Oh so simple dog treats!

Last weeks blog post eluded to what was coming this week: dog treats!! A few months ago, we received a trial bag of dog treats called Sams Yams. These treats were suppose to be good for our dogs teeth, and a more substantial dog treat (not just bite size, inhaled in a second treat), but not as big as a bone. Well let us just say Chewie LOVED these treats!

I did not, however; want to pay what they were asking for ridged yams. This then put me on the path to making my own treats from sweet potatoes. I am pretty lucky that it just happens to be fall time and yams are CHEAP (like $0.50 a yam). A yam can easily make 25-30 potato chip sized dog treats, or 5-10 larger dog treats, which turns out to be a pretty sweet deal.

To make the potato chip treats, I can cut them two ways. The first way is to just slice them with a knife. The second way is to use my potato slicer, and slice them with the ridged blade, so that there is a little more texture (this is what is suppose to help their teeth, supposedly). If I am making the long ones, I just cut them lengthwise with my knife, because the guard on my potato slicer won’t let me slice them. I then place all the slices onto my dehydrator and they will become crunchy if you are doing the chips, and slightly chewy if you are doing the larger ones.

You can also dehydrate other fruits and vegetables for dogs for smaller dog treat. My dog loves bananas, so I can slice up bananas and make dehydrated banana chips and he is in little doggie heaven!

I do also have recipes for other dog treats that I have made in the past. These other treats are more time and financially intensive, but make a good gift for friend or family’s canines in the holiday season. I do enjoy the ease of the yam treats though, so I will probably stick with them for a while!

Do you make dog treats for your canine buddy? What are some of your favorite treats to make?

 

Returning to normalcy

Well moving is out of the beginning stages of crazy! We are getting back to normal life, which means I have to return to some of my “normal” taking care of house things. Two things that came to mind when it comes to taking care of home are cleaning and my dog. That is why this post is going to be on making my laundry detergent and next week will be my recipe for oh so simple dog treats.

First disclaimer is that my laundry recipe is not my own it can be found here but I have been using this recipe for about three years now. It is simple, liquid in form and super cheap! I purchased a box of borax and washing soda when I first starting making the soap, and I still have plenty left and have even given some of them away. I would purchase a container to place the remainder of the wash soda in, because it does dry out and becomes so difficult to break apart. The only part of the laundry soap I have to buy every other time I make it is my bar of fels-naptha. All of the ingredients are usually found down the laundry aisle, but may take some looking for.

2016-11-09-08-36-57

So the first step to making the laundry detergent is to grate the fels-naptha. This helps to melt it easier. I use my regular cheese grater to grate this as well; but if that weirds you out, feel free to buy a separate grater. I only use ½ bar at once, otherwise this makes too much laundry detergent for us, so I store the second half in a bag (which is what is pictured above) Once the fels-naptha is grated, add it to two cups of hot water in a pot.

While the fels-naptha is melting, I go ahead and start filling my 5-gallon bucket with one to one and a half gallons of hot water. I add my ¼ cup of borax and my ½ cup of washing soda to the 5-gallon bucket.

2016-11-09-08-48-41

Once the fels-naptha is no longer visible in chunks, but has melted thoroughly, I add it to the 5-gallon bucket. I then use a paint stirrer that goes on the end of my drill, and stir the contents in the bucket.

After the contents have been stirred, I then fill up the bucket to about the 2 ½ gallon mark. This then sits over night and gels a bit.

In the morning, I then add the remainder of the water to make a total of 5 gallons of laundry soap and stir it once more. I then have a small milk jug that I use to store one gallons worth in at a time. This one-gallon container allows me to shake the soap before each use with ease and is a smaller container to have to handle. Each wash gets the same amount of laundry soap that a normal store brand would require- so I use my old TIDE lid to measure out each load, and set it next to my milk jug to store it (I am not sure how this works for HE washing machines though…that conversion may be different).

Note: I am sure you could probably go a bit more “pinterest perfect” and get a decorative gallon canning jar and a nice measuring cup or something, but this cheap and not so cute way of storing the soap works just fine for those budget conscience people! 😉

That is all it takes to make the laundry soap and probably only takes 30 minutes total. You can also control the scent of the laundry soap, if you want it scented, by adding essential oils to give the scent you are looking for.

Do you make your own laundry soap? If so, do you scent it and what are some of your favorite scents for the laundry! Comment below ⇓

PS. I am starting to design our future laundry space and would love to hear about your laundry areas (what you like and what you don’t!) The more ideas the better!

 

Bug Off!

As a homemaker, I try to keep as many chemicals out of my home as possible. One thing I started to get more and more bothered by was the chemicals we put on our skin! It is amazing to think of all the junk that can be in simple things such as bug spray that we know is not good for us…I mean look at the warning label on the OFF! Deep Woods:

CAUTION: Causes moderate eye irritation. Avoid contact with eyes. Harmful if swallowed. Use of this product may cause skin reactions in rare cases. Wash treated clothing before wearing it again. Wash hands thoroughly with soap and water after handling and before eating, drinking, chewing gum, using tobacco or using the toilet. FIRST AID: Have the product container or label with you when calling a poison control center or doctor, or going for treatment. If in eyes: Hold eye open and rinse slowly and gently with water for 15- 20 minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present, after the first 5 minutes, then continue rinsing eye. Call a poison control center or doctor for treatment advice. If swallowed: Call a poison control center or doctor immediately for treatment advice. Have person sip a glass of water if able to swallow. Do not induce vomiting unless told to do so by a poison control center or doctor. Do not give anything by mouth to an unconscious person. If you suspect a reaction to this product, discontinue use, wash treated skin, and call your local poison control center. PHYSICAL & CHEMICAL HAZARDS: FLAMMABLE: Contents under pressure. Keep away from heat, sparks, and open flame. Do not puncture or incinerate container. Exposure to temperatures above 120 F may cause bursting. Do not expose treated surfaces near fire or flame until dry.

I never knew after wearing OFF! I would have to wash my clothes before wearing again…how many people wear jeans more than one time (especially if camping) before washing them…and do you wash your hands after handling your bug spray? Well great news! YOU DON’T HAVE TO! I have a mosquito repellant that is actually effective and completely edible, believe it or not! No toxic chemicals and no funky smell! I got this recipe from survivingthestores.com off of pinterest and I have used it the past three years now!

So all you have to have is:

1/2 cup lemon juice
4 tablespoons of vanilla extract
15 drops of lavender essential oil
1 1/4 c. water
Spray bottle

2016-08-29 19.06.04

All you have to do is measure out your ingredients, add them to a bottle, mix it up and bam! Mosquito repellant!

2016-08-29 19.09.25

Yes I do realize it is in a windex bottle, it has been washed multiple times and is now used as my spray bottle for my mosquito repellant! You could always buy a new bottle but repurposing well washed bottles, that I used before I went more natural in my cleaning, is much cheaper and a good way to recycle.

I hope you give this mosquito repellant a try if you don’t have your own recipe already! Let me know what you think!

Making from Scratch! (Lotion, deodorant, and bath melts)

Blogging has been such a fun outlet for me. I love getting to sit down and share about things that I am passionate about with others who share the same interests. One of my passions is making things from scratch. This week on the homestead I made a bunch of different little things: a few different types of lotion bars, deodorant and bath melts (for my friend). Continue reading “Making from Scratch! (Lotion, deodorant, and bath melts)”