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Wednesday, March 24, 2010

plumbing joys!

It never ends.

I was awake at 4 in the morning today for some weird reason. Well, fast forward to 6, and my hubster comes out in uniform (every girl's dream!) and tells me "sink's clogged."

still used it for shaving though, didn't ya?

well, my 3 year old son force-fed toilet paper (as much as his little hands could get ahold of into the poor unsuspecting tube of my sink drain. Of course, he didn't tell anyone either. poor thing. it never had a chance.

Well, I'm SO glad that the place I live in- the maintenence crew has installed screw-off type of "s-trap" in the bottom of the sink. Insert bucket to catch the yuck, and unscrew until my little hearts' content.

If you've never done this before, let me tell you- it's an interesting experience. weird goo comes out, along with water of every scent imaginable, hair, chunks of black stuff, all come out. If you're a girlie-girl spend the money on a "professional" to come get the TP out of your sink. spend the 200 or suck it up.

anyhoo- with the ever popular butterknife (an all-purpose utility tool) I was able to scrape out the soggy mass into the bucket on the bottom. (a crucial element in this was the bucket. as soon as I started unscrewing, it started leaking, so in order to avoid an even bigger mess, I put the bucket down first)

after all clear and yuck into the bucket, (which gets flushed, btw) I reassembled, tightly screwed in the s-trap again, and ran water just to be sure. no leaks, it drained well, and all is right in my world.

professional: $250 for an hour's worth of work.
DIY: free.

saved $250! This is both savvy and smart! though, having my hands in gunk doesn't qualify this for "diva" status, does it?

well, maybe next time.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

baking soda. the SSHD's best friend!

So, there are like a billion uses for baking soda. From a mild and gentle facial scrub, to a non-abrasive surface cleaner, to something I scrub my engagement ring with to make it bright and shiny!

Yes, baking soda is my bff in the home.

how I make a non-abrasive scrub (much like the commerical kind but without being harmful to you or the environment. So, my recipe is as follows, and no divas, I really don't measure. **please note that this is MY recipe. If you have one and it's similiar to yours, great! We think alike- I really didn't jack your recipe I made it up myself. Also, if you like this, please link others to my SSHD blogspot and follow me!**

1 butter knife
1 pint mason jar.

baking soda
dish soap (I prefer a clear one that from palmolive- my skin blisters if I use different ones)
a little water.

Okay, so put the baking soda and fill the jar 3/4 of the way to the top. add some soap, a little at a time and stir with your butterknife. add more soap until thick and keep stirring, but don't foam it up. add water a little at a time, until you get a creamy paste consistency.

I use this typically with a toothbrush but it will work well with a sponge on your counters too!

cost: about 35 cents for the whole batch, not including the jar. cost for commercial: 3.79 in my area. Now, THAT'S savvy!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sewing... my fav!

I'm super excited today! I get to chain myself to old blue (my name for my sewing machine) and forsake all household chores because I'm making my marriage dress. Isn't that like a wedding gown, you say? kind of but not really.

See, my fiancee and I are getting married before our "wedding". He's in the Army and he's supposed to deploy but they left him behind so he can finish up some business. So, since I've designed and am going to make my wedding gown (closer to the time) I'm also going to make myself a tea length vintage dress for tomorrow.

Yeah, tomorrow, the 19th. It's insane how I wait until the last minute when I have tons of stuff to do. Well, must get sewing! :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Laundry, Mountains and Mountains of laundry!!!

So I was climbing mt. washmore the other day (flyladyism) and decided that there has GOT to be a way to save money. I'm not cheap, I'm frugal. ;) Well, I made laundry soap the other day and it's amazing, it's super easy, my clothes are clean and it cost me approximately 2 pennies a load to use!

I grated 3 bars of soap. (used ivory but am going to use something else next time. I like the scent of yardley's lavendar
2 cup washing soada (found at kroger)
2 cups borax (in the laundry aisle)
lavendar essential oil (because I LOVE the smell)

my mistake was I tried to melt the soap in water on the stove which did NOT work, and then add it and the other powders to a 5 gallon bucket and filled it with water. yay, liquid laundry soap, right? WRONG! it congealed... sort of... and I have to stir it every time I use it, so after doing some research, I found it's better to keep it in powder form and use a tablespoon at a time, so when my bucket-o-suds is done, (at this rate should be the middle of june!)I will make more but keep it in powder form.

What I will do differently: I'm going to finely grate the soap on the littlest form on my grater, (using a different soap) keep it strictly powder and possibly put it all in a blender to make a superfine powder. The good thing about it is not only do I only need a tablespoon per load, it takes up SO MUCH LESS space in my laundry room.

If you're worried about it not getting as clean as commercial cleansers, let me assure you that I have NO problem with it, and my husband is in the army with all the dirt and grime that domes along with his job, and I have 2 children ages 3 and 5 and they also come along with a certain amount of dirt, and the clothes come out smelling clean and fresh every time. I don't even pre-treat.

once my dryer sheets are used up, I will be using a homemade fabric softener, though I have to say with the borax and the washing soda, my clothes come out pretty soft anyway.

Well, off to tackle the monster that my dirty laundry has become. I just wish I had an outdoor clothes line to dry them on. sigh.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010


Well, I'm trying my hand at several different things, and once again spreading myself WAAAAYYYY too thin. (ha! I wish!) I'm starting a new blog Smart, Savvy, Homemaker Diva. I hope to post several listings and blogs and links, etc to help other domsetic types to get a little ahead, and hopefully keep us from getting behind.

There are SEVERAL women who have helped me out in the past all gratis, so I hope to keep this free as well. (Heck, blogspot is free, so as long as it is, I will be too!)

So my spotlight of the day/week/month depending on how often I write on this goes to Marla Cilley- the flylady herself! If you haven't seen her check her out at I HIGHLY recommend her. She's absolutely amazing and for those of us who have zero organizing ability and look at our house and feel like we're going to be on the next episode of hoarding (whether true or not) she has a way to get us all out of clutter and when we release the junk, we clear our heads. She's awesome, her staff is amazing, and her videos- she just has the cutest little accent.

Hugs, welcome, and I hope you enjoy!