DIY: Natural Disinfectant Spray (Like Lysol But Homemade!)

Natural Disinfecting Spray

There is a nasty new virus floating around called enterovirus D68. This virus outbreak has sent hundreds of children to the hospital with respiratory problems.

My oldest daughter has been hospitalized with respiratory issues before and it is scary. When respiratory viruses start circulating, I go into protective, mama bear mode. I arm myself with disinfectant and CLEAN ALL THE THINGS!!!!

What steps should we all take to keep our homes healthy?

1. Institute mandatory hand washing! This is the number one recommendation of the Center for Disease Control. It is inexpensive and easy. Stay vigilante and send everyone straight from the front door to the sink with instructions to wash up.

2. Disinfect Surfaces – especially doorknobs. Cleaning your doorknobs, refrigerator handles, faucets, and toilet handles with a disinfecting spray can help guard your family against viruses.

If you are trying to run an all natural household, what are your options for safe, non-toxic disinfecting?

Here’s what you will need to make your own Natural Disinfectant Spray Like Lysol but Homemade:

Natural Disinfectant Ingredients
1/2 cup Vodka
1/2 cup Water
15 drops Rosemary Essential Oil
25 drops Orange Essential Oil
15 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
15 drops Lavender Oil

Mix all ingredients together and add to a spray bottle. Shake the spray bottle frequently while cleaning.

To Disinfect: Spray any surface that is frequently touched in your home.

If you don’t drink alcohol, you may not have vodka at home. Do not leave it out of this spray. It will help sterilize all your surfaces. Get a super cheap bottle from behind the liquor counter for just $4.99 and use it. You only need 1/2 cup.

You can pick up the essential oils in your health food store. Need a good online source? I like to buy mine here.

Once you try using this spray, you will find it is addictive. I love cleaning with something that smells so great!

After you’ve sterilized your home, be sure to store your spray in a dark place out of the reach of children. You’ll need to use the spray within 2 to 3 months or it will start to lose it’s potency.

Do you use essential oils to clean your home?

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10 Drugstore Beauty Must Haves That Are Safe to Use!

Non-Toxic Drugstore Beauty Must HavesNavigating the drugstore beauty aisle can be tricky. Many of the products on those aisles contain known toxins with some pretty nasty side effects.

Phthalates, triclosan, parabens, and musks have all been linked to potential harmful health effects including cancer and hormone disruption.

Many cosmetic chemicals are designed to penetrate into the skin’s inner layers. Do you really want to be using a known toxin on your highly absorbent skin?

These 10 Drugstore Beauty Must Haves get a Green Rating from the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep Database. They’ve done the research on these products and given each one of these products a “LOW” ranking of a “1” for overall hazard.

So pop on over to your local drugstore and pick up a drugstore beauty must have or two. You can feel good about using them, and they won’t cost you a pretty penny!

1. Maybelline FitMe Pressed Powder $7.49 FitMe Pressed Powder is available in 18 shades, so you should be able to find the perfect match for under $10!

2. Boots Botanics Corrective Concealer Stick $9.99 Choose from one of two lightweight colors and conceal away.

3. e.l.f. Studio Shimmering Glow Palate $3.00  Give skin a healthy and natural glow and use to illuminate the eyes, lips, and face. I love an all-in-one product for 3 bucks!

4. Revlon Lipstick $7.99 True story: I have a friend who whenever she felt bad, her mom told her to buck up and put on some lipstick. I do feel better with lipstick on, do you?

5. Physicians Formula Organic Wear Lash Boosting Mascara $9.99 This mascara is said to enhance the appearance of lash length, thickness and volume for dramatic lashes instantly. Gotta love that!

6. L’Oreal Paris Extra Intense Liquid Pencil Eyeliner $8.99 This pencil has the look of a liquid eyeliner, but the control of a pencil.

7. Neutrogena Crease Proof Eye Shadow Constant $9.49 With 6 colors to choose from, you are sure to find a silky color that will complement your eyes.

8. Physicians Formula Eye Makeup Remover Pads, Oil Free, For Normal to Oily Skin $4.99 What goes on must come off. Remove your makeup safely with these wipes.

9. Yes to Tomatoes Clear Skin Repairing Acne Lotion $14.99 If you don’t believe a natural product can clear up your acne, you need to click on the link and read the reviews!

10. RoC Instant Facial Smoother $14.99 Not everyone needs an anti-aging cream. However, if you are looking for a safe product to try to improve the look of your wrinkles, this is a safe, Environmental Working Group approved, place to start!

Have you tried any of these products? Would you recommend them?

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How Much Juice Comes From One Lemon?

Juice One Lemon

Have you ever had a recipe call for “the juice from one lemon”?

How much juice comes from one lemon? What if you don’t have a lemon, but have lemon juice? How much lemon juice could you substitute?

Here’s your answer:

One Lemon yields 3 Tablespoons of juice

Now, is every lemon going to yield an exact 3 tablespoons? Not so much. But as a general rule, that is what a recipe means when it says “the juice from one lemon”.

And if you like this kitchen tip, be sure to read Seasoning Food in a Pinch.

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Upcycled Glass Jars Projects

Upcycled Glass Jar Projects

I have a complete addiction to glass jars. Not only do I have scores of canning jars, but often times I’ll buy a product simply because I want the glass jar once it is gone! (like these frappacino ones).

There are so many creative ways to use glass jars. I wanted to share a few of my favorite upcycled glass jars projects with you.

Upcycled Glass Jars Collage

Which project is your favorite? I really want to try each one!

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Clary Sage Essential Oil: Cramp Relief without Medication


If you are a female, I’m certain you know about cramps. But are you familiar with clary sage and how it is used for cramp relief without medication?

First, allow me to introduce you to clary sage.

Clary sage has been around for centuries. As a source of natural phytoestrogens, it stimulates the body to produce more hormones bringing around a balancing effect. (However, the presence of phytoestrogens makes it unsuitable for use during pregnancy)

Although it has a sharp scent, it actually has a quieting effect on the emotions and is said to bring clarity.

When used with massage, clary sage has been found to reduce abdominal cramps.

I decided to put a clary sage massage to the test. Could it really work to relieve cramps?

clary sage cramp relief

Cramp Relief without Medication

First, you need:

A 1/3 ounce roller ball bottle
Carrier oil such as avocado, jojoba or almond oil
clary sage essential oil (here’s where I get mine)

Fill your roller ball with the carrier oil. Add 4 drops of clary sage essential oil.

Lie on your back in a quiet place.

Start at the belly button and use the roller ball to draw several circles on your abdomen in a clockwise direction slowly moving out.

Set aside the roller ball bottle and continue to massage in a circular motion pressing down gently. Continue for one minute.

cramp relief without medication

THE VERDICT: This method absolutely worked for me. I tried to inhale deeply while massaging and applied pretty good pressure since that is what I found soothing.

And if you want a little something-something extra to help soothe your cramps, I’d suggest lying with a heating pad on your back at the same time.

This method does have it’s limitations. It’s not really practical for when cramps strike in the middle of work, or school, or Target, since there is no place to lie down and massage.

However, once you have performed the massage, the scent of the clary sage will still linger on your skin. The small whiffs that I inhaled throughout the day brought instant, calming relief. I kinda loved it.

Please try it for yourself. I’d love to hear your results.

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Tropical Traditions Essential Oils Review: Best New Source for Oils

Disclaimer: Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose. Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.


In the Greenbacks Gal household, we use essential oils for multiple purposes. So I was delighted to do a Tropical Traditions essential oils review.

First, I love to simply diffuse essential oils. It is not unusually to walk into my home to catch the scent of lavender or bergamot or cloves and oranges (my favorite at the holidays!).

I use different combinations to bring about different moods. For example, I’ll diffuse a few drops of orange oil with a few drops of peppermint to create a stimulating and creative scent when working.

Second, I love to make essential oil remedies such as an all natural vapor rub or vapor shower disks.

Finally, cleaning is made so much more enjoyable when you use essential oils. I delight in cleaning my yoga mat because of the lovely scent.

Where to Buy Essential Oils?

In the past, I’ve just picked up the brand sold at my local natural grocers. But the more interested I become in aromatherapy, the more important it has become to purchase quality essential oils.

And of course I care about organic options too!

That’s why I’m delighted Tropical Traditions has started carrying essential oils.

I have long trusted Tropical Traditions as the best place to get virgin coconut oil.

So I’m thrilled to announce that Tropical Traditions has started selling Florihana essential oils from France. These oils are 100% pure, 100% natural and the majority are 100% certified Organic: CEE by Ecocert and NOP-JAS by Control Union BV.

Why Florihana Essential Oils?

Florihana is world-renown for their unique low-heat proprietary distillation process. It is a highly innovative technology called “flash detente”, developed and perfected in its own laboratory. This process is unique in the world of aromatherapy. 

The distillation process is key to preserving as much of the essence of the original plant source as possible.

In addition, detailed labeling on each bottle helps  with complete traceability of each batch.

The bottle of clary sage that I received came with it’s own canister to keep it out of the light (a total plus in my book), had a great aroma (the whole reason for buying it!) and had an easy to control dropper top. I put it to use right away to try to relieve cramps without medication.


In addition to getting high quality essential oils, these oils are priced right! Many can be purchased for under $5!!!! And, as I mentioned, they come with an awesome metal canister for protecting your oils from the light that degrades them. Make sure to check out the whole selection so you can see the awesome pricing for yourself.

How do you use essential oils? 

If you order by clicking on any of my links and have never ordered from Tropical Traditions in the past, you will receive a free book on Virgin Coconut Oil, and I will receive a discount coupon for referring you.

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21 Upcycled Jeans DIY Projects To Make This Summer

Upcycled Jeans Projects

It’s the end of the school year, and in our house, we are cleaning out closets and figuring out what still fits and what doesn’t.

What I’ve found is we own a lot of jeans with holes and tears.

And not the chic kind.

I thought it would be fun to roundup some of the cute upcycled jeans projects that can be made with an old pair of worn jeans.

Clean out the closets, create something new and give the kids a fun craft project to do over the summer. Win-win-WIN!

Upcycled Jeans Projects collage

  1. Upcycled Jeans Toy Storage Bag from Handmade by Meg K
  2. No Sew Jeans Pocket Garland from Dukes and Duchesses
  3. Denim Fabric Baskets from Threading My Way
  4. Jeans Pocket Purses from Nebraska Views
  5. Jeans Desk Chair Makeover from One Creative Mommy
  6. Denim Coasters from Northern Cheapskate
  7. Jeans Wristlet from Green Issues by Agy
  8. Denim Placemats – from Living Well Spending Less
  9. Denim Corsage from Somewhat Simple
  10. Denim Pocket Purse from Laura Kelly Designs Blog
  11. Demin Journal from Life Made Creations
  12. Jeans Apron from Life Made Creations
  13. Jean Seam Wreath from Restyled Junk
  14. Denim Wreath from Fancy Meeting Ewe
  15. Belt Loop Bobbi Pins from Fancy Meeting Ewe
  16. Christmas Tree Skirt from Fancy Meeting Ewe
  17. Upcycled Jeans Christmas Stocking from Nebraska Views
  18. Denim Camera Strap from Oh Hi DIY
  19. Denim Purse from Somewhat Simple
  20. Flirty Denim Skirt from Somewhat Simple

What is your favorite upcycled jeans DIY project?

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