Thursday, March 14, 2013

100 in 2013 update

Oh my goodness I have been reading so slow the last few weeks. I don't know if it's the weather, or the books I'm picking, but I am just struggling with everything I pick up lately, no matter how much I am enjoying the story. Anyways, all that is to say I have a couple more books to review finally.

I needed something fiction to read after struggling my way through Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. The Blood Gospel by James Rollins had caught my eye as soon as I'd read the synopses  so I decided to give that a go next.

It was really good. Kind of The Davinci Code with vampires (except I never actually read The Davinci Code). Three unlikely partners end up in the epic race against the bad guys to find and open the book referred to only as The Blood Gospel. It has archaeological digs, Russian bad guys, and the Vatican all in one book. It's definitely action-y without much downtime so it was a pretty quick read. I recommend it to anyone who likes a good action mystery. Next week I'll review the Revenants series by Amy Plum.


Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Homemade Laundry Soap

I've decided I'm going to try a new posting schedule. We'll see how it goes....

After seeing so many pins on Pinterest for how to make your own laundry soap, I decided to give it a try. I started wading through all the recipes, but being someone who makes my own soap from oils and lye and water, I just could see grating down a bar of someone else's soap to make "my own" laundry detergent. Plus I really don't like using my food prep utensils for soap making, and grating soap with my cheese grater or food processor just weirds me out.

So after reading the posts, it looked like people were using these bar soaps to boost the stain removing power of the detergent, so I started scouring the internet trying to find a different solution. It came to me ironically while I was reading someone's blog post (honestly I'm not sure which blog had the link), but it took me to a site with a lot vintage American women's magazine articles with tips, including using cream of tartar as a stain remover!

So all of that is to say I tried out this recipe in a half batch first, and have been using it for the last several months, and LOVE it! I used this recipe for my base, and adapted from there. Here is my recipe for laundry soap (without grating a bar of soap):

You will need

6 cups Borax

4 cups Baking Soda

4 cups Washing Soda

4-5 oz Cream of Tartar (about 2 spice jars)

I also use a large bowl and spoon that I do not use for food prep (personal preference)

Mix everything together until it is well combined

 And you will of course need a container to put your finished laundry soap in. I loved this large mason style jar. I found mine on sale at Fred Meyer, but I've seen them at several stores. You could also use a plastic tub, or any kind of glass jar or ceramic container.

Gently spoon your finished mixture into your container of choice.

And voila! You have a giant jar of laundry detergent. Like I said earlier in this post I made a half batch of this  several months ago to test out the recipe. It lasted me about 6 months, and I loved it! 

I have had no problems getting clothes clean, and there is no sticky residue. If you do ever put in too much soap, you can always add a few tablespoons of white vinegar to your rinse cycle. It gets out any extra soap with no gross vinegar smell or heavy perfumes from fabric softeners. I've found it also helps keep my washing machine from smelling mildewy.

What do you guys think? Have you tried making your own household cleaners?

Friday, March 8, 2013

Off the wagon

So obviously I fell off the good blogger wagon. It was bound to happen eventually I guess. I'm just starting a new work schedule, and it's definitely kicking my butt. I have no clue what day of the week it is most days.

Last weekend the hubby and I volunteered downtown Seattle. Happily I was able to sneak in a little shopping on my breaks. I'm finding since I did such a huge overhaul on my closet (which is still constantly being whittled down. Hey- it's hard to get rid of two thirds of your closet all in one go.) That I am much more conscious of what I am buying. Not even so much about avoiding filling my closet back up, but about making sure that I really love not only the cut, but the COLOR. I found all of a sudden, though I've always been fairly careful about the color of clothing I'm buying, it has become one of my main deciding factors.

Anyways- I went shopping last weekend, and was actually pretty picky about what I bought. Here are some of my faves:

New are the cardigan and scarf, both in teal. I bought the cardigan in black as well, and the scarf in a dove grey. But I'm mostly excited about the teal. :) I also happened to make it to this store:

Which is dangerous and awesome all at the same time. I had picked out several pairs of heels online that I wanted to try on in store. Ironically I tried all of them on and didn't  love a single pair. I also tried on a pair I hadn't seen online, but they didn't have my size in the right color, so the sales lady brought them out in a nude color to get the right size. As soon as I had them on my feet I was in love!

So that was my recent shopping success.What have you all been up to lately?