Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent without Borax

It was just after lunch and I went to start our dishwasher only to realize that I was out of those little dishwasher gel packs I typically use. The downfall of living in a small town is that we do not have a grocery store, add in  freezing temps and nap time and a trip to town wasn't going to happen.

After getting kids down for nap and being determined to get my dishes done I decided that I was going to make my own dishwasher detergent. It couldn't be that hard!?! After all, I have made all of our other cleaners.  So, I got on the computer to look up some recipe ideas. To my dismay they all called for ingredients I did not currently borax, castile soap and citric acid.  I did however find good information on why these ingredients are important. So I set out for some trial and error recipes using what I already had in my pantry. Luckily for me, the first recipe worked like a charm. (Don't you just love when that happens?)

I have now ran 6 cycles of dishes through our dishwasher with this new detergent and I will say that I do not plan on buying store bought, chemical ridden, expensive detergent ever again. I love how well it cleans! We have hard water here and it even took care of the spots and cloudiness I typically see on our dishes.

Here are the ingredients: Please not that I made a small batch. You can certainly increase this recipe for larger quantities. I managed 5 cycles with what I made while using 2 Tbs with each cycle.

1/4 of baking soda
1/4 cup of salt (I used sea salt because that is all we had.)
1/4 fresh squeezed juice from an orange (lemons work great too)
vinegar to use as a rinse aid

Mix the baking soda and salt together in a small bowl. Squeeze the orange juice and pour through a strainer into the bowl to catch any pulp. Combine thoroughly.  The consistency will be a little clumpy which is fine. Now just add 1-2 Tbs of the homemade detergent to your dishwasher in the detergent compartment. Use the vinegar as a  rinse aid  placing in the rinse aid compartment.
Run dishwasher as usual.

Do you have any recipes to share in regards to your own cleaning products? I would love to hear from you on what you have found that works and what doesn't.

Share your stories by leaving a comment. Thanks for stopping by!

Easy Edible Play Dough Recipe

I have made this recipe several times and it is always a hit with the kids. It is quick and easy to make and it taste delicious. Seriously, I would make a batch just to eat it if  I knew that I wouldn't feel sick afterwards.

The recipe is super easy!

All you need is:
1 cup of powdered sugar
1 cup of smooth peanut butter
1 tsp of honey

Combine the ingredient all together in a medium sized bowl. I have learned that during this process a spoon just won't do. You really just need to get in there with both hands and mix it all up.

The end result will look like this....

 Note: As you are mixing, if you find it to be too sticky just add a bit more powdered sugar.

Once all of the ingredients are combined give the kids the cookie cutters, rolling pin and whatever other tools you can find and let them have fun. A word of caution though, once they taste their play dough...the playing won't last long. It is seriously that yummy!

Do you have any other recipes for edible play dough?  If so, please share them with me by leaving a comment. Thanks for stopping by!

Easy Stove Top Potpourri

After a long day of cleaning the house it always makes me smile when my husband comes home and says "The house sure smells good."  I have shared before that I am all about scents. Like a child comforted by the smell of their mother's perfume or associating a grandmother's house with the wonderful aroma of chocolate chip cookies, scents can be powerful

You can walk into our home at any given time and find my scented wax warmer on or a scented candle lit. In the winter I have a wonderful recipe I use to make the house smell great and add a little humidity back into the air. My favorite thing about my stove top potpourri is that the aromas you can create are endless. 

When I think of Winter, scents that come to mind are cinnamon, apples, clover, nutmeg, oranges and mint. What do you think of?

I am going to share two of my favorite stove top recipes. I will be honest in saying that I very seldom measure anything when making my potpourri. I typically add a bit of this and pinch of that. There is no real science, just whatever smells good to you. I enjoy simmering a pot filled with the ingredients in the afternoon so the house is filled with the wonderful aroma as everyone is coming home. 

Typical Ingredients:
1-3 Oranges
2 Apples
1 Tbs Ground Cinnamon 
1 Tbs All Spice
1 Tbs Vanilla and/or Almond Extract
1/2 of a bag of fresh Cranberries
1 Tsp Peppermint Extract (optional)

Add all the ingredients into a large pot and cover with water. Simmer over medium heat on stove top and add more water as needed. Enjoy the wonderful aroma!

For a great scent in the summer I like to fill a pot with just oranges and vanilla. The smell is light and refreshing. 

On an a side note: After you are done simmering the Summer potpourri, strain the water and use it to add a nice citrus aroma to your homemade cleaner. Check out my post Naturally Cleaning Your Home (Recipes) to learn more. 

I want to hear from you. Do you have any stove top potpourri recipes to share? Leave a comment. 

Saturday, January 3, 2015

My Husband's Birthday Message To Me Today

To My Beautiful Wife,
Everyday so many of us are reminded how amazing you are. Whether it's during a conversation with you or thinking of something that you've done that reminds us. You are the most unselfish and giving person I have ever known. You welcome everyone into your heart without thinking twice, hoping you can make their day better. The world can learn a lot from someone like you. Like always doing the right thing even if it isn't the easy way. Treat everyone the way God would expect. You truly are an amazing woman, wife , mother and best friend.
Happy birthday to my beautiful wife Christina !!
I love you !!!

(Isn't he the sweetest? I love him more than words can say! I am so blessed!) 

So handsome!

Thursday, January 1, 2015

New Playroom Printables

Happy New Year!

There is something about a new year that gets me in the mood to start fresh. I am not one to make New Year's resolutions, but I do like to make a few minor changes. Those changes usually are as big as a commitment to read through the bible in a year or as small as getting better organized. (Is that really a small commitment?)

 I am starting out by updating pictures in our home, redecorating our room and reorganizing anything that needs it. We finally got family pictures taken (by me) for the first time in 7 years.....7 YEARS! Terrible I know! I have come to learn that as a photographer I am so busy with my clients that I forgot about my own family. Anyways, I have new pictures to update with so why not change out all of them right? Hey go big or go home!

I decided start to update some of the artwork in the playroom and made two new pieces I wanted to share with you. I made both images in an 8x10 to fit the frames I already had to use.

I hope you enjoy them!

 Blessings to you and yours this new year!

To print just right click on the image and click save as....

Playroom Rules 8x10

PLAY 8x10