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.

A weekend of changes and holiday gathering

Our weekend was another good one! It wasn’t too busy and involved the right amount of fun too.

FRIDAY
In the evening we had an interview at a daycare for the boys. Liam got to play a little and it seems like the right fit and the next best step for Liam and the amount of structure he needs as he begins his transition to preschool in the fall.

We heard back from her shortly after and she thought it was a great fit too so the boys will be starting there next week. We are both sad and excited about the change.

SATURDAY
In the morning I had sweat circuit class. It was great and I love getting my weekend workout done. When I got home Liam wanted to paint my nails so I let him. It was messy but so funny and he loved it.

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I had to run some errands to return an item I bought and do a little Christmas shopping for the boys. When I returned home the boys were napping.

After nap we went to Joe’s parent’s house to do Christmas pictures and have dinner. The boys looked so cute in their outfits and were ready for pictures. By the time everyone was ready things were crazy and it was hard to get many great pictures but we definitely got a few. I snag some cute pictures of the boys before everyone was ready.

We then had a delicious spaghetti dinner and spent time talking while the kids played. It was a great evening.

SUNDAY
Sunday morning was a slow morning. Joe was off to do some plowing since it snowed and then when he got home I was off to get groceries.

Our little Owen is dairy-free so for lunch both boys had vegan macaroni and cheese. They love it (Joe and I like it at all).

After lunch Liam decided he wanted his haircut. So Joe buzzed his hair and we decided Owen could get his first buzz cut too. Oh my gosh, how much older they look!

Liam and Owen did a little dance that was the cutest with no shirts and new hair cuts.

Then we gave them both baths to wash off the hair and put them down for nap.

We made some chili and had a relaxing rest of the evening.

I hope you had a great weekend! Thanks for reading!