Natural Home

DIY Air Freshener

Everyone loves a nice smelling space, but unfortunately so many of those lovely smelling air refresheners truly aren’t so lovely at all. Most air fresheners actually contain hormone-disrupting chemicals (like VOCs) and since disrupting your hormones is definitely not on a healthy agenda, I highly suggest making a switch to natural fragrances. One really easy way to make a delicious smelling home fragrance involves just 2 ingredients: essential oil + water.

Combine in a spray bottle:

  • 40-45 drops total of your favorite essential oil(s)
  • 1 cup H2o

And that’s it! You now have your very own homemade, all natural air freshener to mist around your rooms, on your sheets, etc.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some essential oil combinations I highly recommend (all essential oils mentioned are under $10 per 0.5 fl oz bottle and a little goes a really long way):

  • sweet orange + cinnamon
  • lavender + sage
  • peppermint + tangerine

Your home will smell lovely and your mood will be positively impacted by the aromatherapy benefits of the essential oils — definitely a win-win!

Clean Clothes & Beef Fat?

How could the 2 possibly relate? Well it turns out that most dryer sheets are made with animal fat, particularly beef fat! Kind of shocking, right? And in addition to the grossness factor, these animal fats can also dull the coloring of fabrics over time. Not cool.

So to avoid a faded, animal-fat-laden shirt or pillow case (that’s where it really hits home  for me) you can opt for plant derived softeners like the Squeaky Green Dryer Cloths ($5.49) by Method. They use water-based technology (yes, these sheets are actually on the moist side) to infuse the dryer cloths with renewable, plant-based softeners.  Result: Clothes are soft and static free minus the fat and heavy scents.

I would especially recommend this swap for anyone with sensitive skin. Also, if you haven’t already, opt for a detergent that is fragrance free or at the least, naturally scented. I’ve spoken to many people who can’t pinpoint the source of their skin ailments and these switches can often provide a lot of relief.  Easily irritated by strong odors? You’re another great candidate for making these switches. But of course, everyone can benefit from these more natural options!

A Better Antibacterial Cleaner

I recently tried this antibacterial kitchen cleaner by method and I’m definitely a fan. It naturally kills 99.9% of household germs including influenza A, staphylococcus aureus, salmonella enterica and E. coli. Yes, I did say “naturally”! I love that they used CleanWell’s herbal antibacterial formula (thyme oil & oregano oil) to power this cleaner (CleanWell has an entire line of naturally antibacterial products).

If you’re going to use antibacterial cleaning products this is one of the best and healthiest options on the market right now. Choose between two delightful scents – lemon verbena or orange zest – for just $3.99 or less. I opted for the lemon verbena (from Target), but I think I would like the orange zest scent even more.

Why make the switch to a natural antibacterial cleaner? Research is continually showing that antibacterial products can cause bacterial resistance, thus decreasing the effectiveness of antibiotics. The most common ingredient in antibacterial products is a chemical compound called triclosan, which has been proven to have some serious negative side effects on your health (see previous post for more info).

Words to Decorate By

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We have really tried to follow this in our new home and let me tell you – it has made SUCH a difference. Getting rid of pointless clutter (aka things that are not functional or joy-producing) is not just visually powerful, but very emotionally powerful as well.

To ponder: Do you have a lot of items around your home that you don’t particularly like or need, but hold onto because you would feel “bad” throwing them out?

Improve Your Indoor Air Quality

This is the first of hopefully many more plants to come in our new, much sunnier home. Do you recognize it? It’s a Peace Lily and we got it for only $7.99 at Trader Joe’s last week. But not only is it pretty and nicely priced, it’s also one of the best plants for purifying indoor air.
(I made the clay pot back in high school)
Top 10 anti-pollutant plants rated best by TheNewEcologist.com:
  1. The Feston Rose plant
  2. Devil’s Ivy
  3. Phalaenopsis
  4. English Ivy
  5. Parlor Ivy
  6. African Violets
  7. Christmas Cactus
  8. Yellow Goddess
  9. Garlic Vine
  10. Peace Lily

 

Make Fresh Flowers Last Longer

It’s always so nice to have fresh fresh flowers in your home, isn’t it?

Well I recently came across two easy ways to keep blooms around even longer:

  1. Dunk buds in room temperature water before putting them in a vase to prolong their life by a few days
  2. When keeping flowers in the kitchen, keep them away from fruits and veggies since they both release the gas ethylene, which increases the rate at which flowers wilt

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Having fresh flowers around is proven to be a natural mood-booster. I love getting mine at Trader Joe’s -  great variety and awesome prices. I especially love sunflowers. What are you some of your favorites?

p.s. Happy first day of summer!!

Time for a Soak

I am a huge fan of baths (I almost take them on a daily basis!) If you’re not normally a fan, I’m sure you might quickly become one in any of the tubs pictured here. Aren’t they amazing?! But don’t wait for an extravagant tub because baths are SO incredibly relaxing and beneficial to your entire body no matter what the tub looks like! I love to add Epsom salt and lavender oil to my baths, but plain old warm water is all it takes for a calming and detoxifying soak.



Master Bathroom contemporary bathroom

 

Do you take baths?

Relishing Spring

Doesn’t this time if year just make you want to lounge and gather in spaces like these? Houzz always has the best images of indoor and outdoor design ideas. If you haven’t checked them out, I would highly recommend it! My sister told me about the site months ago and I instantly feel in love.

Happy Wednesday! Can you believe it’s almost May?!

beverly hills peck - mediterranean patio
mediterranean patio design by los angeles interior designer Sandy Koepke
manhattan beach - outdoor patio eclectic patio
eclectic patio design by los angeles interior designer Sandy Koepke
beverly drive - garden eclectic patio
eclectic patio design by los angeles interior designer Sandy Koepke
beverly drive - outdoor kitchen eclectic kitchen
eclectic outdoor kitchen design by los angeles interior designer Sandy Koepke
beverly drive - outdoor dining room  dining room
outdoor dining room by los angeles interior designer Sandy Koepke

Poppy’s Naturally Clean

I wanted to let everyone know about another great eco-friendly and non-toxic cleaning option for the home – Poppy’s Naturally Clean. I especially like the All Purpose Spray Cleaner, which of course contains only natural ingredients and is 100% toxin free. It’s perfect for countertops, appliances and pretty much all of those other commonly cleaned surfaces (minus marble and granite).

It’s important to go natural with your cleaning routine so you can not only feel good about the appearance of your home, but more importantly, your own health! Have you done any major spring cleaning lately?

 

Cool Glacier Candle

I love this candle by skyn ICELAND for so many reasons. First, it’s soy with a cotton wick, which means it burns REALLY clean. The scent? A relaxing, therapeutic mix of so many interesting fragrances including bergamot, peach, melon, lily, orris, cyclamen, white lavender, and sandalwood (just to name a few). Last but not least, I just love the shape and color of the holder.  I think this candle is ideal for the bathroom…well, especially when you have it sea-themed like I do :)

Skyn also has a great, stress-targeting array of natural skincare. Has anyone tried? I haven’t yet, but I think I will soon!

Cool Glacier Candle - Burns for 45 hours and retails at $35.

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Scentcillo’s Essential Oils

I am a HUGE fan of essential oils. From baths to skin ailments to cleaning, there are just so many wonderful uses for all of the essential oils out there.

A new brand that I recently discovered is Scentcillo. I’m especially loving them for these fun blends:

Oracle – A combination of the citrus tones of clementine essential oil with the rich, warm, spicy scents of frankincense, myrrh and sandalwood creates a bold and heady aroma that is mysterious and hypnotic.

Tango - A warm floral scent combining the exotic aroma of ylang ylang with palmarosa and tangerine essential oils creating an exquisite and alluring fragrance.

Shaman - A stimulating and refreshing mix of lime, pink grapefruit and lemon creates a citrus burst of aroma layered with the woody overtones of cedar wood and cypress and the exotic white lotus

Starlet – A sweet floral and feminine aroma of rose geranium and frangipani intermingles with wood and citrus notes to create a captivating fragrance.

Here is an awesome list to check out: {50 Ways to Use Essential Oils}

Some of my favs from the list…

  • Place 1 or 2 drops of Rosemary Essential Oil on your hair brush before brushing to promote growth and thickness.
  • 1 drop of Peppermint oil diluted in 1 teaspoon vegetable oil rubbed on the back of the neck helps to relieve headaches.
  • Put a few drops of your favorite essential oil on a cotton ball and place it in your vacuum cleaner bag. Lemon and Pine are nice. Rose Geranium helps with pet odors.
  • To blend your own massage oil, add 3-5 drops of your favorite essential oil to 1 oz. Sweet Almond Oil or other skin- nourishing vegetable oil.
  • 1 Add 10 drops of essential oil to a box of cornstarch or baking soda, mix very well, let set for a day or two and then sprinkle over the carpets on your home. Let set for an hour or more, then vacuum.
  • And the list truly goes on and on and on…!