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Monday, January 27, 2014

The Baker's Acres is Moving!

The Baker's Acres is officially moved to WordPress. 

This blog will stay up and I will maintain it, reply to comments, and other things of that sort. But for the blog... it will continue on over at WordPress.

The new blog is more of a personal note type of blog. It's for me as I struggle my way through mental health. I am leaning towards a more personal approach and I love WordPress for their community.

My new blog is located here. You can read the reason why by clicking here.

This was updated 26 May 2016.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Saturday Surfing Web Crawl

Each week while I am researching for posts and just goofing off, I find some interesting links. Sometimes they are funny, sometimes serious, sometimes they are just weird. Here are four links I found interesting this week.

Lady Parts Justice

I found Lady Parts Justice after seeing this video of Sarah Silverman (one of my faves!) having a conversation with Jesus. I laughed a lot through the video but it's about a serious subject... Women's rights. This isn't just about the abortion issue either. Here is a blurb from Lady Parts Justice:
Women are not faking rape and they don’t have magical powers to deactivate rape sperm. We are not pregnant before we are pregnant, we can’t have an abortion if we are not pregnant, and I think we can all agree, women shouldn’t be forced to carry stillborn babies. Abortions don’t cause mental instability and the HPV vaccine doesn’t make girls mentally retarded. No woman’s boss should be able to demand information from her to decide if her reason for wanting birth control is moral enough to grant permission.
The bold words are my doing because on the site, each of those contains links to news articles. These are actual laws and issues we women are dealing with. Click here to check out the site and let me know what you think.

Cued Speech

As the boys and I learn American Sign Language, one of the things we needed to learn was the difference between ASL, Signed English, and Cued Speech. I hadn't heard of cued speech before. We found this video interesting because it explains what it is. I think I'll stick to ASL, but this was neat to see.

The 20-Year Family Mystery Revealed 

A guy posted on Ask Metafilter about cards his Grandmother wrote years ago during her last weeks battling brain cancer. They were written in a code and no one in the family could figure out what they said because no one could decipher them. Well, leave it to the internet to crack the code (or most of it) in about 15 minutes.

Click here to read the mystery as it is revealed!

Gestures that will make people overseas hate you

I love Cracked for their humor and writing style. They also have slides that show interesting things. This week I found one that is...

39 Innocent Gestures that will make People Overseas Hate You.

Enjoy surfing the web today! Have a link you want to share? Want me to look at your site and maybe even share it on a Saturday? Shoot me an email with the address and I'll check it out.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Friday Hang Out Night with Jillee (sort of)

This weeks hang out night will be hanging out and packing my friend for her move at the end of the month. I didn't want to share a blog post of us packing an apartment, sorting through stuff, and playing the "do you REALLY need this?" game. Unless you all really want to see that LOL. 

So instead, we brainstormed and came up with sharing a link to a site I love. This week, come on over and hang out with Jillee! On the internet of course.

One Good Thing By JilleeIt's not just her blog that I love about Jillee. It's here about me page. Click here to read it! She is inspirational to me. Her story speaks to me on many levels that are so personal I don't think I could put them on my blog.

I don't remember how I found her blog in the first place. I was searching some house cleaning tip that eluded me. Maybe it was the spot remover for carpets. Or it could have been how to unshrink my favorite pajama pants. I really can't remember. 

What I do remember is that day I spent HOURS browsing her site and loving every post. Her style is awesome! Her ideas are great. She is super upbeat and positive. Her writing style is awesome and her blog is so bright and cheerful! I fell in love with her blog that day and I find myself going back to it a lot. My favorite part is 

So for today's hang out night... Let's go hang out with Jillee! Check out her blog!

Do you have a favorite blog? 
Share it down in the comments!

Disclaimer: I don't know Jillee personally. But I do love her blog! And I get nothing for saying this either. I am just sharing a link I love.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Homemade Laundry Soap WITHOUT Borax

My sons and I are allergic, or sensitive to, almost all store-bought detergents. I started making my own laundry detergent years ago to help with the skin rashes. I ended up loving it and now I make it because it's also cheap! 

I used the recipe my mom taught me but had to alter it because we don't always have borax and sometimes I just can't afford it. When I'm trying to be frugal, borax is a luxury I just can't afford. Now I have a recipe for making laundry soap that is a little bit more penny-friendly for me.

The last of my batch from July 2013, made with Fels-Naptha.
The Kirks Laundry Soap will look more clear.
And before anyone asks: No, I am not one of those that thinks Borax is a horrible substances. In fact, I have a box of borax sitting under my sink and I use it. Sometimes I even use it in *GASP* my laundry soap recipe. Want to do a little reading on Borax? Here's a great read on the whole Borax is safe/ Borax is dangerous topic, by Crunchy Betty.

NOW! Onto the recipe...

Homemade Laundry Soap WITHOUT Borax

You will need
  • Baking Soda
  • Super Washing Soda (Next week I'll show how to make your own)
  • Kirk's Castile Soap or Fels-Naptha Or any other bar soap you like. I know people who make it with Ivory Soap.
  • A large pan for boiling water
  • A long spoon or wooden stick for stirring
  • A 4-5 gallon bucket to store it in. You can buy them at any hardware store.
  • A grater, like the one you use to grate cheese
  • A measuring cup. A 1-cup measuring cup will work.
If you can't find washing soda, I added a link to soap items. If you need help finding the items, just click the links above. 

I find washing soda at Wal-Mart and sometimes I can find it at hardware stores. I ended up making my own though since it is cheaper for me.

Before we start: A note about my laundry soap

I prefer a liquid laundry soap since I wash my clothes either by hand with a Mobile Washer Laundry Plunger and five gallon buckets, or in my Panda Counter Top Washing Machine. I don't want to wait for the soap to dissolve in hot water. I need it to mix with the water right away. I use warm to hot water with each load. 

You can make this into a powder form (I'll tell you how at the end) but I will be making it into a liquid.

Step-by-step: Making your Homemade Laundry Soap

Step 1 Gather your supplies
Get everything together! And get ready to make laundry soap! Here is a picture of all my supplies.

Everything you need! Just add water!

 Step 2 Grate your soap

With the cheese grater, grate your bar of soap. If you are making dry soap, skip down to the bottom. If you are making liquid soap, keep reading.

This is Kirks Castile Bar Soap grated

Step 3 Boil your water and melt your soap

Bring a pot of water to boil. Add the grated soap and stir... a lot! Keep stirring until your soap is melted.

Step 4 Add Washing soda and Baking soda

Add 1 cup of washing soda and 1 and 1/4 cups of baking soda. This isn't exact science though. So don't worry if you heap the measuring cup a little. Now stir until it's all dissolved into the soap water.
You can still see little flakes of soap.
It took about 10 minutes for the castile soap to melt once the water was nice and hot.
Fels-Naptha usually takes a little longer to melt.

Step 5 Start filling your bucket!

Carefully pour your hot soap mix into your four or five gallon bucket. Add your hottest tap water to fill it up to almost the top. Stir everything together very well with your stirring spoon/ stick.
Well, it's not pretty and cutesy. But it works for me.
My Homemade Laundry Soap storage bucket.

Step 6 Let it sit overnight.

Now you just let the laundry soap sit overnight. In the morning it will look like a congealed glob. That's okay! It's supposed to look like that. Stir it with your stick again and it's ready to use!

Here it is before I stirred it. I try to make a few bumps in the laundry soap glob but you can hardly see them. The spoon is standing up by itself!

Here it is after stirring. The spoon no longer stands up. You can't tell in the picture, but it's slowly sinking into the laundry soap.

One bucket will last me anywhere from 7 months to a year. My longest lasting batch was around for 1 year and 4 months.

Using your Homemade Laundry Soap

When I had a regular washer to wash clothes in, it was an HE machine and I never had any problems with this recipe since it is a low suds soap. 

You don't have to use a lot it for each load either. I use 1 to 2 TBSP per load. No, really! That's all I use! I have a shot glass that I use for soap. It's about 2 TBSP when full. I just measure it out depending on how dirty the laundry is.

If you have a stain on your laundry, I just take a Fels-Naptha bar of soap, wet the clothes, and rub the soap on the spot. Then I wash it. I guess you could use any other bar soap, but I always use Fels-Naptha because I usually have an extra bar laying around.

To make dry laundry detergent

To make dry laundry detergent, just add the grated soap, 1 and 1/4 cups baking soda, and 1 cup washing soda into a food processor. Run the food processor until it's all mixed together into a nice powder. 

When I made the powder version, I used 1 tsp per load. If you are using cold water, you will need to mix it with some hot water first so it dissolves, then add that to the washer.

Add-ins AKA Stink Pretties

If you really want to get creative, you can add 15-20 drops of essential oils to add a nice smell to your laundry. I don't add any to my soap but, a lot of people tell me that it makes the laundry smell nice. It seems that the main oil I hear of everyone using is lemon. 

If I were to add an oil to my laundry soap recipe, I'd probably pick mint. When I am out of laundry soap, I use Dr. Bronner's Liquid Castile Peppermint Soap instead and the clothes come out smelling WONDERFUL! 

I have been toying with the idea of using the Dr Bonner's castile peppermint bar soap in place of Fels-Naptha or Kirks soap. If I do, I will let you know how that goes. I am guessing it will be lovely!


By the way, this post has affiliate links. If you purchase something using these links, I make a little pocket change and you help me out. If you don't, that's okay too! I'll keep blogging anyway!

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Positive Pregnancy Test in Men Detects Testicular Cancer

I learned something new and interesting today. Did you know if a man takes a home pregnancy test and it's positive that they should get checked for cancer? It's true! But don't run out and buy a pregnancy test quite yet!

Might be cancer. Might be babies. Hmmmm.

According to the American Cancer Society, most men won't have high enough levels of the hormone to show up on a pregnancy test. What does that mean? That means that a man can still have testicular cancer, pee on a pregnancy test, and have it come out negative. They also have a page explaining how to do a testicular self-exam.

But it blew me away that it IS possible to to detect testicular cancer through a pregnancy test. I first heard about this in the news last week. At first, I thought it was just another internet medical hoax/ bad internet medical advice

But, after doing some research, a pregnancy test CAN be positive if a man has testicular cancer because some tumors secrete the beta-HCG hormone. 

And that, my friends, was the interesting fact I learned this week!