June 15, 2013

Homemade Exchange

Posted in Homemade...everything tagged , , , , at 10:10 am by mottoblasco

So my husband and I talked one day about trying a bunch of different homemade products, but since I am a SAHM of 5 kids, 2 of which are being Homeschooled I don’t have much free time on my hands.  Wouldn’t it be nice to have a party where we could try a lot of different products.  The Homemade Exchange was born!

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I emailed all the ladies I thought would be interested in being envolved and a few weeks later the day came.  There ended up being 11 participants(only 1 couldn’t come but was still able to contribute & benefit from it all) & 12 products 🙂

I will try to post links to give credit where credit is due as most of us got our ‘recipes’ from the www known to most of us as Pinterest 🙂

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Dishwasher detergent, Tub/shower cleanerToothpaste, Hand soap

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Lotion, Lip balm, Powdered Laundry Detergent, All-purpose Healing Salve(forgot to add this to the picture)

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Deodorant

Gel Air Fresheners

Deodorizing discs

Fauxbreeze

Liquid Laundry Detergent

(not pictured…oops:)

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April 27, 2013

Homemade dishwasher tablets THAT WORK!

Posted in Homemade...everything tagged , , at 5:49 pm by mottoblasco

Finally on my 5th attempt at a recipe for dishwashing detergent I found one that works!  Follow her instructions exactly and you will get great results.  I have 5 kids,  and hate chemicals that are in so many things.  Combine that with the fact that we are a family of 7 living on 1 income I have to be frugal/thrifty/cheap…call it what you may.  I found this thru Pinterest (thank you to the inventor of Pinterest!) and tried it.

A few notes:

~I have a baby and the nipples don’t get that greasy, white stuff on them nearly so bad.

~Make sure that your ice cube tray makes tabs that fit in the dishwasher…mine don’t 😦  I gotta cut it in half each time I wash a load.

~You NEED to top the tab w/ a little Dawn(like Jillee says to do) 🙂

~You NEED the vinegar in the wash too.  Pour it over the top or put it in a cup, just make sure it’s in there!(like Jillee says to do) 🙂

Homemade dishwasher tabs

 

P.S . I am loving her blog now!  I’ve found several homemade ‘recipes’ for things that I will be trying very soon!

April 8, 2013

Mason Jar Tumbler Lid ~ DIY

Posted in Homemade...everything tagged , at 9:14 pm by mottoblasco

I LOVE!!!! my mason jars.  This is a new found love.  My husband says they are so homely (he he…he means homey, I laughed hard).  Anyways, I saw them all over Pinterest & Etsy, 2 very dangerous sites for me!  I wanted some since we are beginning to get BIG into Juicing and hubby wants glass to drink from & to be able to take it with him.  I didn’t wanna pay $20 for a glass bottle nor $6 for a lid w/ a hole especially since there are 7 of us.  So here goes on my very short tutorial.

tumbler lid

First…go to her site here    and follow her directions.  😀  I LOVE the plaid lid she shows, I wish I could’ve found them.  But here’s my take on the whole process.

I followed her directions on both the metal & plastic lids.  The plastic was easier in my opinion.  Once you make the hole on the plastic you can pretty much just pull the shavings off.  With the metal lids you have to use tin snips or something like that to cut the metal pieces  MAKE SURE your grommet it 3/8″ INSIDE…I made that mistake at first and now have 10 grommet’s I’ll never use 😦  I got my grommets from Amazon.  All my straws are 3/8″ that I got from Etsy and Amazon.  We have some Acrylic, these are hard non-piable and  we have some non-BPA plastic which are closer to disposable straws.

I bought the wide mouth, cause I love how they look.  And I bought the 24 ounce & 12 ounce jars.  The straws are too tall for the 12 ounce jars so I cut down some of the non-BPA straws down.  We love them!

January 30, 2012

Cloth diapering intro info

Posted in Cloth diapering tagged , at 3:17 pm by mottoblasco

When I started cloth diapering I wish I had a place to find all the BASIC info I would need all in one place that is.  I researched things like, cost, styles, etc. but had no real idea of the other factors that would come into play.  Instead I learned as I went & sometimes the hard way(ammonia burns suck!).  So I’m starting with the basic info I wish I had known.  I plan on adding more detailed posts later on each of these categories, but for this post I am giving the very basic info.

First of all there are 6 basic categories of cloth diapers/diapering systems.  And within these systems there are differences that make the individual brands different & unique:

  1. Prefolds & Flats
  2. Fitteds & Contours
  3. Covers: these go with  numbers 1 & 2
  4. Pockets & stuffable Pockets
  5. All-in-ones(AIO’s) & stuffable AIO’s
  6. All-in-twos(AI2’s) & Hybrids

Instead of re-hashing some info that is already out there I decided to just add some links to sites explaining these different styles:

Diaper Jungle: http://www.diaperjungle.com/moms-who-choose-cloth-diapers.html

All about cloth diapers: http://allaboutclothdiapers.com/new-to-cloth-diapers/cloth-diaper-systems/

Diaper Pin: http://www.diaperpin.com/clothdiapers/article_differentsystems.asp

Loved this YouTube video on the subject: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OvZG6LSWtpM

Everything cloth: http://www.everythingcloth.com/2011/06/demystifying-different-types-of-cloth.html

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To me the next most important factor I wish I had known more about were the kinds of materials the diapers are made of: inserts, outer & the surface to the skin.  The insert material affects things like the trimness, absorbtion, skin sensitivity, washing routine.

  1. Cotton
  2. Hemp
  3. Bamboo
  4. Microfiber
  5. Microfleece
  6. Suedecloth
  7. PUL
  8. Wool (covers, shorties, longies)
I am definately not that knowledgeable in this area so again, here’s some useful links!
Diaper pin: http://www.diaperpin.com/clothdiapers/article_differentsystems.asp#types_fabric
Cloth diaper connection: http://www.the-cloth-diaper-connection.com/diapermaterials.html
I will tell you this, I’ve had a rough time w/ the night time routine…I mean rough!  I have 3 boys and 2 out of the 3 have been battling w/ ammonia burns/rash off and on for awhile now and I am struggling w/ it.  I have noticed that keeping a stay dry material on my 2 y.o. is a GREAT thing…more specifically Suedecloth.  The fleece ‘stay-dry’ aren’t cutting it at night and neither is the hemp.  My infant sleeps for 7 hrs and he doesn’t seem to have an issue w/ the cotton on his skin.  My 3 y.o. is only in a night time diaper and he wakes up every night saying it hurts.  I’ve tried 6 different options on BOTH boys and nada.  So, be forewarned it may be difficult.

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Then there are 2 kinds of closures: Snap closures & Velcro(aplix/hook & loop).  It’s really just a personal preference here.  I knew right away I wanted snaps because I hate how my baby’s velcro bibs get stuck to everything when I don’t put them together before washing.  I didn’t want to deal with that.  But, I ended up w/ 1 diaper that has velcro and it adds a little more versatility on getting a good fit around the waist, that I like.  Overall though, I love my snaps.  Gonna get my velcro converted by a great mama on Diaperswappers.com!

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Next is the 2 kinds of sizing: Sized(Newborn/XS, S, M, L) & One-size(OS).  Most OS diapers claim to be birth to potty training or about 8-35 lbs.  While this is true I personally didn’t want to put some of my OS dipes on my newborn because of how poorly they fit.  I’m working on another post for that!  I originally planned on putting the OS on my newborn but since they didn’t fit well I quickly borrowed and bought several NB and Small sized diapers which I am also doing a separate post on…stay tuned.  Overall I would say it’s safe to assume you would need some XS/newborn diapers and can then move to OS at about 1-2 months old.

There are a plethera of brands out there and also some excellent WAHMie brands(Work At Home Moms).  And all of those systems have pros & cons.  You may find a die-hard prefold person who hates AI2’s and an AI2 person who dislikes pockets.  That’s the beauty of cloth diapering, there is something for everyone!  Information is key for CD’ing…for sure.

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And probably the hardest thing to figure out but also the most important, IMO, is the washing routine!  Ugh, this was almost the end of me.  You have to factor the child(ren)s ages, skin sensitivity, water type & washing machine type.  Not to mention do I do a dry pail or wet pail, wash daily or every few days…you get the idea.  And also very important is the right, CD friendly detergent.  This is a whole beast in itself.  I will tell of my routine adventures soon but until then enjoy these links:

Diaper swappers forum: “Let’s talk about detergent”

Pinstripes and Polkadots: Cloth diaper detergents

All about cloth diapering: Homemade cloth-diaper-safe laundry detergent

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Then there is storage of clean & dirty diapers.  A regular diaper champ/genie will not work because they don’t allow airflow.  Believe me, I made this mistake and my boys room stunk like pee and ammonia for 2 weeks!  But there are some plain diaper cans that will work, it doesn’t have to be some ultra special cloth diaper pail.   And you need a pail liner to hold in the stink & moisture.  I would suggest Planetwise & Bumgenius cause they work great for me.  I tried the zipper bottom Fuzzibunz but if you have alot of wet diapers it leaks through the zipper.  When you go out you will need a wet bag or 2 to keep them in.  Again I use PlanetWise.  A testament to the ‘locking in smells” feature is that we left a diaper for a week in my PW wetbag and didn’t smell a thing until my husband opened it up: “That was the nastiest thing I’ve ever smelled!”

I have a friend diapering 1 toddler who just uses a thick trash bag and seems to be working for her…but I have 3 kids and that just won’t work for me.

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I hope this post and the others to come will be helpful & useful.  I don’t want to scare anyone away from CD’ing.  I had to use just a couple disposables a month back & I felt so bad knowing the harm I could be doing to my kids(w/ the chemicals in the diapers themselves) and the environment.  The difficulties I am facing in trying to figure things out still don’t compare to the conviction I feel about taking care of my kids and the environment.  God bless!

January 23, 2012

I finally started cloth diapering

Posted in Cloth diapering tagged , , at 3:11 pm by mottoblasco

I just had child #4 & only began cloth diapering(CDing for those familiar) a couple months before he was born.  I am killing myself for not having done so sooner.  Not just because of environmental purposes but financial too.  I will just say it’s not as simple, at first, as disposables.  But I was forced to use a few disposables recently and hated it, just because of all the reasons we chose to CD in the first place; financial, environmental, the cute factor :).

My husband and I are really trying to be aware that this world was given to us by the Lord.  And just as it’s our responsibility to take care of our temples(bodies) we should take care of this world.  So we have been on a venture of living more self-sustainable, eco-conscious & living rightly(as we see it).  This is one way.  My next post will break down the basics of what I learned while researching CDing & I’m sure I will add to it as I go…because I’m still learning as I go.  Thanks!

November 4, 2010

Awesome opportunities!

Posted in Home, Mmmmmmm fooooood tagged , , , , at 3:24 pm by mottoblasco

In just 2 days I’ve been blessed to have 2 opportunities to share my knowledge to do God’s work.  First is an opportunity to help a family who has many needs and who want to know of God more.  What better way to show who God is than by helping those in need.  I am so excited and pray that this sweet family will see God’s grace thru myself & others who want to help as well.

My 2nd opportunity is to help in stocking a food pantry.  Although I cannot likely stock it alone, I have the tools that can help others learn an inexpensive way to help stock the pantry.  Again, this will help many others who are in need and pray they will see the kindness they are given is because God calls us to it & return are blessed.

October 15, 2010

The world of balancing

Posted in Home tagged , , at 4:15 pm by mottoblasco

I constantly feel as though I am balancing something.  Bills, how do I lower this bill to make up for the upcharge on this one.  Kids, nuff said.  House…here’s where I am struggling now.

My mother LOVES decorating.  My husband & I play the “what’s changed at her house” game every time we visit.  She’s an avid HGTV watcher & likes to share her knowledge.  Which is fine by me.  However, I do not have the financial means to go out and buy a new pillow for the living room or lamp for my bedroom.  I have what I have & need to make it work.

As we are preparing the house for selling next year I find myself trying to balance the thoughts ‘should I spend money on household stuff just to make it look better for selling’?  Granted it WOULD make things look better, but is it really worth it?  Shouldn’t we just worry about the house and not the stuff.  The frugal woman in me says ‘use what you have’.  But my mom & the make-things-look-better-woman in me say sometimes you have to spend.

Here’s the thing though, I REFUSE to spend if I wouldn’t want to keep it in the long run.  Mom, doesn’t care.  It’s all about presentation and appearances.  Buy now, sell later.  The other thing is that our house is not in the $300,000 or even $200,000 range.  We’ll be lucky if we get $80,000.  So, now you tell me…is it worth spending on decor/ furniture we don’t need just to help sell.  Is our world so messed up that looking at other peoples things will help us decide if we would like to buy a house?

For now(and always really), I am just praying that the Lord will lead a buyer to us, regardless of how HGTV would “Rate my space” and lead us to our next house.

September 10, 2010

Inspiration

Posted in Homemade...everything tagged , , , at 2:27 pm by mottoblasco

I found this blog and LOVE what she is doing. If I could sew I would do this! Maybe I can learn how to sew & then do my own…either way, you go girl!

That is all.

UPDATE:  She was on the Nate Berkus show around day 300!  I knew I was in the company of greatness!

August 7, 2010

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Posted in Homemade...everything tagged , , , , at 10:39 pm by mottoblasco

Here is the detergent recipe I’ve been using for about 5 months.  It was given to me by Kyla Leiboult and I’m not sure where she got it.  We love it & works just as good as Tide & at a fraction of the cost!  We just keep our old detergent or milk jugs an re-use them.

*Kyla’s Detergent

1 bar Fels-Naptha (or Castile)

4 c. hot water + 5 gallons hot water

1 c washing soda

½-1 cup borax

4 tbsp glycerin  or 1 cup baking soda

Shred soap finely w/ grater.  Dissolve in pan w/ 4 c. water over med-low heat

Fill 5 gallon bucket w/ 2.5 gallons hot tap water.  Add soap mixture & stir.

Add slowly washing soda & Borax.  Stir until powder is dissolved

Once dissolved add glycerin/baking soda & stir.

Add remaining 2.5 gallons hot water & stir till combined.

Let sit in bucket until room temp or fill jugs & keep lids off until cooled.

Soap will be a gel-goopy consistency.  Use ¼ c. top loader/ 1/8 c. front loader

~~Cheaper to use baking soda(50C a box) vs. glycerin($4.99 bottle)~~

UPDATED: My first batch(using Fels-Naptha) of this was great, took out stains, kept things fresh.  The 2nd batch(made with Castile) wasn’t so great.  Treated stains weren’t coming out & clothes didn’t smell fresh for as long.  My 2 cents, use Fels-Naptha.

August 3, 2010

Baby spice rack

Posted in Homemade...everything, Mmmmmmm fooooood tagged , , , , at 2:55 pm by mottoblasco

I HATE throwing out tons of baby food jars.  Some I’m keeping to make our own baby food but there are still lots there.  When our tiny kitchen frustrated me because I had spices in 4 places I started looking for expandable spice racks and it hit me…the 10 jars sitting in the window were perfect size.

Super easy, here goes.  I chose to use the 2.5 oz. jars instead of the 4 oz. jars.  Mostly because I couldn’t find magnets strong enough to hold them to the fridge with that much weight.  First clean out the jars & lids.  Dry off or let dry completly(or spices will clump).  Take the paper labels off by soaking in hot water or just put hot water inside the jar.  I recommend both, because this process will help take off alot of the glue from the label as well.  For any remaining glue dab good amount of some sort of oil on it, I had canola.  Leave on for at least 10 minutes, most glue should wipe off.  If it all doesn’t come off just repeat and leave the oil on for several hours.

Once the lids are dry affix a strong magnet (mine are strength 6 out of 10 & stronger would be better) with super strong glue.  I bought both at Hobby Lobby, magnets were 6 for $1.99 & the glue was $3.47.  Let dry completely before use.

Affix a spice label to each jar & fill. You can’t really see the ‘Nature’s Goodness’ on the lid but you could paint them if you want.  Also, I affix the spice label on the sides so that I can enjoy the beautiful varied colors of the spices.

Pics soon!

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