Homemade Laundry Detergent

Today I tried a recipe for making homemade laundry detergent. It was very easy and super cheap, considering the cost of laundry detergent. It costed roughly $6.00.

You will need:

1 box of Borax
1 box of Washing Soda
1 bar of soap (any kind)
A grater
A large pot, bigger than 2 gallons
A funnel
A long spoon for stirring
2 (1) gallon jugs

Grate the bar of soap into the pot.

Fill the pot with one gallon of water and boil until soap dissolves.

Add Borax and Washing Soda.

Stir WELL! The Borax and Washing Soda will settle on the bottom of the pot and it will dissolve, but you don't want it to burn before dissolving.

The mixture will begin to coagulate. This means it will thicken on top like a blood clot.

Turn off the heat and add one galling of cold water (you will now have a total of 2 gallons in the pot).

When it cools, fill both 1 gallon jugs with the detergent you made. It helps to use the funnel when doing this step.

Generally, you will use about a half of a cup for each load, but everyone washes differently.

The mixture may thicken within 24 hours. Sometimes if it is too thick for your taste, you can use half a bar of soap in the next batch. Most likely, it won't create many (if any) suds when washing, but IT DOES CLEAN!

Feel free to email me with questions: PropDropAndRoll@gmail.com




Ants on a Log

Here is a fun little crafty snack for kids to make.

You will need:

Celery
Peanut Butter
Raisins

*Cut the celery into little logs
*Spread p b down the middle
*Line with raisins

It looks like ants on a log!

Super fun and creative way to get kids into veggies!

Think before you judge

I just wanted to share something I found. It speaks volumes!

Judging others does not define who they are. It defines who you are.

Faith vs Fear

Let your faith be bigger than your fear.

Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death.

Ok, ok! So I know I've gotta get my camera out of storage so I can get some better blog pics (sadly, I've been using my iPhone) since so much is still boxed away from the move. But this is kind of a fun new challenge, having to work with what I have. It goes along with my personal bible study, which I can talk about later. Anyway...

So, for some time now I've been on a journey of spiritual growth. I have turned into a Christian who (for many years) lived my life for me. Or to be more accurate, I was living my life for other people. What I should have been doing was living my life for GOD! I worked with what I had and for a long time, God wasn't something that seemed within my reach. People. Things. They pushed and pulled me away. I let them. I didn't know how to stop it. I didn't know I needed to. And over the past year, I really and truly began to struggle the most. Because that is when I came to see that my life needed to change. See, sometimes, the problem with faith is fear. And sometimes, the harder you try to hold onto it, there will be something there pushing and pulling you away. Whether its people, possessions, jobs, choices... Satan comes after us when he knows we are weak and vulnerable and especially when he sees our faith is shaken, so let's not rule him out...

Let me stop and clear something up (because I've had to do this in the past):

I'm not perfect. I'm not claiming to be the Virgin Mary and I'm not making a public statement claiming I do no wrong. NO ONE is perfect! I read something once that said "I can't brag about my love for God because I fail him daily, but I can brag about his love for me because it never ends!". Well, I too fail him daily. And I'm not one of these people who sit around quoting scriptures and throwing up the fact that "I'm a Christian", all the while using those words to do more harm than good. It's like checking into the gym on Foursquare, when technically the ice cream shop next door, where you really are, has no parking spots available.

I have known people who use "being a Christian" as a means of causing pain and destruction in the lives of others. Really? Is that what God is all about? Does he want his people to hurt others out of bitterness and anger? What about forgiveness? Love? Mercy? Compassion? Isn't that what God is about, and isn't that what he wants out of us as Christians? That being said, a year ago I sat down and had a long talk with God (he didn't talk back, in case you are wondering...not verbally anyway). I promised to give my life to him and to make some changes. And it has been a slow process. I've had some bumps. Hurdles. Earthquakes. Lol. There have been times I get angry and rant and rave and cuss. But the biggest struggles I have are forgiveness, and trust.

FORGIVENESS: I'm not going to quote any scriptures right now. I'm talking from my own heart and mind. And opinion. I have had many things happen in my life and I have had many people do things that were wrong. Some things have been unforgivable. Or they were up until I started trying to readjust my spiritual compass. Now, I think of all the bad things I've done and all the things God has forgiven me for. Why can't I forgive others? It is hard considering some of the things I've been through. But I believe spiritual growth never ends. And some of us need a little more work than others. It is SO tempting to mistreat others when they do the same to me. Really? Is it worth it? Is it what God wants?

I struggle. But I get by.

TRUST: It took a lot, but I was finally able to admit something. I have a hard time trusting others because I've been let down so much, it has been almost impossible to put my trust in God. I caught myself saying "if I can't rely on a real live person, how can I rely on God when I can't see him or hear him? Why would I put my trust in what's not here, when the things that are here have shredded my trust to pieces?". I am finding this part is harder than forgiveness. But, I'm learning to let go, let God, and just breathe!

So back to the part about finding it hard to keep the faith, and things pulling you away... I have trust issues. I have a hard time forgiving because I've seen people do things that are unforgiveable. I have let things and people discourage me. I have had some personal struggles over the past few years, and I let them get the best of me emotionally and mentally. It affects my self-confidence and my belief in myself. That in turn affects my belief in God. I took the "Love Language" test, and my language is "Words of Affirmation". So, what, have I been waiting on someone to come and compliment me out of my black hole? God isn't in there running around with a flash light searching for an electrical socket. He's there, waiting on me to TRUST that even in the darkest times, he will guide me!

Our faith has to stay strong. It has to be big. Bigger than our fear. We have to know and believe that God Is with us, guiding us. We can't fear anything. We will, naturally, as humans. But fear is defeatable. And replaceable:

Was: I can't trust God because I fear he will let me down.

Is: I will put my trust in God and have faith that he will guide me.

I still have a long journey ahead of me...

AllYourTexts - Access SMS

Not long ago I was in DESPERATE need of getting some text messages off of my iPhone and onto a computer so they could be printed. Obviously, forwarding each one would not keep them in order by date. And taking a screenshot is only good if you have a few messages to access. What about if you've got, say 300 pages of texts (once added to a Word document)? Yep! That was me.

I searched everywhere, and even tried a few little freebie tools (none of which worked, btw). I'm not one for downloading too much onto my pc, or for paying a ton of money for programs that aren't likely to work. Luckily, I found www.AllYourTexts.com.

AllYourTexts is a program that allows you to view texts messages from your iPhone onto your pc. They have graphs, and work with all versions of both windows and the iPhone! The best part is that there's a free trial program, which lets you do a test run.

I found AllYourTexts easy to navigate and understand. There were no overly detailed and confusing formulas for converting the dates and times of the text convos (like I've seen on other programs). The software broke them down by names, and the texts stayed in order by date! On almost every google search or tech forum I ran across, other programs had complaint after complaint, people wanted refunds, couldn't get the program to work, etc. I didn't find a single problem with AllYourTexts and I can say I was very satisfied with my use of the program. Do I recommend this to anyone? I recommend it to everyone with an iPhone!


Easy Chicken Quesadillas

We made chicken quesadillas from a really easy recipe we found online...

Mexican food is our favorite! Bean loves "shells", which are flour shells for tortillas, burritos, etc. She had been asking for a cheese quesadilla, and so the search was on for a recipe (I'd never made them and I have to admit I can only cook a small number of things...but I try, and I take every opportunity I can to learn something new).

The recipe called for:

Olive oil
Flour quesadilla shells
Mozzarella cheese
Olives
Bell peppers
Shredded chicken

We had:

Butter
Vegetable oil
Flour tortilla shells
Shredded Swiss cheese
Shredded chicken

The olive oil was replaced with butter and vegetable oil. The shells were placed in a skillet and cooked with the butter and vegetable oil, for a few minutes on each side (I cooked them a little too long as you can see, because I was using a stove that I wasn't familiar with). You can either use one shell and fold it over like an omelette, or you can sandwich it in between two shells. Whichever you choose, the items you've selected for your quesadilla go in between the shells (again, like a sandwich). A friend said she's made them tons of times, and they get creative with theirs. You can add whatever you want. Rice, beans, onion, steak, corn, etc.

We let them cool, popped a dollop of sour cream on top, and they were delish!

Dollar Tree Bird Feeders

The Dollar Tree has come a long way (IMO). Maybe it's the fact that I'm older and more conservative. Or maybe I finally woke up one day and realized I was missing out on a lot of good stuff! Whatever it was, I love The Dollar Tree.

www.DollarTree.com

Today I stopped to get TP (toilet paper). They have a 4 pack, and we got 2, which was basically 8 rolls for $2.00. Toilet paper is one of those things that depends on Who has it for sale, When, and How cheap it is. I wasn't really in the mood to brave the crowds at Wal-Mart. So The Dollar Tree was my first choice.

Where was I? Oh, yes! I found these simple yet adorable bird feeders. Of course, they only had 4, so I scooped them all up! They are clear plastic, easy to assemble, and include a hanger. They would be great for craft projects, gifts (for the gardener or bird watcher), or even just to give the kids something fun to do. I plan on putting mine outside near the garden. We have a TON of birds in our yard. Blue Jays and Mockingbirds. They are so mean to our cats, mostly Tiger. That poor kitty takes a beating from those birds. Literally. They scream and fly down low, sometimes getting close enough to claw him.

The cats refuse to defend themselves. And the birds get rewarded with new feeders. Lol

Next, I'll share an easy way to store AND pour bird feed!

The Children's Place

Today we went to The Children's Place for the second time this week. I've always enjoyed going there, regardless of whether it was to shop or browse! The staff is always friendly no matter what locations I've visited. The sales and clearance racks rock. And I also get email notifications from them when there's a new "monster sale" or a big clearance on select items.

The purpose in both visits was to:

introduce my mother to the store (which she was more than pleased with, especially after years of buying children's clothes at Wal-Mart for about the same price)...

and to grab up some uniforms with the coupon codes I've been getting in my email. Their uniforms clothes are currently 25% off and the email coupons we had were for an additional 15% off. However, we used the 20% off that we got from the survey link on our last receipts, so the 25% combined with the 20% was an amazing deal!

Most of their uniform clothes are way too big for Bean, so I had to get her some shorts from the toddler section. That's the only problem I've ever run across with The Children's Place. The 4T skirts, pants and shorts were almost 2 inches too wide, and that's the smallest sizes they had in their school uniform section. No major complaint from me though, since we were able to get tops (and toddler shorts, lol).

Bean has been collecting abandoned change and she's also been getting an allowance for being good. Since she wanted something extra for herself, I told her if she had the money then I'd gladly let her get something. After a long decision making process, she picked out a bracelet that was on clearance, used one of my 15% off coupons, and paid the cashier for her purchase before saying "Thank you!", all without being asked. I am so proud of her for that. She said she's ready to start learning to use money, and even though she's young I think it is a great opportunity to allow her that little sense of freedom while instilling responsibility and discipline in her. We had a discussion about living within our means and not going over-budget. We will see how this journey unfolds. I think she will do great!

Life in slow motion

I know I stopped posting, and plan to start back soon. Me and Bean moved and it's been a slow process getting set up and all. It's actually been a great experience for us both. We ended up at a place we never thought we'd be, in circumstances we never wanted to be on, but things are going good.

I've found me a Pinterest playground and have already started my DIY experiments. Some of which have been a fire pit, and homemade lanterns (pics to come). For now, I want to share a few pics of the beautiful Lake Columbia that my little sister brought me to today. It's a gorgeous backdrop but it's filled with gators. Lol

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