Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

I know this should be wordless, but my little brother is 12 today. I love you Cian. :)

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Oops. Not a tasty recipe- it's soap.

I know I just said tasty Tuesday, but I lied. I am too excited about this great money saving "recipe" I made. I am making my own laundry soap. It's super cheap and super easy! You only need three ingredients!

The Soap: The most typical type of soap to use is Fels Naptha. It is an old-fashioned type of soap usually found in the laundry aisle. The another option is a brand called, Zote. Either of these will work. If you use Ivory or your own homemade soap you will need to use the whole bar.

Washing Soda: This is not the same thing as baking soda. Washing soda is sodium carbonate or soda ash, baking soda is sodium bicarbonate. Its purpose is to help remove dirt and orders. The brand to look for is Arm & Hammer Washing Soda. I find it in the laundry section of my grocery store. It's in a white box, next to a giant box of baking soda which says it's good for laundry. (At least in my store.) If you can't find it; they have it on Amazon, but ask your store manager they may be able to order it for you.

Borax: Borax is a naturally occurring mineral: Sodium Borate. It is a white powder. It’s purpose is as a laundry whitener and deodorizer. You should be able to locate this in the laundry detergent aisle. Again as with the washing soda, if you cannot find it ask you store manager or look online.

Laundry Soap

1/3 bar Fels Naptha

1 Cup Washing Soda

1 Cup Borax

Grate the Fels Naptha into a bowl, add the washing soda and borax, stir until you have a nice powder. Store in an air tight container.

You use 1-2 Tablespoons of this per load of laundry. It can even be used in HE machines.

Here's the breakdown for cost (I rounded up to make my math easy):

Arm and Hammer Washing Soda (55oz): $4.00

20 Mule Team Borax (76oz): $5.00

1 bar Fels Naptha (5.5oz) $1.00

Total cost $10.00

Makes 3 batches of laundry soap (based on the size of the Fells Naptha bar you will have leftovers of the other 2 ingredients) Each batch yields approximately 32 ounces (between 32-64 loads based on how many Tbsp used per load). So you get a total of 96-192 loads of laundry for $10.00 That's .05-.10 per load

Here's a bonus! It makes dishwasher soap too! You just leave out the fels naptha. *does a happy dance* I can't wait to see how much money I will be saving this year!

Dishwasher Soap

1 cup borax

1 cup baking soda or washing soda

Mix ingredients in a container with a removable, snap-top lid. Add 2 tablespoons per load along with a splash of white vinegar in the rinse chamber of your dishwasher to prevent spots and/or residue. Add several drops of your favorite essential oil (naturally antiseptic tea tree oil is an excellent choice) as an optional finishing touch.

You can also make a liquid version of this, but since I had the leftovers from the fabric stuff I didn't if you do let me know how it goes!

Liquid Dishwasher Detergent

2 cups vegetable-based castile soap (such as Vermont Soap Organics or Dr. Bronner’s)

½ cup water

½ cup white vinegar

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

3 drops essential oil of your choice

Pour ingredients into a recycled plastic bottle with a squirt-top and shake until thoroughly incorporated. Before using, shake liquid well and measure out 2 tablespoons per load.

I’m so sorry…


I’m sorry I’ve been gone so long. I got all busy and then bummed out because I couldn’t do all of the posts that I wanted because I couldn’t find my camera, and school and blah blah blah excuses excuses. However, I am back. I am here an writing again, and I am going to make it up to you. I won a TON of giveaways from the made with love event so you will get a bunch of reviews from products, and I made some really yummy food and took lots of pictures so we are getting some recipes up, and to top it all off, I have come up with some great “green recipes” for the home and beauty to share with you guys. So I am really excited to be getting back on track!

I don’t want them to all be in this post, so I am just going to post a super cute picture of the C man, and then start the recipe in the next post. (Tasty Tuesday?) Wahoo!

Look at those adorable teeth!PB170058

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide Vol. I

This year I am very pro hand made business (bonus points if it’s from the USA but I’m not very exclusionary.) I just want to make purchases where it will make a difference to someone. While if we go and shop at Wal-Mart or Target, it may not make the same impact as shopping at your local mom and pop shop, or making a purchase from an etsy shop owner. So, please join me in making a difference in the lives of our neighbors this year. Even if you only purchase half of your gifts from home owned shops know you are making a HUGE difference.

Blossom Soap and Sundries
black apple
Buy it here:
What: Delightful Goat Milk and Shea Butter Soaps
Cost: $4.00 – $18.00
Who to buy it for?: I recommend this for any lady (or anyone else) in your life that likes to be clean (Hopefully that’s all of them…)
Why?: I was fortunate to win a three pack of goat milk soaps during the Fall Fashionista giveaway from Lori at Blossom Soaps, and while it may have come in creative (but green) packaging these soaps were still amazing. They have a nice fragrance, are light on the skin and not sticky, and I love the packaging on these soaps, they have a nice “shabby chic” feel to them. The three soaps I recieved are the Almond Milk and Honey, Black Apple, and Snickerdoodle Coffee Scrub. The Almond Milk and Honey smells delicious,  While the name may make this soap seem like a bland scent it has an amazing almost spicy smell. It goes on the skin smoothly and rinses clean,the scent does not really leave scent behind- which I found to be true with all three of the soaps. The Black Apple has sea clay and activated charcoal in it which are supposed to be good for clarifying and detoxing the skin. It also has a very yummy smell. It is not overly fruity but more of a crisp clean scent. If you love coffee you will love the Snickerdoodle Coffee Scrub, It smells yummy too! (I think that makes her three for three!)  This one has clove in it which I love, and the coffee too. The coffee is an amazing ingredient, it exfoliates and absorbs odors, so it is good for the kitchen too as it will wash the onion or garlic off your skin.
These soaps last a very long time if you keep them out of standing water and let them dry between uses. A soap dish with ridges will do it for you. I love these soaps, and I can’t wait to try some of the others that she has available on her site, the Hand Milled Lavender, and Spiced Chai are next on my list. I just have to get through these bars first, so excuse me while I run to wash up!

If you or anyone would like to be featured in my Holiday Gift Guide, please let me know! I am happy to share include you, (preference given to those who make something available for review.) 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Made With Love Giveaway - Package Two

Welcome to the Made With Love Event hosted by The Reynolds Mom andSeventeen Sirens! This event features at least $25 or more in handmade prizes on each of the participating blogs. Be sure to go through the linky below and enter for your chance to win! This event will close on November 13th at Midnight EST. Good Luck!

Prize Package Number Two!
From A Tender Yen (<---facebook link) check out her spotlight here
This giveaway is open to the United States Only!
Tiffany Waddell
Nouveau Love, 2011
Multi-media Assemblage; wooden shadow box, paper, damask fabric, lace,velvet and tassel trims, feathers, Blessings and Love.
14in x 15in
Value $45

Made With Love Giveaway - Package One

Welcome to the Made With Love Event hosted by The Reynolds Mom andSeventeen Sirens! This event features at least $25 or more in handmade prizes on each of the participating blogs. Be sure to go through the linky below and enter for your chance to win! This event will close on November 13th at Midnight EST. Good Luck!

Prize Package Number One! 

From the feisty monkey on etsy or on facebook, and Cow Patties Cloth Diapers This giveaway has free shipping to the US and Canada. 

Check out this post for the sponsor spotlight for Cow Patties! I don't have a review for the feisty monkey because it is my site, and I don't want to toot my own horn- but I totally could 'cause my stuff is awesome.
This giveaway features: One waterproof diaper cover in a minky cow print, one AI2 diaper with insert (both from Cow Patties Cloth Diapers) one pair of custom sized 100% wool longies in my choice of color, and one set of six reusable cloth wipes (not pictured). Package Value $40

 Print for diaper                                                                    Diaper cover                                           Not this pair but similar

Monday, November 7, 2011

Part two of Made With Love- A Tender Yen Spotlight!


I know the giveaway starts in just a couple of hours, but I was waiting (I don’t know why) to do this spotlight until I got a picture of the actual giveaway item. It is so AMAZING! I wish I were eligible to win! Tiffany Waddell is a very creative and talented artist from A Tender Yen (she is also a doula for those of you having babies in the Santa Cruz CA area.) Her one of a kind creations are defiantly “made with love” and talent. I could go on an on about her and her work, but I think this sums it up much more eloquently and concisely.

Tiffany Waddell’s Artist Statement
Tiffany has anointed her creations with the term “Spiritual Collage.” Other than altar making and washing dishes, it is her favorite form of meditation. An epic collage session brings her peace of mind, inspiration, and a greater connection to Spirit. Tiffany’s intention in creating these works is that they will radiate sweetness and nourish your soul, as they do hers.
Tiffany Waddell’s Artist Bio
In November of 1982, Tiffany Jo Waddell was born into a large clan of animal lovers, artists, caretakers, and wild women. She was quickly introduced to the wonderful world of home-making, where culinary and baking skills were considered an art form and everyone (people and pets alike) was welcome. Although gardening and sewing were beloved past times of her family, they were also a necessity.
From a very young age, she has relished in hostessing and holding sacred space. As these concepts seep into her creations, she weaves together a deep sense of nostalgia with Spiritual symbols. They are often viewed as stand-alone altars, as she integrates “Spiritual Collage” with beautiful mementos, such as antique lace, stones, beads, feathers, sea shells and baubles.
Tiffany is currently creating one-of-a-kind assemblage altars and helping to curate 9:Cycles of Creation, a collaborative women's art show in the San Francisco Bay Area. Please visit or for more information!

Tiffany Waddell
Nouveau Love, 2011
Multi-media Assemblage; wooden shadow box, paper, damask fabric, lace,velvet and tassel trims, feathers, Blessings and Love.
14in x 15in
Thank you!!!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Recipe–My soon to be famous chili

So it is all cold and blustery here, and what I love in the cold fall and winter weather are soups and chili. Today I am going to share with you my recipe for some super good chili! It is also so easy! Now my disclaimer is that I never really measure anything, I just dump it in, however for people who cook like my dad I have included measurements for you. I will post my cooking steps then the entire recipe at the bottom so if you want to skip to that go for it!

If you’re using turkey, you will want to add some olive oil to the pan, then brown the meat. If you are using beef, just brown it- no oil. You need about a pound I like to add half an onion on this step. I also do this in the pot I intend to make the chili in. Mostly because I hate dishes.

After the meat is browned- I add the rest of the onion, a 28oz crushed tomato, two cans of kidney beans, I like to mix the light red and the dark red, lots of garlic, about two tablespoons chili powder, half a teaspoon each of paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper, cum, and pepper. (Most people add salt. I’m not a salt fan- if you do use salt please use sea salt. It’s so much better!) Oh and some water. If you want to thicken it up, mix about a tablespoon of cornstarch into about a 1/4 C of water until you get a paste and stir it into the pot.
Stir it up really well, simmer it for at least 30 minutes. I like it served with sour cream, cheese, and corn bread. YUM!

I will post a picture as soon as I find my camera cable! Just pretend this is a yummy looking bowl of delicious chili with melty cheese on top.

Turkey Chili
1 1/2 t olive oil
1 lb turkey
1 onion chopped
2 C water
1 28oz crushed tomato
2 16 oz cans kidney beans
1T garlic
2T chili powder
1/2 t paprika
1/2t cumin
1/2 t salt
1/2t pepper
Brown turkey in a saucepan with olive oil until brown, add onion and cook until tender
Add remaining ingredients and stir
Simmer for at least 30 minutes. Serve warm.
(Wow it sounds way easier that way.)