Homemade Laundry Detergent

I was on the Facebook last week and my friend Kristin (that I am still depressed moved to the faraway land of Belton) posted about making her laundry detergent. Pinny has been telling me for a while that this was a simple task but I kept ignoring her. Well, I was just dumb - ignoring my bestie like that. I mean she never fails to share the best secrets and tips with me- I should totally listen. And she has TONS and TONS and T-O-N-S of recipes and they are all (mostly) super simple.

This is what you need:
1 alb 12 oz box of Borax
1 box of Arm & Hammer Washing Soda
4lb of Arm & Hammer Baking Soda
4lb of Oxi Clean
3 bars of Fels Naptha soap
Purex Crystals (optional) 

Total cost: $32.83
(This includes the optional Purex Crystals and I had to buy the larger containers of OxiClean and baking soda so that pumped my price up a bit).

I tried to get everything at Target but they didn't have it all (sad clown) so I headed over to Wally World - I'd just start there. I also bought a 2 gallon glass jar and a coffee scoop which I didn't include in the price above (that added $15).  Since I am a super visual learner, here are the individual pics of each thing with hand model Landry. :)

*Target carries glass jars made in the USA, so it may be worth a trip there. #Merica

The kids were so excited to make this stuff; it was almost comical. They love helping me in the kitchen but y'all, this was laundry detergent and they were PUMPED. They just thought it was so stinking cool. 

Now, lean in real close because I don't want you to miss these super difficult instructions.

Grate the fels naptha into a large bowl. 

Try not to skin your knuckles like Emmy.

Take turns - each person gets 10 grates. 

Mix everything in a giant tub. Lighting McQueen is also optional.

Things to note:
1. I think any bar soap would work - some recipes used Ivory soap, some used Zote.
2. I used the Purex Crystals because that's what most recipes referenced when people wanted to add a "scent" - I'm curious if Downy Unstoppables would work.
4. I estimated the pounds of oxiclean and baking soda because I purchased 5 lbs of each. 
4. I have done 3 loads of laundry with this and love it. For a giant load of beach towels I used the full coffee scoop (2 tbs) for kids clothes, I used half. 
5. I still used liquid Downy to soften the clothes
6. I have never felt more hipster, Donna Reed, super domestic goddess than I did after making this. I mean, it's like I invented sliced bread. 

And besides the fact that this claims to last an entire year (!), how cute does it look displayed? I have had this little iron recipe card holder forever, I just painted it blue, printed this scripture, added a pom pom from left over fabric to the basket, stuck on a chalkboard label and voila. 

Laundry is so much more fun!

If you want some detergent, let me know - I kind of want to try some more combos to see which ones I like best! :) What's your favorite laundry secret? 

If you're looking for more fun ideas, check out the summer family fun link-up!


5 reasons to give 21 days...

I've mentioned using 21 Day Fix a few times but I wanted to do a quick post on why it's a program that works for me. So if you're looking for a great work-out and eating plan that gets great results and is much more than a gimmick - then this may be the program for you.

1. No crazy counting. 

This program lets you eat. And let's you eat GOOD. It's not a diet - its just about portion control and moderation. No lie (because I never ever lie about food), I have eaten two cheese quesadillas in a day and stayed on the plan. I don't feel miserable or deprived and I am able to lose weight. You get 7 color coded containers and depending on your current weight, you get a certain number of each container/day.

No counting points, no watching calories - just real food. And I've learned to plan ahead. If I know I'm going out to dinner and want to "indulge" a bit, then I "save" some of my containers (yellow) for that.

Here is what I have eaten in a day:

Breakfast: 1 Greenery Shakeology (1 red, 1 purple, 1 tsp)
Lunch: Two boiled eggs, avocado, tomato, wheat crackers (1 red, 1 blue, 1/2 green, 1 yellow)
Snack: Watermelon (1 purple)
Dinner: BBQ Turkey Sausage, Wheat Mac n Cheese, Broccoli (2 red, 2 green, 1 yellow, 1 orange)

2. Did you say shakes?

Yes. Shakes. And yes, they are chalked full of all kinds of goodness but you know what? They taste SO great! And I'm not just saying that (remember, I never lie about food). My personal favorites:

Strawberry Shake
1C Ice
1/2 C Water
1/2 C Almond Milk
1/2 Banana
Frozen bluberries
1 tsp. PB

Chocolate Shake
1C Ice
1/2 C Water
1/2 C Almond Milk
1/2 Banana
1 tsp. PB

Shakeology is a recommended part of the program to optimize your work outs and your weight loss. And I love it y'all. I would eat them 3 times a day - even my kids ask for them!

3. Got 30 minutes?

Sure you do - and that's all you need with Autumn's workouts. Some things I love about the fix workouts:

  • Did I mention it's 30 minutes - including warm up and cool down. 
  • Challenge by choice - Autumn gives you options to make things work at the level you can handle. I love that I can push myself to go beyond what I thought was possible. 
  • This also means I can modify what I can't actually do (like a side plank leg lift - yeah...)
  • Variety - I am never bored. Even thought I've done each work out several times... it switches every day so you aren't doing the same thing every single day.
  • Autumn is great at demonstrating each exercise and then continues to remind you about form as you go along.
  • Active recovery is built in - and awesome. I actually get to do the Yoga video tomorrow and I'm so excited!

4. There's an app for that. 

BeachBody even has a great app that lets me track my containers, my work outs and my progress. 21 Day Fit also reminds me what food should be measured in each container.  It is compatible for your iPhone or your iPad and it's so easy to use. And for a list checker like me - this is key to success!

5. It's on super sale!!!

For two more days, you can get the entire 21 Day Fix program for TEN DOLLARS when you buy Shakeology. Y'all - that's crazy talk. The containers alone are worth more than that. There is no better time than right to try this program! 

ps. Did I mention that it gets results? Yep. Real people. Real food. Real results!


Sweet summer time...

Isn't summer just the best? I love it. I adore the pace, the smells, the heat, the clothes, the late nights and sleepy mornings. All of it. Life was just made for summer. We've adapted quickly this year to all things fun-in-the-sun so here are some of my sweet summertime favorites...

Summer Finds...

How adorable is this tea towel from HobLob? They had tons to choose from but I could only use one 40% off coupon at a time. I have plans to go back and get more.

Summer Service...

Holly is leading a great summer of service campaign and we joined the fun this week. Check out how we donated this week and you can also read TONS of great ideas from Holly here

We also joined them one morning this week to make bags for seniors in our community. In under one hour these kiddos (plus some parents) made 360 bags for senior citizens - what a blessing this work will be! You can follow Holly's challenge along on Instagram at #soschallenge2015.

Summer decor...

I am a sucker for a seasonal mantle and Kim did a great post last week about her July 4th mantle (let's discuss her garland and her use of straws (!) ) and inspired me to do the same.  In about 15 minutes I did this with things I had around the house. Now I realize not everyone has all of this stuff laying around, but you'd be surprised by what you do have! 

Summer treats...

We can't get enough of these watermelon popsicles but check out these other fun recipes I posted on the Dish here.  

Summer fun...

Radley had a friend come over last week and it rained non-stop for about 2.5 hours. And they played outside in the COLD rain for about 2 of those hours. Y'all I literally teared up watching them play. Nothing sweeter than watching your kids truly experience joy. 

Summer projects...

Our banquette is coming together and I couldn't possibly love it more. We still need to add hinges, stain the top, paint the bottom, extend the table, and paint the chairs, but look how adorable this is! Ryan has totally outdone himself and I *promise* a step by step(ish) post once it's complete. 

(and go ahead and ignore those wrinkles, mkay?)

Summer style...

I am loving my Shimmering Gold Heart Knot necklace this summer. Cindy and I purchased these together when she was running a bestie sale. Not gonna lie,when it arrived in the mail, I was totally intimidated to wear it - I just didn't think I'd be able to pull it off. But, it has become one of my favorite pieces and looks fantastic with just about anything. It's the perfect summer style piece and is a great conversation starter. I'm a sucker for supporting small business owners and Mary's shop is full of fun finds - each necklace is hand made and just amazing.

Summer {blog} lovin'

I'm pretty pumped to share that Shelly and I are working on an awesome new link-up that celebrates women. We hope that it will be ready by the 2nd week of July, so stay tuned!!    

Linking up with AndreaErika, and Narci


Red, White and BLUE...

Radley had a sleep over at a friends house on Monday night so it was going to be just me and the girls. After I got a coupon for a FREE pizza from Blue Baker emailed to me I decided that it was a sign for a lady date night! (If you want in on the free fun, join their email list here).

Blue Baker is one of our favorite places to eat in town. Great menu for breakfast, lunch or dinner and something we can all enjoy at a great price! They have two locations and are adding a third in South College Station to which the angels exclaimed HALLELUJAH! (And by angels, I mean my 3 kiddos).

Pro tip: Order your food to go about 15 minutes before you plan to arrive that way it's ready when you get there (and has cooled a bit so kiddos can dig in!)

They thought this was the best night ever and I kind of did, too. I can plan and plan and plan but I'm always reminded that it's these spontaneous moments in life that make a difference.

King Kid Pro tip: Cheetos always go with pizza. 

Besides their great food, we love that Blue Baker began in our community and they support so many others in our area, too. Schools, philanthropies, students - you name it and Blue Baker is right there lending a hand or passing out a delicious cookie.

And if that wasn't enough - they give out FREE FOOD! Yep. Like all the time. The only thing required of you? Be blue. It's that simple! The more blue you are, the more free food you earn. We LOVE this idea and are joining forces with our fellow BCS Bloggers for a patriotic spin on their Blue People. We are challenging YOU to go {Red, White &} BLUE with us!

Color your hair, paint your face, grab a wig - you name it! But remember to  read this before heading up there! We can't wait to see you!!


Just ZOO it...

Emmy's class took the most anticipated field trip of the season this week - The Waco Zoo and Landry, Gigi and I got to tag along. (Radley and junior golf and got to hang out with Uncle Pete).  She really wanted to wear her hair like Miss Brooke, but it wouldn't fit under her cap (that she kept taking off).

We stopped at the usual places...

hung out with favorite teachers...

checked out favorite animals...

and walked with our favorite friends. 

(I love when kids hold hands without being prompted. I looked up to see Riven and Jayden walking hand in hand and my heart skipped a beat. Especially given what mess our world is in these days. Children really are the best teachers.)

The aquarium was a great break from the heat and all of the fishes seemed like they were out to visit everyone. 

The last stop is always the slide through the otters and it gets me every single time. I can hardly stand the cuteness.

Landry was so thankful for Emmy inviting her along and I'm just so thankful they love each other.

Seriously. How did I get so lucky?

We had a fun day with our favorite people! 

DIY: Upcycled Mantle...

My new friend Kim posted her adorable 4th of July mantle last week and inspired me to get it in gear and redo my own mantle for the season. The only problem was I didn't want to buy anything, and I didn't. I rummaged through my attic, looked around the garage and moved things from other shelves and in about 20 minutes, I had the perfect summer mantle. 

And while I realize not everyone has as much junk as I do laying around (well, except my momma) you'd be surprised by what you do have that you could use!

1. Picture frames - The two frames I used are normally in the master bedroom. And guess what y'all - no one but me and Ryan go into our room. Who cares if a frame or two is missing. And, those pics... I just printed them on cardstock from our printer. This is an inexpensive way to display pics that match your decor/season. 

2. Junk - This is an old pair of binoculars that normally sit on a different shelf. I needed something with height and interest and I thought these worked great. 

3. Wreath - This is a styrofoam wreath wrapped in burlap that was hanging in my attic. I took off the rosettes from last summer and used some left-over fabric scraps from a July 4th project from a few years ago. And the center of that pom is a rosette I made for Emmy for her first July 4th. 

4. Flag - This was my grandfathers - it only has 48 stars. Y'all. That's so cool!

5. Random - I needed a filler so I grabbed some start serving dishes from my "party supply" cabinet. The third one of the set is sitting on my front porch.

6. Random - This is a water pitcher I bought several years ago with a tiny flag - I really need a few more flags but the rest are outside.

7. Old books - Kim also used books on her mantle and I couldn't agree more. You may recall this fall I fell hard for books on a mantle. So hard that I kept them up for Christmas. Well, I pulled them out again and just grabbed shades of red and blue to match the theme. 

8. Rag garland - I made this for a different wreath when Radley was a baby. I still had it hanging in my craft closet and thought it was perfect for the front of the mantle. I'd really like Shelly's wreath or I may try to copy Kim's creation, too. Who knows!

What's your favorite way to celebrate seasons?


Good Samaritans...

I'm sure you've all noticed the news lately. Filled with sadness and hate. Judgment and scorn. A he said/she said battle that would rival a middle school cafeteria. Stories of courage that are met with ridicule out of fear of the unknown. Stories of racism that a country won't admit still exists. Stories that are so unbelievably tragic all you can do is cry. 

And I do. 

But I also pray and within those prayers are the hope that my Christian brothers and sisters will stand up and showcase to the world that is watching what the meaning of Christ's love is really all about. 

And then I cry some more because time and time again, we fail.

We fail to help from fear. We fail to listen from hate. We fail to simply stand next to each other with an open ear, open arms and most of all, an open heart. We ultimately fail to love and in doing so, we fail to bring people to Him. In fact, we do the opposite. We turn people from Him. With our hate. With our judgment. With our scorn. With our "better than you" attitudes. 

I'm not a biblical scholar by any means. I can recite maybe 5 verses off the top of my head, but I'm pretty sure no where in the bible says, "Go thee, and hate. In my name, turn others from seeking me because I just don't like them." 

All kidding aside, I have always envied those that can recite applicable scripture for any situation and I have made it a goal and prayed many a prayer that I become more connected with using His word in my own. And prayers are answered y'all because this week I feel like He was speaking to me (and well, when He talks to you - you best shut up and listen). 

As I was sitting in church on Sunday listening to a sermon that I personally 
felt wasn't sharing the true meaning of Christ's love ... He laid on my heart The Parable of the Good Samaritan from Luke 10:25-37. It states... 

25 On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”26 “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”
27 He answered, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’[a]; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.[b]
28 “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live." 29 But he wanted to justify himself, so he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. 33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’
36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?” 37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”
Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Did you see it? It's so simple but yet we find it so hard to follow. 

Love your neighbor as yourself. 


Here - sometimes it takes a cute image to bring home the point. 

Y'all. It's what we've been taught since we were tiny humans. Love thy neighbor. It's rampant in the bible - from beginning to end. Love. Love others as He loves us. 



It literally is all around the bible. 

1 John 3: ... This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them,how can the love of God be in that person? 18 Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.

In actions. And in truth.

1 John 4:19: We love because He first loved us.

And let's not forget 1 Corinthians 13. Y'all. Come ON! I can remember my grandmother sitting me down and reading me that passage over and over again. Whenever we were together, she talked about love. God's love. And what love means. 

He loved us. He LOVES us. 

And all He is asking is for us to do the same. 

He's not saying agree. He's not saying be the same. Heck, He's not even saying that everyone is right. 

He's just asking us to love. 

And I just don't think that's too much since He sent his own child to die for us. A horrific death. For you and me so that we may love one another. 

Just like that good samaritan. 

I'm not sure what made me write this today (well, I know who made me write it - I'm just surprised I listened). I'm not even sure it makes total sense. But if it speaks to even one person that wasn't so sure about love, well then it's served it's purpose. 

It really is that simple. It really is that easy. Like my good friend Jen says, "People can hate me because I love Jesus. But I would never want people to hate Jesus because of me." 

Think about that. How many people have been turned away from the ultimate love because we haven't offered our own? 

Be a good samaritan today. I promise you won't regret it. 

While I'm Waiting...Waiting on...Wednesday link-up


The best medicine...

The kids have gotten used to my clean out sessions where we go through all their old toys, books, clothes, and other inanimate objects placing each in a keep/sell/donate/trash pile. Where there used to be grunts of boredom I dare say there is now excitement from them thinking about getting rid of things they don't play with - especially when they know these items will be going to other people. 

This is such a simple way to get your kids involved in service - something that's near and dear to our heart. (And also near to Holly's heart - check out her series on the Summer of Service!)

These clean out sessions have gotten quicker, too. Ryan and I had noticed that our lives (i.e. stuff we don't need) had gotten out of hand so we just quit buying so much. We traded presents for donation at birthday parties and even the grandparents (Gigi) have gotten a tiny bit better at not going overboard. Our kids still play with the same toys today that they did as babies - blocks, cars, dolls, dress up. The end. No need for anything else. The one thing that had never really been tackled was books. We have TONS of books - and that's ok because reading is important and books last forever. However, the kids have outgrown quite a few and there were some that just weren't getting any love. 

I noticed the last time we were at our pediatricians office that their books had seen better days. So we decided we would clean out books and let them cheer up some others on a not so fun day. 

Each kid wrote a quick note and added it to their bundle of books...

We tied them with string (seriously, one of my favorite things)...

And headed up to UPA...

Dr. Henderson was so grateful for the donation and the kids showed him their "old" favorite books and told him how they would be able to read them next time they visited (which we hope is in a long time). :)

Simple service. That's all it takes to help someone else! Where do you take old toys/clothes/books? We would love some ideas!



After two days of celebrating, eating sweets, opening gifts and spending time with people that adore her - Emmy's favorite thing was a meal at Chuck E Cheese, dressed in whatever she wanted to wear with a birthday crown and a necklace. 

1 kid at camp, 2 kids at Gigi and Pops and a husband that works out of town all week, meant that I had a house all to myself. I can't recommend this vacation enough!

Our garden is so good at growing the world's smallest vegetables. 

Did I mention I was home alone? Did I also mention how awesome it was? And that I'm not at all ashamed to admit that I ate every.single.bite. of those nachos. 

The only time I doubted that choice was post 3 mile run the next morning. 

By Wednesday the whole gang was back together again as we picked Radley up from camp and got here all about how amazing his week had been. 

Here's a teeny tiny sneak peek at this little one's 5 year pics. I can't wait to see them all! 

I'm hoping this cucumber grows big enough to eat before dying, being eaten by a squirrel or just falling off. But y'all. We great a cucumber. It's almost as awesome as carrying a watermelon.

Emmy's class gets to go on field trips all summer long and Rad and I tagged along for her visit to Station #6. It was pretty awesome - they have a BOAT y'all. Like sometimes the alarm sounds and they have to bring a boat. That's so cool!

But not nearly as cool as this out of office reply I get to set each summer. So thankful for these eight weeks away each year. 

First official day off work and two of the three King kids were out with a stomach bug. So while they rested (or fake rested) I got in 30 minutes of lower fix. Love these work outs!

I celebrated by trying a new recipe with Greenberry Shake O. 
(1 cup ice, 1 blue container of frozen blueberries, 1 tsp PB, 1/2 water, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk)

The rain is back in Texas and Rad got caught in a down pour at Junior Golf this week. He declared it the most fun day ever. (And because this is my blog, and he's my kid...I'm gonna take a second to brag)

Overall, Radley did exceptionally well on the motor assessment scoring in the 95th percentile. He scored highest in the Upper Limb Coordnation, Balance, and Body Coordnation subtests and scored average or above average on all other areas. Each of these areas are and will continue to be pivotal in the development of his golf swing and help provide foundation for him to be successful in golf or any sport he wishes to pursue. I once heard a professional caddy say to his player “90% of the reason a golf swing is successful can be attributed to factors that take place even before you make your golf swing”.  I couldn’t agree more with this statement. If we get the foundations of the golf swing right, we are only setting ourselves up to be successful. As he did not score below average on any of the subtests, I have no recommendations at this point besides keep doing what you're doing!

He finished his week with a random play date with this kid, his idol. Cade is the older brother of Rad's classmate, Sage. His just the sweetest kid and they had so much fun - I kind of want to adopt him for the summer so Radley isn't bored with me al day. They played in the rain for TWO hours yesterday. I basically teared up at how much fun they were having being kids.

And that's us in an instant!