On Gettin’ Clean

Yesterday I tried a new recipe for laundry detergent.
I usually make a liquid detergent because I just think it dissolves better
when it’s colder weather (especially if you use mainly cold water to wash.)
I love my recipe and it’s so inexpensive to make.   The liquid recipe makes
equivalent to about 9 bottles of the HE detergent (medium bottles) or probably
one of the giant ones from Sam’s Club. 
Since it’s getting warmer I wanted to try a powdered detergent recipe and 
see how it compares. 
Powdered Laundry Detergent
1 bar of soap (I use Dr. Bronner’s Citrus) 
1 cup of Borax
1 cup of Washing Soda
*if desired a few drops of essential oils- I use tea tree oil for antibacterial properties and a drop of bergamot because it smells nice 

What you need

Put borax, washing soda, and essential oils (if using) in bowl and stir. 
Grate bar of soap into bowl.

I used my blender to mix it all into a fine powder
Finished Product
So far it’s working great.  
I like that it takes up less space in my cabinet.
I’ll let you know if it lasts as long as the other recipe. 
(Especially since it costs a little more to make.)
the never-ending battle.
Are you here? 
Guess I have to get cleaning then…

On Beginnning

I am not making resolutions but…
I do feel the need to make a new beginning in 2012.
What is it about the New Year that makes us feel the urge to change?

A few changes around here:

  • I have four “new” chickens we inherited from a friend.  They lay the biggest eggs!

(They’re picking on my sweet chicken so not sure I like them yet. 
Mom is going to take a few once she has a coop to put them in, so I
think I’ll give her “Meany” or “Big Red” as the kids call her. Then
maybe my old girl will come out from under the deck.) You learn what “pecking order” means when you have chickens!

“Big Red”, “Spotty” and “Special” begging

The Girls Pecking (Pillow is under the deck of course)

  • I’ve only gotten one parking ticket this year!  (Oh, it’s only been 13 days?) Well, I’m making a pact to get a roll of quarters today so I’ll maybe avoid another (before February anyway.)
  • I want to lose the baby weight.  It’s only been 2 months so I’m not pushing it, but watching what I eat- doing “Lose It” again (iPhone app) and have lost one pound already.  Yesterday I used practically half of my calories eating a bowl of oatmeal- did you know there are 500 calories in a cup of Scottish Steel Cut Oats?  Yikes. Gave the chickens the leftover Christmas cookies to get them out of my reach.  Need to go back to yoga.
  •  After getting the estimate to add on to this house I’ve decided to
    purge.  In this market I
    don’t know if it’s worth adding up, and we can’t find anything we like that isn’t a fixer-upper or crazy expensive.   I started on my desk area yesterday and
    ended up making a much bigger mess but I figure it’s a start.  If I can do one drawer or shelf each day it shouldn’t be too bad…
Desk (Mid way done)
Yikes!  All this fit on the bookshelf?
  •  Going to attempt stick to a budget and menu AND use my coupons.  (We’ll see how long that lasts.)
  • Want to start something creative this year 

What plans do you have for 2012?

Happy Friday the 13th!

On Purging

I am in the mood to clean up. 
I managed to go through my clothes closet and then, 
this weekend the kitchen.  
I am a complete kitchen hoarder and this was not so easy for me but…

I went through every drawer and cabinet!  (10 bags of stuff to the thrift shop!)
The cake pans that I kept (but don’t use often) I took pictures of and will put in a file so I know what I have (just in case.) You know, those wedding cake pans, teddy bear, car, and bunny pans?  I put them over my fridge in a strange cabinet I can’t reach easily.  If I don’t use them in a year or so I’ll probably get rid of them.
Feeling better already. 
Started on paperwork, might give up and go to the boys’ bedroom… Oh the joy.

On My Book Fix

I am trying to purge. 
Not sure if it’s because of…
a.) my daughter’s obsession with American Pickers 
b.) trying to decide if we’re going to put our house on the market
c.) my hubby watching Hoarders online.

Anyway, it’s a good thing. 

I managed to get through the books in our dining room. 

Left & Right Windowseats      

The best thing was the SEVEN boxes of movies and books I have to give away!

Green Homemaking Ideas

Not much exciting happened this weekend to write about, so I decided to give you some of my green house-keeping hints and participate in 11th Heaven’s Homemaker Monday.   (I love her blog! She always has the best recipes!)

Some things I do:

  • Make my own cleaning products!  Cheaper, easier, greener, (and did I mention cheaper?)  So far I make my own laundry detergent, glass/general purpose cleaner, tub scrub.   I haven’t perfected an automatic dishwashing soap yet.  I use either Seventh Generation or try and find the lowest phosphorus content brand at the grocery store.   Does anyone have a good recipe?  Also, I can’t figure out what to use on the hardwoods that is all-natural and not store-bought.  Now I use Method’s Good for Wood, supposed to be natural but the smell bothers my hubby to no end.  (It is pretty strong smelling.)   I am saving SO much money on laundry detergent alone.  One bottle of my old standby, All Free, costs the same as the ten or so I get from this recipe!  I use hydrogen peroxide instead of bleach in the whites.  (Safer and cheaper!) The other recipes are cheap too, just buy big bags and bottles of rubbing alcohol, borax, baking soda at discount stores and you’ll be set!   Pure rubbing alcohol works wonders on stainless steel!
  • Compost!  (I’ve composted for a long time, but starting to get more serious.  My honey bought a cool rotating composter last summer and we’ve been composting more- all table scraps, leftovers (with no meat,) bread that is moldy, egg shells, peelings, leaf cuttings, yard waste…  I am hoping I get something good out of the composter this spring! (It’s getting very full!)
  •  Recycle!  We are lucky.  Our town has curbside recycling for almost everything.  (paper, plastics up to #7, aluminum, tin, cardboard, even yard waste!)  Makes life easier.   Also recycle all those things you don’t use anymore or the kids have grown out of by donating them to your favorite local charity!  
  •  Eliminate the unnecessaries!  We don’t buy paper towels (although before I party I have been known to get a roll or two, and just found a new brand that is 100% recycled.)  We use rags instead.  Don’t buy paper napkins either (cloth are prettier anyway!)  Do you really need all those new dust gadgets they keep coming out with?  A good microfiber cloth is nice though, I must admit. 

If you have any good tips, please comment and leave them for us!