Tuesday, August 9, 2011

growing up

Today started off pleasantly cool, thanks to the bit of rain we got last night. I decided to take advantage of the weather and take Baby Girl to the playground. We've been cooped up in the house for the past month (because of the scorching hot temps) needed of a change of scenery. So we set out to a local playground. Baby Girl LOVED it. Swinging, climbing, running, sliding. I loved seeing her enjoy and discover so many new things. She didn't want to leave. I see more trips in our future...

I love this stage of her life. Every day brings something new. A new word, learning a new body part or how to use a new toy... She chatters constantly. Can't wait til I know everything she is saying! My little girl makes me smile. :)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

on grace & recovery

There's a brand new website (just launched today!) that I'm a fan of... Recovering Grace. Take some time to check it out. The info is definitely worth pondering.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

laundry soap:: a tutorial

On occasion, I make my own laundry soap. It started last summer when my cousin brought me a jar that she had made, along with the instructions. The process seemed easy enough, and very inexpensive so I gave it a try. And I was hooked! It has become a staple in our household. One thing I like about it is that it is virtually unscented and dye-free. Since my daughter has sensitive skin and anything with perfumes or dyes makes her skin break out, this is important to me.

Yesterday I made a fresh batch, and I took pictures so I could share the process with you. Maybe it will inspire you to try it out yourself! One batch makes a 5 gallon bucket of detergent, which is double concentrated. It will last for a looooooooong time!

You should be able to find all the ingredients at your local grocery store, in the laundry aisle. The cost to buy them should be around $5.

You will need:
1 C of washing soda (NOT baking soda)
1/2 C borax powder
1 bar of Fels-Naptha soap (zote, ivory, or other soaps can be used here as well)
Hot tap water
Empty 5 gallon bucket

Step 1) Grate the bar of soap into a pot.

Step 2) Add 4 cups of hot tap water to pot and cook over medium-low heat, stirring regularly until all the soap is dissolved.

Step 3) Pour the soap mixture into the 5 gallon bucket and fill halfway with hot water.

Step 4) Add borax and washing soda and stir well.

Step 5) Fill bucket to the top with hot water, cover, and let it sit overnight. (it will gel)

To use: fill a container 1/2 full with laundry detergent. (Old, empty laundry detergent containers work great!) Fill the rest of the way with water and shake to mix. You will need to shake it before each use, because it settles. Use 1/4 - 1/2 c of this mixture per load.

And that's it! Let me know how it works for you.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

blessed rain

It rained yesterday morning. What bliss! We are in the midst of a heat-streak and the relief was so very welcome. Husby and I awoke to a dark room and faint rumblings of thunder. I made coffee. He got ready to leave for work. Baby Girl (who really is not a baby anymore, but a real toddler!) was still asleep. And she's always awake by 7am. I poured a cup of coffee and sat on the porch, relishing the quiet, listening to the pitter-patter of raindrops and watching the distant streaks of lightning. What a refreshing way to start the morning! A few solid days of this kind of weather would not bother me in the least.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

piano... my old love

I played the piano last week. It was the 4th of July, and we were at my in-laws. My MIL knows that I (used to) play, and she made me promise that if she ever got a piano, that I would play for them. Even though I agreed, I hoped I would get out of it somehow because I'm somewhat reserved. That and I haven't touched a keyboard in years. She got a piano. And it is beautiful. She wasted no time in finding me a book of familiar choruses and there I sat. "Just suck it up and play", I told myself. "No one will care if you stumble a bit." So I did. They keys are new and shiny and smooth. The instrument has a beautiful tone. Everything came flooding back with each note I played. Memories of practicing for hours, and finding solace in music when nothing around me made sense filled my mind. And the more I played, I didn't want to stop. I spent years practicing, taking lessons, even teaching little kids the basics of music. If I had gone to college I would have studied piano in some form. It was a love of mine.

After that afternoon, I came home and dug the few music books out that I brought with me when I moved across the country a few years ago. They're out where I can see them now. They are my inspiration to find an old piano somewhere and bring it home. I want to play again.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Feather giveaway

Are you all crazy about the trendy feather extensions that are so hot right now? Check out this giveaway at the vintage pearl and you could win your choice from a hot new etsy shop.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Another Vintage Pearl Giveaway

The Vintage Pearl is having another giveaway. Go here to enter. You can blog it, share on facebook, and tweet it for extra entries. LOVE love LOVE their things!