A weekend home

We had a pretty uneventful weekend which was nice!

FRIDAY
Liam found our shade tent in the garage and wanted to bring it inside. We set it up and he pretended it was his house. Both boys loved playing in it.

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It was spaghetti night and both boys love spaghetti. Owen was a mess. We also gave him some dairy-free yogurt and that made him even messier.

Then we inflated the air mattress and had a movie night.

SATURDAY
I had sweat circuit. Then I was off to get an oil change and then groceries.

Then it was home for lunch time and nap time for the boys. Joe and I cleaned the house while the kids napped.

When they woke up Liam and Joe went outside to set up some traps. Joe is trying to trap a rabbit to eat. I’m not sure how I feel about it but we will see. While they are outside Owen and I played inside.

Joe’s mom stopped by to see the boys and then we had dinner.

After dinner we did more movie time and then bed time.

SUNDAY
Smoothies and cartoons to start off the morning. We relaxed all morning and then it was time for church.

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After church we went home and put the boys down for nap. I intended not to nap but got super sleepy and decided I wanted to nap too.

When the boys woke up from nap we went to my parent’s house for dinner. Joe and my dad went to the airport to pick up my brother Blake while my mom, the kids, and I hung out and played.

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Then it was home to put the boys to bed and wind down.

We had a great weekend of getting things done. Hope you have a great week ahead!

Bowling, bounce house, birthday! Oh and SUNSHINE!

This weekend was very busy and filled with lots of fun!

FRIDAY
Our friends from Oregon are still in town so we decided to go bowling. Annie met us out and it was just a crazy evening of the kids running all over. First they wanted to bowl, then then didn’t and only wanted to pretend to play the games they have there, then suddenly they wanted to bowl again. All of this while trying to order and eat dinner. It was chaos and FUN! I love watch our kids play and have fun together.

SATURDAY
I had sweat circuit in the morning and when I got home I started to clean the house a little bit and decided it was time to get rid of the high chair and switch to a booster seat. Oh my goodness doesn’t he look so big?

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It was a very abnormal temperature day for early January so we decided to go play outside. I put Owen in the swing for a little bit and then we walked out to our frozen pond and let the kids run around. It was so great to be outside and feeling the sunshine on our faces.

Then we went back inside for early lunch and early nap times due to an afternoon birthday party.

We got the boys up and headed to Alena’s 2nd birthday party at the Centre. We started in the bounce house. Owen went right in but Liam wasn’t too sure. Eventually he came around and the kids (and maybe the parent’s too) had a blast jumping and wrestling.

After a fun time jumping we moved to a new party room for pizza and cake. Alena is so sweet.

Then it was time to head home and relax the rest of the evening because we were all exhausted! Both boys ended up going to bed before 7pm because they were so tired.

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SUNDAY
I got up with both boys while Joe got a little extra sleep. We snuggled on the couch until Owen decided it was time to play (which was shortly after the snuggles).

When Joe got up Liam wanted to use the cordless vacuum to clean a little so he did that and then he wanted a fake tattoo and I needed to have one too. He wanted us to match but my tattoo needed to go on my muscle (according to him).

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Then we got ready and headed to church. It was a great service and both boys actually wanted to play in the nursery this time so that was great too.

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After church it was nap time for the boys and time for me to get some cleaning done. I didn’t actually get as much done as I wanted but I got the remaining Christmas items put away and some small things cleaned up.

Joe went hunting before Liam woke up from nap and just as Owen was waking up. Owen got some one on one play time before Liam woke up which he enjoyed.

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When both boys were up we had snacks and waited for Joe to get home.

Once Joe was home we had a bubble party in the toy room, dinner, and then an evening of playing “chase” (where we run around the couch) and ring-around-the-rosie.

We had a great first weekend of the New Year. I hope you have a wonderful week ahead!

Happy New Year 2019!

Good-bye 2018, hello 2019! We had a good 2018 but we also had some struggles. We are ready to bring on 2019!

NEW YEARS EVE
I had to work New Years Eve but Joe was able to stay home with the boys. When I got home we had dinner and then inflated the air mattress for a movie night!

We got all settled in when my friend Tyler (who is visiting from Oregon) texted and asked if we wanted to come visit for a little bit. So we did! We backed up the kids and it was a blasted! The kids had fun together and it’s always nice to see them.

Then it was back home to put Owen to bed and watch a little bit of movie with Liam. He loved having the air mattress.

We put Liam to bed and then review our 2018 goals, our 2018 accomplishments, and set our new 2019 goals (with some ice cream).

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After we set our goals we decided to watch a movie. We chose “The Impossible.” Great movie but I highly recommend not watching it right before bed.

We made it until 11pm (which is east coast 12am right?) and decided to call that “good enough.”

NEW YEARS DAY
Happy New Year! We got up in the morning and relaxed before getting ready for a trip to the zoo!

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We picked up my parents and off we went with our new zoo membership we got for Christmas.

Liam loves going to the zoo and Owen is old enough now to enjoy it too. It was the perfect day to go because it wasn’t very busy.

We had a blast showing my parent’s all the cool animals and Liam was just in awe of them all. Owen was even growling at the big animals.

We were all starving by the time we left so we picked up some lunch on the way home. We ate at my parent’s and put the boys down for nap there too. We watched the Blackhawks Winter Classic game.

While both boys were napping we watched “Dumplin” on Netflix (do not recommend). Owen ended up going down for nap late so I had to wake him up and he was not happy. We ended up leaving my parent’s and when we got home Owen was fine.

We had dinner, the boys took a bath, and then went to bed.

It was a fun New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day. Happy 2019!

 

Friends, Family, and a Celebration

We had a really great weekend. It was one of those weekends where we had tentative plans but everything ended up changing. We still did everything we had planned but at different days and times. It was great!

FRIDAY
After work we had a lazy evening watching movies and playing with new toys.

SATURDAY
I had sweat circuit and got a good workout in to start my day. Then I quick took a shower and got ready. We headed over to my parents to pick up the items that were  “left behind” on Christmas day. Then we quick swung into my grandparents to drop off their gift.

Then we went home for lunch. Owen was too tired and just went straight to nap. Then Tyler and DJ came over to play. I love how DJ and Liam are now old enough to play together.

Owen ended up taking a short nap so he was able to play for a while too. It was so nice to have them visit.

Liam ended up skipping his nap since we had visitors and Owen took a short nap so by the time evening rolled around they were both pretty tired.

Both boys ended up going to bed early without a fuss about it. Joe and I watched Equalizer 2 and then went to bed.

SUNDAY
Liam was up at normal time but Owen slept until 7:30! I caught a rare moment of the boys snuggling too.

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Then we were off to church. My brother Sean and sister-in-law Libby were being ordained as the senior leaders of the church.

It was really a special day and such an honor to witness Sean and Libby taking on the responsibility of the church and ready to lead with all they have. As well as the support of the members of the church.

After the celebration we went home and Liam, Owen, and I all took afternoon naps. After nap we visited my grandparents for a little while.

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We then went home for dinner and had a relaxing evening playing and hanging out.

We had a wonderful weekend and I hope you did too! Enjoy your final day of 2018 and Happy New Year!

Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, and the day after Christmas 2018

Merry Christmas to all!

CHRISTMAS EVE
Joe woke up sick so we tried to keep the kids away from him as much as possible. I tried to get all the things ready that we needed to for the day and get the boys and myself ready too.  It was tough but we made it work.

I put the boys both down for an early nap. I used that time to get myself ready for the day. Then I ended up having to wake them both up to get ready and go to Christmas Eve at my aunt and uncle’s house. We had a wonderful meal and it was great to catch up with everyone.

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My grandma brought all the great grandchildren their presents. It was very sweet.

We tried to get a group picture of my grandma with all the kids but half the kids were not having it.

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Then it was time to go to church. Joe decided he felt well enough and didn’t want to miss church (even though I thought this was a bad idea I was thankful for the help with the kids). We were even able to get a family picture.

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We were going to go back to my aunt and uncle’s after but both boys were tired and it seemed best to go home.

We took a family picture in our Christmas pajamas and put the kids to bed.

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Once they were asleep we were able to have fun being Santa! I love getting everything ready for when the kids wake up. It’s so special and magical.

CHRISTMAS DAY
Liam woke up bright and early. He was certain Santa didn’t come (although he didn’t look under the tree yet). When we went into his room and turned on the light he saw that Santa left slippers and a present in his room. He was so excited! He then ran to check under the tree and sure enough there were presents!

We watched a movie while we waited for Owen to wake up. Liam could hardly wait to open his presents but was tired enough to relax for a little bit.

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Once Owen was awake we were opening stockings and presents and Liam was having a blast. Owen didn’t quite get it but he was enjoying all the new things.

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We opened some of the toys to play with and cleaned up a little before heading to Joe’s parent’s for Christmas breakfast and gift opening.

After that we went home to put the kids down for another short nap before the next Christmas party. We woke them up to have Christmas at my parent’s. At this point I was starting to not feel the greatest but was doing okay so I went anyway.

We had our meal and then my brother told the kids the story of Jesus’s birth. We opened up presents and all the kids were so happy with their new toys.

Then my mom read the kids “The Wonky Donkey” which they thought was great.

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We got a “as good as it gets” picture of all the kids and my parents by the tree (so many kids moving and making funny faces).

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We headed home for the evening with a little time for Liam to play with some of his new toys. Also Marley was enjoying her new present as well.

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Then it was off to bed.

DAY AFTER CHRISTMAS
I am so thankful to have the day after Christmas off. I was able to get up with the boys in the morning and watch them be excited about their new toys all over again. It also gave me time to do some of the post Christmas clean up. There were toys and boxes and items all over the place. It was nice to get some of it put away.

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We also decided to take down our tree to make room in the toy room to play.

Amanda came to visit us after the boys were done with nap and Liam showed her some of his new toys.

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I had plans to go visit my mom when Amanda left but then I found out that she wasn’t feeling well.

Joe’s mom then ended up coming to our house to bring the boys some more gifts from a family Christmas we weren’t able to attend.

Around bed time we started watching a movie that we had started earlier. Owen laid down on his belly and Liam joined him. How cute?!

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We put Owen to bed and then finished Incredibles 2 with Liam.

I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas!

The weekend before Christmas

It was so nice to have the weekend leading up to all the holiday celebrations. I allowed us time to prepare for Christmas and relax before all the busy.

FRIDAY
We relaxed at home after a week of work. We had some Christmas music dance parties and play time.

SATURDAY
I skipped sweat circuit and spend the morning at home with the family. My brother called later in the morning and asked to drop the kids off while they went shopping.

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We had a fun day with all the kids playing. Owen and Brynn had fun together.

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And so did Liam and Judah. They even dressed up and played pirates and firefighters. So funny!

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Judah and Owen decided not to nap so they got to snuggle and watch a movie. Liam and Brynn both took good naps and snuggled after their nap. These kids melt my heart!

Owen and Brynn are just too cute together too. They are so close in age (just under 4 months apart).

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My mom stopped by to say hi and all the kids had to have her attention.

As we were approaching bed time we made a “cozy spot” and the big boys laid down to watch. Owen wanted to hang with the boys so he joined right in the middle.

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We put Owen to bed and then Sean and Libby picked up the kids. We watched a little more movie with Liam and then put him to bed too.

We were exhausted after playing all day.

SUNDAY
Joe and Liam went to get donuts for breakfast from our local bakery. Liam was very excited.

We spent the whole day hanging out and playing at home other than me running some last minute Christmas errands and going to the gym to exercise over nap time.

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After dinner we put the boys in the bath, Christmas pajamas, and headed out the door to drive around looking at Christmas lights.

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We saw some of the best lights and Liam loved it.

When we got home we put Owen to bed and watch Christmas movies with Liam.

Christmas time is so much fun! I hope you had a relaxing weekend before Christmas!

Body after baby

I follow a couple health pages and mom pages and health/mom pages on facebook and more often than not I see posts saying something along the lines of, “I had my baby 6 weeks ago and still haven’t lost the weight, what can I do?”

I’ll admit this was me with my second baby (for some reason I didn’t focus on my body with my first). Not only did the scale not reflect the number I thought it should, but also looking in a mirror, my body was just different. It took me a long time to come around to the idea that it was going to take a while for my body to change and it may never look the way it did before baby.

However, why is there this pressure to return to our pre-baby bodies so quickly after having a baby?  This is really an unrealistic expectation for most women and yet we still allow ourselves to feel this pressure. It is so easy to compare one person’s journey to another’s but everyone’s body is so different.

I remember standing in front of my closet and just crying because none of my pre-baby clothes fit me. Now I think to myself….of course they didn’t. It took nine months for my body to change and grow to accommodate my little baby, how could I possibly think my body would bounce back so quickly.

All of that said, here is what I learned:

  1. Buy the clothes. Yes the change is temporary (or not) and you may only wear them for a month or 2 or more, but for me, I felt way more comfortable with my body when I was wearing clothes that actually fit.
  2. Breastfeeding does not always mean weight loss (like so many people will tell you). Yes you may lose some of the initial weight quicker but I was hungry all the time trying to keep up with production. I also noticed that even when my hunger started balancing out and I began eating better and exercising regularly, I still held onto weight in certain areas.
  3. Listen to your significant other. My husband would tell me time and time again how great I looked and how beautiful I am. I always shrugged it off but really whose opinion matters more than the person who loves me most?
  4. Be patient. Healing takes time. Changes take time. Like I said earlier, it took nine months to grow your little human, it is going to take some time for your body to heal.
  5. Make time to take care of yourself. This might mean 5 minutes or it might mean an hour. It might mean exercising or it might mean napping. Do what makes you happy and feel good about it. There are so many things to worry about with a little baby that the way our body looks does not need to be one of those stressors.
  6. Be kind to yourself. I began thinking about the things I was telling myself and realized I would NEVER say that to someone else who just had a baby. Be patient with your progress and be kind to yourself. Your body has done an amazing thing….it grew a human!

So hang in there mom. In the eyes of your baby you are perfect in every way and exactly what your little child needs right now. Every mom has a different journey so remember that! #selflove #teammom

 

 

Bell ringing, cookie baking, birthday celebrating, ice skating, FUN WINTER WEEKEND!

We had a wonderful weekend doing all kinds of fun things including our annual cookie bake at my mom’s house. Seriously the holiday season is so much fun!

FRIDAY
Joe cleaned up the basement so we got to go downstairs and play hockey and ride bikes and have all kids of fun.

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Then we had dinner and after dinner I took Liam to go visit my mom who was ringing the salvation army bell at our local grocery store. Liam didn’t want to ring the bell but had no problem calling out people who didn’t give money (asking about a woman walking in “how come she didn’t give her money??”).

We then went home and watched a little TV before bed time.

SATURDAY
I had sweat circuit in the morning and then hustled home to rinse off before heading to my mom’s house for our annual cookie bake.

Liam was very excited to help make cookies and started by helping my grandma make fudge. He enjoyed stirring it and adding ingredients.

Then it was time to start rolling out the gingerbread dough and cutting out gingerbread men. Liam enjoyed doing that too. Honestly, he stayed focused on the task longer than I thought he would.

Owen checked in every now and then too but for the most part just played with toys. Liam joined him after a while. The boys then had lunch. After lunch Owen went to nap and Liam played “Santa” with my mom. He was giving out toys. So cute. Then he went down for nap time too.

I was exhausted and tried to take a rest but ended up just lounging on the couch. Joe showed up during nap time too. When Owen woke up from nap he snuggled up with Joe on the couch.

Then Liam woke up and it was time to start frosting and decorating the cookies. He had a lot of fun decorating and tasting the cookies.

We then had to hustle to my friend Breanna’s surprise 30th birthday party. It was fun to catch up with everyone and hang out for a little bit.

Then it was time to go home and play in the basement a little more (our new favorite spot to play). Then lounge time upstairs and bed time.

SUNDAY
Owen woke up a little early so I cuddled him in bed and we both slept until 7:30. It felt good to sleep in a little.

Then it was time to play in the basement again. Joe took out the toy kitchen and Owen enjoyed “cooking.”

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We had a relaxing morning home and then during nap I was off to get groceries.

When Liam got up from nap I took him to get Owen’s Christmas present (which he really didn’t understand why he couldn’t get a present too) and then check out the ice to see if we could go ice skating.

We got home and picked up Joe and Owen and went to the ice to skate.

Liam was nervous at first but then once he realized Joe was going to help him he had lots of fun.

He kept his skates on for a while and then decided he wanted to wear his boots. We let him “skate” in his boots for a while. He had so much fun.

Owen had fun too. He really liked skating with Joe.

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When we got home the boys cuddled up on the couch together to relax.

We had spaghetti for dinner and it was delicious and then did bath time. Liam slipped getting into the tub and gave himself a black eye. So sad!

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We took the rest of the night easy. Owen wanted to go to bed early so then Joe and I decided to do some ear candling. Joe swears by it and I had never done it before. It was an interesting experience and Liam enjoyed watching.

Then it was Liam’s bed time and shortly after ours.

Once again I love the activities the holidays bring! I hope you had a great weekend and enjoy the week ahead!

Pancakes and a Gingerbread house

We had another family filled, holiday fun weekend!

FRIDAY
After work Owen got his first (20 second) time out for continuously hitting his brother. As you can see he was very upset about it but also understood.

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Joe and I both felt like it was a “go out for dinner” kind of night. So we went out in town.

 

Then it was a relaxing evening at home.

SATURDAY
I had sweat circuit in the morning. After that we all got ready for the day and headed to my grandparents for my Grandma’s pancakes. She makes THE BEST pancakes. The boys both played and had so much fun.

Then it was home for nap time and cleaning for me. Seriously always something to clean with two littles (and two adults).

Owen gave me some kicked back snuggles when he woke up. Joe was off hunting so it was just me in the boys for a bit.

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Then it was play time. My little dare devil Owen thinks it’s a good idea to climb on all kinds of things.

We stayed home the remainder of the evening.

SUNDAY
We had a relaxing morning sipping coffee and hanging out.

Liam and I ran some morning errands to get groceries for the week. When we got home I added the remaining ingredients for the soup we were having for lunch.

We made taco soup and it was delicious. Owen loved it too. Liam wouldn’t try it because he is in a very picky stage.

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During nap time I cleaned a little more and watched the football game.

After nap we headed over to my parent’s house for Terri’s tacos (always delicious). My mom surprised Liam with a gingerbread house after dinner. He was so excited!

We got it all built, decorated, and put together. We took some pictures and then….it started to fall apart! We scrambled to hold it together and add more frosting. There was frosting everywhere. It was so funny!

I also got some cute pictures of Owen messing around with the tree.

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Then it was bedtime for the boys so we went home, put the boys to bed, watched The Office, and then went to bed.

I love what the holidays bring and the fun activities we get to do with the boys. Hope you enjoyed your weekend!

Homemade Laundry Detergent

I started making laundry detergent when my oldest son started sucking on his blanket. I had already started my journey toward using more natural products (starting with essential oils) and could not even think about washing his blankets in all the chemicals of regular laundry detergent. So I decided to start making my own.

Products like detergents you find in the store have some scary ingredients in them: harmful chemicals like Sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS), a foaming agent that has been linked to irritation of the skin and eyes, organ toxicity, developmental/reproductive toxicity, neurotoxicity, endocrine disruption, and biochemical or cellular changes, possible mutations, and cancer. These chemicals from detergents get stuck in our clothes, rubbing against our skin all day long, absorbing into our bodies and causing problems.

There are many chemicals found in laundry detergent and there are 3,000 different ingredients alone that could be classified as Fragrance (which is typically listed as 1 of the ingredients). Check your laundry detergent label or use the free app Think Dirty and see what chemicals might be in your laundry soap (seriously…the more you know…)

Here is the recipe I use for my family. It is a little bit of work but makes a huge amount that lasted me over 1 year.

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups hot tap water
  • 1 cup Arm and Hammer Super Washing Soda
  • 1/2 Cup Borax
  • 2 C Baking Soda
  • 1 bar grated Dr. Bronner’s pure-castile soap (I did half bar lavender and half bar rose)
  • 5 capfuls of Thieves Household Cleaner
  • 3 Tbsp Mrs. Stewart’s Bluing Agent
  • Optional: 10-20 drops of your favorite Essential oil (I added lavender since I used lavender and rose bar soaps)

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You will also need:

  • Medium size sauce pan
  • Long wooden handle spoon
  • Measuring cups
  • 5 Gallon bucket with cover

Directions:

Grate soap into small pieces and set aside. Pour 4 cups of hot tap water into saucepan and add soap, stirring continually over low heat until soap is melted and dissolved -do not boil. Fill the bucket half full of hot tap water and add melted soap, washing soda, baking soda, Borax, and Thieves Household Cleaner. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill 5 gallon bucket to just below the top. Stir, cover, and let sit overnight to thicken. Add bluing agent. Opt: once thickened, mix with immersion blender. Fill an empty liquid laundry detergent bottle half full with soap and fill the rest of the way with tap water.

  • Non-HE machines: 5/8 C per load (apx 180 loads)
  • HE machines: 1/4 C per load (apx 640 loads)

 

There is also the easier option (for those not wanting to do the work but wanting to switch to a natural laundry detergent without harmful chemicals) to buy Thieves Laundry Soap from Young Living and there is a trick to make this laundry detergent last a little longer as well (I’d be happy to help with this). If this is the method you are interested in you can sign up via my Young Living link (my page).

I would be happy to answer ANY questions you might have about homemade laundry detergent, Thieves Laundry detergent, essential oils, or Young Living products in general.