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.

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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 Family 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.

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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.

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Favorite Things

Bye Bye Poop Stains

So we’ve got this new poop thing going on. The Girl has never had any poop issues. At home she does dainty little girly poops pretty regularly. We have rarely had diaper leaks and, when we have had leakers, they haven’t been anything major. Lately she has still been having dainty little girly poops at home, but when we go out, WOW! Explosion! And I don’t mean, “oops, her diaper leaked a little.” Nope. I mean big, wet, running down the leg, on the carseat poops. Serious poop. And it’s always when we’re out. The latest one happened this evening. I thought it was nothing major until I lifted her out of the car seat. It was everywhere! How does so much poop come out of someone so small? I haven’t even checked out the car seat yet. Eww. Her outfit was poop-soaked and it was even on her sock. Poor Baby Girl.

By now, after all of our poop mishaps, I should have had to toss out a few outfits. You’d think they’d be ruined, right? Because that stuff stains! Nope, all of her outfits still look clean and newish. Have you tried OxiClean? When they say, “Gets the tough stains out,” they aren’t kidding! They really should market that stuff to new moms. I keep a bucket of it diluted in water in my laundry room and whenever Baby Girl poops all over something, I toss it in to soak and wash it when I do my next load of laundry. That yucky greenish yellow baby poop that is notorious for staining whatever it comes in contact with, but I’ve never had a stain. It’s seriously amazing. If you know a new mom and need to get her a gift, get her a Costco-size bucket of OxiClean.

By the way, no, I was not paid to declare my love for OxiClean. My love for it is 100% real.

Actually, now that I think about it, there was a stain that the OxiClean failed on. A few weeks ago I was wearing a white shirt and eating In-N-Out Burger in a car in the dark. Some of the In-N-Out deliciousness dribbled down the front of my shirt and multiple soakings in OxiClean and washings with bleach have failed to remove the stain. Don’t worry though, OxiClean. My love for you lives on. One failure won’t make me change my mind about you.


Laughing Baby

Baby Girl had a laugh attack today. I caught the end of it on my phone. Enjoy!

Oh, and I learned how to post a video here. Yay!

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First Word

Baby Girl said “mama” today! She’ll be 4 months on Tuesday and she already said her first word! We were leaving the house and my friend, was in the front seat of the car while I put Baby Girl in her seat in the back. She was being a little bit fussy, which is normal when I have to strap her into the torture device otherwise known as a car seat. I got out, shut the door, and as soon as I got in the front seat I heard, “MAMA!” My friend and I both looked at each other and said, “Did you hear that?” She said it! It wasn’t like she was crying “maaaaaaa,” which she’s never done. She said “mama!” I’m a very proud mama.

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I think my child may be a genius. Maybe I think that because I’m her mom and she’s my first kid. I don’t know. She’s a genius though. Here’s my most recent evidence:

1. She rolled over on Sunday! She’s 3.5 months. Is this normal? Her head control is pretty crazy amazing for a kid her age. She spent all last week grunting and straining and tossing her butt back and forth during tummy time. She was able to get on her side, but never made it all the way over. I have long videos of all the grunting. On Sunday, when the camera wasn’t rolling (of course), I put her down and she instantly rolled! No grunting or anything! She acted like it was no big deal and she’s been doing it since the day she was born. She’s done it 2 more times since then, both in her crib during naps.

2. Tonight while we were reading her bedtime stories, she turned the page all by herself! See? Genius! I got it on video. Hmm. Nevermind the video. Apparently I’m not geeky enough to figure out how to add a video here. Something about security guidelines blah blah blah. Ah well. It was shot with my phone so it’s pretty choppy. Anyway, she did it. Really. I promise. Actually we’ve been working on that trick for a long time. When I read to her, I always say, “Turn the page” when it’s time to turn the page and I grab her hand and make her do it with me. But tonight I didn’t have to say it or show her how.

Hmm. So maybe this is normal baby stuff. Oh well. I think she’s a genius anyway. The milestones are coming at us fast. It seems like she’s doing something new every day. I’m loving every minute of it!


Baby Gym

I made a baby gym for my girl!

She needed one (or at least something for her toys to hang from) and I didn’t want to spend lots of money on something she won’t be using for long, so I spent a few dollars at Home Depot and made one myself. My super crafty mama sister designed it and made one for my niece. Instructions to make your own baby gym can be found on her blog. Baby Girl loves it and spent lots of time playing with it this afternoon.

Oh, I almost forgot. The cute bunny blanket she is laying on was made by my grandma.

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