DIY Citrus Cleaner: Easy, Cheap, Green, Fresh-Scented Awesomeness

The Homesteading/Survivalism Facebook page posted a simple photo of a DIY orange cleaner with some very simple directions. It immediately caught my eye, and I had all the ingredients on hand, and thus I figured: why not! 

their pic from their fb post

All it said with the pic is “Quick Orange Peel Vinegar Cleaner:  Orange peels, vinegar in a quart jar, let sit for 10 days or so…strain out the liquid and use as an all-purpose cleaner. Easy, cheap, natural, smells good!”

I use White Distilled Vinegar (WDV) nonstop for all my cleaning and housekeeping needs, and I am from Florida… so citrus meets WDV seemed right up my alley.

How I Made It:

I didn’t have a jar on hand, but I did have an empty juice jug, a near ’bout empty Lysol spray bottle, some oranges and a grapefruit.  I used three oranges and one grapefruit, to be exact.

There wasn’t an exact science to it, just citrus peel + WDV, let it marinade for 10 days.

orange peels from a midday snack were easy enough to us!

i scored and scraped the peels a bit to help get some zest going

all you need! it is that simple.

just pouring the wdv over the peels, eyeballing the amount of wdv to use

i decided this looks too empty, so i ended up adding more wdv next…

full bottle is ready to marinade now!

A caveat I was worried about?  My sloppily peeled oranges would have too much pulp attached – thus adding juice to the mixture, making the cleaner sticky.  The final test was the sticky factor.  I also wasn’t sure by how much to dilute it (I always dilute WDV with water as an all-surface cleaner).  I didn’t want to lose all the citrus smell-good by adding water, but full strength WDV seemed a bit too strong.

Ten Days Later…

I was so rip roarin’ ready to go!

a lysol spray bottle i recycled to hold my new citrus cleaner. the hardest part of the whole project was getting the stickers off of it. what an epic pain that was!

empty spray bottle, ready – completed ten day+ citrus cleaner, ready

The results? 

WOW!

The BEST SMELLING vinegar ever.

the smell test: amazing. you can’t even tell it’s vinegar, it’s just so super orange-y fresh. i love it!

You can hardly tell it’s vinegar, it’s amazing.  Sticky? Not at all, it’s a perfect cleaner.

the sticky test = passed with flying colors. not sticky to the touch at all, whatsoever. the counters just felt nice and clean.

I ended up eye-balling the water-to-WDV ratio.

this is all the cleaner i poured into the spray bottle, the rest will be water. and i’ll refill the citrus cleaner mix with more wdv to keep brewing more

adding water

my now-diluted cleaner in the spray bottle, a bit paler than the original

I have a feeling I’m going to use this sweet little mix for everything.  It’s heavenly in the kitchen, that’s for sure.  My next test will be mopping with it (I already mop with WDV + water).

The next batch I make? Lemon-lime.  I want to make all kinds of varieties with citrus.

i’ll add more wdv to the brew

…top ‘er off, and good to go!

A friend told me she just always adds in more WDV and citrus peels, and just keeps a batch brewing all the time.  I think I’ll do that for a while and see how it goes.  She also mentioned she keeps it out of the sun, so I moved mine off the window sill and into a dark cabinet.

Hey Rose, why do you use WDV all the time? 

Great question! I love WDV; it’s a real jack of all trades. It’s an all-natural, vegan, pet/baby/kid/anybody-safe substance that’s a disinfectant, a degreaser, a natural fabric softener, insect repellant, water stain remover, and cleaner.  It’s cheap, easily produced, and a great way to stretch out fancier/pricier products so they last longer.  It’s also fabulous on its own.

The smell is a little funky when plain WDV is wet.  However, it always dried odorless (no, my clothes NEVER smell like vinegar, neither does the house, etc.).

I love keeping a clean home in a way that’s safe, healthy, and earth-friendly.

Now, go eat an orange or three and start brewing your own batch!

action shot of my first cleaning run

ta-daa! easy, cheap, green, natural, safe, disinfecting, homemade citrus cleaner

As always, thanks for reading! xoxo, hhr

UPDATE:

Today I mopped with my new citrus cleaner, and oh yeah – it’s awesome!  The floors dried perfectly clean and lovely, and the house had this all-over citrus smell as I was just cleaning away.  LOVE!

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What I Did On My Summer Staycation

I’m writing to you in recovery mode, trying my hardest to type with sore hands and wrists from a very wacky week indeed.

this is me, enjoying some alone time

OUR CAR IS HERE!!!

Great news, huh?  Shipping the car from Hawaii to NY/NJ took about five weeks? Was it more? I can’t keep time straight anymore.  Anyways, we got an email that our car was due in, and then I was struck with a brilliant idea: why don’t you make it a boys’ trip to NYC to go get the whip, and I’ll stay here with the doggies and work, etc.

Are you reading between the lines dear friends?

As a Marine wife, going through deployments and all that long distance junk… you learn this wonderful appreciation for when your husband is actually home.  I feel like our time apart via circumstance has led to all the more cherish our moments together.

But like all things in life, there’s a flip side too: you learn to become quite independent and don’t so much mind some alone time.  I’ve always been pretty self-sufficient when it comes to the entertainment department, I can keep myself busy for days with all my hobbies, interests, books, projects, running and what not.  So it’s not like I flounder and freak out if left to myself for a bit.

And quiet? Oh I relish the quiet.  The peace.  Ahhh.

So yeah, I basically booked their airfare, schlepped them to the nearest plane harbor and said “don’t let the door hit ya…” as I gazed upon two-point-five days of sweet, sweet loneliness. Yes, I still had to work- but I’m calling it “my staycation” because I got to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted.

Real Housewives of NYC, OC, and NJ?  I’m all caught up.  Don’t Be Tardy For The Wedding, too.  I even had time to squeeze in some documentaries AND watch the Bravo marathon of last season’s Million Dollar Listing LA.

Glorious, right?

I slept on the couch.  I stayed up very late, and then slept in – just the way I like it.

one man’s couch is another hippie’s bed.

I went running, did my yoga, worked out at home- all whenever I wanted to do.

I ate microwaved s’mores for just about every meal.

aww yeah.

You think I’m kidding?  It’s no joke.  (New diet starts this upcoming week, so I say s’more ’em if you got ’em).

I ATE AS MANY BANANA ICE POPS AS I WANTED. I enjoyed each and every one without the stink eye from Duggs-the-cheapo as he frets about the cost of my recent addiction to these crazy good popsicles.

i call it “chain popping,” it’s better than using your almost-done hot smoke to light up the next

i’m laughing because the joke is so funny. “why couldn’t the baker buy a new car? he didn’t make enough dough.” zing-er.

I am even so B.A. that I went out and bought another, secret, box – married the two – and went nuts.  No holds bar.

when two become one.

In college (and for a while thereafter) I used to always calculate things in beer-math, all money was divisible by $5.99 – the cost of a Natty Light 12pack back then.  Now a days, it’s ice pop math.  How many pops can I get for that? 

And the chores.  Oh the chores!!

This house is so clean, so spotless – I just went nuts.

my battalion of cleaning supplies. fret not at the chemical stuff – i’m home brewing some hippie stuff, and i’ll share about that next week when it’s all ready to go. i promise, promise.

I worked so hard yesterday that I did like three and half straight hours of work, and I was dripping with sweat and exhausted afterwards.   I literally went around the whole house scrubbing, washing, dusting every surface.

I cleaned the floor Cinderella-style.

oh sing sweet nightingale…

getting my scrub on

it’s really hard to take an arial shot of yourself cleaning the floor. like, really really hard!

I washed the walls! THE WALLS! I scrubbed the toilet and the tub, did the dishes till there weren’t any left.  Then I cleaned out the fridge and washed all of the tupperware.

yeah, we have a lot of junk – but at least it’s nicely arranged junk

cleaned out the fridge, all that mio lined up all nice and organized

clean tupperware is my zen

Oh how I love a neat and tidy home.  It just feels so calm.

i love the site of vacuum lines on the carpet. think it looks wacky and weird? rocky had an accident, so i also did some carpet shampooing by hand.

spotless, tidy, ahhhhh!

I had to work during the day, but because it was quiet I was super productive.  I worked on a weird schedule too, and I used every table in the house to spread out…

one lappy for shows, one compy for work, social media, blog drafts – you know. and yes, that’s the glee project. love it!

my “work table.” oy… hot pink clipboard, sudoko, coffee, juice, wallet (ebay, oops), meds… post-its everywhere, 25 to-do lists, hope chapel pen from hawaii ❤ i’m a mad scientist, what can i say?

The only downside?  My two and a half days of me-time came and went all too quickly, and there was still half a to-do list I didn’t even touch.   It’s probably for the best though, I’m whooped and tired as it is.

And even though I love my quiet and love being a reclusive loner when I get the chance… it is great to have the house full again and for everyone to be here.  Okay, I LOVE having my husband back home, and being the smitten little love birds we are, we both randomly woke up at 5am and ended up staying up for an hour, giggling and chit chatting as he told me about the fun they had in NYC… and yes, I ate that middle-of-the-night pop I had a hankering for.

evidence that a banana pop has been had in bed

Staycation is great, but having a packed house with a weekend of fun things to do is the best!  Speaking of- I do believe we have a Crazy-80 birthday party to get going to, so I’ll sign off for now.  Hope you’re all having lovely, happy weekends.

As always, thanks for reading!! xoxo, hhr

 

PS: Am I super lame that this is how I choose to spend my alone time?  I mean… it was the middle of the work week.  At least give me that!

How I Got My Green Groove Back

OR: Some Happy Hippie Habits I Still Have

On Sunday I posted a rather woe-is-me piece about how I’ve lost my eco-friendly “religion” as of late (I’ve been a slacker, I’ve been in a new place – and I haven’t been adhering to my usual routine of kind-to-our-plantet practice).

It’s true.  I’ve shopped at Walmart, we’re going through roll after roll of paper towels around here, I’m drinking Keurig coffee and so on… It’s embarrassing.  Happy HIPPIE Rose is my blog after all, this is a place where I post about loving the earth and being green and all that jazz.  I’m a self-proclaimed hippie and if I expect people to trust my advice or try out my tips, there’s a certain point to which I need to practice what I preach!

And really, I usually do.  I’m blaming it on our move and all the commotion of living our of a hotel, visiting family for a week, and now moving in with my cousin and acclimating to his routines and what not.  I won’t re-hash it all – go read the post for yourself if you want to revel in my failure.

(I’m also being pretty overdramatic.)

I know I’m super far from a failure right now.  As was pointed out in the comments on Sunday, it’s not a terribly huge crime I’ve committed here.  It’s life, it happens.  My intention was actually never to lament, but rather to come clean and then take it from there.  So Sunday I ‘fessed up.  Now, we’ll be moving forward.

After be-smudging my good hippie name, I did make the self-defensive claim that not everything has gone to hell in a handbasket.  There are, actually, plenty of things I’ve kept up with and am doing now that are mighty green.

Today, lemme brag on those! 

I love the earth, I am a legit hippie.  There are easy, fun, money-saving ways to run a home and live your life that are kinder to the earth than some of the typical American practices.  Especially when it comes to chores, I love to keep a tidy home in crunchy fashion – using hippie cleaning methods.

duck face all in the rubber gloves, after a crazy night of chores – i was sweating so hard from cleaning!

For one, rags – not paper towels.

rags are reusable and that’s rad

Paper towels are pricey.  And they’re wasteful.  Landfills are clogged with paper towels, paper plates, paper napkins.  If I must buy some kind of paper product (that’s a disposable version of something that totally exists in reusable form), I at least go for the recycled materials version.  Depending on what the use of the paper item was, when you’re done with it you may be able to recycle it – so keep that aspect in mind if the paper-made route is one you must go.

But really, rags love messes.  Rags are the best!  They work better than paper towel, and you just wash them.  It’s nice.  I get so annoyed at the paper towel commercials that equate rags to smearing bacteria all over your home.  UGH.  Common sense goes a real long way.  If you’ve just used a rag to wipe up some raw chicken goo, how abouts you retire that one to the dirty laundry hamper and not rub it on the counter until it’s been properly laundered.

It’s home cleaning 101.  It’s how people have been tidying up for years, centuries!  It’s not rocket science.  I’ll elaborate more on a paper towel based rant some other day, because I feel like I could go on and on about all of the anti-rag marketing and propaganda out there that’s just so bunk.

Use rags.  Wash them. Apply common sense.

You know what really helps the cleaning process?  A solution that’s antibacterial.  Like say, white distilled vinegar (WDV).  WDV is amazing.  It kills germs, it cleans up all kinds of messes, stains, spills, grease, gunk, and more.  Yeah, it smells strong at the time of use – but as it dries it is 100% odorless, colorless, and unnoticeable.

vinegar is heaven’s nectar. it does everything!

I use WDV everywhere.  Dishes, laundry, surfaces, mopping solution, the bathroom, the bedroom, the living room.  Anything that can be cleaned, I involve WDV somehow.

Remember my old Tide Challenge?

our current laundry room set-up. tide + wdv = a cheaper, better way to do every single load!

(I bought a big jug of liquid Tide, very pricey and wonderful smelling laundry detergent – and as an experiment, I diluted it with WDV for every load of laundry to see how far I could stretch a bottle).  Here’s the premise of the challenge, a midway update post, and finally – the results post.

Check those out to read all about the magical laundry powers of WDV.  Detergent, microbe killer, disinfectant, funk eliminator, fabric softener… it does it all.  And in its wake it leaves clean-smelling, lovely, soft clothes.

Speaking of reusable rags and WDV, let’s talk about mopping.

If you so much as own a Swiffer, I don’t even know if we can be friends.  Swiffers are so so so so bad.  They’re evil!  They create so much waste, and why?  For what?  It’s lazy and ridic.  You can get a mop with the exact same function as a Swiffer (the spray with the little pad on a stick that you use instead of the old school rope mop or the sponge and squeegee kind) that – get this – uses a reusable pad on the bottom.

Instead of those pre-soaked Swiffer pads that cost a fortune, are chock full of chemicals, clog up your garbage can, and eventually our whole planent with all of those dirty pads – just use a mop with a washing fluid chamber that squirts out a little stream of cleaner and houses a cloth pad on the bottom that you simply wash and reuse.

I used to have a Lipman spray mop back in Hawaii, with reusable cloth pads.  I liked it just fine. When we arrived in Western New York, I needed a new mop, though. (The Lipman worked just fine, it was packed up and it’s in the Pacific Ocean on a ship somewhere, with the rest of our belongings).

me, going nuts, with my awesome new mop

Totally coincidental to my viewership of Celebrity Apprentice (really, I didn’t realize it was the same mop from the show until just now as I was looking it up online and saw Lou Ferrigno pics), I am now the proud and ecstatic owner of the O-Ceder ProMist spray mop.

i love celeb apprentice, but did not love lou. he was actually super annoying. but, he’s repping my new mop, so i gotta give him credit for that. i love this mop!

It caught my eye because it was the cheapest one of its kind in the store.  And boy oh boy am I so glad I took this baby home!

There’s a microfiber pad that easily sticks to the bottom, I bought a secondary pad for a few dollars – so if one’s in the wash, I can still mop it up.   And in the RARE case that a mess deems you must mop with something disposable, they do sell paper pads that fit as well (but don’t do that, just wash the reusable ones).

I LOVE THIS MOP!

best mop ever

It’s great.  It’s so sturdy, the head pivots so nicely.  It’s incredibly easy to use, and it’s so eco-friendly.  I fill up the cleaning fluid tank with a simple mix of WDV and water.  WDV is the perfect mopping solution, you know.  It kills the germs, it cleans, the floor will sparkle and shine – withOUT the stick left behind from Lysol or whatever other chemical mopping stuff you use.  And yes, it smells wacky… but as soon as it dries there is no scent.  None!

look at the shine on that floor – nice!

machine washable. very very easy.

Okay, I think you get my point about the cleaning.  It’s so easy to do, y’all.  Being green is not hard, it’s not always expensive or scary.  I know that when you’re in the grocery store and you see the free range organic food, it costs more than the hormone-filled antibiotic-ridden regular version.  The monetary commitment to an eco-friendly life can seem daunting. But that’s only for certain types of green living.

For most of the things I do around the home, I actually save money.  

WDV is way cheaper than any fancy cleaning product you can buy.  Samesies with baking soda (another awesome cleaning agent that works miracles).  Buying something once, like a rag or a towel and then being able to re-wash it and use it for a really long time is epically cheaper than going through disposable stuffs.

You get the idea?  I hope.

Now.  I know I mentioned food.  So there’s a couple more things I’ll sling into this post.

We feed our dog fancy food.  As in, organic doggie food.  I don’t believe in making him eat that corn-filled, horse meat, food colored, toxic fake garbage that’s all fillers and no nutrients.  We were so blessed at the ole MCBH Commissary, because they carried Organix brand dog food and it only cost a dollar more than the typical on-the-shelf doggie food crap.

Specialty dog foods can be very pricey and you may have to go out of your way to get your hands on them.  I understand that’s not feasible for everyone.  But check this out… Purina has a new label of food out, and although it’s pricier than the typical bag of Beneful, it’s still very affordable.  No corn, no fillers, no super duper garbage – and it’s made by Purina (my cousin works there, as does my Uncle Bobby, we love Purina around here).

jj’s new food, yummy!

JJ loves it!  He eats it right up, and we’re able to easily find it in the dog food section of our local grocers.   It’s called “One Beyond” and the commercials are super cute too (they always advertise for it on Hulu, I’ve noticed).

And finally.  I know in Sunday’s post I lamented about drinking coffee from the Keurig.  The uber-wasteful single cup coffee dispensary that makes you a solo cup of joe, out of a single disposable plastic-y cup.  Oy, the waste.  So much garbage, so much packaging.  It’s convenient and lovely and delicious – yes.  But the hippie in me just feels like such a heel.

So, I went old school and busted out the regular coffee pot.

i can make coffee the regular way

It’s a lot less wasteful, as long as we drink all that we end up making.  Coffee itself is such a slippery slope of hippiedom anyways… from fair trade, to poor work practices and shady farming, etc.  So I won’t get into that side of the bean in this post.  I’ll just tackle my end, the making and drinking side of the story.  And yes, I’m still imbibing in the Keurig-made stuff (it’s what we have in the house), but I’m not exclusively drinking Keurig and I intend to make my way back to the good ole brewing pot.

So there you have it!

Yeah, I’m not as super duper green green green as I had it when we were in Hawaii.  I’ve slipped a bit, I’ve let some things slide.  I’ve had to make accommodations and adjustments because of moving.

It is what it is.

But I’m turning it around.  And hey!  Even on my worst days, I was still maintaining some very clutch eco-kindly habits.  Some is better than none, every little bit really does help.

So as I continue to get my green groove back, I’ll keep y’all in the loop.  The tips and tricks I learn, I’ll pass on.  Because let’s be real, I didn’t invent this stuff – not by a long shot – other hippies taught me, and thus I want to teach you.  And if you have some good tidbits, tell me!  Shoot me an email or let me know right here (happyhippierose@gmail.com).

I’m always looking to build up my repertoire of hippie living.  So go out, get some WDV and a spray mop and clean with kindness.  Happy Housekeeping, y’all!

As always, thanks for reading! xoxo, hhr

Image Sources for the ones that are not my own:
Lou Ferrigno with the mop
O-Cedar ProMist mop collage

Losing My Religion

“That’s me in the corner, that’s me in the spotlight … losing my religion.”  Great R.E.M. jam, right?  It’s totally how I feel today.

Friends of faith, calm down!  I’m not being literal, or rather – I’m not talking about my spiritual religion, Christianity.  My love of Jesus is as intact as ever.  It’s actually thriving I’d say: going through this huge move with so much uncertainty and loose ends, Duggs and I have been very laid back.  I’ve really been able to just hand the reigns over to God and trust that we’ll be fine, it’ll all work out in His time, and that He has my back.  He always does, so why worry now?

love this!

Of course, we’re doing all we can to work hard and set ourselves up for success – but fretting over things out of our control?  Not happening.  We’ve had faith and it’s been very comforting.

What I’m referring to is my religion of eco-friendliness.

Practicing my beliefs through the way I run a home, the purchases I make, the products I choose to surround myself with, put into the environment and my body… I’ve lost that “religion” big time.

I’ve been SO BAD.

Drive-throughs, food dye, nitrates, preservatives… you name it, I’ve been eating it this past month+. I’ve had more take out and delivery than you’d even think humanly possible.  My first week in New York I ate at Dunkin Donuts literally every single day.  (There aren’t any DDs in Hawaii, and I was dying for jelly donuts and pumpernickel bagels like woah).

be still my beating heart

It gets worse…  Much worse.

Hi. My name is Rose, and I’ve shopped at Walmart recently.

(Hi Rose).

Yeah, I need a Walmart Anonymous meeting or something to help me cope.

i’ve been here, and i’ve spent money. oy.

I’m downright ASHAMED that I’ve supported the giant corporation that I’ve been a sworn enemy of for years.  I mean, I belong to an anti-Walmart watchdog group that keeps tabs on all of the pollution-causing antics, third world sweatshop supporting practices and employee rights-squashing shenanigans that the big blue box condones (and usually tries to hide with price roll back smoke and mirrors).

what do all these products have in common? check the brand. sigh.

It still gets WORSE.

I’ve used paper towels.  Lots of them.

the devil’s mess vessel

(I’m basically in tears at this point.  Who am I? Where has the real Rose gone?).

I’ve drank coffee made in a Keurig.  Oh how I swore I never would.  But I did. In multiple homes on multiple occasions… and I liked it.  It’s delicious.  I even bought more K-cups to refill the ones I willfully consumed.

the set-up here at nick’s. it’s sinfully wasteful… and yet sinfully delicious.

look out landfills, mama’s thirsty!

And if we’re getting really honest – which we are, I’m confessing to quite a lot of eco-sins here – I’ve also used some chemically crazy cleaning agents.  A little bleach here, a little neon colored scented spray there.  SIGH.

oh the shame. i should have to turn in my friendship bracelets and bandanna. am i even a hippie anymore?

I mean, I have excuses – sure.  I’ve been a guest in the homes of others.  I’m trying to be polite and keep things simple.  I’m living out of suitcases (essentially), and for a while we were technically homeless.  Going with the flow, not making waves, and so on… but you know what they say: the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

I know I’m being hard on myself.  But there’s a certain level of conscientious living that I’ve strived for and I feel like I’ve just totally ignored all of my earthly beliefs lately.

Really though, there is some adjustment period to be expected.  I didn’t pack rags with us like I had intended to (I was so ill the day the movers came to our house in Hawaii, so many of my plans for what was to get packed/shipped and what was to come with us for immediate access went totally out the window – I’m lucky to have underwear and socks with me, it was that crazy, I was that ill).

So I’ve been bad and I know it. 

Duggs and I went more than a year with only buying a single roll of paper towels for our home (for doggie pee when we were dog sitting and other such “emergencies”).  We use cloth napkins, rags, and towels.

I had actually kicked my coffee habit to the curb and was drinking tea, usually only one caffeinated tea a day – the others decaf, herbal, etc.  And even if/when we made coffee, it was with a regular pot.  Many of my (dear beloved) pals have gone Keurig, and while the idea of making one cup at a time seems convenient and nice, the waste just seems inexcusable.  All that packaging! Ugh.  (And I know there’s the “my K-cup” thingy that’s reusable, but still… who uses those? It’s way more fun and easy to just buy the regular disposable K-cups).

And Walmart? Ha! I haven’t been in a walmart in years.  Actually, Duggs and I made ONE purchase there the entire time I lived in Hawaii.  And before that, I couldn’t even remember the last time I’d been in one.

I like to practice what I preach.   I sure try to anyways.  We all slip up, yes.  I know I’m not perfect, but I try and that’s been something I define myself by, a source of pride.

As an American I know I have power in my vote, sure.  But we all have a power that seems to carry even more impact: consumer power.  Where we spend our hard earned money speaks volumes.  By not buying products I consider wasteful or harmful, by not shopping at stores whose practices I’m not down with – I vote with my money.

I’m proud of the strides I’ve made in recent years. It seems like every year since ’07, my resolution has been “to be greener,” and every year I’ve made imporvements.

Buying and eating better food to not support farming practices I don’t agree with (factory farming is downright evil) and to be kinder to my body is one that I’ve worked on for years.  The amount of waste reduction in our home has been impressive.  Using less and less “disposable” items and more reusable stuffs – it’s better for the earth and it’s better for our pocketbooks.

Do you know how pricey paper towels and paper napkins are?  That junk adds up! Back in Hawaii, I cut up one old towel and made like 15 rags.  They work better than paper towels and you just wash ’em and voila, good to go.  Cloth napkins are nice too, they’re softer on your skin and again, save money, waste less, so on.  Making our own cleaning products is WAY better for the environment and much, much cheaper.  Those fancy products add up; but white distilled vinegar?  Blessedly affordable.

oh wdv, our love affair will never ever end!

My crunchy habits do save us money, which is great.

But more than that, I’ve been able to live a lifestyle I’m proud of, one that allows me to live out my beliefs.  

So without those habits I feel like I’m being untrue to my heart.  I’ve had that R.E.M. song stuck in my head for days, and I don’t think it’s coincidence.  My eco-religion is a little lost right now.

I’m not all evil these days, though.  I’m slowly getting back into my green hippie groove.   The jostle of moving and being on the road, going from place to place was unstable.  But now that we’re here at Nick’s and settled in, I’ve been getting back into a greener routine.  I know it won’t be long before I’m up to my old hippie tricks and living at a level that’s reasonable and good.

It’s just the lapse that happened during the in-between for which I feel guilty.

I had to confess, get it off my chest.  But that’s it, I’m wiping the slate clean and moving on.  While I’m not pleased with some of the wasteful ways I’ve taken up lately, and the whole Wamart thing (*shudders*) … I’m not going to beat myself up too much.  What’s the point?

I’ve recognized the problem, and that’s always the first step.  So now, it’s about moving on and regaining my crunchy cred.  I’ll post soon (tomorrow maybe?) about the greenie ways I’m getting back and the hippie practices I’ve never lost sight of.  There are so many little, easy ways to keep an eco-friendly home, save money and be nice to ourselves and our animals (chemicals kill, yo).

And at some point I should post about all the crunchy hippie habits of mine that save money.  You’d be amazed at how my gentle ways also go so easy on the wallet.  But that’ll be a long post, and I’ll need to think of all the things I do – I don’t want to leave anything out.

For today though, the confession feels nice.  It’s off my chest – so thanks for letting me do that.

As always, thanks for reading!  xoxo, hhr

Image Sources for the ones that aren’t mine:
Trust God image (it’s actually a teeshirt you can order, rad!)
Dunkin Donuts pic
Walmart storefront pic

30 Days of Blogging Honesty – Day 11

Day 11 — When I’ve had a really bad day the first thing (not person) I reach for is…

the couch. 

Howdy y’all, happy Saturday! I’m writing to you from sleepy eyes with tired hands.  This past week was another whirlwind doozy.  The move is getting closer and closer, and things have just been really hectic as our time in Hawaii is coming to an end, work is super busy, and yes – I’m still sick.  I’m on the mend though, and I’d rather be ill here and now than moving sick.

We have the comfiest soft couch; I just love our living room.  It’s such a soothing place to be, that’s for sure.

save some room for me, will ya?!?

I love to veg out when I’m stressed.

TV, snacks, comfy blankets, lots of pillows … and just zone out.  Having the pooch and Duggs with me is pretty great too.  Maybe if I can get a backrub or a foot massage out of it, that’s just incredible icing on the relaxation cake.

oh yeah, that's the good stuff right there

A good second place option is the bathtub.  I LOVE taking a nice, long, hot bath after a stressful day.  I love bringing a compy into the bathroom and watching streaming TV or movies, or listening to music or a podcast.

Yeah, I’m really good at just vegging out.  I love simple distraction to help my brain unwind.

Today was short and sweet, huh?!?

as always, thanks for reading!! xoxo, hhr

I’m participating in a fun blogging event.  Tom Baker and Cherlyn Cochrane created the “30 Days of Blogging Honesty” challenge – chock full of 30 writing prompts + one dare at the end!  To read all the rules and prompts, click this link.

Check out the other bloggers playing along:

Participants
Cherlyn Cochrane
Jenn MikoLJMelanieLast Civilized WomanPrincesa MusangPrimadonna Zel,CarolineKoiAurathenaTerriblethinkerSleep and SalamiMarliz3ePrysmatiqueDLonelyStarAnonymousBurnNicoleSylvia GarzaMariana,NenskeiMyNakedBokkieBluefiadiarriesVeehCirraBannatreasuresSajeevHappyhippieroseTheFerkelTom Baker*Sofia*Everything Love & Lust,*TemptingSweets99, Sites with an * contain NSFW material. If erotic or sexual material is offensive to you, please do not visit these three blogs.

Ghost Cologne and Other Monday Rambling

This morning I woke up and my left shoulder smelled weird.  It smelled (let’s not kid, it still smells, I haven’t showered yet… my middle name IS hippie) like a weird musky floral smell. Musky in a men’s cologne kinda way.

Not funky or bad.  Just unfamiliar.

And I know describing a man smell as floral is weird.  But it was! That’s the best way I can describe it.  I tried to ignore it, but the smell is really strong.  It’s hardly faded all day.

It smells as if I sprayed my left shoulder with some kind of body spray, or air freshener.  But not in a flavor I’ve ever experienced before.  And certainly nothing that we own here.  I went around trying to identify the smell and was most unsuccessful.

Maybe Duggs accidentally put some weird secret body spray on me when he was leaving for work today?

That doesn’t even make sense.

It must have been a ghost. 

Who else would have this weird smell, and just put it on such a weird place like my left shoulder?  I probably hung out with a ghost while I was sleeping and he or she hugged me or patted my arm.

So the ghost cologne situation was how I started today.

Then I did a bunch of working.  I actually got some cleaning done, which is nice.  Today’s been pretty busy.

gratuitous pooch pic, he is sulking because i've been busy today. oh jay.

A repairman came by the house to un-clog a laundry room pipe situation we’ve had going on.  All this hardwater linty build up clogged the drain pipe for our washer.  The housing maintenance people we’re super busy, so it’s been bad news bears for a while.  The washer man came here last week and although he identified the problem, was unable to fix it.

there's our washer - it's the white pipe, with the black ones that go into it - that's the one that is all clogged up

close up!

Gee Rose, this story is boring.  Why are you telling me? 

Because I took some initiative on my own and poured some vinegar into the clogged pipe. In intervals.  And guess what?  It worked!

We haven’t tested the washer much (it kept flooding the whole floor, so why risk it?)… but when the guy came today, he didn’t really have to do anything.  The vinegar had actually been abrasive enough to beat back that scum!

I used White Distilled Vinegar – the most amazing substance on earth.  I mop with it, clean all our counters with it, combat hard water in our showers and sinks.  I use it in the laundry, I use it everywhere.  It’s just the most amazing stuff ever.

best substance ever

One more use: natural pipe de-clogger!

I asked the gent today if I should have used Draino or some other commercial pipe cleaner.  And he laughed!  He LOL’ed.  Based on his expertise, draino is fake-o.  It’s ripoff city.  He said that I did the best thing possible, WDV.

Also, could have been used – lemon juice.

Note: this was for build up scum… not to de-clog a big ole hairball or rat carcass.

Eww! I really did just go there.  Did you gag a little bit?

Final piece of business: If you want in on the Valentine’s Day post for tomorrow, there’s still a smidgen of time left.  Email me a brief love letter to your body, along with a pic.

happyhippierose @ gmail DOT com

The post goes up tomorrow, and I’m super duper excited.  The positive reinforcement has been lovely – healthy body image is important.  I’m not 100% there myself, not by any means.  But working on it feels good.

Anyways, busy day, I must be going! How ’bout you? Happy Monday? Busy? Excited for tomorrow? Do tell!

As always, thanks for reading! xoxo, hhr

a lil’ post about my lil’ pooch and his new lil’ friend.

It’s been a while since I’ve done a JJ post.   Sorries. Here is plenty of Jayjers for you now:

jj

My little doggie JJ is my BFF.  (Well, Duggs is my #1 BFF for sure)… but I mean, the pooch and I do everything together.

we go on jogs together

we like the wind in our hair together

we do yoga together (omg remind me to explain that fugazi brace sweat band in have there)

and yoga turns into smooches

But now there’s a new BFF in town… 

For NYE Ole Stinky Duggs was really sweet and gave me some surprises.  One of them being flowers.  He had a lovely bright bouquet delivered, and with it came a teddy bear.

flowers for rose

and they came with this adorable SOFT bear!

So, don’t get me wrong.  I really like the bear, it’s sweet.  I gave away most of my stuffed animals (I keep them all in really good condition, usually) .. so it’s sweet to have this new bear.

As a rule, plushy ones must stay away from the little one.  JJ loves to chomp, destroy, and shred plushy toys.  They’re his favorite kind actually!  He can go through one in a couple hours.

here is jay destroying a little monkey toy from dommie

Yet…

He hasn’t so much as licked this new bear.

bonky

Oh. The bear’s name is “Bonky.”  Bonky Bear and JJ are for serious BFFs.

here he is snuggling in a pillow/blanket nest with ole bonky not far away

this is what he does while i work. it's so cute, yeah?

He just loooves this bear so much.  It’s the strangest and cutest thing ever.

my good sweet boy and his new bff

It’s so adorbs, I can’t even be mad.

 

As always – thanks for reading, yo! xoxo, hhr

time to crank out the jams…

…And By Jams, I Mean Tie Dye!

I’m so excited, I just gotta share this news with someone.  I’ve been asked, last minute, to host a craft booth at my Church’s Women’s group event this Monday.  As in, a few days from now!

Over 350 women have already signed up and paid, but even more are expected. For some people this may sound so small-timey.  But for me, this is my first time selling tie dye at an event, or really selling in person at all.

So between now and then, I need to crank out some tie dye!  

i need to make lotsa tie dyes, like this!

Now, I do have booth selling experience. Quick story:

My folks used to own a phone card business (trust me, I know that sounds so bizarre).  Back in the 90’s my dad and I went to France with my elementary school’s exchange program (he was the group translator, that’s a whole ‘nother story on it’s own; he learned french in eight months just so he could be the translator, hahaha, Viper is amazing!).

(i know i had a photo of us in france somewhere. i can’t find it… grrr… i’ll keep looking later on)

So we get to France – and all the pay phones required these prepaid cards you swipe, no coinage. Dad thinks it’ll be the next big thing, we become the biggest phone card dealer in the whole Southeast, and the only licensed dealer of Visa Cash Cards (a derivative of phone cards, it’s a prepaid card, like a credit card – but not based on credit, it’s just prepaid so you don’t have to carry cash around).

Next thing ya know… those pesky cell phones become all the rage, and payphones become all but obsolete.

But anyways, back in the heyday of the phone cards, we used to travel around to all kinds of conventions and sell them.  I’m talking Europe, Asia, everywhere.  So I know how to stand at a booth and sell… I just haven’t done so in a decade and a half, and never with my own tie dye.

I have a feeling it’ll be like riding a bike though.

My Dad (Viper) and Step-mom (Anna) still actually run the business… it’s just not as crazy booming as it once was.  You can check them out: Kars Unlimited. 

Okay, I have company coming in this afternoon.  Another guest for dinner will be coming over tonight.  And I have all this tie dye to crank out. (And maybe make some pricing signs, I have to sort and prep all the inventory I do have, and make some kind of poster for custom orders or something).

Not to forget- at the very same women’s event I’m hostessing a toiletry drive for the local women’s correctional facility.  They do gift bags at Christmas for the inmates, and we’re collecting donations for said gift bags.  Oh, busy busy!!  Lots of sheets to wash, laundry to fold, sweeping and fixing up to do. Oh my!

Thanks for reading!  xoxo, hhr 

P.S. If you’re interested in helping with the toiletry drive, let me know anytime before midday on December 5th (Hawaii time), and we can figure something out!  You can comment here or email me: happyhippierose@gmail.com   -thanks!!

P.P.S. I really will make a siggy soon! I swears it!

one of the kids' shirts i'll be selling!

my tide challenge is DONE!

I finished my TIDE CHALLENGE – The whole bottle is all used up.

all done!

Have no idea what I’m talking about? Check these out:

Drumroll please…. 207!  I got Two Hundred Seven uses out of a Sixty-Four load bottle. That’s not too shabby!

count 'em up ladies and gents!

no seriously, count em if you got em

My goal was to get three times the loads out of the bottle, which would have been 192.
So I beat it!  I’m so pleased to know that not only did I milk three times the load amount out of my super pricey, albeit pleasantly aromatic, Tide bottle – but I only did 207 loads of laundry in over a year!
Considering I do the tie dye business at home and wash, and re-wash and RE-wash all those clothes, that’s pretty good!  Granted, we don’t have kids… but still!  I wear lots of clothes.  I do a few costume changes a day, sometimes (workout clothes, hausfrau get-up, jammies, etc).
So there we go.  A new bottle of Tide was purchased, and the Sharpie Marker in the laundry room was retired (I’m not going to keep track for another year).   And I’m happily satisfied with what I’ve done here.  I’m going greener, a little bit at a time.  I followed through with a project that took longer than a year to complete.  And best of all – I’ve turned so many people on to adding a lil’ WDV to the ole detergent!

Just saying hi + I have a couple prayer requests

It’s your favorite tie dye wearing housewife checking in!

Hi There 

Today is Monday, and well, I’m just buried in the laundry and catching up on cleaning.

We had a super fun weekend, spending time with friends as well as being super lazy around the house.  Whenever we have lazy Sundays, I always have busy Mondays, catching up on cleaning.

me and ashley on saturday night, weaing glitter eye make up because we're fancy and awesome like that!

the boys team when we all played "cranium." since we didn't technically finish the game, i can't really say who won.

jj came out with us! he's so popular, he got to visit with our friend's pooch, bailey. they had fun!

Today I’ve been working on a pot of red sauce, that’s happily bubbly away.  I’ve been browning meat, chopping onions and smashing garlic, sautéing, tasting the sauce and adding the right amount of this and that.  Red sauce is an all-day affair!

I woke up feeling not-so-hot today.  It’s certainly one of my crummier days as far as my health is concerned.  I know I need to finish up the health update I’ve been promising and working on, the Part II of my blog about my health.

Writing the post about my health history last week was intense.  It drained me in some ways and in other ways it gave me a lot of closure.  Cathartic is the fancy word.  But when you dredge up all that stuff, it’s a big deal.  Reflecting back on the cancer days and thinking about my health in general can drain me; but in so many ways it uplifts me and reminds me how grateful I am for all that I do have!  (Don’t know what I’m referring to?  I made a blog about my health last week: read it now).

So I just wanted to pop in and say “hi.”  I’m just hanging out at home today, being super housewifey and homemakery.  I love that feeling!

hi there! this is me today in all my homemaker glory

I love whipping our home into shape, and when Matthew comes home from work, the house is tidy, clean, the smell of delicious food fills the air.  It’s kind 1950’s in some ways, and it’s kinda perfect and fitting.  The whole point of women’s lib is to give us choices, right?  And well, considering how tired and crummy I feel (I’m in a fair amount of pain today) , staying home is nice.

laundry is crappy dappy!

Serious Stuff – Prayer Requests

For my friends who’d like to do some praying or send some good vibes out: my Grandma Sally is in the hospital, and my Grandpa Lyle has Hospice taking care of him now.  I’m worried about both of them, and I know that their caretakers (my Dad/Stepmom and my Aunt Sheila, respectively) are exhausted, burnt out, worried, and scared.  So send some good vibes or prayers for them too please.

a photo of me with my gma sally

a recent photo of my cousin justin with our gpa lyle

My family is tight-knit and all of us sick folk worry the well folk.  They want us to all be okay.  We all take care of each other and the phone calls, emails, texts, and messages are nonstop.   I love my family and I love how well we keep in touch, from Afghan to Hawaii, and all in between!

At times like this I wish I was closer.  Most of my fam lives on the East Coast, and when I say that I mean both Matthew’s and My families, I don’t discern between the tow any more, family = family, by marriage or blood.  I wish I could help all of our family members who are sick; I wish I could be in New York, Virginia, and Florida all at the same time.   Thank God for technology though, that keeps me in the loop and keeps me connected.   And prays work no matter where you are; God can hear us all the time.

So that’s all that’s going on here. 

Matthew’s at work.  I have some clothes to fold.  I may try and force myself to run a bit.  Even though I’m in pain, I think working out a bit will actually help.  (Maybe that sounds weird, but it makes sense to me – running relieves stress and stress causes pain, and I’m always in pain and I can’t just sit around on the couch forever, I have to break the cycle at some point and just go for it!).

I’m trying to figure out how to make a signature to sign off with on all my blogs – but until I do: thanks for reading!!  Love, happy hippie rose