Saturday, April 24, 2010

Homemade Household Cleaners

Over the past few months I have been givng much thought to making my own household cleaners. From Laundry Detergent to glass cleaner. I've done some research online. My inital reason for researching homemade cleaners was to save money. I knew that the staple ingrediants in most cleaners are actually cheap items to buy. (ex. baking soda & vineger). I'm all about saving money. I've been considering making our own laundry detergent for some time now. Actually probably a year ago I saw an episode of 18 Kids & Counting where they showed how they make their own laundry detergent. They talked about how much money that saves their family since they have SO much laundry. I feel like we go thru TONS of laundry soap and I hate to spend that much money on it. So the thought of making my own was something I thought about a lot. I mentioned it to my husband. He said, "sure go ahead if you want". But I still haven't done it yet. Then the other day I read this article on yahoo finance about making your own detergent. Then later on that same day my husband said, "You need to start making laundry detergent". He read the same article I had read. So we have decided to do it. I haven't done it yet. But we will be making it soon since we are almost done with our current jug of detergent. I'm so excited to start making it & to know that we are saving our family money! A few weeks ago I ran out of my window/glass cleaner. I found a recipe for glass cleaner and since I had all the ingredients in the house, I made some. The recipe I used was:

1 cup rubbing alcohol
1 cup water
2 tablespoons vinegar

I do have to say I was VERY pleased with it. It worked just as good as any glass cleaner I have used before. I will continue to make it.

Another reason I have decided to make my own cleaners is because of the harsh chemicals used in most of them. I came to the realization of this the other day. I have been using Swiffer Dust & Shine when I dusted. (it's similar to using Pledge). I actually had 4 bottles of this product thanks to some coupons I had that made them practically free. Every time I used them I noticed my eyes would feel all itchy, my throat would itch, my nose would itch. I felt like I had really bad allergies or something. The funny thing was when I sprayed it, it didn't spray all thru the air or anything so it's not like I was breathing it in. But just the smell of it caused this. Part of me thought it was my imagination. Then the other day it happened. I could hardly breathe for quite a few hours after I used it. The scent just stuck in the rooms. SO i went back thru and used a mild soap and water and re-cleaned everything I had used that on. Once the smell was gone, my symptoms were gone. Now I'm not saying that everyone will get that reaction from this product. I'm just saying it affected me that way so obviously there are harsh chemicals in it that is causing me to feel that way. So I threw it out. I'm planning on just using 1 cup olive oil mixed with 1 cup lemon juice as a furniture polish when I'm dusting.
So not only will I be saving my family money, I will also be using products that are more natural and not so harsh.
Here is another website that I looked at that gives a lot of good info about what is safe to mix and what's not. I found a lot of good info on that site as well as recipes for the cleaners. Another site that has good recipes is this one right here.
Oh and yesterday I was pretty proud of myself. I found a load of laundry in the dryer that had melted orange and blue crayon all over them! Luckily they were still wet when I noticed. I didn't know what to do. In a panic, I franticly threw the clothes back in wash machine. I threw in a cup of laundry detergent then grabbed the baking soda and poured 2 cups in. Then poured a cup of vinegar in as well. I was so worried about our clothes since that was a load of our best clothes. After about 5 minutes I went and checked the clothes. As I pulled out piece after piece of laundry I found that my solution had worked! There was not a spot of crayon on ANYTHING! WOW! I was so relieved. Now I think the biggest trick to that was that I found them BEFORE the crayon had dried on them. But still I had clean clothes!
I will be sure to update once I make more cleaners and let you all know how they work.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Earth Day Project

Since yesterday was Earth Day I wanted to find a little art project for the kids to do that had to do with Earth day. SO I found what I thought would be a fun, creative AND easy project. This link right here is what we made. In theory it sounded like a fun and easy project. BUT it was rather messy. EXTREMELY messy when making crayon shavings. I used an old cheese grader to shave the crayons. Maybe there is an easier way to make crayon shavings, not sure??!! Rubbing them on the grader just made them be all static clingy and they stuck to my hands, the bowl, the table, everywhere! When it came time to iron, the little shavings that were on the table melted to the table thru the wax paper(these were the shavings that made their way off the project onto the table). SO I had scrape them off of the table. The clean up ended up taking longer than the project it self. I don't like projects like that. All in all the kids had fun making their sun catcher Earths but Mommy wasn't too thrilled after the fact. If you don't mind the big mess then it's a good project. Happy Earth day everyone! (and yes, I'm aware that is was yesterday)

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The most photographed 4th child.....

I swear Gracie is the most photographed 4th child ever! LOL! Well, I'm sure she isn't but I hear people all the time say how they have so many pictures of their 1st child but hardly any of any children after the first. That is NOT the case with me at all. I took TONS of pictures of my 1st, even more of my 2nd, even MORE of my 3rd and now an insane amount of pictures of my 4th!! I have a slight obsession with capturing EVERY moment with my camara. I know my husband finds it annoying at times, that I have to pull the camera out at the most random times and try to get pictures. I know someday they won't be little and I want to capture every precious moment. My camera has actually been acting up for over a year now. It still takes GREAT pictures but sometimes when I go to snap the picture it won't do ANYTHING. So frustrating when you are about the capture a sweet moment on camera and then it doesn't take the picture. It dropped off my shoulder about a year and half ago (remember Denise? I was with you at Fun City Pizza!) I need to take it in to get fixed HOWEVER I can't bear the thought to be without my camera while it gets fixed! So I'm just dealing with my dysfunctional camera for the time being. I have a Nikon D50. I want to get a new lens for it and expand my photo taking skills. I have SO much to learn and my camera is capable of doing so much more than I do with it. You think I take a lot of pictures right now? Just wait until I learn how to take more creative pictures! Here are some ADORABLE pictures of my over-photographed 4th child.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Colorwheel

Yesterday in art we made a color wheel. We were studying the primary and secondary colors. I got this color wheel printout from this blog. The blog has the printout as well as the instructions for making the color wheel. The kids had fun doing it. It was pretty simple to do.

Ahh...Good Morning

I was up at 7am and finally by 8am I had my coffee made, my english muffin was toasted and had blackberry preserves on it (which I was SO excited about because I just bought that at the store last night--I love blackberry jelly but hate the seeds in it..did you know they make seedless blackberry jelly, jam or preserves?? I never knew..until last night! ) and my Bible was all ready to go. Good Morning to me! (Notice the little hand trying to reach for my english muffin?? I was not the only one awake. That was Gracie trying to sample my breakfast!)

I was reminded of something very simple yet very profound this morning when I was reading my Bible. I was reading Psalm 95. In verse 3-6 it states:
"For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hands are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker,"
A very simple concept. God created our earth and everything in it. It made look outside and think, "wow, how often to I thank God for creating all of this?". I thank him for my children, for my husband, for all the other "things" he's given me but do I thank him for this beautiful earth he created with his hands? Yesterday we were driving to the grocery store. We have to drive for about 30 minutes on country roads. I kept noticing these trees that had beautiful purple flowers on them. I pointed out each one I saw and commented on how beautiful they were (side note: doing that made me think of my Mom. Growing up she was always pointing out beautiful trees, flowers, etc. I now do that too! ). BUT I didn't think to thank God for creating those. Now that spring is here, the earth is covered with His new beauty. Let's not forget to thank our creator who created all these beautiful things. He created this earth with his hands. "Come let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker"

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Blog slacker

I feel like it's been awhile since I blogged. Well, in reality it has really only been a few days. But if you lived inside my head and saw all the "stuff" that is floating around in there that I want to blog about you would understand why I feel like I've slacked on blogging. I always have something to write about. Writing is my escape. I've found blogging to be a new obsession I have. I have ALWAYS loved to write. I wrote in journals since I could write. I found it a way to escape and just a way to put my thoughts together. I am also not a person who probably appears to have lots to say. I usually keep pretty quiet. But I enjoy getting my opinions out there just not actually saying them outloud. So I have become a GREAT fan of blogging. Not only writing my own blog posts but also reading blogs by other random people. I have found SO many great blogs. I realized there are LOTS of people out there just like me who enjoy writing about the same things I like to write and read about. Most of the topics of interest to me have been parenting (of course--that is basically my WHOLE life), homeschooling, photography, etc. A good friend of mine wrote a post that got me thinking. Click here is to view the post. I wonder who even reads my posts. I know I only have a small amount of those who are following my blog. I don't really care if I have a huge amount of readers. Or do I?? I mean, I take the time to post and I write as if others are reading it. I often wonder if I'm talking to myself. That's OKAY if I am just writing for myself. I mostly write for me as a way to remember my life, to get these thoughts out of my brain. It's relaxing and it's also a way for me to have something to look back on. Something that explains what I was thinking, doing, or seeing that day. But at the same time, it's nice to see comments. To see that others are reading and have something to say. Just like a conversation. It would be pretty boring if you stood in a room full of people and said something and everyone just stood there, staring without making one single comment. I am not writing this to beg for comments at all. I don't mind writing for myself. I was just curious who actually reads my blog. I have this blog set up on my notes in Facebook so I'm guessing my "friends" on facebook read them. Okay, this was NOT at all where this blog was going. I was just going to post some pictures and this is where it lead to! Funny how that works. So if you are a random person that is reading my blog...PLEASE comment just so I know you exist!

Friday, April 2, 2010

What do do with all those egg shells...

Just wanted to quickly post this. I was sitting here nursing Gracie so I was just reading some blogs and I found this post. Such a GREAT idea!!! We colored 2 dozen eggs last night. I plan on making deviled eggs for Easter Sunday lunch and now I have a use for all those eggs shells! The kids will have a blast doing that on Monday. I will post pictures later on when they do them.
Edit: It is now Thursday. Here is a picture of them creating their egg shell mosaics! Warning...there is LOTS of glue involved. But they did enjoy it. We didn't get to it on Monday...but we did on Tuesday. I was worried that the eggshells might be kinda stinky but nope, they seemed just fine to wait a few days to use them. Over all a great after Easter project!