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!!!

Friday, October 21, 2011

Smelly Solutions

Note that the title of this post is "Smelly" Solutions not "Stinky" Solutions. I did a post back in July about the cost effectiveness of making your own laundry detergent along with the recipe for making said laundry detergent. You can find it here. I'm still using that first batch I made, by the way. Ok, ok, back to the subject at hand. (I have something akin to Squirrel Syndrome, huh? What? Oh yea......)

The homemade laundry detergent works amazingly well for what you spend to make it but unless you add an essential oil or a fragrance oil to it, there's really no "smell" to it. I'm one of those people that likes to have my clothes smell like something when they come out of the dryer, be it flowers or the ocean or a light spring rain. (I could do this for hours, just so you know. Dang squirrel syndrome again.) I have found an awesome product that you can add to your wash cycle that totally replaces the need for dryer sheets, and doesn't have to be put in that little, gods be danged, cup in the washer or in a little ball that I never seem to be able to keep up with. The product is Purex Crystals. They are these little, well, crystals (yea, go figure, right?) that you dump a cap full of them into the wash cycle. And your clothes come out smelling AMAZING and the smell LASTS. YAY!!! So I've listed the pros now the only cons I've come up with are the fact that the large bottle costs $8 and doesn't last near as long as I want it to. But then again, this IS PnP after all, so you know I found a way to make it work.
There was a reason I mentioned the laundry detergent in the first of this post. And now I'm finally getting to the point. As I was sitting here bemoaning the fact that I was gonna have to fork out another $8 bucks for yet another bottle of the crystals, I got the bright idea that since they dissolve in the washer (I use the cold cycle for everything) that if I dissolved them in warm water and mixed that water into the laundry detergent, it would go a long way towards saving me some money. 

I got out my biggest mixing bowl and dumped the whole bottle of the crystals into it. (I already said I like for my clothes to smell good. DON'T JUDGE ME!!! :p) I slowly ran warm water over the crystals until there was about an inch of water over the top of them. I grabbed my wooden spoon and set to stirring. It really doesn't take these things long to dissolve in cold water and warm water REALLY speeds up the process. It took a grand total of about 10 minutes for the entire bottle to dissolve. After everything dissolved to my satisfaction, I opened up my laundry detergent bucket and poured it in and stirred the water in. Eh, yea it makes the detergent a little soupier than I'd like but I can deal with it until I make a new batch.

I figure on the next batch I will dissolve the crystals in the water that is called for to make the detergent instead of adding it in after, that way I get the consistency I want. Another great thing is, even if you are a line person, you get clothes that smell amazing.

If you had rather stick to dryer sheets, you can make those at home to. TipNut is the absolute BEST possible place to find A LOT of DIY stuff. Here is one of their links for DIY fabric softener.

Happy DIYing Everyone!!!

Congestion Junction - Another view

All right... this officially sucks.  Everyone in the house is sick.  Me, B, and our Pup are all shuffling through the house with snotty noses, groggy expressions and achy bodies.  Nyquil is a godsend!  An absolute bona fide miracle for sleep.  But, sometimes you don't need to be knocked out cold, and still do something about that cold.  I would like to note before I even start that this is a quick fix.  It isn't going to get rid of the cold, but at least it alleviates some of the pressure in your head. 

Get a pot. Got one?  Oh, good.  Most people do.  They're dead useful things, pots are. 

Now put some water in the pot.  If you want, you can toss some "hot" herbs in, like cinnamon, mint, eucalyptus, etc.  HOWEVER (yes, I am raising my voice for this) if you have sensitive EYES or SKIN leave out the herbs.  They're nice, and make the steam more effective, but I'd rather leave them out than feel like my eyes are melting out of my skull. 

K, so we got a pot of water with maybe some herbs tossed in.  Put it on the stove and bring it to a nice boil.  

A few other things you can collect while you're waiting for your pot to boil. 
  • If you're like a lot of modern families, the dining table serves as a catch-all more than a place to eat meals.  Clear a space, and put down a hot pad/trivet/folded towel - something to set the pot on. 
  • Get a big towel.  Something large enough to drape over your head, the pot, and still have enough towel left to reach the table top. 
  • Tissues, a roll of toilet paper, paper towels, a snot rag, whatever suits your fancy.  You're going to need it. 
Once the pot of water is boiling, sit yourself down at the space you made, put your face over the pot, and the towel over your head and shoulders.  The towel should reach the table top, trapping steam in with your head.


Breathe.   Through your nose if you can at all, if not just wait for it.  It'll happen.  The steam will loosen up all the clogged up gunk, and relieve some of the pressure from your head. 

Use some sense, though.  When I did this for my husband, he stuck his face so close in to the pot of BOILING WATER that the steam started to burn his face.  *shakes her head*  Use some sense.  It's boiling.  It's hot.  Steam can burn.  I really did not expect to have to tell him that.  He's a pretty smart fella.  So, if he's dumb enough to stick his face down into a pot of boiling water, someone else might be, too. Don't sick your face in it so close that it burns, people.  

Good luck, and may we all feel better soon.  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

*UPDATE* It's Getting HOT In Here!!!

PhotobucketRemember back in June when I did the "It's Getting HOT In Here" post? I am proud to say it works and it works very, very well. I mixed about an 1/8 of a cup of the chili pepper oil into about 1 cup of unscented lotion and got busy rubbing it on my shoulder. I got the same results (if not better?) than what I would have gotten from a vastly more expensive tube of rub I could have bought at the store. Grand total this DIY recipe was VERY inexpensive. I paid about $3.00 grand total. That's for the lotion AND the chili peppers.

Please keep in mind however, for those of you with sensitive skin, that a little goes a LONG way. And if you happen to add to much of the capsaicin oil, you can always add more lotion to tone it down. Capsaicin is STRONG and WILL burn your skin.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Congestion Junction.

PhotobucketThe cold and flu season is upon us here in the south and probably everywhere else in the country. I just recently got over a week long battle with some mutated strain of something or other. JB had it as did Mini Me. For a week, we all sat here and coughed and choked and felt like our heads were gonna explode. Then it dawned on my snot clogged mind. "Hey doofus, you have a bottle of Eucalyptus Oil and you have a bottle of unscented lotion and hey guess what?!? You also have a couple of empty baby food jars lying around." So the end result of my congested wanderings was a homemade recipe for Vicks VapoRub. It might not have stopped the headaches and fever but it sure helped with the coughing and congestion.

Homeade VapoRub:

Small empty jar of some sort. ( I used an empty baby food jar. Worked perfectly)
Unscented hand lotion.
10-20 drops of eucalyptus oil.

Wash and dry empty jar. Fill jar almost to the top with unscented lotion, then add the eucalyptus oil. You can stir it or you can cap it and shake it. I stirred it with a wooden chopstick I had lying around. And VOILA!!! You have homemade Vicks. Apply it to the chest before bed and it should start right to work on opening up those clogged sinuses.

PhotobucketEucalyptus Oil can cause skin irritations in some people. I used 20 drops because I know that it doesn't affect me or my family adversely. I would strongly suggest that you try out a tiny bit on an unobtrusive spot of skin before using it. If a rash develops or you notice a burning sensation DO NOT USE IT. Note I said burning not tingling. Because eucalyptus has a mentholated property to it, it will tingle if put directly on the skin. 

I hope this helps any of you that might be visiting the Congestion Junction unwillingly.

Happy DIYing!!!

Slacking Off.

I'm a horrible blogger. Just absolutely horrible. Although this time I do have a fairly good reason for slacking off. My laptop met it's untimely demise a couple of months back and it is just hard to blog from a phone sometimes. Although, I did find a neat little app for the Android OS called BlogAway. It basically allows me to do everything I normally do from a PC/Laptop right on my phone. YAY!!! I'm also lazy, so that is my other excuse. :-p

PhotobucketSo on that note I will be doing my best to start blogging again and in a timely fashion.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Dish Pan Hands

I haven't been using my dishwasher. It runs on electricity and uses hot water, so it's something of a double dipper in the expense department. Plus, dishwasher detergent costs more than dish soap.  Yes, I will pinch a penny till it screams and cries "uncle".  But washing dishes by hand, if your water is hot enough to do the job right, leaves your hands dried out and rough after a while.  I don't mind having working hands, but I don't like it when they're cracked and/or painful.

So here are a few cheap suggestions that you may or may not have thought of in addition to lotion:  cooking oil, and shortening. 

I buy cooking oil in jugs. When I pour some, a trickle always seems to run down the sides of the jug.  Instead of leaving it there to collect dust, or swiping it off with a rag or towel, wipe it off with your finger and rub it into your hands. It's such a small amount, it won't leave any more of an oily feel than lotion, and it would've just gone to waste anyway.

Shortening is some clingy stuff. There's always extra on a spoon or spatula.  You can do the same with the shortening.  Please do this *before* the shortening has been incorporated into whatever you're cooking. You don't want food bits smeared all over your skin.

For really intense moisturizing, put some cotton gloves  (like gardening gloves), or socks, or similar on your hands afterwards.

When I was younger, I had eczema on my legs. All eczema is is very dry skin. The doctor prescribed this thick cream that looked, felt, and smelled like vegetable shortening.  It cost $100 for a jar about the size of a small can of shortening.  When I ran out, I decided if it looked like a duck, swam like a duck, and quacked like a duck, it just might be a duck. So I bought a tub of shortening to try instead of coughing up another $100 for the prescription.  Wouldn't you know, the eczema continued to improve at a faster pace than it did with the expensive prescription?  If the smell of Crisco turns you off, save the extra stuff you wipe off in a dish, and mix a little perfume or essential oil into it, and make it smell like designer body cream.  No one else will know the difference, unless you tell them.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Clean as a whistle: part two

The previous post by Rey details a cleaning solution you can make yourself.  Here's a variation on it.  You can skip the essential oil, add about 1/2 c lemon juice, skip the washing powder, and add a tablespoon or two of baking soda, and get an equally powerful cleaner with stuff everyone is likely to have on hand.  The lemon juice doesn't have to be fresh.  It doesn't even have to be edible. You want it for the citrusy smell. 

I sent bottles of this to my husband while he was in Afghanistan.  There were 20 men in a single tent. They were packed on top of each other like sardines.  With the heat and the poor climate control, not to mention the barely adequate laundry and bathing facilities, the smell was "unbearable".  The message he sent was "baby, you gotta help me!"

According to him, this simple mix helped immensely. Soldiers were offering to pay me to send it regularly. And since it is non-toxic, not caustic, flammable, or explosive, I didn't have to declare it as a hazardous material when shipping. 

The baking soda and vinegar react, though, so let it rest before screwing a lid on it or the bottle will explode from built up pressure.  It won't hurt anything, but it's inconvenient lol!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Clean As A Whistle.

PhotobucketYesterday was housework day for me. I freely admit that housework and I do NOT get along very well at all. I'm an outdoorsy type person so washing dishes and sweeping floors just aren't my thing. I powered through the day though and even managed to clean my bathroom. (Wanna talk about scuzzy? *ugh* 2 men/boys in the house can sure make one large mess in a bathroom.)

Another thing I hate about having to clean house is all the different cleaners you have to use. There's one for the kitchen and one for dusting, one for mopping and two or three for the bathroom. All of these cleaners smell horrible and are overloaded with harmful chemicals. I'm allergic to bleach and any kind of cleaner with bleach in it. So that in itself narrows down my choices on commercial cleaners. So in true PnP style I decided "What the heck?" I'll make my own. This recipe is extremely simple to make and can be increased or decreased depending on how much you need of it.

PhotobucketAll Purpose Eucalyptus Cleaner
1 cup White Vinegar
2 cups Hot Water
1/4 teaspoon Dish Detergent
12 drops Eucalyptus Essential Oil
Spray Bottle

Pour the vinegar into your spray bottle followed by the water. Add the dish detergent and the add your eucalyptus EO. Screw the sprayer on tight and give it a really good shake. That's it. Simple huh?
(The amounts listed in the recipe are for a 32 oz. spray bottle. If you want to increase/decrease the amounts just remember for every 1/2 cup vinegar use 1 cup of water.)

This cleaner can be used for all of your cleaning needs. I used it for dusting, to clean my counter tops and cabinet fronts in my kitchen and I even used it to clean my *scuzzy* bathroom. It worked like a charm on everything, even the shower. (For some reason no one in my family can grasp the concept of wiping down the walls and the faucet when they get done in the shower.) The vinegar acts as a degreaser for all that kitchen scrubbing that needs done and the eucalyptus, besides smelling awesome, has natural antibacterial and antiseptic properties. So everything gets good and clean.

Happy DIYing Everyone!!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

How To Get Rid Of Uninvited House-guests.

PhotobucketNo I'm not talking about your in laws or in my case, MY parents. I'm talking about roaches. Or more generally those big roach looking things that southerners call water bugs. In general, the larger cockroaches do not bother me as long as they stay out of my house but, because of the drought we are currently experiencing in Central Georgia, several of these nuisances have taken up residence. So, in my fashion, I set out to find a way to get rid of the dreaded things naturally and at little cost to me. And thanks again to TipNut, I believe I have found the solution to my "bug" problem. You can find the original article here.

Roach Ball Recipe
White Flour
Boric Acid or Borax (although Boric Acid is a bit more effective)
Confectioner's Sugar

The amounts for each of the things listed above are something you will have to figure out depending on how much coverage you need. To start, mix the Boric Acid and Flour in a 50/50 ratio. (I used half a cup of Borax and half a cup of flour.) I added in 1 tbsp of confectioner's sugar and just slowly added water until it formed a sticky dough. (Don't add to much water...You don't want to end up with a soupy mess.) Roll the dough into marble sized balls and place them EVERYWHERE. Especially the dark recesses where your uninvitees like to hang out. The trash can, the backs of cupboards, under furniture, etc. You can always add a bit of bacon grease to the mixture to make the roach balls a bit more "appealing". The original article said it should take about a month for the roaches to be gone so we will see how it goes. They also list a recipe for larger infestations, but since mine is limited to seeing one of the little freaks every now and then I didn't bother with it, but you can find it here as well.

Happy DIYing Everyone!!!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Whiter Whites and Brighter Brights.

So far I've mostly been doing posts on beauty recipes. (Don't ask me why because I'm so far from beauty conscience it isn't really funny) Now I figure it's time to move on to more household based things.

PhotobucketIf you are like me you do A LOT of laundry. I firmly believe someone should come up with some form of birth control for laundry. Once it goes in the basket it begins to multiply almost instantly. So by the time I get around to doing it I have a pile that resembles a small mountain. As for the detergent we's normally the cheapest liquid we can find. Lately we've been using Sun Ultra Concentrated Liquid Laundry Detergent (250 fl oz). And honestly, at 8 bucks a bottle it's not all that expensive compared to some brands I've seen on the shelves lately. Another good thing about it is, it doesn't break me or my children out like the more expensive brands of detergent. However, in my search for cutting corners and trimming costs, I've found that I can MAKE laundry detergent for much less than even what I pay for the brand I'm using now. 

Alright here's the math. (If you are like me and not a morning person you may wanna hold out on all this mathematical brilliancy until later in the day *lol*.)

Sun Ultra Concentrated Liquid Laundry Detergent - $7.97 (before taxes at Wal-Mart) - 250 fl. oz. bottle does 160 loads. (about 2 gallons)

Homemade Laundry Detergent - $8.30 (before taxes) - 576 fl.oz.does approximately 288 loads. (about 5 gallons) *the price on this depends on where you live and how much you have to pay for the ingredients*

Either way, you come out cheaper in the long run. It takes my family about 2-3 months to go through a 250 fl. oz. bottle of detergent. So let's say every 3 months you pay $8.00 for a store brand detergent. That would be $32.00 a year for that store brand. With the homemade detergent you would cut that in half to $16.00 a year.

Ok ok I'm so done with the math now that I've confused even myself. *LOL* Lets move on to the actual recipe. I found it on TipNut in their 10 Homemade Laundry Soap Detergent Recipes post. (FYI TipNut is another of my absolute FAVORITE websites for DIY things.) I used the first recipe in that list and doubled it.

Homemade Liquid Laundry Detergent *from TipNut*
2 quarts of water
4 cups bar soap (Ivory) *I read this as 4 BARS of soap but it came out fine as 1 grated bar = about 1 cup*
4 cups Borax
4 cups Washing Soda *washing NOT baking*
4 gallons of water
A clean 5 gallon bucket with a lid.

PhotobucketPut the 2 quarts of water in a large pan and bring it to a boil. Slowly add the grated bar soap and stir constantly until all the soap is added and melted. (When I say slowly add I mean it. I added it all at the same time and spent close to an hour stirring huge lumps of melting soap.) Pour the soapy water into your pail and add the borax and washing soda. Stir, stir and stir some more. Once you've got that all mixed up add your 4 gallons of water and, yep you guessed it, stir some more. I found that if you make sure the 4 gallons are warmish and you add it slowly it works better than trying to add it cold and all at one time. Then you're done. Put the lid on your bucket and sit it next to your washer.Let it sit for a day or so before you use it and always make sure to stir it well before adding it to your laundry. Use 1/4 cup per load of laundry. 

PhotobucketOn a side note, you can always add some of your favorite essential oils to give the detergent the fragrance of your choice. I wouldn't go overboard with the EO's as I'm not sure if they can stain your clothes or not, but just add a few drops slowly until you get to the desired scent you are pushing for. Also, this detergent is not a sudsy, lathery detergent but that's ok so don't be alarmed when you notice it isn't sudsing up.

JB and I made our batch of detergent yesterday so I've not tried it yet but I expect great results. (I'm trying to use up what's left of my store bought detergent because I don't want to waste it.) So try out the recipe I've posted or head on over to TipNut. They even have a couple of recipes for powdered detergent for those of you that just don't like liquid detergent. If you are looking for even MORE money saving laundry tips be sure to check out Linsey Knerl's post 6 Sneaky Ways to Save Money on Laundry over at Financial Highway.

Happy DIYing Everyone!!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Cruising The Web.

PhotobucketSince today is the 4th of July and I'm doing my level best to spend it with my family I didn't try out any new recipes. Instead I'm listing some of my favorite websites where I find other recipes to try out and some herbal sites that I absolutely LOVE!!! I hope everyone enjoys them and I also hope everyone has a safe and happy July 4th.

PhotobucketMoney Saver & DIY Websites:
The Peaceful Housewife
Money Saving Queen
Money Saving Mom
Live Renewed

Herbal Websites:
Gardens Ablaze
Annie's Remedy

Happy DIYing Everyone!!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Oil Slick Ahead.

Ever wiped your hand across your face and felt like someone dumped a bottle of cooking oil on it when you weren't looking? Yea, I know the feeling all to well. No matter how often I wash my face and no matter what I use, I still have that oil slick feel, especially around my nose. All that oil is not conducive to clear skin either. (I mean I'm 30 years old. I was done with the puberty acne outbreak 10-15 years ago. Seriously.)

Soooooo, I set about finding a way to fix this problem. And lo and behold, I think I might have come up with the right combination of stuff to take care of the oil AND the acne. WOOT!!! It's a fairly simple recipe and compared to the other acne medications out there relatively cheap as well.

Tea Tree Oil & Calendula Sea Salt Face Scrub
5-10 drops Tea Tree Oil (be sure to test for a reaction BEFORE using tea tree oil)
1 Tsp. Calendula Petals
Sea Salt
Olive Oil
A small container to put all the ingredients in. (I used a small baby food jar.)

Fill container (again I used a small baby food jar so keep that in mind when filling your container) almost to the top with sea salt. Add just enough olive oil to moisten the salt completely. (Any of the other oils will do just as well so long as you do NOT use baby oil. Olive, grape seed, almond, etc. are all light enough to absorb into the skin and will sit on top of it like baby oil does.) Grind your calendula petals into a rough powder and add that and the 5-10 drops of tea tree oil to the salt and oil mixture. Put the lid on the container and shake it vigorously. 

I use this mixture twice a week. Since the sea salt also acts as an exfoliator you don't wanna over do it. Twice a week is plenty. Since I've started using this recipe I've not had the "cooking oil" complexion. I absolutely love it.

PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket(5 Peas)

Thursday, June 30, 2011

The Dog's Days of Summer.

It's HOT HOT HOT!! Here in the south we've been seeing triple digit heat since April. Not that triple digits are unknown for us, but we normally don't start seeing them until atleast June. I've been posting DIY stuff for humans and almost forgot about our four legged friends (and in my case four legged children).

I have a Labrador/American Bulldog mix that the heat affects horribly. The poor thing, every year as soon as it starts even hinting at getting hot he starts scratching. And he scratches and scratches and scratches and scratches (you get the point) until he starts losing his hair and gets these nasty looking sore spots. I've taken him to the vet and have been told it is Demodectic Mange (for those of you with dogs and don't know what Demodex's a genetic mange...99% of dogs have this mange it just doesn't always show up and is not contagious like Sarcoptic Mange). Keep in mind I came to own Dozer when he was only 3 days old because his mother died, so I raised him and 2 of his siblings on a bottle. (Wanna talk about a rotten dog with a capital R?) Apparently his immune system isn't the greatest and the heat stresses him out which causes the Demodex to flare up. I've been purchasing a flea medication that also treats Demodex but at almost $20 a vial it's getting to the point where I just can't afford it. I got in touch with a couple of vets online and this recipe was the general consensus on a homemade treatment for Demodex and the dry skin that accompanies it.

PhotobucketPhotobucket           Demodex Treatment
2 Tbsp Calendula
2 Tbsp Lavender
2 Tbsp Licorice Root
2 Tbsp Yarrow
Apple Cider Vinegar
Tea Tree Oil
Spray Bottle

Combine the Calendula, Lavender, Licorice Root and Yarrow in a glass pot or bowl. (You may want to grind the Licorice Root a bit before adding it to the concoction.) Cover the herbs with 1 to 1 1/2 cups of water. Boil for 10 minutes either on the stove or in the microwave. Once boiled remove from the stove or microwave and cover and let it steep overnight. (If your house isn't generally cool you may want to put this in the fridge.) The next morning take out of the fridge and strain out the solid material. Get your spray bottle and before adding the liquid put 10-20 drops of tea tree oil in the bottle. (Start on the low end of the spectrum with Tea Tree as it can be an irritant on certain skin types) Next pour in the herb liquid. Then add 1/2 to 1 cup apple cider vinegar depending on the size of your bottle. (I used a small spray bottle that you might see in a beauty salon. Got mine for $1 at Family Dollar). Finally add 1 to 2 cups of water, again the amount depends on the size of your bottle. Once you've got all of that mixed shake it and then spray the affected areas on your dog. Do this once a day for awhile and you should notice a gradual disappearance of the rough spots and hair should start growing back in.
*DO NOT USE THIS MIXTURE ON CATS. Also be sure to SHAKE the bottle before every use.*

*This mixture worked very well on my dog but keep in mind it may NOT work for yours. For one, I KNOW my dog has demodectic mange where as if you haven't had a skin scraping done on your pet that resulted in a diagnosis of demodectic mange, the condition your loved one is suffering from may not be demodex at all but a bacterial or fungal infection or even the sarcoptic form of mange. I highly recommend taking your animal to the vet before you try ANY KIND of at home treatment. PnP cannot and will not be held responsible for the results others get from this recipe. This is for general and informational purposes only and the results found herein may not be typical. Again I reiterate, TAKE YOUR ANIMAL TO THE VET BEFORE TRYING ANY AT HOME REMEDY.*

Happy DIYing Everyone!!!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Burnt Out!!!

It's summer in the south and along with summer always comes family get togethers, BBQs, going to the pool, lake, pond, river (any water source that even remotely feels cooler than the outside air temperature). And of course another thing that always comes with summer and is the bane of anyone with fair skin, a SUNBURN.

I decided to do this one for my bf V. The girl is part vampire and freely admits it. (She's never tried to bite me but I can't say the same for anyone that has ever pissed her off :-p I love her anyways tho.) The sun's rays actively seek her out. About a month ago she was working on a project in her garage and still managed to get sunburned. Yesterday she was doing a grab and drive across several states (her man is on his way home...YAY!!!) and managed to get sunburned through the windows of her truck. Like I said the sun's rays actively seek her out. I'm sure that there are more people out in this wide world than just her with skin like that though. I am lucky in the fact that even being a redhead I only get burned one good time a year then it turns brown.

So for V and all the other half-vampires out there:

Sunburn Treatment
5 Black Tea Bags
3 Cups Fresh Mint
1 Quart Water

Boil the water. After the water has boiled turn it off and remove from the stove or microwave. Add the tea bags and mint.. Cover the pan or bowl and set it aside for an hour. Strain out the tea bags and mint into a 2 quart pitcher and refrigerate. Wait a few hours for the liquid to chill completely and then apply to sunburned skin with either cotton balls or by pouring the liquid directly on to the affected area. If you are gonna pour do it outside or in the tub or you'll have a minty, watery mess in your floor. I would even suggest putting the liquid into a spray bottle the way you don't waste any of it.

The mint will cool the sunburn and the black tea will draw out the heat. This combination restores the skin's natural acid balance.

I can't help you guys on the results of this one since I already got my yearly sunburn but I'll be more than happy to hear any of your results after you try it.

Happy DIYing Everyone!! 

Light Bulbs in the Sky

This isn't a problem that Rey tends to have to deal with.  The woman gets burned one day early in the summer, then from there on out proceeds to get progressively darker.  *mutters obscenities under her breath*  Me, on the other hand?  You'd think I was an albino the way I burn, and it never gets any easier to be in the sun, no matter how many times I burn.  I do eventually get something like a tan underneath the multitudinous masses of freckles that appear all over me like some contagious malady, but unlike some people *glares at Rey* that tan doesn't seem to offer any protection from burns.

There are all kinds of home remedies for burns.  The standard go-to that everyone has heard of is Aloe.  It's wonderful!  Especially if you can keep a plant of it growing in your kitchen for those "ah, hell" moments.  But unless your plant is spectacularly huge, that little plant isn't going to be nearly enough if you get sunburned on more than your nose.

So you go to the store and get one of those pump bottles of the aloe gel in the skincare aisle, right?  It's only a few dollars and usually lasts one summer.


Just go over to the baby supplies section, get an el-cheapo bottle of baby oil (I've found baby oil for under a buck) and slather it all over that sunburn.  If it's not a really bad burn, you won't have much soreness or tightness in the burn the next day at all.

Why it works:  the key to keeping a sunburn from being painful, tight, itchy and uncomfortable is -- yes I know, don't get one at all.  Hush you.  -- is to keep it moist.

You can do this in a lot of ways:  lotions, oils, ointments, creams, salves, balms, you name it.  Baby oil is cheap, never spoils, a single bottle lasts forever because it goes on so thin, and it's generally absorbed well by your skin and doesn't clog pores.  You could use lightweight cooking oils, if you're one of those that keeps something other than plain vegetable oil in your cupboard.  Olive oil, almond oil, grapeseed oil, etc.  But, those cost an awful lot more than a bottle of baby oil, and you must remember that we're the Peasant and the Pea, not the Princess.  So forking out $13 for a bottle of extra, extra, extra virgin olive oil, pressed in the hills of Tuscany by the feet of only the most virginal virgin village girls just so we can slather it all over our sun-seared shoulders is not exactly inside our price range here.

So go grab a bottle of baby oil, and let that 98 cents work wonders this summer, and next summer, and maybe even the summer after that before you have to cough up another $2, because you know inflation....

Monday, June 27, 2011

Conditioning Done Right!!!

Sorry it's so late yet again. I've been attempting to clean up what looks like a natural disaster in my house. Anyways on to today's DIY thingamajiggy.

With all the recipes I've been trying out over the past week my poor shower has been getting a real workout. I posted the shampoo recipe early last week so I figured I'd better come up with a good conditioner recipe. If you have hair like mine washing it just isn't enough. If I don't condition it as well I can barely get my fingers through it much less a brush. I have horrible naturally curly hair and at this point it's short. (Yea due to that pine sap/hair dresser incident I mentioned back in the Had It To *HERE* With My Hair post.) And it is either really really dry or really really oily depending on how often I wash it. So earlier tonight I was browsing through my collection of recipes and websites and found this little jewel. It is great for all hair types, dry, oily, etc.


Photobucket        Coconut Honey Egg Conditioner
        4 Tbsp. Coconut Oil
        2 Tbsp. Honey
        1 Whole Raw Egg

PhotobucketMix all ingredients together very well.(I mixed it all together in a 1 cup measuring cup.) Coconut oil solidifies so you may want to have a small pan of warm water to sit your container in to liquefy it before adding the honey and egg. REMEMBER though, you do NOT want to use water that is to hot because you do NOT want the egg to start cooking when you add it to the oil and honey. Apply the mixture to your hair and let it sit for 10 - 20 minutes. I wrapped my hair in a towel but I imagine a shower cap would work just as well. After it sits wash your hair thoroughly.  *Double the amount of ingredients for long hair.*

My hair is all soft and shiny so I'm pretty happy with the results.

PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket(5 Peas)

Sunday, June 26, 2011

It's Getting HOT In Here!!!

Photobucket How many of you suffer from the general aches and pains of everyday life? Raise your hands. *peers at her computer screen* Ok so that wasn't my brightest idea but I'm pretty certain alot of you know what I'm talking about. I myself suffer from old softball injuries. I blew out both of my rotor cuffs in high school pitching and my DH JB has bad knees from his job. The swelling and inflammation that comes with both of our injuries is almost unbearable at times and the price you have to pay for a good rub on cream is *OUTRAGEOUS*!!! Especially when it is quite simple to make yourself right at home and for a fraction of the price.

Most of the muscle/joint rubs and creams out there have capsaicin in them as one of their active ingredients. Capsaicin, simply put and for those of you that don't already know, is the active component of chili peppers which in turn belong to the genus Capsicum. It is what gives you that hot feeling when you rub one of those creams on your exposed skin. It has tremendous pain relieving properties as well as anti bacterial, antioxidant, antibiotic and anti inflammatory properties. (The list of Capsaicin's medicinal properties goes on and on so those are just a few.) And here's the happy news...YOU CAN MAKE IT YOURSELF!!! YAY!! No more paying outrageous prices for those smelly "old man" creams.

It's simple and cost effective.(Which is our mission here at PnP...finding those tips, tricks and recipes that make everyday life a little cheaper.) This is my next project I plan on starting either today or tomorrow. For the detailed recipe and article explaining how to make your own Capsaicin Oil to add to your favorite unscented lotion please click here. As with all of my other "guinea pig stunts" I will post my findings and feelings at a later date.

Happy DIYing Everyone!!!

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Aftershave Effect.

Go to the shopping tab and type aftershave into the search bar. The top result when I did that was $49. Wait, WHAT?!?!? $49 for a bottle of scented stuff that men slap on their faces after they shave? Are you KIDDING me? This is what actually led me to starting this blog.


My husband asked me..."Rey, I know you like making stuff like this so can you make aftershave for me?" (OoOoOoOoooOoo a challenge has been issued) "Of course I can" was my reply. SO I went in search of a cheap and easy DIY recipe. This one actually came off a great little application that I found on my Droid X. It's called Natural Beauty Recipe. It has loads of interesting recipes for hair, nails, lotions, soaps, shampoos and yep, even aftershaves. I'm not positive if this application also has an online website or not. If it doesn't please feel free to get in touch with me and I'll send you a list of the recipes they have on the app.

Alright, on to the recipe now that my ramblings have rambled out.

PhotobucketThis one is so very simple and extremely cheap compared to the name brand aftershaves on the market today. I mean really...who wants to smell like Tim McGraw or Usher anyways?

What You'll Need:
2 Tbsp. Dried Lavender
2 Tbsp. Dried Sage
2 cups Witch Hazel (Wal-Mart brand works just fine)
A glass jar of some sort that has a lid. (I used an alfredo pasta sauce jar I had lying around)
An old aftershave bottle or hot sauce bottle. (This is optional and I used the hot sauce bottle with the beveled opening...worked like a charm)

Put the herbs in the jar first then add the Witch Hazel. Put the lid on the jar and shake the jar like there is no tomorrow. (I felt a bit like a paint shaker when I was done with this step!!) Put the jar in an out of the way spot (just remember WHERE you put it) and let it sit for a week. I flipped the jar daily just to keep things mixed up but the original recipe didn't say you had to. At the end of the week strain the liquid to remove the solid herb material. If you opt to use an after shave bottle or hot sauce bottle go ahead and put the strained liquid into whatever container you chose or put it back into the jar you mixed it in to start with.

Witch Hazel does have somewhat of a stout smell to some so feel free to add a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Don't however over do it.

At the end of this project JB (my hubby) was happy with the finished results, therefore so was I.


PhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucketPhotobucket(5 Peas)

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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