Tuesday, March 26, 2013

DIY Laundry Soap

Looking at Pinterest makes me want to make things.  And since my beloved Purex 3-in-1 complete laundry sheets are going the way of the Dodo, I decided to try my hand at making some laundry powder.  

The most popular recipe around Pinterest is an old-timey one.  Just three ingredients, bar laundry soap, a box of borax and a box of washing soda (not baking soda.) I used three bars of Fels-Naptha, but I already had one grated into the bucket.  

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This was ridiculously easy and really inexpensive.  It took all of 20 minutes including clean up.  I tossed the bars of soap in the blender with some of the washing soda then tipped all of into a bucket.  Mixed it all together with an old wooden spoon and then transferred it into containers.

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The cost for the items to make this laundry soap was $17.14 at my local Kroger and based on volume it made up 156 ounces of powder. Two tablespoons per load of laundry and the per load cost breaks down to just over 11cents per load.  That's half the cost over my Purex sheets when I could get them on a good sale, half the cost of Seventh Generation eco-friendly powder, and a third of the cost of Tide powder.

How does it work?  Really well!  It has a bit of a clean, citrus scent from the Fels-Naptha but no heavy perfumes. It made even Rob's stinky socks and Tally's muddy towels clean and fresh.  The small time investment was definitely worth it.  Another successful Pinterest project completed!

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Healthy Life Summit

The Healthy Life Summit kicks off today.  You can sign up for free access here and view the schedule of lectures.  

Each lecture is available for free streaming for 24 hours.  I'm excited to listen to Diane Sanfilippo talk about her 21 day sugar detox today (sugar is still my major Achilles heel.)  And Chris Kresser is going to talk about sleep quality, so I'm not going to miss that!

Which lectures are you interested in?

Healthy Eating

Diane Sanfilippo, author of New York Times bestsellerPractical Paleo - The 21-Day Sugar Detox
Bill Staley and Hayley Mason, authors of Make It Paleo - Make It Paleo
Julia Ross, author of The Mood Cure and The Diet Cure - Healing the Mind and Body with Food
Dr. Kaayla Daniel, author of the Whole Soy Story - Practice Safe Soy
Kelly the Kitchen Kop - Transitioning Your Family from Junk Food to Real Food
Mark McAfee, Organic Pastures Raw Dairy - The War on Milk
Jenny McGruther, Nourished Kitchen - Techniques for Making Real Food Easy & Affordable

Healthy Body

Liz Wolfe of Cave Girl Eats - SKINTERVENTION
Vanessa Romero, Healthy Living How To - Losing Weight & Healing Your Hormones in Your 40s
Donna Gates, author of The Body Ecology Diet - Conquering Systemic Infection: Essential to Good Health
Robin Konie, Thank Your Body - Movement for Eliminating Chronic Pain and Weight Loss
Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of The Magnesium Miracle – Why You Need Magnesium
Matt Stone, 180 Degree Health - Metabolism and Stress – An Inner Tug of War
Dr. Dean Howell - NeuroCranial Restructuring (NCR)

Healthy Babies & Kids

Kristen Michaelis of FoodRenegade.com - Why Pre-Conception & Pregnancy Diets Matter
Sally Fallon Morell, author of Nourishing Traditions - Feeding and Caring for Babies and Children
Emily Bartlett, LAc, of HolisticSquid.com - Treating Eczema from the Inside Out
Robyn O'Brien, author of The Unhealthy Truth and founder of Allergykids.com - Generation RX
Genevieve Pazdan, of MamaNatural.com - Cloth Diapers Made Easy
Sarah Pope, The Healthy Home Economist - Is Breast Really Always Best?
Cara Comini, Health, Home & Happiness - Recovering from Autism with Diet

Healthy Living

Chris Kresser - Chrono-Disruption: The Dark Side Of Artificial Light
Jeffrey Smith, author of Seeds of Deception andGenetic Roulette - Health and Environmental Dangers of GMOs
Matt & Betsy Jabs, DIYNatural.com - Natural DIY Projects: Save Money & Improve Your Health
Mary Cordaro, MaryCordaro.com - Nesting Reframed: Creating Healthy Homes
Daniel Vitalis, founder of Surthrival - Rewilding Yourself
Louisa Williams, author of Radical Medicine - Radical Medicine
Heather Dessinger, Mommypotamus - Homemade Beauty Products Safe Enough to Eat

Healthy World

Joel Salatin, Polyface Farms - Folks, This Ain't Normal!
Brandon Sheard, Farmstead Meatsmith - Welcome to the Sausage Party: How to Slaughter & Butcher Animals at Home
Tamara Wilder, Paleotechnics.com - Paleo Technology: Ancient Skills in a Modern World
Chris Kerstonof Chaffin Family Orchards - Sustainable Grass-based Farms Can Save the Planet
Kristin Canty, Director of Farmageddon - The Attack on American Farms
Birke Baehr, 14-year-old Future Organic Farmer - What’s Wrong with Our Food?
Graham Merriwether, Director of American Meat - From CAFOS to Sustainable, Grass-fed Agriculture

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Post-Beach Slump

I've just returned from six glorious days at the beach.  I've got some unpacking and laundry to do but I've already been food shopping to stock the pantry with healthy goods for Rob's homecoming on Friday.  I've got bones, chicken feet and veggie scraps simmering away for homemade sausage and turnip green soup.  I'm also planning a roast chicken for Sunday and a Thai beef salad for Saturday evening.  

Enough about that, let me tell you about my trip.  My Mother and Auntie are down in Florida soaking up the sun in Saint Augustine for the months of March and April so I couldn't resist a short getaway.  Rob couldn't make it due to being at a critical stage in his current project so I took my friend Donna with me.  

I enjoyed Saint Augustine just as much as I did last year.  It is such a gorgeous beach.  This was the view from the balcony...

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And this was the sunrise on the second morning...

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We did some serious beach combing where I found some perfect new shells for my collection...

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And we did some combing of the fantastic outlet malls.  Mother bought these amazing Converse All Stars for me.  It was love at first sight. Thanks Ma!

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They also had a fantastic Disney Character Premier outlet that had so much fun stuff.  This two-piece set was a whopping $19.99!  I've been lusting after a thick Disney hoodie for so long but was loathe to spend the $70+ at the parks.  Now I'm all kitted out for our next trip.

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We had lots of fun, it was relaxing and rejuvenating and I loved being able to spend time with my family for the second time this year. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Spring Forward

More like dragging my feet...the time change never fails to mess with my sleep schedule.  But by the same token, the extra daylight in the evening definitely helps ward off the winter blues!  It's a gorgeous day here in Georgia.  I was able to wear my capri pants and toe shoes when walking with Tally earlier and now I have the windows open because it's warmer outside than in.  Nice to not to have the run the heat!  I will definitely  miss the early spring when we're settled up north, I won't lie.

It was lovely to get up to Boston and see the family and continue our tradition of Saturday family dinner then the Oscar party on Sunday.  It will be nice when family dinner can be a regular occurrence and not just a special occasion.  The trip was too short, as always and I'm back at home and back in my routine.  I don't have too much to report, plodding on.  Looking forward to enjoying the surge of spring energy that comes with longer days and longer walks with the coming milder weather.  

Did the time change mess you up or are you bursting with joy that spring is creeping closer?

Monday, March 4, 2013

Much Needed in the Blogosphere

Lori over at Finding Radiance and a few other bloggers who have been maintaining sizable weight losses have started monthly blog posts about "maintaining."  I am so thrilled about this because, I am great at losing weight but STILL lousy at maintaining, as the last year has proven yet again

I wanted to share it with you, because maintaining is so much different from being in "active weight loss mode."  And it is something that is almost never spoken about.  I'm off to read all the posts.  I hope you will, too.

Read more at Finding Radiance Adventures in Maintenance.