Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Has it REALLY Been That Long?!

Once again, I've abandoned blogging for a ridiculous amount of time. I haven't given up on the counting of my blessings though! So many times during the day I'll find more and more things to be thankful for and think for a fleeting moment, "Hey, I haven't blogged in forever" Then the moment passes because someone poops or breaks something, or needs something and I go about my business. Poopy diapers and sweeping up broken glass? I was made for this motherhood stuff. I've been so wrapped up in being a stay at home mommy and wife that blogging just seems less important. I will say though, in the crafting department, I have been a very busy bee. I've gotten a few requests for tutorials, so here's a sneak preview of what I've been up to the last few months. Hopefully tutorials will follow soon (like... less than 3 months before my next post this time!).
When DIY Goes Bad- Turning a Fail into Fabulous!

 Sock Elephants!

 Making the most random and ridiculous hairbows

 Did I Do That?! Cheats for painting a mural.

 Nail Art Redemption and a DIY Photo Booth!

 Halloween Decorations for FREEEEEEEEE!

 Mod Podge Pumpkins

 Putting a Musical Spin on the Dining Room Ceiling

Infinity Scarf Pattern

...and that's not even everything! So see, I have been keeping busy with things other than blogging :)
Fingers crossed I can get the first tutorial up before the end of the week!

Thursday, August 9, 2012


61. My baby boy's tushie in BIG BOY UNDERWEAR!
62. Joshua's dimple
63. Sparkly nailpolish
64. Finding awesomeness at the thrift store
65. Naps on the beach
66. Trips to the zoo
67. Perler beads
68. Knowing what I'm making for dinner
69. Braids
70. Sleep
71. Bows
72. Laughing at TV with my family
73. Talking about books with my husband
74. Silly dancing with my Benjer
75. My niece's creativity
76. My nephew being a helper
77. Rejoicing when I can't sleep
78. Q-tips (seriously, I couldn't live without them)
79. Wicker baskets
80. Lilies
81. Blanket forts
82. Sock slippers
83. Surprises
84. Chick Corea (long story)
85. Records
86. Spray Paint
87. Laundry hot out of the dryer
88. Getting everything on my list at the grocery store and being way under budget
89. The way Benjamin says "Marshmallows"
90. Catching the sunset over the water by coincidence

Corners: The Hallway

Our 3 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms are all down this hallway. This long, dust-bunny attracting hallway. With the lack of wall space in the living room, a lot of stuff ended up getting hung up here. I've mentioned before that when I moved in with Josh, there was nothing on the walls. Even though his walls were naked, he did have a lot of art hanging around waiting to be framed and hung. Here are some of my favorites...
Okay, so this one isn't courtesy of Joshua, but still. It's the entrance to Benjamin's room. One of my favorite photos of us (thank you, Renee!) from his newborn photo shoot and a giant B I found at Kohl's on clearance when I was pregnant with him. Oh, and the thermostat. Lest we forget the thermostat.
This Invisible Monsters poster isn't technically part of our hallway. It hangs just outside the kitchen (hello, orange!). It's one of Josh's favorite books and it's the first book I read at his recommendation. It reminds me of when we were first dating, so of course, it makes me smile.

This one is another print from Kevin Tong who also did our Invisible Monsters poster. This one has some metallic gold ink in it- so pretty when the light hits it just right.

This one hangs right across from our main bathroom door. Who doesn't want to be greeted by Neko Case after a morning potty?!

My mom hates this one. She calls it "the dirty picture" due to the visible side boob. It's by one of our favorite artists, Tara McPherson. We have her illustrations hiding in random places around the house. Stickers on Nalgene bottles, screensavers on our massive computer, her coffee table book... she's amazing.  Josh also have a set of limited edition original prints but I refuse to hang them (visible naughty bits and all). So they live safely tucked away in our linen closet, haha.

And here's where it starts to get a little messy...
I plastered one large section of wall with a ton of mismatched frames. A lot of them came from Josh's Dad (thanks, Dad!). In this pic, you can see Father Farnworth's Navy photo and under that him with cutie baby Josh.

When my Papa died, I acquired a bunch of family photos. Photos of my ENTIRE family from the early 80's and early 90's (I need to frame a picture of all of us from our family reunion a few years ago). I also snagged some large prints of my family of 4's pictures. This end is just outside our bedroom door. Every morning I'm  greeted by my family's smiling faces and 90's fashion. I'm so thankful for the family I have. I have a special place in my heart for my Aunt & Uncle in California and my cousins in Vegas. So many excellent memories. Seeing these photos every morning always seems to dig up a new one. Also a fav on this side is the picture of Father Farnworth holding baby Joshua up by a foot- like a fish.

I've thought about painting all the frames to match (maybe white), but so far it's just one of those things I haven't gotten around to.

And last but not least, when I said there were owls in every room of our house, the hallway is no exception. This is a layered collage I made when I was pregnant with Ben. You can't really see the detail (thanks, iPhone) but I promise it's cuter than it looks in the photo.

And that's it! Our bookshelves also live in our hallway but I didn't take any pictures because they are overflowing with books. Literally. I need to clean them out. Again. Both Josh and I had insane collections of books. After combining them and purging what we were willing to part with, we still ended up with a ton of books in our storage unit and more in the house than our shelves can accommodate. Perhaps we need to watch an episode of Hoarders and try cleaning it out again. Either way, our kids will be inheriting some pretty awesome books when they're older.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Yarn Art

I've been seeing a lot of this online lately...
So cute. (By the way, this image came from this tutorial). The other day, I decided to make my own and learned a few things in the process. I started out with a piece of wood that has been sitting in our carport FOREVER.
It's part of a desk we dismantled and has been collecting cobwebs and all kinds of nasty. I gave it a quick clean with a paper towel and some cleaning product and spray painted it with a can of blue paint I already had on hand. I freehanded a heart on it with a pencil and it was super lopsided, so I put several pieces of paper on the board, taped them together so it was the same size as the board, folded it in half and cut the heart out. After taping the heart down, I grabbed a box of nails and started hammering away. Next, of course comes the yarn. The finished product looks like this:
To be honest, I am not super stoked with how it turned out. Because I only used supplies I had on hand, it was free. However, next time I attempt something like this, I will do the following things differently...

1. USE MORE NAILS! A free project has some drawbacks. When it came to nails, I had a limited number so when I used them all, that was it.
2. Use shorter nails. I had to be careful not to hammer through the wood since my nails were pretty long.
3.  Use more yarn. Yarn I have in abundance but once the nails were out of room for twisting, I had to cut the yarn short and call it good.
4. Keep tweaking my template until I LOVE it. My heart looks wonky instead of the cute one I had envisioned.

Over all, I want to try this project again. I don't know that I'll take this one apart when I have more wood and I want to use different nails and a different template anyway. This is one that will have to wait for one of my stretches of solitude. Hammer + nails usually doesn't = toddler friendly. Especially when you have a toddler that loves tools AND helping.


41. My Divorce
42. Fake Mustaches
43. Too many pairs of sunglasses
44. Finding things I forgot I had
45. Grass on bare feet
46. Painted toenails before they get chipped
47. Benjamin's eyelashes
48. The way Joshua's eyes change colors
49. Snuggling under the covers on cloudy days
50. Benjamin's tiny hand absentmindedly tickling my arm
51. High fives
52. Jumping on the trampoline and not peeing my pants
53. Welcoming my husband home after work with a hug, a clean house and a hot dinner
54. Couple's Devotions with Joshua
55. Yarn
56. Awesome thrift store finds on half price day
57. Chocolate
58. The first cup of coffee in the morning
59. Sleeping in
60. Conversations with toddlers

Monday, August 6, 2012

The D Word

First of all, I would like to say that as a Christian woman, I'm not an advocate for divorce. I would go as far as saying I don't believe in divorce either, but being a divorced woman, that seems a little hypocritical. But I do want to talk about divorce. Not the events that lead up to mine; that is a very painful and very personal story.

I've been asked before if I knew then what I know now if I would go through it again, make the same choice. My answer, without hesitation, is "In a heartbeat." The time span from the day I left my ex-husband to the day we signed final paperwork was over two years. Two of the most hellacious, joyful, life changing years of my life. I became a mother. I met the man of my dreams. I cried a lot. I worried a lot. I learned a lot. And best of all, I rebuilt my broken heart and broken life around Jesus.

One of the things I learned was to throw my expectations about people out the window. People you trust will let you down. People you expect negativity from will surprise you. Coming from a Christian family, I expected a lot of criticism when word got out. I don't know if it's because my family knew what I had gone through in my marriage or if it's just because they love me, but I received a ridiculous amount of love and support. I remember being so nervous seeing my Papa for the first time when I moved back to Washington. I was preparing myself for a lecture. Instead, I just got a hug. He held me while I sobbed and just said, "You did the right thing, baby. " It was exactly what I needed to hear. When I miss him the most, I remember that moment.

While my family and friends were supportive, I have run into my fair share of scrutiny. There were a lot of rumors. From the ridiculous (No, I did NOT poop on the floor of my house before moving out to spite my ex- seriously, I heard that one more than once), to the expected (No, I did not have an affair). While I was certainly not blameless in the situation, I don't think I heard one rumor that was even a shadow of the truth. I think the most surprising thing is the comments from the beloved "peanut gallery". Those comments that are said near you, but never to you- that judgemental sweep of the eye to make sure you heard what was said from someone who knows very little about you and nothing about your situation (except of course, the fact that you are indeed divorced). Several months ago, I encountered just that. The comment (which was almost more of a full on speech) was something to the effect of that the person was proud of the people in their family for not getting divorced and feeling sorry for people (like me) who felt that path was ever an option. Wow. I am still thanking God for giving me the grace to stay silent in that moment. You should've heard the internal dialogue happening in my brain; although I'm sure it was burning red hot on my face at the time.

The reason I bring all this up is blessings. If you've been reading, you know I'm actively counting my blessings with the goal of counting up to 1,000. I count my divorce as a blessing. And so it seems less odd when it pops up on my list, I'm going to explain. God delivered me. Changed me. Saved me by His mercy and grace. Someone once explained to me the difference between mercy and grace in a way I've never forgotten. Mercy is God holding back from us the things we deserve as sinners. Grace is God giving us that which we don't deserve. I have received a lot of both in my life. One of the reasons I will forever be thankful for the experience of divorce is the overwhelming appreciation it's given me for the life I have now. It's not hard to count my blessings because I see them everywhere. I know what I want. More importantly, I know what my worth is in Christ Jesus. I know that I never, ever want to experience going through a divorce with Joshua.

I will admit, I am still recovering. I am still healing. I am still praying every day to be flooded with forgiveness and brotherly love for the people surrounding those circumstances that made a difficult situation almost unbearable. But most of all, I'll say it again, I am thankful for the experience. Thankful for the ways it changed me.

And now, the PSA portion. Marriage is hard. No matter how much you love someone, sometimes it is hard. If anyone thinks divorce is an "easy way out," I'm sorry, but that person has not experienced it. At least not in the way I did. In my opinion, staying in a bad relationship, no matter how toxic, would be easier. It is hard to imagine the level of torment you go through during a divorce if you haven't been through it. It is not a decision to be taken lightly. It took me YEARS to make it for myself. Before you even utter the words out loud, go to counseling. Talk to someone you trust. Be honest with yourself. And above all, pray. Pray without ceasing. And understand that even after it's over, it will still be difficult. Make absolutely sure you have exhausted every other option first and be prepared for the consequences. They will be many.

I am by no means an expert on divorce. This is just a piece of my story. And although I feel exposed (and relieved that very few people actually read my blog), it feels good to tell it.

Lastly, I'm going to share a scripture that I repeated over and over and over when things were the hardest. It is etched on my heart and I still say it to myself pretty frequently. As comfort goes, it's better than a pint of Ben and Jerry's.

Be joyful always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. -I Thessalonians 5:16-18

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Corners... The Kitchen (or- That's A LOT of Orange)

Our kitchen is orange. And when I say orange, I mean ORANGE. Take a look...

 It was that way when Josh bought the house and he loves it. I have to say it's grown on me. It's certainly not my least favorite thing about our kitchen. I have a lot of complaints about our kitchen. Mostly the pitiful storage space. Of course immediately after I moved in, I started plastering things on the walls.
I found these wooden signs YEARS ago. When I moved back to Washington from California, I literally left with my clothes, some of my craft supplies, my dogs and some stuff off of the walls. These signs made the cut. I love them. I found them at Ross for super cheap.
This is another Ross find from before my move. 49 cents. Seriously. It's made out of aluminum I think. I heart it.
This bad boy is another Flatstock find. We still need to get it framed. Until we do, it hangs out on the side of our refrigerator.
These ceramic measuring cups are another Ross find. I got these shortly before I moved in with Josh because they would match the orange walls. They live on top of our microwave and I use them often.
Since we have really pitiful storage, as I mentioned, we picked up one of these magnetic strips from Ikea for our knives. The orange clock was here when I moved in. It is almost exactly the color of the walls. I call the orange knife "the camouflage one." It makes me giggle.
Owls in every room of our house. No really, every room. This guy hangs out on the oven handle. Thanks, Kohl's.
And... my plants! I have a notoriously black thumb but my mom gave me both the hanging plant and the potted plants in the windowsill a few years ago and they are still alive! Wahoo!! Another thing I don't exactly love about my kitchen? The view from the kitchen window is into our neighbor's sun room/junk room. Gorgeous.

So, not the perfect kitchen by any means but we're making it work. For all of the faults it has, there are things I love about it. I have learned to love cooking meals in this kitchen so no matter where we end up, I have a feeling I will always have fond memories of it. Orange and all.

Countin' 'Em Up

21. The thomp of my child's feet on the hardwood floors
22. Date night with my husband
23. Really good sushi
24. Cold movie theaters on hot days
25. Every word my kid makes up ("huggle" is my favorite, although "pig-goat" is also a good one)
26. My dog Marley's face
27. Successfully making breakfast in bed for my husband without waking him before it's ready
28. Freshly mopped floors
29. Inside jokes
30. My sister Jenna's laugh
31. My niece Luci's hair
31. My nephew Wyatt's teeth
32. My brother's beard (!)
33. How no matter how old I get, my Daddy's hands always seem huge
34. My Momma's hugs
35. Tiny kitten Emilio's eyes
36. Charlie cat's purr
37. Memories of my grandparents
38. The sound of my lawn being mowed
39. Learning new things about my husband
40. Bedtime prayers as a family

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Ode to Cats

Last October we welcomed a new member to the Farnworth family in honor of Josh's 12th birthday (if he teases me about being old, I get to tease him about being young). We got Charlie Sheen when he was about 8 weeks old from a shelter in Anacortes.
Cute little booger, right?! Benjamin LOVES him like crazy.
Fast forward 7 months and Charlie has gotten HUGE. Josh loves tiny kitties (because he's so manly) and a friend of ours rescued a really tiny kitty around the time we got Charlie. Josh fell in love with her. That tiny kitty, who is still really tiny had kittens. Yesterday we picked one up and brought him home. Meet Emilio Estevez!
He is 5 weeks old and so tiny and cute... and feisty! It was love at first bite for Josh

Emilio has been enjoying getting cuddles from the 3 of us.
It is so funny  to watch him play with Charlie. I couldn't get a good picture, but just so you get the size comparison...
Crazy, right? Of course we're making sure our big Charlie boy is getting lots of lovin to help with the transition. So far, so good! As for our doggie, Marley seems like she could care less about the new addition. She's still sweet as ever.

1,000 Gifts

I started reading 1,000 Gifts this week and it's given me a lot to think about! I'm about half way through and decided to start keeping my own list of gifts or blessings or things that just make me smile. I certainly have a lot to be thankful for. We'll see how long it takes me to blog it to 1000! And so it begins... in no particular order.

1. The sound of Benjamin snoring
2. My husband's kisses
3. Making pancakes in the morning
4. The weight of the cat on my lap
5. Sunny, windy days like today
6. Playful kitten bites on my fingers
7. Bubble baths
8. The fringe on my dog's tail
9. Watching my baby sleep
10. Being in the middle of a Farnworth Family sandwich
11. Sticky syrup kisses from Benjamin
12. Fresh baked bread
13. The smell of the library
14. Sand in my shoes after a day at the park
15. Wax melting on the stove
16. Delicious dinners made with love
17. Quarters in the bottom of the washing machine
18.  Listening to Benjamin speak for his toys
19. Every single time my tiny uses his manners without prompting
20. Getting the giggles

Friday, July 20, 2012

Corners: Master Bedroom

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens...

Posters from Flatstock and soft bright blue linens

Art from the thrift store and gnomes painted green

These are a few of my favorite things!

Sometimes I wish I had it in me to make our home look like a page out of a Pottery Barn or West Elm catalog. The truth is, both my husband and I are far too sentimental for that. I'm not saying you can't combine sentiment and designer style, but our tastes are a little more... random I guess would be a nice way of saying it. Benjamin has demanded to watch Ice Age "in the big bed" for the last couple of days. While he laughed at the movie and crunched popcorn in our bed, I took a few pictures of some of my favorite things hiding around our bedroom.

This is the top of our dresser under our TV which is mounted to the wall. The frame was a wedding gift from one of my employees and although it's not really 100% my style, it was so sweet of her. It sat on my desk until I quit my job. I have 2 fortunes taped to it- the first says, "You or a close friend will be married within a year" (I got that one shortly before Josh proposed to me!) and the other says "Family is more important than money" (I got that one right before I quit my job!). The photo is one of my favorites from our wedding day with my handsome groom sporting his fake 'stache. The little white owl on the left is one Joshy made for me during a rainy Craft-a-palooza weekend at home. The larger owl is one we scored at Target. So stinkin' cute.

Date gnomes! These also live on our dresser. We painted them on one of our dates and then took them out with us on a few adventures. They love to travel.  Josh's is the one that looks like Santa lol.

I found these rascals at the thrift store for $0.75 on half price day. Not sure why, but I love them. Perhaps because they drive Charlie crazy.

This is one of my favorite posters in the house. Benjamin points to it often and says, "That's you, Momma and that's you, Daddy. You're dancing. You love it." So cute.

This is the other side of awesome on our wall over our bed. I gave the giant frame to Josh as a gift fairly early in our relationship. It has some of my favorite pictures of our family in it. To the right of that is a sweet Iron & Wine poster (also from Flatstock). It is aqua and lime green and tan and orange and all kinds of crazy colors. I would actually really like to paint our room to match it but I think my husband might kill me. Plus, I hate to paint so that solves that!

Hands down, one of my most prized possessions. Can you tell that's a framed crossword puzzle under the clock? It's the crossword that Josh used to propose to me. It makes me smile every time I look at it.

So there they are, a couple of nooks and crannies that make me happy!

Socially Awkward

After many months of "church hopping" Joshua and I have finally found the right church for our family. For the last 3 weeks we've been attending Grace Community. It has been really nice! I was pleasantly surprised to find out on that first Sunday that there were several people there that we both already knew. That makes it a little easier. I'm not sure when it happened or if it's always been this way and I'm just now noticing it, but I have become seriously socially awkward. I get mildly nervous when meeting new people, but nervousness doesn't seem to be the problem. The problem is my mind goes totally blank. Seriously. It's awful. For example, a couple of weeks ago Josh and I took Ben to a playground that happened to be deserted at the time. Another mom rolled up with 2 kids in a stroller and I froze. After 20-ish minutes or so, we were both pushing our kids on the swings. She asked me how old Ben was. I answered and then instead of doing the logical thing, like asking how old her kids were, I blurted out, "Sorry! I'm really awkward with meeting new people!" She looked at me like I was nuts. And didn't say another word to us. I wanted to crawl into the sandbox and let Ben bury me but to my dismay, there was no sandbox. True story.

Anyway, one of the people I immediately recognized at church was the older sister of my best friend Lacey. She was so sweet and last Sunday she invited us to go to a beach day this week with other moms and kids from church. One of the most important things to Josh and I when we were looking for church was finding somewhere where we could have fellowship with other people who are in similar life situations who shared our faith. So, although I was terrified nervous, I went so Ben could meet some kids and I could meet some moms. True to form, I was awkward. Like, I broke a kid's sand shovel awkward. I was quiet and couldn't think of anything to say. I wished more than once that I was more like my social butterfly of a husband with new people. After we left I started thinking about Lacey and why I love her so much. In the course of my short lifetime, I've been called a few names. Some good and some not so nice, but I think the one that is the most common (and the most accurate) is "quirky." I think that's the secret to my awkwardness. I realized that the people I get along with best are the ones that accept appreciate me for my quirk. It's even better if they are a kindred spirit and quirky in their own way.

So I've decided to let it all hang out. To do my best to be myself with strangers, no matter how nervous I get. And this is scary. Because being myself means being loud and obnoxious and making jokes when there is a 50/50 chance that I will be the only one laughing. I should also mention that everyone at the play group was very nice. Wish me luck for next week!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Something Different

While my precious husband put Ben to bed so I could take a leisurely soak in the bathtub with a book (HEAVEN), I started thinking about laundry detergent again. Seriously. And something occurred to me. This blog is mostly quick updates and pleasantries. I used to LOVE to write. I was passionate about it. I would sit and write all kinds of narratives and stories when I had free time. Then it seemed like I had less and less free time. Then it became something that wasn't okay for me to have because it was just for me. And I gave up. I just stopped. It wasn't worth the fight any more. And over the years I would think about starting to write again, but I still just didn't; even though I had an awful lot to write about that would probably make me feel a whole lot better. But, those are not the stories that you share. While I was in the tub thinking about laundry detergent it occurred to me the reason why I was writing about laundry detergent. That's exactly the moment I realized, I have something else to write about. Dude.

You'll see from my infrequent blog posts prior, we recently became a one income household when I quit my full time job to stay home with our beautiful son and take care of our home. Today is the first day I've really realized what a huge change this is for us. We didn't take the decision lightly. We talked about it for MONTHS. I started feeling more and more strongly that my kid needed a whole lot more from me than what he was getting. One of the days I was talking about the decision with a friend over Chinese food, my fortune cookie said, "Family is more important than money". I went home that night and told my husband that I had decided I wanted to stay home and quit my job. His response? "I was just waiting for you to be ready". I cannot gush enough over what an incredible man I married. He worked out our budget anticipating where we would have to cut back. Primarily, the "fun stuff" part of our existing budget. We were living comfortably. Not rolling in the money by any means, but we could afford to do all kinds of random trips. Last minute road trips. Overnight trip to Seattle just because. Concerts. Regularly eating at nice restaurants. We knew all of this would change when we lost almost half of our income. Yes. Close to HALF.

So that's what I have to write about now. This is a huge lifestyle change for us. Which brings us back to the laundry detergent. Over the last couple of years, I have been spending a lot of money on laundry detergent. I have been spending a lot of money on unnecessary things. And now that I have a household budget that I'm responsible for (Josh still does all of our bills, hallelujah! I get a chunk of money out of Josh's paychecks for grocery shopping, buying toys or clothes for Ben, etc.), I'm a lot more careful with how I spend it. It never would have occurred to me to try to make my own laundry detergent before. But now I not only have the time, but also the incentive.

I didn't say what I had to write about was all that interesting, but still, it's something to write about. Word.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

All Kinds of Everything

What crazy weather we've had this week! It has been so beautiful and sunny and all the things I love about living in the Northwest. And then BAM! thunder and lightning which I love almost as much as the sunny days. The grey outside makes for a perfect day of staying inside and watching the lightning. Today was extra delightful because my big brother came over and gave me a hand with my continued preparation for the Farmer's Market. It's sorta late in the season but I'm hoping to be ready by the week after next. That means a lot more product to make and a lot of time for experimenting! Matt and I had a great time mixing up some new concoctions. He even made his own fragrance of solid perfume. I cannot begin to describe how happy it makes me to be mixing wax and listening to Brave Saint Saturn with my brother catching up on life. Here's a little sneak preview of what we did today....
 New Lip Balm Flavor (Coconut! YUM.) waiting to be labeled
Mint Julep Lip Balm tins and a few different solid perfume scents. The group in the center in the clear pots is Matt's scent. He named it Hokusai. He is a nerd. His original name was better. It was "Konichi-Wash Your Ass"... but I won't put that on a label with my business logo on it. HA! 
It still smells good. Also smelling good is the Lavender Vanilla... and my favorite, the Tuberose Moss. Holy Hannah, I love making this stuff.

My Mom came over too so I took the opportunity to do a test run set up of my booth for the Farmer's Market. Matt offered to help me set up for the first week so I can get used to setting up the canopy alone but I figured if I knew how I wanted to display things ahead of time, it will be easier. I still have more to do with the table- I'm not totally happy with it but I love that I'm using one of my Nana's lace tablecloths. Seeing her things makes me remember how beautiful she was and what her laugh sounded like. It's nice to be reminded of good memories when I'm feeling overwhelmed. Charlie of course had to check out what was going on since I put my table so close to his Lazyboy. No joke, that is pretty much Charlie's chair, lol.

Since we put Benjer to bed I've been working on getting a ton of lotion bars labeled. I still have a few more to do but it was good progress!

Another reason I love having my brother around is the inevitable "Do you remember that time..." conversations. Earlier this week, we had quite of few of those when we were both at my parent's house for dinner and I found an epic photo album ranging from when we were infant/toddler age to the 90's. There were some serious gems. One of the more random ones I found that got a giggle was this poster child for teen angst...
 The walkman is an especially nice touch. It makes me wish I could remember why I had that look on my face, it's a doozy (and it was Christmas! ...I think). My favorites were the ones of my cousins and Matt and I. So many good memories. 

And lastly, I will say that we did manage to take advantage of the nice weather earlier this week. Ben and I have gotten into a routine of going to the park. I chase him. He chases me. We go on the swings. We play The Princess Bride (sword fighting. Guess who always wants to be the 6-fingered man?)  and he "climbs" the same tree...
We're having a blast. This week we also got to spend some time in the pool he bought with his piggy money forever ago. The weather was nice enough that I could take him in it multiple times a day. He's been hilarious in it and the nice part is between his pool and running at the park, he has been getting to bed on time and sleeping better than usual. The summer is off to a fantastic start!

Monday, July 9, 2012

DIY Laundry Soap... Take II

Last week I was talking to my aunt about this laundry detergent and she asked if I added any fragrance to it. I hadn't because it smelled pretty nice on its own and I figured adding fragrance oil would make it clump up. Joshua had the brilliant idea of adding the oil to some salt (like we do for our 5th and Glen Co.  bath salts) and mixing that into the detergent. So I pulled out my stuff and decided to give it a whirl... AND I remembered to take pictures this time :)

So here's all the ingredients from the original post

And here's the fun part... blowing up the soap in the microwave. This time I cut the soap into eight pieces instead of quarters

I put each half of the bar of soap in the microwave for 1-1/2 minutes (instead of the whole bar for 3 minutes). Here's what happens...

While my soap blob was cooling I mixed up my fragrance. I used about 8ml of fragrance oil (one of our favorites, the gender neutral fresh bamboo) with 1/2 cup of regular old epsom salt. Since I wasn't sure how it would turn out, I didn't want to waste too much of either of those ingredients because we use them for our business. I should also mention, if you go this route, be careful! Depending on the fragrance oil, it may discolor your salt and if it discolors your salt, I wouldn't risk washing clothes with it.  Here's my salt...

I had a very special helper mixing up my salt with all the other ingredients (except for the soap!)
1 cup Borax
1 cup Washing Soda
1 cup Oxy Clean

My soap was all cooled off so I dumped it into a separate bowl and Ben and I got to smashing it up with forks

Unfortunately, my tiny, while enthusiastic about helping had a really hard time keeping the soap in the bowl so I decided to try using the blender to grind it up. One thing I will say is you can't put all the soap in at once. This is what I initially put into the blender...

It was WAY too much. I ended up splitting it into thirds and it worked much better.

Then we mixed it all together.

Last time I used mason jars to store my soap. It ended up using a ton of jars so I decided to use a leftover container I held on to from our camping trip.
I soaked the label off and with some scrap paper and mod podge my laundry soap has a new home

Even though I liked the way it smelled on its own, I much prefer the bamboo scented version. I think we'll stick with it for a while.