DIY, Food, Frugal

Fun in the Kitchen

Here’s a fun little afternoon in the kitchen for you.  I had some oranges ready to be used up and it got my wheels turning.  I knew of at least three ways to use them up and I decided to make a video to show how we used each part of the orange for a kitchen project.  I always feel a bit like a depression era mama when I cook up these little DIYs but it makes me happy to use what I have to the fullest. What can I say, I’m an old soul!


DIY, Frugal, Home

Laundry Soap Video Tutorial

I love making everything I possibly can! And so I bring to you this humble video because I also want the rest of the world to fall in love with the DIY life.  A special thanks to my dear husband who helped me put this together. Also, thanks to all you MOPS ladies who introduced me to the amazing (and addictive) benefits of making your own household cleaners. I’m hooked for life. Thanks.

Hope you like it!





New Look



Happy Saturday!

I have been messing around with themes and graphics last night and this morning.  It’s been fun but oh my! I think my eyes have been over dazzled with options.  Pardon the changes as I fiddle around!

We are fine honing our budget a bit more and I will share all of that later on.  For now, I think I’ll just sit back and enjoy this image.  Aahhh, one thing done and a million more to go! Hope you are enjoying a productive day (or just enjoying a nice relaxing one!)


Toothpaste DIY *Super Cloves*

I’m really bad about measuring ingredients. Like, terribly bad. I like to adjust recipes while I’m making them. This puts my more precise friends in a state of agitation so I usually keep up a stream of chatter as I cook to avoid scrutiny. But today for the sake of being able to replicate I am going to get exact (ish) measurements for my toothpaste recipe!
***I am not making any medical claims, use at your own discretion***

10-20180129_101941*Edit* for some reason the actual recipe and photo captions didn’t save so I am updating with the information that should have been here all along.


1/2 Cup Coconut Oil

1/4 Cup Ground Cloves

1/4 Cup Baking Soda

1/2 Teaspoon Spirulina

1/8 Teaspoon Salt ( I used coarse salt and ground it in my coffee bean grinder)

*Back Story*>Why bother with toothpaste? Well, during my husband’s deployment I neglected my teeth. Bad, I know. But when you are single mommin’ it with three kids and you find yourself passed out on the couch after skyping half the night (because time zones don’t care if you’re tired) you’ll understand how these things happen.  Anyhow, I had painful, bleeding and receded gums. One tooth had turned an awful dark gray color and was fairly loose. Ugh, no. So I went to the dentist and they not so gently cleaned my aching mouth and sold me a $14 tube of toothpaste that was supposed to decrease sensitivity. No support for the receding gums or dying tooth though. I tried the gunk, I mean, toothpaste and it was awful. You basically rub a thick slime on your teeth at night and wash it off in the morning. Um, not gonna work.

I just decided to go back to what had helped before. I treated my bad tooth with clove oil in hopes to heal it. It actually has regained a more normal color and isn’t loose. Yes!

For my gums I did a quick search on oral health and saw that a lot of tooth powders contained minerals of some kind, usually in clay. I happen to have lots of odds and ends on hand and this is the recipe that I like best and use daily. My teeth feel stronger and are less sensitive with regular use. And no more bleeding gums ! Double yes! While travelling I decided not to fuss with my toothpaste and just bring a normal travel tube. ( I can just see me trying to explain that mess to TSA…ha!) But….my teeth started to ache again in just a few days. I could almost feel them weakening…weird. I’m no dentist but I know when I do/do not have pain. I’m taking this stuff with me on every trip!

An added bonus* that baking soda is nice and scrubby so you end up with a brighter smile! Another added benefit is that the coconut oil seems to have a little bit of the “oil pulling” effect and I have noticed more congestion issues when I am not using my DIY paste. This one is a win all the way around! I hope you try it as see how it works for yourself. (Best results are with regular use)

Melt your coconut oil and add to a pint jar (or any other 1-2 cup container with a lid)
Add 1/4 cup baking soda to the oil
Add 1/4 cup cloves to your oil and soda
Add 1/2 teaspoon spirulina (for minerals) to your mixture
If using coarse salt you can grind it up before adding- this makes a nicer paste
Add 1/8 cup salt and mix! That’s it!

If you prefer a more liquidy version, my friend Jackie makes this one. I’ve used it before and it does work well. (I just prefer the scrubby)

DIY, Getting Girly


I have been working on my hair for a while now. I have naturally thin hair and fine  strands.  While it is silky and quick to fix I began to worry that I may not have much to work with in my later years. I cut out sulfates a couple years ago.  I use heat sparingly.  My new tactics include using a WHOOOLE lot more oil. I now oil the last 6-8 inches before and after washing.  I have added a weekly hair mask to my routine.  It must be all those farm grown eggs that did the trick- my hair loves it!


Photo on 2017-10-16 at 09.03
Here is my hair this fall. I wanted to test my hair improvement practices first before posting. I needed results.


Photo on 2018-01-08 at 09.28 #2
Now it is January and I can see a difference. A bit more thickness and lots more shine. Plus, the silkiness….oo-la-la!

The second picture may not be very obvious but I wound it a bit tighter and still had more thickness so I know there was an improvement.

Photo on 2017-10-16 at 09.01 #2
Here is the BEFORE on the hairline. This is the area that I notice the most. I have to be a bit creative at times when styling my hair because it can be pretty bare :/
Photo on 2018-01-08 at 09.42
Same area a couple months later. I’m thinking I’ll keep the egg masks coming!

I have been cheating just a bit.  I am at heart a lazy girl and I totally skipped the prewashing and now I apply my mask to dry, unwashed hair.  I’m going to wash out the mask anyway so I saved myself the trouble.

I have been using an argan oil for my pre and post shower oil but you could easily use olive oil for a less expensive product.

The basic hair mask I use can be found here and it can be altered a million different ways.  Add a few drops of your favorite essential oil or give yourself an extra treat by adding a fancier oil/conditioner to the mix.

Stay beautiful!

DIY, Frugal

DIY Extravaganza

Here area few of the things we like to DIY around Henneke Farm:

Laundry soap (you can find that post here)– super easy to make and very cheap so this one is a win.

Shampoo-  most homemade bar soaps (you can find that post here) work very well on hair *bonus* they are a hair/body bar in one.  My family still gets shampoo and I buy the sulfate free kind when it’s on sale but it ain’t cheap! Bar soap does the trick and keeps cost down. *extra bonus* They are totally customizable to your needs and taste.

Toothpaste-  don’t tell my dentist but my teeth feel way cleaner and stronger after trying the homemade tooth paste. *WARNING* it taste terrible (but it works)! My youngest daughter has some yellowing and loves that her teeth are cleaner with my paste.  The taste has kept the other family members away- they refuse to be converted!

Gatorade type drinks – We add some lemon/lime juice or other flavor enhancers (my watermelon jelly that didn’t set is my favorite) to plain old water.  My kids actually really like this. To kick things up a notch we add ACV and to sweeten we add stevia.  We do occasionally get a gatorade or similar drink for a treat but on regular days this is our main “flavored” drink.

Paper towels (except for camping, road trips and my cast iron cookware) I buy a $3 rag bag from the thrift store and use them as my messy towels.  When they get icky I wash them and when I can’t stand the looks of them anymore I give them to the boys to use when they are fixing machinery in the shop.

Sauces- Most can be recreated easily with minimal effort.  I do buy sauces but only if they are a steal.  Other wise my blender can puree tomatoes and a bit of butter and flour in a sauce pan can make a dandy base for creamier sauces.

Spice mixes – Kinda the same deal. If it’s a steal, sure. If not, I have my spices on hand to mix up most flavors that my family likes. Plus, you can usually find recipes for rubs and seasoning blends online.

Some clothing – I don’t sew a lot from scratch ( I HATE patterns!:/) but I do alter many of my things to fit my daughter when I am done with them.  I also add bits and pieces to outfits to make them more complete/modest.

Animal pens/feeders –  We were blessed to have a ready made farm to step into but there have been a few items that we have had to build for ourselves.  My husband made a simple hayloft in the goat barn.  My son made a feeder for the chickens.  With help from my son I made an enclosed chicken yard.  Yep, we are a DIY family!

Girly stuff- Hair masks,(you can find that post here) scrubs and simple beauty aids are easy and fun to mix up in the kitchen.  Recently my 8 yo made her own lip balms (you can see that post here) completely on her own! Nice 🙂

Gifts- Not all homemade gifts are a hit (can I get a witness?) but we really wanted to give something personal this Christmas so we set off on Craftpalooza (you can see that post here) this year and it was super fun as well as rewarding to give our handcrafted items to those we love.

Hope you are having a lovely Monday!



DIY, Family, Frugal

Going Old School (again)

Ah, the budget. A thing ever one loves to hate. We, here at Henneke Farm, have put it off for a while. We were still in new house mode where everything needed repaired/updated ASAP.  Then we had a family vacation followed by 2 emergency trips out east. Now we were scrambling for financial air so it’s back to square one. Hello Dave Ramsey!

We have been debt free for several years now and I can’t tell you how awesome that is. Truly, you have to experience it to know. We pay cash for everything so no worries about credit card bills. We live on a modest amount (for all 5 of us & 25ish animals) so we aren’t doing terrible but there was a lot of room for improvement.

Here is a snapshot of the system we had during the “haze”

I go to store and call husband from parking lot-

Me: “I’m at the store, what can I spend?”

Husband: “not much”

Me: “so….like you wanna eat beans this week?”

Husband:”no, you can get real food just not much”

Me:”I need dollar figures, I’m not a mind reader”

Husband:”about $50″

*I go into store and buy half of aisle 9 because we are out of everything

Repeat that about 3x a week for 2-3 months. Fun, right?!

Yeah, not so much. So we sat down and wrote it all out. My husband, who is techy printed out the budget. I am hands on and I had to write mine….to make the numbers “real”, you know. Then came the debit card verses the cash system debate.

My argument : I can keep better tabs on spending if I have cash and I’ll spend less.

His argument : It’s better to use a card because all purchases are accounted for online.

This went on for a while. It was a nice cicular discussion that tends to flow around itself and arrive exactly back at the beginning everytime. *sigh*

We ended up settling on the cash system with a challenge. I could use the cash from a recent sale for all of the food/household/animal purchases this month. Here’s the challenge – the money I would have taken out stays in the bank and I have a about $300 less than I normally would have to work with. Challenge accepted!  One week down…3 more to go!

My homemade cash system. I just cut down tabbed dividers to fit my wallet and added a cover made from a plastic folder. On each category I wrote the total for the month and when to withdraw it. I’m an old fashioned girl living in a high tech world!
DIY, Home

New Year, New Projects

One thing I really wanted to do is to get organized this year. I’m sure many people have that on their list January 1st and as the days slip past and weeks turn into months it becomes more of a dream than a reality. I can relate to that! I started a full house purge and on my way through I noticed a few small, seemingly insignificant items that just REALLY  bugged me. Messy papers for one. I hate messy papers and yet I love paper crafts. The struggle is real folks!

So, as a task oriented individual I set out to find a solution. Behold mess paper exibit A:

A box. Full of notes. In alllll different sizes on so. many. scraps. of paper. The inconsistency of it all! (Insert dramatic music here)

The goal is to copy all pertinent information onto index cards and file by date. Why bother? Um, because there’s good stuff in them thar notes! (Use mountain man voice here)

So I have begun and I have to say I am very happy with my progress. True, it may take me more than 2018 to complete (I have notes from as far back as 2005-2006 ish) but I love being able to flip through them easily and remember/review what was preached.

My stack so far
Another card in progress
See what I mean? Scrappy paper mess into neat and tidy 🙂
My notes in their new home. No messy scraps and easy to look through. I’ll be taking notes on index cards from now on so no more copying for me!
DIY, Frugal

Book Jacket DIY

My tattered little travel bible.  Its cover is sadly worn.

Have a beloved book that could use a sturdier cover? Have no fear, you can easily (and in expensively ) update your book’s look and also up its durability. I am working on a new cover for my bible. I have two with worn soft covers that are needing a little more protection. My larger one I did a while back and my smaller travel size is getting its make over now. Here’s the process…

Cardboard jacket and my tattered bible.  They are soon going to be best friends!

I cut a cardboard cover to match the size. Hello, stuffing box! I purposely used a thinner cardboard to make sure it was flexible.  I planned on using a thicker fabric and small books can be tricky to work into their jackets when completed.

The chosen fabric.  A simple but sturdy yellow and gray floral print.  I liked the detail and shadowing on this fabric.  Had I thought it through more I would have picked the prettiest section with the most yellow and I would have flipped my cardboard over to the white side to keep the floral print nice and bright on the finished product.

You want to give your cardboard a healthy smear of plain old white glue and then place your chosen fabric on top. Make sure you have some excess on the fabric, especially the cover sides. You need to keep weight on it as it dries to keep it from bubbling up. Make sure your weight is distributed evenly.

Glue, cardboard and fabric sandwich 🙂
I use my DeMarle (BONCook) baking mats to keep all that stickiness in one place and not on my countertop.
The tin is to distribute the weight of the brick so that there are no lumps as it dries.

You can check you cover periodically to make sure is smooth and test dryness. During the drying process you will want to “try on” your jacket by placing it over your book and locating the creases where the cover bends. As you form the jacket around the book it should naturally crease in the right spot. You can use a ruler to neaten the crease and add more pressure. This should be done before it’s fully dry as the cardboard is softer and shapes easier. After you crease it leave it to dry fully (again, weighted)

Next you will cut two pieces of cardboard half the size of each cover and glue them onto the fabric. These will be the flaps that hold your book’s original cover in place. I *should* have spaced these pieces out 1/4″ as it needs a little gap to go around the edge of the book’s cover. Yes, that 1/4″ inch matters. I’ll show you how I “fixed” it but you can leave a 1/4″ gap and not have to fix anything! 🙂

My two end pieces that will become the flap that holds my bible cover in place.


The end pieces have been added and the edges of the fabric glued down.  DO NOT glue the fabric on the sides of the flap.  Those pieces are left out so that we can create the pocket that the book cover will slide into.

Leave to dry. When dried you can trace your book jacket (not flaps) onto cardstock or an old folder and cut it out to make a nice clean inside to your book jacket.  You can just glue it in place and again, weight it to dry.

I used and old folder to line my book jacket and now I am using a ruler to put a crease where the books binding will go.  I want to make sure I have the flexibility to open it!
It’s dry and now it’s time to make our side flaps into pockets.

Almost there! Ok, I’ll show you how I fixed my oopsie and then we’ll finish this book!;) Get the pun? Long post? Book? Hehe…ok, back on task!

I had to force my 1/4″  curve in there and that made my cover off by just the *{tiniest}* amount. Still, if I had spaced the flaps out 1/4″ I would have given the jacket enough room to bend around my book.

Ok, time to wrap it up. Bring in the hot glue!

Fold your excess flap fabric in. And hold it…hold it…!

Add a bit of hot glue. *Pro tip* use a butter knife to get in that tiny space and make it smooth!

One finished corner! Three to go!

Project complete! You can see the bit of fabric at the corner where I miscalculated the curve of the cover.  I’m going to see what I can come up with to dress it up a bit but I’m very happy with it!

So there it is.  Your kinda-long-but-totally-doable book jacket DIY 🙂

Happiest of New Years to you!

Continue reading “Book Jacket DIY”

DIY, Frugal, Sew

I’m SEW happy!

For those of you that sew you know the angst of not having a running machine or not having the time to complete your projects.  Well, I finally had a bit of time on my break where I did not feel like death and got to knock a few things off the list. I made a skirt for me, 1 for middle girl and 2 for little girl. I also made a “sower’s bag” to hold all my seeds and plant markers for my garden. But the project I’m sharing today is this:
This little bag was lovingly created from an embroidered piece that I had been hoarding…um, SAVING for a special little project. I am going to be using my travel size bible more as it fits in my purse and I made this bag expressly to hold bible, pens and index cards for taking notes. I love it!

Here’s how I did it:

I knew I wanted a lined bag so I started by cutting a piece of chambray to the same size and sewing right sides together.
Here it is with the 2 pieces right side out.
Next I pressed it with the iron (*important step*) and did a top stitch all around the edge. I also tucked the open end in and top stiched that so I had a complete square- embroidery on one side and chambray on the other. I don’t have a picture of it but after that I just folded the square in half and sewed up the sides to create the bag.
Almost done! Here the sides are sewn up and it’s time to put in the zipper!
I hand stitched the zipper as this is a smaller project and I have much better control with my hands. And it’s done!
Blurry picture but here is my little bag in use for its intended purpose! Love!

So if you are cruising the thrift store and find a sample of something you love you can create a unique piece that’s all you.

Happy crafting!