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!

 

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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!!
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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!  
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Friday Thoughts

Let me just say that this week has been a little crazy!!  And, today as it comes to an end I’m having some thoughts.  

Satan is real, and working against us everyday.  Yes, I can say I had a few days this week when I felt like I was face to face with him.  

God is bigger and we have victory through Jesus!!  Amen and amen!!  I won each time 🙂

Don’t sweat the small stuff.  The small stuff is what will get you hung up in a rut, e.v.e.r.y.t.i.m.e.

You cannot make everyone happy.  No matter how hard you try.  It’s just not possible.  For fellow people pleasers like myself.  This truth is really difficult to take.  But I dare you to grab on and hold on tight and see what freedom and peace you receive.  The One you should aim to please is The Master.

My kids are getting older right before my eyes.  They are able to do things that they couldn’t do before.  They are so much more independent then they used to be.  They just don’t need me as much.  I really thought I would welcome this, but as they pull away more I find myself running after them saying, “wait, let me…”

Time moves so quickly and I don’t want to waste an ounce of it by 

  • fighting a fight that has already been won (you know against that satan guy).
  • worrying about the little things (God is into the details and He will take care of it).
  • trying to please everyone (just not possible people, I speak truth and you know it).
  • making a mental recording of every inch of my children (I want to hold onto this time and these memories forever).
Excited for a long weekend, hoping to get some stuff done, and spend some quality time with those not-so-little guys.  
 
Blessings to you and yours!!




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Our Christmas Tree 2012

It’s Christmas tree share day!!
I have never been a matchy – matchy kind of girl when it came to my Christmas tree.  I love them and I think they look beautiful, but that decor never worked out for me.  When we were first married we hardly had enough ornaments to cover the front of the tree, and didn’t really have the cash to spend on a treeful of ornaments.  Each year I would add a few cuties during after-Christmas sales, and my collection slowly grew.  We have held to the tradition of purchasing a family ornament each year, some describing what was going on that year, and others that were personalized with names and year.  Sometimes we include the kids in the picking out and other times we just make it easy and
do it ourselves, because 2 heads are most often better than 6 :).
And then, we had children who began bringing home these adorable hand-made ornaments which I adore.
As my kids are all older now, new ornaments come fewer and fewer each year.  And, I come apart a little more each time I pull them out and gaze out these precious smiles and cheeks, and those little hands.  Where has the time gone??
As a matter of fact, the kids decorated the entire tree by themselves this year.  They really do love doing it, and it takes no time at all.  I turned on the Christmas music and unpacked the tins and they went to work.
I was unsure how it would work this year.  Because unlike those starting out years we have lots of ornaments now, because I still shop those after-Christmas sales.  Here is what my stash looks like all stored up.
Yep, those are old popcorn tins that I cleaned out and used for storage 😉  And here is my frustration…
See, my wonderful hubby had purchased this wonderfully awesome 9.5 ft pre-lit slim tree at an after-Christmas sale about 8 years ago for $35.  Yes, $35.  He called me and told what he had found and said “should I get it, is that a good deal??”  and I quickly said “YES!!”  Now I kinda wish I would’ve said “get two!!”  Because when I got this beauty out and fluffed and plugged in – only half the lights worked.  So, then I thought – ‘I can fix it’ – and proceeded to try – and then decided it wasn’t worth it.  So, I then pulled out our old 7.5 ft tree that I had kept thinking I would someday put up two trees and decided to use that.  So, I wasn’t sure that all the ornaments from the 9.5 ft tree would fit on the 7.5 ft tree – but the kids, they made them fit.  The tree is full, and I mean full or ornaments.  I love it!!
Here’s another look
Glorious imperfection is perfect to me 🙂
Oh, and if you are wondering, the tree skirt was a tablecloth that I got at an after-Christmas sale at Target, several years ago that I transformed – cost much less than a store bought skirt.
I wish I could keep the tree up all year long.  It just make me happy looking at it, twinkling lights and precious ornaments.
Linking up today at
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