Friday, January 30, 2009

Don't Throw it Out, Recycle it! Recycling Underwear

See Let's Talk Underwear (giggle)

Making a Little Extra Money: Freelance Writing Gigs

Milehimama from Mama says... was generous enough to share her detailed knowledge of how to make a little extra money with freelance writing. Freelancing can be as simple as submitting your blog posts for pay. Check it out.

Saving Money with a Wringer Washer

And just when you thought there wasn't anything more that you could cut back on in your budget. Don't laugh, but supposedly these old washers save time and money! See this article by Pat Veretto over at the Dollar Stretcher.

Pat reports that wringer washers use much less water, less detergent, and take half the time of a modern washer to clean the clothes.

Check ebay, craigslist, and Google for reconditioned or working wringer washers. Lehman's sells new wringer washers if you don't mind the expense.

Something to consider: A few commenters mentioned that some of these old wringer washers can be dangerous, especially for children in that the wringer can pull your hand through if you are not careful. Lehman's sells a "safe" wringer. They don't mention how it is safer than other wringers, but they do answer questions.

And there is always this option.

How to Use a Washboard and How To Wash Clothes On a Washboard

Pictured: Lehman's Washboards and see

The Columbus Washboard Company which "has been making washboards since 1895 and is the only manufacturer still operating in the United States of America today", and they double as musical instruments, Yeehaw! Interesting links at this site. Includes a U.K. link to a soap and washboard site.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Free Printable Milk Bath Gift Envelopes(Sachets) and Easy Recipes

People have been taking milk baths for centuries. The enzymes in the milk soften the skin. Milk bath ingredients are easy to find, just buy powdered milk in packets, and pour about half the packet into your bath. To scent your milk bath, add your favorite essential oil. Rose essential oil is often added to milk baths.

Another simple way to add fragrance to milk powder is to combine it with scented Epsom salt. That way it is all-in-one powder, and you can store it in a container. I buy my Epsom salt inexpensively at Walmart. To scent the salts, spread it out on a pan, and pour a bit of your favorite scented oil* over the Epsom salts. I add just enough to moisten it, and for color, I add a drop or two of red food color(turns pink), and bake on warm-200 degrees for an hour or so. The heat dries up the moisture and infuses the scent. You could try this with baking soda as well, or use both. Baking soda softens the water and Epsom salts sooth sore muscles(and hold scent well).

Mix the scented Epsom salts(and/or baking soda) with the milk powder, and you have a lovely bath powder. You can add more or less scented Epsom salts to the milk powder as desired.

See here for printable bath sachet envelopes.

A lavender bath salt label

Blank packet template

*Another Option for oil: Try olive oil with 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil, and a bit of glycerin(optional softener and binder). Glycerin is very inexpensive and available in most store vitamin aisles, probably next to the witch hazel on the bottom shelves. All natural(except for scent) Africa Best Oil works very well too. It is highly scented and inexpensive at places like Dollar General or Family Dollar in the ethnic hair aisle. A little goes a long way.

Also see recipe for Fizzy Bath Bombs

Free Homeschool Stuff: Online Spelling Program

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Valentine's Day Felt Sewing Crafts

What a great low calorie Valentine's Day cookie gift! Crafted from felt and beads, Candy of Candy's Cottage completed these frosted shortbread cookies for her mother-in-law recently. I would love to made these for my daughter. They could even be made as scented sachets, maybe with a little vanilla.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Free Templates for Felt/Flannel Board Pieces

Felts are creative and fun hands-on learning for preschool - kindergarten. They can be made into story boards to go along with classic stories and popular children's books(language arts), and used for learning the alphabet, counting, shapes, weather, health, learning about community helpers, early math, spelling, early reading/phonics, you name it.

Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See?
Polar Bear, Polar Bear What Do You Hear? Farm Theme
Five Green Shamrocks(counting)
Five Little Snowflakes(counting)
Alphabet Templates(I'd size these down)
More here with hints, tips, and directions.

Humpty Dumpty with wall

Felt board tutorial with templates

If you are lazy like me, you can order sets that match many of the books(found at the library) from the Before Five in a Row(homeschool reading list/curriculum for age 2 -4) on ebay. They are are some very crafty ladies selling these complete felt kits for a few dollars a set. I've also got a few counting and food sets, like the pizza pictured above. The sets I have are at least six years old, used when my son was in Preschool/Kindergarten. They seem to last well, but I did have to glue a few googly eyes back on from pieces in the shape set.

If anything, looking at the sets on ebay can give you ideas for making your own. If you bid/buy at ebay, click through for cash back.

I did make my own flannel board with a large piece of light blue felt wrapped around and stapled onto the back of a very heavy piece of corrugated cardboard. That has lasted at least six years as well. A good and frugal investment for our homeschool.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Free Homeschool Ancient Greece ebooks: Homer's The Odyssey, The Iliad and the Aeneid for Boys and Girls

Free and in public domain. Downloadable and readable online.
Click here.
Main page.
The Odyssey for Boys and Girls
By Alfred John Church
Published by The Macmillan Company, 1906
Original from Harvard University
Digitized Oct 26, 2007
308 pages
Suitable for ages 9-12.

Also see The Iliad for Boys and Girls and The Aeneid for Boys and Girls.


Now in reprint, published by Yesterday's Classics: The Odyssey for Boys and Girls (Yesterday's Classics), The Iliad for Boys and Girls (Yesterday's Classics), The Aeneid for Boys and Girls (Yesterday's Classics)

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I'm a homeschooling mom of two, a teen and a little. I hope this collection of mine helps you as much as it has helped us. I have an Etsy shop here: And a blog: