Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Green Wednesday - Dishwasher Detergent

I saw this in an article on Yahoo about green home made cleaners. I was intrigued by the dishwasher detergent, I have all of the ingredients already except the lemon kool aid.

Dishwasher Detergent
• 1 cup of borax
• 1 cup of baking soda
• ¼ cup of table salt
• 2 packets (half an ounce) of unsweetened lemon Kool-Aid

You can try to save even more by buying ingredients in bulk, but another idea is to find smaller and much cheaper boxes at your local dollar store: a good idea to since you'll want to try a small amount at first to see if you like the results. The amounts listed above are good for 16 loads -- one tablespoon each -- so even small batches will last a while.

I plan on making a batch this weekend after I go grocery shopping.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Happy Friday!

I hope everyone's Friday is off to a fantastic start! I am so excited for this weekend to begin: Happy hour with old coworkers tonight and then the in-laws are coming into town on Saturday!

Kevin and I finally got a big chunk of our gallery wall done which I can't wait to show all of you next week. Enjoy your weekend!!!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Cinnamon Toast Crunch Ice Cream

Have Mercy.

Ice cream is by far my favorite dessert. Normally Marble Slab's vanilla cinnamon with gummy bears is my #1 pick but it might have a contender on its hands. Behold....Cinnamon Toast Crunch Ice Cream.

I originally found the recipe on one of my new favorite baking blogs, Piece of Cake.

It was very similar to the vanilla base that I am used to making. It is smart to make the custard the day before and let it chill over night. Besides the super creamy ice cream, the carmelized Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal that you put on top is just divine. YOU MUST TRY THIS RECIPE.

My batch did not come out looking as photogenic as the original post so I am stealing their picture.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Green Wednesday - All Purpose Cleaner

Here is the recipe I use for my all purpose cleaner:

Mix 1/2 cup vinegar and 1/4 cup baking soda (or 2 teaspoons borax) into 1/2 gallon (2 liters) water. Store and keep. Use for removal of water deposit stains on shower stall panels, bathroom chrome fixtures, windows, bathroom mirrors, etc.

Another alternative are mircrofiber cloths
which lift off dirt, grease and dust without the need for cleaning chemicals, because they are formulated to penetrate and trap dirt. There are a number of different brands. A good quality cloth can last for several years. You will be so surprised by how fewer paper towels you go through when you use cloths instead.

Happy cleaning!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


If you recall, I stenciled my pantry and my guest room furniture a while back. I really love how it turned out. I loved it so much that i've been getting the itch to stencil something BIG.

One of our guest rooms is red. It's my fault-I wanted a red room and it didnt come out very well. I haven't wanted to paint over it because it will eventually be Baby Goontz's room when he/she gets here (which is a ways off!) and we would be re-painting it then anyways so why bother now?

Well whether or not Baby Goontz is a boy or girl, I know what I want the baby room to look like. Pretty gender neutral which would be good if I decided to stencil the room. Hmmm......interesting development if you ask me! Ok, actually that was just my way of justifying getting a stencil because I havent had a big craft project in a while....but I digress.

Which stencil should I get? 

I really love this moraccan one:
I also like the circles...a bit more playful:

I also think the Donatella Damask would look great in the right colors:

I think the last major contender would be the Scallops:

I found all of these at Royal Design Studio. Any other good stencil places I should check out?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Nordstrom's Sale

Nordstrom just had their semi-annual sale. I tried to be good and resist going to Nordstrom.com but I gave in....

I ended up getting two items:

Both by Michael Kors. I have been eyeing these items for a long time and I basically got 2 for 1. The watch doesnt get in until Wednesday this week but I have tried it on in the store before and loved it. The bag is great. Very big and perfect for summer. The color of the "straw" or hemp or whatever the weaving is made out of is slightly darker than what is shown online. Kind of more yellow than tan-not really sure how to describe it. I still really like the tote though and its made very well-I dont think the material is going to tear or start fraying anytime soon.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Completely Smitten-Anista Designs

Every so often I do an Etsy search even though I don't have a specific item in mind that i'm looking for. Sometimes I come up with nothing and sometimes I find some real gems. Yesterday, I definitely found a gem: Anista Designs.

I am completely smitten with everything she makes. Hand-crafted and so lovely, how could you not want everything in her shop?

I think my favorite things she makes are her tags.

They are all hand stamped and each one is unique in its own way from the distress she gives them. She has items for all holidays and a lot from my second favorite story of all time (Cinderella is my first) Alice in Wonderland.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Green Wednesday- Home-made Laundry Detergent

I like cleaning. Yes, I said it. I really enjoy it-I always feel better when the house is clean and everything is put away. Starting around January I have been trying to make our house more "green." I started making our own laundry detergent, countertop cleaner, we started recyling just to name a few.

I thought I would start posting a new way to be "green" every Wednesday. I think it will help me to stay more green and hopefully give you guys some new ways to be more Earth friendly as well.

Laundry Detergent:

1 bar Felsnaptha soap (spelling may be off) or Ivory soap (whatever your favorite bar soap is)
1 cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda (found on laundry aisle)
1/2 cup Borax
1/2 cup fabric softer (optional - i leave this out)
-Grate the bar of soap and place it into a pot and cover with water.
-Heat the water to simmer and stir until melted (do not boil - simmer only)
-Add this to a 5 gallon bucket (i bought mine super cheap at Home Depot). Add the other listed ingredients above and top up with 5 gallons of hot water.
-Stir the mixture well w/ a paint stirrer or paddle ( i use one of Kevins massive spoons for brewing beer)
-Cover and let sit 24 hours. After 24 hours the stuff should be gelled. (it will look like warm jello, not quite solid but thick). Stir well again to mix and then pour into containers.

Side Notes:
*I have saved up the 1.5/2 gallon containers from previous times I had bought liquid detergent so that is what i store them in now. I would ask neighbors (if you know them well enough) or parents for their empty containers to use. Or you can leave the remaining in the 5 gallon bucket the first few times if you keep it in a well kept temperature area.

*I have a HE (high efficiency) washer so I use about half of what i would put in w/ normal detergent. If you have a regular washing machine then just put in the normal amount that you would for each load.

*The reason I don't use fabric softner is because I have very sensitive skin and softner irritates it.
*Once the detergent has "gelled" it will not be a solid gel. it will more or less look like egg drop soup.

*This is a low sudsing soap. Don't be worried if you dont see suds-it's the ingredients in the detergent that cleans your clothes.

I have been using this for a few months now and I really enjoy it. It gets stains out of our clothes and keeps them smelling fresh. Plus, we probably will spend half of what one box of laundry detergent would cost for a whole year supply of the home made version.

PSA: Blogger is giving me a hard time when I try to respond to your comments. Please don't think i'm ignoring you! I am trying to get the problem fixed ASAP.