Wednesday, March 31, 2010

New Page

Please check out the new page, Things To Do. It is a list of places and things to do in this area. This list was created by my friend, Liz. Many thanks to her for letting me share it! If anyone has any activities, places, or ideas please feel free to share.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Portable Place Mat

When we go out to eat I don't like to put my son's food on the restaurant's table. He throws plates and napkins so, that doesn't work either. So, I thought it would be nice to have something to throw in the diaper bag for when we are out and about. We also have a portable high chair. We don't have a big house so, to save space we just bought one of the chairs that you put in an existing kitchen chair. It takes up no space. It folds up when we go places. It is wonderful. I don't like restaurant high chairs either. They rarely get cleaned and they always feel greasy. So, now we take our chair and our mat. The mat was fairly easy to make. I had some leftover Car fabric from making his backpack. I bought iron on vinyl. I have heard great things about it. Plus it's wipeable. It is wonderful. It is hard to find though. I ended up getting mine at Hancock Fabrics. It is 6.99 a yard. Expensive. I also bought double folded bias tape. Just cut out 2 rectangles of fabric and 2 rectangles of the vinyl the same size. Iron on the vinyl to the fabric per instructions. Then, pin your bias tape around the edges. Sew it on and you're done. Now, you have a cute little custom mat for your little one to eat off of.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Cleaning Tips

I thought it might be fun to share cleaning tips with one another. You can include products that you just can't live without, your cleaning routine, or anything that might help us save time on this never ending chore. A house is a living thing after all.

Things I can't live without:
1. The Mr. Clean Magic Eraser. It is a miracle worker. I use it on walls and even on my stove. I love watching the black marks disappear. It truly is "magic."

2. My Swiffer and Swiffer Vacuum. They truly work better than a broom. My house is 70% wood floors, 20% linoleum, and 10% carpet so, they get used often. The one drawback that I have found is the refills are a bit pricey and they get used quickly here. That and I feel bad to add more to the landfills every time that I throw one away. I have come up with a solution though. I did my own experiment. At the Dollar Tree they have microfiber cloths for a buck. They fit perfectly on the Swiffer and work well. When I'm done I just toss it in the wash.

3. The Microfiber cloths. They are cheap and work great. They are great for dry dusting the house and the car. Just remember not to use fabric softener on them. It lessens their effectiveness. Oh, and I found microfiber at the fabric store so, you could buy a yard of it, cut it, finish the edges, and viola your own creation.

4. My steam mop. Many hugs and kisses to my Dad and Step Mom for this one. It is AWESOME! I am a germ freak. I'm a nurse, what can I say. I am also a mom and worry about everything being clean enough. The mop is wonderful. No bucket to haul through the house. I love listening to the steam hiss when you're cleaning. You can just see the floor getting sanitized. Just like the microfiber cloths the pads for the steam mop are washable. No refills to buy so you can mop your floor.

My Cleaning Routine:
I don't want to spend all my time cleaning. I also, don't want to devote a whole day of the week to cleaning. That's depressing. I have too many other things that I want to be doing. So, what I have come up with for me is to do 1-2 things per day. For example, Monday I dust the whole house. So, then I can check dusting off my list for the whole week! Some people clean room by room and that works for them but, I don't want to drag out the same cleaners every day. I would rather accomplish the task through the whole house. Another great thing about this is I'm only devoting up to 30 minutes a day to cleaning. Then, I have the rest of the day to do whatever I want. There are 2 things that I do routinely every night. 1. I pick up all the toys or anything that is laying around and put it where it belongs. 2. We do the dishes. By doing these 2 things I feel like I start every day fresh. I don't like waking up to a sink full of smelly, dirty dishes. It makes me feel like I have to play catch up from the day before.

Hope you find this helpful and I can't wait to hear your ideas.


Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I met a family in the hospital a while back that made their own laundry detergent. Their recipe sounded like a lot of work. They told me that it saved them a lot of money. Their clothes looked great so, I decided to check into it. I searched several sites but the one I like the best is It gave a recipe for a powdered detergent that was less messy and time consuming to make. I haven't tried it out yet. I'm still trying to find the ingredients. If anyone knows where I can find these products please let me know. By using these recipes it will only cost pennies per load.

Powdered Laundry Detergent
1 cup grated bar of Ivory Soap (you may try other types as well)
1/2 cup Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (don't confuse with baking soda. They're different)
1/2 cup Borax
Store in an air tight container like rubbermaid
For a light load use 1 Tbsp
For a heavy load use 2 Tbsp
*There will be no suds when you use this

Homemade Fabric Softener
2 cups White Vinegar
2 cups Baking Soda
4 cups Water
Combine and pour into a plastic bottle.
Use 1/4 cup in the final rinse or put it in a Downy Ball

Homemade Cleaners

It's Spring cleaning time! Have you noticed that cleaning products are expensive? I have been looking for ways to cut back some of our expenses. This is one area that we can definitely save. I have found 2 very helpful websites that give recipes using ingredients that can already be found in your home. They are and . These cleaners work just as good and maybe even better than the store bought ones and they only cost cents to make. For most of them you just need a squirt bottle which you can get for a buck at Dollar Tree. Here are the ones that I use. Make sure to test the product in a small area first. Happy Cleaning!

All-Purpose Cleaner: Use for walls, trim, bathroom and kitchen counters, appliances, and furniture and carpet stains.
1/4 cup Baking Soda and 1 quart of Water

Disinfectant: Use on countertops, food prep areas, anywhere the germs live, great for toilet bowls
1Tbsp Chlorine Bleach to 1 quart of Water
(It's not effective after 2-3 days so, always mix fresh and don't put more in the spray bottle then you intend to use).

Window Cleaner/Degreaser: windows, glass, mirrors, stove, oven, and greasy fingerprints
1Tbsp Vinegar to 1 quart of Water

Drain Cleaner- This truly works.
1/2 cup Baking Soda, 1/2 cup White Vinegar, boiling Water
Pour the baking soda down the drain. Add white vinegar and cover the drain if possible. Let set for 5 minutes. Pour the boiling water down the drain. How it works: the vinegar and baking soda break down fatty acids into soap and glycerin, allowing the clog to wash away. You can also use a plunger for additional help with stubborn clogs. Do not use this cleaner if you have used a commercial/store bought drain cleaner and definitely don't use them together!

Wood Furniture Cleaner and Polish
1 cup Olive Oil and 1/3 cup Vinegar. Mix together until well blended. Use a clean, soft cloth to apply to the furniture

Lime and Mineral Deposit Remover- My favorite thing
Soak some paper towels in vinegar. Apply the paper towels to the lime deposits around the faucets. Let them set for about an hour. Then, simply wipe the faucet clean. It will make your faucets look brand new! You can also use vinegar to clean your shower head. Simply fill a sandwich baggy with vinegar, place it over the showerhead and secure it with a rubberband. Let set for an hour and then wipe it clean. I did this last night.

Chrome and Stainless Steel Cleaner
Dip a soft cloth in undiluted white vinegar. Wipe the surface.

Oven Cleaners
1. Use Baking Soda and very fine Steel Wool. Wipe off the scum with a damp sponge. Rinse well and dry.
2. While the oven is still warm sprinkle water on the spill, then sprinkle salt on it. When the oven cools, scrape the spill away and wash the area.

Toilet Bowl Cleaner
Pour 1/2 cup Chlorine Bleach into the bowl. Let stand for 30-45 minutes. Scrub with a toilet brush.

*Not responsible if any damage occurs when using these cleaners. Use at your own discretion.

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Little Introduction

Hello from the Midwest. My name is, Tabitha. I am currently an almost full-time stay at home mom of one busy toddler. I'm still a fairly inexperienced blogger. So, please have patience with me as I learn. This blog is the product of the many notebooks floating around my desk full of great, helpful websites, blogs, recipes, and tips that I have been using to become a more creative, frugal homemaker. I wanted to put everything in one easy to access place. Every mom wants to make her life a little less hectic, right? Most of this blog will apply to everyone. There will be a few links for the locals. The name of this blog is a product of my husband. When I was pregnant he learned the word nesting. Now, every time I start a project or anything in general he says, "Oh no you're nesting again." So, to my husband, "Yes, I'm nesting again and I'm sharing." Feel free to share any ideas or tips that you have learned so we can learn from one another, live life a little more simply, and enjoy the things that truly matter. I hope you visit often.