Sunday, November 18, 2012

Foaming Handsoap for SEVEN CENTS A BOTTLE!

Ok I am sharing this as it is some great advice. She has done all the homework and just breaks it down in an understandable way. Please go to her website for more great posts. Busy At Home

Foaming Handsoap for Only SEVEN Cents! : Simple, Healthful and Inexpensive to Make at Home!!!
Posted: 17 Nov 2012 08:54 PM PST
Since I’m always on a never-ending quest to save money in our family budget, it will come as no surprise to any of you, that I’ve found another way to make a daily-use necessity, at home.  What WILL surprise you, and to be honest, knocked my socks off, (It’s okay.  I prefer to be barefoot, anyway.) is that it would be totally irresponsible, NOT to do it, now that I know what I know.  :)  I’m just like you and understand it’s so convenient to grab those cute bottles of liquid or foaming handsoap and throw them into the cart as I shop.  Our family needs one in all three bathrooms, at the kitchen sink, by the sink in the basement and one at the sink in the laundry room.  I don’t know many families that don’t go through lots of handsoap.  And if we’re honest, most of us buy liquid, or foam, because we don’t like the mess that inevitably comes with putting a bar at the back of the sink.  The problem is that if we’re going through a bottle a month in each bathroom and the kitchen and two or three a year in the laundry room and the basement, it starts to add up.  And when I look at the back of the soap bottles, the ingredient label makes me flash back to a horrifying vocabulary quiz in high school chemistry! “Oxychloroparaboliemysterygoopysoapystuff”and other indiscernible things that I am actually allowing my family to rub on their skin, multiple times a day!  There has to be a better way.
DIY handsoap
I designed and printed labels, then attached them to the bottles with clear contact paper. This homemade, foaming handsoap took about 10 seconds to make and cost me a whopping $.07!
The cost of the soap you buy doesn’t affect the chemically-ness of them.  Expensive soaps seem to have the same cast of characters as the cheaper brands.  And it’s pretty challenging to find any handsoap, body wash, shampoo, lotion or even toothpaste, that doesn’t include something called “triclosan”.  Sadly, it can even be found in some clothing, kitchenware, furniture and toys.  It’s definitely worth checking your labels!
Triclosan is a pesticide added to these products to make them “antibacterial”.  While I tend to be skeptical about the forthrightness of government agencies, especially the FDA; when even THEY feel like a product needs some closer scrutiny, I don’t want to knowingly purchase products that contain it.  The FDA’s own report, updated in August 2012, says, “Animal studies have shown that triclosan alters hormone regulation.”  WHOA!  I would think this would be a huge red flag for a family that deals with PCOS, diabetes, thyroid problems or any other endocrine system related disorders.  They also say, “Other studies in bacteria have raised the possibility that triclosan contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics.” and “At this time, the agency does not have evidence that triclosan in antibacterial soaps and body washes provides any benefit over washing with regular soap and water.”  (Read the full FDA report here.) To be fair, they have carefully sandwiched those statements in miles of verbiage saying that there are no conclusive studies about the effects on humans.  Hello!!!  Don’t YOU want the evidence to be conclusive – one way or the other – BEFORE you apply it to your family or allow them to ingest it in toothpaste or chew it off their toys?  I sure do!  The fact that the FDA is, currently, actively investigating the potential dangers is enough for me, at this point.  I don’t need pesticide in my pj’s.  And I sure don’t need it in my handsoap!
soap label
Notice that the active ingredient in this bottle of handsoap was Triclosan. I picked this up off the shelf at Walmart - their typical store brand, but most brands will have it. The red arrow is pointing to the refill line. I just wanted you to note that for foaming handsoap you don't want the bottle full to the top with liquid. You need enough air space to lather up your foam as you pump.
So, is there a healthy, effective alternative that doesn’t bust the budget?  There is!  And how would you feel if I told you, that you can trade in that chemical-laden, $2 or $3 (or more) bottle of handsoap for one you make at home in about 15 seconds, that is made with all-natural organic ingredients AND costs only $ .07?  Really!!!  It’s only $ .07!  Yeah, I thought you might like that.  :)  I’ll give you the recipe and then, I’ll show you the math.  You don’t have to pay attention to the math.  I’m just OCD, about that kind of stuff – lol.
Foaming Handsoap
Rating: 51
Yield: 1 cup of hand soap
Foaming Handsoap
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Soap
  1. To obtain foaming handsoap bottles, I buy the cheapest foaming handsoap sold at Walmart [Equate brand for $1.67]. Then I dump out the soap and thoroughly rinse the bottle and pump. Not only is this the cheapest foaming soap I've found, it has a cap made to easily screw on and off. Many of the more expensive brands don't. If you can find a less expensive source for foaming soap bottles, be sure to let me know. Once you have the number of bottles you need, you will just keep re-using them. Frugal and good for the environment!
  2. Pour one cup of water into a foaming handsoap bottle.
  3. Add 1 teaspoon, any fragrance, Dr. Bronner's Pure Castile Soap.
  4. Stir gently.
  5. Put the pump back in your bottle and label for use.
  6. It's that simple!
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Dr. Bronner’s Pure Castile Soap is certified fair trade and made with all organic oils.  I’ve never tried another brand, so I can’t recommend another.  What I know is that they are so concerned with purity, no chemicals and health at Dr. Bronner’s, that I don’t want to try another brand.  Remember that list of chemical alphabet soup listed as ingredients on the store-bought soap?  (See the label pictured above.)  Here’s the ingredient list on my Dr. Bronner’s Citrus Orange Castile Soap: Water, Organic Coconut Oil, Potassium Hydroxide, Organic Olive Oil, Organic Orange Oil, Organic Hemp Oil, Organic Jojoba Oil, Organic Lemon Oil, Organic Lime Oil, Citric Acid, and Tocopherol.  When I read the list, there were two ingredients I didn’t immediately know, so I looked them up – potassium hydroxide and tocopherol.
  1. Potassium hydroxide is potash or lye and none is left after oils are saponified into soap and glycerin.  What is saponify?  :)  I wanted to know, too.   According to Merriam Webster, to saponify is to convert (as fat) into soap.  It refers to the chemical reaction that happens when vegetable oil is mixed with an alkali (like lye or potash).  None of the alkali remains when the soap is done.
  2. The second ingredient I questioned was tocopherol.  Tocopherol, a fat-soluble vitamin (Vitamin E), is a naturally occurring antioxidant which can be isolated from vegetable oil.  (Source:
    castile label
    The ingredients on my Citrus Orange Castile Soap.
Phew!  Not only can I now say I know what every ingredient in my soap is, I am confident that they are safe for my family.  Take a look at that store label, again, and see if you can have the same confidence.  I’m so excited to have found this inexpensive and healthy product.  I also use Castile to make some of my household cleaners and eliminate chemicals there, as well.
Okay, so now….the math.  If you live in a larger city, that has a health food store, you can purchase Dr. Bronner’s Castile Soap there and it may be even less than what I pay for it.  Since that isn’t an option for me, I purchase it online.  Currently, the least expensive place I have found is  They have flat rate shipping of $4.95, so I ordered three 32 ounce bottles, at one time.  The total cost with shipping was $40.92.
$40.92 ÷ 3 = $13.64 per 32 oz bottle
There are 192 teaspoons in 32 fluid oz.  I can’t help it…..I just need to know these things.  :)
$13.64 ÷ 192 = .07104
7¢, people!  Only 7¢ to make a bottle of foaming hand soap!
You can TOTALLY do this!
It’s sad to need to state this, but in the age we live in, I feel the need to categorically state that I am neither a scientist or a doctor. The statements made in this post are my own opinion and you need to weigh the evidence and determine the best options for your own family.  I am excited to share with you the things that work well for my own family and point you to information you may not have been, previously, made aware of.  Busy-at-Home readers are some of the smartest, most talented and frugal women (and men) I have had the privilege to converse with; and I love being able to bring you information that has benefited my own family and to learn about what has worked for yours. You all rock! Seriously. In the marketplace of ideas, we may not always come to the same conclusions, but we respect one another’s best intentions to do what we believe is best for our own individual families.  I wanted you to have this information, and this recipe, so you had an alternative for your family, should you find what you read, to be useful.  I hope it serves you, well.   Hope your day is blessing-filled!   ~Glenda

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Spooner Advocate Column- November 15, 2012

Good morning everyone! It is snowing and 20 degrees! It looks like we may have some that actually stays on the ground at least for the day. That will make some people happy. I think it looks lovely and well since I don't have to go to school today I guess it is ok if it snows. LOL

I want to say I hope everyone had a nice Veteran's Day. I know there are services being held today as the holiday did fall on Sunday this year. I went to the Veteran's Pow Wow over at the LCO school and wow what a nice turn out! They really put together a nice day for all the Veteran's and their family. Thanks to everyone that put the Pow Wow together or that danced. Everyone did a great job, also thank you for the great meal! If you are a Veteran, thank you! If you see a Veteran when you are out and about town please tell them that you appreciate them. America would NOT be the same without them!

Northwoods Book and Fiber is hosting a Crocheted Wrap Sweater class on January 19th plus one other class that is not scheduled yet, from 1- 4pm. the instructor Carol McDowall can help you pick out the yarn and your hook- remember you get 10% off all knitting supplies the day of class and for pre-orders. It is not to early to register as the holidays are right around the corner and we all get distracted during this time. You can always call the store for the current class schedule, or check them out on-line at

I hope you have the shovel by the back door, sand or salt in a bucket. Make sure that you plan alittle more time to get where you are going- you never know how icy the roads are going to be. Have you stuck a couple blankets in the car yet? They can be artfully displayed over the backseat, they will come in hand if you have an issue with your car or if you have too walk to walk to get help. Also stick some matches, a flare, jumper cables, some snacks, extra socks and mittens, a hat, boots (in you don't normally wear them), some cat litter or sand, a small shovel, a flashlight (the ones that crank are really nice to have) in a tub in the trunk. You never know what you might need. I am sure there is more stuff to put in there, the main thing is just be prepared.

Have you read a good book lately? Why not drop me a line and I can let others know what a great book it is.

That is all I have this week. Stay warm, and safe. Please ask for help if you need shoveling or other outside activities done.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Red Schoolhouse Wines

Thought I would share this sale with you. The Red Schoolhouse is located in Stone Lake, WI and I have purchased some very nice wines here. Very cute little place. So hey if you are in the neighborhood why not check them out. Or go check them out on Facebook.

holiday flyer

Monday, November 12, 2012

English Paper Piecing

I am posting the whole e-mail that I got from them on here as this is a great company to support!! I really find paper piecing to be fun and entertaining and quite relaxing!
 Do you paper piece? Would you like a free sample to try it out? Drop me a line and let me know if you would like to give it a try.I will send you out the directions as well as the fabric that has been supplied so generously from the company! I look forward to hearing from you. If you would like to go to their site and see all the shapes that they offer please go to Paper Pieces.

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The Stitch
Grandmother's Flower
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Chrysanthemum Hearts
Chrysanthemum Hearts

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Dresden Ovals

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Dear Raine,

We would like to take the time to thank you for being a subscriber. You might have noticed a change in the look of this email. It is our 10th year and we wanted to change to something a little more special. We hope you like the changes and we look forward to helping you in the future.
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Hey Piecers!
This little corner of the weekly email has now been dubbed "The Stich", a mini-blog. Who is writing it? ME! I'm Jessica, the newest addition to Paper Pieces. I am a newbie to the quilting community too. My very 1st project is an "I-Spy" paper pieced quilt for my nephew. It's almost done & I can't wait to start another project! Now I understand how UFO's come be!
Well, enough about me! Check in on The Stitch to find tips, tricks, videos, & new products. Don't forget: If you're ever in the mood to show off your quilt, just send us picture! I love seeing your work, its inspiring!
Piece Out,
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English Paper Piecing is an age old technique of hand quilting. Let us help you create the heirloom quilt you want to pass down for generations.

We hope to meet all your Paper Piecing needs. Please let us know if you need help with anything!
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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Spooner Advocate Column- November 8, 2012

Good morning folks. Well the weather is sure getting cooler, however the days we have had sun it has just been beautiful! I have heard that various areas in Northern MN and other WI areas have had snow. All I can really say is I am glad it has been them and not us. I do like snow but as I get older I find myself dreading scraping the car off, plowing the driveway. I know that there are alot of you out there that think snow can't come soon enough, I hope it holds out alittle while longer.
Are the deer as crazy in your area as they are in mine? Wow, they are moving around alot. When I come home from class on Weds. nights it is like they all call each other and say "Hey Raine is on her way home- lets go jump out at her". The great day that I came across a bunch of deer in the ditch was a great day. They thought they should run, so then I would stop, think that they are going to go across the road. Oh no!! They decide to stop too. So then they go back to eating and looking at me. So I thought well I will go..... Oh no they thought we have to go with her, so they start running along side the car- like I am part of the herd! It was quite the experience!
I hope that everyone exercises their right to vote this Tuesday. It is very important that we don't take the right to vote for granted. Alot of people fought for those rights and they would say do your American duty and go place your vote.
Remember this week is the workshop at UW-Barron Co. in Rice Lake on Thursday, Nov. 8 from 9:00 AM – 3:30 PM designed to help you identify which grants or other financial options might be right for you. This workshop is designed to give farmers and agricultural entrepreneurs’ information, tools, and hands-on training to strengthen grant and loan applications. It will help you create a competitive application and get the financial resources you need to fuel your business. You will walk through an actual proposal and work together to develop key components of a strong proposal. The registration is $15 to cover lunch. Please give Otto a call at the Spooner Ag Station at 715-635-3506
The Beginning Farmer Course starts THIS WEEK, 14 regular class sessions will be starting Nov. 8, 2012 at the LCO College in Hayward. Classes run from 11:00 AM to 1:30 PM on Thursdays. The entire course can also be taken on line. The cost of the entire course will be $240 or $15 per session. Please register by Nov. 5th if you plan to attend the entire course. To register or obtain further information, contact Otto Wiegand or Kevin Schoessow atUWEX Spooner at 715-635-3506
Weekly yard tips- these came from the Arboretum in MN.
  1. Keep mowing your lawn as long as the grass is growing. Meadow voles and field mice will damage turf and nearby trees and shrubs if they have long grass for food and cover.
  2. Spread clean straw, marsh hay or oak leaves over tender perennials, newly planted bulbs and strawberries before temperatures drop into the teens but after the soil surface has frozen.
What to Plant- these also are from the Arboretum in MN.

  1. Many garden centers and florists will have Amaryllis bulbs for sale and often they are already planted in a pot and all you need to do is add water. Amaryllis are long lived plants that can be grown as blooming house plants during the winter and as foliage plant outdoors during the summer with a 8 week rest period in your basement during the fall.
  2. Force tulip bulbs by planting them so they are barely covered with the “noses” poking out in shallow pots. Water well, cover with plastic and move to your refrigerator or an unheated, insulated garage that stays cool but does not drop below 35 degrees F. After about 12 weeks the pots may be moved into a cool area indoors and flowers will appear in 2 -3 weeks.
Have you ever been to the Arboretum? We have gone a handful of times- it really is a beautiful place and just a wonderful place to go. They have some wonderful things that they plan for the holiday seasons coming up, why not take a day trip or meet up with some friends and go check it ouot. They also do various classes- they are well worth the trip over to see them. If you would like to check them out on line their address is - go to the Making Spirits bright page and see what all is going on. I have to say I would love to go to the Christmas Tea, would also like to have a membership again.
Medicare open enrollment starts Oct 15 and goes through December 7th, 2012. If you need help in deciding how to pick a plan or stay on a plan you can go on the Medicare Plan Finder at If you want a person to actually help you out collecting information to make an educated decision you can go to the Wisconsin Aging and Disability Resource Center. They can be found at .
News from Springbrook VFW Post 10568 - The Springbrook VFW Post 10568 is having a Gun raffle. Raffle tickets are $1 donation it 6 for $5. There are 5 top prizes, 3 of which are guns, the fourth and fifth prize are $100 cash. The Gun raffle prizes will be awarded November 21,2012 so you still have time to get your raffle tickets. They are also collected unopened, new toys for the Marine Corps “Toys for Tots” program. If you have any questions feel free to give them a call at 715-766-2128, they open at 3pm on the weekdays and noon on weekends. As always everyone is invited to come to the community potluck every Wednesday 5-6 pm, please bring a dish to share.
That is all that I have this time for you. Please let me know if you have any info that you would like shared with the community. This column is posted on my blog every Thursday as well and is read by folks that do come to our area, so please let me know what is going on out there. Have a fabulous week!