Monday, June 8, 2015

Quilting, The next Frontier

So I have decided to try and learn something new every year, and this year it is quilting! This is something that has always been a desire, as I feel like it is a dying art. I started by taking a Quilting 101 class with my best friend Molly at My Girlfriends Quilt Shop in Logan UT, and let me say that if you are wanting to learn then this is the place! It was a 4 week class and when it was over I had the beautiful gray and teal quilt! My next class I took the Metro Rings class also at My Girlfriends Quilt Shop! It is the beautiful RED quilt that I finished for my little boy, who I might add loves it. My most recent quilt that I am currently quilting on my home sewing machine (A first for me) is my queen size "Grandmothers Window" and I am still working on the quilting part. Then I will Bind it and it will live on my bed. I love quilting, it is a beautiful art form that lasts life times, and can be passed from generation to generation! I can't wait to start my next project!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Homemade Shampoo and Conditioner

This post is about Hair, I have been thinking about my life and the things that I call standards. The things that are in every household through out this country. Whether you are in the upper echelon's of society paying small fortunes for your hair care products, or your budget allots the cheapest shampoo and conditioner made on earth, either way this experiment is for you! Let me get this out in the open, I am a hair care snob... I love Redkin All Soft! I love the smell of it, the way it makes my hair as soft as an ancient Greek goddesses, I LOVE it. That being said for the largest size, which is the best deal money wise, costs $26 per bottle, so I spend $58 after tax. Now this being said, I have very frugal with this, and make it last at least 2 months, but that is still almost $360 per year in just shampoo and conditioner! It pains me to think of all of that money being washed down the drain every day! Along with the fact that I have to wash it everyday because if I don't then within 24 hours my hair looks as greasy as ever. I have read dozens of different health and wellness articles stating that washing your hair everyday is harmful to your hair and scalp. With this in mind the last month I have tried to cut down on how many times I wash my hair, trying every other day, and sometimes every third day. This worked, except that my hair still didn't look clean, nor could I do anything other then buns, braids, and hats. Well, I have hard from so many different people to try a baking soda wash with a apple cider vinegar rinse. I thought about it now for months, and have decided that I am going to give it a whirl. All experiments must have parameters, and mine for this is simple. I want clean, un-greasy, soft, manageable hair, and I want it to stay this way for at least 3 days; I also want to save money, I want to be able to make this with ease, from things that I have on hand, and want this to be easy enough to do for life. To start this I went to walmart and bought two of the clear ketchup and mustard bottles. Each cost 97 cents. I also bought a bottle of lavender oil from a health food store for $16. **Side Note** I will be trying this with lemon extract, vanilla, peppermint oil, and almond extract, each of which I already have in my cupboards. In the first I mixed 1 1/2 cups water, 1 1/2 TBS baking soda. DONE In the Second I mixed 1 1/2 cups water, 2 TBS apple cider vinegar, with 2-4 drops essential oils. (The oil is extra, you can choose not to add this and you hair simply won't have a smell) I started this last night, I was so excited and I loved the bottles. The tips made applying it to my scalp so easy, and The above recipe makes one head washing. I let the baking soda sit on my scalp for a minuet or two before rinsing it out, and then using the vinegar was fast and easy. I was so impressed by how easy my hair was to comb out afterwards! I have very long curly hair so generally it is super difficult to brush out when my shower is through. It has now been 24 hours and my hair still smells beautiful and we will see how this fairs for the next week! I am looking forward to the continuation of my adventure!

Wipes and Diapers and Saving Some Cash!

Well it has been months since I added my last post about cloth diapers, and let me say that I love them! I was able to switch while finishing my final semester in college! I am looking forward to continuing on with this. I have been telling everyone who asks about this everything they want to know and more, and after looking over the numbers I have found that every diaper I change saves me 25 cents, and I change 6-8 diapers per day. That means per month I save between $42-$56, and that is just on diapers! I have also added cloth wipes which I only use when he has a wet diaper, this cuts down on my wipe budget, and I have learned how to make disposable wipes. TO MAKE DISPOSABLE WIPES~ In a 2 cup liquid measuring cup fill with 2 cups hot water, 2 TBS baby wash, and 1 TBS baby oil. Then take one new roll of paper towels, cut in half (use a sharp knife,)and put half in a tall plastic container. Pour the mixture and with in 30 seconds you can pull cardboard and with it will come the first wipe! this solution is the same solution that you use on the cloth wipes, and all you have to do is lay the first wipe down, then the second wipe laps over the first and you fold the left over part of the wipe to the center. You continue to do this until you have filled your container. I use an old wipes box that my friend gave me, and when you do it this way, then you have the pop up effect that makes life so much easier. I love saving money, and I love things that also save me time. I also have a little boy who's skin is so overly sensitive to the unpronounceable chemicals that the cheap baby supplies are doused in. I hope that if others are searching for this that all of my research will come in handy and save some time!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Cloth Diapers~ Day 3!!

Well another day, another few dollars saved! I am so excited to report that this experiment has been going so much better then I could have ever imagined! Parker is loving his special soft diapers, and I am loving how easy this has been. I have been so shocked at how much this has become part of our lives, and I wish I would have started this months ago.

Today has been a crazy day, first we have cut out the Gdiapers from the pack. They don't work in our life; I love how easy it is to change them, how they had the disposable, and how they weren't as bulky as the others. On the other hand, I wish the inserts would snap in like the best bottoms. I didn't like how thin the material was thicker, and that the inserts didn't bunch up when wet.

I also did my first load of diaper laundry today and it was so easy! First I would like to say that I have the Fuzzy-bums wet bag, which hangs outside to keep the scent outside. All I had to do was grab the bag, unzip the bottom and pour the diapers into the washer, and then throw the wet bag along with them! After I washed them, I hung the shells to dry and through the rest in the dryer.... Bing, Bang, Boom, DONE!! In no time at all everything was over and I was happily filling my basket back up with nice clean diapers.

Cloth Diapers ~ Day 2

OK! I have survived the first full day of cloth diapers! I was so surprised how easy this has become, and how it has just become part of life! I have learned that there are pro's and con's for each of the diapers, and that it is VERY depended upon your child! My son is what is called a heavy wetter.... He pee's... A LOT. In a normal regular day he soaks through his disposable diapers about twice, so one of my BIG requires was that they leak through the same or less then that; and let me say that I was super happy with the whole day!

First lets talk about the GO Green Pocket Diapers! I love them! I love the colored snaps, as they make changing diapers a breeze. I love how absorbent they are, how they fit, and of coarse their beautiful patterns! Of all three diapers, they are the nicest looking. My son has a little waist, and chunky thighs, and these diapers fit beautifully. I liked how I can add extra inserts with no problem at all. I also have a few version 2's which are slightly different. While I was stuffing them I thought I wasn't going to like them as much, that I was going to only like the newer ones, but that is not the case! They are softer, and Parker LOVES THEM! my favorite is the giraffe printer one...

DOWNSIDE: when the diaper is wet or dirty you MUST change the whole diaper, which means that if I were to go with all of these I would have to get more. I have about 10 right now, so I would have to double that number to be able to go full time.

Second is the Gdiapers, and we used them for half the day. Let me just say they were SO easy to use! I can see why so many people use them, as they were quick and painless. We went out and about after breakfast, and they came right along with us, never missing a beat. I loved not having to change the whole diaper each time, and they were so easy to put on, as they had Velcro just like a disposable diaper.

DOWNSIDE:They were thinner, as stated my son is a heavy wetter, so I felt like if he had REALLY peed he would have soaked through.

Third was best bottom diapers! I loved these! at about 12:30pm I got my son ready for his nap, this one has these ''overnight'' inserts, I added one of these and when my son got up at 5pm he was still dry! This is when the disposable diapers would have leaked through and soaked him from head to toe. I even more surprised when I went to change him and I felt how lite the dry ones were compared to the wet ones! I loved how easy they were to change, and how they fit.

****The best bottom diapers are a combination between the Go Green, and the Gdiapers. They are a one size, shell diaper.****

DOWNSIDE: They don't have the colored snaps like the GO Green, so it is harder to hook them evenly, This is something I think will change with practice. They are also a thinner shell, and the patterns leave a lot to be desired. Cute, but not my favorite.

I am very happy with how everything is going, and am excited to keep the good, money saving times rolling!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Experiment 1 ~ Cloth Diapers 101

I have decided that I am going to spend the next year trying to live life to the fullest, and to find out if we can live our lives cheaper. September 2012 I had my first baby, and let me just say over the last 12 months he has blasted through a million diapers! At about $50 per case it gets very pricy, so about two months ago I started researching the in's and out's of diapers, how much they would cost, and what would be involved in my life for this to work.

The parameters of this experiment will be that it must be easy, I can handle a couple extra loads of laundry per week, but I can't handle super stress OR overwhelming problems. They have to fit like a regular diaper, be 99% leak proof, be easy to clean, be portable, and SAVE ME MONEY!!!! I have also decided to narrow the focus of CD (cloth diapers) to 3 different types. There are hundreds of different brands but for my purpose I will be using Go Green Pocket Diapers, Gdiapers, and Best Bottom Diapers!

The first ones that I will take about is the Go Green Pocket Diapers, as stated they have a pocket that you stuff with soakers (the different pads) in. They are really nice because they hold the soakers in place and they make using extra soakers (for night time) easy. The thing to remember is that when the diaper is wet you must replace the entire diaper,  not just the soaker, just like a disposable one. This is also a one size diaper, which means that it will fit baby from birth to potty training. The average price for one of these diapers is between $14-$18.
In the picture below you see the colored snaps which help to make it easier to put on. If you look above on the cow printed diaper you see the snaps on the front which is to make the diaper shorter for a new born.

The second is the Gdiapers, which is a shell diaper meaning that you replace the soakers when ever they are wet or dirty. It also means that you have less laundry, and fewer diapers. I bought the "Economy" pack, which is 3 green and 3 orange gdiapers. They are priced from $12-19, but you have to remember that these are "Sized" which means small, median, large, X-L, so I would have to purchases them in each size. This would mean that more money would be spend on these then on the pocket diapers.

**** Side note, the Gdiapers also have the option of disposable inserts that can be flushed, composted, or thrown away. For 32 disposable inserts the cost is $14.99, but if you go to diapers.com and watch they have coupons that will make them cheaper.****

The third and final kind of diaper that I will be testing will be best bottoms, which is a one size shell diaper. For a three pack of these diapers and 9 inserts it was $83.85 (Pictures are soon to come!)

It is Thursday Oct. 17th 2013, and I am going to do this full time for this coming weekend. This account will be brutally honest, so that I can make an educated decision if this will work in my life. I truly hope that this will help others to see if this will work within their lives!

Life in the fast lane!

Hello world! It has been so long since I have been on here, and I am so excited to start logging what is happening in my life, so that other can learn from, and move forward from this point! I am going to also go backwards every so often and cover things that have already happened!