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Homemade Laundry Detergent

I decided to try making my own Laundry Detergent! I have friends that make their own and I've often seen people online make their own so I thought I would go for it. I did my first load with it last night and it  worked great! There is one thing I would do differently if I make it again and I'll post that below. Besides working great, it smells amazing! I actually had to open a window while making it, because of all the "dust" from dumping all the ingredients together. I started out with the biggest bowl I own and ended up having to dump it into a baby bathtub because I couldn't find a big enough bucket and I wanted to make sure it got mixed well. 

The best part?!? It costs a whopping total of $34 dollars and would last ONE YEAR if you do 4 loads per week! You only use 1-2 Tablespoons per load! It also dissolves just fine in cold and hot water! On Facebook I had some people ask about using it with High Efficiency Washers. I gave my mom a bottle who asked the same question. It actually works really well! This is mostly because it doesn’t create any suds so it is actually better for the washer. Alright, without any further adieu....

RECIPE

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1 (4 lb 12 oz) Box of Borax- Found in the detergent aisle

1 (3 lb 7 oz) Box of Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda- Found in the detergent aisle

1 (3 lb) Container of OxiClean- Found in the detergent aisle

2 (14.1 oz) Bars of Zote Soap- Found in the detergent aisle

1 (4 lb) Box of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda- Found in the cooking aisle and usually also in the Detergent Aisle

1-2 (55 oz) Bottle of Purex Crystals Fabric Softener - Found in the detergent aisle

 

I actually found all of these ingradients at Walmart so they should have them at any major store. Now, the only "time consuming" part is getting the soap down to size for the detergent. I have heard of grating the soap bar, microwaving it (it becomes dry and crumbles) and also a food processor. I tried all 3. I wanted to know the easiest and best way so that I could share it with you. Hopefully I saved you some time ;) 

The food processor wins. The microwave method was messy and just kind of annoying. The grater worked well but it still got all stuck together and made bigger chunks than I wanted once I started mixing. I just used a little chopper that I had and it worked PERFECTLY. Next time that is definitely the route I will take. It only took a few minutes and you can grind it up small. The smaller the better. You will see mine was kind of chunky, that is probably because I used 3 different methods for the soap but that is what I would change, I would definitely make SMALLER pieces of soap.

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Next you just drump everything togather! I wouldn't do it all at once, I did a little at a time to make sure I could mix it well. Again, the baby bathtub seriously made it so much easier to mix and move around! 

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And this ladies and gentleman is the finished product! Again, if only the soap pieces were more fine but I'll make do ;)

I bottled up a few bottles for my Mom and Grandma to use in the Purex Crystal containers:

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Then I wasn't sure what to put mine in... so I ran up to Walmart and grabbed a glass canister, a coffee scoop (which is exactly 2 tablespoons) and some hemp string. I decided to get crafty and paint stamp my container so below is my total finished product! I love it! Total cost for all the detergent and container plus accessories $52!

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I hope you try to make your own, it was so cheap and easy! Do you already make your own? Is your recipe different than mine?! If so, please share it! Feel free to send me a picture or a note about how yours turns out if you make it, I would love to hear!

DIY - Reading Nook

I'm just now getting around to posting this about our entertainment center turned "reading cave" <-- that is what Colton calls it :) 

After finishing this project I can't believe I let the entertainment center sit unused for years -4 years to be exact- when this project only took me 2 or 3 days!!! I looked and looked and looked for a picture of it before I started working on it and couldn't find hardly any! So this is the only one that really shows what it looked like with the doors on it. I had already used the shelves for book storage but just used the inside for actual storage (it was made for an old school big screen tv).

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Then once I cleaned it out and took the doors off I had my work cut out for me patching all the holes.

nook

Once the holes were patched it was painting time! The painting is actually so much easier than the preparing! It's all that prep work that takes so long. I decided on some red paint to accent all the brown in the room and decided to paint all the wood dark cherry to match our trim. 

Once I picked out the paint colors I headed over to Jo-Ann Fabrics to pick out a good upholstry fabric for a giant seat cushion. I took home a bunch of samples and let Jeff pick the winner, which was actually the only one he liked out of all the ones I liked (isn't that usually how it works?!) At the time I don't think I realized how giant the cushion was actually going to have to be. My mom, the ultimate seemstress, had me measure the area so she could tell me just how much to buy. We were going to make a 5'x3' cushion. That is big. We had never made anything like this before so we just decided to wing it. I bought 30 pounds of fiber fil, which ended up being way too much. We only used 15 pounds. We laid out all the fabric and decided on a 10" thickness for the cushion. We were able to finish it in one night (the majority of the sewing part) then the next morning we had to stuff it!

cushion

We really just started piling the stuffing in there and trying to form it as best we could. Needless to say we ended up in tears from laughing so hard because it wasn't quite as sturdy as we had imagined. And trying to reach an arm down a five foot cusion to push fiber fil into the corners was quite a site. It was honestly a hilarious hour. Once we got the cushion stuffed we decided it looked like a giant blob. It had to be worked around quite a bit to look even. 

After we added it to the freshly painted nook it made ALL the difference! I instantly LOVED it.  Now I am really glad we chose the fiber fil because I love that it sinks down when you sit in it and you can really get comfy and lay in there. I went to Target to purchase throw pillows (my mom also made additional matching pillows, they just aren't in this photo!) and the transformation was complete!

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I absolutely love this nook! I think we have all fallen asleep in it already. The two giant drawers on the bottom I use for storage and I filled the rest with books! It has one big light in the middle of the ceiling and it really is a gem to chill out in. 

If you don't know what to do with an old built-in entertainment center, this is it!

What have you transformed in your house?!

Blake Questions.. Answered

Time to celebrate! Baby Boy Blake is ONE.  We celebrated his birthday today.  His sappy one year old letter is written and filed away.  I reread his birth story this morning while sipping on my coffee. And now it’s time for something fun and light, because I’m in a fun and light kind of mood.  J Upon meeting people for the first time with my youngest son we always get the same few questions/comments.  Shall we discuss?

How old is he? Insert answer. Now, I can’t believe I will be saying one.  Insane.  No more stating his age in months.  Nope, he is a year old.  I read an article the other day that referred to a one year old as a toddler. Let’s not push it people, he’s a baby…ok maybe just a baby to us.  Our baby.

PicMonkey Collage

Then almost immediately I get the… He’s so tiny followed by the person sizing me up.  Are they looking to see if I’m tiny?  Are they wondering if I feed him enough? No idea, but I usually smile and say Yep, and then just in case they are thinking the latter I confirm that he loves his food. And he does.  There hasn’t been a food he hasn’t liked and he has a big appetite. I just have tiny featured children what can I say?  That and he is On. The. Move.  The last few days he has been running laps.  No joke, running in circles for hours having the time of his life. Maybe he’s training for a Baby Olympics, or maybe he sees the rest of his family playing Xbox Kinect Sports and wants in on the action.  Yes he’s tiny but healthy.

At some point upon meeting someone, Blake will flash his mega-watt smile. There’s been a couple of times that he smiles and then shivers.  It’s like his body can not contain his happiness. This is followed with 

Is he always this happy?   I love this question as much as I love my happy baby.  Yes, 90% of the time he is happy guy.  He loves when people talk to him.  Love when someone is watching him.  Proud when he accomplishes something.  Watches his big brother in delight.  When he is happy he is really happy. Unfortunately, during those 10% he’s not, he really is not.  Like his mother, he’s not a happy camper when someone tells him no, or when he’s hungry, or tired. He does get it honestly.  But that 90% overshadows any fussiness.

Is he your only?  Nope, he has a six year old brother.  And then almost immediately the follow up Are you going to try for a girl?  This would be a no.  Thanks for asking though. ;)

Where does he get that blonde hair?  My husband and I are both brunette with a darker skin tone.  Denny has dark eyes too.  Blake is a blonde hair blue eye looker.  So we get this question a lot.  My whole side has blue eyes.  And Denny was a little blondie growing up.  I wouldn’t believe it myself if there wasn’t picture proof. 

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Blake Martin is such a joy.  I continue to feel incredibly lucky and blessed for my lovely family of four.  This year has gone fast.  Too fast, but I have loved every day and now today I am mom to a one year old again.

Blake Collage 2

XOXO, Brandi

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