Friday, September 17, 2010

Soap, Soap and More Soap

After trying (unsuccessfully I might add), to make soap for the last two weeks, Amanda and I decided that today was the day.  After a few early morning distractions we were able to get started.  Since I have sold just about all of the soap that we made the last time, I decided that I wanted to make at least two batches.  We ended up making one batch (4 pounds) of our basic unscented soap, one batch (4 pounds) of our basic lavender scented soap, and one batch (one pound) of goat's milk soap.  (This was our first time to make goat's milk soap, so I can't wait to see how it turns out)

I know that nine pounds of soap doesn't sound like much, but for me it's a lot.  We haven't been making soap all that long and usually only make one batch at a time.  Sometimes it will be a one pound batch and sometimes it's a four pound batch.  Soapmaking, using the recipes that I have, is not complicated, but it is time consuming.  I was very thankful that Ferrell was willing to help out with Amanda's two precious daughters while we were making our soap.  I feel very good about all that we got done today and cannot wait until tomorrow to unmold our soaps and get it sliced.   Hopefully we will be able to make another batch or two of soap sometime during the upcoming week.  I've had requests for our citrus blend and I also want to try a small batch using peppermint and eucalyptus essential oils.  Since I have never used those two oils I don't know how it will turn out, but I'm willing to take a chance :)    Hope ya'll have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Accomplishments of a Hectic Week

Well, in spite of a fairly hectic week I have been able to get a few things cooked and in the freezer for future meals.  It's always a blessing to have some meals (or parts of meals) already cooked ahead of time for those really "crazy" days.    So far this week I've cooked three LARGE pots of dried beans, six pounds of ground beef (browned and ready for casseroles, chili or taco soup using the already cooked beans), soup and chili (frozen in single serving containers to be used as lunches for our "working men"), and pancakes.  I'm pretty sure that will be all that I get done for the freezer this week as we have football practice tomorrow and I have a meeting on Friday.  All in all I'm feeling like this has been a productive week.  Especially when I throw in the amount of laundry, school, and miscellaneous other tasks that have been accomplished this week :)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Just Stuff

Due to the fact that things have been really busy around here lately, I just haven't taken time to post.  Amanda has recently begun selling Avon to try and help make ends meet.  Since she really doesn't want to get a part time job that requires her to be away from her children for hours at a time, we are all really hoping this works out for her.   If any of you are interested in purchasing Avon from her you can take a look at her online store at or leave a comment and we'll get you a book.  

We're also continuing with soapmaking, although lately it's been hard to find free time to make a batch.  Since school and flag football have started back, it seems like I can't get caught up.  Most of my time is spent with school, trips to town, cooking meals and doing laundry.  I have also been trying to finish up a few crochet projects that people have asked to purchase, as well as making a couple batches of sugar scrub that I had orders for.  Amanda has been busy keeping us supplied with laundry detergent and also filling orders for that as well.  We don't have a lot of "customers", but we do have enough to keep us busy :) 

Well, considering that I still have to get laundry started, supper in the crockpot and watch the girls while Amanda makes a few Avon deliveries, I guess I need to stop rambling and get busy.  Ya'll have a good week!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Homemade Baby Food

I blogged yesterday about the homemade fruit roll-ups that Amanda has been making from an abundance of baby food that she was given.  I thought that today I would blog about making homemade baby food.  Up until the time that Amanda was blessed with the store bought baby food she was making it herself.   Homemade baby food is one of those things that is very simple and it can really help with an already tight budget.   All you have to do is either choose fresh fruits and vegetables and cook them (unseasoned) until tender or use canned (unseasoned) fruits and veggies of your choice.  Drain and reserve the liquid.  Put the vegetables into a blender and process until the right consistency by adding small amounts of the reserved liquid as needed.  When the food is ready you can freeze it in ice cube trays and later place in ziploc bags.  When needed you simply take out what you need, heat and serve.  Simple!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Thrifty Toddler Snacks

A family member recently ran across baby food at a really good price and purchased a fairly large quantity for Amanda.   Due to lack of storage space  Amanda decided to try making a homemade version of fruit roll-ups with some of the baby food.   After borrowing a dehydrator from my parents she took several jars of  applesauce and made the fruit roll-ups.  I have to say they were very good and really didn't take long to make.  She has plans to make quite a few more batches using more of the baby food and also some of the fruit that we gathered this summer.   

Another healthy toddler snack Amanda has been making this summer is dried fruit.   We have had luck drying apples, bananas, pears, and peaches.  Dried fruit is one snack Rachel really enjoys!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Nothing As Planned

I had great plans for the latter part of the past week, but as is quite often the case around here, my plans got changed.  I did not get to do all of the bulk cooking I had planned due to some unexpected company (which we greatly enjoyed) and some household issues at Amanda's (like waterlogged floors due to a leaky roof).    We have spent the past several days moving furniture and appliances to be better able to get to the floors that need work.  I am so thankful for sons that are willing to pitch in and help any time there is a job to be done. 

This weeks plans are to do school with Ferrell, finish Amanda's floor, get her furniture and appliances moved back into place, make goats milk soap (at least one batch), and maybe fit in some extra baking  if time allows.  Hopefully, this week's plans will work out better than last weeks plans.  We shall see!

Thursday, September 2, 2010


I don't know about everyone else, but I love cookbooks.  A recent purchase of mine is a wonderful cookbook titled "Make it Fast, Cook it Slow", by Stephanie O'Dea.  I ordered this cookbook from Amazon and have thoroughly enjoyed it.  All of the recipes are for the crockpot and most of them are easy and inexpensive to make.  An added bonus for my family is that all of the recipes are either gluten free or easily adapted to gluten free.  Needless to say, this cookbook has fast become one of my favorites.