Monday, February 8, 2016

DIY Safe Cleaning Products!

These DIY products are safe and easy to make!

Recently I started looking into the harmful products that I had under my kitchen and bathroom sinks. I have been working hard in the New Year to continue making changes to maintain a healthy lifestyle the best I can, yet I continued to spray and wipe my house down with nasty chemical ridden products.  Research has showed that the average household contains at least 62 toxic chemicals, which are often used on a routine basis (synthetic fragrances, fumes from oven cleaner, toilet / shower cleaner), and some of these products can be linked to cancer, tumors, asthma, migraines, skin irritation, poisoning of infants / young children, and many other harmful risks.

Here are a few things you want to stay away from:
- Phthalates- Often found labeled as fragrances in scented perfumes, soaps and cleaners- Has also been linked to low sperm count in men, and disruption within the endocrine system.

-Perchloroethylene- Often found in carpet cleaners, and spot treatment- Possible carcinogen, may cause dizziness, loss of balance and coordination. Be careful when dry cleaning items, this is often found on the cleaning products used to maintain the scent after items are cleaned and prepared for pick up

-Triclosan- Most likely found in cleaning products and soaps labeled as antibacterial .. this agent can actually promote the growth of drug resistant bacteria! There is research being conducted to determine whether there is a negative impact on the endocrine system over time.

-2- Butoxyethanol- Most commonly used in window and glass cleaner. If inhaled, this product can cause issues with kidney and liver damage, as well as sore throat and narcosis and is not required by the EPA to be listed on products so be on the look out for GLYCOLETHERS
Creating your own products is a safe and cost effective way to maintain a HEALTHY home and diminish the risks of exposure to hazardous materials. Below is a list of the products pictured above, and the easy steps to making them! 


  • "BLEACH"- 1/3 C Hydrogen Peroxide, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, water, essential oil (EO) of choice
  • Dusting Spray-  1C water, 1/4C white vinegar, 2 Tbsp olive oil, 10-15 drops E.O of choice
  • All purpose- 2C water, 1/2C vinegar, 1 tsp castille soap, 1 tsp baking soda, EO of choice 
  • Glass cleaner- 1C vinegar, 1C water, lemon E.O
  • Toilet Cleaner- 1C baking soda, 1C vinegar, tea tree EO
  • Soft cleaning scrub- 1/2 C baking soda, 2 Tbsp water, 1 Tbsp salt, 1/2 tsp castille soap, EO of choice
  • Floor cleaner- 1C alcohol, 2C water, lemon / rosemary EO 
Essential Oils with Cleaning Properties
(antibacterial, antiseptic)

Lemongrass
Eucalyptus  
Peppermint
Orange
Lavender
Bergamot
Oregano
Tea Tree 
(also antiviral, antimicrobial)

Add any of these to your cleaning solutions and enjoy! 
Use caution when using products that include vinegar and baking soda- fizzing will occur when you mix the ingredients, and pressure will build up in the bottle at first... let some of the air out from time to time. 

Want to boost your cleaning sprays? 
Place orange peels in vinegar and let sit for 2 weeks... drain, dilute with water, and use as a cleaner! 

Please leave comments below 

:)

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year, New You?

New Year, New You?

It's that time again, time for the classic, and often dreaded New Year's resolution. One of those things that I personally often considering putting off until the Monday after New Years, just to give myself some time to adjust and reset in the New Year. Is creating a monotonous list of things to achieve in a year, practical, or stress inducing? How much change can one person make in a year, and how much change is healthy? Will the changes make us happy or ultimately lead us down winding paths of confusion as we try to find our purpose and avoid making the same mistakes? I hope that this year brings wellness and peace, I have had enough stress for a while, and plan to harvest new energies and abilities as I strengthen my relationships with loved ones, most importantly, myself. I think it takes time to truly know oneself, and maintain an insightful level of awareness in order to avoid the negative impact of the world around us. Free time is something that we often lack, and would certainly welcome more of. As we step into a new year's journey, we must ask ourselves what we can do to love and care for ourselves and those who are important to us, without falling short and fizzling out. Spending less time feeling the need to be ENTERTAINED is a goal of mine this year, as I attempt to grasp a quiet calm and overall sense of being. Meditation is a skill that can be utilized in any setting during any time of day, even in the shower as you start or end your day. Practicing meditation is something that I am new to, and am eager to pursue. Here are some tips to help us get comfortable with creating a meditation routine, and welcoming its benefits into our daily life. 

1. Make it meaningful. Set a time, and stick to it- if you usually spend 15 minutes hitting snooze, get out of bed or pop in your headphones and listen to a guided meditation instead

2. Center yourself- If focusing is difficult at first, use a candle or picture, even a moving background of waves or a stream, whatever eases the relaxation process. Using aromatherapy as a way to focus your thoughts is also helpful, and you will find that it is easy to connect feelings of calm and relaxation to certain scents. For me, my favorites include- Vanilla Lavender, Sandalwood Vanilla, and my Focus Blend which combines Wild Orange/ Grapefruit and Peppermint. All can be found here - Aromatherapy Blends for Relaxation

3. Stay open minded and try new things- If you are new to this like me, it can be helpful to try different styles of guided meditations. One thing that I have noticed that makes a difference is the voice of the person conducting the meditation, I was recently thrown off by a heavy British accent, which easily distracted me. Listening to meditations that include the Tibetan singing bowls has helped me to stay centered and calm. Try this think on YouTube- Tibetan Singing Bowl Relaxation

4. Use a powerful statement or Mantra, but don't feel restricted. If something speaks to you, and helps you center your thoughts..GO FOR IT. If not, don't stress, just do what works, in time one may emerge or you may use beads or a sand tray to help you focus prior to meditating. 

5. Even a few minutes can produce a sense of wellness. Do not feel constricted by time restraints, do what you can, and hopefully as you start to see the results of incorporating mediation into your daily life, you may find that you are making more time for this practice. 




<3

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Promote a happier mood with positive acts!


In past posts I have talked about the importance and benefits of  practicing positive thinking and how the results can often be long lasting. Recent studies have shown that integrating positive psychology interventions (PPI's) can promote positive feelings, behaviors and thoughts as well as assist with a speedy recovery from the physiological effects of the negative emotions that so often take control of our person (Sin & Lyubomirsky, 2009). It has also been discussed that infusing your daily activities with PPIs can assist with relapse prevention, increase feelings of well being, decrease depressive thoughts and feelings including tiring symptoms like anxiety, rumination, insomnia and so on (2009). 

When thinking of how to  get the process started, a simple way could be to engage in random acts of kindness. This can be a fun way to spend time with loved ones and friends, and can even make a fun and cheap date night- and hey at the very least it will be a sure fire way to determine whether or not you are into someone, if they are down with OPP (Optimistic Positive Plans) then they are down with me, HA! 

Here are some ideas! 

Ding Dong Ditch: Leave a jar of coins, pack of diapers, gas card, movie tickets, popcorn tin for a neighbor or local office. Just make sure to be safe when doing so!

Positive Post - Its: Write positive statements or quotes on post its and put them on doors, windows, or where ever they will stick, in hopes of putting a smile on someones face

Winter Blues Care Packs: Winter is coming and NY weather is labile to say the least.. so stock up on gloves, scarves and hats at your local dollar store and pass them out on those chilly and snowy days! 

Vending Machine Perks: Tape packs of popcorn to the Redbox achine, Quarters in envelopes to the soda & snack machines or even to a parking meter. We have all had those days where there isn't even a quarter to be found in the hellish trap between the car seat and arm rest. 

Thank You's & Hello's : Can it get any easier than this? Set a number and say hello to that number of people each day, especially the toll booth operators (my goal is always a 7 word interaction, come on, those booths get lonely!) If you want to get creative write and deliver/send cards to those you've lost touch with or to local service departments for their hard work


Have fun and good luck. Remember to be genuine, safe and to take pictures along the way. Feel free to share them in the comments below ! 





Sin, N.L. & Lyubomirsky, S. (2009). Enhancing Well-Being and alleviating depressive symptoms with positive psychology interventions: A practice- friendly meta- analysis. Journal of Clinical Psychology: In session, 65(5), 467-489. 





Thursday, August 27, 2015

  
New adventures are always fun, especially when they boost self confidence and brighten the  mood. I am grateful to have recently  accepted a new position working for a community non profit, a long time goal of mine. After leaving my job of five years, I was able to take a month long hiatus, allowing me to rejuvenate, reschedule and revamp.
 Clearing both space and mind can have amazing benefits on your overall daily functioning and well being. Of course, one can say that when things are a mess we still "know exactly where everything is" and can tell you what pile that specific shirt or paper is in. There is some comfort in enjoying the sense of simply being  in ones environment; soaking it in, for all its cluttered, disorganized, glory. 
... Despite this, there is something to be said for breathing in a physically & visually pleasing, radiant, environment that you've made your own. Keep in mind, it is understood that life doesn't always allow us to have the space and privacy that we may crave, so this "space" can be a small one, not a total home overhaul. 

These are some creative ways to spruce UP your space:
Revamp any old box !
    These are a few of my favorites!
  • Enjoy relaxing and coloring a mandala then display it in your space. When you see the colors, patterns, and trace the shapes with your eyes, you will begin to associate looking at your masterpiece with the calming experience of coloring it, therefore promoting those relaxing feelings we love so much. Find some books online here           -> Mandala Coloring Books
  • Create your own Zen Garden. This ones easy! Put together a shoe box or small craft box, some plain or colorful sand, add small items, shells, beads, even figurines depending on the size of the box. For the rake I removed the foam tip of a craft paint brush, and cut a slit in the plastic to make a tool to stir the sand with, anything will do. (Rake idea credit: A.L, thanks!) This is a relaxing way to distract your mind, or it can be used as a play therapy sand tray, which helps to stimulate conversation more freely during times where opening up may be difficult. Staying a little busy while processing can sometimes be helpful (but always remember to come back to the present, and reflect after your mind wanders!)  * Add an easy to care for succulent, cactus, or air purifying aloe plant 
  • Inhale the gooood stuff. As always, aromatherapy works wonders on ones mindset and mood, and is especially effective in a smaller space: cubicle, office, or even your car! Find a cool diffuser here- Car Diffuser  * USB diffuser .. Of course, you can check out my Etsy Store --> Creative Coping at Home and purchase a custom roll on scent or room spray to use on the GO! 
  • What blend will you choose??
     

Add a scene, or a picture of someone you love to enhance your space.
Sometimes seeing the face of a loved one can promote positive memories and ease our minds. In stressful situations, "looking" to someone for guidance allows us to focus on "asking" for the help that we need, or asking for guidance and advice. Simply thinking about what  ---  would do in a tough situation can help us figure out the next step and minimize anxiety. Silently reflecting on a relaxing /peaceful scene can also promote positive feelings. 

Share what personal additions make your work space, or living environment dazzle- 

Comment below & Be Well *