Home & Family

Silk&Burlap Family: Life LessonsJan 18, 2016

Today I taught my kids how to deposit their pay checks into their bank accounts.

Mom goals...100!


Smariga Kids enjoying being customers at our Terrarium Event

When Angelique and I started this business, our kids ranged from 1 yrs to 7 yrs old. Little A and little G have essentially grown up as shop babies. Tagging along as we navigated starting, running, and growing our business, it took a lot to keep them content and entertained.

Little A Exploring the SilkandBurlap Window

Little A from the outside looking in at Silk&Burlap

One of the things Angelique and I talked about when we were hatching our plan for Silk&Burlap was the desire to set an example for our kids. We knew that as impressive as it was to raise 3 kids a piece, they may not recognize our efforts as "above and beyond ordinary" (as they should I might add!). We wanted our kids to see that hardwork and dedication outside of our daily routines was a valuable way to contribute to the well being of our family and community.


Little G and Little A keeping themselves entertained while we work

As the kids have grown older and more capable, they have often joined us at work and pitched in with day to day business….mopping floors, ticketing product, entering inventory, posting products on the website, and greeting and ringing customers.  Each has a task they gravitate to, and we love that!

Little L mopping up a storm at Silk&Burlap

Little L mopping up a storm at Silk&Burlap


Little A hard at work

Little A learning to merchandise product

Some, more than others, jumped at the chance to join us at the shop and enjoyed learning about product and running a business….Recently, we started reimbursing them for their contributions of time dedicated to advancing our business, and they received their first checks.

Little N pitching in to help on a LAX free weekend

 Not so little anymore N pitching in to help on a weekend free of lacrosse tournaments

 They originally grumbled at my suggestions that we make an outing out of depositing these checks at the bank, but once faced with filling out deposit slips and navigating account numbers, they were all in. Who doesn't love a good fill in the boxes challenge!  They learned how to deposit, how to fill out “less cash received”, how to endorse their checks…..and most importantly, they have learned the value of hard work—and they are pleased! It is a blessing to have the tools to be able to teach them little life lessons, and we look forward to the days they can work for us: summer job? buyer? manager?  Who knows where the future of Silk&Burlap will take them, but for now, I know, the things they are absorbing will no doubt lead them to be successful young adults. And I couldn’t be more proud.


Taking a break during GNO Frederick

All grown up, our littlest shop girls take a break during our GNO Frederick Charity Event


Camp S&B

 Our stock room turned summer camp at Silk&Burlap





We at Silk&Burlap like to mix things up. Literally and figuratively. We like old & new, tough & tender, modern technology & old fashioned ways. We incorporate this not only in our aesthetics but in some of our everyday chores as well. From a pizza dough recipe passed down to Saule from her grandmother to the natural DIY cleaning products Angelique makes passed onto her from her sister. 

In our first post on natural cleaning, we shared our favorite recipe for an All Purpose Counter Spray. As promised, here is the recipe for our natural DIY Sink & Tub Scrub.

For this cleaning product, we chose citrus essential oils. Not only are all three oils effective on germs with antimicrobial, antiseptic, anti-bacterial properties they also are great at neutralizing kitchen and bathroom odors. They also have the added benefit of beautiful aromatherapy. They are energizing & uplifting. 

This recipe contains essential oils as well as Borax. A few things to mention on both. There are some articles out there pertaining to the toxicity of Borax. Since this is a post on natural cleaning, I felt it was worth a mention to clarify. Borax is a salt of Boric Acid but it is not Boric Acid. Katie over at Wellness Mama writes about the difference between the two so perfectly here, we're just going to link to her for you to read should you have concerns about the usage of Borax in our recipe. You could always eliminate it but may need to put more elbow grease into your scrubbing. Regarding essential oils, just like the common sense in not ingesting Borax, it should be mentioned that essential oils are in a highly concentrated form and these are not meant for ingesting.

***Essential oils are in a highly concentrated form and these are not to be ingested.

Borax is not to be ingested.

Keep away from children and pets. If ingested, call poison control.***

The Bottle!

We like packaging that is simple yet pretty. Since we are working with cleaning products we worked on keeping the look clean & simple. Below you will see an assortment from a trip to Joann Fabric to include a mason jar with a pretty gold lid. You could be even more frugal and repurpose a jar from a store bought sauce cleaned out. So long as you use glass versus plastic since the oils will break down the plastic over time and it could leach into your cleaner. 

The line up...
Essential oils from Aura Cacia
Ta Daaaaa!!
It looks almost as good as it works & smells. Happy Cleaning!
Power couple. Dynamic duo. All Purpose Spray meets Scrub.


When it comes to cleaning my home, I prefer to keep it simple and toxin free. There are a gazillion recipes online regarding how to clean just about anything with homemade recipes using basic household pantry products from vinegar to baking soda to vodka...like I said, basic household pantry items:-)
I have a few recipes that I've been making for years that I not only feel are effective, but make the  house smell fabulous while cleaning.  Additionally, I feel the air quality is healthier while the little boost from aromatherapy is a bonus.

So to kick off a series of easy DIY natural household cleaners, we're starting with my favorite All Purpose Counter Spray. It not only has essential oils in it that help to kill off germs, but also Castile soap which is tough on dirt and grime. I have a heavy hand when using the essential oils and prefer my cleaners to be very aromatic. You'll see in my recipe below, I work in the very scientific way of measuring by the "capful" vs drops. Adjust yours to your preference in scent which is also easier on the budget if you decide to go with a lighter hand. That being said, my essential oils go a lot further than buying traditional household cleaners.
We use this spray on kitchen counters, the kitchen table, painted cabinets and on bathroom counters & surfaces. 

****Important note - be sure to test these cleaners on a small, inconspicuous spot on your counters to ensure there are no unexpected reactions.  Although there shouldn't be any issues, it's better to be safe****

We will follow this post with a sink and tub scrub, a disinfecting cleaner, a window/glass cleaner, a floor cleaner, a mold & mildew cleaner and a toilet bowl cleaner...so stay tuned!


For this cleaner, Tea Tree, Lavender & Eucalyptus are my go to oils for the base of the cleaner. The Tea Tree & Eucalyptus have a strong antiseptic/clean smell. The Lavender softens the Tea Tree. I will vary it by adding the peppermint in the summer & cinnamon in the winter months. Rosemary or Lemon instead of the Eucalyptus are also nice for a kitchen cleaner.  

Tea Tree has anti-fungal, anti-bacterial & anti-viral properties + is tough on mold & mildew.
Lavender has anti-bacterial & anti-viral properties + is a natural insect repellent.
Eucalyptus has anti-bacterial, anti-microbial properties, is a great odor remover + is a natural insect repellent.
Peppermint has powerful anti-bacterial properties, is uplifting & refreshing + is a natural insect repellent.

***Essential oils are in a highly concentrated form and these are not to be ingested. Keep away from children and pets. If ingested, call poison control.***
The Bottle!

Glass is preferred to plastic. The oils can break down the plastic over time which can leech into your "natural" cleaner. We ordered this bottle here. I love the simplicity and size of it. Adorable.
If you don't want to spend additional money on packaging you could be thrifty and upcycle a Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar bottle. Source the nozzle online at Uline.

Dr. Bronner's Castile Soap is an all vegetable oil-based soap that is very pure, has many uses around the house as well as on the body. I love it because it is effective at tackling dirt & grease but does not require a lot of rinsing after the initial wipe down.

A healthy serving of aromatherapy & germ fighting essential oils.

Pretty labels!
I bought tags, etc below at Joann's


Ta Daaaaa!!
It looks almost as good as it works and smells. Happy cleaning.


We'd love to hear from you. Please leave us your favorite cleaning product recipes, success stories, etc in the comment section below. 

Saule & Angelique



Girls Night Out is coming soon!Mar 26, 2014

Be sure to get your tickets early for the next GNO which benefits the Heartly House.  Mark it down on your calendars - April 11th.  Call 301-360-9648 for more information.  See you there!


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