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A site dedicated to sharing all I learn about being a better mother to my children, a better wife to my husband, and a better human being in general. I try to take a more natural crafty approach to life.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Natural Homemade Air Fresheners

  • 1
    For non-spray (stand-alone) air fresheners that you can use in different places in your home, you need five to ten small bowls or jars. Place either two tablespoons of baking powder, two tablespoons of vinegar or one cotton ball soaked in pure vanilla extract in each container. Put one container in the back of the refrigerator and distribute the others in areas of the house where they cannot be reached by children or pets.

  • 2
    For spray air fresheners, you'll need a spritzer (fine mist) spray bottle that you can purchase at most grocery or convenient stores. Mix 1/4 cup baking soda with warm water in a spray bottle, attach the nozzle and shake it up well. After the baking powder has dissolved, remove the nozzle and add in a few drops of lavender or one tsp. of an extract such as lemon, orange or vanilla. Replace the nozzle, label the bottle with whatever ingredient you added to the baking soda and spray anywhere in the house.

  • 3
    Create an air freshener specifically to combat kitchen smells. In a medium sized pot, simmer one tbsp. of vinegar with either two cinnamon sticks or two cloves in one cup water on the stove while you cook. You can also place a bowl of vinegar or fresh coffee grounds on the counter although the effect won't be as dramatic as with the boiled mixture. A ground up slice of lemon or orange placed in the garbage disposal acts as another type of air freshener.

  • 4
    The following mixtures can be used to freshen large areas and even the whole house. Combine two quarts of water with two tbsp. of vinegar in a medium-sized saucepan, bring the mix to a boil and then turn it down to the lowest simmer possible. Now you can choose how to scent your home by adding one of the following combinations to the water and vinegar:
    1) two sliced oranges, one tbsp. of natural vanilla extract and one tbsp. of cinnamon or two cinnamon sticks
    2) one can of coconut milk, one tbsp. almond extract and one tbsp. of vanilla extract
    3) a hand-full of cedar wood chips
    4) one or two bunches of lilac
    5) two sliced lemons, one tbsp. natural vanilla extract and one tbsp. allspice
    6) two diced apples, two tbsp. of cinnamon, two tsp of natural almond extract and ¼ cup of brown sugar
    7) two cinnamon sticks, two pine tree sprigs and three pine cones
    8) one package of twelve peppermint candy canes or the equivalent, one tbsp. of natural vanilla extract and one tbsp. of ground cinnamon, lemon or grapefruit
    How long you simmer the mix is up to you. The scents will fill your home for up to four hours after you've turned off the burner.

  • Read more: How to Make Your Own No Chemical Air Fresheners | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_5600817_make-own-chemical-air-fresheners.html#ixzz1HuD2qjaS

    ~~Homemade Dish soap~~

      • 2 cups boiling water
      • 1/4 cup grated Ivory soap flakes
      • Heat-resistant bowl
      • Wooden spoon or silicone spatula
      • 1/4 cup glycerin
      • 1/2 teaspoon lemon oil
      • Funnel
      • Empty squeeze bottle

    • Instructions

    • 1
      Pour the boiling water into the bowl. Add the soap flakes and stir them gently with the wooden spoon or silicone spatula until they dissolve.

    • 2
      Add the glycerin and lemon oil, stirring gently until just combined.

    • 3
      Let the mixture sit at room temperature until cool to the touch.

    • 4
      Use the funnel to pour the soap mixture into the squeeze bottle

    • Tips & Warnings

      • Try replacing the lemon oil with other oils, such as orange, for different scents.
      • Use caution when pouring boiling water, as it can cause serious burns.
      • Do not use this dish soap in automatic dishwashers. It is only suitable for washing dishes by hand.
      • Do not stir vigorously when dissolving the soap flakes and additives. Stir gently to avoid making suds.


      Chica and Jo

      Sunday, March 27, 2011

      Friday, March 25, 2011

      PIF Pay It Forward Laundry soap recipe

      This is a Pay-It-Forward listing meaning that if you use this recipe do something nice for someone else! Send a card, help a neighbor, make your own PIF listing to share, or even smile and say "Hi" to a stranger! It makes the world a better place!

      Here are two recipes I use for laundry soap, one is a powder and the other liquid:

      ~*~Dry Laundry Soap~*~
      -1 bar of Ivory Soap (or another soap that doesn't leave residue)
      -1 cup of Borax
      -1 cup of Washing Soda (I found mine at a small grocery store but not at Walmart... But that might be different where you live)
      **Grate the soap on a small hole grater. Mix soap, borax and washing soda together with a spoon until thoroughly mixed. Put in a ice cream bucket or any other container with a lid.
      Use a 1 Tablespoon to 2 Tablespoon per load depending on the size and dirtiness of the load.

      ~*~Liquid Laundry Soap~*~
      -1 bar Ivory Soap
      -1/2 cup Borax
      -1/2 cup Washing Soda
      -6 cups of water

      **In a large pot start to boil water. Meanwhile, grate Ivory soap and add to the water and stir until dissolved. In a 2 gallon bucket, mix borax and washing soda together. Slowly add water/soap mixture to the bucket while mixing. Now add one gallon plus four cups more of water and mix. Add scent that you like to the mixture such as lavender essential oils if you want. Let sit for 24 hours until slightly gelled. Use 1/2 cup per load. I like to keep mine in plastic gallon jugs so it's easy to pour and keep.

      Wednesday, March 23, 2011

      Decided I need doublers...

      I have been struggling with little miss Abriella peeing through after her, although beautiful, LONG 10 hr nightly sleep stint. I have decided, after many many different attempts to position the prefold correctly, to make some soakers and see if they help. So after my mommy chores are finished I will be sewing a few different types. Will let you all know what i think of them as soon as they're done!! And will take more photos this time!!!!

      Troubleshooting diaper leaks. taken from EarthyCrunchyMama.com

      Troubleshooting Diaper Leaks

      Cloth diapers shouldn’t leak any more than disposables do.  However, there are many reasons people experience leaks.  Luckily they tend to be easily remedied.
      1. New Diapers: New diapers need to be prepped prior to using them to make them absorbent.  This involves pre-washing them.  For some diapers it can take between 8 and 10 washes and dries for the diapers to reach their maximum absorbency.  Please see Caring for Cloth Diapers for more information on prepping your diapers.
      2. Fit: It is crucial that cloth diapers fit well.  It is important to note that not all cloth diapers will fit all babies equally.  It is important when choosing a diaper that it fits your baby well.  It may take trying a couple of diapers before you find one with the best fit.  Too Large: It is important that the waist and legs should fit snugly.  This is a common problem with skinny legged newborns.  It may take 3-5 times through the washer and drier (many covers should not be dried – please read manufacturers care instructions) to determine whether or not the diaper fits well, since there may be some shrinkage.  It is important not to skip sizes to try to save money.  Doing this will result in an inferior fit and therefore leaking.
        Too Small: Another common problem is diapers being too small.  Although a diaper should fit snugly, there should also be room for air circulation.  If a diaper or cover is too tight it will squeeze any moisture out of the diaper, much like a hand squeezing out a sponge.  If your diaper is too small it is time to move up a size.
      3. Residue Build Up: Another common problem is residue build up due to laundry detergents, fabric softeners and rash creams.  If this is the case you should strip your diapers.  Don’t worry it is simple.  Check out our How to Strip Cloth Diapers section.
      Tried everything and still having leaks? Contact us!  We would be glad to help you solve your diapering problems.

      To see original full article visit:
      Troubleshooting diaper leaks

      Monday, March 21, 2011

      Attempt Numero Uno-Wool soaker :)

      Attempt #1

      1. Scarf (100% lambs wool)
      2. Prefold (for basic measuring)
      3. Sewing machine (zigzag and straight stitch)
      4. 100% polyester thread (cotton absorbs urine)
      5. Elastic for legs

      (100% polyester thread)

         (I cut off the tag)

      (The basic pattern)

      (Elastic sewn in)



      • Next time I will take more pics of the process but this one was my first attempt.
      • I did not use one specific pattern or set of directions but rather a few different sites and my own store bought covers as a basic pattern. Trial and error for sure!!

      Sunday, March 20, 2011


      Have a Kindle???

      Get these free cookbook ebooks!


      Make Your Own Baby Wipes - Cloth Baby Wipes

      Cloth baby wipes are great for those of you who are environmentally aware. They save money too, since you will be able to use them over and over again. No more buying endless packages of baby wipes or paper towels.

      You can choose to sew them yourself, but I also have a easy DIY way to do it too.

      The DIY way? Easy! You can use either a a couple of receiving blankets or go buy some flannel on sale at a local fabric store. All you have to do is cut the fabric into large squares. These kind of fabrics are not going to unravel easily. You can use it over and over no problem, as is. I would suggest using the receiving blankets they give you in the hospital. I know I ended up with about 3-4 of these by the time I left the hospital, and I never used them again after. I had too many nice blankets at home to really need them.

      To sew them yourself? Not too hard either. Pick a fabric you want to use. All you have to do is cut it into large squares, all of equal size. Pair two squares together and sew them together. There are two ways to do it. If you are using a flannel fabric I would suggest just zig-zag stitching all around the outside edges of the fabric.
      Otherwise sew the squares shut with a standard sewing stitch leaving just a 1-2" opening. Turn the fabric inside out, and then hand stitch the opening shut, folding in the edges as you go.

      Make Your Own Baby Wipes Solution Recipe

      Easy baby wipes solution - (my favorite)

      • 2 cups water
      • 1 tbsp of your favorite baby wash
      • 1 tbsp baby oil

      This is the basic recipe. There are many variation but they all seem to be about the same make-up with different ingredients. For example, you can exchange the baby soap with aloe vera gel if you wish. You can use a natural organic soap. You can even use a baby soap with moisturizer to make a moisturizing baby wipe.
      The baby oil can be substituted with essential oils. Try 1/2 tablespoon each of a couple different oils to experiment a bit. Be careful though. I would give a call to the doctor's office to just make sure the oils are not harmful in any way. I know that tea tree oil, or calendula oil are both safe bets. Some people use olive oil and sometimes substitute the water for fancy mineral water.

      * Quick tip: If you want to make you own baby wipes lavender scented, use a lavender baby soap and lavender baby oil. Johnson's makes a great lavender baby wash and oil that smells wonderful!

      Make Baby Stuff For Feeding and Diapering

      Make Baby Stuff For Feeding and Diapering

      Best of 2011. Cloth diaper overview.

      Cloth Diapers
      Cloth diapers aren’t always the most convenient or cheapest option, but it’s a choice that’s healthy for your baby and the planet. Plus, they’ve come a long way! Today you can find highly absorbent, easy-to-fit cloth diapers that are used exactly like disposables — only you throw them in the wash instead of the garbage. Plus, it’s not an all-or-nothing decision. You can use hybrid options (which are biodegradable but disposable), or supplement your cloth diapers with disposables.

      Babble.com <----Check out the full review!!

      What we use!!

      Saturday, March 19, 2011

      Ready for a new week :)

      This is a typical scene from this past week. ;)

      Sabbath-yet again.

      A whole week has passed. I tried putting alot more effort into the blog this week and feel like i did well. Still hope to do more! Always looking for new products that you've tried and enjoy!! I will also post anything you think worthy or useful!! Thats the kind of blog i want this to become!!

      Friday, March 18, 2011

      Banana Bread Cookies

      Original Recipe Yield 3 dozen
      Prep Time:
      20 Min
      Cook Time:
      15 Min
      Ready In:
      1 Hr


      • 1 cup butter flavored shortening
      • 1 cup white sugar
      • 2 eggs
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 1 banana, peeled and mashed
      • 2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1/2 teaspoon salt
      • 3 tablespoons butter
      • 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
      • 1 tablespoon milk
      • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease baking sheets.
      2. In a medium bowl, cream together shortening and white sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs, vanilla extract, and banana. Combine flour, baking soda, and salt; blend thoroughly into the shortening mixture to make a sticky batter. Drop by rounded tablespoons onto the prepared baking sheets.
      3. Bake 10 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until lightly browned.
      4. In a medium bowl, blend butter, confectioners' sugar, milk and vanilla extract. Adjust amount of milk as necessary to attain a drizzling consistency. Drizzle over warm cookies.



      Jungle Friends Bamboo Mobile

      $ 46.00



      These new jungle friends are ready to hang out! A modern addition to any child's room, this Jungle Friends mobile is laser-cut from sustainably harvested bamboo, an earth-friendly renewable resource. Due to the nature of the material, pieces will vary slightly in color and grain.

      Includes: 4 laser-cut animals, 2 hanging sticks, and clear thread. Assembly required.

      Made in the U.S.A.; packaged by a San Francisco non-profit that employs adults with disabilities.

      Total height, hanging: approx. 20 inches


      Green dinner pics ;)

      Cooked in the crockpot with JD#7 bbq sauce as per ny husbands request :)

      The veggies

      Meat is underneath. Should've taken a pic of it too :(

      Now we wait....
      Loaf (or what's left of it) of Irish soda bread-taken with crappy cell camera

      Finished plates! Also poor quality :(

      Abriella in her activity play thingy :)

      Thursday, March 17, 2011

      How to Make Diaper Doublers/Liners | eHow.com

      How to Make Diaper Doublers/Liners eHow.com

      Dinner smells amazing!!

      What are you making tonight??

      ~~Irish wedding blessing~~

      May the fires of your love keep you happy and warm;
      May the strength of your love keep you safe from all harm.
      May the light of your love guide your pathways together.
      May the joy of your love keep you happy forever.
      ~~An Irish Wedding Blessing

      Rainbow cupcakes

      1. Prepare your favorite white cake mix, then divide the batter evenly among six small bowls. Following the chart below, dye each bowl of batter a rainbow color.

        Purple9 red and 6 blue drops
        Blue12 drops
        Green12 drops
        Yellow12 drops
        Orange12 yellow and 4 red drops
        Red18 drops

      2. Line 16 muffin pan wells with baking cups. Evenly distribute the purple batter among the cups, then the blue, and so on, following the order shown. As you go, gently spread each layer of batter with the back of a spoon to cover the color underneath.
      3. Bake the cupcakes according to your recipe directions. Before serving, remove the paper wrapping, and if you like, top each cupcake with a whipped-cream cloud.

      DRINK UP!

      St Patricks Day beverage recipes!

      Irish Bacon And Cabbage Soup




      • 1/2 pound Irish bacon, diced
      • 2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
      • 1 (15 ounce) can diced tomatoes with juice
      • 1 cup chicken stock, or as needed
      • Salt and black pepper to taste
      • 2 cups thinly sliced dark green Savoy cabbage leaves


      1. Place bacon in a large, deep stockpot or saucepan. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown. Drain off any excess fat.
      2. Stir in potatoes, tomatoes, and enough chicken stock to cover. Season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and let simmer for 20 minutes, or until potatoes are tender.
      3. Stir in cabbage and allow the soup to simmer for a few minutes longer before serving.

      From allrecipes.com

      St. Patrick's Day Zucchini-Oatmeal Cookies


      (From allrecipes.com)


      • 1/2 cup butter
      • 3/4 cup white sugar
      • 1 egg
      • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
      • 1 1/2 cups grated zucchini
      • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
      • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
      • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
      • 1 cup quick cooking oats
      • 1 cup granola
      • 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips


      1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
      2. In a medium bowl, cream butter and sugar until fluffy. Stir in the egg and vanilla, mix well, then stir in the shredded zucchini. Sift together the flour, baking soda and cinnamon, stir into the zucchini mixture. Finally, stir in the oats, granola and chocolate chips.
      3. Drop dough from a teaspoon onto an unprepared cookie sheet. Leave at least 2 inches between cookies. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes in the preheated oven. The cookies will stay soft and moist because of the zucchini.

      Super easy irish soda bread!!

      Making corned beef, cabbage, carrots and potatoes in the crockpot with JD#7 and traditional EASY Irish soda bread! Celebrating ny new (marriage induced) Irish-ness :)

      Tuesday, March 15, 2011

      Tomorrow nights dinner from babble.com!!

      Easiest Chili Casserole
      serves 4-6
      5 c your favorite cooked chili (chili made with about 2 lbs ground meat; here’s my favorite recipe)
      8-10 oz frozen hash browns
      spray vegetable or canola oil
      3-4 oz shredded cheese, monterey jack or cheddar work best
      sour cream, optional for garnish
      cilantro, optional for garnish
      avocado slices or guacamole, optional for garnish

      1. Preheat oven to 350. Spoon chili into a casserole dish. Cooking time will be a little faster if you use a wider, more shallow 8- or 9-inch dish, as opposed to a deep 2 or 3 quart dish.
      3. Top chili with hash browns and spray with oil.
      4. Top hash browns with shredded cheese. Bake for about 35 minutes, until potatoes have browned. Garnish with ingredients of your choice and serve!

      From babble.com

      Spring Flower Cupcakes
      makes 18 cupcakes
      1 1/2 cups vanilla frosting (your favorite recipe)
      food coloring or a natural food coloring alternative
      vegan vanilla cupcakes swirled with green food coloring (natural alternatives work great for green!)
      * you can also use your own fave vanilla cupcake recipe*
      2 1/2 cups white pastry flour
      1 1/4 cups vanilla soy milk
      1 cup sugar
      1/2 tsp salt
      1 tbsp baking powder
      1 tsp apple cider vinegar
      1 tsp vanilla extract
      1/3 cup canola oil
      1/2 cup applesauce
      Bake your cupcakes – 350 for 20 minutes.
      Split your frosting into three cups and swirl with different food coloring colors.
      Add the frosting in layers to a decorating tube. One color right on top of the other.
      When you squeeze out the frosting you will get different colors – but a few that swirl nicely together.
      St Patricks Day crafts! Gonna do the spaghetti one!!

      Sunday, March 13, 2011

      St Patricks Day Green eats

      -Great ideas from an amazing site!

      Tag toy day

      Today i need to make the boy tag toys for friends from church. And one special little piggy tag toy for miss charli ;)

      Saturday, March 12, 2011


      Today is Sabbath. Thank goodness. Need some social interaction with adults. (Other htan my amazing husband of course) :)

      We jokingly call it the meeting of the crunchy moms because its all breastfeeding, moby wraps and cloth diapers. LOVE it. Love having women (and men) who are interested in the same things and raise their kids similarly to us. Makes me feel a part of something good.

      Fellowship meal today makes me happy too. YUMMY food made by people i wish i knew years ago!! New recipes anyone?? Today Im bringing cheater pasta salad. Why? Laziness. Plain and simple. At least Im not empty handed!

      Thursday, March 10, 2011

      Once upon a sweet little face...

      My loves!
      "M", "C", and baby "A"

      6 Weeks

      Today I am finally heading off to the dreaded 6 week checkup. Better late than never. Husbands been hounding lol. The last thing we need right now is another little munchkin....although... ;) Bringing "baby A" and leaving the little "C" home with daddy.

      Wish me luck.... :)

      Natural Baby Goods