Top 10 Things In My Arsenal of Kitchen Witchy Mama Tricks.

Welcome to the March Carnival of Natural Parenting: Natural Parenting Top 10 Lists

This post was written for inclusion in the monthly Carnival of Natural Parenting hosted by Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama. This month our participants have shared Top 10 lists on a wide variety of aspects of attachment parenting and natural living. Please read to the end to find a list of links to the other carnival participants.



I try to parent as gently as I can, and I want to have as natural a home environment for my littles as possible.  I do my best to keep the chemicals and preservatives out of our house, to reduce the garbage  that piles in front of our house on trash day.  I want to show my kids that doing our part to take care of the world we live in is important.  For us, it is how we show our love for Mother Earth.

So I keep certain things on hand to make our lives and this household run smoothly.


These are some of my favorite things in my kitchen witch momma arsenal:


Several gallons of assorted vinegars.

I use it to whiten my sink and sweeten the drain, clean stains, soften laundry, get lime deposits out of my tea kettle, clean the coffee pot, polish chrome, clean windows, wash hair, improve our health…  It has a million uses….


A mixture of 1 teaspoon of liquid detergent and 1 teaspoon of white distilled vinegar in a pint of lukewarm water will remove non-oily stains from carpets. Apply it to the stain with a towel and gently rub, then blot with water to rinse.


To make a fantastic all purpose cleaner, mix 1 part water to 1 part vinegar in a new spray bottle and it will clean most areas of your home.


To clean calcium and lime deposits (as well as coffee ick) I fill the reservoir with white vinegar and run through the brew cycle once a month. Rinse thoroughly with two cycles of cold water.



We use towels and rags in the kitchen, cloth napkins, pads and clothdiapers…  We are working to get as much paper out of our house as possible!  In fact, its become a running joke that any time my mother comes to visit she will ask me if I have any paper towels at least once.  So now I keep a roll on the dispenser for her drop by visits.  I only go through one roll every couple of months, but it does come in handy for things like cat sick or poo.



My composter and garden..

I don’t have either anymore…  I had to leave both at the old apartment and I MISS them every day.  I feel so guilty when we throw away anything that would have gone into the composter.  I loved burying our kitchen scraps in the earth of my composter, knowing that every visit out there was helping to create beautiful rich soil for my garden!  If I can find a good sunny spot in my very shady yard, I’d love to get both garden and composter going  once spring finally arrives.


Coconut products.

We drink coconut milk, use coconut creamer in our coffee, eat coconut ice cream and use coconut oil in our cooking and baking- super healthy and a perfect source of energy…  Coconut oil is also great as a beauty product (it makes a great deodorant when mixed with baking soda!) and a base for making salves or deodorant!


Coconut Deodorant:

5 Tbsp. of Coconut Oil

1/3 cup of Baking Soda

1/3 cup of Cornstarch (or arrowroot powder)

Essential oils (optional)

Gather whatever containers you want to use ( I prefer old empty deodorant applicators) Mix ingredients thoroughly you have a paste. You can add more baking soda and cornstarch in equal amounts if it doesn’t seem thick enough to you.  Scoop it into the containers and store.  You may want to store it in the fridge if the weather is hot.


My clothesline.

The first time my dryer broke it was the month before Cooper was born, and I panicked wondering how I would keep up with laundry and clothdiapers without it. Luckily we had a wonderful clothesline set up with four lines for hanging clothes because we were a family of seven at the time and doing laundry was a full time project.  I would hang the clothes out at least three times a day, every sunny day between June and November (when the huz bought me a new (old) dryer) and I loved it. It was my thinking time, my time to soak in the vitamin d and just be alone.  I miss having one.  I wish we could hang clothes here but the yard is almost completely shaded.  I’m not sure I will even get to have my beloved garden again.



Twitter is my sanity saver.  My go-to place for advice.  It is like having grandmothers, sisters, midwives, computer gurus, doctors and editors available twenty-four hours a day.  I am a better, calmer mother because of the wonderful community I’ve found on twitter.


Trader Joe’s.

I love Trader Joe’s.  My weekly visit has become my favorite part of errand day, and my freezer is stuffed with yummy saag paneer and naan.  I love that I can find interesting foods and a lot of organic stuff that I can’t find elsewhere.  I love that the ingredients on the label are usually stuff that I can pronounce.


My BabyHawk.

We’ve tried wraps, slings, and mei tais through our years of babywearing.  But my favorite is our BabyHawk mei tai. Now that Cooper is bigger, he doesn’t always like to be in it, but there were many times that dinner would not have been prepared, dolls would not have been sewn, and errands would not have been completed if I didn’t have babywearing in my arsenal of Mommy Tricks.


Glass jars.

I use these to store everything from leftovers to loose change, dried beans, pasta, rice, and herbs.  I am always on the prowl for another case of lovely wide-mouthed jars.  Now if only I could get over my fear of canning!



My Herbal Cupboard.

It is awesome that I can just grab the things I need to make the kids’ “magic” ouchie cream whenever we run out, tea for menstrual cramps, colds, sore throats…  As well as tinctures and baby butt balm!

Magick Ouchie Cream

1 cups calendula flower

1/2 cup comfrey leaf

1/2 cup chamomile flower

1/2 cup lavender flower

1/4 cup marshmallow root

2 cups almond oil (or whatever you’d like to substitute)

Grated beeswax ( about 1/4 cup grated for each cup of oil)

1. Combine the herbs and oil in a double boiler or a glass bowl set over a pot of simmering water. Let sit, stirring occasionally until the herbs have infused the oil, about an hour.  Strain.  (Or-the longer method, set herbs/oil in glass jar on a sunny windowsill for two weeks.  Strain through a cheesecloth.  Then place mixture in a double boiler and warm for 1 hour over very low heat.)

2. Add 1/4 cup grated beeswax for each cup of oil you now have. Continue to warm until beeswax is melted.

3. Check consistency by placing 1 tablespoon of mixture in the freezer for a few minutes. If too soft, add more beeswax. If too hard, add more oil.

4. Store in small jars or tins.


Carnival of Natural Parenting -- Hobo Mama and Code Name: MamaVisit Hobo Mama and Code Name: Mama to find out how you can participate in the next Carnival of Natural Parenting!

Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants:

(This list will be live and updated by afternoon March 8 with all the carnival links.)


  1. Leah Twitter: lealooboo says:

    My vinegar trick: Put a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a cup of water and pour it over the ends of your hair after you shampoo. Rinse it out well. Your hair might smell a TINY bit like vinegar when it’s damp, but I think it fades completely by the time it’s dry. You cannot believe how good it makes your hair feel. It’s AMAZING. I have NO problem brushing it after and it makes your hair SO shiny. TRY IT!
    Leah´s last post… Key West

  2. This is a fabulous list! I, too, love vinegar and coconut milk products. Some friends gave us half a dozen young coconuts this weekend and I’m looking forward to trying to make my own coconut milk as that So Delicious stuff is getting pricey! I am so thankful for the recipes you posted here, too! I need to try them both.
    Melissa @ The New Mommy Files´s last post… Sunday Surf- Respect

  3. Sarah says:

    This is great–I just have a question about the coconut oil deodorant–how do you actually put it on? I’m so used to roll on or stick–do you form it in into a stick or put it on like a thick powder or….I want to try this, but I can’t quite get my head around that part. Thanks for being so positive and inspiring!

  4. Your recipe for Magick Ouchie Cream contains some really unusual ingredients, afraid I’ve never even heard of comfrey leaf or chamomile flower. Is it different to find these ingredients and where would you start to look?
    SunShine´s last post… Garden Hammock


  1. [...] Top 10 Things In My Arsenal of Kitchen Witchy Mama Tricks. — Joni Rae at Tales of A Kitchen Witch shares with us the simple things she would never want to be missing from her cupboards. [...]

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