Monday, March 5, 2012

I'm Back!

It has been a long time since my last post. This is mainly due to the fact that on November 9th 2011 we discovered that I was pregnant! Finally after trying for what seemed like forever. I ended up having hyperemesis which prevented me from doing pretty much anything except hang over a toilet and vomit. Not fun at all. What is fun is knowing that is 4 short months we will have a beautiful baby girl!

We are doing things much differently this time. First off I plan to exclusively breastfeed for as long as possible. If that means 2 or 3 years then so be it! I'm so excited to have this chance again. My first daughter I BF for somewhere between 4 and 6 months. I'm going all out with this one. What's more is we are not using disposable diapers this time! That's right, we have gone to cloth. It keeps with our wanting to reduce waste and use more natural things. I actually got my first diaper covers in the mail today. I was so excited!

We also plan on doing a lot of baby wearing. These are things that are mostly new to me. I'm also debating vaccinations or maybe selectively vaccinating. Either way, I can't wait for our baby girl to get here in July.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Lessons of a Housewife: Laundry & Dish Soap

I'll start off by saying I did in fact pass my NCLEX and I am now a fully licensed nurse.

Anywhoo on to the purpose of this post.

My old dish soap was running low and I knew that I was going to be needing some more, so instead of purchasing it I made some! I had to drive 30 minutes away to get octagon soap for the ingredients so I bought ten bars. It only cost $7.90, and only half a bar is needed per gallon of dish soap which means I can now make 20 gallons of dish soap for under $8. That's pretty great considering how much we were paying for store bought.

This is how you do it.

You will need:

1 bar of octagon soap (shredded, and no you cannot use another brand)
1 tablespoon of super washing soda (it HAS to be super washing soda)
A sauce pot
1 long handled spoon
1.5 gallon container (I used a repurposed bleach container)
1 funnel


1. Grate 1/2 bar of soap using a cheese grater into a medium sized sauce pot.

2. Add hot water about half way to the top.

3. Stir on medium heat until all the soap is melted. 

4. Add in 1 tbsp super washing soda and stir for 1 minute until it is completely dissolved. 

5. Pour your mixture carefully into your container using a funnel.

6. Add water about 3/4 full and shake well. 

Laundry Detergent:

You will need:

1 bar fels naptha soap grated
1 cup super washing soda
1/2 cup borax
1 sauce pot
1 long handled spoon
1 5 gallon container with a lid
1 clean laundry bottle
1 funnel 


1. Grate a full bar of fels naptha soap into a sauce pot with a cheese grater. 

2. Add water until a little over half full stirring on medium heat until all the soap is melted.

3. Pour your soap into a 5 gallon container that is filled halfway with warm water, add borax and super washing soda. You may also add a 5 - 10 drops of essential oil if you wish, however I find this is very fragrant on its own.  Mix contents together and then top with cold water.

I use a 5 gallon trash can with a lid. Just be sure to label it!

Your mixture will become a gel when sitting.

4. Use a funnel and fill your clean laundry detergent bottle halfway with the laundry detergent and fill the rest with water. Label your container and shake well before each use. This will yield 10 gallons of laundry detergent.

Make sure to label it with directions on how much to use. The cap on my laundry container needs to be filled twice to meet the 5/8 requirement so I labeled the cap as well to make things easier. 

Happy cleaning!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

I took my NCLEX today.

Today I took my boards for nursing.
Let's just say that I was and still am a nervous wreck.
Good news is that it shut off at 85 questions, which is apparently good?
Anyway I'm still a ball of nerves and can't wait to find out if I passed or failed.
Just ready for this to be done.

This was me today.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Tips & Tricks for Homemade Supplies

Today I spent the better part of my morning experimenting with different recipes for household items. I have finally finished my regular stash of harmful chemical cleaners. I scoured the internet for the last several weeks looking for just the right ingredients that will get the job done without compromising the air quality in my home like so many other cleaners do.  My usual Mr. Clean febreze all purpose cleaner is replace with vinegar, water, lemon, baking soda and tea tree oil. Fabric refresher replaced with water, baking soda, and vanilla extract. Dusting spray with olive oil, lemon juice, white vinegar and water. And the glass cleaner replaced with white vinegar and water.

I believe the best part of having all homemade cleaners is that Emma can get in on the action without getting harmful chemicals on her. When I clean my kitchen counters now I know it's safe around my food because I use the ingredients in my food! Add to this the fact that I can actually breathe while scrubbing my bathroom it's amazing.

My best friend in cleaning was bleach. I used it on everything. I would dilute a little in a bucket of water and mop the floors, wipe down the walls, pour some in the toilet bowl, soak my whites in the tub in it. I used bleach everywhere. The downside to this is that bleach dried my hands out, left an awful smell on my skin and practically burned my lungs when I would breathe.

I found this lovely little list on this website.

The ABC’s of the Toxic Chemical Connection

  1. Begin by thinking of your home as a toxic waste dump. The average home today contains 62 toxic chemicals – more than a chemistry lab at the turn of the century.
  2. More than 72,000 synthetic chemicals have been produced since WW II.
  3. Less than 2% of synthetic chemicals in wide spread use have ever been tested for toxicity, birth defects or their mutagenic or carcinogenic effects.
  4. The majority of chemicals have NEVER been tested for long-term effects.
  5. An EPA survey concluded that indoor air was 3 to 70 times more polluted than outdoor air.
  6. Another EPA study stated that the toxic chemicals in household cleaners are 3 times more likely to cause cancer than outdoor air.
  7. CMHC reported that houses today are so energy efficient that “out gassing” of chemicals has nowhere to go, so it builds up inside the home.
  8. We spend 90% of our time indoors and 65% of our time at home. Moms, infants and the elderly spend 90% of their time in the home.
  9. Cancer rates have almost doubled since 1960.
  10. Cancer is the number one cause of death for children.
  11. There has been a 26% increase in breast cancer since 1982.
  12. Breast cancer is the number one killer of women between the ages of 35 and 54.
  13. Primary suspects are laundry detergents and bleach, household cleaners, and pesticides.
  14. There has been a call from the U.S./ Canadian Commission to ban bleach in North America.
  15. Bleach is being linked to the rising rates of breast cancer in women, reproductive problems in men, and learning and behavioral problems in children.
  16. Chemicals get into our body through inhalation, ingestion and absorption.
  17. We breathe 10 to 20 thousand liters of air per day

Amazing isn't it. 

I never knew all that harmful stuff was in MY house. How could I be so stupid to use products that have untested chemicals in them. 

The problem is that we have not been properly educated and the information is so hard to find. Don't believe that just because it is on a grocery store shelf makes it safe. I used to waltz into the grocery store, go through the cleaning aisles and pick up windex, bleach, pine sol or mr. clean, febreze, glade scented plug ins, clorox bleach toilet bowl cleaner, all purpose sprays and never think a thing of it. Now that I know better I'm skipping all of that. No more scrubbing bubbles here.

Air fresheners one of my all time favorite things could have been interfering with my reproductive health. There was no warning label stating it can cause birth defects, infertility and hormonal imbalances. The state of California stated that 5 types of phthalates are known to cause reproductive harm and birth defects. You can find more information here.

Now that I have ranted about the evils of chemicals and how they are now officially banned from my home here's how to make some standard cleaning supplies.

All Purpose Cleaner:
I use this to wipe down kitchen counters, cabinets, floors, toilets, showers anything hard and non-porous. It gives off an amazing clean fresh smell. No chemicals that will burn your nose when you're done. 

1 Gallon container from water
1/2 cup baking soda
1/4 distilled white vinegar
50 drops of lemon juice
10 drops of tea tree oil
Hot water

First place a large funnel in the mouth of your one gallon container. Pour in vinegar, and baking soda. Remove funnel and add lemon juice and tea tree oil, then add hot water shake and cap. 

I made two gallons of this all purpose cleaner. It works great on everything except for class because of the baking soda. 

Window and Glass Cleaner:

1 spray bottle (I used an old fabric refresher bottle after I washed and boiled it.)
White vinegar

This one is super simple.

In the large spray bottle pour in equal parts water and vinegar. 
That's it. =]

Dusting Spray:

1 large spray bottle
2 tsp olive oil
20 drops lemon oil
1/4 white vinegar

Add to a spray bottle and fill to the top with water. Just be sure to give it a good shake before spraying. 

Air Freshener:

Spray bottle (recycled again.)
A few drops of vanilla extract
1/4 cup of baking soda

Use a funnel to add all ingredients to spray bottle, shake and spray. You can use any essential oils that you would like to switch up the scent. I happened to have vanilla extract on hand and it make a lovely warm sweet scent. 

I'm working on replacing our carpet cleaning solution, dish soap and dish detergent.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Conservation & Going Green

We got our water bill yesterday for the last three months. It was horrendous. I asked my husband how did we manage to spend $139.00 on water. It boiled down to the fact that we had another family living with us which meant 4 extra bodies to be showered, extra clothes & dishes to wash, and of course extra toilet flushes. Even so that is an awful lot of money to spend on water!

After the shock of how much we spent on water alone passed I was trying to decide how we would cut down on wasting the water. This wasn't something I had given much thought to. I never realized how expensive, and precious, the water actually is. So last night instead of running the water the entire time I wash and rinse each dish I decided to try a different way. I lightly rinsed off the extra food on all the plates and filled the sink half way with warm soapy water. I used so much less water than I usually do, and it was quicker too. This method also saved soap! After the sink was filled I put each dish in the soapy water, scrubbed it and then placed it back on the counter until they were all washed. Then I let out the water and used the cold water just to rinse the dish off and turned the water off in between. Who knew I had been wasting this much water every time I did the dishes. I actually felt guilty about how carefree I had been with this aspect of our home. Everywhere else I have tried to cut back, turn off the lights, don't use the dryer, keep the thermostat at a reasonable level and don't turn it on unless it's above 85 outside. How in the world did I overlook the water.

After dishes were done and our daughter was in bed my husband went out to do our grocery shopping for the week. It's actually very simple since we switched to organic and unprocessed, and much cheaper too. When he came home he had bought a low flow shower head for our bathroom since I love my two showers a day this could be a big savings. I was skeptical about how the new showerhead would work since I loved the one we had before on a hose. I also thought "low flow" meant that it wasn't going to be powerful. However when I got into the shower this morning it was fantastic. Just out of curiosity on how much water I was using with this new low flow thing I decided to plug the drain for the duration of my shower. My tub only filled up 2 inches! That's a lot of water savings.

Today's little how to:

Dusting spray


Olive oil
Lemon juice
Distilled white vinegar
1 16 oz spray bottle


Pour in 2 tsp live oil into container, add 20-30 drops of lemon juice and 1/4 cup vinegar fill the rest with h2o and dust away. Shake well. This worked wayyyyy better than store bought.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It's October!

This past weekend was absolutely gorgeous! I love when the weather turns into the crisp cool air of fall.
When this time of year comes around it really gets me in the mood for some organization, kind of like a revamp.
In a few weeks many changes will be happening in our house, but for now it's still a secret. =]
Needless to say before these changes take place some serious organization needs to take place. It's time to finish purging all the old toys and clothes to make room for some new and exciting things!
It amazes me how we have gone through our house so many times and donated things left and right thinking that we have gotten rid of all the excess only to discover we haven't! How can three people have so many things?
In the coming days I am going to work on finishing our system redo! It's time to stop putting things off and waiting for another day. Today I am finishing up things that had been left undone far too long. Such as the nail in my tire, who knows how long that has been there!
For now I'll leave you with the very simple easy recipe of homemade laundry soap.

1 bar of Ivory Soap
2 Gallons of Hot Water
2 Cups of Baking Soda
You can add a few drops of essential oil or tea tree oil if you like

In a large sauce pot grate up the bar of Ivory soap. Add just enough water to cover the shredded soap. Heat on medium and stir frequently until all of the soap is melted.
Add your soap into a large container of HOT water stir, then add in 2 cups of baking soda and mix very well until all the baking soda is dissolved.
If you wish to add tea tree oil or essential oil you can.
I didn't, it smells wonderfully alone and our clothes come out fantastically clean.
With this recipe you can make 64 loads of wash for less than a $1!
Use 1/2 cup for regular loads and 1 cup for heavily soiled loads.
If your soap coagulates on the top after a day or two you can do one of two things, add it back to a large pot and boil it again, or do what I do, just break it up with your hands and stir it around. Either way it works just the same.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Busy Busy Week

So many things have been going on in my head this week.
I'm so ready to go back to work and get this nursing thing going.
I've been baking more, experimenting with different breads, and looking for another hobby that I could really enjoy.
I kinda have this thing with pregnancy. It's such a beautiful wonderful time in a woman's life. I had a pretty good birth with my daughter, but it could have been different. I would love love love to have a homebirth, I already know I can deliver naturally! So this has me thinking about becoming a doula.
This opportunity has fallen into my lap recently and I think I'm going to go for it! I plan to go on for my RN, who knows, maybe I'll go to midwifery school. . .

As for today, my beautiful daughter disappeared to her playroom and came down a few hours later.  She snuck into our bedroom and left us this little surprise:

I'm a pretty lucky momma. 

About Me

My photo
I'm Jessica, a 21 year old SAHM mom of a 6 year old little girl. I have been married to a wonderful man for just over a year and loving every moment. I recently graduated from nursing school, and am enjoying this much needed time off to enjoy my family. In my family everything is being converted to organic and homemade. I love God and strive everyday to be a better mother and wife. This is my story.