Thursday, January 31, 2013

DYI Laundry Detergent

As I am sure many of you do, when I go grocery shopping, I tend to buy most all off brand products. however, there are a few exceptions. I have always had to buy named brand laundry detergent and my husband has to have Heinz Ketchup. I know, we are a little goofy. I am picky about how my laundry smells. I am a Gain girl through and through. However, laundry detergent is very pricey. My friend, Jordan, invited me to a DIY party. I decided I would try and make my own laundry detergent knowing I probably would switch back to Gain. I am happy to say that I am extremely please with my DIY laundry detergent. It is very inexpensive and it does a fabulous job getting out stains. I have also noticed a difference when I wash my whites. I know many of my fellow bloggers also enjoy a good DIY product, so I thought I would share. It is SUPER easy to make and very affordable.  One batch lasts me about 3 months. Please see directions below.


1.  1 bar of Felsnapa soap
2. 1 cup of Borax
3. 1cup of Washing Soda
4. 5 gallon bucket

1.Boil a large pot of water on the stove.
2. Grate soap.
3. Add soap to boiling water (slowly)
4. Once soap has dissolved add borax and washing soda.
5. Continue to stir until dissolved.
6 Poor mixture to the 5 gallon gallon bucket and then fill it completely warm to hot water.
7. Stir while pouring
 8. Let sit for 24 hours.

I was told to use 1/3 cup of detergent for big loads. I tend to add a little bit more, but that is my personal preference.

I promise, you won't be disappointed.  :) Happy Washing!!

What I Wore Thursday???

I have never posted a "What I Wore Wednesday" blog before, but decided I would give it a try. Unfortunately, this is "What I Wore Thursday" due to working from home yesterday.

I have to "dress up" for work every day, but that does not mean I have to wear the same boring black pants and top every day. I enjoy fashion and mixing things up. I also enjoy bargain shopping. I rarely pay for anything full price. When my husband and I lived in Springfield, we shopped at a second hand clothing store that had all designer named brands. WE LOVED IT! I dearly miss that store. The outfit that I wore today, like most of my outfits, was a bargain!

I received these boots two Christmas's ago.  I LOVE these boots. I wear them all of the time, because they are a nude color and go with EVERYTHING! AND the best part is that they are super comfortable. I am all about comfort. I have had so many compliments on these boots. I think every women needs a good nude pair of boots that they can match up with anything. 

I love fashion, but I also like saving money. I will buy my clothes from anywhere. I have had a new addiction of colored skinny jeans. I love color, and what a better way to brighten up your look then some skinny colored jeans.  I bought this pair of pants on Black Friday. I spent a whopping $10.00. SCORE! I got the top for $12.00. Total of $22.00. Not too shabby.

This is one of my new favorite purchases. I did "splurge" on this watch. They just came out with these watches at Target. I love the look of this watch. You can wear it with dressy clothes or casual. 

To sum it up, you can still look great without draining  your bank account. It takes some digging at times, but if you look hard enough, you will walk away with a great outfit and a bargain!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Building a Better Marriage@A Blossoming Life-I Had to share!

 A Blossoming Life has been doing a series on building a better marriage. My friend, Jordan, over at Lily White-Designs, was asked to do a guest post as well as my friend, Carrie,over at Carrie This Home , Both of their posts caught my attention, so I had to share. To check out the whole series go to

Here is Jordan's post...

Building a Better Marriage: The Honest Truth

As Jared and I were sitting on our couch he looked over at me and said, “Can you believe we are actually married??” We both laughed, and then started talking about the whirlwind of events that God ordained to bring our paths together. Before I was with Jared, I had been very cautious with even titles in relationships. I didn’t want to be called anyone’s “girlfriend.” (Here you can insert your judgments on my commitment fears, they are probably true)  Then, as I look back at my joy upon Jared’s proposal after only a brief 4 months of dating, I am in awe of God’s work in my heart and life.
If any of our decisions would have been even slightly different, chances are we would have never met. Let alone fallen in love. More over, gotten married.
Reflecting on these times doesn’t bring about praise for our decisions, and we don’t exalt the strength of our love, it brings about our praise of God for his hand in our life. I say all this to make the point that if you are married, God did it. No matter if it’s difficult right now, or sunshine and roses, God put you together. Marriage is the best way for us to preach the gospel to ourselves. In those difficult times, instead of questioning your marriage, let it be a time that you can reflect on your understanding of what God did for us in Christ. When you feel mistreated by your spouse, remind yourself of the way that our sin caused Christ to be mistreated, and his continual forgiveness of our shortcomings. When your patience is running thin, remind yourself of the patience Jesus has for us in our slow and stumbling process of sanctification. Of course, it is easier for us to simply point out flaws in our spouse. Instead, take time to evaluate the response that you feel. Do you really understand the gospel? If so, how does it change the way you feel, act, and speak?
One thing that Jared and I are both very passionate about in our marriage is honesty. Honesty even when it hurts, even when it is embarrassing, even when it makes us rethink everything. As Jared and I struggle with sin, we tell each other. Seriously, like everything. I know what it feels like to look someone in the face and spill your deepest secrets, and I know the warmth of being held as tears are shed. God made us one flesh. We want to take advantage of what God gave us and help each other fight sin in our lives. We have no secrets. We know each other’s weaknesses, we keep each other accountable, and we pray for each other to become more like Christ. I plead with you, don’t wrongly think that your spouse isn’t strong enough to hear you out. As we have already established, God put you together! There are an exponential amount of reasons for that. Don’t you think it’s in the realm of possibility that one of those reasons would be to help you become more like Jesus? I think so.
Also, Jared is my best friend. I treat him like it. I admit there are days that I fail at this. But, it is one of my goals to always treat him like my best friend. I don’t want to stop having fun together, laughing, playing, loving, sharing dreams, making out ;) , being excited to tell Him about my day, sharing celebrations, and tears. He is the one God gave me. He is my life long love. He is the one I will spend all my days with. He is my lover and my best friend.  I want all those things that I loved about him from the beginning to just keep piling up, as we get older. We have this little joke where we say, “Today I love you 1 billion, 5 hundred million, 72.” And each time we say it we add a bigger number. It’s really true. God keeps growing our love for each other, and He’s gonna keep doing it, because He put us together. He’s gonna keep showing us our sin, and reminding us of how he rescued us from it. To Him be the glory in everything, even in our love story.
xoxo, Jordan.
And now for Carrie's post...
This post first appeared at A Blossoming Life as my first guest post!  As a new blogger I was really honored to be asked to do a guest post.  Amy is doing a great series on Building a Better Marriage so to see the whole series check it out at
Today I’m sharing some marriage tips that my Hubby and I have learned over the years.

My Story

The Hubby and I have been married for over 10 years and we met in college.  Before getting married, we first made sure that our life goals and aspirations were on the same page.  We both are following Jesus the best we know how and this is the biggest priority for the both of us.  We both eventually wanted to have kids, but not right away.  We both wanted to live in the area where we went to college.  Beyond that we weren’t too sure what our life would look like.  But we knew we wanted to spend it together.
So we got married and here we are ten years and two kids later!

No One Has The Perfect Marriage

Before I go on I think it’s important to recognize an important fact: no marriage is perfect.  Don’t think that anyone has the perfect marriage because it simply doesn’t exist.  Every marriage has strengths and weaknesses.  Marriage is between two imperfect people so there will be PLENTY of problems that will come up.   It’s how those problems are dealt with that makes the difference.

Little Tips for A Better Marriage

Serve one another.  The most important tip I can give comes from Philippians 2:3 “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.”   Put your spouses needs ahead of your own.  Put off selfishness and seek to serve your spouse.  Your spouse should do the same for you.  When two people come together serving each other’s needs amazing things happen.
Share interests.  My hubby and I are very different so most of our interests are also different.  I love to blog, my hubby loves to ride his bike.  Hubby loves to watch Rocky movies.  I’d rather watch a romantic comedy.  We find ways to support each other’s interests, even if it’s not as “interesting” to the other.  Blogging is not the Hubby’s favorite thing to do but he  shares my interest by encouraging me with blog posts and helping me with grammatical corrections.  The Hubby loves cycling and talking about bike parts.  Those two interests are not my favorite things to do.  I’ve learned a couple of things about bike components because it’s something the Hubby LOVES to talk about and then we can talk about it together.
Sometimes our interests are the same, like with photography.  We both love to take pictures and mess around with new settings on our camera.  It’s fun to share an interest that we both enjoy equally.
Invest time into each other.  Play games, go for walks, workout together, go on regular dates.  A couple of years ago we noticed in the evenings when we have time together we would just veg in front of the TV.  We were acting more like roommates instead of spouses.  We both had to put a priority on spending active time together, not just co-existing.  In trying to change that, we discovered game called Monopoly Deal and we both LOVE to play it.  After the kids go to bed we put on some music, play the game and chat with each other.  It’s a great time to connect with each other.
Enjoy things together.  One thing we love to do together is watch Top Gear (the UK version of course!)  We both LOVE it.   Yes I am a wife who loves to watch Top Gear.  Why?  I have a general interest in cars but it’s not as much as my hubby.  I LOVE the show for the cinematography (cinematography is the way they capture scenes).  The lenses and high-speed cameras they use to capture a car going over 200 mph without blurring amazes me.  We often pause the show to comment on the amazing feats a car is accomplishing or an amazing shot that we wish we could replicate with our camera.
Don’t harbor bitterness or anger.  This is one of my biggest struggles.  When I get upset, I have a bad habit of keeping score of all the wrongs that person has done to me and I want to hold on to bitterness.  Ephesians 4:26-27 says ”Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.”   When I choose to talk to my hubby about what’s bothering me focusing on forgiving and finding a solution to the problem, I’m much less likely to harbor bitterness.  After all, hasn’t Jesus forgiven me of all the junk I’ve done?
Support their God-given purpose.  Right now my God-given purpose is to stay home and raise our two kids and help other women close to me.  My husband supports my purpose by providing for our family, giving me time to invest in other women, and giving me a break from mommy duties when I need it.
My hubby’s purpose now is to teach on multiple levels.  He teaches high school science and also teaches Sunday school.  He’s also built to encourage others.  I help support him in his purpose by helping him grade papers at night and giving him time with friends that need support.  We often have people over for dinner as a way to bless and encourage them.  This is a great example of God using our gifts together and it’s really fulfilling for both of us.
I hope this post was helpful to you!  What was the best marriage advice someone gave to you?

Monday, January 28, 2013

DIY Kitchen Island

Hello Bloggers!!

 I have recently shared how my husband and I bought a new home! I have had a lot of fun decorating our new house, but with that comes $$$$! There were several things that I wanted to do to our new home, but of course, everything comes with a price. I don't know about you, but I love doing projects and finding ways to save money. Pinterest has become a dear friend of mine. I love doing projects, but am not always the most crafty. God knew what he was doing when he put Michael and I together, because my husband is a pretty handy fella. He can do most anything, which is helpful considering my Pinterest addiction! Our new home was crying out for a kitchen island. We did some pricing, and found out that it can be quite pricey to buy one. You can buy a cheap kitchen island at your local Target, but they are not always sturdy. After much shopping, my husband and I decided to to build a kitchen island. We were able to save a couple hundred dollars doing it this way, and we knew it would be well built.

We found the cabinets at Home Depot. They were having a sale on their cabinets...SCORE! We bought the butcher block from Menards. It was cheaper than we thought it would be, that is always a nice surprise! We were going to order a custom counter top, but found it was cheaper to do butcher block, and I liked the look better. Michael and my father-in-law put the cabinets together, added bead board and built a shelving unit on the end of it as well as a towel rack. I did the painting. I have black rustic cabinets, so I wanted to play up a color in the kitchen. I decided red was a good color, and I played up red in other parts of the house. That is one of the perks of building it yourself, you can customize it how you want.  It took some time, but in the end we got our perfect kitchen island and saved some money. A good deal all around!! Below are a before and after picture of the island!

Go and have fun and make a project of your own and share! Would love to see the results!


Wednesday, January 23, 2013


It has been a while since I have blogged.... I went over to a family friend's house to help her start her blog, and decided it was time to post a blog of my own.

Here are some updates on what has been going on in our neck of the woods...

My husband and I moved to our new home out in the boondocks on January 1st. What a great way to start off the new year!! For those of you who know us, you know how we have wanted to be back to Southern Illinois for a couple of years now. We got married in 2008 and immediately moved to Springfield for my husband's job. We made some life long friendships and some great memories, but were very happy to find out back in March 2012 that my husband was getting transferred to the Carbondale office. We rented a duplex while looking for a permanent home. We found the perfect home for us back in October and am happy to say that we are all moved in and settled. It has been fun playing house. Here are a few pictures of our new home.

It has been a crazy start to 2013, but look forward to what the year holds!!