The Crazy Hat Box

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No Chemical Cleaning – An Easy Way to Start

I don’t know about you, but there are a lot of things I would love to start doing.  Cleaning using less chemicals, eating whole (non-processed) foods and using natural-ingredient beauty products are among those things, but the tasks seems really daunting.  How do you start?  Small.  You start small.

When my oldest was born, I decided I wanted to try cleaning without chemicals.  There are lots of products out there that you can buy that at least claim to have few or no chemicals, but it can get expensive, and sometimes the cleaners just don’t work as well.  It seemed like a big task to replace all my cleaners with something else, not even knowing if they would work.  So, I started small.  And you know what I found?  Cleaning naturally doesn’t always mean spending a lot!  In fact, I actually SAVE money with these simple choices.

Kitchen Cleaner

The first thing I changed was my kitchen cleaner.  I clean my kitchen counters at least once a day, so it seemed only logical that the first cleaner I changed was the one I used most often.  I started using white vinegar.  It’s antibacterial properties make it a great choice, and it’s safe for your family and the environment.  Some people dilute the vinegar with water, but it seems to increase streaking, so I don’t dilute it.

One thing I’m not crazy about is the smell of vinegar.  You get used to it, but it can still make your eyes water!  So, I use essential oils in my vinegar (about 20 drops a bottle), which helps to mask the smell.  And, since some essential oils also have antibacterial qualities, you can actually be increasing your cleaning power, depending on which oil you choose to use!


 Recipe for Kitchen Cleaner

~24 oz of White Distilled Vinegar

~20 drops of Essential Oils (your choice)

Wood Floor Cleaner

More recently, I replaced my hardwood floor cleaner.  I’ve never been happy with the various cleaners I’ve tried on my hardwood floors.  A lot of them streak, and some of them leave a residue.  So, I started researching homemade cleaners for wood floors.  I played with a few recipes and finally came up with one I like using olive oil, vinegar and essential oils.  Be careful how much olive oil you use – it can make your floors really oily, which not only feels weird on your feet, but also shows footprints.  Depending on the finish of your hardwood floor, you may have to adjust the recipe to find the ratio that works best for you.  Also, since olive oil can go rancid, only make what you need for the task and throw any remainder out.


Recipe for Wood Floor Cleaner

1 Cup White Vinegar

1 Tablespoon of Olive Oil

10 drops of essential oil (your choice)


Want more ideas for how to use vinegar to clean?  Try these links:

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photo (2)

To celebrate the Fourth of July we would all gather at my grandparents house on the lake. We would barbecue and eat outside on their deck. We would take turns playing yard games in their large shady backyard. We would swim in the lake and float on rafts. Just enjoying the summer sun! When it would get darker out we would shoot off some fireworks. Smoke bombs, sparklers, and snakes were some of my favorites. All of us would watch amazed as one of my grandparent’s neighbors would hang this huge rope full of lady fingers up into the tree and light the bottom. The firecrackers would light off of each other and run up the rope igniting a a chain of booms and pops. When nighttime started to set in we would all get on my grandparents boat and ride it out to the perfect place to watch the professional fireworks. I loved watching the fire works from the boat!

The last three Fourth of July’s have been different since my grandpa passed away and my grandma sold their house. The Fourth of July is one of the days I miss my grandpa the most. We are building new family traditions. We watch the parade that our city puts on and get together with family and friends. We find somewhere to watch fireworks and of course we still have to shoot off some snakes! 

What traditions do you and your family have for America’s birthday?

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Tech-less Tuesday

We’ve all heard of Meatless Monday.  It’s a great idea.  It saves money and it forces you to eat some vegetables, for pity sake!  My husband and I recently started Tech-less Tuesdays.  Trust me, I realize the hypocrisy, as I’m posting this on Tuesday, but it’s an exception.  When I arrive home on Tuesdays, we turn off the technology.  No phones, no tv, no computer.  We haven’t died yet.  It’s a great way to actually look each other in the eye.  It brings back something from the past, called c-o-n-v-e-r-s-a-t-i-o-n.  Can we say, conversation?  Very good!  Now, we’re not perfect.  We fall back into old habits.  But, we really don’t want this stuff to own us.  Sometimes we still turn on the tv at bedtime to wind down a little.  However, that’s after we’ve had several hours of no technology.  We are adding to this too.  We are going to turn of technology from the time I get home until after dinner every night.  So, I have to go.  I’m already breaking the rules.  You should try it.  It will surprise you how creative and fun you will become.  Less like robot, more like person.  Except this blog.  You can read it on Tuesdays, but that’s it.


NOT the black screen of death. Just turned off. Your phone will do this without breaking. I promise.


Also, I need to dust.




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