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randomosity: March 2011

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Frugal Friday: Make Your Own HE SAFE Detergent

I think Fridays are my new favorite days (I realize this is posted late Thursday night -- I have a very impatient, pregnant friend that wanted me to share this like yesterday).

I love sharing ways to make and save money! I recently discovered how to make my own HE SAFE laundry detergent (courtesy of the Duggars). I know I'm a bit behind some of the super-frugal moms out there, but I never realized how much of an expense laundry detergent was until I kept having to buy it over and over again! I am not the one who does laundry, so it just never occurred to me. There are lots of recipes you can find, but I will share the one I am using. :)

I have NO clue how I forgot to take a picture of the ingredients. :( So I stole a picture from google.

You'll need:

4 cups hot tap water
1/2 cup Borax
1 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 Fels-Naptha Bar
OPTIONAL: Essential oils

Grate the Fels-Naptha Bar (we found ours at Dierberg's, but most grocery stores or whole food stores should carry it).

Mix with 4 cups hot tap water and stir over medium heat until all soap is melted.

Seriously, stir until all of the soap is melted. Don't get impatient and skip this part. :)

Fill a 5 gallon bucket HALF full with hot tap water (straight from the tub is fine, no need to heat on the stove). I do not have a picture of this step, sorry!

Pour the heated soap mixture into the 5 gallon bucket. Add the washing soda and borax. Stir. Let cool and add essential oils. I added about 30 drops. Fill the bucket the rest of the way with water, stir, cover and let set for 24 hours.

Stir the mixture well upon uncovering. This is what it looks like after 24 hours of setting. It's kind of like a goop-gel-water consistency.

Pour detergent into old containers or a milk jug. Fill HALF WAY with laundry detergent, and the other half with water. You will need to shake this detergent every time before use, as it will gel up and separate. Front loaders use 1/4c top loaders use 1/2c. Also, if you are using this detergent for sensitive skin or babies, you can skip the borax. If you have tough stains, you can add baking soda. There are plenty of recipes here that you can check out. :)

The run down on the cost:

Bucket: $3 (You may have one of these on hand)
Fels-Naptha: $2.50
Borax: $3.49
Super Washing Soda: $2.99
Essential Oils: On hand

Total for 10 gallons of laundry soap: Less than $5.

The amount of borax and washing soda I have on hand will make gallons and gallons and gallons of laundry detergent. If you have your own recipes or frugal tips, please share them. :) I am thinking about doing a frugal linky if you'd be interested let me know.

**Also, a cup of vinegar in your rinse cycle can replace the need for dryer sheets.**

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Teach It - Lapbooking

Our absolute favorite thing to do when it comes to homeschooling (besides field trips) is lapbooking! Some of the best lapbooking sites are listed below so be sure to check them out. In the past, we did a post on a Chinese Lapbook, and we have done lots of videos on lapbooking.

Today, we worked on a basic lapbook for each girl.

Jenelle is 9 years old, and in 3rd grade. Her lapbook covers the 50 states (and their capitals), single digit multiplication, a page of cursive copywork, an empty page so she can write in the titles of books she reads, simple fractions, and a gallon man. They all decorated the front and back of their lapbooks/mini offices. Hers says "I got an A+ in School".. get it? haha

Gallon man - Print one here.

Gracelynn is 6 years old, and in kindergarten. Her lapbook covers money, fire/tornado/earthquakes, address & phone number, time, seasons, and simple addition. Her cover is a drawing of our family. :)

Sapphire is 4. Her lapbook covers shapes, numbers, letters, left/right/up/down, money, days of the week, and colors. Her cover is a picture of her standing with the homeless guy that always stands outside of the restaurant her and her Mammie go to. Aww.

If you don't have a printer, or don't want to use all of your ink, you can surf websites and then just write everything on the lapbooks. That is usually what we do. Making 3 lapbooks at a time while printing would use lots of ink. Sometimes you need to print things, but for the most part writing is fine. Especially for the younger kids. :) I write everything and they trace it, and then we cover it with tape so it lasts longer.

This is a great website for printables. Word endings, a money chart, and more.

Spring themed pages can be found here, and tons of mini office/lapbooking resources can be found here and here.

My favorite website for homeschooling resources is Enchanted Learning. They don't really cover lapbooks specifically, but if you are doing a lapbook on an animal or a certain concept (K-3), chances are they have it.

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Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Yummy Cupcakes! April Fool's!

Great April Fool's Day dinner!! These are so cute, and delicious. My inspiration came from here. My pictures aren't the greatest, and I'm not one that is too good at presentation, but these got a THUMBS UP from all of my kids (even the one who doesn't like bread/biscuits, AND the one who doesn't like meat). So please please try it! :)

Grab these things:

Cream of Mushroom Soup
Shredded Cheese
Canned or home made biscuits (see note below about size)
Ground beef (or ground turkey)
Creamy Mashed potatoes (I used instant.. shhh!)

Preheat your oven to 350F. Make the mashed potatoes. Set aside, but keep warm.

Roll the biscuits flat (but not too flat or they will be too big).

Place biscuits in cupcake tin. Push them down and kind of mold them so they look like cupcakes. I used BIG biscuits. Mine were a bit TOO big.

Brown your ground beef (or turkey). Add cream of mushroom soup and cook on low for 3 minutes.

Spoon beef mixture into biscuits. Add cheese.

Bake in 350 oven for 10-15 minutes.

Fill a baggie with the mashed potatoes. Cut a corner of the baggie and squeeze the potatoes out like cupcake icing. Let cool and serve. :)

These "hamburger cupcakes" were absolutely YUMMY. There is no other word for them. They were simple, and like I said they got 3 thumbs up which is a rarity in this house. My 4 year old even asked for them the next day for breakfast! I would love to know if you try them.

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Angel Food Cake is fat free?

I'm not going to lie, it was a tough decision. I wasn't sure which dessert I was going to feature today.

The choices were:

I decided on a Butterfinger Angel Food Cake (but the other two will be featured the next two Wednesdays!). And let me tell you something... Angel Food Cake is not fat free after I'm done with it!

Vanilla pudding mix
1 3/4 cups milk
1 container cool whip
6 Butterfinger candy bars
1 1/2 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted

Crush up the Butterfinger bars in a separate bowl. Set aside.

Use a mixer and blend the pudding mix, milk, cool whip, powdered sugar, and melted butter.

Since there are no eggs in this recipe, you can now lick the beaters... if your kids don't beat you to it.

Get it? Beat, beaters.. ahahaha.. umm okay, back to the recipe...

Tear the angel food cake up into small pieces. Take 1/2 of it and put it in the bottom of a large bowl.

Add 1/2 of the cool whip mixture on top of the cake.

Top with 1/2 of the crushed Butterfinger bars.

Repeat, refrigerate, and enjoy!

Usually I am all about the chocolate, and I love sweet stuff, but this dessert is a little bit lighter since it has the angel food cake and cool whip. It's an interesting combination. The kids loved it, and so did everyone else who tried it. Let me know what you think when you make it!

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Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Treasury Tuesday

First edition of the Treasury Tuesday... are you excited??? I am! If you'd like to see your treasury featured in an upcoming post, email me and if I like it I'll add it! randomosityblog AT gmail DOT com

I didn't see any treasuries I absolutely loved, so here are some items I heart instead.

Look at these felted Easter eggs! So sweet!

Easter Chick - Felted Easter Fun in Blue.

Cutest. Soaps. Ever.

Chocolate Easter Bunny Goats Milk Soaps

Absolutely stunning pendant.

Pendant, Three Peas In A Pod, Silver, Red, Pearl, Wire, Unique Jewelry by thecuriouscupcake on Etsy

This is the shop I'm going to try next. I have been ordering essential oils from another shop, but these are much cheaper! My first order is on its way, I'll be sure to let you all know if I love them. :)

Lime Fragrance Oil Low Shipping

You'll have to click on that picture to see how adorable these clippies are. They're only $1 a piece, so you better hurry up and get them before I snatch them up! ;)

No clue why these pictures are so small but I love this single hand oven mitt. Not necessarily the fabric (it wouldn't match my kitchen), but the design is great.

Single hand mitt

And this one goes on my 'in my dreams' folder. $450! But so gorgeous.

Abstract wild seascape Original oil painting

If you'd like to be featured in an upcoming Treasury Tuesday, follow my blog and send me an email (randomosityblogATgmailDOTcom). If I love your items, I'll include them!

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Monday, March 28, 2011

Meatless Monday: Healthier Mac

This is my first attempt at Meatless Monday. If you like this blog idea, please let me know and I will continue to do these posts. :)

So everyone loves macaroni & cheese, right? But the crap in the box is just, well, gross... and the yummy oven baked stuff is high in calories. I set out to find a happy medium, and after just a little bit of trial and error I think I have succeeded. The pictures aren't the greatest (I haven't quite mastered cooking and photographing things at the same time yet), but the meal is nothing short of perfection. Try it out, and let me know what you think!

First, gather your ingredients:

-elbow noodles (you could do wheat noodles)
-12oz fat free small curd cottage cheese
-8oz fat free sour cream
-1/4 cup butter (I used Smart Balance light)
-1 cup broccoli
-2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
-1/4 cup light parmesan
-1 cup bread crumbs

Preheat your oven to 350*F.

Prepare your broccoli by steaming or boiling it. Set aside.

Cook the elbow noodles as you normally would (boil the water, add the noodles, drain).

Pour noodles into a casserole pan (9x9 works great). Add shredded cheese, parmesan, cottage cheese, and sour cream. Stir all of the ingredients together.

Cut broccoli up into small pieces and add to the macaroni mixture.

Melt your butter in a bowl, using your microwave. It only takes about 30 seconds. Mix in bread crumbs. Pour over macaroni mixture.

Bake at 350 for 30 minutes and ta-da! Home made, healthier mac in under 45 minutes.

Regular recipe calories: About 600
Healthy recipe calories: Under 400

Join the fun, click below!

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Saturday, March 26, 2011

Tuxedo Hair Bow Tutorial

As promised, a cute little tuxedo hair bow tut! :) You can purchase them here, or make them yourself by following the instructions below.

First, gather your supplies:

  • 2 pieces of 3/8" grosgrain ribbon, 4" long
  • 1.5" grosgrain ribbon, 5" long
  • hot glue gun
  • hot glue (duh?)
  • scissors
  • lighter (for fray check)
  • alligator clip (single or double-prong)

Take your 5" long ribbon and fold it in half. Crease it. Heat seal your ends.

Unfold the ribbon, and glue down the center. Fold the ribbon onto the glue. Repeat with the other side. Do not glue the ribbon ends on top of each other - glue them next to each other.

Put a dot of glue in the center of the folded ribbon.

Fold lengthwise. (You are folding into the ribbon where it connects.)

Next, place some glue at the top of the bow and then fold it down towards the center. I hope this isn't getting too confusing! Stay with me. See where the arrow is? You are folding the top of the ribbon towards you.

Repeat with the other side.

Now take one of your 3/8" pieces and make a knot in the middle.

Glue it to your bow. You will have some extra ribbon left over. Cut it, heat seal it with the lighter (just swipe the lighter across the edge of the ribbon quickly), and hot glue it to your bow. This picture is of the bottom of the bow.

You now need to line the alligator clip. Heat seal the ends of your ribbon. Open the clip and glue the upper inside piece. Cover with ribbon. Close clip and add glue to the top. Cover with ribbon. Turn over. Glue 1/4 of the bottom of the clip. Cover with ribbon.

Your bow... and your clip...

Now glue your bow to your clip and it is ready to wear!

If you have any questions, please let me know.. I will answer them in the comments or add them to this post. These are probably the most simple bows you will ever make. My girls (4, 6, 9 y/o) all made one with my help and had no problems. :)

Did you know... these bows double as a cool 'stache! At least that's what Gracelynn thinks...

And how thrilled does she look... ahhh can't wait for the teen years.... :)

Please leave a comment if you like this tutorial!!


Tip Junkie handmade projects

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