[coffee containers & my baby’s butt]

This is the most genius idea and it will only take 5-10 minutes of your time! Unfortunately, I cannot take complete credit for this. You can find the original “recipe” here. I wasn’t entirely happy with the results, so I tweaked it a bit. My version is below. You can follow the step by step with photos, or just skip to the bottom for the condensed version. Enjoy!

You will need:

    • 1 Roll of BOUNTY paper towels
    • 1 Tbs. Coconut Oil
    • 1 1/2 – 2 Cups HOT Water
    • 1/2 Tbs. of Your Favorite Baby wash
    • A Mug
    • A Sharp Knife
    • A Container for your wipes

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Okay, so Step 1, cut the roll of paper towels in half, so you end up with two short rolls of paper towels. I find it’s easier if you kind of smash the roll a bit to make it thinner. Also, I use my hand dandy Cutco for this.

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Next, pull the cardboard roll out of the middle. You could have pulled it out first, but I find it is easier to pull out after you’ve cut the roll in half.

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Whew, okay that was the hard part. Now, get a mug and dump in 1 ½ to 2 cups hot water. I don’t like super moist wipes, so I usually do 1 ½ cups. Also, I just use water from my tap, but if you are super particular, go ahead and use filtered water. Add in 1 tbs coconut oil and 1/2 tbs baby wash.

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Swirl it around until everything is mixed. If your water isn’t warm enough, the coconut oil will solidify; if that happens, you can always put in the microwave for 30 seconds.

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Alrighty, almost done! Pour the mixture into the bottom of whatever container you are using. I actually use old Folgers coffee containers because I can get them for free. They aren’t cute, but they are certainly functional.

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Another option would be an old round wipe container. Dollar tree also has round containers, but you have to smush the roll a little to fit it in there.

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Last step! Place one of your short paper towel rolls in the container, put the lid on, and wait at least 1 hour.

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You did it! Don’t you feel so thrifty and accomplished?

Homemade Baby Wipes:

   Ingredients:

    • 1 Roll of BOUNTY Paper Towels
    • 1 TBS Coconut Oil
    • 1 ½ to 2 Cups Hot Water
    • Your Favorite Baby Wash

   Supplies:

    • A Sharp Knife
    • A Container for your wipes
    • Mug for mixing the liquids
    • Measuring cups/spoons

Step 1: Using a sharp knife, cut the paper towel roll in half. Then pull out the cardboard tube in the middle.

Step 2: In the mug, combine 1 ½ to 2 cups hot water, 1 tbs Coconut oil, & 1/2 tbs baby wash.

Step 3: Pour mixture into your container, then place one paper towel roll half in the container.

Cover with the lid & wait 1 hour.

Step 4: Wipe your baby’s butt & feel happy knowing you saved money & are keeping your baby’s skin safe!

***EDIT: I have since attempted making these wipes with the “Select A Size” type of Bounty. My thought was, of course, that I could get twice as many wipes for the same price. While this is technically the case, the wipes end up being a square rather than a rectangle and I usually have to use two anyway (so not much money saved).

Also, at this point I make the wipes with water and coconut oil only (mostly because I’m lazy and I have these things in my kitchen) and they work just fine. I switched to cloth diapers a few months ago and use these wipes exclusively. Happy wiping!

***EDIT 2: Just a note on traveling. The best way I have found to travel with these wipes is to rip off a bunch of individual wipes and carry them in some sort of tupperware-type container. I’ve used old greek yogurt containers (the big ones) and old parmesan cheese containers (I clean them first of course).

[eating the elephant]

A lot of new adjectives have entered my vocabulary in the past 2 years.

GMO. Unrefined. Organic. Natural. Vegan. Raw. Whole Grain. Whole Wheat.

Also a lot of nouns…for example I didn’t even know how to pronounce Quinoa (keen-wah or kee-noh-uh for those of you who don’t know either) until a year ago.

Now that I have children I am far more concerned about things like fiber, calcium, pesticides, and green vegetables in general. Heck, I actually eat Kale (and like it)! But I will admit that I have, on more than one occasion, almost given up trying. There are several reasons for this: 1) I have a budget. It is actually impossible for me to buy organic everything and stay within that budget. 2) Living “naturally” can be overwhelming! (Can I get an amen?) Seriously- I have this spiral that usually starts with some type of food, say apples. I have to wash my apples, right? But what if my soap has nasty chemicals, doesn’t that defeat the purpose? And speaking of nasty chemicals what about that shower cleaner I use that practically requires a breathing apparatus? Speaking of shower, is my shampoo organic? And before you know it I am looking around for some Oreos and Velveeta cheese because if I can’t change it all, why bother trying? Anyone with me?

My Dad has a saying: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!” Here are a few things we’ve done around here to make this whole lifestyle change a bit less overwhelming:

1) Add good stuff in and take bad stuff out one at a time (instead of everything at once)

For example, we switched all of our pasta from enriched white to whole wheat or veggie pasta. (My eventual goal is to make my own, and jar my own sauce made from tomatoes I’ve grown in my garden…see, the spiral?) Another example- I have a friend who doesn’t eat anything with high fructose corn syrup, she just won’t buy it.

2) Make your changes count! Change the things that are most important to you.

An important change for our family has been meat. I would rather have “happy” (antibiotic free, free range, etc) meat then other organic products, so I use a large portion of our grocery budget on that.

3) Switch things out as you use them up.

My latest kick has been using more natural cleaners and toiletry products, but that doesn’t mean I am going to go through my entire house and throw out everything that isn’t green. Instead, as I run out of certain items (like deodorant), I replace them with products that are less harsh.

4) Research, research, research!

I’ll say it again, research! When you run out of dish soap, don’t go out and buy 5 different kinds to see which one you like (unless you have a ton of money- then go for it!). Also don’t buy things just because they say “natural” on the label. I like to look up reviews on the type of product I need and see what other people have to say about it. You can save a TON of time and money here. It’s kind of like asking your friends which type of shampoo they like best, except you have a billion friends.

You will not have an off the grid, self sufficient, chemical free homestead overnight (if ever), but over time you can really make some big changes with a little bit of consistency. So set realistic goals and stick to them! You can do it!