Friday, August 31, 2012

Frugal Friday: Homemade Foaming Hand Soap

Who here loves Bath & Body Works Foaming Hand Soap in their yummy smelling scents?

*Ohh Ohh raises both hands here!!*

They get quite spendy even if you buy them on sale. I had no qualms before to snatch those babies up during a sale to stock up when I used to work and make my own money. Now that we've been a single income family for the past four years or so getting those BBW soaps were a once a great blue moon buy. Then I started to use generic Target foaming hand soap to refill the BBW bottles until I of course discovered Pinterest.

I stumbled upon several pins on how to make your own foaming hand soap. I honestly cannot tell you who I saw the pin from since it's been months since I first tried this out, but if you searched DIY foaming hand soap several pins will come up.

The one I found though simply just used an inch of baby washing soap and filled the rest of the bottle with water. You should actually leave about half an inch or so from the top of the bottle since when you put the pump back in it will overflow, then just tip side to side and up and down (DON'T SHAKE) to mix.

I had some baby washing soap from my baby shower that I ended not being able to use since the baby was "lucky" to have sensitive skin like me. So rather than waste those bottles of baby wash I put them to use and been using them for our hand soap.

It's been working great for us and in the end is a really cheap way to refill those foaming hand soap bottles. I think when I would buy the generic big bottle refills which ran about $4 and would only refill at the most four empty foaming dispensers. One 15 fluid ounce bottle of baby wash that cost about $4 as well has so far refilled my kitchen and downstairs bathroom dispensers at least a dozen plus times so far and there's still a little over 1/4 left in the baby wash bottle.

I'll be doing this for a long while now and you can even use the other scented baby washes. I had the lavender scented one as well and used that for the upstairs bathroom. My hands almost smells as good as a baby's freshly bathed bottom haha.

I hope that you try this out as well since I highly recommend it. So that's my frugal tip for Frugal Friday.

Everyone enjoy this Aloha Friday and long weekend!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Frugal Friday: Homemade Dryer Sheets Part 2

Last week I posted about making your own homemade dryer sheets using scrap material and spraying in diluted liquid fabric softener on them before tossing into the dryer. I had been using that method for over a year but now have found another method.

I found this similar option on Pinterest via One Good Thing By Jillee where she also made homemade dryer sheets. Instead of the scrap material I currently use, she used old dish rags. Now why didn't I think of that? Rags or even washcloths are more absorbent and would retain the liquid softener longer.

She too soaked the rags in softener, squeezed out the liquid, and let them completely dry then tossed into the dryer. According to her post one "sheet"is good for at least 12 loads of laundry before you need to re-soak them.

So I went out and got me a pack of cheap washcloths from Target. They were having their back to school sale and there was a section of home essentials. I got a pack of eight washcloths for about $3.00. Just to experiment with this new method I only used four washcloths just in case I didn't like the results and I didn't want to waste perfectly good washcloths either.

I took my spray bottle of equal parts of water and liquid fabric softener and sprayed the cloths outside and hung them over our patio chairs till they dried completely. Today I did a load of laundry and used one of the cloths to test them out and it worked AWESOMELY!! My laundry smelled fresh and no static cling either. Looks like I'll be doing this method from now on and I highly recommend it too.

That was my frugal tip for the week and hope you have a great Aloha Friday.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Made By Me Monday: Wrapped Earbuds

I know I'm not the only one who has neatly put their MP3 player earbuds neatly in your pocket or bag and to only take them out later and they're a knotted mess.  This not only has happened to me everytime but the worse time was when I accidentally washed my earbuds in my gym jacket and it took me FOREVER to untangle them. See...

So of course while perusing Pinterest I find a DIY on how to prevent your earbuds from tangling by wrapping the cords with embroidery thread.  Hmmm....makes sense since it will make the cords thicker and the rubber won't "stick" to each other. The one site that intrigued me was Kiss Me Awake's post that does a friendship bracelet type of weave AND she included a video tutorial!  How cool is that? 

I had never weaved friendship bracelets before as a kid so I felt a little intimidated trying this one out but after watching the tutorial it actually helped out a lot. I got my supplies from my toy store Joanns and got going a few days ago.  Once I got started it got pretty easy to do and started coming out pretty cool. I had hoped to finish the whole thing today but I still have one side of the earbud to finish.  These kids kept demanding my attention LOL...well my lil manapua kept running a fever since I think he's starting to teethe and has been super grouchy and only wants mommy. 

Go and check out Kiss Me Awake's tutorial on the how to and here's how mines turned out so far.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Frugal Friday: Homemade Dryer Sheets Part 1

This will be a two part post since i missed last week's Frugal Friday post. The first part will be about the current way I've been using homemade dryer sheets for over the past year.

I first learned about this technique after reading the book "Big Ass Book of Crafts" by Mark Montano. In the book it showed that all you needed was some scrap cotton material and a spray bottle of equal parts of liquid fabric softener and water. Then just spray your fabric scrap with the softener and toss into the dryer.

I had been doing that for several months but kept finding that my clothes would have "wet softener stains" and the blue Downy would bleed onto the whites laundry load. So rather than putting in a wet fabric scrap I would spray each scrap and let them dry completely before throwing them into the dryer.

This has working well for us and I haven't had to buy disposable dryer sheets for over a year. There is no static cling and our clothes still smell Downy fresh (I still put some for the laundry rinse cycle).

I did though find another similar way for homemade dryer sheets, but will save that for next week's Frugal Friday. Here's my current how to on the dryer sheets.

Until then Happy Aloha Friday!


8x8 sized cotton fabric scrap
Sewing machine and thread
Spray bottle
Liquid fabric softener

Zig zag stitch or serge the edges of your scrap material to prevent fraying.

Put equal parts of liquid fabric softener and water into the spray bottle.

Spray mixture onto each side of fabric scrap and let dry completely.

Toss into dryer with your laundry load.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Made By Me Monday: Lei Me

The craft of the week that I made were LEIS!  Our good friend's nephew that we've known since he was in fifth grade just graduated from Heald College the other week.  So of course the Hawaii tradition is to make leis for the graduate whether they be made with real flowers or artificial items.  Since we can't really get the kind of fresh flowers we can get back home in Hawaii, I make do with artificial items.  I only had a week to make several leis so I went with a fun fur yarn lei, ribbon lei, and a net stuffed lei.

I'm fortunate enough to have my mom ship me items that I can't get here in Oregon (which is quite often because she LOVES me ;p) and a few months ago when I was on a lei making frenzy she sent me several packages of net tubing for stuffing items to make a lei.

For this particular graduate I knew one of his favorite alcoholic drinks so I bought mini bottles of Maker's Mark Whiskey, several packages of saimin, and bananas.  Why the saimin and bananas?  Weird combo yah I know.  I had originally wanted to stuff the lei with whiskey and travel sized packets of Tylenol or Advil as a joke in case he had a hangover after his graduation party.  It seemed a little boring to have just have those two items in the lei.  So I asked my hubby what hangover relief items could I put into the lei and he said SAIMIN. Oh DUH why didn't I think of that. 

Then a few nights later on Facebook the graduate posted that he was preparing to hydrate the night before his party and I jokingly said to keep the Gatorade handy.  So he replied saying that bananas help with easing his tummy (why? I really don't know), so that gave me another idea to opt for the bananas instead of the Tylenol or Advil. So here how this lei turned out.

The second lei I made was a fun fur/fuzzy yarn lei with kukui nuts and shells.  This was my first time making this type in particular since I've only done the whole strand of just yarn. I like it a lot so I'll for sure make more of these in the future.  Here's how this one turned out.

The last lei I made is one I've learned how to do from all the way back in high school some *cough* 15 years or so ago *cough*.   This ones so simple and relatively cheap on the materials.  I chose to make a four stranded lei of red, yellow, green, and black (Rasta in colors).  I could easily make this in several hours but for some reason my two kids demand my attenion LOL. Here's the end result.

AND here's the graduate rockin' the leis.  CONGRATS JOSH!!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Frugal Friday: Sorry No Post Today

Sorry there is no post for Frugal Friday. I had every intention to post something but things were a little hectic today.

Along with us finding out our 8 1/2 year old Maltese dog having a heart murmur. He went in for his six month comprehensive exam and I get a call from the vet telling me the news. We weren't expecting news like that since our dog usually has great results. More info on that later since my hubby and I are going to monitor his behavior and likely seek a second opinion before jumping the gun in seeing a pet cardiologist.

Anyway, I'll probably just do a late post or just do a catch up of two posts for next week.

Everyone enjoy their weekend!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Quack Quack!!

Behind our local library there's a nice walking path and a pond full of ducks. Once in a while I like to take the lil booger there to go and feed the ducks. I could honestly sit there for ages myself and just throw bread out to the ducks. For some reason it just seems relaxing to me.

That day we saw some ducklings and something that I thought was a beaver or otter. When I showed my hubby the picture later he told me that they were nutria. The first time I ever heard of nutria was on the Andrew Zimmern show "Bizarre Foods". They're supposedly some kind if river/pond rat that are edible *SHUDDER*.

Anyway, aside of the "nutria" sighting the lil booger had fun feeding the ducks. I must say though that those ducks are savages when going after those pieces of bread. Kind of reminds me of people at Costco going after the samples LOL.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Made by Me Monday: Sponge Water Toy

Today marks the first installment of "Made by Me Monday", it will be posts about things that I have made craft wise, food wise, and such. Hopefully this will be a weekly thing so that kind of gives me the incentive to try out one easy craft project a week.

So the first easy craft project that I'm going to share are the cheap and easy sponge water toys. I found it on Pinterest via Makeandtakes website. This easy craft project ONLY needed THREE materials that you can easily find at your local dollar store. I already had two of the three items at home and I bought a 10-pack of sponges from the local dollar store. I have yet to take pictures of the lil booger in action with the sponge toys. This past weekend would have been perfect but it was too hot for him to play in the backyard since we don't have good shading. I'll have to update this post when I do have pics of that. In any case here's the how to.


Zip ties

-Cut sponges lengthwise into threes.
-Gather sponge pieces and wrap zip tie around them in the middle
-Pull on zip tie to tighten.
-Snip off excess portion of zip tie

Dinosaurs in the Mall


A long while ago I signed up for email updates from one of the strip malls in my area to receive monthly kids events. So a week ago I got an email saying they they were having an OMSI sponsored dinosaur exhibit. Now the lil booger is still very much into dinosaurs at the moment so I knew he'd be excited to see this exhibit.

Since yesterday was very HOT I figure I take the boys over to Cedar Hills Crossing to check out the dinosaurs and have lunch at L&L while we're there...oh and to take advantage of the a/c too ;).

We get there and the "exhibit" was tiny compared to the one we went to last year at the Bishop Museum on Oahu. The lil booger was a little disappointed but what can I say it was in a little strip mall. He made do with what was there and eventually had fun "digging for fossils" in the fossil bin.

So if anyone is interested in visiting the exhibit it's there until the end of the month. Go check it out and have some fro-yo while you're there!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Half the Year Has

Gone and my lil manapua is 6 months old. Where has the time gone seriously? Can't he just stay this little but be able to feed and clothe himself...oh and wipe his own butt?

Friday, August 3, 2012

Frugal Friday: Homemade Laundry Soap

So I'm a HUGE Pinterest fanatic and I honestly online hoard a bunch of pins that catch my eye...well mostly with things I hope to try out. One of the most successful pins that I have made is making my own homemade laundry soap.  A friend of mine actually gave me the idea first a long while ago but I never got around to trying it out for myself until I stumbled upon it on Pinterest.

I have sensitive skin and have been an avid Tide laundry soap user for years and was leary on using the homemade recipe for fear of breaking out in eczema or making my skin condition worse.  However, my friend said her kids have sensitve skin too and they didn't break out in anything.  Also, she even used it on her baby's clothing instead of using Dreft baby laundry detergent which is stinking expensive.  The recipe my friend used is quite similar to one I found online via Pinterest at Being Creative to Keep My Sanity so I went with that.

So with the hubby's approval I went forth and got all the ingredients/supplies that I needed which I could find at my local Wal-Mart. 

Here's the list:
1 4 lb 12 oz box Borax (2.15 kg or 76 oz) found in the detergent isle
1 4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (1.81 kg) found in the cooking isle
1 box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz (3 lb 7 oz) found in the detergent isle
3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap, found in the detergent isle (if you use Zote bars use 2 bars instead, Zote can be found at Home Depot)
2 small containers of Oxy Clean or store brand Oxy Clean (try to get about 3.5 lbs total (1.58 kg)) found in the detergent isle. (I already had a Costco sized box of the stuff so I just measured this out in my batch)

The instructions said to grate the Fels Naptha soap on a cheese grater or use a food processor.  I don't have a food processor so I went for the cheese grater option (I got a separate one just for this purpose).  That was a BIG mistake to do.  Not only did it take me forever to grate one bar of soap, the soap would get clogged in the holes of the grater.  I really didn't want to use any of my kitchen appliances and have them "tainted" with soap, but I gave in and first used my automatic shredder to grate the soap and then used my blender to ground up the "grated cheeselike soap".  After all of that I mixed everything into a big enough container. 

I made this batch of soap back in the beginning of December 2011 and it cost me roughly $12-$15.  The cool part of making your own homemade laundry soap is that all you need to use is just 1 tablespoon (I actually use 2 tablespoons), so this whole thing will stretch for a long while. Here are some pictures of my batch of soap and I apologize that they are not of good quality since I'm too LAZY to use my actual digital camera and just use my iPhone instead. The last pic is as of today and I still have lots left to use! I am guessing it'll last me probably a few more months and I'll be surprised if I'll get to stretch out till this December. If that happens then that means I would have only spent $12-$15 for laundry soap for the WHOLE year! WOW! Whereas before I would clip coupons for Tide soap and wait for a sale to come up, then in the end I would have spent over $100 in soap for an entire year. YIKES!

I highly recommend trying this out if you're trying to cut costs somewhere in your household budget. I use it for all of our laundry and even for our infant son's clothing too ever since he was born six months ago.  I got my sister in Hawaii on the bandwagon, she uses more than the 1-2 tablespoon it asks for so she's on making her second batch of soap, but she's still saving $$$.  Go to Being Creative to Keep My Sanity for more of the how to and go over the comments if you have any concerns.  Especially for those who have those fancy schmanchy HE washers ;p, I got an old school top loader and the soap works absolutely fine. 

So this is my first installment on hopefully a weekly Frugal Friday tid bit that I have tried on my own or maybe something one of you could benefit from. 


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Blog Has Been...


It's been a LONG while, I mean LONG while since I blogged on here. I just checked the date of my last post and it was in September. Sheesh!!

I could tell you a billion reasons why I haven't blogged but I'll spare you the details. However, one of the BIGGEST reasons is that we added to our little ohana who was born in January. We had another baby boy and he has kept us all very busy.

Now that things have settled a bit, I may be able to blog here and there even if it's little tid bits of something.

I've missed blogging so here I go!