Saturday, December 8, 2012

Homemade holidays

I really don't like this time of year. Decorating is pretty and all but everyone is so stressed out, they drive like mad, people are going into debt buying STUFF for people who don't need anything. For about 15 years, I've refused to buy into it but I feel pretty guilty still when my family gives me stuff after I've talked and talked about none of us needing anything.

So now if you're either my Aunt Susan or my Aunt Melinda, you have to quit reading my blog until after the holidays. I mean it. Stop now.

For years, I've made my own laundry soap. It cleans just as well as storebought stuff and it costs me about a quarter of a cent per load. Yes, you read that correctly. I get 80 washes from what I make.
First, I grate a bar of Fels-Naptha soap. This is the most time-consuming part. Takes about 10 minutes and I've finally learned to do it in front of the TV.
 To this, I add one part washing soda (NOT baking soda as I did in my first batch) and one part Borax. Then I stir in 10 drops of essential oil, usually lavender.
 It only takes one tablespoon per load. Ok, so that's gift number one.

I read about homemade Febreeze on the huge time-suck website Pinterest. Since I have a dog, I'm always concerned about how my house smells but the stuff is rather expensive and there are chemicals I'm breathing when I spray it on my furniture.
 The recipe calls for 1/4 cup of your favorite laundry softener (um, I make my own laundry detergent - do I HAVE a favorite laundry softener??), two tablespoons of baking soda then two cups warm water. Shake before using because, as you can see, it kind of glops at the top. I haven't calculated the savings for this yet.

Now we're on to gift number three: while in Hawaii, my Aunt Susan and I were talking about how we're "splashers" in the bathroom washing our faces. She and her husband just redid their bathroom and her husband was fussing at her about splashing all over the place so now she has to use makeup remover cloths.
In my mind, Susan has everything. There isn't anything I could really buy her of any significance. Gifts take a lot of creative thought.
Soooo, homemade makeup remover cloths!
First, start with coconut oil. I read this was really hard to find but it wasn't. Found it at the grocery's natural food aisle but it was $6 for a jar!
 Put two tablespoons in four cups of warm water. Uh oh, coconut oil is solid. Now what?
 Fortunately, a little patience and the stuff just dissolves. Now I added paper towels I had cut a fourth off the roll. I bougth the "expensive" paper towels, thinking they'll be better on the face.
 I cut an X in the top of my plastic Ziploc container and now Susan will have her homemade makeup remover cloths and her husband will continue to be happy she's not flooding their bathroom. I haven't done the calculations for this either but I made three batches after spending $12 total. I know storebought cloths range from $5 to $8 a pack so I'm already ahead of the game.

Happy homemade holidays!


  1. I love that you made our gifts! Thank you so much! I just love you, girlie! XO Melinda