Monday, June 11, 2012

Washing Greenery ~In the dishwasher!

I have been putting off washing the decorative greenery I have sitting around my house.  Just the thought of bending over the bathtub and washing it (I know sounds strenuous, doesn't it) was enough to keep putting it off. 

I am a big fan of putting what ever I can fit into my dishwasher to be washed.  It's not uncommon for me to wash a trash can in there as long as it will fit.  Chicken feeders and water containers, go in as well.  I wash those separate from our dishes of course. 

As I was dreading the thought of washing all of the greenery, I started to wonder if I could put it in the dishwasher.  I knew I couldn't use the harsh dish washing detergent, but what about a few drops of liquid soap?  What did I have to loose?  If it got ruined, I would just toss it out.  Since I'm not a big fan of washing it, why keep it if it isn't easy to clean?

 I decided to give it a try.  I turned off the heat settings for both the drying cycle and heating the water.  I wasn't going to be drying them, but didn't want to take the chance I would forget about them in there.  I have a relic of a machine, so I can just turn the dial and advance through the washing cycles as I like.

I added three drops of soap to the first cycle.  After it completed, I waited until the water filled and the machine started to run again, and oped to check the soap status.  There were very little suds since the soap had been drained with the first cycle.  I added two more drops of soap and let it go through the second wash cycle.  After the first rinse, I stopped the machine and added some cold water since I noticed some of the "berries" on one of the arrangements getting a little warm.  I did rinse them a second time, and now they look great.  It was so easy.  I will be cleaning my greenery more often in the future!

Dusty greenery ready to wash

Drip drying

Look how nice and shiny it looks!  It is still wet in this photo. 

Laid out to dry

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Make Your Own Shower Tablets

After reading a friends find on how to make your own shower tablets I was off to the kitchen to experiment.  This recipe could not be more simple.  The ingredients are baking soda, water, and essential oils.  I didn't follow the recipe, because lets face it,  I rarely do.  That's just me.  I like to freestyle things.  I also wanted to make a smaller batch to see how well they worked before jumping in.

I started with a small bowl of baking soda.  I added water a little at a time and mixed.  I thought since the essential oils are also liquid, I shouldn't wait until the end to add them because this would make the mixture more runny.  I chose sweet orange, eucalyptus and tea tree essential oils.  Not realizing the sweet orange didn't have a dropper top, I kind of dumped more than I anticipated in the bowl.  Oops!  Oh well, it smells wonderful and has a nice yellow color just like butter. 

 I decided to use mini muffin cups since I don't usually take that long of a shower anyway.  And this would be the perfect amount to add to a bath.

I had thought about using my silicone muffin pans, but wondered if the oils would leave their scent and render them unusable for cooking in the future.  I opted for the paper cups and filled them to the top.

I placed them next to my air purifier to dry faster and my house smells awesome!  Not to mention my sinus' were starting to clear out. You can also place them in the oven to bake to dry faster.  I prefer having my house smell....awesome... for a little while longer.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Button, button, whose got the button?

I do!  Well at least what I do have are now organized!  I'm on an organizing frenzy lately.  Last night I decided I needed to organize my buttons.  I had been keeping them in my sewing kit in a plastic bottle.  Some accumulate on the dryer, in a drawer.  You know, those that fall off of a shirt and never get put back on.  My husband should know better than to leave that up to me.  He used to sew his own back on all the time.  Since when did I become appointed keeper of the buttons?  

I have had this plastic container for awhile stuffed in a cupboard.  I have no idea what my original intent was when I purchased it, but it thought it would be great to sort out my buttons.  Now maybe that I have all of them sorted I can begin to figure out which ones need to go back on clothing.  Soon...

Disclaimer:  I did not take the pics at this angle.  Blogger automatically turns them and I have no idea how to change it!

I Won the Lottery!!!

Well, not really.  So don’t everyone decide they want to be my friend so I can share the wealth.  I think you have to actually buy a ticket and play to win, don’t you?  That’s alright, because this is much better!  

My parents were working on updating their will and my brother had to give me the good news.  They were leaving the minivan to me.  I know he was secretly jealous, and there may even be a fight in the future over it.  He was getting their newer Mitsubishi.  And even though the all wheel drive vehicle drives like a Cadillac, and has this awesome mirror that will even let you know if ice conditions exists, this beast cannot compare to a 1985, well maybe it’s newer than that because didn’t DVD’s just start rolling out around this era?  I’m just too excited to concentrate!  

 I know my brother was secretly upset because driving the van is like driving a school bus.  As least that’s how I envision it.  Will I need a chauffeur’s license when I get this?  Hmm should that be a new law we could pass?  You need to have a chauffeur license to drive these awesome vans!  

This van was given to my mother after her parents passed away.  Since then, I know she is wishing she hadn’t bought her Mitsubishi, because the minivan is just so awesome!  The leather seats, at least I envision them as leather, feel like butter with some toast crumbs in it.  Riding in it is like riding on the wavy rapids in, lets say Colorado.  You get that rocking feeling each and every time.  It does not disappoint.  And with the fact that I get car sick, makes it even better.  

Just to let you know hot totally awesome this van is, it even has a DVD player in it!  How jealous are you now?  Each and every time my brother and I go to, let’s say a “flea market” he always lets me drive because he knows how much I like it.  It reminds me when we were in high school and because we had such a rust bucket awesome Toyota, we would fight over who got to had to drive it.  We got to the point of running out of school early and hiding in it with the passenger door locked so the other had to got to drive home because we knew how much the other wanted to drive it.   Those were the good ole days. 

 Sorry, I’m getting off the subject, but it’s only because I am so excited about the van!  Did I mention it’s an Oldsmobile?  I know if Cadillac realized how awesome these mini vans were they would totally steal the designs and market them for their own.

So after my brother gave me the good news my mom had to go and burst my bubble.  I know she secretly wanted to give me something special after she was gone.  You know like the family jewels.  Only there aren’t any, so she thought this van would be the next best thing.  

Because my brother was so jealous she decided to change the stipulations and not designate each of us one of their vehicles.  I’m still at a little confused because they have a vehicle for almost every day of the week, and this van must be at the top of the list, because she didn’t mention anything about the other vehicles.   I know she could feel my disappointment.  So my next question was, if we are splitting everything in half, which tractor do I get?  I said I think I wanted the Allis Chalmers, because it's little like me,  and maybe I would just have to get that early.  My dad looked in the mirror with a grin and said oh, I don’t think so.  Yet.  I think I heard a yet in there.  At least in my mind that’s how it went, so I’m going to go with that for now. 

Friday, January 20, 2012

Frugal Friday~From Bar to Liquid Soap

I have been wanting to make my own liquid hand soap for awhile.  I usually buy a gallon of antibacterial soap at Sam's club and have been waiting until I was almost out of my supply before I attempted making my own.

Yesterday I decided I couldn't wait any longer.  I had an empty laundry soap bottle that was waiting to be put to good use. 

I love the smell of fels-naptha soap that I use in my home made laundry recipe so of course it was my soap of choice to make the first batch.

I found this recipe several  months ago and if you search there are several to be found.
1 c soap flakes
10 c water
1 Tbs glycerin 

A bar of fels-naptha is more than one cup so I "modified" the recipe to use all of the bar.  I added another two cups of water to compensate.  I also read more glycerin may be required with some soaps, and of course, I added 20 drops of tea tree oil for it's antibacterial properties. 

Add grated soap, tea tree and glycerin to water. 
Heat on medium heat until soap is melted.  

Once it has cooled enough you can pour it into your storage container.

What most of the recipes don't tell you is that the glycerin will thicken as it cools.  This will take several hours.  I added more glycerin due to the increased soap and liquid.  As the product cooled, I had to add more water because it was too thick.  The amount of glycerin you need is going to depend on the type of bar soap you choose.  In researching the subject, I came across various sites.  Some indicating glycerin may not be needed for some types of soap, while more glycerin is needed for castile type soaps.  This got me looking further into what type of soap fels-naptha was classified as.  I couldn't find anything that actually classified it as a castile soap, but rather a laundry soap.  There were many comments on how well it works when rubbed directly on stains and how it will help whiten clothes.  Some also felt it was a more harsh type soap. 

Finished Product
Here is the finished product.  Don't you love the mason jar pump dispenser?  This was something a friend gave me as she was cleaning out things so no longer used. She said she knew I would find a good use for it.  I was hoping to use it for hand lotion in my bath, however, this home made hand soap recipe called for a special dispenser.  

Please disregard the plastic Pepsi bottle in the background.  My husband refills them out of two liter bottles and has a collection sitting on my counter.  If you bump them they fall over like dominoes!  Ugh!

Next to try making liquid body wash.  I already have a bar of Yardley Aloe and Cucumber soap I want to use.  We currently use Jason Tea Tree Satin Body Wash, and have for several years.  The cost is around $8 for a 32 ounce container.  The cost of a bar of Yardley soap is .69 when I can get them on sale.  

My only complaint about the recipe is that is is a little "stringy".  It leaves a trail of soap from the dispenser when you pull your hand away after you have pumped it into your hand.  This may be remedied with altering the glycerin amount.  I will have to experiment on the next batch.  This netted a little over a gallon of soap, which will last us quite awhile.  Cost of fels-naptha soap .99.  Cost of glycerin 3.40 for an 8.5 ounce bottle.  The glycerin can also be used in other recipes such as body lotions, which I hope to attempt soon.

Friday, January 6, 2012

From Table Cloth to Napkins

  I have had this table cloth for over twenty years.  It was something that came in my sales kit that was rarely used.  Lately I have made a conscious effort to try and cut back my use of Kleenexes by using hankies.  I had some that were my grandmothers that I have been using, but I only had a few of them. Instead of buying more I decided to see what I already had that would work to make my own.  This table cloth was the first idea that came to my mind.  Once I got it out and started looking at it I realized it would make some really nice cloth napkins instead. 

I used my square guides to cut out the material. I used a 12x12 and for the napkins and a smaller one for the hankies.  The material without print was used for the cloth napkins.  These ended up being a Christmas present for my mom, which turned out great.  The part of material that contained print I made hankies out of. They are just the right weight and softness.  Now to add to my hankie collection to cut back on purchasing Kleenexes even more!

I used my serger to finish the edges.  
For the napkins I used 4 threads, and for the hankies 3.