Thursday, January 19, 2012

DIY ~ Homemade Cloth Diaper Detergent, Cloth Wipes, and Wipe Solution

So today I want to tell you about my adventures in cloth diapering. I will admit, before doing my homework, I was one of those "Ew! You mean folding those big sheets, pinning them, and covering them with rubber pants??" type of people. Yeah, silly me, that's the old way of doing it. Now we have modern cloth diapering systems!

At first it all seemed over-whelming. There are LOTS of choices to pick from! But finally I decided that the hybrid system seemed like the best choice for during the day and a pocket diaper for the night. So far, it seems like I was right! Not only do I think its easy and am happy with it, but even Jacob is down with the whole cloth diapering thing. That, of course, makes things a whole lot easier.

So we have a system of using the Flip diapers with Stay-Dry inserts during the day and  BumGenious 4.0 diapers for nighttime. We also use cloth wipes with a spray-on wipe solution. I'm still learning to make my own diapers and inserts, but I've already become proficient at making my own cloth wipes, wipe solution, and even diaper detergent. So here are those recipes!


~ Homemade Cloth Diaper Detergent ~

What you will need:

~ 1 Cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
~ 1 Cup Borax
~ 1/2 Cup Oxiclean (we use the generic brand)
~ Storage container for finished detergent

~ [Optional] 2 Cups Calgon Water Softener Powder for if you have really hard water (like we do)

** For a price breakdown to see how much you can save... check out my fellow SweetPea's blog Life In the Men's Room! She shows how much she saved by switching from Rockin' Green Classic Rock! **

What to do:

1. Pour all ingredients into your storage container and shake to mix.

We use 3 TBSP per load. This is what I have found to work best for our family, but you might need to adjust it to work with your diapers, water, or other factors. This detergent is low-sudsing, so its also safe to use in HE washers!


~ Homemade Cloth Wipe Solution ~

What you will need:

~ 1 TBSP Baby Lotion (we like the lavender scented)
~ 1 TBSP Baby Soap (also lavender scented)
~ 1 TBSP Baby Oil
~ 1 Cup Warm water
~ 3 Drops Tea tree oil (can be omitted)
~ Container for finished solution

What to do:

1. Pour water into storage container. Add in the lotion, soap, oil, and tea tree oil.

2. Shake together to mix. Let sit until suds dissolve.

We like to put ours into small spray bottles so we can spray it directly onto Penny's bum and wipe with a cloth. So I will make a double batch and fill a larger container that I can use to refill our small bottles.

This solution will separate after sitting for a bit. So just give it a little shake and its ready to go again!

Please remember, this recipe is what we have found to work best for us. Some babies might have a reaction to the tea tree oil. So please use caution and test a small area to check for irritation.


Now for the cloth wipes, I have found that my favorite has been our fleece wipes. I seriously just took one of the many fleece blankets we had and cut it up for the purpose of wipes. The best dimensions, to me, are about 3 inches by 6 inches. Not too big, but not too small! Fleece is great because: 1) its so cheap, 2) because it's so cheap, if it gets too worn out, just toss it, and 3) you don't need to finish the edges of fleece. You just cut and its ready to use!

So that is it for my first edition of adventures in cloth diapering. I hope this is helpful to you... good luck!

Also check out:
~ DIY Homemade Laundry Detergent
~ DIY Homemade Laundry Softener 

Credit: Zany Zebra DesignsThe Eco-Friendly Family, and  All About Cloth Diapers

Monday, January 16, 2012

Recipe ~ Braided Spaghetti Bread

I decided to take a break from the DIY scene and instead share with you a food recipe! I am by no means that great of a cook, but I'm pretty good at following a recipe. This one is actually from the Rhodes Bake-N-Serv Blog. It is one of Jacob's FAVORITE things for me to make him for dinner! He only gets it once in a while though because bread dough and I are enemies. But its so good that sometimes I just have to give in and do it. But anyways, here is the recipe!


~ Braided Spaghetti Bread ~

What you will need:

~ 1 Loaf Rhodes Bread Dough or 12 Rhodes Dinner Rolls, thawed to room temperature
~ 6 oz. Spaghetti (cooked)
~ 1 cup Thick spaghetti sauce
~ 1/2 lb. Ground beef or meat of choice (or no meat)
~ 8 oz. Mozzarella cheese (cut into 1/2 –inch cubes)
~ 1 Egg white
~ Parmesan cheese
~ Parsley flakes

What to do:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray counter lightly with non-stick cooking spray. Roll loaf or combined dinner rolls into a 12x16-inch rectangle (This is when the dough and I fight. I will literally yell at it sometimes...). Cover with plastic wrap and let rest 10-15 minutes.

2. Cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain when done and let cool slightly.

3. While cooking spaghetti, cook ground beef until browned and thoroughly done. Drain oil and add to sauce. Mix meat sauce with cooked spaghetti.

4. Remove wrap from dough. Place spaghetti mixture lengthwise in a 4-inch strip down center of dough. Top with cheese cubes.

5. Make cuts 1 1/2-inches apart on long sides of dough to within 1/2-inch of filling. Begin braid by folding top and bottom strips toward filling. Then braid strips left over right, right over left. Finish by pulling last strip over and tucking under braid.

6. Lift braid with both hands and place on a large, sprayed baking sheet. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and parsley.

7. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

8. Cool slightly and slice to serve.

9. Enjoy!


I like to serve this with a small salad (just so I can say we had some kind of veggie). This is also great reheated the next day!

Also please excuse my dirty countertop! I'm a pretty messy cook. Well until next time, enjoy!

Credit: Rhodes Bake-N-Serv Blog

Thursday, January 12, 2012

DIY ~ Homemade Laundry Softener

Hello again! Well since my last post was about making your own laundry detergent, I decided that it was only appropriate to give you my recipe for homemade laundry softener! Again, it is really easy to make and will save you money. Also what I love about this is it is very customizable. You can choose whichever scent you like best! Like with the laundry detergent, I didn't take any photos of the process. So again I will have to update the next time I make a batch.


~ Homemade Laundry Softener ~

What you will need:

~ 12 cups water
~ 6 cups Distilled White Vinegar
~ 6 cups Hair Conditioner (your favorite scent)
~ Large pot
~ Storage container(s) for finished softener

What to do:

1. Bring water to a boil in pot and remove from heat. Add conditioner and stir until completely dissolved.

2. Add vinegar and mix well. Let cool slightly and pour into your storage container.


This recipe makes about a gallon and a half. We use 2 TBSP in our extra large load of laundry.

I like to use the Soothing Lavender Lilac scent. Also you will notice the softener has a vinegar scent. The vinegar smell will rinse out. I've never had my clothes come out smelling like vinegar.

This is the recipe that works best for our family. Find out what works best for you and let me know!

Also check out:
~ DIY Homemade Laundry Detergent
~ DIY Homemade Cloth Diaper Detergent, Cloth Wipes, and Wipe Solution

Credit: The Frugal Gals

Monday, January 9, 2012

DIY ~ Homemade Laundry Detergent

So some of the things I've been trying to learn about is DIY stuff for around the home and also living green (or in our case, just kinda crunchy). I like the idea of not leaving as much of a mess of our world behind for Penny, but I'm not going to lie, I LOVE the idea of saving money! I am ALL about saving a few pennies here and there. Thanks to Pinterest, I get new ideas every day! My first stop in this adventure... homemade laundry detergent. At first I was a little skeptical of the idea, but after doing some research and figuring out a recipe that would work for us, I did it and I am never going back! I've had a few bumps along the way, but once I figured out the problems, I have our laundry routine down pat. Unfortunately, I didn't take pictures of the process when I did it, so I will have to update at a later time when I actually need to make more detergent. But for now here is the recipe I used!

~ Homemade Laundry Detergent ~

What you will need:

~ 1 Bar of Fels-Naptha Soap
~ 1 and a 1/2 Cups Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
~ 1 and a 1/2 Cups Borax
(Quick Note: I found all of the above at my local Wal-Mart)
~ Saucepan or large pot
~ 6 gallon (or larger) container for mixing
~ Storage container(s) for finished detergent

What to do:

1. Finely grate Fels-Naptha soap bar. The finer it's grated, the easier it will melt.

2. Bring 6 cups of water to a slow simmer in a saucepan/large pot. Add grated soap and stir until completely melted. Remove from heat and set aside.

3. In mixing container pour in 10 cups of hot water. Add in the washing soda and Borax, then mix together. Now add in the melted soap mixture and mix again until combined. Add in 5 gallons of water, then stir again.

4. Transfer to your storage container of choice (we used 6, gallon sized, juice containers). Let sit between 12 and 24 hours to thicken. Shake before use as it tends to gel up.


This recipe makes about 6 gallons worth of detergent. We use 1 cup worth of detergent for our extra large load.

Also, this is a low-sudsing detergent so it is safe to use in HE machines!

Like I said before, this is the recipe that works best for our family. Find out what works best for you and let me know!

Also check out:
~ DIY Homemade Laundry Softener
~ DIY Homemade Cloth Diaper Detergent, Cloth Wipes, and Wipe Solution

Credit: The Frugal Girls

Thursday, January 5, 2012

How To Begin...

I've never been really good at normal little girl things like keeping a diary or journal, but now that I have my own little girl, I cant help but think this would be the perfect way to keep track of the things I want to remember, along with things I do or want to share with others. Besides my little Penelope, one of the greatest joys I have in life is being able to help others. Whether its helping emotionally, giving some kind of advice, showing how to do something, or giving something that is needed; it all gives me so much joy and fulfillment in my heart. So this is what I plan to do here. This is my adventure through the brand new territory of mommyhood and keeping up a household. All I hope is someone is able to take something from here and apply it to themselves or their life in a way that will be helpful. Thank you to everyone who reads this!