Thursday, April 7, 2011

Peeps, not to eat:)

Thought I would try to make a few Easter decorations for the house. This one, I mostly did, although Lucy did try to cut a few out and she did have a lot of fun organizing them by color. I am not a peep lover, never have been, but Lucy thinks they are great! mmmm sugar covered marshmallows....

Monday, March 28, 2011


So I read this great article about this family in California, that has taken simplifying their home and life to the extreme, but in a great way! They are all about refuse, reduce, reuse, then recycle. I love her thinking and everything she is doing in her home and family to live more simply and stop all the garbage from ending up in the landfill.  Anyways you will have to check out her blog to see what I am talking about. She has a video or two, that basically explain it all, or most of it.
Well, this got me and my husband started on our own home, and how we were living. So we have started to take some small steps towards simplifying our home and lives. Knowing that this could be a huge undertaking, we are taking it one day at a time, but truly are already starting to feel lighter;) Let me be the first to say that we know that at this time in our lives we are pretty sure that it would be more stressful for us to try to be a zero waste home, but we are striving to be a reduced waste home.
Here are just a few things we have done or are in the process of doing.
   *I made my own produce and bulk shopping bags, out of fabric I already had laying around.
   *We are now shopping in the bulk section of the grocery store, and basically trying to not buy anything in packaging.
   *We are going to a local farm and buying organic raw milk and eggs.
   *We are trying not to purchase anything plastic, or packaged in plastic. (this, turns out can be very
   *We are trying to store our bulk items in glass jars.
   *We have little by little gone through our house and gotten rid of a lot of unneeded stuff.
   *We went through our closets and dressers and only kept a named amount of each item.
   *I am going to try making all of my own household cleaners.
   * I made my own laundry soap
   *We are ripping all of our CD's to our computer and selling our CD's. (sorry Will:)
   * I am making several of our kitchen staples...such as bread, and yogurt.
That is all I can think of currently, I am sure I am missing something. This is an ongoing, growing list. But honestly it has been fun trying to figure out better ways to purchase items, or ways to eliminate them completely.
I would like to challenge you to give even just one thing a try. Every little bit helps. And we all know that in this crazy complicated world we are living in we all could use a little simple in our day to day lives.


Friday, March 25, 2011

Adult Yoga skirt

I made a yoga skirt for my sister for her birthday, in the same fashion as the toddler yoga skirt, but not out of an old T-shirt. I made hers out of a jersey knit sheet, since I needed more fabric for an adult size. I can't wait to see it on her.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Dish Rags

I was inspired by my Mom to make some of my own dish rags, so here they are. I have knitted 4 so far, and am on my 5th. They are so fast and easy to make. I am a super slow knitter, so it is nice to actually accomplish a knitting project.

I made butter!

We started going out to a local farm and getting raw milk and eggs once a week, which has been exciting for my oldest, Lucy. She thinks it is pretty cool to go out to the farm, and see the cows....anyways, since the milk is whole milk, the cream settles at the top, which probably most people already knew this, but I had never been around it and didn't, anyways I skimmed off some of the cream and threw it my mixer and magic, butter! And the left over liquid in the bottom of the bowl is butter milk, which is great for pancakes or just about anything you want to bake that calls for milk. I am learning so much about this raw milk, it is great!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Toddler yoga skirts

I saw this tutorial on a blog that I follow and it was for a yoga skirt made from an old t-shirt. It was super easy and I think they turned out cute. My husband was getting rid of a couple of t-shirts, so I used them to make my 3yr old a couple of skirts.
Here is the link :
Anyways, it took me all of 30min, and I love the outcome. My daughter is into wearing skirts, and these are super soft and comfy.
I think I might even try to take the same concept and make myself one, but I will have to buy yardage to make one big enough for me:)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Making Laundry Soap

So I had heard about making your own laundry soap on that reality show 19 kids and counting, or how ever many kids the Duggars have now. And I was curious, so I looked it up and I guess there are a lot of people that make their own soap, so I thought I would give it a try.
I just made my first batch and it was so easy. Now I still need to test it and see how well I think that it cleans the clothes, but it is suppose to do a good job.
So here is how I did it.

First I grated up a whole bar of soap. I read that you can use any kind that you want. I went with a bar of Spring Fresh Dial soap. I got 2 bars for a $1 at the dollar store. If I like the detergent, I might try to use something more natural...

Then I added 1 gallon of hot water, and turned the stove on high. Mixed until all the soap shavings have dissolved.

Then I added 1 cup of Borax, and 1 cup of washing soda, not the same as baking soda. Bring it to a boil, it might get a little jelly like at this point.  Once it starts to boil and you now have a bubble factory, remove from heat.

Add 1 gallon of cold water to the soapy mixture, and mix all together. This is your laundry soap.

Transfer into 2 milk jugs, or into old laundry soap containers. I used half of a coke bottle as a funnel, so I wouldn't make a huge mess.

And there you have it, 2 gallons of homemade laundry soap! Use 1/4-1/2 cup per load.

Now some people might think I am crazy, you know you can buy that stuff at any store right, but it was the savings that got me, so I had to give it a try. I will break down the cost for you.

1 bar of soap - .50
box of borax - 2.50(19 batches)= .13 per batch
box of washing soda - 2.50(14batches)= .18 per batch
Grand total - .81 for 2 gallons, or 64 1/2 cup loads, or 128 1/4 cup loads
That is a huge savings! Ok now I gotta go and try out my new laundry soap, I will come back and update on how it works. Happy washing:)

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Valentine bag

I wanted to make a homemade valentine for my daughter, so I made a simple little bag, with a felt heart and filled with a few sweets.

I just used a scrap piece of fabric like 6x3 or so and pressed it with an iron, almost in half, but left one half a little longer so that I could have a flap.
Then prior to sewing up the sides I cut a heart shape out of felt and sewed around the edges, then added a little love note.

Next I sewed, I used a serger, but could just as easily been done on a regular sewing machine, around the edges, leaving the flap open. Sewed on some velcro, and filled with a few sweets.

Lucy was so cute, she said "Mom I love you, because you made me a valentine."

El Salvadoran Papusas

I made these the other night for dinner, super easy to make. You can stuff with what ever you want, cheese, beans, beef, chicken, pork...I made a pulled pork in my crockpot, and used that along with some cotija  cheese and some mozzarella.

First you use your masa flour and water to make your dough for your tortilla. I just follow directions on the package. Then you get a small ball, about the size of a lemon or a small apple, make an indentation in the center, this is where you will place your filling.

Now add your filling in the center. It does not take much filling, it all depends on the size of the papusa you are making.

Now you pull up or pinch up some of the masa from the sides to cover the filling completely. You want for there to be no holes.

Now you just pat it out into a round disc like shape, trying not to expose the filling in the center. It is hard to tell in this picture, but the center of course is going to be thicker because there is more filling in the middle. I would say try to get the rest of it about 1/4in or less in thickness. I then placed mine on wax paper or parchment, until ready to cook.

Finally, you just fry up in a hot, dry skillet or cast iron pan. No oil is needed. It only takes about 3 min per side, just till they don't feel doughy anymore and start to get some browning.

Traditionally these are served with an El Salvadoran coleslaw, which is cabbage, vinegar, red pepper flakes, and oregano. I tried this, not my favorite. I prefer just a simple coleslaw or beans or rice on the side.