Jan 28, 2011

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Hey big laundry detergent companies...the jig is up! You have been fooling us for too long!
Turns out we don't need to cough up a bunch of cash for those expensive, chemical ridden detergents anymore. If you've been on any blogs lately, chances are you've seen people making their own laundry detergent. And it really is as easy as everyone is claiming it is. I got all 3 ingredients at Kroger for less than $3 each.


Ok, I'm not going to pretend for a second that I came up with this recipe or that it was my idea. I did a lot of research and found many, MANY different sites, mixtures, recipes, ingredients, and so on.

Here are some of the links I used to make my concoction.
Mother Nature Mom
10 Homemade Laundry Soap Detergent Recipes
Jabs Homemade Landry Detergent

So, here's how I did it...

1 1/2 cups Borax
1 1/2 cups Washing Soda
1 bar Fels-Naptha

First I grated the bar of Fels-Naptha. Next time I do this, I'm going to try Dr. Bronner's. This was the most irritating part of the process but it only took about 15 minutes...nothing that would keep me from doing this again.


It wasn't quite powdery enough so I threw it in my lil' food processer and got it to the consistency I wanted. Might even grate it even more next time.
Mix all the ingredients together...and that's it!


Use 1tbsp per load. And YES you can use it with HE machines because it's a low suds detergent.

A couple more little tricks I learned
when doing my research...
If you don't want to use fabric softener anymore, you can just put a couple drops of oil (like lavender or Tea Tree) on a washcloth & throw it in the dryer with your wet clothes. To soften your clothes, put a little vinegar in the "softener dispenser". Turns out it removes that soap build-up & even neutralizes odors. Who knew?

I LOVE the smell of this mix. It just smells clean and I love knowing exactly what's in our soap now. I even used it on my cloth diapers today & it worked great!

Watch out shampoo & dish detergent...you guys are next!

Jan 26, 2011

Awkward and Awesome!

Saw this on the blog The Daybook and just HAD to participate! It's a fun little game where we list the awkward & awesome little things in our lives and I thought...oh yeah, I could come up with a few for sure!



Awkward:
-Putting the baby on my shoulder to burp after nursing only to discover my nursing cover came up as well
-Sitting at a restaurant with my kids when my 5 year old loudly exclaims, "MOM I have to go poop!" (Code words work wonders) ;)
-Having to dry off with a hand towel because I forgot my towel when I got in the shower
-Trying to open a heavy door and somehow get the stroller through at the same time...it's even better when there's a big bump to get it over
-Noticing how badly I need to mop when the front of the baby's onesie isn't as white as it should be
-The baby leaving me a super stinky diaper 5 minutes after I just finished diaper laundry

Awesome:
-Listening to my son tell a really detailed story
-The day the packages I ordered arrive (most often diapers)
-Those quiet moments when the baby falls asleep in my arms & I can just stare at him uninterrupted
-The sense of accomplishment after making something out of nothing
-A new book coming out in a series I love
-Cuddling up in bed on Sunday mornings
-Waking up to an email from the hubby
-Singing duets in the car with my son
-Listening to him sing "Hey Jude" to himself when he thinks no one is listening :)

I think I could come up with a million more! That was fun :) Made me realize just how awkwardly-awesome life with two kids can be.

Jan 23, 2011

On to the next book...

Last night I finished Shadowfever by Karen Marie Moning. Wow! That book was incredibly elaborate & consuming. So many characters, angles, & twists. I LOVED it! I would write a synopsis, but I wouldn't even know where to start! It's a paranormal/fantasy novel. This was the 5th & final installment in the fever series so you would have to start with the first four before picking this one up, but I would definitely suggest it to anyone who likes this genre (it's my personal favorite).

The image will link to the synopsis & reviews on Goodreads.





And then on to something completely different. I have promised a certain friend that I would read one of her suggested books since she always reads the ones I give her. Touche. So, the book she has recommended is Husband & Wife by Leah Stewart. I'm only about 10 pages in, but so far I can tell I will like her writing style. She is realistic & hauntingly honest. I've already found myself thinking, "oh yeah, I know how that feels." I'm excited to see where this one goes.



Jan 20, 2011

Sweet Goodwill Trip

We all have good Goodwill days & bad Goodwill days. Some days it's like everything just calls out to you & the possibilities seem endless...then, there are other days when it just feels like you're looking at other peoples' stuff. I've learned that you have to have the eye for great thrift store treasures. It's taken time, but I think I'm finally getting the hang of it. Today definitely turned out to be a good Goodwill day.

Here's what I walked away with...


How cool are those trays?! And most of these things will probably be painted or turned into something else. That zebra print was a curtain panel, but I'll just throw it the fabric collection & make something sweet out of it later. That cute little teacup will be reincarnated as a pin cushion.

And check this out...


Please disregard the messy garage...but check out that chair! How about that velvet farm scene upholstery! Gorgeous right? I kid...it's hideous. I'm pretty sure my Grandma had a couch made with the same material...no offense Grandma. It was a little nerve-wracking for me, investing a whole $25 with absolutely no re-upholstering skills, but little miss Raw Potatoes promised me she would help. It's solid wood & in great shape. For some reason, it reminds me of Germany & I like that. It has a bright future as my new comfy reading chair.
As for the frame, it has a date with a mean can of teal spray paint.

Follow-up pics to come after the weekend!

Pendant Flag Banner

I've been seeing these everywhere & I love them! It's like having party decorations all year long. :) So, I took a stab at it & created one for my dining/craft room. Someday I will have a craft room all my own. Dream big!

So this is what I did...

I cut out 8 triangles. I'm not good at math...but my triangles all have the same size sides. What are those triangles called again? I'm kidding...I don't care.




Because I don't want my flags to curl, I ironed a stabilizer on the back. I also didn't have to serge the edges this way.




I used pink bias tape & ironed it in half to make it easier to sew.




I sandwiched the flags between the fold of the bias tape & sewed down the middle.




This is where it gets tricky...
As I sewed the flags between the bias tape, I just added them as I went. I wanted my flags to slightly overlap, so as I got to the end of one flag, I would sneak in the next one. I chose to do a zig-zag stitch to re-enforce it more.



Ta-da!
As you can see, I need to add a couple more flags. But I really like that the colors are totally random & match my very colorful curtains my cousin passed down to me...for free!




Jan 19, 2011

Reading

Can't blog...too busy reading.
This book is so addicting!
To me, there is really nothing better than being just totally captivated & engrossed in a good book, or even better, a whole series.




Jan 18, 2011

Random act of extreme kindness

"Take a sad song and make it better"

Yesterday, my mother-in-law did something beautiful.
She bought a homeless man lunch and paid off his tab at the local cafe.

Gosh, she is inspiring.

Jan 13, 2011

Craft Night with the Girls

Last night, my two favorite crafty ladies (friend & mother-in-law) came over for some good crafty fun. We tackled January's "Create with Me" project from Ucreate. This month is an adorable Rosette Frame. It was great to relax with some coffee, chit-chat & creativity. Let's face it, sometimes it's just nice to be something other than "mom" for a while. We dug through my mess of a craft area to find the fabric scraps to make the rosettes. It was so cool to see each of our frames turn out so differently according to our different styles.

I was going for something to match my totally mis-matched dining/craft room...and came up with this.

Becky of Raw Potatoes created an adorable frame for her little diva's room. Cute, right?!

My MIL went for a beachy theme to match her home decor and kinda stumbled into the owl. Yes, that is a guitar pic. :)



What a great night. Plan your next Craft Night with your friends, you won't regret it!




Jan 10, 2011

Umm...

Step one: Create a blog...check! (((awkward pause))) ...now what?
Write in it...duh!
Well, I guess now would be a good time to establish what I want my blog to be about and probably explain what is up with the funky name.
I am trying to turn over a new leaf, call it a resolution of sorts, to be more green in our household. Cleaning, cooking, parenting, you name it, I'll try it. Hence the "green". Everything else in my blog will be about my "sweet" life as it is. The majority being about my little peaches, Jude & Jonathan because let's face it, I'm a mom, what more could I possibly have to talk about. Kidding. Breathe Becky, that was a joke. I have so much more to talk about: reading, sewing, decorating, traveling and the occasional military rant...3 deployments in & I think I've earned the right to rant every now & then. But I do apologize if I go on a bit too long about...say...cloth diapers. May just be poo catchers to everyone else, but for me it's daily life and I find it fascinating.
Basically, I have ambitious hopes & dreams that this blog will someday provide guidance, inspiration, or just entertainment to some loyal readers. Oh well...I guess we'll see. Here's to hoping!

Oh & why Tangerine you ask? Because you smile when you say it :)