War on Average

encouraging each other not to be satisfied with mediocre


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Cloth Diapering with Shaklee

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Since you’ve seen that I cloth diaper…

Since my #ShakleeEffect video (watch here) came out, with the story of how I met Amber and we watched her daughter’s life transform, starting with finding a solution for cloth diapers, many have asked me about my cloth diaper cleaning routine with Shaklee products.

I don’t claim any of this is revolutionary or amazing but I hope it helps someone!

 

Quickly, in case you want more information:
Why do I cloth diaper? It’s frugal, it’s green, and I like using the cloth on my kids skin instead of the disposables.
How hard core am I? Not. I use disposables overnight and on vacation. And to church. Don’t be intimated by my version of cloth diapering.
Is cloth diapering hard? No. It’s way easier than I thought it was going to be. And I don’t think it is any more “gross” than regular diapers.
Why Shaklee? In general, I trust Shaklee (see more here) and it’s SO affordable on top of safe, natural, green, good for cloth diapers and like Amber says in the video—I can use it on EVERYTHING we wash.

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So how do I clean my diapers:
When breast feeding exclusively:
I keep a bucket of cold water by the changing table and toss all the diapers right in the bucket. They soak in prep for washing.

In an HE front loader, this soaking is especially important because of the minimal water used in the HE. I then put about 2 tsp (or a squirt with the pump—I don’t measure it) of Fresh Laundry liquid into the detergent section. This product is very concentrated and very effective so you don’t need a lot. Other than adding the detergent (same amount) to the main load, at this stage there is no difference in a traditional top-loading washer. I was the diapers on hot (mine then has a cold rinse).

While EBF I don’t see a need to do additional cycles with the machine but see tips below if you are not seeing sufficient results due to the variance in your washer.


When solids are introduced:
I highly recommend getting a sprayer. To me, this has been a crucial part of the process with cloth diapers. Click here to see the one we have used. Know that this is an art form in my opinion and may take some practice (and some extra Basic G until you get the hang of it).

We keep a bucket/garbage can in the bathroom and toss pee only diapers in there directly and spray poop ones off as much as possible into the toilet.

In an HE front loader, I recommend one of two things depending on your washer (and the time you have). Use either the “water plus” option to add additional water or do a cold “rinse only” cycle before the regular cycle. I then add the same 2 tsp (or a squirt with the pump—I don’t measure it) into the detergent section. I then add about 3-4 drops  (I don’t actually measure this either) of Basic G into the “bleach” section. This helps remove any smells or any yeast or mold issues. This is also helpful because I have found that as the children get older, they use less diapers in a day which mean diapers sit for longer periods of time.

In a traditional top-loader, the process would be the same other than removing the additional water/rinse steps.

You can use Basic G with the EBF diapers as well. If you pour in too much Basic G, it’s not a problem.

 

How do I dry my diapers?
Although different companies make different recommendations, I choose to hang-dry my covers and dryer wash (on medium) my inserts. I DO NOT use dryer sheets or fabric softener (even Shaklee’s—though I use it on my clothes)


What about when diapers needs to be stripped?
When diapers need to be stripped, I use a large bucket and put 1 scoop of Nature Bright and 1 tsp of Basic H and 1 tsp of Basic G (for every eight diapers) and fill with hot water. Then I soak the diapers and inserts for 24 hours. Then run on two hot cycles and one cold cycle.


What about cloth wipes?
For some reason I have not done this with my first two children, but plan to with baby #3. I will be using my sister’s wipe “recipe” and process. The truth is I did attempt this with baby #2 and it was the process that wasn’t working for me, so I am grateful for this new process!

Wipe Recipe:
1 16 oz spray bottle of water
1-2 tsp Basic H (PH balanced)
6-8 drops Tea Tree Oil

Wipe Process:
Have a container of baby washcloths, cloth wipes, or baby blankets cut to squares
Spray wipes directly before use
Wash with diapers

UPDATE:
So, since my second child has officially reverted back to diapers, we decided to give cloth wipes a try. It has been GREAT!  And I think because I use Basic H in the mix (and try to get most of the poop onto the diaper which will be sprayed) I can just place the wipes into the bucket I keep by the changing table (for pee diapers). I have had no stains (it’s been about four weeks) and no issues. Hope that is helpful!

 

Was this post helpful? Do you have any great advice too add? Have you also had great success with Shaklee products and cloth diapering?

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Stand for Something in Your Kitchen!

I’ve pinned hundreds of creative pins on Pinterest. One of the few I have actually done is the dish soap cake stand.

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It makes the most important or frequently used items accessible and by creating a central place for them keeps my counters clear of clutter. Not to mention the splash of color it adds to that corner of my kitchen.

When I’m sharing the non-toxic Get Clean line of cleaners (Amazing!) with friends, they are excited that even an extreme couponer can save money by making a healthier choice and saving the planet. So they ask, “Should I buy the cute Get Clean Basic H spray bottles?” And I say yes because I keep mine out and easy to get to.

Why do I keep them so accessible? On the cake stand I keep hand soap, dish soap, and my three Basic H spray bottles which I use for everyday (or every hour with little kids in the house!) cleaning needs.

Get Clean Degreaser: Great on our granite counter tops and stove top for cleaning as I cook or at the end of the day. I also spray it directly on stains when I get tomato sauce or beets on my clothes while making dinner. The spot is often gone before I even throw it in the laundry. I’ve also grabbed it to clean crayon off the wall.

Get Clean All-Purpose Cleaner: great for stainless steel appliances, cleaning off kitchen tables and wiping up a spill in the wood floor. It’s also great (and safe) to hand my three-year-old to let her clean up her own messes she is prone to make at her age.  It’s great to be able to give her cleaning products that are safe when she asks to help around the house. It’s allowed her to start learning how to participate in daily chores and cleaning up after herself at an earlier age than I otherwise would be comfortable with if we used traditional cleaners!  Bonus!

Get Clean Glass Cleaner: This is the lightest dilution to be made with Shaklee Get Clean.  I use it of course for glass, but it also works great as a fruit and vegetable cleaner! Safe, effective and inexpensive! When was the last time Windex pulled double duty for you to be an all in one cleaner for glass AND your food?!

Basic G Spray Bottle: Basic G is Shaklee’s germicidal product, effective at disinfecting and deodorizing inanimate environmental surfaces against bacteria, virus and fungi responsible for infections.  And without the toxic fumes and much more effective than bleach. This is great for dropping raw chicken on the floor, raw meat cutting boards, and of course, potty training…

So for those who have asked, that’s what the cake stand is all about. I love that I was able to even find it in Shaklee green!


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Four Ways You Can Love Laundry!

laundryYes, laundry is my favorite chore. By far. I am not exactly sure why. Maybe because you have to actually enjoy the item before it needs to be cleaned again (unlike dusting). Maybe because there’s a sense of accomplishment in each step (In my world wash, fold, put away can be three separate to-do list check offs). Maybe because you can have people over and it doesn’t matter if you didn’t get to it because you can hide it (unlike the guest bathroom).

In case those reasons don’t help you, here are four practical ways you can love laundry, including a confession of my own on how even laundry can be redeemed:

1. Use a Product that Makes You Feel like Super Woman
I was at a festival with my parents when my daughter spilled chocolate sauce all over her shirt. My parents looked at my apologetically and I was able to say “Stains don’t intimidate me!”  Because they don’t. I’ve removed some of the most awful stains in clothes from purple ice cream to all sorts of other gross things that come with children. I’ve also removed oil stains, grass and mud stains, and ring-around-the collar and pit stains. Stains are no match for me and I get to help others by helping them get out stains too.  In the end this saves money and often preserves a favorite article of clothing or upholstery!

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I use Shaklee Fresh Laundry as a detergent and a pre-treat. I use Nature Bright for stain boosting (as a soak), and Basic H for oil stains.

2. Use a Product You Can Feel Good About
I feel great about how the detergent I use effects (or DOESN’T effect) the planet and also the health of my family and budget.

Did you know that your laundry detergent can be traced in your blood stream? Simply changing laundry detergents can help clear up skin issues like eczema, help with allergies and asthma, and keep your family free from toxins (especially a child’s delicate skin). Our skin is actually our body’s largest organ and it is exposed to the most toxins throughout our daily and nightly lives.  So I feel good about using these products on the clothes my children wear and the sheets my family sleep on.

Did you know that you can help save the planet by switching laundry detergents? You can feel good about all sorts of cleaning knowing that one small thing you are doing is making a big difference.  That’s why we call it the Shaklee Difference and the Shaklee Effect!

Did you know that Shaklee laundry cost 18 cents per load? Seventh Generation Costs 35.7 cents and Tide costs 19.9 cents. My family/friends that use the Shaklee laundry detergent not only love how well it works but they save money too!! By using a concentrated product, you save money and the planet. Double win!

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3. Multi-Task
Another great thing about laundry is that you can accomplish a lot during this chore (and I’m not talking about catching up on TV shows).

Laundry is a great chore to do with your children—even the smallest ones. There isn’t anything breakable or anything that can hurt them. They can play with you while you fold, the older ones can practice sorting, counting, names of clothing items. At a very young age, a toddler can learn to fold clothes and press the buttons on the machine. I am a firm believer of letting your children be part of what you do and letting them learn alongside you. While we must let kids be kids and enjoy child-hood I also remember my mom’s frequent comment that part of raising a child is also raising a future adult.

It provides time to be thankful and be prayerful. The monotony of sorting and folding laundry can be combated by prayer. Not only praying for the feet of the socks you are folding but by thanking God for the things you love about them. I saw this quote on facebook once (and therefore am not sure the source), but it can particularly be applied while doing laundry:
Thankfulness drives away the clouds of weariness, self-pity, and impatience that overshadow the joys of motherhood.

(Not to say that watching TED talks or sermons on the iPad while you iron isn’t a great use of time, too)

4. Change your perspective
This is an honest story of my own personal growth in this area. I used to often get annoyed because my wonderful husband would put socks in the laundry inside out. Every time I got to one of those pairs of socks I would be a little flustered—in my busy life he was creating more work! Then, one morning, I was thanking God in my prayer time for my husband and thinking through all the things he does for our family. He has a lot on his plate as he cares for our family and lots of other families through his work. I asked God to show me ways that I could make his life easier, that I could bless him, and that I could care for him practically. Shortly thereafter I came to the laundry pile. And I was struck with conviction as I picked up his socks. I know he never took of his socks inside out thoughtlessly. And here was a simple way that I could bless him, that I could save him a few seconds every day, that I could care for him—and I was choosing a wrong attitude. My laundry chores have been so blessed since that day when I could look at laundry as an opportunity to serve my family and care for their practical needs.

Has any of this helped those of you tolerate laundry better or even make it a delight? Do you laundry lovers have other reasons that you love laundry? Please share them with us!


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So you want to save the planet? You can.

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One small action can create a worldwide effect. Do you believe it? I do. I always have.  Recently I have been able to define for myself and my family what that means for us.

For example switching the products you use to clean your house to Get Clean, an average household will annually keep 108 pounds of packaging waste from landfills and eliminate 248 pounds of greenhouse gas. That’s just you. As a perk you’d save an average of $200 a year!

And if we share this idea with a few people, who share with a few more people, it quickly adds up. If 5,000 people were to switch to Get Clean, it would save enough plastic bottles to go from Nashville, TN, past the Golden Gate Bridge, across Hawaii and all the way to the Great Wall of China!

It’s called The Shaklee Effect. One small action can save the world…starting with YOUR piece of the earth: your home. And that’s not even considering the countless stories of people whose lives have been transformed by Get Clean in helping to get rid of allergies, asthma and eczema!

So what about the “for her education” part? By saving the planet one Get Clean Kit at a time, if you choose to, you can also develop a sustainable business with Shaklee that could create a monthly income that could cover expenses like your mortgage and car payment (we do)…and even save for your child’s education.

I met a woman this past weekend who had nothing and her son wanted to go to Harvard. And in one year she made $100,000 towards that goal. Helping people one life-change at a time can completely change the possibilities for your family.

Want to join our family in saving the world?

Feel free to comment or contact me directly. I’d love to share how we’ve been blessed by The Shaklee Effect and how it’s allowed us to bless others and create a cleaner, brighter and more secure future. We want to give people the opportunity to choose how to participate in The Shaklee Effect in their own lives.  It’s been so significant in our lives we want to see others experience it as well!