DIY Thieves Household Cleaner

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Since we’ve been using essential oils more and more in our daily lives, I knew I wanted to start making my own homemade products.  A DIY Thieves Household Cleaner was the first thing I wanted to make and it’s so easy. I also love that it’s less expensive to make your own and you can have control over what goes in it. If you’ve followed my blog for long, you know I care about the food we put into our bodies at our house. So it only makes sense for us to take it to the next level and start replacing all the chemicals we are using around the house.

Most of us assume that the products we are using in our home are safe, but that is not the case. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warns that cleaning supplies have hidden toxins such as ammonia, lye, and chlorine. These ingredients can cause external irritation, and are harmful if inhaled. You can cut these chemicals by making your own cleaning supplies and that is exactly what I’m starting to do.

Some really cool background info on Thieves. I love this story!

Thieves was created based on research about four thieves in France who covered themselves with cloves, rosemary, and other aromatics while robbing plague victims. In the Late Middle Ages, Europe was devastated by the Bubonic Plague, which killed a third of the human population. Out of this period, a legend emerged of four thieves who were captured and charged with robbing the dead and dying victims. When the thieves were tried, the officials offered a lighter sentence if they would reveal how they didn’t contract the horribly contagious disease.

Thieves Oil, developed by Young Living, is inspired by this story. Thieves essential oil is a proprietary blend of cinnamon, clove, lemon, rosemary, and eucalyptus therapeutic grade essential oils. It smells insanely good! Thieves essential oil blend was created to offer the same kind of defense against modern airborne bacteria. In fact, studies conducted at Weber State University showed it to have a 99.96 percent success rate against airborne bacteria.

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We started with just diffusing Thieves oil or applying it topically to help support a healthy immune system. I am now also using the amazing Thieves to make this non-toxic spray for all my cleaning tasks around the house. I love it, feel great using it and my house smells incredible! I’m using it to clean counters, clean toddler toys, anything that needs cleaning – Thieves has it covered. Such a versatile essential oil – I’m in love!

The basic Thieves all-purpose spray solution for cleaning and disinfecting around the home is this:

1 drop of thieves essential oil for each ounce of water, or for a stronger solution, 1 drop for every 1/2 ounce of water.

Add the thieves oil first, then add water. It mixes better that way. Shake vigorously before each use. You can use this basic recipe or change it up by adding vinegar or castile soap.

I have a 16 oz bottle I use in the home – like this one:

AND it’s great to have the cleaner in smaller bottles to carry with you. I clean shopping carts, high chairs, toilet seats, basically anything that needs cleaning out there ;) with these bottles – like this one:

(psst…these are part of my November Promo)

DIY Thieves Household Cleaner
 
Author:
Recipe type: Non-Toxic All-purpose Cleaner

Ingredients
Basic Thieves Cleaner:
  • 1 drop of thieves essential oil for each ounce of water
or
  • 1 drop for every ½ ounce of water (for a stronger solution)
Variation 1: Makes 8 oz.
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 8-16 drops thieves essential oil
Variation 2: Makes 8 oz.
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons castile soap
  • 8-16 drops thieves essential oil

Instructions
  1. Pour thieves essential oil into a dark glass spray bottle.
  2. Add remaining ingredients.
  3. Shake well before use.
  4. Store in a cool, dark place.

 

You can learn more about Thieves Essential Oil and how to order it HERE. You can also email me with any of your oily questions, that’s what I’m here for!!!

Still have more questions and want to learn more? Join me and other essential oil enthusiasts in MY PRIVATE FACEBOOK GROUP. Get ideas, share tips, and chat with like-minded people. Just click the “Join Group” button in the upper right and I’ll add you.

XOXO,

Jennifer

When life gives you lemons…

Make lemonade, preferably lavender lemonade. But, since it’s October and not really lemonade season, I’m thinking this immune-boosting fall drink will do the trick!

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I have developed a new found love of essential oils, they have transformed our lives every since we started using these oily bottles of love. You can learn more HERE. But, more on all of this later!

I’m feeling optimistic and I’m embracing my can-do attitude. Just like the over-used proverb constantly reminds us that we can prevail with the right attitude. I know I have a compulsion to share, that’s why I blog in the first place. My reason for stopping my favorite outlet for creativity had many reasons. Negativity from outside sources was at the heart of it all. It’s been a rocky journey, but I’ve been blessed to have my family and friends during these times that have helped me immensely.

I was asked this question by a dear friend, “Do you know your “why”?” That glaring question is out there, I’ve seen it and I’m sure you have too. But, I’ve never been asked or asked myself that question, let alone answered it. What about YOU? Do any of us know our true purpose in life? Hey, and don’t worry I’m not going to get all philosophical on y’all, but I’m simply going to show you my “why”.

These beauties.

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And this guy – be still my heart.

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photo credit Denise Crull Photography

This is my “why”. My purpose and inspiration to powerfully move forward in the direction I want to go. To continue to share health, wellness and abundance with the people closest to me and to all that I will meet on this crazy journey.

So, this is happening =)

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I am so excited for the launch of my new website and it is everything I originally set out to do with this whole blogging thing, and so much more!

But before that happens, how about a little Q&A Juicing collaboration with Williams-Sonoma? Sometimes the universe answers me in many ways letting me know to continue to pursue my dreams. That I am on the right path.

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Yep.

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Vegan Lifestyle Magazine and the Winner of Vegan Slow Cooker for Beginners Cook Book

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Today I wanted to introduce you to a new AMAZING digital monthly magazine called Vegan Lifestyle Magazine.

Whether you are vegan, vegetarian, raw foodie or just looking to get healthy, Vegan Lifestyle Magazine will provide you with all the information you need to live a kind, gentle, and healthy life.

This magazine is colorful and informative, providing amazing, beautiful raw and vegan recipes from the quick-and-easy to gourmet. The magazine showcases videos, articles, news, vegan clothing and accessories, personal care, gardening, pet care, and of course travel.

I’m excited to share that in the current issue of Vegan Lifestyle Magazine, my recipe for Portobello Wellington is featured on page 79.

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As I recently felt utterly defeated in maintaining this blog, it was nice to get this awesome feature. Getting published is a great honor and I’m proud to share this great news. Virtually Vegan Mama will be staying around and you can expect some new and exciting things in the near future. Thank you for all the wonderful emails and comments I received, you guys rock!!!

You can subscribe to the magazine HERE

Monthly Subscription U.S $3.99

Single Issue Price U.S $4.99

Annual Subscription U.S $32.99
You can also find Vegan Lifestyle Magazine on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Definitely give them a *Like* and a *Follow* to spread the word! Thanks!
Now for the winner of Vegan Slow Cooker for Beginners:
Congratulations to Rachel who won the giveaway and thanks to all who entered. I will definitely continue to share giveaways as well, I love reviewing products and cook books.
For some reason my review of Neat Foods did not get delivered through email so please go check out the review and recipe HERE.
It’s a delicious meat substitute made of all natural ingredients, easy to prepare and versatile. If you can’t find it at a store near you, it can be purchased on their website Neat Foods or on Amazon.com links below.
Have an AMAZING day!
XOXO,
Jen

Vegan Cuts Snack Box Review

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By now most of you have heard about Vegan Cuts, and if you haven’t, I’m here to tell y’all about it.  Vegan Cuts is a monthly subscription box full of vegan and natural food products and snacks. They offer two monthly boxes – The Vegan Snack Box and the Vegan Beauty Box. I was lucky enough to try out my sample for review and I absolutely love this concept. You get to sample many products that you normally might not find in your local supermarket. A lot of the products were unfamiliar to me, so I was really excited to try them out.

This is what I received in my Sample Snack Box:

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Mostly every product that I received was new to me except The Good Bean and The Chia Drink. I immediately ate The Good Bean because even though I had seen this product before I hadn’t tried it. I love roasting my own chickpeas at home for a snack, but it’s nice to see these being packaged. I loved this product and look forward to ordering some to keep in my pantry. It’s a great snack to have on hand for the family!

I’ve seen a lot of Hemp Hearts out there, but hadn’t gotten around to buying them and was so excited that these were in my snack box. I sprinkled them over salad and loved this product. The gluten-free Mary’s Gone Crackers and the Bumble Bar were really tasty. The Salted Caramel Peanut Butter from The 3 Nuts was heavenly and dangerous – I’m glad there was only a small sample of this because who knows what might of happened. I spread it on some dark chocolate and oh boy! YUM! It was nice to get some Mighty Leaf tea samples because I always love to try new flavors. The Green Tea Tropical and Organic African Nectar teas were truly delicious. The Skratch Labs Hydration Drink the tastiest sports drink I have tried yet. However, I never drink these types of drinks, so it’s not something I will probably buy, but still good if you like sports drinks.

Lastly, the Mario Camacho Olive Snack Pack was SO GOOD. I am an olive addict and I am definitely going to have to order these to have with my salads everyday.

I really love that Vegan Cuts’ Snack Boxes are getting vegan products out to more people. There are so many wonderful companies popping up with great products and most of them are not available at stores yet. I love the idea of being introduced to healthy, quick and on-the-go treats that I haven’t had before. We all need more of those! The monthly subscription for Vegan Cuts is $19.95 which is a fair price when I think of all the times I’ve purchased a product that I didn’t like and had spent hard-earned money to just throw it away. With this you can sample a few products and figure out what you like for future purchases.

Have you tried Vegan Cuts before? If not, is it something you would try? I definitely want to sign up to receive a monthly snack box and I’m really interested in their Beauty Box too!

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XOXO,

Jen

Vegan Slow Cooker for Beginners Cookbook Giveaway

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Vegan Slow Cooker for Beginners (Rockbridge Press) will take the time and frustration out of cooking vegan at home. This cookbook has 150 easy and delcious vegan slow cooker meals perfect for the busy vegan.

This is a great starter book for creating hearty vegan slow cooker meals. There are recipes for breakfast, snacks, sides, appetizers, soups, stews/chilies, beans/grains and vegetables.

Vegan crowd-pleasers, such as Black Bean Breakfast Burritos, Vegan Eggplant Parmesan, and Chocolate-Peanut Butter Cake – this cookbook has it all!

I had to offer up this wonderful chili recipe for the giveaway today. It is Superbowl weekend – if you didn’t know – and who isn’t looking for a chili recipe to serve at a party? I know I am!

This is a super easy chili to make, it took no time at all to throw all the ingredients into the slow cooker and hit the timer. It’s cooking now and it smells delicious! So, make it today for Superbowl because chili is ALWAYS better the next day.

Black Bean and Chipotle Pepper Chili

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Black Bean and Chipotle Pepper Stew/Chili
 
Chipotle Peppers are ripe red jalapeno peppers that have been smoked and dried. Chipotle literally means “smoked chili.” The vast majority of these peppers come from Chihuahua, a state in northern Mexico
Author:
Recipe type: Stew/Chili
Serves: 6-8

Ingredients
  • 4 (15-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • ¾ cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • 1 large red onion, diced
  • 1 large green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 or 2 chipotle peppers
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, for garnish
  • Diced avocado, optional

Instructions
  1. Combine the beans, tomatoes with their juices, vegetable stock, quinoa, onion, green and red bell peppers, garlic, and chipotle peppers in the slow cooker.
  2. Stir in the chili powder, coriander, cinnamon, sea salt, and black pepper.
  3. Cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 4 hours.
  4. Removed the chipotle peppers
  5. Ladle the stew into bowls, garnish with the fresh cilantro, and serve hot with diced avocado, if desired.

Notes
I diced the chipotle peppers and did not remove them. I also cooked the quinoa separate. Reheat the quinoa when ready to serve the stew/chili and stirred it into each serving.

***** This Giveaway is now closed ******

And now for the GIVEAWAY and Good Luck!

To enter the contest, leave a comment sharing some of your favorite Superbowl recipe.

Don’t forget to leave your contact information so I can let you know if you win. =)

BONUS ENTRIES

You MUST leave each entry as a SEPARATE comment or only one comment will count.

  • Like Virtually Vegan Mama on Facebook and leave a comment on my wall.
  • Subscribe to Virtually Vegan Mama
  • Follow Virtually Vegan Mama on Twitter
  • Follow Virtually Vegan Mama on Pinterest
  • Tweet about this giveaway and tell me that you tweeted in the comments section; “I just entered to win Vegan Slow Cooker for Beginners! @virtveganmama”
  • Share this giveaway on your Facebook Page and tell me that you did so in the comments section
  • Pin it

All entries must be completed no later than Saturday, February 8, 2014,  at 11:59 p.m. EST.

Winner will be announced on Sunday, February 9th, 2014, on my blog, and the winner will also be notified via the email address they provided in the comments section.

Giveaway open to U.S. and Canada residents only. =)

Good Luck!

xoxo,

Jen

Can’t wait and you need this book now. Well, don’t fret, you can buy it here: Vegan Slow Cooker for Beginners