Saturday, May 1, 2010

Inspiration Avenue Blog Party


I'm so happy you could attend our blog party.

My name is Small Footprints and I'll be your hostess for this segment of the festivities.

If this is your first blog party, let me explain a bit about it. I am privileged to be a member of a global Etsy team called Inspiration Avenue. Awhile back we held an art auction for charity and, because of our generous readers, were able to raise over $500.00 for a wonderful organization called Angel Faces. So, in celebration, we decided to have a party.

Each member of the team, and some of our friends, has prepared something special for you ... a "lesson". It might be a recipe, a tutorial or simply some wise words from someone who has lived well. One thing is for sure ... when the party is over you'll go home with a bag full of goodies.

Once you've spent a little time with me, please click on the badge at the beginning of this post to head over to the main party room. There you'll find links to other lessons. Oh ... and I see that some of you have brought treats of your own ... please leave a link to your lesson in the comments section at Inspiration Avenue.

So ... ready to begin? My gifts to you are Eco-friendly, frugal cleanser recipes. Now ... you might not think that these recipes are anything special but, let me tell you ... they work great and they are non-toxic. That means ... no possibility of accidental poisoning ... no harmful fumes to breathe in (ever wonder what causes those headaches that seem to appear when cleaning?) ... and no harm to the earth. And oh yeah ... these recipes are made from stuff you probably already have in your pantry so ... they are easy on the wallet.

First up ... my favorite all-around cleaning/scrubbing compound:

In a wide-mouthed jar with lid, mix equal parts vinegar and baking soda. Add a drop or two of your favorite essential oil, place the lid on the jar and gently shake to mix all the ingredients. Use this to scrub the bathroom, kitchen or even pots and pans. The baking soda is slightly abrasive but won't hurt surfaces. The vinegar, in addition to cleaning well, kills germs and bacteria.

Next ... a real easy, effective window cleaner:

In a spray bottle, mix equal parts water and vinegar. Spray on windows and wipe clean. We're talking brilliantly clean windows here!

One of my favorites ... the best drain cleaner in the world (okay, that's my opinion):

Pour about 1/4 cup baking soda into the drain. Follow with 1/4 cup vinegar. Let it work for awhile then flush with water. For really clogged drains, you might need a couple of applications.

Finally, how about this substitute for bleach in your laundry:

When the washer has filled with water, add 1-2 cups of hydrogen peroxide. Agitate for a minute to mix. Then, let it soak for at least one hour (overnight is even better). Add detergent and wash as normal.

Now that you've scrubbed and cleaned ... I think it's time for a treat! So ... how about a little Strawberry Shortcake? Here you go:

Vegan Strawberry Shortcake

2 & 1/4 cups all-purpose unbleached flour
4 tsp. baking powder
2 Tbs. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup oil or shortening
1 egg substitute (Ener-G), prepared and beaten
2/3 cup soy milk
3 pints fresh strawberries
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups whipped topping of your choice (Hip Whip, etc.) or Vegan Ice Cream

  • Slice the strawberries and sprinkle them with 1/2 cup of sugar. Let stand.
  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • Grease and flour one 8" cake pan.
  • In a medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, 2 Tbs. sugar, and salt.
  • With a pastry blender (or two knives), cut in the oil or shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
  • Make a well in the center and add the beaten egg sub. and soy milk. Stir until just combined.
  • Spread the batter into the prepared pan.
  • Bake at 425 F for 15 minutes, or until golden brown.
  • Let cool partially in the pan on wire rack.
  • Slice partially-cooled cake in half, making two layers.
  • Arrange the strawberries on one layer, and the top with the other layer.
  • Top with remaining strawberries, and cover with the whipped topping or ice cream.

    By the way, if you're curious about why a vegan/vegetarian diet is good for the planet, please click HERE.

So there you are ... I hope you have enjoyed your time with me. Leave me a link so I can get to know you better ... and have a great time with the rest of the party hosts and guests!

Website Widgets


  1. well that was the best party bag I've had in ages - thank you so much!

    I love your recipes; and can't wait now for the first of the seasons strawberries to make your shortcake.

    My favourite essential oils for your all round cleaner are lemon and lavender - they smell fantastic together and have the added bonus of being powerfully antiseptic :)

    Love this blog party and off to read some of the other entries now!

  2. Great tips, I will have to try those, I knew about vinegar on windows but the rest was new. Great looking cake too, now I'm hungry

  3. Great tips I will give them a try. The Strawberry cake looks yummy, now I am hungry.

  4. I love all the vinegar usage ideas...I used to have a book on all the things you can do with I want to find it! Thanks for the tip, I'm going to try them out.

  5. These are great recipes for cleaners! I hate those strong, store-bought cleaners, they make me feel sick. Vinegar is great, and sometimes all you really need is water!

    I just bought strawberries at the market! I will try your shortcake recipe!

  6. Thank you for sharing so many great tips!

    I've tried the vinegar window cleaner before and it works really well. I love that these use items that I already have in the house - I'm going to clean the bathroom with your cleaner tomorrow!

    Those shortcakes look yummy too, summer on a plate!

  7. Great ideas. For many reasons, I shouldn't be using harsh store-bought cleaners. I will mark this.


    P.S. My daughter and I are relatively new bloggers...come by if you would like. It really is not all about jewelry! We like too many arts and crafts!

  8. I have used many of these home cleaners. It's better for the environment, and for my health. Vinegar is a fantastic cleaner on it's own. I use it to remove hard water deposits!

  9. I can tell you that the drain cleaner absolutely works! I use it all the time. I am all about everything environmentally friendly.
    I am also salivating over that strawberry shortcake and have already cut and pasted your recipe. I always use Soy milk and can't wait to fix it!
    You are a great party host!
    have a lovely day!

  10. Thanks for sharing, Cyndi! I use a lot of vinegar and baking soda in household cleaning, my favorite home cleaners too!!!

  11. I was looking foward to you post all week. I always read your posts and Wednesday challenge to Mia at lunch time (she is cyber-schooled)
    She always says "we already do that" which is true, I try to be as green as Kermit the frog :D
    But I think it's important for her to realize...the whole world is not like us...and we can help guide change. I LOVE your blog and suggest it to a lot of people. It's important work you are doing.
    Thank YOU :)

    And I am giving Mia the recipe...she is a wiz in the kitchen and has a taste for sweets...who doesn't?

  12. Hi sweets! Great cleaning tips. Thank you. I will be trying the baking soda and vinegar one tomorrow.
    Love strawberry shortcake. Yum!

  13. Great tips! Who knew baking soda was so versatile! I have a question though- why use an egg substitute? I don't think we have that here in the Philippines! Thanks for sharing!
    :^) patsy

  14. Hi Patsy,

    That's a great question ... and really, I should have mentioned that the recipe is Vegan. I believe that one of the easiest ways to reduce our carbon footprint on the earth is by eating meatless meals ... raising animals takes a lot more natural resources than raising plant-based foods. So, once a month, I post a vegan recipe ... and this is one of those recipes.

    Thanks for asking ... I'm going to go and make a quick "edit" on this post!

    Hope everyone is enjoying the party!!

    Small Footprints

  15. Wow, I can't believe how much I'm learning with this party, these were so cool Cyndi, thanks so much! I've even taken notes!

  16. The only Strawberry Shortcake I've eaten over the past decade is the kind served at KFC. I really need to get out more!

  17. Thank you so much for these recipes and tips- now one question- do you have any offerings for the garden? We garden organically and are always looking for tips! See ya back at the party!

  18. I can't wait to try this recipe. Sounds delish!

  19. Hi Stephanie,

    As a matter of fact, I do have some tips on gardening:

    Mulching (

    Growing Your Own Food (

    Composting in a small space (

    I have a few others, as well ... try typing in a key word in the search tool in the left sidebar of this blog!

    Thanks for asking!


  20. Being a long time vegetarian and lover of the earth and earth friendly projects, I love what you have posted here. I use all these products/recipes except the bleach substitute, which was new to me. I will add that toothpaste made from a baking soda and salt paste are good for the environment, inexpensive, and not harmful to even small children.

    Thanks for the wonderful post. I can't wait to try the vegan shortcake. I am off to check out the vegan/vegetarian link you provided, then I will be rejoining the blog party.

  21. Great party! I'm still reading through y'all's ideas when I realized I needed to create a list of my own how-to's. So I posted on that:

    How to Compile your list of how tos.

    And now ... back to reading YOUR ideas!!

  22. Great tips and recipes. I really like the natural cleaners and of course dessert.. YUM!


    Today, I am thinking of the future, for our children and our children's children.

  24. Thank you for the cleaning tips and recipe!! Keep up the good work!

  25. Thanks for stopping by with such sweet comments! Thanks also for those fabulous tips! The recipe made my mouth water :)

    Sandy xox

  26. Thanks for all of the great tips. I'm looking forward to more. :))

  27. What great tips thank you. We have a programme here in the UK called How clean is your House? With Aggie and Kim the presenters and they use alot of these cleaning methods, and believe me these houses are so downright filthy its amazing how clean they come up!! Oh and your recipe looks very yummy too!!!