DIY Mop Head from Old T-Shirts

I don’t know if you feel the same way as I do, but buying those mop heads are so expensive. I used to feel like I had to buy a new one every two months or sooner.

So so I decided that I would try to make my own mop head. So I took out the wool from the old one I had and replaced it with t-shirt material! Easy peasy!

DIY Mop Head

Supplies:
3-4 old large t-shirts
scissors
old mop top
screw driver

Instructions:

1) Cut below one arm across to the othe arm leaving a tube.

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2) Cut along one side seam of the tube.

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3) Cut tube in strips going across from the side seam that is cut to the uncut seam.

4) Repeat with remaining shirts

5) Use the screwdriver to help open the prongs on the metal part of the mop head and remove the old wool from the mop.

6) Replace the old would with the strips of cloth that you cut up and reassemble to mop head.

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Finished Mop

Isn’t it pretty? And yes it mops fantastic!

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How to Grown an Organic Container Garden

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A while ago I started my organic container garden right in my patron since I have no place to grow them outside. The joys of apartment living.

It has been trial and error for some plants but mostly going great.

I quickly learned that all plants are not equal.

Some like a lot of sunlight.

Some like a lot of water.

Some will survive in shallow soil and some will not.

I lost a few plants along the way which included my precious echinacea plant. But I do believe those could have been avoided if I simply had followed this step:

Research the different plants you want to grow before you get them.

If I had done that I would have known that beets don’t like a lot of water in the beginning and neither do chives. Celery and cabbage love water.

I would have know the water loving, shade loving, drought loving, sun loving etc. plants and where to position them on the patio.

But, I figured it out as I went and was able to grow several things in my patio.

Here is what I did to grow these organic potted herbs and vegetable:

1) Prune plants

I never really understood the benefit of pruning a plant until someone came to my home and told me to cut (more like chop/butcher) a tree we have growing outside. She told me how wonderful her tree looked after she did it and she pretty much sold me on it.

I tried it and IT WORKED! So I pruned all of my plants and they thrived.

2) Do not discard the pruned leaves

When I prune my plants I put the leaves back into the pot to decompose. Kinda like my compost. Sincemy plants are potted they won’t get the nutrients they need from the soil like if I was planting directly into the ground.

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3) Add nutrients to your soil.

I found this article that outlines the symptoms of plant deficiencies. Using this article can help you to ward spot nutrient deficiencies in your potted plants.

My children and I have had to add Epsom salt to our garden. We also will add an organic compost to it as well to add some nitrogen to the soil.

One alternative to this is to get animal manure. We have easy access to goats and sheep and if we look around a bit I am sure we can get some chicken poop.

But I prefer the green compost for our container garden. Hopefully with time, adding the pruned leaves back to the soil will inpreve the nitrient value so that I will have a richer sool to plant in with the next set of crops.

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4) Use natural pesticides

I got a few pests in my patio garden. Some were caterpillars and the other one was a leaf miner.

To combat the leaf miner

When I realized that I had leaf miner on some of my plants (celery and cabbage) I used coconut oil, as opposed to the recommended neem oil since I had none. I got two pieces of cloth and coated them with oil. Then using the coated cloths, I squeezed the leaf at the mining site and pulled from the inside of the leaf towards the tip of the leaf. This coated the leaf with oil.

I repeated this with most of the infected leaves. The ones that were badly infected I discarded completely.

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 5) “Till” the soil

With container gardening, it is more than likely that you won’t have the good insects found in the soil that help aggregate the soil. For some plants you will need to do this manually. I used a butter knife to do this.

A look at some more of my plants 

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Getting Produce at a Local Farm

We moved. I don’t have a garden. I haven’t had one for a long time to be honest, since I let my fears of “creatures” get the best of me. But I have planted a few things in pots on my patio, so hopefully this is the step back to having a garden when mo finally move to our new home next year.

So since we don’t grow our own food, I go to a local farmer and get what we need.

Look at some of the things we got last time.

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Oh and by the way, shopping at the local farm has more than halved our grocery bill. And this is great since the children seem to eat more than us- did I mention that they are 18 months and 3 1/2 years?

How to Get My Kids to Live Green Lives?- L.I.E.

Welcome to the April 2013 Natural Living Blog Carnival: Natural Kids. This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Natural Living Blog Carnival hosted by Happy Mothering and The Pistachio Project through the Green Moms Network. This month our carnival participants have written posts about how they communicate with their children about natural living and how they implement those changes with their kids.

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Making the decision to take the plunge and live a more natural lifestyle was one that I had toyed with for several years but I was never really committed, so I fell back many times. But after I got my son 3 years ago I was determined to stick with the changes I was making.

Sure I was eating healthier that most people for years, but there were SO many things I was doing that were not healthy. So my son came and along with his birth came my commitment to creating an environment that was as healthy, eco-friendly as possible.

So out went the Clorox and in came the vinegar. Out went many of the over processed foods and in came the local vegetables. And much more… Much, much more.

And I LOVED it.

And living this green, healthy lifestyle is something I wanted for my entire family. My husband took a VERY long time to come around to some of the choices I made, but recently he did his own research and made the change!!! Yay!! So now we both are working on it together.

Now that both of us are on the same page we have decided on the best way to help the children enjoy living this type of lifestyle. And so we decided to L.I.E!!!

Yup, we did. But I promise we are not bad parents for it!  We have realized that like anything we want our children to do, we as parents have to L.I.E.

L- Live the example we want our children to follow

I-Instruct them in the right choices to make

E-Enable and encourage them to make the greener, healthier choices.

So when there are spills you know what I use? My green/natural/non-toxic cleaners (Live the example). And best of all I have a little helper. So out comes the spray bottle and cleaning rags and I hear “let me do it!” And I oblige. (Encourage and Enable). I can’t wait until that little voice is joined by his sister’s. Oh how exciting that will be!

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Oh and grocery shopping for the best products- hectic, but we manage. I tell him and show them (well really him as my daughter is too small) why we choose certain things and why we don’t choose others (Instruct). Besides, they really love going shopping. Just yesterday they went for some produce from a “local farmer” and looks at some of the things they got:

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His new favourite things to use is a hand scrub that I made. He loves to smell his hands after he uses it and unfortunately he sometimes HAS to wash his hand even though his hands are not dirty!

Oh well. But we will continue to L.I.E so that our children hopefully will confidently make greener, healthier choices as they get older. Oh and we plan on doing this for all other aspects of their lives too.

So see, I told you we are not bad parents because of it!

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Simple, Natural Living

Over the past decades, many things have gotten a lot easier and more convenient. Fast food is very prevalent and unfortunately many of us find ourselves frequently indulging in fast food despite research is showing how bad it is for our health. Added to us consuming these conveniences, we feed it to our children, including when they are babies.

Life is more convenient, food preparation is more convenient, cleaning supplies are more convenient…and we are getting sicker because of it!!

Even though I have been vegan for 5 years now, much of the food I was consuming was highly processed and really not good for me. Living where I live, surviving on one income and dealing with food allergies have all propelled me in the direction of simple, natural living.

And here I am. Preparing 99% of our food from scratch, making healthier food choices, using green cleaning products, using only 1 item from a can (tomato paste), using natural home remedies and beauty products…

In the last year I have found many wonderful blogs, sites and information about eating healthier and being healthier. I have gained so much knowledge in this area, and made so many reforms too! Yet I have a LONG way to go. But, I’m going….

Simple, natural living seems so hard, so inconvenient, so archaic… but it is the BEST!

So right now on my list of things to do to live a more natural and simpler life I plan to:

1) Eat organic

2) Eat non GMO products

3) Compost

4) Start my own garden so that one day we will eat mostly or only food we have grown

5) Use only natural cleaning, beauty products

6) Get a better understanding of natural remedies

I’m taking one step at a time on this journey but I will reach these goals.

Task 10 Begins today

Today is the start of Task 10 of the 30 Day Health Challenge.

Check out the post for the scrubs and facial recipes that were posted earlier.

our skin is the largest organ for our bodies and often goes unnoticed.  Yet our skin often indicates when all is not well with our other organs.

So for these next 3 days let’s take care of our skin using 100% natural or almost 100% natural products.