Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Make Your Own Dryer Balls

A great alternative to fabric softener sheets are dryer balls. I see a lot of companies selling them these days and it sort of bothers me. Why? They are too easy to make. If you are a knitter or crocheter (like me), you most likely have what you need on hand. If you aren't, getting the supplies is as easy as a trip to a hobby store.

Just a note. This project is best done on a laundry day. You'll need to throw it in with a couple of loads. If you're close to washing towels or sheets, save the project for then. That's the best time to do this because they need to be washed on the "hot" cycle.

If you're a very experienced "felter", you can really make them look nice like the picture above. This is also fun to do with your kids. It kills a little time with them.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Make Your Own Laundry Detergent

Having trouble reading the ingredients in laundry detergent? I'm sure you're familiar with the long label of stuff. Many people would rather use a more environmentally friendly and eco friendly way to make laundry detergent. Fortunately, it is also friendlier on your wallet.

This is a recipe for powdered detergent. The initial investment will be a bit more because you will buy some supplies that won't need replaced any time soon.

You will need:

  • 1 air tight sealable container or pail that can hold at least 2 gallons (you can get this at hardware stores) 
  • 1 scoop. Plastic is OK but bamboo is much nicer. 
  • 1 really big spoon
  • Vinegar
  • Baking Soda
  • Washing Soda
  • Liquid Castile Soap
  • Essential oil (optional)

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Just Reach Out

Many times, I don't quite fit in with certain groups of women I'm around a lot. I'm sure most of us feel this way whether it's our co-workers, parenting groups or school groups. Somehow, we're the "odd one out". I feel this way at my church often. Many of the women in my age range are difficult to relate to. We don't share the same lifestyles or the same hobbies and interests.

While I dearly love these ladies, few of them are the types I can call up and have some coffee or go to a gallery with. Even so, I learned a valuable lesson for those of us in this situation - always reach out.

Today, I spoke to "Kay" who is 6 months pregnant with a girl. I asked her if she was getting any clothes for the baby yet. She told me she was and I let her know I knit as a hobby and had some soft cotton leftover from another baby related project. If she wanted me to make some booties or a hat, I'd make it for her.

My first intention was just to be nice and spark a conversation. Normally when I tell people I enjoy knitting I get a very strange look. I've also been asked often if my Grandmother taught me how to knit (for the record, she didn't).

Kay's eyes lit up and she jumped on it "you knit? Can you make those little skully caps?"

I told her I could and she grinned "Oh yes please! I always wanted to make those things. Wait...can you teach me how to do that?"

I was quite surprised at this reaction. I learned that Kay was a pretty crafty chick. She sewed, made purses and did a lot of diy projects at home. So I gave her my number and offered to come over sometime with my knitting bag and we would start knitting.

It's funny because she and I would otherwise have nothing in common. I certainly didn't expect to have such a positive reaction either. I guess that goes to show you that no matter how much you feel like the "oddball" in a group, if you keep reaching out you will be surprised.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Money Plans

Finances forced us to take a break from trying to have a baby some time ago. Now that we're going to try again, finances still aren't perfect. I actually had to do some convincing on saving money in order to get the husband to realize this can be done.

I went through some articles and started researching things. I also spoke to friends and other Mothers I knew. Then, I took my own experience from my two Step-children and came up with some "money saving" plans for a baby. What's going to be really fun is to see how much of this goes out the window when the baby comes.

#1. Cloth diapers. Yes, it sounds nuts and it's still a debated topic. After doing a lot of research and talking to some people who do it, I think cloth diapers aren't too bad of an idea. The laundry part is a bit more cumbersome, but the money saved versus disposable diapers is a lot. I write that with the factor of a water bill and extra detergent.

#2. Breastfeeding. This is a given for me at least. I know my Mother wasn't able to breastfeed, but I know that breast feeding is highly recommended if you're able to do it. I plan on breast feeding as long as everything is OK in that department which will cut down on costs of formula. I'm not silly enough to think we'll have no formula around, but we won't spend as much if I can breast feed.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Winter Knitting Projects

I enjoy knitting. It's a fun hobby and it also keeps me off of video games. I can play a lot of video games if I am not careful, so I had to pick up something else that would be a little more productive. Though it's weird, I decided why not knit? It makes stuff and I like to make stuff. Simple enough right? Wrong. Knitting is rewarding but not easy.

We'll get more into that later. I have some knitting projects for the upcoming season. These links go to so I hope they show up. If they don't, I'll be including pictures anyway.

The first project are these Mary Jane baby booties. Are these not awesome? I found a black cotton yarn to make them with. They will be a gift for a friend who is expecting a girl in February. I think she'll love them.

The next two projects is this "Dudester scarf" as it's called. It's definitely a masculine scarf. I'll be modifying the pattern for some bolder stripes. One will be two shades of blue for my husband. The other will be orange and blue for my Step-son (his favorite colors).

Then comes this hooded scarf. The cable work on it will make it a bit more complicated than a regular scarf. But I think my Step-Daughter will like it a lot.

What about you? Do you knit? What are you working on that's crafty?

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Fall Weather is Boot Weather

Here in the South, the weather is cooling off which means something awesome. It means boots! Yes, boots. I am in love with boots. I'll wear them all year around.

When the Fall hits, I pull out my trusty pair of leather boots I bought off of Ebay four years ago and break them back in. I also go on the look out for more boots to enjoy.

Let's talk about boots for a moment. Many of us would probably be happy with a pair of black chunky heels and the obligatory Doc Martens. However, sometimes we need boots suitable for work, church and going out all at once.

I've found that a specific pair of boots can fit the category for all of these. A pair of under the knee boots with a low chunky or platform heel tends to be comfortable to wear all day, but awesome enough to take to the goth club. This type of boot is also fairly easy on the feet when running around the dance floor.

If you're into a more feminine look, a pair of ankle high boots with a low heel is also a good choice. It's a well-rounded boot that can go to the office and to a party. While I personally can't wear any heel but a chunky heel, I've seen many friends make this boot work.

Maybe your style is a bit more on the edge. Or, you can just make the good old combat boot work. I wish I could make that work all the time. Sadly, my "grown up goth" style forbids the ever-present combat boot in favor of the first boot I mentioned. Let's face it though, a good pair of combat style boots are fantastic. They're comfortable, versatile and can take a beating.

However, I don't recommend real combat boots. Trust me, those are not comfortable at all. They may look the part, but they will kill your feet after a few hours.

What about you? What's your favorite boot for the Fall?

The Baby Bug

Perhaps it's time for an introduction to the blog. Most of what you will see is on the "Who and What" page, but we can dig a little deeper into what I'm thinking about on this post.

Nothing on this blog will be normal or scheduled. It will remain a variety of things that make up my life. I know somewhere, there are women who live the same "varied lifestyle" I live. Perhaps they'll find some fun and comfort here.

As of right now, there is an underlying theme to this blog that I pray will change in time. I want to have a child. I am almost Thirty years old and already the Step-Mother of two awesome kids. They're six and nine years old right now and a ton of fun.

My husband and I have been very adamant on not having children. He has two children and I have none. We were OK with this for almost three years. Then, something changed. A few things changed. First, we really thought I could not conceive. I was married before I married him and never got pregnant. Then, we found out I could conceive and that was a surprise. The second change was we went from living together and being engaged for almost three years to finally being married. Tying the knot changed our world in a subtle but drastic way.

Suddenly, every precaution we took to keep me from getting pregnant went out the window. It wasn't because we wanted to get pregnant, but we're married now. Who wants to use protection or take precautions anymore?

A few months ago, I skipped a period and he asked me to take a pregnancy test. I told him I wasn't pregnant. I knew I wasn't, but I took the test anyway and I was correct. Yet something inside me was extremely disappointed in this. For some strange reason, I felt like I wanted to cry over seeing a very expected negative result. "Dear Lord" I thought to myself "I want a child with him."

So here we are, balancing two varied lives and praying a child might become part of our family sometime soon. Me? I want a boy. He wants a girl.