Wednesday, June 15, 2016

This is the way we wash our clothes...

This morning, I helped my best friend buy the supplies she would need to make her own laundry soap. As we were placing the items in the buggy, I realized I had pictures at home for an updated post on this fabulous laundry soap recipe.


My family has worked our way through 4 batches now, and I still love it. It smells wonderful. It's inexpensive. And it gets our clothes clean.

Here's what you need:



You can find all of these items in the laundry section of your store.

The original recipe calls for the bars of soap to be grated - but that takes forever! Instead of grating the bars of soap, I cut one bar at a time into one inch cubes. After placing the cubes on a microwave safe plate, I microwave the soap for 2-3 minutes. It will puff up - once it puffs up, remove it from the microwave or it will burn. After the puffed soap has cooled, you will be able to crumble the soap into a powder form.  It seems that this powder version of the soap bars dissolves better than the grated soap pieces too.


I am obsessed with these green laundry totes from IKEA. And I have decided they are the perfect container to mix this soap in. You will want to mix your ingredients outside because it will create a cloud of soap powders. And I use gloves while mixing the soap by hand.


After all the powders are combined, you can pour your soap into an airtight container. I choose to use a 2 gallon glass jar. 


The flexibility of this green tote allowed me to easily use the handle as a funnel.

Info:

  • One batch of this soap lasts my family of four a little over a year. 
  • I use 2 tablespoons of the mixture per load of laundry. 
  • I have an HE washer - I simply pour the powdered soap directly into the drum of my machine before I place my clothes into the washer. My soap always dissolves just fine. 
  • Our whites stay white and our clothes are always clean. 
  • If there is a stain on a particular item, I spray it with a stain spray and wash like normal. 
  • This soap seems to be fine for sensitive skin. My son and I both have eczema and this does not seem to bother us. 
  • I don't use fabric softener - just dryer sheets in my dryer. 

Have any of you tried this recipe? We are in love with the soap, the smell and the cost! 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Read with Me


I promise...I'll get back to regular blog posts soon. The weather is too nice and I am having a blast playing with my kids this summer. I love being a stay at home mom!

When I first saw that Dee Henderson's new book switches what character is narrating the book, I was worried it would take away from the story line and leave me frustrated. However, I should never doubt my favorite author's methods. Traces of Guilt is a fabulous mystery book - I was not disappointed. The story was gripping and unpredictable and the characters were well developed. She's still my favorite author!

I received this book from Bethany Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

A Teen's Guide to the 5 Love Languages is a slim version of the classic Chapman book written with the youth of today in mind. Updated diagrams and relevant illustrations will help teens understand how to have meaningful relationships - not just of the romantic nature. It will help them better understand their relationship with their family and friends. This would be an excellent study for a teen small group or a youth group to work through together. A test to determine your love language is included in the back of the book.

I received this book from Moody in exchange for an honest review.

The Better Life is an adorable little self-help book that offers 30 ideas to help improve how you are living out your days. The encouraging, easy to read book would make a great gift for a graduate. Everyone needs reminded of the little things that can help you be a better "you."  Get up early, learn to say no, live through the hurt, etc.

I received this book from Moody in exchange for an honest review.

America's Best Breakfasts was an entertaining cookbook to peruse.  From coast to coast, favorite local recipes are pictured. I loved reading the historical/cultural aspects of the featured dishes. And the foods were photographed well. The recipes seem easy to follow and the glossy pages made this a fun book to look through.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Sheila Walsh's book The Longing in Me is a comparison between her testimony and the life of David. What a great reminder that we can try to fill that void in us with so many things - but ultimately, God is the only one who can truly satisfy. What a great book for those who feel they have tried everything on their own. And what an encouragement to know that the Father is still longing for us to be closer to His heart.

I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.

I also had the opportunity to review a DVD from FishFlix recently.  The story of Abraham was depicted in a 187 minute movie. It began before Abram left Ur and ended after Abraham obeyed God and was willing to sacrifice his only son Isaac. Good acting and realistic looking sets helped these Bible accounts to come alive. Although creative liberties were taken (it's pretty necessary to be able to make any Bible story into a movie) it gave me new insight into Abraham and Sarah's lives.

The story of Abraham does have a lot of adult situations (the sin in Sodom, Abraham dealing with the Pharaoh's interest in Sarah, their infertility, Abraham having a child with his wife's servant, etc.) The movie did contain a lot of adult topic conversations. Although it was not super vulgar, it just was not appropriate for little ears.

The scene of Abraham being willing to offer his son Isaac was challenging and thought provoking even though I am quite familiar with this story. Being a parent myself, I was challenged to reexamine my devotion to the Lord. Would I be willing to give up one of my children if the Lord asked it of me?

I received this DVD from Fish Flix in exchange for an honest review.

5 Minute Nighttime Bible Stories is a huge book filled with colorfully illustrated stories from the Bible. I found the stories to be short to read - but my 3 year old got a little lost in some of the bigger words. It seems they used a lot of "Biblical" terms to tell the stories. The pictures kept their attention, but I kept having to explain what certain phrases meant. Maybe better suited for an older child.

I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.



Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Read with Me


What an inspiring story of hope in God. I thoroughly enjoyed reading the testimony of Jay and Katherine Wolf in Hope Heals. I had seen bits and pieces of their story on other blogs or postings, and that made me excited to read this book. Written from both of their perspectives, I loved getting to know their feelings and struggles and triumphs surrounding the major life changes that happened when Katherine had the stroke. I was encouraged by their faith and ministered to by their words.

I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.

Wonderland (A Coloring Book Inspired By Alice's Adventures) is a fun adult coloring book to add to a collection. Filled with detailed illustrations these thick pages tell the story of Alice in Wonderland. Once colored, it would be an adorable keepsake to read through with children. The whimsical aspects of this old tale pair perfectly with the coloring book fad. Your imagination won't be disappointed.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

John Piper's book Living in the Light of Money Sex & Power was a thought-provoking read. These three aspects of life here on earth can be either so good or do destroying of one's life. Written in Piper's normal intellectual style, the smallness of this book makes it easier to digest. It's divided into easy to manage sections that allow for contemplation and reflection.

I received this book from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an honest review.

Summer's List was a novel that told an enlightening story. The book was well written and the characters were developed - I had a hard time though with the slowness of the story line though. Those looking for a relaxing read will find this more enjoyable than I did.

I received this book from Moody Press in exchange for an honest review.


Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Read with Me


Counting Blessings is an adorable padded-cover board book. The first half of the book counts up to ten in clever rhymes. The end of the book helps children continue to find things to be thankful for. The illustrations are so colorful and adorable. The book is fun to read and my children love it. It's quickly becoming a favorite in our home.

I received this book from Book Look Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.

What a testimony to God's peace and presence! As I read "Chase Away Cancer" in one afternoon, I found myself gripped by this mother's story of helping her small son deal with cancer and the treatments. The mom honestly told of her fears and frustrations. But she also told of God's goodness. She encouraged her son with memorized Scripture and continues to live her life looking towards the light in the midst of a dark diagnosis. I also loved her descriptions of our relationship with our heavenly Father, based on her relationship with her son - complete trust. It was well written and so encouraging.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book that I received from Tyndale in exchange for an honest review.

Evenings with Tozer is a treasured devotional book where writings of Tozer are compiled and organized into 365 dated portions. Tozer's words are intellectual and convicting. What a great collection of truth and encouragement.

I received this book from Moody Press in exchange for an honest review.

Serving in any ministry position can be so tiring. Often you don't receive praise or recognition. It requires sacrifice - Zeal without Burnout is an encouraging little book with "seven keys to a lifelong ministry of sustainable sacrifice." Filled with Scripture and practical advice and encouragement, this book is a great addition to any Christian's library. The book is small and easy to read - making it an excellent book to re-read as you become discouraged in service.

I received this book from Cross Focused Reviews in exchange for an honest review.


Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Read with Me


I have grown to love Dani Pettrey's mysteries. I am a huge Dee Henderson fan, and I feel that Pettrey's my second choice now for a good Christmas mystery/romance. Cold Shot was a fabulous read - the characters were well developed and easy to love. The story line was full of twists. And the book was well written.  I am looking forward to future books in this series.

I received this book from Bethany in exchange for an honest review.

I was hesitant to read "Rise & Shine" because it looked like a juvenile book with its pink and purple cover. I am glad though, that I gave this book a chance. Before I finished the first chapter, I was drawn to the main character and curious how her story would develop. Although I'd never read this author before, I loved the easy going romantic tale.

I received this book from Moody in exchange for an honest review.

Face to Face: Discovering how Mentoring can Change your Life - I loved the encouragement that this book offered. I felt compelled and equipped to continue investing in the lives of others. It was easy to read and practical. I plan to implement some of the ideas with girls that I am currently mentoring as well as in my MOPS group next year. I love books that take a simple concept and make it seem so doable.

"I believe that the single most important influence in your life during these years is not what degree you pursue, what job you take, or who you date...but who is pouring into your life and shaping you."

I received this book from Moody in exchange for an honest review.

I tried...I really did. Reviewers of "The Reluctant Duchess" compared it to Downtown Abbey, bragging of it's complex story lines and twists and turns. I couldn't get into this book. There were too many characters from the very beginning and the Scottish phrases used only added to my confusion. I wanted to love this book - but it never really gripped me. It felt as if I were picking up in the middle of a complicated tale.

I received this book from Bethany in exchange for an honest review.

Simply Calligraphy was fun to browse. I've always wanted to learn calligraphy. I found the tutorials and instructional drawings simple to follow. It was well written and informative. I've got some letter practicing to do! This focuses on the traditional calligraphy style - not the modern "handwriting" form that is often seen today.

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

Baby Wren and the Great Gift was a fun book to read with my kids. The language, though beautifully written, was hard for my three year old to undestand. But I was able to talk through the concept with him when he was confused. It was a fabulous way to talk about how God created us all unique. I want my kids to know that God made us in His image and wants to use us the way He made us. The illustrations are adorable.

I received this book from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.