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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

DIY powdered laundry detergent tutorial

Today was laundry day! I have to tackle the mountain, but first I needed more soap. The last batch I made 5 or 6 months ago finally ran out. Here's how I make it! It smells great and is really effective.

What you need-
Arm and hammer washing (not baking!) soda, Borax (NOT boric acid!!), Purex crystals, Purex color safe bleach, Fels-naptha bar soap, a grater and a big tub.

Grate the bar soap. Get it as fine as you can. I have found that a food processor doesn't do the job well enough.

After that is grated, heres where it gets really complicated. Just dump everything together in the tub! Don't worry about the clumps in the powder, you will break those up.

Now get in there with your hands and mix it up! It helps to have a small helper :) After it is all smooth and mixed up, put it in your containers of choice. I save the Purex bottles, and use mason jars too. Use a heaping tablespoon per load. It won't foam up like commercial soaps, but I promise it is working!

Cost breakdown-
Purex color safe bleach 1.97
Purex crystals $4.76
Fels-naptha bar soap .97
Arm and hammer washing soda $ 2.98

Total cost for about 6 months worth of soap (for a family of 4) = $14.06

For an entire year it only costs me about $30 in soap! Not too bad!

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Watermelon slush!

Ahhhhh, summertime. Hanging out poolside, tan lines and clean, light recipes. Finally watermelon is in season! Here's a great recipe for a fresh snack or dessert to cool you off, and it only has two ingredients! And kids LOVE it!

Watermelon slush (serves 4)

3 cups frozen watermelon
2 cups no sugar added apple juice

Throw in blender. Blend till smooth.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

A peek in the lunchbox #1

Every school morning for the past three years I get up, roll out of bed, and make Mariah's lunch for school. I LOVE cooking anything for that kid, because she eats anything I give her. This makes lunchtime very flexible! I can pretty much come up with anything and she will love it. I want to share a really good lunch box recipe with you, this is what Miss Mariah is taking to school today in her lunchbox. We had croissants with dinner last night and I wanted to do something to use them up in her lunch.

Things you need-

2 Leftover croissants
1 slice of cheese
6-8 pepperoni
Pizza or Marinara sauce

Slice open the croissant horizontally (hot dog bun style.) Slice the cheese in half, then half again so you have 4 long thin slices. Lay each slice on a side of croissant, and top the bottom half with pepperoni, 3-4 per croissant.

Microwave on High for 15 seconds to melt the cheese.
Put the croissant sides together. Serve with sauce for dipping.

After you make them, if they are lunchbox bound, just wrap them in some foil and screw a lid on the sauce and throw it in the lunchbox! I paired this with carrots,a pear and an oatmeal raisin cookie and ice water.


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Friday, March 15, 2013

Teaching children generosity

I feel like one of my most important jobs as a mother is not only to raise my children to WANT to make the world a better place, but to have the resources and knowledge HOW to make it a better place. Being generous is one of the traits i instill in them daily. We certainly don't have a lot of disposable income by any means, but I feel like if you are a generous person and give to others, God will always make sure you have what you need.

One example of this is when we go grocery shopping. We go to 2 or three different stores. (Yes, I know about price matching at Walmart, I try to stay away from there as much as I can.) Our first stop is always Aldi's. Over the week the kids collect quarters. One of the joys of their week is to see how many people they can help at Aldi's. If you have never been to Aldi's or don't have one locally, you have to put a quarter in the cart to get it to disconnect from the other ones. Keeps the carts out of the parking lot. So every time we go the kids fill the carts with as many quarters as we have. One instance a couple of weeks ago I had 4 kids with me- my 2 and my best friends 2 little girls. 3 girls and 1 boy between 4 and 8. So they all scramble around the cart corrall pushing in the quarters and disconnecting carts. A middle aged lady walks up to me and rolls her eyes and says "They ALL have to have a cart?!" I can tell she is just thinking "Ugh that store's going to be so crazy with this lady and her 4 kids each with a cart". Then we walked away with one cart. She goes to get her own and stops and says "Hey! There's a bunch of quarters in these!" I turned around and said "Yes it was intentional" and smiled at her. The kids were excited. I explained to them that, while a quarter may not be much to us, it is a lot to other people who are on a very small budget. That extra quarter you helped them with may make sure they can buy an extra yogurt or canned vegetable to feed their family. They truly don't miss their quarters and have, on more than one occasion, used their OWN quarters when i only had a few.

There is a song they play during the holidays called Christmas All Year Long by Sawyer Brown. Here's a sample of the lyrics-

If people smile even when it's against their nature
When the news hunts down something nice to say
And they even get along in the legislature
You know it's not just any old holiday

It's Christmas, it could only be Christmas
Perfect strangers on the sidewalk, singing songs
Giving is such a part of living
Oh, I wish it could be Christmas all year long

Think about how much nicer people are during the holidays. It is like they feel God only during that time of year. Today, vow to take a minute to smile at a stranger. When an elderly person is trying to cross a parking lot, don't sit in your car while you wait for them to pass and feel grumpy because they're going so slow. And bring an extra quarter or two when you go grocery shopping. If you aren't an Aldi shopper, then just leave it on top of the quarter candy machines on the way out. Or tape it to a soda machine. It's the little acts of generosity that add up!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

My kid is cooler than your kid.

Driving to school one cold bleary monday, feeling discouraged that it isn't already Thursday, I turned on the radio for a change. Normally I listen to Finding Nemo or Wall-E or any other Disney movie the kids want to put in. I seriously don't know how I drove without a DVD player-they're SO quiet when it's on. Not once in the couple months that I have had this van has anyone asked "Are we there yet?!" Unless it's Miss M, and she has money, and we are going to Justice.

So driving along, on comes Dixieland Delight by Alabama. Aiden hasn't heard this song in a LONG time, but it is one the hubbys favorites. Brings back memories of sitting around a campfire in our younger days...

Anyways, Aiden is listening intently and says "Momma?" I say "Yes baby?" and he says, totally serious, "I freaking LOVE this song."

Yes, he is his father's child. <3

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Super Duper Baked Banana Oatmeal Aka Breakfast Cake (Dairy and egg free)

I have been meaning to post this for a couple of days now, but the time just got away from me! Monday mornings I usually like to wake up 30 minutes early. It is just my time with myself, usually I bake something yummy for breakfast and watch the news. Kind of a peaceful start to my week. Last monday I woke up with a craving for this pumpkin oatmeal. It's so yummy, and I love anything with pumpkin. I love pumpkin so much I forgot I had used my last can of pumpkin in a pie the friday before. :/ I didn't remember this until I already had slices of banana roasting with honey and cinnamon on them. So I improvised, and made this banana oatmeal. It was AMAZING. Warm fresh out of the oven it was delicious, filling, and a nutritious start to the day. Cold in the fridge it can be sliced into bars! Great afternoon pickmeup. Next time I will add some walnuts to the mix!

Get all of this stuff-

3 cups oats (Old fashoned)
2 cups sweetened vanilla almond milk
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
pinch salt
1 banana, mashed
1/4 c honey


3 bananas sliced
drizzle of honey (straight from the bear, I didnt measure. Maybe a bit less than another 1/4 cup?)
1 tsp cinnamon

Here's whatcha do!!!

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Lay sliced bananas in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Drizzle honey pretty generously all over the banana slices. Don't drown them or anything. Sprinkle with cinnamon. Bake at 350* for about ten minutes.

While the bananas are in the oven, mix together the one mashed up banana, vanilla, almond milk and pinch salt and 1/4 c honey. Pour in oats and baking powder, mix until combined well.

Take the bananas out and while they're still hot, pour the oat mixture on top. Bake at 350* for 25-26 minutes until the middle is set.

When it comes out, you have this pan of pure awesomeness.

Take a spatula and cut a square out/ Lift it up and put a plate upside down on top and flip the whole thing over. You end up with this pretty presentation.

If you have kids (or adults!) who are a little banana shy, leave em underneath. :)

Serve hot or cold! Amazing either way.


Thanks for stopping by!


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