Pinspiration | Cooking With Kids

This year, I’m learning to live with less in my 2014 Simplicity theme year.  That means finding innovative ways to save money so we can spend our money in the places we really need to (or want to). Living with two small boys, we’re always looking for fun, cheap activities that we can do together – I’ve got a great Pinterest board of kid-friendly activities!

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Pinspiration: Cooking with Kids.  Even when our kids were pretty small, I’d involve them in helping me cook in the kitchen.  We built dexterity skills by pouring and cracking eggs.  We’re learning math together with measuring cups.  And we’re learning safety tips – like it’s not save to play with the butcher’s knife just because it looks cool.  The best part about the project is we’ve really enjoyed ourselves – and even when the kids say they’re too bored to do anything, they’re always ready to help cook.

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Pinspiration | Painting Project

This year, I’m learning to live with less in my 2014 Simplicity theme year.  That means finding innovative ways to save money so we can spend our money in the places we really need to (or want to). Living with two small boys, we’re always looking for fun, cheap activities that we can do together – I’ve got a great Pinterest board of kid-friendly activities!

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Pinspiration: Painting Project. I love to paint. It’s an activity that I can regularly do with the kids. We make the most of our nice weather and spend time outside with our paints and canvases.

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Pinspiration: Make Your Own Febreze (on the cheap)

This year, I’m learning to live with less in my 2014 Simplicity theme year.  That means finding innovative ways to save money so we can spend our money in the places we really need to (or want to). Living with two small boys, I have many opportunities for our house and things to get pretty stinky pretty quickly. I’m a fan of the original, but not the price! When I looked online for other options, I found this recipe and I love it.

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Pinspiration: Make Your Own Febreze. This easy, useful project can be completed in 15 minutes. And the recipe seems to hold up to the original very well.  Recently, my husband even commented about how good our room smelled after I’d sprayed my mix – awesome!

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Pinspiration | Soaking Bath Salts

This year, I’m learning to live with less in my 2014 Simplicity theme year.  That means finding innovative ways to save money so we can spend our money in the places we really need to (or want to). Ever since I started running, I’ve been using bath salts more and more, and I love them. And the recipe is so simple (and includes a cheat!) – and best of all, they make great and inexpensive gifts.

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Pinspiration: Soaking Bath Salts. This easy, useful project can be completed in 15 minutes. And recipes save your tired, achy muscles and make cute, inexpensive gifts.  We made these gifts for all of our kids teachers, our friends and our family (and I saved a few for myself, too).  These hard-working bath salts remove toxins from the body, relax muscles and help calm the spirit.  They are so easy to make – worth it!

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Pinspiration | Sensitive Skin Laundry Detergent

This year, I’m learning to live with less in my 2014 Simplicity theme year.  That means finding innovative ways to save money so we can spend our money in the places we really need to (or want to). I saw this idea on Pinterest and just had to try it. Homemade sensitive skin laundry detergent! And the recipe is so simple – and best of all, it saves hundreds of dollars a year.

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Pinspiration: Sensitive Skin Laundry Detergent. This easy, useful project can be completed in 15 minutes. And it helps save your sensitive skin, saves you money, and reduce your environmental impact (if you use liquid laundry detergent – you’re paying for them to transfer the liquid, water, to your store).  I’ve made this laundry detergent for my sister many times and have given it as gifts to families with small children.  This mild, hard-working detergent is fantastic, has no added perfumes, dyes or additives and is so easy to make – worth it!

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Pinspiration | Dishwashing Detergent

This year, I’m learning to live with less in my 2014 Simplicity theme year.  That means finding innovative ways to save money so we can spend our money in the places we really need to (or want to). I saw this idea on Pinterest and just had to try it. Homemade dishwashing detergent for the dishwasher! And the recipe is so simple – and best of all, it saves you money each year.

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Pinspiration: Dishwashing Detergent. This easy, useful project can be completed in 15 minutes. And it helps you save money and gives you much cleaner dishes!  I’ve been using this dishwashing detergent in my dishwasher exclusively for about 6 months now and I love it.  The detergent works great and cleans everything!

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Start with the right supplies.  We ordered a few of these items online, but most items can be easily found at your big box store. You’ll need:

  • Borax
  • Washing Soda or Baking Soda (I use whatever is cheapest per ounce)
  • Citric Acid (store in an airtight container and keep away from children. Eye irritant)
  • Kosher Salt or Table Salt (I’ve tried both – now I use table salt)
  • Grater & Bowls
  • Storage Container & Table Spoon

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Mix the ingredients together. Here is the complete recipe:

  • 1-2 cups of Borax (many recipes call for 1 cup, I use about 1.5 cups)
  • 1-2 cups of Washing Soda or Baking Soda (many recipes call for 1 cup, I use about 1.5 cups)
  • 1/2 cup Citric Acid (this is an eye-irritant. Be careful when using this item)
  • 1/2 cup Kosher Salt or Table Salt (scrubbing agent)

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Store detergent mix in an airtight container. We use the same amount as we did with “store-bought” dishwashing detergent.  Because of the salt in the recipe, you may need to use the tablespoon to break apart the chunks of detergent.  I used the chunkier pieces in the open detergent holder and used the powdery pieces in the holder that closed. Use vinegar as your rinse agent – just pour it right in the dispenser.

This is the cleanest our dishes have ever been! Seriously, we used to have so much residue on our dishes, I’d pre-scrub them before company came over because I was embarrassed of them.  Not anymore, the natural mix of this dishwashing detergent makes clean, sparkling dishes every time.  It has even cleaned our dishwasher substantially!

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Cute packaging makes it a great gift. Store detergent in mason jars and add a tablespoon as trimming.  Then you can easily gift this to everyone you know and start them on their path to more frugal, and still amazing dishwashing detergent.

Pinspiration | Citrus Cleaner

This year, I’m learning to live with less in my 2014 Simplicity theme year.  That means finding innovative ways to save money so we can spend our money in the places we really need to (or want to). I saw this idea on Pinterest and just had to try it. Homemade sensitive skin laundry detergent! And the recipe is so simple – and best of all, it saves you hundreds of dollars a year.

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Pinspiration: Citrus Cleaner. This easy, useful project can be completed in 15 minutes. And it helps save your household surfaces because it works on nearly everything! This cleaner also saves you money, and reduce your environmental impact (because vinegar and orange peels are natural ingredients, not harsh chemicals that can leach into the water supply).  I’ve made this cleaner for many people as gifts and everyone seems to love it! This mild, hard-working cleaner is fantastic and long-lasting!

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