Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Impulse Renovation

So we have been planning and preparing for a remodel project, to rip up the ugly living room carpet and repaint the walls. Inspired by a friend's open concept home, I was wishing our home was more open. In a very short discussion with hubs, it was quickly acted out. Nothing like acting on impulse. Our house is now transitioning into a more open concept. Unfortunately, because the wall is a load bearing wall, we were limited on how much we could do, but I already am in love with it - except all the sheet rock dust.
With this wall here, there was very limited light between this room (the living room) and the next room (the kitchen). There is no ceiling light in the living room so it stayed quite dim at night using just lamps. The kitchen during the day was quite dark due to limited natural light. Remove the wall, voila, more light in each room.
Not only do I love the more open feel, but there are so many more benefits. Keeping an eye on the girls from either room, better air flow, better lighting, and just an overall less cramped feeling. Not only do I like it, but Little A is already enjoying the ability to run circles.

This project has been on standstill for two days due to the inconvience of the stomach virus running rampant through the house, now that we are all starting to get back on our feet, it is time to focus on clean up, fine tuning, and completing the project. Hmm... now to find paint samples and a new floor.

Stay tuned ...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Sensory Bin: Beans and lentils

Little A can get a bit rambunctious during dinner preparation. She does best with sensory stimulation activities. Children learn through play. A great way for them to learn is through use of senses, such as with sensory bins. Sooo.... Here is our most recent sensory bin activity.
Beans, Lentils, Marbles 
An open invitation to play by providing the supplies then giving them the opportunity to accept the invitation to explore.
Sensory shape recognition. Little A is not old enough to create the shapes yet, but I created them and she was able to recognize the shapes on a different canvas than paper.
And the same with shapes.

A variety of toys were provided for her to choose from. Little A was not interested in anything more than the rake and the pail. I overlooked through most of it, only joining when invited. As for making the letters and shapes, I did these when redirecting her to the activity.

Please do not use any of the images as they are copyrighted.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Make Your Own Laundry Powder

Have sensitive skin? Don't want fragrances lingering in your laundry? Want an eco-friendly detergent for less? Make your own using only a few simple ingredients found in the laundry isle of your local store.

Shopping List: 
1 - box borax
1 - box A&H Washing Soda
1 - box A&H Baking Soda
3 - bars Fels-Naptha Soap (See alternatives below)

Finely grate 3 bars Fels Naptha soap. I used a standard kitchen box grater.
Then in a large container, mix 1 full box Borax, 1 full box Washing soda, 1 half box Baking soda, and the grated soap. I add the baking soda for the extra odor neutralizer. When doing this, it is best to do it in a well ventilated area as the powder gets into the air.

To Wash:
Add 1 TBSP for regular loads, Add 2 TBSP for heavy loads. It is HE washer safe.
    If washing in cold water, it is best to mix with some warm water to dissolve before adding to load.

I have had great success with this detergent. It has cleaned stains out of clothes, even set in grease stains!

I would not recommend it for cloth diapering. It may void manufacture warranty. I use Maggie's Soap Nuts for my cloth diapers, and love them. 

As for alternative soap options. Fels Naptha soap does have some fragrance in it. I have chosen it as it also has stain removal capacity, every little bit helps. I have also used Ivory bar soap, sometimes I do half and half. Other bar soap options I have heard works are Castile bar soaps and Zote Soap. If you want no fragrance additives at all, I would recommend Castile bar soaps.

As a note, you may be wondering if Borax is safe, it has been a question I have heard. Just like any other cleaning product, keep it out of reach of children. Click here for a link if you want more details.