Homemade Laundry Soap, Take 2

Last year I made my own laundry soap. It was the powdered kind. It worked well, but sometimes I had powder chunks left on my clothes after washing them. White chunks of powdery stuff on my black clothes wasn’t working for me. I tried dissolving it before using it, but that didn’t work so well either.

Today I made my own laundry soap again, but this time I made the liquid kind! Using my favorite resource for everything lately, Pinterest, I found a recipe that sounded good and easy.

The recipe I used is here and the original blog post I found is here.

In the recipe, she says to use any kind of bar soap you want. I used Ivory. She also separated it into 2 1-gallon bottles. I learned that it gets quite thick when cooled, so I divided it into 3 1-gallon bottles and added water to each until they were filled up. Then I shook them really well.

Here’s my finished product!

It was so easy to make! It took about a half hour, maybe a little less. And it was dirt cheap! I recommend letting it cool a bit before filling your bottles. The first load is in the laundry now. I love saving money!

Bandana Skirt

I love making stuff for my girl. While surfing through Pinterest, I found a pattern for a super cute skirt made out of a bandana. I headed straight to the store to find a bandana so I could make one for her! They were 2 for $2 or something ridiculously cheap like that at Wal-Mart. Score!

It was the easiest skirt ever to make. Basically I just folded it in half and cut it so I had 2 pieces. Then I sewed the sides together so I had a big bandana circle. Then I folded the top down twice, ironed it, and sewed along the bottom seam, leaving an opening for elastic. Then I inserted the elastic guided by a safety pin, sewed it together, sewed the hole where the elastic was inserted closed, and I was done!

Here’s a picture of The Girl modeling her new skirt.

Here’s a link to the instructions I found on Pinterest. The author of the instructions I found added extra fabric to the bottom of the skirt to make it longer. I didn’t do that. The Girl is still a shortie, so extra fabric would have made the skirt too long. Anyone can make this! If you want to learn to sew, it’s a super simple first project.


Happy Father’s Day

Oh my! Its been so long since I’ve blogged! I have lots of stuff to post and it’ll all be up soon. I promise. Well, maybe promise is too strong of a word to use. Anyway, I’ll work on it.

Tomorrow is Father’s Day and The Girl and I wanted to make something special for her dad. Normally she paints or colors something, but I felt like we needed to do something different. So after browsing online (mostly on my current obsession, Pinterest), I got inspired to make this:

I found the super cool big black letters and the heart at Michaels. They were already black, so there was no need to paint them, which made me VERY happy. While Baby Girl was napping I turned my living room into a photo studio in front of our big glass sliding door. The back drop is a light tan colored sheet, and the chair was a gift my aunt gave to Baby Girl before she was born. The outfit consists of hand-me-downs she had in her closet.

It was a bit of a fight to get photos of her not holding the letters the wrong way, running away, and pulling the back drop down, but after lots of bribery and begging, I was successful! I did some photo editing with my new favorite photo editing website, PicMonkey, and submitted it to Costco online to be printed. I picked it up, framed it, and it was ready for Baby Girl to give to her dada.

We got another gift for The Husband that he’ll get on Fathers Day, so we ended up giving the picture to him last night. We were soooooo excited about it, we just couldn’t wait! He loved it!

Homemade Laundry Soap

I’m almost out of laundry soap. I’ve heard a lot recently about people making their own and I’ve found several recipes on Pinterest, my latest addiction. I never thought I’d be granola enough to actually make my own laundry soap, but a few days ago I found a recipe that sounded easy so I figured, what the heck, I’ll give it a try. I used a recipe I found here.

I found all of my ingredients at Walmart. I looked at Target and Ralphs, but Target only had the Borax and Ralphs didn’t have anything I needed. Here’s what I got:

Borax – $2.98

Washing Soda – $3.24

Fels Napthia – $.97

Jar to store my laundry soap in – $0.00 because I already had it at home.

I reduced the size of the recipe I found by 1/3. I mixed together 1 cup of Borax, 1 cup of washing soda, and 1 finely grated bar of Fels Napthia. I used a fine grater that would normally be used to grate Parmesan cheese. Grating the Fels Napthia required a little elbow grease, so I got a workout while making my new concoction!

I mixed it all together, dumped it in a jar, and found an old 2 oz coffee scoop to measure it when I wash my laundry. Since the Fels Napthia smells like lemon, this stuff smells awesome! I can’t wait to see how my laundry smells after using my new soap. I have tons of washing soda and Borax left for future batches of laundry soap.

Since the mouth of the jar I used is on the small side, I ended up dumping it all into a larger jar I got at Ikea a long time ago. Scooping it out of a large jar is more convenient.

The first wash with the new soap is in the washing machine as I write this. The Husband’s shirts are going to smell lemony fresh!

Update: The load I did came out great! It smells fresh and is super clean. Yay for cheap DIY laundry soap!

Update 2: Don’t use this on your cloth diapers. I did and while they came out really soft and it removed all the stains, they won’t absorb anymore so I have to strip them. Darn. I guess I’ll have to keep purchasing detergent for my cloth diaper washing.

Shower Toys Solution

Soooo, yeah. I haven’t blogged in a long time. No excuses. I think the main reason is that I think of what I want to write about at inconvenient times…driving, in the shower, pretty much whenever I can’t be in front of my computer.

The Girl has hit quite a few milestones in the last few months. She learned to scoot, then she learned to crawl but preferred to scoot because it’s faster to scoot than to crawl, she pulls herself up now on everything she encounters, and I think she’ll be standing alone and walking very soon. She tries to repeat words I say to her. She’s such a smartie! She can wave bye-bye, and a few days ago she started clapping and can clap on demand if she’s not having a shy moment. She turned 9 months last week and today weighed in at 16 lbs 1 oz, and she’s 28 inches tall. Getting her to eat food has been a slow process, but we’re on the right track. Cheerios are her favorite thing, but she’s learning that summer fruits like peaches, mangoes, and cherries are also pretty awesome.

Okay, so let’s get to the reason I decided to blog this evening. I made something and I wanted to show it off in case you need something similar and want to save a few dollars. We’ve been remodeling our bathroom. I’ll blog about that sometime soon. Wow. That’s a headache. Anyway, The Girl has tons of little bath toys and I’ve been wanting to get something to put them but being the frugal mama I am (let’s just say it like it is – I’m cheap) I didn’t want to spend $10+ on some shower toy bag thingie that I didn’t like very much and wouldn’t be happy with.

Today I went to Target. I was browsing through the dollar section and came across a 2-pack of mesh bags for washing lingerie for just $1. I tossed them in the cart and headed to the shower section where I picked up a 2-pack of shower suction cup hooks for $2.99. At home I found a piece of ribbon that I cut in half, looped over, and sewed onto a corner of each of the lingerie bags. I put the hooks in the shower, filled the bags with Baby Girl’s shower toys, hung the bags on the hooks, and voila! Two shower toy bags for just $4! Here’s a picture of my genius creation:

They’re functional, nice looking, and won’t be in the way when I need to use the shower. And they’re better than anything I’ve seen that was designed for shower toys. Actually I didn’t look very hard for other options, but that’s okay. They probably would have cost more than $4.

“May need repeat washings.”

I was watching a new show on TLC tonight called “Extreme Couponing” about these people who save a butt load of cash on groceries, but end up buying so much stuff that their groceries take over their houses and they look like organized hoarders. Is it really necessary to buy 30 bottles of mustard? It doesn’t matter because that’s not the point of this post. Have you seen this commercial for colorful bubbles by Crayola?

Who could have possibly thought this was a good idea? Probably someone who doesn’t have kids and doesn’t do laundry. Are clear bubbles not good enough anymore? Supposedly these new colored bubbles are washable (it’s in the name), but my favorite part is the fine print that pops up at 0:23 that says, “May need repeat washings.” Fabulous. Thanks for the warning, Crayola. Now I definitely won’t be purchasing your product. Every mom (and laundry-doing dad) will be thrilled to have to wash their kids clothes multiple times to get the colorful fun out. I have 1 word for this: OxyClean.

The latest Baby Girl news is that she is now a kisser. I captured this cuteness yesterday afternoon. Enjoy!

Moving Out

Baby Girl will be 6 months in 17 days. She still spends her nights in the bassinet next to me in our room. I had expected her to stay there until she was a year, but she has almost outgrown the bassinet! It’s time for her to move to her room. I’m not ready for this. I know she’ll just be on the other side of the wall and I’ll be able to hear every peep she makes, but I’ll miss her and I know I’ll lose sleep worrying about her not being right next to me. It’s for the best though. The Husband and I won’t wake her up anymore when we hit the hay, and she’ll no longer wake us up with her sleep grunts and the loud conversations she has with herself when she wakes up way too early in the morning. Wait, let me rephrase that. She won’t wake The Husband up anymore. I’ll hear everything and I’ll rush to her room immediately to see what’s wrong. And she’ll be fine, of course. *sigh*

Baby Girl’s Photo Album

Baby Girl loves books. So I decided to make her a book she can use to learn the names and faces of all her family and friends. I found pictures of everyone who needed to be included in the book, including grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, etc. I uploaded them to my favorite photo editing website, Picnik, added names to the photos, and sent them off to Costco to be printed. I put them in a little photo album, asked my sister to make a cute cover on her fancy schmancy sewing machine, and voila! Baby Girl’s photo album was done! There are lots of empty pages in the back where we can put pictures of her new friends. She loves her new book!

Paige’s Photo Album Cover
Page 1
Mommy and Daddy’s Page
Baby Girl looking at her new photo album with her Ta.

Oatmeal Awesomeness

Baby Girl and I met with our playgroup a few weeks ago and one of the moms brought these yummy bars for us that she called Oatmeal Carmelita bars. I asked her for the recipe because they pretty much rocked my world and I HAD to make them again myself. I revised the recipe a tiny bit by adding a little more salt and by using the chunky sea salt instead of table salt (I like salt), and they were even more awesome. I also changed the name to Whoa Nellie These Things Are Amazing Bars because when I tried them, that’s the first thing I thought, but the name has been shortened to Whoa Nellies. If your taste buds want to experience some super deliciousness, you need to make these things. I don’t have a picture to post here, but if I make some sometime soon I’ll take one and update this blog. Here’s the recipe. Enjoy!

Whoa Nellies

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 cup oats
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
3/4 cup melted butter
1/2 teaspoon chunky salt
6 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
3/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1.    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease one 9×9 inch square pan.
2.    Combine the 1 cup flour, baking soda, oats, brown sugar, salt and melted butter. Mix to combine, mixture will be very crumbly. Press half of the mixture into the bottom of the prepared pan.
3.    Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 10 minutes.
4.    Let cool slightly then sprinkle over the crust the chocolate chips and chopped nuts. Mix the caramel ice cream topping with the 3 tablespoons of flour and drizzle over the chocolate chips. Top with the remaining oatmeal mixture. You will need to break it into small pieces to cover.
5.    Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 15 minutes. Let bars cool before cutting.