How to Make Liquid Castille Soap

I love liquid soap and I can’t stand bar soap (It’s icky sticky and yuck!).  The problem is that you can get great quality bar soap for a fraction of its liquid counterpart.  I’ve experimented before with making liquid soap with little success.  I finally found a recipe that is equal or better to any liquid soap out there.  Silver Fir Farms is a soap maker and over a year ago she was sweet enough to not only share her recipe for liquid castile soap but couple it with an instructional video. Get her recipe here and watch her video below: » » »

Papercrete Greenhouse Workshop

This Saturday, May 5th, we’re putting on a papercrete greenhouse building workshop In conjunction with Homegrown New Mexico.  If you’re thinking paper whodiewaha?  Check out these posts on papercrete where I go over what it is, how to make papercrete blocks and how to make your own papercrete mixer.

The greenhouse has been a work in progress for the past three four years.  Every year around plant starting time I’m kicking myself for not finishing it.  I’ll bet we get a bunch done this weekend though.  Hopefully the momentum will carry forward and the greenhouse will get finished this year. » » »

Seed Starting Station

Reading gardening books might be the end of me.  I get tons of ideas and don’t know where to start.  At one point I got smart and decided to start at the beginning:  indoor seed starts. First thing was to build a  light stand.  Then we could grow greens  in the middle of winter without having to finish the greenhouse.

light stand01

A trip to the Re-store yielded a couple of two foot long florescent lamps. » » »

Veggie Seed Saving

It’s that time of year when we pull out the seeds and start some indoor gardening.  Even though we have snow on the ground and currently falling we have to start preparing our garden.

Currently our back garden

Wintertime in our back garden

When we (Mike) expanded our vegetable garden to 460 sq ft last year our intention was two-fold: 1) grow food so we knew where it came from 2) cut back on our grocery expenses.  The issue with the latter is that yes, we can spend less at the grocery store but we can easily see that savings go right into growing our own food.  Over the next few weeks we will share some ways we’ve been learning to keep our costs down.  It takes a little forethought- last year we learned so much we can’t wait to start this year’s garden. » » »

Are We Rich or Poor?

This year Molly started to notice a shift in the girls’ perception towards our standard of living.  Even with the two of us out of work for most of 2011 our spending has changed very little compared to the previous year.  When we cut our expenses back by 50% a few years ago they perceived us as a family who had money but chose not to spend it.  There’s an interesting interview Molly did with the girls 2 years ago about their take on our cutting back on Molly On Money.  In the interview they talk about their initial fears but in the end they were happy that we did cut back and paid off our debt.

Lately we’ve heard them make comments to the effect that we are ‘poor’ and cannot afford to have a nice things like so-and-so’s car.  So let us repeat…how we spend our money now compared to when we had much larger incomes has not changed but somehow we’ve become ‘poor’. » » »

Grooming the Dogs

A few years ago Mike and I were cutting our expenses back and deciding what was a want and what was a need.  One particular expense line item we got stuck on was:

Dog grooming -$100 every three months.

$400 dollars a year to keep our two pups pretty and trimmed (or at least not completely mangey and dreadlocked).  We really wanted every dime possible to go towards paying off our debt but both of us hated to groom the dogs…and they didn’t care for us to do it to them either.  Having someone else groom them was not a need but we really really wanted it to be.

Mike and I split most of the chores around here.  We’ve been lucky that the things he doesn’t like to do I don’t mind doing and vice versa.  Dog grooming was something neither one of us enjoyed.  There was no flipping the coin on this one either because it takes two people to accomplish this task.  Now for those of you trying to solve our problem as you read this (cause that’s what I’d be doing).  You’re probably thinking: ‘Duh, don’t groom them’,… it’s not an option.  Both of our dogs have hair not fur.  Their hair grows like humans…it doesn’t stop. » » »

It’s Really Very Simple…Really

Spending within your means is really very simple (and yet so dang hard to do.)  There is nothing complicated about getting and keeping your financial house in order.  It’s straightforward, simple and doesn’t contain a convoluted formula.

Spend less than you take in!

Yep, that’s it, people!

I’m done with this post!

Mike:  No you’re not…

Dang! » » »