simple pretty in my kitchen

Since coming home from our trip I've tackled a few household projects. Putting away Christmas decorations (now that we're down to one bin of decorations that process is almost painless), setting up a new winter wear system in the front porch with repurposed toy storage bins, and cleaning the fridge.

I love organizing our home and simplifying our space but one particular little "genius" of mine makes me smile the many times a day I find myself standing at our kitchen sink. I use a bar of my handmade soap (an extra sudsy recipe) for washing dishes. I also keep a container of baking soda handy for everything and anything. You all know how baking soda is good for whatever ails you, in terms of household cleaning. So I like it nice and handy by my dishes.

Problem was, I was having "soap drip" and baking soda storage problems. Last fall I devised a short term solution of re-using a styrofoam mushroom container (what on earth am I supposed to do with these things??) to hold both my soap and baking soda.

Functional, yes. Pretty, no. Teacup to the rescue.

Before I was married, almost 15 years ago, I was given a bridal shower where each guest brought a used teacup & saucer. Back in the day I actually used teacups. I don't use teacups any longer, a hefty mug suits me better these days, but I still love those pretty cups.

I decided to put one to good use and enjoy it's daintiness in my kitchen by converting it into a soap dish and soda sprinkling cup.

It might not be everyone's cup of tea but I like it's functional beauty.

Thanks Jamie at Steady Days for her Moms' 30 Minute Blog Challenge. A fun challenge for this wordy blogger. 

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  • Kika

    Kika on Jan. 5, 2010, 8:32 p.m.

    Very pretty. A little off topic - but I am amazed and delighted to have found yet another use for plain old baking soda. After trying myriad (expensive) natural deodorants and not liking any of them, I am successfully using plain baking soda. Amazingly, it eliminates all body odor even though I still sweat. Thought I'd share in case anyone else wants to give this healthy and frugal deodorant option a try.


    • Spring

      Spring on Jan. 6, 2010, 3:46 a.m.

      Kika, Can I ask exactly how you use the baking soda as a deodorant? My hubby was intrigued! :)

      And Renee, love the idea. I have tea cups on the shelf above my sink holding my sponge, and a bar of your soap. :) (The orange clove one I got from your class).


      • nicola@which name?

        nicola@which name? on Jan. 6, 2010, 5:48 p.m.

        corn starch works really well, renee. just dust it on. nicola

        nicola@which name?'s last blog post... self-contentedness


        • renee

          renee on Jan. 7, 2010, 12:01 a.m.

          actually that was spring who asked I use my own mix, kind of like lotion, inspired by this recipe from angry chicken


      • Kika

        Kika on Jan. 13, 2010, 6:03 p.m.

        Sorry for the delayed response - just saw your question now, Spring. I just keep a little container in my bathroom of plain baking soda and, after my shower, scoop a tiny bit on my fingers and gently and quickly rub under my arms. I do this over the sink so if any powder falls it lands in the sink. So simple and effective. Sometimes when I feel myself sweating I give myself a little 'sniff test' because I cannot believe I don't smell!


  • Cori

    Cori on Jan. 5, 2010, 9:40 p.m.

    I'm sure it would be broken within a week around here, but very dainty! I just bought mushrooms for the first time in a very long while this morning. I think I now have a use for the container!!

    Cori's last blog post... bittersweet


  • Alisha

    Alisha on Jan. 6, 2010, 1 a.m.

    Cute idea! What would the world be like without smaht people like you, Renee?

    Alisha's last blog post... Clothing Confuddlement


  • turnitupmom

    turnitupmom on Jan. 6, 2010, 3:10 a.m.

    Thanks for reminding me that baking soda does the trick too! Hey, this could be in Real Simple's magazine section, "New Uses for Old Things"....clever!!

    turnitupmom's last blog post... Dear Jet Blue Passenger


  • se7en

    se7en on Jan. 6, 2010, 8:55 a.m.

    That is just lovely. Brilliant to find a use for something that would be stuck in a cupboard because we can't stand to part with it!!! I love it!!!

    se7en's last blog post... Se7en Resolve to do More of the Same?


  • Rana

    Rana on Jan. 6, 2010, 1:43 p.m.

    Great idea and very pretty. My Nana left me and my sister a few very pretty tea cups and I was looking for a way to use a couple other than just sitting on a shelf. I like this idea.

    Rana's last blog post... December 100 books a month continues


  • exhale. return to center.

    exhale. return to center. on Jan. 6, 2010, 9:43 p.m.

    love it renee!

    my mother-in-law gave me some tea cups and saucers a while back that have been packed away in boxes. (i'm a hefty mug girl too!)

    this is really fun though!!

    exhale. return to center.'s last blog post... the milk run


  • Naomi

    Naomi on Jan. 8, 2010, 5:36 p.m.

    Love the idea! It makes me happy to take pretty things or memorabilia objects out of the closet and use them for various purposes. My current project is giving my craft drawers to the kids for toys and instead using all the baskets and tins I've kept in the closet to store various craft supplies. Glen will soon be building me a couple shelves in the livingroom to store all my pretty baskets and tins and I know I'll love it SO much more than those plastic drawers which are already working great for storing children's toys. Repurposing is awesome!


    • Naomi

      Naomi on Jan. 8, 2010, 5:37 p.m.

      I take that back, I should have said "display" my pretty baskets, not "store" my pretty baskets, since displaying them is half the fun! :0)


  • molly

    molly on March 3, 2010, 2:52 a.m.

    Brilliant! Is it just me, or is the "re-use" part of what I already have so much harder than the "thrift a new one!" part? That whole "nose on my face" business trips me up every time... Now if you'll excuse me, I have some orphan tea cups to re-purpose...


  • Cat

    Cat on June 24, 2012, 12:42 a.m.

    How beautiful! I have some old cups and saucers that I was given by my grandmother. This would be a great way to keep then in view, and use.

    Would you be willing to share your extra sudsy recipe for washing your dishes? I've just started making soap and am excited to try your laundry mix, as well as your lip balm and lotion (though I'm kind of holding out and waiting to hear if you've come up with a borax free option for that). Thank you so much for sharing these recipes!


    • renee

      renee on June 24, 2012, 1:27 p.m.

      Cat, I'm honestly not sure what recipe I was referring to in this post. My basic cleaning soap recipe is here and I have used this for dishes. I now use storebought dish soap, you can read about that here. 


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