Wednesday, April 21, 2010

MKP Client Amy Boggs on Top Morning Show

Amy Boggs, owner of Sparkling Palaces, the only 100% green local cleaning company, makes a repeat appearance to share her green cleaning knowledge on AM NW. This show, broadcast live at 9:00am weekdays on KATU channel 2, is the top rated morning show in Portland.

AM NW producers and hosts Helen and Dave were so impressed with Amy's appearance last month, they invited her back for their Earth Week celebration this April! Check out the full clip here.

Here's the tips she shared:

Amy Boggs, owner of a local green cleaning company, joined us today with tips on how to clean without chemicals.
Here are Amy's tips:
All-Purpose Cleaner:
  • Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda (or 2 teaspoons borax) into 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water. Store and keep. Use for removal of water deposit stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors, etc.
  • Another alternative is microfiber cloths which lift off dirt, grease and dust without the need for cleaning chemicals, because they are formulated to penetrate and trap dirt. There are a number of different brands. A good quality cloth can last for several years.

Carpet stains:
  • Mix equal parts white vinegar and water in a spray bottle. Spray directly on stain, let sit for several minutes, and clean with a brush or sponge using warm soapy water.
  • For fresh grease spots, sprinkle corn starch onto spot and wait 15 - 30 minutes before vacuuming.
  • For a heavy duty carpet cleaner, mix 1/4 cup each of salt, borax and vinegar. Rub paste into carpet and leave for a few hours. Vacuum.

  • Carpets - sprinkle with baking soda several hours before vacuuming - can also place a cotton ball with essential oil on it in the vacuum bag.
  •  Plastic food storage containers - soak overnight in warm water and baking soda
  • In-sink garbage disposal units - grind up lemon or orange peel in the unit
  • Garage, basements - set a sliced onion on a plate in center of room for 12 - 24 hours

  • Mix 2 teaspoons borax, 4 tablespoons vinegar and 3 cups hot water.  For stronger cleaning power add 1/4 teaspoon liquid castile soap.
  • Wipe on with dampened cloth or use non-aerosol spray bottle. (This is not an antibacterial formula. The average kitchen or bathroom does not require antibacterial cleaners.)
To disinfect kitchen sponges, put them in the dishwasher when running a load.

Fabric softener:
  • To reduce static cling, dampen your hands,
  • then shake out your clothes as you remove them from the drier.
  • Line-drying clothing is another alternative.

Stickers on walls:
  • To remove, sponge vinegar over them several times
  • Wait 15 minutes,
  • then rub off the stickers.
  • This also works for price tags (stickers) on tools, etc.

Water Rings on Wood:
  • Water rings on a wooden table or counter are the result of moisture that is trapped under the topcoat, but not the finish.
  • Try applying toothpaste or mayonnaise to a damp cloth and rub into the ring.
  • Once the ring is removed, buff the entire wood surface.
Stainless Steel Polish:

  • Rub Stainless Steel with Baby Oil
  • Your carpet and rug fibers trap dirt and allergens - such as pet dander and pollen - so when you walk on them, the particles are agitated and released back into the air. 
  • A good vacuum will have a brush roller on it to beat the fibers to release the dirt, so it can be removed with the suction of the vacuum.

Monday, April 12, 2010

The Benefits of Massage on our Minds and Bodies

I recently had lunch with Heather, most recently the Marketing Director at The Dragontree, who will be taking on more of a part time role at The Dragontree in order to continue her scholastic studies. As we discussed passing the torch to me to handle the marketing and PR for this lovely spa, I asked her, "why do you love your job, and why do you love massage? What is the fundamental message I need to know to promote this amazing spa to our community?"

Heather shared with me a very personal story about her experience of bringing peace and pain relief to a dear friend who was dying of cancer a few years ago, and it made me stop and realize that a spa day to a healthy person is relaxing and luxurious. But to some, a massage can be life changing, with health benefits we can only begin to imagine. Though her friend did eventually succumb to the disease, Heather told me it was an amazing experience to bring peace and relief to her friend through gentle touch in her final days.

We all know we live in a stress-worn world, and understand the amazing relief we feel after an all over body massage. This is because our body and mind communicate with each other, which means mental stress manifests itself as physical tension. Some people don't even know they're stressed until it comes out in a physical symptom such as a headache, a twitching muscle or eye lid or something similar. The calm we feel after a massage is not just the muscles relaxing, but our emotions and mind calming as well. People who receive regular massages experience decreased anxiety, depression and fatigue. This is because gentle forms of massage can affect the nervous system and help to release endorphins, or your body's natural "feel good" chemicals.

As Heather demonstrated on my hand by gently moving her two fingers in an upward motion from the back of my hand, up my wrist and toward my elbow, even a simple touch like this is beneficial to relieving pain due to clogged lymph nodes, which is the relief she brought to her friend. A more rigorous massage tells the body to release endorphins that induce relaxation and reduce the body's production of stress hormones. The reason I have the utmost respect for the therapists who work at The Dragontree is because they are experts in their field. They know what our bodies need, in terms of massage and touch, better than we know ourselves.

Studies have shown that massage helps alleviate the pains of not only cancer patients, but many other diseases as well, including arthritis, gastrointestinal problems, premenstrual syndrome symptoms and the aches and pains of pregnancy. New studies indicate Alzheimer's patients and kids with autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may also benefit from massage.

Massage does much more than relieve everyday stress, and studies continue to prove it. As a community, we will continue to look to the experts at The Dragontree not only for a day of pampering or an hour of bliss, but to ease our aches and pains, center our minds, and help us live a more stress free life.

See this original blog post on The Dragontree- A Holistic Day Spa's blog or read more blogs from The Dragontree about health and wellness here.