Laundry Soap Recipe

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I posted a recipe for liquid laundry soap a couple of years ago and while the soap that I made did work well, we eventually ended up buying store-bought soap again. I am using a new homemade laundry soap based on a few recipes I found online.

Ingredients

1 55oz box of washing soda

1 76oz box of borax

1 16oz box of baking soda

1 bar of soap ( I used Dr. Bonner’s bar soap in citrus scent)

Grate the soap using a cheese grater or food processor and then add the contents of the soap, soda boxes and borax into a larger bin. Add them slowly stirring as you go so they mix evenly.

Use one ounce of the powdered laundry soap per load. This should last you over 100 loads of laundry.

While this new powdered soap is natural and contains no harsh chemicals I’m not convinced it’s the most economical. It really depends on where you buy the ingredients. Shop around and try to find the best price.

Regardless of the price I do find it fun to make my own cleaners and detergents like this one. It makes doing the laundry a tad bit more enjoyable.

I definitely prefer this powdered recipe to the liquid one I tried in the past. It’s easier and less messy.

Do you make your own natural laundry soap? Share your recipes in the comments.

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Spring Reading: The New Bohemians Cool & Collected Homes by Justina Blakeney

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You may have noticed a trend with the book reviews I write on this blog. I pretty much only read non-fiction. I have tried and tried to get into fictional books but my attention span is too short and my mind  wanders to the point where I realize I am flipping pages but I’m not actually reading anything. Anyone else have this problem too? With non-fiction books I can learn all sorts of things, I can read it out-of-order, flip to the interesting parts and nothing gets ruined.  Normally I read on my kindle and have been purposely not buying physical books in an effort to cut back on clutter. With The New Bohemians by Justina Blakeney purchasing physical copy was essential. You need to see the beautiful photos because well, The New Bohemians is a decorating book. But it’s more that just a decorating book, it showcases 20 beautiful bohemian homes from across the country and the unique people who live in them.

The book is sorted into six categories:

Modern Bohemian

Earthy Bohemian

Folksy Bohemian

Nomadic Bohemian

Romantic Bohemian

Maximal Bohemian

In each of these categories we meet families and visit their inspiring homes. These people are creative types. Many of them own their own businesses and work from home. They live life by their own rules and the space they live in is a reflection of that. The great thing about the homes featured in the book is that they actually look lived in (not just staged for a photo shoot) and many of the homes are rentals!

The main message of the book is that you don’t need a lot of money to have a beautiful home, use your creativity, have fun and let your home be an extension of your personality.

The book includes some fun DIY projects inspired by the homes and includes a handy “plantopedia” section at the end to learn how to care for all sorts of house plants.

The styles I resonated most with would have the be the Modern Bohemian and the Earthy Bohemian. You can never have too many house plants!  Macrame on the other hand, I can certainly live without!!!  I think it’s fair to say I am pretty fearless with my decorating choices. I have murals on many of my walls and my kitchen is lime green at the moment. The New Bohemians has inspired me to continue to use vintage and thrifted furniture when possible and add in some funky textiles and a lot more house plants. I may not have the means to travel to the far corners of our planet at the moment but I can bring a taste of  them to me through my home decor! The New Bohemians is a gorgeous book with tons of inspiring eye candy. If you want more delicious bohemian style inspiration visit Justina at her blog thejunglow.com

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Spring Farm Fun

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We have been having lovely warm weather here in Washington for the past week. Sunshine is a rarity here so when we have a couple of nice days it’s important to get outside and enjoy them! It’s hard to find the motivation to spend time indoors working when I could be outside playing with my daughter or working on the garden. Here are some photos of what we have been up to.

Tractor riding with Grandpa

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New baby Goats in the barn

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Apple trees starting to blossom

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Dogs playing in the horse trough

spring3Walks through the prune orchard

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Making dandelion wishes

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Playing in the barn

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Hope you are enjoying Spring as much as we are, wherever your neck of the woods may be!

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The Backyard Blues

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Here is one of my dirty little secrets…my backyard! Right now it’s in quite the state of neglect and despair. The sad part is that this isn’t even the worst it’s looked. One of my goals for this summer is to get it into shape and transform it into a place the whole family can relax and enjoy.

IMG_2312This is the main view from the back porch. I placed the kiddie pool where I am hoping we can build a fire pit. I would like to do something about the weird fence situation we have going on along the back.

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To the left we have the pig pen. Unfortunately there isn’t too much I can do to spruce up the pig pen- at least not this year. This season I am going to focus on the part of  the yard that actually has grass. I’m going to plant a veggie garden, get the fence painted and hopefully it will become a beautiful backyard oasis instead of looking like an abandoned lot.

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From this angle we have the view of the back of the house and the back porch. It’s filled with toddler toys, planters and a bunch of other crap. I’m going to get some patio furniture and twinkle lights to hang around the hot tub.

I’ve got a lot of hardwork ahead of me but last year we made huge progress on the front yard and it’s still looking great. I have a ton of inspiration on over on my Pinterest board. I’ll share the progress with you as things come along.

For now, a cute pig photo! Say hi to Clementine!

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The Crafty Little Gnome Pinterest Contest

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For this month’s giveaway I want to try something a little different. I am going to give away a piece of jewelry to one lucky winner. To enter the contest you just have to have a Pinterest account.

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Scarab Beetle Necklace $18

There are a total of four possible entries available.

1) Pin this blog post with the contest info to your Pinterest account.

2) Pin the item that you would like to win from my online jewelry boutique Crafty Little Gnome

3) Pin your favorite blog post from Crafty Little Gnome

4) Follow my boards on Pinterest

Simply leave a comment on this post with the entries you are entitled to.

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Brass Envelope Necklace $15

Last months winner was Morgana who chose the Alice in Wonderland Message in a Bottle necklace. Will it be your turn this month?

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Alice In Wonderland Message In A Bottle Necklace $20

I also have a Mothers Day Sale going on for those of you who like to get your shopping done early. Use coupon code YOMOMMA at checkout for 15% off.

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Love Necklace $12

Winner will be announced May 15th!

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Margarita Foot Scrub

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Sandal season is upon us. Take a moment and remove your socks. What do you see? Scary looking feet that you won’t dare show off until you get a pedicure?

It’s nice to treat yourself to a professional pedi every now and then but it can get expensive pretty quick. I whipped up a batch of this foot scrub and I really think you should try it. It will make your little piggies silky smooth and ready to show off in your favorite sandals. For best results use this foot scrub while drinking an actual margarita!

Ingredients

2 tbsp Coconut oil

1 tsp Sea salt

Zest of 1 Lime

Lemon and Lime essential oils

Mix the ingredients together and apply a quarter size amount to each foot. Massage your feet until they are smooth. Rinse off with warm water.

Be careful when walking around after this scrub. Your feet may be slippery!

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Banana Beet Smoothie

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This is a fun new smoothie recipe I came up with on the fly the other day. I had some frozen cubed beets in the freezer and I thought they might make an interesting addition to my morning shake. I know beets don’t really seem too appetizing for breakfast but they really don’t taste bad at all.  Beets are high in many vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, C, and B. They contain potassium, magnesium, folic acid and iron.  If you like to make smoothies with fruit and aren’t quite ready to make the leap to adding greens and veggies why not give beets a try? They are nutritious and delicious!

Ingredients:

1/2 cup frozen beet slices

1 banana

1 cup almond milk

1/2 cup strawberries or orange slices

sweetener to taste

Blend all the ingredients until smooth.  Makes two small smoothies.

Warning! For those of you who don’t eat beets on a regular basis, you may not know that beets will turn your pee pink! Don’t freak out if this happens and don’t say I didn’t warn you!

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Winner Spring Giveaway

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I’d like to give a big thanks to everyone who entered the Spring Giveaway. Unfortunately we can only have one winner.

Congrats go out to Morgana Delarge. You are the winner of a jewelry piece of your choice from Crafty Little Gnome. I have sent you an email with the details for claiming your prize.

I have an early Mothers Day sale going on for the rest of you. 15% off your order when you use coupon code YOMOMMA at checkout.

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Next Friday I will be launching the next giveaway so make sure you come back to check that out. I also have a couple other fun posts for you, a new smoothie recipe with a surprising ingredient and something that will make your feet soft and smooth for sandal weather!

I hope you all have a great weekend. I’m planning to spend mine doing yard work and housework. Fingers crossed for sunshine!

What are you planning this weekend?

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A Christmas Prank and Spring Blooms

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I don’t like April Fools Day. I really dislike pranks and I don’t like it when people pull pranks on me. I do have a good sense of humor but needless to say I will be spending the day hiding in my house until it’s time to go to work this afternoon. I’m hoping no one I work with decides to try any funny business tonight.

One of my co-workers played a pretty good prank on me last Christmas. I don’t like to discuss my day job on this blog too much. Mostly because I don’t want to get fired but I will share this story since it is fitting for April Fools Day.  The company I work for is one of the world’s largest courier companies. Christmas is an absolute nightmare. By the time Christmas Eve rolls around we are all so exhausted the whole holiday season is pretty much ruined. Let me set the scene for you. It’s 10pm on Christmas Eve. I am getting my things together and about to leave for the night so I can enjoy a nice holiday drink at home with my hubby. I stand up at my desk and grab my purse when the phone rings. I pause for a moment wondering if I should answer it or pretend I don’t hear it ringing and run out the door but instead I pick up the receiver.

“Hello, this is Adrienne speaking. How may I help you”

“Hi, I didn’t get my package today. I need my package it’s Christmas Eve. The presents didn’t get delivered”  A frantic voice responds on the other end of the line.

I’m panicking. I debate hanging up the phone and running out the door but I don’t because it’s Christmas and I’m a decent human being. Instead I ask for more information.

“Uh..OK. I need the tracking number please. ”

” I don’t have it. I need my packages. Why didn’t they get delivered. Please, bring them to me”

“We don’t have any delivery drivers out anymore. It’s Christmas. I need a tracking number”

At this point I want to cry. It’s 10pm on Christmas Eve and I just want to go home.

My co-workers at the next desk start calling my name and I look over to see them holding a cell phone and laughing their butts off and I realize they have just prank called me.

Oh so cruel. They got me good. I vowed revenge but the funny thing is neither one of them work there anymore.

Anyways, since we are kicking off April and Spring is in the air I thought I would spend a little time in the garden today. I got rained on a little but April showers bring May flowers!

Hope you all have a prank free day!

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Beet Pickled Deviled Eggs

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Easter is almost here and I thought I would try out a fun deviled egg recipe to bring to our family potluck lunch. This take on deviled eggs uses the bright fuchsia juice from beets to stain your eggs a hot pink color. These eggs are fun to make and very tasty to eat!

Ingredients:

6 hard boiled eggs

1 medium sized beet

1 cup of vinegar (white or apple cider is fine)

1 tsp of sugar

1 teaspoon of garlic

2 tbsp of mayo

1 tbsp dijon mustard

salt and pepper

chives

Start by making a brine to extract the juice from the beets. Take two cups of water and one cup of vinegar and pour into a pot on medium heat. Chop up a beet into small pieces and add in seasonings of your choice to the brine. I added garlic, salt and pepper. Add one teaspoon of sugar.

Bring the brine to a boil and then let it simmer for several minutes. Move the pot off the heat source and leave it to cool almost completley.

Place the eggs into a large jar and pour in the pink brine. Add as many beet slices as your can fit in. Place your lid on the jar and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. The longer the eggs are submerged in the brine the brighter colored they will be.

Once the eggs have marinated for 24 hours drain the brine and discard. Slice the eggs in half and scoop out the yolks. In a separate bowl mix the yolks with 2 tablespoons of mayo and 1 tablespoon of dijon mustard. Mash it up like you are making egg salad.

Fill the hard boiled egg slices with the yolk filling and sprinkle a little salt and pepper. Garnish with a little chopped up chives.

Makes 12 deviled eggs. For a larger serving double the recipe!

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