Do your part to save the environment: Start cleaning green

All-natural DIY Cleaning Products: 

Why so many people today are making their own cleaning products 

Making your own cleaning solution is a great way to cut down on extra costs. When I first lost my job I had to go this route and it actually wasn't that bad. As a result I became more aware of my impact on the environment and continue to use many of the same less expensive cleaning alternatives.
Another reason to make your own cleaners is if you are pregnant - many of the products on the shelves are not safe for you and baby or have just not been tested as to their effects on your baby - so better safe than sorry.
"Experts recommend erring on the side of safety by reducing your family’s “toxic burden” wherever possible."

Check out a study that was done in 2008 that was conducted on cleaning products and their effects on pregnant women. Use Of Cleaning Products During Pregnancy Increases Risk Of Asthma In Young Children to learn more about the actual risks.

If you do choose to use regular cleaning products PLEASE stay away from anything labeled with the words  “toxic,” “danger,” “poison,” or “corrosive”. These are common on cleaners for the oven, drain, rug, and toilet-bowl cleaners.

These days many people are using all natural cleaners. Sometimes these products end up most costly than their toxic counterparts, but luckily many can be made for 1/2 the cost of regular cleaning products and are just as effective. 
Below you will find some of my own "concoctions", as well as a few others I have found around the internet. Feel free to comment and share some of your own!
DIY cleaners - recycle your old cleaning bottles
My county does not pick up recycling with the trash so I am left hoarding plastic bottles and cans until I find a ride to the local drop off center. So it is normal for me to have a few extra plastic spray bottles laying around. If you can, reuse an old bottle when you mix up your products - but if you must you can buy one at any local dollar store.

All-purpose cleaner with white vinegar

White vinegar is the staple in most all-natural products when in doubt. It will clean everything and is a great alternative to bleach. I had a boyfriend who had an allergic reaction to the fumes from bleach, so I used to clean the bathroom top to bottom with white vinegar. And it's very inexpensive. 
You can get a large amount of it for just a couple dollars depending on the brand. And since you will be diluting it to make cleaner it will end up lasting you a while. 
If you have an average of 10 different cleaning products in your home - that's approximately $40 worth of cleaners. A good size bottle of white vinegar costs under $3 and works just as well!

Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Shake gently to mix liquids together. That's it.
Use your homemade, natural cleaner in your bathroom, on tile, floors, mirrors, sinks, hard surfaces, even upholstery and carpet (check for color fastness first). It is great for eliminating odors too - which seemed strange to me at first since of the distinct smell it has itself - but this fades. Use your cleaner the next time your pet has an accident, it is supposed to help in controlling pet accidents from occuring in the same spot (I have yet to test this theory).
It has an unlimited amount of uses around the house! Use it as a stain remover, mildew eliminator, soap scum dissolver, chrome polisher, lime descaler, fabric softener, room deodorizer and as an unclogging agent.
Vinegar's acetic properties make it 'The Perfect Household Cleaner'™ for the following types of cleaning tasks:
  • Steam-cleaning microwave ovens.
  • Cleaning soiled surfaces of counters, ceramic tiles, appliances -inside and out, painted walls and floors.
  • Cleaning and shining mirrors, glass, stainless steel and chrome.
  • Removing stains from clothing and carpets.
  • Removing mold and mildew from humidifiers.
  • Removing soap scum from shower tiles, stalls and curtains and from dishwashers and washing machines.
  • Descaling mineral and lime buildup from kettles, coffee makers, shower heads and irons.
  • Opening and deodorizing drains. 
  • Removing unpleasant odours.
  • Removing stains from clothes, shoes, boots and carpets.
Another more uncommon use is to use white vinegar as fabric softner in your next wash. It leaves clothes soft, and they won't smell like vinegar. 
Vinegar is a natural organic bi-product of fruits, vegetables and grains. The main ingrediant in white vinegar is acetic acid which is relatively safe. 
Consumers who used white vinegar in their home for cleaning in an in-home usage test in 2003 report the following advantages and benefits of white vinegar:
  • Surprisingly effective, when compared to other cleaners.
  • An 'all-in-one cleaner,' so there is no need to buy an arsenal of cleaners for different purposes.
  • Non-toxic, so there is no fear of breathing harmful chemicals while cleaning.
  • Gentle on hands, so there is no need to wear rubber gloves.
  • Cleans streak free, so there is no need to rinse after cleaning.
  • Safe around young children, so there is no fear of a child being poisoned.
  • Environmentally friendly, so there are no harmful chemicals going down the drain.
  • Economical, much less expensive than other cleaners.
If you need to scrub as well as clean, such as when cleaning tile in the bathtub, bakling soda can be used with vinegar to create a compound similar to AJAX but 100% safe and non-toxic.
I was cleaning a house not too long ago and the owners bought me cleaning products to use. I did not know you could get a chemical burn from AJAX, but it will be the last time I ever touch the stuff. 

Baking Soda Scrub

The directions are simple. On a damp or wet surface sprinkle baking soda. Scrub surface with a rag or brush that has been soaked in white vinegar. Works like magic on hard water build-up.

After all the cleaning don't forget to reward yourself with some downtime. Try this relaxing all-natural bathsoak after a hard day of cleaning!

Hydrogen Peroxide Laundry Care

Use hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach as an all-natural way to wash your clothes. Soak clothes in one part hydrogen peroxide to eight parts water to remove stains and make whites whiter.

I do not recommend the following for use in your washing machine. However if you ever need to wash clothes and do not have a working washing machine (or no electricity) this method gets clothes super clean.
Fill your bathtub with lukewarm water and Ivory soap flakes. Cleaning your laundry with Ivory soap gets them just as clean as regular laundry soap and is alot less expensive too. Other brands of bar soaps do not work as well from my experience.

Homemade Air and Fabric Refresher

This one isn't 100% all-natural, but is a cheap alternative to using Febreeze or a similar product. It is also great to spray on the couches and rugs/carpets fifteen minutes prior to vacuuming as it will help with the general cleaning process.

All you need is an empty spray bottle, your favorite scented laundry soap, and water. Just fill up your spray bottle 1/4 way with laundry soap and the rest with water. Put your cap on, shake, and spray. I'd use caution using this one while pregnant, as I am unsure if laundry soap contains chemicals that would be harmful to your baby.

A good alternative to de-ordorize carpets prior to cleaning is to sprinkle baking soda on them. I've also heard mixing cinnamon in with the baking soda helps with stains, but I saw no real difference when I tried it. Salt is also an option if you have pets, as the salt helps with flea control.

Some other cleaning tips

Wear Gloves! You absorb chemicals and toxins not just by breathing. Skin, your body's largest organ, absorbs them, too. So don't forget to don a pair of protective glove before cleaning.

Reward yourself for a job well done
Soothing Bath Soak

For a relaxing ending to a long day, add 1/2 cup of baking soda to your bath to neutralize acids on the skin and help wash away oil and perspiration. Your skin will feel silky smooth!

(Source: http://www.ahappyhippymom.com)


How Much to Charge for your Writing

Below is a general reference for pricing your written work to help you put a dollar amount on your hard work.

These amounts are just a guide and do not reflect what you will actually make for your work. 

(from About.com)

Freelance Writing Rates - By Project

  • Advertising/Copywriting Mail Pieces (no graphics): $300 to $3000+
  • Advertising/Copywriting Sales Letter: $150 to $2000
  • Articles (news, or with significant research, web-based): $15-50 per page
  • Articles (magazines): $150 to $5000+
  • Articles (content/keyword): $15 to $50
  • Articles (newspapers): $75 to $1000
  • Books (ghostwriting): $25-$80 per page, $5000 to $20,000+
  • Book Reviews: $2 to $100
  • Book Summaries: $250 to $500 per book
  • Brochures (no graphics work): $300-$2500
  • Business Plans: $500 to $5000+
  • Editorial Management (magazine/per issue): $500 to $5000
  • Grant Writing: $200-$5000+
  • Newsletters: $200 to $1000
  • Press releases: $200 to $500
  • Resumes: $200 to $500
  • Scripts: $1000 to $20,000+

Freelance Writing Rates By Hour

  • Advertising Copywriting: $45-$100/hr
  • Copyediting: $30-$70/hr
  • Developmental Editing: $50-$80/hr
  • Editorial on Call: $20-$150/hr
  • Fact Checking: $15-$50/hr
  • Ghostwriting: $40-$100/hr
  • Indexing: $30-$70/hr
  • Line Editing: $40-$70/hr
  • Proofreading: $25-$60/hr
  • Proposals Grants: $40-$80/hr
  • Tech Editing: $30-$90/hr
  • Technical Writing: $40-$100/hr
  • Web Content :$10-$90/hr
  • White Papers: $100-$200/hr

Freelance Writing Rates By Word or Page

  • E-books: $10-$35 per page
  • Indexing: $3 to $6 per page
  • Lesson Plans: $10-$20 per page

Miscellaneous Charges for Freelance Writing

  • Upcharge for rush: +10%-25%
  • Upcharge for keyword stuffing +10%
  • Down payment: 10% for companies, publishers, 25% for individuals/authors


Election 2012: All Hail Prometheus

Power, Business, and Technology for the Global Generationhttp://global-generation.posterous.com/election-2012-all-hail-prometheus ...

Infographic: Google plus.. what?

Power, Business, and Technology for the Global Generationhttp://global-generation.posterous.com/google-plus-what ...


What words inspire you?

“Too many of us are hung up on what we don't have, can't have, or won't ever have. We spend too much energy being down, when we could use that same energy – if not less of it – doing, or at least trying to do, some of the things we really want to do.” 
― Terry McMillanDisappearing Acts

From quote of the day from Good Reads, I felt it was one quote we could all appreciate. A big fan of quotations personally I find they often offer inspiration, courage, hope, and advice to us in a way we all interpret differently.

Many times internet biographies of people will include "favorite quotations" such as Facebook.

I have a few myself, one being
 "Life is too important to be taken seriously" - Oscar Wilde.

What is your favorite quote? If you don't have one, go to a resource such as Good Reads and browse their quotes section. Find one that really sticks out to you - one you can relate to. Sometimes they are so close to our hearts we could have sworn that the quote was written about us.

What are some words you live by?

Post some quotes to share with everyone - I personally read different quotes daily and love to hear new ones. I even asked for others to share recommendations of good quotations books with me on Good Reads

Here are some quotes for you to enjoy:

  • Let your beauty unfold
  • This is the real me
  • Life is simple, its just not easy
  • Life is a great big canvas, and you should throw all the paint on it you can
  • Life is what we make it, always has been, always will be
  • Why torture yourself when life will do it for you
  • Every blade of grass has its angel that bends over it and whispers, "grow, grow"
  • If you're going through hell, keep going
  • Problems are only opportunities with thorns on them
  • Failure is a stepping stone to something better
  • Life is the game that must be played
  • He who has nothing to die for has nothing to live for
  • Life is the sum of all your choices
  • Imagination is more important than knowledge
  • Seek the wisdom of the ages, but look at the world through the eyes of a child
  • If you stop struggling, then you stop life
  • Leap and the net will appear
  • Think big thoughts, but relish small pleasures
  • Hope sees the invisible, feels the intangible and achieves the impossible
  • All in Vanity
  • Each day is a new life. Seize it Live it
  • Life isn’t about finding yourself, Life is about creating yourself.
  • The brave may not live forever, but the cautious do not live at all
  • Not a shred of evidence exists in favor of the idea that life is serious
  • If you never risk anything you risk even more than fear
  • Life isn’t waiting for the storm to end-it’s about dancing in the rain
  • In the midst of movement and chaos keep stillness inside of you
  • Turn your wounds into wisdom
  • I am the captain of my soul
  • Success is the best revenge
  • What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly
  • Fall seven times stand up eight
  • Don’t go where the math may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail
  • Thorns and stings and those such things-just make stronger our angel wings
  • What doesn’t kill me only makes me stronger
  • Let your joy scream against the pain
  • In time this too shall pass

More inspirational words to read later

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month - Celebrate with some uplifting quotes from real-life survivors!


Good Karma & Gift Giving :)

Inspiration from "Gift Ideas for Good Karma" via Astrology.com

Horoscope readings are either spot on "how did they know?" accurate or just plain wrong. Read about your sign... if most of what is said could be true of yourself, then you are most likely going to get accurate readings. It varies person to person.

But even if you don't believe in the whole horoscope hype, that doesn't mean the word "karma" has no meaning to you. Its meaning is also quite varied, depending on whom you ask.

A simple, universal way to define karma would be in terms of a theory. The basic theory is 'cause and affect'. The laws decide what affect is beget from a given cause. Karma is the 'cause' part of this theory. In other words, your actions - mental, vocal and physical are your Karma (plural). 

Not only is it nice to do things for others, it also makes us feel good to do them. Karma perhaps? Well the whole idea and my friends support inspired me, to make her a couple homemade gifts. Even if I had the money to buy her whatever she wanted, a homemade gift has a lot more meaning to it than something I just bought in a store.

Sentimental value means more to some of us than material value, so the same concept applies here. Making something yourself shows you spent time thinking about that other person - what they like, their personality, etc.

If you have a friend who needs some cheering up or just need a quick, but thoughtful gift idea break out the arts and crafts supplies! If you don't have an arts and crafts supply "area", now is a good time to start one. You can put whatever you want in it to use for future projects. This is also a great way to recycle. 

Some ideas of what to stash in your craft "spot":

- Paint 
- Beads
- Iron on patches or letters
- Fabric
- Paper/Cardboard
- Scraps of wood
- Glue
- Glitter 

you get the hint... 

Sit down and think about the person receiving your gift. What would make them smile? If you are absolutely stumped "Google it". I will use Google image search if I need inspiration sometimes. For example, I need a spice rack (which I have yet to settle on a design). Google image search is a quick way to browse through many different DIY project ideas. 

Whatever you settle on, put some time and effort in it and you are sure to make someones day. And that in itself will make you feel good in return.

This post is dedicated to the little baby growing inside a certain someones belly :) Thanks for everything, I'm lucky to have a friend like you in my life and am so happy for you and your future little tater tot.