Friday, October 19, 2012

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

I've had a alot of people ask me what my recipe is for my homemade laundry detergent. I've been making this recipe for over a year, and have only made 2 batches. With 5 people in the house, I do about a load every day. I've found that the recipe I use lasts about 9 months. The cost, for all the ingredients is about $20, so the savings is tremendous! Here's the recipe that I use!

1 4 lb 12 oz box Borax (2.15 kg or 76 oz) found in the detergent aisle

1 4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (1.81 kg)I found this in the detergent aisle, but it could also be in the baking aisle

1  box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz (3 lb 7 oz) found in the detergent isle

3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap, found in the detergent isle

2 small containers of Oxy Clean or store brand Oxy Clean (try to get about 3.5 lbs total (1.58 kg)) found in the detergent isle.
Purex Crystal Laundry Softener. (completely optional)

You should be able to find all of these items at your local Mart store.

*Use 1-2 TBSP per load. You don't need any more, because the store brands have alot of fillers. This doesn't. Trust me, it works just fine at 1-2 TBSP.*

This detergent is fairly mild smelling, it is not over powering. I like my laundry to have a fresh scent, and don't like to use those dryer sheets, so I add just a bit of those laundry crystals when I add the laundry detergent. You can find them in the laundry aisle.

Start out by grating your Fels-Naptha soap just like cheese. You can use a food processor or just use your hand held grater, what ever you have.
**Don't worry the Fels-Naptha will dissolve in your washer even if you only use cold water. And this recipe is completely safe for HE washers**
Toss all ingredients in a 5 gallon bucket lined with a garbage bag. Once everything is mixed, store soap however you like. The recipe makes about 2 gallons worth of detergent. I bought a massive cereal container at Wal-Mart, and store mine in there. I bought some letter stickers, then sealed the stickers on with ModPodge. I saved the scoop from the Oxi-Clean container, measured where the 1 TBSP line was, and marked it with a permanent marker.

This soap works wonderfully. I made the soap, in the above picture, about July, and I've used about 1/2. It saves so much money, that I doubt I will ever buy another laundry soap!

Until Next Time,

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Baked Potato Soup

There is nothing like a creamy bowl of soup on a rainy day. It's soothing, comforting and filling. I love this recipe, that my mom found when I was in grade school. It's been a family favorite for years! I always serve this soup with a piping hot loaf of home made bread. Nothing like it on a dreary day!
  • 4 baking potatoes
  • bacon, cooked and crumbled – about 12 slices or 1/2 cup
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 2/3 cup butter
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 6 cups milk
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • salt & pepper
Bake the potatoes until tender. Cool them and then split them in half and scoop out the pulp. You can either keep the skins for some other recipe, or throw them in your compost pile.  Now, tonight I was in a time crunch, so I boiled the potatoes, then removed the skins. It didn't taste any different, and was so much easier! I just mashed them up and set them aside. It turned out so well, that I might make this soup like this from now on!

In a large pot, melt the butter.  Stir in the flour and cook for a minute.  Gradually add the milk.  Cook over medium heat until it’s bubbly.  Don’t let it boil and stir it often.  Add the potato pulp, cheese, bacon, green onions, sour cream, and salt & pepper to taste.
Heat the soup through, but don’t let it boil.  Serve it with extra cheese and green onions.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Homemade Duvet Cover

About a month ago, my oldest son was moved out of his old toddler bed, and into a twin sized bed. He was so proud that he was big enough to move out of his old bed. It was a major deal for him, and made him feel like such a big boy!

The only problem was when Jackasaurus was born, we bought one of those convertible beds; one of those beds that starts out as a crib, then can be transformed into a full sized bed. Wonderful idea, except we weren't planning on having another boy, and the idea of having a full size bed in the room that Alexsaur and Jackasaurus share was NOT happening! Fortunately, we found a mini crib for Alexsaur, that transforms into a twin sized bed, so he's taken care of later!

The problem I now faced, was that Jackasaurus was being moved into a twin sized bed, and I didn't have much in the way of twin sized sheets. Sure, I could go out and buy something, but I had 3 changes of full size sheets, that had been given to us, and I really didn't like the idea of wasting those. Plus, Jackasaurus had been given a set of Transformer sheets that he really loved, of course in the full size. Then I had an idea, of how I could use the sets of sheets we had, and make something really special for him that would match the theme of his room.

My first thought was to take the two full sized fitted sheets, take the elastic out and sew them together to make a duvet cover. But after looking it over, I really didn't like the idea. So, I decided to try my hand at making quilt blocks. I've never quilted before, and have always wanted to try. I cut out my blocks 13" by 13" then sewed them together, using a 1'' seam allowance. I used a surging stitch, then a basic zigzag stitch to hold it all together. My son likes to pick at loose threads, and I knew that given the chance, this duvet cover would be toast in a matter of months! After ironing the pieces flat, I then did a straight stitch down the lines, to make sure that they were secure.
After the front piece was done, and measured to the size of a twin sized bed, I made the back piece, and stitched the 3 sides together. I had a comforter for him, but it didn't go with the theme of his room, so I wanted to make a duvet cover for it. The ends of the cover are a simple button hole closer, and the comforter fits perfectly in it! I took the flat sheets, from the full sized sets, and cut those down to fit a twin sized bed.

To say that Jackasaurus loves it would be an understatement. He gets his Transformers and it also matches the Army theme for their room!

Until Next Time,

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