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...