Thursday, November 3, 2011

More soap and other stuff

Today was a rather productive and busy day for me. Firstly I did my Morning Routine (we will talk about that another time) and then had a little break and did some research on toilet cleaner and instead found how to make my own orange and lemon cleaner, so I did just that, kind of. I filled these containers 3/4 full and will slowly fill them with the peel until they are full of peel and then I will leave it a few weeks.
Left - orange cleaner    Right - lemon cleaner
Then I started on my daily room, which was the bathroom so I started on the cobwebs and then when it came to cleaning the walls realized Ididnt have anything to clena them with so I researched a chemical free wall cleaner and once again I found the answer on Rhonda's blog, so I made that up also and cleaned one wall before I had to leave to pick up Josh from school and take him and Sam to cricket.

That is not the end of my night though. When the boys were in bed I made more soap. This lot is a coffee soap to take the smell of fish, onion and garlic from your hands.

The double strength coffee hot
The double strength coffee mixed
with the caustic soda

The temperature the mixture got to

The olive oil and copha

Oil and all mixed together to trace

One lot of moulds

Second lot of moulds, not happy with
how ugly this looks at the moment

All my soaps.
Left under towels - new soaps in moulds
Right - first batch of soaps

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Productive day

 Well today I made cordial for the first time. The process I used was from Rhonda's blog. I attempted the orange one, but instead of using 1L water to 1kg sugar I used 1.5L water to 1.5kg sugar as I was going to do the lemon one but then realised I didn't have enough lemons DOH!!
1.5kg white sugar
Sam pouring water

Finished product

1.5L water in with 1.5kg sugar

What is left after filling the 3L juice bottle
will add it when I have room in bottle

All bottled up in a 3L juice bottle

After I strained it as my kids are fussy ;)
And the results are in for the cordial. FANTSTIC TASTING!!!!!!

I also made two lots of Water Kefir

Left is an expermental one with orange and ginger &
the right is the usual  lemon and ginger

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Soap Making

I decided last night to attempt to make some soap from Rhonda's recipe despite not having a thermometer and it was VERY easy.

First I weighed all the ingredients and then I realised I didn't have enough olive oil. Instead of having 1000 grams I only 445 so I went to the soap calculator and calculated that amount of oil in and then added Rice Bran oil which came to a 452g and that is all the oil I could use as the soap calculator didnt have Vegetable Oil in it and that was the only oil I had. The soap calculator was great though it worked out how much water and lye (or caustic soda) I needed and from there I measured the rest.

I then added the caustic soda to the water carefully (as it is toxic if breathed in) and then stepped back for a bit and then went back to stir it in so it dissolved and then added the copha to the oil and put it on low until the copha was a little over half melted and then turned the heat off.

I left it on that same hot plate for a few minutes and then took it off the heat and waited for the copha to completely melt. You are meant to wait for it to cool to 50 degrees Celsius but I didn't have a thermometer so I waited for the copha to melt and then felt the outside of the bowl with the caustic soda and the saucepan with the oil and when they felt the same temperature I added them together to my mixing bowl and mixed it using an electric mixer (not hand one) for about 5 minutes until it looked like this.

This is called Trace. It is thick but still pourable.

I then poured it into my silicone loaf pan and spooned into the other moulds and then left them to set overnight on my bedroom dresser.

The next morning I found this

So I cut the loaf up like this

Finished product until hubby came home and he wanted the loaf cut in half again

Then I soaked everything in this bucket of water overnight and I am going to see how it works as a dishwashing liquid, will research how to thicken it up.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Homemade Laundry Powder

I did a load of washing with my Miracle Wash Laundry Balls and I had a surprise when I opened up the washing machine. The balls (I got from Mum and had been sitting around for ages) had split and the little balls inside the laundry balls were all through my washing :(

I then remember a little while ago I had heard of a recipe to make your own laundry powder on Rhonda's blog so I went out to buy the ingredients (had other bought laundry powder but didnt want to open it) and spent about $10 on ingredients that will make about 1.3kg of washing powder.

500g bicarb soda will make 2 cups
1kg washing soda will make 4 cups
4pk of laundry soap will make 8 cups grated soap
1kg oxygen bleach will make will make 4 cups ( I buy this anyway so didn't take this into account)

In order to make about 7kg it would cost about $20 including the oxygen bleach and this would last for about 120 washes. Now that is GREAT value.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Water Kefir continued

Today I checked on the Water Kefir as it has been 48 hours since I made it and found this

I then strained it all into a jug and then poured that into my bottle

That is now in the fridge. It has a mild ginger taste so if you don't like ginger I would recommend using less ginger or if you love it put more in or find alternative flavours. I like it on its own but others have told me it is good with apple juice and others put saltanas in them but be sure to make sure the apple  juice is added AFTER taking the grains out and and when using dry fruit (they can be added at the start) use only unsulphered dry fruit.

Good luck and have fun

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Water Kefir

I was introduced to Water Kefir by a friend and after a lot of deliberation and encouragement from the Down To Earth Forum I decided to try it.

I made it by putting 1 1/2 Tbl raw sugar and 1/3cup white sugar in 4cups rain water (you can use spring or tap water also as long as you leave the tap water out overnight to get rid of chemicals). Mix (or shake if in bottle like mine) and then added my grains (about 2 1/2 to 3Tbl). I then added half a lemon cut up and peeled (as it wasnt organic) so it would fit in bottle and about 2 inches of garlic with skin peeled off (not sure if I needed to grate skin but I did).

It looked like this when I first made it, I have used a plastic 2L juice bottle.

24 hours later

To be continued tomorrow

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

I'm back

Sorry I have been MIA of late. I was sick for a few days and then my sister had her baby at 24 weeks Gestation so she is now in a hospital about 4 hours away from home and her other daughter is being looked after by my Mum and Dad and we offered to look after her for a few days, so we had her from Sunday to Wednesday which was interesting in itself lol. For those days I had a 6 year old, 4 year old, 2 year old and a 22 month old so my days were hectic and by the evening I was exhausted lol.

Anyway, I was reading Becci's Domestic Bliss the other day and she mentioned how to make dong the washing easier and less time consuming so I thought I would try it. After a brief conversation with her about it on Facebook I found out she washed clothes in person order eg a load of her and her partners clothes, a load of each individual child etc. I have been doing that for the past few days and it has certainly made it easier for me.

I think the next step for me is to have a regular time I get the boys to pick up their toys rather then just as I am dishing up tea.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Organising the home

Sorry for the delayed blog, I was in hospital for a bit yesterday with really bad cramping and they think I may have passed a stone on my own (am thinking it was a gall bladder one as they dint take a wee sample only blood) so will find out the results this afternoon.

I know a few people who have organised houses and routines to suit their lifestyle but I always struggled as a homemaker until I read Rhonda's Blog and then it dawned on me that this is the perfect career for me as I like controlling things and I used to think that I had no control being a homemaker but now I realise I actually HAVE THE POWER!!!!!!!!!

I had been reading the Down to Earth Forum and decided I was also going to try to make my own shampoo, dishwashing liquid, washing powder/liquid, soap and anything else I can find on this forum to save some money but also to stop using chemicals in the house ass much as possible. Stay tuned for progress reports for this.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Today when I went out to the garden I had a nice surprise, some of my seeds have started emerging!


I also went to Bunnings to get my much needed and wanted compost bin. So I know have chooks, a worm farm and a compost bin, hopefully no excuse for wastage.

Monday, October 10, 2011

My kids

We only have 3 chooks at the moment, but they are all so tolerant of Sam picking them up and carrying them around. They may try to runaway but as you can see they are very tolerant once they are being carried around.

And then is I am taking a photo of one, the others need a photo taken. This is Josh.

And there is the cat that is also very tolerant of being picked up and carried around.

 And this is all 3 of my boys, aren't they cute?

Sunday, October 9, 2011


I have started this blogging journey for a number of reason.

  1. To document our quest to self sufficiency as we live on a 4 acre block
  2. To document our journey as a family of 5 (Me, hubby and the 3 boys)
  3. To document my progress in my garden and any other hobbies I pick up along the way
  4. To document what it is like living with a special needs child
  5. To document any other goings on in our family.
So I welcome you to my blog and hope to see you here again.