Household

How to Make a Healing Green Salve From Your Yard

by Daisy Body Care

Nature knows that summer is going to bring with it a host of skin challenges: bug bites, heat rash, sunburn, mysterious itches, minor scrapes and more. To give us a weapon to deal with these complaints, springtime lays out an array of skin-healing plants. Now’s the time to act while these plants are present, fresh, […]

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Eggshell Toothpaste and Face Scrub In One

by Daisy Body Care

Yes, you read that correctly, and yes, I may be crazy. My kids think so. “Are you putting toothpaste on your face?!” “Yes, I’m putting toothpaste on my face. Show me the rule that says you can’t put toothpaste on your face.” In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have fed them the “show me the rule” […]

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Amazing Attic System

by Ivory Soap Household

A little over a year ago, I was nesting.  I was looking for organization books at Barnes and Noble and the lady helping me gave me the best tip!  I can’t remember what book it was from, but it’s revolutionized our attic. Here’s what you do. Get a bunch of the same size boxes.  We […]

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Frugal Homemade Gift Guide: Knitted Washcloth Edition

by Daisy Household

For when you really want to give a handknit gift but you’re running out of time: Washcloths Or dishcloths, dishrags, call them what you may. They’re quick and easy and still handknit. Here are a few of my favorites from our site: Honeycomb Dishcloth Hugs and Kisses Dishcloth (my favorite!) Good Grief! Dishcloth: My homage […]

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Frugal Homemade Gift Guide: Stick Edition

by Daisy Household

Every year I get more and more averse to buying cheap, imported stuff; stuff that breaks, gets tossed aside the moment the newness wears off and becomes little more than something I can’t wait to discard so I don’t have to keep picking it up so I can vacuum. Here are a few of the […]

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Making Lemon Balm Tincture

by Daisy Body Care

If I were stranded on a desert island one of the first plants I’d go looking for is lemon balm. It would help keep me calm, and considering I was stranded on a desert island I would be in need of a heaping helping of calm. It would also help me sleep which would be […]

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How-To: Passionflower Tincture

by Daisy Body Care

Besides being appreciated for its fantastical blooms, passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is used medicinally to calm anxiety and improve sleep. It’s thought to increase levels of GABA (gamma-Aminobutyric acid). GABA regulates the excitability of neurons in the brain. GABA is also suspected to regulate the production of melatonin, which is related to healthy sleep. And, since […]

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DIY Soothing Plantain Salve Recipe

by Daisy Body Care

Plantain, that pesky lawn and garden weed, makes a soothing salve for itches, bites, burns, rashes, sore muscles and strains. Using the plantain-infused oil we made in this post, here’s a recipe for an easy-to-spread salve to keep in store for all the times someone in your family says “I’m itchy!” and “Ouch!” PLANTAIN SALVE […]

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DIY Plantain-Infused Oil

by Daisy Body Care

Most people have seen this herb growing in cracks in the sidewalk or marring the monoculture of an otherwise pristine lawn. Before you pluck it out and toss it away, consider that broadleaf plantain (Plantago major) is a nutritious edible plant and a potent medicinal herb. Plantain (especially the young, tender leaves) can be used […]

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Safe “Miracle” Laundry Whitening Recipes

by Ivory Soap Cleaning Products

  I mentioned in the last post that some laundry recipes online mix things that aren’t supposed to be mixed.  However, it appears that the users are putting them in the washer in such a way that there is no immediate reaction that chokes them out of the house.  But, rather than gambling on someone […]

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DIY Laundry Solutions Safety Warning!

by Ivory Soap Cleaning Products

  After years of DIY solution making, I stopped looking around the net for new ones.  However, in an effort to shake up my DIY cleaning routine, I started checking out some popular sites and recipes.  I am continually irritated by recipes with ingredients that cancel each other out or deteriorate and lose cleaning power […]

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Half-Time DIY: The Cleaning Product Review

by Ivory Soap Cleaning Products

  Daisy and I have taught many a class on DIY cleaning products.  And after years of trial an error, I find that I’m a halfsy at heart.  I still keep spray bottles of alcohol and vinegar around for general spray down, but when there’s something that might really require elbow grease, I still go […]

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Half-time DIY: The Body Care Review

by Ivory Soap Body Care

I have been in love with the smell of Ivory Soap since college, so no matter how hard I try, I just can’t quit loving it, even in favor of something I make myself.  So, for body and laundry, I still buy it rather than using my own homemade version.  For GIFTS, though, I totally […]

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Half-time DIY: The Laundry Review

by Ivory Soap Cleaning Products

After years of DIY, I have to admit, that when it comes to laundry, I’m only half committed to DIY.  Once every six months I mix up a TON of powder and use it until it’s gone.  But until I get in the mood to make it again, I pick up the Tandil while I’m […]

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Enzymatic Cleaner: 7 Things to Know

by Ivory Soap Cleaning Products

Homemade enzymatic cleaner recipes have pluses and minuses.  Know these seven things, before you mix! I have spent HOURS on the this database researching all of the possible chemical formulations of citrus cleaner and this what I found. Enzymatic Cleaner: The usual formula 1/2 cup Brown Sugar 1 teaspoon yeast 1 liter Water 2 cups Lemon and/or Orange Scraps […]

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BYOB Daily Planner

by Ivory Soap Household

byob-daily-planner I have a problem with most printable planners.  They don’t reflect my spontaneous, forgetful nature.  They’re usually written for methodical folks who remember to take showers and stuff.  Not me.  I need a planner that says, “Hey, is your phone charged?  And are you feeling kinda yuck?  Any chance your counters and sink are […]

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Interview with a Herbalist, Part 2

by Daisy Body Care

This is the second half of my interview with English herbalist Paula Normandale. I try growing more medicinal herbs each year.  However, I don’t always know what to do with them, which is one reason I’m happy to bring Paula into our realm.  My main method now is tincturing, so I’m picking her brain for […]

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Interview with a Herbalist

by Daisy Body Care

One of the best parts of blogging is the people you “meet” along the way, irrespective of geographical and other barriers.  One of those people is Paula Normandale.  She is an English herbalist and she has been helping me find my way through this relatively new interest of mine, herbal medicine. She’s kindly agreed to […]

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Meal Planning for Spontaneity

by Ivory Soap Household

If you’ve known me for more than a month, you know I can’t stick to a schedule.  Every month I find a new and different way to plan something that I then end up disobeying.  I love to stitch, but if I make a*goal* to stitch so many times a week, I WILL NOT HAPPEN. […]

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Bar Soap Dishwashing

by Ivory Soap Cleaning Products

When I tried to clean out my dishwasher filter, I mistook the float for the drain.  When I yanked, it broke.  So, in the end I had a fabulously clean dishwasher that didn’t work; I was right in the middle freezer cooking.  That explains the above pile of grossness. On top of all of that […]

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Making Rosemary Tincture

by Daisy Body Care

Continuing my tincture-making spree, I made rosemary tincture. Rosemary is an herbal powerhouse.  It contains antioxidants, known to combat free radicals. I’d heard about free radicals and antioxidants forever, but never knew quite what they were so I looked it up.  Free radicals are molecules with unstable outer layers caused by unpaired electrons.  These unstable […]

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Making Turmeric Tincture

by Daisy Body Care

I’ve been on a tincture rampage lately. I suppose it’s fear-based. Fear of wintertime illnesses, nemeses that steal weeks of otherwise productive, if chilly, pursuits, replacing them with hacking cough/mouth-breathing misery. Also, I ain’t getting any younger (funny how that happens), and when you find yourself misplacing things the size of large Rubbermaid tubs (where […]

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Homemade Child’s Watercolors Tutorial

by Ivory Soap Household

I worked for ages trying to find out WHY all of the recipes online for water colors use a mixture of acid and base.  It didn’t seem to make sense.  But, when I tried the recipes with and without the fizzy reaction, the fizzies were far superior paints.  Less powdery and boogery.  More even distribution […]

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Homemade Sidewalk Chalk Tutorial

by Ivory Soap Household

You will need: mold plaster of paris water food coloring or tempera paint (we tried both…you choose) 1.  Choose a mold.  I think toilet paper tubes are too big.  We use the skinny tube from the aluminum foil.  Perfect size. 2.  Better than the tubes themselves is an aluminum-wrapped version.  I find that the pure tubes […]

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Homemade Laundry Detergent: New Tutorial

by Ivory Soap Cleaning Products

Homemade laundry detergent, one of the simplest DIY projects, can be really confusing for a first timer, so here’s an updated tutorial.  But first…….. *LIQUID DETERGENT LOSES POTENCY IF NOT KEPT ABSOLUTELY AIR TIGHT* I just needed to get that off my chest before people start asking me about it.  ANY baking soda, washing soda, […]

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How to Use Homemade Laundry Detergent-Tutorial

by Ivory Soap Cleaning Products

  I get asked this all the time, so here’s a photo tutorial of me actually doing laundry.  Exciting, I know. As you see above, I keep my ground up washing soda and soap in an old baby formula can with a tablespoon measure I stole from the kids’ cooking set. 1.  Start to load […]

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Waste Not, Want Not: A Breakfast Tutorial

by Ivory Soap Household

If you’ve been following me this summer, you know that my kids lived on whop biscuits and nitrate-free hotdogs.  Apart from oatmeal, there wasn’t a whole grain to be found in my pantry.  But now that I’ve recovered from summer and returned to my natural state as homeschool mom and spontaneous short order cook, I […]

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Undersink Makeover

by Daisy Handyman Skills

I follow a Swedish design/diy blog called Chez Larsson.  I think Deanna is amazed anew every time I mention that I follow a bunch of design blogs because I’m not exactly a stylista.  No shock there, I’m sure. The main thing that keeps me tuned to this particular blog is Benita Larsson’s commitment to perfection.  […]

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5 Simple Rules to Reduce Child Laundry

by Ivory Soap Household

With six people in one house, I am lately obsessed with reducing laundry.  A few month ago, I reported in THIS POST that I was trying a new laundry experiment.  I reported the results HERE and then my new shoe shelf innovation HERE.  After months of experience, I feel I have arrived at a realistic child laundry philosophy.  (P.S. […]

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DIY Stainless Steel Cleaner(s)

by Ivory Soap Cleaning Products

  Commercial stainless steel cleaners can be some of the fumiest, most flammable products in your home.   This is because the vast majority of them contain a waterless solvent (read: petrochemical).  This gives you a spray-on, wipe off experience requiring no elbow grease.  Another magical property of the commercial brands is corn starch, long […]

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Handmade Gifts for First-Timers

by Ivory Soap Household

  If you DIY, August is the planning time for the Fall DIY season.  We need time to cure that soap and crochet those afghans.  And for newbies, it’s the time for perusing the possibilities.  What can I make that doesn’t require months of practice?  Well, good news.  I have put together a list for […]

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4 Ways to Live Seasonally in August

by Ivory Soap Household

‘Tis the Season Back to school?  Yes, but August is about a lot more than that if you DIY.  August is the advent of a whole new season for DIYers.  As we explained in  THIS POST: Winter is Building Season.  The leaves are down and the saps’s not running, so this is the time to build […]

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Shoe Shelf Weekly Clothing Organizer

by Ivory Soap Household

  I officially have TOO much closet space.  I even stuck the kids’ chest of drawers in there to take up some room.  The fun part is, the chest is EMPTY.  It’s ready to be filled with all that nonsense kids collect: gum wrappers, beads, string, little pieces of paper and tape, etc. What you […]

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Skin Irritation, Hard Water: DIY Laundry Detergent Troubleshooting

by Ivory Soap Cleaning Products

Irritation and Yellowing Lots of folks choose DIY detergents for skin irritation.  But then they’re skin is still irritated!  There are no additives, right?  And why are my clothes getting dingy and yellowing? Amazingly, it’s NOT additives that get most people.  It’s the pH of the clothes when they come out.  Even with no additives, […]

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3 Things Before You Mix Baking Soda and Vinegar

by Ivory Soap Cleaning Products

Baking Soda and Vinegar? I see so many DIY recipes where people mix baking soda and vinegar together. The main value of this is the immediate reaction.  It lifts and breaks up dirt!  But after the “fizzy-lifting,” what you have leftover is just salt water. (Chemically speaking, “salt” extends beyond table salt.) The salt created […]

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DIY Granite/Multipurpose Cleaner

by Ivory Soap Cleaning Products

by James Bowe  I hate mixing proprietary cleaners.  But, I don’t have special surfaces in my kitchen.  I like the flexibility of choosing my solvent based on my mood.  But if you have granite, marble, tile/grout as your countertops, you have limited options for safe cleaners.  But the good news is, you have limited options. […]

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Organizing Failure: #1 Mistake

by Ivory Soap Household

You’ve cleaned the closets, the pantry, and set out a gorgeous workout schedule and meal plan.  And it all works…for three days.  Then it all falls apart and you’re back to your old habits.  What happened? Some would say that it takes two weeks to start a new habit.  Just gut it out.  As a […]

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Baking Soda Body Care: 5 Things You Should Know

by Ivory Soap Cleaning Products

1.  Straight baking soda irritates sensitive skin. I have sensitive skin.   Most commercial products irritate my skin.  Baking soda is a really gentle, effective  product for sensitive skin, if  diluted by something else.  If you are using baking soda as a homemade deodorant or shampoo or body wash, be careful.  I use a dilute […]

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Body Care Essentials: 8 DIY Products

by Ivory Soap Body Care

Over the years doing this blog, I’ve done lots of research on DIY products.  Now, my daily ablutions are all taken care of with homemade products…’cept the cotton swabs and toothbrushes! In the Shower Baking Soda solution in old rubbing alcohol bottle (shampoo, body wash) Dilute solution of apple cider vinegar in old peroxide bottle […]

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Washing Hands with Baking Soda

by Ivory Soap Body Care

Daisy says she’s raising apes.  If she leaves out liquid soap or bar soap by the kitchen sink, the natives attack.  She noticed however, that her Parmesan shaker can of baking soda and tea tree oil “carpet cleaner” remains untouched.  So, she started using it to wash her hands.  Even hands she thought were relatively […]

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Washing Hair with Baking Soda

by Ivory Soap Body Care

I finally tried washing my long hair with baking soda, and it works! The Principle of the Thing The equation of clean, as I have said many times, is: (1)Temperature + (2)Agitation + (3)Chemistry + (4)Time = CLEAN In the shower, you have hot water(1) going for you already.  Baking soda has two basic cleaning […]

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Even Simpler DIY Stain Routine

by Ivory Soap Cleaning Products

Yesterday, I did a presentation on DIY cleaning at my local library.  I think I learned as much as they did.  Having to explain the stain routine and answer questions really helped me refine it.  The best contribution, though, was a lady who knew what old-timers used to use for enzyme cleaners before the fancy […]

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Summer Laundry: The Results Show

by Ivory Soap Household

A few weeks ago, I reported in THIS POST that I was trying a new laundry experiment.  Here are the results. 1. Resolve to do laundry once a week. Kid you not.  This is the best thing ever.  I do three loads a week! 2.  Remove out of season clothing. No more sweaters in the […]

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Washing Oily Skin with…OIL??

by Ivory Soap Body Care

  Yes. Kid you not. Before I started doing this a month ago, I still looked like a 13 year old and I’m 36. My other alternative was to use over the counter acne products. As you know, they take the HIDE off you. Back then, I had my make-up done by a professional who […]

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10 Ways to Simplify Summer Laundry

by Ivory Soap Household

Summer is a great time to simplify your closet since there’s less requirement to wear something different all the time and the temperature isn’t hopping around on you. So, here’s my favorite 10 ways to simplify summer laundry. 1. Resolve to do laundry once a week. This eliminates the need for 17 pairs of undies […]

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5 Ways to Live Seasonally in June

by Ivory Soap Household

Farmer’s Markets are in full swing, mama animals are making tons of milk, and the produce in the garden is coming on faster than you can pick it.  Welcome to summer!  Well, technically, summer doesn’t start till June 20th, but the HEAT is already here in West Tennessee. So what can we do to live […]

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10 Things You Should Know Before Making Homemade Laundry Detergent

by Ivory Soap Cleaning Products

My homemade laundry detergent recipe completely changed after hours of research on this household chemical database! Homemade Laundry Detergent Cleaning Power 1. NO commercial detergents contain BORAX and WASHING SODA together. It’s an either/or.  Powder is washing soda.  Liquid detergents have borax, usually with alcohol.  End of story.  My guess is that washing soda loses its poop […]

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10 Things About Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

by Ivory Soap Cleaning Products

Homemade dishwasher detergent is the holy grail of DIY home products.  It’s the most persnickety and undependable. I was determined to solve the mystery! I spent HOURS on  this household products database researching all of the possible chemical formulations of commercial detergent to compare it with the usual homemade detergent recipes. Homemade Dishwasher Detergent vs Commercial Many Home […]

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3 Steps to Simplify DIY Stain Removal

by Ivory Soap Cleaning Products

1.  Reality Check Do you really treat stains?  I don’t.  I NOTICE stains after they’ve been through the wash.  If you aren’t an avid stain treater, you really only need a bar of soap and a faucet.  Here’s my REAL stain routine: Shoot, there’s a stain on the shirt I just put on! Can I […]

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5 Ways to Simplify Your DIY

by Ivory Soap Household

If you’re not paying attention, you can overwhelm yourself with “simple living.”  You can clutter up your life with so much DIY that you can’t see your way out.  DIY only simplifies your life if you keep your DIY simple. Pick double/triple duty products. DIY is empowering and fun.  It’s shouldn’t be overwhelming.  Don’t use DIY […]

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3 Steps to Simplify Your DIY Cleaning Products

by Ivory Soap Cleaning Products

  1.  Learn About T.A.C.T T.A.C.T. stands for Temperature, Agitation, Chemistry, and Time.  It means, the hotter the water the better it cleans.  The more elbow grease you use the better it cleans.  The stronger the chemicals are, the better it cleans.  The longer you let it soak or sit, the better it cleans. Now […]

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4 Lazy Ways to Simplify Summer Days

by Ivory Soap Household

I have been dreading it for a month already.  SUMMER. It’s not that the kids are home.  They’re home all the time.  It’s that the STRUCTURE of the school year is gone.  Whether you home-school or away-school, the day revolves around school time.  And for a few blessed hours, no one is wandering around making […]

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5 Ways to Live Seasonally In May

by Ivory Soap Household

1.  Find your farmer’s markets Most markets are open now. We have seven in our area. There’s one open every day of the week. Not only are there fresh greens, but the egg season has started (Valentine’s to Halloween), and the mama animals are making lots of milk. It’s time to find out what fresh […]

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Live Seasonally to Live Simply

by Ivory Soap Household

                  To everything, there is a season, unless you live in the burbs and the seasons are totally obscured by shipments from Mexico and California. Reduces Your To Do List Pioneer homesteaders lived seasonally.  There were no tomatoes in the winter, no acorn squash in May.  In […]

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Making Motherwort Tincture

by Daisy Body Care

Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca) is a heavy-hitter in the medicinal plants game.  It is used, among other things, for the heart, for anxiety, and for women’s health.  You can read more about it here. I planted motherwort seeds last Spring.  They germinated and produced a few plants, which flowered and went to seed. This year, I […]

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Home Management Notebook 2012

by Ivory Soap Household

  I wrote a series of organization posts last year when I was having a baby, writing twice a month for the paper, gardening, writing a book, and homeschooling.  It was a complicated plan. But this year, life is less complicated.  So the plan is less complicated. First:  Think about your year Do you garden, […]

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Soap and Water? Surely not!

by Ivory Soap Cleaning Products

“Surely not!” This is what I thought when I heard TL say that if she wanted her kitchen floor to stay clean she had to get down on it with a scrub brush every week or so.  With soap and water?  Hot water, even.  And the baseboards?  Every other month. Surely not! Then, when I […]

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Super Easy Liquid Soap or Shampoo

by Daisy Body Care

I’ve read many methods for making liquid soap.  Most people agree making liquid soap from scratch, that is, from oils and potassium hydroxide, is tricky at best.  Reports of solidifying and separating are pretty universal.  I tried my hand at it a long time ago, and experienced it myself. I do like the convenience of […]

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4 Ways to Pay to Simplify Your Day

by Ivory Soap Household

photo by epSos.de Being stuck in the bed postpartum with two bouts of double mastitis has forced me to simplify my days even more than I thought possible before.   But note, this post is not titled “5 FRUGAL Ways to Simplify Your Days,” so you might have to cancel the cable to pull this off, […]

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6 Reasons Why to DIY

by Ivory Soap Household

1. Save Time – For real. Making your own (jelly, bread, cheese) takes just a few minutes actual work time. Most of the ‘time’ involved in household DIY is wait time, or time you can be throwing Frisbees and playing with the dog instead of driving to the store, staring at shelves trying to find […]

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Home Management Notebook: 2011

by Ivory Soap Household

Most home management notebooks start with the minutae and work up, I do the reverse.  Here’s a quick list for building the book from yearly to daily.  Of course, once you look at it, you might not think it’s so quick, but we’re organizing your WHOLE LIFE here, right?: Builder Section (Yearly Plans): Do you […]

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Pure Honey Cough Drops

by Daisy Body Care

I’m  a lightweight when it comes to cough drops.  The industrial strength menthol ones are intolerable to me.  I’ve always felt like such a weinie about it, but I can’t understand how so many people willingly put those things in their mouths.  For a dare, maybe.  For money, certainly, if the price were right.  Voluntarily?  […]

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How to Clean an Attic

by Ivory Soap Household

Apart from my Finished Room Over the Garage (FROG), my attic covers my entire house.  It’s a little house, but that’s still a lot of attic!  Yesterday it was stuffed to the gills with CRAPOLA.  Now, look at it! (Pictured above.) Look again from the other direction! Oooo, it’s so pretty!  And the box springs […]

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I’m the Purchasing Agent, Not the Maid

by Ivory Soap Household

When I started homeschooling (or gardening, or writing, or keeping livestock), it felt like something “unnecessary” that took away from my “real job” of laundry, cleaning, and cooking.  All those “extras” were fine, but if Mr. Ivory had to run a load of clothes to get underpants for tomorrow and make a sandwich for dinner…I […]

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Save Money with a Supply Journal

by Ivory Soap Household

I’m so jealous when I watch Jane Austen-ish movies and Father furrows his brow and says something like, “We won’t have enough to buy coal through the winter.  We’ll be out by December.”  Huh? How does he know that?  And the general store managers on pioneer shows that know exactly how many bootlaces Mr. Smith […]

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Peppermint Foot Slather with Neem Oil

by Daisy Body Care

As the weather warms up, get those feet ready for their annual unveiling with this recipe for a neem-heavy lotion I can only term a “slather.”  It hits the warmth of your skin and liquefies into a juicy, emollient boon for the toughest hide. Neem and calendula are both well-regarded for their skin-healing properties.  The […]

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Dry Carpet Freshener

by Daisy Cleaning Products

I gaze in horror at the tv ads for spray fresheners. The lady of the house spritzes away like a madwoman then sticks her nose right in the middle of it and inhales deeply.  She goes after it all: sneakers, beds, clothes, everything. Why, I wonder, don’t they just clean the stinky things? If my […]

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Cloth Diapering Confidential

by Daisy Body Care

I’ve been doing cloth diapers for two years and have made a few observations along the way.  Anyone wanting to hear my reflections on the subject of infantile excrement management is so in luck. 1.  I am humbled by the incredible transformative miracle of the modern washing machine.  It actually cleans the dipe I’ve been […]

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A Few Firewood Basics

by Daisy Handyman Skills

I thought I’d share some of the scintillating facts I’ve picked up about firewood since we started heating with a wood stove.  I say that intending a bit of sarcasm, but the truth is I really do find this stuff way too interesting.  Here we go: 1.  While every old-timer has his or her list, […]

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Splitting Firewood

by Daisy Handyman Skills

I learned something new recently.  Around here, and presumably in most areas, when a tree trimming crew disposes of a tree it pays a dumping fee.  Our local fee ranges from $50 for easily mulch-able branches to $75 for big trunks.  For the tree trimmers, especially the small companies, this can eat into their profits. […]

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Green Resolutions That Pay for Themselves

by Ivory Soap Household

Going Green is great, but I wonder how fast the savings in energy costs overtakes the purchase and installation costs?  So, I sat down with my calculator and my favorite website and worked it out how long it would take for changes made today, NEW YEARS 2010, to start paying for themselves.  (Computed for a […]

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Getting the Best Deal on Poultry

by Ivory Soap Household

I found myself staring at leg quarters and whole chickens and split breasts and whole turkeys today.  All on sale.  No idea what was a good buy.  How much meat is on a split breast versus a leg quarter?  How does a whole bird compare to boneless/skinless breasts?  It’s a mystery. After a great deal […]

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Make a Felt Board

by Daisy Household

I’ve been meaning to make a felt/flannel board for years and never got around to it. Nosing around I heard that glueing the fabric to the board is supposed to interfere with the static that helps the figures stick to the board.  I’m not sure how true this is, but since I preferred a no-glue […]

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Blackberry Leaf Decoction

by Daisy Body Care

As I was trimming back a few blackberry shoots I got to thinking–Aren’t blackberry leaves Something–you know, something in their own right other than the prickly part of blackberry production? As it turns out, they are something. High in tannins and vitamin C, they are good for: skin mouth/gum tissue intestinal health immunity Teas and […]

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Homemade Car Air Freshener

by Daisy Cleaning Products

My car doesn’t smell bad to me, but someone was making a stink-face every time we had to go somewhere. Enter child-labor. What we did: Draw (or have someone draw) the motif of choice. Someone wanted a star. Cut out pattern and pin to felt of choice and cut out: Make two: Pin together and […]

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Homemade Furniture Cleaner

by Daisy Cleaning Products

It’s a little early for Halloween, but I wanted to show you what’s happened to my furniture. The rain finally quit, but the extreme humidity left a moldy, green haze on everything. Pretty gross. It got me thinking about furniture cleaners/polish, and how I hate the petroleum smell of store-bought. It lingers and doesn’t do […]

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6 Lazy Ways to Reduce Housework

by Ivory Soap Household

TL and I spend very little time doing housework.  So, how do we get away with that? 1.  We have LITTLE HOUSES–less house means less to clean.  I can whip around this sucker in half and hour and have it sparkle. 2.  We don’t buy stuff–less stuff means less stuff to clean.  The vast majority […]

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The Most Important Step to Staying Healthy

by Ivory Soap Body Care

http://www.flickr.com/photos/beedigital/ / CC BY 2.0 Don’t eat sugar.  Lower your calories.  Have an energy bar.  Avoid carbs.  Jump off the roof! The diet industry can make us all really nuts if we pay attention too long.  And unfortunately, most of us don’t get any decent information from our doctors.  But, here at Little House we […]

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7 Green-ish Ways to Lower Household Costs

by Ivory Soap Household

http://www.flickr.com/photos/tracy_olson/ / CC BY-SA 2.0 We’ve already covered the grocery store, but what about the rest of the household expenses?  Yes, being weird suburban homesteaders reduces those costs too. 1.  Have a little house. Small houses require less stuff to keep them going.  Less utilities, less heat, less air, less carpet, less roof, less lighting, […]

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5 Lazy Ways to Simplify Your Days

by Ivory Soap Household

WOW, that calendar is blue, huh?  Trick of the camera, but the more important thing is that it’s also really EMPTY. And this is a really busy week for me! 1.  We shop only once a week and refuse to go back. If we’re out of milk, that’s just how it goes, drink water.  If […]

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8 Ways to Lower Your Grocery Bill

by Ivory Soap Household

Most of what TL and I do, we just do cause we’re strange.  But in tough economic times, our eccentricities may be of interest to others. Why? Because our weird Little House lifestyle is naturally low cost!  So, here are eight ways that being eccentric like us could help you lower your grocery bill. 1.  […]

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Make Your Own Insect Repellent

by Daisy Body Care

This is an insect repellent for the skin. I’m not going to misrepresent–for me, it isn’t the holy grail of natural repellents which would last indefinitely and be 100% bugproof. I keep a bottle in my back pocket and reapply frequently and I still get the occasional bite. I do like it, though. In a […]

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Co-ops and Dinner Swaps

by Ivory Soap Household

People are made to depend on other people. Yes, you *can* do it all on your own, but that’s not really feasible or preferable in most cases. Isolation is not the goal. A community of people all doing things the old fashioned way broadens our ability to live simply. So for today’s post, I’d like […]

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Quick, Natural, Head-to-Toe Clean

by Daisy Body Care

Shampoo and body wash, like all synthetic detergents, work equally well in hard and soft water. The problem is that it’s expensive and rips the oils out of your hair. Hence the need for conditioner–to cover up the oil-stripping-damage done by the shampoo. Soap is WAY better. The problem with soap is that it doesn’t […]

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Homemade Vegetable and Fruit Wash

by Daisy Cleaning Products

I live and die by this salad spinner. She’s no spring chicken, though. She has a pull string. She has those little hairline cracks from being dropped too many times. She’s been with me a long, long time. I use the strainer part to carry vegetables from the garden to the kitchen for their baths. […]

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Mortarless Paving

by Daisy Handyman Skills

Ivory asked me to show her how I put this together a while back: Since I wanted to do something similar with this little beauty spot . . . . . . I took a few pictures of the process. The bricks I used here were some of the perforated facing bricks left over from […]

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Quick Stick Deodorant

by Daisy Body Care

In the DIY world of home health and beauty products, deodorant seems to be the the most feared replacement. Stinking is NOT OKAY in our culture, right? But aluminum crammed in your pores cannot be good for you, and it seems in recent years that store-bought deodorant is becoming less and less effective anyway. This […]

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Stubborn Doorstop

by Daisy Handyman Skills

I may be the only person who has had a problem with this, but I needed a hard-to-remove doorstop to keep little hands from getting smooshed. Regular doorstops just got absconded with, carried around and lost. The worst door of all was the swinging door between the kitchen and dining room. Very fun for the […]

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Free Printable: Handmade Gift Planner 2009

by Daisy Household

I need a place to keep all of my handmade gifting plans for the year, and I thought you might too. When I have some spare time, I like to know where I’m headed on my projects so I don’t run late on somebody’s afghan, or (like this Xmas) start my batch of soap too […]

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Homemade Sunscreen

by Daisy Body Care

Just in time for winter! Sunscreen recipe! My timing might not be particularly awesome. On the other hand, the sun does shine year round. (Although it isn’t making much of an appearance here today). This recipe makes a sunscreen that contains emollient ingredients as well as zinc oxide. Shea butter and avocado oil also offer […]

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100% Natural Drain Cleaner

by Daisy Cleaning Products

Last night, around nine o’clock, my husband and I had HAD IT with our left bathroom sink drain. It has been clogging worse and worse every day for weeks. So, I employed my 100% Natural Drain Cleaner–taught to me by a dear plumber friend: Step 1: Get a bucket. Step 2: Put bucket under u-shaped […]

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Cat/Kid-Proof “Ornaments”

by Daisy Household

Five years ago, our kids were either unborn or largely immobile. We had a beautiful tree…..in an I-Grew-Up-Really-Close-To-Gatlinburg kinda way. Four years ago, we had no tree at all. Child 1 & 2 were too young to remember if we had a tree or not and we were already over the whole ‘pictures of baby […]

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Like Bacon for Candles

by Daisy Handyman Skills

For the lovers of bacon everywhere, I offer you…ideal mood lighting. Clean, efficient, and 100% kitchen grease. 1. Just like the bacon soap recipe, I boiled the grease with water in equal parts, removed it from heat and added 1/2 as much COLD water to precipitate out the yuck. After cooling, the top layer of […]

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Make Lamps–Not Vinaigrette

by Daisy Handyman Skills

We’re in storm-n-outage season now, and I don’t have a single candle in the house. What’s a girl to do? 1. Open a bottle of wine with some friends and whack the cork in half longways. (If you’re alone–freeze the extra wine. Booze and burning stuff is how many a redneck emergency room story begins.) […]

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Body and Bath Basics: Skin Ointment/Liniment

by Daisy Body Care

Here’s another homemade skin care standard to go along with our lotion bars, sugar scrub, and lip balm, this time a recipe for a general purpose ointment. It is made of shea butter, avocado oil, beeswax, calendula and rooibos extracts and aloe vera, all of which are known for their soothing, protecting, and healing properties. […]

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Lotion Bar Recipe: Homemade, All Natural

by Daisy Body Care

A lotion bar recipe can be simple or fancy-pants. This tutorial gives you both. What is a lotion bar? It is a soap-hard manifestation of moisturizer you can make yourself that doesn’t go bad and doesn’t contain: . . . and stuff like that. And lotion bars are child’s play to create. So easy. The only […]

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Hot Stuff for my Cold

by Daisy Body Care

I’m SICK! Sore throat, congestion, cough, aches, blah, blah, BLECH! But, I have to admit, I feel pretty decent now that I engaged in a little home remedy dabbling. HOT MEDICINAL SOUP (recipe adapted from here) Makes 1 serving 1 large clove garlic 1 T olive oil 1 tsp sliced ginger 1/2 tsp turmeric cup […]

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Homemade Herbal Sugar Scrub

by Daisy Body Care

I have never been one for sugar scrubs. I have oily skin and the idea of putting something with more oil in it on my face, regardless of how ‘scrubby’ it claimed to be–appalling. But after reading that sucrose in a good oil actually has alpha-hydroxy (chemical exfoliant) properties, I thought I might give it […]

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Homemade Lip Balm

by Daisy Body Care

This couldn’t get much easier. If you read our Lotion Bars post, you can see these are the same ingredients, only in different proportions. So no more ingredients to buy. And again, two versions–economy and first class. Everyday Jane and Princess. (Accidentally switch them up and you may not be able to tell the difference.) […]

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Snot Rags vs Planet Earth

by Daisy Body Care

Sure, we all love the environment, so tissues are bad. But who really wants to put snot backin their pocket, right? Paper towels are bad too, but who wants to dry their hands with a funked-out dishtowel that some other member of your family probably used to clean the floor? (Yes, Son #1, I’m looking […]

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