Saturday, July 26, 2014

DIY Liquid Castile Soap

The recipe actually makes about a gallon. 

Grate a bar of Kirk's Castile Soap into a large gallon-sized container. You can find the soap at Walmart for next to nothing. Dr. Bronner's is a favorite, but it costs around $3-4 for one bar. The liquid Dr. Bronner's is around $17 at Target. And that's for only 32 ounces. I love the way Kirk's smells. There's a faint hint of cinnamon or something. I love it. 
...Pour in around 10-12 cups of boiling water, stir, and wait a while until it's all dissolved. There you go. You now have a powerful, concentrated cleaner that literally cost you around a dollar. It should look like cloudy water at first, but as it cools it will stiffen, expand, and become sort of goopy. This is normal. You might want to go ahead and have your spray bottles and dispensers ready for dilution while it's warm and soupy in texture. You can still work with it when it's goopy, too. No biggie. Just shake it up. 

Castile soap is vegan and all natural. In other words, it's plant based and has no animal fat to make the soap. Most castile soaps are made with olive oil and coconut oil. As long as it's vegan, and it's natural (oil and NAOH--sodium hydroxide--lye--the stuff that reacts with the oil and makes soap), it's considered castile soap. It's very safe and nontoxic, and using it like this is a very inexpensive way to clean your home. 

My first use of this was a very gutsy move if I do say so myself. I researched around and found that some people use it for dish washing detergent. Being that I was out, I took a deep breath, prayed, and went for it. I filled up the section with my new cleaner and the special section with white vinegar. 

They came out clean, so I could sigh a sigh of relief that I didn't have a kitchen full of suds! That pretty much made my day. (Castile soap doesn't suds much because it doesn't have the sulfates that other soaps do. Apparently sulfates are toxic?) Update: 7/30/14 Some of my plastics (Isaac's sippy cups) have gotten cloudy. The vinegar is supposed to prevent clouding. I'm working on different amounts of it to see if I can fix it. Everything else looks great. Update: 7/31/14 Now I'm noticing the cloudiness on my pots and pans, too. Back to the drawing board. First, I'm going to try a dilution instead of the concentrate and use some lemon EO. Then, if that doesn't work, I'm going to try my laundry soap recipe. Some blogs I've read say that Dr. Bronner's castile soap works better in the dishwasher, so I might have to buy a bar. I my other attempts don't work, I'll try it out. Update 8/9/14: The laundry soap recipe and vinegar in the rinse cycle seems to be working and not clouding up the dishes. I'm keeping my fingers crossed! Update 8/30/14: The laundry soap did end up causing cloudiness, but I tried no turning the "heat dry" option on. This seems to keep the cloudiness away, but on cheap plastics, I can still see a little. After reviewing people's comments on what seems like a 100 recipes I've found on Pinterest and blogs, every option out there causes cloudiness. Ugh. I'll try Dr. Bronner's soap when I run out of this which will probably be in like...app years. :)

Sorry for the blurry iPhone picture. This is my kitchen, bathroom, and floor cleaner along with a baby food jar of the soft scrub I made. 

After researching different recipes, I discovered most people dilute 2 tbsp. of concentrate with about 2-3 cups of water and so forth. Play around with the strength for different uses. You might want a stronger solution for your kitchen and bathroom and a weaker one for your baby and your face. 

You can use this cleaner for...
*All-purpose kitchen cleaner with orange EO 
*Baby bath with lavender EO (Avoid eyes.)
*Hand wash (I'm getting a foam dispenser to make it last even longer. 2 tbsp. and the rest is a few drops of your favorite EOs and water to the top.)
*Body wash (same as hand wash)
*Face wash (1 tbsp. for me along with 2 drops of melaleuca and lavender each and 2 c. water.)
*Shaving gel (Use in its concentrated form for the best results. Peppermint EO can also be used to open up the pores. 
*Clothes washing detergent 1c. liquid castile along with Borax (4c.), Washing Soap (4c.), and 5 drops pink grapefruit and lavender EOs (Update: This is still working great. It does get a little stiff and crunchy, so I simply use a butter knife to break it up a little. Some recipes call for vinegar, but I didn't put that in my recipe. Oddly enough, my running clothes are coming out smelling great. Woohoo! Next time I might try using the grated bar of Kirk's instead of the liquid. Kirk's has a great recipe on their website. Maybe it will be a little softer. I've read humid climates make the powders stiffer and crunchier, and that pretty much sums up Alabama to a T. Update 8/30/14: I made some laundry soap (same recipe) only with one bar of grated soap, and it doesn't get stiff at all. I will definitely be using this recipe in the future. 
*Bathroom cleaner with lemon EO
*Dish washing detergent along with vinegar and optional EOs. 
*Dish soap (Don't be alarmed at the lack of suds. It's still soap, and it still cleans. I leave the really tough jobs for the dishwasher anyway.)
*Mop water solution (1/2 c. concentrate, water, and a couple orange and eucalyptus EO drops)
Add in baking soda...
*This becomes a great, inexpensive degriming scrub along with baking soda and orange EO (It works on ceramic cooktops, tubs, and granite. I think they call this DIY Soft Scrub. I did half and half for this recipe. I have to go back with a swipe of kitchen cleaner on my granite and cooktop because the baking soda leaves a film. You know the drill. It's kind of like Comet. I haven't found a replacement for my granite polish, though.)
*Face and body scrub (Same recipe as soft scrub above)
*Hair clarifier (I scrub in some of the soft soap recipe into my regular shampoo. My hair was super clean and shiny. The orange EO does a great job on oily hair.)

Do you have any more uses? Has anyone ever tried it as a toilet bowl cleaner? I haven't gone that route yet. Some people use it as shampoo and toothpaste...

Update 8/30/14: I have been using it as toilet bowl cleaner for about a month now, and it seems to be working well. I'm aware that nothing can ever clean as deeply as products with bleach, but that's something I can live with. 

I tried making my own toothpaste with coconut oil, baking soda, liquid castile soap, and peppermint EO, and it tasted terrible! I only used it once, and the taste of baking soda was in my mouth all day long. I saw another recipe for tooth powder by Mommypotomous that I want to try that contains ingredients like stevia and bentonite clay. Maybe that will taste better!

What's your favorite use? 

Think about the money we could save over the course of year by replacing our normal cleansers with 3 bars of Kirk's for less than $4! At least $100-$200. I've learned that with Kirk's, vinegar, baking soda, coconut oil, Epsom salts, and EOs, I can take care of a lot of our household needs for a very small amount of money. It just takes a little elbow grease. :)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

EveryMove App Review

EveryMove is a new, unique app that rewards you for exercising! 

First, when you sign up, you sync with the devices you already use like Garmin Connect, Strava, Fitbit, Nike, My Fitness Pal, Map My Run, Polar, Active, and more. If it doesn't have your device, you can submit a request for it. Here's another cool fact: You can manually put in your activity without syncing it to anything. 

I started logging these miles in this past Sunday, and my points are already adding up. :)

Next, you pick a reward you want to work for. There are various charities and discounts on really cool items like granola, fitness socks, sport washing detergent, herbal teas, fitness clothing, and much more. Most rewards are 500 points, and they start you out with some just for signing up. You can also get bonuses for having a really active day. I just received my first reward: $5 off of San Franola Granola, and now I'm working towards 35% off a bag of Sport Suds washing detergent. 

You can find more activities listed than you ever imagined. If they don't have your activity, request it. 
This is just a screenshot of the extensive list of activities. Everything you can think of is on here. 

Your dashboard is where you can see your daily, weekly, and monthly progress. 

I really like this app, but I wish it had calorie breakdowns for each activity. I think that would inspire people when they saw how various activities burned calories in a designated time frame. I know that most devices already do this, but I'm just thinking about those who choose not to sync up with a device. 

I like that it keeps up with my running mileage over the course of time and the rewards system. I have synced with Strava, but I like manually putting in my mileage because I don't use data that way. 

Check it out for yourself! It's available on iPhone and Android

You can visit their website or check them out on Facebook and Twitter

I have not been paid by EveryMove, and these opinions are my own. This review is from an opportunity through Fitapproach and #Sweatpink. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

DIY Bum Butter

I just now ran out of Desitin, so I did some searching around to find a homemade recipe I could use along with my EOs. 

1. Zinc Oxide I ordered my zinc oxide off the internet. This is the main wetness barrier found in your Desitin. Full of antibacterial potential, it's also full of immune-boosting antioxidants. It literally costs maybe $2 or $3 for a pouch full--enough to make about 4 or 5 four-ounce jars full. This is great for the immune system. 
2. Coconut Oil I like Nutiva extra-virgin organic coconut oil, but LouAna from the grocery store works fabulously! And it's a natural substance and very inexpensive. Coconut oil is also a natural antibacterial. 
3. Beeswax Pellets This makes the cream firm and provides a water-resistant barrier. 
4. Essential Oils (optional) I used 5 drops each of lavender (good for skin and rashes), eucalyptus (antibacterial, (antifungal) orange (scent) and melaleuca (gentler than tea tree, so it's a good antibacterial, antifungal for baby) 

Melt 1/2 cup coconut oil and 1/4 cup beeswax in a double boiler or microwave until everything is incorporated. After cooling in the fridge for a little over an hour or so, blend it up until it whips together like butter. Stir in your EOs and 1 tbsp. zinc oxide and place into a jar.

The scent isn't just amazing, but it does the job, and it's good for baby's skin. 

This base along with carrot seed oil and raspberry seed oil makes a great natural and inexpensive sunscreen! Citrus oils like lemon, lime, and orange are photosensitive so they actually make sunburns more likely! 

Easy, Inexpensive Baby Breakfasts

Here are some inexpensive ways I have been able to get Isaac's fruits and vegetables in since he really doesn't seem to like the texture of fruits right now. I really hope that changes. 

On the left is one can crushed pineapple in its own juice, one container of pineapple Greek yogurt, and about 1/2 cup oatmeal all blended up. Two dollars for about six pouches of baby breakfasts. That would add up to $12-$15. 

On the right is 1 cup fresh blueberries, 1 cup fresh kale, 1 banana, 1 cup milk, and 1/2 cup oatmeal all blended up. Again, $12-$15 dollars worth for less than a dollar. (A sweet lady from church gave me the blueberries right off the bush.) :-)

This is one large can pears, 1/2 cup oatmeal, and 1 cup fresh spinach leaves blended up in the blender. (It tastes like candy!) This cost under $2 for about 8 pouches worth which could be from $15-$20! This would be great with yogurt, but I forgot to buy some. 

This literally takes seconds to blend and put into containers, and I stick these in the freezer and let thaw overnight for breakfast. 

So inexpensive and easy!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Ten Years Later: Dating Anniversary

Today is our dating anniversary! What a ten
warsyears it has been. (Autocorrect 1: Mallory 0. But how befitting, huh? Hehe) We are so different now, yet we are still so much the same. I was just 18, and he was 23. It's hard to believe that the year I graduated was ten years ago. I was in college at UA, and Heath had just gotten a job at the middle school. He actually found out he had gotten the job the day of our first date: today.

This was August right after we started dating. Pine Grove was doing family pictures, so they coaxed me into getting in there, too. Hehe

This was right after Heath got his truck in September...one month before my wreck. 

This looks like Christmas.

We went to the mountains with the church that December. Little did we know we would be climbing the mountain behind us a bazillion times. We were so different back then. I think I was still an Alabama fan, too! Hehe

Check out Snuggles, my sweet dog I got when I was in the sixth grade. I remember getting her while I was in the play at Looney's. She passed away three months before we got married six years ago. I miss her. She would sleep on the porch under my window.

Here's to 100 more...

Monday, July 14, 2014

Isaac: Months Thirteen and Fourteen

I can't believe two months have passed since Isaac's birthday. School will start back before we know it! Oh goodness. I'll think about that tomorrow. 

This baby loves, eats, breathes, sleeps tractors, wagons, wheels, and drums. 
He had the best time with the teens when they came over for teen devo last month. 
Love his big, toothy grin!

We got Isaac's one-year pictures done at the end of June. They turned out so well! Yay! No meltdowns! We all got a bath! I didn't wear two different shoes! Hehe. Mom life...you've got to love it.

Fourth of July was so much fun. We had awesome weather. We ran four miles on the Fourth together. Four is about all I can get out of him these days. 
Here's a throwback to last year's Fourth...
Don't mess with the U.S.!

He got his first haircut Saturday. He did such a good job. I was so proud of him. He didn't cry or fuss at all.

His new hobby. 
After. He looks grown up! :-/
Isaac turns into a little Italian when he gets mad or frustrated. He talks with his hands and starts spouting off in his own little language. It's hard not to laugh. It's so sweet. 
He might as well be three in this picture! He is getting too big. 
Corn on the cobb is his new thing. 
Tanner, Isaac's buddy, gave him these glasses. Cool dude!
Isaac and Matthew playing with the tractor at church...

He is taking steps now, but he can't push around his tractor on his feet. Hehe. He has 12 teeth! Time is flying by!