Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Baby News!!!

Margaux Alexandria has arrived!!!
Born October 23, 2010 at 10:37pm
weighing 8lbs 7oz, 20 inches long
(excuse the fuzzy cellphone picture!
I haven't had a chance to upload pics from the camera yet)

"I prayed for this child, and the Lord has granted me what I asked of him." 1 Samuel 1:27

Friday, October 22, 2010

Let's talk Holidays.

It's almost that time of year again!! I come from a pretty small family, but my husband has around 80-ish cousins and a whole lotta aunts and uncles. He's the youngest of four and so we also have a lot of nieces and nephews. For the sake of my sanity (and bank account), I start thinking about the holidays pretty early. Whenever possible, we do homemade/handmade gifts. I think it's great for the kids...but it's also good for the grown ups too. With a little planning ahead, it's really quite easy and can be a lot of fun!

Below are a list of ideas of fun and affordable handmade/homemade gifts...some of which the kids can even get in on!!

1. Know how to knit or crochet? Check out www.ravelry.com for tons of cute patterns...and they're free! That's the route we're taking this year. Adults are getting crocheted washcloths that can be used as rags, hot plates, dish cloths...whatever they need them for. Kids are getting matching hats and mittens.

2. Candles! I found some really easy instructions on how to make some pretty candles.

3. Hot Cocoa Mix. Put this in a cute mug and you're good to go!

4. Soap Balls! I remember doing this when I was little and it went over really well.

5. Sock Puppets (for kids, of course)

6. No Sew Sachets (Kid friendly)

7. Adorable Pin Cushions

8. Awesome Storage Bins (some sewing skills required)

Have some ideas to share? I'd love to hear what other families do for homemade Christmas gifts!

Monday, October 18, 2010

A woman of her word!

So, here I am, 9 months pregnant with Baby number 3. 38 weeks to be exact! It's a girl!! Margaux Alexandria. We had some complications (hence my absenteeism), but things have been smooth sailing for the last 8 weeks or so and I'm ready to jump back into the Humble Homemaker!

So, if I remember correctly, I owe you all some pictures! Laundry detergent making process pictures! My last batch lasted 6 months (wow!). Since then we've moved into a new home with our own washer & dryer and in light of that, we've started cloth diapering. So detergent isn't lasting quite as long these days since I'm doing diaper laundry as well...but it costs .87 cents per batch of detergent, so who cares?!

First, a review of the Recipe:

1/3 bar of Soap grated or finely chopped. I've used Fels Naptha and Kirk's Castile soap, both work great!
1/2 cup Washing (NOT BAKING!) Soday
1/2 cup Borax
A whole lotta water
Big bucket (I use a 5 g
allon bucket)
Similar sized storage container (I use a few old laundry detergent containers)


1. Combine grated soap and 6 cups of water in a medium saucepan. Heat until soap melts.

2. Stir in 1/2 cup Washing Soda and 1/2 cup Borax. Stir until dissolved.

After the soap, washing soda, and borax have dissolved, your mixture should look like this:

3. Add 4 cups HOT water to your bucket.

4. Pour in 1 gallon + 6 cups water (doesn't have to be hot) and your soap mixture. Let this sit in the bucket overnight and you're done! Use 1/2 cup detergent for top load washing machines and 1/4 cup detergent for front loaders.

A word on texture: A few friends & family have tried this recipe. Almost every single one of them called me saying that they must of done something wrong because their detergent looked like coagulated animal fat. Yes, this detergent has a weird texture...it gets chunky. Usually if you just shake it up a bit, it'll be fine. This doesn't have any impact on the functionality of the detergent, don't worry! If you're like my borderline OCD husband and REALLY can't stand the chunks, an emersion blender works fine to smooth it all out :).

Looking forward to many more posts!