Monday, October 22, 2012


aIn the past few years, I've been learning new ways to make life simpler (which truly means more work, but it's worth it).  I even bought a sign that says "Simplify" that sits on a shelf in my living room.  It's covered in dust most days (because I've placed it too high to reach in order to clean it often...and yes I'm aware of the irony) and often I forget it's there.  But the concept is something we strive for daily.

On the journey of simplicity, last week I  made our own laundry soap.  When I found out that it's almost all the same ingredients for dishwasher soap, I attempted that too.

So far, we are loving the laundry soap.  The dishwasher soap has a few kinks to work out so I won't share that one just yet.  But I thought others might like to try the laundry soap as well, so here is the recipe we used:

1 4 lb 12 oz box Borax (2.15 kg or 76 oz) found in the detergent isle

1 4 lb box Arm & Hammer Baking Soda (1.81 kg) found in the cooking isle

1  box Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda 55 oz (3 lb 7 oz) found in the detergent isle

3 bars of Fels-Naptha soap, found in the detergent isle (if you use Zote bars use 2 bars instead, Zote can be found at Home Depot)

2 small containers of Oxy Clean or store brand Oxy Clean (try to get about 3.5 lbs total (1.58 kg)) found in the detergent aisle.
(this is optional. I did not add it but if you notice your clothes getting a little dingy, you can add it).
You should be able to find all of these items at your grocery store or walmart.

Grate the bars of soap and mix all ingredients together in a large bucket.  This makes approximately 2 gallons of detergent.  

**Use 1-2 Tablespoons per load. I know that does not seem like enough but this recipe does not have fillers like the store bought detergent so you only need 1-2 Tablespoons.**

This detergent is fairly mild smelling, it is not over powering. If you love a strong scent you may have to add a fabric softener or laundry crystals to each load. You can find laundry crystals in the detergent aisle.

We got our recipe from this site:


Monday, October 1, 2012

A Different Simple

The past week has been busy, but in a good way.  It hasn't felt frantic or chaotic, and I haven't felt stretched to my limits.  For that, I am grateful.
I was able to have lunch with both big girls at their school as part of their "Lunch with Loved Ones" days during the book fair.  The lunchroom was loud and a little crazy, but it was fun to pick up fish tacos and hang out for a few minutes with each of them.  I love those moments of being able to focus on one child at a time.

Later in the week I was able to chaperone a field trip to an aquarium for Reagan's class.  The chatter of fourth grade girls is a total crack up!

I'm also co-leading a Moms in Prayer group and I'm the VP for our PTO this year.  I know....this season is supposed to be about simplifying.  But what I've realized is that simplifying looks different for everyone.  The Lord was showing me that I had been neglecting my most important ministry; the one to my children.  So, while this week has been busy, I've spent my week being with my kids.  That made my heart full.

Of course I have days where I dream of living in the country where leaves change color and snow falls, homeschooling the girls, growing all of our own food, and sitting on the porch with a cup of coffee and the love of my life in peace and quiet.  But that's not our reality.  Our simple looks different.

Our simple involves schedules and responsibilities.  Our simple is busy.  But our simple means getting back to basics when we can.  Our simple can be loud and messy.  But our simple is being together.  It's finding joy in the moment.  It's talking and listening, even if that means in the van as we drive.  Our simple is also eating good food, saving our money, and being grateful for what we have.  Our simple is far from perfect but it's our work in progress and I love it.


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