Tuesday, February 28, 2012

College... updated

I guess I didn't clarify in my post and I've gotten LOTS of questions in just a few minutes. I'm going to school online through Ashford University. I will be taking courses that are 5 weeks long and back to back. I have 45 days throughout the year where I can take breaks when I need them in between courses, plus regularly scheduled breaks.
I know it's going to be hard, but I know that I can do it. I have lots of family around that I can ask to take K for a few hours here and there when I need to work on a project. Plus K goes to bed at 7 every night and naps for 1.5 to 2 hours during the day, so I should have plenty of time to work on homework and reading.

Thanks to everyone for all the kind words and encouragement, I'm really excited!


I am so incredibly excited to announce to the world that I am going back to school to finish my degree! After three years and two different schools back in '09 I dropped out and decided to give up on school. I was overwhelmed, depressed, and so defeated with the whole thing and I walked away. I don't regret it. I made the right choice for me at the time, even though it was the most difficult thing I'd ever done. Now, I'm at a completely different place in my life and I'm ready to go back and finish! I am so proud of myself and so happy with my decision. It all seems a bit surreal at times because it all happened so fast, I think poor S thought I'd lost my mind for a bit since I dropped it all on him one day a few weeks ago. Now I'm registered, accepted, and ready to start my first classes on the 28th! Yay me!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Pounds Down!!!

It's been just about a month and a half since I got back in the groove and got serious about loosing weight. And it's well past time for me to give everyone an update on how I've been doing. I got off track in following the South Beach diet but I have been dedicated to making smarter choices in the thing that I eat. I've also become far more motivated than I've ever been with exercising! I workout a minimum of three times a week, and it seems to all be paying off....
Since January 20th (when I started measuring) I have lost 1.5 inches in my thighs, 2 inches in my booty (around me hips), 4.5 inches around my belly, and half an inch around my flabby "mom arms"!

GO ME! Sorry, I'm just so incredibly proud of myself and my dedication! There's nothing better than having physical, right there, up in your face results!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

DIY Laundry Detergent

I saw a post on Pinterest the other day at sparked my interests about making your own laundry detergent and I've been dying to try it! So this morning K and I trudged off to our local WalMart to stock up on what we needed and as soon as she went down for her nap this afternoon I tried it out!

Here's what you need:
1 (4lb) box Borax
1 (4lb) box Super Washing Soda
1 (4lb) box Baking Soda
3 bars (15oz) of Fels-Naptha soap or 2 bars of Zote soap
1 tub of Oxi-Clean (optional)
1 jar of Downy Un-Stopables or other scent booster (also optional)

I found everything that I used in the laundry isle at Wal-Mart. You can choose whether or not you want to use a scent booster. If you want to make your laundry really smelly add 2 bottles, I just wanted a nice light scent.

Here's how you make it:

1. Grate your bars of soap. This is the most time consuming part of this process. **Update** The last time I made a batch I used the small holes on my cheese grater and I think it worked better than using the large side, the soap dissolved faster.

2. Grab a big bucket and mix it all up! I used a big plastic pail and a wooden spoon. I found it was easier to put a little bit of each ingredient in at a time rather than all at once, or else it would have been really hard to stir. 

3. Dump your mixture into whatever container you're going to use. 

I split our recipe because my daughter has somewhat sensitive skin and I didn't want to put the scent booster in hers. The container I chose for our laundry is actually a cereal container with a hatch for pouring out the cereal. It works perfect to fit a measuring spoon in!

Here's what K's batch without the scent booster looks like.

And here's what the batch looks like for my husband and I. The purple dots are the scent boosters.

Here's the breakdown:
You only need 1 or 2 Tablespoons per load. My husband will need 2 because his clothes are so dirty! This will last FOREVER!

$3.24 - Super Washing Soda
$2.66 - Baking Soda
$3.38 - Borax
$2.91 - Fels-Naptha ( .97 each)
$6.97 - Downy Un-Stopables
Total: $19.16 

I didn't have to buy Oxi-Clean because I had lots from a Sams Club trip a few months ago so I didn't add it the price for that. The total is still going to be less than $25 for months and months of laundry detergent! And if you opt not to use the Downy and go un-scented you'll save even more since that was the most expensive part!

I just pulled my first load out of the dryer before writing this and they smell so yummy and my white towels are just as clean as they were with Tide!

***UPDATE*** Today (7/15) I finally got low enough on detergent that I made a second batch. That means my first batch lasted me for exactly 5 months. As I said, S always uses to TBSP in his laundry because of how dirty he gets. For my laundry and K's we only used 1TBSP for most loads, 2 if they were very big or very dirty! I think that's pretty good. For $19.16 I got 5 months of clean clothes. Worth it? Absolutely.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Valentines Day!

Happy Valentines Day to all of you out there! K and I have been busy today making things for daddy!

After breakfast this morning we finger-painted pictures for him.

K thought that was pretty cool! She did really well with it, but I didn't get many pics because I was too busy making sure she wasn't getting too close the edges of the table! I gave her an old BBQ bating brush I never use, some of her shapes from her shape sorter, and a ball to roll around in the paint. She had a blast and made some cute pictures.

After a bath, we made brownies for daddy.
K sporting her V-day outfit from Grammy.
K helped me mix the batter, that was a messy experience! 

Before I mixed in the egg I let her take a lick of the spatula, she thought that was the best part of baking! K also learned that dipping your animal crackers in the batter while mommy turns her back is VERY yummy!

For dinner we made daddy a steak dinner with mashed potatoes and corn. I think we spoiled him lots! Hope you all had a very Happy Valentines Day! I know we all did!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Germs Be Gone!

Today was a day dedicated to sanitizing the house, most importantly K's toys! Hubby and I were both sick this week and K had a runny nose. As soon as we were all feeling better I felt the need to de-germ!

I grabbed a tote box, filled it up with hot water and 2 cups of white vinegar and in went everything from toy box that didn't have batteries! I even grabbed the tub toys and tossed them in too.

soaking the last of the tub toys.

I let them swim around in there while K and I set to scrubbing down the kitchen floor. I gave K her very own sponge and bowl full of water so she could help mommy. She was pretty soggy by then end, but my floor was nice and shiny!

After an hour (this was overkill they only need about 30 minutes), I pulled all the toys out and set them on a towel to dry.

While they were drying and K was napping, I cleaned the things that couldn't be submerged in water. I started with emptying all the remaining toys from the toy box, and then vacuumed it out. After that I sprayed everything down with my trusty squirt bottle of vinegar/water and wiped it clean before re-filling the toy box. I made sure to get everything, the ball pit, ride-on toys, doll house, Sit N Spin, and play mats. I also took all her books of the bookshelf and wiped those down too.

I felt pretty accomplished after this and exhausted too! Hopefully all those nasty cold germs are gone!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bust out the Blue for Andrew!

Over the weekend my cousin's 15 year old son Andrew was diagnosed with an inoperable tumor on his spine. As soon as word spread some of classmates started a campaign to "Bust out the Blue", and encouraged everyone to wear blue today to show their support for Andrew and his battle. To say word spread quickly would be an understatement! Before you could blink there were 2 facebook pages up and running for Andrew and even a spot on a local news station.

Today the pictures started pouring in. People on my facebook who have never even met him were posting pictures of them wearing their blue. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! I can't believe the show of support everyone is giving this kid! He and his family are doing their best to stay positive and keep their faith! So if you're out there reading this, say a prayer for Andrew. Ask God to watch over him and his family, help him heal, and help his doctors find the best outcome possible for Andrew.

If you would like to leave some words of encouragement or prayer for Andrew you can do so here.
Click here to watch the news report from kcrctv.

Here's our family Busting Out the Blue for Andrew!!