Friday, January 28, 2011

My first item!

I just posted my first item on etsy! I made a really cool button choker and if it doesn't sell I am so keeping it for myself! It took me about 2 hours to make, and I should have probably put it on for more than I did, but I would rather sell items than keep them around. I can always make more, and the more I make, the more I will get better at making them!

Now my next agenda is making a scarf. Ok. So maybe not quite next! I am going to go make some more buttony things first. I probably won't get to the scarf until tomorrow! But who knows!

My poor daughter is still sick. I have been feeling really sick to my stomach. I think it has something to do with not being able to sleep at night. Despite having netflix, I really don't watch much more tv than I did before we had netflix. There is just so much more that I have to get done! Reading books, learning about things so I can have a more efficient garden, herb and flower garden this year. I want to have a strawberry patch, grow meat birds, so many things! This is my first year attempting herbs and some of the flowers I want to grow! Hopefully they turn out! I also would like to set up a bee hive. I need to get some more info on raising bees, mostly on the hive equipment. I can't wait for my catalog to come in! Tonight I get to run to town for groceries, get some library books that I have waiting for me to get, and also to return the ones I have already read. I also need to get to the store so I can pick up some clothes line and clothes pins! I just recently found out that clothes still dry in the winter outside! They freeze dry. Who knew?! Since I've started using my dryer our electric bill went up $100! That is just too much to pay for such a trivial convenience! Well at least it is in my book. That is an extra $100 that could have went to paying a different bill, or better yet, a heifer calf! I really want a purebred brown swiss, jersey, or milking shorthorn. I have been thinking about texas longhorn, but their horns really intimidate me! For now I think the 3 breeds I have listed would be the best. The jersey or milking shorthorn would probably be the best bang for my buck in converting feed to milk. The Brown swiss would need more food, but again they are my absolute favorite breed of cow!

Well I am going to go get some chores done outside before the snow hits. It is sunny right now so I want to take advantage of that! Tonight: 2-5 inches of more snow! :) Good tea drinking weather!


Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Laundry Soap

Last night my daughter went to bed ok, but after an hour woke up sick. I put a water vaporizer with some peppermint essential oil and she was able to sleep.

I woke up early this morning, got the animals fed, typical house cleaning done, then I decided to make some laundry soap.

I got a new recipe to try that is just a dry laundry soap and involves no water, no stove, no pans, pretty much no clean up! It is different also in the ingredient department too. It adds baking soda to the ingredient list AND adds the whole bar of Fels Naptha soap instead of just a 1/3 of the bar.

I quit making the liquid soap after my clothes quit getting clean. Sure, they smelled clean but the clothes felt grimy and just not fresh. So I went back to a "green" store bought laundry soap knowing I was over paying a lot of money for it.

Enter the forum I found and voila! Now I have so many ideas and tips from other women of like mind! One lady posted this recipe and I just whipped it up in no time!

I also found a few posts were some ladies were talking about using white vinegar was a laundry softener AND anti-static. I can't figure out how to do that without my clothes retaining that smell. I need to find out when to put it in my wash properly then I can have anti-static clothes naturally too!

Well I used up the last of my store bought detergent today so the next time I do laundry I will get to test my new laundry soap out! The nice thing with the recipe I just made is it fits perfectly into one of the big Organic formula containers I have! I'm so glad I hang on to them to repurpose them!

I know some people can get out of hand and start hoarding things, but if you can actually repurpose an item AND will actually do it instead of "someday" then go for it and repurpose! Otherwise just recycle/toss it out!

I really want to make my own homemade soap and dishsoap so that will be coming up soon, hopefully! I also found some people making their own shampoo! I would love to try that out and see how my hair does with it!

I was also figuring out what other herb seeds/plants I need to get for my little herb garden I am starting this spring!

There are just so many neat things to do with things on hand. I love it! Saving money, being creative, so cool!

Well I have to go wipe a running nose so signing off for now!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I am taking a break from crafting until I can get some more fabric! For now I have been reading a cool book about tooth decay and how diet can prevent it. So far its very informative!

I also started a new diet and after a week I lost 7-8 pounds! I feel so much healthier! My husband is so supportive, even he is changing the way he is eating! I'm so proud of him! I'm blessed to be married to him!

Well both of my kids are teething, my daughter is starting that outgrowing-afternoon-nap stage. She has been going to bed earlier, but waking earlier too! I don't mind the getting up earlier thing a bit! I would rather see the sunrise AND sunset, than just the sunset :)

My son is so close to actual crawling it is so amazing! I still can't believe how fast little ones grow. I want to take advantage of enjoying them at this age. I can't go back in time so I might as well make the most of each day and cherish it. Even when things get a little rough (like 2 in diapers, 2 teething, 2 want the same toy...) Its unique and something I won't have with them again!

I have such a headache today and my stomach is queasy. The stomach bug is going around. Hope I haven't "caught" it! I was reading on a forum about Apple Cider Vinegar and the health benefits of it yesterday. I was reminded how it can help calm heart burn and upset tummy. I took a tablespoon this morning but I may need to take another one.

Later today I am going to do an oil treatment on my hair. All I do is rub olive oil all over my hair put a plastic shopping bag over my head, then wrap it in a towel to keep the heat in. Let it sit for about 30-45 minutes then I shower and wash it off. I did notice if I don't to a vinegar rinse I can't seem to get all the oil off my hair in one shampooing so I also do that.

I have been trying to figure out how to be more green clean and cost efficient too. To prevent static people have been using vinegar in their wash cycle somehow. I would like to figure out how to do that too. I hate static in the winter. Plus using a dryer is extremely expensive. A lady posted on the forum that she hang dries everything and if she wants to soften a pair of pants up before wearing she tosses it in the dryer for a few minutes and it was just like she dried them completely in the drier. I need to get a drying rack in my house. I think that would help with our electric bill. It's just one more thing I can cross of my list to get off-grid ready.

Someday I would like to be totally energy efficient. I'm tired of high energy costs when it costs practically pennies to make your self. With what my husband and I already paid in electric costs we could have a super expensive, top of the line solar/energy equipment and be making energy ourself.

We also are slowly switching to LED lights as we can afford it. They use even less energy than fluorescent bulbs. The only drawback is I still have to have a fluorescent bulb in my reading lamp because whatever way the LED is facing, that is where the majority of the light goes. We have one in our bathroom vanity and it works perfect because the vanity lights face downward! When we can afford it we will get 2 more for the bathroom so it will be even brighter.

I wonder if they make different kinds of LED lightbulbs that I could use in my reading lamp. That would be really nice!

I can't wait to get more fabric so I can start making useful things to sell on etsy! Meanwhile I think I will go through my crafting supplies and see if there is something else I can make to sell on their. Maybe some jewelry or something like that. When it comes to upcycling things, I think that is such a neat idea! I made cowboy boot purses out of old cowboy boots. It was so much fun! I can't wait to get my hands on some more old boots! It's a good way to save antique boots that no one will ever wear again!

Well I suppose I will sign off for today. I am going to keep thinking of ways to be more self sufficient and thrift savvy!


Friday, January 21, 2011


I had a lot to do today and while I was doing all those things I got to thinking about several different things.

The first one goes along with my last post. Why do I feel pressure to look a certain way when I leave my house? Why can't I just relax and be myself? Why do I have to put make up on, fix my hair, wear cute shoes that my toes freeze in during the winter?

Answer: I don't know.

Solution: Stop!

What brought this whole thought process on: Trying on boots at the TSC in town.

There were some really nice heavy duty insulated pac boots on clearance for half off. They would be absolutely perfect to wear doing outside chores around the house and when I go with my husband do to errands or snowplowing I wouldn't have to freeze my toes off in lightweight hikers or my moc's...
Then I talked to my husband about it while he caught me trying boots on. I told him "I would love a pair of these, they would keep my foot sooo warm but I would be embarrassed to go into public with them like the mall or something, I don't know". Well later that day a good friend of mine had a pair on, she loves them and told me "I don't care if they look bad, they keep  my feet warm and that is all that matters!". WOW. I am such a hypocrite. My husband was the first to tell me so when I told him my friend already had a pair of the boots I was trying to sneakily try on at the store.

I realized then and there that I need to stop trying to be someone I'm not. Just like trying to "prove" myself in high school I need to be who I am, not what I think others think I should be!

Next paycheck I am going to go see if I can get myself a pair of ultra warm boots so I can be comfortable doing what I love to do: being outdoors in ALL the seasons comfortably!

I never was super fashionable, just comfy and classic. I can rise to the occasion and dress up to blend in with the rest, but everyday I just want to be me!

Now for the other thinking matter that goes with the title of this post: Steps...

When you walk to go somewhere you take steps. Running or walking you take steps. Cleaning the house, chasing kids around the house picking up after them, steps. Getting OR going into debt, steps. Getting married, steps. Learning to sew, steps. Eating even involves different steps!

Now the question isn't are we stepping down the right path per se; but are we stepping in the right direction?

Everything we do, every day adds up to a basic direction we are heading. We can go different paths in life for example: The choice to go to college or not to go to college. The choice to get married or not to get married. The choice to get a degree in Microbiology or just regular Biology.

Those are not the steps I am talking about. I am talking about stepping in the right direction. Are we making a difference? It doesn't matter what path you choose to step down, but if you go to college are you also working on making a difference in the world? If you don't go to college are you making a difference in the world?

Change is inevitable. What direction you step is evitable. Do you want to change for the better, not only for yourself but for others as well?

What we do today can impact further generations. Not just our kids, but theirs and beyond.

Think about what direction you are stepping in. Change can happen fast or slow but we are constantly stepping forward. Try to step in the "right" direction to making a positive influence for yourself and others.

Everyone will reap the benefits. Most of all - You!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Tote Bag

I finally made my very first tote bag.... And it turned out fabulous!!! I can't believe I can sew things that are useful! And so quick, it only took me about an hour and a half! I love it. I am debated on what project to do next in the book I am using to learn to sew properly.

I have noticed I have acquired some bad habits in the process of "teaching myself" and it is taking some patience to try to recondition myself to sew properly but it is so worth it! Instead of struggling to make something work, it just comes together when you do it properly! I would highly recommend going back to the basics and see if there is a better or even a proper way of sewing. I suppose that could cross over to any thing in life too!

This morning I realized some movies I checked out of the library are due tomorrow so I figured I better watch one this morning. I am watching "Holiday Inn" with Bing Crosby and Fred Astaire so far its really fun! I can't believe it but my kids like it too! My sister totally got me hooked on the old classics like that! I really miss her now that she is down in college, but somehow watching these old movies makes me feel like she's not to far away :)

I also got to thinking yesterday after I finished my new tote bag. Why didn't I make an effort to learn to sew properly sooner? Why have I waited until my mid 20's? Then it came to me. All through my high school years I felt like I was in a competition to "prove" myself to others around me, specifically men that I can work just as hard, maybe not lift,push,pull the same amount of weight but work just as hard nonetheless. I never enjoyed being a girl, or being a young woman. It took getting married and having kids for me to realize I don't have to prove anything to anyone. I can enjoy doing things without being in competition. My hard work will prove itself! I absolutely love being a woman and love being a wife and mommy!

I can still do my outdoorsy things, milk cows (haha if I ever get any!), do farming type things, but also enjoy painting my nails, sewing my own clothes (very soon if I keep it up!), doing my hair, all without feeling like I have to prove myself to anyone. I love it! I can enjoy doing so many things and if someone wants to put me down because I am a woman and I can't do something as well as a man. Well let them be sexist. I will enjoy being me and doing the things that make me happy! :)

I wish I could have realized that many, many years ago. But at least I can enjoy and revel in things now, so hopefully I can be a good example for my daughter. It doesn't matter what you do, if you enjoy it who cares what other people think! You don't have to compete to do something you love to do!

Well that is my "tote bag epiphany" for this morning. Now I have to go get my "housework exercise routine" and get my dishes done and fold the laundry I did last night. Since I now view my housework as exercise (which it is!) instead of a chore (it technically is, but a necessary one) I don't mind it. Its like a warmup for an actual workout routine. Its all in how you look at it!

More projects to come!

Friday, January 14, 2011


I am glad I decided to use a back to basics approach to learning to sew the proper way. I've been doing little projects here and there but wow! I didn't realize I really didn't know how to sew.... at all!! Using a sewing machine, yes. Sewing, no. In my limited time I was able to make one napkin. Not too bad either! I am seriously lacking in some tools but all considering I feel like I accomplished something. All the while doing my laundry with 2 teething kids! The more I can practice the better and quicker I will get.

Today so far I haven't had time to sew another napkin. (Seriously, what good is one napkin?!) But once I put my kids in bed for the night I am planning to have a date with my sewing machine while my husband is working in the garage. Way better than watching tv to unwind!

I have dinner in the oven, kids are actually occupied for the moment and I am going to sign off and play with my kids while we wait for dinner. I will post how my second napkin turns out! If that turns out well then its on to my next project: tote/ diaper bag!


Thursday, January 13, 2011

New Year; New Adventures

2011. Already! Now that I have been married a little over two and a half years and been a mommy for almost two years I can start branching out and start expanding my life for my own, my husband's and my kids benefits. Maybe even benefit other people in the process. I decided to start a blog, almost as my own journal, to keep record of things that I have been doing.

Since we moved to a farm house with room for our animals and a nice big garden (although I doubt it is big enough for my future plans!) I decided to learn how to be more self sufficient. Grow all the food I can, preserve what we don't eat fresh, grow my own meat and learn other basic skills that are slowly becoming non existent. With the way American society has been changing both parents have had to work in order to supply a "Gimme" attitude. When I worked in the nursing home I would hear of stories of the "Giving" attitude society used to have. I really want to be that way. I don't care if other people try to take advantage of me. That is their problem.

Anyhow, I don't want to live my short life in a microwave way of life. I want to take time and enjoy my kids, my husband and my life. Yeah, we already went through some hard times being married. No one ever said good things come to wimps. Good things have to be worked for to be kept. Anything good is worth working for. With that in mind I decided to start cooking at home from scratch rather than getting convenience foods like tv dinners. Sure I like to stick in a frozen pizza and I know its not really healthy but its ok we can't be perfect all the time!

Cooking from scratch brought a whole new attitude for food. I went from all conventionally grown foods (except for foods I grew at home in a small garden) to switching over to locally grown natural foods and organic foods. Not only have I lost weight, but I haven't gotten sick, my kids are growing so healthy and since we quit highly processed foods my daughter hasn't had an ear infection since. Nice!

Then I got to thinking, if cooking from scratch is helping us so much, what else can I do from home that will help us be healthier? If its helping us be healthier then "green" is a good by product of just wanting to be healthy! Good stuff!

It's also saving us buckets of money. It does take thought and preparation ahead of time but totally worth it! I haven't exercised (as in an exercise regimen) but I've lost weight! Going green never felt so good!

Today I decided to start practicing my sewing skills with my sewing machine. I am going to practice mitering corners by making some napkins. Eventually I would like to quilt and make some custom clothes so I can look stylish yet have my own customized look! Maybe I will even get good enough to make my kids some custom clothes too!

After I practice on some napkins eventually I would like to make myself a cool tote bag to use as a diaper bag. After all I do have two kids in diapers! I wonder if I could make my own diapers... hmmmm

Well I will leave it at that for now. I have so many plans and so many project I want to learn. Not just for my benefit but for some people in the community. I will write more on that later. 2011 has so many adventures in store. Good and I'm sure there will be bad but one thing I want to remember is to let life be life and darkness always comes before dawn. Be Positive, eventually there will be a positive outcome to show for all the hard work!