Garden

It’s been a couple of months since I last gave an update on our garden.  Come to think of it, I’m pretty sure I didn’t even list what we planted.  Bad blogger. ::hanging head in shame::
DSC_0374_edited-1
So far, some of our plants have begun to produce, which is really exciting, but it also means I’m about to be really busy harvesting, canning, freezing, and roasting.

DSC_0345_edited-1DSC_0347_edited-1


Our potatoes are completely ready to be harvested.  I’ve been slowly digging them up in the evenings.  It has been really hot and humid here for the last couple of weeks, making the mere notion of digging for potatoes, during the brunt of the afternoon sun, seem unappealing.
Our potatoes have bumps on them, which I will elaborate on in another post.
But until I go take a few more pictures (if it ever stops raining), I will list what we have planted.
Fruits:                                                   Herbs:
Strawberries                                         Basil
Blueberries                                           Thyme
Seedless Grapes                                 Sage
Tomatoes                                             Parsley
Vegetables:
Cucumbers     Sweet Texas Onions
Corn                Bell Peppers
Broccoli           Jalapenos
Fennel              Lettuce
Asparagus       Sunflowers
Artichokes       Potatoes
Spinach           Peas
Carrots           Garlic
I think that’s it! 
Later taters-Liz
Wait!  I have a lemon tree as well.  So blessed.

Does It Really Work? Living On Less Series

I’ve been making my own laundry detergent for two+ years now, and I’ve tried five different recipes, before landing on the one I’ve used for the last year.   

DSC_0324_edited-1

Because I get asked frequently, Does it really work, I figured I would answer it here.  YES!  It really works, it smells fabulous (You’ll see why in the ingredients), and it only takes 10 minutes to put together.  I don’t suggest washing your delicates; I feel you should stick with Woolite or the drycleaners for those, but for your everyday clothes…this is just as good as the store bought stuff, without the price. DSC_0317_edited-1

  A little bit of my experiences…

At first, I tried using the liquid kind, since I had always bought liquid detergent at the store.  However, the mess of it all, along with the goop it created once it hardened…I knew I had to try something else.  Then I tried another liquid recipe, but it was still a hassle to make and keep multiple jugs handy, etc.   

DSC_0327_edited-1Thus, began my hunt for the perfect dry laundry detergent.  Although all the recipes I found for it cleaned my clothes well, it always lacked that good smell.  Know what I mean?  Sure I added lavender extract, among others, but it wasn’t the same.  I also wanted a little extra cleaning boost…so, after many recipes and many trial and errors, I think I have finally perfected our laundry detergent, enough so, that I haven’t changed it since I created it one year ago.
DSC_0313_edited-1 laundry gallery_edited-1

Liz’s DIY Laundry Detergent
Makes roughly 8-10 cups
Here it is:
2 ivory soap bars (unscented, original)
2 cups of Borax
2 cups of Super Washing Soda
1 cup of regular baking soda
1 cup of Oxi Clean
1/2 – 1 cup of Downy Unstoppable Beads (optional) You can also use 3+ tablespoons of lavender extract.

Method:

Grate the Ivory soap using a cheese grater.   Then mix all the ingredients together and store in an air tight container.  I use a glass jar that I purchased from Walmart for $5.  And because it is humid here in the southeast, I made a rice sachet to place inside the jar to keep the detergent from clumping. 
Put about 1 Tablespoon per/load or adjust to size/dirtiness of load.  I usually sprinkle in 2 tablespoons though.
DSC_0339_edited-1To make the rice sachet, use some fabric, sock, or cheesecloth, and fill it with a little rice, then tie the loose ends together.

Annnnd, because I just can’t help it, here a few lovable outtakes…

DSC_0332DSC_0333DSC_0334DSC_0336

The Beach

Most of the time, I procrastinate writing a post because of the sheer amount of pictures I take, and my recent trip to the beach is one of those posts.  
And just so you know, I haaaaaate editing photos.  Even so, I like the finished photo after editing (usually), therefore, I pull on my big girl undies and got to work. (finally)
If you missed the beginning of our beach story, A Rough Start, you can read it here.
DSC_0128_edited-1



DSC_0176_edited-1
DSC_0174_edited-1DSC_0175_edited-1DSC_0184DSC_0234_edited-1DSC_0236_edited-1DSC_0240_edited-1DSC_0243_edited-1DSC_0244_edited-1DSC_0247_edited-1DSC_0257_edited-1DSC_0268_edited-1DSC_0272_edited-1DSC_0286_edited-1

DSC_0128_edited-1

DSC_0179_edited-1

DSC_0278_edited-1

My Boys

My boys…

They celebrated another year of life last month.  This is a very cliché saying, but it is true,  they really are growing up fast.  Especially my twelve year old!  The mere thought that I have a twelve year old, stresses my brain out.

 

I don’t really have any profound words to say about their birthdays, but the simple fact that I made their special day “feel” special is enough for me.  Especially since we combined their birthdays on Nathan’s, which happened to be the day before we left for our vacation.  It was an extremely hectic day. 

DSC_0092_edited-1

 

I also created the worlds best vanilla cake recipe ever… then I lost it.  Better yet, Scout lost it.   I call it, Scout’s black hole.   (we ate an entire sheet cake in one day b/c it was that good.  Over indulgent? Yes. But I assure you it was worth it. ) 

 

After I realized that the awesome recipe had been colored on, then disappeared, within 7 seconds, I had to break the news to my husband.  After the typical questions, like, why would you leave it laying out like that? were answered, I reassured him that it was all good!

DSC_0112_edited-1


Imagine me tapping the side of my head with my pointing finger convincing my husband, not to worry,  because I have it safely stored up here.

 

Thing is…I did NOT have it safely stored in my mind because the cake, while it looked edible, was the most disgusting thing I think I’ve ever made.  It all went into the trash.  Don’t ask where it went wrong, because I don’t know.  But what I do know, is that I need to retrieve my missing recipe from Scout’s black hole.  I MUST!

DSC_0086_edited-1

Luckily they were champs about it and enjoyed a mountain of donuts instead. 

Happy Birthday to the special boys in my life.  I love you.

-Mom

Crying Uncle

DSC_0014

This gem of a picture is Scout with my mascara on his face, which he also rubbed into the hallway carpet and the bedroom carpet.  (And I don’t mean just a little bit.  Think in terms of nearly the whole tube. it was a lot.) 

It is one of those days when I’m screaming uncle, early in the morning.  It was even bad when I woke up. Everything I try to do right, goes inadvertently wrong.  It is a snowball effect.  Since everything is (probably) going to go wrong, then I’m just going to wait this day out. 

For example, we had a stellar day, yesterday with potty training.  There were no accidents and he even did the big number 2 in the pot.  Today, he is purposely peeing in the floor because he finds it hilarious.  Instead of me fighting this lack of interest in using the potty, (which would result in me on my hands and knees all day, scrubbing spots out of the carpet), instead, I will be slapping a diaper on his bare bottom, and giving potty training a rest for the day.  I’m not going to fight it.

All three kids are behaving like this.  Everything that I ask my older son to do, he responds by doing it extra s-l-o-w-l-y, // insert my eye twitching // or I catch him playing instead of doing his school work.  You get the idea.

Rori.  She is in some sort of mood.  Screaming mood, to be exact.

SO, my little rant is over.  I’m over it.  Maybe it’s God’s way of telling me to take it easy, enjoy the day. 

Whatever.  I do hope that your day is going swimmingly well.

As for this post…it’s totally random, and unedited, which is a true view of how children really DO scramble their mother’s brain.

I’ve decided to link this post with Erin today

Message To The Sea

DSC_0242_edited-1

My son and I combed the sandy beach daily, looking for the biggest, and whole seashell.  Every time, we came up empty handed.  It was always the really small, broken, shells. My husband even went down at 5AM to search for them, but still, nothing
On our last night there, my son and I wrote a message to the sea, in hopes that when the high tide came in, it would take our letter with it, and in return, leave us a seashell.
DSC_0290_edited-1

To the sea,
Leave us a treasure while we sleep, so we may find it on mornings rise. –L&N
We never did find the seashell we were looking for, but it was certainly worth the try.
DSC_0268_edited-1



DSC_0234_edited-1

Finally Finished My Knitting Project…Successfully

This knitted hat that I am wearing is actually for my daughter, who is one.  Although it fits my head neatly, it’s actually a slouchy hat.  I wanted to take pictures of the hat on her, but when I finally dragged out my camera and its tripod, she had already fallen asleep.  So, it’s my head that you get to see as the model.  Ha!  Although, I think it looks much cuter on, Rori. 
And just to say this, it is much harder to take photos of yourself than I imagined.  I give major kudos to all the bloggers and models who make it look easy!

knitted hat complete 3knitted hat complete

yarn along linkup 3yarn along linkup 3-4


After the horrible experience from the first hat I tried to knit, it was a relief to have finished this one, and have it look decent.  As for the hat that had a terrible beginning and ending, I’m trying that same pattern again, hence the above photo of the gray yarn.  I’ve procrastinated with this one so far.  Hopefully my creative juices will start flowing again, giving me the umpf I’m needing to start my clicking my needles together.
The book I decided to read, The House On Oyster Creek, was a book I was excited about reading.  So much so, I talked about it frequently to my husband, who politely smiled and nodded at my enthusiasm.  He doesn’t understand my excitement for new books. 
Sadly, the book has been very disappointing.  The tone just doesn’t set well with me, and the descriptions seem to drone on and on.  I’m going to push through another couple of chapters to see if it picks up before I decide to take it back to the library.
So, if you want to see waaaaay better knits, then head over to see Ginny, at Small Things.
Anyway, do any of you knit?  Want to knit?  I would love to see your projects, just leave me your link in the comments below!

during the month of may

may recap edited-1

I tried my best to blog every day in May, but it just wasn’t happening.  I’m sorry.  However, I hope that a few of the posts I did write, helped you to know me a little better.
Here are a few of the most popular posts in May.
That Time My Car Door Fell Off
Defining What I Do
A Rough Start
Grilled Chicken Marinade
Sabbatical
If you want to read all the posts from May, click here, here, here, and here!  That was a lot of here’s.
Until next time,
Liz