Yarn Along Wednesdays

Love to knit or crochet? Need a little extra motivation some days? I know I do! When we lived in York, NE I had friends from college and church that I could get together with to crochet or craft. Whether we talked for hours while we completed our projects or put on a movie, it was a fun and productive time! I have yet to find such a group here, and as a result, my motivation has waned. I love to crochet on my own, but time has been scarce lately. However, these are all just excuses. Recently, I discovered … Read more…

Is an Emotional Faith Good or Bad?

The answer may not be so simple. I think we can all agree that God wants our hearts. But is there such thing as putting too much focus on emotions? I truly believe that God wants our whole being. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your mind, and all your soul (Matthew 22:37). God does not want an isolated part of us, like our physical obedience. He wants everything: actions, beliefs, emotions. Do I believe that we need to experience God emotionally? Yes. Anyone who has experienced God knows how incomparable it is to other experiences. … Read more…

Connecting Your Children to God: An Empty Pitcher Will Not Hydrate

Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them fade from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. – Deuteronomy 4:9 This verse always convicts me. Though I do not yet have children, this verse reminds me that if I do not keep my faith “active” through sharing with others what God has done in my life, then those things will fade from my heart. Satan actively attempts to lull us into a passive faith. I … Read more…

Homemade Apple Cider Vinegar Toner

Facial Toner ¾ cup distilled water ¼ cup raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar with the mother (Braggs is best) 6-12 drops essential oils of your choice Pour all the ingredients into a small glass jar and shake up well. Then, after you wash your face, apply the toner with a cotton ball. It helps to shake the mixture up every time you use it. I store mine in the medicine cabinet because it is dark and dry in there. Each month I make a new batch. This is my newest and favorite use for vinegar. I came across tons of recipes online … Read more…

Cleaning the Coffee Pot with Vinegar

I learned this cleaning trick from both my Aunt Joyce and my mother-in-law Robin. I always rinse my coffee pot thoroughly, but once a month I treat it to a white distilled vinegar bath. I fill up the pot with vinegar, pour it into the coffee maker, and run it through in place of the coffee. The hot vinegar removes stains, residue, and unsavory flavors. After it “brews”, I pour it out and run 3 cycles of water through it. Though I love vinegar, I do not want my coffee to taste like it! ***Sometimes I still have to take … Read more…

Can You Really Use Vinegar as Fabric Softener?

I love soft clothes. Pulling a soft towel or blanket out of the dryer turns the chore into a chance to snuggle up. Unfortunately, fabric softener is expensive and full of strange chemicals. So I have been researching and experimenting with better options. Here is what I have found: Vinegar continues to be amazing. Tons of people online talk about adding ½ cup of distilled white vinegar to their rinse cycle. I tried this with my fabric dispenser balls, which release the vinegar during the rinse cycle for me. The vinegar neutralized odors, reduced static, disinfected, and softened clothes. Pretty … Read more…

Using Vinegar in Your Dishwasher

  Last year I had a problem. Hard water stains. My dishwasher left them on my glasses and silverware. I tried a different detergent, which helped, but I still had the problem. So what is a gal to do? Ask Facebook. My wonderful cousin Briana shared her trick of adding 1/4-1/2 cup distilled white vinegar to the bottom of the dishwasher. Another simple solution brought to me by vinegar. I am no longer embarrassed of my clean dishes. If that isn’t wonderful enough, I recently learned that it keeps the dishwasher cleaner too! I like it when I can kill two chores with … Read more…

Cleaning Up Your Dog’s Messes (Grr) with Vinegar

I dream of getting our carpets cleaned. More accurately ripped out. Carpet does not fare well in Phoenix. The dust finds its way in and wears down the carpet. Vacuuming only seems to scratch the surface of the problem. This is why tile is very popular here. Recently I thought I had found an incredible deal for getting our carpets cleaned. I called and they confirmed. I had almost $150 of birthday money, and by golly, I wanted clean carpets. Well, the carpet guys came and after assessing everything it turned out that instead of being able to get our … Read more…

Washing Windows with Vinegar

I hate cleaning windows. There, I said it! It is sweaty work. Plus, it requires me to climb behind bushes. This is only an issue because I am afraid of scorpions and snakes taking me by surprise. However, it needs done if I want to see out my windows . . . My prediction is that in 2020 they will invent self-cleaning windows. Sadly, I probably won’t be able to afford them, so I might as well get used to washing windows. There are different ways to clean windows depending on the size of your window. For small windows, combine … Read more…

Cleaning Floors with Vinegar

{Ode to Vinegar} I use vinegar to clean my pores, I use vinegar to clean my floors, I’ll use vinegar forever more.  I couldn’t resist. It all rhymed so well! 😉 Cleaning tile and linoleum floors with vinegar was the very first way I ever employed vinegar at home. My grandma Florence cleaned her floors this way. She always kept an immaculate home. When I found out that she mopped this way, I knew it must work well. The vinegar gets up any grim and dirt, disinfects, and leaves the floors shiny. Distilled white vinegar works the best. I try and … Read more…

Cleaning Stovetop Drip Pans

I rarely clean my drip pans. Instead, almost daily, I wipe them down to keep my stovetop clean; however, a couple times a year I take out my drip pans and soak them overnight in distilled white vinegar. The next morning it is easy to scrub off any hardened residue. I love easy when it comes to scrubbing! Plus, the magical vinegar leaves them so shiny! It always deters me from cooking on them for a couple hours so I can just admire their beauty. Sigh. However, sometimes, I need something a little stronger to get them clean. I have … Read more…

A New Haircut for a Busy Weekend

Whew. We had a wonderful, busy, loud, teenage-filled, rambunctious weekend! As a result, I thought I would take a break from the vinegar recipes, until tomorrow at least. 😉 After work on Friday, we headed to the Sold Out Youth Rally at the Surprise Church of Christ. The singing was beautiful, the speaker poignant, the classes strong, and the Illusionist amazing! Though I will be honest, I had low expectations for a “Christian Illusionist”. It sounded a bit hokey to me. But I stand corrected. Harris III not only performed impressive illusions, but he shared a powerful message about the daily deceptions in our … Read more…

Cleaning Showers and Sinks with Vinegar

Did you know that vinegar has antibacterial properties? Naturally. According to Life Gaiam, it is a better choice than high-powered disinfectants that can create respiratory problems in us and even aid the growth of superbugs. Undiluted white vinegar, the kind you buy at the grocery store, kills 99 percent of bacteria, 82 percent of mold, and 80 percent of viruses! You can replace disinfectant wipes and sprays with undiluted white vinegar in a spray bottle. It is easy, natural, and cheap! (http://life.gaiam.com/article/why-disinfectants-and-antibacterials-are-overkill-5-health-safe-alternatives) In addition to disinfecting, I love how distilled white vinegar leaves surfaces shiny and scum-free! There are different ways you can … Read more…

{Love} Letter to Vinegar

Vinegar, You are amazing. Every week I learn new things about you! Your uses are endless. Your variety is the spice of my life. To think, I once believed you were just a smelly liquid—but oh, you are so much more. You leave my surfaces shiny and clean! You clean my shower my sink my drip pans my floors my windows my dog’s messes my clothes my coffee pot my dishwasher even my pores! Who needs all those fancy pantsy, smelly chemical cleaners when I have you? You are welcome in my home any day. Love, Nathana P.S. I will … Read more…

In with the New, Out with the Old . . . Cleaning Products?

  I have A LOT of cleaning products (this isn’t even all of them). I like a clean house, but lately I have been counting the cost of the products I use: They are pricey They are smelly They make my dog hyperventilate They have a long list of chemicals I am not sure I should inhale . . . A few months ago, I took some small steps toward safer cleaning products: I use vinegar and water to clean floors, drip pans, and the coffee pot I use a mixture of dawn/vinegar to clean sinks and showers I bought … Read more…

Knowing is Half the Battle

Saturday was a solace after a busy week. Friday, a group from our church went to the Diamond Back’s game and stayed for fireworks afterward. Even though we lost, it was a beautiful evening full of fellowship, baseball, kettle corn, hot dogs, and fireworks!   Friday was a whirlwind of fun, but I had a hard time knowing what to do with my Saturday “off”. There were so many things I wanted to do, like read all day. If I had a dream vacation, it would involve a cabin in the mountains, coffee, a notebook, and a suitcase of books. Then there were … Read more…

Permission to Live with Purpose

It hit me when my husband said, “I don’t know what it is like to have a wife who loves her job.” Pretty straightforward . . . and spot on. It wasn’t that I had terrible jobs. Outside of the heavy lifting and pushing, I love working at the library. To this day, I am thankful for all the opportunities that came my way. They helped us stay afloat financially and they taught me a lot. Even if the only thing I learned was, I do not want to do this for the rest of my life.  What it comes down to … Read more…