My journey with Natural & DIY Laundry Soaps…

(affiliate links to Tropical Traditions)

(recipes coming soon, sorry none in this post)

There has been lots of talking about DIY laundry soap. I first tried this about 5 years ago.

I have a recipe that I purchased cheaply from a fellow homeschooler. I know I could have found a free recipe but I wanted to help her out and encourage her in what she was doing.

I loved my recipe and first batch, a huge 5 gallon bucket. It lasted what seemed like forever. Then I tried a second batch and it wouldn’t “gel up” like the first batch. So I went back to store bought stuff.

I had also went back to Melaleuca Company to buy laundry products and cleaners but then I had an abundance of product from being forced to order every month so I canceled my membership. I love their products but I only buy certain items from them, so that is how I ended up with too much stuff for this sorta minimalist organizing freak.

I think I even tried Shaklee one time but didn’t like it.

Lastly I have been using Tropical Traditions Liquid Laundry Soap (affiliate link)
But they run out and when you need it you can’t order it. I ordered 2 bottles at a time. It lasts forever. You only use a tablespoon a load, 2 tablespoon for very heavy or dirty loads. I hate there pouring lid. Its really hard to measure out a tablespoon and pour it. I think most of it stays in the lid and slowly drains out. So what I have done is use on old Melaleuca laundry bottle with a pump on top that puts out the right amount of liquid.

I love Tropical Traditions and I use their Coconut oil everyday. I have used their body soaps, shampoo bars (can use these on your whole body saving you extra money and space), hand soaps, and so on.

Now I am going to go back to making my own laundry detergent once again. One of the site I read and follow is DIY Natural. They have a powdered laundry soap recipe which is about the same as the liquid just with out all the work. I like it because its easy but you have to use it on warm or hot cycles so the borax will work and to eliminate clumping or build up in your lines. My husband doesn’t want me to use the powder because of this. Especially with the grated soap which from our experience doesn’t dissolve fast enough. You can grate smaller to help with that I assume. But someone else has said you don’t need the grated soap and just use the Borax and Washing Soda which dissolve just fine.
So I may try that in a few batches and see what happens.

Vinegar! The do everything liquid. Fill your little cup of fabric softener with this miracle liquid and your clothes will be softer and supposedly less to no static. I have found this does not work for static for us. Our house is very dry in the winter, maybe its because we use the fireplace a lot to help heat the house. Wool Dry Balls, which I make my self, don’t work either. So I resort to using fabric sheets, just in the winter as needed. I don’t like their poisonous chemicals all over my clothes. I would hang dry in the winter but my laundry room is very cold right now so clothes would not dry. It was part of the garage at some point and the floor is concrete. We will be remodeling it soon and my husband wants to put in a heated tile floor for me, he is so sweet!

So back to the Vinegar. It works great as a fabric softener and helps whiten and brighten. You can also add some to your wash cycle with your detergent. Its cheap.

If you want to know more about how you can use Vinegar around your house, I will be posting more soon. I am going to start posting some recipes that have worked for me.
I’m just starting to put some things together to help you out. I love trying recipes to help my family be more frugal, save money, and help the environment. My main purpose in doing DIY is to save my family money. We are trying to get out of debt and since I don’t work out side the home, this is my way of helping our family finances and help my husband with the budget. He works hard and I don’t want to spend unneeded amounts of money when I can do things my self. I am not not against capitalism in any way so don’t mistaken me for that kind of person. I just like to keep money in my pocket AND I don’t like the consumerist idea of thinking I have to buy all the fancy stuff, name brands, or give hard earned money to large corporations. I like the little guys and I prefer to buy form them, like Tropical Traditions. They are a family owned business. But you can’t always get away from purchasing from larger companies. I mean you can’t live with out buying the Borax or the Washing Soda for the homemade laundry detergent. Though I do believe Borax is from a family company.  Ok, off my soap box, pun intended lol!

Soon I will be introducing you to Homestead Blessings. We have their videos, we used them for our homeschool home ec. classes, and in the series you learn to can foods, sewing, soap making, baking, and more. They have been a lot of fun, especially if you are one of those people like me who likes that “Grandma’s house” feeling of the olden days. Sharing that soon but until then, click on their name above and visit them.

See ya’ll next time….

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Tie Dye Nails….

I found this post on line while looking up tie dye since I love tie dye. I have been wanting to do tie dye nails but haven’t had the time. I think this girl did a wonderful job. One of the better ones I have seen that actually looks like tie dye and not water color. Go check out her post if you like this kinda thing! Link is under the photos.


Source: Tie Dye

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Happy Ground Hogs Day!

Just wanted to say a quick Happy Ground Hogs Day to you all!

(photo found on Pinterest click HERE)

I have some great posts coming soon with lots of DIY projects to catch up on. I have to get all those photos uploaded and posted for you to see what we have done all year long.

I also will be bring back my book reviews and writing more on homeschooling and living a peaceful life based on my understanding of the bible from a frugal lifestyle view.

More on that later.



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Happy Sweet 16 Agent K…

It’s official! Agent K is 16.

Happy Birthday Sweetpea!





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Finding my passion in writing again.

Have you ever lost your passion for something you love to do?

I love writing. I wrote a lot on my old blog that was focused on homeschooling and reviews. Then I started this blog because I wanted to step away from the blog that focused on homeschooling. I wanted to start something new because I knew I was not going to be homeschooling forever. I needed something not focused on homeschooling so when I wasn’t doing that any more, no one would notice it missing.

But then I had a hard time getting into the swing of things here.

I tried focusing on other things like my DIY projects, yarn projects, and other topics. I feel like I have been forcing my self to write about things that were not what I really want to write about.

So, I am going to go back to writing about things I want to write about like family, homeschooling, marriage, relationships, book reviews, reviews of what interests me at the time. Topics that I find my self with lots to talk about instead of those topics I don’t have enough to talk about.

As I start to write about those things that interest me in the moment, I hope you stick around. If you are here for the DIY projects, those won’t disappear, they just wont be a main focus.

I have an idea for a new series. I love to write short stories so I am planning a series where I post bits of the story in a blog post. Don’t confuse it with real life. I will put a disclaimer in there so you know its part of a short story series. I think it will be fun. I may even through in one of those endings you get to pick from. Remember those books where you picked what happened next and you went to that page to finish the story. I loved those as a kid. I thought they were fun and I could change the story every time I read it.

I know I need encouragement to get back to what I want to be, a writer. I am a writer. God made me a writer and I need to figure out how to do it with passion again.



Amen and Hallelu-yer!


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Do you need encouragement?

Are you in need of some encouragement?

Do you feel overwhelmed with your life?

Do you feel under appreciated?

Are you feeling like you don’t fit in?

One of my favorite authors is Holley Gerth. She writes to give us encouragement based on God’s word. That is one of the things I really like about her. She is not a self help guru that tells you how to use your own strength, but instead tells us to use God’s word.

So if your a follower of God, the head on over to her blog. If your not a Christian, you may still glean from the precious gems on Holley’s blog.


The aged women likewise, that they be in behavior as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things;  That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,  To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.
Titus 2: 2-5 KJV
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DIY: These chairs got a makeover…

Here is a project I did in the fall. My husband picked up an old set of table and chairs from a neighbor. I mostly wanted the chairs, not the table. So I am reusing the table legs for a later table project for the breakfast nook. You can see them painted turquoise in the background.  The table top was a weird shape. It was long with curved ends and it just didn’t fit my style. I do plan on cutting it down to a square and using it as a craft table in my craft room later, or burning it in a bon fire.

The chairs started off in maple. Then I picked Rustoleum Painters Touch in Green Apple.

And as usual, I forgot to get photos of the process. Later when I get my table built I will post all the finished projects.





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Agent K broke her leg…

Life has been busy the last 2 weeks. All my postings were put on hold. I don’t mind. I had more important matters to focus on. We still haven’t put up a tree and we usually do that the week of Thanksgiving but we spent that time in the hospital.

Agent K was at a church get together for our annual Thanksgiving Dinner and afterwards they played some football.

Unfortunately, the football game didn’t end well.

She ended up a Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for 4 days. She has a FIB and TIB break. In other words,  she has 2 broken bones and 1 titanium rod!

I am posting a few photos. I won’t embarrass her by posting horrible hospital photos.

She didn’t have to have a cast put on. She can technically walk on it. Its still swollen but that is going away. There she is sitting on the fireplace yesterday taking care of the fire in the fireplace. She loves to do that so I let her.

She is a strong girl. She handled everything with the strength that God made her with. I am not sure if she remembers, but after surgery as she was recovering in her room, she picked up her phone and played Jamie Grace’s song Its A Beautiful Day and was singing it. She has a passion for worship music but what 15 year old girl sings that kind of song while she is laying in pain after her surgery and on morphine? God is good and his spirit is living in my baby girl for sure.

So there it is. We will get back to doing some knitting, crocheting, DIY, rambling on about nothing….

Special Notes:

I would like to thank everyone who prayed for us and visited us in the hospital and at home. Kiki would like to thank everyone for the gifts, especially Sheilah for all the sugar loaded candy lol!

I would also like to thank all those at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital for taking care of us. You guys were great. It was the best hospital experience ever! And she thanks you for letting her stay that extra night when she asked because she didn’t feel she was able to go home yet.

I would also like to thank Medi-share for covering us and praying for us.

Thank you all and God Bless!


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Evolution of a fireplace…

Since I am showcasing my mantle for Christmas, I thought I would show the progression of my fireplace.

When we moved in our fireplace was the big ugly elephant in the room. It was dark. The brick was dark and the mortar was black. Yes, black. Who uses black mortar? I guess it was something they did in the 70’s.

It was just not my style. I love having a wood burning fireplace back. A real fire roaring in the winter. The smell, yes I love the smell. And its just a beautiful thing to watch, all the burning wood and glowing embers.

So here is the story of my fireplace in photos…. and please ignore our messes in these photos because we were still moving in and things were not cleaned up and organized very much. We are still living in a construction zone some what.


Here would be my cabin theme I tried for a few months trying to make this fireplace brick fit in. Though I actually loved the look, I just can’t live in it. I love cabins and cabin decor but its not something I want in my main living area. Maybe in a room I am not in all the time.


So here is right after I white washed the fireplace but not finished. I removed the trim and have since painted it white to blend and also left some off since we need to fix a ceiling area about the fireplace from a previous roof leak issue. I also have not repainted yet in this photo. The surrounding walls have been painted a few times. I have also moved the bookcases to my craft room now that I don’t have a million homeschool books to store. And as you can see, I really like sideways photos lol!


And so here it is today! For some reason the top looks yellowish but I promise in real life it does not. See those “slits” in the brick next to the art work? Those are vents for the heat for the blower. I also have a vent up in the master so my room stays a little toasty. The man who inspected our fireplace said we had an awesome fireplace. Well built. The lining is high end something special. Who ever built this fireplace really put a lot of heart into it. I just didn’t like the brick selection :). I am not sure how common this part is but the wall the fireplace is on backs into the garage and it is a full wall of concrete bricks. So in a hundred years if the house isn’t standing, the fireplace wall will be.


I hope you enjoyed my sharing of my fireplace. I am really starting to love my home!


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Update to the Fireplace mantle

I have not figured out which look I want in my family room, but for the winter we decided to go nautical instead of beachy. And these photos are not as clear as they should be. My camera phone is 13megs but doesn’t seem like it. I really need to go back to my Canon.

So here is what we settled on for now.  We changed a few colors out and added in more red. Hope you like them.

I decided to put my “boat rope” on the mantle. I will leave it up after the holidays if I keep the family room nautical. Which I probably will until the movie room basement gets finished. I usually have my nautical decor in the movie room.  My rope use to be my handrail in our previous home but when it when on the market I took it down to bring with me. The rope isn’t expensive but the brackets kinda are.


And today we have the fireplace going. It is about 50 here in Cincinnati.


This is a different angle. Eventually this paneling you see in the background will come down and dry wall put up. Though I do kinda like it painted as it gives me a beach cottage kinda feel.


And here is a little preset on my phone. Thought it made it look neat and the blue pop.



I wish the whole room was finished so I could post a photo of it all done. But there is still a whole in my wall where we took down the brick half wall separating this room from the breakfast nook area.

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