Monday, April 24, 2017

What I'm Loving Lately

Did any of you used to link up to the blog hop "What I'm Loving Wednesday"? This totally reminded me of that! 
Here are some random things I'm loving this week! 

I have been a long time TOMS lover, and my step mom got me this "knock off" pair for Christmas. Ohmygoodness. I like them WAY better than TOMS. They are more comfy and I honestly think possibly even better quality?! We will see how they hold up! I am pretty sure she got them on Amazon, but last time I was at Target I saw they carry them now in a whole bunch of colors! And I want every pair! 

I have been LOVING nature walks lately! I love seeing kids be kids in nature. Love watching them explore their surroundings. And the plus side is that they eat and sleep well when they've been on the go all morning! We went on at least 3 this week. I have been scouting out a lot of the trails we've never been to around town! 
I got these bars at Aldi last week. Ugh. They are so good. I shouldn't tell you to buy them, because you'll just want to eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner...but you should buy them cause they're good.
I always feel like we don't see people nearly as much in the winter. We just kind of hole up and hibernate, I guess. It seems like we see friends way more in the Spring/Summer than other seasons...maybe because there is more to do. But we have been loving seeing friends a little bit more often lately. This morning we met up with a few at the little petting zoo and park and that was fun. 
I started reading Colleen Coble's Hope Beach series and it is SO GOOD! I seemed to have been reading a lot of Christian Romance stories which are good but really predictable most of the time. This series had me on my toes! So good! I just finished the 2nd book, Rosemary Cottage, and cannot wait to read the 3rd/last one in the series. I don't want it to end! 

We finally caved and bought a swing set for our backyard. We go to parks A LOT, but it will be really nice with 4 kids who need to burn some energy. We bought this one specifically because some of the things on it will be helpful with one of our little one's therapies which I am excited about! The kids have been loving it and my oldest has recently learned how to "pump her legs" which she is so proud about! She'll just go out there and swing, swing, swing for the longest time. 

What things have you been loving?! Have a great week, everyone! 
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Friday, April 14, 2017

Parks, Easter, Socks, Naps & Taxes

  • We have had some nicer weather this week. Still some rain and some chilly days but we've gotten up into the 60's most days. As of right now it looks like all next week will be rainy again so we have been taking advantage of the weather this week. We have spent so much time outside and gone to so many parks! For sure we went to parks Monday evening, Wednesday morning, Wednesday night, Thursday night and this morning. I can't remember if we did a park at all Tuesday. I feel like we have to take advantage of this kind of weather before we get up into scorching temps where you can't even stand to be outside! It has been so fun and so nice to not be so cooped up in the house all week! 
{blurry, but she looks so happy!} 

  • I completely let Easter slip by this year. I bought an egg dying kit the other day...maybe we will still get around to doing it this weekend. I have a favorite egg wreath I love putting out every year that I never put out this year. I was going to blog about what my kids are getting for Easter and never got around to it. I haven't read the kids any of the Easter books I got out to read. And here it is, Good Friday. Speaking of what my kids are getting. I was reading an interesting "debate" about Easter gifts. I guess debate isn't maybe the right word. Parents were discussing what their families do and it was really interesting to read what people consider acceptable Easter gifts, if any. That's why I was going to blog about what my kids are getting and ask what yours are getting. Usually I try to do something practical like swimsuits or shoes for summer, summer toys, etc. This year they all already have several swimsuits so that was out. So I ended up getting them these super cute camping chairs (that are in my husband's trunk hiding, and he's at work so I can't take a picture...) that were about $6 at Walmart. I got them each a bunny bubble wand from the dollar spot and a "workout" outfit. They love wearing "exercise" clothes in the summer. I don't blame them-with the heat and humidity that's about all I want to wear most days, too. I don't think I'm going to fill any eggs with candy or anything this year. What do you do for Easter gifts, if anything? 
  • My oldest daughter decided a few weeks ago that she loves "mix-matching" (as she says) socks. She has started wearing mismatched socks every day and it just tickles her so much. I have no idea why she loves it so much but now my other daughter does it too, and she has recently decided to start wearing 2 pairs of on top of the other. Where do they come up with this stuff?! And now both of the girls mismatch the little ones socks as well. So random, but they just think it's the best thing ever. 
  • My girls stopped napping a couple months ago, but the other day my little girl wasn't feeling too well and wanted to "rest" on the couch. I thought for sure she wouldn't fall asleep but she eventually did. I was sitting next to her reading my Bible and I could not stop staring. She is so beautiful. 

  • My husband works for a tax company and I am SO READY for tax season to be over! Just a few more days! Out of curiosity-do you file your taxes early on in the season, or wait until the last minute? I can't believe how much of their business comes in within the last few days of the season! We usually try to get ours done in February. We are excited to have him back to normal hours next week! 
Hope you all have a great Easter weekend! 
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Friday, April 7, 2017

Homemade Laundry Detergent Recipe

As my family has moved toward more natural living and chemical free products, I have looked into so many products. We have used at least unscented/free and clear type laundry detergents since my oldest was a baby because she had such sensitive skin, but even those have stuff I don't want on my family's clothes now that I've gained more knowledge about chemical exposure. I toyed with the idea of making my own, but some of the recipes I found were so complicated, and a lot of them still had ingredients I didn't really like!  I finally decided to just go for it. I had seen this recipe on Bren Did, but thought I would simplify it a little here for those who are interested in making their own! I first made this recipe in December of 2015 and JUST used up the last of my batch this week! How crazy is that?! For a family of 6 who does around 5-7 loads of laundry per week and used cloth diapers for part of that time, I cannot believe it lasted us so long!
On the flip side I was nervous I wouldn't like it and be stuck with a huge batch. No worries though. This detergent is awesome! It packs tons of power in a small scoop and is so gentle on our clothes and skin! Here is the recipe if you are interested in making a batch for your family! 

1 box super washing soda (3 lbs. 7 oz.)
4 lbs. baking soda
4 bars fragrance free castile soap
3 lbs oxiclean FREE or BABY (regular oxiclean does not rate well on the EWG scale!) 

To make: 
Grab a large container and start mixing everything together. I like to put a little of each ingredient in, then stir it up, then repeat until I've used it all up. For the castile soap bars, I use a hand cheese grater and grate into small shreds, then mix in with the rest of the ingredients! Overall, it takes less than an hour to make-a small price to pay for laundry detergent that will last for over a year! 
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