Friday, May 20, 2016

Wash Routine: Day 4, Flats and handwashing challenge 2016!

It is DAY 4 ish of the flats and handwashing challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry

Ok so I missed day 4.  it is really day 5 and I didn't wash on day 4 either so i've got a very full load of probably 20 flats, 2 covers and 2 pockets to wash. 
Big deal? no. not really - what is going to be a big deal is that it is rainy today.. and I do NOT have room for that many diapers to hang indoors - PLUS i have a friend coming over this afternoon and i don't really want diapers hanging all over the dining room chairs, stair railing, bathrooms etc.  We'll see ...

Same bucket, still there..

Here is a recap of my washing routing, I'm not going to retype all of this, because.. it is all right here, 2011 was about the same as 2012 and 2014 is the exact system i'm using now.  I even still had the bucket and little jars of supplies under the kitchen sink from 2 years ago. we'll call that "being prepared."


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Day 3 random thoughts on the flats challenge

Welcome to day 3 of the 2016, 6th annual, Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry! 

  I was looking through my past challenge posts, and folders of pictures on my computer... and I see the babies growing up, baby after baby, toddler after toddler the same diapers (literally) the same clothes on a new baby... just like everything else with babies and toddlers .. they grow up and the next time you do it again.. Until you don't and they just grow up .. This is too sad. Moving on.. 

So here I am hand washing diapers and using the occasional disposable wipe.. I have cloth wipes, i could use them, but i haven't this time (baby doesn't poop often). We use all cloth napkins/tissues in the house, we use cloth to mop the floor, wipe tables and counters, we use cloth dust mops, not to mention clothes and towels and dish towels.  There are 7 of us - while hand washing diapers could help in some situations, and hand washing is a good skill, in general.. how would this work if i suddenly had no washer/dryer .. the mountain of laundry even if we didn't include clothes, where would i even begin to put such a mountain of laundry.  How would i even go about transporting that amount of regular laundry to a laundromat - my big utility-style kitchen sink can only hold so much!  We washed clothes with limited wardrobes on vacation, using all disposable paper products, and still had to do at least 1 large load a day to keep up .. if we had to hand wash all of the cloth things (even if you don't count clothes), would i have time to do anything else? Does proving that diapers are hand-washable, and that I can hand wash them, really prove anything? should i be hand washing everything for a more realistic challenge? in which case, i'd need a decent clothes line.. my set up that holds one day worth of diapers wouldn't cut it.  and no, you probably couldn't pay me to give up a week to hand washing all of the clothes.  I think in a true emergency we'd have to just wear dirty clothes.. Dirty diapers wouldn't cut it though, so I guess that is where this is useful .. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

What does it cost to use flats?

Welcome to DAY TWO of the Flats and Handwashing Challenge hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry 

2011, this baby is now 5 and a half!
Today we are talking about the STASH.  What does it take to use flats.  Well, this is the 6th annual Flats and Handwashing Challenge and I was around way back in 2011 for the first challenge.  Here is a bit of a recap..
my biggest baby hanging diapers

2011 9 month old, no blog! 
2012 flats and handwashing challenge stash
2013 flats and hand washing challenge stash
2014 Flats and Handwashing Challenge Stash
2015 - potty trained toddler and pregnant :( :( :(
2016 Happening NOW!

I have been using pretty much the same flats since 2011, i've added a few Ikea burp cloths (not currently available) and receiving blankets since then, but the flour sack towels are on their 3rd kid - they have some holes, some are a bit ratty looking.  Some of my receiving blankets have been used as inserts or flats for 4 kids!  they are thin, frayed, faded - and yet still working just fine! 

ikea 'flat', kite fold
23lb 6 mo old, blueberry cover

Feel free to check out my past posts with more detailed cost breakdown (i think, honestly i didn't review them, who has time for that?) but this time? nothing. zero cost.  If i had to replace this stash (say, i gave it away and then had another baby) it would cost around $100 (not because it needs to cost that much , but because it is a BIG stash, so I'd probably cut that down to 50-75 with some nice covers) that is the great thing about cloth diapers - they really last a long time! I'd probably have to start replacing some of my flour sack towels if i needed them to last through more kids..

I counted, roughly.  36 flats (flour sac towels, nicer receiving blankets, and ikea burp cloths) in my 'flat stash' and i also have older, ratty, receiving blankets stuffed into 14 pockets.  Not planning to use those for the challenge but they are ready just in case, and i might end up using them for an all day outing Thursday so that i can try out at hand washing pockets (though i'm not excited about that idea). 

   I also have a handfull of covers.  2 thirsties duo size two, 3 blueberry covers (though 1 of them has completely shot elastic..and 1 is missing...  hmm), 1 bumpkins cover and i'm not even sure what else.  I have some girly covers (thirsties i think) and flip and econobum covers as back ups. 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Flats and Handwashing Challenge 2016!!!

It is that time again! the 6th Annual Flats and Hand Washing Challenge (Still so sad I missed the 5th, since i didn't have any kiddos in diapers last year) hosted by Dirty Diaper Laundry
This is my 5th year doing the challenge - 4th year blogging about the challenge - Since i rarely blog about anything, you can look up past challenges pretty easily in the archives.  Maybe one day this week I will link up everything and make it easy for you!

Why do the challenge?

1. to change things up, hand wash, line dry, use my covers that are collecting dust while i use my flats in pockets

2. to teach my kids how to hand wash (life skills!) -along with all the reasons one might need to hand wash diapers (or clothes)

3. (new this year!) to force myself to use cloth while we're out of the house*

4. i'm sure there are more reasons. the real question is, why blog about the challenge - cause that is the real challenge, finding time to actually type on a computer.  I may just give up on this part after a few days, we'll see.. 

* with 5 kids, we just don't go out as often as we use to, when we do, i throw on a disposable and usually i don't have to even worry about a diaper change before we're back home. honestly, i may just decide that one or two disposables when we go out is just how it is going to be with this many kids - or i may find that flats are no big deal while we're out.  


Sunday, December 13, 2015

"Chocolate chip bread"

  • 2 cups grated fresh zucchini/pumpkin/butternut squash
  • 1 cup applesauce (unsweetened)
  • ¾ cup coconut sugar or other granulated sugar
  • ½ cup light olive oil, melted coconut oil, or any light tasting oil
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or lemon juice (this reacts with the soda for rise)
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/2 cup sorghum flour
  • 1/2 cup millet flour 
  • ½ cup tapioca flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon x-gum 
  • ½ cup chocolate chips 
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the zucchini/squash, applesauce, sugar, oil, and vanilla, mix well.
  3. Sprinkle in the dry ingredients in order over the top,
  4. Carefully whisk the dry ingredients together before incorporating the wet ingredients.
  5. Stir in chocolate chips, and the lemon juice/ACV.
  6. Pour batter into loaf pan.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes for a regular loaf. A knife inserted in the middle should come out clean, and you may need to bake longer to achieve this (moisture content of squash will vary).
  8. Cool for 10 minutes and invert on a cooling rack to cool he rest of the way.

pull apart apple bread

Original recipe from here
I am just recording what i changed so i won't forget, and of course in case the recipe disappears as so often happens when i find one i like on another blog ...  

I want to try using this dough for cinnamon rolls, or some kind of chocolate chip version of this bread..

* 1 3/4 cup sorghum
* 3/4 cup millet
* 3/4 cup tapioca starch
* 3/4 cup potato starch
* 1¼ cup + 2 tbsp milk of choice
*  2½ tsp yeast
* 3 tsp xanthan
* ½ tsp salt
* ¾ cup sugar
* 2 Tbsp melted vegetable shortening/earth balance spread Filling
* 3 Tbsp shortening/butter substitute
* 1-2 apples sliced thin
* ¾ cup brown sugar
* 2½ tsp cinnamon
Glaze (optional)
* 1 cup powdered sugar
* 4 tsp water

1. Heat ¼ cup of milk of choice to 100 degrees. Add yeast and set aside for until foaming.
2. Mix all dry ingredients for the dough. Combine yeast, melted shortening and remaining milk of choice.
3. Vigorously mix ingredients by hand for 10 minutes or stand mixer for 5 minutes to help activate gum. Cover bowl and let dough rest for 10 minutes. Work on apples while waiting.
4. Wash, peel and core apples. Thinly slice apples into small bite size bits, set aside until needed.
5. Lightly grease a sheet of parchment paper the size of a baking sheet. With greased hands, gently press out dough to form a rectangle approximately 16x20 inches.
6. Lightly spread shortening over entire dough. Mix cinnamon and brown sugar and evenly sprinkle over entire dough (reserve 2 Tbsp for sprinkling on top)
7. Slice dough into 6 equal rows lengthwise (right to left) and 4 equal columns width wise (top to bottom)
8. Gently drop apple bits over entire dough in a single layer. (You'll have a little apples left over)
9. Carefully move each square into a 9 x 5 inch bread pan stacking upon one another. For the last end piece, make sure the filling side is down so the it won't stick to the pan. Sprinkle with remaining filling.
10. Cover with plastic and allow to rise in a warm area for 20 minutes. (do not allow dough to double in size or risk collapse during baking)
11. Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until top turns golden brown and internal temp reaches 190 degrees F. Remove from oven and allow to sit in the pan to steam another 10 minutes before removing to fully cool on a wire rack.

Monday, March 2, 2015

Elderberry gummies

Elderberry Gummies 
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened elderberry "juice" (recipe below)
  • 2 tbs orange juice
  • 3 tbs raw honey 
  • 2 tbs gelatin 
  • a little vitamin C powder (optional for added immune boosting power) 
combine all ingredients (add gelatin slowly or it will clump) and then heat just enough to melt the gelatin, pay attention not to get it 'hot' or you'll cook out the goodness of the raw honey! you should be able to stick your finger in and taste it.   - I almost never make this little, i usually at least triple this recipe and use ice cube trays to make the gummies.  (I spray them with coconut oil to ease removal) I give one 1/2-1 tbs gummy to each of my kids every day with their vitamins.

Elderberry syrup/juice 

1/2 cup elderberries (dried, or whole cup fresh) 
3 cups of water 

bring water to a boil, add elderberries, reduce to a simmer for 45 mins.  once cooled, add 1 cup honey to make elderberry syrup (great for sore throats/coughs immune boosting etc) or leave out the honey and make gummies!  you can freeze the gummies (or the juice, though i've never tried that!)  the honey will act as a preservative for a while but it is best to freeze if you know you won't be using the gummies or syrup within a few weeks.