Thursday, September 16, 2010

What to do when the Simple Life becomes hard to Accomplish???

Well finally after years,,,,yes thats right YEARS of procrastination and excuses, we are finally making a start on the "lets make this house a home" thing.  When my Ex Husband and I bought this place almost 9 years ago, I hated the walls and the carpet in the loungeroom.  The walls were all a grotty beige colour and the carpet in the lounge was pretty grotty but no amount of carpet cleaning really ever made it look better.  Now finally after my new Hubby and I being married for almost 3 years already we are finally making a start.  We have come to the decision that this house is where we will be staying for probably the next 10 years at least and we want to make it more "us".

Of course in doing this though, our "simple life" ambition of spending less and recycling as much as possible and trying to become more self sufficient has kind of gone AWOL.  We have so many things that we want to do that we just can't find the time to get any of them achieved lol,,,,and as for spending less....geez that goes out the window when we make a list of all the things that need fixing!!!

I plan on decorating on a shoestring and only replacing what is in need of replacement, but even so the price of paint and floor coverings can be pretty horrendous by themselves!!

The following is my To Do List in no particular order (these are the main big things that I want to get done)
Paint the house room by room (this applies to ceilings as well as walls, doors and door frames and skirting boards)
Decorate room by room as we paint
Declutter yet again
Get our boxes and boxes of items for Ebay/Oztion listed and out of the house
Get our gardens (front and back) looking presentable
Get our veggie gardens growing productively (at the moment we are mainly growing in pots)
Paint the outside of the house
Get our outdoor area turned into an entertainment area rather than just a doggie haven
Finish making my stepson's quilt
Finish my knitting (I have about 6 things waiting to be knitted up that are meant to be towards kids xmas gifts)
Get better at crocheting and make a rug (am currently learning)
Paper Scrapbook the 1000 or so photos I got printed out of my hubby and I's trip to NZ back in 2007
Digital scrapbook the 1000s of photos that I have stored on my computer of photos going back to the 1050s and all of my children's photos from birth to now.
Finish collating my recipes into files on my computer
Work through my recipe file, making each individual recipe, starting at the beginning of the file and working my way through.....currently I have approx 800 savoury meals and approx 1000 sweet dishes with a lot more still to add.

Well that is just a quick run down of the most important things I want to get done.........looking at it written down I can see why I feel stressed about it lol.

Does anyone have any ideas on the best way to tackle my to do list?????  I am normally a pretty systematic type of person, but lately I feel constantly overwhelmed by my list, there just aren't enough hours in the day to get to any of the things listed above as well as keep the house in some kind of clean and tidy order and care for the 6 kids and hubby and the pets.  I think I need to clone myself!!!!! AAAGGHHHHHHHHH

PICTURES found in and The Simple Dollar

Monday, September 6, 2010

Homemade Liquid Hand Soap - So easy and best of all its really cheap

After reading Cluttercut's blog the other day, I found her recipe for Liquid Soap and I decided I just had to give it a try.  You can read about it here and get this brilliant recipe which will definitely help you to save and also supply your family with a nice basic soap that is very gentle to skin and is great when you have family members with sensitive skin.

I had a little bit of trouble finding the Glycerine but finally tracked it down in a Woolworths supermarket!!  It is only a 200ml bottle but it will last a while considering you only need to use 1T of it per batch.

Here is my first attempt at making the soap.  I produced this full jar plus approx 250ml which is happily sitting on my kitchen bench being used now.

I really like it.  It doesn't leave you with a scent on your hands, so if you like to have that fresh just washed hands smell you may like to add a little essential oil, but I find that it is fine without it.  I have one boy who gets dermatitis and he has found it great to use, it doesn't aggravate him at all and another boy who tends to sneeze at any strong scents so once again it is perfect just as it is for our household.

I have noticed that it has solidified a bit in this glass jar but that will be solved with a quick jab with the stick mixer when it is time to use it.  The bit that is sitting in our soap dispenser is fine, it hasn't solidified at all.  I think if it did, I would just add a little water and give it a shake and it would be back to perfection again lol.

I figure that it will save me quite a bit.  I was only buying the homebrand liquid soap which was costing me approx $1.40 for a 500ml bottle.  Even at that cheap price it would still have cost me approx $4.80 for the same amount I have just made for less than $2.00.  So this to me is a bargain.  It took very little time to make and very little effort on my part.  We are trying to save money wherever we can so this will be a great help, it may not seem like alot but it all adds up.

On the subject of saving money, we were amazed when we counted our spare change that we have been accumulating in our piggy money box.  All year we have been putting our spare change into our pig to save up for a trip to the Royal Adelaide Show.  This always costs a considerable amount when you have 4 children in tow especially when the rides are $10 a pop (we take my boys one year and then Hubby's two children the next year).  This year upon counting our Piggy we were amazed that we had managed to save $457.65.  Add that to the $82.00 worth of empty bottles we took to the recyclers and there is the show paid for and hopefully change at the end to put back in the jar!!

Okay I am off to enjoy the sunshine while we have it,,,,it has been a wild weekend and apparently more bad weather is on the way.