Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Day in the Wild Crazy Life!

How to hang clothes on a line

I know many of you are thinking, "is this girl really serious?"  Yes, I am.  I have heard so many people say they "would" hang clothes on the line, but they don't like the smell or that the clothes aren't as soft.  Well, my friend, I am here to give you ways that those will no longer be an issue.  The best part?  Your electricity bill will be drastically lower (in my case $5.00 a day and I do three-four loads a day), and you are conserving energy and loving Mother Earth.

1.  Turn all non-white items inside out before washing to prevent the sun from bleaching/fading your items.  Leave whites correct side out to help bleach them.

2.  On the last rinse cycle, either add a cup of white vinegar or pour in fabric softener per the manufacturer's instructions.  I have used vinegar for years and can attest there is no smell left in the clothes and they are as soft as with softener.  However, if you don't like the fresh-dried smell of clothes hung out to dry, then please use an aromatic softener.

3.  When the wash is done, I sort the item.  Each item gets a good "snap" as I shake it to get out the wrinkles. I place the smallest items in the basket first, folding items like shirts and pants.  I also fold sheets in half so I can hang them with the seem side on the line itself.  Towels, sheets and blankets go in the basket last.

4.  I place my basket on a gardener's stool so that I don't have to bend over and my clothes pins in the pockets of my apron for handy access.

5.  Now, I hang pants by the ankles of the pants so that the weight from the waist band and pockets helps stretch out any wrinkles as it drys.  Shirts, I stretch the hem out nicely and hang with two or three pins depending on the size of the shirt.  I hang socks in pairs by the toe to save line space and for easy finding later.  Towels, rags, sheets and baby blankets can be hung side by side sharing a pin with the one before it.  Lastly, sheets and larger blankets are folded in half horizontally.  For fitted sheets, I tuck the corners into each other horizontally  and hang it by the fold side with the pockets towards the ground.

6.  When the clothes are dry which is about 3 hours on a hot or windy day, I take my basket and Gardener's kneeling stool back out and I fold the clothes as I take them off the line and place them in the basket.  This prevents wrinkles occuring and honestly is quicker than waiting until I get them inside to fold them.

7.  A couple of notes to remember.  Always take the pins off the line to prevent them from blackening and getting black marks on the clothes.  The Wind is your friend.  A very windy day dries the clothes much quicker and it is like tumbling them in the dryer making them softer.

Take recycling to the next level

It is no secret by now that I my lifestyle is as green, sustainable, and self-reliant as possible.  Mind you I am not homesteading by any stretch of the imagination, but I do as many reliant things as I can in the space I have and with the resources I have.  Also, anytime I discover something new I didn't know about but should be doing, I get right on it!  My latest adventure is coming up with a way to utilize rain barrel water (gardening, washing cars, etc) and installing solar water system on my roof, but those are both still in the planning process so I will discuss that further at a later date.

Today I want to discuss recycling.  I know, I know:  you guys are recycling bottles, cans, paper, boxes, etc.  I am proud of you, and please, by all means keep up the good work.  Heaven knows I preach it enough here at the house that my now seven year old daughter asked for a recycling shirt when she was five!  But did you know you can recycle electronics, furniture, old clothing, and basically anything you no longer need?  Most of the larger recycling centers, not the small ones that have a couple of bins like at the Home Depot, have a section for anything that is still usable.

Honestly, if you told me ten years ago I would be finding great additions to my "shabby chic" home, I would have laughed out loud at your silliness, but that is exactly what I am telling you.  I found an amazing Armoire for my bedroom that has a wonderful heavy wood, is simple in design like I prefer and is big enough to hold my 48" flat screen tv-hey, even us country bumpkins watch tv on occasion.  My favorite find thus far was a bunch of antique ornaments for my Christmas collection a week ago. The moral of the story is that if you don't need it or want it, before you throw it away, consider recycling it.  Why is it that we keep filling landfills with things we no longer like, but someone else may be thankful for?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

enLiven your Life with enLiven Yogurt

enLiven Yogurt

If you are a loyal reader of my blog, then you know by now that I am a HUGE promoter of yogurt and that I usually make my own for health and cost reasons.  You can imagine how thrilled I was when I was blessed with a package from enLiven Probiotic Yogurt which included free product coupons both for giveaway and for my family to try!

I learned from the information included that enLiven is featured exclusively at Walmart, and I discovered that my Walmart sells enliven for $1.88/4 cups which is a true bargain in my opinion.  I went ahead and bought three of the four flavors they offer:  peach, strawberry, blueberry and vanilla.  The yogurt has a nice amount of fruit in it, and I love that it is smaller bits rather than the typical chunks in commercial brands since I like a smoother texture.

For me the benefits are just so great that it is hard NOT to enjoy this snack/meal.  It is low cost, has 1 gram of fat, 110 calories, features GanedenBC probiotics which are basically the "good bacteria" that help keep us well, fight sickness, keep our digestive track regular and "happy."

The proof is definitely in the pudding as the saying goes.  My 2 year old Mika ate a cup of the peach yogurt and made a beeline straight for the fridge for a cup of blueberry.  I was telling him that we needed to wait until later for more, but then I realized, this is breakfast, he may still be hungry and it is healthy for him so why should I say no?

enLiven is easy to find right at your local Walmart for a reasonable price, and you can find out more information about the company on the website as well as Facebook and Twitter.

Disclaimer:  I didn't receive monetary compensation for this review, but I did receive product.  All views and opinions are honest and my personal opinion.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Lucy, I'm Home!!!

I wanted to let you guys know that I am FINALLY back.  All my unforeseen computer issues are under control and I am getting everything back up and running!