Monday, April 23, 2012

Makes my Monday . . . . Peace and Quiet

Any mom will tell you that peace and quiet is a rare thing when children are involved . . . from birth until about the age of 30 :o)

Even if they are temporarily napping, you never really a minute of pure quiet.

I nanny for a Precious Punkin (she is also two) and between her and my little man, there is typically non stop noise from the second we wake up until we go to bed. Precious Punkin naps early 12-3 and he naps 2-4 . . . if I play my cards right I get a solid HOUR of quiet time. Sure it's packed with dishes, laundry, cleaning up the mess they made during the morning, but I have the t.v. off , all the noisy toys are put away, and if I am feeling extra awesome, I'll put on my favorite Pandora station so that music I enjoy is playing softly in the background. Makes doing all of the hustle and bustle of "homemaker" more manageable.

Today, I got lucky. . . Little man woke up super early so he went down at 12:30 . . . Precious Punkin didn't wake up until 3:30 . . . .. giving me 3 HOURS of quiet !!! yes.... 3 hours!!!

I feel like a new woman.... can't remember the last time I had 3 hours completely to myself???? well sure I do . . . it was right before little man was born :o)

Not only did everything get done in the normal hour it takes me but then I still had two more hours . . . I returned emails, caught up with an old friend, even blogged which is normally reserved for late night hours !!!

So today. . . . peace and quiet makes my monday.... well that and a smokin hot cup of home brewed starbucks :o)


Adios Mis Amigos,

Monday, April 9, 2012

Frugal Friday . . . Duggar Detergeant 1 gallon at a time

 Make your own Laundry Detergeant . . . 
Duggar Recipe 
( 1 gallon at a time instead of 10 Gallons)

This project was started out of sheer necessity. . . I ran out of detergent.. like not even a drop left in the container. . . . now seemed like as good a time as any to start making our own detergent.... after doing some research on recipes I realized that it's kind of CRAZY that it's taken me this long to do. 

Do you need some reasons to start making your own . . . .

Super Economical!!!! The initial cost to get started will be more ($10.00)  but once you get all of your supplies it costs about $2.00 per gallon to make. You use 1/4 cup per load; that gives you 64 loads of laundry per gallon, making each load costing only $.03. . . yes 3 cents! 

You know what's going into it , I like knowing what's in things.  After reading the label to our store bought detergent I was kind of shocked at some of it. 
Now I know what it is . . .  a lot less chemicals . . . both the borax and washing soda are great for sensitive skins . . .and depending on which type of laundry soap you use, you can cut out even more unnecessary chemicals 

You can customize the recipe to fit your family . . . have a rowdy bunch of sports playing boys . . . add 1/2 cup Oxy Clean to the Mixture . . . have someone with super sensitive skin, you can use Nels Naptha soap, or even super sensitive Ivory..... have a favorite scent, add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to the softener compartment and your clothes come out smelling fantastic!!! 

best yet, if you hate it . . . you've only made 1 gallon instead of 10 :o) But I am sure you'll love it!!!! 

Convinced ???? great lets get started 

You'll need 

 Borax (20 mule team, found it in K-Mart, Acme, ShopRite and Walmart in the Laundry Department) 
         Best price was Walmart $4.97 for 76 ounces 

Washing Soda (this was harder to track down, only Walmart had it in their laundry department) 
         Best and only price, Walmart for $3.47 for 55 ounces
((side note it has to be washing soda not baking soda))(((you can convert baking soda to washing soda, I tried but it didn't work after 3 hours of messing around with it, I gave up and headed to walmart where I was able to find the Washing Soda)))

1 Bar Laundry soap (I used Zote, many use Fels Naptha, Ivory) 
          All prices were about $1.50-$2.00 for 5-15 ounces (zote is 15oz Fels Naptha only 5.5oz)

Stainless steel grater or cut soap into itty bitty tiny pieces 


Gallon Container 

Big Stock Pot 

4 Tablespoons Washing Soda
2 Tablespoons Borax
1/5 bar of soap
Water :o)

1. Cut soap into 5 equal parts . . . doesn't matter what kind of soap your using, you only need 1/5 the bar ... store the other 4/5ths in a sandwich bag for next time 
2. Grate/shred/dice the soap into tiny pieces. I don't have a grater so I diced it but a grater would make this go much more quickly. 
3. Start 4 cups water on medium low heat and add the diced/grated soap to the pot 
4. Stir continuously until all the soap is melted and dissolved
5. Remove from heat and add  in your Washing Soda and Borax
6. Stir until all the powder is dissolved.
7. Now fill your gallon container about 1/2 full with luke-warm water and using your funnel add your detergent to the gallon container. 
8. Top off the container with water and allow to sit over night. 
9. Your mixture will seperate (the soap will rise and water will sink)
 Just give it a good shake before each use. 
10. Use 1/4 cup per load (for front washer) 1/2 cup ( for top loading)

That's it . . . for about 30 minutes of time you've saved your self some major $$$$$ .... GOOD JOB!!!!

Adios Mis Amigos,

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday. . . Tubby Time Organization

Love that my son's playtime is so neat and organized . . . the inner OCD in me rejoices, but every once in a while you gotta get messy . . . so we toss all the toys in the bubbly water and splash around :o) 

Adios Mis Amigos,

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tasty Tuesday - Carne Guisado Tacos

Carne Guisdado . . . Crock Pot Style 

 Yesterday was my nanny day. I care for another little two year old, so Two-Two year olds for 10+ hours means it's a Crockin Day. I LOVE CROCK POTS. Nothing like spending 10 minutes and having a delicious dinner 7 hours later.

The meal was DELICIOUS ! One of my husbands favorite meals growing up was his Mama's Carne Guisado. I have had it... and it's amazing, while this isn't it . . . this is a pretty amazing version, and the best part... it takes 10 minutes, whereas her's is about an Hours worth of prep.

Supplies :

Large Crock Pot 
2 Lbs Stew Meat ( I used sirloin cubes, would work with any kind of steak though)
1 Can Sweet Corn (drain juice)
1 Can Black Beans (I used Goya. . .Drain juice)
2 Cups Your Favorite Salsa

If you stopped right here, the meal would be delicious.... but my husband has grown up with these and come to enjoy a certain flavor . ... (optional) These tips I took from my Mother-In-Laws Recipe

10 Shakes of Whirshester Sauce (sorry I'll measure next time)
2 Circles around the crock pot of Brown Mustard (again, I'll measure next time)
Season to Taste.... We love these two, but they are basically onion, garlic, 
1 Packet Goya Sazone (it's in the hispanic/international Isle of most grocery stores)
1 Cube Knorr Caldo con Sabor De Res (it's basically beef bouillon with other flavors) 

I cooked on High Heat for 1 hour (just to get the temp up) then Low Heat for 6 hours.

The result, a delicious stew meat, with great "carne guisado" flavor....

I used a  slotted spoon to gather up the meat, corn, and beans but not too much juice and served them on a tortilla topped with avocado, lime juice, and cilantro....

You could also serve over rice and would be more traditional guisado. . . .

Adios Mis Amigos,

Monday, April 2, 2012

Make It Monday . . . Stovetop airfreshener

 Stove Top Air Freshener . . . .deliciousness in a pot

Have you ever walked into one of the home stores (pottery barn, william and sonoma) and just felt so relaxed and calmed by the smell of the store. Hmmm maybe it's just me. But I love the feeling of a fresh, yummy air freshener. Now that we are all settled into our home I've noticed it had a musty smell from sitting vacant for two months. Not bad, just like . . . stuffy. And kind of weird like band-aids (sorry if that grosses you out) but it's the closest smell I could come up with.

Even after putting baking soda bombs (two Tablespoons baking soda and 3 drops of lavender essential oil) in each room, It still was not fresh smelling.

So. . .. I hopped onto my new obsession (pinterest) and searched for DIY air fresheners. All of the ones I found required things I didn't have on hand . ..  so I started thinking what does "fresh" smell like to me. . . .

Citrus is fresh, clean, and invigorating and I happened to have some oranges and limes that were a day or two past their prime.... I cut them into wedges and got the stove bubbling... Added 4 cups of water . . . .deliciously fresh like fresh squeezed orange lime-aid.... but it needed something else . . . .Lavender is a longtime favorite and adds a sense of calm. . . So I dropped in 5 drops... realized it wasn't as strong as I liked ... So I added another 5 an VOILA . . ..

The result. . . exactly what I needed and now the house smells devine!!!!  I left it on the stove on a low simmer. .. . (my stove is old and required Medium) . . .DO NOT LEAVE IT ON unless you are near by monitoring . It also required adding more water throughout the day . . . .

I used the mixture for two days before I felt like I got my moneys worth and threw it all down the garbage disposal. . . .(really freshens up the disposal too... double bonus)

Some other recipes that I found online, but didn't have the ingredients.

Grandmom's Apple Pie
(love the smell of my grandmom's pie baking away)
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 apple, cut into pieces
  • 2 tablespoons nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons cloves
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla
  • 1 tablespoon fresh orange peel
Do you have a favorite smell???

Extracts used for cooking and baking that smell as yummy as they taste! Here is a list of some of them: Almond, Banana, Cherry, Coconut, Maple, Rum, Strawberry and Vanilla.
  • Fresh sliced Lemon, Lime or Orange or their dried peels
  • Spices such as Allspice, Cinnamon Sticks, Cloves, Ginger and Nutmeg
  • Combination One: 2 whole lemons, sliced, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Combination Two: 2 whole oranges, sliced, 1 tablespoon vanilla extract, 2 cinnamon sticks

Have you ever made your own air fresheners??? tell me !!

Adios Mis Amigos,