Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Homemade Laundry Soap

While visiting a sister in Washington, she showed me her huge 5 gallon bucket of homemade laundry soap. She got the recipe from our grandma. She has been using it for several months and says it works just great at probably about 1 cent per load!!! I am going to make some as soon as I can find washing soda and then share it with 4 friends so we each have one gallon worth (2 gallons when diluted properly or 128 loads each)

4 cups hot tap water
1 Fels-Naptha soap bar
1 c washing soda
1/2 c Borax

Directions:Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.Fill a five-gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Sir, cover, and let sit overnight to thicken.Stir and fill a used, clean laundry soap dispenser (or a gallon milk carton) half full with soap and then fill the rest of the way with water. Shake before each use. (It will gel)

Optional: add 10-15 drops of essential oil per each 2 gallons.

For a front load machine add 1/4 cup per load

Yield: Approximately 640 loads

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Olympics + Creativity = Good Times

Photos: Team USA French Bread made by my mom.

A delicious rice krispie mountain made by one of my sisters:
My niece and I made this light display for the Opening Ceremonies Party with inexpensive hula hoops and rope lights (after Christmas special 75% off!!!) and lots of small zip cords.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Boring Blah Winter? Time to Make Jam

Okay, this week isn't too blah as far as winter goes. I have Lost to look forward to on Tuesday nights and the Olympics start really soon! Yeah! But here's a tip. It seems like summer is so busy with activities it is hard to make time for canning or making jam. This year a neighbor gave us lots of apricots that were really ripe. I didn't have time to make jam, so I washed and pitted them and threw them in the blender. Then I measured about about 5 cups of puree and froze in individual freezer bags. Now when I have some time, I can just pull them out and make jam. Usually a jam recipe calls for about 5 to 5 1/2 cups of fruit (although you need less if you make apricot/pineapple jam like I did). In 2008 I froze lots of strawberry and raspberry purees. My mom was kind enough to make raspberry/strawberry jam when she visited in November 2008 after my daughter was born. That is my favorite jam ever!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Swap Meet

The other night at our church the ladies had a little swap meet. We all brought stuff we didn't use or need and then people could take home what they wanted. The rest went to the local donation center. I went through my craft things and found lots of useful things I wouldn't be using again or things I bought that just didn't work out (like 3 yds of nice fabric I bought for curtains but wasn't what I wanted when I got it home, 2 skeens of yarn that were barely used for a craft project, ).

I thought that was a fun idea in lieu of garage sales or just donating.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Wrapping Paper Cardboard Tubes and Boots

I should have posted this one right after Christmas. The fat long cardboard tubes from Christmas wrapping paper are great to save if you have tall leather boots. I have a pair of black boots and brown boots I love to wear in the winter with skirts and dresses. When I am not wearing them I put one cardboard tube in each boot, cut to size. Then the boots stay standing upright in the closet and the leather doesn't get creases in it. You can use other things like rolled up newspaper as another option if you don't have the cardboard.