Homemade Dryer Sheets

dryer sheets 2I’ve been waiting to post this to decide on the verdict of my homemade dryer sheets. Well, after about a month, I’m pretty happy with them!

So why did I decide to make my own dryer sheets? I read something online about the regular Bounce sheets being absolutely horrible for you. Now, who knows if this is scientifically backed and true because nowadays it seems like everything is bad for you. But I did a little research online about making my very own re-useable dryer sheets and decided to give it a go.

But for this homemade dryer sheet to be successful, it had to eliminate static cling. I absolutely hate static! And since¬†I have long hair, static cling means my hair makes that staticky sound against clothes. So that was my biggest concern of switching to a homemade alternative. But like I said, I’ve given it a month and don’t see any store bought chemical laden dryer sheets in my future!

All I used was an old white towel that I cut into smaller rectangular type shapes. Then I used an old large yogurt container (I save those! They can be used for lots of stuff!) and added in some good old fashioned white vinegar, tea tree oil and a citrus blend essential oil I had laying around from my body butter disaster! Remember that? ūüė¶ It doesn’t need the citrus oil but I added it for additional scent. I swirled that around, added in the towel pieces and tried to stir all around to get as much of the towels soaked as I could. My towels didn’t get really all that soaked, just the ones on the bottom that really sucked up that vinegar mixture but after awhile of sitting inside the yogurt container with the lid on, all of them were damp. During my “research” some people said you needed to squeeze out all the liquid onto the other sheets in the container and then toss your sheet in the dryer. I didn’t have that problem since my sheets weren’t all that wet.

dryer sheets dryer sheets 3I put one “sheet” in with each load in the dryer and when it’s all done, I just take that sheet out, stuff it into the bottom of the container to try to get as much liquid on it as possible and close the lid.

Have I had any static? No. Do the clothes smell weird from the vinegar? No. In the last month, have I had to make another vinegar batch? No. Do I like my re-useable sheets? YES! So here’s the “recipe”.

  • 1/2 c. white vinegar
  • 10 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 5 drops citrus blend essential oil (optional, for an added scent)

If you’d prefer your sheets to be more saturated, just double the recipe.

P.S. If you don’t have tea tree oil, GET IT! I started using it almost 4 years ago when lice started going around school. I heard that tea tree keeps those buggers away. And since there’s three girls and myself in this house, all with long hair, the last thing I wanted was a lice infestation. Every day before school, my kids dab a little tea tree oil around their hairline on the back of their necks and ears. Have we ever had lice? No! Knock on wood….

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DIY FAIL

I’d love to say that every recipe and DIY experiment turn out exactly as I hoped¬†it would. But if that were true, I just wouldn’t be human. That’s a hard pill to swallow because for me, I take pride in what I do and when it doesn’t turn out the right way, well, I get a little on the ANGRY side. This is very true. Just ask my husband.

bbbb2Well, my recent DIY was whipped body butter. I ordered this huge block of Shea butter, imported from Ghana, Africa. All the reviews raved about this stuff and how great it was for your skin, and blah, blah, blah. So when it arrived, I knew I wanted to make whipped body butter and I was super psyched and pumped for the end result.

bb4bb3bb5Everything started off fine. I melted my Shea butter in a double boiler, let it cool, added essential oil (that I had specifically ordered for this DIY), put it in the freezer to firm up a bit and then put it in my stand mixer to get that butter whipped!

bb7

This is when I should've called it quits and stopped.

This is when I should’ve called it quits and stopped.

Well, I started the mixer and lo and behold, it whipped right up. It looked like beautiful white frosting. Creamy with perfect peaks. But it didn’t have enough scent for me, so I stopped the mixer, added more essential oil and proceeded to keep up the whipping. I obviously got overzealous. I was really excited to be making my own whipped body butter you see and I figured, if I kept whipping, it’d be even better. And then disaster struck. It suddenly turned into butter. Those awesome peaks disappeared and it turned into a hard yellow chunk.

I tried to melt it down again and do the process over which really didn’t help much at all. Although it didn’t look pretty, I figured it still had the same properties and would still have the same end result. Soft skin.

The man of the house said it looked weird although it melted instantly on the skin. He used it for a couple of weeks and was not convinced of the African Shea butter’s amazing qualities. And it was thick. And greasy. But my youngest daughter, who tends to have pretty dry skin proclaimed one night, “It makes my butt soft!” At least my DIY fail helped someone.

Hanky Planky

dc holder 3I’m going to do a little self promotion right here and now! My husband and I JUST opened an Etsy shop. Yay! OK, I really haven’t been jumping up and down for joy because Etsy is not nearly as user friendly as Ebay, I must say. So this has been quite the learning experience for me.

jh coffee 5Our little shop is obviously just starting off, so right now we’re just¬†selling jewelry holders. These aren’t¬†just any jewelry holders, but rustic, upcycled pallet jewelry holders. And that’s our style! Rustic with a vintage feel, specifically using pallets to create something “new” out of something “old”. And these jewelry holders are super pretty and functional too. Read our “about” over there on Etsy and see how this little business came to be. My husband is just a building fool nowadays and has been creating all kinds of things. One of my favorite, and I’m not exaggerating when I say FAVORITE, things he’s built is this coffee cart. I absolutely love it.

coffee cart 2coffee cartHe built this for me for Christmas and not only is it exactly what I wanted, but it’s like a piece of art sitting in my living room. I wanted something that looked very old and like it came from a farmhouse and it’s unbelievable how well it turned out. If you were to see this thing in person, you wouldn’t believe it’s “new”. We’ve gotten quite the compliments on this little beaut so we’re hoping to sell these in the near future.

So come check out¬†Hanky Planky.¬†<———– Click! Click! Click! Where Old Wood Rises Again……. Get it? I hope so!

DIY Pendant Necklace

necklaceI’m not the “craftiest” of people, unfortunately. I hate messes therefore, I don’t like most crafts. Glitter makes me shudder. But a couple months back over Thanksgiving break, I really wanted to do something fun (and not messy) with my kids. I had seen polymer clay jewelry on Pinterest for awhile and since I love jewelry (and so do my little girlies), I decided to give it a try.

We headed over to Michaels armed with my good ol’ 40% off coupon. And I stocked up on clay! Since this was my first time using polymer clay, I bought a variety pack with a bunch of different colors and spent about $15 total on the jewelry making supplies. And I have a bunch leftover and we’ve since made quite a bit of pieces.

Am I now an expert jewelry maker? God, no! But, I’ve made¬†some pieces since our first initial¬†try¬†that have turned out pretty good. My kids love their jewelry and not only did they get to be “crafty”, but they can actually wear/use what they made. All my kids are in elementary school and were completely capable of doing this. We started out simple that day and just rolled out balls and made necklaces. But what I really wanted was a stone looking pendant necklace. I’d been eyeing one on a website that I really wanted but with my new stock of clay, I figured it was worth a try. And here’s how I made it.

necklace 2Supplies Needed:

  • Polymer clay, in any color/colors you choose
  • Waxed cotton cording
  • Necklace clasp (if you plan on having a shorter length necklace)
  • A toothpick
  1. Choose your color or colors. For the above necklace, I chose a bronze and silvery color clay.
  2. Grab a piece of each color. I did less of the silvery color because I wanted it to be streaky looking like a natural stone. Hold in your hands to condition (warm up to make more pliable) the clay.
  3. Roll into balls.
  4. Smoosh the balls together, working them into one ball.
  5. In between your hands, roll the ball back and forth until it turns into a longer, ovalish shape.
  6. Press between your hands into a pendant like shape, smoothing out any fingerprints.
  7. With the toothpick, push it through the top to create a hole to put the cording through.
  8. Place on a baking sheet (I use a disposable lasagna pan) in a 325 degree oven for 20 minutes. (I used another sheet on top to cover it).
  9. Remove from oven and let cool for about 15-20 minutes.
  10. Measure out your cord and put the pendant on it. Tie cord into a knot if doing a long necklace, or attach a necklace clasp to each end if doing a shorter necklace.

necklace 11necklace 10necklace 9necklace 7necklace 6necklace 5necklace 4necklace 3necklace 8My oldest daughter and I did this together because she wanted a pendant necklace as well. She also was making birthday presents for some friends and made them some really pretty necklaces which they loved.

This stuff is really easy to work with and pretty inexpensive. I bought the cheapest clay at the store and am really happy with it. So even if aren’t the “craftiest” (like me!) this is still a fun activity to do alone, or with your kids.

DIY Christmas Decor

As far as Christmas decorating goes, that pretty much falls¬†on the man of the house. At least, the outside of the house.¬†He’s very into the lights being just so and all that. Tight and straight, no sagging lights. For a couple years, he even decorated the street light in front of our house. The whole entire thing! Yes, the enormous concrete pole. It took a huge ladder propped against the pole and laying¬†halfway into the street, with our neighbor watching and making sure a car wouldn’t run right into it. Last year I insisted he NOT do that again, since I’m pretty sure I lost a few years of my life watching him do that.

This year, I decided to change things up a little bit from the standard indoor decorations we usually have. But decorations are expensive (unless you get them AFTER Christmas) so I went the semi-homemade route. And I’m very simple about holiday decorating. Kudos to you people out there that switch out everything! The bathroom, the kitchen, EVERY ENTIRE THING¬†IN YOUR HOUSE! I’m not up for that kind of work, nor do I have room to store everything. So simple it is! Here’s some mason jars that I filled with sand (from my very own backyard) and holly that I got on sale at Michaels. The ribbon was leftover from Christmas last year.

decor 3I also saw this Christmas card holder on a boutique website that they were originally selling for $12.99 but was marked down to $5.99, not including shipping. And all you got was twine and clothespins. Well, that stuff was sitting in my garage for $0.00, so it got strung up across the mantle. Now I need some more Christmas cards to hang up there!

decorI got these pinecones at the park on my street a few years ago. I brought them home and Adam spray painted them for me.

decor 2So there you go! Simple, rustic, inexpensive Christmas d√©cor made mostly out of things laying around my house. And I love it all!! But if you don’t happen to have this type of stuff laying around, any kind of dollar store will most likely have some things to get you started. P.S. Dollar Tree is my favorite!

And this Christmas tree is planted in my front yard. We bought it three years ago because we wanted a live, uncut tree that we could plant and watch grow over the years. When we got it, it was only about a foot and a half tall. Now, it stands about 7 feet tall!!! If I had a bigger yard, I’d buy a live tree and plant it every year.

tree

Gray Hair, Don’t Care (Just Kidding!)

Although I’m not a beauty blogger, I still think this post qualifies under the “Jenuinely Homemade” theme, as it’s done at home! So,¬†a little break from the food posts, to pass on a money saving tip. In the beauty form. Got gray? Unfortunately, I do. After I turned 30, that’s when I decided I needed to handle my business. Although I don’t really think it’s my age that was the cause, but more specifically, THIS person!

Plotting destruction...

Plotting destruction…

That’s my third child, and she’s a handful! Each and every child is so different but in my experience, the last one gives you the most trouble. I joke that every time she does something bad, a gray hair shoots out of my head. Kidding aside, I think it may actually be true.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASo this is me and #3 the day of her birth. Look at my glorious natural dark hair. I miss it! She was a great baby, but once she hit one year old, oh my. (See first picture). Ages 1, 2, 3 and 4 for her, and us, have been tough. Moms, I KNOW I’m not alone in experiencing this, right? Please tell me I’m not alone! So then the gray arrived, and dye it I must!

I have had a professional color it in the past but it’s just so expensive to maintain. And if you have to dye your roots frequently like me (about every 4 weeks), then finding a less expensive alternative is necessary. Store bought “box” dye can range anywhere from $5-$12, depending on the brand, and in my experience, doesn’t last as long. I’ve noticed grays coming back within a few days of using that stuff. So¬†I tried these products and I’m glad I did.¬†It’s stronger and pretty easy to use.¬†On¬†a side note, I’m not a licensed cosmetologist. Just a mom with gray looking to save.

Hair coloring essentials

Hair coloring essentials

So the actual color, Clairol Professional Cr√®me Permanente,¬†cost me about $6, and I can use it at least THREE times to dye my roots. The developer was around $8 and I don’t know if I’ll ever run out of the stuff. All the other items (gloves, brush and bowl) cost me less than $5 and can be used countless times, as they are washable. See the savings? You can find all this stuff at your local Sally Beauty Supply.

Not too shabby for a home dye job

Not too shabby for a home dye job

Now, I just want to finish by saying I do love that little girl very much. And although I don’t like my gray hair, and I do care, it’s an easy fix! Good luck gray haired moms! We need it!

Her 4th birthday and she thought the boy on the bag was cute. We're in trouble.....

Her 4th birthday and she thought the boy on the bag was cute. We’re in trouble…..

Making your own laundry detergent

detergentSo I’m sure you’ve seen this on Pinterest. I noticed it a couple of years ago and thought it was a pretty cool idea. I tried quite a few of the different recipes.¬† I made my own body wash, dishwasher detergent (which I don’t recommend) and laundry detergent. By far, the most successful was the homemade laundry detergent.

I’ve been using this recipe now for almost two years and I highly recommend it. It’s so incredibly economical, I really could never see myself going back to buying detergent at the store. This is an approximation, but it costs around $6 for a SIX MONTH SUPPLY.

As for the storage containers to keep all of this detergent in, I recommend that you save those really durable store bought laundry detergent containers. They have that handy spout for dispensing and I have not had one leak or break. I will typically also use 1 gallon milk containers, but I have had a couple of those leak/explode, especially when it’s super hot out. So be careful if using those. Another good type of container is a 2 liter soda bottle, or any other juice bottle.

detergent container

This is obviously not lemonade. Keep out of reach of children!!

To get this recipe, check out the My Li’l Pumpkin Patch blog. It is very detailed, with a price breakdown and pictures to guide you along the way. However, I do have to add that when I make this recipe, it only takes about 10 minutes for the soap to melt, and not the 45 minutes stated in that blog.

Hope you like the recipe, and all the money you will be saving!