Saturday, December 29, 2012

Wrapping Up 2012: The Year's Most Popular Parsimonious Posts

Crazy how fast time goes by, isn't it?

Like all years, it's been a pretty eventful one for our family. The kids are growing like crazy; Max started kindergarten and my baby is nearly two years old. I feel so ambivalent about growing kids -- I love them at the age they are and want them to be little forever, but it's so much fun to see them grow, too. Thank goodness they both get even better with age. My super-talented husband has been really busy with his full-time job at Disney Interactive, as well as with his freelance work. It's been stressful at times but also a blessing -- this year we saved up enough money to buy a second car (a very basic but nice little commuter car for my hubs), to do some home renovations (we redid all the floors on the main level of our home and painted our cabinets), and we're almost debt-free (just a couple thousand left on our car -- yay!). I also turned the big 3-0 this year (which wasn't so bad, especially since we softened the blow with a trip to Disneyland).

The year was also full of frugal and homestead-y firsts:  I finally got the backyard chickens I'd been wanting for years, Kevin and I (and my parents) started our beekeeping endeavor (no honey for us this year, thanks to super-dry conditions, but we're optimistic about 2013 honey harvest), and we had our first yard sale. I also grew zucchini for the first time in my garden, started my own tomatoes from seed for the first time, and I even bought my first can of beer this year (to kill snails in my garden, of course). I wonder what we'll try next year...

Anyway, I thought I'd do what I did on here a year ago and look back to see which posts were the most popular (according to page-views) and compile a list of the top ten. I find it odd/interesting/amusing that a third of the posts in my top-ten list deal with poo. Go figure.

So, without further ado, here are the top 10 posts from 2012 on The Parsimonious Princess...

10.  Adventures in Cloth Diapering: The Post about Stripping

Like I wrote in the post, the title isn't even close to as scandalous as it may sound. After a while, some types of cloth diapers get minerals, oil, and detergent built up on them making them really stinky (we battled serious ammonia odors before I stripped our diapers) and less absorbent. This year, I stripped our cloth diapers for the first time. This post covers what worked and what didn't, plus some other info about build-up and how you can avoid having to strip cloth diapers as often.

9.  Abbey's Award-Winning Zucchini Cake

Make this cake. Hopefully you have some shredded zucchini in the freezer because this cake is awesome (just like my friend, Abbey).

8.  How I Reuse Dryer Lint for Camping, Emergency Preparedness, and Beekeeping

Yes, I found a reuse for dryer lint. Lint is notoriously flammable, so why not use that flammability to your advantage and make fire-starters? An update since I wrote the post: after my first season of beekeeping, I highly recommend using these fire-starters in your smoker. The fire-starters burn for a while and produce a nice, cool white smoke.  There have been a couple times when I didn't have a lint fire-starter and it was much harder to keep the smoker lit (and even when it was lit, it didn't last nearly as long as it did with the fire-starter in it). So, yeah, yay for dryer lint!

7.  Recipe for Relief: Homemade Teething Biscuits

So easy to make. Your little one will love gnawing on them.

6.  In the Backyard: My Milk Jug Mini-Greenhouses and How Empty Milk Jugs Changed My Garden

I put both of these posts in the #6 slot because they were in the top ten but basically about the same thing -- why have them take up two slots? That said, this is one my favorite things I tried in 2012. I'm still amazed that it worked and I actually started my own tomatoes from seed this year -- it was so easy! I'm going to start saving my empty milk jugs again pretty soon!

5.  Adventures in Cloth Diapering: The Post about Poop

Yep, I wrote a whole post about babies and poopy diapers. Apparently people wanted to know about it. It makes sense -- whenever people find out that I cloth diaper my baby, I can tell they want to ask about how I deal with the stinkier side of it all. This post has just about everything you need to know on the subject.

4.  How We Made Our Chickens' Water Poop-Free

It's been so much fun having chickens and collecting their eggs (I still get a little excited when I see eggs in the nesting box). What was not so fun about keeping chickens? Constantly changing disgusting, poopy water. Enter the 'chipple' (as the husband and I call it).  Problem solved.

3.  Ants Hate Cinnamon

They do. They really do.

2. Clothesline 101: How to Get Softer Line-Dried Clothes

Who would have thought that a tip my lovely grandmother gave my mom back in the 1980s would become one of my popular posts on the blog?

1.  Sudsy Savings: Two Homemade Hand Soaps

This post and the one in the #2 slot are so close -- it's almost a tie -- but the homemade hand soap eked out a win. I love that it's popular because homemade hand soap is so easy to make and so, so cheap.  We've been using homemade hand soap all year and will continue to in the next. If you're not already making your own hand soap, give it a try for 2013!

{Although it's not a post from 2012, I have to mention the little post that could: the post about making an emergency heater  from rubbing alcohol, toilet paper, and new paint can. Babble first featured it on a post about DIYs for the zombie apocalypse and then it went a little nuts on Pinterest. It's gotten tens of thousands page-views in just a couple months. I'm still amazed.}

Thank you so much for reading my blog. I hope it has helped your life in some way. I have fun writing it. I enjoy taking tons pictures of kids, animals, and inanimate objects for it. It keeps me focused on my money-saving goals because I feel a sort of accountability to you all. Plus, trying all the new things I do (partly doing them with the intent to share the results with you) keeps all this homemaking and child-raising fresh and fun for me. I'm not perfect at it -- not even close -- but at least it's interesting.

Best wishes for you and your family in 2013!

{This post is linked up to Your Green Resource, Simple Lives Thursday, and Frugal Days, Sustainable Ways.}


Heather Dixon said...

Wowsa! Congratulations on the emergency heater post! It's been so cold lately I might just try it to see if it works.

Christa aka The BabbyMama said...

I'm so jealous of your flock! Around here, chickens are legal but they make it almost impossible with regulations. Which is hilarious, because just in the next towns, there are just about no regulations. I don't know what my town is so afraid of.

Heather said...

Oh, I know what you mean -- our city just barely made it legal to keep bees (we've been keeping our beehives at my parents' home). Apparently there was some silly regulation about agricultural zoning or something -- you could have a goat on a 1/4 acre but you had to have like a few acres to have a beehive! Hopefully your town will make things a little easier!

Carla Belyea said...

Well, it seems that "Whispers from Elizabeth" has put me in touch with yet another great blogger! Just read your 100 Painless Ways to Live Frugally and it resonates with me. Great blog. Looking forward to more!

Blogger said...

I have just installed iStripper, so I can watch the best virtual strippers on my taskbar.

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