13 Uses for Prefolds — Besides Diapering!
Prefold diapers have been popular since before most of us were born, and they've had a resurgence in the last few years. But prefolds are great for all sorts of household uses.
The Freecycle Network™? Is That A TV Thing?
The kids have outgrown another set of sizes again, there’s more stuff we’ve accumulated through some bizarre gifting ritual — and what about those fast food toys? I have decided never to cross off “go through the kids’ stuff” from my to-do list. It never seems to stay done.
Essential Art Supplies for Creative Kids
Creativity brings joy to life. Stimulate kids' imaginations by having these inexpensive supplies on hand.
Breathe Cleaner Air in Your Home
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concludes that indoor air quality is one of the top five environmental health risks in the United States today. They say indoor levels of pollutants can be two to five times as high as outdoor levels and sometimes more. Some problems of indoor pollution can be traced to energy efficiency, according to the Texas Institute for the Indoor Environment at the University of Texas. A tighter home is good for conserving energy but bad in terms of air pollution.
Natural Bug Repellant
I absolutely dread all the chemicals involved in commercial bug sprays, but I can’t seem to find any natural remedies that work. Is there anything tried and true? Bugs! Do I respect them as part of Nature’s miraculous design? Yes. Do I like them? Not really.
Soapmaking For Fun
You see these people at fairs of all sorts: smiling, hopeful people with handcrafted wares to sell. I remember a Christmas fair in Crockett, Texas. The whole downtown (don’t blink, or you’ll miss it) was solid with crafters. Beautiful, stay-on-the-shelf bears in moiré satin, toilet paper dispensers that took the shape of wide-mouthed frogs, and the thing my husband shoved money in my hand for and said, “Just keep walking straight and you’ll know”: a cake stand in the shape of strawberry shortcake. I didn’t make a buck that day, but I made my mind up not to get discouraged.
A Cure for What Oils You
Once you have an idea what you want to do with your soaps, you can get even more creative. Make a batch of soap; divide it into two or more sub-batches. Add complementary colors and/or scents to each. Pour them in the same mold, then swirl! Or make some opaque soap and some transparent soap. Cut the transparent soap into small cubes and add them to the opaque soap. Once you get the hang of soapmaking, you can have tremendous fun. If you get to be like me (heaven forbid!), you’ll have a stash of soaps on hand, ready to mix and match or toss in a gift basket. It’s gratifying to know what is in the shampoo or body soap you’re using, because you made it.
The Nuts and Bolts of Soapmaking
All soapmaking starts out the same: an alkali mixed with water and a base, which results in a salt. But once the two are mixed, where you go after that is up to you. See my previous article for an introduction to basic ingredients and recipes.
Banish Garden Pests Naturally
Everyone loves beautiful plants, but most of us really don't care for the pests that sometimes go along with them. If you love plants but hate bugs, you can get rid of the naturally. Below are some great natural pest control remedies for those unwanted creepy-crawlies.
The Magic of Homemade Easter Eggs
Here's a list of some natural food items you can use dye eggs. Boiling the egg with the natural materials produces a dark color. Vinegar is added to act as a mordant (which helps the dye set), except with onion skins. Lighter shades can be achieved by boiling the plant materials in enough water to cover them for 20 to 30 minutes. Then strain out the materials, put dry, hard-boiled eggs into the hot dye and add a teaspoon of vinegar.
Declutter Your Home With Feng Shui
Most of us look at cleaning our homes as a chore, but revitalizing and organizing your life should be a joyous activity. When there is harmony in the home, all feelings and emotions within the space are harmonious. The Chinese view their lives as having chi energy, which is a "cosmic breath." There is yang energy, or good energy, as well as yin energy, which is negative energy.
Build Your Own Summer Cabin
Of course, when the job is all done, you'll find much hidden and real enjoyment in telling your friends how you did it. If you have an office job where you sit at your chair for eight hours, you'll probably tell them that you ate like a horse all the time you were doing the work and that you never felt better. The truth is, you will probably have forgotten about the office for the first time in ages and found yourself creating something that you didn't know you could.
Pest Control the Frugal, Natural Way
Whether in the garden, yard or in the house, all of us have at one time or another had to deal with pests. Here are some ways to get rid of insects and other pests without spending a lot on expensive products.
Families who tread lightly on the earth can make substantial impact by reducing consumption. Besides, reusing materials, buying second hand and furnishing a home with loved pieces of art and sentimental objects creates a more interesting and individual look.
Making Cloth Diapers
Cloth diapers are more economical in the long run, but the initial investment can be a real obstacle for some families. Here are a few tips on getting started without breaking the bank.
Making Cloth Wipes
So you'd like to use cloth wipes? You could buy them, but why not make them yourself out of that stack of 425 receiving blankets you got at the baby shower?
Simple Solutions: Cleaning Burner Pans and Covered Casserole Dishes
If your burner pans and covered casserole dishes look like mine did, they've got baked-on spots that no amount of scrubbing will remove.
Usher in Autumn With Wheat Weaving
It represents the spirit of the grain and can be hung on the wall as a blessing on the house or as a protection charm. Sometimes it is plowed into the ground when the first furrow is cut or sowed in early spring.
Make your own Toothpaste
Make Your Own White Glue
70 Uses for a Humble Jug of Vinegar
51 Easy Ways to Go Green
Sustainable living is essential to the welfare of our world. Try some of these suggestions to leave your environmental footprint a little lighter and make a difference.
10 Uses For Essential Oils In Your Home
When guests first enter your home, the first thing that greets them is the aroma. Essential oils may often be used to create a homely atmosphere within the home.
How to Keep Greens From Going to Waste
In order to help reduce our waste, try these storage tips, recipes and other ideas for getting the most out of our organic veggie booty – and specifically, from greens and broccoli.
Keep Insects and Pests Out Without Using Chemicals
Keeping insects and other pests out of your home can sometimes be a chore. In the warm months of the year, pests are so persistent. They just keep coming back.