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Category Archives: Household

Homemade Laundry Detergent: Part One

I am not going off the grid.

I just thought I would put that out there so none of you start to worry about me. (My mother may have something to do with me beginning this post in such a strange manner.)

I am, however, dedicated to saving my family money wherever possible. I also am dedicated to living a healthier life, in order to model health and happiness for my children. Through couponing, I have been able to save hundreds of dollars on laundry products, and the thought never crossed my mind to try to make my own. Until I happened across Jillee at “One Good Thing” and her recipe for homemade laundry detergent. I was hooked on the idea after that. 3 ingredients (4 if you count the water), and a little time. I couldn’t wait to get to the store to find what I needed!
Here is the basic recipe for the detergent:

1 bar of laundry soap (Jillee uses Fels-Naptha soap, but I couldn’t find that locally.. more on that in a minute)

1 cup of Borax (an all natural laundry booster. I used 20 Mule Team brand)

1 cup of Washing Soda (Arm & Hammer, stronger than baking soda)

Water

“That’s it?” you may ask. That’s it. I was able to find the Borax and the Washing Soda at my Publix, in the laundry aisle. The Borax was near the Oxiclean, and the Washing Soda was near the Shout. Now the laundry bar soap is where it got tricky. I couldn’t find any at my Publix or Walmart. After checking three different Walgreens stores, I found it at the one all the way across town. (Thank you to my sweet, patient Music Man for driving me all over creation to find what I needed!) I was able to find two brands, this is the one that shows up online. You can use the link to find if a store near you carries it. I may order the Fels-Naptha brand just to see the difference in smell/cleanliness.

I used the brand on the right for my first batch

I followed the recipe and directions that Jillee laid out. Here are a few pictures and a description of what I did.
I grated the bar of soap… this is NOT as easy as it sounds. My right bicep definitely got a workout!

I put the grated soap in an 8 quart saucepan. (Look at how pretty it looks all grated up!! Yes, I think soap is pretty… doesn’t everyone???)

Then I added water to the pan, enough to cover the soap with a couple of inches to spare.

On medium heat, I stirred the mixture occasionally until it came to a low boil. (Keep stirring and scraping the bottom to keep it from “sticking”. Don’t ask me why I know this.)

Once all the soap dissolved, I added the Borax and Washing Soda, stirring to combine. I let the mixture come back up to a low boil, stirring every few minutes.

I transferred the detergent to my Pampered Chef glass measuring bowl (filled it right up, oops!) and grabbed the containers I planned to use. (Two milk jugs, washed out.)

Then I hit a road block. I planned to pour the mixture into the containers. Did I have a funnel? No, of course not. Why on earth would I have one of those handy little contraptions? It’s like the pastry brush that you use to brush butter on top of things, or the turkey baster. You never think of buying one until you need it, and then it’s too late because you need it RIGHT THEN! Okay, back on track… So I looked around my kitchen, frantically trying to think of what to use for a funnel. And brilliance hit me like a lightning bolt. Don’t laugh at me. You know you’ve used the old, “Necessity is the mother of invention” line before. Here is my funnel:

Yep, a plain old, unsuspecting water bottle. Just drained into my thirsty, pioneer-woman body. (Okay, okay pioneer women probably didn’t have bottled water. Whatever.) I cut the heck out of the bottom, and I had a beautiful, workable funnel. Boo-yah. (Is that still a thing?)

Whew. Back in business. I divided the detergent between the two milk jugs laundry soap containers, and added hot water to the half-way point of each container.

Then the fun part: Shake it like a Polaroid picture. (Preferably to the song. So much cooler.)

Leave to sit overnight.

Aren’t they cute, sitting on my kitchen floor? No, they don’t have a spot on my over-crowded counters.

Now, because they need to sit overnight and there are a few more steps to the process, I’ll be posting Part Two tomorrow. In it, I’ll finish the last couple of steps and give it a spin in a lovely load of dirty clothes! Until tomorrow!

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Friday Food Fest: Nutella Crepes

I admit. I love food. I love sweet food, salty food, starchy food, healthy food. There aren’t many foods I’ve met that I don’t like. So when I noticed that many of my favorite bloggers do a “food post” once a week, I was intrigued with the idea. Friday mornings are pretty easy going at my house, since Music Man is usually  sleeping in from working the night before, making it a good day for a weekly Food Fest post!

When I saw these Nutella Crepes over at Tidy Mom, I thought I had gone to heaven. One thing you’ll learn about me is that I ADORE, CRAVE, PRACTICALLY INHALE Nutella. I’ve never tried to make crepes before, but this recipe made it sound so easy! So I decided to give it a try for my first Friday Food Fest post. I grabbed my camera and my apron and went to work. Here is how it happened…

Gather Your INGREDIENTS!

Gather the ingredients

 

I followed the recipe from TidyMom, using 100% Whole Wheat flour, Sugar in the Raw, and Sea Salt. (My OCD self is really annoyed that the butter is upside down in the picture!)

Blend all ingredients (except flour and Nutella)

 

My kids thought this part was great fun, and helped me measure and dump. I love my little kitchen elves!

Blend until frothy

 

L&C wanted to pop the “bubbles”…

Blend in the flour, until smooth

Smoothly blended with all ingredients (except Nutella)

 

Pop the blender into the refrigerator for an hour, then proceed with cooking up the crepes. I had to switch to cell phone pictures for this part, because my battery died in my camera. I ended up using about 2/3 of the batter for today, and put the rest in a container in the refrigerator for another morning.

Melt some butter in a small, non-stick pan

Pour 2 tbsp (I just eyeballed it) into the pan and swirl batter around to spread around the bottom of the pan.

This was my first try, and not very smooth… I got better though!

After about a minute, flip the crepe and cook for about 15 seconds.

I took TidyMom’s advice and heated my oven to 250°F with a baking sheet on the top rack and kept the crepes in there while finishing up the batch.

One of the last ones I did.. much smoother!

 

Once I was through cooking the crepes, the little bitties helped me spread on the Nutella. There was some licking of fingers after this part; they definitely share my affinity for Nutella.

Okay, not perfect, but I'm okay with that!!

My kitchen elves, spreading the Nutella

Roll 'em up!

YUM!

 

The final test was passed: my little bitties (and I) loved them. After L&C finished the first one, they asked for another. Instead of more Nutella, I spread peanut butter and honey on the crepes before rolling up. I’m saving the rest of the leftover crepes to try TidyMom’s idea of yogurt and fruit centers tomorrow morning. The way I made them was (mostly) clean eating, with the exception of the Nutella. I only ate one, because Nutella first thing in the morning is really not a good idea. If you make these, let me know how they turn out and how you like them!

 

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