Cloth “paper” towels

I have a love/hate relationship with paper towels. They are convenient when you have a little mess to just wipe up and throw away, but when you are on a tight budget purchasing paper towels every week is something we do without.  My husband and I have established a habit to not use paper towels, and now we use them on rare occasion.  We don’t even have them in our kitchen, if we want a paper towel we have to go looking for them.

A few months ago I set out to find a paper towel solution that worked for us.  Here is the solution that we came up with:

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Cheap washcloths from Walmart, folded nicely in the drawer with the other dishcloths.  When I have a little thing to wipe up, or a baby with a messy face I can just grab one from out of here and I’m good to go!

 

When we are done using the cloth, we needed a place to put it until we wash it. Obviously we need enough to make it worth doing a load of laundry. Under our kitchen sink we have a little green garbage can that we got from a dollar store.  When we are finished using the cloth, we drop it in the garbage can to await the washer.  If the rag is soaking wet, we usually drape it over the sink divider to let it dry and then drop it in the can under the sink.  I usually wash them when it gets full, and I throw in whatever other towels in the house are dirty.

UPDATE (unrelated to this topic): Since writing this post, we have gotten rid of the dishwasher soap that you see in this picture.  We now make it ourselves and it does an even better job than these products!

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Kaydee 🙂

Sugar Wax

Hmmmm… What to say about waxing?  Personally, I don’t feel the need for it. Maybe (occasionally) on my eyebrows.  For this post, I tried making my own homemade sugar wax.  I used a few different recipes.  You can check out our Sugar Waxing pinterest board for the recipes I attempted.  I was very disappointed by the experience I had.  Maybe they were just poor recipes?  Regardless, after many tries I still wasn’t happy.  It was very frustrating having to try over and over again, and then when I  actually put the wax on my skin, it was hot and it hurts!!!  I am obviously not one to regularly wax, because it took me 30 minutes on one leg and I wasn’t seeing much success.  3 weeks later, I have hair growing back in and lots of scabs from my massacred pores.

At the moment, I don’t recommend sugar waxing.  Stay tuned for when I try it again! Please leave any helpful comments below!

Laundry Detergent

*******UPDATE*******

Natural Momma here, after using this one for a few months, my clothes started taking on a weird smell. We found a different recipe we like much better, for the review and recipe click here!

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Homemade laundry detergent that you can make in less than 10 minutes start to finish, costs less than $4 a batch, and lasts for months? Yes, it is possible! I have personally been using this detergent for 4 months, but Michelle and Brittany have been using it for longer and introduced it to me.  I started using my first batch during the first week of January and didn’t need to make another until March.  That includes washing all of my clothes, my husbands clothes, my daughters clothes, our towels, sheets, rugs, and cloth diapers (which get washed every 2 days) for 2 months. You only need 1/2-1 tablespoon per load depending on how large the load is.

Ingredients:

1 bar Kirk’s Castile Soap

1/2 cup BioKleen Oxygen Bleach Plus

1 cup Baking Soda (also available at local grocery store)

1/2 cup Washing Soda (also available at local grocery store–in the laundry section)

1 1/2 teaspoon Citric Acid

20-25 drops doTERRA essential oils (We suggest OnGuard, Melaleuca, Purify, or Lemon)

Directions:

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Grate the bar of soap

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Measure out ingredients

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Pour BioKleen, Baking Soda, Washing Soda, and Citric Acid in a bowl and and mix.

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Layer half of the powder in the bottom of a food processor, add the grated bar soap, and then add the rest of the powder on top.  This helps the soap to mix well with the powdered ingredients.

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Mix

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Add essential oils

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Pour into glass jar. Ta-da! You are all done!

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See? So simple and so easy. Put it by your washer and use 1/2 tablespoon or 1 tablespoon if your load is big and dirty.

This recipe is safe for cloth diapers and  unmentionables.

How to Make Your Own Hairspray

Since exploring the no poo hair care method we have been testing out some hairspray recipes.   So far, I have found one that I absolutely love.  See the original post here.  I have been using this recipe for over a month now on my own hair, as well as on my daughters hair.  I have no complaints.  It is SO cheap and it works really well! It also smells wonderful–definite plus!

I’m sure you have access to some water and some sugar.  If you don’t have access to the essential oils, you can shop for them here.  The essential oils will help support your scalp and hair.  They also make it smell amazing!

I also tried making the hairspray without the essential oils.  It was totally doable, but I definitely prefer including the essential oils!

You can add more or less sugar depending on how tight of a hold you want for your hair.  Using the measurements from the original post works wonderful when I put my daughters hair in pony tails, but if you need a tighter hold go ahead and add another 1/2 teaspoon to your recipe.

How did this work for you? Comment below!

Kaydee

DIY Natural Sunscreen Review

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Last week, Michelle came down to Arizona and we got to spend time working on our business and having fun. Together, we taught classes that educate on natural solutions.  For one of our classes, we gave samples of a DIY Ultra Moisturizing Natural Sunscreen.  This recipe is very quick to make and has ingredients that can be found easily.  It includes: olive oil, fractionated coconut oil, beeswax, zinc oxide, vitamin E, shea butter, and helichrysum essential oil.

  • Olive Oil can be found at your local grocery store.
  • Fractionated coconut oil can be purchased here.
  • Beeswax can be purchased anywhere as long as it is 100$ pure and organic.  White pellets are my personal recommendation.  They can also be purchased on amazon.
  • Zinc oxide can be found on amazon.
  • Vitamin E Oil is available on amazon.
  • Shea Butter can be purchased here.
  • Helichrysm essential oil should be purchased in the Shop link here.

 

With this recipe, multiple batches can be made. It is also very simple to make and doesn’t require a lot of time.

However, it is not waterproof and will need to be reapplied frequently when swimming.

 

Hi, Brittany here!

My youngest two kids have the most sensitive skin ever. Any type of stress makes their skin break out in a rash, usually in the form of eczema. Also, any type of chemical. That is why I have started to switch my household products to more natural options. I use a fabulous homemade laundry detergent that I love on my clothes.  The other day a friend of mine was watching my kids and wanted to let them play outside so she put sunscreen on them, which I appreciated, but it caused  their skin to break out. I used this sun screen just this last weekend at the Tulip Festival at Thanksgiving point in Utah, all of us used it and not one of us got sun burnt! I love the texture of this cream! It doesn’t leave a sticky residue feel like normal sunscreen. The only thing I would want to improve is the smell, which I will try to change the next I make it by adding additional essential oils. Let us know how you like this sunscreen in the comments below! We would love to hear from you!

 

Brittany and Kaydee

 

Cloth Diapers

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Since I am lucky enough to be able to stay home with my daughter during the day while my husband works, I decided early on that I would give back to the money he makes by learning how to be thrifty with it.  As I evaluated what I do each day and how I can cut back on things, diapers for our baby girl was one thing I could cut back on.  Since I was trying to SAVE money, I didn’t want to invest a large chunk of cash on expensive, albeit cute, diapers.  Especially because I was inexperienced in the field of cloth diapers and didn’t know what I would think of them in the long run.  After watching the video found on this blog and talking to my mom about her experience with cloth diapers I have finally found what works for my family! This method could probably be considered a little old fashioned compared to the really cute and slick kinds that are out there. However, these have helped me meet my goal of saving money, and I don’t mind them one single bit.

There are a lot of things to know about cloth diapers.  Check out our pinterest board for other great references.

The kind of cloth diapers I use are made by using a prefold and waterproof cover.  A prefold is made out of a cloth that will soak up liquid, such as birdseye.  It is fastened in place and then a waterproof cover is put over the fabric to keep it waterproof. I like this option because it can be cheaper up front.  Please notice that I said it can be cheaper.  It will depend on what kind of plastic cover you decide works best for you.  There are covers that look like a normal diaper and snap right on over the cloth, these can be really cute and sometimes preferable.  The other covers are simple white plastic pants that aren’t nearly as cute, but are just as functionable.

 

Here is the way my family has chosen to do cloth diapers.  It is very simple and fits our lifestyle perfectly.  I realize that this probably won’t work for everyone, so keep doing some research if you need a different method just for you! First off, we only cloth diaper during the day and while we are at home.  This means, that we still purchase disposable diapers, but we go through them much much slower.  The reason we don’t use cloth at night is because we want to minimize any awake time at night and if the plastic pants start to sound like a toy to our little girl, or the extra steps in putting the diaper on arouse her further, it means we will all be awake a little longer.  We also use disposable diapers when we go out so that we don’t have to deal with carrying around wet stinky diapers from store to store or at our friends house.

Here is a walk through our cloth diaper routine.  In the morning we put on the prefold, fasten the prefold with a snappi, and put on the plastic pants. We use these plastic pants or these diaper covers.  When the cloth diaper is soiled, we take off the plastic pants, if they have poop on them I throw them in the wet bag/diaper pail but if they are just wet with pee, I spray them with my diaper cleanser that I have next to my changing table and then let them air dry on the shelf below.  Next, I take a cloth wipe and my homemade natural wipe spray and spray the wipe until it is moist enough to clean a  dirty bum.  I also wipe down the plastic changing table with the cleanser after I have placed the soiled diaper in the diaper pail so that the new prefold I put down doesn’t get any of the previous excrement on it.  This is a messy process, so I try to keep it as sanitary as possible.  I then replace the prefold, snappi, and plastic pants and do it all over again.  I have 26 prefolds, 6 plastic pants, and 3 snappi’s that I rotate through.  When a diaper is poopy I drop it in a simple little garbage pail next to my changing table while I finish the rest of the diaper changing process, then after I take it to the bathroom where I put on my plastic cleaning gloves and rinse off all of the solid.  After it is thoroughly rinsed, I put it in another garbage pail to await the the washing process.

In order to make it worth saving money on diapers, it is important not to spend that saved money on your water bill, so I was the diapers in the washer every 2-3 days. Diaper pails help to keep the smell away, and I also make a deodorizer that helps.

 

Washing

 

Washing your cloth diapers can be tricky, it depends on what fabric you use.  Some cloth diapers have special care instructions so make sure to follow what the package says.  I make my own homemade detergent  that works wonderfully.  My diapers never smell or look soiled after the washing routine (which is my ultimate test). First, I take the soiled diapers and wipes, as well as the wet bag and put them in the washer.  I then run a full cycle with an extra rinse and I don’t put any soap in.  This is just to rinse and loosen up everything on the diapers.  When the first cycle is finished I put a ½ TBSP- 1 TBSP depending on the size of the load and run a full cycle with an extra rinse. Before putting them in the dryer, I do a look and smell check to see if they need to go in again.  Usually they are fine, it depends on how soiled they are.  Every few washes I will pour in a little bleach just to keep them fresh.  It is also advised to let them sun bleach every now and then.

 

 

Gerber prefolds: http://www.amazon.com/Gerber-Birdseye-3-Ply-Prefold-Diapers/dp/B007VBYVW

 

E/ref=sr_1_2?s=baby-products&ie=UTF8&qid=1421788753&sr=1-2&keywords=prefolds .

 

Gerber plastic pants:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000KQ1LFW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Diaper Cover: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B000KQ1LFW/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o03_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Snappi:http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BH0QB64/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o02_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

DIY Natural Diaper Cream

For the first six months of my daughter’s life, her bottom was red about 80% of the time. My husband and I were using tube after tube of store-bought diaper rash ointment-trying to prevent a rash from happening. This method became pricey because how quickly we were using them. It definitely wasn’t the most cost-effective solution. Besides costing an arm and a leg, we had just started using cloth diapers. Store-bought diaper rash ointment and cloth diapers are not to be used together, due to the ointment clogging the fibers in the cloth and making them less absorbent. This predicament meant that in order to use the diaper rash ointment, we couldn’t use the cloth diapers. After a little bit of research and a few trial attempts, we have found the solution to our problem: a cheaper, homemade, natural diaper cream! Good bye sore bum, hello cloth diapers. Win, win!

 

Ingredients:

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Pure beeswax pellets

Pure fractionated coconut oil

Here is the recipe:

3 1/4 tsp of beeswax
3.5 oz of fractionated coconut oil
2 drops doTERRA Lavender essential oil
2 drops doTERRA Melaluca essential oil

Directions:

Measure out beeswax

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Melt the beeswax in a small sauce pan until liquid.

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Pour fractionated coconut oil into melted beeswax.

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Add essential oils

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Take mixture off of heat and pour into a glass bowl.

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Periodically stir the mixture while it cools.

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When cooled, it should be the consistency of soft butter

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If your cream is too runny, melt everything in the pan again and add another 1/4 tsp of beeswax. Repeat until you have the desired consistency.

Thanks for reading! Comment with any questions!  I would love to hear how your diaper cream turns out!

Kaydee 🙂