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Here Are a Few of My Favorite Things… #3 Will Surprise You!

By Carol Stanley December 12, 2023 Lifestyle

I am sure those words from The Sound of Music sound familiar to you. I am going to share with you a few of my favorite things since we are in the Holiday Season. These are products I use daily, and they offer solutions for many issues. Also, they are non-toxic, healthful and save money in some cases.

I love using anything natural as it is one more defense against health issues as we age. I also feel it is important to keep our homes clean and sanitized.

Truly, I am into researching the best way to support aging gracefully which gave me the inspiration to write my book, Feel Better Every Day. Sometimes, life just happens no matter what we do but we can try our best to stay healthy and feel good.

Baking Soda

I love baking soda and use it every day in one way or another. I remember my mother having a box of baking soda open in the fridge. Other than that, I never heard of anyone actually using it for anything else.

I have a cup of baking soda in the laundry room for washing clothes, next to the litter box, and one in each bathroom for quick cleaning.

When I am in a hurry, I often just pour a little in the toilet, sinks and tub and clean up in about 10 minutes. I also mix baking soda with white vinegar and a favorite essential oil such as lemon or lavender, and clean almost everything in my house.

I make my own toothpaste which is far superior to commercial brands that possess many additives. Also, my husband gets an occasional bout of heartburn and one teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water ends it.

Cacao Powder

Most of you are familiar with cocoa powder, and cacao powder is just the healthier version. There are no preservatives added and also no heat treatment. Cacao powder is reported to have four times the antioxidant power then regular cocoa powder.

Add some to your coffee or milk, or make delicious chocolate pudding. It can be a healthy substitute when you need cocoa for a recipe. The good news is that most of us love chocolate so why not use the best?

Hydrogen Peroxide

My first experience with hydrogen peroxide was as a teenager. I dipped some cotton in the solution and spread it on my hair. I got the results I wanted ­– red/orange hair, and a very angry mother, which was not in my plan.

Today, I add a few drops of 3% hydrogen peroxide in my toothpaste blend, and some to my cleaning solutions and produce wash. It is also excellent for scratches and bruises.

Tonic Water

I am not going to suggest Gin and Tonic here, though it is certainly okay. I keep a bottle of tonic in my house for that occasional leg cramp. As I hobble to the kitchen, I take a few sips and the cramp is gone.

Cider Vinegar

This vinegar has been around for years and was used to cure many illnesses. There is lots of hype today with reports of curing many illnesses and conditions.

I personally use it for making salad dressings and even adding to soups and stews. I was in the fabric store the other day and chatting with the sales lady about my book. Anyone who will listen gets an earful.

She told me about her experience with cider vinegar. She had a stroke several years ago and now has her cider vinegar every day. She is no longer on blood pressure medication. You may want to research for yourself. I have done a lot of reading about cider vinegar and feel it may be wise taking it every day.

Lavender Essential Oil

I love essential oils and make many lotions and potions. Lavender is my favorite and appears in many recipes that I create. I even keep a small bottle by my computer and give it a sniff when I feel stressed or tired.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Do you have some favorite natural things you use? I would love to know about them, so please share in the comments below.

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Eleanor Murphy

I love the scent of Lavender essential oil. I keep some by my bed at night. It relaxes me.

Toni Stritzke

Fractionated coconut oil from my health food dispenser. I make an insect repellant from this. Just add a few drops of lemon balm, lavender essential oils into a spray bottle filled with the coconut oil.
I use castor oil poultices for aches caused from arthritis. My wrist was so painful I did not know where to put it. I used the poultice for two weeks and I’ve had no further pain since.


A solution of 1 part lavender essential oil to 10 parts water is great for repelling bugs in summer. In Switzerland we sometimes get Asian shield back beetles (known as stink beetles because if you kill them the smell is horrendous). Spray some of the liquid on a soft cloth and wipe round the inside of your window frames, the perfumed smell repels them. Also good for ants and silverfish.

I always have baking soda and cider vinegar at home as well. Denture cleaning tablets are good for things like discouloration on cutlery. I clean my stainless steel kitchen sink by filling it with water and adding a toilet bleach tablet. Let the tablet dissolve and leave for a while, then drain the water and wipe out the sink.

Janne Perry

Interesting choices and I would agree with most! Do you not use Baking Soda when baking? It’s a leavening agent, an ingredient in Baking Powder and often used in recipes that involve dried fruit.

Apple cider vinegar is a must in my kitchen – nice and tangy in Aioli!


I agree. Baking soda is a staple in my home. I not only use it for baking but for many other things. A paste of baking soda and water placed on a sting, bite, or rash will draw out the poison. It’s good to brush your teeth with now and then (or always if you choose). Making a paste of baking soda, toothpaste, and hydrogen peroxide is an excellent teeth whitener.

Hydrogen peroxide is also a staple of mine. It can be used to get mildew out of fabric and is essential in inducing vomiting in dogs if you think they have swallowed or eaten something they shouldn’t.

I also keep activated charcoal. It’s a good antidote for poison and great for polishing your teeth.

I can’t use lavender on my skin but I can put it in a spray for household use. The essential oil I make sure I always have is Basil. It is wonderful for big bites and stings. It draws.

And apple cider vinegar is is a MUST! It is the ultimate beauty product. Diluted it makes the perfect hair rinse and bath soak. Your skin will exhibit amazing results. Diluted with water it also beats Windex hands down as a glass cleaner. And one should definitely ingest a couple teaspoons a day for optimum health.

And did you know you are supposed to save your potato water (after boiling potatoes) and use it as a face wash?


The Author

Carol Stanley has many interests in life including writing, reading, cooking, biking and speaking. However, she feels most passionate about her painting which she says keeps her centered and content. Her art appears on Fine Art America at You can also visit Carol’s website at where her book, Feel Better Every Day, is available for sale.

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