Monday, April 29, 2013

DIY Gifts for the Hostess with the Mostest

We recently went away for the weekend and upon our return we found a gift from our housesitter....homemade laundry soap! I agree that a bottle of wine would have been awesome, but the laundry soap came with several freshly washed loads of towels and sheets. Who can complain?

I was skeptical. I'm all into DIY gifts and the like, but I was concerned about my expensive front loading high efficiency washing machine (which lately has had a very strange moldy smell!). I decided to step off the cliff and try it out. I am hooked. I find myself looking forward to washing a load of clothes. They come out smelling so clean (and, incidentally, so does the stinking washing machine). The best part of it all is that the incredients are variations of bicarbonates and (in my version) a simple, low-sudsing castille soap. All natural. All good. Just fine for high efficiency washing machines.

Here is the recipe that my housesitter shared. You can also Google it for different variations.

2 cups 20 Mule Team Borax (which I could only find at K-Mart)

2 cups Arm and Hammer WASHING Soda (notice I wrote "washing" soda not baking soda)

1 bar of grated soap (bar should be 5-7 ounces...I used Dr. Bronner's bars soap because it smells like peppermint and when it is grated it looks and smells like white chocolate peppermint bark. I don't recommend tasting it unless you are feeling guilty about your use of the F-word and feel you need to wash your mouth out with soap.)

Grate the soap in a food processor or by hand (you want very tiny pieces). Mix it all together very well (I suppose this can also be done in small batches in the food processor).

Put in a cute Country Gal-type container and voila! Use 1 tablespoon per load. Happy washing!

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Eats, Shoots, and Peas

I am continuing to wax poetic about the arrival of spring. Maybe it's just me, but Miss Spring sure is taking her sweet time getting here. On Easter Sunday I officially retired my winter wardrobe. I have spent the entire week shivering. Yesterday turned into a sunny 60-something degree day, so lazy Miss Spring may have finally decided to get out of bed and stretch her legs. My baby sugar snap pea plants will be so happy!

Now it's time for the dreaded spring cleaning! I write that as if it's a ritual...those who know me know better, but I thought this year I might at least tackle my little corner of the house where I have set up shop. I'll show before and after photos in my next post. Happy Spring!

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