Monday, July 6, 2015

{Guest Post} When Life Hands You Dirty Dishes, Add a Drop of Lemon Oil

Guest post by Kathryn Osborne.

I adopt vintage Pyrex. You know, the cool colorful ones with patterns that used to line the cabinets of generations ago?

My passion for Pyrex began with inspiration from two friends, also Pyrex adopters, and some beautiful pieces given to me from my late grandmother. I saw those pieces of my grandmother’s, and immediately flashed back to big, southern holiday meals filled with family and love.  

So why do I say adopter instead of collector? Because I do not go online and pay the absorbent prices of resellers, nor those of the antique stores with shelves full of shiny, yet expensive, Pyrex. Instead I spend my lunch breaks searching thrift stores and my weekends hunting at garage sales for these beautiful dishes of old.  I adopt them from the bottom of molding boxes, the top of dusty shelves, the backs of neighbors’ cabinets, and then I clean them up and proudly give them a new life displayed in my kitchen.

Based on my preferred procurement style, I find many of these beautiful pieces in sad shape. There are many tricks to cleaning these; and many require harsh, abrasive chemicals. There are also a few natural options for cleaning vintage Pyrex, and I will share these with you so you can avoid additional damage to any of these oldies-but-goodies hiding out in your kitchen.
  1. Soak in hot water and give the piece a good old fashion scrub. The hotter the water, the better.
  2. If that doesn’t do the trick, soak the piece overnight in vinegar and scrub again.
  3. If that vintage grime is still holding on tight, take a drop of lemon oil, apply to the grub, and work it in well. Lemon oil is a great cleaning agent.

*If the Pyrex still needs work, consider oven cleaner, magic eraser, or Bar Keeper’s Friend. Read up on these products before using, as some can remove design and shine.

The saddest symptom I find is loss of shine. Some pieces have their shine, or a bit of shine, but many have fallen victim to the modern dishwasher. Dishwasher damage, or DWD, is sadly irreversible. For pieces you plan to use and display, it is time to bring out the lemon oil again and give the piece a good coating. Coconut oil can also be used for a more pronounced shine, but if you use the coconut oil, you cannot put the pieces in the oven. They will turn black. Both options can make Pyrex a little slippery, so hold on tight.

That’s all for now, I’m off to the thrift store!

Kathryn Osborne
Founder of the Oregon Pyrex Exchange

Monday, June 22, 2015

An Interview with Aromatherapist Sharon Falsetto

In my last post, I reviewed Sharon Falsett's book,
Authentic Aromatherapy
She was gracious enough to let me interview her. 
Check out the book review HERE

Monday, June 8, 2015

Book Review: Authentic Aromatherapy

Book Title: Authentic Aromatherapy: Essential Oils and Blends for Health, Beauty, and Home
Author: Sharon Falsetto

Published: 2014, Skyhorse Publishing

Monday, May 25, 2015

Grapefruit & Peppermint Lip Balm

Lately, I have really loved the combination of grapefruit and peppermint. It all started with some conditioner that I picked up at the store. Since then, I've been using it in my foaming hand soap. Next up, lip balm.

For this recipe, I used Aromahead's base recipe, which you can find HERE. She uses ounces but since I  don't have a scale to weigh liquid, I converted the measurements to tablespoons.

Grapefruit & Peppermint Lip Balm

2 T beeswax (I use pastilles)
3 T coconut oil
1 T shea butter
2 T jojoba oil
10 drops grapefruit essential oil*
10 drops peppermint essential oil

Put all the ingredients except the essential oils into a glass jar, use the warm water bath method (need details: go HERE) on the stove to melt the harder oils. Remove from heat and add the essential oils. 

Immediately pour into your lip balm tubes (I use THESE) and pots. Put lids on as it begins to harden. Use within 6 months. 

*Grapefruit essential oil is phototoxic (learn more about phototoxicity HERE). According to Essential Oil Safety, grapefruit oil (expressed) has a maximum recommended level of use to avoid phototoxic reactions of 4%. That is approximately 24 drops per ounce of carrier. 

Source: Tisserand, Robert & Rodney Young (2014). Essential Oil Safety, (2nd edition). Churchill Livingstone Elesvier.

Monday, May 11, 2015

The Creative Art of Listing & Instagram

Two of my favorite things are making lists and Instagram. So imagine my delight when I discovered there is a HUGE community on Instagram of people who enjoy making lists...Just like me! Yay! 

I discovered this through one of my favorite Etsy shops - I Love It All - and the owner, Monika. I started following her on Instagram last year (you can find her HERE) and discovered so many other "listers". I didn't even know this was a thing! 

Monday, April 27, 2015

Essential Oils for Work

After three blissful years, I'm returning to least temporarily. I have a lot of mixed emotions about this change. Overall, though I am excited for the opportunities and new experiences to come.

This got me thinking about what types of things I will want to take with me to work. My new job has the potential to be high stress at times, requiring a lot of focus. Plus, I could be working long hours. I will be in a big office environment so I will want to be considerate of my coworkers who may not appreciate my plethora of scents and potions. 

Inhalers will be a main staple in my essential oil arsenal for work. {Need info on inhalers? Check out my post HERE.}

Lip balm, of course. I'm trying out a new recipe or two to nourish in a dry air environment (stay tuned for that recipe). 

Hand salve can act as something to hydrate my skin plus help it will help fight germs.

Essential oils that are great in a work environment, based on information in Chapter 4 of The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy by Valerie Ann Worwood:

  • Oils to combat stale air: lemon, lavender, rosemary, grapefruit, cypress
  • Oils to help concentration: basil, bergamot, grapefruit
  • Oils to clear bacteria and viruses: lavender, rosemary, cypress, bergamot
  • Writer's cramp essential oils: rosemary, germanium, cypress

Source: Worwood, Valarie Ann. (1991). The Complete Book of Essential Oils & Aromatherapy. San Rafael, CA: New World Library.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Recipe Round Up Vol 5

We are officially in spring! Here in California we skipped winter but I know many other parts of the country are ready for some warm sunshine. I spent the weekend at a wedding and doing yard work. Two perfect spring activities. 

Here's a link round up of great spring-like posts:

April is National Letter Writing Month, here's some inspiration for getting those letters in the mail: