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Good Day Sunshine!

Just trying to check in even though I don’t have a big post ready.  Here’s what I’m doing/planning to do in the GPP vein…

  • No ‘Poo.  I’m late to jump on this bandwagon but it’s something I’ve been thinking of doing for… ever.  My hair is fine and has just enough curl to it to always have a halo of fuzzy frizz whenever it is freshly washed.  I never really have been a daily shampoo’er anyway, mainly because my  hair only really starts looking good by day 3, and really starts to look great when it feels DIS-GUSTING.  Yesterday, after almost a week without washing it, I did my first “treatment” – a wash with baking soda paste and a rinse with Apple Cider Vinegar – as per the instructions from one of my favorite bloggers, Crunchy Betty.  It’s still too early to tell for sure, but so far I love it.  My hair after washing/drying yesterday was less frizzy with NO product in it than it usually is after a regular shampoo with anti-frizz product!  My scalp feels clean and tingly (might have helped that my baking soda had lavender infused in it; next time I might go for mint and/or eucalyptus for some nice tingle!) and my hair is nice and soft and continues to look and feel good today.
  • In beautiful coincidence, my mom and I helped my son concoct his first “volcano” yesterday using – you guessed it – baking soda and vinegar!
  • Daydreaming about gardening.  Trying not to spend all my time and energy on Pinterest adding to my already huge garden board.  I’ll post more about it in the future but I think this year we’re really going to keep it “simple” – tomatoes, maybe a companion crop, and then lots of herbs.  I’ll leave everything else to the nice folks at the Farmers Markets.
  • Also daydreaming about hitting the road in a wee camper such as this one:
    More on that in future posts as well.
  • Looking into Maca Root, which, if it works, may help me with one or more of a bunch of ills that have gotten to me.  Anyone have any info or experience?
  • Loving this sunshine and the occasional super-warm days we’ve been having… and then shifting polarities to sadness and blah every time we get another chilly, cloudy day.
  • At the request of some readers, as well as my own desire and need for it, creating a list of dye-free recipes and products.  If you have any to add, please comment!  I’ll be putting the list up soon-ish.
  • Testing out the Safeway (grocery store) app on my phone and the more I use it, the less frustrated I get with it, and the more money I save!  (Still spending too much at the grocery store though.)  Last visit I saved 28% off my bill, PLUS filled my gas tank at their station with a discount of 60 cents off per gallon!


Banish Tub Grime!

Time has been very limited lately so when I came (back) across this cleaning tip, I knew I had to post it here.  I KNOW I’m not the only one that battles the grossness along the seams of my tub/shower even when I do put in the effort to keep it clean.  It’s dark, it’s moist, it’s a haven for mold and mildew, that black stuff that’s on AND UNDER the caulk.  What to do, what to do…

Moldy Old Caulk, by Editor B, via flickr

Moldy Old Caulk, by Editor B, via flickr

  • Soak toilet paper in rubbing alcohol or cheap vodka.
  • Put strips of soaked t.p. along the tub and let it dry on there overnight
  • The next day, do the same thing with bleach-soaked* t.p.  Mold it to the edge and let it dry. The alcohol kills the mold and the bleach whitens it.

Laziest cleaning ever!  I can’t wait to try this.  I received this tip from a real-life friend who has tried it with success!

* Yes, bleach is dangerous and less than completely green.  Use it with care, when you need it most.  Like when your tub looks like ^that^.

For extra credit, follow up with Pam’s instructions on how to clean the textured slip-resistant bottom of your tub on Retro Renovation (a great site – prepare to get sucked in there for a few hours.)

It Never Goes According To Plan

This is the pic on my favorite coffee mug. Which is, of course, dirty. c.Anne Taintor

Today I woke up thinking a few things…

  • THAT was a weird dream,
  • Brr, it’s cold
  • Son, stop screaming, I’m coming!

followed by…

  • I totally need some coffee and a protein-dense breakfast smoothie to get me going, and
  • This would be a great day to make a big pot of soup and use up a bunch of stuff from the fridge, freezer, and cupboard.  First soup-making day of the year!

THIS is how it really went down…

  • Fell back to sleep on the couch, awoke to Son spilling cold water on me,
  • Delay in making/drinking/feeling effects of coffee,
  • Went into the bathroom to find the dog had pooped on the floor.
  • Made up an AWESOME smoothie.  Son wanted some, so I poured some in a cup for him and made him sit at the table with it.  Turned around to pour myself a glass, and he spilled THE ENTIRE SMOOTHIE EVERYWHERE.  Everywhere.  On the floor, on the walls, on the table pedestal with all its ornate grooves, on the chair legs, even well across the room onto the oven… and then he started crying, because (a) he wanted that smoothie and (b) he thought I was going to yell at him.
  • Took a big breath, then a big smoothie swig, and told him it was ok, then cleaned up smoothie from allovertheplace.  Stood up and was so lightheaded I nearly fainted.
  • Proceeded to caffeinate and smoothiefy.
  • Went into the bathroom and found that the dog had AGAIN pooped on the floor.

Mr. Penny Pincher just took Son out for a trip to the Air Force Base Museum (a half hour away, free, and a HUGE favorite of his) so I figure I’ve got a few hours now to do my thing, as long as I don’t fall into a Pinterest or Facebook trap.  Before I can even contemplate soup, I have to bust out the big guns (homemade cleansers plus tea tree oil) and mop the kitchen and bathroom.  Only THEN can I consider making a whole new mess in my kitchen.

I was hoping to cull some more today but it looks like I’m just going to be digging through the usual mess once again instead of getting deeper into it.  I also need to make up a new batch of fabric softener since I’ve been out for a few days (btw I did discover that in a pinch, some water and hair conditioner in a Downy ball does the job!)

What is everyone else up to this weekend?  PLEASE stop by and comment, even just to say hi, and make my day!  It’s a beautiful Autumn day and I’m stuck inside.


5 Safe Easy Ways to Make Your House Smell Better

Welcome, September!  The heat wave has broken here just enough to turn off the A/C and open some windows – let’s let some fresh air in and some stale, recycled air out, and give it a little help so it smells great!

Add orange peels (or any citrus peel) to a quart of white vinegar in a closed container and let it set for two weeks. Combine citrus/vinegar solution half/half with water and use for cleaning. Works on floors, tile, fixtures, etc. Smells good and is tough on scum! Best of all there are no chemicals.  Source: via Holly on Pinterest



Mason Jar Air fresheners – About $0.70 each! Mason jar filled with baking soda and about 8 drops of essential oil! Perfect for the car or in closets! Take out the lid and put lace in instead of the poked hole top!  Source: Uploaded by user via Holly on Pinterest


Eucalyptus Oil Hides Number Two – print up this article and leave it (and a bottle of eucalyptus oil) in your home and office bathrooms!    Source: via Holly on Pinterest


Put two caps full of vanilla extract in a coffee cup, then place it in the oven at 300 degrees for one hour. Within twenty minutes the whole house smells like Heaven. It’s actually a common realtor trick.  Source: via Holly on Pinterest


Lemon, rosemary and vanilla home deodorizer – let simmer all day, adding water when needed. Williams Sonoma store smell!   Source: via Holly on Pinterest

PinterTest: Paintbrushes


Well this one was a bust.



You know I love vinegar and I so wanted this to work, but honestly, it didn’t do anything more than a good soak in warm soapy water would have.  It did do interesting things to the rust it created overnight, kind of created little tiny rust-balls on the metal surface.

Brushes are cleaned the old fashioned way this time, but I am going to try this one next time:

Source: via Holly on Pinterest

“If you petrify a brush with dried paint, just soak it in Murphy’s Oil for 24 to 48 hours and it dissolves all the paint and makes it like new. Must try.”

I already have some Murphy’s and I no longer use it on my floors (convert to vinegar & oil) so next time I find myself with a crusty paintbrush, I’ll give this pin a test.  (and in the process of writing this post, found an interesting link to a lot of uses for Murphy’s!)

Vampire (Power) Suckers – And a Great Deal for NYC Readers!


The Modlet

Meet “The Modlet” by ThinkEco.  Modlet stands for “modern electrical outlet.”  It does what the modern electrical outlet SHOULD do, as a retrofit to your already-installed old outlets.  You plug the modlet into your existing outlet, then plug your appliances into the modlet.  The modlet turns off your appliances when they are not needed, saving you energy and money.

How?  Funny you should ask.  It does this by connecting wirelessly with your computer.  Using ThinkEco’s online software, you can view your home’s energy consumption in real time on your computer or smart phone.  Set your modlets to your schedule and they will turn off at the specified times, eliminating standby and vampire power drains.

I can think of a million places I need these in my house – but definitely on my computer printer and our entertainment system, which we have a bad habit of leaving on by accident (and even when we don’t, it only goes to standby.)

For the very privileged of us who get to live in NYC (I’m already jealous!) Con Edison has teamed up (for the 2nd year now) with ThinkEco for a program called CoolNYC.  From their site:

“Now in its second year, coolNYC is a program that enables Con Edison customers in the New York City area to participate in an exciting load reduction and management program, so that you can better control your window air-conditioner energy use. As part of the program, participants will receive the smartAC kit FREE of charge along with a $25 thank you gift at the end of the summer.”

 (More FAQ answered on the CoolNYC site)

  Click here to sign up for the CoolNYC program.

Unfortunately for the rest of us, this investment isn’t cheap, but used wisely and where most needed, it should pay for itself fairly quickly.

Best Buy sells the Home Starter Kit (1 modlet + 1 usb receiver + software) and additional modlets.

ThinkEco modlet Starter Kit - White

ThinkEco modlet Starter Kit – White

Simple, smart savings. Saves you money and energy while wirelessly connecting you to your home electronics whether you’re at home or on the road. Intelligent software designs a savings plan for you, automatically turns on/off power to appliances and allows you to view appliance energy usage for seamless home energy management. Just set it and forget it.

ThinkEco modlet (expands modlet Starter Kit) - White

ThinkEco modlet (expands modlet Starter Kit) – White

Save more money and energy by adding modlets to your Starter Kit. modlet is an energy saving outlet that wirelessly connects you to your home electronics whether you’re at home or on the road. Intelligent software designs a savings plan for you, automatically turns on/off power to appliances and allows you to view appliance energy usage for seamless home energy management. Just plug in and save.

$49.99/44.99 – free shipping)

The Home Starter Kit (1 modlet + 1 usb receiver + software ) sells on the ThinkEco site for $50 (additional modlets are $44.95), while the Business Starter Kit (5 modlets + 1 usb receiver + software) sells for $365.

There are lots of options for energy savings and monitoring – here are a few from Amazon…

Do you have any energy-saving tips and tricks you’d like to share with the class?

$15 for $30 of Non-Toxic Cleaning Products – LivingSocial Deal!

LivingSocial has a great deal going right now:

 Pay $15 for $30 to spend on non-toxic cleaning products from GrabGreen.  

(Shipping is a flat rate of $6.50)

I’ve never tried these products but this is a good opportunity to do so, and they sound great!  Click here for more information on Grab Green company and their products, including what ingredients they do and do not use.

Or, if you’d rather DIY, check out these past Green Penny Pincher posts filled with lots of recipes and hints!

Part 1: The Kitchen
Part 2: Walls, Floors, & Other Surfaces

Note:  If you DIY these cleaners or any other items, be sure to first read Crunchy Betty’s very important information regarding the water you use!

 I’m intrigued by some of these combinations, though!

All Purpose Cleaner Thyme with Fig Leaf 16 oz Your Price:$5.00 On sale:$4.00

All Purpose Cleaner Thyme with Fig Leaf 16 oz Your Price:$5.00 On sale:$4.00

Dish Soap Tangerine with Lemongrass 16 oz Your Price:$5.00

Dish Soap Tangerine with Lemongrass 16 oz Your Price:$5.00

Lavender with Vanilla Laundry Detergent Kit Your Price:$25.00

Lavender with Vanilla Laundry Detergent Kit Your Price:$25.00

fragrance-free laundry kit Your Price:$25.00

fragrance-free laundry kit Your Price:$25.00

If you grab this deal, please stop back to let me know what you think of these products!



Eco-Heater Radiant Wall Heater

My son was born in March 2010, at the tail end of one of mild little Delaware’s coldest, snowiest winters on record.  This meant I was “nesting” during a very cold winter.  Living in this big, drafty, old house, and this being my first-born, I was understandably very concerned about keeping him warm once he emerged from the womb.  We have an old oil-fired boiler/radiator heating system, with old to no insulation in some of our walls.  HVAC renovation is a huge and pricey undertaking that we are trying to approach in stages.  Meanwhile, we need to keep warm!

A good friend, Patti of, told me about these wall-mounted high efficiency heaters made by ECO-Heater.  She had purchased one for her own son’s nursery and swore by it as a good secondary heat source.  She was not wrong!

While this heater is only powerful enough to keep a small room warm on its own, it is PERFECT as a secondary heat source.  In other words, when we turn our thermostat WAY down at night, this little doozy keeps our son’s room nice and toasty without ever getting too hot.  This allows us to keep our oil bill “low” without worrying about our little dude catching a cold in his own bedroom!

ECO-Heater High Efficiency Electric Panel Heater  

ECO-Heater High Efficiency Electric Panel Heater,$101.81 & eligible for FREE Super Saver Shipping at - click here to order!

A quick overview of the features - check out the manufacturer’s website for full details….

  • Safe – When fully heated, the panel feels hot to the touch, but not hot enough to burn unless you were to keep your hand sitting on there.  My son has touched it, said “Hot!” and removed his hand and is fine.
  • Healthy – Because this is a radiant type of heat, it is not blowing all sorts of dust, dander, and what-have-you around the room as it heats.  And it is SILENT.
  • Steady – This unit does take time (about a half hour for a small to medium size bedroom) to make a difference in the room temperature, but it is slow and steady and won’t leave you waking up in a sweat an hour after you fall asleep.  There is even a thermostat adapter available which will turn the unit on at 35 degrees (f) and off at 45 degrees (f). (Click here for additional thermostat options.)
  • Easy – Easy to install and to operate!
  • Unobtrusive – Mounts flat approximately3/4″ from the wall, and is paintable to match your walls or to do something creative!

Please note:  Reading through a few of the reviews on Amazon, I see that cracks in the heater soon after installation have happened to a few users.  We’ve had ours for two years now and not had one problem.  I have to wonder if those who have cracks were a little over-aggressive when mounting to the wall and exerted too much pressure on the unit?  Also, it is important whenever possible to mount these units on an interior wall, so that the temperature difference is minimal and the unit does not have to work as hard.

One more note – this was not a sponsored post – I wish it was!  I paid for this heater out of my own pocket and I would (and probably will!) do it again!


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