Thursday, March 14, 2013

Homemade Laundry Detergent

Between myself,  my messy toddler, and a husband that changes clothing five times a day- I have a LOAD of Laundry ;)
I was tired of trying to get 'deals' on detergent only to find that it made us break-out and we would have to go back to a free-and-clear anyway. So I finally decided to take the plunge into homemade laundry detergent, and I couldn't be more impressed. I did a bunch of research and watched a lot of YouTube videos and finally just decided to combine a bunch to make my own recipe.
Here it is:

1 Cup of Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
1 Cup of Borax
1 Cup of Oxi Clean
1 Cup of Downy Unstopables
1 grated bar of Fels Napthia (I used the shredder on my food processor)

I found all of these items at Walmart including the glass jar, which looks nice, is completely optional, and only cost $5.

Here is a close look at the soap if, like me, you have never heard of it before.

Combine all ingredients in a Gallon-sized baggy, zip closed, and shake it shake it shake.
Pour into the container of your choice and you're in bid-ness.

Use between 1-2 Tablespoons in each load, depending on the soil level and the efficiency of your washer. Enjoy clean clothes and saving money =)

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Operation Organization~ Pantry

Although I dream of someday having a GIGANTIC walk-in pantry with endless shelves and storage... for now I have two cabinets. Yes, I can fit a ton of food in them.. but right now they are a hot mess!

I already had all the organizing tools from previous pantry-cleaning attempts, the only thing I bought for this project is chalk-board stickers (from Martha Stewart at Staples) and I had a 40% off coupon, so they cost only $8 for two packages. I bought the chalk pen from Amazon and I don't particularly care for this one, but it works.

I used my new Chalkboard labels to replace the existing labels that were slightly faded... Plus, I like the look and versatility of the chalkboard labels. =)

I love these Rubbermaid containers. They come in two sizes for just a few dollars at Walmart. I have had them for years and while they hold up well they don't like the dishwasher. =/
Here is look at the finished bottom cabinet. I have also purchased new stacking Tupperware to replace the bin of mis-matched containers. =)

Here is the top cabinet! I love that I can now find everything easily and I have so much more space! =)

Total cost for this project: $8

Monday, January 21, 2013

Operation Organization ~ Deep Freeze

 It lives in the garage and is never seen by guests... so it's okay if it's a mess, right? WRONG! I was sooo tired of spending time searching for something or accidentally re-purchasing food we already had all because my deep freeze is a hot mess... or a cold mess... whatever.

Although it is extremely utilized in our household it is always over-looked when it comes to organization. So I decided it was time to tackle this mess once and for all! I started by taking everything out and checking expiration dates. Thankfully, everything was still in date =)

I didn't want to spend any money on this project so I looked around for something I already had. I found this crate (shown below) that I purchased from Walmart for less than five dollars and was no longer using. What I think is so great about these crates is if I ever need more storage I can easily stack on another and Viola, more food space.
On the other side of the freezer is a little blue crate (pictured above) used for pop sickles =)

I used the top sliding storage bins for things I access daily, such as frozen veggies.

In the second sliding bin I put things that I keep on hand for quick lunches... easy for the husband to find!

Now for the finished product! This picture doesn't do justice for how much more functional my deep freeze has become. It took less than a half-hour and cost no money! It could use a little de-frosting, but that's for another day.


Saturday, January 12, 2013

Operation Organization ~ Linen Closet

Let me just start out by saying that this photo is embarrassing...

I always felt like I had my linen closet under control... but then I took a closer look and realized I must need glasses. I was in denial. Soooo after being in denial for longer than I would like to admit, I decided to take action and start the process of organizing my home again. Party Time.
I Started by taking EVERYTHING out of the linen closet... I had NO idea that I owned 974 blankets! How a 23 year-old accumulated so many blankets is beyond my understanding.
I started by measuring my space to see what type of organization I could fit. I found the large green stacking crates at the Dollar General for $5 dollars each, the smaller crates(on the left)I already owned (dollar tree), and the chalk board stickers were left-over from another project (amazon).

After taking all 974 blankets out of my linen closet I decided to tackle the medicine drawers. I have always organized our medicine in drawers so I just needed to clean them. To my surprise about half of our vitamins and medicines were well past expired =(

I separate our medicines into two categories: P.O., which means anything by mouth, and Topical- anything first aid related, etc. This is just what works for us and makes it easier to find what we need quickly. Finding what works best for you and your family is the key to not only GETTING organized, but STAYING organized.
This is how the top shelves looked "After".

Top Shelf: The pouch to the left (in the photo) is full of our traveling toiletries, on the right of the "Topical Meds" drawer is my heating pad.
The Second shelf houses (from left to right): The Boys' Hair Clippers, P.O. Meds, spare tooth brushes, and the drawer organizer on the side is filled with travel tissues and hand sanitizers.
Third Shelf: Rubbing Alcohol, four small baskets with the following contents: Emmett's first aid, Emmett's medications, pillow cases, and sheets.
These bottom shelves are a bit more simple: towels and blankets. We keep the majority of our towels in the hall bathroom, this is just for the over-flow.

***The full view of the AFTER ***

I know it is an awkward angle, but the linen closet is in our hallway.
I was not able to fit all of our blankets back into the closet; however, as a family of three there is really no need for 974 blankets. I kept the ones I really liked and the ones I have used since I was Emmett's age... The rest I donated to my Mom, who conveniently enough, doesn't have 974 blankets.
Total Cost: $15

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Trash .2. Treasure Tuesday

When my Mom gave me these paper sorters I assumed I would.. you know, use them for paper- but as time went on they just set in my garage collecting dust. It was then I decided they had to have a better use. They were hand-made and I couldn't bear to part with them, but they are light-wood so I decided to paint them.

~Here is a picture of the BEFORE~

During the painting process- I first gave them I light sanding and cleaned off all of the dust. I chose to use Rust-oleum in a gloss navy blue. I would recommend wearing gloves- that paint does NOT like to come off skin, I had blue skin for days! This project took three light coats of paint and a lot of drying time.

~After- Perfect for Puzzles!

If you have read any of my previous blogs you probably know that my son is a puzzle master.... well, my dog is a puzzle-piece chewing master- you see how this is a problem.
I love that there is room for all of his puzzles (this is not all of them) and they are off of the floor and away from our puzzle-loving coon hound.

I couldn't be more happy with the way the puzzle rack looks... we are one step closer to completing Emmett's "Big Boy" room. =)

Thursday, January 3, 2013

*Thrifty Thursday*

I have an unnatural aversion to light-colored wood.... everything in my childhood home was either pine or maple. So after years of staring at a maple knife block, it was time to party.

That you'll need:
~ An ugly knife block
~ Acrylic Paint and Paint brush
~ 3D Paint
~ Pencil or Pen
~ You can either free-hand a design or print one from the computer.

First, you want to make sure the knife block is completely clean. Since its home is near the stove, I used a spray cleaner to make sure it was not only free of dust, but grease as well.

After cleaning your knife block and assembling your supplies, draw your design or use a pencil or pen to trace your design- make sure to press hard to leave an indention in the wood to help guide your paint. I used a white 3D paint.

I chose a "B" monogram for our last name.

After this step is it very important that you let the paint dry completely. Then, use a paint brush to paint the entire knife block the color of your choice... I chose my favorite, green =)

*The Finished Product*

"Ta-Da"!!! I absolutely love the finished product, it is subtle and adds color. A few other ideas include: adding the puffy paint last so it contrasts with your base color, using a decal instead of puffy paint, using decoupage or adding pattern. You may also chose to add a clear coat; however, it is not necessary. I hope you leave this post inspired to spice up your boring knife block =)