Saturday, September 22, 2012

My Book!!!

Hubby was in Boise this week for the BYU/Boise game, and he went to the local Deseret Bookstore, and look what he found!
My book, face out, thank you very much!
Stacked out on a table, too.
He was so proud, he bought one. Too cute.
I'm all tickled! :-)

Friday, September 21, 2012

Just a Little Bit of Paint...

...can transform things. Every DIYer knows this. I have had this nook in my house that has been bugging me for a year. We call it our "mud room," but really it's just a tiny alcove off the garage door entrance. There's a bench for backpacks and hooks for coats, etc. And it looks TACKY:
The bench was a build-it-yourself from Michaels, TWELVE years ago. The hooks were from Home Depot, and the baskets underneath from Wal-mart. It just
So, I got out my trusty black primer/spray paint, and went to work. I sprayed the bench first.:
The coat hooks were relatively easy. I covered the edges of the hooks with painters tape v-e-r-y carefully, and used Press n Seal (yes, really!) to cover the hooks. I love Press n Seal. You can do a million things with it. And I do.
And when everything was dry...CHECK IT OUT!!!:
New Baskets:
The hooks turned out great:
After all was said and done, the whole re-do was $30 with new baskets and paint. I'm pretty happy with it!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Homemade Laundry Detergent??? No Way!!

Well, actually, way.
I took the plunge.  After reading about so many people exclaiming on Pinterest and other places about saving bazillions of dollars with their own homemade laundry detergent, I decided to try it. Hey, I'm all for saving money!

Let me preface this by saying I do laundry for a family of six. I have one girl and THREE boys. Which basically means I do a few loads of laundry every day, or it would be BAD. (Want to know what I mean by "bad?" Look up a picture of Mt. McKinley online, and that would be about right.) And my detergent of choice? Tide. At $17 on average for a bottle, which I buy twice a month, that's $32 a month. $384 spent on laundry soap in a year. Yowza.

Anyway, here is the recipe for homemade laundry detergent, and no, it's not my own, I totally copied it from someone else, who copied it from someone else, and so on, and so on. It is for POWDER. So if you use liquid and have an aversion to POWDER laundry detergent, this isn't for you. I used to have an aversion, but I got over it.
Here are the ingredients you need (I found every single one at the local Super Wal-Mart):

--> 4lb box of Baking Soda (I could only find 2lb boxes so I used two of them)
4lb Box of Borax (You can find this in the laundry aisle)
4lb Box of Super Washing Soda (it was right smack dab next to the Borax)
Oxi Clean Powder (I used the 1.3 lb size. *This is optional*)
3 bars of Fels-naptha soap (I found the this right next to the Borax too, I imagine a lot of people make their own laundry soap so they merchandise them together.)

I would also have on-hand a medical mask and some hand protectors. Or you can tie a scarf around your nose and mouth and wear dishwashing gloves. Because you can breathe in the powder and soap, and get it on your skin, which wouldn't be fabulous.
Once you have all the ingredients, grate the 3 bars of Fels-naptha soap. I used a hand cheese grater, it took about ten minutes. Some people use a food processor, but I am thinking unless you SUPER clean it, your food will taste like soap for a while. YUCK.
Now, take a large contractor-strength black trash bag and line a small garbage can with it. Then dump all the ingredients into it. (I did this outside my garage, I'm sure the neighbors wondered what I was up to, mixing a bunch of household chemicals together, but oh well.)
Then take the bag out of the garbage can, twist it up really good midway and shakeshakeshake that puppy to mix everything together.
Next, snip one corner with scissors and let it funnel into your container of choice. I chose this one (it made so much it actually filled up two of these big containers but I'm only showing one:
And voila! There you have it! Homemade laundry detergent! Now as far as use, I have tried it. I use 1/8 cup of detergent (yes, really that's it!) for my front-load washer, and I've washed in cold and hot and warm, and the clothes are CLEAN. I almost think it's better for HE washers because this detergent is extremely low-sudsing. And my clothes don't smell perfumey or anything like that. They just smell clean. Which I like. Because I love my fabric softener sheets and I'd much rather my clothes smelled like those. ;-)

So, this batch cost me around $20 to make when all was said and done. Since I only use 1/8 cup per use, it lasts forever. Let's say I make it only twice a year. That's $40. Compared to the $384 I normally spend?



Tuesday, September 04, 2012

You Could Hear a Pin Drop...

The house is soooo quiet! Today was the first real day that all my kids were in school (Thing Four had staggered start kindergarten last week so this week is his first normal week). I have to be honest, it feels weird to not have someone around all the time.  Just me and Maggie, my maltipoo puppy. She's a whopping four pounds, now, by the way. I think if she ever got to five it would be a miracle. She's one dainty dog! But that's perfect for our family, because I like small poops. ;-)

ANYWAY, I have so many lists and lists of things I need to do, it's a little overwhelming. Now that my 5-year old is in school and  I don't have to worry as far as what he's getting into/how he could endanger his life in the house, I can immerse myself in projects, writing and home. I have a feeling the days will pass pretty quickly!

I am finally pneumonia free! It CAME BACK last week--apparently the first course of antibiotics didn't kill it, and I started feeling yucky again on Friday. So apparently I am now on the Mother Of All Antibiotics and apparently they are working because I feel SO much better than I have the last ten days!

Well, it's off to the vet and a half dozen other places. I am feeling good. As long as I can stay on top of things, (he he let's see how long that lasts) I won't get overwhelmed.

Just a bit of irony: when I have no time I want to write so badly, and when I DO have the time I am completely blank. How is that fair?