Tuesday, June 18, 2013

So... I "mustache" you something...

So... I "mustache" you something...


Looking at these two pictures, do you think that both kids fit in this highback booster seat?
My son when this picture was taken he was 40lbs and 39.5" tall. Sure he can fit 5T shirts and is in the 97th percentile for height and weight. He does meet the minimum requirements of the manufacturer.
However, if you look a little closer you will notice that the lap belt rides kind of high on him still. It's not sitting low across his lap! He probably has another 1-2 years to go before he can fit this highback booster correctly!
My daughter who is also 40lbs and 43" tall (note my kids weigh the same, one is just a couple inches taller), she is 6 year old and will turn 7 this summer. You will notice that the belt fits her a lot better than it did my son. She also meets the minimum requirements of the manufacter to use this particular HBB. Now, if you look a little closer the geometry of the seat belt fits her a lot better than it did my son. The main difference being you will see the lap belt hits her lower across her lap rather than close to her stomach...
The bottom line - when picking out a car seat for your child, please take the time to check the fit/geometry of the seat belt. This is a great example of how just because kids are the same in weight/height can fit a seat totally differently.
My son's primary seat that he rides in is a Frontier 85 - yes he is still 5pt harnessed at age 4.


Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Homemade Laundry Soap

If you are anything like me you probably are very particular about your laundry soap and fabric softner that you use. Trust me, it took me a very long time to come around to the idea of making my own. With any kind of soap you want to to first and foremost clean well, I have 3 kids who like to get their clothes dirty! Some other factors are that my clothes should end up smelling good and clean. I should also mention that a few of us in this household have senstive skin "eczema".

We never did get the "cheapest" detergent. We normally would get "Tide", would keep an eye out for sales, plus use some coupons. Now don't get me wrong, the "Tide" was great in every aspect, but the price. Here in this house we average about 1-2 loads per day, sometimes even 3 (since we cloth diaper in this house), so we go through quite a bit of laundry soap...

Now call me "crazy", but I always like to try and "save" some money. Well, you never know how the homemade laundry soap will work until you take the time to make it and "try" a batch. You can't just come to the conclusion that it doesn't work as well if you haven't tried it...

Fast forward a little... I decide to try out some different receipes that I found online (I tried the Duggar's Receipe first). Anyways in the end I found a basic receipe I liked and then adapted to make it my own.

To make the Homemade Laundry Soap, I started with the following ingredients:

1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax
1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 (3 lb) Container of OxyClean
2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Zote Soap
1 (4 lb) Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
2 (28 oz) Bottle of Purex Crystals - (This is 100% optional. I added it to make my laundry smell good and I love the way it makes my towels soft and fluffy)...

So, now that you have all your goodies together, you are going to "grate" the soap. I used an cheese grater and it seemed like it took FOREVER. My recommendation if you can try and get your hubby to do this part, lol!

Oh and just incase you are wondering the soap will dissolve, even in cold water. I was skeptical about this the first time I made this.

Anyways, so now that the hardest part is done, you are now ready to mix everything together. I used a 5 gallon bucket. I layered everything in the bucket to make mixing it up easier, to make it even easier I found that is works better if you don't put the grated Zote on the bottom of the bucket. I mixed it up with a large wooden spoon...

Here is what is looks like when you are done:

I have to warn you, this batch makes A LOT! Oh and here is the best part, you will only need 2-4 tablespoons per load (depending on the size of the load and how dirty the load is).

For those of you who own a High Efficiency Washer - it actually works really well. Homemade laundry soap doesn't create suds. It took me a while to get used to that, but the "bubbles" aren't really what does the cleaning.

You can also try you own experiments. You can try using different kinds of soap - like Ivory or Fels Naptha...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Bug's Picnic Party

Yes! This post is LATE. Yet again I have done a very bad job in keeping this blog updated, there are so many reasons. However one of the reasons, is not because I forget - it more that life here has been slightly busy.

So... FINALLY, I am going to update you all a little.

Bug celebrated her 6th birthday recently, it is really hard to believe how time flies. It is amazing to think how 6 years have flown by and my little girl is not only turning 6, but will be going to Kindergarten (open house was on her actual birthday)...

In thinking about what Bug likes, we decided to go with a Picnic theme party for her because she loves eating watermelon and going swimming.

I somehow got the idea to make a watermelon picnic basket to hold the watermelon in.

Needless to say we invited some friends over to enjoy the swimming pool with her.

Here are all her friends enjoying a picnic with her. BBQ chicken, potato chips, watermelon and Soda Pop. Every chance Bug gets she loves to ask for soda, lol! Chicken and potato chips are some of her favorite foods too, she has come a long way in trying/eating new foods in the past year.

Of course no party is complete without cake and ice cream...

I decided with all the little ones and the kids, to bake the cake mix into cupcakes and then frost them into little watermelons. Figured that it would cut down on the mess and you can't fight over who gets a bigger piece of cake etc...

Bug really loved it when all her friend's sang "Happy Birthday" to her. She loves to sing that song, even when it is NOT her birthday.

This little one didn't really care of the ice cream much, but she approves of the watermelon cupcakes, lol!

Happy Birthday, Bug. We love you!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

J Dude turns 3!

So, J Dude turned 3 over memorial day weekend! I guess I am really slacking since I am a little late on this...

He is the most adorable little kid a mom could ever ask for. J Dude weighs 35lbs and is standing at 37.5". He is very active and enjoys going most anywhere with me, the post office, grocery shopping, JoAnn Fabrics/Hobby Lobby.

If you ever take this handsome boy on a date, he loves Chick-Fil-A (great play area and milkshakes) and we celebrated his Birthday at Red Robin (he loves a good balloon!). His favorite movies are Monsters Inc. and Cars (he loves Tow Mater). J Dude will eat most anything that you put in front of him, however this kid is a little strange as he loves to eat a good salad (lettuce), green beans and recently homemade pickles. He also loves most any kind of fruit, grapes and apples are two of his favorites.

This past year J Dude has been attending Noah's Little Ark Christian Pre-School. He has learned his colors, can count to 3, he can recognise his name, he knows some of his alphabet. The main reason why I choose to send him there is so that he can work on his social skills and make some new friends around his age. He was the youngest kid in his class, he did not turn 3 until after the school year was over.

Back in September they measured J Dude when he first started out at Noah's Little Ark, he has grown 2.5" during the time he was there. He has grown in many other ways too. It has been a big adventure to watch my little Dude grow this past year and I am looking forward to watching him grow and change through the next year. Happy Birthday my little man!

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Combi Coccoro

Sadly I have always wanted to get one of these seats because they are lightweight, great for traveling, easy to install and are compact (can get three across in most vehicles)...

The downfall is that they cost quite a bit and for me it wasn't really worth it as I wanted to ERF (extended rear face), my child as long as possible!

Anyways, so needless to say I got kind of EXCITED when I found out about this chance to win a Combi Coccoro in their Key Lime color. I must say, I love the fact they offer colors like Key Lime or Carrot Cake which are some colors that aren't boring!

You can go here, for to check it out!

Good luck...

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

6 Months Old

One of these days I will get better about updating this, I seriously don't know where anyone finds the extra time to post blogs! This post is about a month late, lol! Lia is currently already 7 months old, but I thought these pictures are worth sharing...

Lets see here, a lot has happened in the past couple of months. You can no longer leave Little Pea in once place and expect to find her in the same exact place, she is quite the little squrimie one, she loves to sit up on her own and play with her toys. She loves to jump...

Did I mention that she is just full of cuteness? She also loves to put things in her mouth, toys, paper, food, little fingers and toes...

As you can see, she is not so little anymore, she is getting BIGGER.

She does have her two bottom teeth and she loves to sink those into/onto anything she can. She is starting to get a third tooth in. At 6 months she weighed in at 15lbs 8oz, she can fit into 6-9 month clothes...

Such an adorable, cute and cuddly little girl!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Change 3 Things...

Believe it or not I am always looking for ways to "simplify" things around my house. Also, saving money and doing our bit to protect our environment are added bonuses too...

I decided to change 3 things, Dishwasher Detergent, Laundry Detergent and Fabric Softener. These are all things we use often on a daily basis. I looked around for recipes and was astonished as to how simple these were to make! The fact that it had the potential to save me a lot of money and is Eco-Friendly influenced my choice even more. Also, a few of us in this household have sensitive skin (Bella for example has Eczema and we have to be careful of what detergent we use or she will break out in a rash).

First you will need to gather some key ingredients to make all this stuff, most of this stuff I already had hiding in the pantry of my house.

- White Vinegar
- Canning Salt (or Salt with no additives, normally table salt has iodine in it)
- Citric Acid (again can be found with canning supplies in most stores)
- Ivory Bar Soap
- Borax
- Super Washing Soda

I actually only needed to get Borax, Super Washing Soda and Ivory Bar Soap, but those three items didn't cost me much at all, not sure what happened to my receipt, but definitely less than $10!

1. Dishwasher Detergent

You will need the following ingredients.
1 Cup Washing Soda
1 Cup Borax
1/2 Cup Salt
1/2 Cup Citric Acid

All you do is measure all these out into a container, mix well or if you are anything like me just put a lid on the thing and give it a good shake!

The detergent will clump, due to moisture, but this is normal, nothing that a good old fork will not fix!

You will use 1-2 tablespoons per load. Fill the rinse dispenser with white vinegar.

I tried this last night and I loved how clean my dishes came out, not to mention that there are no water stains on my glasses at all and I didn't even have to set to "dry".

2. Laundry Detergent

There are two types of Laundry Detergent you can make, liquid and powder. I choose to make the liquid because it is more versatile.

1 Quart of Water (4cups)
2 Cups of finely grated Ivory Bar Soap (you can use any soap you like, but make sure it is not heavily weighed down by moisturizers or scents).
2 Cups of Borax
2 Cups of Super Washing Soda

- You are going to boil the water on the stove, add the finely grated soap, stir until all the soap is melted.
- Pour the soap water mixture into a large clean pail, then add the Borax and Washing Soda, stir until all is dissolved.
- Add 2 gallons of water, stir until well mixed.
- You are then going to let it cool, once it is cool you can add 5-7 drops of essential oil per gallon to give it a scent (this is OPTIONAL). The soap will gel, so you will need to stir it every time before you use it. However I used a funnel and put mine in an old Tide container, so I just shake it up a little before each use. You will use 1/4 cup per load of laundry.

We have 3 kids here, under the age of 5 so I choose a recipe that was a little more concentrated and figured that I could just use less than a 1/4 of a cup if needed.

3. Fabric Softener

6 Cups Hot Water
3 Cups White Vinegar
2 Cups of hair Conditioner

Mix the conditioner and hot water until the conditioner is well dissolved. Then add in the 3 cups of White Vinegar. Pour into an old Fabric Softener container and VOILA, your very own homemade fabric softener!

You will use the same amount you use previously into your fabric softener dispenser in your washing machine or downy ball...

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. ;-)