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4 Apple Cider Vinegar Hacks You Can Use to Clean Every Room of Your House

Lifestyle January 7, 2017

Cleaning is never considered to be a fun activity, though some are better at it than others, it’s a chore most would rather avoid. There are, however, ways to make cleaning a little easier. Using apple cider vinegar is one of those ways that is pretty simple to use and effective. When cleaning with apple cider vinegar you don’t need to be concerned about chemicals left around for you, your family and pets, to absorb into your systems. The more ways you can use a natural product to clean your home, the better off you will be when it comes to your health. We often think about our health when we think about what we eat and drink, but not often enough do we think about the products we use daily in our homes.

We offer you 4 healthy ways to use apple cider vinegar to clean every room in your house:

1. Getting Rid of Mildew

Apple cider vinegar is great for removing tough mildew from your bathroom and kitchen sinks. For the bathtub, mix 1 part apple cider to 1 part water, and use a sponge or scrub brush to remove the mildew from tiles, faucets, tiled walls, and also in the kitchen on porcelain sinks plus kitchen tiles and faucets. Maintain the areas by using this same mixture approximately once a week on those same areas so that you won’y have the tough task of dealing with the buildup. You can also use this mixture for your shower curtains as well.

2. Cleaning the Toilet

The chore everyone wants to avoid can also be thoroughly cleaned with apple cider vinegar. Using full strength apple cider vinegar, you can clean the inside and outside of your toilet safely. As you clean, it is safe to flush the vinegar down the toilet. It will not affect your plumbing. If you have really bad stains in your toilet bowl, use two cups of apple cider vinegar and let it sit inside the toilet bowl overnight. In the morning, it will be much easier to flush the stains away.

3. Deodorizing the House

If you have pets and/or children, they can often leave food in odd places, which also leave you with mysterious odors in the house. After a full cleaning, and you find that some tough odors are still lingering, then use about a cup of apple cider vinegar in a pot and allow it to simmer for at least an hour. If the kitchen is the area with the odor, you can leave it on the stovetop. If the persistent odor is in another room in the home, carefully pour the warm cider into a mason style jar and sit in that room for a couple of hours.

4. Cleaning Wood and Hiding Scratches

You don’t need any sprays like Pledge for your wood surfaces and furniture, apple cider will do a great job, and you won’t have the strong chemical odor left afterwards. The best mixture to use is a 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsps. of olive oil, mixed with 2 cups of water. Use a soft cloth to dip into the apple cider cleaner and wipe off your wood furniture, stairwell, and any other wood items like vases or candle holders. This is also a great mixture to clean and spruce up your wood floors all throughout the home.

As we get to learn the uses of natural items in our homes, the less we will need to go out and purchase products with chemical ingredients. You can purchase a large bottle of apple cider vinegar for under ten dollars and it will last for a good while. Often it can be economical to go natural.




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6 Natural Ways To Make Your Home Smell Amazing

Lifestyle January 2, 2017

Natural Ways To Make Your Home Smell Amazing

Particularly, in the wintertime, our homes are closed up like huge closets. We are keeping warm, staying in more, and rarely allowing any fresh air to flow. Of course, in the summer, those with central air can experience the same deal. A house can gather all sorts of smells that aren’t so pleasant. In the markets there are a myriad of choices of fragrant sprays from which to choose, but many can irritate sinuses and allergies. Also, if you have children and pets, you don’t want them breathing in the chemicals.

So, here are 6 naturals ways to make your home smell amazing:

1. Create your own scent jars

You can use a Mason style jar and fill it with your favorite natural scents like, sliced oranges, apples, lemons, basil, and mint. Use two or three jars of various fragrant fruit and herbs, or make one for each room. Fill each jar with water to preserve your scents for a few days, then clean the jars and refill. By the way, fresh strawberries, if you can get them, is a beautiful smelling room freshener.

2. Stovetop Potpourri

For this you can use a crock pot or a large soup pot. If using a crock pot, fill it with aromatic herbs, fruit juices, and spices like cinnamon and nutmeg. For spring and summer, you may want to choose fresh lemons and herbs, like rosemary and thyme. Once you choose your flavors and scents, turn the crock on low to get it going, then you can turn it to simmer or warm, whichever setting your crock has available. When using a soup pot, fill it just as you filled the crock, but turn it on and keep it on the lowest heat setting for safety purposes. You also want to avoid cooking your aromatics.

3. Make your own olive oil candle

Yes, olive oil has yet another use to add to its ever-growing list. It works beautifully as a room freshener. You need a good candle jar, such as a Mason jar or one of the same quality, some olive oil and a wick. If you end up loving the olive oil candle or simply making your own candles, buying wicks in bulk is pretty cheap. The only other item you’ll need is a paper clip or small piece of wire and you’re on your way to creating a savory olive oil scented home. You can get the instructions here!

4. Essential Oils

Essential oils are a wonderful way to scent your home. There are different grades and quality types, but the aromatic grades are just fine for this purpose. They are very simple to use; you can place a few drops in a small crock or pot on simmer. If you have a diffuser or wouldn’t mind purchasing one, essential oils are great when they are diffused. Put a drop in your carpet, mop the floors with a few drops into a bucket of water, or pour some in a small dish and sit it on a countertop or bookshelf.

5. Freshen up your home with an herbal wreath

It’s very simple and economical to make your own wreath. Any craft store or neighborhood superstore will have wreath making materials. To make an herbal wreath, just choose your favorite herbs and plants to put together, combined with a few splashes of color, whether flowers or ribbons, and sit down with a cup of tea and design your herbal wreath. For a complete list of materials and instructions, visit this home crafts site.

6. Air purifying Himalayan Salt Lamp

Himalayan salt lamps are all the rage right now, and sometimes a home doesn’t need a strong fragrance but more of a pure, clean smell. The air purifying Himalayan salt lamp is perfect for keeping a home smelling fresh the natural way without chemicals and tons of work. If you have pets, you know that odors naturally come with them. Having something in the home that is beautiful and keeps the house smelling odor-free is the ideal.

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Try This 2-Minute Stretch That Will Finally Let You Sleep Through The Night

Lifestyle November 3, 2016

Try This 2-Minute Stretch That Will Finally Let You Sleep Through The Night

We live in a world of to-do lists and Google calendars and it becomes more difficult every day to wind down once the day is over. Some people get into the habit of bringing work home. Possibly, for some, this can’t be avoided, but at some point your body and mind must get the rest it needs or your performance at work or at school is sure to suffer.

There are so many elaborate rituals that people have created to get their minds to slow down from the day’s rat race. Some routines work, and other routines are just unreliable; such as calm music, turning the television off, or meditation. The creator of Yoga Tune Up, yoga expert and author Jill Miller, has come up with a stretch that only takes two minutes, and if done correctly right before bed, works to guide you peacefully into dream time.

It doesn’t matter if your work is a stay-at-home mom running around all day or an administrator tied to a desk and phone for twelve hours; our bodies are full of tension and stress. Stress affects not just the health of the mind but also the health of the body as well and is a major cause of insomnia. Jill Miller has created a way to stretch yourself to sleep, that requires no exercise machines, just your willingness and an exercise mat for comfort. A small block of foam is suggested as well, which you can find at a craft store.

The hip area holds a lot of the body’s tension and stress so this exercise targets those areas. You will be stretching both hip joints for one minute on both sides.


1 Lie on your back on your exercise mat and tuck the small block of foam underneath your lower back for protection. Your lower back and the upper portion of your buttocks should be resting on the foam, or you can use a book instead. Your feet should be lightly pressed against a wall in front of you.

2. Your upper back, head, and shoulders should be relaxed.

3. Grab with both hands, your right leg with the right knee bent and bring it towards your face. Hold this pose at a comfortable position, and you should actually feel the stretch in your opposite hip joint and upper thigh. As you bend one leg, the opposite leg’s hip joint and muscles should benefit from the exercise as it lies straight with the foot slightly pressed against the wall.

4. After holding this stretch for a minute, then switch sides and perform the same movements with your left leg where your right hip joint and leg should feel the stretch.

Author of The Roll Model, Jill Miller does not promise anyone a miracle drug with this two-minute stretch, but instead offers you a simple and effective exercise that if done on a regular basis, will calm your mind and release tension from your body. The two-minute stretch was designed as a stretch to be incorporated into your nighttime routine and not just done when you get bouts of insomnia due to stress. In order for the stretch to work, it must become a part of your bedtime ritual


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6 Home Uses for Borax

Lifestyle October 27, 2016

borax uses

If you allow your mind to drift back into the homes of yesterday, many decades ago, you will most likely find a box of borax either in the kitchen or the bathroom. Today, borax still has many fans for household cleaning and detergent boosting, and you will probably find the borax among the laundry. Wherever it is kept in the home, borax has a myriad of uses, some are known and others are a mystery. There is nothing thrifty homeowners love more than products that multitask, and borax is at the top of that list.

Here are a few household uses for borax you may not have heard about:

1. Insects and Rodents

Roaches and waterbugs can be a very nasty problem. They gather in any place in the home where there is food, particularly open food and water. Primarily, it helps to keep any open food in the refrigerator or well sealed in the cabinets, and keep water puddles off the sink areas. Once that is done and you still see these persistent bugs around, borax could be your superhero. Sprinkle equal parts borax and plain white sugar wherever you see the bugs; countertops, cabinets, in corners on the floors, and around the sink area. Allow the mixture to sit for a day. The bugs will eat it and will also carry it back to the nests.

2. Preserving Flowers

This is most likely one of those mystery uses for borax that many people have never heard. Everyone loves to get fresh cut flowers. They are beautiful centerpieces for the home and smell wonderfully. However, their life span is quite short, a couple days at best. Borax preserves the flowers by actually soaking up the moisture in the leaves and stalks of the flower, which is what causes fresh flowers to wilt. You can use two parts borax and one part white sand if you have access to dry sand. If you don’t have access to dry sand, you can substitute the recipe for one part borax to two parts corn meal which can be purchased from any grocery store.

3. Flea Killer

If you’ve ever had an animal that came home with fleas, you know how difficult it is to rid your animal and home of these awful biting creatures. Using borax as a solution is pretty simple. Sprinkle the borax on your carpets, floors, and anywhere your pet would be in your home. This amount of borax will kill the flea eggs, but it is not enough to harm any of your pets or yourself.

4. Refrigerator Deodorizer

The inside of the refrigerator can get a little smelly. We cook meals and then stuff the leftovers in the refrigerator only to forget about them. Borax can turn a sour smelling fridge into a fresh one. With one teaspoon of borax in a quart of warm water, you can wash away any dirt and stains inside your fridge, and the borax will also take all the sour smells with it when you’re done.

5. Cleaning Pots and Pans

Sometimes our meals can leave tough sticky messes in our cookware that a regular dish soap cannot clean. Borax comes in as the rescue to help clean those tough to clean pots and pans. Simply sprinkle borax on the cookware and clean with a sponge using warm water. Rinse well with hot water.

6. Cat Litter Deodorizer 

Though we love our fur babies, cats and dogs can leave our homes filled with unpleasant odors. The litter box is one of those foul smelling odors it seems we just can’t get rid of. By mixing just a few tablespoons of borax into the litter, you will notice that it will absorb old and new odors. You and your cat will be happy about that, as cats are known for loving clean smelling litter boxes as well.

Sources: 30 Little Known Uses for Borax

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The value of trees

Lifestyle October 3, 2016

trees and health

Air pollution now kills around seven million people every year globally. Factoring in the other costs of air pollution, including human health, building and material damage, and crop losses, the total annual value of pollution removal by U.S. trees at $86 billion.

According to a recent study on trees and health:

“We find that having 10 more trees in a city block, on average, improves health perception in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $10,000 and moving to a neighborhood with $10,000 higher median income or being 7 years younger.

“We also find that having 11 more trees in a city block, on average, decreases cardio-metabolic conditions in ways comparable to an increase in annual personal income of $20,000 and moving to a neighborhood with $20,000 higher median income or being 1.4 years younger.”

tree-perscription“Studies have shown that natural environments can enhance health and here we build upon that work by examining the associations between comprehensive greenspace metrics and health. We focused on a large urban population center (Toronto, Canada) and related the two domains by combining high-resolution satellite imagery and individual tree data from Toronto with questionnaire-based self-reports of general health perception, cardio-metabolic conditions and mental illnesses from the Ontario Health Study. Results from multiple regressions and multivariate canonical correlation analyses suggest that people who live in neighborhoods with a higher density of trees on their streets report significantly higher health perception and significantly less cardio-metabolic conditions (controlling for socio-economic and demographic factors).”


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Study shows those who read for at least 30 minutes each day are more likely to enjoy a longer life than non-readers

Lifestyle August 31, 2016

3,635 people aged 60 and up were studied in regards to their health. The study was undertaken by the Yale University School of Public Health, and researchers there found that the questions about reading habits provided some surprising results.

They divided their 60-and-uppers into 3 groups based on different amounts of reading they did.

Here’s what they found:

“Although books can expose people to new people and places, whether books also have health benefits beyond other types of reading materials is not known. This study examined whether those who read books have a survival advantage over those who do not read books and over those who read other types of materials, and if so, whether cognition mediates this book reading effect.”

They adjusted for relevant covariates including age, sex, race, education, comorbidities, self-rated health, wealth, marital status, and depression.

reading (1)“Book reading contributed to a survival advantage that was significantly greater than that observed for reading newspapers or magazines. Compared to non-book readers, book readers had a 23-month survival advantage at the point of 80% survival in the unadjusted model. A survival advantage persisted after adjustment for all covariates, indicating book readers experienced a 20% reduction in risk of mortality over the 12 years of follow up compared to non-book readers.

“Cognition mediated the book reading-survival advantage. These findings suggest that the benefits of reading books include a longer life in which to read them.”

So a 20% better chance of not dying in the 12 years following the data collection for the readers over the non-readers.

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Baby Socks That Save Baby Lives!

Lifestyle August 31, 2016

baby sleep socks

Will these socks save hundreds or thousands of baby lives?

“Did you know that over 3,500 babies pass away each year while sleeping?” is the question posed by the company behind the medical socks.

“This is more than 10x the number of babies who passed away in a car last year. Our product is designed to help parents proactively monitor their child while sleeping, with frequent notices on the child’s heart rate and oxygen. Our vision is that every child will come home from the hospital with a health monitor like Owlet within 5 years.”

The socks monitor a baby’s heart rate and breathing, and alert their parents if anything is amiss.

The socks “use hospital technology called pulse oximetry, miniaturized into a snuggly Smart Sock that your little one wears to bed at night.”

And they have been tested quite a bit, although the device is still fairly new, which means it is not possible to rely on it 100%, but the benefits are inarguable.

And a benefit for the parents: better sleep. “83% of parents report better sleep while using the Owlet Baby Monitor.”

Here is the sales page for these medical baby socks, which are selling for $250 U.S. now.

baby sleep socks

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Hate Mosquitos? Plant These:

Lifestyle August 31, 2016

plants to fight mosquitos

How many mosquitos is a good number to have buzzing around you in your yard? I’m going to go out on a pest-control limb and guess zero or close to zero. So here are some plants you can plant in your house or in your yard in your attempt to dissuade pests like mosquitos from frequenting your residence:

  • Basil
  • Lemongrass
  • Lemon thyme
  • Lavender
  • Garlic
  • Catnip
  • Lemon balm
  • Marigold
  • Rosemary

Now these are not 100% scientifically proven, but many people say they work.

Other people have said that just having citronella growing is enough to keep mosquitos away (no mosquitos for the whole year, he said).

Another thing to note is that many of these plants have more than one version available to buy. That means that more aromatic versions may be more potent remedies for mosquitos.

Also, planting them upwind is probably a suggestion you might want to consider if you’re planting in your yard.

plants to fight mosquitosplants to fight mosquitosplants to fight mosquitosplants to fight mosquitosplants to fight mosquitosplants to fight mosquitosplants to fight mosquitos

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Lazy People Are Actually More Intelligent, According to a New Study

Lifestyle August 31, 2016

Lazy People

The researchers set out to find something kind of unrelated to laziness, but the results found a clear relation to lethargy, or at least people who we see living what we might call “lazy” lifestyles.

“Physical activity level is an important contributor to overall human health and obesity. Research has shown that humans possess a number of traits that influence their physical activity level including social cognition.

“We examined whether the trait of “need for cognition” (NFC) — “tendency to engage in and enjoy effortful cognitive endeavors” —  was associated with daily physical activity levels. We recruited individuals who were high or low in need for cognition and measured their physical activity level in 30-second epochs over a 1-week period. The overall findings showed that low-need-for-cognition individuals were more physically active, but this difference was most pronounced during the 5-day work week and lessened during the weekend.”

The scientists looked at 60 individuals with 2 levels (high and low) of NFC.

What they found was that the same people who tend to skip exercise also have high NFC. That is to say, people who enjoy thinking a lot are not necessarily those who do a lot of exercise. Something anyone well versed in 80s geek movies might have guessed.

Report: The physical sacrifice of thinking: Investigating the relationship between thinking and physical activity in everyday life

Photo by: Fashion Me Now

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Keke Palmer Talks Anxiety, Depression & What Got Her Through

Lifestyle August 31, 2016

Depression is something that is getting so much attention today. People never really considered the issue in a way that would put it on the front page of newspapers until a couple decades ago, it seems, and coverage has not waned.

One person who recently spoke out about her own experience with depression, as well as anxiety associated with that experience, is Keke Palmer.

Happy Birthday to Keke! The Akeelah and the Bee star is all grown up and had to deal with serious grown-up issues.

“These are the words I was afraid to stand behind because I had too much anxiety and could not process my experiences and how they were separate from the spirit of who I was,” wrote Keke Palmer on the subject.

“I stopped trying all together because I allowed people to make me believe that being an artist meant having big budget music videos and big record producers backing you,” Palmer wrote. “When in reality, all being an artist means is to be fearless in your creative pursuits. My anxiety, caused by the habit of unconsciously holding my breath, coupled with the stress of my personal life at that time created a lot of hard years of depression for me.

“Believe in yourself because that’s the only thing stopping you! You must believe in the dark so when the light comes on everything is seen clearly.”

“For me, it became motivation simply because it’s not so much about looking nice but more about feeling good. It feels good when I work out. It makes me have energy. When I’m eating well, I’m able to deal with things better. When I started realizing the benefits to my body, health-wise, that’s really what motivated me. I don’t want to be limited by my body because I’m eating poorly or because I’m not exercising and I don’t have the energy. I want to be able to live life to the fullest and so my love for life is what motivates me to keep myself going.

“I definitely meditate and I’m always honest with myself about how I feel. My type of personality is that I like to be focused. I think I was blessed at a young age to find my passion and I realized how meditative that was within itself — having something you love that you can lose yourself in. I have a tattoo on my arm that says: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.” I truly believe you are what you repeatedly do. You can change. You can become anything that you want to become because you are the one who chooses the habits that you do every day. You can make them all positive, or you can make them all negative.”

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