment and let me know how it worked for you, or any input or suggestions you may have?
How about one last look at that now "easier to clean" stock free pan?
Soup is starting to sound real good about now!
Have a great day, catch you 'round the next blog post!
Rose Marie :)
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Gosh, I love Dollar Tree! Rofl....
A lot of their stuff is great, some not so much. The only epic fails I found was a 2 quart lidded plastic water pitcher - way too flimsy, and a white plastic handled mixing bowl -same problem, too flimsy. Otherwise, their price is often incredible (not one thing over $1), or at least, an ok deal. You can get the bigger cans of Campbell's soup for a buck, but paper plates go on sale cheaper at Walgreen's. I've got a great memory for price points (TYG!)
My fave kitchen find at Dollar Tree so far, is the Betty Crocker double ended spatula (Dollar Tree calls it a "scraper".)
So, let's do the product review:
Betty Crocker Essentials Red Silicone Double Ended Spatula/Scraper Review
High temperature resistant. I've used one of these many times to stir huge stock pots of boiling soup, scraping the sides and bottom of the pot to prevent burnt soup or stews. NO melting of this spatula whatsoever!
Sturdy, no bend, no break plastic.
Ergonomic feel. Comfortable to use.
Double ended! Minimalist me love, love, loves this!
Versatile - 2 different size spatula heads: medium and narrow/small.
Food safe - ends are removable for thorough cleaning. This eliminates the bacteria trapping crevice that occurs in non-detachable spatulas where the spatula meets the handle and food particulates get trapped. After a 18 months of use, the ends stay on good and tight, no loosening, very sturdy.
Top quality & CHEAP! Only a $1 at Dollar Tree and I get double the spatula for the money, with 2 different size ends to use. I bought 2 of these because I do a ton of cooking, and can go through 4 spatulas cooking one meal. Ah, the space I save too!
The white Betty Crocker logo on the side wears off. If that is a big thing to you, enjoy your logo while you can. The logo on mine wore off after about 1 year of use. The white flecks in the middle of the handle in the photo below are what is left of the logo after 18 months of use.
I nick the edges on these. As is true with any other silicone high temp spatula I've used, if you use them to scrape out the last bits of canned food out of the can, the edges will eventually nick up a bit, which you can see in the photo above, nearly unnoticeable on the top edge of the larger spatula head. No great loss to me, at a buck a piece, it beats nicking a $6-8 Farberware spatula any day!
Mandatory you remove spatula heads while washing/drying. Not a drawback, unless you refuse remove the spatula heads when cleaning/drying. If you leave them on you'll trap water in the heads, creating a bacterial mess.
I hope this helped you save some money, and some space!
What is your fave spatula/scraper? What one kitchen utensil do you love the best? Suggestions? Leave me a comment below! To subscribe click here.
Time to chill out before catching up the dirty dishes,
just call me......
Rose "scrub 'dem bubbles" Marie :D
Ah, the joys of Apartment Homesteading! I love my condotel!
Some in the tiny house crowd believe it's too small a space for pets, but I whole heartedly and lovingly disagree. Pets are easier in a small space, there's less square footage to clean up after them! :D
I also take them out for walks on their leashes. Leash trained cats, seriously?!?
Yes, seriously. Check it out! CertifiedServiceCats.com
Anyway, back to animals in a tiny home......
Any animal left to the same routine all the time will eventually get bored. When you take them out for a change of scenery, or have friends over they can interact with, a change of pace will make life for you and them more fun and interesting.
Living with animals in a small space means they won't likely get as much exercise, so engaging them in play is something I consider essential as well as loads of fun. Cats are packed full of entertaining behavior. A barrel of laughs!
I'm fond of lists, so here goes:
Tiny House Indoor Cat's Activity List
Scratching post with an attached toy on top. A home without a scratching post is a disaster waiting to happen! An attached toy means your cat will always be able to find, at least, this one toy. Compact in design, this one has the attached toy and a perch point to sleep in on top!
A smaller space shouldn't mean less toys!
Think outside the usual pet toys for extra fun! This is Valentino's fave type of toy, a non-toxic, kid safe, wiggly throw toy. It lights up with various color patterns on impact. He's figured this out and can amuse himself for nearly an hour just flinging his toy around to watch it light up. He also brings it to me so we can play fetch with it. Take a look at his faves:
Designate a play time every day. Valentino, Buster, and I play every night for 30 minutes to 1 hour, often all at once, sometimes in 10 or 20 minute blocks. It depends on how long a work day I've had! My stamina may not be so good sometimes, theirs on the other hand, is always up for "once more, mommy!"
Designate a quiet time daily. A good petting, massage, brush out, just chill for a while. It trains your pet to relax when you want to relax.
Pets, like 5 year old kids, need to be taught to "wind down" at least 1 hour before lights out to bed. This is crucial if you plan on getting a good night's sleep in your tiny home. No, no, no, playtime within 1 1/2 hours of bedtime! Skip teaching your fur balls this and they'll teach you what a 5 AM wake up call is! In 400 square feet or less, there is only one room you can quarantine a rowdy animal in, and that's the bathroom. The entire remainder of your home is the only other "room" - living, sleeping, cooking, everything room. In a tiny house, quarantining the brat cat in the bathroom will do you no good! In that small space you will hear them cry, dig, scratch, whatever, it's still no sleep for you!
This ends the list.
The "Cat Mom" in me has to show off Valentino & Buster's recent cute kitty pics:
On a side note:
If you, or anyone you know, is interested in a leash trained kitten,
Buster will be available for adoption in about 2 months.
Call me, I'd be glad to assist. 386-301-6065
Adoption proceeds are scheduled to go to a local non-profit.
(I am an animal trainer & cat behaviorist.)
If you've enjoyed reading my blog as much as I enjoy writing it, why not subscribe?
I also would love to read any comments you have; feel free to post them below.
Somehow, I'm craving tuna for dinner. Do you think I might end up with 2 furry and hungry dinner guests?
Peace for the New Year,
As I mentioned before, I live in a small space - 360 square feet! No room for a big food dehydrator. On the other hand, I love minimalism! :D
I've also always wondered, how much $$$ in electricity do those things use? Is it worth the added cost? Are they noisy? Then, you gotta wash them. Boo! Hiss! (I have no room for a dishwasher, either, so it's all hand wash!)
So, onto drying mushrooms......
Easy Dried Mushrooms
1--Wash mushrooms thoroughly.
2--Find a sheet pan or preferably a slotted (open slits) roasting insert pan to use as a stable drying area. I prefer the slotted insert pan for ventilation/faster dying time; you don't need the roaster pan, just the slotted insert. I suppose you could use a cake cooling rack, but I prefer something with edges.
3--Spread a clean paper towel or unfolded paper napkin on top the pan.
4--Slice mushrooms approximately 1/8 inch thick or less to suit your preference. I have found if I slice them over 1/8 inch thick they don't dry as nicely or as quickly.
5--Arrange the sliced mushrooms on the sheet pan so they don't touch each other.
6--Keep the sheet pan in a clean, dry, not breezy area. A good breeze will flip them off the pan once they're dried, not to mention breezes often bring flying particulates!
7--Mushrooms should be fully dried in 18-36 hours!
8--Place dried mushrooms in an airtight container for use later in soups, gravies and cooking.
On an extremely frugal note, not only can I skip washing a food dehydrator this way, I also set aside the used and now dry "mushroom napkin/paper towel" to pick up spilled food and cat messes off the floor, suhweet!
Any other "cheapies" out there besides me? Any decent dried mushroom recipes? Leave me a comment down below and let me know. I love to learn new things!
Have a blessed, blessed day. :D
I am heading toward a minimalist lifestyle. In October 2013 I sold my 1250 square foot beach front condo and moved into a 360 square foot "condotel". One room. It was formerly a hotel room, the kind that had a kitchenette and 2 full size beds. I'm still beach front; I'm not leaving my ocean!
I spent 2 months prior to closing on the new beach front condotel, giving away the majority of my possessions (I had no idea The Lord had blessed me with this much stuff!). While doing that I also researched online all the really cool things I could acquire that took up a minimal of space.
I purchased a Nest Utensil set by JosephJoseph from Bed, Bath & Beyond on cyber Monday of 2013. I've had and used these for over a year. I'm still in love with them!
JosephJoseph Nest Utensils Product Review
They are made of a dense sturdy plastic that is obviously, by feel, a way better, more refined quality than what I've used before. I usually use the mid-priced stuff from Walmart or Farberware. (I still love my Farberware hi-temp silicone spatula!). The JosephJoseph Nest Utensils are also very, very faintly rough in texture. They're not the usually smooth, slippy, slidy, stuff most kitchen utensils are made of. They're comfortable on the hands, surprisingly easy to clean and don't pick up stains, even if I leave the slotted spoon or spatula in dried spaghetti sauce for 2 days (oops!). Amazing!
They are extremely compact storing. They stand vertically on the counter and link together magnetically via a spot in the very end of the handle (note spot on end of the yellow spoon in the photo below). Minimalist me is happy dancing over this compact design! (They also look incredibly cool!)
They're durable enough for me, which is rare. I have broken good quality stirring spoons a few times before. I've melted every one, with pot rim marks on the back of the handles. I routinely fry the end of as spatulas. I throw out spatulas on a regular basis for this reason - I'm very hard on spatulas! I have yet to put any pot marks on these, and it's been a year. They never, never bend due to too much weight, so I'll be surprised if I ever break one! I did singe the very tip of the spatula, just a hair. (See pic below). Considering I've done far worse to every single spatula I've ever owned, I'm ecstatically pleased this one is so much harder to kill!
1--Pricey at $25 for the 5 piece set, unless you usually buy higher priced utensils like Farberwear.
2--Likely needs to have counter space. The magnets that lock together on the ends of each utensil work great standing up, but aren't strong enough to hold together in a cluttered utensil drawer. If they had stronger magnets they'd play hell in use and washing, so I'm glad they don't. You might be able to keep them magneted together in a drawer if they had their own good sized slot to rest in. They are likely to still save you a great deal of drawer space stored this way. I love them on the counter, so it's no big issue.
3--There are no replacement utensils available for this set. But, who if any, kitchen gadget manufacturer will sell you just one missing measuring cup?
Well, that's the end of the review!
Please leave me a comment with how this worked for you, or any compact kitchen stuff you use. I'm still searching for the best and could use all the help I can get! What worked that you use? What did you buy that didn't work out?
Until next time, have a blessed, blessed day! :D
Hugz n' love,
One of my fave things about the local Flea & Farmer's Market is the produce vendors that have "buck a bag" specials. Frequently they are not as pretty as the other produce, but they're delicious and cheap! More often than not, the selections in those clear plastic bags are local Florida produce.
Only one problem with my money saving stash of veggie goodies - they have a reduced "shelf life" or a few bumps here and there. Bumps I can cut off, no biggie. The price is so low, and I get quite a bit, so a bruise here or there is acceptable.
The short time until spoilage is a big deal.
Years ago when I tried to do this with fresh green beans from my organic, naturalized garden, it went horribly wrong. I rinsed and cut up my fresh green beans, drained them and put the cut up pieces in a zip freezer bag. Little did I know, that is wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, WRONG! Why?
When you go to thaw them in the fridge before cooking, the bugs come crawling out ALIVE! Yuk. YUK!
When you freeze fresh produce without proper prep, the bug eggs you can't see come to life upon thawing and hatch in the fridge. Eeewwww......
I had to find a better way. I didn't like the idea of going from freezer to boiling water either, not after seeing what was in those green beans! The basic "how to" I learned from my neighbors back then, long before the days where I could look it up on the internet.
This became my adaptation over the years:
Easy NO Canning Preservation of Green Beans
1--Wash and cut up beans, removing bad areas if any.
2--Cut up in edible size sections.
3--Boil enough water in the microwave to cover the cut up green beans. (I usually use a 2 cup microwaveable measuring cup for this.)
4--Pour boiling water over green bean sections.
5--Let stand for 5 minutes. Beans will initially "bubble" a bit.
6--Carefully pour hot water off green beans and re-boil in microwave.
7--Again carefully pour re-boiled water over the green beans. The beans will not bubble this time.
8--Let stand for 10 minutes.
9--Drain green beans and reserve green bean stock for later use. Refrigerate or freeze stock.
10--Freeze cut green beans in a zip bag, pressing as much air out before sealing as is possible. Too much air in the zip bag will lead to ice crystals followed by "freezer burn". (I usually put 1/2 the green beans in the fridge to cook and eat the next few days, and the other 1/2 I freeze).
I know the frozen beans will last a month. I usually eat them by then. For those who like raw foods, and I eat quite a few foods raw, these are great straight from the fridge, skip the freezing! (The short cooking we did, also known as "blanching" can kill the bad stuff, but the beans will still be very, very crisp.)
Please leave me a message below and let me know how this worked for you! Any ideas? Suggestions? Leave a message - do share!
See ya 'round the next post,
Rose Marie ;)