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smell-good vacuum.

Maybe you have this issue with your vacuum and maybe you don’t, but after awhile, ours starts to smell like our dog. That is, after using it several times, the “leftover” smell is kind of stinky. So, this is a super easy, no-fail trick. All you need are some cotton balls and a smell-good scent you don’t mind using.

I’ve used vanilla extract, peppermint extract, and lavendar essential oil. Our favorite is peppermint extract, and is the best choice for me because vanilla extract gets used a lot in our house and isn’t cheap, whereas I only ever used the peppermint extract once around Christmas. Not quite as precious.

Plus, my husband and I LOVE the smell. The lavendar worked out well, but I put WAY too many drops into the cotton balls, so the smell was way too overpowering and headache inducing. 3-4 drops should do it, not 7! I guess I was being overzealous because I wanted to kill the dog hair smell.

The steps:

I usually grab a few cotton balls (4 or 5), put them in a small bowl, and soak them with some of the smell-good scent. I then put them into the vacuum bag, and use the vacuum as needed.

Enjoy your sweet smelling vacuum! It even kind of lingers for the day. Read More

So it’s that time for me…the time when I  I attempt to get ready for the “big day.” The big day being the day when I get to see this guy again (the grown up one, haha):

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My husband will be returning from his shorty-short deployment  pretty soon (aka he was gone for a month and some change to upgrade his flying skills).

I tried this homemade facial for the first time, and I think it’s my new fav!

Honey-cinnamon-nutmeg facial

  • 2 tbs of honey (the recipe recommended raw honey but I used creamed honey and it came out just fine).
  • 2 tsp of nutmeg
  • 2 tsp of cinnamon
  • Mix into a paste. Leave on your face for 30 minutes, and remove with some warm water using soft, circular motions.

I scoured the net for some new natural recipes, and this one made sense for my skin-type, and was convenient to make (who doesn’t have those ingredients at home?). This particular facial calms redness, moisturizes, and is full of antioxidants from the cinnamon and nutmeg. My favorite part was how nicely the cinnamon and nutmeg worked to exfoliate and make my skin feel so soft and smooth.

Doing “pampering” things like this is relaxing at the end of a long day (and deployment days can be long). You know, it’s great to do a facial once a month if you have fairly normal skin…it sets the skin up nicely to fully absorb any moisturizering lotions you apply and helps keep your skin looking soft and smooth. Good enough motivation for me!

So just for the record, when I did apply this recipe to my face, I think I put way too much on! It totally slopped down my face and got on my clothing. I will plan on using only as much as I need next time. Somehow I thought I needed to apply all of it, but it’s not like honey mixed with nutmeg and cinnamon is going to go bad anytime soon. I feel like that’s probably a no-brainer for most people, but  I didn’t catch that, so FYI, just in case you wonder when trying this recipe.

I hope you enjoy!

Amanda.

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Time Saving Tips:

What I’ve learned:

  • when possible don’t bother to measure too carefully. It saves time and dishes. Plus granola bars are very forgiving.
  • Also, use what you have on hand, and don’t be afraid to try a recipe you don’t have all the ingredients for. Just substitute because like I said the recipes seem forgiving.

This is my version of this recipe that I didn’t have all the ingredients for:

Recipe

1 ripe banana, 1/4 cup of syrup, 2 tbs of coconut oil (melted), 1/4 cup of peanut butter. Mix into a liquid in a large bowl.

In another bowl, mix 1.5 cup of oats, 1 cup of dates, 2 scoops of muscle milk, 1/2 cup of chocolate chips, 4 tbs of ground flax seeds (or regular), a few pinches of cinnamon, one tsp of vanilla extract.

Combine the wet ingredients with the dry ingredients, place in square 8×8 pan layered in Saran and leave in the freezer for an hour. Slice into 12 bars, or however many you want, and store in the fridge.

An easy, easy switch for our health and wallet…another trend I’m seeing in this frugal living lifestyle, health and wealth.

Amanda.

Click here for the beginning of my crazy, but fun experiment in frugal living!

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Recipe:

Correction: this is only cloth diaper friendly if you use UNSCENTED soap! Learned that one the hard way. Sorry if I lead anyone astray. IVORY SOAP ORIGINAL is no longer unscented. An alternative I want to try in the near future is Dove Sensitive Skin, Unscented. Currently I’ve been using Nellie’s All Natural Laundry Soda and it’s been working great on my bum genius diapers! You really don’t want to mess around with those little bums. The wrong detergent can lead to a bad diaper rash fast. It’s not as cheap as a homemade detergent, but seeing as I only use 1/4 of the detergent per cloth diaper load I get my dollars worth.

  • 6 cups of Ivory soap bars ground or grated in the food processor ( hint: 1 bar makes approximately 1 cup)
  • 3 cups of washing soda
  • 3 cups of borax

Combine the ingredients and store in a labeled container. Use 1 tablespoon for lighter loads; 2 tablespoons for heavy loads.

Total time: 10 min prep, 15 min clean up = 25 minutes

Estimated cost: $4

This batch should last at least 2 or 3 months for our family of three.  After using it for four months I can say it works. You might want to have a stronger detergent on hand for real greasy/dirty work clothing, because it doesn’t work the best on my husbands work clothes, otherwise it works perfectly fine as a everyday mild detergent.

Some tips on making it right…because it took me a couple tries to get it right:

  • Unless it’s just because my food processor is weak, chopping the ivory soap into little chunks with a knife prior to placement in the food processor helps to make the soap break down into smaller pieces. You really want them to be small, or they won’t dissolve in the wash.
  • After you have grated or ground the soap, process the washing soda/borax with the soap to create  even finer soap bits (see photo). For some reason it’s the only way I’ve been able to make the soap bits very small which is so essential, otherwise you’ll get pieces of undissolved soap on your clothing.
  • I use a cheap dollar store measuring tablespoon, and store it in the container seen in the photo above. The container was only a couple dollars and bought at Wal-Mart.

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That’s all. Fairly easy to make.- actually very easy to make, and it saves lots of money. Money saved means more money you can spend on new clothing (or if you’re a saver-type, more money saved period).

I promise the next couple posts will be more wardrobe/clothing based, but I just wanted to get the practical side of laundering out of the way.

Amanda.

Welcome to day 26 of no more procrastinating (the important, non-urgent things in life): homemade deodorant. Click HERE for the beginning.

So the first time I came across this recipe I was at a friend’s house who was hosting a girls night. In between nursing my newborn and watching the demonstration, all I really wanted to know was does it work?  Don’t get me wrong, I thought it was awesome that it doesn’t have toxins in it like antiperspirants, and actually allows your body to rid itself of toxins by sweating, and you can say goodbye to those nasty yellow stains in your white tops that antiperspirants are infamous for leaving. But at the end of the day, if it was going to leave me smelling dingy, it wasnt going to fly with me…no matter how healthy.

As it turns out it works better than any store-bought option! And believe me, I’ve tried them all! My military-blunt husband can attest that they work. He wouldn’t lie.

It only takes about 5 minutes to make, and saves money to boot. That being said, I’ve been meaning to make some for a while now, but had been procrastinating, so here’s to not procrastinating an important part of life, my well-being and ahem hygiene (don’t worry, I wasnt walking around deordorantless, just running low).

Here’s how:

I got my recipe from HERE.

Gather your supplies, you’ll need: Cornstarch or Arrowroot powder, baking soda (preferably an unopened box), coconut oil, and your choice of essential oil (optional). An easy way to remember this recipe is you use 2tbs for everything, except the essential oils (7-10 drops should work…I used lavender). You can use any empty container you like, but I used an old deodorant container, by emptying it out, and filling it with my batch.

Mix, and stir all the ingredients until you make a paste:

 And then place into whatever container you choose. I usually have a little extra that wont fit into the old deodorant container, so I just place it in tupperware container. I will say, coconut oil will turn into a liquid if your house is warmer than 75, so it will melt. If that’s the case you can store yours in the fridge. Apparently we keep a cold house, so  I can keep mine out with no melting issues.

This is the second batch I made, and it lasted about 2 months the first time. If you’re like me, and don’t know where you would buy arrow root powder, essential oils, and cocnut oil(right beside the oils), I found all of them on amazon (my go-to place for everything!), but apparently you can find coconut oil at just about every grocery store, and you should be able to find arrow root and essential oils in the health food section of most grocery stores.

Hope that helps!

Amanda.

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