April 2009

I love, LOVE the show 18 kids and counting on TLC (although they have 18 kids now)—and in one of their first episodes they showed how to make your own laundry detergent and save HUGE, plus you eliminate those harmful chemicals—That’s exactly what I need, especially in this economy!

Cheap, and safe for my family.  It’s not often that the cheap stuff is also the stuff that’s good for you.  But THIS is!!!  So here’s the recipe, thank you Duggar family—God bless!


Whether you have sensitive skin or just a desire to save money on household necessities, making your own laundry detergent like the Duggar family does is a simple project that you can whip up in your own kitchen. When you make your own detergent, you leave out the chemicals that manufactures use in theirs, AND your savings will be astronomical (I know one lady who spent less than $10 for an entire year’s worth of laundry detergent because she made her own). Here’s a simple-to-follow recipe that Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar use to make their own laundry soap.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Things You’ll Need



Step One

Grate your bar of soap. (It’s easier if you use a crank grater. If you use a regular box or flat grater, watch your fingers!)

Step Two

Mix the grated soap and 3 pints of water in a sauce pan on low heat, until the soap gratings have dissolved.

Step Three

Stir in washing soda.

Step Four

Stir in Borax.

Step Five

Stir until thickened.

Step Six

Remove from heat.

Step Seven

Add 1 quart of hot water to the 2 gallon container.

Step Eight

Add the soap mixture to the container.

Step Nine

Mix well. (If your container has a wide mouth, use a stirrer. If it has a narrow mouth, put the lid on and shake it.)

Step Ten

Add more hot water to the container until it’s almost full, leaving just enough room to mix it.

Step Eleven

Mix once more.

Step Twelve

Let the mixture set for 24 hours, or until it has thickened.

Step Thirteen

Use to clean your laundry, using 1/2 cup per full load.

Tips & Warnings

  • Add a few drops of essential oil for scent, if you’d like.
  • 4 cups = 1 quart

    1 pint = 2 cups


    I am always looking for an outstanding granola recipe—I’m a huge fan, but have not yet mastered this one.  This one sounds promising, and excludes some of the oil you find in others—yahoo!  So lets tryi it out…

    ow fat granola with millet

    Didn’t I mention something about cake? Cookies? Something toothsome, gooey and sweet? I swear this isn’t turning into a breakfast/vegan blog (not that there’s anything wrong with that), but this is how I’ve been eating lately. It’s spring outside…or at least it’s trying to be and I think it’s time for a dietary shake up for a bit. The cake and cookie recipes will come, I promise! Last week I picked up Mark Bittman’s hefty cookbook, How to Cook Everythingand found myself at his granola recipe. It intrigued me since it required no oil and there was a suggestion to throw quinoa or millet into the mix. It got me thinking, and just a few minutes later I found myself heading to the cupboard making up a low fat granola recipe.

    Now, I’m no slouch when it comes to making granola. My recipe archives contain recipes for peanut butter granola, cocoa-coconut granola, vanilla almond granola, and my no-fail granola. But despite my granola cred, I’ve never added millet. And dear readers, millet is a granola god-send! It adds such a snap, crackle, pop for the perfect bite of crunch. As for the no-oil, I couldn’t detect much difference between this one and my normal granola, so why not choose the low fat version instead? It’s delicious, filling and healthy breakfast and if you prepare a batch every Sunday evening then you have something to look forward to all week long.

    low fat granola with millet
    (Inspired by Mark Bittman)
    6 c organic oats (not quick)
    1/2 c millet (regular, uncooked millet)
    1 c dessicated coconut
    1/2 c sunflower seeds
    1/4 c flax seeds or ground flax
    1/2 c wheat germ
    1 c pecans
    1 generous T cinnamon
    1/2 t ground nutmeg
    1/4 t ground cloves
    1/2 t ground cardamom
    dash of salt
    1/2 c dried cranberries
    1/2 c raisins
    1/2 – 1 c maple syrup
    orange juice

    Heat oven to 300F. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients from the oats down to the salt. Drizzle in the maple syrup and stir well with a wooden spoon to get everything coated. Needs more liquids? Add in some more maple syrup or a bit of orange juice.

    Spread the mix out into a large baking dish and bake for 30 minutes, checking and stirring occasionally so that nothing burns. Add in the raisins and cranberries and bake until the granola turns golden and crisp, again making sure things don’t get too “golden”. Remove from oven and cool. Store in a sealed container. Serve with fresh fruit and yogurt.

    Thank you to Everybody likes sandwiches for this recipe!

    Nothing cuter than a flower in a little girl’s hair.  Here are some cute crafts to give give that little head of hair a little “bling”.

    Thanks to WhipUp.net for this tutorial on making felt flowers—which would look adorable on a little barrett clippy you can buy at the craft stores, or on-line craft stores (for cheaper).

    felt flower tutorial

    What makes this flower so grand? It’s simple to make and crafted from sustainable products: eco-fi felt made of recycled plastic bottle and sweet vintage buttons. In no time at all, you’ll have a new felt posy for your wardrobe by following this simple tutorial. In fact, you’ll just have to be patient enough to allow the glue dry between steps.

    Round up the supplies:
    3 pieces of 9” x 12” Kunin eco-fi felt (also known as EcoSpun) in colors that suit your fancy (available at http://www.feltorama.com) :: Vintage buttons :: 1.5” pin back :: Scissors :: Fine-tipped marker for transferring petal patterns to felt :: Needle and thread for sewing buttons :: Thick craft glue (Beacon’s Felt Glue or Aleene’s Tacky Glue are good choices) :: Sewing pins

    First: Print the petal template below and cut out the small petal and large petal. Print at actual size unless you’d like to change the dimensions to make a smaller or larger flower. It’s handy to print on heavy cardstock if you’d like to reuse the pattern to make an entire bouquet of recycled felt flowers!

    Next: Fold each piece of felt in half and pin together around the perimeter. This will allow you to save time by cutting two petals at once. With a fine-tipped marker, trace 3 small petals on the first piece of doubled and pinned felt. Trace 3 large petals on the second piece of doubled and pinned felt. Trace 3 more large petals on the third piece of doubled and pinned felt.

    Cut out each traced petal and you will end up with 6 small petals and 12 large petals. When cutting the petals, take care to cut just inside of the traced area to avoid any transfer markings on your petal pieces.

    Then: Form each set of 6 petals into an overlapping circle. Next, carefully glue each petal to the adjacent petals. You will end up with 3 flower layers: one created from small petals, and two created from large petals. Each layer may tend to ‘cup’ upward slightly as you glue them. This will add more dimension to your finished flower. Allow each of the flower layers to dry according to manufacturer instructions.

    Next: Once the 3 flower layers have dried, stack a layer of large petals on top of the second layer of large petals. Arrange the layers slightly askew so that the back layer of petals peek out between the top layer of petals. Glue these two layers together.

    Stack the layer of small petals on top of the other layers. Again, arrange this layer slightly askew. Glue this top layer to the middle layer. Allow the 3 flower layers to dry according to manufacturer instructions. With a needle and thread, sew the vintage buttons to the center of the flower. Stack 2 or 3 vintage buttons together for extra charm!

    Now: Turn the flower over. Cut a circle of felt to cover the center back of the flower. Glue the circle to the back of the flower and allow to dry according manufacturer instructions.

    Cut a small square of felt to fit over the pin back. Glue this piece of felt over the pin back to the back of the flower. This will attach the pin back securely to the flower. Allow to dry according manufacturer instructions.

    You’re done! Pin your new creation to a jacket, handbag or a fabric headband and show it off!

    About the designer: April launched Felt-o-rama in 2008 after having difficulty finding online sources for wool felt in vibrant colors. Her passion for textiles began at a early age, thanks to her mom, and an antique treadle sewing machine, a lifelong crafting addiction was born.

    And thanks to little window shoppe for this idea!  This would be great for parties, dress up, and Halloween fairies!!  Cute, cute…

    How to Make Fairy Crowns

    {By Vanessa ~ March 17, 2009}

    This past weekend we celebrated my daughter’s 3rd birthday by throwing her a fairy party. We made fairy crowns for all of the little girls attending, they are very simple and inexpensive to put together.



    • Green Floral Tape
    • Wire (floral wire, jewelry wire or you can even use pipe-cleaners or an old wire hanger)
    • Fake Flowers
    • Wire Cutters
    • Three different colors of ribbon



    1. Cut the wire to the desired head circumference and twist together the ends to make a circle. If you have to thin of wire just double up on it.
    2. Next, wrap the wire in green floral tape.
    3. When you wrap the tape around the second time add in the flowers and leaves. These flowers I just picked up in the dollar bin at Wal-mart.
    4. Weave Flowers around the entire circle.
    5. Add your favorite ribbon. I took purple, pink and silver ribbon and used a yard of it for each headpiece.
    6. Finally, tie your ribbon in a loop knot to attach it to the crown.