Monday, November 7, 2011

Cracked Up

So, I'm a pyromaniac. I love fire. V can attest to my intense love of gigantic, roaring bonfires. A fire is not a fire unless it lights up the night sky and attracts the neighbors' attention. (That's not always a good thing, LOL) I also have a bad habit about constantly piling more stuff on an already outrageously hot fire. And I always suffer for it. Right now I'm nursing dry, cracked lips, hands and a burnt rear end. (Yep, I roasted my heiny by standing a bit to close to the conflagration that was supposed to be a nice small fire, HA.Anyone that wants to see said fire can read my post here.) 

I woke up yesterday morning, feeling like I'd kissed a stove. My lips were swollen and burnt feeling, but of course, I couldn't find a tube of chapstick anywhere. I could barely put a cup to my lips and anything that even remotely felt warm I couldn't bring near my face. *sigh* Then it dawned on me, aloe vera is good for cooking burns and sunburns and just about any other kind of burn or wound you can think of, so why won't it work on burnt lips? 

I broke off a leaf and squeezed some of the gel onto my finger. I, oh so gently, rubbed the gel across my lips. Ahhhhhh, instant relief. The burning feeling went away and after about an hour the swelling went down considerably. I must say, the aloe vera gel worked a million times better than any chapstick I've ever used, and for most people who enjoy cooking, have an aloe vera plant readily available for all those pops and splatters that inevitably happen.

Now on to the hands. After the realization that the aloe worked well on my lips, I wondered if maybe it wouldn't do something for my dry, cracked hands. Being a mom, a dog owner, keeping reptiles and rodents, I am constantly washing my hands. So, as soon as the weather starts getting cooler, the skin on my hands starts drying out fairly quickly and cracks easily and is just painful, overall. I have extremely sensitive skin to start with, so I have a hard time finding a decent moisturizing lotion that doesn't give me hives. And let me just say, having a nasty, itchy rash on top of already dry, cracked skin is even more painful than just the dryness and cracking. So, using the leaf that I already snipped to tame my "hot lips", I squeezed some more of the gel out and began rubbing it on my hands. Another almost instant relief moment. The nice thing about using pure aloe is, for those of us with sensitive skin who can't use scented, expensive lotions, it doesn't give you hives or a rash. 

I managed to find a gallon of Lily of the Desert Aloe Vera Gel at Super Supplements, online. The total came to about $20.00 after shipping. I bought a gallon because I know I will find many uses for it in my daily life, but I'm sure, if you do your research, you can find a smaller amount for sale. Just be sure that it is at least 97% pure aloe, otherwise, there is no telling what other ingredients you might end up with. 

With this magnificent find, I've crossed lotion and chapstick off my shopping list. I have an empty lotion bottle, that has been cleaned thoroughly, to fill with the gel, to keep at home and a small traveler's bottle to keep in my purse. 

The moisturizing and healing properties, in pure aloe vera gel, are amazing. You can read more about aloe and it's medicinal properties here. Annie's Remedy has an amazing catalog of herbs and their uses in natural medicine. It's my go to site, when I need to look up something quickly, on an herb.

Happy DIYing Everyone!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Thawed Out

So, tonight I attended a really awesome Twitter party hosted by It was all about prepping your car for winter and it got me thinking. How many of us have to go out to our cars in the early morning hours and scrape through a pretty heavy duty layer of ice/snow? Luckily for us down here in the deep south, we don't get that heavy of an ice covering and we rarely get snow, but it does in fact happen from time to time, and having to stand outside and scrape your windshield when it's 20 something degrees at 5:30 in the morning is absolutely NO fun.

So, I wondered, can I make a homemade deicer? The answer is yes, I can. :D YAY!!! That's surely good news for those of us who need a new drivers license every other year from scraping our windshields with it. And the best part of the whole recipe is, it is SO simple and very cost efficient.

Homemade Windshield Deicer:
2 parts Isopropyl Alcohol (70% or above works the best)
1 part Water

And that's it. Mix the alcohol and water in a spray bottle and get to spraying that dreaded ice. I cheated on testing this. (It's not quite cold enough for ice on my windshield at the moment.) I sprayed the edge of my deep freezer with it, where the thinner patches of ice accumulate, and it loosened it right up and made it extremely simple to brush it away. Now please keep in mind, I live in Georgia so our ice does not get very thick very often, but for you northern people you may have to cut back on the water and add more alcohol to cut through the tougher ice thickness. I wouldn't use straight alcohol though because it could very well eat away at the seal around your windshield.

A few more cold weather tips for drivers:

  • If there is ice and snow on the road and you don't absolutely HAVE to go out, stay at home.
  • Always have your fluid levels and tires checked BEFORE cold weather hits. Better to be safe than sorry.
  • Keep flashlights, blankets and other extras in your car for emergencies.
  • Always make sure your cell phone is charged before heading out.
  • ALWAYS watch out for other motorists. Just because you know how to drive in ice/snow does NOT mean others do.
Happy DIYing Everyone!!!

Monday, October 31, 2011

Mess On, Wipe Off

This DIY moment brought to you courtesy of an early morning mess and my caffeine deprived brain. I've learned the hard way time and again, with two kids in the house, you do NOT sit down at any flat surface and place your hands or arms upon it before checking it first. Well, at 6:00 a.m I'm not awake much less coherent enough to check before I prop. I sat down at the table this morning and crossed my arms on top of it. BIG MISTAKE. I ended up stuck to the table due to last night's dinner that Mini Me "forgot" to wipe up. So, still being groggy and fuzzy and all to irritated I went to the sink and grabbed the Lysol wipes. Half way back to the table, it dawned on my "still in bed" brain that, "Hey, I can MAKE these." So, there I stood, in the middle of the room staring at the container and composing this blog post, all before my first cup of coffee.

I use those Lysol/Clorox wipes for everything and I spend a small fortune on them in the long run. They are just so much simpler to grab than trying to find the spray bottle full of cleaner and a rag or paper towel. (Paper towels in my house are like a rare animal that you only see if you are lucky. I'm pretty sure they should belong on the endangered species list.) On that note, making your own cleaning wipes is extremely simple. I posted a recipe back in July for a homemade cleaner. You can find it here.

What You'll Need:
Old T-shirts (Old thin baby blankets would work well for this too.)
A container (A baby wipe container would do well, as would a wet wipe container or even a largish bottle)
The ingredients from the homemade cleaner recipe already posted.

Cut your cloth (whatever you choose to use would be fine I imagine.) into squares. The size of said squares is completely up to you but I would go with the normal wipe size. Grab your container. I'm going to use an old Lysol wipes container. Make up your homemade cleaner. For a wet wipes container or bottle, you will want to roll your fabric squares. Lay one overlapping another until you have them all lined up. Remember if you are rolling your squares each will need to overlap the other or it won't come out of the container right and you'll end up frustrated. For a baby wipe container, all you'll have to do is stack your fabric squares in the container. Once you have your squares rolled or stacked, pour the cleaner you made up over them. I would try to cover them for the time being. Let them sit overnight. The next day open the container back up and pour the cleaner into a spray bottle or whatever you choose to use to keep your cleaner in. Don't squeeze out the squares though. Leave those alone. And there you go, homemade cleaning, disinfecting wipes. They may be a bit "wetter" than the normal wipes but when you get one out you can always squeeze it over the container to get any excess cleaner out.

Another great thing about these homemade wipes is, they can be washed instead of thrown away, so in the long run you are saving money by not having to buy more and you are also contributing less to landfills. That's always a plus.

Happy DIYing Everyone!!!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Huh? What Did You Say?

This might be along the lines of a gross subject but I'm sure more folks out there than just me have ear wax problems. I've always had issues with my ears, from the time I can remember. I've had constant ear infections since I was a baby, according to my mom and the doctor says I might as well have an ear wax factory in my head. It's frustrating when all of a sudden my ears clog up and I'm constantly saying "Huh? What did you say?" It annoys my friends and family. It doesn't help that I only have one good ear anyways, as I lost an ear drum due to a nasty ear infection in my early 20's. 

I've tried all the expensive ear wax removal stuff from the stores and none of it works all that well for me. Maybe it's the excessive amount of wax or maybe it's the product itself. *shrugs* Normally the only relief I get is if I actually go to the doctor's office and have them clean my ears out. It's not fun by any means, especially seeing as though I'm not fond of Dr.'s offices to begin with and my ears are sensitive to boot. This last time I went though I got a pleasant surprise. I finally asked the guy, "What do you use to clean out my ears?". His answer shocked me. "Peroxide and warm water." What? Really? You mean I could have been doing this all on my own at home without these stressful, albeit "charming" visits? (note the sarcasm) So, I went on to ask him how much water and how much peroxide, how many times to do it, how often to do it, etc. He gave me the instructions and a syringe and happily sent me on my way. (I make him nervous apparently. LOL)

So here it is, from me to you, the recipe for making your own ear cleaning solution.

Grab a bowl or a cup, whichever works better for you. Fill it about half way full with peroxide and add warm water until the peroxide is no longer cold. (You want to make sure it's warm because I can promise you right now that cold peroxide hitting your inner ear is NO FUN.) Grab a 5ml syringe or you can even get an ear bulb. Fill up your syringe or bulb, hold your head sideways, and squirt. *Do NOT cram the syringe or bulb into your ear* Let it sit for a minute then repeat on the other side (if necessary). Keep doing this until you no longer hear the fizzing or run out of the solution, whichever comes first.

Since I've started using this solution I've not had a single earache and I can actually hear what people are saying to me. YAY!!! A word of caution though. The same goes for this recipe that goes for every recipe posted here at PnP. We are NOT doctors nor do we claim to be. We post what works for US and us alone and anything you try, you do so at your own risk. Please consult a licensed medical doctor before trying anything of this nature, because what might work for us, may not work for you. We can not and will not be held responsible for any  damage done to yourself or others through your use of this recipe.

Happy DIYing Everyone!!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Spot Off

Spots on my aquariums irritate me to no end. The bad thing is, with most aquariums being made out of PlexiGlass a.k.a Acrylic Glass, traditional household cleaners don't work that well and in some instances are actually harmful to it. Most normal household cleaners are harmful to any pet you may be keeping in the aquarium, as well, be it a fish or a lizard or a snake.

So, being fed up with all the water spots on my Ball Python's (Python Regius) tank, I set off to find a reptile safe window cleaner. And I hit the jackpot with this article:

Home Made Glass Cleaner (Scroll down to the 3rd post on that page as there isn't a direct link to the recipe.)

*Note that I said REPTILE safe window cleaner not reptile AND fish safe. I have no idea if this cleaner is safe for fish or not since I do not own any.*

It worked marvelously well on Nuwa's tank and now her "windows" are all clear and spot free. Please keep in mind when using this cleaner that, any inhabitant of the tank you are going to clean needs to be removed BEFORE using it. After cleaning the tank, it needs to dry out VERY WELL before returning your little scaly friend to his/her home. Even though you may not be able to smell the alcohol or vinegar, their sense of smell is much better than ours, so what might not smell at all to you will over power their delicate senses and could cause problems such as respiratory infections in snakes or lizards. I imagine any residue left on the glass would not bode well for fish either.

When I clean my tanks, I let them sit outside in the sun for an hour or two just to make sure the smell is gone before reintroducing the tank's inhabitant. Oh and by the way, for you non-reptile owners out there, this solution works just as well on car windows.

Happy DIYing Everyone!!!

Monday, October 24, 2011

We're Open!!!

It took a bit longer than I thought it would to get things back in order, but we are back up and running again. Thanks for your patience. Let us know what you think about our new look. Leave us a comment here, post a comment on our Facebook page or send us an email.


Doing Those Dreaded Dishes

I will be the first to admit, I HATE DOING DISHES. I hate doing them with an unbridled passion. And unfortunately in this household I AM the dishwasher, as well as the dish dryer and the dish putter upper. (Yep, I make up words as I go along, it makes things more interesting and that way I don't have to worry about finding just the right word. :-p) I'm not sure if my hatred of doing the dishes stems from having to do them every day as a child or what but there it is for what it's worth.

On top of hating to do the dishes, I am a dish detergent snob. I just cannot use cheap dish detergent. I can't use the $.97 stuff from Wal-Mart, so this recipe is probably going to be one of the hardest for me to implement into my life and strike off my shopping list. But for the sake of saving a dime I'm darn sure gonna try.

I was cruising TipNut today and ran across a link to another blog with recipes for making your own dish soap. I figured it can't hurt to give it a try, and who knows, maybe I WILL like it and get away from that $4.00 bottle of Dawn I just have to have. (Or at least that is what I keep telling myself anyways.) The link for the recipes can be found here:

DIY Life - How To Make Your Own Dish Soap

I think I am going to use the third recipe in that list. I already have a nice little jar of soap bar leftovers sitting on my kitchen counter, so I've already got a jump start on the whole process. Every time the bar of soap from the shower (Yep, I make my own soap too.) gets to the point it starts breaking when we try to use it, into the jar it goes with a tiny bit of water. I also add the drips and drops of dish washing detergent, that is never quite enough to do a load of dishes, to the jar as well. At this point I could probably just add some more water and let it stew and end up with a nice batch of dish soap. Keep in mind while reading this post that I haven't yet tried this recipe, but I will gladly post my findings at a later date.

Happy DIYing Everyone!!!

About PnP

I started The Peasant and the Pea as a way to categorize all of the handy little DIY recipes I've come up with and found over the years. V came on board with me and she is just as crazy about making her own stuff as I am. We both firmly believe that everyone can afford to save some money in this day and time, and we hope that by posting these quick little tips, tricks and recipes, that we may just save someone a couple of bucks. We sincerely hope you enjoy our posts and we always love to hear feedback, suggestions or just a comment saying hi. We are always looking for new tips, tricks and recipes as well, so if you have one you want to see posted, shoot us an email. Also, if you have something you'd like to try but would rather someone else be the guinea pig, shoot us an email. We don't mind being test subjects. :)

Thanks for stopping by,
Rey and V

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