Simple Solutions for Stains

At Simple Kids, Megan shares some great tips for stain removal. If you are anything like our family, you can use these great tips too. Katie and I are chronic shirt stainers, LOL! And my mom mentioned the other day she does it all the time too, so I guess it just a thing for the women in our family, 🙂

I also want to add my own secret ingredient that gets out A LOT of stains: Grandma’s Secret Spot Remover. It can be found in fabirc stores like Hancock, JoAnn, and I saw it once at Hobby Lobby by the fabric cutting table. The only drawback is the bottle is a little hard to squeeze, but it does work wonders.

Here’s more tips gathered at Simple Kids:

playingoutside

photo by .Dianna.

Nature is inviting all of us to come outside and play.

No one wants to interrupt a glorious game of tag or bring a delicious and juicy dessert of fresh strawberries to a premature end for fear of stained clothing, but we also want to be good stewards of the material possessions we have by taking good care of them.  Yesterday, Asha at Parent Hacks shared her Almost Sure-Fire Clothing Stain Removal tip, and it reminded me that I have a few ideas of my own to share on summer stains.

1) Whenever possible, set aside some of the summer wardrobe for “play clothes” – for children and adults alike.  If everyone is playing outside in clothes that have been purposed for play, no one (not even the grown-ups) will give a second thought to rolling in the grass or indulging in a drippy, melt-y chocolate ice cream cone.

2) Harness the power of the sun!  Did you know the sun can be effective, natural bleach?  I learned this when I started cloth diapering.  (I’ve mostly only used it one white or lightly colored items.)  Wash the item as you normally would, but do not allow it to dry.  Hang it on a clothesline or lay it on a blanket or towel in the grass or on pavement.  Allow to dry in the sun.  For tough stains,  you may need to add some lemon juice or a stain remover such as Bi-O-Kleen’s Bac-Out to boost the sun’s bleaching power.

3) Treat stains quickly.  As soon as you have run those kiddos through the bath, gather up the stained clothes and start your treatment.  The supermarket shelves offer lots of stain treating options, but if you don’t have any on hand or prefer a natural approach, check out these suggetions:

Make sure to read the comments on Asha’s stain remover idea where other Parent Hackers share their favorite stain banishers.

Home Ec skills that are making a comeback

Simplemom writes a great post today:

There are times when getting something done involves doing it as quickly as possible. And there are times when it involves clearing off the table, and doing it from scratch.

The task might take more time, and even sometimes (but not often), it’s more expensive. But to do something yourself – to completely finish a task starting from scratch, embodies simplicity. After all, simplicity simply means “freedom from complexity,” and handmade pays homage to the craft and task of doing a skill well.

There are a number of skills that are a dying art. In a microwave culture, certain skills require crock pot patience, and not many home managers can afford such luxuries as time. But simple moms, home managers who yearn for simplicity in their lives, should take the time to learn a few.

I’d hate to see certain time-tested skills fade away with our grandparents’ generation. Let’s celebrate the beauty, the honor, and the tradition of managing a home and cultivating a family by learning the “tricks of the trade” the long way.

Click on the link above to continue reading.

Thanksgiving Notebook

So today I decided to get organized about our Thanksgiving dinner.  I made a master shopping list, and a menu, and printed all my recipes and put them in a notebook with page protectors.  I plan on doing a lot of the cooking ahead of time this week, and then I can check the items off of my menu.

I also plan on getting out each of my serving items and placing a post note on them, with what goes in each dish.  I will do that as they get washed.  I have done this in the past and it is a huge help.

What things are you doing to make things run more smoothly at your home this week?

Menu Plan Monday

Ok, here is what our menu looks like this week, Nov 10.

Monday and Tuesday Roast with potatoes and carrots

Wednesday Shredded chicken tacos, spanish rice, corn

Thursday Baked Potato Soup

Friday Homemade pizza and salad

Saturday Spaghetti, bread and salad

Sunday Leftovers

Homemade Laundry Soap

1 Bar Fels Naptha Soap,or Kirk’s Castile,or Ivory, grated

5 Gallon Bucket

1 Cup Washing Soda

1 Cup of Borax

4 1/2 Gallons Water

Place grated soap in a small saucepan and cover with water. Heat on low until dissolved. Fill bucket with hot water, and add soap. Stir to combine. Add 1 cup washing soda and 1 cup of borax and mix well. As it cools it will thicken. May be used immediately. Use 1-2 cups per load.

Powdered Laundry Detergent

1 Cup Grated Fels Naptha, Kirk’s Castile, or Ivory Soap

1/2 Cup Washing Soda

1/2 Cup Borax

For light load, use 1 tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 tablespoons.

Becki’s Notes: Cost breakdown for 5 gallons of detergent: Fels Naptha soap: 1.00 1 box Washing soda (about 5 batches) 5.00, so 1.00 a batch 1 box Borax (about 9 or 10 batches maybe) 6.00 so about $2.60 for a 5 gallon bucket, and I use about a cup per load, but am going to try a powdered batch later today, just for ease of preparation, and taking up less space in my laundry room.

two hints for you: Do not let the soap and water mixture boil over on your stove, 🙂 Save your old detergent jugs and refill them to get rid of the bucket. The mixture is gel like, with some liquid, but in a laundry jug you can shake it and it becomes a slushy liquid that you can pour. **Essential oils may be added for scent, but it has a fresh clean, non perfume-y scent on its own. ** This is very low sudsing, great for front loaders and much better for your clothes 🙂

Laundry Tip for ya

I just read this at  Small Notebook thought I would pass it along  🙂

When our white t-shirts start to look a little grungy by midsummer, it’s time to freshen them up.  For stains that don’t go away after trying other stain removers, here is what works for practically anything:

  1. Heat up some water in a big pot on the stove. Make it hot, but not boiling.
  2. Add 2 scoops of an oxygen base cleaner and a small squirt of liquid dish detergent.
  3. Put the clothes in the pot and cover it with the lid.
  4. Soak for 4-6 hours, or more if needed.
  5. Wash clothes as usual in the washing machine.

Tip!  The generic brand of oxygen cleaner at the dollar store works just as well as Oxi Clean.  It’s the same thing.

got mosquitos?


I got this email from a friend, I am definitely going to give it a try when we go to the lake in June
at my Mom’s. Blackflies (worse than mosquitos) love my Missouri blood, 🙂

Mosquito Spray…Worth a try

I was at a deck party awhile back, and the bugs were having a ball biting everyone. A man at the party sprayed the lawn and deck floor with Listerine, and the little demons disappeared. The next year I filled a 4-ounce spray bottle and used it around my seat whenever I saw mosquitoes. And voila! That worked as well. It worked at a picnic where we sprayed the area around the food table, the children’s swing area, and the standing water nearby. During the summer, I don’t leave home without it…..Pass it on.

cooking related post

If you don’t like to cook, this may not be the post for you to read, 🙂

I love to cook (just not clean up afterward LOL) I love to make things from scratch, and this week
we really got back in that mode of cooking. 2 weeks ago, I made up some of my home made mixes in bulk (ranch dressing and meatball mix) and Katie and I made over 7 dozen meatballs to freeze.

Thursday night, Katie made homemade laundry detergent for the first time, and we took some to my friend Janna with the ingredients to make her own batch. It’s been a while since we did this, and got some new essential oil the other day, so we mixed up a batch.

Also,I have been wanting a wheat grinder FOREVER because grinding your own wheat right before you bake is SO good for you.  But I have had to settle for grinding at my sort- of local grocery store, which is better than nothing.  But a little while back I ran across a post on the Net about using a burr mill coffee grinder (has to be a burr mill!)  which made sense because a lot of wheat grinder use burr mills. Someone mentioned a Cuisinart one, I looked it up on Ebay, found one for 19.99 and bid.  Yeah me, I won!  So we have been happily grinding our own wheat for a week or so. I bought a 25 pound bag of wheat berries at the grocery store, and Food Savered it in half gallon jars, made it much easier to store.

Have I mentioned that I added a food saver handheld to my kitchen arsenal? They are on close out right now on the food saver site for 10.50, regularly 50 bucks, worth every penny.  I hated messing with the hoses and such for sealing up leftovers, etc.  This handheld makes it a CINCH, Katie loves doing it.  I have also been converting over to Jars for storage instead of plastic, this has made life so much easier.

So, on Friday, my friend Janna took us to the Kansas City, City Market.http://www.kc-citymarket.com/farmersmarket.html

I never really go there (except for a couple of field trips to the Arabia Steamboat museum) because it always seemed so far away, and kind of a hassle getting downtown.  It took 7 minutes from my local Sam’s Club! And it was on Friday when the prices were cheaper, oh my! We got strawberries, gorgeous strawberries for a dollar. Six green peppers for a dollar, 3 red for a dollar. And the ethnic stores were amazing!  Huge bins of fragrant spices, $1 a scoop (big scoop!) Needless to say, we will be back very often!

And it was SO fun to go with Janna! Her children are delightful, and she is so laid back and fun.
Her parents (our pastor and wife) were missionaries when she was younger and they lived in Nigeria for several years. Janna lived in Egypt for a year after high school, so she was very familiar with the products in the various stores, and even spoke Arabic with one of the shopkeepers.  It was such an amazing trip!

Making chicken soup today, I feel really yucky. i think it is just allergies, but I feel like chicken soup and we are almost out of my last batch. And with the yucky fall weather starting in already, its time to stock up on soup, 🙂

Hope everyone has a great rest of the weekend!
B