Monday, August 22, 2011

Cup o Joe

I am finally sitting down here in front of the computer after my little Screamer has decided to stop screaming and start sleeping.  I know I only have up to an hour before she decides to let me know that she's awake again, so I figured I better make myself a cup of coffee and enjoy the peaceful moment.  Ahh, coffee.  Today I am brewing my current favourite a Fair Trade Nicaraguan blend.  It's mainly my favourite because of what these particular coffee beans mean to me.  It's not quite as strong as I would prefer, so I add a little bit of espresso to the filter and voila, a good cup of joe.

My latest summer time drink is the iced coffee.  Not sure why I didn't think of it last summer, but this year it dawned on me that it is a brilliant summer drink.  It just means I have to have ice in the freezer at all times, so when I was at Ikea last I picked up a couple bpa free icecube trays that makes cubes that look like fishies - couldn't resist. Well, in the morning I still have my hot cup of coffee or two when Aletta is down for her nap, so I just brew up about 6 cups and turn off the coffee maker (coffee makers use a lot of energy, and I am super frugal). 

freshly brewed iced coffee...mmmmm...
Often I don't get around to my second cup of coffee, so later on in the afternoon I pull out a glass put some sugar in the bottom, our over the nicely cooled, leftover coffee, throw in some ice cubes, and a bit of milk and voila, my perfect iced coffee for me to sip on while sitting on the porch while Aletta sucks away on a peach.  I know, it all sounds so romantical, but it's actually not!  Usually there is squealing and screaming, Lego barking, me yelling, and finally I just sit my butt down and I realize that I can't stop anything from happening and I might as well enjoy the sunshine and my nice glass of iced coffee.  OK, the Screamer is screaming now and she has only slept 30 minutes...when, oh when, will this possibly change??

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Homemade Soap

I have been saying to my husband the past few weeks, "I'll make the soap soon.  I promise!  Don't go out and buy any."  Well, he didn't and we have been using my shower gel as hand soap the past week!  But today I finally got out and bought the items I wanted for this hand soap.  Here's what I came up with using what I do with my baby bum wipe solution:

1 cup of boiled water
1 T liquid castile soap (I use Dr. Bronner's because I love that it is Fair Trade and all-natural)
1 T olive oil
3 drops essential oil (I used peppermint, but I also saw on the shelf some other fun smells)
In a jar combine all the ingredients and let cool with lid off.  Once it's warm to the touch put the lid on and shake it up. 

I made a bunch all in one batch so that I don't have to make it up that often, otherwise I don't always get around to it right when we need it.  For handsoap it is easiest to use a foaming dispenser, since the soap comes out pretty runny.  My husband wasn't impressed when he first squirted it out and it ran all off his hand...his words, "oh this make your own handsoap is gonna be a lot of fun..."  Right.  So, I have researched a little bit and it looks like xanthinum gum should do the trick to thicken it I have to find some of that stuff.

Other fun ways to use variations of this recipe: 
  • I use it for my cloth baby wipes...minus the essential oil and use 2 drops tea-tree oil for the anti-fungal elements.  I put it in a spray bottle, spray the wipes as needed and wash the used wipes along with the cloth diapers.
  • use for body wash
  • since I use the baby mild unscented Dr. Bronner's liquid castile soap it can also be used for baby body wash.
Super easy and super frugal!  I bought the largest bottle of the Dr. Bronner's at a bulk store for $20 which I guess will last me at least 2 years (if not 3 years) using it for hand soap and baby bum wipes.  The tea-tree oil came in a tiny bottle for about $7 and the peppermint essential oil in a small bottle for $8. 

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Diaper Sitch

It's a long weekend and we actually stayed home for a change. Usually we take every chance we can get to get up to my parent's place, in the summer, go camping, or visit family and friends in the States. But this time Kevin said that we needed to stay home, or at least he would and I could go up to my parents with the Babe if I wanted. I opted to stay home with him and then go up to my parents next week.

Kevin has been working around the house, getting things cleaned up, spreading wood chips that we were given to us by a friend and taking coffee breaks with Aletta and I. I on the other hand have been hanging up laundry from our vacation, doing a load of diapers (pictured below) and trying to find ways to save our resources with my maternity leave benefits coming to an end.

Saving your resources and yet not being cheap is a precarious thing. Especially when you are already frugal. Now frugality turns into creativity. I hope to share in the next few blog posts about how my frugal living the past year (which I thought was already creative) worked out in a few areas, and hopefully that will give some of you readers some ideas of your own as you try to be stewardly with your resources.
from left: fuzzi bunz pocket diapers, waterproof diaper pail sack, diaper inserts, cloth wipes

The cloth diapers was one big way that we wanted to save money and not contribute to filling up landfills.  I have about 20 pocket diapers and a whole bunch of prefolds.  We just came back from vacation during which we used disposable diapers...and I have to admit it is super easy to pull off the diaper, wrap it up and chuck it.  Amazing, really.  Coming back to the cloth diapers I wasn't so pumped.  I can see why its easier to use disposable.  BUT, we don't live in a disposable world, so I remembered why we did cloth in the first place and pulled out the brightly coloured, super cute diapers.  And they look fun on the clothesline while the sun dries and bleaches them.