This is my Happily Ever-After

Review: Homemade Baby Wipes

It’s been about 7 mouths now since I’ve been making my own baby wipes. I get asked at least 2-3 times a week on how I make them. I just found a recipe on Pinterest. They all are the same, so there’s no original source. It is very simple to make and we save tons of money. I should have done it from day 1 of our first baby!

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All the recipes I found said to use 2 cups of water and 1 1/2 TBSP of baby oil and and baby wash. I did not like the outcome of it. I felt it was too much water and too soapy, so I used less and I love how it turns out now :) Do what you want.

I buy a 12 pack of the Bounty Mega Roll’s Select-A-Size Paper Towels and use my electric carving knife to cut them in half ahead of time and store them under my bathroom sink(this is not my preferred place to store them in case of any leaks but I have no other place to put them). I haven’t kept track of the savings, but I know we are not spending anywhere near as much as we were when we were buying wipes every month.

Each roll last me 1 week. I use it with 2 diapered kiddos. I get 24 rolls out of the package, so that’s 24 weeks. I spend $14 on a package. Baby Oil is $4 and last me 144 uses and the baby wash is $5 and last me 144 uses. Which comes out to about $0.65 per half-roll. So we spend almost $16 every 6 months.

That’s way cheaper then the $2-$3 on a single package of wipes. Plus, I know exactly what is in them and I know exactly what our daughter’s tooshies are coming in contact with. Plus, they hardly get any rashes now! It’s well worth it :)

I plan to use a combo of paper towel wipes(poopie diapers) and reusable fabric wipes(pee pee diapers). Which will save us even more money! Sweet!

Baby Wipes

*1 HALF roll Bounty Select-A-Size paper towels

*1 tablespoons baby bath

*1 tablespoon baby oil

*1 1/2 cups warm water

**Put liquids in container and mix.

 **Place the half roll of paper towel in the container, cut side down.

 **Turn the container upside down until the paper towels are soaked through.

 **Pull the cardboard center out of the paper towels & pull center paper towel out.

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Pantry Organization

I know you could probably careless about my cabinets being organized, but I do! :) I love seeing before and after photos of a project.

I feel like I’m running in circles when it comes to organizing my pantry. It never stays organized because my children don’t know how to put things back where they go. We’ve only lived here for 7 months and this pantry has had a makeover about 3 times. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. It’s only about 90% complete, as there are still a couple of things I want to do to it.

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This photo was taken only a few months ago during my first ‘pantry makeover’. I emptied everything out and put it all back in nice and neat…then I went grocery shopping a few days later and it was a mess again.

If money was no option, I would do this in a heartbeat!

But I don’t have a money tree so I went on Pinterest for some ideas on how to get it all under control.

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{Not my picture!}

I found ^this^ idea from Then She Made…

I love this idea!! I quickly went on Facebook and announced to all my local friends to save me all their soda boxes. I did get a few(thank you!!) but not nearly as much as I needed, so I had to figure out something else. I had just stopped drinking soda, so I was no longer buying the boxes.

So my pantry stayed unorganized and only got worse with each shopping trip.

Then my wonderful husband, on one of his home times, took it upon himself to organize the pantry while I took a couple of hours to hang out with a friend.

He did a fantastic job! I had been saving empty diaper boxes for a while already with no clue on what I was going to use them for. He took an exact-o knife and cut them in half and put all my cans in them. I loved it! He even made me a spreadsheet on my laptop of my pantry inventory.

But then I went shopping…..

I should write a book, like ‘If you give a mouse a cookie’…haha!

I kept forgetting to update my spreadsheet on my laptop with taking things off that I used or adding on the things I just bought. The boxes were a free-for-all and I had to dig through to find what I needed. My husband did a great job and it was the start to something great! I would have never have thought to use the diaper boxes. Smart hubby I have! ;)

So today, I had enough. I decided to empty my entire pantry all over again. My kitchen table was once again covered in food. I knew I wanted to keep the box method, because it did work, but I needed to tweak it a bit. So I put all ‘like’ can items in the same box. I also added 3 new boxes.

I put them all inside the pantry..they look so pretty! But something was missing….LABELS!!

I loooooooove labels…I’d label everything if I could, haha.

Sadly my label maker is all out of tape, but I went on my laptop and made my own. They aren’t the prettiest….although the font style is very pretty……but they could be prettier! In time, that is one thing I will change.

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I also want to cover the entire diaper box in pretty fabric to make them look nicer too.

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{Not my pictures!}

I found ^this^ idea at Monkey Business.

For now, I am happy with how it all turned out.

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I am hoping this stays this way. The labels will help!

and of course, I had to figure out another way to keep inventory…so I made this..

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:)

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We made butter!

You read that right! Today {H} made butter during her Little House in the Big Woods lesson.

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Here is what you need to make your own butter.

- Heavy Whipping Cream
- Glass jar with lid
- 1 marble

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I found this box of 151 marbles at Walmart for $5. Score! I hear Pinterest calling my name because I see lots and lots of marble type games in our future :)

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{H} poured the whipping cream into the glass jar.

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This is an old Pesto jar. It has markings on the side for 2oz and 4oz, so we decided to do 2oz’s although she went a little bit over, so it’s more 2.5oz.

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Now shake it like crazy!! Your arms might get tired, so keep switching hands. You can pass it around to others(like MOM) to help and to give you a break ;)

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After 10 minutes of shaking, we no longer heard the marble hitting the glass… it looked like this. It was fluffy and tasted like the beginning phase of Heavenly Hash. We thought we did something wrong and just summed it up to that. While {H} was writing out her butter making process, she noticed that it started to produce more liquid.

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This was only after it set for about 5 minutes. At this point, I thought I messed up her whole lesson. We didn’t have butter….we had a lump of fluff, with a bunch of liquid.

{H} was over the lesson by this point and called it a fail. Well, I was curious to see if shaking it would change it, or if this was truly busted.

So I shook…and shook some more. My arms were killin me!

20 minutes later…we had this..

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Well look at that! Butter!! It had the texture of butter..but not the taste. We all tried it and we all made faces. By this time, I noticed the jar was really warm from all the holding and shaking, so we ended up tossing it in the trash. I’m still not sure if it was safe to keep and eat. I wasn’t going to chance it. Maybe someone can let me know, please. If we can, we will make it again! Not sure how to make it taste better though, lol. HELP!! :D

Who would have thought…a marble and some whipping cream..would make BUTTER!

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Paper organization

What do I do on Sunday nights? Sunday is actually my busiest TV night…almost all of my favorite shows are on Sunday. So after putting the kiddos to bed, I sit there and watch my shows…and now that school is back, I get the coming week of homeschool together while watching them!

I can’t do ANY of this when the toddlers are awake. They just get into everything that I have organized and it’s stressful and frustrating, so I just wait. Because I wait, it only takes me 5 minutes to prep the coming week! Yeah buddy! :D

Here’s what I do….

I grab {J} & {H}’s binders, the crate & {M}’s 5 folders.

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I pull out any papers that got left behind. I have a ‘turn in’ spot for these papers on my desk, but some papers get over looked, like this one in {J}’s binder. So I take those out and put them in a pile to go in the ‘turn in’ slot of my Desk Apprentice.

Both binders have 6 dividers each inside.

‘All Week’
‘Monday’
‘Tuesday’
‘Wednesday’
‘Thursday’
‘Friday’

As I am sure you can figure out. Any papers that are going to be used throughout the week, go behind the ‘All Week’ tab. Other papers get put behind the proper weekday tab. Over summer break, I wrote which ‘day’ each paper went with on the top of the page, which helped me with organizing them into the file folders and into the crate.

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I grabbed the next weeks file folder out of the crate.

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Inside each green hanging file are the manilla file folders. {M} has 5, for each day of the week and depending on what days for {J} & {H} have printouts, they could have up to 5 as well. So that’s up to 15 file folders in each green hanging file on any given week. I have them all labeled “Day # -J”, “Day #-H” & “Day #-M” and they go in order by kid, so I can grab that group for the child’s binder I’m working on, then move onto the next child.

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{J} & {H} gets their new papers put in the proper divider. Nice clean sheets. Love!

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{M} has 5 different colored folders. Each one for a day of the week and it’s written on the front. I tried to follow the ‘rainbow colors’, but my Walmart didn’t have yellow, so I had to use pink. I will probably switch it out at some point because when I *really* think about it, it bugs me..damn OCD..lol.

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I then distribute the right papers into the right folders. At the end of ‘school time’ each day, I take out the ‘Lesson #’ paper and move it into the next days folder. Sunday night, I pull it out and pile it up on my desk. I’m hoping to keep them in neat shape so I can use these again for {B} next year.

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Now I have a bunch of empty file folders and a hanging file. I wrote everything in pencil and instead of buying all these folders to do up the whole school year, we decided to buy enough for 1 semester and to reuse them as the weeks approach.

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For now, I just move them to the back of my crate. Once I get ‘close enough’ to organizing the rest of the year, I will take them out, erase and rewrite the new days/weeks needed and organize it all for that section.

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Now the first hanging file is for the following week. I don’t have to touch any of these again until Sunday night while watching the season finale of “Who Dunnit?”, hehe ;)

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I put {M}’s 5 folders, in order, in the very front. As soon as I lay {B} down for her nap, {M} runs over and grabs the first folder and waits for me to join her at the coffee table to do school.

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I keep the binders in a cubby on my desk. They all know which one is theirs, even {M}. They take them out at the start of school and put them back when they are done. {M}’s holds her calendar pages. Inside they each have a pencil pouch which holds their own pencil, scissors, glue stick and a box of crayons. They do not share because I was tired of things getting misplaced or lost or left lying around and ending up on the floor, in the mouth of our 1-year-old or in the trash.

We are only on week 2, but so far so good!!!

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Homemade Laundry Soap

Does anyone else get excited over making homemade stuff? I sure do! I love this new lifestyle of using chemical free things and saving money!

I have been wanting to make our own laundry detergent for about a year now. I found a BUNCH of ideas from friends and on Pinterest. One really got my attention by how cute it looked in a jar..the name..the pretty label..and by the FOUR ingredients I needed to make it. I did read some reviews on it(I read reviews on EVERYTHING before making a purchase) and I lost interest…but then I had 4 people close to me tell me they use it and say it works great. So I figured I’d suck it up and give it a try.

The laundry detergent I usually buy is about $11 and last me almost a month with all the laundry the 6 of us have. I was afraid buying the ingredients would actually cost more so I never bought it.

Did you know this stuff is super CHEAP??? I’ve never even heard of Fels Naptha before and I didn’t even know where to find it in my Walmart. Of course, down the laundry aisle, duh!

Ok, enough chitchat. Here’s what I made!

Mom’s Super Laundry Sauce

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These ingredients + 4 cups of water, make this recipe!!

So, as you see in the first picture, you want to grate the bar of Fels Naptha. I did this while watching TV with my husband. It was too late to make it, so I put it in a baggie and set it on the counter til the next day.

(I do all my grating while one of my shows is on TV. I buy cheese in the block packages and it saves me tons of time when I am cooking dinner. I just put the grated cheese in baggies and put them back in the fridge.)

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Then you want to mix 1 cup of Borax and 1 cup of Washing Soda

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Boil 4 cups of water. Once water is hot hot hot, dump the grated soap in. Stir until dissolved.

Remove from heat and stir in powdered mixture. Stir until dissolved.

Split mixture into two, 1qt Mason jars. Tighten the lids.

Turn upside down.

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This will happen after about an hour. Don’t touch it for FOUR hours.

Four hours took foorreeeverrrr….lol….it’s the longest part of the whole process.

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4 hours is up! Open the jars veerrrryyyy carefully..or the liquid part will spill all over you…don’t ask..lol..dump the liquid into a bowl.

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You will be left with this. Take a knife or spoon to break it all up so it comes out easy.

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Dump it in the bowl with the liquid

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Take your blender and start blending away!

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Now..here’s where I might have messed up something….the original recipe said it should look like ‘mayonnaise’…well, mine looks like whipped cream!

Beware of toddlers getting upset because they want to lick the beaters and spoon!! {M} threw a huge fit because mommy ‘wouldn’t share the icing’ with her. I had to stop and explain…and she still didn’t care..it looked like icing dangit!

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Start scooping it into the jars…this was another red flag on if I made it correct or not…the original recipe said 2, 1qt Mason jars..well, mine was SO fluffy after beating it, that it wouldn’t fit in one jar, so I had to get a 3rd jar out to put the extra fluff.

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The 3rd jar is almost half full just off the first jar!

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So instead of 2 jars….I have 2 & 3/4! Yeah..I might have messed up..

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I printed the pretty label and taped it on all 3 for safety precaution…I also typed up the recipe and taped it on the back of the jars for future reference.

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I usually keep our gallon store-bought detergent on top of the dryer but since these are glass jars, I decided putting them on our top shelf that only Hubby and I could reach, was a better idea.

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I also put a measuring spoon I would need to use for every use, next to the jars.

It ONLY takes ONE TABLESPOON of this stuff PER LOAD!! Heck yeah!

I can’t wait until I have enough laundry to do a load!! Did I just say that? Lol….

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You can find more DETAILS(do’s & don’ts, etc. Its a MUST READ. So go there!) and the printouts for the pretty label(not the recipe printout. I made that on my own!) over at Budget 101.

This is off Budget 101’s website…

Budget101 Budget Breakdown:

Fels Naptha .99 bar
Borax 76 oz box = 9.5 cups $3.29 box = .34 c per cup
Washing Soda 55 oz box =6.875 cups – $2.97 box = .43 per cup
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Total Expense for 128 loads of Laundry = $1.76

ENJOY!!!!

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