Make Your Own Fabreeze

There are recipes all over the internet for making your own natural Fabreeze/air/fabric freshener spray. Here is a super simple one that I found, like and actually use:

1 cup plain water
1 cup white vinegar

1/2 teaspoon vegetable glycerin*
1/2 teaspoon essential oil (for scent)

Put vinegar and water into 16oz spray bottle, mix glycerin and essential oil, pour into spray bottle; shake. You can double the recipe to make more, of coarse.

I have not made this without scent, but you could try it plain if scents bother you, using purely as an odor neutralizer. If you do, let me know how it works. I do notice that when you first spray it, you can definitely smell the vinegar. But after about 20 minutes the vinegar smell dissipates and the fragrance remains. The blend I’ve used is lavender EO (Essential Oil) and vanilla FO (Fragrance Oil) — leftovers from soapmaking (the vanilla oil I used was synthetic).

I use vinegar in place of liquid fabric softener (YES IT WORKS), and I also used the glycerin/fragrance oil combo in my vinegar. To use vinegar as a fabric softener, you do not add water, but just use straight, white vinegar. I haven’t found any scent combo to have much “staying power” when using the vinegar as a fabric softener. I’m guessing that synthetic softeners have a boatload of fragrance in them. I’m a bit skeptical, thinking that adding that much fragrance to vinegar could damage the clothes somehow. But I may try it on some old towels. Maybe. I just wouldn’t waste oodles of quality EO in my vinegar rinse. It would be rather costly.

*The glycerin works as a “carrier” for the EO, helping it to emulsify with the water/vinegar solution.

BK Apple Fries

(Scroll down for contest info)

Burger King has unveiled a “healthy alternative” to regular fries – apple fries. Well, skinned apples, shaped like fries. Not actual sweet apples, fried up in grease like a mini-pie, shaped like a fry (which is what MY mind goes to when I hear the words “apple” and “fry” put together). And I’ll be honest, when I go to a fast food restaurant, I don’t kid myself that I’m eating healthy in any way. I go there knowing I will get fast, cheap, not-the-best-for-you food.

I guess apple fries are a compromise. Like the salads, which you have to be careful with, too – they pack a bigger caloric punch than you think, sometimes. But a salad is still a healthier alternative to the meat-laden grease. Not saying I don’t eat the meatgrease every now and then…

Burger King will use U.S. grown apples that are cut and packaged in a sterile environment and subjected to a pre-wash that contains lemon to keep them from turning brown, said Burger King spokesman Keva Silversmith. – link

The apple fries and caramel sauce together have 10g. sugar, 60 calories and 15g carbs. (nutritional information link)

Franny models the apple fries.
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We had apple fries and turkey dogs.
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BOTTOM LINE: The kids liked them. I thought they were OK. I don’t think I’d actually buy them for myself, though. They kids weren’t sure that they would substitute regular fries, by choice, with the apple fries, and were sure to make that clear to me in a tone that said, I like them but please tell me the regular fries aren’t extinct. If they were 2/$100, they’d make a quick pit stop snack. But apparently they are not 2/$100.

At any rate, if you’d like to check them out for free (or get you a dinner, lunch – cones for the fam) – I’ve got 2 $10 gift certificates to give away. Check out the piggy below and try to guess how many dollars are in there. That’s our Mad Money Pig. We’re spendin’ her up this weekend. Leave your guess in the comments, just for snorts and giggles. A winner will be chosen randomly, so don’t squeeze your brain too much over it.

1 entry per person per day.
Entries close Friday, August 8th at 11:59pm CST.

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Stuffed Green Pepper Casserole

I had all intentions of making Stuffed Green Peppers. But, time ran away from me. And the peppers were beginning to give me the now or never look. So I improvised. And it was good. So I wanted to make sure I wrote down what I did so that I could do it again.

“Stuffed” Green Pepper Casserole

A double portion of Hillbilly Housewifes’ Yellow Rice Mix (prepared)
7-8 green (red, too would be pretty) peppers, washed and chopped into bite-sized pieces (about the size of a quarter)
1 medium onion chopped into dime-sized pieces
1 pound ground turkey or beef, cooked
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
1-2 cups shredded mozzarella and/or cheddar cheese (more if you’re a cheese-lover)
1tsp. of garlic powder (couple shakes)
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Prepare rice as directed (best would be to prepare the day before and it be cooled, but we’ll take what we can get). Place peppers, onions and tomatoes in a casserole dish, sprinkle with salt & pepper, garlic; stir. Mix in turkey/beef and yellow rice to the vegetables; top with shredded cheese. Cover and bake @ 350 for about 30min. Remove cover and bake until cheese is golden and bubbly. Server with some biscuits.

All the flavor of stuffed peppers, but less of the fuss.

Free Storage and Grocery Bag

I like free stuff, as long as it is useful and not clutter. Here’s a couple freebies from the week.

1.) Boxes from work. Immediately upon receiving my paper ream orders at work, I knew the boxes should come home with me. They’re nice, sturdy and roomy, and best of all – they’re free. I unpacked all of the paper and set the boxes aside, not really sure what to use them for, but figuring it would be put to use in the boy’s room.

(Actually in the picture you see 2 freebies. The boxes, and then the dresser. My parents picked up the dresser at a garage sale, stained it, and gave it to us. Muy cool!!)

Football uniform storage. I need 1 more box, but I’m happy to at least have the twin’s stuff put away. The boxes will go downstairs with the rest of the sports equipment.

2.) A freebie received. My Earthbound Farm tote. Love it. Used it a couple days ago to lug in my groceries.