Monday, January 26, 2015

Book Review #4

Love Without Limits
I had seen Nick Vujicic's story on Facebook and other news sites and such and was always intrigued by his sweet story-I was excited to be able to read the book about his journey.
Nick Vujicic was born with out arms and legs and yet while reading this book and I am sure even meeting him in person, you wouldn't even notice. His personality really comes out in this book and its upbeat, honest and real. This book lets you be in on all the little details on his love story with his beautiful wife Kanae and along the way they give some advice, tips and pointers for keeping your eyes on Christ thru it all.
The trials and bumps in the road that he and his wife faced during their story and the ways they overcame and trusted God are surely inspiring.
This book takes you along with them in a very real way from the Nick telling about past failed relationships to him and Kanae being united as one in marriage. It's such a sweet story and I highly recommend it!

Sunday, January 25, 2015

A day in my life

I've seen a lot of other "mommy bloggers" do posts where they document their every day life in pictures and I've always found those posts so interesting. 
So, I got the notion to try it out myself. Not that I consider myself a mommy blogger, because I am not. I just thought it would be fun and totally doable.

It wasn't. 

These photos took me about three days to take and I STILL never remembered to take photos after lunch time :p

And. My days aren't that interesting. I tried documenting on a week that would show what a normal day for me looked like at home with the boys. So here it goes. :) 

Another disclaimer. I'm not funny.



My days start out at 5 am usually. I crawl out of bed and go down to the basement to do my insanity workout.
I don't get it done every morning so sometimes it happens midday-especially of i have a child who decides that as soon as i leave the room, he needs to wake up too.

Around 5:45 or 6, I come up the stairs and have my coffee and read/talk to brandon/get his lunch ready before he heads off to work.
(Usually James decides to go back to sleep)
Brandon leaves at 6:30 and I head into the kitchen to do dishes and try to clean up before the kids wake up.


Around 7-7:30 isaiah wakes up and we get breakfast and I make a smoothie.
 
After breakfast around 8 I clean the kitchen floors and sweep.  It's amazing how i can do this every day and they STILL need to be done every day. Sad.
I spot clean my floors. I don't know why.
Once finished with that rag-I throw it on the top of my basement stairs along with all the other random dirty laundry I'm too lazy to take down the stairs.

James decides he wants to wake up and eat next. So I feed him and try to avoid the unavoidable spit up. Doesn't matter where the burp cloth is-he will miss it somehow and I will get covered.
Next it's usually story time for isaiah. We almost always read the same five books that happen to always be downstairs-they just never make their way upstairs to his room so they have automatically become our morning , noon and evening story time books.
I walk into the kitchen to get the broom to sweep the living room after noticing it really needs a good sweep.
Wait!!! How are there already dishes that need to be done??
They never.ever.end.
I grab the broom anyway and go sweep.
Isaiah is usually trying to be a big help. Usually.
Other times he does this.
Next I go get the laundry from the basement to fold. It's probably been sitting down there for quite some time.
Laundry gets folded and I leave it there until nap time when I can put it away. I don't know why I do that-because I then spend the rest of the morning refolding items. Weird thinking/processing on my end.
James gets in some playtime and by this point in the day I completely forget about documenting my day and my whole "plan" is pushed to the back of my mind and I realize I won't be like those other "mommy bloggers". and that's okay with me. I'll just stick to reading their great blogs and not try to replicate them.

My days are plenty exciting for me and probably only me and I'm okay with that :) every day is different and I don't always stick to a routine. That's just life. And life with 2 kiddos :)


Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Homemade Laundry Detergent

In our small household we go through so much laundry detergent with all the loads of laundry we do with 2 littles AND cloth diapering! The cost of detergent is so expensive so I started looking into making my own. 

My mother in law makes her own and so she let me have some to try it out on Brandons work clothes that smell because of the environment he works in (even though it's an office building-it reeks) as well as his workout clothes. I washed them all in her detergent and they came out smelling great! I was definitely impressed.

So as soon as I finished my box of Gain I had been using, I spent about an hour making the laundry detergent with the 3 simple ingredients that Louanne just GAVE me! They are really cheap anyways and you can get it all at Walmart or Kroger!

The "hardest" part of the whole process was grating the bar of soap-and that wasn't even "hard"! I now have a 5 gallon bucket sitting in my basement that will allow me to fill up my detergent container many times-making a total of 10 gallons of soap. I think we are set on laundry detergent for quite some time. :)

This is the recipe that I followed. And here are some step by step photos of my process!

http://www.duggarfamilyblog.com/2011/03/duggar-recipe-liquid-laundry-soap.html?m=1

Homemade Liquid Laundry Soap
(Front or top load machine-best value)
Ingredients: 

4  Cups - hot tap water
1  Fels-Naptha soap bar*
½ Cup Borax

Directions: 

-Grate bar of soap and add to saucepan with water. Stir continually over medium-low heat until soap dissolves and is melted.
-Fill a 5 gallon bucket half full of hot tap water. Add melted soap, washing soda and Borax. Stir well until all powder is dissolved. Fill bucket to top with more hot water. Stir, cover and let sit overnight to thicken.
-Stir and fill a used, clean, laundry soap dispenser half full with soap and then fill rest of way with water. Shake before each use. (will gel)
-Optional: You can add 10-15 drops of essential oil per 2 gallons. Add once soap has cooled. Ideas: lavender, rosemary, tea tree oil.
-Yield: Liquid soap recipe makes 10 gallons.
-Top Load Machine- 5/8 Cup per load (Approx. 180 loads)
-Front Load Machines- ¼ Cup per load (Approx. 640 loads)

Grating the soap

Melting it.
Adding and stirring in the washing soda and borax.
Last step! Filling it the rest of the way up with water and then letting it sit over night!

I did add some lavender essential oil to it to give it a slight lavender smell.
And that's it! Laundry soap for a lonnnng time! I'm very pleased :)

Monday, December 15, 2014

Book Review #3


I had the privilege once again to review a book for bloggingforbooks.org. 
A Love Undone is a different sort of Amish romance. 19 year old Jolene is very ambitious and spunky and through a series of events is left virtually alone with just her siblings having her heart broken and shattered in many different ways. This book shows more than the "romantic" side of the Amish life, a side you don't see too often in these types of books!
Her journey during this book is inspiring with the many ways she picks up and goes and her strength is displayed in such tremendous ways. You easily fall in love and become attached to the characters of this book and rightfully so! There are quite a few twists in this book which makes it intriguing and fast paced. 

Saturday, November 1, 2014

New wardrobe!

I've been desperately wanting to revamp my wardrobe lately and start changing out my style from teenager to early 20's/youngmom look. Not quite sure what a "young mom" look is-but figured it's different than what I had been wearing. 
Only problem was that I didn't have any extra money to spend on buying new/new to me clothes. 
That's where Twice comes in. Twice is an online clothing consignment type website for women's name brand clothing. A friend of mine posted her referral link on Facebook not too long ago and said that she got $50 worth of clothing for just $5! I was immediately intrigued :). So off I went and followed the instructions on how to get $20 worth of credit and then 50% off my first order. I then started browsing the site and added things into my cart that totaled up to $50 so I could get free shipping.
Once I finished and clicked the check out button-I paid a grand total of $6.90 for everything in the photo below!
Needless to say-I was hooked :)
I went ahead and shared the instructions along with my referral code on Facebook and waited to see if anyone would sign up. (When you sign up with my link you get $10 automatically added to your account and $10 to mine!)
People did.
Eventually I was able to go on quite the shopping spree for completely free! I had $200 in credit!
So. This is what I got.
13 shirts (long, 3/4 length and short sleeved) that were all very, very nice name brands!
And:
Three pairs of jeans. I went ahead and got a size bigger than what I wore before pregnancy, just incase, because I know bodies change :)

When I opened my box from them, I was SO pleasantly surprised with how it all was presented! It was definitely like Christmas morning. :)

They have a great 30 day return policy so if anything doesn't fit I can send it back to them for a refund-minus the shipping! Not too shabby!

The greatest part about my $200 order is not that I didn't pay a cent, but how much I SAVED! I couldn't believe the number :)

Do you see that in the red down at the bottom?? I saved $908.47 by shopping at Twice! Um-yes please and thank you!!

So if you haven't already, you totally need to go sign up AND download their app if you have an apple device! (Android will only give you 50%off-but that's still fantastic!)

Here are the instructions on how to get your first order for as low as $5!

1. Click on referral link below and get a $10 credit for signing up.
2. Download the Twice app - get another $10. ( I downloaded on my iPod!!)
3. Visit this blog for a 50% off coupon (link in the blog): 
http://www.sundaycharmblog.com/2014/09/heres-deal-and-10-for-you.html?m=1 
4. Free shipping on orders over $49, which is applied BEFORE the $20 credit and 50% discount...so if your order total is $50, you get free shipping, 50% off brings to $25, then $20 credit means you pay $5 for a $50 order.


This has been such a blessing and I can't  wait to go through my other clothes and start getting rid of stuff!! :)

*i have not been asked to write this post-I have just had such wonderful customer service and a fantastic overall experience with them I WANTED to write this! *

Monday, October 27, 2014

James Alexander

We welcomed our 2nd born son into this world 11 days over due, just like his big brother! :) 
October 23rd at 7:25 pm, James Alexander was born at home after a 3.5 hour labor. The labor was fast and intense but we are so thankful for a safe delivery and a very healthy little boy! He weighed in at 8 pounds 8 ounces and 21.5 inches long. He is quite the squishy little man and we are so in love with him :)
Because of the labor being so short our midwives spent about a grand total of 5 hours at our house. 
We are so thankful for both of our midwives and the wonderful support they are-can't imagine doing any of this with out them!

When Isaiah got to meet James for the first time-he wanted to take a picture of him-but that was it! He was not interested in him at all :)
He is now settling into life with a younger brother. It's not easy and he seems to be getting sick/filled with energy but we know he will adjust :)
Brandon has off work for a while and goes back to work on Thursday! So thankful for this time with him to help out!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Canning apples!

To answer everyone's questions-yes! I am still pregnant. No signs of baby coming any time soon but that's okay-we have a week for him to make his appearance naturally before induction. So prayers appreciated that he would :) Isaiah came at 41 wks 4 days so it's definitely possible!

About a month ago I got a huuuuge bag of horse apples to make into applesauce, fruit leather and dried apples. The weight of my bag was over 70lbs and I only paid $14 for the entire bag!
I finally had a day where I could dedicate to just apples and took the opportunity and got going! 
It was a little rough starting out-I wasn't feeling great and had to take lots of breaks to sit down and rest/eat/throw up etc. oh the joys of being just about 9 months pregnant at the time!
Thankfully though, this year I borrowed my mother in laws Vitamix. Best invention ever and made the apple sauce process SOO fast compared to previous years. It obviously still took me all day since I was working by myself and afore mentioned reasons for sitting down/resting very frequently.
With the vitamix, all I had to do was cut the apples into quarters and dump them into the blender. Once it was full, I turned it on and it took about 15 seconds or less to turn into wonderful, delicious applesauce!
I would then transfer it to a big pot and hear it up.
Once it was heated through, I would put the applesauce into jars and put them into the water bath! It was such a quick and easy process!
This applesauce is even better for you because it's made with the skins and there is not a drop of added sugar!!
I then went on to use a mandolin slicer and did quite a few apples that way-and dehydrated them.
And THEN I made fruit leather out of left over apple sauce that I didn't have enough jars for :) I think I worked off an on for about the entire day :) 
I'm very thankful to have it all stored up-although, the fruit leather is totally gone now, thanks to Isaiah :) it makes the absolute perfect snack! I think I want to get another bag just to turn into fruit leather and dried apples :) mmm!