Adventure, Motherhood

Talk About it Tuesday: Clean Your Dishwasher

In April 2019 my husband & I bought our first house. Finally after spending years in family owned rentals and just living with family in general we have our own home for us and our little ones. We love owning our own place and pretty much everything is the same for us its just now the house, appliances, & land is ours not someone else’s.

I have always been good at fixing things and I enjoy learning how things of all categories work so I have no problem fixing what I can understand even if I don’t have a degree to fix it. Anymore pretty much anything can be found online more specifically on YouTube so the confidence is high and what I or my husband can’t get ourselves we do know how to ask for help.

Pretty much every appliance that we became owners of besides the washer and dryer came with the house. The one exception was the fridge which lasted not even a year then we had to replace it. That just leaves the dishwasher and with everything going on in the world we can’t really afford to replace that if needed to.

When it rains it pours because this past week maybe within the last couple weeks our beloved dishwasher has started to act up. It wasn’t draining correctly and had water standing in the bottom after every wash. Not to mention the dishes weren’t quite getting clean. I may have muttered a specific word under my breath when I discovered this. I was irritated its like anything that could go wrong in this year of 2020 just has because it could!
My husband & I were unfortunately faced with some decisions on what we were going to have to do about it.

  • Hire someone to fix it.
  • Look for a used replacement.
  • Fix it ourselves.

What to do was running across my mind pretty much everyday. I finally decided I needed to at least try to fix it or figure out if I could fix it. We can’t afford to hire someone to come fix it because its either gonna come out to too much money or not even worth it and too much money. The money that goes for that might as well go for a newer one but we don’t have the money for a newer one so that doesn’t make the best of sense in my mind. It’s a circle of going nowhere and a lot of time wasted.

The dishwasher we have is a General Electric Eterna Nautilus; I kind of feel like a badass in a way. Excuse the language but I wrestled that thing all day today and now I feel like we have an understanding on how a dishwasher is supposed to do it’s job. Now you see I am not a snob to washing my dishes by hand I really only need a dishwasher to sanitize certain dishes and currently the big ones are bottles, bottle nipples, & pacifiers. I can wash dishes by hand with the right accessories. I have hand eczema that if or when my hands come in contact with different soaps/moisture they tend to break out and become super itchy. I am not a fan when this happens because it hurts a lot. And after getting over a mango allergic reaction just recently not really looking for more painful skin problems anytime soon.

I took the drain guard out and then the drain grate that sets down a hole underneath it because if it wasn’t draining my mind says it probably has an issue with the drain, right? I cleaned both of them off really good and sifted through the drain for anything that may cause the water to not drain properly. I ran the dishwasher to see if that helped and it seemed to but just incase I also ran some vinegar & baking soda inside it during a regular wash as well. Note: (I double checked with YouTube to make sure I took it apart right & also to put it back together correct). After the baking soda & vinegar I put it back together then decided to really give it a deeper clean by getting out all of the built up gunk in the door at the bottom in the little crevasses that needed cleaned. I even cleaned out that little hole in the door for the rinse aid I figured that since the little plug had come out once or twice … it should be cleaned and vinegar & baking soda would probably be fine. It helped bring up some junk that got in there by using the old volcano cleaning method. I scrubbed with vinegar & baking soda then wiped it down and then sprayed over with some Clorox cleaner to sanitize it extra. I of course wiped it out real good to get that up off of the dishwasher the best I could. And because I was cleaning it I ran a full dishwasher load with nothing in it to clean off sort of residue I may have missed.

After a full days work of wrestling with my dishwasher and taking it apart then cleaning it out I finally was able to run a medium sized dish load. Good news is it didn’t leak which is especially great because it wasn’t leaking before so at least I didn’t break it more. This load seemed to get cleaner than expected but only time can tell for the future.

For the most part I feel I tried as much as I can do on my own and I am happy that I tried to fix it. If the problem continues it would probably be best to find a cheap and I mean cheap replacement versus trying to fix it. Can’t really afford it but if it were cheap enough maybe. I have never owned a dishwasher before just used family members. What I have learned is that I will need to make sure I clean it more regularly to keep all the gunk from building up. I would highly recommend that if you have a dishwasher to clean it regularly. I was cleaning it once in a while but will be more on top of it from here on out. Probably wouldn’t hurt to run some bleach through it once in a while but that is my own speculation not something that I know for sure. Anything that I have done with my dishwasher today and in this post has been trial and error things that I have kind of come up with myself/researched myself. I am always open to any tips for this area of expertise if anyone has any. I am not trained in any sort of working with these types of appliances but I am always wanting to learn about more things. Comment below with any tips about cleaning dishwashers or any fun stories if you have any down below!

Thank you for reading my post. Drop a like below and follow my blog. Check me out on social media and stay tuned for more posts coming soon.


Motherhood

Baking Soda and Vinegar Experiment

Trying to beat the summer heat has been full of a lot of indoor fun & activities. If you missed the last post you can check it out at the end of this blog post where I will link it. Today we did a science experiment for our activity using some simple items & ingredients in the kitchen. I remember making the baking soda and vinegar volcanoes growing up. It is exciting to see the mixture explode up high so I knew I had to share that experience with my kids.

The Science

The science behind the experiment according to Science Kids. “The baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is a base while the vinegar (acetic acid) is an acid. When they react together they form carbonic acid which is very unstable, it instantly breaks apart into water and carbon dioxide, which creates all the fizzing as it escapes the solution.


What you need:

  • A bottle or container for the experiment (we used water bottles & to keep them from falling over we set them in some old formula containers)
  • Baking Soda
  • White Vinegar
  • Food Coloring (Optional)
  • (2) Funnels

Note: we put ours in baking pans to help contain to mess as we did our experiments inside due to extreme heat but you could do this outside instead.

Instructions:

1) Set your container on the table or where ever you are doing the experiment. Make sure it is set up so it doesn’t fall over. Like I mentioned above we set our bottles down in some containers so they would be sturdier.

2) Next measure 1-2 Tablespoons out of baking soda and pour into the container with one of the funnels. (we used two funnels one for baking soda & the other for the vinegar).

3) This step is optional we added a couple drops of food coloring in the container on top of the baking soda to give it some color.

4) Now take the vinegar and pour it in the container until it bubbles up and out. We did not measure this out it was clear to see what was enough as I poured it, so use your best judgement.

5) Watch the reaction & repeat as many times as you want!

Get a parent to help with this experiment. This was a fun hands on project/experiment for my boys to do, they just needed supervision and guidance to do the experiment. They loved when the mixture shot up into the air!

Thanks for reading! Drop a like below & follow this blog. Also follow on social media. If you missed the previous DIY project check it out HERE.

Motherhood

DIY Toilet Paper Roll Binoculars

During the month of July & into August before school starts I will be sharing fun at home projects to do with your kids. Most will be inside because it has been super HOT where we live and my boys have just become super bored lately. They are about done with summer and want to go back to school. I will be sharing some fun at home crafts/activities me and my boys will be doing along with step by step instructions and pictures so you can do them as well!
Summer with my kids has been pretty wild they are always looking for some sort of adventure so what better than making a pair of DIY pair of binoculars. My little guys love pretending to do just about anything and with this fun little craft they can use their binoculars for all kinds of adventures through out each day.

DIY Toilet Paper Roll Binoculars


What You Need

  • (2) Empty TP Rolls or (1) Empty paper towel roll cut in half per pair of Binoculars
  • Roll of String or Yarn. (Optional)
  • Scissors (if you need to cut a paper towel roll in half & for cutting string)
  • Tape or Glue (Elmer’s White Glue)
  • Decorative Paper, Stickers, Or Markers for decorating. (could even use paint)(or do what we did)

Directions

1) First you take your tp tubes and decorate them however you wish to decorate them. (We ended up combining steps 1 & 2 together by turning our white Elmer’s Glue into paint by adding food coloring to it. Then we used old brushes & painted the tubes, then stuck them together and let them dry).

2) Next Glue the two tubes together like the picture below. You will need to clamp them together applying pressure until the glue dries enough to set down for further drying and so it doesn’t come apart when you do set it down.

3) This last step is optional especially if you have little kids and are worried about strings being around their necks. For this step poke two holes in each of the outer sides of the tubes and measure the string needed by tying one end to one side of the binoculars and see how far you would like it to hang down. Cut the string at the desired length and tie the other end to the other side of the binoculars.


Enjoy New Kinds of Adventures

Thanks for reading this post. Drop a like. Follow this blog & follow me on social media. Come back for the next Fun DIY project/activity; Baking Soda & Vinegar Volcano Experiment. In the mean time check out my last DIY project HERE.

Motherhood

Sanity Saving Home Activities for Kids

I have been trying to beat this summer heat wave we have been experiencing here in Iowa. It’s not summer in Iowa without the heat but it’s been very hot. Typically you just stay inside to cool down but like most people I am tired of being at home all the time! My house is always loud but this past couple weeks with this heat wave has been more than I can handle. My boys want to go outside but with how hot its been it’s just not plausible until it cools down just a bit. I as a mom am to the point where the regular inside activities are just not cutting it as both older boys keep asking when school is going to start back & I keep replying soon I hope. They are to the point that everything that is normally fun is just boring now! It is time for a change. I have come up with a list of new activities to do inside during this heat with my boys this summer! Hopefully this brings some much needed fun to our home and maybe yours too! I will be doing these one post at a time. The first craft is down below then will let you know what the next is at the end of this post!


DIY Glue Sun Catcher Craft by Betty Boiron at Mom Brite

Supplies Needed:

  • White Glue (Elmer’s)
  • Food Coloring
  • Toothpicks
  • Plastic lid (the lid Should be flexible enough so you can bend it to get the finished sun catcher out)
  • Hole Punch (I don’t have one so I just poked a hole big enough for string in the lid)
  • String
  • Foil or Parchment Paper (optional)

Instructions:

Note: Before me and my kids started the project I put foil down on the table as a table protector, you can use parchment paper or newspaper as well. Foil worked great!

1) Fill up your lid with the glue. (Enough to cover the surface of lid)

2) Add in about 3 drops of food coloring colors of your choice.

3) Using the toothpick swirl the food coloring into the glue, like so.

4) Now you will need to let the glue dry. Drying time will vary depending on how much glue you used. 2-3 days or longer.

5) Once glue is dry (when edges of glue start to peel), pop the sun catcher out of the lid very carefully.

6) Punch a hole in the sun catcher and add in string so that you can hang it up some place sunny.

Note: Our sun catchers some how got tilted during the drying process on the shelf I put them on they look a little wonky but still turned out pretty cool looking. Ours took about 3 days to dry completely. For the “string” I used an old onion bag cut into strips. I will be doing this one again because it got messed up but still wanted to finish writing this as it’s been three days already. Me and my boys still had a lot of fun with this even though it turned out wonky!
(the bigger the lid the more it will curl up)

Thanks for reading. Drop a like and follow me on social media. Keep an eye out for my next DIY fun craft we are making DIY Binoculars out of TP Tubes.

Meal Time

Homemade Crock-Pot Yogurt

There’s always something new to learn even when you think you are not capable of learning. Recently I have been challenging myself to learn new things; coincidentally you have a lot of time during a quarantine. One of those things, making homemade yogurt in the crockpot. I have been thinking about it for sometime reading through recipes trying to find well the courage to just go for it! I like many other people am afraid of failing; it’s silly but if I failed I would have wasted and I don’t like to waste things especially food.
I went ahead and made this recipe once already because I wanted to make sure I did it right! Seeing to how I am now sharing it with you guys must have turned out great! Now there are a variety of ways to make homemade yogurt with all sorts of fancy gadgets; the fanciest gadget I have for cooking in is a crockpot. I will start off by saying this is not my recipe; I found it on pinterest and will leave the link at end of this post to credit the owner of the recipe I used. I am sure that like me some of you are skeptical about making food at home that is just so easily bought at the store; that is why I felt like a post needed to be written. Someone needed to test it out, showing that its not that hard to do! And yes it is easier to buy yogurt from the store by the larger amounts but in the end this will save money & you can make it healthier because its tailored to you.
In order to start your own yogurt you will need 1/2 Cup of store bought yogurt with live cultures, but after that as long as you keep at least a 1/2 Cup of the yogurt that you make for a starter for the next batch after and so on you won’t have to buy it at the store. Imagine one less thing to have to purchase at the store. Sounds pretty great to me! Let’s get started.


What You Need

Crockpot (the recipe calls for a half gallon of milk)
Big Blanket/Comforter or Large Beach Towel
1/2 Gallon Milk (whole milk works best)
1/2 Cup Yogurt With Live Cultures (you can use plain or flavored)

Quick Notes

After doing quite a bit of research I found that this may be the easiest recipe out there; this makes a good yogurt but it is a bit thinner than other recipes out there that require a few more steps. I found that this is an enjoyable recipe since I don’t like really thick yogurt anyways.
Something else to note is that if you use a flavored yogurt starter there may be an after taste to it. I used a container of the Cherry Starburst yogurt with live cultures for my first batch and have not noticed an after taste; I also added strawberries to it and a little sugar to sweeten it. If you want a plain yogurt I would use plain yogurt; it is up to you. (Note: I made this second batch of yogurt using a starter from my first batch where I used a yogurt that had a color to it because it was cherry so that is why my yogurt is pink in color; I did notice that the second time round the color has become less noticeable in the final product.)

Making Crockpot Yogurt

1) Add the 1/2 gallon of Milk to your crock pot; I put a crock pot liner in before hand just a preference of mine when using my crock pot.

2) Put the crock pot on low & cook the milk for 2 hours 45 minutes

3) When the time is up, turn off the crock pot and unplug it. Keep it covered with the lid.

4) Let it cool down for 3 hours Just leave it on the counter in the crock pot with the lid on it.

5) When the 3 hours are up take a small bowl and add the 1/2 cup yogurt starter & a few spoonfuls of the heated milk to it; stir together until well incorporated. (just a small amount of milk)

6) Next add the mixture back into the crock pot and mix it into the rest of the milk. Mix well. Put lid back on.

7) Now wrap the crock pot up with the blanket/comforter or large beach towel, making sure it is unplugged and the lid is on it. I set mine on the kitchen table. (make sure it won’t get knocked over or messed with) It will need to stay wrapped up for 8-12 hours, from the time you wrapped it up. (overnight works best)

8) After it has set for 8-12 hours it should be thickened. At this step you can strain out the liquid which is the whey or leave it in its your choice. I left it because I don’t have any cheese cloth to strain it through. Cheese cloth is what you would generally use for that step. If you google alternatives for cheese cloth you may find something that will work. (Here’s an updated Cheese Cloth Hack)

9) Put it into what ever airtight container you will be using.

10) Let the yogurt cool in the refrigerator for a few hours before eating.

It will keep in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
Be sure to save 1/2 cup of this yogurt for the next batch.
After it has cooled you can enjoy it as is or add fruit & something to sweeten up a bit like honey or maple syrup. You can even freeze it for a summer treat. I am hoping to write a post about making homemade frozen yogurt so stay tuned in.

I hope you enjoyed this step by step recipe by Crystal Paine. Make it, Share it, Enjoy it!
Thanks for reading. I hope I can encourage you to try new things and share them with others. There is nothing like learning something new!

Original Recipe HERE.


I am also linking video to Jamerrill Stewarts Video on how to do this in both crock-pot or instapot. Then I am linking another video from Our Tribe of Many doing their homemade yogurt. These are just to show you some extra steps and I love watching these ladies cook they really know their stuff!

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