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.

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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