Horrible Neglect

I have been neglecting my blog.

I have not shared with the world my crafting successes and failures.  I suck, I know.

To make up for it, I will bore you to tears with some updates!  Fun, right?

  • I have taken a bit of a hiatus on soap making after stockpiling a crazy amount of ingredients for it.  Why?  My soap collection has gotten massively out of hand.  I can only give away so much soap before my friends and family start whining (Emily, I’m talking to you!).  Seriously, if the apocalypse involves dirt, I’m good.  So.  Much.  Soap.  But it’s REALLY good soap!

 

See the box of MORE in the background?  Yeah, it's gotten out of hand.

See the box of MORE in the background? Yeah, it’s gotten out of hand.

  • Since I had all those ingredients for soap making, I looked for other things to do with them.  I started with things that were preservative free, but I wasn’t able to get the results I wanted from body butters, serums and salves.  On came a new craft!  I took up lotion making.  And once you go homemade on that one, there’s no going back.  Imagine a lotion that actually works.  It relieves dry skin is filled with skin loving ingredients to promote healthy hydrated skin and I can feel good about using it.  Yeah, that.
  • The lotion making led to surfactant blends.  I was using a cold process shampoo bar and getting good results, but the build up from the apple cider vinegar was killing me.  Not literally, but figuratively.  One day, my hair went from lovely and healthy to a frizzy mess and I don’t know why.  So, a natural result was making shampoo.  And conditioner.  Out of most of the same ingredients I was using for lotion making.  And you know what?  My hair looks fantastic.
  • Much like the soap making… I can only use so much lotion.  I’m a reasonable person.  Which meant I needed a craft that didn’t involve something I had to use up.  On comes the knitting!  This isn’t actually a new craft for me.  I learned to knit forever ago and it just never really stuck.  I learned a new technique, the Norwegian purl, that has changed my knitting life.  Really.
Cotton and silk blend shawl.

Cotton and silk blend shawl.

  • I made my first batch of catsup for the year, which is epic.  I even preserved it in a water bath canner.  I am epic.  Too bad they weren’t veggies from my own garden.  Sooooo good.
  • I learned how to cook rice that is actually quick and tasty.  Go me!  I am still a terrible cook.
  • I also suck at mowing my lawn.  Which reminds me.  I need to call Ben.

I’m sure there is more and there will be tutorial reviews to come, I’m sure.  In the meantime, I’ll be hanging with my Bitches on Facebook, if you want to find me.

Advertisements

Still Not Convinced?

I found the perfect (NOT VEGAN/VEGETARIAN) beginner’s soap.  100% lard soap.

You can get a bucket of lye for around $5 and hit up a dollar store for just about everything else.  Some dollar stores even carry lye!  You pretty much can’t screw up this soap, unless you are me.  It is cheap, it is easy, it will let you get the hang of soap making without worrying about a half dozen oils and fats.

For you vegans and vegetarians out there, this is even a good soap for you.  It is using a usually trashed part of an animal that would have been slaughtered anyway, thus you are honoring the sacrifice.

Besides, it’s a great soap.

It makes a wonderful hard and white bar of soap that is perfect for cleaning and laundry.  There is no major expense in it.  It isn’t finicky and in need of a super long curing like castile soap.  Once it is saponified, there is no odor.

On another note, lard or tallow is also good in body soaps, adding hardness and good foam to your soap.  But it certainly isn’t vegan and far too many people think lard is icky.  Well, look on your store bought soaps, kids.  Lard is often used in them.

Grandma’s Homemade Lye Soap – This calls for 5 pounds of lard, but you can use any amount you want, just run it through a lye calculator like this one.

Ok, I should be noveling!

Things Every Kitchen Should Have but Probably Doesn’t

On my little quest to green up and simplify my life, I’ve found several things that everyone should just have on hand because they are that useful.  Whether you want to detoxify your cleaning routine or amp up your food or have skin care products that actually work, these the the things that should be in your kitchen but probably aren’t.  Yet.

Vinegar

Vinegar is magic.  Vinegar is love.  Vinegar is fabulous for cleaning, deodorizing and softening fabrics.

Right now you are staring at this post and telling me “Vinegar reeks, I’m not going to use that!”  The thing is, vinegar might smell bad, but the smell goes away once the vinegar is dry and it takes any other odor away with it leaving fresh clean air.  I actually use it like I would use Frebreeze, spraying it on my upholstery to get rid of… umm… potty training accidents.

If you really, truly can’t stand the smell, save some citrus peels to infuse it (just soak them in a jar for a few days before straining them out.

Baking Soda

Baking soda is a baking staple.  It’s also another odor magnet, which is why if you do have it, it’s probably living in your fridge.

Baking soda can be used in homemade laundry detergents, chemical free soft scrub, oven cleaner, carpet powder, in place of shampoo and toothpaste, made into deodorant… I go through a ton of it.

It’s also really, really, really cheap.

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is great stuff.  Not only is it filled with good fats, it has a high smoke point, which makes it great for cooking instead of olive oil.  Apparently olive oil isn’t supposed to be heated.  It has a mild flavor that doesn’t disguise the natural flavors of foods and it’s not as oily as some other cooking oils.  Flat out, you should just replace all your shortening and vegetable oils and especially soybean oil with coconut oil.

Now, not only is this magical stuff good for cooking, it’s also a top of the line moisturizer.  It is great for frizzy fly away hair.  Mix it with baking soda and you have the best whitening and plaque control toothpaste you’ve ever seen, not to mention great for sensitive teeth.  It’s great for soap making, giving a nice fluffy lather.  It can be used as a natural spf 4 and tanning lotion.  It’s even good for your immune system.

Seriously, magical stuff.

Chia Seeds

Remember Chia Pets?  You spread those gooey seeds on pottery and they grow?

Well, those innocent little seeds are a super food.

You need more energy?  Need to feel fuller longer?  Need some hydration help?  Antioxidants?  Chia seeds are your answer.  These little bad boys are amazingly nutritious, filling and full of good things to give you a natural energy and immune boost.

Canning Jars

You see them in the grocery store, those unobtrusive little jars.  They come in packs of 12.  They come in lots of sizes.

These little bad boys are great.  I store my cleaning supplies and cosmetics in them.  I store leftovers in them.  I store everything in them.  I even use them for convenient toddler cups.  They’ve hit the floor many times without shattering.

Plastics are an invisible toxin that we don’t think about.  But more than that, plastic retains odors from foods, are easily stained and can be broken down by certain foods and cleaning supplies.  And dude, seriously, finding the matching lid for that tupperware is a nightmare.

I store my lids with my parchment paper, and they are easily bought if they do need replacing.

I also save every other jar that comes into my house.  I should probably admit that this might eventually become a problem.

A Container of Vegetable Scraps in your Freezer

Ok, this one is, admittedly, a little weirder than the rest.  Hear me out, especially the non-composters.

Each time you make a meal with fresh veggies, you cut off bits, peel them, and have scraps.  These scraps are nutrient dense, even if they won’t work in most foods.  There is one food you can make with them.

Broth.

I find recipes all the time that call for broth or stock.  That’s something I don’t buy because it’s salty.  If I can’t get away with using plain water, I’ve have those little stock cubes you add to water, but again, salty!

Did you know the broth is just flavor and nutrients boiled out of other foods?  Yeah.  Grab your stock pot (no aluminum!) and throw in those veggie scraps, then simmer them.  Boil the hell out of them.  Then you just strain it, put it in some of the canning jars or freezer jars or freeze them into ice cubes…

I’m currently trying to make a bone broth.  I’ll let you know how that goes…  yeah, you can freeze your scrap bones too.

Coffee with Cream Soap

I have been a soap making machine.  Mostly because I keep screwing recipes up.

Are they all soap that will clean your butt and leave your skin wonderfully moisturized?  Heck yeah!

Are they lovely soaps with fluffy lather and luscious scents that I’d want to give to my friends and family?

Yeah….

Not so much.

And so I keep trying.  Specifically, I’m trying to find/make recipes that don’t take huge amounts of expensive ingredients that I have to special order from magical lands of organic goodness.

So many online recipes require things that I just plain old don’t want to mess with.  Like palm oil.  First you have to find the kind that doesn’t destroy rain forests and kill puppies.  Ok, it doesn’t actually kill puppies, but you need to find fair trade organic.  And then you have to melt the whole damn container every time you use it.  Blah.

Other recipes require huge amounts of essential oils that cost more than god.  (See rose absolute.)  That shit better fold my laundry and give me orgasms every time I smell it for those prices.  Keep in mind, you need approximately 1 oz per pound of oils when you are making soap, give or take depending on the specific oil.

I want my soap to be skin loving and give me lots of fluffy lather.  And most important, I want it to be easy.  Easy to make, easy to use.

So I keep trying to make my own perfect base recipe.  And then I ran out of ingredients.

But then I got creative.

This is how I ended up making coffee and cream soap.  Sadly, without shea butter, which is one of my favorites.  I’d also like to have some hemp oil.  And ditch the soybean oil for something nicer, since soybean is sort of just a filler.

But, dude, coffee and cream!

I hear that coffee is good in soaps.  Energizing and good for clearing up redness of all sorts in the skin.  Also good for undereye bags.  And coffee!

Milk is one of my two favorite soap additives.  Personally, I don’t bother with goat’s milk.  Yet.  This time I’m using good old fashioned evaporated cow’s milk.  Just a warning, milk is going to turn your soap orange.  Solved by adding coffee this time around.  It’s just what milk does in soap.

So, on with the recipe!

Coffee with Cream Soap

Coconut Oil 30%

Olive Oil 30%

Soybean Oil 20%

Grapeseed Oil 10%

Almond OIl 10%

(You can ditch the soybean oil and use 50% olive oil instead, just run it through a lye calculator)

Lye required for a 5% solution

Divide your water requirement in half, one half will be coffee the other evaporated milk (you can use goat’s milk, if you like)

1 tablespoon coffee grounds per pound of oils (you can leave this out, but it looks pretty and is a nice exfoliator)

If you choose to add fragrance oils, be sure to get the kind made for cold process soap.  You will need a total of approximately 1 ounce per pound of oils.

To make the coffee, you can’t just use regular old brewed coffee.  It won’t be strong enough.  Instead, simmer a cup of grounds with plenty of water for about 20 minutes.  It should verge on a syrup.  Strain it using your favorite straining method.  Frankly, it’s alright if it’s not perfectly strained.  This is what you will use for your lye solution, creating a double strength solution (that means really really caustic!)  Make it in an ice bath so it doesn’t get too hot.  It helps to partially freeze the coffee.

You can either add your milk to your coffee/lye solution or directly to your oils.  It’s up to you.

Make the soap using your favored method, adding the coffee grounds when you reach trace.  Frankly, I’d recommend cold process, in this case.  It’s very easy to burn your coffee and milk.  Milk always makes the hot process act weird, anyway.

Ta-da!  Coffee with Cream soap for your scrubbing pleasure.

No More Stink

Kids stink.

There, I said it.

They are really good at magically making things smell, like mattresses.

Ok, it isn’t their fault.  Fabrics of all kinds are really good at trapping odors of all sorts.  Urine, pet smells, smoke, that thing you burned in the kitchen last week still lingering in your couch cushions.

I now know a way to deal with those smells.  (It would probably work on carpet too, though I haven’t tried it yet.)

Vinegar.  And a sprinkle of baking soda.

You know that spray bottle you have under your kitchen sink.  Yeah, the one with the 50/50 vinegar and water solution you use on your counter tops because you are a hip modern parent.  Grab it.  That is your magic bottle.

It not only does countertops, you can spray it on your fabrics.  It’s clear, so staining really isn’t a problem (don’t spray silk!).  It’s all natural.  It smells like vinegar.

Ok, the last might not be a selling point, so open your windows.  It’s a good time of year for that anyway.

I had a problem.  Dillon likes to play on my bed during the day and has been known to… well… pee on it.  Drives me crazy.

So, I stripped the bed, sprayed the whole mattress with vinegar and then let that bad boy dry.  (Don’t saturate it, a light spray is plenty.)  Vinegar is an odor magnet.  I don’t know how.  (You can actually set little bowls of it around before company comes over and it will suck up all the odors and trap them.  Just dump the bowls down the drain and you house will smell fresh.)

I let it dry.  Turn a fan on it, have those lovely open windows freshening the room.  Seriously, it’s worth the temporary vinegar smell.

Once it’s dry to the touch, sprinkle some baking soda all over.  Baking soda is another good odor buster.  Sprinkle your carpets before your vacuum.  Now, let that baking soda marinate for a good long time.  You can work it into the fibers a bit if you like.  Dillon helped by jumping on the bed to get them good and deep.

The last step is to vacuum your bed.  Whatever method you use that works for you is fine, but get all that baking soda off the mattress.  Which now smells fresh and clean.

Now that your mattress smells fresh… GET A MATTRESS PROTECTOR SO IT DOESN’T HAPPEN AGAIN.

I love vinegar.

Super Simple Grocery Bag

Tote bags.

Grocery bags.

Toy bags.

Book bags.

Tote bags are seriously the easiest sewing project I can imagine.  They are fun, super simple, and useful.  Can one ever have enough bags?

Now you are asking the screen: Can a home made bag REALLY stand up to two gallons of milk?  (Because, yes, everyone puts two gallons of milk in the same bag to carry home.  Right.)

The answer is: Mine can.  I tried it.

WOULD I carry two gallons of milk in one bag?  No, that shit is heavy!

So, lets get down to business.  Making a tote bag.

First, figure out who in your family is a quilter.  Yes, a quilter.  They will have everything you need.  And you can have a convenient babysitter at the same time.  (Try your mother-in-law, Emily)

Now, if you want PRETTY bags that are all matchy matchy, you are going to need to buy fabric.  While you are there ogling, buy a yard of interfacing.  Just ask the people at the cutting counter to help you pick a FUSIBLE interfacing suitable for tote bags.  I’ve used various ones with equal success.  You can also use batting, if you happen to have some, but it involves a bit more sewing.

Now, visit your quilter, this is an afternoon project.

Raid their sewing room.  There is a reason I sent you to a quilter.  In their sewing room, you are going to find buttloads of fabric.  Shamelessly raid their stash.  You need 4 fat quarters OR two half yards OR one full yard for a bag.  You will have little leftover bits.

Really don’t know a quilter?  (Really, ask the mother-in-law or grandma)  You can use anything.  Stay away from high quality sheets, though.  The weave is really too fine for regular sewing and you will end up with a mess.  Crib sheets, old curtains or table cloths, clothes… just not anything stretchy, though with the interfacing, it’s less of a problem.

You will also need:

  • Rotary cutter
  • cutting board
  • 16×24 acrylic ruler
  • sewing machine
  • thread

Seriously, find a quilter.  They have everything you need.

Now, break out the iron and the starch.  Starching takes time, but it makes the whole cutting part much easier and keeps your fabric from stretching out of shape from handling.  Use a lot of starch now, everything will line up later.

You don’t really need to prewash, you can if you like, though.

Once everything is starched and resembling cardboard, you are ready to cut.

The SIZE you cut is less important than all the pieces matching.  Yes, I said it.

Alright, I will admit that when I was “designing” this pattern, I got hung up on measurements, which sort of defeats the purpose of “super simple.”  This is supposed to be a “raid your quilter’s stash” bag.  Not a “this is a perfectly measured and cut and pieced” bag.

That said, I have an idea in my head of what size a tote bag “should” be.  I’m tossing it out the window and making this SIMPLE.

First, stack your fat quarters together, sort of lining up the two sides as best you can.  If you are using yardage, you want to be using 2 half yard cuts, either the same or different fabrics.  Co-ordinating, schmordinating.  Now, square up one side.  That just means line up your ruler sort of square to the fabric as a whole and trim it until you get one nice even side.  Turn your fabric being careful of your layers and square up an adjoining side.  (Make sure to flip up all your layers to make sure you are trimming all four)

Square side two by lining up a ruler line with your clean edge.

Square side two by lining up a ruler line with your clean edge.

Flip up the edges to make sure all layers get trimmed.

Flip up the edges to make sure all layers get trimmed.

Now here is your single measurement.  Since interfacing comes as 20 inches wide, that’s what we want our longest side to be.  Or less.  Just not more, because then you didn’t get enough interfacing.

Now, from your longest side (the 20 inch or less side) cut about a 2 inch strip.  Just make sure it’s the same width all the way down.  You can go narrower or wider, if you want.

Now, square up your last side.

You should have 4 rectangles and 4 strips.  Yay!

Now, cut your interfacing to match your pieces.  You will need to cut 2 rectangles and 2 strips.  If you need to fudge, do it on the strips, not the panels.

Attach the interfacing to whatever 2 pieces of fabric you want on the outside of your bag as per the instructions.  Take your time with this step, you really want it stuck on there.  If you are worried it doesn’t stick enough, you can run some “quilting” lines through it.  You can use some of the decorative stitches your machine might have to more solidly anchor the interfacing to the fabric.

Attach the two strips to any two of your fabric strips.

Now you are ready to sew!

Get out your sewing machine, make sure you know how to use it.  If you don’t, get your quilter friend to load the bobbin and thread for you.

Take your two interfaced panels, put them right sides together.  You can pin, if you like.  I rarely pin.  Sew together two of the short sides and one long side.  The other long side will be left open.  Unless you like tall narrow bags.

Do the same thing with your non-interfaced panels, except leave a 3 inch gap in the long side.  Make sure you back stick on either side of your gap.  This is important, you need it for turning and your hand needs to fit in the gap.

Sew one interfaced and one non-interfaced strip down both long sides, right sides together.  Make sure you leave the ends open.  Repeat with the other set.

I'm using a quarter inch seam on each long side of my handle strips.

I’m using a quarter inch seam on each long side of my handle strips.

Attach a safety pin to one end of your sewn strips and turn it so that right sides are facing out.  Press it flat, then top stitch along each long edge.  It doesn’t matter how far from the edge you stitch, as long as it’s a straight line.  This is another time you can bust out the decorative stitching.

Pin it and push the pin right through the middle between the layers, towing the rest along for the ride.

Pin it and push the pin right through the middle between the layers, towing the rest along for the ride.

Turn that baby right side out.  Get rough with it.

Turn that baby right side out. Get rough with it.

I like to add a little hanging tab to all my tote bags.  This is totally optional.  Find one of your little scraps.  What size?  Doesn’t matter, though at least 1.5 inches wide.  Longer is better, but you will need at least 4 inches.  Square it up into a rectangle and take it to your ironing board.

Press your rectangle in half, wrong sides together (you should see your pretty fabric on the outside.).  Now comes the tricky part where you are likely to burn yourself.

Open out your rectangle again and fold in one half to the center.  Use your fingers to press it, then set the iron on it.  Repeat with the other side.  You should end up with three folds with your raw edges in the middle.

Tri-folded strip.

Tri-folded strip.

Top stitch everything in place.  This is where the longer is better part comes in.  It is easier to sew if it’s longer, you only need to sew about 4 inches of the middle of your folded piece, then trim it to size.  And I swear no one will notice if your stitching isn’t perfect.

I'm top stitching with an eighth of an inch using my foot as a guide.

I’m top stitching with an eighth of an inch using my foot as a guide.

It's not perfect, but I swear no one will notice.

It’s not perfect, but I swear no one will notice.

Now you should have the outside of your bag, the lining of your bag, two handles and a hanging tab.  You could, right now, put your bag together.  It would be a perfectly serviceable bag and it would carry all your stuff.

I, however, like to have a gusseted bag.  That means it’s got a flat bottom and definitive sides.  And it’s really easy to do.  I’m not going to explain it, I’m going to send you here instead.  Use the sew first technique and make about a 4 inch gusset.  Don’t worry TOO much about how big it is, but be consistent with all your gussets.  Both the outer bag and lining need to be done.

All my parts, ready to be assembled.

All my parts, ready to be assembled.

Turn your outer bag right side out (this is the one that is interfaced).  Now, match up your side seams and fold it in half.  This will find the middle of each panel so you can pin on your handles.  Measure about 2.5 inches from your midline fold and pin on a handle.  Repeat.  Make sure the same fabric is facing towards you every time and the handle isn’t all twisted.  Stand back and look at it.  Does it look right?

This is how your handles should look pinned in place.

This is how your handles should look pinned in place.

On one side, measure a half inch from each side of your midline fold and pin on your hanging loop the same way.

The annoying little tab all pinned a half inch to each side of the fold line.

The annoying little tab all pinned a half inch to each side of the fold line.

It’s starting to look like a tote bag, right?

Now things get complicated.  Not difficult to do, but hard to understand no matter how freaking clear the instructions are.  There are tons of good bag making tutorials you can watch on youtube, I highly recommend doing so.  Seriously.  Just look for lined bag tutorials.

Now, what you need to do is put your outer bag with it’s pinned handled inside your lining.  You should end up with right sides facing in between the two layers.  Make sure everything is tucked between the two layers.

Match your side seams, then pin the hell out of it.  Seriously.  Tons of pins.  Just don’t run over them with the sewing machine.  (It actually makes no difference which way your seam allowance lays.  You might have noticed we didn’t bother pressing any seams.)

Pins, pins and more pins.  It really makes life easier.

Pins, pins and more pins. It really makes life easier.

Sew around the top edge with a half inch seam (you can go larger).  Yup, all the way around.  Back stitch over your handles for stability.  This doesn’t have to be pretty, it won’t be visible.

Now, remember the hole you left in your lining?  You did leave one, right?  (If you didn’t, pull out the seam ripper and make one.  This isn’t ideal, so I hope you left a hole.)  Reach in there and help your lining give birth to a bag.  Pull that badboy all the way right side out.  Yeah, that’s it.

My bag, giving birth.  Again, get rough with it.

My bag, giving birth. Again, get rough with it.

Before you tuck your lining in where it belongs, you need to stitch up your turning hole.  You CAN neatly and invisibly hand stitch it painstakingly.  That is perfectly acceptable.  It is also acceptable to run that bad boy through your machine.  It’s the bottom of the inside of the bag.  You aren’t going to care about a visible seam when you use it.  Promise.

Tuck the guts where they belong and pin all around the top again.  This involves folding down your seam allowance so the seam actually is the top edge.  It helps to start around the handles, just pull them up and it will fold over.  Pin, pin, pin.  It makes the top stitching easier.

Roll that seam right down so you get a tidy edge.

Roll that seam right down so you get a tidy edge.

Top stitch around the top edge.  Yeah, go ahead and use that decorative stitch that’s been eyeing you across the bar.  You can happily use more than one row, if that floats your boat.

Your lovely finished product.

Your lovely finished product.

Guess what?  That’s it.  Fini.  You have a freaking tote bag.  Go dump ten pounds of potatoes in it or a couple full gallons of milk and see how it works.

That little hanging tab that was actually a pain in the ass to make?  It fits nicely over the plastic bag racks at the grocery store so your bag stands proud while you fill it.  Bag handlers everywhere will praise you for it.

Is it machine washable?  Heck yeah.  Throw it in when you do towels.

Will it shrink?  Who cares, it’s a freaking bag.

Do I have to make them one at a time?  Heck no!  Hit a sale, garage sale, thrift store and pick up lots of hideous fabric.  Starch it all up, cut it all out, then mix and match and have a whole herd of hideous tote bags.

Do these make good gifts?  Absolutely.  And they are a green way to wrap gifts as well.  You might wanna measure that gift first, though.

Did you really mean it about raiding a quilter’s sewing room?  Oh, oh yeah.  But ask first.  Remember quilter=fabric hoarder.  As long as you aren’t picky, they are going to have plenty of fabric for you to choose from.

Do I have to use ugly fabric?  Of course not!  I happen to have a box of really hideous fat quarters.  Don’t ask.  However, you can buy lovely matching fabrics to make your bags.

I like pockets, can I add pockets?  Of course.  But that’s another lesson.

So, here you are, finished reading my sad excuse for a tutorial and you still don’t have a clue.  Well, I have a clue for you.  A little list of better tutorials.

Craftbuds.com Tote Bag Tutorial

Homemaking Dreams Reusable Grocery Bag

MADE Reversible Color Block Tote Bag

ps i quilt Friendship Bag This cute little bag is actually the first bag making tutorial I used.  It’s the one that started the bag making frenzy.  Beware.

 

Toilet Paper, How I Hate Thee

Toilet paper always seemed like a good idea to me.

It isn’t expensive.

Alone, I don’t go through that much.

It is convenient, as long as you have it.

Sure, it’s got chemicals in it and I’m rubbing those chemicals on rather sensitive places.  Yeah, it’s quite literally flushing money down the toilet.  But it’s necessary!  Right?

Well, I could use all natural toilet paper, but that’s honestly just not very pleasant.  It isn’t soft and it’s rather pricey.  Not really ideal in my world.  Not to mention, not readily available.

I am a cloth diaper advocate.  (Don’t worry, I won’t go into it.  For now.)  I use a menstrual cup.  I’m moving away from paper towels.  So why am I so stuck on toilet paper?

It never really occured to me to make a change until the fateful day we began potty training.  Potty training means that a small child needs to have unrestricted access to the bathroom.  Yes, the bathroom, with the toilet.  And the toilet paper.

Did you know that toilet paper, when wet, makes excellent decorations for mirrors and walls?  Yeah, me either.  It also creates serious clogs in toilets and sinks.  And when it is constantly being used to decorate and play with, you don’t have it when you need it.

But it is fun to play with.

WAY fun.

How different is it to use cloth wipes on myself instead of using chemical laden wet wipes and toilet paper?  Is it really that difficult to dampen the very same baby washcloths I used as wipes for Dillon for myself?  Is my butt worth any less than his?

Is washing a tiny basket of washcloths with the towels REALLY that much of a strain?  Towels, regardless of size, really need the same type of washing diapers do.  You know, hot water, no softener…

So I made the switch to family cloth.

I have a nice little set of metal baskets with rubber feet sitting on the back of the toilet.  One for cleans and one for dirty.  Metal baskets are nicely washable.  I get the little washcloths on sale, which means I currently have robots.  Yup, I’m really that cool.

I am not good at folding them so they look pretty and I bought enough so that I only have to wash once a week or so.  I just throw them in with sheets or towels.  It’s EASY.  It doesn’t involve any more laundry than I needed to do before.

And you know what?  They don’t tear or leave behind bits and they don’t clog my pipes.  So suck it up, I’m a cloth girl.