Homemade Shower Cleaner

Alright, I'm just going to come out and say it.

I love cleaning products. I love them.
Thinking about the day I first used my Dyson still makes me misty.

I love cleaning products but I hate the chemicals. It's hard to find pet friendly, eco-friendly, organic cleaning products that are worth the money. It's surprisingly easy to make them yourself.

Being the cleaning product geek I am, I took it upon myself to test several different recipes in order to find the best DIY cleaning products. My mission: use common household items that are pet and eco-friendly. Not all of my recipes are 100% organic, but I can guarantee you have everything you need to make them already at your disposal.

Let's get our Ms. Clean on, y'all.

LediaMedia's Homemade Shower Cleaner
LediaMedia Tested, Seal of Approval

What You'll Need
  • 6 oz white vinegar
  • 6 oz dish soap
  • 1 spray bottle
  • Funnel (optional)

Creating Your Homemade Shower Cleaner
  1. Heat 6 oz. white vinegar in microwave-safe dish until very warm. I recommend starting at 15 seconds.
  2. Pour 6 oz. of dish soap into spray bottle. Use a funnel to make this easier.
  3. Pour a small amount of heated white vinegar into a spray bottle. This will cause intense foaming action. Repeat until all vinegar is in the spray bottle.
  4. Shake well.
Please note: only heat the white vinegar the first time you mix the solution. Do not reheat after use.

How to Use Your Homemade Shower Cleaner
  1. Spray mixture anywhere in shower (tub basin, walls, shower curtain or wall, shower head, etc).
  2. Use a sponge to clean away dirt, grime, and soap build up.
  3. Rinse with hot water.
That's it! Simple, huh?

What I Learned
  • This smells fantastic! Seriously -- unicorn fantastic.
  • The solution is GREAT at removing soap scum. I was surprised at how thoroughly it cleaned the tub and walls.
  • It's safe to use while you are in the shower -- yes, that means you can shower and clean the shower at the same time.

What is one shower cleaner recipe that you've used? Please share in the comments below.

Natural Acne-Fighting Honey and Oat Facial Mask

A trip to my local drugstore for acne control products this morning caused a classic case of sticker shock. You want me to pay HOW MUCH for an oil prevention mask? Homey don't play that -- I'll figure out how to do this myself.

A few minutes and a few Google searches later, I learned the following:
  1. Oatmeal is absorbent and perfect for oil removal. When applied to the skin, excessive oil gets sucked straight from pores.
  2. Oatmeal is a natural, gentle exfoliant.
  3. Oatmeal can be used to reduce skin redness.
  4. Honey is a natural anti-biotic and moisturizer.
Combining these two ingredients into a mask will leave skin glowing and fresh. It should also help fight acne and reduce redness. Did you know that honey is an excellent treatment for acne? It removes bacteria that accumulates on your skin.

LediaMedia's Acne-Fighting Honey and Oat Facial Mask

What you'll need:
  • 1/2 cup of oats
  • 3/4 cup of hot water
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 1 mixing bowl
  • 1 coffee grinder, blender, or food processor

Creating Your Honey and Oat Facial Mask
  1. Grind 1/2 cup of oats in a blend, food processor, or coffee grinder. I highly recommend using a coffee grinder; blenders and food processors may not get the oatmeal fine enough. You want the oats to be as close to powder as possible. Why? It makes application easier.
  2. Pour ground oats into a mixing bowl and add 3/4 cup of hot water.
  3. Mix oats and water until texture is gooey. Add more water as needed. I made the mistake of not adding more water and the mask was hard to spread across my face.
  4. Once mask is gooey, add 2 teaspoons of honey. Mix thoroughly until honey is dissolved.

How to Use Your Honey and Oat Facial Mask

  1. Apply mask to your face using small, circular motions to increase exfoliation. Start at your chin and work your way up to your forehead.
  2. Let mask dry for 10-20 minutes. The thicker the mask, the longer the dry time. You will know your mask is dry when it becomes hard on your face.
  3. Rinse mask off using warm water. Towel pat dry.
The mask should not dry out your face; in fact, honey has been used for centuries for moisturizing, protecting, and rejuvenating.

What I learned
  • Applying the mask to my face was somewhat problematic because it wasn't gooey. Don't be like me! Add more water!
  • Immediately after application my face started to tingle. It was unexpected and surprising. 

I hope you have as much fun making and applying this mask as I did.

What masks have you made and tried at home? Share your at-home spa recipes in the comments below.

Bust Writer’s Block

Having writer’s block is a luxury. Don’t get me wrong, it’s real, and it can be a problem. But if writing is only your hobby, you can allow yourself to indulge in the idleness of writer’s block. You can afford to take the time to do writing exercises and to spend long, pensive moments looking for inspiration that will shatter your blockage.

But when you have to get this blog post done in 30 minutes flat so you can move on to the giant batch of materials you owe that client, writer’s block doesn’t exist. Instead, you’re functioning in a world of action and reaction: Research. Write. Edit. Send. Repeat. It’s not easy, but it’s simple. As part of my day job, I suffer from writer’s block maybe once every six months. I give myself a pep talk, take a walk around the block and get my fingers back on the keyboard within 15 minutes. And something always, always comes out.

Ironically, it’s when I try to write something to keep for myself that I run into the biggest problems with writer’s block. There’s always a reason to put off writing for yourself: pressures at home or work, exhaustion or a plain old lack of ideas. We always find excuses to keep our true selves pent up and off the page. Maybe we’re secretly afraid of what we’ll find there, or we’re afraid of failure. I suspect everyone’s reasons are different.

So how do you deal? You force yourself to write. You don’t accept no for an answer. You sit your butt down in the chair and you don’t get up until you’ve written your daily allotment. That might be a thousand words on your novel or a 250 word blog post—the length doesn’t matter. Neither does the quality. If you bang out your daily allotment, even if 90 percent of it is garbage, you’ll find ten percent that you can take and polish and make shine. Some days you won’t want to do it; maybe even most days you’ll dread staring at that blank white page. But if you have the discipline, you’ll find that writer’s block only exists if you let it.

Since 2012 began, I’ve written at least 1,000 words a day, six days a week. No, you can’t see it. It’s not for you. But it helps me remember who I am and why I do what I do, and why writer’s block will never, ever slow me down.

About the Author
Allison Carter (@AllisonLCarter)

Allison is the director of communications at Roundpeg, an Indianapolis small business marketing firm. She spends her days writing, exploring the world of social media and providing marketing advice, and her nights reading, writing, traveling and herding cats.