Five “All Natural” Cleaners that Really Aren’t that Natural

Five All Natural Cleaners that Really Aren't that Natural


In the world of home cleaners there are many different varieties, from fresh smelling, super strength, long lasting, and all natural. It can be confusing to choose the one best suited to the task at hand. What does “all natural” mean when it comes to cleaners, and which ones aren’t quite as natural as they might appear?

Air Fresheners
Avoid aerosol air fresheners at all costs. Even if they claim to be all natural, nearly all air fresheners are not. Instead, open a window when possible to allow fresh air in, simmer a cinnamon stick on the stove, or use organic essential oils.

Antibacterial Soaps
The ingredients used in antibacterial soaps and detergents kill the bad and good bacteria, which can lead to the development of drug resistant bacteria. If you do use it, make sure it’s only once in a while. Especially when cleaning your kitchen or where you store food like the refrigerator, make sure you’re not encouraging bacteria resistance. Use only warm soapy water and clean rags.

Cleaners in Plastic Bottles
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a chemical that has been used for some time in the production of plastics and in the lining of metal canisters. Studies have shown it can cause brain and behavior problems to those exposed to it regularly. It is especially dangerous to infants and children. Seek out cleaners in glass bottles or plastic labeled BPA free.

Cleaners with Sudsing Agents
Most people like to see suds and soap bubbles form when cleaning, as it makes us feel like we are really getting the area clean. Unfortunately, those suds are anything but natural. While some natural surfactants do exist, they tend to make products more expensive. Read the labels and make sure they are naturally occurring.

Cleaners with Phthalates
Phthalates are very dangerous and very easily absorbed into our bodies. These endocrine disrupting chemicals affect male hormone production and normal brain development and function. They have been linked to various problems, such as autism, cancer, and fertility problems.

As more and more people are seeking out better ways to keep our Earth and our families safe and healthy in a world filled with increasing numbers of chemicals and man-made substances, it can be difficult to choose the best and most natural choices. Just because an item claims to be “all natural” or “eco” does not mean it is good for the environment or the people exposed to it. Some can be deceiving, so it is important to look carefully at the ingredients before making your decision. Look for bottles labeled “kid and pet safe” and avoid products that say “toxic, poison, or danger” to help you make safe decisions. So whether you just got a new IG refrigerator from or are looking to disinfect an old microwave, make sure you have the right tools needed to clean it safely.


Encourage the Music

Our children are our pride and joy.  As moms, we want to help them make good choices.  A lot of us have very artistic children who were called to music at an early age or at some point in their young lives.   Then they absolutely fell in love with music.   Unless your child was a prodigy and playing professionally with orchestras, parents have a tendency to stir them away from music as a career.  We envision them with long hair playing in bands at dead end clubs or on street corners with a guitar and cup hoping for donations.   So we try to redirect them because we want them to do something more “stable” to earn a living.

When it comes to music, there are many, many options.  Teaching in schools can give gainful employment and allows them to pass their passion on to other young people.  Teaching privately can be fairly lucrative because hourly the cost of private lessons can be fairly high – even as high as $150 per hour more – based on the teacher’s experience.   Performing pays based on the location of the performances and the popularity of the band or group that is performing.  But, many people live off  of making money making music for the enjoyment of an audience.

There’s also music production which involves making music for other artists.  You do not have to be a part of a major record label to do this for others.  Affordable software and equipment make is possible for many people do this from their own in-home studios.

Then there’s sales.  Music stores are always looking to hire experienced or knowledgeable musicians as sales people.  Because who better to sell music equipment than someone who actively uses it and knows about it on a variety of levels?  For instance, if you were to call musicians friend looking for suggestions on an equipment purchase,  guaranteed there would be a musician on the other end of the line.

Perhaps they won’t choose music as a career, but if they can play an instrument, the possibility will always exist for them to be able to do so at any given point in their lives.  With the nature of businesses hiring, firing, and sending jobs overseas, having other skills is always valuable.  Besides that, there is the enjoyment of music in itself.  And, there’s two kinds of people when it comes to music – those who make it and those who groove to it.  Your child could be one of those who makes it!

Six Creative Ideas for Window Treatments in the Bathroom and Kitchen



If you are the type of homeowner that enjoys dramatic, airy, or colorful drapes and window treatments surrounding your windows, you might resort to using boring blinds that you picked up at a hardware store in the bathroom and kitchen. Since these areas are typically cramped on space, and don’t allow for large, dramatic window treatments, we often sacrifice style for functionality. However, if you want your window treatments to add a sense of style to the bathroom and kitchen, there are a few options that will work. Try a few of the creative ideas for window treatments below, and breathe a little life back into your bathroom and kitchen windows.

6 Easy Window Treatment Ideas that Look High-End 1Roman Shades with Ribbons

For bathrooms or kitchens that have a feminine style, you can contribute to the overall tone of the room with roman shades that are held up with delicate ribbons. Have fun by pairing the ribbon with curtains that showcase a large floral print or a chevron design. You can then sew a complementing color of ribbon onto the fabric for a beautiful design that will also shade the inside of the home.


For a rustic touch that adds a cozy tone to the kitchen or bathroom, consider adding wood shutters that evoke natural, earthy tones. The shutters can be painted to create a worn look that adds extra character to the room, and prevents the windows from looking too bare. Consider adding shutters to bay windows over a breakfast nook, or on a large window just above the kitchen sink for a fixture that sets the overall style in the room.

6 Easy Window Treatment Ideas that Look High-End 6Bamboo Shades

For a modern look in the interior space, bamboo shades offer a stylish look that also provides plenty of privacy. For those who live near the water or in a coastal state, bamboo shades look tropical and come in a variety of different colors. Bamboo shades are also considered a natural and organic choice when using window treatments with environmentally-friendly materials that are made to create woven wood. Bamboo shades also work to filter rays, making them a great option for allowing natural light in without dealing with the harsh sunlight from entering the room.

6 Easy Window Treatment Ideas that Look High-End 5

Fretwork Panels

Fretwork panels offer a creative look that showcases a beautiful design in the home. The window treatments allow just enough light in without sacrificing privacy, or creating a glare. It will even cast a gorgeous pattern on the walls or floor around the window—adding to the style of the room. You can mix and match fretwork panel designs and colors throughout the kitchen or bathroom in order to keep the windows looking particularly chic.

6 Easy Window Treatment Ideas that Look High-End 4Curtains and Blinds

Instead of having to choose between curtains and blinds, opt for using both options on the windows for a gorgeous look that adds extra dimension to the room. You’ll have more of an option on how much light will be let into the room, while also choosing from various curtain patterns that can complement the color of your blinds. Using a combination of shorter curtains and quality blinds is a popular choice for many homeowners today who don’t want to choose between the two.

6 Easy Window Treatment Ideas that Look High-End 3Scalloped Valance

Instead of sticking with a traditional style of a valence, opt for one that features a scalloped design for a unique look that will add an extra mount of detail to the room. The style creates a whimsical touch and will look even more stylish when coordinated with wallpaper used on the bathroom or kitchen walls. To prevent the valance from looking too bare, consider hanging curtains underneath for a complete look that creates a focal point in the room.


Instead of having windows that appear mundane, enhance the aesthetics with unique window treatment options that are anything but boring. By thinking outside of the box and opting for a style that is more than just blinds, it will allow you to create a gorgeous room that truly feels inviting.


“Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. For more information on decorating windows with plantation shutters in West Palm Beach contact Brooke via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.”



Helping Your Children With The Oboe With Using A Reed Knife

An integral part of any successful oboists’ life is undoubtedly having a ‘good’ reed.  When it comes time to start reed making, purchasing your necessary supplies can be very confusing and there will most certainly be questions along the way.  If you’re the parent of a student ordering supplies for the first time, we highly recommend you speak with your child’s private teacher first and get their recommendations as to what to order.


The proper edge for a reed knife is a scraping edge and not a cutting edge. This means your knife is going to scrape in only one direction, either right-handed or left-handed. To achieve the proper edge, you must first prepare a burr on the opposite side of the knife, flip it to the scraping side and then hone it.


Preparing the burr requires a coarse sharpening stone, especially if your knife is not new and needs a fair amount of steel to be removed.

Why Not Start Podcasting?

Most people are familiar with podcasting.  Thanks to today’s technology, podcasting is extremely easy.  If you’ve got an iphone or other phone that allows you to record your voice, you can start talking away and record your conversation.  A few simple taps on your phone and it’s been uploaded to the podcasting station of your choice!oidcast

People who prefer to write, can become engrossed in writing things out to put on their blogs.  And they could spend a couple of hours writing out their thoughts.  Podcasters, who should probably start off with a written rough draft or notes about their subject, can get this kind of work done in no time.  It’s all about your preference and which one you are more talented with, writing or talking.   Some people are gifted with gab and can talk out a podcast in no time.  Add to that if you are knowledgeable about what you’re talking about, you can get it done in no time.
And who’s your audience?  Nowadays – anybody with a cell phone or computer.  Many people like to listen to audio books while they’re driving, so if you’ve got some interested podcasts lined up, they’ll tune in.

Places you can add your podcasts to include:








And there are so very many others.


Make sure that wherever you are recording that it’s very, very quiet.  You don’t want a lot of distracting noise in the background.  If you really want to be serious about podcasting, you might want to look into getting a voice over booth. It will guarantee you peace and quiet while recording.  Other than that, do your podcasting after the kids have gone to bed and the dog is sleeping…you get the idea.


Choose your topic(s) and get started.

The Best Music for the Best Children’s Birthday Party

“Music brings people together. Through music, children take an inner experience and move it into a shared creative experience. Group music-making releases energy which can be channeled in creative, productive directions. Children learn about themselves and others by playing music together and by listening to each other — tapping into hidden courage that can be played out by singing together or discovering the inner resources to listen quietly to another child’s playing.” – Judi Bosco (Board Certified Music Therapist)



For children, music provides many, many benefits. Experts agree, there are lots of good things about letting your child learn to play an instrument or listen to music every single day. We live in a world of instant gratification, but real life demands having patience. When you are playing in a band or orchestra (and most musicians do), you have to be willing to wait your turn to play otherwise the sound is a mess. That inadvertently teaches patience.
Music can be a much-needed connection for kids (and adults too!). “It can satisfy the need to unwind from the worries of life, but unlike the other things people often use for this purpose, such as excessive eating, drinking, or TV or aimless web browsing, it makes people more alive and connected with one another,” says Michael Jolkovski, a psychologist who specializes in musicians.
So, when you want to throw an amazing party for your children, you should not forget to pick a theme party, to buy the party supplies and to make a list with your children’s favorite songs. Because we are here to help you, here is a list with songs that will make your party really great:
THE 1950s/60s

This era is filled with tunes that are goofy, bouncy and pretty darn wholesome. Your children will love to listen to this music and they will dance a lot.
· “La Bamba” -Richie Valens
· “Ring of Fire” – Johnny Cash (perfect for young Woody & Jessie fans….)
· “Twist and Shout” “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” “Birthday” “Octopuses Garden”- The Beatles (I mean, you really
you can’t go wrong with any Beatles song!)
· “Wipe Out” – The Ventures
· “Build Me Up Buttercup” – Foundation
· “The Loco-Motion” – Little Eva
· “Day-O” – Harry Belafonte
· “I’m A Believer” – The Monkees
· “The Twist” – Chubby Checker
· “Magic Carpet Ride” – Steppenwolf
· “Sugar, Sugar” – The Archies


THE 1970s
Classic Rock, disco, punky, funky. The Seventies had it all—and these groovy tunes make for an amazing kiddo dance party.
· “Bliztkrieg Bop” – The Ramones
· “HEY! HO! Let’s GO!” – Ramones song
· “Rock & Roll All Night” – KISS
· “We Will Rock You. “ – Queen
· “You Shook Me All Night Long.” – AC/DC
· “I Want Candy” – Bow Wow Wow
· “One Way or Another” – Blondie
· “Shake Your Booty” – KC & the Sunshine Band
· “Stayin’ Alive” – Bee Gees
· “Dancing Queen” -ABBA
· “YMCA” – Village People
· “Le Freak (Freak Out)” – Chic
· “You’re the One That I Want” – Grease Soundtrack
· “Rock the Boat” – Hues Corporation
· “We Are Family” – Sister Sledge
· “Funky Town” – Lipps Inc.


THE 1980s
Who does not love to watch little kids chanting and dancing on these:

· “That’s What I Like About You” – Romantics
· “Blinded Me With Science” – Thomas Dolby
· “Safety Dance” – Men Without Hats
· “Get Into The Groove” – Madonna
· “C’mon Eileen” – Dexy’s Midnight Runners
· “Hungry Like the Wolf” – Duran Duran
· “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” – Cyndi Lauper
· “Walk Like an Egyptian” — The Bangles
· “We Got the Beat” – The Go-Go
· “Mickey” – Toni Basil
· “You Give Love a Bad Name” – Bon Jovi
· “Eye of the Tiger” – Survivor
· “Ghostbusters” – Ray Parker Jr.
· “Footloose” – Kenny Loggins
· “Flashdance” – Irene Cara
· “Stray Cat Strut” – Stray Cats
· “Jump” – Van Halen
· “Busta Move” – Young MC
· “Walkin on Sunshine”- Katrina and the Waves


The purpose of the party is all about the kids having fun! And these songs will transform your children’s party into a great one:
· “Gangnam Style” —PSY
· “What Makes You Beautiful” – One Direction
· “Starships” — Nicki Minaj (CLEAN version, of course)
· “Good Feelin” — Flo Rida
· “Stereo Hearts” — Gym Class Heroes, with Adam Levine
· “Just Dance” or “Bad Romance” – Lady Gaga (download the clean versions)
· “Please Don’t Stop the Music” – Rihanna
· “Firework” – Katy Perry
· “Dynamite” – Taio Cruz
· “Hey Ya”- Outkast
· “Sweet Escape” – Gwen Stefani
· “Life is a Highway” Rascal Flatts
· “Me Myself and I” – De La Soul
· “D.A.N.C.E” – Justice
· “Kids” – MGMT
· “Cha Cha Slide” – Mr. C the Slide Man
· “A Punk” – Vampire Weekend
· “I Got A Feeling” – Black Eyed Peas



Nepali Chhori Means Nepali Daughter

We came across the Nepali Chhori blog by accident — via a link a singer posted on google.   So, we visited the link thinking we were contacting the singer, but were actually contacting Richa Pokhrel and her blog.  After a couple of email conversations, we became aware of our mistake.  However, we were so moved by the women’s stories and the other content on the blog that we wanted to share it here.     Richa, first of all, congratulations on the award your blog received and second, thank you so much for allowing us to share you and your work here.   We also thank you for uniting Nepalese women and helping the overall collective of women to gain more rights, respect, appreciation and understanding. Women need women.  Together we are strong.   nepali The heading of the website reads: “Being a Nepali Woman in Today’s World.” First, tell our readers what “Nepali Chhori” means and second, what was your reason for starting your Nepali Chhori blog?


Nepali Chhori means Nepali daughter. I wanted to create a safe space for Nepali woman, no matter where they live, to come together and talk about things that affect us. I couldn’t find any place on the internet for just Nepali woman so I thought a blog was the way to go. I realize that we aren’t going to have the same experiences but we will be able to understand each other and come together.


How many different writers contribute to your blog?

Currently we have 6 regular writers, including myself but we do have guest authors from time to time. We are always looking for more Nepali women writers.


Are they all Nepali women?

All of them are Nepali, but we all live in different parts of the world.


We found several stories where writers talk about their experiences as a part of the culture of United States and how it conflicts or varies with the Nepalese culture that their parents hold on to. One story specifically was “Adulthood,” where the writer’s mother flew out to her college to meet with her college advisor. She felt it was a little over the top, but by her mother’s standards, it was perfectly appropriate. In your opinion, for situations like this, is this culture difference a really big problem or not a problem at all?


In that example, I think that was very extreme as in terms of cultural differences. I don’t think most Nepali parents would do that in America. In general, Nepali parents are very involved in their children’s lives, even as we get older. Even though I am in my late 20s, my mother still calls and asks if I have eaten and what I have eaten. I am married and they still see me as a little girl. Independence and individuality isn’t something that is taught in Nepal, we are a society that depends on our family and friends. For of us who grew up outside the country, we struggle with this notion because in Western cultures, independence and individuality is something that is taught early on. Sometimes the things our parents do seem extreme here but some these situations wouldn’t be extreme in Nepal.


Tell our readers a little bit about Nepal. For instance, where is Nepal? What is the population size and what is the dominant religion?

Nepal is a tiny country between China and India. It has roughly 27 million people and many different ethnicities and languages. It is also home to the highest mountains in the world known as the Himalayas. It is known as the Hindu Kingdom because majority of its people are Hindus but there also a lot of Buddhists and smaller populations of other religions.

We watched the segment on Nepal from the documentary entitled “Girl Rising” which taught us that girls are forced to work (as slaves) from a very young age under the guise of “bonded labor?” There was a law passed in 2000 to end that. Do you think it still continues?

Yes, it still continues. Unfortunately, even with the law passed, society is slow to make those changes and frankly some people are morally okay with treating girls as slaves. Also, due to poverty, parents get tricked when they think they are sending their children for a job but end up being trafficked. However, there are organizations that are working towards ending these practices across the country.

Nepali Chori was Honored as "Most Diverse Blog"
Nepali Chori was Honored as “Most Diverse Blog”

What is the woman’s role in Nepalese society?

In the traditional sense, it’s to be a good daughter, then a good wife, and a good mother. There always a male figure in your life that you are supposed to obey, your father, your brother, then your husband. However, there are a lot of women and girls who aren’t conforming to these narrow expectations. Many women are choosing to marry when they want, choosing to have kids later in life, pursuing their career goals, and being politically involved. Women in Nepal do a lot of work but never get credit for all that they do.

What kind of things do you feel need to be changed in that society as it relates to women?

  1. Citizenship through mothers. Currently, it’s very difficult for people to get citizenship without proving both parents are Nepali. This affects millions of people, especially children who are born to single mothers, refugee mothers, mothers who were abandoned by their husbands, and Nepali women who married foreign nationals. They are deemed stateless. The Citizenship Certificate is needed to do the most basic of things in Nepal like registering for school, buying property, vote, opening a bank account, etc. However, children of Nepali men who marry foreign nationals don’t have this problem because they automatically get citizenship through descent. Nepal is currently working on drafting the new constitution, there has been big activism in changing the law so that citizenship can be granted either by the mother or father, not both.
  1. Nepali Chori Blog celebrated their first year - April 6, 2015
    Nepali Chhori Blog celebrated their first year – April 6, 2015

    Education. Many girls in the rural areas don’t have access to education even though basic education is supposed to be free for everyone.

  1. Access to resources. It’s nearly impossible to get bank loans and women can’t inherit land easily.
  1. Menstruation practices. There are still practices of “chaupadi” in rural Nepal for women who are menstruating. This essentially means they can’t practice in normal activities like cooking, cleaning, being around others. This was banned in 2005 but it is still being practiced.

What can we do collectively to help create positive change for girls and women in Nepal?

We can believe in them, we can encourage them, and we can give them support. For any change to happen, we must fully believe in the capabilities of other women, especially those who don’t come from the same background as us. We as women need to let go our our stereotypes and we need to stop making judgements about other women’s choices.

Richa the proud graduate!
Richa the proud graduate!

What do you want out of life personally and what is your mission in life, if you have one?

My mission in life is to be the best person I can be. It’s very easy to try to be someone you aren’t, especially with all the pressure we get from our families, friends, and society. I want to live an authentic life that doesn’t dwell too much on how I look, how much money I make, and what things I own. But more on how I treat others and how I interact with nature. My life is filled with meaningful friendships, room for growth, and the ability to not take myself too seriously. I hope that continues as I get older.