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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Review time!!!

So it's been a little while since I've made my DIY household items.  I'm happy to say that I'm about 90% satisfied!  Which makes me very happy as well as our bank account!

The laundry detergent was a HUGE success!!  I don't think our clothes have EVER felt as clean as they do now.  Not only that, myself and my kids skin is noticing a huge difference.  I will say that I do not care for the smell of the Fels-Naptha bar soap.  So with my next batch I am going to try using Ivory.  I'll be sure to let you know if that makes much of a difference in the cleaning power.  But my clothes are bright, whites are WHITE, and stains are still coming out with a breeze.  Super pleased and I don't plan to EVER buy a commercial laundry detergent again!  YAY!

My salt scrub was "eh".  I didn't care for the initial recipe I posted using the sea salt and lemon juice.  So I switched it up a bit.  I used Epsom salt and essential lemon oil, along with the sunflower oil I used initially.  WAY better!!!  I LOVE it!!  Not only do I shave with it, I scrub down with it at the end of my shower.  Voila!  No more moisturizers needed!  Plus I smell lemony fresh, haha.  I love it!  My dry skin has taken a drastic turn for the better. =D

As far as the cleaners, not much to say other than I am very pleased with them and I feel that they clean very well.

As for the dishwasher detergent...UGH!  I found it to be an epic fail.  I didn't use it until this week because we were trying to finish up the one we'd bought.  So when I went to use it a few days ago it was HARD!  Yeah...I had to take the hand of a spoon and break it back up to a powder.  The cleaning power is worthless!  I am pretty certain my dishes went in the dishwasher cleaner than they came out.  I *may* try again using vinegar as a rinsing agent before I toss it all out.  I am bound and determined to find a formula that does work though.  Once I do, have tested it to make sure it works, I will share will all of you lovely people.

Body Wash-I'm fairly pleased with it so far.  I am having to play around with the amounts of glycerin though.  I'm finding that different bars of soaps require different amount.  But over all, I'm happy with it.

I have yet to make the fabric softener because I have a large box of dryer sheets I'm trying to use up first, but I'm pretty confident it's going to be a WIN!



So there you have it.  Living frugally is paying off in the long run.  I'm so happy to be able to share this with all of you and more than happy to be your guinea pig.

Stay tuned!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Change of Seasons

The Army life is like a constant changing of the seasons.  Nothing stays the same for long.  People walk in and out of your life, but one thing remains the same.  As the spouse of a Soldier...you're often times alone.  Or so the case has been for me.

If it weren't for the Army I would have never met my dearest best friend in the world.  But as fate would have it, the Army took her away from me.  Sending her to follow her husband to a new duty station, in a new state.  I miss her more than I could ever explain.

I've met some great friends throughout the four years we've been here at Fort Carson.  But as you would assume, some have PCS'd, ETS'd, or the friendship in itself just dissolved.

As we are gearing up to start our second deployment, I'm finding myself in this funk....again...
I remember how hard it was last time.  How alone I often felt.  How I felt suffocated and trapped.

I am bound and determined to not let it end up the same this go around.  But not having a group of friends here makes that difficult.  I firmly believe that no matter what walk of life you are from or living...everyone needs to have a support system around them.  People to vent to, to cry to, to laugh with, to escape with, etc.

I'm really not sure where I am going with this.  Just have this urge to purge some of these disgusting emotions that have been eating me inside lately.  It's a way for me to cope with the wide range of emotions.  I'm just kind of all over the board here.

I have a list of "deployment goals", I have a couple trips planned out, I have things to look forward to (like sending my first born off to Kindergarten), etc.  I only pray that this will help pass the time and ease the empty feeling in my soul while my husband is serving overseas.  I also pray that God will place a few positive and genuine people in my life.

I will come out on top.  I will not feel sorry for myself.  I will stay positive.  I will keep pushing forward with a smile on my face.  I've done this before, I can do it again....and BETTER!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Another productive day!

Today I made body wash and dishwasher detergent!  Let me tell you just how excited I am about this!  For pennies I made enough of both to last me MONTHS!!!!!  How exciting is that?  I can hear my bank account thanking me.  =D

Body Wash/Hand Soap


What you'll need:

1 bar of soap (any kind, I used an all natural oatmeal and almond one and it cost me $0.97 at Walmart)
1/2 gallon distilled water ($1 at Safeway)
2 tablespoons of Vegetable Glycerin (I found this at Whole Foods, but you should be able to find it in the pharmacy are of any store, or ask the pharmacist, it cost just over $3 and I only used a teeny tiny bit.)
Large boiling pot
Container for storing

Grate your bar of soap with a cheese grater and pour into the water in the pot.  Add your glycerin (I used 3 Tbs. to make it a little thicker but it ended up being too thick, so just use 2).  Warm on the stove until all of the soap has melted.  Stirring gently as to not create too many suds.  Once it was done I poured it into a gallon size plastic container with a pour spout lid and Up-cycled an old body wash container that I will use to re-fill.  And that's IT!  It was so simple and fast to make.  Make sure to let it sit and cool off.  Cooling off takes several hours and it will continue to thicken up.  So if it's a little runny at first, don't worry!  This makes TONS of body wash that can also be used as hand soap.  Total cost for me to make it was about $1.60 or so.  It will last me months!



Dishwasher Detergent

This made 1.3 gallons of powdered dishwasher detergent.  Using only 1-2 Tbs. per wash load, it's going to last a lifetime (okay well not a lifetime but it'll sure feel like it!!)

What you'll need:
1 box Borax
1 box Washing Soda
24 packages of unsweetened lemonade (you need this for the citric acid, if you can find regular plain citric acid that works too, but I couldn't.  I used Kool-aid brand)
3 Cups Epsom Salt 

You'll want to mix this all together evenly.  You'll need a very large mixing bowl to do so.  Use 1-2 tablespoons per load.  If you have spots on your dishes you can use vinegar as a rinsing agent.  =)