Archive | April, 2009

Natural Stain Remover & Cleaning Agent: Hydrogen Peroxide!

fam_hydrogen_peroxide_pint-4080While attempting to avoid chlorine products in our home and the health risks, I have come across a valuable alternative! Hydrogen Peroxide! It is not only good for cleaning out cuts and wounds, but is also an excellent natural alternative to bleach and other stain remover products at half the price. Hydrogen peroxide is also safe for the environment as it simply breaks down into water and oxygen! It is a great natural cleaning agent due to its anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-mold and anti-mildew properties.

My tip: replace the cap of your hydrogen peroxide bottle with a spray nozzle! Now, it is readily available to spray directly on those stains!

What to use it on?

Carpet stains - spray directly on stain, allow to sit, and then pat dry!
Clothing stains - spray directly on stain. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before throwing into the washer. I like to use it in combination with oxygen bleach for real effective stain removing power. Simply use a old toothbrush to apply the oxygen bleach and scrub it in.
Blood stains – During one occasion when my younger brother had a serious arm injury (I won’t go into all the details), he ran all over the house trying to find someone to help. Blood was splattered all over our newly installed carpet. Amazingly enough, hydrogen peroxide removed all the stains!
Tub & Tile Cleaning - don’t you love the scum that builds up in the shower? Try applying a layer of hydrogen peroxide followed by a layer of vinegar and scrub clean! It works wonders and completely natural!
General cleaning – It can be used effectively to clean toilets, windows, walls and floors! More cleaning tips here. I really only use this along with vinegar now for two frugal, all-purpose household cleaners!

Did you know that hydrogen peroxide is also good for washing your produce, cleaning your teeth, fertilizing plants and removing mold? Read more of its wonderful uses here.

A standard 3% grade of hydrogen peroxide should work for all these uses!

For more natural bleach alternatives, visit here. It works for me!
Thanks to my SIL, Autumn, for reminding me of this one!

Have you used hydrogen peroxide? What uses have you found for it?

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Yogurt in the Crock-Pot

yogurtHave you ever tried making homemade yogurt? If not, you are really missing out! Not only is it very easy and delicious, but also a frugal alternative to the store bought brands. There are two different methods I recommend: in a stock pot or in a crock pot! ;)

As I have shared before in my original post on making homemade yogurt, “Of all the cultured dairy products, yogurt is the most versatile. Yogurt assists the intestines in destroying harmful bacteria by producing an acid environment. Yogurt with active cultures may encourage friendly bacteria production in the digestive tract. Milk protein is more quickly and easily digested in yogurt form over liquid sweet milk. The more tart the yogurt, the greater the absorption of calcium. Eating yogurt can relieve both constipation and indigestion.”

This past week I made yogurt in a crockpot for the first time and it was a big success and very easy! It took maybe 10 minutes of my time and the rest was just letting it sit there and culture away! I kept breaking my candy thermometers, thus making my original method very difficult to complete. With the crockpot, it’s like 1, 2, 3! All’s you need is a 1/2 gallon of your milk of choice, 1/2 cup of yogurt starter (plain yogurt from the store or a previous batch), and a crockpot! It works beautifully! Homemade yogurt will not be as thick as store bought but still tasty. Thanks to Nourishing Days for passing on the method. Check it out here!

We love to add a little maple syrup and vanilla extract for a delicious yogurt! Karis loves yogurt and eats it practically every day. Enjoy!

How do you like your yogurt?

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Practicing Hospitality: Chapter 8

After much delay, I have finally been able to complete the final chapter of our book study on Practicing Hospitality by Lisa Tatlock & Pat Ennis. I hope all of you who were reading it together with me were able to complete it successfully. If not, press on! It has been such a challenging and eye-opening read. I highly recommend it! I would love to hear your concluding thoughts here today! As Summer is upon us, we have many glorious opportunities to demonstrate hospitality through opening our homes. BBQ’s, picnics, and the like provide amble opportunity to extend a loving invitation to people from all walks of life. Would you join me in making a diligent effort to demonstrate hospitality this summer?

If you missed any of the summaries of previous chapters in this book, please visit the book club category. You can find chapters 1-7 to review.

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Having Multiples Without Breaking the Bank

img_5693I have enjoyed reading from Crystal at Money Saving Mom in the past about how to have a baby without breaking the bank. Now is it possible to have multiple children and still maintain a budget with the cost of clothing, diapers, and other supplies? Children are such a blessing from the Lord and should not cause us to fret over making ends meet. God will supply all our needs. But how can we be wise in preparing and caring for multiples? When a boy and a girl join the family we are bombarded with all the blue and pink colors for every item imaginable! Do I really need all this? Aren’t they just too cute? I can’t help but post pictures of them!

The key: Choose gender neutral items!

That pink bouncer is cute but will the hubby want his little guy sitting in it with the next one? That would certainly not fly with my hubby! By purchasing a pink and blue version of everything you double your expenses. Save hundreds of dollars by doing a little advanced preparation. By following this idea, we only purchased a double stroller (craigslist wins once again!) beyond clothing for our little man. Side note: the buggy board is another frugal alternative to a double stroller that you need to check out if your single stroller is compatible.

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Considering God’s Creation

picture-2Today is Earth Day…a day to rejoice in the glorious creation that God has bestowed unto our care! Why should I, as a Christian, be concerned with creation care?

“God writes the Gospel, not in the Bible alone, but also on trees, and in the flowers and clouds and stars.” – Martin Luther

As Romans 1:20 says, “For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities – his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for knowing God.”

Isn’t that a beautiful reminder that God’s truth is communicated as we observe His glorious creation? He uses His creation to draw people out of darkness and into His marvelous light as they see His beauty displayed in His landscape. Should we not together actively seek to preserve the beauty of His creation by good stewardship? Together we can join hands and make a difference by careful decision making in our every day life.

Martin Luther continues, “Now if I believe in God’s Son and remember that He became man, all creatures will appear a hundred times more beautiful to me than before. Then I will properly appreciate the sun, the moon, the stars, the trees, apples, as I reflect that He is Lord over all things.”

He indeed is Lord over all creation! Being concerned about His creation, the environment, is one simple way of offering up worship to our King! He entrusted this earth to man’s care from the beginning of time…let us seek together to care, grow and nurture it as He intended.

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A New Non-Dairy Milk Alternative: Hemp Milk

Did you know that hemp seed contains more essential fatty acids than any other source? Did you also know that it is second only to soybeans in being a complete protein (although far more digestible for humans)? Hemp milk is a newer addition to your milk choices on the market just over the last two years. It may very well be the best alternative milk choice for the dairy free, but also have an appealing call to others as well, including myself. I originally heard about this product from a reader and began my own research. Come to find out, hemp milk is actually very nutritious for you!

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Homemade Nursing Pads

img_5632-1 I had been at my wits end trying to find a good absorbent nursing pad that would not leak through the night. I hate waking up to a nice wet spot on my sheets. I admit…I have problems, but my son is sure happy with all that good milk! I tried three different styles to no avail. I was just about ready to go find another one when the thought crossed my mind to try to make my own! I wish I had started here in the first place. I made these wonderfully absorbent flannel and fleece nursing pads in just a short time with fabric I had on hand and did not have to spend another penny. Flannel is soft and comfortable and fleece is waterproof and will keep the moisture away from your clothes. Horrah!

Making your own nursing pads is simple, frugal and fun! Choosing cloth reusable pads is an excellent way to avoid the waste of disposables and another way to be a good steward of our environment. Cloth is so much more comfortable overall!

This was a fun and easy project and a great gift for an expectant mother as well. I made a few sets for a friend at the same time. Too fun!

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Product Review: Swaddling Blanket

Swaddling is a huge blessing! Titus sleeps so much better in this manner! I call my swaddled babies my little burritos. They look so cute I could just eat them up. ;) We found the miracle blanket very helpful for this (thanks to a $10 craigslist find!). I tried experimenting with using various receiving blankets for this purpose and he would just squirm his arms right out of it and then disturb himself with his flinging arms. This blanket keeps him snuggly and warm, safe and secure without any fear of getting covered by blankets, but it is also thin enough that he doesn’t get too hot. We used this same blanket for Karis and had a very similar experience. I believe it assisted in helping them sleep longer and more peacefully as it mimics the womb. Unlike other swaddling blankets we have tried with velcro that wear out, this blanket has a pouch for the legs and feet, additional fabric inside to secure their arms by their sides, and simply wraps around them several times to keep them secure. It lasted for the first several months with my daughter. My only con: I wish I had more than one! He will burp up all over it and I have to get it washed quickly for the next sleeping time!

Have you tried swaddling your baby? What was your experience?

It works for me!

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Family Photo Shoot


A few family photos from a recent photo shoot by my dear sister-in-law, Larissa. Titus is almost 6 weeks old now and growing like a little weed at 10 1/2 pounds! God is good!



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Cutting Back & More Holy Week Resources

crossI have fallen behind here this week as I have been going through some challenging days lately and my emotions have been going wild. My body just seems to be taking its time to recover. Blogging time has been out the window. I would appreciate your prayers. Thus, I have not had a chance to read chapter 8 for the Hospitality book discussion or post that summary for the week.  I will give that a break this week for all of those participating and allow you to get caught up. ;)

For now, I wanted to share a few more resources to help you plan and prepare for the upcoming Resurrection Sunday this week. I hope you find these useful!

Adding Meaning to Your Easter Celebrations – family friendly ideas for the holiday!

Holy Week Ideas - our friend Jon shares some great ideas, sermons, and books for Holy Week.

5-Day Easter Unit StudyThe Teaching Home provides a complimentary five day unit  study focusing on the joyful celebration of the Lord’s resurrection. The goals of the study are to:  Teach our children the heart of the gospel,  Proclaim to the world the death, burial, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ – and salvation through faith in Him and then thank and praise Him! This may be a little late for this year but you could continue it through the aftermath of Sunday as well or save it for next year.

Living Books Easter Holiday Helper - a free e-book with a short collection of poems, stories, picture study, and copywork to make Easter more meaningful. This resource is used in the 5-day unit study.

Make your own Resurrection Eggs – we purchased a set like these growing up, but how much more fun and frugal to make your own!

Hot Cross Buns recipe - Traditional bread for Good Friday, with the cross as a symbol of Christ and the resurrection, in a healthy fashion! Fun baking project with kids.

How to Naturally Dye Eggs - ideas for dying eggs naturally!

Easter Cookies – cookies for Easter with a purpose!

How do you seek to make your Easter celebrations purposeful?
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