recipe for clean clothes (and diapers)

i've let it be known to a few people that i make our laundry detergent. i think i started right before the holidays, maybe around thanksgiving. most people's response when i say that i make the detergent is one of surprise and curiosity. more often than not they ask me for the recipe.

the recipe is no big secret. i started seeing homemade detergent popping up in blog land sometime in november. i was interested but not sure if it was for me. i didn't know if it would work with our washer (a front-loader), or really get bea's diapers clean enough, and then there was also matt's filthy work clothes (the man works hard, what can i say?). so i started looking around on the interwebs and actually found that many people do this and that most people are very pleased with the results. i found that it was a great recipe for front loading washing machines because it's virtually non-sudsing and that many people used it on their (children's) cloth diapers with no complaints. so i decided to give it a try and find out if it was for us.

laundry day

well, i can tell you that it is for us. i haven't bought detergent since i started making it. and it is crazy economical. matt says it gets his work clothes more clean than store bought detergent and i say the same for bea's diapers. her diapers actually smell good and maybe occasionally need an extra rinse. as for the rest of our attire - they're just nice and clean. and all it takes is:

2 bars of fels naptha soap, finely grated (or other recommended soaps)
1 cup borax
1 cup washing soda

just mix together. that's it. i use 2 tbsp for regular loads and about 1 tbsp for small loads and diapers.

there are a lot of recipes out there and they really only vary slightly from what i have found. i got the recipe i used here. i use recipe #4, and i plan on
trying out different bars of soap to see what i like best. i just bought a lot when i first got the supplies (because it is so cheap!). you may have difficulty finding the washing soda or bar soap locally and if you do there are plenty of online retailers. my only suggestion would be to comparison shop. one of the stores here sold the bars for almost 40 cents cheaper than another location.

so if you give this a try, let me know what you think.



playing catch up on this project today.



mmmm mmm muffins!

we were all at a friends house last weekend. while our husbands were downstairs admiring woodworking tools and putting them to use, i sat in awe of my friends comfortableness and prowess in the kitchen.
let me begin by saying that this was happening in a kitchen that is undergoing a full on remodel. she was working with no sink, stovetop, or cabinets (though the cabinet frames were in and they are gorgeous - made of walnut - which her talented husband is making himself). she had a pantry, a board for a countertop, and her beautiful new double wall oven. in the midst of this i witness her make lunch for all the kids, whip up a batch of muffins, and stick dinner in the oven. this may sound normal and simple, which i am sure it is for some people.

*i am not one of those people.*

that is why i was in awe. she moved effortlessly and confidently all the while carrying on a conversation with me and responding to the kids. when i am in the kitchen it is more of a frenzied mess. and i do mean myself and the actual kitchen. i'm not saying i am incompetent when in the kitchen, but i am out of my comfort zone. and if you want me to carry on a conversation - well, it may be a little disconnected to say the least. (wait, i'm like that most of the time anyway - though i swear i wasn't before children).

anyway, the point of this is - my friend made these very tasty muffins (she mills her own flour too) and it got me craving muffins.

so, i looked for some recipes online, thinking 'why don't we have muffins all the time?'.

mmmm mmmm muffin

so, here is the first recipe i made. i made two batches. one for immediate consumption and another to freeze.
i made some modifications on the second batch and prefer it over the first.
on the second batch i used only whole wheat flour. i also didn't have enough cinnamon - so i also added some ground ginger and a pinch of nutmeg. next time i think i will up the ground ginger and add a bit of honey too.
i think this might be the next recipe i try.

how about you? do you have any delicious muffin recipes you enjoy making? please share!


feels like . . .

under the weather
feels like i have cotton balls stuffed around my skull and i swallowed sand. it hurts to lift my head.
thankful for hand made quilts, portable dvd players, sleepytime snugglies, good recipes to share later (when i can think enough to link to them), a husband who came home from work early and took the kiddos to the store.
hope to catch up on what you are up to very soon.



in and out.



i'm a few days off. but, i'm back on board. we've had several unusually busy days - the good kind. this month is flying by.




guess who

probably has the pink eye?

miz bea (2)


mad dash

day four of potty training. so far so good. there have been a few accidents, but fewer than i was expecting.
he's actually doing great and sometimes announces his need to go with such excitement. after he goes i always say 'give me potty fives!' and instead of giving me a five he sort of head butts each of my hands. whatever floats his boat.
 i know this could backfire and become much more difficult but there is no turning back now.
my hope is that he is as proud of himself as we are of him and that is what keeps things going smoothly. 
of course spider-man underwear help - along with the promise of star wars undies if he does well staying dry over the next week.

balance.7 and 8




oh, the sweetness

today henry was snuggling up with bea and said she was his favorite friend. i could have cried, that boy is so sweet.






pb & j. homemade bread. perfect combination. perfect balance.



finding my balance

today is the start of the one word project over at shutter sisters.

my goal this month is to take a step back, regenerate and find some balance. and there you have my word for the month. at this moment balance represents so many things to me and it is the main thing i am seeking. besides, a creative challenge may be just the thing to get my head out of the lingering funk of january.
so, for february i plan on having very few words here and instead will do my best to bring what i capture through my lens and showcase it here.

want to join in?