Thursday, June 9, 2011

Homemade Salad Dressings

Oriental Dressing
1/2 c. apple cider vinegar
3/4 t. ginger powder (I use fresh grated ginger, about 1 1/2 T)
1/3 c. mayonnaise
1/8 t. cayenne pepper (more if you like it spicy)
1/4-1/3 c. sugar (I use raw organic)
2 t. sesame seeds
2 T. soy sauce or tamari

 Mix the dressing until it is smooth and mixed well.  


1/2 C Sour Cream
1/2 C  Mayonnaise
1/4 C  Ketchup
 2 tbsp. sweet pickle relish
1 tbsp. minced fresh onion
1 tbsp. finely chopped celery
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/8 tsp. pepper
Combine ingredients and stir well.  Some recipes for this are bland. This one makes a great taco salad.
Yield 1 1/2 cups.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Great Resources

 My favorite cloth diapers. They have a forum to buy used diapers and covers:
Cloth Diapers, Covers and Training Pants from Mother-ease

Tons of info and pictures that explain each type of diaper:

Lot's of sales if you sign up for email:

Sign up for email and have have diaper seconds sales a few times a year:
Diapers | Cotton Fleece | Wipes | Diaper Spray & Concentrate | Doublers | Blanket and Burp Cloth

This is a giant forum for buying and selling used diapers and covers:
Cloth Diapers & Parenting Community -

My fav magazine with a giant forum for natural parenting:
mothering |

Breastfeeding help and answers:
kellymom :: Breastfeeding and Parenting

Giant forum to learn about babywearing and buying used:

Local Gr Resources:
My forum where you can meet everyone in the area. Yes, some people are out of state and still talk on the forum: once you make 10 posts you can see the whole forum with lots more info.

GR natural parenting group:
Grand Rapids Natural Parenting Group

 GR babywearing group with lending library:
Grand Rapids Babywearing

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Upcycled Wool longies, soakers and other wool projects....

I am going to post a bunch of different sites that have pictures, tutorials or patterns for different recycled wool items. Most of the items will be diaper covers (soakers and longies). I will update this list as I find more fun things. Please send me an email if you find a broken link. Thanks.

Here is a picture tutorial on making a longie.

Here is another longie.

Here is a written instructions for a longie plus instructions on how to felt the wool. 

Here is a tutorial for a soaker using a sweater. 

Here is another longie pictorial. 

Here is a sweet post and instructions for a longie with some links.

Here is another pictorial for a longie.

Here is another resource for longies with pictures.

Here is a quilted throw made from wool sweaters.

Here is a longie and here is it's matching top pictorial.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Interviews with Amy Dacyczyn from The Tightwad Gazette

I have always been a huge fan of the Tightwad Gazette. I am old enough to actually say that I was a 'scriber back in the day. LOL If you haven't read her books yet, start with the library to read them. Since they were taken from newsletters that ran from 1991 to 1996, some of the information is of course dated. Some items didn't relate to me even back then, but her general principles and ways of dealing with money are still gold today. I especially like the articles where she writes about dealing with her children and spending. Here are some written articles about Amy and even a short updated video. Enjoy! Here is a peek at her book from Amazon.

Here is an article from March 2009 where Amy talks about the current debt situation.

Here is an article from May 2008 from the Simple Dollar.

Here is an older article from 1990.

Here is a short video from November 2009.

Here is an old NPR audio recording from 1997.

Here is a short You Tube video taken from an 1992 interview.

Here is a recent short news clip.

Here is an older article from 1992.

Here is a review from slide share.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Blogging Break

Sorry that I haven't posted anything in so long. I've been so busy with my family and their health issues. You can see updates on Rick here. You can see updates on Olivia here.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Everything you ever wanted to know about wool diaper covers and soakers...

Ok, at least everything I can think of. I am not going to write a huge amount of information because there is so much out there, but I am going to add my input and tons of links for everyone. Hope you learn something new.

The first reason to buy wool is because they are just so darn cute! See the pictures of Kenton above?

One thing to add is my all time favorite website for wool and organic clothing Cambridge Baby- UK. You simply must shop there to see the prices. Use a currency converter to figure out the cost in US dollars and don't worry about shipping- it's cheap and your items arrive in less than a week. View it here.

Also my favorite Etsy knitter: Amy from True 2 Ewe.

First things first. Let's talk about why you would chose wool? It can hold up to 40% of extra fluid without feeling wet, it's natural and non-flammable, it rarely needs washing without smelling bad, it keeps your baby warm in the winter and cool in the summer, and it is the most breathable for babies bottoms of all the different fabrics.

Here are some good links explaining why to choose wool:
~eBay Guides - Wool Cloth Diaper Covers The Comprehensive Guide
~why wool's cool
~diaper pin-why use wool
~firefly- why choose wool
~Why Wool Diaper Covers? - Attachment Parenting
~ Real Diaper News Why Wool's Cool" by Heather Sanders
~danish woolen products- why wool
~Why Use Wool Diaper Covers?
~Why Wool? | Sunshine Diapers
~How to Use Wool Diaper Covers |

All right, now that you know how wonderful wool is you probably want to know what products are out there, which brands are offered and what's different about them. This is my quick version of the different styles. Each site goes into more depth about their style of cover.

~Felted wool covers are made from wool that has been pre-treated and felted. They are thinner than knitted ones and most can even be machine washed. Check with your brand before machine washing though. They usually come in a wrap style that has a snap or velcro closure.

~ Knitted wool covers come in three basic styles with all sorts of interpretations in between.
1. Wool soakers for day and night. Some are single layer and some are at least double layer for night time.
2. Wool "shorties" which are a more like a pull-on wool diaper cover. They can be lanolinized to use a diaper cover or used as a decorative cover over a regular cover.
3. Wool "longies" are a pull-on wool pant. They can be lanolinized for use over a diaper/cover or used as pajama bottoms.
4. Variations of shorties are board shorts and variations of longies are skirties which is like a skirt over a pant but all-in-one, capri pants, and ruffle pants.

Here are some of the brands out there. Remember the websites are endless so I am just listing the ones that I am the most familiar with:
~Better for babies- Little Beetle
~Tiny Birds Organic Wool Diaper Covers
~Green Mountain Diapers: Wool Diaper Covers, Wool Diaper Wraps
~Thanks Mama wool covers wool diaper cover: Apparel
~Vermont Diaper Company - wool covers
~kelly's closet wool covers
~Fuzbaby wool covers
~Babyworks: Product: 'Nikky Wool Diaper Cover'

There are so many more out there- too many to list. Just Google or Yahoo for "wool diaper covers" for more. There are two more sites to recommend which has multiple listings for WAHM made products. They are some great deals here and beautiful workmanship:
~Etsy :: Search Results
~Hyena Cart :: Search

Here are some sites that highlight the big names in knitting covers which are made by machine:
~Aristocrats Diaper Cover
~Disana wool

How to wash and care for wool? You can hand wash or use the gentle cycle on your washing machine. First I will list sites that teach you all about caring for wool, then I will list products for caring for wool:
~natural family online- wool care
~Cotton Babies how to lanolinize
~How To Care for Wool - Cut of Cloth
~ehow to wash wool covers
~GMD video on how to wash and lanolinize
~info_on_sudzndudz.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Products for caring for wool:
~Eucalan | clean clothes , clean planet
~Imse Vimse USA: Laundry Accessories - Wool Care liquid lanolin
~Northern Essence wool products
~Sonett wool wash
~Sudz 'n Dudz

Want to make your own wool covers? Here are some free patterns:
~ottobre diaper cover pattern
~soaker pattern

Some wool review sites:
~Wool Cover Reviews
~Diaper Pin - Cloth Diaper Reviews - List
~Safe mama wool reviews

Some WAHM made covers that I really like:
~Adorabubble Knits Online Shop
~green way wool covers
~Llamajamas, Llamajama wool diaper covers longies soakers

Here are some really neat wool products worth mentioning for baby:

~Ruscovilla wool
~recycle wraps
~MamaPoncho - Birdie's Room
~Baby Carrier Blanket

I hope you have enjoyed this post. I am not going to update all of these links unless you drop me a comment that something is wrong or missing. Thanks and enjoy!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Thrift Store Deals..

Every once in a while I like to post about great deals that I find at thrift stores. Personally I think they have even better deals than shopping resale stores, but it takes more patience. One thing to remember is that you are probably not going to walk into a thrift store and pick everything that you need right off the rack that day like Target. Instead you have to focus on buying things that you need as you come across them and I even buy ahead for the next size up. I only buy things that are in great condition, never things that are stained, badly pilled or ripped. If you get home and find a small stain that you didn't see, it's OK because you didn't pay that much for it.

Today was black Friday and I only hit one retail store and the rest was thrift stores. Some of the stores had 25% off or buy one get one free type of sales. Right now we have to buy clothes for 5 children, soon to be 6. I don't have room in the budget to buy everything new, and besides, why would you when you can get so much nice stuff for so little? Plus it's very eco-friendly to "recycle" clothing buy using it again. Americans waste so much including clothing so don't think that it's all pilled and faded junk like it was years ago. You would be surprised how many items still have tags on them.

Everything that I purchased today came to $16.00 at one store and $22.00 at the second store for a total of $38.00 for five skirts, three pairs of pants, three boys shirts, one jogging suit and 7 girls shirts.

Shown here is two girl shirts, two boy shirts and one dress pants. The plaid shirt is Izod, the dress pants are Old Navy, the pink shirt is Kohl's brand and blue one is Old Navy.

Same clothes as above except showing a purple skirt and jeans from The Limited Too.

Same clothes as above except showing a pink Arizona brand suit for Savanna.

My children (at least for now) don't care about what brand something is, they only care about how it looks and the girls like "girly" clothes. I am highlighting brand names because I know that it's an issue for a lot of people. Notice above the shirts are from Candies (Kohl's), Tommy Hilfiger, Old Navy, The Children's Place and The Limited Too....

These four skirts are Gasoline, The Children's Place, Old Navy and Talbot's Kids...

Overview of some of the clothes.

Olivia's favorite is the jean skirt with the colored buttons and this pink shirt with lace.