Saturday, 17 October 2015

A lovely end to the day

This morning we had our monthly Simple Living Toowoomba workshop which was the second last one for 2015. It was a lovely morning and, as the State Rose Gardens are on the way home, a visit there was the perfect way to finish off the day.

 More on that a little later. Firstly though at the workshop, Racheal shared about some of the DIY cleaning products she makes. 

She started off with her laundry powder which she makes by grating 2 bars of her homemade soap in a food processor then adds 6 cups washing soda and 1-2 ml lemon/citrus essential oil which is optional. If you decide to make this you would have to do it in batches as it makes quite a lot of powder. She uses 2 Tablespoons per load in a 10kg front loader. 

She says it is  cheaper to make her own washing soda, by pouring bicarb soda (which she buys in bulk) onto baking trays or casserole dishes and baking that at 200C for an hour. Then it is packaged in airtight containers otherwise it can convert back to bicarb soda over time. 

She also makes liquid soap which is used to make other cleaners as well. Just heat up 500 ml water in a saucepan, grate your bar of soap and add to the hot water. Stir often with a whisk until the soap has dissolved. Pour into a bottle and if you would like a thinner mixture add up to another 500 ml of water. Make sure you shake before use.

Racheal uses the liquid soap to make soft scrub for sinks and tubs by adding 2 Tablespoons of it to 3/4 cup baking soda, 2 Tablespoons water...just enough to make a smooth liquid paste and up to 15 drops essential oil of choice. She recommends rosemary and lemon which provide a nice scent and have antibacterial, antiviral, mould repellent and degreasing properties but are optional.

For use put a small amount on a damp cloth or sponge and massage onto surface. Add more if needed and rinse with warm water.

To make a multipurpose spray like Spray and Wipe put 1 cup of water in a spray bottle, then add 2 Tablespoons liquid soap and 10 drops of essential oils of choice such as clove and rosemary for disinfecting and shake. To use - just shake the bottle, spray onto surface and wipe off as normal.

These cleaning products are quick and easy to make and are much cheaper to make than those bought in the supermarket particularly if you buy your products in bulk.

After cleaning up the cleaning products...ha ha...and a bite to eat for lunch it was off to the State Rose Gardens for a visit. Each year there seem to be more gardens and different features there and the roses are looking stunning at present.  For some reason I can never capture their beauty but, if you are ever in Toowoomba during rose season, it is worth taking a walk through these gardens to see them for yourself.


There are so many varieties there and I particularly loved the colours of these roses.

 The park is often the venue for weddings on a weekend but today, as it was quite hot,  there were mainly families sitting in the shaded areas who looked like they were celebrating a birthday...

...and a few dedicated rose lovers who were being silly by walking around in the sun and probably getting sunburnt :-)  As I said it was a lovely end to the day.

Seeing as I have spent Saturday socialising that leaves one day to find some cool clothes to wear in 38 degree heat next week, pack my suitcase as well as organise meals for the menfolk while I am away. I found the 28C today quite hot so I think I will be spending next week in the aircon! 


  1. The climbing roses at the walkway are so cute. I have always dreamed (actually appeared in a dream or two) of having some kind of walkway with twining flowers arched over it. Not practical with our winters, just too much work.

    I have always wanted to live up high, even higher than I live now, but I forgot there would be stairs, so much for yearning for third or fourth floors.

  2. That arbor is beautiful - I dream of such a thing on my property.

  3. Its always great to find cheaper alternatives to label cleaning products. I found this "Miracle Spray" online recently too:

    It works really good, especially spraying on stains on clothing, before putting them in the wash. I thought it could replace the vinegar spray, but its not that great on glass surfaces, as it leaves an oily veneer (thanks to the eucalyptus oil) but for everything else its great. :)

  4. Nanna Chel,
    It was a good workshop, so much good information too. I came home with that laundry powder too.

  5. I wish I had a workshop like this. I made my detergent until I moved recently. But I plan to start again. I think I may try that multipurpose spray. Sounds great. Beautiful gardens.


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