Monday, December 10, 2012

A Year of Savings - Homemade

If you are like me, you like to save. Who doesn't, really? I started in January of this year with my Pinterest love and quickly found many DIY and homemade recipes, not only for food but for homemade household products. Who knew? Not me. And I surely never saw myself making my own laundry detergent. But alas, here we are.

I had a friend tell me she wanted to do the same but was "very visual" and needed to watch me do it in order to know how. Well, I have documented my steps in pictures for all of you who are wanting the same.

Also, I want to say that I've tried several "recipes" for detergents and I have found that this one is my fave for several reasons:
1. It smells super yummy.
2. I tested it against a blueberry stain with no pre-treatment and WHA LA! it came out like a charm.
3. It doesn't leave residue or undissolved soap like a few others did(the Ivory soap recipe did this).

I buy 2 boxes of each(except Baking Soda because it lasts longer) of the above and stock up on about 6 bars of the Fels-Naptha. (I buy all mine at Walmart). To get a run down on pricing...I have spent approx. $35 this YEAR on laundry detergent. Yip, I'd say that is great!

Recipe:

1 box Borax
1 box Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
1 industrial size box of Baking Soda
1 box Zote flakes
1 bar Fels-Naptha soap

You only need to use 2 Tblsp per load or I do 3 for heavily soiled loads.



For one batch(lasts about 6-12 weeks depending on how much laundry you do).
1 c Borax
1 c Washing Soda
1/4 c baking soda
1/2 c Zote flakes
1 bar Fels-Naptha

I grate the bar (until my hand hurts or the whole bar, whichever one you want!) with a good ole metal cheese grater and then dump into my Ninja. I think any heavy-duty blender will do. Then I dump the Zote flakes in. mix well until small to finely grated.



 Then I dump them into my container that I keep my detergent in. I suggest an air-tight container. I use my old Oxy container because it has an air-tight lid. Now add the other ingredients. Shake it up and mix it real good. Ta da! Here is what it looks like. You only need to use 2 Tblsp per load or I do 3 for heavily soiled loads. Good luck and I hope you like it!


xoxo
Tracy



Monday, November 19, 2012

Advent

I am on the hunt for the perfect Advent Calendars for our kiddos and our family. I remember loving Advent every year and it was a memory of something we all did together as a family. For those that really don't know what Advent is...

Advent is the beginning of the Church Year for most churches in the Western tradition. It begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, which is the Sunday nearest November 30, and ends on Christmas Eve (Dec 24). If Christmas Eve is a Sunday, it is counted as the fourth Sunday of Advent, with Christmas Eve proper beginning at sundown.

The word Advent means "coming" or "arrival." The focus of the entire season is the celebration of the birth of Jesus the Christ in his First Advent, and the anticipation of the return of Christ the King in his Second Advent. Thus, Advent is far more than simply marking a 2,000 year old event in history. It is celebrating a truth about God, the revelation of God in Christ whereby all of creation might be reconciled to God.

That being said...I have come up with a few Advent finds I thought you might like to buy or make. Enjoy!
This one is on etsy, a super cute find but also can be easily made by anything you can buy at Michael's or any craft store. Super cute.

For that Lego® lover in your family, like we have in ours. Wow. Countdown to Christmas the LEGO® way with 24 gifts behind doors to build and create a holiday story. I didn't even know they had this! So fun.

If  you are also like us, and are tight on space, this Countdown to Christmas Lego® Candle is cool. It is a little off subject, since it is not truly an Advent calendar, but it is fun and space-saving to say the least.


This one is much more of a traditional life-long family investment from Pottery Barn, but it is both adorable and beautiful. Would look great on a big wall or in an entryway. 


What are your Advent/Christmas/Holiday traditions in your home? I'd love to hear.
xoxo
tracy

 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Change is in the air

Yeah, a lot has changed since I've posted last. Yes, it's been a month or so. Sorry about that. First, I am back part-time as a stella & dot stylist. I love their things and couldn't resist. Plus, I do have some wonderfully supportive and stella-loving customers! They were very welcoming upon my spontaneous and surprising return.

Of course, my main focus is on the boys(kids), our household and my husband but a little side job can't hurt, right?

Last I wrote of the nursery I know I don't have even a photo of the "current" nursery because I am still working on it. Yes, I know, I know. My job is never done. I still am adding to Kelton's bedroom too and making 16x20 super hero posters for above his bed because I've decided that blank wall is staring glaring at me to put something there. So...once again....my work is never done!

I will add my faves for holiday looks, as my new found love is my skinny jeans. Yes, I said it. S.K.I.N.N.Y. jeans. I always hated them. On me. But...I have done a 180 and I actually like them for once! Here is my picks for the outfits we will be wearing for our family photoshoot on Sunday evening with Crystal delaHoz of Love, Me Photography. Sooo super excited about that. It is a mini-session so just a few shots, but exciting nonetheless. Here is our shoot in June when she came to our home and journaled our typical morning when Micah was 9 days old. Love this "lifestyle" caption of our life!!
Family Photo Shoot






Thursday, August 30, 2012

Trending - subscription clubs

Wow, it's been a bumpy ride since we last saw each other here. On May 29th we welcomed our precious Micah into this world and he couldn't be more perfect! I am still waiting on his curtains to be made and have decided to paint his Jenny Lind crib a sunny yellow. My first furniture makeover—super excited about that. I am adding a Lack shelf from IKEA and putting knick knacks and pics on that too. I know, I know I just can't seem to finish my design projects! Typical me.

On other news...I wanted to share fun new findings for you! I have found these trending subscription clubs on clothes, kids activities, and the like. My newest find is one called wittlebee. Um, can you say adorable name and A.D.O.R.A.B.L.E. website. Of course, if you have a good website you are #1 in my book! Join the monthly club and you are sent a box of goodies each month for a somewhat small pricetag. The wittlebee is $39.99/mo for $100+ worth of clothes. But how does it work, you ask? Ahhh. To the good part. Go online and fill out the style profile for your child(ren) (they only accommodate ages 0-5 years as of now) and you are assigned a stylist who picks out clothing to your liking. Not only that, their customer service is incredible. I received my first box and I wasn't fond of one outfit and it was quite big on our chunky monkey. I emailed them and they said send back and they'll replace it with 2 items on our next shipment. Wowza! You can change your size and style profile anytime. The best part is also the packaging. Oh my graphic designer mind's dream. This package is adorable and so fun to receive! A goody I have thrown in for you lovelies? 30% OFF your first wittlebee order! Freeze or cancel your membership anytime with a simple call or email. Use code TRY30 at checkout. Enjoy and come back and share your wittlebee experience in our comments!







Other subscription clubs that are awesome: 
Kiwi Crate - Enjoy monthly projects that spark creativity and curiosity for kids ages 3-7. All materials and inspiration included. Just $19.95/month or $220/yr (one free month!) Free shipping. PLUS: The Sibling Add-on: Add materials to a crate for only $7.95 a month.






Citrus Lane - SPECIAL: take 10% off your first month with code SUMMER10. You'll get a box every month filled with cute and practical products recommended by real moms for your kids and yourself! $29.99/mo