Showing posts with label Home. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Home. Show all posts

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Homemade DIY laundry detergent

Guess what I did with that microwaved ivory soap powder?  

Whoa. Whoa.  Back up the train.  Did I jump off the deep end?  What am I doing?  Homemade laundry detergent? What's next?  Refusing to shave my legs or pluck my eyebrows? (FYI- Hubby's eyes practically bugged out when I told him what I was planning on doing.)

Yes.  I made it. It's true.  Have you ever tried making your own laundry detergent?  I'd seen a whole bunch of recipes online calling for the same few ingredients.  Whenever I'd consider trying it out, images of my failed cloth diapering attempts would come to mind.... and then I'd decide against it.  (Psst- Wanna know what happened to my lovely cloth diapers?  It's a sad tale of stinky woe... read the * below.)

Ever since we found such a nice way to create soap powder, I thought, what the heck, let's try the recipe out. Couldn't hurt, right?

Ingredients:
- 1 C Borax
- 1 C Super washing soda
- 1 bar Ivory soap (microwaved into a fine powder)
- 1/2 C Oxi Clean

I simply mixed the ingredients together and stored them in an airtight container.


Now it's just a matter of waiting and seeing.  I'll try the homemade detergent out a couple of times and let you know the results.  Lots of other bloggers have given similar recipes rave reviews.  They claim that it makes your clothes super soft, works well with hard water, and saves you loads of money (you only use 1 Tablespoon for HE machines... which means that I can do quite a few loads with this batch.)

With Chuck's fairly sensitive skin, I'm hoping that it does all that... and works well with his skin too.  Cross your fingers!


UPDATE:  8/26- I just finished using the first batch of laundry detergent.  Let me just say that it works.  It didn't hurt the machine or our clothes.  For the most part, our clothes come out clean.  However, I definitely had problems getting rid of tougher stains.  (Think messy toddler eating spaghetti kind of stains...).   I used stain remover to help with the tougher stuff.  So, this can't be the only thing you use when you wash your clothes.  Since I have an old bottle of regular detergent in our closet, I'm going to go back to using that stuff until the bottle is done.  I'll see if I notice any difference, but if not, I'm just going to stick with the homemade stuff.





*Ahh, curious to hear my sad cloth diapering tale?  Well... let's just say that the diapers worked great when Chuck was young and we lived in Michigan.  But after moving to New Jersey, we ran into a couple of pretty big problems.

1. Chuck started really eating solid food and his waste started to really smell bad.  I had to do laundry more frequently... which wouldn't have been a problem if we had our own washing machine.  Unfortunately, cloth diapers weren't so economical for us because we pay per load.

2.  Our building's laundry machines are located in the basement.  I had to take my "goodies" down with me in the elevator.  Stinky diapers aren't a great way to make nice with neighbors.

3.  I had some buildup on the diapers, so they became doubly stinky when soiled.  (Think highly concentrated vinegar mixed with rotting eggs.)  I could have just fixed the problem by washing the diapers many many times and then hanging them to dry in the sun.  But, I didn't like that option because I'm a cheapo and there really wasn't a nice way that I could line dry them in the city.  (Resting them on city benches?  Hmmm... maybe not...)

So alas, my lovely cloth diapers are now neatly folded and hiding away in Chuck's closet, awaiting to be used again....

Friday, May 17, 2013

Paint Chip Wall Art

After our relatives left, I really noticed how empty our place seemed.  Although we moved here almost a year ago, I haven't put much effort into making our place more personal.  Chuck's room is the only one that's sort of decorated.

So, I'm going to do my best to add some decorations to the walls.  I'm not too picky, but I do have three requirements for wall art:

1.  It must be bright and happy.
Chuck and I spend quite a bit of time at home.  We need to be surrounded by lovely, happy things.  

2.  It must be removable.
We live in an apartment.  We're not going to live here forever.  I really really don't want to re-paint rooms or fill holes when we leave.

3.  It must be relatively inexpensive.
I'm uber cheap.  One day we'd like to own our own house, so we're slowly saving up.  (Plus, we had a rather traumatic experience with movers breaking stuff, so I worry about expensive art being destroyed.)

Making wall art with paint chips fits all three requirements.  Inspired by A Beautiful Mess's modern paint chip wall art and How About Orange's triangle paint chip art, I thought I'd give paint chips a try.  Here's my result:


Friday, November 9, 2012

Crapty Fridays- DIY cardboard animal trophy head (Holiday edition)

So I know that this week I already made a crapty egg carton wreath.

And I guess that technically should count as my weekly piece of crapt.  However, I just couldn't help it.  Our pile of recycled materials was growing larger and larger and the crapting bug hit me full force.

I had to give in.

So here's another crapty project:  a cardboard deer head trophy (that I glitzed up for Christmas)

Before we continue, let me give this Crapting Disclaimer:  If you attempt to try this project you will need the patience of a saint and some kick-a&& knife skills.  I didn't really have either, so it took me several days to finish everything up.  (I adapted this project from this set of original directions.  I'm not ashamed to say that their final results looked way more polished than mine.  I just used the crap that I had lying around the apartment.  If you want a more polished look, go look at their directions.  If you want a quirkier girly crapty look, try out mine!)

Still with me? Ok, let's begin.

Materials:
- deer head template
- scissors
- pen
- Mod-podge
- foam brush
- aluminum foil
- very sharp craft knife
- shoe polish
- sequins!!!
- skewer
- cardboard boxes <--crap!

Directions:
Step 1: Print and cut out your deer head template.  Trace the various pieces onto cardboard and then cut everything out using a sharp craft knife.  (Scissors really won't work.  Trust me.)

Note:  I simplified the design of the antlers because I'm just really not that patient.


Step 2:  Modpodge your aluminum foil (shiny side down) onto the fronts  and backs of the different pieces.  Let everything dry overnight.

Note:  See how my edges are still cardboard brown? Ick. I wasn't quite sure what to do with them, so I just covered each piece's front and the back.  Looking back, I probably could have covered one side with aluminum foil and then left a little bit extra so that I could cover the edges as well.  Then, I would have just covered the back of the piece and not had to worry.


Step 3:  I wasn't too pleased that my deer head looked like it was made of cardboard and aluminum foil.  So, I pulled out some shoe polish and tried antiquing everything  I wiped on the shoe polish and then used a paper towel to wipe some off. Now my aluminum pieces looked a little less shiny.

(Like this look?  I used a very similar technique to make my cute cat metal magnets)




Step 4:  I still wasn't too pleased by my results, so I went with the "more is more" approach.  I totally blinged this baby up and added sequins to the antlers and nose.  To do this, I painted on a bit of Mod-podge, and added each sequin one-by-one.  I have shaky and clumsy hands, so my fingers got really sticky after a couple of sequins.  The whole process went by much faster when I switched to using a skewer to glue the sequins down.
Warning:  Sequins are super shiny and will blind you.  


Step 5:  I waited for everything to dry and ta-dah!  My glitzed out animal trophy is complete.


So what do you think?  Is this piece quirky and girly? Or, is it just a deer-saster?  I actually kind of like it and it's definitely going on our walls during this holiday season.

Hope you have a great weekend andthanks for joining me on another crapting adventure!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Reviewing our move: (Most) of our stuff arrives

About a week ago, the movers finally brought our stuff. 

Hubby and I were excited to unpack and put things away.  But then we started noticing that some boxes  looked a bit different than we remembered:


I don't remember packing a concave box...


or a crumpled box.  Hmmm...


We also noticed some of our furniture got chipped and cracked:

And where are our headboard, bed frame, foot board, box of tools, and car trunk cover?    Apparently still in Chicago.

So now we're contacting the company and waiting some more....




Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Big dreams, tiny living

As we prepare for our move back East, hubby and I have been hit with a large dose of reality.  It's fun to dream about cute Tudor style homes in Westchester (drool) or cool Manhattan apartments with exposed brick walls (double drool.)  However, these dreams cost money-a lot of money.  It's really quite daunting when you think of the amount of money.  Oy, I feel my knees getting wobbly from just the thought.  

To choose the right type of housing, we're trying to distinguish between our needs and wants.  Just how much space do we really need?  Do we need that third bedroom?  Does Baby Chuck have to go to a school system that's ranked "8"?  Would he be just fine attending a "7" (or a "6" for that matter)?  Is a washer/dryer unit in the apartment a luxury or a necessity?  Oy.  Despite hours of conversation and going back and forth, I'm still unsure of where or how we'll live.  However, I am sure that we could live in a smaller space if we thought outside of the box.  Some people are doing amazingly creative things with their very small spaces.  Here's one example that I find particularly inspiring:




Now we just need to find that 320-square-foot home and we're all set.  Just kidding....or am I?  Muah ha ha ha ha ha.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Sofa Series 4: Our new (old) sofa is here

The sofa we found at the thrift store and got professionally reupholstered is finally finished.  They delivered it to our apartment last week.  Hubby and I are amazed at how great it looks. 

Oodles and oodles of potential

Tada!  Green fabric!  Man-oh-man, I can't believe we own such lovely furniture.

It is big, beautiful, comfy, and quirky... and we adore it!  The people at Found did such a wonderful job.  Thank you!

(I would have uploaded these couch photos earlier, but every time I sat on it to work on this post... I fell asleep. Too comfy! )

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Sofa Series 3: Fabric arrival

After many days of internet searching,  I finally found a lovely green indoor/outdoor fabric that was cute, affordable, and easy to clean.  This past weekend, my 12 yards of upholstery fabric arrived in the mail.         

I can't help it.  I love doodling on boxes...


After oohing and ahhing for a bit, hubby and I brought it to our local vintage furniture shop.  I'm super excited to see what they do...  (Click here for the big reveal!)

New to our sofa adventure?  You can read about where we found our sofa and our decision to get it professionally reupholstered.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Sofa Series 2: Let the pros handle it

Armed with kitchen knives, scissors, latex gloves, and a screwdriver, hubby and I wanted to reveal our inner DIY ninjas and reupholster the new couch.  We were all set to rip up fabric and break...something... but then a preliminary peek around the internet convinced us to rethink that plan.  What?  Tufted buttons require more fabric know-how?  What? Re-upholstery requires specialized tools?  You mean our butter knife won't do?  

Oh well.  We tossed out the original plan and found a local vintage shop that specializes in fixing up older furniture.

Can you spot our U-Haul?








They're going to repaint and reupholster the couch.  All we need to do is choose some fabric...  

Oooh.  So many options.  Which one to choose?

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Sofa Series 1: You had me at yel-low

I want to own furniture that's functional and/or (but preferably and) beautiful.  Sadly, our current couch is neither.  It's brown and saggy.  It's also horribly uncomfortable.

Well, buy a new couch, you say.  Yes, I wholeheartedly agree.  But where can we find a couch that's (a) easy to clean, (b) comfortable, (c) cute,  and (d) affordable? 

This past weekend hubby and  I visited our local Salvation Army and that's where I spotted the one.

Time stood still.  My heart raced as my eyes took in its velvety yellow exterior.  I glanced longingly at its tufted buttons and delicate wooden feet.  And just to make sure that it was real and not a figment of my imagination, my hand lightly traced its long and curvy frame.

For $50 it was mine.  My precious.  My own.   Oops.  Silly me, I mean ours- of course.

Hubba hubba.  Look at the curves on this one.



Now don't get me wrong, this couch has suffered a lot of wear and tear over the years.  I may be a dreamer, but I'm not blind. The upholstery is worn, the cushions sag, and the frame is covered in nicks and scratches.  But hubby and I didn't let that deter us.  We saw potential.  Why, with just a little tlc, this old gal could be the comfy and beautiful furniture of our dreams.

So now let's see what a little creativity and elbow grease can do...

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Cheery diapers and pins


It's officially over.  We cancelled our diaper service. Thanks to hubby's mum and sister, we now have an assortment of cloth diapers. Inspired by the cute diapers' colors, my sister and I shnazzed up our wooden clothes pins with pretty paper and mod podge.  I think we're now ready to start this new adventure...            

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Let's catch up


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Yummy sleeping arrangements

Do you love food?
Are you entertaining out-of-town guests?
Do your out-of-town guests love food?
(If you answered "yes" to all three questions, read on, dear reader, read on!)

With Thanksgiving just a couple of days away, I'll bet many of us are scrambling to figure out sleeping accommodations for out-of-town guests.  Hubby and I are firm believers in the Aerobed, but if you're not interested in taking the traditional route (i.e., spare bedroom, blowup mattress, or small closet), take a moment to consider this option:  The Slice of Pizza Sleeping bag.

*Drool* *Snore*  Doesn't this look delicious and comfortable?

While sleeping in this baby your guests are guaranteed to have sweet savory dreams.

Click here to see these photos or purchase this gustatory masterpiece or others (like the Baked Potato Bean Bag Chair)
First spotted on Foodiggity
 

 

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Ringing alarms



Tonight our apartment complex was buzzing with sirens and flashing lights.  There was a fire in the apartment building adjacent to ours.  I'm so thankful the Fire Department arrived on the scene and promptly put the fire out.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Check

We just finished putting away the Baby Chuck Norris's clothes.  Hooray!  .

Inside this dresser (mod podged with wrapping paper) lies a ton of gifted outfits... thank you!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Scrabble baby decor

The area above Baby Chuck Norris's crib was looking a little bare, so I decided to decorate it.  I wanted to put up something fun and not too heavy (just in case it fell and bopped baby on the head.)  After wandering through the craft store aisles, I finally decided on this homage to Scrabble:

12 points! (Hmm... was I subconsciously inspired by this book?)

Oh the wonders of card stock, cardboard, and ModPodge!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Long standing memories

I love the design of this photo album.


They stand upright!  (Above:  A herd of albums)

Just remove the album's binding...

and voila, your pictures are revealed.  How elegant.

Images and album found here

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Happy flora and fauna

I think our new bird lamp will fit in with the rest of our "happy-nature" living room decor.  

Two happy ceramic pigs

Happy dancing lizard plates

Happy orange wall decor

Happy stylized flower lamp

Happy wildflower decals

Happy bear table

Monday, February 21, 2011

Two little birds

It's official, hubby has the flu.  We stayed home for the majority of the weekend, but did manage to quickly slip out to visit the thrift store.  (I hope the thrift store ladies don't get sick.)  Look at what we found!  


Quirky and romantic, I've never seen a lamp like this one before.

Two tiny birds rest inside

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