Solé!

Part of my morning routine is to drink a glass of salt water solé (pronounced so-lay). Most mornings I make it warm, but sometimes I drink it cold. I started doing this in lieu of lemon water because the acidity of the lemon was wreaking havoc on my sensitive teeth to the point that simply breathing hurt my mouth. It has become an important part of my day because it gives me energy and helps me with a list of other things. Sometimes I drink it two or three times a day, depending on how much physical activity (usually in the form of toddler-lifting) I’m doing. The minerals from the salt have a myriad of benefits for health and general well-being. Here are a few things drinking sole has helped me with:

  • Better sleep quality
  • More energy throughout the day
  • Muscle fatigue
  • Menstrual cramps (this is the most dramatic benefit)

If you look online the drink itself is touted to help practically everything. I’m not sure if I’d take it that far, but I definitely believe that consuming the minerals the salt provides is important because I also believe that our food is mineral deficient thanks to our current farming system.

I should clarify that you cannot make this with table salt. In fact, you should just get rid of table salt altogether and go grab some real salt, like sea salt or Himalayan salt. Sole is made with Himalayan salt crystals which contain several minerals that are beneficial to humans. If you think about it, salt water sole is basically an unflavored sports drink you can make at home for a fraction of the cost. You could add it to some juice to give you an extra boost if you really can’t stand the taste of salt water.

I also use this as a substitute for trace minerals when I’m making water kefir, kombucha, or anything that calls for trace minerals really. I’m not 100% sure about whether it is a comparable substitute to something you’d buy at the store, but it seems to work just fine because none of my counter-top pets have died yet! I’ll look into that next week while I’m getting groceries and report back.

To make salt water sole you’ll need:IMG_20150224_101447

1 glass pint jar
1/4 cup Himalayan salt crystals
Water Plastic lid and spoon.

Put the salt crystals in the pint jar and fill with water. Put the lid on and let it sit for 24 hours. If there is no salt left at the bottom of the jar add more and let it sit overnight until you can see salt at the bottom of the jar. Your sole is now ready to use! Add 1 tablespoon to an 8 ounce glass of water and drink that. If it’s too salty for you, start with a teaspoon and work up.

It’s important to use a plastic lid because of the corrosive effects of salt water on metal. Any benefits would be negated by the presence of whatever metals leached into the water during the corrosion process. The spoon is a little less important because it won’t be it contact with the water for long periods of time, but I have read that metal deionizes the salt and that it should be avoided altogether. So, use caution with the spoon, but if you don’t have a plastic or wooden one it’s probably not a big deal since the spoon is only in contact with the water for as long as it takes to scoop some into a glass.

Chemical Free Oven Cleaning!

I have a self-cleaning oven. If you have ever actually run a cleaning cycle with one you will know that you cannot do it during the winter. Unless, you know, you really like the smell of already burnt oil/food being charred to death all night long. There has to be some window action happening while the cycle is running to make it even slightly bearable, and even then it’s pretty bad (ok, really bad). As it’s the middle of the winter a cleaning cycle would pretty much be torture, but my oven was amazingly dirty. It was pretty much covered in blackness. Delicious, oily, blackness.

So you can imagine I was pretty excited to come across a chemical-free way to clean an oven! All it took was baking soda, water, and a little vinegar water for clean-up – supposedly. I was pretty skeptical, because baking soda and I aren’t exactly close friends when it comes to cleaning, but I thought I’d give it a go. The worst that could happen is it wouldn’t work and I’d have to either wait until warmer days to torture my family or go buy an oven cleaning solution somewhere. Here are my results:

oven

I wasn’t cool enough to take a before photo but you can pretty clearly see what it looked like before (particularly on the door). There was grime everywhere, and now there is less grime. Success!…kind of. I’m not exactly sure why it only cleaned the bottom half of the door because I definitely slathered the paste all over the door and the window. I’ll have to give it another shot. It took me a little less than 30 minutes to clean all of the baking soda off the oven and door so that wasn’t terrible. Overall I would recommend this cleaning method because it beats the pants off of the self-cleaning cycle and – to be honest – who wants to marinate in chemicals for the amount of time it takes to clean the oven up?

I also tried a trick for cleaning the oven racks. Cleaning oven racks (or toaster oven racks) is probably my least favorite kitchen task. I hate standing in the kitchen with an S.O.S pad trying to awkwardly lean the giant rack against something so I can have a go at the caked on crud that is, inevitably, all over the blasted thing. Just thinking about it is unpleasant. So when I read that you could simply soak the suckers overnight and then wipe them clean in the morning I was pretty psyched!

IMG_20150218_152735

I’m pretty rotten at taking pictures of the inside of ovens but, alas, I had no luck. Some of the heftier grime came off but the racks are not clean. I would not recommend soaking oven racks overnight. It’s too much trouble because you need to lay a towel or two down under them to protect your bath tub. Ringing out a sopping wet beach towel filled with ice cold, somewhat oily water is not my idea of making things easier. I will keep searching for a better way though. There must be a better way!

Without further ado here is the oven cleaning method:

1/2 cup baking soda
3 Tbs. water (or more)
Cleaning gloves
Spray bottle filled with vinegar water

Combine baking soda and water, mixing until a thick paste forms. Start with just 3 tablespoons of water and work up a little at a time if you need more. Don your gloves and slather that paste all over the places you need to clean being careful to avoid the heating element. Close the oven door and let that puppy sit overnight. When you can get to it the next morning/day, spray down the surface you’re ready to wipe off with vinegar water and wipe away the grime.

It really is that easy. Sometimes it takes a little elbow grease, but mostly everything just wipes away.
Happy cleaning!

Hello!

Greetings, interwebs.

This is not the first time I have written an introductory blog. I have learned so much since my last blog and I’m hoping to make this blog much better than my last. I have fallen into the standard blogging pitfalls but I think I’ve learned from my mistakes and I’m ready to give it another shot! So, without further ado:

My name is Jenna. I’m married to an amazing man and we have an amazing son who is just over two years old.

As you may have guessed, the primary focus of this blog is going to be motherhood: for me this means I will write about anything pertaining to being part of a family with children. This might be an entry about backyard chickens, or recipes that I like. There will be some nerdiness happening because my husband and I are quite nerdy: we play World of Warcraft and DotA 2 among other things.

The original name for this blog was going to be Daffodils and Dandelions but that is taken, so I fell back onto my next idea (which took me so long to think of; I really suck at naming things).

There you have it. I’m going to try to post at least once a week. That’s my goal.