Homemade Laundry Soap

In a time that we all want to save money there are TONS of ideas and ways out there.  My friend, Courtney shared her awesome idea... making laundry soap with all of us!  THANKS Courtney!!

Homemade Laundry Detergent


Main Ingredients:
Large Box of 20 Mule Team Borax
1-4 Bars of Fels Naptha Laundry Soap
Large Box of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
Add Ins:
4 lb Box of Baking Soda
2 Downy Unstoppables Laundry Crystals
Oxy Clean

So I have tried a few recipes for homemade laundry detergent. 

Basic Liquid Recipe:
The most basic (and cheapest) recipe consists of ½ cup Borax, 1/3 bar of Fels Naptha soap, and ½ cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Powder.  I normally mix mine in a 5 gallon bucket.  It will make about 2.5 gallons but the extra space makes it easier to mix and pour. 

-First, grate the 1/3 bar of soap with a cheese grater (or cut it into cubes and stick it in your food processor to cut time!) and put in a large saucepan.
-Next, add 6 cups of water and heat on medium heat until the soap is melted.
-Add ½ cup washing soda and borax.  Stir until dissolved.
-Pour 4 cups of hot water into the 5 gallon bucket and add your soap mixture and stir.
-Add 1 gallon plus six cups of water and stir.
-Cover tightly and let sit for 24 hours.  Shake/stir before each use.  For ease, I normally pour the mixture into one of my old laundry detergent containers.  Use ½ to ¾ cup per load.
*Note here that some recipes call for Ivory or Zote bar soaps and that you can increase the amount of soap.

This is definitely the cheapest recipe to use and my clothes were clean but did not SMELL…at all.  Now if one of my job requirements as a homemaker is going to be to put up the mountains of laundry that my 2 year old, husband, and I somehow manage to create every week, I want to at least look forward to bringing those warm clothes up to my nose and inhaling the sweet, clean fragrance that millions of candle makers have tried to duplicate in their “Clean Linens” and “100% Cottons!” 

I decided that my search for the perfect homemade laundry detergent was not over and I pulled up my favorite search engine to start looking for more ideas.  After trying a few of them and tweaking many of the recipes and amounts, I finally found the combination of ingredients that makes me feel like my clothes are clean.  This is what I came up with…this recipe is more expensive to begin with but makes approximately 265 loads (using 2 tbsp per load…and yes, you only need TWO tablespoons!)

Advanced (Powder) Recipe:

-I started with my trusty 5 gallon bucket and lined it with a clean trash bag.
-I grated 4 bars of Fels Naptha soap (found in the laundry aid aisle)

Put the following into your trash bag lined bucket:
Grated Fels Naptha Soap
Large Box of 20 Mule Team Borax
Large Box of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
Large Box of Arm and Hammer Baking Soda
 4 lb container of Oxy Clean
2 containers of Downy Unstoppables

Now these ingredients are not all necessary to clean laundry and the amounts are up to you…this is the amounts that I have used and that I was happiest with.  Play with it!  You may cut out the baking soda or one of the Downy Unstoppables or you may change brands on things.  Try the Ivory Soap or Purex Laundry Crystals instead of Downy Unstoppables.  I liked the scent of the Downy that was available at our store and did not like the particular scent of the Purex.  Totally up to you!  I like to make a large amount at one time (even though it is a larger initial investment) so that I do not have to make it every month.  You can use smaller amounts and make smaller batches.

Mix all ingredients by either stirring or tossing the trash bag around a little.  Whatever works for you!  And I finished by pouring mine into a 32 cup clear heavy duty plastic container that I bought at Walmart.  I added a measuring spoon (1 TBSP) that only stays with the laundry detergent so that I don’ t have to go looking for one every time I do a load of laundry.  Add 1 – 2 tablespoons per load.  I like to fill my washer halfway with water before adding powder.  It works with cold water and with HE machines…make sure your soap is grated finely for HE machines. 

Now, if only I could find a cheap way of hiring someone to put these wonderful smelling clothes up…  =)

HOW AWESOME IS THAT??  Thanks SO much for sharing this Courtney!  Can't wait to try it!!!


Vertical Garden

Y'all... if you're anything like me, surfing Pinterest and finding fun ideas is SO MUCH FUN.  However, if you're even MORE like me, you've pinned a gah-zillion (yeah, I know it's not a real number... but you get the point) things and actually made, eh 10?!  It's a super fun dream world to live in.  I'm NOT knocking it.  In fact, I'll continue on my merry way pinning every NEAT thing I see.

I wanted to share with you a vertical garden that a friend of mine pinned, and... ACTUALLY made!  I saw her pictures on Facebook and immediately asked if I could post her pictures.  She graciously gave me permission.  Now, I bring you... THE vertical garden from Our Washington Life...

"We decided to hang our garden on the brick wall at the back of our patio. We used clay pots we bought last year, some pine boards we picked up from Home Depot, "L" brackets to hold it all together, a little paint to make it pretty, and some thick rope to hang over the ledge of the brick wall, and voila!



As you can guess, this project was really pretty simple, especially since it was completely customizable. My husband, being the "builder" of our relationship, drew out the plans, gathered the materials, and put it all together based on what we thought would work best for our yard (aka, cover up the brick wall). All he had to do was cut the pine board into the right lengths and screw it all together. He used the "L" brackets to reinforce the shelves to the back so that it could support the clay pots and plants. The shelves may not be that pretty from the inside, because of all of the brackets and whatnot, but the paint and plants cover them up just fine and at least it won't fall apart!


He also used some thick rope to hang it over the top of the brick wall. We figured this way it'd be easier to take down to store next fall.


If you want to build a vertical garden just like ours, Hubby gave me some pretty detailed notes to share:Vertical Garden Assembly Instructions. The notes might be too detailed... if that's possible  ; ) Oh, and if you are curious about what I did to contribute to this project, besides being inspired by Pinterest, I painted the darn thing! Behr's California Poppy to be exact. It's not the best paint job in the world, but I only used half the quart I bought for it so at least I can touch it up year to year.And, you might think that I created the cute little plant labels on the shelves, but I didn't, Hubby totally did. It was his "idea," so I gave him the supplies (white spray paint and a blue acrylic paint pen) and he went to town with some scrap wood. He even made little label stakes for our herbs in the ground.


Our back "yard" patio definitely looks complete now that we have something fun hanging up on that brick wall. And, in case you are in awe of our awesome Adirondack chairs, Hubby definitely built those, from scratch! 


So, that's our vertical garden. Super simple, but perfect for a second try at our herb garden, even if we don't have a "yard" to plant anything in!"



Teacher Book

Here's a SUPER cute Pinterest success that my friend, Meg did with her daughter for her teacher's end of the year gift.

Thanks for sharing Meg!!

This is just a simple soft case photo album.  I've gotten them at Wal-Mart for a $1 before.



Hey y'all!  I just snatched up a deal on these SUPER CUTE Genna Crocs  for my little girl AND got them with FREE SHIPPING (using the code SHIPCROCS- offer ends TODAY 4/30)... grand total $14.99 (+tax)..$16.04...SWEET :-) CLICK HERE AND GRAB YOURS!!


Carpet Playtime

I saw this idea on a friends Facebook post... and it really got my mind going.  She posted this picture...

How AWESOME is this?  She said that it only took her 10 mins.... a little masking tape... and her little man was LOVIN it for HOURS!!!


Fun with Froot Loops

So, this was a fun rainy day activity that I wanted to share with y'all.  I know if you're anything like me, then rainy days are the WORST with little ones.  

My daughter had been working on patterns in school. Which got me thinking....

FROOT LOOP NECKLACES/BRACELETS!  It would be a fun activity and a decent snack.  


Updating Outlets

I have decided to take 'spring cleaning' to a WHOLE NEW LEVEL.  I have decided to do some painting and some small updating as well as the usual organizing and deep cleaning.  It's a task, but man do I feel GREAT afterwards.  

So, this is a small task that I've taken on and I LOVE what it's done for the house.  Just so you know, I've updated the light switches too.  I'll post those pics soon!  Our house was built in the 80s and I'm pretty POSITIVE that the outlets that I took out have been there since day 1!  They were old and crumbly, probably not too safe either, so I feel like I did a really great thing... more than just making it look pretty.

So, here's a step by step, on what I (not an electrician) did to change the outlets.  BIG thanks to my friend, Mary for helping me get started!!

Here's what they looked like in the beginning... YUCK!


Chair Planters

Well, I hope that you and your family enjoyed the Easter weekend and celebrated the REAL reason that we have Easter.

While surfing through Facebook this weekend, I spotted this SUPER cute, inexpensive, and easy springtime project!  Thanks Katie for sharing it with us!!


Fireplace Facelift

So, apparently the folks that built this house were LOVERS of the shiny gold finishes... BLEH.  I, on the other hand, am NOT a fan!  So, my mission was to... GET RID OF IT.


Patio SALE @Target

24850_Patio Sale! Save 20% on Select Patio Items at Target.com

'Tis the season to be outside!  With daylight lasting longer and the weather warming up (it's down right HOT in the south), then patio furniture is a must!  Check it out at Target while it's on sale!!


Bunny Tails... Easter Treat

Ok... this is so stinkin cute!  A friend of mine posted this picture on Facebook and I immediately asked her if I could share it with all of you.... she agreed!!!  

I know this will shock you, but it was a PINTEREST find.  I went and checked out where she got it from and you can actually get the printable from their site (and LOTS of other cute printables- DEFINITELY worth a look).  Just visit eighteen25 to get what you need.


Resurrection Rolls

These are just precious!!  I've seen them on a NUMBER of pages... but this recipe was super descriptive, so I thought that I would share it with all of you!!  If your kids are old enough to understand this concept, I would STRONGLY recommend this 'fun with kids' activity.  I know that I will DEFINITELY do this with my kiddos when they're old enough!!



If we're being honest, I said I was back in well, like February... hmmm... Since I haven't posted since, I guess it's safe to say that life has been busy, to say the least.  Don't get me wrong, I know that life is busy for everyone... I just feel better if I explain to you why I haven't posted.

The GOOD news is, I've got stuff coming!!!  I have entered into a 'busy' season in my life.  I'm doing some SERIOUS spring cleaning/organizing and utilizing some some clever/crafty ideas thanks to the wonderful world of Pinterest.


Happy Valentine's Day!!

Ok, so I'm NOT a mushy gushy Valentine's Day type of person.  BUT, the idea of making Valentine's Day things, well now, THAT is fun!

We started the day off with a YUMMY Pinterest inspired breakfast.  Click here to check it out.  I for SURE used canned cinnamon rolls.  I unrolled them half way and the curled the other side back to make a heart shape.


Cornbread... Slap Yo Mama Good!!

HA!  Thanks fo HH reader Beth (aka... my mama) for sharing this FABULOUS recipe!!!

OK, I know I'm partial... BUT, this is seriously, THE best cornbread EVER!  It's actually more like a dessert or casserole... but it is YUMM-O!!!  Please let me know if you try it and how much you LOVE it!!!

Here's what you need...
2 boxes of Jiffy Corn muffin Mix
2 eggs
2 cans of creamed corn
2 sticks of butter
2 (had to stick with the 2s) 8oz containers or sour cream... or 1 large one

9x13 baking pan


More "winter"... REALLY???


So according to the Washington Post...
"At 7:25 a.m. this morning, amidst mostly cloudy skies, and temperatures in the low 30s, Groundhog Phil saw his shadow in the little town of Punxsutawney, Pa. 
According to folklore, Phil’s sighting of his own shadow means there will be 6 more weeks of winter.
Not sure about where all of you live but in coastal Georgia... IF we had winter it lasted a day or two and has for sure come and gone already.  Honestly, with temperatures in the 70s... it is nearly impossible to consider this to be winter.  Either way, that's what the little groundhog decided.  We shall see....

But StormFax.com says Phil has gotten it right just 39% of the time (also from the Washington Post)

If you're looking for fun activities to do with your little ones (no matter what age), to celebrate Groundhog Day, check out the Apples 4 Teachers web page here.  There are lessons on the history, coloring pages, and LOTS MORE!  ENJOY!!

Hope today is NOT like the movie Groundhog Day for you and yours... 


I've missed you...

Well, well, well.... after taking a solid 2 months off... I'm back.  I feel refreshed and ready to get back into the swing of things.

The holidays were awesome but exhausting all at the same time.  It's amazing to me how much is built up in celebration for one single day.  This year, my family tried to really have a smooth easy Christmas and focus on the true meaning of the day.  We started the morning off... yes BEFORE breakfast and BEFORE presents... by blessing strangers and I think, were truly blessed in return.  Then, we headed home and well watching the children open presents is probably one of the greatest presents that a parent can have.  Their eyes light up with excitement when they see the gifts... wrapped.  It only gets BETTER as they open them all!

There was of course, LOTS of eating... and just hanging out spending time together.  The time was a true blessing for all of us.

We stayed with the no stress theme of things and went over to a friends house, put the kids to bed (except my A decided to stay WIDE AWAKE until 2 AM) and the mommies and daddies played games.  What is it about a grown up playing charades that is SO incredibly funny?  I don't know that I can put it into words... BUT, it IS funny!!!

My husbands unit hosted a family day so we (the kids, my mom, my brother, and I) went to his work.  We got to do fun things like clear rooms in a house, shoot targets, go through an obstacle course, ride on different military vehicles, see their equipment and lots of other FUN stuff.  We ate hamburgers and hot dogs and made it home just in time for an awesome nap.

Me shooting... HA!!!

My 'little' brother taking a turn...

My mama TRYING to look tough... HA!

Clearing the room... getting the 'bad guy' 

Brother's turn...

Yeah sooooo......

Then, school started back (thank goodness).  Didn't take long for our rotation of sickness to begin.  I'm pretty sure that I am now currently wrapping up this cycle but it definitely took a toll on us.  Sick babies are the most difficult.  A 1 year old just won't sit and watch a movie/TV.  No, instead... 'mommy... hold me...' was stuck on REPEAT!!!!  Let's just say that one night I cooked dinner with my 26lb son in the ring sling that I used to tote him around in lying on my chest.  Yeah... fun...  But, like I said, hopefully it's over (even though no one toted me around while I was sick... HA!).

Well, there's a pretty quick catch up.  How about you all?  How were you're holidays?  How has the New Year gone thus far?  I know that there are a LOT of pinterest folks out there crafting it up.  What new fun things have you been making??  I'd love to hear it!

I have missed you guys and posting!  But, watch out... I'm BACK!!!