Wednesday, March 28

Homemade Powdered Laundry Soap

 A few years back I was making a homemade laundry soap that I was pretty happy with, then suddenly I wasn't able to find washing soda anywhere so I quit. Then last week while I was cruising through the store I ran across washing soda on the shelf, I was so excited! I already had borax at home so all I needed was the washing soda and a bar of Fels-Naptha and I would be good to go.
I had planned to made a liquid soap but after searching online for recipes I decided to go with a powder to save space in our already tight garage. I had this cute laundry container that I kept my Oxy in and thought it would be perfect for my new laundry soap, so I moved the Oxy out and the made my soap right in it.
After searching around on several blogs, this is the recipe that I came up with.

1 bar Fels-Naptha Soap finely grated
1 cup Washing Soda (Washing soap and baking soda are not the same thing. I have always found washing soda on the laundry isle. Make sure that is what you are getting.) 
1 cup Borax

  • Dump all ingredients into your storage container (airtight is best)
  •  Then stir them all until they become a fine powder.
  • Use 2 tablespoons per load
I have only been using this soap for about a week now but I am happy with it and I love the lemony sent of it. My whole family has very sensitive skin and it doesn't seem to bother any of us, most store bought laundry soaps do. I throw a scoop of Oxy in with extra dirty loads and that help gets the funk out. I have only used Fels-Naptha for the grated soap so I can only tell you how I feel about that one. I am happy to be spending a fraction of the cost on laundry soap and it only takes about 20 minutes to make, I can easily find that kind of time to save my family money. If you have any questions of comments let me know and I will answer them the best I can.

Thursday, March 22

Produce Stamping

I was reading Family Fun and came across the idea to stamp with celery. You end up with a print that looks like a flower and it can be used over and over.
I wanted to try out several different fruits and veggies as stamps so I cut a bunch of stuff up and placed it on a cookie sheet with paper towels to dry them out a bit. I wrapped the lettuce and celery with rubber bands so they would keep their shape and tried to cut everything as flat as possible. I dried them for about 6 hours which was fine for the lettuce, celery and apples but the lemons and oranges should have dried for several more hours.
 Once it was time to paint I squirted some paints onto plates for the kids and gave them paint brushes to apply the paint to their produce. Taylor spent most of his time just painting his paper then lost interest and took off to go play but Scarlett really loved this project.
 She wanted all her fruit pink and we made some really pretty prints on our paper. I loved the print the lettuce made the best, it's very flowery and delicate looking.
 I want to try this with the citrus again but let it dry longer, ours was a little too juicy but you could tell that it would be really pretty.

After Scarlett did her printing it turned into her just painting the fruit which I think she actually enjoyed even more. She would paint them, have want me to wash them off and then paint them a new color.

 You can make pretty stamped cards with your produce or some homemade wrapping paper. Apparently this works really well on fabric as well so your options are endless. If you make something share it with me on our Facebook page, I would love to see what you are working on!

Friday, March 16

Cleaning Products that do the job!

Mom's back and this time she is sharing her favorite hard working cleaning products. Here's a snap shot of the BFFs so you have a face to go along with the advise, Judy's on the left and that's mom (Angie) on the right, they are awesome! Now I will hand things over to mom:
  Sooooo, ladies. (Oh, and any men that might be reading this) As I promised last week, I will tell you a bit about 3 products that Judy and I LOVE! This will be a short post because she and I will be heading to Orange County tomorrow for a few days to, you guessed it, CLEAN! And organize and pack and whatever else that may come our way. I'm gonna owe her a bunch of slave days! My step-mom is going to sell her house and it has 40 years of stuff packed into it. My dad passed away 2 years ago and the house is just too big and it is time to downsize and move. I think this will be good for her. She just can't keep up with it anymore. A nice little condo or townhouse near the beach. Low maintenance. Maybe a little lap dog. I digress. Squirrel! OK, I'm back.
     The first goody in our arsenal of cleaning jewels is a product called Dirtex by Savogran. If you are lucky enough to live in Ramona, (Hush, I hear you snickering) you can get it at Ransom Bros. It is killer on mirrors and windows. Leaves no streaks. Ammoniated for fast action. (Their words. I wouldn't know how to spell ammoniated) The next thing is Zud. I have always called it Zuds until I took a closer look at the can. It's by Malco and we get it at, you guessed it, Ransom Bros. Gotta love Ramona. (I hear you) It comes in a container like Comet and gets rust, metal marks and the likes out of sinks. It works better by far than Comet, Ajax or any of those guys. Only use it on the tough stuff 'cause it ain't cheap, but it's well worth it! Last, but not least for today, is Bath Brite. We use it on sinks, showers, toilets, chrome fixtures. It cuts through the funky stuff that builds up around faucets, drains, in showers, places like that. Pour a little on, let it sit, and the magic begins. Scrub it with an old toothbrush, rinse and wipe clean. You can get this at Bradley's Pro Clean in San Marcos. Fun field trip before spring cleaning. They have tons of great stuff there for de-greasing pretty much anything, getting the weird, brown thing out of the bottom of the toilet bowl, window cleaning, etc. etc. Except Dirtex and Zud. Gotta find those on your own or come to beautiful Ramona. (Now you are just being mean) I was also going to share about my vacuum this week, but I am just too tired. Judy and I cleaned 3 houses today. 10 toilets between them, about 9 thousand sq feet of vacuuming and mopping, you get the picture. Feel sorry for us? No? You probably had a tough day too. It is actually quicker to clean all of those houses than it is to clean my own when I'm not focused. Bunny trails. They are all over.

Ta ta! Angie

Thursday, March 15

Tips to surviving outdoor sporting events with your kids

With a triathlete for a hubby and a family that wants to be there to support him, we are at every race possible. The days can be long and they start early, so it's important to go well equipped. Now that race season has begun it was time for me to pull my bag of tricks out and get prepared for those long days out. This is my list to surviving a triathlon but the stuff would work well for any all day sporting event.
1. Get them involved-Talk to them about the upcoming weekend, tell them how fun it will be, ask what they would like to bring along.

2. Bring a stroller/wagon to haul your kids and stuff around in- It frees up your hands when need be like when you need a safe place for them while you are taking pictures of your stud husband. It also gives them a place to rest when they start to loose steam. 
3. Bring things to keep their hands busy- The kids are super excited to cheer daddy on and take in their surroundings when we first get there but the start to bore and need things to play with. My kids are 2 and 3 and what works great for them is bringing along blank paper and crayons, play food, digging tools and their favorite stuffed animals for when they start to get tired.

4. Don't forget sunscreen and a change of clothes- The day can start out chilly but it usually ends up warming up so a change of clothes and some extra sunscreen is always handy, plus you never know what kind of dirt they may get into. 
5. If you have a beach tent, bring it! My sister got me this one for my birthday and it is the best thing ever!! It keeps us out of the sun, it's cooler inside, gives me a great place to do diaper changes, is awesome for snack time and it keeps us from having to sit in the grass which we all break out from. I can't wait to try this bad boy out at the beach next weekend!
6. Treat them to something special at the end of the day- My kids love going to races but it is always fun to treat them to something special. We usually get snow cones or lemonade for the kids and it makes their day!
7. Make cheering fun! Bring along cow bells and signs and just go crazy. The kids will have fun and the athletes love it!
8. Make friends with the other families out there, you will probably see them again soon at another event so you may as well become buddies.
 9. Bring lots and lots of water! When you spend the day outside it seems you can never have too much water.

10. And the most important thing of all-PACK SNACKS!! I pack a picnic basket full and we go through it all. Save your money for better things and bring along fruit, veggies, hummus, whatever you like to eat. There is nothing that calms a wild child like a good snack.

If you have any great tips I would love to hear them, I'm always looking for ways to keep things exciting. Have a great day!

Friday, March 9

Cleaning Essentials

   Housecleaning. I don't know what pops into your head, but it's probably something negative. For me it's, "Uggg, not again! Didn't I just do that?" or something close to it. I have been cleaning my own house for 40 years and cleaning as a side job for about 27 years. Seeing that in print is hideous! I have joked about this 'gift' and asked God why it couldn't be singing or painting or public speaking or ANYTHING but cleaning? As I have been thinking about it this week, I really do feel blessed that He has designed me this way because it helps keep order in my life. I don't do well when things are really chaotic and I'm feeling behind in everything. When I keep up on the house and all that it entails, I am a better wife, mom and friend. I can spend time with my grandkids, watch my youngest daughter play lacrosse and help friends and family with their homes and projects.      So, here I am as Amy's guest blogger. I am 58 years old, and truth be told, I would love to hire someone to clean for me. Since I know that will never happen, I have figured out how to be as efficient as possible so I can get on with the fun stuff! I'm sure that most of you are doing a good job and have all of your favorite supplies, but let's assume a couple of you need a tune up in this department. I will begin this week by giving you a list of the thinks I keep in my tote. My friend Judy and I like to call it our briefcase. We have been working together for 25 years and have been BFF's for 43 years! It is so nice to have a buddy to clean with. We have slave days every Monday, but that is a story for another day.
     Your weapons! I like to keep a tote filled with my most used supplies. I keep Windex, Comet, furniture polish, (keep the oily cloth in a baggie), a large cup with a toilet brush in it, (the cup helps rinse showers), a sponge with a gentle scratchy back, a tougher scouring pad, a razor knife, a Pummie (gets the tough rings out of toilets), shower cleaner and a scouring pad with a handle, some kind of spray bleach cleaner, an assortment of brushes for the nooks and crannies, a feather duster and a hand swiffer duster. I keep a large grocery bag with my cleaning cloths, plastic grocery bags, paper towels, extra vacuum bags, and new sponges, that I take from room to room along with the tote. This way you aren't running back and forth looking for the stuff you need. I get this out when it's my big cleaning day. I also keep Comet, Windex, paper towels, a toilet brush and a sponge under the sink in each bathroom for quick clean-ups. Judy and I get our cloths from Walmart. They are cotton sack cloths and they don't leave lint. I use white shop towels from Costco for floors because they are rougher. I only use a mop when it's a very large house. I soak the Costco towels in a bit of white vinegar (also a must have) and water and wring them out and mop with my feet. I fold them in half and move back and forth over the floor and it works so well. Just keep refolding it and you get 4 sides out of each towel. Plus, it is great exercise! Of course, this is after you have vacuumed. If you have a lot of bare floors, you can get a kind of mop that has terry cloth covers that you wash and re-use. It has a swivel handle and is easy to use.
     This is it for the week. I need to go chase down some dust bunnies of my own. If you are still interested after reading this, I will be sharing how I break down my house and where I begin. I will also introduce a few more supplies that help with tougher jobs. And my vacuum. I can't forget to tell you about that. Intrigued?

     Ta ta till then! Angie

Tuesday, March 6

Puffy Painting

 The kids and I were looking for a fun activity to do and came across puffy painting on Pinterest. I had everything needed to do it so we were good to go! I won't rewrite an already well written tutorial, so if you want to know how to do your own puffy painting head over to One Crafty Mumma! for the instructions.
 The only change I made was I didn't have self-raising flour so I used 1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder instead and it worked great! I mixed up three bowls for each of the kids so there would be no fighting over colors and we made green, blue and pink.
 The kids had a blast painting away with q-tips, Taylor kept sneaking bites of the paint (so gross), and once there art work was finished we threw it in the microwave to puff it, it was very cool!!
The artists proudly displaying their art work, looks like it wore Taylor out, haha!

Thursday, March 1

Spring Cleaning kick-off

With spring approaching, my mind has been on cleaning and organizing. Since there is no chance I am getting a house cleaner it's up to me to keep this place tidy.  I'm not a pig but cleaning and organizing do not come naturally or easy to me and with two little kids running behind me making messes faster then I can clean them some times it's nice to just have someone tell me what to do. Lucky for me my mom is a cleaning, organizing diva and is here to help! We will be kicking off a new series of posts next week that are here to help others like me and they come directly from my awesome mom. Hopefully this will help motivate you all to get your spring cleaning on!


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