Monday, February 25, 2013

Home Made Cleaning Products

About a year ago I got fed up with spending big bucks on cleaning products.  It seemed ridiculous!!  And, then thanks to pinterest I discovered I could make my own at a fraction of the cost!!

So, I gathered together the simple ingredients and started with a few simple things.  


I wanted an all-purpose cleaner that I could use on most surfaces.  I also needed a glass cleaner, and something to cut through grease in the kitchen.  

These are still the basics that I use now and have found that they work as well if not better for much less.  I have tweaked these to serve my taste but definitely check the links below with the recipes for other cleanser recipes you might be interested in.




2 Cups water
1/4 Cup castile soap (mine is Peppermint which I love the smell of)


All-Purpose Cleaner (Watch out for a reaction! It will bubble a lot.)
3 Tablespoons vinegar
1/2 Teaspoon washing soda
1/2 Teaspoon castile soap
2 Cups hot water
 

Glass Cleaner
Half Vinegar
Half Water
A few drops of castile soap (optional - to cut the smell of the vinegar)

Also, check out my pinterest board for other ideas.  There are many variations of each cleanser out there in blog-land, so you should be able to find what meets your needs and your tastes.  

I also was determined to find an alternative laundry detergent, because with a family of 6, I felt like I was washing my money down the drain every week.  The laundry detergent recipe originally came from The Duggars.  (If anybody knows how to save money with laundry it would be Michelle Duggar!!)  However this site has an awesome step by step tutorial along with the recipe.  I love the laundry detergent, and again it works as well or better than the store bought for MUCH LESS and I have a new HE washer and have had no problems - very few suds with this soap.


Here are the ingredients that go into the liquid laundry detergent:
  • Borax
  • Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda (NOT Baking Soda)
  • Fels-Naptha Soap Bar
  • 5-gallon bucket with lid
  • 10 gallon milk jugs (or other containers) that have been cleaned and rinsed (the concentrate will disperse more evenly if you go ahead and divide it up.
You will not use ALL of anything except the Fels-Naptha Soap Bar.  Also, I divided the recipe in half because I didn't have room to store ten gallons, and five gallons lasts me 4-6 months.  



Hope you find something you like to help you save some money$$!!


Linking up with Carmel at Our Fifth House.  Check out lots of other helpful cleaning tips!!

Also linking up at Living Well Spending Less
Thrifty Thursday Linky Party at LivingWellSpendingLess.com!

Monday, February 18, 2013

More Lightening Up {Hallway Progress}

So, several months ago I got a crazy idea to paint the doors in my hallway.  Honestly I was bored one day and I already had the paint, so why not.  


However, sometimes I'm not in the mood to do paint projects like this one because they are quite time consuming.  And, I got interrupted by a more pressing project, the entryway.  But then, Christmas hit and again I didn't feel like finishing the doors.  But then, the ultimate motivator, we were having company (other than family - cuz they know how the project thing goes for me).  So, I was determined to finish the doors, or at least get them to a point that looked somewhat finished.  And, here ya go!! 




 I'm telling you the amount of light the white paint provides still amazes me.  I love it!!  It seems so much more seamless when I look down the hall now.  The stained wood just seemed to break up things. so. much.  


As you might be able to see, I still need to paint the linen cabinets, and the baseboards.  What you can't see is the last door at the other end of the hall that isn't done ;), and the fact that you can't see it is exactly the reason why it didn't get done!!

Linking up with Carmel at Our Fifth House today.  If you are visiting from that linky party check out some of my other painting projects herehere, and here.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Valentine's Day Dinner {Fun Family Tradition}

A few years back a friend of mine shared with me one of their family traditions.  She told me that once they had kids they stopped going out for Valentine's Day, but rather spent Valentine's evening at home with the family.  But, she made it special.  She got out the good china, and crystal and silver.  She made the table up fancy and had everyone 'get dressed' for dinner.  I loved this idea and started doing it myself.  We don't go to a lot of fancy dinners or even nice dinners with the whole family, so I thought this would be a great opportunity to teach the kids how to behave in these situations.  Because baseball season has begun, we had our dinner a day late last night.  


This year I decided to not drag out my china.  I wanted to use my red chargers, so I decided to purchase some plain white plates from the dollar store.  These goblets are from the dollar store as well - this way if something gets broken it's no big deal.  


The rest of the decorations cost all of $5.  Tissue paper poms hung from the ceiling fan.  



The vases are filled with shiny basket filler, and a candle. 



 I cut a heart from felt for the center of each plate.  



Simple but festive.  :)  Have a great weekend!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Covering In White

Well...today as I was covering these in white


God was covering everything in white.  The most beautiful ginormous flakes fell from the sky today.



The boys couldn't wait to get outside and play when they got home from school. This is the fruit of their labor.


Of course there was also some snowball throwing.  :) This momma is really hoping we have school tomorrow.  Please roads don't freeze. 

I took some time to do a little work on the blog design.  I will say it is a work in progress, and will probably change again.  Hope you like it.

Oh and...we got a puppy.  His name is Ranger.

Isn't he the cutest?!?

Happy Tuesday!  

Friday, February 8, 2013

Parenting Is Not For Wimps

I have to tell you, the past couple of weeks have been tough around here.  This parenting gig is kickin my butt.  I feel like for the most part we are doing ok - I mean everyone has food, clean clothes (most of the time), a place to lay their head and plenty of love.  But, when we have weeks like these I find myself stopping and thinking "where have I gone wrong?  I wanted more than ok."  Which is exactly the conversation my husband and I had at the end of a very emotionally exhausting day yesterday.  And we came to a couple of conclusions.  You can find his interpretation here.  I love that are minds work as one.  :)

We will recover and get things back on track as soon as we are intentional in regrouping and reordering our priorities.  More time together with God, and more time together.  I would not say that our kids individually are over scheduled, but I would say that as a family it is more than challenging to have time together.  With two active teenagers and two active grade schoolers we might have one night together as a family.  This leads to 6 people living separately in the same home.  Ugh!!  Not at all what I had in mind when we agreed on 4 children.  See, I am an only child.  Way before my husband and I got married we talked about family - what was important to us, how many kids we thought we might want etc.  We both said 4 kids, and that is what The Lord blessed with.  But what is going on around here is not what I envisioned.  There is way more tearing down then building up.  I am learning the dynamics of sibling behavior, but I refuse to accept the constant barrage of ugly words and actions.  We have allowed things to stray.

So, we are buckling down, getting on our knees, working on being more diligent to get in The Word together, and working on being better examples of love and grace for our kids.  Can anyone out there relate with any of this?  Have faith, God is right there in the fight.


From our family to yours - some words of encouragement from God's Word: 

He only is my rock and my salvation, My stronghold; I shall not be shaken  Psalms 62:6 (NASB)
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, My God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  Psalms 18:2 (NASB)

Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come; You have given commandment to save me, For You are my rock and my fortress.  Psalms 71:3 (NASB)
Then the LORD said, "Behold, there is a place by Me, and you shall stand there on the rock;  Exodus 33:21 (NASB)
"You neglected the Rock who begot you, And forgot the God who gave you birth.  Deuteronomy 32:18 (NASB)
Incline Your ear to me, rescue me quickly; Be to me a rock of strength, A stronghold to save me.  Psalms 31:2 (NASB)
Blessed be the LORD, my rock, Who trains my hands for war, And my fingers for battle;  Psalms 144:1 (NASB)
He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.  Psalms 40:2 (NASB)
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and acts on them, may be compared to a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and slammed against that house; and yet it did not fall, for it had been founded on the rock.  Matthew 7:24-25 (NASB)
Father God, let us be those who and act and be like the wise man who built his house on The Rock.