Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Homemade laundry detergent...

I finally made my own laundry detergent and I have to say so far I am very happy with it.  I used this recipe and made FIVE GALLONS of it!  I had to use old milk cartons and mason jars to store it all in.  Needless to say I am all set with laundry detergent for a while.  It is so cost efficient I don't think I will buy regular laundry detergent ever again.  Apparently it only costs  $.04 a load! 

It doesn't suds up but that is perfectly okay.  I read that the bubbles with store bought laundry detergent are actually not necessary to get clothes clean.  There is absolutely no smell to the clothes after they are washed.  They simply smell clean.  It's pretty fabulous.   For extra stinky loads add about 1/2 a cup of white vinegar.  (Thanks to Diana for the tip! I did that and it works wonderfully!)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Don't forget to remember...

Thank you to all the men and women who have given all to protect our freedom! Thank you Gabe!  We miss you!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Campfire Cooking...

Saturday evening I did some campfire cooking.  My parents came over to enjoy the meal with us.  My hubby just bought me the tripod and cast iron dutch oven you see in the top picture.  I didn't actually get to use them because the dutch oven arrived in the mail earlier that day and I still needed to season it before I used it.  I just wanted to see them set up.  :)

 I made a couple piles of charcoal and had a little wood fire that I burned down to coals.  You can't tell in the picture but those beans are bubbling away.  I wrapped corn in foil and also made little biscuits wrapped in foil.  In the dutch oven at the top of the picture were the pork ribs.  I put charcoal underneath and on top of the pot to bake the ribs. 

I accidentally made up the biscuit recipe.  I added one too many ingredients but everyone said they turned out absolutely delicious and my hubby preferred them to the original recipe.  So I am going to make them that way every time! I will share the recipe in an upcoming post.  I flattened the little balls of dough into little disks and put them in foil.  I made sure to leave space in the foil so they could puff up when cooking.  I rotated the little tents of foil half way through baking time on the coals.  I am taking everyone's word for it that they turned out perfect since I can't eat gluten.  This is one of the few times when I lament my gluten-free-ness, when I make something scrumptious and can't try it myself. After they are done baking they have a campfire, rustic look that I love.

RIBS!! Steaming hot, fall off the bone, BBQ saucy goodness, ribs! 
My mom had her campfire biscuits with butter and honey.  The corn didn't cook as fast as the biscuits so we ate the corn last.  I know this meal was lacking in greens but that's okay, we eat lots of them the rest of the time.  This is the kind of meal my hubby wants when we are camping.  A good hearty meal after a day of hiking and playing.  I am glad to get to practice my campfire cooking skills before we go camping that way I can fix any kinks before hand.  Plus I just plain love cooking outside. 

The funniest thing though was that while I was in the middle of cooking this meal outside the power in our whole neighborhood went out.  So while some people were probably heading out to grab some fast food or take-out I was cooking away in the backyard not even effected by the outage.  When the power came back on about an hour later Rue said "Oh good, you can cook dinner now!". :) 

I had to include this picture of my handsome men. :)

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Daniel's Boat and Upcoming Posts...

 Daniel pulled this tub out of the spare room yesterday and turned it into his boat.  He put some blankets and toys in it, grabbed his milk and had himself a little cruise. 
Yes, I know my son needs a hair cut.  He's not going to get one.  Well, maybe a little trim but his daddy wants him to have a nice mop for as long as possible.

I have some fun plans for the next week.  On Saturday I am cooking a complete campfire meal for my parents.  My hubby just bought me a tripod for hanging my cast iron dutch oven over the campfire.  Plus he bought me another cast iron dutch oven.  Cooking outside has become one of my favorite hobbies.  Watch out for my campfire cooking post.

Then I am going to make my own laundry detergent.  I am doing what I can to pinch pennies.  The "recipe" I am going to use makes 5 gallons of detergent and each load of laundry will only cost about $.04 a load!  Watch for an upcoming post on that too!

Next I am going to make my own body wash.  The "recipe" will make 2 1/2 quarts of body wash for a little less than $5.  Watch out for that post.

And last but not least Miss Daisy is turning 16 on Tuesday!!  We pretty much can't believe it! When she and Rue first came into my life she had just turned 8.  Where does the time go?!  Watch for a fun birthday post! 

Watch out for some fun posts this next week.  I hope you all are having a wonderful spring and spending lots of time outside!  Ours has been a little soggy the past week but it's suppose to be a beautiful Memorial Day weekend!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Saturday Sundries:Gotta love the Bees...

I am a big fan of Burt's Bees products.  I would not be caught dead without my little tube of Burt's Bees Lip Balm.  It's a purse, hiking backpack, nightstand, car, essential!  (And anywhere else you think you might need to keep a tube!) One of my absolute favorite things about Burt's Bees products is the smell.  They just have that natural, herby, earthy smell that I just soak up.  Here are some other Burt's Bees products I have tried and love.

The Hand Salve absolutely saved my (and my husbands, and my mom's) hands this winter.  My hubby and I both work at jobs where we have to wash our hands often and use chemical sanitizers.  We usually suffer those cracked, bleeding knuckles each winter.  This past winter though our hands made it through pretty good.  It is even helping me this spring with my gardener's hands. 

I just started using this face wash and I have to say I am in love!  It does an absolutely wonderful job.  Plus it leaves my face feeling tingly and rejuvenated. I did have to get used to the fact that it doesn't foam up but I got used to it pretty quick. 

If you want to keep away nasty, cracked heels in the summer use this!  It works wonders I tell you!  Not to mention the coco-nutty smell is heaven during the summer.

The Carrot Night Creme is the next best thing to actually eating your carrots for good skin health from the inside out.  You don't have to use much and what can I say, I love the way it smells! 

 The Royal Jelly Eye Cream I use at night.  Just the tiniest little bit does the trick. It leaves my eye lids and the skin around my eyes feeling so soft and supple.  It's an expensive little jar but it lasts forever!

Did I mention I love how they all smell?!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Tunic shirt...

I made this little tunic shirt yesterday.  I used Sew Liberated's Schoolhouse Tunic pattern which I am absolutely in love with.  I only had two yards of fabric to work with and the pattern calls for about 3 yards to make the tunic dress and a little under 3 yards to make the tunic shirt.  So I shortened the sleeves and shortened the skirt part of the shirt quite a bit.  I was crossing my fingers the whole time I was sewing it together that is wasn't going to be too short.  It worked beautifully!  I have fabric to make two more of these shirts.

This is the tunic dress I made from the same pattern last year.  

I just bought Sew Liberated's newest pattern, The Paloma Top, Tunic and Dress.  This one is made out of jersey knit fabric and is suppose to be perfect for summer.  Can't wait to try this pattern out! 

Also the skirt you see me wearing in the above pictures I made out of an old pair of pants.  I will be putting a tutorial up soon on how to turn an old pair of pants into a comfy skirt!

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mother's Day...


Mother's Day was absolutely delightful.  We stopped at my mom's house in the morning and had breakfast over there and I gave her our family picture from Easter, enlarged, matted and framed.  Then Daniel, Daisy and I headed over the bridge to my in-laws' in Tacoma where we had a big family lunch.   In the Dannells' family there are LOTS of May birthdays. Five to be exact.  So we had a little Mother's Day/May birthday celebration. 

My mother-in-law Bonita's back yard is literally a little oasis in the middle of the city of Tacoma.  There is a plum tree, cherry tree, lots of flowers and a little play cabin she built for Daisy when she was little.  She built it all from scratch. It's complete with a little ladder leading up to loft.   It is the most charming little cabin you will ever see.

Daniel playing with his Uncle Rahmat.  

My sweet mother-in-law Bonita.  
 Yes, Daniel did that to Uncle Rahmat's hair.  :)

Daniel wanted his own little chair. :)

I gave George a Washington hiking book.  I have the same one and the last time I pulled it out he was oohing and awing over it so I thought it might be a good birthday present.  :)  

Laurel and Mehron gave Daniel a new backpack and he didn't take it off the entire time we were there.  He even wanted to sleep with it that night.  He and Auntie Ruhiyyih played a little game of hide and seek.  He went into fits of belly laughter when he would find her.  :)

 Daniel brought me some lilacs for Mother's Day.  :)  It truly was a lovely day. 

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Little Twanoh hike...

My mom, dad, Daniel and I headed out for a little hike yesterday.  We drove out along the Hood Canal to little Twanoh State Park.  On one side of the road is the waterfront part of the park and across the road you will find the beautiful forest, a pretty campground a lovely little hiking trail. 


I am not  going to write much on this post, just let the pictures speak for themselves.  I love being with my family out in God's beautiful creation.  It's good for the body as well as the soul. 

Monday, May 07, 2012

Saving clothing patterns...

I recently came across an idea on how to save clothing patterns from being cut up.  I am sure it is nothing new but it was a new idea to me.   In the past I would buy a clothing pattern and cut up the actual pattern. Well, if you use tracing paper to trace out the pattern in the size you want it will keep the original pattern from getting chopped up.  Then you can use the original pattern over and over. And since patterns can be so expensive it's nice to keep them in good condition.  I use swedish tracing paper, you can find it here.  One roll lasts a really long time!

Right now I am working on making the School House Tunic from Sew Liberated.  I already made one last year but I made the full dress.  This time I am just making it in the shirt length.  I love, love, love how this pattern fits!

The best kitchen ever...

  This weekend my in-laws went on their first camping trip of 2012.  They headed over to Eastern Washington and camped near Potholes.  My mother-in-law sure knows how to cook while camping.  And what an amazing view to look at while cooking dinner!  I have a feeling they took their dinner plates down to those two red chairs and soaked in the view. You can view the flickr album my father-in-law posted here.

I cannot say enough how I am longing for some good Eastern Washington camping right now!  I can't wait for the hot, dry air with the delicious sent of the sage brush floating around and just simply living outside for a week.  Our big Dannells' family camping trip is planned for the end of July.  It can't come fast enough! :)

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Happy Cinco De Mayo!

As this is being posted we are headed up to Snoqualmie for a little Cinco De Mayo party.  The picture is of Snoqualmie Falls.   So pretty! I love where I live!

For the party I made a Tres Leches cake.  It is made out of eggs, milk, flour and sugar.  I am allergic to eggs, milk and gluten so this cake is pretty much made up of everything I can't have.  So I wasn't able to do any taste testing.  But it is a Martha Stewart recipe and Martha has not failed me yet so I trust it will be delicious. (Instead of the chopped pineapple on top I am doing chopped strawberries). 

As I was making this cake I pondered what tres leches means.  It calls for three different kinds of milk and as I was mixing the THREE MILKS together I continued to ponder.  I continued mixing the THREE MILKS together and continued to ponder.  Yeah, I'm quick like that.  Don't worry, it dawned on me about 15 minutes later. 

Happy Cinco De Mayo everyone!

Thursday, May 03, 2012

Daniel's legumes...

The other morning I was trying to think of some kind of activity I could have for Daniel to do to keep him quiet so Rue could sleep.  Rue works three to midnight everyday so he is still sleeping when Daniel and I get up.  So I pulled out some dishes and some beans and lentils, poured them in some little bowls, put it on the kitchen table and let Daniel have at it.  It worked like a charm.  He had so much fun and he was QUIET the whole time concentrating on what he was doing. 

I love the concentration.  It's so great when you find the perfect activity that goes with a certain age that creates great learning even if it is just scooping and pouring beans. Plus I used things I already had on hand, no money spent!