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Frugal & Eco-friendly Dishwasher Detergent

7 Apr

Hi everyone and Happy April!

This month I’m going to try another home made experiment from all natural ingredients; this time for dishwasher detergent. My Mom actually actually showed this one to me! (Thanks Mom!)

There are 4 simple ingredients:

  • Borax: I purchased mine online at well.ca but it is available at most natural food stores. Make sure to store in a safe place away from your children.  (1 cup)
  • Washing Soda: available at some grocery stores and all natural food stores. I got mine at Kardish. (1 cup)
  • Kosher Salt: available at the grocery store. (1/2 cup)
  • Citric Acid: available at some grocery stores and all natural food stores. I got a bag at Kardish for about $1.50, enough to make two batches of this dishwasher detergent. (1/2 cup)
All you do is mix everything together in a large mason jar with a tight fitting lid.

I made this  3 cup batch of detergent for about $4.78. With approximately 48 tbsp in three cups, that works out to almost 10 cents per load. Not bad!

I’ll keep you posted on how our dishes turn out. The first load will be running later tonight!

Until next time!
The OMP

Triclosan News!!

28 Mar

Greetings all!

I have been cautious about triclosan for a long time now so you can imagine my surprise when this news article passed in front of my nose yesterday:

Toothpaste additive toxic to environment

The article says that triclosan is toxic to the environment (it gets washed down our drains and into rivers and other bodies of water). Unfortunately they don’t have enough evidence (yet) to say it’s hazardous to human health but I’m sure its just a matter of time. It has been linked to hormone disruption AND as we all should know leads to antibiotic resistance.

I knew that Health Canada was studying it but I wasn’t expecting this news for a while yet! Triclosan is a chemical with antibacterial and antifungal properties. It is found in many of our everyday body care products such as:

  • Hand soaps and sanitizers
  • Deodorants
  • Toothpaste – I checked all the toothpastes in our house and none have triclosan
  • Cleaners
  • Cosmetics (as a preservative)

Just try finding a hand soap at Walmart, Shoppers Drug Mart or the grocery store that doesn’t have triclosan in it. It’s hard!! That is why I took matters into my own hands over a year ago and started making my own hand soap for our kitchens and bathrooms. Here’s how I do it: (or you can read my blog post)

  • Find a foaming hand soap bottle you can reuse
  • Fill it 2/3 full with hot water
  • Add a tbsp of coconut oil and let it melt by shaking it in the bottle
  • Fill the rest of the bottle with any flavour of castille soap. Shake again.
  • Add a few drops of any essential oil for extra aroma! (optional)

So, what’s next? I forsee clever marketing campaigns coming from all the big players trying to sell their new “Triclosan free” deodorants, hand soaps and cleaners. It’s new the BPA!

What so you think?

Until next time,

The OMP

Step by step – how to make your own Flax Seed Gel.

23 Mar

Greetings everyone;

Happy Spring!

Last night it was time to make another batch of my favourite hair care product – my famous flax seed gel. It’s super easy to make, cheap and all natural.

What you need:

- 1/4 cup raw flax seeds

- 1 cup water

- small saucepan and metal spoon

- small strainer or sieve

- empty clean container

Step 1:

Put 1 cup of water in your pot. (easy so far right?)

Step 2.

Add flax seeds to water and bring to a rolling boil on high.

Step 3.

Reduce heat to about 4 and continue to slowly boil until the seeds start to give off their gel. Stir with a metal spoon every few minutes to monitor consistency.

Step 4.

When gel-like consistency has been achieved, pour through strainer into your clean container.

Step 5. Discard seeds and leave your gel to cool.

Step 6: Optional. Add your favourite essential oil to the gel!

And there you have it. All natural and home made in under 30 minutes. Just use the same way you use any styling gel or mousse.

I would love to hear from you about this or anything else.

Until next time!
The OMP

New Product Line from California

4 Mar

I recently discovered a great new line of products and just wanted to share it with you!

I’ve been searching for an all natural hair spray for a while now, and there have not been a lot to choose from! I don’t use a lot of hairspray, but having naturally curly hair I need a little “something” just to define the curls before heading out the door (especially if I’m having frizz issues!). I recently noticed the new Andalou Naturals display at Kardish and decided to try their “Sunflower & Citrus” hairspray. (I believe the same display is at Rainbow Natural Foods too)

Image

So far its really working well for my hair. It doesn’t have a strong scent (i.e. parfum, fragrance) like many hairsprays do, just a very subtle citrus smell. I personally find it very pleasant and the little bit I use works just as well as the chemical laden hairsprays I used in the past.

The 8 oz bottle was $8.99. This is a little bit more expensive than some of the drugstore brands I used to use, but MUCH cheaper than any salon brand. Since I use so little, this is a very cost effective option for me.

When I have more time I will check out some of their other products. I like to identify the brands that I can trust so that if I’m in a rush I can just grab a bottle of something and KNOW implicitly that there is nothing harmful inside. This is one of them!

Please contact me anytime with your questions or comments.

Until next time!
The OMP

N.B. This above are my own opinions and comments. I am not affiliated with Andalou nor was I compensated in any way for writing this post. I did it of my own free will.

40 by 40

3 Jan

Happy New Year Readers!

My first post for the year will be about a personal project of mine: 40 by 40 – Losing 40 pounds by my 40th birthday.

I have not lost any of the weight I gained from carrying my two beautiful babes in 2008 and again in 2010. The time has come where I really want to buckle down and get healthy again and not live in fear of someone asking me if I’m pregnant again. EEP!

On December 14, 2012 I will turn 40. By the time this occasion rolls around I want to look GOOD!

- 40 by 40 means losing just under 4 pounds per month. I think that’s pretty reasonable.

- 40 by 40 does NOT mean a diet. I plan to eat sensible, healthy, whole foods and reduce my portion sizes.

- my gym quality elliptical trainer is being dusted off and will be used 4 nights per week.

- my FITBIT is on the way!! I ordered this little gadget as a motivator! More to come on this once I have it figured out and configured to my liking.

- I will report the number of pounds lost on the last day of each months on Twitter with the #my40by40 hashtag. First update will be January 31st.

Encouragement is welcome!! Please watch or better yet,  join in on my Twitter hashtag: #my40by40

Until next time,

The OMP

Always read your labels!

30 Oct

I bet you’ve passed by one of those kiosks in the mall and had people trying to coax you to try their and creams and other similar products. I always avoid those, but on a recent trip they gave my Mom a sample. I was going to throw it in the garbage but then got curious. What’s inside these products?? Lucky for me the ingredients were listed right on the back. Anything that was “suspect” to me is colored green. Click to read what the Cosmetics Database has to say about them.

Water

Stearic Acid

Cetyl Alcohol

Paraffinium Liquidum aka Mineral Oil

Isopropyl Myristate

Triethanolamine

Fragrance (Parfum)

Jojoba Oil

Avocado Oil

Sweet Almond Oil

Kiwi Fruit Extract

Carbomer

Methylparaben

Propylparaben

Retinyl Palmitate

Tocopherol

Chamomile Extract

Aloe Vera Gel

Sea Salt

May contain: FD&C Red #4, FD&C Blue #1, D&C Yellow #10

I’m bothered by the fact that it contains more “Parfum” than actual essential oils.

So now you know! What do you think?

Thanks for reading. Until the next time!
The OMP 

An Ottawa Mommy Project Giveaway!

11 Aug

Greetings everyone!

The Ottawa Mommy Project is having its first ever giveaway to say a big THANK YOU to all our loyal readers and commenters!

You will have the chance to win one of two copies of a fabulous book called “Green Clean – eco-friendly cleaning for the home“. I make a lot of my homemade cleaners by using recipes in this book. It is a wonderful resource! It’s great to have on hand in the kitchen to refer to for ideas on cleaning everything in the home!

Eco-Friendly Cleaning

To be entered, simply leave me a comment below and tell me which (if any) natural products you are using in your home and what you think of them, or a natural product you are interested in trying.

I will select two winners using random.org at 8 pm EST on August 31, 2011 and winners will be announced on the blog the next day.

Open to Canadian residents only please!

Good luck!

Until next time,

The OMP

Guest Post – Thoughts on shaving cream and recycling!

1 Aug

Dear Readers:

It’s August and after one month hiatus, we are BACK! This month I am fortunate to be able to start off with a guest post from my good friend – @RONRANCOURT – owner of the blog “To Sustainability“. You should check him out!!

Without further adieu:

Hey there OMP,

Here’s a little tip on shaving cream, for guys and for gals.  It was just after we moved to Chelsea when I looked down at my can of Gillette shaving cream and decided I wanted an alternative.  Each can only lasted me a month or two, and once it’s done it had to be recycled.  Recycling isn’t as great as it is made out to be – it requires lots of energy, water during processing, and fuel for transport.  (Once sorted, Ottawa’s recycling goes to companies in Ontario, Quebec and the US link: http://ottawa.ca/residents/recycling_garbage/recycling/what_happens_en.html)  Also, a plastic bottle can never be recycled into another plastic bottle.  It’s always downgraded to a cheaper, poorer grade product. So in a sense, recycling is not sustainable.

shavingsoap

Anyway back to shaving cream options.  In addition to the recycling thing I was leery of the ingredients in that canned foam.  I found a wonderful home-made shaving soap in bar format at the Chelsea Market. After using it once or twice I knew I’d never go back to store-bought cans.  My skin actually feels moist and soft after using it.  One bar lasts 6 months or more and only costs 5 bucks!  I would tell you the name of the soap but can’t remember it – but that shouldn’t stop you from trying any home-made soap you come across at your local outdoor market.  Many natural food stores carry them and I’ve even seen some at the checkout at chain grocery stores and pharmacies.  Of course, you can usually find handmade soap at the Chelsea Market, Saturdays from 10-2 from May-Oct. (see http://www.marcheoldchelseamarket.ca)

Now I need to find an alternative to disposable razors…

-Ron

The Ottawa Mommy Project is on hiatus for July

14 Jul

Hi everyone!

Hope you’re having a wonderful summer. We sure are!

Please stay tuned to the blog because we’re back in August. First, I’ll be showing the results of making over my cleaning cupboard and then I’ll be evaluating some all natural deodorants. It’ll be a smelly job but I’m willing to do it!

In the meantime, I look forward to seeing you back here real soon.

Until next time,

The OMP

Where does The OMP buy all her stuff?

13 Jun

Since I started this project I have been doing a lot of research about all natural products and discovering new stores online and in Ottawa. I love shopping local and supporting the local economy. I also try and do a lot of my shopping in Bells Corners to support the neighbourhood in which I live.

Up to now, here are my local sources:

Kardish Bulk Food and Nutrition Centre:

They are all over the city but I shop at the one in Bells Corners.  They have a point program. $1 = One point. Once you spend $250 you get $10 to spend in the store. This store carries a nice variety of food, bulk items, cleaning products, supplements and personal care products.  They have good sales, and a cart full of reduced items at the front of the store. I recently got two yummy boxes of organic cereal there for $1.99 (regular $5.99).

Rainbow Natural Foods:

This store is huge and has a massive selection of everything. Every time I go there the store kind of sucks me in for an hour even though I was only going to get one or two things. The staff is extremely knowledgeable. They also have regular events and speakers. On June 16th, I’m going there for the Ladies Soiree from 4-8 pm. They are also on Twitter and always up for some great conversation! (@rainbownatfood) Their website has recipes, specials, product information, and more! I highly recommend a visit.

Granny’s Natural Food Emporium:

This store is inside the Hazeldean Mall in Kanata. They carry a lot of supplements, cleanses, body care products, cleaning products and food. Unfortunately they are not online yet, but are thinking about it. They do have a page on the Hazeldean Mall website. The staff are very friendly and knowledgeable here. I drop in every time I go to Hazeldean Mall and see what’s new!

Grocery Stores.

Some carry natural cleaning products and of course this is your source for vinegar, lemons, lemon juice, baking soda, corn starch and other assorted things necessary for making green cleaning and body care products!

My online sources are:

Well.ca:

They carry a HUGE variety of everything – mainstream and all natural products. All natural, vegan and animal friendly are clearly marked. Their prices are fair, and they offer free shipping all the time no matter your order size or cost and this is why I love them. They also have a strong presence on Twitter and Facebook and I love interacting with them.

Grassroots Store:

Awesome resource for all things natural. You can even shop by the ethic of your choice: all natural, biodegradable, animal friendly, organic, fair trade etc. I have ordered from them just once. Delivery was uber fast and everything was as expected. They are also on Twitter and Facebook and are super fun to interact with. I highly recommend this online store. If I ever get to visit Toronto again I will go visit their store.

New Directions Aromatics:

This is where you want to buy your raw materials like butters and essential oils. They also have lovely containers – glass, plastic and acrylic at decent prices. I dare you to visit their site and not want something!

Stores that I plan to visit soon are:

  • The Natural Food Pantry (Kanata)

  • The Arbour Shoppe (Glebe)

  • Mother Hubbards (250 Greenbank Road)

Most natural food stores give out a free copy of Alive Magazine with purchase. Take it!! It is an excellent Canadian magazine full of awesome information and recipes. I read every one from cover to cover and then share with friends.

Am I missing any?

Until next time,

The OMP

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